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

Frank's or John's

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HLFA,

Jeff

Stranger in the Midst

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It truly is our choice!

HLFA,

Jeff

The Middle Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let's Keep Loving Jesus Openly!!

HLFA,

Jeff

A Brook and A Garden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rest daily in the garden of His Resurrection love.

HLFA,

Jeff

Beloved

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My God rescues ... What about you?

HLFA,

Jeff

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

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

PSSS - Forgiveness for the forgiven is not an option.