Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Morning songs

I've been waking up recently with a chorus running through my head:
I... surrender
All to you, to you.
I guess I heard it last weekend at the men's retreat. Perhaps the Holy Spirit wants me to be more attached to God and less to things I'd otherwise hold onto? It put me in mind of another, older song on this theme:
All to Jesus I surrender
All to him I freely give
I will ever love and trust him
In his presence daily live

I surrender all
I surrender all
All to thee my blessed savior
I surrender all
This hymn adds the theme of living in His presence daily... which brings me to three Bible passages, three songs (or psalms), to be remembered before getting out of bed. They're good throughout the day, of course, but especially great as the last thought of the evening or the first in the morning.

The first one, which apparently some famous people recite daily before getting out of bed, is the 23rd psalm:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
and so on. Now if that doesn't help your day get off to a good start, then how about this next one? I don't recall hearing about any famous person reciting it, but our small group leader does. It comes 80 psalms later; it's the 103rd psalm:
Bless the Lord, O my soul
and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord O my soul
and forget none of his benefits,
who pardons all your iniquities
who heals all your diseases
who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion
who satisfies your years with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
--- then there are some parts I don't remember ---
As far as the heavens are above the earth
So great are his mercies toward us
As far as the east is from the west
So far has he removed our sins from us
That's another great psalm. I probably should memorize it. One that I committed to memory a long time ago (I mean over a quarter-century back) is the 139th:
O Lord, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise.
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You know my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue,
you know it completely, O Lord.
--- some parts I'm skipping ---
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
And so on... But I leave out the part about slaying the wicked and hating them with perfect hatred. One thing I especially like about this psalm is that the guy is honest -- he recognizes God knows everything about him, which he says is wonderful. Then he talks about hiding and running away! He wants God to kill the wicked, but recognizes that he himself has offensive ways.

But these are all good for helping me remember to live in God's presence.

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