dear emily #5


Emily, you’ve been patient and I appreciate that. I’ve taken time to get back to you again to allows you some days to process. The implications of what I’ve shared with you are huge. Let me recap where we’ve been.

God is holy. God is so unlike us. He is pure and in control and good and gracious and kind and judge and loving. We are not. We are born far from God. We are born running in the opposite direction…we are born sinners…and that’s why Jesus came…to live the life we couldn’t live…to live it perfectly…but also to die the death that was meant for us. 

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)

After salvation comes, after a person repents and believes, change happens. Desires change…which leads to changed actions…and that’s a work of God. True repentance always responds. If God saves us, things will change. We will change. Not everything happens overnight, but change happens by the grace of God. Change is a lifelong process. 

God speaks in :8. He’s looking for a spokesman and Isaiah gets his hand up. Send me. God had a message for him to take…and Isaiah agreed to take it, even though he didn’t know how the people would respond…and that’s another story for another time.

God doesn’t want the Pandemic to be wasted in the lives of people. In those who are Christians, by bringing them deeper in their walk with Him but also so that unbelievers would turn to Him. If the Pandemic didn’t happen, chances are you wouldn’t have written to me.

Romans 5:8 says but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

So Emily here is God’s recommendation…turn to Him today and turn from your sin. Repent and believe. Jesus will save you if you humble yourself and ask Him to. If you doubt this or continue to have questions, start to watch the messages on our church website at When churches re-open join us. I would love to connect you with a woman in our congregation to help you understand the Bible better and answer any of your questions. Know that I will be praying for you. And start reading your Bible in the book of John because the Bible says:

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

the guy you see on Mondays

Pastor Dave

emily #4

Emily, I’m wondering in hindsight if I should have written you sooner on but it often takes time as a person considers that God is holy and we aren’t. It’s soul-rattling but it’s good because it gets us to the good news about Jesus. So God is holy and we are sinful and that, dear Emily is a problem. We are born far away from God. So let’s get back to the historical account of Isaiah. 

[6] Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. [7] And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

The holy touched his dirty mouth but it didn’t burn him…it brought cleansing. It brought freedom. It brought him near. It brought redemption. His sin was atoned for. The burning coal…it’s a picture of the finished work of Jesus Christ. 


One author writes “In this divine act of cleansing, Isaiah experienced a forgiveness that went beyond the purification of his lips.  He was cleansed throughout, forgiven to the core, but not without the awful pain of repentance.  He went beyond cheap grace and the easy utterance ‘I’m sorry.’  He was in mourning for his sin, overcome with moral grief, and God sent an angel to heal him.  His sin was taken away.  His dignity remained intact.  His guilt was removed, but his humanity was not insulted.  The conviction that he felt was constructive.  His was no cruel and unusual punishment.  A second of burning flesh on the lips brought a healing that would extend to eternity.  In a moment, the disintegrated prophet was whole again.  His mouth was purged.  He was clean.”

Isaiah’s sin was atoned for. That’s what Jesus did for you and me. His life, death, and resurrection to earn our salvation.

Many people believe that we do good stuff in order to get to God. I don’t cheat on my taxes. I don’t cheat on my spouse. I buy my Christmas tree from the boy scouts in December. I’m kind to my elderly neighbour. These aren’t bad things to do but none of them move us an inch closer to God. Getting to God is not based on what we do but based on what God does….based on Who He sent. 

Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully man, lived a sinless life, died on the cross to bear God’s wrath in the place of all who would believe in Him. We deserve God’s wrath but Jesus stood in as a substitute. He rose from the grave in order to give people eternal life.

I often say that the gospel in 4 words is Jesus in my place. When we see the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man…when we see our sins…we see our need…we see our offense against a holy God…and only the God-man Jesus could be the appropriate substitute.

He bore the wrath of God on the behalf of those who would trust Him. Do you get that? Do you see the weight of that? The beauty of that? The Sinless in place of the sinful. 

Here’s a couple of places that talk about our sin in the Bible:

[5] The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

[9] The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

And as depraved and sinful and wayward and lost as we are, listen to this:

[21] For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)

Jesus Christ was regarded and treated as sin, even though He was sinless. And this act was for the sake of those who would turn to Him. Our sin is seen as belonging to Christ and because of that Christ bore our wrath. But it gets even better.

We might become the righteousness of God? This means that God sees believers as having a righteous status before Him. That’s outstanding. That’s the great exchange.

