Category Archives: Book I: 1-41

Summer Psalm for August 10, 2014 – Pentecost 9


Summer Psalm for August 10, 2014 – Pentecost 9
Based on Psalm 18 (selected verses)

Song Choices: 
“I Love You Lord” by Laurie Klein (Song #107 in the “Best of the Best” songbooks)

Level of Difficulty:
The entire congregation can sing this song.

You Tube:

Rationale for the Song Choices:
The song is based on the opening verse of the Psalm.

Suggested Format:
Musicians softly play the verse or chorus in the background

M:​ I love you, O LORD, my strength.
C: ​The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
M:​ my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
C:​ He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
M:​ I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
C:​ and I am saved from my enemies.

Congregation Sings: Verse, Verse & Chorus

M:​ He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
C:​ He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
M:​ He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
C:​ You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
M:​ You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
C:​You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.

Congregation Sings: Verse, Verse & Chorus

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May These Words Of My Mouth


May These Words of My Mouth

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. – Psalm 19:14
 
My Pastor uses these words to open up almost all of his sermons. You may call it ritual, recitation, or tradition; I call it beautiful! Just read it again. What a beautiful tiny prayer! It has it all, it is a humble asking that his words, both spoken and those kept silent in his heart, be pleasing to God and it acknowledges his savior as his Lord, his Rock and his Redeemer. I just know that a heart-felt, timely, truth-filled, Christ & gospel centered message is about to follow when I hear this prayed.

If you think about it, this is also a wonderful thing to pray for a musician just prior to accompanying or singing a piece. This is one piece of scripture that every worship leader should memorize and commit to their hearts and souls.

“Thus every child of God will pray and sing with mouth and heart, in true faith in the Gospel, in firm trust in the redemption earned by Christ, in whom we have both forgiveness and strength for a life of true sanctification.” – Paul E. Kretzmann

So I will repeat it again:
May these words of my mouth 
and this meditation of my heart 
be pleasing in your sight, Lord, 
my Rock and my Redeemer. Amen.
– Psalm 19:14

There is a wonderful contemporary song based on this passage. It’s called “May the Words of My Mouth” and was written by Tim Hughes. I have used this song in worship either as a pre-service piece or during the offering.

Just out of curiosity, I would be interested in knowing if you are a Pastor who also uses this scripture passage  during your sermon. Please leave a comment!

Two Responsive Laments based on Psalm 13:1-6


A Responsive Lament based on Psalm 13:1-6

M:        How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
C:        Look on me and answer, Lord my God.

M:        How long will you hide your face from me?
C:        Look on me and answer, Lord my God.

M:        How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
C:        Look on me and answer, Lord my God.

M:        How long will my enemy triumph over me?
C:        Look on me and answer, Lord my God.

M:        But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
C:        I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. 

A Poetic Responsive Lament based on Psalm 13:1-6

M:  How long will you forget me?
C:  Here in time and space.
M:  How long will I have sorrow?
C:  How long will you hide your face?

M:  How long shall I take counsel?
C:  Each and every day?
M:  How long will heaven be silent?
C:  As I close my eyes to pray.

M:  How long shall mine enemies be exalted?
C:  How long must I weep and wail?
M:  How long must I wait for you?
C:  How long must I continually fail?

M:  But I have trusted in your mercy.
C:  And yes, I truly see.
M:  So my heart rejoices in your salvation.
C:  For you have dealt bountifully with me!

Psalm 23


Psalm 23

I recently listened to a lecture by Louie Giglio on the WEB. Pastor Giglio is the Minister at the church where Chris Tomlin serves.
Sometimes, we need to hear an opposing side of things for the truth to really set in. Read on.

Two Shepherds…
One Good…
One an Impostor and a Thief…

These readings are more effective to first read Ps 23 vertically down the left column then read the 23rd lie, reading down the right column.

Psalm 23 The 23rd Lie
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. The thief is my shepherd, I am always in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he makes me sleep in barren wastelands,
He leads me beside quiet waters, he hurries me wearily along only to drink from a nasty stagnant ditch,
He refreshes my soul. he destroys my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. He leads me into a corn maze of deception because “Deceiver” is His name.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
And when I walk through the tough times of life, he abandons me.
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Fear and evil are my only companions.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
In the end, my pantry is bare, and my enemies cheer.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
My head is covered in shame.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, Mercilessly his condemnation hounds me, every single day of my life.
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.
And I am a prisoner in his mirrored house of horrors without end.

To me, that brings new meaning to Ps 23.

One restores…

One destroys…

Which will it be? Whom do you serve? You know the answer.

So, let’s look at the Psalm again.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
This is a Psalm for people who are experiencing major loss.
For people who have been stunned by life.
Because the Lord is my Shepherd, therefore there is nothing I lack.
I lack nothing,
I am a sheep.
Alone, I wander off.
Alone, I lack wisdom and strength.
Alone, I have gone astray.
But the Shepherd keeps us together.
He feeds us.
He keeps us safe.
I feel safe in the presence of the Shepherd.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.
I, the sheep, lie in the green pasture because I’ve eaten my fill.
I am content and at rest.
I have peace and comfort right in the middle of the storms of life that surround me.
Because I rest in Him.
In Him, I find the soft and comforting “green pastures.”

He leads me beside quiet waters.
Like a sheep, I follow.
I drink from the quiet pool.
It is a safe place.
My thirst is satisfied.

