Tag Archives: Christian lifestyle

Spring Snow© – Psalm 84:3a

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 week 11Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week Eleven

As surely as we begin to think that Spring might finally be “just around the corner,” we get a surprise snow storm to demonstrate that what we think is of no consequence. The weather will be what it will be!

The birds come early some years, and we feel sorry for them; but God promises that they will be fed. How often do we run ahead of God and attempt to either second-guess Him or leave Him out of our decisions altogether – because we “think we know” what is best for us? God is available 24/7 to keep us from falling victim to “surprises” in our lives. All we have to do is listen for His voice and trust Him completely to feed us each day, both physically and spiritually, no matter the season!

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Jesus has said, I’ll never forsake thee … Rev. H. J. Zelley

Moon Art© – Psalm 72:7

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week Nine

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2
Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week 9

This fascinating photo my husband took on a warm Summer night reminds me of a scene from a Tim Burton movie. It looks more like a crayon drawing than a digital photograph. You might wonder at my choice to include it in this book; but peculiar as it is, I am genuinely drawn to it. I try to not “argue with God’s leading” as I make my choices for these devotional pages.

“… ‘til the moon is no more.” What a concept. Do you suppose, in the eternity to come, that there will be no moon? If Christ will be the light in that fair land, perhaps there will be no need of a moon. We will not know for sure until we get there! I hope that you are looking forward to Heaven as much as I am. We love our lives here on Planet Earth, but it is comforting to know for sure that this is not all there is! Join me this week in serving Christ as we wait for that day.

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2

There’s a song within my heart night and day … Mrs. Minnie A. Steele

EVANGELICALS AND THE DONALD

We watched in total dismay as the media put out information purporting that the supposedly conservative presidential candidate nicknamed “The Donald” won with the help of a huge following of “evangelicals” in South Carolina. Being an “evangelical” Christian myself, this just does not gel in my brain. My lack of understanding of how this could happen prompted me to do a little written report on what living and serving as an “evangelical Christian” means to me – and to the majority of the evangelical Christians with whom I am personally acquainted. To establish our parameters, it is necessary to first define “born again” and “evangelical.”

To be a “born again Christian,” one must acknowledge that he or she is sinful, ask Jesus for forgiveness, accept Christ as Savior, and turn away from a life of sin to a new life as a follower of Christ. Born-again Christians cannot keep silent about their faith because they cannot imagine quietly letting their friends, neighbors, co-workers and relatives spend eternity separated from God.

The term evangelical, can be described as follows: Reaching out to our community and world with the “Evangel”—the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God! This is the mission of the evangelical church where my family worships and serves Christ.

The evangelical Christian’s purposes in life – Spread the Gospel; Stand on the Gospel: 2 Timothy 4 and 5 – I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Although my article includes Trump’s name in the title, my comments are inclusive of any and all candidates at every level of public office that Americans will be considering in 2016. Is this the mission or purpose of the presidential candidate you are backing?

Philippians 4:8 NASB

The evangelical Christian is called to think and live in a particular way. This is not the picture that comes to mind when I see and hear The Donald behind a microphone. Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

The Donald was asked about his favorite Bible verse and his response was that it was a personal matter. For an evangelical Christian, it is a given that we be ready to tell anyone at any time what our favorite Bible verse is. We are delighted when someone asks! I have several, and am always quick to share them. 1 Peter 3:15 – but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence …

The evangelical Christian is called to speak and act in a specific way – Colossians 3:7-9 – and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices … Anger, wrath, abusive speech? Does the face of any particular candidate – or candidates – come to mind when you read this passage?

What the evangelical should not do: Galatians 5:19-21 – … the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Strife, outbursts of anger, factions, dissensions – do any of these sound familiar from recent days?

What the evangelical should do: Galatians 5:22-24 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Someone declared that The Donald had lots of “fruit” – that he had created many jobs. That’s not the fruit evangelicals are talking about. Being a prominent employer of minimum wage workers in America doesn’t qualify as fruit for me … When you think kindness, gentleness, and self-control does any candidate’s picture pop into your mind? Can a tough, strong leader be kind and gentle when appropriate? The answer is yes.

