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SINGING THE BLUES (PSALMS 12-13)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was visiting America shortly before Hitler’s reign and was troubled by not hearing the gospel in American churches. He also saw amazing racial prejudice and oppression of the blacks, and no distinction among professing Christians. He wrote:

In New York they preach about virtually everything, only one thing is not addressed, or is addressed so rarely that I have as yet been unable to hear it, namely, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross, sin and forgiveness, death and life.

Then he went to a black church in Harlem and found real faith. There was the gospel, there was passion, and there was music that stirred his soul. They sang the truth to God, they lamented, for persecution against them was rampant. They cried out to God for help, and placed their trust in Him, as the psalms have taught us to do. Bonhoeffer taught Sunday School there for four years — a white German who felt far more at home there than in the white churches of New York.

Singing-The-Blues1
 Singing the Blues by Frank Furlong

waitingroom

Bonhoeffer was aghast at the persecution against the blacks. writing: “It is a bit unnerving that in a country with so inordinately many slogans agout brotherhood, peace, and so on, such things still continue completely uncorrected.”

Psalm 12 is an elaboration of t Psalm 11, showing how words can crush. Flattering words, prideful words, and sheer lies repeated can convince a society. This is how the enemy works. Bonhoeffer wrote that he could see no parallel in Germany. But that was soon to change. Bonhoeffer returned to Germany after a time of enormous spiritual growth, and then he saw the same hatred growing in his homeland — only this time the Jews were the target.

Here is an eight minute interview with Eric Metaxis from CBN, where he tells part of this story. Listen carefully:

I cannot read Bonhoeffer without being stirred to the depth of my soul and ask myself: “Am I living a life influenced by lies, or am I living by the truth of God? Psalm 12 contrasts the two: the words of this ungodly world and the words of God. Living by the words of God means living radically.

And our lives, like the lives of believing African-Americans in the time of rampant racism, or the lives of believing Jews in the time of Hitler, may be hard. If we take a stand, as did Bonhoeffer, it will cost us. But we have a God who hears our laments and comes running. He comes running over the mountains, over the seas — for we are indeed His beloved, and He will, in His time, deal bountifully with us. This song, originally suggested by Staci, has become our theme song on this blog. It is based on The Song of Solomon and Joyce found this version with different photographs on you-tube.  At first I noticed they misspelled break to be brake — but I also thought, Lies both break us and brake us. We are called to the poor, to the prisoner, to the orphan, to the oppressed — but we allow lies to brake us, to keep us from running to them and to Him. So I love this spelling. Here it is:

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

I know I’ve been missing in action the last half of last week, and I felt badly as I know we have so many newcomers! I’ll be able to pay attention to you better the beginning of this week. When I’m speaking, I feel it is important for me to be present with the women at the retreat. Sometimes I even get to meet some of you, as I did Renee two weeks ago, and this week I met our own Nancy from Wisconsin and her precious daughter. For some reason I am not being allowed to post her picture here but I’ll put it on my author Facebook page. Nancy is warm, articulate, pretty and very much like the person I have gotten to know and love on the blog — and her daughter is soooo dear. I know that I can count on you to be present for each other and stand in the gap for me — thank you so much. Many of you also prayed for the retreat and the presence of the Lord was so real. I felt the Song of Songs went so well and the amazing worship team with orchestra played The Song of Solomon twice (our theme song, thanks to Staci) and it was AMAZING. HE CAME RUNNING.

This week is about singing the blues, as the psalms have taught us to do, for this life is hard. At the retreat a woman who had lost her daughter last year was being ministered to, and talked to the other speaker, Angie Smith (wonderful young speaker with a great heart) as Angie also lost a daughter. But that very night (this last Friday night) this woman’s son was killed in an auto accident along with three other teens. It seems like too much pain — and we are praying so for her and her family. So often Aslan does not feel safe, but we must sing the truth to our souls, that He is in control and that He cares — for He went all the way to the cross.

 

Sunday Icebreakers:

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

2. Bonhoeffer immersed himself in the psalms so that God’s truth could guide His life. What particularly stands out to you about this man and why?

SONG:

During Lent, we are doing as Bonhoeffer advised: Spending time allowing songs to soften our heart, time in the Word, and then time praying that Word. Here are suggestions for songs that go with the themes of Psalms 12 and 13 — and you may find others to suggest to us.

Psalm 12: The Words of the Lord are Pure Words

(This is the Psalm project — so open to the psalm as you listen)

 

Psalm 13: How Long, O Lord?

You will read from Bonhoeffer how we must first see Christ in a psalm before we “pray it aright.” Brian Doerkson helps us to do just that with this song:

(This is the Psalm project — so open the psalm as you listen)

Monday-Wednesday Bible Study: The Word and Praying the Word

Soften your heart with music each day.

3. Read Psalm 12:

A. What is the lament and plea of verse 1?

B. In verses 2-4 find:

1) At least three different ways words can deceive

2) The motive behind deceptive words in verse 4

C. Now comes a prophetic word from God through David. Find it in verses 5-7.

D. Contrast verses 2 and 6.

E. Take a lie, or a double-speak, or a boast, or a flattery from this world and contrast it with the pure Word of God. I’ll start:

     Your life is your own, so you may do with it as you wish.

You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

4. Pray for your heart, using psalm 12.

prayerbookThis little book is worth its weight in gold. Bonhoeffer says the psalms are the prayer book of the Bible, and prayers are the words of men — so how can these also be the words of God? This is what he says:

We grasp this when we remember we can only learn true prayer from Jesus Christ. If we prayer his prayer with him, these prayers become again the word of God.

We must not ask first what they have to do with us, but what they have to do with Jesus Christ.

Do you see? Then Christ prays with us. We may be praying contrary to our own heart, but often that is necessary, Bonhoeffer says, if we are to pray aright.

 

5. The setting for Psalm 13 may be Absalom’s revolt against David — David is hiding, not well, and exhausted. Read the psalm and find evidence of all this. Then think of times Christ must have felt the same.

6. Psalm 13 is a classic lament, so find these three elements:

A. The lament — the sorrow expressed honestly to God. Find the four “How longs” and put them in your own words, imagining Christ praying them from the cross.

B. The turn — the psalmist turns from focusing on self to focusing on God

C. The truth — the psalmist remembers God’s character, promises, or past faithfulness

7. Now you are ready to pray this psalm,  taking a concern You have personally or for others to Him, and know that Christ is praying with you, and understands. God through the three steps of the lament.

Thursday-Friday  Sermon

Listen to the sermon on Psalm 13 for sure, and if you have time, also the sermon on Psalm 12. I am loving these men from England — not just the accent, but that they know the classics. I do believe that higher education in England and theological training is better than in America. I remember when one of my books was published in England and I met with them and they told me that in England Christians are fewer but deeper than in America.

