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I think of Steve often during each day, but this time of year others kindly tell me their

memories of him, for it was when the leaves turned golden in October that Steve went to be with the Lord. Three dear friends who knew him well came to Wisconsin to be with me. Jill, a nurse who worked with Steve said, “Even when my office was at the other end of the clinic, I could hear his laugh echoing through the halls daily. There was a the joy that constantly bubbled up in him and overflowed to everyone.”

Steve enjoyed God, that I know.

Steve in the school in Thailand that our daughter Beth attended — shortly before we adopted her.

Though Steve has gone to be with the Lord, his legacy lives on through the many he touched. He inspired me and I wrote so much about him in The God of All Comfort. I recently was encouraged to hear that this book was being used with some of the grieving families who lost children at Sandy Hook, who have, in my mind, almost unimaginable pain. It is the powerful  truths of God that are giving them hope, truths that Steve embraced, making him the joyful man he was. As the bride is described in The Song of Songs, enjoying the beauty and love of her Lord, so did Steve. His life was a well-watered garden that bore fruit, fruit of love, peace, and JOY.

What was Steve’s secret?  It was a secret Hudson Taylor knew, and learned from his mentor, George Mueller.

I think it will surprise you.

Here is a picture of George Mueller, who founded so many caring orphanages in the 1800’s. The reason people look so stern in photographs before 1900 is because they had to hold their pose for ten minutes. Yet even in George Mueller’s photograph, I see the hint of a smile. That same irrepressible smile that was in my husband Steve.



What was the secret?

Here it is, from Mueller himself:

The first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day, to have MY SOUL HAPPY IN THE LORD. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. 

Isn’t that amazing? Nothing about service, just about getting “my soul happy in the Lord.” I do believe, that in today’s English that would translate to the concept of “joy.” From that habit came great fruit, including the caring of thousands of children, loving them well.

Clothed, fed, loved, and raised in the nurture of the Lord.

My daughter Anne said, “Every night I would hear Dad in his den (which was above her bedroom) singing with all his heart to the Lord. I liked it.”

When we abide, we become like a well-watered garden, bearing fruit that blesses everyone around us.

You may be thinking, So you are saying the secret is a quiet time? That’s it?

As Tim Keller would say: “Yes. And no.” There are quiet times that feed our idols, there are quiet times that do not connect our souls with the Lord, and there are quiet times in which we experience the presence and beauty of God. Those are the quiet times that carry us through the day. Today, sadly, Christianity has become so much about truth and so little about enjoying God. The Song of Songs can help us.

So this week, each day, I am going to guide you, with Mueller’s help, into getting your soul happy in the Lord. Then our souls will be like well-watered gardens.


Kathy Clark www.fineartamerica.com


1. What stood out to you from the above and why?


Music can prepare a heart — listen to a song that helps you — or perhaps this one from last week:


Read this one page guideline from George Mueller: Link

2. Summarize how Mueller went about making his soul happy in the Lord each morning.

3. Comment on beginning with Scripture rather than prayer, allowing Scripture to lead you into prayer. (Keller does this as well.)

4. Now do this with just one verse. Here is the challenge. Meditate on Song of Songs 4:7 and come up with at least five observations. Some questions that might help you look: (Is there a promise to be believed — a command to be obeyed? Where else does this truth occur in this book — in Scripture? What phrases stand out? Why?)

5. Respond to the above verse in prayer: praise, confession, petition.


There must be some Christians who have infiltrated NBC morning news, for on their “faith Fridays” they have already interviewed Tim Keller and Tullian Tchividijian. Last week Tullian spoke some very “foreign” thoughts on grace, comparing it to a roller coaster ride — both scary and enthralling, for we have no control. They kept asking him what we do to get it! He kept repeating,that’s it, we can’t do anything. We can plead for it — but it is up to God. We have no control. It’s like a roller coaster ride, so  just enjoy it. You will have ups and downs, but the One who is in control knows what He is doing and loves you more than anyone on earth ever could.


This is a great nine minute interview with Tullian: Link

6. Comment on the above.

7. Meditate on verse 8. Mueller would slow down, contemplating phrases, using cross-references. Today we can google things to help us understand better. For example, when I googled the peak of Hermon I discovered what a dangerous place it is even today…

    A. Meditate – do research – what do you learn?

    B. Is there a passage that has similar thoughts?

George Mueller was a mentor to Hudson Taylor. Both men founded mighty missions that had the unusual characteristic of not asking for funds, but praying and trusting God to provide. Hudson Taylor wrote only one book, and it was on The Song of Songs, and is called “Intimacy with Jesus.” He faced enormous dangers in founding China’s Inland Mission. He writes on the above verse: “What fear is there in the lion’s den when the Lion of Judah is with us? ‘I will fear no evil, for you are with me!’”

C. Respond to verse 8 in prayer: praise, confession, petition.


Sing or listen to a praise song to warm your heart. Here is one a silent blogger suggested:



Read aloud Song of Songs 4:9-12

8. Meditate on these two names he calls her (he calls us!) My sister, my bride. Share your thoughts.

9. Describe what her love (your love!) means to him in verses 9-10.

10.  There was a moment in one of Mike Reeve’s teachings when he was commenting on verse 10 and said “Just this morning I was reading ‘You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.’” (Psalm 4:3) I sensed vicariously his joy, his understanding, his soul being made happy in the Lord. When you compare these two passages, what do you see? 

11. Describe the fruit of her well-watered garden as describes in verses 11-15. Take your time.


Our own Anne found this. I know little about the author, but I feel she has caught the heart of The Song of Songs, and this is well worth meditating on. Watch it and comment. Then you may want to watch it again, stopping to meditate, to write comments, to look at verses. It is so rich.

12. Comment on the above.


13. Have you been able to enjoy the Lord this week? If so, share.

14. What is your take-a-way?

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  1. 6. Comment on the above.
    This is what stood out to me in the interview:
    It takes and act of God to make Grace acceptable to us.  We are naturally adverse to Grace because Grace wrestles control out of our hands. We like Law because it tells us there is something we can do, but we don’t like Grace because it tells us there is nothing we can do.
    We don’t really realize how small and weak and frail and incapable we are-we think we are far more capable than we really are. We like to think we are bigger than we are. We need to cry out to God and ask for His mercy-His Grace.
    He is God, and we are not. 
    Need I say more? Other than by His Grace I will grow in this..This was excellent! 🙂
    This reminded me of the Hymn-Come thou fount of every blessing:
    Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
    Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
    Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
    Call for songs of loudest praise.
    Teach me some melodious sonnet,
    Sung by flaming tongues above.
    Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
    Mount of Thy redeeming love.

    Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
    Till released from flesh and sin,
    Yet from what I do inherit,
    Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
    Here I raise my Ebenezer;
    Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
    And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
    Safely to arrive at home.

    Jesus sought me when a stranger,
    Wandering from the fold of God;
    He, to rescue me from danger,
    Interposed His precious blood;
    How His kindness yet pursues me
    Mortal tongue can never tell,
    Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
    I cannot proclaim it well.

    O to grace how great a debtor
    Daily I’m constrained to be!
    Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
    Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
    Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
    Prone to leave the God I love;
    Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
    Seal it for Thy courts above.

    O that day when freed from sinning,
    I shall see Thy lovely face;
    Clothed then in blood washed linen
    How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
    Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
    Take my ransomed soul away;
    Send thine angels now to carry
    Me to realms of endless day.

  2. 7. Meditate on verse 8. Mueller would slow down, contemplating phrases, using cross-references. Today we can google things to help us understand better. For example, when I googled the peak of Hermon I discovered what a dangerous place it is even today…

    v. 8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride;come with me from Lebanon.Departfn from the peak of Amana,from the peak of Senir and Hermon,from the dens of lions,from the mountains of leopards.

        A. Meditate – do research – what do you learn?
    Quotes from Matthew Henry on Song of Solomon 4:8

    so this is Christ’s call to his spouse to come off from the world, all its products, all its pleasures, to sit loose to all the delights of sense. All those must do so that would come with Christ; they must take their affections off from all present things
    On the tops of these mountains there are many dangerous temptations to those who would take up their residence in them; and therefore come with me from them; let us not set our hearts upon the things of this world

    1. Diane, these Matthew Henry quotes are very helpful…I had wondered, since Mt. Hermon was a place where Baal was worshipped, that she was being called away from her idols.

  3. 7.  Meditate on verse 8.
    A. Meditate – do research – what do you learn?
    “Come with Me” from Lebanon…twice He asks Her to come from Lebanon…to come with Him
    “from Lebanon”…”where lions have their dens and leopards live”…Lebanon is a dangerous, hostile area; He desires for her to come away with Him from danger.
    “with Me”…under His protection
    “My bride”…possessive; His spouse…His special one.  There are only two in a marital relationship…there are only me and the Lord in our relationship.
    “come down”…(very personally conveyed to me this morning) am I on my “high horse” related to expectation and judgment?…He says to me, come down.  Come down from the pedestal of comparison…from judgment…from assignment of hierarchies of importance, honor, respect.

