Psalm 95: Praise God!

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Psalm 95

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
    let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
    and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
    the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
    let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    and the sheep of his hand.
Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
    as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
when your fathers put me to the test
    and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
10 For forty years I loathed that generation
    and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart,
    and they have not known my ways.”
11 Therefore I swore in my wrath,
    “They shall not enter my rest.”

St. John Men’s Retreat 2023 | Camp Lone Star, Giddings, TX | March 2023

More than sixty (60) men stood shoulder to shoulder throughout the weekend of March 3-5, 2023. There were conversations aplenty, food in abundance (bacon-wrapped!), redneck olympics, sharing, Bible study, and worship. I was privileged to lead the Friday evening devotion, and was the main speaker for Saturday night. I also celebrated Holy Communion with the group on  Sunday morning. It was quite a weekend.

On Saturday afternoon we held an auction. Three of my framed photos sold for a total of $900.00. Pastor Mark’s “Be Pastor Mark’s Boss for a Day” raised a total of $1,400. A raffle of a Traeger grill brought in more than $6,000. Someone donated a hunting trip. Another proffered a gourmet dinner for 6. There was a week get-away to Florida, and numerous other auction items. All these funds will be sent to Two Lives Changed, a ministry that supports young moms who have chosen to keep their children in the face of financial, social, emotional, and family challenges. In the end we expect to be able to deliver a check for nearly $20,000 to this life-affirming and supporting agency!

Oh come let us sing to the LORD! Amen!

This psalm is a call to God’s people to gather together to worship God. It flies in the face of the idea that I can worship God in nature, on the lake or the golf course as well as I can in a church. Not true in the fullest sense of God’s call here and elsewhere in Scripture. Worship is a corporate experience. We not only honor God when we gather, we also encourage one another. We build each other up in the faith when we make the effort to get out of bed and go to the house of the Lord. We urge one another on to love and good works when we gather with our sisters and brothers in Christ. Oh come, let us sing to the LORD!

Several men on the retreat were there for the first time. We heard from them loud and clear how it impacted them to be with brothers in Christ who wanted to enjoy life in every way possible (games, food, drink, fellowship, and Scripture), and who cared for each other, and took the time to listen to each other’s stories. One man shared that he had lost his wife to COVID two years ago and how much he needed this. Another said he found a place that he had not previously found in this fellowship. Several expressed appreciation for my devotion and Bible studies.

I am thankful to have been there. The only thing missing was the actual singing. I suspect we’ll remedy that next year. Oh come let us sing to the LORD! Amen.

So the next time you hear someone singing off-key in church join in the joyful noise. The next time you have the opportunity to gather with others in worship, show up. The next time you have the opportunity to express thanks and praise to God, let it be known with a hearty Yay God!

He is worthy of our praise. He is a great God. He is the King above all gods. He made the seas. He is the LORD our maker. This psalm is an invitation, O come (Venite).

  1. Barbara Rogers said:

    Yah GOD!

  2. YAY GOD!
    I sang these first seven verses just now, having memorized them long ago from Lutheran liturgy before I realized they were scripture! Yes! He has done marvelous things! I too will praise Him with a new song🎵 (ref Psalm 98:1)
    Again, YAY GOD!

  3. Singing as I read Ps 95. Reminds me of Who calls me to worship Him, the living God!
    He provides strength for what is ahead today and tomorrow and tomorrow.

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