Monthly Archives: October 2017

when I hear nothing, what do I do?

My right ear is better than my left. Sometimes when there’s lots of background noise, I can lose track of what’s being said and have to look quizzically and say “Sorry, what?” This can also happen when reading the Bible.

There is a recurring conversation that seems to cross all cultural boundaries and ways of thinking. On the trip I just returned home from, it was a pretty frequent topic. The conversation I have in mind has to do with a question: “What do I do when I don’t hear from God?” 

Now, the way you look at that question has a lot to do with your own personal theology (oh yes, you do have such a thing). If you ask a group of 4 people to describe “hearing from God” you’re highly likely to have at least 4 different answers. 

But let’s just say, for the sake of this post, we’re talking about dryness in your reading of the Bible. (I hear that a lot.)

There are many reasons that when we read, nothing jumps up off the page, lots of those reasons are just circumstantial. It often has less to do with God not speaking and more to do with our personal situation creating enough interference that the message is just not coming through clearly. Don’t freak out. Just keep reading. The signal will clear up. It comes back to the whole sail-row-drift-sink metaphor. Just keep rowing. 

See, the worst thing you can do is give up. That’s when we really stop hearing and start drifting or sinking.

So, if you’re not hearing anything special or particular for you, fight off the natural inclination to quit. Keep rowing. Or as those kids sang in that famous garden “take up and read, take up and read.” 


Or, keep listening, and you’ll hear. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but keep reading. You’ll hear. He is speaking. That’s why it’s called a discipline.

[Photo: nearing sunset, somewhere west of Johannesburg, South Africa at 35,000 feet.]


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buying, then leveling the land to sow gospel seeds to grow disciples of Jesus among the needy

“When he has leveled its surface, does he not scatter dill, sow cumin, and put in wheat in rows and barley in its proper place, and emmer as the border?” (‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭28:25‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

I was pleased and honored to meet with leaders in South Africa this week to hear their plans for the land that has been prayed over for several years now. The long process of God providing the funds through His people and the longer process government paperwork for the purchase phase is almost over.

Next comes preparing and protecting the land. Note the verse again. Leveling and sowing a border.

“When he has leveled its surface, does he not scatter dill, sow cumin, and put in wheat in rows and barley in its proper place, and emmer as the border?” ‭‭(Isaiah‬ ‭28:25‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

The next phase of this ministry project will be leveling the ground and installing a protective fence. Then a garden, a nursery, and eventually a place for training leaders and a safe place for children.

It’s a slow process. But we need to learn to trust God in His time not ours. His is God. It’s His Kingdom! We are His workers, let’s faithfully seek Him for the future, but do the work He gives us today and leave tomorrow and next year in His capable hands.

Aim at Heaven with our plans.

To God be the glory!

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guided by the light

This was one of my final shots in Mossel Bay. The lighthouse is on what they call the point. Of course we know that lighthouses guided ships at night. 

We too need guidance. 

We need fellow disciples who know us and tell us the truth.

We need to be part of a congregation to get equipped for the journey.

But most of all we need the Light of the world.

I’m in 1 John as I ride the M’Cheyne train each day… here’s a great reminder:

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:5-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Sail ON!!

Or at least keep rowing!

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Mossel Bay morning

Reflecting on the greatness of God is not hard when you’ve got this view.

But when the ground seems to shake and circumstances are difficult, remember this…

“When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭94:18-19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Aim at Heaven

Ride the train

Row on

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last morning in Zagreb

This is my last day in Croatia. I’m encouraged on all fronts by my time here. It’s not been all peaches and cream, but it has been fruitful. On my way to pick up some cleaning I took these shots of and around the cathedral and central market…  

which is an amazing place to sit and drink too many espressos…

(Yes, there was mák in that crumpled bag)

Next up is a 25 hour trip to Mossel Bay, South Africa. Prayers appreciated!

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Thoughts of praise…

Siting in rainy Zagreb (pic is from sunny Zagreb) in solitude (much needed after the last 7 days I might add), I have been encouraged through soaking up extra Scripture as part of my sabbath (aka day off).

I’m reminded of how great God is. I’m reminded how trustworthy is His sovereign hand.

These reminders come as I sit with my Heavenly Father and dwell on His excellent word.

As I look back, as I see how He orchestrated events beyond my ability to predict, I sit amazed at Him, His greatness and His love.

Love that is steady, because His love does not waiver based on circumstances or reciprocal love. His love is without manipulation or self serving. He loves.

These I know from His word and from my experience of Him.

How great is God, the Father, Son and Spirit.

Thanks be to God!

He is steady like the waves… we can rely on Him!

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As the day dawns, consider the Lord, our loving Father who cares for us…

As part of training the heart and mind, it is helpful to dwell on God as our heads hit our pillows. Contemplating His greatness, speaking praise to His name. Then in the middle of the night do the same, upon awaking, praying ourself back to sleep as a child in the lap of a loving Father.

“My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭63:5-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Then, as the day dawns, our training bears fruit… thinking and praising Him as we awake.

Aim at Heaven y’all!

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