Tag Archive | praise

Imagine the dawn chorus in heaven!

This article was first published on The End Time in September 2012.

I love the pre-dawn. It is quiet and cool and dark but the light is coming, and already is.

I live in an area which is fairly rural, and there is not much traffic. Though I live on a major artery in the county, there isn’t enough traffic even during the day to really bother me. However, in the pre-dawn, there is none at all. I can hear from afar off the dogs bark, cows moo, occasional owl screech, an early rooster…

At about 6 am there is always one bird. From out of the darkness, suddenly, there will be a happy series of chirps. He is loud, and the sound is joyous to me. Not to anthropomorphize too much, but the bird really does sound happy. The piercing, lengthy call sounds like he is waking up his brethren. Perhaps it is an ovenbird.

After the first bird goes first, then in a few moments the dawn chorus begins. The dawn chorus is a worldwide event. At Cornell, they wrote, “The dawn chorus is one of the most conspicuous vocal behaviors of birds, and one of the least understood. Near sunrise, birds often sing more loudly and vigorously than they do at other times of the day.”

I like to think they are thanking their Creator. He knows them, and I like to think they know their Creator back. God says, “I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.” (Psalms 50:11). We know that all creation groaneth in travail until now, (Romans 8:22). They groan…do they sing in joy as well?

Birds suffer for man’s sin, (Genesis 6:7; Jeremiah 12:4; Ezekiel 38:20;Hosea 4:3). The bible says they flee away when calamity comes as well. (Jeremiah 4:25; Jeremiah 9:10)

Yet they sing:

10You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills;
11 they give drink to every beast of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
they sing among the branches.
13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. (Psalm 104:10-13)

Imagine the ‘dawn chorus’ in heaven! Birds will sing all the time because there is no dusk and no dawn, only day! (1 John 1:5, Revelation 21:25).

I believe that in heaven when He brings His bride to her place and presents our dwelling place to us, our rooms will not have screens on the windows. Because why would they? No biting insects or animals will creep in and harass us. All creation will be reconciled to its Creator and there will be no reason to have bars or screens to keep things out, or in. Maybe a bird will swoop in to my room and sing in joy at the perfection of the Creator and gladness to be part of it, and I will join. Together we are all groaning now, but the Day will come when we will all sing in joyous praise to the One who made us. Birds too.

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the first bird each morning, knowing that before the day’s groaning begins, there is joy in creation among the created.

you lookin at me

Praise for Jesus as the I AM

I’m so glad I have a Savior who is eternal. Because He is eternal, He is independent, self-sustaining, and forever self-sufficient. He is outside of time and matter, therefore He is the I AM, as seen in these metaphorical statements-

I AM the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51);
I AM the Light of the World (John 8:12);
I AM the Door of the Sheep (John 10:7, 9);
I AM the Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14);
I AM the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25);
I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6);
I AM the True Vine (John 15:1, 5).

And these absolute statements:

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)

God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ” (Exodus 3:14).

Praise Him today for one of His attributes.

Praise, for kings will shut their mouths

Chris Powers at fullofeyes.com and on Patreon, recently created this illustration based on an Isaiah verse. We praise the Lord for all His ways, not just on Sundays but every day.

He was, and is, and is to come.

Illustrator and artist Chris Powers wrote:

Isaiah 52:15, “…he will sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.”

May it be so…..

Below you can read the string of thoughts from my journal that led me to this text in Isaiah and, eventually, to today’s picture.

Surely there is at no time a divorce between the Son’s outer form or experience and His revelation of the Father. Surely, the Son is no less the perfect image and radiance of God’s glory when He is stripped and beaten than when He is transfigured in splendor. Surely, the face shining like the sun in full strength and the face marred beyond human recognition are both the face in which we see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God….and no less in one than in the other.

Or perhaps, in our present state, there is less we can see in one….in the face that shines like the sun, we can see nothing….our eyes are overwhelmed, our faces turn away and hide…….But when that same resplendence clothes itself with flesh…and submits that flesh to be beaten and torn and wounded in the place of enemies….then….then we know what we could not know before. Then we shut our mouths for wonder because that which had not been told to us, we can now see, and that which we had not heard, we understand….


Think about what Paul said- “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you…”

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. (Colossians 1:3-5).

One of our pastors preached on Colossians last Sunday. He noted the above introduction in Paul’s letter. Paul prayed to Jesus in thanks for the saints.

Our pastor said, ‘What if we prayed like that? Instead of when we pray and getting straight to our petitions, or even instead of getting straight to thanking Jesus for what He’s given ourselves or done for us, we thank Him for our brethren?’

When was the last time I prayed in thanks for the saints around me, the saints around the world, the saints that have come before on whose works I rely? Hmmm, it’s been a while I think.

I am thankful for our elders. We have a Teaching Pastor, an Associate Pastor and two elders who lead us in preaching, confession time, prayers, and devotionals. They are Godly men, humble, and filled with a heart of love for Jesus and service to Him. I know I am blessed to be growing under such men, and I do thank Jesus for them. Therefore I say,

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.

We have a cadre of elder folks who are seasoned, mature, kind, doctrinally solid, and constant in their attendance, devotions, and service. They aren’t coasting, they take nothing for granted, and they are always willing to lead, teach, encourage, or just silently be present. Therefore I say,

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.


Some of our members on a retreat. http://www.nacathens.org

In a most remarkable blessing, the largest demographic of members and attendees in our church are youngsters. These are youths aged from upper teens to mid twenties. The college crowd. Many are in undergraduate or graduate school in the area. Their eagerness and fervor is a boon to us elder folks. Their zeal to serve is refreshing. Most of all, they love Jesus and devour His word. Despite a heavy class load or demanding work schedule, they arise before dawn or stay well after dark to attend Bible groups. They faithfully attend church services. They drive 40 minutes and stay two hours just to seek advice from an older member. They happily jump in to serve by setting up or taking down, the drudge jobs. They love each other and they joyously submit to leadership. They are amazing. Therefore I say,

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.

Next time, I won’t lightly skim the intro to a letter, but as our elder preached, I’ll stop and truly ponder what the writer is saying. Paul dwelled on praise to Jesus for the brethren, and I want to adopt that same mindset in prayer by thanking Jesus for them both in my sphere and across the world.

Kay Cude Poetry: What Manner of Man is This?

Kay Cude poetry. Used with permission. Click to enlarge.

Artist’s statement:

After finishing this piece, the more I read and reread Mark 4:37-41 and Colossians 1:16-18, the more I was overcome with tears. The Holy Spirit is so faithful to teach, especially at times when I am too busy “doing things” for Christ (in my own effort). How many more readings of these verses will it take for me to attentively remember that Christ’s continuing patience with me, my fears and my sometimes feeble faith is unbelievably profound and so very merciful?

How many times has Scripture told me, told all believers, to pay attention to Christ and His Word, and to not allow the storms of battering and fearful trials or heartaches overwhelm us? That He is sufficient; that He will enable us to glorify Him in our lives; that He will supply us with the appropriate words needed at perilous times of persecution and impending death? Or to remember that all things are under His authority and that He is preeminent and sovereign and that he will supply us the wisdom and endurance to continue on? Or that His Holy Spirit sustains us!

I am so thankful, so grateful, that He knows the hearts of His redeemed so intimately, and so very thankful that He rescued me!