April 28, 2017

Praise God in Private

Some days, thanking God on social media feels too... well, social. It feels too public. There's nothing wrong, of course, with praising God publicly -- in fact, we are commanded throughout Scripture to do so. Psalms especially tell us over and over to testify of His deeds among the nations, to praise Him in the sanctuary, to exalt Him before others. We must never disregard the need for corporate worship, public prayer, and shared times of testimony. But how often do we offer praise publicly -- and neglect it privately? When was the last time you personally bowed in gratitude before your Heavenly Father... when no one else was around? Our God is great and righteous and holy and [...Read More]

A Blended Psalm of Praise

  A Psalm. For giving grateful praise.   Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. SHOUT for JOY to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness, come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord, HE IS GOD! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD IS GOOD; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness continues [...Read More]

Still Cultivating Gratitude…

I want to be like that one guy in the Bible who was healed from leprosy. Okay, maybe not the leprosy part. But I want to be thankful like he was. Remember that story? There were ten lepers, outcasts with a miserable condition that was decaying their bodies. No one would talk to them. They had to cry "Oucasts! Outcasts!" anytime they went near healthy people. They had no hope for a pleasant future. They lived outside the city, basically in the town dump. A place fit only for wild dogs. They had no hope. And then one day, they heard that this great Healer was going to be in their city. They must have heard the rumors that He was the Son of God. And they braved the scorn of the [...Read More]

Who Is Like Our God?

What have you learned from God's Word this week? I've been reading through 1 Kings, and yesterday I came to the passage about Elijah and the prophets of Baal. I've always loved hearing this story - how they each offered a sacrifice in a test to see who worshipped the true God. They each slaughtered a bull and placed it on an altar, but did not put any fire to it. And then, according to Elijah's instruction [18:24]: "And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, he is God." Of course, you all know how that turned out. The prophets of Baal cried and begged and even cut themselves to "get his attention" - all to no avail. And [...Read More]

All Creatures of Our God and King

"Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them." Psalm 69:34 Glorious fall days like today make my heart swell with gratitude and praise for a loving Creator. He made the world on purpose; He created each part of our universe with a plan in mind. Things didn't just happen into existence, they didn't appear as a by-product of something else, they were deliberately spoken into being by the eternal God. [...Read More]

Psalm 145

Our Pastor shared this Psalm with us while James was in the hospital a few weeks ago. At the time, James was still seizing and I was keeping one eye on him, one eye on the EEG monitor; I had one ear tuned toward the hallway, listening for his doctor, and one ear tuned into our Pastor. Needless to say, I wasn't able to give full attention to what he was reading. I caught phrases here and there, and was greatly comforted by his presence and his prayer time with us. But the next day when I was home (and a little more coherent), I had to read through this Psalm again. And again. It has so much in only 21 verses: commands, promises, reminders... [...Read More]

The Day of the Lord

Judgment is coming upon the world. It may be in our lifetime, it may not. But it will come. God will destroy every nation on earth, every living thing; for He is righteous and the whole world abides in sin. He is holy and every creature on earth is utterly wicked. He is just, and we in our sinfulness have violated His law. And so we must pay the price; we must serve out our sentence. We must die, for we have rejected our Creator. We must be cast out of His presence, for we have rebelled against His demands. Take a few minutes to consider God's depiction of coming judgment, as prophesied by Zephaniah around 630 BC: "I will utterly sweep away everything     from the face of the earth, declares [...Read More]

Responding in Worship

"Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, 'To your offspring I will give this land.' So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the LORD ... So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built [...Read More]

Dealing with Discouragement

We all get discouraged at some time or another. If you're human, and you're reading this, you know what I'm talking about.Maybe you got passed over for that promotion you wanted. Maybe you came down with the flu just when you desperately needed to get something else done. Maybe nothing happened to you, but your family members are struggling with their health or their finances. Maybe one of them is out of work and can't seem to find a job anywhere. Disappointments abound in this life. It shouldn't surprise us, for it's even laid out in the Word of God that we will have many cares during our time on this earth. Otherwise, how could we cast all our cares upon Christ, knowing that He cares for [...Read More]


"I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving... Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them" (Psalm 69:30, 34). The Psalms record verse after verse commanding us to sing to Him, to praise His name, to exalt Him. Elsewhere in the Bible, we are told to sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord, speaking in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16). So do you sing before Him? Do you lift up your heart and voice in praise to Him? Not just in church, where we have the privilege to worship together with other believers and affirm His greatness publicly - but do you affirm it in your own private [...Read More]