Eager Expectation

Eager Expectation

Romans 8:19 presents a profound truth that stirs the imagination:

“For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.”

This verse invites us to consider the grand scope of God’s redemptive plan and our role within it. It speaks to the anticipation and longing of all creation for the revelation of God’s children, those who have been adopted into His family through faith in Christ.

The phrase “the creation waits in eager expectation” suggests that the entire created order, from the majestic mountains to the smallest creatures, is eagerly awaiting the full manifestation of God’s redeemed people.

It’s as if creation itself is yearning for the moment when the beauty and glory of God’s children will be fully unveiled. This speaks to the significant impact that our lives can have on the world around us when we live as true children of God.

As children of God, we are called to live in a way that reflects our heavenly Father’s love, grace, and righteousness. Our lives should shine as a testimony to the transformative power of God’s redeeming work in us.

Just as the world eagerly awaits the revelation of God’s children, may we embrace our identity and purpose in Christ, allowing His love to radiate through us and impact the lives of those around us.

Remember that our lives have a divine purpose beyond our individual experiences. We are part of God’s redemptive plan, and creation itself longs for the revelation of God’s children.

Live in a way that brings honor to your heavenly Father, sharing His love with others, and participating in the restoration and renewal of all things.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration, Holiness, Thankfulness, Trust
Life Giver

Life Giver

One of the profound truths we encounter in the Scriptures is found in John 5:21, where Jesus says,

“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.”

These words remind us of the incredible power and authority that Jesus possesses as the Son of God. He has the ability to bring life where there is death, to restore and renew that which is broken and lost.

Jesus reveals his role as the giver of life.

Just as the Father has the power to raise the dead, so does the Son. This speaks not only of physical life but also of spiritual life.

Jesus has the authority to breathe new life into our souls, to awaken us from spiritual death and bring us into a vibrant and transformative relationship with God.

This truth is not only a source of comfort but also a call to action. It reminds us that Jesus is actively involved in our lives, offering us the gift of life and inviting us to receive it.

It is an invitation to surrender our brokenness, our sin, and our despair to him, knowing that he has the power to bring healing, forgiveness, and restoration.

As we embrace this truth, we can experience the abundant life that Jesus promises and walk in the fullness of his grace and love.

Posted by onthesolidrock


Do you have a longing for true freedom?

It’s a deep desire within each of us to be liberated from the burdens that weigh us down and hold us captive. In his letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul writes,

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Paul’s words remind us that true freedom is found in a relationship with the Lord Jesus. It’s not about external circumstances or the absence of constraints, but rather an inner liberation of the soul.

When we invite the Holy Spirit into our lives, He empowers us to break free from the chains of sin, guilt, and shame. He guides us into a life of righteousness and fills us with His love, joy, and peace.

Freedom that comes from the Spirit is not just for personal benefit; it is meant to be shared with others.

As we experience the transformative power of God’s Spirit, we become agents of freedom in the lives of those around us.

We can bring hope to the hopeless, healing to the broken, and liberation to the oppressed.

Embrace the freedom that the Spirit offers, and live in a way that reflects the beauty and power of God’s liberating presence.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration, Faith, Thankfulness, Trust
The Best Gift

The Best Gift

Did you ever receive a gift that completely took your breath away? Maybe it was something you had been longing for or something you never expected. The joy and gratitude that filled your heart when you received such a gift is indescribable.

In the same way, the Gospel of John (1 John 4:9) reminds us of the greatest gift we have ever received, a gift that surpasses all others. He writes:

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him”

Think about it for a moment. God, the Creator of the universe, chose to send His only Son as a gift to us. He didn’t have to do it, but He did it out of His immense love for us.

It is a gift beyond measure, one that demonstrates the depth of God’s love for each one of us.

When we truly grasp the magnitude of this gift, it changes everything. It fills us with awe and wonder, and it compels us to respond with love and gratitude.

We can’t help but be transformed by the love of God poured out for us. It moves us to live our life in a way that reflects the love we have received.

Take a moment to reflect on the incredible gift of God’s love. Be reminded of the depth of His love for you, and let that love transform your heart and your actions.

Live each day as a testament to the love you have received, sharing that love with others and pointing them towards the source of all love.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration, Faith, Joy, Love, Thankfulness


As human beings, we are all sinners and fall short of the Glory of God. But the Good News is that God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins, so that we might be reconciled to Him. In Romans 5:9, Paul reminds us that we have been justified by Christ’s blood and have been saved from God’s wrath.

“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”

Justification means that we have been declared righteous by God through faith in Jesus Christ. We are not justified by our own works or by our own merit, but by the grace of God through faith.

This means that we have peace with God, and we can approach Him with confidence, knowing that we have been forgiven and reconciled to Him.

As you meditate on Romans 5:9, remember that your salvation is a gift from God. You did not earn it and you do not deserve it, but it was freely given to you through faith in Jesus Christ.

Remember also, that your salvation came at a great cost – the Blood of Jesus Christ. May you never take for granted the sacrifice that He made on your behalf and may you live your life in a way that honors Him.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration, Faith, Thankfulness
Reaping What You Sow

Reaping What You Sow

Have you ever heard the saying, “You reap what you sow”? This phrase is based on the biblical principle found in 2 Corinthians 9:6

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”

This verse speaks to the importance of giving generously and sacrificially, knowing that it will result in a bountiful harvest.

This verse was written to encourage the Corinthian church to give generously to help other believers in need.

This principle of sowing and reaping extends beyond financial giving and can be applied to all areas of our lives. When we sow seeds of kindness, love, and forgiveness, we will reap the same in return.

As you live a life that honors God, remember the principle of sowing and reaping; be intentional about sowing seeds of generosity, kindness, and love, trusting that God will bless you with a bountiful harvest.

Be motivated, not by a desire for personal gain, but by a desire to bring glory to God and make a difference in the lives of those around you.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration, Faith, Thankfulness, Trust
Can’t Take it With You!

Can’t Take it With You!

Are you were constantly striving for more? Are you working hard to achieve success, acquire possessions, or gain recognition, but still feel like something is missing.

The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy

“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”
(1 Timothy 6:7)

It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of worldly success and forget that ultimately, we can’t take any of it with us. We don’t want to waste our lives striving for things that won’t last or that don’t have eternal value.

Focus on investing in what truly matters: your relationship with Jesus and the people He has placed in your lives.

Seek to live a life of purpose and meaning, remembering that your worth and identity do not come from what you have or achieve, but from your identity as a Child of God.

You don’t have to constantly strive for more, to prove our value or worth; rest in the knowledge that you are loved and accepted by God, and let that fuel your actions and priorities.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust
This is Love

This is Love

God’s love is truly amazing. As we read in 1 John 4:10, we see that God loved us first, even before we loved Him. It was out of His great love for us that He sent His Son Jesus to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

God’s love is not like the love that we often see in the world. His love is pure, selfless, and unconditional. It is not based on what we do or how we behave, but rather it is a gift freely given to us.

The fact that God sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins shows us just how much He loves us. He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so that we could have a relationship with Him. Let us never forget the amazing love that God has for us and let us strive to love others with the same selfless love that God has shown us.

1 John 4:10 reminds us that God’s love is selfless and unconditional. He loved us first and sent His Son Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Let us remember this amazing love and strive to love others with the same selfless love that God has shown us.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration, Love, Thankfulness, Trust
New Variant Emerging

New Variant Emerging

Following the recent outbreak of severe thankfulness that swept across the region recently; a new and even more powerful flare-up is emerging; and outpouring of Hopefulness!

