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Galveston, Texas sunrise

Recently, while looking for a certain document in my files, I was drawn to a file entitled, PSALM—In Praise and Gratitude. As I opened the file and began reading the psalm, I had the vague memory that I had written it. Yet, I heard the nagging voice saying to me, “No, you didn’t write this Cherry.” I reached into my memory, searching for when I might have written it. I was led to look at some notes I took over a year ago while participating in a course on the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises.  There I found the psalm written in my own handwriting. So, I did write it. Or, God wrote it as a gift to me. This spiritual “find” happened as I was attending (virtually) a weekend directed retreat. It felt like another sweet love touch from God—a way God was romancing me. The scripture passage that I was living with for the weekend was Hosea 2:16-18— “Behold I (God) will allure her and will lead her into the wilderness; and I will speak to her heart.”  I was pondering how God’s sustaining love permeates my entire being and my entire life story. How God has transformed me from a survivor to one who is thriving. His shaping and re-shaping sometimes come in the form of suffering and sometimes in the form of pure joy.

As we are living in the season of Lent, let us spend some time alone with God in the wilderness, and let Him speak to our hearts.  I share my psalm with you for reflection. Allowing God to love me, and then to love others through me, has been a grace for which I have prayed for many years. In those moments when I feel overshadowed by God’s mysterious love, I know that I’m standing on holy ground. Awe and wonder abound. All I can do is to praise God in gratitude.

In Praise and Gratitude
Yahweh, God of Wonder,
May your gaze be upon me,
Your creation, the one
You call “very good”.

You are my constant companion,
My all-in-all, the Beyond beyond me.
It is you who animates me,
Shaping and re-shaping me.

You favor me, beckon me near you,
And invite me to surrender.
You remind me that I am a
Human expression of your goodness and majesty.

I can rest in serenity
And peace.
In harmony with my
Creator, my resting place.

I contemplate you in
the beauty of nature,
in my beauty, and in the
grandeur of the cosmos.

In your grace, Yahweh, I can
let myself be loved, be given to,
And be worked upon.
I stand in awe of you.

I pray that we will all allow God to draw us nearer to Him this Lenten season, perhaps in a new way. Maybe even write a psalm to Him. Or let Him write one to you. Let’s lay down some of those things that hinder this closeness to God.  So that on Easter Sunday, we all would look a little more like Christ, and desire to work to make this world look a bit more like He would want it to look. May we experience God’s tenderness to us, and may we mimic that tenderness in our relationships with others. May we see ourselves as God sees us, and see others and the world as God meant them to be.  I believe both will please God.

I’ll leave us with this thoughtful prayer written so may years ago by Pierre Teilhard De Chardin :

Enfold Me in Your Heart
Lord, enfold me in the depths of your heart;
and there hold me, refine, purge, and set me on fire,
raise me aloft, until my own self knows utter annihilation.

Hot Springs, Arkansas landscape


  • Trish
    Posted March 5, 2021 at 8:24 am

    Thank you for sharing this Cherry. It is good to sit in Gods presence and just Accept His unwavering love for us. I have another friend who writes Psalms as well. I will share this with her. A great way to move my focus off self and thus world and back where it needs to be. So happy

  • bahynes
    Posted March 5, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Our associate pastor recently did a Lenten talk on “Enrobed in God’s Love” and this prayer reminded me of that. To allow ourselves to feel Gods loving arms wrapping us in His protection and care while the winds of the world swirl strongly around us is an image we all need to embrace. Take time to sit in God’s presence and feel the warmth of His loving tenderness and mercy for you. You may have a richer experience this Lent.

  • Rolla Bialke
    Posted March 5, 2021 at 9:19 am

    Thank you for this Cherry. You always manage to inspire me through your writings, but this one especially touched my heart. God has certainly touched your heart with the ability to reach others by your spiritual and eloquent writing. God bless you, I am a better person for having met you my friend!

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

  • Joseph Knapp
    Posted March 5, 2021 at 11:58 am

    Cherry, you really make me think. Always good to hear from you. What an inspiration. God Bess.

  • Jenna Mangold
    Posted March 6, 2021 at 6:25 am

    Hi Cherry! Thank you once again for sharing another beautiful blog post! I have been thinking a lot about the idea of what you said “spending time alone with God in the wilderness”…a friend of mine recently sent me an idea/thought about our spiritual “wildernesses”:
    “God promises that someday he will make deserts bloom, but until that day, he will use the deserts to make us bloom”

  • nursejoanie
    Posted March 7, 2021 at 5:39 am

    ** was sitting unsent in my out box, sorry for the delay **Cherry,What a wonderful reminder to relish in God’s love and then spread it to others!Joan VegaSent from my Galaxy

  • bumpa9
    Posted March 14, 2021 at 5:27 pm


    Congratulations on your move to Arkansas!

    Praising God for fellowship with you and Dave over the years.

    May the Lord continue to richly bless your ministries.

    Thanks for the article on “God’s Tender Loving Care.”

    Here are some of my thoughts:

    * Avail to all * Free but requires total commitment. * Changes us forever * Gives us everlasting Hope * Provides meaning and purpose to life * Brings joy and peace * Is to be shared * Can be enjoyed at a funeral (Case in point Ellie’s on February 16, 2021) * Is precious and life changing * Is found in calendar schedules and in check book transactions * Speaks to the heart * Unites people….red, yellow, black and white * Is found in the poor and the rich * Comes with birth certificates * Is evident here and now, but greater in Heaven



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