Ps 28:7 The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy, I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
Years ago, a study showed that people, especially those with devastating or terminal illness responded better to medical treatment if they laugh. I want to take it one-step further to praise. Praise can be as simple as a compliment or approval of a coworker for a job well done or admiration of a friend who did something nice for you like sending a get well card.
As Christians, we know that praise used against spiritual warfare is effective. Satan can use any negative thought or action to bring us down but, complete focus on and praise to the one who controls everything is the power that breaks all those chains. Unbelief is another that can sneak in. When life is trying to bring you down, go to your quiet place, even if is only in your mind, and praise God for everything in your life. Think about all that he is doing for you every minute and PRAISE him.
So many times working in NICU, having a bad day would cause me to stop and think about what was really going on. Perhaps a medication dose needed to be changed or maybe the noise level of the room was overwhelming the baby. Taking a minute or even a break to clear my mind, I started praising God and thanking him for all the times, he brought me through worse situations. Before long I would go back not only feeling better but also have the ability and strength to complete the task that was causing so many problems. As I reflect on my career, I just have to praise him again for all the times he helped me and realize that he was with me every day as I cared for his tiniest little sheep.


Ps 27:4 The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.
David had the right idea. Think about it, all you have to do is live in church every day. No job, no bills, no children vying for your attention. You pray, worship, and serve God all the time. That is your only responsibility. Lofty goal but not practical, or is it. I think it is attainable in a metaphorical sort of way.
The house of the Lord is our mind, spirit and soul. Implanting praise, worship and the Word of God starts the process but how do you water those seeds. Christian fellowship, positive thought and the ability to filter out distractions in our life will give us a stronger desire to seek him first. When we set our priorities of putting him first in everything we do, it will give us more joy than we can imagine.
The “distractions” of life can keep us unsatisfied, and cause us to ignore God, the “One Thing” who can satisfy us with joy, peace and contentment. So many in the world today try to fill a void with a new car, relationship or other things, but the emptiness remains.
Our “temple” was made to be filled with only “One Thing”. The New Testament refers to our body “as a temple”. What do you fill your body with, spiritually speaking? I know our body needs food for nourishment but how about your soul. You can go to heaven with a sick body but not a sick soul.


Ps 25:1-2 O Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
David wrote almost half of the Psalms about his enemies. Most of the time he was referring to actual people. Nevertheless, deep down he wanted to make sure that no other “things” interfered with his relationship with God. He wanted his life to prove that living for God wasn’t futile. He trusted his faith but he didn’t want his mistakes to be an obstacle to others’ walk with God. David was just a human being but his faith in the triumph of God is an example to us all.
One day I was having a bad day at work, then someone said something very inappropriate and that was the “last straw”. I lost it. I became aggressive and defensive. Because everyone I worked with knew about my Christian beliefs, one person immediately said, “Wow, I thought better of you than that”. My spirit quickened and I regretted the whole situation. I stopped what I was doing and sat down. I was not only embarrassed by being called out to account for my actions but also I was ashamed by my attitude. Quickly God gave me the words to apologize and prove that we all struggle with life on a daily basis. I stated my regrets for my attitude and thanked her for showing my improper response to it. Then I said, “I guess God is still working on me and he’s not finished teaching me a few things”. She seemed surprised at my response but later thanked me for my honesty.
Did I make a difference in her life; I think so. I earnestly began to pray for her to find peace and contentment in her life. I noticed many changes in her life and at one point, during an illness, she asked me to pray for her healing. She recently changed jobs and seems very happy with her life choices.