Monthly Archives: September 2023

Many sparrows

Tree Sparrow Passer Montanus Free Stock Photo - Public Domain PicturesEarly morning thoughts. I took a sip of tea, leaned forward and opened the blinds behind the desk. There, in the yellow halo of light from the blazing security light affixed to the wall, three small gray and brown sparrows perched in the entwining branches of the crepe myrtle trees screening the window of my second floor condo. Two had their heads tucked under their wings, demonstrating all the flexibility usually attributed to those of the feline persuasion. The third miniature beauty was occupied with his morning ablutions, pecking his tiny beak atop, behind and under his uplifted snippet of a wing.

Beyond and to the sides of this sparrow’s bedroom of light there in the tree branches, darkness was still really dark, stirring, as it always did, tender memories of high school mornings when my father, who arose at five to go to the rock mine, sometimes woke me when I had a paper due or needed an extra hour of piano practice.

“How can that be so many decades ago now?” I wondered. “Thank You, Lord, for those two Scriptures yesterday, that one in Isaiah and in Psalms”.

 Even to your old age I am He, and even to hair white with age will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear; yes, I will carry and will save you. (Isaiah 46:4, AMPC)

 I will come in the strength and with the mighty acts of the Lord God; I will mention and praise Your righteousness, even Yours alone.

O God, You have taught me from my youth, and hitherto have I declared Your wondrous works.

 Yes, even when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not, [but keep me alive] until I have declared Your mighty strength to [this] generation, and Your might and power to all that are to come. (Psalm 71:16-18, AMPC)

File:Alarm Clocks 20101105.jpg - Wikimedia CommonsCoping with problems. I had recently started going to bed earlier so that I could get up earlier for the specific purpose of dividing up time spent sitting at the computer, part of ongoing efforts to keep on with the work of writing despite the recent barrage of age-related challenges like eye strain, stiff joints, fatigue, and on and on.

But today, looking at the sparrows I am richly blessed as the word of God comes to mind, as always bringing truth and therefore peace. The truth is that I am exceedingly blessed, in countless ways. Having a home, food, a car, the freedoms of living in America are things I try to remember to thank God for daily. But I also thank Him for the health He has given and for the wisdom He gives in how to keep going, and even laugh, in spite of the problems associated with old age and white hairs.

So, this morning as I look at the sparrows, I think:

“Finally, I get it Lord . . . there are many sparrows. Many. And I am worth more than many of them, You said. As they simply perch and sleep, and awake and happily chirp the day awake they do not worry how they will do their job of finding food. If one of them is a little older and is feeling stiff, they do not worry.

Two days later. . . I was having a great day, with an unusually long stretch of time to write since it was not only a rest day from exercise but also a day with few other chores to do as well. Most of the morning, I spent happily combining ten or so separate files into one, closing in on the process of getting the book “Undepressed” ready to put on the website, hopefully by the end of this month.

At one, I took an hour’s rest, flat on the bed, part of my self-imposed health habits that help greatly. After a bite of lunch and a quick quiet time, I was debating whether to continue work on compiling files or to return to work on the new book about becoming a believer when a text pinged.

“We have noticed suspicious activity on your account. If you did not authorize the following transaction, text N to this number. . . “

Well, that led to four more text messages, with waits in between each, and then the text “Your debit card has been cancelled due to fraudulent activity. Please see your financial institution or call this number for a new card. . . “


“Just when things are going so well, just when I have some extra time, just when I was in such a good mood. . . “ began the silent fuming.

But, by grace, not for long.

“I am sorry, Lord. Thank You for catching this attempt at fraud.  Thank you that they only got one hundred dollars before the fraud protection system stopped it. Help me redeem this time, Lord. Let there be someone at the credit union that I can witness to. Help me have a good attitude.”

Well, there just was no chance to witness to anyone. I got a new card, was given the phone number to call and dispute the fraudulent charges, and advised, which I already knew, that any automatic payments that had been set up on the old card would have to be re-established.

I walked back out into the Texas sun, still highly irked at the loss in time and the loss of the good mood. I had so much I wanted to get done today!

But, as I pulled back into the parking lot and walked to my unit, I realized it had only taken an hour. The credit union was less than two miles from my home, there had been only a short line, and I could probably have the money taken by fraud restored.

