The Land Proclaims The Faithfulness of the Father

Shalom from Israel! 

From the heat of the desert of the Negev…

…to the beauty of lush Galilee…

Our Good Father proclaims His Faithfulness to His children who trust in His promises!  The land shouts of a Father who longs to be with His people and bless them with His love. All He asks is that we trust His perfect love.  This was made real to us as we spent some time in a cave in Bethlehem:

God sent His One and Only Son to be born in a cave similar to this to show us the way to the Father. As Philippians 2 says:

He became nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in the appearance of man He humbled himself and become obedient to death even death on a cross! (vs. 7-8).

As we walk around on the same ground where the Lamb of God who was born in the fields of shepherds and delivered Himself to Mount Moriah as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. The 3rd day He walked out of a borrowed tomb in Jerusalem to become the forever King of the Universe!

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (vs. 10-11).

And praise be to our faithful God that all who have  been baptized into the promises of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have become sons and daughter of the King of Kings and LORD of lords!



Attracting the Dove – Don’t Brake for the Snake

Have you ever seen a sign on a bike trail that said, Brake for Snakes?” Yes this is real thing that my son TJ and I stumbled upon the other day riding on a trail near our house.

Have I ever mentioned that I am I’m no fan of snakes? So this sign definitely made me cringe, as the probability of encountering one of these slimy creatures was highly likely. Sure enough-a few minutes later- a huge, ugly, scary snake slithered on the pavement just ahead of me. I am happy to report that I did not scream. I did abruptly brake, but not because of the sign but rather out of sheer fear of being swallowed by the serpent. So as I breathed a sigh of relief I heard a crash. Ah….my son was riding the slipstream on my rear wheel and the sound of all metal on metal reverberated as his bike hit a fence barrier next to the path.


As he picked himself up off the pavement, fresh with bloody road rash, from the ground he said to me, “Dad next time-just RUN OVER the snake!”


I think of that statement often as I ride along peaceful paths and wonder if at any moment there will be a snake sunning on the trail. I know I have nothing to fear because my bike is bigger then the gardener crossing the path. But still…..


So what do snakes have to do with Doves? Glad you asked. J In the spiritual realm fear will always quench the Holy Spirit. Fear will cause the Dove to depart. One of the greatest tactics of satan is to capture our minds with lies that will lead to be fixated on fear. If he can get us to focus on the unpredictable snake in front of us often the result is that we are paralyzed in our tracks. The “snake” is different for each of us, it may be insecurity, past failures, besetting sins, health issues, money problems, job loss, family situations, an unstable future, etc.


The age-old serpent delights in robbing us of our peace and continues to exaggerate the problems plaguing our mind.


But hear the Spirit say to you “don’t brake for the snake!” You are riding on the shoulders of the King of the Universe who has crushed the head of the serpent at the cross (Gen. 3:15). Remember you rest on the Righteous One who encourages you with truth:


“I saw satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy, nothing will harm you,” (Luke 10:18-19).


Four years ago my family stepped out in faith, and throughout that time the Father has tirelessly pressing home to my heart and head not to brake for the lies of the snake. Go ahead and ride over his deceitful obstructions. The Father reminds me to focus my faith on the promises of His word. The one whose shoulders we ride upon.


Remember these words from one of the greatest chapters on the Holy Spirit:


“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by which you cry out Abba Father!” (Romans 8:15)


Keep focused on your Abba Father’s love for you and the Dove will stay near!



Attracting the Dove – Just Be!

The sun was barely peaking over the eastern horizon as sipped my coffee in backyard. “It just doesn’t get better than this,” I thought to myself as I opened the Gospel of Mark. Enjoying the coolness of the morning I mediated on the baptism story of Jesus –focusing particularly on when Jesus emerged out of the water and He “saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove…” (Mark 1:10). As I imagined this scene I glanced up and spotted some birds on the housetop next door. This sparked the thought of how cool it would be to see a dove!


