Hope this letter finds you looking up and that you are living a life of Praise to God. Last Sunday we had an adoption service in the middle of our service. The adoption was different in that we adopted praise into our lives just like David of old did. I think the encouragement of David should be enough to help us buy into the privilege by responding to Gods invitation to praise Him. I have always said, “It is easier to shout out from underneath your burdens than it is to pray out from underneath them.” David understood the power of praise, listen again to his encouragement to Israel in regard to praising God. God has given you a personal invite to praise Him.
“SEVEN TIMES A DAY DO I PRAISE THEE, because of thy, righteous judgment.” The Message Translation gives us even greater insight into this powerful verse. “I’ve been slandered unmercifully by the politicians, but my awe at your words keeps me stable. I’m ecstatic over what you say, like one who strikes it rich. I hate lies—can’t stand them! — but I love what you have revealed. SEVEN TIMES EACH DAY, I STOP AND SHOUT PRAISES FOR THE WAY YOU KEEP EVERYTHING RUNNING RIGHT. For those who love what you reveal, everything fits— no stumbling around in the dark for them. I wait expectantly for your salvation; God, I do what you tell me. My instructions— oh, how much I love them! I follow your directions, abide by your counsel; my life’s an open book before you.”
Aaron and Julie Schilling gives us a good template on how to get this incorporated in your daily life.
7:00 am PRAISE THE LORD...EVERY DAY
9:00 am PRAISE THE LORD...EVERY DAY.
11:00 am PRAISE THE LORD...EVERY DAY.
1:00 pm PRAISE THE LORD...EVERY DAY.
3:00 pm PRAISE THE LORD...EVERY DAY.
5:00 pm PRAISE THE LORD...EVERY DAY.
7:00 pm PRAISE THE LORD...EVERY DAY.
This week for the first time in all our years of ministry, we have two of our people in Hospice Care at the same time. They are both wonderful Christians, one is man and the other is woman. I can say, as a pastor, it is one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had. Each of them is filled with are living there last days with Heavenly anticipation. Their families are having long conversations with them in regard to what Heaven is going to be like. It is wonderful to walk into
the home and see the Bible open to some special passage about death and heaven. Yesterday, I visited my friend who is in what the doctors have told him is his last days, yet he speaks of death as though it is a light affliction. Each of them has said their last goodbyes. The first thing they did when I got settled in the room with them was to ask me a question about these verses their Bible was open to. They are found in the book of Philippians chapter One:
22-26 “As long as I’m alive in this body, there is good work for me to do. If I had to choose right now, I hardly know which I’d choose. Hard choice! The desire to break camp here and be with Christ is powerful. Some days I can think of nothing better. But most days, because of what you are going through, I am sure that it’s better for me to stick it out here. So, I plan to be around awhile, companion to you as your growth and joy in this life of trusting God continues. You can
start looking forward to a great reunion when I come visit you again. We’ll be praising Christ, enjoying each other.” The Message Translation
I have found it to be comforting to couples like these to mention, “Just think the other half of your soul will be in heaven”. It is a beautiful thing to see people who are truly ready for the graduation day, sharing their faith with any and everyone who will listen. I visited them both on Tuesday of this week and each time I have visited, I have walked away tremendously blessed. One of our men in the church while speaking with the brother said, “I want to think that I would have the faith you have when I come to the place you are in, in life.” I think we should all want this to be our testimony as well.
Have you ever read the verse, “Death and Hell are never full?”
I have been asked many times in life after a great meal, “Would you like some more food or dessert?” My answer is this, “I can chew but I cannot swallow.” I love what Paul said as he spoke directly to death he said, “Oh death where is your sting, Oh grave where is your victory, for the sting of death is swallowed up in victory.” As I have visited my friends and your brothers and sisters in Christ, I have seen death swallowed up in Victory. They have a blessed hope that transcends this life.
Our prayers are with them today as we remember special times we have had with Ray and Holly Willis and Mike and Mary Morrow. Our lives have been enriched by their love for The Lord and their contribution to the Kingdom of God.
I write this with a tear in my heart but with a Resurrection Hope.
Your loving pastor,
“This robe of flesh, I’ll drop and rise to seize the everlasting prize and shout while passing through the air, farewell/farewell sweet hour of prayer.”