God speaks to me in many ways but one in particular is through nature. When I see a cardinal – it is a reminder for me to either pray or praise. God has been sending me these cardinals for a few years now. Sometimes I will know exactly what I am praying for or praising for and other times I think it’s just to see if I’ll be obedient and stop what I’m doing to focus on Him. Recently, a new bird has been added to the mix. A mockingbird; specifically a northern mockingbird. The mockingbird stands for numerous things between me and Lord but one of them is to sing praises to Him. This morning on the way to work I was having an in-depth conversation with someone on the phone. A little confused regarding some things the Lord had spoken to me recently and not really understanding the big picture; however, God knows all things and is in control of my life. Therefore, even when I don’t fully understand, I must remain obedient and He will guide me to where I’m supposed to be. It’s like being on a treasure hunt – you know there is a fabulous prize at the end – but you are only getting one clue at a time to get there. Joshua felt the same way in the book of Joshua. God gave him one command at a time. Even though he didn’t see a big picture he was faithful to do the things God instructed and it ended with a great fall of the walls of Jericho. The same applies for us.
My phone call ended as I was pulling into work. On a trash can sat a mockingbird just looking at me. As I slowly drove by he moved his direction to still be looking at me. God was reminding me to sing praises to Him regardless of what I understand and I what I don’t. If I try to arrange my life I’m going to make a mess of it. I’m the first to admit I don’t understand a lot of what He has spoken to me recently in the sense of “why?”… why have you told me to do these things or not do these things? I’m also the first to admit I like seeing big pictures. Even in school – I learned better if you gave me an overall view and then taught me specifically about each section. But I will be like Joshua and take one step of faith at a time. Then! I will see the big picture and I will look back and see He grew me both spiritually and as a person through all those little steps. A bunch of little steps are also not as intimidating. (Think about when you lose weight. Losing 50 lbs is hard to swallow, but 2 lb/week is easy to deal with!) I need to be able to follow Him in complete obedience without a reward at the end. I should do it simply “just because” I love Him and choose to follow Him all the way.
What is Praise? According to the dictionary: “to commend, applaud or magnify”.
EXAMPLES OF PRAISING:
1. when your pet does a trick
2. When you answer a question right in school
EXAMPLES OF VERBAL PRAISING:
1. “Good job!”
2. “Thank you!”
3. “You are so kind.”
EXAMPLES OF PRAISING GOD:
1. “Thank you Jesus!”
2. “Your trees are beautiful.”
3. “You are wonderful Lord.”
There are so many ways you can PRAISE the Lord! You can sing, dance, play instruments, shout and do physical movements to do this! It’s not hard or difficult – it’s super easy… but the trick is… you have to mean it. You can’t do these things just because your friend is doing it or because someone on TV is doing it. God wants you to do praise Him because you mean it :0)
WHERE CAN YOU SING PRAISES: In the car, In the shower, With your friends, In small group, In your bedroom
WHAT INSTRUMENTS CAN YOU PLAY TO PRAISE: Piano, Drums, Guitar, Tambourine, Maracas
WHAT CAN YOU SHOUT TO PRAISE: “Yes”, “Amen”, “Praise Jesus”, “Hallelujah”
WHAT CAN YOU PHYSICALLY DO TO PRAISE: Lift your hands, Lift your arms, Clap, Jump up and down
Continue reading “What is Praise pt. 2 (For teenagers)”
Yesterday, I pulled into the Raceway gas station in Rockmart as I usually do. In front of the store they have picnic tables. As I parked I saw a man sitting at the table reading a newspaper and drinking a small child size fruit punch drink and eating a small “tequito” like object. He was run down looking, in fact, I thought he might be homeless. No one else was around at this point. As soon as I saw him an overwhelming urgency came over me to purchase him food and drink. I literally could not get in the store fast enough! I know this sense of urgency and it’s when the Lord is speaking to me. While inside, I gather the items I choose to purchase and get in line to checkout. There must be 15 people in line and the registers are moving slower than Christmas approaching. I kept worrying the man would be gone by the time I got through the line. I just had to give him these items! I finally purchase my items and walk out the door. Now, there are lots of people sitting at the tables but no one sitting with him. (It broke my heart.) I walked up to the man, with everyone else looking at me, and sat the bag in front of him. This is how our conversation went:
Me: “God told me to do this for you, so I’m going to be obedient.”
Me: “Yes, so enjoy! God bless!”
Man: “Thank you.”
I walked to my jeep, got in, and started it up. As I was backing out of the parking spot – he approached my driver side window. I lowered the window and our next conversation went like this:
Man: “Jesus loves you.”
Me: “I know, he loves you too!”
Man: “Do you have internet access?”
Man: “Look up the book ‘Dreams Visions Prayers & Praise’… I wrote it.”
Man: “Yes. Do you go to church around here?”
Me: “Yes, I attend Cedartown Church of God. You should come visit sometime.”
Man: “I just might.”
As quickly as the conversation began – it ended. I went home and looked up this book which I fully intend of purchasing. As I read through some excerpts, I ran across a poem entitled the same as the title of the book. While reading through it I thought – “He is doing exactly as God told him to do in this dream…”. Is it a warning to me? Don’t know. Is it a stepping stone on where to go? Don’t know. I do know it’s confirmation for me to listen to my dreams. God speaks to me many times through my dreams… and I must make sure I don’t question them not matter how off the wall they might be. If you have $12 to spare I encourage you to purchase this book. I really think it’s possible this man could have been an angel. They do exist you know : ) Here is the link to the book on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Visions-Prayers-Praise-Bowerman/dp/1434314758#reader_1434314758 You can preview the first three poems written. The third one is the poem I am referencing.
You never know when you will run into a situation that was divinely set by the Lord. Scripture is filled with encounters of angels. I believe with all my heart God is watching out over me and getting ready to speak in a huge way to me.
2Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.