When your water turns to wine

(creative commons photo)
(creative commons photo)


A pilgrim is wandering around the dilapidated buildings and streets, of a wasteland.


Perched and dry.

No one in sight.

Nothing but scraps, and sweat, and then, finally…


A well.

A small well and a bucket to bring up something cool from the ground.

Oh, for that refreshment!

That splash of drink. That life-giving liquid.


And then, behold!

It’s not water at all.

It’s a celebration.

It’s wine.



Psalms 104:10-18


He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.

They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.


The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.

He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.


He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:

wine that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.


The trees of the Lord are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.

There the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the junipers.

The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

21 Century- Divine High Places

We’re not so different than the ancients. Here’s why:

See the image below? It is a “high place”.

For the ancients it is, unquestionably, the best place to reach a (pagan) god.
A god of human making.

Not good.

2 Kings17: 7

All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods 8and followed the practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced.9The Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns. 10They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 11At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the Lord had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that aroused the Lord’s anger. 12They worshiped idols, though the Lord had said, “You shall not do this.”b

(ancient high place used for worship)

Why a high place?

They built on the highest parts of mountains to tap into unseen power.
They erected “antenna” to communicate with the gods of their own making.
They knew that the high ground was a prime location in their pursuit of more of everything they desired.
They sacrificed their time, energy, blood, sweat, effort, animals and sometimes their children  to get the upper hand the mountain high places could provide.

So do we. Yes?

(A child sacrificed and handed over to the god of our times?)

On our high places we build towers to better our lives that would look like religious shrines to anyone one who stumbled on them millennia later.

And aren’t they, really?


(21st Century high place)

Tech is certainly our Baal.

Instant access and fast communication are two of gods we love.

We love access to the internet, high speed wifi, speedy download times, cable or digital tv, reliable mobile phone service.

And we need our high places for all that.

It seems we don’t have moral superiority on this.

The ancients aren’t more foolish or more gullible than us…not as we may suppose they are.

Couldn’t the ancients accuse us of the same sorts of categorical trappings and devotions?

It is humbling.


Verse for reflection:

John 4:23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” -Jesus

God Bless America (The song and full story)


Click the link at the bottom to hear the classic 1938 version, sung by Kate Smith.

The song “God Bless America” was written as a (sung) prayer. Enjoy the July 4th holiday, and let this song help us to be a little more grateful for all the privileges of living in a free country!

Irving Berlin, 1918; revised 1938
Spoken Introduction:
While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains To the prairies,
To the ocean white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

The unofficial national anthem of the United States was composed by an immigrant who left his home in Siberia for the USA when he was only five years old. The original version of “God Bless America” was written by Irving Berlin (1888-1989) during the summer of 1918 at Camp Upton, located in Yaphank, Long Island, for his Ziegfeld-style revue, Yip, Yip, Yaphank. “Make her victorious on land and foam, God Bless America…” ran the original lyrics. However, Irving decided that the solemn tone of “God Bless America” was somewhat out of keeping with the more comedic elements of the show, so the song was laid aside.

In the fall of 1938, as war was again threatening Europe, he decided to write a “peace” song. He recalled his lyrics of “God Bless America” from twenty years earlier, then made some alterations to reflect the different state of the world. Singer Kate Smith introduced the revised “God Bless America” during her radio broadcast on Armistice Day, 1938. The song was an immediate sensation; the sheet music was in great demand.

Berlin’s file of manuscripts & lyric sheets for this quintessentially American song includes manuscripts in the hand of his longtime musical secretary, Helmy Kresa (he himself did not read and write music), as well as lyric sheets, and corrected proof copies for the sheet music.

These materials document not only the speed with which this song was revised, but also its author’s attention to detail. The first proof copy is dated October 31, 1938; the earliest “final” version of the song is a manuscript dated November 2; and Kate Smith’s historic broadcast took place on November 11. So, documents show the song’s step-by-step evolution from the original version of 1918 to the tune we now know.

The manuscripts mentioned above are part of the Irving Berlin Collection, a remarkable collection that includes his personal papers as well as the records of the Irving Berlin Music Corp. It was presented to the Library of Congress in 1992, by his three daughters, Mary Ellin Barrett, Linda Louise Emmet, and Elizabeth Irving Peters.

