Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Hebrews 13:15 (New International Version)
15Through Jesus,
therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of
lips that confess his name.

I have been thinking quite a bit about the phrase "sacrifice of praise".

In our Ladies Bible Class at church we have been going through Beth Moore's study, To Live is Christ, a study on Paul. I have never really been interested in studying Paul before. (I know, I know, he's one of the famous guys in the Bible.)

I have always thought he was a bit you can probably tell, I am very spiritually mature.


a few weeks ago we were talking about his time in Phillipi (Acts 16). You know, he was BEATEN and FLOGGED and then thrown into JAIL. (Along with his pal, Silas).


(Did you know that to be flogged means that you are beaten SEVERELY with a whip or a rod? I wince if I get a deep paper cut and require all sorts of medication for anything worse than that!)

What would you do, really do, if you were flogged and then thrown into jail?

Oh, and it wasn't one of those fancy minimum security prisons sir! This prison was probably pretty small, stone, wet, smelly, cold (I'm making all of that up. I have no biblical degree to back up any of those adjectives....just using my imagination).

AND instead of allowing Paul/Silas to curl up on his cot and cry himself to sleep (which, of course, is what I would want to do if I had just been beaten AND flogged) they put him in stocks. Basically they shoved his legs (and arms?) into some wooden holes and made him stay there.

At this point, I'm pretty sure I would have given up. Stick a fork in me, I'm done! That would have been my mantra....again, very spiritually mature.

Not Paul and Silas though. Nope, not those two guys. Guess what they did? THEY PRAISED GOD! In Acts 16 it says:

25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and
the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent
earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the
prison doors flew open, and every body's chains came loose. 27The jailer woke up,
and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill
himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, "Don't
harm yourself! We are all here!"

Did you catch that part in verse 26 about the EARTHQUAKE?

Oh my goodness, when it rains, it pours! And with Paul and Silas being in the stocks, they couldn't exactly climb under the tables or head for the nearest door frame could they? All that kindergarten earthquake training going to waste....

I'm sure, by this point, you all know how I would have reacted.

The awesome part of this story is that the jailer, the one who was about to kill himself, was baptized as a result of the praise, and example of Paul and Silas.

But that is not the part I have been focusing on...I have been focusing on the PRAISE part.

The SACRIFICE of PRAISE. How it must have been a sacrifice for Paul and Silas to praise God during that time! They were beaten, bruised, bloody and broken (I didn't even mean to start those all with "b"). They were in a brison....just kidding, prison, and unable to move. They were around some pretty tough guys, possible even some who had threatened to harm them earlier.

But, even so, they prayed and sang out hymns to God! And because of their sacrifice and their praise, the jailer became a believer.

I have been thinking about people I know (or know their blog) recently who have still praised God through a sacrifice in their life. I am in awe of them and their love of God.

I desire to be like Paul (yeah, I'm interested in him now...he's pretty awesome)! I want to be able to praise God during EVERY stage of my life...during the joys and the trials.

Matthew and I watched the one-hour special (it originally aired Jan. 31) last night about the Duggar's newest baby, Josie. OH MY GOODNESS. We BOTH were teary-eyed at the end of the show. It was amazing.

It was amazing that a baby as small as little Josie is alive and breathing. It was amazing to see the love that Jim Bob has for Michelle. It was amazing to see the older kids take care of the younger ones while their parents were in Little Rock.

But the most amazing thing was when Jim Bob was interviewed as Michelle was being wheeled back to the OR. He said, "We praise God. We praise God during the good times but we also praise God during the difficult times." You could tell he was hurting and scared but he wanted to make it clear, GOD IS GOOD no matter what the situation.

My prayer for this year is that I can praise God during all situations. I hope that I am never treated as Paul was treated and I pray that my children (and any future children) are healthy. However, I know that I am not guaranteed those things.

My favorite song for the past year has been "Blessed Be Your Name". It is such a powerful song and I cry nearly every time I listen to it. One of my favorite verses says:

You give and take away/You give and take away/My heart will choose to say/Lord, Blessed be your name

He GIVES and He TAKES away but I need to CHOOSE to say BLESSED BE YOUR NAME!


Jenn said...

Love, Love, LOVE this post! Sometimes when we sing that song, I feel like I need to just scream it...okay, not scream it, but you know. I love that song and I can't hardly make it though without crying. I haven't seen the whole special about Josie's birth, but I cried when I saw the preview the other day...They are an amazing family....Thanks for the reminder. I also love the line from the song, "I will praise you in this storm"

TeamBortzfield said...

I love the Duggars and when I watch them I look for you around town. Your message is for me today- Way to be bold Dallas! I saw St Peter's chains when we were in Rome. God is greater than Houdini!

Kristen OQ said...


Deborah said...

One of my favorite Beth Moore studies!

"Blessed Be Your Name" has been my proclamation through many a trial over the past few years.

LOVED this post, Dallas. Thank you for sharing.

Sarah said...

Dallas-I love this post!

Marty Rhea Hill said...

I will say that when I saw this post last week, I told myself that I would come back to it and read it when I have time. You know me, if it looks long, I get bored.

So, I started my day with you, Dallas. I absolutely loved this blog post. So funny that you are talking about Paul because I was just going through some of the e-mails from when I was in Greece, Corinth, Thessalonika (sp), and Mars Hill all talking about the journey of Paul. It was amazing how much I wrote about. I remember the guys all reading part of Paul's second journey and then we all sang The Greatest Command AND Blessed Be You Name. Ironic, I think not. As you might have guessed, I balled right there at Mars Hill. Anyway, I mainly wrote this to tell you that with all the life changes possibly going on for me right now, I praise God. It seems like in the last two weeks, all I seem to do is say, "Lord, I give this to you." So, as I have just woken up and my vocal chords are still a bit soft, I belted out just now, "He gives and takes away, He gives and takes away, My heart will chose to say, Lord blessed be your name,....." Yes, you would have laughed because I did. Thanks for posting this. I loved it and appreciated it. I hope you have a blessed day. I am off to do laundry and continue to belt it out from my heart. Simon Cowell might tell me to not quit my day job. I love you.

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