Norway in a Nutshell RouteGood Friday to you!

Here’s the fourth in our series of photo galleries from our trip to Norway in May. These photos were taken on our cruise of a small part of the Sognefjord (starting at Flåm on the map to the right). It was as perfect a day as you could wish for, and there was so much to see that I’ll share another cruise photo gallery next week.

Let us place our hope in the God who made the mountains march down to the sea.


(btw—today is Dawn’s birthday. Would you leave a “happy birthday” in the comments for her? Please? And thank you!)

Click any photo to view a full-size slide show

Well over a decade ago, a good friend challenged me with this question:

What do you dream about?

I remember feeling creases deepen on my brow as I answered emphatically, and somewhat bitterly,

I don’t dream. I’ve had enough disappointment already.

[Old Man in Sorrow, Vincent van Gogh via Wikimedia Commons]

This post is about why I stopped dreaming, how I eventually discovered that hope in God is better than my dreams, and why this blog is called Average Us.

Continue Reading…

Norway in a Nutshell RouteGood Friday to you!

Here’s the next in our series of photo galleries from our trip to Norway in May. These photos capture my favorite moment of our trip, an early morning 5 kilometer walk—just Dawn and me—through the villages of  Flåm and Lunden at the head of the Sognefjord.

Some of my favorite photos are here, too. Enjoy!

Click any photo to view a full-size slide show

Sunday morning a few weeks ago, as Dawn and I stood before the congregation of Ivy Creek Church declaring our vows of membership, something unexpected happened…

A surprising joy washed over me.

Joy doormat

[handmade project photo courtesy of Lisa Leonard Online]

It was sudden and strong, unlooked for and unhoped for. It was the sort of arresting moment that said, “Pay attention! A pearl of wisdom lies hidden nearby.” I shared my experience with Dawn later, and she confirmed that she had felt the same surprising joy. But as we talked it over, we realized that we shouldn’t have been surprised.

I know what you’re thinking.

Continue Reading…

PSALM 107:1-2

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble.


The psalmist sings out the call for God’s redeemed people to come before Him with gratitude in their hearts and on their lips. Why?—Three reasons.

—Because His character is all goodness.

—Because His covenant love for the redeemed is steadfast and enduring.

—Because of His redemptive work to save them from many troubles.


Come before the Lord, our Redeemer with thankful hearts and joyful songs!

Give thanks that He is good, and has been good to His people. Give thanks for His constant love, which will never fail, nor turn away from those He has redeemed.

Norway in a Nutshell RouteIt’s Photo Friday Fourth of July!

May your Independence Day weekend be full of fun, food, fireworks, friends, and family.

Here’s a photo gallery from the first half of our Norway in a Nutshell tour in May, 2014. We left Oslo by train, changed trains at Myrdal Station, and arrived several hours later in the village of Flåm, at the head of the Sognefjord.

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Click any photo to view a full-size slide show

The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.—Psalm 93:1-2


The Psalmist uses the metaphor of a mighty King in majestic robes, seated on an ancient throne to depict God’s rule over the world.

His rule is almighty, everlasting, unchallenged. His majesty embodies all power, all dignity, eternity, and beauty. The whole world is established by His word and subject to His command. Nothing can thwart his power.


Doesn’t such majesty arouse adoration and praise?

As you prepare for church, use the words of Psalm 93 to meditate on God’s great power, dignity and beauty. Consider the power of His command, that at His word all things exist and are established. Remember that He rules in heaven and earth.

Come, let us bow before the Almighty, and adore His beauty. Come, let us worship and bow down.