In His Praise — April 5, 2020

“God is great. God is good.” These words are spoken at the beginning of a well-known children’s prayer. The prayer goes on to thank God for food and His daily provisions for each of us.

We adults can learn a lot from this simple prayer about being grateful. There are so many things happening in our world right now that have upset our lifestyles, our routines— literally our lives, we might forget to thank God for all the blessings He continues to pour out upon us.

What about a warm sunshiny day? Spring is here. We can still get out in our own yards or go for a walk and enjoy the beauty of nature coming forth in flowers and trees. Listen to the sweet songs of birds singing, they don’t seemed to be stressed at all.

I was blessed today by a neighbor who wants to organize a front yard Easter service.  Another neighbor is playing guitar on his porch for all to hear and enjoy. Still others are outside with their children, spending time together. All of these are blessings for which we should praise God.

Even if we are not able to visit in person with friends and family, we can keep in touch by phone or other social media. There are more ways to connect with each other now than ever before in history. A simple text can bring such joy and God has made this possible.

Although some of our favorite foods may be missing from the grocery shelf, there is still plenty of food for everyone. Schools, churches, restaurants, and individual are providing meals for as many as possible. Praise God for His work in our communities. 

We can praise God for His blessings on our leaders and those working to find vaccines, medicines, and making equipment to help treat and cure this pandemic. 

Yes, God is a great God and He is a good God. He has not left His children alone to fight this battle. He is with us every minute of everyday and continues to bless in ways we can not even imagine. Psalm 145:3 says” Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.” 

Let’s keep praising God and trusting His guidance day by day and when this terrible time has passed, let’s praise Him more and more.

In His Praise — March 29,2020

Today, Bro. Phil Nickles shared a very inspirational sermon on staying anchored to God.  It is so very important to have a firm foundation in our lives, not just during this trying time, but all throughout our lives. God wants to be our anchor and foundation. He loves each of us more than we know and desires to help us day by day.

That is really good news!

Here are some Bible verses that can help remind us of how close our God is to us:

*Everyday God thinks of you.  Read Psalms 68:19

*Every hour God looks out for you. Read 2 Thessalonians 3:3

*Every minute God cares for you. Read 1 Peter 5:7

*Because every second God loves you. Read Jeremiah 31:3

Stay anchored and stay strong in the Lord.

In His Praise — March 22, 2020

A lot has happened since our last post of “In His Praise” . It seems that the Coronavirus has taken over all the news and much of our lives. Our daily routines have been disrupted and changed. We’re learning to adjust and spend our time in different ways. It can be unsettling and downright scary.

But, although the world around us is changing, we have One that is constant, that has never changed and will never change. That is Jesus Christ. He is our hope, our rock, our shelter in the storm.

Thousands of years ago Psalm 23 was penned to describe the loving care the Father has for His children. These words are just as true today as they were back then. God loves us and cares for our every need just as a loving shepherd cares for his sheep. 

Meditate on the words of this beloved scripture and let it bring peace and comfort into your life. 

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside the quiet waters, he restores my soul

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,

For you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows,

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Psalm 23

In His Praise — March 15, 2020

Do you remember the story of how the Israelites crossed the Red Sea? You can read about it in Exodus 14. If you’re not familiar with this miracle, let me give you a paraphrased version. The Israelites, God’s people, were leaving behind 400 years of slavery in Eygpt. They were being lead by Moses to a new home that God had promised them. They had traveled a few days when back in Eygpt, Pharaoh decided he really didn’t want to release this large workforce from his land. So he called his vast army together and commanded them  to recapture these Israelites. As the Eygptian army approached, God’s people found themselves trapped between the oncoming army and the Red Sea. It appeared that they were doomed, the soldiers were well trained and well equipped to fight. The Israelites were not, plus they were traveling with families (women and children) and all their livestock. 

But Moses didn’t panic, he prayed to God and God intervened in a powerful and mighty way. God instructed Moses to lift his staff up and spread his hands over the sea. When he did, God parted the waters of the Red Sea!! Not only did God make a path through the water, He made it possible for the people cross on dry ground! (Exodus 14:16, 21) Every man, woman , child and animal made it across to safety!

Pharaoh army, on the other hand, was not so blessed. They tried to follow the Israelites across the same path, but as soon as all of God’s people were safe on the other side, God instructed Moses to lift his staff and hands again and in another miraculous action, God caused the water to sweep down upon them and all the army was drowned. 

What’s the point of repeating this story? Well, we are living in times that are often scary and uncertain. We may feel at times that we are defeated and there is no help for us to survive, that there is no way to safety. But the good news is that just as God was with the Israelites, He is still with us today. He is still a mighty God of miracles. He still intervenes in our lives to help us, protect us and fight battles for us. 

When life strikes a blow against you, don’t give up. Do as Moses did, talk to God. When times are uncertain, the news seems all bad, and there seems to be no hope for this world, trust that God is still in control. God will never desert us and He is bigger than any battle that we may face. 

The Bible tells us in Exodus 15 that after the Israelites were safe, that they sang praises to the Lord to thank Him. We too should praise the Lord and thank Him everyday for His blessings upon each of us. He is a great, good God and we can trust His power and might.

