Counter Culture and God’s Mountain

Psalms 24:3-4 Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.

Sometimes a translation of God’s word opens up a new understanding.  I usually read from NKJV or the NIV, but my devotions for the next three years are out of the New Living Translation. I have been meditating on the NLT of Psalms 24. It is sticking with me and turning in my heart. Especially verses three and four. “Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? ONLY those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.”

Climbing the mountain of the Lord

Climbing is hard. It requires strength, focus, and sacrifice. Climbing God’s mountain in today’s climate is challenging. There are so many distractions around us. To climb God’s mountain successfully, you must not lose focus on the goal, to stand in the holy place with God. It will take determination and sacrifice to accomplish this. We cannot get caught up in today’s culture and successfully climb God’s mountain.  

Hands and Hearts are pure.

Hands – Are you a hard worker? When you do your job, are you doing your very best? Even if others do not recognize you, are you performing your job as unto the Lord? This is climbing God’s mountain. Being lazy and pushing needed chores down the road are examples of our culture of ease, entitlement, and pleasure. Work hard with your hands, and you will climb the mountain of God.

Hearts – Are there people you hate? Do you align yourself with today’s culture of groups pushing their agenda? Jesus dies for us all. I have had to work (and still work) on my heart against people I judge as anti-Christian. We fight not against flesh and blood but against evil principalities and powers (Eph 6:12.) Let us pray rather than hate. Jesus says to love our enemies. Is your heart pure? Keeping your heart pure in today’s culture is climbing the mountain of God.

Do not worship idols.

Of course, we do not have physical idol statues in our homes, but we can have a personal desire that overshadows our walk with God. It can be a pleasure, status, fitness, beauty, wealth, and power. These goals are not necessarily evil unless they turn your life away from following God. At various stages of life, there are traps the enemies set for us to begin to focus on rather than the mountain of God. If you become obsessed with this goal and stop climbing the mountain of God, you may be climbing toward trouble. Check your weekly focus and how much time is devoted to it. Make sure you are not focusing on idols.

Never tell lies.

Even white lies? Even when it will not hurt anybody? Never tell lies. We are all human, and we all deceive others at some point. This culture lies to us every day. The scriptures say, “Never tell lies,” what will you do with this commandment? Do what I must do and repent. If you are reading this and recognize you need to come clean with someone, you are climbing the mountain of God. Much of what is said on TV is a lie or a variation of the truth. Let us come clean with half-truths, lies, and deceptions as we climb God’s mountain.

Climbing is hard work, but reaching the top of the mountain and standing in the holy place with God will be worth it all. Plus, working hard, a heart of compassion, dedication to following Christ, and never deceiving or lying to others will bring peace and blessings to your home and community.

Let your Light-N-Side shine true as you climb God’s Mountian today.

Jesus – Power to create and maintain.

John 1:3 “Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made.”

Through Him (Logos, the Word) – from Him, because of Him, out of Him, by means of, by reason of..all things were made; without Him nothing was made that had been made. – wow!  Although John was speaking of Christ before the Christmas story the truths of these verses are as alive today as during creation. Not only did Christ create the vast  solar systems, He also created the amazing DNA of our bodies.


Colossians 1:17 …He holds all creation together.

The Greek word for create is γέγονεν (gegonen) – has emerged, come into being.  How mighty with all knowledge and wisdom all creation emerged through Him.  But that is only the beginning!  Christs’ power keeps all things working as designed.  Col 1:17 (holds all things together),  Hebrews 1:3 (sustains all things by his powerful word).  By Christ’s power, the corn grows…and it stays corn. Gravity stays in place,  elements react consistently,  planets move in their axis, and computer chips with thousands of transistors on one chip operate because Christ holds the reactions of elements together.


Take a break and watch a video about microchips .

Man is only able to design and manufacture our modern life because Christ not only created the world but also maintains it.

Read God’s questions to Job about creation and sustaining all things. Job 38-41.   If Christ were to pull His power away for one instant…all matter would dissolve. Allow your eyes to wander over nature both plants and animals.  Also look at man’s advancement in medical care, communication, and space exploration.  All because of Christ’s power.

Christ has created your LIGHTNSIDE. He will also maintain it.

Belt of Truth

Ephesians 6:13-14a  Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle, you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of Truth.

We are at war with the demonic world. Also, the spirit of the Antichrist and Lawlessness runs through our nation. Satan is the world’s ruler (Eph 2:1-2, Matt 4:8-9). Everywhere you turn, the effects and temptations from the demonic world fill the world with rage, lust, violence, and all kinds of perversions.  

