FORSAKEN, NOT FORGOTTEN!

It was not the fear of finality but the fear of separation that gripped Jesus on the Cross. It is the deepest emotional pain one can experience and epitomizes the salient result of sin: separation.

God’s sole “it is not good” before the Fall was when He acknowledged that He created Adam for a relationship, not only with Himself but with someone formed and fashioned from his own flesh. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh!” “…the two are united into one.” Marriage is the earthly picture of a relationship’s divine purpose: permanence, passion, and purpose.

More than sins’ shameful weight and the spear and nails’ searing slice was the stark terror of contemplating separation from His Father. The Father did not turn away because of His inability to gaze at His sin-soaked Son but because He knew that the price of sin was silent separation.

This all-knowing Father God turned His ear and gaze from His beloved Son, the Son Who knew no sin, yet bore all sin; the One Who cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”!

And because God turned His back on His Son for a season, we need never suffer separation from God for eternity.

Edited © 2021-0327, David Veliquette (originally written 2003-0327)

Psalm 1

PSALM 1

To the chief musician on wind instruments, a Psalm of David

How happy the man godless guidance won′t walk,
He won′t stand with sinners, sit with those who mock.

But rather the law of the Lord, his delight;
He meditates in His law both day and night.

By water streams planted, he stands like a tree,
That brings forth its fruit by its season’s decree.

Whose leaf will not wither, and it will survive;
For all that he does, it shall prosper and thrive.

The godless and wicked don’t prosper and stay;
For they are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Just so, the ungodly in judgment won′t rise;
With righteous assembled, no sinners comprise.

The Lord knows the way of the righteous and just;
The way of the wicked will vanish to dust.

Psalm 2

PSALM 2

To the chief musician on wind instruments, a Psalm of David

And why do the nations churn, ponder vain things?
The rulers all gather, to stand with earth’s kings.

Against His Anointed, they say of the Lord:
Let’s break all their bands off and cast off their cord.

The Lord sits in heaven; He laughs and decries.
Then shouts in His anger; in wrath terrifies.

And yet I have set My King on Zion’s hill,
declaring the message: the Lord will fulfill:

For You are my Son and begotten this day.
The nations inherit; I’ll give if you pray.

The ends of the earth, will Your’s certainly be.
With iron staff, You’ll smash them, like cracked pottery.

Be wise now you kings and earth judges be taught.
In awe serve Jehovah; rejoice while fear-fraught.

The Son will be angry, so kiss Him today;
His wrath will be kindled; you’ll perish in the way.

How fortunate, blessed and envied are those
who trust Him, take refuge, and in Him repose.

Psalm 3

PSALM 3

A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom, his son

O Lord, how they increase… those troubling foes!
How multiplied many against me arose!

And many there be which will say of my soul,
“No help in his maker, his God won’t console.”

But You are my shield, Lord; my glory instead.
You do this for me, and You lift up my head.

I cried to the Lord with my voice and He heard,
From His holy mountain, the sound of my word.

I lay down and slumbered and through the night slept;
And when I awakened, Jehovah had kept.

I’ll not be afraid of ten thousand that shout,
Although up against me they’re set ’round about.

Arise Lord and save me, my God, for Your sake:
My foes You have smitten; their teeth You did break.

Salvation for us now belongs to the Lord;
Your blessings upon us; Your people’s reward.

Psalm 4

PSALM 4

To the chief musician on stringed instruments, a Psalm of David

Oh, hear my call, I’m clean, you did declare.
Have mercy, free from trouble, hear my prayer.

My reputation, will you turn to shame?
With groundless accusations still you blame?

Yes, for himself, the Lord sets saints apart.
He’ll answer when I call him from my heart.

And do not sin by letting rage control.
In peaceful sleep remain a thoughtful soul.

Your sacrifice, a right approach afford;
so put your faith in Him and trust the Lord.

So many say, “Who’ll show us better days?”
Please turn your face on us with smiling gaze.

You’ve given me a greater joy—it’s mine—
than those who have abundant grain and wine.

I’ll lay me down in peaceful rest and sleep,
for you, alone, oh Lord, will safely keep.

Psalm 5

PSALM 5

To the chief musician on wind instruments, a Psalm of David

Give ear to my words, Lord, consider my sighs.
I pray, King and God, hear the sound of my cries.

My voice shall You hear, Lord, prayer ordered at dawn;
For solely on You, Lord will I wait upon.

For You’re not a God Who takes pleasure in sin;
No wickedness near You, no evil within.

The boastful shall not stand, not where You can see;
For You, Lord do loathe those who do wickedly.

And You will destroy those who falsehood confessed;
The bloody and lying Jehovah detests.

Your house I will enter where mercy abounds.
In fear I will worship toward Your holy ground.

In rightness Lord lead me because of my foes;
Oh Lord make my way straight, before me it goes.

Their words are not faithful; destruction inside;
Their throat is a grave; with their tongue they have lied.

Destroy them, Oh God; let them fall by their plan;
With many sins cast them; toward God, rebel man.

But, let them that trust You rejoice, shout for joy;
Because You defend them, they love and enjoy.

For You, Lord, will bless them, the righteous who yield;
With favor surround him as with a strong shield.

Psalm 6

PSALM 6

To the chief musician on stringed instruments, a Psalm of David

Oh Lord don’t rebuke me, with anger hasten,
In Your hot displeasure, please do not chasten.

Have mercy upon me, Oh Lord, I am weak;
And heal my vexed bones, Lord; it’s You, Who I seek.

My soul is vexed also, for how long, Oh Lord!
Deliver and save me, Your mercies afford.

For there is no mention of You in death’s ranks;
And who in the grave found to give You their thanks?

I’m weary with groaning all night on my bed;
It swims, and my couch too, with tears from my head.

My eye is consumed with a soul full of grief;
Because of my foes, it now knows no relief.

Depart from me, workers of iniquity;
The Lord He has heard me, the voice of my plea.

The Lord He has heard me, my supplication,
The Lord He receives me, yes, my petition.

So let all my foes be ashamed and dismayed;
They’ll turn back and suddenly their shame be displayed.

Psalm 7

PSALM 7

And ode of David, which he sang unto the Lord, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite

Oh Lord my God, in You I give my trust to:
So save and deliver, from those who pursue.

Lest he, like a lion, my soul tears in two;
He’ll rend it in pieces, while none to rescue.

Oh Lord my God, if I have followed these plans;
If there be iniquity in these my hands;

If I have done evil to him when at peace;
If even my foes I did not give release:

So then let the enemy chase, take my soul;
To earth crush my life down, to dust with my role.

Arise, Lord in anger, from rage of my foes:
Awake to their judgment for me that you chose.

So let those around you, all those gathered nigh:
And for their sakes therefore return Thou on high.

The people shall God judge: judge me, Oh Lord thus:
According to honor, and my righteousness.

Cease evil of wicked, make upright unmoved:
For heart and mind searching, Oh righteous God prove.

My shield is of God, Who saves upright in heart.
God judges the righteous, at evil, wrath starts.

If he does not turn back, his sword he will whet,
His bow He has bended, the string it is set.

He’s also prepared him the weapons of doom;
His arrows preparing for those they’ll consume.

Behold, he travails with evil, not good,
Conceiving in mischief, and brings forth falsehood.

For he made a pit and fell in it and laid,
The pit he had hollowed; the ditch which he made.

His mischief returning on his head came down,
His violent dealings upon his own crown.

Because He is righteous I will praise the Lord:
And will sing my praises to God most adored.

