On A Spiritual “R & R”

When I served in Vietnam (1968-69), I was sent on a time of “R & R” (Rest and Recuperation). It was necessary to avoid what they call “battle fatigue.” The soldier leaves the field of battle temporarily, to rest and restore the mind, body and soul.

The Bible calls us to times of Spiritual R&R (Repent & Refresh). That is what happens in revival:

“Jesus said, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” – Mark 6:31

Peter said, “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;” -Acts 3:19

Isaiah, “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’ But you were unwilling,” – Isaiah 30:15

God’s word teaches me that “times of refreshing” come from God when I “willingly” step away from the battle and travel deep into renewal territory. Some call this a directed retreat. It is a time set aside intentionally to sit before God with an open Bible, an open mind and heart and listen to him. To repent of anything that interrupts my relationship with him and be quiet before him.

I never know when God might lead me into a Spiritual R&R, or for how long I might be in such an R&R. It has been at least a year since my last one. It was about ten days to two weeks long .

About a month ago some dear friends invited us to the Texas Hill Country for a stay with them. Then, a week ago, God spoke to me and said, “Son, I want you to step away and refocus on me.”

I said, “Yes, Sir.”

So, the exhortation and the opportunity to step away for a Spiritual R&R have led me to do just that.

I am writing so you will know that This BLOG will be silent for a period. But be assured, this prayer sentry may be absent from this prayer post, but not absent from the war. I will look forward to returning as soon as God gives me leave to do so.

“Walk The Talk”


Seek to maintain a pure heart with God (Jer 9:25,26). #WalkTheTalk #BeWhatYouProclaim


Originally, for the Jew, circumcision was done as a sign of their Covenant with God. It reflected for them their obedience to God, their dedication to God (Gen 17:9–14). Paul, the Hebrew scholar, taught in the New Testament, that circumcision is of no spiritual consequence if a person has no change of heart towards God (Rom 2:28,29).

In Jeremiah, God was saying the same thing to his rebellious people. They followed the outward expressions of ritual (the letter of the law). But inwardly their hearts were far from God. They were no doubt appalled that Jeremiah would say they were no different than every other sinful pagan nation around them. In judgment, God would not discriminate between them.

Lord, what the prayer sentry says or does by rote/ritual won’t deliver him/her from judgment, but the condition of our heart towards you.

The Dawn Of “Mourning”


May there be godly sorrow for sin, a turning to God for mercy, justice and righteousness (Jer 9:17–24). #GodlySorrow #Repentance #JusticeAndMercy


The dawn of real mourning is rising upon Judah. Her unconfessed sin has led to God’s discipline/judgment:

1) The people must leave their land. Homes have been destroyed and children are cut down in their youth – they no longer play in the streets. There is no more gathering of young men in the market square.

2) Dead bodies will be left scattered everywhere and no one will be left to bury them.

3) But, the righteous shall be gathered together. Their boast will be in the unfailing love, justice and righteousness of the Lord.

At the end of God’s judgment is the hand of God reaching out to those who put their faith in him. This is the delight of God.

Today America is being overrun with an insurgence of unwarrantable people (many who wish to do us harm). Drugs, violence and declining birth rates are destroying our children. The market squares (businesses) are being gutted, looted and destroyed, taking her economy down with it.

Judgment/discipline is coming upon my beloved country. Wealth is being decimated by the decisions of the powerful. The poor and weak are being devastated by radical social and economic policies. All the while, this beloved country boasts in her power, might and independence. She worships at the altar of self-reliance and serves other gods (who are no gods). She is selling out to her enemies and thumbing her nose at the God of her forefathers; the God who made her good and made her great.

The Dawn of Mourning,” judgment of arrogance and godlessness is on the horizon. But for those faithful to Jehovah-God there will be an unfolding of mercy, justice and righteousness. They will understand that God delights in such things. They will see hope in the midst of devastation.

Oh, to be counted among those faithful. May those faithful grow in numbers every day. May this great land know the dawning of a spiritual awakening of national proportions. May revival spread like a great prairie fire across our land. Oh Lord, make it so!



