Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God (Mic. 6:8).
God has two dwellings; one in heaven, the other in a meek and thankful heart.

Thoughts on Psalm 42


Since the clips or articles on the Devotions and Appeals tabs are pulled from GP sources those two tabs are now classified as GP (no longer Members Only) on this OEG site. With that in mind, some folks thought that the comment thread originally posted under Tim Keller's "Meditation: Talking to Yourself, Not Listening to Yourself" under the Devotions tab would be better served as a Forum discussion.

Following is that discussion:

Jon: I have read Psalm 42 so many times, memorized it--but hearing this short mediation from Timothy Keller, this is the most I ever benefited personally from it!

It is just what the doctor ordered for me today, I really needed this! I am somewhat under attack on several fronts these days. Some close Turkish friends ( I thought they were friends) are upset that we get so much help for the refugees and not as much for the locals. At the same time, out of nowhere, two of my kids started verbally attacking me.

Frank had a recent post in his Daily News articles about "Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health...(According to a survey)". With the depression of facing this pandemic and its closing down of so much of the American lifestyle, my kids have more time to get negative. Some of them do have real grievances, but it is so strange it is all resurfacing this week!

This is all taking place against the backdrop of one of most fruitful months I have personally ever had. During this Ramadan, gifts are pouring in from all over the world for our aid projects. Maybe with the pandemic, it is because people are thinking they could die, or have loved ones who may have died, so they want to get some good works in now in case they get sick!

The verbal attack of two of my kids is affecting my work, sleep and focus, so I do appreciate prayers for this, and that these troubled waters can be calmed. Thanks! I am doing what this Psalm said, talking to my heart, reminding myself of His Promises, His Goodness and His Mercy, making sure my hopes are reordered in Him!
"I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance!" Psalm 42:5 These attacks are helping me to focus more on His loving countenance for my peace of mind and strength!

On a side point, I found Tim Keller's explanation of Cognitive Therapy (at 6:15 minute) and about the source of your feelings to be a real jewel! Tx again for the post!


MikeB: Thanks Jon for articulating your prayer request. We also are experiencing extra frustrations, impatience and other not so positive reactions and responses to being locked in. You would think the extra quiet time, time alone and slower pace would produce more fruits of the spirit, but it does show how the "carnal mind is at enmity with God". Praying for your peace and faith in the midst of your storms of life.


Forever_sailing: A hearty second to what MikeB said, Jon! You have a good work that's fruitful and helping many. Don't come down! I'm in pretty close the same boat with some of my kids, something that can be a nagging thought in the back of my mind whenever I let it get to me. It's an understatement to say that it's difficult. IMHO, my personal suggestion is to keep your focus and stick to what He's called you to, while also offering others the understanding and sympathy they genuinely may need and be looking for ... and your communications whenever the opportunity may arise. It's a tightrope to walk ... like TK said "talk to yourself" and to the Lord.

PS: I don't know if/how it may apply, but Kathy Keller's talk about Nehemiah in Devotionals, is pretty good. Again, that's my opinion. :-)


Frank: Sorry, Jon! You really are doing a great work there, and criticism and antagonism just seems to crop up in those situations. I'll pray for the situation with your kids. I have a daughter who's very negative, so I've felt some of the same things you're probably going through. I just have to keep reminding myself that I'm not responsible for how someone feels about me. I'm just responsible to love the Lord and others the best I can, and once I've done what I can to heal any wounds of the past or present that she's felt, then I have to commit the situation to the Lord and keep going. That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt a lot, and that on some days it's like a nagging toothache or something. But it helps give peace. And I thought the talk from Tim Keller was great. It's not the situation that affects us as much as it is what our mind tells us about the situation, and maybe we just need to have a good talk with our mind. I have an unruly, negative mind and I think it needs a lot of talking to.


CH: Good counsel, Frank.


Jon: Forever Sailing, The links you shared, the Kathy Keller talk on Nehemiah, and the Rob Bell video on Rain were excellent, very feeding and so very applicable. Sometimes it rains! I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of what Kathy Keller shared, and it puts things in perspective. I shared the video with my guest in quarantine who is stuck here, and she loved it, was writing down quotes, etc.

I appreciate you sharing those with me, and thanks everyone for the comments! I can't say I have the total victory, but it is a strength! And thanks Frank and all for your prayers!


Jon: Thanks for all your prayers, things have been somewhat better! There are a few things I have learned and have been reminded of going through these communication battles with ones I love.

Number one, I was reminded of an incident that happened several years back, a middle aged woman, raised on a mission field in Asia who went through some difficult experiences as a teen, shared with me about a book she had read called “Apology” or the “Art of Apologizing” which brought out that many people don’t know how to apologize.

The parent or the offender often says “I am sorry,” but then offers a list of explanations for their actions, and why things happened the way they did. Most people who have been offended just want to hear the parent or the guilty person say “I was wrong, I am sorry.”

A whole list of reasons that we often offer for the mistake often sounds as a justification for our errors to the one who had been offended. The woman I mentioned above was also “home schooled” and her busy missionary parents failed to provide her adequate education, which she believes has hindered her for life.

A friend sent me something from Stephen Covey, where he says the same thing, just apologize, and don’t in any way, shape or form offer an explanation. I applied this on several points with my son when he was airing his very legitimate grievances, and for me, it was difficult just to say, “I am very sorry” and leave it at that, without offering any type of explanation.

Yet for him, it was a breakthrough that I was able to sincerely apologize with no “ifs” “ands” or “buts” about it. Maybe this is simple and common knowledge, but in my life, it was certainly a weak area.


Forever_sailing: Thanks, Jon. So true. That's excellent!

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