Thursday, May 25, 2006


"Identity is a mix of who we are,
our dreams and aspirations, how we feel, and what we are like."

--Graham Cooke
A Divine Confrontation, p. 242

Wednesday, May 24, 2006



Hope is a peculiar thing. Even though it is often evasive and seems to easily slip out of our grasp, it is never far away.

Hope hovers over us like a devoted friend: it never departs from us entirely.


Like God, hope always returns, fills us again, and brings new life.

It is always darkest before the dawn
is an old cliche, but a truth nonetheless. It is in the darkest moments of our lives that necessary shifts and changes take place. It is where God often chooses to work the hardest. These changes make a way for fresh new sunshine and hope to move back in and bring with them a new day.

Don't give up. A breakthrough is on the way!



Select free MP3 Vineyard worship songs are available from Vineyard Music USA. Accompanying chord charts and lyrics are also offered. When I visited their site today I found these free titles:
  • King Forever
  • If You Say Go
  • Bless His Name
  • I am Changed (Unfailing Love)
  • Saving Grace
Check it out: click here.


"Character is what you are in the dark."

--A. W. Tozer

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Job States the Problem

I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil. Job 3:26

Jesus Gives the Answer

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Isaiah Adds This

"There is no peace," says the Lord, "for the wicked." Isaiah 48:22


Was Job wicked because he had no peace?
And how could that be when God called him "blameless and upright" in Job 1:8?

We see in the first part of Chapter 42 that Job repented of the sin of a presumptuous attitude toward God. God viewed him righteous (as he does us), because of the blood of the Lamb. In Heaven's economy, we are declared righteous because we are clothed in Jesus own righteousness. But that doesn't mean we always have right attitudes or actions. When we are in the grip of a wicked attitude, we are subject to turmoil as Job was. But temporarily falling into sin doesn't change who we are in our relationship to God.

Jesus has given us his peace and a way back into that place of peace when we lose it through a bad attitude or sinful action. We have an invitation to come to him and exchange our heavy burden for his light one and our harsh yoke for his easy one. Because of this submission and change of direction on our part (repentance), we experience rest.

Photo by Melissa Wiese, CC License 2.0



"I have no peace, no quietness;
I have no rest, but only turmoil."

--Job in Job 3:26

More on this topic in my next post

Monday, May 15, 2006


In my previous post, I asked you to join me in a quest for greater peace and rest in God. Just after I posted that message, I visited the blog of a worship leader friend and found his testimony of how he trusted God in a time of stress and found rest. His article is entitled, "The Beauty of Saying Nothing." Here's an excerpt:

After a particularly brain-frying Wednesday and worship team rehearsal for Wednesday night service, I went into prayer with a lot on my mind. It was hard to focus, and I was tired, and I began to think that probably most people who would be in the service would also be tired. So, I ran through the gamut of things I could say to them to "pump them up" whilst trying to pray something spiritual to God. Well, He seemed to interrupt my thoughts and prayer and told me . . .

Check it out: For the rest of the story, click here.


The mountains shall bring peace to the people . . . by righteousness.- Psa 72:3

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. - Rom 14:17

Rom 14:17 can be seen as a progression with peace and joy proceeding out of righteousness. (In a class on Bible Study Methods, I was taught that the first word is the most important in a list of words.) But let's look for confirmation in other verses and let scripture interpret scripture. The opening verse of this article is our first confirmation, stating that it is by righteousness that the mountains bring peace.


Isaiah agrees with our first two scriptures by stating the same thing in this verse:

And the work of righteousness shall be peace. - Isa 32:1

Isaiah stated that the work of righteousness is peace and the psalmist wrote that peace is brought by righteousness. It seems that righteousness can rightly be called the foundation of peace. What an important bit of information to those of us who are hungry for peace! Also note that when these two are in place, joy well ups up within. Since peace and joy come out of righteousness, let'’s look deeper into what it means to be righteous.


Here are two amplifications from The Amplified Bible that follow the word righteousness. In these scriptures, righteousness is defined as:
  • That state which makes a person acceptable to God -
    Rom 14:17
  • Conformity to God's will in thought and deed - James 3:18
In both verses, the word righteousness comes from the Greek word that Strong's Dictionary numbers as G1343. The definition of this Greek word ties together both equity of character (or act) and righteousness through justification. To paraphrase Joyce Meyer: When we first trust God and He comes to live within us by His Spirit, he puts righteousness in us. Then because we have a deposit of His righteousness in us, we begin to do right things.

Here are some other definitions of righteousness:

  • Saying 'Yes’' to right things and 'No'’ to wrong things
  • "Right living" - The Message Bible
These right actions flow out of our relationship with Christ.

Righteousness begins with receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior and letting the sacrifice of his blood justify us. God counts us as innocent because of what Christ has done. That'’s the Good News of the New Testament!


Obviously, we cannot have peace without righteousness. In future posts we will continue to look into how we can cooperate with the Prince of Peace to experience more fully his peace within us and how we can bring his peace into our relationships and circumstances.

I'm on a quest for greater peace and rest in God; I hope you will join me in the days ahead!



