Afraid?


Matthew 14: 22 "And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; It is I, be not afraid."

Go ahead and let's take a picture! Hold the snap shot in our hands; that moment of an unrelenting drive into a direction that is new, and more so... is the unknown. Tell us that we are to be fully courageous because our God is with us; and then burden us with a lie that says "any hesitation, any turning, any fear is an abomination to our God, and we could be judged and forsaken because of our weakness!" This is so far from the truth...the times of our greatest fears are those moments of our opportunity with our God to wait quietly and hear Him say "Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid."

Sorry, but I abhor those self proclaimed leaders of Faith that refuse transparency into their own flaws and fears. There are those who think that a show of weakness is a failure when leading. They proclaim that "honesty is the best policy", but in the portrayal of their walk of Faith, that loudly brags of their ferocious victories over the tempests that come their way, they rob God's childlike followers of the option to run to the protection of their God when afraid. Honesty is not the best policy, it is the only policy and the only way to live ... Always speak the truth in love.

Love is not callous in its delivery of truth ... Love is patient with the faults and offences of others (70 x 7), Love is kind even when treated unkindly, Love is not covetous or envious of the success of others, Love is always ready to offer forgiveness as a support system, Love is zealous for the comfort of others, Love is not boastful or overbearing, Love doesn't flaunt personal victories or force personal failures on others, Love believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. Love, when asked "what is your motive?" Love's answer is -- "Be of good cheer, It is I, be not afraid."

In the Darkest hours of our lives, when we are most afraid -- He is there! Giving His All for us was not a sacrifice that left us to our own fears and failures, but a sacrifice that knits His heart to ours and ours to His. Is life out of control and its callous, crushing waves threatening our existence? ... The Lover of our soul, Jesus speaks -"Be of good cheer, It is I, be not afraid."

"It Is Well With My Soul" -
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me (to know or )say
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain: It is well, (it is well), With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
A song in the night, oh my soul!

He is my Song in the Night - even so, it is well with my soul!

In memory of Alan Barges - who passed via death into Life, though oh so afraid; now extravagantly comforted ... For His fear could not negate the faithfulness of His Savior, Jesus Christ, to love Him to Glory." 4/29/2016

HLFA,

Jeff

Viral Rust Bucket Life or ???

No matter what I called it, and no matter how I tried operate it ...the bottom line was that it wasn't going to be able to do the task that it was chosen for. Way too much rust, dry rotted tires, the engine ran, but if brakes aren't important ... then cool, because we didn't have any. But all we are going to do is go about a mile and pick up some mulch.

Well it was a truck; but when I turned in the torn drivers seat to look out the back cab window what I saw was ridiculous ... No truck bed, only a rusted frame. When you are that deep into a dream there is no turning back. I pulled forward to find that the steering was nonexistent and trying to stop the truck (in my sleep) - I physically pulled a calf muscle trying to step on the brakes and jumped up out of bed screaming ... Dreams do that to me.

The dream truck had a purpose but had fallen painfully far short of that purpose ... and our lives given to sin?????? There is no sin in following Him ... but what is the flip side of that -- perhaps a life that is torn, no fulfilling purpose, no direction, no stopping, and painful repercussions.

1 John 3:6: "Whosever abideth (an attitude and lifestyle of remaining) in Him sinneth not: Whosoever sinneth (an attitude and lifestyle of continuing) hath not seen Him, neither known Him."

Here is a thought...A life that is constantly Remaining in Him has full opportunity to not miss in the family "share"; congruently in the opposite direction, a life remaining in missing the mark has absolutely no beneficial connection to Him. Do you understand the implications of a life that is separate from Him? 

1. A life that remains in opposition to His dominion, a unbelieving , life of sin is ...
2. To be without a share in His family.
3. To miss the mark for acceptance in the beloved.
4. To err, be mistaken about real eternal life.
5. To miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honor that is found only in an abiding, in remaining with Him.
6. To do or go wrong without His leading and companionship.
7. To wander from the law of God, violate God's law, sin because there is no lasting vision of Him, the redemptive Savior.
8. To be caught in a viral spiral of falling, failing, and making excuses for our flawed condition caused by sin.

