John Nunnikhoven is a member of The Fellowship of Ailbe and has begun working toward what, Lord willing, will become a re-awakening of the Church as a body directed into living the Kingdom in the here and now as it awaits the yet to come.
Books by John Nunnikhoven
I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, For You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities, And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a wide place.
Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; My eye wastes away with grief, Yes, my soul and my body! For my life is spent with grief, And my years with sighing; My strength fails because of my iniquity, And my bones waste away. I am a reproach among all my enemies, But especially among my neighbors, And am repulsive to my acquaintances; Those who see me outside flee from me. I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel. For I hear the slander of many; Fear is on every side; While they take counsel together against me, They scheme to take away my life.
But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, "You are my God." My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me. Make Your face shine upon Your servant; Save me for Your mercies' sake.
A very interesting set of verses in this set. Look at the overall pattern defined in these three paragraphs. They begin with a declaration of fealty by David in which he acknowledges that the LORD is fully acquainted with his circumstances and supports King David accordingly. Look at that last sentence, no worrying for David about walking a tight rope.
Now we get to the goodies in this package in 1, 2, 3 order. “How great is Your goodness”, “Blessed be the LORD,” “Oh, love the LORD.” What a pattern for us to adopt as the basis of our prayers of thanksgiving and praise. If I cannot cast this prayer in my own words, LORD, let me recite them to You in recognition of Your glory and holiness.
Morning Psalm 143, Noon Psalm 119:105-112, Evening Psalm 82
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. In You, O LORD, I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness. Bow down Your ear to me, Deliver me speedily; Be my rock of refuge, A fortress of defense to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name's sake, Lead me and guide me. Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my strength. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth. I have hated those who regard useless idols; But I trust in the LORD.
The 31st Psalm is a remarkable combination of David in Supplication and in Worship. He opens with a plea to never be ashamed, of hiding, of pleading for protection, for the LORD to be his Rock and Fortress, and his strength.
Then, in a pattern will develop further in this Psalm, he turn to Worship of the LORD, God, the Almighty's goodness and power to declare his trust in the LORD.
A beautiful template for our times of Worship.
Morning Psalm 142, Noon Psalm 119:97-104, Evening Psalm 81
LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled. I cried out to You, O LORD; And to the LORD I made supplication: "What profit is there in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth?
Hear, O LORD, and have mercy on me; LORD, be my helper!" You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
“Turned my mourning into dancing...clothed me with gladness”Oh, what precious phrases. Oh, what joyful phrases.
This morning's sermon focused the hatred of the Christian faith exhibited by the World, its sources and our defenses. Powerful! These phrases could have been included in the defense package. It is difficult to take a swing, either physical or verbal, at someone who is bubbling over with the joy of the LORD.
Morning Psalm 141, Noon Psalm 119:89-96, Evening Psalm 80
Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides. They continue this day according to Your ordinances, For all are Your servants.
Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have given me life.
I am Yours, save me; For I have sought Your precepts. The wicked wait for me to destroy me, But I will consider Your testimonies. I have seen the consummation of all perfection, But Your commandment is exceedingly broad.
Look at that last paragraph, let it soak into the chinks and crannies of your soul. The Word of the LORD is His penetrating oil. It establishes all perfection and covers the whole ball park.
We know that we can go to the Word of the LORD and find direction/guidance for any situation of moral importance. The Word will not guide me in choosing between buying Lipton vs Tetley tea but it will be helpful in deciding whether to buy or shoplift. If you have to ask, I suggest a little time studying the 10 Commandments will assist in the resolution.
That's not a necessarily trite example. There are times when we all tither over trite questions, blaming our indecision on lack of guidance from the Holy Spirit.
Morning Psalm 140, Noon Psalm 119:81-88, Evening Psalm 79
A Psalm. A Song At the Dedication of the House of David. I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O LORD my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me. O LORD, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Now in my prosperity I said, "I shall never be moved."
“Now in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.” What is my prosperity in the Lord's eyes? I just received a lesson in the difference between man's evaluation and the LORD's. I called one of the ubiquitous 800 phone numbers to check on the progress of an order for medical supplies. A charming voice told me that the office was closed and please call again between 8am and 5pm tomorrow. (their literature stated 8 to noon on Saturdays) My well being, prosperity, is of no interest to them.
