Alien Decisions

There was a loud smashing sound of a windscreen, and then all was still. The next thing I knew, two very strange uniformed aliens were leaning into the "now open" cockpit of my transport vehicle and were questioning me, "You all right?". I lifted my hand up to the right side of my head only to pull it away moistened by the oozing of blood flowing from a gash just above my right ear.

One of the aliens seeing this sat quickly to the ground with his head in his hands, the other tried his best to keep talking with me as if I was in grave danger of leaving the planet. (All I was trying to do was go for an interview at UnPaServices ... and this incident had to be some sort of cruel turn of events, some sort of crass experiment, a trial and a proving to stretch me beyond my experience.) I did fall back into the darkness only to awake in a small dimly lit room with my head bound in a strange turban-like wrap. And ... now there were three uniformed aliens speaking as if I wasn't there - trying to determine my fate: "What are we going to do with him?".

I was released the same evening into the custody of a friend. Although, I was leaving the WindSwept City ... I was jobless, near mortally wounded and my transport vehicle had to be left behind at the mercy of the uniformed Aliens. As for my future, I now had to face the music of those who were depending on my provision. Oh if only I could fly away... Today I can look back on this event and see how strategic it was to lead me to where I am today.

Psalm 139: 9,10 - "If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me and Thy right hand shall hold me."

Pain, loss, and sickness can be very isolating events. Did you ever notice that we try to avoid sharing in the pain of others? Why? Reflexively, we may not want others to be around us when we face traumatic events of life? Why? There is distance created with pain, loss and illness that seems to scatter broken love in so many directions the participants of the intersection don't quite know where to turn, what to say, or what to do. {Remember the followers of Christ during and after the Crucifixion? ... the dimensions of separation were devastatingly amazing}.

Listen to Psalm 139 verse 9 from THIS imagination vantage point: "Oh no, here comes the dawn! I will run as fast as I can to find the border of this blanket of light and pull it over me. If that doesn't hide my pain, I will race across the sea and dive into the depths of its darkness so no one sees me as I am" ... OR ... "If I could lift up the darkness long enough to slip under the edges of the dawn along the uttermost boarders of the bottomless and endless sea to hide my invalid existence while caught in this cruel experiment."

Verse 10 reveals the reality of GOD WITH US in the events that make us want to run and hide: "Still I would find your protective hand leading my every step, and the faithful strength of your right hand holding me secure." "God, You never leave Your kids, You never abandon them even when they seek their own abandonment."

The soul of man has the innate ability, because of the Fall, to imagine overwhelmingly negative and toxic things if given the chance. For so many times, in our moments of fear and pain, we want to escape in such a way that hopefully everyone one would search for us, but we seem to coddle the fear that no one would miss us or care that we are gone. Admit it ...if we have not had this moment of disappointment in our lives, we will. But in that moment ... that moment tempting us to give up ... we need strong truth from our God to sustain us.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (An expanded translation) "The temptation, the event that feels like a cruel experiment to prove and test us; though attempting to completely conquer us, this unnerving experience is common occurrence among all mankind. BUT GOD ... is complete in His faithfulness to us in those seemingly cruel experimental moments, HE WILL NOT PUSH US BEYOND OUR momentary POWER TO SUSTAIN ... because with the moment of testing HE WILL PROVIDE an egress, a way out, an exit that we will be strengthened to bear up under the event and carry it strategically into our future."

God loves us so much that our pain and suffering, though common to men, ... is a portal to our greater potential to know him more intimately and to be loved by Him more openly in the future. OH How He loves you and me. He is leading and holding ... He is our Egress (No matter what the Aliens in the dimly lit room decide to do with us.)

HLFA,

Jeff

Seve Minutes - Where is the Servant?

Seven minutes with the morning news ... was enough to send me surfing to find relief? Then it dawned on me, the power button works quite well. I leaned back and took a deep breath. What can one person do to change the tide of evil on this planet? Where can one voice be found to have its greatest advantage to do the most good? Where is the servant? What is the servants heart not treated with great valuation?
   
"Behold my SERVANT, whom I have chosen: my Beloved in whom my soul is well pleased; I will put my Spirit upon Him, and He shall show judgment to the Nations." Matthew 12:18

The Media is really good at depicting the leader as a "boisterous, take charge at the top" kind of individual; and we buy into this worldly picture of strong leadership. A man with the fortitude to stand out, and the courage to "shout out" is the one to follow (even if he doesn't really care about anyone other than himself), right? The one who makes the most noise gets the most camera time and therefore ... he must be an effective leader? Once again, Why is the servant pictured as the wimp and the loser?