Hopefulness finds its mysterious and concerning roots from the core element of “HOPE.”

Hope defined: “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” It is a very elusive quality, that once it takes root in the heart, is nearly impossible to extricate.

Strangely, it causes the infected person to always see the good in others; even those purported to be enemies! It tends to believe that something good, and something greater is just around the bend!

I personally was infected by this new variant; and appear to gaining strength; it is taking root and growing rapidly; and rather than resist; I decided to just let it have me!

Here’s hoping you catch it too!

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Humility, Joy, Love, Thankfulness, Trust
Sing to the Lord

Sing to the Lord

One of the amazing capabilities we have as human beings, is the ability to sing; to make music in our hearts, and to let it spring forth!

There is something special about singing to the Lord songs of praise. It is as if He draws near; with an attentive ear, hanging on every note, drinking the love, affection, and joy our song presents to Him.

So, go ahead and sing to the Lord, sing a new song; make up a song as you go; delight yourself in the Lord, for He is very, very Good indeed!

Psalm 30:4

Posted by onthesolidrock


Living in a ever increasing dark world; we tend to focus on the negative, the hurtful, and all the suffering humankind is facing on a daily basis.

National news media makes money by focusing on issues that divide, and we get drawn in to their relentless efforts, watching more and more; drawing our attention away from a loving, caring God.

Take time today to consider: “This IS the Day that the Lord has Made.” It is a day never lived before; fresh and new, ready to be lived to the fullest!

Find God’s Goodness today; be light to someone’s darkness . . . REJOICE and BE GLAD!

Psalm 118:24

Posted by onthesolidrock in Joy, Thankfulness, 0 comments
Holiness – Can’t See God Without It! – Part 2

Holiness – Can’t See God Without It! – Part 2

Today is part 2 of our discussion regarding holiness. Let’s have a quick review of what we touched on last week.


Hebrews 12:14

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.


These words from the Book of Hebrews seem to echo an Old Testament passage from Leviticus . . .


Leviticus 20:7-8

“‘Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God. 8 Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy.”


Since holiness is pivotal to our faith, it becomes a primary concern for us to understand completely what this means.


The definition of holiness is this: to be pure, righteous, consecrated. When we come to faith in Christ, we become holy; purified by His blood, which He shed for us! Remember . . .


Holiness is a product of God’s Grace; none of us did anything to become holy. In and of ourselves there is nothing holy about us; but by faith through grace, we came to Christ . . . and He made us holy!



When we come to Jesus, we were, as the Bible declares . . . rescued!


Colossians 1:13

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves . . .


We were rescued from a life of darkness and brought into a new place; the Kingdom of the Son. We are a part of a new family and the way this family operates is very different from the way we used to do things. God wants us to get to know Him and to become more like Him, and He is holy.


Last week we showed the difference between what we often call legalism vs. holiness.


Legalism: Following a set of man-made rules so that one appears to be holy before man; or as I refer to as “legislated righteousness.”


Holiness: Obeying God’s commands out of love, thereby bringing glory and honor to Him


When a person is truly living holy (used for God’s purposes only) something dramatic begins to take place in the life of that individual. That person begins to emulate the very lifestyle of Jesus!


Consider Jesus . . . we know He is holy. Do you recall some of the miracles He did; feeding thousands, healing the sick, the lame walk, the blind see, and so much more!


Jesus was, and is, wonderfully amazing! He still heals the sick, feeds the hungry, gives comfort to the suffering, and helps the weak and feeble. He is still in the business of being the Lord and Savior of all!


He does not do this alone; He uses those who truly have met Him and have chosen to follow His directives! Jesus was on a mission . . . do you recall what that mission was?


Luke 4:14-21

 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”


Jesus read from the Book of Isaiah chapter 61; this is His mission and He has called us to continue His mission, until He returns! This is why we do what we do!


It is why we take missionary offerings; it is why we feed the hungry and give clothes to the needy. It is why we donate thousands of dollars to the poor in our community. How awesome it would be if all of us got involved, if all had the desire to serve Jesus!


I am about to say a few things that might feel a little “stingy” and as I have said many times, if I step on your toes, perhaps you shouldn’t have had them out there!


A huge problem today: many folks within the church who DO NOT TRULY KNOW JESUS are trying to represent Him to others! Instead of giving testimony to His wonderful works, they give testimony to their religion! Instead of inviting people to Jesus, they invite them to church!


Now do not get me wrong; please invite and bring people to church with you; but your responsibility is to lead them to a Savior, not a church. Remember, coming to church does not make you a Christian any more than taking your car to the garage makes you a mechanic.


We are called to bring people to Jesus, not a religion! Speaking to the Pharisees who were doing this very thing, Jesus said:


Matthew 23:15

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.


For those of you who have met Jesus; please do not be discouraged, but encouraged, to share your faith. Step up and be the ambassador that Jesus Christ has called you to be!


You must realize that your life is an open book; and people ARE watching!


2 Corinthians 3:2

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.


Remember, you and your life, the way you speak, the places you go, the people you surround yourself with; everything you do; even what you think you do in secret, is on display, and people are watching! Recall what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 5 . . .


Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.


Some of you may remember the stories of King David; the Bible calls him a man after God’s own heart. He was a powerful witness to the faithfulness of God, yet when David sinned, he became a reproach. When you have an opportunity, read Psalm 51; it is King David’s confession of that sin and his repentance; Psalm 51 reveals the way out of sin.


Make no mistake though; the credibility of your witness for Christ is lost when sin rules in your life!


The world today has heard far too many “Christians” giving testimony to a life they are not living! This is the reason that so many view Christianity in such a poor light. People know what God is like and they will examine your life to see if your life reflects His truth, power and holiness; if it does not, then you will be considered a phony.


1 Peter 3:15

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect


I encourage you to be a witness for Christ, but to be effective; you MUST live for Christ as well!


I have seen so called Christians’ act in ways that betray that designation! Far too many neglect to feed the poor, clothe the naked, and give comfort to the suffering.


I have seen Christians fly into fits of rage, go on complaining rants, and don’t even talk about how they handle politics!


I have seen Christians complain when the church is in financial need, feeling like all they have is their own and will only give a smidgen, rather than be generous.  I have seen “good Christians” engage in gossip, to the point of obsession!


Yet these same “Christians” profess to know Christ, but their deeds deny Him!


Titus 1:16

They claim to know God, but by their actions, they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.


So, how does all this fit, with the topic of holiness? It has everything to do with it! Remember, holiness is being set apart for God and His purpose only. As followers of Jesus, when we forget that, and start living for our own desires, rather than God’s, we become unholy and we sin.

One of the most profound instances of a man coming face to face with holiness is found in the Book of Isaiah, let’s read . . .


Isaiah 6:1-8

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”


Isaiah saw God! His first response was to declare that he was undone; literally meaning he would melt and dissolve! He confessed that he was a man who had unclean (unholy) lips and he lived among a people who were the same way and now he has seen the King of Kings!


Isaiah recognized he is a sinful man; and remember, it is what comes out of your mouth that makes you clean or unclean; that is why the first thing Isaiah knew, was that his lips were unclean; and he confessed that sin right away.


How about you . . . do you have unclean lips? What comes out of your mouth?


The first step toward holiness; is humility. The Bible declares:


Psalm 51:17 

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”


And . . .


James 4:6    “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”


There is something very pleasing to God, when our heart is broken, over our brokenness.


When Isaiah saw his heart for what it really was, he melted before God and was quick to declare that he was a sinful man. An old friend once told me; “Come clean with God and you will be Clean with God.”


