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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario

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"Stormy Winds"

"Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do His bidding"  (Psalm 148:7,8).

This last Saturday we went to an excellent dramatic/choral presentation called Psalms of David at the Living Waters Theatre in Strasburg, PA.  The narration, songs, and drama began with the story of David and the setting of the Psalms and then demonstrated their influence on sacred music all through the church age.  From the great composers such as Bach and Handel to Isaac Watts.  Historic hymn writers like Charles Wesley and Fanny Crosby were featured.  The old spirituals were lively and reminded us of what it was like for those who were under the bondage of slavery.  They often sung in the midst of their sorrows and found great relief by doing so. The style of music eventually moved into our own time period and showed how many of the "contemporary" praise and worship songs we sing are influenced by the Psalms.  It was a spiritually refreshing experience and gave us an even greater appreciation for all styles of music.

Today's message is prompted by a psalm.  I must admit, I really like storms. Not the damage and certainly not the injuries or deaths but the awesome display of God's created order. Brooksyne and I often take long walks and on occasion have been caught in a severe storm with windy, howling conditions and pouring rain!

Psalm 148 is not necessarily one of the better known Psalms and I doubt if very many of you would list it among your favorites. It begins and ends with the Hebrew phrase "Hallelu Yah", that we also use in the English, translated "praise the Lord."  In fact the word "praise" is found 12 times in this short Psalm.

Consider the portion of our daily verse that states, "that do his bidding."  Although it seems the overall focus of Psalm 148 is to express the universal praise of which God is worthy, I want to give attention to this little portion of God's Word today. 

The phrase "that do His bidding" is grammatically associated with the words that immediately precede it, "lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds."  Generally are these not conditions in which we find discomfort?  But God's Word says they "do His bidding."  Remember this the next time you face a storm.   God has authority over the storms in our lives, whether literally speaking or figuratively.  What peace floods our hearts when we recognize that they ultimately do His bidding.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, You are the Peacespeaker who controls the winds and waves.  All of Your creation must submit to Your bidding.  Nothing escapes Your attention nor can anything exceed Your power or authority.  Help us to trust You during the times of calm and during the tidal waves of life.  You're an ever-present, ever-powerful God who is worthy of all our praise.  Amen.

Today's message is sent out a bit earlier than usual. Early this morning we are going into New York City on a bus trip with fellow ministers and this evening we'll be attending Brooklyn Tabernacle for a prayer service.  Brooksyne enjoyed some choir instruction years ago in a music seminar led by Carol Cymbala, the director of the Brooklyn Tabernacle choir. We both have enjoyed the choir for many years, in great part, because it  is a choir made up of the redeemed of all races, ages, and backgrounds.

Here are a several songs by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir that really touch our hearts!
"My Life Is In Your Hands" (Audio)

"Praise Him" (Audio)
"Soon and Very Soon" (Audio)

* Today's photo was taken of Lake Ontario by a college student near Oswego, New York and sent to me by a friend.

Website for the Sight and Sound where we saw the Psalms of David.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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