Thursday, January 31, 2019

A Quick Look at Psalm 126

Psalms 120 through 134 are the 15 “songs of ascent” that were sung as the priests walked up the 15 steps to the temple, stopping on each step to sing the next psalm. Let's look at Psalm 126. Here is the passage:

1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”
3 The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes, LORD, like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

Every time you see the word LORD in all capital letters it means that the original Hebrew text used the tetragrammaton, God's 4 letter name (you may know it as Yahweh or Jehovah, Jews will say Ha Shem or Adonai to avoid pronouncing it). God’s holy name is used 4 times in this short psalm. This is a wonderful song of praise alluding to the recognition of God’s work given even by the Gentiles/heathens. “The nations” in verse 2 refers to everyone other than the Israelites.

When the Israelites returned from 70 years of exile it must have seemed like a dream. Notice the laughter and the joy (4 times!) and the songs.

At Thanksgiving and Advent (Christmas) many churches include Psalm 126 in the pulpit readings because of its emphasis on rejoicing. The rejoicing comes as a result of the great things God has accomplished on behalf of His people.

I especially like the theme of going from weeping and tears to songs of joy. This is tremendously encouraging.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Crossing the Scriptures, The Amazing Bible Study

Discovering old truths in a new way

Christians sometimes wonder if there is any value to studying the Old Testament, with its genealogies, strange laws, violence, and vengeance. This Bible study shows how the entire Bible ties together in a beautiful tapestry of God's truth.

If you know someone who has become a doubter, lost their faith, or just plain can't accept that every single word of the Holy Scriptures is believable then this is the book you should get for them.

I recommend the paperback over the Kindle version.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

How to Blend Families (A Step Parent's Dilemma)

Step families are quite common. 
Blending families after divorce and remarriage is a difficult process.
The secret to co-parenting is negotiating change
But change is hard.
This guide gives step by step advice from experienced educators and also provides several fill-in worksheets to help you resolve family relationships, deal with discipline, navigate the financials, and create a balanced family with happy parents and children.
Available only on Amazon in paperback and also for Kindle.