The virus of Sin has been genetically a part of the human race since the fall of man. Pretending that we are not infected is the most tragic deception we could pull on ourselves. This virus causes us to be walking though dead to the awareness of Eternity. Prior to a positive response to the sound of the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus, there is an inability to do anything that could change the course of the virus. "Without Faith it is impossible to please Him,"

Receive the Antidote.

Through, and only through, the reception of the spiritual transfusion of the blood of Christ is there "The Antidote" that will carry us through this present life secured for Eternity. Though many times we bear the scars of viral flare ups, our scars are covered by His. The antidote of His Everlasting Love brings with it the assurance that: -
- We are His with a full share of His "family". - Though we have missed the mark,
- We have full acceptance in the Beloved. -
- We are secured in Eternal Life because of Him.
- We now have been granted the desire to "follow Him" though conflicted at times.
- We now have His leading and His Companionship through His Spirit.
- We are never abandoned though our backs may be turned,
- We are never disowned though not fearlessly bearing His name,
- We are never out side of His love though He may be out of our mind.
- We are never so far that He is not near.

He is our Salvation.

Receive the Antidote.
John 3:36 - "He that believeth on the Son HAS Everlasting Life; He that believeth not the shall not see Life and the wrath of God abideth in Him."

Believe on the Son

... quit driving a broken down nightmare viral rust bucket truck whose end is excruciating pain forever!

HLFA,

Jeff

Frank's or John's

Well the sign above the door said "Frank's" - so a simple one (a foreigner to wisdom) and unaware, would figure that it was a place belonging to Frank. The sign on the entrance door said "Adult Entertainment" - so a simple one (a foreigner to understanding) and unaware, would figure that there may be hazards inside that children should not be exposed to. The bright "XXX" across the inner entrance also created the thought of Extra-Extra-Extra or Triple Extreme; and there was no doubt that there would be hazards for all entering. Why not take the risk? ... We only live one time; perhaps Frank's insurance only covered adults; ok, good, at least I am covered?
{Love covers a multitude of sin, but without the shedding of Blood there is no remission of sin.}

And as I looked from the vantage point of the scars, the nail pierced hands and feet, through the once wounded side - through the mist of "lost lives" that clouded the street; I saw a "simple one", left to himself on the street. Forthwith there appeared a magnificently beautiful, but other-worldly strange, woman who immediately kissed the "simple one". And said, "Come with me for pleasures beyond your wildest dreams." And "fear not for I have paid my spiritual vows and continually worship before my god." And she coaxed him with many unexpectedly arousing flirtatious gestures and a multitude of promiscuous words of sensual delight. Little did the simple one know that through the door of "Frank's" he would find many wounded, maimed, and even the dead ... barely existing there. Though for the moment he had the sense of invincibility, and the fearless nature of an undefeated warrior, he would soon taste the stolen pleasures of sin; and the overwhelming strength of sin's addiction would draw him in, and his capture would be fortified by the very chains of the lies of Hell itself. All went dark...
DON'T STOP HERE!!! Please read on!

Just Across the street (though there was a seemingly impassable chasm right down the middle of the two establishments that travelers had to navigate with care), there was another building with a name above the door "John's" ... so a simple one (a foreigner to wisdom) and unaware, would figure that it was a place belonging to John. The sign on the entrance door said "Welcome" - so a simple one (a foreigner to understanding) and unaware, would figure that there would be safety inside and the kind of atmosphere children could be exposed to. There were bright scarlet/purple splotches on all four sides of the door the led to the inner entrance that also created the thought of sacrificial royal safety; and something about the entering that caused doubt and fear to cease .There were whispers from the outside saying that it was trick and that there would be hazards for all entering. Why take the risk? ... We only live one time; but whatever the outcome perhaps "John's" insurance covers all; ok, good, at least I am covered?
{Love covers a multitude of sin, but without the shedding of Blood there is no remission of sin.}

