Picture of eagle's head with text, "Bible studies"


(Newest ones are last)
God Inhabits Praise
God Inhabits Praise
Take God's hand
Take God's Hand
What gift can you give God?
What Gift Can You Give God?
Climb from praise to praise
Climb from Praise to Praise
Official praise singers
Official Praise Singers
Seeking and praising
Seeking & Praising
Praise is a weapon
Praise is a Weapon
Corporate praise
Corporate Praise
Exalted Be God!
Exalted Be God!
Bless the Lord
Bless the Lord
Spiritual Ebb and Flow
Spiritual Ebb and Flow
Be Thankful for Paper
Be Thankful for Paper


11/24/97 Thankfulness
"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."

Psalm 100:1-5
What do you have to be thankful for? Look around you, inside, outside. Look at your family and friends. Look at how wonderfully you are made. Consider the One who created the earth and everything in it. Every single thing we have we got from God. Do you have even one thing to be thankful for?

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD! (What, you can't carry a tune? That's why it says joyful noise and not tuneful song!) Get to know Him better. He has wonderful things for you! He is your loving Father and wants to bless you because you are his child!
I neglected to save the November 1997 welcome messages.


2/22/98 God Inhabits Praise
"But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel."
COMMENTS: Do you want to feel you have God's full attention when you are praying? Do you want to let Him know how much you appreciate everything he has done for you? Are you having difficulty hearing the voice of God? Start your communion with Him with praise! God lives in the praises of His people!

You want him dwelling right there in your mind? Start praising! Can't carry a tune? Praising isn't just singing. Praise is giving God recognition for His greatness and His place as Creator, First and Last, and Lord of Lords. Tell Him how wonderful He is. Tell Him how awesome He is. Describe Him. That, too, is praise. Try it. . .you'll like it!!!
Link to 2/22/98 welcome message.


6/23/98 Take God's Hand
"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. "
Psalm 100:1-5
What does God want from us? According to this scripture He wants us to be joyful, recognize Him as our Creator, be thankful, serve Him, and praise Him. He wants our joy to be full. He wants us to be happy.

It tells us to keep our hearts and minds on Him. Throughout the day we can praise Him and thank Him with words and song. He is deserving of our praises. He loves us more than we can comprehend. He is waiting patiently for us to acknowledge Him. He is waiting patiently to pick us up when, through our own efforts, we fall flat on our faces.

Have you ever broken open a piggy bank expecting to find more money than what you had put in it? Of course not! God has given you life and His love. Now he is waiting for you to put in your share. Then, once you begin giving back to God He will pour out the blessings on you. Luke 6:38 tells us, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." In other words, you will receive more than you give. Your piggy bank will have more in it than what you put there!

God has wonderful things for us. He is holding out His hand. It is up to us to take it.
Link to 6/23/98 welcome message.


3/2/99 What Gift Can You Give God?
"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
Hebrews 13:15
Have you ever had the responsibility of buying a present for the person who has everything? Some people are very hard to please and others have already bought themselves everything they ever wanted or needed. You just want them to know that you have thought about them, so you grab just anything.

What present can you give to God? Now, there's a hard one to buy for! If He needs something He just creates it! After all, He's the One who took nothing and made everything! Besides, how can you get a present to heaven? I don't believe UPS has heaven on their delivery route!

There are a few things that you can give God. One thing is praise. Praise is the fruit of your lips. Praise to God is probably the most important thing that will ever pass through your lips. God deserves your praise. God desires your praise. Give Him your praise!

I believe that there is more to praise than meets the eye. I see instances in the Bible where praise has power. What flows from peoples' lips has power, just as weapons have power. The walls of Jericho came down with the shouts of the Israelites (Joshua 6:5). One time just the praise of the Israelites conquered the enemy (2Chr 20:21-22). I believe praise can shake loose the power that is within us.

When things are going wrong in our lives and we are in a bad mood we can praise the Lord. Try it. You can't help but feel better! Things happen inside us when we praise the Lord.

What else can you give the Lord? " I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." (Romans 12:1) Give yourself! It's acceptable to God! It's what he wants! YOU are what He wants!
Link to 3/2/99 welcome message.


9/29/99 Climb from Praise to Praise
"And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD."
Psalm 40:3
The Lord spoke to me yesterday morning and gave me something I would like to share with you. The reason I am going to share it is because I know that what He told me applies to you as well.

