Love for Christ

Sometimes I’ll hear a song or read a devotional or a scripture that will bring a wave of pure devotion to my heart.

I’ll get hit such an intense feeling of love for my Savior I won’t even know what to do with it. It’s pure joy and leads to spontaneous, sincere worship.

It has occured to me that this is a reflection of His love for me. A pale, dull reflection, sure, but a reflection nonetheless. The thought that His devotion, His love and affection, is about a thousand times brighter & more intense than mine for Him is humbling to say the least.

I rejoice in knowing this, in knowing Him.

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us!”

Romans 5:5

The Procrastination Wall

I wish I was writing this past tense. With an ‘after’, with a solution. I wish it was one of those ‘this is how I was, this was the catalyst, this is now’ kinds of posts. But it’s not. It’s ‘before’. God willing, someday, I will write an ‘after’.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with this piece, but sitting down with pen and paper and writing it instead of just thinking about writing it is actually more than I’ve done in too long. And now publishing it feels huge. I do have my moments. I wish they would last.

The Master List of things I want and need to do, to accomplish, is very long. And time is passing. Every unproductive day that goes by is one less day I have left in my lifetime to conquer my List, to fulfill my dreams. I know this. It scares me. At the end of every day I think to myself, ‘I’m going to do this thing tomorrow, I’m going to start that thing tomorrow.’ I pray for motivation, I pray for Jesus’s help. When the time comes, though, I don’t do anything. I’m running out of tomorrows.

I have made some pretty significant changes in the last 6 years. Joyce Meyer says, “I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I’m not where I was.” I AM grateful to God for pulling me out of the grave I had dug for myself. Psalm 18 describes that almost perfectly. As if King David wrote it about me. I believe that God has a plan for me, that’s why He saved me from my ‘enemies.’ I believe writing has something to do with that which is the driving force behind my blogging. Practice, learning opportunities, building good habits.

However, I’m stuck. I was praying Psalm 25 this morning and verse 15 says, “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare.” I can’t describe the feeling of truth in that verse. It struck me hard. It took my prayer to a whole new level of intensity. A whole new, visceral sense of longing. That is going to become my mantra. Who knows, maybe that verse will be the catalyst in my ‘after’ story.

Right now, though, there’s this wall between my and the things I want/need to accomplish in my life. Between who I am now and person I long to be, the woman God created me to be. Between me and EVERYTHING I need and want to do.

It’s always, ‘I’ll do it later, after this thing,’ or, ‘I don’t feel like it right now’ (which is the hardest one to overcome) or, ‘I have to do x, y, and/or z first.’ Procrastination. How do I get past The Procrastination Wall? Maybe if I understood what the Wall is made of, how and when it started, I’d be able to tear it down.

I know I need therapy. I know, if I found the right counselor, it would help. But here come the excuses. ‘I’ll call tomorrow.’ Head first into The Procrastination Wall.

The ground in front of the Wall is littered with excuses. The ‘but first’ bump, the ‘I can’t until’ hole, and the ‘after this’ trap. In this instance they’re, ‘I need a Christian counselor,’ ‘I can’t find a Christian counselor that takes my insurance,’ and if I get past those excuses and accept the fact that I will have to find a secular counselor, then it’s, ‘first I have to contact Molina for a list of counselors who aren’t with compass health,’ and that’s pretty overwhelming. When I get overwhelmed, I end up doing nothing.

Of course none of these obstacles are insurmountable, but they work hand in hand with The Procrastination Wall.

I have discovered a couple of things about myself that are hard to accept, hard to admit, even to myself. I don’t know if this is accurate assessment of my personality, but it fits.

Number 1: I’m lazy. (OUCH) Laziness can be an ingrained, naturally occurring personality flaw or it can be a learned behavior, a habit developed over time. I don’t know into which category I fall. I do remember the stepfather calling me lazy when I was very young, so maybe I was born lazy. I don’t want that to be true, but if I’m going to conquer it I need to be honest about it. Because I can’t just accept being lazy. I’m not going to say ‘well that’s just the way I am, so I’ll just be lazy forever.’ Nope. It makes me miserable. I really don’t want to be lazy. I just haven’t yet figured out a way to overcome it.

