The Groaning Home

Five amazing days of incredible miraculous Creator Power displayed by the Word ... And the stage was set for Love. The lush décor was chosen and all the marvels of Love's comfort was in place. Now the curtain was to be drawn back on the mystery, revealing the reason for all of this intricate detail; and all looking on would to be held in awe.

The crowd of creation hushed as the creator stepped into the garden scene, gently dropped to His knees, and carefully reached, kneaded, and formed the pliable warm soil of Eden with His masterful hands to create the beginning of something that seemed to come into focus with the song filled voice of the Bright and Morning Star.

As Creation watched ... They knew that this was the Image of The Habitation, this was His Home created in His likeness, this was the beginning of the Ones that would live in Him, and He in them. Then the hush grew stronger, the Smile of the Creator widened as His Life giving Breath streamed purposely into the nostrils of His Home.

But the Fall, oh the groaning began, the pain arrived, the transgression scarred the beautiful love song of Eden ...

O Creation's shattered soul, brought on by the Hater of Glory's Dream,
Though Eden's home was ransacked sore, this cannot dissuade the Creator's Theme:
Redeemed How Thy song would proclaim it, redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb,
Redeemed by His most tender mercies, His Home ... Our Home, forever ..."I AM."

The story would move forward as glimpses of glory would shine through the groaning and the afflictions of those who would be the guardian lovers of the truth, and follow after God with that groaning desire to provide a habitation for Him and carried forward with a Longing for a Home forever with Him.David was known as a "man after God's own Heart" ... And it may have been because of that Groaning House that he lived in ... Read the following:

Psalm 132: 1-5 - " LORD, remember David, and all of his afflictions: How he sware unto the LORD, and vowed unto the Mighty God of Jacob; Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the Mighty God of Jacob."

Read the entire Psalm ... And open your eyes to the blessing that David brought on the people of Mighty God of Jacob {Jacob, the one who wrestled for a blessing, and got a new walk and a new name} because of this desire to provide a Him a habitation. There was no doubt that David had been given glimpses of God's Glorious Home, as the provisions for this Home were prophetically on the way ... Jesus would have His habitation, as the veil of the temple, torn from the top to the bottom to make full payment to openly redeem this Groaning Home of ours and make it His own.

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

As we begin to be saturated with the desires of taking full advantage of this NEW HABITATION prepared for Him ... All the old "stuff" that caused us groaning and distance from Him -- begins to pass us right by (Like scenes out of a moving train window).

And as we give His Spirit and His Word a full and royal reception into the fabric of our "every day", we can begin to watch all things beginning to be filled with the newness of the future. He is our Refuge, our Eternal Habitation and by the miracle of redemption we are His.

Step over the threshold and enter in!

HLFA,

Jeff

Ps... John 17:20-26

Reset - God Prevails

"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23 ... What an amazing passage that levels the playing field for "God Prevails!"

My head and heart are spinning with a spiritual conundrum ... After spending a little time this morning bathing in Romans for the sake of my spirit, I walked out of the water of His word realizing some basic truths, and being challenged by a meditation of intimacy that I had never gazed at before. Yes, it was driven by my broken heart for the state of many seekers who are being swayed away from the safety of God's Word and His Desire (read Genesis 32 - and just study the events that led to Jacob's name change - honestly, I am still captivated).

"Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23

As Kids of the King...Here are the truth's that we must keep as walls for our souls:
  1. We are all under the full weight of Sin and its consequences.
  2. With or without the written law ... God has written the Law on the hearts of men so no one is without excuse.
  3. The Law is the school master empowered by the Spirit that teaches us:
  • of God's Holiness and our sin because ... we don't believe,
  • of God's righteousness because ... Jesus is with the Father,
  • of our need for a Savior to deliver us from judgment and the eternal consequences of sin ... because the Prince of this world is already judged.
Jesus was delivered our offenses, and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:25)
WE MUST BELIEVE - Repentance is when our opinions align with His.

