Sometimes, like this morning, I sit on the back deck with tweety bird song, bee hum, early mornings stillness, lake birds in the distance and a big animal making noise as they walk by in the woods. I read (now in psalms), journal, sip a Gary coffee (strong and black) and ponder the ways of God and the questions of mankind. I’m quite sure they are not very original questions.

This mornings question “why am I here?” I asked of God. “Did I retire to live in the woods, take care of our crippled daughter, enjoy nature and accomplish nothing else?” These questions are not new but the vail of God’s silence seemed to leak out a couple of questions back. “So like the Lord to turn questions back on me” I thought.

“If you could cut down the forests around you, mill out all the lumber and build many buildings would you feel like you accomplished something? (we have a sawmill on the place). Or, would you be content living in wonder of all that surrounds and learn to hear my voice when I want you to join my accomplishments?”

Do you want Stature before me or gain a Statue before the world?”

God is in the business of helping us gain His perspective. Take a walk, Have a Talk, Get right, Stay tight. Psalm 119:2 “Happy are those who keep his decrees and seek Him with all their heart”


32 thoughts on “Questions

  1. “live in the woods, take care of our crippled daughter, enjoy nature and accomplish nothing else” for “nothing else” is of a lesser value — what you are doing shows the love of Christ for His family, as it does for your family. That is a great accomplishment in a world that devalues and discards!

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  2. Life is about our time with Him and the knowledge of His Will which arises from His unfolding grace. To change the order is to get out of His order.

    Questions are the sign of life. David counted it a privilege to “enquire in His Holy Temple” (Ps 27:4).

    Good share!

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  3. That’s a question that God has been asking me lately. Well, not in those exact words but you get my point. One of the things that he is teaching me in this season. Is that my idea of success is different than his idea of success. As for me I choose stature in God. One of the things that I’ve had to learn about that. Is that it won’t always look like we have it. I am learning to trust in God who his holding me with his righteous hand. God bless!

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  4. Choosing stature is a big deal, I think I learn and then relearn again and again. You are so right. God sees our stature way different than we do. Then success…God’s opinion of that is quite a mind set (more heart set) change on our part.


  5. This transition from work into retirement is a strange one – certainly for me Gary. I do envy your location, your deck – its views and sounds and smells, and your coffee, but I’d need a splash of milk in mine.

    I have days when I ask the same question as you. But then I have my walks and talks with the dog and God overwhelms me with the beauty of where I live in the Welsh Marches – not quite as remote as where you are, or as sparsely populated, but it’ll do! We are both truly blessed in where God has placed us – and in the opportunities He provides for us to hear His voice.

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    1. David, my retirement transition is brutal here as well. There is plenty of productive things calling to occupy my time but most commitments will cause hardship to my wife and handicapped daughter. I need quite a bit of clarity from the Lord before saying yes to any type of commitment longer than one time events. I did say yes to a business board of directors and will do more music in the future.
      Hang in there. Your countryside views look amazing as well. I know God can and does speak to us in the storms but it’s easier to listen in stillness. Sometimes I wonder if it’s isn’t easier to obey in the storms and tougher in ease?

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      1. I’m still not sure what I should be doing Gary apart from writing. There’s a whole load of stuff that needs doing around the house that I probably should be busy with. I don’t know about your other commitments outside of your family but I’d love to hear you preaching again.

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  6. I think we should have taken a few trial runs on retirement. This might take some practice.
    I know about the load of stuff to do around our place (we have 80 acres of forest and buildings and all dads projects he didn’t finish).
    I have decided to use one of my biggest passions (fishing) and use my boat to mentor guys and kids (one of my biggest gifts) at least once a week. I call the boat my office.
    Building relationships and having deep conversations when it lends possible has been fruitful. It’s not something I share much for privacy sake.

    As far as preaching, I will make myself available now and then should the need arise.
    I have a guy (businessman) who wants me to start a serious you tube video once a week. Sounds like work. The Lord will lead you into what he wants to accomplish, you will join Him … I’m sure of it.

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    1. I can’t begin to visualise 80 acres – or the work 80 acres might involve! My small garden is easy to maintain.

      Good advice about the trial runs! To be honest I don’t know how I ever found time to work.