"He shall not strive (engage in strife), nor cry (raise the volume of his opinion), neither shall any man hear (there is an inability to truly hear) his voice in the streets." Matthew 12:19

How many opportunities are there at the top? At the top there are very few peers, but plenty of critics. At the top there can be a multitude of pretend followers just waiting for "a fall" to be ready to snatch up the former leader's position. So many "so called" leaders seem way to eager to step on as many followers as they can to march their way up the ladder of success. One sided networking is owned by this type of leader, and many wounded informants are left to flounder and struggle along the way.

The Mantra of these leaders could have sound bites like this: "Get what you can from everyone you can." "Ignore, those who have nothing to offer." "Quarantine the lame, the maimed, the halt, and the blind they are in the way of true success." "Anyone that stumbles and falls move them and their personal embarrassment to the roadside where they can be cared for by the uniformed, servant, good Samaritan". Why is the servant labeled as uninformed, foolish, and a potential waste of resources?

"A bruised reed shall He not break, and a smoking flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory." Matthew 12:20

"We don't have time to train people, we are not a rehab, we just hire right!" was blurted out by a "Boss" who soon lost his position. "We are not in the business of coddling and comforting the feeble, we are here to raise up an army of Victorious Warriors." echoing off of the rafters of an almost empty church auditorium.

The secret to lasting success is found in the "Heart of The Servant". As a servant, upward will be the naturally rewarded direction for movement, though moving up is not his goal. His movement forward will be purposeful and will continue to be an endeavor of helping and building others. This servant drive will earn him influence and trust. Jesus' words ... "Greatest is the servant" were not just a flippant suggestion, but a royal mandate with growing temporal and eternal reward. Good servants build great trust.

"And in His Name shall the nations trust." Matthew 12:21

O the forward movement of our lives... when fashioned in servanthood: love becomes the ulterior motive, grace is the rule for response, and others are of greater value than our personal achievement. You may say ... "what good did servant-ship do for Jesus, He found Himself crucified on a cruel Roman cross!" BUT my friend, forget not that you are the reason for His sacrifice, AND that after the third day He also found himself outside of an empty tomb...Fully Alive with full power to redeem all who will call upon Him.

Trust the Sacrifice of God's SERVANT ... trust the pattern He left for us ... and live fully engaged in a life spent in service for Christ to others. Hear the voice of the Servant: "Not my will, but Thine be done!"

HLFA,

Jeff

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the LORD, and not unto men; Knowing that of the LORD ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the LORD Christ." Col. 3:23,24

Here Kitty-Kitty!

Those eyes staring at me were so mysteriously beautiful. The colors and texture of the fur appeared inviting and cozy; and patterned to catch the eye, no doubt. Maybe if I lovingly and quietly accept this beast into my life there will be peace? O the beauty of the Lion in the wild! "Here kitty kitty!", may invite the big cat to lunch, but in the process of the invitation fulfillment, we will probably be found on the menu.

I am sorry to have to state of the obvious, but I must -- there will always be an "us" and "them" until we feel the full affects of the angelic proclamation,  "that there should be time no longer!"
(Revelation 10:6). Until Eternity is ushered in, there will always be conflict not communion between light and darkness. They can't occupy the same space without the darkness being banned to the shadows or the light being challenged for more wattage.

 There is a continual tension between righteousness and unrighteousness, trying to agree to disagree will not "cut it" especially with such stark irreconcilable differences. There are rewards for obedience and penalties for disobedience; and they are not the same (Duh!) What peace is there between Christ and Satan? There is no peace pact with an enemy who will not settle for anything less than mankind's total annihilation.

Just wishing away the conflict, denying it or declaring it not there, coaching it away or reasoning it away is absurd. So many are still looking for the easy way out. If it is not enough to have truth and error standing toe to toe in opposition, we add pressure to the conflict by choosing convenient truth. The easy way out for believers may come in the form of embracing an easy to swallow, lopsided revelation that declares truth that the natural heart can find agreeable and feel good about. Although, this "feel good" fallacy may appear to ease the conflict here, subduing the inconvenient and uncomfortable truths will create a conflict with the Author of Truth.

