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Our Daily Journey

daily journey We all have big things in our lives. We all have things that are important, that require our attention and activity. But when we never pause for the small things--those fragile and fleeting oases of heavenly communion--our connection to God begins to atrophy. Eventually it will dry up and blow away from disuse. And for the tyranny of the temporal moment, we will have bargained away sweet, heavenly moments with Him.

Reflections by the Pond

#687: Shadows & Light

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December 22, 2014

The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.
Isaiah 9:2

Who can argue that this world does not remain in darkness? Who among us can make the case that humanity has finally "seen the light" and emerged from the shadows? For a simple, unembellished recitation of each day's headlines borders on the pornographic: terroristic violence of unimaginable depravity; vast swathes of humanity rising up in arms over something provably a lie; corruption and duplicity brazenly paraded by national leaders; perverse sexuality forced, even legislated into the norm.

We still live in a world that grows darker by the day...

#686: Shedding the Inferior

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December 15, 2014

Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him."
Matthew 13:10-13

As one grows old in Christ, the things of God become more permanently affixed to one's life. Heavenly things that were, at first, alien and strange become, over time, familiar and comfortable. Instead of aging, withering, and falling away, they become, eventually, more strongly—even permanently—a part of us. And as heaven becomes more firmly attached, the things of earth begin to wither before our eyes...

#685: Ye of Little Faith

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December 8, 2014

They said to her, "You are out of your mind!" But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, "It is his angel."
Acts 12:15

We like to think that faith has never been so fragile as it is in this modern age. At the same time we imagine that faith has never been so strong as it was in the first century, a time vibrant with the ministries of the men who had walked and talked with the Lord Himself.

Both, however, are misconceptions. As the wise but cynical King Solomon wrote, "There is nothing new under the sun."

#684: Quality Time

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December 1, 2014

"And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,"
Says the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 6:18

God the Father welcomes us into His garden to spend quality time with Him. He wants to be our Father. He wants us to walk with Him in His garden, to bring Him our sorrows and joys, our anger and questions. And, as a loving dad who can now speak openly with an adult son or daughter, He eagerly takes the opportunity to share from His own life, and the immense wealth of His wisdom...

#683: The Right Messenger

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November 24, 2014

As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting..."
Acts 9:3-5

Who will reach your neighbor for Christ? Who will reach your cousin, your sister, your child? Because some heads and hearts are harder than others, the Lord's messengers are many and diverse. For some a simple invitation will be sufficient, a casual chat over a cup of coffee. For others it will require a traumatic, life-altering event they will not be able to ignore. It may take persistence, it may be painful, it may require loss. But in every case the Lord will send just the right messenger to add one more soul to His Book of Life...

#682: To God Be the Glory

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November 17, 2014

"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord God, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went."'"
Ezekiel 36:22

Life in Christ means that we bow before Jesus as our Savior, our Lord, our brother and fellow heir. In that there is not just security, not just joy, but order. The problem with this fallen world is its disorder. Marriage, family life, even the process of giving birth have become twisted and perverse. The schooling of children, once a place for instruction in the basics, is now a center for indoctrination; university life for young adults, instead of a place for intensified higher learning, has become a moral cesspool, an unbridled Bacchanalia.

And the root of it all is the worship of self...

#681: Dependable Permanence

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November 10, 2014

His radiance is like the sunlight;
He has rays flashing from His hand,
And there is the hiding of His power.
Before Him goes pestilence,
And plague comes after Him.
He stood and surveyed the earth;
He looked and startled the nations.
Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered,
The ancient hills collapsed.
His ways are everlasting.
Habakkuk 3:4-6

We all need something on which to depend—something that will never change. We all want to rise in the morning with the assurance that things around us will be as they were when we pulled up the covers last night. We want our house still to be standing; we want our husband or wife still by our side; we want our children still to be in the next room and still loving us. But none of these things are permanent.

We must look somewhere beyond this temporal plane for something absolutely dependable, unchangeable, permanent...

#680: Waiting

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November 3, 2014

"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I have hope in Him."
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:24-26

The incessant, inane babblings of modern society are a testament to our sense of self-importance—and disinterest in waiting silently before God. Modern man takes comfort in noise, be it the sound of his own voice or the frivolous tappings into his Twitter account, and is made profoundly ill-at-ease by silence. Human beings emerge from the womb loud and demanding, and for some that never changes. We want, and we want now. The idea of keeping the mouth shut and waiting is abhorrent to many of this day and age.

But how can we hear the voice of the Lord over the noise of this world or the insistent sound of our own voice?

#679: By Our Side

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October 27, 2014

This world does hold a few special people—those in whose presence we are profoundly energized or affirmed. It is not impossible for that quality to dwell in flesh, for we have encountered one or two along the way. Their numbers, however, are few and dwindling. Today's culture does not encourage excellence of character—indeed, it goes out of its way to encourage a bland sameness, an egalitarian uniformity at the lowest common denominator. But in spite of society's pressures, a few do rise to a high and extraordinary level of excellence, and our lives are the better for time spent in their presence.

Yet time spent with any of these special people cannot even approach in quality or depth time spent with the Savior. Others may be able to energize our spirits, but only Jesus can revive our very soul. Others may reignite enthusiasm, but only Jesus can restore our passion for living with and for Him. Others may comfort or console, but only Jesus can unite our spirit with His and give us hope, and thus raise us up to where He dwells...

#678: Nurturing the Priceless Gift

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October 20, 2014

For many people the grace of Jesus begins and ends at the cross. To them, "grace" is synonymous only with "undeserved salvation." But Jesus not only demonstrated God's grace in His sacrificial act at Calvary, He behaves graciously in His relationships with those who are friends with Him through that act. For those who live next door to Jesus, every day is filled to overflowing with His grace. Jesus never is too busy, never too distracted to be a part of our sorrows or joys. His friendship is constant, never wavering. His humanness means that His part of the relationship is compassionate and tactile; His deity means that He can be this perfectly, to everyone, beyond the limitations of place or time...

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by Dr. Radut