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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Green Pastures

Image result for pictures of sheep grazing in green pastures
The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not want 
He leads me beside the still waters
He makes me to lie down in green pastures
He restores my soul
He leads me to paths of righteousness
For His name sake. 
On our trip from California to northern Minnesota we saw  many sheep grazing in green pastures which is how I pictures Psalm 23 to be. Lush green grass with a stream near by.  And even though I have been to Israel and seen sheep grazing I still thought of the  picture such as the one above when I read this passage.  


I watch the video below from, "That The World May Know" ministry founded by  Ray Vander Laan.  He is the creator of Faith Lessons video series with Focus on the Family.   Give it a listen and tell me what you think of his take on Psalm on 23.  


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Big Picture/Little Picture

I take very few pictures with my phone because they never seem to give justice  to what I snap.   Take this one on the left. You can get the big picture easy enough, man looking over the rock formation  to the valley below.  Inside that big picture is some very amazing images that were pointed out to me or I would have missed them.

 As we were coming up the winding road to where this picture was taken there was several times we were much closer to the tall rock formation. In fact it was easy to see it was really three formations reaching to the sky.  And on top of the tallest one was a ton of people who had climbed, without ropes to the very top.  In fact I notice something red close to the top. Our friends pointed out it was a rock climber and sure enough in a few minutes that red dot was on top of the formation. As we climbed higher and higher, to about 7, 500 feet that rock formation looked kind of little and we could not see the people on top, I had lost sight of the red dot which was the shirt on someone back.

It was breathtaking beautiful at the top with the valley spread out before us and being able to see the canyons that wind and rain had carved out through the years.  Seriously I could have pitched a tent right where the picture was taken and feasted on the site as the sun came up and went down.  And if I was much younger I would have liked to  rock climbed those pillars of century old rocks.

Every turn we took gave us a different view of the beauty of the park and I was reminded how life is like that.  God brings turns that help us see clearly a certain aspect of life.  Sometimes He brings us close enough to see details and sometimes we just see the big picture and each one is enough for He is in both.

I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will. Isaiah 46:10

Monday, May 22, 2017


A little history:When Rome destroyed the Second Temple in 70 C.E., only one outer wall remained standing. The Romans probably would have destroyed that wall as well, but it must have seemed too insignificant to them; it was not even part of the Temple itself, just an outer wall surrounding the Temple Mount. For the Jews, however, this remnant of what was the most sacred building in the Jewish world quickly became the holiest spot in Jewish life. Throughout the centuries Jews from throughout the world made the difficult pilgrimage to Palestine, and immediately headed for the Kotel ha-Ma'aravi (the Western Wall) to thank God. The prayers offered at the Kotel were so heartfelt that gentiles began calling the site the “Wailing Wall.” This undignified name never won a wide following among traditional Jews; the term “Wailing Wall” is not used in Hebrew.

Watching the news today, seeing our president walk up to the wailing wall in Jerusalem made my heart yearned to be right there.  Oh, I don't mean with the president but there at the wall.  There is a pull to go back once you have been to see the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem.  Like most visitors you write your prayer request on a little piece of paper and tuck it into the cracks of the wall, women on their side, men on theirs.  

Two of my fellow bloggers wrote on music today, Floyd  and Bill , so thought I would add my two cents of music to theirs.   This Gaither video was filmed at the    Tower of David inside the old city of Jerusalem.


John sees a glimpse of it in his vision: “The Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2). This is the city that Abraham looked for in faith (Hebrews 11:10). It is the place where God will dwell with His people forever (Revelation 21:3). Inhabitants of this celestial city will have all tears wiped away (Revelation 21:4).

The New Jerusalem will be fantastically huge. John records that the city is nearly 1,400 miles long, and it is as wide and as high as it is long—a perfect cube (Revelation 21:15–17). The city will also be dazzling in every way. It is lighted by the glory of God (verse 23). Its twelve foundations, bearing the names of the twelve apostles, are “decorated with every kind of precious stone” (verse 19). It has twelve gates, each a single pearl, bearing the names of the twelve tribes of Israel (verses 12 and 21). The street will be made of pure gold (verse 21).

The New Jerusalem will be a place of unimagined blessing. The curse of the old earth will be gone (Revelation 22:3). In the city are the tree of life “for the healing of the nations” and the river of life (verses 1–2). It is the place that Paul spoke of: “In the coming ages [God] might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). The New Jerusalem is the ultimate fulfillment of all God’s promises. The New Jerusalem is God’s goodness made fully manifest.

Who are the residents of the New Jerusalem? The Father and the Lamb are there (Revelation 21:22). Angels are at the gates (verse 12). But the city will be filled with God’s redeemed children

The  pastor who I was saved under use to say, if you want to know what God is doing, watch the land, Israel and watch the clan, the Jewish people.  It may seem like it's all about our president and Israel but God wants us to see beyond the wailing wall to His Son returning and the coming of the New Jerusalem. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Freedom Walker

Image result for angry people pictures         Ever been around someone you knew it would take very little for them to explode?   You try to walk around subjects that might trigger an outburst such as politics, family issues, cultural differences, preachers, you name it and that person who is a walking time bomb can be set off by just about anything. You feel like you are walking on egg shells trying not to anger them. You feel  your  body tense up when a subject has come up you know will set them off. 

Almost impossible to really enjoy being around them isn't it? They can make family reunions a nightmare. 

I know about anger first hand.  Alcohol and anger was what ruled our home as I was growing up. My Dad was not one of those lovable drunks.   I knew little about my Dad's family except his brother and being around him told me he suffered with the same anger. Also learned their Dad had a drinking issue along with anger.   Sound like something we can pass on to others, doesn't it? 

