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Do you want to be great? Guess what? God wants you to be great too! But He wants to partner in your greatness like he did with King David. David understood that his greatness and position came directly from God, and He gave Him the Glory for it.
“You empower me for victory with Your wrap-around presence. Your power within makes me strong to subdue, and by stooping down in gentleness You strengthened me, and made me great!” Psalm 18:35 TPT
God made David great, and David turned around and recognized God’s greatness. He magnified Him. That’s what happens when we worship, God is magnified. God doesn’t change because of our worship, but our perspective of Him does. Worship reminds us that God is good, that He is for us, that Nothing is impossible for God.
This is for everyday, not just on Sunday mornings. It could be as simple as a “Thank you, Father.” or “I love you, Father.” in the middle of our hectic day. Or taking time in the morning to sit in His presence or dance with Him. You could even paint, shout, write, sing, or however you feel He should be honored that day.
“But let all who passionately seek you erupt with excitement and joy over what you’ve done! Let all your lovers rejoice continually in the Savior, saying, ‘How great and glorious is our God!” Psalm 40:16 TPT
I think Psalm 40:16, captures all this post is trying to say. That’s why today’s song is Great Are You Lord by All Sons and Daughters.
He gives life. He is love. He is the light in the darkness. Things to remember when you are facing death, feeling unloved, or anytime really.
Further reading: Psalm 48, Psalm 70:19, Psalm 76 and Psalm 104
Something to ponder while you wander: The Hebrew word translated great and glorious in Psalm 40:16 is gadal (H1431), can also be translated to make great or to magnify.
PS: Here’s A Bethel Worship Set starting with Great Are You LORD. The initial song is about 5 minutes or so, but the worship set is over an hour. The whole thing is about the greatness and awesomeness of our Papa God and His love, so I hope you’ll make the time to worship with the whole video.
Today’s Musical Monday is Good Good Father by Housefires. This has been one of my go to songs for quite a while now.
It’s a great song about identity and how we see ourselves and Papa God. He’s a Good Good Father it’s who He is. And we are loved by Him, that’s who we are!
If you prefer seeing the lyrics, here’s Bethel’s version with the lyrics.
Something to ponder (and declare outloud) while you wander…The Great I AM is Love and I am His beloved.
Today is Michigan’s 178th Birthday! A Big Happy Birthday High Five to the Mitten! In celebration of the Mitten’s birthday (and the fact that I went to the Motown Museum this weekend) today’s Musical Monday is going to be a few of my favorite Motown songs by artists born right here in the Mitten. Enjoy!
Can’t Hurry Love -The Supremes
Shop Around – The Miracles
Dancing in the Streets – Martha and the Vandellas
Please Mr. Postman – The Marvelettes
You are the Sunshine of my Life – Stevie Wonder
I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – The Four Tops
Do You Love Me? – The Contours
If you find yourself with some free time in Detroit, I recommend taking an hour to tour the Motown Museum. You won’t be sorry!
My friend Catherine and I laugh often about our on-going soundtracks. Someone will say or do something that triggers a connection to a song, and immediately we start jamming out to the song. Depending up on the situation, it may remain in our jukebox brains or it could be belted at full capacity. (I really try not to belt out music in work meetings or when I’m getting my teeth cleaned.)
Along with my soundtrack, I’ve also had a few theme songs throughout my life, one being I Will Not Be Moved, another being I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor when I was trying to recover from the heart crushing blow of losing my first love. (Come on girls sing with me…I. I will survive. As long as I know how to love I know I’ll stay alive.)
But this song, Holding Out For a Hero, is my long lasting love theme song. It stems both from my deep feelings (ack cough obsession ack cough cough) for one Mr. Clark Kent, and all his glorious and awkward nerdness, and the joy it creates belting out Bonnie Tyler songs. I should also note that I am also a big fan of the Avengers, so when I saw this Marvel version of Holding Out For a Hero, I simply said, “Yes. Exactly.”
PS. Don’t worry Clark, dah-ling, I swear my love for Captain America is simply my deep felt patriotism. And the Loki thing is most likely a phase. It should only last until Ragnarok is over (ack cough or it could last forever ack cough cough) I swear, my love, I just really enjoy Tom Hiddleston’s excellent portrayal of Loki.
Merry Christmas, Everyone!!
The Christmas carol O Holy Night is my favorite. I love how gently it reminds me that Jesus is Savior and King, and how it inspires me to worship Him. Not because I am subservient, but because I choose to give Him honor. Not because of what He has done for me, although I’m grateful and He’s certainly worthy of my best, but because of who He is. When I hear O Holy Night I picture what it would be like walking into the presence of Jesus; to feel the love that radiates from Him. I cannot think of anything more intimate or amazing than being in the presence of someone who loves me that much. When the lyric says “fall on your knees;” I see myself so overwhelmed by His love that I sink straight to my knees to adore Him.
This song reminds me the meaning of Christmas is love. Jesus’ immense and immeasurable love for us and our love for Him and our love for one another. Love that is patient. Love that is kind. Love that forgives and forgets. Love that encourages our best, and supports us when we’re floundering. It reminds me that Jesus values me. He believes in me, enough to sacrifice His life for mine. It reminds me to not grow weary, because there is always hope.
There are about a zillion versions of this song out there, give or take a trillion or two, but my favorite is when I heard Natalie Grant sing it live a few years ago. I cried. So did most of the people around me. I found a video of her singing it live, so I am sharing it with you. I hope it moves you as much as it moves me. So without further adieu here’s Natalie Grant singing O Holy Night. (PS…she opens the song slightly differently than you may have heard before).