How He takes care of sparrows. That’s when I remembered this blog post I had started a couple of days before, and I thought.

“Lord, part of the way you take care of the billions of sparrows in Your world is through protecting them from harm, just like You protected me from financial harm. And those sparrows do not worry or fret about cats or birds of prey or other dangers, once they are passed.”

Ambulance Free Stock Photo - Public Domain PicturesI sat back down at my desk and thought about the day and other blessings and protections. I had been up at five to drive someone I love to the hospital for a procedure, where all turned out to be fine, a blessing to that person and to me. On the way home, I had been passed on the interstate by two fire engines and an ambulance, on their way I soon saw as I creeped along in the backed-up traffic, to a bad car accident. Had I not had to wait an hour at the hospital while the check-in snafu got untangled before I left, I might have been in that accident.

“Father, like a child fussing because his papa will not let him cross the street when cars are coming or a child throwing a tantrum because she cannot have a cookie thirty minutes before dinner, I have whined and been mad about delays today. And all the while You have been protecting me. Forgive me, Lord, and show me how to be more grateful for all the hours and hours of time You give me every day and all the blessings You constantly pour out.

 Help me truly consider the lilies and the sparrows. Give me the heart of a trusting, non-complaining and grateful child.”

Biblical basis. As ever, I cannot seem to write short blog posts! In looking up the well-known sparrows reference I found that Jesus used the metaphor of sparrows and another time He used ravens and lilies to tell us not to worry. Most of Mattthew 10 contains the instructions of Jesus to His disciples when He was sending them out to minister. He warns them that they will be persecuted and tells them not to worry because they are “worth more than many sparrows” and God cares for every single sparrow.

In Luke 12, Jesus was addressing not only His twelve disciples but a large crowd as well.

22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

Garden Of White Lilies Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

As Halley’s Bible Handbook notes “Jesus had favorite sayings that He repeated again and again. One of them was about God’s unfailing care for and guidance of His people.” (p. 669).

How gracious God is to bring His Word to our minds again and again, and again, and just when we need it, just as He provides food each day for every sparrow. And part of His daily manna this day, this hour, for this all-too-human human being is this verse:

Casting the whole of your care

…….[all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns,

………once and for all] on Him,


…….He cares for you affectionately and

……………..cares about you watchfully. (I Peter 5:7, AMPC) (emphasis added)

Lord, please keep reminding Your silly child that I am worth more than many sparrows and that You are watching over me, affectionately, every moment of every day!

Sparrow Sunset Line Photograph by Ericamaxine Price

God earnestly waits – Part Eight

What Does The Bible Say About Hell? – 3rd Day Diet27 Behold, the Name of the Lord comes from afar, burning with His anger, and in thick, rising smoke. His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue is like a consuming fire.

28 And His breath is like an overflowing stream that reaches even to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction; and a bridle that causes them to err will be in the jaws of the people.

29 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart as when one marches in procession with a flute to go to the temple on the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. (Isaiah 30:27-29, AMPC)

In Parts One through Seven, we:

  • examined the context and main points of Isaiah 30,
  • discussed the subtle ways the enemy of our souls deceives us into devoting our hearts to idols, rather than the one true God,
  • saw God explain to Israel how their rebellion against His ways would cause calamity,
  • examined verse 18, which described how God earnestly, eagerly waits and longs for us to return to Him and that, while He waits, He is getting ready to show us mercy and loving-kindness when we return to Him, and
  • explored some of the unbelievable things God is earnestly longing to do for us when we return to Him.

In Part Eight, we will consider the unimaginable power of God and how He fights for us.

Isaiah 30:27-33 is the last part of Isaiah’s discourse in this chapter. In these verses, Isaiah reassures Israel that the destruction of Assyria is coming soon. These verses are part of the main message of the entire chapter. These verses show that “the Jews and Israelites had no need to flee to Egypt for help against the Assyrians, to the neglect of their duty toward God, since God was perfectly sufficient to defend them, and had determined to destroy the Assyrians.” — Vitringa. (www.biblehub/

27 Behold, the Name of the Lord comes from afar burning with His anger, and in thick, rising smoke. His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue is like a consuming fire. This section of verses (Isaiah 30:27-33) begins with the word “Behold” which means pay attention to what is about to be said.

