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Jason Silver

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2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 |

Thoughts and Reflections on Scripture

2017

January February March April May June July August September October November December

December

Friday, December 29th, 2017
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When one reads some of the more “negative” Psalms; the more vengeful, anti-other-nations Psalms, it's pretty common to question why they're even included in the scriptures. They don't seem to reflect the love for one's enemies like God directs us to do.

But my wife, Joanne, pointed out something insightful this morning. She said, as humans, these are common emotions - we'd love to put people in their place, to seek vengeance ourselves for the wrongs against us.

Oh, to give that person a “piece of my mind!” But what we ought to do, is to tell God - and that's why these Psalms are so important.

It's comforting to know that David, and others in history have struggled through the difficult things like we have. It's also comforting to know that God welcomes or cries to him, and is there to protect and defend us, even vindicate us.

I can think of a lot of people who have sought to destroy my reputation, to damage my influence, to ruin my efficacy. I'm sure you can think of a few too. Does it comfort you to know that God is in your corner, that he understands?

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Friday, December 22nd, 2017
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This Psalm reads like a personal testimony- (a story to describe one's own struggles and faith).

In this instance, the Psalmist is tempted to be jealous, since the ungodly seem to get whatever they want, they have strong bodies, they have lots of followers, and seem to be able to deceive others without any consequence. They don't have any cares, and their wealth just keeps growing.

As he continues to consider the state of his mind, he feels bad for even thinking these things. How can he think this way, when he's responsible for others- is he being false to the children he teaches?

So he goes to the temple, and there he realizes that the wicked are on slippery ground. They're like a bad dream, they will face an ultimate destruction some day. They are not getting away with it all.

Now the Psalmist recalls how he felt so bitter toward God, ignorant, self-centered, like an animal without sense. But he knows that even in that state, God was still honourable to him.

He ends with praising God, since he has so much to be thankful for!

This is a beautiful Psalm, and I'm sure we can all relate. Life often seems unfair, and evil people do seem to get away with their behaviour for a little while. But serving God last forever.

Amen!

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Thursday, December 14th, 2017
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This is one of those Psalms that varies quite a bit from one translation to the next. For example, it seems to be addressing “you gods” in the first verse, and some translations make it “Lords,” or “Rulers.” I chose the latter, since that seemed to be the general consensus among the translations.

Another phrase, “untimely birth” is perplexing, but I chose to use what I read in one translation: stillborn.

All that to say, this is a rather unusual Psalm. Singing about bathing in the blood of the wicked, and singing about snails and slime, about the pots in the fire of thorns-- well, just a little on the awkward side of things.

Perhaps this is why Psalm 58 seems to be avoided in the lectionary - I did a search through the Revised Common Lectionary and the Lutheran Service Book lectionary, and at least in those, it was nowhere to be found.

But what can we take from this scripture? Surely it's been included in the Bible canon and part of Israel's and Christianity's worship for thousands of years for a reason?

The main point of this Psalm, in my opinion, is summarized in the last line: people will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous, surely there's a God who judges on earth.”

This is a valid point, because it is difficult to see the merit of living righteously. People who live sinfully often seem to have everything they want. Whether it be power, fame, or wealth, these are the rewards for cut-throat behaviour. But what do those who live a life of gentle love and holiness get?

No “pat answers” allowed here, no trite response; it's a valid question.

It's easy for me, since I'm an idealist: I just believe it's intrinsically better, because I want it to be. I try to live a life of gentle love and righteousness because it's beautiful to do so.

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Friday, December 8th, 2017
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Giving thanks is such an important aspect of living life, we all know it intuitively, I think; and yet somehow struggle with doing it.

Just a quick Google search for “giving thanks” will show that you don't have to be religious to recognize the importance of living under a sense of gratefulness. It has a mental benefit which you can read all about on various medical websites!

We all have much to be grateful for: if not our health, our families, or a warm place to sleep, we can at least thank God for life itself! We can thank God for the air we breathe, the water which satisfies our thirst, the warm sun on our faces, or a cool breeze on our neck.

Life is full of beauty, and we can be thankful for the way we feel when we see a child playing, or watch the sunrise.

Please leave a comment about something YOU are thankful for.