    B. Is there a passage that has similar thoughts?  As mentioned below, Psalm 23:4 seems to fit with the text well.
    Question…are any of you Kari Jobe fans?  Check out “My Beloved”…it is a wonderful mix of SoS and Psalm 23.  YouTube has a variety of visuals associated with the song…enjoy!

  4. 7. Meditate on verse 8. Mueller would slow down, contemplating phrases, using cross-references. Today we can google things to help us understand better. For example, when I googled the peak of Hermon I discovered what a dangerous place it is even today…
        A. Meditate – do research – what do you learn?
    I learned that Mount Hermon and Mount Senir are one and the same (Senir being a name the Amorites gave it).  There are other names for it as well, some that are translated “Mountain of snow.”  I also learned that there were at least 20 different ancient temples from a variety of religions built in that area.  It was and may still be a dangerous area due to prowling leopards and lions and other wild beasts.   So the Lover is saying to the maiden, “let me take you away from the dangerous area you were used to living in, and take you to the safety of my palace. 
        B. Is there a passage that has similar thoughts? 
    There was the mention of the bride hiding in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside.   (SOS 2:14)   
    Also in the first part of this week’s study, Dee has already made reference to a statement which I identified as being  from the 23rd Psalm:  “I will fear no evil, for you are with me!”   
    A third thought comes to me (is it too remote?)  John 14:2-4 : “In my Father’s house are many rooms…I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And…I will come back and take you to be with me….” 

    C. Respond to verse 8 in prayer: praise, confession, petition.

    Dear Lord, thank you for your great compassion and love for me.  Thank you for inviting me to go with you.  Please forgive me for seeming reluctant or fearful, afraid to get out of my usual routine.   Please hold tight to my hand, do not allow me to turn and run.  Keep me ever close, I pray, and allow me to find my comfort in You alone.   Amen. 

    1. Deanna,
      I LOVE the reference to John 14 — Jesus coming back to get us again.
      My aunt died a week or two ago, and she kept asking for this passage to be read to her.

  5. 8. Meditate on these two names he calls her (he calls us!) My sister, my bride. Share your thoughts.
    “My sister, my bride” at first seem like they don’t go together, as if they are meant to address two separate women.   However, in biblical times and even in some parts of the Middle East today, “sister” is a term of endearment, not limited to one’s sibling.   Also there is the thought that it could mean “having the same Father,” as we are all “children of God.”    
    9. Describe what her love (your love!) means to him in verses 9-10.
    It means more than anything else to Him  Even just a glance encourages Him — He loves it when we look His way!   One of the gems in the bride’s necklace sparkles in the light and catches His eye.  It is mesmerizing.   He prefers our love for Him over the finest wine. Our scent is more enjoyable than any other scent in the world.  Our love for Him is the nicest thing that can happen for Him. 

  6. I’m still pondering 4:8, “Come.”  I quickly scanned all of SoS, and I don’t see that he ever tells her WHERE they are going.  I often don’t mind being clueless about where I am going because I like exploring.  But I am more hesitant to trust if someone else would ask me to “come” without telling me where we’re going.  The bride needs to trust her beloved.

    Yesterday, I told someone that my spiritual “center of gravity” is shifting ever so slightly.  I’ve experienced some distress when I see others appearing to quickly reach their goals when I feel as if I am wandering.  I have begun to feel more peaceful again in not knowing where I am going because I trust the One I am following. 

    Right now, decisions feel a little easier, even though circumstances remain the same.  Rather than trying to figure out how a zillion factors work together, my question about decisions is “Jesus?” if yes, the answer is yes.  If “no,” no.  Although I still can get swept up in the moment and say “yes” to too much, I am beginning to look to Him more automatically.

    Something else that struck me (about me) from v. 8 is the caves.  I like to think that my caves, the clefts in the rocks, are safe places. Not only are the mountains dangerous, but the caves in which I seek to find refuge are dangerous.  I go through spurts in which I prefer to be an isolated cave-dweller; those caves in which I sometimes seek refuge are shared with dangerous wild animals.  NOT SO SAFE — and sometimes, even when that’s obvious to me, I cling to “my” cave.  In contrast, I am SO safe when I go with the One who LOVES ME SO MUCH.  I am following, even though I don’t know where He is leading me.  And I’m getting excited about it!  I know that many circumstances haven’t changed, and I will get frustrated again — but something has changed.  I’ve thought about this the past couple of days (especially the chorus, because it describes me right now):

    Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there;O’er us sin no more hath dominion—For more than conqu’rors we are!

    His Word shall not fail you—He promised;Believe Him, and all will be well:Then go to a world that is dying,His perfect salvation to tell!

    O soul, are you weary and troubled?No light in the darkness you see?There’s light for a look at the Savior,And life more abundant and free!

    Refrain:Turn your eyes upon Jesus,Look full in His wonderful face,And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,In the light of His glory and grace.

    1. How did I get the verses pasted backwards???  Came back to review the words and saw this!

    2. I can understand your affinity for caves, Renee.  

       I like to think that my caves, the clefts in the rocks, are safe places. Not only are the mountains dangerous, but the caves in which I seek to find refuge are dangerous.  I go through spurts in which I prefer to be an isolated cave-dweller; those caves in which I sometimes seek refuge are shared with dangerous wild animals.  NOT SO SAFE — and sometimes, even when that’s obvious to me, I cling to “my” cave.

      I too often feel the urge to hide. But yes, those caves are dangerous. God wants us free. Going to the caves, instead of going to God, is trusting in our idols to save us. I will need to ponder your metaphor more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      1. I did find v. 8 interesting.  A “den of lions” may not be the safest hiding place…maybe not too intelligent for me to stay in those clefts in the rocks 🙂 Made me realize that I haven’t been too smart about hiding vs trusting.  In comparison to seeking refuge in a den of lions, trusting the One who loves me most is pretty low risk!

    3. For the last couple of days, I have been pondering and praying the verse Dee posted at the beginning of this post. The Lord has drawn me to this verse as I think about what it means to be happy in the Lord.

      “The joy of the Lord is my strength”, Nehemiah 8:10

      Finally, I decided to do some research on it to discover its meaning. When I looked up the words on Blue Letter Bible (online), guess what I discovered in the Interlinear for the Hebrew meaning of “strength” (see link):

      place or means of safety, protection, refuge, stronghold
      place of safety, fastness, harbour, stronghold
      refuge (of God) (fig.)
      human protection (fig.)

      So this means if we leave our caves, which are dangerous anyway, the Lord himself will be our protection, refuge, and place of safety. The Lord’s joy is our cave! Isn’t that cool?!

      1. Diane this really spoke to me this morning–thank you! I’ve always loved that verse.  One of my favorite songs-when I was in middle school, was Twila Paris’ “The Joy of the Lord is my Strength”. On the 3 hour drive to the hospital when my dad died, I remember I couldn’t pray, but I belted that song over and over. LOVE the wisdom you’ve found–His joy, our cave!

      2. Love this, Diane…I did not know that “strength” could actually mean a PLACE of safety, refuge. It’s like God never leaves us subjected to the cruel elements without a means of shelter and protection. Very cool, indeed!

      3. A strong tower, a fortress when we are weak,The Rock of Ages cleft for us,Thanks Diane, it is very cool!

    4. ” I have begun to feel more peaceful again in not knowing where I am going because I trust the One I am following. “I love this Renee, and I liked that the song verses were backward, I love this hymn, it always seems to come to mind when I am really struggling. Reading it the way you posted it gave the words a fresh start in my mind.

  7. 6. Comment on the above. I now know how to properly pronounce Tullian Tchividijian! I think… Seriously though, I am not sure how well those present understood grace and what he meant to explain to them, the wisdom of God is foolishness to those who are perishing, but they did seem to understand how far ‘the church‘ is from embracing grace.  The one guy seemed to swallow really hard when Tullian was talking about how small, weak, and incapable we are. That it is a gift of God when we are humbled and desparate enough to know how much we need grace. It was cool to hear him talk about the humility of his famous grandfather, that was neat.

  8. 7. Meditate on verse 8.
    A. Meditate – do research – what do you learn?
    Approaching this “fresh” again, this morning. “Come with me…” seems a tender invitation. I reflected how he doesn’t say, “Come on…let’s get out of here!” These words, “Come with me…” are soothing and not meant to frighten her. This verse tells us where she is and what she is to come away from, but not where she is going. He does not want her there. There are dangers – lions’ dens, leopards…these things can kill. She does not belong there. Her safety lies in him; he will take her to a place of safety. Did she not see the hidden dangers all around her?
    B. Is there a passage that has similar thoughts?
    In Songs 2:14, she is in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, and he wants her to show herself. I also thought about the dangerous descent as he asks her to “descend” from this high place. I found this in Psalm 94:18, “When I said, “My foot is slipping, Your love, O Lord, supported me.” He will bring her safely down.
    C. Respond to verse 8 in prayer: praise, confession, petition.
    Lord, I don’t really understand this verse, but You have called her “all beautiful…My darling…there is no flaw in you”. Whatever this place is, or represents, she doesn’t belong there. It is a lonely, dangerous place. I think of how I may feel as if I’m on the mountaintop, depending on what I have or what’s going on in my life – often my own inflated self-confidence of being self-sufficient and in control. But You come, my heavenly Pursuer. My eyes are closed to the hidden dangers all around…the lions’ dens and the haunts of leopards, Maybe I am on that “peak”, sacrificing to my idols, not seeing that they will devour me like the lion. May You give me the grace to respond to You, when You ask me to come with You, away from such places. Help me to love and trust You more.

