Archive - 2021



Walking up on Rocky Top this afternoon I observed the glorious changing and falling leaves of autumn.  Nestled next to several evergreens stood a magnificent tree in glorious oranges and yellows.  As I walked toward the tree, the music on my phone was playing: “Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father.  There is no shadow of turning with Thee.  Thou changest not…”

Change.  It has been a constant companion in my life the last four years.  From the loss of a position which I falsely placed my identity in to the death of loved ones and even a beloved, faithful dog.  Change.  From my plans for holidays being cancelled to plans to serve Him with good intentions interrupted.  Change is not changing anytime soon.  

Immutability, the fancy word I learned in my Systematic Theology class for God’s unchangeable character, describes my great God.   He never changes.  He is incapable of change.  He is the same.  He is faithful when others betray us.  He shows up when no one else does.  He never dies, not even when those who betrayed Him crucified Him.  He is constant even when the very nature He created changes.  In Malachi 3:6, God says, “For I am the Lord, I change not…”

When I choose to place Him in the middle of my change and cling to His faithfulness and to His immutability, He provides me with stability and confidence.  In the New Testament James reminded the young church, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation of shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

What is changing in your world at this moment?  Your job?  Relationships?  Your physical address?  Your financial stability?   Don’t walk in fear of change.  It’s just a part of this life.  Choose to rest in His character of immutability and stand in His perfect unchanging provision of Himself. 

People change.  Plans change.  Even nature changes.  Yet, he remains steady and unchangeable.  Stand and sing:

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father.

There is no shadow of turning with Thee.

Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not.

As Thou has been, Thou forever will be.

Great is they faithfulness!


“Ponder” is a word that is not often heard these days.    I vaguely remember my Mamaw using the word in the context of “I need to ponder that awhile.”   As a child, I don’t think I really knew what she was referring to when she said it.

According to Webster’s, “ponder” means “to weigh in the mind, to think about or reflect on or to consider quietly, soberly, and deeply.”

Pondering is not something I do often.  I’m unsure if many of us “ponder” any more.  We are usually too busy to set aside time to “ponder.”   Instead I worry and fret as I go about my day.    In my mind, I rehearse every case scenario of any situation or relationship and usually end up exhausted about what could happen.  The “what ifs” in life lead me down a path of anxiety. 

This rarely used word came to my attention recently during worship one Sunday morning.   The praise leader led us in an updated version by Shane and Shane of the ancient hymn, Praise to the Lord, originally written by Joachim Neader in 1863.

As I sang the phrase “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,” I began to examine my heart. 

When was the last time I pondered anew what God can do instead of worrying and fretting?

Here are a few of my ponderings:

He spoke into existence every glorious sunset and sunrise, the powerful ocean waves, the majestic mountains. 

He created man and woman in His image.

He delivered the Israelites when they were in bondage to the Egyptians.

He gave His only Son as a ransom for my sin.

He healed the lame, the blind, and raised people from the dead.

He rose from the dead on the third day and conquered sin and death.

He forgives me when I’m at my worst.

He loves me unconditionally.

He heals relationships.

He restores me daily.

As I pondered all God has done and can do… create, deliver, forgive, heal, conquer, love and restore… my faith was built.  My hope was renewed that God can heal that relationship, conquer sin in my life, and advance His Kingdom in a world that is so terribly broken.

In Psalm 64:9-10 David declares, “…they tell what God has brought about and ponder what he has done.  Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him!”   (ESV)

Choose today to “ponder anew what the Almighty can do.”  Stop worrying and start “pondering.” 

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