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Analise Rejoicing in Front of the Sunset














For those of you who are new, a special welcome! You can do this silently or you can actively participate with our wonderful group of women here. There are simple directions if you click on the door below.

Door-I Am the Door-Mark Bishop Book

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During these first two weeks in July we’ll learn about the sons of Korah. Korah was a rebel against God, but his sons were singers of the psalms. How is it that sons of such a rebel became such godly men? That is part of the intrigue of this week! A

Sunday: Getting to Know You!

The psalms are intensely personal, reflecting the highs and lows of life, and all the passions of the heart. Likewise, this is an interactive Bible study (if you like) where we really do get to know one another, care about one another, and experience God.

1. Tell us an interesting fact about yourself, the area in which you live, and anything that stood out to you from the above.

2. Tell us, if possible, one way the Lord has made Himself real to you so far this summer, using just a brief paragraph. (Wordy entries are often not read!) For example, I’d say:

Sometimes I fight loneliness as a widow, especially before my home my home is filled with guests for the summer, as I live in a resort area. But one lonely day in May, I took my bike to Peninsula Park to ride the ten mile path where forget-me-nots, spring green, and bird songs enveloped me. As I sailed through this wonderland I sang praises to Him and sensed HIs pleasure in my delight in Him and in His creation.

Peninsula Park, Wisconsin
Peninsula Park, Wisconsin

Monday: 4TH OF JULY

Next week we will dive into the history of the sons of Korah, but for now you can know that their father, Korah, rebelled against God and God gave him and his family a chance for mercy. Those who rejected it were swallowed up by the earth, and those who responded were not. There is a parallel with our lives and with our country.

3. Give thanks for God’s goodness to our country. Also pray for our country right here.

Tuesday-Friday: Intro Video and Reflections

Watch this short video of the friendship that began between the rock star Bono and the author of The Message, Eugene Peterson, because of their mutual love of the psalms.


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


In the above video, Bono was asked if like the psalmists, he had ever written a song despairing of the violence and struggling, therefore, with his faith. He said he had — and it is called Raised by Wolves. It’s definitely a rock song and a little challenging for this grandmother, yet the history is that Bono was raised in Ireland amidst all its violence, and this song is a lament where he cries I don’t believe anymore. The psalms show us we need to lament, to tell God what we are honestly feeling, so that we don’t back up from Him but allow Him to come to us. Here is a video of “Raised by Wolves.”


Though Bono was “raised by wolves,” God has had His hand on him, and Bono has become a powerful voice and fighter for justice in the world and an articulate apologist for Christianity. Because of his life of fighting for the poor, the downtrodden, and the oppressed, people listen.


Likewise, the sons of Korah became lead singers, writers of psalms, and world changers. (Heman and Asaph were famous psalmists from the line of Korah.) In a sense these sons of Korah were “raised by wolves,” for their father led the violent rebellion against Moses.


5. It always makes me ponder to meet someone who was raised in a hostile home who becomes passionate for Jesus. How do you think this happens?


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

Week 2 beginning July 10th


7. Did you see God in the move in your life in any way last week? If so, how?



Three sons of Levi were called by God to care for the tabernacle. The sons of Kohath, had the most arduous job of carrying the holy things of God on their shoulders as the Israelites moved from camp to camp. Korah, a grandson of Kohath, led a rebellion, challenging the right of Moses and Aaron to the priesthood.


6. Read Numbers 16:1-14

A. What complaint did Korah have against Moses and Aaron? (verse 3)

B. How did Moses respond? (verse 4)

C. What question did Moses put to Korah and what was he saying? (verses 9-12)

D. How did Korah’s men respond? (verses 13-14)

7. Read Numbers 16:20-35

A. What did God tell Moses and Aaron to do and why, and how did Moses plead?  (verses 20-22)

B. How did God respond and then what did Moses do? (verses 23-26)

C. What did Moses tell the people in verses 28-30?

D. And then what happened? (31-34)


8. Read Numbers 26:9-11

A. According to verse 10, why did God swallow up the rebels?

B. Who did not rebel and die, according to verse 11?


There is an Australian singing group that has been around for over twenty years that puts the Psalms (almost verbatim) to music. Here is their version of Psalm 91, which might prepare your heart:


9. How do you see both the justice and the mercy of God in the above account? The gospel?

10. When sorrow comes into our lives, we are given “seeds” to spread bitterness or awe and trust. How do you think you respond to sorrow?

11. Which way do you think the sons of Korah responded and why?

Next week we will plunge into Book 11 of the Psalms which begin with the Psalms of the Sons of Korah! The first will be a favorite: Psalms 42 and 43 which are really one psalm.


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

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  1. 1.  Tell us an interesting fact about yourself, the area in which you live, and anything that stood out to you from the above.
    Well….I don’t know if it’s exactly interesting, but I have realized for many years that I am a “farm girl” through and through!  I was raised on a large farm in the hills of southwestern Wisconsin and so was immersed in the world of nature and animals and being a steward of the land and it’s creatures is deep in my bones!  The VERY BEST way I know to describe this is found in the opening words of a book called “The Land Remembers” by Ben Logan…..”Once you have lived on the land, been a partner with its moods, secrets” and seasons, you cannot leave……”   That world, with some variations!, has followed me all of my life.  For many years now I have lived on a horse farm in Maryland…..surrounded by the beauty of the rolling hills here….and the creatures who connect me to so many fascinating PEOPLE!!  🙂  I’m never bored!  
    From your introduction this week, Dee, how I love this:  that summer is…”A time to draw near to the lover of your soul”.  And what better way to walk deeper into fellowship with Him than through the Psalms??  One thing this group of ladies most surely is – PASSIONATE!  The Psalms so give us the freedom to CELEBRATE those God given passions….and to find His Shalom and wings  to soar in our lives as our souls pant for the living God!  

    1. Jackie,
      Love these opening words to the book “The Land Remembers”.     ”Once you have lived on the land, been a partner with its moods, secrets and seasons, you cannot leave……”      Thank you for this beautiful description of your life here this morning.   

