Resurrection Sunday

He is risen!

We celebrate the day that God put His Life into life.
The day His infinite power brought everlasting goodness.
The day the light of His glory pierced our darkness.
The day His ultimate sacrifice infused us with joy.
The day hope replaced our hopelessness.
The day of our new beginning.
The day of music and laughter instead of sorrow.
This first day of our forever with Him.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.  1 Peter 1:3-4

Ascribe to the Lord

Jesus forgives me,
When I can’t forgive myself.
He redeems me when I feel unredeemable.
The Lord lights my life with His mercy,
When all I deserve is the darkness of my ungodliness.
Only by faith can I accept God’s grace and mercy.
Which He holds out for me to receive.
For the Lord rejoices over my redemption,

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear. Isaiah 59:1

Nothing is impossible for God.
The Lord guides my steps into righteousness,
Even when I can’t see because of my shame,
Jesus will rescue me from all my enemies,
even when I am the enemy.

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

I fall at the feet of Jesus for He has done great things for me.
His glory brighter than the sun.
His mercy greater than all my shame,
His righteousness surrounds me,
His love breaks the strongest chains,
His faithfulness never fails,
His power and goodness are everlasting and will never diminish.
His love is better than life,
His love gives life to my life.

Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones, 
Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; 
Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness. Psalm 29:1

Delightful Inheritance

Icicle Ridge from East Leavenworth Road

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:5-6

“I have a delightful inheritance.”
One guaranteed by God’s strength,
not mine.
In that assurance,
I rejoice.
Through His grace I know I’ll partake in it.
By His grace I am brought close to Him.
Jesus will never leave me.
This knowledge is too wonderful for me.
From His grace God fills my day with His goodness.
The promise of His grace imbues my tomorrows,
with His love and mercy.
The joy of my salvation spreads out to eternity.
I rest in His peace.
What a delightful inheritance.

There is a River

Whitewater on the Icicle River

There is a river,
arising from the throne of God.
Where those who plunge into its cascading current
shine forth with the glory of the Lord.
All our shame and sorrows are dashed upon the rocks.
The shadow of darkness yields before its tumult.
In its sparkle, the beauty of the Lord will be the light of life.

There is a river,
of living water that will never run dry.
The clear water brings nourishment to produce wonderful fruit:
Fruit of God’s goodness
Fruit of God’s love
Fruit of God’s peace
Fruit of God’s kindness
Fruit of God’s faithfulness
Fruit that makes all creation rejoice.
to the praise of the Lamb upon the throne

There is a river,
of holiness, righteousness, and justice.
The proud cannot stand,
the impure cannot defile.
All ungodliness is crushed in the surge
Never to be heard from again.

There is a river,
flowing with the love of God.
Streams of grace giving water,
to heal our broken lives,
to wash away our stains,
Bathing us in the hope of the glory of God.

Jesus is the river,
in which we can dance, one with the water.
Splashing in God’s joy over us,
and roaring with creation,
our joy in Him.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, 
the holy place where the Most High dwells. Psalm 46:4

… we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:2

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Revelation 22:1

Breaking the Silence

Sounds in the forest. Does anyone hear?

Do you ever pray and think God is not listening…

When I am worried and I pray, but my anxious thoughts continue.
When I am tired and I pray for strength but continue to feel weary.
When I am filled with grief and I pray but continue to cry.
When I am afraid, and I pray but only hear my racing heart.

Lord, are You listening?

In my anxiety, God helps me to rely on His peace.
In my weakness, God helps me build my faith in Him.
In my sorrow, God cries with me and draws me closer to Him.
In my fear, the fear of God triumphs and burns away the dross.

When I think God is not listening,
I am the one who is not listening,
for He is at work in me.

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13

A Tangle of Feelings

Sometimes I don’t know which way is up

In my life feelings have their way,
when they’re up—I’m up
when they’re down—I’m down.
Sometimes they go in opposite directions.
That’s why God has me walk by faith and not sight.
To make feelings follow…
instead of lead.

Jesus is my source of joy not my feelings.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10

Merry Christmas

Hope gives Life to life

The hope of a new day

Hope is knowing of wonder yet to be seen.
Of rivers, of mountains covered in green.

Hope is scent of joy yet to come,
Of love in a family together as one.

Hope is courage in this covid blight.
Hope is God’s hand holding me tight.

Enduring great trials hope will sustain,
When anchored upon God’s holiest name.

So I can rejoice even in sorrow,
For hope assures of a better tomorrow.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15

Therefore, we who have fled to him (Jesus) for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.  Hebrews 6:18-20

The Fruit of Your Words

By the fruit you know the tree

Words can send a blessing.
The same words can send a curse.
I love you is a blessing.
I love you if… a hidden curse.

Words can tell the truth.
The same words can be a lie.
Often we don’t know which is which,
Only time will break the tie.

How do you avoid being taken in?
Caught in a sugary trance.
Look at the fruit in their life,
Good fruit is not by chance.

-by Stephen Hufman

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 

Matthew 7:15-23

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

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