Everywhere I Look

June 4, 2023
Harry Durgin, Big Island

We have choices everyday about where we look/gaze/stare. And we have choices about our interpretations. We are responsible.

Where we look can lead us astray. Achan saw something beautiful that God had prohibited. Then Achan coveted them and took them. And then he concealed them in the earth inside his tent. Then he was killed for his rebellion against God. (Joshua 7)

On the other hand, Job determined not to fall into lust: I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin? (Job 31:1)

We are to:

Look to the Holy One (Isaiah 31:1).

Look to the eternal things not seen (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Look for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus (Titus 2:13).

Look for the eternal city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10).

Look intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abide by it (James 1:25).

Look for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13).

We are to fix our eyes on Jesus

In order for us to run our Christian race with endurance, we are to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).


Father, help us notice what You want us to see, and help us see and think and act with eternity in mind. Please help us turn our eyes away from our fears and worries to Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Circumstances Don’t Prove Disobedience

May 31, 2023


Suppose you really prayed whether or not to take that new job, or whether or not to send your child to that school, or …. And suppose you were confident you were in the Lord’s will to do so.

And suppose it turned out very VERY badly.

Did you fail to hear God? Did you hear Him and then went your own way anyway?

Do your circumstances prove you rejected His guidance?


Jesus tells us that those who live godly WILL be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12).

Paul and Silas ended up beaten, in prison, and in stocks because they preached the gospel and cast out a demon. The jailer and his family ended up saved. Did the Lord put them in that particular prison so that the jailer and his family would hear the gospel and be saved? (Acts 16:9-40)

Did Paul end up in the deep because God didn’t want him to be on that ship? Did Paul not obey? (Look at the list of Paul’s labors and sufferings! (2 Corinthians 11:23-28)

Your bad circumstances

Your bad circumstances are not proof. Of course, God does lovingly discipline us, and send us though various trails and disciplines as part of making us into the image of His Son. He also puts us into situations so we can witness to Him.

In any case, our responsibility is to trust Him and continually strive to live in a manner pleasing to Him.


My ways [are] higher than your ways and My thoughts [are higher] than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Do It Anyway

May 31, 2023

The directions for a godly life are: Come to Jesus, Hear His words, Act on what He says (See Directions for a godly Life).

All three require: Decision, Determination, Habit, Courage.

Come to Jesus

After we have been redeemed, we need to decide to go to Christ throughout the day. The more we have Him top-of-mind, the easier that is. We have to determine that is going to be our pattern of life, and develop a firm habit of going to Him.

Hear His Words

God speaks to us in His Word, the Bible. We must decide to learn His Word. We must develop the habit to thoughtfully and prayerfully study what He says to us. And then we must think about what He says during the day.

Act on what He says

Here, courage comes in. We must decide in advance that we are going to do what He says. We must resolutely determine we are going to do what He says. Period.

But acting on what He says can take courage What if it’s scary? What if it look like it might cost us something dear? What if it looks like it would put us in physical danger…or worse? What if….

We must determine to do it anyway.


Christ, as He promised, sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in believers. We have what it takes to do what He says.

Look beyond the scary to Jesus Christ. Remember what He says and what He promises. Look at the challenge from the point of view of eternity. Pray for strength to do what He asks. Know that you have been given all the resources you need to do what He says. Remember that we are promised rewards for living a godly life.

Do it anyway!

Directions For a Godly Life

May 14, 2023


Come. Hear. Act

Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock, and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. (Luke 6:47-48)

Our directions for a godly life:

Come to Jesus

Salvation is the underpinning reality, and continually, constantly, coming to Jesus is key for living in a manner worthy of Him.

Most of the records of Jesus healing a specific individual included the sick person or their family or friends coming to Jesus.

We need the core habit of going to Jesus whenever… Sick? Scared? Anxious? Challenged? Uncertain? Happy? Whatever.

Hear His Words

God’s word to us is the Bible In order for us to hear Jesus’ words, we much know what He said, and that means to know the Bible. We must alertly and prayerfully read His words, ruminate on them, and be able to call them to mind.

Knowing the Bible is key.

Act On His Words

Then, we must act on what Jesus said. We must show our faith in action.


Jesus said if we could come to Him, heart His words, and act on them, our lives would be well built and able to withstand the storms of life.

Directions: Come. Hear. Act.

God Gets It Right!

May 7, 2023


Repetition is needed, because we forget what God has told us. We are frequently told to remember.

Our worship is about who He is and what He has done. Both require us to remember. We repeat facts about His glorious being, and He powerful, loving, just acts.

My prompt, this time, calling me to remember and repeat, is the state of the world. Violence. Unjust events. Suffering of the innocent. ACK!

We must remember that God is Judge. He knows everything: thoughts, deeds, motives. He is the Law Giver and knows our violations. God gets it right!

We must remember that judgment happens on His timetable, not ours. Remember and repeat!

He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. (Acts 17:31)

Part of what He gets right the the day of judgment. He is patient, not wanting any to perish (2 peter 3:9).

God’s judgment is coming. God gets it right!

Praise Him. And hang on. And press on.

Failed Expectations

April 30, 2023

For three years Jesus healed, cast out demons, raised the dead, calmed the seas and winds, walked on water, made wine out of water, and more.

Wouldn’t you think that was proof of His deity?


When He entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey (fulfilling Zechariah 9:9), He was joyously greeted by the crowds.

Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest! (Mark 11:9-10)

Five days later they called for His crucifixion. “Crucify Him!” (Mark 15:13-14)

What happened?