May we heed every call to repentance; live faithfully for God (Jer 9:10–16). #TheHighCostOfAbandoningGod #Ghosted #TurnNowToGod #Repentance


God set in motion a plan for his people (using the pagan nation, Babylon) to bring severe judgment and discipline upon them (Jeremiah weeps bitterly). The land of Judah will be made a desolate wilderness and Jerusalem a heap of ruins. No one will go there or travel there. It will be a ghost town.

“Why?“ God asks. He answers – because his people had abandoned him, broke their promises to him. They went their own stubborn way and worshiped Baal gods (who are no gods). God would scatter them to places they never heard of. It is a tragic and frightening thing for any people (nation) to turn their backs on God.

Lord, may every prayer sentry (their beloved nation) take seriously any daily call to repentance and live faithfully for you.

* Ghosted (an Urban definition): – a term used to describe when a person closely known to another, stops taking their calls and answering their texts. These actions are usually preceded by many a broken promise to “hang out,” be friendly or romantically attached or “catch up” on the part of the “Ghoster.” Such was God to Judah after their many broken promises to follow him.

The Trouble With Lying


May our hearts be truthful to ourselves, to God and to others (Jer 9:3-9). #ToTellTheTruth


I am trying to answer the question, why is lying such an offense to God? Most of the culture of Judah (and ours today) had no problem with lying. But God sees lying as tragic and sinful. Some definitions for lying helped me to begin to understand why God hates lying so much: cheating, thwarting, subverting, exaggerating, perversion, sneaky, dishonesty, faithless, defrauding, deceitful, falsehood, misleading, double-dealing, misrepresenting, diluted, full of guile, two-faced, unreliable, tricky, shifty.

But the word that got my attention was, “prevarication.“ It means to straddle; it comes from a word meaning, “to bend outwards or bow-legged.“ The Hebrew word used here reveals “lying” as to bend (note v3), to be crooked (Jeremiah uses this word more than any other OT book) Ultimately it means to shape or bend our words in such a way as to deceive and/or hurt others. It is this intention of the heart that so raises God’s ire. That is why “truth telling” is included as a criterion for entering into worship of God (Psm 24:3-6). “Truth,” according to God, “will set you free” (Jhn 8:31,32).

Lord, this ol’ sentry has known his share of “lying” days. May it now and forever be that a heart of truth be my greatest asset with God and man.

Lying Lips


May our lips know only the truth; may we be discerning of truth (Jer 9:3-9). #TellTheTruth #WhereAreTheTruthTellers


In the larger scheme of things, it seems like “lying” would be way down on the list of things that offend God. But lying is an abomination to God (Pro 12:22). Judah, God’s people, were slanderous, stood against the truth, were untrustworthy, defrauding, scheming and conniving against friends and family. They were good at lying, stacking lie upon lie and refused to acknowledge God. God asks, “How can I not bring judgment on this behavior?”

People often have a problem with telling the truth (not just politicians). We lie because it is in our nature to lie. Lying is the way we deflect blame and responsibility for our own sin and wrong doing. We lie to give ourselves the advantage. Our lies will often mean someone else is intentionally harmed. Lies deny others the benefit of knowing the truth. How will God not judge any nation that breeds a culture of lying? Lord, may my lips know only truth.

The Lord Victorious

“Lion of Judah” The Lord our God

Yesterday I was speaking on the phone with a dear friend from California. He was telling me about several mutual friends who were and are facing life threatening and debilitating illnesses. We spoke of our compassion for them; what long time friends they have been. But my friend who is normally pretty positive seemed troubled in his soul.

Our conversation then slipped into a brief discussion of the direction of our beloved nation. Of course, how one feels about America today depends entirely on one’s perspective and persuasion. The problem however, is not perspective. It is that there is so much animosity and vitriol between neighbors. We do not trust one another. So, whoever is in the minority becomes TERRIFIED of what will happen to us as a nation if the “other side,” the antagonists if you will, have the power.


one or the other of us is


The whole conversation haunted me all day yesterday and into the night. This morning I awoke with a lingering pain in my heart over our conversation. Over dear friends who are facing dyer Illnesses. Over my friend and his deep compassion for other troubled souls. Over our beloved nation that is so divided.

“Lord, I need a little healing balm this morning, a little comfort.”

This is what God said to me:

The common enemy in all our devastation, whether it is sicknesses or political ideology, is the ruler of this world. It is Satan himself. He is the enemy of the body. He is the enmity between men. He is the perpetrator of sickness and the source of all our division, fears and terror.