I don’t know about South Carolinian evangelicals, but the majority of the evangelicals with whom I am acquainted do not approve of gambling. The Donald has built his “empire” around gambling, which is a form of idolatry. One has only to do a minimal search to find that the statistics are heartbreaking in terms of lives ruined, marriages ruined, families split, lives, homes and businesses forfeited/sacrificed. The compilation of media headlines at this link paints a horrific picture that gets swept under the rug in the name of profit – http://casinowatch.org/suicides/suicides.html . Casino Watch has a comprehensive website dedicated solely to presenting factual information about the side of gambling nobody wants to talk about – the side that damages communities and sucks up social services dollars. This is The Donald’s life work and he has seemingly used every means at his disposal to make it his living.

The evangelical Christian has a specific “job.” Matthew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Is your candidate “observing all that I commanded you?”

Evangelical Christians are called to put God as Lord of every aspect of their lives. Luke 10:26-28 –And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” Is your candidate wholeheartedly and completely loving the Lord and his – or her – neighbor?

The growing number of TV evangelists and prominent faces endorsing The Donald is troubling to me. Am I missing something here? I don’t think so. The evangelical voices that matter to me are not endorsing Trump – and never will.

The desire of 21st Century American citizens to steer away from career politicians and the D.C. political machine is 100% justifiable. The whole system is broken, and it is not designed to change. It is time for America to elect only 100% honorable, of good repute people to office. Evangelical Christians have the ability to be the largest voting block in the country. How about we start really serving and honoring Christ, rather than just checking a box on a polling survey!

All Scripture references are from the NASB translation

Sky Riders© – Psalm 108:2

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 Week 8
Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week 8

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week Eight

Throughout any given year, we have literally hundreds of airplane vapor trails, or “contrails,” splitting the sky above our home. As many as there are, they do not often form a cross, and even less often have a sunbeam that forms yet another crossed line in the image that appears. This one just seemed to be particularly “artistic” to me.

The reality of this picture is that two of the lines that appear in the sky physically exist and one of them is a “sunbeam” that has no physical properties at all. It appears almost as genuine as the other two, however. We must be careful to guard against being drawn away by those things in our lives that are not “the real thing.” There is no substitute for the truth, and it is our responsibility, as believers, to be so immersed in God’s Word that we cannot mistake a lie for the truth. When you are challenged this week, seek the truth.

Let your heart new courage borrow, for His promises are true … James V. Reid

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Morning Has Broken – Genesis 1:31

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week Five

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 Week 5
Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week 5

North of Fairbanks, Alaska, the conditions are often “ripe” for viewing extraordinarily beautiful sunrises and sunsets. My husband snapped this stunning photo while he was driving truck on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline project in the 1970s. Photos like this are often literally “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities.

We can only imagine what it would have been like to be standing next to God as He created the world we now occupy. Perhaps, when He separated the heavens from the waters on the second day, it looked a little bit like this. Keep your heart and mind open for those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to fill a divine appointment or to make a difference in the life of someone you know (or don’t know). You may miss “the perfect opportunity” if you are not “standing next to Him”!

Lift up your eyes unto the heav’nly hills … Mrs. C. H. Morris

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Reflection in Pastel© – Psalm 119:66

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week Four

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2
Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week 4

My husband climbed Mt. McKinley in 1977 and took many pictures of this beautiful and majestic mountain through the years. I have seen many “reflection” pictures in my life, but this one is my all-time favorite! The photo clip to the left is actually upside down. If it were not for the color differences, it might be impossible to tell. The shape is identical.

Obviously, what we think we see is not always what we are really observing. Our completely clear sight will come to us only when we reach our final perfection in Heaven. In the meantime, we should continually strive to discern what God has for us to do in this life, as we travel on our journey to the next, however long or short it may be. Commit yourself to live your life this week in a manner that clearly reflects Christ’s presence to others.

… when time with me is disappearing, I want to be alone with God … Rev. Johnson Oatman, Jr.

