Sustenance from the archives+ & FMF: Praise

Sustenance from the archives+ (16)

I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High” (Psalm 7:17, NKJV).


I do not always feel like praising You and sometimes, in the moment, I am blinded to the reasons to praise You that each day contains. The cause of my “not feeling like praising You” mindset (or tantrum?) and the reasons for my blindness can vary: a difficult day, a challenging week, or even years that seem characterized by one struggle after another; minor or not so minor daily stressors or irritations; someone’s rudeness or lack of consideration; rush hour traffic; physical pain; sleep deprivation; prayers for which I have not seen answers … the list goes on.

Psalm 7:17 reminds me of one reason I consistently have to praise You, namely …. You. “I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness …” You are righteous, Father, in all Your ways. Loving to all You have made. When my circumstances and/or the circumstances of those whom I hold dear in my heart seem to contradict Your character, help me to remember that circumstances change but You never will. You are and will always be my reason to praise You.

Today’s post is for Day 12 of the series, “Sustenance from the archives+,” that is part of the 31 Days Free Writes writing challenge (and FMF). The post was originally published on July 3, 2013, as “Imperfect Prose Link-Up: Reason to Praise.” To read the post for Day 11 of the series, please click on the link below. To learn about Five Minute Friday (FMF), click here.

Day 11: Door


For coming, thank You

For coming, thank YOU.png

He sat on the colt,
and rode on its back in to Jerusalem,
on a road covered with a mixture of palms and clothing,
the shouts of “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,”
ringing in His ears and
echoing through the streets.

But He Who knows the hearts of all men
knew that many of those shouting praise,
would a few days later,
shout, “Crucify Him,”
and ask for a murderer and an insurrectionist to be released instead of Him.
He knew.

He knew. 
And He knows that my praise too can be inconsistent,
rapidly changing into whining and complaining,
fueled by doubt and unbelief.
Calling Him, Lord, in one breath.
Having a tantrum with the next.

He knows.
And still He loves
Works in me patiently.
Changing me.
Drawing me.
Empowering me to do what pleases Him.

So, for His faithfulness,
His abounding grace,
His mercy,
His incomprehensible love,
and because He is forever worthy,
I whisper, “Halleluia. Thank You, for coming, Lord.”
”Thank for choosing to suffer and die.
And for making it possible for me to know You as Savior,
and to know God as Father. Thank You.”

Made right

Romans 5 v 9.png

Today I am mulling over the incredible truths in Romans 5:1-17. Let us read the New Living Translation of these verses together.

5 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

There truly is no explaining or understanding the love of God for us. There is also no earning His love. There is no doing enough to make Him love us more or not doing enough that will make Him love us less. He loves us unconditionally and perfectly. He chose to love us and demonstrated His “great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (verse 8).

We. Have. Been. Made. Right. In. God’s. Sight. By. The. Blood. Of. Christ.

No more condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). That guilt and shame that haunts? Baseless. Total forgiveness is ours because of Christ Jesus, as is the grace to turn from sin.

We. Have. Been. Made. Right. In. God’s. Sight. By. The. Blood. Of. Christ.

And if that was not enough to praise God unceasingly for, we also have peace with God, and stand, “in a place of undeserved privilege” (verse 2).  These blessings enable us to know there is purpose to our trials and challenges.

We. Have. Been. Made. Right. In. God’s. Sight. By. The. Blood. Of. Christ. 

Thank You, Father. Thank You. Give us a fresh and true revelation of this truth so that we never again read, hear, sing, or speak of what You did for us without a sense of wonder, worship, and profound gratitude.  



From sunrise to sunset and in all other moments

When morning gilds the skies 


my heart awaking cries:


May Jesus Christ be praised! WP_20150504_011

When evening shadows fall,

WP_20150504_003 (2)

this rings my curfew call


May Jesus Christ be praised!

The words quoted above are some of the lyrics from the classic hymn, May Jesus Christ be praised (When morning gilds the skies). I learned the hymn as a child; however, it is as an adult that I am learning the full truth underlying the lyrics – God is worthy of my praise and is to be praised at all times and in all circumstances. Also, the choice to praise is  Him is always within my power.

The  complete lyrics can be found here.

Joy Unleashed: Elizabeth and Mary

maryandelizabeth2Photo Credit

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly,

You’re so blessed among women,
    and the babe in your womb, also blessed!
And why am I so blessed that
    the mother of my Lord visits me?
The moment the sound of your
    greeting entered my ears,
The babe in my womb
    skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.
Blessed woman, who believed what God said,
    believed every word would come true!

And Mary said,

I’m bursting with God-news;
    I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
    I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
    the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
    on those who are in awe before Him.
He bared His arm and showed His strength,
    scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
    pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
    the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
    He remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what He promised,
    beginning with Abraham and right up to now. (Luke 1: 39-55)

Prayer:  Father, this Christmas, as we read and hear familiar passages of Scripture, may we experience a fresh sense of wonder and joy, as if we were being told of Your indescribable love for the first time.

