Learning to Live in the Cloud – Hope


A big hand came down into the room and lifted me up with a secure loving grip and I heard a voice say, “It is going to happen.”


Several years ago I had this vision/dream above that brought me an incredible amount of hope and peace in the midst of an overwhelming season of life. I remember shortly after this encounter I went to my Bible and looked up all the texts that highlighted the hand of God in the Bible. One passage in particular which sunk deep into my soul was Isaiah 41:10:


“So do not fear, for I am with you do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


I shared these events with my sister Cindy, who sent me the picture above, which has been a focal point in my office for several years now. The mystical hand coming out of the cloud serves to continually remind me of the promised HOPE found in the verse of Isaiah 41:10.


As I learn to live in the cloud by FAITH, I hold on to the HOPE that my Father holds on to me with a secure grip that will never let me go. The Hand of the Father is best seen in the physical hands of Jesus stretched out on the cross to rescue us from our sin and secure a forever relationship of love (John 10:28-29).


Looking back over the years since that dream/vision of “the hand” and the confirmation found in the promises of Isaiah 41:10 I can testify to how my Father has strengthened me and upheld me by His righteous right hand. As I live into the mystery of the cloud and move forward in FAITH, I do so with a SECURE HOPE that His Hand of love is bringing me into His perfect purposes, “It will happen!”


Today as you live in your own cloud, hold on IN HOPE that your Good Father upholds you and is carrying you forward to His perfect plan for your life (Jer. 29:11).


“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love,” 1 Corinthians 13:13.


Learning to Live in the Cloud – Faith!


One of the things I love about living in Colorado is the brilliant bright sun surrounded by the deep blue sky at altitude. Since I was born under this magnificent canopy, persistent cloudy days have an adverse effect on my mood.


Spiritually, I anticipated the longer I walked in faith things would become clearer like the Rocky Mountain sky on a sunny day. But truth be told, some days things seem cloudy and mysterious. When I started out in seminary I thought I had most of the answers to life’s most difficult problems, but today many times I find myself at a loss for words.


For example Patty and I went with our friend Steve last week to his vacation home on the panhandle of Florida, about 40 miles from Panama City. When we planned this trip a few months ago we both were looking forward to some rest from a busy summer and fall. We would have never dreamt that Hurricane Michael with a 155 mile an hour winds would be visiting just a few days before us.

When we drove through Panama City and saw the horrific destruction to homes and businesses our words became few and an overwhelming sense of helplessness griped us. Again, it was like a cloud surrounded my spirit and it was hard to make sense of it. I lacked answers for the devastation this powerful storm caused; my only conclusion was to simply go forward with a surrendered faith in with this any many other mysteries of life.


This cloud of unknowing that has moved into my life over the past years has been teaching me to learn to live in the moment by faith. To trust that my Father holds on to me in the cloud and to cling to Him alone, knowing that His love demonstrated through the gift of His Son Jesus is all the security I need in the cloud. Without the cloud I can easily walk away and seek to be god of my own destiny, which never ends well.


The journey of faith my family and I began four years ago parallels what the cloud has been teaching me. These important truths have carried me forward as I seek to live: A Surrendered Faith, a Secured Hope, and a Life Saturated by Love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 highlights these dynamic truths).


I’m learning that if I look with His eyes and listen for His voice I will find the Father in the Cloud. He was right there in the midst of all the pain and rubble from Hurricane Michael. His heart was revealed to us in a lady named Christine, a friend of Steve’s whose tears showed the Father’s compassion for the victims of Michael.


Christine’s church was launching out to meet the needs of those hardest hit and we heard the Father’s voice calling us be His love. I called the Oceans Board and they graciously agreed to partner with her church and what a blessings it was to hand over a stack of $25 gift cards from the Father to His needy children.

Developing a Surrendered Faith is truly realizing that God is God and I am not. It is admitting and surrendering to His sovereign plan. The losses encountered through Hurricane Michael will last for many years, but I thank God and thank you for all who team up with Oceans Ministries to be His loving hands and feet in the midst of the clouds.


“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:13


Bless the Bo – Mme

Blog by Danell Czarnecki, Oceans’ Board Member 

I recently had the privilege of being at Beautiful Gate Children’s Center in Lesotho, South Africa. I traveled with my daughter and a life long friend and her daughter. It was amazing to experience life at Beautiful Gate through their “first time” eyes. I loved watching our two daughters serve the Bo-Mme and fall in love with the children of BG; and them falling in love with our girls. Ah, to love and to be loved, one of God’s many gifts.

I too couldn’t help but love the little ones at BG, but every time I travel there, my heart is drawn to the Bo-Mme. Bo-Mme translates to “mother” in Sesotho, the native language of Lesotho. And the Bo-Mme of Beautiful Gate are super mothers in my opinion.   Each Bo-Mme cares for 12-15 children at a time between the age of birth to 5. Their day consists of endless loads of laundry (which need to be hung on the clothes line every morning so they are dry by afternoon), to folding the clothes, cooking 3 meals plus snacks and feeding, changing diapers, bathing, dressing and tending to a myriad of other needs as they arise; and they do so with such joy and love!! The children in their care are happy, content, and have so much love to give back to those who serve BG in other areas because they trust in their caretakers. The Bo-Mme give these orphaned children a family and a hope for a future; such a beautiful gift. I cringe to think what might have happened to these beautiful children had God not brought them to Beautiful Gate.