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Friday, December 1st, 2017
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From a Christian mindset- from the perspective of “turning the other cheek,” and avoiding violence, scripture that refers to wars, victory, fortifications, armies, and foes can seem out of place. Jesus went as a lamb to the slaughter, and most Christians that I know are not warmongers, but are instead longing for a time of peace.

So how do we read these scriptures, and find blessing and truth in them?

It's not as hard as you might think- we can all relate to calling on God for help in many situations, and feeling like he's just not there, that he's not listening, and that he doesn't come to our aid. The scripture reminds us that the real battle is not against “flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

It's a different way of looking at the struggles we face, even the conflicts we have with other people. Bringing the God of peace into our battles changes /not just the situation/ but changes us too.

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November

Friday, November 24th, 2017
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For many people, the word, “awesome” has lost it's impact; I tend to throw it around to describe a good “grilled-cheese sandwich,” or a funny joke: “That's awesome,” I say with a chuckle!

But awe shouldn't be so cheap, right? To be left breathless in wonder-- that's what the word really means. It's use is better suited to the feeling we have when confronted with the expanse of the cosmos or the majesty of mighty mountains!

We should also feel this way about the power, beauty, love, justice, and grace of God Almighty. He INDEED is awesome.

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Friday, November 17th, 2017
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Ah, complaining. We all do it, even Psalmists who lived thousands of years ago. But don't start feeling too smug yet in your grumbling. These are complaints of a different kind.

We have a saying around our family and friends: “These are first world problems.” We remind each other of this when we're tempted to complain about the mundane discomforts we face from time to time.

But this Psalmist is complaining about secret plots of wicked people, the scheming of evildoers, who think they can get away with undermining and destroying other people. They lay traps and snares and shoot arrows to kill.

The good news is that God hears our complaints, and cares about our suffering. Lift your heart to him, that he will hear your prayer.

Amen

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Friday, November 10th, 2017
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Do you come from a family of believers? Maybe you have a grandmother who has faithfully prayed for you for years, or maybe you've been blessed to have been part of a church since you were a child?

I have grown up in the church, and have heard the stories of how God has mightily made himself known to my people. Close calls from car accidents, maybe, or a healing from cancer- a prayer for a child to be born safely, or the saving of a marriage-- these are just a few of many types of prayers one hears.

But in this Psalm, the writer cries out to God; he says, “I've heard how you've done great deeds, back in the old days... my grandparents have told me the way you saved them, but, what about me?”

The Psalmist continues by saying, “I know the way you brought us this country, how it was through your strength, and not my ancestors strength that these battles were won. But what about now? What about today, and our battles?”

That's so real. That's so honest! For most of us, all we've got to go on are the stories we've heard, but it can seem like God isn't listening to our need.

Like this poet, we tell God, “Yes! You are my God, I trust only in you. Yet it seems like you're just not here. You've rejected me, you've let the enemies win.”

That's just one aspect of what makes the Psalms such a great place to go when we are lonely, afraid, and feel like God isn't even listening.

Lord, rise up! Come to our help. Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.

Amen.

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Friday, November 3rd, 2017
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It takes a certain amount of self-awareness to realize one needs mercy from God.

Lots of people think they're doing great. They remind themselves that they haven't killed anyone lately, they aren't molesting children, or robbing banks at gunpoint.

But let's be brutally honest about our lack of morality. Each of us do wrong, whether it's speeding in our car and breaking a law, downloading things illegally, having lustful thoughts, hating someone, wishing misfortune upon someone... none of us are really deserving in OUR OWN MERIT to receive eternal life from God.

I think a big part of enjoying life to its fullest is taking an honest appraisal of our own shortcomings, owning these failings (ie, not blaming others for them), and asking for mercy from God.

We can then truly be thankful to God and “exalt him,” and to desire his glory over all the earth.

Imagine, JUST IMAGINE, an earth where we are honest with ourselves and each other, and seek mercy and forgiveness!

Amen.

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October

Friday, October 27th, 2017
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Are you ever afraid?

Who isn't, right? Fear can wear lots of different masks, whether it's jealousy, worry, obsessive compulsive behaviour, social anxiety, and many other negative emotions.

At their root is that old enemy, fear, and we all face it.

But God is so completely deserving of our trust. Just try to imagine a being entirely full of perfect love! Such a being would be entirely trustworthy and safe, right? God.

We can all identify with this Psalmist, talking about enemies trampling over him, people fighting with him. He complains of evil thoughts against him, people trying to take him out, to betray him and hurt him!

