Archive for March, 2009

The Lies That Lead Astray


Seek ye first; hunger and thirst;

God’s truth that leads to life,

but lies speak too to lead astray;

they fill the soul with strife.


Pleasures pull and promise much

of all that they can add;

they show the glory and the good

and mention not the bad.


Riches tempt with things their prize,

our full pursuit we’ll give.

The lies they speak; our ears they hear;

‘Our All!’ that we might live.


We give our all in hopes to find

the life these lies proclaim,

but in the end down every road

is one and all the same.


Of all pursuits there’s only one

that leads to life that’s full.

Truth awaits the willing ear

when lies have lost their pull.


I am the way, the truth, the life,

the well for those who thirst;

reserved for those who’ll give their all,

for those who seek Me first.




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Imtations of Life


Jeremiah 10


There is a lifestyle today that has been shaped by ‘craftsmen’.  ‘They adorn it with silver and gold… so it will not totter’.  ‘What the craftsman and goldsmith have made is then dressed in blue and purple – all made by skilled workers.’


As I read this chapter, and specifically these verses, I couldn’t help but to think of the lifestyle that has been crafted for the rich and famous – a lifestyle of glitz and glamour that is adorned with all this world has to offer.  It is ‘all made by skilled workers’. 


As there are many craftsmen and skilled workers who apply themselves to this task, I believe there is one craftsman and skilled worker that is behind it all.  From the beginning, the angle that satan uses to distract us from the life that God has for us, is one that tempts us to believe that something other than God will add to our lives.


By both blatant and subtle means, these craftsmen subvert God’s truth and His ways.  We are tempted to think by all that these craftsmen create, that what they create will lead to life.  But their ‘images are a fraud; they have no breath in them’. 


I couldn’t help but to think as I read of how active and effective satan’s craftsmen and skilled workers are, how much God’s craftsmen and skilled workers needed to apply themselves equally to their task.  As satan’s do all to subvert His ways and truth, His should be doing all to proclaim them. 


Help us Lord to ‘inquire of You’, that we might first possess for ourselves the life You have for all who know You.  Let that life be so in us that we would be able to proclaim with certainty and others would be able to see that all else is but a cheap imitation. 


John 1:4 ‘In Him was life, and that life was the light of men’.



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Jeremiah 7-9


The message of the Lord through Jeremiah was simple, change your ways or else.  The Lord was fed up with their speech – their claims that they were okay.  ‘If you really change your ways, I will let you live in this place, but look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless’.


‘Will you follow other gods and then come and stand before Me in this house that bears My name and say, we are safe –safe to do all these detestable things.’  They felt they were safe because they were keeping up with the sacrifices and offerings the Lord had required, but He reminds them, ‘I also gave this command – obey me’.


Instead, ‘they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts.  They went backward and not forward.’  All through time, God sent servants and prophets to warn ‘but they did not listen or pay attention’.  ‘No one repents of his wickedness, saying, ‘what have I done?’  Each pursues his own course.’


As a result, this is what the Lord says, ‘See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people’.  ‘Why has the land been ruined and laid waste, it is because they have forsaken my law and followed the stubbornness of their hearts’.


‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom, or the strong man his strength, or the rich man his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.’


We have brought it on ourselves.  The parallels are too great to ignore.  ‘The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.’ 

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I have felt a little like David the past few days.  Not so much that God has hidden His face and as a result I am troubled, but more the gentle reminder of my constant need of Him. 


My reading time has been rich.  I have enjoyed writing and talking with others about the good things I see.  But even in all that, somehow, He is missing.  It is a reminder that as rich and as good as all that may be, it is no substitute for God Himself.    


Jesus, who knew the scripture better than any, on a regular basis had to stop and get alone with God.  Occasionally for us all, there is the need to stop and reconnect. 

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Warning Across Our Bow


Jeremiah 6


Though I still cannot claim as Jeremiah does, that we are on the brink of judgment, I do believe I can claim that God has fired a warning shot across our bow.  At the very least there is opportunity to hear what God might be saying.  ‘To whom can I speak and give warning?  Who will listen to me?’


As Jeremiah’s message was to God’s people of whom it was said, ‘As a well pours out its water, so she pours out her wickedness’, and that they are not ‘ashamed of their loathsome conduct’, I can’t bring myself to say this is the state of His church today as much as it is the state of the ungodly in our nation.  


