Praise · Thanksgiving

Lie and Praise

I have a love/hate relationship with the Auto-correct on my cell phone.  When I want it to correct a misspelled word, it often does, and I love that.  However, it doesn’t read my mind and it often makes assumptions at times that aren’t always right. It can be very frustrating! I know I’m not alone in this.

Recently a friend was texting about whether or not she would be able to attend our church’s Pie and Praise service this week.  However, her auto-correct fixed the word Pie to what it assumed was correct.  So she let her friends know she wouldn’t be attending the “Lie and Praise” on Tuesday night!  I laughed until my sides hurt over that one!

However, the more I’ve thought about it, the more convinced I am that her auto-correct may have been right after all!  Oh, I’m sure no one who attends a praise service would purposefully lie about their praise, but there’s a way that I see myself not giving honest praise to my God.  Here’s what the next part  of Psalm 103 tells us to do:

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Don’t forget all His benefits!!  I lift my hands and say, “Thank you, Lord!”  This past Sunday after praying and thanking the Lord for His benefits, I marched out the door, went to church, and when someone asked me how I was, the first thing I told them was that I had a migraine!  What?!  Could I have not shared at least three things God had done for me instead?  What about all the parts of me that felt great, thanks to my God who holds this body together?!  But no, I turned my praise into a lie by not sharing God’s blessings and goodness with that person! I’m thankful for the conviction of the Spirit of God, because I was able to get it right with Him when I confessed it!

Isn’t it easy to praise one minute and complain the next?  God has done so much for us, but if we praise Him one minute and gripe and grumble the next, we’re really lying instead of praising.

I’m asking the Lord to help me to attend the Pie and Praise instead of the Lie and Praise – not just at church this week, but every day of my life!

Do you find yourself praising or grumbling today?  Let’s remember all His benefits and praise His name! No lying!

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Praise · Thanksgiving · Uncategorized

Pie and Praise

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I’ve been scouring through pie recipes looking for something great to take to our church Pie and Praise Fellowship Tuesday night.  The possibilities are endless, but the success rate on some of them looks doubtful.

So many ingredients!

So many steps!

But there’s one thing I can take with me to that fellowship that is very simple – a heart of praise.  Why?  Because according to Psalm 103:

  1. Bless the Lord – There’s only one Person Who deserves my praise – it’s my God! I may struggle over which pie to make, but I can never wonder Who deserves my gratitude – it’s my wonderful God! To “bless the Lord” is to give Him praise.  This phrase comes with a heart of affection and a sense of gratitude.  There is none else who deserves my thanks and praise but the Lord!
  2. O my soul – My mind and heart are all in when I’m praising God! Some of these instructions in the pie recipes are confusing and so complex!  Failure seems inevitable!  I’ll never go wrong praising the Lord!  To bless the Lord with my soul is to use my mind and  heart, my emotions and my will. All I have to consider is how great He is, and it comes so readily!  My soul was made to have fellowship with God, to enjoy His favor and consider His attributes.  I was made to praise the Lord and I will praise Him with my soul!
  3. And all that is within me, bless His holy name. I can give praise with my whole being.  While I could keep back a piece of the pie I’m baking and savor it myself (which is tempting sometimes!) to bless God’s name with all that is within me is to praise Him with all my faculties, all my heart, all my will, all my emotions and all my affection.  God is worthy of all the praise that I can give Him with my whole being!  I will be “all in!”

My pie probably won’t win a prize, but I pray that my praise will be a beautiful delight to my God.  He alone is worthy.  So I say, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. 

I trust you’re preparing your praise to God even more than you’re preparing the food you’ll enjoy on Thursday!

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God's character · Praise · Prayer

God Will Make You Laugh!

Imagine that you walk into your OB office and you see a 90 year-old pregnant woman sitting there waiting for her appointment.  Yes, it’s  Sarah, Abraham’s wife.  While waiting for her name to be called, she’s  knitting little baby slippers for her first-born son.  She sees you looking at her, a little grin stealing away on your face, and she smiles, nods and says, “It is funny, isn’t it?  Let me tell you how this happened!  This baby is God’s gift to me and my husband –  he’s 100!”

Then she laughs, and seeing her joy, you laugh with her.  We read in Genesis 21:6,  “God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.”