He restores my soul.
He created my soul.
Inwardly I am being renewed day by day.
My food is God’s word.
This word brings me rest, peace and renewal.

He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake.
Because I am a sheep, I need a guide, otherwise I tend to wander.
The path is well worn and I know it well, yet I still stray.
Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light to my path.
He doesn’t point the way, He leads the way.
He knows the way because He has been there.
He’s been tempted, he’s got an arrest warrant on his record, he’s been tried, he’s been bullied, he’s been victimized, he’s been betrayed, he’s been crucified, he’s been, he’s been, he’s been. Trust me, He knows the way.
He will do it for the sake of his name.
He must do it. His name, his character, his reputation are on the line.
He will make the rough places smooth.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me.
He will never leave me.
Never forsake me.
He has summoned me by name.
I am his.
I belong to Him.

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The shepherd has a rod and a staff.
The rod is for the outside enemy.
It’s to smack Satan and his evil colleagues.
The staff is to keep me from wandering off.
Both the rod and the staff are a comfort to me.

You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
God feeds, provides, leads and protects.
I do have an enemy.
But he now sees me dining at the King’s table.

Surely, goodness and love will follow me, all the days of my life…
God is pursuing me.
Chasing me.
Searching for me.
God is my creator.
He knows me.
He knows everything about me.
He knit me together.
He understands me.
And yet, He still loves me. Feeds me. Leads me. Protects me.

… And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
That’s right!
I will!
Me!
With the Lord in heaven forever!
This is the most exiting thing that has ever happened to me!

That’s Psalm 23!!!

Birth and Death Mash-Up


Birth and Death Mash-Up

Psalm 22 (selected verses) and the Birth Account (from Luke 2:1-20)

The following is a combination of the anguish of death and separation from God stated in Psalm 22 and the birth account from Luke 2.  My thought was to bring together Jesus’ birth and the reason behind his coming to earth in one reading.

P: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?  Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
C:  In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

P: O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.
C:  And everyone went to his own town to register. 

P: But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.
C:  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

P: All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
C:  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

P: “He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him.  Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
C:  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.

P: Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
C:  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

P: Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
C:  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

P: Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.
C:  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 

P: I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.  My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.
C:  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”

P: My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
C:  “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

P: Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
C:  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

P: I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
C:  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

P: They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
C:  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 

P: But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
C:  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

P: Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.
C:  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 

P: Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
C: The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

P: I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 23 Responsive Prayer


Psalm 23 Responsive Prayer

P:         The LORD is my shepherd
C:        God, thank you for this relationship
P:         I shall not be in want
C:        God, thank you for supplying my needs
P:         He makes me lie down in green pastures
C:        God, thank you for providing me with rest
P:         he leads me beside quiet waters
C:        God, thank you for refreshing me
P:         he restores my soul
C:        God, thank you for healing me
P:         He guides me in paths of righteousness
C:        God, thank you for providing your word as a guide in my life
P:         for his name’s sake
C:        God, thank you for providing a purpose and direction for my life
P:         Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
C:        God, you know just how much testing is right for me
P:         I will fear no evil
C:        God, thank you for your protection
P:         for you are with me
C:        God, thank you for being with me
P:         your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
C:        God, thank you for discipline when I need it
P:         You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies
C:        God, thank you for being my protector
P:         You anoint my head with oil
C:        God, thank you for anointing me
P:         my cup overflows
C:        God, thank you for abundant blessings
P:         Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life
C:        God, thank you for continual blessings
P:         and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever
C:        God, thank you for eternity

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

© Steven Brown, August 2010, https://sjbrown58.wordpress.com, Kenaniah Music

Feel free to reproduce this piece in your worship bulletin or folder for congregational use

Psalm 29 “The Thunder Psalm” (with “Awesome God”)


Psalm 29 “The Thunder Psalm” (with “Awesome God”)

Psalm 29 is sometimes referred to as the “Thunder Psalm.”  When I read this psalm, the chorus of “Awesome God” comes to mind.  Here’s a responsive reading that combines both:

Congregation Sings: Our God, is an awesome God, He reigns, over heaven and earth, with wisdom, power and love, our God is an Awesome God.

P:         Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones,
C:        ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

P:         Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
C:        worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.

Congregation Sings: Our God, is an awesome God, He reigns, over heaven and earth, with wisdom, power and love, our God is an Awesome God.

P:         The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders,
C:        the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.

P:         The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic.
C:        The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

P:         The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning.
C:        The voice of the LORD shakes the desert;

Congregation Sings: Our God, is an awesome God, He reigns, over heaven and earth, with wisdom, power and love, our God is an Awesome God.

P:         The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare.
C:        And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

P:         The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
C:        the LORD is enthroned as King forever.

P:         The LORD gives strength to his people;
C:        the LORD blesses his people with peace.

Congregation Sings: Our God, is an awesome God, He reigns, over heaven and earth, with wisdom, power and love, our God is an Awesome God.

One thing that we do with these Psalm/Song combinations is the band plays the song softly in the background during the responsive readings.  In this case, we would play the song verse in the background and when the congregation’s singing part comes around we increase volume as we approach the chorus.

Psalm 29 is a favorite of mine.  Here’s another responsive reading I did several years ago on the same passage:

https://sjbrown58.wordpress.com/2008/10/16/what-is-the-voice-of-god-%e2%80%93-based-on-psalm-29/

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society