As I watch the Bo-Mme “mother” the 70 plus children at the orphanage/children’s center, I am reminded of how our Heavenly Father tends to our every need. Phil. 4:19 says “And my God will meet all your needs…” But God is not satisfied with just meeting our physical needs, as BG and the Bo-Mme provide a home and a family for the vulnerable children of Lesotho, God does not leave us orphaned, but adopts us into His family, making us heirs to a future filled with hope. As the Bo-Mme give of themselves, many sacrificially, so the children of BG will know they matter and they are loved, God greatest desire for you and me is to know we matter and to know and share His deep love for us. And like my heart for the Bo-Mme, as they loved on my daughter, my love and desire to bless them grew deeper. I think God feels the same for us; as we give away His love and serve others, God’s blessings for us increase.

I had the privilege of praying with some of the Bo-Mme and to hear their stories. Watching the Bo-Mme take great delight in the children, rejoice over them with singing and quiet them with (His) love took on deeper meaning as I knew what they sacrificed to do so. God takes great delight in us, rejoices over us with singing and quiets us with His love. (Zeph 3:17) He too sacrificed much so we would know His love and care. I am grateful He sent His son so I might be rescued from my abandoned state, I cringe to think of where I might be if He hadn’t claimed me as His own and cared for me every need.

I pray you too know the love and care of our Gracious Abba and can someday experience the Kingdom in the Sky of Lesotho with me or someone you love. In the meantime, won’t you join me in praying God will continue “Blessing the Bo-Mme” in their work at BG, and as we do I trust He will also bless you and bless me.   Molimo a o Hlohonolofatse!! (God Bless You)

Open Heavens


“Hey Tim you need to come take a look at this painting with the clouds!”


Earlier in the week I was telling Mike Verkaik how I sensed God speaking to me and it had to do with clouds (More details to follow in future blogs). Curious to see what Mike was talking about I followed him to see the painting and sure enough I was truly blessed.


Both of us were attending the conference Open Heavens and during one of the first sessions an artist painted while we sang and worshiped. The finished work of art result is above. I would have loved to take the painting home-but it would have been difficult on the plane. I’ll have to wait for a smaller print to be made.


You won’t want to miss the artist’s meaning behind the picture:


Childlikeness climbs up the ladder of faith.

In an Open Heaven of God’s Presence anything is possible!


(Theresa Dedmon)


One of my prayers the last few years has been for the Father to give me simple childlike faith. A faith that believes my “Daddy in Heaven” can do far more than I could ever hope for or imagine. That as His beloved child I would learn to daily dwell in His presence and let my life flow out of His loving affection for me.


Take a few minutes and prayerfully meditate on the picture of the painting. May it lead you to rest in His overwhelming love for you. Go ahead and hand over your impossible into His big hands. Allow Him to do something glorious with this impossibility as you exercise your childlike faith.




26 – “I will not leave you as orphans…”


26 has always been my favorite number going back to Nov. 26, 1978. This is when the Father arrested my heart with the overwhelming mercy and grace of His Son Jesus Christ that saved me.


26 was also my football # in high school and during that time I watched a beautiful blonde play volleyball #26 was on her jersey. It took some time, but on Dec. 26 I started to date that young lady and 5 years later I married her on June 26.


26 also represents in Judaism the most holy name for God YHWH (Yahweh, LORD), the Great I AM.


This past weekend I led a retreat for a group of men in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. The theme was Stepping into New Seasons. Our Father is always calling us to follow Him in faith and believe that in every new journey and experience we are not alone but He travels with us.


We discussed Jesus’ final teaching time in the upper room before heading to the cross (John 14-16). Did you know that 15 times Jesus tells His disciples that He is about to leave them, which didn’t go over so well with the group. But Jesus emphasized that it was a good thing He departed and here is why.


26 times in these 3 chapters He uses the name Holy Spirit, Counselor, Spirit of Truth, and a bunch of pronouns, to describe the gift that Jesus and the Father will send to them.


“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – The Spirit of Truth… you know Him for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you…” (John 14:16-18).


26 times Jesus wants to remind you and me that His Spirit will “teach you all things,” (14:26) and remind us of “everything” Jesus has said (vs. 26). He will keep “testifying” about Jesus (15:26). He will “guide you into all truth” (16:13) and “will tell you what is yet to come,” (16:13). But there is even more, Jesus goes on and says; “All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you,” (16:14-15).


May the words of this blog remind you that you are not alone on this journey! You have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit, who shouts out that the Father and the Son have made their home in your heart (14:23) and will be with you and lead you every step you take along the way. Oh and I should add that I am not superstitious but do enjoy making fun connections.