Today we live in a world where there is dualistic and pluralistic beliefs and lifestyles that are wrestled with and touted as truth by some because ... "We don't want to offend anyone!" . Take Note: A believer, with a single heart and a single mind... holding evident that the Bible, the Word of God, is the final authority and absolute truth... This believer is thought to be naïve, out of step, and not enlightened by more recent enlightened revelations. Wow ... How arrogance for self proclamation can replace love for the words of our God!

I don't know how often that I have heard this phrase from church leaders (but it is almost becoming viral) "I used to believe like you ... But after deeper study, I now believe differently." (And it is spouted in my direction in a very condescending manner.)

What I am finding as I push the envelope of the conversation, these "shape shifters" are vanquishing passages of scripture that rub their "present generation" perspective the wrong way. They share this teaching with their followers in the context of "grace" ... Teaching that an individual has a God given Liberty to pick and choose passages from the "good book"(not "God's Word") what to believe, and even deem passages as "God said" or "God didn't" as the spirit leads them(What spirit?).

They argue that Jesus is the Word of God, not the Bible, so the words of the book need to be rightly divided to know His truth...Wake up people of God! This is nothing more than a self styled, self serving idolatry ... Where we create a God in the image of our likes and dislikes while separating our selves from the truths of His Word.

Did it ever dawn on us that the Father may deliver change mandates that may discomfort until we align our hearts with His? ... Especially since "there is none that understand nor seek after God." Could there be things that God knows... that we do not, that He is trying to teach us? ... Until we learn, it might not fit our current mode of living... We might be a little uncomfortable until we fit!

If we are resisting harmonizing with "things above" and not becoming more and more like Jesus, and less and less like the world, and not putting behind us ... our selfish ambitions and sacrificial-less living ... something has happened to disconnect us from our "first love"... Jesus.

* There are God-following leaders who constantly challenge the body of Christ to look up, rise up, live up - read, study, meditate, believe and live what God says.

BUT ... Many modern pulpits ring out with passionate but powerless messages of faux understanding, because the voice of purported leadership attempts to negate the validity of scripture by picking it apart and assigning the "offensive" portions to an archaic limbo of sorts. And there is confusion in the congregation, confusion in the community, and an animosity toward the things of God in general... BUT God will prevail!

- "Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope." Isaiah 5:18

- "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter." Isaiah 5:20

- "Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight." Isaiah 5:21

- "Woe unto you, lawyers (interpreters of the Law)! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered." Luke 11:52

"Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with their whole heart." Psalm 119: 1,2

Hear His Word.
Study His Word.
Trust in His Word.
Rest in His Word.
Thrive in His Word!
Be blessed by His Word.

HLFA,

Jeff

Don't give your time to those who negate the trustworthiness and truthfulness of the Word of God ... His Time with us on this side of eternity is of the essence. Redeem the time. God Prevails!

Eternity's Glance

During the year's reading and daily reading of the Word - He will always wind my heart back to this Psalm:

"O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise Him all ye people.""For His merciful kindness is great toward us:""And the truth of the LORD endureth forever.""Praise ye the LORD." Psalm 117

There were tears in the eternal eyes of the Creator as He looked at the memory of salvation's moment: There He was standing, holding His tiny beloved in His strong arms. As they gazed out over the colorful promises of Abundant Life's extravagant flowing countryside, He spoke softly in her ear of the firm but gentle words that would hold her love secure... well beyond the torrential storms of life and well into the future beyond. With one hand on His shoulder, She fearlessly and lovingly tasseled the hair on the back of His head, while they both breathed in the mutual refreshment of the moment's vision.

The memory would never fade with Him; but time and the cares of this world had moved His beloved's thoughts from her first love reflex to be held and tassel His hair. Though He knew that it was just a momentary passageway, He also knew that His love would always draw her back into His Arms. His merciful kindness was the powerful sustaining gift that not only would endow His beloved with the fullness of His goodness, but also the security ... that He would fully bear any and all shame and reproach that she would acquire as she walked this earthly sod. He would never leave nor forsake His little one, His beloved.

