the mountains we make

It’s no secret, if you know me, you know I love the mountains: to climb, look at, rest upon, and in winter, slide down. Each time I drive by, or begin to climb, I recite these words:

Mt. Colden, ADK.

“I lift up my eyes to wthe hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121:1-2).

The prophet Amos reminds us, “For behold, He who forms mountains … ” (Amos 4:13), that it is the Lord who forms the mountains, and therefore the valleys, even the bottomlands that result.

In forming the mountains, He knew exactly what He was doing. No mistakes, just grandeur.

Metaphorically, in the course of life and circumstance, we face challenges that we refer to as mountains and valleys. Messiah speaking in this way told us that faith can move those mountains, amen.

Over the years I have amplified this by explaining that God can take you over, under, or through the mountains of challenges; or, as I once wrote, “Sometimes the mountain moved by faith is you.”

Yet, there are also mountains appearing, seemingly on our horizon, that we create. At first the busyness of life seems to heap up before us; followed by fearful anticipation of what is on the other side of those heaps; until finally, our perspective becomes blocked by what we have imagined, and cannot control – the Himalayas of dread.

Still, Messiah said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt. 6:34).

In this single verse is Messiah’s practical application of faith. Is there anyone who cannot relate to what He is saying?

Yet, it is preceded by the object of faith, that sufficiently prepares us to trust for the tomorrow we cannot control: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matt. 6:33).

Him first, His righteousness, and what is necessary will be there, “Thy will be done.”

The mountains we make are formed from the circumstances and challenges we face. Except, without knowledge of the end, we cannot expertly form these mountains – which are not lasting.

They lack subtle definition that adds character to those mountains we look to in awe. Rather, all of our cares and concerns, when heaped up, look like a mountain of garbage. Have you ever seen one? Ugly things really.

The faith present in the celebration, is the same present in the bottomlands, way down deep in the most excruciating of times. The faith never changes, only how we experience it’s amplification in the midst of duress.

I’m learning, day by day, that the mountains He forms, natural and metaphorical, are formed perfectly to His design; and that there will either be a way over, at times requiring great exertion; or, a way around. We must faithful navigate either way.

We are easily overwhelmed by our mountains; but in faith, the One who made the mountains, the heavens and earth, overwhelms the myriad troubles before us, and becomes our help, our Yeshua, our Jesus.

Shabbat shalom.

a form of prayer

The apostle Paul wrote, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:19-20).

Why? Conversation is a form of prayer, whereby those speaking bless and glorify the Father in heaven. When we are inclined to argue, we should be thankful. When we are inclined to weep, we should praise. But when we are inclined to gossip, we should be silent – let silence be that prayer.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6).

Be well. Shalom.


As a plural noun directed at things, rejects is rather benign; but directed towards humans, devastating. Rejects, objects or humans, are dismissed for failing to meet a standard, or raise to a satisfactory preference. Rejects are outcasts.

I remember vividly hearing a teacher refer to the “rejects over there,” a group that happened to be friends of mine. Was I a reject? Probably. I know we relished not conforming to the social norms of our school, and we probably referred to ourselves as rejects; but to hear it from someone outside the group, devastating, as the rejection became real indeed.

With the advent of social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc. – I recognized something. The majority of us are rejects, in one respect or another, looking for validation and acceptance. We long to be accepted, to fit a standard by which we will be accepted. We all want to belong.

Rejects. A biblical metaphor I reference often is the potters wheel. The Lord as the potter, applying the pressure of His hands in the clay, against the wheel, making a beautiful vessel.

Yet, beside every potters house in the ancient world was a small patch of land called the potters field. It was littered with rejects. Pots that were too brittle or cracked, broken, misshapen, or not to type. Discarded, they broke down further over time, exposed to the elements, and even foot traffic, until to dust they returned.

In modern times, the potters field came to mean something else. The potters field became a municipal site for burying indignant, unclaimed, unnamed people left utterly alone in this world. Perhaps rejected, but also terribly neglected.

In the course of events surrounding the arrest and trial of Messiah Jesus, as He advances to the cross, caught up in the majesty of His salvific work is the purchase of the “the potter’s field, to bury strangers in” (Matt. 27:7).

The money used to betray Him, was now used to purchase a field littered with the dust of long rejected pots, where strangers would be buried. Christ bought a field of rejects.

In our journey for social acceptance, we set up our own standard for it depending on the group, a relaxing righteousness; which does little for the human heart, leading to its continually amended nature.

The message of the potters field in Matthew 27 is for everyone: the rejects, the unknown, the misshapen, the stranger, the sinner, however we may view ourselves and our reasons for rejection.

Christ was the ultimate reject. The one over there. The different. The non-conforming. The righteous. So rejected, so hated by the world that we want to do away with Him, even now.

When we finally see past our rejection, that leads to our self-righteous efforts, there He is, not rejected, but seated in glory encouraging you to come to Him.

Rejection has caused us to be heavy laden with sin, laboring to find our own peace in this world. He wants us to rest. And when we come to Him, in faith, He will not reject us – He will renew and remake us.

The potters field is a graphic picture of Christ purchasing the rejects of this world, trampled to dust in our own anonymity. Having come to the end of our self-righteous attempts at acceptance, we find God, in His great mercy, has already made the way in His Son, by His rejection and blood.

Christ died for our sins, but also for our rejection. He died in order that we be accepted in heaven, where the human heart finally, finally experiences the rest and peace it has labored so hard for in a broken society. See, it was not God rejecting us, but we rejecting Him.

He was the reject that did not meet our standard. The fullness of the Godhead, Christ, was rejected by all of us because His ways were not our ways; and by definition: a rejected outsider.

When Christ died for our rejection, He died for our rejection of heaven by sin; our rejection of the Father’s righteousness. How much did we pursue by flesh means in a vain attempt for social acceptance?

When we finally stop laboring for acceptance, rejection stops. We stop caring about not being accepted by society, and we stop rejecting the love of God in Christ, and the peace that brings.

You and I were once, or perhaps some of you still are, relegated to brokenness in a potters field, but glory to God, we are now a vessel, the habitation for His treasure.

To those who now, or have, felt the sting of rejection, Christ is the remedy, as He bought the field of brokenness where you find yourself, and He did so, long before you arrived.

“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Cor. 5:14–7).

Be well. Shalom.