God revels in doing what seems to us to be the impossible. His acts are so astounding that often, they are laugh-worthy!  They are surprises in answer to our prayers that we would have never dreamed of!  A son is raised to LIFE?!  There were probably sad tears that turned to laughter!  A man is struck blind on the road and hears a voice from heaven calling his name?  From that day on, he no longer persecutes Christians, now he is preaching Christ!  A tax collector who had been cheating people now follows Christ and repays those he’s cheated?  God feeds one of his servants using a raven?!  These situations are all laughable because no one but God could have ever done such wonderful things!

What are you waiting for God to do?  Don’t try to figure it out!  God is going to do it in such a way that will make you laugh!  He’s an awesome God and He loves to demonstrate just how awesome He is!  When He answers, tell someone so they can laugh with you!

Have you had a “laughable” answer to prayer?

Christian Life · Praise · Speech

With Words of Praise

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This hideously adorable donkey lives on a farm about an hour from us.  We have affectionately named him “Lester.”  Lester is very jealous of the other animals on the farm.  How do I know?  If  visitors gather to pay homage to the lovely peacock, or ooo and ahhh over the long neck of the ostrich who lives there, he will begin his very loud and obnoxious,

Hee-haw!  Hee-Haw!

It’s really comical to hear him.  Not only is his noise hilarious, his mouth and ears look quite funny when he’s going off on his rampage!

While listening to Lester, I turned to my husband and said, “I’m sure thankful I can sing!  Wouldn’t it be terrible to open your mouth and sound like that?!”

The next day as I sat to have my quiet time, I read Psalm 145.  I was moved at how many times it talks of using my mouth to praise the Lord.  Words like, extol, bless, praise, speak and utter were all reminders that God wants me to use my voice for His glory.  I must praise Him with speech and song.  I must tell others of His goodness by the use of my voice.  However, I often neglect the chance to speak up!  I remain silent, or I don’t give honor belonging only to the Lord.

  • Even little things like praising Him like when someone passes and says, “It’s a pretty day, isn’t it?”  needs to be followed with, “Yes, and I thank the Lord for making it.”  Anything else would be like Lester’s “Hee-Haw!
  • At testimony time at church, if I fail to stand and praise Him for prayer He’s answered, I’m belting out “Hee-Haw” instead.
  • When the opportunity to share the Gospel is given and I am too afraid to share it, my lips are uttering ol’ Lester’s ugly “Hee-Haw!” greetings instead of the Truth that will set that person free!
  • To miss the opportunity to pray my thanks for a meal, for God’s comfort, His presence, for answered prayer, or for provision is to selfishly call attention to myself rather than my great God.  Hee-Haw!
  • “Hee-haw!” is what I’m really saying if I’m not singing with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and making melody in my heart during the song service at church.

We all have a voice, given by the Lord.  Are you using yours to praise the Lord, or do the sounds that come from your lips resemble Lester?  Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord!

With praise to Him,

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Praise · Speech

How Can I Praise During Trials?

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You bump into a friend you haven’t seen in a long time while your’re out getting groceries and you know the question that is coming your way…

How are you doing?

If you say, “Fine!” you know you’ll be lying, but you just read Scripture that says that everything that has breath should praise the Lord!

You may be wondering:

How can I give praise to God during trials?

Let’s look at Scripture for our answer.

In Psalm 61, David begins with crying and sorrow.  Then he points his heart towards His Rock.  He doesn’t just dwell on the sorrow, he looks to the One who can help.  Then he ends this short psalm with praise to the Lord.  He says, “You, oh God heard my vows and have given me a godly heritage!  So will I sing praise unto thy name forever that I may daily perform my vow.

By the end of the psalm it almost seems that he’s forgotten his sorrow, and so do his readers!  What a great example.

An example from the New Testament is Paul in II Corinthians 12:7-10.  He tells about the “messenger from Satan” that was given to buffet him, lest he should be exalted.  He was given some physical issue that was troublesome.  He prayed three times that God would remove it, but God told Paul that his grace would be sufficient to bear it.  Now how does he respond?  He doesn’t complain or criticize God.  Instead he says,

Most gladly will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest on me.

He points to the sufficiency of his God!