Psalm 8

PSALM 8

For the choir director, on the Philistine lute, a Psalm of David

O Lord, our Lord, mighty is Your name on earth!
Far greater than heavens, Your glory, Your worth.

From mouths of mere infants and babes your strength willed,
because of your enemies, vengeance is stilled.

When pondering the heavens, the work of Your hand,
The moon and the stars all of which You have planned:

So, what is mere man that You’re of him aware;
And even man’s son, that You send him Your care?

Yet, You have made him a bit lower than God,
And crowned him with glory and honor, to laud.

For You have made him to rule works of Your hands;
And put all things under his feet where he stands.

All sheep, yes, and oxen, all beasts of the fields;
The birds of the heavens, the fish the sea yields.

And, whatever passes through paths of the sea.
Oh Lord, our Lord excellent Your name in earth be!

Psalm 9

PSALM 9

To the chief musician, a Psalm of David

With all of my heart, Lord, Oh, You will I praise;
All Your works of wonder I’ll show forth and raise.

And I will be glad and rejoice in You, Lord:
I’ll sing praise to Your name, O God, most adored.

When my foes are turned back and they’ve lost their place;
Then they will soon fall and will fade from Your face.

For You have maintained right, my just cause, my plea;
And You sit on Your throne and judge righteously.

You rebuked the heathen, the wicked destroyed;
For You did blot their name, for all time made void.

Oh you foe, destructions are ended forever:
And You have spoiled cities; their memory sever.

But it’s so, the Lord shall endure evermore:
And He has prepared it: His throne; judgment for.

And He’ll judge the world in true righteousness,
He’ll minister judgment to all in fairness.

The Lord is a refuge for all the oppressed,
A refuge in trouble, whenever distressed.

And those who know Your name put their trust in You:
LORD, You’ve not forsaken the ones who pursue.

Sing praise to the Lord, Who sits on Zion’s throne;
Among all the nations make all His deeds known.

For He Who avenges blood remembers yet;
The cry of afflicted ones He won’t forget.

Have mercy, Oh Lord, on my hurt from foes hate;
For You are the One Who lifts up from death’s gate.

All Your praise to show forth in Zion’s daughter’s gate;
And in Your salvation I will jubilate.

The nations they fell in the pit that they hollowed;
By the net they’ve hidden has their foot been swallowed.

The Lord is made known by His justice prepared;
By work of their own hands the wicked are snared.

The wicked are turned back and into hell trod;
And even the nations forgetful of God.

The needy shall not be forgotten forever;
The hope of the humble will not perish ever.

Arise, Oh Lord, do not let man show his might;
Before You let nations be judged in Your sight.

Oh Lord, you must put them in fear once again;
That nations may know themselves to be but men.

So you break the arm of the wicked, bad one;
And seek out his evil until you’ve found none.

The Lord he is King now forever, always;
The heathen from his land have perished, gone away.

The humble’s desire, Oh Lord you will hear;
Their heart you will strengthen, to them turn your ear.

To vindicate orphans, to judge the oppressed,
The man of the earth he may no more oppress.

Psalm 10

PSALM 10

To the chief Musician—a Psalm of David

O Lord, why stand far off, why there you abide?
In times of my trouble yourself do you hide?

In pride have the wicked the poor swiftly sought:
In their own devices let them now be caught.

The wicked is boasting of his heart’s reward,
The greedy he blesses, those spurned of the Lord.

The wicked, through pride that is shown on his face,
Will not seek for God, in his thoughts has no place.

His ways are all grievous; beyond sight, Your court:
And as for his foes, now, at them he does snort.

So he in his heart said, “I shall not be moved:
I’ll not be in trouble, not ever reproved.”

His mouth full of curses and fraud and deceit:
There’s mischief and evil; his tongue is its seat.

He sits in an ambush the town’s secret place;
The innocent murders, his eyes the poor case.

He lies in wait hidden a lion in his lair:
The poor with his net waits to catch unaware.

He crouches and bows down himself waiting for,
His strong ones he uses to cast down the poor.

For in his heart said he, this God will ignore:
He never will see it; his face come before.

Arise, Oh Lord; Oh God, and lift up your hand:
Forget not the humble; not this obscure band.

And why do the wicked against God conspire?
For in his heart he’s said, “You will not require.”

For you’ve seen and notice the mischief and spite,
For you have beheld it; with your hand requite.

And so the unfortunate commits to thee;
For you are the helper; of orphans you see.

So you break the arm of the wicked, bad one;
And seek out his evil until you’ve found none.

The Lord he is King now forever, always;
The heathen from his land have perished, gone away.

The humble’s desire, Oh Lord you will hear;
Their heart you will strengthen, to them turn your ear.

To vindicate orphans, to judge the oppressed,
The man of the earth he may no more oppress.

Psalm 11

PSALM 11

To the chief Musician—a Psalm of David

In God, I place my trust; soul why sound this word?
“Go to your high mountain, escape like a bird.

The wicked with bow bent, are aiming their dart,
to shoot in the darkness the upright in heart.

For if the foundation is broken in two,
what then can the righteous be given to do?”

The Lord’s in his temple, his throne’s in the sky:
His eyes behold men’s sons; his eyelids will try.

The Lord tries the righteous: the evil he rates,
and those who love violence his soul sorely hates.

So fire and brimstone on wicked rains snares;
with horrible tempest, this cup will be theirs.

The Lord He is righteous, He loves righteousness;
His countenance shining the upright to bless.

Psalm 12

PSALM 12

To the chief musician upon stringed instruments, a Psalm of David

LORD, help, for the godly man ceases to be;
And from among men’s sons the faithful none see.

And each to his neighbor, their speech is all vain:
With flattering lips, double heart they explain.

And so may the Lord cut off flattering lips,
And also the tongue boasting arrogant quips.

As those who have said, “With our tongue we’ll prevail;
Our lips are our own: so who us will assail?”

For groaning of needy, oppression of weak;
The Lord says, “I’ll rise and protect them they seek.”

As silver is tried; so the Lord’s words are pure;
Though earth’s furnace try, seven times it’ll endure.

O Lord, you will keep; generations won’t die.
Though wicked walk freely when vile are held high.

Psalm 13

PSALM 13

To the Chief Musician, A Psalm of David

How long, Oh Lord, will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide, your face from me sever?

How long soul take counsel in heart’s daily grief?
My enemy how long above me is chief?

Oh Lord God consider and answer my cries:
Lest I sleep the death sleep, enlighten my eyes.

Lest even my foe say, “O’re him I’ve prevailed.”
And they gloat that trouble when me they’ve assailed.

But I trust your mercy; I’ve made it my choice;
And in your salvation my heart shall rejoice.

Unto the Lord I will sing, His mercies see,
Because He has filled me so bountifully.

Psalm 14

PSALM 14

To the Chief Musician, a Psalm of David

The fool in his heart has said, “There is no God.”
Corrupt, they’ve done bad deeds; none do good to laud.

The Lord looks from heaven on sons of mankind,
To see who is wise, who seek God, and Him find.

They’ve all turned aside and have filthy become;
There is none that does good; no, not even some.

Oh have they no knowledge, the evil ones all?
As bread, eat my people, on God they don’t call?

There they were in great fear: for God’s with the just.
You’ve shamed the poor’s counsel, the Lord is his trust.

Oh, that the salvation of you, Israel,
Would come out of Zion; that you would prevail!

Oh, Isra’l shall be glad and Jacob rejoice,
When God brings the captives; His people, His choice.

