The Baby's Face

It is hard to describe the transcendent emotion that we feel when we look into the eyes of a small child, especially one related to us. The best way to describe it from my vantage point ... I feel unconditional acceptance, no fear, and hopeful anticipation ... all wrapped up into the burst of the moment. Wow! What would it have been like to look into the eyes of the baby Jesus?

Genesis 3:15 - "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heal."

The spinning flame of the Cherub's sword now stood guard over the thick mist that surrounded the fast fading memory of a glorious garden home. There was the slithering sound of the adversarial deceiver groveling in his own dust as he made his shame filled way into the darkness.

The first family of creation stood with the fragmented images of Christmas Future wrapped around their embarrassingly naked bodies. The breach of their relationship had placed death as the indelible scar on their castaway lives and fallen minds. In spite of the fact that they were now exposed to an unprotected life; that last moment with God in the garden, empowered them ...by the promise of the birth and death of Lamb of God, the "Seed" deliverer.

The string of prophetical themes that lead us: a shepherd boy turned king, a kingly line with promise, a star, a stable, a stall, a feed trough, an unnoticed young but devout couple, ... a "virgin" birthed baby ... the Son of God, the Lamb of God ... His birth first announced by angels to shepherds. What an amazing sneak attack... wrapped in swaddling cloth and placed in a manger, above the ground! Even the slithering serpent, Satan, did not feel the gentle vibrations of the arrival of this little stranger, who would grow up under the shadow of the Cross and an empty tomb.

The world was asleep as it is today ... broken, crying, longing for something or someone to release them from the seen and unseen bondage caused by the breach in the garden so long ago. There seems to be a desire to stay numb, anesthetized, detached, asleep, hoping to avoid the responsibilities and the consequences of the fall.

There are so many whispers from the Serpent that call for an over-arching proclamation of irresponsibility to the words of God. This proclamation offers religious detours and alternative beliefs to avoid of the need for a confrontation with God; but God in His wisdom always provides a way to Him that comforts even the most fragile soul.

What child is this Christmas Stranger? Why is His arrival so vital to the salvation of the human race? Why would His appearance disrupt the hands of time? Why would His birth be the subject of continued controversy? Why does this Child have such a hold on this season? Why does the sight of or the knowing of this Child create exceeding great joy?

Come close to the manger's edge of your heart...bow and peer into the vast comfort of God's love gift, Jesus. Worship and adore Him in a perpetual Christmas reception.

Matt. 2:10 - "And when the saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy."

HLFA,

Jeff

Awkward Prosthetic Faith

Sitting in such an awkward place to beg; his choice to reveal his need was in the most busy intersection he could have picked. Impatient drivers waiting to get completely off of an interstate highway onto a four lane main thorough fair while being held up by a fickle traffic light. Only one driver at a time could even be touched by his situation.

What he would reveal in the short moment to those being pushed by the hands of time? He had a poorly scribbled sign asking for "money or food" ... he was a "wounded veteran". He had a prosthetic leg that he was taking off and on; and almost appeared to be shaking it with anger at those that passed him by. Did he feel that everyone owed him because of his wounds? I have met wounded warriors, and my heart goes out to them. I find humble and broken souls trying to make the most of the next steps in their lives, but this was almost appalling and despicable in its presentation... from someone I did not know!

Song of Solomon 4:7 - "Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee."
John 15:9 - "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love."

Flashback: Friday morning, woke up, but still broken hearted because of a movement afoot to remove the Bride from her key connection to the Groom ... His Spirit Breathed Love Letter. I was on my way to morning prayer and needed a clarification to wrap my thinking around. I needed to remove myself from the judgmental attitude that I was carrying so that I could approach the throne of grace to find help, not vengeance.

Then, there at the end of the exit ramp he sat -  I saw the angry one legged man... and here is where my thoughts went. (Perhaps these benevolent deceivers have experienced a great disappointment that scarred them for life, only Christ can make them "New".)

I truly believe that the Charismatic Bible Deniers are much like the angry one legged man ... something stormed or slithered into their lives or their kingdom walk, knocked their spiritual feet out from under them, made them bitter at a portion of the Word of God, and now they use this busy intersection of faith and doubt to unknowingly shake their prosthetic replacement in the faces of those who listen and will follow.