And number 2: I lack self-discipline. This I know is a learned behavior. I’ve done enough reading to about self-discipline to know that I need to practice it, to make it a habit. Elbert Hubbard defined self-discipline as, “The ability to do what you have to do, when you have to do it, whether you feel like it or not.” I just don’t know how to start. Is there a school I can go to? (I’d probably make excuses not to go, though..)

You put those two things together with a propensity for procrastination and excuses and it feels too overwhelming.

The apostle Paul said in Romans 7:15, (TLB) “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t. I do what I don’t want to – what I hate.” He was referring to sin, but I think it applies to me in this situation, too. That is EXACTLY how I feel about myself and my life and my behavior.

I really want to be a go-getter, I WANT to be productive. I want to go out and get it all. I just don’t know how to get from here to there.

I try to follow Joyce Meyer’s advice. I know it would help to study my bible, to meditate on it, and to spend time in prayer. I know it would help me to figure out God’s plan for me, help me to become the person He created me to be. Because I don’t, CAN’T, believe He created me to be this, to be nothing.

All the time I tell myself tomorrow, I promise, I’m going to start making these things a priority. Tomorrow.

I put reminders on my phone, alarms, calendar notifications, I write myself notes on sticky notes and the white board. Everything I can think of to kick myself in the butt. However, when tomorrow comes, I do the same thing. Or I’ll manage to be productive for a day or 2, but then I find more excuses not to do it. Reasons to put it off. Why?

Why do I put off things that will be beneficial to me?

For example, going to the doctor. I make appointments, schedule transportation, and then find an excuse not to go. There are so many things that I need to have looked at. It’s kind of overwhelming. But some of the things can be crucial. Putting it off can be bad. So why do I do it?

Working out, walking again, eating better, all beneficial. All things I really want to do. And they all come with their own set of excuses. Some of which are even true. People push through stuff like back pain, lack of sleep, cold weather, hot weather, all the time, though. Why can’t I? What is wrong with me? How do I fix it?

I keep hoping some bible verse, sermon, or lecture, some blog or book, something is going to click and I’ll figure it out.

I’ve tried positive self talks, negative self talk, I’ve tried putting motivational quotes all over, I’ve tried productivity apps and programs, I’ve tried keeping a schedule and a journal, everything. I don’t ever stick with any of it. Nothing has worked so far. I don’t understand why.

My Master List is full of necessary things like cleaning house, things I just want to do, like art and writing classes. I just don’t do any of it. I don’t do anything about it except dream, lament, pray, and wish.

Please God, help me, fix me.

Manuscript Help Please

I don’t know where else to turn so I’m hoping my blogging community has some advice for me.

I’m trying to make a funny cartoon type book, along the lines of Calvin and Hobbs and Family Circus.

It’s a little cartoon about conversations between a dog and his dog-mom. It’s based on a real life person and her dog.

I’m planning to find an illustrator but the editor wants me to submit a manuscript without pictures or illustrations.

I’ve never submitted a manuscript of any kind, let alone a cartoon one. I don’t know where to start.

The editor wants me to email it to her. I know I could do a hard copy pretty easily, but I have no idea how to do it digitally.

I’m planning one conversation and accompanying illustrations per page. Do I insert page breaks? And since I don’t know what the illustrator is going to do (I don’t even have one yet), I don’t know how to portray that.

Here is an example of the original posts that we want to turn into the cartoon:

If anyone has any suggestions, I would be so grateful.

A Dog Post

I want to share an experience I just had with my dogs.

I took them outside to the backyard like every morning. We stay out about 30 to 45 minutes.

This morning I left my phone inside. So once they were out sniffing around the yard, I snuck off around the corner to go into the house. They knew it, they followed me.

