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A fake, forced, and familiar phrase made new!

Living and serving in a cross-cultural context in a country that is not your own provokes deeper than normal thought in many areas of life–even about the words and phrases we use. Julianne Heilman serves in Uganda and unveils how God has used the challenges of missionary living to redeem an important AND bible-based phrase.


There is a phrase that comes out of my mouth so often.

In America, I rarely spoke it–and if I did it felt forced and fake.

But here, it has become part of my daily life.

“Praise the Lord!”

There are so many reasons to praise the Lord in my life here in Uganda, that this phrase has become part of my life,–almost close to breathing.

I am understanding the psalmist more and more when he said this:

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

(Psalm 34:1)

Here are a few of the things that now prompt me to praise the Lord regularly:

–When my car window goes up.

–When there is electricity at night.

–When I am able to take a warm shower.

–When it rains.

–When the rain stops in time to dry my laundry, especially my bed sheets and towels, that I have just hand-washed.

–When that big truck that is going so fast doesn’t swipe the side-view mirror of my car.

–When I don’t hit any of the people that are walking on both sides of the road.

–When I get to have chicken for dinner.

–When I get to have a conversation on the phone with family or friend in America.

–When I receive a letter in the mail.

–When God provides for my monthly needs.

–When I get to bring a smile to a child’s face.

–When I successfully bake a loaf of gluten free bread.

–God is so good to me and I am learning to take nothing for granted.

TENDO is a Luganda word that means “Praise.”

I want it to really define my life more and more.

What reasons do you have to praise the Lord?

Psalm 146:1,2 “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to God while I have my being.”

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