The Mountain

Living in a beautiful valley in Western Washington, Mt Rainier (or as locals call her, “The Mountain”) seemingly stands guard over us like a sentinel. The beauty of this mountain, though, seems to hide the fact that our old girl is an active volcano. It’s beauty is intoxicating and never gets old. Maybe that is why we sometimes forget her potential explosive side. Whatever the case, it’s this masterpiece of creation, shrouded in mystery, that has inspired the following…

Majestic in beauty,
Masked in mystery,
Seemingly docile,
But you are oh so not.
Taken for granted as people live unawares.
Enjoyed and photographed,
People standing in awe.
Your presence so imposing,
Your potential almost ignored,
You stand over our valley,
Seemingly on guard.
I know that you are there,
Yet I never tire of the scene,
Your radiance is ever changing,
Always taking my breath away.
I could stare at you for hours,
And never get bored,
Your artistic beauty is always there,
Your splendor pointing me to God the Creator.
You seem larger than life,
But I know that is not true,
For God Almighty is bigger still,
Whose majesty is unmatched.
And so I stare and stare and stare some more,
Gazing at you,
You are so beautiful,
Reminding me that God my Father is more.

Breathtaking

God is oh so…
amazing
awesome
creative
majestic
artistic
awesome (did I say that already?)
Awe-inspiring
And a host of other adjectives.

To look at this scene; this artwork, and say this is just a random event is to live a life with blinders on. A sad life, really; going through life in black and white without the wonder and majesty of our Creator God. This is not random but purposefully crafted for our enjoyment but more importantly to the glory of God. People have complimented me on this photo, but really, how I can (or anyone for that matter) take credit for a beautiful photo like this. I mean, this scene was and is there. I just happened to be there to capture it on some digital media. This is God’s masterpiece, painted on His canvas and with His mighty hand.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. God’s masterpieces are all around you. Stop and smell the roses (or look at the mountains) and give God the glory.

Holy and awesome God, Your mighty hand is powerful and gentle. It can shake and rend the heavens and the earth and it can cradle a new-born life. Your hand can also craft a scene that can take our breath away; drawing our attention to You. Oh God, what can be known about You is indeed evident in creation. May we never be so busy as to miss Your majesty all around. Thank you for taking my breath away with such beauty. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Oh Wow…

There is no way this is a random act of the universe. This has our Creator God written all over it…

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Mount Rainier from Puyallup, WA

Wow…oh wow!

The Pastor -|—

Men, Enough is Enough

The following is my latest article in the Tacoma News Tribune, published on Saturday, Nov 18…

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. [Genesis 1:27]

Please indulge me as I go on a little rant. Ever since accusations of sexual misconduct began to surface involving Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, accusations from various other women have surfaced left and right. You can’t login onto social media or turn on the news without hearing about someone else coming forward. Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming these women, but rather I am embarrassed for men in general. This is not right and we, men, need to step up and do something. We need to say something and raise the bar for the next generation. There is something definitely missing in people to cause them to think that it is okay to treat people as just sexual objects to satisfy one’s own desires. I am not saying I am a model man; “Look at me and see perfection”, but something needs to change in this culture. Something has to give.

Treating people as something less than what God created them to be is a sin. God created men AND women in His own image; both equally precious in His sight. Men and women are both equally loved and loveable. They are created for a purpose but not for the purpose of being abused or harassed or treated as an object. I imagine God, the Father, being saddened to see His daughters (women) treated like this. For men to treat women like an object is to disobey the creational purpose of God. God created men and women and then brought them together in marriage. Through marriage, God is putting the relationship of Christ (bridegroom) and the Church (bride) on display. Ephesians 5 says, Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Sexual abuse and harassment of women is so contrary to God’s purpose for men and women. Godly men ought to be angered and offended to see and hear other men acting so immature and irresponsibly. Godly men need to stand up and say, “No more!” Godly men need to be shaken to the core and be determined, more than ever, to be godly examples to our sons and to the rest of this world. Godly men need to teach our daughters what it looks like to be treated with respect. Godly men need to take the reins and write a new narrative for our culture; that harassment and abuse of women is no longer welcomed. Men, let’s be the men God created us to be and glorify God through our example. Let’s take back our godly roles.

Rant done. All praise be to God. Amen.

The (feisty) Pastor -|—

A Colorful God

I just love the wonderful pieces of artwork from God this time of the year. Even though His beauty is all around us year round, His masterpieces seem to jump of the page in the fall.

The Pastor -|—

With a Word

Creator God,
with a word you created life.
With a word, You created all that we can see and not see.
And with THE Word You gave us hope for eternal life.
May we cling to this hope in the midst of life’s trials
as we rejoice in our Savior;
for in him,
there is no cause for weeping.
All praise be unto You,
Father God,
through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Master Artisan

To anyone who says there is no God; that we are just a cosmic accident; or that life/creation just happened, I say hogwash. Check out God’s handiwork from today:

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalms 8 (ESV)

God is awesome!
All praise to his holy name!

The Pastor -|—