I Am Not

I am feeling a little awkward at this moment. I am not here; but what's left of me is. No one is looking directly at me, although I am the big topic of conversation. I have never seen such an array of emotions put on display at any one given time like this. There is a thick serious spirit hanging over even the lightest of conversations; while All with slightly wetted eyes seem to be looking for something that they cannot see.

The achievements of my life have been noted, and listed in a little less than 300 words so that my life and associations would fit on one side of a quickly printed 8 1/2" x 11" folded handout. (The order of the show that will be put on for those who have gathered has actually occupied as much printed space as my deducted achievements). There Pictures and Impressions of me posted for all to see, so that they might connect with me, my family and the moment; while stories of these connections and other moments may only be stated to prove the qualifications of those that have joined in this gathering. I am still, I am not invited into the conversations; I am all but voiceless.

In my life, much like the prophesy of the Savior ... "For I Have heard the slander of many, fear was on every side; while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life. Psalm 31:13" Why did they want me to diminish my love for Real Life? I truly could tell that I did not fit. When I spoke, my listeners' eyes would glaze over and they would start looking for another to converse with. Those who were polite would give me a pat on the back and a quick meaningless blessing to push me on my way.

But I had questions, and I needed answers. I had dreams and aspirations that were quickly dismissed as the babblings of a social idiot. "He is beside himself!" The crying out of the prophetic mad man in not received even by his own kinsmen in his own country.

Why could I not just fade into the gray of the popular faith of the day is beyond me? Why couldn't I be content with the "smile offerings" and the "shallow connections" that seem to get everybody else through life? Why did I have to take eternity so seriously? Why was I in need of making sure "It was well" with the soul of every human being that I shared a moment of time? Why couldn't I just assume all was well? AND why did the freaking tears have to fill my eyes when others would laugh their way through their days?

Some would say that I was a little "off my rocker", "slightly imbalanced", "out of touch with reality", "emotionally fragile" ... but to know the implication of my full salvation because of His "Bloody Sacrifice" on the Cross; and to know the power of His resurrection on each and every moment of my life; and to know the fellowship, groaning, and fullness of the Spirit in battle for the lost souls of men ... I would trade what the world calls stable and sure, for the instability of this declaration: "I am crucified with Christ, never the less I live; yet not I; but Christ lives in me: and the life that I NOW live... I live by the faith of the Son of God., who loved me, and gave Himself for me. " Galatians 2:20

Every day, because of being in the Middle ... it is like we, the faith followers of Christ, are in a velvet bagged box of our own ashes, while the world looks on and wonders ... who we are and why we are so passionate about Jesus. Why can't we live and just let others live whatever way they want to? Because:
WE believe that Jesus is the only Way that leads away from eternity lost.
WE believe that Jesus is the only Truth that has eternal connecting consequence.
WE believe that Jesus is the only Life source that makes humanity truly alive and raises them from death
--because NO MAN can come to the Father but by Him.

Once WE have trusted Him , we live because He lives, and WE believe WE ARE HIS.

1 Corinthians 6:19,20 - "What know ye not, that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which lives in you, which ye have of God and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."



Waiting Warship or Waiting Worship

"We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us." Isaiah 59:11

How close is our God? Some would suppose that we are too insignificant to catch His attention in the midst of all of events and happenings in all creation (even the Psalmist expressed this when he declares "What is man that Thou art mindful of him?"). We may even feel that He will not notice that we are not even acknowledging that He exits. We will make a choice that is simply rebellion, and then wait for "nothing" to happen. This "nothing" is our sign that all this "God talk" may be a farce...and we decide to "sin on".

We may even dedicate ourselves at times to doing right because of the hope of "good stuff" coming our way. We convince ourselves in that moment that we are planting a seed of good deeds that will lead to a "success" harvest. THEN, when the harvest does not come when we think it should, we abandon the "good works" pathway for self medication and feel good choices (though many of these will lead us further into darkness).

We are convinced that God does nothing while our enemies close in on all sides, and we live under the pressure of constant persecution and impoverished demise. We watch as our enemies seem happy and healthy, while we are sad and sickly ... it seems so unfair. The ungodly prosper while the echoes of the voices the prosperity prophets just bounce off of our empty bank accounts and amassing miss-fortune of spiritual failures. Our enemies seem to win!

