Psalm 135-136

Are you an avid praiser? I mean do you praise God exuberantly when you are alone – and nobody knows about it but you and God? (And the angels and the demons)?

I hope so, because there is a spiritual energy which goes with such activity. And you and I need this energy to run the race of life.

So how does this happen? Well, there are several things which happen when we praise God. First, the demons flee (because they hate it), and the angels come running (because they love it). But there’s more. I mean, what happens to you?

When we praise God we take a cue from David, and begin to be specific. We remember one by one the times He has delivered us or brought provision or healed us. And we thank Him for those things.

We also remember the many times we have fallen short and He has washed us clean and brought joy back to our hearts.

As we continue in exuberant praise with our minds focused on Him and not ourselves, the cobwebs of doubt and fear start blowing away. It’s as if a gentle breeze blows a refreshment from the Holy Spirit, and our attitudes change.

Now we can hear Him better. Now we can see what He is doing. Now we have more substantial faith to knock down doors and go through the walls which have been holding back our answers. Along with the faith, joy returns.

Now we are ready to pray and believe. Now we are ready to act in a way which will lead us to greater productivity.

You mean praise does all of that? Yes it does! Try it.

I Corinthians 12

One of the most insidious problems in the Christian life is what some term “gift projection.” It’s the concept which most often causes people to judge each other harshly.

What do I mean? I mean that when one person has a gift, they think everyone should have it. When one person has a certain spiritual drive, they think that everyone should have that also. For instance, there are those with a gift to teach who want to break down the Word and share it everywhere they go. If someone else comes along who doesn’t do that as often, they are deemed “less spiritual.”

However, this second person may have a drive to reach out to the lost – or to minister to the poor – or operate in many other parts  of God’s big plan. They are performing their part with great diligence, and need to be honored and not judged.

Some people are terrific with children; others relate more to adults. God spreads the mission around to different ones so the job isn’t too big for any one person. It’s all part of His plan.

My husband and I pastor a small church in northern Mississippi. When you are small and there are many activities, you find yourself and others wearing many hats – and some of them don’t fit too well.

I remember in times past when we would be planning a luncheon after church, I would have to make the preparations because there was no one else to do it. I would be trying to make certain all of the arrangements for the spiritual service were there. I would be praying, planning the music lineup (yes, we did that too), reading the Word…and trying to make certain that we had everything we needed for a fun luncheon experience afterwards. I was frazzled.

One of the greatest blessings ever to come to me was when God sent someone with a gift of hospitality and a gift of administration rolled into one. My life changed!

It was so exciting for me to walk into the fellowship hall after church and see beautiful tables arranged, with plenty of dinnerware, hot food hot and cold food cold. It was like a miracle at work. Someone whose gift exceeded mine in that area was effortlessly accomplishing what caused me to be driven to near exhaustion.

The bottom line is that we need each other. When we are all doing what we are called to do, churches – or families – run like well oiled machines.

And the important PS to this is that we need to appreciate the gifts we don’t have – as well as those we do. Honor those around you and celebrate their talents. Do your part – and let them do theirs. Life will be so much better.