Ah…..God let’s me connect the dots from time to time – which makes me praise HIM even more…
I wasn’t thinking that I could work it all in today – I didn’t think I had time to get to band practice with simultaneous back to school night, but turns out in my son’s schedule there’s a study period at the end of the day called “W.I.N.” Time for the kids to wrap up the day…. I didn’t have to stay for the free period, LOL – WIN! So I skedaddled out of there because I knew at band we had a brand new song to learn and I LOVE to learn “new to me” songs… and I knew if I could just catch even just 15 minutes of “the groove” of the song, then God would take me the rest of the way learning the song…. Oh yeah, I caught the groove alright! It was the WIN-dow of collective PRAISE I needed to wrap up my day and bounce me home to enjoy the last hour of the day with my kids chatting, cooking a late night snack, and happily being together… WIN!
Entering Thursday band practice is just like being Norm from the TV show Cheers where “everybody knows your name” – everybody knows your story and everybody truly knows my crazy ways of PRAISE… as Joni Mitchell would sing “YOUR words pour out of me from time to time”… Meaning PRAISE has become very personal to me…. And it’s supposed to (1Corinthians 12:3 “no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.”)… I was taught in band that the point of worship time is to make the written praise words for God into your own… To find your pause, to find your prayers, to find your PEACE, to find your PRAISE… TO LISTEN…. TO SPEAK… TO SHARE… TO SING… “Lord I lift Your Name on High – Lord I love to sing Your praises”…
And for me in band practice, I often get to dance…. I also MUST LISTEN – that’s the key…because I surely sing off key without the monitors, therefore I must monitor myself, just as God would want me to listen in all things… Listen…
So, I listened to the new song stepping in, and just started dancing – gogo style – I tone it down for Sunday’s of course, my worse fear is to distract others from praise…. but these guys though tolerate me very well…. usually I blow in from a workout sweaty, rushed and jumpy… But ALWAYS excited to PRAISE – to be there… God made me that way… Paul Simon sings: “I’m just jittery. It’s just a way of dealing with my joy.” Exactly “no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.”
WIN! I danced on in with just the fifteen minutes I needed left on the clock… I couldn’t see these new words, or even understand the words without the music sheet… I could ONLY hear the music SO loud over the lyrics and therefore I felt it too, felt the reverberations which was AWESOME because I could feel God’s presence, HIS guiding hand which placed me in this blessed band nine months ago, and surely drove me here tonight… and I could see the PRAISE pouring out of my dear friend who wrote this framework of this new song for the band to take and make its own… and I could feel the energy given to all the band members as they surely did take it and make it their own…. later I got the actual lyric sheet and sang it thru – and we all added sweet layered “ooohs” at the end… Nice…wordless groans of pause and prayer and praise… WIN
Turns out the whole new song speaks to how when we know the Lord, WE KNOW… And HIS message comes thru HIS SPIRIT directly to us…. Faith like extreme Wi-Fi spreads far and wide – can’t see it but packed with good signals…
We can have that feeling of God as a gift of messages into and thru our souls when we are awakened to see the majesty and beauty of God’s creations…. And we feel HIM day after day…
PRAISE songs have liner notes of scripture that touch our hearts….
Just like “sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy” – as John Denver sang, I feel God’s guidance – Ecclesiastes 2 -“To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness”…. Of course sometimes the direction surprises me – sometimes things in life honestly hurt – and sometimes we are forced to give up things we thought we needed for self-satisfying wants – but Jesus truly wants to clean out the corners of our hearts… and we have to listen and worship… we have to trust and obey no matter what… There’s “A time for every season under heaven”… as the Byrds sang Pete Seager’s song taken from Ecclesiastes 3: “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”….
A dear friend sent me the scripture Jeremiah 29:11 earlier this week (I needed it), it’s a rebound of a scripture that I send to others all the time….
“11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
With praise I share my song and my dance and my smile…. I appreciate not ONLY that the world is SO majestic and beautiful, but that we as humans have that capacity to be so conscious of that…. We can try to understand and comprehend and be aware – God makes us aware – we strive to be unveiled, and see God’s Grace, He gives us forgiveness to be with HIM, we share forgiveness with others… We can’t do this forgiveness thing without God’s help…
Awareness is a GIFT… The other night God’s sunset was SO gorgeous but so short and fleeting and it made me stop to watch it because I knew it would disappear… I stop often to SMILE at God’s stars. I stop to smile and laugh and cry with God’s children. Pause to find the PRAISE… It’s THRU appreciation that God’s world is much bigger than us that we can be blown away by the sheer magnitude of God’s majesty and yet we still are touched by His personal thoughtfulness of us… And then thru appreciation of the tiniest of particles, elements, and molecules that come together to make it all tink, we can study the minutia down to the math that governs it all and still be touched that we are part of HIS big plan…. YES, we should all be blown away by the elegance of GOD’S PLAN in motion…. Then keep moving with it.
Yeah, awareness of God is a GIFT you feel WAY before you can even begin to understand. And when we are allowed to have open eyes, we can only start to understand – and we can smile back at God who smiles at us.
God is our Father, not our buddy, but our Shepherd, our guiding SPIRIT… God is SPIRIT.
SMILES GOD, SMILES…
Lord, You give us PEACE – YOUR PEACE
You give us WIN time.
Psalm 28 of David.
6 Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
8 The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
9 Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.
1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
3 For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
Today, if only you would hear his voice…