Saturday, September 26, 2009

Are you an evergreen tree?

No worries in a year of drought
Right before our return to the USA someone gave us a postcard. On the back he had written the words from Jeremiah 17:7-8

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought, and never fails to bear fruit.

I have always liked the metaphor of the believer being a tree. Rooted in love, bringing forth fruit and planted by streams of water. In this particular scripture the tree is an evergreen. No matter what season, the leaves are always green. No matter what season, it never fails to bear fruit. That tells me we can go through difficult times, we can feel lonely, we might feel challenged or even disappointed, but we can still stand strong! We do not need to fear the dry seasons because they will reveal the extend of our root system. As long as we can reach water, which may require some serious digging, our leaves will stay green and we will never fail to bear fruit!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Design by the spoken word

When God speaks, He creates...
Recently I have been working on a study guide to go with my first book Sacred Sabbath. That idea came to me when Tate Publishing offered to print journals with the cover of the book. So a nice study package for individual or group study will soon be available! I’ll keep you posted!
While going through that first book again I came across some thoughts that are worth sharing on this blog.
When God speaks, He creates. He brings something into existence, just as He created light by using words. You can find praise for His creating power in Psalm 148, the writer urges all creation (the angels, the sun, moon and stars) to glorify God. The reason for their worship is simple,
Let them all praise the name of the Lord! He commanded, and they were created.
Design by the spoken word! God created more than the heavens and the earth. He spoke laws, promises and truths into existence, which are written down in His Word for the reader to meditate on and live by. His voice is written down for all generations!
The most awesome thing is that while studying His written word He will speak to us again!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Song of Sorek

Wonderful World

I leave my footprints along the sun-drenched flood line
I try to make a pattern, a mark so neat,
But the waves are playing with those prints of mine
And nearly sweep me of my feet

Oh, to touch Your great creation.
Oh, to be a part of Your wonderful world

I leave my footprints on this ancient mountain trail
The earth beneath my soles is soaking wet
The mud is sticking to my feet, still small and frail
And paints them with her deepest color red

Oh, to touch Your great creation
Oh, to be a part of Your wonderful world

I leave my footprints in the gold of glowing desert sand
My toes are digging for the cooler layer
While I let some dust run softly through my hand
And whisper all these thoughts in prayer

Oh, to touch Your great creation
Oh, to be a part of Your wonderful world

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This great nation

A wise and understanding people
As a European, frequently residing in the USA, I get asked certain questions from time to time. Quite often people want to know what the general opinion overseas is about Americans and the USA as a country. Likewise I enjoy asking Americans about their views of my birth country Holland. Somehow we all care about the way we are valued as a country and as a people.
The other day I was reading in Deuteronomy 4:6 how Moses addressed the Jewish people who were about to enter the new land as promised to them. He urged them to stick to the decrees and laws that God gave them and added,
Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all the decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”
Now, wouldn’t it be awesome if other nations said that about your country or about your tribe? Wouldn’t it be awesome to be known as a wise and understanding people? Well, we’re far from it, whatever country we live in. I do believe, however, that this is how we should be known as Christians. Not as critical and intolerant and self absorbed. It is by our love that we will be recognized as Believers, it is by wisdom and understanding that God in us will be recognized!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Be transformed!

When the impossible looks logical
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind
Romans 12:2

Transformation doesn’t happen in a second. Well, at least not in real life. It is a process of learning and growing and adjusting to new Kingdom standards and principles. Yet, sometimes I wonder: am I there yet?
I heard Bill Johnson (Bethel Church, Redding, CA) recently say: “You know when your mind has been renewed when the impossible looks logical”.
Well, that certainly made me think! How many 'impossibilities' do I encounter in my life? Do I truly believe that with God ALL things are possible?! I must not try to understand everything and all that is going on in my Christian life, but surely it means I must expand my vision, expect the unexpected and be ready for supernatural things to invade my life. Stop putting God in a box!
If we still worry about the same things we worried about 5 years ago, there is no renewal taking place. If we still get frustrated because we bump into dead ends all the time, we are not being transformed! Let's pray with the Psalmist,
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me
(Psalm 51:10)