The Alley

Joy - continued ...

"Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be Thou my helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness. To the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto Thee for ever. Psalm 30:10-12

He is the only One who knows exactly how to support our weaknesses and leverage our strengths to give us life within the realm of the Favor of the Kingdom. He knows that the dust of the grave is praise less, and that His rescue and life giving activities can make us strategically noisy praise makers. With thanksgiving give great and loud praises of God's Amazing Grace.

Found within the starting passage is an amazing picture of the process of restoration ... A fall is inevitable; whether because of our lack that we choose to steal unattainable needs, or because of our ease in prosperity that we become self sufficient and we steal forbidden desires. The fall for believers ends up in the same narrow alley ... Guilt and shame and a need for cleansing; so there we mourn.

This is where we cry for mercy because He is the only one that has the HELP for our predicament: No human entity can set us free from the penalty of sin's fall.Glittering, flashing and deceitfully welcoming... Always ahead of them in the path of any sojourner, there will always be a captivating choice of direction. That choice, if scrutinized in the pre-adventure, would glaringly be found to be a seditious move of rebellion; but in that faltering moment of the flesh's weakness the choice usually is found to be a release.

Once the "high" of the moment has faded and fair weather friends have all slithered away, unfortunately, the fallen sojourner finds him or herself emotionally and spiritually restrained in a very dark and dismal alley. This alley filled with scars and sordid memories can potentially swallow up it victims and leave them helpless to hope. With hope gone all that is left is "the cry" for help from the Alley.

"The Cry" for the Believing Sojourner is a "God" moment ...when the cry is turned upward and Mercy is brought in abundantly by the Helper. The Alley of constraint becomes the altar for the exchange of "sack cloth" repentance for royal robes of forgiveness ... What was meant by the hater of mankind to be a conduit of execution, now becomes the stage for Redemptions Dance of Joy.

Oh wounded heart sensing your end... end your struggle here, and trust yourself to the merciful arms of Jesus the Redeemer.

The Cry at the edge of loss finds itself with rejoicing continued in the Alley of Joy!

HLFA,

Jeff

Surprise

7:15 AM is a great time in the morning for surprises.

In a non-home city, in an unfamiliar café, I was getting a jumpstart smoothie for breakfast. I was alone just for a moment with the girl waiting on me behind the counter... when an unkempt, unclean, disheveled, (obviously derelict) young stranger strolled in and began a hyper-speed conversation with the waitress...

{To capture his rambling please read the next string of words carefully but in a hyper manner:} " Top of the morning to you... Now I am not here to hurt myself or anyone here, and I am not expecting anything, and there are no obligation on your part because I know that every situation has its limitation. I, my self, have no money but these two pennies in my hand and the emptiness of my pockets ... So do not worry about having to whip up a special order; but if there are any scraps or mistakes that you were about to throw away that could provide me with a little sugar that could give me energy to begin my day I would be much obliged." ...

(Seeing that the waitress was shaking her head side to side and looking pitifully empty-handed herself , he once again tried to put her at ease) "Again there is no obligation and I only have two cents so don't worry if you have nothing to offer... have a wonderful day"

Then turning quickly to move towards the café door, the Stranger turned in my direction ... but not to address me, but just to open a dialogue with the air? ... "Ooooh, I enjoy rubbing these two pennies together, another two and I could do stereo ...(he finished with a chuckle)" Then he fixed his Eyes on me and said as he quickly left ... "Have a great day...Don't let anything or anyone rob you of your joy!"

....What just happened? I was trying to get my wits about me, sensing his need, and wanting to get him a smoothie; but he raced off and into another café so quickly that I lost sight of him. Moving on with my day I realized that this moment provided a very valuable "2 cents" rubbed ... near by me .

Joy is an essential ingredient to sustain life ... No joy, no hope... Potentially no life. BUT Joy, real lasting Joy is directly related to our relationship with God. and it appears that joy is something that can be lost by sin and selfish choices, but it can be "heard" once again; and real joy can be restored by the LORD (Read Psalm 51: It is an epic journal of the fall and return of the heart of the king ... Based on the sins of David and his restoration journey back to God's favor).

Joyless? ... Turn from your self-sufficient struggles back to an empirical reliance upon Him.

