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Smoky Mountain High

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By Carla O’Brien


“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace, the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”  Isaiah 55:12


I, along with my family just returned from the beautiful Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee where we celebrated the marriage of my niece. I am a mountain girl. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the beach too, but the mountains sing my soul song. It’s because of the trees. I adore trees. Not in the sacrilegious idol way either. I had this bucket list adventure of planting a tree in all 50 states…I’ve accomplished two so far. But I digress. 


You know why I love trees so much? Because they emulate praise in nature. God wants us to praise HIM. To give him the glory for our lives. Trees do that naturally. They bud, they turn glorious colors and then they dance in the wind. They freely praise. 


We, sisters, can take a lesson from the trees. I yearn to daily praise God with all of my being.  Praise will not return void. Do you understand that the most powerful weapon you have against the enemy is praise? When you are discouraged, praise him. When you are depressed, praise him. When you feel hopeless, praise him. How you ask do I praise him when I do not feel like it. That, my sister, is where the power is. Praise is not an emotion. 


Psalm 149:6 says, “May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands.”


That double-edged sword is the word of God! Praise Him by quoting scripture and dancing out a “Hallelujah” even when you don’t feel like it. God’s countenance will envelop that environment and change your heart and your mind and your circumstances. 


I love the old praise song lyric by the group “Watermark”:                          

“I wish I could crash like the waves or turn like the Autumn leaves                                                                                                                    in an effort to praise you.


We as humans feel so limited in our capabilities like God is keeping a scorecard up in Heaven,  like “Carla’s praise was weak today, yesterday she really had it going on.” Get yourself out of the way. Focus on HIM. Who He is…God of all creation! 


Open up your heart and your mind and then your mouth.


Don’t let the trees out praise you.


Carla O’Brien is a feisty, full of faith woman who loves God with every cell in her being. You can not be around her without catching her contagious faith and vivacious love of life. She is a teacher, a coach and a believer in the power of Jesus to transform lives.  I know you have been encouraged by her today!              – Cindy Grasso


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