As Far As the East Is From The West…

Psalm 103:8-12 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

How do you feel about your relationship with God today? I have people come to me at times who are overwhelmed with guilt. In their past they have acted in ways that they do not know if God will forgive. How wonderful that we can share the words of our verses for today!

If you are feeling guilty over actions in your past, rest assured that God can and will forgive you. Our Lord is merciful! The declaration is that He is plenteous in mercy. In fact He removes our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west.  When I think of the east and west, I think of New York and the distance to California. However, In God's mind I think it is the furthest points of our whole world. 

What our verses are saying is that God is so merciful that He separates us from our sins for such a distance that none of us need to feel guilty about them anymore. Forgive yourself for past actions because if you have asked His forgiveness, God already has. Remember God has forgiven you for all the wrongs you have done and you need to forgive others for the wrongs they have done to you! Forgiveness! What a wonderful word!

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

He Never Changes…

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Our world is changing so rapidly it puts our minds into confusion and turmoil! It seems that all is uncertain and what we used to lean on is no longer secure. Circumstances rob us of dependable friends and loved ones. In these times where can we turn for help and support? Is there anything on this earth that is a safe haven in our times of need?

The answer is in our verse for today! There is one who never changes! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! His name is Jesus. When life is overwhelming, we can always depend on Him. In II Cor 1: 20 the scripture declares "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God…"  Our Saviour is always there!

There is an old song that is relevant to us in these changing times:

Time is filled with swift transition,
Naught of earth unmoved can stand,
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

  • Refrain:
    Hold to God’s unchanging hand,
    Hold to God’s unchanging hand;
    Build your hopes on things eternal,
    Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

In these difficult times of change and uncertainty, we can do that. We can hold on to the hand of our God! He is our rock and on Him we can stand!

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

Trust in Him…

Psalms 91:1-2 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I  will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

With all the turmoil in our world, it brings to mind the old Hee Haw song "Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me". It just seems to get worse every day. However, for the believers in Jesus Christ that is not what comes to mind. I remember the verse we have chosen for today.  In contrast to the trouble and despair all around us, as believers we can dwell in the presence of God.

We do not need to fear the terrorist attacks, the wars and rumors of wars, the threats of nuclear destruction, or the forces of Satan at work in our own nation. If we place ourselves under the "shadow of the Almighty", we can declare that our God is our refuge and fortress. We can trust in Him.

Do not place your trust in the so called securities of this earth. They often fail! But our God never fails. Even when we seem to be facing impossible circumstances, we can lean on Him. No person is without trials in life, but we can overcome them with the help of our Lord. 

The verse declares "In Him will I trust". That is the secret! Put your trust in the Lord. He is our security and our deliverer.

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

Rejoice in the Lord…

Psalms 33: 1-4 Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.

It is a great Monday at Fountain of Life! We just finished our 8th Annual Bluegrass Festival this last Friday night and all day Saturday. We also had a great congregation for our Sunday services. The Lord blessed and we are thankful for the special guests that shared in our gospel festival and Sunday services. We had a great time of fun, fellowship with believers from all over our state, and the excitement of the sharing of our faith! 

The various groups showed the abundance of talent that is available to us here as they played and sang to the glory of God. All enjoyed the many different instruments as the groups played guitars, dobro, stand up base violins, mandolins, and banjoes.  And those are not all of the instruments that were played. There were a variety of old to modern gospel songs that were sung. 

There were solos and sweet harmonies as the name of our Lord was glorified. A wonderful time was had by all who attended.

I want to say a special thank you to all of the folks here at FOL who worked behind the scenes to make our festival such a success!

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

I Am Here…

Isaiah 58: 9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am….

What reassuring words as the Lord speaks to Israel. In the midst of life we confront many issues. Some are pleasant and bring us joy. However, other issues bring us stress and worry. It is then that we need to remember to call upon the Lord. You know exactly the trigger points in your life that bring you difficulty and trouble your mind. It happens to all of us!

It is when we face those trials in our lives that we need to be reminded by the scriptures that if we call upon God He is there.He answers us when we cry out to Him.

You can probably remember a time as a child when you got separated from your parents and what a relief it was when you were reunited with them. So it is with God! When the problems of life try to overwhelm you, call upon Him. When He answers there is a great sense of release from all the tensions of the day. Listen for God's Holy Spirit to speak to your heart, "I am here". 

In distress call upon the Lord!