Why has God asked us to "love our enemies"? Why has He encouraged us to "do good unto those who spitefully abuse us"? Why is it that the goodness of God leads men to repentance, while voices scream behind pulpits of the FEAR of GOD and the WRATH of GOD - not as a tearful warning to the enemy but as a threat that GOD will get them. And God does not get them ... when we think He should.

YES ... judgment is sure, Hell is real, and God will deliver His people. The timing of this is where the Sovereignty of God is in conflict with the temporal patience of Man. Waiting is a touted as a game for the weak...but scripture teaches elsewise.

Psalm 35 - is an amazing passage where our Triune God seems to wrestle over this issue and this verse deals a catastrophic blow to my need for revenge and gloating over my enemy. Here is what God's response is to the Enemy's time of illness: "But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother." Psalm 35:13,14

Obviously my thoughts are not His thoughts and my ways are not His ways --- has he not shown mercy and grace to me, I would be hopelessly lost today ... but His goodness led me to His Salvation. NOW I MUST WAIT and worship for others, I must not become a waiting Warship -- ready to launch an all out assault on my enemy. THAT ASSAULT BELONGS TO GOD ... what belongs to me is waiting.

Read the following expanded devotional translation of Isaiah 40:31:
"They that ...wait, (look eagerly for, hope, linger and lie in wait to collect, bind together...to be collected, and bound together. The simple fact of this type of waiting is ... those waiting have collective contentment with the abilities of the one they trust)
Upon the Lord, shall renew (This waiting causes those waiting to pass on or away for the threat; to pass through, pass by, go through, grow up, to change, to go on from there as the moment of trouble seems to pass on quickly away (vanish) to come on anew, to grow new life that allows them to pass through to overstep the moment; change to change, substitute, alter, to be changed for better, renew to show a newness of ...
their strength, (power, might, that produces a wealth of "good soil", adds an adaptability... like a type of lizard-color-change to better fit in with its surroundings.
They shall rise up with wings as eagles,
they shall run and be not weary, t
hey shall walk and not faint."

It's not you,
that needs to war against the Enemy -
That is God's Battle ...so that there can be:
and Restoring.
It is yours to be in waiting worship -- not a waiting warship

-Wait on the Lord!!!



Something's Fishy

This is not where I wanted to be. After spending 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of a whale, having my clothes reduced to rags, my skin and hair bleached white, and what was left of my beard was matted by the most disgusting stickiness of a "big fish mucous ball". To top it off, the fish had hurled me onto the beach like the vomit I had become because of my inability to see mercy. Only judgement raining down, even on the innocent, would satisfy my sense of warped purpose. Think about it! God would have me preach fiery judgement, and then when the multitudes would turn to Him, He would have mercy, the fire would not come down, and I would look Like a powerless idiot.

Why should grace and mercy be there for those who don't deserve it? The problem with me was so simple that I could not see it -- I was more devoted to my reputation than God's.

"His mercy endures forever!" from my perspective, was a promise for the elite, the separated and set apart for His glory and His purpose ... right? "His mercy endures forever!" is not for the Godless, flesh glorifying, sin loving reprobates that just need to be wiped off of the face of the earth.(Man was I steaming, after I waited outside the city that I just preached God's Fiery Judgement to ...anxiously awaiting the fire to fall, but it did not; I give up).

They heard the message and repented AND GOD GAVE THEM MERCY --- NOT FAIR!!!

It was a city full of perverted sexual activity at the highest level ... rape and incest was rampant, maiming and murder was a justified response, the offering of infants and children to the fire of idols was the highest form of worship ... the whole city partied as the children screamed for their lives.
Fear and injustice was the order of the day ... God should have not warned them, He should have just poured out His fiery wrath and been done.

Now here I sit under a stinking juniper tree as I watch a beautiful gourd destroyed from the inside out by a stinking worm ... and I slipped off into the numb sleep of a fool; but man, something is fishy here.

Hey -- Although I am not Jonah --- I think I understand the concept of seeing the blessing of God in the lives of others but not seeing His blessing in my life.

