“This thing called beauty!”

Merry Monday with Parris

Ps.19:1 – “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech, night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech where their voice is not heard”

When we see Christ face to face we will be without excuse in regard to his voice. For creation speaks everyday to us to look up and join in the great worship! What is so amazing to me is that even as a child I truly think God was calling out to me as I played in bubbly brooks, walked among green forests and swim in his mighty oceans. Beauty opened my eyes to his love! When Jonathan Edwards studied beauty he found the person of God. In other words, whatever he saw around him, he glanced microscopically into a world too great to fully comprehend. The pursuit of beauty leads us straight into God. Edwards made it a practice to ride his horse for hours or walk alone singing songs and it was there he found rich and perpetual treasuries for his soul. He discovered nothing less than the purpose of his life and the meaning of his existence. I pray you too will dive so deep into his beauty that you will never come out!

I feel like the Trinity set in motion such a love for each other that it spilled out into the world as we know it. They are intent to make their glory known and incite us to their beauty. Creating such a circle of love so compelling that began with Christ speaking creation into being, then Christ being made man, moving onto the church ending at the marriage supper of the Lamb. It is this dance of love that creates this beauty all around us beckoning us to join in. God is not careless of the world for it is the end for which God created the earth.

It is interesting to me that the Reformers drank deeply of the beauty of God and expressed their views passionately. Edwards says; “How soon do earthly lovers come to an end of their discoveries of each other’s beauty; how soon do they see all that is to be seen! . . . And how happy is that love, in which there is an eternal progress in all these things; wherein new beauties are continually discovered, and more and more loveliness, and in which we shall forever increase in beauty ourselves; where we shall be made capable of finding out and giving, and shall receive, more and more endearing expressions of love forever: our union will become more close, and communication more intimate.” Luther believed that all created things are really masks of God (larvae Dei). They are media through which God can speak to us. John Calvin regarded nature as a most beautiful theatre of God’s work. The important theme for Calvin is that the orderliness of nature shows us the wisdom and the goodness of God and natural beauty exhibits the glory of the Creator.

To many, they cannot see the glory of the Lord in natural beauty because they do not look at the world with the right spectacles, using the word of God and reading the world through redemption. Nature though beautiful to them never speaks the mysteries of Christ nor draws them to holiness.
I pray you are touched by his beauty in such a way that you will ever be thirsty for more!


Eph.1:14 – TPT – He is given to us like an engagement ring is given to a bride, as the first installment of what’s coming! He is our hope-promise of a future inheritance which seals us until we have all of redemption’s promises and experience complete freedom—all for the supreme glory and honor of God!

It’s amazing to me how wrong the world paints true Christianity. Take the Puritans for example, they are painted as an austere bunch doting on rules and making life miserable for themselves and for everyone else. That is quite far from the truth. Puritans were actually what you could call Christian hedonists. In case you didn’t know, hedonism is a practice or belief that living your life in pursuit of pleasure is your purpose in life. Christian hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure in God as the purpose in life. True Puritans found their greatest pleasure in God and spent their life in the pursuit of that pleasure. Here is how the great Puritan pastor Jonathan Edwards describes it.

“If it be so, that ’tis worth the while to be religious if it were only for the pleasantness of it, then how exceeding great is the reward of the godly. What a reward have they in the world to come; what joys {in another life}. But yet this is not all; no, they have a reward in this life. In the very keeping of God’s commands, there is great reward (Ps. 19:11). The reward they have in hand, besides that which is promised, is well worth all the pains they take, all the troubles they endure. God has not only promised them a great reward, and exceeding great beyond conception; but he has given them a foretaste in this world of the world to come…”

Let me break down what Edwards said in everyday English; he says that the pleasure found in our Christianity alone in this life is worth it even if there was no heavenly reward. He also says that our life of faith even helps us enjoy the non sinful pleasures of this life more than the lost do. To top it off, the joy we receive from the Lord is a foretaste of the pleasures of heaven as well as a promise that heaven is our inheritance. So I think I will follow the example of the Puritans, I will pursue pleasure in God alone as the ultimate goal of my life.