"Make me to hear Joy and gladness, that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice." Psalm 51:1

"Restore unto me the Joy of Thy Salvation, and uphold me with Thy free spirit." Psalm 51:12

Real Joy is ... To be continued ---

HLFA,

Jeff

Misplaced Identity

The world has absolutely no lasting welcome ... for all that is in it is the wasteful desires of the flesh, the fleeting lusts of the eyes, and the deceitful pride that defends our foolish excuses for our rebellious decisions. Shine and glitter it may, and it does offer a wide gate ... but that gate opens to dwindling pleasures that end in destruction. The god of this world and his cohorts can't be bribed, know no loyalty and show no mercy when the welcome is gone. Those given to the ploys of this mirage will soon find themselves as slaves feeding off of the left over slop from the excretions left rotting of other pilgrims who have also wasted away in the lie. Love not the world.

A follower of Christ still has to live under this world's oppressive influence with its manifold beginnings, choices and voices for sin. We need to be careful and prayer full that the God Breathed Scripture is not run through the filters of understanding offered by the world, but that the world is judged by the rightly allocated Word of God. More to be desired are His words than much fine gold.

Waking up after a crazy night in drug la-la land. The seeker found himself resting next to an old bookshelf - and one book in particular caught his eye. Just the leather cover and gold edged binding was enough to capture his attention and state its Royal standing among the other books. Trying to find out what all the hubbub was concerning this Holy book, he did the only logical thing he could think of ... Flip to the end of the story. Just as the words started to spark his sluggish imagination, a religious voice of reason barged in and said "Don't waste your time with that book, the writer had sun stroke and just wrote about the crazy things he saw. Let it alone ... Just the verbs of a crazy man. The book went shut ... For years.

Another day on down the road of his journey, after a strange night tangled in the darkness of a drug induced delusion, his soul was crying for change... And there it possibly was; a man handing out pamphlets addressing those he met with " need peace and hope? Read this and you may find it!" ... he continued this line of encouragement until the man's eyes caught the seeker coming his direction. Immediately the man turned and began running and screaming. The seeker confused, chased the man for several blocks until finally almost in desperation, the man through a large handful of the "peace and hope" papers into the air. The seeker stopped his pursuit as he felt and watched the shower of pamphlets raining down around and on him. As one hit the ground in front of him, he saw that it's front cover had a picture of that book ... that holy book. Drawing a quick conclusion, that book is why the man through it away... Must be worthless dribble.

"We interrupt our worship for a special announcement...now let's enter back into worship where we left it." This statement in this mornings church service caused me to chortle a little....Truly we are a mixed up generation that has little or no understanding of the Kingdom ... "Interrupt" real worship? And Is there an announcement that is more important than worship (maybe "Jesus is here" but that would just heighten the experience) --? "Enter back where we left it"? Sorry if I get a little frustrated with the children of the Kingdom when they congregate and lodge their faith on clichés and half truths pasted together to get an AMEN -or "APERSON" (to not be gender biased...).

Lately I hear a lot of good People say that... "Jesus said and meant" things that are really pretty fuzzy and slightly bent and sometimes just way out there? Perhaps the point is to quickly Comfort or Challenge with the word, so it is taken through a "expertly educated" paper shedder of sorts and put back together in a momentary palatable fashion? We don't want to offend the listener do we?

Also, There seems to be a movement afoot to discredit and belittle those who believe that the Bible, in its entirety, is the inspired Word of God. Instead of seeking God's face for a fit, we would sooner whiteout the "mistakes". There are even versions of the Bible that annotate and leave out portions of scripture as "not in the original" -- today we ARE FAR TOO EDUCATED FOR OUR OWN GOOD and our true devotion is to self and not Him.

Why don't we all start creating our own versions of the word -- tools required: scissors, trashcan and glue... that would totally eliminate accountability to anyone but our selves... we could be gods of our own world. OKAY we still swallow the tempter's initial lure.

OK ... Now, I kind of understand why we start hacking and whacking away at scripture although not one "jot or tittle" can be removed until all is fulfilled. Let's take a peek at the author or originator of this comment - "jot or tittle" - and see why:

Matthew 5:18 - "For Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." --- Catch this chapter in its entirety - let the power of the pieces fall where they may. Do not leave your brain at the door and... throw away the scissors, trashcan and glue!

1. Don't ever discard what you disagree with or dislike about the Bible. The Law was meant to reveal the tragic disconnect and depravation of man ... With a broken and contrite heart, you will find yourself fallen and in need of a Savior -- right in the midst of the law. "The law of the LORD is perfect converting the soul."