I try to make the right decisions and do the right things. But unknowingly, I set myself up for the kill by the corruption of real JOY by my choice to live under the constant oppression of my negative, stinking thought life. I am plagued by a self inflicted depravation caused by continual negative prophetical utterances over my life. I have become my worst enemy. Here is a sampling of some of my debilitating self talk:
"God does good things for others ... but He never does that for me."
"God cares about everyone else but not me."
"The darkness in my life is too dark for God's light to overcome."
"I must be beyond help"
"I am useless to God."
"I must be under a curse."
"I will never ________ (fill in the blank) --- never, never, never!"

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things (food, clothing, position, purpose, etc.) will be added unto you". Matt. 6:33 -- We have it backwards, while striving for the "things", we easily loose sight of real life -found only in Jesus.

"Oh God, Thou art my God, early will I seek thee!" Psalm 63:1

"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!" Phil. 3:14

Hey ... I think I have it dumbed down for even me ...
Start every day with a Rugged Cross and Resurrection focus, the Word to my ear and flowing in my heart, and with a grateful heart ... live a life in all prayer and all thanksgiving.

He is my righteousness (rest) - He is MY GOD(trust) - He is my prize (win), my high calling is to empty myself of me "early" - in the beginning of each new day and like Him... take on the form of the lowliest, the servant. Weep with those that weep and rejoice with those that rejoice.

Yes there will be tough days of broken body and broken dreams but He is with us in those moments to see us through ... be ever thankful. Don't live in regretful bitterness.

Jesus Could have called 12 legions of angels - 12 x 12,000 = 144,000 (One angel mentioned in Isaiah 37:36 - in a battle to protect Israel, killed 185,000) -- 185,000 x 144,000 = 26,640,000,000 people. With the world census clock ticking at about 7.5 billion people on planet earth -- God had (during his days on the planet) and has (during our days on the planet) enough Angelic fire power to cleanse the world of mankind BUT that was not the choice of His character.

"For God so loved the world (not just mankind), that He gave His only begotten Son (a personal price paid that could far outweigh all the guilt of 26,640,000,000 humans), that whosoever(anyone) believes on Him should not perish(lost forever separated from God), but have everlasting life (with Him now, and forever)". John 3:16



Phil. 2:6 - " Who in the beginning positioned Himself "below" in the form of God, did not deem to lead by seizing to appear equal with God".... Wow He chose to be a nobody that could save everybody and anybody that would believe on Him. Why do we see every one else's blessing but not our own?

Blessing Seeking lesson # 1 - Let His Grace and His Mercy rule your life in His Love.

Why ... should I care?

There it was again ...always when I am haunted by the frail attempts of my faith to be fearless; the darkened glass seemed to make a metallic wind-like noise to call for my attention. The sound took my imagination to a double edged sword being swung through the air by a mighty angelic warrior.

And again, the sound alerted me as my fading hope led me to the edge of the field of sin with all of its bright lights and mysterious wonders that were just beyond my reach. This time the metallic sound whined within the realm of the sound of screeching brakes or a blade sharpening on a grinding wheel. "OK, I hear you!"

It didn't matter which direction I would turn at this juncture of the confrontation with the "darkened glass", for it would always be with me, and it would reveal itself everywhere that I would turn. Knowing this I closed my eyes. The thought of coddling my disappoint to justify my decision and grasp for justification to cross the line was slowly fading against the sound of the Darkened Glass.

Then I heard my own voice cry out of my distress, "Why should I care?" And upon hearing this I yelled all the louder in an upward direction "WHY SHOULD I CARE?" ... Just like I suspected there was no immediate reply... But that high pitched metallic sound of the "darkened glass" stopped with an eerie and awkward silence; And my question with fading delays repeated itself like echoes across the vast plain of my memory.

Now, I was left to whatever my heightened senses could pull in through their emotionally weakened receptors. Still and small ... Between each echo was the resonation of His Voice from the Darkened Glass bringing comfort with each wave of celestial flow:
Why should I care?
"I persevere through your loss of heart and continue to offer kindness and favor!"
Why should I care?
"I do not put my power in your face with boasting, magnifying myself to put you down!"
Why should I care?
"I stay constant in my support for you; nothing will provoke me to think evil of you!"
Why should I care?
"I cannot rejoice when you step aside of truth; but I rejoice in your choices for truth!"
Why should I care?
"I create a protective covering for you, in all of your moments!"
"I choose to give you my constant confidence, in all of your wavering!"
"I wait with a joyful anticipation, for you!"
"AND no matter what - I will not recede, nor flee, nor fall back in your time of need!"

