Psalm 65 is a favorite one of mine.  Read it and maybe it will become one of yours.  Especially when we need some good news.  The overload of internet and TV news outlets makes everything so in your face.  Too much horror, scandal and madness.  Hardly anything that smacks of godliness.  Know what I mean?

A friend says that it was probably better a century ago when it takes about a year to find out about some tragedy which hits somewhere to somebody else.  When news arrives it’s all over and done with.  Not sure I agree, but I see his point.  Shut out bad news, at least for the moment.

How about some good news like simple praise and thanksgiving to our great God?  Raving about Jesus.  Hats off to the Holy Spirit.  A gold star to the Father.  Shout out good news.  Then cozy up to this psalm.  What the doctor orders?  To overcome what eats away at us?  Could be.  Try it.

Notice in the psalm’s introduction that King David is the author who writes for his choirmaster and choirs.  This is joyous singing time.  Breathe deeply, fill your lungs with oxygen, and let fly melodious words to our God.

Here I’ve listed some stanzas and overtones from Psalm 65.  God hears our prayers (v.2).  Forgives our sins (v.3).  Chooses us to be close to Him, dwelling where He does (v.4).  Provides all we’ll ever need and then some (v.4).  He’s mighty (v.5).  Acts for His own (v.4).  Creates the most amazing planet (vs.5-8).  And sustains all creation with the mere utterance of a word (vs.9-13).

This week get an eyeful of the gifts God gives you.  Stopping in your tracks, thank Him.  Using your hand-sanitizer on bad news, distance yourself way more than six feet from worst-case scenarios, nail-biting anxiety and fidgety fear.  Giving them up for an early Lent.  Singing good news.

See if that doesn’t make for a better week.  Get snug as a bug in a rug with Psalm 65!

Thank you, Lord, for all your goodness.  We love you and praise you most of all.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Harry Houdini!  How does the great escape artist extricate himself from the seemingly unthinkable?  Is there one greater than Houdini?  Guess who.  Looking back, I can you see how God has gotten me out of impassible and impossible messes.  Some of my own making.  Other times the finger points somewhere else. 

Yet I can’t remember when life doesn’t bring more blessings than regrets and failure.  That Romans 8:28 still runs a booming and profitable business.  That Jesus continues to float my boat, making delicious lemonade out of the spent, rotten ones I hand over to Him.

Sadly, we’ve known others who get handcuffed in their own bitterness.  Shackled into righting some wrong in their own ways.  Trying to prove a point, always grasping to come out on top.  Broadcasting how clever they are while blaming everyone else.  Driven more by revenge than forgiveness and mercy.  Cooped up, cornered by sin’s stubbornness.  Thinking of someone?  Looking in the mirror?

Is God this way?  Hardly.  Jesus lives to forgive.  We can count on Him… always.  No need to fight our own battles…in our own strength…all alone.  He’s way ahead of us.  If only I’d rely on Him, His ways in His timing.  Watch Him handle my life’s muddy jumbles.  Why not?  What’s to lose?

Unfortunately, I’m hard-headed.  Not an easy sell.  Quickly tinkering with my little grey cells instead of falling on my knees (so to speak, at my age!) before God.  Thinking twisted thoughts rather than letting the Bible clear up my muddled mind and emotions.  God’s Word does that.  Even cuts through like a skilled surgeon’s knife bringing health and healing (Heb. 4:12).  Time to face heaven’s Sawbones?  

King David knows his share of troubles.  Many of his own making.  Like me.  Anyone else you can think of?  Still gawking in that same old mirror?  Psalm 68: 19-20–‘Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up;  God is our salvation.  Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.’  The Hebrew word ‘salvation’ means ‘escape’. 

Like Houdini?  No, from One far greater.  The Lord loosens the manacles of sin, unforgiveness, pride, you name it.  In this life, escape from what ties us up is often short-lived and incomplete.  But in heaven, well, that’s a different story.  For another time.  In another place. 

‘For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face’ (1 Cor. 13:12).  

Lord Jesus, thank you for helping us to live with more victories than failures.  For your sake.  Amen.


I need all the help I can get.  And then some.  For all the messes I’ve conjured up.   Plus some foisted on me by others, well-meaning but mostly not.  Help!

So, who gives us a helping hand?  You know.  From God who works all things together, making good come from even disasters and trials (Rom. 8:28).  How?  When?  Where?  Like I know?  I’m as clueless as the next.  Ask Him.  Not about how insensitive and oblivious I am.  But for His insight and support.

Check out Romans 8 for two super-duper, crackerjack helpers.  All ready to jump in when we’re heading for the nearest exit.  Who?  First, there’s God the Holy Spirit.  Romans 8: 26-27–‘Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.’  Read that last phrase again.  See it?  Help is on the way.  Actually, it’s already here.

Here’s more–‘Christ Jesus…who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us’ (Rom. 8:34).  Who?  Jesus, the Son Of God.  Doing what?  Interceding…helping…speaking up for us.  What a team!  OJ’s legal ‘Dream Team’ of decades past looks like a bunch of incompetent flunkees.  No comparison to ours.  Not even close.

When tongue-tied in prayer, the Spirit speaks up for us.  When we feel the heavens closed off, Jesus clears the skies with the Father.  It’s all covered, making me wonder why I have so many fears.  Why?  After all, we’ve got a first string team like no other, on the go with all the bases covered…to help you and me.  Ponder that this week.

Thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for all your help, now and always.  Amen.


Looking honestly at my commitment to Jesus, I want to run and hide.  Sitting tight hoping to melt into the scenery.  Would like to forget all those times when I’ve let Him down.  What I said…and did.  All that I shouldn’t have.  Just me?

Romans 6 is a big chapter in the Bible.  Don’t speed read it.  Turn off those modern gadgets.  Concentrate.  Focus.

What grabs me is that bit about Jesus freeing me from sin because of the cross.  His death nixes mine.  His resurrected life gives me what only He can.  Romans 6: 22-23–‘But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

Did you note that strange theological word–‘sanctification’?  Hard to unpack let alone understand?  Here’s where my Presbyterian heritage offers clues.

In its Larger Westminster Catechism (1647AD), the question centers on the meanings of justification and sanctification.  Now I’ve done it.  Added another tough-nut-to-crack word–justification!  But listen to what the sage Catechism says–‘…in the former (justification), sin is pardoned; in the other (sanctification), it is subdued.’  I’m reading that again.  Hmm.  Fog begins to lift.  Can see some forest and trees.

Sin forgiven.  Justification.  Sin subdued.  Sanctification.  One accomplished, once for all, by our Lord Jesus.  The other lands in my ballpark, so to speak.  Forgiveness guaranteed.  Growing in the Lord less so as a moment-by-moment adventure.  What God does is complete.  What I do…well, you know, not quite.

Sin all forgiven by Jesus through faith in Him.  His part.  Mine is to subdue disobedience.  For me, it’s one step forward, two back.  Three forward with yet another one shoved in reverse.

Such is life this side of heaven.  But when glory comes, that’s a different story!  Mission accomplished… by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  All forgiven.

Me and you?  All grown up.  Dry behind the ears.  Seasoned and mature.  That’s no theological mumbo-jumbo.  Not by a long stretch.  You can hang your hat on it!

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for much better days ahead.  Amen.