All posts by ljmonson

God is still there

Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”


My bones tell me daily I am not as young as my heart would tell me.  My emotions are dimly lit and well under control.  My heart jumps and leaps for joy when I get through the latest turmoil in life. I am struck by the pain of others but I have committed to staying the course of understanding.  I experience the pathos and praise of others.  But my nature is not one to express these emotions and feelings for all to see.  To most, I am seen as a stoic, pragmatist. I seem calm when passing through tough times. Nevertheless, I struggle in high waters and sometimes stumble in the fire of life. I am who I am because I have discovered the God in my life and He is a God of peace. He is a God that cares for me and I am assured that He gathers me up in the tough times and protects me.  I may not run up and down shouting about this inner peace.  But that peace is the foundation of my life. God is still there for those who pass through high waters and those who walk through the fire.  Please pray for me as I pray for you.


Until morale improves!

Jeremiah 32:27 “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”

There are three stages of the work of God: the impossible, the difficult, and the done. Miracles still happen. Just because we do not see people raised from the dead regularly does not mean God is not in the miracle business. The Lord receives glory from the miracles He does every day in our lives. We must continue to bring our cares and concerns to Him in prayer for the miraculous and not settle so quickly into doubt, anxiety, or fear. Miracles will continue until morale improves.

Just Larry

5,000 miracles

Thought for March 3– Miracle March

Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”


This prayer of Paul reminds me of the feeding of the 5,000 by Jesus. The people had listened intently to Jesus’ teaching. But the mind can comprehend only as long as the body can endure. The dinner stomach rumble had begun. The faithful leadership wanted to send them away. However, Jesus had something else in mind and He did it with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Many times, we look around at our meager resources and wonder how we are going to make it. Yet our Lord will meet all of our needs according to His miraculous abilities even using our puny provisions.  Look into your cupboards they are full.  Full of miracles waiting to happen.

# Just Larry

Miracle March

Mark 10:27 “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man, this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”


Those who would call themselves Christian have clamored for miracles. Pleading for God to push His way in to repair something. By my will, I want to bend God’s schedule to do something that is beyond my might and measure. I pray for a miracle of relief from pain when we writhe in agony.  We pray and expect God to change the world but it does not improve and seems to be getting worse.  My prayers seem to bounce off some stone wall between God and me.  And yet, the miracle I seek might well have already been provided. I have endured one more day. The miracle I am praying for, which does not come as I had planned, does not mean that God has forgotten me or that He does not hear my heart’s cry. He does!

# Just Larry

Transformed by guarantee

2 Corinthians 5:1-5 “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”


As I rise from my slumber this morning wondering about the glory which God has for me, a smile comes to my face. God is more than good. Jesus, in his sacrifice, provides for me a promise. A promise of an eternal future.  A future greater than I can ever imagine. That I could be an object of perfect love astounds me. As Paul here writing to the church in Corinth states, “Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed in our heavenly dwelling,” I long for the day in which my groans will turn to heavenly leaps of joy.  And who is it to say it is not possible with God?


God, there is no dread of my life here on earth being over.  You gave it to me.  You clothed me in my present circumstances, and you will clothe me again.  I shout with joy unspeakable and full of Glory in the mercy you bestow.

Seek First…

Psalm 86:5 “You, LORD, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.”


The best place to be is where you are at peace with God, with yourself, and with all those around you. So how do I find it? From where can I find help for my troubled soul? Where can I expect help to get to this peaceful place? If my expectations for help come from my culture, then I will certainly be disappointed. Can I find peace in the new normal as proclaimed by the government? I think not. Can I depend on my neighbor to be there at any time and at any place? Again, the possibilities are less than my need. Can I find this place of peace in my marriage? Can I find this place in the latest gadget? Maybe for a moment, but as the price of my continued, sustaining peace, each would come with disappointment.

I find my peace, true peace in my creator, my God, and my king. Peace is attained because He is forgiving, He is good, and He is abounding in love. So now, I call on Him for peace. Will you join me?

# Just Larry

Flag or healing?

