I really enjoyed reading “Psalm 91 for Mothers” and it was surprising, because this is the first time for me to read any of Peggy Joyce Ruth’s books, so I wasn’t really familiar with her writing and on prior research, had seen that she had written several books regarding Psalm 91.
My initial thought was…how can you write several books about a passage, but as I started reading “Psalm 91 for Mothers”, I began to realize how that is possible; Psalm 91 is a reminder of God’s sovereignty and protection and Peggy manages to remind mothers, particularly in not just in trusting God, but teaching that trust to their children.
Filled with personal anecdotes of prior experiences she has had as a mother, Peggy goes through, line by line, through each chapter, that I felt keeps the reader who is committed to not just memorizing this passage, but understanding the promises and what this passage means, from feeling overwhelm while bringing much needed depth that is rarely seen in bible studies or even just books about specific parts of the bible.
It’s worth checking out and not only does it bring more depth if you are memorizing Psalm 91 but this personal study really brings this passage to life, by line by line, via chapter by chapter, explaining the basis behind each verse.
It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
Peggy Joyce Ruth and her husband, Jack, are former pastors from Brownwood, Texas. Peggy has taught an adult Bible study each week at her church for the past thirty years. She is a popular conference speaker and continues to teach a weekly radio Bible study called Better Living on KPSM and KBUB.
Visit the author’s website.
SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:
In Psalm 91 for Mothers, Peggy Joyce Ruth takes the concept from her best-selling book Psalm 91 and applies it to her personal experience as a mother and grandmother. With compelling, emotional stories from her life and the lives of others who have been touched by this psalm, she guides you through a personal study, explaining verse by verse God’s promises of protection, provision, and blessing for your children.
List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Charisma House (March 5, 2013)
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. —Psalm 91:1
Think for just a minute of where, more than anyplace else in the world, you like to be when you want to feel protected and peaceful. I remember when I was a little girl and would wake up in the middle of the night and feel frightened. I would tiptoe down to my mother and dad’s room and very quietly slip in bed with them. As I lay there—silently listening to them breathe and feeling all cozy and protected—before I knew it, the fear was gone, and I would be sound asleep.
I am sure you can think of something that represents security to you personally. When I think of security and protection, I have a couple of childhood memories that automatically come to mind. My dad was a large, muscular man who played football during his high school and college years, but he interrupted his education to serve in the military during World War II. Mother, who was pregnant with my little brother, and I lived with my grandparents in San Saba while Dad was in the service. As young as I was, I vividly remember one ecstatically happy day when my dad unexpectedly opened the door and walked into my grandmother’s living room. Before that eventful day I had been tormented with fears because some neighborhood children had told me I would never see my dad again. Like kids telling a ghost story, they taunted me that my dad would come home in a box. When he walked through that door that day, a sense of peace and security came over me and stayed with me for the rest of his time in the army.
My Father, Albert Crow
It was past time for my baby brother to be born, and I found out when I was older that Dad’s outfit at the time was being relocated by train from Long Beach, California, to Virginia Beach, Virginia. The train was coming through Fort Worth, Texas, on its way to Virginia, so my dad caught a ride from Fort Worth to San Saba in the hopes of seeing his new son. He then hitchhiked until he caught up with the train shortly before it reached Virginia Beach. The memory of his walking into that room still brings a feeling of peaceful calm to my soul. In fact, that incident set the stage for later seeking the security a heavenly Father’s presence could bring.
When I think of dwelling in the shelter of God, I have another childhood memory that always comes to mind. My parents would often take my younger brother and sister and me to a lake. There was a wonderful place to fish for perch that very few people knew about, and we children loved to perch fish. It was such a thrill to see the cork begin to bobble and then suddenly go completely out of sight. There were very few things that I liked better than jerking back on that old cane pole and landing a huge perch. Dad had a good reason for having us catch those perch. They were what he used for bait on the trotline that he had stretched out across one of the secret coves at the lake.
Dad and family on fishing trip
Dad would drive the boat over to the place where his trotline was located. Then he would cut off the boat motor and inch the boat across the water as he ran the trotline. That’s what he called it when he would hold onto to the trotline with his hands and pull the boat alongside all the hooks he had baited in hopes that he had caught a big catfish. A trotline was like having about twenty-five fishing poles baited and placed all the way across the lake.