Optional Sermon on Psalm 12 by Stuart Olyott :

      LINK

Required Sermon on Psalm 13 by Peter Baker: LINK

8. Share your sermons notes and thoughts.

9. Have you gotten an optional book by or on Bonhoeffer to read during Lent? If so, what is it?

Saturday:

10. What is your take-a-way and why?

Leave a Comment

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328 comments

  1. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?   Wow, so much (but I’m trying to learn from Rebecca’s Isaac to be more concise!  Don’t hold your breath on that, tho)  So…I guess mainly how nearly all Christian people groups, when under intense persecution… thrive.  The black church of the 1930’s and 40’s and Christians today in places like China and the Sudan. It’s sad that it takes that to stir us to action and I see churches in the western world heading towards more persecution all the time.   And then also how the enemy works.  He is very cunning with repeating lies enough that they sound like truth and in our time, using divisiveness/a spirit of offense w/in the church to ruin bodies of believers from the inside.  
    2.  Bonhoeffer immersed himself in the psalms so that God’s truth could guide His life. What particularly stands out to you about this man and why?  That he did not hesitate to go against the culture in following Christ, both in worshiping with a black congregation in the 1930’s and in speaking the truth to Germans about their leader, Hitler.   One thing I love so much about the Lord, Jesus, is that He is the truth teller.  His IS the way, the truth, and the life.  He tells us the truth about ourselves and about Himself (and life) if we will take the time to seek to hear His voice above the lies of the enemy and society.  

  2. Just want to let everyone know in case you don’t look back at last week’s blog…Laura-dancer posted that her mom passed away last night, and she is traveling today to be with her brother and sister-in-law. She’s feeling sad and asking for prayer also to help with all the arrangements and to remember her mother well.

    1. Oh no……my heart weeps. Thank you for the news, I would have not known otherwise. Praying…..

    2. Just saw this. My heart cries to you, O Lord, for Laura during this time of grief. Be with her as she travels for the funeral and time to be with family. Help her to be your light in that hard time.

    3. Thanks for sharing this, Susan.  Laura, I’m praying for you and your family.  May He comfort your heart.

  3. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
    I am with Mary-all of it did- there is so much richness! I too wish I could be as concise as my son Isaac. :))
     
    It seems Bonhoeffer might go into churches even now and see the Gospel missing-he might see morality worshiped perhaps a bit more although I do believe God is on the move through teachers like Keller who have the same heart Bonhoeffer had which is the same desire that lines up with God’s.
     
    Right now, this sticks out: ““Am I living a life influenced by lies, or am I living by the truth of God? Psalm 12 contrasts the two: the words of this ungodly world and the words of God. Living by the words of God means living radically.”
     
    I can’t wait to read Metaxis’ book and I am looking forward to the prayerbook as well. 
     
    2. Bonhoeffer immersed himself in the psalms so that God’s truth could guide His life. What particularly stands out to you about this man and why?
    The more I learn about Bonhoeffer the more I love him. What stands out to me is his passion truly lined up with Gods-to work for justice even if it means sacrificing his life.. I am also impressed that he truly worshiped God and he desired to be among and worship with other believers with kindred spirits and he found that in the African American church in Harlem-the ones who were being oppressed and abused.

      1. Dee-yes..I remember the first time I sang at an inner city church in Kansas City..it was like it is supposed to be-not stuffy and phony but close like family and everyone worshiped so freely with one another. Hard to explain but it felt like home. 
        I am going to have to rent that movie! I have ordered the books from Amazon. Should be getting them soon.

      2. I once danced at an all black church once and felt so loved! In fact, I felt like we were all family before we had to leave 🙂

    1. 🙂

  4. I have to mention what also stood out was the woman at the conference who lost her daughter, then the night of the conference lost her son..OH OH…I can’t imagine..yet God had her at the conference-He came running to her to comfort her through the ladies there and through Angie. 

  5. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
     i think what stood out from the above is the fact that our god is always there when we feel anxious or sad. and the fact that bonhoeffer (sorry if i spelled it wrong)  was such a strong christian.  

  6. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?  I mis-read this quote and it jumped at me –  “Am I living a life influenced by lies” …. I read as “Am I living a life influencing lives” …. 
     
    2. Bonhoeffer immersed himself in the psalms so that God’s truth could guide His life. What particularly stands out to you about this man and why? Because He lived a life influencing lives, un – “braked” by those around him. His faith knew no boundaries. His actions show a heart fully transformed by Christ. My faith still lives in a box. =(  I still allow my mind to justify and excuse based on human….no, even worse… Based on United States cultural logic! I am convicted and yet my calling is home right now, even though I desire to GO and DO!  I must tell myself God’s timing.  Praise be He is changing me but, oh! I want to be brave for Him! To influence for the cross. 
     
    Dee, you are so loved and we, of course, understand and support you in your speaking and other ministries! I am saddened at the woman’s loss and will pray for her….such a burden of sorrow. 
     
    Laura-dancer, you, too will be in my prayers much as you go …. I am so very sorry for your loss that I know started long before your mom’s actual passing.  My heart laments with yours. 

  7. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
     
    Three things jumped out to me, first the reminder of racism. Few things anger me quite like racism, so seeing the picture of the sign—oh. Second, I am grieved for this woman who lost her son and her daughter a year prior—I will pray for her. But what stood out most, was this, “Am I living a life influenced by lies, or am I living by the truth of God?” I think that needs to be a daily question for me. When I am influenced by lies, I fear the worst, I begin to even plan for it, to a point that lacks faith. I also allow lies to bring insecurity in relationships, to doubt that I am loved. To take the struggles and relationships I am in right now, to view them influenced by His truth—I can know that asking for what seems impossible, is possible for Him. I can know that the King of Kings finds me not just acceptable, but beautiful—and my insecurity melts.
     
    PRAYING FOR YOU LAURA DANCER–SO SORRY

  8. daily I am experiencing Gods arms and heart wrapping around this broken vessel.    I am thankful.  Grace Anne 

    1. Welcome Grace Ann,

      daily I am experiencing Gods arms and heart wrapping around this broken vessel.

      What a TRUE picture of our heavenly Father!

  9. thank you very much 

  10. What stood out?
    Bonhoeffer’s reaction to the churches in America not preaching the gospel and his horror at the racism that he found. I have been pondering why it seems that most people, even in the churches, seem unmoved by the call of the gospel these days in our culture. There is no fear of God. It is like their ears are dulled, stuffed with cotton batting, as it were, the hearts are stone and the Holy Spirit cannot speak. Why is that? What trials and evils await the complacent churches and our nations in North America? (I am a Canadian). Lord, have mercy on us. 

    1. Diane
       
      It is heart breaking isn’t it that in the current  culture , there isn’t much fear if any of God.  Having lived in two different countries besides the US, I can tell you that it is not just the US.  I’m 33 years old and I can tell you in part the why. Many in my generation and the ones after me have grown up with so much media. From video games then going from 13 channels to infinite channels, increase in watching violence and sexual immortality play out before our very eyes. The Internet. All the secular movies and secular music. People have been descintized. And worse people in the church have compromised. I know I was one of them up until a few year ago. I know countless “friends” (using that term lightly as many I used to be close with but I live so far away now and I don’t have much in common with them anymore. ) they will tell you they love Jesus and believe and many even go to church on Sundays. But during the week they live just like the rest of e world. Bible reading is optional, prayer goes up only to say help me please with such and such. Instead of living a life in the world but not of it, they live like the rest of the world. it’s a scary place to be. if they are around unbelievers why would those unbelievers want to know the Jesus they claim to know and love when there life looks no different then the unbelievers life? We have some how in our culture decided that loving the sinner means to be right there sinning with them in their sin. If that makes sense. My heart breaks for the youth 

      1. Hi, Stephanie Jean in UK, I also have lived in different cultures. I lived in India as a child and in Kenya for a few years as an adult. It is interesting to hear your perspective on why. Yes, distractions are part of the issue. People are desensitized. It is complicated, though. What changed you?

