Tag Archives: praise the LORD

Seven days before

This picture is of the book Child of Promise by Stormie Omartian illustration by Jack Terry.

Christmas!

Today, I want to focus on the choir.

Because no one before or since has been audience to such a choir.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Luke 2:13‭-‬14 NKJV

Nothing the human mind can imagine will ever be able to replicate the praises of the angels.

The mere sight of one angel would be impressive.

Not to mention terrifying (there’s a reason they normally say, ‘Do not fear.’)

But what does a host of angels look like?

What did it sound like?

Heaven.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”
Isaiah 6:1‭-‬3 NKJV

The prophet Isaiah got a glimpse into heaven, he recorded both what he had seen and what he heard.

The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
Revelation 4:8‭-‬10 NKJV

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
Revelation 4:11 NKJV

Both accounts tell us that worship and praise is continually before the throne of God.

How appropriate for a heavenly choir to be at the birth of the Christ.

Although, our abilities to comprehend some things about heaven are limited, this we can both understand and practice.

God is worthy of our praise.

Let us join the choir and worship the king of Kings!

Psalm 100:2 NKJV — Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.

Psalm 95:1 NKJV — Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.

Psalm 98:4 NKJV — Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for showing us a tiny glimmer of the wonders of heaven. Lord, thank You for reminding us that the angels praise You continually and so should we. Lord, there is such joy in worship and praise, and I am so thankful to be able to praise Your holy name. Lord Jesus, be magnified this day! Let all those who are called by Your name praise You. Amen!

Learning ASL

It’s been part of the journey.

This addition of another language into our lives

My husband looked at me on Sunday and said, “I need to learn ASL.”

And I feel the same way.

I really don’t grasp the language the way I want to.

But I’m so thankful for what we have learned.

Because it’s becoming more and more a part of my life.

Although my asthma has been improving and I’m getting stronger, I still loose the ability to speak fairly regularly.

With all the disinfectant being used in stores, I am finding it difficult.

I actually try not to go anywhere.

But the pharmacy is often closed when my husband is off work.

Therefore I’ve made several trips to Bi-Mart, recently.

Each time my voice has vanished.

But God is using it.

Last Tuesday, I was able to speak to the pharmacist and get my prescription, but by the time we reached the check out line with other needed items it was gone.

While standing in line, I had been signing to Anne when I looked up.

The checker was nodding to us, that she was ready.

Anne spoke kindly with her while she passed the items through.

I slid my card into the machine and patiently, using the wand, pushed all required keys.

It was as the lady, behind her mask, turned from her register with my receipt that I was blessed.

She was looking directly into my eyes with a gentle, heart warming expression.

She handed me the slip of paper and then carefully signed, “Good day”.

It was a gift.

Hopefully my face communicated my deep appreciation.

I signed back, “You too.”

Then turned for the door.

I didn’t want to start crying.

That response has only happened one other time, but both were so beautiful.

I was truly blessed.

Another gift I’ve gained is a tiny sliver of what it must be like for those trapped by a lack of communication.

There’s something truly incredible in being able to both understand others and express yourself.

It’s a gift I have not thanked God for until this journey.

When our Anne was three months old my mother-in-law had a serious stroke and has never completely regained her ability to speak as she had before.

Our Jase has always found communication a struggle and as a small boy, would retreat within himself when the world was just too confusing.

Both circumstances taught me a great deal of compassion and some tools to use in helping them communicate.

But that’s completely different from experiencing the frustration of not being understood myself.

Now, I can empathize with those who are unable in a new way.

What a blessing to have God open a door in my understanding by removing an ability!

I’m so thankful for this opportunity.

I’m expectant.

I look forward to learning more of this language and becoming fluent, (hopefully).

I also look forward to continuing to pray with compassion for those who experience daily loss of communication.

Most of all, I look forward to how God is drawing me closer to Himself through this journey we are on.

I’m so blessed and thankful to the Lord!

I may not always be able to understand.

I may not always be able to speak.

But I can always praise the LORD.

1 Chronicles 23:30 KJV — And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even;

Praising God, such a privilege!

Praise is a privileged.

God deserves all our praise, but to truly praise Him from our hearts is an honor for us as well.

God’s Word tells us the very rocks would cry out if praise was absent.

Revelation gives us a glimpse, around the throne of God where we see constant and continual praise.

With this knowledge it seems praise would be as virat as food, yet is it?

Are we purposeful about praising God?

Do we think to praise throughout our day?

If not there is no better time to begin, fill your day with moments of praise.

Nothing was ever written requiring our praise to be accompanied by beautiful music.

It’s nice, but not necessary.

What is required is our hearts.

God doesn’t want a ritual, He wants our love.

He doesn’t want a robotic recital of words, cold and distant.

He wants the honest confessions of joy and thankfulness which we all owe to Him with every breath.

