Unending Praise, Unending Joy

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The joy of praising God.

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Psalm 36:5 NLT

This morning I stopped to enjoy God’s love for me and my family.
To give thanks for the Lord is good and His love endures forever.
So I wrote this psalm:

Give thanks to the Lord, for creating all things.
They display His goodness, and His love, providing us with enjoyment.

Give glory to God, for His love will prevail against all evil.
His great love gives hope to the hopeless.

Give glory to God for His love will sustain us,
In our weakness He stoops to give us His strength.

Give all your worship to God, for His love will allow no other gods
He is jealous and will come out to find me when I wander off.

Worship the LORD, for He is the source of goodness and love.
And we become more like Him when we worship Him.

Give all praise to God, for His love and goodness are eternal,
And will never diminish nor change.

Give all praise to God for His power is infinite.
And it is always directed by His love.

Give all praise to the Lord, for if we do not the stones will cry out,
And we will miss out on the joy of praise.

Forever Praise

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Joyous wonderful praise to our Creator

The water drops bounce in exaltation to God,
As long as the river runs they sing praises to God.
Day and night they leap about in joyous worship.
Yes, You have given me the gift to praise You forever.
That knowledge stirs in me even greater thanksgiving and praise.

I will exalt you, my God and King,
and praise your name forever and ever.
I will praise you every day;
yes, I will praise you forever. Psalm 145:1-2 NLT

Joy to the Full

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Hawaiian sunrise

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  John 15:11

Every once in a while I am struck with the joy of life. It is not because of the freshness of the mountain air or the brilliant morning sunrise. It is that these joyous moments are but a foretaste of eternal life in Jesus. When I sit down and contemplate why I have such joy, it always comes back to His love for me. The verses just before John 15:11 confirms it:

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. John 15:9-10

“As the Father has loved Me,” Jesus says, “so I have loved you.” There it is––Jesus loves me deeply.

Part of that love for me is to tell me how I should be. Jesus uses the word command because what He says next about staying in His love is absolutely essential. It is the difference between looking through the window at the Christmas celebration, or going in to sit down to fully partake in it. Jesus is telling us that to have complete joy you have to join in His love:

Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12

I urge you to let the Holy Spirit pour His love through every part of your existence and join the celebration of joy to the full.

Enjoying Sunrise

Sunrise 04-04-17

You don’t want to miss sunrise

When I am in a grumpy mood,
I miss out on goodness.
When I am angry,
I miss out on love.
When I covet and filled with discontent,
I miss out on all the gifts I have been given.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

For only when I am right with God can I enjoy all his blessings.

Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:11-12

How good is God that he wants to clean us up that we might enjoy life.

Gray Day

Gray Day

Sometimes the view is obscured

I awoke this morning feeling lost and lifeless. On such gray mornings I need a big dose of Hebrews 4:26.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Followed by Romans 15:13.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Usually it takes some time for the Son to burn off my grayness. Fortunately my coming before the throne is not about my feelings, but about trusting in God’s grace. 

Joy in the Storm

Snow storm in the Tumwater Canyon

Joy after a storm

Joy is a blessing of highest order.
Like rays of sunshine warming what ever it touches.
Yet it disappears with the slightest disturbance.
Why is something so good so fragile?
Joy runs at the first hint of trouble.
It is easily hidden by clouds of struggle,
And overwhelmed by the slightest ripple in life.
Joy dies whenever grief rolls in.
Is there a way to hold on to it through all life’s trials?
Once a year we celebrate the joy of Christmas, propping it up with presents.
But the bright packages prove futile against the doldrums of winter.
Maybe the problem is:
We seek the ephemeral joy instead of the eternal.
Settle for a hint of joy rather than push on to the fullness of joy.
Run after a gift instead of the giver.
Worship the created instead of the creator.

In Your presence is fullness of joy.  Psalm 16:11

Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:10-11

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  John 15:9-11

A Prayer Plagiarized

snow covering a meandering stream

Pure peace, and gentle rest, wrapped in love for us to enjoy.

The LORD’s Prayer given to me.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:13

My prayer given back.

Deliver me from lust, and lead into into love.
Starve my stomach, and feed my heart.
Forgive what I have done, and reveal in me what You are doing.
Remove my shame, and drench me with Your grace.
Help me let go of my worry, and lead me in the pasture of Your peace.
Drown my pain with the hope of Your glory.
Remove the curse, and anoint me with joyful blessing.
Let me forget where I have been, by the power of whose I am.
Cover me with thy presence.
Rescue those I love, and bring us together in Your goodness … forever!

Contrast Makes the Picture

Sun coming through the trees

Sun coming through the trees


When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion,
we were like men who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.

Psalm 126 is about gratitude and joy of the redeemed. In verses 5-6 the magnitude of this joy is shown by wildly swinging contrasts:

Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.

A similar scene of contrast happens at Simon’s home when a sinful woman bursts in to anoint Jesus’ feet with tears and perfume (Luke 7:36-50).

I find my own joy and love for Jesus pretty puny, similar to Simon’s. There isn’t much contrast making my picture lifeless and ordinary. So I return to Psalm 126 to meditate upon what God has done for me and I begin to sing the song of joy.

The photograph of tree trunks is joyous because of the contrast. It is the same with life.