#PsalmTweets: the last 16 tweets

This is my final post in the #PsalmTweets project, which began with Psalm 1 on Sunday 27 August and ended with Psalm 150 on Tuesday 23 January. (I say ended, but @PsalterMark is continuing hopefully with a new group of #PsalmTweeters.)

Rather than have two weeks of Tweets here and a final post with only two tweets and perhaps some thoughts about the challenge as a whole, I am doing the final round-up here. Scroll to the bottom of this post for my reflections on the project, if you are not interested in the Tweets!

Ps. 135: A psalm of praise to God for who He is, what He does and has done. A call to those, who are in awe of God to praise Him. #PsalmTweets

Ps. 136: A psalm of thanks to God for what He is, what He does and his love, Refrain: His love endures forever.

Ps. 137: An unhappy, homesick psalm from exile in Babylon – unable to sing and wishing for vengeance.

Ps. 138: David promises to praise God whole-heartedly. He desires that all the kings of the earth would do likewise. He reflects on God’s omniscience and love.

Ps. 139: A favourite psalm. David speaks of God’s knowledge of him/us, his presence, foreknowledge, protection, creation. David is honest and open before God

Ps. 140. David prays for deliverance from evil men. He asks God to avenge. He ends with a declaration of faith in a just God. The righteous will praise God and live in his presence.

Ps. 141: David prays about his relationship with God, that God would keep him from sinning by word or deed. He prays against evildoers, fixes his eyes on the sovereign Lord and asks for protection.

Ps. 142: David’s prayer when pusued by King Saul. He was hiding in a cave. Men were against him, but God was his refuge.

Ps. 143: An urgent prayer of David, pursued by an enemy, wishing to know God’s guidance and will, asking for rescue from trouble and for his enemies to be silenced.

Ps. 144: David praises God, who trains him for war. This is a difficult psalm in the context of “Love your enemies”. David sees deliverance by God as the key to prosperity and peace in the land.

Ps. 145: Headed “A psalm of praise. Of David” this one does what it says! 4 sections begin with statements about God’s character.

Ps. 146: A psalm of praise to God. Comparison between trusting in mortals and in the sovereign Lord of creation, salvation, healing, love and protection, who rules for ever.

Ps. 147: A psalm of praise to the God of Israel (thought to be exclusive) for his works in the life of the nation, creation, sustaining the earth. Poetry about the weather. Sing praises to God!

Israel is another name for Jacob. Christians believe that they are included as sons/daughters of the patriarchs as well as being children of God.

Ps. 148: “Praise the Lord, ye heavens adore him” is a hymn inspired by this psalm. Let all creation praise the creator.

Ps. 149: A song of praise to God, who is creator and King. Prayer about vengeance against other nations is difficult in the light of other scriptures.

Ps. 150: A wonderful psalm of praise to end with. Praise God in his sanctuary, for his acts of power. Use every sort of musical instrument, dance! All living things, praise the Lord!

Having the goal of Tweeting about each Psalm has helped me focus and analyse the construction. I have noticed details in some of the psalms, which I had glossed over previously. The differences between the outlook of the Psalmists and that of Jesus Christ struck me quite forcibly, especially in some of these later psalms included in this post.

I am taking a break from reading a Psalm a day and reading some of the New Testament on a regular basis, alongside the study materials I use. (Mentioned in my What I read in December post.)

The Psalms have much to teach us, but they have to be read in the context of the Bible as a whole. For example, Israel is another name for Jacob. Christians believe that they are included as sons/daughters of the patriarchs as well as being children of God. Psalm 147 uses Israel as the name of a nation.

I am thankful for the other Psalm Tweeters, who have encouraged me by likes or retweets and to my readers here.

Having accidentally discovered how to set up a poll on Twitter, I asked my followers there to vote on the subject of my future Tweets. A small majority of a small number of voters were in favour of tweets about the Gospel of Matthew. I am not qualified to exam-level in theology, but I ran the idea past the vicar, who encouraged me to go ahead with it. I am not setting myself daily targets as with the Psalm Tweets, which was a community project.

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Change of plan

After a rehearsal with the village orchestra (in which I occasionally play the recorder – treble in this instance) I met a church warden, who also works with the children.  She had no help to make all the Christingles for the service the next day.  Everyone had sent their apologies! It was only mid-morning so I offered to stay along with a dad, his son and a group of older children, who all play in the orchestra.

In previous years the rehearsal and the Christingle-making have taken place at the same time.  This year the orchestra rehearsed at an earlier time.  So it was my first time helping with the Christingles.  The youngsters were spiking soft sweets and grapes onto cocktail sticks.  The adults were preparing the oranges with red sticky tape around the “equator”, a white candle in the top and adding four loaded cocktail sticks to each orange at the “four points of the compass”.  The sticky tape represented the love of God and the blood of Christ.

When the supply of loaded sticks was depleted the adults joined the children doing that task. “Soft sweets” had been donated. These included marshmallows, coke bottles, dolly mixtures and other sweets. They had to be put on the cocktal sticks, three per stick to represent the fruits of the earth and the four seasons. I only impaled one “Golden Bear”.  I decided to stab it in the back!  I commented on it and the children told me where they had stabbed their bears.  One boy had stabbed a bear in the eye, which led to a discussion of an event in British history. One of the girls explained in some detail about the Battle of Hastings and how the Norman archers had been able to shoot King Harold in the eye.

I found a photo (or two) on my phone of the Lego reconstruction of the Battle of Hastings, which I had seen at Rheged in the summer, to show to some of the people.

I stayed and helped with the clearing up, which included washing some plates.

Some time after I arrived home I noticed something red and sticky on my ring finger.

Can you tell what it is from the photo?

Something red and sticky

Something red and sticky

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Writing Day and some new directions

Last October I attended a Writers’ Day for the first time since I was a student. I mentioned it briefly here.

Another post tells the story of how I felt after a whole weekend in the company of writers.

I recently made a trip to visit relatives and attend the Writers’ Day in London.  One of the speakers was Amy Boucher Pye, who has written Bible Reading notes for New Daylight, which I have been using almost continuously since its inception.  (I have tried other notes as well.)

The other speaker was Andrew Chamberlain of the Creative Writer’s Toolbelt.

It was good to see some familiar faces and to meet some new people.  I found the talks interesting and learned some things about my writing habits in the workshop led by Amy.  The standard of the pieces which participants read out was very high.  I felt like a beginner in their company.

It was also good to hear a presentation from Sophie Neville about the Bible Society.  She was so enthusiastic that if I were happy to drive myself around, I’d be volunteering at once.  (I think I have got over my fear of public speaking.)

I bought some books, which I have read and intend to review in my next post.

I had to leave early to catch a train home, so missed the discussion at the end.

So what are the changes of direction?

My original blog, Sue’s considered trifles, has not had any new material on it for some considerable time.  However, due (I think) to the way WordPress links a user name to the first blog, it is still attracting new followers.  I signed up for a poetry course from WordPress and decided to post my efforts on Sue’s considered trifles, rather than interrupt my weekly posts here.

I also found myself lured into Goodreads.  I was attracted by a giveaway of a sequel to one of the books I bought.

I find the autumn challenging, with the shorter days and lots of pressures on my time.  Hopefully I will be able to find a balance between writing on- and off-line and life in general.  Social media also need to be kept within reasonable limits.