Sick of Love

What was so special about her Beloved? She waited with full anticipation of His visit. In fact her heart skipped a beat when, through her window, she caught a glimpse of his image showing through the lattice-work of her wall. Just barely breathing so as to hear every one of His approaching footsteps (for she had timed His footsteps as He approach her door), she sensed his hand turning the latch before she had even heard the first footstep, but when she threw the door open He was gone. With total abandon, she raced out the door to find her Beloved knowing that her movements would be misunderstood.

Song of Solomon 5:7 – 9 "The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my Beloved, that ye tell Him, that I am sick of love. What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?"

What makes you so special? Most of us have heard this rhetorical question thrown our way throughout our short lives on this planet. Whether it was to be a sarcastic dig or just a statement of jealous jest, there was no expected reply that would be considered by the one asking the question. The heckler was not looking for an answer, they were just wanting to raise our blood pressure by getting us to question our self-worth. If the truth be known, our perceived value may be being determined by our peers (sad as that can be), though we should always seek the highest appraisal from the Ultimate Appraiser. The opinions of our peers should never set our final sale price, but let our value be determined by the One who loves us with an everlasting love.

In the community of faith and in our life among seekers,"What makes you so special?" is determined by how we value our relationship with our God, how we rest in His exquisite valuation of us, and how His love is lavishly poured out to others by our open exaltation of Him. So why do we constantly beat ourselves down with negative thoughts like - "But no one appreciates me!" ?

Building our worth based upon the praises of men is like trying to build a castle on a cloud. Human support so quickly vanishes away with the first sense of a wind of adversity. Even when our worth is based upon the truth of God's Word spoken in the valuation and validation of our lives, we will also find ourselves in a position of having some "explaining to do". “What is your Beloved more than another beloved?” Will you risk being misunderstood as you pursue Him above all others?

“What is your Beloved more than another beloved?” The effectiveness of our lives among men will be determined by the frequency of this question being asked of us. The measure of the propagation of our love for our Beloved will be seen in calm real life responses to the question "What is so special about your God?"...for He is your Beloved.

A love burning brightly for the King of King doesn't speak "just to be heard"; but out of a heart "viral" with God's opinion, this love speaks in hope of being extremely contagious. You can question this love, belittle this love, beat this love, unveil and shame this love...but you will find that this love (burning even more brightly) cries out "If you find my Beloved, tell him I am sick of love."

Do you know the feeling of always having your words groaned at when you begin proclaiming a portion of your love story? Have you felt trashed, beaten, and your veil of sincerity stripped aside (like a piece of soiled tissue paper) by the so-called watchmen, the guardians of truth? Fear not ... Your Beloved is with Thee, you will soon find Him, and His opinion of you trumps all others.

When questioned in a way that could dishearten us, let's stand with the Psalmist and proclaim ... Psalm 73:25 - "Whom hold I valuable in Heaven but Thee? For there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee". When we finally realize that we are His desire, making Him our desire gives us the liberty that sets us free, even if he are imprisoned or marked as prisoners for believing in Him.

HLFA,

Jeff

“Sick of Love” - so weakened by His love that I have no strength to pursue any other, for He is Altogether beautiful and He has declared the same of me.

His Desire, His Vision - YOU

I glanced up and watched her walk away, her beauty was transcendent. Her radiance closed all the gaps of desire and expectation. The sight was incredible because under the beauty were the scars, and the voices of those scars cried so loudly to my heart that I was totally ravished by her momentary glance back. I stood there for a moment as the door closed behind her; and as I walked to my sanctuary all I could do was let the tears mingle with my vision ahead. She is the desire of her God.

Song of Solomon chapter 4 – read verses 1-7 : Let your sanctified imagination be captured by the power of this intimate gaze of our God... represented by the love of the “Kingly Shepherd Boy” for his “Dark, Beautiful, and Seeking” Shepherd Girl. Out of the depths of His soul's longing, and the windows of His heart He pours poetic love upon all of her physical attributes and then states His wonderful summary in vs 7: “Thou art all fair (everything I see about you is beautiful); there is no spot (no blemish, no deficit, no ugliness, no scar) in thee”. This is God's choice of vision over those who have entered His Love through His only Way, His only Truth and His only Life …. Jesus (“No man comes unto the Father but by Me” – John 14:6). This IS how He desires to see us, so He does (Let that capture your heart).