But God keeps his “tears in a bottle,” knowing ever cry, tracking it all, and vindicating and saving him from destruction!

Do not despair, God is FOR us! There is no reason to be afraid.

Amen.

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Friday, October 20th, 2017
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From everlasting! That's such a long time.

Recently I've been confronted with the reality of death again... an acquaintance has passed away recently, a young person full of life and vitality and beauty, newly married, and yet overtaken by the monster we call cancer.

Whenever this kind of thing happens, I reflect on how short life really is. Whether you live 100 years or 1 year, in the span of eternity, in light of the millions of years humans have been here, in light of the eons before that this this earth spun in space, our lives are insignificant moments in time.

And yet, none of this changes the reality that God is God. God is “our dwelling place,” our reality. We die, we fall to dust, others take our place, and as this Psalm says, God continues to be God!

In the middle of this Psalm, right after celebrating God's eternal nature, the writer asks God to release his people from torment and affliction, in compassion to satisfy us with his love so we can rejoice!

Can you identify? Do you ever feel insignificant? Are you despairing from the situation you find yourself in? Take heart. God is God! He will always be God, in his love, mercy, faithfulness, and truth.

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Friday, October 13th, 2017
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This is one of the most melancholy and depressive Psalms in the Bible, and unlike so many others, it doesn't even even with a positive, “Well at least you're God, and you'll save me” conclusion.

Perhaps this melody is a strange fit too, because it has an upbeat feel to it-- for some reason it just seemed right, and I think without that, it would be nearly unbearable in its sorrow and lament.

But I know we've all been there, and we can all relate. Life is hard just as often as it's not.

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Friday, October 6th, 2017
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The last few months have been a challenge for me personally, and for many of us who attend a church in our village. Through a series of unfortunate events, and what amounts to essentially poor communication, we've been without a place to worship since September.

Those of you who have followed my channel for some time will know that a group of us have been trying to build a congregation from new believers and disillusioned former-churchgoers. We started “The Crossing” service about 6 years ago.

We embraced the liturgy, and the liturgical calendar of weekly scripture readings, but we used modern music and encouraged emotional engagement and expression.

There has been something really beautiful about the way God has worked among us.

Six years ago, we joined a local congregation, meeting in their church on Saturday nights. On the surface it may appear that we have lots in common: we're in the same building, we are using Anglican liturgy, and are led by an Anglican priest (when we have one- another story). We've helped raise lots of money to pay for the bills and expenses of such an old stone building. However, below the surface we worship in very different ways, and we seem to have a different understanding of what it means to live by faith than some of the people in the other group.

There have been a few people who have been very antagonistic toward us, and to me specifically. They've accused me (behind my back, of course) of being in it for personal self-interest, and they've been calling it “The Jason Silver Show.” I've heard people are saying that I have no education or experience (certainly not true) and silly things like “I sell miracles and hugs online!” It's funny, kind of, but there is a real destructive force behind this movement to undermine the work of God.

I haven't wanted to talk about it much until now, because I don't want to get in the way of possible reconciliation. We are in the process of that restoration now, and I have hope for it to be much better when we come back.

Please pray for us, that we will exude love, grace, and tender compassion to all involved!

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September

Friday, September 8th, 2017
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I think one desire we all share - one longing most humans strive for, is to be known truly and deeply.

Oftentimes we may fear it because such intimacy can be threatening. We get good at hiding our true selves from other people, and even from ourselves. It's scary to be seen plainly and purely, to have our best shielding and strongest defence mechanisms rendered ineffective, and yet we all secretly want it.

God loves us, knows us fully, and protects us! What freedom to be ourselves!

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Friday, September 1st, 2017
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Psalm 38 stands out from many of the others by the tone of penitence that really goes from the beginning through to the end. David is full of grief and complaint, crying of his sins and afflictions which he feels contribute to his sickness and pain. He speaks of friends who abandon him, and enemies who torment him.
He even feels the displeasure of God on his life, and yet cries out to god about all of the offences against him.

But in David's beautiful way, he doesn't end there- he remembers to praise God in the end, and confesses his sins in humility and even joy.

When we sing along with this psalm, we ought to be strongly affected with the terribleness of sin; and, even if we are not in the depths of despair as David is, we can agree that our heart is dark, and the future is unclear. In that instance, we must sing of them by way of preparation. We can also realize that some of our friends and acquaintances may be in this place, and therefore we should sing along by way of sympathy.

