Friday, July 24, 2015
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
I've been reading Pray Like a Gourmet (see my review here) and meditating on the topic of Praise. Author David Brazzeal shares some great reminders about praise. My favorite is "praise radically changes our perspective.")
I enjoyed several of the suggested exercises. I looked at the verbs in Psalm 147 (you should do this and praise God for His actions!). I blended two ideas (making a praise list in which each line begins "God, you are..." and making up a simple song). I made a list of lines of praise choruses that say "Lord, you are..." and then I used those phrases in a prayer.
I think that too often I save praise for happy times. We often sing "10,000 Reasons for My Heart to Sing" at church, and I have been pondering the phrase, "Sing like never before, O my soul." I used to think that was a call to burst out in joyful exuberant praise on a great day when my skinny jeans fit and my kids are calm and my heart is overflowing with happiness. (Did you hear that perspective...my...my...my...?)
But we sang that song quite often at church during a season of loss. And we sang it at the Retreat I attended this spring when I was still very stressed about our unexpected move. And I thought about the prayers I pray through gritted teeth, or the days I stare at the sky and search for words to pray.
Those are the days when I can "sing like never before." It might not be a happy song. But praise can radically change my perspective. Praise is talking to God about who He is.
Who He Is.
There is a time to talk to God about how confused I am about His plan or His strange answers to my prayers. Perhaps that time is right before or right after I praise Him!
But when I say, "Lord, I praise You because You are faithful. You have been faithful in the past and I trust that today will be no different. Your word is full of stories of Your faithfulness! I praise Your faithfulness!"
And then I say something similar about His love or His mercy or His grace.
That kind of prayer brings peace.
And radically changes my perspective.
Read more about Pray Like a Gourmet at PrayLikeaGourmet.com.
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who live according to the law of the Lord! (Psalm 119:1 HCSB)
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Monday, July 13, 2015
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Thursday, July 9, 2015
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Blogging in the summer, when I have no commitments and activities, is proving to be more difficult than blogging during the rest of the year when I really have to think about a schedule and a routine.
Today I rearranged some books and shelves, hoping to create a writing area--with a view of the neighbor's pink oleander. In the process I discovered some missing jewelry, a lot of Georgette Heyer books and a rebate form for my contacts (two weeks too late to send it in). I also found that my bookshelves are far too convenient. Pottery mugs, nail polish remover and homemade lotion are blocking my access to my books!
I stopped cleaning to look at the cluttered bookshelves. And I realized this is starting to look and feel like home.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
I am revisiting the themes of several of my books as I seek to “just be with Jesus." Today's post is adapted from my book Sacred Signposts. I am putting aside lengthy readings for a season, and instead looking for one word or phrase from a scripture portion to carry through the day. Today’s word, for me, is "encouragement."
photo credit: Trim Castle Is A Large Norman Castle On The South Bank Of The River Boyne In Trim, County Meath, Ireland. via photopin (license)