Tag: Christian Praise

Christian Praise: What Does Hallelujah Mean?

Hallelujah Praise God

Christian Praise

What Does Hallelujah Mean?

Christian Praise is mentioned approximately 190 times in the Bible depending on which version you are reading. It is very common to hear the phrase “Hallelujah” both in Christian circles as well as non-christian circles. What does “hallelujah” mean? Oftentimes it is also written as Allelujah. The angels themselves sing hallelujah to God, so what does it mean?

Actually as a direct translation from the Hebrew it means Praise (Hallel) God (jah, also known as Jaweh in the Old Testament. So, when we say “Hallelujah” What we are really saying is “Praise God”. This is a good thing in a sense because we are told to praise God, but if we just say it as an exclamation to something good that has happened then it might lose its flavor, so to speak. This is obviously the case with non-Christians saying it when trivial things such as their favorite hockey team scores a goal for the home team. If we are truly happy that God has allowed things to happen then it is not derogatory in any way but I just want to point out that it is something that should be used with meaning.

Christian Praise is more than just a matter of words, it is a life-style. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you”.

There are 2 specific points that I would like to bring out in this passage.

  1. It is God’s will that you give thanks in everything
  2. It is God’s will that you give thanks IN everything, not necessarily FOR everything.

God wants us to praise Him no matter what our circumstances are because he wants us to realize that wherever we are, He is there with us. He wants us to relinquish the control of our lives to Him and trust Him to work all things out together for our good.

So remember, the next time you are in despair and don’t feel like praising God, do it anyway! Hallelujah!

Christian Praise: It’s Time to Sing Another Tune in Life

Negativity_Sing a Different TuneChristian Praise

It’s Time to Sing Another Tune in Life

Christian Praise is all about realizing what God has done for us in our lives. It is all too common for us to focus on our struggles and everyday problems and forget to offer Christian Praise to God for His blessings.

Many people, Christian or not, tend to look at life with a very negative slant sometimes. I am sure you know many people like this. They are always complaining about how bad things are. They are so concerned about the way that life is treating them that they miss out on the pleasure of being alive.

Some people are living a life of misery because they forget to look at the things that are going right in their lives. They have trouble taking their eyes off of the problems and obstacles around them.

We all run into obstacles in our lives, this is a part of life. We are not to offer Christian Praise only when things in life are rosy and going well for us.

For some people, life never seems to go well for them. It’s not that life is so harsh, but rather their eyes are focused on the problems and not their blessings. We cannot condemn these people. It is a mindset that they have set themselves up in and it can’t be undone until they realize what they are doing. So don’t condemn these type of people, instead pray for them that the light of God will shine in their hearts that they may be able to see what great things God has done for them.

Negative thinking is a major problem in our society today. The good news is that we have more and more people wanting to get themselves out of their negative mindset and trying to think more positively. Just look around any bookstore and you will see many self-help books based on how to think positively, how to think abundantly. People are realizing, to a greater extent, that there is more to life than what they are experiencing.

Sadly we see multitudes following “The Secret” or Abraham Hicks looking for more to life without realizing that God said that we receive not, because what we ask for is for our own edification and glory. If we seek abundance for selfish reasons we will not receive anything from God. The Good News is that we are promised that if we seek for God’s will, then our prayers and petitions are answered. (James 4:3)(Mathew 7:7-11)

There is some truth to what these people from “The Secret” are teaching, and actually much of it is based on Christian Scripture, but they miss the mark by twisting the scriptures in such a way that all they think about is how can I make my life happier and get the things I want.

It misses the mark because Scripture teaches us that we are not to worry about food, or drink or clothing or any of the things that the world worries about. God has already taken care of that for us, but for those who do not know God, they search for a way out of their problems and end up in these messed up teachings, such as “the Secret” and are being indoctrinated into thinking that they are actually being enlightened.

As I said earlier on, their teachings are partially true. Satan masquerades as an angel of light, trying to persuade people that this is the truth, when in reality it is only partial truth.(2 Corinthians11:14) Jesus is the true light of the world and if we ask, believing, we shall receive from Him.

If we have not it’s because we are not asking. As we become thankful for what we do have, then we will be given more. It is God’s will that we have an abundant life but we miss out on it because we forget to be thankful for what we do have.(Mark 4:25)

Without challenges, there can be no progress. Without obstacles, there can be no achievement. Be thankful for the opportunities that these provide.

