Books I'm Reading, outdoors

BACKPACKING WITH THE SAINTS

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Diving into this tonight at the suggestion of a friend.

The only problem with me reading this book is now I know I will need to do this.

Here is the review on the Jacket cover.

“Carrying only basic camping equipment and a collection of the world’s great spiritual writings, Belden C. Lane embarks on solitary spiritual treks through the Ozarks and across the American Southwest. For companions, he has only such teachers as Rumi, John of the Cross, Hildegard of Bingen, Dag Hammarskjöld, and Thomas Merton, and as he walks, he engages their writings with the natural wonders he encounters–Bell Mountain Wilderness with Søren Kierkegaard, Moonshine Hollow with Thich Nhat Hanh–demonstrating how being alone in the wild opens a rare view onto one’s interior landscape, and how the saints’ writings reveal the divine in nature.

The discipline of backpacking, Lane shows, is a metaphor for a spiritual journey. Just as the wilderness offered revelations to the early Desert Christians, backpacking hones crucial spiritual skills: paying attention, traveling light, practicing silence, and exercising wonder. Lane engages the practice not only with a wide range of spiritual writings–Celtic, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, and Sufi Muslim–but with the fascination of other lovers of the backcountry, from John Muir and Ed Abbey to Bill Plotkin and Cheryl Strayed. In this intimate and down-to-earth narrative, backpacking is shown to be a spiritual practice that allows the discovery of God amidst the beauty and unexpected terrors of nature. Adoration, Lane suggests, is the most appropriate human response to what we cannot explain, but have nonetheless learned to love.

An enchanting narrative for Christians of all denominations, Backpacking with the Saints is an inspiring exploration of how solitude, simplicity, and mindfulness are illuminated and encouraged by the discipline of backcountry wandering, and of how the wilderness itself becomes a way of knowing-an ecology of the soul.”

Now to make plans of my own.

My saints will be:

Frank Boreham, John Muir, Ed Abby, Henry David Thoreau, a little Leonard Sweet  and some good maps.

Thanks Eric N for the tip on this one.

“there are those who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.” – Aldo Leopold- A Sand County Almanac

steve

Steve

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Discovery Prescott

Four converging streams at Discovery.

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“A RIVER WENT OUT OF EDEN TO WATER THE GARDEN…AND BECAME…FOUR [STREAMS].” GENESIS 2:10

1. Biblical Absolutes.

these are the truth statements provided for us in the Bible. As an absolute, we mean that these concepts are true no matter when or where we live. For example, the Bible makes it clear that all of us are sinners. That’s true whether you lived in 15th century England or 21st century Mexico, or even 24th century America should such a day ever come. Biblical absolutes stand tall regardless of current culture. The Bible’s insistence that Jesus is the only means of salvation is absolutely true, even though modern thinking wants to open up other roadways to God. No matter our ideas or preferences, absolutes are absolutes–even in a culture that wants to define truth as what works for you.

2. Personal Convictions.

comprised of those things that we have personally chosen as expressions of our faith in Christ. For some of us, there are things we won’t do because of our own convictions. The Apostle Paul dealt with these at Corinth when the issue of eating meat that had been previously offered to idols arose. Some felt that such eating was inappropriate while others didn’t wrestle with the idea. We should note that Paul didn’t take a side or establish either view as a standard or absolute, but instead made room for each person to follow their own heart and asked them to respect and love each other enough to allow for different choices.
3. Personal Preferences.

This  group is filled with all sorts of ideas. It’s “the way we like it” category of opinions and ideas. Music styles, Bible versions, carpet colors, ministry models, and so much more offer different approaches baed on what I personally enjoy most. And yet, while these are the lowest group on the conviction scale, they are often the largest source of conflict. You see, many of us (especially when we’ve taken our eyes off of God’s harvest) simply want things to be the way we like them.

Now, having preferences surely isn’t wrong. You can prefer certain styles of worship expression or decide that you like the New King James Version better than the old one, but when personal preferences aren’t kept personal, problems arise. Any time these start climbing the ladder into the other categories, trouble will soon erupt.

If I insist that my preferences are really my convictions, I will find myself easily offended. If try to make my Convictions into Community Standards, I will become demanding and difficult for others to work with. And if we try turning our Community Standards into Biblical Absolutes, we end up treating our ways and traditions as equal with the Bible.

