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Monthly Archives: November 2012


It is described as a load lifted or a cloud dispelled, as peace come upon us and joy sparked within us.

“Felt” religion, though it is the opposite of the blind hope that defines all other religion, is an occurrence commonly acclaimed in the Christian experience.

We cannot separate the assurance felt from our becoming a Christian from the fact that we did one day change from not knowing and questioning to knowing with confidence and believing that in receiving Christ we had sensed our sin ‘washed away.’

“Grace” is that marvelous kindness which overcomes our wrong doing so thoroughly that our conscience, we know – we sense it – has been purged of the guilt and shame which had before taken residence in our being.

Christians continuously throughout their lives return to their ‘First Love,’ to the foot of His cross where they first met the LORD. And meet Him indeed they did.

At the foot of the cross we recognize the unique claim upon us and for us.  He died in our place, and He bequeathed to those willing to be His heirs, “more than we could ask or think.”

“Son,” taught Jesus, is what the Father of lost persons said, “All that I have is yours; but this, your brother was lost and now is found.” (Luke 15:31).

Complicated religious scholars did not show in their scripture what Jesus did.   God is not interested in shaming or in blaming.  He looks forward to the day when the once wayward (all of us) have turned unto Him.

Who is this prodigal now come home?  Is it you dear reader? Then believe for the feast which the Father prepares for those who come to Him.

The day is fast approaching; soon the sound will be heard:  “Come, for all things are now ready,” but only for those who have” received the promise of eternal inheritance.”  Luke 14:17, Hebrews 9:15

“And for this cause,” the death of Jesus on Calvary that day produced––caused an inheritance which is then and now up for grabs.  Who in their right mind would not like for their ship to come in, to receive all they could ever need, adopted in to the very family of God the only Almighty.

Can we not see the necessity of the Savior; the outstretched hand that lent His Son to such a cause?

Do we not see the perversion of good which has swept in upon our sons and daughters just in these recent years?

Do we not notice disfigured bodies from substance abuse, a major cause of suffering, broken homes––ruined marriages?

We also know of some whose lives have been saved from destruction, rescued by the Great Shepherd, who found comfort rather than the scolding known to accompany most religion. “Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me,” King David professed.  (Psalm 23)

Those who sense fear when hearing that “God is a consuming fire,” have not yet realized the human need for His lovely laser brilliance to touch them. (Hebrews 12:29)

“And for this cause,” we can have a conscience sprinkled clean through the miracle working touch which defines true Christianity.  Jesus is our Mediator, not the church, not the ministers or priests, not even the blessed water or the human touch:  HE––Touched me wrote the songwriter, “And made me whole.”

“And for this cause;” because of all that was involved in the crucifixion of Jesus that day we may have a new life where the Mediator abides faithful to His new acquaintance and friend. “I call you no longer servants, I call you friends.” (John 15:15)

“I will put in your a new heart––a right spirit. . . ” (Ezekiel 11:19)

“I will be to you, a God; and you will be to me, a people.” (Exodus 6:7)

“And for this cause:” Because it has happened to us, and because we desire that others may know the truth of it we write, share, and lean upon Him the only Mediator of life and love.

“And for this cause:” Oh, reader, trust Him now.





The most common way people deal with unavoidable suffering is to “count their blessings.” This seems to fit with the scripture saying that if there is anything good or of pure report, to think on such things. (Philippians 4:8)

Yet, if we encourage ourselves by comparing our good fortune to another’s misfortune, have we really taken hold of the foundation upon which thanksgiving truly rests?

We have life because someone other than ourselves determined that we would be born. During our lives here, Jesus taught that we “Will have tribulation.” (John 16:33)

In scripture we also read that we comfort others with the same comfort by which we have been comforted. Is it not better to find thankfulness on an equal base with all people?

Genetic propensity has it that my heart is healthier than a friend of mine. Again, I had nothing to do with this. If I base my thankfulness on that fact that I have a healthier heart am I not actually indifferent to him? Isn’t it like saying, “I am grateful that I am not as you?”

The truth is, we all will suffer tribulation and our reason for hope is that Jesus Christ overcame the world. Seeing another suffer should not be the base for healthy positive thinking, it should be an eye-opener and should cause compassion to rise up in me.

The things that are pure and of good report are those thoughts, every one of them, founded in the Gospel––the amazing good news.

True thankfulness is never boastful or in comparing, but is always founded on God’s graciousness to us. As Christians, we don’t ‘knock on Wood,’ or ‘thank our lucky stars.’ Those are just sayings.

Jesus reminded us not to “rejoice ever that spirits submit to us, but to rejoice that our names are written down in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)

I cannot be made happy by comparing my friend’s unhealthy heart to my healthy heart. I am thankful with an ache in my heart wanting those, who like me will suffer tribulation, to know the reason we can ALL be of good cheer.


He amazes me, my Shepherd.

At the time this Psalm was written there was no one then or now that imagined God as their shepherd who – for His own name’s sake, not because of the goodness of His people – wields the tools of a shepherd in their defense.

Religion, all of it, has it that mankind does not have a God whose mercy endures our wrong doing, who cleanses us at His own expense, who suffers in  place that which we brought on ourselves. The enemies of kindness do not even test His almighty strength.

This Shepherd – God is “mighty to save” those who turn to Him for aid.

Lack becomes the illusion to one whose mind is stayed on Mighty Shepherd: “I shall not lack,” the Psalm reads. When we embrace the conclusion that lack may be permanent, we violate the promise of God. He is our resting place. He will never forsake His own even as “His own” are never able to walk perfectly in His perfect path. We are to “follow after holiness;” we, the sheep of His pasture. (Hebrews 12:14).

He “makes me” to lie down in green pastures. He “Leads me” beside still waters, He – there – refreshes me and restores me bringing me again to His scarred side. The scars on the hands and side of Jesus tell the story – they are scars belonging to me because I was astray; but, taken by Him for me. He is my Shepherd and I love Him and, wonder of wonders, He loves me. I can not want when I am at His side.

So a believer “clings” or “hides” or “leans” on His Rock which is greater than I – and far greater than any foe of his well being even as he views the valley of the shadow of death. “I will fear no evil; for You, LORD, are with me.

You promised, and that is good enough, but you assure and remind me. You even anoint my days with a gladness which comes only from above and can only be known by your own – by those whose trust is in you –who have opened their hearts to you and asked you to come to them.

“My cup overflows;” David wrote. Yes, there is a Fountain – God is that Fountain. Mercy abounds with Him. Kindness is in His every motion – even in judgment He remembers mercy.

He follows me. “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all they days of my life.” Following me He cleanses my back, fills in the gaps of my failed goodness. The Shepherd leads me, follows me, and will soon meet me face to face.

He has destined that we be “Join-heirs with Jesus” – and that forever. The suffering within this life (is real) but not to be compared to the joy which abounds in and with Him. (Romans 8:17-18). He has indeed never left or forsaken me as He promised. (Hebrews 13:5)

“His rod and His staff,” do I see it? “They comfort me.” He comforts me as none other can do, and those who bring me to Him, who refresh my faith in Him, who remind me or introduce to me more of Him –are the Christians He has destined to remain for a season in this world.

“The Lord is my Shepherd.” For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross at Calvary.

No other message, certainly no religious thought, offers this blessed assurance: Jesus is mine, I am His, and He is the Mighty LORD over all. I will and do “Hide in the hollow of His hand;” but I will and do now, tell of Him wherever I go.

His rod and His staff, yes, they comfort me; but oh how they discomfort those who are enemies to “His will that none should perish, His will that all should find out who He really is and what He is like.  (2 Peter 3:9)