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Archive for the 'Godward Orientation' Category

A cloudy sunrise

Posted on February 12th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation

The wonder of God’s creation is on display. How? No leaves are on the trees for a morning sun to show their breathtaking color palette. The clouds appear flat and dull without the sun’s brilliance to highlight their rich contours. There won’t be many photos this morning with comments proclaiming that the heavens are displaying the glory of God. No expressions of wow and awe. It is just another dull ordinary day. Really? You and I think this way when our minds are informed by what we want rather than.. read more

Joy when life is hard

Posted on February 4th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation

  Life is hard. But as you think about the wonder of the Lord’s salvation, even when life is hard, especially when life is hard, there are times when pure joy should erupt in your soul. Psalm 126 records the journey of Israel going up to Jerusalem to worship. This psalm captures this joy. Laughter and praise flow freely in the psalm. This psalm is one that brings perspective. God has indeed rescued you from the pit. You are not treated as your sins deserve. You will know the joy.. read more

Metaphor or Reality?

Posted on January 24th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Proverbs, Wisdom

How do you represent God’s word to your children?  Do you believe the words of God are life to your children or are these words more of a metaphor? Here is an illustration that shows the meaning behind my question. Suppose you gave your child a stack of  twenty one dollar bills. Then you tell your child to take good care of them and they will be a blessing to him. An hour later you see your son playing in the back yard with paper airplanes. Then you realize the paper airplanes were.. read more

Heaven – God’s gift

Posted on January 20th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matthew 13:44 The gift of heaven makes sense of life as nothing else can. It is a gift that cannot be earned by man, but won by Christ. It is a gift that exposes our faith, but is given in faithfulness. It is a gift that we are tempted to exchange for the treasures of this.. read more

Advent and the nearness of God

Posted on December 10th, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation

What is your good? How would you define it? Is it the early morning cup of coffee? Is your good watching your team grab the unexpected victory? Perhaps your good is that secluded walk along a forest trail. Or it may be any number of special treasures that only you know. Then there is the special good of the Advent. Advent redefines what good is and makes one good tower above all of the longings and aspirations that our heart can capture. The Psalmist gives a first window into what.. read more

The fork in the road

Posted on November 18th, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation, World View

Each day you have a choice, you can follow the path of death or follow the path of life. Sound dramatic? Actually, no, it is just reality. The whirlpool of death swirls all around you. It is easy to be confused into thinking that it is just the hectic pace of life that keeps you feeling unsatisfied. “I’ll figure it out tomorrow.” But tomorrow turns out to be just like today, and so it goes. Choosing to consciously identify with God is choosing life. Moses told Israel that each day.. read more

Joy is the fuel of hope

Posted on October 31st, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Wisdom

In our deep sadness we are rescued by joy. Joy is the reality of knowing God. Joy transcends the moment and extends into eternity. Joy does not fade but endures. Joy alone makes sense of the pain of life. Joy is the certain knowledge that what is unseen is more vast than what is seen. Joy is the fuel of hope. Joy means your circumstances are opportunities to honor your God. Joy is the evidence that you are never truly lost. Joy means you are not limited by a sin-cursed.. read more

Five Senses

Posted on October 19th, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation

  Every day is an opportunity to be invested in something more than what our five senses tell us. More to the point, our senses fail to tell us what makes life worth living. Life lived for sensory input alone cannot deliver the spectacular promises that each sense evokes. Our eyes show beauty, our ears hear music, our tongues tempt of delicacies, aromas bring memories, our bodies long for warm embrace. With each sensual encounter we long for more, but satisfaction is only for the moment. Our senses lead us.. read more

Who is in Control?

Posted on October 13th, 2016 · Posted in Fear of the Lord, Godward Orientation, World View

Life is about control. Specifically, who is in control. It starts at birth. Babies naturally want to be fed, dry and know comfort. When one of these conditions is not met, who is in control becomes an issue. Later on there is a toy that is appealing, someone’s attention that is desired, and yes, feelings of hunger still matter. Teenagers want control of their time, of how they are perceived, and the lives of those they may be attracted to. Adults want control of outcomes: things like income, relationships, personal.. read more

Emotions and your heart

Posted on September 17th, 2016 · Posted in Fear of the Lord, Godward Orientation

Solomon is adamant that the heart be guarded above all else (Proverbs 4:23). In the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit has provided you with a guide book for understanding emotions. Biblically, emotions can be thought of as the first responders of the heart. If the heart is well-guarded emotions can work for you, not against you. If the heart is not guarded then emotions can bring much damage. The book of Job immediately shows the value of emotions. Job feared the Lord and shunned evil. His.. read more

