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

Advertisements

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!

Dreaming

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday.  In honor oof this great man, here is the dream Good has placed on my heart

I dream of one day not having too wear a mask every time I walk out the door because my immune system is fully healed.  I am now cancer free, but I am still doing maintenance chemo for another 9 months.  Then the doctor wants the mask on for 6 months after that.  With two stem cel transplants behind me my recovery is going well.  God has been merciful to me.

I dream of taking the healing message to thousands.  To share what our mighty God can do when we have absolute trust in His mercy. I acknowledged His goodness from the day I was diagnosed and never lost faith in His healing hand.  I will take this message to whatever church or group will allow me to share it.  God has been merciful to me.

I dream of hundreds coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  When they heaar of His great mercy and understand how much He loves themn they wil want to know this Savior.  They will have a desire they have never had before.  They will yearn for Him from their innermost being and come to the altar in true repentence.  They will give their lives to Him and never turn back.

I dream of the power of the Holy Spirit drawing people who are sick or have cancer, or some other dread disease, or who are lame, blind, deaf or disabled, to come to the services.  That their faith will be increased through the preaching of the word and by the power of testimony of God’s mercy.  That many wil be healed and made new again by His power and that God will get all the glory.

I dream of God smiling as He gives me the words to say and guides my steps as I share His amazng grace with all those who He draws to these services.  That He gets all the glory annd honor and praise.  That the choruses and songs He has given me will be shared in worship, lifitng up the hearts of the participants.  That His praises will lift up to heaven and bring Him joy.

This is the dream God has placed on my heart.  What is your dream?.

Pray or Praise

James 5:13 KJV

13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

 

James present two different pictures in one verse, one of affliction and one of being merry.  In both cases, he also tells us how to respond to the condition we are in.  To me, both of the reactions he mentions would be natural reactions.  I am an inquisitive kind of guy after all!  So let’s break it down and try to figure out why James finds it necessary to bring out these two points in the midst of so many seemingly more important subjects.  I know – it look like simple truths, but I think there is more here than meets the eye.

First is any afflicted.  This is an intriguing word that from the Greek means experiencing painful hardship, or a malicious disposition or suffering evil.  This is very different from just being sick, a subject that will be dealt with in the coming verses.  James is talking about someone who is being influenced in a negative way by forces out of his control.  I am not talking about demonic influences necessarily, although this type of affliction would be included in James’ point here.   He is talking about hardships that come on us and seem to contradict our faith and make us doubt God can bring us out.

I believe James is discussing things like depression, severe anxiety, an overwhelming sadness, or even extreme bitterness (which we just discussed).  These are afflictions of the mind and spirit, not sicknesses that affect the body, although letting these things linger will affect our body eventually.  It is imperative as Christians that we learn how to overcome these types of affliction before they get the best of us. James gives us a key to that escape – pray!

I realize that people in these situations typically find it very hard to pray.  They feel like their prayers are ineffective and that God is not listening to them.  They feel distant in their spirit and have lost hope that God want to help them.  Often they give up on God for a while and try to figure things out on their own.  Often, we will pray for them, thinking we can help them with our prayers, and we can.  But the remedy that James gives is that the afflicted person pray. Why?

I believe the afflicted must pray for two reasons.  The first is that they must pray for themselves.  God respects our cry for help when we are in distress.  Just look at the Psalms! They are full of cries for help in the midst of affliction and distress.  The psalmist was continually under siege by their enemy, and this is the same word for affliction that James uses here.  As you read through these episodes in the psalms, you will notice that the writer always reverts back to praise, knowing that God will not only hear but answer his  prayers.  The afflicted can always depend on that truth and as they pray God will make it clear to them that He will answer.

The second reason is to pray for others.  Intercessory prayer is our highest calling as Christians.  Bringing the needs of others before the throne of God lets God know that we have compassion and mercy in our hearts.  This is pleasing to God.  But the real reason is that intercessory prayer takes our focus off from ourselves and put our own troubles at a distance.  It helps us rise above those problems and lifts us to a different level  If we continue in these prayers, our affliction can lift completely.

I am not trying to imply this is easy.  James makes a simple statement that is very difficult to comply with, but it is very possible as well.  When we can learn to turn our hearts to prayer in the midst of any affliction, we will be able to overcome the affliction sooner.  It helps us to understand these things and put them into practice if we ever find ourselves in these circumstances.

Now to the singing!  Are we prone to praise?  Do we lift up our voices and worship when things are going right?  This word merry means to be of good cheer.  It is basically the opposite of being afflicted.  It denotes a time of rejoicing in our spirit.  Something has gone right for us and we are feeling good about life.  We should be singing psalms.

Do you take time to praise the Lord when things go right?  Do you acknowledge that He is behind the good things that take place in your life (James 1:17), no matter how small or trivial they may seem?  Does He receive the praise that is due Him?  I am amazed at the number of Christians who believe in coincidence, or that God did not play a part in some blessing they received.  I am amazed at how many forget to give God thanks when the are spared trouble.

Did that car skid through the intersection just after you got through it?  Did that branch fall from the tree just a couple feet away?  Did you get a check in the mail just in time to make that payment?  Did a bunch of co-workers get sick and you did not?  Have there been some homes broken into and yours was spared?  These are not coincidences, and you were not lucky.  Luck has no place in God’s kingdom.  These are the blessings of God, and we should be merry and sing psalms!

The truth is that God has His hand in everything that happens in our lives.  My favorite author, Fenelon for short, says “See only God”.  What he means by that is that we should see God in everything, involved in everything. wanting our best in everything.  The biblical basis for this is Proverbs 6-a where it says “In all thy ways acknowledge Him”.  All means all!  God is always there.  And we should always acknowledge His interaction in our lives by singing praise when we are merry, when things go right!  So let your praise ring out!