Thinking of Psalm 117 - Why would all the nations and all the people be called on to "shine brightly" their boastings about the LORD? What is there about the LORD to boast about that personally causes the hearts of men to want to praise Him? It is found buried not deep from the surface of our heart's searching.

"His merciful kindness is great toward us"... His "Merciful Kindness" is the Great Exchange with the power to replace our reproach and shame with His Truth of Love that endures forever." ... This is mercifully miraculous ... Knowing this causes us to shine his praises. This is offered to all. ("He came unto His own, and His own received Him not ... But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the Son's of God, even to them that believe on His Name: Which were born, not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God. "John 1:11-13) Not a gift of deep theology, but of deep and lasting connection.

Sad are the sons of men who are enamored by the pyritic glitter and fading value of this temporal world's devises, only to find that the enamoring blinds them hopelessly, and firmly chains them to the constraints of fallen creation. Who then to prove their own righteousness ...they become burdened by the legal restrictions that are misunderstood of the Eternal Word, they view God as an impersonal myth that is part of religion's opiate mixture that dupes that masses of naïve humanity, and they fall deep into denial that they are lost.

The bottom line is that these "clouds without rain" have problems with a vision of a loving God... Who would truly, actively and powerfully involve Himself in the affairs of men. This notion, of faith without works, scares them because it brings a loving accountability from the hearts of believers, not a life of earned reward that totters on the edge of guilt.

Further impudence may be thrown in to a related notion that this same God would bear mankind's reproach and shame in exchange for the reception of His Merciful Kindness through His Son, the LORD Jesus Christ. It is way too easy!!!

Grab the snap shot -- Trust that "He that believeth on the Son has everlasting life". Believing is not a work, it is a childlike response to the obvious light of Love given from the gracious, compassionate and righteous Heart of God.

Psalm 112:4 - "Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous." His name is Jesus!!!

HLFA,

Jeff

Enjoy being held by Eternity's Love... and be lavished by His promises.

Calling All Derelict Encouragers

The wind came rushing into the abandoned room, blowing the dusty sheer curtains almost parallel with the ceiling. As the curtains whipped against the framework of the room, dust was loosened from all of its hiding and resting places creating a literal filth snow storm within the atmosphere of the once dedicated space.

Within the vertical and horizontal wisps of the awakened particle dance and dust air painting, you could almost see the images of the past trying to resurrect within the ache of the missing passion that once filled that holy place with its vivid connection with Eternity. They met Jesus there, didn't they? Why is it in such abandon and dilapidation today?

I ache when I see old boarded up, disintegrating church buildings ... I even have stopped to cry and pray for this corner of the Kingdom. Was "Ichabod" written here - "The Glory is departed!"
  • - Could it had been kept clean and tidy, but never really dedicated to the rescue of the outcasts, the broken, the lame, the maimed, the blind, the lepers and outcasts ... Sinners?
  • - Could there have been open or secret immortality within the leadership that deteriorated the foundation?
  • - Could there have been a growing and public despising of the sacrifices of God, because there was a forceful, selfish, grabbing of the sacrifices by those ministering ... while the sacrifices were still raw on the alter?
  • - Could there have been an aging, sad and lonely vision-less congregation who believed that a new birth revival was no longer an option?
  • - Could it have been abandoned for a larger growing vision? Hopefully.

Mark 5:1,2 - "And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the Country of the Gadarenes. And when He, Jesus, was come out of the ship, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit."

With a place with a name like Gadara, meaning "a reward at the end" who would think it would be a place where one would be found out of his mind and beyond help (like Las Vegas???) ... Known as the uncontrollable and uncontainable Maniac, he was all but gone, cutting himself and crying away ...night and day in the tombs. Uncontrolled by human captures, but controlled by a multitude of Demons: insomuch that when Jesus asked the spirit what was his name ... They answered "My name is Legion: for we are many."