And as I looked from the vantage point of the scars, the nail pierced hands and feet, through the once wounded side - through the mist of "lost lives" that clouded the street; I saw a "simple one", left to himself on the street. Forthwith there appeared a magnificently beautiful woman, who immediately directed the "simple one" with the tender care of a Mother to the entrance of "John's". And said, "Come with me for comfort and safety beyond what your heart has so desired." And "fear not for 'John's' Anointed Brother has paid for all spiritual iniquities and inequities", and "He continually makes intercession for our present and future errors". And she encouraged the simple one with her calm gracious Spirit, and the power of promise within her word's fitly chosen that were like apples of gold in baskets of silver -- far surpassing the ever fading mirage of sensual delight. Little did the simple one know that through the Door of "John's" he would find many wounded, maimed, and even the dead ... healed, whole and resurrected there with purpose filled abundant life. Though for the moment the traveler had the sense of hopelessness, and his fearless nature of an undefeated warrior was conquered, he would soon begin to taste and see the goodness of God; and the overwhelming strength of God's liberation would draw him in. His heart now captured by Love, he would be fortified by the unfolding Truth of Heaven itself. All went bright...
READ ON!!

Isaiah 9:2 - "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined."

Amos 5:8 - "Seek Him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: the LORD is His name:"

Romans 10:13 - "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

The chains of lies caused by a sinful "turn aside" can be broken, but not without a strong reckoning of God's forgiveness, and a purposeful abandoning to the truth of God's deliverance. So with a childlike faith in the rescue that He has provided, walk in the Light as He is in the light for the Blood of Jesus Christ has washed us from our sin.

Proverb 24:16 - "A just man falls seven times, and rises up again; but the wicked shall fall into mischief."

HLFA,

Jeff

Stranger in the Midst

Resting in the "Sanctuary on a small hill" in the land of the descending flow, I cast my eyes on the crowd that was gathering to partake in the self styled worshipful praise of the day. I remembered, how days not too long ago, I could stand within the assembly of worshippers in those moments of uplifted voices, and grow with anxious anticipation that that Glory of Grace heard resounding in that place would spill over and out of the sanctuary doors, down the descending steps, into the streets, into the market place and into the heart of the daily man ... BUT then it was over.

The service ended, the sound so sweet had dwindled to the buzz of personally exclusive conversation, and then carried privately within closed lips and blinder clad eyes. Those left in the streets and languishing in the market place, longing to hear the sound but too critically crippled by the destroyer, would never hear the sound of salvation and never feel the flow grace. The truth was being held captive and suppressed within the selfish excuses of those who claimed it was theirs. 

The wind blew in at that moment of my thinking, carrying with it ice and snow ... This leveled the playing field ... Winter garments would immediately be chosen to cover all mankind with my limited world of influence, and only those huddled near warm fires and warm refreshments would have the opportunity to share the glory. BUT would they? Would I? There seemed an extreme awkwardness although God had done an amazing work in our midst.

"Why art thou cast down, oh my soul? and why are thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance." Psalm 42:5

Here is a daily directive and an awesome choice for "truly alive" living - Hope in God and praise Him for the help of the personal revelation of His Face, His countenance in and on our lives. His face will shine on us in proportion to the desire we have to love those for whom He died (All). Imagine the power of lives changed by the power of his love. Imagine the power of lives changed to love Him.

"Why art thou cast down, oh my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." Psalm 42:11

Here is the power to support Heaven's daily directive and the awesome journey of "truly alive" living with Him: The Hope and Praise continuum from the Sanctuary empowered BY HIM -- He is the Health of our countenance and the regenerate source of His Countenance upon us.

Think about it -- The Glory revealed now rests upon us as his beloved praise makers. We are left here to live among men as Christ lived among them, and still does ... With and through us. Reckoning ourselves as part of this ministry opens up the unlimited possibilities of the personal displays of Gods open love from above and for all; and He is the source of joy unspeakable and peace that passes understanding that we get to partake in.

O precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow ... No other Fount I know ... Nothing by the Blood of Jesus.

O bountiful is that flow, spilling over so others may know ... Un-inhibited fount I know... Pouring from the Love of Jesus.

Are we a stagnant basin of held back blessing, or a conduit of continuous outpouring of His awesome grace?