  9. 6. Comment on the above. Nobody does anything to DESERVE anything, let alone grace. Also – His grace is inexhaustible! It will never run out, there is no “share” because it is endless. God’s love comes OUR way, without our merit, no one deserves it. His love is outrageous! I love what he said about “we resist law because law tells us what to do…but we resist grace anymore because there is nothing we can do.” I agree that we do not live in a Christian nation. We may be by theory or tradition but not in application. There is a deep long for something beyond. “We are exhausted people” and then the interviewer asked “what can we do?” Come to terms with how small and incapable we are, this is a key!
    7. Meditate on verse 8.
    A. Meditate, do research, what did you find? He is asking her to come away from danger and accompany Him. These are all things that would devour her (as my idols do me), or be of great trauma (the summit, the crest of) and she would not survive or at least not survive as a resemblance of the same person. We underestimate how much sin changes us. How much our bondage to things of this world are a threat to our well being. We cannot survive without major rehabilitation, He is intervening, preventing the hardship of trauma and of a long recovery.
    B. Is there a passage that has similar thoughts? Ezekiel 34:11 speaks of rescue, and I think of some of the sheep on the mountain top. “11. For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.”
    C. Respond to verse 8 in prayer: praise, confession, petition. God, catch me. Free me. Let me worship the creator and not the created. Forgive me my trespasses, my adultery, refine my heart to be genuine. I turn to You as my only. Let me become so enthralled with Your love and intimacy that my being would crave it, that my being would not be “happy” until it was aligned with You, until it heard Your voice everyday. Again, “thank you” is what floods my soul, heart and mind. You are so good, and so good to me. To rescue me before I realized my danger, to call me before I had desire to be called. Thank you.

    1. Love your Ezekiel verse Jill, and your thoughts on how sin changes us, thankful for our Rescuer! 

  10. I tried and tried to post my answers from Monday’s questions and they never did take. i am glad my answers for Tuesday did.

  11. 8” Come with me from Lebanon, my bride; come with me from Lebanon.”

    Christ wants me to follow Him, to let His affection for me be more appealing to me than anything else, I am joined with Him, He has given me a name, I can and should walk with Him
    “Depart from the peak of Amana,
    from the peak of Senir and Hermon,
    from the dens of lions,
    from the mountains of leopards.”
    While these mountains have pleasant things to offer they are also dangerous, filled with things that can trap and harm. I need to lift my sights off of earthly things, keep putting to death my flesh, which craves comfort and security, realizing my true security is in Christ, these earthly comforts are gifts from Him and not my gods.   My belonging, my sense of who I am, where I am going comes from Christ, I can trust His loving leadership even when it costs my comfort, I can trust Him.
    Will I listen when He calls me away from temptations to follow Him? I thought about the Unity candle often used in wedding ceremonies, that the couple lights a candle to symbolize their unity but does not blow out the candle that symbolizes them as an individual. This displays our cultures regard for individualism and independance, I want to blow my candle out, to be completely taken up into my identity in Christ, to stop trying to be independent. It is foolishness to ever think I am, why would I reject all that is offered me, even foe a moment. 

  12. Is there a passage that has similar thoughts?

    Jeremiah 2:2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord, “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.
    Matthew 16:24
     Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
    Matthew 25
    25 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps[a] and went to meet the bridegroom.[b]Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
    Hebrews 3:15
    Amplified Bible (AMP)
    15 Then while it is [still] called Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion [in the desert, when the people provoked and irritated and embittered God against them].

    1. Chris-Love these passages, especially Jeremiah 2:2..well, all of them!

  13. Trying something different with Monday’s questions, since I have yet been able to get them to post….

    2. Summarize how George Mueller went about making his soul happy in the Lord each morning? He fed his soul first. He listened to God first, he repented in response and made himself in the right mind sight to do life God’s way. Void of self (as much as is possible). This reminds me of Tim Keller’s sermon: Removing Idols of the Heart where he says deeper repentance leads to deeper joy, and repentance is not just for the hard times, indeed it should be a regular part of the Christian’s “heart cycle”.
    3. Comment on beginning with Scripture rather than prayer, allowing Scripture to lead you into prayer. It is right to let God speak first. And to allow His word to stir our hearts to response (prayer). I have always love the Lighthouse song Everything – “And how can I stand here and not be moved by You?” I find myself callous by choice sometimes, but to approach through the open door of scripture is somehow less intimidating, perhaps because I then am reminded (looking in the mirror) how much I need this intimacy with the All Powerful God. And how much He desires it, too, desires me.
    4. Now do this with just one verse: Song of Songs 4:7  come up with at least 5 observations.
    1.”You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you” – there is intimacy here, resting in arms, snug, close, intimate, suspended time where you are aware of just how special this is…Kairos time.
    2.”darling” – the desirous affection still makes me blush. The balance of desired sinner is difficult for me.
    3. “my” – praise be, my heart is led to confession, immediately, Lord, may I please you as “yours”.
    4. “altogether beautiful, no flaw in you” – what He created as beautiful,perfect, I marred with sin, self, then the blood of Christ washed me new and now He see me, covered in the blood of the Lamb.
    5.”are” – not salvation or worth by works, but present tense, I am beautiful to Him, now. Right now….the truth of it to my soul is like oil to water, trying to agitate it to mix well and dissolve, until I realize I need to do nothing and I rest in His arms and then the truth of it is like the bright sun on a brisk cold day, lovely.
    5. Respond to the above verse in prayer: praise, repentance, praise. Father God, Thank you. Those words always seem so inadequate, but its all I have and it is what floods my mind when I approach you. Thank you. Help me understand, help me open, I am Yours. You are all I need. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, to do Your work, to bless you, to speak of Your name, to be effective for Your kingdom. I know I do not need to work for Your love, but your kindness inspires me to serve…and to repent, Lord, don’t give up on me as I learn and fail, and learn. Father, cover me, embrace me, lead me. Amen.

  14. Respond to verse 8 in prayer: praise, confession, petition. Oh God how foolish it is and how much time I have spent mistrusting your great love, I have loved my dangerous den, preferring to be proud, cold, and alone. Thank you for opening my eyes, for continuing to pursue me, for gently calling me, for never leaving or forsaking me. Thank you for making my into a recipient of grace.  Grant wisdom to me when I am preferring the dangers of sin to being in step with you. Show me how to trust you more, to believe that you will provide all that I need. Tune my ears to your voice, teach me to recognize and hate the lies of the enemy.

    Thank you for the very great hope of the marriage feast.
    In Jesus name amen.

  15. 10.  There was a moment in one of Mike Reeve’s teachings when he was commenting on verse 10 and said “Just this morning I was reading ‘You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.’” (Psalm 4:3) I sensed vicariously his joy, his understanding, his soul being made happy in the Lord. When you compare these two passages, what do you see?    
    How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!  How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!  SOS 4:10
    Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for  himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him.  Psalm 4:3
    SOS 4:10 is telling of Christ’s great all-encompassing love for us.   Psalms 4:3 is saying that the Lord has set the godly aside for Himself — He is giving us his exclusive attention, and He will always respond when we call on Him.   
    11. Describe the fruit of her well-watered garden as describes in verses 11-15. Take your time.
    Perhaps the “garden” refers back to “the garden of Eden.” It was supposedly a perfect place before sin entered in.  Or it may refer to a future “paradise” — once again a place of perfection.
    However, assuming that the well-watered garden is the church (or at least the souls of the faithful) , which is protected from the world outside by some means to keep it free from corruption and dilution, then all of the fruits and spices mentioned would refer to the faith and the products of faith that are presented by the church and its people.  There is such a variety of fruits and spices mentioned, and the church also has a variety of gifts and talents — sometimes more than the church even realizes!  
    A side note:  The pomegranate must have had some religious connotation because the hems of the priests were adorned with images of pomegranates. 
    Verse 15 says “You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water, streaming down from Lebanon.”   If the church (or believers)  have the Holy Spirit within, then much fruit will be produced.  A fountain bubbles up and sprays into the air, and the Spirit flows from each believer.   

