I continue on today, Day 7, in the Billy Graham Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. Today I read Psalms 30-35 and Proverbs 7. Tomorrow is Psalms 36-40 and Proverbs 8. You are welcome to join me daily.
Reading Psalms is supposed to strengthen your relationship with God while reading Proverbs will strengthen your relationships with other humans.
These are the items I found important in the Psalms 30-35 and Proverbs 7 readings today and just my stream of consciousness thoughts on them.
Psalm 31 “Into your hands, I commit my spirit.”
This is actually the title of Psalm 31 and it reminds me of what a preacher usually says in a eulogy at a funeral. Working at the nursing home, I saw people come and people go. I updated the bedmap once or twice a week based on admissions and usually once a week, there would be a bed change as someone had departed.
I kinda viewed the nursing home as maybe a train depot. People were just waiting to move on to their next destination. Often times, family members would come at the end to pay respects. You would walk by a room where someone was in their final moments, and gospel music would sometimes be playing like Amazing Grace or there were 6 or so family members gathered around in the room.
Daily operations went on like normal. It just became normal to me that people would move on and that we were there to help them transition in their final days. We were super busy and understaffed but you could tell the LNAs and LPNs and RNs got pretty attached to some of the residents and tried to make things better for them with little things here and there.
One time a woman passed away. It was not an easy death. She had many visitors too and was loved by a lot of people. I had to go in that night for benefits administration and it was particularly hard on the staff that night. She passed on, it was a hard death but the nurse said when she breathed her last…she suddenly smiled. I’ll never forget that. I wonder what she saw after passing. That’s a true story there.
Psalm 32 “Blessed is the man….that in who’s spirit, there is no guile. “
I am horrible with car salesmen and with time share folks. I always, always end up getting a bad deal. I fall for it, hook, line, and sinker.
We got this Ford F150 that we owe this huge monthly payment on every month. I learned my lesson there. 2 more years and it will be paid off. My husband wants a bigger diesel truck. I said, “Heck no!” It took forever to pay all that. He can drive it without the monthly payment for a while. It would be nice to have the breather for a bit until we gotta buy new.
I had a Volvo for 13 years. Never had an issue with it. Drove it everywhere. I even bought it from the factory in Sweden and drove it off the ferry back into Germany where we proceeded to get a rock in the windshield following behind a bunch of tourists on a bus.
I was cussing and cursing cause it was my brand new car and then we get to the Viking museum in Northern Germany and guess who’s there too? They were all happy and completely blissfully unaware camera-happy tourists.
I wanted a brand new beautiful and perfect car…..ah well, the best plans of mice and men.
Psalm 32 “Selah”
Ok, what is “Selah”? I keep seeing it over and over again all over the Psalms. I got no clue. Give me a moment to look this up a bit….ok this comes from the website http://www.pray.com:
“But in the New Living Translation of Psalm 68:19, Selah is translated as “Interlude.” “Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day, he carries us in his arms. Interlude.” This could mean a musical interlude, considering the Psalms are often used as hymns.”
Oh makes sense. So the Psalms were songs and the Selah part is like the repeating lyrics or responsorial psalm part or the just music without words interlude part. Sorta like the riff in an Eagles song I guess.
Ok, I Googled greatest guitar riffs of all time and the #1 song was The Boys are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy. Hmm. Ok, moving on.
Psalm 33 “sing unto him with a new song.”
Ok, I learned something different on YouTube the other day. A lot of folks say to sage your house to keep the space clear of negative energy. Well the other day, I saw this interview with this exorcism priest and he said another thing that helps clear your energy in your house is playing gospel music or Gregorian chant lightly in the background every day for maybe an hour or two. It irritates anything negative and drives negative energy away. Ok, I never thought of doing that.
Psalm 33 “A mighty man is not delivered by much strength.”
This passage makes me think of Samson. His hair was cut by Delilah, he lost his strength, he was punished severely, blinded, beaten up, and bound to the 2 stone pillars inside the temple of his enemies. But even in his adversity, he asked God for one final burst of strength and pushed over the stone pillars causing the temple to collapse on these bad people. Like the saying, the mighty man met his death too and was not delivered from evil but in a way, he was able to redeem himself and stop evil.