When we come to the place of humility and “get real” before God, when hot tears of repentance flow down our cheeks, an amazing thing takes place!


When Isaiah confessed and declared himself to be unholy, God sent the seraphim and they took a hot coal from the altar of God and touched Isaiah’s lips; the part of his body that he saw as unclean!


The fire of God purged the sin from Isaiah! The seraphim said that his guilt was taken away and his sin atoned for!


Total and complete restoration! AND ISAIAH DID NOTHING BUT CONFESS HIS SIN!!!


Suppose you are in Isaiah’s place today, and you see the Lord; high and lifted up, the train of His robe filling the temple and He looks at you . . . what do you say? I am a man or a woman of . . .


  • unclean lips              
  • unclean mind            
  • evil hands                 
  • lustful eyes               
  • greed
  • anger                         
  • envy                           
  • bitterness                 
  • hatred                       
  • unforgiveness


Are you ready for the fire of God to purge the sin from your heart? He will; if you would only humble yourself, and acknowledge your own sinfulness before Him!


When you have this defining moment in your life; when you come face to face with the Living God; everything changes, and your life reflects the One who rescued you!

Posted by onthesolidrock in Discipline, Faith, Family, Holiness, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments
Holiness – Can’t See God Without It – Part 1

Holiness – Can’t See God Without It – Part 1

There may be no other word used in the Bible that congers up more confusion and misunderstanding than the word holiness. Sometimes when we think of holiness, we see visions of a stern and stoic group of people, living under harsh rules and regulations, devoid of laughter and mirth.


Many of us grew up with a skewed view of what holiness is, and many think being holy will cause so much discomfort that they choose to avoid getting to close to churches that espouse to be a holiness church.


I am hopeful we can shed some light on what exactly it means to be holy and why it will bring joyful exuberance to your life; more than you ever could have imagined!


The Bible reveals how very important holiness is; without it, we are in trouble!


Hebrews 12:14

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the Lord.


In light of this, it is important to understand what this means, so much depends on it! The word used for “holiness” is this:

Hagiasmos     hag-ee-as-mos‘   –  purification, a state of purity; to be consecrated, sanctification


When the Hebrews established a system of sacrificing to God, they built a large temple in Jerusalem. All of the temple equipment went through a ritual of cleansing and was consecrated to God; that ceremonial cleansing, made those objects, holy unto the Lord. All of that equipment was declared to be “set apart” different from other items, because they were dedicated, and consecrated to God and His use.


Remember, God is Holy and CANNOT be in the presence of sin; to be in God’s service, holiness is NOT OPTIONAL! To be Holy unto the Lord, is to be set apart for God and for His purposes ONLY.


Holiness is a product of Grace; none of us did anything to become holy. In and of ourselves there is nothing holy about us; but by faith, through grace, we came to Christ . . . and He declared us holy!


God’s greatest desire is that we would enjoy close friendship with Him. He wants us to “hang out with Him” and He wants us to share His nature too. When we come to Christ, we were, as the Bible declares . . .


Colossians 1:13

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves . . .


We were rescued from a life of darkness and brought into a new place; the Kingdom of the Son. We are a part of a new family and the way this family operates is very different from the way we used to do things. God wants us to get to know Him and to become more like Him, and He is holy.


There is a great deal of confusion over what true holiness is and we can easily get caught up in what we often refer to as legalism. I define legalism as “legislated righteousness.”


When we lay down a bunch of rules and regulations, declaring that holiness is granted, according to our obedience to these rules, insisting they be followed; that is legalism.


Jesus alone declares us Holy by virtue of being “washed” in His Blood!


The Israelites received the Law of God through Moses; yet following it to the letter never brought salvation. The law was a continual reminder of the sinfulness of the people who were to live by it!


Even today, those attempting to live under those laws, certainly feel a sense of condemnation hanging over their head. They cannot keep to the law entirely; try as they might, they just can’t do it; they live with an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame for being unable to.


James 2:10For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.


We soon find ourselves in the predicament Paul spoke of in his letter to the church in Rome . . .


Romans 7:14-20

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.


Does this sound familiar; perhaps is may very well describe the way you feel.


Too often, folks will want to “try to be a Christian.” It is in the trying that life often becomes so unbearable that they slip away, never feeling as though they will ever measure up to the standards that God has laid down for them to live by. Disillusioned and sad, they go away hurt and confused; some never recover from this!


When we try to be a Christian, we fall into a performance-based religion and we quickly realize that something is out of kilter here. While the mind and heart may want to change and fall in line with these new rules and regulations, something deep inside intuitively knows that this is not the “real” you.


We tend to base our Christianity on how well we perform it. Instead of “being” a Christian, we try to “do” Christianity; we put on happy Christian faces and say all the right Christian things, trying to assure folks we are certainly a Christian. We tend to wear “two hats” one when we are around church folks and another around worldly folk; the difference is glaring!


When it comes to God’s law, we know it is good. The whole purpose of God’s law was to show us what He is like. It is as if God is asking; “Would you like Me to be your God? If you do, then this is what I am like.”


The law of God, quickly reveals that we are nowhere near being like Him; those laws reveal just how far away from God we really are! Recognizing this disparity causes us great conviction and we humble ourselves and come to Jesus. The law of God helps us understand our need for salvation; it moves us toward salvation.


Jesus declares in John 6:44; “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them” Drawn to God, we come to a “flash point” and then in an amazing, God inspired act of grace, we come to faith and believe in Christ, rescued and brought into His kingdom. The law of God accomplished its mission!


Now, as we learn to live in this new kingdom, the law no longer has hold over us; or rather, it does not condemn us. Oh, it still stands, and it is still righteous, and it remains a strong reminder of what the character of God is like; but we are now on the other side of that law, and we are now safely in the kingdom.


  • Without the gift of Christ, the law stood in judgment of us and we were certainly condemned. The law stood as a reminder of our sinful nature and we lived in fear. Now, as a redeemed child of God, that fear is lifted, and we live in, and under, grace!


We can go back to that amazing passage in the Book of Romans we referred to earlier . . . the one where Paul struggled with sin. The following chapter is a celebration of life being lived differently.


Romans 8:1-11

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.


So, we can clearly see that when we come to faith in Christ, we are set free from the law; it has done its work and we are now living by the Spirit . . . this is really good news!


Remember, the purpose of holiness, is to allow us to be in right relationship with God Himself; set apart for Him and His purposes ONLY. When we believed in Christ for redemption and we transferred into His kingdom, we became holy; not by anything we did, but by what He did. His sacrifice and His Blood washed away the stains of sin and we were declared holy!


Now here is the clincher . . . listen to these three passages . . .


Hebrews 12:14

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.


2 Corinthians 7:1

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.


1 Peter 1:13-16

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”


In all three of these passages, the admonishment to be holy and to keep ourselves separated to God is clear. Unlike the articles used in the temple of God, we make choices and we have free will. Now rescued from the world of darkness, we have an obligation to stay in the Kingdom of His Son.


We are part of a family, God’s family, and there ARE rules to follow and new ways to learn.


These passages; written to us so that we would be mindful of the awesome responsibility we all have as followers of Jesus and that is to keep ourselves holy.


It is here . . . right here, where the issues of legalism and rule-making and breaking come into play. We not only have a responsibility to God, but to one another. In order to keep everyone on the same page . . . so to speak, we often make additional rules and regulations to live by; markers along the way to keep any wayward folks in check.