Psalm 15

PSALM 15

A Psalm of David

Oh, Lord in your tent, now, just who abides still?
And who shall remain there in your holy hill?

It’s he who walks upright, and works righteousness,
Who speaking the truth; in his heart he’ll confess.

His tongue will not slander, toward neighbor harm do;
Against the one near him reproach won’t pursue.

Whose eyes despise vile ones; the God fearing praise;
He swears to his own hurt, he won’t change his ways.

Who puts not his money to usury’s plan;
He takes not a bribe against innocent man.

So he who does these things shall never be moved;
If these he’s pursuing, he’s of God approved.

Psalm 16

PSALM 16

A poem of David

Preserve me, Oh God, I in you refuge take.
My soul said, “You’re my Lord, your good; not mine make.”

And as for the saints, all that are in the land,
In these all delight, mine: majestic ones, grand.

Their sorrows be increased who chase others, for:
Their names not on my lips, nor blood offerings pour.

The Lord is the portion who my share has wrought;
And even my cup there, you maintain my lot.

The lines fall unto me in ways of delight;
And yes, even mine, an inheritance bright.

The Lord I will bless who has counseled me right;
And my heart instructs me; yes, even at night.

I’ve set God before me continually;
Since He’s at my right hand, unshaken I’ll be.

My heart is glad therefore, my honor rejoice;
And so my flesh also, in hope is its choice.

For you will not leave me, my soul in the ground;
You’ll not let your holy one corrupt be found.

In your presence joyful, your path you’ll show me;
At Your right hand pleasures for ever shall be.

Psalm 17

PSALM 17

A Prayer of David

Oh Lord, hear a just cause, attend to my cries;
Give ear to my lip’s prayer; deceit won’t arise.

And, so may my sentence come forth from your sight;
And let your eyes see things, the fair and upright.

Your night visit tried me; found naught, proved my heart;
I’ve purposed my mouth shall not sin or depart.

Concerning all men’s works, by what Your lips say;
From paths of destroyer I’ve kept far away.

You’ve upheld all my steps to your perfect way;
You ordered my footsteps; my feet did not stray.

I have called upon You, for me You will hear;
Oh God, hear my cry and toward me turn your ear.

Show your unique goodness; you save by right hand,
All those who take refuge from this rising band.

Keep me as the pupil, the apple of your eye;
Hide me in the shadow of your wings; I’ll fly,

from all of the wicked that now oppress me,
From my deadly enemies ’round me that be.

All walled and closed up in their finest, fat shroud,
With arrogance speaking, their mouth shouting loud.

And, in all our steps now it’s they who surround;
For they’ve fixed their eyes to stretch me toward the ground.

He’s just like a lion whose longing to tear;
And like a young lion he waits hidden there.

Arise, disappoint him, cast him down, Oh Lord,
Deliver my soul from the wicked, your sword.

From men, by your hand, men of this age, O Lord,
Whose portion in this life is its own reward.

Whose belly you fill up with hidden things vain;
With just enough children, to babes what remains.

In righteousness your face, I’ll see for my sake;
With your likeness satisfied when I awake.

Psalm 18

PSALM 18

To the Chief Musician, a Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spoke unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul; and he said:

I love you, Oh God, You’re my strength, my rock, Lord,
My fortress, deliverer; and more you afford;

My God, and my rock, in whom refuge I take;
My shield and salvation’s horn, stronghold you make.

I’ll call on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
And so I’ll be saved from my enemies’ ways.

The cold cords of death all around me were wound,
From floods of the wicked with fear, I was bound.

Cruel cords of the grave circled me ’round about;
Confronted by death’s snares, I saw no way out.

And so on the Lord, in my trouble, I called,
And cried out for help; yes, before God I bawled.

My voice from his temple he surely did hear;
My cry for help came to him, into his ear.

The earth it did tremble, the ground it did shake;
Because of his anger, the mountains did quake.

A smoke from his nostrils, and from his mouth fire,
A fire all-consuming; coals lit by his ire.

He also stretched heavens, slipped down from his seat;
Descended with darkness surrounding his feet.

He mounted a cherub and flew, did descend;
And there he did soar on the wings of the wind.

The darkness he donned as his secret disguise;
His canopy ’round him, dark clouds of the skies.

From brilliance before him his thick clouds have passed;
With hailstones and lightning bolts they have amassed.

The Lord also thundered in heaven, the sky,
With hailstones and lightning gave voice, the Most High.

He sent out his arrows and enemies scattered;
Yes, even with great bolts of lightning them battered.

Then water beds sighted, earth’s foundation shown
At your rebuke O Lord, from nostril’s breath blown.

He sent from above and he took hold of me;
A
nd then drew me out from deep waters to free.

He rescued me from my fierce, strong enemy,
From those who despised and were too strong for me.

They challenged me then on calamity’s day,
In spite of their scheming, the Lord was my stay.

He brought me forth also into a large place;
Delivered, delighted when he saw my case.

Because of my rightness the Lord dealt good plans;
And he has rewarded because of clean hands.

For I have been careful to keep the Lord’s way,
And from my God I did not wickedly stray.

For all of his ord’nances were before me;
And from me I put away not one decree.

Before him I also was blameless, upright;
For I even kept myself from my sin’s blight.

Because of my rightness the Lord did reprise,
According to cleanness of hands in his eyes.

To faithful ones you show yourself just the same,
To each who is upright, appear without blame;

And so to the pure you will show yourself pure;
But then to the crooked, you’ll look like you were.

For you’ll help the humble: the poor some despise;
But lay low the ones who have high haughty eyes.

For you make my lamp to be lighted, be bright;
The Lord my God who surely shines in my night.

With you through a troop I can flee and not fall;
And by my God I can vault over a wall.

For God’s way is perfect; the Lord’s word is tried;
And to those who trust him a shield where they hide.

For who’s God, but the Lord? a rock, but our God,
Who clothes me with strength and my way makes unflawed?

He makes my feet agile like sure-footed deer;
And on my high hill stands me firm without fear.

My hands for war he trains to then fight the foe,
And so my arms strengthened to bend a bronze bow.

Salvation’s shield given; sustained with right hand;
And then by your gentleness you made me grand.

For you have made broad my steps under their grip,
So as to make certain my feet do not slip.

I followed my foes, overtook those I sought;
Until they were finished I faced them and fought.

I then struck them soundly so they could not rise;
They under my feet fell and met their demise.

For you have equipped me with strong strength for war;
And who stands against me you make kneel before.

And you turned their neck; set to flight all my foes,
That I might destroy those that hate and oppose.

They cried out for help but there was none to save,
They looked to the Lord, but no answer he gave.

I ground them as grains of fine powder, wind blown;
Like dirt in the street they were tossed out and thrown.

For you have delivered from those who contend;
The nation’s head made me; and strangers attend.

As soon as they heard of me they did obey;
For foreigners cringed in submissive display.

These foreigners fainted, lost heart, this enclave,
And trembling trudged from fast fortress in cave.

The Lord is alive, and my Rock to be praised;
And so let my God of salvation be raised.

It’s this God that for me His vengeance endues,
Who under me also the people subdues.

From enemies saves me; against me who rose,
You lift me above; man of violence depose.

And, so I’ll give thanks amongst nations exclaim,
Oh Lord; praises sing to you, unto your name.

Great triumphs he gives to his king; mercy makes;
To David, anointed and seed ever takes.

Psalm 19

PSALM 19

To the chief musician, A Psalm of David.

The heavens they herald, God’s glory they share;
The heavens, the works of His hands do declare.

