Psalm 1

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.  Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.  For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

As I start my quest of detailing my philosophy of life to my children over the next one hundred and fifty days, I will explore each of the one hundred and fifty Psalms and will focus on these four universal questions:

  1. Does God exists?
  2. What am I?
  3. Is there a correct way to live?
  4. How can we live together?

Psalm one is a great stating point since all four of the questions are addressed. Does God exist?  It is interesting that the very first verse of the Bible statesIn the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In this Psalm God is the law giver, he is the judge, and the protector of the righteous.  So, the very first Statement I must make in writing about my philosophy on life is the fact (the foundation) of my belief statement is that God is the creator of both heaven and earth.

The second question is what or who am I. In this Psalm man is described as either walking with the wicked or meditating on the law of the Lord (the path of the righteous).  It is interesting that this Psalm gives us a way to walk.  Our walk or way seems to determine what or who we are.  So, what is man?  A creature created by God who has the gift of choose.  The law of God was simple to Adam and Eve as Eve stated it the serpent: “And the woman said unto the serpent, Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”  However the counsel of the wicked changes God’s words:  “And the serpent said unto the woman, you shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.” And as the story goes in Genesis chapter three, we realized that this was the fall of man.  “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together and made themselves aprons.” (ASV)  As Paul writes in Roman five verses 17 through 19:  For if, by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; much more shall they that receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, even Jesus Christ.  So then as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation; even so through one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life.  For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous. (ASV) So with first decision to disobey God by Adam the sinful nature was passed upon all mankind.

There with this sinful nature being a part of all mankind is there a correct way to live and if so, how can we live together? His Psalm address this path as the law of the Lord.  But it not a law to know but to be mediated upon.  Live is very complicated.  And because of the sinful nature that exist in everyone we must follow David’s advice of mediating on God’s law both day and night.

As I was growing up one of the pictures that was in many Christian homes was an old man praying for his meal with a Bible next to him. Growing up I witness my grandparents finishing the evening by reading the Bible before bedtime.  It is amazing how busy our lives have become that the simple pleasures of hiding God’s Word in our heart has lost it importance,  The truth I want to leave my children is the importance of hiding God’s Word in your heart and mediating on it all day long.  Life is not easy.  However, I start the day out knowing to answers of two of the four major questions.  Yes, God exist and is in control, and yes, I know I am a sinner saved by grace.  The other two questions can only be answered daily by mediating on God’s Word.  For it is the convicting power of the Holy Spirit that helps my sinful nature grow closer to God.





There is none to compare with Thee

Psalm 40: 5-8IMG_0197

Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” (NIV)

In Psalm 40 verse five David states “Many, O Lord my God are the wonders which Thou hast done, and thy thoughts toward us: There is none to compare with Thee; if I would declare and speak of them they would be too numerous to count.”

As I read and study the Psalms, I realize that living a Christ-like life is easy until I have to put down the Bible and move into the real world and face your daily routines.  It is only when we as believers take God’s written Word and make it God’s living Word in our hearts that we can answer the “but” questions from those around us with an affirmative answer just as Christ did to Satan “But it is written”.

As I look upon my daily task and try to make a different in someone life, is it for my glory or is it just a task the Lord has assigned for that day? David realized there was nothing that could be compared to God. Just think of having your daily activities guided by God. Every person you meet God has placed you there for his purpose. Every task you work on God has a purpose for it. That your life will be a blessing to every one you meet and encounter on your journey today. If there is nothing compare to God, consider then the daily activities of a person surrender to do God’s will. A person as David describes as “I delight to do Thy will O my God, Thy Law is written in my heart.


Psalm 21

day beginnningThe king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!  Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.  For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.  He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.  His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.  For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.  For the king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.  Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the Lord shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.  Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.  For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform.  Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them.  Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.

As I study this psalm I can’t help but see this as a psalm that refers to David’s reign as well as the coming reign of Christ.  As I read the first six verses I can picture David’s kingdom as it become one of the most powerful nations on the earth during this period of history.  However, the last seven verses seem to point to a coming King, one who will destroy the enemies of God.  This King is Christ.  In Deuteronomy 17 we are given instructions for a King to follow.  Verses eighteen through twenty reads:

And it shall be, when he sits upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book, out of that which is before the priests the Levites: and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear Jehovah his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them; that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel.

As we study these verses we realized that knowledge of the law of the Lord and the fear of the Lord are key to how a king rules.