I wanted to name my daughter Delilah because of that song, Hey There Delilah. I’m kinda glad I didn’t. It’d be like naming your daughter Jezebel. Her name is Eleanor….a great name. There are lots of great Eleanors in history – Eleanor of Aquitane, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ella Fitzgerald, etc. etc.
Eleanor of Aquitane was the French Queen who first developed the notions of knights and chivalry and love. Under her influence developed the notions of codes of honor for knights and the things associated with knighthood. Kinda like the stuff we see in the movie Camelot with Arthur and Lancelot and Gweneviere. But Eleanor, wow….she was a powerhouse in the 1100s. She became the Queen of France, the Queen of England, and then started and funded a Holy Crusade to the Middle East.
And then, of course, there’s Eleanor Roosevelt, who was an awesome first lady.
“A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is, until you get her in hot water.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Psalm 34 “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”
I do believe in angels. For some reason, the Archangels always remind me of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Heroes in a half shell. Turtle power. Just had to add that part.
Michael is one of my favorite and I carry a Michael medallion in my car when I drive. They say that if you pray to an angel for help, one of their signs is that people with names similar to that angel will start showing up in your life and currently I know a heck of a lot of Mikes coincidentally. I have like 10 Mike friends.
Michael is the defender.
Raphael is the healer.
Gabriel is the messenger.
and I always forget the other guy….one moment…um, Phanuel. So I had to look him up. Sorry, Phanuel, by the way. He’s like the guy in the 90s boy band, no one knows his name. His official title is the expeller of demons. He’s like the John Constantine of the Archangels I guess. Ok, I can understand now why he’s a bit incognito. He’s the ninja of the Archangels.
There are lots of other angels. Uriel helps with your family and your faith. Then there’s Muriel…she helps with tending the hearth……just kidding. There is no Muriel but if there was I kinda figure that’s what she’d do. Knit, crochet by the fire with her cup of tea, and have a big fluffy cat. The Angel Protector of all knitting projects.
“What are you making?”
“A sweater for Bob.”
“Have you prayed to Muriel to make sure the arms will not be uneven?”
“Oh thank goodness for Muriel! She fixes all my scarves and sweaters. What a sweetheart!”
Psalm 34 “The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the Earth.”
If you haven’t figured out yet, I like poems. This one is definitely like Ozymandias:
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Years ago, I lived in Germany on a military base and was hugely interested in WWII history. We lived near Nuremburg and one day, a military intelligence friend took us to the old Hitler marching grounds. It even had the podium you see in those old black and white videos where he’s yelling all angry and mad and you got no idea what the guy is saying but he’s pretty passionate it, I’ll give him that. Kinda angry. Needs to take a chill pill. Somebody took his porridge I bet.
I walked up to the podium. It was still there but starting to fall apart from years of decay from weather and erosion. It was weird to stand behind it and I quickly moved away. I didn’t like it.
While we were there, we visited 3 camps: Dachau, Buchenwald, and Flossenberg. Dachau is where a lot of medical experimentation was done. Buchenwald which I think means book forest and is where a famous German author wrote books, Buchenwald was so freezing cold cause it was on the edge of a mountain with no forest or tree cover over the camp. They say when the prisoners were shipped there by train back from Auschwitz, they barely had any clothes and froze from the cold winds of the camp. It also, oddly, had a grizzly bear enclosure, and this one building I will never forget. It was the building the Soviets were taken to. They were made to stand outside the building in a line. One by one, after they were captured, they were brought into the building for a physical exam but the floors were concrete and wet with a drain in the middle. One by one, they would stand against the wall with a measuring tool. A man behind the wall would then open a small concealed door in the wall at the nape of their neck and then shoot them with a gun with a silencer on it. They would fall dead to the floor. They would be hauled off back and dumped in a body pile. The floor would be washed of their blood like nothing happened and then the next Russian prisoner of war would come in and repeat over and over and over again.
Flossenberg was interesting. It was right in town. You could not miss it and it sat under an old medieval castle. Flossenberg is where the homosexuals were taken and they were made to do death marches. This was really awful too. Day in and day out, the guards would take them on really long, long, long marathon runs. I’m talking like 30 or 40 miles in one day. The ones who would fall out and give up on the run would be shot by guards. One by one, eventually people got skinnier and skinnier the longer they were at the camp and the more they ran eventually it was inevitable that they would eventually fall out and be shot.
