His Presense

Psalm 81:8 - 9 "Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me; There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god."

When will we ever get it?

Read the verses above ---For the sake of reading in context and with continuity, I took liberty to join them together as they were meant to be read, regardless of the scowl that I get sometimes from those more terse in their interpretation of God's Word. Verse 9 gives an eternally soul ringing command if left to itself; and if it is left by itself we may be left with a "how in the world?" BUT reading the essentials that are found in verse 8 gives us the relief, and God's personal "come along side of" coaching in the "How to!" "IF THOU WILT HEARKEN UNTO ME" ...Don't isolate the command as your duty alone, see it for what it truly is "If" we Hearken, Listen to the Voice of God - His Voice will fan love's fire and keep us alive and away from the addictions that stem from idolatrous relationships.The potential to obey is found in the desire to listen to the Voice of God.

Just a few days shy of 40 years ago, a young broken hearted couple stood amidst: the birth of a beautiful baby boy with grave physical issue, the choices of "Medical non-practice" (actually "Euthanize by closing our eyes") and "Choose Life", the distance between our Newlywed apartment Chambersburg, PA and Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL, and the stress of trying to make sense out of an event that made no sense ---

Let's do the Math:
1. Saved and sold out to ministry.
2. Leaving Family and Friends in obedience to the Holy Spirit.
3. Moving hundreds of miles from home to get a Bible Education via the "call of God".
4. Trusting God fully for the provisions to move 590 miles from home --(no job, no apartment, no idea except -- going to Bible College).
5. Secretly Expecting our first child. God worked out everything --

We left with a $300.00 gift from a very special close friend, and God directed our steps and provided for our needs ... Right up to the moment of the birth and delivery of our first son, Justin. That was when our world of Faith was turned upside down.

Up to that moment we had learned that God could be trusted for provisions, but at that juncture where Eternity reached into our trembling temporal existence, we learned in an undeniable way that His Personal Presence would be there for us in times that were way beyond our capacity to cope.

Not to minimize the emotions and the scars on our fragility, but 40 years has not washed away what we needed most in that moment - WE NEEDED HIM. AND HE WAS THERE. Although Death is but a shadow, it was a real threat ... we needed Him close in the lonely hours of empty arms, in the valley of unfamiliar decisions, and sorrowfully ... in the planting of our son in the safekeeping of the Love of our God. And the young couple stood by the tiny gravesite ... supported by His Presence, because He literally wrapped His arms around them.

Sin separates and idolatry isolates us from the plans, the provisions, and the presence of God. Here is the RUB -- IF we pay attention and stay tuned to His Heart's Messages to us from His Word - There is no permanent "For Sale" space in our lives for strange gods. And when we are in tune to the fullness of the extravagance of the Voice of Christ's LOVE for us, worship given to any other stranger is not a palatable nor viable option.

Sorry to repeat this but there are some that may read this far and still have not caught it -- still legalistic in the responses connected to Eternity!
- Obedience without love is always looking for loop holes to disobey in secrecy.
- Obedience without love sees only oppression and control that invades the "My Way".
- Obedience without Love will be swallowed by bitterness because it's motivation is only fear, guilt, and regret.

If the only support for love is the empty hope and promises of man, love will soon be swallowed up in the choices led by the festering infection of the self fulfillment of unbridled lust. Give loving attention to His Voice in the Word of God, the Scriptures ... And HE will fill up the void of your soul that could make place for strange gods. Give loving attention to His Voice in the Word of God, the Scriptures ... And worshipful love from and for God will allow no room for idols.

Do you get it yet --- maybe?
Try this (every day)Claim a fresh start right now by spending a few personal moments with the Father in the Word and in prayer to begin "daily" rekindling the Love relationship that He desires with us. Let His Love grow in us as the Word begins to have its perfect work in us ...loving us into a joyful obedience of eternity.

Justin ... We will see you on the other side, thanks to Jesus!
He has Promised!

HLFA,

Jeff

Fragile

There once was a fragile soul that was seeking the truth with all of the soul's tender heart. The soul felt that it had heard the Heart of God in the words of scripture. The soul sensed that God was speaking healing into its life; but then a well meaning "older and wiser" more studious Saint enlightened the searching soul to the fact that it was presumptuous of one to assume that God would personally speak to us ...affirming "that the scripture is not any personal interpretation." This strong inference that God would not personally care for "one" caused the tenderhearted soul to fade into the darkness in great sorrow.

O the shame of those embittered by the winds of adversity and doubt to infuse their root of bitterness into the life of a tender hearted seeker.