These that offer a Prosthetic faith truly cannot connect their disappointments to the goodness of God . It possibly scares them that no amount of positive thinking will rescue a loved one from a terminal disease, bring back someone from the dead or stop a small child's suffering. They would like to shout the enemy away and sing fear into the hearts of all that oppose them. Their creed carries damnable heresies all riding on the power of a positive attitude that will not accept negativism... "For our God is Great and our God is Good, there is no room for negativity."  They haven't quite figured out that "No" could be a rescue.

Please don't judge me as cruel and unfeeling; but while we should always be kind and loving to people, there are times when we need to fearlessly snatch some, having compassion, from the beckoning flames of Hell, even though we despise the very garment they are wearing. We may have to proclaim some negative truth in order to administer a healing.

Jesus came to those who knew they were in need of a physician. Admitting their "illness" allowed them to see that Jesus was the answer. Only in Christ can I be declared righteous ... "just as if I had never sinned". Proof of this declaration is only found in the Word of God. No man can declare us children of God without our taking personal responsibility for our faith moment to leave our sin at Calvary.

Sin is abominable in the sight of God. No sin will enter God's presence. Death is sin's penalty. Hell is the ultimate penalty for the Devil, his fallen angels, and Christ rejectors. Jesus' death on the Cross paid the price to free believers from the ultimate penalty. His resurrection secures their lives ... because He lives they will never die. His Spirit is their security deposit while He teaches them (every time they open the Word) and changes them so that they are less and less like the world, and more an more like Jesus. Some day maybe soon they will hear the voice of their Eternal Love.... "Well done!"

Don't use your disappointments to separate you from God, let your disappoints carry you right into His arms.

HLFA,

Jeff

No prosthetic faith...give me Jesus!

Walking Into The Mirror


I walked into the mirror even though I didn't even realize I had. This confirmed that the only potential I ownes was to look into the mirror. Did you ever find yourself somewhere you didn't want to be? I actually wondered if there was a way to move forward with some sort of vibrating energy that would move me into the mirror and stay within the thin pane of glass. (The mirror was nothing more than the media for reflection.) Oh to be the glass, the tool that was neutral to the things happening around it, or possibly to be less affected like the unbreakable highly polished steel mirrors of ancient civilizations. Job 37:18 - "Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?" 

Here at the mirror decisions must be made ... brush my hair, brush my teeth, wash my face, remove the unsightly blemish??? OR I can just walk away, forget what I saw and let the chips of life's critics fall where they may. The inevitable will happen ... I will be blindsided. James 1:22-24 - "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was."

There is no blessing in bearing "the reproach" from something that I could have but didn't personally change because I decided that it was not up to me to make the change.

I "face planted" into the book even though I didn't realize I had. Fatigue that had carried me into the dreamy world of "winkin', blinkin' and nod" confirmed that I only owned the potential to look into the book on this side of the writing. Did you ever find yourself facing words that you did not want to hear? I actually wondered if there may be a way to melt in a pulp like fashion and fuse my way into the very paper of The Book. This would place me inside the paper, away from the vantage point of having to respond to the words, for The Words of The Book are alive and will cause a response: Nehemiah 8:5 -"And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:"

Here at The Book, decisions must be made ... open my ears, open my heart, removal of an unsightly blemish??? OR I can just walk away, forget what I heard, and let The Words of the Judge, the Redeemer of the Universe, fall where they may. The inevitable will happen ... I will be blindsided. James 1:22-24 - "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was."

There is no blessing in bearing "the reproach" of something that I can trust (but didn't ) to have changed, because I decided that it was not up to me to listen and trust for change.

Just because you believe real loud or shout real loud ... that "the mirror and The Book will not control your life", does not negate the consequences of patriarchal and providential truth. Rebellion against truth always puts an individual in the cross hairs of Enemy's "whispered-lie-filled" blessings but also puts one at risk of bearing the built in consequences of violating protective Truth. Genesis 2:16-17 - "And the LORD God commanded the man saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." And it happened in the Garden, and the effects still reverbrate throughout mankind.

The mirror will visually reveal the need for external change ... which will alleviate embarrassing visual social situations. The Book will reveal the need for a NEW Heart and a Renewed Spirit through Jesus Christ ... Who will deliver us from eternal shame. As we heed His Word, we will begin to exchange our stubborn, life robbing attitudes for the glory of His Life Giving Image. 2 Corinthians 3:18 - "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."