It truly is our choice!

HLFA,

Jeff

The Middle Again

6:26 AM - Coffee is made and the deck has no clue that it is 42 degrees, but my feet are sensing the chill. Between the branches of the trees the songs are ringing out to the field below. The Alpaca couple is stirring because of the different array of songs being flung into the air by every bird that chooses to rejoice in the light of another day. They have no clue that much of the Western Human world has set this day apart and called it Easter or Resurrection Morning.

Did you know that the first message of Easter Morn was one of potential further despair? THEY WATCHED JESUS DIE AN EXTREMELY GRUESOME DEATH... IT WAS HORRIBLE .... "I have been to the sepulcher and they have taken his body away!" so said Mary. The disciples had raced to the tomb to find it just as she said - John got there first and peeked in, Peter finally arrived and stepped in -- they saw the empty grave clothes, the linen that was wrapped AROUND HIS HEAD... then when John went in "he saw, and believed." John 20:8. They did not believe that Jesus had risen, because that concept was not yet mentioned, realized or known because they were "caught in the middle." They believed someone had taken the body of Jesus.

Several days prior in the garden of betrayal, they had experienced a strange phenomenon. All Jesus said was "I AM he", when the guards came asking for him prior to Judas kissing him in betrayal. That "I AM" from the vantage point of the observers of the moment was a blur. It actually was more than just a few guards falling backwards at the sound of Jesus' word.

The power unveiled at that moment, literally took every listener from where they were and pushed them backward placing them helplessly right in the "middle". Between night and day, between darkness and light, between right and wrong, between now and then, between the present and the past, between going forward and falling backward, between error and truth, between evil and good, between unclean and clean ...(this "middle" could go on forever) ...between death and life, between Heaven and Hell.

The next events in the history of mankind literally would hold things in the middle. Jesus, the unveiled great "I AM", had the power at this juncture to stop the on- coming circus of suffering and sorrow, call the multitude of Heavenly Warriors in waiting, and throw all mankind completely into eternal destruction. Our Savior moved forward into the events that we still study as "through a glass darkly". Until that day come when we, His beloved, will know Him as we are known ... face to face, we will continue to revisit these events in awe and wonder.

The scriptures kind of leave us in the dark as to "doings" and full whereabouts of the disciples in the "sealed tomb" days. But we know they were together, and we know that they all ran to the tomb early on the first day of the week (Sunday), and we know that they all believed that His body had been taken. Later that morning the rumors started coming of "Why seek ye the living among the dead?" and "He is Risen!"

Gathered in that room of great grief, immense sorrow, confusion via rumors, and tragedy forced disappointment, the disciples were the perfect picture of the heart of a man without the hope of a Risen Savior. There is no doubt that in that moment that the followers were numb with emotion ... THEN HE APPEARED ... and stood right in the Middle. Now it was day, now it was light, now all was right, now, the present had purpose, now moving forward, truth to proclaim, righteousness reigns, cleansed by His blood, life secured by His life and Heaven now is won and Heaven now is home.

It is now 48 degrees, the sun it trying to burn off the clouds ... my feet are still chilled, but the joy of forever has been secured ... Hallelujah He is Risen!!!

Let's Keep Loving Jesus Openly!!

HLFA,

Jeff

A Brook and A Garden

Matthew 26:25 -"Then Judas, which betrayed Him, answered and said, Master is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said."

Wow, that was a very different Passover ... And what was up with that tense moment with Jude... Well in due time all things will be revealed, I guess?

There was a garden, in the beginning, where the creator of all the universe would cross over the brook of eternity, and "chill", "kick back", relax, and fellowship with His Image Bearers. He would often retreat from eternity to this garden for these moments of sharing and caring. Man was God's desire and pleasure; and the hope of the moments would be that God would become Man's desire and pleasure.

Then the day came when the Creator walked over the brook of eternity and into the garden only to expose man hiding because of the betrayal and Fall. God could not leave mankind lost, but would provide a rescue: O the tears of all creation were held back as an innocent lamb was taken from creation and sacrificed to provide a covering for Man's willful and sinful nakedness. And the ache and groaning of the creature began as Man was forcefully escorted to the gates of the Garden, and expelled as Eden became an evanescent memory as the curse closed in on all mankind. All that remained was a fading memory of the garden and a bloody, dimly lit promise that God would become salvation.