I should pause to clarify a bit. They are leashed to and from the backyard just in case there’s a kitty or a squirrel or something they can chase in the front of the house. They have chased kitties out into the road before, I’m not trying to relive that experience. (Very rarely are there small critters in the back) I didn’t want to interrupt their ritual just to go get my phone.

Ok, un-pause.

That got me thinking about our relationship with our dogs. How connected they are to us.

I thought Raven and Dobby were distracted. Neither of them seemed to be paying attention to me. They were on opposite sides of our large backyard.

But I didn’t even get halfway to the front yard before they caught up.

Did they hear me? Did they both turn at the same time and notice I wasn’t there? Did they smell something that brought it to their attention?

Maybe.

But I think they just knew. They feel my presence so they know where I am. They are so in tune to their people that they can feel our intentions. They know what we are thinking.

This ability, I think, is why they make perfect service animals. They can just feel us in ways and on levels that we will never truly understand.

My takeaway? Dogs are not only man’s best friend but they are God’s gift to us.

I love my dogs ❤️ and my son aiden who has hijacked this blog mwahahahaha.

How I Defeated Worry

With God’s Help

I used to worry myself into panic attacks, thinking about my circumstances, my future, hating the kind of person I was. I’d beg God to help me. But I’d never listen or wait long enough, I never put my stress in His capable hands.

I knew He was faithful, I believed He could change everything, but I didn’t know how to ‘cast my cares’. I didn’t know how to let go of all my worries so He could handle them. I didn’t know I was supposed to let go of them!

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

NIV

He finally got through by leading me to Joyce Meyer’s book ‘Battlefield of the Mind’. I’ve read it half a dozen times. It has helped me so much. God has shown me, through scripture and through Joyce’s books how to let go and how to find my balance, peace, and joy separate from my circumstances.

John 10:10(b) “I came that they may have life, and have it to the full”

NIV

Negativity

Can We Help Our Negative Friends?

Let’s talk about negative people for a minute. We all know someone like that.

The Haunted Artist on tumblr

They seem angry all the time. They are very short-tempered. They complain constantly. About everything. Nothing is ever good enough. They never accept responsibility for their lives or any mistake they make. They see life as chronically unfair. They are full of excuses and have a problem for every solution. They spread pessimism and negativity like the flu.

Riding in a car with this friend is a special kind of hell. You can bet that the car in front is going to be too slow and when they turn off, the car behind you is an idiot because they are too close. Which Mr. Negativity was JUST doing to the car in front that was going too slow. The lights see them coming, and because the universe has it out for them, every single light they come to turns red. (They either forget or didn’t see the last 4 green lights they went right on thru.)   Don’t try to listen to the radio because nothing is going to be right. This station is too repetitive, that band makes Mr. N sick because they’re played too much on EVERY station, this song is stupid because it’s only 3 chords, and on and on.

The Haunted Artist on Tumblr

This friend may have a job that will go nowhere. They hate it, hate their boss, and everyone they work with is dumb. They are continually harassed at work, their co-workers have it out for them, the boss doesn’t know anything.

This friend criticizes everyone they come into contact with. They have something derogatory to say about everybody. At the grocery store, department store, or a food place, the workers must be idiots. They can’t do their job. Oh, and every checkout line they get into, again, because the world has it out for them, is going to be the slowest one. They’re behind the moron with a defective card or the checker’s shoe size is higher than their IQ.

This friend is always complaining. About everything. There is no bright side. Instead of finding the silver lining, they look for black clouds in a blue sky. They do the ‘poor me’ song and dance all the time. ‘Why does this always happen to me? Nothing is ever going to go right for me. I’m never going to be happy,’ if they’re single, ‘I’m going to die alone. No one is ever going to want me.’ If they’re married, it’s more than likely not a healthy one, ‘S/he doesn’t really love me.  S/he doesn’t understand me, doesn’t support me.’

