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THE SECRET OF HAPPINESS

secret-of-happiness-jesus-picture1
Psalm 1 is the Psalter in a nutshell

Though I am a bit uncomfortable using artists’ renditions of Jesus, for I know that no one can capture Him, I’m using this one to turn the light on about something extremely important about Psalm 1, which is the psalter in a nutshell. It tells us the secret of happiness lies in how we treat and respond to the law, or the Word. But does this just mean the commands of God? Psalm 119, the longest psalm, could be called an expanded version of Psalm 1. Here the psalmist seems to be worshiping God’s law. “I lift up my hands to thy Word.” Is he worshiping the Bible? No. If you look deeply, you will see that the Word is Jesus. The law is Jesus. The Bible, in essence, is Jesus. When we immerse ourselves in His Word, when we choose to walk in the light of His way, we are walking with Him, we are keeping the way pure between ourselves and Him, we are sinking our roots down — not into our circumstances, but into God Himself. And this is the secret of happiness in the sweet times and in the wilderness times.

If you pursue happiness, you will get neither righteousness nor happiness. But if you pursue righteousness, as Psalm 1 shows us how to do, you will get happiness thrown in.

I am so thankful for each woman participating on this blog. You bring your unique styles and strengths — and I see you helping one another through modeling, caring, and contemplating. Some of you are better at truly reading the questions and answering them, and I long to see each of you endeavor to do that with this week’s lesson. I love you and am praying for each of you as you contemplate and respond. Psalm 1 is so familiar it is easy to miss its blessing — so slow down, ask the Lord for a fresh vision, and when you see, respond in obedience. You will experience a deep happiness. The word “blessed” implies the deepest happiness — a joy despite circumstances, a satisfaction in being loved, and a fulfillment in finding meaning. That happens when you understand and respond to Jesus — so there is nothing between you and Him. Can you imagine, for example, what would happen to your soul today if when you are tempted to lie or gossip or be lazy you instead chose to put your roots deep into Jesus? Can you even imagine the joy that would begin to slowly well up in you, filling you to overflowing?

Each day, read psalm 1, asking the Lord to give you fresh insight. Each day, if you have it, listen to this psalm on the worship CD with A Woman of Worship.

1. Read Psalm 1 as an overview. Using your right brain, picture the contrasting images of a tree planted by the water, and the chaff, or the tumbling tumbleweed blowing in the wind. They contrast two ways of life.

A. Though some might see the chaff as being “freer” than the tree, what is miserable about being chaff?

B.  Meditate on the image of the tree planted by the living water. Why would this person be able to experience life and joy even in when the circumstances of life are dry and difficult?

C. Find a translation or paraphrase of Psalm 1:3-4 that brings these two pictures alive for you. Type it out here and describe why it ministers to you.

2. Listen, if you have it, to the musical rendition of Psalm 1 on the worship CD.  What insight does this calypso beat and rendition give you? (If you don’t have this, might you have another rendition to recommend?)

3. Meditate on Psalm 1:1-2.

A. Who is the person who is blessed, or the person who experiences the deepest happiness? What does he not do? What does he do?

B. What are some ways you could delight in the Word better, could contemplate better, could sink your roots down deeper?

3. It is one thing to know in our hearts what is right and quite another to respond to it. I know God hates lies and deceptions, yet I am still tempted to make myself look better to someone with an exaggeration or deception. I also know God wants me to enjoy food, but in moderation. Yet I am still tempted to eat past being satisfied. The idols of my heart in those situations are approval and comfort. Is that who I want as my gods? If I choose them, I will be as miserable as the chaff. But if instead, I choose to allow Jesus to usurp those deceptive gods, I may feel a momentary loss, but then I will feel joy welling up. Let’s share our daily successes and failures here, pray for each other, and sink our roots deep into Him. (This is a question you can answer every day if you choose.)