"For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our LORD Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty." Quote by the former fisherman Peter (2 Peter 1:16)

Itching ears, curious minds ... Hungering to be the first to a new truth, have unknowingly taken the lead in creating disaster for those less diligent to search and those bent to believe a lie. Their never ending, dead-end search has been for the secret darkened pathways that have been cunningly devised by other bereaved by disappointment ... who in every generation have moved off of the eternally laid and solidly sure "highway" that leads to the vanishing point. (There is a way that seems right unto a man but the end thereof is the ways of death.) This Most Sure Highway (that these curiosity seekers have stepped aside from or avoided altogether) was not devised by cunningly sculpted fables that do nothing but cause the curious to err from the Words of Eternity, but this Most Sure Highway has been brightly lit with the blood of The Savior, the power of His Spirit, and the truth of the eternal Word of God.

Within the dawn's early light of the Garden - a diversion was already being slithered out to purposely lay the pathway of doubt for all who would question the creator and distort the purpose of His creation. "God hath not said?" - would find its way into the hearts of fallen men; and many would be enticed by the mystery of the fragments of the sparkling serpentine scales left in the wake of this original "turn away".

"We have also a more sure word of prophesy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophesy in old time came not by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:19-21

Oh "older and wiser" more seasoned veteran of doubt --- here is what scripture really says to the Tender Heart -- "Have great confidence and consolation, knowing that scripture was not a private earthly human venture in its loosing on the hearts of man kind; It was not willed nor guarded by faulty human intellect in its revelation...BUT distinctly different Men "set apart" in their desire for God, Spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. They were used to be the voice of God to the heart man.

Honor God, give Him the glory by allowing all of your heart, all of your mind, all of your spirit, and all of your strength to Love Him and acknowledge Him in His extravagant love for you.

Happy Father's day to those Fathers how daily seek God and Know Him,

HLFA,

Jeff

YES - God does personally speak LOVE to His kids ... Be still and listen!

Air Brushed Out

During a re-acquaintance of a dear friend, Steve, this week; we were able to share humorous stories back n' forth. As you know me, even a bit of humor may carry a "gold nugget life lesson" hidden within it. (By permission to obliterate his tale by virtue of the re-telling)His story began with the reintroduction of his autistic daughter, Shannon, (who is now 40 and still the same little girl in her mind) and her ability to make life amazingly focused and full of value. And now to Steve's story:

A farmer that lived near Steve and his family decided to give them 2 little kittens (like all good farmers are willing to do)... and of course Steve's daughter, Shannon,  welcomed the little fur balls into the family and even named them -- one she named "Donut" and the other she named "Hot Turkey Sandwich". Neither cat had the characteristics of the foods by which they were named ... but those just happened to be Shannon's favorite foods.

Within a short period of time Donut was just gone...not there anymore so the focus now was to love and care for "Hot Turkey Sandwich". One day "Hot Turkey Sandwich" went missing also. The family looked everywhere to no avail, but the mystery remained on their minds.

Some time later the most curious event took place: There was a knock on the door of the family's house. Upon opening the door, there stood a smiling salesman who immediately jumped into his pitch for his unique product - Aerial Photos of "Your beautiful Home" ... "which can be purchased as individual photos for sharing with family and friends up to sizes that were frame worthy" - and he produced a beautiful (Possibly) 11 x 14 full color, almost painting like finish of the property.

Steve was aghast and quite humored by the detail of the photo and asked the Salesman to hold it right there... for he wanted to get his wife. The anxious salesman (probably feeling that he had done a marvelous job of selling the product, was just about to close the deal) eagerly encouraged Steve to go get his wife. Steve, trying very hard to hold back his laughter that was about to roar forth like a might wind ripping though a forest tree line, brought his wife to the door to see the photo.

Without even directing her eyes to what he saw ...Steve said, "What do you think honey?" ... immediately her eyes were drawn to an image captured at the end of their driveway. Low and behold, the timing of the aerial photographer had recorded an event that was unseen by the family, and opened the discovery to the key to the mystery of missing "Hot Turkey Sandwich". There captured in beautiful panoramic color that could be posted in the finest National Art Gallery was a flattened "Hot Turkey Sandwich".

Steve's wife saw the flattened cat immediately ..."Oh my, so sad, so that's what happened to our cat." Without even a flinch of sympathy the salesman looked quickly at that detail of the picture and immediately retorted, "We can air brush that out for you!" WOW - that sure clinched that sale ... NOT!!!

