My Weekend Picks for 6-24-2016

Picks Weekend

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

I’ve been intrigued for many years by how much about our relationship with God is represented in the human relationship of marriage. This excellent article speaks to that…

The Real Reason You Can’t Date JesusAndrew Wilson
The Real Reason You Can’t Date JesusIf we reject the idea of Jesus as boyfriend because the language of intimacy bothers us, then we have reached the right conclusion, but for the wrong reasons. The problem is not using intimate language for the Christian life—the Bible certainly does that—but taking union with Christ too lightly. We neglect the corporate, covenantal, and permanent dimensions of marriage. We trivialize a relationship in which two become one, forever, enjoying all things in common.


Preachers, this is important…

Why You Should Stop Ripping Off Other Preachers (The Led Zeppelin Scenario)Carey Nieuwhof
shutterstock_273018893I propose a rule for preachers that goes something like this:

Write your own stuff. And if you didn’t, tell people you didn’t.

That’s it.

There’s actually nothing morally wrong with borrowing other people’s great ideas.

But just be honest and tell people you didn’t think of it yourself…

…So what’s the problem with idea-theft, sermon-theft or writing-theft? Well, clearly it’s not financial. Few of us stand to make millions (or even hundreds) off of having original message or blog ideas. It’s a free economy that way. And we ARE in this together.

But here are 5 things that are simply wrong about plagiarism…

1. You want people to think you’re smarter than you actually are
2. You lie
3. You stop growing
4. You lose touch with God
5. It creeps into other areas of your life

(Go to the link for his elaboration on these points.)


Good thoughts for songwriters…

Why Lyrics Might Not Be The Most Important Part Of Your SongDavid Santistevan
WHY LYRICS MIGHT NOT BE THE MOST IMPYes, there is an equation to a bad song. Matter of fact, there’s a couple:

Great lyrics + bad melody & phrasing = Forgettable Song.

Bad lyrics + great melody & phrasing = Unhelpful Song.

No one wants to write forgettable or unhelpful songs, right? That’s why the marriage of lyric and melody is so important…

…So why are lyrics not the most important part of your song? Because without a great melody and catchy phrasing, your song is forgettable. It’s the melody that makes the song sticky.


He’s a good, good Father…

God Doesn’t Need to Be Convinced to Give You What You NeedMichael Kelley
Hands holding a gift box isolated on black backgroundWe know that through the gospel, we are God’s beloved children. And we know that as a good Father, He does not provide for us reluctantly, but instead delights each day in giving us our daily bread, and doing more than we can even conceive. God does not need convincing. He already knows what we need, and He is going to give us just that.

Of course, that does not mean that God is some kind of cosmic genie, granting the selfish wishes of anyone who rubs the lamp in just the right way. It’s better than that.

God will not stoop so low as to be our butler; He insists upon being our Father. And as our Father, He will give us the fish we need even when we are convinced that we actually need snakes.


There’s something about this that seems a bit too “pop psychology-ish”, but I still thought it was insightful…

The Ten PleasuresDavid Murray
http://dev.scripturememoryfellowship.org/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/8958be9f6a215e098364574d2bea6f5d/p/s/psa_119.97_pic.png
The Ten Commandments are framed mainly in the negative: “Thou shalt not.” But each negative also implies a positive, and each prohibition of vice enjoins a pleasure in virtue.

So, here’s my attempt to re-frame the 10 commandments as 10 pleasures to pursue…

…When understood in this way, Psalm 1 and others like it begin to make huge sense.

“Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Ps. 119:97).


