Come Into His Presence #praise

uganda children

No matter the season

our hands raise in praise

God is our focus

No matter if you sit in a temperature regulated building or your church meets under a mango tree in a village, praise pleases God.

Praise is individual and corporate. Each individual has a voice that God recognizes. Voices join in a choir that has a lovely tone. The intention is to put God in the center where the eyes of our heart see Him alone as Lord.

“Therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever” ~Psalm 45:17

“Whoever offers praise glorifies Me: And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.” ~Psalm 50:23

“Sing out the honor of His name; make His praise glorious.” ~Psalm 66:2

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord ” ~ Psalm 150:6

This word in Hebrew is hallel which means shine forth, exclaim, boast. No surprise that the word glorify/glory often accompanies the praise of God.

Praising god is the one place where man and all nature join together in one bold proclamation.

Why should we praise God?

All that God does is praiseworthy- we need only look around to the beauty of his handiwork:

to His grace in saving us:

to the hope we have in Eternity:

For His mighty works in our world and in our lives – let us with all creatures that have breath …

Praise Him!!!

Seeking the Truth

For What are you searching sweet child of mine

treasures worth having are difficult to find

Where are you going to find what you seek

far and wide seeking the sky and the deep

Who guides in this searching little hands and feet

Jesus my savior my safety He keeps…

What are you looking for today?

There are so many passages in the Bible about eyes that are veiled in blindness. How sad when hands aimlessly carve worthless idols. The mind lost in dark corridors is called “foolish.”

“Who frustrates the signs of the babblers, and drives diviners mad: who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolishness?” Isaiah 44:25

And yet the heavens down to the very depth of the earth are enlightened by God’s beauty.

“Sing, O heavens for the Lord has done it. Shout you lower parts of the earth; Break forth into singing you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob , And glorified Himself in Israel.” Isaiah 44:23

Whether we are young or very old, we should take the world’s blinders from our eyes and look for the kingdom of God. Listen for the song in the breeze; hear the trees clap their hands in joy.

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the days is its own trouble. ” Matthew 6:33 &34

Darkness to Light #devotion #light

Have you ever been lost in a dark alleyway or on a dark road and you are without a lamp?

You might need your hands to reach out in front of you to give you some indication of what is in front of you.

We have driven on roads that are so dark that even with headlights we feel blind. Add to that concern that there are animals being herded home and women and children returning from market. We must take the journey very slowly when we have such visual restrictions.

In John 3, we are told of 2 types of people. There are those who live in the darkness which is likened to a state of blindness. In this type of blindness, we cannot actually see the truth. Why? Christ the bearer of truth is not seen and He is hated by those spiritually blind.

“men loved darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil.”   ~John 3:19

In these times of uncertainty (in our entire world), there are lies that are being promoted as the truth. Promises are made that cannot be fulfilled. Our enemy has no intention of making life lovely for the blind; he only wants to mislead, deceive and ultimately destroy them.

What an amazing contrast is the giver of life. Can you imagine being blind for your entire life and then seeing for the first time? Overwhelming would be a good description of all that is seen in one glimpse of colour, shape and beauty.

“But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”                                                                                          ~ John 3:20

This truth is eye opening, clear, factual, it wants to be seen.

We much prefer the journey in the Ugandan savannah during the day. We see a panoramic view of God’s creation ; a site we never tire of seeing.

As you wander the dusty roads of this earth, walk in the light.

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.”                                 

~ 1 John 1:7

Sorrow’s Lesson #loss

parchment tears

tomorrow’s harvest is empty

no baby for her arms

Burying 2 children (for different families) in one day is overwhelming for us, but it sadly is not uncommon for our Ugandan family. Just 2 weeks ago, one village buried 10 boys playing soccer when the lightening hit.

Jesus as He sojourned on this dirty planet not only saw but lived the sorrow of living.

Consider:”Love your neighbor as yourself” which He considered the second greatest commandment after “Love God.”Matthew 5:43

Loving your neighbor means holding her dead baby while she throws her grieving body on a matte. Loving your neighbor means supporting her as she hears that her husband has left for another woman and took the children. Loving your neighbor means holding a weak arm that reaches toward heaven with one last breath.

