In This Minute 


A.M. Reflection: In this minute, I celebrate the fact that I have a God who loves me. He loves me with a greater love than any other I have ever known. He loves me when I am down and when I am up. He loves me when I stumble and when I succeed. He loves me when I choose the road less traveled and when I select the road that is well worn. He makes time for me in every moment. He never wavers with His steady presence or with His abundant grace. His heart for me is true, pure, and wholly committed. He sees me. He hears me. He is aware of my every need. He never turns away from me. I am in awe of Him. In all the world, there is nothing that compares to my God. 

Encouragement: Go back and read my reflection again. Apply it to your own life. Find yourself in the experience. 

Question: What is your In This Minute praise? 

Challenge:  Over the next seven days, choose seven random moments to stop and write down your #gratefulheart thoughts. Share them with at least one other person via a blog post, an email, a phone call, an Instagram or Facebook post, a tweet, a direct conversation, or a personal letter or note. Watch what happens!

In This Minute is a #gratefulheart campaign meant to encourage others to look very closely at their relationship with God and identify what makes it special. It affords each individual with a moment in time to pause and praise. 

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Praise in the Low Places, Part 6

What does the Bible say about praise? Psalm 34:1 answers that question perfectly.

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Scripture Study Reference: Matthew 26:36-46

An Abbreviated Character Study: Jesus in Gethsemane

Low Place: 

– Jesus grew sorrowful and deeply distressed.

– The LORD Jesus was overwhelmed with grief, to the point of death.

– A bitter cup was before the LORD.

– Jesus was betrayed.

Study Tip: Notice the significance of each act, occurrence, and circumstance after such time that the LORD entered the garden.Try to see the God-connect. Reflect on why the event was, is, or might be so noteworthy.

Significant Act/Occurrence/Circumstance:

– Jesus was afforded an opportunity by God to teach His disciples before, during, and after Gethsemane.

– Jesus shared intimate moments of prayer with His Father. (Spiritual Enrichment Exercise: Study the specific prayers of Jesus. Make note of what was said, how He approached His Father, and what each prayer brought about.)

– Three witnesses were positioned near Jesus while at Gethsemane. (Spiritual Life Fitness Challenge: How does the Bible define a witness and what is the significance of having them?)

– Jesus humbled Himself in form as He approached His Father in prayer.

– Though in a low place, Jesus put the needs of His Father before His own needs.

– Jesus forewarned His disciple to watch and pray, urging him to not get pulled down during the time of testing.

–  Although Jesus went off to prayer to His Father, he repeatedly returned to His disciples.

– Jesus faced His betrayers and accusers head on; He did not shrink away from His determined role. (Self-Examination and Reflective Study: How do you deal with those who have betrayed, hurt, condemned and/or used you? Is your method of dealing with the aforementioned in line with what the Bible says?)

– Jesus did not stand alone when the time came to face His challenge.

Praise Opportunity (the place where grateful homage could have been rendered to God): Go through the verses as well as the listed significant acts and, in your own words, write down each moment that a praise belongs.

Praise Proof (tested and approved): Personalize this message. Relate what you have discovered to your life. (Example: If God has allowed a certain experience to come before you or granted you a special message or testimony to share with others, where might your praise go up? If the LORD has brought you to a greater understanding about who He is, who He can be, and who He wants to be in your life, where might your praise go up? If God has replaced your bitter cup with a cup of His glory, where might your praise go up? How might you proclaim the greatness of God and His Kingdom works right now in this season?)

What is the overall lesson that you learned from this study?

#praiseinthelowplaces #truth15

Praise in the Low Places, Part 5

What does the Bible say about praise? Psalm 34:1 answers that question perfectly.

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Scripture Study Reference: 2 Samuel 11:1-12:-25

An Abbreviated Character Study: David after his betrayal and trickery

Low Place:

– He saw a woman washing herself and sent messengers and took her.

– He lay with the woman he took, even after knowing she was the wife of another.

– He sent for, plotted against, set up and marked for death the husband of the woman he committed adultery with.

– Upon hearing the news of Uriah’s death, he indicated that it should not displease (disturb) his servant.

– David eventually acknowledged that he had sinned against the LORD. (2 Samuel 12:13)

Special Note: The LORD was displeased with what David had done. (2 Samuel 11:27, 12:7-12)

Study Tip: Notice the significance of each act, occurrence, and circumstance after such time that David was confronted by the LORD through His prophet Nathan.Try to see the God-connect. Reflect on why the event was, is, or might be so noteworthy.

Significant Act/Occurrence/Circumstance:
– Despite the unwise choices and resultant actions of David, the LORD still communicated with him via His prophet, Nathan.

– The LORD spoke to David in such a way that he would/could understand why what he did was so wrong. (Spiritual Enrichment Exercise: Go back and read the story that Nathan used with David. Insert the names of David and Uriah into the reading. Make note of how much more impactful it is when personalized. Thereafter, read aloud 2 Samuel 12:7-12.) 

