"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Shout Like You Mean It!

I'll admit it, I’m a shouter. Sometimes in the car alone, often on race morning along 26.2 miles of fun, and absolutely every time the Jordan-Hare stadium scoreboard puts a final second back on the clock, I will let out a shout. Partially because I can’t help myself--it’s just how I’m wired--but also because I’ve always felt like the joy down inside is suppose to make its way out into the world, to be shared by all within earshot.

Given this tendency, I was especially excited that our final fall small group passage last week happened to be Psalm 66. This psalm is one of great praise; praise for God’s great works, his gracious gifts, his deliverance, and the relationship he has with his people. Praise-praise-praise.

But better yet is the instruction we find in the first two verses of Psalm 66; it reads:

“Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise.”  Psalm 66:1-2

The Hebrew word for ‘shout’ is ruwa, meaning “to split the ear with sound.” This word is also used to describe blowing an alarm or trumpet in triumph. In other words, David is directing the readers to GET LOUD! This is not a whisper of a praise, but a magnificent lifting up of praise and glory, so that all will know the greatness of God. Perhaps the shout around the walls of Jericho might provide a good example for what David is referring to in Psalm 66.

Ultimately, the shout of joy is an acknowledgement of the contentment, peace, and comfort that God has granted us. The world can steal our joy if we aren’t careful, and too often we associate joy, or a lack of joy, with happiness, sadness, frustration, and other momentary emotions. But pure joy flows from the heart out and should eventually be released, if not by a shout, at least by a kind word, a smile, or a laugh, all in the name of praising God.

So give it a try - find the opportunity and shout it out. Although, let me warn you, and I’ve learned from experience, the fine folks at Krispy Kreme get a little bit annoyed with all the whooping and hollering while you watch the glazing machine run!

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