"Faith may and will fade to fear -- Hope will dwindle until temptation may win -- BUT"

... "But what?" I moaned... ... The silence grew thick;
My eyes were still closed ... "BUT WHAT?" I cried.
I spun around,
opened my eyes,
and there written on the steam-like fog on the darkened glass appeared the words:
My Love remains -- I love you!

I Corinthians 13:13 - "Now abideth faith, hope and Love, and the greatest of these is Love".

This is why I care!



If - That Blessed Moment

2 Corinthians 5:17 - "Therefore if any may be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

Too many "ifs" seem to show up in our ears that are not there to threaten our security as we move forward in our journey as Kids of the King and Christ followers. Why has the IF become a club to beat believers into fearful submission instead of an encouraging threshold of Faith.

Yes ... Without question ...There needs to be that cognizant moment of the recognition of our sinfulness(exposed and declared by the Word and the Spirit), and a heartfelt realization of our eternally hopeless end in a Devil's Hell ...without the grace and mercy of God, who so loved the adornment of all of the creation, that He gave His only Heaven Sent Son (Gave Him to Die for Us) ... That whoever believes in Him will not face the burning, hopeless "end penalty" of Sin, but are rescued into the security of Eternal Life ... Because of Jesus. He is our Salvation.

But leaders of faith throughout the ages have been fearful in turning over the face and future of the established church to "Believe in the Name of Jesus" as the portal that will capture men for eternity. They feel possibly that God needs help. They feel that salvation must be taught in such a way that the church will not be embarrassed by the "loose canon" or the "free spirit" believers. They hang weights of conditions, laws, rules and regulations on Grace so that it is not taken for granted (Just in case the Spirit doesn't fully take care of that).

Maybe it was because of our rancid past and undiminished scars, that we haven't trusted God for victory (yet), that makes us doubt that God can handle every situation and grow every man in Christ without our serious faced imput. Maybe it is a fear that the addictions that we hide as leaders (while pretending to be "all right") will become public when the disciples we claim ownership of ... flounder and fall. And we then will have to bear the inquisition of other pompous or pious spiritual leaders.

{I dare you to accuse one of God's Kids to his Daddy! ... someone else has tried this since the beginning and hasn't been able to sway God's love opinion of His Kids nor change their secure standing in Him.}

OR ... maybe it is our innate ability to have our faith crushed ever so quickly by negativity, and the "ifs" that carry doubt too far into the fabric of our frail existence. Why is it that we waste years worrying about whether we and others are "true" believers? Why is it that we spend our days (that we should be knowing and letting Him lead and love us more) looking for "proof" verses of our right standing with God? Why do we cause babes around us to also doubt that their Father truly has and will continue to love and rescue them?


"2 Corinthians 5" is an amazing passage of unfolding promise and security ... In a nut shell: There is a promised home in the future ... That we all long for ... but the prize of the promise for the moment is in this: that those "In Christ" by faith are an awesome miraculous habitation of unfolding newness. The "IF" in the passages ...(was added by license, but not to cause doubt) ...Is just a moment to stop, reflect and thank God for our salvation. It was never meant to be a stall in contrived proofs to cause doubt by fearful scrutiny.

Now... If I may take liberty to encourage -- here is a devotionally expanded restating of the 2 Corinthians 5:17 - (Read the entire chapter first ... it will bless you in the full context).

2 Corinthians 5:17 - "So that, insomuch that whoever is in Christ... with respect to their form (what can be seen): they are recently made, they are fresh, they are new, they are unused and unworn; with respect to their substance (what is on the inside): they are a new kind of building, an unprecedented fabrication ... a novel, uncommon, and unheard of "God habitation"; things that were cluttering their lives from the beginning are now passing by and out of their life; and each and every individual thing within those growing lives in Christ is being constantly refreshed and ever increasingly renewed."

Wow -- God will continue His work of Grace in believers until grace turns to sight when we are with Him.

Read the Word in its entirety and you will find amazing encouragement!

If there is something in it that discourages you ... stop, breathe, pray and backup and read again until the burden is lifted.