So I know we’ve unpacked a lot today. I’ll message you again. But I long for you to see the beauty in the work of Jesus.

the guy you see on Mondays

Pastor Dave

dear emily #3

Dear Emily

I wanted to continue on in our conversation. Seeing that God is holy and is so unlike us is sometimes hard to see. The more you spend time in the Bible you get to see a God who is absolutely amazing. He knows all things and sees all things. He’s always been here and always will be. He is set apart and completely different from the creation that He made…but it didn’t start out that way.

Adam and Eve were in the garden and it was a perfect place but they sinned…and that big thud shook the world and still shakes the world today. 

We live in a world that is in constant praise for each other. A number of years ago there was a survey done in a particular area and the results were that the students that took the survey, their marks were at an all-time low but their self-esteem was off the charts. They performed poorly but they couldn’t stop patting themselves on the back. If your look on life doesn’t include a holy God, it’s not surprising that this is how you will see yourself. As we saw last time two guys in the Bible, Peter and Job, when they were rocked by the greatness of God, they came to terms with their own sinfulness and they wound up with their face in the dirt.


I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, Emily but I hope to get there someday but I’ve seen pictures. It’s a glorious sight. Chances are you don’t see too many people looking into a handheld mirror by the Grand Canyon. You feel small in its vastness and you forget about yourself. That’s what happened with our friend, Isaiah. Back to look at one verse from Isaiah 6:5.

[5] And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” 

Isaiah was caught up in the glory of the Majesty of God. He was drinking it in but when his gaze turned inward, he saw his sin because he was in the midst of the Perfect One…of the Holy…of the Majestic…of the Creator. He realized his dirty mouth because he had seen the King, the LORD of hosts much like you realize your smallness in the presence of the Grand Canyon. 

Isaiah saw his sin.  When we encounter the living God in a sermon…in a Sunday School lesson…in our Bible reading…we see our sin.

We don’t hear the phrase ‘Woe is me” very much today.  But it was an announcement of doom.  Isaiah started to understand God’s perspective on Isaiah.  What he thought of himself, was so unimportant.  What mattered was how he stood before God and he saw himself as dirty…stained…and sin-drenched. He doesn’t swagger or skip into God’s presence, but he slithers there…because he saw his sin for what it was after basking in the presence of his glorious God.  His self-esteem was shattered. And he saw His dirty mouth for what it was and he felt guilty. 

We live in a world that doesn’t like to feel guilty over things it should feel guilty for. Sin should make us feel guilty.  And the right guilt should lead us to repentance…and we’ll get there.

Isaiah saw God. And as he lingered in His presence, he was struck by His holiness…and then he was hammered by his sin. He had unclean lips. But God would take care of that. There was trembling. There was fear. But Isaiah wasn’t left in a pit. 

All people, even though we were created in God’s image, and created good, Adam and Eve, through the big thud, the fall in the Garden, sinned…and we naturally follow in their footsteps. Romans 3 says there is no one good, not even one. We are born strangers from God and hostile towards Him. We are born spiritually dead as doornails. (Ephesians 2:1-3). We deserve His wrath to be unleashed on us.

So holy God, sinful man…we’re in the ditch. We’re in a pit. And there’s no way that we can get out.

Emily, I encourage you to linger there for a moment. Thinking of Isaiah’s sin…and then maybe thinking of things that you have done wrong. We are born running away from God as fast as we can.

 Do you feel the desperation in that text, Emily? It should make all of us desperate. It should make us feel lost and alone and despairing. It should. And God uses that bad news in getting our attention. Maybe He’s using your questions about Covid-19 to get your attention. To give you hope…and I want to offer you a glorious hope next time. So, Emily, these truths may be hard-hitting but this bad news is foundational for the good news. Will you stay with me? Good news is coming.

the guy you see on Mondays

Pastor Dave

dear emily #2

Dear Emily

It was really great to hear from you. I appreciate you taking the time to ask me your question. I will be a little long, pastors are sometimes known for being long, but I think it’s because most of us just want to be clear and thorough, not because we like to listen to ourselves talk. And I talk (or write) with authority, because I use the Bible. It doesn’t matter what I think, but it does matter what the Bible says.

We’ll be thinking about a guy in the Bible named Isaiah.  And he lived in a time when God’s people were off track and the first five chapters of the Bible book Isaiah, tells us that. They didn’t respond to God’s promises and didn’t fear His warnings. They had received much from God but appreciated it little. They had actually rebelled against Him. They were far from God.