To fear is to believe the evil one
has more control over my life than God does.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Messengers of Reconciliation

. . . God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. NIV

God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. The Message

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


We are not here to criticize or condemn the world or to inspect other people'’s fruit. An adversarial posture will only exacerbate the problem and nullify our message.

Our ministry, or service, is to bring about reconciliation
(see 2 Cor 5:19). . . .

--Charles Simpson, One-To-One, Spring 2006


There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells

God is within her,
she will not fall;

God will help her at break of day

Be still and know
that I am God

The Lord Almighty is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress


This beautiful excerpt from Psalm 46 is set in the backdrop of tumultuous times. Words like "quake" and "uproar" are used. Those two words describe the last two weeks of my life as I've experienced emotional transitions and relational conflicts. I'll bet you've had times like that, too. My greatest need right now is to find a quiet place in God and just camp there. I have a great desire for the peace of God and for his refreshing. And I take comfort in the words of this psalm.


But what's this about "The God of Jacob"? How does this title of God fit in the context here? I wasn't sure how so I did some reading. This is what I found: Genesis 31:38-40 tells us that Jacob was a good shepherd. One of the most beautiful relationships in the Bible is that of a Shepherd to his sheep. It is a recurring theme in both the Old and New Testaments.

Jacob was a hardworking protector and caregiver. He was with the sheep under his care constantly to his own discomfort, in all kinds of weather. He was always alert to their well-being, he rarely slept. Specifically, we are told he protected them from wild beasts. He kept them safe. They prospered and multiplied. They had nothing to fear. They experienced peace.


So how does this all fit together? The Lord Almighty in the last verse means "He is the Ruler of all things." Then we are told that the God of Jacob is our fortress. A fortress is a protected place. So, taken together, we are being told three times that God is our protector. He is our Good Shepherd. He leads us beside still waters. He can and will take care of us, if we will let him. I feel better already!

Monday, May 08, 2006


Francis Frangipane has a new article on worship. It's called, "At an Inconvenient Time." It starts like this: "The Lord has multitudes who believe in Him, but only a minority who truly worship Him." He goes on to tell the secret of being a true worshiper and gives examples from his own life.

Toward the end of the article he explains the difference in prayer and worship. Then he elaborates on these insights: " . . . if worship flows genuinely from our hearts, the Lord will repeatedly invite us into His presence. . . . As we worship Him, He will grant us inner strength and peace."

Check it out: For the full article, click here.


"The resistance of a few moments can yield great results."

--Lyn Fitzpatrick, LRC-Houston

Sunday, May 07, 2006

ISAIAH 54:4-5
God Heals Through Relationship

Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame.
Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.

You will forget the shame of your youth
and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.

For your Maker is your husband -- the Lord Almighty is his name --
The Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
He is called the God of all the earth.

The benefits of the first verses of this scripture come out of a personal relationship with our Holy Husband, who is also our Creator, our Redeemer and our God.

By drawing near to Him, confiding in Him, and opening our hearts to Him, we come to know Him and His love for us. In our time alone with Him, He comforts us and rescues us from our past hurts. The more we seek to know Him in this way, the more our confidence grows, enabling us to face life's difficulties without fear.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Fear the Lord you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
Ps. 34:8-9

How great is your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear you. Ps. 31:19

In these verses we see that God stores up his goodness for those who fear him. Do you want to taste his "great" goodness? Then let's consider what it means to fear Him. Psalm 34:11-14 reads like this:

Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

What It Means to Fear God in Plain Language

Here's my interpretation of what constitutes the fear of the Lord:
  1. Keep my tongue from evil:
    Don't harm others with my words, even when I'm feeling cranky

  2. Keep my lips from speaking lies:
    Don't lie, even when it makes me look bad to tell the truth

  3. Turn from evil and do good:
    Deliberately do the kind thing, even when I don't want to

  4. Seek peace and pursue it:
    Don't react in anger in a tense situation but look for the peaceful way out, even when I've been insulted or offended
If we practice these four activities, then we know we have the fear of the Lord and we qualify to taste his goodness, which includes lacking nothing and seeing many good days.

Hope in His Mercy

In all honesty, I often fall short. So do my friends. Some are more established and mature than others. But none are perfect. When we fail, it's time to activate the part of our first scripture that invites us to take refuge in Him. When we mess up, we need to run TO Him, not away from Him. We need to "hope in His mercy" as it says in Psalm 33:18:

Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy.

To summarize: let us keep the truth before us and exert ourselves to line up with it. But when we fall short -- let us repent, wrap ourselves in His mercy and start over. The reward is too great to quit! As we continue in this way, the fear of the Lord will increase in our lives and we will enjoy more and more of his goodness.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

October 31, 1945 - April 30, 2006

He dedicated the last 23 years of his life to AA and sobriety,
and thereby overcame his personal enemies
and broke free of generational bondage.

I'll be offline for a few days to attend the funeral of my cousin.
He was a generous friend to me and my family, especially
my son Scott who was given "the run of the place" and
enjoyed many wonderful hours fishing on Frank's farm.
We miss him already.

Monday, May 01, 2006


"Salvation is a gift; godliness is a pursuit."

--Beth Moore