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Friday, June 22, 2018

IN's verses the OUT's


Today was another one of those days where my wife was simply not interested in drinking her protein breakfast drink.  I have a whole set of tricks up my sleeve that normally help her to get into the swallowing mode… but today… well… none of them seemed to help!

But you know?  I’ve been studying and practicing singing a NEW SONG* to the Lord over the last few days and I decided at her first refusal of the rich chocolate nutritional drink that I add many other tasty and healthy ingredients to each day, that I was NOT going to give up or give in to anything other than God’s best for my sweet wife.  Our Pastor has a favorite saying that we’ve incorporated into our daily lives that declares “I will not be defeated and I will not quit!”  So, I figured really quick this morning, that this was a good time to speak out, confess and DO exactly what that statement makes clear.

Therefore, I began to intermix the bold and determined declaration of that fact into the atmosphere in our dining room while sitting at my wife’s side.  And you know what happened?  Well… nothing… at least not right away.  Sometimes I think that Papa God just wants to see how really committed we are to the things that we say we’re going to do.  Would you agree or not? 

But this time around I was committed and serious about the expectation of God becoming a part of our morning activities and helping Piper to swallow her breakfast.  So, I persevered and the Lord hung in there with us and although it took quite a while, she finally started swallowing the warm chocolatey mixture.  As the process began to proceed with some semblance of regularity, I added my personal offerings of thanksgiving and songs of praise to the praise and worship music that was already playing on my Pandora morning mix.

By the time all was fed, said and done, I felt satisfied with the amount of food that Piper was able to consume, even though she let a fair amount of liquid dribble out as fast as I put it in!  But again, the IN’s were greater than the OUT’sso I was a happy camper!

Have you ever had one of those days where the IN’s were greater than the OUT’s?  Where no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to overcome the difficulties coming against you… kind of like we had this morning?  You may think that my wife’s not eating her breakfast isn’t really that big a deal, but when you weigh as little as she currently does and breakfast is her main meal of the day… well… IT IS A VERY BIG DEAL! 

With the increasing effects of Alzheimer’s, she has been forgetting how to swallow, so it is of utmost importance that I stay focused and determined to help her to take in as much food as she can… in slow, easy, little portions so that she can get it down without choking, coughing or aspiration.  All things considered, it is important for us therefore, that we have many more IN days that we have OUT days!

I would imagine that the same could be said for each of you as well!  And like we have been talking about all week, I have discovered along with multitudes of Christians through the ages, that singing a NEW SONG is a key asset in winning the battle of the IN’s and OUT’s! 

Psalm 98:1 in the Easy-To-Read version of the Bible encourages us to “Sing a new song to the LORD, because he has done amazing things! His powerful and holy right arm has brought him another victory.”  This translation especially caught my attention this morning because of that familiar word that we’ve looked at before, “amazing!”  The KJV uses the word “marvelous” which infers something, according to Strong’s, that is “great, difficult or wonderful.”  Similarly, Thayer’s defines it as an action that is “surpassing, extraordinary and something that is “beyond one’s power.”

That last definition immediately got me to thinking about Ephesians 3:20 where Paul describes God’s ability to do something in our lives as “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.”  So, think about that for a few moments here… According to the book of Psalms… mostly written by King David who knew a thing or two about the power of praise and worship unto God… the physical, vocal act of singing “a NEW SONG to the Lord” opens up the door into your situation for God to do something AMAZING for you!

WHEW!  Kind of exciting wouldn’t you say!  You know… I put a lot of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual effort into helping Piper to partake of her nourishing meal this morning.  But by the time we were FINALLY done, I wasn’t wiped out, discouraged or upset.  Singing a NEW SONG not only allowed God into our process, but also helped to keep me strong in each of the above-mentioned areas!  When I stepped out onto the eighty-one-degree, sunlit deck and walked down the stairs with our pooch a few moments later, I actually felt a lightness to my step and increasingly positive expectations for the day ahead!

I like that!  Wouldn’t you too?  Give it a try… better yet… don’t TRY it out… just DO IT when the OUT’s attempt to surpass the IN’s at any point in your lives during the up-coming weekend… then look for the lightness in your steps and the increasingly positive expectations as they rise up inside of you!

Then… keep telling yourself… “I am continuing to expect that my singing of a NEW SONG to the Lord is working to keep my IN’s way ahead of any OUT’s!”



*See: Psalms 33:3, 40:3, 96:1, 98:1, 144:9 and 149:1

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