2. Don't pick and choose what laws you now have the right to obey or to break. Jesus fulfilled the law by His death on the Cross -- not for you to have liberty to Sin, but for you to experience the Liberty of Grace. Grace does not break the Law, it lives in the fulfillment of the penalty and the Law of Love. "The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple."

3. Don't negate accountability to God by assigning scripture to someone else, some other time, or some other place. Context is important but devotion is key. "The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: "

4. Don't be afraid to not understand parts of the Bible. Many portions of scripture have a time for understanding ... and it may not be now. "the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes."

5. Don't strive to be right, your righteousness... which is Jesus... already exceeds the righteousness to the Pharisees. Trust the Lord and His Word... without apology. Explaining away or making goofy excuses for "why God said" puts you in the category of the foolish and slow to believe. "The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether."

The clarity of our Identity in Christ is found in our daily devotion to His Word. A misplaced or distorted identity is the result of alienating ourselves from the Spirit by choosing our thoughts over His.

"More to be desired are they than gold, yea, much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honey comb. Moreover by them is Thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward." Psalm 19:7-11

Then one whose heart was full of love for the Word of God and others, caught the Seeker, and through the Word ... led him to a saving knowledge of the Lover of his Soul, Jesus. There... the Seeker found his Identity. May 1973.

HLFA,

Jeff

"It is not what I think that matters, it is what He has said that matters." - The Scarlet Sinner

The Obvious and The Owl

Psalm 16:5 - "The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance (the obvious) and of my cup (the Owl) : Thou maintainest my lot (choices) ."

Distanced- Yes, they were outcasts, but they had gifts and dreams just like every other pilgrim to hit the planet... Somewhere along the journey they missed the warning signs or just thought the signs were there for anyone else but them; and then it happened - their choice was wrong, now they were marked, scarred, tarnished and deemed unworthy, not necessarily on the outside, but they truly felt that everyone could see their indelible past indiscretions.

She needed someone to come beside her and help her through this. Every gathering of sojourners that she would try to join up with for encouragement, and possible recovery, seemed to distance themselves from her. "They all just seemed to know I was there but did their best not to make eye contact." Isn't this a lot like all of us at some point in time and to some extent?

He was distanced but could not see that distance was a two way street. Too soon, the same addictions that wreaked havoc in his life in the first place were once again adding even more distance from Love's true rescue. Any personal choice, especially the embarrassingly wrong ones, carries with it a monstrous pride and a paranoid prejudice that already sets the stage for isolation and depression.

A wind of hope began to blow their way: Excitement filled their hearts when they heard of a gathering of pilgrims who were former outcasts, who welcomed all and anyone into their family of "believers" ... including searchers and recovering outcasts ... Hallelujah, finally a safe haven, or so it seemed.

They had their doubts ...but ... they forced their selves through the doors of this assembly, but not without many warm hands extending their way and friendly sincere welcomes. So they opened their eyes wide while passing into this scene; and they thought to themselves ...What a great place, and such an awesome welcome ... Fabulous atmosphere, wonderful smiles, clean and bright surroundings, and now there was a high anticipation in their hearts for real encouragement. Every thing about the moment rang true to heart ... A flicker of hope was now alive.

Fatefully the "service" drew to a close as the lights came on and the crowd raced out the door. With moving chit-chat and not a concerned eye glancing toward them, their heart once again turned downward, and painfully fell under their self inflicted defects. They were able to disappear ... they slipped out unnoticed and away back in to the darkness of the distanced life.

She found herself lurking in the shadows of a street light in a painful emotional quaking. She wanted so badly to be seen for what she was becoming, not what she was. The LORD had become the prepared portion of the sum total of her life. And her cup was lifted up and waiting for all the LORD would pour into her life, knowing that LORD had attained her full attention and was now grasping and supporting all of her decisions.

In times past ... Surely his chalice had been lifted unknowingly to be filled with the dregs of sorrow though in the beginning the supply of the world was so attractive and enticing. His desires in times past were concealed in the nocturnal branches of his predatory thinking, and these unbridled would wait in a wide eyed fashion for the right moment to stealthily swoop in to capture the target of his lust. This was no longer where his heart's desire resided...

BUT people, good people still saw them as flawed and possibly contagious.

O their ache was like so many, how to fit into the awkward culture of the assemblies who were more worried about keeping the rescuers safe than "risking all" to rescue the fallen. These assemblies though "called out" into the deep, had traded their rescue devices for comfortable leisure pool floatation devises that carried superficial printed warnings like ...."not to be used for first aid or rescue purposes."... What?

