Insights from the Cave – Part 1

August 29, 2012

It was a glorious time of sharing last night in the cave and, as is so often the case, there was a wonderful flowing of Christ in and through His Body.

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'” (John 7:38)

What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. (1Co 14:26)

The following is a recap, some of the references and articles that were shared last night for your consideration, meditation and pondering…

 

Wayne shared on WISDOM and THE HIDDEN SECRET

Proverbs 1  —  Purpose of the Book, Wisdom & Probabilities.

The Book of Proverbs has been a real source of wisdom for Wayne over the course of his experience and walk with the Lord, and many come to him for wisdom and counsel, from family and friends to peers and co-workers. Although a book and/or the scriptures, such as Proverbs can be a wonderful teacher and source of much truth and wisdom, the REALITY is that CHRIST has become unto us WISDOM and because we are IN Christ and Christ is IN us, HE becomes (is) our source and flow of Wisdom, both for ourselves and for others in our circle of influence.

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.” (1 Cor 1:26-31)

He has become for us our wisdom and righteousness. That wisdom is founded on the mystery of Christ in you.

Eph 1  —  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery (secret) of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.  (Eph 1:7-10)

Wayne then reminded us of the “secret wisdom” the “mystery” of His will and that that secret wisdom has been hidden until this epoch of time is now clearly revealed. Christ reconciling ALL things in heaven and earth in Him. It’s the basis of our wisdom and the root of our fellowship and sharing. Thankfully it has now been made known to us who are now IN HIM and that THIS is the very heart and foundation of the Gospel that we preach.

The fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure of righteousness and wisdom.  The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the LORD is his treasure. (Isa 33:5-6)

And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the LORD spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.'” So Aaron, therefore, kept silent. (Lev 10:2-3)

Lev 10.3. Stipulates the posture of drawing near. Not a flippant drawing near, but of awe and humility and joy. His joy being the root of our strength.

…until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God(Act 1:2-3)

Wayne also brought out how that Jesus and His disciples spent the majority of their time together focusing on and sharing things concerning the kingdom of God. How important it is that that be OUR focus as well. And how much time do we spend, what priority to WE place on the Kingdom of God? He sited some personal examples in his own life of where this was not always the case.

 

Jeanne shared on The Joy of The Lord is Our Strength

She brought out the other side of this truth that places the emphasis on the fact the WE are HIS Joy and HIS delight and what makes HIM joyful is that we are strong and that we find our strength in Him. Yes, the The Joy of the Lord is OUR strength, but the glorious flip side is that our strength is HIS joy and delight.

She also confirmed Wayne’s thought that He is making us hyper-sensitive to His dealings, His leading and that we ought to approach the Lord’s throne with great reverence and awe and not in a flippant manner, or treat Him or His work in and through us with any measure of frivolity. It is an AWESOME thing He is doing!

 

 

Tim shared on RIVERS and MOUNTAINS

When camping in Jasper our site was right near the Athabasca river and early one morning I walked through the silent mist down to the river’s edge. I observed how the trillions of gallons of water flowed continuously and unabated, 24/7, year after year. So MUCH ABUNDANCE of water when there are countries in the world that have none. I pondered and considered…  “Where does all this water come from? What do rivers represent in the scriptures?”

Of course the source of these mighty waters are all the various creeks and tributaries pouring down from the glacial ice WAY UP on the peaks of THE MOUNTAINS.

The Lord dropped the following verse into my spirit…

 

Psa 46:4     There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High.

The City of God is the Heavenly Jerusalem and speaks of all peoples everywhere who proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and have Him dwelling within. But there is a MountZion and a River WITHIN that city that makes the many residents of that glorious city glad. If HWe are to be a part of that flowing river, doing our part to contribute to that flowing river that ministers life and blessing, first to the City of God and then beyond that to the nations, WE MUST BE EVER ASCENDING TO THE HEIGHTS AND DRINKING FROM THE SOURCE!

 

John 7:38   He who believes in (wholley depends and relies upon) Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.

