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Teach Us To Number Our Days (via Robert Godfrey)

“Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90: 12) is one of my favourite verses in the Psalms.
In an excerpt from his new book, Learning To Love The Psalms, Robert Godfrey points out that the lesson of the verse is not to focus on making the best use of the number of days we get, but to be challenged by the shortness of the time we have here to look to eternity.
That’s wisdom.
From the post.

If our need is to number our days by contrasting their shortness with the eternal nature of God, then our prayer to God is that He would teach us: “Teach us to number our days.” We will never learn that lesson in our own strength. We are not only ignorant if left to ourselves, but we suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18). We convince ourselves that we have a long time to live, and as long as we are healthy, we really believe that we will live forever in this body. We need a teacher, and the only teacher who can rescue us from ourselves is God.

Read the whole post here.


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Saviour, Shepherd Me – Sunday Songs

Saviour, Shepherd Me.
A setting of Psalm 23 by Matt Searles, vocals by Liv Chapman.
Released on Searle’s 2016 album Tumbling Sky.

The lyrics:
The Lord’s my shepherd
Nothing shall I lack, or need
He bids my soul rest
In the pastures wide and green
Saviour shepherd me
Saviour shepherd me
His grace restores me
I walk in paths of righteousness
And for His glory
My king will keep me till the end
You are all I need
Jesus all I need
Your love and mercy follow me
Til I feast at the table of the King
And in the shadow
When all my path’s too dark to see
My Lord is with me
His rod and staff will comfort me
Saviour shepherd me
Saviour shepherd me
You are all I need
Jesus all I need
Your love and mercy follow me
Til I feast at the table of the King
Saviour shepherd me
Saviour shepherd me

© Matt Searles 2016


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I’ll Not Be Shaken (Psalm 62) by Wendell Kimbrough

This version of Psalm 62, title I’ll Not Be Shaken is from Wendell Kimbrough’s recent album Psalms We Sing Together.


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Preaching Psalms. All Of Them.

So, last Sunday night I finished preaching Psalms on Sunday nights.
The Sunday evening congregation made it with me through all 150 Psalms, including one evening where Psalm 119 was read in its entirety. After Psalm 150 I returned to Psalm 119 and preached through its 22 sections.
There were five or so of those that others preached, but other than that it was my little project.
Can’t imagine I’ll do it again, but I never imagined doing it the first time.
The evening congregation’s support was deeply appreciated throughout.

Next we’ll set off on John’s Gospel and see where that takes us.


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If Jesus Loved The Psalms, Christians Should Love Them Too (via Mark Johnson)

Mark Johnson writes about the paradox of people who love and follow Jesus not using the songs that Jesus loved and used in his own life as part of their worship:
In conclusion:

The greatest reason for loving the psalms and for using them for worship and to aid us in the ongoing task of composing hymns and spiritual songs through every generation is that Jesus loved them. He loved them because they were all about him as previews of his incarnation, life and work. He loved them because they provided a musical route map to the course his life had to follow in order to secure salvation. He loved them because they led through death to resurrection and the eternal glory of the world to come. He proved that he loved them because he was forever singing and quoting them – even in his darkest hour. And if he loved them, then we his children should love them and dig deep into their content to appreciate what made them special. When we do that, it will not only deepen our appreciation of the psalms, it will also enrich the quality of the hymns and songs the church produces for God’s glory and his people’s joy.

Read the whole post here.


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Lord Hear My Prayer – From Matt Searles’ Tumbling Sky

Matt Searles’ third album of Psalms set with new tunes, Tumbling Sky, is due for release over the coming weeks.
I’ve featured his previous albums here, and this release seeks to answer the question ‘What can miserable Christians sing?’
I’ve been listening to the album early, as a kickstarter backer.
Here’s the first, prerelease track, Lord Hear My Prayer which is based on Psalm 143.

The lyrics:
Lord hear my prayer
In your righteousness
Listen to my cry for mercy
Bring me relief
And end to my grief
Saviour come quickly to me
Do not bring me
To your judgment seat
For no-one is righteous before you
All my hope is in you

The enemy comes
I’m crushed to the ground
And I’m forced to dwell in the darkness
My spirit grows faint
My heart is dismayed
Do not hide your face from me Lord
Yet this I recall
Your deeds from of old
The works of salvation you’ve done
How I thirst for you, Lord

Now teach me to walk
Before you my God
Send forth your Spirit to lead me
Give life to my soul
For your great name’s sake
Do not let evil hold sway
In your steadfast love
Destroy all my foes
Deliver me Lord in your righteousness
I will live for you Lord

© Matt Searles 2016


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Why I Sing Psalms by Rosaria Butterfield (via Challies)

Rosaria Butterfield entered Christianity and found a set of words that spoke of what she had become, and what she shares with those around her.

An excerpt from a longer post:

As I stumbled around, awkward and uncomfortable in the new creation that I had become, longing for the old days, the old me, the old habits, the old friends, I at least could stumble forward with eyes of faith when I sang the Psalms. The Psalms are prayers, but often unlike my own, each psalm is a prayer to God through eyes and words of faith. Each psalm uses eyes of faith to see the agony, and not eyes of doubt. Singing through the affliction and danger with eyes of faith became one way that God tutored, taught, and modeled for me how to face my fear with God at my side.
God’s word is powerful—a double-edged sword—and singing the Psalms roots God’s word deep inside your memory. The Psalms have been God’s most severe and merciful crucible in my life, stirring the pot of what the Puritans called experiential godliness— a sanctifying path by which you daily enter to those mysteries of Christ’s kingdom. Singing the Psalms makes you lean hard into its biblical wisdom, experiential profit, and transforming beauty. It just might make you wonder if Colossians 3:16 actually means what it says: Sing Psalms and let the Word of Christ dwell in you.
Singing intertwines text with tune: It makes you dwell a little longer in the hard and vulnerable places as you hear your very own voice settle your wandering heart as you sing sentiments like this to God: “The Lord’s the portion of my cup, and my inheritance; You’ve given me the lot I have, kept in Your providence” (Psalm 16:5). Singing makes you imbibe, inherit, and own. The Psalms inhere in you. They express things you feel but were afraid to say: “My God, my God to You I cry, O why have You forsaken me? Why are you far from giving help and from my agonizing plea?” (Psalm 22:1). When you sing this to God, you know that while it is sinful to complain about God, it is sanctifying to complain to Him when in faith we model Jesus, singing what He did.

Read the whole post at Challies.