Tuesday, 24 January 2012

texting psalms 107-150

Relentless Psalms. Still 07729056452, still unlimited.

Ps107-108 The city 107v4 sought for v7 dwelling and v36 fruitfulness. It is God who is sovereign over this city 108 v7-8 and God who will v10 lead us (&teach us to be in it, straining the text a little.) The city again, then, where, in dialogue with you especially, God has brought the city to meditate upon frequently this past year. God, presenting strands of hopes and love for London, and a seeking an ever-deepening theology of the city for both our embodied existence to this our home, and to all the ways that that is mirrored and metaphored throughout all our being. Thinking about the Bible's garden-to-city narrative in thinking about both psychoanalysis and childlikeness, and in all the ways that we are not commanded to return to the prelapsarian state but build with bricks, so our childlikeness is to be a grownup one..

Ps109 v1 Be not silent, O God of my praise. O 'Artists', we, who for pride praise not and preach not and pray not. Be not proud and be not silent. Pride which leads to silence which leads to death. Bang Bang. .. v4 But I give myself to prayer. Give. Myself. To Prayer.Footnote says: I am prayer. Pray thus, totally, as a way of total being. And totally giving: v24 the self-giving emptying of fasting. Pray desperately hungry prayer .. And of prayers against. We pray against an active reality of a personal evil which would be limitlessly destructive. We pray the discontinuation of systemic and generational sins, brokenesses, distortions, corruptions. A cease and desist to resisting God, a full stop to my entanglements in threads of evil, trains of thought, indulged fears and silences.. Might we be not silent today, oh God, for the good of St Marks and the sake of your name. Come Jesus.

Ps110 It is foreign both in its technicalities v4 and in its sense of God's militant holiness v1,5,6. But so He is, because sin deserves such. .. v3 God reclothes us in holy garments, the being-dressed-by and being-dressed-in-white are themes worth visiting, in-vesting one's imagination there. How it feels and what it means to have God clothe us. .. v3 The womb of the day, where the plans God has for us gestate, designed and intentioned. Oh may God make your day amazing, from its birth of dawn, unto a child's day. And now in pregnant sleep, trust we our enwombing God.

Ps111-112 With Crispin's 'why was Solomon given wealth?' (1Kg3-4) in mind, these wisdom psalms are also those one might turn to for a prosperity theology, but such a reading would be superficial ... Suggesting that (i) the wise man or woman 111v12 112v1 images God as the unfallen Adam & Eve, and (ii) the wise one identifies with their community 112v2 v5 v5, then a syllogistic (i) + (ii) = all those the wise one identifies with become identified with God. Wealth becomes no longer your own, but for all these others connected to you. Tenuous things, but let us be convicted today of our giving and money issues, the praise of these psalms and the wisdom they seek cannot be divorced from our giving away.

Ps113-114 v7 God desires to prosper the poor. We aim to find a true theology of money. In defining myself against prosperity theology I overcompensate and then some: the margin of error is a striving clause, a subtle defence of self-made-ness, which is a conviction at least as damaging as prosperity theology. V9 Mothers and houses. We image this in mothering, we image this in providing homes for mothers. Recently learning of one who, albeit with the mixed motives of having a reliable, affordable housekeeper, intentionally sought a single mother as live-in house help/nanny. Walking with Gay Friends offers a similar commending of sharing home with those single etc, this is stretching the text a little. .. 114v1-2 In leaving the city, in detaching ourself from powers and securities, slavery and addictions, together we are able to form a sanctuary, a body in which God dwells. This is a recipe for ghettoisation, a Christ-against-the-city theology of rejecting culture. The picture I have (in an imagination affected by images of the cruise disaster) a picture of being on such a sea (v3?), with such a mass of people, and of having a tank of fresh water (v8?) - we serve those shipwrecked not by pouring the fresh water into the sea for them, but by establishing a distinct and conspicuous place on the raft dedicated to giving them fresh water to drink. Maritime and strained analogical apologies.

v1 Not to me but to Jesus be the Glory. This is right worship, and it is such a joy. v2-3 Takes on a new meaning for the Christian for our God is not just in the heavens but has broken into our totality in Bethlehem, walked and talked. & v8 we become like the object of our worship. This makes sense, over the long run the mind evolves to fit that to which its attention continually dwells upon. If I worship the idols of money sex power or whatever, I will die, these things are not living but dead, I will become unalive, like they, running on v4-7 without sight or speech or feeling. But Jesus, who sees (116v15) and hears (116v1) and whose heart beats fully alive (115v1) – Jesus is the true object of the universe's worship. Jesus, no idol, is the image of the invisible God and the same principle allies – the more we worship Jesus, and dwell with him in heart and mind, we will become more like him, embedding ourselves in his magic miraculous. So in our own 116v8 eyes, v9 limbs, & v10 speech, redemption comes. Sometimes it is v6 that simple.