(Now don't get too offended) In the safety of our lip service "churches without walls" - there is no place for this type of individual; who best be kept outside the walls (that are not there?) The typical dress up, sit up, fess up, sing up and "be blessed" churches, do not have either the latitude nor the longitude for this type of Risk. In fact, the latest risk assessment plans profile the Derelict as "off limits".

Think about it: there was no way to bring him in - we have no "rope and chain force" in "the crazies" ministries. And "all" within the walls would be at risk of harm. We would simply be safer and happier with putting ropes around the tombs and keeping him there. We have no vision for this unstable element of society... Trust me, if you were to rush him into the typical sanctuary, all Hell would break loose because of the acute change needed to fit in our typical Christian sub-culture.

HEY let's face it - the Church is filled with people who are basically OK, or who are now ok because they were given the chance to experience the fullness of the Sacrifice of Jesus. Somewhere, "the Derelicts" had met "Jesus"; and the followers of Christ (who were wise enough) gave them time and familiar space to testify of the "God-Change" that was gifted them from Above.

What vision process was given to this man, Legion, whose life was ransacked by Hell?
  • - Jesus unchained him from his demonic influence... This was God's Compassionate Miracle!
  • - He and His followers - clothed him, calmed him and taught him.
  • - Though his desire was to join in the subculture that was following Jesus... so "that he might be with Him": "Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but said unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee." Mark 5:19.

Take note Church ... In the heart of a "Saved Derelict" is the seed for a ministry, but probably not to your design expectations, nor under your nearsighted leadership, nor in your "success-limited" time allotment, and probably not in your "well purposed" worship space ...

In fact, if you think that you can control this kind of movement of the Spirit, you have no clue of the grief that may take place ... that could begin to derelict you if you have not prepared your heart for "failings and fallings".

Take heart: "And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel." Mark 5:20

Calling all Derelict Encouragers - Give God the Glory!!

HLFA,

Jeff

Encouragers -- Read 2 Corinthians 4: 1- 8,9,10 - 18

The Garden of Hope

There are many times in our walk with the Lord that we face unexpected painfully disruptive endings. And then we begin to wrestle with a new beginning, not flesh and blood. This is where one season may end in an emotional devaluation or with a spiritual and mental crash. Though the next season may be filled with promise of a "new day" ... There seems to be little helping the cloud of darkness and the feeling of abandonment and uselessness that sets in. BUT HELP IS NEAR because of Emanuel(God with us).

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believeth thou this?" John 11:25,26

In verse 27 Martha replied unto Him, "Yes Lord: I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world." ... Saying this she went "her way" and told her sister, Mary, secretly, that Jesus was calling for her.

Although He is "Now" effectual in all things... that we need "Now" and "For Ever", His working in our lives is not dependent on our fragile ability to understand what will happen next. Martha truly believed in what she knew to be currently possible. She could hear His words, and faith would take her right to Jesus. She could even hyper-faith to the future promise; but a resurrection now? Her brother rise now, after he had been dead for 4 days?

We just don't get it and won't get it .. The strongest and firmest in their faith for a miracle for others, seem so broken... when change that brings insecurity... knocks on their door. BUT THAT IS OK... Martha knew where to put the weight of her faith ... NOT ON THE MIRACLE, but on JESUS. Cry out to Jesus!!

Psalm 97 - Declares the power of the Presence of our God who reigns ... The entire world that we know is shaken at His presence - Mystery surrounds Him, fire goes before Him, lightnings and thunder start the trembling, hills melt while the Heavens declare His righteousness ... (Those who worship anything other than Him ... Have no concept of Him). The closer we walk to Him the more we hate evil and seek deliverance for others because ...He only has the power to deliver out of the "hand of the wicked".

BUT to all who are His declared "righteous" and recreated "upright in heart": there will come those times of "worthless, unsettling, seemingly unfair ... change" ... But He has a garden that He has planted ahead of time for such a moment. It is a strange garden compared to the gardens that grow produce that ripens and then begins immediately to rot.

