Mudslides – Part One


I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
    and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
    out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
    and steadied me as I walked along.
Psalm 40:1-2

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand.
“The Solid Ground




CARPINTERIA, Calif. — First came the fires. Now come the floods.

Heavy rains lashed the hillsides of Santa Barbara County on Tuesday, sending one boy hurtling hundreds of yards in a torrent of mud before he was rescued from under a freeway overpass. His father, though, was still missing. A 14-year-old girl was buried under a mountain of mud and debris from a collapsed home before being pulled to safety by rescuers as helicopters circulated overhead, searching for more victims. Still, those children could count themselves among the lucky. At least 13 people — and possibly more, the authorities warned — were killed on Tuesday and more than two dozen were injured as a vast area northwest of Los Angeles, recently scorched in the state’s largest wildfire on record, became the scene of another disaster, as a driving rainstorm, the heaviest in nearly a year, triggered floods and mudslides. The wreckage of the downpour, coming so soon after the wildfires, was not a coincidence but a direct result of the charred lands, left vulnerable to quickly forming mudslides.

MUDSLIDES come in various forms! The geographical is most obvious. There are, however, numerous others that are less conspicuous. Of this both David and the hymn writer testified. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.” “All other ground is sinking sand.”  Perhaps you have experienced some of these: emotional, physical, relational, spiritual, and financial mudslides. There are common ingredients in all. It feels like you’ve lost your footing. Reality is is nothing but “sinking sand.” It feels like you’re being inundated, swept away by forces that are beyond your control. It feels like your at the bottom of a pit – perhaps of depression and despair – where your circumstance appears hopeless. It appears as if everything is broken, on the brink of destruction. Perhaps your situation appears so bleak that you just want to die. 

You may think I’m exaggerating; so, hang on for the next post. I’m going to introduce persons who’ve been through mudslides just like you and me.


The Vineyard – Peter, A Pruned Branch


Jesus was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret,
teaching the people as they crowded around him to hear God’s message.

Near the shore he saw two boats left there by some fishermen
who had gone to wash their nets.
Jesus got into the boat that belonged to Simon
and asked him to row it out a little way from the shore.
When Jesus had finished speaking, he told Simon,
“Row the boat out into the deep water and let your nets down to catch some fish.”
“Master,” Simon answered, “we have worked hard all night long and have not caught a thing.
But if you tell me to, I will let the nets down.”

They did it and caught so many fish that their nets began ripping apart.
Then they signaled for their partners in the other boat to come and help them.
The men came, and together they filled the two boats so full that they both began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this happen, he knelt down in front of Jesus and said,
“Lord, don’t come near me! I am a sinner.”

Peter and everyone with him were completely surprised at all the fish they had caught.
Jesus told Simon, “Don’t be afraid!
From now on you will bring in people instead of fish.

The men pulled their boats up on the shore.
Then they left everything and went with Jesus.
Luke 5:1-12

And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock.
This is the rock on which I will put together my church,
a church so expansive with energy
that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.

Matthew 16:17-19


Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples
that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem,
submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed,
and then on the third day be raised up alive.
Peter took him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!
Matthew 16:20-22


 Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me,
like chaff from wheat. Simon,
I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out.
When you have come through the time of testing,
turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.”
Luke 22:31-32


 Peter told Him, “Even if everyone runs away, I will certainly not!”
“I assure you,” Jesus said to him, “today, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times!”
But he kept insisting, “If I have to die with You, I will never deny You!”
And they all said the same thing.
Mark 14:29-31


They seized Him, led Him away, and brought Him into the high priest’s house.
Meanwhile Peter was following at a distance.

They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together,
and Peter sat among them.
When a servant saw him sitting in the firelight,
and looked closely at him, she said, “This man was with Him too.”
But he denied it: “Woman, I don’t know Him!
After a little while, someone else saw him and said, “You’re one of them too!”
Man, I am not!” Peter said. About an hour later, another kept insisting,
“This man was certainly with Him, since he’s also a Galilean.”
But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed.
Then the Lord turned and looked at Peter.
So Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him,
“Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.”
And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Luke 22:54-62

When Jesus and his disciples had finished eating, he asked,
“Simon son of John, do you love me more than the others do?”
Simon Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know I do!”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus said.
Jesus asked a second time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you!”
“Then take care of my sheep,”
Jesus told him.Jesus asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus had asked him three times if he loved him.
So he told Jesus, “Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.”
John 21:15-18