        1. what changed me was God moving in my life and me opening my heart to hear what he was telling me. He brought about many different circumstances that all played a part in taking me from what I would call nominal Christianity to a real relationship with him. I was not raised in a family that followed Jesus. I would say I was raised in a pretty moral family ie Drugs are bad, you should help others, use your manners be polite , respect the elderly work hard. I came to Jesus or he called me to Him when I was 13 at a youth event called acquire the fire. I know something in me changed that day, I encountered the love of the father. But I didn’t have any spiritual discipleship per say. At 18 I walked away from the church feeling hurt and I did what I wanted to do ,  still  believing in Jesus but with the idea I didn’t need fellowship and that God would understand. I lacked peace and true joy for a very long time. I broke my promise to God to save myself for marriage and ended up a single mom at 19. Skip ahead several messy years to 2010 God moved me from southern Ca where I had lived the past 28 years of my life 6000 miles away to Italy. I learned to lean on and trust God the past 4 years like never before. We came under a Pastor unlike any I had ever met. He and his wife loved us but they didn’t sugar coat things. They were very real with us. For the first time in church I actually saw peoples lives being transformed and the word of God coming alive. Truth of who God is being preached and where He desires us to be in relation to him. I also watched people come in and they liked our Pastor but they wouldn’t stay because they were not ready to come and out and be separate from the world and it’s ways. simple put they loved their sin more then they loved God. I would be in the word and my husband and I would make a decision to change something in our home and life that before we were fine with. God would confirm it in a word from someone else. I think maybe too a problem in our culture is the mega church. people are so easily lost in the crowd. How can a pastor shepherd over that many people and be caring for the sheep like God desires? I was in a mega church for 5 years prior to moving. I won’t ever go back. The younger generations need leaders and preachers that are bold for Christ, that they can see living out lives that reflect the gospel. They need to see the word being lived out, not just taught from the pulpit. Pastors and leaders who take people in and disciple them. Discipleship is missing. 

        2. Thanks so much for sharing your testimony, Stephanie Jean in UK. I was raised in a true Christian church, but even a gospel centered church can be bound by traditions and expectations and not truly grace-centered. I knew the truth in my head, but I was bound in many ways. I thought way too much of what others thought of me, instead of what God thought of me. I have kept all the laws from my youth up, but have wondered why God didn’t bless me with what I thought I deserved. I thought I knew better than God. (Wow, what arrogance!) Thank God that He is patient and has kept working on me and opening my eyes to the liberating truth of the gospel. I am now beginning to get just the faintest glimpse of how much He really loves me.

    2. So true, Diane, about churches in America (including Canada) not preaching the gospel in our day.  I’m so grateful to God that He has always lead me to those that do and currently I am in one for which the gospel is central.  I thought you were Canadian but I’m not sure why I thought that!  I’ve only been to Canada once to help jump start a Grace Brethren church in Ontario many years ago.

      1. Yes, Mary e., I live in the “far east” of Canada, in the province of New Brunswick (east of Maine). I have lived in Ontario as well, and also have lived overseas. My husband pastors two rural churches here. I am so grateful that the Internet has brought me to this blog and to all you lovely US friends (and to some who are from other countries as well.)

        1. When I think of Canada I think of Anne of Green Gables…so when you said far east at first I thought…Prince Edward Island!!! 🙂  I’m guessing New Brunswick in beautiful as well.

        2. I live about 4 hrs. from PEI. You have to drive through NB to get to the Island. Love Anne of Green Gables.

        3. Amen Diane Jesus love is perfect love 🙂 and we can’t earn it, the gospel is central and yet many who sit in church’s today if questioned can’t explain the good news or why they are saved,( lack of discipleship and digging into the word). I’m hoping to visit Canada this summer. My oldest daughters aunt lives in west Canada in Kamloops ( very small town near Ashcroft I believe) the pictures I have seen of Canada are breath taking. my daughter has been up there a few times. Can’t wait to get out in the country and see the beautiful creation God has made. Be blessed today! 
           
          Ps Mary from Ohio I love Anne of Green Gables! I have been thinking I should buy the books to read to my girls. 

  11. Welcome, Christy!  It was so nice meeting you yesterday.  What a blessing to visit with you and Dee for a bit.  Sorry we weren’t able to say good-bye…we hit the road as soon as Angie completed prayer to drive in as much daylight as possible.

    Blog sisters, this was my first time attending the Set Apart Conference (its 32nd year…wow!)…I could “feel” the Holy Spirit in the auditorium from the minute the worship team (incredible group of gals) touched upon their first chord…and then Dee gave a wonderful, ministering word about heart idols (a needed, direct hit to my heart regarding my unforgiveness).  Susie Larson and Angie Smith gave wonderful messages as well…my daughter and I were grateful that we were able to attend…it was truly wonderful in so many ways…  Even though I wasn’t able to attend on Friday, I was able to purchase Dee’s Friday talk on SoS…looking forward to listening. 🙂
     
    Dear Laura-d, as I listened to the Jesus Culture/Song of Solomon, I was praying that you might be able to sit for just a moment and listen and allow the Lord to love on you through His words of this song…”He’ll come a running, my Lover to me…”  Again, Laura-d, I am truly sorry for your loss.
     
    1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
    “Am I living a life influenced by lies, or am I living by the truth of God?
    Oh, the question of what influences my life…lies or God’s truth?…I’d like to think it is God’s truth, but how often am I listening to the “talk” and “ways” of this world…how often do I conform to expectation of the world rather than being obedient to the Lord?  Thank You, Father for Your mercy.
    Lies both break us and brake us.
    Yes…lies do have the capacity to break us (jagged rocks come to mind and heart idols pretending to be our friends but really using and abusing)…and lies have the capacity to brake us (how often to I find the fear of imperfection debilitating…why try if I am likely to fail?…forgetting/not acknowledging who is the strength in my weakness, who will equip me for what might appear difficult or even impossible).
     
    2. Bonhoeffer immersed himself in the psalms so that God’s truth could guide His life. What particularly stands out to you about this man and why?
    Bonhoeffer is bold in his obedience…he is authentic and true.  (okay, I guess that is really 3…but they are really all kind of tied together)  Bonhoeffer is obedient to the Lord…he doesn’t care what anyone else (but the Lord) thinks about him or from a worldly view determines he should or should not do; he is following the Lord regardless of where it leads…he doesn’t question God’s motives or plan, but trusts and is obedient.

  12. Mom,
    Thanks so much for your blog today.  I consider it a tribute to our dearest friend , Mary Janet Black,  who just went to be with the Lord on Sun, Feb 2nd.  Below is a link to the video of Mary Janet singing “I cried Holy” that the Lord and I produced in July of 2000.  In the video she is singing of a beautiful place, and now she is there.
    Love,
    J.R.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTKayWR1bKY&feature=youtu.be

    1. JR, what a beautiful song sung by a saint of God!!! You can tell this was sung from the heart. It had me in tears and then the end with her little dance… Hallelujah!

      1. J.R.,  Beautiful!   Diane, tears here, too (closer to sobbing)… but I didn’t watch the dance at the end.  So, I enjoyed the video again.