It is a garden carefully chosen by the Father, soil upturned by the Son's Nail Scarred Hands, watered by the promise of His Word, purified by the blood of the Lamb, fully secured by His Resurrection and freely offered by the Spirit to those who believe: "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous: and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness." Psalm 97:11,12

Two awesome gifts grow from this Garden of Hope - Light and Gladness. When things get dark, draw from Light that has been planted for you. When you see your life in the talons of hopelessness draw on the Gladness of His promises planted ahead of time for you.

For the "current day believer", we may never feel the fullness of the loss felt by the disciples at the crucifixion of Jesus ... That event brought extreme fear and devastating change... But to exercise our imaginations to feel is not a waste. Seek to feel their loss.

Being fully alive in Christ is one of the greatest assets of this life in Him. Pray with all prayer heightened in our awareness by praise and thanksgiving for all things ... Knowing that ALL things work together for good to them that love Him, The Called according to His purpose ... in this garden of Hope. He will walk into your darkness ... He will bring light and gladness if you let Him. Be ready to greet him and worship Him immediately and accordingly.

One of the first encounters after the resurrection had "the welcome" to this Garden of Hope ... Mathew 28:9 ... We read Jesus' word to the grieving women returning from His empty tomb  as ... "All Hail!" ...in reality...the word is "Rejoice! Be Glad! Spin in dance!" And they fell at His feet and worshipped Him.

Take a moment and read Psalm 98 -- and looking to Heaven ... Breathe in to be ready to sing a new song!!! It is coming - He is coming ... He is here!

Come into His Garden of Hope.

HLFA,

Jeff

The Last Night of 3 Days and 3 Nights

We can only scratch the tip of the emotions that must have been battering the lives of those chosen men and women that had followed so closely in the steps of Jesus. Such amazement, such glory shared in those days of following Jesus ... Reality had been a blessing filled with daily promise and revelation of a loving connection with the Creator.

Passover(although they had gone over this 2x before) was strangely personal and emotional this time. From the "just as He said" Royal Donkey descent into the whirlwind of the Temple confrontation, to the "just as He said" upper room Passover dinner, it was almost like a cloud of revelation seriousness was gripping ever so tightly to the moments with Jesus. He was talking as if this was the last moments and their temporal security was weakening. The disciples were completely on the edge of denial. Faith was sent out on a runaway train that was taking down everything in its path and there was no turning back..."Just as He said!"

Praying in the garden for the last time ... Jesus was extremely focused. His disciples now no longer had the strength to stand by and comfort as sleep became their moment's relief from reality. But that sleep was short lived and was blown into a life threatening crowd of soldiers, who burst onto the scene to take Jesus on His death walk. So confused was the moment - a sword swung and an ear fell (and was returned to the head of the owner - strangely, the last physical healing miracle); positive ID was blurred by the inability to stand up when Jesus spoke "I AM"; a traitor's kiss verified the ID while a request to let the disciples go was secured; and Jesus was led away without resistance by His captures to face a penalty that we could not, but definitely deserved.

The surreal nature of the movie frames moving ahead had his closest followers moving further and further from the scene; only "the Beloved Disciple, John" remained close enough to hear that he was to be the surrogate son to care for Jesus' mother. All others kept their distance fearing that identification with Jesus would warrant a cross for them also.

The Image of the conquering King was tarnished and blurred by: a deadly cat-o-nine tails beating, a bloodied royal robe of mockery, a crown of thorns beat deep into His brow, a mock trial with only cruel intent, a mob led crowd mindlessly screaming "Crucify Him"; and an ominous cruel rugged cross raised to the sky with a barely recognizable human image in His last hours of embarrassingly wicked suffering... All this threw a veil of discouragement over any previous promises of "resurrection." ... it could not have even entered the imaginations filled with grief.

On that cross, from the vantage of non-connected distant followers, was the death of deliverance from the Roman rule; but to the perception of Heaven ... This was the consecrated sacrifice... the only hope for salvation of believing mankind. This was that moment that defined eternity, by delivering believers from the penalty of an eternal Devil's Hell. Sin would be paid in full and believers would be gifted eternal life.