He told me He wants me to abide (live) in the heavenlies. Lately I have been focusing on the scripture where Jesus told us to abide in Him (John 15:4-8). I have been wanting to continuously abide in Him. As a result I would be talking, thinking, and doing things in the Spirit. When He told me to abide in the heavenlies I asked Him how I could do that. The reply was glorious.

He told me to be risen in praise and to fill my mouth. Again He said to rise in praise and to step on the Word and be lifted. (It was here I could picture myself rising up toward the clouds.) He told me to climb from praise to praise and from Word to Word. (I could picture myself stepping up from cloud to cloud.)

He wants us to praise Him! He wants us to be reading His Word! If we are diligent about doing that then we will be rising up into the heavenlies and abiding WITH HIM!! Yes, I know it is a hard concept. It is not an earthly concept, it is a heavenly concept. We are not meant to fully understand it. We are just supposed to be doing what He desires us to do. He takes care of the details.

When we are abiding in the heavenlies then, as our scripture says, many shall see it and shall trust in the Lord. Before the Lord told me how to abide in the heavenlies He told me to be what He has made me for. He told me not to walk as they walk and not to talk as they talk. ("They" would be earthly-minded people.) He told me to be apart [from them].

Then He told me to come FROM Him. (I pictured myself standing between Him and the earth with my face toward the earth.) He said to be drawn to Him and to position myself near Him. He told me to open my heart and let Him flow. Then He told me to abide in the heavenlies.

That is where He wants all of us. He wants us to be near Him and to be separated from the "world." We need to be praising Him. We need to be absorbing the Word. Imagine yourself rising higher and higher toward the One who loves you without end, stepping from praise to praise and from Word to Word.... GLORY HALLELUJAH!!
Link to 9/29/99 welcome message.


6/19/00 Official Praise Singers
"And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever."
2Chronicles 20:21
God gave some people the talent of singing and of praising. Those gifts are designed to be used for Him. Can you imagine having a paid position (or, if not paid, then your needs supplied in exchange for this job) of just worshipping and praising the Lord? God wants our continuous praise. He is worthy of continuous praise.

There are so many things that we miss out on because we don't seek to know what our portion is in the Body of Christ. Each of us has talents and abilities that were given us by God. When we don't ask Him where He wants to use us then something goes undone. Either the Body is hurt or it is hindered by our lack of action.

If God wants a group of pray-ers in each church body and nobody is sensitive to His urging then prayers go unanswered and the things He would do through those intercessors are hindered. God knows what He is doing. He has distributed the gifts in such a way that they would fill all the voids, should they be used. He has a master plan and has a place for each of us in it.

It is a sad thing to see the Body of Christ sitting and doing nothing. It is a sad thing when someone decides who is and who is not to be used. It is a sad thing when the Body is treated like they are a group of children or a flock of sheep and are not afforded the recognition and God-given position they deserve.

Each Christian has the Holy Spirit in them. Each Christian was given gifts by God. Each Christian is endowed with power available through the Holy Spirit. Each Christian is a member of the Body of Christ whose parts are described in 1Corinthians 12:22-24 as, "...those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked."

Imagine, if you will, that the Body is a machine with many intricate parts. Each part has a portion in the effective working of that machine. If you disable one part then you reduce the effectiveness of the machine, or you disable it altogether.

Those that are supposed to be teaching should be teaching. Those that are to be praying should be praying. Those that should be encouraging others should be busy doing so. Those that are meant to be praising should be diligently praising. Those that are to be assisting the others who are busy at work for the Lord should be in the midst and assisting. Ask God where, in His master plan, is your place.
Link to 6/19/00 welcome message.


11/20/00 Seeking & Praising
"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name."
Psalm 63:1-4
Oh, God, You are my God! There really are no words that can adequately praise God. David, who wrote some marvelous praises, started this one out as if he couldn't think of any words. God knows He is our God, but He can see inside our heart to know what is behind the inadequate words.

Seek God early. Seek Him early in the day so that you begin your day thinking about Him. Seek Him early in when you need wisdom on something. Don't wait until you have really messed things up and then seek Him. He has all the answers and is willing to share them with you. You just have to ask and then wait for the answer. Seek Him now. An hour from now may be too late.