Centuries later, "in the fullness of time", the promise began to flicker. There was also a garden in the valley named after the dark brook that flowed through it, the brook Cedron. This garden would carry with it the times that the Savior would retreat from the pressing needs of the masses to "chill", to "kick back", to relax, and to fellowship with the small band of followers who were catching the flicker of the unfolding of the fulfillment of the Creator's promise to rescue. If we could read between the love lines -- John 18:1, 2 - "When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into which He entered, and His disciples. And Judas, which betrayed Him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted there with His disciples." - We could imagine those moments that the Savior desired.

This particular night, this garden would be the scene for the betrayal and arrest of Jesus. The events stemming from the garden would ultimately lead to the Cross and the Empty Tomb. Isn't it strange that the these two Gardens of Sweet Desired Fellowship would both be the setting for a Betrayal. One garden would end in the expulsion of man and the broken heart of God; and the other garden would begin with the expulsion of the Savior and the open heart of God offering a full rescue.

"My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" --
"It is finished!"
He who knew no sin, became Sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

Be careful to note that there is a risk in the places set aside for sweet fellowship: for until the Day Breaks and the Shadows fully flee away - the only relationship that can last, will be forged in forgiveness by the One that holds us secure in that everlasting love. Many will carry scars from the betrayal of those they offered love and trust at the most intimate level... But coddle not bitterness in the betrayal, rush to the Throne of Grace to find Help in time of need: Forgive.

Garden Beautiful, crystal clear crossing, lost in a moment.
Garden shadow, darkened by time, betrayed in a moment.
Both held the promise, both poised in time... Water and Blood, dark deep royal wine.

One Garden held betrayal's horror that was mine all mine,
One Garden held betrayal's breath but rescued to design.
Desire from the promise, held in Eternal love - Water and Blood, dark deep royal wine.

He is beyond the clear brook, in the garden of time, come rest in the moment.
He conquered the darkness, in this heart of mine, come lean on the moment.
We can be held by His promise, live in His desire - Water and Blood, dark deep royal wine.

Rest daily in the garden of His Resurrection love.

HLFA,

Jeff

Beloved

David(Beloved) - This morning, the Lord woke me up (via a cat crying at my door to be fed) - I went to bed last night, kinda knowing the direction that I was to search the Word (that's where it really starts each week). My intentions were to make breakfast for the family while popping open "Studylight" to look at the Word ... The iPad opens and here you are. I love you brother.

My emotions had to handle three deaths this week and one was a funeral that I officiated. Andrew Larson, Kenneth High, Keith Emerson -- A son, a Dad and a Star ---Two were sadly rumored as suicide(the Son and the Star) and one was old (the Dad and the funeral). These interjections of grief played heavily upon my heart and the hearts of many others of tender spirit. {O there are some dark places that men should not have to go, too often!}

Maybe I am wrong to presume that God truly speaks to us, but I will not deny my illusion for it draws me so close to the God of the human condition that I desire and long for Him daily. There is a trip switch in my life though, that quenches my joy ever so quickly ... My anger with doctrinal error is intense; and my brokenness and love for the "Church at large" is a constant breaking.

Why is it that those who will march against the murder of innocent babies, with the same lifestyle, drive the fallen to self murder. They may not have intended this end for the fallen brother or sister, but by robbing the offender of true hope and shackling them with unbearable guilt and shame, and then shunning them from a "center" of love's redemption, what were thy thinking? What did they think would happen?... O I could scream!!! All in the name of church discipline??? Sounds like an ego trip for those who long to Lord over God's heritage...

I must write, though it may only settle in the dust of the archives of the wind. BUT the wind blows where it desires and we know not -- such is the Spirit. God gave our family an amazing gift at the onset of each of our walks with Christ - the undeniable truth of the eternal security of the believer based on the New Birth from Above (and if that wasn't enough He adopts us also). This truth is universal in scripture and truly liberates the sin oppressed soul; but there are those who feel the need to regulate grace, strengthen grace by mandating additional effort and proclaiming additional penalty, possibly with the intentions of controlling and protecting the existence of purity in the faith community?

