Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Pond By The Wood

I hiked to the pond early Friday morn,
through mist and fallen woods forlorn,
where the winter had torn limbs here and there,
and a gloom hung in the air.

I stood on the bank by the meadow bleak,
cast down and burdened and all weak,
for what have I done to deserve such love
from Christ, God’s Son above?

Then there on the water, the sun came shining!
His love for me removed my pining.
Gladness was pledged as the sky turned blue
and continuing hope in all things new!

What grace shines upon the pond by the wood!
What joy and boundless love understood!
For I know that He loves me with all of His heart
and never from me will it depart!

There are good places to pray outdoors. A fallen tree can be an extended church pew. Talking with God can occur next to a pond in a quiet field of over-grown trees and shrubs. He wants us to talk with Him. Among the thorn apple trees, a heart can turn to speak with God in prayer. We know and serve a relationship God.

Call unto me, and I will answer thee,
and show thee great and mighty things,
which thou knowest not.
Jeremiah 33:3

Seek God and you will find Him. He looks at the heart. Your heart. And mine. We get glimpses of people's hearts, don't we? We understand people's intentions and when they show kindness and not. God knows a hundred times more than we, His creation. Even more than that. He is the Heart-Reader.

God said to Solomon, "Since this is your heart's desire
and you have not asked for wealth, riches or honor,
nor for the death of your enemies,
and since you have not asked for a long life
but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people
over whom I have made you king,
therefore wisdom and knowledge will be
given to you. And I will also give you
wealth, riches and honor, such as no king who has before
you ever had and none after you will have."
2 Chronicles 1:11-12

King Solomon had asked God for wisdom. Not only was this request granted by God but because of Solomon's heart, God gave even more to him. Look at Hannah and Jabez. Their requests were granted too. Can you think of other people in the Bible who prayed and were granted what they asked for?

Delight yourself in the LORD
and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

Isn't it a joy to read the rich promises that are throughout the Word of God? Who would not take hold of them? I trust you have decided in your own heart what you will believe. The Heart-Reader reads hearts and is very good at it. That is His nature.

O LORD, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.
Psalm 143:1

Humans are made in God's image. So God has ears and is listening. Jesus told the parable of the persistent widow, which I've mentioned many times. Keep praying. Be persistent.

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6

It's encouraging to know that a relationship God wants to be in relationship with you and me. Practice prayer. Make it a practice, a habit. As I've heard, only a habit can change a habit. Make it a good one. You could very well end up like King Solomon, being granted more than you asked. Remember the boy who had 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread? He offered what he had and Jesus multiplied it to feed 5,000 people. Trust God with your prayer and see what God does.

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
will be saved."
Romans 10:13

Salvation comes to those who call on God through Jesus Christ. God sent His Son to die for our sins. Whoever believes this will be saved and have eternal life. The Heart-Reader is also the Best Giver. 

Go to the woods and pray. Or to the pond by the woods. God is waiting there for you.
Prayer equals JOY!   

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Waterfall

Down in the gorge of mist and cold,
pours out a gushing strong and bold,
that makes the hemlocks surge up tall—
the power of the waterfall.

The water dances as it sings,
and off the trees, it’s echo rings,
to fill the woodland concert hall—
the music of the waterfall.

The flow that washes like a sea,
removes the mud and creek debris,
and smooths the jagged, rocky wall—
the cleansing of the waterfall.

The Lord of Heaven gives the might,
with mercies pouring day and night,
to send my wrongs cascading all—
the beauty of God’s waterfall!


There are people who think they have no sin. This verse confirms that type of thinking. A man once told me he was perfect in his own way and as he goes through life, imperfect layers are peeling off. How messed up is that? 

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and
the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:8

People who go through life thinking they're perfect in their own way are destined for a rude awakening some day because they're only fooling themselves. When we rely on our own philosophy, even if it seems right, it leads to death.

 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23
There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death.
Proverbs 14:12

But, those who rely on God's Word live forever. Confessed sins are forgiven and purified, like it says in 1 John 1:9. Oh, to have your sins be as white as snow! Oh, to have them forever wiped away, ripped up, forgotten...not held against you. Forgiven By God. 

Synonyms for the word “confess” are: acknowledge, admit, allow, avow, concede, disclose, divulge, own and reveal. 

What is sin? It's something God can't look at. The Bible tells us the blood of the Lamb covers our sin. This is proof that we're not born children of God. If we were, God wouldn't have sent His Son, Jesus Christ (see John 1:12).

The Bible gives definitions of sin. Here is a list of some:

looking lustfully at someone (Matthew 5:28)
taking God's name in vain (Exodus 20:7)
not honoring the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8)
murder, adultery, stealing (Exodus 20:13-15)
homosexuality (Romans 1:20-32)
sexually immoral (1 Corinthians 6:9)
not honoring your mother or father (Exodus 20:12)
malice, deceit, envy, slander (1 Peter 2)
vengeful (Romans 12:19)
foul talk (Ephesians 4:29)
love of money (1 Timothy 6:10)
drunkenness (Galatians 5:21)
not believing (Hebrews 3:19)
worrying (Matthew 6:25-34)
idolatry, witchcraft, jealousy, discord, fits of rage, selfish ambition, factions (Galatians 5:20)
hatred (Proverbs 10:12)
unfaithful, pride, cheating (Proverbs 11)
being rude (1 Corinthians 13:5)
lying (Proverbs 26:28)

For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

The saying 'The seven deadly sins' is just not true because all sin is deadly, not just 7. All of us are born with a sinful nature. Salvation is found for the repentant heart. Jesus came to save, not condemn. If we were all born children of God, there would be no reason for God to send a Redeemer, who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

A waterfall washes away dirt and hurt. Pray that God's waterfall— forgiveness— will clean up, purify and cleanse all unrighteousness from you and others. All unrighteousness means being holy.  

But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.
Colossians 1:22-23

Be a Prayer Warrior. Pray for the salvation of family and friends. Ask God for wisdom. 

Mirror forgiveness, hope and Joy.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

There Is No Valentine Like God

There is no valentine like God

who loves me endlessly;

nor could there be a love as true

that gives undyingly.

For there beside a golden stream

He’ll call the cooling breeze,

And through the woods, we’ll stroll the path

that’s lined with golden leaves.

This love is for whoever taps

upon the Woodland Gate.

How wonderful to enter in

the place of vanquished hate!

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;

I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”

Jeremiah 31:3

There Is No Valentine Like God.


Thank God, in prayer, for His love to us through Jesus, His Son.

Whoever does not love,
does not know God,
because God is love.
1 John 4:8

A very short definition of God is He is love. What is love?

First Corinthians 13, the love chapter, gives a definition of love. In doing so, this passage also gives us a description of God. Here's First Corinthians 13 (with a sentence from 1 Corinthians 12:31 at the beginning):
And now I will show you the most excellent way.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels,
but have not love,
I am only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries
and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender
my body to the flames, but have not love,
I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

But where there are prophecies, they will cease;
where there are tongues, they will be stilled;
where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child,
I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

Now we see but a poor reflection;
then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,
even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.

Why are we given a definition of love in the Bible? Could it be because we need clarity? Could it be because we humans mess up and define love incorrectly? Could it be we need to be reminded? Could it be God is precise, knowing what to reveal about Himself? Could it be God desires us to know Him?


Love always perseveres. I’ve got to pray for perseverance. How about you? What are you praying for? I'm sure you can trust the best Valentine! 

May you follow the way of love with great JOY.