"The looked into the mirror" - I washed my face, I brushed my hair, I brushed my teeth and took care of an unsightly blemish. "The looked intently into Book" - I bowed my heart, I renewed my spirit, and trusted all my coddled soul blemishes to The Author's Loving care.

1 Corinthians 13:12 - "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

HLFA,

 Jeff

Freelance Collision

Deuteronomy 18:21 - "And if thou say in thine heart, how shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?"

Some human vocabulary studies, that have been carried on since 1957, have revealed that humans can carry about 27,600 (plus or minus 800) vocabulary words in a life time as compared to a more modern touting of 100,000 to 160,000 vocabulary words. The average individual has a vocabulary of 8,000 to 10,000 words, and the mode of daily usage can increase or drastically decrease that number. Use it or lose it!

There are 8,674 different Hebrew words in the Bible, 5,624 different Greek words, and 12,142 different English words in the King James version of the Bible alone. When you take into consideration the conjugation and translation there is enough entertainment there to keep the imaginations of Hollywood screen writers busy warping the stories of the Bible for millenniums. Yet the "devoted" faith follower has a very low tolerance for reading the scriptures daily, let alone once a week in a Church service or Sunday School hour.

Did you know that "All Scripture" (the Bible) was given by the breath of God? ... Are you aware that "men set apart by God" were carried through the prophesy process by the Spirit of God to speak and write God's very word? Did you know that their choice to obey allowed them to be used for God's purpose?

Do you know that within the very written words of the Bible are packed all the necessary informational needs for time and eternity? Did you know those words are for our eternal rescue from sin's penalty and our daily deliverance from sin's persuasive pull? Have you discovered the creative hope filled treasures that capture our hearts, and will promise a final deliverance from sin's presence at that moment when we are in the Presence of "Love Letter Writer"?

Did you know that the "Lover" behind the writing is Jesus? Did you know that the scriptures are what Jesus guided the religious leaders of His day to study if they wanted to know eternal life, and He said "These scriptures speak of Me!!" The Scriptures, the written word of God, the Bible, are His words to draw us into a saved, direct, eternal, and extremely creative relationship with Him, the Living Word.

We all (for the most part) want to be recognized (in a good way) for our uniqueness. We all kind of want to do right (as long as it doesn't mess up our plans), but according to our terms we regulate our lives because that makes us unique, right? We are taught that God creates us all unique, and to motivate us to believe that truth,  we may hear that not one snowflake is identical. However, every snow flake with its beautiful unique identity always ends up in a pile and then melts together, and the uniqueness disappears into a puddle of water.

"Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow, For what is our life, it is like a vapor that appears for a little time then vanishes away." James 4:14  This truth about the "end" is the part of our DNA, that we most often do not want to face. We all ache to be appreciated and not to be thrown on to the mound of mundane humanity.

We all observe that sooner than later people die, a hole is dug, a eulogy is pronounced, the body dropped and covered, a marker set up; and then the mourners move on to another grave site. Sorry for the cruel almost machine-like description of our end, but ... "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Romans 5:12 "For the wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is "eternal life" through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

Why will so many spend their days trying to know "words" that are not God's words and some will even reduce the influence of God's Verbs in their lives by succumbing to the notion that the Bible is nothing more than just a "good book" or "the best of books". This belief started in the Eden of Creation when the serpent slithered in his negative two cents worth - suggesting alternative choices and total denial of the consequences in disobeying God's Word. "Has God really said that?" "You shall not surely die!" Genesis 4: 1-3

Your eternal life, Your uniqueness now, and your mark made on this planet will be only as effective as your impression connection with The Living Word, Jesus ...through His written word, the Bible ... molding and making you in His loving pleasure. Read the Word with a royal reception and let the Spirit of God, through His word, soak your soul with truths that constantly deliver you from the purposeless piles of human disconnect. Know Him, let him love you and truly live.

Freelance your life trying to know what is not His Word, without His word and you will be heading for an inevitable collision that you were doing everything to avoid... Cooperate daily with Love's correspondence or collide eventually with Love's unheeded warnings.

Read, listen, heed ... His Word ...Daily!

HLFA,

Jeff

While We Look

2 Corinthians 4:18 - "while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

"While we look" ... OK -- maybe this will help us get the passage above, maybe not. Do we focus on things that last forever? Or do we live a life that gets its satisfaction by focusing on things that fade away? Things that are "seen" are temporal, ever fading; and things that are not seen are eternal, ever renewing.

