Monday, March 19, 2018

by James MacDonald

Holy, Holy, Holy

And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3, ESV)!

On God’s Top Ten list, the very first rule, the commandment that earns the #1 spot, states who He is. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2–3).

The Church has lost this high and exalted view of God. We’ve grown so cozy with God that we forget who He really is. We have embraced the comfort of His nearness and ignored His holiness. We have emphasized the security of His love at the expense of His transcendence. God is not “the man upstairs.” He’s not a mild, old codger with a white beard. God dwells in unapproachable light. The Bible teaches that no one can see God and live. He is high and lifted up. He is ineffable glory.

We need a right view of God. One of the clearest pictures in all of Scripture is found in Isaiah 6. God gave Isaiah a glimpse, just a glimpse, of who He is, and the prophet fell flat on his face. That singular experience marked Isaiah’s whole life, and his vision is one we desperately need today.

Do you want to know what God is really like? God is infinite holiness—immeasurable, unalterable, unfathomable holiness. Isaiah wrote, “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up” (Isaiah 6:1). Seated. Not pacing back and forth. Not wringing His hands. Not struggling or searching. He was seated, settled, secure, certain. Why? Because He is in absolute control.

And standing above the seated God are the seraphim who serve Him. Picture two lines of angels, one on either side of the King, calling back and forth in an unceasing, antiphonal chorus. Think of all the words they could say about God. They could call out, “Merciful, merciful, merciful God!” or “Loving, loving, loving God!” But the words God chose to be spoken about Him, in His presence, for all time, are of His holiness. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” Through countless eons of time and even at this exact moment, the angels are calling out God’s holiness.

When the Hebrew people want to emphasize a word, they repeat it. If someone fell into a pit, that would be one thing, but if it were a deep pit, they would call it a “pit pit.” Nowhere else in all of Scripture is an attribute repeated three times. Only this and only of God: He is “holy, holy, holy.”

And the smoke rose quickly to veil Isaiah’s vision lest he be consumed in an instant by the moral worthiness, by the utter terror, by the majestic purity and power, by the unsearchable, unspeakable, infinite holiness of the triune God.

For when we grasp who God is, as the first commandment tells us to do, we see something else clearly too: our sinfulness. God’s infinite holiness casts our dirty sinfulness into stark relief. You cannot gaze upon the holiness of God without being overcome. Isaiah was broken by this. “Woe is me!” he cried. “For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (6:5)! The phrase means literally, “I’m dead. Done for. Silenced. Bankrupt. Ruined.” Before the holiness of Almighty God, we realize how unclean we are.

How tragic if the story ended there. But once Isaiah saw God for who He really is, the poor prophet was primed for mercy. “Then,” begins verse 6, a little transition word full of hope. Then one of the seraphim flew to Isaiah, lifted a burning coal to his lips, and purged him of sin. We are only prepared to receive and comprehend the grace of God when we have understood His infinite holiness and our filthy sinfulness. Any presentation of the gospel that leaves that out is incomplete. It’s the holiness of God that casts us upon His mercy. Only when we have a right view of the holy God do we begin to see clearly.

Examine your own theology (your thoughts about God). In what ways do you treat God too casually? How does Isaiah’s vision change your view of God?
In your own words, what’s the connection between seeing God’s holiness and being primed to receive His mercy? 

Almighty God, You are holy, holy, holy. Forgive me for my casual attitude toward You. Forgive me for reveling in Your abundant grace and ignoring Your holiness. Help me, Lord, to see You rightly. You are the Lord, and You have no rivals. Just as You reign on the throne of heaven, would You also reign in my heart and life? And as I glimpse Your holiness, I see my own spiritual bankruptcy. Please purge my sin, through the mercy You offer through Your Son, Jesus, in whose name I pray, amen.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Florida Tragedy

This was written by Ben Watson who plays for the Baltimore Ravens.  Another voice of light in the darkness – praise God for this man who isn't afraid to speak the truth..........

‪The horrific attack this week that took the lives of seventeen Americans is sickening. Across this land these images grip our hearts as we burn the midnight oil asking “Why” and searching for the correct action to combat such evil.

‪Over this week while we have been driven to our knees as countless voices invoke prayer, I am haunted by the fact that this very exercise is forbidden in this school and thousands of others across our nation. I ask myself, “If He is God in crisis is He not also God in peace?! If he is worthy of our desperate cries in distress is he not worthy for us to seek Him and submit our lives to Him daily?”

‪God is not a cosmic vending machine to be used at our disposal only when the problem or pain is greater than our ability to control it. And while because of His love and mercy He is compelled to hear our pleas and meet us in these times, by forcing him out of the public arena it is only us who will collectively suffer.

