Lake and rocks Pine trees, clouds, blue sky over a lake Sunset over a lake Trees, mountains, lake, driftwood Sunset with wispy clouds over a lake Waiting room DVD images Christian inspirational nature imagery Lobby video snapshot Looping video Soothing nature imagery Calming nature photography Though provoking photography Nature photography Nature scenery Relaxing nature video imagery Meditation imagery Christian philosophy video Inspirational nature photography Scripture inspired photography Beautiful nature photography Spiritual meditation imagery Insightful photography Insightful Christian quotes Nature photography Inspiring Christian ponderings Inspiring spiritual meditations Majestic photography Vibrant nature imagery Inspired nature scenes
with Common Sense 4 Uncommon People



Earth Shattering ~ John C Calkins

Posted: April 16th, 2016 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, disciple, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Understanding | Comments


Those 3 men of amazing influence. Have you ever wondered just what they talked about? “Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.” (Matthew 17:3 NIV). They were separated by thousands of years but they came together to talk? I have wondered, just what was said? The Bible doesn’t really provide any insight into what was communicated as the meeting was recorded in Matthew 17:3. The encounter itself illustrated life after death, which of course addressed a concern of confusion which had been the source of dialog for thousands of years. Perhaps it was even meant to calm and confirm to Jesus (the man) before the storm He was predestined to encounter. But still they talked, Jesus, Moses and Elijah. What about? Was there something else even worthier of such a meeting? God (the Father) even weighed-in, in the waning moments of that encounter with an instruction. “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”” (Matthew 17:5 NIV). “Listen to him.” Listen to what He would be saying, it is important. The Father, Son, Moses and Elijah were all there that day. This man (Jesus) who was loved by God and who had pleased Him would be speaking again and it would be important. Earth shattering in both a spiritual and natural sense.

The disciples who witnessed the encounter were instructed not to talk about that. ““As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”” (Matthew 17:9 NIV). They saw that day but they did not hear what was said. There was something coming, something important, but it had to wait until the perfect moment to be unveiled to the world. Earth shattering.

Let’s go much further back in time now for two possible clues. While Moses was leading the chosen people out of Egypt, they grew tired, restless, constantly complaining, to Moses, about Moses, food, discomfort, even about God. Moses became fed up with the burden of leadership. In fact I would go so far as to say Moses grew tired of being the delivery guy for the voice and Will of God. In fact Moses suggested to God, that God kill him, that would have been better than the burden he was carrying. God responded; ““The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.” (Numbers 11:16-17 NIV). There was something amazing in this counsel which went far beyond even the problems at hand, beyond the burdens of leadership. “I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them.” Whoa. That’s an Old Testament revelation. It was also a one-time event, not to be repeated, at least not then and not there. This came out of a conversation between Moses and God. Remember at that point in what we refer to as time, the Son was with Holy Spirt and the Father in heavenly Trinity. A little later on someone reiterated the subsequent, spiritual prophesying of two of those elder leaders to Moses, who responded with …. “But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”” (Numbers 11:29 NIV). Moses, the man who was in regular conversations with God … wished. He wished that all the Lord’s people would have God’s Spirt on them. If that wasn’t what we’d call a universal prayer, than what is?

Jesus, Moses and Elijah had talked. But the conversation was to remain a secret until the Son of Man was raised from the dead. What had Elijah said, what did he know of the Will of God and the future of humanity? Centuries earlier; “Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “ Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.” (1 Kings 17:21-22 NIV). Elijah realized the power of prayer. He knew God’s will and the earth as he had known it trembled when the door between heaven and earth opened and closed before his eyes. The boy died and then he lived! How could this be? What was death? What was life?

Flash forward. Jesus made His disciples a promise just before He was taken to be crucified. That promise presumed the impossible. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17 NIV). There it is, or there it could be. “The world” and the followers of Jesus (you) were to be quite different. The Gift of the Spirit would come to define that difference. The power of God, of life and death. God showed Moses and Elijah the possibilities, they both understood the relevance. Jesus later delivered the promise publicly and …. a short time later the Spirit came to the earth and upon the Lord’s people. The ceiling of earth as we knew it had been shattered, as had the floor of heaven. A personal connection to God was established once again. The attic door to Heaven was open. The door between was more than open, it was shattered. It was to be God and us going forward. The secret was revealed to those who believe. The mystery would remain for those who do not. Was this just a remarkable coincidence or was it simply God at work. I know the answer, do you? We call that day the Pentacost, the decent of Holy Spirit. Heaven and earth came back together. Jesus had been readied by Moses, Elijah and the Father and He in turn readied those who believe in and follow Him. Now what do we do with that revelation? It was a gift just waiting to be opened.


