Thursday, August 8, 2019

Scratching the Surface of the Psalms

Kopp Disclosure

(John 3:19-21)


Scratching the Surface of the Psalms


“Praise God for the SOS”

While Holy Scripture and the best of Christendom’s allegiance to God as personified perfectly in Jesus caution consistently against temptations to idolatries because they distract from the esteem due only to God and ultimately disappoint us because only God saves existentially and eternally, I’m just like everybody else and have some heroes.

My heroes always pointed me to Jesus and never fed any of my idolatrous instincts.

Parenthetically, Jesus is not my hero.

Jesus is God.

That’s wholly different from human heroes.

Human heroes aren’t pure and perfect in every way, make mistakes, and can be ignored because they make human mistakes when measured to the divine Jesus.

Jesus is Lord and Savior.

He can’t be ignored unless we want to roll the dice with our existential well-being and eternal destiny.

I don’t know if you’re interested pero my heroes are the apostle Paul, Martin Luther, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, my pastor Harold F. Mante, Donald Farmer, grandfathers, dad, mom, sister, wife, sons, and so many resurrected and continuing saints on the corner of Lincoln and Main that I won’t mention because those left out will have another excuse to stop worshiping the divine because of another human omission.

BTW, I’m not going to tell you why those are my heroes; though I know the ones that are still living will ask if they read this.

Yet, Miss Grace Blanchard came to mind as I was reading Psalm 61 where David repeats refrains throughout his songs and prayers as confirmed throughout Holy Scripture.

David cries to God for help: “God, help me!...Pay attention to me!...I’m sinking!...Lead me to Your solid rock foundation!”

David has confidence in God’s help: “You’ve helped me before and I know You will help me again…You will add to my years and keep people who hate me - even my closest relatives and those that pretended to be loyal to me – from taking away the throne entrusted to me.”

David renews his loyalty pledge to God in thanks for His help: “I will never stop singing about You!…How great You are!...My psalms will be all about praising You because You always come through for the faithful sooner or later, usually sooner than later, and definitely in the end!”

Getting back to Miss Blanchard, she was my Sunday School teacher at the Forty Fort United Presbyterian Church that remains across the Susquehanna River from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Though she left a K for me in her will if I went to seminary which still blows me away because she put that in her will, prophetically it seems in retrospect, when most people that knew me would have assumed I’d be in a rock and roll band if I didn’t make it to pinstripes.

Unlike today’s Boy Scouts of America and other gender specificless movements in America that forget God made us “male and female” by design to complete and complement each other, she believed girls and boys need same-gender academic, athletic, recreational, and relational opportunities because any fool can see the genders don’t learn, grow, interact, mature, and all of the rest in exactly the same ways.

Or as I like to say to my boys about one of my other heroes, “Your mom is a much better mother than I can ever be and I am a much better father than she can ever be.”

Miss Blanchard taught a boys only Sunday School class until she was 104.

Along with Mona telling me to “keep going until you can’t,” I think that’s why retirement has never been on my radar.  So I’ll never quit until I can’t because I love to talk about Jesus and point people to Him as the only One that really delivers here, now, and forever.

About once a month during Sunday School class, she’d say, “O.K., boys, today is SOS Sunday!  Same old stuff!”

Then we’d have a Q&A for an hour or so on Bible facts, figures, and faith.

Here’s an abbreviated summary of SOS Sunday with Miss Blanchard.

GB: “How do you get to heaven, boys?”

Boys: “By grace through faith in Jesus!”

GB: “What does it say in the Bible?”

We’d recite Bible verses like John 1:12-13, 3:16-17, 5:24, 20:31, Romans 10:9, and Ephesians 2:8-9.

GB: “How do I know you’re going to heaven, boys?”

Boys: “We walk the talk, Miss Blanchard!”

GB: “What does it say in the Bible?”

We’d recite Bible verses like Matthew 10:32-33, 25:45-46, John 13:34-35, and Galatians 5:22-23.  

GB: “How do you thank God for forgiving your sins so you can go to heaven?”

Boys: “We forgive because we’ve been forgiven.”

GB; “What does it say in the Bible?”

We’d recite Bible verses like Matthew 6:12, 14-15, and 7:1-2.

Same old stuff.

Like David in the psalms.

We cry confidently to God for help, God helps us, and we renew our loyalty pledge to God in thanks for His help.

I think of Karl Barth.

When told by some RC friends that he was the greatest religious thinker of the 20th century according to Pope Pius XII, he said, “Now even I can believe in the Pope’s infallibility.”

Among the most profound theologian of all time, he was asked the greatest truth of Christianity.

He said, “Jesus loves me!  This I know!  For the Bible tells me so!”


Same old stuff.

Like David in the psalms.

We cry confidently to God for help, God helps us, 
and we renew our loyalty pledge to God in thanks for His help.

Praise God for the SOS!


Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!

Shatter the sound of silence!

Salt! Shine! Leavenate!





No comments: