1524.) Psalm 28

March 5, 2015

A huge rock!  Stone Mountain is “a quartz monzonite dome monadnock” outside of Atlanta, Georgia.  That means! — it is a granite-like solitary outcropping of rock, measuring 5 miles around its base and rising 825 feet above the surrounding area.  I suggest the steep walk to the top for a beautiful view; only wimps take the Skyride!

Psalm 28 (NIV)

1 To you I call, O LORD my Rock;
do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you remain silent,
I will be like those who have gone down to the pit.

2 Hear my cry for mercy
as I call to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
toward your Most Holy Place.

_________________________

Music:

The hymn “Rock of Ages” was composed in 1775.  HERE  it is sung by the Antrim Mennonite Choir.

_________________________

3 Do not drag me away with the wicked,
with those who do evil,
who speak cordially with their neighbors
but harbor malice in their hearts.

Do not let me have a heart that harbors malice!

4 Repay them for their deeds
and for their evil work;
repay them for what their hands have done
and bring back upon them what they deserve.

5 Since they show no regard for the works of the LORD
and what his hands have done,
he will tear them down
and never build them up again.

6 Praise be to the LORD,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.

Mark 1:40-42 (New International Version)

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.

7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.

Rather, give me a heart that trusts and rejoices in You!

8 The LORD is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.

9 Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.

P27 shepherd

Revelation 7:13-17 (New Living Translation)

Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?”

And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.”

Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.

“That is why they stand in front of God’s throne
and serve him day and night in his Temple.
And he who sits on the throne
will give them shelter.
They will never again be hungry or thirsty;

they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun.
For the Lamb on the throne
will be their Shepherd.

He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.
And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

_________________________

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Stone Mountain, Atlanta, GA.    http://markandmegan.net/images/StoneMountain.jpg
Jesus healing a leper.    http://www.sundayschoollessons.com/sunfolderzh/image3.gif
Psalm 23 shepherd.    http://theeaglesnest.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/shepherd-1662c.jpg

1523.) Psalm 26

March 4, 2015

Ps26 examine
Psalm 26 (New International Version)

Of David.

1 Vindicate me, O LORD,
for I have led a blameless life;
I have trusted in the LORD
without wavering.

2 Test me, O LORD, and try me,
examine my heart and my mind;

3 for your love is ever before me,
and I walk continually in your truth.

4 I do not sit with deceitful men,
nor do I consort with hypocrites;

5 I abhor the assembly of evildoers
and refuse to sit with the wicked.

Psalm 1:1 (New American Standard Bible)

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

6 I wash my hands in innocence,
and go about your altar, O LORD,

7 proclaiming aloud your praise
and telling of all your wonderful deeds.

Ps26 altar

Take 30 seconds right now and thank God for (as many as you can of) all the good gifts he has given to you in the past week!  Keep that list of thanksgiving going in your mind all day long!

8 I love the house where you live, O LORD,
the place where your glory dwells.

9 Do not take away my soul along with sinners,
my life with bloodthirsty men,

10 in whose hands are wicked schemes,
whose right hands are full of bribes.

11 But I lead a blameless life;
redeem me and be merciful to me.

12 My feet stand on level ground;
in the great assembly I will praise the LORD.

Psalm 143:10 (New International Version)

Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is a hymn that came to mind upon reading the last line of this psalm:  in the great assembly I will praise the LORD.

from Wikipedia:

O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” is a Christian hymn written by Charles Wesley. Charles Wesley wrote over 6,000 hymns, many of which were subsequently reprinted, frequently with alterations, in hymnals, particularly those of Methodist Churches.

Charles Wesley was suffering a bout of pleurisy in May, 1738, while he and his brother were studying under the Moravian scholar Peter Bohler in London. At the time, Wesley was plagued by extreme doubts about his faith. Taken to bed with the sickness on May 21 Wesley was attended by a group of Christians who offered him testimony and basic care, and he was deeply affected by this. He read from his Bible and found himself deeply affected by the words, and at peace with God. Shortly his strength began to return. He wrote of this experience in his journal and counted it as a renewal of his faith; when his brother John had a similar experience on the 24th, the two men met and sang a hymn Wesley had written in praise of his renewal.