– The LORD put away the sin of David and did not take his life.

– The LORD foretold of what David would have to endure as a result of his poor choices.

– Because of God’s mercy, David was granted an opportunity to deeply commune with the LORD via praying, fasting, and worshipping. (Spiritual Life Fitness Challenge: Research and apply, as needed, each one of the aforementioned spiritual practices. Share what you learn with at least one other person.)

– David and Bathsheba were blessed to have another son, Solomon, whom the LORD loved.

Praise Opportunity (the place where grateful homage could have been rendered to God): Go through the verses as well as the listed significant acts and, in your own words, write down each moment that a praise belongs.

Praise Proof (tested and approved): Personalize this message. Relate what you have discovered to your life. (Example: If God has allowed you to live another day and granted you the chance to repent, where might your praise go up? If the LORD has sent a messenger or messengers to you to clarify His truths so that you might know and understand, where might your praise go up? If God has given you an opportunity to worship Him in spirit and in truth, where might your praise go up? How might you proclaim the greatness of God and His Kingdom works right now in this season?)

What is the overall lesson that you learned from this study?

#praiseinthelowplaces #truth15

Praise in the Low Places, Part 3

What does the Bible say about praise? Psalm 34:1 answers that question perfectly.  
Scripture Study Reference: Genesis 37:19-36, 39:1 ->50:26 

An Abbreviated Character Study: Joseph (post his pit dwelling experience)

Low Place: Genesis 37:23-28, 36 and 39:20 (emphasis on these particular verses)

– He was stripped of a cherished part of his identity by those closest to him.

– He was savagely betrayed and disconnected from all that he knew – family, heritage, etc.

–  He was pushed into a pit, literally and figuratively.

– He was enslaved and sent to Egypt.

– He was sold and bought like a household good, becoming the property of one of Pharaoh’s officers.

Study Tip: Notice the significance of each act, occurrence, and circumstance after such time that Joseph was placed in the pit. Try to see the God-connect. Reflect on why the event was, is, or might be so noteworthy.

Significant Act/Occurrence/Circumstance:
– Joseph was continuously positioned in such a way that he was lowered or rather humbled while at the same time God was elevated or rather made higher in the eyes of others. (Spiritual Enrichment Challenge: Go back to chapter 37 and begin reading up until the end of chapter 50 in order to gain perspective on this point.)

– Joseph was made naked, in a sense, and thrown into an empty cistern. (Spiritual Life Fitness Exercise: Pray to God about what the spiritual significance of what being naked and empty might mean in regard to gaining greater intimacy with the LORD.)

Joseph was not killed. 

– Joseph was sent to Egypt of all places.

– Joseph was sold to Potiphar, an important officer to the Pharaoh himself.

– Joseph was cared for by God in such a way that he became successful in his own right within the house of his Egyptian master. 

– Joseph was used by God to draw attention to His Supremacy.

– Joseph was favored and trusted where he was positioned and became a prominent figure where he stood.

– Joseph was noticed, propositioned, and accused by Potiphar’s wife and as a result, he was jailed. (Spiritual Enrichment Challenge: Begin a log, tracking every account of Joseph’s incarceration. Make note of the who, what, why, when, where and how of it all. What do you notice about the presence and lessons of God and what do you notice about the attitude and heart/mind of Joseph?)

Praise Opportunity (the place where grateful homage could have been rendered to God): Go through the verses as well as the listed significant acts and, in your own words, write down each moment that a praise belongs. 

Praise Proof (tested and approved): Personalize this message. Relate what you have discovered to your life. (Example: If God has allowed you to be positioned in a place that you may not have expected but that He needed His glory to be revealed through, where might your praise go up? If God has shown you much favor despite the negativity, wrongs, or injustices that you have had to face, where might your praise go up? If God has given you a more defined role in His Kingdom plan, where might your praise go up?)

What is the overall lesson that you learned from this study?

#praiseinthelowplaces #truth15

Praise in the Low Places, Part 2

What does the Bible say about praise? Psalm 34:1 answers that question perfectly.

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Scripture Study Reference: Exodus 2:11-4:31

An Abbreviated Character Study: Moses (after he fled Egypt)

Low Place: Verses 11-15

  • He killed an Egyptian.
  • He hid the body of the Egyptian.
  • He was afraid and fled.

Study Tip: Notice the significance of each act, occurrence, and circumstance after such time that Moses fled from Egypt. Try to see the God-connect. Reflect on why the event is or might be so noteworthy.