My soul is thirsty for You. There is something missing in my life when I am not in communication with You! My entire being hungers for the love, comfort, joy, wisdom, understanding, and all other things that are in You! There is an empty place in each of us that only God can fill. People seem to always be searching for happiness. How many people do you know that think that if they could only get enough money they would be happy? People search for happiness in many different places.

God created us as an extension of Himself. He is Love. Any love in you is from and of Him. He lovingly designed you in your mother's womb. He poured Himself into you. Without seeking Him and connecting with Him there will be an emptiness, a hunger that cannot be satisfied. There is nothing in this dry and thirsty world that can satisfy our hunger. Look around you. The world is filled with hungry, unsatisfied people. They keep thinking and hoping that there is "something" out there that will fill the void. It is that hope that keeps most people sustained, but not filled.

David had glimpsed the power and glory of God. He knew it was there. Once you have tasted the things of God you can never be satisfied until you receive more and more and more. David felt the loving kindness of God and knew that it was more valuable and wonderful than life, itself!

David was overflowing with praises for God. Over and over in the Psalms we see where David praised God at any time of the day and in many different ways. Over and over David reminded us to praise God. He gave us many many reasons for praising God. David kept reminding us, as he reminded himself, of why God is worthy of all praise and honor. He said he would bless God as long as he lived. We should never stop thanking and praising God.

In verse 5 he said, "My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: when I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches." Praising God satisfied his soul. David praised God when he was awake at night. He chose to think about God rather than to think about the things on his next day's agenda.

God connects with us in our praises. Psalm 22:3 says, "But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel." God lives in the praises of His people. Think about that. He LIVES there! Praising God can bring wonderful results. When we are truly praising God there is power and glory released. When we are giving Him praise He is free to move in and embrace you with His loving kindness. He is free to fill you with Himself. Think of it as making love in the Spirit. You are communicating with the One who loves you more than you love yourself. You are both expressing your love for each other.

In verses 7 and 8 of chapter 63 David went on to say, "Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me." If you are in the shadow of someone then you are standing very close by them. David was rejoicing because of the closeness to God he was experiencing. He followed hard after God. He chased God and God raised Him up with His hand. God honors and desires our praises and our seeking Him.

There is nothing that God needs from us. There is nothing we can do in ourselves that is necessary to Him. He can do just fine without our help. However, He longs to have us love Him. He longs to hear us praise Him. Those are things that we can do for Him. He is greatly touched by our feeble attempts. The love we give Him is the love He gave us in the first place. It bounces back off Him and returns to us magnified. There just is no way to adequately describe what happens when we love and praise Him. You'll just have to try it for yourself.
Link to 11/20/00 welcome message.


4/9/02 Praise is a Weapon
"And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great."
Revelation 19:5
The verse prior to this one tells us that God is sitting on the throne. The voice that came out of the throne had to be God's. God demands praise.

Throughout the book of Revelation we see where all who are in heaven are praising God. The four beasts that are described in chapter 4 praise God day and night per verse 8 in chapter 4. There are a number of instances of those in heaven falling on their faces before God and worshipping Him.

Why should it be any different for us? One problem is that people tend to try to humanize God. As we apply human terms to God, we don't think about how awesome and wonderful He really is. We don't want to give any one person too much praise, so hold back on God as well.

God demands our praises for good reason. I don't understand the reasons completely, but I know the reasons are good ones. I can only guess at why God demands praises. I know one way to find out some of the "why's." I'm going to praise Him more and more and see what happens. I know that it will make a difference, but don't know the full extent.

I know of one difference already. When I am sad or mad I cannot stay in that frame of mind while I am praising God! I feel peace and joy while I am praising Him. I feel like I have opened a door into heaven and God is pouring things down on me as I praise.

It isn't hard to praise God. The hardest part is being creative and coming up with new and different ways. When I am praising Him, my mind is on Him. That makes it easier for me to be knowing what He wants me to do and say throughout the day. I guess that while I am praising Him I am abiding in Him. That is the way it feels.

God had the Israelites of the Old Testament appoint praise singers. It doesn't specifically say, but I imagine that was as much an actual job as was being a soldier. They were usually, if not always, sent out ahead of the soldiers when they went to battle. They were praising God. Think about it. In chapter 20 of 2Chronicles it tells about how God began working on the enemy while the praise singers were singing. The enemies destroyed each other before the Israelite soldiers ever got there to fight!

