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New Year thoughts

I am putting off writing my next book review post until I have gathered my thoughts about how I intend to spend my time in 2021. So I am procrastinating already!

Many bloggers are looking back over the past year and forward to the next. It can be a useful exercise. On the More than Writers blog, to which I have been a regular contributor for a few years, there was a post about #myoneword.

I chose a word for 2016 and another for 2017. Since then I have not picked a word, but have aimed to use my time productively. (Is spending time on social media productive?)

This year I have been wondering about picking a word again. Listen was a contender. It occurs in the Bible hundreds of times, a good example being in Proverbs 1:5

I prefer Focus, which could include attentive listening and an element of mindfulness. I tend to be thinking about other things, when I am doing routine tasks. It is not particularly healthy. Sometimes it leads to not remembering what I have done or not done! I also have a bad habit of reading, writing or doing puzzles while the news is on the radio. I can knit (easy things) or colour pictures from a beautiful book (Images of Joy by Jacqui Grace) and listen at the same time.

In the hall of residence of my student days a small Christian Union group used to begin every meeting by singing the chorus, Turn your eyes upon Jesus. That is one way of focussing.

Looking back at how my life has changed over recent years is easier with my hand-written journal and my blog. Occasionally I notice that someone has viewed a blog post I had completely forgotten about. I read it myself and find that my life has moved on in some way from that point. For example, I used to update my journal every few days, trying to remember what had happened. Now I write about the previous day as part of my quiet time every morning. It is easier to remember from one day to the next. I had intended to make this more of a spiritual practice, but I find it very difficult to write my feelings down.

Perhaps that is something I should focus on. It isn’t that I am unable to do it, as I found out in a journaling workshop led by Tracy Williamson and Marilyn Baker on Zoom in September.

My regular readers will know that words fascinate me. My three words (2016, 2017 and 2021)  have a progression of shared letters – ReST – TRuST; TrUSt – FocUS.

Have you chosen a word to help keep you on track in 2021?

Whether or not, Happy New Year!

#PsalmTweets Weeks 16 and 17

Here is the next post in the #PsalmTweets challenge. I discovered that I had forgotten to include a photo in my Tweet for Psalm 118. Perhaps I was too busy adding the hashtag #Advent! Anyhow it is included here.

Ps. 107: Thanks and praise to the Lord, whose steadfast love endures for ever. A reminder of his dealings with people for better or worse. #psalmtweets @JustCardsDirect

Psalm 107 from JustCardsDirect

Psalm 107 from JustCardsDirect

Ps. 108: David declares his faithfulness to God.He speaks of God’s dealings with the tribes of Israel. He feels that God has forsaken his armies, but will help them against their enemies.

Ps. 109: David ‘poor and needy’ prays against his enemies. He praises God his Saviour.

Ps. 110: David wrote this prophetic psalm, which New Testament writers quote with reference to Jesus Christ. #psalmtweets

Ps. 111: an acrostic psalm (in Hebrew) praising God for his deeds, his nature and his precepts. #psalmtweets

Ps. 112: Another acrostic psalm (in Hebrew) Praise precedes a list of blessings for individuals who are in awe of God and delight to obey his commands. Contrast with the futility if a wicked life

Ps. 113: A psalm of praise to the soveriegn God, who raises the poor and needy to sit with princes and gives children to the barren woman ( only sometimes from what I have seen)

Ps. 114: A psalm remembering God’s signs involving water during Israel’s journey from Egypt. The red Sea, the River Jordan and water from a rock. #PsalmTweets #GodWithUs

Ps. 115: Non nobis Domine. The glory is to God for his love and faithfulness. Comparison between ungodly actions and people who trust in the Lord. A list of reasons to praise God. #PsalmTweets #GodWithUs

Ps. 116: A psalm of love and thanks to God for healing and salvation. The response – a life of prayer, obedience, sacrifice and praise with all God’s people.

Ps. 117: Only 2 verses exhorting all the nations to praise the Lord, because of his great love and faithfulness. Hallelu Yah!

Psalm 118 from Images of Grace

Psalm 118 from Images of Grace

Ps. 118: His love endures forever. Imagery: Gates of righteousness, capstone/cornerstone. Phrases: the day the Lord has made, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Rejoice! #PsalmTweets #Advent

Ps. 119: A psalm with an 8 verse section for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The theme is living according to God’s commandments.

Ps. 120: The psalmist is upset about the deceitfulness and warlike nature of the people around him. He calls to God for salvation and predicts punishment.

#Psalmtweets weeks 14 and 15

Apologies for two similar consecutive posts. If you are looking for something lighter, please pop over to Sue’s Words and Pictures.

Continuing the series on #Psalmtweets we reached a section of the book of psalms including much praise and thanksgiving.

Ps. 93: A psalm praising God for his majesty, strength, power in creation and might. God and his statutes are firm, holy and everlasting.

Ps. 94: A psalm about God’s vengeance, comparing evildoers with those, who are taught by God. An expression of faith in God, who consoles and gives joy to the anxious.

Ps. 95: The Venite – traditionally sung at morning prayer – a hymn of praise to God – and a warning, used less in church. #PsalmTweets

Ps. 96: A wonderful song of praise to God. Tell everyone about his sovereignty and judgment. He will judge in righteousness and truth.

Ps. 97: A psalm of faith and praise with advice – those who love the Lord must hate evil, rejoice and praise God’s holy name.

Ps. 98: Sing, shout, make music, resound, clap for joy. There is nothing timid about this psalm of praise to the Lord of salvation and judgment.

Ps. 99: A reminder of God’s sovereignty and past dealings with individuals. He spoke to Moses, Aaron and Samuel and they obeyed him. A call to worship the holy and forgiving God.

Ps.100: The Jubilate – a psalm of praise and thanksgiving, acknowledging that God created us and we belong to Him. His love and faithfulness last: past, present and future

Psalm 100 from Images of Grace

Psalm 100 from Images of Grace

Ps. 101 David makes promises to God about how he will live and how he will deal with people, shunning evildoers and surrounding himself with faithful people.

Ps. 102: A suffering psalmist calls to God about his condition. He then remembers God’s sovereignty, prays for restoration and predicts a continuing line of people praising God for his steadfastness and compassion.

Ps. 103: Beginning by telling his soul to praises God the psalmist lists reasons to praise Him. He ends by calling on angels and the heavenly host, God’s servants, who do His will and his own soul again to join in praise to the compassionate creator.

Ps. 104: A psalm of praise to God for His wisdom in creating and sustaining the earth and all creatures on land and sea.

Ps. 105: A psalm of thanks and praise to God, reviewing his dealings with people from Abraham to Moses. #psalmtweets @JustCardsDirect

Picture from Just Cards Direct

Picture from Just Cards Direct

Ps. 106: A psalm of praise to God, who is faithful in spite of his people’s serial wrong-doing. Looking at history in the light of God and giving praise.

One thing I have noticed during this challenge is that the Psalmist tells himself and others to praise God. ‘Hallelu Yah’ is translated as ‘Praise the Lord’ at least in the New International Version (NIV). The Authorised (King James) version also uses the imperative form of the verb: ‘Praise ye the Lord.’

Only Psalms 101 and 103 are ascribed to David. It looks as though the prolific writer anonymous was responsible for the others!