  16. 8. Meditate on these two names he calls her (he calls us!) My sister, my bride. Share your thoughts.
    When I first read the words “sister” and “bride” together, I didn’t think much about it because the whole passage sounded loving, endearing.  But when I started to analyze, uh… in this culture, it sounds kind of incestuous.
    9. Describe what her love (your love!) means to him in verses 9-10.  Wow!  He cherishes my love.  He cherishes ME.  I almost skipped this section because I’m behind (again).  Glad I didn’t!
    10.  There was a moment in one of Mike Reeve’s teachings when he was commenting on verse 10 and said “Just this morning I was reading ‘You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.’” (Psalm 4:3) I sensed vicariously his joy, his understanding, his soul being made happy in the Lord. When you compare these two passages, what do you see?
    My soul is made happy in the Lord from the SoS passage more than from Psalm 4:3.  In many ways, the passages are similar, but the SoS passage seems more feminine to me — or at least it soaks in more easily for me.  You’d think that the grain would have resonated more with this farm girl!

  17. 8. Meditate on these two names he calls her (he calls us!) My sister, my bride. Share your thoughts.
    “My sister, my bride” is repeated three times in verses 9-12…so must be significant. My thoughts are that your sister is a blood relative-there is a familial bond (even if two sisters are not close in relationship, you can’t alter the fact that you are sisters-family). She is like a sister to him, too…he feels such a close bond with her, like a family tie. It also stirs feelings of brotherly protection for his sister-bride. It sounds like a term of endearment (Deanna said in her post that in the Middle Eastern culture, it is that) and just makes me sense that there is a special friendship between these two lovers – even a playful side to it – it makes me think of sisters whispering secrets together and giggling (I love the scene in Pride and Prejudice where Lizzy and Jane are whispering underneath the tent they’ve made from their bed covers-sharing secrets and giggling).
    And then…he calls her “my bride”…this takes the intimacy to a much deeper level. Though sisters may part when they get married, moving away from each other, he will be united with her for a lifetime.
    9. Describe what her love (your love!) means to him in verses 9-10.
    He says “You have stolen my heart…” this is exhilarating, head-over-heels in love…and he said all it took was one glance of her eyes. The fact that it was a “glance”, not her looking steadily into his eyes suggests a shyness in her, but he must have seen the love in her eyes for him. He admires the jewels of her necklace. He says that her love is better than wine, and the fragrance of her perfume is better than that of any spice. So her love means more to him than any earthly delight or pleasure-it fills him in a way that no food or wine can, nor any exotic fragrance.
    He is definitely wooing her with these words. I imagine that Heaven is full of so many wonderful things that I can’t even imagine – things to delight the senses; yet Jesus left all of that behind because to win our love meant more to Him than anything else.

  18. 10. There was a moment in one of Mike Reeve’s teachings when he was commenting on verse 10 and said “Just this morning I was reading ‘You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.'” (Psalm 4:3) I sensed vicariously his joy, his understanding, his soul being made happy in the Lord. When you compare these two passages, what do you see?
    If Song of Songs 4:10 can be thought of as the Lord, our Bridegroom, declaring His love for us, then Psalm 4:7 is a response to that love. When I reflect on it, David does not say, “My heart is filled with greater joy…” but he says, “YOU have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.” In this I see God as the initiator; it is HE who has filled David’s heart with joy. I think of David’s great table being laden with all the finest and choicest of foods and wine, and he says “that is nothing compared to You, Lord”. I know the joy that sitting down to a delicious meal gives me…do I have that kind of anticipation when I sit down to meet with Him, to read His Word?
    Reeve’s said in one of his messages that we must first look to His love (let me hear about Christ) to stir our own affections for Him. It seems that reflecting on His love for me, reading verses that tell  me of that love, will result in having my heart filled with joy by Him and returning His affections.

  19. 8. Meditate on these two names he calls her (he calls us!). My sister, my bride. Share your thoughts. At first I always see the “incest”. But with pondering I am reminded that I often use “sister” for those in my life that I hold dear. Those that I trust and hold close to be friends. It is a term of endearment and it is also a term indicative of “permission.” Someone that you have allowed in your life to have relationship. I have never had a biological sister, and I am not close to the women that I am related to in marriage, so the only comparison I have is sisters in Christ, friends that I hold dear. I also liked Susan’s observation that there is an undeniable blood line. Even if you didn’t want to be connected, you would be. Perhaps this is in God’s design to keep us from fully defaulting? My bride….oh my heart still skips to hear Him speak of me like this. Really? Me? I felt the same in marriage for a long time (still do, perhaps?). The idea that someone would WANT to commit to me fully, forever…not something that I come to terms with easily. I feel that if I learned to love others better (which I think I am) I would also learn to be loved better, accept others devotion and loyalty.
    Sister is the friendship piece….bride is the intimate piece.
    9. Describe what her love (your love!) means to him in vs 9-10. This is all encompassing love (“you have stolen my heart”). Though it somewhat mimics infatuation, I do not think this is bad. To be so in love that you continue to mimic infatuation is great, I think! To keep the passion, interest, pursuit of that which delights you! Rather than a fading fascination once you get to know it, this is a lasting fascination…I see myself growing and changing and the Lord there rejoicing and loving each change that is toward His Son’s image….He is fascinated with me, one jewel, one choice that is right, one glance, one act of worship. Just as we hang on a phone call from the one we love, so to he hangs onto our actions of devotion. Not out of His desperation (he has none) but out of love. the fragrance of my garments as His Son continues to clothe me. Like going from a trash heap to a field of lillies…the fragrance is not only good because it is nice but because it represents our hearts becoming like Him. Just a trail of thinking here….
    10. When you compare these two passages, what do you see? I definitely concur with Mike Reeves in joy in the Lord. However, I also think of how very few of us truly understand NEED. I do not ever remember a time in my life when I was concerned about where my next meal would come from. Even when we had to utilize food banks as a kid, there was always SOMEthing to eat…however cardboard-like it was. These people that wrote these passages knew need. To have their grain and wine was to have their needs met. To not have to worry about the winter hunger breathing over their shoulders. To be without worry, to be secure. To be full. Spiritually I have been starving. I tell people that doing Idol Lies study and this study has been a deep cool drink of water to my thirsty soul. I have come to the Lord to be filled, and oh, my! Has he been faithful…my grain and wine abound.
    11. Describe the fruit of her well-watered garden as described in vs 11-15. Take your time.
    “It is locked” – protected? No small foxes in this garden?
    “a spring enclosed” – again protected? no debris can fall in, or animals can defile it?
    “Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits,” – not just a tree – but an entire orchard!! The fruit abounds, lovely.
    “with henna” -a cosmetic
    “nard”- a perfume, the one used on Jesus’ feet
    “nard and saffron” – perfume and seductive/aphrodisiac, one of the most expensive spices
    “calamus” – an aromatic
    “and cinnamon” – aromatic and Prov 7:17 “I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon”
    “with every kind of incense tree” – the focus is obviously on scent
    “with myrrh” – another aromatic and also used to cause “insensibility” (such as when offered to those crucified) Could this be how love makes us feel? To fully embrace the natural “high”?
    “and aloes” – one source I found said aloes are an image for all that is lovely, fragrant, flourishing, and incorruptible. Used for perfuming garments and beds. Not the aloe we think of to heal sunburns.
    “and all the finest spices”. – Nothing but the best for His beloved.
    “You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.” I am constantly amazed by this image of the garden. This is not a patch of well grown vegetables or flowers. This is an all encompassing experience! And orchard, a fountain (big, ornate, large amounts of water), water streaming down from Lebanon, never ending, constantly coming and refreshing, clean, cool. And the constant reference to aromatics means that this experience is, again, all encompassing. everywhere you go, you smell these lovely things that are indicative of love that consumes. It is a symbol of our love for Christ (and His love for us!). As Mike reeves said, “When we desire Christ, so do others.” Also, it implies preparation, hard work, not just an afternoon of planting seeds and hoping for the best but of tending to the garden for a long time, his tending and ours.

  20. Wanted to share one of my favorite songs that seems to fit with what we are learning.
    Could I by Kim McMechan
    Could I just sit here awhile; know that there’s nothing that I need to say Safe in the knowledge that You know my ways Love me completely, no need to hide a thing Could I just stay here awhile; letting You melt away all of my fears I feel Your comfort when You are so near I’ll hide myself in this shelter You’ve made for me Could I, Could I Could I just kneel here awhile doing what I was created to do Bowing in reverence I long to adore You Willingly giving all that I can surrender Could I just rest here a while Letting you whisper my burdens away In all of my journeys there’s no other place Where I find refuge strength for my weary heart Could I (x4) Could I just sit here awhile; know that there’s nothing that I need to say Safe in the knowledge that You know my ways Love me completely, no need to hide a thing

    1. I love that song, Jill..thanks for sharing it.

  21. 7. Meditate on verse 8.
    A.    Meditate – do research – what do you learn?

    He again calls her His bride—implying that she is His, she belongs to Him, she owes her affections to Him. She is to forsake all other loves, for Him. And when He calls to her, she is to come. But He does not ask her to go alone—He will be with her. “Come with me”.

