Plymouth Congregational Church

God for All

“Wonderful Words of Life”

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I am still reading the book Lance let me borrow a long (long) time ago entitled “What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life,” written by Brian Zahnd.  (I promise I will get it back to you soon, Lance!)   

The book is basically about forgiveness and makes quite a bit of sense although I am only on Chapter Three.  The author makes several good points: 

1)  Choosing to forgive is not unrelated to your recovery from your worst days.  2)  Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling.  3)  Forgiveness is not an abdication of justice. Instead, forgiveness involves deferring justice to God.   By doing this, evil doesn’t have the last word and evil doesn’t define us. 

He goes on to say that many people become bitter by choosing not to forgive.  Bitterness causes even more problems in our lives, and causes us to think and sometimes express negative thoughts.  “A wholesome tongue (literally a healing tongue) is a tree of life.”  This verse comes from Proverbs 15:4:  “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”  If we continue thinking negative thoughts, our lives become “bitter roots.” 

The author uses David as an example.  When David was discouraged, he sang praises to his God.  Did he feel like singing?  Probably not, but he did it anyway.  Through song and praise, David changed his focus.  He “encouraged himself in the Lord.”  David sang, ‘I will bless the Lord at all times.”  ‘All times … good times, bad times, great times and terrible times … even on the worst day of your life, God is worthy of praise.”

Now you probably thought this blog was going to focus on bitterness and forgiveness.  But what intrigued me about this chapter was really the “singing praise” part.  Psalms 150:106 tells us to “praise God with loud, clashing cymbals,” but I think the sincere, soft praises such as our Covenant Choir offered on Sunday are just as great.  And by the way, how great did our choir sound on Sunday?!

I grew up on a farm and we had a very large yard that took hours to mow.  Although I’m sure I grumbled when told to cut the grass, I secretly loved the job.  I shouldn’t admit this, but I would sing every song I knew, including hymns, while riding on the mower.  Lucky for all involved that the sound of the mower drowned out any sound I was making!  But there was something about singing those hymns –“Wonderful Words of Life, How Great Thou Art, Standing on the Promises” were favorites –  I was in a better mood when I was done, than when I began.

“When praise is in your mouth, there will be no grumbling, no complaining, no negative speaking … Praise is the language of faith.  If you want to strengthen your faith, begin to praise God.”

                                                   Wonderful Words of Life

                                                    Sing them over again to me,
                                                       Wonderful words of life,
                                               Let me more of their beauty see,
                                                       Wonderful words of life;
                                                       Words of life and beauty
                                                       Teach me faith and duty.
                                            Beautiful words, wonderful words,
                                                        Wonderful words of life;
                                             Beautiful words, wonderful words,
                                                        Wonderful words of life.

Just a reminder to join us for worship on Sunday, May 16th when our Covenant Choir presents their annual “Music Sunday.”  Leave encouraged by praising God!

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2 thoughts on ““Wonderful Words of Life”

  1. Thanks for the comment, Lance! Yes, Dave has a hard time keeping up with the changes in conversation when he’s with me! 🙂 Every time the choir sings, “Thy Word,” or “Surely the Presence,” I’m humming it to myself for the next week. Being in the choir, you should have all sorts of songs you could be singing! 🙂

  2. Yep you took a left turn there! This may surprise you, but I can’t really name my favorite hymns despite singing them for years. Heck, I can’t even remember if I like them when Jan hands out the music, but once the piano starts I quickly know the ones I love.

    I needed this post just at this moment and will hold it in my heart today as I need to sing songs of praise ceaselessly in the midst of life. If I can’t think of the lyrics I’ll just keep saying prayers of thanks for God and all he provides…like this ministry you perform.

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