Ps.19:1 – The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.

It is so easy in our high tech and video controlled world to lose the sense of the majesty of God we were created to enjoy. We spend most of our time indoors looking at computer screens or flat screens soaking in lifeless images and information. We live in an amazing world that is chattering and singing continuously the amazing attributes of our creator. Have you ever seen a cheetah in the wild running with all its might? Or maybe even a horse galloping with joy across a field? What about monkeys swinging from a tree or dolphins leaping for joy?Are all of these creatures random accidents displaying the good fortune of genetic luck through natural selection? All of these creatures carry within them the beauty of their maker. They exist to display God’s attributes, they are preaching a powerful revelation as they go about their daily activities. Here is a portion from Jonathan Edwards on the purpose of God’s creatures.

“So that when we are delighted with flowery meadows and gentle breezes of wind, we may consider that we only see the emanations of the sweet benevolence of Jesus Christ; when we behold the fragrant rose and lily, we see his love and purity. So the green trees and fields, and singing of birds, are the emanations of his infinite joy and benignity; the easiness and naturalness of trees and vines [are] shadows of his infinite beauty and loveliness; the crystal rivers and murmuring streams have the footsteps of his sweet grace and bounty. When we behold the light and brightness of the sun, the golden edges of an evening cloud, or the beauteous bow, we behold the adumbrations of his glory and goodness; and the blue skies, of his mildness and gentleness. There are also many things wherein we may behold his awful majesty: in the sun in his strength, in comets, in thunder, in the towering thunder clouds, in ragged rocks and the brows of mountains. That beauteous light with which the world is filled in a clear day is a lively shadow of his spotless holiness and happiness, and delight in communicating himself.”

Then we come to man. We are the only creature with the capacity of actually seeing God’s glory in creation. That can happen only when our eyes, blinded by sin, are opened by His grace. Like blind Bartimaeus of old, when our eyes are opened we can finally see the face of God.


Psa.19:1,2 – The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.

God’s glory is on display all around us. Everything from oxygen to rainbows, eyebrows to knuckles; the Lord is crying out in His creation and in His works for our affection. We see His infinite nature in the vastness of the universe, and we see His precision in the organs of our body. Who thought of light and or an eye to see it? Who thought of air and lungs to breath it? Like He said to Job of old, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?” Job 38:4,4

Actually the whole purpose of everything is to display the glory of God. Creation, the virgin birth, redemption, the outpouring of the Spirit, signs and wonders; all of it is actually God’s glory on display. Here is how Jonathan Edwards describes it.

“Thus it is fit, since there is an infinite fountain of light and knowledge, that this light should shine forth in beams of communicated knowledge and understanding; and, as there is an infinite fountain of holiness, moral excellence, and beauty, that so it should flow out in communicated holiness. And that, as there is an infinite fullness of joy and happiness, so these should have an emanation, and “become a fountain flowing out in abundant streams, as beams from the sun. Thus it appears reasonable to suppose that it was God’s last end that there might be a glorious and abundant emanation of his infinite fullness of good ad extra, or without himself; and that the disposition to communicate himself, or diffuse his own FULLNESS, was what moved him to create the world.”

He says that if God is great and good, His very nature is begging to burst forth in displays of glory. The Bible is a glimpse into that glory from creation to prophesy, from the incarnation to crucifixion and the resurrection. The greatest display of God’s glory is what the Bible is all about; redemption. Horrible people like you and me are forgiven, transformed, and finally conformed into His image. When Christ returns we will see His glory and we will be put on display clothed with His magnificent glory. That’s what this is all about, you are being reserved as exhibit ‘A’ of the glory of God.