But think about that for a moment ... "We can airbrush that" out of your life. What tools we have in our armada to do small and great cover ups in our day and age! In fact, the faster we race on into technological oblivion with years flashing by like seconds, we get better and better at leaving gold in the after burn of our need to appear OK. Transparency, although touted as a characteristic of a good leader, is really rough on the pride of most individuals trying to lead organizations , let alone there own families. Faking it will not cut it, but here is the reflex we need to develop to be victors in this present life: Psalm 71:1,2
"In Thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: --- Trusting our strength is a recipe for failure.
let me never be put to confusion. --- He can and will help us sustain our sanity.
Deliver me in Thy righteousness, --- We can count on Him because of His Righteousness... not ours. and cause me to escape: --- His escape plan never involves life threatening addictions.
incline Thine ear unto me, --- Call on Him, He is inclined to listen because of His love for us.
and save me." --- Any other deliverance is not complete enough for out fragile humanness ---

Only Jesus Can Save us! 

NOW ---Today!  The air brush is not an option --- We live in a frail estate of human affairs in which we precariously hang on the edge of eternity. With His Spirt indwelling and leading in the life of "we as believers", we now find that "All things work together for good to them that love God and who are "the called" according to His purpose."

All things --- All people --- all events --- all joys --- all heartbreaks --- should never come under the decision to airbrush them out of the full purposes of the Divine. All is key to the ever endearing of God to us and us to God.

As crazy as it was - "Hot Turkey Sandwich" was part of the lives of a family, and the dramatic answer to the mystery of a cat's disappearance will now be indelibly etched in the minds of the family. Steve can look back with humor, but with events like these engraved in his memory , he will never deny the care of Almighty God.

If an aerial photographer can catch that moment ... then there is no doubt that the God that sees the sparrow fall also knows all of the needs of the heart.

No apologies but this life needs no air brush only an uninhibited heart full of the awe for God and an unbridled tongue filled with the praises of GOD who loves us with an everlasting love.

Psalm 71:14 - "I will hope continually, and will yet praise Thee more and more."

HLFA,

Jeff

Messiah Complex


It is so hard to describe what was actually going on. There was a panic in my heart; my life was out of kilter; I was very easily distracted by unrequited desires ... something wasn't quite right. Leaving my comfortable position among the western world success syndrome, I tried to rise above the amassed pile of "needed and wanted things" to get some fresh perspective, only to immediately discover that a raging vertigo had set its course in my soul's equilibrium.

Rise up to walk and fall ... was not an option; knowing the precarious nature of the path I was needing to take, I decided to crawl to the silent dark mirror to try to get a clue. As I turned the unread pages of the mirror, the fogged image seen in its leaves appeared to have sweat dripping from every pore of its eternal existence. For a moment I saw a tinge of Crimson color mingling within the mixture of perspiration, and small dog-like hellish beings lapping at the moisture with an intense effort to drain my existence dry. The closer I looked these beings looked like me?

With an urgency that was one notch above panic, I threw open the medicine cabinet door and riffled through the contents. Pain killers, anti-everything's, Vitamin A, Vitamin B 12, B-Complex, Vitamins A-Z, on and on until my eyes fixed on a strange looking container with a coarsely hand written label that read - "Messiah Complex". Could this be the pill to cure this illness that had dislocated my sense of balance? It seemed that all that was needed to be done was to unscrew the cap, swallow the pill, and all that I was experiencing would vanish as a cruel distant memory.

There seemed to be ample supply by a discerning shake of the container. Even the lid on the "Messiah Complex" came off with a simple twist; but upon closer examination the jar was empty. Alas ... Hope is lost?

Why is it that we so soon rush to treat symptoms and stumble over the root cause? "Instant" is what we seek even though the dreaded symptoms did not happen in an instant. The symptoms came about by a long practice of looking away from the mirror, giving into the "world" of distractions, harboring resentment of others, guarding old wounds, despising Heavenly options, fearing spiritual appointments, hating God's people, and reflexively shutting down any communication from above.

We medicate the unbreakable chains and stains, but our Savior wants to heal us from within by removing us from the stench of the death blow of sin and replacing it with the sweet smelling savor of Grace.

Hear why Jesus Came ... from the words of Eternity - shouting out from the pages of the Mirror. 