117 Brevity, sufficient brevity. Teach me this. Within its two verses we sing who we are, who God is and why we are: loved by a faithful God for the sake of the nations. Ps118 There is an amazing density of potential platitudes here! Please please believe: v2 God is all love all the time, God is all love all the time. v6 God is for us, be fearless, God is for us, be fearless. v7 God is on your side, God is on your side. v8 God is a better refuge, God is a better refuge. v14 God is stronger, sin is broken, God is stronger, sin is broken. v17 It is not death to die, it is not death to die. v23 God is beautiful and in my sight, God is beautiful and in my sight.v24 Hari ini, this is the day, this is the day, with all of its new mercies. v26 Blessed is hard to mistranslate, blessed is hard to mistranslate. v29 God is all love all the time, God is all love all the time.

Praying this infectious psalm for a new season of reading scripture. This is not about the-law-and-not-the-heart. Reading the longest psalm for our hearts: when our hearts were far off they were v70 fat and insolent, like Iris Murdoch's 'fat lazy ego' that we are when left to ourselves, and only a God will save us. This text a picture of our salvation and how we play our part, so commands for the heart v2 v10 v58 v145 seek, entreat, cry out to God with your whole heart. Your. Whole. Heart. Not a compartmentalised or token affair. To be transformed into those who play in the mega-miraculous nothing but total surrender will do. Spiritual disciplines for the heart v11 store up God's word there with memory and meditation, v34 v69 teach your heart obedience. And so our hearts are transformed into v7 uprightness, v111 joy, and v161 awe. These attributes saturating this piece, let us be so transformed, pray that God would v32 enlarge our hearts and v36 incline our hearts towards him. In all this these are the few verses that stand out this morning, being enlarged and being inclined obvious verbs of transformation and change. What does it mean for one's heart to be inclined towards God? Aware constantly of more than what is in front of me, listening to the voice that would speak my name in all things. May my heart be metallic as to a divine magnet, or a loaded die towards my first love. So my attention dwells here & not on v37's worthless things. Remake me, God, do it as a graced gift, but teach me to participate, v112 in the active: I am to incline my heart. So inclined, because v136 God first inclined himself to us.

Ps120-121 On mission. 120 is by one far flung. To be far flung is to forego the home-grown comforts of straightforward communication and likemindedness. Go. Go to a land where people disagree with you. Go. Do hard things in hard places. Go speak peace to a war zone. Go to such a place as you will need Ps120's petition daily. .. Ps121 Where does my help come from? Is God my helper, my crampons, my nightwatch, my shelter, my shade, my lifesaver, my keeper, my guard? There are other security providers. Indeed, the market for lifesavers is a competitive one, and a lucrative one. Not a few tube ads want to sell you a face-saving shelter and shade, not a few insurance companies will work through the night to keep your life (and your pound of flesh). So go. Go make disciples. Go where insurers won't cover you. Go where your satnav can't guide you. Go where there's no plan B. Only God. Visibly only God.

Ps122 A prayer for you&I, God please v3 bind us together to image your holy city, it can only be you that keeps us and sustains us. Keep v2 our feet within your gates, your courts, keep us within your will and as we dwell here with you, teach us more of yourself, give us ears, and keep us within these gates with thanksgiving and praise as Ps100v4. Keep us122v5 accountable, v6 peaceful, and v7 secure. Keep us bound together for v8 the sake of our brothers and sisters, and v9 for Jesus' sake.

Ps123 On being inclined, lifting up one's eyes and so turning one's heart a certain way. This is to spend one's life within the gates of heaven, seeking God. Here. Here here here. In each moment lift up your eyes to God, like looking for the one you love in a crowd. & to see God in this everyday way is to experience his authority, as in the metaphors of these verses. Authority, we noted, is second-personal, it is a spoken responding requesting prompting. Renew our minds God, attune us to your authority, even now. & v3 have mercy on us have mercy on us. New mercies, beloved, lucky are we. Hallelujah.

Ps124-125 I spoke a little to contrast freedom-from with freedom-for in Ornament, but this is freedom-by. The difficulty with freedom-by is that it is a freedom unto an indebtedness to one's liberator. Good, only if the one that frees you is Good. Otherwise we leave one snare for another snare, one slavery for another slavery, addiction to addiction, death to death. But. The snare is broken. How to speak this unplatitudinally? .. 125 (v1) 'You are steady.' What a word. Those who speak such over us barely know their kindness. Our steadiness should not be our own. .. These two Psalms contrast with two self myths: the Houdinic myth of self-liberation: escapistism. The unfounded myth of self-support: gyroscopism. When all around is sinking sand, we are testimonies both to him that pulled us out and to his solid ground in which we now have our foundations.

