Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Quick lit



It's that time of the month again (not that time of the month again) when I link up with Modern Mrs. Darcy for What We're Reading Lately!


This month...


Psalms, Titus and Proverbs



Photo by Lalaine Macababbad on Unsplash


I finished Psalms, zoomed through Titus, and started Proverbs.


Titus 3:2:  "Malign no one...be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men."  Uncomfortably convicting.


Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling





I briefly debated leaving this one off my list because I didn't technically read it; I listened to the audio version, read by Kaling herself.  But I feel that my list needs all the padding it can get, so here we are.  Besides, that still counts, right?


I so appreciate Mindy Kaling's voice, by which I mean her persona and message, although her reading voice was very pleasant to listen to as well.  She's funny and refreshing and seems like the girl next door that you could be besties with.  By the end I felt like I had skated on the edge of my raunch tolerance long enough, though.  Glad to read (hear) it, glad when it was over.


Oh, but also--how lovely to hear someone else lament about the trials of having the name Mindy.  I am not the only one who endured years of adults, convinced they were clever, asking about Mork.  Thank you, Mindy Kaling.  We can totally be Mindy friends.


The Witch Elm by Tana French





Ooooh, this was good.  I devoured it in like two days.  Very interesting take on the unreliable narrator.  It kept me guessing for a while, although I did get close enough in the end so when whodunit was revealed I wasn't surprised.


Dead bodies, suicide, family dysfunction, and contested wills, but what bothered me the most was the inevitable romantic breakup!  Alas.


Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan





This is really fun.  I think it's the title that really reminds me of Mr. Lemoncello's Library.  But it's also about a giant puzzle.  I have just a few chapters left that I hope to finish off as soon as this post is done....


I do wonder how much of the tech stuff is true.  Can computers really do all the stuff in the book?  And is that an accurate portrayal of the Google campus?  Maybe someone techie will read it and fill me in.


And bonus surprise:  the cover glows in the dark.  So, if you leave it on your nightstand overnight, you might want to flip it face-down.  Unless you want to blearily wonder in the middle of the night (sans glasses) what is glowing and what you could've possibly left plugged in next to you.


The Young Carthaginian by G. A. Henty





I just started reading this to Lizzy and Caleb for school, as we're learning about Carthage.  I read it before, either to or with one (or both?) of the older kids.  It's about a young man in Hannibal's army, learning from the best, so to speak.  Sadly, our library copy does not have nearly as cool a cover as this.


Now I'll go see what happens to Mr. Penumbra.  Happy reading!





Sunday, January 12, 2020

Singing through the Psalms, part V



Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IV.


Part V is another especially rich section for modern music!


Psalm 103:1-2, 8:  "Bless the LORD, O my soul, / And all that is within me, bless His holy name. / Bless the LORD, O my soul, / And forget none of His benefits...The LORD is compassionate and gracious, / Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness."



You're rich in love
And You're slow to anger
Your name is great
And Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness
I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons
For my heart to find

Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His holy name





Bless the Lord, O my soul
And all that is within me
Bless His holy name






Psalm 103:12:  "As far as the east is from the west, / So far has He removed our transgressions from us."


I know You've cast my sin as far
As the east is from the west...
Jesus, can you show me just how far the east is from the west?...
You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other






Psalm 103:20-22:  "Bless the LORD, you His angels, / Mighty in strength, who perform His word, / Obeying the voice of His word! / Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, / You who serve Him, doing His will. / Bless the LORD, all you works of His, / In all places of His dominion; / Bless the LORD, O my soul!"


Praise God from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost
Amen






Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34:  "Bless the LORD, O my soul! / O LORD my God, You are very great...O LORD, how many are Your works! / In wisdom You have made them all; / The earth is full of Your possessions...You take away their spirit, they expire / And return to their dust. / You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; / And You renew the face of the ground. / Let the glory of the LORD endure forever; / Let the LORD be glad in His works...Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; / As for me, I shall be glad in the LORD."


Lord send out Your Spirit
And renew the face of the earth

Bless the Lord, oh my soul.
Oh Lord, my God, You are great indeed.
How manifold are Your works, oh Lord!
The earth is full of Your creatures.

If You take away their breath, oh Lord,
They die and return to their dust.
When You send forth Your Spirit they live.
You renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of the Lord
Endure forever, and may the Lord
Be glad in His work.
Pleasing to Him be my theme,
For I rejoice in the Lord.