Her heart was now pleading ...
His heart was now screaming ...
"SEE ME! ... LOOK ME IN THE HEART!"
"The LORD ...is the appointed value of my life in the presence of men, and the measure of my heart's desire ... that He is filling; He is holding me securely in all of my decisions!"

Although it momentarily felt as though only the streetlight had been listening, all of eternity bowed in admiration. And the LORD spoke deeply into the pilgrim's soul ... "My beloved".

HLFA,

Jeff

PS - Hebrew word for Cup also means "Owl" --- think about it.

I LOVE YOU

Wow... Invisibility, why is it that this super power only works when we don't want it to? The Visibility button always has a defect when trying to switch to that mode because of the need to be recognized for our worth. Now visible... we are in the way, and our name is used to club us into submission. What is the use of having a name if it is only used when correction or disappointment with us falls? How can it be that our name, chosen by our loving parents, should be taken so crudely in vain?

When our name is spoken only when there are disappointments, correction, or when there is need for something that only we can provide... Doesn't that seem like our name was destined only for cursing, degradation and not for Love (possibly that is what it means to take a name in vain). We have all heard from the mouth of so many (as well as our own) when faced by those moments of fake kindness after a hateful battering, "You are only being nice to me because you want something!"

We all have stood there ... with our face to the thankless task at hand when the object of our love entered the room. They came so near that we could smell the essence of their presence. We closed our eyes hoping and imagining what it would feel like if they just stopped for that moment, wrapped their arms around us, and said the words that we all long to hear ... I LOVE YOU!

How many times do we walk right by our God as He continues the mundane task of keeping us alive without even a moments acknowledgement of thanksgiving for His constant faithfulness and His never failing love? Why can't we bring ourselves to truly say to our God ... "I Love You!"

On any star light night, look up and stand still ...In the midst of the wind of a storm, stand still ...On the shore of that great ocean between us an eternity, stop and soak in the sound...In the midst of the bustling, teeming masses of humanity ... stand...And focus for a moment on the following ... amazing statement from scripture, letting it indelibly "love tattoo" your soul:

"I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear unto me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live." Psalm 116:1,2

"I LOVE THE LORD"
- Fact: We need to let our character be molded and imprinted with a constant love communication for and to Him,
"BECAUSE HE HATH HEARD"
- Fact: His character is such that He is caused and moved to listen.
"MY VOICE"
- Fact: Out of all the myriad of sounds on this planet, there is a sweetness in knowing "my voice" - "our voice" has a place in all of the cries toward Heaven.
"And MY SUPPLICATION"
- Fact: My need - our need, for a gracious response is never misunderstood and is obviously clear.
"BECAUSE HE"
- Fact: He has not deferred my voice to another, nor my needs to an assistant.
"HAS INCLINED"
- Fact: Heaven and Earth is warped and bent to meet under the weight of His Desire for us.
"HIS EAR"
- Fact: His hearing is totally engaged in listening for our cry.
"UNTO ME"
- Fact: "Unto Me" ... as insignificant as we are in the grand scheme of eternity He desires us and looks for opportunities to answer in such a way that we know it is He who cares..
"THEREFORE I WILL CALL UPON HIM"
- Fact: I need to let my inhibitions dissolve away into unrestrained trust...as a child fearless to run to My Father.
"AS LONG AS I LIVE."
- This is LIFE... If I let go and trust God.

Because of His intense attention to our voice and our continual needs of living on this side of the veil ... because of His everlasting faithfulness ... because of who He is...
KNOW THIS,
He is caused to stretch out, even in awkward situations, to turn His ear UNTO Us; holding this knowledge near and dear to our hearts, will allow us to continually call upon Him as long as We live.

Here is my heart,
Here are my words,
Here are my groans,
Here is my silence;
Where is your ear?
Here are my thoughts,
Here are my scars,
Here are my fears,
Here are my tears;
Where are your arms?
Oh to know that You are more than near...
You are here!
I am waiting still,
Hold me.
I Love You!

HLFA,

Jeff

Cry out!

Each and everyone of us knew that we had run away with a fortune, didn't steal it... it was rightfully ours, but splurge was in our DNA. We just needed to sow our wild oats, every one does it at some point in time... right? Live it up was our mantra! (And we never meant to hurt anyone).