These "Leaders of Righteousness" will constantly throw away the keys that unlock old shackles and develop more emotionally motivated means of dragging the souls of men into despair. Their intentions may appear to be noble to those who prefer not to be bothered with the growth pains of the "outcast"; but if there would happen be a visit from Jesus at their woeful gatherings it might result in over turned tables and teachers fleeing from the scourging of the Master.

If the truth will set us free ... What are these doctrines that bind, depress, cast-away, and leave us with a "Death choice"? These doctrines are not of my God. If a man will sing "I once was found but now am lost, from sight to now I can't see" --- he has been taught a song from Hell, not from the Savior.

Psalm 18:1-19 " I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. 2.The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. 3. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. 4. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. 5. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. 6. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. 7. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. 8. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. 9. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. 10. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. 11. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. 12. At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. 13. The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. 14. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. 15. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. 16. He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. 17. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. 18. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. 19. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me." (Read on for even more encouragement --- You are the object of His Rescue!)

My God rescues ... What about you?

HLFA,

Jeff

PS - Quit trying to convince men of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment --that is the Spirit's work and it is perfect. Do your part believer - LIVE LOVING JESUS AND OTHERS ...OPENLY!

PSS - oh by the way -- forgiveness is not a sincere spouting of words to make us all feel better -- it is a support system that we commit to for the sake of the fallen and offended; Support that is offered until the "Day breaks and the shadows flee away".

PSSS - Forgiveness for the forgiven is not an option.

The Imperative Wait

Wait -- It is so imperative that Family learn to "wait" ...What an opening statement!!! Wait! "Sorry, but we can't do something that we do not understand." Wait is not in the vocabulary of the afflicted and impatient. As the world becomes more and more knowledgeable and congruently fearful, the concept of "Waiting on God" has become more of a guilt additive and a depression encourager than the stress reliever and life giver that it truly is.

There are big problems in the Kingdom because of all of the philosophical rhetoric about building up our self worth, and thinking positively to bolster an attitude that will eventually create success. We all know the value of a positive outlook and how it can carry us through difficult situations, but a vaporous belief fades quickly when the pain increases and the minutes click away. Man!! On our best days, if we face the mirror, the face in the mirror will tell us that our self-creativity will eventually lead us to a denial, that will have us in a deeper mess than we are in at that moment.

Why Wait, and for what, and for whom? What would it do for our lives if we put all of the pressure, pain, delays, derailing, disappointments and blackouts in the hands of God, who always has our best interests in mind? Check out the truth of the meaning of word "wait" found in scripture (Qavah - Kawvah):
- to wait, look for, hope, expect fully hoping -- (not idly or grudgingly standing)
- to wait or look eagerly for -- (Eager expectation not threatening exasperation)
- to lie in wait for -- (placing our lives in a joyous suspense)
- to wait for, linger for -- (don't give in and don't give up)
- to collect, bind together -- (While waiting, fortify our hearts with His Truth)
- to be collected -- (gathered for strengthening)

Let's put it like this - Waiting on God is like hiding ourselves like an excited child who waiting for a surprise to be sprung on them --- waiting, looking for, longing for, eagerly expecting, lingering and collecting all of our emotional expectations and focus on being gathered into a deeper fulfilling confidence of God's Extravagant Love for us.

"They that wait upon the Lord SHALL renew their strength", - Isaiah 40:31a "Wait on the LORD, be of good courage, and He SHALL strengthen thine heart, wait, I say, on the LORD." - Psalm 27:14

"Wait on the LORD, keep His way, and He SHALL cause thee to inherit the land" - Psalm 37: 34a

"Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and He SHALL save you." Proverbs 20:22
Why Wait? -- He said to, and at the end of our strength HE SAYS WAIT!
For What? -- His totally fulfilling love surprise.
For Whom? -- The Lord, and Him alone.

