Monday Morning Photos of a Sunrise Surprise

This morning just when I opened my eyes this is what I saw above. My face just happens to face east right out a window, and this morning these low clouds turned into a beautiful sunrise. The colors fade so quickly but the brilliance produced in a matter of five minutes is just amazing. As I write this there are virtually no colors in the sky and the sun has retreated behind the thick clouds but what a great surprise to wake up and see the colors of a sunrise.

I was only able to take a few shots and by the time I got over to the pond (last photo) the colors were already just about gone, (time sequence of the shots was about 2-3 minutes). You can click on each photo to see a larger image, hope you enjoy them as much as I did when I ran out in the grass in my bare feet.

Jesus, I need Your Love, Hawkmoon

Do we recognize how much we need God’s love in our life, or put a different way, how much do we desire that love that only God can fulfill? Our lives are so busy, we tend to just push away this desire or we may not even think about it at all. But even when we do contemplate God’s love, we can only express it in terms that a limited human mind can do (like below), in terms of things that are familiar, but it’s so much more than that.

I came across a familiar poem today that expressed, in worldly terms, how much one can desire the love of another, and it reminded me more of whether we desire God at least like this, or is it only this powerfully expressed for the things of this world? If we can express worldly love “like the hot needs the sun, like honey on her tongue, like oxygen, I need your love”, how much greater is the love God has for us? Without the desire for God’s love, and for His Glory, we are just about in the same shape as my widow pictured above, broken.

I have gone over the words below about twenty times now, it’s pretty powerful (even more when put to music), but how much more should we desire God’s love… probably more than we need to take our next breath.

I Need Your Love

Like a desert needs rain
Like a town needs a name
I need your love
Like a drifter needs a room
Hawkmoon
I need your love

Like a rhythm unbroken
Like drums in the night
Like sweet soul music
Like sunlight
I need your love

Like coming home
And you don’t know where you’ve been
Like black coffee
Like nicotine
I need your love (I need your love)

When the night has no end
And the day yet to begin
As the room spins around
I need your love

Like a Phoenix rising needs a holy tree
Like the sweet revenge of a bitter enemy
I need your love

Like the hot needs the sun
Like honey on her tongue
Like the muzzle of a gun
Like oxygen
I need your love (I need your love)

When the night has no end
And the day yet to begin
As the room spins around
I need your love

Like thunder needs rain
Like a preacher needs pain
Like tongues of flame
Like a sheet stained
I need your love

Like a needle needs a vein
Like someone to blame
Like a thought unchained
Like a runaway train
I need your love

Like faith needs a doubt
Like a freeway out
I need your love

Like powder needs a spark
Like lies need the dark
I need your love

I need all the love in your heart… and I need all the love in your heart…

~ Hawkmoon 269, U2

Jesus, I need Your Love, Hawkmoon


Do we recognize how much we need God’s love in our life, or put a different way, how much do we desire that love that only God can fulfill? Our lives are so busy, we tend to just push away this desire or we may not even think about it at all. But even when we do contemplate God’s love, we can only express it in terms that a limited human mind can do (like below), in terms of things that are familiar, but it’s so much more than that.

I came across a familiar poem today that expressed, in worldly terms, how much one can desire the love of another, and it reminded me more of whether we desire God at least like this, or is it only this powerfully expressed for the things of this world? If we can express worldly love “like the hot needs the sun, like honey on her tongue, like oxygen, I need your love”, how much greater is the love God has for us? Without the desire for God’s love, and for His Glory, we are just about in the same shape as my widow pictured above, broken.

I have gone over the words below about twenty times now, it’s pretty powerful (even more when put to music), but how much more should we desire God’s love… probably more than we need to take our next breath.

I Need Your Love

Like a desert needs rain
Like a town needs a name
I need your love
Like a drifter needs a room
Hawkmoon
I need your love

Like a rhythm unbroken
Like drums in the night
Like sweet soul music
Like sunlight
I need your love

Like coming home
And you don’t know where you’ve been
Like black coffee
Like nicotine
I need your love (I need your love)

When the night has no end
And the day yet to begin
As the room spins around
I need your love

Like a Phoenix rising needs a holy tree
Like the sweet revenge of a bitter enemy
I need your love

Like the hot needs the sun
Like honey on her tongue
Like the muzzle of a gun
Like oxygen
I need your love (I need your love)

When the night has no end
And the day yet to begin
As the room spins around
I need your love

Like thunder needs rain
Like a preacher needs pain
Like tongues of flame
Like a sheet stained
I need your love

Like a needle needs a vein
Like someone to blame
Like a thought unchained
Like a runaway train
I need your love

Like faith needs a doubt
Like a freeway out
I need your love

Like powder needs a spark
Like lies need the dark
I need your love

I need all the love in your heart… and I need all the love in your heart…

~ Hawkmoon 269, U2

Edwards Resolved and Acres of Grass to Cut :: Friday Feet

I thought I would post something a little more lighthearted than my last few posts, and I have wanted to get back into doing my weekly series called Friday Feet, so here it is. My last Friday Feet post was one year ago, almost to the weekend, so I think it is about time to pick it back up again. Seeing that this is the last weekend before football season starts, the push is on over at our place to get as much grass cut as we possibly can so we can skip the process over the football weekend when Auburn plays Arkansas State.

Too bad it doesn’t feel like football season outside… it still seems to be hovering around 100*F every day but I know colder weather is on the way. We do have quite a bit of grass to cut out here so I thought I would get a head start and go out and start cutting today. Some people hate cutting grass but I really don’t mind at all, it gives me time to transfer my studies from in front of the computer to my headphones. Of course I am sitting on various sizes of John Deere tractors that propel me ahead, otherwise I probably wouldn’t like it.