Oops…
1035929013ed01346d1d005056a9545d
Source: Off the Mark

Psalm 21

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

The book of Psalms is commonly thought of as a collection of the worship music of the Israelites. They were meant to be sung. These are worship songs that God appreciated enough to make sure they were preserved for us. Let’s see if we can find out why…

Psalm 21
O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices,
    and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
You have given him his heart’s desire
    and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
For you meet him with rich blessings;
    you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
He asked life of you; you gave it to him,
    length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through your salvation;
    splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
For you make him most blessed forever;[a]
    you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord,
    and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

Your hand will find out all your enemies;
    your right hand will find out those who hate you.
You will make them as a blazing oven
    when you appear.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
    and fire will consume them.
10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
    and their offspring from among the children of man.
11 Though they plan evil against you,
    though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.
12 For you will put them to flight;
    you will aim at their faces with your bows.

13 Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength!
    We will sing and praise your power.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Reminder: this Psalm and others are written by King David. So when it says “the king” he’s referring to himself in the 3rd person.
Does this change your impression of this Psalm?
What happens if you read vs. 1-7 and replace “the king” or “him” or “he” with your own name?

Psalm 20

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

The book of Psalms is commonly thought of as a collection of the worship music of the Israelites. They were meant to be sung. These are worship songs that God appreciated enough to make sure they were preserved for us. Let’s see if we can find out why…

Psalm 20
May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
    May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary
    and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings
    and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah

May he grant you your heart’s desire
    and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation,
    and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!

Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
    he will answer him from his holy heaven
    with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall,
    but we rise and stand upright.

O Lord, save the king!
    May he answer us when we call.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Who is this Psalm addressed to? Who is the “you” in v. 1?
Since it’s not addressed to me, is it still a song of worship?
How would you summarize the point of this Psalm in one word?
Do you sing any songs like that in your church’s worship service?
If so, what are they? If not, should you?

Change a Preposition, Change the World

Is it possible that the key to world peace involves changing a single preposition?

Could be.

I shared this cartoon last week, and it started me thinking…

http://assets.amuniversal.com/143135600e37013466a5005056a9545d
Click image for a larger view. Source: Pearls Before Swine

Have you ever noticed how many people complain about their neighbors on social media? Here are a few real examples of what I mean. If you recognize yourself in any of these, well, whatever…

What kind of a rude neighbor drags his trashcan all of the way down his driveway at 1 in the morning? Mine.

It’s 11 p.m. and _____ music is still blaring. Not even the carnival plays loud music this late!

I have to sleep with earplugs in because someone mows their lawn EVERY weekday at 6am!

Is midnight really the optimal time to be vacuuming your vehicles outside my window?

Look, neighbor with the Christmas lights on already, adding a turkey does NOT make it alright.

I find myself wondering if these people ever tried to talk with their neighbors face to face about these issues. Nah. It’s easier just to complain about them to other people.

BTW – I understand that the case could be made that I’m doing the same thing by writing this post. My response: Maybe I am. I never said I was a perfect example, but I do try. I know it’s hard to believe, but I’ve actually resolved several issues with my neighbors that you never read about on Facebook. And while I can’t be 100% certain, I’m pretty sure my neighbors would say that I’m a good neighbor.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this and I believe this behavior gets to the heart of why this nation is so divided and divisive. We’d rather talk about someone than with someone. Of course we would. It’s way easier.

We do it with individuals, and we do it with groups.

We gripe about different groups of people and I can’t help but wonder if we would handle it differently if we were friends with someone in that group.

Old people. Young people. Millennials. Boomers. Immigrants. Liberals. Conservatives. Gays. Muslims. Evangelicals. Blacks. Whites. Illegals. The right. The left. Other parents. And, yes, our neighbors.

The problem is, “about” does nothing to help resolve the issue. In fact, it does more harm than you may realize. It harms the person you’re talking about, it harms the person/people you’re talking to, and it harms yourself.

It can destroy your church.

It can destroy your community.

I believe it’s eating away at our nation.

I suppose it would be easy to blame social media for this, except it’s really nothing new.

Jesus talked about it:

Matthew 18:15
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

So did Paul:

Romans 12:18
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Facebook and Twitter may give us an immediate audience for our complaints, but it has always been easier to look for sympathetic ears than to do the one and only thing that may actually help.