Praise is powerful and is needful. Praise gets us to thinking about why God deserves praise. It gets us to thinking about how powerful, awesome, and wonderful He really is. Praise, in itself, is a powerful weapon in the spiritual realm. Pick up that weapon and use it regularly. Let praise become second nature. Listen to praise music and join in the praise while you drive or whenever you can. Whenever you have a quiet moment or whenever you are doing something that doesn't require your full attention begin praising God. I sure would appreciate it if you would let me know what happens. I know something will!
Link to 4/9/02 welcome message.


5/21/02 Corporate Praise
"Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders."
Psalm 107:31-32
We have many many reasons to praise God.  He deserves to be praised and is worthy to be praised.  He is GOD!

God wants to be praised.  He wants to be exalted, lifted up, placed in a position of honor.  He wants us to do this on an individual basis, but also corporately.  He desires for us to get together with other believers and praise Him.  Like the Bible says in Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."  God wants us to get together and praise Him with one mind.

On the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) the disciples and any others that were there were, "all with one accord in one place." An examples of God enjoying praise and worship:"

And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people.  And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces."  Lev 9:23-24If you are a parent of more than one child you know the good feeling you get when your children demonstrate love for each other and when they get together and proclaim their love for you.  It is the same with God.  He enjoys it when His children get together and praise Him, worship Him, and love Him.

When you give God a list of things you want, that is not praising Him.  Think on this question:  What do you give to God?

Link to 5/21/02 welcome message.


10/6/04 Exalted Be God!
"The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation."
2Samuel 22:47
This is going to be short and sweet.  We are going to praise the Lord. No matter what is happening in our lives, no matter how we feel, God is God and is deserving of our praise.   He is our Rock.  Have you ever found that when things are falling apart around you that God doesn't change.  He doesn't leave you.  He doesn't stop loving you.  He is right by your side and wants you to lean on Him.  He is unshakeable.  If you are standing on Him you will not fall AS LONG AS you know that He is your Rock. If you don't really know Him then you won't have the security of knowing He is in control.  You will not feel Him beneath your feet.

Let Him teach you about Himself.  Let Him show you what He can do.  Have faith that He will act when the time is right.  Have faith that He knows best.

It doesn't matter what we think He should do because we are thinking out of our own desires and out of our limited vision.  He sees the before and the after.  He knows what is best. As it says in Psalms 146:1-3:
"Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.  While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.  Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help."

Things are falling apart around me.  My eyes see what appear to be hopeless situations.  My heart tells me that my God is bigger than anything my eyes see and that my ears hear.

I will shout, "PRAISE THE LORD!" and I will proclaim that He is the God that watches over my family.  He is the God that is in control!


Link to 10/6/04 welcome message.


12/13/04 Bless the Lord
"Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name."
Psalm 103:1
Yes, this is the second time we have studied this verse, but we are going to look at it slightly differently this time.  The last time we pondered the reasons why we should bless the Lord.  This time we are going to focus on the fact that this verse says "Bless the Lord, O my soul" and NOT "bless my soul, O my Lord!"

Praise and worship is for God because He so richly deserves it.  He is worthy to be praised.  We need to be praising Him because of all the reasons we found the last time we studied this scripture and because of so much more. Jesus taught us how to pray in the Lord's Prayer.  How does it start?  Does it start with "give us" or does it start with "hallowed be Thy name"?  So many times we bring ourselves to God and tell Him, "Here I am, Lord.  I want... I need... I want... I need...."  That is often what praise and worship has become, too.

Whenever I go to a church I get excited as I anticipate corporate praise.  What I mean by corporate praise is a group of people all lifting their voices in one accord and praising God.  Yet, over and over and over I see churches miss the mark.

Instead of singing songs TO God ABOUT God telling Him how wonderful He is the "worship" time is full of:
~songs celebrating how we are going to praise God and not actually praising Him.
~songs telling the reasons God deserves praise, but not actually praising Him.
~songs that say how great God makes us feel.
~songs that ask God to help us, strengthen us, or bless us.
~songs that are full of "feel good" stuff like dancing and clapping and shouting.
~songs that don't praise God at all.