While rules and regulations have great value, they do not save. These man-made rules and regulations may keep you from getting hurt or hurting others, but they, in and of themselves, cannot save you, nor can they keep you saved!


Once the law propelled us to Christ and we were born again into the Kingdom of the Son, the work of the law was finished; its mission accomplished!


Under the Spirit, when we sin, we are no longer condemned, but convicted and there is a huge difference! Under the Spirit, we don’t want to sin; we are getting to know God more and more; Jesus is the One who extends His hand to us and says; “Come, follow me.” It is in the following, that we grow and find our place in the Kingdom of God. It is in the following that our lives begin to take on the likeness of Jesus.


I have often been asked by anxious people; “Pastor; is my lifestyle going to send me to hell?” The real issue is not lifestyle, but life. Anyone one without Christ is lost and according to Jesus, they are condemned already.


 “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already. . . “               John 3:18


The person who is lost will spend eternity without Christ, not because of a lifestyle, but because they have not come to Christ.


I say to that questioning soul; they need Jesus, redemption is only in Him. When Jesus reaches out His hand, and you decide to follow Him; your lifestyle will begin to look remarkably like His! Oh, and by the way, His lifestyle is holy!


Walking with Jesus is not for the fainthearted. It is not an easy walk and the way can be difficult. He quickly reveals areas of your life that need attention. He will want you to learn to trust Him; with relationships, finances, children, your future, your health and much, much more!


Keep in mind that you have been transferred out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, and it may take a while before you get everything right; just remember, as a child of the King, you are no longer under condemnation, but you have been set free!


Let’s keep pursuing the way of holiness together and see where it leads . . . this is going to be good!


Next week, Lord willing . . . Part II

Posted by onthesolidrock in Discipline, Faith, Family, Holiness, Humility, Ministries, Prayer, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments
30 Years Ago

30 Years Ago

30 years ago this week, I had an encounter that irrevocably altered the trajectory of my life.

In an old hot, barn type building, I reluctantly sat listening to a preacher man tell of the need for a Savior.

I wanted so bad to run out of there that night! As the preacher man started his closing comments, I began looking for my escape!

To my left sat my 2 children, David and Shelly; next to them was Rev David Archer, hands folded and praying for me!

As I turned to my right, looking for my wife, Sherri, I noticed she was gone, and was now down at the front of that old building, kneeling in prayer! My little sister Jenniferwas down there too!

I felt like I would explode, anxiety was building and I decided to leave the building . . . I needed air or I thought I would die.

When I reached the aisle, I felt a gentle touch on my shoulder; the next thing I knew, I was on my knees at the front of that old church building.

Some say weak men go to Jesus as an out; I wasn’t weak, I was broken, I did NOT want to be there, yet there I was!

Jesus came looking for me, and He gently cornered me that night, and looked into my heart. When my eyes met His, and with tears flowing, I said to Him: ” I got nothing to give you, nothing”

With compassion and grace He replied: “I’ll take it.”

30 years later I still love Him, the oddest thing . . . He still loves me!

Some of my dearest friends think Jesus is a joke, a fallacy propagated for over 2 millennia.

My earnest prayer today, is that the same Jesus that looked into my heart, would be pleased to look into yours!

Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Family, Holiness, Humility, Prayer, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments
Grace, Mercy and Peace to You

Grace, Mercy and Peace to You

“To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord”.   1 Timothy 1:2

 While reading the letters that the apostle Paul wrote, I noticed that almost every letter he wrote began with those words; “Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.” In the letters written to Timothy, and to Titus, he includes grace, mercy and peace.

Like many of you, I have read these books written by Paul, dozens of times, and always seemed to overlook the opening greeting, as if it were not that important.

What jumps out at me, is the way Paul says these words. It is bold, and up front, like he was an emissary of God, coming to the people, as if he had just come from God himself. Kind of like an ambassador, proclaiming the heart of the kingdom represented.

I get this picture in my mind of a rider on a horse, riding feverishly through the night, with a message of hope for those in distress; perhaps soldiers, weary from battle, which may need some encouragement.

The rider dismounts, and comes to the people, and the first words out of his mouth are; Grace, Mercy, and Peace to you from your King! How very refreshing and encouraging to hear.

Paul gives us that kind of feeling when he begins his letters, regardless of the content of the letter, he set us as ease, with the reassurance that he has just come from God himself, and God has given a message to His people, “Grace, Mercy, and Peace from God our Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Paul chose these words, because he himself was the recipient of them. Paul was a persecutor of the church. He actually chased down Christians, and standing by as they were put to death.

He was actively destroying the very church that Jesus was trying to build. Paul was on a mission to destroy, what he thought was an abomination to God.

Paul knew that he deserved death for what he had done; no question about it; standing by, as saints like Stephen were being, stoned to death, cheering the crowd.

Paul knew that he was an enemy of God, but now, through God’s grace and mercy, he found peace; joy inexpressible! How could he contain it?

Paul was able to express this in almost every letter he wrote, because it was what he received, and it was so valuable to him. He wanted to express it every time he wrote.

Like Paul, you and I received Grace, Mercy, and Peace from God too, and like Paul, we have the authority to declare it to others as well.

So the next time you enter a room with your brothers and sisters in Christ be bold, and with confidence declare, Grace, Peace and Mercy to you from God our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Holiness, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments
Joy Unspeakable

Joy Unspeakable

As Christians, we should be the most joyful, decidedly free, glad-hearted, hopeful people that the world ever met.

Your passion for life and your joy, on account of your God, should make people stop and stare at you!

“They ought to think that you are downright strange, indeed!”


Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Family, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments
Martha, Martha

Martha, Martha

Martha’s idea to invite Jesus to her home was turning out to be a problem for her. This was supposed to be a good thing. The Son of God is in my home! We had better get the best dishes out, the choicest drink and food; prepared just right! Everyone had better be on their best behavior too!

Mary, Martha’s sister, knew what was most important, and was not about to be moved. She decided to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to the Words of Life He would speak. She hung on every word! Martha was missing out, distracted by the busyness of preparations.

Martha was so distracted that she even complained to Jesus; “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”  She now wanted her distraction to be everyone else’s distraction too, even Jesus!

Jesus was quick to set Martha straight, showing her that what Mary was doing was the best thing. Not that dinner preparations are not important, but sitting with Jesus is even better!

When faced with a distraction that threatens to pull your focus off Jesus, do what Mary did, and just sit still, and listen to Jesus. Rest assured that you are doing the right thing; the distraction will wait.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:41-42

Posted by onthesolidrock in Discipline, Faith, Family, Holiness, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments
Anxiety in the Heart

Anxiety in the Heart

“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” Proverbs 12:25
Anxiety defined: A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a realistic or fantasized threatening event or situation, often impairing physical and psychological functioning.
Symptoms associated with anxiety . . .
1. Excessive worry
2. Sleep problems
3. Irrational fears
4. Muscle tension
5. Chronic indigestion
6. Stage fright
7. Self-consciousness
8. Panic
9. Flashbacks
10. Perfectionism
Anxiety often turns to depression; a sense of dread for the next day which sets up a sort of defeated mentality that says tomorrow will be at least as difficult as today was, maybe even worse, so why even get up!
Anxiety is a gift from the devil; a gift you must refuse to take, much less open.
To fight off fear and anxiety; designed, to steal, kill and destroy; you MUST use and understand God’s word! It is the only lasting and permanent antidote for this ungodly disease!
Jesus said . . .
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:23
Take some time today and look up these verses; you will be very glad you did!
Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Humility, Prayer, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments


If you ever wondered about God’s love for you, consider the language the apostle Paul uses to describe the relationship between God and you; he declared we are, adopted.