Sin is man's malady, Death and Hell is Sin's penalty ... Sin must be confessed as oppressive to man, appalling to God, but paid for by Christ's blood via His death on the cross. Here comes the rub - "He that believes on the Son has everlasting life, but he that believes not on the Son God shall not see life but the wrath of God abides on him." John 3:36.

Man is a SINNER, UNGODLY, LOST, AN ENEMY, WITHOUT STRENGTH, at enmity with God ... and he remains that way without a faith reception of Jesus. We may believe what we want. We have the choice ... we stand in a decision ... we either are His by Faith or we are not. If we are not trusting Him for our eternity... we are the opposition. Choosing the Message of the Cross is not a convenient truth but it is the only way to Heaven.

"When I in stealth, crept unaware into the study of man ... I opened his book of faith and found blottings, missing pages, and holes. What I had found is that he had created his own faith and declared his own word. ... here Kitty, Kitty! ... guess who's becoming dinner.

Are we afraid that if everything is not OK that we are not OK? Hey wake up! We are not OK; and that is alright if we belong to Jesus. ... Resolve to make peace with God through faith in Christ; and live engaged in the conflict until the grace of God sees you through.

HLFA

Jeff

Psalm 139:10 - "Even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me."

There Once Was A Man

"There once was a man"... does that catch your interest? Probably not, unless you are trusting there will be more to the story, bored to death, or just reading to read. BUT herein lies the problem with faith...because this is where our thinking is anchored. "In the beginning ... ME" .

We think, we taste, we touch, we smell, we see, we hear, we feel and therefore we must conquer, we must win! NEWSFLASH - Just like a tether ball attached to the top of its "cemented into the ground" pole, we will continue to be contented with the game until someone stronger and taller joins the game and/or the cord breaks. When this happens the game is out of our control --"out of control!"

"If only you had more faith you would have won the game!"--- this despicable lie always oozes out of the riffs of a damaged moment in the lives of so many of the faithful. Scriptural cliches start flying to back this lie, and the truth that could encourage very quickly becomes a "Cat o' nine tails" in the hands of those well meaning souls who have not been caught "yet" in an out of control moment (or feel their deliverance was exemplary of true Godliness.) Watch it!

"If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed you can move mountains". .... The mountain does not move.
"Without faith it is impossible for you to please God". .... God must not be pleased with me.
"Have faith, believe and your prayers will be answered." ... My prayers aren't being answered , my weak faith probably makes God not to care.
"Ask in faith and you shall receive". ... I pray for what? I never receive.
"God will answer the effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man (woman or child)." ... Maybe God doesn't hear me because I'm not His.
(Scarey responses but On the mountain top it is easy to say "amen" to these insufficient truths, but they seem so wrong and hollow when we are in the valley).

So much truth but unfinished, unqualified and thus potentially abusive. Hey "Instant Mashed potato faith" spiritual leaders ... get your head out of your instant cure, flesh motivational, easy fix suggestions and realize that relationships with men and God are a rewarding, but many times, are a painstaking task. The task on this side of Heaven will have us standing at times with no answers, no words, rolling tears .. BUT we will know Him more intimately in these times, because these are the moments we will find "HE IS NEAR!"

So why do the the kids of the King -- stay broken, sick, troubled, unstable, afflicted, addicted, bound, discouraged, and defeated? Why ..Even though many of us pray ... there seems to be little miraculous deliverance? Why in the midst of worldly and even great Kingdom success does a Godly leader choose sin instead of righteousness? Why ...Though many pour out their hearts ... the sin and suffering still takes its toll, and disgrace and death still whisk away loved ones?

Careful, do not respond too quickly to this ... This is where so many that are already wounded, are slain by their brothers and sisters. This is where so many are aborted and abandoned because their suffering does not fit the bill for someone elses definition of faith. Only God knows best the seasons and reasons for pain and for healing - "Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He will strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord" Psalm 27:14

Micah 6:8 (The prophet's words stand in the midst of the Godly and unGodly efforts of men as a testament to a daily attitude to help us keep balance) "He hath shewed 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?" There is a strange little "?" at the end of this passage ...careful.

Here is the essence of victory over the controversy, the victory that overcomes the world: Faith in Christ - Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth." ... Revelation 22:21 "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." Faith that spoke worlds into existence: was born of a virgin, lived among men, died for our Sins, arose from the grave, is alive forevermore, and is coming again ... and because of Him and Him alone ... "Out of Control" is in His Control.

