Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Shhh. (02/18/10)
TITLE: Hush. NO!
By Barbara Lynn Culler
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Sitting upon a rock and gazing out onto the frosted white landscape, I sang out a paraphrase of that old Gaither Trio song “The Time I Must Sing.” The morning session at the weekend Retreat was adjourned so that campers would take time for personal devotions on the theme of Praising God. The snow-blanketed mountains were conducive to entering into God’s Holiness just by the beauty that surrounded the campground. And like the song proclaimed, I wanted a quiet time to Praise God. However, Blue Jays continued to squawk, nearby squirrels chattered and trees rustled in the crisp breeze.
“Well then, if you cannot be quiet, then join me in praising God!”
Suddenly, the wind picked up, and the pine trees began swaying in rhythm to the clapping of the hand-shaped oak leaves. The rustling sounds also included a rhythmic drip-drip-drip percussion as the snow melted off tree limbs. Various species of birds flew overhead, each vocalizing in their own melody of praise to God. His creations blended together in a symphony of praise.
“Make a Joyful noise onto the Lord, all the earth; make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” Psalm 98:4 KJV
Nestled within the black boulders that created a breakwater point at the beach, I spent time giving praise to God while overlooking a well-known mountainous rock that served as a rookery for birds. Powerful waves crashed into the rocks, then splayed high into the air, giving rise to a scene conducive to awe-filled worship. Listening to some of my favorite worship songs on a cassette player, I desired to raise my hands in adulation. However, I felt embarrassed because there were other people around, and thought someone might become offended. Nonetheless, my mind changed when I observed a young couple involved in passionate embrace, caring not who saw them. I praised God with hands waving in the wind of that powerful stone bulwark for I did not want to be ashamed of God, and deny Him my heartfelt worship.
“If they keep quiet… the stones will cry out” Luke 19:40 NIV
Thirteen year old Jonathan spoke out, after the first worship song in the morning service had finished. Jon loved to sing, although his Down syndrome affected his speech. He sang loud and could not carry a tune, yet was blissfully unaware; he just wanted to praise God! That particular Sunday Morning, his man/child voice bellowed out in enthusiasm. Several elderly ladies from the nearby retirement home turned around and gave him dirty looks.
“Shhh…you are in church!” A blue haired woman hissed at the boy.
Jonathan continued singing as best he could, for within in soul he knew that singing unto God was what worship was all about.
“Sing to the Lord a new song, his Praise in the assembly of the Saints” Psalm 149:1 NIV
In these three anecdotes, the common theme is that we do not need the “proper” environment, have a pious attitude or have a lovely singing voice to praise God. He wants only to have our praises, no matter how it is given. Jesus told us that
“If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son Of Man will be ashamed of him…” Luke 9:26 NIV
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:6 NIV
Amen. Praise the Lord!
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