Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Tag: praise

There & Back Again: not quite yet

by ryan

We’re interrupting our road trip recounting because our hearts are heavy.

Would you please pray for justice & peace in Syria?

Would you please pray for peace in Lebanon and in the nation-state of Israel?

This world is full of pain & sorrow, and yet in the midst of it all we can be surprised by Joy Himself.  Grace.  And in that moment God draws us closer to himself.  As the Syrian civil war has been raging, I have often been convicted about my priorities.  So often I am self-focused and running about because of things that don’t really matter much.

All of this reminds me of a conversation a group of us had this week with Brian Doerksen and Dorothy M. Peters.  Many of the Hebrew songs in the Bible come out of a state of anguish or lament (Psalms 3,5,6,7,10, 137 to list a few), yet we do not often sing these songs (ever listen to “Christian” radio?).   Often the Psalms are an intertwining of praise & faith in the midst of pain, or praise because God has delivered (Psalm 30 for example).  Let us learn from the psalmists, singing new songs to God in confident trust not hiding our tears or fears, knowing he is the Sovereign One.  Even in our pain & mourning.  His mercies are new each morning (Lamentations).  And his faithfulness?  Psalm 36.

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a bit on Truth

by ryan

I don’t recommend reading Ralph Waldo Emerson; there are better people to read out there.  But I do like some of his lines:

Thee, dear friend, a brother soothes,

Not with flatteries, but truths,

Which tarnish not, but purify

To light which dims the morning’s eye.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mister Emerson here reminds me of a couple proverbs of King Solomon:

Better is open rebuke

than hidden love.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend;

profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Being nice and polite are not wrong in and of themselves, but they are never grounds for obscuring the truth.  I am not saying here we should forget about being nice and polite.  Rather, there is a more important virtue: love.  Nearly two thousand years ago Paul of Tarsus wrote a letter in which he exhorts followers of Jesus to “speak the truth in love.”  In a later letter he writes:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

What is true?  What is worthy of praise?  I know only who is True and who is Worthy of Praise.  I sing with David and many others:

Bless YHWH, O my soul,

and all that is within me,

bless his holy name!

—-

Note all quotes in this post are actually translations, except the one by Mister Emerson.  The ones from the Bible in this post keep with the wording of what is often called the English Standard, except where I keep the transliteration of the Hebrew name of God in Psalm 103 instead of trying to find an English word.