Monthly Archives: July 2017

Giving God All the Glory While Dwelling in His Presense

How blessed to be able to sit in the presence of God, beholding His glory which warms us like bright sun on a cool day. All glory to God.

“Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! 


‭‭Psalms‬ ‭61:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

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a long way off…

Familiar stories have a way of sneaking up on us. Sometimes we see – or are shown – things in a new way that speaks to us in the way we need. This morning

that happened to me in a very familiar text. 

In the story of the Prodigal Son we see an incredible picture of God’s grace and mercy. When, by all rights and custom, the returning son should have been given status as servant, he received a loving father’s welcome. 

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God is like that, He runs to us! The Son of God stood from His rightful place at the throne of grace, stepped down into that which He had brought into being, put on the flesh of humanity and became like us. For us.

Thankfully, God didn’t just look at our pitiful state and say, ‘Well, that’s just the way they are.’ He entered our sphere and changed reality for us, that we may enter His reality, the reality, being present with Him, to His glory, because He did all the work to reconcile us to Himself and hanging on the cross with His arms open wide, proclaimed “It is finished.”

So, if you’re a long way off, you may come to Him and find welcome.

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yeah, us too

Roses at Sunrise in Walnut town

“Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭10:36-37‬ ‭ESV‬‬

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reminder of the greatness of God!

Yesterday morning I beat the sunrise and got this view (though too far to be clear)

Later I read this…

“Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God! His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King. Within her citadels God has made himself known as a fortress.


Walk about Zion, go around her, number her towers, consider well her ramparts, go through her citadels, that you may tell the next generation that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭48:1-3, 12-14‬ ‭…,12-14.esv )

I was struck by these words. So after a meeting, I struck out for the fortress.

I had been there a decade ago, and I felt able, so off I went, from an elevation of 600 ft upward.

I began to consider that my walk was like a metaphor of the journey. Sometimes smooth walkway is under us and ahead. Other times 

… there are choices to make…

… and ruts to avoid.

But if we press on, we’ll get closer to the refuge.

In the different seasons the journey of following after Jesus feels like open smooth paths, difficult choices, or ruts. But if we train our hearts and minds to grow in our understanding of God, we’ll keep making progress. Whether it’s fast or slow is not the real issue, that we progress is.

Then, nearing the objective, we see the path may become steep and narrow. 

But like this path, where my focus was on the path, the stability of my steps, my head was down. My focus was so upon my steps, that I hadn’t noticed that I’m right at the fortress.

Turning to look, I can see the progress from 600 ft to about 1580 feet.

Climbing in, I discover I’m in what must have been, based on the windows and the shape of the wall, the fortress chapel. 

I look up and the sun shows the chapel was built so that the altar was, properly, to the east. Curious, I check the compass…

True east indeed.

I checked the direction of the chapel’s direction using a calibrated device.

A big idea of the Reformation is that the Bible alone is the ultimate authority that God has given us to, like the Bereans in Acts 17, examine the Scriptures to see if what is being said or written is true. We should read widely, but, as disciples of. Jesus, carefully judge whether the ideas are biblical. God CANNOT contradict Himself. Use the compass of Scripture as we travel the journey. Then, with God as our Mighty Fortress, as this castle was 700 years ago…

We may take on His perspective, aiming at Heaven,…

… and finding Earth placed in proper (His) perspective.

“Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God! His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King. Within her citadels God has made himself known as a fortress.”

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therefore we shall not fear!

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains …

be moved into the heart of the sea, …

though its waters roar …

and foam, …

though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah” …

– think on this –

… “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah”

‭‭If we will dwell in the word daily, remembering these truths, our loving Father, the surgeon and healer of our souls will use these words of God as a sharp scalpel and a prescise needle with the finest golden thread to change our thinking from a philosophy of fear – the default of SO MANY – to a mindset of faith.

The sun will rise, the waves will come and they remind of his faithfulness…


Dwell in Him.

Thanks be to God.

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:1-3‬, 11 ‭ESV‬‬

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Evening assurance

“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.”

‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

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Remembering as key to holding on

Osijek old town taken from bank of Drava river

I’m reading a book about the working of the mind. (Over on the right you can see quotes in my Twitter feed.) One thing I’ve taken from it is the importance of memory and remembering to our personal discipleship. Consider this thought in the following as the psalmist carries on a conversation within Psalm 42.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? 

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. 

My soul is cast down within me; 

therefore I remember (emphasis mine) you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭42:5-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

To dwell in Scripture is to soak up and build memories that we may rely on when struggle comes. 

Turn from temptation to God!

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