Praises: Psalm 93

I’ve been working a lot recently, so much so I haven’t felt I’ve had much time for writing.  I was barely getting by reading my bible every day.  After a while that starts to take a toll on you, especially if you don’t particularly enjoy your job.  I kept finding myself getting discouraged and angry almost every day.  Then one day, my dad had me listen to a podcast.  I don’t remember who it was or what the podcast was (if I find out I’ll put a link in the comments), but it really brought my focus back to where it should be.  The speaker was a woman pastor, and she was talking about worshipping God and how important that is throughout all aspects of life.  It was so very encouraging and reminded me that I needed to be focusing on God, because He is my King and my strength.  He’s the one that will get me through every day, not me.

 

Almost a week later I read Psalm 93 in my daily reading.  You can almost hear it as a song, someone singing praises to God and putting fully their trust in their King.  It describes Him as being established on His throne, robed in splendor, and around His belt is the strength that holds all things together.  And All things join together to praise Him.  And then it concludes that because of His kingship, strength, and worthiness of praise, we can trust that what He decrees is good, and He will be a good King forever and ever.  Reading it just makes my heart swell with praise!

I hope this Psalm encourages you today!

 

1             “The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty;

The LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt.

Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

2              Your throne is established from of old;

You are from everlasting.

3              The floods have lifted up, O LORD,

The floods have lifted up their voice;

The floods lift up their roaring.

4              Mightier than the thunders of many waters,

Mightier than the waves of the sea,

The LORD on high is mighty!

5              Your decrees are very trustworthy;

Holiness befits your house,

O LORD, forevermore.”

Lean on the LORD, He will help you through today.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!  Thanks for encouraging me to focus on God!

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Proverbs: Love Your Neighbor Part 2

“29Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you. 30Do not accuse anyone for no reason— when they have done you no harm. 31Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways.” ~Proverbs 3

In the Throne Room of God

I present my sacrifice

I have His praise on my lips

But there God reminds me of wrongdoing

And He points outside to the door

.

The LORD desires repentance

The LORD desires forgiving hearts

The proud heart He will not abide

The violent mind He will not tolerate

.

So I left the Throne Room

To seek my brother

To ask forgiveness for my wrong against him

Selfishness is not what I’m after

As I seek unity in Christ

I seek unity with you

Peace, brother

Peace

.

As Christ humbled Himself

Becoming flesh from the Godhead

As Christ did not seek His own glory

But desired the interests of His Father

As Christ was obedient even to death

May we be of the same mind

May it be said of us

.

May we not envy the wicked their wickedness

But trust in the LORD with all our hearts

And do good

Desire after the LORD

And desire good

Commit to the LORD

And He will reward you with good

Wait for the LORD

For He is good

And do not be afraid of wickedness

And do not be afraid

.

So I asked my brother for forgiveness

And whether he was willing or unwilling to give it

I return to the Throne Room of God

I present my sacrifice

I have His praise on my lips

And He embraces me

He embraces me

~

‘Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the LORD.”

Romans 12:18

If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone.

Psalm 37

1Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; 2for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. 3Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: 6He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. 7Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Matthew 5:24

leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Philippians 2

“1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”

Proverbs:Boast In God

“5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 7Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. 8This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 9Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” ~Proverbs 3

Where is wisdom?

Where is honor?

Is your heart of gold?

Where is boasting?

Where are praises due?

Could it be you?

Could it be you?

.

Lift up

Lift up

Your eyes to the Heavens!

Lift up

Lift up

Your heart to the hills!

Raise your voice

To your God

Your Creator!

Lift it high

.

The fear of the Lord

Is wisdom

The honor of the Lord

Is His own

Your heart is made of gold

The strength of the Lord

Is where I will boast

The praises of the Lord

Are due Him

Are due Him

.

Lift it up

Lift it up

His ways will keep you from evil!

Lift it up

Lift it up

His ways will give you strength!

Raise your voice

To your God

Your Creator!

Lift it high

Lift up

Lift up

Your heart to the hills!

Lift up

Lift up

Your eyes to the sky

~

Jeremiah 9

‘23This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, 24but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.’

2 Corinthians 10

“16so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. 17But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 18For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.”

Job 28:28

“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’”

Isaiah 66:14

“Then you will see this, and your heart will be glad, And your bones will flourish like the new grass; And the hand of the LORD will be made known to His servants, But He will be indignant toward His enemies.”

Music: Dusty Rock

“Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ Ephesians 5

“1Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  2Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.  3Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” ~Psalm 96

I was driving home from work, feeling tired but also pretty content, glad to have my music for company. As I listened and sang, as is normal, I wished that I could share the music I listen to with other people, especially people who have never heard these artists. And, as is normal, my mind started coming up with different ways to do this, but I rarely act upon these plans because, hey, who really cares what I listen to? Sure, it encourages me, but most people who do hear my music can’t get past how different it sounds to them.

