Tag Archives: Praise

Go Tell it on the Mountain

Shout it from the rooftops
Declare the joyous news
Christ is born this day
Christ is come this day

Let the mountains ring
Let the trees proclaim
Lift your voice in praise
Lift your hands in praise

Jesus Christ has come
A baby in the hay
Come to save the world
Come to save us from our sin

Rejoice with ardent praise
Lift up your voice
Tell the world He’s come
Tell the world He saves

Jumping For Joy Cancer Update

Still in complete remission and no active lesions! Blood counts all look good. Praise the Lord.
 
This was the report I received Monday in Iowa City. I also found out my last day chemo is Sept 27th. Everything is progressing nicely. I am walking an average of 2 miles a day and biking 4+ miles a day. This is the most exercise I have ever done in my life!
 
On the “still believing God for complete healing” side, my neuropathy has not changed, but I am functioning better with it. And my fatigue level has slightly deteriorated (Maybe I exercise too much?).
 
I also have 4 opportunities to share the healing story of faith in the next two months, and continue to look for more open doors. Any suggestions?
 
Again, thank you for all your prayers and support. Janeen has drawn strength from them as much as I have. You are all very special to us!
 
Be blessed

I’m Yours

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

I know we are in Galatians on our study, but this verse popped into my head this morning, and I don’t think I have ever posted any of my songs on this site.  I always put them on my Psalmist blog.  This chorus was given to me several years ago and it is very dear to my heart.

Who do you belong to?  If you are your own, you follow your heart and your ways.  You walk in your understanding and consider your wisdom.  You want what is best for you and will strive to attain it no matter what.  Me first is the operative slogan!

When you belong to Jesus, He takes the reigns.  You trust in His mercy and grace.  You do your best to follow after His word in everything.  You give out mercy and prefer others over yourself.  You love unconditionally and always encourage others, never complaining or putting others down.  You walk in peace and joy no matter what is happening in your life.

To be honest, I am usually somewhere in between these two very different lives. But I have been bought with a price – I do belong to Him.  I just need to act like it! Jesus said we cannot serve two masters, but a lot of the time I do.  This song expresses my sincere desire to be all His – all the time.

(I am not the best singer or the best piano player.  But I do my best and give Him the glory)  I hope you enjoy this.

A Heartfelt Greeting

Galatians 1:3-5 King James Version (KJV)

Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Words in verse three are used in every letter Paul wrote to the churches.  It was a familiar greeting for him, and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if he did not say this when he was preaching as well.  What a powerful way to start out a letter.

Grace be to you.  This was a common Greek greeting in those days and it signifies rejoicing.  Rejoicing in what God has done for us and what he has given us.  The word grace means favor – God doing for man what man does not deserve.  It is similar to a master who gives kindness to a servant, but in this case it is God being kind toward us.  It is a kindness that bestows upon us what we do not deserve.

What can you think of that God has given you that you do not deserve.  For me the list is long, because I feel I do not deserve anything He has provided, and that is everything I have.  I am a sinner, and I have broken His laws – on numerous occasions.  I have broken every one of the ten commandments at one time or another (if I take into account Jesus teaching that if we call a man a fool, we are worse than a murderer).  My mouth was a cesspool, my habits were filthy, my character was flawed and I had no room for God.

Yet He sent a childhood friend to slowly plant seeds and bring me to a place where I saw my need for a Savior.  Then, when I cried out to Jesus, despite all my flaws and all my guilt, He saved me. He lifted my burden.  He bestowed His grace upon me.  He loved me when I was unlovable, and He started to show me His ways.  They were so much better than my ways.

Now I look at all He gives on a daily basis by His grace, and I am in awe of how much He loves me.  I am in awe that He has forgotten those sins that so stained my life, and He pours out His grace to me daily.  The air I breath, the sunlight, the food on my table, the clothes on my back, friends, family, work – all by His grace.

This is God’s kindness to me.  He asks me to give the same courtesy to others.  How can I show grace to those around me?  Let’s start with the words that we speak:

Ephesians 4:29 King James Version (KJV)

29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Colossians 4:6 King James Version (KJV)

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

One way we minister grace is by being careful what we say to those around us.  This means to speak with kindness and with careful consideration of the words we say.  To many, this seems to be a foreign concept.  Even in the church we see gossip running rampant, backbiting out of control and sharp tongues dividing congregations.  These things ought not to be.  These verses put a priority on speaking good of others and building them up at all times.  We have no authority to knock people down.  That is the devil’s work.  Do you really want to be a part of that?

How else can I show grace?  Romans 12:6-21 gives us an excellent list of ways we can show grace to those around us by what we do.  Among them are teaching, being patient, distributing to the necessities of the saints, being hospitable, not being wise in my own conceit, slothful in business, and much more.  I will not list them all but I encourage you to check and see which ones God has called you to do.

When we accept Christ as Savior, we cannot just go our own way and do whatever we please.  If He truly comes into our life, there should be a changed heart and a desire to do good works.  These works complete our salvation (Phil 2:12).  If we continue to act in an unrighteous manner, we have not truly repented of our sins, which is required for truly being saved.  Examine your life, ask God to search your heart and see if there be any wicked way in you (Psalm 139:23-24).  If you sincerely ask, without wavering, He will show you.  Then you can start to minister grace as He has gracefully given to you.

“And Peace from God the Father”.  This is the second part of that Greek greeting we talked about earlier.  The interesting thing is that the Greeks did not know the peace that God gives to us, so this carries a lot more weight in my mind.  The peace that God gives us is far more complete in our souls and minds.  It is a peace that this world does not understand or comprehend.