4. Community Standards

This second level of conviction contains the rules we choose to live by in our community of faith. They are not Biblical directives, but they are agreed upon standards that allow our place in the body of Christ to be evident. For example, most of us worship on Sunday mornings. While local churches have been doing that for a very long time, it’s not a Biblical absolute, is it? We don’t discount congregations that choose to meet on different days, but we have our own agreed upon practices that we maintain. We also choose certain behaviors to either act out or avoid. Here, we often see a church’s membership standards or the “understood” rules we live by. We may not be able to offer chapter and verse to insist that everyone act as we do, but in our community, this is what we do.
Let’s Get along so we can move along.
Steve
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Enjoy The View -part 3

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WHERE YOU STAND DETERMINES WHAT YOU SEE!

Intro: One day, six blind men decided to go to the zoo. They hired a guide to tell them about all the exotic animals they couldn’t see. When they came to the elephants, the zoo keeper wanted them to have more than a verbal description, so he allowed them each to feel the elephant.

Since the elephant was large, and since the zoo keeper had limited time, he let each man touch one part of the giant mammal.

The first blind man reached out and his hand grabbed the elephant’s tail. “Aha,” he exclaimed, “the elephant is like a big rope.”

The next man felt a massive elephant leg. He looked strange, no rope was that big. “No, the elephant is like a large log or tree.” He was sure of this.

The third blind man walked forward and ran straight into the elephant’s side, whereupon he pronounced that, “The elephant is really a big wall.”

Next, another of the blind men reached out and took hold of one of the elephant’s ears. It must have tickled, because the elephant wiggled the large ear, causing the fourth man to exclaim, “Oh, see this, the elephant is like a big fan.

The fifth blind man decided that the first four were all slightly daft and they couldn’t be describing the same creature, so he carefully walked up and put out his hand, the elephant raised his trunk to the man who felt it and grinned in wonder. “My friends, it is obvious the elephant is like a huge snake.

The final man was totally confused, he walked forward and reached out, hoping to find the truth, and encountered a tusk. He paused and brightened, “I understand, the true nature of the elephant is this, he is a sword.”

The zoo keeper and guide smiled at one another, knowing that none had seen the big, elephantine, picture.

Sometimes we don’t see the whole picture – we just see parts of it – We see our situation from the wrong vantage point.

WHERE YOU STAND DETERMINES WHAT YOU SEE!

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints Ephesians 1:18 (niv)

Ephesians is has a two part theme:
1. Who we are in Christ Chapters 1-3 – DOCTRINAL chapters
2. How we should live Chapters 4-6 – PRACTICAL chapters

 ‘Who are you, Lord?’ … “‘What do you want me to do, Lord?’ I asked Acts 22::8-10

The Threefold postures of the Christ life
1. Our Status – SIT
God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus Ephesians 2:6

2. Our Service – WALK
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light Ephesians 5:8

3. Our Strategy – STAND
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

The Greek verb to “STAND” means to “HOLD YOUR GROUND

We don’t fight FOR victory …..we fight FROM victory

“They overcame the devil by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.“Rev – 12:11

SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO TAKE A STAND!

Yes you have to stand for something or you will fall for anything

1. STAND UP Nehemiah. 9:5

“Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.”

The first priority in a spiritual battle is to stand up and praise the lord.

Why ? Because it announces to everyone that you are on God’s side and God is on your side.

2. STAND OUT –
 

Romans 12:1,2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

DON’T CONFORM IN THE BATTLE

3. STAND IN – 

1 Corinthians. 2:5 your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers Psalm 1:1

Luke 1:19 The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.

4. STAND STILL –

Exodus. 14:13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Numbers 9:8 – stand still and see what the Lord says.

5. STAND BEFORE –
Romans 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:
” ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.’ “12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
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Discovery Prescott

Enjoy The View – Part 2

Message notes and outline for Sunday January 10, 2016

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Here is the video of Sit, Walk, Stand .
Introduction:
The book of Ephesians is like the Empire State Building and Glacier Point!
Ephesians gives you a BIRDS EYE VIEW of not only the rest of Paul’s letters in the New Testament but you begin to get a CLEAR VIEW of who God is through Jesus Christ as well as a VISION of who you are in Christ.
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints Ephesians 1:18 (niv)
The view from the observation deck of the Empire State building.

 

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Glacier Point – Yosemite, Ca.

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Ephesians is divided into two sections:

1. Who we are in Christ Chapters 1-3 – DOCTRINAL chapters

2. How we should live Chapters 4-6 – PRACTICAL chapters

Paul gives us a great look at how we can understand how the Christian life works.

