fruitage of the spirit's journal

Expressions from the Heart

Sharing Psalms


Sharing Psalms by Julie McAllen

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.” (Eph 5:19)

I am musically challenged. Not a good singer, don’t play an instrument. But I can write. Therefore, I will spare you my hymns and spiritual songs and share with you instead my psalms.

I was greatly affected by Sue’s letter to Linda titled “A place of silence.” It awakened me. Sometimes we forget we’re hungry until we smell someone else’s cookin’. I had not forgotten God, in fact I was praying daily, sharing counsel with others, reading my Bible, engaged in the things of the Christian life. But….when I read Sue’s letter about the simple silence before her God, I remembered it had been too long since I’d felt the intimacy.

What’s so perfect about the timing is that I had been trying to write about the topic, “Intimacy with Christ.” It had not been flowing so that piece remains in fragmented notes until I go back to it. Maybe now I won’t have to as I think this covers it.

What I love about keeping a personal journal is how it reveals my own story and how God is answering prayer. I never know it until I read what’s been written. Has this ever happened to you? I highly recommend journaling and keeping a prayer notebook for this purpose. What astounds me is how much my recent journals sound more like the psalms. Has anyone else had this experience of writing psalms? Please share them, we’re encouraged to at Ephesians 5:19.

As brought out in my earlier post on “The uncertainty of Abraham”, God’s promises are often revealed over the course of years, but between my journal and this blog, I noticed how God worked in my life within a simple week. Thank you Sue, for being transparent in sharing your intimate time with the Lord, that I can feel free to share with others how He touched me this past week. I did not realize the answer had come until I went back and noticed the dates in my journal.

March 22, 2009 (personal journal entry)

…Lord, how much longer? Lord, keep me free from desire that leads no where. My hope is in you because it does not lead to disappointment. Refresh me again, Lord, with your love. I will carry this cross, I will walk through this valley. In your strength, Lord, I can bear it. Give to me your strength, your hope Jesus. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross. I value your discipline, Lord. Though it pains me now, I understand your desired fruit and I welcome the transformation. Let my heart be fully devoted to you and no longer entangled with the sin of divided loyalties. I am no part of this world or the things in it. Separate me as you see fit Lord. Continue calling me to Yourself. I will listen. I will hear. Give me the strength to act…..

…..where do I find you God? Are you on the top of the mountain? In a cave? Cradling a newborn baby? In the temple or stain-glassed sanctuary? God, you are always present and I find you closest to my heart in union with the pen.  As I pour out my spirit on the page I recognize it as your own and we are one. The ink bleeds into the blood and the page becomes my daily bread….(end of journal entry)

These were journal entries written BEFORE I read Sue’s blog “A place of silence.” As I read them now, I see how hungry I was to feel His presence. I was also praying for refreshment and strength in a personal, ongoing battle that tends to wear me out. A couple days went by and Linda emailed me mentioning she’d like to write about  prayer. I made some suggestions, but she answered back that her intention was to write about how prayer brings us into God’s presence. This is an excerpt from my reply back in the early morning of Thursday, March 26, 2009.

March 26, my email to Linda
……Here I am at 4:30 am. He woke me up TO PRAY!!!! In our intimacy, I brought someone before Him and wrote about the answer God gave to me in his behalf. Well, so I had to plug in and send him a letter. So here I am on line.

How appropriate that I open YOUR letter revealing the one prayer topic I did not suggest. Yes, of course! How prayer brings us into God’s presence!!

After reading Sue’s post on silence before the Lord, I was saddened that I had not felt His intense presence for a while. I skipped my Tuesday morning Bible study so that I could have the day with Him. I’m glad I did. We spent the morning in prayer. But this morning (2:30 am Thursday) I totally felt His presence. Again, His timing, not mine. Wakes me up just to be with me. Yes, I got out my ‘anal retentive prayer notebook’ and turned to my Thursday prayers and He just sorta said, “no, not that….YOU!!” and we well, ya know, did the inner chambers thing. When we had our fill of love, I brought my friends before Him and He gave me a particular message for the person I wrote to before replying to you. No, I don’t have any message for you…unless you gather something out of this. I gathered something out of yours because it was about the very thing I just experienced, the presence of God in prayer…
(end of email to Linda)

Have I been refreshed? Have I been strengthened by God’s presence? I will let my “psalms” speak. I wrote these in those wee morning hours of March 26 after He woke me up to pray and bring me into His presence. I see God at work. Through Sue’s blog and Linda’s intent to discuss prayer, I end up sharing this experience which fulfills my earlier intent to write on the intimacy we share with Christ as His bride. Sisters, this is fellowship!

March 26, 2009 about 3 or 4 am (after a wonderful worship experience with my Lord.)

Again He comes to me

at this late hour?

I am His bride

and He wraps me in His love.

I open the Song of Songs

and I have to blush

at the accuracy of it.

Don’t go. Remind me of our union.

But it is a wave

to catch a glimpse of

what was, what is, and what is to come.

 I thought you woke me up to pray for the others, but I realize you just wanted to be with me! Thank you Lord, thank you for calling me into your chambers.

 You are all that is too wonderful to me

You surround me, enfold me

with your love.

I drink in your forgiveness

and become one with your body.

We enter the sanctuary together

before your Father

He becomes my Father

and we celebrate our marriage.

Welcome to the Feast

you fill me with wine.

 Precious Lord, Precious Jesus

ever near, ever present

I am drunk with your love.

Now that we are married

let us have children together

brought forth in blood.

How wise you are Lord.

(end of journal entries on March 26, 2009)

No matter what our battle, God in His wisdom has chosen His love to be our shield. I went forth the next day so full of His love, I had no thoughts of any stress in my life. Reading through this I see how He chose to strengthen me. Our God is an awesome God. This glow continued like “some really strong weed, Dude.” Sorry for the comparison, but it was like a high I thought should’ve worn off by now!

