Thursday, March 15, 2012

Psalm 11 Everywhere

I have taken refuge in You, but I am not always calm. 
My instincts tell me to fly from the world's dangers and troubles. 
The evil seem to prosper. I feel helpless. 
My doubts and fears loom large. 
My foundations shake—what shall I do?

You are—everywhere
You see—everything
You know—my deepest heart.
You weigh—every soul with love.

You abhor the wicked and the violent.
they wander about, lost in their anguish.
You help the righteous and the just.
They see your many faces and go about their work in calm faith.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Psalm 1 Happiness

Happy are they who know good and do good.
Their love for the good feeds them continually.
They are like trees planted near the river,
whose roots go deep and wide.
They thrive, bear fruit in season, and
weather drought without wilting.
Those who are not so grounded
will blow around like dry leaves in the wind.
Root yourself in Good, and live.

Psalm 2 The Paths of Love and Justice

Why are the nations in an uproar?
Why do the peoples mutter and threaten?
Why do the rich plot with the powerful?

They are rebelling against the demands of Love and Justice.
God laughs, cries, and says with anger:
I have set my Love in your hearts and my Justice in your minds.
You are my children and I have given you the universe
your lives, and the tasks of your days.
Be wise
Be warned
Stick to the paths of Love and Justice.
Your restless hearts will find me there.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Psalm 3 Doubts

Doubts arise within me.
I call myself foolish and my faith, “wishful thinking.”
No lightning! Instead,
a warmth in my heart when I see
what could be Your work in others and in myself.
and a certain comfort when I give myself to sleep,
and a calm confidence in the face of trouble.

It does not matter what names I use for these good things.
It only matters that I notice them, follow them, enjoy them.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Psalm 4 Crying Out

I cry out to you in my anguish, O God.
I have tried to be good.
I have blown on the embers of the faith I have found.
I have learned to pray and to trust.
I ask you for better times, but more urgently,
  for courage and joy in whatever the times bring.
Your presence in my heart is more important to me
  than success or riches.
With it I can trust the darkness,
and live-waking and sleeping- in peace.

Psalm 5 Do you hear my prayers?

Do you hear my prayers, O God?
I seem to have them—cries for help, hopes to voice, and
the little flame of my love to share.
Do you hear me in the morning when I sit
and quiet myself, and listen?
When I quell the braggart in my heart, notice my anger,
my deficiencies of integrity,
and all the ways I partake of injustice and privilege?
(if you were not here, if you did not touch me with your mercy,
I would never be able to do that…)
I take refuge in you.
Your love gives me joy.
Your shelter gives me strength
Thank you!

Psalm 6 How Long?

I am angry with myself.
  I feel weak and fearful.
I’m beset with conflicts, inside and out—
   paralyzed, shaky, sleepless, tearful.
How long must I endure this, God? What’s the point?
   Is it a test? Do you care? Are you there?

I can never prove you are there,
  I only know that I feel lighter for having asked.
It comes to me, what I could do next—
   that some of my conflicts can be put aside.
Then, I can face all that I need to do.
  I’m not so confused any more.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Psalm 7 The Monsters in My Closet

The monsters in the closet of my heart
   have snatched me away—they threaten to devour me.

What did I do to deserve this?
   I try to be good.
   I honor my friends and family.
  I don’t take advantage of the weak or the poor.
I know something about my own wounds and flaws.
Speak from your Judgment seat in the sky and tell me that I’m innocent!

(No, my dear, you know it doesn’t work that way. And you know you are not innocent.)

I am not innocent. Instead of judgment,
I should ask for your love
I try to quiet myself to notice it—you have a
   very soft touch.
And the monsters in the closet of my heart
They posture and threaten and fuss.
Do you love them, too?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Psalm 8 Who are we?

Many-Named One
   beyond imagining--
When I contemplate the night sky,
  the cosmos which all unfolded from a speck,
galaxies, stars, this beautiful earth—
Who are we humans, that you attend to us?
   mere mortals in our tiny corner, and you love us?
  We are life come to knowing and feeling.
The whole world is in our hands.
  plants and animals, oceans and ice caps, rain forests
  atmosphere and ecosystem.
Touch our hearts, O God,
make us worthy of this trust
Help us care for life on this beautiful earth.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Psalm 9 Lift my Spirits That I May Be of Use

I give thanks with my whole heart
for every rock of the earth, every star in the sky,
for the thickening of life in very winter branch.
And also—for your presence in my heart—
which makes me strong.

You are a refuge for the oppressed and troubled
Those who put their trust in you are comforted.
Whisper in my heart, O God,
For I am tormented by difficulties
And discouraged by the awful state of the world.
Lift my spirits so that I may be of use—
And trap the wicked with the works of their own hands.
Help me to set things right
so that the needy are not forgotten
and the poor have hope.
For we are all mortal
and our life should be a blessing to us all.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Psalm 10 Agnostic's Prayer

Some feel your presence always
   But you are hidden from me.
There are those who ignore you so that they can
  pursue their heedless ways-
They curse, deceive, oppress their neighbors, make war, horde,
  and get rich at the expense of others.
They think you don’t notice.
  They say you love them anyway.

As for me, I can’t seem to be sure that you are present
   or active in the world, what with all the forgoing.
If you love those who ignore you and use their lives for ill,
  Do you love those who can’t find you, but use their lives for good?
I do try—I hope you see—but even if you don’t
  That’s the connection I have to you and to your people.
Strengthen my heart for good, O God,
  Help me to bring about your kingdom here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pslam 12 My Faith Falters

The faithful have vanished.
All speak falsely
The poor cry out
The wicked prowl
The worthless is highly prized
Your world is a mess!

Help me—
My faith falters
My integrity is ragged
I oppress the poor
Pride trips me up
I forget to keep my eye on the true prize.
Make yourself known in my heart, O God

Psalm 13 How Long?

How long, O God, how long?
How long must I wait to see your face,
  to feel your presence?
How long until I figure things out,
  heal from my wounds, feel whole again?
How long must I live with these longings,
  with no more than hints and guesses to go on?
Look on me and give me answers! Light up my eyes!

I put my trust in your love. I know
  that you hold me in the arms of life
  whether I feel it or not.
If trust and longing are all that I have,
  then that is enough, and I will sing.

Psalm 14 Will we learn?

We wonder, in our hearts, if there is a God,
or meaning, or hope.
Even our humanism is shaken, when it seems that people care only about themselves
The ideals we have and the airs we take on
   seem foolish and vain.
Is there anyone who is wise?
Is there anyone who is just?
Any who treat their neighbors
  as persons of worth and dignity?
or who are centered and mature in their faith?

There is only ourselves; half-wise, attracted
   to justice, trying to be good.
Only ourselves and the ideals that burn like fire in our hearts.

What will open our eyes?
What will soften our greed?
What will give us a passion for justice?

Only the voice that speaks in the longing of our hearts
That lifts our spirits and makes us sing.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Psalm 15 How Good People Live

How do truly good people live?
They speak the truth from their hearts
  have no hidden agendas, are
  loyal friends.
They offer respect to their neighbors, but
  avoid the company of the selfish and the foolish,
They honor good people wherever they find them.
They live to do good, keep their word
   make their living with honest work
   and give generously from their abundance.
Their way of life makes them strong in heart.

Psalm 16 Refuge

I take refuge in You, O God
I turn to you in thanksgiving, I rest in you in difficulty
I thank you for life in this beautiful place,
for a heritage which forms me and teaches me,
I thank you for the heart you planted within me, and for the
still small voice which urges it to grow.
My spirit is glad, and my body rests in hope
You show me the path of life,
and in your presence is Joy.

Psalm 17 My Prayer

Great Mother, hear my prayer.
  It is as sincere as I can make it.
Take my heart, be with me in the night
  melt me down to my essence.
Help me live in love and justice. Guide me—
  Teach me your love.
Shield me from those who would hurt me
  Help me to leave this world a better place
And see your face in it all.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Psalm 18 Your Love

I open my heart to you, O God
  for you are my strength, my fortress,
  the rock on whom I build my life.
I have been lost in my fears and my angers
   caught up in falseness, fearful, and furious
I cried to you in my anguish.
You have brought me to an open space.
   You saved me because you took delight in me.

I try to be good, to be just, to be generous
   to walk in your ways.
I fail, but you are my lamp.
  You make my darkness bright
With your help, I continue to scale the walls
  and break down the barriers that fragment me.
I would be whole, and happy, and wise
  and know your love

Psalm 19 The World's Glory

The being and beauty of the universe
   declares the Glory of God.
No words are necessary.
  Contemplation of nature revives my soul.

When I view this as unspoken teaching, I am wise.
  When I align myself with Love my heart rejoices
This enlightenment is more to be desired than gold.
  It is sweeter than honey, and my great reward.

Cleanse me of my secret faults and presumptuous sins
  “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart
Be acceptable in thy sight, O God my strength
  and my redeemer”.

Psalm 20 A Prayer for You

May you know peace
   and feel the touch of the One we call by many names.
May you have the strength to meet the day’s troubles.
   May all your plans prosper.
May your victories bring goodness to those around you.