    Lebanon is known for its beauty (Deut. 3:25, Hos. 14:6)Just thinking on my own–He calls her away from a what is beautiful, enticing. From high places that give her a sense of false confidence. He also calls the place she is “the dens of lions… the mountains of leopards”, they are beautiful, enticing places, that also make her vulnerable to destruction. It was interesting to me when I found this—Psalm 76:4 “Glorious are you, more majestic than the mountains full of prey.”

    B.    Is there a passage that has similar thoughts?

    Colossians 3:1,2-  “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
    I am Christ’s Bride. I think remembering that position I hold, helps me remember my mind is to be fixed on eternal things—where my wedding takes place, not the earthly frustrations.

    C.    Respond to verse 8 in prayer: praise, confession, petition.

    Lord, I praise You for Your beauty, Your holiness. Your unbelievable love and grace towards me. I praise You as my Husband. I confess my impatience and lack of trust in You. I confess still trying to protect my own heart, not fully trusting with abandon. When I see things around me start to turn directions that make me fear what could happen, fear being hurt or forgotten—help me trust in You that You will never leave me or forsake me. You are my Husband.

  22. 8. Meditate on these two names he calls her (he calls us!) My sister, my bride. Share your thoughts.

    A bride is a choice-I am His bride—the one He chooses to marry. But I am also His sister, the one He created in His image, part of His heritage, adopted by Him to be in His family. As His sister, I am reminded of my place as joint heir with Him.

    9. Describe what her love (your love!) means to him in verses 9-10.

    He chooses my love. Over all the treasures that are at His command—He chooses my imperfect love. He sees my sin, my moment by moment weakness, my idolatry—and yet, He sees my earnest desire to love Him more—and in that tiny glimmer, He sees beauty. He is captivated by my love for Him.

    I think it humbles me—if this makes sense at all—that my love for Him actually matters so deeply to Him—that I can affect Him so.

    Oh I have to share this from Spurgeon:
    “Pause here, my soul, to contemplate a moment, and let thy joy wait awhile. Jesus Christ has banquets in heaven, such as we have never yet tasted, and yet he does not feed there. He has wines in heaven richer far than all the grapes of Eshcol could produce, but where dose he seek his wines? In our hearts, my friends, in our hearts. Not all the love of angels, nor all the joys of Paradise, are so dear to him as the love of his poor people, sprinkled with sin, and compassed with infirmity.”

    1. Elizabeth, this quote from Spurgeon is beautiful…”Not all the love of angels, nor all the joys of Paradise, are so dear to him as the love of his poor people, sprinkled with sin, and compassed with infirmity.”

    2. Elizabeth-totally loved this post. This is His heart-this goes with what Dee said in one of her comments-“I imagine that Heaven is full of so many wonderful things that I can’t even imagine – things to delight the senses; yet Jesus left all of that behind because to win our love meant more to Him than anything else.” and when she said the Lord longs to see in us that we love him and want Him for Him not for his gifts. And your Spurgeon quote as Susan quoted below..great for me to meditate on today. 
      Sometimes I think I can complicate things-when really the overall message is clear in the Song of Songs. 

      1. correction-susan said that, Dee brought it out-but it is Him moving among us here!!  :))

  23. I’m so sorry to be away. It seems God is drawing me again to do only one study but I remember all of you with such love and read when I can.
    Warning:this is going to be long and possibly off subjecT, though God has a way of tying things together.
    Two weekends ago I went to a Women of Faith conference. It was not something I wanted to spend all that money on but I was unable to get out of it. I finally acknowledged that perhaps God wanted me to go. It was different this time than when I have been before. The last speaker was Lisa Bevere whom I had never heard of. I was riveted by what she had to say. As soon as she finished I bought her book and headed for the car. I waited there reading while the conference finished and the others came to the car. My reading has been slow because I am trying to digest it. I m about halfway through and feel as if I will bust if I don’t share.
    i know I have said this before but I am always amazed by how God has brought hearts hungry for Him together here on this blog. It makes me wonder what n afoot, what He is doing.
    Another thing is something that happened about 3 years ago. At lunch with our state coordinator for Moms inPrayer she asked me what I thought my spiritual gift is. I sheepishly said that I thought it is prophecy but that I had no idea what it would look like in a woman. She suggested that I pray for God to bring into my life a woman using that gift. So I did but have not really seen anything that would give me an understanding of the gift until now. I’m pretty sure I see it in Lisa Bevere and more profoundly as I read the book.
    She has had revelation that I believe is from God about lionesses and how they behave in the wild that compares them to the role of women in the family, the church and our culture. They work together to raise their families, hunt and lift up the lion of their pride. She said “what if women came together not for the cause of women but to raise up their culture? how much good could they accomplish?” If I had looked at this book without hearing her speak, I never would have picked it up because there are reviews on the back cover from people who do not necessarily trust. I didn’t see them until after I began reading.
    Dee, I trust your judgement so. Would you read this book for me and give your honest opinion? Lioness Arising. 
    yesterday I returned from a week in NYC visiting my son. The last day I was blessed to have alone with The Lord in a 42nd floor apt overlooking manhattan. The contrasts there are enormous. So many people that seem so separate and alone, yet they display kindness that brought me to tears. Hard to explain but the upshot is that I believe God will bring revival. That sense is in line with what impressed me about the Women of Faith gathering. It seemed like heart preparation and next year is called Revival.

    1. Sorry. I might be wrong in sharing this. There seems to be strong connection with Joyce Meyer and Lisa and John Bevere. I will try to be objective as I finish reading the book. I really like the idea of women working together but might have overreacted.

      1. I miss you here Anne!I share your hunger for revival and love your urge to better understand your gifting and where and how to fit in the body.Did you try to go to a Redeemer service while in Manhattan?

        1. Chris, thank you so much for your encouragement. I do long for revival. My son and daughter in law wanted me to go to church with them in a very old catholic cathedral. I didn’t know it but they are planning to join that church. It was neat but so dry for me. To go to redeemer I would have had to navigate subway alone which really intimidated me. I hated the subway but that is where I experienced the kindness of New Yorkers quite a few times. In my last 2 days I was forced to go it alone and how God was with me. I think that really is what brought the tears. 

      1. Dee, I like the concept as well. I tend to go overboard with excitement so I am tempering myself and keeping my eyes open. Last night and this morning I dove into this study to give myself perspective. How wonderful it is. Especially the fruits of her garden. Beautiful!

  24. Well, here we are — it is Friday night, and the lesson for Thurs/Friday is supposed to be the “Song of Songs” by Sergey Isakov.    I was hoping someone else would lead off, as I found this difficult to do somehow.  However, that has not happened, so I am going to stick my neck out.  
    First of all I knew nothing about the creator of this video.  I googled and found this helpful information:

    In 1991 Sergey and Aleona started a non-denominational church “Church of the Risen Christ” in the town of Tver, Russia. For 19 years Sergey served as Senior Pastor of the church.In 2010 Sergey stepped down from the senior pastor’s position to support his wife in her ministry of sharing the Gospel through art and fashion around the world, reaching with the gospel those who would be difficult to reach through traditional means. Aleona’s calling in life is to worship God through art and fashion and to inspire others to serve Jesus with their own talents.

    The emphasis on fashion and art is obvious in this video.  Much time is spent on describing the Bride’s dress with a variety of symbolism.   I was a bit bewildered how to approach this, as it is kind of a mixture.   There is the actual Scripture of the Song of Songs, but mixed in are secular ideas or ideas not supported by Scripture, and then occasionally there is Scripture from other books within the Bible.   

    I didn’t try to get every last word.   The following are the parts that caught my attention.
    The Soul is dressed in rainbow, the sign of God’s covenant with man.  The olive branches decorating the bride’s dress shows no fruit yet.  The Soul is just beginning its walk with God.

    The Lord is the King of Glory.  He is the consuming fire.  But for the Beloved the flame of her judgment is covered by the turquoise cloak of Grace.   Jesus is reaching out His right hand to our souls and there are wounds caused by nails in His hands.   The left hand is holding a double-edged sword — the word of God that will touch the Soul, dividing spirit and soul. 
    Pomegranates are symbols of love and unity.    I found this interesting, as I had earlier puzzled about the pomegranates on the hems of the priests’ robes.
    The Beloved is resting in His arms.  The beloved soul is not looking into her Lord’s eyes.  She is pleased and satisfied with His gifts.   For me this was reminiscent of our study months ago of the parable of the Prodigal Son.  How we can want God’s gifts instead of wanting Him. 
    She does not feel like moving further, and she falls asleep. 