I ache so much inside because of living among a generation of fearful believers whose eyelids are lifted up, whose hearts are waxing cold and failing, who never risk to see beyond the darkened glass, who so quickly close their ears to the voice of the "Lover" for fear of being captured and quarantined by the blind leadership of our day. Why would we dare imagine that the God of all creation lavishly pours His love on us, on individuals, every moment of every day? Why would we not risk the malicious criticism of those lost in dead tradition (who labor to hold us captive behind the bars of an “earned worth” system) if we knew that the risk would bring us into a life of liberty, being actively and knowingly loved by God.

Song of Solomon 4:8 is a call to a higher more fortifying vision for these last days (pray to hear, pray to see, pray to imagine and be loved deeper every moment )...

“Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon” - Come, for you may have been coming for so long! Come, enter with full purpose to know Him and to be known by Him as His Spouse... His bride! Come with Him FROM the place of “ Whiteness and Purity” where our relationship started with Him. Our Life with Him must start at His Cross and the Empty tomb, for without those there is no life. There is no lasting life without His Sacrifice for our sin.

“Look from the top of Amana” - Look, truly see for you may have been looking for so long! Look, with full purpose to know! From the top of the summit, from the source ...the “Head Waters”. Amana(a river and region of support, faith, truth, sureness, certainty – The Amen). Jesus is the Source, the Cross is the connection and His Word is the constant support for His over arching vision for us... There is no lasting vision of His love without His voice.

Look, “from the top of Shenir (snow mountain) and Hermon (the Sanctuary) – Daily clarity of His Vision comes from Our daily trek to His summit for refreshing “snow” cleansing and renewed “Sanctuary” devotion – This is our quiet time with Him away from all others. There is no growing vision without a daily refreshing, cleansing time alone with Him.

Look, “from the lions' dens”- Look out from and among the habitations of this world's “Violent Gatherers” … those who thrive on this dog eat dog world of promiscuous compromise.
Look, “from the mountains of the leopards” - Look out from those that rise up as “transparent infiltrators”, those that reach beyond measure on their own behalf. There is no relevant life without a vision beyond this world of Violent Gatherers and Transparent Infiltrators.

From this vantage point He has determined to pour out His extravagant love on us – Song of Solomon 4:9 – “Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse: thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.” We have ravished His heart? Yes...O yes, we are His desire.

Live in the beauty of His Vision of you! We do not glorify God by imagining that we have done great things for Him; We glorify Him by openly acknowledging the Great things He has done for us … Imagine Him loving you, and be loved … you can't go wrong.

HLFA,

Jeff

Drop Off - Such a Small Thing

 

It is a small key that usually opens some very large doors, that can ultimately reveal the potential for unlimited opportunities. However, the key is useless if it just hangs collectively with other unused keys on an ornate key ring. The key never used, is usually out sight, out of mind and then decorated with the defeatist phrase, “Opportunities are one in a million, and nothing good ever comes my way!” The key is lost.
     
Small bits of digital information fly across hundreds of thousands of miles of airspace and outer space to create big success and sometimes immense distress and failure. A few tapping sounds on a keyboard followed by an undetected digital squealing; and the next thing you know, someone’s life could change forever. Unplugged from power, out of touch with digital communication, and embracing the concepts that “Ignorance is bliss!” and “Silence is golden!” may create a felling of protective isolation, but that fealling will be totally useless when the Word of the onslaught of an undetected, violent storm is on the threshold of your life. The ignored or unheard Word is lost.

I am not touting that technology is a straight line to salvation; but I am propagating that truth taken advantage of can present opportunities and open possibilities; and I am heralding that... truth ignored does not create immunity to inevitable consequences. You cannot ignore and dismiss the One named "Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace" without bearing the consequences that come from the absence of that Key connection and that vital communication of a mandatory rescue that He offers. The non-responsive life is lost.