Ps126-127 127 Speaks to real ardent questions made of God, to longings that are deep – for v1 home, for v1 our city, v2 our work, v3 our children... when and how and what and please and oh. But. Being drawn back: unless it is God it will all come to nothing, these will be empty pretences, surely to crumble. Even if you build the house, watch the city, get the job and parent the children, you will do it in vain, unless it is God. So, let's try to leave behind our pride again, surrendering to the God that is God, leaving behind striving, accepting belovedness, and v3 God gives his beloved sleep, God gives his beloved sleep. Jesus, please be the one through whom by whom and for whom we love this city, we build a home, we pursue excellent work and care for children. You are our God, and we trust you for 126's promises in all these, that you meet us in our waiting, that you turn tears to joy, ashes to beauty, anxiety to overflowing life. Restore us, for real, that you overflow into our home, city, work, children.

Ps128 Be fruit full. In your praxis and allegory, flavour and ambition, diet and delight. I want to speak this Psalm as a benediction over many of our friends and to do so without a flinch of prosperity-caution. It is hard not to read vending-machine theology into v1's 'everyone..' and following. However, a corrective might be found in a meditation on 'Blessed..' via Mt5 and via these: the blessedness of family, the blessedness of children, the role of the table.. An apologetic for the blessedness of being fruitful is needed in the now: where families are abandoned, children are aborted and the table is substituted with television. The blessedness of such blessings is not self-evident for many.

Ps129 I don't pray against an active personal evil very often. This because of two major issues. (1) I have a thin theology of spiritual warfare, which is a less than fully personal understanding of the universe. And (2) because of my own complicity in injustice. Oh pray the swift frustration of unjust ways in my own life.

Ps130-131 Lest we forget, God would have us wait on him, 130v5-6 we wait expectantly and in hope, becoming fit for heaven, as our attentiveness sharpens in accordance with v2 God's attentiveness to us. (And so we find ourselves again where even angels fear to tread.) 131 The pleasure of God's presence, the quieting of our hearts and minds, our safety. God is real, draw near with Faith. Thank you.

Ps132 Blessed remembrance. We the blessed store promises in our scripture memory :: the God of scripture enacts remembrance drawing blessing from his store. We exist in a covenant reality in which memory and promises are crucial. We promise to remember and God remembers his promise. Struggling a little to construct an elegant reciprocal description of our cooperation with God through promises and memory.. Blessed promises: Blessed are those who endure hardship v1, [on God's account] for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst and stay-up-late for righteousness/worship v7, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed is the one who heart is set to go v7 on pilgrimage, they shall go Ps84v5-7 from strength to strength. Remember remember remember.

Ps133 v1 'Behold' – be beheld in your dwelling, grant an audience, welcome a stranger, live an examined life, open to a warts-and-all scrutiny, in season and out. v1 'Good and Pleasant' – dichotomising, there are living arrangements that are 'good' but not pleasant, or 'pleasant' but not good. Our unity is a moral good and a phenomenal delight. I am reading onto the text a little but good-dwelling we ought to do and pleasant-dwelling we get to do! Ours is the both-and life. .. v1 'Brothers [and sisters]' from ESVSB's note I appreciate something new. This Psalm acknowledges the rare pleasure, not only of non-conflictual sibling cohabitation, but also the rare occasion that the ground condition is sufficiently fruitful to sustain extended generations in one place. Unity's preconditions are obviously emotional-spiritual and yet also immediate-practical. How good and pleasant it would be that Lambeth might provide custom sufficient to employ the twelve Jackson offspring-to-be in our bakery in their truly best giftings. How good and pleasant that our home group might enjoy unity by the economic provision (+visas) to stay to nurture a locality long-term. .. v2 'Precious oil' – this enduring dwelling, even imaged in small ways, is a precious act of consecration. By our unity we are setting this Place apart, enacting spiritual dominion symbolically. .. v3 'Dew of Hermon' – this enduring dwelling is a practical agricultural sustaining: by our unity we are like water to the vegetable patch. Finally and beblessedly v2 'Beard..' - just saying..

Ps134-135 134 is a blessing on all mercy justice and so the worship that is the Robes project, please God. 135v15-18 on the deadness, stasis, inertness of idols, again, this has been a theme in today's work and this evening's lecture, that idolatry is a compulsion towards dead gods, towards unmysterious, tamed, self-constructed attempts to live in the past. Be alive, be present, to the God who is alive, and Other and who will break in and surprise you, who demonstrates that the past need not repeat itself. The God to be in awe of, the God who answers back. We come to talk, God, we come to kneel.

Ps136 Breathe in, breathe out // His love endures forever // Live a responsive antiphonal life // His love endures forever // Be patterned and rhythmed by. His. Love. Forever. // His love endures forever. // Endure by/with/in/because // His love endures forever. .. Our premise-testimony-conclusion: His love endures forever. Thus we live between the lines of steadfast love. The God who acted in history, who is active, who will enact his promises. On this premise we sing.. To demand total worship, awe and wonder from us, it would be enough for God to be God v1-3, it would be enough for God to be creator v4-9, it would be enough for God to have given us land v21 and food v25. These would be sufficient grounds for extravagant worship. How much more then to the God who gave himself up to death for us? How much more?