John 14:27 King James Version (KJV)

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The world is far from the peace of God.  Inner struggles and turmoil are always present in one form or fashion.  Maybe it’s a loved one who is sick, or financial problems, or marital problems, or business woes.  There always seems to be something wrong.  That is multiplied by the worrisome world we live in.  The news is full of stories that rob our peace and cause us to live in fear.

But God’s peace supersedes all of that.  We can have peace in the midst of the storms, no matter how big the storm is.  We even may think we are going to die in this storm of life, but Jesus comes in and calms the waves and the wind (Luke 8:22-25).  It is a matter of us drowning out all the chaos around us and stilling ourselves to listen to that still small voice that is always trying to speak to us (1 Kings 19:11-12).

It is also a matter of putting worry aside:

Philippians 4:6 King James Version (KJV)

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

It is also a matter of putting worry aside and taking the needs we have to God and leaving them in His watchful, caring hands.  He can handle them.  This prayer should be made with Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving for what?  For the mercy that He has on us and for the grace that He has blessed us with!  Everything we have going on should come to Him.  It is then that His peace will overwhelm us and carry us through any storm.  Jesus could have kept the storm away so the disciples would never have to go through it.  Storms build our faith (James 1:2-4).  We should always remember that!

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

Paul then presents the gospel to them in one brief verse.  This is what he taught them day and night when he was with them previously.  This is the message he was commissioned to deliver.  He was the Billy Graham of the time, always presenting Christ crucified and risen from the dead. (1 Cor 1:22, 2:2).

In my ministry, I have always been more of a teacher.  That is why this blog is called God’s Maintenance Man.  I am called to teach how the word of God can lift us to a higher place in Christ and a better understanding of His word.  He has called me to plant seeds of growth.  I also should always present the gospel within the messages I write and preach.

Others are seed sowers to the unsaved.  They preach the gospel and only the gospel.  These are the apostles of our day in my understanding, and they are growing fewer and fewer.  Often, we think everyone has heard the gospel message, but they have not.  We should all be more diligent in creating a short sentence like Paul does here to preswnt the gospel in its simplest form.

To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Lastly, Paul gives praise to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  What a wonderful opening statement.  We have Paul giving a blessing to the people, presenting the gospel and praising the Lord in three short sentences.  This type of a greeting certainly would be welcome to churches and Christians as an introduction to the rest of the discourse.

And worship is such an essential part.  Paul was familiar to worship and loved to worship the Lord.  So much so they when he was beaten and put in prison, he worshipped all night (Acts 16:26-31), or at least until the walls shook, the guard let them out and then asked them how to get saved!  He knew the power of praise!

Praise and worship should be an integral part of our daily lives.  It should intermix with all we do and all we say.  God should be glorified no matter what we are going through (Phil 3:6).  He should receive the glory for every mercy that comes our way – and they come at breakneck speed every day if we really look for them.

After such a beautiful greeting, Paul plunges right into a controversy in the churches that has arisen since his first visit.  You don’t want to miss that in our next lesson!

God Moves the Storm

Since we will soon be studying in depth the idea prayer, I thought I’d give you an example of a prayer that was answered today. I know some people would say that it’s just coincidence that this happened but I will never believe that. I believe that God intervenes on behalf of his people when they honestly pray and ask him to help.

I had an appointment today in Iowa City which is about 3 hours from our home. We traveled to Iowa City yesterday and the forecast yesterday was for a chance of patchy freezing rain in the morning.  This never happened.  The forecast or Monday was for rain to transition to snow at some time, and it would be blowing and drifting – almost blizzard conditions. We did not have any options on changing the appointment because of my wife’s work schedule so we went down and prayed that we would get home safely.

The trip down was no problem.  There was some rain and drizzle but other than that nothing slippery.  Overnight it rained hard – almost a summer rain, and we knew if that changed to snow, w were in big trouble.  As morning dawned and were watching the forecast, every indication was that the snow would slowly creep southeastward towards us. At the current time it was about 30 miles northwest of the town that we were heading back to. With a three hour drive ahead of us , the weather map radar future showed every indication that the snow would advance at least 60 miles, and we would run into blizzard conditions about 45 minutes from home. So we started praying.

As we got closer we kept checking the weather maps and it stayed the same for a long time. But when we got about halfway home and made a stop, I checked the weather again. Some dry air was moving up into the system right where we were headed!  The new radar actually showed the advancement of the snow going backwards as the dry air pushed up into place. I rejoiced and told me wife God is at work. Sure enough as we got closer to home we even saw a ray of sunshine, then it clouded back up and for the last half-hour on our drive it was dry. There was no more drizzle until just before we got to town.

I know that this is God working on our behalf. In the Bible we see things like Jesus calming the waters, Isaiah praying and the sundial going back an hour and Joshua praying and the sun standing still for 24 hours. If God can do things like that when someone prays,  He can certainly move a little storm on our behalf.

Sometimes we neglect to pray for things like this and I would ask why?  Isn’t God concerned with even the little things in our lives? Isn’t He concerned with our safety if we’re traveling on the road? Of course he is. Will he always answer our prayers this way? Probably not. I don’t know that we can go to God and say God you have to move this storm. We can expect it but there’s no reason to lay the blame on God if He does not decide to do that in any particular time. Believe me there have been plenty of times that I have prayed and the storm has not changed course and we had to travel through it. In those times we always come out safely as is shown by me still being here.

The key is when we do pray we must accept whatever answer God gives us without regret and without anger. When He does grant our request, acknowledge Him and thank Him for His mercy.  When He does not, do the same thing!  God knows what is best for us and if we have to go through a storm He knows that the storm is what we need.

Be blessed!