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Book of Psalms, Rich Johnson, Carl Bard


Dear Readers,

"Be still and know that I am God." With these words from Psalm 46,
the Almighty issues us a profound invitation to rest, reflect and find
eternal refuge in HIm. It's quite an irresistible invitation, really, to stop
and have a personalized heart to heart visit with the Almighty. And
the best part is that it's a Come As You Are party. He doesn't care
if we're scared or lonely or sad and broken, He is our refuge.

- Lisa

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Stream in France with trees
Photo by Chuck Bowman    All rights reserved


God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though
the earth should change,
though the mountains shake
in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble
with its tumult.

"Be still, and know that I am God.
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth!"
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Psalm 46:1-3,10-11
The Holy Bible
Revised Standard Version


Note from Lisa:
Rich Johnson is the CEO of his own company, Versa-Tape,
providing self-study audio programs for the California State
Bar Association (
). He is also a columnist
for Sierra Madre's "Mountain Views News" paper. He is a very
funny yet spiritually-grounded man. He offers us the following:

"As a young Christian in the 1960's I was fortunate enough to be involved
in contemporary Christian music. I wrote songs, one of the first I wrote
putting music to the words of the 46th Psalm. It took years but I realized
something about reading the Bible. Many of us read it because we are
told we have to be in good standing with the Lord. Others of us memorize
scripture arming ourselves with truth grenades we can fire off when necessary.

It took years of disappointing drudgery, but I finally discovered, in my opinion,
how to read the Word of God effectively. Now, when I read the Bible I ask
the Lord to lift something off the page; to breathe life into a phrase
or a verse that strikes a chord inside me.

He lifted two profound thoughts off the pages of coincidentally, the 46th Psalm.
The first was in verse 10 where we are encouraged to, "Be still, and know that
I am God." I had read it a million times and even memorized it. But this time the
words lifted right off the page. God was encouraging me to sit still before Him,
which included my mind. The powerful part of prayer was suddenly so much
more than thanking God for stuff, asking Him to help in other stuff, blessing food,
even firing off a few complaints. Empty my mind of active thoughts and sit before
Him. Of course I took it in the shorts from those who suspected I was trying to
usher the heresy of transcendental meditation into the mix. I admitted it was
similar in style, but one key difference: I was surrendering my mind and
thoughts to be silent before the King of Kings. That can't be wrong.

The second profound(ism) uncovered in the 46th Psalm was reading
this part: "The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge."
So, what's profound about that Rich? It sounds like standard Biblical fare.
To understand what is profound about that last quote, mentioned twice by
the way in this Psalm (verses 7 and 11), one needs to know what the name
Jacob means. It means deceiver, a description Jacob more than lived up to
in his early life. And the point here is that the God of Jacob (meaning us at
our WORST) is our refuge. Come to God as pathetic as you are, and He and
you will fix you. We are deceived into believing we can't come to God until
we have fixed and made ourselves presentable to Him. No way, Jose.
Come to him as you are."

- Rich Johnson

The Last Word:

Though no one can go back and make a

now and make a brand new ending.

Carl Bard (1907-1978)
Scottish theologian, writer, broadcaster

































































Utterly Random Bonus Quote:

Patience is the companion of wisdom.

St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
Philosopher and theologian


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I'm Lisa Bowman, editor
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