 

” ‘Who are you, Lord?’ … “‘What do you want me to do, Lord?’  – Acts 22::8-10
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1. Our Status – SIT
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“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, ..That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” – Ephesians. 1:18-21
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”. –  Ephesians 2:6
When take a seat we relax and rest at once.
To sit down is simply to rest take our whole weight off of ourselves.
* OUR BURDENS.
* OUR  FUTURE.
* OUR CARES.
* OUR ANXIETIES.
* OUR FEARS.
* OUR FRUSTRATIONS.
* OUR LOAD.
1 peter 5:7 ”  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Psalm 55:2 “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
GIVE THE LOAD TO THE LORD!
LORD-OF-THE-LOAD

PEOPLE WHO TOOK A SEAT

 

1. Those PROVIDED FOR. – for the Hungry
“Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” John 6:10

 

2. Those DELIVERED FROM. – for the Desperate
“they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.” – Luke 8:35

 

3. Those RESTED IN. – for those who Desire God’s presence
“Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught” – Luke 10:39

 

SEATED OR DEFEATED

This was God’s way of doing things from the beginning.

In the creation God worked from the first day to the sixth day and rested on the seventh.For the first six days God was very busy – but on the seventh day he rested – THE SABBATH is a day of rest. – In the days of creation we can see that in all the work Adam was created on the 6th day.

On the sixth day …God said, “Let us make man in our image.”- Genesis 1:26

Principle is this: God’s 7th day was Adam’s 1st day.

God worked the first 6 days so Adam could rest on his 1st day.

God set up the order of priorities like this – God works and then rest – we are to rest and then work.

At the cross Jesus 7th set of words were “IT IS FINISHED” – HE WORKS on behalf of our salvation so that we can rest in his WORK not our own.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” –  Eph 2:8

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Let’s seek God’s face, not just His hand!

 

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Discovery Church, Discovery Prescott

ENJOY THE VIEW – Ephesians part 1

Message notes from January 3, 2016

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Happy New year friends. – We are going to get through the New Testament this year …..But remember…
The goal is’nt getting THROUGH the Bible …. the goal is getting the Bible THROUGH us.
Here is the outline and a view brief notes from the message “Enjoy The View>’
Introduction – “ENJOY THE VIEW.” – THE WORDS OF THE ELEVATOR ATTENDANT IN THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING back in 1978.
empire state building
A birds eye view of New York city.
Total Height: 1,454 feet
To 86th Floor Observatory: 1,050 feet
Steps: 1,860 from street level to 102nd floor.
Glacier Point in Yosemite gives you yet another amazing view – YOU CAN SEE WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN / WHERE YOU ARE CAMPED AND WHERE YOU ARE GOING!
glacier point
The book of Ephesians is like the Empire State Building and Glacier Point!
To have a grasp of the book of Ephesians gives you a BIRDS EYE VIEW of not only the rest of Paul’s letters in the New Testament but you begin to get a CLEAR VIEW of who God is through Jesus Christ as well as a VISION of who you are in Christ.
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints’ –  Ephesians 1:18 (niv)
“Walk by faith not by sight”. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (niv)
At Discovery, it’s not so much us telling you how to live as much as it is helping you to see.
As the “eyes of your heart are enlightened“, you will be able to see God in situations when others can’t see Him
You will be able to not be blinded by materialism – emotionalism – or other distractions that can easily blind us to God’s best …. EPHESIANS IS A BIRDS EYE VIEW TO SEE GOD AND TO SEE THE GOD LIVED LIFE!
How we see God, the world, Jesus, the church, the means to salvation, Christian behavior, marriage and the family work ethic, and spiritual warfare ….
Ephesians is has a two part theme:
1. Who we are in Christ Chapters 1-3  –  Our position in Christ
2. How we should live Chapters 4-6  – Our practice in this world – (practice….religion is a discipline)
Getting a firm grasp on the three main aspects of the Christian life.
1. How to sit.
2. How to walk.
3. How to stand.
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1. Our Status – SIT