BUT - the darkness, grief, fear and "hope lost" was closing in for the kill of faith of the cowering followers of Christ. In those three days and three nights a sealed tomb announced that "it was finished"... Didn't Jesus succeed to the hopelessness also with His words declared from the cross "It is finished!"?

The next day, a great while before the sun had come up, an Angel of the Lord, gloriously bright, Descended from Heaven and tossed aside the stone that sealed the tomb, and sat on it ... terrifying the temple guards who set watch over the tomb. Later to the "Marys" it was proclaimed - "He is not here, come and see ... for He has risen ... Just as He said."

"It is finished" was not a losers last pitiful whine ... Now all hearts would hear the glad news of "He is Alive", and realize it as the victors cry ... and can claim it with the full power of His resurrection to move forward against the very gates of Hell, and proclaim His Grace, the rescue, to all who will hear.

Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is risen, just as He said.

LIVE LOUD ... FULLY ALIVE ... BECAUSE JESUS LIVES!!!

Proclaim the blessing of the Resurrection! 
... Happy Easter, April 1, 2018

HLFA,

Jeff

Fashioning Mercy

Deuteronomy 5:8,9,10 - "Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments."

Deuteronomy 5 is so amazing. Most of us get so hung up on studying the commandments ...trying to count to ten... that we can't see the bigger picture of what God is doing with His people. Step back a moment and take a breath and see... for this pattern is yours if you love Him:
1. He took them out of Egypt, the land of entrenchment and siege, by providing a personal Rescue.
2. He brought them into Horeb, a wilderness wasteland, to Train their hearts to see Him.
3. He showed them His power and His glory; and they did not Die ... Proof of His choice for them.
4. He made them a moveable city, defended by Him ... Equipping them with a purpose and a lasting vision.
5. And then He caused them to Desire More of Him.

They saw Him and they did not die -- this was God "showing" - "fashioning" Mercy.
As we unlock the word "showing" we find:
God Acting and Enacting mercy in behalf of His people.
Within His attending to the movement of Mercy,
He was making the way straight for mercy...
He was working the details of Mercy ...
He dealing the equity of Mercy...
He was producing the substance of Mercy...
He preparing the stability of Mercy ...
He was making an offering of Mercy ...
while observing,
acquiring,
appointing,
spending,
ordaining,
passing,
utilizing
and
Celebrating...
MERCY!

Checed (kheh'-sed) - There are two sides to Mercy.
1. It is wonderful that One such as God (in all of His Holiness)would show such loving kindness and tender favor to the "undeserving" such as us. Let this sink deep into your soul ...
2. that the "One offering Mercy" also bears the shame, reproach, and disgrace of the object of His mercy.

His choice to fashion Mercy... will disturb the fake piety of the self righteous, but bring celebration and courage to the multitudes of the "fallen" who are still in need of His great rescue.

Get the picture of the thief on the cross near Jesus, who stopped his cursing and mockery long enough to realized that... this was no ordinary man, and this was no ordinary day;
it was His "Now",
it was His accepted time...
The Thief cried out, "Remember me when You come into Your kingdom."
and without hesitation Jesus replied from Mercy's fashioning, "Today thou shalt be with Me in Paradise."

Come on people of God be courageous in His Song of Mercy over you!

HLFA,

Jeff

Commingle

"Thou tellest my wanderings: put Thou my tears into Thy bottle: are they not in Thy Book?" Psalm 56:8 As the little one struggled to crawl to the edge of eternity, with all the forces of darkness clawing and scratching at her heels ... trying to drag her closer and closer to the precipice of separation, a tear of faith appeared in her eye. At that moment a swirling ocean of Grace appeared before the eyes of her heart. She gently reached her hand to her eye, and catching the tear, she cast it into this ocean of love... knowing now that the commingling of this surging moment would open eternity to her ... as God would wholly, with a holy desire, rescue her... forever.