‪In times like this, we loudly reiterate the charge to each citizen to RESPECT LIFE yet we sanction the disintegration of our families bonds, the murder of our unborn children and the excessive incarceration of our young men. Even now, the climate in this country is tense and toxic, with accusations and conspiracy reaching the highest levels of our government. Insults without contrition are spewed, creating ripples of animosity vengeance and strife among the populace. Instead of staunch fundamental yet respectful disagreement with the other side, we hate the other side and have no qualms about expressing it in the most descriptive and vile ways in written and spoken word. We are too proud to apologize and too angry too forgive. We lie and omit truth, cleverly selecting words and phrases to fit our narratives and support our agendas. We encourage a lifestyle of relativism, free expression, and a capricious standard of morality that is based on whims rather than wisdom. We condone and sometimes celebrate violence and abuse in various forms.

‪While justice demands this young man in Parkland Florida be held accountable for the heinous plan he carried out by his own volition, we must have the courage to take an honest assessment of our culture in its totality and how it relates to this tragedy and others like it.

‪I pray. For comfort strength healing justice and peace in what has proven to be an increasingly recurring saga. These acts of violence indict the criminal as well as the society he emerged from. While we must address the individual incident, the perpetrator and the circumstances we must have the willingness to unveil the myriad
‪contributing factors to the crisis we are in. Fire arms legislation, security, parenting, family, rights, relativism, morality, media, conflict, violence and the wicked human heart all play a role and all must be boldly addressed.

‪I mourn. For the Parkland community and all those directly impacted by these actions of evil. In truth we are all affected by these events because while one community suffers another is still healing and another waits in fear of what tomorrow could possibly bring. No family should have to face such an unconscionable reality.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Nation of Moral Geldings

By Everett Piper - - Sunday, November 19, 2017


Question: If the woman in the photo of Al Franken (where he’s groping her while she sleeps) would have given “consent,” then would this be right and good? If morality is really nothing more than mutual “consent” and Sen. Franken could prove that she said this was okay to do while she lay sleeping, he would have nothing — absolutely nothing — to be “ashamed” of. Right?

Today’s culture of “consent” places all responsibility for moral judgment on women and completely exonerates men to live as cads (as long as they can find women to say they don’t care). “Consent” assumes that men are no longer capable of governing themselves by an immutable standard of what is right and what is wrong.

Morality is no longer fixed but always in flux. Right behavior is not a constant but rather simply a mater of approval. If the woman consents to being groped then it’s right. If she doesn’t then it’s wrong. If she wants to have sex then a man can have at it with fury. All a man needs to do is find a woman — any woman — who will “consent” to his libidinous appetites and what was wrong five minutes ago, now becomes right.

This is a world of no self-evident truths — a world of the created rather than the Creator. It is a world where the exact same actions of Al Franken, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton are deemed moral, if consented to by their prey, but yet abhorrent if not.

Personal culpability for doing the “right thing” regardless of what someone else believes and/or consents to, is never considered. Men are not expected to demonstrate character but rather to just go about the business finding a willing accomplice. Just get her to “consent” and rut about at will. No worries. No guilt. No responsibility. Mutual agreement is the final measure of what is right and what is wrong.

“Being good” is no longer an objective reality but rather a subjective construct that is totally dependent on what someone else says you can or can’t do. Groping a woman is okay if she says it is okay but wrong if she says it’s not.

Staring voyeuristically at her in magazines or on websites is considered harmless recreation but doing the exact same thing through a window blind is deviant and criminal. Celebrating women as objects of recreation on the cover of Sports Illustrated is good, but actually treating them like objects of recreation is bad. Good has become evil and evil has become good.

We have created a nation of moral geldings rather than a nation of gentlemen. No conscience. No internal restraining force. Constantly looking for the next conquest under the cover of “consent,” today’s man seeks only to satiate his libido. After all, there is no reason not to other than the woman who says “no” and it never occurs to him that he might have the human responsibility to not ask her to say “yes” in the first place.

“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful” — C.S. Lewis

• Everett Piper is president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

the gift

I love Lindsey Stirling - the gifts God has given her and her obedience to use these gifts and talents for His Kingdom. Enjoy this beautiful piece and be sure to watch her message to you at the end. It's priceless.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine
Songwriters: Joel Houston / Matt Crocker / Salomon Lighthelm
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) lyrics © Capitol CMG Genesis

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Young Minds

Train up a child in the way he should go;
 even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led
astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  2 Cor 11:3

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and 
have it abundantly.  John 10:10

And give no opportunity to the devil.  Eph 4:27