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More cowboy wisdom

At the fort Cody pulled up in front of the army office, tied his horse and dusted himself off before going up the steps.
 
The soldier on guard duty stopped him, “Your business?” he asked.
 
“I want to talk with the Captain about some trouble brewing over to the east. I need his advice and maybe help,” Cody replied. He knew that is was good to be in a position of weakness, of need when dealing with those who think themselves strong.
 
“Sergeant,” the soldier called, “this man wants to see the
Captain, can he?”
 
The sergeant came to the door, a short stocky man, looked Irish, meaning he was a no-nonsense, tough man, not to be trifled with.
 
Cody studied him with care, “Certainly need to use Heavenly Wisdom here,” he said to himself.
 
“Your name and business,” said the sergeant.
 
“I’m Cody Smith and I’m here to talk about some trouble a settler to the east has run into. I need advice and maybe some help.”
 
“Wait here,” the sergeant said and disappeared inside. Soon he returned and said, “Follow me.” He led the way to an office in the back of the building. As he stepped in, Cody noted that the windows over looked the plain so the Captain could watch what was going on. And also, that the windows had heavy shutters with rifle holes in them. They were ready if trouble came.
 
“Hello Captain,” Cody offered.
 
“Sit down Mr. Smith. What can I do for you?”
 
Cody explained about John’s homestead and the threat from Dodge. “John has a legitimate claim on three hundred acres of land, which includes a spring. Dodge has twenty-five hundred square miles to graze his cattle on and a dozen watering places. He doesn’t need these three hundred acres.
 
“However, I know he’s thinking about others who will come, maybe enough to populate his entire grazing area. He wants to nip this in the bud, even if it means burning out a family and maybe killing a man, his wife and son.”
 
The Captain leaned back in his chair. “So, this John has his paperwork from the land office here?”
 
“Yes, he showed it to me, and we could check with the office over there if there’s any question about it.”
 
“Actually, I’d like to see the documents myself so I can know I am on solid footing,” said the Captain. “Let’s go over there right now and check it out.”
 
As they stepped out of the door and turned toward the land office, Dodge’s two cowhands and the woman came out of the land office door. Cody noted that she was a not actually a woman, but a girl of about eighteen; he also noted that she was quite attractive, maybe very attractive. Then he brought his attention back to the cowboys.
 
“Hmmm,” Cody said to himself, turning his attention to the men, “so that’s why they came here.”
 
Cody and the Captain entered the low building, hot under the sun. The clerk was working at a desk in the back but looked up when they entered.
 
He came to the counter and said, “Well, it’s a busy afternoon here today. What can I do for you?”
 
The Captain leaned on the counter, “We’d like to see the land claim of John Dickson.”
 
“That’s interesting,” said the clerk, “the last two fellows also wanted to see the same thing.”
 
Cody leaned toward the Captain, “They were Dodge’s men,” he said quietly. The Captain nodded.
 
“So, show us the papers,” he said. The clerk already had the file on his desk and brought it right over.
 
“Here’s the map of the area with the boundary and landmarks. It says right here ‘three hundred acres claimed by John Dickson.’ That’s followed by a description of it, and how it includes a spring. It’s his all right. Those other gents were not happy to see this.”
 
“Thank you for the information,” said the Captain as he turned and led the way out the door.
 
As they walked back to the army headquarters, Cory said,
“You know, Captain, I like to live by Heavenly Wisdom.”
 
“What’s that?” the Captain asked.
 
“It’s what’s described in the book of James in the Bible, in the New Testament.”
 
“What is it?
 
“Well, it gives a list of seven qualities. I’ll give you the first three. ‘Wisdom is first of all pure, peace loving and sweetly reasonable.’ Now purity starts in our motives, so I want to tell you what my motives are in getting involved here.”
 
The Captain nodded.
 
“First, this family is in danger and needs protection. Second, I would like to see things worked out for the best for both parties. Dodge is used to being the one in charge, the law out there; he does not want to change, but change is coming upon him. I would like to see his life continue as much as possible as a cattleman, and I would like to see John able to stay on his place unharmed.
 
“Both sides could win if they apply the second and third qualities of Heavenly Wisdom, that is, speak peaceably with each other and are reasonable. One possible solution is for Dodge to come in and take out a claim on a large portion of his present range; then he would have the legal right to protect it from other settlers who come. At the same time, John must be allowed to stay without threats or trouble. I think that this is possible.”
 
