Special Election Edition

It may seem chaotic, but God’s love keeps lifting me (higher and higher)

An anxious heart weighs a man down, 
but a kind word cheers him up. Proverbs 12:25

The pandemic and the election have weighed us all down with anxiety. So here is a kind word from the Word to cheer us up.

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” 
your love, O Lord, supported me. 
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul. Psalm 94:18-19

This verse reminds me of the 1967 R&B song by Jackie Wilson: “Your love keeps lifting me (higher and higher)” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzDVaKRApcg

So — “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7

Finally,

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

The Heights of Glory

Autumn glory in Icicle Canyon

I can scale the wall of glory
once there they’ll want my story.
I just need a little more effort,
a little more time.

From the heights I will survey,
proud of climbing my own way.
All with a little more effort,
a little more time.

There are some trade-offs, some compromises
little things some sacrifices,
but in the end it’ll be all mine.
Given a little more effort,
a little more time.

When I get there what will be said?
a eulogy of the dead—if only he had…
a little more effort,
and little more time.

—poem by Stephen Hufman

Unless the Lord builds the house, 
its builders labor in vain. 
Unless the Lord watches over the city, 
the watchmen stand guard in vain. 
In vain you rise early 
and stay up late, 
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves. Psalm 127:1-2

A Whale of a Lesson

Humpback whale fluke, Alaska

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15

To understand what “abounding in love and faithfulness” means, look at the prayer of Jonah.

The engulfing waters threatened me,

the deep surrounded me; 

seaweed was wrapped around my head. 

To the roots of the mountains I sank down; 

the earth beneath barred me in forever. 

But you brought my life up from the pit, 

O Lord my God. 

Jonah 2:5-6

Jonah learned the greatness of God’s compassion and grace through his desperate ordeal. So it is for us when we go through our own travails. When I wander like Jonah of old, God’s compassion seeks me out and swallows me. In His abounding love, He rescues me from the folly of my actions. Thankfully, God’s faithfulness and love are not negated by my unfaithfulness. Though I plunge into the darkest depths of the ocean, I know He will be there with me, and I can trust my Lord God to forgive me and bring me safely to shore.

The Promise of a New Day

A new day on Lake Wenatchee

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

Each day is new with God. His mercy and compassions are new and completely sterling. My old life is washed away replaced by Jesus my Lord and savior.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

I wish I had the words to convey how blessed life is knowing your past is forgiven and redeemed, and your future is secure in Jesus. He will even give you help to live for Him… it gives peace to this day like nothing else can do.

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. Psalm 84:10

Prayer is Falling Up

Storm clouds over the Bitterroot Valley, Montana

A prayer for when I am anxious and consumed by worry. To remind me God is good and loving and greater than all my fears.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! 

His faithful love endures forever. 

Give thanks to the God of gods. 

His faithful love endures forever. 

Give thanks to the Lord of lords. 

His faithful love endures forever. 

Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. 

His faithful love endures forever.

 Psalm 136:1-4

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.