"While we look" ... What is the point of pain's compression that causes a sustaining of our focus on the eternal? What can cause the real beauty of our lives to ring longer and more true? Answer: Instead of squandering our momentary afflictions and oppressions in the marketplace of self pity, lay open our debilitating moments to minister to others by entrusting our pain to His unfailing care.

For this affliction (that compresses our vision right where we are, right now), if given to God ... trusting in His love and grand design that is far beyond our personal pain and profitable gain ... will urge us forward with the sustaining of an eternal vision. We will begin to more fully understand that our Jesus story is strategic and consequential in the lives of others. The precarious state of the souls of lost humanity, the proclaiming of the Gospel of Jesus, the lost turning to faith in Christ ... will weigh in as more important than our momentary pressures and pleasures.

"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us as a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory:" 2 Corinthians 4:17

My friend, the cross of Jesus Christ is enough evidence that Sin brings the death of an Eternal Hell; for otherwise there would have been no need for the suffering and the brutal death of God's Son, the only Savior, Jesus Christ. Were there no Hell there would be no need for anything other than our full bore consumption of whatever life affords us.

To borrow a few word's of a contemporary song writer if we believe that there is no place in the Kingdom for suffering ... "take our souls and throw them away, they're not needed in this new world where there is no one left to save". The problem ... we are not home yet, the momentary suffering of our souls is purposeful and needed in this fading world. But the beauty of this life in Christ is that "All things" push forward the need for us to know Him on a more intimate level.

This "While we look" at the unseen has the potential to actively engage us in His purpose "to seek and to save that which was lost", unless we are are looking with our eyes closed. Eyes Wide open please!

No matter how much the clamor of the temporary tries to drown out the voice of eternity ... Be courageous "God's Kids"! ...Rise up from your momentary affliction, bow before His saving vision, and sing the song of a Soul Set Free.

Fearlessly share your Jesus Story with all who will hear! If someone doesn't want to listen, sing on to another soul.

HLFA,

Jeff

Moment Maker

Zechariah 13:1 - "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness."
God is truly the moment maker... "In that Day".

The Sparrow Watcher, the Hair Counter, the Flower Tailor, the Binder of Hearts, Father of the Father-less, the Spouse of the Widowed, the Chief Shepherd, the Great Physician, the Good Samaritan, the Storm Calmer, the Wave Walker, the World Lover...Jesus, the LORD and Savour, is not an ambiguous untouchable phantom that has absolutely no care nor contact with the recesses of our brokenness. He has not positioned himself to be untouched by all the groaning from His love image that was formed from the dust of the garden and brought to life by His breath. On the contrary, HE CARES BEYOND OUR MOST DESPERATE NEEDS AND LOVES TO LOVES US BEYOND ALL OF OUR BURIED DESIRES. Only sin stands in the way.

On that day, there was a Well ... that so engraved and so scarred time and eternity that it drove a chasm clear and clean through an otherwise impenetrable barrier. Flowing from the engraved wellspring, clean and clear, came the purest of springs, a river of living water. This Wellspring would be The Way to the heart of God, that could only be made by God Himself; for it had to totally satisfy all the eternal demands of His Righteousness and Holiness; and at the same engraving had to shout the Glory of His Grace, Mercy, Truth and Love. This Well would contain all the fullness of the provisions of the Godhead bodily.This Wellspring would be there to take care of the initial offense of sin, it would wash and refresh the offender, and it would be the payment for the eternal consequences of the offense. Free for the asking ... the first moment of eternal connection.

Jesus - Is the Master Moment Maker - He has the ability to take the obscure rays of light, the slightly noticed events, the broken pieces in time, and bring them all together in a surprise package of His wellspring Care for us. Long may it have taken to pull all the painfull pieces together to give us the full impact of the puzzle; but "that Moment" when it all comes together and our eyes tear up in the overwelming moment of His love on display...please, don't deny Him that time to love just you.

There is a KEY connection that keeps the flow of the Wellspring alive in our lives - Gratitude. Gratitude is a pride killing, life changing venture that starts off as an intentional "Thank-you", but then develops into a lifestyle of dancing in the multitude of daily blessings that God orchestrates to shed His love abroad in our hearts.

