Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why Psalmples (concluded)

I started a post a long while back addressing the purpose and function of this blog, in a post titled "What's the Point?". I discussed how I got started writing Psalms, and promised to return to discuss why I am keeping this blog.

The primary reason: to confront perfectionism.

I have a general tendency to overstretch the reasonable expectations of excellence. And though there may not be anything wrong with that in and of itself, it becomes a problem when it inhibits deliverables. Standards are good to have, and set high, but if I never produce anything because everything I do isn't "perfect" in my eyes, what good is doing anything at all?

So, the primary reason I post Psalmples is to offend my own urgent need to produce a perfect product. I read in a blog once that the author would post "typos and all" - and that touched me. I thought I might be able to post my "typos" - imperfections in song writing/recording that I would otherwise be inclined to delete (or at least re-record 15 times until it was reasonably perfect). I've started that process, and it's been quite liberating.

A secondary reason is to have something to share with anyone who hears my music and would like to hear it again and again, or hear some more.

We are commanded to "meditate on God's Word day and night"... something that may seem like a burdensome task to a person. But I seem to have found a loophole... it's called "getting a catchy song stuck in my head." The catchy song just happens to also be the Word of God - so I can walk down the hall at work and whistle, hum, and sing the Scriptures. Day and Night... and others are catching on, too.

So that's why...

Monday, May 6, 2013

John 4:13-14, 7:37-38

Had a wonderful night of worship tonight which included Psalms: 119 (Tau), 91, 92, 8, 17, 23.
Some new verses from John 4 and 7 also came out of the worship time...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Psalm 123

This will be the last post for a little while. I set a goal to post every day for 30 days, but I genuinely feel like God is telling me there is something missing. So rather than just charge ahead, I'm going to take a step back and listen.

If you happen upon these Psalm Samples and enjoy them, please keep in touch. I will let you know when I reemerge with some psalms to share.

One more before I go for now...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Psalm 119 - 18 - Tsadde

137 Righteous are You, O Lord,
And upright are Your judgments.
138 Your testimonies, which You have commanded,
Are righteous and very faithful.
139 My zeal has consumed me,
Because my enemies have forgotten Your words.
140 Your word is very pure;
Therefore Your servant loves it.
141 am small and despised,
Yet I do not forget Your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
And Your law is truth.
143 Trouble and anguish have overtaken me,
Yet Your commandments are my delights.
144 The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting;
Give me understanding, and I shall live.

Lyrics from the New King James Version®. Copyright© 1982 Thomas
Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

Had a pretty long day at work today, so I came home and ate some left over chicken and watched Rocky Balboa for the 12th time. Okay, maybe not 12, but I'm definitely approaching double digits. It's just such a great movie. The more I watch it, the more I realize that not only is it the only way the series could have ended, but it's truly the only way it could have ended. What I mean is that if it were never written, the series would have actually been incomplete. It may not have seemed like it, because we never know what we're missing, but it still would have been. 

Makes me think a little about life... How I don't know what I'm missing. Not in a depressing way, not at all, but it just makes me think. Am I realizing all that God wants me to? What if there is some blessing I'm missing out on because I haven't taken some step of faith to get?  I've got a few examples in mind...  But then I can also think of a number of things that I have experienced and never would have if I hadn't taken some risk or other. Moving to Oregon is a pretty good recent example. I never thought I would have moved here... Yet it's been a tremendous blessing. Wonderful. 

Maybe I'm just rambling because it's late and I'm tired. I didn't even talk about today's psalm. That's okay. I've made a commitment to post one psalm every day for 30 days. So far so good!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Psalm 131

A short and sweet psalm.

131 Lord, my heart is not haughty,
Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.
Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.

Lyrics from the New King James Version®. Copyright© 1982 Thomas
Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

Some of my thoughts... One of the interesting things about this psalm is how serene, but also confident David is. I mean, how often do we as Christians go and say to God, "Lord, my eyes heart isn't proud. My eyes aren't lifted up." But isn't that just what Jesus exemplified, and even Himself admitted when he said, "for I am gentle and lowly in heart." Just kind of makes me wonder if it's possible for me to come to a place like that. He did say "all things are possible to those who believe," right? Aren't we supposed to be transformed into His image? I think maybe I am afraid of being prideful, and to say "I'm humble" immediately disqualifies me. Anyone else ever feel like that? Is it Scriptural? I don't know. There seems to be several verses that would hold up in court for just the opposite.

