The Garment of Praise

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” ~Isaiah 61:3

Sometimes my life is so heavy that I find it hard to see the light of the Son at the end of the tunnel. I know we are instructed to put on our praise dresses when this spirit consumes us. So I just want to praise God with the hopes that my spirit may be lifted.

Father God, I thank you for everything awesome that You are. There is nobody greater than You-the Great I Am, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Jehovah Jireh-You are literally all that and then some.

Thank you for breathing the breath of life into me this morning which means no matter what is going on around me; You still have a purpose for me.

I sing praises that glorify Your holy name. Your goodness is immeasurable. Your love everlasting. Mercy you dish freely. Grace flows from the core of Your being. Your ways and thoughts are unlike mine-O omnipotent, omniscient One. I stand in awe of You. My mind truly cannot comprehend the sum of You. The Calm in the midst of the storm, the Commander of waves, the Stream in desert moments, and the Table in the wilderness.

I feel honored and humbled that You my Lord, my Creator, my Savior, loves me and adopted me into Your holy family. A perfect You loves an imperfect me.  Amazing.

It is a blessing to praise Your greatness, mighty King of kings and Lord of Lords.  Hallelujah!

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Today while driving an idea popped in my mind. I started using signage to praise and recall the word of God.

 For instance, I saw the motel Drury Inn and thought of the scripture “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7 I thank God for His gift of Christ-the Prince of Peace. Even in the midst of the last days, there is still power in His holy, mighty name! 

The next sign I saw was for Church Brothers Collision Repair. “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12. We are to serve others in order for the church to function. The church is an earthly representation of the literal body of Christ. We are His Hands and Feet on earth while He reigns in heaven. Many of us forget this precious truth-myself included. 

Then I saw Nail Art. “So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” John 20:25 We are made whole by the many holes He suffered on our behalf. A perfect being who took on the transgressions of the world. He is our hope. The way. The truth. The life. The light. 

And Heritage Christian School. “And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” Acts 11:26 We are His earthly followers and namesakes. Through him we receive strength to continue His ministry. It is our job to spread the Good News to the ends of the earth. I’m proud to be a member of the body of Christ! 

Seeing Starbuck’s made me recall “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2 His star can’t help but shine forth with the miracle of the resurrection! With Christ, anything is possible. He has left His star to light the way for His people. 

Even the Wind Obeys

“He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”~Psalm 135:7

As part of my recovery I am required to walk several times a day. My little son is very good about reminding and escorting me as well. 

Some days I am reluctant to walk because of the heat. Today was such a day. When we made it to the corner, I had to pause for a spell because it was blazing. I told my son how hot I was. 

And would you believe that right then and there, God sent a glorious refreshing breeze?! I stood in the shadow of the tree which was gently fanning me, soaking it in and praising God for His goodness. 

 

In Spirit and Truth

“But the hour is coming, and now is when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24

Today’s church service was different than anything I’ve ever experienced before. I came expecting to receive a word from our Father, and I suppose I did in an unusual way. 

We had a guest today, Vicki Yohe. She sang three beautiful praise songs.

  But after she finished, it wasn’t followed by preaching as I expected. Vicki stated she felt God wanted her to tell us that the spirit of true worship wasn’t found at our church. I can’t really explain what took place next but we spent more than 90 minutes in worship. No sermon, just worship. 

I am not good at worshipping God as I’ve never really known exactly what it entails. When I think of worshipping God, I think of believing in Him and declaring Him as King of my life. But worship is a verb, it’s something that you do. 

I am a “quiet” parishioner. Even though I cry often, the tears are usually silent. When I lift my hands, I lift them low. I’ve never spoken in tongues, danced, or ran around the sanctuary. I don’t know why but I suppose it’s because I don’t want to draw attention to myself.

Today I didn’t care.

Like many in the congregation I had to be guided.   Without prompting I took the broken vessel that I am straight to the Master Potter. I am believing God for one of His promises and I am willing to wrestle with Him to receive it! I felt so stripped bare of my facade of strength, so vulnerable, so transparent. Exhausted. Humbled. I seriously think I had a spiritual nervous nervous breakdown today. Life has been severely testing me with one trial after another. All of the years I’ve spent running from God, all the rejection, pain, and low self worth I’ve  ever felt, the good and bad I’ve done in my life came racing to mind. Today I couldn’t deny the fact that I can’t do a SINGLE thing outside of Jehovah God. It was frightening and liberating at the same time.  One of Dr. Charles Stanley’s life principles is to “fight all your battles on your knees” because we “stand tallest and strongest on our knees.”

So I fell down on my knees at the feet of the Lord. I took all of my woes with me and cried unto Him until I could cry no more. I thanked Him. I praised Him. I gave Him the glory He so rightly deserves. “Nobody greater…” 

Thankfully I had my good friend right next to me because she literally had to help me get up, lol. Our pastor acknowledged that the church has not done a good job teaching the Body of Christ how to worship. I know I have a lot to learn as I know we are supposed to worship Him in spirit and truth. I am looking forward to worshipping Him the way I am supposed to! Hallelujah! Amen!

Soul Food


“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:8

 

At this time in my life I am really hungering for the Word of the Lord. I wish I could spend all day shifting through my Bible for treasures. I even have a Journibible that I have yet to use. 

I want Him to speak to me and I am ever so careful to listen. Things that I once deemed as coincidence I now see is really the Lord communicating with me, His beloved. William Temple is noted for saying “When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t.” Everything is orchestrated by the Hands and timing of the One Most High. 

I want to know His word intimately. I want to be able to comfort and support others with scriptural knowledge. I want to be aware of God’s promises. And I want to be able to use the Word to fight the enemy.  

I also like having conversations with others that serve as testimony to His goodness and grace. I want to glory His holy name in all that I do. He is everything and I am so thankful that I am His servant.

I wish I could sit at His feet and learn “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Psalm 84:10