A thousand Hallelujahs

When I participated in children's choir at church, we often began our practice time with a fun, active song.  Anyone remember:

Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah
Praise Ye the Lord.
Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah
Praise Ye the Lord.
Praise Ye the Lord, Hallelujah!
Praise Ye the Lord, Hallelujah!
Praise Ye the Lord, Hallelujah!
Praise Ye the Lord.

Each time we sang "Hallelu" or "hallelujah", we would sit down or stand up in progression.  By the end of the song, giggles filled the room, and we'd beg to sing it again.  When singing that chorus, there are 12 Hallelujahs offered to God.

Even now, as I found myself singing along, my face lit up with a sweet memory and a precious moment of worship to the Lord who is worthy of ALL praise.

Often, when I come to the Lord in prayer, my lists of needs is long.  I have much to talk to Him about, much to ask Him for, and much to maybe even "convice" Him regarding what I believe I must have.

Did you notice how many "I's" there were in that paragraph.  Praising our Heavenly Father doesn't always drive our prayer, does it?
The Message paraphrases Psalm 96:4 with these words, "For God is great, and worth a thousand Hallelujahs."  Hold that thought for just a minute.

It must have been 1986.  We were living in South Carolina, and my best friend and I had taken the afternoon  to go shopping at our local department store.  This wasn't just any normal shopping trip.  You see, this particular store was offering an unbelievable treat.  We understood the details perfectly.  One of the employees was secretly named, "the mystery person."  Whoever said the specific word to that mystery person won a $100 gift card to the store.  Sounds simple enough.  Only one stimulation: the winner had to the 100th person to say the specific word to the mystery person.  We were up for the challenge.  We went to every employee in the store and repeated the word.  No one pronounced us the winner, so we devised a winning plan.  We really did this - we went to each employee in the entire store and took turns saying the mystery word... 50 TIMES EACH, so we made it clearly to the 100th person to speak the word.
We didn't win.  We still don't know why.  😊
The suspense is heavy here... what was the specific word we said hundreds of times that day.  I honestly can't remember.  I even called my friend, and she can't remember either.  What we DO remember is how silly we must surely have looked in our strategic quest.  We intentionally spoke the word hundreds of times that day.

Is God really great?
Is God really worth a thousand Hallelujahs?

In speaking of Himself in Job 38-41, God brings dramatic questions recounting HIS power and majesty:
Who marked off the dimensions of the earth's foundation?
Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons?
Can you raise your voice to the clouds?
Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
Who has wisdom to count the clouds?
Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens?
Do you give the horse its strength or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?
Can your voice thunder like His?

Our great God is worthy of all the praise and honor we can muster.
So on this day, I'll commit to offering Him a thouand Hallelujahs.
It might just take me all day...  Join me, won't you?

Dear Heavenly Father,
Holy is Your name,
I sing Praise Ye, Lord.
I shout Hallelujah to you!
You are worthy.
Great are You, Lord...

Who's the Boss?

Do you remember the sitcom by that title, Who's the Boss?  The show aired in 1984, and the premise was this:  a former baseball player becomes the housekeeper for a "type A personality", divorced, successful businesswoman.  She has a son; he has a daughter.  As per the title, the discussion often happens as to who really was the boss here??  Who really is in charge??

These words have come to my ears a few times... "You aren't the boss of me!"
I've heard that from my own children; I've heard it from students in my 4th grade class; I've even heard it once from a precious grandchild.  👦

I can tell you my reaction to each of those different children elicited a different response and even attitude from me.  What I have realized is the end result/goal in my reaction to each one was to simply remind him/her that "yes, indeed, in this instance, I am in fact, the "boss" of you!  Then they had to decide how they would respond/react to that reality.

As we walk into a new year looking hard for "2020 vision" (no pun intended), it make sense to establish the true identity of who actually is in charge of me?  I found numerous books, memes, acronyms, and pictures noting clearly that our general society would tout,


And let's be honest, that sounds just great.  I'm reasonably smart; I have a college degree; I have some experience (I have 57 years in...); I've been married to the same guy for 35 years; I've been a parent to four children,  I've taught 3rd and 4th grades for several years, I've had a lot of coffee with a ton of friends...  and gained much wisdom from them.
I should be in charge of my words, my actions, my reactions, my thoughts, my ideas, my assessment of any given situation, right??


I have the opportunity to surrender all that "charge" to someone else...
to the God of the Universe
to the God who sees all
to the God who knows all
to the God who created all 
to the God who is everywhere 
to the God who speaks life over death

Some days, I have trouble simply deciding what to plan for dinner!?
Maybe I am willing to surrender just a few things out of my charge and into HIS.
What if... today, we agree to choose to surrender our day, every day,  not just a few things, but ALL the things.
Let's begin there.

Dear God,
You are worthy to be praised,
You are almighty, You are above all things,
Today, I surrender my day to Your will.
I ask that You remind me this day that You are in control, and that I am not.

Guide my steps, my thoughts, my words, and my actions.
In the powerful name of Jesus I 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

May you find and choose joy in surrendering to the will of the Father.