A Song of Praise


I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart;
I will sing your praises before the gods.
I bow before your holy Temple as I worship.
I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness;
for your promises are backed
by all the honor of your name.
As soon as I pray, you answer me;
you encourage me by giving me strength.

Every king in all the earth will thank you, Lord,
for all of them will hear your words.
Yes, they will sing about the Lord’s ways,
for the glory of the Lord is very great.
Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble,
but he keeps his distance from the proud.

Though I am surrounded by troubles,
you will protect me from the anger of my enemies.
You reach out your hand,
and the power of your right hand saves me.
The Lord will work out his plans for my life—
for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Don’t abandon me, for you made me.

~ Psalm 138 (NLT)

Joy Dare – Three Gifts Round

Friday was a special day. My Mom came to our house to visit, and to help out with several projects that I hadn’t had the energy to work on.

Together we looked for “Three Gifts Round” for my Joy Dare Challenge. We had a fun time searching for them, and as always, God provided these blessings!

The funny thing is that all three of the gifts ended up being food items. 🙂 The first was a Dunkin’ Donuts latte, the second was a tasty dinner, and the third was a delectable cheesecake that my Mom and husband helped me to make.

  1. A Dunkin’ Donuts Latte – Before my Mom and I headed out shopping, we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts to get some “fuel,” i.e. caffeine. She got her normal hot mocha latte, and I got the same drink, except iced. It was a very nice treat, as I hadn’t had anything from Dunkin’ in a while – and I was able to share this special gift with my Mom!
  2. A Tasty Dinner – After taking me shopping for food items to make meals, my Mom helped me to make a dinner of turkey meatloaf (with chunks of cheese inside), onion-roasted potatoes, and steamed carrots. It was delicious! My husband, Mom, and I were able to sit down to a nice meal and share some time together. Such a sweet gift! 🙂
  3. A Delectable Cheesecake – My niece and nephew had a birthday party on Saturday, and my husband wanted to make a dessert to bring with us. He found a recipe for a No-Bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake that he just HAD to try. 😀 So my Mom helped us to purchase the ingredients and to make the dessert. It wasn’t too difficult to prepare, and it was a hit at the party! We even got to bring some of it home to enjoy later.

Praise God for Three Gifts Round!

Singing in the Fire

The following story was related by Mrs. Charles Spurgeon, who suffered greatly with poor health for more than twenty-five years:

At the end of a dull and dreary day, I lay resting on my couch as the night grew darker. Although my room was bright and cozy, some of the darkness outside seemed to have entered my soul and obscured its spiritual vision. In vain I tried to see the sovereign hand that I knew held mine and that guided my fog-surrounded feet along a steep and slippery path of suffering.

With a sorrowful heart I asked, ‘Why does the Lord deal with a child of His in this way? Why does He so often send such sharp and bitter pain to visit me? Why does He allow this lingering weakness to hinder the sweet service I long to render to His poor servants?’

These impatient questions were quickly answered through a very strange language. Yet no interpreter was needed except the mindful whisper of my heart. For a while silence reigned in the little room, being broken only by the crackling of an oak log burning in the fireplace. Suddenly I heard a sweet, soft sound: a faint, yet clear, musical note, like the tender trill of a robin beneath my window.

I asked aloud, ‘What can that be? Surely no bird can be singing outside at this time of year or night.’ But again came the faint, mournful notes, so sweet and melodious, yet mysterious enough to cause us to wonder. Then my friend exclaimed, ‘It’s coming from the log on the fire!’ The fire was unshackling the imprisoned music from deep within the old oak’s heart!

Perhaps the oak had acquired this song during the days when all was well with him – when the birds sang merrily on his branches, and while the soft sunlight streaked his tender leaves with gold. But he had grown old and hard since then. Ring after ring of knotty growth had sealed up his long-forgotten melody, until the fiery tongues of the flames consumed his callousness. The intense heat of the fire wrenched from him both a song and a sacrifice at once. Then I realized: when the fires of affliction draw songs of praise from us, we are indeed purified, and our God is glorified!

Maybe some of us are like this old oak log: cold, hard, unfeeling, and never singing any melodious sounds. It is the fires burning around us that release notes of trust in God and bring cheerful compliance with His will. As I thought of this, the fire burned, and my soul found sweet comfort in the parable so strangely revealed before me.

Yes, singing in the fire! God helping us, sometimes using the only way He can to get harmony from our hard and apathetic hearts. Then, let the furnace be ‘heated seven times hotter than usual ‘ [Daniel 3:19].

~ taken from Streams in the Desert, by L.B. Cowman –  March 13th entry

Photo Credit: Jonas Nilsson Lee