As I read verse ten of this Psalm I must reflect on Peters words concerning the latter days (the times that we are living in today).   Verse ten states “you will destroy their descendants from the earth”.  In studying the scripture I realized that this had already happened once before in the history of mankind.  The Great Flood of Genesis.  In II Peter chapter three Peter writes about the last days in which men deny that this great flood ever happened.  He gives us two characteristics of the mockers that Christians will face during these times.

The first characteristic is they walk after their own lust.  As I reflect on the phrase “walking after one’s own lust” I ask myself “why is this an issue?”. Peter wrote this epistle to stir up the minds on the believers.  He wrote this epistle to remind them of the message of the gospel.  In fact in verses fifteen and sixteen of chapter three he reminds them that Paul wrote to them in words that were sometimes hard to understand the salvation of the Lord.  As I reflect on Paul’s writings about the gospel, the resurrection of Christ and our future resurrection I gain a new perceptive of the message of the gospel.   Paul states in I Corinthians 15:12-19

Now if Christ is preached that he hath been raised from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?  But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither hath Christ been raised: and if Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain.  Yea, we are found false witnesses of God; because we witnessed of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, neither hath Christ been raised: and if Christ hath not been raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable.

In other words if the message of the gospel was just to make the world a better place to live in and that this life we are living really is all there is then I am preaching the wrong message.  If my message does not focus on gaining eternal life with God, but just on how to make the world a better place to live; then why would people give up walking after their own lust?  They would not.  If all I had hope for in this life then I would be the Lord of my life and live my life for my pleasures only.  So until a man looks at the eternal value of their life the message of the gospel really has no meaning to him.

The second characteristic is they deny the Word of God.  They question the Word and the promises found in the Word.  They deny the creation, the flood, the call of Abraham, the law, the prophets and the ministry of Christ.  What is so sad about questioning God’s Word is that most believers do not even read it.  Yes it is true that the Word of God is often abused by many and twisted to support their own personal belief system; however that does not justified holding out the Word of God in your life.  You have the same freedom as others to study the Word.  You have as much access to the Word of God as any one else.  So as I look at the second characteristic of the latter days I must ask the question “what do you think of God’s Word?”.  Do you stand on the Word of God?  And what do you think about God’s son the King (Christ) in relationship to how you live your life?  Read Psalms 22 and study how He suffered for us when he came the first time to earth and then read Psalms 2 to see how he will reign the second time he comes to the earth.

Psalm 16


Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.  I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”  I say of the holy people who are in the land,  “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”  Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.  I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods  or take up their names on my lips.  Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;  you make my lot secure.  The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;  surely I have a delightful inheritance.  I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;  even at night my heart instructs me.  I keep my eyes always on the LordWith him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;  my body also will rest secure,  because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,  nor will you let your faithful one see decay.   You make known to me the path of life;  you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

As I look at verse five, I can not help but look back to the Luke 22: 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done”. Are we able to pray the same prayer as our Lord prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane?   We can, once we realized that God has made our lot secure. As I travel this journey that the Lord has prepared for me I must look to these verses as coming from the heart and life of King David. For as he wrote of Christ in his psalms he also wrote words that can help us develop a closer walk with God.

This psalms helps us realized that God is our refuge and our delight. He does assign to us our portion in life and the cup we are to bear. Again we are warned in this psalm not to follow after other Gods, or those who seek fellowship with those who follow other gods. God counsels us and instructs us day and night. As long as we seek him in his word we will know he will lead us in the right path. Surely the grave is not our destiny, but being in his presence with eternal pleasures.

As you read this psalm take a look at your epistemology. Ask yourself this question “What is knowledge?”. Verse eleven points out the fact that the psalmist realized that his knowledge came from God and it is God who has made known to him the path of life. This is the knowledge that the psalmist describes in Psalm One.  When one start studying epistemology the first two questions that must be answered are: what is knowledge and how is knowledge acquired.  To the psalmist (as we will see in Psalm nineteen) knowledge is the work of God’s hand.  By studying nature knowledge is revealed to us.  However to acquire knowledge God has given to us  his written Word (law, statutes, precepts, commands, and ordinances) to understand his creation. 

Verse ten “because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay” was used by Peter in Act 2:27 in his message on the day of Pentecost as verses that David referred to the suffering and resurrection of Christ.

In verse eleven David writes “You have made known to me the path of life”. As I grow in my faith daily I realize that it is God who seeks after me and not me seeking God. We have a way of wanting to stray away from God, but in his loving kindness he brings us back to him. As we travel along on our journey here on earth we like the Psalmist must realize that God is the shepherd that guides us along this path of life. As we walk along this path we can have joy, but this joy is in knowing that God’s presence is with us. This psalm illustrates our walk on earth with God. Let each verse speak to you as it did to David. Remember each person’s walk with God is unique, however they all share the characteristics of the walk that this psalm describes.

