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4 years, 10 months ago 6

I love wood and old rusted steel!  I grew up in and era when you bought stuff by the pound, the more it weighed, the more it was worth.  Maybe that is why I’m drawn to old heavy, historic things.  Things of substance!  Today I spent the day shooting down in Big South Fork Scenic Recreation area with Chuck Summers.  Chuck has been a dear friend, and brother for a long time. Today’s blog is about substance, and so is Chuck!  Chuck is one of those rare friends that is truly there when you need him.  I can’t tell you how many tough times he has seen me through, how many times he has prayed for me, and how many times he has just listened to me.  He has always been there for me, he has been real substance in my life!

 

So I want to encourage him as he starts pastoring a new church in Henderson, Kentucky.  Today’s In Touch devotional was the perfect words to share with a friend that has shared so much of his life with me,  be encouraged my friend……

 

Psalm 139

New Living Translation (NLT)

O Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
    even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

 

I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—
12     but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.

 

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.

Every day of my life was recorded in your book.

Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

 

17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
    you are still with me!

 

19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
    Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
    your enemies misuse your name.
21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
    Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
    for your enemies are my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

 

 

Most of us yearn to walk through life with a sense of confidence and assurance. But see if the following scenario ever describes you: At the end of your day or week, you feel worn out and depleted. Your nerves are frazzled—you seem to be in a season of trials, trudging through valleys, water, and fire. You know Scripture says the Lord has omniscience and uses all things for His good purposes, but feelings of isolation and discouragement leave you wondering if He’s even aware of the situation.

If that sounds familiar, then you need this reminder: You do not journey through this life alone. Our loving heavenly Father is and has been with each believer every single day. He travels with us side by side and hand in hand. We are walking in the presence of the living God, whose Spirit abides with us and is in us (John 14:16-17).

No matter what season of life you are in—no matter how long, short, painful, or easy it might be—God wants you to know you are never alone. He is with you always (Matt. 28:20). Allow yourself to be encouraged by that truth.

David reflected on this reassurance in Psalm 139—he realized that no matter where we might go, the Lord is right there with us. We are never beyond the reach of a God who is full of lovingkindness, mercy, and comfort (1 Chron. 16:34; 2 Cor. 1:3).

Friend, remember that God is faithful and omnipresent. You have a partner in this life—a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24), and He will never leave or forsake you, on this day or any other. Have a wonderful time walking with Him today.

 

Chuck know that our Heavenly Father has wonderful plans for you, Bonita, and your ministry! Let go, and trust Him, and know we are all lifting you in prayer!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

4 years, 10 months ago 6

This mornings devotional on In touch was too good not to pass on and then add a little personal insight.

 

Deuteronomy 7:7-9     New Living Translation (NLT)

“The Lord did not set his heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! Rather, it was simply that the Lord loves you, and he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the Lord rescued you with such a strong hand from your slavery and from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.

 

Spring, summer, fall, and winter—these are the seasons of the year. Life also has its seasons. Some are filled with joy, while others are characterized by difficulty. Take comfort because there is a principle from the Bible that can encourage and sustain you through every season: Our God is faithful.

We learn about this attribute of the Lord from passages like  1 Corinthians 1:9, where Paul says, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” To say that God is faithful means He always does exactly what He says He will do.

How reassuring it is to know that He will keep His promises to His children and never leave their side, whatever “season” of life they are in. No matter how deep, how dark, how depressing, how hopeless, or how good things may seem, the child of God can count on the Father’s abiding presence. 

So regardless of your present trials or triumphs, embrace these three truths:

1. God will be faithful to you because it is His very nature (Ps. 36:5).

2. God knows all about your situation; you are never alone in any season of life (Ps. 139:7-12).

3. God is omnipotent, so He has the power to meet every single need, and He knows how to move you through the various seasons of your life (Rom. 8:28).

Hold onto this fact: You will change and seasons will change, but our wonderful God is always the same. That means He won’t fail you, He won’t waver on you, and He won’t vary—you can fully rely on Him. And He will never forget about you; He is with you always. Great is His faithfulness!

 

I have been the benefactor of many incredible acts of the faithfulness of God.  Let share several important ones to me.

 

In High School and College I had several girl friends, I was young, so you can count that against my judgment, but I was sure each one was the “one”!!  Needless to say by time I graduated and returned to my home town, Harlan, I was girl friendless…  To be honest, I was very lonely, and I was questioning why my God was leaving me alone in the world.  The answer to my prayers was not immediate.  Then one night while visiting my father in the hospital, I mete a pretty young nurse!  One date later, I had found the love of my life.   44 years later, I can see what god was saving me for!  Not a day has gone by  that I haven thanked Him for this my greatest earthly gift!

 

One of the great loves of my life has been football.  I played in High School and had a chance to play in college, but frankly I was just not big enough or fast enough to play major college ball.  I coached high school ball and really enjoyed it but, it was obvious tome that my future was not going to be as a player or along term as a coach.  During my time coaching I picked up a 35mm camera ands started dabbling in photography, something I had always had an interest in.  God opened doors that led to my life time passion with and involvement in photography. With the exception of my Lord, my wife and family, and friends, photography has become the joy of my life.

 

Twice I’ve faced cancer and in both cases, great medical folks and my Lord have seen me  through both!  He not only helped me to recover, he taught me life lessons of incompressible value through both experiences.

 

Some might say that these are all coincidences.  Believe what you wish, but I know what I believe, my God has been faithful in every aspect of my life, both large and small!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

 

4 years, 10 months ago 0

Wow is it great to be home,  the redbuds and dogwood in bloom, nothing like spring in Kentucky!  Slept in my own bed last night, and am sitting in my own office today!  It is a foretaste of what July 1st will be like!  There is something wonderful about spring, a season of browns and cold gives way to fresh shoots on the trees and thick green grass in the meadows.  I won’t keep you long today, but I do want to thank you again for your prayers last week.  The experience for me at Photoshop World was wonderful, I met great people, worked with a phenomenal team, and made a good start on what the next phase of my life is going to be!

 

I never underestimate the power of prayer, and the good wishes from friends like you guys and gals, thanks from the bottom of my heart!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

4 years, 10 months ago 17

You never know!  I had a program, at the Kelby Media stage this afternoon, in the midst of the concofany of noise, other speakers, people talking loud, every possible distraction, and after the first two shows they turned my sound (music) down because it was too loud for the guy lecturing 15 feet away.  Hey I didn’t blame him, I couldn’t hear myself think either.  I was pretty sure the program of slide shows had fallen on it’s face!  Shockingly a pretty long line of folks came up to say they really enjoyed it, shocking!!!!!  The last person was beautiful young lady who was a scholarship student to Photoshop World from Canada.  She fought back tears to tell me that God had used the program to answer some prayers she had been praying.  I stood there dumbfounded!  It never ceases to amaze me just how God know the needs of those in an audience and moves through the Holy Spirit to touch their lives.  I take no credit, how could I???  I was thinking I had wasted their time this afternoon!

 

You never know……….. but He does!!!  Praise God for my ignorance and His compassion and love!!!!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

Does anyone know how to spell concofany???  Can’t find it anywhere!