Therefore walk with Him, wait on Him, and grow in His love.

There once was a man ... who walked humbly with his God. Genesis 5:24 - "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." O the cliches that flew that day.

HLFA

Jeff

Affliction - Damaged PGS

Psalm 119:67 - "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now I have kept Thy Word."

 As a youth I was always prone to wander and try to violate the obvious laws of the planet to test the boundaries that were rumored to be set for me. Jumping off of a roof, falling out of a tree, or crashing my bike ... after what looked like attempts to fly... all earned me story scars and painful memories that have been embellished in an attempt to laugh them off today. Each of the events to go astray, little by little, taught me to respect gravity (as my scars would remind me). Each of the events altered my life and some even damaged and handicapped me.

The thing about these events that is a little haunting, they will either lead to fools wisdom or God's wisdom. The difference between foolishness and wisdom is lodged in the choice of foundational truths that we embrace as we develop our life experience guidance system. Without a personally embraced guidance system in the days of my youth, there would continue to be descending screams flying off of roof tops, broken tree top reminders, and a menagerie of useless bike parts strewn across the countryside all in the name of "I was just having fun!". Even my family's Sunday spiritual trips following city, country or cobblestone roads would only add mystery to my wanderlust but not call for "change" of directional systems.

The call for change of directional systems came. In a May of of my life at the end of my teens; I was not altered by a catastrophic event, but my life was radically altered forever by the Presentation and Embracing of a personal guidance system that was Beyond my sighted belief. This personal guidance system (to some would seem as blind as flying in a storm without instrumentation) took over, and I found myself with immediate and growing clarity about the direction of life. Surprisingly, this guidance system was offered to me by another so much like me (full of scars and flaws), that immediately those scars and flaws of another spoke and opened a reception that began the re-direction of my life. My eyes were now off of me, and redirected with a "New Breath" , "New Life" responsibility for others.

 BIG LIT ROAD-SIGN: "BEFORE AND AFTER". There was a "Before" in my life. That "Before" carried with it all the afflictions, all the humiliation, all the bruising , and all the scarring that would be consequentially acquired on the path I chose to travel because of my gnawing desire to test the boundaries and taste the forbidden. This "Before" was guised in "My Way" or "this is just the way that I am". This was the fool's personal guidance system; BUT "After" the responsive hearing of the Word of Truth, all my scars were brought into safe keeping for my good and His Glory.

The Truth purposefully placed my life into Eternity's Joint Venture. God's Personal Guidance System, provided for by the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, pushed a big reset button in my life and had now set me free from "my way".

God's Personal Guidance System can be updated daily with no additional service fees other than the time invested for the update. The amazing thing is that a love "recharge" takes place upon every update. In time, these updates bring the past into a purposeful positioning; even our self inflicted scars are transformed into viable bridges of presentation used of God in the rescue of others.

O the beautiful light of His love that guides and shines through the scars of a willing Soul to bring personal guidance to a lost and afflicted Soul ... be willing, Let His Love Shine through you!

Isaiah 58:10 - "And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as noonday."

HLFA,

Jeff

Zillions

On another note: Have you seen them lately? The "two great lights"; ( the sun, "the greater light to rule the day", and the moon, "the lesser light to rule the night") they have done there jobs to light the day and brighten night though not always fully visible. Even more out-of-sight this week has been the "also lights". The clouds, that kept rolling throughout all the areas of our travels this week, veiled the "also lights" so effectively, that they were rarely on display. You know what I am talking about! The lights called the stars ..."He made the stars also". Gen. 1:16
 
Even though the night was filled with clouds, I kept looking for the stars ... I knew they were there. I love to gaze at the movement of heavens when seen... the clouds by day and the stars by night. Just as I was about to miss them completely, a friend on Facebook sent me a link to a NASA photo/video of the Andromeda Galaxy ... took a peek at it, and it created an inspiration to humble myself within those amazing Everlasting Arms again ... thank-you my friend!
 
Here are two thoughts, take either and run to Him.
1. A simple thought (but you still have to think)--- Psalm 8: 3-4 - "When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visit him?" What a statement of awe by the Psalmist, no doubt, standing under a cloudless sky with his sheep bedded down for the night... you can almost hear him say, "OH ..... my God ... your amazing creation ...overwhelms my soul ... just for me ... but who am I?" As one that adored the Holy, His exclamations and questions only took him deeper in awe and in love with his God.
 
How can He be interested in me? What kind of God can display all this Glory and still decorate flowers, watch sparrows fall and counting hairs coming loose? The answer is simple to little ones ... "He watches over me in love!" Something awesome and overwhelming will usually cause a child to run to the safety of the arms of their parent. What about you? Is your reflex to run to Jesus? ...Run!!
 
{Note: The Psalmist would not be dumbfounded by statements of millions of years ago, zillions of miles of distance or a relic being touted as millions of years old. He knew his mark on History and where He stood with his God. A God that has no time and no space limitations can easily "create with age" to proclaim His investment in our need for Love's awe. These "millions and zillions" can also be a stumbling block/stepping stone to those who want an "out"... because their desire to not be under the Rule and care of LORD Jesus Christ who loved them first. Amazingly he gave us the choice of the direction to run.}
 
2. A more complex thought (even though you may be thinking it could twist you a little) --- Take the millions, billions, trillions, quadrillions, quintillions, and the zillions of multipliers that could be applied to estimate the amount of stars and galaxies that could be in the universe; multiply it by the speculative 186,000 miles per second of pulsating light that makes us aware of the presense of these celestial entities; times all the theoretical fuzzy math calculations to determine distance "from" and "to" and considering the total forward and/or backward moving mass in the heavens that could be related to the "also lights" - the stars; ... (Got it? -- IT IS BIG NUMBER THAT COULD BUY YOU A GRAND MOMENT ON A GAME SHOW - PURE TRIVIA) --- NOW with your mind's eye -- watch as this massive light-veil of the night, bulges for a split second and then rips apart as the cruel cross of the Creator comes flying out of nowhwere, penetrates the veil, and races through space and time to post itself on this God Forsaking Planet (God has not forsaken us but the hearts of so many men live forsaking Him). For just a few seemingly insignificant moments in the grand scheme of a fallen planet and of the rebellious heart of men ---salvation is purchased -
 
"It is Finished!". Watch as God allows His earth suit to be beaten, thorned, torn and marred beyond recognition as His blood is shed, His Heart is broken and His life is poured out for all mankind. So many will stand almost worshipping His creation with great awe and admiration; but will scoff at the thought that the Cross of Christ by faith is the only way to the Heart of the Creator."
 
"It is Finished!". Now listen intently - "There is no other Name other than "Jesus" by which WE MUST BE SAVED" Acts 4:12. All other names offer a "whatever" ! Faith in Jesus is an imperative response to His call to "come unto Me!" His violent death proved this is not an event to be taken lightly. This is an overwhelming and constraining cross-road, and we must choose our direction. It would be best for us that we respond like a child, for if so we will run toward the Savior in willing trust, not away from Him in decisive unbelief.
 
More to be desired than all the knowledge of the universe -- is the desperate, and unheeded, need to know The Speech, The Voice, The Words of the Creator of all. And in hearing ... believing; and in believing ... knowing; and in knowing Him, we can live "abundantly" as He promised in His Word. You may say ... "I cannot Believe!", but are you really saying "I will not believe!" or "I don't want to believe because I know better!? My heart cries to you -- whether you can't or won't; please change your mind and come to Jesus ...now while you still have breath!
 
Psalm 19:1-3 - "The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard." There is no real lasting communication where the Voice of Eternity is refused to be heard. LISTEN!
 
HLFA,
 
Jeff

Glance Carriers

Philippians 2:1,2 - "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill ye my joy that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." --- "Let This mind be in you!"

He landed in a strange vessel that caught the entire world, that He had created, completely off guard. "Born of a virgin": His earth suit was provided by a teenage mother; and "Emmanuel, God with us": He was donned with full vestige of all the power of Eternity (with constant connection) provided by his Heavenly Father ... "yet He took on the form of a servant". ... "YET HE TOOK ON THE FORM OF A SERVANT???" {repetition is always for emphasis}

As He walked among fallen men, He was almost invisible except for His trail of love. As He passed by ... the eyes of man, woman, and child would look with a steadfast gaze in hopes that He would turn and gaze on them. This desire of mankind to gaze toward God was not in their nature ... His first glance, His first love would spark the consequential desire of the world to capture His glance, His smile...His favor. We would look His way only because He was looking ours. We would have the opportunity to love Him only because He loved us first. His glance would change everything forever. Those who were willing to believe would gain an everlasting, intimate connection that He would secure, forever.

