Category Archives: Isaiah

Loud Living

He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
Isaiah 42:2-3 (ESV)

There are too many “loud voices” and not enough, down to earth, humble servants who are willing to bring healing through sacrificial living. I listen to these “celebrity” pastors and wonder sometimes if all they do is stand in front of people talking and talking and then go home and hide until it is time to stand in front of people again and talk some more. Do they bring healing to the “bruised reed” and fan the faintly burning wick of faith and hope in people? Do they just hide behind their words?

Jesus never sought the spotlight. Jesus never put out a press release. Jesus never stood in the town square yelling and screaming in order to get people’s attention. People heard about his love and compassion and they came running. Jesus’ reputation for loving the sinner and outcast spoke volumes to people. It wasn’t his loud voice that brought people running it was his “loud” actions.

As a Church we need to “quiet down” sometimes and get our hands dirty. We need to be people of action not just talk. Loud voices will get people’s attention, but humble service, authentic love and genuine compassion will keep people close. And when people are close they see the love of God through Jesus Christ.

We don’t need to yell and scream to bring people in; we need to live lives of love and compassion that shouts hope and peace in the name of Jesus Christ.

People of God, let’s live loud.

The Pastor -|—

Rain

Living out here,
I have learned to walk in the rain
without any concern.
No running for cover.
No umbrella in hand.
No fear of melting.
It’s just water.
It’s almost like I am not getting wet.
The rain falls,
the water puddles,
and I barely notice anymore.

Living in this world,
I see people walking in the “rain”,
without any concern.
No running to You.
No Bible in hand.
No fear of You.
Nothing.
It’s almost as if You don’t exist.
Your Word goes out,
as rain falling in the Northwest,
and people barely notice anymore.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
[Isaiah 55:10-11]

Let Your Word rain down,
oh God,
let Your Word rain down,
for You will not be denied.
May these people, wet with Your Word,
take notice and
seek shelter in You.
And since Your Word will
NEVER
return to You empty,
may I not lose heart.
Let Your Word rain down,
oh God,
let Your Word rain down.

The Pastor -|—

To Silence Satan’s Laugh

And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.[John 17:11]

I listened to a sermon recently where the pastor talked about oneness as the Father and the Son are one; using the above text. But something he said really caught my attention. He said that when we, as a church, get caught up in disputes or controversies or anything that takes our eyes off of Christ, Satan laughs.

He laughs.

Why?

Satan laughs because he won as he managed to get the church to take their eyes off of Christ. And ultimately that is what Satan is trying to do with all people. For you see, sin is a turning inward to see yourself as god; trusting oneself over God almighty. And when we look inward, we see only our agenda and our will. And let me tell you, our agenda and our will is not God’s.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. [Isaiah 55:8-9]

And Satan knows this and thus tries get us to focus on ourselves. For if Satan can divert our attention away from Jesus, then the church is not going to be the church as God wants. In scripture, the relationship of Jesus and the Church is like that of a husband and a wife, but only better. But if a wife (the Church) is not focused on her husband (Jesus); or worse yet, looking for another, the marriage is in trouble. And therefore, as the Church, we need to be one with Christ. For it is only by looking to Christ that we see his purpose and will for our lives. And that purpose? Is to be one as the Father and the Son are one. And when we are in one accord with the Father, the Kingdom of God is advanced. We are called to glorify God through the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ whereby letting the Holy Spirit add to “the numbers”.

But that won’t happen if the church is turned in upon itself. The Church MUST be Christ focused. The Church MUST humble itself before the throne of God. The Church MUST lay it’s burdens down and trust God to care for it’s needs. The Church MUST remain focused. The Church MUST be one as the Father and the Son (and the Holy Spirit) are one.

And so my prayer for the Church; the congregations I am leaving and the one I am heading to shortly, is that we are one; one in purpose. May our eyes remain fixed on Jesus, so much so, that we give no occasion for Satan to laugh.

