A Reminder from the Heavens

I woke up early this morning, 5:10 exactly. Laying on my right side, my brain raced off to attend to the important concerns of the coming day. Obviously, it had decided I had accomplished enough sleeping for one night. Slowly my gazed raised and eventually focused through the glass of the window which is near our bed. The stars brightly shown through the space above the lowered top of the pleated blinds. Their brightness startled me.

I raised up onto my right elbow and looked again. Sure, I have seen the night sky before, but was it really that bright? I just didn’t remember ever seeing it as such in a long time. Soon I was at the window, standing in amazement, looking at Orion as if I had never seen him before. He hung hugely over the mountain tops of the Olympic National Forest. I could not believe it. Every star was turned up a notch. Maybe because my eyes were adjusted to night vision I could see them all better. Whatever the reason, I quickly dressed and raced out to the front porch. The sky was magnificent.

It drew me out even further into the front yard, to the driveway in front of the garage. The Big Dipper was hung just above the tree tops in the west. I found the North Star. It was like I could see every star God had ever created. The Milky Way I could literally see, the haze of its soft light glowing in the back ground. The entire canopy of the universe was on display, and here was I the only spec that God had bothered to create in the image of Himself. As I stood transfixed I remembered His word in Psalms 147:1-6

Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
For it is pleasant and praise is becoming.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
He gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted,
And binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars;
He gives names to all of them.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength;
His understanding is infinite.
The Lord supports the afflicted;
He brings down the wicked to the ground.

Indeed! Every star is named by Him? How many stars are there in the universe? Only He knows that number. Only He could even imagine it. All praise and glory belong to God. I’m so glad He is in control of the universe and this planet we call home. In the light of the nonsense of the upcoming presidential election I struggle to remain positive. Daily the news brings an accounting of just how badly we are treating each other, not only in this country, but around the world. However, in the second chapter of the book of Daniel it says:

Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
And it is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men,
And knowledge to men of understanding.

As God has placed every star in the heavens, on purpose, with design, so does He have ultimate control of what will eventually transpire on this sad Earth of ours. We have turned away from Him, and our society is really starting to show the effects of that decision. A leader who seeks righteousness is a rare thing. It honestly scares me when I think about where we are headed and what’s coming upon the Earth in time. I think I needed to see that sky this morning to remind me who is really in control. As it says later in the same book of Psalms:

He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man.
The Lord favors those who fear Him,
Those who wait for His lovingkindness.

His starry display reminded of my purpose, to wait for His lovingkindness, in hope, and in as much faith and fearlessness as I can muster. What else can I do? Answer: nothing. Thank you God for your beautiful sky this morning, and thank you that you created me with the ability to enjoy it and be awe-inspired by Your power, love and glory.


Jesus, The Solid Rock

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

Edis Hook

Recently, my wife and I went out to a beautiful place here in Washington called Edis Hook. It’s a narrow strip of sand and rock that extends miles out into the ocean. Out there the sky is huge and beautiful. Sunsets are spectacular. The drift wood is amazing. In order to get to the actual water, you must traverse a wall of huge jagged boulders. Most are wet and slippery; some are not as immovable as they seem. Some, on the other hand, are solid and perfect for the journey to the other side.

Christ is like one those perfect, solid rocks – always there, always secure – guaranteed to keep your foot from slipping. When I meditate on what Christ has done for me, His steadfastness is often the trait that amazes me the most. He lived His entire life in complete faithfulness to His Father, without faltering. It’s the one trait I wish I could muster to the extent that He did.

I can totally relate to the Apostle Paul when he said in Romans 7:23-25:

…but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

It’s often a depressing struggle as I try to be “good”, knowing that will I never achieve that goal, doing dumb stuff even when I don’t want to. Sometimes when I think of my life, I wonder how God can actually still love me as much as He says He does. Amazing!

Thank God all I have to do is rely on the completed work of the Rock, Jesus Christ! By trusting that His death and resurrection have sufficed to pay in full the wrath due me, I gain power to rely on Him. I may not ever be as good as I hope for in this life, but at least the Father sees me dressed in the righteousness of my Savior. Whew!

If you pray sometimes, send one up for me; that I can increasingly grow more faithful and run a good race all the way to the end. Truly, I want to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Welcome into the joy of your Master.”

Now that would be Good News Only.

Power To Pray

angelA revelation recently came to me, one that I suppose I should known for a long while. It was simply this: our prayers are truly precious to God. I know… duh! I just had never thought of my prayers as a precious commodity.