Gen 2:10     Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers.

Rev 22:1-2   Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Ezek 47:1-9   Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of The Temple toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar. He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side. When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins. Again he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not ford, for the water had risen, enough water to swim in, a river that could not be forded. He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me back to the bank of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river there were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then he said to me, “These waters go out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah; then they go toward the sea, being made to flow into the sea, and the waters of the sea become fresh. “It will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.

 

 

We sang…

 

THERE IS A RIVER WHOSE STREAMS MAKE GLAD

Psalm 46:4-7

 

We are a river, whose streams make glad,

The City of God, the City of God.

A holy habitation of the Most High,

The City of God, the City of God.

God is in the midst of us, we will not be moved,

Our Lord God of Hosts with us,

We are a river, whose streams make glad,

The City of God, the City of God.

 

 

THERE IS A RIVER

There is a river, and it flows from deep within
There is a fountain, that frees the soul from sin
Come to this water; there is a vast supply
There is a river, that never shall run dry

  

 

MOUNTAIN CLIMBING

That same day that I was down by the river some of us ventured up the 4.5 kilometer hike beneath the tram on Whistler mountain in Jasper. For a guy who spends the vast majority of my time seated in front of a computer, this proved to be quite a feat in and of itself.

As we climbed higher and higher, for a challenging 3.5 hours, a number of things became clearer to me regarding our ascent up the Mount of The Lord…

 

         Many glorious and significant things occurred on mountains throughout history including divine appointments between God and man. God has revealed Himself and His purposes upon mountains. Abraham, Moses, Israel, Joshua, David, Elijah and Elisha, as well as Jesus and/with/to His disciples.

Gen 22:2     He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”

Exo 3:1-2     Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God(2)  The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.

Exo 19:2     When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain.

Exo 19:11      and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

Neh 9:13     Then You came down on Mount Sinai, And spoke with them from heaven; You gave them just ordinances and true laws, Good statutes and commandments.

1Ki 11:7     Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon.

 

         Mountains in the scripture always speak of kingdoms, authorities, worldly rulers and mindsets, idols, high places, lofty thoughts, etc. – strong, apparently impossible to shake or move obstacles or forces in our life and in society. As many mountains as there are in the world, ultimately there is ONEMountain which God has chosen to make His dwelling place —  MountZion, the Mountain of The Lord. God spoke and revealed Himself from Mount Sinai in the old testament, but has replaced that fiery and fearsome mountain with MountZion —  a people called to BE His habitation.

Exo 19:12     You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.

Heb 12:18-24   For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. For they could not bear the command, “IF EVEN A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAIN, IT WILL BE STONED.” And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I AM FULL OF FEAR and trembling.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

 

         It is God’s plan and purpose for all these mountains to be brought low, to melt like wax, and for HIS Mountain to fill the whole earth.


Psa 97:5    The
mountains melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.

Mic 1:4     The mountains will melt under Him And the valleys will be split, like wax before the fire, like water poured down a steep place.

Nah 1:5     Mountains quake because of Him And the hills dissolve; Indeed the earth is upheaved by His presence, The world and all the inhabitants in it.

Dan 2:35    Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

 

         The FIRST place that this must and will occur is WITHIN us, His own as we embrace the process of ascending into His holy presence, to see His glory and be transformed into His very image, nature and likeness. To have the character of Christ formed in us.


Who can ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood And has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD And righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face. (Psa 24:3-6)

 

ZION, CITY OF OUR GOD

 

Glorious things of You are spoken,

Zion, city of our God.

He whose Word cannot be broken

Formed us for His own abode.

On the rock of ages founded,

What can shake our sure repose?

With salvation’s walls surrounded.

We may smile at our foes

 

See the streams of living waters

Flowing from the throne above

Well supply Your sons and daughters

And all fear of want remove.

Who can faint while such a river

Ever flows their thirst to assuage?

Grace, which like the Lord, our giver,

Never fails from age to age.