YES ... be joyously surprised at all of the moments, the detours, the roses, the "ahas", the full circles of time, people and circumstances that reveal His finger prints all over the windows of our soul. Don't let our fake pious pride kill the thought that "God did this just for me!" ... dance fearlessly as a child in the Joy of this truth ...that ..."GOD ARRANGED THIS MOMENT JUST FOR YOU!"

  "I can't believe this, the timing ...everything was crushing in and then ...you came and spoke these words ...it all makes sense now ... I truly am loved ...for God arranged this moment to rescue me, forever." Thank you Jesus! You are the moment maker - You are the fountain, You are the wellspring!

 HLFA,

 Jeff

The Blessed Broken

Psalm 34:18 - "The LORD is near unto them that are of a broken heart: and saves such as be of a contrite spirit."

The loud crack of what sounded like thunder had left a portion of his clothes ripped from his body as he spun out of control. When he finally could shake himself from the moment, he realized that not only were his clothes torn from his flesh, but his flesh was ribboned by whatever heinous devise had encounter his already broken frame. "Life had dealt him a cruel hand in the game of chance", he thought for a moment; but knowing the meticulous details of the human body brought in another thought "There is no game of chance, so how could the Creator with all of His grand plans and design ...just toss away one of His creations like this?" Similar to the closing of a Roman shade, he watched the light in his life fade as darkness lowered its cruel and haunting mysteries.

There seems to be an immense disconnect concerning our relationship with disappointment and pain, and our relationship with God. Somehow there has been an ancient measuring vessel filled with a weight of heavy poisonous lead, that has been used by success driven obsessors, to ostracize and cast aside the broken and suffering since the fall of man. Good health and wealth weigh in heavily because they are nice to have unless they become a mandated proof of a Godly life.

As the so called "successful" create a robustly "blessed" superficial temple life to enshrine this false image, those blinded or beguiled by their own pain and suffering are assured that they are the losers and the failures. The gospel of the wicked Zechariah Ephah proclaims that "true success is manifested by a life that rises above poverty, brokenness, pain and disappointment." It is the life and message of the religious thief and the lying prophet who will swear by the measurement of wickedness. "Sickness and sorrow are evidence of sin and God's judgment, prosperity and health are the signs of a life that pleases God." saith the Thief and the Boaster.

A grateful life that sees the strategic positioning of every day's needs and provisions as a gift from God is a life unshakeable. This "grateful life" is not impressed by "having" and is not depressed by "not having" because it truly finds that "Godliness (taking advantage the eternal gift of a connective walk with God) and contentment (seeing things as a temporal gift of need supply) are great gain. A grateful life realizes that a broken and contrite heart and spirit are the sacrifices of the LORD, and are meant for us to know the nearness, acceptance, and deliverance of God who truly cares for his own.

Psalm 51:17 - The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise."

And when the blinds of pain and suffering began to lift, to his surprise, he was clothed, bandaged and being cared for by the Samaritan Outcast.

Oh to know the tender mercies and care of our God who sees us as His no matter what our social standing or circumstance.

HLFA,

Jeff

REWIND

REWIND: This moment has not left me and probably never will, so I will cautiously share it with others who might be listening: A humble Lover of Yours prayed last Sunday morning desiring to see You, Jesus, and to help us see You to as we moved further into our time of faith community worship. He began his focus on his amazement with creation and I began to slip away...

I closed my eyes and my heart was shaken by a vision of a "walking mess of a broken man" - covered by the stains of his own uncontrolled body releases; and at the same time I was overwhelmed with an almost oppressing tension. In the room a facade of wellness and nearness had been carried in by the unappointed actors that had gathered together as the "We are the OK Ones!".

Through closed, moistened eyes, the flood of broken sights continued - I saw endless check out lines of brokenness and sorrow....I cried out to You "lift me up to see the victory." You shook my soul with your still small answer, "Not yet?"

Your broken image was still pouring sorrow like waves...causing me to think of broken families, troubled and abused children, garbage cans full of aborted babies, shunned people, cold and resistant gatherings, closed doors and windows, abandoned buildings ,abandoned dreams, limited vision, walls, walls, walls...I sunk deeper and deeper into the bitterness of a dark thought, "that service to the King" was being defined in a convenient comfortable box that may be a risk???? What ???