It faithfully pours forth its speech day by day;
And night after night will its knowledge display.

And while there’s no speech and no language nor word;
Yet, even without these, their voice is still heard.

For throughout the whole earth their line is unfurled,
And so too, their words to the ends of the world.

His heavens he hoisted, a tent for the sun,
As groom from his chamber; the hardy revels race run.

From ends of the heavens it circles complete;
And there is not one thing that hides from its heat.

The Lord’s law is perfect, the soul edifies;
His statutes are certain, the simple make wise.

His precepts are righteous, rejoicing the heart.
The Lord’s clear commandments to eyes light impart.

The fear of the Lord is pure, lasting forever.
His judgments are true, and are right, altogether.

More precious than gold, yes, than much-refined gold;
They’re sweeter than honey the honeycomb won’t hold.

Moreover, by them, you, your servant convince;
In keeping of them, there is great recompense.

His errors and lapses to whom is revealed?
Yet, cleanse me from sins though unconscious, concealed.

From sins of presumption, your servant restrain;
And may they not over me hold rule or reign.

I then will be blameless, complete and upright,
And guiltless I’ll be of great transgression’s blight.

May my heart’s reflection, and words my mouth talk,
Be pleasing to you, Lord, Redeemer, and Rock.

Psalm 20

PSALM 20

To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David.

The Lord, may He hear in your day of distress;
May Jacob’s God’s name raise you beyond access.

And help from his holy place then may He send,
Support you and strengthen, from Zion attend.

And may he recall all your offerings he saw,
And also accept your burnt offerings. Selah.

And grant you according to your heart’s desire,
Fulfill all the purpose to which you aspire.

Your victory, salvation, in joy we exclaim,
We’ll set up our banners unto our God’s name.

May all your petitions the Lord soon fulfill.
The Lord, his anointed saves, I know he will;

To him from heaven’s holiness He will reply;
With saving strength of His right hand upon high.

Though some trust in chariots, and horses all shod,
Still, we will remember the Lord’s name, our God.

They’re bowed down and fallen; we rise and stand tall.
Oh Lord, save; and may the king hear when we call.

Psalm 21

PSALM 21

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

Oh Lord, yes the king shall rejoice in your might;
And in your salvation shall greatly delight!

To him the desire of his heart you conferred;
Request of his lips you’ve not held nor deferred.

With blessings of good things to him you have met;
A crown of pure gold on his head you have set.

He asked of you life, and to him, you did give;
Of day’s length forever and ever to live.

His glory is greater because of your aid;
Both splendor and majesty on him you’ve laid.

You’ve made him a blessing forever to bless;
In your presence made him have joy in excess.

The king trusts the LORD, for on him he’ll rely;
He shall not be shaken, through love of most High.

Your hand shall discover and find all your foes;
Your right hand shall find all who hate and oppose.

When you show your face they’re a furnace afire:
Consumed thus, the LORD will engulf in his ire.

You’ll banish from this earth their offspring, their fruit,
Their seed among men’s sons you’ll surely uproot.

Though evil against you they plan and they plot,
They will not succeed for their plans are for naught.

For you will compel them to turn ’round their back,
You’ll aim at their face with bent bow to attack.

In your strength, alone, be exalted, Oh Lord;
Your power and might we’ll sing, praise in accord.

Psalm 22

PSALM 22

To the chief Musician set to the tune of the hind of the morning

My God, my God, why have you left me alone;
So far from deliverance, words barely a groan?

My God! No reply though I cry in day’s light;
And there is no silence nor sleep in my night.

All holy are you, set apart there you dwell;
Enthroned in the praises of your Israel.

Our fathers leaned on you, in you trusted in;
They trusted, and you did deliver them then.

Yes, they were delivered; and to you, they cried;
They were not confounded, and on you relied.

But I am a worm, not a man… stigmatized;
By men, I am scorned, by the people despised.

And all those who see me sneer, mock and deride;
Their head shaking, lips wide, hurl words that are snide:

“He trusts in the Lord so, the one he says saves;
So let him deliver, since in him he raves!”

So safely you’ve kept me at my mother’s breast.
Still, you are the one, from the womb you did wrest;

From birth, yes the womb, I was cast upon you
From my mother’s belly my God, you I knew.

So be not far from me, for trouble is near;
And not one to help me, no helper is near.

Surrounded by bulls that encircle around;
And strong bulls of Bashan my feet now surround.

They open their mouths against me, teeth laid bare;
All lion-like, roaring and ready to tear.

Like water I’m poured out, my bones come apart;
Within me it’s melted; like wax is my heart.

My strength is all drained out like some broken pot;
My tongue clings to mouth’s roof; to death’s dust you’ve brought.

Surrounded by dogs, wicked circle in bands;
And now they have pierced through my feet and my hands.

My bones, I can count them… of each I’m aware;
Upon me, they look, and they gloat, and they glare.

Among them my garments; my clothes they divide;
Yes, even my raiment by lot they decide.

O Lord, be not distant, from me flee away;
O hasten to help me, my strength and my stay.

Deliver me now; from the sword save my soul;
And my precious life out from these dog’s control.

From lion’s mouth save me; let me not be torn;
You’ve answered my cry from the wild oxen’s horn.

Your name I’ll declare, to my brothers will raise;
And in the assembly it’s you I will praise.

All Jacob’s seed praise him; those who the Lord fear;
And Israel’s seed glorify and revere.

The ills of the ill he’ll not loathe nor despise;
His face he’s not hidden, and he hears his cries.

And in the great gathering, my praise comes from you;
Before those who fear him, I’ll pay my vows too.

The poor and afflicted shall eat and be filled;
The Lord seekers praise him; your heart won’t be stilled!

The world will remember and turn to the Lord;
And all nation’s families will worship toward.

The kingship and kingdom to the Lord belongs;
And He is the ruler of the nation’s throngs.

The rich of the earth shall all feast and extol;
Those dust bound, before Him bow, keep not their soul.

Posterity shall serve Him and will not rebel;
To new generations, they’ll of the Lord tell.

His righteousness they will tell people unborn;
that He has accomplished it, they will forewarn.

Psalm 24

PSALM 24

The earth is the Lord’s land, and all it contains;
The world and all those who dwell and remain.

For on it He’s founded the earth on the seas,
Established on waters and rivers, on these.

Then who shall ascend there into the Lord’s hill?
And who in His holy place rise and stand still?

Those hands that are guiltless, those pure in their heart;
Whose soul is not vain; of deceit takes no part.

It’s he who receives, who’ll be blessed of the Lord;
And justice from God of salvation’s reward.

Yes, this is the comp’ny who of Him inquire;
That, Oh God of Jacob, Your face they desire.

Oh gates lift your heads up; old doors upward swing;
Then there He may enter, all glorious King!

Who then is this great King? The Lord, strong with might;
The Lord, mighty warrior, contends for the right.

Oh gates lift your heads up; old doors upward swing;
Then there He may enter, all glorious King!

Yes, Who is this King of all glory arrayed?
The Lord of hosts, He’s King of glory displayed!

Psalm 25

PSALM 25

A Psalm of David

Oh Lord, unto You, I do lift up my soul.
My God, to You I will surrender control:

Let me not ashamed be; nor feel their insult;
And let not my enemies triumph, exult.

Yes, let them that wait on You not ashamed be;
But shame those who vainly deal treacherously.

Oh make me to know your ways, Oh Lord, I plead:
Instruct me and teach me; in Your pathways lead.