For many people the theme song for their life is “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen”. It’s time to change your tune. It’s time to sing another tune in your life. Focus on what God is doing, focus on the good that comes out of the obstacles and challenges, knowing that God loves you and is in control of your life. Let Christian Praise flow out of your heart and up to the throne of God, for He is worthy to be praised in all circumstances.

 

(originally posted Oct. 15, 2009)

 

Christian Praise: Worship Pastors on American Idol

Worship Leader Jim Ranger
Christian Praise: Worship Pastors on American Idol

Well, I don’t know how many of you watch “American Idol”, but I do. Last night there was both a Worship Pastor named Jim Ranger, as well as another church pastor auditioning. I don’t remember anyone of the judges ever saying before that they think that a person’s position in a job qualifies them as talented or not. It’s NOT in the rules for auditioning. Since when did a person’s vocation (or religion) qualify as an excuse to not judge impartially? What happened to Jim Ranger?

The story begins:
Avril Lavigne was a guest on the panel of judges for the evening. Incidentally? She showed up wearing a hoodie with devils horns on the top of the hood.

It was time for a Worship Pastor to take his turn to audition in front of the panel of judges.

As soon as Jim Ranger, the Worship Pastor at a church, was finished singing (And he did do a fantastic job) Simon Cowell, who is always brutally honest, said that he liked the audition and that Jim had an authentic voice.

Next to take her turn to judge was Avril and she piped right up and said rather derogatorily, “You’re married and you have three children and you’re a Pastor? You know, to become a pop star, you know you have to travel and you have to leave everything. It’s difficult out there on the road…But, I do think you have a good voice.”

We can see right away that she is judging him, not on his voice, because she said she thought he had a good voice, but rather she judged him on the fact that he was a Christian Worship Leader.

It bothers me that Avril Lavigne would judge according to his vocation rather than his skill as a singer. The whole point of American Idol is to judge them on their singing skills, not whether they feel they can make it out on the road away from their family. I suppose we will chalk the comment up to her young age and forgive her.

When it finally came time to vote, Simon was first and answered with an enthusiastic “Yes”. Next in line to vote was Avril. She doesn’t even look at Jim but rather looks over at Carla (Judge #3) and says, “I’m sorry, but I have to say no.”

Sadly, Carla picks up on Avril’s negativity and agrees with her comment by saying very doubtingly, “I don’t know how you…um…really can do everything at once if you were to go through with this, how you really can be dedicated to your church.”

What I find strange is why, all of a sudden, are these judges basing the audition upon the person’s vocation rather than their talent?

Jim did finally get the 3 votes he needed to qualify for a golden ticket to go to Hollywood but, a very strange thing happened immediately after that on the show. Simon turns to Avril and says, “I love the fact that we’ve officially got a devil on our show.”

In my opinion, truer words were never said. How apt that it would be this particular night that a devil would condemn a Christian. It kind of gives us something to think about.

Have you noticed that there have been quite a few Christians who have been auditioning for American Idol in the last couple of years. The ones that stand out to me are David Gokey, Kris Allen and this year Tasha Layton and Jim Ranger.

I know there is a lot of talk going around about how Christians should not be going after fame and fortune but, on the other hand I see how churches expect their Christian Worship Leaders to perform their duties getting no recompense for doing it. There are people who say that they should do it for nothing because their reward is in heaven, but even the Levites were set aside to perform the work for God and were paid to do it.

I Chronicles 9:33 says Those who were musicians, heads of Levite families, stayed in the rooms of the temple and were exempt from other duties because they were responsible for the work day and night.

Numbers 18:21 (kjv)

21. And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

1 Corinthians 9:7-14 (NIV)

Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk? 8. Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? 9. For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10. Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12. If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?

But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. 13. Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14. In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

In order to lead in Christian Praise and Worship we as worship leaders should be exempt also from secular jobs in order to spend time in God’s presence. How can we lead others into Christian Praise and Worship if we are not spending time with God in worship daily? I know some people think that to lead in Praise and Worship we just need to gather a couple of songs and sing,but this is not true worship. We are not to be the entertainment section for the church rather we are to be gatekeepers to the Holy of Holies…..okay so I’m going off on a tangent 🙂

I don’t understand how anyone can stand back and say that these people are wrong to try out on American Idol and hope to try to provide for their families. What they know is music, and they are good at it. If we don’t want them going to “the world” to make a living then maybe we better start considering how we are supporting them as a church.