 

         Even though I didn’t have the best sleep the night before I was desirous to make the climb. Of course, only a short way up that hiking trail I was wishing I had taken the tram up. When we meet the Lord and hear His calling we are anxious and zealous to follow Him because we are convinced we will have what it takes to follow on. We soon discover that the trials and tribulations can become overwhelming and we must learn to wholly lean on and rely upon His grace to carry us onward.

         At one point my two nephews, Jonathan and Davin, took another path thinking it would lead them to a beauituful water fall. They discovered that it was only a bunny trail leading nowhere. Again the Lord made real to me that we often get distracted and follow some diversion in our walk with the Lord. He is constantly reminding us to keep our eye single to Him and upon His purpose and to not get pulled away from the course by every wind of doctrine or so-called “move” of God.

         We did eventually find that beautiful pure creek flowing down through the trees and filled our water bottles with fresh, cold water. This refreshing moment speaks again of each one being faithful to allow Christ to flow through us to minister His Life and Word to others, and to contribute to that greater river that flows through the valley and makes glad the City of God.

         As we finally approached the top of the mountain, we arrived at the tree line where the well-beaten path came to an end. It was obviously where many climbers, weary of the trek, decided to go no further at this level only to turn around and head back down. The path basically disappeared at that point, the climb became much more steep and rugged through large rocks and crags. The temperature dropped dramatically as there were only very small shrubs in place of the large trees that shaded our climb to that point. Everything became more difficult and challenging and we found we had to stop and rest and catch our breath much more often. However, we could now see our goal more readily and although the wind and the rain came, we found that the wind helped push us along. I was completely drained of my OWN strength and upon reaching the summit, passed out (slept) in the restaurant after having a bite to eat.

         When we arrived at the top the view is, of course, spectacular! You can see the entire valley and several mountain ranges all around. It was well worth the ascent to get that deeper, broader and transforming revelation. Beyond that, the Lord graced us with a beautiful, FULL double rainbow just meters from us. We could readily see the one end of it just down the mountain a little ways. INCREDIBLE!

 

         Although there are many lessons and insights that can be gleaned from climbing a mountain, one of the most sobering is that it is very easy to settle at any given plateau and not want to go higher. God is gracious to place us at times on these plateaus, but so many get comfortable at that level, satisfied with the view and the measure of revelation until soon tents get built…  buildings, structure, steeples, revival centers, bible colleges and denominations are established. Unless we are lovers of The Truth and follow hard after Him, God often sends a strong delusion and only a precious few, a remnant at every level, hear the call and the Word to “Let go of the lower realms, to press on, to come up higher!”


THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH


“Because they received not the love of truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” (2 Thess. 2:10-11)

Two ways are set before us here: receiving the love of the truth to work into us into salvation; or, receiving a strong delusion, literally, an inworking delusion, so that we believe a lie.  Interestingly enough, God sends them both.  He brings forth vessels of mercy, and vessels of wrath.

Those who refuse, who receive not the love of the truth, in turn will receive an inworking error, and then have to pass through a judgment to be purged of that error.  This is learning the lesson the hard way, having to go through a process of correctional chastening, until they learn that it is far better to receive the love of the truth.  Yet God retains sovereign control over this entire process. “I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them, because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before Mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.” (Isa. 66:4).  God knows exactly which inworking delusion will subdue and teach that it is an evil and bitter thing to forsake the way of the Lord.

There is a love to be received along with the truth, for knowledge alone will not hold you.  When the vision tarries you soon become entangled in all sorts of strange diversions, and a prey for those spoken of in Daniel 11:14, “the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision – as if they were able to fulfill it, but they shall fail.”

Those who do not have a love for the truth will exalt themselves and set about to establish their vision –– as if they were able to fulfill it, but they shall fail.

When you have a LOVE FOR THE TRUTH you will desire to see only the will of the Lord fulfilled, and not want to see any of your self-efforts, your own wants, wishes, and desires after the flesh fulfilled.  You will wait on the fulfillment of the will of the Lord, with an eye single to God, knowing He will fulfill His Word. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Ps. 119:165).  

