What do you get when you remove 450,000 tons of rock?

Welcome back. Thank you for taking two minutes out of your day. With that said, you might need more than two minutes to read this post.

Mt. Rushmore. Perhaps once of the most recognizable landmarks in our nation. And, given the effort it took to create it, it only stands to reason that Mt. Rushmore deserves such recognition.

mount rushmore

As we were driving around the curvy road towards Mt. Rushmore, I was giddy inside. I was about to see something that I had known about my whole life. From very early memories, Mt. Rushmore has always been on my “list”. It was finally happening. And I was not disappointed. There is, of course, the monument but there are many things to see and do while at the park. The end of the day culminates with a program that is informative and inspirational. There is no way that I can, within a few sentences, describe the beauty and majesty of Mt. Rushmore. So I won’t even try. You need to see it for yourself.

What I am going to try to do is to draw a parallel. Yep, you guessed it. There is a connection between Mt. Rushmore and God’s Word. So first, here is a brief explanation on how they measured the mountain before blasting or carving.

The sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, created a model of the four presidents. It was basically a scaled-down version of the mountain that fit into a building. This would be the starting point for the sculpture. One inch on the model was equal to one foot on the mountain. On top of the model was a disk that had 360 degrees on it. A pole would hang out over the face from which a plumb line hung. The plumb line would hang at a certain length and the pole would be at a certain degree. Measurements would be taken. Using the scale (1 inch = 1 foot), the sculptors could transfer the measurements directly to the mountain. In theory, if the measurements were accurate and precise, the mountain will look exactly like the model. This process was repeated hundreds of time to get the faces just right.

You and I are like Mt. Rushmore. No, we don’t look like Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, or Lincoln but we are being “carved out”. Within the context of sculpting, listen to this passage of scripture: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Emphasis mine. Phil. 1:3-6

I see it like this. We are ever being made into the image of Jesus. Christ-followers. Jesus is the perfect model of what our lives could look like.

IF, we let God do the sculpting. The Bible is the standard for measurement. God measures us and our lives against His word.

God wants to chisel away our imperfections. He desires to hammer out the rough patches. Those sinful tendencies? Dynamite can take care of those.  Addictions and bad habits? God has a spiritual jack-hammer all primed and ready to go. All we need to do is to surrender to Him.



Mt. Rushmore took 14 years to create. How long will it take God to make you perfect? Not really sure if there is a solid answer for that question but at least we know that God will never give up. The Word says that “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…”

Are you filled with hope by that verse? I am. There have been countless times that the scripture has pointed out my flaws. And, if I am honest, I have not always done anything about it. I shut out God. Read My Haiti Experience: Chosen…part 1 for some background.

But not today. I welcome Him. God is doing a great work in me and if you let Him, He will work on you too. I leave you with this:


READ His Word.

LET Him Work.



Is your couch comfortable?

Last night, my wife and I purchased our first couch. Ever.

When we got married, we used her furniture because it was nicer and cleaner than the stuff I had. At some point, we inherited a couch and love seat from the in-laws. The green couch in the basement was purchased from some friends. We have never had a new couch. So, after 15 years of marriage, we decided that we were ready to get our own couch. It looks something like this:


It was pretty cool because the whole order was 25% off. We are thrifty like that. So then I started thinking about a couch and why we have one. All you really do is sit down on it. Sure, there can be a nap or two but the primary reason for a couch is so a person has a place to sit. Sitting down. You know that feeling when you have a long day at work and you know that your favorite show is calling your name. After dinner and the dishes, after the kids go to sleep, after you pull weeds in the garden, after you check your email, after a quick, refreshing shower, you can finally sit down. Flick on the TV and enjoy your show while you sit on your nice comfy couch. Sounds pretty good, right?

At some point in the past, there was a famous person who sat down. The work was complete. The task finished. To-do list? Yep, checked off every box.

All that was left was to sit down. After all, isn’t that what you do when you are done working?