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August

Friday, August 25th, 2017
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Our life is a moment in eternity, a wisp of wind, a flash in the pan, here today, gone tomorrow, a breath...

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Friday, August 18th, 2017
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This is an interesting Psalm - it was referred to by the author of Hebrews when he spoke of Jesus being a high priest like Melchizedek.

This is a prophetic song by David, referring to his own reign, but obviously also the reign of Jesus Christ, the great King of kings.

This excerpt explains a bit about Melchizedek:

Who was the mysterious Melchizedek mentioned only a few times in the Bible. Surprisingly, his name is more of a title than a personal reference. It comes from two Hebrew words, melek and tsedeq. The word melek means ‘king’ and tsedeq means ‘righteousness,’ ... Note that this priest in the book of Genesis, chapter 14, was the king of SALEM. The word Salem means ‘peace.’ This makes Melchizedek the “King of Peace” (also seen in Hebrews 7:2).

The first scripture referring to this priest is in the book of Genesis chapter 14, near the middle of the chapter: “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand'” (Genesis 14:14, 16 - 18, NKJV throughout).

The second reference to this priest of God is in the book of Psalms: “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool . . . ‘ The Lord has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’ “ (Psalm 110:1 - 4).


Isn't that amazing?

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Friday, August 11th, 2017
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It can be a real challenge to wait on the Lord patiently, especially in the face of wicked, evil people. It can appear that those wrongdoers always come out on top.

Sometimes it seems like it doesn”t pay to be good! When the evil prosper and the good suffer, we may be tempted to doubt the goodness of God. You might even be tempted to say “Forget it!” and join the evildoers.

Those people may drive the nicest cars and own the most toys, but they are like grass that is green one day, but faded and dry the next.

Isn't it better to choose love and peace, kindness and patience, and self-control? It might not be very glamorous, but is has it's own beauty because it's the right thing to do, and because God has asked us to reflect his nature, not the nature of the evil one.

It's essentially an exercise in submission: submitting to God's will for you, even when it seems crazy.

You can be like David. Put on trust, put on obedience, put on patience, put on humility. Be delighted in the Lord!

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Friday, August 4th, 2017
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One of the wonderful things about scripture is that it's written by honest people, who aren't afraid to tell us what they're really feeling and thinking.

So often among the religious, people feel the need to pretend that everything is okay, to pretend that they don't feel anger at god, or lonely, or disenchanted. They pretend, and so actually isolate themselves from everyone else.

This Psalm is another attributed to David, and he wrote it after he had ran from Saul (the first time), and after he had faked insanity in front of Abimelech.

Needless to say, this was not a high time in his life.

Take courage from scripture. Join with David and others in your despair and find some light to rejoice in your soul, for God is good!

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July

Friday, July 28th, 2017
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I don't know, it just seemed like the words to this Psalm were supposed to be blues... all that talk about a ploughman ploughing furrows on my back, and the repetition in the first verse... had to do it.

It's fun, and I hope you enjoy it!

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Friday, July 14th, 2017
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This is the Psalm that David wrote as a young man when he was victorious over his enemies, including Saul. But it was also the same Psalm he sang to God on his death bed (as described in 1 Samuel 31 and 2 Samuel 1).

It's one of the longest Psalms and so turned out to be a pretty long song, too. I hope you can make it all the way through!

I think it's pretty awesome if we can, like David, look back at the end of our life and affirm the praise of our youth. God's faithfulness is a surety.

I wrote a song as a young man, which I come back to often. I'll upload it here someday! It's called, “You've Been so Faithful."

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June

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017
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This is a quick little song I wrote today; it was more of a whim than an inspiration, a challenge to write a song on a specific topic of finding release and healing. It's short and sweet, I think it goes well with this video I took while in the boat with my dad and family last summer.

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Friday, June 16th, 2017
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This psalm talks about the futility of worshipping idols - gods who, though they may have eyes, and ears, and feet, cannot see or hear or walk.

We may not live in an era where people worship statues, but we worship other things - mostly money and fame.

I think fame is of particular note in the current era. Prestige especially seems to be something we're all hungering for.

