When to Praise the Lord

From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised. — Psalm 113:3

When to  Praise the Lord

How is this possible? As we go about our daily lives, we have chores to do, children who need our complete attention, bosses who expect to have us devote our best efforts to the work they pay us to do, phones to answer, etc. Students have classes to attend, papers to write, and books to read. Writers need to concentrate on the words they are putting together when they write books or blog or speak to their fans. How does this fit with praising the Lord all day?

It doesn’t fit with the idea of one meaning of the word praise – to make noise. That’s usually what’s meant when praise is referred to in the context of corporate worship. The Old Testament speaks of praising God with instruments, clapping, singing, shouting, and other activities that can be noisy. Today’s Christian churches also use these methods for praising God in private or when they are gathered with other believers. Obviously, that is not what is meant when we are told to praise God during all our waking hours.

CCO: https://pixabay.com/en/woman-praying-believing-god-person-571715/

So what does it mean? I believe David is referring to another meaning here – worship as an attitude of the heart toward God. It is constantly being aware of God’s greatness, mercy, love, forgiveness, salvation, creative power, and his care and provision for all his creatures. It’s what we can’t put into words when we see the sunset and our heart is full. It is our total trust when God is the only one we can turn to. That trust is an acknowledgment that he alone has the power to help us, and that trust is a form of praise. It is praise when we step out in faith in obedience when we don’t see how a situation will turn out, because we are depending upon his wisdom and power instead of our own.

When to Praise the Lord
Wild Sunflower, © B. Radisavljevic

God sees the direction of our hearts. Just as a sunflower automatically turns to face the sun, so our hearts turn toward the face of God when we have an attitude of praise.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Psalm 150:6


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When to Praise the Lord

What a Glorious Gift is the Sky


Sunset Framed by Trees, ©B. Radisavljevic
Sunset Framed by Trees, ©B. Radisavljevic

We take for granted many of our greatest blessings. One of these is nature itself. I’m always amazed at its complexity and diversity. God could have plunked us down into a desert with springs of water and let us eat manna every day. But He didn’t. He gave us endless varieties of flowers, trees, and the  fruits and vegetables that come from them.  Then he wrapped all of nature in the ever-changing sky which covers and surrounds the rest of creation. He also gave us trees to frame our views of the sky.

Both sky and trees help me remember my own place in creation. Both speak loudly of their Creator. Combined these subjects occupy more space in my digital photo albums that any others. They are often combined in the same photos.

Here’s an example. One February day in 2014 it rained. After the rain stopped, the earth and sky looked fresh and new. After I left a doctor appointment, I wanted to get somewhere with a great view of the sky, since the sun was about to set. The clouds were putting on a show. I wanted to capture some of it. The only place I could get to fast enough was the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge in Paso Robles.

The bridge crosses the Salinas River and there is a hiking trail with an entrance from the bridge. The trail is part of what’s known as the Salinas River Trail, and it goes along the river and through an area kept mostly as a wilderness. Only a hedge and a slope separate the trail from the back of a shopping center anchored by Albertson’s. There is also a Wendy’s next to it. I parked in the Wendy’s parking lot near the road and walked to the bridge with my camera, in quest of the sky.

Entrance to Salinas River Trail from Bridge, ©B. Radisavljevic
Entrance to Salinas River Trail from Bridge is just to the left of the shopping cart on right. It’sthe gap  in the fence. You may need to click to enlarge the photo to see it. ©B. Radisavljevic

My plan was to just walk across the bridge, which is a long one, and back, taking pictures as I went along. I took over 130 photos from the bridge and from just inside the park on the hiking trail. My goal was to capture the sky. This first photo I want to share was taken looking east before the sun had actually started to set. The rail is on the bridge. The banner above the fence is an announcement of the 125th birthday of the incorporation of Paso Robles. The buildings you see are the tops of Walmart, and the top of the Kennedy Fitness Center against the hill in the back and a housing tract on the hilltop. Click to see the photo full size for more detail.

Clouds over Walmart and Kennedy Fitness from Bridge, © B. Radisavljevic
Clouds over Walmart and Kennedy Fitness from Bridge, © B. Radisavljevic

Of course, I could not just share one photo of this spectacular sky. This next shot was taken just off the bridge, inside the park. The sun is beginning to set in the west. The colorful clouds contrast with the tree in the foreground.

Sunset Framed by Trees over Albertson's © B. Radisavljevic
Sunset Framed by Trees over Albertson’s © B. Radisavljevic


This last photo I will share in this series, below,  was taken from the parking lot behind Wendy’s as it looks into the park. Only some hedges and a slope separate the parking lot from the trail.

Golden Clouds over Treetops, from Bridge, ©B. Radisavljevic
Golden Clouds over Treetops, from Parking Lot, ©B. Radisavljevic


These photos (except for the top one) were all taken within half an hour from each other of the same clouds from different angles and at different stages of the sun setting. I hope they help you understand why I never get bored with the sky. I know that no matter where I live, unless I cannot get outside to see it, I will always have a sky to watch and a sun to set. I hope I will also always have some trees to enhance the beauty of the sky. The sky and the trees are a daily reminder of the power and love of God, who created them.

The iPhone 5 cover design above is available on thirty other products. You will see a link to them if you click through. I took the photo one night at dusk on a trail at Larry Moor Park in Paso Robles.

Pictures and content are original and may not be used without permission, B. Radisavljevic, Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved

The Sky Has No Limits

Clouds Above Large Oak TreeFor me, the sky is the closest I can get to seeing infinity. It goes on and on as far as the eye can see. As I drove home today I felt I was in the bottom of a bowl that had no top. The clouds spread out in every direction. One of my favorite places to photograph the sky is through the large oak tree right across the street from my house. This photo shows how the clouds just keep multiplying.

Suns Rays Streaming Through CloudsEven though the sky looks as if it will go on forever, we know it may end somewhere that only God knows.  Only God is infinite. What He can do has no limits. It is He that made the sky, the clouds, the sun, the moon, the stars and the galaxies that stretch beyond what even scientists can see through their telescopes.

A Golden SunsetThe Bible tells us that the heavens declare the glory of God.  How can I see a scene like this and not glorify God? Every day and every night he paints across the sky as though it is his canvas.

A Red Sunset in AutumnThe Bible tells us in the first chapter of Romans that we can discover God in his creation. Through what God has made, we can perceive God’s invisible nature, his power and glory.  But since almost the beginning of time, people have often chosen to make gods of created things, such as the sun and moon, instead. Some worship trees or even animals. Isn’t it strange to worship what God has created instead of worshiping God Himself? Because God has revealed Himself in nature, the Bible says we have no excuse for not recognizing Him as our Creator, worthy of worship. I cannot help worship when I see something like this in the sky each night.

Dark Clouds in the SkyJust as dark clouds sometimes fill the sky   and block out the sun, sin and rebellion can fill our hearts,  blocking thoughts of our Creator from our consciousness. Then we no longer seek His will and wisdom and we do what is right in our own eyes. That is the way to death and destruction.

Sunset Over Larry Moore Park in Paso RoblesSing to God, sing praises to His name; lift up a song to Him who rides on the clouds; His name is the Lord, exult before Him.  Psalm 68: 4


God is the Best Artist

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