Posts

Showing posts from 2020

Sacrifice by Larry Yarrington

11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation.12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! 15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Hebrews 9:11-15 It is very difficult for…

"Do not harden your hearts"

"See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.  We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.  As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:12-15
It is good to have someone close; someone who knows your heart beat, a tone of voice or a look indicating a mood. I am not lost in the Big Ten of sins in any obvious ways. Though in more subtle ways, I violate them daily. But this is the point. The real sin is always what we do in relationship to God. It starts with little doubts and soon it is an unbelieving heart turning away from the living God.
Sometimes I see it in a mood swing caused by something disagreeable in my environment. Or it could be that I am fearful and anxious abo…

People Matter - by Michael Dascoli

Have you ever lived through a personal or family crisis? Can you recall a time when someone(s) stepped in at just the right moment and did something so practical that it seemed to shout, “You are not alone! You matter! We are (I am) here for you”? If you answered yes to any of those questions, can you relate when I say, “Those are life-giving moments”? It’s as if you’re dying of thirst when someone offers you a glass of cool water. Or, you feel like you’re suffocating and someone breathes fresh oxygen into your system.
I remember a time when I was a child that my dad had a heart attack. Our family was already living below the poverty line. Now dad, who was our sole provider, couldn’t work. Oh, the thoughts that raced through my seven-year-old mind as stress in our home was so thick you could cut it with a knife. “Will dad live? What will happen to us should he die? Will Christmas be a sad affair?” Then, one evening, a group of my dad’s buddies showed up unexpectedly at our front doo…

Jesus is the Rock - by Larry Yarrington

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us." 1 John…

Turn your eyes upon Jesus - by Larry Yarrington

7 "Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother". 1 John 3:7-10 According to John, the primary sin is in seeking a solution to sin that is different than what God provided. Jesus came to save us from our sinful (prideful) nature, which is the work of a fallen angel. The devil, we are told elsewhere, goes about trying to destroy lives. If he can make a wreck of me, it is likely that I will influence others alo…

My Old Leather Verse Pack - by Rick Grigsby

Image

Stand Alone - by Susan Yarrington

Image
We hiked a local trail in our small community yesterday.  We have hiked and observed these TALL aspens in all  four seasons. This particular aspen was 50+ yards from others of similar size, but this one stood out to me.... against the blue skies and green pines.  It STOOD ALONE. Actually... it doesn't STAND ALONE...because a little known fact for those who live elsewhere... where aspens don't grow...is aspens are one of the largest organisms on earth.  You can not see it from above ground.... but every aspen tree is a part of a HUGE underground 'community'.  Their root systems are intertwined with one another.   If I carelessly dig one aspen up...it might very well damage the other aspens who share the same 'neighborhood'. This reminded me of us humans... who share a home, neighborhood or city.  We might believe we STAND ALONE..but we really don't.  We are interconnected....even us introverts!  We are to protect ourselves and others from this tragic COVID …

We Place Our Hope Not in this Life - by Carly Mainland

Image
Sunday night it was said that this is likely going to be one of the saddest weeks in American history. Our Pearl Harbor, our 9-11 moment. I can’t fully explain what yesterday was like, the weight I felt, the emotion of it all. The only thing I can equate it to is a grief that has been a part of our family for a few years. Because the thing about Pearl Harbor and 9-11 is that no one was prepared, each event came by surprise for most people, and death is like that sometimes. Suddenly in a moment it is in your lap and there was absolutely no time to prepare for it’s arrival. Like a car accident or a heart attack. But sometimes we receive a warning… sometimes it comes after days, weeks, months or years of anticipation. You see, several years ago we found out that my mother-in-law has Alzheimers. We knew for years that something was wrong, but when the diagnosis came there was a cold hard reality to face. There was finally a name, a label for the issue itself, the things we’d been noticin…

Keep Calm and Carry On - by Cheryl Grigsby

Keep Calm and Carry On - A Strategy
Something many of us have learned during this crisis is that too much cortisol, a stress hormone, is not good for us.It can weaken our immune system which we want to stay really strong, especially now.I just love it when science catches up with Scripture!
Be still and know that I am God. Ps. 46:10 Cast all your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you. I Peter 5:7 The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent. Ex. 14:14 Be anxious for nothing, fear not, fear not, fear not.MANY references.
The deeper our knowledge of God, the deeper our trust will grow.
Trusting God, casting all your anxiety on Him is a very healthy thing to do, physically and spiritually.

