Tag Archives: praise

“I Will Sing Unending Songs…”

“Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord…”
Psalm 102:18 (ESV)

unending songs

This weekend, I will spend Saturday morning and Sunday evening recording a live worship album with the worship ministries team at church.

I’m only one small part of the second row of a large choir (plus orchestra, rhythm section, praise team, tech team, children’s choir, and student choir), but I am so excited to be a part of this recording project. I do not take this opportunity and responsibility lightly … to be a part of leading others (both present and future generations, both in my city and around the world) to worship in spirit and in truth and to praise the Lord’s name!

While we’ve been diligently preparing and rehearsing for several weeks (probably more like months…) now, this past Wednesday evening was obviously a particularly long and intense rehearsal as tempos were being nailed down, harmonies were being fine-tuned, rhythms were being locked-in, cut-offs were being sharpened, and all of the moving parts were being tweaked to come into their final places.

No doubt there will be a few additional tweaks throughout the multiple day recording process this weekend (and beyond) as well.

But beyond the logistics and the technical aspects of the music, the lights, the sound, etc., it is such an honor and privilege to serve alongside this worship ministries team under the leadership of a worship pastor who values and prioritizes Biblical worship.

Even the most intense rehearsals are Christ-centered and worship-focused.

I love that!

Now I’m not really much into visions. In fact, I’m probably more on the side of the skeptic when it comes to receiving some form of a vision from the Lord, but I also believe that God can and does still work that way when His people are willing to listen and see.

So what I’m about to say, I take incredibly seriously, but know I likely won’t be able to do the moment much justice at all. But it’s too rich not to at least try!

As we were nearing the 2.5 hour mark on Wednesday evening, as I was feeling more fatigued by the minute and rather at the end of myself, during our final worship set, a medley of four songs all about the eternal song of praise in heaven, the Lord allowed me to catch a hazy and fleeting, but oh so powerful, glimpse of the reality of heaven.

Not in a clear photographic vision sort of way.
Not even in a clouds-parted-and-I-literally-saw-heaven sort of way.
Not at all.

But with the house lights down, the spotlights bright, the many exit signs glowing, in the fogginess and dimness of that moment as we were literally singing the words,

“Every eye will see the coming of the King…”

I saw it.

A hazy, fleeting, barely-for-a-moment glimpse of That Day when all eyes will be focused on the Center of this eternal reality … the light and truth that is our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

Oh. Wow.

I’m speechless just thinking about it again!

It was as if for that very brief moment, I was able to step outside of myself, aware of the powerful and heartfelt worship coming from the entire team around me, but somehow removed from it and able to catch a glimpse of what this looked like from the outside.  Somehow able to see this grand light – Jesus Christ on His throne – that we were all singing towards, that our hearts were all directed towards, that our eyes were all looking towards.

Every eye seeing. Every knee bowing. Every heart worshiping.

And y’all.

It changed my own heart in an instant.

At the end of myself, the Great I AM stepped in and re-directed my heart to the unending, awesome, holy, and wonderful Glory of His Son.

While still physically exhausted, my worship was transformed following that moment … renewed, energized, passionate, and true.

Eternity is a reality. Heaven is real.

And THE eternal song of heaven begins now…

“Holy, Holy are You Lord, God, Almighty!”

“Worthy is the Lamb!”

“Jesus is the Lord!”

“Blessing and honor and glory and power, forever!”

“I will sing unending songs…”

Let My Soul…

“Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.”
Psalm 119:175-176 (ESV)

let my soul

Yes, Lord, seek your servant.

I so often go astray. I so often waste time trying harder instead of resting more.

I am nothing, I have nothing, I can do nothing apart from You.

Let my soul live and praise You.

{Day 16} Praise in the Midst

“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”

Psalm 9:1-2 & 9-10 (ESV)

From the journal . . .

I’ve been reading through the Psalms again this summer. Slowly. Sometimes reading barely a few verses before stumbling on a promise that I so desperately need to hear and savor.

Barely twenty chapters in, I have noticed again just how much praise and thanksgiving the Psalmist offers to the Lord in the midst of despair, heartache, fear, unknown, tragedy, and legitimate danger – even possible death at the hand of his enemies.

How easy it is in the midst of such hard circumstances to turn our eyes away from the Lord and focus all our attention on the circumstance itself.

