Putting Others First

I just finished reading Karen Ehman’s new book, Listen, Love, Repeat – Other-Centered Living in a Self-centered World, and I have to say WOW! I don’t know the last time I read a book that challenged me as much as this one did.

When I first started reading this book, I struggled with the title.  I kept calling it everything from Live, Laugh, Love to Love, Laugh, Repeat.  It only took a few pages for me to truly grasp the title and what it means. Take the time to really listen to what people are saying, sometimes even without words; how can you love them based on what they are saying? Then, make it a lifestyle.  Okay, that sounds way to easy, and maybe for some it may be.

This book has caused me to try and be much more intentional in my encounters with the people around me, to listen for those heart drops and to respond.  This is a far cry from our typical, me first mentality.  I was rocked when Karen said in her book,

 physical-cover“Our relationships give us an opportunity to show God’s love to others. In our narcissistic and self-absorbed culture, other-centered behavior stands out. Way out.”

 

Because, this should be the norm.  Thinking and doing for others should be a natural as waking up or at least as common as doing things for ourselves.

I encourage you to read Listen, Love, Repeat for yourself.  Take it as a challenge, learn to be intentional in your encounters and extend love and grace to others.

You have a chance to win a copy of Listen, Love, Repeat along with the study guide and DVD. Simply sign up to receive updates from my blog with the form on the right and your name will be entered in the drawing.  Deadline for drawing will be Sunday, December 11.

What a great way to start the new year, learning to love those who are right in front of you.  Be sure to get your copy of Karen Ehman’s book at Proverbs 31 or Amazon. And be sure to follow Karen at karenehman.com.

llrmeme21

We Will Sing

I am very much inspired by music. I am not a musician, but God speaks to me through it just the same. About two months or so ago, I started writing down the songs I would wake up with; you know what I’m talking about, the worm hole sings, the ones that get stuck in your head. I only write down the part I’ve been singing and ask God to show me what he wants to tell me from the lyrics.

Yesterday, the song I was singing is Ever Be by Bethel. It’s the song that has been playing in the background. The chorus and bridge go like this:

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lip

 You will be praised You will be praised

With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord

You will be praised You will be praised

With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord

 And it’s why I sing

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

Often, when we are in the midst of life; not necessarily bad, but even if it is, we need to remember to praise. That is our design, we have been designed to give God praise. It should forever be on our lips.

Psalm 148:1-14 says, “Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created, and he established them for ever and ever— he issued a decree that will never pass away. Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and women, old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. And he has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his faithful servants, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the Lord.”

The psalms are full of these words, “praise the Lord”! It’s not something we just do when we get a good parking space at Wal-Mart or when a hurricane decides to turn at the last minute; it’s something we do when a person backs into our car at Walmart or we have two foot of water in our homes.

When we praise, not only does it bring joy to the Father, but it lifts us up, it renews us, it blesses us.

praise-graphic

You always want to tell people what you’re excited about. but what if you aren’t excited; what if your world seems very grim?

Shelena Griffith said, “One thing I learned going through a storm and that is, you can Praise God in the dark! If God makes light to shine out of darkness, well bless God, I can call forth light into my situation. I am the light of God. Praising Him is not determined by day or night. In whatever state I find myself in, I will continue to acknowledge Him. Then and only then, He will direct my path.”

 

My challenge to you, is to praise.

 

In the good times, praise; when things seem like they could get no worse, praise; when it’s just a normal day, praise.

 

You won’t regret it.

Just in case you don’t know the song, give it a listen.