From Strength to Strength

It is a cool image here as the psalmist refers to those, “who have set their hearts on pilgrimage”. Possibly from captivity back to the Promise Land, they would travel through the desert to get there. They would make the journey in the fall when the, “autumn rains would cover it with pools”. And so, “They go from strength to strength” – from pool to refreshing pool – “till each appears before God in Zion.”

What a picture of our own pilgrimage toward God. From strength to strength, whether from Sunday message to Sunday message or our own daily time with God, in them we get what we need to keep us going. Can you imagine trekking through the desert and passing up these pools? Or making the journey at a time when the pools would not be there? They were critical to the success of the journey. They are critical to the success of our own.

These posts are an example of the strengths I get in my daily time with God – the things I see that help me in my pilgrimage. I put what I see in writing because I enjoy writing. I put what I have written in these posts, in hopes that it will be one source of strength in a string of other strengths that some would find helpful in their own pilgrimage.



From John 13

Do the circumstances of life ever cause you to question whether God even is? Do you ever wonder if you have just conjured it all up?

Would you believe that even Jesus probably faced those same thoughts? It is easy to believe you’re the Son of God when you’re performing miracles and walking on water; but what about when you’re facing the cross?

If Satan, on the front end of Jesus’ ministry, would try to trip Him up, you can bet at this critical point at the end, he would not set idly by. On the front end he used this line: “If You’re the Son of God.” But here at the end, he has one last chance and I think chooses another. “Are You sure You are the Son of God? What if You’re wrong? What if You’ve conjured all this up?”

Maybe privy to some behind the scenes stuff that nobody records, I think John gives us this little tidbit in 13:3 that implies that even Jesus faced these same tempting thoughts. Tempted in all points like us, it would make sense that if He would ever face this temptation, it would be here.

“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God.”

Count on Satan to come at your lowest moment. It’s what he does; anything to “steal and kill and destroy”.





From Psalm 77

“Your path led through the sea; Your way through the mighty waters, though Your footprints were not seen. You led Your people like a flock.” 

Obstacles, maybe by design, mark the end of our ability to find our way; they bring us to the edge, where, if we are looking, we can see God’s.


From Psalm 74

Israel had been invaded and overrun. The enemy had entered the sanctuary and destroyed it.  

“All this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary. Your foes roared in the place where you met with us.” 

Has the place where you used to meet with God been destroyed; so much so that you can look back on years since the time you met with Him regularly?  

Maybe you just find it hard, currently, to maintain that meeting place. Distractions are by design. It is the most strategic place that our enemy can hit. 

Lord help us all to guard our sanctuary; so that our enemy will not be able to occupy and “roar in the place you met with us”.






Cleared Paths

This year, instead of burning, I decided to spread my leaves under the natural areas that we do not mow. In addition to getting the leaves off our yard, I also raked a few of the paths that I had cleared so the grandgirls could explore . . . safely.  

As I was raking the leaves to one side or the other in these paths, it occurred to me that I was encouraging the grandgirls even more to use the paths that I had cleared for them. I was ‘training them in the way they should go’.  

There is no guarantee that they will not venture off the paths; in fact, that very day, one cut across a corner – through the leaves – from one cleared area to another. And the smallest, at 2 years old, actually darted beneath the low lying cedar tree branches from one cleared area to another – because she could – and looked back at us with a grin as if she new she was able to do something that we couldn’t. 

Parents have their work cut out for them – raising their kids. There’s no guarantee that the paths they try to established will be chosen. But even when there is a venturing off the path, they usually venture back to them. The paths are familiar to them. They know where the paths lead. They become the sure ways from which their venturing begins as they set out to establish and clear their own paths.


“Watch Me Papa”

Recently we took the grandgirls to a park. The main attraction was a spacious fenced area with multiple play structures. Naturally, they enjoyed them all and we enjoyed watching them. Several times we would hear them yell out, “Watch me Mimi” – “Watch me Papa”.  

The time there couldn’t have been better . . . but it could have been worse. They could have gotten so caught up in playing that they forgot us. We could have asked them to sit on a bench with us instead of playing. But to enjoy it all together, that is hard to beat.  

David, in Psalms 31:8 says, “You have set my feet in a spacious place.” God has set us in a ‘spacious place’. He’s given us mountains to climb, beaches to walk, creeks to play in and rocks to ‘chunk’ in them. 

For most of us, it’s not that we completely forget God in the pursuit of these things any more than we completely forsake them in the pursuit of God. We are usually somewhere to the left or right of center.  

So . . . where would your mark be? Would it be to the left where you have gone off and left God sitting on the bench? To the right where you’re trying to be content just sitting with Him? Or is He right there with you . . . so much so that He occasionally hears you yell out, “Watch me Papa””?

He would enjoy that.



Thank You Lord

I believed the lies for far too long;

they seemed like truth to me.

Ignored the warnings ‘long the way;

was blind but now I see.


I see the truth so clearly now;

You’ve open up my eyes.

What seemed so right just yesterday’

I now can see were lies.


Lies designed to keep us from

the life You had in mind;

distractions to a dead end road

I’ve traveled many times.


Oh what peace it finally brings

to stand on solid ground;

no more traps and wanderings –

was lost but now I’m found.


Thank You Lord for reaching me;

You could have let me go.

My heart is full for what You’ve done;

I just had to let You know,


Oh what peace it finally brings

to stand on solid ground;

no more traps and wanderings –

was lost but now I’m found.