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.



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.


Praise be to God!

edh -|—

“And a child shall lead them”

Thank you for the prayers on Sunday.  I was concerned that I would be distracted with vacation coming up and leading two completely different worship services and preaching two completely different sermons on the same morning.  But no distractions and everything went great…Praise be to God.

But here is a highlight for me from worship at Salem on Sunday.  We were praying the Lord’s Prayer when above all the other voices in the sanctuary came a voice of one my kindergarten kids;  she was praying the Lord’s Prayer as well…and with gusto…from way in the back of the sanctuary.  It put a smile on my face hearing that little voice praying and leading us….I mean how can it not.

After worship I made a comment to Olivia on how great a job she did, but her mom seemed a little embarrassed that I could hear her.  I said by no means be embarrassed…I enjoyed it immensely.  Thank you!

“…and a child shall lead them”…it’s amazing how this piece of scripture from Isaiah 11 can be so true in so many ways and in so many places.  In this particular case, Olivia lead us in the Lord’s Prayer.

Praise be to God!