Our nature, our desires of the lust filled flesh and of our wandering mind ... are the "go to" reflex of our fallen-ness. Our nature has us scarred by the fall but has positioned us for His mercy by His great love wherewith He loves us. Heaven can never be earned ... but it was bought with a great price... the precious blood of Jesus Christ and offered to all mankind as a free gift. The reception need only childlike faith ... and grace is applied to the feeble faith of the believer.

Why is this great truth met with so much antagonism and arrogant intolerant stubbornness? Why does it stand in the seat of the defendant and treated with such disdain as if it were a lie espoused only by the foolish? Why is faith forced into the same category as works, or needed to be validated by works in order for it to be deemed worthy of God's expectation. We were by nature children of wrath.

Our developed "groove" to move through this life was de-constructed by our fallen nature and re-directed by the master contractor of disaster, the prince of the power of the air. The plan, the mode of operandi to keep mankind in condemnation: go with their fallen bend for disobedience. Like every other offspring of rebellion that has trod the beaten path of unbelief, keep them off course... searching for broader truth that will lead them straight to Hell. All that is needed is to activate their forward desires and detour the focus of their wonder to "the wide gate, that leads to destruction".

"But for God" ... "For unto us was the Gospel preached"
"But for God" ... "As well as unto them:"
"But for God" ... "but the Word preached did not profit them,"
"But for God" ... "not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." Hebrews 4:2
"But for God" ... "For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9

The Gospel heard must be commingled with our feeble offering of faith (that pleases God) to produce the results that God orchestrates. "Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." "He that believeth on the Son has everlasting life". Jesus does it all, by taking our feeble faith offering and mixing it with the Majesty and Security of His amazing - complete payment for the condemnation that hangs over each and every one of us.

"But he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36b
TRUTH: No faith in Him ...no eternal life.

Why do we resist such a clear plan of salvation? Why will we traumatize the light within us by waving a universalist flag of acceptance for all, Heaven for all and no decision needed? We need not admit our need as sinners, we need not agree with God. What a way to cheapen the cross of Christ but removing the single responsibility of man ...

preached from the very lips of the Savour - "Believe."

Let's lead a holy rebellion against this reflex toward doubt and unbelief; and rise up with that tear of faith, and cast it into the unlimited strength and power of His ocean of love for us.

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4

Commingle!

HLFA,

Jeff

Majestic Sweetness

In honor of Patricia Rhea (Frey) Ruth - Mom, Mammaw -- we will miss you, but only for now.

Majestic sweetness sits enthroned
Upon the Savior’s brow;
His head with radiant glories crowned,
His lips with grace o’erflow.

She was His Bride:
He reached out His hand and touched hers;
The words He spoke to her were intertwined with love and her name.
His virtue was met with reciprocated deep sorrow and tears that
Would be instantly and celestially bottled,
With those tears in His hands, His Spirit groaned...
Oh that she would cast up her disconnecting anxiety
so that She could see as He truly and actively cared for her.

No mortal can with Him compare
Among the sons of men;
Fairer is He than all the fair
That fill the heavenly train.

She was His desire, His will... Her eyes, O her eyes ... He could not resist.
Her Eyes would overcome Him as He would move in her direction;
though so many times her eyelids would be turned upward in disappointment;
Though her love and faith would be so much smaller than a grain mustard seed;
He would continue to move mountains to get to her,
He would continue to keep all the universe on course for her rescue,
His love would prevail.

To Him I owe my life and breath,
And all the joys I have;
He makes me triumph over death,
And saves me from the grave.

She was rescued from her initial abandonment,
He saw her naked, filthy, and covered with her own birthing fluids,
Dying in her own blood ...His heart was moved, this was her time of Love.
He would take the mess that she was into His everlasting arms,
He would wash, perfume and clothe her with the potential of His Glory.
All the gold, silver and precious gems of eternity would be hers.
She would move forward ... She would move away ... She would wander.
He would watch and wait for the faintest cry for help.

To God, the Father, my abode,
He brings my weary feet;
Shows me the glories of my God,
And makes my joys complete.