So you and I, when going through hardship, can indeed share the difficulty to someone who asks, but we must quickly then shift the focus off ourselves onto Christ.

I have a special lady in my life who has endured suffering for about six years now.  She was so active before her illness took her down!  Now she is pretty much confined to home, yet when anyone visits with her, she never dwells on her physical limitations!  Instead she pulls out her journal and begins to share all the things God has recently taught her while she’s been still!  You cannot be in her presence without knowing that she loves the Lord!  There’s no denying she’s suffering, but her focus is on the goodness of her God in the midst of her trouble.

 

She is like the psalmist who said in Psalm 119:71 – 

It is good for me that I have been afflicted that I might learn thy statutes.  

He shared that he had an afflictions, but that he’d learned from God’s Word!

So, my friend, here is the question and my answer:

How can I share my burden and still give praise to God?

Share the burden or trial, but then on its heels,

tell what God has done for you during this time,

or how He has ministered to you, provided for you,

or what He has taught you through your trial.

That is giving praise to God!

 Follow that example, and you’ll be honest, but also obeying Psalm 150:6!

So…How are you today?  I’d love to hear!

Keep praising,

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accessories · Christian Life · Praise

That Looks Good On You!

You put on your new blue blouse, which happens to accentuate your blue eyes, and all day long you hear, “That color looks so good on you!”  Or you find a dress that fits you perfectly and step out from the dressing room and your teen daughter says, “Oh Mom! That dress looks like it was made for you; that looks so good on you!”

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We love it when we find that “just-right look,” don’t we?  I have something for you to wear that will look perfect on you – as a matter of fact, I have God’s Word on it!

Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
Psalm 33:1

To be “comely” means attractive.  This verse is telling us that praise looks good on a believer of Jesus Christ!  I’ve made plenty of bad fashion choices in my lifetime, but when I use my mouth to praise the Lord, I’ve put on a perfectly beautiful accessory that will always look good!

How have you used your words today?  Are they negative, complaints, whining or sarcastic?  That doesn’t suit you, if you know Christ.  Run to the dressing room of prayer, ask for forgiveness, then use your mouth to praise the Lord for Who He is and what He is doing in your life.  That will look really good on you!

With praise to our God,

Praise · Uncategorized

Blessings

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We have had a week full of blessings.  My cup is literally running over.  The Lord is so good to me, and I am praising Him for His wonderful work in my life.

Blessing of snow ~ Last week my husband and I were talking about three wishes we would make.  One that I mentioned was, “I’d love to be snowed in for three days.”  Wishes are not prayers, but my God knows the desires of my heart, and in His love and kindness, He allowed me to have that desire last week!  It began snowing on Thursday night and it dumped enough snow to keep us inside for three + days! It was wonderful!  I’m not sure how anyone could really get bored at home.  I could keep myself happily occupied for weeks!  Let me show you some of the fun we had while snowed in…

Blessing of another birthday ~ Friday was my  husband’s birthday, so I made him a cake.  His favorite is Carrot Cake.  I opted for a lighter version, and he loved it almost as much as my fattening recipe!

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Blessing of a warm, cozy home ~ We sat by the fire and enjoyed our steaks, onion rings, salad and cake.  Then we played games while we listened to some old songs on Pandora.  Fun times!

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Blessings of family traditions ~ It’s our family tradition to have breakfast in bed on your birthday.  Since my husband needed to be out early on Friday, I delivered his birthday breakfast to him on Saturday.  Eggs Benedict is what he’s requested for the last couple years.

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Blessings of leisure time ~ Sunday services were cancelled, so I took the time to enjoy my coffee and my Bible reading from the warmth of my bed – something I usually only do on my birthday!  It was so nice to be unrushed and able to really focus, unlike most Sunday mornings when we’re scrambling to head out the door.

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Blessing of time in worship together ~ I don’t have a picture of this, but my husband had sent out a Bible study for families to do while home from church.  Our time in the word and in prayer was precious to me for many reasons.  What a blessing to worship together and to pray, knelt beside the family room sofa!

Blessing of beauty ~ What’s prettier than a snowfall?  The picture below was early in the morning.  Any direction we look shows God’s handiwork in so many ways – the moon, the sun, the snow, the mountains…What a Creator!

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What blessings are you thanking God for this week?

With love from the snowy countryside,