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April 2024

One of the great words in scripture is "Nevertheless."
"Many times he delivered them,
but they were rebellious in their purposes
and were brought low through their iniquity."
"Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress,
when he heard their cry.
For their sake he remembered his covenant,
and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love."
(Psalm 106:43-45 ESV)

Don't Be Foolish


"The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.'”

First, this verse is not really or primarily about atheism, because it is not about an intellectual conviction or doubt. It is an assessment of a heart inclination that knows one thing and behaves in an oppositional manner toward truth. There are many theists who have said in their heart that there is no God.

Second, it is not about intellectual deficiency. The biblical context for use of the word, "fool" is almost always the absence of wisdom and moral discretion. In fact, it self-defines in this verse as, "they are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity."

In other words, "You act as if there were no governing truth or Governor of truth in the universe. You live your life in contempt of God."

I used to call this "practical atheism."

Some of my friends would argue that morality and theology have no correlation and I would remind them that I am preaching to the choir who feels that because their theology is sort of OK, that they are OK.

But then, it gets more inclusive than that. Do you like inclusiveness? Try this:

"There is none who does good."


Is it "psalmistic" hyperbole, the exasperation of a godly soul who is fed up with all the ungodliness or is it the reality of human depravity and universal susceptibility?

Maybe both.

Does he include himself?

I do not know, but I count me among those who have worn the jester's hat and played the fool.

Every time I forget my Center, I am among the company of spiritual, oral, and ethical idiots who are saying in their hearts (mission control of the decision-making process) that there is no God

"The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.'”
They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;
there is none who does good." (Psalm 53:1 ESV)

So, after the initial exasperation of verse 1, where the fool says in his heart that there is no God, the psalmist processes things and processes them some more and lands on hope and redemption.

"Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When God restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad." (Psalm 53:6 ESV)

Another Loosely Related and Relatable Thought

One of the great words in scripture is "Nevertheless."

"Many times he delivered them,
but they were rebellious in their purposes
and were brought low through their iniquity."
"Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress,
when he heard their cry.
For their sake he remembered his covenant,
and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love."
(Psalm 106:43-45 ESV)

What? Me? Worry?


EC Publications; web source: - Fair Use

…  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. – Matthew 6:28 

Someone has said that weeds are flowers we didn’t plant. 

That is not always true, but it sometimes is. We get so orderly and systematic in our gardening that we forget that there is nothing more beautiful than a field of wildflowers in an untended meadow. 


Indeed not. They have the most proficient and attentive gardener of all, the Lord God Almighty, our Father, who created them. 

What Jesus wanted us to know is that we also are part of God’s garden and God is tending and caring for us. 

He wanted us to know that we can trust God and that in trusting Him, we abandon the need for worry. 

I love the word, “kindergarten.” We all know what it is, but we don’t all know what it means. It is, literally, a “children’s garden,” or better still, a “garden of children.” It is a place where children grow. 

Are we not God’s children? Is God not watching over us as a dedicated kindergarten teacher watches over the young lives in her charge? 

That leave us with another question: 

“What am I so worried about?” 

Good question. 


At some point, we join Alfred E. Newman in declaring, "What? Me worry?" We do it for different reasons but by following the same logic trail, ours on the premises of truth. The answer is that nothing can be done to us by man that can destroy us."

" The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The LORD is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me."
(Psalm 118:6-7 ESV)


Hope of Glory


Christ in You; Hope of Glory

Riches of his mystery,
Struggling, but encouraged,
United in love,
Christ in you,
Hope of Glory.

Prayer and statement of reality.

Epistle Reading Colossians 1:24-2:7

I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.

I became its servant according to God's commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints.

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

For this I toil and struggle with all the energy that he powerfully inspires within me.

For I want you to know how much I am struggling for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me face to face.

I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

I am saying this so that no one may deceive you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, and I rejoice to see your morale and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Art - The first page of Colossians in Minuscule 321 gives its title as προς κολασσαείς, "to the Colossians". British Library, London.

Beloved and Accepted

David Prays for Deliverence Schnorr_von_Carolsfeld_Bibel_in_Bildern_1860_136

Christology and "Humanology"

A Prayer on Tap 

There is nothing that stands between us and the God of the Universe as we honestly pray. 