Saturday, March 28, 2009 (journal entry)

Thank you Lord. You are filling me still even now. I surrender, I surrender. You are King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You reveal everything to me through your Spirit. It’s too much–things too wonderful for me! Overwhelmed I bow before your throne of Grace so completely awed by your Presence. I am an object of His mercy! (end of journal entry)

I am so thankful for writing. I notice prayers answered, I notice His Spirit speak through my hands put to page.  I share this because I also know that as we connect with God personally, our stories connect with the body of Christ as evidenced through the communications shared with Linda and Sue and see how God used them in answer to my hunger for His presense.  Our God is an awesome God.

If you are gifted in music, please sing out! Those of us “musically challenged” are encouraged by it. If you are a writer of psalms, please share them with us! To the Father’s praise. (Eph 5:19)

Keep yourself in God’s love, Julie

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March 29, 2009 - Posted by | Expressions | , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments

  1. Julie,
    Once again, you serve as a reminder of what a wonderful God we serve! Mere words can’t express my gratitude for your heartfelt post. Nevermind your utter transparency, you were set out to fulfill a purpose and that you did! While it was true that I was working on posting a journal on prayer, I have to be honest with you in that I was “stuck”. For days I tried to sit down and write what I wanted to convey, but something else was tugging at me.

    Even more startling was that the same morning that Sue went to the chapel, I had gone to sit by a lake near my home. It one of those favorite spots that no one knows about when I’m there. That same morning I needed to be alone with God. I had so much to pray about and needed some answers. Once I got there, I didn’t want to pray. All of a sudden, all my petitions seemed non-existent and all I wanted was to just be there…in His presence. I sat there for about an hour and didn’t ask for anything. I only wanted to be there and praise Him for the beauty surrounding me. It was after that time with the Lord that I decided to write a journal about prayer and being in God’s presence. Imagine how I felt when I read Sue’s email the next day! I had goose bumps!!

    What a blessing you are to all readers of this journal. Thank you, Julie. There are so many of us going through our “storms”. Your faith is encouraging to us all! Well, I have to go and read your post again…I want to soak up as much as I can tonight!

    In God’s Love
    Linda

    Comment by Linda | March 29, 2009

  2. Julie, Joy shared is multiplied! Thank you for sharing your joy in finding your way back to an intamacy with our Lord. I give God the glory that He has used Linda’s blog and my entry to satisfy your hunger for His presence. And in reading your journal entry just now I seemed to be taken back to those very moments in that “Place of Sience” with our Lord. And I am renewed with a desire to find that same intamcy with HIm inside of my every day life. I don’t want it to ever go away. I feel that God is continuing to use that precisou time to draw me back again and again, but the hunger wihtin me is now differant from what drew me there that first day. As I recall wanting relief from the labor of praying and praying and praying aobut things. I felt almost selfish that I was only wanting something from Him. And I was weary from the striving of it all. And now I so long to seek His presence just so that I can give something of myself to HIm. It seems as if something in side of me has changed. Maybe it is a realization of the joy that He has when we find our way to be silient in His presence. Don’t get me wrong, I love feeling His love for me. The joy of knowing that love alone is overwhelming and gives me a desire for more and more of HIm.. I want to “drink” Him in and be filled with all that He is. In fact it is so humbling to know that He takes pleasure in us just being there. But my greater or “newer” sence of joy is coming from the reality that I am giving HIm what He longs for. It is not just that I am feeling so loved. Or that I am getting answers to my prayers. It is that I am able to express my love for all that He had done for me without even speaking a word in a deeper level than words can even express. Maybe that is what being silent in His presence is all about.
    I have experienced an incredible miracle this week that I will share soon in another post. I am still absorbing it and can hardly speak about it much less put it into words yet. But I have come to believe that it is all a part of what He did that day in that little prayer chapel. I am in awe that He lifted off of me all of the burdens that I brought with me that morning. But I have learned that He also lifted something else that I had absolutely no knowledge of. And that adds even more then you can imagine to the reality of that day and that time and that lesson. I so clearly see that our God knows us better than we know ourselves. He loves us with a burning love. May we all continue to learn more and more about the fullness of that so precious love that was expressed so incredibly on the cross so long ago.
    And may we each find Him in the silence.
    Love to each of you for sharing your faith and witness and teachings of the heart. The body of Christ is an amazing living thing!

    Through Him who loves us most,
    Sue

    Comment by Sue | March 30, 2009

  3. Sue,
    Thank you for your further sharing. So much to respond to in your post. I like this what you said,
    “I want to “drink” Him in and be filled with all that He is. In fact it is so humbling to know that He takes pleasure in us just being there. But my greater or “newer” sence of joy is coming from the reality that I am giving HIm what He longs for.”
    Isn’t it amazing that we are His desire as much as He is ours? Sometimes we fall into the complacency of acknowledging Jesus’ love as a blanket over all mankind. It is true, Jesus does love EVERYONE, but never miss the fact that the hairs on your head are all numbered by Him. How cherished we each are as individuals in His loving eyes. Perhaps this is why we hunger for our time alone with Him.

    “Sixty queens there may be, and eighty concubines, and virgins beyond number; but my dove, my perfect one, is unique, the only daughter of her mother, the favorite of the one who bore her. The maidens saw her and called her blessed; the queens and concubines praised her.” (SS 6:8, 9)

    Though Jesus loves all of us, we each are unique in his eyes, the only daughter, the favorite one. We are His desire. Drink Him in, yes, drink Him in!

    His banner over me is love,
    Julie

    Comment by Julie | March 30, 2009


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