To set yourself to these ordinary tasks
   is to take up the holy work of your life
Trust it—
  money and possessions and glory;
these things come and go and
  they will never make us feel secure.
Serenity is the goal.
  It comes from living deeply in the gift of life
doing the work of love, cultivating our gratitude, and
  noting the touch of Spirit in our lives.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Psalm 21 For Our Nation

I rejoice, O God,
that you have allowed this nation to prosper.
In spite of our sins, we have our heart’s desires--
the blessings of prosperity,
a measure of security,
and more power than we can wisely use.
Help us to move towards justice
and use our power well.
Help us to understand that when we give
to others in the world we give to ourselves.
Help us trust you
and appreciate the many names others use for you.
Help us to be wise, O God, wise and great.

Psalm 22 You Do Not Despise the Doubter

I call you, “My God,” but you are not here.
   I feel no comfort from my faith.
Others say that they trusted you and were delivered.
   But my faith is not good enough for today’s trials.
I feel like a miserable worm.
And yet—you have been with me since before the beginning.
   From the womb, the day I was born.
  You loved me and kept me when I was a helpless infant.
Keep me safe still.
  I feel surrounded by dangers—roaring
lions and angry bulls.
  It has reduced me to jelly. I’m like a
lump of melted wax.
My mouth is as dry as an old clay pot.
The dog packs are closing in.
My enemies, inner and outer-surround me.
Save Me!
I will not give up my faith
I will speak of it to others
I know that you do not despise the doubter
  and that you hear us when we cry out.
Keep my heart open to you, O God!

Psalm 23 Comfort

I am a child of God
  I have everything I need.
This beautiful earth feeds my body.
  You feed my soul.
You guide me in the ways of Life,
  for You are Life.
And though I will walk through dark places, and eventually to death,
  I need never be afraid.
For You are with me always,
  In You I can find comfort.
With Your help, I can face whatever comes.
  My joy overflows.
Your goodness and blessing will be with me
  Every day of my life -- and forever.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Psalm 24 Her World

This world and its life is sacred;
  the very flesh of the Holy One.
She birthed it, breathed her own life into it
  set in motion the evolution of its life.

Who now can stand before Her?
Those with open hearts
  who love the truth and care for the world
They will be blessed.
Fling open the doors of your heart!
  Open your being to God
You will know joy and peace.

Psalm 25 Trust

I put my trust in you, O God, as best as I am able.
   May I be strong. May I not be afraid
May all who open their hearts
  hear your voice and know your love.
Lead me, teach me, help me to trust.

You are gracious to us, O God
You guide us, you forgive our clumsy ways
You help us prosper.

When I am sad and anxious
  I school my heart to trust
I act with integrity and uprightness
  And hope to feel your touch in my heart.
May it be so for all the peoples of the earth
  Who call you by many names.

Psalm 26 You Know My Heart

You know my heart, O God, and all its hidden caverns.
  I can open my whole self to myself and to you.
You know when I trust and when I falter.
  Where I walk faithfully, and where I fritter away my life.
You know how I fool myself, keep bad company,
   and protest my innocence.
May I come to you anyway?
  May I sing my thanksgivings and enjoy your worship?
Though I’m a long way from perfect
   a long way from mature, a long way from good,
You know my heart, O God—
  I would make it whole, open it to You,
and sing your praises.

Psalm 26 You Know My Heart

You know my heart, O God, and all its hidden caverns.
  I can open my whole self to myself and to you.
You know when I trust and when I falter.
  Where I walk faithfully, and where I fritter away my life.
You know how I fool myself, keep bad company,
   and protest my innocence.
May I come to you anyway?
  May I sing my thanksgivings and enjoy your worship?
Though I’m a long way from perfect
   a long way from mature, a long way from good,
You know my heart, O God—
  I would make it whole, open it to You,
and sing your praises.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Psalm 27 My Light and My Salvation

You are my light and my salvation
   Whom then shall I fear?
You are the strength of my life
  of what shall I be afraid?

Trials, enemies, changes, difficulties—
  they rise up and they resolve
   I will trust you
   I will wait for you
   I will seek you.

Psalm 28 I reach Out in Prayer

I reach out to you in prayer.
  Do you hear me?
I try to pray right.
  I go to church
I avoid evil deeds and evildoers
  (as best I can.)
I try to be honest with myself
  and gentle to those around me.
And—since you don’t talk very often, I try
  to see you in your works and in your people.
When flocks of birds pass overhead
  or the sun shines on the mountain
When I notice my burdens lightening
   or see a rainbow after a storm—
I say, “God has heard my prayer.”
Thank you. You are my strength and my shield.
  I trust you. I have been helped
And my heart dances for joy.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Psalm 29 God in Creation

Worship God in the Grandeur of Creation!
   God’s majesty—in the pounding waves
   God’s strength—in the wind
   God’s creative work—in the volcano
   God’s destructive work—in the tsunami
  God’s love—in the flickering fire
  god’s emptiness—in the desert
  God’s constancy –in the seasons

Worship God—Give Thanks—Make peace

Psalm 30 -Settling Into Gladness

I thank you, O God, for your silent help in my life.
  Because of you, my fears do not overwhelm me.
When I have cried out for help, I have felt a touch of comfort.
  You have restored my life.

I sing my gladness and praise
  settle into joy
My separations last moments –Love is always.
  I may weep for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

When all was well in my life, I forgot you,
  You did not intrude on my self-satisfaction.
When I needed you, I could not find my way back
  What use is there for all the ten thousand things
If I have nothing anchoring me to the deep?
  You heard my cry, and called me back
You reached out to me and you helped me find my way.
  Therefore, my heart sings
and I give thanks.

Psalm 31 You as You are

I have come to you, O God, please, take me in.
Hear my prayers, be my rock, my stronghold, my castle.
Help me untangle myself from the web of confusions and self-deceptions that I’m stuck in.
I put my trust in you—I give you my life.

I have turned
from the temptation to trust the ten thousand things.
I have turned
from the temptation to despair of your love and help.
I have learned
to see you in my sorrows and afflictions
A lot of my life went by before I managed this,
which makes me sad.

Now, I practice trust and open-hearted acceptance
of my life as it is.
Now I practice trust and open-hearted acceptance
of You as You are.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Psalm 32 Making Peace with the Past

Blessed are those who have made peace with the past
  with all they have done and left undone.
Blessed are those who have found the courage
   to inventory their failings and missteps,
  who know their weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
Blessed are those who have heard a word of forgiveness from those they have hurt—and those who have felt the accepting love of God.

When I tried to soldier on
  to deny the past and always be perfect,
I hit a wall, I dried up like a dirt road in the summer’s heat.
  I had to open my heart—to myself, to others, and to You.
I had to forgive others and take in their forgiveness of me.
  I had to let go of being perfect so I could forgive myself.
I had to open it all to you and feel your peace.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Psalm 33 What Saves us is Not Weapons

   Be Joyful!
Play music, sing songs, dance, enjoy.
There is a Law in our hearts
  and a Love at the heart of the World.
Together they teach justice and righteousness
   gratitude, kindness, and reverence
Let all the peoples of the earth live by these watchwords
   and be at peace.
Will we ever learn? Our nations are not made strong by weapons or wealth.
Our rulers will not save us by their wits or their will.
What saves us, and what will save our world is living by law and by love, justice and   righteousness,gratitude, kindness, and reverence.
When we put our trust in these ways,
   we will be rewarded by joy.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Psalm 34 Taste and See that God is Good

How exactly do I do this?
By opening my heart in gratitude and praise
  for all the gifts of life.
By focusing on the astounding intricacy of the world.
By attending to the still small voices of healing and renewal
  which save me in times of trouble.
And by loving life and honoring that gift,
  speaking truth, doing good, seeking peace.
When I serve the highest I know
I serve whatever God there is.
The joy of this, no matter what my troubles, will keep me whole.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Psalm 35 Ministry to Agnostics

Dear God, you set me to herding these sheep,
  or goats, or cats---these your people.
and to these, I have dedicated my work.
Sometimes they resist me.
Sometimes they are downright ornery.
No doubt at times I am clumsy or arrogant
   or insensitive, impatient and perfectionistic
These traits of mine make them feel abandoned
and they turn away.

Help me to pray for them
Help me to pray with them

I want so much for them to find some of your ways,
   and learn more of your names.
And walk themselves on the paths of truth
  justice, and peace.
Give them what you gave me, O God—
  a glimpse of your love.
They are ornery in part because they find you too inscrutable to believe in.
  (Not that they are that much more ornery than any of your people)
Bless them O God, and bless me.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Psalm 36 Love and the World

The standard of Love is a high one.
We all rebel, and some are clueless.
They are not just or generous or truthful
They spend their time plotting to get ahead;
they plunder the world and do not share.
I hate this—but I am not innocent. Though I try to share,
to be just and frugal,
most of the world points its finger at me.

Your love encompasses us all—strong
like the mountains, deep like the sea
You give the priceless gift of life.
We take refuge in the shadow of your wings
We feast on the good things of the spirit
And see our aching world through your soft light.

