Searching for Truth

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Searching

“What is truth?” Pilate asked Jesus.
In our culture today, we don’t know what to believe, and ask the same question.

When I lie it is intended to deceive everyone about the truth.
For the truth will not bend to my will, therefore I lie and call that truth.
After all it is just a matter of sincerity.
The more sincere I am the more my lie seems to be true.
With enough repetition my lies become truth, and truth becomes a lie.
In the end no one can tell the truth from a lie.
Thus I am in control of truth, calling forth what suits me.
Except for one thing, without real truth, my life becomes a worthless lie.
All alone I cannot trust anyone, not even myself.
What I desperately need is the truth.

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – Jesus (John 14:6)

Gray Day

Gray Day

Sometimes the view is obscured

I awoke this morning feeling lost and lifeless. On such gray mornings I need a big dose of Hebrews 4:26.

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.

Followed by Romans 15:13.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Usually it takes some time for the Son to burn off my grayness. Fortunately my coming before the throne is not about my feelings, but about trusting in God’s grace. 

A Place Called “Better is”

morning-mist

Above the fog

“Better is…” a place where we do not see clearly. A place we must rely on God’s Word.

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

Better to have nothing and see God’s glory,
Than to have everything in darkness.

Better to be last with Jesus,
Than to be alone at the top.

Better to mourn and receive comfort from Jesus,
Than a thousand days of laughter without hope.

Better to be merciful and receive mercy,
Than trying to justify yourself before God.

Better is to humbly follow Jesus,
Than pursue all the wisdom of this world.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?  Mark 8:36

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.  Proverbs 3:5-7

Hope in Midwinter

morning mist

Morning light on a cold day

In the dead of winter, it is the hope of Spring that keeps us going. In the same way, knowing the promises of God, and leaning upon them in our struggles gives us hope, that provides strength to go on.

Remember Your word to Your servant,
for You have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life. Psalm 119:49-50

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)

Depression (meditation on Psalm 139)

Clouds Obscure My Vision

All my thoughts are gray.
I am lost in despondency.
I cannot move for the weight of my darkness.
O Lord, You search for me, because You care for me.
I make my bed in Sheol.
Behold, You are here with me.
You stoop down to meet me, because You love me.
You come along side me, because of Your great compassion.
You understand how I feel, because You walked these paths.
You cry with me and do not run out of tears.
This gray day has been known by You since I was first made,
Its purpose is not lost, because You are with me.
Your compassion for me will never end; it will never grow old.
You surround me and have laid Your hand upon me.
I scarcely understand.
Though I forsake myself, You will not.
And someday, I will enter Your rest,
Because Your grip is sure and You know the way.

Beautiful Light

Light in the woods

Light In the Woods

Oh, how beautiful…
There is something about real beauty that touches our soul.
Beauty is far more than shape or form, it is the fragrance of heaven.
Beauty inspires us to reflect the loveliness we encounter.
Seeing a baby smile brings beauty to the beholder, and inspires a smile in return.
Beauty is a signpost pointing to how life should be.
Beauty is never conscious of self, instead it always desires to see beauty in others.
Beauty colors our past with innocence, our present with joy, and our future with hope.
Seeing what is beautiful stirs the desire to draw closer to the source of beauty,
And seeing the source changes you forever.

One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4

So this prayer is far more than asking for a room with a view, it is about asking to draw close to the source of beauty, and be transformed.

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18

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.

Christmas Preparation

Sun lifting the clouds on the mountain peaks

Mountains make ready for the sun.

A voice of one calling:
“In the desert prepare
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the
Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3-5

I prepare by humbly asking for the Holy Spirit to come and make a straight path through my wilderness. Allowing my Lord to raise me up from my dark valleys, to fill them in with His presence. Then ask Him to bring down the mountainous obstacles I have erected, such as my way versus His way, and a pride that rebuffs the notion I need changing.

“Build up, build up, prepare the road!
Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”
For this is what the high and lofty One says—
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:14-15