The last days – Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

The Bible says in the last days; knowledge will increase. It did not say Truth would increase. The Truth has been written and contained in God’s Word. But knowledge will increase. This is not a good thing! We have more knowledge of everything from Google, social media, and multiple streaming of news media. All from a supercomputer you carry in your pocket. Knowledge has increased, and it is addicting. Knowledge competes with Truth. Daniel also says people will run to and fro seeking something new and exciting. The New Living Translation says many will rush here and there seeking something unique and new to follow. We are in that world today.


The greatest threat to your spiritual walk is believing something not Biblically sound. If you believe something that is exciting and sounds good, feels good, but does not agree with the Bible, it is not Truth. Only Truth will keep our hearts pointed toward God. Only Truth will allow you to defeat the many temptations and teachings from a world of increased knowledge that does not agree with God’s Word.


Jesus spoke Truth to defeat the temptation of the devil. Matthew 4:1-11 Three times Jesus spoke Truth when tempted, “IT IS WRITTEN.” Jesus was in a fragile position facing great temptation as a human. How tempting and good it would sound to make bread out of stone when starving or use a shortcut for Jesus to prove He was the son of God. But Jesus had His belt of Truth on saying “It is Written.”

Are you trying to find answers from many different sources?

Are you running to and fro seeking wisdom from the increased knowledge sources of the world? If so, STOP. Pick up the Word of God and begin to read Truth. It is the first piece of armor in fighting the demonic world. Make it a daily practice and be like the man in Psalms 1:1-3  

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither,  and they prosper in all they do.

Here are a few more Truths to belt on:

1 John 4:4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world

Matthew 28:18-20 

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Strengthen your LIGHTNSIDE each day by prayer and Bible reading. You will be putting your belt of Truth on to withstand the enemy of your soul.  

Psalms 9:10 Knowing and Trusting

Those who know Your name trust You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.

Knowing the name(s) of the Lord.  

He cannot be defined by one name. God is known as the “I AM,” never an I was or will be. God is mighty in power and is Holy, Holy, Holy. God is my provider, healer, warrior, righteousness, healer, redeemer, shepherd, light, and hope.  

As I rehearse the names of the Lord, I can begin to express who He is in my life. I increasingly trust and lean on Him in times of fear or doubt. When things seem confusing or unclear, I can lift my frustration and anxiety to God because I am learning more about God through His name. I lean on His wisdom. I rejoice in His promises. I know His name…and He knows mine.

Never forsaken

When reading about God or reflecting on my experiences, God has never abandoned me. You were always there, even when I felt alone. In the storms of life, you were in the winds and waves near my sinking boat. You have always calmed the waters of my life. I know you more after each experience. I put my trust in You.

Those who seek You.   

God can never be fully known. There is always more of Him than one can ever contain.

When I seek more of You, I seek less of me.

When I seek more of You, more of You enters my day.

When I seek more of You, I have less interest in worldly distractions.

When I seek more of You, I feel more confident in Your presence.

When I seek more of You, The Bible opens its deeper truths.

When I seek more of You, I feel more peace, even in difficult times.

When I seek more of You, I know and experience Your names.

When I seek more of You, I trust You more.

When I seek more of You, I find You in more of me.

Action Plan 

Take some time this week to seek more of God. Make a plan to set aside some time to be with God.  

Click here to see some of the names of God and their meaning to you.

Let your Lightnside grow stronger by seeking more of God.

…the angels of God met him.

Genesis 32:1 Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him.

Jacob is a man in transition.

God is developing Jacob to become the leader of His people.
The process is long and takes work. Jacob finds himself cheated, just as he cheated his father when he stole Esau’s birthright.
Jacob faces his failures for others by going through similar situations against himself. He sees and feels what it felt like when he cheated and lied. Yet, in this transition, God sent His angels on his path to meet him.

Jacob is scared for his future.

God had spoken to Jacob and told him to return to his homeland.
Jacob remembered the hatred and strength of his brother Esau. Even though God had blessed Jacob over the years and had provided wealth, he still feared Esau. This fear Jacob had excelled to the point that he planned to send ahead of himself all that God had blessed him with to meet Esau instead of going first. This fear must have excelled over the nights of travel until God meets with Jacob alone. Still, in Jacobs’s fear and lack of faith in God, God sent His angels to meet with Jacob on the way back home.

God’s Angels

We are not told if God’s angels were supernatural so that Jacob would recognize them as from God. I believe they could have been real angels in human form coming across Jacob and sharing words of hope in God. They also might have been people led by God to speak words of faith and hope to Jacob that God had given them to say.

The path is as important as the destination.

God is interested in your growth and maturity as a Christian, father, mother, worker, counselor, student, child, and friend. There will be times of stress as you walk the road of transformation in your life. You will learn of God’s goodness and faithfulness but also deal with weaknesses in your own life that God is in the process of changing. As I read this scripture that I don’t remember reading before, of God sending His angels to Jacob on his way, I believe God has also sent me angels on my path in life.