Help us to find this happy place
to be true of heart and not so proud
Help us to live well and fairly.
u nseduced by the wickedness around us.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Psalm 37 The Evil Prosper

The evil prosper, but don’t you wallow in anger.
Do what you can and let it go.
Remember the long arc of the universe
  and how it bends towards justice.
Set your feet on that path; it is True.

Be still.
Wait for God’s word to speak to your heart.
Enjoy your life as it is, find your work, love those around you.
Hold your head up and teach your children.

Notice those who are honest.
Join the upright
Make peace where you can
Trust in God.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Psalm 38 -- Hear My Prayer

I’m in terrible shape
   sick, weak, feeling depressed and guilty.
Numb inside
all my life crushed away.
   I groan.
Do you hear me, God?
Are you there in my pounding heart?
This is too much for my friends to watch, but
   you can bear it—can’t you?
I feel like my enemies are closing in—
   taking advantage of my weakened condition.
I just need to be quiet—quit flailing around,
   fix my hope on You.
I’ve made such a mess of this
   precious life you gave me.
I’m sorry. I’m sad. I want to put it back together.
With your help, and in time.
O God, do not forsake me—
   be not far from me.
Make haste to help me, O God of my salvation!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Psalm 39 Questions

I try to be patient with myself and with God
But sometimes my frustration gets out of hand
And I burst with unanswerable questions
and whiny demands.
Are you there, do you care,
what am I supposed to be doing?
Why don’t you show yourself just a bit more often?
How long do I have in this life, and what happens after?

Sometimes these poor questions are my only connection.

Our lives are short, just a puff of wind to You.
We consume our world and ourselves, fussing
with our neighbors, being anxious. What’s the point?

Dear God, help me turn to You,
and fall silent before a Mystery that I can only
begin to imagine.
Hear my prayer, give ear to my cry.
Speak your word to my heart when I am in distress.
For I would make this life a journey to you,
And live and die in hope.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Psalm 40 I know what You want

I have trusted You, Holy One
  and waited for You.
When I was mired in misery
  you touched me with your spirit.
You pulled me out
  and set me on solid ground.
You put a song in my heart and work in my hands.
  I praise you.
I know what you want from me,
  and where the meaning of my life lies—
Not in rituals, offerings, sacrifices, or creeds,
  just my heart; open to others, and open to You.
I try and live that way.
  I fail often but you nudge and beckon and I follow.
I pray that my words, my song, my life
  show forth your light and light others’ way.
May all who seek you find you.
Touch us with your spirit, that we may be glad.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Psalm 41-Reaching Out in Love

Blessed are those who reach out to others in love
   who give generously to those in need.
God smiles on them and sustains them
in their times of trouble.
I realize—I pray- Oh God, I have done some of that,
   but not enough.
But you have sustained me in my troubles anyway—
  when I was sick and afraid
  when I was overwhelmed by problems
  when the people I cared for turned against me—
You helped me out of that mess.
Your invisible hand guided me.
And now—another chance to reach out to others in love.
   to give generously to hose in need.
When trouble comes again, I will have your support.
Blessed Be.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Psalm 42 Searching

As a deer longs for flowing streams
   so my soul longs for you, O God
My soul thirsts for you. When will I feel
  that I can stand before you again?
Once I came before you easily and often.
   Now-now I feel disquieted and lost.
I remember being glad to worship.
I remember leading others into your house
with praise and thanksgiving.
But now my soul is heavy within me.
  I say to God, “Have you forgotten me?
I feel like a mockery of myself. Are you there?”
  Why are you so disquieted, O my soul?
Deep calls to deep in the heart of the world.
The creative energy of the universe
  throbs to those who listen.
Put your trust there. You will not be forsaken.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Psalm 43 Defend my Cause

Tell me I’m right, please, God—defend my cause.
Deliver me from the deceitful and the wicked!
I pray to you—why have you pulled away from me
  while I’m having such a hard time?
Show me your light and your truth.
Bring me close to Your heart
I will come gladly and give thanks.
Why so heavy, my soul?
Why are you so anxious and sad?
Trust God’s presence and absence.
Give thanks to the Holy One.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Psalm 44 -God's Work in TImes of War

In former times, people were sure that God had given them fortune and misfortune,   victory and defeat, plenty and famine.
They reveled in good times and blamed themselves for disasters.

But, if the virtuous won all the wars
  and had all the good luck,
We’d have heaven on earth by now.

Your work is not on our battlefields or in our
  political assemblies.
Your work is in our hearts—all those
  callings, nudgings, longings.
The more we can open our hearts to You
  the more we know you are present.
Your Presence gives us power.
  We must awaken to that love.

Psalm 45 -- Vocation

My heart overflows! I have done work
of which I am proud. I have followed
my calling, and it is good!
I have been anointed with the oil of gladness
and turn to share it with others.
Thank you!
God says, Gladly! And now,
Let go of the past.
Embrace what is to come.
Joys and trials await you in the future—
triumphs, service and reward.
Be not afraid..
Open your heart.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Psalm 46 A Haven

God is our refuge and our strength
     a haven in times of trouble.
Therefore we can be calm though the earth shakes,
  though the nations change, and though the sea rises.
Our trust is in the Holy One
   who is making the heavens in the earth
Who is with us in the midst of the city
  and in our own hearts.

See the miracles that are a part of our lives!
  and the longings for peace and justice in our hearts
and the way we can make our lives abundant
  in nearly any circumstance.
God whispers to us, “Be still and know that I am God.
  I am with you to the ends of the universe,
   and through all time”

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Psalm 47 Celebration

Clap your hands!
Shout for joy!
Sing your songs

Life is good
The hints and guesses are sufficient
Things as they are are ok.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Psalm 48 -God's Mountains

Praise the Holy in the mountains
Beautiful and lofty—the joy of the earth.

We have waited there to sense your loving kindness
We have walked there in beauty
In the eternal mountains we see You
Silently giving direction for ever.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Psalm 49 : The Size of our Hearts

Here is my wisdom—Listen to my song!
I am surrounded by those who put their trust
   in possessions and money
I am not taken in.
What is precious in life can’t be had in the marketplace
What is important about us is not what we acquire,
  but what we do to add love, goodness, and
  beauty to the world.
It’s the size of our hearts, not the size of our houses,
It’s our understanding, not our fame.
What we own is taken from the earth and from others.
It returns to them when we die.
But love, wisdom, and beauty,
they strengthen the fabric of creation.
They accrue to God, enlarge our very souls.
These are our true legacy and our ongoing life.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Psalm 50 Spirit is Everywhere

Spirit is everywhere
   In the eternal circle of sunrise and sunset
   In the beauty of the earth and in the power of her storms
   In the laws that are written in our hearts, and
in the voice of conscience that marches us to goodness.
God is spirit.
We may need ritual, but what God wants is Our hearts
open in gratitude, or in a cry for help, or
   in willingness to treat our neighbors decently
  seek the truth
  live in love.
These ways bring us to God.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Psalm 51: A New Heart

Have mercy on me, O God,
   For I’ve messed up again
Sinned against You in thought, word and deed,
   and in what I have left undone.
Been--all too human.

Can you make me a new heart, O God?
   and a right spirit? Can you break my willful plundering
   of all that is Yours?
If I got it together again, others would follow—
I could teach, guide, help—and I would!

O Lord, open my lips,
  that I may praise you.
I know you don’t want ritual sacrifice
   were I to give a burnt offering you’d be exasperated.
What you want is that new heart and right spirit.
   For this, I pray.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Psalm 52 --My People*

“My people” are a mess!*
Some of my people are such mess they brag about it.
Some of my people ignore the demands of good—
Some have tongues like razors.
Some put their trust in material things
and protect them fiercely.
They just don’t get it.

Some of my people are doomed to die.
They will get snatched out of their protective tents
and hung out to dry.
And the rest of my people will say—
“You see…We’ve been trying to tell you…”

Some of my people are planted like little trees
in the house of God
They trust in the steadfast love of God
They thank God forever.
And proclaim God’s name to those who can hear.
(They will also die in their time, but for now,
May I identify with them, and thrive.)

*Some South American Indians talk about the facets of self as “my people.”

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Psalm 53 -Humanism

Those who say that there is no God,
   believe that all things are accidental,
  products of the blind forces of nature.
They can not love what they do not perceive.
They can not seek God because they have not caught
  a glimpse they can follow.
Instead they base their lives on what they do know and see
   The people of the earth.
  The earth itself.
They love each other and revere knowledge
  Work for justice and love mercy.
Thanks be for these, Holy One.
Thanks be for these.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Psalm 54 - Whining

Save me, God
Defend my causes
Hear my prayer.
(I’m just a batch of worries and whininess.
No, that’s not right—that’s not all I am)
I am yours and you back me up
   when I walk in your ways.
(I just need to remember that
And be glad, and at peace.)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Psalm 55 Complaint against a Faithless Friend

Hear my Prayer, O God,
   Do not hide yourself from me.
Listen, and answer
  My cares and troubles leave me no peace.
I am shaken by inner noises and pressures,
worries and terrors.
If I had wings like a dove
   I would fly away and be at rest.
I would flee to the wilderness
  and get away from it all.
I would escape
  from all that troubles me.