I loved to perch fish, but it was an even greater thrill when Dad would get to a place where the trotline rope would begin to jerk almost out of his hand. That meant he had hooked a fish. It was then that all three of us children would watch, wideeyed, as Dad wrestled with that line until finally, in victory, he would flip that huge catfish over the side of the boat, right at our feet. Money could never buy that kind of excitement! The circus and a carnival all rolled up into one couldn’t give us that kind of a thrill.
One of those outings proved to be more exciting than most, turning out to be an action-packed experience that I will never forget. It had been a beautiful day when we started out, but by the time we finished our perch fishing and were headed toward the trotline, everything changed. A storm came up on the lake so suddenly there was no time to get back to the boat dock. The sky turned black, lightning was flashing, and drops of rain were falling so hard that they stung our skin when they hit. Then, moments later, we were in the middle of a hailstorm with large, marble-sized hail.
I could see the fear in my mother’s eyes, and I knew we were in danger. But before I had time to wonder what we were going to do, Dad had driven the boat to the rugged shoreline of the only island on the lake. There are many boat docks that surround the island now, but back then it looked like an abandoned island with absolutely no place to take refuge from the storm. In just moments Dad had us all out of the boat and ordered the three of us to lie down beside our mother on the ground. Quickly pulling a canvas tarp out of the bottom of the boat, he knelt down on the ground beside us and pulled that tarp up over all five of us. That storm raged outside the homemade tent he had made—the rain beat down, the lightning flashed, and the thunder rolled. But all I could think about was how it felt to have his arms around us. There was a certain peace that is hard to explain as we lay there under the protection of the shield my father had provided. In fact, I had never felt as safe and secure in my entire life. I can remember thinking that I wished the storm would last forever. I didn’t want anything to spoil the wonderful security I felt that day—there in our secret hiding place. Feeling my father’s strong, protective arms around me, I wanted it to never end.
Although I have never forgotten that experience when we were fishing at the lake, today it has taken on new meaning. Just as Dad put a tarp over us to shield us from the storm, our heavenly Father has a secret place in His arms that protects us from the storms that are raging in the world around us.
Fear is running rampant in the world today. Even children who have the security of a home filled with the love of a mother and father cannot help but sense the growing anxiety that is plaguing our schools, our streets, our newspapers, and our televisions. Suicides are becoming a common occurrence. But did you know that this place in God is real for anyone who wants to seek refuge in Him? It is a literal place of physical safety and security that God tells us about in this Psalm 91.
This secret place is literal, but it is also conditional! In verse 1 of Psalm 91 God lists our part of the condition before He even mentions the promises included in His part. That’s because our part has to come first. To abide in the shadow of the Almighty, we must first choose to dwell in the shelter of the Most High.
The question is, how do we dwell in the security and shelter of the Most High? It is more than an intellectual experience. This verse speaks of a dwelling place in which we can be physically protected if we run to Him. You may utterly believe that God is your refuge, and you may give mental assent to it in your prayer time, but unless you actually get up and run to the shelter—you will never experience it. I call that place of refuge a love walk!
Most children have a secret hideout where they feel all safe and secure, hidden away from the whole world. They need to be taught, however, that those places where they feel protected are nice, but a hideout cannot keep them safe from everything. It will be life changing, however, when they are told that there is a place of shelter that will keep them protected from every evil this world has ever known. What a treasure you are leaving them when you teach them that God says He is a place of real safety from any bad thing they can think of in the whole earth—if they will run to Him. And how do they run to God? They don’t run there with their feet. They run to God with their heart! They need to be taught that they are running to God every time they think about Him—every time they tell the Lord that they love Him.
Cullen and Meritt
When our grandchildren Cullen and Meritt were young, they would often stay the night with us. The moment they finished breakfast, each would run to his own secret place to spend some time talking with God. Cullen found a place behind the couch in the den, and Meritt headed behind the lamp table in the corner of our bedroom. Those places became very special to them.
Where is your secret place? Everyone needs the security and shelter of a secret place with the Most High.