This verse came to me. “My enemies [Satan is the real enemy] trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly [sickness may attack me without mercy]. [BUT] When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I SHALL NOT BE AFRAID. What can flesh do to me?” – Psalm‬ ‭56:2-4‬ ‭

The Lord spoke to me further…

…“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.”

“And do not fear those who [or that which] kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.”

“Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew‬ ‭10:26-33‬ ‭

So, this morning I am taking my stand against every weapon of Satan that might be fashioned against me, my friend, our other mutual hurting friends and my “neighbor” who may think differently than I.

I am declaring that the enemy of every man, woman and child is Satan. I will pray for the sick and bereaved. I will pray for my neighbor – no matter what the ideology, race or gender. I can declare that Satan is a liar and a deceiver of all men. He may even deceive the very elect of God. But let it be known today by the word of God that the enemy is exposed for who he is. May one prayer set thousands of Satan’s emissaries in this world to flight. May many prayers of the Saints set hundreds of thousands to flight.

The Lord declares it.

May we believe it.

May we declare it ourselves.


“Everybody, Lies A Little”


May we always speak the truth in life (Jer 9:3) #BeATruthTeller


So what is the big deal with lying? According to blues musician, B.B. King, “Everybody, Lies A Little.“ The people of Judah were a lying people. They took a stand against the truth. The people of our modern culture, think some lying is okay. Lying is common. It comes natural. [Ever notice how a child needs no instruction on the art of lying?] Yet, it is listed with the “really bad” things, like immorality, stealing, murder and dishonoring God.

Lying is a sin against God (v 9; also, Pro 12:22). it is the opposite of the truth. It goes against all for which God stands. Lying is, according to the NIV translation of the Bible, the native language of the Devil (Jhn 8:44). A French national speaks French. The Devil is from Hell, where the native language is Lying. That is the Devil’s “go to” language. He doesn’t have to think about it. That is just his language. He lies. As humans born into sin, our native language is lying. Only a true relationship with God can change our sin nature and make us truth tellers.

“Do Your Job”

Speak compassionately to the world around you in rebellion against God (Jer 8:18-22; Jer 9:1,2) #DoYourJob #CompassionateWitness


Jeremiah is in deep conflict of soul… weeping before the Lord for his people, Judah. He is mournful at the destruction of Jerusalem. At the same time Jeremiah is revulsed at the sin and rebellion of Judah. God reminds Jeremiah that the “harvest is finished and the summer is gone” – the times of repentance has passed. Judgment is now a certainty.

God did not leave Judah. Judah left God. God has never left my beloved nation either. But she has walked away from him.

Deep compassion and righteous anger are the extremes felt by the prophet. He would like to forget this people, to run and hide. But, of course, he cannot. Yes Lord, I would like to run away and hide from the sin and rejection of God in my world too. But I cannot. As long as this watchman has breath in his body, he has a part to play in God’s redemption plan. Carry out the “Sentinel Orders” listed at the top of this blog.

When Time Runs Out


Humbly repent of sin before it’s too late (Jer 8:14–17). #TurnNowToGod #Repent #whenTimeRunsOut

Time’s Up


When the people of Judah realize that their security as a nation has been breached, panic will ensue. This is the moment when reality sets in – the cavalry is not coming. We are all going to die here. God really is not going to rescue us.

But at that point it will be too late. Time will have run out. The Babylonians will strike with the swiftness and fatality of a deadly poisonous snake. The thundering hooves of enemy troops on horseback will strike so fast there will be no time for repentance. The dam of sin’s consequences will have burst.

The same may be said for of all who reject God’s warnings today; his call to salvation. Lord, I cannot imagine anything more terrifying than the consequences of blatant sin bearing down on my beloved nation. May she humbly repent now, before it’s too late.

Those Lyin’ Eyes


Realize the real lies; discern the truth (Jer 8:8–13). #RealEyesRealizeRealLies #DiscernTheTruth #DontBeFooled

Think About It…


The people of Judah put their swagger on. “We have the Word of the Lord on our side.” But that Word was twisted and misused by lying priest, false prophets and tricky officials. They used God’s Word to suit their own greedy ends. They did this unashamedly.