Significant Act/Occurrence/Circumstance:

  • Moses took refuge in the land of Midian. (Spiritual Enrichment Challenge: Do a geographical study on this place. As part of your study, make sure to note the Biblical references associated with this region.)
  • Moses aided the seven daughters of Jethro at the well.
  • Moses was invited into the presence and home of Jethro and his family.
  • Moses was given the daughter of the priest and became a father. (Spiritual Enrichment Challenge: Complete a word study on the following: sojourner, pilgrim, and stranger, as it relates to Bible ->”stranger in a foreign land”.)
  • Moses remained where he was for an extended period. (Notice what the Bible says about the Israelites during this time.)
  • Moses was tasked with shepherding.
  • Moses had a supernatural encounter at the mountain of God. (Spiritual Life Fitness Exercise: Write your thoughts to the LORD about your understanding and/or need of His holiness.) 
  • Moses was schooled on who he was in relation to God.
  • Moses was afforded a chance to witness God in His I AM-ness.
  • Moses was shown the vision of God, told what He would do to realize that vision, and given a picture of the gift that was to come.
  • Moses was given a godly position and very specific role to play.
  • Moses was given a response and resolution to every perceived problem and equipped to deal with said problems.
  • Moses was given a direct teaching by God and was also shown much grace when the anger of the LORD blazed against him.
  • Moses was allowed a family reunion with his sibling and his people.
  • Moses was trained on how to handle his special tool – the rod of God.
  • Moses was shown a courtesy by his in-law.
  • Moses served as the mouthpiece for God.
  • Moses (and the people) believed.

Praise Opportunity (the place where grateful homage could have been rendered to God): Go through the verses as well as the listed significant acts and, in your own words, write down each moment that a praise belongs. 

Praise Proof (tested and approved)Personalize this message. Relate what you discovered to your life. (Example: If God has placed you in a certain position or presented you to a certain people, where might your praise go up? If God has removed something – a person, exposure to an idol – from your life, where might your praise go up? If God has given you a more defined role in His Kingdom plan, where might your praise go up?)

What is the overall lesson that you learned from this study?

Praise in the Low Places, Part 1

What does the Bible say about praise? Psalm 34:1 answers that question perfectly.


Spiritual Life Development Question: Is it possible to praise God even in the low places of life?

Before you answer that, I want to cite a few Biblical examples of “low places” from the Scriptures. As you review and consider the listed references, try to see whether or not a praise proof was evident anywhere in the story.

– Moses after he fled Egypt

– Joseph post his pit dwelling experience

– Daniel and his friends during captivity

– David after his betrayal and trickery

– Jesus in Gethsemane

Follow the Phone Tree over the next few weeks as we dissect each of these examples and attempt to identify the proof of praise in each.

#praiseinthelowplaces #truth15

12 Sundays (A 5P Journey Through the Psalms)

12 SundaysWeek 7

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Position: Psalm 118:1-11

Pore Over/Paraphrase:  Understand this, the love and mercy of the LORD endure forever. They are without end, just as He Himself is without end. These gifts are infinite and stretch beyond imagining. Allow their reach to be greater than your doubts or fears. Whatever challenge or obstacle stands in your way, trust that the God of heaven (by and through His love, mercy and very Being) will deliver you into the place of rest and freedom that He has planned for you all along. What is required of you, however, is that you believe and accept the LORD. You must seek Him out. You must allow Him to help you by moving out of His way and surrendering yourself in totality. He will take care of every wayward thing, person, and problem, without fail. Speak praise and truth in the name of the LORD!

Pull Out (the spiritual principles): 

– Know God! (Translation: Get to know Him. Keep learning of Him. Don’t forget to remember Him…in all things.)

– Appreciate the fact that the love and mercy of God looks nothing like what you are use to from man. It is greater because He is greater.

– Every aspect of God’s nature and character is bigger than your worst hang up. You have nothing and no thing to fear.

– God is a God of deliverance, liberation, resolution and peace, 24/7 and then some.

– Believing God is far better than believing the devil. God is truth; He does not lie. Let Him be your truth and life.

– Don’t stop seeking, pursuing, running after, walking beside, leaning into, and loving on God! Know Him. Breathe Him in.

– Get your big head out of God’s way. (Spiritual Life Fitness Challenge: Look into what that means by examining yourself honestly and measuring your position based on God’s word.)

– God wants to take care of you and speak Life (Jesus) into all your needs.

– Praise the mighty LORD!

– Whatsoever you do, do all as unto the LORD and in His name. 

Pose (the questions):

– How well do I know the LORD? 

– Have I forgotten God in any way?

– Is it easier or harder to remember God in the details of my life? Is He my first or my last thought?

– What does it mean to me to know that God loves me?

– Is there anything I value more than God’s love? What and why?

– What about God’s character assures me that He can conquer my fears and foes every time?

– What do I want and/or need from God?

– Why is it easier to believe the lies of the evil one rather than the truth of the Holy One?

– Am I  running toward God or away from Him? (Spiritual Life Fitness Challenge: Pray to God regarding this.) 

– What are some of my ‘big head” issues that get in God’s way?

Plan:

1) Proceed to Psalm 118:12-20. Read the verses and make your 5p notations.

2) Complete the unique Spiritual Life Fitness Challenges for the week.

photo courtesy of crosscards