Archive for ‘Psalms’

August 17, 2014

Revising Psalm 22 To Be From The Street

One of my tasks is to present the Gospel so that clients can understand it’s relevance to their lives. And one of the tools I use is rewording the Bible to street language and street situations. 

The other day, I gave our Bible study group the task of rewriting Psalm 22. It’s a “go to” Psalm for me in ministry. It teaches us how to pray in utter despair and yet still love God.

Here is one client’s complete rewrite of Psalm 22, verse by verse:

My God, my God, why have You left me? My cry is distant from all hope.
O my God, I Scream by day, Do you not hear me? And by night my voice is no softer.

Yet You are holy, O’ You who’s home is the songs of my homeland.
In You our fathers held their faith; Their Faith was rewarded.
To You they called and were answered. In You they appointed their Hopes & Fears and were not led to shame.
But I am not our fathers, A misfit I am hated by all aware of my presence.
All who see me turn blind their eye as they turn up their nose;
They point and stare, They shake their head in judgment, saying,
“Why don’t you get a job?” Or they say, “I have nothing for you! You Drunk! You Addict!”

Yet You are the one who put me in this world; You watched as I was raised by these Beasts you call Men. Under your watch I was cast from my house; Even then you were my God.
Meet me here. I see my end; I am alone. There is none at my side.

I am Surrounded By dirty cops; K-9 Unit ensures I have no escape.
They open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a barking wolf.
I am beaten like a sack, And all my bones are out of joint;
My veins are like fire; They Burn and are blackened.
I’m burnt out, I have lost my voice; And You leave me to rot.

For dogs have surrounded me; A church of hypocrites has circled me; They call me sinner.
I can count all my flaws. They point out every fault they can imagine;
They call dibs on my gear, And they flip coins for what I have in my pockets.

But You, O Lord, do not be distant; O’ You my friend, quick to help.
Save me from myself, Save me from the Dollar Almighty.
Save me from the hunger that bids me good morning; By my end I am saved from my means.
I will tell my Homies about you; I will praise You in Public.
You who love the Lord, sing to Him; All you in the church, do right by him,
be amazed all of you in your universities.
For He is not ashamed of me; Nor has He ignored me; But when I scream He hears me.
God is my only reason for joy; I shall promise to those who love him.
The poor will eat and be satisfied; Those who search for Him will praise the Lord.
Let your heart live forever!

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord,
And the governings will sing to him.
For the kingdom is the Lord’­s. And He governs the world.
All the wealth of the earth will eat and worship,
All the filthy will bow before Him, Even he who can’t save himself.

The small will be Soldiers; the Lord will be told of the Next generation.
They will come and Declare “He is Justified!” To our children, “It is Finished!”.

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November 26, 2013

Oh-crap! Psalms

The street youths asked that we study the Old Testament at the first meeting of our rebooted Bible study. FYI, we meet every Tuesday at 11am at the Congregational Church (greeters to set-up and serve our lunch buffet are ALWAYS needed and welcomed at

We recently received a bunch of camouflage jacketed Bibles to give. On the front of the Bible it lists 5 Psalms. The clients noticed this, so we have been studying them. We have come to call them the “Oh-crap! Psalms” because they are wonderful prayers for times of serious trouble.

This week, we read and talked through Psalm 46. As a way of making sure we understand it, we rewrote it in terms you would hear in the alleys and sidewalks of our mission territory where your young street-dependent client frequents.

So, here is the street youth version of Psalm 46:

God uplifts me and is what keeps me going.

God reinforces my will power and keeps me out of harms way.

He’s not far when I call.

I may not know what’s going to happen, but God always sees me through.

Everything changes, and I will hold on through the worst ups and downs.

I praise God even in the crappiest of times, I will hang in there, it will be alright.

Stuff happens, but he can overcome it all.

He can do what he wants, he’s that powerful.

But he uses his power for good.

Take a breath, let God be God. 

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