Probably all the songs that are being sung are great songs and bless many people.  There are times when "feel good" songs are in order.  There are times when songs about the things God has for us are in order.  However, when a group is ready to praise and worship God then they need to PRAISE  AND WORSHIP GOD!  They need to bless Him and not themselves!

"Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name."  ALL that is within me bless His holy name!  Praising God is pouring ourselves out to Him, not filling ourselves up with Him.  It is singing songs that say "You, You, You" and not "me, me, me, I, I, I"!

Well, hey, what do I know?  I'm just another person with another opinion, right?  So, ask God for yourself.  If you are a praise leader in your church, ask God what songs He wants sung.  Then, even though you have practiced a set of songs for the church service and might even have the words to the songs in the bulletin or on an overhead, continue asking God what He wants sung.  As you are singing, ask Him what He wants.  If a song all of a sudden isn't right then stop the song.  Go to the one He wants.  Does He want something different?  Does He want everyone on their knees?  Does He have a Word to share through somebody?  WHAT DOES HE WANT?

A praise leader must be leading praise FOR GOD and not FOR THE PEOPLE.  Praise time is not entertainment time.  Praise time is not just an introduction to the sermon.  Praise time belongs to God and He needs to be put in control so He can get what He desires.

So, if you are not a praise leader then what can you do?  God doesn't necessarily want you to stand up and shout, "Stop the music!"  Ask Him what you should do.  Perhaps He just wants you to praise Him. 

Many times I have changed the words to songs and praised Him in spite of what was being sung.  I will change "He is worthy" to "You are worthy" and "praise Him" to "praise You". Sometimes all I can do is weep because I can feel God yearning for deeper worship from people who are just having a grand old time laughing and dancing and clapping. 

There are no easy answers for what to do if you are just one of God's children in the congregation wanting to join in corporate worship.  He knows what He wants from you and from your church.  Even when we are in a group of people that are missing God altogether it doesn't mean we have to travel along with them. Close your eyes so you aren't distracted by any nonsense.  Begin to pour yourself out.  Let all that is within you bless the Lord.  You don't have to ask Him for blessings.  They will automatically result from your worshipping Him in spirit and in truth. 

Don't take, just give, give, give.

Link to 12/13/04 welcome message.


 4/1/05 Spiritual Ebb and Flow
"And he [David] appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel:"
1Chronicles 16:4
There were people who were given the job of praising God.  That's it, that's what they did.  That was their job!  They spent their time ministering to God.  They gave Him what He deserved... praise and thanks.

What do we give God?  I'll think of some examples since I can't hear your answers.  My ears still aren't clear from my cold, so maybe that's why. An easy one would be to give Him back whatever talents He has give you.  For example, did He put in your heart the love of dancing?  Then dance to Him. Tell Him in words how wonderful, awesome, and glorious He is.  Sing them, or say them, or shout them, or whisper them, or think them.  Love Him.

Look at the examples we have so far.  What is the common thread running through them?  I'll give you a hint.  It has to do with direction of travel.

Did you get it?  They are all being done TO God.  You are sending praises and worship and love TO God.  You are giving Him of yourself, giving Him what He deserves, and ministering to Him. Now I'm going to make you think about the opposite side of the coin.  Let's use the same ideas. The dancer who is dancing to God begins to think about how great it feels just to be dancing and switches focus from God to the footwork or feel of the dance itself. When you are telling God all about Him and begin to:

  • list all the things you are thankful for
  • tell Him how He makes you feel
  • keep talking, singing, etc. saying things that contain the words I, me, my, myself....
  • ask for healing or ask for something else
  • tell Him you want more of Him
    When you are telling God you love Him and the reasons change from you love Him because He is Awesome to you love Him because of what He has done for you.

    Do you see how the spiritual flow changed from toward God to toward you?  You were pushing things toward God and then you began sucking from Him.  You were giving and then you were taking.

    Spiritual ebb and flow.  There is a spiritual current moving in the lives of believers.  Have you felt it? I've been in church services where the focus was on God.  People came into the building to come together in one accord to GIVE Him praise and worship.  There was one church in particular that I attended for a year.  It was awesome.  Three months went by and the pastor just stayed with the rest of the congregation and gave alongside the rest of us.  The worship just went on and on and on.  There were a few people there who didn't get completely into the giving mode, but only a few.