The Complainer by Joe Turk

I wonder our friends are aware of how they affect those around them. I have to think they aren’t. Who would choose to be the person everyone else calls ‘toxic’? Would someone really WANT to be the one everyone else avoids?

When a negative person walks into the room, I can feel it. It’s like a force field around them. A black hole that sucks all the goodness and light out of the situation. That seems a little melodramatic, I know, but I think it fits. I feel their pessimism like a weight on my chest. It hits me like a gust of wind.

I was looking at different articles and blogs about negative people, preparing for this discussion, and the vast majority of them tell us that negative people are toxic, and we need to cut them out of our lives. I came across titles like “10 Signs You Need To Dump Your Overly Negative  Friend,” “5 Reasons You Need To Get Rid of All Your Negative Friends,” “Why You Need To Leave Your Negative Friends Behind,” and “Fire Your Friends: Drop The Negative People In Your Life.”

What if you don’t WANT to ‘dump’ your friend? What if you’ve been friends for almost half your life? What if your friend hasn’t always been negative Nancy? Sure, maybe they weren’t Pollyanna, sunshine and rainbows, but definitely a far cry from the energy vampires they have become. The pessimism has increased dramatically through the later years of your friendship. That’s a little tougher to find advice for.

After a lot of searching, I did find some good articles written to help us deal with our negative loved ones without being damaged ourselves.

anti-negativity umbrella by Meaghz on DeviantArt

One of them, the one I like the best, is Entrepreneur.com http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/311990. Deep Patel wrote an article titled “How to Deal With Negative People Who Aren’t Going Away.” I’m not going to quote the whole article, you can follow the link, and if you are close to a Mr. Negative, I highly recommend reading it.  It’s full of great tips on how to protect yourself from falling in and wallowing around the self-pity pool with them. The one specific piece of advice I will struggle with is tip #2, “You Are Not Their Problem Solver.”

I’m a fixer. I want to make everyone I care about feel better. I want them to be happy. This article says to remember that I’m not responsible for their happiness. I need to realize that I can’t change them overnight and if I try, they’re probably just going to use it against me.

Salvador Dali Genesis 1:27

It’s so frustrating. It’s frustrating because I USED TO BE A NEGATIVE PERSON. Not quite an energy vamp. I was more on the worry/anxiety side of negative than on the complaining pity party side. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I felt like I didn’t deserve good things, so I didn’t look for them. But I knew there was more. I knew God created me in His image and He’s not negative. I was determined to figure out how to be happy. I was so afraid that I was going to die without having ever learned what it felt like to be happy. I have to believe that negative Nancy has the same fear.

God brought me into contact with a couple books. The first was called “Who I am in Christ” by Neil T Anderson which helped how I saw myself. I admit I still struggle with self-esteem and self-worth, but I now have scriptures to fight Satan’s lies.

(link to PDF for Who I am in Christ scriptures)
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=9& ved=2ahUKEwiXpp677IXiAhXDFjQIHXoFDGIQFjAIegQIARAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fvintagelawrence.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F01%2FANDERSON_WhoIAmInChrist.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1RMh5xki3TShZu8rnltiB-

The other one Is “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer. This book is an eye opener, for sure. God used this book and Joyce’s teachings to start turning me into the person He created me to be. I want every single person on the planet to read this book. But most especially, the negative people we love.

Joyce uses the Israelites 40-year journey to teach us how wrong mindsets can hold us back. She helps readers to see what type of wrong thinking is going on in our minds, what strongholds Satan is using to defeat us. Most importantly, she teaches us, through scripture, that we can CHOOSE our thoughts. It’s not easy, it takes work, practice, prayer, and faith. If we truly want to get rid of the negative baggage in our lives, it’s so worth the effort. It’s had a huge impact on me.

Lester Kern
Out of Darkness Into Light

I believe if the negative people we love would read this book with an open mind and heart, to prayerfully approach the scriptures Joyce shows us, they could find a way out of their personal darkness. We just have to get past their habit of finding problems for every solution.

