On Why I Worship, Who I Live For, and the Savior Who Rescued My Soul

On Why I Worship, Who I Live For, and the Savior Who Rescued My Soul.png 

In the midst of your pain, in the midst of your darkness, in the midst of the terrifying paths in front of us that we call the future – you’re so radically and beautifully loved. May we never lose sight of that.

 

i.

 

I sit peacefully on the porch, one leg curled under me, guitar resting on the other. I feel the cool breeze of the evening in my hair, the summer mosquitoes swarming around my feet, and I unwind as my fingers dance up and down the familiar strings.

 

And in the stillness, the quiet, the only solitude I’ve had all day, one thing comes to my mind – Worship Him. The Savior. Continue reading

Worthy of Praise

 New Hampshire Mountain and River Square New Hampshire Mountain Panorama New Hampshire Rock and Train Tracks

It’s just breathtaking.

Currently, I’m wearing away the keys of my laptop from a cute little motel in the middle of the gorgeous mountains of New Hampshire.

(Maybe I should be saying ‘last night’ not ‘right now,’ for I’m not writing at 6am. Anyway, just think of this in terms of Monday.)

I’m sitting on my bed with my computer, filtering through all the lovely memories of the day.

Here I am, driving in and out of the mountains. To every side, I see the splendor of cloud-covered mountains. The wind blows through my hair, and I simply breathe in the mountain air. The mountains are solid rock combined with greenery; too high and deep and wide for me to fathom. The breathtaking view is just too much. Peace mixed with awe; serenity mixed with wonder.

And that’s not all.

To all sides of the roads, rushing waters flow for miles. Over rocks and sand, under bridges and through streams, rushing rivers run. The water is clear and crisp. The most beautiful flowing water I’ve seen in such a long time. It winds through the mountains and steals the air from my lungs.

It’s stunning. Lovely. Gorgeous. Dazzling. Brilliant. Resplendent. Awe-striking. I have no words.

Besides this amazingness I witnessed today, there was more.

Because all of this pulchritudinous (yes, that’s a word!) craftsmanship cries out one thing: “I have a Creator, and I glorify Him!”

Psalm 19:1 says,

 

The heavens declare the glory of God,

    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”

 

I love this, because today I saw this firsthand. It was so amazing and inspiring! God’s creation is real. It’s not copied-and-pasted all around the world. It’s not a black-and-white world (like it was in the olden days, of course), for we live in vivid color. We live in the majesty and the uniqueness of God’s amazing handiwork!

Psalm 95:3-7 says,

“For the Lord is a great God,

In his hand are the depths of the earth;

    the heights of the mountains are his also.

The sea is his, for he made it,

    and his hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;

    let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

For he is our God,

    and we are the people of his pasture,

    and the sheep of his hand.”

 

Let us worship God for who He is! Let us bow before our Maker – not because we “have” to! No! Look at everything He has done! He’s created this entire world with such craftsmanship and beauty. He cares for us. He doesn’t have to. He created us and loves us, and has a purpose for all of us. And I’m overwhelmed by it all! Isn’t it INCREDIBLE?

Because all this creation, well, it’s breathtaking.

And all I can say is WOW. The pictures, well, they do NOT do it justice. Not in the least.

The majesty of God is displayed, reminding me of the Hope that I have. Reminding me to fall to my knees in worship, of my God, who cares so much about me. Reminding me how much I love Him. Reminding me how thankful I am to Him who has rescued my soul. I love my Lord, and these mountains and rivers are just a glimpse of His glory.

And a glimpse for now is all I need to blow me away.

I am blown away, and oh, how I want to worship Him in everything I do. Every breath I breathe, every song I sing, every word I pen, every word I speak, everything I do, I want to bring glory to Him in. In all things, He is worthy of my praise.

*aj

Praise God!

Praise God!

So, I’ve been thinking a lot lately. I’ve been thinking about a “Christianese” phrase that gets tossed around a lot. Thinking about this common phrase has brought me to question when and why we actually say this.

I suppose that there are many ways to say “Praise God,” or “Praise the Lord.” But we hear it a bunch from “Spiritual” people, don’t we?

“He got a new job!” “Well, Praise the Lord!”

“She bought a house!” “Oh, Praise God!”

“They’re finally engaged!” “That’s awesome! Praise God!”

Okay, I’m NOT saying that it is bad to say this (somewhat clichéd) phrase, but I’m simply objecting to the when and the why.

For example, if my house burns down, am I going to get a bunch of calls the next day from my friends saying “Praise the Lord!”? Um, in this day and age, probably not. Because we, as 21st century Christians, tend to praise God for things that make us happy. (Funny thing. Kind of ironic, seeing that we are always saying that earthly things don’t matter.)

Since when do we only praise God about happy things? Since when do we only say “Praise the Lord” about things that we like and decide to be thankful for?

Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.”

I think that we all know that life isn’t always easy or pleasant. Therefore, ‘continually’ must mean always, and if life isn’t always easy, then that means that no matter what we are to praise God.

No matter what.

Or, how about this verse?

Psalm 150:6 states, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”

Since every person has breath, this applies to all of us.

Everything and everyone and always.

Doesn’t sound very subjective to me.

See, it’s absolutely wonderful to praise God about good things. But we also must praise Him in the hard things. Do you want to know why?

God ALWAYS has a plan. He is ALWAYS in control. He is ALWAYS sovereign. He is ALWAYS God, and is ALWAYS worthy of praise. He never changes, so we should praise Him consistently. He is constant, and so should our praise to Him be.

(Cool side note: Right now, as I’m writing this, I’m listening to Hillsong’s new album, Empires. And a wonderful song came on for the first time that I’m hearing it, called Even When it Hurts (Praise Song). You wanna know what it’s about? Praising God, even when it hurts. *jaw drops*)

God is good, all the time. No exceptions! Let us praise Him with every word that comes out of our mouths, in every circumstance. He is worthy of our praise. ALWAYS.

*aj