Adoption –      “To take into one’s family through legal means and raise, as one’s own child”

“The adopted child is treated by law, as the natural child of the adopting parents, upon the entry of the final adoption decree. The adopted child, therefore, gains the right to inherit from the adoptive parents and adoptive parents’ relatives. . .”

(Adoption Information Clearinghouse)


For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.     Ephesians 1:4-6

Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Family, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments


Humanity has been suffering the consequences of sin since the Garden of Eden. The world is littered with vain attempts by mankind, to correct this broken condition; it is evident that we are unable to cure this disease called sin.

Jesus however, is more than able; He is the Rescue, and our Great Deliverer, and when Jesus rescues, we are, rescued indeed!

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”    Colossians 1:13-14

Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments
A Stroll in the Woods – Lesson 3 – Smorgasbord

A Stroll in the Woods – Lesson 3 – Smorgasbord

One of the things I found a little unnerving on my recent hike to the Red Moshannon Viaduct, was the dense terrain that I had to walk through. The area was new to me, as I had never been there before. On my way back to my car, I got somewhat turned around, or uh, you might say, I was taking the scenic route . . . Oh, I’ll just tell the truth, I WAS LOST! There . . . I said it!

As I was walking through this dense, sopping wet forest, I noticed many blackberries, huckleberries, and then I began to see large rotten trees and tree stumps torn apart, then it dawned on me, there were bears rummaging through this area, and I was walking through their kitchen!

Black Bear

I started to feel uneasy. The rain was pouring down; the ground was silent to my steps, and I anticipated coming face to face with a black bear at any moment; possibly surprising the bear, and hoping it was not with a set of cubs, making the encounter even more dangerous.

So I proceeded with an increased level of scrutiny as I took each step, looking this way and that, being very careful as I picked my through.

It reminded me of an old passage in the Bible; the passage in Genesis, shortly before Cain killed his brother Abel. Both had brought offerings to God, Abel’s offering was acceptable to the Lord, but God was not pleased with the offering Cain brought.

Cain got angry and jealous of his brother and began to think ugly thoughts; God spoke to Cain and said; “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:6-7)

We live in a world where “sin is crouching” at every turn, looking to ensnare anyone who falls into the temptation trap! Satan cannot make you sin, but he is very good at setting a tempting table; a smorgasbord for you; and as you pass by, he whispers in your ear . . . “Oh there must be something on this table for you, try a little something, so tasty!”

The Apostle Peter described the devil as a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  We need to be careful as we negotiate the crazy world we find ourselves immersed in, the dangers out there are far worse than encountering an angry bear!

To coin a phrase used by an old friend, Phil Burkhouse, author of a weekly outdoor column, Wandering Aimlessly; “You be careful out there.”

Posted by onthesolidrock in Discipline, Faith, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments
A Stroll in The Woods – Lesson 1

A Stroll in The Woods – Lesson 1

Annually I like to take a weekend and spend it in solitude, deep in the mountains of Pennsylvania. I do this to reflect on God’s Word, to clear my mind and heart, seeking God’s direction for the year ahead.

This year, I chose to hang my hammock and pitch my tent, on a secluded spot on Sandy Ridge, Pa. It was a gorgeous spot overlooking the scenic valley below, surrounded by forest.

My humble home on Sandy Ridge

I decided to take a day to hike into an area I had always wanted to see, the Red Moshannon Viaduct. My grandfather used to pick cranberries there.

Red Moshannon Viaduct

Reuben & Helen Pifer with 119 quarts of Cranberries

My devotional for the morning, prior to my hike, was one of my favorite passages in the Bible, Matthew chapter 5, 6 and 7; we often refer to this section as the “Sermon on the Mount.”

This part of the Bible contains the “Nuts & Bolts” of Christianity. Jesus really laid it out here; I recommend that you read it . . . all three chapters, and then read it again, a little slower, savoring all the nuggets along way; then read it one more time for good measure. I guarantee you will want to go back to this passage, repeatedly, I know I do!

In chapter 7, verses 13 and 14, Jesus says this: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

As I headed down over the side of the mountain to reach the Moshannon Viaduct, I found myself paralleling Interstate 80. As I headed down over the bank, I was about 100 yards from that massive highway; the cars and truck roaring by; careening to destinations unknown to me.


I was picking my way through the soggy, dense forest, now on a deer path traversing a 50-degree slope, pushing through thick, wet mountain laurel, stinging twigs slapping my face, brushing off mosquitoes, slipping from time to time! Only 100 yards away was a smooth, flat, easy highway; people whizzing effortlessly past me.

I sat down to rest, and then I realized that this must be what Jesus was talking to me about earlier. Getting on the interstate is easy, and once you get on it, it’s pedal to the metal and off you go!

So many today are flying through life, roaring to new jobs, bigger homes, adding relentlessly to a retirement fund, breathlessly chasing dreams, running fast and hard; all the while unaware at the end of this broad highway, according to Jesus, there is nothing but eternal destruction.

The other option is not so much a road, but a path; this road has a Gatekeeper, and His Name is Jesus; there is no other entrance-way; you MUST go through Him. Once you meet Him, He takes you on a journey. Jesus leads the way, looking back and with a grin stretching from ear to ear, He says; “Come, Follow Me.”

The way is often precarious, the twists and turns can be both frightening and exhilarating. There is danger, mysterious intrigue, and profound wonder, as you follow the Son of God. The narrow road is full of sights and sounds that those, only 100 yards away, never see.

The destination of this road less traveled is life . . . life never ending; it does not end in destruction, but continues; on and on, it is eternal, forever and ever!

If I have wet your whistle and you want to enter this narrow way, then consider Jesus. If drawn to the gatekeeper, and by ANY means, run to Him, and get in on this journey.

I can’t wait to see what’s around the next bend . . . Hey Jesus, wait up . . . I’m coming!

Posted by onthesolidrock in Discipline, Faith, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments
The Silhouette Man – A Soggy New England Story

The Silhouette Man – A Soggy New England Story

Annually our family would take a vacation from North Central Pennsylvania to Bangor Maine, where my mother had grown up. Our journey usually took place in the sweltering heat of August; just a few weeks before school started. Anticipation would build all summer long as we neared the day of departure.


The trip would take place in the old Chevy station wagon; loaded to the brim with camping supplies, snacks of all kinds, and luggage strapped precariously to the roof. Mom and dad, along with me and four sisters all packed in and ready to roll!


We would begin our yearly adventure by heading east, out across Pennsylvania; turning northward up through Schenectady, New York, and then veering eastward again, stopping in New Hampshire for the night.


Pulling into the campground, we would unpack the tent, dad making sure it was all up and secure. Once the tent was up, dad would get the fire going and mom would start getting the food ready; normally hot dogs and burgers, some beans and of course, marshmallows for dessert!


Up early, we would be off to Bangor, where we would spend a week with family; often taking a trip to Bar Harbor to see the ocean; it was a highlight of the trip. The sights and smells of the Atlantic Ocean would overload our senses.


I remember the deep throaty blast of the tugboat blowing, as it pushed big ships into the docks. The smell of the salty sea air and the crashing of waves against the craggy shoreline brought fanciful memories of stories I had read as a young child; Moby Dick, Robinson Caruso, and of course Pirate stories!


I was always fascinated by the ocean and found myself drawn to it. I recall gathering stones, seashells, even seaweed to take home, making the car smell awful; mom drew the line with my seaweed; it had to stay behind!


