Shout to the Lord

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Psalm 66-67; Romans 7

66 Shout joyfully to God, all the earth!
    Sing praises to the glory of God’s name!
        Make glorious his praise!
Say to God:
“How awesome are your works!

    Because of your great strength,
        your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth worships you,
    sings praises to you,
        sings praises to your name!” Selah

Come and see God’s deeds;
    his works for human beings are awesome:
He turned the sea into dry land
    so they could cross the river on foot.
        Right there we rejoiced in him!
God rules with power forever;
    keeps a good eye on the nations.
        So don’t let the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah

All you nations, bless our God!
    Let the sound of his praise be heard!
God preserved us among the living;
    he didn’t let our feet slip a bit. (Psalm 66:1-9, Common English Bible)

I tend to be pretty traditional when it comes to my personal preferences in worship music. I do enjoy some praise music but I tend to like it best outside the worship setting. One of my favorites is, “Shout to the Lord.”

WhenI read the “story behind the hymn.” Darlene Zschech (pronounced check) was battling a deep depression, at least in part due to a large tax liability. She saw no way out, short of divine intervention.

She never actually said if the divine intervention happened or if she overcame her tax liability. What she did say was, one night when the night seemed at its darkest, she sat down at her piano, not playing anything in particular. She realized she was playing the same tune over and over again. Then words started singing words, these words:

My Jesus, my Saviour
Lord there is none like You
All of my days I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort, my shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord all the Earth, let us sing
Power and majesty, praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name
I sing for joy at the work of Your hand
Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand.

Darlene credits the words of Psalm 96 for the inspiration of her song. Who am I to argue the inspiration of a song with its composer and lyricist. When I think of “Shout to the Lord,” my mind goes to Psalm 66, today’s lesson.

Shout joyfully to God, all the earth! Sing praises to the glory of God’s name! Make glorious his praise!”

“Shout to the Lord all the Earth let us sing…”

I would ask, “Is it just me?” But that isn’t what is important here. In truth, it doesn’t really matter what inspired Darlene. It doesn’t matter at all what Scripture I think about when I hear the song. What matters is, that we shout and sing our praises to God at every opportunity. That is what the psalmists of both Psalm 66 and Psalm 96 (Who knows, both could be written by the same psalmist) could be saying. The words are similar. The praises of God’s people should be the same. (And yes, I did read Psalm 96. When it comes up in our readings I may regret having written this post – lol).

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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