I need a prayer song and I need it now! 

So, the heart has insisted with restless desperation more than once. 

Psalm 38 is a template of timely prayer for anyone who has suffered or is suffering. It gives voice and emotion to the cry of the heart that struggles to emerge. It holds a mirror before our souls so that we can know what we may be feeling within. 

The psalm takes our innermost thoughts and makes them accessible to us so that we might express them to God. 

We do not always have words. The prayers of the ancients provide us with words that we can borrow on the occasion of our pain.  

We do not always have a keen sense of what we are feeling. The psalms suggest possibilities. 

We can pray these words and feelings with confidence that, whether or not they are accurate for our lives, they received by God with acceptance and love. 

Furthermore, they assure us that we are not alone. 

Whatever we may experience, others have experienced it as well. Whatever mountain we must climb, it has been climbed by others before us. Whatever horror we face, has been faced. Whatever assault we see coming, it has been overcome by others with God’s help. 

The grace of God is more powerful than your challenges. 

The mercy of God is greater than your guilt. 

The love of God is stronger than any darts of hate tossed in your direction. 

The song of God is more melodic and unhindered than any cacophony of bitterness. It harmonizes with God’s theme and crescendos above the dissonance of any oncoming threat. 

The song is a prayer, and the prayer is a song we are invited to sing to and with God. 

It is in the singing and the praying that we approach the place of peace. 

There is nothing that stands between us and the God of the Universe as we honestly pray. 

Psalm 38 Domine, ne in furore 

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger; * 

do not punish me in your wrath. 

 For your arrows have already pierced me, * 

and your hand presses hard upon me. 

 There is no health in my flesh, 

because of your indignation; * 

there is no soundness in my body, because of my sin. 

 For my iniquities overwhelm me; * 

like a heavy burden they are too much for me to bear 

 My wounds stink and fester * 

by reason of my foolishness. 

I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; * 

I go about in mourning all the day long. 

My loins are filled with searing pain; * 

there is no health in my body. 

I am utterly numb and crushed; * 

I wail, because of the groaning of my heart. 

O Lord, you know all my desires, * 

and my sighing is not hidden from you. 

My heart is pounding, my strength has failed me, * 

and the brightness of my eyes is gone from me. 

My friends and companions draw back from my affliction; * 

my neighbors stand afar off. 

Those who seek after my life lay snares for me; * 

those who strive to hurt me speak of my ruin 

and plot treachery all the day long. 

But I am like the deaf who do not hear, * 

like those who are mute and who do not open their mouth. 

I have become like one who does not hear * 

and from whose mouth comes no defense. 

For in you, O Lord, have I fixed my hope; * 

you will answer me, O Lord my God. 

For I said, “Do not let them rejoice at my expense, * 

those who gloat over me when my foot slips.” 

Truly, I am on the verge of falling, * 

and my pain is always with me. 

I will confess my iniquity * 

and be sorry for my sin. 

Those who are my enemies without cause are mighty, * 

and many in number are those who wrongfully hate me. 

Those who repay evil for good slander me, * 

because I follow the course that is right. 

O Lord, do not forsake me; * 

be not far from me, O my God. 

Make haste to help me, * 

 O Lord of my salvation. 


If God Had a Face  

 I repeat: There is nothing that stands between us and the God of the Universe as we honestly pray. 

This is because of who God is more than because of who we are. 

How do we know this God who is ready to hear us and receive us? 

Jesus, the Christ. 

 "Jesus Christ is the human face of God." - Jürgen Moltmann 

This is profound Christology, finding its basis in our epistle reading of the day from Colossians 1. 

It is good news according to Paul. 

It is transforming. 

 It draws in those who have been "afar." 

 "For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things..." 

 At the center of the Christ event activity is the cross, reaching outward, reaching upward, drawing in, extending down, lifting up. 

This Christology shatters the walls of estrangement and explodes the remnants of all hostility. 

The call to action is to "continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. " 

 This is our epistle lesson for the day. 

Colossians 1:15-23 (NRSVU) 

He is the image of the invisible God, 

the firstborn of all creation; 

for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, 

things visible and invisible, 

whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers-

- all things have been created through him and for him. 