The most dangerous place for indelible scars would be our minds, for where the winged fortune took us to live it up... we will never live it down. The distance we traveled in the wrong direction was far greater than any of us had anticipated. It cost us way beyond the lint in our pockets, and was keeping us painfully longer than we had planned. We found ourselves in the midst of a treacherous, tempestuous sea of battles and the enemy constantly snarling in victory over our purchased scars and chains. The moldy crumbs of the bread of sorrows upon our blood stained fields have now become our daily hidden portion. And our "NEW" name which should declare victory, now seems to be inscribed in the mire of wasted time.

As these days of storm and wind beat upon our souls, we stand alone on the shore of a dark, distant, and merciless land. With our hands up-raised ... Just hoping ... Just longing ... Just desiring but denying ... the tender arms of Home that seem one step beyond our hope and miles beyond our willingness to believe.

We are a powder keg of anger and expressions of disappointment with Eternity's delayed response , and the constant "never" that explodes from our heart and through our lips -- are now our habitual negative reflexes to - "GOD WILL DELIVER US". Our crushed and wounded hearts reflex "never" with a snarl. Oh the pain added to the thought of answered prayer and fulfilled dreams... as We curse any offered encouragement when it is meant to bless us.

STOP ABUSING YOUR LIFE WITH NEGATIVE SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY - JESUS TRULY WANTS TO ACTIVELY LOVE YOU... BELIEVE!

"Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses." 107: 6, 13, 19, 28 (4x the verbs are repeated) -- heart of the content: While wedged into a very narrow, stressful, pain-filled place, the cries for help will always be imperfect but stingingly honest. Regardless...God's rescue is not based on the degree of our measured honesty, it is based on the massive goodness of our God; He is waiting and ready to execute a "snatching away" rescue at the first childlike cry.

Problem: Your ever looming enemy ...brings you face to face... with a dagger of "THE FEAR" (a fear that your heart gravitates and even cultivates) stabbing you with a hopeless and believable outcome that paralyzes you. The enemy is a formidable foe who has always tramped around in the compromised battle zones where we didn't utterly decimate this insidious and ancient giant...and his threats are loud and ring true with our fear; but his threats it do not ring true with the faithfulness of our God.

Who is our champion ... Who of our choice? Fear or God? Why do we refuse to rely on the courage that comes from Above... From our identity with Jesus? Why do we let our fragile fluctuating self confidence from within speak words of fear and failure into our days?

IF WE MUSTER UP ENOUGH COURAGE TO MOVE FORWARD, BUT PAIN RICOCHETS FAILURE BACK THROUGH OUR ACHING FRAME AND WE FALL ... We could be done!

And if we refuse to be "Spirit" encouraged, then we have nothing from Him to take steps of faith forward ... We could be done ... UNLESS "WE" ARE WILLING TO CRY OUT!

"Then they cried out UNTO the LORD in their trouble, and HE delivered them OUT OF THEIR DISTRESSES."

---I am standing here...please hold me so that I know I am held by You -- and then please fight my battle... LORD Jesus, AMEN.

HLFA,

Jeff

Crash Landing

"The plan for the days ahead seemed full of delights and promise, but something went tragically wrong. Unknown to us because our strong desire for self-satisfaction, the decision was to be one that would lead to poverty and destitution. We did not see that the decision was in direct opposition to the loving instructions of the Father. From our vantage point ... those instructions were meant for another time and another place ... definitely not applicable for today. So off we went on our fantasy filled flight ... no one warned us of the dangers of too high, too fast, too hot, too long, too much... and soon our magnificent vessel for the journey was reduced to a flaming ember heading for a crash landing right in the middle of the garbage dump of failed expectations... right in the middle of the Kingdom.

When we had finally been dragged from the catastrophe by a few reluctant rescuers - all condemning eyes were upon us, all hearts were hardened against us, and the door of love's opportunity was slammed in our face. We found ourselves on the other end of holiness ... we were now abhorred as unclean, set apart for shameful reproach, and holiness was a flaming sword being swung mercilessly in our direction. " Exerts from The Scarlet Sinner.

There is an amazing thing that God has provided for the entire world of "whosoever believeth" ... rescue from eternal damnation and a secure Home forever in among His Beloved. For each passenger of this flight of faith there seems to be the same promise but with it there is a paradox of "we are not there yet" and "I will fall, but He is with me." Sorry no perfectly smooth landing into the Kingdom, and every landing on this promise of faith will have repercussions. Have you ever pondered this thought? Could we state it this way ... that all of the landings in the Kingdom are crash landings?