THE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND

“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Daniel 12:10)

There are times when one needs the infusion of revelation to give courage and strength to follow on.  But this also must needs be balanced with real understanding of the qualifying processing’s.  As our priorities come into proper focus, we realize there is a cause, a REASON for this daily travail which has been given to the sons of men for their exercising. “And being made perfect, He became the Author of age-during salvation.” (Heb. 5:9).  “BEING MADE PERFECT,” this is the qualifying phrase, it includes every aspect of our trials and testings.  Not some pointless happenings, but all is wrought according to the counsel of His will, with a view of our being made perfect, that we might share with Him the ministry of reconciliation.

Certainly the more we comprehend that the things which overtake us are OF GOD, purposed by Him, with wise design to achieve certain goals, then we are able to “count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; KNOWING THIS, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:2-4). The purpose for all this – for our perfection.  Then James adds the next verse which harmonizes with this verse from Daniel, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of god, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

Yes,
“the wise shall understand.”  Not praying for escapes out of the processing, but knowing He has a purpose in it all, we would bring our mind into harmony with His thoughts in the situation, (COME INTO A STATE OF BEING THAT IS IN AGREEMENT WITH GOD AND WITH ALL THAT HE DOES!)

But the wicked cannot understand these things, for “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. 2:14).  Lord, we ask, Be Thou our wisdom today, that we might see Thy purpose as Thou dost direct our way. Amen!

 

Janine sang 2 songs the Lord gave her over the summer

Isa. 43:18

Consider not the things of old,

He’ll do a new thing now BEHOLD,

It will spring forth… will you not know it?

He’ll even make a new road in the wilderness,

And rivers in the desert will flow.

That’s you and me; it’s He in Hwe…

Rivers in the desert will flow.

 

 

A Song on TRUTH

Truth is found in Jesus
And freedom’s found in Truth,
I’d rather stand for Truth and die
Than live a life that’s just a lie.
I’ll look the giant in the eye
But I won’t compromise.

My feet are sore from standing
My ground…
But there’s no place else that I’ll be found.
I just don’t need what’s just half-baked
Or watered down for comforts sake,
The Truth is often hard to take,
But I will not back down.

 

Jon Shared…

I heard a message on the radio by Charles Stanley in which he brought out the truth that because and as God is writing His laws on our hearts and minds, what were do’s and don’ts under the old covenant…   “Thou SHALL…   Thou SHALL not”  becomes PROMISES under the new covenant. When, and as, He has completed His works in us…  “you WILL and you WILL not!” in His power and by His inwrought grace.

 

Eileen shared…

In the Tate Modern gallery, an artist had an installation (sculpture or art piece) that at first, made me roll my eyes.  It was a baby crib that had some of the side bars removed and the top filled in.  When I read the description posted beside it, it said, “You cannot go back to what is past”.  I heard that in the Spirit, and when we got back to Joelle’s flat, I read C Brogden’s daily email, it said, “God is not moving backward, but in the Son and through the Son, He moves steadily forward.” 

On my birthday, the email was “ The easiest thing to do is to quit, to give up, to go back to Egypt. But I’m telling you, get to the place where going back is no longer an option – then going back is no longer a temptation.”

 

Rob shared…

At work this past week we had a client make a big mistake and ordered a whole bunch of parts and items in sets of 11. A number of other “elevens” have been in my face. I sense the Lord saying that “it is the 11th hour in My time table particularly in My dealings with North America.”

 

Reg shared the attached message    –     Keys, HWe, Shadows & The Son

 

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Marriage, Mountain Climbing & The Olympic Games

August 24, 2012

The following is what I shared at the wedding reception of our eldest son, Brian, who was married to Lindsay, his best friend of eight-and-a-half years on August 11th.

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Like many, if not most of you, we watched the coverage of the 2012 Olympic games. We watched enthusiastically as athletes passionately pursued their Olympic dreams and along with them sensed both their deep joy, excitement and national pride whenever they stepped onto the podium representing their country. We also witnessed their heart-breaking pain and frustration whenever they fell short, sometimes within a mere fraction of a second, or a single point, behind their fiercest competitors.