Would His glance truly change all that He would look upon? Has His glance changed you? Has the world around you come into focus in such a way that people really matter; and does it bother you that some around you may be ignoring or have rejected His glance? His glance is still opening opportunities for mankind to rise from the "death-life" of sin and be born again unto eternal life by Faith in Him, Christ Jesus. But there has been a strange mysterious handoff or sharing of His Glance. "Then said Jesus to them (His Followers) again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." John 20:21  Are you connected to Christ? Your glance now matters!

Jesus was sent out from the Father to set things aright by becoming the Way, the ONLY Way for mankind to return to the Father. The only provision for mankind's welcome home was the effectual result of His satisfactory payment for sin on the cross ... Although the cross of Christ has become an incident of curiosity, a historical moment of disdain, a relic of admiration, and often a topic of misinterpretation and argumental discussion; ultimately, to those who believe that it was the payment for their incurable human condition known as sin ... the cross cries Salvation..."It is finished!"

I sit amidst the congregations and I walk among men in anticipation of The Glance... should I be so surprised that I may not be acknowledged as even existing? "He (Jesus) came unto his own...and his own received Him not."

 Jesus, If You were here in the flesh would You be acknowledged? Were You really comfortable with invisibility? You knew there were suspicious stares and ignorant turn-aways...How did You handle that? O the reality ... Jesus, You are alive, you are here, you are constantly with your people... and there are so many humble hearts that still desire to catch Your gaze.

I watch; and we seek You...though You are right here. Our feeble prayers try to invoke an awareness of our existence related to your greatness, but we speak to be heard of others. We cry out to You as if You are too far away to hear. We reach out and weep as though we have to prove our love in order to gain your approval.

Although our lips may seem near, our hearts are far from you. We cherish buildings, we love specific people, we hallow special days and events, we protect consecrated decor, we hold to half taught doctrines not knowing that half truths may separate us from You, ... "set apart" spaces, places and faces... and you can feel the thick darkness of "Don't mess with what is mine!" You cry to the servant ... "Follow Me!" for the servant knows only "Yours is my desire" and "Yours is no disgrace".

ARE WE WILLING TO BE SENT, TO CARRY HIS GLANCE, HIS SMILE, HIS STORY, HIS TOUCH to a those in the world, who are longing and looking for His gaze that is the only gaze that can welcome them home?

I felt someone staring from across the store. I looked quickly so as not to scare away the stare. As my eyes caught his in a split second glace, that was meant to say ... "I'm not really looking at you!" ; he quickly looked away. I noted his gray hair, his wrinkled skin, his stooping shoulders... and I ached; feeling his desire to recognise and be recognised began tearing at my soul. Immediately I looked back because I knew he had begun his gaze again ... I risked the embarrassment of "I don't know you!" and smiled his way. Caught by surprise...he offered a scared ,fragile smile and a nod in return ... as if to breathe a sigh of regained value,"someone knows me!". His head dropped with a more relaxed smile of comfort as he walked out the door into the night. Who knows what his real thoughts were ... what does it matter? (all our thoughts and moments matter to the Lover of our souls) ... but in that moment my desire was to let him know, with a gaze, "Jesus loves you!"

Rise up, O Gaze Carriers!

HLFA,

 Jeff

The Desperately Necessary Reception

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding." Proverbs 3:5. The trust of a little child for a loving parent is an amazing picture of God's care for His kids as they "whole-heartedly" or "Single-heartedly" cast all their cares, their plans and their Trust for living on Him. The little ones do have a free will; and sooner or later they will hear the Song of the Enticer. As a parent how are we preparing them? Are we offering the reality of our unseen and seen devotion to Jesus as a joyful and blessed life style; or will our children find us questioning and disputing the relevancy of God's Word in our lives?.... He is either our All, or He may end up becoming their nothing at all!

Here comes the rub!

It is so hard to break through the spell. The image was so warm, receptive and purposely beautiful beyond compare.The ripples of life coming off of the Enticer exude a care-free and receptive spirit. There were tender and compassionate words spoken that made us feel that this is all planned for us, that it was truly all about "us" for a change. (Read Proverbs 7:6-27; Proverbs 9:13-18)

The promises of being a "special love" sink down deep into the recesses of the human condition. The initial touch sends waves of excitement deep into our desires for appreciation. When we find that this has a great and ancient cost in its preparation,"just for us", we become immediately resistant to any negativity, any rebuttal to our current state, and definitely deaf to any warning of eternal consequence.