In total guilt and shame, her strange lovers would reduce her beauty to ashes,
She would find her costly apparel torn and soiled as rags fit for the trash heap,
She would see her wealth be reduced to a tattered filthy bag with holes in it.
In the mirror, the unfamiliar face staring back at her... Was leathered and worn.
Her dreams were fading ... All but a distant Voice of Love.
Her hope was waning ... All but for the strange sense of still being loved.
He would move closer ... for now she could not move away, no more wandering
He would hold her close, and whisper love songs so sublime.

Since from His bounty I receive
Such proofs of love divine,
Had I a thousand hearts to give,
Lord, they should all be Thine.

Her heart quieted,
her breath stilled
and she slipped into the other room,
where Love was waiting.

Lord, you have given us your all,
in exchange for our nothing.

What love, what extraordinary, extravagant love!

HLFA,

Jeff

A Field of Lost Dreams

Not too long ago... though few to none will remember, a fully clad body was discovered in the middle of a farmers field, just outside our home town. It was clothed as if going to or coming from some lavish affair or a church service. At the scene, the identity of the individual could not be assessed due to the lack of a wallet, no personal jewelry, and no obvious distinguishing features. Although there appeared that no foul play was involved, it was still not ruled out.

The body was found in such a state that those passing by might have thought the individual was taking a nap in the field ... Authorities noted that it may have been staged, though nothing was definitive. Sadly, very little information could be released as a statement until family were contacted and an autopsy performed. The scene was so surreal ... So peacefully sad, and so undisturbed ... almost neglected.

Emergency responders could not help but talk among themselves and their loved ones... Hence ... The story leaked, but strangely unnoticed. Weeks later ....The authority's search for possible family and friends (even with all of the modern advancement in notification providing a comprehensive description and an array of digital pictures... sent out way beyond a normal search grid) produced nothing. No one came forward. No one questioned the incident any longer, and no one inquired as to anyone missing. It was eerily disheartening and strangely upsetting to see that the investigation had come to a dead-ended search; It was almost like no one even seemed interested.

This never hit the papers, never hit social media ... And by this time has been filed away as a "cold case" in the archives of an already overworked legal system. The coroner's report was speculative to say the least but potentially insightful. Cause of death may have been due to the following: "With no markings, no cuts, no scars, no bruises, no abrasions, no physical signs of past abuse; death may have been due to possible Narcoleptic Abandon Syndrome 1. Extreme loneliness. plus 2. A heart that could no longer handle the pressure of no hope. plus 3. Possibly self inflicted physical neglect due to the thought of no future. 4. Combined ---resulting in a desire to never wake up to face another day with no one to care."

A life without purposeful or random physical shows and tells of love soon withers into the lonely existence of the darkened days of the unloved. Don't let those whom you love die without "touch". No unprompted hugs, no hand hugs, no looks of love, no words of love ...Love just Not given Or just not received... can almost be like a time release poisonthat slowly breaks down the fibers of hope that hold the soul in balance.

Day after day ...
Untouched by human hands,
Hoarsely... yelling "Unclean, unclean!"
Day after day ...
with a desperate hope of at least being seen.

Matthew 8: 2, 3 - "And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will, be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed." Jesus knew that more than the healing from leprosy, this "unclean" "outcast" "abandoned" man needed to be touched ... First things first.

Has love become an inconvenience to give or to receive?
................... No time for it?
God hasn't left nor forsaken you.
Are acts of love rejected as an interruption instead of received warmly and -reciprocated?
...................Just not our style?

What if the individual in the story at the start of the HLFA had been found "sleeping-dead" in the midst of the congregation of saints, instead of the field ---
How would the Coroners report have affected that congregation?
How would the media interpret the event?

Day after day ...
We pass them by
Some one else will care, but please ... Not I.
Day after day ...
We live a sheltered lie,
And miss His blessing as we pass Him by.

Live openly, and love unbridled for the King!
Don't pass Him by...

HLFA,

Jeff

"What you do unto the least of these, my brethren, you've done unto me."