He himself is before all things, 

and in him all things hold together. 

He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. 

And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him-- provided that you 

I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.

 Because Jesus, the Christ is beloved and is the very human face of God, humanity is accepted in him.

God’s Christology – My Beloved Son 

 Matthew 3:13-17 

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  

And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased." 

 God is well pleased with Jesus and Jesus brings us along to meet God at the place of grace and acceptance. This is Christology and “humanology” wrapped into one person and event. 


Art - David Prays for Deliverance, 1860 woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Karolsfeld



Made Low and Crowned High

Psalm 8

We have been made low and crowned high.

It is a mystery that can only be explained when framed in the unconditional, covenant love of God for undeserving humanity.

The merciful love of God elevates us and causes us to behold His majesty in a whole new light.

We have been given dominion over, and the power to enjoy, all that God has made.

More important, we have been equipped with the capacity to see God in it all.

“O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!”
Psalm 8 (NRSV) Domine, Dominus noster

O LORD our Governor,
how exalted is your Name in all the world!

Out of the mouths of infants and children
your majesty is praised above the heavens.

You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries,
to quell the enemy and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,

What is man that you should be mindful of him?
the son of man that you should seek him out?

You have made him but little lower than the angels;
you adorn him with glory and honor;

You give him mastery over the works of your hands;
you put all things under his feet:

All sheep and oxen,
even the wild beasts of the field,

The birds of the air, the fish of the sea,
and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.

O LORD our Governor,
how exalted is your Name in all the world!

Let's "Do" Lunch with Jesus


Sharing a meal is something intimate, conversational, relaxing,enjoyable, and community building.

Here are two, very similar messages  on being nintentionally inclusive about sharing meals, inclusive of Jesus and of others.


When I think about church, I think about the sentiments in this song.

And true enough, for the last several plus years, thinking and rethinking church has been on my agenda.

It is not to recreate as much as to rediscover whatwas and what was intended.

When church and p;ace intersect, I am singing these words.

A People Place by William J. Crocker, sung by Ken Medema, describing what the church ought to be and sometimes is not ...

"If this is not a place where tears are understood,
Where do I go to cry?
If this is not a place where my spirits can take wing,
Where do I go to fly?
If this is not a place where my questions can be asked,
Where do I go to seek?
If this is not a place where my feelings can be heard,
Where do I go to speak?
If this is not a place where you’ll accept me as I am,
Where can I go to be?
If this is not a place where I can try to learn and grow,
Where can I be just me? "

Times of Manna


When we have a diet of manna we are tempted to think that we work for it.

We sink into the assumption that our efforts are indespensible

We cover our minds with forgetfulness that every day, manna is a gift.

We turn legitimate work ethic into work ego.

We need rest from that -- a day of utter dependence.

We need a day of emptying, releasing, and reflecting.

"See the LORD has GIVEN you the sabbath."

Yes, it was a specific gift to a specific people, but it was also a broad principle for humanity.

The story is a lesson for living and the law is a sign-post for eternal and temporal truth.

When we live off yesterday's manna, we are reminded that today's manna fell from heaven and all we did was gather it.

It expands our hearts of humility, generosity, and trust.

We can engage in futile arguments over calendar questions, definitions, and fine points of interpretation or we can embrace the gift and lesson of sabbath rest ... and enter in.

You will have a sabbath whether or not you observe one. You will either die early of stress or lose years to anxiety, and unproductive flailing in an effort to create manna that only God can give.

Exodus 16:22-36
On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, two omers apiece. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, he said to them, "This is what the LORD has commanded: 'Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy sabbath to the LORD; bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.'"

So they put it aside until morning, as Moses commanded them; and it did not become foul, and there were no worms in it. Moses said, "Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is a sabbath, there will be none."

On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, and they found none. The LORD said to Moses, "How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and instructions? See! The LORD has given you the sabbath, therefore on the sixth day he gives you food for two days; each of you stay where you are; do not leave your place on the seventh day."

So the people rested on the seventh day. The house of Israel called it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. Moses said, "This is what the LORD has commanded: 'Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, in order that they may see the food with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.'"

And Moses said to Aaron, "Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the LORD, to be kept throughout your generations."

As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the covenant, for safekeeping. The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a habitable land; they ate manna, until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. An omer is a tenth of an ephah.