I really find that changing your routine and environment are as important to study, contemplation, and worship, as going to church on Sunday morning. Jonathan Edwards often got on his horse (literally) and went out into greener pastures for several hours at a time to refresh his mind. I know the connection between cutting grass and Edwards’ contemplation is a stretch, but it clears the mind as much as running or cycling does for some.

Jonathan Edwards Resolved #1

Edwards wrote two types of pieces that are now referred to as Miscellanies and Resolutions. His resolutions are one of the most fascinating short pieces he ever wrote. These are not your ordinary resolutions, and today, I am reminded of Edwards’ first “resolved”.

#1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.

I think I will chew on that over a few hours and a few acres of grass. Have a great weekend.

The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus in John 17:1-26

John 17:1-26 is often referred to as “The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus”, found only in the book of John, and is the longest prayer given by Jesus presented to us in the New Testament.  In a three-part series, teacher and preacher Bob Deffinbaugh from Community Bible Chapel in Richardson, Texas, walks through this “Priestly Prayer” for us.  Deffinbaugh breaks up this long prayer into three different sections, which became three separate sermons, Part 1 (John 17:1-5), Part 2 (John 17:6-19), and Part 3 (John 17:20-26).  These three sections of course also find natural separations within the scriptures; Part 1 being “Jesus’ Requests for Himself” (17:1-5), Part 2 is “Jesus’ Intercession for the Apostles” (17:6-19), and finally Part 3, “Jesus’ Intercession for Future Believers” (17:20-26).[1]

As with everything that was recorded from Jesus by the Apostles, the Priestly Prayer gives us great insight into a life of prayer, how Jesus used prayer himself, and how prayer was also used to immediately benefit those who were standing nearby and heard Him pray.  One of the more fascinating points, at least to me personally, is the last, in which Jesus said some prayers so others would hear him praying for them.  This can have a very healing effect on those we are praying for, and as seen in scripture here, sometimes praying for those who are present in the room with us is important.  Jesus of course did not say all his prayers specifically so others would hear (and this should certainly not be confused with a heretical or pharisaical type praying), like His prayer in Gethsemane, but this is clearly what Jesus did in some cases as seen in John 11:42.

Jesus’ Request for Himself (17:1-5)

In Part 1 of the Priestly Prayer, Deffinbaugh describes the way Jesus speaks to the Father as a “conversational prayer”, a term that was somewhat of a catch phrase in the later half of the 20th century church.  The term used here for “Father” in the Greek is pater, which Jesus uses three other times in this particular prayer.  In this case, pater is defined more as the relationship of paternity, the nearest ancestor, or the natural father, than a general male figure.  As many others have pointed out in addressing this prayer, pater is an indication that Jesus was in direct conversation with his own Father.

Almost as a side note, Deffinbaugh leaps into a complex conversation that compares the Priestly Prayer with the Prayer in Gethsemane, and briefly examines how the Synoptics handle the Prayer in Gethsemane, while John only records the Priestly Prayer.  His conclusion basically comes down to the uniqueness of John’s gospel, but the comparison is well worth the time that more extensive research requires.

Jesus’ Intercession for the Apostles (17:6-19)

Part 2 of the Priestly Prayer reveals how much Jesus cared for his disciples, and to what extent he had gone to make sure they were properly trained by their “master.”  As Deffinbaugh explains, Jesus’ method of discipleship was effective and at this point, coming to an end.

In the days of our Lord, there were no printing presses, no Bible concordance programs on CD-ROM, no Internet web sites from which to download good Bible study materials… books were exceedingly rare.  Much learning took place by means of discipleship. A disciple followed his chosen “master” around, serving him, listening to him, and learning from him. This is the way our Lord taught, or “discipled” His disciples. They accompanied Him virtually everywhere He went. They listened and asked many questions, and they learned.

Jesus provides us here with yet another example of how we should pray ourselves.  This was Jesus’ last known prayer before his arrest, but he took this time between the upper room and Gethsemane to show how we can pray without ceasing.  Jesus prayed for his disciples before they even were his disciples (Luke 6:12), while they were being discipled (John 6:15), at the end of his ministry here (John 17:6-19), and then even when he was in heaven (Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25).[2]

Jesus’ Intercession for Future Believers (17:20-26)

In the final section of the Priestly Prayer, Jesus prays for unity between the future Believers who will belong to the one body of Christ, the Church.  Jesus points out that the ultimate fellowship with God will increase in eternity, whereas the goal of salvation is the future glorification, which is at least in part, to actually be with Jesus in eternity.  The Priestly Prayer as a whole gives us many lessons about prayer, but as Deffinbaugh concludes, “our Lord’s prayer reminds us that our faith should be proclaimed and practiced”, just as Jesus does right before he is arrested and executed.

Deffinbaugh’s discussion on the prayer was certainly extensive, and for such a difficult section of scripture provided some good insight, and if you have the chance I would highly recommend at least a quick read through his sermons linked above.  His individual sections were at times slightly scattered, as with the brief discussion on the Synoptic Problem, one that is very complex, and something difficult to examine with such a short discourse.  Overall a very detailed explanation of John 17:1-26 and he offers very enlightening conclusions after each section.


[1] John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, , The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty, ed. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Vol. 2, 2 vols. (Chicago, IL: David C Cook Publishers, 1983), 330-334.

[2] Ibid, 331.