Who Are You?

cup.jpgWhen I am writing a post for this blog, I sometimes try to imagine what you are doing when you read it.  I try to imagine who you might be.  Granted, I know some of you through relationships, etc.  Others of you are at least familiar to me through your comments.  For the most part, however, I don’t know you.  So, I try to guess.  Here are some people who I think might be reading this blog right now:
 

  • You are a young college student.  You have a test tomorrow and a paper due at the end of the week.  You are in the middle of a busy semester.
  • You are a young mother.  You read this while sipping coffee, wondering what the commotion is in the next room.  (Probably the 2-year-old!)
  • You are a business person.  You are at work reading this trying to get your day started.
  • You are single.  At times you really don’t feel like you are following Jesus very well.  Yet, you hang in there!
  • You are a teacher.  You work in an academic environment.  The pay isn’t good, and you have other frustrations.  Yet, you believe in what you are doing.
  • You are a minister in some particular role and work in a church setting.  The church may be rural or urban.  The church may be a church plant or an older, established church.  There is so much about ministry that you love.  Yet it can also be incredibly stressful and discouraging.
  • You are a little older.  In fact, you imagine many of these readers being quite younger than you.  Yet, you want to stay fresh and alive no matter how old you are.

Maybe you identify with some of the people above.  I do think it is important to occasionally imagine who might be reading this.  I try to remember this when I am speaking publicly.  Maybe I am teaching a class, preaching, or giving a talk from the Bible.  I want to remember that I am talking to real live people.  It is important that I connect with the people to whom I am speaking (or at least attempt to connect).

 
Let me suggest to you that the Psalms really do connect with life.  I am reading three or four Psalms each morning.  Often, I will linger over one Psalm or even a line in a Psalm.  Think of lingering over a Psalm as you might linger over a cup of coffee and dessert after a fine meal.  This is not something you want to quickly glance at.  Rather, take your time and linger. Hear these words from Psalm 46:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their fear.

 
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.  God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

 
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.  Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth.  He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.  

 
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

 
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

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17 thoughts on “Who Are You?

  1. Thanks for a warm and encouraging blog.  The spiritual food here is always tastey and nutritous.  Our congregation is learning to practice praying the Psalms at a pace of one per week.  We’ve been, as you say, lingering over the Psalms since the beginning of the year.  Interestingly we’re pondering and praying Ps. 14 this week, praying it through the eyes of Israel, then Jesus, and then ourselves.  Two truths jump out at me during this special week.  1) They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt, v. 3.  2) Oh that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! v. 7.
    We needed Him desperately.  He saved us.  Let all "Israel" be glad! 

  2. Thanks for your ministry through this blog.  It really serves as encouragement and insight to me.
    Who am I and what am I doing?  I am reading your blog from South Korea.  I am working here at an International Christian School.  I am a 40 year old, husband and father of two incredible daughters–following hard after Jesus and I enjoy a good cup of coffee, especially with a friend.
    Thanks again for your ministry.  Keep on.

  3. Yes! Connecting our Living God to our real everyday life – that is so critical. I was encouraged (just as you doing for all of us Jim) to read the Psalms – I tried. It wasn’t until about 7 years ago or so that I found a way to be organized and focused on this task – through the Book of Common Prayer. A few Psalms in the AM and a couple more in PM. Wonderful.

  4. Jim,Thanks for the thoughtful post. With our imaginations we can connect to a vast array  of ‘family’ members. There is something intangible, yet very real in relationships that have Jesus at the center. God bless you. 

  5. John,Thanks for your comment.  This is an amazing time, to have the ability to connect with so many people we would otherwise have no contact with. 

  6. Doug,I’m so glad to hear of the way the Psalms has blessed you.  Glad the Book of Common Prayer was useful to you in beginning to have some sort of structure/direction.Thanks Doug. 

  7. Ryan,I’m glad to know who you are and where you live.  I would guess that you have a very interesting job with the school.  Hope to hear from you again.That cup of coffee sounds good. 

  8. Ben,This sounds like a wonderful journey with your congregation.  They are blessed to have you serving with them. 

  9. I guess I am the 3rd one.  I generally read blogs between busy times at work or while something is processing on my computer.  I am the queen of multi-tasking.
    Thanks for being such a great encourager.  This is a Psalm I really need to wrap my mind around.  I need to let it sink in and really become part of me!

  10. Donna,I’m glad it works for you to read this between the busy times.  Thanks for your encouraging words. 

  11. Interesting blog, because I often think about what you are doing as you write. Since there are so many different coffee cups protrayed in your blog, I imagine you sitting at one of your favorite spots sipping coffee and writing very insightful articles. It must be the coffee, right.

  12. I am in the last category — a 48-year-old homemaker with daughters who are 15 and 18. Not as young as I used to be, but teenagers keep me from getting too old!

    When we found out that my husband’s job was being eliminated (as of 12/31/06), the Psalms were my greatest source of comfort. I read through all of them – some more closely than others – in one day and pasted the most applicable ones into a Word document.

    He still doesn’t have a job, and every now and then I open that Word doc and read those Psalms again. I am immediately calmer and more peaceful.

    They connect with me in a powerful way — perhaps more so than any other scripture when I am looking for comfort.

  13. Johnny,You are right.  I am probably drinking coffee most of the time when I am writing these posts.  Sometimes I am at home.  Sometimes I am at the coffee place.  For some reason I started using coffee cup images in my blog.  Maybe it reminds me of a time in the day I really enjoy when I am most relaxed.Thanks. 

  14. Beth,I am so sorry to hear about your husband’s job situation.It is encouraging to hear how the Psalms have really connected with you and encourage you through all of this.I’m glad you read this blog.