    2. Love the quote!  True even for us who didn’t grow up on the farm but love to garden.

    3. Jackie, I have never really appreciated the land until later in my life. When we came to visit you, I so loved the rolling hills of Maryland! You do live in beauty ?. Can’t wait to make it back and see the farm someday! 

  2. 1. Tell us an interesting fact about yourself, the area in which you live, and anything that stood out to you from the above.
    Thank you Jackie for starting us out….I was kind of waiting for someone  to jump in first! I love your quote from “The Land Remembers”. That quote ties in with Dee’s opening, which I loved, that we can use metaphors to describe nature as if it were a living, breathing being, with “moods, secrets….or, like a beautiful woman who keeps her date waiting….entrancing.” Perhaps because nature reflects the One who created it all. My favorite part of summer are those hot, hazy days of August when the night comes alive with the sounds of crickets and cicadas. I love to sleep with my window open so that I can hear the “music of the night”. Even late into October there are the last few crickets hanging in there, but it’s softer music, quieter.
    I live in Ohio, just 18 miles from the home I grew up in. I am married with three children, ages 16, 22, and 25. I don’t know that I feel anything is “interesting” about my life….I do like to travel and see new things, and one day I hope to be able to travel more. In college I had the opportunity to travel three times to Europe and I was in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and once in Iceland. I like to see and learn about new places and the people who live there. For now, I work part-time, take care of my home and daughter who is still at home, and help my parents who live close by. I like to read, and a good book is truly food for the soul.

    1. Susan,
      I too appreciate your wonderful way with words.    And I agree ~  a good book is truly food for the soul.

    2. Susan, Nila and Dee couldn’t have said it better, and I’ve had the honor being with you face to face. You made me feel so welcome with your gentle and warm spirit. You listen well and are other centered. So much to admire and love about you!  

    3. Susan–I so agree with Rebecca’s words! You are so uniquely gifted–I still think you would make an excellent counselor. You have the true gift of listening, and caring deeply. You pay attention to detail–of others and of God’s creation. Blessed to call you my dear friend!

    4. Susan, I loved the crickets/cicadas reminder! You are one of the nicest people I know BTW ?. I enjoyed meeting you at the conference a couple of years ago! I, too, love to travel, and only have 8 states to go here in the good ole US of A. Iceland is one of my “bucket list” places, and we are hoping to travel to Nova Scotia later this summer. 

  3. Thank you Lord for this week-this study- and the encouragement that Summer is a gift for it is and thank you thank you. Thank you that you have led Dee to take us into the Psalms to experience you there. Lord open our eyes and our hearts this week. What a joy it would be to sense your pleasure as we worship you this week! In Jesus name amen. 
    1. Tell us an interesting fact about yourself, the area in which you live, and anything that stood out to you from the above.
    I live in the Midwest. Mine might be boring and I don’t know what it is called, but.. :)) When I am around others I enjoy seeing their skill sets and talents and am driven to encourage them in it. This also helps me to delegate jobs to the right people. I am a mom of four boys and a wife to an amazing husband. I VERY HAPPILY work as a Para Educator by day and remotely as Dee Brestin’s assistant.  🙂 
    I second Jackie’s comment on what stood out to her! What a better way to walk into deeper fellowship with God than through the Psalms! I look forward to learning more about Korah’s sons..and how God turned that upside down-I love that He does that. I also look forward to hearing Bono and Peterson again-it is wonderful, and eye opening! 

      1. It’s Him for my nature is anti chaos. ;).So glad!

    1. Rebecca,
      Loved the way you said this:    I look forward to learning more about Korah’s sons..and how God turned that upside down-I love that He does that. 
      The mystery of God’s economy.  That the way up, is down.   That less, is more.    That the wilderness does not equate meaningless-ness.  
      I can’t grasp this without His help.

      1. Nla, sweet how you tied in wilderness times.

      2. Ahh, yes.  the wilderness does not equate meaninglessnes.  Sometimes just the opposite!  I love God’s mysterious economy!

        1. I’ve lived in the wilderness, quite literally. Spent many years in remote mining towns in the Australian desert. No it’s not meaningless, but it is a harsh environment which can easily overwhelm and kill those who are unprepared. The physical wilderness is a great place to find God, just as much as a spiritual wilderness. Its vastness speaks of God’s power and majesty, and it’s easy to find quietness in the wilderness.

      3. Thank you for articulating this, Nila.  God’s ways are so contrary to the world’s philosophy.  We could spend a life time seeking to know Him and His ways, and finding peace in the process. 

    2. Rebecca, I have admired how you are such a positive influence in our group! I also relate to having four children; the busy-ness of it all! As I look back over the years I miss those times to a certain extent. We have several things in common, from pie to education!

      1. Laura, Thank you! I am a mess-honestly- I hope I am not misleading. I am just so so so so grateful for His ENDLESS Mercy and Grace and how he surprises me with Joy right smack dab in the middle of a desperate moment when I feel dry..He is all….I so appreciate your honesty in your life and with your great questions and desire to be more like you in that! Yes..we do have a lot in common!! From pie to education-:))) AND you help me in your honesty!

  4. Oh Dee, I don’t know if you realize what a gift you give us each Sunday morning. I honestly feel anticipation and excitement when I open the new study each week, and my husband routinely asks on the way to Church ‘what’s the study this week?’ and has me read it while he drives. Oh how He blesses us through your faithfulness.
    Fun to see my dear friends too–Jackie I love your farm stories! I think I had forgotten you grew up in WI. We’re so blessed by your deep wisdom that has come from your trusting Him through fiery trials. And Susan–I didn’t realize you had done such traveling in college–wow! Sweet Rebecca, I echo you & Jackie in looking forward to studying the Psalms again. Nourishment for my soul. 
    So, me–like many above, I have enjoyed this fellowship so much over the last 5 years. Dee’s teaching has re-ignited the learner in me and I am so grateful for all He teaches me through her, and this blog ‘family’. I live in the Southeast, blessed with a godly man and 22 years of marriage, and 2 kids, we are prayerfully beginning the process of international adoption (and no I’m not young, but God is creative in His calling!). Struggling on that interesting fact…I tend to be ‘cyber-private’ (just made that up) so it’s a wonder how I’ve shared so much with this group, but that’s a testimony to the TRUE fellowship we share. There is vulnerability, transparency, TRUST here.
    Welcome to all new ones joining this summer!