So who is this famous person? And why did they sit down? As I like do in almost every post, let’s let the bible answer these questions for us.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” NIV


These verses are some of my favorite. This is how the book of Hebrews begins. When I quote scripture in my posts I will almost always use the New International Version or NIV. For those of you who are literature fans, I have included the same three verses but from the Kings James Version, KJV. I think I like it even better than the NIV.

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” KJV


There is a lot of theology in those words but this post is focused on just one of those words. Sat. Think about Jesus for a minute. He knows that his life is almost over. He has been hanging on that cross for hours now. The physical limits of the human body have been pushed way beyond their maximum levels.  It is my guess that the physical pain probably does not even begin to compare to the emotional and mental strain of having to take on the sins of the entire human race upon your shoulders. But Jesus knew that this was the way. And he stuck with it.

He loved us too much to call the angels for help.

He loved us too much to rip himself from that cross.

He loved us too much to call down lighting on his executioners.

He loved us too much to give in and quit early.

The text says that “after he had provided…he sat down”. God gave Jesus a job to do. Jesus completed that job and so know he gets to sit down right next to his father.

Do you think they have couches in heaven? Who knows? I wonder if they have the Ottomans that have storage as well as being a footstool?


Let me hit this home. So what are you and I doing about what Jesus did? Are we sitting on the couch waiting for God to miraculously move in the hearts of men and women? Do we sit around waiting for the Holy Spirit to motivate us into action?

As a follower of Christ, I must share the truth with you. I am compelled. If you have not placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, contact me and I will show you in the Word what needs to be done. But if you are a fellow follower, than get up and get going.

P.S. I think there are couches upon which we can sit when we get to heaven. =-)





Dopplegangers and a turkish waiter really make life better.

Did I mention that I went on a cruise in May? If you are sick of hearing about it then stop reading. I think this will be the last post I will make about it. Maybe…maybe not. We’ll see. =-)

So you have heard about the food. Swimming with sharks? Did that one. Just being on such a huge vessel with so many options. Wow! It really was one of the best vacations that I have ever taken.

There is one aspect that I have not shared much in-depth about from my experience. We set sail on Sunday. On Monday, we met another couple. This couple, Fred and Wilma*, turned out to be our best friends for the week. We spent almost all of our time on the ship with them! They even changed their dinner reservation so they could eat with us! And that brings me to another point. Our waiter, George*. You see, George was fantastic! I think the food tasted better because he served us. But let’s get back to Fred and Wilma.


Fred and Wilma were Doppelgängers for my wife and I. They have kids. Church is a huge part of their lives. We all enjoyed the shows. Fred and I were excited about the sports stuff. The wives kept finding things they had in common. We kept talking about our lives and sharing our experiences. There were so many connections! It was eerie at times. I would say that the cruise was twice as nice because we met this couple. Everything was so much more enjoyable because we got to share it with them.

And then there was George. He was from Turkey. From the first night at dinner, his smile drew us in. Of course he was knowledgeable and could answer all of our questions. Any server should be able to do so. But it was his demeanor and attitude. We were completely comfortable around him from the get go! By Friday, I didn’t even look at my menu. He ordered for me. And he hit a home run every time! One night, we (me, my wife, Fred, and Wilma) all laughed really hard. I asked about some berry, fruity dessert thing. George, with an expressionless face, said, “No.” He denied me of that dessert! It was awesome! There was no malice in his voice. It was as if he knew what I liked and also knew that the particular dessert I inquired about was not right for me. He just said no! That was a running joke for the rest of the trip.


Doppelgängers and a turkish waiter make life better. Life is all about relationship. Sure, my wife and I would have enjoyed the cruise even if we had not met these three wonderful people. But nearly as much. Everything was enhanced and improved because we had a relationship. Almost every problem or conflict in our life can be traced backed to a broken or injured relationship. But, when the relationship is good, life is so much better. Example, read this post again. =-)


Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Jesus was speaking of relationship. The devil seeks to break relationship. God wants to mend it. See John 10 and 2 Corinthians 5.