The leaders were treating the mortal, terminal wounds of sin superficially. They assured the people that, “Ev’thing would be alright.” But it would not be alright. The nation would lose everything. These lying leaders would be cut down and whatever they did have, would be lost. Oh my Lord, what a duty the watchman or woman has to speak the truth and discern truth. Give us leaders who speak the truth.

On The Right Path?*


Give heed to the spiritual laws of God that offer the best for life (Jer 8:4–7). #DoTheRightThing #RepentTowardsGod #PersueRighteousness

Mindless Birds Heed Migration Laws Of Nature; God’s People Ignore The Laws Of God


Common sense should tell us when something is wrong in our being. But the people of God seem senseless. They live contrary to all that is right. They know they are wrong but refuse to turn back. They cling, like barnacles, to their lies and rationalizations of sin. They run in a herd, down the path of destruction.

Even mindless birds follow their natural instinct [laws of nature] to migrate. But God’s people, who have incredibly capable minds, given by God, do not follow the Laws of God. Those laws that govern goodness and righteousness. The message is to open our eyes and turn to God. Lord, may my beloved country, even this old sentry, heed your Laws and stay on the path of righteousness.

* There is a path before each person that seems right,
but it ends in death. (Pro 14.12)

Bare-bones Judgment


Do not minimize or underestimate the consequences of sin (Jer 8:1–3). #WagesOfSinIsDeath #NoTurningBack #ThoroughJudgment


How thorough God’s judgment of Judah will be. Even the dead will be irreligiously and irreverently exhumed. Their bare bones will be spread like manure on the ground before the gods whom they loved, served and worshiped (sun, moon, stars). These gods (who are no gods) are powerless to protect and save them.

All who survive this humiliation will live another, wishing death over life in captivity. When that Day of Judgment comes there will be no turning back. This, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has decreed. Lord, how can I think any less of my sin before you? What makes my beloved country think she can escape if she ignores God’s call to salvation (Heb 2:1-3)?

Warning From The Past


May we come in humble repentance to God and not ignore his mercy (Jer 7:25-29). #TurnNowToGod #RepentTowardsGod


God continues to make his case against Judah. Since the days of Moses, God had sent his prophets to speak to the heart of his people, to no avail. They were stubborn and did even worse evil than their ancestors. Yet God in his mercy and grace continues to warn us of his judgment e even today. (Note 1st Corinthians 10, esp. vv 11-13)

God tells Jeremiah to keep shouting his message of repentance; then to shave his head (a sign of mourning) and weep before God. For the people will not listen or respond to him. They no longer know the truth nor even try to do it. The Lord rejected that generation. Their flagrant sin had provoked God’s fury.

What say you, O watchman on the wall? What say you to the calls of God to turn to him? Will you turn in humble repentance or ignore God’s mercy? Will you continue to shout out the message of repentance?



Acknowledge the depths of your depravity before God (Jer 7:30–34). #DeplorableDepravedDevastation #TurnNowToGod #LordSendAwakening

The Soul That Defies God


The sins of Judah before God were of the most heinous kinds. The Temple of God in Jerusalem was used to worship odious other gods and idols. Shrines were built outside the city where the abominable practice of child sacrifice was conducted. Children were burned alive in the worship of other gods (who are no gods). This was a practice that Jehovah God neither commanded nor even considered.

God says, “This will come to an end; my people will pay a steep price for their sin. I will make the land a desolate place.” Lord, deliver my soul from any deplorable sin that offends you. Deliver the soul of my beloved country from the sin that offends you. May we humble ourselves, repent and follow after God.

Tragedy Of The Human Soul


May God turn our hearts toward a meaningful relationship with him (Jer 7:17-24). #PutFaithInGodAlone #Repent #TurnBackToGod


When God’s people left Egypt, God put in place a system of sacrifices and feasts. These were symbols and reminders to the people of God‘s love, affection and commitment to them. But the people separated the symbol from the meaning. Soon they went about in heartless ritual, and worship. Having lost sight of the richness of the symbols of worship, they made their offerings and sacrifices to other gods as well.

Of course, this did not hurt God. It hurt the people because they no longer sought or followed after the one true God who loved, protected and guided them. The tragedy of not following God is the devastation it brings to the human soul. Thus, we see today in our own culture, the depraved acts of violence and sin, the tragic ends of the soul separated from God. Lord, keep this duty sentry focused on a meaningful relationship with you.