From the Prophet - "The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me, because He hath anointed Me to preach glad tidings unto the meek, he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim Liberty unto the captives, and the opening of prison to them that are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all that morn, to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, thee planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified:" Isaiah 61:1-3

And from His lips - "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy; but I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10

Rejoice if you went to the medicine cabinet and found that the "Messiah Complex" bottle was empty, "Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because HE HATH POURED OUT HIS SOUL unto death; and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Isaiah 53:12

Now -let's read the pages of the mirror, listen to the Spirit,  sing the songs of Zion,  and love the people of God; and hate the sin that so easily besets us and keeps us from knowing Him more!!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face,
And the things of Earth
Will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and Grace.

HLFA,

Jeff

RISK

There is a risk that we could take (or is there?) ... A risk that could place us even more strategically among the fragility of mankind ... A risk, as it would be,to be totally engaged in the mysterious conquest for the Kingdom.

The risk would not be to flood a digital social media site with pictures of creation (which is a pretty cool idea), but to reveal the Creator at every encounter of life. The goal of the risk:  To live loudly, compassionately and appropriately always revealing what He truly means to us in the NOW of our lives,  while bringing Christ into every moment, every human interaction, every venture, every proposal, every acquisition and every expenditure of life. The Premise of the Risk: Truly unveil the Hope of Glory that dwells within us unashamedly amidst a potentially antagonistic reception.

The Solitary Life, Sacrificial Death, Victorious Resurrection and Soon Return of Jesus Christ has never been a "politically correct" subject among the ruling class of nations, nor an openly received topic in the market place of daily blue collar interaction. Why? In these anger and apathy festering "last days", open wickedness is encouraged by the spirit of Anti-Christ and cruelty is rewarded by God haters. Even those in legal counseling positions advise public leaders to not pray before meetings, nor embrace their faith openly in business settings, nor impress their faith upon subordinates for fear of unnecessary lawsuits .

At ground zero for faith interaction, We have been terrified by some unseen threat behind the age-old smug statement "Two things we never discuss - religion and politics!" These two engaging entry ways to philosophical battle grounds have been the source of engaging change for centuries. To avoid the discussion of either is to become a mute drone or to commit intellectual suicide.

Mark 8:36,37 - "For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Our value system, since the fall of man, hesitates to answer these two rhetorical questions with the obvious "NOTHING!", because the grip of our flesh on "things" ,that briefly satisfy, is almost like the rigor mortis grip of the dead. It can be broken but many times not without something else breaking. There is a flip side to this verse - "For what shall it profit a man if he lose the whole world and gain his own soul; or what shall a man gain in exchange for the world? -- the rhetorical answer EVERYTHING.

Get this vision in front of your life and reckon the eternal value that Jesus has placed on your life: Isaiah 52:10, 14 - "The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.... And as many were astonished at Thee, His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men." Yes the sacrifice of Jesus for us was an eternally catastrophic "visage marring" event that changed the course of the relationship between God and men ... The horror of that moment on the Cross can rescue a receptive soul from the horror of the continual eternal marring of Hell.

Would God do this for me?
YES...
so is there really a risk to totally committing our daily lives to the fullness of His LOVE?
NO.
So live!

HLFA,

Jeff

Wait-less Vision

Limited Vision? Why is that we squint when we are trying to hear something better?

Going through an intersection, just outside of Greensboro, NC on Rt. 220, a car directly behind me (a small profile car with limited view around me and of the road ahead of me), started laying on his horn because it appeared that I was not moving fast enough. Problem; his vision did not allow him to see the car directly in front of me nor the string of cars ahead that literally had a line-up that stretched ahead of us more than a mile or two long ... due to construction.

As we moved ahead, the road briefly opened to the right of us and he raced his engine to go around the right of me to gain a better position ... right in front of me (I made the space for him so that he did not end up headlong into a concrete construction barrier .. wow!! He truly made dramatic progress.). If had hadn't allowed him the space to get in front of me he might have faced greater devastation than bearing impatience. The reality was that he was now in the same delayed position, just ahead of me, and behind an larger vehicle than mine. Aren't we all much like this when our focus is getting there instead focusing on the One who forges the road ahead of us.

Psalm 25:5 - "Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art The God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day." Here is a great formula to start a day, a week, a moment ... a journey : Developing a daily reflex to desire to follow His Leading, (He desires to teach us His Truth)and then living every day - all day -  in the expectation of His personal tutoring.

And why would we assume that He would do this? Here is a very valuable truth to get a hold of ..."Thou art the God of my Salvation ... my total moment by moment Deliverance!"

