A Psalm

lunamoth

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Not exactly sure where to put this, it's more for praise and fellowship, but I don't mean it just for Christians. Just sharing that I found this psalm to be expressing the prayer I want to make today.

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.

5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and 6 my God.
My [c] soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"

10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

11 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
 
That the book of Psalms is part of God’s inspired Word there can be no question. It is in complete harmony with the rest of the Scriptures. Comparable thoughts are often found elsewhere in the Bible.




Also, many are the quotations from the Psalms found in the Christian Greek Scriptures.




An examination of the Christian Greek Scriptures reveals that much was foretold in the Psalms concerning the activities and experiences of the Messiah,

 
Quite nice contemplation.

I remember being there often.

I've now come to the conclusion that I can't see the big picture when I am in it.

I just go straight to praise and thanx as I know time will reveal what I cannot see.

It always has.

Thank G!d.
 
Hi Luna —

When 'the woman at the well' was the Gospel reading a couple of weeks ago, we got a fantastic homily on this story ...

John 4:6-7
"It was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria, to draw water. Jesus saith to her: Give me to drink."
The homily began with the setting. The village well is a placing of meeting and community, where the women would gather to talk. But this woman comes at noon, when everyone else is indoors. She is a social outcaste, not welcome among the others ... "mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun," the song goes ... and she was not English, so I guess that makes her a ... ?

4:16-19 "Jesus saith to her: Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said: I have no husband. Jesus said to her: Thou hast said well: I have no husband. For thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband. This, thou hast said truly. The woman saith to him: Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet."
Jesus tells her to fetch her husband ... women cannot give testimony in Law, they have no voice, but she has no husband. She has had five, and now the man she lives with has not formally recognised her as his wife ... so here we have a woman who is a pariah, perhaps even in the home of the man she lives with ... and although Jesus says 'fetch your husband' He continues to talk to her.

4:27-30 "And immediately his disciples came. And they wondered that he talked with the woman. Yet no man said: What seekest thou? Or: Why talkest thou with her? "
You can imagine ... what Jesus said to anyone would be a matter of intense interest, yet no-one asks what's been going on ... for fear of being on the receiving end of another stiff lesson ... there more I read Scripture sometimes, the more I am drawn to the conclusion that being a disciple was rarely a comfortable experience ... and when it was, it was actually and literally 'out of this world'.

"... The woman therefore left her waterpot and went her way into the city ..." certainly no-one asked her, did they? I mean, why would you ask a woman? what does she know?

"... and saith to the men there: Come, and see a man who has told me all things whatsoever I have done. Is not he the Christ? They went therefore out of the city and came unto him."
This is serious stuff. She, the outcast — five men down and one to go, you can image the jokes they told at her expense ... even the one she cooks and cleans for ("don't think about 'the other' with her" his mates joke with him, "she's killed off all the others who did!") and the women won't have her in their company ... it is she who is giving testimony to the Lord.

... It is she to whom He chose to speak, she who He treated as a human being ...

4:39-43 "Now of that city many of the Samaritans believed in him, for the word of the woman giving testimony ... "
She must have been alight with the Spirit when she spoke, to turn the minds of these men ...

"... So when the Samaritans were come to him, they desired that he would tarry there. And he abode there two days. And many more believed in him, because of his own word. And they said to the woman: We now believe, not for thy saying: for we ourselves have heard him and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world."

They talk to her now ... And I bet they continued to talk to her after He had gone. I bet her man married her, too, and I bet she got old telling her story to the children sent to fetch water from the well, sitting and laughing in the cool of the morning...

Thomas
 
I connect with that Psalm lately for a couple of reasons. One, like the woman at the well, I thirst for the living God. It is a real longing at times, and I find myself looking everywhere for him, even though I know he is right here.

Second, I've been disheartened lately by the scoffing and venom of the new atheists, something I could easily avoid by not going on the internet!

A friend who left Christianity, the same one needling me about the problem of evil, said that now that she's not a Christian she feels so liberated! I'm thinking, what do you do now that you did not do as a believer? This strikes me as liberation in the same that way not having your arms liberates you from having to work or hug or type on the computer.
 
They talk to her now ... And I bet they continued to talk to her after He had gone. I bet her man married her, too, and I bet she got old telling her story to the children sent to fetch water from the well, sitting and laughing in the cool of the morning...

Thomas
Great homily, thank you. I find new meaning in this story every time I reflect on it, it's always been one I strongly connect with.

What suddenly caught my eye is that no one familiar with that psalm would be able to miss that the reference to living water was a claim to be God.
 
Second, I've been disheartened lately by the scoffing and venom of the new atheists, something I could easily avoid by not going on the internet!

