Monday, August 29, 2016

Tested Faith

I woke up awhile ago and didn't get up right away. I wanted to keep sleeping but that wasn't going to happen so, after a half hour of lying there I got up, had a bite to eat, and now I've been in conversation with the Lord about the subject that was in my mind, the worry that was in my mind, and was keeping me awake. There's a particular step of faith that I'm taking these days that doesn't line up with my own desires in many ways -- and it's a big step that will influence many things going forward into the future. I can lie awake and find lots of things that are wrong with this step -- or I can get up for a bit and refresh myself by praying -- and then by focusing on the promises that I know about through the Word of God.

I trust you, Father God. You have led me so well up until now. I believe you will bring me through this test too. I will rely on you, not on my own understanding. Give me your peace. In Jesus' name.

(See today's My Utmost for His Highest - The Unsurpassed Intimacy of Tested Faith)

Sunday, August 28, 2016


My blog has been going untended as I tend to other business and continue studies, especially, these days, reading about the founders of the United States. The ministry and faith that I have shared on this blog are intimately related to this history. Perhaps someday I'll write about what I'm learning. For now, back to reading on this day of rest.

The business I've been tending to is partly related to our upcoming closing on a house here in Roseville. Toni and I are thankful that we are able to get a loan for this house. We'll be able to afford the mortgage payments as we will be renting most of the house's the lower level to others, perhaps to students at Northwestern and Bethel, two Christian colleges that are located nearby.
One day at a time.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Stop and Repent

"It is very easy to grieve the Spirit of God;..."

The sentence above comes from today's My Utmost for His Highest reading.

Do you think it's true? Is it "very easy" to make God sad?

The sentence goes on: "...we do it," that is, we make the Holy Spirit sad, filling Him with sorrow and pain, "by despising the discipline of the Lord, or by becoming discouraged when He rebukes us."

The Bible speaks of making God sad in Ephesians 4:30, where the Lord's focus is the way we behave in our relationships with other people. Oswald Chambers wisely connects and extends the idea of "grieving the Spirit" with the unhelpful and sinful way we can react when the God corrects us. Hebrews 12 verse 5 says: "do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him."

Do you know what it is to be "chastened" or "disciplined" by God? Have you experienced it? We can't know God's deepest care and love for us without it!

When we recognize God's correction and discipline in our lives, and responding to it by making changes, we learn how Good He is! But when we react like stubborn little children, or when we neglect personal times of being quiet enough to perceive the ways God is calling us to repent, or when we are too focused on what on other human beings think of us and our behavior, then we become more and more deaf and blind to the discipline and rebuke of the One who loves us more than we can ask or imagine.

"How deep the Father's love for us, How vast beyond all measure, That He should give His only Son To make a wretch His treasure..." Our Father God, with the Son and Holy Spirit, -- our One God never turns His face away from us, but when we do spend time His presence, we can, at times, feel His grief. He is sad when we don't listen to the ways He would change us from the inside out.

Are you making God sad? Stop and repent. Tell the Lord that you want to experience his loving correction. Tell him to help you learn lessons that he's been trying to teach you over the past days, weeks, months or years. Rearrange your schedule so you can spend quiet time seeking His loving and corrective voice. Turn away from what "other people think" and allow God to guide you. Give Him your full attention. You will experience His joy.