There was a sign that we drove by in a construction zone that my wife read out loud as we passed by because it struck her as a little odd – “Drop Off”. Not a sign you see too often at a construction zone, but it was there none the less. That one sign was the only thing making the non-shoulder edge of the road unavoidable, and it was only facing one direction. Passing it, you missed it! If you were driving the other direction, you would never have seen it! Only one direction – a short span of time to be aware – and the opportunity was gone as you obliviously approached another turn. Hours later something happened in that construction zone, tire marks, smashed plastic pylons and a roughed up road side . A small sign missed and no doubt a personal loss.

Isaiah 53:1,2 – Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.”
God's Presentation Person for restoration at first glance ...doesn't have much glitz, is so easy to be ignored and can be counted as not worth the bother (like a small key, a bit of digital encryption, or an unnoticed sign); but take note - Jesus has power to rip eternity's -“righteousness standard”- roadblock right out of the way, rescue the attentive believer from eternal catastrophe, and plant the humble receiver right in the Middle of God's unfailing eternal love.

Let's have this devotional attitude towards Him in the midst of so many distractions for He could be lost in the scramble. Let's focus the desire of our hearts - “His mouth is most sweet: yea, He is altogether lovely. This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend, O daughters of “the Teaching of Peace”. Song of Solomon 5:16

“Maybe the fear of failure is not the fear at all. Maybe I’m getting closer beyond the weakened wall . You give me hope to survive when I drop and fall. The edge of a decision, mind division cuts the heart in two. Forward movement into open expanse … the drop off waits for you. (excerpt from the song “Drop Off “-by Mawcore 2014) Don't pass off into the expanse of Holy Terror; Drop Off into the Expanse of His Unfathomable Love.

A life that embraces the fact that the Jesus Story “personally believed” brings the eternal embrace of God to “Me”, the Sin-Leper, lives vibrantly ... making use of the Key, thriving in the hearing of the Word, and following in the safety God's signs ahead. Live Openly for Jesus! In Him there is no shame and no regrets.

HLFA,

Jeff

Power Filled Following

Song of Solomon 1:2,3 - “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth: for Thy love is better than wine. Because of the savour of Thy good ointments Thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love Thee.”
What if … we could begin each day with eyes wide open, imagination hanging onto great expectation, and heart fully receptive to God unfolding His love plan right in front of us. Potentially, the day would be like a well marked spiritual freeway with very intuitive signs and signals leading the Way. And along with our supercharged focus on the eternal, add the unfolding and openness of our will to obey. Oh, the cheers from the angels because of their anticipation of the souls of mankind in our path that could be set free. Set free by the message of the Good News of Jesus; not just flowing from our actions of love, not just sounding from our lips of proclamation, but by the powerful out-flowing of our inner most being filled with His Spirit piercing the lives of all we meet.

Far to often we watch theological wrestling matches that wrest for the predominance to accurately define the signs or proofs of faith in the life of believers … “Faith alone, grace alone, without works, with works, spoken, unspoken, dead faith, alive faith …!” Truly so many are left in “the middle”. Honestly, the Middle, is where most of us spend our time (we are just a little shy in letting it be known). The middle, if acknowledged to Him, will open up an avenue of God meeting with us so that we may “know” Him intimately; and in that intimacy know the power of His Resurrection in our lives.

Do we ever find ourselves aching with a broken heart as we walk among the lost-ness of so many people that we share life space with or pass by during our daily jaunts into the land of the living dead. Doesn't it ever weigh us down with concern for those who appear to not want to have any thing to do with God, let alone Jesus(now we have gone to far!). Do we truly believe that a life without Christ is meaningless and a death without Him is eternal Hell?

Be prayerful reading this … for it is very dear to the Heart of God!

“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 sons of God, even to them, that believe on His Name”. John 1:12 Such an amazing statement that it goes right by so many of us. Does our hearts say “so what , get Jesus, become one of His kids, what is the big deal? (blah-blah - yawn-yawn)” … I hope not! We become God's redeemed Kids through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ ... because of the Grace that brings salvation is found only in Him.