Good and Evil ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: December 7th, 2015 | Category: Christ Follower, Conflict, Deception, demons, disciple, Faith, Jesus Follower, miracles, Truth | Comments

Most people, including spiritual people with Biblical training, have trouble with the idea of a spiritual source of good and evil. We’ve struggled (at times) with accepting various aspects of the Word of God, particularly from those parts of the Bible which deal with what we have come to call, the supernatural. Most of the miracles mentioned in the New Testament, would fall clearly into the category of supernatural. Yet these are very much Biblical truths, then and now. If… read more

Presumptive Mistakes ~ JC Calkins

Posted: July 1st, 2014 | Category: disciple, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love, Truth | Comments

“HE restores my soul; HE leads me in the paths of righteousness for HIS name’s sake.” (Psalms 23:3 NKJV).  I’ve learned not to presume about what God is teaching to others, while He is teaching me. There are both general lessons and specific lessons to be shared in our Lord’s teachings. The lessons will never be contradictory in purpose, nor will they necessarily appear complimentary in actions. Jesus taught generally to His followers and then more specifically to His disciples…. read more

More Than Remnants ~ JC Calkins

Posted: May 16th, 2014 | Category: disciple, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love | Comments

It is a constantly enriching source of encouragement, in a world of darkness, to learn of so many who seek and follow the light of The Lord. As many of us move beneath the darkening skies of our selfish societies, simply knowing of the multitudes who believe as we do, is enough to brighten our days and console our darkest nights. We are the beneficiaries of thousands of years of spiritual progress and yet we still do not fit comfortably… read more

Being Readied ~ JC Calkins

Posted: March 25th, 2014 | Category: disciple, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love | Comments (1)

If we can separate ourselves from the crosses which we’ve chosen to bear or withstand and submit fully to our Lord, He will begin the laborious process of making us ready. Ready to pour out as He does; grace, love and forgiveness. Ready to walk in His shoes, speak His words and offer our shoulders to cry upon as He has and does for us. God expands within us, as we expand within the world, within the universe. God wants… read more

Perfectly Clear ~ JC Calkins

Posted: March 4th, 2014 | Category: disciple, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments

By most accounts, Jesus of Nazareth walked on this earth for 33 years. Three of those 33 constituted His period of teaching and ministry. There are many different printed and digital versions of the Holy Bible, but generally, the record of Jesus (the New Testament) is comprised of 288 pages, 27 Books, 260 Chapters, 7,959 Verses with 181,253 Words. Since the writings of it’s varied scribes & witnesses have been collected and assembled, this “living” book has been translated into… read more

Missing Parts? ~ JC Calkins

Posted: February 26th, 2014 | Category: disciple, Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments

I used to assemble things without ever looking at the directions. This approach seemed to work well enough. Very often I had a few supplied parts left over, which I generally presumed were “extras“.  In time, the less obvious became more obvious. In time, the “things” would stop working, which was always the point where the purpose of the missing or extra parts would start to become more obvious to me. The creators of the “things” knew which parts were… read more

Welcome To Heaven ~ JC Calkins

Posted: December 28th, 2013 | Category: disciple, Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments

Do you think that heaven is a faraway, other dimensional place? I don’t. I believe that heaven is simply the name that we’ve assigned to both the spiritual and manifest presence of God in our lives. The presence which far too many of us fail to recognize. I understand that this might not necessarily agree with modern perceptions, however I absolutely know that it is consistent with what God, through the Bible, tells us. The question which I’d, for so… read more

My Child ~ JC Calkins

Posted: December 5th, 2013 | Category: disciple, Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments (4)

The first time that I was aware of the manifest presence of God in my life, I wasn’t praying (as such), in a church or bible study, or for that matter, even thinking about God. I was commiserating silently about the seemingly dire circumstances of my life, family, choice of occupation and my lack of any apparent purposeful direction. I was unhappy, feeling alone, and no (before you wonder), I was not in a mid-life crisis. Yet to anyone on… read more

Enemy or Evil? ~ JC Calkins

Posted: September 28th, 2013 | Category: Christ Follower, disciple, Inspirational | Comments (3)

We could float around sunning ourselves while ignoring the world or we could make some useful decisions. OK now what to hate or love? It can at times be confusing, this Godly directive we are under to love our enemies and yet condemn or hate evil. This confusion results from misunderstandings. Our enemies are not always evil, even when they are in opposition to our ways. Our ways are not always right even if they aren’t evil. Loving and condemning are… read more