Psalm 84 and Me



Howdy! My name is Abigail Parnell. To start I thought I would tell you a little bit of my history with the Psalms.

My History with the Psalms

 I am a daughter of a pastor in the Reformed Presbyterian Church which means I have grown up singing the Psalms. This has been a great blessing but it has definitely had its challenges. It has made me very comfortable with the Psalms; I am very familiar with them, and I have learned many Psalms by heart because of my upbringing. In fact, I never really thought about how different and strange this was to other people. I definitely was too comfortable. I was singing Psalms because that was what my Church did. I had never really thought about it personally; I didn’t appreciate them or hear God’s voice in them.

I was rudely awakened when I attended an amazing/awesome theological program for youth. While I was there I met many Christians with many different levels of understanding and maturity. Many young believers who were there hadn’t sung the Psalms all their lives and weren’t comfortable with them. They were questioning the basis for something that I had accepted all my life as normal. This came as a bit of a shock to me. I almost felt like I had missed something.

Now I am not saying I regret growing up with the Psalms! However, I definitely needed to understand why I sang the Psalms. It needed to become my own conviction to sing the Psalms. While I know that I can’t simply accept something because it’s comfortable, I also am reminded of the verse in second Timothy:

2 Timothy 3:14-15

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you have learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.”

My life is summed up in Psalm 84

In a similar way, I have been going to church for all my life. I can become comfortable so easily. church was another one of those things I just did. It was more of a social gathering for my own pleasure. I was blind to the rich blessing set before me EVERY week. But God was good. He showed me my ignorance. He didn’t take away the gift, but He showed me its beauty. He took me out of my comfort zone.

As I said, church was a social thing. In fact, church was my social group. I didn’t really know anybody outside of my Church community. So God gave me something to compare his gift to. He placed me in a three year program at a Vo-tech school where I was surrounded by people who acted and spoke in way that showed that they didn’t care about God. 

Enter Psalm 84….

Verse 1-2: How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.

  

Being surrounded by that selfish attitude I came to recognize my own selfishness. At the same time God caused to grow in me a longing for Him, His house, and His people. Being in the world drove me to my God.

Verses 3-5: Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

The world without God is a dry and dessert place. In contrast God offers a sweet dwelling place in Him! God strengthened me even in that place of spiritual barrenness where He had placed me. This was because HE was with me. God was my shield, my Sun. He is becoming more and more my joy.

Verses 6-9: As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion. O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed!

It is nothing short of a miracle when you stop and think about it. God changed my heart, using the world! He changed my heart and made it my soul’s delight to be in His presence!

Verses 10-11: For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.  For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

And now the last verse perfectly states the song of my soul!

Verse 12:  Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!

Dr. Michael Horton – Islam and Christianity

Dr. Michael Horton is a well-known Christian theologian in North America. Christians might think that since Dr. Horton knows so much about Christian theology (and he does!), he must therefore be an expert in Islamic theology. But does Dr. Horton get Islam right in this video?

Dr. Michael Horton – Islam and Christianity is a post from Is the Quran the Word of God?

Two Biographies, One Question

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A La Carte (8/28)

School of Theology – Derek Thomas has begun a two-year school of theology and each one of the sessions is being recorded and shared online. He is only one week in, so you can listen to that message and you’re already all caught up.Transformi…

Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp

Just finished a new book by Paul Tripp entitled Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry. It challenged me, convicted me and also gave me fresh faith for pastoral ministry. I highly recommend it to any pastor,…

Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp

Just finished a new book by Paul Tripp entitled Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry. It challenged me, convicted me and also gave me fresh faith for pastoral ministry. I highly recommend it to any pastor,…

Sketches of Muhammad’s life

The vast oceans of traditional accounts of Muhammad’s life contain “so many contradictions and so much dubious storytelling that many historians have become reluctant to accept any of it at face value.”

Sketches of Muhammad’s life is a post from Is the Quran the Word of God?

Just a Few Thoughts…..

 

    

                                                         Just a Few Thoughts…..

     It ceases to amaze me how you can read the same passage in scripture over and over again throughout your life and come away with a new understanding or deeper appreciation each time. It really just goes to show how the Word of God really is like a boundless treasure trove, and that we can never reach the bottom of the wisdom and truth found there.

Psalm 62 is one of those treasure troves to me. I was going through one of my old devotional journals a few days ago. Amid the prayer request lists, memory verse lists, and many other lists that happen to spring up during my devotional hour, I came across something that I had written about Psalm 62. It was labeled under the heading Ways I Can Fix my Heart on the Lord in times of Trouble. I would like to share some of the ways that I have applied to my life through the reading of this particular psalm.