But it doesn't stop there … He gives those who receive Him the full potential to connect in such a way that they continually appear less and less like the living death and more and more like the everlastingly alive. With this power-filled connection to Him, we will actually start realizing that there are no more “our connections” with people. No more just doing whatever we want, saying whatever we want, and treating others however we feel like treating them at any given moment; we will live in the expectation that all connections are of life giving consequence because all are His. ALL LIFE'S MOMENTS ARE GOD MOMENTS.

Song of Solomon 1:4 – Draw me, we will run after Thee: the King hath brought me into His chambers: we will b glad and rejoice in Thee, we will remember Thy love more than wine: the upright love Thee.” God's desire is to draw us into a passion to follow Him daily. He has prepared satisfaction there that gladdens and satisfies in a way that makes the enticing distractions of this world appear like the lint at the bottom of an empty pocket. Psalm 16:11 - “Thou wilt shew me the Path of Life: in Thy Presence is Fulness of Joy; at Thy Right Hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Set the direction of your daily affections to know Jesus, everything else in the adventure will unfold before you.

HLFA,

Jeff

A Sickness Desiring Heart

I was hearing the whispers, but they were just beyond reach. Curiosity had me though, in my early morning state curiosity seemed to be the necessary food to get the mind rolling for the day. Even though it was still dark, I had grown very skilled in the art of "light-less room navigation". It is uncanny how with just a few minutes of disciplined mental notes, an unfamiliar location can become familiar for an unlit walk.

{“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"Jeremiah 17:9 The most slippery and insidious thing about the unregenerate heart of man is that is irreparably sick and it doesn't want to get better. It actually thrives on being sick: who has the will power to begin to know it? Staying too close to this heart creates a codependency of a continual desire for discrediting our God Story... it buys bad news, it invests in tragedy, and is incurably ill as it hardens its way through life keeping us at an unhealthy distance from God. Remedy? God does not offer a healing, because He offers a replacement – a new heart … but still a heart of flesh - Ezekiel 36:26,27.}

I had only taken a few steps to find what had been just beyond my ability to hear with any accuracy (actually my toes found it). A gooey and gross meeting of my toes with this object in the dark had me leaping in a backwards direction by reflex. “Man! What in the world?” Immediately my mind began to flash – dead animals, road kill, chunky vomit ...I was totally “creep-ed” out! But by now I could hear a little more clearly ...the little voice that sounded like mine, but like it was coming through a cell phone speaker .. “Help me, I am nothing but a failure, I am trash, nobody cares about me, nobody loves me, God cares about everyone else but me, I am ashamed to live openly for Jesus”.

When I flipped on the light I found a most despicable gruesome image of me, but stripped of any beauty and goodness. There was a murky colored orb with tubes of syrup-like liquid flowing to and from this image of me. This image of me was clinging onto this orb ever so tightly. I stared and wondered , “why was this orb held so tightly?”

Inside the orb were horrifying images: images of sordid evil, murders, adulteries, fornication, stench, pornography, thefts, false witness and slander, all kinds of blasphemies. And this image of me rubbed the orb and kept mumbling, “make me sick, oh, please make me sick”. I was starting to understand why no healing was offered and how a new heart was the only remedy.

But wait a minute! I have a new heart! Not only a New heart, but all things new … New Spirit, New Life, New Mind, New Hope ...(we could go on); the Gift of God is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ Our LORD. Why am I still influenced by this “sick” heart of stone?

If we “Walk in the Light, as He is in the light” we have continual fellowship and His Blood's constant cleansing (I John 1:7). I found myself preparing for "light-less room navigation", when I should have been more focused on "Light-filled Kingdom Navigation". “Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 --- Is just one of the 176 verses in Psalm 119 that teach the dynamics of the necessity of the Word of God to give us victory in the moments when the “sickness desiring heart” wants to speak discouragement, despair, and distance from our God into our lives. Our New Heart needs daily connection to God's Word for victory over this malady.

The battle against this heart begins with a simple prayer of admission to the fact that we are distant and ashamed to allow the God Story to shine from our life. (At the end of 175 verses expounding on the life positioned close to God's Word – the Psalmist like us admitted: ) “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; I do not forget Thy commandments.” Psalm 119:176 Are we hearing  and believing the counsel of “Failure”? Listen again to the One who seeks to deliver you out of darkness into His glorious life of light.