And lead me, tread Your truth, and teach me Your way:
My God of salvation, I wait for all day.

Remember Your mercy and kindness, Oh Lord,
For they have been ever, all time did record.

My youth sins, rebellion, no mem’ry awake;
Your kindness recall Lord, for Your goodness sake.

The Lord is all goodness, upright and correct;
Therefore He’ll teach sinners, in His way direct.

In judgment the meek He will guide and conduct;
The meek in His way He will teach and instruct.

The ways of the Lord are all loving and true,
To those who His witness and pledge will keep to.

LORD pardon, forgive, for the sake of Your name;
Yes, all my iniquity, with its great blame.

Who, then, is the man that fears God, with respect?
His way by Him chosen, He’ll teach and direct.

His soul shall abide and be prosperous, at ease;
The land shall his offspring inherit and seize.

The Lord will confide with the ones who fear Him;
His covenant He will reveal to them.

My eyes are forever toward the Lord set;
My feet He’ll untangle from out of the net.

Turn toward me, have mercy, be gracious to me;
For I am afflicted and also lonely.

The troubles and trials of my heart increase;
So free from my stresses, and give me release.

Look on my affliction, my mis’ry, and pain;
Forgive all my sins and remove all their stain.

Consider my enemies; for they are great;
With violent hatred, it’s me that they hate!

My soul safely keep, and deliver You must:
Let me not ashamed be; in You put my trust.

Guard me, Virtue, Rightness, for on You I wait.
From trouble, O God, Israel liberate.

Psalm 26

PSALM 26

A Psalm of David

Oh, vindicate me, Lord; my walk remains straight;
I’ve trusted in You, Lord; I’ll not hesitate.

Examine and test me, Oh Lord, prove and try;
The reins of my mind and my heart purify.

For Your lovingkindness before my eye stays;
And faithful to Your truth I’ve walked in Your ways.

With vain and deceitful men, I shall not sit;
I’ll fellowship foster with no hypocrite.

The evil enclave I despise and disdain;
And I shall not sit with the wicked, profane.

My hands I will wash well in innocency:
Encircling Your altar, Oh Lord I will be:

That I may, with voice of thanksgiving, exclaim,
And Your works of wonder declare and proclaim.

Oh Lord, I’ve loved Your house; the refuge it gives;
The place where Your honor all glorious lives.

My soul does not snatch away with those who sin;
Nor even my life, leave with bloodthirsty men:

Those hands that are hiding a sinister plot;
Whose right hand is brimming with bribes to be bought.

For me, in integrity my walk will be;
Redeem me, and merciful be unto me.

My foot firmly stands still in straight, level ways;
And in the assembly the Lord I will praise.

Psalm 27

PSALM 27

A Psalm of David

The Lord is my light and salvation; whom fear?
The Lord is my life’s strength; who dread or revere?

When makers of mischief, my flesh came to eat,
My rivals and foes tripped and fell at my feet.

My heart shall not fear, with hosts ’round me arrayed;
Though war surge against me, I’ll not be afraid.

One thing of the Lord I shall seek and request:
My life’s days in His house to dwell there at rest.

Beholding the beautiful Lord, there I’ll wait;
Inquire in His temple, and there meditate.

In troubled times He will hide me in His lair;
In His secret tent hide, upon a rock there.

My head lifted far above foes ’round about;
In His tent, I’ll sing songs, and give a glad shout.

O Lord, hear my voice and the sound of its cry;
Have mercy upon me, and answer my “Why?”

When You said, “Seek My face,” You heard my heart say:
“Your face shall I seek; do not hide it away.”

My Helper; Your servant in wrath don’t avert:
Oh God of Salvation, forsake nor desert.

When father and mother forsake me and leave,
The Lord will then take me, adopt and receive.

Oh Lord, teach me Your way and then may I heed;
Because of my rivals, in open paths lead.

Deliver me not to the will of my foes,
Who violence breathes out; these liars arose.

I would have despaired if I did not believe,
The Lord’s goodness in land of living perceive.

You must on the Lord wait; with courage be strong;
He’ll strengthen your heart: on the Lord wait and long.

Psalm 28

PSALM 28

A Psalm of David

I’ll cry, Lord, my Rock, be not deaf, please attend;
If silent, like those, down a well I’ll descend.

The pleas of my prayers hear; I cry to Your face,
When lifting my hands toward Your holy place.

Don’t whisk me away with those wicked, who sin;
Pretend peace to neighbors; make mischief within.

According to their acts and evil, requite;
According to works of their hands, wage what’s right.

The works of the Lord’s hands they choose to ignore;
Therefore, He’ll destroy them; not build nor restore.

O blessed be Jehovah because He has heard,
My cry for His mercy, the wail of my word.

The Lord is my strength, He’s my buckler and shield;
My heart trusts in Him; I am helped, and I’m healed;

And, therefore, my heart it will greatly rejoice.
I’ll thank Him and praise Him, with song and with voice.

The Lord is the strength of His people, complete,
And to His anointed salvation’s retreat.

Your people save; bless Your possession and seed;
Uplift them forever; Oh, shepherd and feed.

Psalm 29

PSALM 29

A Psalm of David

You sons of the mighty, ascribe to the Lord,
All honor and strength to Jehovah award.

The glory of His name, Jehovah display,
And worship the Lord in His holy array.

The voice of the Lord is upon the floodgate,
God, glorious, thunders, Lord or’e waters great.

The voice of the Lord is in power and might;
The voice of Jehovah a splendorous sight.

The sound of the Lord’s voice make cedars to shake;
Jehovah, the cedars of Lebanon break.

They look like a calf: He makes them skip and dance;
and Lebanon, Sirion, like wild oxen prance.

From voice of the Lord flames of fire spew out;
The desert of Kadesh His voice whirls about.

His voice makes the deer birth, and forest makes bare;
And all in this temple do “glory” declare.

The Lord on the flood sits, as King will not cease.
His people He gives strength and blesses with peace.

Psalm 30

PSALM 30

A Psalm and song at the dedication of the house of David

Oh Lord, I’ll uplift you, for You drew me out.
You’ve not let my foes over me gloat or shout.

Oh Lord, God, Jehovah, I cried unto Thee,
And surely it’s You, Lord, Who has healed me.

You’ve brought up my soul, Lord from Sheol, the grave,
From down in the pit You have kept me and save.

Oh, saints of His, unto the Lord praise and sing,
Remember His holiness, praise and thanks bring.

His anger last moments; His favor goes on,
Though weeping may last all night, joy comes at dawn.

I, in my prosperity, said and intoned
I’ll never be shaken, and not overthrown.

Oh Lord, by Your favor, my mountain stands strong:
When You hid Your face, I was troubled so long.

I called, and I cried out to You, Oh my Lord;
And unto Jehovah for favor implored.

What gain from my blood when I sink to the pit?
The dust, will it praise You? Your truth, declare it?

Oh hear me Jehovah, have mercy on me;
Be gracious, Jehovah and my helper be.

For me You have turned all my mourning to dance;
My sackcloth removed, You gave gladness a chance.

My soul, it shall praise You and not silent be;
Forever Oh Lord, God I’ll give thanks to Thee.

Psalm 31

PSALM 31

A Psalm and song at the dedication of the house of David

Oh Lord, I’ll uplift you, for You drew me out.
You’ve not let my foes over me gloat or shout.

I’ll say of the Lord, “He’s my fortress on high.
My refuge, my God, and on Him, I rely!”

Oh Lord, God, Jehovah, I cried unto Thee,
And surely it’s You, Lord, Who has healed me.