Don’t worry, be happy?Great.How do I do that??
I’d like to suggest a daily discipline that might help:

Get a notepad, a pen, and your Bible.Go to the Psalms and read.Make a list of everything you read that tells you (1) who God is and (2) what God does.  His character and His actions.  You may want to m…

Praise the Lord - by Larry Yarrington

Image
This from Psalm 149: "Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints." The question is, how new is your song? Probably as new as your growth in the Lord. I ask myself, how well do I know the Lord? Is my understanding of Him greater today than it was a few days or even years ago? In part, I have to read about Him from the Bible daily. It is His desire to reveal Himself to me everyday as our relationship goes deeper. As I read, I open myself to what the Lord might be saying to me; something new that I didn't know about Him yesterday. As I understand His heart, I grow in my knowledge of just how much He loves and cares for me. Don't all relationships stay intimate and joyful when we decide to be open and transparent with one another? Everyday I learn a little more how to have a joy filled relationship with my wife. It takes transparency in her part, but it also takes searching on my part. Why should it be different with God? I am…

My Hope in Him Alone - by Carly Mainland

Image
I will not place my hope:
In temperatures on the thermometer.
In certain items on the grocery store shelf.
Nor my ability to predict tomorrow or next month.
I will not place my hope or security in my emotional stability or my children’s behavior, nor the presence of certain comforts I’m still able to enjoy.
I place my hope in Him alone.
The unchanging, ever present, loving God, who is available and active. Who knows my yesterdays and tomorrows and has secured eternity for me.
I will fix my gaze on Him again and again.
He never fails, even as my own vision may, He never does. 🌡
This little one has had a fever on and off over the past few days. In these crazy times we have no other option but to assume it could be covid-19 and totally quarantine for two weeks.
Honestly, the constant changes and roller coaster of emotions of the last few weeks has started to feel like the new normal- and we’re finding peace in the Lord. Grateful for the incredible reality of His body’s love a…

Do You Really Need to Know? - by Carly Mainland

Image
My girls have been so peaceful, so blissfully unaware. We’ve explained that things are canceled, that some people are sick, that we need to keep our distance so we don’t get them sick and they don’t get us sick. They get it, sort of, but they carry on. They play, laugh, they squabble a bit, but mostly they’ve just been in their imaginations, little beds on the book shelves, taking care of all their babies, coloring- sometimes in places they are not supposed to, making pies and creations out of dirt and snow, eating cookies and chocolate eggs. They hold their baby sister, talk to her, and cheer her on when she rolls over and tell me again and again to come see. There’s an subtle panic happening below the surface for so many of us right now, as we grocery shop and think about the future, but inside this house, you wouldn’t hardly know it. The difference between their little world and the worlds. And I’m wondering, where does my mind dwell right now?
In the peace and care of my Heavenly F…

Shelter in Place - by Susan Yarrington

Image
Last Thursday, March 19th, our neighborhood received close to 8-10 inches of snow.  It was 42 degrees (warm for us), so it melted almost as quickly as it came down. Larry and I were enjoying a wonderful hike when we came across this bench under a HUGE spreading fir tree. It was the ONLY area on the 4 mile hike, which had no snow accumulation, as the branches were so thick from years of growth, it sheltered the bench below from the elements! Later that day, I had to google..'SHELTER IN PLACE'...it was a statement I read on my internet news feed. I had no idea what it meant, until I read the definition and examples from the world's current fight against the C-19 virus.  I immediately recalled this photo I had snapped earlier in the day, as it spoke to me...even then... of shelter in a storm, protection, provision and rest.  It reminded me of how my God does all that for me, through His Holy Spirit inside of me.  I have shelter, protection, provision and a restful perspective …

How YOU Getting Through This? - By Cheryl Grigsby

One of these days, we’ll look back on this time and say to one another “Wow!  How did we get though that??”
How are YOU getting through it?
Here are a few ways I’m getting through it:
-Remembering what I KNOW is true.It’s important to distinguish what is speculation from what you know is truth.What do I know, for sure?That God is good.He’s always been good.He never changes.He loves us.He’s never surprised.Now is the timeto review daily and many times a day the foundation our faith is built on.Some things are within my control and some things aren’t.They things that aren’t belong to the Lord.Don’t mess with the Lord’s stuff! -Speaking to my soul.Unless I’m careful, my mind can run away with speculating, imagining all sorts of things that haven’t happened.I remember how David in the Psalms speaks to his own soul.“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”Ps. 43:5Sometimes I just have to say to myself,…

Love Wins This Fight - by Taylor Bodin

Image
Whether your political views fall more closely to Rage Against Machines or Trace Adkins, this season of life should have nothing to do with poltics and everything to do with being a human. Thankfully, in our little bubble of Estes Park, we are seeing all things put aside for the sake of another. A crisis like this, as tragic as it is on many levels, brings us all to a space where our heart strings are being pulled again. We are LOVINGLY taking on the responsibility to care of each other and humbly accepting people's help. We are doing what is good for all and not our selfish desires. I think, when it comes down to these catastrophic experiences, we naturally pull together because we were created to do so! We need each other. Even though we are forced to be isolated, it's almost like we've never been so close as a community. Light is shining through in the darkest of times. Love is what wins this fight.