Five Minute Friday (and Reasons to Praise: Day 31 – Leave)

Five Minute Friday



I read the prompt and His words sprung up in my spirit strong

Wrapped themselves around my heart like a salve

Pouring in oil and wine

Moving me to tears with its firm assurance.

“Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.”


Not through the waters

Not through the fire

Not through the darkness that seems to hide My face

Not through the betrayals

Not through the leavings that come through endings

Caused by physical death

Or life choices


Always there


Every day

Every season


Not one moment when I am not with you

Not one second when I have even looked away

Much more walked away

Never will I leave you

Not when you sin

Not when you fail

Not when you doubt

Not when you pout, resist my Sprit, openly rebel

Choose your own way instead of Mine

Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake You.

I keep My promises always

So know that I will keep this one also

As impossible as this may seem

Especially when you think of all that has ended

Put you together in your mother’s womb

And will bring you safely home.

Never will I leave you.


Hebrews13_5Photo Credit


Father, thank You for Your promise and thank You that you are the Promise Keeper.

This post is number 31 for the series, “Reasons to Praise.” Thanks to all who have walked with me through the month of October by reading one, several, or all of the posts in this series. Thanks to Kate Motaung for the invitation. Joining her for  31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Five Minute Friday.

Reasons to Praise: Day 30 – First



Having to do with time, as in beginning

With order, as in he is first in line

And importance, as in top priority

We see first attached to various things



Credit Unions


Thrift stores


Birth order


Kits designed to provide aid

But when I think of the truest definition of first, “preceding all others in time, order, or importance” and “foremost in position, rank, or importance,’ I realize that there is only One Who precedes all others in time, order, or importance. Only one Who is foremost in position, rank or importance … the Son.

 first 2



Father, thank You that You are the First and the Last; The process of making You first in my life and keeping You first, Your rightful position, is an ongoing, moment by moment decision. Help.

This post is number 30 in the series, “Reasons to Praise.” Joining Kate Motaung for 31 days of Five Minute Free Writes.

Reasons to Praise: Day 29 – Unite




These two verses speak to the fact that I can have a divided heart. They also speak to the fact that, regardless of what divides my heart, pulls it in different directions (and the list can be long), You are the only one who can unite my heart, cause it to be undivided.

You are the only one with the ability to unite my heart, a condition that is necessary so that I can fear Your Name. The fear, the reverence, the awe of You that Your Word declares is the beginning of wisdom. The fear that drives out the fear of man and all other fears that bring torment.

You are the only one who can give me singleness of heart. The singleness of heart that I need to obey You without reservation, as did the children of Judah. Father, give me an undivided heart. Unite my heart. Give me singleness of heart. Such a heart will align my priorities with Yours. Will hold the desires that You have. Father, unite my heart.


This post is number 29 in the series “Reasons to Praise.” Joining Kate Motaung for 31 days of Five Minute Free Writes.

Reasons to Praise: Day 28 – Wake


“Wake.” Defined as “to cause a person or animal to be awake after sleeping and to stop sleeping; to become awake after sleeping.”

To cause someone to stop sleeping.

I think of how often I use and hear the statement, “I woke up this morning at such and such a time.” I woke up. Sometimes I think the emphasis is placed on the I as if it was by my own doing that I woke up. With this emphasis, I miss the reality of the miracle that He was the one Who woke me up. He was the one Who granted me another day. He was the cause of my awaking after sleep.


In fact He is the One in whom I do everything.


He wakes me up physically but also wakes me up spiritually and in other areas because sometimes I am sleep walking though my life. He has used circumstances as well as His Word to wake me up to my need of Him and His purpose for my life.


Father, thank You for the reminder that I need You to be and I need You to do … everything.

Reasons to Praise: Day 27 – Free


A bird gliding or soaring up above is one of the images that comes to mind when I think of the word, “free.” I also think of three verses in the Bible that talk about freedom.

Isaiah 61:1


 Speaking of Jesus, hundreds of years before His first Advent, Isaiah declares that one of the reasons for the Messiah’s coming was to set prisoners free.

  Slide2Jesus tells us in John 8:36 that when He sets us free we are truly free.

 Paul writing to the Galatians tells them that Christ sets us free so that we can remain free. And he warns them to not allow themselves to be imprisoned or enslaved again.

Slide3The fact that we can become re-enslaved by our own actions from what God sets us free is sobering, and I wondered, “What is one of the things that we can allow ourselves to be re-enslaved by?” The answer? Unforgiveness.

No one deserves forgiveness, including me. It begins with a decision, one that I choose to make in obedience to God and with His help, and with the knowledge that the one who benefits most from forgiving someone is me.



Father, I do not deserve Your forgiveness and especially not the incomprehensible price You paid to be able to forgive me.  Thank You that the truths of Philippians 2:13 and 4:13 apply to the task and journey of forgiving.

This post  (which took longer than 5 minutes) is number 27 in the series, “Reasons to Praise.” Joining Kate Motaung for 31 days of Five Minute Free Writes.