After a week visiting relatives, our journey home would begin. We would go home a different route, maximizing our ability to experience new sights and sounds; often visiting a lighthouse or two, as we traveled down the coast of Maine.


One particular trip home, we stayed at a small campground near the coast; Salty Acres Campgrounds, near a place called Goose Rocks Beach.


We arrived in the late afternoon, and by the time we got the tent set up, it was nearing 6:30 in the evening. I could hear the waves crashing nearby, and wanted desperately to go and see them before we went to bed. I was 14 years old at the time and felt sure I could get to the beach and back before dark.


Mom and dad reluctantly allowed me to walk around the campground to see if I could get a look at the beckoning ocean. They warned me not to be too late; I agreed, confident that I would find the beach, gather some shells and be right back; things did not go according to plan!


As I headed toward the sound of the crashing waves, I came to a forested area; undaunted, I began to look for a way through the forest; I was sure the ocean was very close. The sun was beginning to set, long shadows from the taller trees began to soften the lighting, and I knew I needed to hurry.


I saw a small trail heading into the woods; I was certain that this was the way in, so I began to hurry down the path. I took a small turn, about 50 feet into the woods and paused to look around.


As I looked to the right, something caught my eye; standing about 10 feet from me, was an old man. He reminded me of the dark silhouette man you might see standing by a tree as a decoration in someone’s yard, only this silhouette, was a real man.


He was a thin man of slight build with white hair flowing down from under the Scottish hat he wore on his head. He was smoking a curly pipe, the kind that the great detective Sherlock Holmes used to smoke. He was leaning against a tree. When I saw him, I nearly jumped out of my skin!


I stopped, my heart beating a mile a minute; he took the pipe out of his mouth and began to speak to me with a pronounced New England drawl, he said;


“Wouldn’t be going out there if I was you. Tide does be coming in soon, and fog with it; nope, I wouldn’t be going out there if I were you.”


He put the pipe back in his mouth and clicked the stem with his teeth.


I heard those words, but I was still tingling from the scare he gave me, and I said quickly; “Oh, I won’t be long” then I went quickly into the woods.


As I sped down the path, still shaking from the encounter with the old man, I quickly lost track of the twists and turns I had made. I did not notice the other trails crossing the one I was on either.


I stopped and listened for the sound of the waves and they seemed to be very close. However, the sun was now down low, and I knew it would be dark within a half hour, so I needed to get back, but I was lost!


I walked quickly in the direction I thought would take me out, but the woods got thicker and thicker. I went in another direction; more trees, and now, it was getting darker; I began to panic.


Finally, I saw what looked like field through the trees and I headed toward it. As I broke out of the trees, the field I saw was actually a salty marsh. It was about a quarter mile across; I could see a highway and a small store of some kind on the other side.


It was getting darker and becoming hard to see where I was going, but I decided my best bet, was to go across the marsh, so I started across. As I headed out into the marsh, I quickly realized that the whole swamp was full of channels of seawater. The channels were not very wide so I jumped over the first few.


After about 15 minutes, I was nearly halfway across. As I looked at the little channels, I realized the water was beginning to swirl and the channels started looking deeper and wider; then the words of the old man came rushing to my mind!


“Wouldn’t be going out there if I was you. Tide does be coming in soon, and fog with it; nope, I wouldn’t be going out there if I were you.”


The tide was coming in quickly, so I got a run for it and tried to leap across one of the channels, but it was too wide. I landed about 2 feet from the other side and went in over my head; the water was deeper than I thought and the bottom that I hit, felt like bottomless mud.


I panicked, I came up out of the channel like a wild-man, clawing and scraping to get out, then I just started running, jumping and splashing my way across the swampy marsh, until I reached the other side. I must have looked like a swamp creature coming out of there.


I recognized the little store and realized the campground was not far away and I started walking toward it. I saw a car coming down the road; it was my mom and dad, worried and looking for me.


They stopped and asked what happened, and I pointed to the marsh and told them of my harrowing ordeal. Dad just shook his head and told me to walk to the campground; I was too messy to get in the car.


When I got the campground, I took a long hot shower. I came over and sat by the fire; still shivering, not because I was cold, but because I was still somewhat traumatized by the whole ordeal.


Had I only listened to the wise old man at the edge of the woods, I would have avoided the whole thing!


I still love the ocean, and whenever I get a chance to spend time there, I cherish every moment. One thing I have never quite gotten over is a certain “feeling” I get whenever I see one of those silhouette men in somebody’s yard.


When I see one, especially in the waning hours of the day, I get a little flutter in my heart and I remember the old man at the edge of the woods.


As I remember this story of my youth, I can recall many times, words of wisdom came to me, and I refused them. The Bible give amazing direction regarding wisdom; one of my favorites from the Book of Proverbs ring loud and clear . . .


Proverbs 2:1-9

My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,

2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;

3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,

4 If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;

5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.

6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;

7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;

8 He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.

9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.


Oh that I wish I would have heeded the words of the Silhouette Man on that summer evening on the coast of Maine. I would have avoided the traumatic experience altogether!


Heed the words of wisdom given to you; even those words of wisdom coming to you by surprising people you encounter on your journey of life. Ponder those words, consider their value and avoid discarding them.


If you choose to rebuff those words of wisdom given to you, do not be surprised if you find yourself looking like a swamp monster some evening, walking aimlessly though life, smelling like seaweed!


By all means, go see the ocean, explore the world, be daring and adventurous; but do so with all the wisdom you can gather; it will make the adventure so much more enjoyable and fruitful.


I hear the waves crashing, and a tugboat horn blasting; I think a new adventure is in store for me . . . Mr. Silhouette man, where are you?















Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Family, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments
Hearing the Voice of God

Hearing the Voice of God

1 Kings 19:9-13

Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

11 So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”


The voice that Elijah heard was a rather quiet voice; a gentle whisper. Most of us would rather that God would yell; but do you really want God to yell at you?


Most conversations that I have with my wife Sherri are very gentle; we do not need to yell to one another in order to be heard. Now to be sure, I can be dull sometimes and on a rare occasion, be hard of hearing; in which case Sherri may need to turn up the volume so I can hear her over my own internal noise!


There are those occasions while driving that I tend to be day-dreaming and Sherri may need to shout to get my attention; I can’t tell you how many times a disaster has been avoided because she shouted words of caution.


God works pretty much the same way. Most conversations are intimate and easily understood; a gentle whisper; after all, He is living in me, so He should not need to yell at me!


However, if I am running headlong into some moral danger or temptation of some sort, God will turn up the volume and get my attention!


One of the most amazing things that God has done for us is to preserve His most treasured words in the form of a Book we can read; we call it the Bible.


While it does not contain everything God ever said, nor does it contain every act that God has done, it does have everything we need to know about Him until we meet Him face to Face.


As a small child, one of the most cherished times took place when I visited my grandma. She would break out a children’s book, and I would curl up next to her and she would read to me.


I would drink in every word; my emotions would rise and fall with every inflection in her voice and I would be totally enthralled as she excitedly read the book to me.


The next time you open up the Bible to read; ask God to read it to you! Let Him be the voice you hear as the words tumble off the pages! Let His joy be felt as He tells of the great exploits that those of faith did in His great name!


Listen to the sadness in His voice as He recalls those times that people He loved turned and walked away. Hear the fiery indignation as He recounts how he dealt with His enemies and hear the sweetness as He shares a love story in the Song of Solomon!


Hear the hopefulness in His voice as He shares the great Gospel message of Hope found through His Son; hear the pride in His voice as He thunders from Heaven; “This is My Son. . . In Him I am Well Pleased.”  Hear the excitement in His voice as He describes the Day when He is finally united with His bride!


