Tag: praise

I Love March!

calendarMarch

I love the month of March!  It feels like the year is finally beginning.

 

bloom-blooming-blossom-355663The seasons change and it feels like the world is waking up again…more sunlight, warmer temperatures, and spring flowers begin to show filling dead looking spaces with beautiful colors and aromas.

 

choir-306900_640I remember songs from growing up in Military Chapel services like: Lead On O King Eternal the day of march has come, March On O Soul with Strength, and Onward Christian Soldiers, to name a few. Scripture tells us that spring was the time that men went out to war. And so many of these songs have the word “march” in them, that I associated them with the month of March. 

 

March on O soul with strength, as strong the battle rolls! ‘Gainst lies and lusts and wrongs, let courage rule our soul

Lead on O King eternal, the day of march has come…we follow not with fears…till sins fierce war shall cease

Onward Christian Soldiers marching as to war…like a mighty army moves the church of God…hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross…put on the gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer

We’re marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion

warfarehelmetsI know the lyrics weren’t necessarily referring to the month of March, but every March I’m reminded of them. And it births in me a strong desire to be adequately armed for spiritual battle.

It reminds me that the enemy of our soul is on the move and ready with an attack, and I need to be vigilant in praying for my loved ones. And in praising God that He protects and directs, that He guards and guides, He helps and heals.

winner-4912049_640I am reminded that He dwells in the midst of our praise. So I give Him praise! No matter what circumstances, or trial or sorrow I may face, God will be with me and is in control.

And in the victories, it is His power that allows me to rejoice.

March is coming to an end, but as you see the signs of spring where you are; the snow melting,  the flowers blooming, the trees budding, the birds returning, let it be a reminder to you to armor up! And join in, for the Battle Belongs to the Lord!

God meets us – right where we are

Thank You, God, for meeting me right where I am…

my-lakeI have been lamenting the fact that I can no longer walk around the lake, the beautiful lake where You spoke to me so many times and showed me things about my own life and about You through Your creation there…the birds, the flowers, the trees, the sky, the mountains. You used each one of them to convey a message to me about who You are, and who I am, and how I should live.
igarden before

And then I look at my yard and garden, and lament that I no longer have the ability to work in my garden where You spoke to me so many times through seeds, growth, planting, watering, weeding, and the beauty and abundance Your provision.

bed-1846251_960_720And even as I do this lamenting, I find myself rejoicing! For even here in my bed where I spend more and more time each day due to the loss of energy and good health, I find that You are speaking to me here too. Of resting, reflecting, readjusted, reprioritizing. And I can find delight in Your willingness and ability to reach me wherever I am, whatever the circumstances of my life.

Each time I moved out of a phase I worried I would lose the revelations and inspiration You brought me. I would cling to each stage because of the beauty and the blessing You shared with me wondering if I would ever hear from You again. The truth is, as I moved through my life You have always been there beside me whatever the stage or phase I was going through. Meeting me wherever I was and now wherever I am. And the tears flow for the time I’ve spent lamenting what I had, instead of embracing what I have.

I am finally believing that when You say You will never leave me, that’s exactly what You mean… You really mean it! That You will be with me wherever I go even if I can’t go to the same places I used to go to be with You. You will come to me.

The truth is You always did. It was never me going to You where are You were. It was always You meeting me right where I was.

I no longer need to strive to get back to those places or the circumstances where I heard from You before. In truth, You are everywhere! You are as close as a whisper, as present as the air I breathe. And whatever comes, I know now that my hearing from You is not dependent on me or my circumstances but it is, and always has been, simply a condition of who You are and that You are true to Your promises.

womanbackpackarmsraisedIs there a time you were hearing from God more clearly? Have you struggled to get back to that place or put yourself back in those circumstances?

It’s not the place or the circumstances that matter. God is right here beside you. You need only reach out and ask Him to speak to you.

man kneeling

He is not limited by your location.

He is not constrained by your circumstances.

He is only awaiting your invitation to speak into your life.

Tell God You’re listening…

Invite Him now.

Waiting on the Lord Part 2

time-371226_640

Are you still waiting?