It takes more than data

Posted on August 3rd, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Parenting

Most of life’s problems that you and your children will face are not caused by a lack of information. Most problems arise because of a lack of sound judgment. After Joshua died Israel became a train wreck. Why? They knew about God but they didn’t know God. Here is what Judges 2:10 says about the time after Joshua’s death: “And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for.. read more

Only in God

Posted on July 25th, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Worry

Turmoil is a part of life. The headlines and news alerts produce a steady flow uncertainty and events to worry about. Personal relationships can bring a daily dose of drama. Disappointment is common. All too often the question, “where is God in all of this?”, creeps into our thoughts. Thankfully, this is not all there is to life. Underneath and around the turmoil something more compelling and more sure is at work. Psalm 62 takes you back to the place of safety and security. King David’s life was full of.. read more

What’s wrong with that?

Posted on July 21st, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Parenting

“What’s wrong with that, doing that never hurt me!” This question has become the standard for determining whether something is acceptable. If one can’t see anything wrong with doing something, then it must be okay. Families lead busy, hectic lives. Decisions about what should or shouldn’t be done are often made on the run. For example, a decision about which video to watch tonight might be asked and answered via texts between a doctor’s appointment and an after school soccer match. The criteria most likely will be, “Is there anything.. read more

A prayer

Posted on June 25th, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Prayer

Dear Father, please keep me from thinking my life is about me. My dreams are too small, my desires are too selfish, my actions are too sinful for me to focus on me. Father, you know I can be down and discouraged. You know my weakness. I pray you would give me the courage to see that my life is about Jesus and loving you as he did on earth. I pray my life would be about living for his reputation. I pray my desires would be consumed with showing.. read more

I’m only human

Posted on February 10th, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel, Sanctification

A husband says to his wife that he is sorry for being insensitive. He says he has been under a lot of pressure lately. A mom says tells her kids she shouldn’t have yelled at them, but she is just very tired. These “little” sins are justified because of some extenuating circumstance or unfair treatment by someone else. After a while these sins aren’t even seen as sins. They are conveniently placed in the category of being human. Well, that is true as far as it goes. Being human means.. read more

Familiar words, distant thoughts

Posted on February 2nd, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation

Psalm 73 tells you that the nearness of God is your good, or how good it is to be near God! These are familiar words. No doubt, they often bring an “amen” when they are read or spoken. However, how deeply do these words take root in your heart? How often do difficult circumstances and events drive these words far away from your mind? Do these familiar words bring joy to your soul or do you wait to use them as platitudes when times are rough? What the psalmist describes.. read more

Heaven: God’s gift

Posted on November 18th, 2015 · Posted in Earthly Treasure, Godward Orientation

It is the Gift which saves man from himself. The gift of heaven is a gift anticipated with trembling, but received with peace. It is a gift seldom planned for, but is given according to the most loving of plans. It is a gift that exposes our faith, but is given in faithfulness. It is a gift that we are tempted to exchange for the treasures of this life. It is a gift looked upon with doubt, but, once given, removes all doubt. It is a gift we wanted to avoid,.. read more

Joseph had the means and opportunity

Posted on November 11th, 2015 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Wisdom

When young Joseph was confronted with a willing and eager temptress, he had the means and the opportunity to sin, but not the motivation. His love of God and his honor protected hm. The love of God and his word planted deeply in the heart is only protection that can be fully trusted to yield godly motivation! Teenagers face powerful temptations.  Parents want to make sure that consequences are in place to help protect their children. It is good to put deterrents in place for behavior that is unacceptable and.. read more

Hypocrisy: the parent trap!

Posted on June 26th, 2015 · Posted in Authority, Godward Orientation, Parenting

Hypocrisy is something you cannot avoid. You tell your children not to fight and then your argue with your spouse. You tell your children God is in control and then you become angry or despondent with the circumstances of life. You tell your children to put God first, and then you realize you told them that for selfish reasons. What can you do? You can tell you children about your struggles with hypocrisy. Seek forgiveness, use pleasant words, and speak the truth seasoned with salt and love. Help them to.. read more

What to tell your children about Charleston

Posted on June 18th, 2015 · Posted in Current Events, Godward Orientation, Gospel

There are troubled hearts in Charleston, South Carolina, not to mention the troubled hearts all across the country. Once again, what appeared to be safe, was not. The time of the Fall can only disguise it’s ugliness for a season. The enemy of our souls is engaged in non-stop attempts to make us think that this world is good and has all that we really need. Then this myth is shattered by an event like Charleston. Not even churches are safe. This reminds us that the world is not all.. read more