You’ve brought up my soul, Lord from Sheol, the grave,
From down in the pit You have kept me and save.

Oh, saints of His unto the Lord praise and sing,
Remember His holiness, praise and thanks bring.

His anger last moments; His favor goes on,
Though weeping may last all night, joy comes at dawn.

I, in my prosperity, said and intoned,
I’ll never be shaken, and not overthrown.

Oh Lord, by Your favor, my mountain stands strong:
When You hid Your face, I was troubled so long.

I called, and I cried out to You, Oh my Lord;
And unto Jehovah for favor implored.

What gain from my blood when I sink in the pit?
The dust, will it praise You? Your truth, declare it?

Oh hear me Jehovah, have mercy on me;
Be gracious, Jehovah and my helper be.

For me You have turned all my mourning to dance;
My sackcloth removed, You gave gladness a chance.

My soul, it shall praise You and not silent be;
Forever Oh Lord, God I’ll give thanks to Thee.

Psalm 91

PSALM 91

Those settled in secret with Most High, who hide,
Shall under the Almighty’s shadow abide.

I’ll say of the Lord, “He’s my fortress on high.
My refuge, my God, and on Him, I rely!”

For then He will surely snatch from fowler’s snare,
Deliver from perilous pestilence there.

His pinions will cover, with wings they’re concealed.
His faithfulness, also, a buckler and shield.

You’ll not be in fear of the terror by night.
Afraid of the arrow that daily takes flight.

From pestilence poised in the darkness, immune;
Nor fear the destruction that lays waste at noon.

Though thousands fall ’round you, at your right hand, ten;
It shall not approach you, it can’t enter in.

An eyewitness only, your eye will observe,
And see the reward that the wicked deserve.

Because in Jehovah, my refuge, you hide,
And even the Most High the place you abide,

No evil or harm will befall or be sent,
No plague or disaster may come near your tent.

For even His angels He’ll give charge of you,
In all your ways keep you in all you pursue.

Their hands then will hoist you and lift, unbeknown,
Assuring you won’t strike your foot ’gainst a stone.

Loud lion and cobra, upon them you’ll tread.
Young lion and serpent you’ll trample instead.

I’ll rescue since on Me he’s lavished his love;
Since My name he knows, he’s set safely above.

He calls, and I answer, I’m there in distress;
Deliverance and honor from Me he’ll possess.

With long life, I’ll please him, yes even when old;
And cause him to all My salvation behold.

Baker Beach

Baker Beach
On a photo shoot with a singles group from Menlo.church in May of 2005, we focused on Baker Beach, situated just south of and within sight of the famous Golden Gate Bridge. This artsy rendition showcases the sunset rays filtered through the encroaching evening fog.

Fish Story

 

It’s astounding when God sets before you a serendipitous day! Undeniably God ordained! Oh, it’s not the bigness of that expression of His love; it is, instead, the utter inability to explain it in human terms. More than coincidence, it is God showing up gently and sweetly, reminding you that He not only puts up with you but that He delights in actively working on your behalf.

No, it does not mean the infirmities, hurts, or disappointments disappear! It says that the holy hand of God touches you so distinctly that you are bowed over, not so much physically, but in your inmost being. It’s not even the details of the testimony that will move another in hearing them, but the delight in your own heart in knowing that you know that you know that He genuinely LOVES you with an everlasting love that has already begun! And that He intends to not only bless you but others. As someone aptly said:

 
 
“God will give more through you than to you.”

4 When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.” 5-7 Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.” It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity. They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch. 8-10 Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself.” When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Simon and everyone with him. It was the same with James and John, Zebedee’s sons, coworkers with Simon. 10-11 Jesus said to Simon, “There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.” They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him. Luke 5, The Message version

(edited 6/30/2016)

Oh Lord, let me surrender to Your promise,
       While clinging to the knowledge of Your love.
Let me not become a doubting Thomas,
      Demanding daily manna from above.
Instead, let me revel in both good and bad;
      Resisting judging how a thing is so.
Resting in the wisdom of my Father, Dad;
      Trusting that He’s truly working here below.
For it’s not in grasping every twist and turn,
      That is key to moving out ahead;
But the stepping out in which we learn;
      That’s the way of faith He’s promised we’ll be led.

WhittledWord for 2/25/2015; edited 3/6/2018

Amazing Grace!

How’s That Working Out!

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:12-13, New Living Translation

If you’ve ever attempted to work out consistently, you know that proper nutrition and sleep are necessary. Pure determination will only sustain your sessions for a short time. The same principle is crucial in this passage.

The working out is dependent on the working in!

It is not solely your determination, but His desire that initiates and ignites this efficacious model. Your fleshly attempts will ALWAYS fail because they ignore your utter inadequacy and flawed motives.

Your flesh naturally craves divine or lessor approval. But your spirit will erupt with a dawning delight as you uncover the power and purpose that God alone initiates and implements in you to cultivate the Salvation He gave.

Today could be your best workout ever!

Have you been trying to work it out without His working it in? How does that look? How can you begin to surrender to His in working to witness the outworking of His purposes?

Diplomacy Deficit

The phrase “I have a diplomacy deficit!” was conceived in 2007 as my diplomatic description of my not so secret struggle with “foot and mouth” disease! “Open mouth, insert foot!”

I am seldom guilty of saying too little, and much more prone to say too much. So I have a diplomacy deficit! How about you? I found a search of the Bible on this subject to be fascinating as to its commentary on speech.

I thought it might be compelling to let the words of the Bible text itself unveil God’s instructions regarding our speech. May it speak to you by the Holy Spirit as you read it. (All Scripture is in the New King James Version.)

Job 15:5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth, And you choose the tongue of the crafty. 32:7 I said, ‘Age should speak, And multitude of years should teach wisdom.’ 34:35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge, His words are without wisdom.’

Psalm 12:2 They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak. 3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, And the tongue that speaks proud things, 37:30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice. 39:1 I said, “I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me.” 49:3 My mouth shall speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding.

Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise. 12:18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. 15:2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. 15:23 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is! 16:1 The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. 16:21 The wise in heart will be called prudent, And sweetness of the lips increases learning. 17:28 Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. 23:9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words. 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver. 25:15 By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, And a gentle tongue breaks a bone. 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

Ecclesiastes 9:17 Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools. 10:12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up; 12:11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.

Isaiah 50:4 “The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.”

John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

Acts 6:10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.

1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 2:6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 2:13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,

James 1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 3:2 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

Reflect: What are some ways that we can avoid “foot and mouth disease”? We can “hide” His word in our heart. We can examine our motives for responding or reacting using our speech. We can ask forgiveness when we do fail in this area. We can ask a friend to make us accountable for what comes out of our mouth. We can pray for God’s help. Now you fill in the blanks with what comes up for you on this subject.

Respond: “Lord I acknowledge that I have a problem in this area. Forgive me for my past transgressions. Give me strength to ask forgiveness of others when appropriate. Let me go forward with a new direction, not focused on perfection. Thank You, in Jesus Name. Amen.”

Authored 2007; edited 6/28/2016

Night Lights

With the Bay Bridge as a stunning backdrop, China Basin, in San Francisco, offers this beautiful night scene, shot from the vantage of the third-floor walkway of the Giants Ballpark. This is another artsy, finessed version.