(But—I’d have to take myself with me.
Actually, I could probably handle these inner demons,
But what is really bothering me is that I’m missing you.)

Dear God,
You have been with me.
  We walked together for a while.
I put my trust in you.
  All the rest seemed manageable.
But you walked away like a faithless friend.
So—I’m complaining. Morning, noon, and night.
Where are you? Come back!
  What’s the point of having a friend who vanishes when you need her?
Hear my Prayer O God
   Do not hide yourself from me.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Psalm 56 Inner Voices

Have mercy on me, O God,
   I am hounded by inner voices—
Anger, shame, anxiety, disappointment, untoward pride.
  All day long, they assault and oppress me.

When they scatter me, I will put my trust in you.
   Your Oneness brings me back to oneness.
In God I trust and will not be afraid,
   for what can mere voices do to me?

All day long, they work against me.
They band together and lie in wait.
“My people”, some call them.
   I am persecuted by my people.

You have noted my misery,
put my tears in your bottle.
   Are they not recorded in your book?
Whenever I call on you, you will scatter “my people”.
   Bring me to centeredness in myself and in You
I am bound by the vow I made to You, O God,
   I am grateful and will live my life in gratitude.
For you have rescued my soul from dissipation
  and my feet from stumbling.
Thank you.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Psalm 57 God's Love

You are good to me, O God
   You have touched my heart with Love
I have found shelter in the shadow of your wings.
   When I am troubled, I turn to you.

My heart is firmly fixed on you, O God.
   I will sing—I will compose a song!
Wake up, my spirit, awake, my instruments
   I myself will awaken the morning.
I will sing of the love I have known
   I will sing of the Touch that makes all things new.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Psalm 58: The World is a Mess

The world is a mess,
And so am I
Sometimes my anger doesn’t have a place to go
And I just want to scream, and blame, and despair.

(Though I have to say that even at my worst, I manage better
  than the author of this psalm,
  which is one of the ones that gives God a bad name.)

The rulers of the earth are arrogant and greedy,
The people who might do something are asleep and
  complacent and feel powerless.
The masses are anxious and overwhelmed.
Wake us up, God,
Remind us of what is important!

I can’t bring myself to pray
   that their teeth be pulled
  or that they wither like trodden grass.
and as for bathing my feet in their blood
  just help me to forget that I read that, please.
All this excess of anger, though,
  it helps me realize--things really are bad
and that my sin is not being angry enough about it.

I can’t seem to bring myself to pray for more anger,
  but I suppose I could pray for the courage to wonder
  what’s going on and what I could do about it.

The world is a mess.
and so am I.
I can’t stand to be angry; it is one of my great faults.
Have mercy on us all, O God.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Psalm 59: Inner Torments

Rescue Me, God,
The voices in my head torment me
They are bound and determined to get the best of me—
The hurt one, the angry one, the anxious one, the prideful one—what a mess!
They go to and fro within me, and snarl like dogs
running around the city all night.

Laugh at them, God, and help me to find the real me
among them.
Help me pat them back into shape and soothe their fears,
so we can see the morning dawn in peace.
Then we will all sing of your strength together
and celebrate your love.
You are our stronghold, our refuge in trouble
To you we sing.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Psalm 60: For Earth Activists

I feel cast adrift and alone among a people
   who don’t care about doing right or following You.
I am angry and discouraged.
Help us back, take us back! Force us back!
before we do irreparable harm to Your creation.
   Shake the earth!
   Flood the land
   Burn us up
   dry us out!
But especially, come close so that we can
See you, know your love for us and for all the earth.

A still, small voice in the heart:
You are all mine, and I claim you.
I walk with you when you do my will
I nudge you to life
I help you in hard times.
Together we will prevail.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Psalm 61: Help!

Hear my cry, O God
  and listen to my prayer
I call on you from the end of my rope—
  hanging here with a heavy heart
You have been my refuge
You have helped me to be centered
in times of confusion.
I will dwell in your house forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
For you, O God, have heard my vows—
  You have granted me a glimpse of your love.
May there be peace in our world.
May the powerful of the world sit before you.
   and know your love and faithfulness.
And I will sing your songs
   Day by day I will fulfill my vow to you.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Psalm 62 Waiting for God

I wait quietly for God’s touch in my heart.
In that is my strength and my salvation.
Remembering that touch, I am free.
  The day’s events do not shake me.
I am often besieged, from within and without
  by forces that would topple me—
Doubts, difficulties, enemies, depressions,
   my own double-mindedness.
I wait quietly for God’s touch in my heart—
  In that touch I know my strength and my salvation.
Put your trust in God
   pour out your heart and find refuge
For people, leaders, and nations are all temporal.
  Idolizing wealth is foolish.
Our education and good deeds take us only so far.
When God speaks in our hearts—
that is what gives life its shine.
It opens us to love and helps us to be loving.
Therefore I wait quietly for God’s touch in my heart.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Psalm 63 Thirsting

My soul thirsts for you, O God
As my dehydrated body craves water.
But I can’t see you.
I often loose touch with your loving kindness
My longing for you is the only real evidence I have
that you are really here.

Still, I will seek You
Still, I will do Your work
Still, I will remember You from my bed,
when I meditate before I sleep
and when I wake in the night.

You have been my helper
I have taken refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Dispatch my fears, O God
help me find my center in You.
And I will rejoice.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Psalm 64 -Whining

Hear my voice, O God, when I whine
    about my fears
     about my failings
     about my foibles
     about all my discordant selves
They bring me down!
They work against me
They hide within me.

My mind and heart hold a Mystery--
    You are also there.
You show me all my facets
    and bring new life from within
I see your work--
I put my trust in You
I rejoice

Friday, June 23, 2006

Psalm 65 -The Earth's Joy

It is good to give thanks,
  for the boundless mercy

  which renews us and makes us whole.
Happy are those who know this

  and open themselves to the Light.
and sing—

You make the sunrise and the sunset shout for joy.
You are the earth’s fertility.
Your law governs her cycles of snow, run-off, flood, and rain.
You crown the year with abundance
The wild lands are watered with dew.
The hills deck themselves with green.
The meadows adorn themselves with flocks,
The valleys gown themselves with grain.
They dance together.
They join in song.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Psalm 66- Salvation

Oh God, your world is awesome,
When I notice it, my fears and anxieties flee.
You have nudged us towards goodness.
You hold our souls in life.
You will not allow our feet to slip.
You have tested us in the fires of life.
We have found ourselves trapped
We have carried heavy burdens
Our enemies have driven over us.
We’ve been through war and storm.
And you have brought us out.

I will honor You
I will speak of You
You have heard me and attended to my prayer.

Blessed be God, who has not rejected my prayer
nor withheld steadfast love from me.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Psalm 67 Bless Us

Bless us, O God—
whisper in our hearts and light our times.
Help us to understand your love and your law
and bring them to bear on the world’s ills.
Let all the people of the earth praise you
with all their diverse voices.
Let them call out the ten thousand names.
Let all nations praise you with the best of their ways.
Let us all enjoy each other’s wisdom.
Let the peoples of the earth bless the earth
and heal her together.
Bless us, O God, with your presence in our hearts,
And in the soul of our nation.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Psalm 68 Salvation

As the wind disperses smoke,
As the wax melts in the fire
May all that divides me and separates me
  flee before Your love.
As once You touched me with awareness
   on a bright June day when all had been soaked and sad
As once You touched me with acceptance
when my heart was heavy.
As You have calmed me and opened my heart
   in the presence of suffering.
As You have showed me that there is a path beyond death.

Blessed be God, day by day,
  The God of our Salvation, who bears our burdens.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Psalm 69 -deep water

Save me, O God,
I have gotten myself in deep waters.
and find no firm ground under my feet.
I am tired of crying.
I feel at war with myself and with others;
I’m unable to do what is expected of me.

O God, you know my foolishness and my faults—
Do you love me anyway?
I really am sinking.
These rushing, dark waters are going to swallow me up.

Answer me, God!
Your loving kindness would save me.
If I could see your face, it would be enough
to ease my distress and help me relax in the flood.

I will remember that you are here,
even in the torrent, even in the war.
I will give thanks for the small beauties
and kindnesses of the day.
And for the love that is in my heart.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Psalm 70 - A Short Prayer

O God, make speed to save me,
O Lord, make haste to help me.
May my fears weaken, my will soften, my resentments ease.
May I be glad and rejoice in You, weak as I am.
You are my helper and my deliverer.
O God, do not tarry.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Psalm 71 --Taking Refuge

In You, Holy One, do I take refuge
  Let me never be ashamed.
Deliver me in love and set me free.
  lean your ear to me, and help me.
Be my strong rock,
  a home to keep me safe.
Deliver me, O God, from the hand of the wicked,
  from the clutches of the foolish and the oppressive.
You are my hope, Holy One—
  I have been sustained by your love since I was born.
I am grown now, and strong in the eyes of the world
  but you are my refuge and my strength.
You have shown me great adversities—
  and you have restored my life.
You strengthen me more and more
  you enfold and comfort me.
Now that I am old and gray, do not forsake me.
  “till l make known your love to this generation, and your power to all who come.”
I will sing your praise all my days
  and show forth my joy to those around me.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Psalm 72--Prayer for the powerful

May those in power in the world
   rule with justice and righteousness.
May the poor be rescued, the oppressors crushed,
  and your love reign from generation to generation.
The nations together will establish prosperity for all
and wisely use the fruits of the earth.
Then will their promise be fulfilled—
   The nations will be blessed and blessings
Serving the One whose creation this is.
Blessed Be.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Psalm 73 --An Open Heart in a Time Like This

I have set myself to live with an open heart
   to abandon my self to love and service.
How often I loose my way—
   in resentment, in loneliness, in despair.
I can cop out, give in, go along with wealth and power.