Married on August 11, 2012 at the Winspear Centre, EdmontonBrian and Lindsay have both been involved in sports over the years, but as far as I know neither have expressed that they have Olympic goals in mind. However, they have experienced the pursuit of worthy goals and have achieved much as individuals as well as in a team environment. As Deanna aptly shared, their own relationship thus far, and their wedding today, is a testimony to their pursuit of the most worthy of goals!

When on our holidays a couple of weeks ago, some of us ventured up the 4.5 kilometer hike beneath the tram on Whistler mountain in Jasper. For a guy who spends the vast majority of my time seated in front of a computer, this proved to be quite a feat in and of itself. As most of you are aware, Brian has gone on many hikes (or more accurately referred to as “Scrambles”) up many of the tallest mountains in the Canadian Rockies. Although I’ve not gone with him on these more engaging adventures, as a family we took our kids on many hikes and camping trips, and so I believe I can take at least some credit for his passion for finding these out-of-the-way, very steep and often challenging hikes.

Today, with the support and blessing of family and friends, they are launching into a whole new adventure that is not to dissimilar to these other sports and athletic pursuits.

So, what do mountain climbing, and pursuing an Olympic medal, have in common with marriage?

Well, all three take a measure of boldness, backbone and bravery, and all three require that one is certain about taking “that first step”, to “get on the track”, or to “take their wedding vows”. All three of these noble pursuits take courage, confidence, consecration and at times focused concentration! With perhaps the exception of mountain climbing, there is always an audience looking on, supporting, applauding, empathizing and sometimes even criticizing our methods, our efforts, our successes and our failures.

A mountain climber, an Olympic athlete and a marriage partner will never succeed in their pursuit of obtaining the prize without tremendous dedication, devotion and determination, and must have a great degree of drive if they are to fulfill what becomes clearer and clearer to them with every milestone — their destiny.

They will inevitably encounter many obstacles in their path and will need to learn how to dig deep to find the energy to face and overcome these hurdles and endure the hardships. In so doing they will gain invaluable experience which will serve them well as they climb ever higher up the ladder toward success.

Like these noble athletic pursuits marriage is not for the faint-of-heart! Brian and Lindsay must face their fears head on and, together, overcome them with fealty, fortitude, faith, and faithfulness, never giving into faintheartedness, or fear, but fight to meet all obstacles with grit, guts and gratitude, knowing that they have what it takes to get the gold!

Anyone who summits a mountain, or wins an Olympic metal, runs the race with a strong sense of purpose, detailed preparation and must have patience, perseverance and persistence! They must resign themselves with unwavering resoluteness and resolve to find the Spirit, the spine and the single-mindedness to stay the course. Without tenacity and the very best tools, success will inevitably be tenuous at best. At times, when all these noble attributes seem to allude us, often all that remains is sheer willpower to simply remain loyal to our initial decision and to stand by our vows.

There are certainly many ways in which marriage can be likened to mountain climbing or pursuing an Olympic medal. But there are also a few ways that they differ as well…

Firstly, depending on the mountain, one can achieve the summit within a few years, a few months, a day or even within a few hours. The Olympics come around every four years and it is not at all uncommon for an athlete to obtain medal standing within a single four-year preparation period. Unlike these comparably short-term goals, a lasting marriage in which a husband and wife become fully and completely of ONE spirit, mind and body, is most definitely a LIFE-LONG pursuit. Brian and Lindsay, today is truly the first step on a journey that will take the rest of your lives to engage in, fully realize and thoroughly enjoy!