“Gods Theater”


Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

So many things happen in any given week concerning redemption it can take one’s breath away. Even scarier is that so many miss the moment when God breaks the silence. The Reformers back in the day, helped us rediscover the beauty of God all around us. They taught us to stop and pause at the beauty. When we look around, God is doing back flips, front flips, twirls, twists, and so on. One need only to listen to the love, for it is all around. Just this week, a Mary’s Song girl who didn’t know what a paragraph was wrote a poem, another one sang in the Spirit, children were touched by God in service and want to read their Bibles more. And the sweetest of all was when my 86 year old mother and I sang a worship song together while driving. Yes, we pause and listen because beauty speaks and he has a name. JESUS!

The Reformed poet Elizabeth Rowe wrote, “Tis thee, abstractly thee, God of uncreated Beauty, that I love, in thee my wishes are all terminated; in thee, as in their blissful centre, all my desires meet….The God of Nature, and the original of all beauty, is my God” Calvin encourages us to pass by lightly by saying; “We have been placed here, as in a spacious theater, to behold the works of God, and there is no work of God so small that we ought to pass by it lightly, but all ought be carefully and diligently observed.” Another reformer said; “The world is God’s book, no page is empty but full of lines.” (Thomas Taylor)

I believe deeply that we can receive healing in his word and his creation, we must learn to breathe in his beauty around us instead of the toxic fake world that we allow to creep in.

Ricard Baxter who wrote a book about heaven and all the glories of it also knew some secrets of the happy life here. He said; “What a pleasure is it to dive into the secrets of nature! The majesty of the great Creator doth shine in the face of this fabric of the world. The azure sky is his comely curtain and the earth his theater.”

Show me someone that is depressed and more than likely their natural habitat is toxic. Way to much tv/media, dark houses, bad eating, lack of the word, and seclusion all breed discouragement. Their tripartite being is all out of wack. I found a very interesting quote from “Ravished by Beauty” (Belden Lane) who said, “Even the thirteenth century Franciscans found visages or traces of the holy trinity in buttes, butterflies, and buzzards everywhere and said, “Nature points us through the vestiges of these concrete mysteries into the deeper image of God in our own created being. In this threefold way, every created being erupts into praise, leading us ultimately to Christ as Lord.”

Go ahead, erupt in praise and you just might change into a happy camper!



Psa. 19:1,4,6 ¶ The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The universe is beyond amazing. This week we saw just a tiny glimpse of His vast orchestration in a solar eclipse. Eclipses are predictable because of the precise perfection of God’s creation. Everything marches forward in perfect synchronization, all pointing to the great day that lies ahead. The dance of creation is called a groan by the Apostle Paul, the groan of anticipation of God’s coming kingdom. What Paul called a groan David referred to as the voice that goes out through all the earth. This voice of the Lord opens the hearts of the hungry and calls them to a place of restoration and healing in God’s glorious dance. You are not forgotten, you too are a part of His precise perfection. Here are some comments from Jonathan Edwards on God’s clock.

“As in a clock, all the motions of the whole system of wheels and movements, tend to the striking of the hammer at the appointed time. All the revolutions and restless motions of the sun and other heavenly bodies, from day to day, from year to year, and from age to age, are continually tending hither; as all the many turnings of the wheels of a chariot, in a journey, tend to the appointed journey’s end. The mighty struggles and conflicts of nations, and shakings of kingdoms, and those vast successive changes that are brought to pass, in the kingdoms and empires of the world, from one age to another, are as it were travail pangs of the creation, in order to bring forth this glorious event. And the Scriptures represent the last struggles and changes that shall immediately precede this event, as being the greatest of all; as the last pangs of a woman in travail are the most violent.”
To glimpse God’s glory in creation causes me to bow in awe before His majestic sovereignty. He rules all things. He is the God of well timed comets, solar flares, and eclipses. The mysteries of the universe are His. The mysteries of my life and your life are also hidden in Christ. Just as we passed through the moon’s shadow last Monday, hide yourself in Him who has no shadow of turning.