Definitely something to think about.

Hope you like the song.

Psalm 119 - 06 - Waw

More of Psalm 119. This time I'll include the words, and at the end I'll post some comments on what these verses speak to me, or thoughts I have regarding them. I invite you to do the same!

41 Let Your mercies come also to me, O Lord
Your salvation according to Your word.
42 So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I have hoped in Your ordinances.
44 So shall I keep Your law continually,
Forever and ever.
45 And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.
46 I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings,
And will not be ashamed.
47 And I will delight myself in Your commandments,
Which I love.
48 My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments,
Which I love,
And I will meditate on Your statutes.

I would like to share a few things that this passage of Scripture has spoken to me personally:

Many times these verses demonstrate a "Hebrewism" - which in this case is saying effectively the same thing in two slightly different ways. So the psalmist says, "Let your mercies come to me" and then quickly details what those mercies are: "Your salvation, according to Your word." I love that practice that you often see in Scripture - saying the same thing twice, each in a slightly different way. It makes me think of the human eyes. They are closely connected, and each eye sees the world in a slightly different way - at just ever so slightly different angles, yet the two of them, looking at the same thing, forms a more complete image, with depth and 3D perception!

The next  verse, "so I will have an answer"… it makes me think of Jesus in the wilderness, and how he always had an answer for when the devil tried to reproach him. And it's comforting to me to think that we have the same answer - God's Word.

Verse 43 is rather curious to me. "Don't take it out of my mouth." Why would the psalmist pray that? Isn't that a curious thing to pray? I don't know if I've ever prayed a prayer like that... Should I? Have you? Hmm... Food for thought...

But in whatever case, the result is pretty striking to me: I shall keep Your law forever. Something inside of me just says "yes" when I read statements like that. I think it really builds faith, because there is a little voice that sometimes follows me around saying, "ahh, you can't keep God's law. You'll just fail. It's no use. Just give up!" But faith statements like that counter that thought beautifully! Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about "keeping the law" as a means of salvation. But we are required to keep the "law of liberty" (James 2:17) are we not?

What a perfect segue! "I will walk at liberty, for I keep Your precepts" Isn't that fascinating? That's an Old Testament revelation! I don't know that I've ever heard anyone talking about "keeping the law/precepts" and "walking in liberty" in the same breath. And I don't think he's talking about salvation either - because in the first verse he says "let your mercies/salvation come to me." And then later, the result of keeping precepts is "walking in liberty."

I think I'll stop there for now... Like I said, just some thoughts that I have had around this psalm. Not meant to challenge your theology, or anything like that. But I hope you enjoy the song. Musically, I really enjoy this passage. I just love the way the initial chord progression flows.

What are your thoughts?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Psalm 17

What is there to say?
Let the Word of God speak for itself, and I hope you enjoy the music. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Psalm 119 - 04 - Daleth

Again, another that I've posted before, but I felt I should do a version that is face-to-face, and not just a black screen with the words going by.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Psalm 23

I realize I've already posted a couple of these psalms before- namely 3 and 23, but I'm using a different means of recording, and besides, these are some my favorites. I will be posting some new stuff in the near future.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Psalm 3

I've posted psalm 3 before, but it's one of my favorites, therefore gets special attention.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Psalm 119 - 03 - Gimel

Nothing wrong with a little harmonica once in a while :)

Psalm 119 - 11 - Yod

Seems to be a technical issue copying links to YouTube, which I will certainly resolve in the near future... But for the time being, I'm at least making the post:

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Psalm 119 - 22 - Tau

The last installment of Psalm 119 is my first post in quite a while. Due in large part to a great conversation I had yesterday with my friend Josh (http://sandseraph.com/), and today's acquisition of the tool with which to make the post.

More to come.