HLFA,

Jeff

Still Holding Stones?

There they stood, fallen and broken. Not wanting to be pitied by those righteous enough to throw stones, who were still corporately deciding who should cast the first stone and when. The sin and the result of their fall was obvious and confessed for cleansing (I John 1:9); but there were still those who thought that they had the right keep their forgiveness in a gold treasure chest, and only administer it in their time.{“Everybody has to work out forgiveness in their own time” seems to be the mantra that often times is held- close by those who want to punish others for their own past sins. Possibly the way they were treated during the time of their restoration was less than Christ-like. So let's not seek fresh oil and abundant grace to help in time of need. Let's dare not get close to God for advice and power to love the fallen. - This is an extremely sarcastic section.} For those of you who ache because of being caught as fallen or you have been caught in the shrapnel and finding it difficult to forgive, read on prayerfully.

Dare not look at this scene too awfully long … our eyes may tear up and ears blur for the bright treble of the sound of the declaration. “Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice”. Micah 6:1 With one of the 6 senses known as hearing … listen, just listen to what the LORD says … right here and right now, listen to what He says: Stand up, address our complaint before the mountains (the strong foundation of Righteous Vision), and let the hills (smaller truths) hear our voice … Stand UP … Speak UP … Speak out!

Micah 6:2 – “Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD'S controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with His people, and He will plead with Israel” (“Those who say God Prevails – Jesus Saves”). Are we starting to get the picture yet? Stand up ...Speak up … Speak out – The things that we hold in our heart against God are called controversy (Oh, and we thought we were mad at the fallen brother or sister) … Don't hold on to it, be honest, it is God with whom we have an issue ...(Casting all our care upon Him because He cares for us) …

Micah 6:3 – “O My people, what have I done unto thee? And wherein have I wearied thee? Testify against me!” What a challenge from our LORD of Lords! Stand up (take a stand, mean it)--- Speak up (quit our mumbling in directions of uselessness) --- Speak out (Make our voice heard, from out of the multitudes)... Answer the question! – What has He done to us, to wear us out? Go ahead and form a testimony in our favor. BUT BEFORE WE DO … remember what he has done for each of us:

Micah 6:4-5 - He brought us up out of the Land of Dual Trenches where servants never win. He gave us leadership to teach us … the Word, the Worship and the Tenderness of a Song. But O painfully remember how imitators of righteousness brought nothing but devastation to the heads of our homes, and gave us a false sense of being the masters of determining what was right and wrong, … only to find that guilt has continued to chase us from “the east to the west” - making it hard for us to see that He has put our sins from Him as far as the East is from the West.

Micah 6:6-7 – Why do we feel our pitiful sacrificial offerings get God's attention? Will God be pleased with an immense pile of bloody sacrificed livestock, and rivers of spent burning carcinogenic oil? Shall we obscenely offer our children, even our firstborn to pay for the sin of our soul? BUT DO WE DO THESE THINGS IN DIFFERENT FORMS BECAUSE WE THINK GOD EXPECTS IT, OR because we are terrified by the concept that God wants a daily passionate relationship with us that constantly keeps us in eternity's flux of the ministry of reconciliation?

This is the controversy – God doesn't want stuff, HE wants our devotion, HE wants us … and here is God's declaration of how: Micah 6:8 - “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?” Are you obedient to this three-fold glorious requirement?

HLFA,

Jeff

Miracle Crumbs

Can you picture this – An outcast, a potentially shady character, a “Lowland Lowlife” female ... approaches the King and says “My daughter needs a miracle!”. The King says nothing as his entourage urges the King to send her away, but he finally answers all... “I am here to seek out the Lost sheep of my Highland house.” She immediately falls before the King in Worship and then responds - “I need your help!”

What the King says next is disturbing BUT it was acceptable in the culture of the day ... Matthew 15:26 - “But He answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.”

Somehow I can almost sense the sleazy triumphant thoughts and stifled rude laughter of those nearby … carried by one under-girding insidious; “Boy, Jesus put her in her in place!” But He knew their biased thoughts, and He knew her longing heart, and He knew that she trusted Him.