Ps137 Where there is Babylon, harps are hung. Where harps are hung, there is Babylon. So recognise our captivity to forces of recorded music, amplified, synthesised and professionalised music. And bring me my bow, oh clouds unfold. Bring me Explosions in the Sky. Post-rock, at its best, is a call to unforget v5 skilfully made music in new songs of impassioned lament. And so, let us make music a thing to be made more than a commodity to be bought, more than an act under duress, more than therapy or nostalgia. .. We sing of the reality of Jerusalem, but more than that, we sing as the reality of Jerusalem: a singing city. The reason for our singing, the substance and effect, is Jerusalem, where God dwells, in our singing. So dwell, melodically today.

Ps138 God of all glory and lowliness, who, to trade in spatial metaphors, swoops down to lift us up, this prayer evokes remembrance of God's movement towards us, all we do is response. This is a prayer over incomplete things, a prayer for the despondent, a prayer for the apathetic. This is a prayer for anyone desponding such, v7-8 God will complete the work begun in you.

Ps139 There is a reason this Psalm is our staple, it is like the tardis, this Psalm, bigger on the inside. With one baby today who is perfectly formed, fearfully and wonderfully made, eliciting praise of this God at the mystery of existence. Search me and know me. This is the dangerously expansive prayer that opens the tardis door beyond a text.. examine me, test me, and guide me in the way everlasting. Submitting to this terrifying prayer I am also convicted that our missional service should look like this: enabling others to pray this prayer. To do this would keep us from both self-righteous hubris and cheap grace, for this is the place of greatest love & greatest truth. God, lead us to this place, search us and transform us, in the way everlasting. And please God equip us to lead people into that space, that they would experience their birthright belovedness and allow their integrity to be scrutinised by your light.

Ps140-141 140v1 Evil without and 141v4 evil within.. So here, Thresholds and the Spatiality of Transgression: 141v3 door of my lips and v7 mouth of Sheol. Thus evil is like water: you can swallow it, it can swallow you. But also, such thresholds are two-way streets, it is not what goes into a mouth but what comes out.. Mt15v11. What comes out? We are vessels, 2Cor4v7, made to be filled with living water, made to pour out living water. Oh set a guard God. .. Brokeness and Proclamation: 141v5 strike me, with correction, with hard words. v7 break me, my pride, my comfort, my idols. v7 scatter me, send me, place me, pot me. v6 use me, seed me, use my words, use my broken state, use my distribution. All for the cause of making God known amongst those who know not. Brokeness is necessary. If we learn nothing else from gardening. .. 140v6 God is God. God is my God. God is God. God is my God. God is God..

Ps142-143 143v8 'Let me hear in the morning of God's steadfast love, in God I trust. God make me go the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.' We lift up our souls, in the ESV's dependence & allegiance, in and for delight and alignment. We love to wake up to you God, please come into our laments today, let us hear you speak of your steadfast love, 142v1-2 on honesty with God - here we see God's kingdom work as therapeutic in a non-pejorative sense, the God who 142v6 hears us, v7 in our safe place, and engages us in a dialogue to 143v10 teach us and 142v3 so transform us, so that our lives might be patterned differently (Acts 3). Let us go and do likewise.

Ps144 We live in an enwarred reality. We need training for both hands and fingers. Because our hand's memory is forgetful 137v5. Yet, having trained us for battle, the fight is his, the v2 subduing is his, the victory is his because the v2 fortress was his, and the v6 weapons were his and the demonstrations of power v5-6 which scattered the enemy were all his. The war is won Rm8v37 etc, but/and God helps us in our skirmishes which are fights against lingering lies v8 v11. The big lies which undermines the peace of the nation and the little pervasive lies which we have believed of ourselves. This is a fight, a fight God promises to train us for and to fight for us and with us. .. v12-14 An architectural agricultural benediction May it be so, that we would be ones and bear ones who bear fruit and bear weight.

Ps 145 God's work is to be v4 our commendation, v5 our meditation, v6 our declaration, v7 our pouring forth into song. Were we given words for any greater purpose? This an evangelist's Psalm. I waste words by comparison, I speak an untruth by allowing people to assume a full truth in what limited and cautious words I use for God. Of vocabulary, I am throwing the cricket ball of a gospel articulation at this and the next generation but now pitching it steep enough nor throwing hard enough. I have not taken a long enough run up, I have not allowed God to train my hands. Here, now, in this texting, drinking this coffee, reading this Psalm, this is my run up: a meditation on God, the glory of his kingdom v11, the safety of his upholding v14, the sufficiency of his provision v15, His satisfaction, His kindness v17, His nearness v18, His saving v19, His preserving v20. What a Psalm! Prayers for Oxford, for mission, for us, for our words