    1. Lizzy,
      I share that same anticipation when I open this study every Sunday morning.  Your international adoption process is remarkable.   Have you read about Ann Voskamp’s recent adoption of a little Chinese girl?   

    2. Lizzy, you are so kind and attentive on the blog. I love you reading the intro to your husband on the way to church! I sometimes discuss the content with my husband too. The blog has taught us so much, right?! I too open with anticipation every week.

    3. Lizzy-I don’t know if you realize what a gift you are as well. 🙂 I am SO excited about where God is leading you in adoption..and I am praying. 

  5. 1. Tell us an interesting fact about yourself, the area in which you live, and anything that stood out to you from the above.

    I am from the west, near the Wyoming/Montana border (near Yellowstone Park), where the landscape goes from an expanse of barren, silent wilderness and juts up against these magnificent Rocky Mountains.  A deep soul-satisfaction in the quiet and the beauty of all of this was instilled in me from childhood.     I am mama to six children (five adults and one with the Lord).   We are a family of musicians including piano, fiddle, drums, mandolin, ukulele and guitar.   I play classical and acoustic guitar and often find it the best place for a heart adjustment with our Lord.  I teach guitar to children as well as private academic tutoring.   We also run a Bed & Breakfast from our home where we host people from all over the world
    I stumbled on to this blog two summers ago as I was searching for a study on the Psalms.  I’m so grateful, Dee, that we are once again returning to the Psalms, for the Psalms well express our dis-orientations in life and they accurately and amazingly re-orient us.   I am often in need of re-orientation.
    What stood out from the above?    Your photograph of your granddaughter dancing in front of a summer sunset.   I too have five little granddaughters (and one lonely grandson).   Two of them love to sing and dance to the song, Bless the Lord Oh My Soul.    You’re right, Dee, summer is a gift.   And this particular summer I find my soul in much need of restoration.   
    Welcome to all newcomers.  May you find restoration and hope in this safe place.

      1. Same here! I loved the way you described where you live. Do you also write for a living, Nila?

        1. Jean,
          No, I don’t write for a living.   My dad was a wonderful writer and had a heavy influence on all five of us children in that regard.  (He is now sadly suffering from the late stage ravages of Alzheimers.)  My dad loved to tell stories and he could tell them well.  He and mom consistently took us on picnics, camp-outs and  hikes both in the “wilderness flatlands” and in the mountains near our home.  When we were little, dad would take us to the sand dunes on the outskirts of our small town where we would sail down the fine sand on flattened cardboard.  We loved the river-bottom picnics in the fall, surrounded by the turning leaves.   But I especially loved the times high up in the mountains where I learned the value of silence and beauty to restore my young soul.

    1. Nila–how did I miss that you run a Bed & Breakfast! Wow. We just may have to visit! I always love hearing how musical you and your daughters are together, how that must bring a smile to the Lord! And mandolin–I just gave my husband one (he plays guitar) and it may be my new favorite instrument, with piano. Would love you to post more of you all playing.
      You have such a tender heart Nila–so evident in your thoughtful pondering. You and Susan are similar in that, and I know you too have suffered much. But He has used it to bring such beauty. 

    2. Nila, I visited your lovely corner of the US back in the summer of 2012 when I was completing my masters degree. We had field “work” in Idaho and at Yellowstone/Tetons. What majestic country! My favorite was the Grand Prismatic hot spring in the park. I also LOVE music, and my dad was a musician. A favorite memory is him belting out some Beethoven on the baby grand as I walked into the house from school.

    3. Nila, I just learned something new about you – I also didn’t know that you run a B&B from your home, hosting people from all over the world. How interesting that must be! I have a fond memory of one summer in Germany. My mom had come at the end of the summer, and we met in Munich. We rented a car and traveled for 3 weeks. We were in Wasserburg, and had stopped at a hotel to find a room for the night. Instead, I ran into a woman who cleaned for the hotel, and she told me to return when she got off work and we could stay at her home, as she had a room that she rented out for travelers. We had the most lovely evening sitting at her kitchen table talking to her. I can just imagine you with your guests! And you are so right about the Psalms and how they re-orient us.

  6. hi i just saw this study on fb and decided to give it a try. my name is We-z ( you knw like we-z jefferson lol)  my real bame is norma louise but We-z is my fun name. im from the heart of texas. was a student in a Dee study several yrs ago. and actually about to take our ladies at church thru the one ive already done. my husband and i lead worship in a small but fast growimg church in the country. 

    1. Welcome We-z! Welcome! So glad to have you here. Which Dee study are you taking your ladies through? How exciting!

      1. rebecca, we are going to do the ‘falling in love with Jesus’ study, in sept. right now im just letting Him prepare me and gathering all the materials, as we are doing it without any expense to the women that attend. kicking it off with an all day women’s meeting with lunch and singing, altar ministry time, etc..  

  7. I serve on a missions team in Haiti and spent a month twice a year in Carrefour. I am 69.5 years old – God directed new path for me. i live in Navarre Beach, Florida.
    I have some broken times recently and have made mobiles from broken shells I pick up on my beach walks. The other morning – God painted the sky with a rainbow, reminding me that even though I may feel like I’m “drowning” He is present!
    Analise dancing before the sunset – we praise God when His gift of creation lights our “sky”.

    1. Welcome Judi!! yes, I love your shell mobiles..shells of remembrance-so beautiful.

    2. Yes Judi, I too was captured by your idea of collecting broken shells and making something beautiful.   I talked to a potter two years ago and asked what could be done with a beautiful, valuable piece of shattered pottery.    We truly need the Lord to give us the heart to make something beautiful out of the chaos and brokenness that comes in our lives.    I’ve been listening to a daily broadcast on brokenness in families for the past three weeks entitled “The Beauty of Broken”, which has been heartening:

  8. sounds like a wonderful summertime study…….looking forward to it

    1. Cheryl, We are looking forward to having you here! 

  9. Hi I’m Shari and I live in Minnesota.  I have two daughters one 17 and the other 23.  I am married to my wonderful husband of 31 years. 
    We have lived in four different states throughout our married life.
     I love to knit and give away the things I make as gifts.  I hardly make anything for myself.
    I love being in nature and the peacefulness it gives.  The psalms are my favorite when I am going through hard times.  I came close to death several years ago and they psalms gave me hope.

