Mount Trust – A Place of Peace


Last week my son TJ and I were invited to join some friends skiing. I love to ski, but the older I get my favorite part has become the breath-taking views from the top of the mountain. It is hard to describe the scene from Copper Peak, which sets at 12,441 ft. above sea level. From this high point the sun brilliantly illuminates the surrounding snow covered peaks with a backdrop of the deep blue Colorado sky. The iPhone photos couldn’t even begin to justify the overwhelming beauty! Such an incredible, tranquil peace surrounded us!

Even though this was the grandest spot on the slopes there were very few skiers since the only way to the peak was by way of an old T-bar. I hadn’t been on one of these since I was a boy learning to ski. I must admit that as I grabbed the cable and leaned back on the bar my heart increased several beats and I hoped my skis wouldn’t cross and cause a chain reaction with the people behind me. But as the confidence came back, I found the ride exhilarating as I was pulled to the summit and overwhelmed by what was before me.

Our journey up Mount Trust also has as its goal a glorious summit. A summit that leaves us in awe of what is before us. Notice how Proverbs 3:5-6 ends:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

In other words He will bring you to the right place. What is that right place? The Revelation of the Father’s love for you, a place of peace and tranquility. In the Bible it is referred to as Mount Zion, this was the place where God would meet His people in intimate worship. We read about in Revelation 14:1:

Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion,and with him 144,000 (those who trust in Jesus) who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.

Oh the trust to lean back into the arms of Jesus and to remember all He has done for us at the Cross-and through His resurrected life. Oh the peace to know He will bring us up the Mountain and reveal to us the Father’s glorious love that no words can describe. The mission of Jesus is to bring you to the Father, to know Him intimately and to trust Him, to allow Him to make your paths straight and to live with Him on Mount Trust.

As I continue to learn to lean on Jesus and travel up Mount Trust, I have found myself more transfixed on the beauty of the Father and His faithful love for me. And this love has brought about a tranquility that lets me freely embrace the mystery of the journey to the right places, the places in front of me, places which I would have missed had I not clutched the T-bar and let Him lead. Join me in grabbing on to the powerful words and promises of Proverbs 3:5-6 for 2016!

Mount Trust – Yada

A few Sundays ago our family heard a challenging sermon on one of the greatest mountain hikes of all time. It was Moses’ accent up Mount Hebron for the second time after the children of Israel rejected the LORD and chose a golden calf. In Exodus 33 we read the passionate dialogue between God and Moses. In this conversation God states that He has had enough of these stiff-necked people and will not personally lead them to the Promised Land, He will send an angel instead.

Moses replies boldly and earnestly says to the LORD, “if Your Presence does not go with us, do not send us from here,” (vs. 15). Moses doesn’t want an angel to lead them; he desires only the glorious presence of God. He would rather be stuck in the barren wilderness than journey on without the intimate presence of the LORD. Moses knew a deep friendship with the Father; he talked face to face with Him, “as a man speaks to a friend,” (vs. 11). Moses would not leave with out His Presence.

Proverbs 3:5-6 makes the same point, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your way acknowledge Him…” At the heart of these verses is the little Hebrew word, yada, translated acknowledge. Yada is an experiential and intimate knowledge of another person. I would translate verse 6 like this: “in all your ways make it your passion to intimately know Him…” This describes Moses’ deep personal friendship with the LORD. Yada is the objective of Mount Trust; everything flows out of an intimate trust relationship with Father God. The goal of climbing Mount Trust is Yada, to be drenched by the river of God’s glorious presence. Moses refused to move on unless he knew God’s presence accompanied him, we should do the same in our lives.

Our family, challenged by the sermon, ended 2015 by praying Moses’ prayer on the mountain, “Now shows me your glory,” (vs. 18). Moses wanted a deeper revelation of God’s glory. It was granted to him! The evidence was reflected in the radiance of God’s glory bestowed upon him and a renewed strength to follow His leading.

What if we daily prayed these words of Moses in 2016? What if we asked for a fresh revelation of the Father’s Glory as we climb Mount Trust? The Father delights in answering your prayers for Yada, His presence, and in His perfect timing will flood you with more of His glorious intimate presence! May you radiant Him in 2016!



Mount Trust – Learning to Lean


A few summers ago the kids and I hiked Mohawk Lakes in the Rockies, these were glacier lakes above timberline and supposed to be beautiful! After pushing our red mini van up a four-wheel drive trail we grabbed our backpacks and continued our adventure. At a fork in the trail the four of us stood there for a few moments trying to determine which route to take. With the expertise of one of my kids, I won’t tell you which one to protect his identity, we headed right, however after a few miles without a glimpse of a lake or anyone else, we had this ominous feeling we were lost. Finally a hiker from the opposite direction appeared. When we inquired about how far to the lake he had a puzzled look on his face. Obviously we should have gone left, ugh a wrong turn, my legs shouted “ouch!”

As we climb Mount Trust the writer of Proverbs reminds us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” (Prov. 3:5). The Hebrew word for lean means support or trust. It could be translated “don’t trust yourself to get you up this mountain.” This is a good reminder that the journey up Mount Trust is unpredictable and even mysterious at times. Just when you are certain you figured this hike out, even think you can do it on your own, you approach a fork in the road, encounter a painful ascent, or realize you are lost. It is sobering to lose the right trail and need to retrace your steps back down the mountain to try again.

The words “lean not …” remind me of the refrain from an old familiar hymn:

Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;

           leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms…

The song brought me back to the truth that the only way up Mount Trust is to be embraced by the everlasting arms of the Father. This is how Jesus climbed; He did so with the Father’s love surrounding Him and daily walking in His steps (John 5:19). 

