Continual Sacrifice

Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to His name.

—Hebrews 13:15

 

I am learning more and more about praising God.

Perhaps it would be better stated if I said that I am learning more and more to praise God for the things in my life.

Not just actual things like a house or a car, but situations, too.

Praising Him for what is happening in my life and what has happened.

God is worthy of praise.

That doesn’t change according to earthly circumstances.

As I am beginning to think about praising God even on occasions when difficulties arise, I am coming to understand that He allows events in my life and He will work for my good through them.

 

 

 

 

 

therefore

Great Is the LORD!

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord
It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only
(Great Are You Lord by All Sons and Daughters)
This song has become so meaningful to me this past year, especially the last couple of weeks.
I went to a conference with my daughter-in-law a few months ago and this was the theme song of the gathering.
It was sung at every worship service.
It was the first time I had ever heard it.
As I see God at work in several aspects of my life and in the lives of those I love, my heart has been filling with praise.
God does give hope.
God does restore.
God does bring light to the darkness in our lives.
God is love and He gives us our life.
The breath we breathe?
We only have it because He gives it to us.
God is truly great.
Our praise belongs to Him only.
Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure His greatness.
—Psalm 145:3
great-is

Your Wonders

And the heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD;

from Psalm 89:5

The sunset over the lake was dazzling with radiant light and color.

With each pattern changing as darkness approached, there would never be quite the same sunset again.

In all its beauty, the heavens were praising God’s magnificent wonders.

Wouldn’t you agree?

 

Your wonders

Before All the Nations

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,

And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up,

So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise

To spring up before all the nations.

—Isaiah 61:11

Imagine it—

Righteousness springing up before all the nations and peoples of the world.

Imagine it—Praise to God springing up before all the nations and peoples of the world.

Someday, God will bring this about.

In His perfect timing.

 

before all

Give Thanks

Give thanks to Him who made the heavenly lights–His faithful love endures forever.

—Psalm 136:7

 

 

Being thankful.

Being grateful.

Being appreciative.

Having a heart full of praise.

Having a heart full of devotion.

To recognize God’s faithfulness.

To know of God’s love deeply within your soul.

All praise belongs to God!

 

givethanks

I Want To Make Music

I truly do want to praise the LORD throughout my life.

Because He has given me the ability to do so, I want to make music to praise Him.

My hope every day is in God.

He has always been faithful to me.

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Hallelujah! Praise the LORD, my soul!

I want to praise the LORD throughout my life. I want to make music to praise my God as long as I live.

Do not trust influential people, mortals who cannot help you.

When they breathe their last breath, they return to the ground. On that day their plans come to an end.

Blessed are those who receive help from the God of Jacob. Their hope rests on the LORD their God,

who made heaven, earth, the sea, and everything in them. The LORD remains faithful forever.

Psalm 146:1-6

make music

Praise Him With Strings

Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes!
—Psalm 150:4

I recently bought a new guitar. 

I will sing and play. 

There will be times that I will sing praise songs and play. 

It is God that has allowed me to develop the skill to play the guitar. 

It is God who gave me a voice. 

Shouldn’t I want to praise Him with both?

Along With the Seas

Let the heavens and the earth praise Him,  along with the seas and everything that swims in them! 

Psalm 69:34

I live only an hour and a half drive from the ocean. 

Tonight, while visiting friends far away from my home, we went to “their” ocean–the one not far from their home. 

It was evening when we arrived. 

The moon was high in the night sky and the rolling, white waves crashed on the sand before me. 

It was a shoreline I had never seen, but it was God’s. 

Tonight was just the night that He was allowing me to experience another beautiful part of His creation. 

All praise belongs to God. 

 

Sing

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Birds sing to the Lord.

When lions roar, they are singing, too.

As the dolphin jumps for a moment from the water with elegance and grace, it is “singing” to the Lord.

The golden butterfly sings as it flutters from bloom to bloom.