We are being faced with daily choices to be the best we can be in loving our neighbor or being the worst we can be (thus hating our neighbor.) Yes these are challenging times but the sorrows we face can make us stronger when we clasp hands with another and press forward.

Jesus was unloved by mankind. “He was despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him…” Isaiah 53:3

In The Midst of … #9/11 #crisis #suffering

“I was a child soldier stolen from my tribe and forced to learn to shoot a gun. They played tricks on our minds. My wife was made to be their slave– to do whatever the soldiers wanted. God was miraculous– I was rescued before I ever was made to kill another person.”

My jaw wanted to drop as our pastor friend David shared pieces of his experiences in the LRA’s hell.

What I noticed is that he didn’t dwell on the past or feel sorry for himself; his focus was on the needs of the village in the present.

Today is a day that we remember; a type of hell that was inflicted upon the United States–I was there.

We watched the screen as the second tower was hit. We knew it was not an accident — the Pentagon was already making a plan; that’s when I felt the shock wave ripple under me.

The Bible tells us that suffering is inevitable. It’s what we do after we are a child soldier or a survivor of 9/11 that matters. I learned to love my neighbors no matter where they are…or what they have done.

What will you learn or what have you learned from your time of crisis?

“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.”

~Psalm 17:8

Hello and Welcome…

We are writing this blog as a way to gather “lessons” and examples that can be taught as we traverse the globe. The Mr is a student (almost finished) of seminary where he is studying the Old and the New Testament and how the Greek and Hebrew texts open our eyes to deeper and thoughtful meaning for the original text. One word in the Bible can speak volumes of truth. Let me give you an example of a word that we are studying: hesed (or chesed). In our vernacular this Hebrew word means mercy. When it is in reference to the Lord it is kindness, love, long suffering… Don’t let this little word fool you it is as deep and wide as God’s love for us. The word hesed can be used by someone calling for the Lord to bless others. These blessings are used in 2 Samuel 9:1-13 where David seeks to bless someone in Saul’s household. It is clear that all blessings come from the Lord.

You will find hesed with God’s people in Egypt and again in the wilderness (Exodus 20:6). You will see two women who have nothing; in gleaning they receive hesed (Ruth 2:20). The one who was pierced for our sins reaches into each life as our high priest to offer mercy and blessing — hesed. (Hebrews 4:16.) So let us then look deeper word by word into God’s magnificent Word. May the Lord bless you with loving kindness as you see “hesed” in so many places.

Lover of Righteousness #faith #focus #haiku

gathering shells

focus on what I can’t see

one treasure at a time

Ever watched a child when she is focused? She can spend hours in her pursuit of looking for a special shell or picking the perfect flower. As we are studying Greek and Hebrew, we see the significance of one or two words where before they merged into a sentance or paragraph.

Consider this treasure:

“therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.” Hebrews 2:1

be attentive – heed

The Greek for hearing is akouo another meaning implies obedience.

This short passage emphasizes the need to be (very) attentive and obedient.

Why???

It is our attention to the Word of God and obedience to it that keeps us from drifting off.

When we are inattentive that drifting may not be as subtle as we think. The Hebrew and Greek implies a water course. Through neglect, we can be pulled into the sea of of wrong doing.

***

As I watched this little girl selecting her sea treasures, I was mindful of what I was taught as a child: “be mindful of the sea.” I was ready to make a dash for her if a rogue wave approached.

Are we mindful of the “rogue waves” in our lives that attempt to take us the wrong way?

Ah– like the child seeking God’s treasures of the sea, let us look deep into His Word for this very search will draw us closer to his side and further from the (slippery) deception of this world.

The Well #photography #haiku

 

dry existence

every day was hot summer

smiles at the well

 

Life can feel dry even when we have easy access to water. Jesus met a woman by a well. Though the woman had access to water, her soul was thirsty.

“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst… a fountain of water springing up into eternal life.”

~John 4: 13 & 14

The well in Jesus’ village never runs dry…