The Heart of the Psalms


The book of Psalms exhibits this beautiful form of writing and expresses the deepest feelings and thoughts of its authors. The Psalms are a unique collection of prayers or hymns to or about God written mainly by King David, however there are also some written by the Sons of Korah, Asaph, and some anonymous writers. There is not any one theme to Psalms, but the majority can fall into the categories of prayers and praises. There are 7 different types of psalms, they are: Laments, thanksgiving, hymns of praise, salvation-history, celebration and affirmation, wisdom and songs of trust.

Impressively, a majority of the psalms are laments. The author is so open and honest and true to the heart. The psalmist expressed completely everything they were feeling and it basically is a full vent to God without masking their personal feelings – yet they always come back to the truth of who God is and declare their trust in Him. That is something today’s church should come to recognize. It seems too often that believers hold back their deepest feelings when they cry out to God as if He doesn’t already see their heart and know the innermost parts of them. More-so, the heart-felt declaration of trust in God’s sovereignty over their current situation is amiss.  This was a personal challenge for me as to how much my trust is in God, and if there is a consistent knowing and realization of His hand in every area of my life.

As with the way that the Psalms are written, it is hard to choose just any one as a favorite, let alone a favorite verse. It is so easy to change your favorite psalm based on which you can currently relate your feelings and your heart’s cry to. Those are often the ones that stand out the most and what we gravitate toward. The Psalms can be a comfort and a reassurance as they generally fall back into a declaration of trust in God. Some of my personal favorites are Psalm 13:5-6: “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation 6 I will sing to the Lord for He has been good to me.”(NIV) Seeing this line starts with a conjunction, it shows that up to this point, everything that said before that may be true, however what comes after – the declaration of trust and the acknowledgement of who God is takes the focus of the psalmist.

There is also Psalm 46:10 which says:

Be Still

This is a call to throw away the distractions and to know and be known at the deepest level by God. This psalm shows the intimacy available to us and His power and place, authority and worthiness. The greatest power in the psalms is the recognition of who God is.

Psalm 103 is a favorite of mine and holds a lot of significance for me. It is a Psalm of David written praising God for His mercies and blessing His name. It is praise to God who forgives and heals and redeems and who satisfies. This psalm proclaims not just his mercy, but his graciousness and his worthiness to be praised. The imagery it creates is so beautiful – especially in verses 11-12 where it says:

Forgiven

“As far as the east is from the west…” can raise the question as to just how far the east is from the west – eternally far! How beautiful the picture those verses create.

This psalm continues describing the fragility of man and ends with the establishment of the power of God and blessing Him for all He is, for all He has done and with everything that is in you. Bless the Lord, indeed!

Another favorite, also written by David is Psalm 139. This psalm describes so well God’s deep-knowing of you and how He is ever-present in your life – even before you were conceived. It contains an invitation for God to come and search the heart and asks for guidance. Verses 7-10 show so well just how present God is in our lives:

“7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your presence?

8 if I ascend into the heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

9 If I take the wings of the morning,

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,

And Your right hand shall hold me.”

Those verses also show the value that God places on our lives. Continuing through the psalm we read how He formed us, and before we were born He had our days written – He had a purpose for us. It is awe-inspiring reading and really recognizing how precious we are to God. What a wonder to think about!

The heart of the psalmist is pure, honest, fragrant and poured out into these psalms. Especially those of David, who was called a man after God’s own heart, to read the words that He had written is to see a glimpse of His heart for God and even through that – to catch the slightest hint of the very heart of God. The psalms are very powerful and beautiful. They show a pattern that we should recognize and be in today – a place where we recognize our circumstances, but choose to dwell on who God is and his mercy, goodness, and loving-kindness. 

Where does your heart relate to the psalms today?

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Beauty that Lasts


Today I am excited to be sharing a guest post by a sweet friend of mine, Shannon Meiers!
Shannon is a home-schooled senior in highschool, and lover of God, family, music, french, and blue jeans. She is learning to depend on the Lord’s plans for her life, and not her own, and blogs about the daily journey at lifewithoutplans.blogspot.com
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Have you ever realized that the word ‘beautiful’ means different things to different people? To older women who are forever crooning over small children, beauty seems to mean the innocence and newness of youth, while little kids think beauty is flowers and puppies and rainbows.
As we age, though, society forces its warped view into our impressionable heads and we begin to think that beautiful means fake –made up — photoshopped. It’s not real. And it doesn’t last any longer than a coat of makeup or hairspray.
Contrast this to the unmistakable glow some girls have. Their faces seem to always be lit up, and their joy for the Lord makes them stand out. They are beautiful. But where do they find this kind of beauty? We’ve already determined that it can’t be found from the world. Let’s see what the Bible says.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
Transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ Changed inside and out by God’s presence in your life. Then you will find God’s will. Sounds good. But easier said than done, because the pattern of this world doesn’t take kindly to nonconformists.
Let’s check out Proverbs 31, verse 30. The NIV version says this:
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (NIV)
Here’s the bottom line — Charm can be faked.
What you see isn’t always you get.  But let’s take it a step further. Beauty is fleeting. It doesn’t last.
Now, watch what happens when we add another translation of the same verse into the mix.
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (ESV)
Beauty is vain. Prideful. But If we combine the two different translations, couldn’t we say that Beauty Is both vain, and in vain?
So how do we secure the kind of beauty that lasts? Well, take a look at what Proverbs 14:26 says: “He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.”
Fear in this instance doesn’t mean ‘to be afraid of’, it means to have a respectful awe for. Likewise, ‘praise’ doesn’t always mean ‘to worship’.  Taken in context, it means to ’commend the worth of’. So if we put everything together and reword it a bit, here’s what we end up with:
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who has a respectful awe of the Lord, will have a secure fortress, and her community will commend her worth.” 
Now that’s beauty that lasts. The perfect kind to have while in your single season, because it is the kind that will attract the guy God has for you, the Prince Charming to your Cinderella.  Beauty that will never fade, or tarnish, because it is found in Christ, the Everlasting King.

Fierce Beauty – Book Review


Title: Fierce Beauty: Choosing to Stand for What Matters Most

Author: Kim Meeder

Rating: 4.5/5.0

“True beauty is not about how you look but how you live.”  the back cover of Fierce Beauty boasts. I have not read a book this powerful in quite some time. Maybe it was God’s timing when it came to receiving the message that is written in this book. Or maybe it was the inspirational stories. Regardless of what it was, this book helped to bring me to a recognition of the position that I have in the Kingdom of God.

Kim divides this book into three parts: 1) The Problem, 2) The King, and 3) The Warrior. Her message is skillfully woven through inspirational stories from her own life and also include many striking truths and revelations that will leave you wanting more.

Ladies, I highly recommend this to be a book on your summer reading list! It will change your whole paradigm on not only your position in the Kingdom, but also give you a confidence in who and whose you are. You’re not just a pretty face, but a warrior who is about to take territory! Fierce Beauty is a call for women to battle the lies and see the truth once and for all – and to learn to stand for what matters most!

C heck Fierce Beauty out today!

About the Author:

Kim Meeder is the author of Hope RisingBridge Called Hope, and Blind Hope. Along with her husband, Troy, she owns and operates Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Central Oregon, a nonprofit organization that rescues abused and neglected horses and pairs them with disadvantaged children, offering them a place of safety, peace, and hope. She has been a popular guest on the Focus on the Family radio broadcast, Dr. Dobson’s Family Talk, and featured on the CBS Early Show.

Check out Kim’s site by clicking here

For a look inside click here

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as a part of their Blogging for Books program.

True Beauty – Interview with Erin Davis & GIVEAWAY!


