I was driving home in the rain, praising the Lord, listening to a Christian radio station, when the broadcaster suggested to “garnish your plate with praise,” talking about praising the Lord at the dinner table. What a bright idea! Instead of filling the conversations with gossip and invaluable things, talk to each other about what the Lord has done.
I don’t have anybody to share my dinner table with, but I have a few things that are bubbling inside. So now I’m going to garnish my moments with praise and let you in on it so you can praise God with me.
I’ve just been to my annual diagnostic mammogram check-up. It was diagnostic because they have been following “something” that has seemed suspicious. Today I was released to go back to regular yearly screenings. The “something” is shrinking!
That was exciting news! So exciting that I wanted to call my daughter right away, but then I realized she would be on the road, driving to Tulsa with all four children. Lana had a doctor’s appointment. I am not happy when she talk while driving, so I skipped that. In all the excitement I forgot the phone in the changing room at the Breast Clinic.
It was a while later before I realized it. Since I was in the south part of town, and they have my favorite restaurant there, I decided to have someone else cook dinner for me. I’m talking about Olive Garden. They have the best salad. Every time I ask for an extra serving so I can take some home and enjoy the next day. That’s where I realized my phone was gone! After the meal I searched the car, but it wasn’t there. “Lord Jesus, please help me find my phone!” I prayed in desperation. I figured that maybe this was a sign that the time had come to update to a smart-phone. My phone is OLD! It doesn’t have any of the moderns features. But it works to make calls and that’s the most important.
I was still down South, where the Clinic is, so I figured that was the place to start looking. And there, on the receptionist’s desk, was my little red phone. Praise the Lord! That’s the reason I was praising the Lord, so relieved that someone was kind enough to turn in my phone when they found it. That circumstance had just magnified my praise.
Here is a most interesting thing that feels like precious garnish. I received an email from Peru asking for permission to translate my teaching materials to the Quechua language, the language of the Inca ancestors. I asked my assistant Cristina to contact the lady who had written me. It turns out she goes to the same church as Cristina, is the mother for one of Cristina’s friends, and they have once attended a seminar together. Now it’s up to Cristina to work with this lady. It’s a start, one more step on the long road of translating my teaching materials to serve other cultures. Do you blame me for being happy?
Another thing that made me happy today! A friend from Bolivia had been reading my blogs about my visit in Sweden. She said it was like she had tucker herself in my suitcase and gone with me. That statement was just an extra bonus. What makes me so happy is that she is helping me edit lessons. And today she turned in 20 lesson on Judges and Prophets. That’s another thing to garnish with praise.
Sometimes the garnish of praise is for what we call “positive” things; at other times we might even be in a dark tunnel. It is still appropriate with praise. Really, praise is the only thing that will bring light into the darkness. Today I’m praising with a smile on my face. Yesterday I was praising through tears. That’s the beauty of praising God. Whatever the circumstances, garnish them with praise.
I will praise God as long as I live. Life on earth is only a brief beginning. I have all eternity to praise my Lord!
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you;your right hand upholds me.