   1. Pray. Seek solace and direction before God. (Vs. 1. “God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.” Also, vs. 8. “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”)

    2. Remember the works of the Lord and His promises to His people. Recount them in my prayers. Turning my thoughts towards the promises of God will give me  strength and courage, as He not only is a God of truth, He is also unchanging. ( Again, vs. 8 “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out our heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”)

    3. Encourageother brothers and sisters in the faith and help them fix their eyes on Christ by speaking and acting according to how the Lord commands us to follow Him. Focusing on building others up takes my eyes off of myself and helps to strive after the Lord in holiness, instead of wallowing in selfishness and self-pity.  ( Vs. 3 + 6: “How long will you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence? He [God] only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.”)

  4. Turn away from the world and surround myself with godly people who will encourage and pour out their wisdom and experience upon me, especially older, wiser brothers and sisters in the faith. ( Vs. 11+12: “Once God has spoken; twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For You will render to a man according to his work.”)

   I thank the Lord for the work He has done in my life. He never gives up on me and is continually teaching me new things from His word, even if I’ve read it multiple times before.

                        What has has the Lord reminded you of or taught you lately?

Just a Few Thoughts…..

 

    

                                                         Just a Few Thoughts…..

     It ceases to amaze me how you can read the same passage in scripture over and over again throughout your life and come away with a new understanding or deeper appreciation each time. It really just goes to show how the Word of God really is like a boundless treasure trove, and that we can never reach the bottom of the wisdom and truth found there.

Psalm 62 is one of those treasure troves to me. I was going through one of my old devotional journals a few days ago. Amid the prayer request lists, memory verse lists, and many other lists that happen to spring up during my devotional hour, I came across something that I had written about Psalm 62. It was labeled under the heading Ways I Can Fix my Heart on the Lord in times of Trouble. I would like to share some of the ways that I have applied to my life through the reading of this particular psalm.

   1. Pray. Seek solace and direction before God. (Vs. 1. “God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.” Also, vs. 8. “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”)

    2. Remember the works of the Lord and His promises to His people. Recount them in my prayers. Turning my thoughts towards the promises of God will give me  strength and courage, as He not only is a God of truth, He is also unchanging. ( Again, vs. 8 “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out our heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”)

    3. Encourageother brothers and sisters in the faith and help them fix their eyes on Christ by speaking and acting according to how the Lord commands us to follow Him. Focusing on building others up takes my eyes off of myself and helps to strive after the Lord in holiness, instead of wallowing in selfishness and self-pity.  ( Vs. 3 + 6: “How long will you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence? He [God] only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.”)

  4. Turn away from the world and surround myself with godly people who will encourage and pour out their wisdom and experience upon me, especially older, wiser brothers and sisters in the faith. ( Vs. 11+12: “Once God has spoken; twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For You will render to a man according to his work.”)

   I thank the Lord for the work He has done in my life. He never gives up on me and is continually teaching me new things from His word, even if I’ve read it multiple times before.

                        What has has the Lord reminded you of or taught you lately?

Just a Few Thoughts…..

 

    

                                                         Just a Few Thoughts…..

     It ceases to amaze me how you can read the same passage in scripture over and over again throughout your life and come away with a new understanding or deeper appreciation each time. It really just goes to show how the Word of God really is like a boundless treasure trove, and that we can never reach the bottom of the wisdom and truth found there.

Psalm 62 is one of those treasure troves to me. I was going through one of my old devotional journals a few days ago. Amid the prayer request lists, memory verse lists, and many other lists that happen to spring up during my devotional hour, I came across something that I had written about Psalm 62. It was labeled under the heading Ways I Can Fix my Heart on the Lord in times of Trouble. I would like to share some of the ways that I have applied to my life through the reading of this particular psalm.

   1. Pray. Seek solace and direction before God. (Vs. 1. “God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.” Also, vs. 8. “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”)

    2. Remember the works of the Lord and His promises to His people. Recount them in my prayers. Turning my thoughts towards the promises of God will give me  strength and courage, as He not only is a God of truth, He is also unchanging. ( Again, vs. 8 “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out our heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”)

    3. Encourageother brothers and sisters in the faith and help them fix their eyes on Christ by speaking and acting according to how the Lord commands us to follow Him. Focusing on building others up takes my eyes off of myself and helps to strive after the Lord in holiness, instead of wallowing in selfishness and self-pity.  ( Vs. 3 + 6: “How long will you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence? He [God] only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.”)

  4. Turn away from the world and surround myself with godly people who will encourage and pour out their wisdom and experience upon me, especially older, wiser brothers and sisters in the faith. ( Vs. 11+12: “Once God has spoken; twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For You will render to a man according to his work.”)

   I thank the Lord for the work He has done in my life. He never gives up on me and is continually teaching me new things from His word, even if I’ve read it multiple times before.

                        What has has the Lord reminded you of or taught you lately?