"But she caught me by my arm as I thought I was just passing by; and with one look of her eyes I had to listen to her confident and compassionate voice. She told me that she had paid her vows and now I was deemed the one that she had been seeking after all her life. She had her life and the giving of it ... prepared just for me... that is what she said!"

We heard not her words ... "the Goodman of the house is gone on a long journey and he took plenty of money ... that should give us plenty of time." We didn't understand her mysterious glee in the phrase "Stolen water is sweet and bread eaten in secret has special delights" (it actually created a curiously hopeful expectation). We paid no attention to the hollow ravaged souls that seemed to line the ditches on the way to her gloriously decorated house. Their moaning and groaning of ... "you'll have Hell to pay for!" just grazed off of us like a feather off of steel. And we were led on as ox for the slaughter ... we were oblivious to the fact that she had a special connection to death and Hell.

In God's creation, as well as His Word, there are all the ingredients to establish a rock solid foundation for faith ... as the heart of man agrees with the Word of God taught by the Spirit God: this is known to God as Wisdom. On the flip side of the coin (if the mind of God that is revealed by his written word is left out of the picture), there is enough "so-called" media evidence to develop a warped world perspective that centers on self satisfaction and "feel good" philosophies of living: this is known to God as foolishness.

Within this foolish rebellion against the truth there is no inhibition to trespass, for sin is always up for discussion, and God is touted as uninterested or unaware. So while the jury is out, and God is deaf and blind... mankind has a proverbial "get out of jail free"card. With this imaginary pass on consequences, permission is granted to plow ahead into acting out forbidden desires.

Warning: GOD IS FULLY VESTED (John 3:36) THE OFFERING OF HIS SON FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD WAS NOT A CASUAL EVENT IN HISTORY THAT IS JUST TO BE DULY NOTED - THE DESPERATELY NECESSARY RECEPTION OF JESUS IS MAN'S ONLY HOPE TO AVERT THE ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES OF SIN, AND TO BRING FULL POWER, PURPOSE AND JOY INTO DAILY LIFE.

Every other direction of life may have its joyfully frivolous moments, where we perceive that the participant seems unscathed by consequences; but this is just the planting. When the full plant of rebellion springs forth ... "There will be Hell to pay!" (Proverbs 9:18 -"But he knows not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of Hell.")

Love, live and proclaim the Truth of God as a Child of the King, openly and unashamed.
Psalm 89:18 - "For the LORD is our defense, and the Holy One of Israel is our King."

HLFA,

Jeff

Treasures Beyond

"For we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with principalities" ... "Beginnings".

A Prayer For The Hearts of The Kingdom that Trust in Thee: Psalm 31:20 - "Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy presence from the pride of man: Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues." Why can beginnings start so joyfully, but then be dashed to pieces by unthinking minions within the Kingdom? Who do we serve? Do we truly serve the King of Kings or King Me?

I glanced back at the Hall that had been transformed momentarily for the Royal Hearts Reception Ball. It was easy at this moment of a visionary glance to once again try to see the years that had led to this moment of Celebration and send off. I could not capture the flood of memories without the "rain" pouring in on my "Why?" once again.

The Five Princes had embraced the day, supported their Princess Sister, and welcomed the new Protector of their Sister's Realm. With that said ... I turned to the night and was grateful for the darkness that was covering the gathering clouds of opposition that seem to gather after any Royal Marriage in the Kingdom. I prayed for an eye of calm in the realm to give the young couple a chance to begin their new found life together. I prayed for their chance to get together without all the Kingdom pressures forthcoming so that they could regroup and fortify the strength of their love.

The first stop on their journey of love will take them to stand before the Ocean (the favorite place of refreshment and renewal for all the years that the Royals have been in the Realm) to stand together and hear the Voice Over Many Waters. Their hope in this wedding Retreat is to strengthen their determination to move into the future of "Three as One". They are carried by a strong heritage of families who have fought to stay alive and together under all of the pressures of the resistance in the Realm.

Matthew 19:6 - "Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh, What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder."

I knew assuredly that the Dividers would start their efforts almost immediately. BUT as the Lower King of the Realm of Redding ... I stood before the night sky and cried "to Thee, O King of Kings ... "Let no man put asunder" ... I place the newly formed Royal Family into the care of Your everlasting arms and keep them within the pavilion of Your Love as they Grow stronger in the strategy of your Will."

