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Monthly Archives: February 2012

      Yesterday morning she stooped over me as I slept, kissing me good morning on my forehead: “Did the devil ‘steal, maim and destroy?’ I asked.

      No!” she responded, “Horse and rider were cast into the sea.”  (Exodus 15:21)   A recent set of events had included some very trying moments. 

     Pitiful is the teaching of those who render scripture’s accounts as nothing but myths or who have had our audience and failed to encourage our faith. Not long, should we sit at the feet of faithless preaching. The Bible is full of faith accounts in real life situations. Those we ponder for our own life models.

     That event in the Red Sea became foundational to Israel’s faith; to those who became a “great cloud of witnesses;” and for centuries to come to all who will believe. The faith of Moses would have been meaningless without the actual faithfulness of God to deliver His people.

     My wife and I live in a relationship in which the Deliverer yet delivers. He, who saved then, saves yet. This walk with God is for real: we seek to remind ourselves and others not to forget the benefits God actually bestows on those who seek Him and beyond finding Him, put their trust in Him.   What is a testimony and worship without such continuous experience?

     Many teachers seek to explain away the miraculous because their own lives are void of them. Linda and I seek the opposite; we look to God in hope and expectation. 

     He amazes us by the abundance of His goodness in the “abundant life” we enjoy: lives that are full of praise and worship.

      Reference to “horse and rider” abounds by scripture’s authors; the prophets, Psalm 78 and elsewhere in the Psalms, in Stephen’s message to those about to kill him as recorded by Luke in the Acts, and in chapter eleven in the book of Hebrews— the faith chapter recounting Israel’s history.  All of these refer to the actual deliverance of Israel in the Red Sea and to the destruction of Pharaoh’s army. Would it not be folly to place our faith in a God who only tells of mythical, non-real deliverance?

     Linda and I may not walk as sure in faith as we might; but we do remind each other “Not to faint.”  We are not counting on the faithfulness of our walk of faith, but in His Mightiness to save and in His faithfulness.

     What child of loving human parents relies on their own perfection?  No, they run to mom and dad knowing their own imperfection is a non-factor. Much more is this so with He who loved us, sent His reliable word, and sent His only Son – “To make a wretch His treasure.”

     Does God treasure us as we our contrite child? Yes, we are made in image of Him. We have in scripture the history of Israel and we have like history of our own. Our testimony resembles theirs because God’s promises are sure and His presence real.

     We have given up trying to be good enough or adequate in our own resources.  We can say to our mountains, “Be thou removed, and be cast into the sea ”(Matthew 21:21).   Such was thisRed Sea example. Satan reared up and sent his forces our way.

     But Horse and rider fell into the sea and Lin and I moved back to Iowa. Reminiscing over the enormity of the challenge; the exhaustion, the sickness and trips to the emergency rooms in both states, the remodeling – moving – storing – cleaning . . . is alright.  Not without human weariness did we prevail; but definitely with divine comfort, supernatural strength and aid, and just enough help from friends.

     Oh reader, God is faithful.  He has set before us struggles too big for our mortal capacity so that we and the world can see His hand in our lives—- just like He did withIsrael. . . just as it reads, “So that the power can be seen to be of Him.”  It’s Gospel: tell it wherever you go. “Horse and rider were cast into the sea.”

     We are living the abundant life!  The Fountain has His resting place in us. In our mortal being we have this treasure: we are His home – His temple made not with stones. Hallelujah!

     The struggles are not our banner. They are common to us all in life. The Lord is our banner. Again, again and again – “Horse and rider have been “cast into the sea” in our lives. “Blessed is the man,” Jesus preached on the Mount – Since He has invited us to “Come unto me,” why should we not be of those who are blessed?

     Did the devil steal, maim, and destroy? I had asked the wife of my youth. “No, horse and rider were cast into the sea.”

     Thank you, LORD. . . Imagine—the best is yet to come!


      “Judgment is coming, judgment is coming;” almost with glee are the doomsday prophets whose joy is set on telling others, “I told you so.” Proud they are, to announce the harshness of God.

     Is it not what the real prophets called “Today,” the day of salvation?  Do not each of us have within us a measure of dread that even every idle word will be disclosed?

     There will be ONE righteous standing among us––we, being made righteous through His tender mercy.

     How tender? Easter is fast approaching and with it celebrations across the globe; celebration of the historic fact: “In judgment, remember mercy” cries those who were saved by Him: those who know Him intimately pray:  ‘Father, we have sinned.’ Those who know Him in fringe ways, or not at all, or in useless hypocrisy speak different.

     Those who know Him best want none to perish just as He did not. The words of a song said it well:   “Tell of His mercy, tell of His love. Tell of His coming from heaven above. The Lord is good. Tell it wherever you go.”

     In this camp, my wife and I, we will continue to tell all that God is more kind than we at our best. He does not delight in showing us our faults: He saves us from them. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” Jesus taught us about the only God. The Father wants us to open our ears – and hearts.  He is able, to deliver us. He is able to deliver us. 

     I was listening to Pastor–– many of you readers know of whom I am speaking: I wish all of you could meet Him. He said, “Go on then,” (to those who will not heed the plain message of God’s mightiness to save and bless us), then, if you will not call upon, believe, and speak in faith of God’s good hand upon us, let the devil write your biography.”

     We do not speak faith because we have matured into goodness of our own doing. Every day I realize the difference between the goal of perfection and my distance from it.   I hide beneath His wing, plunge in the crimson flood, look to Him alone, and see that “my life is hid in Christ and that all my sufficiency if of Him.” Then when I look around me, I see as did John Wesley, “There, but by the grace of God, go I.”

     Someone was preaching in the power of the Lord because it was upon the Lord he leaned. It was my Pastor. That day I heard and tender mercy came to me. His name is Jesus. He loves the world so thoroughly that He, the Father, and the Holy Spirit cemented in a plan.

     Judgment is coming, of course it is. Do we not, knowing this, even more fervently care for those around us? Christ came.  He came in humility. He came because of divine love for lost sinners.

     Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling: calling for you and for me. Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling: won’t you oh sinner, come home.

     Show me a man whose heart is aflame with tender mercy; whose passion for my acquaintance with Mighty Savior is kindled: whose awareness of the finality of life spurns him to carry on and renew dedication to this cause – and I will declare to you: “This is Christ likeness.”

     Pharisees do not bear fruit nor do they partake in movements of mercy. Are we  tender?  Do we crave mercy for others?