Saturday, August 31, 2013


Have you ever been tent camping? Sometimes I wonder if camping is really a vacation. You pack up all your gear, sleeping bags, air mattresses, food, camping gear, tent, etc. You sleep on the hard ground. You hope it doesn't rain, because if it does, you'll be stuck inside the tent and you'd better not touch the sides or you'll get wet. If the tent leaks, you will be soggy and miserable. It's an effort to tend to life's basic necessities, like cooking or even slogging to the bathroom in the middle of the night. You make due, because at the end of the week, you know you'll be home again.

Do you remember how big your house feels after you get home from camping? All that space! Hot showers, a refrigerator, electricity, warm beds! Refuge from the storm. Even a little house feels like a palace after a week in an eight by ten tent. Remember that relieved, happy feeling of being home at last...

My reading this morning found me in 2 Corinthians.

For we know that if our earthly house, the tent we live in, is dismantled, we have a building from God, a house not built by human hands, that is eternal in the heavens. For in this earthly house we groan, because we desire to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed, after we have put on our heavenly house, we will not be found naked. For we groan while we are in this tent, since we are weighed down, because we do not want to be unclothed, but clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment. 

Think of our bodies as a tent in comparison to what our heavenly bodies will be. We're roughing it down here folks. We're in a lightweight tent, a body that sometimes get sick, feels inadequate, and is subject to the storms of life. But when we get home, we'll have a body made by God, eternal and perfect. Like comparing a tent to the Newport mansions kind of house, and probably far better. 

Camping can have some moments of awesomeness, just like our lives down here can feel pretty good sometimes. But it is a great encouragement to me to remember that down here we're just tent camping, and home is going to be SO AMAZING... 

Friday, August 2, 2013

How much more?

My reading this morning finds me in 2 Chronicles 32. The king of Assyria was getting ready to attack Judah. King Hezekiah encouraged the people with these words...

 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him.With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

The enemy was talking trash and trying to inspire fear in the people.

15 Now, therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you in this fashion, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand!’”

Hezekiah and his people knew something here. They didn't serve a "How much less" God like the idols of the nations around them. They served a "How much more" God that saves and delivers.

Let's read on...

20 Then Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed because of this and cried to heaven. 21 And the Lord sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he came into the house of his god, some of his own sons struck him down there with the sword.

God's people prayed and God sent the enemy packing.

When it seems like the enemy has you surrounded, remember you serve a "How much more" God, who will do exceedingly abundantly more than you can ask or think. Keep your eyes on Him today...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fresh starts

There are certain times that we think of for fresh starts. January first. Monday mornings. The first of the month. The Bible says "His mercies are new every morning".

In my reading today, in 2 Chronicles, Israel had once again gone astray. Hezekiah begins to set things right, celebrating the Passover, organizing the priests, tearing down pagan altars, bringing in the tithe.

20 Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God.21 And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered.

Here we are at August first. Seven months of the year have gone by, but it is not too late to start fresh and get one of those good habits established. Celebrate you successes and continue to learn and grow forward!