A few words about two words …

Throughout our lives two words have been shared with, or directed toward, each of us. Our parents used them. Our teachers used them. Now, as a father, I use them, sometimes daily.

God uses these two words, too. He uses them frequently, offers them intently, and often phrases them differently. They are implied in Psalm 19:1-4. See if you can spot them.


The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.


You have said them; I have said them; and here, God says those famous two words: Pay attention.

Psalm 19 is an amazing psalm. It summarizes how God reveals Himself to us and speaks to us. Psalm 19 is only 14 verses long, take a moment and read it. Go ahead, I’ll wait here for you.

Now that you have read it — you did read it, didn’t you? — we can take a peek at it. Verses 1-6 speak to God revealing Himself through creation. This is know as God’s “general” revelation of Himself. It is general in the sense that He shows us some of His power, character, and ways. Verses 7-11 point to the beauty and benefits of God’s Word, the Bible. The Bible is known as God’s “specific” or “particular” revelation. In His Word God shows in detail Who He is, what He is like, and His will and ways. In short, creation provides a sketch of God’s presence and power, the Bible is a gallery of detailed portraits of the nature, attributes, work, and will of God.



Last Saturday, we enjoyed a kayaking trip on the upper White River. It was a part of the river that I had never seen. As you can tell from the picture, it was spectacular! As I soaked in the scenery, Psalm 19 simmered in my mind. Later that evening, after unpacking the Jeep, putting up kayaks, and applying globs of aloe vera gel to my sunburn, I visited Psalm 19. As I read it prodded me to take more time to observe — to look for Him. As your weekend begins, let Psalm 19 serve as a signpost for you to watch for Him around you, and to pursue Him in His Word.

Psalm 19 instructs us to observe His handiwork in creation, then to burrow into His Word and get to know Him. There is a difference between admiring craftsmanship and knowing the craftsman. Psalm 19 admonishes us to do both, and to pay attention as we do. We owe it to Him to be intentional in each of these.


Have a good weekend.

Pay attention, you won’t want to miss what He will to show you.



Riding or Driving?

Your thoughts do not stand still. They move. They act. They are causative. Your thoughts matter.

Do your thoughts follow the lead of your mind and will? Or, does your mind, will, and life lag behind your thoughts? A strange question, you might think. But, it is an important question. When answered and acted upon it can alter the course of your hour, day, or life (and, ahem, your mood).

While free-ranging beef might be healthy, free-ranging thoughts are not. Let’s see how we can rustle and round up our thoughts.

God gives us the opportunity, ability, and power to harness our thoughts. He does it by His Word and Holy Spirit. We cannot do it on our own. We need Him. He delights in our  reliance upon Him. In Philippians 4:8-9 the Bible reveals how we can gain control over our minds, and the benefit of doing so.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

Let’s begin with the end of these verses. Knowing the peace of God is the result of controlling and focusing our thoughts as He prescribes. Working backwards from verse 9, Paul shows us how this can be realized in the life of a believer.

Philippians 4:9 shows us that having the peace of God in our minds is realized by “doing.”  The Christian faith is a full contact faith, not one that stands on the sideline and observes. Paul says that we are to practice, or do, what we have learned from God’s Word. Bible study is not a passive activity. We are to read and study God’s Word, then apply it. It is not knowledge to placed upon a shelf and admired, it is not to be agreed with, it is to be applied. James says that we are to be “doers of the Word.” (James 1:22).

Once we consistently apply God’s truth to our lives we can begin to focus our lives, and thoughts, on a particular kind of thinking: namely, good thoughts, and though patterns, that honor Him. Philippians 4:8 instructs us to think on — this word means to think on, dwell on, and meditate on — things that are true, good, praiseworthy, etc.

Here is a key that unlocks our thought life: God grants us the power and ability to decide what to think about. You are not captive to your thoughts. They should not control you. You have the choice of driving your thoughts, or bumping along behind them. As God tells us to think a certain way, and on certain things, He is pointing out that we can determine how we think and what we think about. In 2 Corinthian 10:5 we are told to “bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

You can gain control of your thought life by following Philippians 4:8-9. Then, and only then, the peace of God will reside between your ears. You will soon notice that once planted in your mind, the peace of God will bloom in the rest of your life.

Do your thoughts often stampede away dragging you behind them? You can take charge of them. You can begin this process by committing Philippians 4:8-9 to memory. With a bit of effort, prayer, and awareness you will be amazed as peace and contentment take root in your noggin.

Time to take the wheel and drive …