Wednesday, June 01, 2016

THE JOURNEY HOME

MY FEET HURT! ALL FOUR OF THEM! When did you say we were going to reach our destination? Tomorrow? You said that YESTERDAY! Do you really know where you’re taking us? Did I mention my FEET HURT?!

I was fine in our river-side home. And the river was just perfect, not too cold, not too warm and the food was plentiful. We hippos were meant for rivers, not dry grasslands. Are you SURE it was God you heard and not your stomach growling?  I mean, how can you be sure?  Yes, yes I realize we met a lot of other nice couples along the way, though those two crocodiles are disconcerting, and yes, all the husbands heard the same message, but husbands have been known to be wrong ya know!  Did I mention my feet are KILLING me?


I was happy where we were. No big changes expect during high river time, or when the kid came over.  That’s ANOTHER thing, why just us? Why couldn’t the whole herd come along? Oh yeah, right, God said only two. The fact is, I just don’t like this journey at all. I was comfortable at home. By the way . . . my feet have stopped hurting . . . I just can’t feel them anymore.


Are you sure you know the way? You keep looking around like you’re expecting something. Oh right, water is supposed to start falling from the heavens. Now look, honey, we all know, even the wildebeest know, that water comes up from the ground. Rivers, lakes, streams, and the mist that feeds them all, water comes from below, not above. Why am I following you anyway? Oh I forgot YOU'RE the leader of the herd!  The herd we LEFT BEHIND! OUCH! Blasted rock! Hey, I can feel my aching feet again! Thank the Lord for small blessings!


So, let me get this straight, this whole journey, an adventure YOU call it, is because we are to trust God, even when we don’t know the way or the destination? That’s a whole lot of trust, dear. Trust and follow. Follow and trust. Seems like a lot to ask of a hippo. We’re not really created for this type of journey. I’ll be honest, I’m more than a little scared. But I’ll trust you as the leader to trust the Lord, and I’ll follow you to our new home, a home you promised would be better, right? Of course, right. But my feet still hurt!


Hey now, who’s dropping water on my head! Well, I’ll be a hippo’s mother! Guess it’s time to pick up the pace, our destination looms ahead.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

STAYING IN THE MIDDLE

IN THE BIBILCAL BOOK OF JOSHUA, chapter three, we read that the priests carried the Ark of the Covenant into the Jordan River and as they their feet touched the edge of the river the river rolled back and the Children of Israel walked across into the Promised Land on dry ground!

Pretty miraculous, but what grabbed my attention as I was reading once again about this event is that the priests stood there in the middle of the Jordan River holding the Ark while the nation of Israel walked through on dry ground. Now, we're talking about 2 million people, that's a long time standing there!

Should they had moved, not only would they have disobeyed the word of God, but I suppose the river would also would have returned to its previous flood-stage.

These guys were amazing! Talk about sticking at your post and carrying out your assigned task, these guys rocked!

Here's the lesson that convicted me: how often do I desire to leave my post? Be it as a father, husband, or pastor? Do I realize that people's lives are depending upon my faithfulness in order for them to pass through this life in relative safety? My obedience to the Word of God is vital to the safe arrival of people into God's Promised Land.

Is it tough? Sure! Does the load get heavy? You bet! Do my legs feel weak and shaky? Without a doubt! But it seems imperative that I remain at my post until all cross-over safely, or until the LORD, by His power, relieves of my call.

Sure, we all want to give up, especially those who have been standing in the dry river bed wondering when this will all be over, but stand we must. 

Today, I read a challenging post by Pastor John Piper entitled, "Hillary, Bernie, Donald and Me." I encourage you to read it, especially if you find yourself to be one of those aging Baby-Boomers, like me.

So, until the LORD calls you out of your riverbed, I encourage you to stand firm, be immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for your labor for Him is never in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

JUMPING ON THE BED!!!

ONE OF THE JOYFUL EXPERIENCES in life is jumping on the bed, even if it frowned upon by most authority figures. 

The place of rest becomes a place of joy.

I was reading in Leviticus where the writer records God's command about keeping the festival, writes,

On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. Lev. 23:41-40
There you have it, without the end-boards rest the bed of rejoicing soon falls apart.  If you want to rejoice well you need to rest well.  The LORD, in His graciousness calls us to rest, so that we can rejoice in His goodness.

Sadly, we too often refuse to rest, and in doing so lose the strength to rejoice before the LORD with the vigor of a preschooler jumping on a bed.

Therefore, let us rest well and rejoice with wild-abandon over the goodness of our God! 

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

LIGO and the Ol' 19th

 I LOVE LOOKING AT THE HEAVENS. I would, in know way, call myself an amateur astronomer, but I do enjoy reading books and articles and of course, gazing at pictures of the heavens.  Many of the explanations of the universe and our recent discoveries are way over my head, yet I am caught by the wonder they create in me.

This past February I discovered, as I suppose some others of you did, about an instrument that detects gravitational waves. These waves are so small, well let's just say it's beyond my comprehension, that it takes a quite amazing instrument call LIGO, (astronomers love acronyms!) which stands for: Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory and now you know why they like acronyms. Rather than for me to explain it, if you're interested, I encourage you to check out the link above.

Now, here's the news, on September 14, 2015 this instrument "wiggled," well wiggled is a bigger word than what it did, remember these waves are small.  They were able to determine from these waves something that took place billions of years ago. Check out the new release here.

Whether you believe, or understand, what they say they were able to discover, it is all pretty amazing. Recently, I was drawn to the last sentence in an article I read in the April 2016 edition of the Smithsonian Magazine.  The author, Brian Green, writes, "There's nothing more inspiring than our capacity, in the midst of our ever-present terrestrial struggles, to look up, to wonder, and to have the ingenuity and dedication to see a little farther."   (The Detection of Gravitational-Waves was a Scientific Breakthrough, But What's Next?) Upon reading that sentence my mind and heart went directly to the thought that the Psalmist David was once again right on the money when he penned in Psalm 19,

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.
 So, whether it is peering into the deep darkness of the night sky, or measuring the infinitesimal waves of gravity, one must say, "How great is our God!"