Return to Praise

Return to Praise

Honestly, I had a moment tonight.  Things had built up over the past few days and tonight the flood gates opened.  I was feeling sadness missing and remembering my father-in-law.  And as memories came rushing to me and tears fell down my face…my attention kept returning to praise.

Over the past few weeks and months we have discussed a lot of “heavy” and challenging ideas, themes, and characters in the Bible: Judas Iscariot, Jonah, Joseph of Arimathea, Anna, Lydia, grief, surprises, and the list goes on.  I think I have been so caught up in the things I’ve missed from these stories that I’ve heard hundreds of times that I have forgotten something important…praise.

Not only have we have we been challenged in our discussions, but we have also faced trials in our everyday lives.  We have lost loved ones.  We have been overwhelmed changes in our life. We have recognized how we sometimes get in the way of ourselves.  We have ended meaningful relationships. In our personal lives and journeys have we set aside time to offer praise?

I know I have not.  Sometimes I feel like I’m climbing up a cliff and I have failed to look down to see how far I’ve come and give praise.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name.
 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

A pastor and professor that is important to our family, Tony Cartledge, shared these words with us about Psalm 103.  Psalm 103 is

not just to be sung, not to be just something beautiful to hear. It was written for a purpose.  It was written for people who faced hard times, but who trusted in God.  Written for people who want to live, and who want to live joyfully, but who also know they are mortal.

I love the reminder that this psalm, as were many others, were written for a people who faced hard times and wanted to live joyfully.  As people of faith, we always return to praise.  Praising God is not only a part of who we were designed to be, but praising God helps us grow, heal, and is good for the soul.

I have a challenge for us this week.  Take a moment each morning this week…over coffee, on your drive to work, in the shower, and return to praise.  Praise God for how God is moving in your life.  Praise God for healing. Praise God for God’s presence.  Feel free to use Psalm 103 or other scripture to give voice to your praise.  You get the picture.  Share that praise with someone else.  Let us praise God from whom all blessings flow.


If you missed Sunday’s Sermon…

Read here: Life and Faith: Are You Satisfied? (Faces of Faith: Lydia, Acts 16:11-15,40)

This Week at Hood

Wednesday, August 29th, 1:30 – 2:30 pm – Prayer & Inspiration
Thursday, August 30th,  Pastor Jason NOT at the Cellar this week
Sunday, September 1st, 11:00 am – Worship –  Faces of Our Faith: Euchytus – Special Music by Erin Barefoot


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