A couple Sundays ago, we had the most awesome, the most amazing, the most uplifting praise and worship service I've experienced in a loooong time. And it was oh, so needed. I left church that afternoon on such a high. It'd actually started during Sunday School when "Head Deacon" Dedrick gave a lesson on "entering God's gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise". Think it kind of got us LOLs, Leaders of Loyalty, a lil' crunk and it carried over into Sunday service. As it should. My physical place during Sunday service is at the back of the church in the sound booth. At one point, I looked out over the congregation in front of me, a small sea of black and white (the first Sunday of the month holds a dress code of black & white), and was elated to see people expressing their gratitude towards the Almighty God. All over the church, hands were raised, heads were bowed, and tears were failing. It really warmed my heart. I stopped for a moment to send the following text message to First Lady Jackson,
I'm back here looking at how beautiful it is to see God's people giving him praise and am so humbled that HE is being pleased.
She simply responded,
Amen to that!!


Jumpsuit, cardigan: Forever21
Shoes: ??
Pocketbook: Express
Rings, necklaces, earrings: Forever21, Charlotte Russe, Charming Charlie
Watch: NY&Co



It truly was a sight to behold. It was as if everyone had just completely forgotten about everything that "so easily beset them" and just together on one accord to say "God, you are still God and we simply thank you for that alone." I found myself thinking at one point, "This is the perfect atmosphere to make my requests known to God. To begin to pray and ask him for the things I need." 

I wanted to; I tried to; but I couldn't. All that would come out was a repetitive chorus of "Thank you, thank you, thank you," and acknowledgement of how awesome the God of my life truly is. I was so full of greatfulness that that is all I could say. I couldn't utter a single request. The comforting part is that God let me know, at that very time, during that very praise offering, that everything I needed was being fulfilled just because I honored him.


It pleases God when we humble ourselves and acknowledge him. Even in a natural sense, if a person does something for you, you say "Thank you". You're compelled to brag about and tell someone else about the generosity of the person, and you try your best to repay them accordingly. Well, it's the same with God. He wants us to say "thank you". He wants us to tell someone how great he is to us. And he is delighted when we repay him. Now of course, we can't adequately pay him back for ALL he's done. We can't buy God flowers. We can't throw him a surprise birthday party. We can't give him a nice greeting card with a crisp $20 bill stuffed inside. But what we can do is shower him with praise and worship. This is the place he likes to abide. And what is so great, is that when this is done in spirit and in truth, God receives it as an offering of our gratitude. It is the ultimate way we can show our thanks and it pleases God when we do so. Even more so than that crisp $20 bill. Heck, he even likes it better than a shiny new Benjamin!


More importantly, praise is beneficial to us. God knows our wants. He knows our needs. And he wants to shower us with many things. Our gratitude stirs God to want to give us more. That's where the aphorism, "when the praises go up, the blessings come down" comes from. By denying ourselves and our "know how" and simply saying "God it is because of you and your power and your might that I am," we are magnifying him and in return it gives him great pleasure to do even more for us. To give us his kingdom. Because he knows we will in turn give him all the credit and the cycle continues to repeat itself.



So. In my preacher voice, "I beseech ye, therefore brethren (and sisteren)", to take time out of your busy day to acknowledge God. Just think about what God has done for you. Think about what God is doing for you at this very moment. Breathe in. Then breathe out. Then thank him for each one.  Think about what you know God will do for you in the future. Meditate on these things. And I mean reeeeally meditate on them. I bet it will fill your heart with praise.


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