Did you know that science has shown a direct correlation between how much time a person spends on social media, and how depressed they feel? I think it stirs up feelings of jealousy and discontent. What is posting, essentially, than a type of bragging? “This is how great I look, this is how beautiful a family I have, this is the fantastic vacation I get to be on! Don't you love my life?”

It's nothing that social media has caused, rather, Facebook has highlighted an underlying tendency of us all - it's human nature to look for meaning and fulfillment in things which can never satisfy.

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Friday, June 9th, 2017
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"Hear O Israel” is part of the traditional and history of both ancient Israel and Christianity.

First, in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 it says:
“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates.”

Later, when Jesus was teaching his followers, someone asked him what the most important commandment in the scriptures was. His answer is written in Mark 12:29-31. He says:
“”˜The most important one,” answered Jesus, ”˜is this: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.”

We sing this often in our service, right after the sermon, as a way of reminding ourselves of this most critical teaching. There is only one God, and he deserves our everything, and we should love others the same way we love ourselves.

I pray this is a blessing to you, and ask you to consider supporting my ministry at Patreon.com/JasonSilver

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Friday, June 2nd, 2017
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This is a fun Psalm - every other line repeats the same thing: For His steadfast love endures forever.

The Psalmist recounts all the evidence and examples of God being faithful (steadfast) and loving... caring for his people, saving them from Egypt, from the armies of Pharaoh.

I took the liberty of not always repeating the steadfast love line; otherwise it might get a tad bit repetitive. I think it worked out pretty good as it is.

If you're interested in using these songs in your church, please go ahead. I even have the song charts / music available on my site JasonSilver.com, and you may download them all for free if you're a subscriber at Patreon.com/JasonSilver

God bless!

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May

Friday, May 26th, 2017
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I met a new friend a few weeks ago on YouTube, who posted the lyrics to this song on one of my videos. When he did, I was intrigued: it was beautiful poetry, it used Jesus’ “real” name, there was no author attributed, and I couldn't find it on the web.

Yeshua Cry
Yeshua...
You are the Son of God with all power and might.
The Word made flesh to manifest God's love and light.
Drawing near the far...
Bright Morning Star...
Yeshua
Because of You we'll make it through the night.
Your healing hands have restored man through many plight.
I'm no exception Lord...
We need you more and more...
Yeshua
You are the way, the truth and the life
You are the Man God's perfect lamb you paid the price.
On Calvary...
Where you died for me...
Yeshua... Jesus
Drawing near the far...
Bright Morning Star...
I'm no exception Lord...
We need You more and more...
On Calvary...
You died for Us...
Yeshua... Jesus

So I asked the fellow who posted, and he said he wrote it! I knew it had to be made into a song, but I wasn't sure how he would take that suggestion. However, I needn't worry. He was also curious about how it might sound.

This new friend's name is Samuel Brewer. In fact, he recently decided to help me in my project at Patreon, God bless him!!

I've done him a wee bit of a disservice in that the lyrics are not exactly the same as the original, which is unfortunate. The words were very nice just as they were. However, I found it hard to put them all into the melody, so hopefully this will suffice.

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Friday, May 19th, 2017
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I love it that I had to actually repeat this Psalm three times in order to make it long enough, and it's still less than two minutes long! Some of the Psalms are so long that making them an interesting melody is very nearly impossible.

Psalm 18 is like that. I've finally finished it, but I'm not sure anyone will want to listen to it when it's recorded! :)

Psalm 117 is beautiful because it reminds us that God is faithful, and that his loyal, faithful, and steadfast love is for all people and nations!

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Friday, May 12th, 2017
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God does whatever he pleases - and that's awesome! He made all things, affects the very weather, he acts in history, and his people should praise him for these things!

Why?

Because he's good! We can sing to him, knowing that his grace is perfect, -- he owns us all, and he will treat us well! He will defend us, and have compassion on we, his servants.

While others around us might focus on the idols of wealth and control, all they can expect is to become dead like the very things that take their attention.

Every house, every person, all who love and fear him, bless him!

Amen

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Friday, May 5th, 2017
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I wrote this in Saskatchewan, back in January of 2016; I decided to record it more professionally this week.

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Thursday, May 4th, 2017
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I remember the first time I head an “Enya” song, I was smitten. The ethereal, otherworldly sound of thick keyboards, big drums, percussive piano, layered vocals-- it was like candy to my ears!

This is a beautiful, poetic Psalm... something about this journey metaphor, with paths and walking through the valley of death. There are many great versions to this song, and I am pleased I can add my version to that long list.