Psa.. 19:1 ¶ The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Sometimes we just can’t help ourselves, everywhere we look we see His glory. We see His handiwork in the transformation of lives that have been devastated by sin and compromise, we see His love in the comfort of the hurting or distressed, we see His power in miracles, and we feel His nearness in corporate, congregational worship. David said that “the heavens were declaring the glory of God” and Paul said, “His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made”. Yep, those that have drunk from the cup of His grace can’t really see anything else. We see Him in the scripture, in the person of Jesus, in the preaching of the Word, and in the ministries of His church. He is literally everywhere we look. Jonathan Edwards suffered with the same affliction, check out his description of his world.

“When we are delighted with flowery meadows and gentle breezes of wind, we may consider that we see only the emanations of the sweet benevolence of Jesus Christ. When we behold the fragrant rose and lily, we see His love and purity. So the green trees and fields and singing of birds are the emanations of His infinite joy and kindness. The easiness and naturalness of trees and vines are shadows of His beauty and loveliness. The crystal rivers and murmuring streams are the footsteps of His favor, grace, and beauty. When we behold the light and brightness of the sun, the golden edges of an evening cloud, or the beauteous rainbow, we behold the adumbrations of His glory and goodness; and in the blue sky of His mildness and gentleness. There are also many things wherein we may behold His awful majesty, in the sun in His strength, in comets, in thunder, in the hovering thunder-clouds, in ragged rocks, and the brows of mountains. That beauteous light with which the world is filled in a clear day, is a lively shadow of His spotless holiness, and happiness and delight in communicating Himself.”
So how can you be delivered from the negativity that this world generates? Drink from a different cup, drink from the cup of Sovereign Grace. Drench yourself today in this grace by feasting on the scripture, bow down and drink deeply as you worship Him in Spirit and truth. Draw near to the throne of grace by His blood; before you know it, you too will see Him everywhere you look.


Psa. 19:1-2 ¶ The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.

Luke subtly reveals the endless supply of God’s miracle power in his remarks describing the raising up of the dead young man in Nain. He began by saying, “Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain…”. The day after what? The day after He raised the Roman centurion’s servant from the edge of death, Luke is showing us that every day is filled with the miracle power of our Lord. Did He touch your life recently? Get ready because He is our “glory to glory” God. He has moved in the past, He has infinite supplies of His glory to shower on His sons and daughters.
This year we are celebrating the 20 year anniversary of God’s visitation in our church. It was 1994 and at that time I had pastored Victory Fellowship for 16 years. I had experienced a measure of God’s glory on my life and ministry. Still, I had no idea that there was more, there was so much more. His outpourings that began for us in August of that year began to show all of us at Victory Fellowship that His storehouse was never diminished, that we had only tasted a small portion of what He has in store for His sons and daughters. He has miracles and works of grace to display in your life. Just as He surprised all of the people in Nain that day (especially the boy’s mom), with His sudden appearance and the amazing display of supernatural power, maybe He has something special prepared for you. Here are some interesting comments from Spurgeon on this very topic.

“Behold, dear brethren, the overflowing, ever-flowing power of our Lord Jesus Christ. He had wrought a great work upon the centurion’s servant, and now, only a day after, he raises the dead. ” It came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain.” Day unto day uttereth speech concerning his deeds of goodness. Did He save your friend yesterday? His fullness is the same; if you seek him, his love and grace will flow to you today. He blesses this day, and he blesses the day after. Never is our divine Lord compelled to pause until he has recruited his resources; but virtue goeth out of him forever. These thousands of years have not diminished the aboundings of his power to bless.”

I love to read Spurgeon. He is called the prince of preachers for a reason. His phrase “overflowing and ever flowing” is quite descriptive and captivating. In one short phrase he captures the unlimited and endless nature of God’s supply. God’s supply is also personal. His resources are overflowing and ever flowing toward you. Regardless of all He has done for you, in you, and through you; He has saved the best for last.



Psa. 19:1-2 ¶ The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge.