Secondly, where the first two athletic pursuits are often an individual journey, marriage absolutely takes a team of two, walking together in agreement, constantly and consistently pulling in the same direction. Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)

And lastly, for two individuals to truly become one, they need character attributes that are often sadly missing in world-class athletes and the most accomplished mountain climbers. These attributes can only be sourced in the God Who created us and Who instituted marriage in the first place. Unconditional Love, faith, trust, grace, mercy, humility, kindness, generosity, mutual surrender, obedience and self-sacrifice are absolute requirements of an intimate, deep and life-long marital union. These are essential and need to be ardently sought after, received and nurtured in both partners, not only to strengthen and ensure the success and strength of your own relationship, but to model and impart to your children when, and as, you (hopefully) raise your own family.

Herb Elliot, one of the world’s greatest middle distance runners, said the following about the Olympic games…

It’s the inspiration of the Olympic Games that drives people not only to compete, but to improve, and to bring lasting spiritual and moral benefit to the athletes, and inspiration to those lucky enough to witness their unwavering dedication.  Herb Elliott

Regarding marriage I offer the following revision to Herb’s quote…

It’s the inspiration of a solid and lasting marriage that encourages our young people to not simply “tie the knot”, but to truly become ONE, bringing lasting spiritual and moral fabric to each other, to their families and to society as a whole! A life-long union is truly an inspiration to those blessed enough to witness such unwavering dedication to God and to one another!

Brian and Lindsay, welcome to the hike, encourage each other in the pursuit, and remain forever committed to this life-long journey, knowing that we are standing with you support you, to pray with and for you, to encourage you, to mentor you and to applaud your success.

May you be forever blessed!


Build It Right The First Time

August 24, 2012

Last January the younger of our two sons, Justin, was married to his best friend, Sarah. I was invited to share something during the wedding ceremony. The following is what I sensed Father would have me share.

The next post is what I sensed to share at our elder son’s wedding just a few weeks ago. Brian was married to his best friend of 8 and a half years, Lindsay in what was also a wonderful wedding day.

I trust you will be blessed and encouraged by both writings…

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As I pondered what I would share on Justin and Sarah’s special day, I received inspiration when I heard Mike Holmes the other day on the radio being interviewed by Charles Adler. They were talking about quick and cheap building materials and practices to get new home costs down and get them built in a hurry. Unfortunately, many home manufacturers cut corners and what the new home buyers save in cost of manufacturing, they shell out in repairs and redo’s. Justin works in construction and is training to be a journeyman carpenter, so I trust he’s gaining a solid grasp on how to BUILD IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

Proverbs 24:3 says…

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established.

1 Corinthians 3 says the following…

For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, OR with wood, hay, and straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Jesus said… “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  (Mat 7:21)

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.  However, “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.”  (Mat 7:24-27)

It is abundantly apparent, to all who have an ear to hear, that God places GREAT importance on proper building procedures, and our lives must be build to HIS code! It is also clear that believers are as living stones being built together by the Spirit into a holy habitation. God is building his people into a temple in which He, Himself, comes to dwell and take up His residence.

Justin and Sarah, you are about to embark on the greatest and most important building project of your entire lives!

I am confident that what I am about to share, I am speaking on behalf of Sarah’s parents, Don and Pat, as well as all of you willing to stand with them, and therefore take this opportunity to encourage you both to build your marriage relationship using only the very best materials and sound building practices according to HIS design and according to HIS code. I urge you to exercise due diligence and don’t skimp or cut corners, and be sure you have the very Best architect and builder in the entire universe.

His recommendation is that you start with a solid foundation, the only one that will stand up to any shaking that may come…  build on the Rock, which is Jesus Christ, and allow Him to be the corner stone. He is the only firm foundation upon which to build, and the only standard according to which everything else should be aligned.

Upon that sure foundation, lay your floor joists of Trust, Faith, and a solid, eternal Commitment to Him and to one another. Everything else in your relationship, in your family and in your home will securely rest on these foundational principles.

Next comes the uprights, the exterior wall studs. Go out and buy only the very best in tested, tried and true building materials of Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all three of these Godly attributes. David of old knew all about building a kingdom with these principles and gives instruction to his son, Solomon, perhaps the wisest man who ever lived.