Look out for angels.

Are you on a fearful path where you seem to be running toward a frightening future even though you know God has called you to go? Do you struggle with fear? Remember, God is invested in your maturing, but change is difficult, and the fear is real. You can be sure God is sending angels your way to encourage you. He is leading you to the time of a dramatic transformation, just as Jacob wrestled with God and his name was changed to Israel. Who knows, you just might meet an angel today!

May your lightnside be brightened by God’s angels as you travel toward God.

Hurting, Hiding, Healing

John 4:7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 

God always reaches out to us first.

Any interaction with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit always begins with them reaching out to us. The Holy Spirit brings an awareness of our need for God. Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts. God encounters Adam and Eve with the question, “Where are you?” Jesus asked the woman at the well, “Will you give me a drink?”  

This woman was alone because she was hiding and isolated from the other women in the city. She has been through five husbands and is now living with a man who was not her husband. This woman was hurting and hiding. Sin causes us to isolate ourselves. We begin to cover up some of the real issues that we are not proud of from others. Adam and Eve sinned, and the first thing they did was hide and cover themselves.  People everywhere are hiding the issues of sin and pain from family, church members, and society. They are hurting, and they are hiding.  

There are two steps to bringing hope and healing.

Know Truth

Jesus told the woman, “There is a fountain of living water that would satisfy your thirst for happiness. It is a well that can be planted in your heart that would not only bring relief from spiritual thirst but also cleanse and refresh. Jesus told the woman she could find temporary relief in this world, but it will not satisfy her and only deepen her pain. This woman understands that because she was married to five men who did not quench her pain, she deepened her sin by living with a man outside of marriage. It only deepened her pain. So she hides. 

Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Honesty with God 

Jesus said to the woman, “Go, call your husband and come back.” This woman was honest with Jesus. She said, “I have no husband.” Jesus replied, “You are right when you say you have no husband. You have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” This woman’s honesty with God transformed her life. She was no longer hiding or hurting. Honesty with yourself and God is the path to freedom.  

Are you hurting and hiding?

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” As you read this, The Holy Spirit asks you to reach out to Jesus and be honest with your situation. Ask Jesus for help and be honest. He will send you a refreshing well of living water that will transform your life.

Being honest with God will allow your Lightnside to continually be refreshed with living water, all the way to heaven.

Creed – Jesus is the Light of Light and very God of very God

John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

The Nicene Creed

This creed was created because there was a growing denial of the divinity of Christ. This creed was first stated in AD 325.  In our current generation, is Jesus known as one of the almighty God’s equal to God the Father? Let us remind ourselves that Jesus was not only a sinless man who died for our sins; he was also equal to God the Father and is eternal without beginning.

I love the phrase that calls Jesus the “Light of Light and very God of very God.” I challenge you to slowly read this creed and worship the very God Jesus Christ.

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried; and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and he shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. And I believe in one holy universal and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Let the Light of Light brighten your Lightnside as you worship Jesus, the very God of very God.

Take some time right now to acknowledge Christ as your God and your light.

The Apostles’ Creed

Grow strong in Biblical Truths in 2023

In a world where much distraction is attracting our eyes and ears, I would like to share some fundamental beliefs that people have memorized and quoted to keep their beliefs solid and Biblical.

Daniel 12:4 speaks of a class of people in the last days that will “run to and fro,” (looking and listening to all kinds of things that catch their attention.) The verse also says, “knowledge will increase.”  While knowledge has significantly increased in these recent generations, Biblical Truth has suffered. Let us not be the type of people who are always trying to find something to believe in without knowing the source of the truth. Even though man has increased their ability to expand knowledge and share information, let us keep our beliefs solid to the word of God.

You shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall SET YOU FREE.  John 8:32

For a few weeks, I will share some foundational Creeds and Confessions of past generations that have kept their beliefs in Biblical truth strong. As you read each Creed or confession, why not copy them and repeat them each morning for one week? These truths will keep your heart safe and free.

The Apostles Creed is one of the earliest known creeds to focus on the work of Christ in our lives. Jesus comes to rescue us and a second time to judge us.

I believe in God the Father Almighty,  Maker of heaven and earth. 

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only-begotten Son, our Lord;  who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead. 

I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy universal church;  the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

May the truths of God keep your Lightnside strong in 2023.

They Enjoyed the Sweet Taste of Wickedness…

Job 20:12-14 “They enjoyed the sweet taste of wickedness, letting it melt under their tongue.  They savored it, holding it long in their mouths. But suddenly, the food in their bellies turns sour, a poison in their stomach.

Satan presents a golden cup but hides the poison inside.