        1. Renee,
          Thanks for this….you got it all!  Crying hard and enjoying the dance….that’s it!  By the way….we played this at the end of Mary Janet’s Funeral….so she sang and danced at her own funeral!  People were praising God.
           

      2. Diane,
        You picked right up on Mary Janet’s spirit (M.J. – as we call her).  She never performed – she always sung to an audience of ONE!  

    2. Really nicely done video, JR.  How good to know she is now on her knees crying “Holy!  Glory to the Son of God!” I enjoyed that song.

      1. Praise the Lord…Mary!  Thanks

    3. Wow…what a voice…I felt like I was there while she was singing and yes, could see the emotion on her face, hear it in her voice. Awesome video!

      1. Susan – Praise the Lord!  I’m so glad you were blessed.  

  13. Our friends Rick & Denise helped as well.

  14. I have to say that last night I was so excited because the coming of Sunday Morning meant a new week on the blog! 
    What stood out from above and Bonhoeffer…
    I too wept when hearing of a mother’s loss of two children.  I cried out to the LORD for her. May she feel His arms of love around her as she walks through this very dark valley that He has allowed.
    I am so glad to be able to meet Bonhoeffer through this study.  To be influenced by his praying the psalms, to have his life and passion for Christ influence me even now these many years after his death.  The other Rebecca had an interesting comment on the modern church worshiping morality.  As the church splits over moral issues I can see that being a problem.  Holding fast to the Gospel, His sacrifice and all that it means to us will be the challenge. 
     

    1. Rebecca Louise,   I’m always excited for the new week on the blog.  I remember when I used to start checking just after midnight Sat night/Sunday morning and continue hitting refresh/reload 😀     I know of some sites with that are automatically released at odd hours in the middle of the night, and I didn’t want to miss anything!!  Then, Dee indicated that she posts it herself early Sunday morning.  (So now, I don’t stay up and wait for it!!)

  15. What stands out to me

    I cannot read Bonhoeffer without being stirred to the depth of my soul and ask myself: “Am I living a life influenced by lies, or am I living by the truth of God? Psalm 12 contrasts the two: the words of this ungodly world and the words of God. Living by the words of God means living radically.

    I am looking forward to studying Psalm 12.  I want to know (again) what it means to live radically.  I used to have that radical bent, but I think I caved to the status quo (seems like the pressure toward the status quo always has been as great in the church as in the so-called secular realm).   The question, “Am I living a life influenced by lies?”   One of the lies from the past — that God couldn’t use me in an area I sensed a calling — periodically has a strong grip on me.  The lie in that was evident even at the time because I believed in a God bigger than that.  Now I am creating my own lie, wondering if it is too late to be as radical as he once called me to be. 
    Also, the racism:  it’s still so rampant — But I think it’s more hidden because it’s not always socially acceptable or legal.  It’s very difficult for at least some people who are African American, Native American, or Jewish to live in a predominantly white community  — and I would be pretty oblivious to that if those who had experienced the racism hadn’t given me examples.
    2. Bonhoeffer immersed himself in the psalms so that God’s truth could guide His life. What particularly stands out to you about this man and why?
    I was familiar with Bonhoeffer’s “big picture” story, so what stands out now might be different than if I hadn’t heard of him or read some of his work.  I started reading his biography last night, too.  His family, their power, their education, their connections, and some of their deaths, impacted who he was; it was interesting that his family didn’t go to church, yet he chose to study theology.  
    Also, I know that God was in control and the timing of Bonhoeffer’s death was “so close” to Hitler’s death, the end of WWII — This reminds me that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”  I wonder if his legacy would have been as powerful if he would have lived.  Near the end of the CBN video clip, Metaxas said that it is “tempting to look at as a great tragedy” but that  “Bonhoeffer would rebuke us” because  “to serve God with everything you have unto death is the greatest joy of life.”   I want that, am I am very tempted/discouraged by the lie that “it’s too late.”

    1. Renee, you state out loud a lie I heard in my head just a few minutes ago: “it’s too late”. That lie is so prevalent and insidious. I will pray for you as you fight it. 
       
      I too noted the temptation to view Bonhoeffer’s death as a great tragedy, but also noted that it could NOT be a great tragedy if God was in control. God could have caused the assassination plot against Hitler to succeed, God could have prevented Bonhoeffer’s death. There MUST be a bigger picture than we fully see.  

    2. Renee, I see great hope in that you identified the lie that “it’s too late”. That means you’re not asleep!

    3. This reminds me that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of  the church.” 
      I thought the same thing Renee. 

  16. I have been reading blog & studying for some time, but commenting is pretty new for me.  reading this is so rich!  I keep playing the theme song “over the mountains…” and am running to Him.  the impact this is having on me turned me to Song of Solomon, 2:10 and I see written in my bible some time ago “Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come away with me….”  it is the call from Him that I hear at 5:00 a.m. when I want to turn off the alarm and roll over and sleep longer instead of responding so I have time with the Lover of my soul.  (recently went back to work and early morning so hard!!)  So I come running.  (honestly, there are those days I hit the snooze alarm  and I am so struggling with that!)
    I will begin reading Bonhoeffer today.  I am impacted by his unwavering focus.  Just like Daniel who stood in his standing.  He was willing even onto death.  “Bonhoeffer returned to Germany after a time of enormous spiritual growth, and then he saw…..”   and so it is essential to make this a time of spiritual growth in my life and this psalm study is wonderful.  So much of what was happening in Bonhoeffer’s time parallels with America (and elsewhere) today.  lack of gospel from many pulpits and a hate growing……..this time Christians are the target. 
    my heart weeps and I pray for the woman who lost children.  and also for the woman who lost her mother.  May the God of all comfort be all over them today. 

    1. Elizabeth, I loved how you turned in your Bible to Song of Solomon 2:10 to read that verse! Mornings can be hard…what a beautiful picture to have in your mind to help you “arise…and come away” with Him!

    2. Glad to have you commenting now, Elizabeth 🙂  .             I just read that 33 Christians are going to be executed in North Korea.    It strikes me that it could have just as easily been a large portion of the church in the U.S. that capitulated to Hitler as it was the German church during that era.Me, too — my heart goes out to Laura-dancer and to the woman who lost children.  I read (just a little) about the accident in the paper today — if she was from MN (icy roads).   Lord, where else would we go in times of such pain?  

    3. Hi Elizabeth and welcome.  

    4. Elizabeth-I hope you continue to comment for this comment is rich and I especially LOVE your insight in Song of Songs. :))

  17. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
     
    As I read the opening about Bonhoeffer, I couldn’t help but think of Joseph. Joseph was prepared to be prime minister of Egypt after years of hardship and jail. Bonhoeffer came to America having never experienced the racial hatred that he observed against the colored people here. It does seem so strange that a “white German” man spent several years in a black church and he must have known his fellow brothers and sisters well…he heard their laments, their cries to God in their persecution, saw their praise…I believe this opened his eyes and prepared him for what he was about to face when he returned to Germany and saw the same things unfolding there – this time, against the Jews. He was therefore ready, having been much matured spiritually.
    The interview with Eric Metaxis has whetted my appetite to read Bonhoeffer – whether now or perhaps for a good summer read…
    The question is so relevant: “Am I living a life influenced by lies, or am I living by the truth of God?” Lies have indeed infiltrated the church and we are not immune to them. Lies definitely can “brake” us…keep us from living for God and from running to Him.
     
