456: Readers Tell Us About … Psalms, Inspiring Movies & Prayers for Workers

Once again, thanks to readers like you,
we’ve got your feedback to share …


FROM GERMANY, photographer Michael Seufer sent another Psalm-related photo on Thursday. It’s the one above. He added a friendly little note, “FOR DAVID,” in the middle of the image. But, focus on the picture itself. Question: What’s the Psalm that immediately comes to mind associated with this image …
    How about Psalm 23? That’s probably the single most famous Psalm, often read at funerals. Reader Laura Wells from New York wrote a heart-felt note and agreed that I could quote these lines: “I never expected to have that particular Psalm touch me, you know? But I can’t hear ‘beside still waters’ without thinking of my husband and the long walks we used to take. Strange how Spirit moves. Now, the Twenty-Third Psalm is our Psalm. … Probably the same for millions of other families, you know?”
    On Wednesday, we published an interview with Peter Wallace, host of the Day1 radio network and the author of a new book about Psalms. On Thursday, I shared a personal story about my own favorite: Psalm 90.
    Author Benjamin Pratt sent his favorite. Benjamin is the literary scholar and retired pastoral counselor who wrote “Ian Fleming’s Seven Deadlier Sins & 007’s Moral Compass: A Bible Study with James Bond.” Benjamin wrote that from his years of wrestling with issues like “shame” (a theme he includes in his book) a favorite has become Psalm 51. Many find “solace,” he wrote, in lines like these from 51:
    “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. …The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

    PLEASE, share your favorite Psalm with us! And thank you to readers who already have responded … and to Michael Seufer for your inspiring photography with these stories!

(Share Our Tips with Friends)

    Thank you, readers, for your continual notes on movies and TV shows with spiritual themes. This week, Mary Liepold, a writer for the Peace X Peace international women’s network, wrote to say that our earlier recommendation of Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” still is positively touching people’s lives. Mary discovered the movie through our review. She wasn’t sure she’d like it, given all the rough language in the movie. But the film now ranks among her favorites.
    A week ago, she visited relatives and “as grace would have it, Gran Torino hit the video stores for the first time while I was there. I got everybody to sit down together, and everyone of us loved it—me for the second time.”
    ALSO: Thanks to readers who are sending us tips on Native American films, prompted by the launch of Warren Petoskey’s “Dancing My Dream.” Yes, we’re interested in your suggestions—and you’ll hear more from us in coming months about great American Indian books and films.
    REMEMBER: On Tuesday this week, we reviewed—and strongly recommended—a set of documentaries on terrorism that officially go on sale (as a DVD set) next week. Check out that review, if you missed it.
    STAY TUNED! On Monday, we’ll bring you news about some fascinating upcoming PBS documentaries, including “New Muslim Cool,” debuting next week. And, this coming Wednesday, we’ll have Dr. Diane Winston visiting ReadTheSpirit to talk about spiritual themes in especially hard-edged TV dramas. (Psst! Good discussion-starter ideas for your small groups in next week’s stories!)
    PLEASE, keep telling us about your favorite films, TV shows.


ALL THIS WEEK, Dr. Wayne Baker has been publishing thoughtful stories on the “grief” millions of us are feeling. Check out his series and also take a look at the reader comments posted at www.OurValues.org, where readers have commented on everything from grief related to the Middle East—to grief over job losses.
    PLAN AHEAD: We just heard this week that some friends of ReadTheSpirit are among the many co-sponsors of an effort to encourage special prayers for Labor Day. That may sound like a long way off—but thousands of congregations are planning right now for September.
    CHECK OUT: The Interfaith Worker Justice Web site. Among the advisors to this important network is retired United Methodist Bishop Jesse Dewitt, a longtime friend. And, ReadTheSpirit just published an interview with the group’s chair of communications: Rabbi Jill Jacobs, author of “There Shall Be No Needy,” an important book about the roots of social justice in Jewish theology.


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    (Originally published at https://readthespirit.com/)

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