  10. I haven’t been on here since the very beginning. I look forward to this study & meeting all of you! The last 2 years have brought huge changes for me. I retired, moved from central Minnesota to Philly! Big change. I came out here to be Grandma to my newest grandbabies (a 4 yr old boy & a 18 month old girl). Such a joy!

  11. Hi!!  My name is Dena.  I recently just moved back to WI after being gone for 15 years.  I’m married and have 3 girls (19, 11 and 4).  I gave up 20 years with the same company to help my dad start a new business (something I know nothing about).  But God is helping me see that my skills are transferable.
    i met Dee 2 years ago in Fargo at a Women’s Prayer Breakfast.  I bought the book “Idol Lies”.  And that book changed my life.  I’m excited to see what God has instore through this study.

  12. 1. I always that Korah’s line died with him.  I’d seen the notations on some Psalms but never connected them.  Looking forward to this summer, my second with all of you.
    2. I am a Minnesota girl at heart, but now live in Sioux Falls South Dakota.  Would love to meet any of you that are in the area, even if it is just passing through.  
    One way God is real to me this summer:  when my children were babies I started memorizing scripture, but have basically lost it all.  But He has given me a tremendous passion to regain those verses.  I am using an app called scripture typer and having way much fun with it.  
    3. O Lord, You know, You know.  You know how desperately we need You as a nation, how lost we are without You, how much. Have strayed from living with You.  You know all about our behavior and attitudes.  You know what we need to do for a change of heart.  You know that we cannot do it without You.  You know I cannot do it without You.  For the renown of Your name I ask for You to change me and to change this country.  You know what it will take.  You know if that is suffering, or persecution, or disease, or economics.  You know, O Lord, and I wait for your answer.

    1. Oooohh, Mary! You live in a state that I still need to visit! My husband and I think we will try to do the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas next year sometime. We do have a couple of bloggers who live in your area too. Glad you have joined us this summer! 

      1. Would love to meet you in person, and we have plenty of room for you to stay with us if that fits into your schedule!

  13. 1. Tell us an interesting fact about yourself, the area in which you live, and anything that stood out to you from the above.
    It is so interesting to read where you are all from, though I have had to look at a map of the States to see where you all live. I think I am the only non-silent follower from Canada. I live in the province of New Brunswick which is due east of Maine. I have only been to the eastern United States (though I have been blessed to be in three other continents), but wish I could travel to more of the States. There are so many beautiful places in the world.
    I have to be mostly a silent follower here at this time, but I find the Psalms fascinating and am pleased that we will be looking at more of them. Dee’s guidance and the fellow bloggers are such a blessing to learn from.

  14. Music and God are my earliest memories. What better way to tuck Him into our head and heart!  This is my first summer in retirements and I’m looking forward to digging deeper into the Psalms.  Perhaps I’ll get a hint as to where He wants me to go for my “next chapter”.  Currently dwelling on the North Coast but will go where He sends me.

  15. New to this!

  16. Hi everyone! I am Laura, who has danced for 46 years! The best part of that aspect of my life is that when I learned to dance in church, I learned to dance for God. It then became meaningful dance, not just “flitting” around the stage. Something that you “regulars” may not know is that when I was 18 I tried out for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. Ugh! I did it because my sister wouldn’t stop bugging me to. She lived in DFW, and begged me. It was really weird! I competed against 5000 other women from around the world. It humbled me in regards to my dancing life and aspirations.
    I have 4 children who are 30, 25, 24, and 19. They are interesting people and I love them regardless of how much they drive me crazy. I am a southern girl, but currently reside in the northeast.
    What stood out is that I have no idea who the “sons of Koran” are!

    1. Laura, you are one of the most “surprising” people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet! You are a woman of contrasts….your scientific mind (I remember your trip out west for your master’s degree) and your expressive, beautiful dancing, which I had the honor to participate in when you led those of us in Ashland in an expressive movement that literally brought me to tears! And now to learn that you tried out for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders:))

    2. OK Laura, I did smile reading about the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader try outs–WOW! My roots are TX so I know well that says a lot about your ability! I’m sad I missed seeing you dance at the conference, but have been blessed with what you’ve shared here. I agree with Susan–you are so “multi-faceted” ! Just so uniquely made! You have a brilliant mind for science and teaching, and then such creative talent with your dancing, and your unconditional love for your kids and grandson…and I still remember you finding all those quilt squares  of your grandmothers! I love your curiosity of the Word, your questions, the way you seek so honestly to understand and grow. We’e blessed by you Laura-d 🙂

  17. Love making this summer a time to “draw near to the lover of my soul.” Thank you for this. I am a Tennessee girl who loves teaching people of all ages to love music through piano instruction. I’m married, have 2 grown boys and aging parents (one with dementia) that I am trying to help navigate the cruel and scary waning years of their lives.
    The Psalms have always been a great comfort to me, and I’m excited to begin mining these blessed Scriptures more! Love the refreshing conversation between Bono and Eugene in the video!

    1. Hi Deborah, and welcome to our study! I picked up on your mention of your aging parents, and one with dementia. I am also walking that road now and yes, it can be very scary. How we need the psalms to help us!

  18. Oh this is fun! I love reading more about each of you gals here. It’s helping me to remember who said what when. 🙂
    1. I would say I’m a Midwest girl, through and through. I was born in St.Louis and due to my dad’s military service, we moved a bit while I was young. At 7, we moved to the Omaha area. And, except for a beautiful two-year stint in Madison, Wisconsin with my husband, I have lived in Nebraska the rest of my life, thus far. 
     I have to mention we have four sons,(26,24,22,19) and a 15 year old daughter. We now live in the town where Dee raised her family and I think you gals might find it interesting that one of Dee’s daughters babysat for my boys occasionally and now my daughter babysits for Dee’s grandchildren. 
    2. How has God made Himself real to me this summer?     This study on Habakkuk has been so meaningful. I read and tried studying it on my own several years ago and just couldn’t understand what was going on but LOVED the message of confifence and contentment in the Lord in the final three verses. So, studying it with you all has just made it all come alive in my own mind and I believe I have found ways to truly apply it into my regular life. And, as a bonus, our pastor began a new sermon series this week on the book of Daniel. There are so many parallels in Daniel and Habakkuk, I just know God is going to reveal even more to me thru this.  I can’t wait!