In His Praise — March 8, 2020

Most people that I know want to live a good life. Most people want to have a peaceful life, void of strife and trouble. Most people want to feel joy and contentment in their life. But in today’s world sometimes these seem like impossible goals. But, there is good news!

Today at East Point the choir sang the well-known hymn, “Near to the Heart of God.” This song reminds us that when we draw near to God we can have quiet rest, we can have safe protection from the world of sin. We can have  comfort as we commune with Jesus and receive His peace and joy. What a blessing!

So, how do we get to this place that is near to the heart of God? Well the first step is to accept Jesus as your Savior. Romans 10:8-9 tells us how to do this. “Confess with your mouth that, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved”. Next let God take control. Let His joy and peace flood your life and bring the changes that He has for you. 

Every day still won’t be perfect, but with God near to you, the burdens will be easier to bear and joy that you never thought possible will fill your heart.

In His Praise — March 1, 2020

The good news today is simple. It is that God loves us! He loves you  and me so much that  He is willing to forgive our sins, when we ask Him with a repentant heart. Then, after He has wiped away our wrongdoings, He forgets about them! We can trust that this is true because He says so in Isaiah 43:25, Jeremiah 31:34 and again in Hebrew 8:12 and 10:16-17.

We sometimes want to hang on to our past and relive the moments when we have gone astray. But when we do that we give the devil an opening to torment us. Satan can and will use our past mistakes and failures to make us doubt our salvation, to move us away from a loving Father, to take away our peace and joy and to generally make our lives a mess. Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44)  and wants only to destroy (John 10:10). He does not love us or even care about us.

Don’t fall into his traps! Claim the good news of Jesus’ salvation! Let Jesus be the Lord of your life. Trust that your sins are forgiven and your past life is gone.  2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new is come.”

Kick Satan aside and start really living. Trust your Heavenly Father to guide you and give you a peaceful, joyous and victorious life in Him.

In His Praise — February 23, 2020

TV shows about renovating old houses are very popular these days. It is amazing to see what talented designers and builders can do with an old run down building. With some imagination and a lot of work they can transform a shack into someone’s “dream home”. 

But what about us? Sometimes our hearts, minds and lives are like those old run down houses. We need to be renewed, refreshed — we need to be transformed! 

Only One can do this for us and that is Jesus. He can change a heart of stone into a heart of love (Ezekiel 36:26). He can change a bad attitude into gratitude (2 Corinthians 5:17),  and He can fill us with so many blessings that we cannot count them all (Ephesians 3:20)!

This wonderful Savior and transformer of lives is only a prayer away. Let Him into your heart and trust Him to transform the broken down places in your life into beauty and joy. He will fill you with peace and contentment and make life worth living again.

In His Praise – February 16, 2020

We make choices everyday. They can be simple and insignificant like what to wear.  Or  they can be more important and life changing such as whom to marry. Big or small, whatever the decision, we should always trust God for direction.

In Deuteronomy 30, God used Moses to deliver a message to His people about making choices. In verses 15 – 20 we read that the Israelites were instructed to make a choice. They could choose life and prosperity or death and destruction. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? But the Israelites, just like us, sometimes made the wrong choice and did not follow God. It is easy to stray from the right path. The world offers many temptations that seem harmless at the time. But to ignore God can only lead to destruction.  God wants us to cling to Him, but Satan tries desperately to tear us away from our loving Father. We  too must choose whom we will serve.

When we choose God’s way He promises life, prosperity and blessings. We can trust God to keep His promises. He will never fail us and that is good news!

In His Praise — February 9, 2020

Feeling loved, wanted, appreciated and belonging are basic human needs that most everybody feels. Sadly there are those in the world that may never know the love of another person, the companionship of a true friend or the joy of being in a family. Some may feel unloved and may even have been shunned to the point that they feel unworthy of anyone’s affection.

This is simply not true! The  good news is that God created each of us in His own image (Genesis 1:27). We are special to Him and always will be. The truth is that God is “in love” with us and He desires that we be “in love” with Him.

Now this is not a romantic type of love, but something much deeper and stronger. When God created each of us in His image He placed potential in us. He saw someone created to bring Him glory and to live their life in accordance to His will. 

The world will look at us and see only our physical  appearance, but our Heavenly Father looks at us in love and sees so much more. He sees His precious child, He sees the plans that He has for us and He sees the blessings He has for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11).

Accept this love that God has for each of us and let it fill the emptiness. Choose to walk with Him and you will never be alone again. 

In His Praise — February 2, 2020

On February 4, 1810, three minsters meet together and prayed through the night for divine guidance. They were considering reorganizing the Cumberland Presbytery which had been dissolved.

As these men prayed for guidance in a desire to do the will of God, they were lead eventually to create a new denomination, which would be called Cumberland Presbyterian.

You might be asking “what is the good news in that information for us today?” Well there is plenty.  As these men gathered in Jesus’ name, He was with them, just as He has also promised us in Matthew 18:20. When we go to Jesus in pray, He listens to us and makes intercession for us to the Father. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit we are directed, helped and strengthened to do His will. 

It is great news to know that as children of God we have such an advocate! One that loves us, wants the best for us and provides our every need. Just as God heard the prayers of these three devout men, He also hears our prayers and is ready to give us guidance to do the work He has for us too.