God uses everything at His disposal to speak to His children; He can yell; but He chooses to whisper. He can shout, but He would rather talk across the table with you. He would love to sit down with you and read to you the words preserved for us.


If you will develop your relationship with God, then you will begin to say things like; “The Lord told me . . . or The Lord said to me . . .” It will be as natural to you as talking to your spouse or close friend. It may seem mysterious to those around you, but to you, as natural as breathing!


I remember talking to a dear friend and evangelist, Gene Vincent; Sherri and I met him at a prayer conference in Atlanta Georgia years ago. Gene has a close walk with God and during the course of a conversation at one of the tables; Gene was talking about hearing from God.


Someone at the table asked Gene; “Did you really hear God’s voice speak to you; was it audible?” Gene looked up and said; “Oh, it was louder than that!”


What Gene was trying to convey is that when God speaks to you, it is more than a sound; it is a deep sense of knowing, a deep down conviction, and an abiding awareness that God is communicating something to you. It is undeniable and sure!


Have you had a conversation with God . . . lately?



Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments
Get Up . . . It’s a NEW DAY!

Get Up . . . It’s a NEW DAY!

It is easy to fall into a boring routine if we are not careful. I do not know how many times I have walked into the nearby convenience store to grab morning coffee and bump into an old acquaintance.


The standard greeting; “Hi, how are you doing today?” unfortunately the common reply is usually something like; “Same stuff, different day” or “another day, another dollar” or some other variation.


Have you ever felt like that? It is an easy trap to fall in. I would like to encourage you to think differently today as you begin the new week . . . it IS NEW!


Think of this; the day you about to embark on has NEVER been lived before; it is NEW. As you head out the door, look for it! Look for the blessing of God. Look for His fingerprints on the day ahead; you will find them!


Ask God to reveal Himself to you today; ask Him to give you a new vision and clarity of heart and mind; you will be surprised at what you see! Hang on . . . this is going to be good!


Lamentations 3:21-23

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Holiness, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments


I was living in Longview, Washington at the time; moving there in the spring, driving from Pennsylvania in an old beat up Chevy Nova. I had taken everything I owned, along with my faithful companion Brandy, a frisky little wire-haired Terrier.  

I went on a whim, looking for work and at 20 years old, I was ready to make my millions. I took a job with a local contractor; working in new home construction.


I recall one particular Saturday evening; it was mid-summer, and it was very hot that night. Looking for something to do, I decided to go for a drive downtown, on the strip. On weekends, everyone would head to the “strip” and cruise.


The strip was about a mile long and ran through the city of Longview. The procedure was to start at one end and drive to the other end; turning around and then do it again. Fast cars and cute girls were sure to be on this popular stretch.


After several trips through; Brandy sitting was on my lap, nose out the window, catching brief breezes as we moved from one red light to another, we caught a red light.


Next to me was a carload of pretty girls and they began swooning over Brandy; “Oh what a cute little puppy, he’s so adorable.”


I whispered to Brandy; “Turn on the charm pal, this is working!” The girls were cute and my silly head was spinning.


I recall the driver of the car hollers over; “Our light’s changing, we have to go; love your puppy.” I look over, sad to see them pulling away, I yelled back; “me too” and still looking at them I pulled away.


The problem was, the traffic directly in front, had not moved yet, and I promptly ran into the rear-end of a very nice, custom Camaro!


Two big guys jumped out of the car and looked at the bumper of the Camaro. With great anger, the driver shouted a few choice words at me and told me to pull over and that I had better pray to God, his car has no damage!


I distinctly recall hearing the carload of girls I was dreaming of, laughing as they pulled away. I looked at Brandy and said; “I think we are going to die tonight.”


Thankfully, no damage to the Camaro, and since we were on a very populated avenue, the guys decided not to beat the daylights out of me. After that encounter, Brandy and I went home and spent the night watching TV and eating popcorn.


Distractions easily draw us off course. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 4:25; “Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.” In our Christian journey, we are tempted daily to avert our gaze from Jesus to something else.


Recall the story of Peter in the Gospel of Matthew 14:22-33; Jesus calls Peter out of the boat, and Peter begins to walk on the water; how awesome is that!


However, as the story declares, Peter diverted his eyes from Jesus, looking at the wind and the wave, and that distraction caused him to sink!


Whatever the distraction you may be facing each day; whether the storms of life or as in my story, a pretty face, proceed with great caution and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, otherwise, you just might run into something or someone and the outcome can be quite embarrassing.


Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments
The Mite Song

The Mite Song

The Mite Song
Only a drop in the bucket.
But every drop will tell,
The bucket would soon be empty;
Without the drops in the well.
“Only a poor little penny,
It was all I had to give;
But as pennies make the dollars.
It may help some cause to live.
“A few little bits of ribbon,
And some toys—they were not new,
But they made the sick child happy,
And that made me happy, too.
“Only some out-grown garments:
They were all I had to spare:
But they’ll help to clothe the needy,
And the poor are everywhere.
“A word now and then of comfort,
That cost me nothing to say:
But the poor old man died happy,
And it helped him on the way.
“God loveth the cheerful giver,
Though the gifts be poor and small:
But what must he think of his children
Who never give at all?
Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Family, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments
Money, Money, Money

Money, Money, Money

There sure is a great deal of emphasis on the acquisition of money and economic gain these days. It seems to fill the hearts and minds of most folks. The recent tax adjustments made by the government, appear to have the potential to create extra income for many people.


Economic growth and financial success could be beneficial, however, we need to be very careful not to place too much trust and hope in those increases.


We have to ask; what is the reason we desire to have more and more money. Is it so we can live a more luxurious life, so we can have the biggest house, the fanciest car, or the biggest bank account?


Too often, we gauge the success of a person, based on the amount of money they can access, or on the quantity of “things” they own; neither of these is an accurate gauge of one’s worth.


He scrimped and saved to make ends meet


I knew a man who never really had a great deal of money and he always scrimped and scraped to provide for his family. He traveled the countryside to find a place he could call his own.


After several years of looking, he found a small property and decided to rent it; he did not have the money to buy.


He worked part-time jobs, even selling Fuller Brush shoe products to make ends meet. He worked day shift and night shift jobs as his family grew. His family expanded; and so did the need to provide.


In order to meet the growing need, he took what little he had saved and bought a small Farmall tractor so he could till the 2-acre patch of land in his backyard.



Red Farmall Tractor


He planted vegetables, strawberries, and even raspberries. He and his wife would can hundreds of quarts of produce to carry them through the winter months; having a little extra to sell.


He put together a small fruit and vegetable stand out by the roadside and taught his kids how to sell the vegetables for a few extra bucks.


As the years went by, he was eventually able to purchase the home he had rented for all those years. The fruit and vegetable stand would help pay the taxes on that property.


His children did not have many of the luxuries of this world, but they had food to eat and a safe home to grow up in. They learned the value of hard work, the importance of strong family relationships, and the blessings that flowed from a home full of love.


He always wished he could have done more


Many years later, as the children grew up and began leaving the nest; the father came to one of his kids and lamented; “You know, I always wished I could have given you kids more than I did; I tried my best, but this little 3 acre plot was all I could do.”


The son looked at the father and said; “But Dad, look around, you gave us all of this.” The son pointed to the beautiful mountains surrounding the little homestead, he pointed to the scenic little river behind the house and reminded his father of the countless hours of joy the kids had exploring those mountains and swimming in the creek.