🔍

I captured this flower vignette at my Uncle Elwood’s idyllic spread in Woodside, California. The flower is referred to by many names: Pink Spider Lily, Surprise Lily, Resurrection Lily, August Lily, Raidanti Squamigera. But my uncle could barely suppress a shy grin when describing them, to anyone who would listen, by the famous name: Naked Lady Lily!

📧

Naked Lady Lily

My wife and I have nearly completed the eleven seasons of the Netflix offered “Frasier” sitcom that spanned from 1993 to 2004. I never tire of viewing the series!

IMG_5645Despite Frasier’s penchant for high society dining venues, I caught this rare scene of his depressed eating behavior in one episode. This triggered the realization that this aptly displays my “normal” and favorite dining pose (other than eating out).

My habit differs in that I utilize four half-panels of a paper towel, tucked over the top front of my shirt, which then corrals the occasional stray food particles. With the clicker nearby I carefully navigate the challenge of multi-tasking. Ahhh… life is good!

Dining Delight!

In 2015 I made a trip to the San Jose area to visit family and friends. Arriving to pick up the promised checks for work I had done, they apologized profusely for the misunderstanding in having mailed the checks earlier. Having no credit cards, I had to navigate that week with another small amount they did give me.

I left Auburn, just missing my one Christmas present, an incredible edible arrangement, courtesy of a friend. But what a delight it was with family and friends! Sunday, at the singles group, with whom I have a decade old connection, a spontaneous offering was collected in appreciation for my website work. I was stunned by this unexpected display of giving! Needless to say, I made it through the week and arrived home to the awaiting promised checks and was able to pay bills, etc.

What occurs to me today is this: being in a condition of NOT being able to give gifts, I realized I had given the best gift, my PRESENCE! And they granted their presence. And Jesus gave HIS presence! It is the greatest gift one can bestow. Someone once said, “The best things are not things!”

It is difficult, though possible, to extricate ourselves from the expectations of people, tradition and the magnet of marketing. What people most want is for an authentic listening ear. When you give them your presence, give them your ear, more than your voice.

The best present we can offer is our emotionally healthy spirituality. Can you begin to show up with, as someone described, “…nothing to hide, lose or prove”? That will be the best version of your presence.

Sometimes our PRESENCE becomes the bargaining chip for acceptance. There is nothing we should have to do or give, other than ourselves, to be God’s best gift to others. Then, authentic giving WILL follow authentic living!

So, let’s GIVE ourselves to God anew this season. Then let’s let Him GIVE us back to each other: humbled, grateful, speechless. Perhaps then pure joy will erupt from our innermost being!

Authored Christmas 2015

Presents or Presence?

FAUXNY (FO-nee): Mercenary hired to influence political consensus by spreading a false narrative.

For example, craigslist has run an ad for “actors” needed in Charlottesville. One eyewitness insisted that so-called “opposing parties” came off the same bus. There is mounting evidence that the public discourse is being co-opted by paid “persuaders.”

Fauxny (Phony)

I’m glad He came through humble means;
Amid the din of daily scenes.
And not arrayed for royal reign;
To live, then die with poignant pain.
He paid the purchase price for me;
With Him, I’ll live eternally.
So now I live this daily grind;
Assured my future’s sealed and signed!

Humble Beginnings

Like David, the Psalmist I’m glad when I hear, “Let’s go to the house of the Lord.” In the context of a nearly sleepless night, I decided to “attend” Menlo Church online to listen to John Ortberg.

His sermon describes the “church” process as one of coming out of the huddle (gathering together in Shalom) and into the game (taking Shalom into our chaotic world), with an emphasis on ministering to others.

But often I misunderstand that my sole purpose on this orb is to glorify God. My ministry to others is but one expression of that glory. There are instances and seasons when I just need a touch from God.

It appears that frequently I leave the huddle of His Shalom into the mind-blowing muddle of adversity instead. In that circumstance, I need his restorative touch.

But how wise of God to use me even in the midst of my muddle to minister to others, in spite of or even in light of my struggle.

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:4 New Living Translation (NLT)

September 25th, 2017

Muddling Through

Thursday night at a weekly singles meeting, I went up to receive communion, anointing with oil and prayer. I hobbled into the meeting with severe pain in my right hip area. I had suddenly developed what I believe to have been severe tendonitis in the right hip the day before. The reason I concluded that it was tendonitis is that I had it in my left hip some years ago. It lasted for what I remember as weeks. Sometimes I could barely get into my car.

By this morning ALL PAIN AND DISCOMFORT are gone! I don’t even remember who prayed for me, but she also had a strong word over me about new things beginning. It was just yesterday that I also sold a fine art print, the first in years!

I’ve been a believer since I was seven! I’ve always believed in healing, even physical! I pray, almost daily, for my litany of ills: Nearly deaf left ear, right foot drop (from a skill saw accident at 18), arthritis in neck, sleep apnea, and even the repopulation of my frontal thinning hair! Yeah, I do that!

And my conditions pale in comparison to friends and acquaintances whose needs range from near death to cancer. But God is not keeping score of our needs compared to other people’s needs. And most of the time He chooses not to heal us physically. And, no, it is mostly NOT because we had too little faith or too much sin!

His desire revolves around wanting to REVEAL more than to HEAL! At times He chooses to HEAL to REVEAL. And at other times He REVEALS and HEALS! And most of the time I don’t know WHAT He is doing!

But I do know that He enjoins us to trust Him for DAILY manna and not to be caught up in storing up His provision for the rainy day. He promises to rain on us daily. That rain may not contain the sustenance we had hoped and prayed for, but it is PERFECT for His PURPOSES on any of those particular days!

So let us not begin a new movement based on what His latest provision is to us. Let us merely rejoice that He showed up with a glimpse of glory to remind us of His loving intentions in bringing us into more profound connection with Him and each other.

“Thank You, Lord, for healing my right hip. Thank You for reminding me of Your new purposes in my life today. Thank You for this new, loving body of single believers. Amen!”

14-16a If anyone is ill he should send for the Church elders. They should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name. Believing prayer will save the sick man; the Lord will restore him, and any sins that he has committed will be forgiven. You should get into the habit of admitting your sins to each other, and praying for each other, so that if sickness comes to you, you may be healed.

16b-18 Tremendous power is made available through a good man’s earnest prayer. Do you remember Elijah? He was a man like us but he prayed earnestly that it should not rain. In fact, not a drop fell on the land for three and a half years. Then he prayed again, the heavens gave the rain and the earth sprouted with vegetation as usual. James 5:14-18, J.B. Phillips New Testament translation

(edited 6/28/2016)

The Revealing, Healing God

One indicator of spiritual/emotional maturity is that more satisfaction results from understanding than in being understood. It is revealing that admiration of features (appearance, gifts, talents or performance) merely indicates an acknowledgment and appreciation of them, not a love for that person.

Facets are the authentic expression of one’s person (humor, empathy, loyalty, and temperament).

It becomes apparent that when one loves or is loved dearly and deeply, features are less critical than facets.

Features display performance, while facets, favorable or flawed, convey authentic character. Features may attract your attention to that person, but facets should be the basis for the relationship.

WhittledWord for 2/4/2015; edited 6/28/2016, 3/9/2018

The Package vs. the Person

My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalm 45:1 King James Version


Lord, when I languish in laziness, let me leap toward liveliness. Let me not rest in reason, but wrestle for righteousness. Give me not only the pen of a ready writer but the purpose of a ready rider; galloping with the Gospel of God’s plan, despite the siren call to silence.

Let a song of praise erupt from Your River of reserve, removing the rust and residue of reticence and regret. It is Your Day and Your Way!