      I did a one-week mentoring course at a Christian college here in the UK ten years ago and agree that it is extremely important although often absent in church where we often forget to build disciples never mind make disciples.

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      1. Ah, the 80 acres are mostly woods and swamp so we cut fallen or diseased trees and mill them for lumber with my brothers saw mill.. We hunt on the land for birds and deer. It takes care of itself mostly. The churches here mostly let people do their own growing and are poor about making and then building disciples as well. It must be a common human default as Gods people throughout history have been poor at passing on to their own families how to walk with God. How to help others take the truths of Gods word and allow these truths to permeate the fabric of their lives to be of a vastly different cut of cloth is not possible unless the disciple builders cut of cloth (so to speak) is worth going after. I believe the level of commitment and depth of intimacy with God comes first with learning a listening ability and a responsibility (yes, play on words) from that intimacy.
        Thankfully the Lord is the master weaver and no two cuts of cloth are alike.

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  7. If God cares for that little plant you saw along the trail, and He does, and we are worth more than many sparrows to Him, and we are, then our worth to Him is the greatest worth that there is, because He does care, beyond what we comprehend, and where He HAS planted us, is where we will grow, as He wants us to grow. And if we are in His will, we will know. It’s never what we can do for Him, it’s what He can do through us. And I’m thinking that the “office” on the branch, that you currently are, will all grow together, according to His purposes. Enjoy your coffee Gary. Love in Christ – Bruce

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    1. Thankyou Very Much Bruce. I do need that perspective on a continuous basis. Each day is one more to live for Him and see what adventure arises. The storm clouds billowing in our nation also call me to prayer. Much evil needs Gods overpowering light.
      I deeply appreciate your encouraging words

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  8. “ Take a walk, Have a Talk, Get right, Stay tight.”- I remember these words from your sermon video. I copied the words so I won’t forget them. I do a lot of walking & talking these days. I do appreciate your post Gary.

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  9. Thank you Stephanie. As you know life does more then throw a curveball now and then. Sometimes it becomes as chaotic and painful as being run over by a herd of cows. When all we have left in our tool box is prayer, we find out that He is always with us (and Jesus rolls his eyes and says “told you that)


  10. Thank You Mandy. I am the same on processing things. I know not everyone can relate but everyone needs to develop disciplines that work for them. We each have our very own unique relationship with God (or could have), as unique as they were created to be.


  11. Your daughter is in my prayers, and also your whole family. I love the idea that God works in mysterious ways. We do know that He is always working on our behalf, always making a way for us. There is much to be said about the details of life as well as the big picture. Much of life is defined by the little things we do, the things we think no one will ever notice. But, God notices all those little details and He does great big things with them. That is why simple acts of love and kindness can make such a huge difference in a person’s life; God’s grace intercedes at just the right moment, and everything is changed. The little things matter a great deal to God…nothing is wasted. In little and big ways, God nurtures the dreams of our hearts, and together a great landscape picture emerges…for you, words and photographs, trees, and a great wilderness…the deep love you have for your family, running like a never-ending brook through it all.

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    1. Thank You Linda. your Prayers mean a lot. You have a great balanced perspective of God in the big things and also in the smallest things. Go d is overall and in all things in lives submitted to him. I still find myself asking questions of God knowing I do not see everything clearly from being too close for a good perspective of my own life. It’s easier to back off from someone else’s life and see clearly for them. I suspect that is where all the “one another’s” of scripture come into play, and they should. You have me pegged well here in the woodland…the very dry woodland right now….thank you so much. A lot of helpful thought is in your comment.

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  12. God is ever at work in the dry spells; He works tirelessly to heal our broken hearts. That is the beautiful thing about God’s love. He never lets go of us. Your book might be a distant thought right now, and that is understandable. But, we all go and grow through the dry and seemingly barren times. Your words written now might help someone else later. Keeping you in my prayers!

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    1. Thank you Linda. Yes lots of doctors lately between our daughter and my wife broke her wrist (both are healing). Burdens are felt worse than they are sometimes (like having two flat tires on the way to church)
      Truely our lives here feel dry but drinking deeply of Gods word and his love. A respite time.

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