Monthly Archives: April 2016

A wonderful promise… Has it already come?

  
“The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach.”‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭3:15-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭7:24-25‬ ‭ESV‬

But the BATTLE is won! By Jesus!!!

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:1 ‭ESV‬‬

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We serve “the one who by his strength established the mountains”

“By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; the one who by his strength established the mountains,   being girded with might; who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples, so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭65:5-8‬ ‭ESV

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Let the mountains praise Him!

Took this pic on an excursion with the Davis fam today… 

 
Thought of this…

“Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds!”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭148:7-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

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The Father’s work in our heart must precede any effort of ours for Him…

I’m struck this morning by the clarity of the Psalmist in the way things actually work…

God empowers. Then we act in service…

“I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!”‭‭ Psalms‬ ‭119:32‬ ‭

My heart is incomplete and incapable of good until God steps in.

When He steps in, our loving Father acts in us so that He may guide my ways…

“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:37‬ ‭ESV‬‬

But if I do not sit with Him, how can I hear Him? 

“I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:48‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Turn to Scripture friend… Turn to the God who loves and wishes to forgive and fill and change and use you for HIS glory!

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Texts to contemplate this morning…

“With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes!”‭‭ Psalms‬ ‭119:10-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.” ‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭3:17-19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

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Ukraine today

From what I can tell from my visit to Ukraine, among many people, life goes on after tragedies of the last few years. I noted in an earlier post that my impression, from my limited 8 day visit, was very good!

the drive from the main airport into Kyiv


Construction of apartments, offices and commercial properties continue, seemingly without slowing. 

In Vinnytsia, where I taught for a week in the new Ukranian Theological Seminary, I was taken aback at the development in the district in which I lived for 7 days. It reminded me of a middle class neighborhood in Budapest.

  

this western neighborhood was thriving

One thing I noted was the apparent well being of the people. One would not be able to tell many of them apart from their Central Europen counterparts. 

  
There was not a mood of gloom, but of moving forward. I don’t think my colleagues there would wish to be termed optimistic, but without question in my mind, they are. 

Returning to Kyiv for a brief stop before flying on to Budapest, I joined a good friend and two of his boys for a walk around the zoo. There, many Ukrainian families were enjoying themselves.

  
But this is just what I saw. 

I was asked to be the guest at a US Embassy program for young people. Rather than me talking, I suggested they ask questions. One girl asked my opinion on the situation in Ukraine. Red faced, My response was that I was not well informed on the subject because it was no longer a main subject for the press. She rebuked me for my lack of curiosity about the war. Soon I was better informed.
This morning I saw that PBS NewsHour had put together an informative update 

 

CLICK BELOW TO VIEW

 
on the situation in Ukraine. Please CLICK HERE TO WATCH. That way the next time you’re asked, you’ll have a better answer than mine.

Pray for Ukraine.
 

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Mossel Bay

This afternoon it was 81f and I was finally feeling up to getting out after several days of being under the weather so the Davis fam and I headed down to the point. The boys and I strike a thoughtful pose as we begin our walk…

  

The shore walkway has great views…

  
and…

  
and…

  

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