We think we have a right to pile up our wealth,
   to entertain ourselves with toys while the world suffers.
We think we can mortgage our future and the worlds’ future
   to today’s pleasures.

I know this and feel helpless—and the poor call me
   oppressor with the rest.

How can I live with an open heart in a time like this?
   My love and service are so small against the vast needs of the world.

I sit in this darkness, and no answer comes. God is silent.
   But I need no vision to know where God’s heart is in this time.

Psalm 74 --Seasons

O God, why have you withdrawn?
   Are you angry with me?
   Did I do something wrong?
You have been present in my heart
   now my heart is filled with ruins—
Angers, fears, doubts, resentments,
  I’m a mess, who once glimpsed Your peace.
How long will you leave me like this?
Why have you drawn back?

You are my God
Yours is the day, yours also is the night.
   You established the moon and the sun
You fixed all the boundaries of the earth
  You made both the summer and the winter.
And a time and a season for everything.
   even angers, fears doubts, and resentments.
Blessed Be.

Psalm 75 ---And Know Your Love

Unending thanks, O God
  for all you have done and are doing
Especially for giving us freedom to do good
  and thereby joining with you in creation
Forgive us all the floundering ways we do harm
  in our pride and greed and emptiness
Help us find you—
   in the four directions
   in the wilderness, and in the mountains.
Help us to choose to do right by the earth
  and by each other
so that we may drink from your cup
   And know your love.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Psalm 76 Knowing God

How do we know God?
   Only by reference…by glimpse
out of the corner of our eye.
Only by taking hints and making guesses.
  and listening for the still small voice.

The world trembles with the thrust of life.
The glow of love sustains our days.
Our foolish ways are redeemed, and we are turned back
to justice and compassion.


Psalm 77 Are You There?

I will cry aloud to God
I will cry aloud and God will hear me.
Maybe I pasted that thought together from “sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking.”
Then again—maybe not.
   Maybe the world religious people are on to something
   that I can’t quit grasp.
But it has left a god-shaped hole in my being.
  Most days, that’s all I know for sure.
I think of God and am restless
  I ponder and my spirit faints
I am sleepless at night and speechless by day
  anxious and sad.

I gaze on your creation.
Remember times I felt your gracious touch
See your power in sun and storm
And in my heart. (somewhere)

I set my feet on your path, anyway.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Psalm 78---A Prayer for our Nation

Here is a story, to tell our children—
   a cautionary tale to help them understand—

We have been blessed, our nation,
  by abundant resources
   by wise leaders
   by resourceful people.

We have also been greedy and selfish—
  taking land that did not belong to us,
   enslaving the African
  making war on nations which displeased us.

We have accomplished much
  been a light to the nations
We have used our strength for good.

We have been decedent
Worshiped ourselves
Forgotten the people.

Grant a healing of our hearts, o God
help us to choose life, to do good, to
use our power well in the world.

Psalm 79 --How Long, O God?

Your body, the world, is being despoiled
The people who serve You have died
   at the hands of the violent, the greedy, the wicked.
Those now in power are devouring all that is good
How long, O God, how long?
Aren’t you furious?
Please forget our sins, and meet us with compassion
For we have been brought low.

Your absence from this scene
makes doubt steal into our hearts
and gives cynics a field day.

Make yourself known to us, O God
For we are your people and your hands in the world.
We will give thanks for whatever you give us
And praise Your name for our whole lives.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Psalm 80 The Beasts of Doubt

Hear me, O God, for I am missing you
Restore in me the light of your Presence.
Hear my prayers. Heed the cry of my open heart.
You nourished a seed growing there—
   prepared the ground and planted it.
It grew large enough to fill the whole landscape!
But now—the busy boar has ravaged it
The beasts of doubt have fed on it.
The slings and arrows are outrageous.
Look upon your servant, O God—
  Help me tend and preserve my ravaged heart.
  Let your hand be on me—whom you
     once called to you and made strong.
  Give my faith life again, so I can
Call on your name with a whole heart.
Hear my prayers—heed the cry of my open heart.

Psalm 81 Keep Listening

Sing, Shout, be Joyful!
Play music, blow horns
At the new moon, the full moon, the holy days, the Sabbath.
Let this rejoicing be your practice.

Hear the still, small voice—
You called on me in trouble and I helped you.
Keep listening!
Open your heart and it will fill up.
My longing is for you, as yours is for me.
I want to whisper in your ear
And satisfy your hunger
with honey from the rock.

Psalm 82 Instructions

Among the many clamoring voices in my being
   speaks One, still and small.
How long with you consort with the wicked?
Instead save the weak and the orphan
   defend the humble and the needy
Rescue the sick and the poor
  and deliver them from the Powers of the world.
Help the ones who go about in darkness.
Shake things up!
  for you have more power than you like to think.
You are a child of the Most High.
  And you are here but a little while.

Psalm 83 Distractions

O God, do not be silent
   Do not keep still or hold your peace
I am in tumult
   I can not find my center in You.
Angers, fears, resentments, distractions.
   more fears, more resentments, selfish impulses.
It all keeps me from you—
  Help me—
Make all this like whirling dust
   like chaff before the wind--blow

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Psalm 84 --Ease

The sparrow has a place in the rafters.
The swallow raises her young in the nest she has made.
They live and move easily in their places.
They flit and soar around Your world altar.
They are home.

It is not so easy for me.
I long for that ease of being and pray
for the grace to live in the world as at Your altar.
Happy are they who live in the Pilgrim way;
They walk through desolate landscapes
and find your springs.
They toil through mountains and discover your peaks.
They set themselves to the tasks of love and service
and know deep satisfaction
One day lived in this grace is better than a thousand spent
at our own devices.
When we walk our appointed path in peace,
We find our home and our way.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Psalm 85 -- Peace

O God, you have given us a beautiful earth—
Grant us the wisdom to use it well.
Lead us to an inner life in which we can rejoice.
Speak peace to us, that we may live in peace.
May your mercy and truth meet together
Righteousness and peace kiss each other,
Surrounding us with your light.
Help us know true prosperity,
And be gentle with your Earth.
Guide our feet in the ways of peace.

Psalm 86 --Hear My Prayer

Hear my prayer, Holy One—
   for I am poor in spirit and miserable.
Keep watch over my life
  for I depend on you.
Gladden the soul of your servant
   to you I lift up my heart.
let me see you in your beautiful world
  and in the hearts of those who do your will.
Teach me your way, O God,
  and I will walk in your truth.
Knit my heart to your Heart-
  that I may I know I am with you.
I will thank you, Creator, Sustainer, with all my heart
   and honor and seek you all my days.
For great is your love toward me.
   You have delivered me from my pit.
You have helped me in trouble.
  You are slow to anger and full of kindness and truth.
Turn to me, and have mercy on me.
  give strength to your servant and
  save your faithful child.

Psalm 87 -- The Earth is Holy

The whole earth is holy
  loved into being with delight.
The earth is beautiful
  every mountain, every bush, every fish.
Love encompasses all
  Love encompasses all.
Give thanks and praise, use it well
   and dance the holy dance.

Psalm 88 -- Depression

I cry out day and night for help—
   Hoping for something—relief? an answer?
I’m full of troubles, I feel half-dead.
  I’m in the pits—
Weak, depressed, anxious, miserable.

Did You put me here? Why?
   What did I do?
Are You angry?
  Am I just not good enough?
Did you take my friends away?
  call the cops?
This is going to kill me.

And, you know, I’m not much use to the world
  if I’m dead. I
can’t be Your hands or do Your work
   in this state.
And yet—if this is Your darkness,
  I will bear it.
Keep my heart open
  and my hands working—anyway.


Psalm 89-God's Love

I will sing of God’s faithful love,
  which is established in the Order of the heavens.
We know it in our hearts,
we see it in the dance of stars,
  and in the crashing waves of the sea.
God created the very directions
And founded the world on the basis of
   righteousness, justice, truth, and love.
Happy are those who walk in these ways,
   and teach their children the same.
Though life is short and flesh is frail,
  rejoice in this gift of life and love.

Psalm 90 Life and Death

We have come out of the Earth
and to the Earth we return
Our lives are but a flash in the light of Eternity.
We are like beautiful flowers which live only a day.
We might live 70 years—more if our strength holds.
So much work and hardship!
How quickly the time passes.