Don’t Pray For Help?


Always be devoted to unceasing prayer for a spirit of repentance (Jer 7:16). #PrayWithoutCeasing #BeDevotedInPrayer #PrayForRepentance


I cannot imagine a worse scenario. God tells Jeremiah, “Pray no more for these people. Do not weep or pray for these people. Don’t beg me to help them, for I will not listen to you.“ Notice, he said don’t beg me to help these people. He didn’t say to stop praying for repentance.

The sins of Judah had defiled them so badly that they were completely and totally incorrigible towards God. They were impervious to constraints or correction…out of control. Their hearts were like stone towards God. Therefore, judgment was on its way and God would not stop the destruction…UNLESS, THEY REPENT (7:3-7). God will hear that prayer.

Thankfully Lord, you never told anyone not to pray in the New Testament. Instead we are told to be devoted to prayer and to pray without ceasing (Col 4:2; Luk 18:1). Intercession is the call of the watchman to duty. Prayer for repentance is always an appropriate prayer.

Learn From History


Learn from the past God’s faithfulness to do what he says he will do (Jer 7:11–15). #BelieveGod #PutFaithInGodAlone


Jeremiah‘s message to rebellious Judah was to look to the past for clues in the present. God had destroyed the first site of the Tabernacle of God in Shiloh, because of the rebellion and idolatry of his people. Surely he will not spare the temple in Jerusalem.

The people of Judah should have learned from history and given heed to God’s word. They were warned. Now God was about to do in Jerusalem what he did in Shiloh. This aged sentry may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer. But I am sharp enough to believe God and take him at his word.

America today is in an abyss of sin. She will pay a heavy price for ignoring God; for flaunting her sin. But if she will turn to God he will be merciful. PRAY FOR AWAKENING!

Lucky Us


Deliver us as a nation from the sin of presumption (Jer 7:8–11). #LuckyCharm #IlligitimateWorship #TurnNowToGod


The danger of religious familiarity is that it leads to the sin of presumption – impertinent boldness, taking liberties with God’s goodness. God’s grace does not give me liberty to live like hell all week. Then on the day of worship, bow my head and pray (Rom 6:1,2). This is illegitimate worship.

God’s people had come to treat the very Temple in which they worshipped like a good luck charm, a religious talisman. They claimed to follow God but their hearts were far from him. God says, “Do you really think that is acceptable to me? I see your stinking depravity and it is unacceptable. That is why judgment is on its way.” Lord, how dare I ever presume upon your goodness & grace.

“If Only”


Seek to follow after the one true God, [the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ] (Jer 7:1-7 [1Pe 1:3]). #IfOnly #SeekAfterGodAlone #RepentTowardsGod

If Only


“Even now,“ the Lord speaks to Judah (his people), by the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah. “I will let you stay in your land [I will extend my hand of mercy].“ God’s judgment may be avoided, “If only…“ The Lord lays out the conditions of repentance.

“If only“ – stop doing and thinking only evil and treat people justly.

“If only“ – stop the exploitation of the weak, the innocent and the unsuspecting.

“If only“ – stop the murder, the killing and the intolerance.

“If only“ – stop harming and deceiving yourselves by worshiping idols (gods who are no gods).

The conditions of repentance are: be just, be compassionate, be loving and tolerant, be devoted to Jehovah God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Pe 1:3). Would these things not change all of society, all of America?

Oh Lord, give this duty sentry (give the spirit of America) a willing heart of repentance towards and devotion to, the one true God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

One minute with Billy Graham; Los Angeles 1963

Worthless Silver


May we respond in repentance to the refining fires of God’s judgment (Jer 6:27–30i). #RefinersFire #ProvingSpiritualWorth

Discarded Worthless Silver


Like an assayer judges the value of precious metal, so Jeremiah makes an assessment of the spiritual worth of God’s people. The determination is that the refiner’s fire has proved God’s people are unrepentant and of the worst value.

God’s people are hard like iron. Unusable. The fires of previous judgments have not brought about any purification. Therefore, they are “rejected silver“ and cast aside by the God. Oh, that America, me or my family might not become “rejected silver.“ Lord thank you for the fires of refining in my life (Pro 25:4,5). May those fires prove the value of this old sentry’s walk with you.