Thursday, July 25, 2013

Scriptures of Praise ~ Let Praise Fill Your Emptiness

On a crisp day in early spring I spent the morning tending to a grapevine that is at least 75 years old. Our farmhouse was built in 1900, so I believe my estimation is pretty close. The base of this vine is the size of a young tree. It's gnarled and twisted. There are deep cavities at its base where disease has tried to triumph, but to no avail. I can sense determination in the massive breadth of its tendrils coiling and winding, always stretching for a new support to cling to.

As I worked with the grapevine's trailing branches, I thought of its life story. Someone many years ago planted it with great care. I can imagine them tilling the soil, watering the vine, propping it up when its reach was a little farther than the gardener planned. I can see the old gardener pruning the vine's long fingers in late fall, preparing his lush treasure for its winter rest and the thrill of new life come spring. This old grapevine has survived drought, floods, hail, blizzards, and wind strong enough to topple the grandest of trees. Yes, it's a survivor. In my little creative mind I think I know why.

I might shock you. Are you ready?

It's because of praise.

Maybe not praise as we know it, but praise just the same. Praise that resonates deep within, through the winter storms, the bitter cold, the harsh winds. Praise that courses through the vine with a knowing that the time of joyful new life will come just as sure as the gardener will pick its delectable fruit. Praise that is not contingent on how much the sun shines or how often the children laugh beneath its umbrella of leaves. 

In winter, the dormant vine does not collapse from hollowness. It remains strong because of the life-source streaming through it, anticipating the arrival of spring. The grapevine's life-source is its exuberant praise for its Creator through all seasons.

"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods...Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our maker; For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care." 
~ Psalm 95:1-3,6,7

When we find ourselves overcome with hollowness, we, too, must fill up the empty place with praise. Let it flow unabated, maintaining life during the dormant times. Praise coursing through our veins stirs life within us and anticipates the coming spring.

Father, You are our God. You are worthy of our praise. We recognize Your hand in our lives and thank You for it. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that dwells within, guiding, comforting, and teaching us of Your goodness. You, Lord are the Great King, the Mighty God. We joyfully give You praise.
Special prayer request: I'm on the finally chapter of my book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife, which will be published this fall by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. I'm very excited, but, strangely enough I'm scared too. I want to honor the Lord with my marketing efforts and I want to trust Him with the outcome. Please pray that I will hear His instruction and rest in His Presence. Thanks. I will be looking for influencers and beta readers. If you are a pastor's wife or if you happen to love one **wink** and would be interested in helping me when the time comes, please email me at I'm compiling a list of those who want to have a presale copy to read and are willing to post a review.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page. I found a fantastic video of a 103 year old woman still singing praise to her Jesus. You are gonna LOVE it!


  1. Hi Nan! I think this is one of my favorites from you! I watched a film at church years ago on the vine and the branches passage and it used actual grape vines to illustrate the whole passage. I wish I could find it and watch it again. Anyway, it is always great to put such illustrations to God's creations. I really enjoyed this. ~Love Marcie

  2. Nan, thank you for reminding me about the importance of praise! I needed to hear this today. Also loved the video of the 103 year old lady singing hymns. She puts me to shame. I guess to her I would seem young...just turned 70 years old and I confess at times...I am feeling my age.
    I even started making an extra effort this week by starting the day with a praise tape. It's helping!

  3. Hi Nan! I loved your insight into the vine, and how it triumphs in the winter too. Sounds like you are not having too much winter now! Congratulations on your book!

    I can totally understand why you would be nervous. Writing is like taking all your clothes off and running around a crowded mall. And the weird thing is, you HOPE It's crowded! LOL!

    Best wishes to you, my good friend,