I am the proud owner of a new skill: the ability to add to this blog site. I will likely put up several new posts just to catch up on news. And there’s lots of it.
On January 7th I began to work in my new environment at the hospital. There was a new building that has been unused for 3 years due to regulations. So the government has agreed to allow KKB (the corporation under whom I volunteer) to use the building. I am delighted with the new capabilities this space offers! I have tried to attach a picture, but I think it needs to be translated from Melanesian Pidgin, so I will keep you “posted” (ha!) and send along pictures later.
For the last 2 weeks I had a nursing student here from Germany. She was a delight to work with. She was an eager volunteer for most any venture, and very much enjoyed all the new sights here in PNG. Having lived here since 2002, I had forgotten how different things may seem to folks from more developed countries. She particularly enjoyed the warm weather and abundance of flowers here.
I have begun a Bible study with some of my KKB co-workers who are from Nepal. They are from a Hindu background, and it was an honor and delight to introduce them to the Bible. I’ve never gotten to be there when a brilliant, well-educated adult read their first Bible verse with understanding. This is possible because I can open a Nepali Bible on my smart phone. We are planning to meet either every week or every other week. It is a new learning experience for all of us. Oddly enough, I am just not sure how to approach a Bible study with someone who knows nothing at all about any of it. But the Scripture, as always, is more than sufficient. In our last Bible study they asked “What is the point of the existence of man?” And “What is the main point of the Bible?” Knowing a bit about Hinduism, I had an inkling (barely) of where they were coming from. I know this: that the “chief end of man” is definitely not Nirvana! I was able to go to specific verses throughout the Bible to show them. The concept that mankind can have a personal relationship with the Creator nearly overwhelmed them. Further questions led to the book of Romans, which is where we left off. I am hoping to cover the over-arching story of redemption in the Bible the next time we meet. There is just such a massive amount there. What a delight it would be to see these eager Hindu folks turn from darkness to light!
Well, one last thing to include before I send this on it’s way to wherever “blogs” go when they are “posted.” Last year I really felt like the Lord wanted me to sit with Him through Psalm 119, and meditate enough to turn it to rhyme. So here is the entire Psalm. As you know, each section of the Psalm is in 8 verses of Hebrew poetry. I put that into something called “long meter” (4 lines of 8 syllables), just to keep the 8-theme going. But I had to go with 12 lines per section, not just 8. On the other hand, it makes it so that it will fit many tunes in your hymn book.
Psalm 119: An interpretation in rhyme
Vs 1-8 A
Oh! See the heap of blessings poured
On blameless pilgrims in the Lord;
Whose undivided hearts are stirred
To seek the Lord and keep His Word.
Yours is the right, Lord, to command;
And it is mine to understand
That righteousness in all Your ways
Will fill the upright heart with praise.
Oh, that my heart would learn to keep
In all Your ways with steadfast feet.
Please stay with me, My Lord, I pray,
That I may all Your Word obey.
vs 9-16 B
Is youthful strength enough to keep
This heart that wanders like a sheep?
No, rather a determined heart
Pursuing God's way from the start.
I've treasured all Your Words within
My heart to guard against my sin.
Your just decrees my lips have voiced,
And in Your ways I have rejoiced.
Your precepts I will ponder, Lord;
I will respect Your way, My God.
Your statutes will be my delight:
I will retain Your Word aright.
vs 17-24 C
Be to Your servant my Reward,
Oh, let me live to keep Your Word!
Your law's a wonder in my sight--
Open my eyes: Let there be light.
I am a stranger in the earth,
Its princes think I have no worth.
Though from Your Words the proud may roam,
They're how I correspond with Home.
You are my Advocate alone:
You will the arrogant dethrone.
Your testimonies my delight--
Like men of counsel, guiding right.
vs 25-32 D
My soul would cling to earthy dust,
Revive and free me from my lust:
My Lord! You know my knotted ways--
But I would all Your works appraise.
