Getting Our Praise-giving On

If you had asked me about singing rocks prior to today, the only ones I could have brought to mind would have been the rock trolls from the movie Frozen. In doing a Google search just to see what would pop up, there are actually rocks called “ringing rocks” that have a whole commemorative park in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania. These sonorous rocks resonate like a bell when you strike them. The Musical Stones of Skiddaw in England, the Ringing Rocks in New South Wales, the Bell Rock Range of Western Australia are a few more rock ranges where these special stones can be found. What led me to this melodic finding was my pondering Luke 19:40 where the Jesus’s disciples had been joyfully and loudly praising Jesus for who He was and for the miracles they had seen him do. The nay-saying religious leaders, jealous of the attention and homage that Jesus was getting, told Jesus to rebuke His followers for the ruckus they were causing. Jesus, instead, said to these dissenting leaders, “if these were silent, then the very stones would cry out.” This made me ask myself the question, “do I really want to get outdone by a ROCK?!” The answer is NO! I have received such incredible blessings from Jesus, the lover of my soul, that I do not want anything to praise Him more than I do ! And it is HARD to not be outdone by nature! The Rocky Mountains, a personal favorite rock grouping, all seem to strain toward and point to heaven, shouting “praise to God, the Creator and Giver of life!” After reading a note from my incredible mom, I had the idea to take a praise day! I thought it would be a fun and meaningful exercise, especially with this being Thanksgiving week, to have one FULL DAY of ONLY praising God! What could it do for my soul’s relationship with God to not ask for one thing for an entire day, but rather delight in the God of my salvation?! To prepare for my Praise-giving Day I am reminded that praise is differs from thanks. Praise focuses on who God is; thanks focuses on what God has done. Praises to God are things for which He might say “thank you”. Thanks would elicit a “you’re welcome”. On our selected “Praise-giving Day”, when we find ourselves saying “may I please…” or “would you please…”, we can turn it into a praise…. For example, in place of the request: “please help me be your hands and feet today”, turn it into “I praise you that YOU ARE love; YOU ARE way-maker and miracle-worker; YOU ARE light in the darkness; YOU ARE the good shepherd who goes after His sheep.” Isaiah 42:21 explains that praise is one of the reasons we were created, “This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.” Hebrews 13:15 confirms this: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name.” When I praise Jesus, MY heart fills with adoration and it is easy to continue. Dr. Caroline Leaf, a Christian and cognitive neuroscientist (a smart doctor with lots of degrees), has noted that the brain is at its highest functional level, and the endorphins (happy hormones) are at their highest level, during and immediately after prayer and meditation – added bonuses! Praise also reminds us to whom our worship is directed. He is Almighty, Sovereign, Omni-present, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Master of the Universe; and He directs all of that into His love for us. So, let’s get our Praise on!! Psalm 100 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.