Keep Looking Up

Dan

Walk Humbly…

Micah 6:6-8 With what shall I come before the LORD,
And bow myself before the High God?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
With calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
Ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

Have you considered lately how you approach God in prayer? How about in your daily activities? In our verses for today are the principles upon which God wants us to base our approach to Him and the actions of every day. We are asked the question "With what shall I come before the Lord?". The answer is that He does not want multitudes of sacrifices for our sins He wants our lives to exemplify Him.

The key words are in verse 8. The Lord wants us to do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him. It is so easy to do the things we want in our  lives and then to go to the Lord in repentance for the things we do that are wrong. God prefers our obedience more that our sacrifice.(Proverbs 21:3) 

The verses speak to the problems of our time. The selfishness of the hour does not produce justice and many times denies mercy. We are elevated by our own ideas and do not walk humbly with God.

God does not give us a  long list of rules, but wants us to be just and merciful. He wants us to lay aside our pride and prejudice and to walk humbly with Him.

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

Trust In the Lord!

Matthew 6:31-34  “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

The last days since I have posted to the blog have been a testimony to these words of scripture. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. It may bring joy or sorrow, life or death. We have seen all in the days just past. We have seen sickness, death and tragedy. Yet God has been sufficient. He has shown the truth of his care for us.

The first words of our verses for today tell us not to worry over the essentials of our lives. God knows what we need and He will provide. How wonderful to know that He is faithful. We fail but He does not. He is always true to His promises.

Do not fret over your life's circumstances. Lean on the Lord and let Him meet your needs.

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

Hungering for God…

Psalms 39:12-13 Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.

It is interesting to me that the words of our verse are written by King David who was described by God as a "man after my own heart"(Acts 13:22) Even David said of God, I am a stranger and a sojourner with thee. In all of his desire to be obedient as he followed God, David still felt like his knowledge of God was inadequate. He felt like a stranger to the truths of God. So we see the prayer in our verse, God listen to my cry and don"t  keep your peace from me when you see  my tears. Spare me that I can regain my strength lest I die.

One of the keys of David's success was his hunger for God. He was not perfect and his sins are obvious in the recording of scripture but he was quick to repent and to make things right with God and here we see him crying out to God for strength and mercy.

It raises the question for you and me. Do we have the same hunger that David had? The lack of zeal and excitement in today's church is because we are so easily satisfied with a few blessings from God. But do we really know Him. Are we like David a stranger and a pilgrim just passing through God's presence.  David wanted to really know Him and God recognized his desire.  How about you and me?

Keep Looking Up,

Dan

Ready to Forgive…

Psalms 86:5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

We live in a world that is full of hatred, malice, and violence. The daily reports on the activities of men and women are filled with fights, shootings, and malicious actions. People feel that they have been wronged and decide they will get even. Forgiveness is a forgotten word in our vocabulary. Society says if I am hurt, I will hurt you back!

What a contrast to our verse for today! The word picture of our Lord is one of forgiveness and mercy. Our world would be entirely different if we imitated our Lord and his attitudes toward us.  We in many instances have not shown Him respect or gratitude for His blessings on us. Instead we have cursed Him and rejected the price that Jesus paid for our sins. Yet the scripture still describes Him as a God that is willing to forgive us.

Let each of us look at our attitudes toward others around us. We can only change the world in which we live, if we are willing to change ourselves. Things are not perfect and at times we will suffer wrong because of the actions of others. It is how we react to how others act that makes a difference in our world. Return forgiveness for cruelty and watch what happens in the  lives of others. Share the same mercy with others that God shares with you!

Keep Looking Up,

Dan

Learning To Lean…On Him!

John 13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

These last days have been tragic for many in the state of Arizona. Flash flooding in the aftermath of the many fires that have marked our state has taken not only property but  lives. People have been washed away and drowned near Payson and there has been destruction with people needing to be rescued around Mayer and other areas. These problems are just here in Arizona, but many surrounding states are also having problems

As we face such forces over which we have no control, it is easy to be overwhelmed. However, with the help of our God we can overcome all such circumstances. Let me encourage you in your distress to do as John is pictured doing in our verse for today.  He was leaning on Jesus!

We sing the chorus at church, "Learning to lean, Learning to lean, I'm learning to lean on Jesus" and that is exactly what we need to do. When we are facing trials in our lives we need to lean on Him.  Jesus loves you just like He loved John. In times of great distress we can lean on Him.  He will never leave us or forsake us.(Hebrews 13:5)

Lean on Him!

