Bless the Lord, O My Soul

lifting-up-handsToday in Psalm 145:2 I read David’s words:  “Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever.”   David very clearly declares he will bless the Lord each day for the rest of his life.

Haven’t you wondered about this—how is this even possible? How can we bless God? Isn’t He the Blesser and we the blessees?

Jack Hayford, in his wonderful book, Living the Spirit-Filled Life, states that the idea of “blessing” is a reciprocal event:

The two ideas of giving and receiving a blessing are brought together in the word David uses here for “bless,” in Hebrew barach, which is derived from berech, “knee.” In Old Testament times, one got down on his knees when preparing to speak or receive words of blessing.

The act of blessing, therefore, is a two-way street. On God’s end, He is the Blesser, the Source of everything we need to daily live a rich, committed life. There are many biblical instances of God imparting a blessing or promising future blessings  (Genesis 1:28, Genesis 9:1, Genesis 17:20, Exodus 32: 29, Numbers 6:22-27, Haggai 2:19, Malachi 3:10, Hebrews 6:14, to name a few).

On our end, it requires an adjustment of altitude and attitude. We must kneel — hit our knees — fall before our Authority and the One Who gives good gifts. He is Jehovah Jireh!

In summary . . .  God gives to us the enabling, through the wonderful Holy Spirit, to live each day in obedience to Him. From our knees, we respond back to our loving Father with words and songs of praise. This plays out everyday as unceasing worship to God. Realize from Whom your blessings flow!

Next time you read “bless” in the Word, think about its reciprocal meaning.

Yes, you can “bless” the Lord! Acknowledge His many gifts! Lift up your songs and prayers of praise to your Great Blesser!

Lookin’ up,







Waiting . . .

clock2Waiting. That’s what we do a lot of, as humans. We wait for the mail . . . for a paycheck . . . for a bit of good news . . . for the next big event. A never-ending cycle.

Wait can be boring . . . or stagnating . . . or anxiety-producing . . . or sometimes painful.

I am in one of those present states of waiting. Waiting to hear the results of a job interview . . . waiting for the right time to replace a car that’s wobbling on its last tire . . . waiting to hear the fate of my short story, accepted into an anthology almost two years ago, but not yet materialized to the printed page . . . waiting to see how the new gluten-free diet is going to work out . . . well, you get the picture. I’m sure it’s the same litany of waiting on your side of reality, too.  We’re well-acquainted with the land of limbo.

God tells us to number our days . . . I think this is significant. If we number or count anything, it makes us more aware of the objects’ finiteness. It does have an ending. It forces the principal of stewardship into our thinking and makes us ask, “How will I use this resource wisely?”

Time is a finite resource.  Even in moments of waiting, we are to manage well the time we’re given. We do this by. . .  Resting in Him. Staying close to His Heart. Listening for His Voice. And yes, Changing courses when He says “Change.”

Someday when God takes us into heaven, infinity will be our new normal. Until then, we wait . . . through the opportunities/moments/challenges God engineers, knowing He will give us His supernatural grace to endure and yes, sail above the limitations.

I choose His grace today. I can’t speak of tomorrow, but in the midst of the wait, this is where I am today.

Where are you, in the midst of your wait?

Lookin’ up,


Be the Example: Guest Blog by Audria Torian

AudriapictureMy name is Audria Torian and I am a military spouse and mom to four rambunctious children, ranging in age from 14 to 2!  Although I am a stay-at-home mom, I rarely seem to stay at home.  I have had the privilege to watch my children grow and mature right before my very eyes .  Over the years, I feel as if God speaks to me most clearly through them.  Sometimes I have listened and sometimes I have stubbornly closed my ears!  Through them, I have received a glimpse of the depth of God’s love for me.

The past year or so, I have been looking at some of the things that we say as parents or have heard as children growing up.  Some of these things parents say in an effort to help their children but upon further inspection, they are really misguiding them.  You’ve heard some of them:  “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you!” or “Children should be seen and not heard!” and my personal favorite, “Don’t do as I do.  Do as I say!”  I’ve already taken a closer look at sticks and stones a while back.  Today I want to focus on “Don’t do as I do. Do as I say!”  What does God’s Word say about it?  What message do our kids get from it?

As Christians, we are called to a higher standard, to be examples to those we encounter.  We are walking testaments to the power of the Father in our lives.  What does our life say about us?  When we speak, do our words ring true because our lives back them up?  Or do our words ring hollow, falling on deaf ears because our actions have spoken more loudly?

Our children are our most receptive audience and are taking in everything we say and do.  To say to them to do as we say when our behaviors tell them something else is to simply waste our breath.  There have been times when I was sure that my kids were not paying attention to a conversation that I was having with someone else, only to find out days later that they had heard every word!  Amazing how they can’t hear me telling them to clean their rooms but can hear every word in a phone conversation!  So I’ve learned to be conscious of what I talk about and how I talk to others.  Titus 2:7 states “In everything set them an example by doing what is good and in your teaching show integrity, seriousness” (NIV).  Paul even encouraged Timothy to not let other, more seasoned people look down on him because of his age but to “set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity”.  One time I listened as my then nine-year old daughter spoke to her dad and was furious with the tone with which she spoke to him.  As soon as I was about to read her the riot act, I heard clearly in my spirit the question “Where do you think she got that from?”  Talk about getting stopped cold!  I had to apologize to her and to my husband because I knew that she had heard me speak to her father that way and thought that it was okay since I had done it.  We are called to be examples so that we don’t cause someone else to stumble and so that we can draw people to Christ!  Who should we walk more upright before than our children, those that God entrusted to us?

Jesus said that “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  Our children are the fruit of our actions and behaviors!  What we have done or have not done helps to create their story, shaping their view of us and of God.  Would you want to serve a God who says it’s okay for your parents to curse because they are adults but not for you because you are a child?  We must be the example that guides them, leads them, strengthens them so that in times of tests and trials, they can withstand the fiery darts that the Enemy is bound to direct at them.  To do that, we have to be sure to stay deep in His Word, hiding it in our hearts.   But our children are not the only ones who learn from our example.  To those of us who have accepted Christ, there are children of the faith that look to us for guidance and direction.  We should be able to say “Do as I do AS I follow Christ!”

Audria Torian is a military wife married to Joseph Torian for 15 years and have 4 kids: JT (14), Autumn (10), Josiah (4) and Amaris (2). Being able to stay at home with her kids has been the greatest privilege and one of her greatest joys!  She attends Second Calvary Baptist Church in Norfolk, VA where she continues to study the Word of God and listens for His voice to lead her.