The Norwegian pastor and author Ole Hallesby wrote in his delightful book, “Prayer,” the following: “Listen, my friend! Your helplessness is your best prayer. It calls from your heart to the heart of God with greater effect than all your uttered pleas. He hears it from the very moment that you are seized with helplessness, and He becomes actively engaged at once in hearing and answering the prayer of your helplessness.” Helplessness is an emotion we do not readily accept as a good emotion. When we are confronted with problems the first thing we usually do is to feverishly consider the options and we will strive to find a solution. That is our human, carnal nature. As humans, we seem to pride ourselves in solving our own problems and this forces us to lean to our own understanding. And we keep doing it until we realize our own understanding is not enough. Then we sigh in desperation, and finally, we feel utterly helpless. Like the Psalmist in Psalm 107; weContinue reading »

Fullness is bliss Ah, the richness of it – God so graciously guides us into fullness when we align with pure principles and precepts Fullness is precious – Living in fullness is beyond satisfying – The love of God stirs the best in us – Yes, the beauty and splendor of love and its assorted postures Fullness includes gratitude – The pouring in of gratitude alters our mental and spiritual landscapes – We walk in thanksgiving “meadows” with its lush “gardens” of pleasure Fullness is peace – Ah, the peace that passes understanding with calm that’s immeasurable in its existence – We gratefully welcome peace in our heart spaces Fullness is abundant and great in its placement within us.        

Satan goes by many names, some in the Bible as a given name or names, and some we can address him by relating to his attributes, as we do for God. Oh, make no mistake; he is in no way equal to God or even close to the exalted place where God dwells. He is called Satan, which means adversary as he is the enemy of God, the Devil, which means slanderer, and Beelzebub which comes from the false god of the Philistines, meaning lord of flies. The Bible also refers to him with the names relating to his nature as the tempter, the wicked one, the accuser of the brethren (we are the brethren this refers to), the ruler of this world, the god of this age, the prince of the power of the air, and an angel of light. For the purpose of this tale, I will refer to him as the joy thief. Calling him the stealer of joy might be a misuse, since he has noContinue reading »

I wonder what various types of things the folks mentioned in the Bible did to have fun. What types of recreational activities did they indulge in to unwind? They did play; it says so in the Bible. One place that play is expressed is in Exodus 32:6 – KJV, “And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” I can imagine them playing hide and seek. Likely, they engaged in competitive sports. We don’t read where Jesus played. Is it reasonable to believe that he did? Probably, Jesus did fun things to balance his life on earth. If he engaged in competitive games, my guess is that he always won. Really, can we visualize Jesus not coming in first every time if he competed? Or it could be that he let others win from the standpoint of earthly perspective? We can only speculate, but I do believe thatContinue reading »

September 13th, 2015, Dateline NBC ran a story about four teenagers all suffering from the effects of bullying. Two girls, two boys, each had issues with low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. They all became quite reserved and self-conscious about their physical appearance. Their parents could not talk them out of this gloomy world. A solution needed to be found. The solution became the main topic of the program. An organization in New York City offers young people the opportunity to have cosmetic surgery to repair facial aberrations. Parents send in an application for their child to be chosen to have a surgery they could not otherwise afford. Doctors and consultants look over each application, which includes a personal letter and photographs of the applicant. If chosen for the program, the applicant is flown out to NYC to have the surgery at no cost to them. The main focus of the program was not solving the problem of bullying, but how those who are bullied handle the problem. DoesContinue reading »

Rejection arrived in painful doses — We didn’t order the prescriptions; they manifested anyway We gulp from the grip that rejection dispenses — It feels like a stranglehold — until . . . In season, hope magnifies and speaks — “Uncover your heads, dear ones — Rewards are packaged in the rejection episodes “Lessons are contained in the properties of your wounds — Lessons to prepare for new and pleasant victories “Hope is here to “arrest” rejection and to teach from what it delivered “Collect yourselves — Straighten your drooping shoulders — Stand erect with heads up and know that there are indeed escape routes “Get ready to ride the splendid tides of relief and freedom — Surfs up!” Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, . . . Hebrews 6:19 – KJV

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Elemental Gifts from God — Fire and Earth