    I also will be praying for the woman who has now lost two children…I cannot fathom her heartbreak and loss. I am thankful at that time she was surrounded by caring women.

  18. Just got The Cost of Discipleship (by Bonhoeffer) today and the very first quote of him, in the foreword is, “When Christ calls a man he bids him come and die.”  (the hardest thing in the world for us to do…die to self, but with His help, not impossible.)

  19. 2. Bonhoeffer immersed himself in the psalms so that God’s truth could guide his life. What particularly stands out to you about this man and why?
     
    He was more afraid of what God could do to him than what man could do to him. He was convicted that he must act – knowing what he knew – because how else could he stand before a holy God? It struck me as I listened to the interview that the American planes were so near-the end of the war and German surrender was at hand, yet Hitler directly ordered Bonhoeffer to be executed. Hitler tried to stamp him out, to eradicate him.  Yet his legacy lives on. He didn’t waver while deliberating over theological arguments – he acted. I think it’s wonderful that Metaxas  is introducing Bonhoeffer to Christians today.

  20. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
     
    As I read through the blog today,  I was thinking that the state Bonhoeffer found in the New York churches nearly 80 years ago is not too different from the condition of many churches in America today.   We probably should be just as alarmed and concerned as he was. 
     
    2. Bonhoeffer immersed himself in the psalms so that God’s truth could guide His life. What particularly stands out to you about this man and why?
     
    I was struck by the difficult decisions he had to make in his life and the life-and-death consequences of his decisions.    His experiences in America preceding his return to Germany no doubt provided critical preparation for what he was to do.  I believe God was engineering Bonhoeffer’s preparation all along.   
     
    However, when I try to mentally put myself in his place,  I realize how hard it must have been for someone who had received seminary training to then enter into a conspiracy to kill someone — even if the person was as evil as Hitler.   Would I ever believe that God was calling me to kill?    Whew!  I am so thankful that I have not yet had to make any decisions as weighty as that in my life.  

  21. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
    I cannot read Bonhoeffer without being stirred to the depth of my soul and ask myself: “Am I living a life influenced by lies, or am I living by the truth of God?
    A good question to ask myself on a daily basis. Do I live by the truth of God? Everyday, I will be faced with circumstances that can either make me bitter or make me a better Christian. I need to remember to live by God’s truth so that no matter what happens, I know He will be my/in my circumstance.
    I also love the play on the words “break” and “brake”. Lies can break us because it is the enemy’s ploy. They can also be a brake to keep us from doing good works which He has ordained for us to do.
    2. Bonhoeffer immersed himself in the psalms so that God’s truth could guide His life. What particularly stands out to you about this man and why?
    Bonhoeffer’s courage to stand alone stood out to me. Would I be willing to do the same? The timing of his death just short of Hitler’s suicide is bittersweet. Why did God not spare Bonhoeffer? Perhaps it is so that we who will read about his life would realize the sacrifice we maybe ask to do to bring about God’s purposes. Am I willing to say, “whatever and however, Lord for your honor and glory?” Thank you, Mr. Bonhoeffer for your life.

  22. Having read Bonhoeffer’s biography a a few years ago, it was powerful to become immersed in part of it again.  Black people have had a particularly strong need for God and need for each other.  For them, it must have been strange and empowering to have him as part of their congregation.  They also needed the support of each other and have body of stories and songs passed down from age to age.  I don’t have access to an on-line recording of some of these, but I imagine they exist.  I particularly liked the song about God coming over the mountains and over the sea. It’s hard to realize that this was 60 years ago.  Some of us are old enough to remember it.
    I’ve yet to be comfortable about seeing God or Jesus as a lover, but I’m sure others find this meaningful.

  23. Something else that stood out to me was that “our song” was played by worship team WITH ORCHESTRA !  LOVE it!

  24. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why? Bonhoeffer recognizing those proclaiming to love Christ yet having such hate in their hearts or even benevolence towards different races, in that states during those times poor treatment African Americans , while in Germany it was Jews and basically every human hitler felt was inferior. How Bonhoeffer went and found a true body of believers to worship with despite there outward differences. How courages he and his family were in this time of great trouble. I have asked myself and even questioned The Lord in my heart, Lord if times get tough, if I must lay down my life for others and you, will I be able to do it? I hope you will give me the courage and strength. I have to ne honest and say that while I trust The Lord and know he intends good for me, I know my days are numbered, they are not promised to me. I have heard that right now in this day and time that our country resembles Germany during Hitlers time, and that the political climate is much the same. I also know that there are groups of Christians who believe that God has turned his back on the nation of Isreal and are anti semantic and it scares me and bothers me. I don’t know pray for the nation of Isreal like I should and I don’t pray as I should for my Christian brothers and sisters around the world who are laying down there life for the gospel of Christ. I just read today that North Koreas president wants to put 33 of our brothers and sisters to death. My heart is sad. More then death though, I fear if it comes to the point that I must lay down my life, that my girls will be left without a mom to protect them. But then I have to ground my thoughts in the fact that My heavy father created my sweet girls and he loves and cares for them even more then I. Luke 12:4 says “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.
    I pray there are more men in the world like Bonhoeffer willing to stand up and do what’s right. I remember that Jesus is with me through the darkest night and that it is always the darkest right before the dawn of morning .
    my heart goes out to the women who has lost 2 of her children. May our Heavenly Father wrap his arms tightly around her and give great comfort as she mourns. 
    2. Bonhoeffer immersed himself in the psalms so that God’s truth could guide His life. What particularly stands out to you about this man and why? I think I covered that above.

      1. 🙂 Happy to be here, so sorry for all my typos. I’ll be sure to read back through my comment before posting next time. 

  25. I identify with Renee and Diane..”.it’s too late”…moving soon with my husband to a retirement community. Praying for God to grace me with one friend who has a love for the Lord, and we can together exalt His name and spur one another on to love and good deeds and not just be content in our rocking chairs and the comforts of life….Challenging to see how God was a work in life of Bonhoeffer, even though he attended a “liberal” seminary, God’s spirit drew him to fellowship with a black church in Harlem and there he encountered a personal God…and felt compelled to return to Germany to combat the evil he knew was there.
     