Psalm 34 “Evil shall slay the wicked.”
Woah. This one line is fascinating. Notice, it’s not the good guy or hero will slay the wicked. It is the even badder guy who will slay the wicked. Wicked knows wicked like an episode of Breaking Bad or Ozark or like dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. You wanna take out a bad guy. Convince an even more wicked bad guy that they are enemies and a threat. This is like some Sun Tzu Art of War wisdom here, T Rexes verses velociraptors.
As a kid, my all time favorite movie was The Land Before Time. The part where the little dinosaurs are getting chased by the bad T Rex and then the mother shows up and she’s bigger. She’s a Brontosaurus with a really long tail and she uses it repeatedly to stop the T Rex until he falls over the cliff. But he catches her and they both go over…..oh, man. Tearful, crying moment. Oh. I know it’s just a movie but man….that’s like Bambi when he’s running from the hunters and the gun shot and the mom doesn’t follow…or Dumbo, when they imprison the mom……oh, man, oh man.
Psalm 35 “Let them be confounded.”
Ah, another great way to defeat the bad guys in the Bible is to confound them. Confound them like a guy walking out of Wal-mart wondering where the heck he parked his car. This happens often in the Bible such as the building of the Tower of Babel or the Gideon battle. In the Bible it is called “speaking confusion into the minds of the enemy.”
Sorta like being the Roadrunner with Wiley Coyote or Bugs Bunny with Elmer Fudd.
Psalm 35 “False witnesses did rise up. They laid to my charge, things that I knew not.”
Be careful when you get a job where you are responsible for the money. Some folks will Reverse Robin Hood that stuff or worse, set you up as the fall guy or patsy for a bank heist or robbery.
I had a job once where I was closing the safe at a big department store at night. I had to count everything and there was usually about 150,000 dollars in the vault. I knew something was up when I got the job very shortly after I got hired for money exchanging. Some stuff started counting off in the cashier tills. I honestly wonder if I could have been slowly being setup for a heist cause I had to document the small currency discrepancies each time for a while showing a trail of “questionable activity”. 5 bucks here. 20 bucks here. It was like I could have been setup but fortunately another job came open and I jumped ship quick.
God does that. When we land in potential danger, suddenly he’ll open a window when a door is shut for us to crawl quickly out of if we have our wits about us. I moved on to the new job and did not look back.
I got the new job because I volunteered outside work installing software on computers and a friend of a friend of a friend put me in for a recommendation. The boss was much older but “overly friendly”. I got the job. It was a little awkward honestly. He’d come to my office to visit a lot and I felt more and more uncomfortable until suddenly 9-11 occurred and he headed off to Afghanistan for a long time.
See, how random things just seem to work in my favor some times? Like Joseph with Potiphar’s wife, I just had to hope everything would be alright…and it was.
Due to our reliance on God, people of faith are admittedly slippery to catch like an eel and more difficult to corner than the Runaway Bride. They rely a lot on their trust in God. They wait for God to open an escape hatch…and off they go, they shoot through it fast….running through the corn field with their wedding dress hiked up and their veil streaming behind em. Slippery. People of faith are super slippery. And they are also a little like cats if you do manage to corner them. They’ll surprise ya. They’ll definitely surprise ya. But it’s really just God surprising ya cause you didn’t expect that window of opportunity to open.
Proverbs 7 “he meets the strange woman….as an ox to the slaughter. He does not know it will cost him his life.”
This strange woman is awful. She’s all over Proverbs. The author writes about her so much.
As a woman, I waffle back and forth on this view of women. As a woman, I can understand the behaviors of the strange woman. However, there are some that use their “Jezebel Spirit” as some would say, to kinda lure men into lustful STD traps knowing full well they got something and shouldn’t share it.
Better just stick to your boring and plain cone rather than that triple dip with sprinkles covered in caramel waffle cone that’s made with sour milk and will give you a tummy ache. But dang, it looks so good.
That’s what I got outta reading Day 7 of the Billy Graham Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. Tomorrow is Psalms 36-40 and Proverbs 8. Thanks for reading and have a good day!