This blog is mostly about images. A photo captures a moment in time and lets us slow down long enough to see the rich texture of the life all around us. It's mostly for my own amusement, but if you stumbled here somehow, please enjoy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Hill to Die On?

We use various phrases to describe positions we take.  Like, 'drew a line in the sand', 'planted a flag', or 'it's not a hill to die on'.  Most of us never get anywhere close to actually dying on a hill.  But we can often be very passionate about the various causes we take up.  Most of the time I've heard these kinds of exclamations, it's been for issues that aren't all that important in the grand scheme of things.

But every now and then along comes a situation that sends us to the core of our being and requires a firm declaration of where we'll stand.  Like Joshua of old, we are asked to "choose you this day" (Joshua 24:15).  And it's usually best if we've ironed out our convictions in advance of the challenge.  Either way, we must shut out the "madding crowd" and seek God's face.  His Spirit will never lead outside the whole counsel of His Word.

Is the choice you are making today really a hill to die on?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Big Rocks

Someone I work with often asks, "What are the big rocks?".  Meaning, what should we be focusing on right now?  It's a reasonable question since, by definition, you can't focus on everything.  And it's important to prioritize.

But beneath the surface, there are often submerged and hidden issues that may need a little extra time and discernment to discover and navigate around.  I was told recently that our Midwest drought has lowered a reservoir to the point where an old barn--flooded over long ago when the dam was built--has become a hazard to navigation.

How do we navigate these turbulent and confusing times?  God's Word speaks in every time and place:

"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." (1Co 14:3)

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

"Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men." (1Co 14:20)

"Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." (Pr 11:14)

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Mt 7:20)


Friday, August 17, 2012

Amazing Grace

I pray the glory of God and the startling nature of His mercy and grace is never far from my mind. 

An interesting blog post informed me that my favorite verse, the seventh, was actually not penned by John Newton. I agree that it was a fitting conclusion to this beautiful hymn, don't you?

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.
--John Newton, 1779.

Friday, August 3, 2012


"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" (I Pet. 5:8) 

A foreign sound.  The head goes up.  Watching.  Discerning.  Friend or foe?  

Imagination?  Unwarranted Fear?  Out of control panic?  Shouting unneeded warnings?  Stirring up others? 

Pause and remember, "Perfect love casts out fear."  (I John 4:18).  Soberness., vigilance, discernment.  "By their fruits ye shall know them." (Matt. 7:20).  Often over time.

The Holy Spirit will never work through actions that violate God's Word.  Satan is not thus bound.  His wolf fur will eventually show under the sheep's clothing.  His biting and devouring will make itself known. 

"Be still and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:10). 

"My sheep hear my voice." (John 10:27) 

"I am with you always." (Matt. 28:20)