One year from the experience, Wesley was taken with the urge to write another hymn, this one in commemoration of his renewal of faith. This hymn took the form of an 18-stanza poem, beginning with the opening lines ‘Glory to God, and praise, and love,/Be ever, ever given’ and was published in 1740 and entitled ‘For the anniversary day of one’s conversion’. The seventh verse, which begins, ‘O for a thousand tongues to sing’, and which now is invariably the first verse of a shorter hymn, recalls the words of Peter Bohler who said, ‘Had I a thousand tongues I would praise Him with them all.’ The hymn was placed first in John Wesley’s A Collection of Hymns for the People Called Methodists published in 1780. It appeared first in every (Wesleyan) Methodist hymnal from that time until the publication of Hymns and Psalms in 1983.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Examine.   http://www.dailylifeverse.com/posts/images/2013/06/psalm-26-2.jpg?s=full
26:2 with white lilacs.    http://wonders.wallpaperdave.com/reqw12.jpg
I come to your altar.    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/3e/18/10/3e18107d719570f67fe25f7fd218af8d.jpg
level ground.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/level-ground1.jpg

1522.) Psalm 17

March 3, 2015
a prayer for every day

a prayer for every day

Psalm 17

Prayer for Deliverance from Persecutors

1Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.

2From you let my vindication come; let your eyes see the right.

3If you try my heart, if you visit me by night, if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me; my mouth does not transgress.

4As for what others do, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.

5My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.

6I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me, hear my words.

7Wondrously show your steadfast love, O savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.

Ps17 Remember me

Luke 23:42-43 (New International Version)

Then one of the criminals said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

8Guard me as the apple of the eye;

"apple" of my "I" phone

“apple” of my “I” phone

hide me in the shadow of your wings,

17-butterfly wings

9from the wicked who despoil me, my deadly enemies who surround me.

10They close their hearts to pity; with their mouths they speak arrogantly.

11They track me down; now they surround me; they set their eyes to cast me to the ground.

12They are like a lion eager to tear, like a young lion lurking in ambush.

13Rise up, O Lord, confront them, overthrow them! By your sword deliver my life from the wicked,

14from mortals—by your hand, O Lord— from mortals whose portion in life is in this world. May their bellies be filled with what you have stored up for them; may their children have more than enough; may they leave something over to their little ones.

15As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.

Luke 2:30-31 (New Living Translation)

I have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared for all people.

"Head of Christ"  by Warner Sallman, 1940

“Head of Christ” by Chicago painter Warner Sallman, 1940.  More than 500 million copies of this portrait have been sold.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Hillsong’s “One Desire.”  Nothing better than the Crucified One.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
unfailing love.    https://aarondarnell.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/aaron-darnell.jpg
three crosses.  http://markdroberts.com/images/Stations-11-remember-7.jpg
I-phone.   http://www.kitguru.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/apple_iphone_61.jpg
butterfly.  http://www.mybutterflies.com/images/Bookmarks/Psalm_17-8_copy.jpg
Sallman.  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/ee/The_Head_of_Christ_by_Warner_Sallman_1941.jpg/220px-The_Head_of_Christ_by_Warner_Sallman_1941.jpg

1479.) Psalm 13 and 14

January 1, 2015

13. sundial

Psalm 13

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

1How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

2How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

The green comments on Psalm 13 are from The Message of the Psalms, by Walter Brueggmann: 

(Walter Brueggemann is an American Protestant Old Testament scholar and theologian, widely considered one of the most influential Old Testament scholars of the last several decades.)

This is a psalm of personal lament.  It begins with five rhetorical questions (in Hebrew, four) which describe a situation of disorientation and fix the blame firmly on Yahweh.  The crisis in relationship with Yahweh is at the bottom of the external problem of troubles in the world.  The speech is a barrage of someone in a sore condition.

3Consider and answer me, O Lord my God! Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,

4and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”; my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

Verses 3 and 4 provide a petition and a motivation.  The petition:  “consider, answer, give light.”  The psalmist is clear that there is no way out of the trouble unless Yahweh can act.  The motivations communicate to Yahweh what is at stake:  or “I will sleep the sleep of death . . . and my enemy will say . . . , and my foes will rejoice.”  The psalmist makes his problem into Yahweh’s problem, providing data out of which Yahweh can make a new act.

5But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

6I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

We do not know how long the psalmist waited, but now things are changed.  He is on his way to a new orientation:  “I  have trusted . . .  my heart shall rejoice . . . I will sing. . .”  These three personal references are matched by three references to Yahweh:  “your steadfast love . . . your salvation  . . . the Lord.”  The psalmist is clear about the source of help, and breaks loose in doxology.  The sense of disorientation is overcome, released to a new, grateful, trustful communion.  The accused Yahweh has now become the praised Yahweh.

13. Fig+Tree

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (New International Version)

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “How Can I Keep from Singing?” — the Oakwood University Aeolians.  The mission of Oakwood University (Huntsville, AL), a historically black, Seventh-day Adventist institution, is to transform students through biblically-based education for service to God and humanity.