Have you placed your faith in Christ? ... Awesome! Be encouraged, you are His with all the treasures, support, and supply of Eternity to get you Home victorious.



Please Don't Yell at Me!

Have we ever had to walk on egg shells just to be near someone we loved? We may have even had to conceal our physical and mental scars, and shame with a veil of smiling but hidden self blame. Painfully, we have learned that this "angry one" has a touchy time-bomb personality; and it seemed as if no amount of special care nor hours of special attention can defuse their "tension held", "hair trigger".... anger fuse.

Many lives that coddle and protect dysfunctional relationships carry their self defense wounds into their perception of how God deals with us. True Love from above is distorted and handicapped by a lack of longsuffering from an angry parent, an impatient spouse, a rude relative or a self-absorbed friend. And through this broken lens ... grace is valued as weak and useless.

By cruel careless words yelled and crude wicked gestures thrown our way we could be developing a quick to judge, negative, and reflexive attitude towards eternal Truth. God is seen and espoused as angry all the time; and the truth, that God is touched with the feelings of our weakness, has no place within the life of a real man. This perception has its origins in the sin of Cain, and other murderers throughout the ages.

Be careful that we love appropriately in all of our relationships, the investment in the lives of others is more indelible than we realize ... those relationships that depend on us the most could be the place where the scars are carved the deepest and the fears are most haunting. The "Still Small Voice" may only feel like He is Yelling because of your sin stained perception... be still and know that He is God.

Psalm 6:1-10 (Scarlet Sinner Interpretation)
1 O LORD, please don't yell at me in your anger, and though I am deserving of corporal chastising, please do not carry it forth when the temperature of your displeasure is burning out of control.

2 Mercy - have mercy - have pity and show favor instead of displeasure. When I have piled high the offenses toward those I love, and barricaded myself behind an impenetrable layer of kevlaric pride ... I am almost undone... I have weakened my essence so that there is no longer even an ounce of resilient strength within me; all that remains is these weakened and trembling hands. And why am I so driven to this useless nervous hurry?

3 My soul, my self, my life, my creature, my person, my appetite, my mind, my living being, my desire, my emotion, my passion ... Every thing about me is vexed within this intense seemingly unavoidable anxious disturbing. BUT THOU O LORD --- How Long??? I feel you have turned your back on me ... How Long!!! I cannot bear not seeing your eyes, but I am also afraid of what you will find when you look on me - How Long?

4 Return - turn back, return me, restore me, refresh me, repair me ... Deliver me. Remove the oppression, draw out my personally inflicted poison, draw off the pain I have chosen, take off the pride that keeps me from healing, withdraw the splinters and motes that halt my healing and stifle my vision, equip me for war that I need to carry out against my pride, arm me for warring against my regret, rescue me from the whispers of the accuser that so easily discourage me, I need to be rescued to possibly truly live and love for the first time in my life! Give me freedom ... not because I deserve it, but for Thy tender mercy's sake.

5 When the dirt is thrown over me, my praises will be stifled, and all of the wonder that can be cast upward and outward of thanks and of praises is silenced ... Opportunity as a praise maker has ended. Don't let me die!

6 If there is anything that seems too permanent and perfected in my life...it is this wearying of my soul; that in the night season it makes my bed and potential bier to swim in a restless ocean of emotions; there is an intense melting, dissolving, and liquefying of my life as Tears drain to my resting couch. See my crying!

7 My eye that should spring forth with life giving vision wastes away because of daily anger, vexation, provocation, and grief; my spring of life is pressed into aged familiarity and uselessness by those things and people that have chosen to be adversaries and antagonists to add distress and disillusion to my days. Bring back your vision!

8 (My choice ... To sulk or to war... I choose to war) I command you that live your lives producing wickedness and oppression ... I have no vested part with thee, Depart! For here is an absolute truth and I will bow to its control -- The LORD has heard and will hear my weeping ... And His listening is with great interest and intensity.

9 The LORD hears my cry to supply His favor: He will to take, get, fetch, lay hold of, seize, receive, acquire, buy, bring, marry, snatch, take away my prayer as a treasure for His responsive keeping... He will take loving ownership of me.