Author: Taylor Bodin

The First Day of Spring - by Carly Mainland

Image
The first day of spring. The seasons have always been really symbolic to me... experiential imagery that God has used again and again to remind me to trust Him through the changes, to believe He is at work in the hard seasons, to have faith beyond what I can see and touch right now. Last year there was a period of time where for months I just wasn’t sure if I was ever going to be okay again. And then, just like God does, a reassurance came over me that I was going to be okay. That there was no guarantees about difficulties but that I could be okay no matter what. This assurance, this feeling, this deepening of my faith that I can only attribute to His work of showing me my need for hope in the eternal, it occurred very tangibly on this day last year, on the first day of spring. And I’m reminded, as we’re buried in this fog, in what feels like maybe just the beginning of a long winter, I’m reminded to trust Him, despite a complete and utter lack of guaranteed outcomes right now- most …

My Only Antidote - by Nicole Cousineau

Image
I can be these kids’ teacher, I know I can.
I’m just not sure I can also be the mom, cook, activity planner, part time employee, and calm voice, among other things. This is hard. And I know I don’t even have what others carry.
My only antidote: Keeping Philippians 4:4-7 on repeat. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Author: Nicole Cousineau

Always Ask God - by Lea Hemphill

David, my son, called me and shared a problem with his car. Of course, he imagined “the worst.“  I encouraged him as best I could. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving , present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard  your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Phil. 4:6

Then, I wrote this little poem.

ALWAYS ASK GOD
                Good Morning, Son
                So nice to hear...

                And just how is your day?
                You say your car’s stopped working
                Oh no, we need to pray!

                 Our Father knows of this bad news
                 He will guide you in a plan
                 He has answers for this “bummer”
                 To help you take it like a man!

                  There’s always “ yuck” that comes our way
                  But your response can save the day.
                  Depend on God to see you through
            …

God’s Goodness is Not Canceled - by Carly Mainland

Image
A much anticipated vacation has been canceled, and I’ve cried a few times. At first I felt guilty because hello this is a vacation, not our jobs being canceled or our income or our health or the health of those we care about... but with that in perspective I’m choosing to still feel what I’m feeling. I’m letting myself be disappointed about it and then I’m turning my gaze towards all that is not canceled.

This is sad but God’s goodness is not canceled. Joy is not canceled- good food is not canceled- being outside is not canceled. Love and connection is not canceled. Joy on my kids faces is not canceled, or fun or dancing or singing. Things have felt so quiet lately but laughter is not canceled. Bread is not canceled and neither are chocolate chip cookies or curry. We don’t have my favorite tea right now, but tea time with our little cups is not canceled and we can adjust, this thing right here in front of me, it’s different than I was expecting, but it can still be good. I can still b…

The Trade - by Larry Yarrington

Image
This from Psalm 139: 
"For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;your works are wonderful,I know that full well.My frame was not hidden from youwhen I was made in the secret place.When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,your eyes saw my unformed body.All the days ordained for mewere written in your bookbefore one of them came to be." I am not a fatalist, in that I take care to eat right and exercise, use proper hygiene, take medicine for improved control of diabetes, etc. In this time of pandemic, I am careful to limit myself going out to what is necessary and use lots of sanitizer when I do. But I also believe my days a numbered. The only thing the Bible says in regard to changing that is to respect my parents. Too late for that one. I tired but often failed in the arrogance of youth. I believe I was wonderfully made as we all are. Probably, it is more productive and life giv…

Are We Teachable? - by Jamie Palmesano

Teach·a·ble   -  /ˈtēCHəbəl/
"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man,
and he will increase in learning." Proverbs 9:9

Recently, I began helping a friend run for a local government position in my town.This friend is a professional with a long list of accomplishments, achievements, and accolades in her life.As sat down to discuss our strategy for the campaign, I immediately told her we would create a Dropbox account in order to share files, pictures, documents, and information.She smiled, politely nodded, and then said, “I have no idea what that is, but it sounds good.”For those of you who don’t know, Dropbox is a file sharing application that allows you to easily move and share information from one device to another.During our meeting, I gave my friend a five-minute lesson on Dropbox and sent her on her way.
Later that evening, I was sending her information right and left through Dropbox with a zillion different instructions and ideas…