I used to think that they were two different crowds. More likely, though, the Friday crowd were people whose expectations of a political Messiah had been dashed. They couldn’t bear that He didn’t meet their expectations. He didn’t behave the way they wanted. It wasn’t turning out the way they desired.

We might say we would never have done that, and yet we can crumple in bad times when we only expect our version of good from God.

Peter lived with Jesus for three years and saw not only His miracles, but also His sinless life. Peter proclaimed “You are the Christ” (Mark 8:29), and shortly after rejected Jesus’ statement of His coming crucifixion (Mark 8:32).

We, or a loved one, might have unexpected health and financial trouble. We may suffer horrible rejection, or persecution, or other difficulties. And we will have the common irritants of life. We will be in trouble if we expect only our version of good times! We must not be surprised by trouble and trials and tribulation.

Jesus told us in this world we would have trouble (John 16:33). We are also told that He would be with us always (Matthew 28:20). God promises that He works all things together for good to those of us who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Beware. In this fallen world, this sin-laden world, there will be bad times. Focus on the truth of our eternal God. KNOW that what has happened is from your loving sovereign Father. Accept what He is doing. You are His beloved child.

Trust Him.

Glorify God in the Mess

April 23, 2023

We are in an awful mess, and it is not just the US.

The mess is so bad we cannot fix it We can work on it around the edges, and, perhaps, made a little improvement, but we cannot solve the underlying issues.

What do we do?

We keep on keeping on, fixing our eyes on Jesus, and striving to live godly lives, pleasing God.

And, like Habakkuk, we determine right now, no matter what, no matter how bad it gets, that we will praise God. No matter what.

Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord GOD is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:17-19)

Press on!

Like Peter, We Sink Too

April 16, 2023

Jesus came to the disciples walking on the water toward their boat. The disciples were terrified and cried out in fear. But then Peter said:

“Lord if* is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing, the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him … (Matthew 14:28-31)

Peter was the only one of the 12 who got out of the boat.

Peter was doing great as long as he was looking at Jesus and NOT seeing the wind. But, when he looked at the wind and no longer looked at Jesus, he began to sink.

Every single one of us has looked at the wind instead of at Jesus. When we’re in some sort of trouble, or when we’re waiting for important news, or whatever, we may be peaceful, relying on our loving sovereign. But as soon as we look away, KABLAM! We sink.

Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus!

Look at Jesus, don’t look away.


*I’ve read the “if” in this context is a Greek first-class condition and could (should?) be translated: “Lord, since it is You…”

The Love Story of the Ages

April 9, 2023


We see a lot of love stories among athletes and celebrities on various media. And, of course, lots of love stories in novels and films. Some even seem to be true!

Today is Easter, part of the real love story of the ages:  God loves His people.* 

His love for us started before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).

He spoke to us in the prophets, telling us about Himself, and setting the stage for His Son (Hebrews 1:1).

In the fullness of time, Jesus—Eternal God—was born to a woman. This is incredible, but true. God came in the flesh. This is a genuine love story. Jesus gave up exercising His rights as God out of His love for the Father and for us. Jesus, fully God, fully man, lived with us, manifesting the Father (John 1:14Philippians 2:6-8Hebrews 1:2).

Jesus lived a perfect life, then sacrificed Himself to reconcile believers to God. We all were God’s enemies, but through Jesus, through His sacrifice, through God’s work in us to bring us to repentance and belief, we are now God’s beloved children (Romans 5:6-10).

The love story continues. After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, the Holy Spirit was sent, which began the church. The Holy Spirit dwells in all believers, having come to us when we trusted in Christ (John 14:15-18Ephesians 1:13-14).

And now Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us (Romans 8:34). The Holy Spirit, dwelling in us, prays for us (Romans 8:26-27).

We, living in a fallen world with all these difficulties and trauma, are being guided and protected. God, through His providence, brings good out of all things in our lives, making us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-29).

And the love story continues, because He has given us eternal life. We will be glorified. We will be holy and blameless before Him. There will be no sin in heaven. (Romans 8:30Ephesians 1:4)

And we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

It is Easter! He is risen!

Praise Almighty God!


*I’m focusing on those who God redeemed. He does love the world, and provides common grace to those who haven’t believed, but this post is about those who have repented and believed in Jesus Christ.

Miscarriage of Justice

April 2, 2023

We can think of lots of examples of miscarriage of justice, where the innocent are punished or the guilty go free. Or, in general, where there are no consequences, or the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

An “acquitted murderer.” A violent rioter who damaged property or people and wasn’t charged or was charged but immediately set free. A person flagrantly violating God’s precepts, but lecturing us on morality. Or someone honoring God and charged with a crime. Oh well, build your own list.

Even when a person is correctly found guilty, of murder, say, and given the death penalty, the grieving friends and family still mourn.

We long for just justice.

There is only one who can and will deliver just justice: Almighty God. Not only is He the law giver, but He knows everything, including the deepest motives, and He has the power to administer judgment.

And there is only One who can help those who are harmed. For Christians, in this world, God brings good out of these awful things (Romans 8:28). In heaven our loving sovereign will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4).

Come, Lord Jesus!

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When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready? helps Christians not fear bad news, shows them how to handle current trouble, and helps them emerge stronger on the other side.


About me

I'm a Christian, wife, retiree, and author.
I love studying and putting knowledge into action. I'll share what I'm learning, encourage you, and urge all of us to press on to become more like Christ.