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44 comments

  1. 1. A tree has roots and leaves to nourish it so it can grow. Chaff and tumbleweed do not grow therefore need no water. They have no roots so they end up wherever the wind blows them. Chaff does not even hold together but is scattered by the wind. Both are dead and ugly. I have never seen either made into something beautiful. A tree is alive and green. It is beautiful, providing shade, blossoms and fruit in its season. The roots of a tree hold it in the ground and actually hold the ground together preventing erosion. It also provides oxygen to the air.
    Life as a tree is a blessing to the world around it in more ways than I even know. If I want to be green and growing I must feed my roots with the word, not only reading but studying, letting it sink into my soul and change me. Jesus is the vine and I must stay connected to Him. If not I become dead, useless and ugly like chaff and tumbleweed.

    a. Chaff may appear to be free but does not hold together and is blown about with the wind. It has no control over where it goes and I don’t think that is freedom at all.

    b. In dry weather trees remain green because their roots reach down to underground supplies of water. Jesus becomes our source when life above ground is dry. Those without roots cannot survive.

    c. The Amplified Bible gives meaning to some of the phrases which is helpful but I think I prefer my Holman or NKJ versions because I like simplicity.

    He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf shall not wither and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
    This is the Amplified: And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. Not so the wicked [those disobedient and living without God are not so]. But they are like the chaff [worthless, dead, without substance] which the wind drives away.

  2. A. Though some might see the chaff as being “freer” than the tree, what is miserable about being chaff?

    Chaff has no home and no roots. It is blown about by the wind and moves from place to place without anything permanent in life.

    B. Meditate on the image of the tree planted by the living water. Why would this person be able to experience life and joy even in when the circumstances of life are dry and difficult?

    When a person is like the tree, they are rooted in place, no matter what comes their way. They can stand even when they are sure that it is impossible in their natural ability. Even when things are dry, true joy comes from within – dwelling within the shelter of the Lord.

    3. Meditate on Psalm 1:1-2.

    A. Who is the person who is blessed, or the person who experiences the deepest happiness? What does he not do? What does he do?

    The blessed person delights in God’s word and meditates on it constantly. Because of this deep knowledge of God, the blessed person does not identify themselves with sinners, mockers and the wicked. I see the phrases used in verse 1 (walking in the counsel, standing in way and sitting in the seat) as ways to identify with the wicked. If you walk with someone, stand in their way and sit in their seats, you are one of them and you share their values. Instead, the person who follows God walks, sits and stands with those who also follow God. And this requires knowledge and value of the Word of God.

    B. What are some ways you could delight in the Word better, could contemplate better, could sink your roots down deeper?

    First and foremost I must take the time to spend with God. In this time I can meditate on how wonderful He is, just take in His presence and know Him more deeply. It takes prioritization and making a conscious effort to put Him first. I can acknowledge Him even in ways that feel small and trivial – bring all of me and all of my day before Him.

  3. “If you look deeply, you will see that the Word is Jesus. The law is Jesus. The Bible, in essence, is Jesus. When we immerse ourselves in His Word, when we choose to walk in the light of His way, we are walking with Him, we are keeping the way pure between ourselves and Him, we are sinking our roots down — not into our circumstances, but into God Himself. And this is the secret of happiness in the sweet times and in the wilderness times.”

    This hit me right between the eyes and landed somewhere deep in my heart, Dee. I want my roots to go deep, deep, deep this summer, “no into circumstances, but into God Himself”.

    Thanks, Dee, and everybody for helping me do that. Thank you, God, for this study.

    1. Oh, I forgot, I wanted to put in a plug for the book. So glad I bought it. I LOVE the CD and the song for this week, set to calypso music, is really fun.

      Also, I love that “Shout to the Lord” has a Spanish portion. One of the women in my summer group (we’re doing this study)has been intimidated about learning Spanish this summer at our local junior college, but she feels called by the Lord to learn it. She posted the song with the Spanish verse as her theme song for the week on FB, and I taught them all (there’s 4 of us) to sing it in sign language. And, as Theresa gets better at her Spanish, she’ll teach us to sing the Spanish portion, too. So, it’s handy that the words to the song are written in the book, including the Spanish words.

      Love also, about the book, how it rounds out what Dee says each week, and there’s lots of good quotes, etc, etc.

      Anyway, there’s my plug. GET THE BOOK!!! Gloris 🙂

      p.s. Dee didn’t pay me to say that.
      p.s.s. if Dee wants to, she knows where to reach me. (jk)

  4. A. Though some might see the chaff as being “freer” than the tree, what is miserable about being chaff?
    Chaff is dry. It’s not connected to anything bearing life. It’s not part of a living organism. It’s free, but dead because it has no roots to receive water.