  19. 2. Tell us, if possible, one way the Lord has made Himself real to you so far this summer, using just a brief paragraph. 
    I have had quite a year so far; personally and professionally. God has sent a couple of people into my life who have “rescued” me recently in several ways. It has been sweet.

  20. 3. Give thanks for God’s goodness to our country. Also pray for our country right here.
    Dearest Jesus, thank You for your presence since the beginning of our independence from Britain. Thank you for the patriots, many of whom were Godly, brave men. Thank You for their fore site in weaving God through our documents, our physical structures, and the hearts of generations past and future. Thank You for making Americans generous people; giving much to other countries in need. I pray that Americans come together this year and see that we are at a cross roads again, just as we were 240 years ago. Will we be run by government, or will we run the government as “We the People?” Will we include You in our decisions to run the government? Will we stay true to what we know is right in our hearts, or will we cave to what looks good (as Pilate did when Jesus was being “tried”)? Be with us Lord. We are crying out to You to reveal Youself to us now Lord! We need You. Amen.

    1. Laura, I forgot to mention that above….your love of politics and your understanding of how our government works!

  21. 1. Tell us an interesting fact about yourself, the area in which you live, and anything that stood out to you from the above.
    I live in Australia, so I sometimes need to translate things on this blog. For example, it’s currently winter here, not summer! I work as a chaplain in an aged care facility, offering dementia care and palliative care. I am also studying for further qualifications, so mostly I only drop into the blog during semester breaks. I’m widowed, with 4 adult children aged 30, 28, 25 and 22 (no grandies yet, though). I’ve struggled to find meaning and purpose in my life since John’s death, but God has assured me that he does have a plan. I currently live near the beach in the outer suburbs of a city, but I’ve also lived in mining towns in very remote desert areas.

    1. Kerryn, your work is so important and so needed, bringing care and comfort to the elderly.

    2. Kerryn, it is good to see you here and I am thinking of your work as a chaplain in a facility with dementia and palliative care. For over 1 year I was a frequent visitor to such a facility while my mother received care. Your position is so important there, I know.
      May God bless you in your work.

  22. So fun to wake up this morning to all these new faces! Welcome to We-z, Judi, Cheryl T, Shari, Marlys, Dena, Betty, Wendy M., Deborah,  and so good to see you again, Kerryn !

  23. Welcome to all the newcomers….We-z, Judi, Cheryl, Shari, Marlys, Dena, Betty, and Wendy! Glad to have you all here!
    2. Tell us, if possible, one way the Lord has made Himself real to you so far this summer, using just a brief paragraph.
    I’d have to say that one way He makes Himself real to me is through community, and that community is right here. I love that in our studies, Dee’s questions are not the “write out the verse and fill in the blank” questions. Her questions are probing and they make you think. They make you think about God, about yourself, about what you really believe. We all sort of “process out loud” here, and in our “conversations” with one another, we learn much from each other and I know it helps me to deepen my own faith as I see how others here are processing through their trials and clinging to Him. (Rebecca with her back pain and surgery and how she is handling two of her boys’ turning from God is one example). Earlier this summer I was processing through sadness and depression from being physically separated this summer from one of my sons (who is now back in Texas after being in Utah for a month). I have struggled a lot with feeling that my life is losing its meaning and purpose because two of my children are now young adults; I just have my daughter at home but she’s growing up, too! I have a lot of un-believing family members and not even at church do I experience what I have here. Just all of us studying, “talking” about the Lord, and growing together makes Him be more of a reality in my life (if that makes sense). When you live and interact mostly with people who just don’t have a relationship with God themselves, it is spiritually lonely and it feels isolating. I tend to get pulled down and pulled away and I will turn to idols to deal with sadness, loss. I saw that here, that I have “disordered loves”, as Augustine said. This place, and all of you, keep bringing me back to Him. I am so encouraged and inspired by all of you!

  24. 3. Give thanks for God’s goodness to our country. Also pray for our country right here.
    Lord, thank You for all of the ways You have blessed our nation and its people. You were with the first settlers who came here to make a new home for themselves, and to find religious freedom. I fear that many take the freedoms we have here, and the material blessings, for granted; myself included. We forget that You are the Provider and we begin to rely on ourselves. There is no political candidate who can “save” us. I pray that your Spirit will move and that the spiritual eyes of people will be opened to their need of You. Only You can change things in our country, one heart at a time. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    1. Amen to your prayer, Susan.
      This scripture spoke to me, 2 Cor. 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

  25. This summer I am learning to be content and even rejoice in the sorrow and joy that is the mixture of being a broken woman married to a broken man.  

      1. Amen!

  26. Can’t wait to get started!

  27. I am so wordy, but will try to keep it short.  I am a Native Floridian that dislikes hot weather, the beach and seafood.  Good thing, I currently live in Illinois, although I am not a big winter fan either.  Fall is my sweet spot 🙂 
    God has definitely showed himself to me this summer. I had a hysterectomy 19 days ago. I suffer from anxiety and fear, and I was sure my surgery was going to end badly…God showed up in such a miraculous way that I still am overwhelmed by His goodness, mercy and faithfulness. 
    Dee, I have been following you for a long time, and I am so encouraged by your pursuit of Jesus… Blessings

    1. Kim Kay, I too, am a native Floridian! You don’t meet many of us; we are a rare breed ?. My issue was the poisonous snakes and flying, ginormous  “cockroaches!” (I know they are “palmetto bugs” but to me they are nasty roaches!!). My fav time of year is also fall! I currently reside in New Hampshire, but my husband and I love the northern georgia area and are thinking of retiring there. I also had a hysterectomy a few years back (long story), and more recently had a bout of cancer….another blogger (Joyce – whom I haven’t seen in a long while – Joyce where are you??) helped me through that with this verse from Isaiah….
      “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
      ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬
      I said it everyday during radiation treatment, when everyone had to leave the room and it was just me and Him. I liked to add my name after the word “God.” He squelched my anxiety. He has “got” anything I get anxious about now! I pray this for you as well Kim Kay. Happy summer!