Then I heard "the end of days!" I tried to shake the overwhelming thoughts of brokenness only to hear Matthew 25: 40 ... "Inasmuch (upon) as you have done it unto the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me". {This Biblical snap shot of our efforts is seen in the following capacity: Authoring the "do it", and doing whatever it takes to see the "doing of it" through to a result. Upon the orchestrated seemingly random moments of "doing" something (or not) for an insignificant individual, is doing "it" unto Jesus.}

I looked around at the gathering of souls trying...reaching...groping for meaning to their momentary existence and it hit me: What risk is there in staying within these walls? No real leper is welcomed here, no life threatening contagion of an outcast is desired here.

"Go" outside the walls ...WE ARE HIS BROKEN ONES reaching out to the lost broken ones ...fallen sparrows...lost sheep...lost coins...treasures plowed under...lame athletes...maimed warriors...halt messengers...blind watchmen...misplaced dowry...abandoned houses...fading flowers...withered grass...widowed...orphaned...miscarried...aborted...wounded...hopeless addicts...nameless beggars...lepers... the hungry ... the thirsty ... the lonely ... the naked ... the prisoner... and the masses of the reprobate became a blurr. (I am sorry but this is what I saw when my eyes closed as my brother tried to cause adoration of the beauty of your creation).

Zechariah 4:10 - "For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and they shall see the plummet ( the purification of the alloy) in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven, they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth". Then "I saw a golden candlestick" (or stand to support the light of a lamp) from Zechariah 4 and my mind did a Bible flash forward to the 7 candlesticks or stands of Reveation. Revelation 2:5 - "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent".

In this moment, I suddenly, but reluctantly realized: "The First Love" that was abandoned by the Revelation -Church of Ephesis is the connective source of real Godly influence in this world. To love Jesus Openly, means that we love people openly (even our enemies). The effectual connection in loving the insignificant ones, that are "least of these", is powerless without a daily effectual love relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Candlestand of Zechariah was a shadow of the Candlestand in Revelation which may be congruent to our First Love for Jesus. The Candlestand was a mere representation of God's provision of Eternal Influence via His Spirit through our love for Him. This stand, this First Love gives credence to the Light of the World in and shown by us. What we do unto the "least of these" is the natural/supernatural outpouring of our focus on loving Jesus secretly and openly in the midst of a lost and dying world.

His REWIND had graciously taken me to see the Jesus that I needed to connect to for an opportunity of lasting influence that can cause the "least of these" to love Him too. It is far more comfortable to connect with the perceived beauties of a fallen creation, than to love and serve the most dispicable and insignificant characters of humanity. BUT - Loving creation and hating people is hating Jesus.

Thank You Jesus for the rewind, play it again ... daily, so I break in Your love for all whom You have died.

 HLFA,

 Jeff

The Love Rendezvous

O the heart palpitating times of youthful love ...The love rendezvous - the secret moments of nurturing love as a couple, still stays as beautiful snap shots in the heart as two have moved forward with becoming one in their lives together. No couple would have ever grown closer together without those times; and two words would have killed those precious moments - "not now!" Your God whispers "Meet with Me, my love; come away with me and let us grow closer!" ....Not now?? ... O the travesty of those words.

Haggai 1:1, 2- "In the second year of Darius ("lord") the king, in the sixth month in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD (Jehovah) by Haggai ("festive" - the Festival Dancer) the prophet unto Zerubbabel ("sown in Babylon" - heated up, burnt, dried up - wormwood like, reduced to poison) , the son of Shealtiel ("I have asked God") , governor of Judah ("Praised") and to Joshua ("Jehovah is Salvation") the son of Josedech ("Jehovah is righteous") , the high priest, saying: Thus speaketh (once and for all, standing as eternal) the LORD ("Jehovah" - all sufficiency) of hosts saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD's house should be built."

And there stands the conflict - "NOT NOW!"

In the small, two chapter book of Haggai there is a description of a core conflict that we face in every day living ---Here is a brief historical snapshot: A Hebrew remnant in two waves of migration had come back from their Babylonian captivity to Jerusalem. One crew of pilgrims are to rebuild the walls and the other to rebuild the temple. This book is dedicated to challenging the group of pilgrims, who returned, with a heart to rebuild the Temple. This task had been derailed and cluttered with the struggles of life that can cause anyone to forget the voice of God... that lovingly says, "I AM with you!"