Cleanse me from secret sins and silly whims. Impede impulse and let my will wilt and my “better” yield to Your Best. I yield inadequacy to your advocacy.

Let Your Gifts trump my talents and Your enablement my accomplishments. I embrace Your Provision in every decision. Let me stretch the rod of faith over the water of Your Purpose so that You may part the Pathway to Promise. Let my pulpit not be about prominence but purpose; my congregation consists of You and me. Let my words fall limp, and Yours leap!

I give You this day in acknowledgment that it is the one You have made. So hide me under the shadow of Your shoulder; take me from shyness to boldness. Woo me to trust a bit more, to sprint a bit faster, to stretch a bit further, to cry a bit deeper, to sing a bit louder, and to love a lot more than I possibly can without You.

There rings no “amen” that can append; as my heart hurls forth torrents of words, inadequately expressing my eagerness to become what You want me to be… more like You!

What is the temperature of your passion for the Lord? What are the things that impede that pathway to free expression? How do you express that passion? Are there experiences that have brought you to a freer expression of that passion? Are you enticed to seek for more intimacy with Him? How do you envision that happening?

June 2012

Tongue & Speak!

Was it better walled in comfort’s womb?
      Wrapped so warmly there, a hopeful tomb?
Waiting, workless, fed by unseen hands,
      Placed so timely by the Master’s plans.
Moses’ desert bush by flaming words,
      Set his heart aglow, for he had heard.
Jacob’s wrestling angel in his night,
      Timely set his soul to promise’ flight.
Job confused by paradox’s pain did sigh,
      Accuser’s friends of comfort wondered why.
Righteous pawn of God’s omniscient plan,
      Rose again, a broken, honest man.
Or was caterpillar’s time on wonder’s stage,
      Held and loved by children—with no cage,
Better than the painful process plan,
      Masterminded by the Maker’s hand?
Yours the choice to stay just where you are,
      Caterpillar dazed, caught in a jar;
Or confined to hope’s now dark cocoon,
      Trusting that your time is coming soon.

      Die caterpillar…
      Sigh cocoon…
      Fly wondrous wings!

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Butterfly Wishes

Help me SEE what You SAY before I SAY what I SEE!

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

2 Corinthians 4:18, New Living Translation (NLT)

Perspective

Oh, give me a heart with sole solace in You;
Convinced that there’s no other one to pursue.
And give me a soul that endures wrenching loss;
Assured of the healing that comes from Your Cross.
And help me to rise from my pity and pain;
Releasing the need of assigning the blame;
Resolved in the truth that You’re my Chosen One;
My hurting heart You surely won’t leave undone.
That these words are not clever words in a poem;
But simply a makeover of my heart’s home.

WhittledWord for 1/11/2011; edited 7/2020

My Heart’s Home

He takes the bitter and makes it sweet.
He takes the broken and makes complete.
He stores your tears in a heavenly vase;
Turns them to joy by amazing grace.
Trade in your doubts, those tattered seams;
He will then weave them to brand new dreams!

2010; edited 7/2020

In early 2010 I joined the celebration of this sweet wedding on the beach in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was such a poignant picture of the Holy Spirit showing up to bless this union between two imperfect people brought together by God’s grace. They were ministers at a local congregation. I added the dove and blurred the periphery to illustrate the focused presence of God that day. Several days later I surprised them with a framed photo. To this day I can’t recall their names, but the memory remains indelible.

Beach Blessing

The Poem that became the basis for my writing!

Whittled words, fitly fashioned;
       Hesitant but impassioned.
Breath of God, humble desire;
      Touch these words with holy fire.

1998, DAVID VELIQUETTE

In 1998, while navigating a challenging life event, I crafted this poem that now serves as a poignant reminder, guideline, and overarching description of my writing: Whittled Words. These chiseled words are intentionally fitted for sound and sense.

Whittled Words

I’m a Human Being, not a Human Doing!

“Look what I did; see my work!”
       Pride, though present, doubts still lurk.
“You can do it,” many said.
       “Just step out; just go ahead.”
“I can’t do it, it won’t be.”
       Used to be my doubter’s plea.
Still, inside, my deep desire,
       Wanting so to soar much higher.
“You can do it. Yes, you can!”
       Masked discreetly as my fan.
“Wow, your talents, they’re so great!
       Come on go; it just can’t wait!”
Fear and terror filled my night,

       Desperate now to get it “right.”
Stepping out, I faltered then,

       Proving that I could not “win.”
I had failed to reach the goal.
       Falling short, I crushed my soul.
I’d believed I’m what I “do;”
       
Missed the truth about my “who.”
I’d believed it must be so;

       That I’m only what I “know.”
Will they ever really see!
       See the one authentic “me!”

“Oh, it’s clear now; stop your fight.
       For a while, you lost your sight.
Let me tell you, make you see,

       This is what you’re meant to be.”
Soon the voices rose so loud;
       Could be heard amidst the crowd.
Telling clearly what they thought.
       From their life, they proudly taught.
Soon the revelation came:

        “I’m the one; they’re not to blame.
I must find just who I am,

       Spill the truth–break down the dam.”
Open now, I sensed the thrill;
       I had swallowed freedom’s pill!

Soon my soul had taken flight;

       Blown by winds to heady heights.
Reaching out for one to hear;
       Trying hard to keep their ear.

I had crossed the heart’s divide;
       My whole soul had opened wide.

Soon the lectures swiftly came;

       I must surely be to blame.

I must “flee the youthful lust,”

       Be assured, “in God we trust.”
“Continuity’s worth the fight;
       And you clearly know what’s “right.”
You committed for your life;
       Even though it’s full of strife.”

Then the voices faded fast;

       Leaving only shadows cast.
’Til a friend who broached no doubt;

       Stayed until I worked it out.
Not a word of judgment came;
       No advice, no casting blame.
Waiting for God’s truth to birth;
       Showing what a true friend’s worth.
Love myself is what I’ve learned;

       Not through praises that I’ve earned.
Life’s not in my “know” and “do.”
       It’s authentic in my “who.”



Written while in search of self.

“Then went king David in, and sat 
before the Lord, and he said, ‘who
 am I, O Lord God?’ ” 2 Samuel 7:18

Authored August 6, 1999; edited March 8, 2018

The “Who” vs. the “Do”

Mount Shukshan

In 1961 I painted this oil of Mount Shuksan. I used a small photo in a magazine as my source. I had recently discovered that I could reproduce a subject quite accurately. It was then that I moved from paint-by-number to painting my own scenes. This was in color.

Cinderella’s Ball

The first time I felt the magic of dance was when I partnered with a platonic friend for the last waltz of the evening. Raised with a “no dancing allowed” religious restriction marked this as a milestone!

You filled aroma’s room,
Like roses blush in bloom.
I sidled to your side,
With heart, that could not hide.

My soul, you did enthrall
At Cinderella’s Ball.

With hesitant embrace,
While waiting in your place;
On cheek a gentle kiss,
The words, “It’s you I miss!”

My soul, you did enthrall
At Cinderella’s Ball.

You deftly dared to dance:
Inviting chosen chance!
With trembling hand around,
Soul synergy we found.

My soul, you did enthrall
At Cinderella’s Ball.

With ardent gazes locked,
The passing time was blocked.
And gone were fumbling feet;
Our hearts now felt the beat.

My soul, you did enthrall
At Cinderella’s Ball.

Our beating hearts were one,
And future’s fate undone;
For time had lost its grip
And launched a timeless trip!

My soul, you did enthrall
At Cinderella’s Ball.