    Then in the Vineyard section:

    The vine is the church.   The scarlet lining means redemption.   The soul is under protection.  But the little foxes, temptations, roam the twilight, ruining the garden, and the beloved soul is about to slip out of God’s arms.  Now I have problems with that last part — I did not think she was in danger of slipping out of God’s arms.   Just my opinion here!
    Only on completing her own work of searching for God does she get to fellowship with Him again.
    Next, several stanzas from the 23rd Psalm are injected here, implying a time of rest for the Beloved.   “Sleep and rest for a new day.”    “Do not rouse or awaken love until it so desires.”
    There is a section that corresponds to SOS 3: 6-11.     The Lord is moving toward her heart inevitably.  Like an armada of ships carried by a fair wind.    (I had imagined it to be more like a caravan coming out of the desert.) 
    If we follow the Lord into His glory , we have to drink from His shame too (the cross).
    All of our sacrifices are like little beads compared to the Lord and His love. 
    Whatever hardships enter my life, I say “Come , my Beloved, the garden belongs to you only.  I will follow you wherever you call me.   Let me life be like a table generously laid for you and your friends.”
    I stopped at this point, as the rest would have applied to parts of SOS we have not tackled yet. 
    I kept fighting with the “quote” option all the way through.  It would come on when I didn’t want it, and I would have to keep turning it off.    So I give a disclaimer about what this post may look like.  I will have no way of editing that aspect.   Hopefully it will be better than I think!

    1. Deanna, I think you did a great job leading the way on this!

  25. I am nursing a cold so I am a bit behind, but when I came here yesterday morning I SO couldn’t wait to look into this! 🙂
    7. Meditate on verse 8. 
        A. Meditate – do research – what do you learn?
    I found that the mountain range borders Syria and Lebanon and it ‘s height is aprox. 9200 above sea level. VERY HIGH. The main source of water for the Jordan river comes from the melted snow on Mount Hermon-also the water from the snow is really the main nourishment of the vineyards and vegetation below. It is possible the transfiguration happened on one of the three Summits on the mountain.
    The Canaanites had altars on high places on it’s slopes-there was Baal worship there, and it is a dangerous mountain also.
    Overall I found that this mountain is both scary and beautiful. I see nourishment of the vineyard below coming from the springs of water flowing from the top of the Mountain, as well as a history of Baal worship and other dangers present on the mountain. 
    I can’t help but sense in SOS 4:8-and I may be stretching here, but He is wanting her to descend from the top with Him-to go through the lions dens and the Leopards with Him-I am thinking they represent satan for the evil one is after her seeking to devour her-but Jesus wants her to come with Him-to go through the Lions den and the Haunts of Leopards with Him for He will carry her through it and therefore no enemy can stand against her.  I see that most often satan comes to us during trials getting us to doubt God’s love-he also comes in the sweet times tempting us to think we don’t need God-that somehow we can nourish our own souls better than He-with doing the right thing- morality, or running to the comfort of food or other things, or trying to control things-really idolatry, but Jesus is the tender of our vineyard, He is our comfort, our control, our approval. He is our strength-who carries us down from the mountain top and through the scary places and valleys. 
    B. Is there a passage that has similar thoughts?
    1 Peter 5:8. 
    Job 1:7
    Psalm 91!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

    Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

     If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”  and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

     “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” ”


  26. Deanna, great lead off! You made some great points.
    12. Comment on the above (Song of Songs by Sergey Isakov).
    This was wonderful. It took awhile to get used to the narrative style but once I was listening symbolism vs scripture there was a lot to be seen. I don’t have time to look into all that is scriptural vs not, but even the secular symbolism I assume comes from history of those items (such as the olive branches on her hem that symbolized her immaturity in Christ, I do not know if that is mentioned specifically in scripture with olive branches but it is an excellent visual).
    -I liked the symbolism of His fire being cloaked in grace “for the believer”. But need to ponder if this … I suppose if His wrath is satisfied it would be appropriate to refer to it as “cloaked”.
    -I wonder about her not looking at him, it is not from hesitancy, but distraction, which explains the foxes in the next image.
    -On the beloved slipping from the bridegroom’s arms: Aside from a discussion about loosing salvation, we definitely can all sympathize with a time of “slipping from the Lord’s arms”. Unbelief, sin, idols, all prevent us from being held as tight as He wants. Not necessarily at a risk of loosing salvation but definitely with a sacrifice of intimacy.
    – I am slightly at a loss about the spiritual symbolism of resting alone. It coincides with SoS when she is alone, but she is searching when she is alone. Input?
    -I liked the symbolism of “the first fruits of maturity are ripening” at the point when he invites her to come from the mountains of Lebanon. i heard it said once that one way to notice a mature believer is that they take risks, they go. Certainly, this is not a sweeping statement but I do think that we follow more and take more risks in our faith the more mature we get in Him, the more we love Him and value Him above all else.
    -The picture of them kneeling and looking into each other’s eyes i powerful. “He is kneeling because he came in humility for her.” I also love the scarlet garment, clothes in Christ.
    -The symbolism of being clothed with our worship for Him, is beautiful.
    – I like the symbolism of being clothed in humility so that the glory would be all the bridegroom’s. and her soul is given wings, freedom.
    I kept this page to look more into the symbolism when I have the time to really dedicate to it.

  27. 7. C. Respond to verse 8 in prayer: praise, confession, petition.
    Lord, I am in awe for you are lovely-you are powerful-you made Mount Hermon and yet you became man and walked on it-and you have experienced the rough places, horrid dens and haunting places on the cross where you stomped on satans head. before the cross in rejection by the Pharisees over and over again, in satan tempting you in the wilderness, in the death of Lazarus breaking your heart, in your righteous anger of injustice and oppression, in your loving jealous fury of hatred for idolatry in us. Oh God who am I??? How can I NOT trust you? Yet I can struggle to trust you even with the little trials!! I hate this in me-yes, wretched woman I am. I hate that Baal can echo from my lips. I confess Lord that I fall so short-and forgot you again yesterday with that incident in the morning with my husband needing me to come get him at 4 in the morning while not feeling well ..i sense the evil one coming at us-and I am not trusting you to take me through his den. Oh God you have come to me with sweet kisses of your love in so many ways, over and over again-and I think I am seeing that it isn’t about the provision but you are showing me how much you love me and that I can trust you with everything and anything from spiritual growth to physical needs. Thank you for leading me to read how Mueller trusted you for every financial need-that is what you quickened me with and it has been on my mind daily!  Thank you that you are opening my eyes-I am starting to see now. I struggle trusting you with provision and yet as the recent trails have continued-you keep coming and meeting our needs. Can I count the ways you have come?? No! Thank you for showing me you love me despite me. Help me to trust you in this valley-in this season of raising our boys-and how we need to provide for them. Thank you for so faithfully and lovingly, and powerfully tending my vineyard. I want to trust you with provision Lord. I want to trust you in generosity-help me to be a generous person to meet others needs-as you have overflowed with generosity to me-with your very life for me. My life is not my own-for you bought me and I am yours. In your mighty name, amen.

    1. Dee, you are exactly one-hundred-percent correct about the “left brain” thing!    I remember still that when I was in the 8th grade one of my report cards showed 11 A’s and 1 C.     The C was in art!!    I felt so badly about it, but my mother couldn’t stop laughing when she saw my report card.    She said there was no artistic talent to have been inherited on either side of my family.    Now my daughter, Karen, is very artistic; but we all know she got that from my husband’s family!!

  28. 13. Have you been able to enjoy the Lord this week? If so, share. I certainly have been given new perspective on how to enjoy the Lord and how to make my heart/soul happy in the Lord. However, if I am honest I will admit that this has been a hard week. I would say I have been “under attack” but that gives too much credit to Satan, instead I will say that I have encountered many circumstantial challenges this week. As well as heart ones. It should have been expected, Satan is always lurking and preying. In my times of study, I have been refreshed and I think without the slow, deep meditation on the Word this week as Dee instructed us I would have completely failed, but it was what brought me through. My time in the Word and instruction for a new way to be in the Word came at just the right time. I will be employing this method from now on to come to the Lord through scripture first thing in the morning. His sweetness is more full when you stop and ponder and let Him draw things out to your soul. To pour out my heart to Him is good, but to listen to Him is to be filled. I revel in His peace many, many times in the day, I think that I would like to pull out scripture during these moments (that’s what smartphones are for!). When I walk I revel in His peace and freedom, I wonder how much more my joy would be if I recited or pondered scripture in these moments in addition to enjoying the beauty of the skies, etc., the signs of His wonder and power.
    14. What is your take-a-way? In addition to the above, I am convicted that I plow ahead in study or scripture reading to “get it done”. Feeling like if I can get more done then I will be more refreshed, renewed, learned. But now I realize that I have been rushing through a relationship meant to be intimate and that the depth comes from that intimacy and not necessarily through knowledge (though, obviously, knowledge can add to our relationship with Christ).
    My take-a-way? Slow down. Savor. Relish. Listen. Appreciate.