Is it any worse for a Music Pastor to get a job singing non-Christian, secular songs than a Pastor who tries to provide for his family by working in the material world such as banking or politics etc?

I really think that we as Christians should stop judging what other people are doing to make their living and keep an eye on our own lives.

What do you think?

Sharron

You can view the audition here.

(originally posted on 28th January 2010)

Christian Praise: Out of the Mouth of Babes

Christian Praise Out of the Mouth of babes

My daughter singing “At the Cross”

Christian Praise: Out of the Mouth of Babes

Christian Praise may not seem like the thing you would like to do in a bad situation, but sometimes, singing praises to God is in actuality the Best Thing you can do for yourself.

I already mentioned in another blog post how the purpose of Christian Praise is to benefit us, and not God. It helps us to take our minds off of what is going around us, the things running through our minds and to focus on all that God has done for us.

Sometimes, when we are deep in the mire of bad circumstances Christian Praise can be the last thing on our minds.

I want to share a little story with you about how Christian Praise can turn a bad situation totally around and lift us up out of the miry clay when everything seems to be coming down upon us.

Many years ago, when I was still quite young, I had married a Christian man who seemed to love the Lord. Sadly, I found upon marrying him that he had a terrible problem with alcohol and although I had thought he was over it, he apparently was not. I went through quite a few years of terrible suffering because of the problem and had gotten very discouraged.

At one point in my life, we were going through an unusually bad time with his drinking. I had my two children by then and they were very young. One day, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my cup of tea and wondering why God would have allowed this to happen to me. Why was I suffering so? What had I done to deserve this? (I am sure you know the despair and depression we can get ourselves into just thinking upon all of the problems we have).

My 2 year old daughter was sitting on the kitchen floor with her doll brush in her hand and was trying to give the cat a new hairdo. The cat didn’t mind at all and was use to her playing with her like this. So there I was trying to keep back the tears and she was blissfully brushing the cat’s hair. How innocent she was, blissfully unaware of the problems in life.

All of a sudden, I heard her sweet little voice quietly start to sing  as she continued to brush the cat’s hair. She was singing a very old Christian Praise song that I hadn’t sung in ages. There she was, like a little angel with her little voice singing the chorus of “At the Cross”

In case you don’t know the song, the words to the chorus are here;

At The Cross

At the cross, at the cross

Where I first saw the light

And the burdens of my heart rolled away

It was there by faith

I received my sight

And now I am happy all the day

She kept singing it over and over again and I realized that God was right there in that very room with us. He was telling me not to look at the problems but to keep my eyes on Him. Just like when I had first became a Christian and realized what God had done for me, the feelings of faith and love strengthened me again and I could truly say that I became Happy. I realized that I had taken my eyes off of Jesus and was focused on my problems. It took my little child to remind me that my problems aren’t so big after all. When I think about the cross and all that God had done for me my burdens surely roll away.

I will never forget that day (and I took the picture above to help remind me). I thank God that I had the problems because once I realized how big God is and how much He loved me, I was able to take courage and realize that loving God was all that was important. I just needed to love God, and be a good mom to my children. That was all that was expected of me. What a happy day that was.

The bible tells us in Matthew 21:16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?”

Christian Praise will flood your soul when you take your eyes off of your problems and focus on God and all that He has done for you.

(originally posted on Sept.22,2009)

Christian Praise: Prayer in the Square

Prayer in the Square 2009

Prayer in the Square 2009

Christian Praise
Prayer in the Square 2009

 

For those of you who wish to know, Sunday September 20, 2009 was the final gathering of “Prayer in the Square”. This is where Christians from all denomination gather together to offer up Christian Praise and Prayer unto God on behalf of our nation.

Last Year “Prayer in the Square” had around 18000 people but this year a whopping estimate of 60,000 people showed up. Many congregations, such as ours, were not able to make it to Times Square in New York City on Sunday but joined together via the Internet along with many other countries. Wow! I can’t imagine the amount of Christian Praise and Prayer going up on our behalf.

If you want to read more about it I have posted the link here: Prayer in the Square

 

(originally posted Sept. 23,2009)