    B. Meditate on the image of the tree planted by the living water. Why would this person be able to experience life and joy even in when the circumstances of life are dry and difficult?
    Perhaps because he/she knows “the living water”. He/She has experienced where her life comes from and believes. She depends on the living water to nourish her, to sustain her, even in the storms and high winds.

    I will allow this to sink in and try to return a little later. (wooosh)
    Thanks again for this.

  5. A. Though some might see the chaff as being “freer” than the tree, what is miserable about being chaff?

    The chaff is totally dependent on the wind, it can’t move if the wind is not blowing. I personally associate wind with storms and stirring things up. To me the chaff moving only when in storm or while things are stirred up might even be suggesting these are crisis’ (or life’s storms) that allow the ‘free’ chaff to even know how to move. Anyone that needs to be in transition or crisis to be able to lean into God probably can’t see Him or His ways as a comforting source, but one that only stirs up more trials.

    B. Meditate on the image of the tree planted by the living water. Why would this person be able to experience life and joy even in when the circumstances of life are dry and difficult?

    If I see life as a tree, then I would have the experiences of knowing that storms and wind sometimes do come along. Tress don’t move even when the storms threaten to take them out, but they learn to bend and sway with the pressures that the storm brings. The only time they don’t make it through a storm, is when they are unable to bend enough to avoid being broken. Any tree that has been alive for very long, would have experience on its side to know that even the worst storms eventually pass. Some branches or parts might be damaged, but time will allow the tree to heal itself.

    I believe that as a tree, planted near water there couldn’t be a more ideal place to be stuck and unable to move away from. The water is always close enough that it can be drawn upon from the roots. It would give the tree strength to heal after a storm, and provide nutrients so that it could continue to grow bigger. The water would provide everything the tree needed, regardless of the season or the storms that the tree might currently be facing.

    C. Find a translation or paraphrase of Psalm 1:3-4 that brings these two pictures alive for you. Type it out here and describe why it ministers to you.

    I couldn’t quite break this apart to answer separately, but in looking through different translations is where my heart began to click about the difference between being a tree and being chaff.

  6. 1.A. Chaff is miserable because it has absolutely no purpose in life. It goes the way the wind carries and ends up being stepped on- crushed into the ground by a foot unaware of its presence.

    B I am excited by this question because Tammy in Hebrew means ‘Palm Tree’. In the desert, palm trees are located at oasis’ and are a testimony to endurance in the desert. In my own life situation I was able to withstand the heat because God taught me to praise His name. After I learned how to properly praise, He began teaching me how to pray using the Psalms. I know I’ve come full circle because now I am in a place where I praise and pray. My circumstances are not my ideal but I know God has placed me here. I got a new perspective on my circumstances this morning after reading today’s devotion in Streams in the Desert. “God is not raining rain on you-He is raining blessings. He is growing spiritual flowers for others to pick. (last line my paraphrase).
    So to sum it up, I experience life and joy because GOD IS WITH ME!!!

  7. C. Find a translation or paraphrase of Psalm 1:3-4 that brings these two pictures alive for you. Type it out here and describe why it ministers to you.

    (Contemporary English Version)
    3. They are like trees growing beside a stream, trees that produce fruit in season
    and always have leaves. Those people succeed in everything they do. 4. That isn’t true of those who are evil, because they are like straw blown by the wind.

    This translation ministered to me because verse 3 made me think about how we “people” are like trees, living off of the same water. I understand that whomever chooses to live beside the stream will surely live. He that does not, will die.

  8. Caught the program 15 minutes in. Heard you, Dee, speaking about Jesus being our eternal husband. You stated God yearns to hear my voice and that means much to me because abuse takes away one’s voice. When I was growing up my step-father would not let allow conversation at the dinner table. At school I would get in trouble for talking too much. I still struggle with staying quiet. Today I realized my eternal husband has been gently waiting for me to accept his husband love. I’ve had a hard time grasping the fact that Jesus loves me for me. Mentally I know that but it has taken time for his love to reach my heart. I think I had to learn that I can really trust Jesus as my husband. It was Michael Card’s song that opened my eyes to this truth.