All praise, honor, glory and worship be unto God our Father through Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Pastor -|—

P.S. If you want to listen to the sermon I referenced at the beginning, follow the below link.

Sermon by Pastor Gary Jepsen, May 1

The “Worm” of God

image

Oh God, feed me
Oh God, nourish me
Oh God, provide for me

Fill me with Your holy Word and satisfy my deepest longings.
Fill me with Your love that it may overflow to others.
Fill me with Your wisdom that I may teach others Your ways.

May I be dependent on You for life.
May I be dependent on You for peace.

May I be dependent on You for direction. 

And when that day comes that You push me out of the nest;
calling me to obedience,
may I mount up with wings like eagles
as You provide the lift.

But unlike the vulnerable little bird,
leaving the safety of the nest,
may I know the cradle of Your hands
keeping my life from the snare of the evil one.

So no matter what I find out there may my cry always be:
Oh God, feed me
Oh God, nourish me
Oh God, provide for me

The Pastor -|—

Don’t Worship That

image

I guess you can say we are full of “it”; the glory of God, that is 🙂

Think about that.

But also, God’s glory is everywhere and always.

Think about THAT.

God’s glory is in creation, but don’t worship that.
God’s glory is in the sunrise/sunset, but don’t worship that.
God’s glory is in nature, but don’t worship that.
God’s glory is found on the stillness of a lake at the cabin, but don’t worship that.
God’s glory is found on the ski slope, but don’t worship that.
God’s glory is found in your children, but don’t worship them.

God’s glory is everywhere, so worship GOD, not whom/what it is found.

Awesome God, Your glory is everywhere and therefore YOU are worthy of our worship. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Pure and holy ways

Holy God…

You are an awesome, amazing, powerful, compassionate God. You are the King of kings and the Lord of lords. You put all other gods and other ways to shame.

You demand holiness for you are holy.
You demand righteousness for you are righteous.
You demand perfection for you are perfect.

And if that were not enough, the prophet Isaiah says:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV)

Holy God, this is awesome and somewhat scary, and how can I attain to this?
How can I be holy as you are holy since I am so sinful?
How can I keep my way pure since I walk in other ways?
How can I keep my mind and eyes and thoughts on the things that are above since I am so easily distracted by the worries of this world?

By guarding it according to your word. (Psalm 119:9 ESV)

Help me to run to your Word.
Open my heart to hear.
Open my eyes to see.

May I find joy in your Word and may I see your holiness in your Word.
May you guard my ways and protect me from Satan’s power.
May I find joy in your presence.

May I always seek you that I may strive to be holy as you are holy.

Holy God…I thank you and praise your holy name.

Amen!

 

The Pastor -|—

Unheard of

Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:5)

People don’t talk like that anymore; admitting their sinfulness and unrighteousness.  Falling on our faces before the throne of God in utter unworthiness because of the awesome holiness of God, is something that is rarely done…almost unheard of.

We are people of “unclean lips”.
We are unworthy.
We are sinful.

[Why can’t we figure that out?]

…and through the cross and the empty tomb we have seen the glory of God.

Yet I rarely hear the cry, “Woe to me”.

But Isaiah, through his confession, experienced a cleansing; a burning away of his sin, by the grace of God.  And it was only through his admission of his unholiness that he received this forgiveness and therefore was sent to a people of unclean lips. But…

People don’t talk this way today.
People don’t think this way today.

It’s almost unheard of.

When you “walk through” the confession liturgy in worship are you throwing yourself down before the throne of God in utter unworthiness or are you just going through the motions in order to hear some comforting words? Does repentance follow your confession or do you continue without the touch of a “live coal”?  Do you pursue a life of holiness or do you embrace a life of “unclean lips”? Is your cry “Woe to me” or is it “Woe to you”.

God is holy…we are not.
Confess your sins…hear forgiveness.

And…

Praise be to God!

edh -|—