The beauty of church

I went to church yesterday feeling tired, heavy, and regretful.

I taught my 5th graders in Sunday school about 3 superheros named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.  Even in the face of great pain and death, they stood up for what was right, and because of their conviction, others could literally see God, and came to believe that He was the Most High God.

What is the worst thing we can do about this story?  Forget.  Without reminding ourselves of what God can do and has done, we forget that we can be delivered from the fiery furnaces in our own lives.  We forget that if we stand up for and believe in God, even in our painful situation, others may be able to see God and come to believe that He is the Most High God, as well.

During the church service I was reminded that anything I can’t stop thinking about is an idol.  I could list several things that my mind couldn’t shake at that moment.  Do I want to be a servant of regrets, money, sickness, fashion, or cultural acceptance; or do I want to be a servant of the Most High God?  If it’s the later, then I need to be thinking about Him.  Trusting in Him means thinking about His goodness, His faithfulness, and His constant provision and abilities.

I then heard a testimony that reminded me that I am still alive because I still have work to do for Christ.  I don’t need to become so distracted that I forget why I’m here.

Last night I was heard that the Lord made dry bones live (Ez. 37), and that if He can bring dry bones back together into a perfect person, breathe life back into them, and join their ranks into an exceedingly great army; then He can breathe life back into the places that feel dry in my life, and that rivers of Living Water can still pour forth from me to reach those in need.

I was still tired when I left church last night; however, I was tired from being taught and ministered to all day long.  This morning, I feel the rivers stirring around in me.  My hope is not cut off.  I am not dry and desolate.  I am full of the Lord and His goodness, and because I am choosing to stand on His promises, I believe that others will be able to see Him in my life.

What’s the big deal about going to church?  Had I sat home with my heaviness and regrets yesterday, this morning would have looked a lot more dismal.  When you go to church and focus on God, allowing yourself to be open to His wisdom and encouragement brought in unexpected ways, He will minister to you, dust you off, and breathe life into you for the rest of the journey ahead.

I’m so thankful for a place to refuel, and for those who encourage and pray for me.

Gushing,

jamie

 

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Praise to the Lord, Most High!

I will freely sacrifice to You; I will praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good.  Ps. 54:6

Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!  Sing out the honor of His name; make His praise glorious.  Say to God, “How awesome are Your works!”  Ps. 66:1-3

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.  Ps. 89:1

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!  Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.  For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods.  The heights of the hills 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.  Ps. 95:1-7

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!  For He has done marvelous things;  Ps. 98:1

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises!  Sing to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of a psalm, with trumpets and the sound of a horn; shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.  Ps. 98:4-6

Praise the Lord!  For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.  Ps. 147:1

Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise Him with the lute and harp!  Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!  Praise Him with loud cymbals; praise Him with clashing cymbals!  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!  Ps. 150:3-6

I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.  I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.  Ps. 9:1-2

 

Worshiping freely,

jamie