    What happened was as the spiritual flow went like a rushing river to God, God came down to receive it.  If you've not experienced that feeling it is hard to describe.  It was like the air got heavy.  Some people began to weep.  Sometimes it was weeping of repentance and sometimes joy.  God came and touched each person in a special and personal way. Some people ended up on the floor and others on their knees.  It was awesome. So, what happened was, as we only focused on GIVING God GAVE in return.

    What happened was we didn't have to ask for anything.  God gave.  The church didn't have to take an offering.  God convicted people of how much to give.

    God spoke to those who would listen and they would go minister to those that God directed.

    We didn't go to church to socialize or to get healed.  We went to minister to God and to meet with Him. The reason I no longer go to that church is because the pastor took over.  That pastor must have realized that he no longer had control.  In other areas of his life he was a very controlling person.  So, he started to take over the service when he felt we had spent enough time in praise and worship.  It was very sad.  I wasn't the only one who could feel the Holy Spirit being "dismissed" so we could get on with the rest of the service.

    So, what do we need to do?  We need to spend more time giving to God what He deserves.  He is worthy of being praised, honored, worshipped, and adored. Don't waste your time singing songs that say things like, "I want to praise You" or, "It's time to praise You" or even, "You are all I need." Sing about Him!  Sing TO Him!  When you are singing a song that says, "He is worthy to be praised" then to whom are you singing?  Are you telling the other people there that God is worthy to be praised?  Don't they already know that?  Of course He is worthy!  So praise Him! Sing songs:  You, You, You.  Don't sing songs:  He, I, me

    Don't reject the songs that are about God rather than to God.  There is a purpose for those songs.  People who don't know Him need to hear them.  There is a time and a place for them.  However, when you come together with other believers and want to praise Him, then PRAISE HIM! Be aware of the spiritual flow.  If you are in a church that is sucking from God instead of giving to Him then withdraw from that and find out what He wants you to do.

    Sometimes I would feel Jesus standing and waiting to see if anyone was going to acknowledge Him.  Other times I could feel a spiritual "ceiling" right over our heads where nothing was going through either way.   Sometimes I could feel a great sense of grieving. Sometimes I would feel led to just weep.  Other times I would pray that the "ceiling" be broken.  Sometimes I was praising God with as much spiritual emphasis as I could muster feeling like a salmon swimming up a spiritual stream that was being pulled down as my praises swam up. During your time alone with God, how much of it is all about Him and how much is all about you? Be sensitive to the spiritual ebb and flow and which way it is flowing.
Link to 4/1/05 welcome message.


11/24/05 Be Thankful for Paper
"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
Hebrews 13:15
What would you think when someone said you needed to offer a sacrifice?  A sacrifice is giving up something.  Yet, one of the definitions says it is giving up something in anticipation of receiving something greater.In our scripture praise is described as us verbally giving thanks to God.  How hard is that?  Opening our mouths and thanking God.  Not hard at all.  He desires it and it is easy to do.  He wants continual thanks.  He wants us to be thinking about Him all the time.  He responds to us in a good way when we praise Him. Yet, I hear people say they don't have anything to be thankful for.  If that is you, then let me help you get started on your list of things you should be thankful for. Your health.

You say you have bad health?  You're still alive aren't you?  You are able to read or you wouldn't be able to read this.  You are able to sit at, or lie with, your computer.  You are still breathing.  Your heart is still beating.  Your _________ (fill this blank in with your body parts that still work) still works.  Now, go ahead and thank God for your health.

Flowers Clouds Sunshine Rain Your computer Your brain, talents, skills... Your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, parents, spouse, neighbors, and/or friends. Your favorite piece of furniture, favorite blanket, favorite picture, favorite thing you like to look at.

Paper  Well, think about it.  How handy is it?? Your favorite food The last person that smiled at you, hugged you, complimented you, or gave you something nice. Birds that sing pretty songs and pretty butterflies Your coffee pot, car, lawnmower, or any other appliance you use that works/runs. You start filling in the rest of the list. Oh, don't forget to put me on it.

Well, I'm the one that just reminded you of the fact that you have lots of things to be thankful for and you are on my list, too!

Link to 11/24/05 welcome message.

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