  29. 11. Describe the fruit of her well-watered garden as describes in verses 11-15. Take your time.
    I can’t help but think as I read this, how differently our culture today expresses thoughts of love and desire from what is in Songs. What is written in Songs is “heady stuff”, but it doesn’t read like a cheap romance novel…the language is elevated and sensual and she is praised. This is so refreshing, compared to what you may happen upon when changing the channels on TV, or hear in popular music today. Songs elevates the bride…our culture today so often debases women.
    “You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.” – Their love is exclusive…shared only by them. Reminded me of verses from Proverbs 5:
    Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well…Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
    He rejoices that she belongs to him, and he to her…their love is like a locked up garden, for their enjoyment only.
    This private garden is an orchard of pomegranates – Deanna learned that they represent love and unity. I wish I knew more about all the different spices mentioned (Jill did a great job with those!)…makes me think there was much, much more to spices back then than what I have in my spice cupboard to sprinkle on my food! I am thinking that all the nard, saffron, calamus, cinnamon, every kind of incense, myrrh and aloes…all the finest spices…these were costly and precious. Anyway, it all makes me think that she was a delight to his senses.
    “You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon” – I think he is saying that she gives life to him…their love is life-giving, satisfying the thirst for love and belonging…it is alive, always new and fresh (this water is not a still pond, but it moves, flows) changing and growing. Water is clean, cool, refreshing, and life-giving…what a beautiful picture of their garden of love!

    1. Just gotta jump in for a second here…been thinking about how heavily conditioned I have been in regard to how I have experienced God (in the past).  I have been conditioned mostly to experience Him through my ear gate (occasionally with my eyes but that is often only with a utilitarian bent).  My faith based experiences have been heavily “word” saturated.  However, in reading through SOS….I see that we are invited to so much more!  God wants to encompass every aspect of our being (not just our ears).  It would be likened unto having a fully functioning body but choosing to only engage the world through our sense of hearing.  I don’t think that is God’s intent.  SOS is clearly calling us to a FULL and MEANINGFUL experience with God.  He wants us to see, hear, taste, smell, feel, enter fully into the WONDER of His goodness and beauty.  THIS kind of perspective brings the warmth and life to a REAL relationship with Christ.  As I read through this Song…the sensual invitation cannot be ignored!  I’m in…I want Him to have all of me…I want Him to teach me and grow me and woo me and to hold my hand as we explore this world together!  I want to see and feel and hear and smell and explore and learn with every fiber of my being.  This is the WONDER of a life lived with Christ.  I want every sense AWAKE and ALIVE and RESPONSIVE to Him!  Susan, your post ignites my fire today!!! Thanks so much!

      1. Always appreciate hearing from you, Rhonda. Love your thoughts on all the senses fully engaging God.

        1. Thank you Diane….my prayers are still with you!!!  Thank you for your emotional honesty, it is an encouragement to us all!!!

      2. Hi Rhonda! It is good to hear from you. I love your point about using all our senses. I wonder about the lovely scents that accompany our Lord. I guess the only way we can use all of our senses now is with creation. Smelling scents, feeling textures, soft breezes and tasting the goodness of the earth. And our relationships. Marriage, parent child, siblings and friendships. 

        1. Anne, I think you are right….it is like going to a new place with someone who has been there before and already experienced the wonder!  God has already been there…before and after!  He loves to see me laugh in wonder and smile at His sweetness.  He knows every little beautiful nuance of this world!  Abiding in Him and letting Him show me around just takes me to a new dimension.  It is so much fun to see through His eyes.  A few weeks ago, I went to a beautiful little arboretum her in town, I literally sat on a rock and just took note of what I was hearing and seeing (for quite a while)…I talked with Him, walked with Him…let Him lead me.  It was an amazingly wonderful and healing day!  In my walk I came upon a trellis covered with a beautiful Muscadine vine.  As a kid, I loved Muscadines!  I plucked a few and tasted their sweetness and could feel Him calling me to spend some time in John 15.  It was a rich and WONDER filled interaction.  There is so much for us to experience, so much that can lead our hearts and minds to a deep, deep love relationship with Him.  I want to go there….I love my quiet times at home but I have been thoroughly enjoyed the COLOR of life out and about with Him.  I see it in faces and smiles and nature and children playing, so many ways to explore Him.  I think my prayer right now is…”Lord, show me around” “I have eyes but often do not see, I have ears but often fail to hear”…simple, to the point, but a way of doing life that is so alive and wonderful to me!!!  SOS speaks deeply to my heart…I am truly loving it!!!

        2. Rhonda, this sounds so wonderful! Letting Him show you around. I will remember that. I’m glad SOS is ministering to you. i hope you are feeling better.

      3. Missed you Rhonda .. pray your doing well. 

  30. 13. Have you been able to enjoy the Lord this week? If so, share.
    YES!  I’ve listened to music that I haven’t heard in decades. Here’s another one 🙂  http://youtu.be/ZlQcfN3qJDI  Starting with one verse in Scripture, taking time, going deeper, allowing prayer to flow from Scripture… I’ve been resting in Him. 
    Work challenges flared up again; others are experiencing situations and accusations similar to what I experienced during the summer.  And in the midst of the craziness, someone (who is experiencing the accusations herself now) I only see once or twice a year told me how good I looked (and she kept emphasizing it).  This may be a couple of things:  I looked really bad earlier when I felt buried in stress; also, I am experiencing His peace.  Even though I am troubled by what is going on around me, I also am experiencing safety, rest, peace in Him.
    14. What is your take-a-way?
    He knows me and loves me.  He is SO trustworthy, and I am trusting more. I LOVE HIM!  This isn’t just a cognitive response, but a response of my whole being. 

      1. Dee, you’re right!  I still feel a little skittish sometimes, as if I could slip/go backwards; yet He continues to call me, to woo me.  It is/will be SO important to first seek my joy in Him.  What I’ve claimed verbally is soaking in to my heart 🙂

  31. Elizabeth, your answer to 7 really helped me. I had it right backward. I see now that He is calling me away from the place of danger, from the precipice that I may not see myself on.
    9.  He mentions the glance of her eyes reminding me of the Aleonart video where at first she was not looking in His eyes. Our glance captures His heart. I never really thought about how my looking at Him affects Him. It makes sense though for He inhabits the praises of His people.
    He loves her glance, her scent, even the lay of her jewelry on her neck, just like human love. Our jewelry could be works done in the Spirit. The working out of love and grace in our lives.
    10. Near the end of Hosea 2 there is mention of grain, new wine and oil when The Lord blesses the land. These things are the center of all of our celebrations. Wine in particular brings joy. It is amazing how one glass just makes the whole world glow. It makes me forget the cares of my life and see only the wonder.
    -her lips drip sweetness might refer to the words she speaks. Honey and milk under her tongue-words of encouragement, healing, truth and life. Words of love and grace.
    -the fragrance of her garments is just who she is, apart from anything she can do or say. The fragrance of Lebanon is cedar. It makes me think first of home and Christmas.
    -pomegranates symbolize fertility I think
    -a paradise of choice fruit. Fruit that looks good but has no taste or texture is so disappointing but hers is choice. That is how I picture paradise. Remember the old movies with lovers on a couch eating grapes? I think in that day when the were so careful about what went up on the screen, that symbolized lovemaking.
    -henna is red and must have been used in cosmetics
    -nard was used to make fragrant oil, perfume
    -spices just make me say “ahh”. We went to Chelsea market last week and there was a spice market like none I have ever seen. Great counters of spices out in bowls. The fragrance was astounding.
    -she is a garden spring, a well flowing from Lebanon. She waters her garden from within her soul. This is such a picture of the Holy Spirit!

  32. Oh I came across this free sermon from Keller and am listening to it right now as we clean the house:.it is about enjoying God and so goes with SOS- that we Love Him, long for Him, want Him, adore and praise Him..what do we do in secrecy-what is on our mind-is adoration of God the primacy of our life.. Oh my… I had to share it. Here is the link: http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/adoration-hallowed-be-thy-name.

    1. This sermon starts over after the first quarter of it-but then it is all on there so keep listening. 

  33. Now for the video! I love this and watch it often. I can see how it might not be for everyone. I just love to find meaning in art and she has placed so much meaning, tucked away in every corner. The great thing too is that her husband explains much of her intent as he reads, connecting it with scripture.
    First I see the overview of the whole thing as the process of my sanctification. From the first days of not realizing what I really had to the final standing before Him in the cloak of humility with the flowers of clean thoughts in my hair…and His patience and love in the process. It makes me cry. Oh my Lord!