Hey girls! Today I have an interview with Erin Davis author of Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves and True Princess. She is first a wife and mother, and also an author and speaker with a true passion for God. So read on and join the conversation!
Brittany Ketter: As I have been writing on the Single Season, I have been wanting to touch on the topic of loving yourself and seeing your beauty. And just based on that, I thought, who better to help share that message than you? I believe that an important part of being a godly lady-in-waiting is being confident in who you are and in who God created you to be. I have seen for many that beauty is an area where confidence is lacking. So I am really glad that you are here to join us today and talk about it.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Erin Davis: Well…my name is Erin Davis. I live in Missouri with  my handsome hubby and two little boys, Eli (age 3) and Noble (age 1). I am a writer and have written several books including one on true beauty titled “Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves.” I also write for the blog http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com and freelance for some magazines like ec. I travel quite a bit speaking to young women about God’s truth. I am highly involved as a youth coach for the youth group at my church, where my husband is a pastor. I love Milk Duds! And…most importantly I am a passionate follower of Jesus. I delight to point others toward His transforming Truth.
Brittany: That’s awesome! You said that you do quite a bit of speaking (I’ve had the privilege of getting to be there for one of those events!) what is it in your mind that you want those listening to take with them when they leave?
Erin: It is always my prayer before I speak that those in the audience would see right past me. I don’t want it ever to be about Erin Davis but about God’s Truth. My specific goals for the audience change based on the type of event or why I am speaking, but ultimately I always want it to be about the Gospel. I want those who listen to me to hear the Good news that God is in the business of saving us…from our sin, from our pain, from our bondage, from ourselves. I always pray for an opportunity to preach the Gospel in a way that rings true.
Brittany: So, getting on the topic of beauty and loving yourself, how would you define beauty?
Erin: I think beauty is that part about us that makes us lovely. Of course part of beauty is outward and I think it is important to note that outward beauty is not a bad thing. But there is also such a thing as inward beauty. These are the traits that make us appear lovely to others like compassion, gentleness, service. Beauty has to do with those parts of ourselves that draw others to us.
Brittany:  In our world today, what do you think is the biggest bad influence is that changes our perception of ourselves and what beauty really is?
Erin: You know there are lots of elements of our culture that we can point to as the problem, but the Truth is that magazines and TV shows and airbrushed models aren’t the real enemy of beauty. Satan hates beauty because our God-given beauty points others toward God, so Satan sets out to destroy it. When it comes to beauty, Satan is the ultimate enemy. When we realize this, we can stop fighting against the culture fight where the battle is really being waged.
Brittany: Amongst those I talked to, many of them said that they want to be beautiful because they want to be noticed. This was something that was said that really stuck to me as I write on the Single Season, and are hearing how these girls just want to be noticed. Who of us doesn’t want to be noticed? But based on their statement, what would you say to those who want to be recognized for their appearance?
Erin: Of course you want to be noticed. We all do! But the kind of attention you are seeking can never ever satisfy. I bet your readers have had guys pay attention to their beauty before, even if it was just briefly. Does that satisfy? No way! It just leaves us craving more attention. And when that attention doesn’t satisfy we are my hungry to be noticed than ever before. They key is to know what God says about you in His Word, to believe it, and to let the attention that God has already lavished on you be enough.
Brittany: Is comparing yourself to others really that dangerous? And how does comparing affect our perception of ourselves?
Erin: 

