Psalm 66:3-4

“Say to God, ‘How awesome are Your works! Because of the greatness of Your power Your enemies will give feigned obedience to You. All the earth will worship You, And will sing praises to You; They will sing praises to Your name.'”

There is something about genuine strength. For the good of the greater whole it helps surrender chaos in favor of order. Anarchy is exchanged for civility.

Parents whose word is meant, know the incredible power of this. Their kiddos may desire to misbehave at the grocery store, but they will obey mom because when she issues a warning, she means it.

Society that weakens the ability for law enforcement to act, see a rise in violent crime. But if that same city elects/hires a police commissioner who makes it clear that abuse and scoffing of laws will be met with rigid enforcement… Crime subsides.

Some may read this and place the importance of the “feigned obedience.” In fact many parenting books will argue that conformity is not real obedience because they are not yet obeying in their heart.

But those that do miss the point.

The focus of this verse is God’s greatness–not man’s depravity. And here it is pointed out that his genuine, authentic, greatness restrains the evil and actions of those with ill intent.

And that’s good for all. For the evil doer is at worst delayed but perhaps even fully dissuaded from acting. It is good for all others because that evil is stifled, not encouraged.

I go back again to the very word picture that caused me to begin this journaling mostly in or about the psalms. “Aslan’s ROAR is of equal ferocity to both the predator and the cub. To one a fierce reminder that he is in the safest place he can be playing in Aslan’s mane. To the other the ferocity represents that very warning that they will be destroyed if they tangle with him this day.”

The restraint of evil is ALWAYS good!

Though it may not address an individual’s spiritual needs, it can not be argued that the world is a better place when evil is forced to the shadows and reviled in the light.

#AslanROARS

Psalm 65:5-8

“By awesome deeds You answer us in righteousness, O God of our salvation, You who are the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea.

Who establishes the mountains by His strength, being girded with might? Who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples?

They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.”

Need encouragement?

These lines remind us of some deeply core truth:

1. God (the Creator) answers us (the Created.)
2. God saves us.
3. God holds all of creation–and its trust!
4. God establishes mountains and calms seas.
5. God is the reason the masses are in awe.
6. God does these things day/night.

Need encouragement?

Who do you know who can do any of these things?

And yet He knows you!

He is not missing for duty. He is ready for your worries and cares and needs today. He can do it! Open your heart and trust.

Grab the mane!
#AslanROARS

Psalm 63:6-8

“When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. For You have been my help. And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.” 

It is very good to be the cub. The baby who literally plays, sleeps, and lives in or as near to the daddy lion’s mane as possible.

For even his fierce roar that scares away the predators brings safety, calm, and comfort to the offspring of that king!

Stay close to Papa!

Stay very close!

#AslanROARS

Psalm 61:3

“For You have been a refuge for me; a tower of strength against the enemy.”

Whenever we are most __________ what is the one thing that makes it begin to be better? Is it not the idea that are not alone? That we have someone to turn to? Or hide behind? 

If God desires to be such a person to us, is it not of great comfort to know–as cubs under his care–that His mane is just such a refuge?

We say it repeatedly here at the #AslanROARS project but it worth remembering. Aslan’s roars sound ferocious to all who hear.

And while in the heart of the predator that ferocity speaks fear to the heart of the evil one, to His cubs it screams of his fierce protection. 

What a refuge!

What a tower of strength!

#AslanROARS

Psalm 56:11-13

“In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? Your promises are upon me, O God; I will render thank offerings to You. For You have delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God. In the light of the living.”

Don’t know about you, but I awoke today needing to know that God is in control. I am constantly made aware of how great my weakness is.

But when I read these words…

WOW… #IHearHimRoaring

#AslanROARS

Psalm 55:22

“Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow His children (the righteous) to be shaken.”

Got burdens?

About to lose your home? Too much month for the money? Too much stress for the day? Too much pain for the heart? Too much worry for your mind? Too much distraction for your focus? Too much anxiety for your day? Too much day for your rest? Too much restlessness for your sleep? Much uncertainty? Much fear? Much much?

The psalmist says “cast…”

He didn’t say drag, strain, lift, or push.

Cast… Like casting a fishing line, or tossing paper in a waste bin. Cast your “much” on Him!

He’s God, He’s powerful, He’s capable…

He’s Daddy, He’s present, He LOVES…

So cast all of your much… He’s got this. And He LOVES his children!