  26. what struck me the most this morning was how God prepared Bonhoeffer’s heart. how God placed in America so that he could witness what racism looked like.so that when he went home to Germany, he was not fooled by the rhetoric.
    it makes me think of how God prepares all of us for the great works that he has for us to do in our lives.
    I can see how God has done this in my life. had the opportunity to help a couple girls who have experienced abuse. thank God I never experienced such things as a child, but as I helped each one of these girls I learned a lot….
    God has placed a young woman in my life who needed me to know what I know because of the other girls I have known.
    also my best friend works with international students so every time she came to Detroit I wanted to see her so I would go up during that time I was in many trainings on how to reach international students….now I have the opportunity to sit at a table with 7 lovely women and help them with their English, I know and understand their culture and this makes our relationship so much richer. I thought I was just visiting my best friend when she was close, but God knew better.
    these situations and so many more (adopting a child at 10 from China, having an autistic brother) they are all amazing training ground.
    what stood out to me the most is how amazing God weaves everything together beautifully in our lives so that we can be all he needs us to be in ” such a time as this”

  27. 3. Read Psalm 12:
    A. What is the lament and plea of verse 1?
    The lament is because of the absence of the godly/faithful.  The plea is that God would save or help.  I noticed that the word save or help wasn’t followed by a me or them.  The plea seemed larger – as in fix the situation or culture.
    B. In verses 2-4 find:   1) At least three different ways words can deceive
    lies, flattery, double heart.   I looked up doublespeak because I wanted to double check that I understood the meaning.  Interesting site: http://www.damronplanet.com/doublespeak/ethicalissues.htm
    2) The motive behind deceptive words in verse 4 Power & control
    C. Now comes a prophetic word from God through David. Find it in verses 5-7.
    The Lord says, “I will now arise” and provide safety.  This seems like a prophecy of Jesus – although I don’t quite “get it.”  It must refer to eternal safety because the poor continue to be plundered.
    D. Contrast verses 2 and 6.
    Lies, flattery, doublespeak vs. very pure words –tested and refined
    E. Take a lie, or a double-speak, or a boast, or a flattery from this world and contrast it with the pure Word of God.  This was challenging AND freeing.
     
    I sometimes stick up for the underdog or bring up truth that shines the light on lies.  The lie is that by doing this I will win friends and influence people.  I think that if I do what’s right, I will “win.”
     
    Truth:  
    John 15:18   “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
     
     Another lie:  “It’s too late.”    I have been told that God couldn’t use me because I was depressed, and also that God couldn’t use me because I was too educated.  After that, I gave up — decided it was too much work to navigate life among Christians — and that I never would work for a “Christian” school or organization.   I think that now I am trying to pre-empt getting hurt by Christians by telling myself that “it’s too late” (because I expect that I’ll get told that).  It’s not necessarily that I plan to look for a position in a Christian organization (or plan not to), but I want to be open to wherever he leads. And I don’t want to be intimidated when I hear lies (even if I don’t believe them)
     
    Truth:
     
    For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31, ESV)
     
     TRUTH:  Living in/for him is by grace, through his strength.  Yup, I am too weak, too depressed, too old, too educated…   And that is good.  The power is his, not mine anyway.  When I am weak, he is strong.

    1. Great song, thank you for sharing! Help us remember you are in control Lord. 

  28. Please don’t notify me of follow up comments or posts.  I can’t handle all the emails.

    1. Bonnie, 
      Have you unsubscribed from them yet? If you haven’t yet just click the manage your subscriptions link at the bottom of one of the emails -then follow the directions from there. 

    2. Bonnie,
      To get rid of the abundant emails, scroll down to the bottom of the page you are reading on right now — to the box where you can enter comments.  Fill it in and write a comment (it can be simple like “I’m getting rid of emails.” Look below the “submit” button.   You will probably see one or more of those boxes with check marks in them.   Click on those check marks to get rid of them.  Then submit your comment. Once the check marks are gone from those boxes the emails will stop.     Good luck — and please hang in here with us!! 
       

  29. Dee that is awesome about your meetings. No thanks, that is God’s song for sure. I hope it ministers to others that hear it as well.
     
    1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
    I love art, so the art “Singing The Blues” really touched me. Also the video clip  with Eric Metaxas. I think God was preparing Bonehoeffer for what would be happening later with the Jews in his home country. I believe Bonehoeffer witnessing blacks, who were discriminated and oppressed, pressing into God showed Bonehoeffer the true meaning of following God in hard times. Its interesting that the blues to me are a parallel to psalms, they had meaning and were birthed out of some horrible and compelling times.
    2. Bonhoeffer immersed himself in the psalms so that God’s truth could guide His life. What particularly stands out to you about this man and why? 
    Bonhoeffer, to me, represents David; a man after God’s own heart. Bonhoeffer knew to serve God, there was no greater thing, even if it even meant unto death….wow. Im still in awe of his legacy for God’s kingdom. If I could even be 1/10 as bold as he was….It really puts things in perspective as I believe today so many Christians, to include myself, have put God in a box and tried to put our doctrine, ideas or stamp on God, when it should be the other way around. It should be God putting his stamp on our hearts, our doctrines and our ideas….  Matt. 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
     

    1. amen Staci God needs to put his stamp on us 🙂 Sealed by the Spirit 

    2. I reread that and ‘our ideas’ are His ideas if we seek him first…that’s what I meant. 😉

  30. 3. Read Psalm 12:
    A. What is the lament and plea of verse 1?
    Lord I’m desperate for your truth , those who were once faithful and believed in you are no longer speaking your Truth. 
    B. In verses 2-4 find:
    1) At least three different ways words can deceive
    flattery over telling the truth v.2
    boasting in self over boasting in Jesus  v.3
    we will speak what we want with no concern because we have no master we are our own master v.4
     
    2) The motive behind deceptive words in verse 4
    Victory  in the flesh, Satan working his deception in lives of those being deceived , their belief has become that there is No God to answer to, that their words have power and they will use that power for unrighteousness ungodly things. 
    C. Now comes a prophetic word from God through David. Find it in verses 5-7.
    God WILL protect those being oppressed by the lies and deception being spoken and we can believe and trust this because GODS words ( not Satans or men ruled by Satan) are flawless. I love in the end of vs 6 he says purified 7 times 7representing  His perfect perfection in all he does. After all GOD spoke and the world was created. 
    D. Contrast verses 2 and 6.
    Man uses lying flattery deceiving. God in His perfection speaks flawless truth. 
    E. Take a lie, or a double-speak, or a boast, or a flattery from this world and contrast it with the pure Word of God. I’ll start:
    Lie: there are many Paths that lead to God and eternal life 
    Truth: John 14:6

    6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.No one comes to the Father except through me.

     
     
     

  31. 3. Read Psalm 12:
    A. What is the lament and plea of verse 1?
    First in seeing Jesus in this Psalm..that He is grieving over the absence of faithful, godly men-men who are their own masters. There are plenty who talk a great talk but in truth deceive themselves and others, and in reality do not care for the oppressed or needy-so the plea is that God would rescue the poor and needy?
     
    B. In verses 2-4 find:
    1) At least three different ways words can deceive
    Great boasts, flattering lips, a double heart.
     
    2) The motive behind deceptive words in verse 4
    control and power
     
    C. Now comes a prophetic word from God through David. Find it in verses 5-7.
    That in the future there will be a time when God rescues the oppressed-the poor. I am thinking of when he comes back to establish the new heavens and the new Earth-he will place them in safety for which they long and He will provide for them all their needs abundant.
     
    D. Contrast verses 2 and 6.
    men are not to be trusted for their tongues are filled with lies, boasts, deception, but the Lord’s words are pure-refined. I am thinking of Scripture-God’s breath-His Words..He can be trusted 100%. whereas men can’t be trusted.
     
    E. Take a lie, or a double-speak, or a boast, or a flattery from this world and contrast it with the pure Word of God:
    “you have to look out for yourself first-look out for number one.” -Lie
    Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or empty conceit but with humility count others more significant than yourself.”-Truth
     
     

  32. I am struggling with this psalm so I am looking forward to all my blog sisters answers.
    first David laments that there is no one Faithful anywhere….then he starts talking about neighbors to flatter each other, is there something I am missing in the translation? are they flattering to deceive or to take advantage of or to hurt in some way?
     
    I’m picturing a market place and people stretching the truth in order to get more money for damaged goods..
    Lie of this world

    I can do anything I want as long as I don’t hurt anyone else

    Truth of God

    trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge HIM and HE will direct your path.

     

  33. . Bonhoeffer immersed himself in the psalms so that God’s truth could guide His life. What particularly stands out to you about this man and why?
    i think what stands out is that he is willing to go memorise and learn the truth in a moraly corrupt world. how the lord led him against racism by taking bonhoeffer to the black church. also how the lord led him against the nazis through the bible.

  34. I am so moved this morning as I hopped on the blog, and read of Dee’s experiences speaking recently which included real life tragedy and yet truly glorifying God moments, and listened to the songs that helped me lift my eyes (and my arms!) toward heaven to see only Him, not life’s distractions, and to be prompted to sing and pray the Psalms, for they are God’s Words and they direct my attention where it should be.  I do praise Him for Bonhoeffer’s life, for he left such a godly example for us, and he knew to whom he belonged.  Thank you, Lord.  You alone are holy, I praise you, for your words are pure, like silver refined and purified by fire seven times.

  35. 3. Read Psalm 12.
    A. What is the lament and plea of verse 1? Help, I am all alone – there is noone that is godly or faithful among men on earth.
     
    B. In verses 2-4 find:
    1.) At least three different ways words can deceive. Flattery, boasting, self-deception (we own our own lips, justification).
    2.) The motive behind deceptive words in verse 4. Self. Wanting to own our lips, and be our own master. The desire to claim triumph as our own and be glorified for what we do. The lie that we can win with our own works.
     
    C. Now comes a prophetic word from God through David. Find it in verse 5-7.  My breath is taken away by the Common English Version:
    But the Lord says,    “Because the poor are oppressed,    because of the groans of the needy,    I’m now standing up.    I will provide the help they are gasping for.6 The Lord’s promises are pure”
    The prophetic word is “Because…I will”  Gasping for help – oh I relate!!
    More of Common English Translation:  You, Lord, will keep us,protecting us from this generation forever.
    The last part of verse 5 in American Standard:Now will I arise, saith Jehovah; I will set him in the safety he panteth for.”
    He does not take away the wicked, but He sets us in safety – He gives us Christ and His pure, true promises that we can rest in. He is.  Verse 6 is beautiful – “the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver…” What hope to know He tells us truth.
     
    D. Contrast verses 2 and 6. Words of men are lies and flattering for their own devices. Words of God are pure…this word depicts such a sweet and thirst-quenching image in my mind of reading the Word… drinking pure liquid silver. It is proven to have only good in it.
     
    E. Take a lie, or a double-speak, or a boast, or a flattery from this world and contrast it with the pure Word of God.
    Lie: “We need to triumph.” (“We will triumph with our own tongues!”)
    Truth: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    1. jill, jill, jill,
      You nailed it for me!   I’m going to check out the Common English Version… something wasn’t quite clicking before for me.And the lie — that fits me.  I often think that I have to outwit, outsmart, outspeak evil.  That is stressful!  And the pressure can be self-destructive.  During the past couple of weeks, I have given up that control to  God, but I hadn’t identified the lie behind it except that I knew I didn’t have the energy to wear a Wonder Woman cape any longer.  Remembering Luther’s words to Melanchton!  I’m so adamant about not seeking official positions of authority, but I sure do strive to be responsible for the world otherwise.   Yeah, it takes a few weeks for these lessons to soak in!   🙂

      1. Renee,  I often struggle with the subconscious expectation that in order for God to “win” the circumstances must change favorably (in other words if it looks like I am winning, then He is winning and vice versa) …and sometimes that is true but it is not all-inclusive nor exclusive! If that makes sense.  I fear (a bad thing) that those around me will see my failures and unfavorable events and judge God based on my life…when really I should expect that they would judge God based on my heart…that it is content and clinging to Him, the big. Right? These things are so entangled but so good to ponder…I, too, take weeks for things to really soak in! It is all too big for my brain to wrap around so I just keep circling it till I think I get a grasp, seeing something new on each lap, and trust Him in His infinite knowledge and wisdom. =)

  36. 3. Read Psalm 12:A. What is the lament and plea of verse 1?“Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man”.B. In verses 2-4 find:1) At least three different ways words can deceivelyingflatteryboasting
    2) The motive behind deceptive words in verse 4They will not surrender to any other LORD, then themselves.
    C. Now comes a prophetic word from God through David. Find it in verses 5-7.“Because  the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the Lord; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
    D. Contrast verses 2 and 6.People lie—  they say one thing and mean another.But The Lord’s words  are pure no flaw in them, His word is  like silver  (refined) by fire.
    E. Take a lie, or a double-speak, or a boast, or a flattery from this world and contrast it with the pure Word of God. I’ll start:People can lie and speak to each other however they wish, because they are their own master.
      “A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin” (Proverbs 26:28)
     

  37. Ladies,
    Here is a couple of sites you can use to check out different translations or paraphrases of the Bible.

    Bible Gateway

    Blue Letter Bible
     

  38. I was blessed by the beautiful song I Sing Holy. Thank you so much for sharing it.
    Bonhoeffer’s life is a picture of a man, obedient to the goal of righteousness. He drew strength from the Lord, was sensitive to the Spirit, and determined to do God’s will. I understand his dilemma of seeing a country so divided in the 30’s and am blessed by his embracing the church in Harlem. We still need to cross the cultural divides, including racial misunderstanding. I am blessed with the praying of God’s word and hope to acquire the book, Praying the Psalms.
    I will be listening to  God’s pure words and thinking about the flattering lips, the proud things and the foolish words to discern them. Also to determine my own motives as I speak to others and try to be honest.

    1. Shirley,
      I’m so glad you liked the video.  It’s interesting that the person who wrote it said they had a dream of heaven.  The dream is so specific, it seems as though the person really went there.
       

  39. 3. Read Psalm 12:
    A. What is the lament and plea of verse 1?
     
    That the faithful have vanished — which can be daunting for someone who is trying to be faithful.   We do not want to feel alone — in fact, we need to be in touch with a community of the faithful for support and shared strength.
     
    B. In verses 2-4 find:
    1) At least three different ways words can deceive
     
    Lies, flattering, and boasting.
    2) The motive behind deceptive words in verse 4
     
    “We will triumph with our tongue, we own our lips….”       In other words, we have the right to say whatever we like (Wrong!).  
     
    My Life Application Study Bible commentary says: 
     

    We may be tempted to believe that lies are relatively harmless, even useful at times.   But God does not overlook lies, flattery, deception, or boasting.   Each of these sins originates from a bad attitude that is eventually expressed in our speech.  The tongue can be our greatest enemy because, though small, it can do great damage. 

    C. Now comes a prophetic word from God through David. Find it in verses 5-7.
    D. Contrast verses 2 and 6.
     

    Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception.  (vs. 2)
    And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. (vs. 6)

    King David probably faced many people who hoped to win his favor through flattery and lies.
    When we feel as though sincerity and truth have virtually vanished, there is only one hope — that is God’s word which is flawless and refined. 

    1. Sorry,  the web site didn’t let me edit, and I had accidentally skipped C.  
       
      Now comes a prophetic word from God through David.  Find it in verses 5-7.
       
      C.      David says that the Lord will rise up and protect those maligned by lies and deception.  He cares for the weak and the needy.  He protects the downtrodden and will confront their wicked oppressors.

  40. 4. Pray for your heart, using psalm 12.
     
     
     
    LORD, we live in a world system that surrounds us with lies and flattery and it causes me to wonder if I can trust anything people say. Holy Spirit you are the Spirit of truth convict me when I’m tempted to lie or use flattery to manipulate people like the world does. Your words are different they are words filled with truth—  they are pure, not a bit of deception or falsehood are found in them.
     
     
     
     
    I confess sometimes Your words you speak are hard for me to understand and hard for me to hear but they are always true—  always right and I desire to trust You completely.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  41. Susan, Diane & Mary,
    Thanks for your responses to the video…I let Mary Janet’s loved ones know of your responses….I know it will bless them.
     

    1. J.R., I would be glad to have you encourage MJ’s loved ones with our comments. Don’t forget Renee’s comment as well.

      1. Thanks Diane…Yes… I did include Renee’s comments…but I forgot to respond to her…. just did….God Bless.

    2. Praying for their comfort, JR.  I loved your comment about her singing to an audience of ONE!  Exactly who we should all be doing everything for, an audience of ONE. 🙂  

      1. Amen!

    3. I am glad to know Mary Janet’s loved ones are blessed…you were so blessed to have known her in person!

  42. 6. Psalm 13 is a classic lament, so find these three elements:A. The lament — the sorrow expressed honestly to God. Find the four “How longs” and put them in your own words, imagining Christ praying them from the cross.
     
    How long will you ignore me—  forever?
    How long will you look the other way?
    How long must I feel this sadness and confusion?
    How long will my enemies  keep beating and wearing me down?
     
     
    B. The turn — the psalmist turns from focusing on self to focusing on God“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. V. 6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me”.
     
     
    C. The truth — the psalmist remembers God’s character, promises, or past faithfulnessHe remembers the LORD’S steadfast love, salvation, and how He dealt bountifully with him in the past.
     

  43. 3. A. What is the lament and plea of verse 1?
    The lament is that evil, ungodliness is taking over as the majority while the godly are an ever dwindling minority.  The plea is for God’s help.
     
    B. In verses 2-4 find:1) At least three different ways words can deceive
    1.  disingenuine flattery
    2.  lies, deceit
    3.  boastfulness, bragging
     
    2) The motive behind deceptive words in verse 4
    They are their own lord…they are in complete control and answer to no one.
     
    C. Now comes a prophetic word from God through David. Find it in verses 5-7.
    God sees injustice, He hears the crys of the poor/helpless…He promises (and His promises are true) help, rescue and protection of those suffering oppression, injustice, etc.
     
    D. Contrast verses 2 and 6.
    V. 2 speaks of deception while v. 6 speaks of purity…the Lord’s truth is pure through and through; it will remain pure regardless of means of refinement, whereas disingenuious flattery, lies, and deceit will not remain concealed; the deception will be exposed for what it is.

  44. 7. Now you are ready to pray this psalm,  taking a concern You have personally or for others to Him, and know that Christ is praying with you, and understands. Go through the three steps of the lament.
    How long will you forget America—  forever?
    How long will you look the other way LORD?
    How long must we struggle with anguish in our heart because of the condition of our country?
    How long will our enemies have the upper hand?
     
    We are facing attacks on our faith LORD—  don’t let the enemy triumph over us restore light to our eyes to see where you are working in America. Let us see the situation as you see it LORD. Give us new eyes of faith. You did it before when you opened the eyes of the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
     
     
    You did it for Hagar as she was crying and dying of thirst in the wilderness. You opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant when the Syrian army surrounded the city. Oh LORD, do it again, open our eyes.
     
     
    LORD may we in America like our brothers and sisters in other countries learn to rejoice when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us-they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation (Rom. 5:3,4).  
     
     
    But in spite of the things we see in the natural “We trust in your unfailing love. We will rejoice because you have rescued us in the past. We will sing to You Lord because You are so good to us.”
     
    One of my all time favorite songs sung by Shirley Caesar – He’ll Do It Again.

  45. E. Take a lie, or a double-speak, or a boast, or a flattery from this world and contrast it with the pure Word of God.
    Contrast:
    This world is all there is– when you die that is the end.
     
    John 14: 1-3:   “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”  

    1. Deanna–thank you for John 14–that verse brings me such peace–love the way He speaks so personally and tender in those words

  46. 3 A. What is the lament and plea of verse 1?
    “Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.”
    My notes remind that the word “save” is the Hebrew word that would become Jesus, our Savior. I hear David calling out, from a place devoid of Light.
     
    B. In verses 2-4 find:
    1) At least three different ways words can deceive
    Lies, flattery, boasting, pride, manipulation
    2) The motive behind deceptive words in verse 4
    Control, power, manipulation to try to get our needs met by our own means. The Message translation says “We can talk anyone into anything! Our lips manage the world.”
    C. Now comes a prophetic word from God through David. Find it in verses 5-7.
    “I will now arise,” says the Lord; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.” …You, O Lord, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever.”
    D. Contrast verses 2 and 6.
    Man’s words are lies and flattery, a double heart, they are rooted in selfish gain—they steal life. God’s words are pure, refined–they are Life.
    E. Take a lie, or a double-speak, or a boast, or a flattery from this world and contrast it with the pure Word of God.
     
    Lie: To need help is a sign of weakness, it is better to be independent and not admit weakness.
    Truth: Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28) and “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5
     
    Lie: My problems are too small to bring to God.
    Truth: “Cast ALL your anxieties on Him because He cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7
     
    Lie: I can’t handle “this”
    Truth: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

    1. Thanks , Elizabeth for the verse in Philippians 4:13 I am going through a struggle today and I have to be reminded that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
      I love to imagine the Lord rising from His throne. It pictures His magnificence, power and authority. “Enough of this as if He is saying in defense of the poor and needy. “I will set him in safety” v.5 Lord, I am poor and needy right now; needing your assurance that all is well. Set me in your safety place, I plead. Take away the whispering enemies who are feeding me lies. Free me from too much introspection and restore to me the joy of your salvation.  Let me cling to the truth of your flawless words that I may see myself through your eyes and not through man’s. Help me forgive and love the one who offended me today. Jesus, lover of my soul, keep my eyes on you and help me not base my significance and security in the approval of man (lie) but in who I am in you(truth). Isaiah 43:1b I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

  47. Started listening to Peter Baker tonight. Lovely. Renee, he talks about what we were talking about. 
     
    Also had a thought about “how long O Lord?” There is sense of faith that it will end in this statement.  If you can ask how long then there is a finite number for the answer? How long O lord TILL … ? This is encouraging to me. There is an end to struggle, deceit, God hiding, etc. 

    1. Oh good!  Thanks, Jill. Looking forward to it.

    2. Jill, thanks for your thoughts on “how long till..?” That encouraged me, too. There are many things I am waiting for. Thank God, He will bring it to pass or bring it to an end.

  48. Now I have a new task (copy and paste) … I’m recognizing a bunch of “my lies” here — and the verses with the truth — SO GOOD.   Since I tend to scroll from the bottom up when reading (!),  I just noticed Elizabeth’s one about asking for help/independence.  Ugh!  Too familiar.