10 Let all the beginnings, choices and voices that have set themselves against me: Be Boosh (ashamed) and let them suddenly be disturbed by my turning to You and the Awesomeness of Your Terrifying Majesty; Alarmed that You are there for me; terrified that You are against them; hurriedly they try futilely to move far from confrontation. Let them be disturbed, be anxious, be afraid, be hurried, and be nervous... Because YOU HEAR MY PRAYER.

I John 5:14,15 - "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything ... According to His will He heareth us. And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, We know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."

His desire is to hear us ... He wants us to know this desire... So pray desiring Him... And you will have your Desire as well as the things you need to live Life Abundant.

Be angry and sin not!!

O to pray in such power that comfort is delivered to those who love You and fear is put into the hearts of those that oppose You.



Breath Support

Note from the Beach: It was just a clearance rack in a Walmart but I was in a distant town from home, and I was in expectation of God's Spirit teaching me through what I had studied with great anticipation from that morning's walk in the cool of the day. Something was different in the air, not the typical Walmart sounds, but there was a Heavenly melodic song being carried via the skilled breath and lips of a profoundly articulate whistler.

I was going to just let it be background ambience to the shopping experience (so as not to miss the bargains)but God nudged my heart "follow my song ... There is the blessing".

Moments later in my search for the Artist ... I found, bent over in an aisle, an elderly man of darker skin and a beard with most of the colors of a rainbow artistically arranged by his Creator. He was lost in his song, so I gently reached out to him and placed my hand on his shoulder. He turned with a smile, and we blessed each other with a Spiritual greeting. Then he received encouragement from above through me ...to whistle on with the praises of God with the gift of the Breath that God had given him; and I was blessed with knowing God had personally taught me and confirmed his Word "set your affection (diaphragm) ...support the breath of God in all that we do!"

Col. 3:1,2 - "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."

The word for affection, stems from the word that describes the diaphragm(you know that big muscle right under your lungs) - this is the muscle that supports the process of breathing - it reflexes for the normal breath and creates the power for all of our movement and creates the force behind our speech and song. If we set the support system for our breath on things that are strategic for the "above" life, the life here below will be balanced and lived as full opportunity for whatever our "Christ Connected" souls desire.

Col. 3:23 - "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men."

There are always ...works, gifts, talents, words, actions ...products that come out of our lives that effectively affect our living, and encourages what matters to the lives of those around us ... Whether positive or negative... Every thing we do has consequence, and everything should have His Breath. There is no life lived without consequence. If we truly put the effort of our innermost being into "risen soul" ventures ... Abundant life will pour out of our innermost beings with full consequential connection to our Soul Lover, our Life, our Lord ... Jesus.

Live to support the Breath of Life that God extends without measure to you daily. Breathe out encouragement to the brethren in remote places, and bless your neighbor closest to you without measure. A God breathed "Soul life" will be the conduit that will flow rivers of living water to the needs of others. The bonus is that we get to joyfully bath in its cleansing, refreshing current as it flows through us to others.

The only ones that lose out on the breath are those who fearfully or selfishly keep it as there own.




Devotion or Superstition

"For I passed by, and beheld your devotions; I found an alter with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD, whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you." Acts 17:23 For a moment forget this was Paul speaking to the crowd in Athens, and hear God speaking into that part of our life which is most precious to Him ... "For I passed by and tried to join in on your devotions. ...Why do you so flippantly and superstitiously worship ... me? I want you to know ... that I desire you to really know, that I love you."

Up until now, after years of walking with the King, no matter how early I would awaken and race to the sanctuary ... I would find Him waiting. It frustrated me a little because of the naive concepts that I had fastened to my heart (like instant cliché fixes for the moment) in order to hype the moment in an attempt to bring the miraculous into the doldrums of daily living. Those superstitious type of concepts would frustrate me to no end ... so I would turn them against me ... "Lord, how am I ever to rise up with wings as eagles, if in rushing to wait on you ... You are always ahead of me, waiting for me?" "What good is praying if you already know what I need before I ask?" Woe...our wicked hearts are good at flipping the precious promises of God and molding them into disappointments because of our inability to wait ... and enjoy His presence.