And Isaiah was called to talk for God when their king had died. The first few verses of Isaiah 6 says: 

[6:1] In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. [2] Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. [3] And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;

the whole earth is full of his glory!”

[4] And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.

Uzziah was a good king for most of his time and he served for 52 years. That’s a long time, Emily. For many people it brought security. Many people in their day didn’t know a time when he wasn’t on the throne…but then he died. Security and safety out the window. They went through a season of national mourning and wondered ‘what now?’ I would suggest that today a lot of people lived with a very secure outlook on life, until just a few weeks ago. 

So the long-serving respected king was dead…but when Isaiah entered the temple he looked beyond the memory of the casket and his eyes went up…way up to see a glorious King. The Creator King. The Holy King. The One who was forever on the throne. He saw the Lord. Isaiah got vertical because there wasn’t much hope in the horizontal, the earthly, because their king was dead.

As the grave of the earthly king was still fresh, Isaiah saw an in-control King…a Captain who’s massive hands still had a steel grip on the steering wheel. 

In :2 it says the angelic beings covered their faces to shield their eyes from the direct gaze of God. He is holy. They were unable to look at Him directly. It uses the word ‘holy’ not once… not twice…but 3 times. It’s put this way for emphasis sake and that is the only characteristic of God that you find repeated three times throughout Scripture. He shows His Godness in his characteristics and His works and in His ways. He is different. He is set apart. He is so in another galaxy from us. holy

And :3 goes on to say that the whole earth is full of His glory. Everything made points to Him.

:4 says there are tremors…things are shaking…things are rattling at His voice. 

God is holy. That’s the first point that all of us need to understand and embrace.

God is the creator of all things (Gen. 1:1). He is perfectly holy, worthy of our applause and adoration. You and I need to know that.

You mentioned ‘if someone were to do something horrible like release this virus and could stop it but didn’t, then they’d be considered a monster’…but then you reasoned, then why wouldn’t God be a monster?

Because God is different and set apart. He is Creator and He answers to know one…and because He is Creator, He created us…and the reverse is true, we actually answer to Him. We may not know why He does things or allows things…but it’s for His honour and His glory and that may take you some time to wrap your head around. 

Some people in the Bible, when they spent some time around God, they came to realize that they were so unlike Him. When Peter was gripped by God he said, ‘get away from me Lord, I’m a sinful man’ (Luke 5:8). Job turned from his sin with his face in the dirt, when He saw God more accurately than He ever did before (Job 42:1-6).

You and I and everyonce else need to be gripped by the holiness, the set-apartness of God…and that’s the first thing that all of us need to consider. Emily, please give this consideration before I send you another note.

the guy you see on Mondays

Pastor Dave




dear emily #1

There is no doubt in my mind that many questions are being asked about God’s goodness these days. And I’ll come back to that…

When one of our daughters was in public school she was in a split class one year with about 25 students. Four of them were named Emily if you can believe that! What I hope to do over the next series of posts is to address a fictional nineteen year old named Emily. She has many questions going through her young mind during the pandemic. 


Emily works at the local gas station where I fill up. I’ve made small talk with her through the four years I’ve been in town. I’ve given her a book or two at Christmas and Easter that explained the gospel. She knows I’m a pastor and one year I invited her to our Christmas Eve service. She never took me up on the offer but has always been friendly and asked for my business card a while ago. She is your average first-year college student. She likes guys but a lot of them seem to be jerks. She has an awkward, insecure smile and a rose tattoo on her left wrist. She’s a diligent student who gets pretty good grades and she sporadically went to a liberal church in her growing up years. I am going to start with a fictional letter that anyone could have written that would go something like this:

Dear Pastor Dave

I’ve been looking around over the last month during the Pandemic and I’ve been on social media a lot and It’s a little frightening. I’m not sure why all the decisions are being made that have been made. One blogger says one thing that seems believable and then someone else writes something else, that completely contradicts it. And there’s so much death. A factory not far from us just reported a number of Covid cases. 

My parents have told me that ‘it’s all in God’s hands’ and ‘God’s in control and it will soon be all over’. I don’t mean to be disrespectful but if your God is all-powerful, how is it that Covid 19 is not His responsibility?

Think about it for a minute. If a human being caused this kind of thing and waited for hundreds to die and then respond to it, they would be considered an absolute monster. So if God is all-powerful and in charge, but He sits and does nothing why is He not a monster?  Can He stop it? Maybe He can’t? 

I’ve appreciated our short conversations at the gas station on Monday morning, but I’m really looking for answers. I guess another question that I’m wrestling through is ‘why do bad things happen to good people?’ One of my grandmother’s friends in the nursing home died of Covid. She was one of the kindest friends that Grandma had. She was in great shape, friendly, and spread a lot of sunshine around the senior’s centre and now she’s gone. Please help me understand. 

The girl at the gas station

There are lots of Emilys around who have her kinds of questions…lots of thoughts. Lots of heat given to God these days, although Emily did it respectfully. How would you respond? What verses would you turn to? Or are you thinking the same kind of things that she is? I hope to respond to her thoughts and questions over the next series of posts…so stay tuned.




prime the pump #2

Last time I used priming the pump, as an illustration, to get us ready for Bible intake. If another picture will help, most of us begin our day with some form of caffeine. To kick-start our day most people stop at the local Tim’s or McDonald’s, get a cup from their Tassimo, or brew a pot, old school. Many people anticipate that first sip and a cup or two engages the mind. I would suggest that prayer engages the Spirit before we go to the Word of God. The Spirit of God wrote it and it’s a living and active book…wouldn’t it make sense to call on Him in dependence for help for understanding…to be moved…to be thrilled…to be be mournful over sin exposed?

So, by way of review, last time’s prayer was this:

  1. I – “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain” (Psalm 119:36)

There are three more prayers that can kick up our Bible reading for better listening.


2. O – “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18)

Reading the Bible in many ways, is like reading other books. We talk a lot about ‘context.’ One of the key differences and this is huge, is that the Spirit of God wrote it! He loves to minister to our hearts and draws us in to the things that matter most.

We all know good things wait in His Word but we need to have the eyes to see. I’ve been wearing glasses since high school and things are really, really fuzzy when I take them off.  This prayer can help us see things more clearly…see the vertical as much more important than the horizontal. I’ve experienced it and I’m sure you have you. It’s amazing how the Word will prep us and help us see the worth of Christ and our relationship with Him so that when that email, that letter, that text, that news comes that rocks us, we respond more calmly and more Christianly.

There’s wonderful thing in the Word that make the things of this life seem much smaller, much less important, and much more manageable. 

3. U – “Unite my heart to fear your name” (Psalm 86:11)

Someone wrote When I was a boy, my dad once explained why opening the Bible can be such a struggle. “It’s almost like Satan’s finger is pressing down on the cover.”

Have you experienced that?

What do we know about Satan’s character?

father of lies

prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour

accuser of the brethren

he’s crafty

He holds up the sparkly things and lures us away from the lasting. And you can start reading and get distracted. Stuff comes to your mind. Hunger. Kids. Lunch date. Work difficulties. Health circumstances. Smart-phones have made us dumb and distracted. John Piper has said “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”

Start your day with a prayer of a united heart towards the things of God because it can drift to the things that distract us and distance us from the glorious words of God. May it be Him that I have a holy reverence for.

4. S – “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love” (Psalm 90:14)

I would suggest that we may say that God is all-satisfying but we look elsewhere to be satisfied…to the hot fudge Sunday before bed…to the holiday…to getting the complements…to the good deal…to having a problem-free day.

Every human being on the planet is seeking happiness but to tweak the words of an old country song, “we’re looking for happiness in all the wrong places.”

Ask the Spirit to unblind you to the beauty staring you in the face…to the love and kindness and mercy and sovereignty and glory of God.

2 Corinthians 3:18 essentially tells us: as I see Him, I become like Him…and the reality is that’s what He wants…and in our heart of hearts, that’s what we want…to be more Christ-like. May these four simple prayers from the Word be instrumental in making you and me more like Christ.


prime the pump #1

I had a dear Grandma who went to be with the Lord many years ago. I have fond memories of visiting her and my Grandpa out in their little village. They were the only people I knew who had an outhouse. It was a double-seater! I also remember the day that they got what was known as ‘indoor plumbing’…but the outhouse remained in her yard…and so did the pump.


As a little guy, I remember pumping that thing but water didn’t come out right away. I needed to be reminded that you didn’t just pump it once or twice. You needed to give it five or six good pumps and then the water came gushing out. It was wonderful when you were playing in the yard and worked up a thirst in the summertime. A few good pumps, out came the water and more than enough to refresh you when you worked or played up a thirst.

Did you know that God’s Word can be primed with prayer like a pump? Have you ever listened to a sermon…read a few chapters…or even read a Christian book..and your response was: ‘Well, I never got anything out of that!!!’ A question to ask in light of this response is ‘but what did I put into it?’

We can invest in the Word by first spending some time in prayer to prime the pump. John Piper has written about the I-O-U-S of prayer. He uses prayers in the Psalms to prep him before he even opens up the Word. Our small group studied this back in February. So today we’re going to look at the first before-Word prayer and next time the other three.

  1. I – ‘Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain” (Ps. 119:36)

This prayer can get our hearts off the horizontal, the things of this life, and onto the vertical, the things that are of utmost importance to God.

Do you find that lesser things get your attention before your feet hit the floor or before the first cup of coffee?

What am I going to wear today?

Do I have to shave this morning?

What am I doing after work?

How many days till the weekend?

What’s for breakfast? Lunch? A big ol’ burger for supper?

What’s on social media? Emails?

What concerts are coming up? 

Do the Flames have a game tonight? What about the Tigers?

Not bad questions. But they reveal our bent towards the here and now. We need to begin our days mindful of God and things of eternity. 

We fight the tendency to be preoccupied with self. We can fight judgemental attitudes toward others and how people respond to us by getting out of the equation and getting our thoughts on God’s eye view and God’s Spirit helps us do that when we ask. Before we open the Book we can sincerely ask God that He may grip our hearts to His testimonies, not the things that are here one day and gone the next…and we’ll be surprised how that can prep us to hear from Him in His glorious Word.

He’s not safe…but He’s good

I was introduced to C.S. Lewis by way of public school. I read a few of the chronicles of Narnia and then years later I received all seven of them from Bonita for Christmas. A few years later we introduced our daughters to the books and later the audio dramatizations. Danny took to them and has some parts memorized. A part that I have quoted from “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” often in sermons is an interaction that Mr. Beaver had with Lucy and Susan, two of the children in the stories. They were talking about Aslan who was the Christ figure and Mr. Beaver knew much more about him than Susan. So she prodded him with a couple questions.

Mr. Beaver said.“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.”

“Ooh,” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

This is a very different view of God than the one that has been domesticated and can fit neatly into our back pockets… a god that is about our happiness more than our holiness…a god who can save you but doesn’t change you… a god who is our heavenly vending machine…10,000thingsa god who is about keeping us away from any sort of pain. A god of prosperity has seeped his way into the church…a god where you snap in a piece (a prayer, a Bible reading, an act of obedience, a financial gift) and out pops what you want (usually something to make your life cushier). Mark’s gospel introduces us to a very different God…One like Aslan. 

[35] On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” [36] And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. [37] And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. [38] But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” [39] And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. [40] He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” [41] And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:35-41 ESV)

My understanding is that a wind could blow in in a matter of seconds in this region and that’s what happened here. The boat was filling up and Jesus is catching zzz’s in the back of the boat. So the disciples woke Him up and they questioned His care for them. The disciples wanted safety and Jesus wanted to make His glory known. So He stood and commanded the wind to stop. It was like a well-trained dog stopped barking by the snap of his masters’ fingers.

Notice the disciples’ fear didn’t stop…it increased. The cause of their fear had shifted from the winds to God. They met Someone who commanded nature. They stood in the presence of the One who could stop the wind with a couple of words.

I think there is some application here as we think about the COVID 19 virus. God has His plans to do with the virus as He sees fit. He could stop it in less than a nano-second and He could also allow it to drag on. We don’t always know His purposes or His methods…as John Piper has said, ’God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.’ Regardless of His response to this virus may we all learn to trust Him, even in the midst of our uncertain circumstances. May our fear of the virus decrease and may a healthy fear of the God of the universe grow in our hearts. May we seek the true biblical God found in His Word not the god of our culture. The holy God of the Bible is the One we bow the knee to.

He’s not safe…but He is good. He’s the king I tell you!

God’s second book

When we were away a few weeks ago we got to spend some time with a couple from Anchorage, Alaska. For those who live in places like that, I’m always intrigued by the time of the year that they are without light. He told me that from Thanksgiving to well into the new year, they are without light 24/7. That’s a long time to be in the dark.

I believe that depression can set in during the winter months for some people when they are less likely to be outside and more likely to be in front of some sort of screen. It happens to me sometimes. Most days, you drive to work, you look out the window, you go for a walk, or you get a glimpse of beauty from a scenery shot on your computer or the calendar on your wall. There was one day a few weeks ago I looked at the trees at the back of the church and they were absolutely gorgeous. There was ice that formed on them from the previous cold night and it looked spectacular.

I had a hard day last Tuesday. It was looking pretty bleak and barren and I didn’t even get out. It was amazing how my disposition changed on Wednesday when I walked that morning. There was a little snow covering the coulees where I walk and the sun was peaking through.  It was truly amazing.

I have a friend who refers to creation as God’s second book and I think you know why.

[1] The heavens declare the glory of God, 

and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1 ESV)

We can’t know the specifics of the gospel in creation but for those who are believers, they can revel in the majesty and the glory of creation and more importantly the One who created it and the One who saved them. Unbelievers can’t come to faith through creation but it can be a trumpet blasting to catch their attention…to prick their interests…to ease them in the right direction of the God of glory and salvation.

I was out Sunday morning but I got a little stalled. The sermon was recorded Saturday morning and Sunday morning I got up at 6:15 (That’s sleeping in for me). I found a couple of worthwhile articles to post on the church Facebook page. I then figured out how to make a playlist for Sunday morning through youtube. By that time it was a little after eight but I was determined to get out for prayer. And I was gone for forty-five minutes enjoying God’s second book. The sunshine. The coulees. The big sky. And I enjoyed time in prayer with the glorious God of creation. I did get to spend some time in God’s first book later on.

Bonita and I enjoyed coffee that morning and we sang together with the help of the youtube song list. We listened to the sermon from Galatians 3:6-14 together, which was a little surreal the first time I did it since I was preaching. After that, we went out and enjoyed talking about God’s grace moments through our married life as we walked to Desert Blume to get some veggies. We rejoiced with the sun in our eyes and the wind in her hair!

If being cooped up has you a little down, even after being in His Word…spend some time opening God’s second book. The Heavens do declare His glory!


There’s an old song from the eighties that went, ‘…don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone…’ It was a hair metal band and it was a power ballad about lost love. It was a ‘she-was-here-and-I took-her-for-granted-and-wish-I-didn’t-and-now-she’s-not-here-anymore’ kinda song. 

I love doing laundry. When we were first married I wasn’t a fan and I wouldn’t fold. I thought that should be Bonita’s job, as strange as that thought is for me now. Over the last number of years, I have grown to absolutely love doing laundry. I like things in order. I even enjoy folding it now. Occasionally though, Bonita will leave a Kleenex in her clothes. That makes folding the clothing a little less desirable. And let me say that she has gotten much better at checking her pockets.

As I sometimes do, I was projecting if the Lord were to take her home before He took me (not that this is something that I necessarily want). I could imagine being by myself a few decades down the road doing laundry without the occasional Kleenex but also without the person that left the Kleenex. I would so much rather her be around and have to deal with the occasional tissue in our laundry. I would much rather deal with tissues than be Bonita-less! 

Have you ever noticed that we can complain about the piddly insignificant things that really don’t matter and forget the many, many things that we have to be thankful for! There are probably close to a million things that I can be thankful for when it comes to my wife, in particular. But I can get sideways by a shredded tissue! I want to be mindful of what I have when I have it.

Remember God’s people in Numbers 11? God had rescued them from slavery but they belly-ached about the meat that they used to eat…when they were in slavery!!!

No doubt some of you may be missing what you used to have. You’re missing pro sports. You’re missing live music. You’re missing going to the gym. You’re missing being close to the people that you care about. You’re missing church body life.

I encourage you to be mindful of what you and I have. For the believer, Ephesians 1:3 says that we have every spiritual blessing in Christ. God is the divine source of every blessing. We have the Word…His very words for us. We have access to the Father through Jesus Christ in prayer  (1 Timothy 2:5). Never will He leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:6). There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). And we have physical blessings that will blow our socks off if we stop and linger over what we do have right now today.

I have food to eat. I have clothes for my back. I got a roof over my head. I have access to relationships through e-mail, texts, phone, and FaceTime. I have a wife who has stuck by my side for almost twenty-nine years. I have daughters that keep in touch. I have a library full of books that help me understand God’s Word better. I have access to so much Bible teaching via the Internet. I have music to feed my needy soul. I can rent a movie without having to go to Blockbuster…remember that?

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. Ask God to remind you of all the blessings. May He give all of us eyes to be thankful for those things that we used to have, that we are going without right now…and may He give the clear vision to see all that we have….right here, right now.