But prosperity in the Kingdom of Heaven is based on a different foundation. Not on commercial efforts but praise to the LORD. “Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name” The LORD's 800 number is PRAISE THE LORD. And the Holy Spirit answers: “Welcome, son.”
Morning Psalm 139, Noon Psalm 119:73-80, Evening Psalm 78
The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth, And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everyone says, "Glory!" The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood, And the LORD sits as King forever. The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.
The Voice of the LORD defines boundaries; set limits; empowers His people; blesses His people; and is enthroned forever. Glory be to the LORD, God, the Almighty.
Let His people be forever prostrate before His throne; glorifying Him.
Morning Psalm 138, Noon Psalm 119:65-72, Evening Psalm 77
He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD shakes all creation. It moves flames and wilderness. It even move the spirit of man. The voice of the LORD reaches deep into the heart of man and convicts of sin and disobedience. More powerful than a two-edged sword. The claymore of the LORD.
Morning Psalm 137, Noon Psalm 119:57-64, Evening Psalm 76
The voice of the LORD is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The LORD is over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; The voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars, Yes, the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon.
I have been listening to a piece of music; I think the title was A Cello Prelude in b-minor, majestic and very expressive. When it finished, I picked up my laptop and read this passage preparatory to writing tomorrow's Voices Together column. What a pair.
The composer was using the voice of the cello to describe in music as David was using words for the same purpose. In realty, I don't know who the composer was and I am describing its impact on me. Perhaps the best statement is that any of man's attempts to use the forms of communication available to him are at best inadequate. But we must use them!
PS: I need to instruct Pandora to find more solo cello pieces for me. I wonder if the software is up to the challenge.
Morning Psalm 136 Noon Psalm 119:49-56, Evening Psalm 75
A Psalm of David. Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones, Give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
“Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” What does that mean? The earlier phrases give us valuable hints: it is to be the glory and strength due His Name, I.e, the Name that is above all other names. It is a name of totality, of completeness, of harmony, of rhythm. In short, a name never to be used lightly or as a curse.
But how often do we hear the LORD's name taken in vain, or as a curse; or a joke, or ????? Is it not a measure of the validity of our faith, the degree to which our soul cringes when we hear the Name of the LORD, God, the Almighty used in one of these manners?
Morning Psalm 135 Noon Psalm 119:41-48, Evening Psalm 74
Blessed be the LORD, Because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.
The LORD is their strength, And He is the saving refuge of His anointed. Save Your people, And bless Your inheritance; Shepherd them also, And bear them up forever.
Another instance where David finds himself erupting in praise and thanksgiving because the LORD served as his strength and his shield. John Piper points in Providencethat we are quick to curse God on the occurrence of a disaster but never remember to praise Him for the thousands of 'opportunities' for a disaster that did not happen that same day.
'Huh,' you say, “What's he blithering about now?” Piper's obvious example is blaming God for allowing a plane crash with major loss of life while neglecting to praise Him for the thousands of worldwide flights completed successfully each day.
If the LORD, God, the Almighty is in charge of all things, and He is, then we need to learn to be on our knees constantly praising Him for the smooth functioning of His creation.
Morning Psalm 134 Noon Psalm 119:33-40, Evening Psalm 73
My soul faints for Your salvation, But I hope in Your word. My eyes fail from searching Your word, Saying, "When will You comfort me?" For I have become like a wineskin in smoke, Yet I do not forget Your statutes.
How many are the days of Your servant? When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me? The proud have dug pits for me, Which is not according to Your law. All Your commandments are faithful; They persecute me wrongfully; Help me! They almost made an end of me on earth, But I did not forsake Your precepts. Revive me according to Your loving kindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.
Again a stanza of worship, but coming a different angle. It is a recognition that the LORD, God, the Almighty stands between creation and assaults from the Enemy. The Scribe recognizes that he has a responsibility in the battle when he states that he will not forsake the precepts of the LORD. In a sense, it is a recognition that those precepts arm us for the battle. For example, when we hear that commanding voice state that “Thou shalt not take My name in vain” that we are being handed the Sword of the LORD, and being instructed to use it appropriately.
Morning Psalm 133, Noon Psalm 119:25-32, Evening Psalm 72
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!
To grow in faith is to grow in belief; to grow in belief is to grow in trust; to grow in trust is to grow in concomitant; ; to grow in concomitant is to grow in faith. And round and round we go.
“Wait, I say, on the LORD”
Morning Psalm 132, Noon Psalm 119:17-24, Evening Psalm 71