#AslanROARS

#AslanROARS: What Is It?

“At the sound of His roar, sorrows will be no more! When He bares His teeth, winter meets his death. When He shakes His mane, we shall have spring–AGAIN!”

For the duration of my life I’ve yet to find a better literary symbol of who Jesus fully is–as presented in the scriptures–than the classic C.S. Lewis character of Aslan. He is strong, He is gentle, He is meek, and He is fierce.

I also find myself wandering down the trails of life–some longer than others–that bring out different needs, fears, or anxieties that Aslan’s strengths can meet head on.

This past holiday season my boys got particularly moved by Sally Lloyd Jone’s book the Song Of The Stars. There is little doubt in my mind that their favorite passage of that story is the page where the Lion roars the coming of the “King of Kings.” If the imagery is not a direct correlation to the character of Aslan then it is a freakish coincidence.

But hold that thought for a minute…

This year I have embarked on a project.

I didn’t have the name for the project to begin with, but the name for the project has now found me.

Wanting to implement something in 2016 that would challenge me, help me grow, and help me mature, I felt led to begin reading daily from the Psalms. I’ve heard from many who have done this in the past and it has benefited them seemingly in both great and awful seasons of their lives. I am familiar with one man who did this for better than fifty years and when he passed away in the last ten years he was viewed–by both followers of Jesus and those who did not–as one of the wisest men any of them had ever confessed to knowing.

I have to believe that the depth of his understanding of this portion of holy writ had something to do with that.

As I am now only a few days into the new endeavor I discovered something almost immediately. The Psalms is by far one of the most encouraging scriptural texts I’ve ever reflected on.

In both the statements and assertions of who God is, but also how he allows his children to wrestle with what he allows, and ultimately always demonstrates his power and goodness over all has to be one of the most amazing snapshots in the study of God ever seen.

So sixteen or so days ago, chapter by chapter I began eagerly waking up and turning to the next chapter to see what I could learn about the Creator, what he says about me, what he thinks of my need for him, and my ability to respond.

What I discovered was a source of encouragement I’ve rarely been exposed to, and what it has developed is a deep thirst for more. But it has also instilled within me a desire to encourage others with the pure words of those ancient song writers.

So how does Aslan fit the project?

The quote above–from the C.S. Lewis classic–is one of the most incredible pictures of the effect of Jesus we can hope for. In Aslan’s reality, all he had to do was bare his teeth to make winter die. A formidable picture of power, but an encouraging picture of goodness.

Shaking his mane, and commencing spring is an equally powerful glimpse of the effortlessness it is to God to make new, to bring new life, and to initiate new birth.

But it is the beginning of this quote that grabbed my heart. For nothing is more fierce than a lion’s roar–not in nature.

It says to all predators, “Not today!”

It says to all who portend evil for the den, “Step off, get back, come closer and you are finished.”

It says to every cub, “No need to worry, I’ve got this, and you know it by the fierceness with which I say so!”

Simultaneously the predator and the cub hear the same sound of fierceness, and simultaneously they feel anxiety or comfort–depending upon their relationship to Aslan!

Aslan should be feared by those who would seek harm, but he can be trusted by those who seek his love. He is fearful, powerful, and terrifying beyond description–but he is also good and in that can be trusted.

But the quote above references an interesting aspect of his roar. At the sound of it–sorrows cease.

In the Psalms it is my opinion that Aslan roars often, but in the day to day reading of them, sorrows are ceasing on a page by page basis. Not that the situations that are causing the sorrows are being dispensed, but something far more important is happening. The despair that accompanies those sorrows is evaporating in Aslan’s ROAR!

So why am I telling you about this now? Because maybe like me you need to be a cub in Aslan’s den. Maybe you need a place to get encouragement daily. Maybe you need to hide in the effortless mane of the one whose fiercest roar strikes fear in evil, but brings comfort to the broken.

The #AslanROARS project is currently being populated to the Kevin McCullough (public figure) facebook page, as well as The Early Morning God Thought facebook page. But if you’d like to receive it by email, sign up on this page under the “Binge-sider.”

I want to encourage you in 2016.

But I’m far too insufficient to be able to. But we know the one who is MORE than sufficient…

He ROARS fiercely and in that ferocity our sorrows cease!