    1.C. Psalm 1:3-4 The Message

    You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
    bearing fresh fruit every month
    Never dropping a leaf,
    always in blossom.
    You’re not at all like the wicked,
    who are mere windblown dust.

    This translation ministers to me because it gives me a picture of my future. I’ll never be out of God’s presence.
    I’ve been pondering the word replanted. Before you replant a tree, you have to uproot it from its original location. God uprooted me from my self-sufficiency and replanted me into total dependence upon Him. As I follow and live out God’s commands, I will live a meaningful and productive life. The day God replanted me, I was a trunk with cut off branches. Two years later, I see new life growing out of my tree. New branches have emerged with new leaves. There are signs of fruit.

    1. Tammy you make me think of the place I stayed this past week. It had a porch on the back that was completely private with a forest behind a semicircular retaining wall. I called it my cathedral. The tallest of the trees had been cut off at some point and grown back out. The tallest was a poplar that was perfectly straight for about 3 stories and then it had leaves and branches. The wind would blow it mercilessly and it could really sway back and forth. I thought it must be the strongest tree there because I think I learned somewhere that trees grow stronger if they a forced to bend frequently. Cut off, wind blown and replanted to a better place all for our strengthening.

  9. 3a. The happy person is the one who does not follow the advice of the wicked, walk in the path of sinners or join in with mockers. This can seem not to be true in this present age. When I do not join in with wicked mockers at work I quickly find myself hated and persecuted. Not following the advice of the wicked can lead to failure and loss. For this reason I think we must look for deeper meaning to the words blessed and happiness.

    The person who is happy and blessed delights in the law and meditates on it day and night.

    3b. What are some ways you could delight in the Word better, could contemplate better, could sink your roots down deeper?

    To meditate day and night on the word would require memorization I think.

    I read of an ancient method of meditation called divine reading. This method requires reading through a passage 3 times. This first time you read through, you let it wash over you never straining to ‘solve the puzzle’ and ‘listening with the ears of your heart’. Then spend some quiet time thinking over what you remember from the passage. The second time, as you read you ask the Holy Spirit to speak directly to your heart through some phrase or word in the text. Then spend some time savoring this word as a precious gift. Do not strain to decipher it but receive it as a gift. On the final read through move slowly and when you come to the special verse, pause and listen to it with a heart of thanksgiving. Allow yourself to rest in the given-ness of God’s word to you. This method is more about connecting with God and less about straining to achieve understanding of the text. That ended up being almost word for word from A Sacred Sorrow by Michael Card pg 113.

    When I began my recent time alone with the Lord I contemplated and asked Him to show me what is my greatest need. I began to see that I really need to get my eyes off of myself. If I can allow God to do this I will have victory over many of my problems and failures. But when it comes to taking what seems to be a step in that direction, I am fearful. It is a fear I do not understand and can’t even figure out what I am afraid of. I share this in answer to the 4th question and would really appreciate prayer in this area.

  10. #1. Read Psalm 1 as an overview. Using your right brain, picture the contrasting images of a tree planted by the water, and the chaff, or the tumbling tumbleweed blowing in the wind. They contrast two ways of life.

    Using my “right brain”, and as I read through Psalm 1, I replaced, in verse 2, every use of the word “the law” with Jesus:

    But his delight is in Jesus,
    And on Jesus he meditates day and night.

    (I was thinking about Dee’s post which says that in essence, the Word, the Bible, is Jesus, and we worship Him, not the Bible…)

    Then, in verse 3, I envision “streams of water” to be Jesus, Who is the Living Water; thinking of when Jesus said that a man will have in him a well of water springing up to eternal life (see John 4:14).

    So, this man or woman, who is like a tree planted by streams of water, the “planted by” means to me we are “planted by” Jesus, because our faith is a gift from God, and then, we continue to be fed and nourished by the Source of Living Water, who is Jesus!

    So here is this beautiful, vibrant, alive tree, with its roots deep into the ground (putting your roots down into Christ), drawing its life from the water, and its leaves remain supple and fresh (we don’t have to get old and dried up – God can keep us fresh and give us a purpose to the very end of our lives!), and it bears fruit.

    The chaff just blows about, dry and rattling; to me it pictures aloneness; no roots to anchor it.