Teach us then, to value our days
to treat each one as a sacred trust.
Fill our hearts with wisdom.
and a love for our lives.
In spite of all the grief and suffering
May we be always glad of this precious gift
And hallow the good in each day.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Psalm 91-Trouble

I dwell in the shelter of the Most High.
and abide in the shadow of the Holy One.
I say, “You are my refuge and stronghold,
my God in whom I put my trust.
You will deliver me from the snare of the hunter
and from all manner of evils.
You will cover me with your pinions
and hide me in the shadow of your wings.
I need not be afraid of any terror of the night,
or danger of the day.
I will be strong in the face of difficulty
and face the trials of my life with calm assurance.
I need not fear illness or injury,
people who roar like lions or hiss like snakes,
You will tread on my fears.

I hear you whisper, "I am bound to you in love,
therefore I will help you in times of trouble.
I am with you when you call for me.
I will dwell in your heart through the years of your life—and forever. "


Psalm 92 God's Purposes

It is a good thing to give thanks to God
And to sing praises to the Holy One
To remember being loved early in the morning
And feeling safe by night.

I rejoice.
For You have made me glad.
The magnificence of Nature is very deep.
and the beauty of your creation fills my heart.

although the wicked seem to flourish, that is an illusion.
In the end, God’s purposes will prevail.
Those who have thwarted them will be gone.

Psalm 93 Creation

You have put on beautiful clothes, Holy One—
This amazing universe!
You have made the nothingness solid
with an intricate web of laws
And brought life into being by your love
to evolve its own forms and find its own heart.
From everlasting to everlasting you Are.

Louder than the pounding waves
Larger than the sea
Is your voice whispering, still and small, in our hearts.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Psalm 94 justice

You don’t take vengeance on evildoers, so
the arrogant do not get their just deserts.
How long, how long,
will the wicked triumph?
They boast and swagger
they oppress the poor
They squander the world’s resources
and pollute and defile her.
They think that there is no one who sees.
Worse, they think You see and approve.
(Dear God, if you were vengeful, I would be in trouble.
for I live in these evil ways too
and have not found my way out of them.)
As for me, you know me.
You have instructed my heart.
You have not abandoned us.
You do not forsake your own.
Your judgment is just.
and true hearts follow.
You have come to my help
as often as my foot has slipped.
When many cares fill my mind
I find rest in you.
I will do what I can in the world
And trust your unfolding for the rest.

Psalm 95

You created this beautiful, astounding world—
   from the caverns below to the heights of the her mountains above.
Seas and land, core and stars,
The life in it and on it.
   Awesome. Amazing. Wonderful.
More wonderful still—to know myself as
a child of the universe--yours.”
I wait for your voice
   Open my heart to you.
And ask to rest in your love.

Psalm 96

Sing a new song to the Holy One
   with all the names and none.
Proclaim our joy and thanksgiving
   for creation, for life, for growth, for love.
Turn your face to the light.
   rejoice in God.
Worship God in the beauty of holiness
   let the whole earth tremble in awe.
Call out—
   There’s this beautiful world
   and all the life in it.
   and there’s the rule of law in our hearts
   and Love at the heart of it All.

The heavens rejoice
The earth dances
The seas roil with life
The fields are glad
The trees of the wood shout for joy.

Psalm 97

Highest in Heaven
Deepest in Nature
Holy One
Be Glad

Lights up the world
Purifies the heart
Gathers the peoples

Psalm 98 Sing!

Sing songs of praise and thanks!
  for the cosmos around and the moral law within.
Shout with joy, all you lands;
   lift up your voices, rejoice, sing!
Sing with harps, with voices,
   with trumpets and horns.
Listen! The sea thunders along!
  All life sings its song.
The rivers clap their hands
  The hills ring out with joy.
All these—the voices of God,
   Who is everywhere.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Psalm 99 Awaken!

Awaken to the awesome mystery of God
  Who cradles the earth and all her peoples,
  Who planted the laws of justice and mercy in our hearts,
  Who nurtured and nudged the saints of the ages
    and the teachers of the people
  Forgiving them their faults, mistakes,
     addictions, and selfishness,
  And invited them to grow and change.
  Awaken to this awesome mystery
Follow it all your days.

Psalm 100 Joy

Be Joyful—everybody—
  Muslims, Christians, Pagans, Atheists
Gladly serve the good
  Rejoice in the gift of life.

Highest above, deepest within
   Around us in nature, present in each.
We are yours, You are ours
We enter your presence with Thanksgiving
   With chants and songs
   With grateful hearts and open hands
And know a flash of eternity.

Psalm 101 A Life Plan

I sing of the mercy and justice
   that you, O God, have planted in my heart.
I strive to follow your way.
   And remember that you walk with me.
I will pursue worthy goals.
   and stay away from evil-doers
I will nurture my pure heart
   and live carefully on the earth.
I will watch my judgmental thoughts
   -help me soften my stance towards others.
I will keep good company
   and strive to be honest with myself.
I will do what I can for others and
  try to make my world a better place—
For it is your world, and beautiful,
  and I would live on it well.

Psalm 102 Depression and Faith

O God, hear my prayer
   and let my cry come to you.
I drift through dull and cloudy days.
   my bones are turned to ash
My heart is closed down.
   I’m not taking care of myself.
I feel like a vulture in the wilderness
   an owl in the ruins, a lone pigeon on a roof.
I lie awake in the night
   with voices that revile me.
I feel far from You—
   Have you who lifted me up, thrown me away?

O God, you endure forever.
You come in your appointed time.
You rebuild nations, point the homeless to shelter,
   hear the groan of the captive
and help the dying be at peace.
You laid the foundations of the earth at the beginning--
   the stars and the galaxies are the work of your hands
   They will go to chaos, but you will endure
   You will change them like worn clothes
For You are beyond time and space and matter and energy
And with you, I am saved.

Psalm 103 Theology 101

God forgives our sins and failings
   heals our fears and anxieties
gives meaning to life and death
is our love.
In God we are satisfied with good things
  renewed in vigor
  reminded of righteous ways.
God hates all oppression
God is compassion
  slow to anger and swift to forgive
Loving us like a good parent—remembering that we are
   like flowers in the field, that bloom in their time,
  and fade away.
God’s goodness lives in us, and in our children
From once-upon-a-time to forever and ever.
Bless God, you holy angels
Bless God, you wise ones
Bless God, all you who do God’s work,
Bless God, O my soul.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Psalm 104 Intelligent Design I

I am awestruck, Holy One
   at this beautiful and boundless universe—
   gestated over eons with love and care.
Your creative intent envelopes the world like a cloak.
   I see it shining in the heavens, hear it whispering
   in the winds, feel it crackling in the fire.
For you energized the dust of the universe—
   the galaxies, the stars, the planets,
   right down to this jewel of an earth.
You birthed her like a golden babe
   from the fires under your heart.
She cooled, wrapped herself in water and in air.
The waters receded, the mountains rose
Storms shaped and softened the landscape
   and in time, she gave birth to life in her seas.
In the eons life evolved into myriad forms
   each with its own niche in your scheme.
With Your love, She taught each its place, its work, its song.
And humankind—you birthed us too. Gave us
   the world as our home and food--
   bread to eat, wine to make our hearts glad, herbs for
   healing, and oil to soothe our skin.
You gave us many songs, many powers, and put
   a restlessness in our hearts
   we could seek you always.

O Holy One, how manifold are your works
In your love and play you have birthed them all
   and raised them up.
I will sing your songs all my days
   and care for all you have created
   and keep my heart ever open to your Love.

Psalm 105 -- Intelligent Design II

Give thanks to God, call out the Many Names
   make known your faith among the people.
Glory to the Holy One
   let the hearts of those who seek God rejoice!
Search for God, and for God’s strength
   continually seek God’s invisible face.
Remember God’s deeds, you child of God
   Ponder the wonders of the world.
Out of the nothingness before creation
  God sparked the process that became the universe
Out of the primal waters of earth
  God brought forth life.
Out of the marvelous creatures that evolved,
   God shaped humans, planted the seeds of thoughts
and blew on the flame of our hearts.
God nudged our longings and showed us ways
   to live together in peace.
Scientist and prophet, wise woman and child
   all have wisdom.
Heed their words, all ye peoples—
  fan the flames of justice; turn from your wasteful ways!
Treat God’s world with reverence
   and be at peace.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Psalm 106 Returning

“Give thanks to God, who is good
whose mercy endures forever.”

We stand in awe of an infinity
   which we cannot begin to comprehend
We set ourselves to live in tune with the universe—
   that we may be glad with the gladness of people of faith.

Yes, time and time again we have gone astray,
We have despoiled this beautiful, wonderful world
   dealt unjustly with our compadres
The law of love is a hard law.
   In our prayer and then in our lives,
   we return to the Way.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Psalm 107 Thanksgivings

Give thanks to God, who is good
   whose mercy endures forever.
Let all who have known God’s grace declare
   that their suffering has been redeemed.