Yes! It really is that dangerous. You know what we are actually doing when we compare what we’ve got to what other girls have (and then secretly wish we were more like them in a certain area) we are coveting. This is serious business.
Here’s just a taste of what God says about coveting in His Word.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservent or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17).
That passage is part of the 10 commandments, meaning it really matters to God and has the potential to wreak havoc on the life of the believer.
James 4:2 says, “You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.”
That’s the progression. We want a version of beauty that others have but we do not. It starts to eat at us as we long for it more and more. We may not kill for outward beauty but there are a million little deaths. Death of joy, death of peace, death of being a vibrant witness. Then we lose intimate friendship with other girls because we are too busy playing the comparison game. Our prayer life gets blocked because we are too busy focusing on ourselves and wishing for a different version of beauty that we can’t focus on Him.
When you play the comparison game, you are going to lose.
Brittany: What would you say self-love is?
Erin: The simplest definition is loving yourself. The world says you should love yourself because you have a lot to offer. This is dangerous logic. When we start to look at the issues of beauty and value from God’s point of view we aren’t going to discover self-esteem. What we are going to discover is that we have value because God created us and because He loves us. It’s about shifting our focus and changing where we get our sense of worth from.
Brittany: How important is it to love who we are? Why?
Erin: I wouldn’t say that we necessarily need to love who we are as much as we need to believe what God has said about is. It is a fine line between being confident because you think you have your act together and being confident because you are the daughter of the King of Kings. But, I would say that the issue of beauty is swallowing girls whole. I truly believe that if you can base your identity in Christ your struggles in every other area of your life will ease up.
Brittany: What purpose do you think loving yourself and seeing your beauty have in the “single season?”
Erin: If you don’t have the issue of who you are and why you matter figured out you are going to really struggle during the single season. The temptation will be much greater to compromise your purity and your standards because you will be looking for a fella to affirm that you matter. The result can be some really bad choices that can have lasting consequences.
Brittany:  I know that you have a book that covers quite a bit of what we are talking about today. Graffiti: Learning to see the Art in Ourselves, really has a great message! What is your biggest point in that book that you really want to drive home?
Erin: That God has much to say on the issue of beauty. Only by digging in His Word for answers to your questions about
your beauty and worth can you truly find peace with your beauty.
Brittany: What inspired you to write Graffiti?
Erin: I actually wrote it for a group of girls I was disciplining. I didn’t care enough about myself to investigate God’s Word for answers on the subject of beauty, but I loved them enough to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
Brittany: What can you tell us about your more recent book, True Princess?
Erin: It is a Bible study that looks at the difference between acting like a princess and living like a daughter of the King. God really challenged me when I was writing it! I think we all have a lot to learn about our place in God’s kingdom. True Princess is a great start!
Brittany:  Thank you, so much for interviewing! You have had a lot of great thoughts to share This really is a blessing and I appreciate you being here so much! Praying God’s blessings on you today!
Hey girls! Erin has agreed to do book giveaways here on the blog! So leave a comment below and then share this post with a friend! Facebook it. Tweet it. E-mail it. Spread the word! Beauty is more than skin-deep. It is a lifestyle.
The giveaway winner will be randomly chosen later this month.  🙂 
Blessings always,
Brittany L. Ketter

A Rare Beauty


Today is one of those rare days where I did everything right.
  • My hair went the way I wanted it to go.
  • My makeup went on nicely in a fun way I decided to wear it today. (Bonus Points as it covered up my blemishes and spots on my face.)
  • I wore the right outfit that is both modest and complements my looks and  personality.
This is a rare day where everything I wanted to go right with my appearance did. But when it came down to it, I remembered my verse I sign next to my name, 1 Peter 3:3-4:
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
I am quite happy with my appearance today; but at the end of the day when I’m sitting in my big comfy chair in my sweats and an over-sized T-shirt with my hair in a messy ponytail on top of my head and my makeup washed off, I want to be beautiful. I’m not talking about the outer beauty that is here today, gone tomorrow, and ever-changing by the world’s standards. I am talking about the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit – a young woman who is humble, loving and compassionate to others. And whose outer character is a reflection of her inner character. I want my beauty to be genuine, and a reflection of who I really am.
In our world, people constantly are saying how you have to look and dress and act. They are constantly pressuring us to conform to what they say is beautiful. Tell me, who are they to say what is beautiful? Who are they to say what is worth more? God’s creation is beautiful, and He doesn’t make mistakes. When you start thinking along the lines of what the world says about beauty and putting your appearance down, you are saying that God did a bad job. That is a lie. God knit you together in your mother’s womb ever so perfectly. From your eye color, to your hair color to your personality, your genes, God purposely created you this way, and you know what? He is enthralled by your beauty. (Psalm 45:11) [Emphasis mine].
Do not believe the lie that your worth is based on your looks. But know the truth that when you realize just how beautiful you are and see who you are in Christ – that is true beauty.
What is the kind of beauty you want to exhibit in your life?

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