~Joe Zsigray, "Lord, Send Out Your Spirit"




Psalm 106:1, 48: "Praise the LORD! / Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; / For His lovingkindness is everlasting...From everlasting even to everlasting."


Give thanks to the Lord, our God and King
His love endures forever
For He is good, He is above all things
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise...
Forever, forever

~Chris Tomlin, "Forever"





Psalm 108:3-5:  "I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the peoples, / And I will sing praises to You among the nations. / For Your lovingkindness is great above the heavens, / And Your truth reaches to the skies. / Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, / And Your glory above all the earth."



I will give thanks to Thee
O Lord, among the people
I will sing praises to Thee
Among the nations
For Thy steadfast love is great
Is great to the heavens
And Thy faithfulness
Thy faithfulness to the clouds

Be exalted, O God
Above the heavens
Let Thy glory be over all the earth

~Brent Chambers, "I Will Give Thanks to Thee"




Psalm 113:2, 4:  "Blessed be the name of the LORD...His glory is above the heavens."


Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious Name







Psalm 118:24:  "This is the day which the LORD has made; / Let us rejoice and be glad in it."


This is the day that the Lord has made
We will rejoice and be glad in it.






Psalm 119:105, 112:  "Your word is a lamp to my feet / And a light to my path...Forever, even to the end."


Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path...
I will love You to the end






Psalm 121:1-2:  "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; / From where shall my help come? / My help comes from the LORD, / Who made heaven and earth."


I lift my eyes up
Up to the mountains
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from You
Maker of heaven
Creator of the earth







Psalm 124:1-6, 8:  "'Had it not been the LORD who was on our side,' / Let Israel now say, / 'Had it not been the LORD who was on our side / When men rose up against us, / Then they would have swallowed us alive...Then the waters would have engulfed us; / The stream would have swept over our soul; / Then the raging waters would have swept over our soul.' / Blessed be the LORD, / Who has not given us to be torn by their teeth...Our help is in the name of the LORD, / Who made heaven and earth."


If the Lord had not been on our side
All our enemies would have swallowed us alive
If the Lord had not been on our side
All the raging waters
And the mighty flood
Would have swept over us
If the Lord
If the Lord
If the Lord had not been on our side

Blessed be the Lord
Blessed be the Lord Who has not given us up
The Lord Who is our help
Maker of heaven and earth





A handful of these Psalms also echo into the New Testament...


- Psalm 109:8 ("Let another take his office.") is quoted in Acts 1:20, in reference to Judas Iscariot.


- Psalm 109:25 ("When they see me, they wag their head.") is quoted in Matthew 27:39 and Mark 15:29 to describe Jesus' mockers.


- Psalm 110:1 ("The LORD says to my Lord: / 'Sit at My right hand / Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.'") is quoted repeatedly; in Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:42-43, and Hebrews 1:13.


- Psalm 110:4 ("The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, / 'You are a priest forever / According to the order of Melchizedek.'") is quoted in Hebrews 5:6 and 7:17.


- Psalm 118:22-23 ("The stone which the builders rejected / Has become the chief corner stone. / This is the LORD's doing; / It is marvelous in our eyes.") is quoted in Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10-11, Luke 20:17, and 1 Peter 2:7.


- The people shout Psalm 118:26 ("Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD") on Palm Sunday in Matthew 21:9, Mark 11:9, Luke 19:38, and John 12:13. 


Next time we finish up with just a few entire psalms in Part VI.  









Thursday, January 2, 2020

Singing through the Psalms, part IV



Part I [Psalms 1-25].


Part II [Psalms 26-50].


Part III [Psalms 51-75].


Part IV [Psalms 76-100]:  A mashup of Catholic responsorial psalms, camp songs, 70's praise music, and Matt Redman.


Psalm 81:1:  "Sing for joy to God our strength"



Sing for joy to God our strength





Psalm 81:16:  "But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat"



You satisfy the hungry heart
With gift of finest wheat






Psalm 84:1-2, 10:  "How lovely are Your dwelling places, / O LORD of hosts! / My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; / My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God...For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside."  



How lovely is Your dwelling place
O Lord Almighty
For my soul longs and even faints for You...

Better is one day in Your courts
Than thousands elsewhere...

