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All Is Meaningless (ACAD: Ecclesiastes 11)

Send out your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will get it back. Divide your means seven ways, or even eight, for you do not know what disaster may happen on earth. When clouds are full, they empty rain on the earth; whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. Whoever observes the wind will not sow; and whoever regards the clouds will not reap.

Just as you do not know how the breath comes to the bones in the mother’s womb, so you do not know the work of God, who makes everything.

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hands be idle; for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.

Even those who live many years should rejoice in them all; yet let them remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.

Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow the inclination of your heart and the desire of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

Banish anxiety from your mind, and put away pain from your body; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.

Ecclesiastes 11:1-10 –

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Sermon: How To Defeat Condemnation

Sermon by Nik Godshall: How To Defeat Condemnation

Sermon notes

How does God feel about me after I fail? After I sin?

  • Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ JesusFor the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin,[c he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Condemnation vs. Conviction

  • con·​demn: to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation; to pronounce guilty; to adjudge unfit for use or consumption
  • con·​vic·​tion: a strong persuasion or belief the state of being convinced; the act of convincing a person of error or of compelling the admission of a truth; the state of being convinced of error or compelled to admit the truth

1. Salvation must be seen through the “Now-Not Yet” Principle.

(a) We are not yet enjoying everything that it means.

(b) Time machine effect – which reality is real? A star has disappeared but the light is still there. We are living in two realities. We have to engage in the “now” and the “not yet.” Your life is like starlight: You may be burned out, but your light is still shining.

  • 1 John 3:1 See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

“What we will be has not yet appeared.”

  • Heavenly perspective: Now we are children of God 
  • Earthen Perspective: It has not yet been revealed what we shall be.
  • Galatians 5:16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 

2. In a way, Christians live in two realities.

  • We are forgiven, justified, and part of God’s royal family (2 Cor 5:21, Eph 2:6)
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
  • Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

3. Your sin has no power over your new life in Christ. Your sin cannot make you God’s enemy anymore (1John 2:1)

  • 1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
  • God’s response to your sin is no longer anger, but advocacy. God does not withdraw from you. Jesus stands and speaks for you to our Father Creator. God is for you, not against you.

4. The hope of eternal life produces purity. (1 John 3:3)

  • 1 John 3:3 And all who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure.
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ACAD – Accepted: Isaiah 60

The Ingathering of the Dispersed

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
    and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
    and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Lift up your eyes and look around;
    they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
    and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
    your heart shall thrill and rejoice,[a]
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
    the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
A multitude of camels shall cover you,
    the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
    all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
    and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.
All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you,
    the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;
they shall be acceptable on my altar,
    and I will glorify my glorious house.

Who are these that fly like a cloud,
    and like doves to their windows?
For the coastlands shall wait for me,
    the ships of Tarshish first,
to bring your children from far away,
    their silver and gold with them,
for the name of the Lord your God,
    and for the Holy One of Israel,
    because he has glorified you.
Foreigners shall build up your walls,
    and their kings shall minister to you;
for in my wrath I struck you down,
    but in my favor I have had mercy on you.
Your gates shall always be open;
    day and night they shall not be shut,
so that nations shall bring you their wealth,
    with their kings led in procession.
For the nation and kingdom
    that will not serve you shall perish;
    those nations shall be utterly laid waste.
The glory of Lebanon shall come to you,
    the cypress, the plane, and the pine,
to beautify the place of my sanctuary;
    and I will glorify where my feet rest.
The descendants of those who oppressed you
    shall come bending low to you,
and all who despised you
    shall bow down at your feet;
they shall call you the City of the Lord,
    the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
Whereas you have been forsaken and hated,
    with no one passing through,
I will make you majestic forever,
    a joy from age to age.
You shall suck the milk of nations,
    you shall suck the breasts of kings;
and you shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior
    and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
    instead of iron I will bring silver;
instead of wood, bronze,
    instead of stones, iron.
I will appoint Peace as your overseer
    and Righteousness as your taskmaster.
Violence shall no more be heard in your land,
    devastation or destruction within your borders;
you shall call your walls Salvation,
    and your gates Praise.

God the Glory of Zion

The sun shall no longer be
    your light by day,
nor for brightness shall the moon
    give light to you by night;[b]
but the Lord will be your everlasting light,
    and your God will be your glory.
Your sun shall no more go down,
    or your moon withdraw itself;
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
    and your days of mourning shall be ended.
Your people shall all be righteous;
    they shall possess the land forever.
They are the shoot that I planted, the work of my hands,
    so that I might be glorified.
 The least of them shall become a clan,
    and the smallest one a mighty nation;
I am the Lord;
    in its time I will accomplish it quickly.


  1. Isaiah 60:5 Heb be enlarged
  2. Isaiah 60:19 Q Ms Gk Old Latin Tg: MT lacksby night

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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ACAD – Giving Thanks: 2 Corinthians 4

The Light of the Gospel

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God,[a] we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice[b] cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled,it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants[c] for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Treasure in Jars of Clay

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self[d] is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.


