Psalm 76 (Psalms on the Trail)

Psalm 76

“Make a vow to the Lord your God and keep it;

let all bring gifts to the one who is awesome.”  Psalm 76:11

This verse makes me think of the biggest  vows I have made in my life.  I made a vow to my husband when we were married.  I made a vow with him when each of our children were brought for dedication to God as infants.  (We were in a Baptist church back then.)   I made a vow to God when I was ordained as a pastor.  “Yes, by the help of God,” I said.  I find a lot of grace in the “by the help of God” part.  Does anyone keep a vow perfectly?  We mostly try, but we mostly know that we can’t keep life promises unless God helps us and forgives us along the way.  That includes our spouse, includes our children, and includes our congregations where we serve—whether we are pastors or partners in mission using our gifts in other ways.  Keeping a vow is not a perfectionist kind of keeping; it is a humble, grace-filled kind of keeping….with the help of God.  I didn’t make a vow, but I made a tentative promise to God and to myself that I would post about a psalm everyday until I got through all 150 psalms.  I have thought about quitting because as a perfectionist it has taken way more time and commitment than I ever thought it would.  By the help of God 75 of 150 Psalms are posted!  Today we begin the second half of that promise!  And here is what I have learned; that in the keeping of a vow, we are the ones whom God changes.


1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  How has God changed you through the vows you have made?

2. Or read all of Psalm 76 to discover how this verse fits into the psalm or to discover a different verse.

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that illustrates this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s verse is from Psalm 77.

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.


  1. Glad for your reflections each morning as I start my day. I know what a commitment it is. Thank you.