Psalm 149

Sing to the Lord a new song – something different – something you’ve never sung before. Sing His praises while the believers are together.

Rejoice in Your Maker, be glad in Your King.
Praise Him with dancing, tambourine and harp.
God takes delight with those who follow Him.
He crowns the humble with salvation.
Therefore rejoice – you’ve been honored with delight and salvation.
Sing for joy even while at rest.

Praise God verbally. Let that praise be a double-edged sword in your hand – Praise inflicts vengeance.
Praise inflicts punishment.
Praise binds kings and nobles who praise themselves instead of God.

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Psalm 148

Praise God from heaven
In the heights
All angels and heavenly hosts
Sun, moon and shining stars
Highest heavens and waters above the skies.
Praise God because He commanded and you were created.
He set you in place forever. You are exactly where God wants you to be.

Praise God from the earth
Sea creatures and ocean depths
Lightning and hail
Snow and clouds
Stormy winds that blow His bidding
Mountains and hills
Fruit trees and cedars
Wild animals and cattle
Small creatures and flying birds
Kings and nations
Princes and rulers
Young men and maidens
Old men and children.
Praise God because of His name, His splendor above the earth. He has raised up for His people a Savior, the praise of all His saints and the people close to His heart.

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 147

Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God. Good for God. Good for us. Good for others. How pleasant and fitting to praise Him. It is pleasant, nice, fun to praise God. He deserves it too. It feels rights to praise Him.

God builds us up, gathers us together from wherever we’ve strayed to. He heals our broken hearts and binds our wounds.
Each star has a name. God is great and mighty and powerful and His understanding is limitless. God sustains the humble and keeps them going. He casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to God with thanksgiving. Make music on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds. He gives the earth rain. He makes grass grow. He provides food for the animals.

God’s pleasure is not in the way He made his creations, not in their strength, delicacy or complexity. He doesn’t point with pride to what He created. God delights in His creation choosing to follow Him, to obey, and hope in Him.

Extol the Lord. Praise Your God. He strengthens your protection and blesses the people. He grants peace and prosperity.
He spreads snow like wool, frost like ashes, hail like pebbles. His word melts them and turns them into water.

He has revealed His word, law and decrees to us.
Praise God.

Psalm 146

Praise the Lord O my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life and sing praise to God as long as I live – each and every day.

Don’t put your trust in rulers, in mortal men who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to dust and then their plans come to nothing.

Blessed is he whose help is God, whose hope is in God.
The God who made heaven earth and sea and everything in them.
God remains forever faithful.
God upholds the cause of the oppressed, gives food to the hungry, sets the       prisoners free, gives sight to the blind, lifts up those bowed down, loves the   righteous, watches over the alien, sustains the widow and fatherless,   frustrates the ways of the wicked.
God upholds the cause of sinlessness, gives the food of the Word, sets us   free from sin, gives sight to us to see His way, lifts us up from our burdens,   loves us, watches over us, sustains us and frustrates our enemies.

God reigns forever over all generations.

Praise God.

The Proof that I am not Alone

From the very beginning I thought the wedding was in Elgin. Got the invitation months ago, read it, planted Elgin in my mind. The week of the wedding I heard the bride tell someone the wedding was in Elk Grove Village. Panic set it. Elgin was a lot closer. Elk Grove Village was a lot farther. I rushed to the computer to get directions. Two choices. Route 12 or Route 62. I wasn’t as familiar with 12. 62 was familiar, but two lanes through a lot of forest preserves. Not appealing for driving alone late on a Saturday night.

I went home and checked for hotel rooms. Booked solid. With the easy solution unavailable, I began to pray for the next step. There was no way I was not going. Do I look for a hotel room somewhere close by, or do I drive? The more I thought about driving, the more I began to think of all the nasty things that might happen. A woman driving alone on a dark two lane highway…so many possibilities. I worked on casting them down and out.

By Friday, I wasn’t any closer to knowing what to do, so I decided that if I heard the word “hotel” that morning either at work, or on the radio (as in “Hotel California”), I’d find a room and if not, I’d trust and drive. It was a busy morning, and before I knew it, it was time to head home. As I was locking up, and closed the door behind me, it dawned on me I had not heard the word “hotel”. I was driving.

I continued to fight the spiritual warfare battle. I was driving and God would protect me. I kept repeating verses and assurances and affirmations. As I began to get ready to leave, I got more and more nervous. I brought my walking shoes to drive in (and run in if I got into any trouble). By the time I got in the car and set up the GPS, my heart was pounding. Deep breath. Put in address. Back up. Start out.

On the way to Route 62, I was directed to turn left on Main Street to get to Route 62, but there was a road work sign that Main Street was closed at Route 62. I went straight and was sent to Route 72. Look! Four to six lanes!
When it was time to head for home, I prayed before pulling out asking God to go before me, be at my side and be my rear guard. And please let me have someone to follow the whole way. Had no problem finding my way back to Route 72 – one obstacle out of the way. Now to get home. Four to six lanes, traffic, someone to follow, well-lit – I began to relax.

Then, I was stopped at the second light from my house and could relax more fully. I began to laugh, for I had just driven 34-35 miles on two major rural routes and this was the first stoplight that was red! Not a single stop the entire way! Not only did God get me home safely, He did it in 50 minutes instead of 75!

“For the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 52:12b) No, I was not alone. I am never alone.

I am not Alone

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, would I see that every chair at this dining room table is filled?

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, would I see You net to me on the love seat as I delve into Your word, pray, and watch the birds at the feeder? Would I see Your finger pointing out a particular word or phrase?

Just how exactly do You nudge me to look up just in time to see the hummingbird?

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, just how crowded would the kitchen be?

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, would You feet be up too as we sit on the sofa watching movie?

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, would I see an angel at every door and window, or just one per side, or just on the roof?

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, would I see an escort as I drive or just You in the passenger seat?

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, would You be beside me at work or occupying a client chair reading or lovingly watching me?

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, would I just see You knitting people together or also working with yarn and thread?

Please open my spiritual eyes so that I may see just how present You are every moment of my day.

Psalm 145

I will exalt You – lift You up where everyone can see You.
I will extol You – talk about You to everyone.
I will praise You – tell everyone all the good things about You.
Every day and forever I will exalt, extol and praise.

God is great – no one can begin to understand how great.
God is most worthy of praise – one generation will tell the next.
I will meditate on Your wonderful works.
Commend God’s works. Tell of His mighty acts. Speak of the glorious splendor of God’s majesty. Meditate on His wonderful works. Tell of the power of His awesome works. Proclaim His great deeds. Celebrate His abundant goodness. Joyfully sing of His righteousness.

God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. God is good to all, He has compassion on all He has made – He has compassion on me.
All You have made will praise You, Your saints will extol You. They will tell of the glory of Your kingdom and speak of Your might so that all men may know if Your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of Your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and Your dominion, Your range of power endures through all generations.

God is faithful to all His promises – if He promises, He will do it. God is loving to all He has made – plants, animals, people, me. God holds up those who fall – He keeps them from sinking further. God lifts up those who are bowed down – He straightens their back.
Everyone looks to God – He gives us our food at the proper time (not necessarily our time). God opens His hand and satisfies the desires of every living thing.

God is righteous in all His ways and loving to all He has made. God is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him truthfully – who are willing to let go of self and let God answer – who are truly yielded.
God fulfills the desires of all who fear Him, He hears their cry and saves them. God watches over all who love Him, but the wicked He will destroy.

My mouth will speak in praise of God.
Let every creature praise God forever and ever.