On this evening, as my mind tried to come up with a plan again, I remembered what a coworker had said to me just that week: “You must have lived under a rock!” or something of that nature. He’d said it because a song had come on the radio as we were cleaning and I didn’t know who the artist was, or the song for that matter. Honestly, I probably did live a sheltered life compared to most people, at least in regards to music. My family never listened to the radio; it was either styles we didn’t like or it all sounded the same. So instead I grew up listening to music that mom and dad listened to, and I had no idea what was ‘popular’ or what wasn’t, and I didn’t really care. There was Steve Taylor, Newsboys (with Peter Furler), Larry Norman, Bride, dc talk, The Choir, The Lost Dogs, Swirling Eddies, Caedmon’s Call, Switchfoot, Plumb, the 77’s, Adam Again, The W’s, Third Day, Margret Becker, and Charlie Peacock just to name a few. Some of these you’ve probably heard of, some are long gone, and others perhaps are new to you.

Anyway, being accused of living under a rock because of music didn’t bother me. In fact it made me a little proud, and it inspired me. It made me ask the question, “What does it sound like living under a rock?” or at least my rock. And the first song that came into my head that matched that question is Larry Norman’s ‘Rock that Doesn’t Roll’. Yeah, I know, pretty dusty under this rock.

That song is energetic and should be encouraging to any Christian—Christ is our solid rock that will stay with us forever, forever unchanging!

So yes, I live under a rock. But my music is largely what made me who I am today and, no matter how old or strange, God is constantly encouraging me or reprimanding me through it all the time. I wanted to share two more songs with you, both of which are encouraging to me. The first is by The Choir, one of their newer songs that encourages me that I am never alone, we are never alone, even in the darkest or most despairing of places. And then the last song is Caedmon’s Call ‘Hope to Carry On’. I hope both encourage your heart today!

So what songs are a part of your life that encourage you?

Food For Thought: Praise the LORD

1Praise the Lord.a  Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord2Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.  3From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.”  ~Psalm 113

This week, I didn’t really feel like praising God.  I was tired from work and several times felt to be in a bad mood.  After snapping at my sister, I felt guilty, and I started wondering, ‘Why am I like this?’  Sure, I could use the excuse of being tired, but that really meant nothing.  In all actuality being tired was partially my fault because I was staying up too late, even though I knew I hadn’t been sleeping well.  So why was I so grumpy?  Was it really just lack of sleep?

No, it wasn’t.  Because the other thing I’d been neglecting was real bible reading and true prayer.  I’d been avoiding real intimate time with God, and therefore I wasn’t being fed the way I should.  So I read the bible.

The first passage I read was Psalm 112.  In the very first verse it says, “1Praise the Lord.b  Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands.”  It says that we are blessed who take delight in the Word of the LORD.  And the rest of psalm talks of the benefits of following and trusting in Him.  I was encouraged that I can indeed follow Him.

The next day I read Revelation 5.  This day I grew especially excited.  This is the chapter where an angel asks if there is anyone who can open the scroll, but no one is found who can.  John weeps because of this, but then he is told that the lion of Judah is here who can open the scroll.  So he looks and there is a lamb who was slain who is worthy to open the scroll.  And then the rest of the chapter is of everyone singing praises to Him.

Now I’ve read this chapter before, but this time something new jumped out at me.  It was the progression of worship.  The first to sing are the four living creatures and the elders, and we’re told that they sing a new song.  The song begins like this: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain,”.  Suddenly, a huge crowd of angels appears.  It’s like they heard the song and grew excited by it, because they sing a song of their own that echoes the first.  It goes like this: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” And then we are told that all the creatures on earth sing, excited by the song of the angels.  “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”  And this final song causes the four living creature to say “Amen!” and the elders to fall down and worship.

Can you sense it?  The excitement, the worship?  Can you see how one song was bounced around, causing more and more to lift their voices in praise to God?  I can, and it fills my heart with joy.  I want to be among those who praise Him forever from no matter where I happen to be, as the passage in Psalm 113 says.

Will you join me and all of creation?

My King: The Throne Room

I sing
In the throne room
Of the King
Of my heart
Of my heart
I praise the Lord of the
Heavenly glaze
He’s a whole of a part
A whole of a part
Don’t stop to stare
The night is melting
The day is daring
To fair well
At the hands of
My King

I sing
In the throne room
Of my King
In my heart
In my heart
I praise His hand
That surrounds me
In a rainbow ring
That’s how it starts
It starts with
His mouth
And the faith He grows
I give a shout
And He works in me
In my hands I work
For my King

Don’t bury your head
Deep down in the sand
Don’t fall asleep
In the promised land
Trudge, trudge onward
There’s a mountain on fire
Full of promised surprise

Oh the glory
Oh the holiness
Oh the glory
Of His mightiness
Oh praise Him
The King of
Our souls
Oh praises to
Oh singing to
You LORD
You, King
Of my heart
In my heart

Kneeling in
The throne room
Of my King
~

Revelation 4:

“1After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. 4Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 5From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. 6Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.

In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

“ ‘Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,’
who was, and is, and is to come.”

9Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

11“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”

My Painful Heart

There is pain
That burns in the heart
That dares to love
To love, love
There is hurt
That ever grows
In the heart
My heart, my heart
And I can’t stop the bleeding
I can’t stop seeing this
My love’s face
My love’s face

What can I do
When my love is in conflict
With my One True Love
O God, O God
What can I do?
I love You so dearly
And love to hear him love You
You love him, You love him
And I can’t stop weeping
I can’t stop feeling like
He’s falling away
He’s falling away

There is deep pain
In my heart
But I remember the day
Those days, those days
When he’d sing sweet music to You
And implore me to join
His delight was in You
Sweet Jesus, Sweet Jesus
And I can’t stop hoping
I can’t stop hoping in
Your deliverance
Your faithfulness

I know You will see him through
I know he will see You too
And this heart of mine
Will no longer feel this pain inside
Instead we will ever praise You
Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD!
Mighty to save
Mighty in strength.
~

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it his not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;2 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” ~1 Corinthians 13

“11Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” ~ Luke 15

My Same Old

New
I want something new
Not the same old
Same old
Not the same thing to do
Over and over
Tired of reading the Word
Only to sleep
And have to start again
Why should I pray again
If I have nothing new to say?
All over again
The same old
Same old
New
I want something new

But then the new comes
And with it chaos
Nothing steady
Nothing sure
Nothing real
Anymore
But then the new comes
And I feel numbed
I feel lost
I feel afraid
I bathe in this new lotion
And smell like a sewer
Because I didn’t want the old
Same old
New
I wanted something new

Test me Father
Know my heart
Try me and know my mind
Hear this voice of mine
Oh so small and insignificant
Know what unsatisfied feelings
I harbor deep within

New
When I forsook the new
And returned my face to the old
Same old
I tasted again the sweetness
Of the Word
And felt the joy it brought
When I returned to the same old
Same old
I found a sure foundation
I found You
And realized You had never
Never left my side
Though I am faithless
You are ever faithful
And for that I praise Your Name
He is my LORD
The One and Only GOD!
Praise Him!

~

“1Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.

2I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.

5Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” ~Psalm 16

“8Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
11Here is a trustworthy saying:

If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
12if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
13if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.” ~ 2 Timothy 2

“22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” ~James 1

Holy God: My Praise

Otherness
Holiness
That’s got to be
Only God who could be
Otherness
Holiness
On bended knee
I’ll praise Him
He’s my LORD
And I’ll praise Him

He’s Glory
He’s Holy
That’s what
I want to magnify
For He’s Glory
He’s Holy
Oh, on bended knee
I’ll praise Him
He’s my LORD
And I’ll praise Him

This is my praise
To my Holy God
Who is my All in all
This is my praise
To my Holy God
With lifted hands I sing

His Righteousness
His Holiness
In God alone
Do I place my trust
For His Righteousness (my righteousness)
His Holiness (my holiness)
On bended knee
I’ll praise Him
He’s my LORD
And I’ll praise Him

His Goodness
His Holiness
Far exceeds
All of me
His Goodness
His Holiness
These things
He provides for me
For He’s full of
Goodness and
Holiness
On bended knee
I’ll praise Him
For He’s my LORD
And I’ll praise Him
He’s my God
And I’ll praise Him
He’s my King
And I’ll praise Him

This is my praise
To my Holy God
Who is my All in all
This is my praise
To my Holy God

~

“1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

4At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
6Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” ~Isaiah 6

My Fool: Psalm 53

Fools, fools,
Every one one of them fools
They make me sick
With their ways of deceit
They lie, they cheat,
They covet and kill
They devour the innocent
And never get their fill of it
And yet they are worried
They are sick with fright
What are they afraid of?
Why are they overwhelmed with worry?
I do not know
I cannot see it
But even as they shake
Shivering in their shoes
They refuse to call on God
They refuse to acknowledge the existence of God
They refuse understanding
And refuse to seek Him out
Fools, fools,
Every one of them fools!

God looks down from heaven
He looks down at the surface of the earth
To see if there are any
Who understands
To see if there are any
Who seek His face
Does He see me?
Does He see you?
There is no one does good,
Not even one!

Fools are we
Fools am I
Who is corrupt to the core
But the Lord has reached down
And chosen whom to bestow His grace on
When He looks down
Now what does He see?
He doesn’t see you or me
He sees His Son’s blood
Covering us
Inside and out

Do not be overwhelmed with worry
The LORD will deliver you from all your troubles
What has the Lord promised?
He will bring salvation!
He will restore His people!
Praise the Lord!
Be glad!
Understand
Seek His face
Trust Him
And be glad!
~

“1The fool says in his heart,
‘There is no God.’
They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
there is no one who does good.

“2God looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.

“4Do all these evildoers know nothing?
They devour my people as though eating bread;
they never call on God.
5But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
where there was nothing to dread.
God scattered the bones of those who attacked you;
you put them to shame, for God despised them.

“6Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When God restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!”
~Psalm 53