The reason praise must come from our hearts is it means we have taken our eyes and fixed them upon Him.

When we do that, stopping to proclaim all that He is and has done, we are lifted up from the mire of daily sinful world and into the presence of God.

Talk about an honor!

The Creator of the Universe looking forward to meeting with each one of us, and it can happen in our moments of praise.

What a wonderful opportunity!

How pleasant to purposefully sew praise and worship into the fabric of each day.

It won’t come if we don’t choose it.

To praise is a privilege and today, I’m choosing to walk in it.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for today. Please walk with us and guide us this day. Lord, we have so much pulling at our hearts and minds, things which would distract us from You. Please help us to find moments of praise and thanksgiving throughout the day. Please, wipe away anything which would try to hinder our praise. Lord, if there is something which is holding back our hearts from You, a sin which has tied us up in bitterness, fear, worry, selfishness or any other sin, please show it, that we might repent. Hold us in Your hands. Lord, place a hedge of protection around us and keep our feet from wandering. Help us to keep You as our priority and to allow You to guide us continually. Lord Jesus, thank You for all the gifts and blessings. Lord, thank You for those things we see as difficult or unexpected, for You can work through it all. Lord, please help us to be unswerving in our faith, like Job. Willing to praise You no matter the circumstances. Praise You, Lord! I praise Your Holy name!

When things are unsettling

Recently, I received news which was unsettling.

It had come just the day after other unsettling news.

All of which snuffed out my expectations for the next few weeks.

It also led to prayer.

Prayer for others whose lives significantly have changed on very short notice.

My heart poured out to the Lord over this news for the majority of two days.

It was late afternoon, as I was again praying, that I realized my heart had not simply been praying more, I’d also been praising more.

With the emotion of instability had come a deep need to praise God through it all.

I realized God Himself was drawing me to the answers for all the requests.

Praise Him.

Just because I don’t know what the future holds, nor where the path leads, I do know the One Who does.

He’s got everything in His hands and I can praise Him while I wait.

Yes, it’s a temptation to try and plan, make guesses, look for possible options, prepare for…

But why?

It’s all fruitless.

Instead, my time is much better spent in praising God, waiting upon His direction, lifting up those He places on my heart, and doing the task at hand.

Infact, as I settled back into this routine, my unsettling emotions vanished like smoke in the wind.

All my emotions were wrapped in the assurance I have in Christ.

Then came the thoughts.

And I know they didn’t come from God.

Doubt began to whisper an entire string of “what if…”

At first, I didn’t recognize these as the voice of doubt and answered each one.

But gradually I began to see the direction the questions were trying to take my mind.

Which was when I stopped answering and started praising God afresh.

As if a light turned on, and the cock roaches flee, my soul returned to peace.

Doubt went scurrying.

What an incredible, awesome God!

He supplies all my need.

Even when I don’t realize it.

For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.
Psalms 11:7 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for walking with each and every one of us. Thank You for being our rock of refuge. Thank You for holding us when things are unsettling. Lord, we praise Your Holy name as we look to You in all these things. Every circumstance is used by You, for what the enemy meant for evil, You work into our good. Lord, we can not see nor understand all the things which go on, but we can hold fast to Your truths and Your Word. Lord, let our lives shine brightly the love of God. Let our hearts rest securely in Your love. Thank You for being our Salvation and our provision. Please let us bring glory to Your name, Jesus. Thank You.

Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him.

It was such a blessing.

A sweet lady from our body had come to visit me.

She asked about the kids and what they were doing.

She asked about the teddy bear I was crocheting.

She inquired after other things.

Then she asked about my health.

Which frankly, hasn’t been good.

I explained the diagnosis and how our house has something which seems to aggravate my condition.

I even mentioned the possibility of my staying with Tim and Sis for a while to get away from the house.

She was so full of compassion.

Her heart was in her eyes as she asked what she could do.

“Pray, we just want to know exactly what God wants us to do,” I replied.

“Can you leave it all on the alter?”

It surprised me, but I understood.

“Absolutely.”

Then I continued on to explain all the good God has brought through this.

I told her so many things I’ve learned walking in this.

And I’m certain there’s more to glean.

When I was very sick in 2011, I learned a lot, and it was worth it.

I remember a person, after hearing all our family went through in that period, commenting:

“Well, praise the Lord He got you through it all, but I bet you hope He never takes you through something like that again.”

I had smiled and shook my head.

“No, I am so much closer to the Lord through this. I’m willing to walk through anything, He can break my arm if it means growing even closer. Whatever He wants to do is fine by me.”

And here I am.

Sick again.

Not with the same thing and not to the extreme that was, but nonetheless ill.

And I don’t know what other people feel or think, I can only account for my thoughts and emotions.

But I’ve accepted a few things.

I want to be healthy again.

But I’m okay if I am not.

I want to live and do things and serve others.