All the creatures of the earth sing to the Lord, their Maker.

Shouldn’t we, as well?

 

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Sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth.
 Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
 Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

—Psalm 96:1-3

 

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sing

 

 

 

 

 

Praise Him, Sun and Moon

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The sky was clear last night and the moon was bright and almost nearly overhead.

Braving the mosquitoes, I stood in my driveway, trying to get a good shot.

I really enjoy looking at the night sky and seeing a small part of the vastness in space that God has created.

Each time the moon rises, its very presence praises God who made it….

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Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise Him in the heights above.
 Praise Him, all His angels;
    praise Him, all His heavenly hosts.
 Praise Him, sun and moon;
    praise Him, all you shining stars.
 Praise Him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.

 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for at His command they were created,
 and He established them for ever and ever—
    He issued a decree that will never pass away.

—Psalm 148:1-6

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praise

They Sing Praises

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The lyrics to an old hymn mention birds singing to God:

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

(Maltbie D. Babcock)

Birds calling.

Flowers blooming.

The light of sunrise.

They are all praising God!

All the earth worships You
    and sings praises to You;
    they sing praises to Your Name. Selah

—Psalm 66:4

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all the earth

From the Rising

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Standing on the dock of the intracoastal waters, I had a prime vantage point for viewing the sunset.

The fiery ball of light before me was vanishing behind a blanket of clouds low to the horizon, giving the illusion of

of mountains in the distance.

As the light danced on the gentle ripples of the water’s surface, it mirrored the subtle colors of gold and gray above.

Psalm 113:3

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.

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rising

Make a Loud Noise

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As I was turning into my friend’s neighborhood, I happened to look toward the west.

What I saw was so incredible!

A giant anvil cloud was absolutely bursting into the atmosphere.

It appeared to be so large, it dwarfed the houses and trees below.

Pulling my car to the side of the road, I immediately got my camera out to photograph such a stunning sight.

From where I was, the massive cloud structure made no sound, yet its presence was loud and commanding.

Psalm 98:4 reads,

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.”

In those moments, the clouds and the sun sang a duet of silent, yet loud, praise to their Maker.

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loud noise

And With My Song

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The melodic sound of the cardinal rang out all through the yard.

He had found his way to the very top of one of the tallest trees.

There, for all to hear, he sang….

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The Lord is my strength and my shield;

my heart trusts in Him,

and He helps me.

My heart leaps for joy,

and with my song

I praise Him.

—Psalm 28:7

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my song

In Amazing Ways

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Sing praises to the Eternal!

Everyone, everywhere should know that God acts in amazing ways.

—Isaiah 12:5

Have you seen God work in amazing ways?

Sometimes, He may be working in an amazing way all around us, but we are focused elsewhere and we miss it.

Could it be that I could miss God at work?

How could I tune my senses to listen, look for and recognize God’s amazing acts all around me?

Every moment brings the possibility in which the miraculous works of God may be displayed.

Knowing that can bring a sense of excitement and awe as I anticipate His presence.

God truly acts in amazing ways.

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All the Earth

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Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
    sing the glory of His name;
    give to Him glorious praise!
 Say to God, “How awesome are Your deeds!
    So great is Your power that Your enemies come cringing to You.
 All the earth worships You
    and sings praises to You;
    they sing praises to Your name.”

Selah

—Psalm 66:1-4

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all the earth

As a Garden

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As the earth lets its new plants grow, and as a garden causes the things planted in it to grow, in the same way, the Lord God will cause what is right and good and words of praise to grow up in front of all the nations.

—Isaiah 61:11

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grow

Awesome in Your Sanctuary

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The colors in the photo below have not been altered.

This is what it looked like as I stood on the shore of the lake, taking in one of the most beautiful sights of my life.

I was surrounded by a heavenly glow of color that was almost too much to take in.

Standing there alone for several minutes, I didn’t want to leave the water’s edge.

