Thursday, January 27, 2022


"And I have felt
A presence that distrubs me with a joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns." - William Wordsworth

When is the last time you felt infused with God, with the Spirit of love and strength and joy? In times of uncertainty we long to find comfort and joy, peace and encouragement. Too often we look for this is the wrong places - in the world. Words from 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 in The Message express the soul's knowing of the presence of God, of His strength and grace infused into the lives of those who seek Christ.

May God our Father himself and our Master Jesus… pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you,… May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God… (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13)

This infusion is Grace, unmerited and unmeasured. Praying that each of you recognizes the presence of the Holy Light that infuses the soul! ~dho

Thursday, January 20, 2022

God Goes Before!

To choose life is to love the LORD your God, obey Him and stay close to Him. He is your life... Be strong and brave. Don't be afraid... don't be frightened, because the LORD your God will go with you.  He will not leave you or forget you...The LORD himself will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forget you. Don't be afraid and don't worry.  

on our knees…
We speak the Hebrew word Yahweh because it is Your covenant name, and we have study Your promises to the descendants of Abraham.  The ancient words recorded centuries before tell the story of humankind and all its frailties.  Words translated from Hebrew tell of Moses and his obedience, tell how You always went before them, preparing the way.  

We call out, LORD, because there are promises for us.  The ancient words tell a living story of love and sacrifice and redemption; they tell of a new covenant ~ Christ.  We choose life!  Now, as then, You go before us, preparing the way.

We whisper, Adonai, for You are Lord; You are Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  You are both hope and light. Your Spirit dwells within us. Lord, only through You can we be strong and brave. We long to firmly embrace You. The world entices us, even when we try to draw near to You. Sometimes our journey is not clear, the path uneven, our steps uncertain. When we cannot see, help us remember the ancient words, the living words: The LORD himself will go before you. You are the Promise that chooses us; You are the Love that embraces us. Lord, hear our simple prayers.  Amen.  ~ dho

Thursday, January 13, 2022

The Story Our Living Tells

Put the word into action. If you think hearing is what matters most, you are going to find you have been deceived. James 1:22 The Voice

Spiritual growth is more than asking questions, searching for answers, or finding holy guidance. Integrity exceeds head knowledge by calling for a heart response, and the standards of Christian character should reflect a lifestyle pleasing to God. Visible, outward behaviors disclose the inner character of a person, describe their true relationship with God, and distinguish authenticity of the heart. Our inner character writes the story our living tells others.

Being in fellowship with God positions the Christian to breakdown barriers and construct communities that together share the Gospel of Christ. Called to Community, The Life Jesus Wants for His People, is comprised of a myriad of Christian educators, writers, theologians, philosophers, pastors, and martyrs, some living long ago and some living now. In one chapter, German New Testament professor, Gerhard Lohfink, writes, "Where faith is really faith it cannot be shoved to the margins of life." I wonder, when does my busyness, my agenda begin to dictate my response to God? How am I keeping my faith shoved to the margins of life?

An individual faith-story must be more than the words to the Apostles Creed, the Newsboys song We Believe or Psalm 23. Faith cannot be shoved to the margins and still reflect a true, growing relationship with God, not the margins of society, not the margins of our families, not the margins of our calendars. True faith must be more than scribbled notes on the margins of our Bibles, the good intentions that skip across the margins of our thoughts, the generosity that walks passed the margins of opportunities. 

Let us take inventory of our outward behavior. What story do my actions tell others about my fellowship with God? How do I give voice to those who cannot speak for themselves? Where could my hands hold another's pain? Am I too busy to notice? Is my humility missing? The heart's most sincere desire must be to have an intimate relationship with God, and only then can we walk and act and speak with pure expressions of grace. Ethical integrity is spiritual faithfulness in a faithful God lived out loud! What does the inventory of your outward behavior reveal about your inner character?  ~dho

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Shielded and Sheltered

He will shield you with His wings. He will shelter you with His feathers. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalm 91:4 NLT

As the new year arrives, its fresh beginnings offer reflection. One observation that comes to mind is most all of us desire safety and security. God’s faithfulness provides safe shelter for His own. Whether the metaphor refers to feathers of angels or eagles and hens (see Matthew 23:37),trusting in this living God becomes a shield for the fearful, the forgotten, the desperate, the dying, the wounded, the weary. The world reeks of danger and uncertainty, but we find our refuge, our safe place in the embrace of God Almighty.

Whether the context is Moses reminding the Israelites or Jesus grieving over Jerusalem or the world churning its chaos, God longs to sit in the inner sanctuary, to have communion and fellowship with those who seek Him. So, come to a place of safety, a place of Divine Protection, a place of unfailing love. El Shaddai, You are my safe place, my port in life’s storms, my retreat from daily struggles, my shelter from Satan’s lies. Great is Your faithfulness; be my shelter. - dho