The place where the temporal and eternal collide will be a catastrophic event. The repercussions in the world shaped by this event are weighed by the amount of shrapnel that explodes and flies upon the impact, and the "fame" or influence of the occupants involved. We have heard wishes for salvation for famous individuals throughout the years, "Oh, if only he or she were to get saved... can you imagine the amount of lives that would be affected for the glory of God." (Our prayers for all should be with fervent desire for their rescue from the penalty of sin, Hell Fire; other than that end to prayer ... we have no concept of the effect of anyone's crash landing).

There is a big flaw in this thinking that "fame saved" is the hope ... It is earthy and doesn't even consider the power of this Kingdom Upside down. God's Kingdom is where prideful personal fame is a spiritual handicap and a potential hindrance to kingdom influence; and the realized needs and humble gifts of servants are the keys to powerful spiritual leadership. Every man no matter the status, in God's eyes stands naked, wretched and lost until the crash landing takes place. Every man should be the target for the actions of real holiness not just a few.

"I am sorry for my sin. I am truly sorry for the pain it may have caused others." We have heard and even said these words at some point throughout our short journey on this planet, usually right after our crash landings. Fact though, we are rarely aware of the handicap and ineptness that the "crash" has infused into our lives. We know forgiveness "from above" because we always live in it (though we may not acknowledge it), but our ongoing conflict is how to allow the adequacy of the Grace of God to become the abundant help for our inadequate and powerless existence among the throngs of crashing humanity. How do we emulate true holiness? (now there is a word that can incite emotions)

Here is the challenge from scripture that you have heard leveled at us all from pulpits of frustration, rather than from the nursery of tender care: "But as He which called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy." I Peter 1:15,16 ... AND the dire shame is that holiness has become a club that people join to beat others across the head. ("I have a notion to join a club and beat you over the head with it!" Groucho Marx)

Here is a devotional dive into this scripture to give you a better view of HOLINESS.
"He who has called you - to name you; and has called you - by that Name... to be the bearer of that Name, is most sacred and set apart in His fostering and cherishing of His pure, warm, and tender care of you. Turn the world upside down by placing yourself as He would ... in the midst, in between, amidst ... and being sacred in your offering of tender care in all that you do... turning yourself back even to those who have no care for you.... HOLINESS."

True power comes from Holy Kingdom Leadership when believers enter the fragile garden of abandonment that was faced by Jesus and worship from brokenness. Take a moment and Read Psalm 89: 1 -37 , stop reading and praise God for His amazing secure provisions provided to His children via the One Beloved. NOW begin prayerfully reading Psalm 89: 38 - 51 ... feel the brokenness, the disconnect, the rejection, the abandonment, the disappointment, the cry, the plea, the hopelessness, ... there is no verbal "I love you!", no expressed "thank you!" , there is no "you are beautiful!", no "you are important!" ... there is only 14 verses of Questioning if God even cares if we live or die. Now comes the strangest verse to finish up this heartache: "Blessed be the LORD for ever-more. Amen and Amen." Psalm 89:52

He is in the crash site ... to offer tender care ... what about you?

HLFA,

Jeff

The Dark War

The unimaginable happened, his guard was down and he was overtaken by a fault and captured by the enemy. The Scarlet Sinner's heart rate began to race and sweet began to bead up on his brow... as the questions began to probe deeper and deeper and deeper in to the darkness of the warrior's subconscious ... he could only reveal the truth."

"With these tells, the enemy knew that he was close to cracking into the deepest secrets and that he would soon expose the treason and the hypocrisy of this fragile fake ... "It can't be!", screamed the enemy, "The deeper we probe the more we expose ... loyalty, truth, compassion and love." "It is like we are uncovering someone else's heart and mind!"

"Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple (ee-shone) of thine eye." Proverbs 7:2

"In the twilight, in the evening, in the black (ee-shone) and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire on an harlot, and still of heart." Proverbs 7:9,10

"Keeping and Hiding the Word in our hearts" is the simple but eternally effective guard for our lives. It allows us to keep and to be kept fully alive as we position our hearts and mind to royally welcome the Watchman of the Word deep into our darkness and deep secrets. Hiding the Word so deep that there is no uncovering of any ulterior motive or underlying purpose other than God's Word kept in hiding.