“So, what do you want from me?” asked the Captain.
 
“Since Dodge thinks he’s the law, a bit of a show illustrating the law of the state would be good. If you could ride with me out there with a contingent of soldiers and pay a visit to Dodge, talk to him about this, it would be good.
 
“This situation could lead to the fourth quality of Heavenly Wisdom: being approachable and submissive. We can be approachable because, as the Bible tells us, people like Dodge aren’t our real enemy.
 
Our real enemy is Satan and his forces. So we need to fight him rather than people. This understanding helps us listen to those around us and accept sound advice given, then we will be a lot better off than just going with his own thoughts. If we have good motives, are peace loving and sweetly reasonable, it can open the way for Dodge to be approachable.
“If Dodge refuses to listen, he will be fulfilling the description of the verses before the list of Heavenly Wisdom, that is, of earthly wisdom. It says, ‘But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts,’–these are wrong motives that lead to trouble–‘do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.’–that’s strong language, but true—’For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.’ Like killing people to get your way. That’s what we want to avoid.
 
“So, what I’d like to do is to have a show of force, clarify the law and encourage Dodge to come to a good settlement.”
 
“Why don’t you just do this yourself?” the Captain asked.
“What chance would two men, a woman and a boy have against up to thirty gunmen? I can’t give the show of force that would bring Dodge to the table.”
 
“I see,” said the Captain. “Let me think on this until tomorrow morning. You can find a place to stay in that primitive hotel, or there is the stable. Take your pick.”
Cody gathered up the reins of his horse and headed for the stable.
 
internet picture: scene from the fort.
 
No photo description available.

Grace: getting the opposite of what we deserve!

 
I turn my eyes to you and praise you, Lord God: my Triune, Eternal, Personal and Holy God—utterly other, entirely independent, sincerely sinless and incomprehensibly complex.
 
You created me,
chose me,
cleansed me,
claimed me as your child,
commissioned me to special service,
 
and I stand before you,
dearly loved,
delighted in,
deeply cared for,
doted on
and dependent on you.
 
What a wonder! What I actually deserve as a sinner is condemnation, punishment, eternal separation, failure, suffering, hopelessness, despair, death and hell.
 
But your great and marvelous grace—ever flowing, never ending, always giving—pours continually into our lives, bringing undeserved forgiveness,
gracious cleansing,
ongoing transformation,
needed strengthening,
clear guidance,
great goodness,
positive power
and wide wisdom.
 
To live in the light of your presence, to walk in the shining paths of your righteousness, to bask in the radiance of your love, to see by the brilliant illumination of your Word—these are the privileges of the children of God and we praise you for them.
 
We are saved by grace,
sealed by grace,
sanctified by grace,
strengthened by grace.
 
And in you, Lord Jesus, we are safe, for you are the Most High, you are the Almighty, you are the undefeated and undefeatable One. In you we can rest. Glory be to your Name!
 
Prayer: “I praise you for what your power and grace will do in and through me today, in spite of how I may feel and fail. May all be for your glory. Help me to focus on you, draw my stability, wisdom, strength and understanding from you, Lord Jesus. May I honor you in all I do today. Amen.”
May be an image of tree, body of water and nature

More Autobio


Along with language study, I was teaching English several nights a week. This was tiring and demanding, but necessary to have a resident permit. The school gave me some training, and combining that with my experience in Alaska, I was able to do a credible job.
 
My students were all adults seeking to improve their English, mostly for advancement at work. Having paid for the classes, they were motivated and engaged in the learning process. They wanted conversation practice, and that made the class time go quickly.
 
One night, classes were called off because there had been a bombing of the school during the day. After the explosion, the director of the school went to his office and found a great shard of glass stuck right into his desk chair. If he hadn’t been out of his office at the time, he certainly would have been killed. These were uncertain times.
 
Terrorists weren’t the only danger. After class one evening I said to Barbara, “There is good looking woman lawyer in my class. She sits right in the front row and looks at me lovingly. Tonight I noticed that her eye shadow matches the green color of her eyes.”
 
That got Barbara’s attention. I suggested that she come to class with me the next night, and she was very much in agreement. When my lawyer student saw what a fine, elegant wife I had, she gave up and moved to the back row for the rest of the semester.
 