So what seemed to be a very cold answer actually opened the avenue for faith's response. “And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table.” Matthew 15:27 … The attitude of the entourage was caught in the paralysis of this spiritual plea.

Jesus had used an abusive idiom of the day that declared that those outside of Kingdom were known as "dogs". He never once inferred that this woman was a “dog”. {The Crude and the Rude ... love to use so-called truth and absolute truth to abuse, instead of seeing it from love's vantage point}. The allegorical truth of the Word puts anyone that is not God's chosen with characteristics of "dogs on the outside". His words to this woman of Canaan (Lowlands) would reveal what had a stronger pull on her life .. public opinion and cultural barriers, or a needy and faith-filled connection to God. On top of this, her response showed "every hearing ear" that her heart was for the LORD, and she was not afraid to violate cultural barriers to get to Him.

Hear her words again ...“Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table”. Crumbs are naturally, and in her case supernaturally, for the “dog” near or under the table. "Let some crumbs fall on me". When the Children of the King of King are sitting at their table of miracles, is it an unfair expectation for the crumbs of miracles to fall to the “dogs”? In this case (much like today) miracles were a little scarce on the table of the Children, and that meant this Woman of Faith needed to go to the Master of the table. Faith knows where to get a miracle and does not see that crumbs as a disability or a disadvantage.

Some may perceive that this woman had to beg Jesus to get a miracle... and this might seem out of character with some Bible verses that we think are instant promises to instant answers. If importunity is begging then we all need to be beggars. Importunity helps us to continue to focus on the One who can and will meet our need … in His Time. We are all beggars, at some point in our lives (actually most all of mine). With the distance that appears to be there between the seen and the unseen, we are very timid in our approach to the God of the unseen.

People piously say stupid things (Duh!) like "Be careful what you ask or wish for because you might just get it" ... Jesus said "Ask (continually) and it shall be given unto you, seek (continually) and ye shall find, knock (continually) and the door shall be opened unto you." He cares too much to be controlled, like a servant, to obey our selfish barking commands. God is sovereign and nothing in this universe threatens Him to act rashly or without purpose. He is in control...for our good and His glory. God wants us to pray expecting, but He will always answer "beyond" our expectations.

The passage of scripture, Matthew 15:21-28, is one more call to Know our God, know our culture and know that our connection to Him will transcend all cultural barriers and bias. "Yes I am a dog and a beggar, but I have my place too! Let me have access to the miracle crumbs!"

HLFA,

Jeff
"NOW Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

Powerless Waste Landfill

Wow! This was one of those week of weeks. Have you ever felt like you had been targeted by the universal township supervisors to be the next human “bad news” waste land fill? So many stories of oppression and discouragement that just seemed to be dumped right on the doorstep of our hearts this week. The “roar” of the little lion was doing its best to neutralize and paralyze so many kids of the King. Idiotic governmental decisions, destructive denominational announcements, Independent Church struggles for power, families divided by vindictiveness and a lack of forgiveness, “No thought for people” decisions made by “good” companies, battles with disease, sorrow and death, “stupid” and “grotesque” news media stories to highlight even more perversion and debauchery; and all we were trying do was to get the “my stuff” done under the duress of rumors about imminent war and the annihilation of life as we know it ... For me, after two days without the WORD … this third day I was famished. THERE IS A ROOT CAUSE... KIDS OF THE KING! Please read on and LISTEN UP! Please listen … up!

There is one thing we as humans are really good at - “Taking relationships for Granted.” This is not always a bad thing, because knowing that our relationships are firm and dependable keeps us from living in constant paranoia and fear of betrayal or abandonment. Good relationships are those with healthy nurturing and two-way communication. The problem is that in an eternal relationship that lacks a nurturing connection, there can be a mirroring of wickedness causing the relationship to just grow like “grass on a roof top” - Quick superficial groweth that withers away ever so quickly, and has no value for anyone touched by the relationship. (Take a moment, please, and read Psalm 129, it is a great quick read – you will get a better understanding for the plowing of the wicked, the righteousness of God and the wasted life of wickedness).

