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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

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In the moment of receiving an unexpected gift or relief from pain, thanksgiving and joy often burst forth unbidden. Then time goes by, the moment fades, and the gift becomes so normal we no longer see it or actively think of it.

While practicing social work, I was trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy. A key component of this type of therapy is for the client to identify and regularly engage in self-talk that cultivates thoughts and feelings that promote health and enhance well-being.

The psalmist is an expert at self-talk! This hymn of praise is direct speech to the self, rousing the soul to exuberant blessing and praise by intentionally recalling the amazing gifts that come from God, remembering God's enduring commitment to the oppressed and God's abiding character and promise.

These words of self-talk are for our use as well. Regularly recalling who God is and the many gifts we receive from God refreshes our mind, rouses our soul to praise, and enhances life and well-being for all people.

Bless you, O Lord, for faithfully pouring out your gifts upon us. Open our eyes to see your gifts, and our mouths to sing your praise in all the world. Amen.

Jonette Blakney, '14
Co-Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, Tacoma, Wash.

Psalm 103:1-8 (NRSV)

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits --
3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.


This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.