_________________________

Psalm 14

Denunciation of Godlessness

1Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”

13. TIME Is God Dead

“God is dead.”
–Friedrich Nietzsche

“God is dead” — Nietzsche.
“Nietzsche is dead.” — God.
–graffiti

“God is dead.  Nietzsche is dead.  And I’m not feeling so good myself.”
–Woody Allen

They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is no one who does good.

2The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind to see if there are any who are wise, who seek after God.

3They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse; there is no one who does good, no, not one.

Romans 3:10-18 (New International Version)

As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.
The poison of vipers is on their lips.
Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

4Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon the Lord?

5There they shall be in great terror, for God is with the company of the righteous.

6You would confound the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.

7O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion! When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people, Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
sundial.  http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2216/2273473796_df9b41a468.jpg
fig tree.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/ff111-fig2btree2b00063.jpg
Time magazine cover.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/009c4-isgoddead.jpg

1478.) Psalms 11 and 12

December 31, 2014
In the Lord I take refuge . . .

In the Lord I take refuge . . .

Psalm 11

Song of Trust in God

1In the Lord I take refuge;

2 Corinthians 3:4 (New Living Translation)

We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ.

how can you say to me, “Flee like a bird to the mountains;

2for look, the wicked bend the bow, they have fitted their arrow to the string, to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.

3If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

4The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven. His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind.

11. eyes of the Lord earth

2 Chronicles 16:9 (New Living Translation)

The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

5The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and his soul hates the lover of violence.

6On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and sulfur; a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.

7For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.
_________________________

Music:

HERE  Paul Wilbur sings about the God of truth and life in “Let the Weight of Your Glory Fall.”  It is a wonderful song for worshiping our Lord, as with the Psalmist we ask to behold his face.

We do not seek Your hand
We only seek Your face
We want to know You
We want to see You
Reveal Your glory in this place

_________________________

Psalm 12

12. fire for silver

Plea for Help in Evil Times

1Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly; the faithful have disappeared from humankind.

2They utter lies to each other; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

3May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts,

4those who say, “With our tongues we will prevail; our lips are our own—who is our master?”

5“Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan, I will now rise up,” says the Lord; “I will place them in the safety for which they long.”

6The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure,

John 8:26   (NRSV)

“The one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.”

silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.

Silver ingots

pure silver ingots, 10 troy ounces each

7You, O Lord, will protect us; you will guard us from this generation forever.

8On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among humankind.

Just one example of “vileness” being “exalted”:

Globally, porn is a $97 billion industry, according to Kassia Wosick, assistant professor of sociology at New Mexico State University. Between $10 billion and $12 billion of that comes from the United States.

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/porn-industry-feeling-upbeat-about-2014-n9076

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
refuge.  http://wonders.wallpaperdave.com/ps64-09.jpg
eyes of the Lord on the earth.  http://rlv.zcache.com/the_eyes_of_the_lord_poster-p228420788755933712qzz0_400.jpg
fire.  http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2519/3884836710_44dcac29b0.jpg
silver ingots.  http://www.nunemakers.com/images/silverbars10oz.JPG

1477.) Psalm 10

December 30, 2014

P10 v12 hands
Psalm 10

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

1Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

“The presence of God is the joy of his people, but any suspicion of his absence is distracting beyond measure. . . . It is not the trouble, but the hiding of our Father’s face, which cuts us to the quick.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

2In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor— let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.

3For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart, those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord.

4In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, “God will not seek it out”; all their thoughts are, “There is no God.”

Psalm 53:1 (English Standard Version)

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

5Their ways prosper at all times; your judgments are on high, out of their sight; as for their foes, they scoff at them.

6They think in their heart, “We shall not be moved; throughout all generations we shall not meet adversity.”

7Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under their tongues are mischief and iniquity.

How often the wicked speech of men –- which is often today regarded as no sin at all -– is regarded as sin in the Psalms. “Cursing, lying, threatening, and troubling and evil speech are all destructive. They flow from one who does not believe that God will hold him or her accountable.”

–James Montgomery Boice

8They sit in ambush in the villages; in hiding places they murder the innocent. Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;

"They are hungry lions hiding in the bushes . . ."

“They are hungry lions hiding in the bushes . . .”

9they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert; they lurk that they may seize the poor; they seize the poor and drag them off in their net.

10They stoop, they crouch, and the helpless fall by their might.

11They think in their heart, “God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

12Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; do not forget the oppressed.

