For all of us – some weeks are just better than others! On first refection,
for me, this past week was not a good one. However, on second and third
reflection I feel it’s more accurate to sum it up as challenging….maybe
even enlightening. And, with even more discernment, this past week might be
described as amazing – filled with a growing awareness of God’s presence
with me! I must admit, as the week was unfolding, my noticing the presence
of God was often blurred or overlooked; but looking back – I can see God’s
footprints walking beside me.
All of this has lead me to ponder – What does it mean to live in the
presence of God? Is God always with us? Is it just a matter of being open to
God’s presence? What if we are “unconscious” to God’s presence, is God
there anyway? When we try to hide, runaway, or push God away, is God’s
We live in a world of 24/7 news – usually news that instills in us fear,
anxiety and anger. Is God present in the midst of tragedy?
We live in a world of complexity, noise and haste. We often find ourselves
overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of tasks and commitments to be done and
the number of issues to be addressed. Noticing the presence of God in the
midst of all of this can seem difficult at best and sometimes even
impossible. Is it just a matter of practice? Or, is God elusive?
Our scripture for Sunday includes Psalm 139 and Psalm 10 (below). The
Psalmists are among the best at capturing the gamut of emotions we
experience as we struggle to understand God.
I look forward to us, one body, worshiping and being in the presence of God
Sunday in DiscipleChurch!
Your sister in Christ,
O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from
You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my
Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain
Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are
If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the
even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me
even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for
darkness is as light to you.
For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your
works; that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the
days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them-they are more than the sand; I come to the end-I am
still with you.
O that you would kill the wicked, O God, and that the bloodthirsty would
depart from me-
those who speak of you maliciously, and lift themselves up against you for
Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise
up against you?
I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of
In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor- let them be caught in the
schemes they have devised.
For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart, those greedy for gain
curse and renounce the Lord.
In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, “God will not seek it
out”; all their thoughts are, “There is no God.”
Their ways prosper at all times; your judgments are on high, out of their
sight; as for their foes, they scoff at them.
They think in their heart, “We shall not be moved; throughout all
generations we shall not meet adversity.”
Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under their
tongues are mischief and iniquity.
They sit in ambush in the villages; in hiding places they murder the
innocent. Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert; they lurk that they may seize
the poor; they seize the poor and drag them off in their net.
They stoop, they crouch, and the helpless fall by their might.
They think in their heart, “God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he
will never see it.”
Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; do not forget the oppressed.
Why do the wicked renounce God, and say in their hearts, “You will not call
us to account”?
But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief, that you may take it into
your hands; the helpless commit themselves to you; you have been the helper
of the orphan.
Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers; seek out their wickedness until
you find none.
The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations shall perish from his land.
O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek; you will strengthen their
heart, you will incline your ear
to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed, so that those from earth may
strike terror no more.
Rev. Page Hines
Director, First Street Methodist Mission
801 West First Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
817-335-6080 main line
817-336-2606 fax line