This was the first of a long series of female students and teachers who showed an interest in me. This was not because I’m suave and handsome, but because I have an American passport! If a woman could snag me, I’d literally be her passport out of a difficult and dangerous country.
 
These women were all attractive and intelligent, so it was a thrill to have them signal a desire for a personal relationship with me and there was a temptation to play along.
 
However, rejecting this and following the leading of the Spirit instead, I would immediately tell Barbara about it. Secret desire and titillation is powerful but confessing this temptation to the proper person takes away a lot of its strength.
 
I am thankful for a wife who is secure enough in Christ to listen to my struggles and help me. After telling Barbara about it, I would take her with me to class and that always broke the focus of my “pursuer.”
 
Along with language study and English teaching, we were put right into ministry with John. This actually proved to be of benefit linguistically, as it forced us to put into practice what we were learning.
 
John had an English language meeting on Sundays in his home for workers who wanted to worship together. We were thankful for this, attended every Sunday and soaked in the fellowship.
 
Most of the dozen workers in the city when we arrived had been there for ten years or more, and during our first year, many of them were forced by the government to leave. This was usually accomplished by a refusal to renew their work contracts.
 
We were the first of a new wave of workers that came in at the beginning of the 80’s. It was our privilege to build on the long, hard and often frustrating work of these pioneers.
 
In the early 60s, OM had started an annual conference for their workers. There they had organized a correspondence course to find people interested in spiritual truth as well as a literature committee to translate Christian books into the local language. They also set up a Bible translation committee. The only available Bible was very outdated, old enough so that most young people could not understand it, and a fresh translation
was needed.
 
Later in the 60’s, when workers from other organizations began to come into the country, they were also invited to OM’s annual conference and were given the privilege of being in on the decisions concerning the three committees’ work. This open-armed, inclusive attitude laid a foundation of unity and cooperation that continued on for years, one of the few countries that had such harmony among different groups of workers.
 
An additional encouragement for unity came from the fact that there were so few of us. With so little fellowship possibilities, the normal points of contention among workers shrank in importance. The unity was wonderful.
 
What other woman could compete with Barbara!
May be an image of child and standing

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“My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.” Psalm 25:15

I ran down the street, my hands loaded with heavy shopping bags and a briefcase of truth, desperate to escape the thugs chasing me. Suddenly a shadow crossed my path. Looking up I saw a hot air balloon overhead with a rope dangling down within my reach. I glanced back to see the thugs closing in on me. Looking down at my bags, I realized in a flash how worthless these things were, and dropped all but the briefcase. Then, grabbing the rope, I was lifted to safety by the rising balloon, leaving the thugs behind.

This figuratively happens in my life every day. It is the illustration of following three biblical principles: Let Go, Hold On, Rise Above. As I struggle through life, weighed down by all kinds of nonessentials, I give Satan opportunity to catch me. At the same time, God offers a way to rise above Satan’s attacks.

As it says in Colossians 3:1 “Since you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, not on the passing things of earth.” To illustrate how this works, let’s ask three questions.

Let go of what? All that is temporal. This encompasses almost everything in life. To ‘let go’ means, to keep things in an open hand, to give them up to God and let Him decide which things to take and which ones are to remain. It means setting our hearts on things above, not on things on the earth. It means denial of self, giving up my impatience, selfishness, pride, “rights” and materialism, recognizing that holding on to them is carrying detrimental baggage that makes me vulnerable to attack. I’m going to lose them anyway (the definition of temporal), so why cling to them?

Hold on to what? To all that is eternal. This means, thinking Truth and acting on it: when I am impatient, I need to think, “Actually God is in control of the timing here; I can trust Him.” In order to do this, we need to know the Truth, meaning we need to spend time with God and in His Word every day.

Rise above what? The everyday hassles, hurts, frustrations and difficulties as well as the big, painful events. As we relax in Him, trust Him to deal with it, join Him in what He is doing, He will raise us above the everyday fight so we can see things from a greater height, to understand His perspective, and make better decisions.  Truly, “My soul finds rest in God alone” (Ps. 62:1).

Prayer: “Lord, help me to recognize what I must let go of, what I should hold onto, and then help me to do that, so I can rise above with you to live in the atmosphere of truth and praise! Amen.”