Anger is the fruit of rotten roots. One of the primary roots of anger stems from the family. Angry people come from angry families because they learn from their role models and carry on the same behavior in their own lives, eventually passing it on to their children.  Since I cannot change my family roots I have a choice to be like them or try something different.  

It does not take long to realize an angry person has got some deeper issue going on inside them.  The emotional pain drives them to an outburst and leaves you wondering, what did I say or do to trigger that?  You work hard at staying out of their way. 

There is nothing I dislike about myself more then my temper. It was the sin that so easily besets me and I would justify it by how I was raised.   Angry people begat angry people, right?  That kind of rationalization worked when I did not have the Holy Spirit living inside of me.  When I faced my anger and decided to deal with it God's way I found I could over come it.  God brought stability into my heart and taught me how to walk in the Spirit and the power of forgiveness.   Not only those who hurt me but for myself when I failed to exercise self control a fruit of the Spirit. 

My heart was prompted to write on this because just a few weeks ago I was at a mini family reunion with my brothers.  We had not been together since our mother had died.  There was a small dread in me about the re-union because one of my brothers  is a walking time bomb, full of pain and anger.  Our father was  very cruel to our Mom and  us three kids, but more so toward this brother.  He (my brother) always had a short temper and it got shorter as he grew and he turned to unhealthy ways of dealing with it which caused him to end up in a reform school then a year in prison.   Most everyone who meets him knows within a few minutes he is an angry man.  From the few times he would talk to me about it, it was clear he had never forgiven our Dad who has been dead for years. I told him he was enslaved to a man whose body rots in the grave one time during a confrontation  we had.  He would not give God a chance to help him over come this anger. 

There is no one I pray for more then this brother, Larry,  and would ask you to pray for him too.  And I have seen a softening in him the last couple years.   I want him to understand Ephesians 6:12 That he wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  I want him to know  freedom from this anger. Every time I am around him I see how easily I could be just where he is, it's a choice.  I chose to be a freedom walker.  

What are you walking in today, anger or freedom?

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Through [Live]

Thank you God for the message in this song. 


When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:2–3a, ESV).

Too often we’re searching for ways around deep waters and dangerous fires rather than through them. Have you ever experienced this? Have you tried to avoid a trial, only to have it move directly in front of you again? God is checking you, heading you off at the pass. He wants you to go through it. Not us! God leads us into difficulties and brings us through them so we can give Him the glory and be a testimony to all around us.  

Yesterday I talked to a man  who had heart surgery two weeks ago.  He was telling me how weak he was, hard to even get in and in and out of bed.  I assured him in couple months that will cease and he will be able to walk around more. God used my testimony of my recent heart surgery to comfort him.  God never waste a trial. 
It’s tempting to think, I can’t take much more of this! I’ve been treading water for so long. I’m tired and afraid I might sink. Hear this: Whatever you’re facing, you will get through it. You will not drown or be swept away. Yes, the water will feel deep, the fire will feel hot, but it won’t be too deep, too hot, or last too long. 
.That promise holds for you too. At this moment, God is watching your life, and at some point in this trial, He will say, “Enough.” You don’t need to falter. God’s hand is on the thermostat of your trial; the fire will not get too hot. He is watching the depth gauge of your flood; the waters will not get too deep. 
Have you come through a trial lately?    Or still waiting for God to say, enough? 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter is over, now what?

                 According to Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, known as the "Father of church      history this is what happened to the disciples after Jesus left. 

Into All the World.
PETER and PAUL were both martyred in Rome about 66 AD, during the persecution under Emperor Nero. Paul was beheaded. Peter was crucified, upside down at his request, since he did not feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

By Faith

Years ago I  sit outside that empty tomb where Jesus was laid after his death on the cross, trying to get my human mind to wrap around how it must have felt for those who saw him beaten till blood was dripping from his body.  Carrying his own cross up the hill. Then laid on that wooden cross, nails put in his feet and hands, more blood dripping, then topped off with a crown of thorns pushed down on his head, more blood. How could one live with so much blood flowing from his body? How could they know how important His blood was, the power it had, the significance it had.  Did any of the disciples think about the blood, it was everywhere, their Jesus was being crucified, the one they had walked and talked, ate meal with, traveled the roads of Israel with, he was slowly dying.   What went through their mind, did they remember He said it would be this way?

Image result for pictures of the garden tomb

Our first visit to Israel ended at that empty tomb which was so fitting after walking around the old city all day, we were so tired.   Then we walked down a small alley, seen a small sign that said, Garden Tomb above a door so we  stepped through it into a  simple shop.  On the other side of the shop is a big beautiful garden with paths winding down to a lower place where the tomb is.  There are natural places to sit, it quiet which was amazing to me because the city is right outside the walls of the garden.  But it's the natural doorway , cut out of stone, that ones eyes cannot leave. People are coming in and out and as I sit watching someone shut the wooden door and on it were these word, "He is not here, He has risen."  Tears begin to fall from my eyes and others as we read those words,  He is not here, He has risen

I have never forgotten that trip and the impact it had on me. But I was a believer of all I wrote before I saw it. By faith, I believe there was a garden tomb, by faith I believed who Jesus said He was, the Son of God, come to die for me and all who believe. By faith I believed He rose from that tomb and is now sitting at the right hand of His Father.  I am grateful it does not take our eyes seeing the place He was crucified or the tomb to believe that is where Jesus was buried and rose from.

Roman 10:9-10 If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.