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ Ephesians 1:3

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus Ephesians 2:6

“The Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” John 16:15 NIV
Knowing God better comes from sitting down and getting to know him.
Spiritual activities can never replace spiritual intimacy. A lot of us go to church with the wrong focus. We want to know what the pastor’s subject is. What we should be thinking is: “Lord, whatever the preacher says today, I want You to speak to me personally so I’ll know what Your will is for my situation.” When God’s Word starts coming alive for you in ways that change you and take you in a direction you would never have discovered for yourself, you’re on the same wavelength as the Holy Spirit, whose job is to clarify and reveal God’s purpose for your life. Living on this wavelength puts you in a world apart from others, even many professing Christians.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 2, verse 14, that the “natural man” can’t grasp anything from God because his spirit is dead. He says the things of God are “foolishness” to such a person. So a mature believer is worlds removed from the understanding of the spiritually dull or dead person. The truth is, even church-goers don’t understand the mature believer. Paul said such a person “is appraised [properly understood and evaluated] by no one” (1Co 2:15 NASB). Folks can’t figure mature believers out because they have “the mind of Christ” (1Co 2:16 NIV). This kind of intimacy with God is rare today, even though the mind of Christ is God’s will for, and is available to each of us. Spiritually mature believers have a passion to pursue and know God, and they aren’t satisfied until they are in an intimate relationship with Him. So make your goal – knowing God better.
What if?
What if you rejected everything about God that wasn’t God and just accepted him for who he is?
God is really more than what religious people say he IS or ISN’T.God is for you not against you. – Romans 8:31God doesn’t just love you …. He actually likes you!
He likes you enough to want to spend eternity with you!

 

2. Our Service – WALK
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live and walk a life worthy of the calling you have received Ephesians 4:1
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light Ephesians 5:8

“OUR GOAL IS TO MEASURE UP TO GOD’S PLAN FOR US.” 2 CORINTHIANS 10:13 TLB

Three all-important questions when it comes to our walk!

How will I know when Christ is the center of my life? Because you’ll walk in confidence before Him. Worry is a warning light that Christ has been shoved to the sideline. The moment you put Him back in His rightful place and say, “I’m trusting You, not myself,” you’ll have peace again. Listen: “A sense of God’s wholeness…will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” (Php 4:7 TM).

What kind of person am I becoming? Peter says, “Don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love” (2Pe 1:5 TM). Tall order, eh? Don’t get discouraged. It takes a lifetime to put these building blocks in place.

What will my contribution be? While we’re called to serve others, even Jesus didn’t try to meet everybody’s needs. Choose where you can be effective based on your gifts; ask, “Who do I have a desire to help most?” Jesus said, “I appointed you to go out and bear fruit” (Jn 15:16 NRSV). But each of us bears different fruit.
One day God will review your answers to these questions. Did you make Jesus the center of your life? Did you seek to become more like Him each day? Did you devote yourself to serving others? Ultimately, these are the questions that will matter.

3. Our Strategy – STAND
 
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God,so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvationand the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

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Discovery Church

Guest Blogger Nolan Howell

Nolan Howell

First trip to Prescott Az December 2015

As I write this I’m sitting at home next to the fire awaiting the next snow-filled storm to hit Bend Oregon. Since arriving back in Oregon my mind hasn’t stopped spinning. I keep thinking about the great friends I met in Prescott, Arizona, and how their tribe was so accepting of my wife and I. Steve and Brenda Lummer and Discovery Prescott left a lasting impression on us.

I still can’t believe a Facebook message from a stranger lead to my wife and I getting on a plane and flying eight hundred miles just to have coffee. When we arrived, we had no clue what we were getting ourselves into. All I knew was that God wanted our paths to join.
“Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forward” – Soren Kierkegaard
This is especially true when you’re trying to follow God’s plan.

This whole trip started as an invitation to have coffee with Steve, but in reality, my first cup of coffee was shared with the whole Discovery Men’s Cafe bunch. We talked, we prayed and, most of all, we got our caffeine on! Those guy were awesome – it felt like hanging out with my bros! If the whole trip was like this, it was going to be great…and it was!

MEMORIES:
Watching Jimmy Chin’s ‘Meru’ in a warehouse
Dinner at the Raven
Mountain Biking uphill in the pines
Potluck dinner
Foosball to Led Zeppelin
Bonfire
Jeeping and Hiking Sedona
Rappelling Devils Bridge
and lots of coffee

These were just some of the things we did with the Discovery Tribe, but what stood out the most was the fact that it felt comfortable. We felt like we could be ourselves, like we were part of the tribe, and that’s when I realized the tribe was bigger than Prescott, Arizona.
It’s in Bend, Oregon, and across the country and the world.

Keep your focus on God, and be who He created you to be,
not who others want you to be, and never stop discovering!

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