The next portion of this moment of deliberate verbal presupposition is based upon the observations of two needs of life on this planet. The observations have been performed by one of the uncountable grains of sand on the shore, one twinkle of light in the unending universe of sky, one blade of grass amidst the immeasurable earthly harvest, one of the many unnoticed hairs on the brushes of the masses, one of the many sparrows that could fall unnoticed by human eyes, a vapor that appears for a little and then vanishes away... but still a strategic entity of His desire and a saved soul that will spend eternity with Jesus because of His work on the Cross.

Observations:
1. We need to stop pointing out all the failures within the Kingdom and mandating the solutions... Be Quiet, Be Still !!
2. We need to begin truly nurturing the ONE relationship that affects all others...Be Real, Be Hungry, Be Passionate !!

We will find that when we have spent prime time with the King of Kings, daily, that our movements about the Kingdom will have greater consequence for good, and more lasting impact for encouragement in the lives of the discouraged. For those who are not seeking power, position, and possessions... but they are SEEKING HIM, they will soon discover that all “these things” will be added unto them.

The answer to the malady of this eroding life is not better leaders, harder preaching preachers, more Biblical Teaching, righteous living people, stronger statesmen, bolder proclaimers, more wholesome media, family friendly programing (on and on) … all these things are needed and good, BUT totally powerless without the individual personal accountability of each believer to be real, hungry and passionate in their unseen relationship nurturing with their God. Matthew 14:23 - “And when He had sent the multitude away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone”. Jesus is calling us to an “alone” time with Him, and this is where real revival transformation begins.

Let God change your hearts when no one sees, and you will experience God changing your world right before your eyes. Grab your your Bible, ready your knees, open your heart … He is “All Things” that you need... Don't Take This relationship for granted, you were not made to be just another powerless waste landfill … He is waiting for you.

HLFA,
  
Jeff

"CLOSED"

Have you ever had a strong desire or hankering to do, to buy, to taste, to hear, to see, to know, to experience (on and on) ... something wonderful? This driving desire had you jump in the car, close the distance in record time, only to find that hanging on the door of your destination was a sign that said "CLOSED".

Months before our marriage and honeymoon, I had the privilege of traveling down beautiful New York RT. 3 on a 94.22 mile stretch between Watertown and Tupper Lake. The drive was filled with small quaint towns, antique shops, and beautiful eye candy everywhere. I was sold and that when Yolanda and I were married this stretch of country would be part of our honeymoon itinerary. Bonus in the trip, an awesome “Sub” Shop in Tupper Lake (Just like a man ... romance of the taste buds).

With the day of the wedding left behind in the dust of recent memories, we set set out “together as one” on our first of many memorable journeys of life. We were off on an evening drive to Buffalo, New York to see Niagara falls... in the dark? from the USA side?(can't remember much of the Hotel except it was dark and we crashed in much needed sleep)... Dawn arrived ; we had breakfast ... navigated to the Falls and silently wondered ... big water... not real pretty hmm-mm! Some one told us Canada had the better view of the Falls, so we hopped over to Canada.

There we saw the Falls … WOW! We took pictures next to horse drawn carriages - metal fences - light posts ..., looked at the falls, looked at each other, visited the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum ???? looked at each other ... then hopped in the car to get to our next destination .... beautiful Watertown, New York. In the pouring rain, on a night time highway, right past the unseen Thousand Islands we experienced miles and miles of rain, frogs and fog, frogs on windshields, frogs in the fog ... until we finally arrived at our quaint Watertown Honeymoon Motel Cabin. What an adventure and test of the endurance limit of newly-wed-ness. I assured my beautiful bride that tomorrow would be an awesome sunny day with a beautiful drive, filled with heart's delights and treasures of the soul.
 
Well it was sunny, kinda . As you would have it, the best laid plans of fragile hearted men can be foiled by the unknown events that seem to hover so close to our dreamlike expectations. These subtle events can devastate us if we allow them or they can take us to places that confirm faith. The 94.22 miles of beautiful sights, shops and pleasure, care of New York’s finest road crews, had been reduced to ripped up roads, detours around tree stumps, unending mounds of trash, towns with quaint shops with "CLOSED" signs in the windows ... we never thought it would end. "Hang on! There is still hope!"... There was still that refreshing surprise awaiting for us in the heart of Tupper Lake at the end this irritating drive (Hope had kicked in even though the 2 hour drive had turned into 4).

