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03 / autumn issue

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I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord; “plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

the CULTIVATING

journal

Psalm 103

July 15, 2018

 

1

Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is [deep] within me, bless His holy name.

Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And do not forget any of His benefits;

Who forgives all your sins,
Who heals all your diseases;

Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy;

Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle.


The Lord executes righteousness
And justice for all the oppressed.

 



He made known His ways [of righteousness and justice] to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in compassion and lovingkindness.

He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 
He has not dealt with us according to our sins [as we deserve],
Nor rewarded us [with punishment] according to our wickedness.
11 
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear and worship Him [with awe-filled respect and deepest reverence].
12 
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 
Just as a father loves his children,
So the Lord loves those who fear and worship Him [with awe-filled respect and deepest reverence].
14 
For He knows our [mortal] frame;
He remembers that we are [merely] dust.

 

15 
As for man, his days are like grass;
Like a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 
For the wind passes over it and it is no more,
And its place knows it no longer.
17 
But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who [reverently] fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
18 
To those who honor and keep His covenant,
And remember to do His commandments [imprinting His word on their hearts].

19 
The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all [the universe].
20 
Bless the Lord, you His angels,
You mighty ones who do His commandments,
Obeying the voice of His word!
21 
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You who serve Him and do His will.
22 
Bless the Lord, all you works of His, in all places of His dominion;
Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul!



Psalm 103 is the passage I most deeply associate with the season of summer. 

It is resplendent with the overflowing goodness of the Lord.

It sings of His bounty and mercy to us in our real and true conditions.

He remembers tenderly that we are dust and He meets us there with wonder, care, and redemption.

Everything about it captures the lavish hope and beauty that summer reflects.

Many blessings and every grace to be yours,

Note: The image above is titled “Summer Flush” and is (c) Lancia E. Smith Photography.

These are David Austin’s exquisite Jude the Obscure roses growing in our garden. 



 

Lancia E. Smith is an author, photographer, teacher, and business owner based in Colorado. She is editor-in-chief of the online quarterly magazine Cultivating the  Good, True, & Beautiful, and is founder of The Cultivating Project, a discipling initiative for Christians engaged in the arts. A grateful lover of the Triune God, Lancia is passionate about the spiritual formation and discipling creative believers. She and her husband Peter run a thriving environmental and engineering firm and try to keep up with their rambling house and gardens called House on the Way. Lancia loves nearly every book she ever read by C.S. Lewis; drinks strong black coffee with whipped coconut oil and cinnamon; and sincerely hopes in her lifetime to reach zero in her inbox!

Lancia E. Smith

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