I suggest we start at the grass-roots level and change our world. We can begin the process of destroying the divisiveness in our nation and usher in a golden era of peace in the world if we simply change one little preposition:

Let’s stop talking about one another and begin talking with one another.

I’m talking to you…and me.

Lloyd

 

My Picks for Wednesday 6-22-2016

Picks Wednesday

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

How Christian Music Lost Its Sad SongsSamuel D. James
worshipTurn on your local Christian FM station and the odds are good that what you’ll hear will be a distinctly American mixture of therapeutic spirituality and Christianese self-actualization. In other words, there’s nary a difference between most Christian music and most Christian publishing.

Why is this, though? Why does contemporary Christian music fail so egregiously to capture the range of human–heck, Christian!–experience? As Libresco notes, this hasn’t always been true of Christian music. You don’t even have to go back as far as she does to find evidence of a more honest lyrical culture in Christian musicianship…

…So what changed? What’s the difference between the CCM of 1995 and today? I have 2 answers for this…


If you only read one of today’s links, read this one…

How did Rape Become a Culture for Young Men?
Barnabas Piper
man-1394395_1920Our country has a broken sexual ethic. It might be more accurate to say we have no sexual ethic.

Sex has no boundaries, no purpose but self-pleasure, and no defined place. It is how we define fulfillment, and in a culture that values self over all else that means an individual’s pursuit of sex can easily go unchecked.

Instead of being a shared act of mutual pleasure with a rightful place between husband and wife sex has become a drug to which America is addicted. We are simply chasing the high, consequences be damned.

We see this in pornography,..And the young men of our country shotgun it like cheap beer at a frat party until they are too stupefied to know what’s what. They may think it is innocent pleasure, but it is affirming the upside down sexual ethic and confirming the cheapness of both sex and women…

…No human solutions will wholly resolve this problem, although proper enforcement of laws and policies, coaches and administrators doing their jobs, and staunch defense of victims would certainly help reduce violence against women.

But this only treats the symptoms. They need to be treated lest they rage out of control, but the disease must be diagnosed and treated too.

The disease is how sin has taken our eyes off our creator to worship the creation, especially self and sex. When we see ourselves as ultimately important and sex as the ultimate pleasure why wouldn’t we force it on another? They are, after all, not as important.

This lie was born in Eden and hisses into the hearts of young men across America. Male and female God created us, in His image. But Adam and eve bought the lie of self-glorification—wanting to be God—and we have bought it every day since, and in the pursuit of self love we lost our true selves, our true personhood.

Rape culture is the outflow of this…


I love this…

‘Angels’ Singing ‘Amazing Grace’ Blocked Westboro Protestors from Accessing the Orlando Funerals
The line of people wearing large, homemade angel wings were part of a collection of nearly 200 people who turned out to form a human chain to prevent the protestors from disrupting the processions.


So I’m like, “I gotta share this!”
6e6066f013bf01346cde005056a9545d
Click image for a larger view. Source: Pearls Before Swine

Psalm 19

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

The book of Psalms is commonly thought of as a collection of the worship music of the Israelites. They were meant to be sung. These are worship songs that God appreciated enough to make sure they were preserved for us. Let’s see if we can find out why…

Psalm 19
The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above[a] proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice[b] goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,[c]
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules[d] of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
    Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
I know you love this Psalm, but why do you usually stop after v. 6?
Why do you think vs. 1-6 are in the same Psalm as vs. 7-14?
Can you find as much beauty in my commands as you do my stars?
You should probably pray verse 14 over and over.

My Picks for Tuesday 6-21-2016

Picks Tuesday

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

A timely reminder for worshipers and worship leaders…

He Was Father FirstShannon Lewis
Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 11.13.04 AM
Without this in mind, we are tempted to start in the wrong places in our thoughts of God. If we think of God first & foremost as a judge, we are tempted to live & lead from a place of guilt & condemnation. If we think of God first & foremost as a creator, we’ll be tempted to live & lead as though God is far off & no longer active in our lives today. But God was God “before” He created. God was God before there was anyone to judge…

God is a Father all the way down, & everything God does He does as a Father: He judges as a Father, creates as a Father, & rules as a Father.