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April

Thursday, April 27th, 2017
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It surely is good to give thanks to God! Not only is God worthy of our thanks, our praise, our declaration of his faithfulness, but when we do, we participate in the grand orchestra- we become an instrument, joining with creation, executing our true purpose to worship him!

So praise him! Join with the rocks, hills, and trees to sing out your thanksgiving!

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Thursday, April 13th, 2017
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It feels appropriate, especially after a long 40 days of lent, to have a celebrational Psalm like this one! Easter is upon us!

I recorded this one live a few months ago, just me and the guitar, as an effort to save time one week. It can get tricky taking a whole day (Thursdays right now) to record a song, mix and master it, make a video, get it uploaded, create a cover, etc. etc. Sometimes I just take the “live recording” approach.

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Thursday, April 6th, 2017
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Here's a song in an unusual metre, that thanks God for being our helper and our saviour!

The Psalmist, (David in this instance it seems), asks God to save him, to vindicate him, to hear his prayer... one of those Psalms that's perfect for retreating to when one feels down or discouraged. God is there to help us, to uphold us, to pay retribution to those who would harm us!

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March

Thursday, March 30th, 2017
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The imagery in Psalm 42 is amazing. . . the idea of a deer thirsting, seeking water in the woods, perhaps after being chased by wolves and managing to elude them... it's beautiful, and we can all relate to that kind of thirst, both for water and for God.

This is my take on the Psalm. It's pretty hard to beat the original, and well-known song “As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after you!” As a young man in the 70s and 80s, this was a standard sung at Christian camp and Sunday School.

But I think there's something pensive and hungering in my version too, and I hope it draws you to call on God in your thirst, your hunger, your depression.

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Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
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Life on this mudball; this round-rock hurling through space at mind-blowing speeds; can seem pointless at times. We are specs in the vastness of space, like tiny mites, we live our lives, grow, love, reproduce, and die.
We strive to know the creator, to imagine what power there could be that at a word would speak everything into existence. It's beyond comprehension. And yet the idea is so simple that it has become a mockery to many.

I find the simplicity of this Psalm so beautiful. The blessings of God are reassuringly practical. To eat by the produce of the work of my hands, to enjoy a loving wife, to watch my beautiful children-- what more could one ask for?

Let's fear God (a holy respect), and walk in his ways.

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Thursday, March 16th, 2017
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The words in this one are a bit wacky at times, but I've tried to make the best of it!

Sometimes I've found songs based on Psalms that just cut out the parts that don't “fit with our theology” or that are uncomfortable for us to hear, nevermind sing! Even the various lectionaries I come across will often politely omit parts of a chapter that don't align well.

But that seems wrong to me, somehow.

In any case, what can we take from this? We can see that the love between God and his people is strong and faithful. We can agree with the Psalmist and participate in the kind of adoration he's describing, singing, making melody, awaking with the dawn to praise God with our instruments!

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Thursday, March 9th, 2017
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The last few days have been a little challenging for me. I mean, right now I feel fine, but I moped around the house for a day or two.

Why? Well, I guess I don't handle conflict very well. As the Psalmist says in this Psalm, number 120: “I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war.”

So there are people in my life who seem bent on my destruction. Or at least that's how it seems. They're probably more concerned about themselves and how they look, but the conflict has been challenging, and tiring, and it's hard not to despair.

I'm the kind of guy that really wants to get along with people. But at the exact same time, I'm the kind of guy that tends to confront people when they do something I perceive to not be right.

Not a great combination.

So Sunday night, as I was trying to decide which of the remaining 41 Psalms I should put to music, I was drawn to this one. Not only did it fit my situation, but it seemed appropriate for Lent.

God is working on me. I've got a long way to go, I know, but I also know that he faithful to complete that which he started!

Amen.

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Thursday, March 2nd, 2017
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What do YOU Think? David, or God, or Who?

This Psalm reads like a promise, or a commitment to be a certain kind of person. I think it may be David's promise to be a good king. Each line has a promise to do something or not do something, for example:

I will sing,
I will study,
I will walk,
I won't look,
I will destroy,
I won't tolerate,
I will favour

Psalm 101 is one of those Psalms that at times feels a tad awkward to read, nevermind sing.