....He loved us first.
....He called us first.
....He waited for us first.
"Many a believer will "amen" these concepts, while in the congregation of the redeemed. But when the door is opened to daily living, we will live a lifetime under the whispers of inconsequential learning, superstitious traditions, and negative self prophecies. We will spend our prime time wincing at the discomforts of disorganization, pointing out the flaws in the efforts of others, disposing of joy while despising the obvious blessings, and cursing our own lives with negative prophecies of future failure BECAUSE ... "God will do good things for others but not for me ... because I am specially set aside as a target of woe ...(eyes go shut)?"

When will we truly and daily welcome His continuous active care within the realm of our focus, with "eyes wide open" and "lives fully engaged", we could truly live within the unfolding wonders of His desire for us. Instead of treating activities of devotion as an interruption or a dutiful task, our souls waking desire could be to fellowship with our God!

....He is loving first. Receive that continuous flow of His goodness.
....He is calling first. Be quiet and listen to His voice that carries your name.
....He is waiting first. Be thankful for He never leaves you nor abandons you.
And He knows the critical importance of getting His Word to us (like an emergency transfusion, into our lives to literally quicken us and keep us alive).

Why will we be content to continue to sing songs with longings like "Open the eyes of my heart, open the eyes of my heart ... I want to see you" and then walk out of the congregational time with no further expectation? Because ...if we were to be honest ... the song is missing what we rarely would dare say in the congregation, but is being muttered under our breath ..."under my terms and within my schedule".

Do you think it was a moment of weakness, when in the Garden of Gethsemane, our Lord said "Not my will but thine be done."? No...that was an eternally courageous moment where Jesus submitted the will of the seen to the greater Will of the Unseen. Looking at the momentary and devastatingly painful Roman Cross, Jesus' hope was built on the same promise as ours ... " and the third day I will rise" ... And the tomb would be robbed by the Resurrected Life that would emerge.

O to live with a daily expectation of the revealing of His mercies, as new every morning!

("Many waters taken into and expelled from our lives cannot quench love, and overwhelming torrential floods cannot drown it; If a man would give all of the worldly treasures of his existence for love, his dwelling place would be utterly desolate of his time, attention, and possessions; and sooner or later there would be a "condemned" or "no trespassing" sign on the door because of LOVE" - Devotional Paraphrase of Song of Solomon 8:7)

Here is the take away -- He is more devoted to your devotion than you will ever be...you cannot earn deeper devotion by your physical strength or mental acumen; but during those private moments where you abandon all else, He will take you deeper and pull you closer ... HE ACTIVELY DESIRES YOU FIRST.



A Letter From my Heart to my Heart

"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; for as it is written, the just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness, because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for GOD hath showed it unto them." Romans 1:16-18

Buckle your seatbelt for this next moment of devotional surgery: Daily - Walking among mankind (there are souls that need to be radically attached by faith to the Good News of Jesus), I dare not put on the pious vesture of a disfiguring and dishonoring appearance of disgrace. By Adorning the Gospel with a mute and powerless faith that holds the truth captive, hidden and unexplained... many who desire a reason for the hope that is in a "Follower of Christ" will be left in the "Darkness" of unbelief. This mute ashamed life actually gives glory to ungodliness and unrighteousness that is holding mankind in the chains of unrighteousness... If God has spoken into us and showed the truth miraculously to us, then what gives us the right to ration out the Gospel in places, portions and seasons that we declare as our "way" to expose faith ... He hath said, for time and eternity, "Now is the accepted time, Now is the Day of Salvation!" Who are we to hold down the truth in silence?


Dear Heart of Hearts,

I felt the pain, and I held the tears in momentary suspension after an abrupt end of a business phone conversation today. There wasn’t even the human courtesy of a “good-bye”, just the silence of a rude disconnect. A potential brother on the other end of the phone refuses to acknowledge a spiritual existence in the name of “it is just business”.

I tremble inside because he openly wears a uniform to announce that he is a unique member of his Kingdom class, while denying the NOW existence of eternity. His sect still holds a strange separation that is touted "as for the sake of holiness", but it appears to be in place to protect their corner of the kingdom from outsiders who may bring in impurities?

So - Hell has a sign on this side of the great Chasm between Earth and its horrendous burning, "no second chance", gnashing of teeth, weeping and wailing eternity that reads - "Closed during business hours!" Go figure???