What makes the act of praying an amazing thing is that no man would ever even consider speaking to God unless he had some foreknowledge of God and who He is, and according to Christ that doesn’t happen merely by chance.

Luke 10:22 Christ is speaking and says,

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Hmmm… interesting, no?

Anyway, I have been listening to sermons, and reading/studying about the “end times”. In Revelation the prayers of the saints are likened to a fragrant aroma to God. In Revelation 5, John is describing his revelation of heaven and the throne room. Verse 8 says,

“When He (Jesus, the Lion, the Root of David) had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”

I’m sure I had read that many times, but for some reason it struck me deeply this time. I know Christians pray to give thanks to God and make petitions of Him, but I never considered those prayers as precious or valuable to God.

Later in Chapter 7 the Lambs breaks of 7th seal, which sealed the book He had received from Him who sits on the throne. Verses 2 through 5 say,

“And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”

I’m no theologian , but if the prayers of the saints are suitable for weaponry for God, it must mean they carry much power and are truly holy. Amazing. I searched and read further found a great dissertation written by J. R. Miller, written in 1988. It was entitled The Sweet Fragrance of Prayer.

There he explains the true value and power of prayer, and how precious it is to God. Here’s the link; it’s definitely worth a read: Sweet Fragrance of Prayer.

Long story short – I have a new perspective and appreciation for prayer. To God they are precious. He saves and treasures each one; rightly prayed from a contrite heart, they are a fragrant aroma. It’s given me new power to pray. Knowing that God treasures my prayers has given me new boldness to pray, to ask for forgiveness and help from the Spirit. I feel a bit closer to Him. That’s good, for according to the holy scriptures the closer I get to God, the farther Satan will flee from me.

Now that is Good News Only.

Jesus, the Great Dumping Ground


I recently returned from a week-long visit to see my brother who lives in Carson City, Nevada. He needed help with some major house-hold chores and projects. One of our tasks took us to the local land fill off of Highway 50, where we deposited over 450 lbs. of yard waste, metal, plastic, rotten wood, and an old car seat.

While there I could not help but notice the sky, which is always beautiful in Carson City. However, above the mountains of waste and refuse it’s beauty was even more striking. There it was, heaven looming above the garbage piles below. The metaphor became strikingly evident: the pile of garbage was our sin, the land-fill was Christ Jesus, the sky was heaven where we will one day go, free from sin. As I looked at the piles of garbage I was loathed to realize that whenever I sin more gets added to the piles of waste. Ugh! We all owe a debt to Jesus who took on all of our sin. Every evil deed and thought was laid on him, and by His stripes we were all healed.

I resolved anew to live by the power and grace of the Lord, Jesus. I was reminded of Psalm 19:13 that says, “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous (willful, on-purpose) sins; Let them not have dominion over me: Then shall I be upright, And I shall be clear from great transgression.”

This really struck home to me, for my brother is suffering mightily because of some very wrong choices he made in the past. I pray he will come out cleansed and renewed through his ordeal. We vowed to not pile more of our own garbage onto Christ and to keep our hearts and eyes fixed on the blue sky of heaven above, where Christ has gone to prepare a place for us.

What a glorious day when there will be no more piles of refuse. Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

Bible Reading

Millicent and I made only a few New Year’s Resolutions this go around. One of them was to read the Bible together from cover to cover in one year. We found a schedule on the Internet, and so far, have actually stuck to it. We are having big fun.

It had been a while since I had read the Word of God from cover to cover; Millicent never had. So away we went. We will be reading Chapters 12 and 13 of Joshua tonight. The story of Israel is astounding. At this point the people have just subdued all the kings of the realm and possessed almost all the land promised to their fore-fathers, Abraham Jacob, and Issac.

In an attempt to deepen our understanding of those ancient sites, we have been searching on the Internet for pictures and additional information. I came across a truly great web site. It’s called Different Spirit. Here’s the link:


This site is packed full of great information. It is very well laid out and organized. It explains much about Israel, faith in Christ and His kingdom which is on the way. If you are interested in such things, this is a great resource. I just thought I’d share.

Take care. God bless you and yours.


A Fantastic Exchange for Christ

I was so blessed and excited to be able to share my faith with Johan, a gentleman that wrote in with a comment. Here’s my answer to him.

Hello, Johan!

I’m too excited to wait a few days. Here’s my reply.

Before I proceed, please know I am not trying to proselytize you or convert you to my way of thinking. It is a rare soul indeed, if there is even one, who came to Christ because someone beat them over the head with the scriptures. So know, that’s not what I am trying to do. I simply want to give a clear thoughtful answers from scripture to the questions you raised, because it’s the proper thing to do. After all Christ Himself said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out.” (John 3:37). It’s all accomplished by the preaching of the gospel.