For years Daddy had been gone over the torrential seas of time. The little ones were left with the aches of life but holding expectantly to the enduring promise of His soon return. The windows of waiting were filled with eager expectation on the inside, though the seasons of change threatened disappointment from the outside. The encourager would speak softly as they lay waiting - "just a little longer, O linger in the promise of His love"; while the adversary whispered "in the end you will find it was all a tragic joke of a lie." Just as the world could not get any darker and faith could potentially falter - "surprise" --- there was a voice like the cry of a trumpet from the Skies, "Come up Hither", and faith became sight as the Children began to rise."

Wait, I say, on the LORD!

HLFA,

Jeff

Romans 10:11 - "For the scripture saith, Whosoever believes on His shall not be ashamed (left ashamed or disgraced)" -- God is never in the business of disappointing His kids.

Be Not Silent

It was the first morning that I was set loose to explore a strange hotel in a strange city; coming out the door of our hotel room I almost bumped right into a maid. Immediately she began furiously and fearfully apologizing for being in the way (her speech was foreign and her English a little difficult to understand); I stopped her, calmed her obvious fear, and accepted her apology. Her sigh of relief could have echoed down the hallway and with that sound of her sigh, I was urged by the Spirit to bless her, I said -"You have no need to fear, The servant is the Greatest. You have a position in this hotel that, out of all of the other positions, Jesus would be honored to do yours; so do it with joy and worship the King in all that you do!".

I smiled and turned to walk away, but she was quickened by what I had said and, she called out "You are a Christian? Oh to hear the words of Christ coming from one not afraid to be as a Christian. This world, this town ... has Christians but they are so sad, so dark and so quiet... You are an unafraid Christian?" Tears began to flow from her eyes and a cry came from her heart because (unknown to me) she had been praying for her son who had to be left behind in Egypt.

"You, as a Christian, may I ask you to pray for my son whom we were forced to leave behind in Egypt, for he did not want to come?" I let her know that I would carry her and him with me as I moved forward through my days.

I turned once again to go go but she held onto my arms with tears in her eyes ..."but I am Coptic Orthodox" (like that would kill the deal) so I replied, "Let's strip away the religious barriers that could divide us, and stand as brother and sister before the cross of Jesus and cry out together for the needs that are closest to your heart... Because that is where Jesus is...closest to our hearts." In tears she said "Thanks be to God!"

"When I Cry unto Thee - Be not silent - for you are my cliff." Psalm 28:1 If God's silence has been intensively devised, meticulously cut, skillfully carved or plowed by design against me, there is no hope. I will be like those lowered into the Pit, an eternal dungeon of despair. If my God is silent like an idol I am done for....He is my cliff; and when I am on the edge I must find Him "alive" for me.

God's voice through His scripture has been intensively devised, meticulously cut, skillfully carved and plowed by design for the life that is the fullest for the believer and lover of its sound. God loves to love us in and through the seemingly most desperate situations of  our lives. He arrives where no  hope is and springs into a loving response that creates a refreshingly new Hope where otherwise none would grow. O the beauty of the tender plant that shoots up and grows out of dry barren ground.

The flip side: The futile and pitiful nature of one that worships an idol is that the worshipper has carved out his own hopelessness and devastatingly lost future. The demonic connection with idols seems to be lodged in misting a mirage that mirrors this "hope" attribute of God - "when His children cry He is not silent". When the idol is finally called upon for hope, there is deadly silence, during that silence the idol worshipper has two choices:

1. Turn away from God, turn to the silent idol - Pretend and die.
Or
2. Turn away from the idol, turn to the voice of God - Hear and live.

His written Word is key..."He is not silent"...He will change you.

Exodus 3:7-10 - He always hears the cry of His people... Both sides of the Cross. There is continual connection as His Word pours in and through our lives. It is not just a matter of our understanding, it is the larger matter of our trust.
1 Peter 1:23 - Eternity's birth begins with the Word, growth continues with His Word.
Hebrews 4:12 - The Word is living and active. It reaches into the complexity of who we are and divides with discernment who we are becoming in Him.

I didn't see "Marrall (Maryl)" the next two mornings early, but God put her in the Hallway at the time we were getting ready to leave the hotel - She caught my wife, Yolanda, first ... to tell me she was looking for me, and then she found me.