When we have abandoned our faith to the finished work of the Cross of Jesus for our eternal rescue and reclamation, God not only declares us righteous for all generations, but He molds and makes us to be less and less like the world and more and more like Him with ever step of our existence on this side of Heaven. In final deliverance from this temporal existence, we are fully passed from any hint of Hell (total separation from life) unto an eternal absolutely fulfilling life in Heaven ... forever with Him.

- Why is it that His Truth is not embraced daily to help us get our bearings for one more day?
- Why ... out of all the relationships that could be cultivated for our total benefit that The Key Relationship is given the least attention?
- Why is it that of all people that could live victorious, we are pulled down by gravity most?
- Why do we let disappointments from the past hunt us down and continue to blur any vision of hope and success for our future?
- Why do we feel that God would only give us seconds, scraps, and crumbs instead trusting His love for us with His abundant availability to offer us the best?

While we live in the squander and the feces of our own perceived failure and rejection of ourselves - He waits for our slightest turn of hope, so that He can rush in and open the resources of eternity to us.

STOP WHERE WE ARE, JUST AS WE ARE and realize NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME ... NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION! In our frustration to push ahead, to get our own way ... because the person in front of us is blocking the way ... we are missing the gift of "Waiting".

Is it BECAUSE we have not yet learned to wait on Him? Why are we so afraid to wait on Him? Could waiting on God, who holds time and eternity, be a waste of time (Never we say?)? ... While we wait ...Are we willing to listen? If we are listening, do we truly hear? If we have the opportunity to hear ...what do we truly want to hear? What do you desire for Him to say to you?

Psalm 27:14 - "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." Brokenhearted? Need courage and strength - "I Am" your courage and strength.

Psalm 37: 7 - "Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him that prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass." Troubled by the pressures of the present world? Look no further - "I AM" your rest, trust what I will give you.

Psalm 37:9 - "For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth." Tempted to be like everyone else? "I AM" your inheritance.

Psalm 130:5 - "I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in His Word do I hope." I Wait - every bit of me --- "I AM" your hope, hear my word.

Many times in my adventurous excursions through this life -
I find that rain appears on my soul's windows
My heart cries out "I want to hear you,"
"Please love me with Your Spirit, "
"Please love me with Your words."

And as I wait, and the adventure slows, the excursion stills -
I find a Wind from above, now sweeps and holds,
Your heart cries back "I do love you,
"Wait on My Spirit to show!"
"Wait on My Word and know!" -- "I love you!"

There is no traffic ahead of me: it is You and I on Your road together, eternity ahead, in Your time!

Wait-less Vision is the unrecognized Blindspot of the impatient saint.

HLFA,

Jeff


1 John 2:11 - "But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not wither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes."

Like So Many Faces

It only took a second with my poor peripheral vision to be waylaid by the oncoming bustle of the masses of wandering humanity(although most had places to go; but in a drone like fashion). All I wanted to do was to get from point A to point B (not at all worthy of being labeled a heroic task), but to maneuver through the maze and minefield of androgynous obstacles was no easy task . Isn't this the way most of our days go; and then our hearts simmer with disdain for any thing or anyone that gets in our way, and anyone that delays our objective. Eternity is always in the way.

Why is it so hard to keep eternity in perspective? Oh not to fault the things we do, the accomplishments we wear like medals of valor, nor the treasures we amass along the way ... all of those can be very valuable tools in the struggle for the liberation of those blind to eternity. Eternity walks in front of us and behind us. Eternity both laughs and cries in the daylight as well as in the darkness. Eternity brags and begs within shouting range of each other. Eternity can burst into fits of uncontrollable joy and in the next breath expel murderous oaths. Eternity sits in cafes, on buses, in theatres, in traffic, in comfortable settings, in hospital beds, in abandoned alleys, in marble palaces, in cardboard boxes, and behind large polished hardwood desks. Eternity is standing at thoroughfare toll booths, peering through veiled windows, watching from weathered door frames and gazing from the last minutes of blue skies.There are so many silent and unheard expressions of emotion that filter through the layers of our oblivious daily existence, and sad to say... when eternity looks at us, they are just another face.

(Take a peek at Ezekiel 16) -- The mighty prophet, Ezekiel, was going from point A to point B when there was a shallow whimpering cry coming from a desolate abandoned lot off to the side of the thoroughfare that he was determined to travel. But a cry caught his heart. As he carefully stepped into the small useless parcel of ground (following the faint cry), his eyes beheld the heart wrenching reality of not only Israel's condition but the divisive beginning of all mankind. There amidst the brambles of time and twisted foliage of emptiness was an aborted, tiny, helpless infant left to die in the putrefying birthing tissue and fluids of a hasty painful unwanted birth. The excrement of the adulterous mother was the added gift as payment for the futureless plans of this untimely child.