Age to Age© – Revelation 15:3b

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week Three

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 - Week 3
Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week 3

Glacier ice comes and goes. There was reportedly a 1000’ thick sheet of it covering the valley where we live, sometime long ago. Those of us who live here are unashamedly glad it is all gone. This picture of an iceberg from the glacier at Portage, Alaska does not portray what you would see if you visited there today. Portage Glacier is not at all the same now as it was when my husband took this photo.

Wherever you may travel or live on this Earth, nothing today is exactly the same as it was even 30 or 40 years ago. Age to age, nothing remains the same, except God. Our planet is finite, our bodies are finite. Our cars and our houses and our highways rot and rust and crumble over time. Only God remains the same – from the beginning of time throughout eternity, we can count on His presence and His love in our ever-changing lives and world!

But faith sees a light, yes, a beacon light … D. K. W.

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On the Water – Genesis 1:6

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 1 – Week Thirty Six

This shot was taken on Lake Roosevelt on the Columbia River one summer as some friends from church shared a relaxing outing with us on their houseboat. As one cruises along the river here, there is no doubt how the land is raised up to separate the waters from the waters!Bk1Wk36Clip

What a joy it is to share time with likeminded brothers and sisters in Christ, whether it be actively working in ministry for the Kingdom or lounging in the sun on the deck of a houseboat praising the Master Creator right in the middle of some of his finest “work”!

He will keep me till the river rolls its waters at my feet … F.H. Rowley

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 1 - Week 36
Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 1 – Week 36

Words for the Weary

Many circumstances, people, or events can make us “weary” today. It is not just a matter of being tired. In fact, our weariness oftentimes has absolutely nothing to do with physical fatigue.

As children of the Most High God, we must be conscious of when we are beginning to be weary in our souls. It can sneak up on us while we are “busy for the Lord.” We take on too many commitments, we spread ourselves too thin – and even in a good cause like God’s service, there have to be limits on how far we stretch ourselves and our resources.

Perhaps you are providing emotional support – or meals or transportation – for a friend or relative who is battling cancer – and losing the battle. Maybe your children have gone off to college and you are struggling with being satisfied in an empty nest. (Hopefully, there is still a spouse in your nest with you, so it really isn’t EMPTY). Or did you say, “yes” too many times at church and find yourself on too many committees?

Just watching the news on television can make us weary in this 21st century. There is so much “bad news” and so little good. I can’t help but think that the media hype is geared toward making us think there is no good news, rather than it being a true representation of the life that goes on around us every day.

Sheltered as we are in our small town, in our conservative county in a liberal state, we find it hard to believe that things could be so very different across the country in cities where violence seems common and ordinary and people don’t seem to have a clue what life is really all about.

Our daily prayers for our nation and her people seem to fall away with no hope for a return of the America that we knew, or the rebuilding of the moral fabric that made this country the greatest in the world.

Be it weariness from spiritual challenges, weariness from schedules bursting at the seams, or weariness from your day-to-day responsibilities and interactions, please know that you can rest in the One who holds the universe in His hands. Don’t lose sight of God at the head of your household, at the head of your church, and at the head of your workplace.

He has asked us to rest in Him. Who are we to say, “No?”

Christian Mountain Living Words for the Weary
Christian Mountain Living Words for the Weary

Surreality© – John 18:36b

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week Twenty One

Bk2Wk21clipNo special lenses, no camera filters, this photo just “happened” as I was taking pictures of a sunset through a smoky haze from distant wildfires near Wilder, Idaho. I have never seen a photo like this, yet all four of the pictures I took that evening have exactly the same peculiar halo draping over the setting sun.

If we view the world through the “lens” of Christianity, we will see things differently than those around us who are not Christians. We sometimes experience disappointment when people do not respond immediately to our sharing of the Gospel, or to the sharing of experiences we have had in which we credit God with a success or a victory over illness. We forget that those who do not know Him do not see things through the same “filter” we do. Pray for others and share Christ with them, but do not allow yourself to be disappointed if the “results” you think you perceive are not what you expected. You may never know until you get to Heaven whether your message or effort changed a life.

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2
Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week 21

and to eyes that long were sealed was the glorious light revealed … Emma M. Johnson