  28. I live about one hour north of the heart of Toronto, in Ontario, Canada.  I have been a silent sister for several years and have profited so much from Dee’s studies and the insights that each of you have posted.  I have been married to my wonderful husband and friend for over 31 years and am the mom of one incredible 30 year old daughter who, despite often debilitating struggles with Bipolar Disorder, is very accomplished in many areas and is currently studying for her Masters Degree at a local seminary.  We have truly seen God’s hand at work in our family through difficult situations in her life.  I love the Psalms and am so excited to continue on in them!

  29. I live about one hour north of the heart of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  I have been a silent sister for several years and have benefitted greatly from Dee’s studies and the posted comments of each one who participates.  I have been married for over 31 years to my wonderful husband and best friend and we have an incredible 30 year old daughter who, despite often debilitating battles with Bipolar disorder is very accomplished in many areas.  She is currently working on her Masters Degree at a seminary in Toronto.  We have seen God undertake not only in our daughter’s life (in this illness) but our family as a whole.  I love the Psalms and am so  excited to continue to study them!  Happy 4th of July to you all!!!!

  30. So eager to part take of this study

  31.  Am eager to start this study. I was at ur home one day for a women’s gathering n got so much out of it. U r a blessing n have a way of sharing spiritual helps with others.

  32. 4.What stood out to you from the above video and why?
    Two men, from two different “worlds”, two different generations, having grown up on two different continents….BUT GOD….He intersects their lives. Wow. Bono knew about Eugene before Eugene knew who Bono was. The comment was made that in order to approach God, you need to be honest. Eugene talked about the honesty of the psalms, the imprecatory psalms. How as a 12 year old boy, he began to read them and discovered what metaphors were; he read about God using javelins, spears, and about God being a Rock and keeping his tears in a bottle. I learned that he started translating the psalms by translating one psalm for one person he knew who was struggling and he was trying to help them to pray with honesty, using his translation. Bono talked about dishonesty in Christian art and music. He said, “Why not write a song about your bad marriage or why you’re pissed-off at the government.” I resonate with this because I think that often we are so good at wearing the “everything’s okay mask”, but in reality, everything is not okay and we’re (or I am) messed-up and our lives are messy. What also struck me is that both of these men are authentic. I saw how carefully they listened to one another. I saw how with God as the common denominator, real intimate friendship happens.

  33. What stood out to me was that  some of Korah’s family survived. I thought God had the earth swallow them all. I’m excited to study about them & their contribution to the Psalms.
    I’m a bit overwhelmed with all the posts to read every day! I don’t want to miss anything! Any tricks to “keeping up?”

    1. Marlys, first of all welcome! You won’t regret being here.
      Regarding posts…most likely you won’t be able to keep up ? (like the rest of us), but the good news is that you will be blessed by Dee’s study! It can be overwhelming. What I do is focus on the study first and then at the end of the week set a day aside to read as many posts as I can. I don’t always comment unless I feel compelled. This week is different since we are starting a new study, so hang in there! The other thing I have tried is to read each day a little bit. That way is harder for me because I get distracted and then I might not finish the actual study. 

    2. Marlys, Laura gave great advice. I’ll just add too that unless you want to receive everyone’s comments in your email, do not check the box below the comment box that says “notify me…”. If you’ve already checked that box at any point in the week, you’ll receive every comment. To un-do it, click the link at the bottom of any email you receive of a comment that says “manage your subscriptions…”. That will take you to a page where you can unsubscribe from comments. Hope that helps, I think I made it sound too confusing, but it’s really not!
      And like Laura said–no one expects you to read or keep up with all the posts. I glean MUCH wisdom from my sister’s here, but the real meat is Dee’s teaching. Glad you’re here!

  34. I recently got a new smart phone. It’s been fun to begin learning all the inside & outs.
    I downloaded a daily devotional app bt John Piper. He spent several days talking about God’s pleasure in blessing us. That has caused me to be more aware of the Lord in everyday things. The coo of the morning dove, hearing a song that touches me deeply. The list is endless, but I’ve had to tell myself to STOP & REALIZE these are precious reminders of how intimately God knows & loves me. All of us! Very humbling

  35. Wow! the opening statement is so beautiful, Dee. Yes, we wait for the “beautiful lady” to arrive here in New England as well.
    It is wonderful to welcome the new ladies. Good to have you here among so many special friends.
     Jackie, your words so inspire me, “the Psalms so give us the freedom to celebrate those God-given passions,… and to find His Shalom and wings to soar  in our lives as our souls pant for the Living God!”  Thanks for putting this into a great sentence.
    I will share that I live on a mini-farm in Western Massachusetts. I am beginning to really appreciate God’s creatures since I retired, then cared for my aging mother in Vt. and returned to my home. I have taken an interest in raising chickens.
    These common farm creatures are amazing and really respond to good care. My husband has a new-found zest for gardening and we are reaping fresh vegetables which are so much better than any I have bought! All this points to our wonderful Lord who created all this.
    Psalm 33:21  In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.

    1. Shirley, I love to imagine you among your chickens and your husband in the garden! Sounds lovely!

  36. Thank you Lord, for a refreshing quite place here in internet land – home of the smart phone – that im still conquering – i love reading about all you guys,  it’s very encouraging and although i may lag behind a little – the anointing thats over this study isnt bound by time scheduleds. its here when the next person or a new person reads it. 
    help – how do i turn off the email alerts about new comments – yikes my inbox is screaming at me? 

  37. Welcome to all the newbies! I am so glad you are here.

  38. Hi ladies – needing a different way to connect, so this is a great option the Lord is providing for me – thank you so much!  I am especially appreciating our country’s freedom this week and also my spiritual freedom that exists only due to others’ sacrifice. Thank you Jesus, for your love and sacrifice so I can live freely in You.