May be an image of nature and grass

Enough for Joy

“Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.”
Psalm 119:24
 
I feel somewhat restless, disturbed, unsettled; I am not sure why. But in the midst of this, the rock-solid, unshakable Truth is: Knowing Jesus is Enough for Joy, Period!
 
Praise be to you, Lord Jesus, that you are unchanging, faithful, trustable, reliable, always good and always there. And when things are right with you, they are right, however I may feel.
 
Whatever troubles me will be dealt with in your time and power and can be released to you. You are enough; in you I am complete. Praise you that you are the King and I am your child.
 
Thank you for your promises, that you will always “preserve my life according to your word.” “…strengthen me according to your word.” “…be gracious to me through your law” (quotes here and below from Ps. 119:20-32).
 
Your Word is the clear measure of what you will do. Because you and your Word are good, I can trust you with all my heart, and I can appeal to you according to your Word: “I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD; do not let me be put to shame.” You will always come through just as you have promised.
 
“I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.” Your way is the only way for me. With your strength I can trust and obey.
 
“I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” Free to follow, free to obey, free to say “no” to what is contrary to your Word, free to let go of what is temporal and hold on to what is eternal, free to rise above the everyday events of life, to live in the truth of your Sovereignty, of your goodness, of your protection.
 
As I am, at the moment, trying to buy a ticket to the conference I will attend in November, and keep getting rejected by the system, it is a certainty that you are doing something here, directing me away from what is not good, leading me towards something better.
 
Perhaps you are making it possible to meet someone; perhaps you are protecting me from lost luggage, a problem, a crash, a delay; perhaps you are going to give me a better seat or connection or place to sleep.
 
I do not know, but I do know you: that you are absolutely trustable and that I can praise you for the outcome in spite of my natural tendency to complain.
 
Therefore instead of frustration, there arises a sense of excitement, of adventure as you beckon me to follow you on a trip whose destination is not yet clear.
 
You are the One who will decide, and I can say, “Yes!” to following without knowing the outcome. [You will read about the outcome of my attempt to buy a plane ticket in a later post.]
 
In the meantime, I praise your holy and trustable Name, I exalt your faithful and fruitful character, I magnify your powerful and productive being, I glorify your wise and knowing heart. Today is in your hand, therefore whatever comes will be good, whatever happens I can praise for, because you are only good, only great, only glorious, only gracious.
May be an image of road, grass, tree and nature

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 “My salvation and my honor depend on God…” (Ps. 62:7)
 
Praise you, Lord Jesus, that all we need flows from you, and that you are truly, totally trustable. 
 
When we deserve condemnation, you give us pardon.
 
When we deserve punishment, you give us salvation.  
 
When we deserve shame, you give us honor.
 
When we deserve failure, you give us grace.
 
What a God! What a Savior! What a Lord!
 
You are, “my mighty rock, my refuge” (Ps. 62:7) In the midst of the polluted swamp of this world, filled with the quicksand of selfishness, the bottomless mud of manipulation and the shifting sands of sin, you are my Rock, my Mighty Rock and Fortress: unshakable, unsinkable, unmovable, unchangeable.
 
And you are my Refuge, a place of protection, provision, personal safety, powerful help. You are the One to be trusted, and command us to do so: “Trust in him at all times, O people;”
 
When things go well, we must trust in you, rejecting the illusion that our success is from our hard work, our intelligence, our training, our resources—it is because you are blessing us. And when things go badly according to our understanding, we must trust in you knowing that you are blessing us. We know that you are good, wise and powerful, that what you are allowing is part of the overall plan to bring an end to evil, as well as part of your personal plan to bring maturity to me and glory to you.
 
“…pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Ps 62:8). What a privilege and wonderful invitation, to pour out our inner being to you, telling you all we are thinking, feeling and wanting, our hurts, our dreams, our frustrations.
 
You, of course, already know these things, but for us to come and tell you is an act of worship, trusting you, being transparent before you, treating you as the true God, with the honesty and obedience that you deserve. And thank you for your Word by which we can measure what is in our hearts, rejecting what is of self, what is neutral and then affirming what is good.
 
 Praise be to you, Lord Jesus, the gracious, good and great God, full of mercy, complete in holiness and overflowing in grace. You are worthy today of trust, of obedience, of praise, of honor, of surrender.
 
