The Power of Patterns

Every seamstress, every contractor, every decorator can profit from a “pattern.” Patterns guide and get us to the place we want to be, be it the dress, the baby blanket, the building, or the beautiful room. Patterns are powerful and we can use them.

One of the dangers of chapters and verses in our Bible is we tend to read a verse or maybe two. If we compared this to the pattern, it makes this stitch, drives this nail, moves this chair over there . . . nice parts, but we’re still way off from what the pattern brings!

When we read the Word of God broadly, seeing the flow, there are powerful patterns. Here’s one to catch our eyes . . .

Let’s start with the building of the ark, Gen 6.13ff. We often get all caught up on the how long, how wide, details for certain, but . . . is there any pattern here?

The Pentateuch, Genesis to Deuteronomy, brings a powerful lesson when we read it broadly. There are three major construction projects, each significant it themselves, yet the combined “pattern” is what we want to see and learn.

Project one is Creation itself. God speaks, action unfolds, the instruction is carried out. This same flow also unfolds in the building of an ark, and the building of the tabernacle. Key is that each “project” concludes with God’s blessing, Gen 1.28; 9.1; Ex 39.43. It’s worth also noting that the second and third “project” end with a covenant with God!

So, what’s the “pattern” we learn from these three “projects” in God’s Word? It can’t be better stated that God himself says, Deut 30.2-3,

When you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul (i.e., your thoughts and lives) according to all that I command you today, then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.

God hasn’t written to us just about “projects,” even great projects. He has written to us to build “patterns” for our lives so we find all his blessing!

Set God’s “pattern” for your life today! The writer of Proverbs put it this way, Prov 3:5–8,

Trust in the LORD with all your heart (Entirely!) And do not lean on your own understanding. (Extensively!)
In all your ways acknowledge Him (Extensively!), And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.

God’s “pattern” begins when you place your faith in Jesus. Read John 3.16 for it’s as clear of a word from God as you’ll ever get. With your faith in Jesus, the Apostle Paul writes about this “pattern,” Colossians 3:1–4,

Therefore if you have been raised up with the Messiah, keep seeking the things above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. When the Messiah, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

God and his Word are all about building his life, his life of blessing, in and through us as we bring glory to him! Set your “pattern” for your life today!

A Change Of Direction!

I’m taking a change of direction and headed in a new direction for Dasya’s Photography. I’m planning to be bringing some encouragement, insights, and thoughts from the Word of God along with some of the photography I’m enjoying.

For the past 40 years my “day job” has been a teacher of the Bible, and even today, this passion for my life continues. Alongside my day job has been a great enjoyment in photography and digital imaging in general.

So, this post begins “a change of direction” and I’d like to begin with a brief look at a term and truth we all regularly encounter — that of “hearing.”

We are continually surrounded by, if not bombarded by, things we “hear.” Hearing is more than simple audio perception as much of what we hear is a call to attention, a call to understand, to be attentive. Alas, that horn on the car blows — pay attention!

We also “give heed to” or “attention” to these things we hear for there’s more there than audio input. Scripture has much to say about “hearing,” probably more than we may have realized.

Our Hebrew Scriptures often use a term, “shema,” which frequently carries the idea of more than audio input. E.g., Deuteronomy 6:4,

4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!

Recent study in Genesis 1—3 exposes some “listening to” the wrong voice and disastrous results. Lord willing, we’ll look at this Scripture another time. Yet, today, consider who you’re listening to. Scripture is abundantly clear that when we hear, give heed to, the Lord’s voice, words, message, not only are we blessed with clear direction in life, our gracious Lord hears all we say to him!

Micah 7:7,

7 But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear { listen to }  me.

Psalm 4:3,

3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself; The Lord hears { listens to } when I call to Him.

This is a wonderful truth for all whose faith is in our great and gracious Lord.

If you’ve never established a relationship with the Lord, “hear” his words to you today,

John 3:16,

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

“Hear” this truth, place your faith in him, and know he “hears” you today, tomorrow, always, like the prophet Micah well said, “My God will listen to me”! Now be ready, our Lord also has something to say to us about life, peace, security, perspective, family, hope . . . and much, much more!

The Rock

There are so many ways to enjoy the outdoors! Just being there is a healing place for my heart, especially when the press of this hyper-active lifestyle of today. One of my working presuppositions is: “Everybody is Frazzled”! It is to the point of cliché to say so, it’s just that true.

Being outdoors brings me back to a time to breathe, think, reflect . . . things not found in the office, the daily schedule, the crowded calendar, the persistent connectedness. This “breathing” time, both physically, and especially spiritually and mentally, netted this photograph below.

This stream was rushing down the hillside, jumping over about everything in its path. “But,” which by the way is one of those key words in life, there was this rock, and there was this growth, and there were even some delicate little flowers beautifully blooming. Where? In the midst of this rushing stream!

Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the outdoors, the stream, and the breathing, I really enjoyed the reflection it brought to my life about that rock.

One of the wonderful truths of the Word of God is that He is our Rock! In the rushing stream of life, our gracious God is a rock upon which we can rest, grow, and flourish! The Word of God describes, Ps 18.2, how “The LORD is my rock” and how our refuge is in Him.

Psalm 19.14 declares this Rock is also our Redeemer. He will lift the one who rests, trusts, builds upon Him and He delivers them from the surrounding rush!

A comment often made is about someone who has hit “rock bottom.” Consider, if the Lord is your Rock that’s not a bad place to be! What a great truth in this rush we call life!

The Rock

The Rock

The Word of God gives some wonderful direction is this rushing stream . . . Proverbs 3:5–8
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.

If today is a time for you to breathe, think, and reflect, consider where you’re standing today. It may well be the day to consider Jesus of whom the Word of God says, 2 Corinthians 5:21,
21 He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus is that Rock that holds!

When a Flower Isn’t Just a Flower!

So, when is a flower not just a flower? When you get the great pleasure of photographing your granddaughter!

One of the real joys of photography is capturing the memories of family and friends. Take time to make your camera a way to bring a blessing to others.

I have to tell one story . . . Some years ago I was photographing mothers, some with children, some without, at an outreach ministry. One of the ladies I was privileged to meet and photograph said to me, “I’ve never before had my photograph taken.” It broke my heart and opened my eyes all at the same time! Use your skills and tools and you’ll be amazed what blessings the Lord can bring!