She wanted to make sure that I had heard her correctly. Somehow she felt that she could not pray for what she truly wanted because it was being presumptuous of God. God at that moment let me see how we are all like "Marrall" -- afraid to ask for exactly what we want for fear that God will not answer if we presume on His goodness.

I broke inside because both her and I needed to connect with His love for us - "O Mary, He knows what we truly want, let's not be ashamed or afraid to ask Him for what we truly want! HE LOVES US!"

Oh people of God - Ask anything in His Name!!! God is more interested in the cry of our hearts than in the phrasing of our verbs. He doesn't play games with "bruised reeds" and "smoking flax". --- He is closest ... to where we are the most broken; just break down, worship Him and trust His tender care for us. He will be there.

HLFA,
Jeff

Pray for Marrall and her estranged son, Fredy - O that God would capture them both in His Extravagant Love.

Alien Space Slips

This was one of those unending weeks where alien space slips were landing everywhere (no not alien space ships that can fly us away, but alien space slips - those strange invisible uber terrestrial vehicles that fly in and grab the edges of the time we have and pull it forward while we are not looking) and our only natural response is "where did the time go?". The older we get the more we are troubled by these vessels of time-way robbery, but while younger they were welcomed by our announcements that we were bored and had an urge that mysteriously pushed forward to grow up (that's where they first got us!)

Here is the rub ... The Kids of the Kingdom of God, since the fall in the garden, have been fed a "politically correct" thread of lies from the Serpent via his "world-savvy" evangelists - "Keep your Faith quiet, Be careful not to offend anyone". "Remember, be politely pluralistic - you have a secular and a sacred life to lead and it must be in kept in check." "Worship is for the houses of worship, not the work place."

I would like to state this for the record - There is truly no secular; only fallen tasks that have no Breath because they either violate or ignore the desires of God. There is an attitude in the unregenerate heart of man that leads us to believe that God is not interested in our affairs that provide a living for us here on this side of Heaven. (what a divisive lie!) Every noble task to work on this planet that serves people at some level is a Divinely Called appointment, everyone one of us need to see the grace of God in each task and appointment; and welcome God's desire to walk with us and in us ... into the lives of men who may not realize how much they desperately need Him.

BUT I JUST DON'T HAVE THE TIME TO SHARE THE LOVE OF GOD!!!! (The Alien Space-Slips are ready to pull your time forward!)

Now this is where the wrestling match with "alien space-slips" gets interesting because they do not want us aware of the true power we have over time as God's Kids:
Ephesians 5:16 - "Redeeming the time, because he days are evil." We, as believers and followers of Christ, have the gift to buy back time out of the market place of men's lives because of the Hope of Glory within us. The days being intrinsically without wholeness, without lasting goodness, and down right evil (don't be fooled by the smiles - sin is only a pleasure for a season) carry with them God's mandate that we be about the business of living openly as Good News Advocates. If this advocacy is actively advancing there will be far more comfort appropriated than the momentary discomfort of getting out of our complacent comfort zones. If we get one step beyond the Serpent's lies we will realize that Love waits there with a rescue.
Colossians 4:5 - "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time." Stand upright and move forward in the wisdom of the words of scripture when dealing with those outside "The Door" ... Buy the time... out of the present squandering of their life way and lead them lovingly into God's Way. The only wasted life is a life in Christ that has been neutralized and paralyzed by the lies of the Devil (The first lie he loves for us to believe is that he does not exist).

Special note for Good News Advocates: Actually - " alien space-slips" work mostly on the minds of those who have no positive plan to make an impact on the Kingdom of men during this clash time with the kingdom of God. Plan to redeem the time by living openly for Jesus everyday.

In the squeeze of life that comes because of the "time limit" - don't lose out, and don't give in - remember the people around you - love the people around you, and activate your advocacy by being ready to give an answer to every man who humbly asks you ... "What is the reason that you live with such hope?"

We say, "No one ever asks!" -- I guess we have some redeeming to do to get the jump on the "alien space-slips".

HLFA

Jeff