13Why do the wicked renounce God, and say in their hearts, “You will not call us to account”?

“The long-suffering of God, instead of leading such a one to repentance, only hardens him in his iniquity. Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, he thinks it will not be executed at all.”

–George Horne

14But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief, that you may take it into your hands; the helpless commit themselves to you; you have been the helper of the orphan.

“You are the helper of the fatherless” — children like these from Haiti.

15Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers; seek out their wickedness until you find none.

16The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations shall perish from his land.

17O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek; you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear

18to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed, so that those from earth may strike terror no more.

In this psalm, the initial despair in times of trouble ends with calm confidence in God’s justice and victory.  The promises are sure:

  • You shall not always be forgotten at the mercy-seat; so keep praying.
  • You shall not always be forgotten in the Word; so keep reading.
  • You shall not always be forgotten from the pulpit; so keep hearing.
  • You shall not always be forgotten at the Lord’s Table; so keep receiving.
  • You shall not always be forgotten in your service; so keep serving.

—David Guzik

_________________________

Music:

Verse 16 says, “The Lord is king forever and ever.”  HERE  is “Jesus Shall Reign” written by Isaac Watts in 1719.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Arise, Lord!    http://oneyearbibleimages.com/psalm10_12.jpg
lion.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/10-lion-in-grass.jpg?w=450
orphans in Haiti.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/orphans-haiti1.jpg

1476.) Psalm 9

December 29, 2014

P9 v10
Psalm 9

God’s Power and Justice

1I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

2I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Let us not be half-hearted in our praise to God!

Luke 1:46-48 (Contemporary English Version)

Mary said:

With all my heart

I praise the Lord,

and I am glad

because of God my Savior.

He cares for me,

his humble servant.

3When my enemies turned back, they stumbled and perished before you.

4For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne giving righteous judgment.

5You have rebuked the nations, you have destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name forever and ever.

Proverbs 10:7 (New International Version)

The memory of the righteous will be a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot.

6The enemies have vanished in everlasting ruins; their cities you have rooted out; the very memory of them has perished.

7But the Lord sits enthroned forever, he has established his throne for judgment.

8He judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with equity.

P9 globe

from the Nicene Creed:

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ . . .
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

9The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

10And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

To know God’s name(s) is to know who He is and what He does.  Here are three of God’s names:

Jehovah-Ropheka — The Lord our Healer

El-Shaddai — The God Who is Sufficient for the Needs of His People

Jehovah-Jireh — The Lord our Provider

11Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion. Declare his deeds among the peoples.

12For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

13Be gracious to me, O Lord. See what I suffer from those who hate me; you are the one who lifts me up from the gates of death,

14so that I may recount all your praises, and, in the gates of daughter Zion, rejoice in your deliverance.

Years ago, when I was a teacher in Izmir, Turkey, I saw a poster on the door of the US military chaplain’s office there.  I have never forgotten it.  It said:

Let nothing so fill you with sorrow that you forget the joy of Christ risen!

Which is another way of saying, “I will rejoice in your deliverance.”

15The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid has their own foot been caught.

16The Lord has made himself known, he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah

17The wicked shall depart to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.

18For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever.

9. Hope is the Thing Art

(Read the Emily Dickinson poem in the poster above!)

Proverbs 23:18 (New International Version)

There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” by the lovely Cadet Sisters.

_________________________

19Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail; let the nations be judged before you.

20Put them in fear, O Lord; let the nations know that they are only human. Selah

Resources:

9. Shawshank

The Shawshank Redemption is a story that speaks to many of the the themes the Psalmist has brought up in this chapter:  the suffering of the innocent, justice, judgment on the wicked, hope for those oppressed, a time of great loss followed by a new future.  Starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins and released in 1994, the movie follows two imprisoned men who learn to trust each other and choose life.  My favorite line — “Fear can hold you prisoner.  Hope can set you free.”

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Psalm 9:10.  http://wallpaper4god.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Psalm-9-10.jpg
whole heart.    http://withmywholeheart.net/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/with_my_whole_heart_logo.49180139.JPG
globe.  http://www.geographicguide.com/pictures/maps/globe-africa-countries.jpg
Rejoice in the Lord always.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/rejoice.jpg?w=450
“Hope is the thing with feathers / that perches in the soul / and sings the tune without the words / and never stops at all.” — from a poem by Emily Dickinson.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/hopeisthethingart.jpg
The Shawshank Redemptionhttp://image.mcomet.com/iw/1994/0111161/2007_10_26_01_28_32_48437_0_4.jpg

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