Mr. Duke Marvin

 This is my buddy Dukie Marvin, from Hanford, California. He recently went to heaven (yes, dogs go to heaven) and will be greatly missed. I put his picture on this page representing “the power of encouragement” because that’s what Duke was all about; that and taking walks and chasing his orange “duck”. I’ll look for him when I cross to the other side.

Though I wasn’t able to spend much time with Duke (his parents were unable to let him come to Iowa to visit), I thoroughly enjoyed the time we did have together. He had something about him that reminded me of what an encourager should be like. He didn’t demand much, was quick to forgive, and made me feel like I was the most special person on earth.

Yep, he’ll be missed, but his spirit lives on. Good ol’ Mr. Duke.

What can a person do with a mountain?

I’ve been thinking about mountains again.

A question arose in my mind while musing about mountains, trials, testings, and the like. What can a person do with a mountain? Jesus said that whoever has faith and speaks to the mountain, be removed and cast into the sea, it would obey. That’s great! But I think we need to realize something about faith, mountains, and our speech. Faith comes from the Author and Finisher of our faith, Jesus. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God – the word the Lord speaks. Now the word the Lord speaks is a word declaring His will. So faith and our speaking must connect or our faith is really nothing more than presumption. And presumption doesn’t move any size mountain.

If it was God’s will that every mountain be cast into the sea, or if it is His will that every test and trial be removed with a shout, then maybe someone should have notified the Lord. Space doesn’t allow me room to list all the verses that concern this topic, but a few stand out. Psalm 91 – I will be with you IN TROUBLE. Psalm 46 – a very present help IN TROUBLE. James 1 – knowing that the trying of your faith works patience.

I’m not saying that it’s God’s will for the mountain to crush us. Not at all. However I see all of God’s greats facing extremely difficult situations while walking with God. Situations, mountains, that must be addressed and cannot be ignored.

So, what can a person do with a mountain? Well, grab a camera and take some “pictures”, first of all. Assemble an “album” of God’s miracles and sustaining grace one can refer to as they continue to walk with Him.

Another thing a person can do is walk. Walk on the mountain. On every mountain there is a path to walk. Think about Abraham and Isaac – Genesis 22. The test of Abraham’s life was to take place on Mount Moriah, the place God led Abraham to. (God’s leading equals His will. With His will comes the necessary faith to accomplish it.) As Abraham and Isaac kept walking, following His will, the place of testing, the mountain of testing, became the mountain where they experienced the provision of the God they believed in. Their faith became sight – their doctrine became a living reality upon the mountain of testing. From their new-found perspective, they could see God as the Faithful One, The Loving One, and the Provider. And the mountain of testing became the mountain of worship.

What can a person do with a mountain? Well, if it doesn’t move when spoken to, let’s get our camera and hiking shoes and climb up and meet God. Faith works on top of the mountain just as well as at the bottom. Because faith works where God is.

When mountains suddenly appear…

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Some of the most important times in our lives happen when mountains suddenly appear, blocking us, at least momentarily, from continuing on the path we are plodding. Our focus is redirected. Though our view is changed and all we seem to be able to see is the obstacle looming before us, it is import for us to have the right perspective – to see beyond the obvious – and position our sights on the glorious, the Glorious One.

Earlier this year a huge mountain appeared before me, taunting me and daring me to continue on my present path. It was overwhelming to say the least. But as I stared at the mountain, as if my glare would make it suddenly disappear, I sensed the Lord directing me to take a few steps back, get a different perspective, and see what He could and would do. As I did, I began to see the beauty in the mountain, the obstacle. I began to see the Lord’s lovingkindness as He revealed to me my path isn’t blocked, it is changed. His path is one of abundance, righteousness, and peace. It is life-giving. It is not a dead-end. As I quieted my heart before Him and started walking the new path, a new hope and vision came into view.

Sometimes mountains don’t need to be removed. So enjoy the view as a redirection occurs.