What an amazing song! Isn’t it wonderful that we have been so lucky to be connected with people who are able to put to words our deepest thoughts and emotions? Irving Berlin was truly inspired. Close your eyes and listen to his message. Does it not touch your soul? Can’t you just see crashing waves- the majesty of the mountains? All of the beautiful people working every day, alive and free because of the dream of our beloved Founding Fathers?

As this song is being broadcasted through out the world on various occasions, there is this incredible overwhelming desire to jump up and sing with all the energy of the soul!

(story sourced here: http://www.god-bless-america-lyrics.com/)

Happy Birthday, United States of America!

God Bless America (1938, Kate Smith) (VIDEO)

Spiritual Challenge: A prayer walk.


Flickr photo from this source.

I’m curious to know if you’ve ever been on a prayer walk? Would you please tell me in the comment section/link below?

The weather (in North America) is changing to mild temperatures, and the beauty of Spring is here.

I’d like to inspire you to carve out 20-45 minutes, (or more, if possible) within the next few days from the time you read this, to absorb the beauty of creation, and the God of it.

This beautiful picture gave me the kick to write this post. Let’s both do it. Go to your calendar now, check for a spot, and mark it down. Morning time, evening, weekend, whatever. You truly have 20 minutes, I know it. Go ahead, I’ll wait. We both know-once you mark it down-it’s quite likely to happen.

With this time, you can allow yourself the experience of a guided prayer walk, using some, or all of the guidelines I’ll lay out below. It will help create a place in your heart to experience the presence of God within and around you. It’s really the perfect Rx for the spring season.

Some suggestions for your walk time:

Items to bring along-

– Comfortable, durable, Shoes

-(if needed) Sunscreen/basic first aid kit



-Notepad and pen


(Some of you may want to bring a Bible. If you feel this is important, I am suggesting that you read Scripture before you go on this walk, and if you’d like, bring along a passage, or verse that is on your heart.)

First, allow yourself to acclimate to your environment. Notice your surroundings. Walk deliberately, and also wait, sit or rest, once in a while, and take in your surroundings. Put hurrying aside.

Second, as issues, or chatter run through your mind, push them gently aside, or if they are quite intrusive, jot them down, and give yourself permission to think of them, at another time. (You may may find it helpful to briefly lift those things to God in prayer, and purposefully “hand them over,” before you continue your walk.)

Third, continue until you feel like you’d like to find a comfortable place to sit, or rest, for a little while. The jot down something about your surroundings, and associations that may come to mind about God, and God’s character. Note your response to God, or his creation. Or, record other thoughts you feel are meaningful, or maybe things you would like to explore further, at some point.

Fourth, enter into a time of prayer. It can be any length of time. This is a time of conversation, and also worship. Worship involves  adoration of God. Speak, but also listen.

Fifth, be where you are.

Sixth, Continue your journey until you are ready for it’s conclusion. During this time, you may want to spend more time in prayer, engage in vigorous exercise (walk at a rapid pace, for instance), gaze appreciatively at nature, or sit in quiet, or a bit of each. It’s a free-play, or freeform period of the hike/walk, where you can have all the freedom to enjoy it in the way which makes the most sense for where you are right now in your life. Sense God’s love for you, and his delight in you. If you cannot, ask him for the grace to do so. Forgive others, and forgive yourself.

Seventh, when done, offer a brief prayer of thanksgiving, and accept God’s grace. Receive from God. After a few minutes, write down noteworthy thoughts, experiences, ideas, sensations, or insights that happened along the way, or during your prayers.

Eighth, Later, share some, or all, of your notes with at least one other person.

You may want to walk with another friend, a spouse, or in a small group etc.

How rewarding this is!

For this, I suggest that a period of prayerful silence be observed during the whole time,

and conversations between people be postponed until after the walk is through.

Group discussion after the walk may prove very fruitful.

If you give this a try, I’d love to hear how this goes.

Will you please share your experience here?

(Photos you’ve taken can be sent to ovationeneterprises (at) verizon (dot) net)

May God be with you.

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