Should Christians in America Fight for the Religious Liberty of Muslims?  –David E. Prince
religious liberty for muslimsMany respond…by suggesting that Islam is inherently violent and assert that its own holy book calls for jihad and death to Jews and Christians so it should not be treated like a religion at all, but more like enemy combatants in war. But fundamental to the practice of religious liberty is that people are held accountable as individuals and citizens and not as classes of people or religious groups. All individuals are free to exercise their religion, and all individuals are held accountable to the law of the land.


5 Reasons to Stop Trying to Restore the Church of the 50s and 60sWes McAdams
church of 50s and 60sWhen we use out-dated methods and materials to try to reach people, we send the message that we are out of touch with reality and culture. We must remember that we represent Jesus Christ and everything we do is a reflection on Him and on His church. I don’t think the Lord is pleased when we send the message that His church is “out of touch.” Let’s stop giving the impression that Jesus and His church are no longer relevant, simply because we don’t care enough to develop new methods and new materials to reach the lost.


A new documentary about the Beatles by Ron Howard? Yes! Here’s a trailer…


I’m trying out this diet…
0cc6478013ed01346d1d005056a9545d
Source: Off the Mark

Psalm 18

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

The book of Psalms is commonly thought of as a collection of the worship music of the Israelites. They were meant to be sung. These are worship songs that God appreciated enough to make sure they were preserved for us. Let’s see if we can find out why…

Psalm 18
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:

1 I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death encompassed me;
    the torrents of destruction assailed me;[a]
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
    the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
    to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry to him reached his ears.

Then the earth reeled and rocked;
    the foundations also of the mountains trembled
    and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,[b]
    and devouring fire from his mouth;
    glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens and came down;
    thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub and flew;
    he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
    thick clouds dark with water.
12 Out of the brightness before him
    hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.

13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
    and the Most High uttered his voice,
    hailstones and coals of fire.
14 And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
    he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
15 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
    and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
    at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

16 He sent from on high, he took me;
    he drew me out of many waters.
17 He rescued me from my strong enemy
    and from those who hated me,
    for they were too mighty for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
    but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a broad place;
    he rescued me, because he delighted in me.

20 The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness;
    according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
    and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all his rules[c] were before me,
    and his statutes I did not put away from me.
23 I was blameless before him,
    and I kept myself from my guilt.
24 So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
    according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25 With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
    with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
26 with the purified you show yourself pure;
    and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
27 For you save a humble people,
    but the haughty eyes you bring down.
28 For it is you who light my lamp;
    the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
29 For by you I can run against a troop,
    and by my God I can leap over a wall.
30 This God—his way is perfect;[d]
    the word of the Lord proves true;
    he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

31 For who is God, but the Lord?
    And who is a rock, except our God?—
32 the God who equipped me with strength
    and made my way blameless.
33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer
    and set me secure on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for war,
    so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You have given me the shield of your salvation,
    and your right hand supported me,
    and your gentleness made me great.
36 You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
    and my feet did not slip.
37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
    and did not turn back till they were consumed.
38 I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
    they fell under my feet.
39 For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
    you made those who rise against me sink under me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs to me,[e]
    and those who hated me I destroyed.
41 They cried for help, but there was none to save;
    they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
42 I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
    I cast them out like the mire of the streets.

43 You delivered me from strife with the people;
    you made me the head of the nations;
    people whom I had not known served me.
44 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
    foreigners came cringing to me.
45 Foreigners lost heart
    and came trembling out of their fortresses.

46 The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,
    and exalted be the God of my salvation—
47 the God who gave me vengeance
    and subdued peoples under me,
48 who delivered me from my enemies;
    yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
    you rescued me from the man of violence.

