In You, O Lord, I Put My Trust.

We live in a society that fears death. There is a desperate attempt in the cosmetic industry to make death seem far away by keeping us looking young. Children often reject their aged parents, placing them in nursing homes, even when it is possible and a blessing for them to live with their families.

An anonymous old man appears to be the author of this psalm. A whole life of dedication to the Lord and trust in God shines through these verses. He has had his times of rejection, yet there is serenity shining through this psalm, for the Lord has constantly upheld him from birth.

In verse 14, he will praise the Lord “yet more and more.” The idea in Hebrew is to find new ways to praise God. Old age has not taken away inventive, creative, and alive ways to praise His God. May we all be the same as we learn how to praise God more fully, even into our old age.

Psalm 71


This is the third of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms,
One each week over the three-year cycle.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting Firestarters from the original version of The Bible Through the Seasons. 

Deliver Me, O God!

This small psalm of five verses has strong similarity with the first Beatitude in Matthew 5:1. “Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” The New English Bible translates it this way: “Blessed are those who know their need of God.” To be poor in spirit means awareness of a total need for God. Absolute need becomes absolute blessing. The only other alternative to choosing God is despair. The Hebrew word ‘ebyon in verse 5 carries this same concept of “poor in spirit.” A group of Jewish disciples of Jesus gave themselves the name “Ebionites.” They found joy in their needy state, for then they knew that the riches of the resurrected life would be theirs.

When you have given up on everything and everyone as being the source of your happiness, then you are in the place where only the Lord alone can meet your soul’s deepest need.

The Reading for Today    Psalm 70


This is the second of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms,
One each week over the three-year cycle.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting Firestarters from the original version of The Bible Through the Seasons. 

A New Daily Devotional with God’s Word

Welcome to this unique approach to daily Bible reading. One passage each day offers a life-focus as the hours of the day are filled with the devotion stemming from a prayerful reading of the passage. Each day a “Firestarter” introduces the reading with the hope of quickening the heart as well as the mind so that the passage can be relished more fully.

Here is a sample Firestarter for Psalm 77, “From Anguish to Hope.”

I pray God’s blessing upon you and all those close to you.

Nick Connolly

AnimFireStarter

This Psalm has ten verses of anguish, ten of hope. The psalmist will teach you about how to deal with your own pains of the heart. No matter how strong the suffering, he is praying.

Share your heartaches with the Lord. When you have poured yourself out, a fresh, new space expands in your heart to listen to the Lord who brings you remembrance of God’s gracious presence to you throughout your life. Jesus was there for you on the cross. He unleashed the power of healing love there; it is all that you have ever needed or will ever need. The Lord is with you. Pour out your heart and listen to Jesus. He loves you. He will comfort you in his out-poured Spirit, filling your pain and emptiness with his sweet presence.

The King of All the Earth

Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Easter, Year B    Psalm 67

Nick reads the one-minute Firestarter.

The psalms are such a central part of the life of the Church because they gather up everyone in the human family and pray in an intercessory way. This is especially the case in today’s psalm. The prayer is a global one for all the nations. We intercede for the rest of the nations, which are so often about everything else, but prayer.

It is a fitting psalm for the day before the Ascension of Jesus, King of all the earth. The symmetry of this seven-verse psalm with v. 4 at the center is perfectly applied to Christ the Lord, center of the universe.

Take a map of the world or a globe. Pray over it. Are there any special countries where the Lord wants the Holy Spirit in you to brood upon, with inner groans of prayer?

The Reading for Today


Wednesdays re dedicated to the Psalms,
One a week over the three-year cycle.



Daily Bible Breaths

This week: version for Children and Families

Tears Remembered

Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Epiphany
Psalm 56

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


Though David overcame Goliath with one shot from his sling, it was not the same for all the enemies that came against David. However, fortunately for him, the first casting that he made was not with his sling, but with his prayer. However much he felt his enemies press against him in so many kinds of ways, so much the more did David’s prayer press against God until the blessings of God’s power were in David’s heart, and only then in his hand.

Are there circumstances that bring you to tears? If God does not let a sparrow fall without God’s knowledge, then neither does one tear run down your cheek without God’s awareness. Consider the image that David uses in verse 8 for this kind of remembrance of God. As the fragments of bread collected after the multiplication of loaves in the Gospel, your tears are gathered together, lest they be lost.


Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

Absolute Confidence in God

Wednesday of the Third Week in Epiphany
Psalm 55

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


Do you ever feel like wanting to run away from it all? You are in good company; so does the writer of today’s psalm, in the name of David. He wishes he could just fly away like a dove to a wilderness somewhere. What makes things even worse for him is that his own friends are betraying him.

David expresses his anger fully, even imagining the destruction of his enemies. However, as though moved by how dangerous his thoughts are, David reaches out even more “dangerously” into pure trust and confidence in the Lord. As a seesaw tilting from one person shifting and the other suddenly bouncing high, so awareness of the power of God lifts David to the heights. The goodness and faithfulness of the Lord is greater than any wickedness.

Pause at morning, noon and night and at other times of transition in the day. Immediately, cast your burdens before the Lord, lest they overwhelm you.


Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

Alive in God

Wednesday of the Second Week in Epiphany
Psalm 54

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


The psalms are intimate prayers that join Jews, Moslems, Christians—everyone in the human family. Often, as here, the psalmist has big problems. He is aware of his enemies and begins to describe just how they are getting to him. Yet greater than the power of his enemies, the sacred writer rejoices in the power found in the name of the Lord. So awesome is this power, that Jews refrain from uttering the sacred name of God.

In Christ, we need not be so cautious. Jesus urges us to use his holy name. When prayed with faith and confidence, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead keeps you alive in God, and buoys up those people for whom you are to intercede.

When you are up against it and difficulties simply seem too much, stop, let go and place your faith in the power of the name of the Lord coming against all that comes against you.


Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families