Greatly to be Praised

I just returned from a mission trip to Uganda with my husband and pastor. Since coming home, my spirit has lingered in the state of praise in gratitude for the divine grace and mercy that was evident throughout the entire trip.  And yet saying “Amen, Hallelujah, Praise You, Thank You, Wow, Awesome” seems inadequate for what we were privileged to experience.  God’s grace allowed us this priceless opportunity and we felt His mighty hand. We witnessed it when confronted with forces set on delaying, and destroying the work.
Our hearts sang songs of joy when the blessings and gifts of love came upon not only us, but also those we came to serve. These experiences gave us time to see the Lord in expanded ways.  When the presence of God overshadows the mundane, the trivial, the commonplace you want to praise Him, and then have others share the experience.

You want others to see the joy, the light, the love, the goodness, and feel His presence; The heavenly Father, the Messiah who is our everything. You want the saints of God to cherish those sweet moments when beyond the veil you behold His glory. In these moments all life is transformed. Your eyes are opened to what is possible, truly possible when we praise and worship Him. The matchless Lord transfigures you, and sends your spirit soaring to new heights of love, and power. He is greatly to be praised.

As we visited Kampala, and the small village of Iganga, and felt God’s power and presence our lives were in awe of God’s grace. He is greatly to be praised. He is greatly to be praised for our salvation. He is greatly to be praised for leaving His arms open to receive us despite our sins. He is greatly to be praised for each breath; for each open and closed door; for everything good and perfect gift.  He is greatly to be praised for the joy unspeakable, and showing us how to live the abundant life.

I praised Him for allowing us the honor to serve him both here and aboard. For the opportunity to minister, teach, and mentor church leaders while leading a crusade in Uganda. I praised him for the healing, deliverance, the blessings He showered upon the pastors and congregation in Kampala and Iganga. I praised him for everything.

As I praise Him for our experience in Uganda, I am also praising Him for His priceless gifts here at home as well. Thank you Lord for the opportunity to see our first grandson graduate today, for the birth of our niece last night, for the honor and privilege of being a wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, daughter, friend and more importantly for being His child. He is greatly to be praised.  Thank you my Lord for being my all in all.

Today, praise the Lord for He is worthy to be praised.

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Joint Heirs with Christ

A powerful message from one of my favorite authors, C.H. Spurgeon

The boundless realms of his Father’s universe are Christ’s by prescriptive right.  As “heir of all things,” he is the sole proprietor of the vast creation of God, and he has admitted us to claim the whole as ours, by virtue of that deed of joint-heirship which the Lord hath ratified with his chosen people.  The golden streets of paradise, the pearly gates, the river of life, the transcendent bliss, and the unutterable glory, are, by our blessed Lord, made over to us for our everlasting possession.  All that he has he shares with his people. The crown royal he has placed upon the head of his Church, appointing her a kingdom, and calling her sons a royal priesthood, a generation of priests and kings.  He uncrowned himself that we might have a coronation of glory; he would not sit upon his own throne until he had procured a place upon it for all who overcome by his blood.

Crown the head and the whole body shares the honor.  Behold here the reward of every Christian conqueror! Christ’s throne, crown, scepter, palace, treasure, robes, heritage, are yours….”The glory which thou gavest me have I given them.”  “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

Delight my brothers and sisters in the reality of your divine heritage.  Rejoice, I say again rejoice in the knowledge of the glory and honor afforded us by our blessed Savior.  Sing a new song, for all Christ has is ours. He is ours and we are joint heirs with him.

The Presence of the Lord

Jesus on the throne

“I am with you always.”

Matthew 28:20

“It is well there is One who is ever the same, and who is ever with us.  It is well there is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life.  Put thine all in Christ; set all thine affections on his person, all thy hope in his merit, all thy trust in his efficacious[ powerful] blood, all thy joy in his presence, so thou mayest laugh at loss, defy destruction.”

Trust all thy concerns with him who never can be taken from thee, who will never leave thee, and who will never let thee leave him, even Jesus Christ, the same, yesterday, and today, and forever.  Lo, I am with you always, is enough for my [your] soul to live upon, let who will forsake me.” Charles H. Spurgeon

Rest in the blessed assurance that our Lord and Savior is always with us.  His hand of glory and power will secure us in the midst of waves, and storms of life.  Our God is more enough for us.  Enough for all our concerns.  Amen

You’re Blessed

I love reading and studying the Bible. We have several translations, and study tools which help, with the aid of the Holy Spirit our understanding of God’s Word.  They also draws us deeper in our relationship with God. One of those translations is The Message by Eugene Peterson.  This morning I read Matthew the fifth chapter where Jesus shared the Beatitudes with his disciples.  After reading The Message, I had one of those epiphanies. You know the ones that comes to reassure, comfort and bring light.  After reading the passage, my spirit peacefully lingered on its meaning; I am blessed.  No matter what I am blessed, and can make it through. I am blessed despite the loss of loved ones. I’m blessed going in, and going out. I am blessed because God loves me. I am blessed. I am blessed.

Here is the passage.

Matthew Chapter 5: 1-12  The Message
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
(The Message)

These words and its meaning are so clear.  I know most Christians are familiar with The King James Version (KJV). I grow up reading it as well.  However, when I became acquainted with The Message I found it to be particularly helpful, especially when I’ve used it in teaching and in my personal study time.  It has enhanced my understanding of the Bible along with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

Today, I was reminded of this simple, yet powerful truth that I am blessed.  And as soon as I embraced that fact, I knew I had to share it.  I sensed someone needed to be reminded as I did, that our awesome God wants us to know without a shadow of doubt how incredibly blessed we are.

So if you are feeling troubled, may these words remind you that no matter what happens you are blessed.

The Message by Eugene Peterson