He reminded the father of the safety of this little village we called home, the love and affection that mom and dad gave all the kids.


No dad, we had far more than most, even though in the eyes of the world we were poor; that is just not true; we were rich beyond measure.


That father was a success story; did he have great wealth . . . no, but he was rich in so many ways. Money could never have bought the things that really mattered.


Money cannot purchase respect or love. It cannot purchase loyalty or the satisfaction of hard work. Money cannot purchase faith in God, nor can it buy you entrance into heaven!  No, money is fleeting, and over time it disappears and all you have is an empty wallet.


Use caution when pursuing financial gain


So be careful about chasing after money and material, because you risk losing everything if you do. The Bible says:


For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.                  1 Timothy 6:10


It is okay to have money, and even lots of it; keeping it all in perspective is what counts. If your main aim is the acquisition of money for the sake of personal gain, then you are on a dangerous pathway.


Envy, greed, and selfishness are anxious to collaborate with you in your financial endeavors. Use extreme caution as you pursue economic gain.


The goal of the man referenced in my story was not financial gain, but rather a safe, caring, and healthy home for his family.


He was a stunning success in his efforts to provide such a dream. Oh, and did I mention this man was my father.


Thanks, Dad!



Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Family, Thankfulness, 0 comments
A Special Christmas

A Special Christmas

I remember as a child the days leading up to Christmas, the anticipation, the wonder, and the joy of it all. I remember the families coming together, the food that was shared, and Oh, the presents!


I remember one Christmas in particular, that stands out above all the rest.


A family had moved into our rural neighborhood, and I quickly became friends with all of the kids. It was a great summer, and we loved to “hang out” at the new family’s home.


As Christmas drew near, I noticed a lack of decorations and a tangible sense of uneasiness surrounding this new family that I had grown to love. I wondered what was wrong.


One day, I overheard the father say to his wife, “I don’t know how we can get any gifts this year” as I peaked around the corner, I could see tears in his eyes! The father was confined to a wheelchair, and the mother had yet to find a good job.


I realized that this family would not have any Christmas at all, and that was why everyone seemed so sad. I remember going home that day with a very heavy heart, and now my Christmas was going to be sad too.


I talked to my dad about this and asked him what we could do. My dad suggested that maybe we could look around and find some good things to give this family for Christmas.


So, we began to search through our home, all of us got involved. We found lots of good things, some were even new! Dad called the other families in our neighborhood, and pretty soon, everyone was in on it.


The whole neighborhood got involved


I will never forget the night before Christmas, when we took a pick-up truck that was overflowing with wrapped gifts, covered with bows, and drove up to my friend’s house.


We knocked on the door, and when it opened we created a line from the truck to the door and started passing gifts into the house.


The father came wheeling out on the porch in his wheelchair, tears streaming down his face; we were all crying…tears of joy and hope.


What a Christmas! I will never forget it!


What are you doing this year for Christmas? Is there a family who needs some love in your neighborhood? Why not create a memory this year for Christmas?


Do some brainstorming, and see if you can’t start something. Perhaps you can make a difference in someone’s life this year.


Remember . . . Jesus is the reason for the Season!

Posted by onthesolidrock in Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments


Thanksgiving; pumpkin pie, apple spice, and basted turkey! Families getting together, stories retold, new ones shared, hope springs up, and we give thanks!


  • We thank God for those we love, for the new baby in the family, for the memories of those who no longer sit around the Thanksgiving table this year.
  • We thank God for the provision He has given, the direction He has led us.
  • We thank Him for our good health, and we thank Him for giving strength and hope when health fades.
  • We thank God for a free country, a place where we can express ourselves without fear.
  • We thank God for the men and women who serve to keep us free.
  • We thank God for the freedom to worship, to praise, and to pray!


These are just a few of the things that spring to mind when I think of giving thanks to God, but I am just getting started . . .


I thank God that He never leaves me, never! No matter where my journey takes me, God is there, always near, always lending a hand, giving me a good word of hope, encouraging me forward!


I thank God for His laws and precepts, His statues and His ever prevailing guidance; without these I would surely be lost. I would fall quickly and permanently without His ever present Word showing me the way.


I thank God for His correction to me. When I error, when I sin, He does not walk away but rather gets involved. He loves me enough to take me to the proverbial “woodshed.” While painful, I know without a doubt that He loves me! I am so thankful for that!


I thank God that when I pray, He listens! I am so glad that my words do not fall on deaf ears. It means so much to me that He listens to every word I speak. How wonderful!


I thank God for His power, it is limitless! Sometimes I feel so weak, so powerless, and insignificant. I thank God that I am yoked to Jesus and that I am not laboring alone.


I am glad that Jesus loves me enough to tell me that I sometimes try to pull the whole load, and that I should let Him carry it. Jesus is so kind to me, and I am very thankful for that!


I could go on and on and on! How about you? What are you thankful for?


Take a moment and reflect, and be thankful, and if you are like me, it won’t take long before your eyes are full of tears of joy, as the overwhelming reality of God hits you right in the heart!

Be thankful!

Posted by onthesolidrock in Thankfulness, 0 comments
Harvest Time

Harvest Time

I think October is the most exciting month of the year! The beautiful autumn leaves bursting with color, as they prepare to fall to the earth, the crisp, cool mornings, the fields full of corn being harvested, the sights and smells of October give our senses an overload.


What wonder! What beauty!


October is the month when the harvest is in full swing. Farmers are gathering their crops, those who have labored through the spring and summer months are busy gathering the fruit of their labors.


The pumpkins and squashes are ripening, the potatoes need to be dug. Many households are busy canning and preparing the harvest for the long winter months that lay ahead.


What exciting days!


I am reminded of the year that we (The Pifer Family) decided to plant about 4 acres of potatoes.


I’ll never forget the incredible work that went into that project. First, we secured a field, and then dad plowed the whole thing with his little Farmall Cub tractor, and if I remember right, a little fertilizer was added as well.


Then, we bought what seemed like tons of seed potatoes, and we sliced each one and then set out about the task of placing them about 12 inches or so apart in rows, it seemed like forever (especially when you are about 13 years old)


Once the field was sown, we had little to do but wait. Occasionally we went over and made sure the bugs were not attacking what we had sown, but apart form that, we just waited.


The summer sped by, and finally, the days of harvest came. We began to dig potatoes, and more potatoes, and still more! I don’t know how many we took in that year, but it was a lot!


As we dug potatoes, we found out that some were rotten, but as we gathered them in, we had no time to separate them, we just picked everything and then sorted later.


We had potatoes! We sold potatoes, we gave potatoes away, we had potatoes with every meal!


That story reminds me of another harvest that is about to take place, a harvest of infinitely greater value than a thousand acre potato patch, it is “The Harvest!”


God has been planting His seed for a great many years now, and the fields are white and ready to be picked.  Jesus gave some pretty good indicators as to when that would take place, and as we watch with eager anticipation of that great Day, we see the world stage is set, and the people and places are getting ready.


You can almost hear the harvesters getting ready, sharpening their sickles, getting ready for the call.


I hope you are waiting with eager anticipation of that great Day. If thoughts of that Day of Harvest frighten you, perhaps you are not ready.


When the time comes for Jesus to return, all fruit will be gathered, ready or not, and then, just like our great potato harvest, each will be sorted, those that are rotten, will be tossed out, but those that are ripe, will be gathered together to be used by God in that remarkable place called Heaven.


I can’t wait! How about you? Are you ready for the Harvest?


Revelation 14:14-16

I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one “like a son of man” with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.

Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Thankfulness, 0 comments