Chances are you are waiting on something. And yes, it can be encouraging to know that other people are waiting too, that all this waiting is actually part of our being human. But knowing there are some things that just aren’t within our control doesn’t make the waiting any easier.

Can you remember a time before we all had cell phones? I was very pregnant and traveling with our 4 and 8 year olds, coming home from visiting my parents. Very long flight. My husband had said call when we got in to the airport and he would pick us up.

airport-2123274_640I found a pay phone and called to say we were here, and went to get our bags, then we all walked to the passenger pick up and waited with our luggage outside exhausted. The kids were tired and hungry and hot but we waited; standing, sitting, chatting…

After waiting an hour, I was worried. The trip from our house was usually only 45 minutes. At the risk of missing him, I gathered the boys and our bags and went inside to find another pay phone. My husband hadn’t even left yet! I just about collapsed.

Even leaving right then, it would take at least another 45 minutes to get to the airport – then another 45 minutes to get back home!

boy-1867332_640

Nothing else to do but wait.

So I decided that to keep the boys engaged and in better spirits, we would make up games and silly songs to fill the time. We made up a new song called “It can be fun to wait.” In the song we counted, marched, sang our ABCs. We made a memory.

Now, when I am waiting alongside other people, they all pull out their cell phones and focus on them. Me, I turn to prayer. There are always people or circumstances on my mind that I can talk to the Lord about. And now that we wear masks in many public places where I wait, I can even pray quietly and no one can see my lips moving.

Through this, and so many other times I could tell you about, God showed me that time spent waiting can be purposeful. It can be prayerful. It can be “praise-ful.” And all those things can help us be patient.

blur-1867402_640Later He gave me this song. I still sing it when I’m challenged to “wait on the Lord.” It helps remind me that I need to use whatever time I have to praise Him. For who He is. For what He has done. When I use waiting time to pray, it helps me be patient. I feel like there’s purpose in it.

Try praise and prayer next time you find yourself waiting for something.

Chorus 2 X:  I can wait patiently

I can wait prayer-fully

I can wait praise-fully

For God knows what I need and He provides for me

As I wait I will praise my God

and the wonderful things He has done

I will praise Him for all creation

The earth and the stars and the sun

As I wait I will praise His name

Holy and Mighty is He

I thank Him for sending salvation

Salvation for you and for me

Chorus 2 X:  I can wait patiently

I can wait prayer-fully

I can wait praise-fully

For God knows what I need and He provides for me

And sometimes I even still sing the silly “it can be fun to wait” song too.

Because, sometimes, now, it can be fun to wait!

I lift my hands

ceiling fan

The other day I was helping put up a ceiling fan. We had to work with our hands above our heads; and quickly, it became very tiring. Soon, all the blood ran out of our arms and our hands got numb. Our shoulders ached and muscles we didn’t even know we had, cried out in rebellion.

 

We don’t often hold our hands up for very long periods of time. It isn’t the natural relaxed state for our bodies.

009-moses-amalekites

In Exodus, while Moses held up his hands, his army had victory. When his hands dropped, they began to lose. Moses needed help. Two assistants came to help him by bracing his arms so his hands could remain uplifted. And his troops gained a victory!

In 3 of the Psalms, David records that he raised his hands to God. And in I Timothy, we’re told to raise our holy hands in prayer. So in the Bible, it seems holding up your hands is a good thing.

If this is pleasing to God, why didn’t he create us like that? It would have been a simple thing for Him to do. After all, trees lift their branches. It’s their normal position – a stature of having extremities raised heavenward.

I think it’s because He wants our lifted hands to be voluntary – our choice. It’s a way of offering praise. And it’s a way of asking for the gifts He’s prepared for us: salvation, blessings, answers to prayer, in a posture of readiness to receive them.

fist-424500_640

 

Too many times, we go around with our hands clenched in anger, fear or frustration — or just trying to hold on to what we have. So that when we pray, we are unable to receive what God wants to give us.

 

Givinghandsandredpushpin

 

 

Because to receive, you have to open your hands.

 

 

I like the song written and recorded by Sandi Patty I Lift My Hands To You because it encourages me to lift my hands. Join me, lift your hands to God – showing Him that you’re ready to receive the blessings and answers to prayer He has for you today.