We pulled into a parking space not far from the Sub Shop. We were tired, hungry, and bladder full … but all that was about to change because hope was becoming sight (I had bragged-up this place for quite a few miles in hopes of mending a disappointing day). We walked up to the door, and we were just about to turn the door knob when we noticed a sign on the window … “CLOSED ON TUESDAYS”. Go fish!

In a weird way we were not too disappointed. We were still tired, still thirsty, still hungry and still in need of a restroom … but something inside us told us that we had the Gift of God, the gift of each other, and opportunities ahead because we were in God's care. Years of collisions of tears and laughter, pain and healing, disappointments and new appointments, fear and faith have worked together to firm up our resolve for the Surprise ahead. The days are still providing the weird moments BUT from the day we trusted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we have a growing and enduring hope that cannot be disappointed because it is beyond any human dreamlike expectation. We will not be disappointed.

I Corinthians 2:9 – “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” In the economy of the Kingdom, there is no “Closed” sign on the eternal appointments and promises of God. Dream big, the extravagance of our God's love far exceeds all of our dreams.

Happy Father's Day!

HLFA,

Jeff

Retreating Waters and Dancing Hills

Psalm 114:5-6 "What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? Thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs ?"

Standing under a moonlit sky and trying to strain to look unto the Heaven beyond the visible Heavens; is a pretty typical way to start a devotional thought so let's try another.

Awakened by the flashing light and sounds of the morning; I shook off the night and gazed through the slats of our wood-look bamboo blinds, I could already sense the day was getting well ahead of me. Running behind is aways an awkward and sometimes stressful place to be if we leave God out of the time equation. The clock is ticking for us all, and the path of time for each of us has us apprehended by the multitude of events that keep calling our name. At pertinent moments God gives us opportunities to recognize the entrance of His purpose-filled Hand into every aspect of our lives.

Every day we are offered options ... but let's focus on two that could potentially flow into one:
1. Chose to busy ourselves with our to-do-list, and acknowledge Him in all of our ways. OR
2. Chose to walk in the strategic - world shaping and world shaking power of Christ in us - The Hope of Glory!

As I sit here, wrestling with the next words that are being pecked out on a USB Keyboard and magically appearing on an iPad screen, my deepest desire is to - not waste this moment. My prayer behind the words in front of us is that something would stir in our soul that would change our days ahead. Please read the verse that started this "pecking production".

Psalm 114:5-6 "What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs ?"

Wouldn't it be awesome to see a miraculous crossing of the unmanageable seas and impassible river moments because the fluid forces move back, and become part of God's victory moment in our lives. Wouldn't it be awesome if both mountainous and hill like obstructive moments actually created a joyfully dance of sort before our eyes as we navigate through His desires for us. With His Presense in our lives the world becomes a victory adventure... Don't miss it - live it!

In order to answer the questions of the Psalmist that was asked of the Sea, of the Jordan, of the mountains and of the hills ... we must look at the verses surrounding these questions in Psalm 114. Let me pointedly abbreviate and devotioanlly expound upon them for the sake of time: When God's people realize that He is taking them out of a "God Disconnected" culture, and He is calling their praises to be His Sanctuary and His prevailing to be their Dominion... the life around them will be in flux and trembling. God wants to move the obstacles in front of His followers for the sake of souls held captive by the world and its pervasive culture. BUT WILL HIS PEOPLE WALK DAILY WITHIN HIS KINGDOM CULTURE?

News alert: Worldly Culture, no matter what geographic location, is never an excuse to violate God's Word. God's Word must be so alive in His people that cultural opposition has no power to stand. Let God be true and every man a liar. Get out of your pity party days and connect with daily victory through the God of all Glory. Let Jesus be your praise, and let your life shout His victory... The Obstacles of the World will shake before His presence with and in you. Shake it up!!

HLFA,

Jeff

Happy Birthday - 3 Score - June 8, 2014