Fire elements come
compliments of the consuming fire
God, the SOURCE of power
and all elements
air, fire, water and earth —
Yes, the fire of God
blazes eternally
in unsurpassed glory and magnificence

Fire ignites
It glows
It burns
Fire spreads
It warms and
generates essentials that aid
in manifold ways

The Bible tells us
the earth is the Lord’s
and the fulness thereof —
What a precious gift from God
that we get to inhabit
this great planet earth
Grounded we are
on its soil
walking, running
dancing, skipping
on the surfaces of earth space —

We live here in gratitude and joy
we meet and conquer
our challenges on this
rich earth —
We plant and water
aware that God
provides the increases —
What a wondrous place
we get to plant our feet on
and live in love, joy and contentment

Earth grows our food,
roots our history,
provides our present,
plans our future —
Earth replenishes —
It recovers and regroups
Ah, the splendor of its gifts
all from the hands of God —
Yes, the earth is the Lord’s
and the fulness thereof.

Thankful, we are to be
earth dwellers and
to be recipients of its
vast wonders.

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Gratitude

Daylight gifted us
with yet another wake up call —
Once again, God expressed,
“Let there be light.”

Our eyes opened
to capture the newness
of this morning —
We inhale and exhale
intact with the pulse
of our precious beings —
Thoughts of gratitude
are ideally in place

Appreciative postures
add to our journeys —
Truly, God inhabits
the praises and thanks
that pour forth
from the multitudes
of loving and grateful people

We wax nostalgic
humbly remembering
the gratitude gems
in our treasure “chests” —
We joyously add
to the jewels contained inside —
Our travels in gratitude
have multiplied who we are within —
better “instruments” in tune
with our Creator who loves and respects
postures of love and thankfulness

Gratitude adds personality flavor
It’s a good fit on any model –
Yes, suitably, it works in a crowd
but does solid solo appearances, as well

Thankfulness is heart healthy
head wise
soul stirring
and in sync with
the plans and purposes of God Almighty.

Plentiful salutes to gratitude
and the rewards that accompany it.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul. In 1873 Horatio Spafford wrote this powerful hymn. Spafford was a wealthy businessman who lost his wealth in 1871 in the Great Chicago Fire. Coming hard on the heels of this blow, his four daughters were killed in a shipwreck while crossing the ocean, sparing only his wife. As he himself was crossing the Atlantic shortly thereafter, he wrote these words as the Lord gave him utterance as he passed near the scene of the tragedy. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. He is speaking of the act of Jesus on the cross, as the pardon for all who are bound for Hell lest they accept His pardon. Even though things are going wrong onContinue reading »

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Comfort in Certainty

It is oh so comforting to be certain about God — the ways and wonders of God. When all is thought, said and done, God is . . . .

The appearances of God are undeniable, immeasurable, incomparable and unsurpassed. The Most High resonates with resounding glory packed with enormous power beyond our finite abilities to comprehend.

A favorite Bible story is in 1 Kings 18. That’s the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. I believe that he was certain that God would prove the prophets wrong. Elijah says in 1 Kings 18:24 – KJV, “And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.”

Powerfully, the account continues. 1 Kings 18:36-38, says, “And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

“Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, . . . .

“Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.”

Wow! The magnificence of the evidence of God. Elijah sure got the answer to his prayer. The prophets of Baal were shown the TRUE God with undeniable proofs — center stage. They conceded, likely — albeit, reluctantly. The works of God “stared” them in their faces — clearly. Certainly, a marvel to witness.

God doesn’t half step. Our Creator steadfastly performs with flourish. Yes, certain comfort resides within whosoever believes and acts with awareness — that God transcends any and all!

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Rest

“Wagons” are circling
in whirlwinds of uncertainty –
We choose to rest

Family member hospitalized
mystery surrounds us –
We choose to rest

Military duties call away
our offspring
unclear what to expect –
We choose to rest

Job prospects don’t
deliver as promised
Back to ground zero –
We choose to rest

Pastor resigns
most didn’t see it coming –
We choose to rest

We act from God’s guidance
doing what’s deemed fit and best
while we rest in the everlasting arms
of our Creator who gives rest
to whosoever will — let us come
to rest.

Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 – KJV, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Yes, rest — indeed.