Celebrate Jesus


But the righteous are glad; they rejoice before God and celebrate with joy.

~Psalm 68:3, CSB


Without authentic worship, we go about miserable.

~A.W. Tozer

I first noticed the word ‘Celebrate’ when I read the Contemporary English version some 15-20 years ago. Every time I read a new translation, I come across things I have not noticed previously. There is a reason for this: the word ‘Celebrate’ is found only three times in the entire KJV. The NLT, which I love, uses ‘Celebrate’ 73 times; the NIV 52, and the CSB 43 times. There is more than one Hebrew word translated ‘Celebrate,’ but none of them are a stretch. The Hebrew work ‘ashar {Asher} means happy or be happy. The word observe in the KJV is shamar and it can be translated celebrate. All the Jewish festivals were celebrations. Other words translated celebrate are samach {rejoice}, zamar {praise}. The NLT and CEV translate gladness and exult as celebrate. The CEV uses the English word ‘Celebrate’ 232 times. Now you know why modern day Pharisees hate the new translations. They are like the Elder Brother, they don’t like the sound of music and dancing. Remember this passage in Matthew 21…When the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonders that Jesus did and the children shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David! ” they were indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF’?”

I grew up with organ music and the silence. Our motto what–The LORD is in His holy Temple, let all the earth keep silent before Him. I remember two things distinctly about our first Sunday at DBC {April of 1979}. It was cold in the sanctuary because the unit was not blowing heat, just cold air. John Tanner finally realized the problem and cut it off. The second thing was the noise, the buzz, the talking in the sanctuary before the service. I don’t think I had ever heard such. At first I was offended, I took it as irreverence but thank God I did say anything and in time, I became as guilty as anyone else. I don’t question the fact that there is a time for silence in worship but the praise portion should be a celebration. I am totally convinced that we do not praise enough and we do not do it with our whole heart. We certainly don’t put all our energy into worship. I heard a preacher say on YouTube that we think coming to church ought to be fun. He said people want to be amused and entertained. I admit there is a thin line but the difference between true worship and just having fun is our motive. When our focus is upward or vertical, there is nothing wrong with celebration. If our focus is inward, we err and our worship will become entertainment.

I’m not ready to change my position; true worship is celebrative and when we do it with the right motive, it is very rewarding. As a matter of fact, it is a little bit of heaven on earth.

  • Had to go to B’ham yesterday. The traffic was heavy but no major delays. Honey Smith’s father had a stroke. He is in UAB. We have a little girl {Belinda’s Childers niece] by the name of Lilly Graham who is at St. Jude. Lilly’s leukemia is a bit different from Kane or Koopers. They told her she would be there for 6 months. Jeremy’s sister is still very sick: please continue to pray for Amanda and Phyllis.
  • I have shared this with DBC folks–when you have someone on your heart, put their picture on the wallpaper of your phone and it will remind you to pray for them. It works!
  • I don’t know how much rain we got but when I went to use my wheel barrow yesterday it was almost full of water, at least 10-12 inches. Surely, we didn’t get that much. This is the first year I can remember that No Business did not go completely dry. It did get close.
  • I had got behind on my grass cutting and yesterday, I took my mower to Willards and they sharpened the blades. I cut grass until dark Friday. It was like a new mower. Sharp blades make a difference.
  • Since this is my weekend blog and I have to arise very early in the morning: I am posting early.

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