    A. Though some might see the chaff as being freer than the tree, what is miserable about being chaff?

    It is useless, it gets blown here and there. It has no anchor, no place to call home. No one goes to chaff for rest and shelter, which the tree provides. Again, the chaff pictures a life cut off from God, a very lonely and bleak life.

    B. Meditate on the image of the tree planted by the living water. Why would this person be able to experience life and joy even when the circumstances of life are dry and difficult?

    This cross-reference is in my Bible for reference to streams of water:

    Jeremiah 17:8

    For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
    that extends its roots by a stream
    and will not fear when the heat comes
    But its leaves will be green,
    and it will not be anxious in a year of drought
    Nor cease to yield fruit.

    It’s those roots, extended deep down into that secret part of our life that is hidden with Christ which is where we draw our sustenance from; that keeps us going even when there is “drought” all round us, when, if we didn’t have Jesus, we would be anxious and fearful. I don’t know a whole lot about how root systems work, but perhaps they are able to also store up some water for the times when there isn’t much rain.

    That idea of “extending” roots by a stream; we are planted by streams of water (Psalm 1), but I think our part must also be to “extend” our roots into that stream of life giving water, who is Jesus, by spending time with Him and being in the Word and abiding in Him. And we can “store-up” water by memorizing Scripture to help us in difficult times and to remind ourselves of the promises of God.

  11. This is reminding me of the study we did through The God of All Comfort, and the many passages we looked at in the Psalms which contained water images.

  12. Susan’s post reminds me of what I recently read about the root system of redwoods. They are the tallest trees in the world and one thinks they would have a deep root system. The truth is redwoods have a shallow root system. They intertwine with each other and this gives the trees the ability to stand in fierce conditions. I see the redwoods as a picture of this community of believers. We are intertwined with each other through Christ and when one of us cries out another intercedes. When one experiences blessing another rejoices.

    2. The calypso rendition of Ps 1 causes me to think of the recent release of the movie Pilgrim’s Progress: Journey to Heaven. It’s a modern adaptation of Bunyan’s allegory. If I were to make a video of this particular renditon of Ps 1, I would use scenes from this movie. I got my copy at cbd.com.
    The calypso music as a whole seems to me to express a carefree life. I thought of Peter’s word’s-“Cast your cares (anxiety) on him [Jesus] because he cares for you”. As a Christian I can live a carefree life. I don’t have to worry about anything.

    I consider my current success to be the fact I am consistently meeting with Jesus. I am finding that if I don’t intentionally meet with him first thing the rest of my day is off because I fail to get my strength for the day. I struggle with an attitude of intellectual superiority. I have a tendency to look down on those who aren’t as knowledgeable in Scripture as I am and I set myself up for negative, critical low thinking of others. When those thoughts come I know they are not from God and I am not dwelling on them as much as I use to. Another area of failure is my tendency to express my opinion of others. In reality, I am expressing irritation with those whose choices get under my skin. In other words, I can’t control them. I know I should not do these things. My words should build up not tear down.
    God is teaching me that I am not a know it all for He has his ways of keeping me humble. I do appreciate having a community where I can share my struggles with sin.

      1. Dee I give this version a 10. I haven’t seen any other versions to compare it to. It’s set in modern day and the story flows well. Modern technology gives the story fresh perspective.

  13. Hello Ladies – Summer gives me a bit more time and I’d love to participate

    A. Though some might see the chaff as being “freer” than the tree, what is miserable about being chaff?

    I think chaff is free for awhile, sin can tend to feel like that for a season… but the wondering and blowing to and fro with no purpose becomes tiring, frustrating and almost painful.

    B. Meditate on the image of the tree planted by the living water. Why would this person be able to experience life and joy even in when the circumstances of life are dry and difficult?

    I think the key here is “where’ the tree is planted. ‘By the rivers of water’ near the eternal water of the Lord – that is where the real refreshing is. Sometimes we try to plant our tree in different spots thinking we will find refreshing there… near spouses, family, friends, even church… but the real refreshing the real water which will help us bear fruit is the Lord Himself – that is where our tree should be planted and then fruit will bear in all of our other areas!

    C. Find a translation or paraphrase of Psalm 1:3-4 that brings these two pictures alive for you. Type it out here and describe why it ministers to you.

