Author Archives: dmbaldwin

About dmbaldwin

I'm the husband of Louise, the father of Erin, Eric, Mandy & Sarah and the grandfather of David, Aubrey Simeon & Demaris. I am the President & Owner of Furnace Hills Coffee Company -- www.furnacehillscoffee.com I am an avid NY Giants and Newcastle United fan. I enjoy making "frequent" trips to Ukraine. I work with and teach in seminaries and Bible colleges in Ukraine. I enjoy blogging about coffee & leadership.

Ezekiel 22:13-24:27 

What a depressing passage of Scripture! Two sisters that whore after the nations around them. They both end in destruction. All is lost. And yet in the midst of all this God is still looking for someone who can save the day. He states at the end of chapter 22 the following:
And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads, declares the Lord God. (Ezekiel 22:30&31 [ESV])
One man, one man would have stemmed the tide of God’s wrath, but there was none. No one to stand in the gap. Standing up for God’s rule must have been terribly difficult. And sometimes here in the 21st century it can feel that way. And at school or work, it may be only us. Just one of us ready to stand for God. And I believe, just one of us can make a difference for more people than we think. God was looking for just one person to save a nation and city. God can use you to make a difference where he has you to change the course of many lives around you.
Let’s not be like the narrative above. Let’s all be ready to stand in the gap for God. Let’s pray that sort of prayer letting God know we are ready to be used by Him to make a difference where He has placed us.
Father God, I pray that we would all be willing to stand for You in the situations You have placed us. Help us to not be swayed by those around us, but to be ready when the time comes to speak and act on Your behalf. I pray these things in Jesus Name, Amen.

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Jeremiah 31:21-33:26 

Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet. He stood alone against the people of Judah. The destruction of Jerusalem was so absolute that I’ve heard some teachers liken it to the fire bombing of Dresden. Not one stone left on top of another.

However in the midst of all this destruction a glimmer of light shines through. We read this in 31:31-34:

31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to[d] them,”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.

“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”

There is coming a time when a new covenant would be made between God and His people and all people on earth. It would be a spiritual kingdom, one that is in our hearts and not on tablets of stone. When Jesus came and lived a perfect life, died for us, was resurrected and then ascended this promise was fulfilled.

Are you still hanging on to the old ineffective things of this world? Are you trying to live a live by the rules instead of by grace. Put your trust in Jesus the author of that New Covenant and see how your life changes. His promised was kept and it’s for you today.

Father God please help us to cling to your New Covenant today. Not the old of the past. May we trust you for the future and for eternity. We pray these things in the promise keeping name of Jesus, amen.

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Isaiah 41-44

I love passages like the one for today. I have probably written about it in past years. Here in the middle of this passage we see a prophecy of the coming Messiah,
42 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”
Isaiah prophecies of something he will never see come to fruition in his life time. Isaiah prophesied this somewhere between six and seven hundred years before our Messiah came. If you are wondering if this whole Christianity thing is true, then hold on to passages like this. Only the God of the universe could foretell of something like this. And wait till you get to Isaiah 53! That will really blow your mind.
Father God, thank you for your Word and how through the ages it has proven to be true and how it points to the Truth! Help us to live today in light of this glorious reality. In the mighty name of the Messiah we pray, Amen!

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Proverbs 27:11-30:33 

For the last several months I have been reading through Proverbs. It’s really like drinking from a firehose. How can we keep up with all the advice and wisdom we find there? I have decided to break it down into themes. That way I can handle the wisdom found in these chapters much easier. Here are some of the themes I have found:

Adultery  

Alcohol

Anger

Happiness

Health

Justice

Men

The Poor

Pride

Trust

Truth vs. Lies

Wealth

Women

More!

Today I want to land on just one verse from Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron,

and one man sharpens another.

It’s a verse/proverb that many of us know, but don’t practice till we wake up one morning and realize it’s too late. We have no close friends. We’re lonely and there is no one close to help us in time of trouble. Or just to share life with.

Last week I was with a bunch of family members and some I hadn’t seen in sixty years. They lamented the fact we had drifted away from one another.

Who are your close friends? Invite some of them into your life at a deeper level. Ask them to speak into your life and speak into theirs and see what the Holy Spirit will do with that step of friendship and accountability.

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Psalms 94:17-98:3

I used to work at Camp of the Woods in Speculator, NY. Gordon Purdy was the director and CEO of the camp. He would lead us in worship during chapel services. He would periodically stop us singing and ask, “What did you just sing?” Most of the time people could not say what they had just sung. Why? Because many times we put our minds in neutral when we sing and enjoy the melody, but the words just slide by.
Psalm 95:1&2 are great reminders of just the opposite. To come into God’s house making a joyful noise, but to do it with thanksgiving.
95 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Verse 1
Let us make a joyful noise – The word used here means commonly to make a loud noise, to shout, Job 30:5. It is especially used
(a) of warlike shouts, Jos 6:16; 1 Samuel 17:20;
(b) of the shout of triumph, Judges 15:14;
(c) of the sound or clangor of a trumpet, Numbers 10:9; Joel 2:1.
It may thus be used to denote any shout of joy or praise. In public worship it would denote praise of the most animated kind.
To the Rock of our salvation – The strong ground of our confidence; the basis of our hope; our security.
Verse 2
Let us come before his presence. The word in Hebrew means literally to come before; to anticipate. It is the word which is commonly rendered “prevent.” Let us stand before his face; that is, in his very presence.
With thanksgiving – Expressing our thanks.
And make a joyful noise unto him – The same word which occurs in Psalms 95:1.
With psalms – Songs of praise.
There have been times when the words I sing are more important and personal than the sermon/teaching I hear later in the service. Our response to the music should not be oh that was a nice song, but Lord I sing this song to you with all I have. I sing this song loudly so that you know I love you and am praising you with all I have. And yes, I want to do and think the things I am singing about. I love you and want to please you with all I have.
This Sunday that’s your assignment. Sing during the music portion of the service engaging your voice and mind fully in the experience. See if that changes your worship experience and your week going forward

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