It is the only right thing to do. When you discover something that is infinitely valuable, it would be an unspeakable sin to keep it to yourself. To find the secret of joy in life, and keep it to yourself would be a heinous crime against man. In the same way, how could God keep silent about His greatness when His greatness is what our hungry hearts are longing for. Jonathan Edwards often spoke about the connection between the Glory of God and the happiness of man. Listen to Edwards classic words about the pursuit of God’s Glory and the satisfaction in our souls.

“God’s end in the creation of the world consists in these two things, to communicate himself and to glorify himself. God created the world to communicate himself, not to receive anything. But such was the infinite goodness of God that it was his will to communicate himself, to communicate of his own glory and happiness; and he made the world to glorify himself, [as it is] fit that God should glorify himself. These two things ought not to be separated when we speak of God’s end in the creation of the world, as the assembly of divines in speaking of the chief end for which man was created have judiciously united glorifying and enjoying God. Indeed, God’s communicating himself and glorifying himself ought not to be looked upon as though they were two distinct ends, but as what together makes one last end, as glorifying God and enjoying
God make one chief end of man. For God glorifies himself in communicating himself, and he communicates himself in glorifying himself. Jesus Christ, and that as God-man, is the grand medium by which God attains his end, both in communicating himself to the creatures and in glorifying himself by the creation. Jesus Christ, as he is become a creature, he is the first of all the creatures, the Head.”

This is the stumbling stone that so many trip over. Somehow man has a hard time connecting the dots between the pursuit of God’s Glory and the pursuit of their own happiness. That is actually the secret to happiness in life. That God Himself is our joy, and true joy is found in the endless pursuit of joy in God. This is quite liberating. Rather than seeking happiness in another bottle of wine, another container of pills, or in the arms of someone who doesn’t belong to you, we can be liberated by God’s love to the greatest of all pursuits. The pursuit of joy in God Himself. This is what the Lord had in mind when He created this amazing universe. He created something that is so far beyond us that we stand in utter silence at the majesty revealed in this awesome thing we call creation. With that always before us, we remember the incredible miracle unveiled when Christ became a man. He brought the pursuit to us. Creator entered into His creation to attract us to this incredible life of pursuit, the pursuit of joy only found in the revelation of God’s Glory.

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The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
Ps.19:1,2 ESV

God is speaking, He has always been speaking. He speaks everyday through our circumstances, the little, or big things that don’t go right, or the things that somehow just seem to work out, He is speaking through them all. He is speaking through the Bible, those passages that just seem to “stick out”. He is speaking through your friends, He has stored up His wisdom in the multitude of counsel. He is speaking through your pastor, His anointing ministers through His leaders to bring instruction to His body. As Augustine taught us, He is speaking through the “chance conversations” never really intended for our ears. And as David taught us, He is speaking through His creation. This is what Spurgeon said about David’s words in Psalm 19.

” Any part of creation has more instruction in it than human mind will ever exhaust, but the celestial realm is peculiarly rich in spiritual lore. The heavens declare, or are declaring, for the continuance of their testimony is intended by the participles employed; every moment God’s existence, power, wisdom and goodness, are being sounded abroad by the heavenly heralds which shine upon us from above. It is not merely glory that the heavens declare, but the “glory of God,” for they deliver to us such unanswerable arguments for a conscious, intelligent, planning, controlling, and presiding Creator, that no unprejudiced person can remain unconvinced by them…”

Incredible, His divine characteristics are revealed in what His hands have made, His wisdom seen in it’s order, His infinite nature seen in His seemingly endless creation, His power displayed in the energy stored up in the basic ingredient of creation, the atom. All around us we see His handiwork, He is speaking to us from day to day. Sometimes my “eyes” become dull to His glory all around me and then suddenly I am caught by surprise when I hear His voice in the singing bird or see His artistry in the sunset, or see His compassion displayed by one of His creatures. He is speaking all right. I guess the question should be, “can I hear His voice?”