Ps146-147 Praise God, wonder and amazement, do you not know, have you not heard who He is? My God is 146v3 immortal, v5 hope-giving, life-breathing, a very present help to me, v6 the creator designer sustainer, a faithful unfailing lover, v7 the source and inspiration of and for all justice, He's so good. God feeds us, God provides, God nourishes. God liberates, God desires to liberate you from your past, your hurt, your addiction to being less than you could be. Do you not know? v8 God envisions, God expands your horizons and brings into focus and dazzles with new light and colour, God brings a whole new perspective. Why keep your eyes on the ground when there's a whole world out there? God loves you God loves you. v8 God sees you, God holds you in mind and aches with your aches and v10 this aching-for0you God is sovereign don't you know, how good is that?! You should worship the one God, you know, it's 147v1 such a good thing. v2 God builds and gathers, are you interested in those things? v3 God heals the broken-hearted, I know that's the hardest one to hear, but the best one too, right? Your heart dear hearts. This God who is close to you knows the stars, v4 all of them, the cosmos is His. Ridiculous ridiculous. v5 power and understanding - are you interested in those? v13 strength and v14 peace, that sounds quite good. And v16-17 the snow all over the place at the weekend - eliciting playfulness and pleasure. God. God God God.

Ps148-149 In a praise of amazement. Indulgent minor melancholies and background spiritual depression are not so mysterious as to be immune from an act of the will, to turn, for amazement, to an amazing God. Amazement is our currency Ac2v7,12 3v10 and/because it is our own daily conversion. Go into your day amazed. As queens of hearts, believing six impossible things before breakfast. Dwell on the inexplicable. Ponder Ph4v8 *anything* worthy of praise. Rm1v20 I am without excuse to leave the house unamazed. Pray Until Something Hosannas. .. These verses would have us speak to plants in imperatives. Do you do that? v9 You, fruit trees, come and praise God! These are strange and Buber-ian conversations. .. 149v1 What is new? Monday offered Mt13v52 as if I had never read it. The world is full of new-old ways to remix anew to v5 sing for joy. In all the ways the English languages allow us to treble-entendre 'for' joy.

Ps150 Let everything living praise the Lord. Praise God oh my soul, soar and swell, burst into song, rhythmically and unrhythmically, praise God. Praise God oh my body, praise God oh my mind. Praise God my imagination, praise God my conversations, praise God my observations. Praise God oh overflow of amazed wondering heart. The joy of the Lord is my strength. Praise God, God would you grow praise up in us today like a plant, would we praise you in waves and new waves, and would we know that You are the God we worship. Christ in my heart, Christ on my lips, it is He whom I love and worship.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

200words: the artist

“...rejoice in the wife of your youth” Proverbs 5:18

A gestural film of eyebrows, this is physical comedy of a very high order. A wondrous gift, silently given. Unselfconsciously immune to accusations of pastiche because of the obvious pleasure taken in its making. This is a ravishing revisiting of the past, without irony, and such excellently executed tellings of history should be commended, were that the past was only dogs' tricks and tapdance. Hollywood's foundations, however, deserve to be visited with a more critical eye than this reaffirmation of institutionalised vacuity with its celebration of extramarital superficiality.

To understand this film, consider that Valentin embodies Hollywood: perpetually self-related and inevitably in crisis. One could scarcely ask for a more vivid parable of the life lived incurvatus in se: when you believe your own hype you will use people to make films rather than using films to love people. Our screen is so overpopulated with anti-heroes that we barely register that this film is resolved only when our protagonist trades in his outmoded wife of silent cinema for a new accessory to his pathological obsession with fame. Films about films defend technique in an unstable age of technique; acting about acting here defends the myth of the genius.


Friday, 20 January 2012

texting psalms 90-106

Being enpsalmed, a joy. As ever, we play with words on 07729056452.

Ps90 v12 Numbered days, and how to have the Time of your life. We count because time is not circular, Judeo-Christian time is linear – on its way somewhere. Numbering is a naming which is event-making, which is to time as place-making is to space in the image of man, rendering days as personal, intentional, sacred, sabbatical. Numbering, yeh, this is the life-verse of planners everywhere, but given that no one knows the day or time Mt 24v36, no numbering system would render a Trafalgar Square Timex countdown to any Aztec apocalypse viable. But we are counting down, counting down our advent calendars in eager expectation. And counting up. So we write our histories as they correspond to our prayers over numbered days, singing psalms that remind us of the good times, singing psalms that remind us of the best times. We number our days past to remember our previous v12 How-Long prayers faithfully answered, that they may be read by our children v16.

Ps91-92 How do you imagine a refuge? A cave? A tower? A tree? What is it like to be in a fortress? A tent v10? Playing like children, making dens with sheets to be safe...God, you are my refuge, show us more of what it feels like to be refuged by you, demonstrate to us your fortressing 92 v2 Good morning beloveds, declaring God's love for us, steadfastly over all this day (amazing). V12-15 was my prayer for two getting married, so I keep praying it for them and their marriage as they travel, and in that ask God that others would come and speak words into us. Grateful for this vision of the good life, of flourishing (like a tree) rooted in dwelling in God's dwelling, to bearing fruit in old age. I pray that we bear fruit in old age., that we end well, and that we are part of others' flourishing in old age, we pray in for now and today.

