“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

That word stronghold is an interesting one. It implies a fortress, which is a great comfort to us when God is our stronghold or fortress. But what if the thing that has a strong hold on us is not God…but our stuff, our bank account, our comfort, our pleasure, our kids, our relationships, our careeer, or even our ministies…etc. The scripture suggests that our salvation and light come only from God…and we can be fearless when He is our stronghold. I’ve had the privilege of watching a number of people around me dislodge false strongholds in pursuit of the LORD. It is really quite amazing to see a peace and confidence settle in their spirits, just like Ps. 27:3 states, “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.” We become, as I recently heard in a sermon, spiritually “bomb proof” and while we may hurt and experience heartache we we are not panicked because we know in whom we have believed (I Timothy 1:12)

This sight i came upon at Donner Trail Hike reminded me of how the Lord helps us remove obstacles from our lives that hinder us from walking in the direction He wants us to go. The logs off to the side become visible reminders of all He has taken us through.

“Let us throw off everything that entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

 

 

 

 

We often hear of people being afraid of the dark, especially children. As I have been pondering life in our country I think we have a fear of the deep. We dodge hard questions and deep thoughts, perhaps because those deep thoughts will require us to make a choice and to take action. Usually those deep thoughts have to do with things that are eternal. Thoughts like, what happens when I die? What is my purpose? Is there really a God? And while we think we can ignore the uncomfortable thoughts, one day we will find out the answers to those questions and after a life time of ignoring God, and we will regret our dodging the very God that created us. That being said, I don’t think people generally are shallow rather I think when we ask honest hard questions of them, they feel vulnerable. Vulnerable like the Oroville Dam this past winter. You dislodge a few small portions and the whole thing begins to crumble. When we allow God to get involved in our lives He tends to dislodge things that are destructive …things like bitterness, an unforgiving spirit and hate. But when God dislodges those ways of coping it exposes the hurts that we have experienced. And when the hurts get exposed we have to feel. So rather than feel we pretend, dodge and play. The thing that I have noticed lately is that there is a whole generation of young teenagers that need adults that are willing to ask and answer hard questions with them. And while children might be afraid of the dark, they are not afraid of the deep. They challenge those of us that are older to be vulnerable and real and to explain the reason we stand firm in our faith. I challenge those of you that are older in the faith…go deep if not for yourself for the generation behind you.


“Then Jesus said, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.’” Matthew 9:37-38

April 15, 2017

The End Game

I have been reading in 1 Peter 4:7. Peter makes the statement that the end of all things are near and then he gives these directives: Be clear minded…self controlled so you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. He goes on from there speaking about being hospitible without being grumpy (paraphrase) and using our gifts for God. I find it curious that He doesn’t say the end of all things is here…so for heaven’s sake PANIC. Those words are not there. He doesn’t say the end of all things is near so have a good time and escape through whatever it takes to help you ditch reality. He also doesn’t say the end of all things is near so just think about you and your family. Rather Peter challenges us to do things that that will make a difference for eternity and they are simple things to do basically on a good day. But this is the end of the world we are talking about and he is telling us to pray, love, be hospitable and use our gifts. These are the actions that God is pleased with and gets behind and yet these actions are decidedly difficult to live out when we are afraid for our future. Truly they are impossible to live out apart from God. Peter wraps up that section by saying, “If anyone serves, he should to it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen” That strength of God is what will help us to be clear minded, self controlled, praying, loving, hospitable and serving others regardless of what lies ahead. “Lord, help us to keep our eyes on you when things look so terribly bleak. Help us remember you didn’t create us for panic, but for your glory so that we may carry out the good works you have called us to do regardless if the end is near or not. Thank you Lord for the strength you give and most of all thank you for blessing it is to be your child and know that you are on the throne and I don’t need to panic. In Jesus Name. Amen

April 15, 2017