Here are the lyrics to O Holy Night by John Sullivan Dwight, so you can sing along.
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
Here are a few bonus versions for you, depending upon your musical tastes.
Today’s encouraging Musical Monday song is Dream for You by Casting Crowns.
Your plans for the future might be good but God’s are bigger and better. Trust me on this. For the past year, God has been taking my little itty bity dreams and plans and showing me His version for me. Let me tell you, even with my stellar imagination, God’s creative powers are vastly superior to mine!
“No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him. But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.” I Corinthians 2:9 MSG
This scripture has been proven again and again in my life this year as I seek to partner with Him in all He has for me. Knowing that God believes that I am capable of achieving these dreams in partnership with Him, has not only bolstered my confidence and made me want to take risks, it’s allowed me to let go of the things that have been holding me back.
One by one I’ve been laying waste to every single back up plan I’ve ever had and moving forward in what God has for me. Is it scary? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. I’ve never been happier or more excited in my life.
PS: I know the details what God’s doing in my life have been vague. Sorry, but that is on purpose. I have a policy that I don’t share what’s going on in my life with everyone until I have victory in it. I do share it with people who are prayer partnering with me. Specific people the Lord has put in my life for this purpose.
With social media and such it’s easy to put every single bad day, bad mood and negative thing in your life out for the world to comment on. I do not do this. I will not do this. Like David, I take my emotions and situations and vent them to the Lord and a grand total of 2 other people. Two people who I trust to not let me get away with wallowing. Two people who intercede for me like I intercede for them. The information that goes out to everyone else is filtered. It has to be.
My goal in this blog and in everything else I do is to encourage people. Most of you know exactly what you’ve done wrong and your issues. You don’t need me for that. What you do need is someone to remind you who God says you are, and that you are deeply loved. It is not too late to start making good choices. God is for you not against you. Just like God has big plans and dreams for me, He has them for you too. Yours will be vastly different from mine because we are two completely different people with different gifts and talents. I want to see you be the best you that you can be!!!
And I promise you this, when victory comes in the situations and circumstances I am facing. You and everyone else will hear what the Lord has done for me. Until then it is encouragement all day every day!
The Parable of the Talents is found in Matthew 25:14-30. You’ve probably heard it or read it. Mostly it’s about stewardship of money and other things that are in your hands. But today when I was listening to Out of Hiding by Steffany Gretzinger I had a different perspective on it.
This “unprofitable” servant looked around and could plainly see the gifts and abilities in others. But either could not see them in himself, or felt he was inferior to those already using talents similar to his.
Maybe he had a brilliant business idea, but had seen others around him fail. So he hid the talent.
Maybe he was an artist and wanted to invest in a creative venture, but feared failure. So he hid the talent rather than lose it.
Maybe he was a writer and wanted to use it to publish his book, but feared failure. So he hid the talent.
Maybe he had failed before and didn’t want to fail again. So he hid the talent.
Maybe no one believed in him before the master did. So he didn’t believe in himself, and buried the talent deep.
Maybe people told him he was stupid and his ideas were stupid. So he didn’t even try, he buried his talent.
Here’s the Parable of the Talents in the Message translation:
“It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.
“After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
“The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
“The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’
“The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
“‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. (MSG)
Don’t be like the unprofitable servant and bury your gifts, talents, and abilities. Take a risk. Try. Believe in yourself. Come out of hiding!
I know that I haven’t done Musical Monday in a while, so today I’m going to give you a two-fer. One is old school and the other is a few years old and my on-going theme song.
Old school classic: I Shall Not Be Moved sung by Mr. Johnny Cash.
This song is sourced from Psalm 1 and/or Jeremiah 17 (which quotes Psalm 1). Biblical scholars believe that this Psalm was written to Rehoboam from his father, Solomon, as he was about to succeed him as king. It warns Rehoboam to choose God’s way, and what will most likely happen to him if he does not. Solomon had been led astray by several of his wives and he did not want his son to repeat his errors.
I am a big fan of the Prophet Jeremiah’s flare so here’s Jeremiah 17:5-8 NKJV:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
Your bonus song is my theme song. I know I’ve posted it before, but like I said, it’s my theme song. So here is the lovely Ms. Natalie Grant singing I Will Not Be Moved.
Like everything else, you choose how you react to things. Choose to be still and know that He is God, even if Monday is attempting to take you down. Choose to remain planted in His promises.
“Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God.” Psalm 90:2 NLT
On the days when things are not going the way I think they should, I need the reminder that despite what’s going in around me, God is still God. He is constant and consistent. He is the Great Creator. He is love. He is my provider.
One of the fastest ways to straighten out my “I want it now” mindset is praise and worship. My song of the day is Desert Song by Hillsong United. It came up on my iPod today and I listened to it on repeat. The whole song is fantastic, but there’s one lyric that just hit it for me today: “All of my life, in every season, You are still God; and I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship.”
One of the reasons praise and worship is so important is because it reminds us who our God is and how big He is. How good He is. Singing this song on repeat today reminded me who God is and it brought me out of that “do it my way, God” mindset.
It’s Monday. Are you having a manic one? A crappy one? A rough one? A great one? Then I invite you to listen to O Mighty Ones as sung by Catherine Mullins. It is sure to reboot you for the week!
Whenever this is sung on Sunday morning at my church… a dance party breaks out. It’s so much fun to dance before the Lord! And I’ll be honest, it took me a long time to write this blog post because I had to dance around my living room! With lyrics like this….
When I move my body
When I move my feet
When I open my mouth
Then the darkness flees
My praise is a weapon
My dance is a weapon
My shout is a weapon
….can you blame me?
GET UP AND DANCE!!!