As I was reading this week The Faith of George W. Bush by Stephen Mansfield I could not help but see verse eleven play out in his life.  Stephen Mansfield gives us the great foundations of George W Bush’s faith by devoting the first two chapters on the faith of his parents and grandparents.  Just as Paul praises the unfeigned faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and then in your mother Eunice Stephen Mansfield gives the same praise to George W Bush’s parents and grandparents.  Yet his way of  living his faith was different.  His statement at the end of chapter two about how George W Bush’s  faith was acquired reveals a lot about how he lives out his faith.

“But the day will come when all of the faith that has been planted in him – from childhood prayers to Presbyterian creeds, from small-town Christian culture to the Christ known in an Episcopal service – will flower to become the ruling principle of his life.  But it is the desert he will know before this flowering that will make it all the sweeter when it comes.”

As I study the psalms as well as the lives of the great heroes of faith both from the Bible and those that have lived from early church history to the present I can see a common thread that they all have shared.  That thread is a desert experience, a time when their faith was tested and God did not seem to be present.  It is in times like these that all believers must pray a psalm like this psalm to give us strength to get through our desert experience

Psalms 11

IMG_4046In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.  If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?  The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord‘s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.  The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.  Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.  For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.


Who do you place your faith in: God, man, or self. Here the psalmist tells the reader that his faith is in God so why should he flee from his problems. So when the wicked attach the righteous and the very truths that the righteous base their faith upon are tested; what actions should the righteous take?  Simply put your faith in God and purse a life of righteousness with God.  This task is not as easy as it seems.  Walking with the Lord and trusting in Him only is a difficult task for a worldly person.  We must look at our walk of faith and compare it to a child learning how to walk.  They stumble a lot along the way in this learning process.  However as the coffee table or couch provides the extra support a child needs in the process of learning how to walk, so must a young believer learn to hold on to the Word of God when times of temptations come into his life.  Look to Matthew chapter four and see how this is the same principle that Christ applied when he was tempted (tested) by Satan in the wilderness.   Having raised seven children and watching them learning how to walk I have noticed that the process that a child goes through to reach the goal of walking is similar to the process that a Christian goes through in learning how to live by faith.  A child first learns to roll over, then the process of lifting up the head, followed by scooting, followed by crawling and then pulling themselves up to walk while holding on to something.  However, once a child finally let’s go and start taking the first few steps he usually falls.  Yet, these falls become fewer and fewer until the child can walk on his own.  And finally the walking becomes running and the child starts his process of exploring the world around him.  Our walk of faith is also like this.  The more we read and study God’s Word the more His thoughts become our thoughts as we hid His Word in our heart.  So where the world questions our faith our reply to the world can be just like Christ’s reply was to Satan in the Wilderness “but it is written”.

Psalm 6: 1-3

Tallapossa 4O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed.  My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord, how long?

In his devotional My Utmost for His Highest for April 2, 2009 Oswald Chambers  writes “The lasting characteristic of a spiritual man is the ability to understand correctly the meaning of the Lord Jesus Christ in his life, and the ability to explain the purposes of God to others.” as the spiritual insight that we need to portray in our daily walk.  This psalm is an example of those events that take place in our life in which we know God, but we can not grasp an understanding on how God is using those events in our life at that moment to shape us for his purpose.

In this psalm David knows the Lord.  He knows of God’s anger and discipline and he knows of his unfailing love.  He had witness how God had used Saul to united Israel as a nation, but also witness how God had deserted Saul when he refused to obey God.  He saw the pain and suffering that Saul went through when the Spirit of the Lord left Saul.  He also saw the type of person that Saul became when he forsook the Lord’s way and pursued his own path.  However, he also saw how much pain and suffering Saul could inflict on others.  Events such as when Saul had Doeg the Edomite kill eighty-five members of the priest family were hard for David to grasp when it came to understanding God intervention in the affairs of man.


As I study the issues that David must have faced in this psalm and apply it to the issues that I face I realize that David is wrestling with gaining an understanding of the events surrounding him.  The more I study the psalms the more I realize that David was writing his psalms to help him understand the nature and attributes of God.  David knew that God was in control, however, he also realized that evil existed in the world and that this evil was godless.  Godliness and godlessness can not exist together.  Therein lies the conflict that we see in the world today, those who walk in the way of the righteous and those who opposes the righteous way of God.   The major issue that I see today is that many believers strive to make a stand against all unrighteous that they see exist all around them and take matters into their our hands, instead of leaving it to God.  We should become like David and become obsessed with the pursue of knowing God and living a blameless life.  If we truly believe like David; then we like him, will know that the four results of verses nine and ten will take place.