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

…the earth shall shake…

Joel 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

The power of the Lord is beyond imagination! Men think they have great power and control over the earth, but their power is nothing compared to the power of God. He alone is able to control the heavens and the earth. Men and Women realize how weak they are when they are faced with what they choose to call "Acts of God" By that name the people of the earth mean, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tidal waves, and all such disasters. No matter how much man prepares, there is the realization that it is never enough. Only God can control these unpredictable happenings.

In our life time we have been through high winds, floods, fires, and most other uncontrollable happenings. These past days we found ourselves in the middle of torrential rain, hail, high winds, thunder and lightning strikes. All we could do as unnerving as it as the weather appeared was to depend on the protection of God. The lightning destroyed some of our computers, radio equipment, and TVs However, God kept us personally safe and protected our home. We see the declaration of our verse for today…"The Lord will be the hope of His people". In the midst of the trial of the day we are praising Him for His keeping power!

The thunder may roar and the lightning may flash but our God is in control! And we can rejoice!

Keep Looking Up,

Dan

 

 

God Has Given…

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Things have returned to normal here in Prescott Valley. The fires that plagued the area last week have been brought under control. Although there was some loss of property and animals, there was no loss of human llife and only minor injuries were suffered by some in the fire crews. We Praise God for His protection!

The fire was a sudden and tragic happening and we do not know what is next for our community or the rest of the nation. As a result we must make choices as to how we will live our lives. We can hunker down and wait for the next tragedy or we can go on with our lives trusting in the power of God as he protects us.

This brings us to the words of our verse for today. God does not want us to live in fear. He instead wants us to live in confidence in His power and love. We can have a sound mind free from anxiety and worry if we trust in Him. It is easy to be overwhelmed by all the reports of hate and violence that the news reports contain every day. However, as a Christian, I choose not to let those things hinder my life.

The peace of God "which passeth all understanding" (Philippians 4:7) is continually in my heart. As the scripture promises it keeps my heart and mind through Christ Jesus. There is no fear when we have the Holy Spirit of God guarding us every moment of the day!

Do not live in fear of what is ahead, but turn your heart over to God and let Him fill your life with His peace and love!

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

Burning…Burning…Burning!!!

Just a note today to ask for your prayers for the entire Tri-City area! The Goodwin Fire is now over 28 Square miles and is threatening the people and homes in many areas around Prescott Valley.  We have some from the church family who have already evacuated their homes and others who are getting ready to evacuate if necessary. We need God to undertake and cause the winds and temperatures to cooperate. A monsoon rain would be gladly welcomed.

Please Pray with us!

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

Living Water…

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14)

I just returned to the heat of Arizona from Sacramento, California. Nancy and I did a memorial service for a relative that passed away quite suddenly. Such services are never easy but when you know where your loved one is the burden is much lighter! Nancy and I had the privilege of singing together and I was the speaker.

I have chosen the verse for today because Linda had the water that comes from Jesus for many years and finally it sprang forth into everlasting life.  That is what Nancy and want to see in every life. The heat that we are having today in Arizona makes a person want water. However, in only a short while you want water again. The satisfaction of drinking earthly water is only temporary.

By the declaration of Jesus, the water that he gives causes the believer to never thirst again. If we drink of His water we are satisfied for eternity. Each person needs to drink of the water that Jesus gives! It will satisfy the desires of your heart. Not just for one day, but every day. If you feel empty and dry, listen to the words of Jesus and drink of the living water that fills you forever.

Come to Jesus and drink! You will never regret it.

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

Concerning Them Which Are Asleep…

I Thessalonians 4: 13-14 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

Nancy and I will be doing the Memorial Service of a family member this week in California. It was a great loss for her family and to us as extended family.  However, Linda was a strong Christian and we know where she resides.  Her death takes me back to the verse we have chosen today.  The apostle writes to make sure we are not as so many in our world at such times. We are not to sorrow as those who have no hope.

As we participate in the Memorial Service, our hearts, though saddened by Linda's death, will also rejoice because we know that she is with her Saviour. She is in the presence of God through Jesus Christ. Death for the believer is not intended to be a fearful event. It is a coronation. It is a fulfilled promise of an eternal home in the heavens that Jesus himself has prepared for all the saints.

Linda will be missed by all of us, but we know where she is and we look forward to seeing her again!

Keep Looking Up!

Dan


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