Ps93-94 Robes yeah. Clothing as a good metaphor here? The clothes here are not analogous to what God merely does, divorced from who he is. God would cease to be God if he ceased to be strong v1 and majestic v1. There is no God behind this God, he is the v2 everlasting One, v5 trustworthy One, uninvented One, preexistent preeminent One, 94v7,11 the all-knowing fore-knowing One. And Col1v15-18 has to remind us of this, less because we are apt to deny God as uncreated creator but that we are apt to dilute, diminish, and dualise in ways that try, in small ways, to assume for ourselves bits of God's autonomous authoring which is not ours. God is before us in his knowing 94v8. God is before us in his being 93v2. This is the absolute dichotomy, the chasm, the true upper storey, so to speak. There is a One God and there is creation. There is no bridge. No bridge but Jesus. No Jesus but a crucified Jesus, no necessity/sufficiency to a crucified Jesus except that he be the universe's point of origin. No point of origin except that it be singular, exclusive, Holy. .. I am arguing beond the text. .. God of 94. He v9 hears, v17 helps, v19 consoles. So let us trust and so let us be: v22 refugees and refugers: heard, helped, consoled, hearing, helping, consoling. In robes freely given, freely give. For joy.

Ps95-96 Happy wholes, these psalms, resisting too much deconstruction, asking rather for an abandonment, let's get swept up and praise God, shall we? Worhsip prasie worship, play play play. These are psalms that speak of the magic in the universe, found without overthinking in child's play, the magic in the universe we know is Col1 Jesus. So roar and shout and sing, yeah. And these put me in mind of all that's passive and unearned in our meeting this God, let's just receive him, shall we? Bow down 95v6 96v9, because its all there is to do sometimes. Worship. 96V1 sing sing a new song, yes, but don't overthink it .. sing it, sing it as the direct uncomplicated response that it is and can be. V6 glory and majesty, power and beauty.

Ps97-98 Why can ___ not see this God? How can I make this God harder to deny in my life? How am I obscuring the view of the lightening light of this God by my life? v1 The Lord reigns let ___ rejoice, let ___ be glad, v4 let ___ see, even tremble, v6 let ___ see your glory. 98 How is God made known? In salvation. And only sufficiently in salvation. Who has God saved? Me. Who needs to know? ..

Ps99-100 99v9 The Lord our God is holy. Forgetful of God's holiness, I would remember and v1 tremble. Take this seriously. Teach me to tremble. 100 Full of statement of objective truth about who God is, and the subjective response of authentic worship. I will commit to memorise this hundredth Psalm, its four verses of three lines. Thank God for such a psalm as this, full of truth, where declaring who God is v3 v5, we can know who we are and rest there: v3 God made us, we are his.

Ps101-102 v5 Whoever has a hauty look I will not endure. How to not endure an other without yourself being hauty in your look and arrogant in your heart!? We are called to a radical purity matched by a radical radical love. If and as I wobble in this, it is a defaulting to a comfort zone of acute religious hypocrisy or blandly loving liberality. Love without purity is harmful, purity without love is harmful. Jesus is our measure and supply for both love and purity. 102 Disconsolate owls, withered hearts of grass, forgetting to eat, and so unsupped and desapped, are devoured by an active ravaging depression, a Melancholia that is so nearly a true perception of a cruel world. Oh bulemia, suffering and the where-is-God-? question.v2 Speedily. v18 for the sake of your name on the tongues of our children. v25 It is important to let God be God, at one level, for the sake of our mental health, for the sake of our living in the true reality of things. v25-27 a right clothing metaphor establishes the right dichotomy, not between sacred-and-secular in an arbitrary sartorial partition, but rather, because earth-and-heaven are both in the created category, there is a One tailor and we are his poiema: hand-crafted, tailor-made, bespoken by the God who speaks us into being, moment by moment. Please God, speedily, do no leave us to ourselves, do not leave us to ourselves.

Ps103 8-15 Grace. Expensive grace. I had the sensation in church yesterday that sometimes I'd rather God wasn't gracious with me, a resigned fatalism is so much easier, graciousness is overwhelming ego-destroying .. grace acknowledged cannot go unresponded to, so we have to pick ourselves up again, surrender again. God's grace will not leave us to the comfort of ourselves, I need to hear this again. v12 Like talk of the God who 'forgets' our sins and places them at a distance, as if they could still be there lurking on the periphery of vision, (ambiguous indexicals) rather, there is no distance between east and west, their mutual exclusivity tells us that our sins are no more. Thank you, God and lend us an ability to articulate this. v14-18 remembering dust to dust, and our own dustiness, our own embodied, mortal and finite being. Remembering this in remembering that we are not responsible for everything, only God is, and he knows us and loves us where we are.