Prayer: “May you, Lord, be glorified in my thoughts, motives, desires, words and actions today as seen in my trust, praise and obedience. Amen.”
 
May be an image of lake, tree, twilight, sky and nature

Wonder

“My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.”
Psalm 62:7
 
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Ps. 62:8). You, Lord Jesus, are the only unchanging point/person/aspect of all existence. You are unchanging because you are perfect: as you have always been and you always will be. In you there is no lack, no development, no shifting, no change.
 
You are our Rock of refuge, our Salvation from sin, our High Tower of eternity. Nothing can shake you or your purposes, no one is strong enough to dissuade you, to dislodge you, to dispute you. You are the only real Refuge, the only sure Shelter, the only safe Spot in the universe, in existence, in eternity.
 
Praise you that you are not distant, cold, uncaring or mechanical in your relationship with your creation. You are active, involved, compassionate and gracious. You are always there: real, strong and loving.
 
You are caring, wise, intimate and guiding. You are all knowing, all seeing, all powerful, all forgiving. You are the Most High, yet readily stoop down to love your minuscule creatures. You are great, yet involved with every tiny detail. You are mighty, yet tender. You are righteous, yet forgiving.
 
Who is like you? Who can comprehend you? Who can escape you? Who is not loved by you? You are a marvel—no, you are THE marvel of our existence, too good to be true, yet absolutely true, too real to be ignored, too great to be resisted, too wonderful to be the product of man’s imagination.
 
What a high and powerful privilege it is to know about you, to actually know you, to be honored by being made your child! “My salvation and my honor depend on God…” (Ps. 62:7)
 
I bow before you, Lord Jesus, and I rise up to follow you through the day, joining you in what you are going to do.

 

May be an image of flower and nature

More cowboy wisdom

Cody liked to ride; it gave him time to think, to pray, and to memorize. Today it gave him time to talk with God about how to handle this situation. He knew the way to the fort so he let his horse follow the path, while he talked to God–but at the same time he was always alert, always scanning the horizon, often looking back on his trail.
 
God again brought to Cody’s mind Heavenly Wisdom and its seven aspects. Cody thought about how he could best implement each of those.
 
After two hour’s ride he paused for a break; it was important for him not to ride his horse too hard in this heat; it always had to be ready in case he had to run for it.
 
Again, he took the time to look all around, especially on his back trail. He noticed a small dust cloud back where he’d come from, meaning someone was riding towards him. He quickly led his horse into the brush and hid himself where he could easily watch the trail.
 
It didn’t take long for the riders to come into view, three men, armed with six-shooters and rifles. No, one was a woman riding side saddle. They were moving right along, and he let them pass, recognizing the men immediately as some of Dodge’s cow hands. But who was the woman?
 
“Hmmm,” he said to himself. “Looks like they’re heading to the fort, too. I wonder why?” He decided to keep an eye on them and see what he could learn.
 
After they had passed, he waited a bit, then quietly mounted up and left his hiding place, riding carefully along the side of the trail where he raised no dust.
 
He found a good place to camp, shielded by cotton woods, and there was a small seep that collected water in a little pool. After watering his horse, Cody refilled his canteen; important to always be ready. He unsaddled his horse, rubbed it down with some rough grass and picketed in near the green grass growing along the seep.
 
He did not light a fire, as he wanted to keep his presence a secret from the two cowhands he was trailing. If they knew he was here, one might go back and inform Dodge, who then might make another attack on John and his family.
 
He laid out his ground cloth and blanket and stretched out, trusting his horse to stand guard. Not much could slip by its notice, and it would snort or nicker when it sensed someone around.
 
Cody woke before dawn when there was just a slight white line on the eastern horizon. He put on his boots after shaking them out, making sure nothing had sought refuge there in the night, and buckled on his guns, checking them.
 
He walked over to the horse, which reached out to nuzzle him. “Good morning, good fellow,” Cody whispered. “Ready for the day?”
 
He saddled up, checked his rifle and swung into the stirrups. Pulling some jerky from his saddle bag, he chewed on it as he guided his horse out of the camp site.
 
He hadn’t gone far when he saw the remains of a campfire and he knew he’d come upon where Dodge’s men and the woman had spent the night. Good thing he hadn’t had a fire which could have betrayed his presence.
 
He quietly rode by and set off at a brisk pace. “I should be at the fort by early afternoon, and we’ll see what these fellows are up to,” he thought to himself. “And that woman, I wonder who she is.”
 
The day was hot as the sun beat down on the desert country. He was glad for the breeze that came up once in a while, cooling his sweat-soaked shirt. His horse moved along at a good pace and Cody kept him to the side of the trail, so no dust would alert Indians or others of his presence.
 
At about 3 pm he pulled up at the top of a ridge and looked down on the fort spread out on the plain before him. Like a lot of western forts, it didn’t actually have a wall around it, but had buildings placed around a perimeter.
 
There was the military headquarters, where he was headed. On either side were offices, the land office, a lawyer, a doctor and a surveyor. Further on was a store with several horses and a buckboard tied to the rail in front of it. But the most crowded place was the saloon on the backside of the quadrangle.
 
“Men just gravitate to the dark side,” Cody said to himself. He would also go there, but not to drink or gamble or look for a girl. He would go to sit and listen, to gather information. Men were always ready to talk to anyone who would listen, and it was amazing what a body could learn there.
 
First, however, he had to see the Captain and the land office, and maybe the lawyer. He nudged his horse and they moved down the hill and across the open space to the buildings. He pulled up in front of the army office, tied his horse and dusted himself off before going up the steps.
 
Picture from the internet: buildings at the fort.
May be an image of outdoors

Psalm 37:8

Psalm 37:38 “But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off.”
[The certainty of your judgment, Lord, is absolute: sin and all who choose to remain in it will be condemned, taken from this world and removed from your presence forever.
 
Then the new Heaven and the new earth will come, beautiful and pure with no evil, no sin, no wickedness– only obedience, love, glory-giving and worshiping you, Lord God–Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You are worthy, the only One to be exalted, for you are the wise and good God who judges correctly.
Psalm 37:39 “The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.”
[we should look nowhere else for salvation, protection or help, for no one and nothing else can save us, protect us, keep us as You can, Lord God. You are our Savior, our Shepherd and our Warrior King.]
Psalm 37:40 “The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,”
[You, Lord, are active, powerful and always present; We can trust you to work all things out, as you did in defeating the wicked at the cross.
 
Lord you save us in and through the pressures that are good for us while you remove those which are destructive. You point out our junk stress (are we listening?), call us to let go of what we can’t control or change anyway, and then to hold on to your gracious goodness, your perfect plan, your positive power so we can shed who binds us and rise on the wings of truth above the things we have allowed to burden us.
 
Yes, the Lord helps and delivers us when we join Him in what he’s doing, when we trust Him rather than ourselves. So let go, hold on and rise above.
 
May be an image of nature

Flourishing

 
Psalm 37:35-36 “I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil, but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.”
 
[Think of Stalin, of Hitler, of Genghis Khan, and Napoleon. They all died and are no more. Their evil was dealt with, their powerful condemnation is now implemented.
 
You, Lord God, are just, working out the proper punishment, while using the evil of men to bring about your purposes in the lives of many. Continue to do so in these days, Lord, to work against the designs of the devil, to destroy the plans of death and darkness.]
 
Psalm 37:37 “Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.”
 
[Abraham, Joseph, David, Elijah and Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Paul, Luther and Billy Graham–these all live on, having an endless existence and unlimited joy with you. So do we, being safe in the arms of Jesus.
 
I praise you, Lord, for the certainty of our future with you, filled with life, light, love and lavish goodness. I praise you for your unending, undeserved, unreserved, unrestrained grace, flowing from your heart of holiness into our lives of light.
 
We stand in your presence,
chosen,
cherished,
dearly loved,
deeply cared for,
doted on
and delighted in.
 
You, Lord God are a wonder–no, you are THE Wonder of all existence, the God who lives in multi-dimensions, full of multi-goodness, operating out of multi-wisdom.
 
In the light of these great Truths, help us to consistently listen to your Word and respond to your Spirit, to grow in humility, brokenness, obedience and praise.
 
May we daily take up your grace, receive your wisdom, add endurance to our obedience, and become ever more godly, extending brotherly kindness and love to all those around us. May you be honored, glorified and pleased with our walk today.
 
May be an image of nature and tree