But if my time is short or my path different than I want, it’s God Who knows what is best.

Nothing on this earth is worth me holding too tightly to,

even my life.

The only true treasures are eternal.

And through it all I want to praise Him.

He deserves every praise, honor, and worship.

He deserves my gratitude with every breath.

I don’t always like the circumstances, especially when my physical body is struggling a lot, but there is always something to praise Him for.

The longer I walk with Jesus the more I understand this verse:

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:” Job 13:15 a

No one, besides Jesus, lost more than Job.

Yet he never leaves his God.

And I agree with Job.

I will trust Jesus, no matter the cost.

And as I lay awake with a migraine I can praise Him.

He has done so much for me.

He has blessed me in so many ways.

His love overwhelms me.

His faithfulness astounds me.

Why would I choose anything other than praise?

Dear Reader,

I don’t know what you are walking through. I don’t know what pain, trauma, or hurt which has scarred you. But I can say from my own experience that nothing I have tried to do on my own terms has brought me joy and peace like total surrender to Jesus Christ. I’m going to reach out to you and encourage you to lay everything at the cross. Dreams, ideas, opinions, even opportunities, nothing can bring the peace that passes all understanding, only total surrender. If you would like prayer, I’d love to pray for you. Even now as I hit the publish button it will be with prayer. So, please feel free to contact me. May God richly bless and encourage you.

Racing

That’s our Bell.

This was her final race of the day.

I stood expectantly.

Holding her water, sweats, and other shoes.

Chest heaving, she knuckled the racers on either side.

I still waited at the sideline.

After the official gave permission for each participant to leave their lane, she turned towards me.

Breath still in gasps, but she looked glad.

One of her team yelled from the other side of the track, congratulating her on her win.

Her voice wasn’t heard in response.

She simply smiled and pointed.

One index finger was all she used, but they got the message.

The win belonged to the Lord.

As others congratulated her she responded with:

“It’s all the Lord. He has really blessed me.”

And I took my cue from her example.

Each opportunity to share how the day went I began with:

“the Lord really blessed her…”.

Because it is true.

Yes, she has trained,

hard,

but her ability to compete is a gift from God.

The opportunity to be a member of the team is a gift from God.

The local Charter school which works with our family of homeschoolers is a gift from God.

And the shear determination to put out the hours of training our Bell has done, it too is a gift from God.

Nothing we do, no effort, achievement, or inspiration is separate from the Creator.

We are His and He gives each of us differently the blessings we enjoy daily.

What an incredible God He is!

Praise the Lord for His daily blessings.

Especially yesterday, as I was reminded to always

point to Him.

“…with my whole heart.” Psalm 111:1a

(This post and a few others were written last week. Please forgive my inability to post them as they were written. I pray you are blessed.)

“Praise the LORD!

I will praise the LORD…” Psalm 111: 1a NKJV

Yes, I am praising the LORD for my wonderful daughter.

Yes, I am praising Him for the terrific breakfast she made me.

Yes, I am praising God for both Tim, Sis and Anne who are taking such good care of me.

And there’s so much more to praise Him for.

But I’ve had to have a reminder.

Sleep wouldn’t come when I first tried last night.

I was worrying about my husband and kids who are still without power and trying to empty our house so demolition and reconstruction can take place.

Instead of simply resting in the LORD’s blessing I was “worrying in prayer”.

“Lord, what about…?”

“Father, I’m concerned because…”

“If I was down there maybe I could…”

-sigh-

roll-over

-sigh-

Do you trust Me?

-deep exhale-

“Yes, LORD, I trust You.”

I know exactly what I am doing.

There are important lessons in this.

Rest in My provision.

“Yes LORD. I’m sorry for worrying. Please forgive me for trying to figure out how to do this in my own strength.”

My whole being seemed to relax.

Then I realized what had led me to the worry.

I’d neglected to be thankful.

“LORD, thank You for my husband.

Thank You for Tim and Sis and baby.

Thank You for Bell.

Thank You for Anne.

Thank You for Jase.

Thank You for…”

Somewhere along the list I slipped into slumber.

Yet this morning, after my amazing breakfast I began again the running wheel of worry.

“Lord, what about my day? How do I plan when…”

We need to talk.

“Okay. Where do You want me to read Lord?”

Psalm 111

I misunderstood and turned to Psalm 1.

“Lord, there’s no 1:11.”

Psalm 111

“Oh! Right!”

“Praise the LORD! I will praise the LORD with my whole heart,…” Psalm 111:1a NKJV

I didn’t need to read more.

“LORD, You are so patient with me. Thank You. I will let You guide me and will stop trying to guess what is to come. What an awesome God You are! To love me so much You can put up with my doubt even after all You have already done for me. Thank You!”

Let’s write a blog.

-smile-

“Great idea!”

Today I’m praising the Lord.

For He is so worthy of praise!