April 21, 2018

Do You Matter More Than God?

Do you matter more than God? That's kind of a silly question, isn't it? Any decent Christian is going to respond quickly with a big fat NO. But sometimes our actions disagree with that answer! For instance, when we . . . whine about interruptions or inconveniences. complain about being too busy or stressed. throw self-pity parties and expect everyone else to attend. withdraw rather than share someone else's pain. turn our gaze inward instead of upward. Whenever we do any of that, our attitude starts screaming about our own significance. When we whine or complain, we're saying: "My way is better -- my ideas are smarter -- my plans are more important." When we become [...Read More]

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]