How little we see—How little we love

SH_190528-9011-Edit

How great is God’s love for us.

Praise the Lord!
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord?
Who can ever praise him enough? Psalm 106:1-2 NLT

“Who can list the miracles of the LORD,” implies we are only seeing a small portion of what the LORD is doing. These miraculous happenings arise from God’s goodness and enduring love. His mighty love holds me even when I cannot see it. A simile for comparing our knowledge to what God is actually doing would be like looking out upon the trees and flowering fields, and all you think is that the lawn needs mowing. But the truth is if we saw life with clear eyes the wonder would blow us away and cause us to kneel in praise to God. That is why the Psalmist says—who can ever praise Him enough?

Fortunately, God’s goodness and love are poured out regardless of our level of understanding. But the ability to enjoy His gift depends on our hearts readiness to receive.

This is easiest to see with God’s love.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12 NIV

It is here we fall way short of loving in the measure we have been loved. Jesus calls it—little love.

Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Luke 7:44-47 NLT

This “little love” not only chokes our love of God, but makes us apathetic to the pain of those around us. An example is racism. Most people feel they aren’t racist. But our feelings are not the measure here… it is have we loved our neighbor as God has loved us. Our “little love” has resulted in a trail of tears down through the generations, from the cruel days of slavery to the killing of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbury.

If we truly saw the enormity of God’s love in Jesus, and the pain our indifference to others has caused, it would drive us to fall at the feet of Jesus pleading for forgiveness and stir afresh the desire to show His love to our neighbor. Lord, cure us of our “little love”… O who can ever love Him enough?

The Blessing of Ascribing to the Lord

SH_190423-7429-Edit-denoise-Edit-Edit

Sunrise over Leavenworth WA

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. Psalm 29:1-2

Ascribe in Psalm 29 means to attribute, to give homage, to acknowledge in a worshipful manner. It is His infinite strength, glory, and holy splendor we are to ascribe to the Lord.

Unfortunately, I will go through a whole day and not ascribe to the Lord. This robs me of the peace I can have affirming God is more than able to handle the troubles before me. Psalm 29 continues by telling us about the power of God.

The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. Psalm 29:4-5

It is normal to be anxious about things, but when I ascribe to the Lord His glory and power and strength, then I begin to breathe easy again.

The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11

White-Gloved Hands of Praise

SH_180112-1577edit

Ponderosa Pines lifting white-gloved hands in praise.

I can read Isaiah 12 over and over and it never loses its power, or joy, or wonder. I can dwell on each verse and my song of praise and thanksgiving keeps building with in me for I know it is just the beginning.

 

Unending Praise, Unending Joy

SH_0264-180914-6465-Edit

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

SHg3_180911-6368

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

Belated Praise

 

SHg3_180310-3057

Beauty that is hard to miss

Mount Rainier looms large over Seattle yet most of my fellow passengers on the ferry took little notice (they had seen it hundreds of times); instead they were caught up in reading or conversation. I must say I took a few photos, then returned to doing something else until we docked at Edmonds. It chagrined me later, when I downloaded the pictures, that I had failed to give thanks to the Lord for the beauty I had witnessed.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20

So I offer this belated praise as I share this picture:

In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God… Psalm 95:4-7

Lupine Lifting Up Praise

SH_170605-7557-2

Lupine lifting up to praise God

Praise the Lord, O my soul.
When I praise God, I begin to review all he has done for me.
He has forgiven me, and removed my shame.
He has redeemed my life from sorrow and death.
He satisfies all my desires.
He leads me into goodness and guards me on the way.
His love for me knows no bounds, and he will not let anything come between us.
He shares himself with me, and gives me his name that I should call upon him.
Even the flowers of the field praise the Lord.
What a blessing it is to praise God
Praise the Lord, O my soul.

A paraphrase of Psalm 103

The Miracle of Snowflakes

Snowflakes

Snowflakes frozen in pond ice

Each snow flake is a unique wonder of God’s creation, no two are alike. Yet, often when we see them float down it starts us thinking about having to shovel snow, or worry about icy roads. Life is like that, we receive many blessings each day, yet our minds are preoccupied by problems and struggles. It is not to say we should not think about difficult issues, it’s just we should not let them be all we think about. For when we fail to praise God for His “snowflakes,” we miss the beauty and wonder in each day.

Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him! Psalm 147:1

He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit. Psalm 147:4-5

If you like me have difficulty getting past the troubles of each day, then let Psalm 145 through Psalm 150 guide you in praise.

Light and Life

As I watched the sunrise this morning all the colors and beauty made my heart sing praise.

For in You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light. Psalm 36:9

Music by Aaron Copland / Sunrise over Leavenworth, WA / time lapse photography by Stephen Hufman / beauty, glory, joy, and praise all belong to God. Merry Christmas

 

Coming Before the Throne

Before the Throne

At Heaven’s gate

Trying to write, but I am so uninspired and sleepy.
Trying to pray for a good friend who has terminal cancer, but I am so lifeless in prayer.
Trying to live for my Lord, but I am so weak and easily tripped up.
How wonderful is my great high priest who sits enthroned at the right hand of God.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 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. Hebrews 4:14-16

My soul soars to His mercy seat and I fall before Him in thanksgiving.