Some wandered in desert wastes
   isolated and without help.
They were hungry and thirsty
   their spirits languished within them.
In their trouble they cried out to God,
   who delivered them from their distress
Let them give thanks
   for the mercy God shows to all people.
God satisfies the thirsty,
  and fills the hungry with good things.

Some sat in darkness and gloom
   bound fast in their misery.
feeling abandoned and alone
   stumbling about, with none to help.
And then—a light in the darkness!
   Let them give thanks!

Some lived foolishly and became ill
They cried out in their struggle with death.
And then—a moment of peace, a word of healing.
   Let them give thanks.

Some lost themselves in their work.
   Though they saw God’s beauty,
they, too, became lost in storms and stress
   and cried out to God, who delivered them.

God stills the storm to a whisper
   and quiets the waves of agitation
Give thanks for God’s mercy
   for the wonders God does for all people.

And as for the poor, remember, always—
God has a heart for the poor.
The upright will see this and open their own hearts.
Whoever is wise will ponder these things.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Psalm 108 for Earth Day

I fix my heart on the Highest and the Deepest.
   I sing and make music
Wake up my spirit,
   awake, my instruments
I myself will awaken the dawn.
I will sing songs of God
   whose loving kindness is infinite
And whose faithfulness covers the Earth.

From the center of my heart comes a knowing:
   The cradles of civilization are mine.
The ravaged lands of Africa are mine.
   and the capitals of the world, they are mine, too.
So are the old worlds and the new
   the third world and the world down under.
The melting ice caps are mine, the islands,
steppes and mountains, the earth to her core
Love them!
Take care of them!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Psalm 109: For a Parish Minister

Make known your presence, O God
   Let me hear your still, small voice.
For those I lead are not happy with me
   and are making my life difficult.
They are not honest with me
   They fight me without cause.
They need a leader, but
   they want to do it all themselves.
Despite my love they accuse.
   I can only pray for them.
They set the simple against me
   When they judge me guilty, my appeal is not heard.
If they push too hard, I will have to leave them.
I will be sad; my family will be deprived.
They are not bad people.
and I do not wish them ill—
But I pray that they would come to their senses,
   and quit attacking me.
I feel faded and weak-kneed.
help me, O God—
save me for your mercy’s sake
They may curse, but you will bless
Let my accusers wrap themselves in their shame.
I will give thanks to You.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Psalm 110 -work

There is work for you to do in the world.
Your are ordained to it from your birth
For it you were begotten in the beauty of holiness.
like dew from the womb of the morning.
“Stick to this work,” my soul whispers,
"and we will be strong.”

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Pslam 111

I will give thanks to God with my whole heart--
in silence and in company.
God’s deeds are great—
   I will study them.
God is compassionate and gracious
   I will remember
God speaks in the heart—
   I will listen
God’s hands work faithfulness and justice
   I will follow
Awe of God is the beginning of wisdom
   I will praise God forever.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Psalm 112

Happy are they who revere God
  and delight in doing good.
They and their families will be blessed.
  They will know a rich life,
and the satisfactions of righteousness.
  God’s light will shine through them into the world.
They are generous and just.
  Their confidence seldom shaken
Sturdy in spirit, trusting, unafraid.
  They give freely of their abundance
They can hold up their heads with honor.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Psalm 113

Open your hearts, you servants of God
Open your hearts to God
Strive to be a fertile field for God’s love
All day, all night, all ways.
God’s work encompasses the nations,
the world, the distances between the stars.
God’s work is in the atom, the
core, the intestacies of matter.
God’s work is in the deeds of love, the
justice of society, the care of friends.
God’s life is in every life, making us one family.
God’s justice lifts the poor
setting them with nobility in the human community.
God’s love fills our hearts
with everything we need.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Psalm 114

When we were freed of all that oppressed us,
and gave ourselves to the Holy One,
The moon smiled,the waters laughed,
the mountains skipped like rams and the hills like young sheep.
What tickled you, moon, that you smiled?
O waters, that you giggled?
You mountains that skipped like rams
and you little hills like young sheep?
It was nature’s glad notice of the liberation of her offspring
and a welcoming of her children home.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Psalm 115

O Great Mystery
   We must love and praise you without understanding.
You are not a little tin god
   with eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear
   and a mouth that does not speak.
You can not be described or boxed up or tamed
   You are beyond our understanding.
Still, we yearn to hear you, know you,
   feel your love, and in mystery, we do.
We know awe at the intricate majesty of the heavens,
We cherish the work of caring for each other
and the Earth.
We praise you, Great Mystery,
   all the days of our lives.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Psalm 116-for times of trouble

My love is for God, who knows me
and hears my voice when I cry out.
When the grip of fears and anxieties
take hold of me, when I come to grief and sorrow
I call on God
and find relief.
Rest, O my soul, relax.
God is with you.
God has given your life meaning, soothed
your sufferings, and guided your feet.
Walk in God’s presence
in the land of the living
Even when you are very low.
Even when trust is hard.
Call on God’s name
Fulfill your promise
Be grateful
Lighten up.

Psalm 117

Praise God, you nations
Give Praise to the Many-Named One.
Who is compassionate and merciful
to all the peoples of the earth

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Psalm 118

Give thanks to the Holy One, who is good
whose mercy endures forever.
I called on God in my distress
God answered my prayers
God is with me—therefore I am not afraid
Whatever happens will happen
God will be at my side
I will be strong.
People are fickle, Society not very helpful
God is always present.
And all my fears and foolishness that buzz
and swarm in me like bees—
With God’s help I will calm them
for God is my strength and my song,
and my salvation.

Listen! Songs of Joy!

I have been astray and missing the mark
But I did not die of it—Here I am!
Open the gates of prayer for me.
Let me enter and give thanks.
That this stone which the builders rejected
has been shaped and put to use in the Temple walls.
On this day God has acted
I rejoice and am glad
I give thanks to God who is good—
whose mercy endures forever

Friday, April 14, 2006

Psalm 119 v. 1-8

Happy are they who live lives of righteousness,
who walk the Way of God.
Happy are they who live with integrity
and seek wisdom with all their being.
Who strive to be good
and walk in your ways.
Your heart wells up in our hearts
so that we can live justly and in love
Oh, if only that were a simple or easy thing, to live that way!
Then I would not cringe at the chasm between what I love and what I do!
I thank you for what you have taught me.
I will keep your law-
I welcome your presence in my life.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Psalm 119 v. 9-16

The great end in religious instruction is not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to awaken their own.- William Ellery Channing

What shall we teach the children?
That same law of loving justice
That the wise seek you and strive to live in your way.
To treasure the conscience you have planted in us
and the guilt that strikes us when we are astray.
To be grateful and to look within for guidance
To attend to the world’s wisdom but to follow the wisdom
of their own hearts.
To meditate on your commandments
and attend to your ways.
To delight in your statutes
and forget not your word.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Psalm 119 v. 17-24

Open my eyes that I may see
glimpses of truth thou hast for me
open my eyes, illumine me
Spirit Divine” -Cris Williamson

Be generous to me, O God—
  for I would know you and love you.
Open my eyes, that I may see
  glimpses of your truth.
For I am blinded by this material world --
  blinded to your being
Yet my restless heart
  roams the cosmos with longing.
I keep your laws
I keep my focus on you
I set aside the troubles of the world
  and delight in your way.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Psalm 119 v. 25-49

Touch my heart, O God,
  for I feel defeated.
Overcome by sorrow, bewildered
  by the world and its ways.
I don’t know how to be good.
  I’m not sure which way to go.
I turn to you.
  Teach my heart.
I will listen.
  I will follow my desire for you.
Keep me focused, O God—
  not chasing after security or fleeting pleasures.
Help me desire what is deep and abiding—
  And find joy and satisfaction in You.

See a traditional translation of this Psalm here:

Monday, April 10, 2006

Psalm 119 v.49-72

Your Way lives in my heart
it gives me hope in times of doubt and dryness.
I understand this Way uniquely, so
it is mine and I cherish it.
It links me to your servants in many places
and through many generations. I am glad.
It is a quiet song in my life.
I sing.

Your love is what feeds me, O God
I have settled on that.
Remember me,
as I remember you
Help me to live in your ways
To pick a good path through the forest that is this life.
When I wake in the night, I will thank you, and listen to you.
I will seek out companions who are on the path
so we can walk together
I will watch for you in the beauty of my days.

This gift of life—what a wonder!
I want to be worthy of all my blessings.
Before my dark times I took it all for granted.
affliction opened my eyes.
Now I stretch out my hand to touch it all.
Teach me—help me understand.
I set my feet to live in your Way.
I take my place by your side.

See a traditional translation of this Psalm here:

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Psalm 119 v. 73-80

Your hands have made me and fashioned me—
gave me understanding, that I may live fully in
Your handiwork in me shows
Your love to those who doubt
Your judgments are right. In faithfulness
You have afflicted me.
Your loving kindness is my comfort
may I welcome it and offer it to others.
Your compassion comes to me
Your law is my delight.
Grant me a generous heart,
O my friend and teacher.
For I would give freely of my life in
Your name.