And dear reader, if you think this is written about you, if all of this feels too familiar, I beg you to get a copy of that book. Listen to Joyce’s teachings. Her website is https://joycemeyer.org/

God loves you and so do I.

Forgiveness

There was an incident with a neighbor last night. It really wasn’t a big deal. Or shouldn’t have been, anyway. I found myself feeling very indignant and angry. I was feeling like I had every right to be angry and indignant. I was right and he was wrong. I was going over and over the whole thing in my head, just dwelling on it. I played the what if game, what if I’d said this, what if I’d responded like that. And in all those imaginary scenarios, I made him look stupid, I had the upper hand, my replies were witty and biting. He realized what a jerk he was being and crawled off to bed like a whipped dog.

Then I started plotting how I could get back at him, how I could teach him a lesson. After all, someone needs to show him what it feels like to be on the other end, right?

That’s how I spent my night.

This morning, in the light of day, I’m bleary eyed and tired, and I have no one to blame but myself. The actual incident itself was over in a half hour. My thoughts of retaliation and revenge kept going for another 4 hours.

It reminds of the saying that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. The neighbor went to bed, got a good night’s sleep. How fair is that?

I started thinking about forgiveness.

I went onto a bible study site I like and clicked on a study called ‘Getting Along with People’. The first scriptures it uses are Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” and Proverbs 17:14, “The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.” It says “Being a peacemaker is necessary to get along with others. When our words and actions are peaceful, we are on the right track to getting along.”

My first thought was ‘they don’t have to live next door to xxxx’.  The teaching goes on to Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” and 1 Peter 5:5 “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” It draws this conclusion: “Humility is important in getting along with others. When we focus on others and their needs, and not just on our needs, good relations will follow.”

So this is my thought life after reading this.

Seriously? With xxxx? Be the peace maker? Avoid strife? Peaceful words and actions? I was so sweet to him when I spoke to him, it gave me a toothache. I was so nice and polite it was disgusting. He trampled on it. He sees kindness and manners as a sign of weakness. And focus on his needs not just my own? Are you freaking kidding me? Lets see, what were his needs at the time? More alcohol maybe, louder stereo, for sure he needed a neighbor who wouldn’t bother him when he was partying and disturbing the neighborhood. My needs, let’s see, quiet, sleep, to NOT be screamed at.’

Yeah, this wasn’t working for me, all it did was get my panties in a knot. I needed something to help me get past the feelings of the flesh and to bring my thoughts into obedience to Christ. I’m big on that scripture and try to remind myself of that several times a day.

2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

I went on my walk and spent some time in prayer and then listened to Tim Mackie’s podcast, Exploring My Strange Bible. (I highly recommend it. Brilliant, in depth, informative, it’s awesome.)  I’m listening to the series he does on the book of Matthew. I listened to part 26, called Forgiveness. Tim teaches on Matthew 18:21-35. Now THIS spoke to me. The parable makes sense, it’s exactly what I needed.
Forgiveness isn’t a feeling. We don’t have to love the person or have soft fuzzy feelings toward them. It’s a choice we make. They don’t have to deserve it, they don’t have to be grateful for it, they don’t even have to ask for it.

Forgiveness isn’t reconciliation. It doesn’t make us best friends. We don’t even have to ever see that person again. It doesn’t mean we become doormats.

Forgiveness isn’t even always for the person who has wronged, insulted, hurt, or offended us. It’s a command from God. It’s also for ourselves. It enables us to let go of all those toxic feelings that go against the teachings of Jesus. Jesus died so we could I forgiven for the things I did that don’t deserve forgiveness, how can I hold forgiveness from anyone?

joshtin powers
Flickr

Our Redemption (Good Friday)

He became sin for us. He took every burden, every pain, every choice, every mistake on His shoulders

This is one of the deepest, realest, most touching descriptions of the crucifixion I’ve ever read, so I had to share it. It’s amazing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.   