Hear, my son, and accept my sayings And the years of your life will be many. I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths.

Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding. “Prize her, and she will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace her. (Prov 4:7-13)

How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding. For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast. The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens. By His knowledge the deeps were broken up and the skies drip with dew. My son, let them not vanish from your sight; Keep sound wisdom and discretion, so they will be life to your soul and adornment to your neck. Then you will walk in your way securely and your foot will not stumble. (Prov 3:13-23)

With the major exterior walls complete it’s time to put the siding on, which will protect your marriage from the onslaught of storms and the elements. Truth is your only real defense against the tactics of the enemy who will come to try to tear down and destroy what you have diligently constructed. And to insulate your relationship from the cold that can creep through the cracks, Honor each other daily with simple, but thoughtful Acts of Kindness, Gentleness, Respect, Giving and Forgiving, Listening, plenty of Patience, and always remember to be Thankful.

The interior walls should be well mapped out so as to provide privacy and create various environments where you can have times alone with God, with family and friends and to explore your own individual giftings, talents and interests.

Doors of opportunity to bless each other, and those around you, will continue to come your way as you exercise Self-Discipline, Sensitivity to The Spirit’s leading, and diligent Obedience to God’s Word. Confidently and boldly walk through these doors that He opens up for you, Trusting Him to establish your thoughts and guide your steps.

As you enter into and remain in fellowship with others, and receive the ministry of the Lord through them, windows will open up that will expand your vision into the ways of God and His kingdom. Place these windows carefully giving you His View of the world around you, and make sure they open easily to allow the Spirit wind to blow through your lives. Keep your windows clean and clear of obstruction allowing the Son to shine in.

Nobody likes to get cold feet, so what you choose as a floor covering is very important also so your talk and walk are always one and the same. As you know your walk is as important, or more-so, than your talk in order to have an effective Testimony to others of Who it is that is your Master designer and The One who Dwells within.

The only roof that is worth having, and is your covering, is none other than the Revelation of Jesus Christ and the Righteousness that is yours because of Faith in Him. No other covering will give you the Joy and Peace that is vital to a healthy relationship and which will provide the Rest you need to be Strengthened on this journey toward becoming just like Him.

Decorate the interior with tender-loving care and adorn your walls with those items which are not just pleasing to the senses, but which Glorify Him and testify of His Goodness and Faithfulness to you. Let every decorative choice be, not only functional and provide comfort, but will be a blessing to all those who are in proximity. These include Hospitality, Humility, Tolerance, Tenderness, Mercy and Compassion.

Above all else, the glue, screws, nails and mortar that holds it all together, for all time, is Unconditional Love. It is that Love that Submits and Surrenders your will and your way to God in each other. Let His Love be the sole motivation for everything you say and do and let His Love and His Peace arbitrate every decision you make. With God’s Love as the glue and mortar, these elements will never fail to hold it all together, but they simply get stronger with time and use.

Now any building needs upkeep and maintenance or with time mold and mildew, rust and decay set in. If you are not diligent to keep out the mice, roaches and other deadly critters and negative conditions such as selfishness, unforgiveness, bitterness, pride, etc. you end up having to rebuilt, …sometimes right to the very foundation.

Justin and Sarah, Deanna and I have been so blessed by the changes that God is performing in you both and it is with great excitement and enthusiasm that we welcome Sarah into our family. We bless this union and are confident that God is the Maker and Builder of your marriage relationship! As long is HE is your Chief Architect, Materials Manufacturer and Master Builder, the most important building project of your lives is guaranteed to stand up to the test of time and the worst storms that will inevitably come your way. Your investment is sure to be sound and will only increase in value.

In conclusion I want to return to David’s wise counsel in Proverbs chapter 3…

My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; For length of days and years of life, and peace, they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the table of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones. Honor the LORD from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine. My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD or despise His reproof, For who the LORD loves He disciplines, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling place of the righteous. (Prov 3:1-33)

At the end of the day, it’s far more costly to rebuild, than to

…BUILD IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!