I didn’t want to miss a single second of the beauty that God had placed in motion before me.

How gorgeous Heaven must be in the presence of our Holy Father and His Son, Jesus Christ!

Imagine the glorious colors that will surround the throne!

On this earth, He allows us to see such beauty in the skies above us—only a hint of what is to be known in eternity.

The psalmist has penned:

Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth,
    sing praise to the Lord,
 to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens,
    who thunders with mighty voice.
 Proclaim the power of God,
    whose majesty is over Israel,
    whose power is in the heavens.
 You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;
    the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

Praise be to God!

—Psalm 68:32-35

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sanctuary

Great Sea Creatures

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God made everything.

All the animals.

All the birds.

All the insects.

Apple trees.

Holly bushes.

Grass.

Creatures in the sea.

I think each creation pleased Him.

I think He knew that we would someday look at dolphins and say, “They look like they’re smiling!”

I think that pleased God, too.

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Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
 lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding,
 you mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
 wild animals and all cattle,
    small creatures and flying birds,
 kings of the earth and all nations,
    you princes and all rulers on earth,
 young men and women,
    old men and children.

—-Psalm 148:7-12

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great sea creatures

Music from the Harp

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I received a surprise gift at Christmastime last year.

It was a large, hand crafted hammered dulcimer.

A beautiful harp-like instrument, with strings stretching across a wooden platform.

Played with almost weightless hammers of wood, the sound is light and percussive.

There are many types of musical instruments in the world.

As people develop new tastes from one point in history to the next, so the instruments can develop with them.

I wonder what the harp in biblical days would’ve sounded like?

Whatever the instrument we possess, we can use it in praise to God.

Sing your praise accompanied by music from the harp.  Let the cornets and trumpets shout! Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King!

–Psalm 98:5-6

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music

But I Will Hope

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Walking along the lake, I saw some plants growing in the water.

The leaves were positioned on the top of the water, not submerged.

Their beautiful hues of lavender and green adorned the murky lake.

Though surrounded by water, the leaves were above it.

We often find ourselves in less than perfect situations.

Circumstances can be hard.

During those times, we can continue to reach out for God’s strength, even when ours is fading.

When we are surrounded by problems, we can still stay above them with His help.

Although things might look really murky, the colors of God’s love are evidence within us of His faithfulness in our lives.

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But I will hope continually
    and will praise you yet more and more.

–Psalm 71:14

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hope final

Whatever You Do

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Rabbits hop.

Eagles soar.

I play the piano….

If I am anywhere near a piano, I usually have the urge to play it.

In my opinion, any piano in my vicinity is simply silent, waiting for me to tell it what to say.

As I sit in front of the keys, many times my fingers relay a message of praise to God.

The strings and hammers respond with complete obedience and a melodious hymn vibrates from their midst.

Those who hear may or may not recognize the sounds as being an offering, yet God knows every note I play as it pairs with the strings of my heart.

I have a voice.

It is simply silent, waiting for me to tell it what to say.

Will my words be those of praise?

Will they encourage others?

Will they show God’s love?

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

—1 Corinthians 10:31

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eat or drink

Where We Always Hoped We Might Stand

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Where have you always hoped you might stand?

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

–Romans 5:1-2  The Message

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glorious two

Praise the Lord!

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As the sun was setting, it was like a blazing ball of fire behind the trees.

It’s hard to imagine the true size of the sun.

It’s hard to comprehend it’s burning temperature.

It’s hard to fathom the brightness it expels into space.

Yet, God looks on all the universe that He created at once, controlling infinity.

His name is to be praised!

Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
    praise the name of the Lord!

 Blessed be the name of the Lord
    from this time forth and forevermore!
 From the rising of the sun to its setting,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised!

The Lord is high above all nations,
    and his glory above the heavens!
 Who is like the Lord our God,
    who is seated on high,
who looks far down
    on the heavens and the earth?

—Psalm 113:1-6

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rising