My ways are false and full of shame;
My eyes distill with guilt and blame.
Your ways, instead, are faithfulness,
And Light, and Truth, and Graciousness.
I choose to cling close to Your way,
So that I may not go astray:
So let me follow Your decrees;
Teach me Your Truth and set me free!
vs 33-40 E
Teach me, my Lord, about Your way,
Give understanding to obey;
And lead me in the course that's right,
For in Your pathways I delight.
My soul by nature is inclined
'Round worthless things to be entwined.
Lord, give new life and turn my eyes--
Teach me to fear You to be wise.
My Lord, I dread deserved reproach;
And shame would on Your praise encroach.
Confirm Your word in faithfulness--
Revive me through Your righteousness.
vs 41-48 F
Lord, Let Your mercies come to me
And save me in fidelity:
Then on Your Word I'll boldly stand
And answer Satan's reprimand.
Please let Your Word of Truth so fill
My mouth with ardor for Your will.
Your Law I'd keep continually:
Your Word frees from sin's slavery.
To Your commandments- which I love-
I stretch my hands to You above:
Your Word I'd treasure in my mind,
And all delight in You I'll find.
vs 49-56 G
Remember what You said, dear Lord;
My life, my hope, hang on Your Word.
What if the arrogant deride?
From You I will not turn aside.
Remembering Your work that's past
Brings consolation in the blast
And fury towards the wicked throng;
Then animates my pilgrim song.
Your Name I savor in the night:
Your precepts make my pathway bright.
Your sweet shalom belongs to me
Since to Your will I've bowed my knee.
vs 57-64 H
Your Words I pledge to keep, dear Lord,
Since You alone are my Reward.
Mercy, not merit, is my plea:
Your promise thus belongs to me.
When I my wayward ways had learned,
I to Your guiding Word returned.
Persuaded I should not delay,
I chose your precepts to obey.
Alone at midnight You're my praise;
Your saints escort me in my days.
Your kindness all the earth has filled:
Teach me to want what You have willed.
vs 65-72 I
My Master, You're so good to me!
You keep Your Word so faithfully.
Since I believe You, let me learn
From You all good things to discern.
Your discipline corrals my way,
Without it I would go astray:
For all You are is good, My Lord;
And goodness in Your Word is stored.
The arrogant have forged a lie,
Their bloated hearts my good decry.
But by this I have learned to cling:
Your Word to me is everything.
vs 73-80 J
My form was knitted by Your hands:
I want to learn from Your commands
So that those fearing You can see
Your Word is my security.
Your rules are righteous and I know
My loving Father dealt the blow;
Still, in Your promise I believe
That You will all my pain relieve.
Let slanderers be put to shame,
Not those of us who fear your Name:
But rather let Your saints unite
To be found blameless in Your sight.
vs 81-88 K
With longing, Lord, I am consumed:
Unless You save me, I am doomed.
I'm watching for Your answer, Lord--
For all You've promised in your Word.
My shriveled patience melts away
From dodging despots every day.
So how much more must I endure
Until Your judgments are made sure?
Surrounded so by treachery,
I cling to You Lord, come help me!
In Your love, Lord, let me live:
My loyalty to You I give.
vs 89-96 L
In Heav'n above or earth below;
What You have spoken, it is so.
To all Your works You're faithful still,
And all but man obeys Your will.
If from Your law I'm turned aside,
Affliction is intensified.
Your Words shall fill my memory;
Spirit and life they are to me.
Please save me, Lord, for I am Yours,
Your Word alone my soul adores.
To Earth's perfection there's an end;
But Your commands all worlds transcend!
vs 97-104 M
The law which once condemned my way
Enraptures me throughout the day.
Your wise commands my foes outshine:
I love Your Words, Lord, they are mine.
The Wisdom of Your Word excels
The sum of what in sages dwells:
For You Yourself have taught to me
The way of true integrity.