    I chose The Message (I’m normally more of a NKJV girl) but this spoke to me today!

    2-3 Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
    you chew on Scripture day and night.

    ( I love the words thrill and chew !)

    You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
    bearing fresh fruit every month,
    Never dropping a leaf,
    always in blossom.

    (I’m a tree planted in the Garden of the Lord!)

    4-5 You’re not at all like the wicked,
    who are mere windblown dust—
    Without defense in court,
    unfit company for innocent people.

    (It’s good to know that I’m not like the wicked, even though a sinner I’m one who has defense, Jesus!)

    1. Welcome Devonne. Thanks for sharing. Love the thought about chewing on scripture day and night.

  14. I had a thought about all this we are studying. No matter how hard the wind blows & bends (our suffering) our trees of life that the Lords gives us, if our roots are planted deeply & securely in the word with Jesus we can withstand anything. He refreshes us daily with his word like the stream does the trees. And like Tammy said we are stronger when we stand & intertwine together. Chaff is miserable because it has nothing to cling to & depend upon and in a drought constantly where we have fresh clean cool water from God.

  15. I am still thinking about meditating on the Word day and night. When I was answering question 2b it did not occur to me that the best way to meditate on scripture is to listen to scripture put to music. Not only is that a great way to memorize, it also helps me to ‘chew on it’ all day.

  16. Here is a wonderful thought. If Jesus is the Word and the Word is Jesus, then when I behold the Word, I behold Him! When I meditate day and night I am drawing near to Him.

  17. Thanks for the Welcome Anne!

    Part II

    3. Meditate on Psalm 1:1-2.

    A. Who is the person who is blessed, or the person who experiences the deepest happiness? What does he not do? What does he do?

    It seems we are always seeking councel and it can be so easy to try and listen to everyone’s opinion… and everyone has one! The question is who opinions will we listen to… those of God or the ungoldly? For we know when we listen to God’s thoughts and opinions we will be blessed! Oh Lord remind us to listen to You and only You!

    B. What are some ways you could delight in the Word better, could contemplate better, could sink your roots down deeper?

    For me I think it is slowing down… I tend to think I need to read allot rather than savor little bits.

    3. It is one thing to know in our hearts what is right and quite another to respond to it. I know God hates lies and deceptions, yet I am still tempted to make myself look better to someone with an exaggeration or deception. I also know God wants me to enjoy food, but in moderation. Yet I am still tempted to eat past being satisfied. The idols of my heart in those situations are approval and comfort. Is that who I want as my gods? If I choose them, I will be as miserable as the chaff. But if instead, I choose to allow Jesus to usurp those deceptive gods, I may feel a momentary loss, but then I will feel joy welling up. Let’s share our daily successes and failures here, pray for each other, and sink our roots deep into Him. (This is a question you can answer every day if you choose.)

    Failures — oh boy I have sooo many! The Lord has been teaching me lately to look at people with His eyes and them simply love them – not judge them. I’ve been volunteering at a Christian Coffee House on Friday nights – the mission there – Love People with the love of Christ …what a great training ground it has been for me.

    A young mom was in a few weeks a go and she was surely rough around the edges. Her little girl spilled her soda in the play area and she needed help cleaning it up. My first thoughts (failure part)”What a mess” “Look at her – she doesn’t look like a very good mother” … the thoughts went on and on.

    The Lord spoke to my heart “Serve her” as I did under great conviction — I wiped up the mess, sat and talked with her and her little girl – I saw her, really saw her – a young woman trying to make it – trying to do something nice for her daughter – a young mom trying to find a place to fit in – where does she fit? – in the hands of Jesus – I pray I can be a part of leading her there!

    Change my heart Lord!

    1. And He did! Thank you Lord! How wonderful it is to see people through Your eyes. Praying for her.

    1. Congratulations all around!

  18. Oh Dee that is so wonderful! Congradulations Grandma! I know she is beautiful because Sally is! She is a precious glorious gift from God! Thank you Lord!

  19. Dee that is so wonderful. At some point I know you shared how Sally has waited on the Lord. Oh thank you Lord. I don’t know what to say. So I will pray.

    Lord thank you so much for this precious, long awaited gift. May she be fully enjoyed by all who love her. Plenty of rest and minimal distractions for her parents and grandparents. May Your blessing and protection be over every moment of her life. Grow her into a woman of beauty that You have created her to be.
    Amen

  20. I am so happy to hear about Sally’s little girl! How exciting for everyone. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Praise God!!!

  21. CONGRATULATIONS GRANDMA DEE AND MAMA SALLY!!! It is wonderful to hear of God’s faithfulness. Give the new one a kiss from me. What a wonderful Father’s Day gift for your son-in-love.

    3.A. The person who experiences the deepest happiness is the person who, not only meditates on the law, but, obeys what the law tells him to do. He obeys the greatest commandment-“Love God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your strength, and with all your soul”. (Mk 12:30) The person who loves God with every fiber of his being will then obey the second greatest commandment-“Love your neighbor as you do yourself”.(Mk 12:31) The person who obeys these commandments is committed to living a life that is pleasing to his Lord. He yearns to bring honor to the kingdom of God. Such a person of honor is not like the wicked in any way. The wicked are not concerned with God. They live life seeking to only please self. Even when God has shown them mercy by healing sickness, instead of expressing gratitude, they complain. The wicked know they should follow the ways of God, yet they defiantly tell God-“I’m never going to obey you”.

    B. What are some of the ways I can delight in the Word better, contemplate better, and sink my roots in deeper?

    The first word that comes to mind is intentional. I need to daily read God’s Word and spend time in prayer if I am to grow more in love with Jesus. I’ve been reading Warren Wiersbe’s ‘5o People Every Christian Should Know: Learning From Spiritual Giants Of The Faith’. Every one of these saints shared the same secret: To know God better you must spend time alone with God.
    I recently had the opportunity to view on the NRB channel a CrossTv Word Picture program ‘The True Christian’s Love For the Unseen Christ”. This program IS based upon Thomas Vincent’s book by the same name. I just have to share a portion of what I gleaned concerning meditation.

    Four Things to do in Meditation
    1. Be sure to try to put yourself in the time and place of the passage that you are reading. In other words STOP…CONSIDER…reflect on …EXACTLY what is happening, and what it would have been like to be there right at the time, when the events being described in the passage were actually occurring.
    2. Be sure and ask ‘What is the PRIMARY, MORAL MESSAGE of the passage I’m reading right now?’ Because, (if you miss that), you have missed the point of the passage!
    3. Then also ask ‘What does the moral message and the information being expressed, have to do with me, personally?’ For example, Do I struggle with the particular sin mentioned? If so, what is the solution? If not, what other lesson can I take from this passage, and apply to my life today?
    4. And finally…Be sure to ask: ‘What does this passage teach me specfically about Christ?’ Jesus said in John 5:39 “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me”.
    If want to love Christ more must see Christ in Scripture read.

    I must set my mind upon Christ if I am going to sink my roots deeper into Him. The following is a quote from Thomas Vincent’s book ‘The True Christians Love For the Unseen Christ’.

    “Be much in contemplation of Christ! Consider often what motives there are to love Him! And then press those motives upon your spirits, and labor to awaken and rouse up your hearts unto the vigorous exercise of this love.
    Spend time in secret retirement, and there think, and think again, of the superlatives excellencies and perfections which are in Christ’s person! How wonderful and matchless His love is, what heights that cannot be reached. What depths in it that cannot be fathomed. What other dimensions which cannot be comprehended. Meditate often on His benefits, how incomparable His tokens of love to us are, and while
    you are looking, you may feel your hearts leaping! While you are taking a view of Him before you are aware, your hearts, like the chariots of Aminadab, may run unto Him.
    O the ravishments of love! The transports of soul which some believers have found in their retired thoughts and views of Christ! Get often into the mount of divine contemplation and there look upwards unto Heaven and think with yourselves.