A friend who left Christianity, the same one needling me about the problem of evil, said that now that she's not a Christian she feels so liberated! I'm thinking, what do you do now that you did not do as a believer? This strikes me as liberation in the same that way not having your arms liberates you from having to work or hug or type on the computer.

There is great liberation in freeing one's self from bad religion. It takes a long time to get the chip of your shoulder and the bad taste out of your mouth. Really, there is a lot not to like about religion, and it takes a really mature outlook to accept with kindness and objectivity all the hypocrisy, superstition, and ignorance that go along with it. This is a burden that religious people don't have and don't understand. In their piety they fail to appreciate the struggle of people who are trying to come to terms with a bad religious experience.

Chris
 
There is great liberation in freeing one's self from bad religion. It takes a long time to get the chip of your shoulder and the bad taste out of your mouth. Really, there is a lot not to like about religion, and it takes a really mature outlook to accept with kindness and objectivity all the hypocrisy, superstition, and ignorance that go along with it. This is a burden that religious people don't have and don't understand. In their piety they fail to appreciate the struggle of people who are trying to come to terms with a bad religious experience.

Chris


Yes, even breaking from a religion under non-hostile terms is kind of like a divorce, so I guess I can understand the grieving period. And if the religion was more like an abusive partner...I can see the liberation angle in that. Thanks for reminding me.
 
I'm thinking, what do you do now that you did not do as a believer? .

before , when i knew nothing about what the the bible really teaches, i just went my own way of doing things in life ,but after learning and taking in knowledge of the true God JEHOVAH and his son JESUS CHRIST i am living my life more inline with the true God JOHN 17;3

before i became a believer i was on the broad road leading to destruction ,but now i am on the narrow road that leads to
EVERLASTING LIFE :)thats because i am instructed in the right way . and it is VERY GOOD:) i am a work in progress



or did you mean what would i do if i wasnt a believer?
 
Hi Chris —

If this wasn't from you, I'd have gone for the author like a rottweiller in a bad mood, but it's from Chris ... so what gives, bro?

There is great liberation in freeing one's self from bad religion.
But, he thinks, are we ever really free, or do we simply exchange one notion of freedom for another ... too often freedom is tailoring things to suit ourselves, and I think that's what Lunamoth is getting at. Freedom for it's own sake is no freedom at all, it's an illusion.

It takes a long time to get the chip of your shoulder and the bad taste out of your mouth.
C'mon — that's the point of religion Chris!

Forgiving one's neighbour when they've wronged you, and never comes easily. Jesus said as much in His Sermon from the Mount — 'Forgive your friends? Where's the virtue in that? That's a doddle ... "

It's a lot easier not to forgive, but just write your neighbour off ... to make him as nothing, to dismiss him ... but really that's an offence against a human nature, you've 'reduced' him, and you've 'reduced' yourself — I think there's a cost ... it costs us to forgive, but it costs us more not to, more than we can measure.

Really, there is a lot not to like about religion...
If you believe that, then you believe God, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, the Heavens, Buddha, Lao Tzu, people like St Francis and Ibn Arabi and Shankara et al, as the principal culprits in the affair ... and there's not much to like about them then, either.

and it takes a really mature outlook to accept with kindness and objectivity all the hypocrisy, superstition, and ignorance that go along with it.
If it wasn't you, Chris, I'd steam into what is such an elitist, holier-than-thou viewpoint, so self-congratulatory ... so much better than the poor schmucks who happen to fail at being as perfect as one so mature, so kind, so objective ...

Then again, that's wah ttrue religion is, isn't it? Kindness and objectivity?

This is a burden that religious people don't have and don't understand.
Bollocks. Sorry mate, but I really do think that's a crock. Maybe they do understand it better than you think, Certainly to express any religious conviction in present days invites all manner of hypocricy, superstition and ignorance ... maybe its a burden religious people understand better than you, but maybe they don't make a song and dance about it, they just get on with it, because they also understand they're not perfect either, and maybe there's things that they do that piss other people off. To think that religious people exist in some kind of fantasy vacuum, blissfully unaware of the world around them, blithely happening along, spreading hypocricy, superstition and ignorance in their wake is a huge injustice ...

In their piety they fail to appreciate the struggle of people who are trying to come to terms with a bad religious experience.
Is it, or is it those people who feel offended want to hang on the the offence, and demand the sympathy of everyone else around them? D'you think these people don't have their own struggles?

Who struggles that harder, i wonder ... those who seek to conform themselves to a religion, or those who seek to conform religion to themselves ...

I know people have suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church, but I hold the person responsible, not the institution ... and certainly not Jesus, in and on whom that Church was founded.

If you're angry with God, Chris, tell him, but don't take it out on people.

Thomas
 
The Psalm to me is "where is G!d when" The whole why have you forsaken me thing. But then I hear the comfort, the confusion, the trust.