I believe there is room to connect the economic disaster that is crippling our nation with the words from Jeremiah that describe how things will be ‘when I stretch out my hand against those who live in the land’.  And again, ‘I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not listened to my words and have rejected my law.’


So as much as this may be His call and warning to an ungodly nation and world, the church is not off the hook.  It is an opportunity for all and especially the church to ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it’.  There we ‘will find rest for our souls’.


It concerns me that so many are trying to carry on with life as normal; so few seem to be getting the message.  ‘The bellows blow fiercely to burn away the lead with fire, but the refining goes on in vain’.  I fear we are not heeding His warning. 

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Jeremiah 5


Reading Jeremiah reminds me a little of listening to Glenn Beck. 


Jer. 5:12, 13 They have lied about the Lord; they said, ‘He will do nothing!  No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine.  The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them.’


Jer. 5:24, 25 They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God who gives us spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’  Your wrongdoings have kept these away; your sins have deprived you of good. 


Jer. 5:31 The prophets prophecy lies and my people love it this way.  But what will you do in the end?


I’m convinced the saddest part for God in His reaching the point that judgment becomes necessary, is His understanding of the good of which our sins have deprived us.  Even when we just fall a little short, we sometimes think God is just waiting to hammer us; nothing could be further from the truth.


Blatant disregard was the case here, not shortcomings.  Shortcomings will not bring God’s judgment, but they can keep us from His good.  As it takes blatant disregard to bring judgment, I believe it takes blatant (brazenly obvious) regard to experience the good He has planned for our lives.


There is a middle of the road limbo where we do neither.  We may not go wholly after our sinful cravings, but neither do we go wholly after God.  We neither enjoy the pleasures of sin nor God’s goodness.  It is a most unfortunate place to be.


God is not waiting to hammer us for our wrongs, He is longing for us to experience the good He has for us.  Help me oh Lord to not be distracted that I might go wholly after You, for only then will I experience the good You have planned for me. 



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When Each Do Their Part


God gives gifts

to strengthen and build,

His plan for His church

to know His will.


He gives teachers and preachers

and singers and poets

for the spreading of truth

in their way to show it.


Men and women

will sit at His feet

to learn from Him

what they might speak.


He gives helpers and givers

and encouragers too;

there are those who pray

and care and do.


All works together

when He’s in command

and all do their part

as He had planned.


Whatever your strength,

do all to know it.

It’s a God given gift

for His church to grow it.


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Jeremiah 3, 4


How long will we break the heart of God?  We have forsaken Him and gone after our own interests.  Patiently He waits, longing for us to come to our senses and return to Him, but we do not.  If only we would, He would gladly hold off His judgments, He would gladly treat us as sons.


Call after call rings out in an attempt to save His people from the disaster that is about to befall them.  He knows how terrible it will be.  He hopes to not have to do it.  It is really in our hands.


There is no way I can conclude from reading the book of Jeremiah, that God has declared His intent to send judgment.  But due to the timeless nature of His word, there are some things I can conclude.  We have forsaken Him as His people in Jeremiah’s time had.  He hopes that we will return to Him and gives us opportunity to do so.  We mistake His patience for His approval and see no need of repenting.  Eventually His patience runs out.


Surely we are on the same path as His people from years ago.  Though there is no way to know where along the path we are, we can learn from it that though at some point His patience will run out, for now He is giving us time; time to consider our ways in light of His ways; time to take advantage of His mercy and His willingness to pardon.   

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The Need to Linger


John 20:16   Jesus said to her, ‘Mary’.

In all our seeking, can you think of anything that would be more comforting and assuring than to hear the voice of God as Mary did here? And in that situation, can you think of any other word that Jesus could have said that would have been more comforting to her?

Several hurried to the tomb. Two of the disciples looked around a little and left. But Mary lingered. By her lingering, she put herself in a position to hear.

Lord, You know the words we need to hear. For all who are seeking to hear them, speak them to us as we linger.


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Do I Hear the Banquet Call


I wonder is the banquet set;

is the time now full at hand?

Is He sending now His servants

to call throughout the land?


His call goes out for all to come,

though many will not hear;

with good excuse they’ll miss it all,

will later shed a tear.


The stops are pulled, no holds are barred,

the call rings louder still;

‘We still have room’ the servant says,

‘I want My banquet filled’.


Oh hear the call that rings today,

for it may not ring again.

Don’t walk away when He calls for you

and miss what could have been.


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