Thursday, April 20, 2017

Help Me, LORD!! Psalm 16

Help Me, LORD: Our Refuge, Inheritance & Joy

What  a  plea!   
Psalm 16 is brief, direct request for help, followed by testimony and praise.  

Once again, Israel’s King David is in peril.  
Thankfully, a life of following and knowing God has taught Him to flee to the Lord.
  • After asking God for deliverance (vs. 1),
  • David rejoices in God,who He is and what He’s done and still does (vs. 2-11).

Psalm 16  (ESV)  A  Miktam of David.
1 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
4 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will ot pour out
or take their names on my lips.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  

Help me, LORD!  I Trust in You.

  You are My:
  • God  (vs. 1-2a)
  • Good   (2b-4)
  • Gift  (5, 6)
  • Guide  (7)
  • Guard & Glory  (8-11)

Psalm 16 reminds me that:
 God is...

 I should ...

 God will ...

KSD / CCF  April 19, 2015

Friday, April 14, 2017

Dear Locked-horn Leaders!

Dear Locked-horn Leaders!
by KSD 

Dear Locked-horn Leaders,
Listen up!

You -  stuck in what now seems mortal combat, painful conflict – hear me.
You, facing down former friends who seem now foes, going toe to toe
Both protecting, seeking the good of, for…
Listen up, you locked-up servants turned samurai.
Yes, to me.  

But not just to me, but to that other brother now fellow-battler,
the one that you need to hear you.
It hurts to be unheard.
Just ask him.
He too has experienced futility in attempts to communicate.
Yes, with you.
Misperceptions have calcified.
Clarifications are seen as spin, insincere damage control.
It is truly the parabolic dialogue of the deaf.

Hearing helps breaks the stalemate.
Slow down. Yes, shut up.
Pull up close again and try to hear, listen, grasp.

In the many distorted, misrepresented things hurled at you, about you,
He has also served up some painful truth.
Yes, served it in an ugly, brutal, unfair manner.
But mixed in the mangled messages is truth.
How do you discern the difference?
Brace yourself, warrior:
Which ones have friends and family mentioned?
Which ones have a sting of pain that is different?
I know, who is HE to critique YOU after all you… he…
Yes, pray for his hearing and you yourself listen afresh.

Dear Locked-horn Leaders, take a note.
You know how he needs to humbly submit, to learn…
He does – no doubt; and of so much.
And now seemingly too late.  

Well, just like him - yes, I’m going there – you too need to learn, grow…  
It is painful, but you are both right about a few things.  
And, you are both wrong about some matters.

Oh that you could agree about which ones.
But, alas, you are two hard-headed rams whose horns have lock-up.

Humility helps untangle horns.
Though it feels like a defeat, yielding, submitting is a winning move.

Locked horned leaders are scary.
They not only hurt the other brother, now seemingly foe
They hurt themselves
And, no denying it, others nearby are wounded as well.
The closer they are, the deeper the blow.
The damage is dense, diverse and damnable

Look up, Locked-horn Leaders.
Get some Eternal perspective
Yes, His, the Eternal One.
And, a view that is informed, influenced by time.
Take a long-haul view.
It is not all or nothing.

Live to fight  - better – another day
Leave the results to Him
Love everyone throughout the process
Lead with grace, gratitude and a guarded-heart

Shed the rack. Hurl the locked-up horn.
Drop the weapons

Oh to be locked, arm in arm, as loving fellow-laborers!
Side by Side, not face to face.
You want that.
You have been that
Allow, invite, promote that

If it is rejected, grieve that. It is sad, painful, confusing
Learn all you can from this painful season.
Listen. Keep listening.
Love, retool, repent and re-engage in the calling.


When King Jesus Sends, His Disciples Go and Do.

When King Jesus Sends, 
His Disciples Go and Do.

Serving Him Makes Even the Menial Meaningful. – from Matt. 21:1-11

“So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them.” (NKJV)

In the middle of Matthew’s telling of the “Triumphal Entry” of Jesus into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday, we read: “The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them” (21:6 - NIV). That is pretty straightforward. Even the Greek is simple: πορευθέντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ καὶ ποιήσαντες καθὼς συνέταξεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς. (Don’t be too impressed, I cut and pasted.)

 “The disciples went and did exactly what Jesus told them to do.” (The Message)

This is not just filler, or merely some literary device to move the narrative along. This simply profound verse could be one’s life verse. Hardly incidental, it is monumental. Jesus gives the orders. We go and do. What a wonderfully basic, bottom-line, bare-boned life-mission statement.  Does this describe your discipleship? 

“The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.” (ESV)

            Jesus regal entrance to Jerusalemfinally - is about celebration & expectation. After years of trying to keep His Messiah-ship secret – “don’t tell anyone” - Jesus now parades His identity for all to see. “Here I am." This palm branch parade has many powerful points.  Jesus proclaims His:
Ø  Messianic Majesty: “your King comes”, cloaks & branches (Is. 62:11; 2 Kings 9:13)
Ø  Praise Worthiness: “Hosanna!” Lord Save! (Jer. 31:7; Lk. 19:37-40)
Ø  Surprising Humility:  “on a donkey” (Zech. 9:9) A horse later! (Rev. 19:11-16)
Ø  Salvation Has Come!  (Ps. 118:25, 26; Mt. 1:21; Rev. 19:11)

Let’s be clear: the Disciples are NOT the point of this story, or any story; nor are the adoring crowds, adorable donkeys, or the palm branches. Jesus is. As has been said, history is His Story.  Yet…

To be faithful in our supporting role in His story:

Ø  Do even the odd, awkward:  “Go heist two donkeys.”  Not really, but may have felt awkward.

Ø  Do the seeming menial: “Bring them to Me.” Not a bad way to live! (Col. 1:16-18)

Ø  Go Where He sends you: They went, untied, brought them & prepared for His parade. His will, His way: how, when, where, what…  (compare 1 Sam. 3:7-11; and 15:1-35)

When we go and do just as Jesus instructs, We:

Ø  Prepare for His presence:  Matt 5:13-16, Acts 1:7-9
Ø  Proclaim Him “Lord”:  Matt. 21:6-11; Read Acts 1-28!
Ø  Fulfill His Word:    2 Peter; Jude; 2 Thess.
Ø  Are doing what should be assumed of us: Luke 6:46-49; 17:7-10
Ø  Are in good company: Noah, Abram, Moses, friendship with Jesus (Gen. 6:22; 12:4; Ex. 40:16; John 15:14; Heb. 11)

Lord, let it be said of YOUR disciples at CCF, that we
“did as Jesus commanded.” (NLT)