Monday Night Ponderings from Journal Entries

Do You Journal?

What Matters


In the course of a day, you have many thoughts.

Some matter much, matter more, matter enough to remember. If they should,l be remembered, might they not be written down somewhere?

May they not even be shared at some point?

Here are a few of my thoughts over the last fifteen years.

What they have in common in April 8.

That is when I wrote them down.



Doubts in the Midst

Even Moses doubted in the midst of the mission.

Even while performing signs and wonders, having seen what he had seen and having experienced what he had experienced, he doubted and questioned God.

But he dealt directly with God about the matter. He did not skirt the issue or complain to others. He took the matter to YHWH Himself and this was also a part of that later reflection that he would speak to God like no other had before, face to face.

When he brought the matter to the Almighty, he was heard and he was answered. Greater glory would come by letting the process play itself out.

"Then Moses turned to the LORD and said, 'O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.'"

"But the LORD said to Moses, 'Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.'" -
(Exodus 5:22-6:1 ESV)

Forgiveness and Getting By

God does not let us get by with our sins; He forgives them. That is two different things.
Being forgiven is not "getting by" with something.
It is a mystery that, for the follower of Jesus, makes sense in the drama and reality of the cross and which always leads to awe and worship.
" O LORD our God, you answered them;
you were a forgiving God to them,
but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Exalt the LORD our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the LORD our God is holy!"
(Psalm 99:8-9 ESV)
But As for Me
"But as for me ..." It is my response to truth for which I am either culpable or commendable. I am not in charge of anyone else's opinions or choices. I can care, but I cannot control. I can converse, but I cannot coerce. I can seek to convince the mind, but I cannot convict the heart. Neither need I be swayed by the resistance of another. I need not the validation of peers in order to believe that which resonates truth in our hearts. We can relax in this because trust is resting in God and waiting for Him.
" But as for me, I will look to the LORD;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
my God will hear me."
(Micah 7:7 ESV)
Justify, Why?
The longer we live in and with faith, the less we feel compelled to justify, prove, or vindicate God for being God. We come to rest, not only in God's goodness, but in the unshakable reality of the truth God embodies and exercises. Truth shall been known and shall not be tilted nor shifted by our words or opinions.
Sometimes we just need to wait until it is made known and not be rattled by the rantings of nations or pseudo nations.
" Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases."
(Psalm 115:2-3 ESV)
No photo description available.
There is more to do than can be done.
A smorgasbord of fun.
The race is longer than can be run.
Face it; we are under the gun.
So ... do what you can while you can.
"As long as it is day, I must do the work of Him Who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” - John 9:4
"Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind.
Sight, riches, healing of the mind, yea, all of these in Thee, I find.
Oh Lamb of God, I come."
".... waiting not ...
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot .... I come."
I come.
"Just as I am. Thy love, unknown has broken every barrier down.
Now to be Thine, yea Thine alone, oh Lamb of God, I come."
I come.
We fall; we rise.
We are adjudicated and found guilty and then ...
The Judge steps down from the bench to plead our case.
It is as if we cannot lose; every loss becomes a win.
" Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;
when I fall, I shall rise;
when I sit in darkness,
the LORD will be a light to me.
I will bear the indignation of the LORD
because I have sinned against him,
until he pleads my cause
and executes judgment for me.
He will bring me out to the light;
I shall look upon his vindication."
(Micah 7:8-9 ESV)

There is so much more abiding I must learn and practice, so much more.
" Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:4-5 ESV)

Holy Hope

Holy hope

Refer to I Peter 1:1-16

Visionary people are holy and hopeful people.

It is hard to talk about vision without mentioning hope. And it is difficult to find a great deal of hope without seeing a manifestation of some type of holiness in the lives of those who invest everything they have and are in the source of that hope.

Holiness is about setting aside something for one and only one use. To do that with one’s whole heart, one must be rooted and grounded in trust and faith that the reason for hope is strong and stable.

Our confidence is not contingent upon sight nor is it upon our flesh and blood resolve. Guarantees are not the food of faith and absolute assurance does not produce authentic Christian hope.

Rather, hope produces assurance.

When you have hope, you commit everything and focus upon God’s promises and calling.