  39. 1. Tell us an interesting fact about yourself, the area in which you live, and anything that stood out to you from the above.
    I grew up in Indiana, went to college in Oklahoma, but have lived for 52 years in northwest Ohio.   You can begin to figure, by that sentence, that I am fairly elderly — indeed I am 74 years old.   My husband and I just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on July 2.  I should have gone back and researched how long I have participated on the blog, but I think I began with Lent in 2013 — however, at my age time gets to be a relative thing 🙂    I am so delighted to see all the new participants!   Welcome to all of you! 
    What stood out to me:     Dee’s granddaughter dancing on the pier.  What is it about being near water that is so rejuvenating?   When I need to calm myself down,  I try to picture myself sitting on the end of a pier and just dabbling my feet in the water.  When creation was begun, we are told that “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”  Throughout history people with illnesses were told to wash in various bodies of water.  Baptism is conducted in water.   There is something holy and restorative about water  — God’s gift to us!

    2. Tell us, if possible, one way the Lord has made Himself real to you so far this summer, using just a brief paragraph.
    We just felt so truly blessed to be able to celebrate our 50th anniversary this past weekend.  It took real faith to even plan it, knowing our ages of 74 and 90!   God was good — we both lived to see it through!    Also there was the balm of friends and family who came to celebrate with us — so wonderful!    

    1. wow! Deanna! 50 years! Congratulations! I’m so glad you celebrLated with your family.
      I agree with you about water. I always tell my kids that water is life. In science, water is a very special bit of matter. It has properties that literally make it possible to live here on earth versus another planet. We are SO fortunate that God created us on earth with water. It can be in three separate states at earth’s surface, it has polarity at the atomic level, and our bodies are nearly 60% water! The brain has even more (~ 75%).
      Yesterday my family took a hike in the White Mountains to a lovely waterfall. The sound of the water and the freezing temperature on my feet was refreshing to my soul. Thanks be to God for life giving water!!

  40. 4. What stood out to you from the above video and why?
    Bono has always been a favorite of mine! Love his song “Mysterious Ways,” and although others may think it to be about a woman, I have always thought he is talking about God. Never heard of Eugene Petersen, however I am familiar with “The Message.” SO impressed that he translated the entire bible by himself (with his wife). This interview has inspired me today! I have been “in a funk” in my dance lately. It seems hard to get people to participate, I am lacking time, not following the diet (feeling too large to dance), and on and on. What I need to remember is its most important to praise Him with the motion. I think I will meditate on Psalm 40 today and maybe choreograph a little bit to it. Loved his property in Montana! Wow! What a view to work with ?. Thanks for the video Dee!

    1. Just listened to Bono’s “Mysterious Ways”, Laura, and looked up the lyrics. Yes, you are right. It could well be referring to God, in my opinion. Thanks for sharing that. I really don’t know a lot about Bono besides from Dee and you all on here.

      1. DIane, I only know about Bono from my b.c. days. 🙂  but he is HIGHLY respected among musicians both secular and believers. I used to really like his music back then because his lyrics made me think and they were a ‘crying out’ of what was inside which is why I loved to sing..to express pain, emotions. Somehow that honesty in me got lost-or re-shaped via the Christian circles I was in.. I mean to say I have an idolatry problem was dangerous! :)) For we are new creatures in Christ..the old has gone, the new has come. The crux of He is our identity-we are wrapped in His righteousness, yet we are being made new..He is chiseling stones away in our hearts making us like Him. 

  41. 1. Hello! So great to hear how God is working in each of your lives! My name is Natalie, I grew up in Kansas City and moved to Des Moines last year for my husbands job. We have a 9 month little girl named Mary. One interesting fact… my husband and I both have one eye that is blue and the other eye is half brown half blue.
    I love the picture above. His creation is breathtaking! 
    2. As a SAHM in a new city, with no family around, I’ve been looking for deep friendships. But this isn’t college. People aren’t exactly looking to add to their 2,000 Facebook friends. So how as the new person in a new town ever make new friends? Well, the only answer I have is prayer. Yesterday we were at a block party, and we didn’t know anyone. I began praying quietly and asking the Lord to help us make new friends at this party. A few minutes later, a man and his wife came up to us and introduced themselves. We found out they love the Lord, and by the end of the night they asked for our contact info to have us over for dinner. He was very quick to answer, and I’m very thankful.

    1. Natalie, so amazing to read of your eyes…..my daughter has the same thing!

  42. 1 & 2, What a joy and inspiration to start this study with all of you!  My name is Kathleen I live in the Midwest right between Milwaukee and Chicago.  I am a wife and mother of 2 beautiful young women and the Mimi to 4 precious foster children.  My daughter and her husband can not have children so they are fostering with the hopes to adopt.  We have been blessed to have them two doors away from us so we can help with these beautiful children. One of our foster children who we thought was a for sure adoption, went back to her birth father.  The emotional, physical and spiritual roller-coaster we have all been on has us hanging on to our heavenly father for dear life.  The psalms are so brutely honest and express the psalmists heart, holding nothing back.  I love that!  It gives me the freedom to also hold nothing back! I need to be more honest with my Heavenly Father as I come before him.  I believe this study will help me do that.  

    1. Kathleen–as an adoptive mom, I was just so moved by the way you wrote here about your foster-grandchildren. It says so much about you that you have welcomed them into your heart so fully. I grieve with you over your emotional roller coaster, but am saying a prayer now for your daughter and their desires to adopt. So glad you are here with us. 

    2. Your story grabs my heart, Mimi.   I have a son and daughter in law who do have two small children but are in a Christian ministry in the south, that has childcare homes to care for kids who are at risk and placed there by some family member.  They have been houseparents with many children (ages 6-17) in their home for the past few years, but have had twin boys age 10, since they were just shy of 7.  For the past two years, they have been pursuing adoption.  It is unfathomable to think of them not being a permanent part of our family.  How terribly hard that has been for all of you.  So good to hear that the lament of the psalms has helped give you comfort.  I’m glad you’re here to share your journey with us. 