Proverbs 17:9 “He loveth transgression that loveth strife: He that raises high his gate seeks destruction”


If you have been in any group of people there will flag thrown, as if there has been some infraction of an written social norm.  They want to throw out the victim flag like a referee at a ball game.  I am a victim, “throw the flag.”  Somebody used a word that made them uncomfortable, “throw the flag.”  I have it worse than you, “throw the flag.” I also have my own flag ready to throw it any time I need a warm fuzzy “Aaaw”.  With a glee to get sympathy, the red flag flies upward and outward. It was a flag I could throw with distinction.

But more likely the walking wounded would like to be left alone with their pain.  I have been there. I have been so filled with feelings of hurt that I did not want to be around anyone. My hurt becomes almost pleasurable because it was caused by someone else. I justify myself into believing that this enduring internal pain was good for me. It was the old, “no pain, no gain” mantra. Pride in pain. I raised it for all to see. “Look at me, I am well on my way to martyrdom.”

But then I realized, in this self-induced misery of pain, is not worth it. It is not enough to be a victim. It was not enough to hold my red flag of martyrdom at bay. I had to let it go. The better option was to forsake the walking wounded and join the forgiven and the victorious. Healing!


Proverbs 15:18 “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.”


I have been there.  Walking this world with an inner dissatisfaction with everything.  It was a life with anger, resentment, wrathful disposition, and a furious spirit.  I may not have displayed it much, but nevertheless it was there. It was a soul characterized as one who simply had no forgiveness. It was a soul that went from issue to issue looking for trouble. It was a soul that had soured. It was a soul that could not and would not be satisfied with a simple, “I am sorry”. It was a soul that needed revenge, conflict, and discord. It was a sick soul which needed retribution and payback.

Then Jesus came and made me different. Over the years I have become the one who is patient, kind, calm, loving, and forgiving. I am becoming healthy. The presence of this healthy soul calms all those around. I still have some frustration in my life, but I must allow God to calm my quarrel.

“Please God, come evermore into my life and calm my soul.” One old hymn echoes in my heart today, “Peace like a river attends my soul and it is well with my soul.”

#Just Larry

Gather in and give in

James 5:16 “Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”


There must be a safe place. A safe place to confess without condemnation. A safe place of prayer. A safe place to understand that everyone, including me and including you, are not perfect. A safe place where we are healed. A safe place where there is power. A safe place where you are valued beyond your ability.  A safe place where you are accepted not because you are successful or a failure. A safe place where healing will change your life. A safe place where there is no division, no victim, and no oppressor. There is such a place. This place is within the united gathering of believers. My friends, let us confess without fear, pray without condemnation, hope for healing, and gather in peace for fellowship. A place for prayer.

As we gather today as one body let us not be guarded or restricted in our love for those are in most in need.  Today of all days let us seek out those who hurt the most and just love them as Christ as loved you.

# Just Larry

Attitude determins altitude

Years ago, I was a wholesale meatcutter and a butcher.  I stood along a long moving conveyer belt that would bring pieces of meat that each cutter would in turn take off the belt and cut, slice, bone, separated into specific portions.  There were twelve of us six on a side doing this beef disassembly line.  We would work continuously for two hours, fifteen minutes then another two hours and take a half hour lunch.  Time worn meat dance would be repeated in the afternoon. We would continually talk and banter about the latest news of the world and our families, all the while soft music would play in the background to keep from going out of our minds.

As we approached quitting time we would look down the line of pieces of meat and know we had to get the conveyer belt empty before cleaning up.  If we would work real hard the boss would just add more big pieces of meat. 

One of my fellow butcher workman would, at the appropriate time would say under his breath “Twenty Degrees.”  He had his pilot license and he was referring to the attitude of the plane.  If you raised the nose of his little Cessna to twenty degrees above level, the plan would ultimately stall and fall out of the sky.  It was how we paced ourselves at the meat line became empty at the exact time when the clock said it was time to go home.

As he explained it to me, “In flight the attitude determines your altitude.” 

Your attitude determines your behavior.

Your attitudes determine our actions.