Serve the Lord with Gladness

Psalm 100, in addition to its call to worship, tells us how we should serve in the local congregation. Many people serve out of a compulsion, or a sense of duty, a feeling that I ought to serve because it’s my turn. Others might feel like they are serving their leaders or the body of Christ in general.

Psalm 100 verse 2 says “Serve the LORD with gladness.” It’s a great reminder that it’s the Lord that we serve – that we’re not doing this because it’s our turn or our duty, we are serving Him because He is the Lord. He owns us, He made us, and He purchased us with His blood to be a people of His own possession.

We don’t serve in the local body because everyone needs to do their part or any of the other rules that we learned in kindergarten – fairness, doing our part, many hands make light work, any of that. We serve because it is He that has made us, and not we ourselves. We serve the Lord. It is true that we should serve one another, that I ought to look after you in the body of Christ, and you should look after me. But our service, our work and toil and the taking of our time for others instead of spending it on ourselves, we do it because we are serving the Lord.

Colossians 3:23-24 is one of the New Testament analogs of this passage in Psalm 100. It says:

  23      Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,

24      knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

So everything we do, ought to be done with the knowledge and the attitude that we serve the Lord, and not men. It is the Lord Christ that we serve.

Secondly, our service ought to be done with gladness. Instead of compulsion, or duty driving us, our service ought to be done because we are glad to give to our Creator, and our work and our toil is done to please Him.

Gladness, in the case of Psalm 100, can also be translated as rejoicing or mirth. When I think of the word mirth, I think of giggling and laughter. When was the last time you mopped up a spilled glass of water or set up tables and chairs with joy and rejoicing and gladness? That is what this verse says – serve the Lord, serve your creator, with joy, with gaiety, with pleasure, with mirth.

Where does this joy and gladness come from? It comes from a deep-seated knowledge that our Lord is worthy of our service. It comes from gratitude and thankfulness for what He has done for us.

May we all view our service in the same way, and may we serve the Lord with gladness.

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Breathing new life into the old blog

Hi folks – getting out the defibrillator and waking up this blog. Please be patient as we get things going again.

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A mobile post

Hi there. Testing out posting from my phone.

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Of course – The Space Needle

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Hello Portland!

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Out for a walk with my sweetie

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Happy Birthday Professor Tolkien!

John-Ronald-Reuel-Tolkien-10Today is J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday- I read The Hobbit for the first time in college, and I thought it was a good book, even though I was more of a sci-fi fan at the time. After finishing it, I read The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, and really fell in love with his writing, his style, the obvious deep, deep thought he put into the creation of his world. Over the years, I have read and re-read these books, and each time I read them, I enjoy them more. I have read them to all of my children, a chapter at a time. They would howl and scream for me to read “just one more” chapter.

Recently, I bought a book of book reviews written by C.S. Lewis, who was a good friend of Tolkien’s, and was saved as a result of his friendship. One of the things he said in his review of The Fellowship of the Ring was “here is a story that will break your heart.” It is true.

If you have not read his works, pick up the Hobbit and enjoy. It is much better than the movies (although I am a big fan of them), and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Happy Birthday, professor.

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Back to Work

It was back to work today – a gloomy, gray day that started with rain and ended with stiff winds and freezing temperatures. This is the only time I saw the sun today – it found its way through a crack in the cloud layers and gleamed momentarily before it went out.

It was good to be back at work, even through I thoroughly enjoyed the break and the time with my family. I am thanking God for a renewed vision of wanting to live my life for His glory. Very much like a ray of sunshine piercing through a gloomy day.

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Grapefruit Peel Candy

Carol's Grandmother's recipe for candy made from grapefruit peels

Carol’s Grandmother’s recipe for candy made from grapefruit peels

One of the holiday treats at the Ake household is the making of grapefruit peel candy. Carol’s grandmother, Leslie Q. Freeman, made this candy and would have it in a sleigh dish at her house when we visited during the holidays, and in the years since her grandmother has passed away, Carol has carried on the tradition of making the grapefruit peel candy.

The candy is made by boiling the grapefruit peels ten to fifteen times, changing the water each time, in an effort to remove all of the bitterness from the peels. Once they have been boiled enough, they are almost translucent. The peels are then cut into wedges, and are cooked in a gelatin and sugar solution until they reach the proper temperature, when they are removed and placed on wax paper and coated in granulated sugar. They are then dried for several days before they are ready for serving.

They still retain a grapefruit taste, but are much sweeter and almost the consistency of the orange slice candy that you buy in the stores. When the grapefruit candy is all gone, the holidays are officially over.

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A Picture A Day …

I am undertaking a goal for 2014 – I want to learn to see.

One of my favorite quotes from Sherlock Holmes is this – “You see, but you do not observe!” We all go through life seeing things, but do we really see, or are we too busy heading to the next place, staring into our smartphones, or thinking about our to-do list….

I want to learn to see. I want to take a photo a day, which will probably mean taking more than one photo a day, but I am hoping it will force me to look at the world around me and live in the present, observing the things around me.

Come along with me!

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