    “O dear Jesus, how lovely art thou in thyself! The darling of heaven! The delight of the Father! The admiration of angels! O what brightness of glory, what shining luster art thou arrayed with! Thou art clothed with most excellent majesty and honor! Thou art girded with infinite might and power! The beauty of thy face is most wonderful! The smiles of thy countenance are most sweet and delightful! And does this lovely fair one, this fairest of ten thousand, this most excellent and altogether lovely person bear a particular love to me? To such a vile worm as me? To such a dead dog as me? To such an undeserving, hell-deserving sinner as me?! O what marvelous kindness is this! What infinite riches of free grace! Does He know me by name? Has He given Himself for me, and given Himself to me, and shall not I give Him my heart?
    Am I written in His book, redeemed with His blood, clothed with His righteousness, beautiful with His image? Has He put the dignity of a child of God upon me, and prepared a place in the Father’s house for me? O wonderful! O admirable! what shall I render? What returns shall I make? Such retired contemplations of Christ, and soliloquies, and pleadings with your own souls, when alone by yourselves, will tend exceedingly to the promotion of your love unto Christ.”

    On a personal note, I know I need to decrease the number of worldly distractions that are in my life. I need to be ruthless with my flesh. I like what Spurgeon had to say about this:
    “It is a sad reality: The object which we should make the monarch of our hearts, is the very thing we are most inclined to forget!…Do you not find yourselves forgetful of Jesus? Some creature steals away from your heart, then (as a result) you are unmindful of Him whom your affection ought to set…It is the incessant round of world, world, world, the constant din of earth, earth, earth, that takes away the soul from Christ. [Spurgeon Vol. 1 Sermon 2 pg 14-15]

    1. That is the battle isn’t it? We wrestle not with flesh and blood…but not forever, praise the Lord.

  22. Congratulations Dee!

    Nothing in the world like a new baby! Enjoy her! 🙂

  23. As I am still working on memorizing Psalm 1 (I have such a hard time with memorization these days) I noticed that not only is the chaff not rooted but the verse says that it is driven AWAY. The tree is rooted by the irrigation canal but the chaff driven away from the Living Water. That would explain why the wicked seem so blind to their own plight and to the things of God. That would be a very good way to pray for the lost.

  24. Lord I awoke this morning with the words you shall be a tree planted by living water flowing through my mind. I want to be faithful to your truth. Keep me thirsty for your word. Give me strength to stay away from the distractions of the world. I want to keep your word flowing in my mind. I want my thoughts concentrated on you. I don’t want to forget you now that my life is heading for brighter days.
    Thank you for releasing me from the prison of sin. After my release, you moved into your palace of grace. Such marvelous grace. For the rest of my days I get to enjoy your presence. In the name of my Redeemer.

  25. Keep me, my Lord, as a tree planted by living waters.
    Let my futile grasping roots find rest in the cool soil,
    remind me that I am not chaff; I am not blown away from You.

    My soul is thirsty, Jesus, more so than I could ever expect.
    Draw my nourishment deep from the presence of Your glorious heart,
    may I not quench my drought with false refreshment;
    only the richness, the life, the forgiveness of You.

    Let my leaves be supple in every storm,
    allow me to always turn my face to Your light.
    Hold me securely even in the darkest hours,
    still strengthened by Your precious water.
    May every breeze that cools me be of You.

    In Christ’s Name,
    Amen.

  26. “Can you imagine, for example, what would happen to your soul today if when you are tempted to lie or gossip or be lazy you instead chose to put your roots deep into Jesus? Can you even imagine the joy that would begin to slowly well up in you, filling you to overflowing?”

    Oh, Father, thank you for the reminder, through Dee, to sink our roots deep into you.

    Thank you for all the truth and wisdom in Psalm 1.

    Thank you for all the women who comment here, and for Dee. May we all be blessed. May we choose carefully whose counsel we listen to, whether in person, or on the TV, or in movies, or books.

    In all these ways may we not stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

    Oh, may we not delight in wickedness, but in You, Jesus. May we fix our eyes on You. (Hebrews 12:2)

    May we be like trees planted by streams of water, who yield fruit in season, and have unwitherable leaves. May our ability to love those around us not wither even if we’re treated coldly. May our love be heat and cold resistent. 🙂

    Oh, may all we do for You prosper. May you give us the power to accomplish all the good things our faith prompts us to do (1 Thessalonians 1:11)

    May we not to live like chaff, blowing around aimlessly in our lives, but may we live strong lives with deep roots. Teach us to number our days that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12)

    Thank you for watching over us. You never slumber or sleep. (Psalm 121:4)

    In Jesus’ powerful name above all names, Amen!

  27. Can I take part of your article to my blog? Many thanks,
    to you!