Tag Archives: Psalms

When he was in the desert of Judea.

PSALM 62

O God, my God, I rise early to be with You;
My soul thirsts for You.
How often my flesh thirsts for You
In a desolate, impassable, and waterless land.
So in the holy place I appear before You,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your mercy is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus will I bless You in my life;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
May my soul be filled, as if with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall sing praise to You
with lips filled with rejoicing.
If I remembered You on my bed,
I meditated on You at daybreak;
For You are my helper,
And in the shelter of Your wings I will greatly rejoice….

 

Muddy creek and spicy cake.

gl-1-9-pine-branch-img_4080A big branch fell from my Canary Island Pine last night, just missing the lemon tree that we intentionally planted under its leggy canopy, hoping for a bit of frost protection; I hadn’t thought it might be a dangerous location instead. It’s been very blowy and wet in these parts – lots of flooding in the county, though not in my neighborhood. Today came a break in the rain, so I walked again along the muddy creeks.

gl-1-9-colors

 

 

 

I was surprised to see this tree looking like Autumn. How could it still hold on to its leaves through the gale? I guess our winter is very like some people’s Fall. gl-1-9-cotoneaster-with-robin-jan-9-2016

It was cool, not cold, the air as fresh as can be. A hundred robins would startle and rise up in a swirl out of the cotoneaster bushes when I walked past, and then settle back down to eat the berries. One is sitting in this bush but he is hard to see.

Big limbs had fallen from eucalyptus trees along the path, and in many places the pavement was strewn with redwood cones and needles. I was alone the whole two miles of my loop. gl-1-9-eucalyptus-downed-branches

Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty,
give unto the LORD glory and strength.
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name;
worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thunders:
the LORD is upon many waters.

gl-1-9-berries-privet
privet

A few of these words from Psalm 29 were quoted by our rector on Sunday, referring to the storms that, surprisingly, didn’t force us all to stay home. My youngest two children and I memorized this Psalm about 20 years ago. I think I picked it for them because of all the vivid imagery like skipping, flames, cedars breaking, hinds giving birth. It still thrills me, and is indeed a good Psalm for stormy weather.

The thought of gingerbread came to me out there on my winter walk. So I came home and put together yet another version of Wheatless Gingerbread. This time it was even gluten-free, because I used the flour mix from Minimalist Baker.

gl-1-9-cake

It came out lovely and light. This time I also added milk powder and used butter… I think I might still be able to improve on this recipe in various ways, so I should try to make some again soon.

We’ve been keeping the stoves busy in our house. Someone even cooked her chicken breast and handmade tortillas on the wood stove last week. Keepin’ cozy!

gl-1-9-kit-cook

Tears in Psalms

As we approach Lent, the beautiful hymn “By the Waters of Babylon” is sung at Orthodox services and starts to set the tone for the season in which we cultivate “joy-creating sorrow.”

Psalm 137

By the waters of Babylon,
there we sat down,
yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
We hanged our harps
upon the willows in the midst thereof.
For there they that carried us away captive
required of us a song; and they that wasted us
required of us mirth, saying,
Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

Psalm 58:8

Thou tellest my wanderings:
put thou my tears into thy bottle:
are they not in thy book?

Psalm 116:6-8

The LORD preserveth the simple:
I was brought low, and he helped me.
Return unto thy rest, O my soul;
for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
For thou hast delivered my soul from death,
mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

Psalm 126:5

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

 

Oh, Wind!

Right now the wind is blowing up a noisy gale outside.

It was just getting going this afternoon when Mr. Glad and I were taking a walk in an old neighborhood in a nearby town.  We like to look at the gardens and the houses, like this one that seems to have been a church at one time.

 

 

 

When we left the restaurant where we’d eaten a lunch of doner kebab and Turkish coffee, we crunched through leaves on the sidewalk, and took pictures of a tree we didn’t know.

Its graceful branches and smooth bark, holding up bright yellow leaves and pink flowers, put on a multi-layered show for us.

Mr. G. especially liked the door of this little white house…

…and I liked the way the tall green hedge in front of a large brick house had been trimmed so neatly as to frame the entrance like a picture. So I took a picture.

And that purple plant bordering the sidewalk…I think we have that at church, but I can’t remember its name. It’s the perfect complementing color.

Leaves began loosening from branches overhead and falling down on us, as the wind lifted my hair and stirred it into the mix. I had to watch my steps as we picked our way over frequent humps in the sidewalk caused by roots of trees with giant trunks, maybe older than the old houses.

On the drive back to our town the thermometer in the car told us it was 71°! My husband stopped by a store for a few minutes and I stayed in the car. I pulled out an old Bible that I keep stuck between the seats for times like this, and opened randomly in the Psalms, where I read,

Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob;
Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.

Return unto thy rest, O my soul: for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.
For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

And it seemed that God was speaking from His written Word to elaborate on the exuberance of His presence in the wind and the trees, to remind me that the same Mover of winds is the keeper and Lover of my soul.

At least four poems, songs, and passages from books crowded all together in my mind, all about blowy days, leaves “falling down and down and down and down and down,” and Wind as a playmate.

That wasn’t the end of my windy mental explorations, but before I write any more on the subject I’ll make an effort to gather my thoughts from the corners of my mind and bookshelves and the winter skies.