Psalm 104 – God Of All Creation 

Nature documentaries usually don’t attract me. Go ahead and give me that look. 

I get the whole love of wildlife and how the animal kingdom does its thing. For some it is a riveting subject worthy of the tones of someone like David Attenborough paying careful attention to the rise and fall of that animal in that desert. It just wasn’t my bag. 

This Psalm, however, this is quite something. There’s something about it that I love not just because of the beautiful, flowing language. There’s something endearing about creation flowing out of God. Creation is intensely relational and personal. It’s not removed and abstract. It’s presented here as creation responding to Creator. 

It is a majestic piece and another reason to love God. It is a piece worth reading whilst enjoying the beauty of creation described both in the living creatures and the variety of landscapes. 

Truly the Creator is great and worthy to be praised. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

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Psalm 19 – The Wonder of Revelation 

Awe. It’s quite a word. 

One thing that comes across to me reading Psalm 19 is how awestruck the Psalmist is. He looks at creation, he considers the written word of God and He has the same awe. Isn’t awesome how God has spoken. Not only has He spoken but that He has spoken. 

In how He has spoken He reveals Himself and His glory. In how He speaks He indicates how we can live to reflect His character and His glory. He has not left anything to chance at all, He has made it quite clear in nature and in His Word that He longs to show us just who He is and who we were created to be in the light of Him. That picture is a glorious one if we but had the sense to behold it and be captivated. 

That awe influences that last verse which now more than ever sounds like the request of a child to a father to help her make sure everything she does is right so she can enjoy everything made for her. Similarly we can enjoy the life we were made for as we ensure what is in the heart and flows out of the mouth is something reflective of this glorious God in whom we should be in awe. 

To see that awe then take on human flesh and walk among us and die for us to rise from the dead and offer life eternal through faith in Him is all the more awe-inspiring and truly embracing that provokes a heart desperate to know Him, love Him and live for Him. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 8 – Wonder

Sometimes the tears that flow are ones of amazement, wonder and awe.

How the Psalmist could reflect on what was around him and pen these words gives an insight on just how appreciative he was on the wonders of God. From up above to the waters beneath and the part humans play in it all it’s nothing short of an ode to just how majestic our God is. 

This is no human centred back-slapping exercise at all. This is how songs like How Great Thou Art get put together. 

It makes it all the more important to take the time out to just sit and look and reflect on the glory in creation and like the Psalmist proclaim, 

O Lord, Our Lord 

How majestic is Your name 

In all the earth 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Bad Fruit and A Thorny Situation (The Fruit Series 14)

​To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. (Genesis 3:17‭-‬18 NIV) 

The environment has to be right to enable the desired outcome. 

If there’s no depth, there will be insufficient room for strong roots to remain standing when the storms come. If it’s too exposed the elements may do damage to it as it endeavours to flourish. If it is surrounded by weeds it’s likely to be stifled in its development and so never get to be as fruitful as it was created to be. 

If it doesn’t get its nutrients it will wither and die. If it is not duly cultivated, it will not blossom as it should. If the necessary care is not given in ensuring it is the right environment the chances of success diminish rapidly. 

Consumption of the bad fruit, put humanity in a very different environment. One of their own making. One with severe consequences for all essential relationships above us, around us and beneath us. Detaching ourselves from the source and covering ourselves up from each other also had a negative impact on the environment around us. In fact it is no surprise that the environment reflects the deterioration of those designed to cultivate it. 

The good news of the good fruit we receive when Jesus walked the earth is that His plan didn’t just return us to right relations with God and others, it left creation itself eager and anxious for the sons of God to arise and richly replenish the earth as the initial creation mandate prescribed. It’s not just morally better people improving things, it’s the children of the Most High God liberating all of creation. 

There’s a tendency to be eager to leave this earth to go to heaven for some reason, as if that was the plan of God from the beginning. It’s evident throughout scripture, however, that God’s plan was for us to have dominion over the earth, over this environment. That plan has not changed and the good news of the good fruit found in Jesus Christ invites us to be a part of that plan being enacted now, even as we anticipate the culmination of all things in the return of the Son. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Be Fruitful – About Fruitfulness (The Fruit Series 08)

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (GEN 1:28 ESV) 

Just when I thought it was safe to move on from that verse, I came across this video which gave even more pause for thought. Great to consider the encouragement from Mike Breen on fruitfulness. 

Here’s to hoping we will be in the business of sowing seeds that bring up the fruitful forest of life for those around us. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Be Fruitful and Increase (The Fruit Series 07)

​God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28 NIV) 

I was walking home recently and it occurred to me that it’s one thing to compliment someone and something a little different to encourage someone. Complimenting someone can be an encouragement, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that there was something more to being encouraged. 

A compliment expresses a positive thing, an encouragement looks to build on something. Compliments tell us how beautiful the garden is, encouragement tells us to keep on keeping on with the cultivating of the garden. 

We are fruitful together – it’s a relational thing, yet in the blessing is the encouragement to let the fruit multiply, increase, go beyond us in kind. Not just the fruit of us, but fruit beyond us. 

That increase in the form of childbearing is an expression of fruit beyond us. Fruit beyond us though, is it just about children? It’s beautiful to see in children that came from the womb, it’s also beautiful to see in that which sprang off the glorious ongoing interactions and investment of fruitful relationships. 

So be encouraged – go be fruitful. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Be Fruitful – A Relational Mandate (The Fruit Series 06)

​And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (GEN 1:28 ESV) 

The blessing given to humanity was never intended as something that an individual could deliver on their own. The blessing is to ‘them’. Ever since fruit has been produced because of relational interactions. 

This is why the best way to block fruitfulness is to stymie relationships. Keep them on a superficial level, distract folks from investing in getting closer and deeper in a wide variety of ways. Allow previous experience to hang clouds of doubt over any potentially positive engagement in the present. Put masks on to avoid vulnerability and the threat of pain. Receive the view that the only one that can be trusted is yourself and ward others away. Resort to seeing people as a means to your ends and in as much as they are useful for those ends they have worth, but once they outlive their usefulness kick them to the kerb before moving on to the next benefactor. See self as the centre around which all should be submitted and have little in the way of lasting concern for the welfare of others. 

All the while as these are played out all that is ever produced is the rotting, corrupt remains of an existence barely worth celebrating as anything close to what could be described as a life. 

Fruit is a relational mandate, only ever experienced in the context of loving relationships full of those qualities that makes for great interactions because it’s that which flows from life that produces life. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden