Pastor's Blog
THE WAY BACK PDF Print

“Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to My people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins.  Yet they seek Me daily and delight to know My ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of Me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God.”  Isaiah 58:1-2 (ESV)

God gives the nation of Israel a way back.  A way back from where?  Their waywardness!

They had drifted so far from God and deluded themselves so thoroughly that they actually thought they were on the right path.  In truth, they were headed for a cliff.

God gives us a way back.  “A way back,” you ask?  Yes, please consider . . .  Are we deluded by the god of this world?  Of course we are!

Could we possibly imagine that our courtship of God would remotely win His heart?  Look at the devotion of these have-nots in Isaiah 58 and consider your offering.  The entire issue there – and here is this – God knows the heart . . . what moves it, excites it, warms its cockles!  He truly knows what the heart contains whether the owner does or not!  The content is seen by its contact.  The heart’s devotion is known by its selfless motion.

God gives us a way to Him – in truth – not in self-deluding fairy tales!  The way to Him or the way back, is to fully follow. 

Observe . . .

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?”  Isaiah 58:6-7 (ESV)

Surrender, selflessness, sacrifice . . . these are the marks of the sanctified!

– Dale

 
CREATION'S PRAISE PDF Print

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God.  The skies display His craftsmanship.  Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known.  They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.  Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.  God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.”  Psalm 19:1-4 (NLT)

Seldom in our busy world do we pause and listen for creation’s praise.  We become accustomed to observing the world around us and often find the miraculous ordinary.

As we stagger about in our handcrafted malaise – these ordinary creations continuously praise their Creator!  It seems that it’s only when we’re accosted by some new or rare experience do we stop and take a breath – wondering about such a creative Maker.

The psalmist in this particular song, suggests that there is a perpetual praise and worship service being expressed in an unimaginable language all around us – every moment of every day.

I wonder sometimes if these creations are capable of wondering about us?  If so, perhaps their question would be, “Why would humans become so engulfed in temporary pursuits, that they would fail or forget to praise God?”

Good question!

May we today take part in the heavenly chorus – offering exuberant praise to the Creator for His amazing creativity!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

– Dale

 
DRIFTING PDF Print

“Therefore, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”  Hebrews 2:1 ESV

Have you ever laid on a raft, closed your eyes and just let the waves take you wherever?  If so, you probably only did it once – because the currents within the gulf or the oceans are intensely strong and they have a tendency to sweep you away quicker than you ever imagined.

Spiritual Drifting is even more dangerous!

Drifting leaves one at the mercy of the prevailing currents – and the current of this world can lead us farther astray than we ever imagined.  The longer we drift, the greater distance we find ourselves from God’s presence.  This is treacherous, because it’s within God’s presence that we find the necessary provisions for living the Spirit-filled life of a believer.

Drifting may simply start out as a desire to disconnect for a moment – to let go of perceived responsibilities and take a well deserved break.  After all, God is all about rest . . . right?

Here’s the potential problem: once we step away – we may be swept away . . . carried quicker and farther than we ever thought possible!

Drifting from worship and/or the Word, potentially diminishes our ability to connect.  Without connection, we lack the power and passion needed to overcome.  This leads to neglect – as we begin to neglect God’s presence.

Where are you headed?  Do you even know?  Are you trapped in a powerful current – being sucked further from God?

My prayer is that you stop – and begin searching for a direction of purpose, today.

– Dale

 
HANG IN THERE PDF Print

Well it’s January seventh . . . are you hanging in there?  You know, with your New Year’s resolution that you made in a moment of strength (or weakness).

According to unofficial (made up) statistics – most people abandon their resolutions within the first month.  How about you?

Here’s some advice I found online that may help you stick:

(1) pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) in regards to what resolutions, if any, He would have you make;

(2) pray for wisdom as to how to fulfill the goals God gives you;

(3) rely on God’s strength to help you;

(4) find an accountability partner who will help you and encourage you;

(5) don’t become discouraged with occasional failures; instead, allow them to motivate you further;

(6) don’t become proud or vain, but give God the glory. Psalm 37:5-6 says: “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

Put another way: “I resolve to seek my Lord’s leadership in all that I do,” even when it comes to fulfilling my New Year resolution.  Requesting His presence and His strength in accomplishing this worth while goal!  –  Amen!

Like the cat says, “Hang in there, baby!”

– Dale

 
GOD-EXPLORERS NEEDED PDF Print

The problem we often have with our faith is that we don’t take it out and play with it enough.  Play may not be the optimal word here, but you get the point.  All too frequently, we believers are content to stay within the box we were born in.

Being born-again causes us to receive unimaginable gifts from our Heavenly Father.  I wonder how often they go unrecognized? . . . The gift of life, the gift of love, the gift of His peace that trumps any anxious moment . . . assurance is another of those priceless gifts given by the Divine – the knowledge that He will always be present in our lives.  These and so much more!

Sadly, many who are reborn never fully explore these treasures beyond their surface value . . . being completely unaware of what awaits them.  If only we were willing to scratch the surface just a bit.  Most of us are reborn within certain traditions.  But we must not allow those traditions to be our only spade.  With one turn of the heart, we could allow the Divine teacher to ignite a holy hunger within us that only He could satiate.

Jesus seeks spelunkers.

He desires excavators.

Deep divers are desperately needed (because it’s in the depths that real change takes place).

May we today be found innocent of the sin of superficiality and become God-explorers.  After all that’s what we were born for!

“Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  Psalms 119:104-105 ESV

– Dale

 
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