Just then I heard cooing nearby, as I turned and looked, there on the peak of my neighbor’s roof was a mourning dove. I got so excited! I ran into the house and into the bedroom, scared Patty who was still in bed, and grabbed my phone for a picture. “Ah…this will be more than perfect for a blog post,” I thought to myself as I rushed out the patio door to capture the moment-but alas the dove had disappeared.


My spiritual high became a low quickly.   As I explained the scene to Patty, she sympathetically stated, “Maybe you were supposed to sit and just be.” Don’t you love it when God speaks to you through someone else? Too often I miss out on the work of the Holy Spirit because I’m rushing around, striving to capture something when the Father wants me to Just Be in His Presence and soak in His love as Jesus did at His baptism.


The Spirit wanted to underline this lesson for me as I read a few minutes later in the devotional Come Away My Beloved:


O My child, I have waited long for your coming. My eyes have grown weary with watching, and My heart heavy with longing for you. For I have said, “Rest in Me,” but you have striven, I have said, “Stand still,” but you have continued to run. I have called but you have been listening to human voices. Turn to Me. You do not need to do more. For you will find your quest ended…My child, I have need of nothing. I desire only your love…Abandon to Me your whole being…For when your life is wholly lost in My life, there is never anything but gain…So come first to Me. Yes, come until the stream of your life is swallowed up in the ocean of my fullness (p. 102-103).


I heard the Spirit loud and clear that morning, Just Be! How He is teaching me and creating in me a longing for the “stream of my life” to be “swallowed up in the ocean of His fullness” given to those “remain in His love,” (John. 15:1-17).


And would you believe that the next morning, as I once again basked in the vibrant Colorado sunrise, drank my coffee, and read from the book of Mark. Two doves came to visit and I didn’t run to get my phone!

Attracting the Dove – A Pure Heart


Doing some Dove research I discovered that Doves are not the easiest birds to attract into one’s yard. Creating the right environment to entice these amazing and beautiful birds to nest in your yard means providing seeds, water, and shelter. Another interesting point I gleamed was that Doves are shy, sensitive, and desire a peaceful environment in which to live and have their babies.


Perhaps the demeanor of this gentle cooing bird is one of the reasons the Father chose the Dove as the symbol of the Holy Spirit to “remain” on Jesus at His Baptism. Jesus’ heart was pure and peaceful-ready for the anointing of the Spirit. I believe one of the attributes we can place on the Holy Spirit is sensitivity. If the environment within our hearts is not suitable to His sensitive nature the anointing will depart.


Jesus taught, “blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God,” (Mt. 5:8). God the Holy Spirit is attracted to a heart that is pure and clean, purged from worldly pollution. Paul teaches that we can “grieve the Holy Spirit of God” (Eph. 4:30). In essence push Him away by an unattractive heart filled with:


“Bitterness, rage, anger, brawling and slander, every form of malice, unforgiveness sexual immorality, any impurity, greed …” (Eph. 4:31-5:1ff.).


A heart controlled by one or more of the fleshly issues above will keep the sensitive Spirit’s anointing from resting one’s heart. The last few months the Holy Spirit has convicted me of areas in my heart where I have “grieved” the Spirit. One area has been the words I speak. I have thought about placing a lock on my mouth that would prevent me from speaking negative words, ah I have realized that my words reflect my heart. When I call the person who cut me off in traffic a-well not so nice name it reveals deeper issues in my heart. I need some heart help.


The morning I wrote this blog I was reading my Psalm for the day and it happened to be Psalm 51. The Holy Spirit highlighted these healing words from the prayer:


“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me,” (vs. 10-12).


David messed up big time like we all do. However, the prayer in the Psalm prepared his heart for the presence of the Spirit to fill him up again with the assurance of forgiveness and joy of knowing the Father’s love.


The Dove may be sensitive but He is always working behind the scenes to point us back to Jesus’ blood poured out on the cross to purify our needy hearts with heaven’s unconditional love. Give Him your heart again today and let Him clean it up and make it once again attractive for the Dove!