My heart and flesh cry out
For You, the living God





Psalm 91:1-2, 4-5, 11-12:  "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High / Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. / I will say to the LORD, 'My refuge and my fortress, / My God, in whom I trust!'...He will cover you with His pinions, / And under His wings you may seek refuge; / His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. / You will not be afraid of the terror by night, / Or of the arrow that flies by day...For He will give His angels charge concerning you, / To guard you in all your ways. / They will bear you up in their hands, / That you do not strike your foot against a stone."


You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord
Who abide in His shadow for life
Say to the Lord, "My refuge
My Rock in Whom I trust."

You need not fear the terror of the night
Nor the arrow that flies by day
Under His wings your refuge
His faithfulness your shield

For to His angels He's given a command
To guard you in all of your ways
Upon their hands they will bear you up
Lest you dash your foot against a stone





Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9:  "O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, / Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. / Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, / Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms...Come, let us worship and bow down, / Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. / For He is our God, / And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. / Today, if you would hear His voice, / Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, / As in the day of Massah in the wilderness, / 'When your fathers tested Me, / They tried Me, though they had seen My work.'" 



If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.

Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to Him.

Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD Who made us.
For He is our God,
and we are the people He shepherds, the flock He guides.

Oh, that today you would hear His voice:
"Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted Me;
they tested Me though they had seen My works."



Come let us worship and bow down
Let us kneel before the Lord
Our God our Maker
For He is our God
And we are the people of His pasture
And the sheep of His hand





Psalm 100:2-4:  "Serve the LORD with gladness / Come before Him with joyful singing...It is He Who has made us, and not we ourselves...Enter His gates with thanksgiving / And His courts with praise."


I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart
I will enter His courts with praise
I will say this is the day that the Lord has made
I will rejoice for He has made me glad

~Leona Von Brethorst, "I Will Enter His Gates"


[Side note: an interesting little bio here about Leona Von Brethorst.]




- Psalm 91:11-12 ("For He will give His angels charge concerning you, / To guard you in all your ways. / They will bear you up in their hands, / That you do not strike your foot against a stone.") will be familiar to anyone who has read the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4:6 and Luke 4:10-11.


- Psalm 95:11 ("Therefore I swore in My anger, / Truly they shall not enter into My rest.") is quoted in Hebrews 4:3, 5.


Stay tuned for parts V and VI of the Psalm series.  I'm amazed both at the richness of this sacred book...and how much memory is in my brain, after all.  




Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The good, the bad, and the handsome



Caleb and Jeddy both got post-Christmas haircuts this week and are looking sharp.  I told Caleb as much the other day.


Me:  "Nice haircut, Caleb.  You look good."


Caleb, running off down the hall, scurrying around Jeddy, who is hanging precariously off his new pull-up bar:  "Don't kill me!  I'm too handsome!"




Glad to know he has a proper value for the inherent worth of human life. 






2020 is looking great already



When I booked Jason and myself a New Year's Eve dinner reservation and overnight stay at the fancy inn downtown, I expected it to be pretty nice. 


But nothing prepared me for the delight that was dinner's second course.




"Halibut cheeks" in curry sauce.  


Dinner:  $75.


Wine pairing:  $20.


Ringing in the New Year by stifling explosive laughter while the waiter solemnly describes the tenderness of his "halibut cheeks":  


Priceless.  



Friday, December 27, 2019

Singing through the Psalms, part III



Part I (Psalms 1-25) here.


Part II (Psalms 26-50) here.


Highlighting just a couple Psalm-inspired songs today...


Psalm 51:10-12:  "Create in me a clean heart, O God, / And renew a steadfast spirit within me. / Do not cast me away from Your presence / And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. / Restore to me the joy of Your salvation"



Create in me a clean heart, O God
And renew a right spirit within me

Cast me not away from Thy presence, O Lord
And take not Thy Holy Spirit from me
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me





Psalm 57:9-11:  "I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; / I will sing praises to You among the nations. / For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens / And Your truth to the clouds. / Be exalted above the heavens, O God; / Let Your glory be above all the earth."


I will give thanks to Thee
O Lord, among the people
I will sing praises to Thee
Among the nations
For Thy steadfast love is great
Is great to the heavens
And Thy faithfulness
Thy faithfulness to the clouds

Be exalted, O God
Above the heavens
Let Thy glory be over all the earth





But here are several New Testament Psalm references from this section:


- Psalm 53:1-3 ("There is no one who does good. / God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men / To see if there is anyone who understands, / Who seeks after God. / Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; / There is no one who does good, not even one."), which is almost an exact replica of Psalm 14, is quoted in Romans 3:10-12.


