The Martyrs’ Psalm, part 1

On February 12, 1554 a martyr mounted a London scaffolding having denounced the Catholic doctrines of salvation by works, transubstantiation, and Papal authority.  As from so many other martyrs, it was Psalm 51 heard recited from their lips before the axe fell or the tinder was lit. 

The martyr’s name was  Lady Jane Grey.

She was 17 years old.

Why Psalm 51?  Why the confession of an adulterous, murderous King on the saintly lips of this young girl and countless others willing to die for their faith?

Just read the following words and imagine them coming from a 17 year old girl with her pious head on a chopping block.

Have mercy on me, O God,

according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy

blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is ever before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned

and done what is evil in your sight,

so that you may be justified in your words

and blameless in your judgment.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,

and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness;

let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins,

and blot out all my iniquities.

10  Create in me a clean heart, O God,

and renew a right spirit within me.

11  Cast me not away from your presence,

and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

12  Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and uphold me with a willing spirit.

13  Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

and sinners will return to you.

14  Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,

O God of my salvation,

and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.

15  O Lord, open my lips,

and my mouth will declare your praise.

16  For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;

you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.

17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18  Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;

build up the walls of Jerusalem;

19  then will you delight in right sacrifices,

in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;

then bulls will be offered on your altar.

King David uses no fewer than 5 different terms for his acts of adultery with Bathsheba and the subsequent murder of her husband:  transgressions, iniquity, sin, evil, and bloodguiltiness.  For these he is pleading with God for mercy, for washing, cleansing, purging, renewal, restoration, deliverance and salvation.  David confesses that the sin he was born in and continued to walk in are not just constantly visible to his own eyes but to God’s as well.  In fact, even though others suffered  deadly consequences as a result of his adultery and murder it was God Himself that David repents of sinning against.  

Like King David, Lady Jane Grey held the throne, albeit for a mere nine days, and like King David she was hunted by another monarch, only her persecutor met with ultimate success.  Neither sought the throne themselves and yet that is where their royal similarities seem to end.  Except for the thing they held most in common– the God they served.  And in her time of deepest testing, it was the failed king’s Psalm of repentance that sprang from Lady Jane Grey’s lips.

To be continued…

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If You Really Want to Soar

Since we acquired internet at our house this summer I decided it was time to dip my toe into the social media universe and get a little experience in those worlds myself before my teenagers had any access.  I’m still not on Facebook but did start following some ministries on Instagram and Twitter.  The ministry content has been great and as long as you keep your feed limited to about 20, a quick scan won’t take up more than a minute or two a day.  That said, I could see right away that if you don’t set parameters and just start following every person you’ve ever known, your screen can quickly become a rabbit hole from which some seldom, if ever, emerge.

Besides sucking up your time, I’ve noticed another alarming feature of Instagram in particular, and that is the propagation of lies.  I don’t just mean the staged, image-driven lifestyle idolatry, I mean the really sinful-advice/worldly-wisdom/bad-theology that shows up on every Christian women’s feed under the guise of self-care/self-love.  Since we’re studying birds right now here’s one that stuck out to me in particular.  @lizziejank reposted it with the appropriate pants on fire pasted on to identify the statement as the lie from hell that it is.

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Ladies, think of Eve a minute.   What method did Satan use to deceive her?  Was it guilt, fear, intimidation, bullying, put-downs? No!  It was lies just like the one above.  “Eve, don’t you want to be like God?  Don’t you want to really soar?”  And how does she respond?  “Yeah, that fruit would actually be good for me, it looks delightful and I deserve it.”  And thus sin and death had immediate lift off.

Even an elementary knowledge of the New Testament would serve to filter lies like “First love yourself” out of your daily diet of Instagram crumbs.  But you’re not going to be able do that unless you are personally feasting on the Word of God.  By that I mean actually reading it yourself.  Like regularly.  And in bigger chunks than your “Verse of the Day” app.  That’s why I love the Bible Reading Challenge for men and women.  If you haven’t heard about it I would strongly encourage you to check it out by clicking here.  Our family is already doing a chronological Bible reading plan together but I really didn’t want to miss out on the Bible Reading Challenge so I signed up via the YouVersion App and am listening to the daily readings on the audio ESV!

You’ve got to take those Instagram lies captive ladies and the only way to do that is by filtering everything through the Word of God.  So as John Piper so eloquently said, “Eat. Bible.” That, my friends, is the ONLY way to soar.

Have you checked out our new old blog, Of Skies and Seas?  Click here to see what’s hatching in our homeschool nest!

 

Off Like A Herd Of Turtles

We always start our first day of school with THE FIRST DAY OF EVERYTHING!

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We are off to a pretty slow start this year.  Maybe we’re all just a little worn out from Gideon’s epic “Down By The Creekbank” Birthday celebration.  Am I the only one who remembers “The Creekbank Kids?”  No one around here seemed to get my theme.

 

What could be more fun than wiggly worms, tiny tree frogs, and big ol’ toads?

Except for maybe cupcakes with gummy frogs on top?

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Or even better yet, a turtle piñata full of sour worms, gold fish crackers, gummy bears and DumDums? Pretty sure I got the whole food chain in there.  Why is it so fun to look at pictures of poor little blind folded children desperately swinging a stick at the air.

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I’d like to say that we really are going to buckle down this week and get serious about school but unfortunately we only have more fun in store around here.  Homeschool Family Camp starts this Thursday!  If you’ve never experienced the thrill that is Hartland Homeschool Family Camp you are seriously missing out.  You can learn more about it by clicking here.

And finally, did you know that 6 years ago today we were starting our school year off on the Big Island of Hawaii studying birds?  Well, it’s that time again.  We’ve gone through all the days of creation and have arrived back at the flying and swimming creatures of the fifth day.  So we’re resurrecting our old “Winged Wisdom” blog and have given it a new name: “Of Skies and Seas.”  You can follow us on over there by clicking here.  Happy Back-to-School everyone!