Don’t Forget to Thank Him

Do you ever pray for something, and then when everything works out, move back into life without pausing to remember the prayer request or how God specifically answered it? I have a phrase that runs through my mind often, “Don’t forget to thank Him.”

This blog started as a way to give praise to God for the great things He has done. I’m reminded today of one of God’s provisions, a “stone of remembrance” (Joshua 4) that I had not yet collected here, where I want to praise and thank Him. Read more

Christian Radio

Trevin Wax recently wrote a piece explaining why “Christian Music Radio is more theological than you think.” I enjoyed reading the article because I love Christian radio and listen to K-LOVE in the car or while I’m doing things at home. Trevin concludes, “So, as a supplement to daily Bible study, prayer, and weekly worship with God’s people under the Word, I recommend Christian radio as a source of encouragement for the Christian.”

Christian radio has long been an encouragement to me, with just the right song playing at just the right moment.

The first time I remember this happening was when I was caught in a Texas thunderstorm. As the windows of my car were breaking and blowing out in the storm, with hail and glass and rain covering me, the song playing lightly on the radio in the background calmed me as I heard it, the same song (by Twila Paris) that had been on the radio when I started my trip earlier in the day: “God is in control. We believe that his children will not be forsaken. God is in control. We will choose to remember and never be shaken. There is no power above or beside Him, we know, God is in control… He has never let you down. Why start to worry now? He is still the Lord of all we see, and He is still the loving Father, watching over you and me.”

Another time, years ago, I had prayed about having a neighborhood Bible study. The Lord answered prayer in so many incredible ways, but one morning, I was headed to the kitchen to start my day, and I thought, I wish I had a song for this Bible study. But there’s really no song about your neighbors! I turned on the radio to fix breakfast, and heard, “Wake the neighbors! Get the word out…” Who knew, yes, a song about neighbors—an older Steven Curtis Chapman song (“Live Out Loud“) at just the right moment.

Another time, I had a doctor’s appointment with a specialist I have to see each year. I knew I would be getting back test results, and as I prayed that morning, I decided no matter what the results, I wanted to praise the Lord—good or bad. As I stood up to go about my day, I thought, No, that’s not enough. I need to know what I’m going to say. I had been reading in Habakkuk 3 that morning, and verse 2 stood out: “LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” I decided I would say, “I stand in awe of You,” no matter the results.

When my doctor came in, he was excited and said, “This is awesome! What have you been doing?” And he went through each result and was so pleased! I felt like a little kid with the teacher praising her for a good test! He left the room, and I remembered, “I stand in awe of You, Lord. Thank you!”

When I picked up my kids from my friend’s house, I was recounting with enthusiasm the story to them, telling them about saying “I stand in awe of You” about the results! As I was saying this, I heard on the background the radio playing “And I stand in awe of You, Jesus, yes, I stand in awe of You….” from “Let My Words Be Few.”

Many, many more stories I could share (there’s actually a category for “songs” under my blog that records some others), but those three stand out. I know some people don’t like the style of contemporary Christian music—and of course, there are other kinds of Christian radio—but it’s been a huge blessing in my life! It helps me pay attention to God at work around me in my day. It might be something to encourage you, too, as Trevin says, as a supplement to Bible study, prayer, and being involved in the local church.

His Faithfulness Reaches to the Skies

I had the blessing of spending this morning just before sunrise alone on the beach. It surprised me that no one else was up. The beach was packed yesterday with spring break-goers, yet it was though this time had been reserved just for me. A gift.

I read from Psalm 108:1-6, reflecting on God’s faithfulness that reaches to the skies (Psalm 36:5-6).

It seems the more I know the Lord, the more I see how unworthy and sinful my heart is. Isn’t that just the opposite of what we would expect? The more we know Him, the better we are, we might think. But in reality, the more I come to know Him, the more I see my sinful heart and how faithless I am. This is my experience at least.

And through Him, the power of His Holy Spirit and His strength, we certainly are able to love and obey and serve and please Him, but this I find I truly cannot do on my own, in my own power, by my own strength. (The apostle Paul articulates these ideas far better in Romans and other parts of the New Testament!)

I walked the beach praising Him for HIS faithfulness, because I am not faithful. He does it all for us. He is the covenant maker and the covenant keeper. I think of what we just remembered with Good Friday and Easter Sunday, Jesus laying down His life for us, giving us His righteousness, we sinners, poor and needy, as the song says.

It was good to awaken with the dawn, to start the day in praise to Him for His steadfast love and faithfulness.

I found this commentary from Matthew Henry on Psalm 108:1-13 that so well describes some of what has been on my heart.

We may usefully select passages from different psalms… to help our devotions, and enliven our gratitude. When the heart is firm in faith and love, the tongue, being employed in grateful praises, is our glory. Every gift of the Lord honours and profits the possessor, as it is employed in God’s service and to his glory. Believers may pray with assured faith and hope, for all the blessings of salvation; which are secured to them by the faithful promise and covenant of God. Then let them expect from him help in every trouble, and victory in every conflict. Whatever we do, whatever we gain, God must have all the glory. Lord, visit all our souls with this salvation, with this favour which thou bearest to thy chosen people.

And I’ll end with this song which was filling my heart as I walked the beach.