- Psalm 68:18 ("You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; / You have received gifts among men") is cited in Ephesians 4:8.


- Psalm 69:9 ("For zeal for Your house has consumed me") is quoted in John 2:17 as a commentary on Jesus driving the moneychangers out of the temple.


- Psalms 69:21 ("They also gave me gall for my food / And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.") is fulfilled by Jesus on the cross, as described in Matthew 27:34, 48; Mark 15:23, 36; Luke 23:36; and John 19:29.








Thursday, December 26, 2019

Singing through the Psalms, part II



Part I of this series is here.


Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14:  "The LORD is my light and my salvation; / Whom shall I fear? / The LORD is the defense of my life; / Whom shall I dread?...One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: / That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life...I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD / In the land of the living. / Wait for the LORD; / Be strong and let your heart take courage; / Yes, wait for the LORD."



The Lord is my light and my salvation, of whom shall I be afraid?

The Lord is my light and my help; whom should I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; before whom should I shrink?

There is one thing I ask of the Lord; for this I long;
to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

I believe I shall see the goodness of the Lord, in the land of the living;
hope in Him and take heart, hope in the Lord!



Psalm 30:5:  "Weeping may last for the night, / But a shout of joy comes in the morning."


Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning




Psalm 34:1-4, 7, 10-15:  

"I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul will make its boast in the LORD;
The humble will hear of it and rejoice.
O magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the LORD, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears...
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them...

The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.
Come, you children, listen to me...
Who is the man who desires life
And loves length of days that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
And His ears are open to their cry.


At all times I will bless Him
His praise will be in my mouth
My soul makes its boast in the Lord
The humble man will hear of Him
The afflicted will be glad
And join with me to magnify the Lord

Let us exalt His name together, forever
I sought the Lord, He heard me
And delivered me from my fears.
Let us exalt His name together, forever
O sing His praises magnify the Lord

The angel of the Lord encamps
Round those who fear His name
To save them and deliver them from harm
Though lions roar with hunger
We lack for no good thing
No wonder then we praise Him with our song

Come children now and hear Him
If you would see long life
Just keep your lips from wickedness and lies
Do good and turn from evil
Seek peace instead of strife
Love righteousness and God will hear your cry





Psalm 36:5-6:  "Your lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens, / Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. / Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; / Your judgments are like a great deep."


Your love, oh Lord
Reaches to the heavens
Your faithfulness stretches to the sky
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains
Your justice flows like the ocean's tide





Psalm 38:15-16:  "For I hope in You, O LORD...May they not rejoice over me"


Do not let me be put to shame
Nor let my enemies triumph over me
My hope is You






Psalm 40:17:  "You are my help and my deliverer"


God You're my deliverer





Psalm 42:1:  "As the deer pants for the water brooks, / So my soul pants for You, O God."


As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul panteth after Thee





Note that these are just the songs that I can find on the internet.  There are a few others that pop into my head when I read that I swear my own brain isn't making up, but they have either never found their way online, or I can't retrieve more than a tiny clip from my dusty memories to google them properly.  


Regardless, I'm so thankful to have been soaked in the Scriptures for my entire life, from the very earliest age.  (Thank you, Mom and Dad.)


And for the bonus, New Testament references from the Psalms...


- Jesus quotes Psalm 31:5 ("Into Your hand I commit my spirit") as He dies, in Luke 23:46.


- Psalm 40:7-8 ("Then I said, 'Behold, I come; / In the scroll of the book it is written of me. / I delight to do Your will, O my God") is quoted in Hebrews 10:7.  


- Psalm 41:9 ("Even my close friend in whom I trusted, / Who ate my bread, / Has lifted up his heel against me.") is quoted by Jesus in John 13:18, in reference to Judas Iscariot, who left directly from dining with Jesus to betray Him.


- Psalm 44:22 ("But for Your sake we are killed all day long; / We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.") is quoted in Romans 8:36.


Here's an intriguing story I read this morning:  a new project to set all 150 Psalms to music.  (Which they once were, of course, though the tunes are lost to us now.)


I hope my own kids are so soaked in the Bible that they too will need read only a snippet to set them humming all the rest of the day.






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