Monthly Archives: May 2016

Running to the strong tower…


About a year ago I posted this picture. This is part of the fortress in Dubrovnik, Croatia. I had breakfast just outside the fortress in the town. I did not go IN the fortress. 

The scripture I embedded in the picture (thank you YouVersion) from Psalms is a praise to God. Here is more of it:

“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭61:1-5‬ 

I didn’t go into the castle. I observed it. I ate breakfast in the shadow of it. I admired it. I took pictures of it because it was amazing and would look good on my blog.

But I didn’t go in. I never explored its rooms, never was protected by its wall. 

But I told people about it! I can describe it! I have pictures of is and know facts about it. 

But I never went in. 

When the life of a Christian gets tough, and it will, we must find our protection IN God. IN Christ.

Consider this lament of Paul: 

“Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

Now hear the hope, watch the last three words.

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

‭‭Romans‬ ‭7:20-8:1 ESV

Very often, the reason we struggle and get tossed around by circumstances is because we have grown distant from Him through our own negligence. We’re fighting outside the tower in our own strength.

We train our body but neglect our soul. 

We’re careful about our diet but don’t make time to feed on Scripture. 

We’re like a dry sponge that needs to soak, to marinate, but only splash water on the edges, leaving the inside dry. This is our soul when we try to get by on a chapter a day… and then skip that.

The cafe outside the tower was pleasant, the food was good, the view was wonderful. But just being at or near the tower isn’t getting IN. 

Sit with God believer. Become his learner. Don’t just sit content to be a convert, a young seedling plant. Sit in the tower with your God, soaking up His word, listening to Him in prayer. 

Then the circumstances of life will be more bearable and understandable because you’ll have more of His perspective than yours.

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mercy that endures… forever

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever; the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever; the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, for his steadfast love endures forever; and brought Israel out from among them, for his steadfast love endures forever; with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who divided the Red Sea in two, for his steadfast love endures forever; and made Israel pass through the midst of it, for his steadfast love endures forever; but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who led his people through the wilderness, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who struck down great kings, for his steadfast love endures forever; and killed mighty kings, for his steadfast love endures forever; Sihon, king of the Amorites, for his steadfast love endures forever; and Og, king of Bashan, for his steadfast love endures forever; and gave their land as a heritage, for his steadfast love endures forever; a heritage to Israel his servant, for his steadfast love endures forever. It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever; and rescued us from our foes, for his steadfast love endures forever; he who gives food to all flesh, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭136:1-26‬ ‭ESV

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puzzling about time…

“Thank you for these 2 hours.”

A group of us were At a pastor’s retreat. We were engaged in a processing time that followed a couple of hours of silence and solitude. One of the pastors spoke that sentence. 

Seldom does a student of Jesus not relish such a time with Him.


Sadly, for most believers, seldom does the student of Jesus actually make that kind of time to sit alone with God.

I remain puzzled as to why.

At this same gathering another said something about not wanting to go through the motions without feeling. As though it’s all about feeling.

How have we mixed ourselves up that feeling is the measure of our interaction with God?

I pouncd, too fast, onto this statement and asserted that even when we don’t ‘feel it’ we should still climb into the lap of our loving Father. 

It’s said that Pascal would blame this on our inability to sit alone, quietly in our own room. That we don’t know what to do with the distractions that constantly seek for our attention.

An example of this would be if I’ve not opened my Bible in three days because I haven’t had time. But you look at my Facebook feed and see all of my political and cultural quotes, likes and comments. I’ve made time for those expressions of my opinions every day, how is it I haven’t had time for God’s truth in three days? If you followed my YouVersion and Fb feeds, you could see what I make time for.

The hard question that follows is: What does my use of time say about what I worship?

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It’s easy to slip off the right path because of distractions, buildings and money.

“Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem.

Dom church in Szeged, Hungary

Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had cleansed the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God. They came to Hilkiah the high priest and gave him the money that had been brought into the house of God, which the Levites, the keepers of the threshold, had collected from Manasseh and Ephraim and from all the remnant of Israel and from all Judah and Benjamin and from the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And they gave it to the workmen who were working in the house of the Lord. And the workmen who were working in the house of the Lord gave it for repairing and restoring the house. They gave it to the carpenters and the builders to buy quarried stone, and timber for binders and beams for the buildings that the kings of Judah had let go to ruin. And the men did the work faithfully. Over them were set Jahath and Obadiah the Levites, of the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to have oversight. The Levites, all who were skillful with instruments of music, were over the burden-bearers and directed all who did work in every kind of service, and some of the Levites were scribes and officials and gatekeepers. While they were bringing out the money that had been brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord given through Moses. Then Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan. Shaphan brought the book to the king, and further reported to the king, “All that was committed to your servants they are doing. They have emptied out the money that was found in the house of the Lord and have given it into the hand of the overseers and the workmen.” Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it before the king. And when the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying, “Go, inquire of the Lord for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do according to all that is written in this book.”” (‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭34:1, 8-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

a preserve outside Kinshasa, DRC

The path of following God is seldom straight, seldom smooth, but if the Scripture is our guide to walking with Him we will be safe in Him. Let us not be obsessed by goals to build fine buildings or attracting converts to fill them, converts who easily get distracted by religiosities. Use the Bible to make disciples.

Imagine the impact if all the hours, oversight and money (like the example in the text above) were poured into real disciple-making.

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Islamic radicalism in Bosnia? Sarajevo?


There is an interesting report HERE FROM PBS on radical Islam in BiH. 

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Szeged Dom Church

From the minute you step off the train at Szeged station the Dom church towers are the dominant feature of the ‘skyline.’ Last Thursday and Friday I grabbed a few shots from a few different perspectives. Here are some of them.

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How often to pause?

a pond next to the Tisza river near Hungary-Serbia border


“I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭145:1-3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The psalmist declared that “every day” he would bless the Lord.

Pause, each morning, and begin your day with praise to God.

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