See a traditional translation of this Psalm here:

Psalm 119 v. 81-88

I long to feel your touch in my heart, O God.
My eyes are strained from watching in the dark.
My heart is aching for comfort.
My soul feels shriveled up like a piece of dried meat.
All I have of you is your Way.
The rule of love and justice.
I hold firm to that in a world that does not comprehend.
Frightened—we are so far off the path.
Baffled—it is not easy to be wise in the mob.
So it’s a struggle in the dark at times, and
I long to feel your touch in my heart.

Psalm 119 v. 89-104

Dear God, The seed of your love is deep within
every molecule of the universe, and it abides through time.
The laws of the cosmos serve your purpose to the end.
If I remember this, I can abide all manner of trouble.
If I delight in this, it gives me life.
I belong to you to my very core.
Holding firm to that knowledge, I can live my life in love.
All things will come to and end.
And in the end all will be One

My mind is filled with your Way
Making me wise like a teach or an elder.
Mastering my life in your way gives me purpose.
Many times I use it to guide my steps.
My mouth waters and my heart softens to consider your Way.

See a traditional translation of this Psalm here

Psalm 119 v. 105-112

The Way
it is a light on my path.
The Way
I have a part in keeping it.
The Way
steadies me in troubles.
The Way
teaches me to live.
The Way
is the Joy in my heart.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Psalm 119 v. 113-128

Oh, how I hate my divided heart
and how I long for simplicity!
But I tear around
desiring interests and responsibilities.
Will you hold me even in this tattered state?
Honor my trying?
I need your help, O God—

I have tried to live a good life
Please—may it go smoothly for a while.
Surround me with good people, and
teach me to work well with them.

You Way is wonderful
therefore I follow with all my heart.
It lights up my life.
and gives me a path through this complex world.
I long for your love –turn to me
Steady my footsteps—help me to live justly.
Rescue me from all of my foolishness.
and all of the dangers of the world.
Shine your light on me—
teach me--hold me
My heart is open to you.

Psalm 119 v. 135-144

Your Way is wonderful. I aim to keep it.
I study, and try to understand.
I sigh, “Turn to me, as is your way with those who love you.
Help me to order my footsteps in you,
to let my inner light shine.
Help me to do the world’s work with diligence
but without anxiety.
It is your world. I am but your servant,
A cell in the organism, “God”.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Psalm 119 v.145-161

With my whole heart and my complete devotion,
I give you my life.
I sit in your presence each morning
I commend you my life before I sleep.
I ask for your help each day.
Is it just a game I am playing with myself?
I know you are there somewhere
and that I live in you.
But I long to feel your presence again.

You see that I am a mess. I see
that I am a mess
I keep working at it—you see that, too.
I would keep a steady course in spite
of all difficulties.
And walk in your ways, towards the heart of truth,
which endures forever.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Psalm 119 v. 161-176

I have found a great treasure.
and I am glad.
Your love and law are written in my heart.
I have known peace.
I praise you though the day
your love lowers all stumbling blocks
I follow your ways.

My longing is for you, O God,
Help my heart to find your heart
Thank I might know your love
and share it through my life.
My lips shall pour forth your praise
my song will be of your promise
My hands will be ready to do your work
But I will long for the touch of your love
All the days of my life.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Psalm 120 A Prayer

When I am troubled, I call on God
“Deliver me, Holy One, from entanglements
within and without.
For I am appalled at the mess that is me
And the mess that we’ve made of your world
Forgive me. Help me.
Forgive us. Help us—
To be at peace, to live in peace,
to teach peace, to bring peace.”

Psalm 121 The Hills

I lift my eyes to the hills.
From whence will my help come?
My help comes from the creativity of the cosmos
Which is making the heavens and the earth.
It comes also from the core of myself.
It is my guide and hope.
On this path I am safe
Whatever befalls me.

Psalm 122 -The Temple

I was glad when they said to me,
Let us go to a sacred place
A place where the divine is
to give thanks.

Though I know
That God is everywhere, I go gladly.

I pray for peace, here and in all the places of earth.
Peace in Jerusalem, peace in Baghdad,
peace in Albuquerque.
Peace and Justice. Peace for my friends,
eace for my adversaries.
I seek what is good for all for the sake of Peace.

See a traditional translation of this Psalm at:

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Psalm 123- Starry Skies

I gaze at the starry skies
Drawn to every tiny light.
Drawn to what I know of each one’s unfathomable distance,
astounding size, profound age.
I look to this big picture to help me imagine You.
The intricate patterns bind us.
Have mercy on your tiny servant.
Who watches for you in the watches of the night.

See a traditional translation of this Psalm at:

Pslam 124-- Guide

If it were not for you, Eternal One,
I would have sunk lower than low, over and over again.
But you showed me a light,
lent me a hand,
You guided my guides
and spoke a healing word in your still, small voice.
“Our help is in the name of the Eternal One,
who is making the heavens and the earth.”
And making my heart. Thank you!

Psalm 125 -Albuquerque

My centeredness in God makes me solid like the mountain.
Boulders fall, pebbles cascade, but the core stands strong.
The mountains shelter the city
like God curving her arms around us.
In the end, all will be well here.
The people of the city will thrive.
Show your goodness, O God, in all your ways.
Awaken our goodness
Help us mend the torn fabric, and
make our city strong.

See a traditional translation of this Psalm at:

Psalm 126-- Free At Last

When we found ourselves free,
we couldn’t believe it. We wandered around,
dazed with joy.
People shook their heads and said,
“God has done great things for them!”
God has done great things for us
and we are glad.
Help us adjust to this turn of events.
Make the most of us.
Help us to never forget.
We sowed these seeds with tears.We reap with joy.

See a traditional translation of this Psalm at:

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Psalm 127- A Solid House

Unless the house is built solid, and
for the right reasons, the work is in vain.
When the right thing is done at the right time,
it endures like a house built on a good foundation.
When a nation is governed justly and wisely,
it is safe from all manner of danger.
When you do what you can each day with due diligence,
you sleep deeply at night, trusting God for the rest.
Attend well to the next generation.
The children are God’s gift to us,
and their good upbringing our gift to God.

See a traditional translation of this Psalm at:

Psalm 128 - The Creation of Peace

You are blessed, who know God’s grace
and who follow the Way of Life.
Happiness and contentment are yours.
Your home is a place of growth and love.
Your city a better place for your life in it.
Your life of faithful work, prayerful reflection,and shared love
blesses those around you with life and peace.

See a traditional translation of this Psalm at:

Psalm 129 -- Yes!

"For all that has been -- thanks!
To all that shall be -- Yes! -Dag Hammarskjold

Can I thank you in truth, for the difficulties of my life?
For being ploughed by illness,
neglected like the seeds the grow in gutters and then wither in the sun?
Can I in all honesty thank you
for enemies, oppressions, and rotten luck?
And what of your long absences
and continuing illusiveness? What of that?
"For all that has been – thanks"?

See a traditional translation of this Psalm at:

Psalm 130

Out of my depths, O God, I cry to you.
Are you there?
I know I’m far from perfect,
but if perfection were required,
who would pass muster?
So, I wait and I hope;
like a sentry waits for the morning.
Help me to stay alert, and keep an open heart
for whatever comes.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Psalm 131

I am humbled, O God, by the world's majesty
and by your love.
I know that I will never understand it all.
It's too hard for me.
But I still my mind and calm my anxious heart
and give myself to You
like a sleepy child on her mosther's lap.
Waiting on You--always.

Psalm 132

Nothing we do is completed in this lifetime
Therefore we are saved by hope. -Reinhold Neighbur

As David searched the Middle East
for the Ark of the Covenant,
So may we, O God, persevere with those of good heart
to do the work of this nation:
Feed the hungry, house the homeless,
nurture the orphan, care for the sick, soothe the dying,
make peace, heal the earth,
turn the culture from its foolish ways...

A pretty long list. It will take
generations of faithful work
So we'd better add:
Teach the children and take care of ourselves.

Clothe your ministers in goodness, O God,
and your leaders in righteousness.
Together will do your work with you.

See a traditional translation of this Psalm at:

Psalm 133

When we are at peace with those around us--
neither defending nor encroaching,
but together without stress,
What a blessing!
What a luxury!

When I wash the day's dust
from my hands and face and smooth on lotion,
I am content, at ease, free.
The blessings of peace form softly all around me,
like the dew that condenses on the desert plants
in the morning.
God's gift.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Psalm 134 Be Thankful

Be thankful
servants of God,
You who wait for God.
Be thankful all the days of your life.
Be thankful for the beauty of the earth.
And the One who is making it will bless you.

See a traditional translation of this Psalm at:

Psalm 135-God's Work

Praise God,
You who call yourself a servant of the most high.
Praise God, whose goodness and bounty makes history.
God’s storm forms the earth.
God's justice nudges the people,
God’s hope for us becomes our goal
God’s everlasting love sustains us through trials.
Help us keep our eyes on these larger prizes,
and not make idols of our social conventions.
Help us keep our hearts in the empty center,
and not make fetishes of our mere symbols.
Blessed are You, O God—You are everywhere,
and we are all your people.
See a traditional translation of this Psalm at: