(This devotion is day thirteen of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)
As you read through this Psalm, you might have wondered if you had the right verses. If thanksgiving is supposed to be joyful, why are we reading such a downer of a psalm?
Continue reading Grief and Gratitude: November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 13)
(This devotion is day twelve of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)
Read Psalm 9
We could all use a little more joy in our day. And not the fake-smile, posing for people kind, but real joy where rest and rejoicing come together, much like peanut butter and chocolate do for Peanut Butter M&M’s (so good). How can we find this kind of joy, in the best of times and the worst of times?
Continue reading God’s Wonderful Deeds: Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 12)
(This devotion is day eleven of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)
Read 1 Chronicles 16:1–36
What are landmark moments in your life? Can you recall times where God did something big in your life or taught you something? What are some of God’s wonderful works in your life, in your family, or in the life of your church? (These aren’t theoretical questions, so take a moment to answer them.) How did you celebrate those times and how do you commemorate them after the fact?
Continue reading Record in Order to Recall: Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 11)
(This devotion is day seven of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)
Read Psalm 103
I have a few shirts in my closet that don’t fit like they used to. I’m sure it’s because they’ve been through the dryer too many times, not because I’ve outgrown them. I can squeeze into them but it’s a little too snug for comfort. I only wear them in the safe, non-judgmental confines of my house. Because they don’t get used often, these shirts need washed again to rid them of that stale, dusty odor.
Continue reading Forget Not All His Benefits: Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 7)
(This devotion is day one of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)
Read Psalm 100
What’s the proper reaction of creation to its Creator? If God is God, and we live and breathe in His world, provided for and blessed in countless ways, what is a fitting response? And if we were under God’s righteous judgment because of our sin against Him, and yet He graciously redeemed us at the cost of His Son, what should be our posture before Him?
Continue reading Worship the King with Thanksgiving: Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 3)
“[Creation] is a speech from God to humanity… The creation, in its entirety, is eloquent; sin is the only dissonance in its song.” Herman Bavinck
“The universe … is before our eyes like a beautiful book in which all creatures, great and small, are as letters to make us ponder the invisible things of God” Belgic Confession
“Outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary but the common mode of existence.” Wendell Berry
The Psalms are full of references to lessons about God and life in His world that we learn from creation (nature). To be a student of creation makes us learners of the God of creation. To neglect creation is to ignore God’s revelation of Himself.
Continue reading Study Creation to Learn About God
“The iron bolt which so mysteriously fastens the door of hope and holds our spirits in gloomy prison, needs a heavenly hand to push it back.” Charles Spurgeon
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1)
The Problem: Life is Hard
Despite the way our culture values “authenticity,” most of us rarely feel comfortable enough to speak honestly and personally about the wounds and pains we carry, the weariness and weakness we feel, the dark thoughts or discouragement we wrestle with, or the disappointment and frustration with life experienced. While it might be okay to admit generalities like “My life is a mess” or “I’m struggling along,” to say how and why we are fragile or broken, to share real burdens and put them on the table seems a bit too far. It can be an awkward moment of transparency in a world of surface-level dialogue.
Continue reading Finding Refreshment in God Our Refuge
Each Wednesday night for the next few weeks, I’ll be teaching a class online about Lessons Learned in the Wilderness. You can view this on Facebook live at the Pennington Park Church account at 8PM.
Tonight we’ll look at Grumbling (Numbers 11) vs Gratitude (Psalm 57). Here are notes for Lesson 5 and here’s a link to the video.
A few related articles on grumbling are Give Thanks Together, Grumbling vs Gratitude, and Ingratitude Leading to Idolatry.
Continue reading Lessons Learned in the Wilderness (Part 5)
Psalm 63 was written in the wilderness. Considering what he was experiencing helps us see why he uses the language he does. David likely wrote Psalm 63 either before he was king and fled from Saul (1 Sam. 23:14-15) or–more likely–while he was king but fled because of his son Absalom’s revolt (2 Sam. 15:24-17). In either case, he faced significant trials in the wilderness.
Continue reading David’s Trust in the Wilderness
Here are two worksheets to guide you through a study of God’s Word. These don’t rely on the inductive method but provide questions for reflection on God through Psalm 103 and Psalm 104.
Psalm 103: Forget Not All His Benefits
Psalm 104: God’s Glory in Creation
You can find additional studies for personal or group use on my Other Writings page or Bible reading plans I’ve created can be found here.