 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy the LORD accepts my prayer. All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed they will turn back in sudden disgrace 

Living a blameless life is different then living a perfect life.  One of the earliest struggles that I faced as a Christian was striving for human perfection.  Paul also gives us an example of his struggle with living a life of perfection in Philippians chapter three.  Paul purpose changed from striving to live a life of perfection to knowing God and the power of his resurrection.  He sought the fellowship of Christ suffering and being made conformable unto God’s nature.  Oswald Chambers summarizes Christian perfection in his devotional from December 2 as “Christian perfection is not, and never can be, human perfection. Christian perfection is the perfection of a relationship with God that shows itself to be true even amid the seemingly unimportant aspects of human life.”   So as we go through times in our life that we can not understand God’s leading look at them as a time that God is making us conformable unto His nature

Daily Living

cherry grove pierThe making of New Year Resolutions are a way we reflect back on last year and look forward to the new and upcoming new year to make changes to improve our life. However, there is one resolution that we should make early in our life and should strive to keep it forever. Solomon’s Ecclesiastes was written to explore the purpose of man’s life on this earth. It is interesting that he starts with the words “vanity of vanities, all is vanity” and continues this theme throughout the entire book. He explores every aspect of life and concludes all is vanity. Solomon sums up Ecclesiastes with these verses from chapter twelve “Remember also thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them (Ecclesiastes 12:1). And furthermore, my son be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:12-13).   So how do I pursue life and enjoy this gift of life that God has given me so that at the end of my life these words (I have no pleasure in them) will not be my words.

So as I begin this New Year my one and only New Year Resolution is to remember my Creator. For I am no longer in my youth, but as an old man I can reflect back and see how much my Creator has cared for me. This is because in my youth I learned the words of Psalms 23 that sums up how we should live our life are the Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want for He leads me. Yes I did stray, but He never forsakes me. He was always there to deliver me out of the situations caused by my straying.

The Way of God

Little RiverAs I read the first five chapters of Psalms and the first chapter of Proverbs I can not help but reflect upon the way I walk in this world.  Today I started my readings with Proverbs chapter one instead of first chapter of the Book of Psalms.   In the opening six verses Solomon gives ten reasons for writing the Proverbs.  These reasons are:

for attaining wisdom and discipline

for understanding words of insight

for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life

for doing what is right and just and fair

for giving prudence to the simple

for giving knowledge and discretion to the young

for letting the wise listen and add to their learning

for letting the discerning get guidance  

for understanding proverbs and parables

for understanding the sayings and riddles of the wise.

As I study the book of Proverbs I have gained great insight in the study of human nature. Just by reading over the ten reasons I realize that fools, sinners, murders, robbers, liars, simpleminded and those that do not have the fear of God will not be reading the books of Psalms and Proverbs.  However wisdom is still calling out to those in need.  Her presence can be heard and seen in the streets, in the gateways as she makes her speeches.  Wisdom speaks out and rebukes their foolish ways.   Wisdom pours out her heart to give them wisdom, to teach them discipline and show them knowledge and discretion.  However, they remain in their ways.  So when bad times over take them when they reject wisdom’s way she laughs at them, she mocks them and she does not answer them.  Why?  Because they choose not to fear the Lord and spurn the knowledge of wisdom.  They just want help out of their problems, they have no desire to change their ways.

As I read the words found in Luke 15:11-31 I see the father of the prodigal son follow the same path as wisdom does in the verses of Proverbs chapter one.  This principle of returning back to wisdom is importance for all parents to grasp.  We can add much to the story found in this parable but here are the facts: the younger son want his share of the estate, the father gave it to him.  The younger son squandered his share and then had to take a job which did not pay enough to met his needs. It was not until he came to his senses that he returned to the father.  As we study the principle of returning home it is importance to realize that there must be a change in a person’s walk or way of life.  If there is no change they will just return to the condition that they were in before they were bailed out of the problems that they are experiencing at the time.  Therefore, offers to help, or forcing the foolish one to go the right way is not an option.  The wayward one must turn and come back home to the way of wisdom.

The final words of Proverb chapter one reinforces this principle.  “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me.  Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.  For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”  These verses are sometimes difficult for a parent to heeded who has a wayward child.  No parent who truly loves their child wants to see their child fail.  But the truth is everyone is accountable to God for the way in which they walk and it is more important to reinforce this principle then reinforcing a way of life without the fear of God guiding it.