Under the star lit night the King sang the final stanzas of the Wedding Song for his Redheaded Princess:

Sand and sea and salt in air,
My heart feels the wind that danced in your hair,
Your red locks still wave from my memory's eye,
But now the sun sets with rain pouring in on my "why?"

Why does the sun pull its shades for the night?
Why does the dark break my heart in the light?
Why do the footprints all wash out to sea?
Why do the waves hide treasures from me?

I knew this day would come ... And from it we would run
You've spread your wings to fly from our view .. Above the waves and beyond ...
O hear the King of Kings Song ... As He sings over you...

The Son now is yours and He'll stay through your night
He'll Shatter the darkness with Heavens pure light
As life's foot prints still wash out to the sea
Deep calls to deep ...of His treasures beyond ... for you and me.

Love you ... Princess J !

HLFA,

Jeff (The King of the Realm of Redding -- Dad)

The Blue Flowered Box

It just happens. It happens so fast... “all of a sudden” but it could have been brewing for several hours, several days... maybe longer. Then it falls on me...and I find myself drenched in my own tears as I am shattered by my worries and concerns. I find myself torn, ripped to pieces by opinions that are hurled at me from all directions, causing questions that must be answered. I don't know quite where to begin... but then I remember... The Love Letters!

There is a box. Quite unique! I had the privilege of guarding it for years. Covered with blue dots, and pink and blue flowers; its double open top still holds my heart in check. Stowed away in it are the words that started my life journey with the most beautiful gift that God would bring into my life beside His Son; my Wife. It is a strange box containing obscure memorabilia - a combination of hers and mine. Nick- knacks , dried leaves, games, greeting cards, dried flowers, pieces of ribbon, cards, a piece of a veil, collapsed balloons... but the real treasures are the words tucked neatly in little envelopes that have traveled through the nights, the miles, the fights, the cutting truths, the forgiveness and the emotional weather ... to ignite and re-ignite love. If love begins to doubt, I go to the blue flowered box.

Let's transition to a parallel thought about an eternal love relationship that was started by Jesus, but offered to the most unlikely... even Me. Don't rob me of the truths that ground me in His love. His choosing me runs against all standards of profitability and gain. His love for me creates scowls on the faces of those who saw my unworthiness. His love confounds and shames those who still want to see me destroyed as the enemy. Whether you think my Jesus story is embellished or fantastical in its imaginative delivery … One thing rests deep in my childlike soul … Jesus loves even Me.

The truth about me had to be faced in order to truly begin to let Him love me – All my attempts to show righteousness was like offering a maggot infested leper's rag to comfort a crying baby. My fake selfless good was only for my selfish gain, and fueled my pride. I could only pretend to understand God because I had no understanding of His Holiness, and His true desire to rescue and deliver me. I only sought to identify myself with eternity when it would bring me favor, but I would cower from the connection if it meant the slightest bit of embarrassing persecution. I would completely alienate myself from His Way if it meant personal loss. And no way would I agree with His words if they contradicted my lifestyle.

My throat was an open grave quick to spew the death stench of self justification. I would argue my thoughts until someone other than I was thrown under the bus. I would make sure there was enough poisonous slander to keep my opponent out of the ring. I fully enjoyed the thought of my enemies flayed alive and left utterly destroyed. I was despised, I was miserable, I was without real peace (but didn't even sense my lost-ness until His love letter started flowing). Truthfully … I had to face the truth of who I was, in order to understand … “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” … “But God commended (proved the over-all value of) His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” … “Father forgive them for they no not what they do!” … “For the wages of sin IS DEATH, BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ the Lord.” … “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

Simple truth...easy to believe or: There are those today who would wish that I would lose the Love Letter or at least not mention the “negative” stuff within it that must be dealt with. There are those who would love to universalize, homogenize and quantize the message in order to eliminate any personal responsibility to receive the message and/or deliver it to a Christ-less world. There are claims of older revelations, newer revelations and personally deep interpretations that call on me to abandon my “misguided” devotion. Not gonna do it!

The Love Letter is only clear to those who meet Christ at the Cross with who they are, and walk out of the empty tomb with who he is … Believing.

John 3:15,16,17,18 keep reading if you like!

HLFA,

 Jeff