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  • Psalm Twenty Seven

    The Lord is my light and my salvation,
    who should I fear?
    The Lord is my strength,
    who should make me afraid?

    When evil men gathered against me,
    to kill me and devour me,
    they stumbled and fell.

    Even if my enemies surround me,
    I will not be afraid.
    If a war should be waged against me,
    I will be confident in His protection.

    I have only one goal in my life,
    to live in the house of God,
    to behold the beauty of His kingdom,
    to learn from Him all I can.

    In times of trouble,
    He will hide me in His temple,
    He will protect me in His tent,
    He will set me on the rock of His salvation.

    He has lifted me above my enemies,
    and I have offered my sacrifice to Him,
    I will sing his praises before the people.

    Hear me, Oh Lord, when I call on You,
    Have mercy and answer my prayers.

    When You told me to seek out Your face,
    I said with all my soul I will seek You.
    Do not hide your face from me, Lord,
    do not be angry with me, for You are my help.

    Do not leave or forsake me, Lord,
    for You are my salvation.
    When my mother and father forsake me,
    You will take me up as Your own.

    Teach me to do what You will, Lord,
    lead me in the path of Your choosing,
    for I have many enemies.
    Don't abandon me to their will,
    for they are telling lies about me, Lord,
    they are turning the people against me.

    Without Your power, I would be at their mercy,
    I would be weak and unable to see Your goodness.

    I will wait upon Your will and Your word, Oh, Lord.
    I will wait upon the Lord.

    There is a woman in our neighborhood named Flo. I believe she is around my age (I am still of the generation who would not think to ask a lady her age), and I see her every morning walking her dog. She often carries a trash bag and picks up trash along her route, her way of being a good neighbor. And she always has a pleasant word to say if you greet her.

    Flo earns her living as a caregiver, doing shopping and cooking and cleaning for elderly folks still at home who require assistance. Every time I see her, she is neat and clean and well appointed, and she muzzles her dog for the protection of others, although I have never seen her dog act aggressively.

    In the past 22 years, she has had several dogs, all adopted from the local pound. About a year back, someone broke into Flo's house to steal and shot her dog in the head with a .22. She was upset, of course, that someone would harm her dog when he was not aggressive. The thieves were never caught, not that they had taken much other than some pocket change and a few small items of jewelry. While they did make a mess, there wasn't much to take. Flo is not an extravagant person, and has little in the way of electronics and other toys.

    But if you meet Flo, there is one thing immediately apparent. No matter what the circumstance of weather or situation, Flo always has a smile on her face. It is not a silly smile or a smile of arrogance or self assurance. It is a peaceful smile that speaks volumes about the person behind it. It is a smile that says the owner is at peace, truly at peace, with her life.

    In conversations we have had over my fence, I know that Flo attends a small church about 20 blocks away, so I know Flo is a Christian. But if I had never spoken to Flo, I would know it. On occasion we have spoken about the Bible, and when we do, there is a light in her eyes that reveals a deep, personal relationship with the Word. Flo understands the Word, and Flo knows the Savior.

    I remember Mike Warnke, a Christian "comedian" who traveled around with various Christian music groups in the 1980's when groups like "Stryper" presented alternative Christian music concerts for youth. Mike would come out and talk about his experiences, relying on material he'd borrowed from older secular comedians like Henny Youngman to entertain his audience, and he was quite successful with it. I had the pleasure of meeting Mike in San Diego when I was the co-founder and promoter for Light of Conviction Ministries.

    Mike often spoke about the Bible and it's significance in the lives of young Christians. One of my favorite quotes was about the Bible itself. "You know, a lot of people look at the Ten Commandments and figure the Bible is a book of Don'ts; Don't worship other gods, Don't Steal, Don't Murder, Don't covet your neighbor's wife. And while all that is true, if you read the Bible, you'll find out the Bible is really a book of Do's; Do be kind to your neighbor, Do pray for your enemy, Do to others as you would have them do to you. And I'm here to tell you, if you spend your time doing the Do's, your won't have time to do the Don'ts."

    I'm of a mind to believe Flo spends her time Doing the Do's.


    [Lower Lights was written and composed by Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876), a composer, writer, teacher, singer, and hymn writer.]
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