Ps104 Bless. The. Lord. O. My. Soul. 104 Creating creation. What would it mean to practice creationism? The literality of creationism should be judged less on its truth as history, which will be unknowable for now, but rather on its beauty when demonstrated in the moment. So aim with for all things bright and beautiful at all times and in all places. So, doing creationism – 14-15 making wine, as Jn2, this is dominion done well, a traceable God-honouring diet of conspicuously 'created' ingredients. 27-28 caring for animals, sustaining them and dominion done well. And the over-arching creationism of living a life rhythmed in six days, building to a climax of dominion's demonstrable delight. Let us seek to be literal six day creationers, let us make it our song and our work.

Ps105-106 Seek. His. Presence. Continually. Actively, earnestly, desperately be looking. Him, the One that Is. Presence, immanence, Emmanuel, amongst us, within us. Non-stop, without ceasing, in every breath you take. 106 Singing songs about our unfaithfulness. v13, v19, v24, v28, v32 This is not the emphasis of our v1 #Give thanks to the Lord our God and King, his love endures forever.. Lamenting our lack of lament hymns, again. I need to learn to lament well, and to remember the reality of God meeting me in my unfaithfulness again and again. I fall off the horse and I tend to wallow, and this is the sin of counting-yourself-out, of exacerbating the sin of stumbling with the sin of claiming the know better than God's forgiveness. 104 God sustains creation. 105 God sustains us. 106 Inspite of our unfaithfulness. Bless the Lord, O My Soul.

texting psalms 73-89

If you felt the gap while I was away writing things architectural, there are unceasing Psalms via unlimited texts on 07729056452. I flatter myself.

Ps73-74 Job revisited. Over problematising the problem of evil is a demanding all knowledge without acknowledging the challenges present by what we *do know*. Trying to make sense of suffering is intellectually exhausting v17 and an exercise in distraction from worship. Rather, let us take as much as we *do know*, as much has been revealed of God v28 and his goodness v1, and take this as an intellectual sanctuary v17 and out of that safety live a life less bitter v21, less envious v3 and increasingly certain. Doxological epistemology as an antidote to that temptation to introversion in the face of the problem of suffering. Or on why we should not suffer in silence. .. Ps 74 Memory. God doesn't have a memory surely? Like, how can a train get lost? God's memory is our best analogy for the not-known and not-mended of the not-yet in which we now live? In such petitions we appeal to God's selective memory, that he would make the past present (as memory does). God please remember: the congregation v2 you chose and loved in the past; the covenant v20 you promised and kept for them in the past. We ask of God's memory, selective forgetting for our sins Hb8v12. If God is Reality, if he forgets something, it ceases to exist. Accordingly, he can't forget it unless it ceases to exist (syllogistic salvation?). So death. So the Cross is God's only and sufficient forgettery. Let's not settle for an anemic amnemonic God, but a warm blooded incarnate One who bled for the forgetting of our sins. .. Also interesting here is the translation of v3's perpetual ruins. Ruins, memory, perpetuity, lamentation and Coventry cathedral deserve an Is58v12 text of their own. .. Blameless ones, God sees a sinless you. So, forgetting what lies behind..

Ps75-76 The name of God and the glory of God. 75V1 God's name is near us 76v1 God's name is great in israel, in the community of those in love with Him. This is why we should pray the Jesus prayer, allowing God's name to be our thoughts' pattern and cry. Jesus name should be woven into the very fabric of our being, closer that breathing. & contained within this prayer-as-breathing a fear and trembling, a breathless awe before the God to be feared, worship for God the almighty holy other, God the righteous judge, God to whom I am subject, God who sees me as I am, reverential worship wells us in both these psalms as today we repeat and treasure the name of God. Breathlessly breathing Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.

Ps77-78 Pray out loud. It makes a difference for me in my praying. Aloud. We are bodies embodied, let us engage everything that is of God in the movement of air, wind, breath and in singing, sounding, speaking an aloud prayer that is entimed, that enters a room, that echoes, that carries one out of oneself, out of half-finished half-felt sentences of interior monologues. In a similar way, to some extent, texting has forced me to pray in whole sentences and so to curtail my self-deception. Pray aloud for a time will come when you may cease to be able to v4 as Rm8v26. .. Speak aloud to God, speak aloud to the flock 78v2. Speak aloud and teach our children to speak aloud v6. Speak aloud because God has spoken in giving a testimony and written law v5 .. Preach the gospel, use words if you have to. You have to, fairly quickly fairly often. (Analogous to talking about sex: not using words with a frequency and weight commensurable with the power and value of sex is a symptom of dysfunction and a recipe for misconstrued misinformation). Preach the gospel, because if our generation assumes it, our children's will forget it and their children will deny it. Preach the gospel, use words, cite history, at length v72, for ours is an apologetic for the long faithfulness of God from the long faithfulness of God. Oh hope in God. Cycles of church pain can be broken. Hope in God, Is49v15. Unforgotten unforgetters.

Ps79-80 The Lord is still still still my shepherd, 79v13 80v1 Thank you God, for your shepherding us as night falls, thank you for being our shepherd this evening. Teach us to be sheeply, but not sheepish. And teach us to image you in being rightly shepherdly to the flcok you have given us. 79V1-3 v10, bodies and blood, as we think about embodiment ... God thank you for making out bodies the site of our meeting you, where we may experience sickness, shame and persecution, you bring your infinite glory into our finitude. You are the God who meets us boundlessly, though we are bounded. What a glorious mystery. 80V8 Roots. Rootedness and flourishing and being kept alive v18 ... I don't need to hear anything more on the virtues of rootedness now ... Lord, rather, please lead us in embodying it in the grapevine belovedness that is our true identity. We long to know you, merciful and good God.

Ps81-82 v1 Aloud again, because in these two days I have forgotten again. ESVSB: The privilege of hard words. True. Oh for a hard word heard well. And rejoiced in. Hard words, soft people, there's today's Driscollism, hard but not harsh Pr15v1. God correct me by hard breaking of my resistance to gentle ways.. v10 Open wide. Ours is a bacon and eggs reality. Let us never not tell that, emphatically, ours is a feasting God. Perhaps a meditation on this mouth fast-ened open, how wide and long a wait between fillings? Fortnightly v3? Combining the parade of 81, the gods and injustice of 82, and probably some of my Carlyle hangover, I am put in mind of the They Don't Care About Us video. In so far as we are gods, let us dance a deliverance of the needy from the wicked.

Ps83 Shame v16-17. Let me think about shame some more, not because it's impressive or intelligent or any other idol, but this seems to be a real calling for this time. Because it matters, and because of Jesus. These two verses tell us of the way that shame can put us in touch with reality, it can have us acknowledging that there is a God. Shame can reveal ourselves to ourselves and so v16 have us seeking the saviour we need. So use us move us, and them, Jesus. Maybe v16 is a right and healthy shame, which can bring us to life, while v17 is a pathological shame that leads to death (doesn't quite work) – but shame is a choice, of the Dt30v15 kind. How will we respond in our shame? How will we enable others to respond in their shame? Choose life. Jesus make this concrete, and heal me and forgive me please, I choose life. I choose life, and the unashamedness that comes with holy shame brought before you. Please being yourself into our work and words on shame and shaming.

Ps84 How lovely is the dwelling place of God, lovely in its loveliness because it is God's home, and our longing for home and dwelling is bound us with our longing for God. On this, Simon May in 'On Love' defined love as that which roots us, that by which we are at home, so defining his phenomenology of love in terms of a phenomenology of home, which I'm not sure of, but it draws us to thinking about a phenomenology of home. What is being-at-home and not-being-at-home like, really? This longing desperately faithing for the courts of God, and the joy of being-there where he is speaks of something of this. Let us nest close by you Lord, for it is so blessed, may we lay our young at your altar that they would experience your beauty from birth in this dwelling there is singing v2,4 surrendering v5,12 strengthening v5,6 supplication, shielding v9 and springing-up of life v6. Springs of living water, longed for, springs that spring up in the dwelling place of God, where we are to make our home. Oh lets let this be a psalm for the prayer room that will be.

Ps85-86 v8 Forgetful ones. Remembering our God is near. On which basis alone we can dwell poetically, and gloriously thus: v10-11 if we are spatialising Nature-and-Grace, it is a lover's embrace. Dear ones, this here is Holy Play, the interplay, that minglement of God among his creation. Balletically, romantically, God dwells, among us, This is the Holy entanglement we image and experience in Play. And so, warmed by the sun of righteousness, sapling faithfulness buds from the ground. Oh God is so involved. 86 v2 Godliness is a being and a doing: we Are his image bearers 82v6 but we avoid disfiguring that image only in so far as we Do trust that God is God. Trusting is a calling upon v7 is a lifting up souls v4 is a crying out v3. Trusting is prayer and a learning to pray. V11 Teach me to pray and to be one single-minded one in a unity of mind-heart-body towards a steadfast pursuit of the one thing.

Ps87-88 88 An honest psalm in times of acute distress, but also for the day-by-day and the now and for all these things in modelling desperation in prayer, persistence in prayer and faithfulness in prayer, actually. God make us desperate, persistent and faithful, alongside the joy, certainty and promise of 87. Let us take hold of this for London, and for our London, starting with our flock – v3 glorious things of you are spoken, oh city of God. May we know that we are citizens of Zion and so v7 sing and dance and excel creatively in every direction specifically and personally, bursting forth all into springs, springs of living water. Let's take this as a word to us specifically, this will be, let's take God at his prophetic promise.

Ps89 Our God v7, Our God, is an awesome, Awesome God, and singing of his love forever is how our psalmic days should start: the verse one of my penning January's ninth numbered day should be a declaration v1of a confidence in God's character ahead of all the day's yet unseen unhappened happenings. ... v15 Do you know the festal shout? .. Of prosperity, the counter point to Marks' ambiguous preaching in that way is a visiting the harder times with appropriate lament, as v38-51 ... v45 is my essay: we lose ornament to our naked shame for not having come as a playing youth.