So begins the daily conflict - (We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with ("principalities") beginnings: There is always the "home base" that needs to be set up, right? So homes are built for the workers, and then comforts are desired, and then a way to make a living needs to be established, and of course food and clothing provisions must be raised, made or purchased, and then decorations to further beautify the ownership, and then maintenance, and then home improvements ... on and on until the daily driving focus is no longer the mandate from Heaven but gnawing cry of a very real, temporal need.

It became apparent that the remnant had lost sight of their initial purpose of rebuilding the temple by their efforts to sustain their dwellings. This disconnect with their original purpose impinged on their success to accomplish sustaining their own dwellings; it created a constant battle of 3 steps forward and two steps backwards. Haggai, whose name means "festive" ... knew from the LORD, that the joy of the vision of temple building would be lost in... the physical struggle of daily living (our houses are not done), the mental oppression of defective memory comparisons (our work on the temple will never be what was), and constant debating of "what is holy?". His job as prophet was to bring God's people to understand that their re-adjusted and misdirected focus was killing their "Joy in the LORD!" Their failure to effectively handle the temporal was directly affected by their omission of the joy filled task of living for eternity ... "Build the LORD's Temple!" (His dwelling in and with you).

Our true supply for living is in the Lord. Our relationship with Him is not just maintained to be effervescent adornment, but it is our only real wellspring and effectual supply for the consequential events of our lives. True success is not based on our conquest of the world around us through momentary temporal acquisition, but true success is found in a daily sustaining of that "thirst" for His Eternal Presence that effectively and festively satisfies the eventful needs of our lives.

We spend so much time paneling and adorning our houses while the house of God crumbles within us via daily negligence. Panel and adorn our lives with the daily secret love rendezvous with our God and watch the power of His resurrected temple rise and reign. Neglect His temple building of you and your temporal success will be unstable and unsustainable. Rise up and see ... now is the time to come apart from the temporal and Walk with your God ... Dance in Love within the Holy Rendezvous!

HLFA,

Jeff

Tale of Two Cities 2 - Where the Heart is ...Momentarily!

The two cities ... the same radio, TV, and Internet choices ... The same insatiable search for Satisfaction. The Media buffet that is set before humanity to tempt and attempt to feed all the dimensions of our physical, intellectual, and spiritual existence is supplied from so many different directions. The key to the success of a Desire Vendor involved in this "Satisfaction Guaranteed" Buffet, is the relevancy of the connection of the product to the desires of the listening "naive" consumer. What happens to a city if it buys in to the barrage of "personal satisfaction noise" ... in so much, that the search or desire for God fades midst the immediate insatiable desires of its occupants?

Will the need to be satisfied "now" ever be satiated? The natural progression in the heart of man is a growing desire for "more" - and is also driven by an ever waning ache for the "different". Where we allow our "wants" or lusts to be directed will definitely determine the extent of our abilities to sustain a desire for the Eternal.

Psalm 17:14 - "From men which are Thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly Thou fillest with Thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes."

Continual belly filling...replicates ... its offspring become the next generation of belly fillers... but every generation leaves all of their temporal amassed treasures behind. The temporal satisfaction stops at the death of one generation but this selfish insatiable desire begins "here" with the next generation. Will this insatiable desire for "things" protect the next generation from the consequences of a life that has no desire for God?

What does our focused search for satisfaction in this temporal existence do to our children, and our children's children? Where is your heart ... momentarily?

Psalm 17:15 - "As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I SHALL BE SATISFIED, when I awake, with Thy likeness".

Continual Spirit filling ... replicates ... its offspring become the next generation of Spirit fillers... but every generation leaves all their temporal amassed treasures behind ... the temporal satisfaction stops at the death of one generation but the personal insatiable desire for Him has the potential to overwhelm and protect the next generation from the consequences of a life that has no desire for Jesus.

What does our focused search for satisfaction in this temporal existence do to our children, and our children's children? Where is your heart ... momentarily?

Seeking "stuff"?...When we are done here...where will we awake? Could we lose everything, even our souls? Seeking Him?...When we are done here...we awake in His likeness, we loose nothing...especially our souls.

The Miracle of lasting Satisfaction is found in a direct and active connection to Eternity through Jesus Christ: the Living Word of Promise, and the Bible: the written Word of promise. The miracle manifests itself in a satisfying desire to grasp an incomplete but progressing opportunity to perceive and to understand our God.

TWO CITIES - One seeking things, and the other seeking Him. Where your heart is, there is your treasure ... and the tale of your City.

HLFA,

Jeff

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33