My time is up so I leave you with this: Are you relationship with God? You can be today. Click Bad Words #2 for more information.


*Fred, Wilma, and George are fictitious names to protect their privacy. And that picture of a waiter is not George.

Hope…so what?

So what? That is the question. We have the Person, Plan and Place of Hope. But why? There is a Purpose of Hope and to illustrate it, there is an Old Testament story that most beautifully describes Hope.

Jericho. You remember the story, right? The promised land was right there in front of them. The Israelites just crossed the Jordan river. BUT in the way was the massive, walled city of Jericho. Joshua gave the orders that came from God. The people marched. The people shouted. The walls fell! Praise God!!! Now the conquest of the promised land could get under way. Hold on…we need to take a closer look.

walls of jericho

Joshua 6: 15-19 says, 15On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. 16The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city! 17The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. 18But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. 19All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.”” You can read chapter 6 here.

The people followed God’s directions and the city was captured. Verse 18 says to “keep away from the devoted things,” Let’s keep that phrase in mind.

The first verse of chapter 7 give us a telling picture of the heart of man.

But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel.” Italics mine.

Achan stole some plunder for himself. And, as a result, was stoned to death along with his family. Here are the last two verses of chapter 7, “25Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.” Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them. 26Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since.”

The Valley of Achor. This is where we meet the story. Yes, we are living thousands of years later but the principles are the same. We can “covet” the devoted things of this world. In fact, that word, Achor, means trouble or disturbance. You know what I am talking about here. Not all of us deal with the same stuff but we all have that sin in our hearts. You might be a chronic liar or filled with anger. Does gossip push your buttons? For me, I was addicted to pornography for years. I am sure that all of could identify with Achan. We want things. We can live in the Valley of Achor.

That would be depressing if we live in a valley of trouble all of our lives. So now we get to the Purpose of Hope. Turn in your bibles to Hosea 2.

The prophet Hosea comes on the scene. Israel is being unfaithful to God. Just like Achan, I might add. Kind of like us at times. The prophet is describing how God will bring judgement. Not good. But then in verse 14 of chapter 2, God starts pursuing Israel. Here are the verses, “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.”

The Purpose of Hope is to show us how much God loves us. He decided to allure her (Israel). They were adulterous. He will lead her, speak to her, give back to her the vineyards. In fact, what ever was trouble, God will turn into hope. Israel was in the Valley of Achor both literally and figuratively. But God changed things. That valley of trouble is now a door of hope. That is how much God loved Israel.

He loves you and me that much also. Romans 8 says that nothing can separate us from the love of God. We always can come back to God.

And that is the Purpose of Hope.

To remind us that there is Hope even when all hope seems lost. God will not forsake you. Come back to Him. Enjoy Him and all of His glory. Surrender your life to him. Let Him turn your Valley of Achor into a Door of Hope.

wooden door


It all starts with Jesus Christ. He is the Person of Hope that will never let us down.

There is also a Plan of Hope which is the fact the Jesus is Coming. He will come back for us!

But right now…Jesus is Constructing. He is in heaven right now, the Place of Hope!

John 14:1-6 is a passage that is filled with hope. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Next week, I am going to look at heaven more closely. For today, let’s agree that heaven is real.


This picture may or may not represent heaven but it helps us to know that God has a fantastic place in store for us.


There is sin in this world and in our hearts. 

That sin must be accounted for before a person can go to heaven.

Jesus died on the cross. That death is sufficient to pay for the sin. The penalty is paid.

Our part is simple. We must accept this gift from God by faith. See John 3:16.

Now a person can walk through this life with Jesus. 

There is now a Place of Hope.

So for this week, dwell on heaven. Think about spending eternity in heaven with your Creator. That should put a smile on your face. =-)