As Christians, we're used to hearing about the complexities of God's personality; he is perfect in love, and yet at times, jealous. He is both patient and impatient with us, a righteous judge, and yet full of forgiveness.

You get the idea.

In this Psalm we read about how the author will destroy the evil in the land, and other seemingly violent things... I suspect it's David promising to be a just king, after all, the Psalm is attributed to David.

What do you think? Does this Psalm have a double meaning? Do you think God is speaking to us through David here, or is there some other way we're to interpret it?

I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts!

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February

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
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The rain in this image invokes the notion of blessing from God, but this Psalm calls us to bless the Lord, which I find interesting... we usually think of blessing as something God provides us - he's blessed us with health, for example, or blessed us with friends and family.

But often in the Old Testament, the word “bless” is intended to mean praise- in fact, in modern versions the word is usually translated as “praise” or “extol.”

So as you sing along with this Psalm, I invite you to bless the Lord!

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Thursday, February 16th, 2017
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Have you ever wondered the different ways you can praise God? This Psalm tell us that even clashing, clanging noise can be praise!

I like to think that you can praise him doing anything at all-- getting out of bed, yawning, watching a TV show, scratching an itch, enjoying an apple, going for a walk, sipping a glass of wine-- these are all ways to express our enjoyment of God, our praise, our celebration of his goodness!

I would love to hear from you about ways you prefer to praise him. Maybe share in the comments different ways to celebrate our God!

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Thursday, February 9th, 2017
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Have you ever felt like the world is against you?

God is there for you, he cares for you, he loves you, he protects you, he'll save you in time of trouble, he'll rescue you, he'll lift you up, he'll “guard your head in times of trouble.”

In this Psalm we're reminded that He is our deliverer. I pray you'll remember that in your hard times, and your low times.

Please leave a comment describing ways in which God has delivered you in times of trouble.

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2017
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It's kind of perfect for me, a Psalm about guarding one's mouth... it tends to be my downfall that I say things I shouldn't, that I blurt out arrogant judgements of other people, that I don't watch what I say.

Like David, I need to call out to the Lord that He would set a guard over my mouth, and watch the door of my lips.

Who else can relate?

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January

Friday, January 27th, 2017
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I've been curious about the phrase, “Land of the Living” for a while. What does it mean? Does it mean not dead? A search on Google makes me think it means not sleeping - that you're conscious. But it comes up a few times in the Psalms, so I wonder if it's the earth, or if it refers to those who are living eternal life?

Anyway, I thought this song came out pretty well. Sort of an ethereal, other-worldly sound to it-- it reminds me of driving at night.

Actually, that was my first plan for the video-- I went for a drive with my girls last night, with the camera mounted on the dash-- we drove down back roads with the high beams shining out in front of us. I hoped that the video would work for this song.

Alas, the video just wasn't clear enough, so I used this beautiful shot from a town in Germany.

God bless you!

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Friday, January 20th, 2017
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It's kind of neat singing a Psalm about singing! It's awesome praising God with my musical instruments, while the words beneath the music are “make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!”

I'm obeying this Psalm when it says “Sing to him a new song,” right?
It's kind of amazing!

This arrangement was a hard one for me. I had the chorus right away, and loved it, but then realized I had the translation set to the NIV-- which is one I try not to use. I did a reset, and went at it again, but it took hours. :-/

In the end, I think the song turned out well. My wife Joanne is singing the harmony with me on the chorus, and as usual her voice is amazing!

Thanks for listening and I ask you to consider whether you can become a patron to my project.

https://patreon.com/JasonSilver

Blessings!

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Friday, January 13th, 2017
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The footage in this video is from a 1912 silent film called “From the Manger to the Cross.” Unfortunately the film doesn't have a resurrection scene, but there are some very good clips nevertheless.

I wrote this song in 2013, when we first started our contemporary liturgical service. Eventually we stopped using it in favour of “The Apostle's Creed Song,” which I wrote a few months later.

I thought it might be fun to record this song in case it was helpful to anyone, or in case anyone could use it in their own church services. As usual, the sheet music for this song is on my web site, jasonsilver.com

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Friday, January 6th, 2017
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As I narrow down the list of Psalms not yet put to contemporary music, they are getting increasingly longer! This is hard, because many words can make for a much longer song, and potentially less interesting too.

This is one of the ones left with a fewer number of verses (only 12), but I still felt the challenge on it.

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