The kisses of Your mouth are sweet;
Your words I relish like a treat.
My Lord, I love to follow You--
I hate the ways that are untrue.
vs 105-112 N
Your Word's a lamp, Lord, in the night;
Its sunshine makes my pathway bright.
Lord, I accede to Your command;
You're just in all that You demand.
My Rescuer, to You I raise
My free-will offering of praise.
Though harried by sin's snares galore,
I would but cling to You the more.
My joy and my inheritance
I find in every ordinance:
Incline my heart to fervently
Perform Your Word eternally.
vs 113-120 O
A vacillating mind I hate,
But for Your law my love is great.
My Shield and my Defender too:
I'll trust and just rely on You.
I'll not keep company with sin
That I may keep Your Word within.
Lord, hold me up-- keep me secure--
I know Your promises are sure.
The lawless rebels You disdain,
Their sly conspiracies are vain.
Lord, let me serve with joy and fear,
And trembling hold Your precepts dear.
vs 121-128 P
You've pledged Yourself as my Defense,
But I'm oppressed by arrogance;
Come as You promised, teach me Lord:
I want to know Your righteous Word.
That I'm Your slave is all my plea,
Give understanding, let me see!
Lord, since Your law's been put to shame,
It's time to vindicate Your Name.
The treasure of my heart, dear Lord,
I find within Your Word is stored;
Your every precept in my sight
Is only, always, truly right.
vs 129-136 Q
Your Word's a wonder to my soul,
And so I'd keep to its control:
When once its rays open the eyes,
Its wisdom makes the simple wise.
I crave to hear Your sweet commands:
I look for mercy from Your hands.
Oh, keep me steady, set me free,
And let no sin reign over me!
Lord, come redeem me from abuse,
And let me learn from Your statutes.
My eyes cascade my deep distress
O'er every form of lawlessness.
vs 137-144 R
Your rules are right, for they express
That You alone are Righteousness.
What You command is just like You:
Exceeding right, Exceeding true.
Your Word is true, so I'm upset
When foes so wittingly forget:
Yet I do not forget Your Word--
Though I'm despised I'm undeterred.
So righteous is Your righteousness;
Its truth consoles me in distress.
Lord, teach me what is always right,
For in Your wisdom I have life.
vs 145-152 S
I'm begging You to save me, Lord;
Let my submission be restored.
I rise before the dawn and cry,
And on Your promises rely.
I lay awake though it is late,
And on Your Word I meditate.
Fulfill Your promise, Lord, to me:
Your steadfast love my only plea.
My foes pursue me far and wide,
But You are always at my side.
A long time since, Lord, I have found
Your Words alone are solid, sound.
vs 153-160 T
Lord, look upon my misery:
Redeem, revive, deliver me!
I trust Your Word Lord, Plead my cause;
For I do not forget Your laws.
Your tender, warm benevolence
Is my dear hope-- my sure defence
Against my foes, whose faithless lust
I look upon with true disgust.
Of faithful love, Lord, take account;
To me Your laws are paramount.
Your Word is all Truth summarized:
Your righteous rules are verified.
vs 161-168 U
Your Word alone fills me with awe;
It thrills my soul: I love Your law!
Now every falsehood I despise,
Your Word alone my victor's prize.
Your righteous rules I often praise;
Rejoicing fills up all my days.
Great peace have they who love Your law;
There's nothing that can make them fall.
I hope in You, please save me Lord;
Your testimonies I've adored.
I take Your Laws to be my Guide:
I'd in Your fellowship abide.
vs 169-176 V
Please grant my suit a hearing Lord,
Save me from folly I implore!
And this my canticle shall be:
Your Word alone has rescued me.
I choose to hold Your saving hand
And follow all that You command.
Lord, let me Your salvation see;
Your law is my felicity.
Lord, let me live to sing Your praise;
Your Word my help in all my ways.
Lord, seek Your slave-- this wand'ring sheep--
For Your commands are mine to keep.