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

The Steps of Man, the Hand of God

ocean-0811

He knows all of our steps… not one is overlooked.

In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps. Prov.16:9

With all the turmoil and strife in the world it is good to know the Lord determines our steps. All we need do is take another step trusting in Him.

A Place Where Heaven Touches Earth

Cascades

Where earth and sky meet

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:1-6

And we can touch Heaven.

On This Brand New Day

Brand New Day

A brand new day in the Icicle Canyon

On this brand new day what do I most need?

I need to reaffirm my hope is in the Lord and not myself. With His help I can scale the wall before me.

You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall. Psalm 18:28-29

Along with hope, I need remind myself of God’s faithfulness to His promises (His Word). I can trust in Him.

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11

And most of all, I need to rest in His love for me.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

This is what I need. This is what we are given in Jesus. Take a long deep drink of this “Living Water” on this new day.

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.

Letting in the Sunshine

letting-in-the-sunshine

The light of day

In this current culture of obscuring the truth with words (e.g. locker room talk, boys will be boys), I need to reflect on the truth found in 1 Corinthians 13.

Lust wants to possess, to force.
Love hopes for love’s response.

Lust wants to rule, to conquer.
Love brings freedom to the lover.

Lust wants to be served, and uses others.
Love wants to serve.

Lust is self-seeking.
Love seeks for good in the one loved.

Lust lies to get what it wants.
Love rejoices with the truth.

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

Lust leads to self-gratification.
Love leads to self-sacrifice.

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

I may not have stated it all quite right, but I want to point to the one who came to proclaim the truth of God’s love.

Rejoice

Rejoice

Rejoicing in new life

Rejoice, He has risen.
It is the death of Death,
New life in His life,
And the hope of glory.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.  Matthew 28:5-6

A New Beginning

Sunrise of a New Day

Sunrise of a new day

“If only I had been more loving … spent more time.” These are words I have heard over and over from people grieving over the death of someone in their family. It is especially difficult when the death was self-inflicted. We all wish at times to be able to go back and change something we said or did. But, unfortunately, erasing and changing the past is not possible … or is it? The key to this miracle is found in the word forgiveness.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.  2 Corinthians 7:10

This verse is about confessing our wrongs before God and receiving forgiveness.

How can God’s forgiveness leave no regret, especially when the person we have wronged is gone? Because the grace of God brings with it the “hope of the glory of God.”

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom 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 5:1-2

In other words, in the end the glory of God wins. It wins over our regrets, our shame, our sins — it wins out over death. God’s grace replaces all our regrets with peace and hope in Him. I still struggle with my feelings of regret; constantly reminding myself that I stand covered by God’s grace. How God resolves all the messes in life is His miracle not mine. I just know that through forgiveness and following Jesus, I will someday see the glory of God cover the land … like the sunrise of a new day.

The Line Between Light and Dark

Sun Mountain-1

Light meets dark

This picture is difficult to understand because there is nothing to help you align yourself as to the scene. Life is like this picture, we need something to help us in making sense of what is happening. A passage in Isaiah speaks to God meeting our need:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who trusts will never be dismayed.
I will make justice the measuring line
and righteousness the plumb line;” Isaiah 28:16-17

Isaiah is prophesying about a coming Messiah, who will be our foundation and cornerstone. Through the Messiah, life will not dismay us, but in Him we will gain understanding and meaning for all that happens. I desperately need help, to know up from down, right from wrong, and good from bad. In Jesus, God has given me a cornerstone for measuring and understanding life.

I have provided two additional photographs below for better orientation. They are from the same scene, but a slightly different direction to provide context.

Sun Mountain-2

Shades of snow

Sun Mountain-3

Valley fog and snow covered ridge

These photographs were taken near Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop WA. The first is looking up at a snow covered ridge, shrouded by a cloud. The second includes the side hill and a snow covered pine tree, and the third a view of the mountain in the distance as the cloud lifted.