The Grandeur of God’s Love

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So large it is hard to comprehend

Some things are hard to explain even seeing a picture does not fully reveal the enormity of what you see. The Grand Canyon is one of the most photographed places in the world but no words can describe, or picture convey the enormity and grandeur of that place. You have to experience it for yourself, even then it is more than the mind can wrap around. This is also how it is with John 3:16

I will never fully comprehend the height, width, or depth of God’s love. But, when God blessed me with children, I read John 3:16 with new insight. I looked at my child and cried at what God allowed to happen to Jesus because of His love for me.

To hear ugly words used against your child hurts.
To see your child keep quiet in the face of accusations is hard.
To see your child rejected, causes deep pain.
To see your child in sorrow brings terrible heartache.
The thought of your child suffering is unbearable.
But to stand back and allow your child to die is grief beyond compare.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. John 3:16

Life Begins

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Unfolding of life

Life is not about God pleasing us, but about us pleasing God.
Life is not about begging our pardon, but begins with begging for God’s pardon.
Life is not about how we see things, but about how God sees us.
Life is not in what we make of it, but in what God makes of us.
Life begins when I let my life go and seek God above all else.

Where Is My Focus?

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Flowers of the field

Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained,
But happy is he who keeps the law. Proverbs 29:18

When I have no clear vision of God then my thoughts begin to drift.
Worries about what the future holds draw me further away.
In my fear I hoard and build embattlements.
I imagine everyone is coming to take what’s mine.
Then I see this flower and am reminded,
If God clothes the grass like this, how much more will he care for me.
I release my anxious thoughts and grab hold of my makers hand.
Something beautiful happens as I walk with Jesus,
I begin to see his goodness blossom in me.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?              Matthew 6:25-30

Piercing the Darkness

Piercing the Darkness

The sun shining through the darkness

What if, as some believe, the resurrection of Jesus never happened?

We would be alone in a universe of laws with no compassion.
Our only hope would be––I hope I don’t die today.
Grief’s only respite is in trying to forget.
Life would be about survival of the fittest, where everyone competes to be on top.
And if for a moment you succeed, you have to fight off those trying to take your place.
Evil triumphs, and lust becomes the force behind every action,
And pain the ultimate fate for everyone.
In the end death is your final companion.
Darkness your only friend.

But Jesus did rise up in triumph as morning declares.
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”

God’s compassion is new with each morning.
Our hope is raised up to the heavens with Jesus,
And our grief is turned into songs of joy.
We know that there is more to life than death.
God’s love conquers our fears.
We are freely loved,
And told to love freely.

His love reaches to the skies, and to the deepest pit.
Through the resurrection we shed our darkness and partake in God’s goodness.
The risen Lord knows all our sorrows, and ultimately takes our pain.
The beauty of that sunrise on an empty tomb is a never ending moment with God.
Our survival is by our savior, and He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Jesus lights our way and will take us home someday.
Death has been silenced for Jesus has risen.

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:56-57

Multnomah Falls

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Multnomah Falls and the celebration of Pentecost

Certain elements of this picture transform it for me from nondescript picture into wonder to behold. The elements are the water cascading down, and the rock balancing the picture in the foreground. Without them I would have tossed it away.

This is the same for my life certain elements make it so worthwhile. The Rock of my salvation, Jesus, who anchors my life in his forgiveness and love.

“The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior!
2 Samuel 22:47

The second element is the Holy Spirit cascading down, refreshing and anointing my life with God’s goodness.

“ ‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams. Acts 2:17

Multnomah Falls a celebration of Pentecost.

Lupine Lifting Up Praise

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Lupine lifting up to praise God

Praise the Lord, O my soul.
When I praise God, I begin to review all he has done for me.
He has forgiven me, and removed my shame.
He has redeemed my life from sorrow and death.
He satisfies all my desires.
He leads me into goodness and guards me on the way.
His love for me knows no bounds, and he will not let anything come between us.
He shares himself with me, and gives me his name that I should call upon him.
Even the flowers of the field praise the Lord.
What a blessing it is to praise God
Praise the Lord, O my soul.

A paraphrase of Psalm 103

Searching for Truth

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Searching

“What is truth?” Pilate asked Jesus.
In our culture today, we don’t know what to believe, and ask the same question.

When I lie it is intended to deceive everyone about the truth.
For the truth will not bend to my will, therefore I lie and call that truth.
After all it is just a matter of sincerity.
The more sincere I am the more my lie seems to be true.
With enough repetition my lies become truth, and truth becomes a lie.
In the end no one can tell the truth from a lie.
Thus I am in control of truth, calling forth what suits me.
Except for one thing, without real truth, my life becomes a worthless lie.
All alone I cannot trust anyone, not even myself.
What I desperately need is the truth.

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – Jesus (John 14:6)

Dancing with God

Cedar branches touching the stream

Dancing in the water

This scene only came to my attention when I stopped…and sat…and waited. Initially I was bored and saw nothing. Finally, I asked God to open my eyes and allow me to see. Slowly I began to sense the deeper rhythms of the stream. I heard the churning of the water against the rocks, then the call of birds overhead, followed by a chattering squirrel upset by my presence. Breathing in I noticed the fragrance of cedar boughs, and finally became entranced by the branches playing in the fast moving water perpetually dancing before the Lord. The joy in that moment returns even now, looking upon this scene I give thanks.

Prayer is like that. It is only when I stop and wait that I begin to perceive what God has for me. To read and meditate upon the Bible letting the Holy Spirit slowly direct my thoughts. It becomes wonderful dance of me with my creator. Unfortunately, as the day progresses my mind gets sidetracked, fretting about so many things. I must restart the process again, waiting on the Lord trying to catch His rhythm. Thankfully God never tires of waiting for me.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For evil men will be cut off,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. Psalm 37:7-9

Ever feel like you’re all washed up?

Icicle Creek

The water is tumbling down

A prayer for when I fall. Note that none of it is me all of it is God.

Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees:
Then I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding…
Direct me in your path…
Turn my heart toward you…
Direct my eyes away from worthless things…
Fulfill your promises to me…
Take away my disgrace…
Preserve my life in your righteousness.

Thank you Lord for all you do for me.
Taken from Psalm 119:33-40

Hope Like Wildflowers

Wonderland Trail, Mt. Rainier NP

Wildflowers along the Wonderland Trail, Mt. Rainier NP 

The smallest trouble is like a tiny blister on your foot,
With walking it will soon grow to unbearable proportions.
But I can put up with the most difficult circumstance if I have hope.
For hope is like wildflowers along the trail, they take my mind and heart to heavenly places.

Remember Your word to Your servant,
for You have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life. Psalm 119:49-50

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2-3