God Himself. And what does the next phrase, “The name of the Lord”, mean?  A footnote in the AMPC says “the revelation of the power and glory of God.” Bible Hub says it means the Lord Himself. That is the interpretation that speaks most powerfully to me. This is a topic I want to study further but, for now, it emphasizes for me the fact that God is personally, one on one, intimately involved with people. The words “God Himself” are used by Abraham in Genesis 22:8 when “Abraham said, My son, God Himself will provide a lamb for the burnt offering” and in Genesis 48:15 by Jacob when he “blessed Joseph and said, God [Himself], before Whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac lived and walked habitually, God [Himself], Who has [been my Shepherd and has led and] fed me from the time I came into being until this day. . . ”

The Circle Of Life – Train Of ThoughtsGod used these words, I believe for emphasis, when He spoke through Isaiah in Isaiah 45:18 and said ‘For thus says the Lord—Who created the heavens, God Himself, Who formed the earth and made it, Who established it and did not create it to be a worthless waste; He formed it to be inhabited-I am the Lord, and there is no one else.”

To study other instances where “God Himself” is used, search BibleGateway or another online Bible website, with parenthesis around “God Himself.” Some of these instances where the phrase “God Himself” is used refer to the holy covenant God Himself made with His people (Luke 1:72), creation (John 1:1), and the fact that God makes His eternal power and divinity clearly known to mankind through the things that are created so that people are without excuse (Romans 1:15-20). Furthermore, Ephesians 3:19, Colossians 3:12 and Hebrews 13:5 all clearly show how personally God is involved in developing and maintaining our closeness to Him, in other words how personally God is involved in our battles. We could say “Behold! God Himself comes from afar. . . ‘.

. . . comes from afar, burning with His anger, and in thick, rising smoke. His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue is like a consuming fire. These verses remind me of Psalm 18, where from His temple (“from afar”), God heard David’s cry and responded. David sang the words of Psalm 18 to the Lord when God “had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul” (2 Samuel 22:1, NIV). David had done nothing to cause that desperate situation whereas in Isaiah 30, Israel had engaged in blatant idolatry. Notice, though, that in both instances God’s anger is described in the same way. God is burning with anger, smoke comes from Him, and consuming fire comes from His mouth. He is “full of indignation”, in other words, He is as mad as He can get. A simple definition of indignation is “anger aroused by something unjust, unworthy or mean” (Merriam -Webster).

Father protecting his child | Father art, Jesus pictures, Photo ...God is furious when His children are hurt. Think how you feel when your loved one is treated cruelly. Multiply that by a million and you have a faint glimmer of understanding. In Psalm 18, earth trembles and mountains shake because God is angry at the enemy. Such is the power of this One who fights for us when we return to Him. Even when you disobey, even when you fail to regard God “as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety] (Isaiah 8:13a, AMPC), God is filled with wrath – because it is part of His nature. God hates sin and the destruction it brings whether His children are being attacked because of what we did or whether we are innocent of any guilt or iniquity.

.  .  .  And His breath is like an overflowing stream that reaches even to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction; and a bridle that causes them to err will be in the jaws of the people. Wilson’s Dictionary of Bible Types (p. 81) states that in 2 Samuel 22:1 (which is the same as Psalm 18:15) “the wrath of God is compared to His breath. No special effort is required to breathe. Wrath is a natural attribute of God which is continually manifested against sin and sinners.” When we are angry, we breath more deeply and stronger. Obviously, in this verse God’s breath is strong and deep.

Stormy Sea Wallpapers - Top Free Stormy Sea Backgrounds - WallpaperAccessLook at how David describes how angry God is when God comes to fight for him. “The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the mountains laid bare, at Your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of breath from Your nostrils.” (Psalm 18:15, NIV). Job 4:9 says that “those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it. At the breath of God they are destroyed; at the blast of His anger they perish.” (NIV)

 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart as when one marches in procession with a flute to go to the temple on the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. While God is fighting for us, He wants us to have joy and peace. Think of how many times in the Bible we are told to rejoice, think how often God reassures us of His love toward us and how many times He describes His power and the certain defeat and ultimate doom of the enemy and all evil. Think of what He did when He sent His Son, when God Himself came to earth, and showed us it is possible to be fully human and live a fully holy, victorious life because of His Spirit living within us.