The world of men that feel the lost-ness of their lives are dying to know that The Faith that brings abundant, eternal life is not held selfishly captive by a chosen few. O the ache that I carry when I find that the Glory of God is suppressed by vain philosophical living and life robbing traditions (that in light of the FREE GIFT OF GOD are edging on blasphemy); an ache so purifyingly disruptive that I can taste the metallic acidity of the corrosion of power. My God, my God ...why have they forsaken Thee?

As the tears dropped from my eyes and cascaded to my cheeks – I bowed my soul before the Lover of it: "Father, When will we learn that you SO LOVED THE WORLD, that You gave, willingly, your eternal pride and joy, Jesus, ---He, who is everything that is sacred, was sacrificed on His cruel crux of sin's death for “whosoever” believes. Who am I to decide ...who, when, and why the Gospel should be given?"

His Love For All... has pressed and pierced into my heart and yours,


Provoked Yet

Are we provoked yet? Bankrupt? Heart failing? Heart growing cold? The typical and success driven answer is "NO!" (I don't think so?)

The measure of a successful life today is truly not being weighed against eternity. A solitary individual that truly gives his life for others is seen as an awkward splinter in the posterior of the "success-purpose driven machine". Amidst the pummel of C.Y.B. rules, laws, regulations, processes and peer pressures that are being sublimely coerced upon this last generation of believers, a solitary heart-wrenching-ache for the welfare of the eternal life of others has no place. Politically correct? Socially acceptable? Culturally relevant? Faith muted? Emotionally neutral? Expressionally blank? What monster has ripped the true God connection out of life? What is this Leviathan(Stop here and read Job 41 to get a feel for this monster)?

Their plan seemed noble enough, "The CL Team - Conquer Leviathan"(that was the name they coined for their Monster Demolition Enterprise - yep , you read right! They were going to take on the most dreaded monster that had plagued mankind since the first dawn in the Garden). There seemed to be a great rallying around this idea exploited by the media that surrounded the "CL Team, especially among their peers and contemporaries. Strangely enough it was mysteriously funded by an anonymous but solid, well connected lender. And the team was sent off with great fanfare on its journey to what they felt was an almost guaranteed success. But there was a fatal flaw in their endeavor: They underestimated the reach of the monster that they were up against, for the Lender and monster were one in the same. Oh if only they had hearkened unto the Voice from the vanishing point --- Job 41:8 - "Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more".

Leviathan has a subtle goal - lead men into idolatry. Many a modern man will think of idolatry as a form of primitive worship of personally fabricated statues or a fearful worship of natural elements such as storms and volcanoes. But this is where Leviathan steps in and encourages us to not be so ignorant; be true to yourself because you are the master of your own destiny ... listen to your heart and obey that voice inside you. Sounds pretty good, especially if Leviathan has already turned his screw-like tentacles deep into the fear side of our conscious existence.

Leviathan, secretly joins in on our fears, and attends to our trembling by creating an airtight defense for our self preserving reactions. "It is only natural!" He borrows from our pain's natural reflexes and gains a "buy in" by preying hard on potential catastrophic results, and offering "better" choices for comfort. Then he causes his constituents: to desire more self preserving motives, and to borrow more and more self entitled philosophies, until the monster becomes the Only Lender. Under the guise of "We deserve better", he lays the snare with a utopian idea of that we control the outcome of our destiny. This is where idolatry is most acceptable and the Voice of God becomes refutable.

Danger - Danger - Danger!!! (Unless God is in control, we are out of control.)

Acts 17:16 - The Apostle stood amidst those that were now bankrupt to idolatry, like many believers are doing today...Job 41(Enter Leviathan) ...We will never be provoked to desire the direction and presence of God if our minds are being loaned out to a culture of pride, if our living borrows against the future of others, and our heart is in debt to a culture that has a place for God... He is at our disposal??

Here is the kicker --- Emilio passed away and I didn't even know. Who even cares? Some may ask Emilio who? If I were to tell you, you will be relieved to know that he was no one truly important to you ... that way you will not have to challenge or charge your heart with any accountability. And the song plays on "Another one bites the dust!"

Revelation 20:15 - "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."   ---- We are far too Sophisticated to believe in a place of literal eternal torment - and Leviathan said, "GOT YOU!"

Does that remotely provoke you?