That kind of holiness, consecration, and giving values the vision that God has given us above every other desire.

In giving, committing, and entrusting ourselves to God, hope grows in intensity and strength.

See the vision through the eyes of hope, faith, and holiness.

Let the vision fill your heart and head and let it inform all of your decisions.

Never again act or choose without a clear understanding of the hope we have in Jesus Christ for every challenge and situation.  

Care-Free Living in a World of Cares 

“…Casting all your cares upon Him, for He careth for you.” – I Peter 5:7

Imagine yourself adrift upon a sea of trouble, tossed furiously by its waves and sinking under the load of care. Along comes Jesus inviting you to cast every care upon him and guide your ship into the current of his protective care.

What nobility would there be in continuing your present course, in being capsized by the waves, or sunk by the load? It would be presumptuous and foolish to refuse his rescue, but we refuse throughout the course of our lives preferring to carry our concerns alone as if there were some rewards for useless anxiety at the end of the journey.

No one is totally exempt from anxiety. Some people have learned to manage it while others ignore it. Still others labor under its oppressive load and are haunted by its tormenting voice. Anxieties, worry, and care haunt those who lives are dominated by worry and compulsively dwell on “negative faith.” It is negative because it focuses on the worst. It is faith because it believes that no matter what, that which is most dreaded will come to pass.

The answer to anxiety is neither management entirely, willful ignorance nor oppression. The answer is to cast it upon the loving, strong arms of a God, who cares for us and is adequate to meet all of our needs in spite of us,

This great word of comfort is preceded by verse 6 and can be accomplished only by first doing what it commands.  It is a call to humble ourselves under God’s almighty hand so that the lifting up can and will be done by Him. When I walk among the wonders of nature, I become aware of two great theological truths. First, there is a God.  Second, it’s not me. I must come to understand my inadequacy to change the circumstances that are beyond my control and agonize my soul. Once I have come to grips with that reality and humble myself in his presence, He can lift me above the fear to positive faith where I can know the joy of the companion verse to this

"Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved" -Psalm 55:22 

The psalmist knew that when the humble person casts his or her burdens on God, His sustaining power kicks in and the righteous simply do not fall. We may be shaken, bombarded, assaulted, beaten, bent, swayed, scarred, and wounded, but we remain standing.

Might bad things happen? Of course. You can pretty much count on them. Will they defeat us?


Cast those cares on God. He cares for you.

Turn the pages back to John 14.

Picture the upper room and the somber mood of twelve friends hearing the ominous words from their Master that He will soon die and that they will soon fail Him.

“Not I,” protests Peter.

“You will,” declares Jesus, “But let not your heart be troubled …”

And then He offers hope, that He is going to prepare a place for them, that He will come again to receive them to Himself, that He will ever be with them and they with Him, and that they really do know where He is going.”

At that point, Thomas interrupts, “No we really don’t know where you are going. How can we know? Show us the way.”

Thomas felt that in order to follow Jesus, he must become more of an expert in navigational theology to traverse the diverse paths leading to God. It was a frightening prospect, “How can we know the way?”

Indeed, how can we?

Jesus simplified the answer. He would be their compass. He would be their guide. It was not necessary for them to know anything more that Him. If they would follow Him, He would provide the way, the truth, and the life within His own person.

The message of Jesus to us as we stumble in the darkness of uncertain ambiguity is, “Follow me.”

He will lead us through the darkness. He will lead us to our eternal home. We can trust Him and follow Him.

Grace Will Lead Me Home

“In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” – John 14:2 

Home! Home, sweet, home! That’s where we are going. That is where we belong. Anything short of home is still part of the journey. Anything that is part of the journey is subject to dangers, toils, and snares. But after the journey is complete, those things will have no power at all.

Jesus went away to prepare a place for us, a place with plenty of room and place where he himself will be present.

He promised to come to get us when He is ready for us to join Him. We don’t have to keep checking on our reservations and we don’t have to worry that we will miss the summons.

Let not your hearts be troubled,” he said.

There is no room for fretting; just trusting. There is no way to become worthy; it’s all by grace.