The moment had the signature of love over it as the prophet began to spread his life over the future of this child. Grace would be unveiled to the life of this aborted "little one". He would invest all the goodness and grace of life's treasures that there were to be had and to be held. He knew that the unfolding of this life would potentially would end up in pride and filthy rebellion... once again covered in the putrefying tissue and fluids of an adulterous life amidst the brambles of time and the twisted foliage of emptiness ... but love and grace would always be found near to redeem. "Nevertheless I will remember the covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant." Ezekiel 16:60.

There is a silent and unheard cry, but the LORD God hears and desires that we hear also. Will we bow our hearts before our Redeemer and let Him open our lives to the need and true desire of humanity: Jesus? Every face has a story and every story has a disconnect; but with each disconnect is the opportunity for New Life in Christ. He calls every Jesus believer and Jesus follower into the loving fellowship of this Eternal, Grace Rescue Plan. Instead of focusing only on getting from point A to point B ... focus on listening to the Voice of God that connects us to the cry of mankind. We will get to point B the best way ... but His Grace, in His Love ... in His Time.

  "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good, and what doth the Lord require of thee: but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." Micah 6:8

Like so many faces, but Unlike any other face is the face of God.
Lord, make Thy face to shine upon Thy servants.

HLFA,

Jeff

The Leap off of the Ledge

She had no choice but to run straight forward even though she knew the cliff was straight ahead; but she must run forward. She could feel the pulsating heat of "its" breath on the back of her neck. She was sickened by the smell the hellish stench of the destructive words that roared from "its" lips. No time to turn though, unbelief wanted her to look back to see if her soul's vision of hope had deceived her... What nagged her was the pleasure that was "back there" and beauty that had dazzled her eyes at times and momentarily thrilled her flesh. She was too quickly at the edge ...She leapt into the vast safety of His Will.

This running had not just happened by reflex, nor would she have had strength to continue the pace to the edge. If she would have hesitated, she would have been immediately consumed by the enemy. It started with a challenge from Beyond the Veil: "Blessed is he who is actively absorbing the written Words to fully understand and stand in the middle of the pages for living; blessed are they who intensely listen to the words to fully engage with the unfolding truths, the engulfing reality, and the call to value and commitment beyond their temporal moments; and blessed are those who treasure and hold precious the Words as "glorious" in their own intrinsic revelation as written: for the unfolding and closing of time is at hand." Rev. 1:3 And she was ready.

As I looked across this moment of life's suspended spiritual animation, I realized that the blessed life is not one that just stays focused at the unfolding mysteries of eternity, but also is comforted by the closing of the desires for this life to fully satisfy. There is no way to describe this transition; but deep in the souls of believers, who saturate their days in the reading, the listening, and the keeping of God's Word, there are glimpses of glory, echoes of the beyond, and the overwhelming assurances that His Word is extravagantly Faithful. "This too will pass", "Behold, I make all things new!" This causes the believer to be satisfied for now by being in the middle.

Her life had run its course. Cancer was no longer the enemy, but the friend that would take her to Heaven's door. She had hurled herself wholeheartedly into the trust found on the Edge of "The Cliff" ("I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my cliff...." - Psalm 18: 1, 2 ). Now she lay anxiously in and out of restless, but sweet sleep hoping to open her eyes to welcome the warmth of the smile of her Savior's face. She would practice with every awakening with the following greeting, "Oh, I love you so much; and I have been waiting for You!"

She found that whether it was family, friend, or stranger that she greeted upon waking, the gift of the those words were never wasted. She wouldn't even entertain disappointment if her waking gaze had not found the Lover of her soul, Jesus. For she had learned that always being ready to give love as the reason for the hope that was within her was never a waste, never a useless gesture ... for the love, that is empowered and emboldened by the Promises of God, is the ultimate gift that one can offer to those for whom Christ died for ... And the scope of that offering includes all.

The exact moment of her actual verbal expression of Heavenly Love to her Savior went unnoticed by family, friends and strangers because it was so quiet, so peaceful, and so pure; but the heritage that she left behind in the advent of her home-going still ripples within the hearts of those who knew her. Her life has made us long for the Cliff.

Happy Mother's Day!

Dedicated to the memory of Mom, Theresa Dean Buhrman, Redding, Lambe.

HLFA,

Jeff

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