Verse 2 of Proverbs 7 opens to me an imperative direction for us to focus or meditate: We are to guard with continued observance ...the clear commands of God, and hide so as to conceal them from discovery... treat the laws of the Word as precious - the "Apple of my Eye" -

We have all possibly heard this term used as an expression of endearment and just thought of it as a way to express the precious nature of one that is loved as "The apple of mine eye" ... and we smiled a love smile and went on. This term has so much more to do with a foundational focus for life than we may perceive.

The apple, "ee-shone" in the Hebrew is described as the "dark center" of the eye or the pupil, the deepest part to gaze into, darkest or blackest part of midnight ... O we should want the LORD to so saturate our lives that the deepest darkest place is still adorned with the Word.

Please Lord, I know I will never be impervious to the temptations around me, and I will be over taken in a fault... but let that temptation be met with a deep, dark satisfaction with your Word that makes no room for sin.

Notes from the interrogator:"Though we peered long through the deepest and darkest window into his soul, wewere astonished to find only the images of an ancient torture site, and our suspect bowed over on his knees and weeping uncontrollably before whoever had died there. At this juncture of the interrogation, we deem it unnecessary to pursue guilt any longer. For the deeper we probe the closer he draws to whatever power that has drawn him to that place of suffering."

In my darkest moments, He will find me ... for I am the apple of His eye.

HLFA,

Jeff

Kingdom Power Disconnect

Every generation's "modern culture" has always taught ...that the right ingredients bring success... Not necessarily true. The measure of cultural success is too temporal and fleeting, for it is founded on the slanted valuation of the momentary results. Simply put ... There is no magic "one size fits all" recipe that guaranties success; But in every endeavor ...be faithful to God, no matter what the promotion or disappointment ... because every promotion and every disappointment has a divine purpose and an eternally vested potential that allows you to walk closer to Him.

The seeds of true success are found in the "note worthy" responses of the Participants of Life ... to opportunities, victories, adversities and defeats via an upward focused "Fresh Song" and "Replenished Exultation" that come forth from the heart focused on the LORD.

"Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and His praise in the congregation of the saints." Psalm 149:1

There is a sweet songstress of the "soul set free" that daily (when the heart is set on things Above) finds a new song that will carry the weary pilgrim through one more day of the journey. Fresh oil, pure water, heavenly bread, and a fresh song is there daily for those who seek replenishment. Much like the Manna of old ... It needs to be gathered everyday ... for yesterday's supply is now old and spoiled. This is why it is so important to rely on the great faithfulness of God, whose "mercies are NEW every morning".

Don't miss this next passage of Scripture ... Don't shove it to the side of our minds as "already heard" or "we already know that" ...Because I bet we can find a gem for the beholding if we let His Spirit speak to us: "Let Israel rejoice in Him that made him, let the children of Zion be joyful in their King." Now, with the top layers of the normally seen scripture scraped aside here is what we have (prayerfully read this to understand): "Let those that are in the places where "God Prevails", intensely and purposely rejoice in their Maker; let the offspring of the "parched place where there is no water" be glad in their King". Psalm 149:2.

When in the places where you are excited because you sense the blessing of "success", don't allow a false pride in your accomplishment to take control, focus your rejoicing on the Designer of the Moment, not the temporal rewards of the "blip" on eternity's timeline.

Do you have success and abundance? Rejoice in Him!

When in that pit of despair where there "is no water" "where there is no standing", where there is only the bitter dregs of earthly pain and sorrow ... Be Glad in the Captain of your promised deliverance ... Don't blame and curse Him for the adversity ... Praise Him, be joyful in your King!

Are you facing disadvantages and despair? Be full of His joy!

Take some time to meditate on Psalm 149 and 150 ... You will find that our greatest weapons in the warfare of the soul is the Praise on our lips and the "Two edged sword" in our hand. Both should be always in readiness for personal praise and testimony: always unsheathed for personal surgery, always praying for mercy's preemptive assaults, and ever creating a visual that puts fear in trembling into the hearts of the enemy ... while providing both deliverance and judgment of His people.

Victory does not come by accident. It is the result of the causative and reflexive cooperation between Almighty God and the receptive fragile human. When in intimate harmony the "New Song" thwarts the enemy's damnable devices.

- She was not afraid nor angry with her life threatening affliction, she saw it as a friend that would take her to her Eternal Home with her lover, Jesus. Her end of life praise rattled loose the chains of the prisoners that served her and presented them "free" before their God. O how she loved Jesus!