I was lost once. I didn’t think I’d ever find my way home. I didn’t. Home found me. So, it is with grace leading us home. So, it is with Him coming for us. Wherever we are at the time, he will find us. We may feel we are buried under a mountain of ambiguity and complexity, but if we are his, he will find us. We may sense that we are not ready; our ducks are not neatly lined up in a row. Yet, if we are in the faith, it is not our preparation that counts, but his.

He prepares the place; we trust Him and follow Him wherever the journey leads, meandering through dangers, toils, and snares. We follow without certainty as to duration or difficulty. We follow and sometimes we get sidetracked, but He puts us back on the path.

Where we are, he is and where he is, we will be.

And grace will lead us home.

The Indwelling Spirit

“… he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” From John 14:17

God is whispering in our ears, “Give me your hands and let me move them in my rhythm.”

God thinks of everything. God's purposes are complex, but not complicated. God's plan is to work in and through believers to accomplish God's work in the world. To do this, the Holy One intends to inhabit us.

The Holy Spirit is the very presence of Jesus among us today. It is by the Holy Spirit that we become the Body of Christ in the world and that the world is convicted of sin, righteousness, and judgment and hears the message of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness.

Jesus breathed on the disciples and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Knowing that they might consider that a once and for all filling and forget the need for constant refreshment and refilling, he told them to tarry in Jerusalem until they received power from on high. As we celebrate Pentecost this year, let us focus on the necessity of the Spirit-filled life if we are to see God accomplish great things in and through us.

When Jesus called Paul, he had a plan for Him. But Paul needed the power of the Holy Spirit in his life to realize his calling and act upon it.

When Jesus restored Peter after breathing the Spirit into him, He questioned him about his love. Three times, he commissioned Peter to feed His sheep knowing that if Peter were to act upon his love and follow the Master, he would need the power of the Holy Spirit in his life.

By faith, allow the Spirit of God who dwells in you to overflow within you and spill out His blessings to the world.

Today, God is calling us to the next level of following, serving, and bearing witness in the world. We need the power of the Holy Spirit.

We have no choice but to rely on the Promise and Presence of the Spirit.

Today's Readings  NRSVU

Psalm 1
Beatus vir qui non abiit

Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked, *
nor lingered in the way of sinners,
nor sat in the seats of the scornful!

Their delight is in the law of the Lord, *
and they meditate on his law day and night.

They are like trees planted by streams of water,
bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither; *
everything they do shall prosper.

It is not so with the wicked; *
they are like chaff which the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when judgment comes, *
nor the sinner in the council of the righteous.

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, *
but the way of the wicked is doomed.

Psalm 2
Quare fremuerunt gentes?

Why are the nations in an uproar? *
Why do the peoples mutter empty threats?

Why do the kings of the earth rise up in revolt,
and the princes plot together, *
against the Lord and against his Anointed?

“Let us break their yoke,” they say; *
“let us cast off their bonds from us.”

He whose throne is in heaven is laughing; *
the Lord has them in derision.

Then he speaks to them in his wrath, *
and his rage fills them with terror.

“I myself have set my king *
upon my holy hill of Zion.”

Let me announce the decree of the Lord: *
he said to me, “You are my Son;
this day have I begotten you.

Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance *
and the ends of the earth for your possession.

You shall crush them with an iron rod *
and shatter them like a piece of pottery.”

And now, you kings, be wise; *
be warned, you rulers of the earth.

Submit to the Lord with fear, *
and with trembling bow before him;

Lest he be angry and you perish; *
for his wrath is quickly kindled.

Happy are they all *
who take refuge in him!

Psalm 3
Domine, quid multiplicati

Lord, how many adversaries I have! *
how many there are who rise up against me!

How many there are who say of me, *
“There is no help for him in his God.”

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me; *
you are my glory, the one who lifts up my head.

I call aloud upon the Lord, *
and he answers me from his holy hill;

I lie down and go to sleep; *
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.

I do not fear the multitudes of people *
who set themselves against me all around.

Rise up, O Lord; set me free, O my God; *
surely, you will strike all my enemies across the face,
you will break the teeth of the wicked.

Deliverance belongs to the Lord. *
Your blessing be upon your people!

Exodus 14:21-31
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh's horses, chariots, and chariot drivers.

At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty.

The Egyptians said, "Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt."

Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers."

So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained.

But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.

Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

1 Peter 1:1-12
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood: May grace and peace be yours in abundance. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith-- being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire-- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours made careful search and inquiry, inquiring about the person or time that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the subsequent glory.

It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things that have now been announced to you through those who brought you good news by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven-- things into which angels long to look!

John 14:[1-7]8-17

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going."

Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?"

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also."

"From now on you do know him and have seen him."

Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied."

Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ’show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you."


Moments in the Light

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Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

The mystics have "studied" the works of the LORD. They have engrossed their hearts, minds, and eyes in the intense delight of sheer observation.

The reverence of a John Muir, the childlike joy of a St. Francis, the eager eye of an artist studying the works of the LORD humble me.

More delight and less compulsion to be right may be the path to insight. Today, LORD, may I bask for a few moments in the light of Your revealed glory and simply worship.

" Great are the works of the LORD,
studied by all who delight in them."
(Psalm 111:2 ESV)

Not in Vain

Not in vain


"Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." - I Corinthians 15:58 

We gathered in the shade of an old oak tree that stood sentinel over the neatly placed markers that signified the lives of ten or twelve souls whose earthly remains were interred beneath its shadows.

We joined hands as we sang together:

God be with you till we meet again, till we meet at Jesus feet.”

Minnie had labored hard for many years in God’s vineyard. It was time to say goodbye and consign her to that sacred place of memory that occupies such precious real estate in every person’s heart.

Her soul was safe. She had committed that decades before to the care of a redeeming Savior.

Her body, beyond our care, we committed to the earth.

I opened her well-worn Bible to a passage she loved.

“We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.”

Thoughts of her unsung heroism passed from one person to the next with memories of kind words and deeds, encouraging notes, and humble service. Minnie had achieved neither fame nor fortune in this life. She had written no books, created no fine art, nor founded any great institutions.

She had simply loved those who came across her path and lived a life of quiet devotion to God and others. This was her life’s work; this was her great contribution and even now, it was bearing fruit in the lives of those who would carry forth her legacy from this place.

God loses nothing. God wastes no effort, no labor, and no tears. Not one moment of our lives is misplaced or discarded. We who honored Minnie that day were reminded, by her example, to be steadfast, consistent, and abounding in God’s work.

Her labor in the Lord was not in vain; nor is yours.



God’s Delight

Smile of god

“For the Lord taketh pleasure in His people...” – Psalm 149:4a

God cares for your soul.

Do you care for the souls of others?

Do you care for your own soul?

Sometimes the way we treat our physical, emotional, and spiritual health is an affront to God. The soul is the totality of a person and God takes pleasure in all that you are. For you to decide that some aspect of your life is not worthy of being nurtured is not an act of sacrificial worship but of negligence.

We have seen that God cares for our souls and that we must exercise care as well – for our own lives and for the lives of others. Now we see the reason: God takes great delight in his people. He receives pleasure from his relationship with His children.

It is hard to fathom, but it is true.

Have you ever given someone you love a precious gift, something that you have received from another generation and a passing on through that person to subsequent generations? That gift is not really the possession of the person holding it as much as it is the heritage of the family line. You expect the recipient to care for it, protect it, and pass it on with care. You delight in seeing it displayed and honored. You are offended when it is treated with careless disregard for its significance and handled with common contempt.

It is a very imperfect example, but it points to some truth. We are not our own, the scripture says, but bought with a price. We belong to God and have been made trustees of our lives in time and space. God’s purpose is to enjoy us and have a love relationship with us. He expects us to care for our own lives and nurture our souls with his Word, with fellowship, with healthy food and habits, and with life affirming relationships.

It grieves the heart of God when we do not take care of ourselves.

It also grieves the heart of God when we do not nurture and take delight in his other children. He expects us to see the loveliness of other people. When we find that difficult, he promises to help us and to love them through us.

Let us worship God by taking pleasure in him, in our own lives as consecrated to him, and in his children.

George Herbert - Poet - Rise Heart!