So here goes. I’ll break your comments down into sections so I can reply to them easier.

You said: I’m sure the other living things on different planets also have their own god as well.

I say: Sorry, but there are no other living beings on other planets with their own gods. I know it’s almost impossible to believe when you consider the daily headlines, but man is the pentacle of the Father’s creative activities. We are the only thing He created in His own image (Genesis 1:27). We were designed to rule over and subdue everything that He had otherwise created. We can discuss that later if you like, but here’s my point.

There is no other earth anywhere in the universe. Saying that is the same as saying that out of the countless quadrillions of sand particles on all the worlds beaches there must be two which are exactly alike. No! Or of the countless billions of snow flakes that have fallen, there must be two the same. No dice! I don’t care how many billions of galaxies there are out there – we are it! People need to get use to the idea, but they don’t want to because if they do, they will realize how special we are and how much responsibility we have to bear for what we’ve been given.

You said: And to say people who don’t believe in god don’t want to be held accountable for their sin is ridiculous.

I say: I understand what you are trying to say and actually agree, but here’s the problem: those who truly don’t believe in God have no reason to worry about sin or being accountable for it. That’s not to say that non-believers don’t have a sense of or know right from wrong. Everyone does. If one does not believe in God, why worry about sin at all. It doesn’t make sense.

However, believe me, Johan, I know God loves me, and I try my best to love Him back by keeping His word, but I DEFINITELY DO NOT want to be held accountable for my sin. Every Christian feels the same way. That’s why we flee to the cross to be covered by the blood of Christ. If you accept God as supreme authority and ruler then you also have to accept what He says: “They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:3 or Romans 3:23). I can’t think of any reason why God would lie about it.

You said: And I don’t see how believing in a god is any more reasonable than believing that it happened by “accident”.

I say: This I must totally agree with. I don’t think faith can be quantified as something reasonable. To call something as done, when you can’t see it – well, not exactly reasonable. However, there is power there.

On the other hand, when I consider the mathematical odds against everything that is (including us) having come together by sheer happenstance and chance, I can’t buy it. To me it takes more faith to believe that. Anyone who truly believes that should take all their wealth and go to Vegas. You would have an infinitely greater chance of winning there than the universe having come together randomly. It goes against the very laws of thermodynamics (if I indeed remember them correctly).

You said: In my opinion, the thought of god exists only because humans seek answers by nature. And when their is an unanswerable question, we allow ourselves to indulge in comforting thoughts.

I say: Here’s something to think about: it is the very job and purpose of creation to testify to the glory of God directly into the heart of men. “For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they (men) are without excuse (Romans 1:20). That’s why tribes or people who have never heard the gospel of Christ worship through nature. It’s built into us as men. However, God says we must worship him, and him alone, not the things are are made.

You said: Do I know how the universe was created? No. Do I think there is an entity that created us and loves us and personally wants us to live by his rules? Absolutely not.

I say: I know how the universe came to be – God created it. What a mathematician He is – astounding! And yes, since He’s the guy who just speaks and stuff happens, I say He gets to make the rules. As it says in scripture, we are the clay, He is the potter. The clay does not get to say what gets made. That’s the potter’s domain. I mean, who actually thinks they’re going to have a successful argument with God about anything? It would be better to say, “I don’t believe”, as many do.

You said: I support your right to believe so, but I do not encourage statements generalizing the personality of those who don’t believe in the same things as you.

I say: I agree again. It’s not my purpose or job to put anyone into some box of generalities. “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:12). Rhetorical question – no one is the answer. I was once under the same condemnation every man is under before he comes to Christ. I am flawed and imperfect. Praise God I am also forgiven.

You said: And I DEFINITELY would beware when doubting other possibilities when you yourself believe in something so contradictory.

I say: There are no other possibilities. Everyman man is appointed a day to die (even as Christ was), after that comes judgement. Contradictory? You bet. The scriptures say “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19). I’m not saying you hate me, please don’t misunderstand, but the gospel of Christ for the most part is just foolishness to most of the world. Definitely contradictory. It’s just the way that God chose to save those He has called – through the foolishness of the gospel.

Anyway, I can’t tell you how excited and honored I am to have been given the chance to share my thoughts with you. It was truly a blessing. I hope at least a bit of what I said made sense to you and finds root in your heart.

Take care, Johan. All the best to you and yours,