  43. Requesting approval to comment, please!

  44. Hi, I’m Barb R. from New Hampshire.  My husband and I recently moved here from Florida so that I could be closer to my Mom, who lives in Massachusetts.  I am loving spending time with her while she is still in good health, and have enjoyed renewing our friendship.  I am at a turning point in my life, having recently be laid off from a company that I’ve worked for over 30 years and looking for new employment and have been thrown into turmoil!  I think that this study will be good for me, and I am looking forward to it.

    1. Hi Barb R.! I too live in New Hampshire (southern)! We have another NH sister on the blog as well ?. So glad you are here!

  45. Welcome again to all our new sisters! I see We-z’s concern above about comments, so I’ll re-state this:
    ***To TURN OFF email comments in your in box: At the bottom of the email you receive, there is a link that says “Manage your subscriptions”. Click that and you’ll be taken to a page that will let you de-select this week’s comments. 
    I know it’s overwhelming at first, but stick with us! We’re so glad you all are here! 🙂

  46. 4. What stood out to you from the above video and why?
    One profound thought among the many interesting thoughts. The crucifixion is a way to understand violence in this world. Eugene P. says, “When there is violence there has got to be some kind of response. And is it more violence or less?” He doesn’t answer his own question, but I think the implication is “Less.” That is how Jesus responded. In this world that seems to be getting more and more violent, what are the implications of this?

  47. Give thanks for God’s goodness to our country. Also pray for our country right here.
    I’m giving thanks for a different country, my country, but thought perhaps you’d like to share my prayer. Australia is currently facing considerable political turmoil, so is much in need of prayer – I’m not sure that you’d hear much about that in America, as we’re such a small nation. We hear about American politics, because that affects the whole world, but Australian politics doesn’t have much impact outside Australia. Anyway, we had an election last weekend, but the result is so close that we don’t yet know the outcome (we have a complicated preferential voting system). It’s looking very much like a ‘hung’ parliament, in which no party can form a government.
    Father, I thank you for a land of wide open spaces and beautiful beaches, a country that experiences little of the violence and terror that rules many other places in this, your world. Yet, here too, where your blessing is so abundant, people hold on to what they have, unwilling to share. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I pray that your Spirit may fall upon this land, that we may truly be “The Great Southland of the Holy Spirit”. I pray for your wisdom for our politicians, that they may govern with compassion and justice for all people.

    1. So very sorry your country has such turmoil. Our country, too, has been growing more divisive for the last 10 years or so. Wonderful prayer! 

  48. What stood out to me in the Bono/Eugene Peterson video & why. Two men from 2 completely different eras & backgrounds share a mutual passion for God’s Word. The Word of God is ALIVE. It transcends the uniqueness of God’s creation. It is relevant for all times, all places, all circumstances & all people. Lord, may we never take it for granted!

    1. Marlys, That stood out to me too!

    2. Marlys, I noticed that also.   It was heart-warming wasn’t it?   

  49. 4. What stood out to you from the above video and why?
    Honesty with God.. vulnerable, porous, open with God. Rather than dishonesty…write a song about your bad marriage, about how your upset with the government..God wants truthfulness from us.
    There is a lack of realism in art, life and music among us. The Psalms have an honest quality to the feel that is expressed. Having feelings is perfectly normal and let them out. David danced naked in front of the troops. This abandonment-you gotta get it out..it is important. The trinity is reflected in our body mind and spirit. We do ignore this. We need to find a way to cuss without cussing..the Psalms do that-they just lay it out. 
    This is all true! Honesty is so lacking among us. I can’t help but compare this video to a recent picture Dee posted of a ‘storm’ on her Facebook page. She said something like, I love the ‘drama’ of a storm-WONDERFUL..I love how she rocks my world in one sentence! Her picture showed the ‘drama’ of our God for He made the drama of a storm..His feelings are intense as that storm and He lets it out..well, and we image Him! 🙂

  50. .
    4. What stood out to you from the above video and why?        I watched this video the day it was released, though I didn’t know about Bono and Peterson’s relationship.  I was mesmerized.  I know some things about Bono and have loved what he does and stands for for many years.  I did not know much at all about Peterson.  I walked away, being deeply appreciative for them both.  I have always shied away from modern English translations as they have never tugged at my heart like the literal ones do.  And yet, with Bono’s encouragement and with some things that Keller has shared about  The Message’‘,  I went on a thrift store quest to find a copy.  Found one at my local library used book sale and I have so enjoyed reading some of the Psalms from it.   When my brother, who is an Old Testament scholar (and a U-2 fan!) shared with me how deeply he respects Peterson’s work, I was even more convinced to keep reading.  Haven’t done a lot yet, but I have it right next to my chair.   I admit I didn’t go back and listen to the whole clip again, but I still remember my favorite line from when I heard it in April.   When Bono invited Peterson to come and meet with him,  Peterson initially declined because of a translation deadline that was looming.  Someone said to him,  ‘But it’s Bono!’  (wondering how he could resist) And Peterson said,  ‘But, it’s Isaiah!’    I LOVE that.  To be wrapped up in translating Isaiah (my favorite book of the Bible) would be other-worldly, I believe.  It would be hard to make any choice to set aside the project!  I’m SO grateful that these men did meet and are friends.  I am very, thankful for each of them and the deep global impact they have both made.  

    1. Wanda, I knew WHO Eugene Peterson was, as the author of The Message, but knew little to nothing about him personally. I also was mesmerized by the video. Just watching the expressions on his face tells much about this elderly, soft-spoken man…he seems to be very thoughtful, genuine, and I would say very intelligent to have done all that translation yet he comes across as very simple and down to earth. He often had a very reflective look in his eyes.

    2. Wanda – “but it’s Isaiah!”  You and I have expressed many times now our mutual “pull” for Isaiah….yes, the idea of being lost in Isaiah sounds so weighty and wonderful.  🙂  I keep returning to a little gem in the book of Acts, found in chapter 18, verse 5…..”….Paul was occupied with the word…..”.  Upon reading this in my daily through the Word reading back in May  I immediately knew that I too wanted to be “occupied with the word” for the rest of my days!  And here in Eugene Peterson is a perfect example of exactly that!  And what untold blessing to thousands upon thousands has been Mr. Peterson’s preoccupation with the Word!