A Home with a Spectacular View

Arcadia Lighthouse

In view of…

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1

“In view of” is about seeing what God has done for us and reacting with the appropriate response. The natural tendency we all struggle with is a drifting focus—losing sight of God. Then allowing our minds to fill with ourselves, our fears, our hurts, our anxieties, our desires, our politics.

In view of God’s mercy, we worship Him.

In view of God’s forgiveness, we find it easy to forgive.

In view of God’s love, we want to love one another.

In view of God’s righteousness, we hunger to be righteous.

In view of God’s peace, we wish to be peacemakers.

In view of God’s glory, we fall down and glorify Him.

In view of God’s good pleasing and perfect will we desire to follow Him.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

It is The Lord’s good, pleasing and perfect will that you have a room with a marvelous view of God.

What Will We Learn Today?

Sunrise on a new day.

 

Our nature is to be always looking out for ourselves.

We call it survival.

We covet and call it love.

We take revenge and call it justice.

We call our opinions and words true and everyone who differs a fool, then point our finger wondering when will those people learn?

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

Life is about learning.

Learning to to love.

Learning to forgive.

Learning to live following Jesus.

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13 NLT

Life is about learning to give thanks and rely on Jesus,

… not ourselves.

Still and Quiet

Softly flowing White River

I took this photo of the White River with a slow shutter speed to smooth out the flowing water (I didn’t do anything to the color… that why it is called the White River). It reminded me of Psalm 131.

My heart is not proud, O Lord, 

my eyes are not haughty; 

I do not concern myself with great matters 

or things too wonderful for me. 

But I have stilled and quieted my soul; 

like a weaned child is my soul within me. 

like a weaned child with its mother, 

O Israel, put your hope in the Lord 

both now and forevermore. Psalm 131

I think it is apropos for the turmoil of an election in the midst of social unrest and a pandemic. Lay aside all the pride and malice. Still and quiet your soul by reaffirming your hope in God. Remember, it is by the Lord’s strength we will get through this both now and forevermore.

Made with Purpose

Sea otter doing what sea otters were created to do, and it is glorious

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:12-13 NIV

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 NLT

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty. Zachariah 4:6 NIV

I am a new creation in Christ filled with purpose to do good things. Not by my might or strength, but by the Holy Spirit. So I am made new in Christ to be what God always meant me to be.

Paying Attention to the Son

Dogwood blossoms turning toward the sun.

We can’t imagine the emptiness of life without God’s love.
We can’t imagine the fullness of life with God’s love.

So why do we ignore it?

Though we are faithless,
God remains faithful to give us mercy if we will just ask.

So why do we ignore it?

When we are hopeless, dying from the failures and wrongs in life.
We can find hope in the Lord who has triumphed over all even death.

So why do we ignore—God’s love, His faithfulness, and the Hope He offers?

We ignore it when we are distracted by other things
We have ears that do not hear above the noise of this world.
We have eyes that do not see beyond the glitter of this world.
But God sends His Spirit to stir our spirit with conviction for ignoring the Lord.

The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet:
Go to this people and say,
You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.” Acts 28:25-27

So stop letting lesser things hold your attention,
for they cause you to miss out on all of God’s good things.

Children of the living God

Lupin playing in the forest

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.  John 1:12

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  1 John 3:1

As a father and grandfather I have a small inkling of greatness of God’s love for us. I have a special place in my heart for each of my children and grandchildren. To say it is intense is an gross understatement. In fact, I would prefer to be harmed than see any harm come to them. Each one is special, and no one else can take their place.

With God the Father it is similar, but on a far greater level of love.

In love for me Jesus came and died for me. Trusting in Him for my complete forgiveness, I am lifted to a special place—I sit at God’s table. It is there I enjoy all the blessings of being His child. I know He hears my prayers because I am the apple of His eye. How great is the love the Father has lavished on me!

I call on you, O God, for you will answer me;
give ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show the wonder of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.  Psalm 17:6-8

I hope you have found your place at His table.

Hope for the Day

Ray of sunshine breaking through.

Hope reminds me of good to come.
Hope is the thumping of God’s victory drum.
Hope is the music that sets the mood.
Hope the aroma of the banquet food.
Hope is the lighthouse piercing the storm.
Hope is the blanket keeping me warm.
Hope provides strength to my weary feet.
Hope is the breeze cooling toilsome heat.
Hope holds on to me when I fear.
Hope is the whisper, “God is near.”
I’ll have no regret when I’m called home.
For my hope in Jesus is life’s cornerstone.

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:2-5

Hope to the Rescue

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Life will take you to some rough water.

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

As the world swirls in pandemic turmoil,
My hope is in the Lord.

As the economy topples into depression,
My hope is in the Lord.

As I struggle with temptation,
My hope is in the Lord.

As I try to calm my anxious thoughts,
My hope is in the Lord.

As I worry for my family,
My hope is in the Lord.

As evil seems to have its way,
My hope is in the Lord.

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you. Psalm 33:20-22

Write your own difficult trial on paper and follow it with—my hope is in the Lord. This little exercise really does help.

Singing Sea Lions

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All Creation Sings

Jesus is the music of life. We can either sing along with the celestial chorus, or make our own noise, missing the great and wonderful part He has for us. Search yourself would you rather have Jesus’ song brought forth in your life to the thunderous applause of creation, or leave your part unsung to the sorrow of the heavenly host.

Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him. Psalm 98:1

All creation sings

Sing to the Lord a new song,
His praise in the assembly of the saints. Psalm 149:1

So put your trust in the Lord and come join the choir

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:1-3

The Confusion of Love and Lust

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Tears from heaven

“But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all (1 Corinthians 12:31).” Apostle Paul’s introduction to the love chapter.

Unfortunately, the church has lost its way and often allows politics to lead instead of love. Lust disguised as appropriate behavior has replaced what should be foremost—our love for God. Thus causing a dimming of the church’s light in the world.

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Revelation 2:4

Lust seeks to control others – Love seeks to free others.

Lust wants to be served – Love wants to serve.

Lust is self-seeking – Love seeks good for all.

Lust is self-promoting – Love does not boast.

Lust flees from hardship – Love always perseveres.

Lust lies to get what it wants – Love rejoices in truth.

Lust becomes angry when it doesn’t get its way – Love is patient and kind.

Lust seeks to gratify self – Love is willing to sacrifice self.

Lust sucks life from life – Love gives life to life.

The one who lusts becomes like the purveyor of lust. The one who loves becomes like the author of love.

Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. Psalm 63:3