A Certainty that Cannot Be Shaken

“We say, then, to anyone who is under trial, give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth. Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky, or out upon the wideness of the sea, or on the strength of the hills that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound. Give Him time and, as surely as dawn follows night, there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken” (Amy Carmichael).

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around what happened in Paris.

Granted, I didn’t even hear about it until I’d gotten home from work.

I turned on CNN and saw where at least 153 people had been killed in what looks like ISIS terrorist attacks on innocent civilians.

If it happened there, it could happen here. But still, the fact that it happened anywhere matters. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Attacks on liberty are a threat to liberty anywhere and everywhere.

I still don’t know why things like that happen. I know it’s a fallen and broken world. I know that people are capable of the worst acts, as evidenced by the Holocaust and Slavery and a million other atrocities.

I also know that God is in control.

I know that God can take the worst tragedies and turn them into something beautiful.

I still believe that in the end, Love wins. Jesus wins.

I know and believe with all my heart that, try as it might, darkness can never truly drive out the light. The only failure is a failure of the light when it refuses to shine.

I’m praying for Paris. I’m praying for all those who are burdened by oppression and injustice tonight.

May God have mercy on us all.



“Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. ‘What a huge harvest!’ he said to his disciples. ‘How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!'” (Matt. 9:36-38, The Message).

I’ve observed that so many people are like sheep.

They will follow whatever is trendy and fashionable, no matter how ridiculous it seems. Six months later, they will jump on the next fashion bandwagon and laugh at those who are still into the old fads.

They will believe whatever the leaders of their chosen political party tell them without question.

They will never take the time to find out the truth for themselves, choosing to believe whatever the media, i.e. Fox News, MSNBC, or CNN) and those in power tell them.

This doesn’t apply to all of us, right? Surely some of us are learning to think for ourselves and not see everything though either red- or blue-tinted glasses, right?

I’m a sheep. You’re a sheep. We’re all sheep.

Jesus called us sheep. It wasn’t a compliment.

Sheep are smelly and stupid. They are helpless without the shepherd.

It wasn’t an insult either.

Jesus Himself proclaimed that He had come to seek and save the lost sheep. No matter how foolishly His sheep act sometimes, He still loves them enough to have died for them.

Maybe wisdom is admitting that I am anything but wise and trusting Jesus who is perfectly wise.

How much does Jesus love His sheep? His parable about the shepherd who leaves the 99 in search of the one who strayed is really autobiographical.

Jesus would have died for one sheep, if that was all that was lost. Even if it had been you. Even if it had been me.

I’m so very thankful for a Shepherd who never stops looking for me when I wander off, who never stops guiding me back on to the right paths, who never for a second leaves me defenseless, and who will not fail to get me home in the end.

My Idea of Nirvana on a Spring Evening


Last night, it was on the brisk side, if not chilly, and overcast. As much as I’ve grown to covet sunshine these days, I didn’t mind too much. I had a picture come to mind of what I’d like to be doing at that moment. It’s not the most exciting or thrilling of possibilities, but it works for me.

I’d be at a local coffee shop, sipping on some organic tea (or maybe some kind of chai or an exotic latte if the mood strikes). I’d have a good book in hand, maybe a British murder-mystery or a book of poetry, and there’d be some mellow folksy music playing in the background (think Joni Mitchell, Peter Bradley Adams, or Carole King-type tunes). Or maybe some old-school jazz in the tradition of Miles Davis, Red Garland, or Wes Montgomery.

That would be my idea of peace and tranquility and a good time. Not watching a 24-hour news channel ad nauseum. Don’t get me wrong. If you watch Fox News or CNN non-stop, then go for it. I just get tired of talking heads talking about the same things for hours upon hours without variation. The same goes for most talk radio I’ve experienced in my life. Fiction, especially of the fantasy kind, is infinitely more interesting to me. I like my television to be as non-realistic as possible.

I like my Starbucks like the rest, but I’m thinking this needs to be a more local-type place, like Eighth and Roast or Edgehill Cafe. Actually, now that I think about it, sitting outside the Edgehill Cafe with my tea and my book and occasionally glancing up to watch the people passing by sounds perfect.

If I ever get the notion, you’re more than welcome to join me. I might even put my book down and we could have ourselves a good conversation.