The Boulder.

By Herb Berkley

Everyone has a history. I have a history. You have a history. The things contained in that history may not be as wonderful and pretty as we expected early on in our lives. Our expectations of pleasing God were shattered with failed attempts to say no to the world. We have a tendency to carry around the ugly undesirable parts of our history with us like a boulder on a chain connected to our leg that we locked and threw away the key for. We walk in shame, and intense labor, because of the things we’ve done, or the people we’ve been, or the people we’ve hurt.


An inescapable part of our reality is this very clear understanding of who we are now and who we have been leading up to this point. God created our minds to be in a constant state of reconciliation. Even though we’ve turned away from the sins of our past, the now unfolding history being changed, we still hold on to these feelings of regret and anguish? It’s penetrating at times when we reflect back on our past. We labor on and toil in life and these things sometimes haunt us. We see an old picture or drive through an old town and it takes us back to a time when we were not our best most desirable human and certainly not the most pleasing to God. The good news is that there is a perfect way to resolve this problem

Jeremiah 31:34 New International Version (NIV)

34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”

Matthew 11:28-29 New International Version (NIV)

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Psalm 103:12 New International Version (NIV)

12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.


The amazing thing about Christ is that when His sacrifice was complete the key to unlocking the boulder of our past and the hammer to crush it was set on our front doorstep. We only have to reach out and take it in the way in which God’s son manifest in His life through the words in the New Testament. The burdens of life can only become lighter if we share them with someone strong enough to carry them and strong enough to “ERASE” them from our history; releasing us from the bonds of this world to help us rise up into the greatest, most desirable human in the eyes of God. Jesus perfect history allows our personal human history to be cleaned, to be cleared, to be revised in good standing with God. That’s really good news for all!

Souls Behind Faces


[My son, Herbert, joins in posting to this blog today. He is a hardworking computer tech, very proud father of our granddaughter, great husband, helpful neighbor – all flowing from his commitment to the Lord. From time to time his writing will appear here. He has a talent for expression about things eternal. And, of course, I’m a proud father.]

It’s easy to ignore the obvious. The tentacles of life on earth are constantly capturing our attention and blinding us in the process. As blind day-walkers, we are more apt to see nameless faces drifting around like human traffic. What walking in The Light will reveal is the soul behind the face. Jesus saw not only faces, but He was, is, able to know the soul of everyone. All that we need to know is that Jesus died for souls not for faces. When Jesus was in His ministry on earth He saw faces but knew what was more valuable. The eternal soul which was created. This was put to a fine point when he related the value of the eye versus the value of the soul.

Matthew 18:9
And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

To some, this might seem as if it is hyperbole but to Jesus, I believe it was 100% truth. He’s also helping to teach us that we should engage in, at some level, dismemberment of flesh from the soul. He teaches that what is more important is not the external part of our existence but the eternal soul contained within. What are we to make of this statement then when we look at ourselves and others? We take from the statement that what we see can have eternal consequences and we should be respectful of this. We should strive to be considerate of spiritual life at a higher degree than physical life itself. We must strive to let soul, through God’s authority, control flesh and not the other way around. Jesus puts the physical stuff in plain sight and then, very powerfully, says take it out!

If you spend any amount of time considering human nature we tend to dismiss many very wonderful souls we are around simply because of their external appearances. We also, in the opposite manner, are attracted to people who have an acceptable kind of external appearance without respect for what’s inside. We consider what’s possible from a human perspective by what we observe externally rather than considering the soil internally contained inside the heart. How sad is this impartiality that we engage in with little effort? James nails this to the wall for us to observe in James 2:1-13. It’s worth an honest read and then a look into that mirror of self to ask some questions about who we are and how we see other people in our reality and what things we concern ourselves with.

Jesus wasn’t concerned about the aesthetics of our being but rather the nature of our souls. When we spend time thinking about our obligation to reach out to people we must be considerate of how Jesus operated during his ministry. If you pay attention you realize that those who Jesus was seeking were people who had been alienated, abandoned, rampant in sinful relationships, and looked down upon as trash by those who proclaimed, falsely, to be in the high and mighty council of God’s authority; when it would be those very faces Jesus would see staring at him when being accused of crimes he did not commit. We know the rest of this story and what it means to us.

Let’s be honest, Jesus did look at faces but what he mostly saw was the heart and soul of the men, women, and children he was there to provide salvation for. When we walk around seeking and saving the lost we should be more mindful of what’s possible from the internal perspective rather than what’s possible from the external perspective. This means we should not prejudice the outcome even when everything we observe externally validates the prejudice. I fear we have a tendency to embrace the attitude of the Pharisees and look down upon and away from those who Jesus would have been actively moving towards. Remember the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15 and the parable of the sower in Matthew 13? Behind the face of every person is a soul that we may be able to reach. We should seek souls not faces.