Miry Bog and Psalm 40

So, today…we went fishing…a GORGEOUS NJ day for it…I only caught 2 tiny smallmouths…but I did the chance to spend the morning hours with my son, Mikey and good buddy Brian.

At one point, we nosed in to the shoreline and took a walk to another remote pond…however they had drew down the lake, so we were walking to said pond across a miry bog.  Jumping from rock to rock to avoid getting your feet buried up to your ankles in yucko mud.

Mikey, as you can see from the image on the left, wasn’t successful in keeping his balance and more than once ended up ankle-deep in the mud of the miry bog.

When I got home, the Lord drew my attention to Psalm 40, which I had not remembered mentions a miry bog!  How many times do you have actual personal real-life experience with elements mentioned in scripture…not to mention obscure ones like miry bogs!

Psalm 40:1-3 says:

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.

In this Psalm we have the assurance that God hears  our prayers, especially our cries – so when we are overwhelmed – cry out to him from the midst of the miry bog, when the gross mud is up past our ankles and we can’t pull it out without losing a shoe.

My beautiful, Godly wife was quick to point out when we discussed this passage that we next see that it is not US that lifts us out of the miry bog…it’s GOD. He will  lift us out of the  mud and set our feet on the rock.  I know, the few times that I had close encounters with the mud in the bog, it was a relief to jump to a rock and land on safe, solid, clean, stable ground.

He puts a NEW song in our mouth, praise to our God – he gives us JOY.

And what do we see the end goal of all this is?  Why does HE lift us out of the bog, give us JOY?

So that “Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD”

It is always for his glory, not ours.  He doesn’t rescue us for the mud, but in the mud…in the grossness of life when we are sinking and our losing or shoes in gross soggy mud – HE lifts us out so that others can see what he has done for us and come to know him!  Others will have seen where we were (in the mud) and now how we have been lifted out, and they will know that it was GOD.

The biggest bog we were lifted out was our own selves – our own sin.  God sent Jesus to reconcile us to Him and set our feet on the rock of solid ground of being an adopted son of God, holy and dearly loved, if we have faith in who he was and what he did for us on the cross!

M

It is really nice…

to have Melanie home.  kids-waiting

C’mon.  You knew I was going to go there after all the whining I’ve done about her being gone.

It’s nice to have food in the house, to have the kids not be shuffled around all the time.  I’m quite certain the dog is much happier not having to wait 14 hours for me to get home to let her out.

But the nicest thing is that I have my “True Companion” (Marc Cohn refernce…anyone..anyone?) back.  I get to feel her toes in bed and not nothingness anymore.

I get to hear all the good that she helped do in Romania. I get to stop and think about how amazing our God is and how good we have it here.

I’m thankful that He is God and Savior of all who come to Him.

…and yeah…I’m thankful that He brought her safely home despite amazing weather in Newark the moment she was landing.

We now return you to “Life” already in progress.  🙂

Update from Romania!

Update from Romania!

Melanie just called me (it’s 6:33am Wed)…from a field in beautiful Romania on a borrowed cell phone.  (I think she bribed one of the kids there somehow…):-)

It was great to hear from her! She only had a few minutes.

She wanted me to pass along that everything is going very well.  Praise God!

Today, Melanie is working with the childrens ministry after doing door to door evangelism the last 2 days.  Katie is now on evangelism duty today with the others.  🙂

Gerrie and Debbie are pretty much functioning as doctors, only involving the “real” doctors as necessary and seeing lots of patients.

Cheryl is working with the people there teaching them dental hygiene and I’m sure assessing a few mouths here and there.

The rest of the team is doing great.  Melanie said she has formed quite a bond with her room mate, a woman from the Detroit area.  The scenery is absolutely gorgeous.

Please pray for boldness, endurance, perseverance, joy…and for a minute-by-minute reliance on the Holy Spirit to do His work for His Kingdom!

Their verses today are Eph 1:17-20…please meditate on them with the team…THANK YOU!

17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

Praying for Mel

In case I haven’t mentioned it enough, my wife is serving on a short terms missions trip to Romania until Sunday!  This is good for her and the kingdom…bad for me, because I miss her and I’m out of clean socks.

On my wife’s Prayer Calendar today it says “Persevere in Warfare” and the scripture is fitting, from Ephesians 6:10-20 about the armor of God, a good reminder for all of us in our daily battles of how to equip ourselves:

10Finally,(A) be strong in the Lord and in(B) the strength of his might. 11(C) Put on(D) the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against(E) the schemes of the devil. 12For(F) we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against(G) the rulers, against the authorities, against(H) the cosmic powers over(I) this present darkness, against(J) the spiritual forces of evil(K) in the heavenly places. 13Therefore(L) take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in(M) the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore,(N) having fastened on the belt of truth, and(O) having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and,(P) as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16In all circumstances take up(Q) the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all(R) the flaming darts of(S) the evil one; 17and take(T) the helmet of salvation, and(U) the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18praying(V) at all times(W) in the Spirit,(X) with all prayer and supplication. To that end(Y) keep alert with all perseverance, making(Z) supplication for all the saints, 19and(AA) also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth(AB) boldly to proclaim(AC) the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I(AD) am an ambassador(AE) in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

  • Belt of truth: truth support us, rely on it.
  • Breastplate of righteousness: protect your heart, know that if you are with Christ, you are righteous before God thru Him
  • Shoes for your feet:  Go Mel, Go.  Preach it!
  • Shield of faith:  Our defensive weapon, our faith in Christ will protect us, don’t rely on ourselves or give in to worry
  • Helmet of salvation:  keep your head – you are saved.  Rest in that. Don’t let the battle get to you
  • Sword of the Spirit:  our offensive weapon. God’s perfect Word, written and recorded — the Bible.  However, we can’t use it if we don’t know it.
  • Pray.  Always.  Melanie has my iPod, so I pray for her a lot…every time I look for my iPod.  🙂
  • Paul starts all this by exhorting them to “Stand Firm!”

-M

Yay! An update from Romania – 1

How cool is the Internet?!

Mel must have found a cyber-cafe, I was very happy to have received an e-mail update from her:

Hello!
It is Sunday afternoon here about 1:00 and we are at the home of a lovely couple, Daniel and Adina.  We spent yesterday getting prepared for the medical clinic and evangelizing.  The hotel we are staying in is lovely! My roommate and I have so much in common and are getting along wonderfully!
I miss you all and am looking forward to telling you all about our trip when we return next Sunday.
Please continue to pray for us as we have a very busy week coming up!
Love,
Mel

Thank you all for praying…please continue to hold the team up in prayer.

Bless you all on this Lord’s day!

-M

I love my wife.

I really do. I met her the 2nd day of college and figured she was way out of my league. LOL!

She is beautiful, she is my soul mate, my life partner, an amazing mom…and a woman of God.

I know you are probably thinking a few possible responses to my declaration.

“That’s nice for you” or “…You are telling us this why?” or something similar.

but…one of the many reasons I love my wife is that she is stepping way out of her comfort zone and is presently in Romania with E3 on a missions trip to spread the Gospel and assist in some medical aid programs.

Here is a picture of my beautiful wife enjoying her last cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee (yes, D&D, I don’t understand you Starbucks people!) at our church prior to heading out with the rest of her team yesterday.

mel

Stay tuned for more updates, she will be there until July 25th!

-M