Where Rest Begins

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The key to entering His rest

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. Hebrews 4:1 NIV

What causes people to not enter His rest? It seems unbelievable that someone would stop short of entering God’s rest. Like a mountain climber turning back a few meters short of the top, it doesn’t make sense. That’s where the second part of the verse comes in:

For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Hebrews 4:1-2 NIV

Entering God’s rest happens when we trust Him. You can’t enter His rest unless you stop trying to do it your way, and trust Jesus––following His way.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

So trust Him and enter.

Recognizing the Tree by Its Fruit

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An apple from an apple tree

Lest we become confused…

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:43-45

Fog Along the Way

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Clouds rolling over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

There were times that the fog became so thick you could barely see the road, let alone knowing which way to go.

We have all had times when we wished we had taken a different direction. Looking back we can see how a right choice would have been so much better, but we just could not see far enough ahead.

Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are they who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart.
They do nothing wrong;
they walk in his ways. Psalm 119:1-3

God is all about helping us choose the right direction. We just have to ask.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13

What we receive is not only help in making the right choices going forward, but forgiveness for all our past wrong choices.

Along the Road Home

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In case you drove by and did not stop to admire.

What a wonderful Thanksgiving prayer:

The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need.
He lets me lie down in fields of green grass.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He gives me new strength.
He guides me in the right paths
for the honor of his name.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid.
You are with me.
Your shepherd’s rod and staff
comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
right in front of my enemies.
You pour oil on my head.
My cup runs over.
I am sure that your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life.
And I will live in the house of the Lord
forever. Psalm 23 NIRV

God has given us this prayer because He wants us to pray it, so He can fulfill it in our lives. Lord I fall at Your feet in thanksgiving.

An Unexpected Turn

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Bend in the road of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Psalm 23:4

No matter how many unseen twists and turns life takes, God knows each one before hand and promises to go with us.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. Psalm 139:7-12

Coming Before the Throne

Before the Throne

At Heaven’s gate

Trying to write, but I am so uninspired and sleepy.
Trying to pray for a good friend who has terminal cancer, but I am so lifeless in prayer.
Trying to live for my Lord, but I am so weak and easily tripped up.
How wonderful is my great high priest who sits enthroned at the right hand of God.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

My soul soars to His mercy seat and I fall before Him in thanksgiving.

Flying Through the Morning Mist

Morning Mist Along the Wenatchee River

Flying through the fog of fear

Life is like this scene along the Wenatchee River—shrouded in fog. I am often unable to see clearly to know what lies ahead. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Christians at Philippi, encourages us to to move forward not letting our past sins and fears bind us and prevent our advance.

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,…” Phil. 3:13

So I made my own list of the things I need to forget:

Past sins and failures that have been forgiven.
Past ugliness and pain.
Fear that I don’t have what it takes to keep going.

Trouble is to forget I need to replace my fears with something that encourages, and clears the fog of uncertainty as I move forward. This is why I also need to remember:

Jesus Christ died for my sins, and now I am new in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Jesus loves me and is my faithful shepherd. (John 10:11)
God is building me up in Jesus to do good things. (Ephesians 2:10)
Nothing can separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:39)

When you can’t see ahead moving forward depends on what you let your mind dwell upon. (Phil. 4:8)

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Autumn Along the Wenatchee

Autumn along the Wenatchee River

This scene was beautiful but short-lived, the next year a second fire burned through this area. Life is like this landscape: beautiful for a time, but things happen. That is why I love John 14:6

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – Jesus

His compassion is new every morning.
He forgives me and helps me forgive.
He gives me a new heart.
He opens my eyes to see, and my ears to hear.
He is my strength and my self control.
He is the good shepherd watching over me and my family.
He is my shield.
He is my hope that conquers fear.
He is my peace and security––my Rock.
He loves me with an enduring love.
He promised to come back and take me home with Him.
No matter what happens He will never leave me nor forsake me.
He is just what I need for life.

Life is not life without Jesus.

Beyond My Wildest Dreams

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Dreaming in the forest

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”   1 Corinthians 2:9

The question is how do I love God? I know from Deuteronomy 6:5 that I am told to love God with everything in me. But how do I do that?

To understand how, keep reading in 1 Corinthians 2.

“But God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.”  1 Corinthians 2:10

I can’t of myself truly love GodI need the help of the Holy Spirit. To receive that help all I need to do is ask and receive as His child. And what I receive is beyond my wildest dreams. To be loved by God and walk with my Lord.