Now the liberating feeling. The discussion between Chris and Thomas. I've seen so many folks for sooo loooonnnnggg hook, line and sinker into some religion, over the edge, preachin from the rooftops, knowing they have the one and only answer, they are out savin souls and judging away, making sure everyone knows their truth.

Now these have come in all varieties, equal opportunity here, Muslims, Bahai, Catholics, JW, Baptists, Born Again Evangelicals, Apostolics... I gotta add the Quakers, Mennonites, Amish, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, they've been glad to be what they are and let me be what I am, maybe I haven't run into any of the recruiting, I'm right types...I'm just callin em as I sees em.

For the first group, when they defected, left, changed, converted, whatever, they were liberated, definitely said they got caught up in the hysteria, a mob mentality from the classes, from when you tried to get away or strayed it was a weakness, the devil, whatever. But they got away, but a huge percentage jumped right back in to something else, I think it is an addiction.
 
I know, Wil,

It's called "shooting fish in a barrel"

Thomas
 
Both Thomas and Chris have valid points.

OK, so some of what Thomas wrote mirrors how I first felt when I read Chris' post. Those accusations are a bit painful. Thomas knows from our PMs that I'm not just reacting suddenly because a friend challenged my beliefs but that this is something I've been reflecting on for quite some time. The part that gets me is the equation of 'all religion' with 'bad religion.' And also, in the case of my friend, if I have a loving, inclusive view of Christianity, then I must not be a 'real' Christian. There are bad religions, religions that enforce paranoia and fearfulness and vengence and promote terrorism and backwardness. These are twisted religions and I don't like being lumped in with them.

In fact, this is what galls me about the new atheism: the doctrine that all religion is bad religion and equally responsible for things like terrorism.

One might as well say that all science is bad science and because science lead to the atomic bomb it really should be outlawed.

But this is not what Chris was saying, at least that's now how I read him.

What Chris said is absolutely true about leaving a religion. You are rejecting something that was a huge part of your life and it is like tearing out an organ. There is a lot of real suffering caused by religion, or by some insensitive individuals in the name of religion, and there are a lot of walking wounded out there because of it. It does take a lot of growth and reflection to get past the angry, grieving stage. I experienced this when I left the Baha'i Faith, and I'm sure it's part of where my friend is coming from.

But I disagree with the idea that because I have faith I also must be characterized as having false piety and am insensitive to the experiences of others, that I don't and can't understand. That's just not true.

I think that an important part of dialogue is in the listening.
 
they are out savin souls and judging away, making sure everyone knows their truth.

quote]
when it comes to JW the one thing they dont do is JUDGE OTHERS , its all about making known GOODNEWS matthew 24;14
and yes, they sure do make sure that it is made known on a global scale :) and it is verrry gooood
 
they are out savin souls and judging away, making sure everyone knows their truth.

quote]
when it comes to JW the one thing they dont do is JUDGE OTHERS , its all about making known GOODNEWS matthew 24;14
and yes, they sure do make sure that it is made known on a global scale :) and it is verrry gooood
Thank the Lord! And all along I've been misinformed that you fellows been telling people they are wrong about the trinity, wrong about rituals, wrong about Christmas and Easter. Hallelujah I've been enlightened, JW folks don't have issues with other denominations or religions, twas my misconstrued understanding.
 
Thank the Lord! And all along I've been misinformed that you fellows been telling people they are wrong about the trinity, wrong about rituals, wrong about Christmas and Easter. .


yes many are miss informed and jump to wrong thoughts about JW :) people have to see for themselves that those things are wrong .
 
Thomas,

In fairness to you let me clarify a couple of things before I offer a rejoinder because it's obvious to me that I wasn't clear given your reaction.

It's obvious to me that many people are having a good religious experience. They are experiencing good religion. I was talking about bad religion and bad religious experiences. What I wanted to point out is that it's very hard, coming out of a bad religious experience, to get to the point where one isn't over reacting in the opposite direction. It's hard to let go of the bitterness and see the parts of religion and religious experience that are good because all of religion is colored by the bad experience. For those who have never experienced this struggle, I'm saying they have no way of empathizing with what it's like.

Chris
 
Also, in the interest of clarity, I'm talking about my own experience. I know firsthand what it's like to be disowned and shunned for having the gall to trust my own conscience. I know what it is to be homeless at fifteen. Put out on the street for daring to question, for standing up to my father's abuse. I worked three jobs and slept in cars and on back porches while I finished high school and found a way to make my way in the world. It's no big deal. I'm not the only one who's had it tough. And I'm doing pretty well, now, at being open minded about other people's choices. Occasionally you'll see the old bitterness coming out. I'm still working on that. I'm happy for anyone's good thing. But nobody is going to tell me how I'd be better off with religion. I'm happy and free without it, and that's the way it's going to stay.

Chris
 
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