Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying your wekend. This morning I made egg dishes, wrote letters and went to Women’s Bible Study. It’s another nice sunny day for a walk this afternoon!
Devotions from Judy’s heart
I love the Psalms as they are poetry and prayer and cover most every emotion that we feel in our hearts. Eugene Peterson says that Psalms are not given to teach us about God but to train us to respond to Him. They help us recognize what is going on inside of us, and so many times I can identify with David or other Psalm writers. Have you ever listened to a speaker who seems vulnerable and says exactly what you are experiencing at the time?  Sometimes through the Psalm writers, it seems like God is giving us a personal message for what He sees is going on in our hearts for He truly knows our heart. Psalms have a way of getting a response from us as in a prayer. Peterson writes that Psalms are not prayers for private use but prayers of a community gathered before the Lord in worship. We are called to come in community to hear His word and obey and to receive blessings. I have not thought before of Psalms being prayers specifically for community.  Psalms are also musical for often different instrument accompaniment is assigned to certain Psalms, like stringed instruments and flutes etc.  I have loved singing with the Sisters when I went with Al to St. Scholastica. Sometimes I noticed we were singing about enemies, hatred and anger which seemed almost strange. But even if we are not experiencing that at the time, when in community, the person next to us may. It’s good to pray all the experiences of the community and it is not all sweetness. There are times we do have a desire for our enemies to be brought low, and we can be honest before God. David sure knew how to do that! Once exposed, God does what is necessary in our hearts and will work things out according to His justice. Sometimes our prayers begin with pain and other times with gratitude but we need to pray what is real in our hearts and where we are at the time. Psalms closes with praise as it is the final goal that we arrive at. The last Psalm 150 (ESV) says. “Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens; Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp! Praise Him with tambourine and dance: Praise Him with strings and pipe! Praise Him with sounding cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!”  May the Psalms speak to us in a new way.
Challenge for today: Pray Psalm 150 back to the Lord and carry it with you throughout your day. 
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy