Tag Archives: Bible

Awe

Awe is a feeling that comes from looking at a breathtaking view found in nature or the discovery of some profound truth that suddenly brings order into one’s world. When “awe” overtakes us it leaves us with a feeling of amazement or inspiration according to L. Teja Pattabhiraman, writer for the Epoch Times. The writer goes on to say awe is good for relationships, it helps melt away stress. We are happier people as a result. We encounter awe when we experience vastness and transcendence, when we are overcome by wonder.

For the Believer, awe can be found in the majesty of God, whether it’s a discovery found in His written Word or witnessing the power of nature or the beauty of His creation. But awe isn’t just associated with God’s power. Even though He is high and lifted up, He cares about what happens in the everyday life of an ordinary person like me.

What should our response be when we experience wonder? According to the article in the Epoch Times, when we encounter awe we can respond by being more generous or content. Linger in your moment of awe and capture it in visual or written form. Use awe to overcome your circumstances.

When Believers encounter the awe of God the appropriate response is to linger in worship, giving Him who inspires and amazes us His due.

Lord I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds. Lord renew them in our day, in our time make them known; Habakkuk 3:2

March 1: weight loss kickoff

And so it begins! Starting today I’m modifying my eating and exercise regiments. The plan is to lose 22 pounds and average at least 10,000 steps per day as recorded by my Fitbit (70,000 weekly). Included in the 10,000 steps will be at least one 20 minute walk daily to elevate my heart rate.

With great sadness I will give up diet killing snack nibbling that pads calorie intake and frustrates attempts at weight loss. I plan to increase my water intake daily to aid fat burning. I also evoke portion control on evening meals.

I endeavor my fight until this goal is accomplished. Milestone victories will include a reward (tbd). I’ve marked some milestones at -3 lbs., -7 lbs., -12, lbs., -17 lbs. and -22 lbs. As the days get warmer I intend to ramp up my exercise routine, which will increase the number of steps recorded on my Fitbit.

I decided to allow one luxury in this round of weight loss, an evening mug of hot cocoa. I’ll include the recipe for Mom’s hot chocolate mix in a future post. Since it’s a homemade recipe, I can control the amount of each ingredient added.

My spirit will focus on how fortunate I am to be healthy at this stage of my life. Using the Psalms I will meditate on the many blessings I currently enjoy and the value of my life in God’s eyes. If I have a bad day trying to maintain my regiment, I will acknowledge it, pick myself, and keep going.

Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; safe your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you. Psalm 86:1-4

Walk in the light

You have no doubt heard someone say light is associated with that which is good. When something is exposed is said to be “brought to light.” In the same manner, darkness is said to be associated with that which is bad or concealed.

Perhaps the idea comes from the Bible, where light and darkness are compared and contrasted from its opening verses all the way through to the closing chapter. The fourth verse of the very first book reads:

“God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:4 NIV

I unknowingly participated in an experiment the other day contrasting the difference between light and darkness. I noticed the direction I am walking matters (towards the light or away from it) in a darkened room. When walking away from the light in a large room filled with obstacles, I noticed those pitfalls became harder to see and navigate the further I got from a source of light. I also learned the opposite is true when I walked towards the source of light. The closer I got the light the more defined obstacles became and easier to avoid.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT

I put the contrast between light and darkness to the test every time venture out for an evening workout. Carrying a light and wearing reflective clothing when I’m walking in the dark, lights my path and keeps me safe.

When the dogs bark

As the Christmas season approaches, I am reminded again of Brody’s response to the lawn decorations popping up in our community. On our walk today Brody and I happened upon a couple of life-size inflatable white bears. They’re a close representation of the bears found in Coca-Cola television commercials. When Brody spotted them, he launched into a barking frenzy and ignored all attempts to calm him down. In his mind these ornaments were an intrusion into his world.

Over the past several years, I have been attempting to put together a book of self-examination inspired by the dogs I’ve called my own. I observed their responses to the events in their lives, which caused me to reflect on events in my own life. I’m learning a lot “when the dogs bark.”

Today’s experience with Brody and the white bears reminds me of how my mind reacts similarly to intrusions in my life. I do not like (or want) uninvited intrusions. I rush to judge strangers and wrestle with any changes to the status quo. Fortunately for me, I have the freedom to access a book that helps me put life back into perspective. For that, I’m most thankful.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Joshua 20-21: Our refuge

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In biblical times, the Israelites were instructed by God to set up cities of refuge for a specific purpose.  They offered protection to anyone who accidentally committed a crime, which normally carried the sentence of death.  Intentionally committed crimes were settled using  “an eye for an eye” principle. The sentence was carried out by the avenger of blood (nearest living relative). 

Accidental killings were to be handled differently. The person responsible for the killing was to immediately flee to a city of refuge where he could present his case to the elders of the city. If his explanation was judged satisfactory, he would be admitted to the city and given provisions and a place to stay. He (or she) would be protected in the city from the avenger of blood. If he left the safety of the city for any reason, he was fair game to the avenger of blood. Under the instructions provided in the Torah (Numbers 35), the person had to remain in the city until the high priest died. The guilty person could then return home relieved of his guilt and be safe from any reprisals.

If we fast forward to the time of Jesus Christ, we can see how this ancient practice was instituted by God as a way of modeling the concept of salvation, which He would offer to the whole human race.  Salvation from what?  Romans 3:23 and 6::23 offer a sobering statements: everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s standard of perfection and the wages for this sin is death.  Romans 6:23 goes on to say, God offers a gift (a place of refuge) in the person of his son Jesus Christ.  Anyone who accepts this gift will experience forgiveness and have eternal life.

Jesus Christ is a sinner’s city of refuge.

  • Jesus was divinely appointed as were the cities of refuge
  • Jesus, from the cross proclaimed, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” ( Luke 23:34). This statement validates humanity’s guilt as accidental or involuntary manslaughter granting us access to a place of refuge.
  • In Christ the guilty can find safe haven
  • The way to Christ must be clearly revealed just as the roads were leading to the cities of refuge back in the time of Joshua.
  • Jesus is our high priest (Hebrews 7, 8, 9). His death and resurrection have set us free from the penalty of our sin
  • Since Jesus is God’s Son, then God will be the avenger of blood to all who have not found refuge in Jesus

There are two more points to be made found in Joshua chapter 21.  After the cities of refuge were established by the Levites (Israel’s priests), God gave the Israelites rest on every side (v44).  The second point: None of the Lord’s promises to Israel failed, every one was fulfilled (v45).

We can find refuge in the person of Jesus.  When we enter his refuge we can experience rest on every side and begin to enjoy the promises of God; not one of them will ever fail.

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