Tag Archives: Praise

Learn to Pray

Leran to Pray

Always be joyful.
Never stop praying.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under God, God's Will, Gratitude, Jesus, Joy, Praise, Prayer, Religion and Spirituality, Scripture, Thankfulness

After All (Holy) by David Crowder

A simple worship song with a profound message. God is so much more than we can begin to comprehend…

If the video doesn’t play click here.

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under David Crowder, Glory of God, God, Love of God, Music Video, Praise, Religion and Spirituality, Wonder, Worship

Whom Shall I Fear – Chris Tomlin

This has quickly become one of my favorite worship songs and is a powerful profession of faith in God.

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The story behind this song is amazing!

What is it that you need to trust God about today?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Chris Tomlin, Christianity, Divine presence, Faith, God, Music Video, Praise, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Trusting God, Worship

Life verses even more life!

LifeIn his introduction to Paul’s letter to the Philippians Eugene Peterson makes this observation:

Paul doesn’t tell us that we can be happy, or how to be happy. He simply and unmistakably is happy. None of his circumstances contribute to his joy: He wrote from a jail cell, his work was under attack by competitors, and after twenty years or so of hard traveling in the service of Jesus, he was tired and would have welcomed some relief. But circumstances are incidental compared to the life of Jesus, the Messiah, that Paul experiences from the inside. For it is a life that not only happened at a certain point in history, but continues to happen, spilling out into the lives of those who receive him, and then continues to spill out all over the place. Christ is, among much else, the revelation that God cannot be contained or hoarded. It is this “spilling out” quality of Christ’s life that accounts for the happiness of Christians, for joy is life in excess, the overflow of what cannot be contained within any one person.

Joy is life in excess!

I’m captivated by the imagery that Peterson creates with these five simple words. And they very aptly describe Paul’s perspective on life even when his immediate circumstances were anything but “user-friendly.”

I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. All the soldiers here, and everyone else, too, found out that I’m in jail because of this Messiah. That piqued their curiosity, and now they’ve learned all about him. Not only that, but most of the followers of Jesus here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever, speaking out fearlessly about God, about the Messiah. ~ Philippians 1:12-14

How unnatural it seems for Paul to be filled with joy while imprisoned for sharing the Gospel of Jesus. But then again, Paul wasn’t the central character in his life – Jesus was. He goes on to write:

I’m going to keep that celebration going because I know how it’s going to turn out. Through your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done. I can hardly wait to continue on my course. I don’t expect to be embarrassed in the least. On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose. ~ Philippians 1:18b-21

Paul considered everything that exists on this side of the grave as “life” and everything that happens on the other side of the grave as “more life.” What a profound and liberating perspective.

No matter what we come up against this week, may we see it not as a burden to our agenda but as an opportunity for God to further His kingdom through us.

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, God, Jesus, Joy, Life in General, Praise, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Suffering, Trusting God

Keep Wonder in Your Worship

ps19-1a

Worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of His worth…Don’t let your worship decline to the performance of mere duty…Don’t let the scenery and poetry and music of your relationship with God shrivel up and die. You have capacities for joy that you can scarcely imagine. They were made for the enjoyment of God. He can awaken them no matter how long they have lain asleep. Pray for His quickening power. Open your eyes to his glory. It is all around you: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1 ESV).

~ Excerpted from Desiring God  by John Piper

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Glory of God, God, Joy, Praise, Religion and Spirituality, Wonder, Worship

Countless Wonders by Chris Tomlin

Declaring the glory of God!

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~ From the CD Burning Lights by Chris Tomlin

If the video doesn’t play go here.

Note: The maker of the video got one word wrong – “of” instead of “all” – but this is by far the best video of the song I’ve seen so far. Hope it touched your heart as much as it did mine!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Divine presence, Glory of God, God, Inspiration, Jesus, Love of God, Music Video, Praise, Religion and Spirituality, Worship

Cultivate Thankfulness

Definition: to prepare and use for the raising of crops; to loosen or break up the soil; to foster the growth of; to improve by labor, care or study.

Synonyms: acquire, develop, form.

We regularly cultivate things such as:

  • Relationships
  • Gardens
  • Health
  • Resources
  • Careers
  • Ideas

But have you ever considered what it would look like to cultivate thankfulness?

15-17 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. ~ Colossians 3:15-17 (The Message)

From what Paul mentions here, to cultivate thankfulness involves at least three things.

The first is the Word of Christ. The narratives of Jesus; the Bible; Scripture. And what great imagery Eugene Peterson uses here – letting it have the run of the house.

The second is to instruct and direct one another. It’s something we do together.

The third is to sing about it. Other versions refer to this as psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.

I could elaborate on each of these elements but… I’m not going to; at least not now. But I will encourage and challenge you to wrestle with what all of this means by inviting the Spirit of God to bring it to life for you.

As we enter into another week of celebrating Thanksgiving, what better to occupy our minds than what it means to “cultivate thankfulness“?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Gratitude, involvement with the church, Praise, Religion and Spirituality, Scripture, Spiritual growth, Thankfulness