    1. Anne, I remember when you posted it a few years ago-and OH..I just love it too. 🙂 

  34. 13. Have you been able to enjoy the Lord this week? If so, share.
    Yes, I can honestly say I have been able to enjoy the Lord this week.   It has helped that we are going through the prettiest part of autumn.   I ponder that God could have made the trees so that the leaves just turned black and dropped to the ground.  It would have provided the same nutritional values for the trees and the soil.   However, God made the leaves to be beautiful for our enjoyment — I fully believe that!       The song has been stuck in my head, which we have used for two weeks now (” Here You Come Running”).
    I have a story to share:    This week my husband and I went to the shopping mall to walk for exercise.   I don’t like to carry my purse, so I leave it in the trunk.  This particular day, I slipped my credit card and my driver’s license into my slacks pocket.  My plan was to stop by Dillards to look for some unmentionables.   We made our walk, and we went to Dillards and also to Macys. I didn’t buy anything.   When we returned to the car, I started to transfer the items from my pockets back into my purse.   It was then I discovered the credit card was missing!!!   Yes, I was panicked.  I felt all over the car seat and down into the cracks.  No card.   We retraced our paths through the mall, at one point I sat my husband down on a chair to rest, and I finished that process.  Went to Macy’s.  No card. They called Dillards for me.  No card there either.  Went to the mall security.  Nothing!    I had to go to the restroom, and while I was washing my hands I was saying a prayer:  “Lord I need you to give me wisdom like you gave Solomon so I can solve this problem.”    My husband and I went back to the car, and my plan was to cancel the credit card.  However, first I asked my husband to hand me the flashlight out of the glove compartment.  I took the light and squatted down so I could look under the driver’s seat.  Lo and behold — there was the card, standing on edge, plastered up against the driver’s seat.  I REALLY enjoyed the Lord then!!!
    14. What is your take-a-way?   My goodness, there is so much I could list.  However, if I had to zero in on one thing, I think it would be George Mueller’s devotional pattern of meditating on Scripture to make his soul happy for the day. I have an appreciation for the way that works.  Isn’t that interesting — help from the 19th century!  God’s ways are mysterious!

  35. 14. What is your take-a-way?
    I too appreciated Mueller’s pattern of using Scripture to lead in to prayer. I often am awake in the early morning hours and lay in bed and pray, hoping to go back to sleep eventually. I often pray or recite Scripture to replace my worrying. One morning this week I lay there and prayed the 23rd Psalm as per Mueller’s suggestion and it was wonderful.
    I have also felt under attack by Satan this week, plus I am developing a nasty cold that has already slowed down my husband for most of the week. So, Rebecca and jill, you have my sympathies.

  36. Rhonda, I couldn’t reply (might be too deep into a thread).  I LOVED your prayer “Lord, show me around.”    He will be showing me around outside for awhile!

    1. Renee,  so fun!!! Keep us posted on what you see and hear!!!!

  37. I’ve been doing the study with you all … I just hadn’t commented yet.
    Dee, I just wanted to thank you for warming up all our hearts to love. I think of the verse that says near the end “the love of the many with grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). I have prayed that that would not happen to me. I believe you’re helping to answer that prayer. Thank you.

    1. Aurora, Welcome !  So glad you have been joining in…Blessings!

  38. I agree with the take away of actively seek joy in The Lord every morning, purposely warming our hearts with scripture. My quiet time cannot be something that I check off of my to do list. It is when I turn my gaze on Him and not just a glance.

  39. I’m sad that I haven’t finished this week. The kids were off a day from school and I didn’t manage my time very well. But looking back on the week, I see Him I see Him especially in the times I did turn first to His Word to meditate. I see Him in love and grace my husband poured out on me today after an emotional outburst (on my part). I see Him in the full hour I spent alone with my daughter as we waited in CVS yesterday to get her flu shot. Sadly I can’t remember the last time we sat that long, just us, no distractions, and talked. I see Him in the cards my son made on his own this week to raise money to send to the orphans we support. I see Him in the unexpected outpouring of gratitude towards me at my workplace. Each of these things happened this week, and each one feels incredibly undeserved. I remember the Spurgeon quote I posted earlier–that He chooses my love, as faulty as it is, over all the joys of Heaven. Incredibly undeserved grace. The other things that has stuck with me ALL week, hit me the first day. Dee said “Steve enjoyed God”. When I read it last Sunday it grabbed me. And all week, I have thought–I want that. I want to live a life that what is said of me is “Elizabeth enjoyed God”.

    1. Oh Elizabeth, I’m so thankful  for the kisses from God that you have been receiving.    I can honestly say that you enjoy God!

  40. Anne, not sure why but I can’t reply to your earlier message in thread form; however, I wanted to respond to your inquiry.  Yes, I am doing better…God has been doing a sweet and gentle work of healing.  I am so grateful for His continual provision and persistence.  He never gives up and I love Him dearly for that fact!!!  Thank you all for your prayers and encouragements along the way!  I have been blessed through the process of reading your posts and learning along with you all! 

    1. Will continue to pray for you Rhonda. ..so thankful you are doing so well.

  41. 13. Have you been able to enjoy the Lord this week? If so, share.
    I have been able to enjoy the Lord more this week. I am currently reading One Thousand Gifts and it seems to line up a lot with what I have been learning here.I really am seeing his hand in a multitude of things that some would chalk up to as a coincident. One example is from this early this morning. I had tons on my mind regarding my work and former friends. I was still in bed and decided to continue reading One Thousand Gifts when I remembered that if I wanted to be happy I needed to feed my soul first. I opened to my daily reading and it was from Psalm 119:

    81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation,    but I have put my hope in your word.82 My eyes fail, looking for your promise;    I say, “When will you comfort me?”83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,    I do not forget your decrees.84 How long must your servant wait?    When will you punish my persecutors?85 The arrogant dig pits to trap me,    contrary to your law.86 All your commands are trustworthy;    help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.87 They almost wiped me from the earth,    but I have not forsaken your precepts.88 In your unfailing love preserve my life,    that I may obey the statutes of your mouth.
    It totally lined up with my situation. Then when I started reading One Thousand Gifts, it was all about being thankful and verbally thanking God in the hard (bad) situations and times of trouble. I was overjoyed knowing that he was personally speaking to me in my situation.
    Also, my granddaughters have had some minor set backs during the week causing them to need IVs and feeding tubes. Those were all removed this morning and as soon as they gain a little more weight they can go home. It will probably be in the next few days. I’ve been up to see them every day!

    1. Dawn, how wonderful about your twin grand daughters.   I bet you can’t wait to get them home with their mommy and daddy!!!

  42. I didn’t want to miss this! 
    8. Meditate on these two names he calls her (he calls us!) My sister, my bride. Share your thoughts.
    His Bride..we are one..and He wants me to love Him back-to cling to Him to let Him transform me to be like Him. My life is no longer my own-it is His and He is making me radiate Him. 
    His sister meaning we have the same Father. I think of the dance-that Jesus has invited me and placed me into the dance with God, Him and the Holy Spirit.
    9. Describe what her love (your love!) means to him in verses 9-10.
    That I have stolen His heart for my love is DELIGHTFUL to Him. I LOVE This!
    10.  There was a moment in one of Mike Reeve’s teachings when he was commenting on verse 10 and said “Just this morning I was reading ‘You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.’” (Psalm 4:3) I sensed vicariously his joy, his understanding, his soul being made happy in the Lord. When you compare these two passages, what do you see? 
    Just an f.y.i. It is Psalm 4:7- 🙂 but Wow-I see them both delighting in one another. I see how delighting in Him-He makes us happy and fulfills us more than anything. He will make our soul happy for He is our Joy.
    11. Describe the fruit of her well-watered garden as describes in verses 11-15. Take your time.
    I saw this yesterday as I was reading-that her lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb-I was thinking that this is so polar opposite of lips dripping with Baal on them. 🙂 Milk and Honey are under her tongue-perhaps this means her words are sweetly flowing with His wisdom? Her garments are fragrant with His scent. Her garden is locked up-Her spring her fountain-is in His Hands-He is tending it and no one can come in and take Him away from her or her away from Him-She is sealed in Him-and the He flows out of the wellsprings of her heart. Her fruits are the best-choice fruits and finest spices because they come from Him fashioning them in her and they are growing and maturing-these are the fruits of the spirit. Her flowing water is a deep deep well.  

  43. 12. Anne’s video-I have always loved this and have commented on it before so I won’t now. 🙂
    13. Have you been able to enjoy the Lord this week? If so, share.
    I so love how He has come to me in Scripture! He came to me on Dee’s blog as He pretty consistently does-and He came to me in a few Keller sermons I listened to this week while at work and at home-tying everything together-and it is all really simple. That is why I firmly believe now that Song of Songs is central to all of Scripture!  
    Part of how I enjoyed Him this week is when He came to me through the Mueller post as well. I see how Mueller loved Him so much and it showed in how He trusted Him for everything in his life-He so yielded to God. It was like a lightbulb went off-duh! My default mode is to delight in His love for me which He loves, but He wants me to love Him back-that He is my ultimate above everyone and everything else. Do I think of Him all the time in my secret places-Do I praise Him..I thought of Steve how He sang to Him in his alone time-his secret time..How Steve adored and praised God-How he enjoyed God..Oh this delights God! 
    I sensed God’s presence strongly drawing me to love Him back-to consider the off times-the times when I have nothing else to think about-does my mind go toward Him-and that part of loving Him back is trusting Him and He delights in that so.  While His presence isn’t a smashing wave-it has been a still but strong stream in the middle of the chaos of my life this week with my cold, my husband’s jobs and his car issues and my boys, etc-.He has been my joy and my peace. I also enjoy it when the Holy Spirit quickens me-not just intellectually but so deep inside. I can only describe it as Him flipping over inside and the deep joy in the middle of it-unexplainable really.

  44. Could you please tell me where Anne found the book / video with the art on the Song of Songs.  This seems like a much needed
    book/video.   Thanks