George herbert birthday

The Elixir

Teach me, my God and King,
         In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything
         To do it as for Thee.
         Not rudely, as a beast,
         To run into an action;
But still to make Thee prepossest,
         And give it his perfection.
         A man that looks on glass,
         On it may stay his eye;
Or if he pleaseth, through it pass,
         And then the heav'n espy.
         All may of Thee partake:
         Nothing can be so mean,
Which with his tincture—"for Thy sake"—
         Will not grow bright and clean.
         A servant with this clause
         Makes drudgery divine:
Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws,
         Makes that and th' action fine.
         This is the famous stone
         That turneth all to gold;
For that which God doth touch and own
         Cannot for less be told.


Death, thou wast once an uncouth hideous thing,
                           Nothing but bones,
      The sad effect of sadder groans:
Thy mouth was open, but thou couldst not sing.
For we considered thee as at some six
                           Or ten years hence,
      After the loss of life and sense,
Flesh being turned to dust, and bones to sticks.
We looked on this side of thee, shooting short;
                         Where we did find
      The shells of fledge souls left behind,
Dry dust, which sheds no tears, but may extort.
But since our Savior’s death did put some blood
                           Into thy face,
      Thou art grown fair and full of grace,
Much in request, much sought for as a good.
For we do now behold thee gay and glad,
                           As at Doomsday;
      When souls shall wear their new array,
And all thy bones with beauty shall be clad.
Therefore we can go die as sleep, and trust
                           Half that we have
      Unto an honest faithful grave;
Making our pillows either down, or dust.

Easter Wings

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
      Though foolishly he lost the same,
            Decaying more and more,
                  Till he became
                        Most poore:
                        With thee
                  O let me rise
            As larks, harmoniously,
      And sing this day thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.
My tender age in sorrow did beginne
      And still with sicknesses and shame.
            Thou didst so punish sinne,
                  That I became
                        Most thinne.
                        With thee
                  Let me combine,
            And feel thy victorie:
         For, if I imp my wing on thine,
Affliction shall advance the flight in me.

Still Dreaming

Dream on

Dreaming is the mental and spiritual activity of visualizing something invisible. perhaps. spiritual, that has not yet been actualized, but to which we are committed.

Welcome to the Dream Factory.

I decided to slightly revise and repost the first post I ever  published on this blog.

It was October 10, 2006.

There has been some water pass over, under, around, and through any number of bridges.

I was coaching someone slightly older than myself the other day and encouraged him to keep dreaming. I let him know that I was still dreaming as well.

These days, my dreams are bigger than they used to be.

They extend beyond my lifetime.

They require the next generation and the generation after that to carry them out.

I dream. On a restless summer night in a pool of my own perspiration, I dream.

In the quiet slumber of an October evening, I dream.

In the quickening of the morning and the settling of the evening, I dream.

And when I am awakened and as I move through the appointed day, my dreams do not die.

Yes, they are tamed by civility and harnessed by realism, but they persist through the day.

My dreams have been cooled by the drenching rain of discouragement, but not quenched.

They have been temporarily diverted by the icy onslaught of negative criticism and stilled by the paralyzing power of self doubt, but they emerge from the cold and persist.

I dream on.

I refuse to stop dreaming.

I do not subscribe entirely to the “All your dreams can come true; it can happen to you if you’re young at heart” philosophy. But I believe that our core dreams can drive us on to their own fulfillment in us as we submit to the One who has given them to us and who alone knows how to interpret them in our lives.

I believe that we were made to dream and that our dreams are the impulses that alert us to our significance. Yes, dreams can become distorted, self-centered, and wrongly inflated, but those distortions point to a deeper reality. Just as perversions of reality validate reality, dreams off center cry out for centering.

I dream on because my dreams are the impulses that validate my living. They remind me that I am not an accident, that my life has meaning, and that I am a part of a larger dream.

 And if dreaming is so vital for me, I want to help others dream and refine their dreams, fleshing them out with goals and strategies, reinforcing them with prayer and conforming them to the divine will from whence their essence is derived.

I dream of a life as an encourager of the dreams that have been planted in your heart. That is why I will spend the rest of my life and ministry as a coach to those who dream.

 I am not where I want to be. But I believe that where I am is not where I am going.

 I dream on.

 Come join me..

Since those who wait on the LORD renew strength and youth without weariness, perhaps that waiting and working and dreaming actually defines youth itself. If that is so, then maybe I do believe that, “All your dreams can come true; it can happen to you if you’re young at heart."