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Mountains


Chapter 39

Good Monday Morning to this week 39 of 2021

In deep thought and awe I sit here in front of large mountain. The mountain is formed like a volcano. As the day passes by, so do the many different variations of clouds, colors and weather patterns. In front of the mountain is a lake and this lake reflects much of what is happening around the mountain. The lake specifically shows the wind and waves and adds to the beauty of the scenery.

Mountains are something we all have in common, we mostly have some connection to, or have experience with them in one way or another. So it was with the writers of the Bible. It’s very common imagary to many of the writers, from prophets to kings. Here a few to meditate this morning.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.

In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

 I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone.

For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.  In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 

Quotes from Isaiah, Micah, Mark, Matthew, David, Jesus

Wishing you a great start to this new week.

Philemon

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Ways of Heart


Chapter 38

Good Monday Morning to this week 38 of 2021

…. and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6.8

Last week I left out this very important part of the verse out.
Not sure why, probably because I was so focused on the selective justice part.
But, oh yes, how important these ways of heart that Micah writes of are!

…. to walk humbly with thy God!

Micah is a master poet filled with metaphors, similes, wordplay and symbolic imagery. Micah judiciously balances oracles of judgment and oracles of redemption, with a uniquely clear view of the sovereign grace of God, and of the origin and divine nature of the coming Messiah. On this occasion, Micah is looking over the hills of Judah from the city of Moresheth to the Philistine cities. He knows of the kings of Judah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah and was active until 728 BC. Micah’s message of judgment is interspersed with words of hope!
In the end, judgment would be replaced by the Lord’s grace, unfailing love, faithfulness, forgiveness, pardon, and compassion. Israel would be restored and renewed, and God would fulfill his promise! In a time of turmoil, dishonesty, division and imminent horror, he warned the people in ways of heart.

…. and to walk humbly with thy God!

The “walk” metaphor is used often in Scripture to describe the overall direction one’s life is heading. Walking in the way of the Lord or walking the light are two examples. This poetic picture envisions a comfortable relationship of presence with God and a life that fits into that path. For walking with God there must be communion, based in love, and resulting in imitation. And that communion must be constant and run through all of our lives.

another beautiful analogy:
“to live continually grasping the hand of God, and conscious of His overshadowing wing at all moments at every step of the walk.”

The Message is a little less poetic but very pragmatic:
.. and don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously!

The adverb “humbly” moves us away from arrogance and the egocentric need to always be better than others, to the simple acceptance of the gifts that God has placed within us. A famous hymn gets in a nutshell:

When we walk with Him, He abides with us!

Wishing you a good start to this week!

Philemon



Justice is not selective


Chapter 37

Good Monday Morning to this week 37 of 2021

Micah 6:8 “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness!

I think it’s important that people take this opportunity to really expound on things like equality, inclusion, diversity. These words need to become transformed into our lives in a relative way that they are applicable, that we are actually working it, that people can actually say well if this is what I believe, if I truly believe in equality, if I truly believe in justice for all, it is justice for all, not justice that is selective, because … a justice that is selective … is an oxymoron, that’s not justice at all. Rev. Mykal Slack, Congregational Life

A challenging quote in a time of much division and much injustice.

Wishing you peace and kindness and clarity to see God’s justice this week!

Philemon

We rise

Chapter 36

Good Monday Morning to this week 36 of 2021

Stood alone on a mountain top, starin’ down. I could go east, I could go west, it was all up to me to decide. Just then I saw a young hawk flyin’ and my soul began to rise. B Seger

This Saturday I got two messages from two friends. Both were within one hour from each other and contained their current observation of hawks. One was a video showing a hawk, circling wildly around a few trees that were in great motion because of the wind. The second was an observation of four, then three then two hawks coming from the bushes. The four birds rose, then one left, three returned, finally two remained and were engaged in a fight or struggle right above the observers head very near an open field where the person observed.

If it’s wild to your own heart, protect it, preserve it, love it and fight for it. Dedicate yourself to it, whether it’s a mountain range, an activity or a relationship. It doesn’t matter if it’s wild to anyone else: if it’s what makes your heart sing if it’s what makes your days soar like a hawk in the summertime, then focus on it. Because for sure, it’s wild, and if it’s wild, it’ll mean you’re still free. R. Bass

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40.31

In the Barnes Commentary, I quote: But they that wait upon the Lord – The word denotes properly to wait, in the sense of expecting. The phrase, ‘to wait on Yahweh,’ means to wait for his help; that is, to trust in him, to put our hope or confidence in him. Shall renew their strength or to change. The Hebrew word commonly means to change, to alter; and then to revive, to renew, to cause to flourish again. They shall mount up with wings as eagles – ‘They shall put forth fresh feathers like the moulting eagle;’ and in his note on the passage remarks, that ‘it has been a common and popular opinion that the eagle lives and retains his vigour to a great age; and that, beyond the common lot of other birds, he moults in his old age, and renews his feathers, and with them his youth. ’So that thy youth is renewed like the eagles,’ refers to this fact a common and popular opinion among the ancients. The opinion was, that at stated times the eagle plunged itself in the sea and cast off its old feathers, and that new feathers started forth, and that thus it lived often to the hundredth year, explaining the meaning of ‘They shall put forth fresh feathers like eagles.

Let us rise to the challenges of this week – with the rising wind of God and the fresh feathers of faith!

Philemon