But as we cry out in desperation, as we turn to the Lord with our complaints and frustrations and anguish, may we never forget to praise in the midst.

And in that praise, as we surrender once again and allow the Lord to take over our hearts and lives, as we acknowledge His continual presence in every circumstance, as we recognize His hand that guides, may we find perspective restored, soul refreshed, and trust renewed.

Cling to Him

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you…

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips…

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”

Psalm 63:1, 3, 5, 8 (ESV)

——

Seek Him. Praise Him. Be satisfied in Him. Cling to Him.

Moment of Praise

“Praise the LORD!  Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights!  Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts!

 

 

Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!  Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!  Let them praise the name of the LORD!  For he commanded and they were created.  And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

 

 

Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word!

 

 

Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!  Beasts and livestock, creeping things and flying birds!  Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!  Young men and maidens together, old men and children!

 

 

Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven.  He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him.  Praise the LORD!”

 

Psalm 148 (English Standard Version)

Creation’s Praise Part 2

In response to the question posed in last week’s devo thought (Creation’s Praise Part 1), consider the words of this song: 

“Creation Calls”

By Brian Doerksen

 

I have felt the wind blow

Whispering Your name

I have seen Your tears fall

When I watch the rain

 

How could I say there is no God

When all around creation calls

A singing bird, a mighty tree

The vast expanse of open sea

 

 

Gazing at a bird in flight

Soaring through the air

Lying down beneath the stars

I feel your presence there

 

 

I love to stand at ocean’s shore

And feel the thundering breakers roar

To walk through golden fields of grain

‘Neath endless blue horizon’s frame

 

 

Listening to a river run

Watering the earth

Fragrance of a rose in bloom

A newborn’s cry at birth

 

 

How could I say there is no God

When all around creation calls

A singing bird, a mighty tree

The vast expanse of open sea

 

 

I love to stand at ocean’s shore

And feel the thundering breakers roar

To walk through golden fields of grain

‘Neath endless blue horizon’s frame

 

 

I believe.  I believe.  I believe.

I believe.  I believe.  I believe.

I believe.

Creation’s Praise Part 1

“The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!”

Psalm 97:1 (English Standard Version)

Earlier this week I received an email from a longtime family friend (and a man I deeply respect for his study of God’s Word and willingness to share that study with others), Mr. H, with a question regarding the aforementioned verse.  The question was basically this:

In Old Testament Hebrew, would there be an equivalent “the” article before the word “earth”, and therefore, does this verse seem to indicate that nature itself praises God?

While I am currently in seminary and intend to begin studying the Hebrew language within the next year, I have not had much experience with the language thus far, and I’m not exactly sure why Mr. H chose to email this specific question to me.  But OH, how GRATEFUL I am that he did!  What a joy it has been to spend the last few days diving into Scripture and my [albeit limited] resources in search of an answer!

My very basic [and limited] search uncovered that, yes, there is a definite article in Hebrew grammar. (Hebrew/Bible scholars, feel free to add insight or correct me here if I’m wrong.)  But in turning my search to Scripture for the context of this passage and other similar passages, I’m not sure that (at least in this case) it changes the meaning at all.

At its core, Psalm 97:1 very much seems to indicate that nature itself praises God.

Consider the preceding passage:

“Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!

Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;

He will judge the peoples with equity.”

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; Let the field exult, and everything in it!

Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord,

For He comes, for He comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in His faithfulness.”

Psalm 96:10-13 (ESV – emphasis added)

This seems to be a very clear picture of nature/creation itself praising God.  But why is it so important that creation praises?

Consider the explanation found in the following passage:

“The heavens declare the glory of God;

And the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

In them he has set a tent for the sun,

Which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,

And, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.

Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them,

And there is nothing hidden from its heat.”

Psalm 19:1-6 (ESV)

There are sooo many passages (both in the Old Testament and New Testament) that illustrate creation praising God as well as people praising God.  But in my review of many such passages over the past few days, I was made (somewhat painfully) aware of one major difference:

Creation faithfully and effortlessly praises God.  Just. By. Being.  Because creation is unashamedly aware of God’s worthiness and unhesitatingly dependent on God’s sovereignty.

And so I ask you the same question I have been asking myself over and over: Are you willing to faithfully and boldly praise God along with creation?  Regardless of circumstances?  Because of the knowledge that God is worthy and sovereign? Just. By. Being?

PS: Check back next week for my answer in Creation’s Praise Part 2.