At long last I am using this site for another of its intended purposes! A book review. Well, actually it's going to be more of my thoughts as I was reading it, important notes I took, etc. As I am getting older, I am finding that my retention when I am going through several things at once is not what it used to be. So this is a way for me to focus for a few minutes and put pen to paper so I can go back later and get the gist of it. And here is the first; "Praise Habit" by David Crowder.
First off, some background. This book was nowhere near my radar. I don't think that I had even heard of it. In fact, back when my friend Evan McElrath was reading one of David's other books, I did not get a resounding approval of it (although he did enjoy the book, I didn't know how much he did until later). So when he offered me up this one, it came as a bit of a surprise. But it looked short, and I do like the band's music, so I figured I'd give it a shot.
I am sure glad I did. In reading it, I discovered a new appreciation for the psalms, a new appreciation for this life God has blessed me with, and a perspective that I am trying to apply to my life. And as you can probably guess from the title, it is all about praise. Recognizing the rescue and salvation we live within because of Christ, and letting our thankfulness and devotion spill out into everything we do. Finding praise in small and big, in dark and light, in hope and despair. And letting that praise define us.
Crowder takes the reader through all of this in a commentary, if you will, of 21 of the Psalms. There is, of course, the intro section where we come to understand his point of view. Then he jumps right in. And between his anecdotes, his wit, and his style, he shows the reader how each of them exemplifies a habit of praise.
I am not going to go step by step through the book (that would give away spoilers:-)), but I will recommend this book whole-heartedly. It has certainly made me concentrate more on finding the praise in every situation, and then splashing my extra (my cup overflows, remember) onto those around me. And it is definitely a book that I would read again (I almost did just writing this review).
Thanks David, for this insightful book. And thanks to God and Christ for my salvation!
Here are a few of the more significant passages that I really liked:
"Here [in Scripture] are the stories of our running and His running after."
"What we praise signifies our treasure."
"Sometimes praise comes face to the ground, unable to move because we are so aware that this holy, terrifying God has busied Himself bringing us back to Him."
"What is this praise He is after? It is Praise Living. It is GOD leaning in and shouting "I am the center!" and the sum of our lives nodding back in agreement. It is the core of our hearts echoing this statement."
"When we are fully aware of rescue, it should also cause us to bring an offering of our best, with the knowledge that we can not respond in equal measure to God's actions but with all that we have available to express our gratefulness for such deliverance."
"We have not been promised palatial housing, but we have been promised His presence."
"We regularly learn and discern that there in the darkness-- more than anywhere else-- newness that is not of our making breaks upon us and we are surely then drowned in Him. Psalm 88 shows us what the cross is about: faithfulness in scenes of complete abandonment."
"If you put life together in any way that doesn't include Yahweh Caps Lock GOD... it is not life."
See, I did just read a bunch of it again. Great book! Thanks Evan!