- He carried the emotional scars of a chemical imbalance and the mistrust of his family, and friends, but in the end when his affliction would once again threaten carry him away from those he loved, his prayer and praise shocked the enemy as he bowed his head in the joy of having no physical way to ever leave again. O how he loved Jesus.

- Such embittered and tortured souls, so many friends had prayed for them throughout the years and now Cancer captured and began destroying their bodies. As believers began to pray for bodily healing, another miracle took place, such a Heavenly sweetness that was not seen in them before beset them and engulfed them. Many were disappointed when they were not delivered from physical death ... But those who discerned the real miracle knew that the enemy had no final claim on their souls and that they were ushered into glory "brand new"... O how they love Jesus.

Standing in the glory of victory - Rejoice in Him!
Bowing under embarrassing defeat and intimate shame - Be joyful in Him!

Praising God for "all things" runs contrary to the human condition, it confounds the enemy, and carries the power for immense deliverance. Praise the LORD!

"Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD. " Psalm 149: 6-9

As strange as it may sound ... This is where the real power is employed and experienced in the Kingdom to render the enemy helpless as the captives are set free.
Praise the LORD!

HLFA,

Jeff

PS: Whining and Complaining (which is the sad song of the day) renders God's people helpless before the already conquered enemy. Is it any wonder why our age is not seeing the miracles of God?

Dark Horn Rim Glasses

Note from the typical day: Although there is a plan in the heart of God's kids to bless, the adornment and actions of the world is set to discourage the act of blessing as quickly as possible. The last thing that the adversary (the god of this world) wants is mutual admiration and encouragement flowing in all directions from the Kingdom. The roaring lion is seeking whom he may devour ... Startle Royalty with discouragement and you have them most of the way to the boneyard. Be very aware of this concept!

While he had his dark horn rim glasses on and he strutted his earth suit, no one suspected the ultimate power that lay within. The hardest thing for him was the constraint of revealing his power during those disguised moments. When dealing with the flaws and frustrations of the teeming masses around him, he ached within himself over the needs he could not meet during the undercover moments. The fragile veil between his two identities seemed to be the source of greatest personal conflict. "To be or Not to be!" Not a problem unless you are the one they call out for help, and you are limited because you are a comic book hero.

"Let us therefore come without ambiguity and with fearless confidence ... before we are disadvantaged by sin ...Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that may lay hold of mercy and discover for ourselves ... The God Cry for help... "Grace" the God helper, in an opportune time of need." Hebrews 4:16

"If only you had been here!" What a sad exclamation of the view perception that was tangled between the identities. The fame of the man with the earth suit disguise spread far and wide. Meeting him face to face with his human veil drawn caused doubt and disbelief. With his "God-side" veiled, the thought of him as a cosmic hero was so far removed from thought that it didn't even cross the minds of those he rubbed elbows with day after day.

The greatest seat of doubt was found in those that thought of him as a close friend or family."Isn't this Joe and Mary's kid?" The step Dad and Mother were always a great cover when there was a slip in his dual identity. At the same time this was a horrendous stumbling block when help was truly needed from above. His family could not see that eternity was standing right in front of their eyes.

So far ... we are removed... by history from the Biblical events that we could fall right into doubts dead end. Let's remove the horn rim glasses. Does praying secure the "sure thing"? Does coming to the Throne of Grace Guaranty the perfect "thing" that we are trying to reach out and take for our advantage?

Prayer gives us an opportunity for the "God Cry"... And Prayer Guaranties a hearing with the Grace Help or Helper, who said "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" when covetousness would all but overcome us.

Pray "that we may" - that little phrase is a night light type of reminder that the only thing fragile in this eternal relationship is us. It is our nature to feel that we are held captive by time. It is these easily damaged bodies that won't allow us to see past the pain. It is our scarred memory grid that hesitates to pray with fearless confidence because we are looking at outcomes through every wind of fear that has blown our way. It is because of our flaws that His love reaches right through the fog to rescue us regardless of our inability to trust.

Regardless of what may hold you back ... Don't reason, don't justify, don't discuss ... Shut up ... and Let us pray!!

And he heard the cry, took off his black horn rim glasses and fell to his knees with a God Cry for the Grace Helper so that he could be loved by his Creator. What glorious real life beginning to a comic book hero. 

HLFA,

Jeff