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IMG_5677It has been months since construction has started on a key building at our headquarters campus.  My travels bring me up to Dallas on occasion and I look with expectation at the progress of the building that has captured center stage for Dallas Seminary promotional materials.  Watching a key project take shape is fun to do and gives prayers something tangible to press on to new heights.

There were many of disappointing glances in the past.  I do not know the engineering answer to those seemingly many visits when not progress was happening.  Someone mentioned that the sandy ground required a lot of shoring up and foundation strengthening.

Apparently, the foundation construction was done precisely to give not only the inspectors new confidence but also all of the Seminary constituency certainty about the future.  Now, whether earthquakes or storm or prophetic cataclysmic episode this building is built to withstand them all.  That is a good place to be in a seminary world of Biblical prophecy.

A structure is in place.  Progress is now something that we can all see.  After months and months of planning, promoting and raising the funds to make this building happen, it is finally taking shape.

Foundations are understandable.  So much is necessary to make a building last that is unseen.  Most of us get that.

But, it is human to want to see something happening.  Visual evidence makes the mind soar to greater heights of faith and belief.  On the one hand we live by faith.  On the other hand we live by sight.

Massive steel girders are connected and permanently locked into place.  Soon the building will be weather tight and the functional part of the user-friendly parts of the building will be skillfully installed.  Visually it will no longer be the appetite for a massive presence but then it will shift to quality aesthetics and brilliantly designed space.

The past is a testimony of God’s favor on this institution.  This building is a promise that there is more yet to come.  We are thrilled to be a part of that plan.

I am looking forward to walking in to this building.  When the dedication service happens, I will make the pilgrimage north to Dallas from Houston.  This will be HQ’s new digs and I among many am looking forward to seeing what God has provided.  That will be a time to rejoice and celebrate God’s generosity and goodness.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

IMG_4361Houston, Texas is my home.  This is America’s fastest growing city.  More than 2500 people move here and call this city their home every week.

To keep up with the bulging population of 6 million people the roads and elevated freeways define our city.  We are on the road constantly.  That means that we define our days by where our travels take us.

It is not about the journey here in Houston; it is about the destination.

My bride and I were on a standard 23 mile journey.  Our conversation was at the focal point of our time together on the road.  Suddenly, a flash of lightning made us both look skyward.

Dark foreboding clouds, pregnant with massive amounts of moisture, threatened all of the earthbound creatures with a torrent.  The heavens burst open and we were caught in a thunderstorm of Biblical proportions.  Traffic slowed to a crawl.  No one could see beyond 50 feet.

Just as quickly the rain stopped.  Texas-sized rains unleash themselves and then the world returns to normal.  That is when the experience becomes memorable.

My wife describes the aftermath of a storm with enthusiasm.  I am watching the busy traffic that we are in.  But, she is going on about the sky, the clouds and most importantly the rainbow.

Jokingly she says that I can pull over any time so she can capture a picture of the vivid rainbow splashed across the Houston sky. I laugh.  We have not yet reached our destination.

Yet, the temptation is too great.  With a couple of turns behind us, I capture just a glimpse of the multicolored phenomenon in the sky.  It is stunning.

On a quiet street, I spot a chance.  We pull over to the side of the road and stop before we arrive at our journey’s goal.  It is an unscheduled stop, unheard of in the lives of busy people.

There in front of us on the canvas of thunder head above our city is a rainbow.  It is beautiful.  Both of us focus our cellphone cameras and snap a shot.

By the time we boot up our cameras, the bow in the sky has already passed its prime.  It entered into its fade mode.  The colors were once rich and vibrant.

Even in its farewell phase, this portrait in the sky is a reminder of the Creator’s promise.  He will never destroy the whole earth by Flood again.  Noah heard it and the Bible recorded it for all of us to hear as well.

photo credit: brucefong photography

Joshua 11

From a military perspective, the Northern kings had a formidable force to throw into battle. It was a collection of the best that armies in its day could hope to muster. They put their confidence in numbers and weapons of might.

Joshua had courageous fighting men. They were now experienced in war. Their history in battle had been only recent but they knew what it was to win in a fight.

However, down to a man they believed that their success was not in iron, spear or sword. Instead, it was the moral and spiritual component that knitted their confidence together. As a people, they believed in the God that they followed and the God who had appointed their leader, Joshua, to command them.

God gave Joshua two words of great encouragement. First, God told Joshua not to be afraid of his enemies. This is certainly worth noting because God only tells us not to be afraid of our enemy when they are frightening.

Second, God gives a prophetic promise. He tells Joshua that He will hand the enemy over to him, dead. They will be defeated and defeated soundly.

God never leads us to do something for Him without giving us all that is necessary to make us succeed. One of the most fundamental spiritual dynamics is that Christians living in obedience fight from victory not for victory.

More later…

 

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