Thursday, July 19, 2012


Psalm 147:1 - Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and  praise is beautiful. 

We generally have praise reports as part of the weekly prayer requests. Some seem like small praise reports while others are miraculous ones. Sight being restored, lives being spared, healing taking place, jobs found.

It doesn't matter how great or small our praise report is. It's still praise to our God. If we are totally dependent upon Him for all things, every day should be filled with praises. It's part of our worship of Him.

We can get caught up in daily life, grateful for God's goodness, but forget to thank Him for even the mundane. Was Jesus' death a mundane thing? Maybe to the Romans it was when He was crucified. Picture roads into towns dotted with crosses with thieves and murderers as reminders to others passing by of what would happen to any who disobey their laws. It might have become commonplace.

So, is our Lord's death a commonplace thing in our hearts? Or do we thank Him for what He's done? Do we give thanks for the life in Christ He has given us? Do we give thanks for all things for which He has provided us? Do we praise Him for who He is?

Praise is due for even those little things we see day by day. The more we praise the better. There is one elderly woman in our church socked with health issues. She prays for others first, then herself and her husband...and then every week as a sort of PS, she thanks God for all He has been to them despite their troubles. She loves Him in spite of it all...and that's the spite of it all. She is an inspiration.

And then there was the 92 year old woman who recently went home to be with her Jesus. She never complained. She walked through her outstanding life closely with the Lord. She waterskiied well into her 80's and up until this year she picked strawberries! She even tried her hand at sky diving! What a woman. She loved her Lord and although she was very quiet, I'm sure she praised Him for this long life she had. She certainly lived a life becoming of Jesus.

I think waking up and being able to praise that we are able to get up is a wonderful thing to do. I remember well before I knew the Lord, and looking back I know I was seeking "something." I quit my job, packed some bike bags and my bike, bought a round trip ticket to Luxembourg and set off for a seven week bike trip "to find myself." I believe I came a little closer to realizing there was a God, although that's not how I viewed it then. Whenever something "bad" happened to me, something good always followed...or at least something that caused me to know that my trouble wasn't as bad as it seemed to me. Someone always had it worse.

I learned to go with the flow and not take everything so seriously. Somehow I knew I would be taken care of, even if I didn't know the Who doing it. I may have occasionally felt defeated but I always bounced back. If nothing else, this time alone gave me a strength I didn't know I had. It was an experience God can use in me today when called on.

In my own way I was thankful for good overcoming bad. I may not have known it then but the Way was keeping my paths straight, until that day He would beckon me, Come!

If you look around you you will see all the earth praising Him. The dawning of a new day, a quiet sunset, a long needed (as we in the Midwest just experienced) rain, the birds chattering or singing away, critters scampering for food, flowers, trees, grasses shooting right straight up to the sun, focused on their Maker, the Son, the Light of the world. So if all the earth praises Him, so should we who have an actual voice.

I praise God for each new day. I praise Him for what He has done for those who love Him. I praise Him for who He is in me. I praise Him for the strength He gives. I praise Him for the wisdom He shares. I praise Him for transforming me into His likeness, although I rarely see what He has done. You can praise Him too. Just try it! Try it every day and see what a difference it makes.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens...Praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you stars of light! Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, and you waters above the heavens! ... Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all the depths; fire and hail, snow and clouds; stormy wind, fulfilling His word; mountains and all hills; fruitful trees and all cedars; beasts and all cattle; creeping things and flying fowl; kings of the earth and all peoples; princes and all judges of the earth; both young men and maidens; old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! (Psalm 148:1-13, Psalm 150:6)

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