#Exodus #Mojżesz #Izraelski | Biblia imagen, Biblia, Biblia hebreaSome commentaries suggest that Isaiah 30:28 refers to the feast of unleavened bread, or Passover, because it was the only feast that began with a night celebration. Some also suggest that Passover was the most important of Jewish feasts. I believe that fits here because I believe God was wanting to give us a picture of how intensely joyful He wants to help us be while He fights for us once we return to trusting Him completely. As you likely know, the Passover feast commemorates Israel’s deliverance from Egypt.

Think how joyful the whole nation of Israel was when they celebrated Passover. People would have journeyed from the country districts to Jerusalem, often “headed by a piper or a band of pipers. (The Pulpit Commentary.) Imagine their joy as they anticipated several days of celebration. Imagine their delight at having a time of celebration and leisure while in the company of friends and neighbors as they traveled along together.

God Himself fights for us. Our loving Father’s intimate, detailed involvement in our lives is unmistakably demonstrated, for you and for me, throughout the Bible. However, the last half of Isaiah 30 focuses on these facts:

  • God is intimately involved in our battles.
  • God has prepared the way for us to have peace and joy in the midst of our battles, and
  • God has already won all our battles.

[1] God is intimately involved in our battles   I believe that throughout each day, whenever my foot is about to step into a snare, God wants me to remember that He Himself is fighting for me in that moment, just as much as He fought for His children in the Bible. He wants me to consciously remember, and ponder, that the battle is His, the victory has already been won and He will keep me in His perfect peace to the degree that I keep my mind fixed on Him.

Burlington officers who drank confiscated beer suspended without payThis applies whether it is one of the all too frequent pop-up battles of everyday living—the boss criticizes, a large bill arrives, traffic gets snarled—or a long-standing battle where you have to fight weeks, months or years, like an addiction, climbing out of debt, or believing for salvation of loved ones.

[2] God has prepared the way for us to have peace and joy in the midst of our battles. God wants us to stay in peace and joy, every hour of every battle, no matter how long it lasts. He wants us to have the same attitude, and spirit, that Jesus did as He lived His daily life. He wants us to “be of good cheer”, to “take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted” (John 16:33 AMPC).

[3] God has already won all our battles – that same powerful God is fighting for us. Because God never changes, has no favorites and occupies Himself with the details of the righteous person’s life, throughout each hour of every day of our life, the same God who fought for His children in the Bible is fighting for us, in the same way, with the same passionate love and power. He cares about every hour of our life and He has the power to defeat the enemy at every turn so that we can have the abundant life He died to give us. BUT so long as we disobey with, for example, idolatry, doubt and unbelief, He must wait for us to return to our rightful relationship with Him. Remember verse 18 of Isaiah 30?

Idolatry, faith, and trust. Pondering Isiah 30 has given fresh understanding of what idolatry is and what faith and trust are. To me, idolatry is another word for my behavior whenever I lack faith and fail to truly trust God, with genuine confidence. 

Every day of my life, emotions will surge up when I face troubles, short-term and long-term troubles. I will at times wrestle with doubt and fear and other negative feelings. That happens because I am human. But God earnestly imprints the fact of my humanity on His heart (Psalm 103) and has made abundant provision for me to not yield to fear, anger, lust, envy, etc.

God’s provision is to trust Him and obey Him, staying in right relationship with Him. . .
so that
…… He—God Himself—can
………through His Spirit working in my spirit-
……………fight for me  and
………………….keep me in His perfect peace.

Hoe overleef je je eerste jaar... - HanzeMagThrough His Spirit, He has come to live in me, so I have access to all that I need, and He has given me His Word as a shield and a weapon. If I love and serve Him whole-heartedly, with all my strength and soul and might, He declares me righteous, or in right standing, with Him and He helps me resist and overcome the enemy and live a holy life as well as a peaceful, joyful one.

 A powerful reminder. A friend pointed me to following diamond of a verse a few months ago. It fits with the main message of Isaiah 30.

The Lord of hosts–regard Him as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety], and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread [lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him]. (Isaiah 8:13, AMPC)

Hear the lesson of this verse and take it to heart, oh my soul:

I honor God when I think of Him as my only chance of being protected. I offend God when I fear man or anything of this world and doubt God. He is worthy of my praise. He is worthy of my active, enthusiastic, and passionate trust. He is faithful!

Beautiful Landscape of Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado image ...