49 For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,
    and sing to your name.
50 Great salvation he brings to his king,
    and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
    to David and his offspring forever.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Can you think of a time when you were rescued?
Who got the credit?
Can you think of a time when you achieved success?
Who got the credit for that?
How do I seem to you? Am I merciful? Blameless? Pure? Torturous?
What about you?
Could it be that how you see me causes you see yourself more clearly? (vs. 25-27)

My Picks for Monday 6-20-2016

Picks Monday

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

For future reference…

I Forbid You To Say These Things at My FuneralTim Challies
I Forbid You To Say These Things at My FuneralHere are a few things I sincerely hope no one will say about me at my funeral or any time thereafter. In fact, I hereby forbid it…


One of my favorite authors explains…

Why I WritePhilip Yancey
 I know no more isolated occupation than writing. “We read to know that we’re not alone,” said one of the students tutored by C. S. Lewis in the movie Shadowlands. Yes, and we write in desperate hope that we’re not alone, hoping that the sometimes-tedious tasks of researching, composing, and polishing words will eventually become a virtual chain that links us to others….

…Again and again God has surprised me by using words written with mixed motives by my impure self to bear fruit in ways I never could have imagined.


News media have a hard time covering religion, any religion…

Gays and Islam: Even after Orlando shooting, many news media skirt the hard questionsJim Davis
After the 9-11 terrorist attacks, I suggested a story on the verses in the Quran that dealt with killing unbelievers, including how local imams interpret them. My editor hesitated and said, “I’d rather do stories about diversity in the community.”

That looks like the attitude among most mainstream media, 15 years later. We know that Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people at an Orlando gay club, was Muslim and anti-gay. But what exactly does Islam say about homosexuality?

Many media seem to have been avoiding answering that, even when asking it themselves. They’ve chattered about how he checked Facebook and traded texts with his wife. They say he tried to buy body armor. And of course, they talk about gun control and homophobia.

But few have ventured into the minefield where Muslim communities border homosexuality. And of those that do, most concentrate on LGBT Muslims themselves…

…news media will have matured in their coverage of Muslim beliefs and practices only when they can be scrutinized as closely as those of Jewish and Christian communities are.


Some really good thoughts here…

Raising Christian Kids in a Public SchoolMelissa Edgington
photo-1453749024858-4bca89bd9edcI have read many a blog filled with opinions that say homeschooling is the only way to take your Christian parenting responsibilities seriously, but I respectfully disagree. Homeschooling is wonderful. Most of the time. For some kids. In certain situations. But, public school can also be a great experience for your kids and you, even if you are a Christian family wanting to raise your kids to be godly people.

So, I thought I would quickly outline a few things that I believe have helped us teach our children about the gospel and about the Christian worldview, even while they attend public school.


The most brilliant human being alive…
329f3210f97801335c3c005056a9545d
Click image for larger view. Source: Pearls Before Swine

Psalm 17

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

The book of Psalms is commonly thought of as a collection of the worship music of the Israelites. They were meant to be sung. These are worship songs that God appreciated enough to make sure they were preserved for us. Let’s see if we can find out why…

Psalm 17
Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry!
    Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
From your presence let my vindication come!
    Let your eyes behold the right!

You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night,
    you have tested me, and you will find nothing;
    I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips
    I have avoided the ways of the violent.
My steps have held fast to your paths;
    my feet have not slipped.

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
    incline your ear to me; hear my words.
Wondrously show[a] your steadfast love,
    O Savior of those who seek refuge
    from their adversaries at your right hand.

Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who do me violence,
    my deadly enemies who surround me.

10 They close their hearts to pity;
    with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
11 They have now surrounded our steps;
    they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
12 He is like a lion eager to tear,
    as a young lion lurking in ambush.

13 Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him!
    Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
14 from men by your hand, O Lord,
    from men of the world whose portion is in this life.[b]
You fill their womb with treasure;[c]
    they are satisfied with children,
    and they leave their abundance to their infants.

15 As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
    when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
What do you really want out of life?
Would you be satisfied with my likeness? (vs. 15)