You shall not surely die, but instead, you will become like God, wiser than you are now. Your eyes will be opened. These ideas were spoken to Adam and Eve in the paradise of Eden. Satan hid the consequences of their actions. Adam and Eve saw the tree looked good, and the fruit looked delicious. Surely just tasting the fruit would do no harm. How much our eyes are close to the tempter’s use. Adam and Eve traded their paradise for a bite of fruit!  

Do you know God’s laws?

Do you know what is right and wrong? You might say no one ever told me how to act. God, in His mercy, did you a favor. He placed in everyone a conscience that tells us right from wrong.  

Romans 2:14-15 Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.

Some Remedies against Satan’s devices.

  1. Keep a great distance from sin. Romans 12:9 Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.
  2.  Know that sin is bittersweet. All sin has pleasure for a season. But know, it will not last. Consider the consequences others have gone through. You will also suffer.
  3.  Know that sin will birth your soul’s greatest loss of joy and peace. 
  4.   Consider sin is very deceitful, fascinating, and alluring. Sin always says, “Did God say…” or promises, “surely you will not suffer.”

Keep your eyes on God’s word.

Keep your heart and soul tuned to God. Forgive others. Consider what attracts your eyes. Satan loves to show you the bait and hides the painful hook. Some of the information in this blog came from the Puritan Book “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices” by Thomas Brooks.

Keep your LIGHTNSIDE tunes to God and follow His word and your conscious.

How to be “astonished” in God’s work.

Acts 10:45a “and those of the circumcision who believed were astonished”

This blog is really a rehash of an earlier blog concerning Peter and the vision of the sheet of unclean animals. God challenged Peter to trust him. Because of the vision, when the three men appeared asking for Peter, he followed them, going against everything he felt. Peter had the vision on his mind, and the Holy Spirit spoke to him and encouraged Peter to trust him. The first step is the hardest, but in verses 44-45, we see for the first time the Holy Spirit falling on the Gentiles. Peter and other Jews (the circumcised) were “astounded.” I want to be astounded in my ministry. Do you?

Are there scriptures that challenge you in your thinking or actions? Has God been dealing with you to change your thinking in an area that feels so comfortable? He is getting ready to lead you to your own”astonishment.”

Read over the earlier blog below about God’s words to Peter (Rise, Kill, Eat)

Acts 10:9 Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

God was planning on using Peter in a new way that would challenge some of his beliefs and traditions. God was opening the gospel to nations outside the Jews. But it was going to require a change in Peter’s thinking and traditions. God put Peter in a trance and lowered a sheet down that had many unclean animals by Peter’s standards. God said Rise, Kill, and Eat. Peter replied, “no, I have never eaten from unclean animals.” God said, “Do not call unclean what I have made clean.”

God was calling Peter to change a tradition and belief that was so ingrained that any thought of changing was unthinkable. Sometimes God will call us to change our daily patterns of activity and focus to be used by God. It may challenge us. God may want to use you in a new and fantastic way. To do that, He must give you a revelation, which will require you to change some habits and traditions in your life. After the vision, men from Cornelius arrived to ask for Peter. Peter went with them and followed God’s leading.


God showed Peter the trance to challenge his traditions and beliefs. Peter had to do more than just think about it. He had to put action toward this effort. It may not be an evil habit, but God may want you to change your life habits to open up more time for God. Today we have so many distractions surrounding us with streaming tv, social media, cell phone addiction, sports, and other activities. God may challenge you to change your daily focus. God told Peter to make a change, to do something outside his comfortable daily habits. Peter left with the gentiles. God may be calling you to spend more time with Him, to lead a small group, to change your thoughts about someone or a class of people. Reading more Godly books—volunteer for His purposes. You will need to rise from your normal life and make a change to follow God.


God was not only calling Peter to kill the animals (which he did not do). He called on Peter to kill some of his traditional beliefs. He knew it was God speaking to challenge him in a new way. To not call unclean what God has made clean. Peter was challenged to change his way of thinking. Peter was challenged not to let his past prejudice stop what God was doing. You may be challenged to kill some daily habits, things that would interfere with being used by God. Kill some addictive habits that keep you away from the Bible, prayer, and time to meditate on God and His word.


God was telling Peter this new journey was His plan. Peter was expected to follow God and the Holy Spirit by faith. When Peter later saw what God was doing, it changed his whole life.

God used Peter in powerful ways to grow His church in the Gentile world. God’s revelation to Peter that day on the roof challenged him to take action (Rise) in his life to trust God, to make changes (Kill) in his own traditions, and to walk in faith (Eat) and fellowship with God.

Following God is a challenge and requires changing elements of our own lives and habits. You never know what God will do with a person who, like Peter, will rise, kill, and eat their way to a powerful man or woman of God.

Let you lightnside be challenged by God this week and on to your own “astonishment.”