  1. 2 Corinthians 4:1 Greek as we have received mercy
  2. 2 Corinthians 4:2 Greek to walk in
  3. 2 Corinthians 4:5 Greek bondservants
  4. 2 Corinthians 4:16 Greek man

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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A message for the poor in spirit….

wpid-969437_10151948715374056_997796228_n.jpegI don’t often share my journal entries. They are deeply personal and usually very prayerful. But even as I wrote the below passage on the way to a reunion, I knew it would be a message for others as well as for myself. As I prepare this passage, I am in flight returning from the reunion, and a re-reading of my entry shows me clearly that God was bolstering me for attacks to come (see getupandwalkblog: All that glitters is not gold.). He was reinforcing me with His validation. I am grateful.

This message is for you: God loves you. He loves you dearly. You are precious. He created you, as you are, specifically for His pleasure. There is nothing you can do or experience in life that will remove you as the apple of His eye. ANYTHING that a person tells you, or that you tell yourself, that is contrary to this truth is an absolute lie. Believe it. Know it. Live it.

Friday, August 2, 2013
(early afternoon, transcontiental flight)

“Even as I try to validate my existence by going after and enjoying things, activities and opportunites in life, I am still completely aware that I mean NOTHING to anyone. I’m disposable. I’m dismissed. I’m unloved. I’m hated. I’m used. I’m abused and taken advantage of and taken for granted.

Father God, it has been only You – Your Word, Your Love, Your Son, Your Spirit – that has sustained and lifted me. Comforted and enlightened me to my true value, my true worth in Your eyes. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

Where would I be if I believed and responded to and acted upon what people think about me, and say about me or treat me? How pitiful would I be if I believed the lies of people who know not love? If I allowed their hate to hollow me out and fill me with bile? If I allowed their silence to be representative of my existence?

How blessed am I that you have revealed Your Love and Spirit to me! So blessed that I can hold on to You in the storms of uncertainty and a whirlwind of attacks. You, my Rock, my Shelter, my Strong Arm, my Provider – You, my Father, my Creator, my Builder, my Designer, my Teacher, my Encourager – You have blessed me so. I bless You back, Father God, with all that You are in me, I praise Your Name, I worship You, I honor You. I show Your light deposited into me to those with eyes to see it and a heart to embrace it.

Thank you for this word, Father! I needed it! You are Great, Magnificent and Marvelous!”

Amen. Amen. Amen


Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it — the LORD is his name: “Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” – Jeremiah 33:2-3 (ESV)

Related posts:

Self-image is everything. (My God and Me: Listening, Learning and Growing on My Journey)

I Came for the Dream… (

All that glitters is not gold. (

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Song & Verse: COMING OUT OF THE DARK by Gloria Estefan

This song came to mind this morning. “You have to be in the dark to come into the light….I see the light…I see the light…shining on meeeeee.”  🙂

COMING OUT OF THE DARK by Gloria Estefan

Why be afraid if I’m not alone
Life is never easy, the rest is unknown
Up to now for me it’s been hands against stone
Each and every moment
Searching for what to believe
Coming out of the dark,
Finally see the light now
It’s shining on me
Coming out of the dark,
I know the Love that saved me
Sharing with me…
Starting again is part of the plan
And I’ll be so much stronger holding your hand
Step by step I’ll make it through
I know I can
It may not make it easier but I have felt you
Near all the way
Coming out of the dark,
I finally see the light now
And it’s shining on me
[I see the light; I see the light; I see the light]
Coming out of the dark,
I know the love that saved me
Sharing with me
[Never, never stand alone]
Stand on the rock of your love
[Never, never, oooohhhhh]
Can’t nobody stop me watch me
[Never, never…Stand on the rock of your love]
Is all it takes
No matter what we think
Coming out of the dark
See the light
Feel love shining through
Yes, it’s shining on me
I know the love that saved me
Sharing with me
Sharing with me
Gotta be in the dark to make it into the light
Shine it on me
Shine it on me
See the light, see the light
Shining, shining on me
I didn’t think that I could take it
But, oh Lord, I really made it
Coming out of the dark
[I see the light; I see the light]
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Your darkness will be as noonday (Isaiah 58)

This verse has been on repeat in my head over the last few weeks. It’s from one of my favorite passages where God tells us what a true fast is. It isn’t about food; it’s about living a selfless life. Being fully available to people in need – those in your family and your community. Giving of yourself is the truest way to fast and to please the Lord your God. When you learn to do this, even your darkest days will be as bright as the afternoon sun. Your troubles will not blind you, drown you, confound you, nor destroy you. You will retain your vision, your sight, your knowledge and your awareness. You may be overwhelmed, but you will not be overran. Simply because you are rooted in your Source. You are grounded in the knowledge of God being with you and for you. The Light of His Holy Spirit will brighten every crevice and corner of your life. In the process, you learn to endure. You learn to stand. You learn to speak. You learn to embrace your vulnerability. You learn to embrace your strength. You learn to embrace yourself. You learn the value of obedience and surrender. Through your lessons you become able to surrender your selfishness and make yourself available to others’ needs. In this, you become a well-used, and much multiplied, vessel of the Most High God.

Aurora lights

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”  ~ Isaiah 58:9-12, NIV

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Greet the sun

Greeting each new day with joy… when I can.

“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you.

“No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.
Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down. For the Lord will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end. All your people will be righteous. They will possess their land forever, for I will plant them there with my own hands in order to bring myself glory. The smallest family will become a thousand people, and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation.

At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen.” 

~ Isaiah 60:1-2, 19-22

Today’s lesson: The best I can do is accept and receive what God wants to make happen in my life.