A Light in The Darkness

We are interrupting the regularly scheduled programming, for a blog post about Easter. It seemed wrong to have a blog mainly focused around Jesus, and my walk in faith with Him, and not speak of the colossal event that defines our salvation and the true love of God.

I thought instead of exploring the true meaning of Easter itself, as we know it is Jesus’ death, that I would instead almost do a story. If you have read any of the Gospels, you have heard the tale of Jesus’ birth, life, and death.

This true story starts in a Garden. The Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus and His closest disciples went to this garden together. Jesus left their side to go in personal and quiet reflection and prayer with God. In this time, Jesus spoke with God. Interrupt story time for a moment here.

I really do wonder whether people doubt…

View original post 2,424 more words

Count Your Blessings

When you’re ready to pull your hair out because your child is ‘testing his boundaries,’ count your blessings.
Your child is healthy.

When you’re screaming silently at the traffic that’s going to make you late for an appointment, count your blessings.
You have a running vehicle.

When you’re so angry at your boss you’re on the verge of tears, count your blessings.
You have a job.

When you’re at your wits end because your mom STILL treats you like a child, count your blessings.
Your mom is still here.

When you’re frustrated because they raised your property taxes again, count your blessings. 
You have a home.

When the prices of fresh produce or seafood is cost prohibitive, count your blessings.
You have enough to eat.

No matter what your circumstances are, you can wallow in them and be miserable, you can fight against them and be frustrated, or you can thank God for what you DO have and live the life Jesus died for you to have.

My Favorite Psalms

God Saved Me

Once upon a time I was in a very dark place. My view of reality, wasn’t. I became someone I didn’t recognize, someone I didn’t even like. I was broken. There were times when I should have either lost everything important to me or died. p

God rescued me. He led me back to the place where I had left my true self. I don’t yet know why He protected me from myself. But He did. He pulled me out of the fire and threw me back into the pan more times than I care to remember.

When my vision cleared and I looked back and saw the times He kept me whole and alive, I surrendered completely to His Will. I embraced Him fully. I finally found the thing that I had been searching for all that time. I read the gospels and fell deeply in love with Jesus.

I couldn’t express in my own words what I felt for Him so I started reading the Psalms. I’d like to share my favorites.

Psalm 18:1-6, 16-19
For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord. He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said

1 I love You, Lord, my strength

2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn] of my salvation, my stronghold.

4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From His Temple He heard my voice;
my cry came before Him, into His ears.

“I want to shed Christ’s light on this new generation” Yongsung Kim

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
He drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me.

Psalm 86
A prayer of David.

Nole Me Tangere by James Tissot

Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to You;
    save your servant who trusts in You.
You are my God;
have mercy on me, Lord,
    for I call to You all day long.
Bring joy to Your servant, Lord,
    for I put my trust in You.

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
    abounding in love to all who call to You.
Hear my prayer, Lord;
    listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to You,
    because You answer me.

Among the gods there is none like You, Lord;
    no deeds can compare with Yours.
All the nations You have made
    will come and worship before You, Lord;
    they will bring glory to Your name.
10 For You are great and do marvelous deeds;
    You alone are God.

11 Teach me Your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on Your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear Your name.
12 I will praise You, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify Your name forever.
13 For great is Your love toward me;
    You have delivered me from the depths,
    from the realm of the dead.

14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
    ruthless people are trying to kill me—
    they have no regard for You.
15 But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
    slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
    show Your strength in behalf of Your servant;
save me, because I serve You
    just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of Your goodness,
    that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
    for You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Psalm 116:1-16

I love the Lord, for He heard my voice;
    He heard my cry for mercy.
Because He turned His ear to me,
    I will call on Him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    “Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, He saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.

10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
    “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
    “Everyone is a liar.”

12 What shall I return to the Lord
    for all His goodness to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all His people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
    is the death of His faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;
    I serve you just as my mother did;
    you have freed me from my chains.