And notice how the last verse ends:

         What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the

everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,

leaning on the everlasting arms…

On this daily climb I’m learning that my own understanding will never lead me to what the Father has for me on the Mount. Moment by moment I need to be leaning on the everlasting arms of my Father by relying on Jesus and His Spirit to show me how to follow in His footsteps. Daily I need to refer to the Trail Map, The Word, which shows me how to lean. And I know I am truly leaning on Him instead of my own understanding when I engulfed by the blessed peace He brings. Ah yes, this is an indication that He is with me on the climb.

Please join me in this New Year as we Learn to Lean on His Everlasting Arms!


Mount Trust – On His Shoulders

When I was living in Escondido, California I would sneak out of the church office put on my hiking shoes and climb up a small mountain that overlooked the city, perch myself on a rock and spend time with the Lord. I would always come home refreshed from the hike and from the Holy Spirit. My two little kids at the time could tell that dad was hiking again and would say “daddy when can we go!” I knew their little legs wouldn’t be able to make it far before I would have to carry them so I put it off until a beautiful day at the end of December when their grandpa from Michigan was visiting and was up for the challenge to hike with two small kids. It wasn’t long into the hike where grandpa and dad hoisted TJ and Sarah on our backs to give there tired legs a rest. The kids loved it as they got a free ride on our shoulders with an excellent view; grandpa and dad needless to say needed a long nap that afternoon.

As we journey up Mount Trust we have discussed the call to “trust” and the one we are called to put our “trust in” on this hike we acknowledge the “LORD,” who is the Great I Am. But how do we do it? Proverbs 3:5 goes on to tell us how… “with all your heart.” The best way to describe what “with all your heart” means is the picture above with a child resting on the shoulders of his or her father making the climb together. My kids would never complete the hike on their own, they needed to get on our backs and hang on for the ride. They trusted us with their lives, with their “hearts.” Young kids have a natural tendency to trust, somehow that seems to fade, as one gets older. Maybe that is why Jesus said to his disciples; “I tell you the truth unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 18:3.

In my journey up Mount Trust I’m trying to learn to be a child again, to allow my Father to hoist me up on His shoulders and say, “you have all of my heart, my life is completely in your hands. “ This is hard to do, as an adult isn’t it? I find myself saying at times “let me down, I want to be in control of the hike, I want to choose the trail, I don’t like your way.” Yet, Jesus says the only way into the Kingdom, up the Mountain is to be like “little children,” to be a helpless babe. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus in a few days isn’t this what the Creator of the World did? He completely trusted His Father, emptied himself of heaven’s glory and came into the world as a dependent baby boy. And throughout His entire 33 years he gave His Father all of His heart climaxing on the cross when he said, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit,” Lk. 23:46. He completely trusted His Father to hoist him on His shoulders and carry him through death into an everlasting Kingdom where He would reign forever.

This Christmas give the Father the gift of “all your heart.” Become a child again and pray these powerful words of Jesus from your heart, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit” and then be prepared for a great Kingdom adventure as you ride on His shoulders.

Mount Trust – The Guide

Last week I shared about our youthful guides who led us on a wrong trail at the beginning of the hike into the heart of the Rockies. Good thing it was early on and the “old guys” still had enough air in our lungs to laugh it off. We continued to trust these guys, not that we had any other choices, yet we believed they had the ability to lead us to our destination and later bring us safely back down the mountain. Trust demands relinquished control; it is placing our lives in the hands of someone or something else.

To survive the challenging journey up Mount Trust involves trust. Proverbs 3:5 directs us to The Guide we are called to trust in this climb, He is “The LORD…” the Jewish word “Yahweh.” This is a powerful name used in Israel’s history to highlight a God who keeps His promises, the Great I AM, who guided His people out of Egypt with His mighty hand and led them miraculously to the Promise Land. This is The Name that finds its fullness in the coming of the Son of God, Jesus, who also claimed himself as the “I AM,” John 8:58. Jesus is The Guide chosen by the Father to lead us up into the mountain of His glorious presence.

Jesus has all the qualifications to take us up Mount Trust; He traveled it before us. This Guide knows the green pastures, the quiet waters, the right paths, the valley of suffering, and the banqueting table. This Guide completely trusted The Father as He traveled up that mountain to the cross, to give his life for our sins. The only way you and I can conquer our epic trek up the Mount is by trusting The Guide, trusting even when we may wonder if He took us on a wrong turn. I will be honest; at times I think The Guide may need some extra help, my help. I think an easier, more scenic trail would be a much better route than the one he has chosen for me. My way would be more of a stroll around a scenic lake, and definitely would not include a 40-pound backpack or any other “cross to bear.” Yet, even this morning in my reading, The Guide said; “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” And then he added this, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it,” Mt. 16:24-25.

Again, I’m reminded that the text does not say, “Trust in Tim…” Tim’s way would never bring me to the place the Father has prepared for me. Tim’s way would only lead to a loss of my soul. A dear friend Barb emailed me the following in response to last week’s blog. She gave me permission to share it; her words are a fitting way to conclude.

When I read about the 45-50 lb. backpacks, I can’t help but think of our journey up Mount Trust. The weight carried…weights of life, grief etc. We continue up the Mountain trusting…Fixing our eyes on Jesus….knowing He will meet us and give Life and rest, eternally. Amen!!!! 

May you TRUST the GREAT I AM, our GUIDE, on this day-to-day journey!