…from glory to glory

Archive for the month “February, 2015”

One Man’s Dream, Another Man’s Nightmare…

Medusa WomanAfter a vividly disturbing morning dream, I awoke in a puzzled and troubled state. At first I wrestled with my initial reactions to it. Some people say it’s better to talk about nightmares, to try to understand what might be the stimulating factor in the hope that understanding will help ease any ill effects, and possibly alleviate any future occurrences. But my weaponry was at the ready, and I reached for it…

After a moment or two of prayer, calling on the Lord Jesus, the pervasive imagery faded and my thoughts began to be clear and steady. It occurred to me that many “creative” minds deal in dark and dread-dream-casting. There is a lucrative industry in peddling one’s nightmares, even projecting them on gigantic screens with all the techno magic available to induce over-stimulation of the adrenal responses of countless numbers of morbidly curious horror movie voyeurs… (Why do I need to pay precious pesos for two hours of someone else’s nightmare when I have my own vivid horror “movie” plots in my head? I could be making big bucks…)

I suppose that is one way to make something profitable out of a bad night’s sleep…

Throwing off the covers and swinging my feet over the side of the bed, I picked up my copy of “The Lord of the Rings” complete trilogy in one volume and my reading glasses, slid my mobile into my robe pocket, and shuffled off to the kitchen to heat the morning kettle. As I waited for the whistle, I opened the copy where my bookmark was set, and realized that I was embarking upon another literary nightmare for two dear hobbits trapped in the grisly grip of the Uruk-hai. Did I really need to read this after my own grisly dream…

Re-living Pippin and Merry’s nightmarish predicament and how it all unfolded and resolved, I was rewarded with these words:

As they walked they compared notes, talking lightly in hobbit-fashion of the things that had happened since their capture. No listener would have guessed from their words that they had suffered cruelly, and been in dire peril, going without hope towards torment and death; or that even now, as they knew well, they had little chance of ever finding friend or safety again. –The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, “The Uruk-Hai,” p. 458, 50th Anniversary One-Volume Edition, J.R.R. Tolkien, ©2004, Harper Collins, reprinted by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, New York, NY, USA

There I stopped and remembered the nightmarish predicament of two other dear “halflings”–blessed “halflings,” sanctified by the grace of God in the service the Gospel of the Messiah Jesus:

And they brought them [Paul and Silas] to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.” Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stock. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. –Acts 16.20-25

Chained to a filthy, stinking, dark dungeon wall, they sang. “No listener would have guessed from their words that they had suffered cruelly, and been in dire peril…”006-paul-silas-prison

I will allow you, if the Holy Spirit so wins the battle for your inclinations, to pick up and read the remainder of that true event in our history on this earth. It is recorded in the book of Acts, Chapter 16, in the Bible, New Testament. No fairy tale there; but a living and true dream unfolding in the grisly grip of a nightmare of sin and corruption…

Dare you spend some time in this truth tale? Will you face the true horror? Or is your appetite for horror only inclined to techno tales and the projected images of some man’s nightmares peddled by him and his companions in a greedy grasp for power over your mind while he picks your pocket?

And my fellow travelers in Messiah Jesus, to you, I bid you compare notes with each other at every opportunity, talking of the things that have happened since Messiah captivated your heart with His love and grace and mercies, calling you into His blessed service in the midst of this true dream unfolding in the grisly grip of a nightmare of sin and corruption…

…the days are evil…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord… –Ephesians 5.16b,18-19

So, You Want to Change the World?

What follows is a feature I wrote a number of years ago. I wrote it to testify of an historical event recorded in the Scriptures. I wrote it to encourage those who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to exercise the same courage exemplified in the life of an ordinary Jewish boy in extraordinary circumstances. I wrote it to remind the world that the God of Israel reigns…

Here, it is reproduced in a blog-friendly format to share. May it encourage you for such a time as this…

real people press insigniareal people press insigniaThe Real People Press

Reporting Truth to the Corners of the World

“Jewish Boy Changes International Law!”

BABYLON—The entire populace of our city is reeling from the news of this morning’s events at the palace. One hundred and twenty-two of the government’s officials have been thrown into the king’s lion’s den. All of Babylon was awakened to the news of the king’s decree that all the kingdom of Babylon must worship the God of his vice regent Daniel.

danielsentencedShown at left in King Darius’ court is Daniel, one of the Judean captives, whose persistence in prayer to his God has earned him both persecution and favor in Babylonian government circles.

This new decree abolishes the previous day’s decree condemning anyone for praying to any god other than the king for the next 30 days. The 122 officials are now sport for the hungry lions for their attempt to make sport of Daniel, the king’s vice regent.


The decree  shown above, drafted by King Darius’ palace officials, signed with the king’s seal, and issued to take effect immediately. This decree is irreversible under the Mesopotamian Code of Law, and is enforceable throughout the Empire. Under its authority, millions of Jewish captives in the Babylonian Empire would face death in the lion’s den for their devotion to their God.

Daniel is one of three governors that King Darius appointed to oversee the royal satraps in the Babylonian provinces throughout the kingdom. Our news service learned early this morning that Daniel miraculously survived an entire night sealed in confinement as the only supper for the king’s hungry lions. Daniel’s service in the Babylonian government dates back to the days of King Nebuchadnezzar. The former king of Babylon took Daniel from among the Jewish captives who survived the Babylonian conquest of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah to the west. The king’s chronicles record that Daniel’s tour of service here has been characterized by uncommon reverence for the leadership of the kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar raised Daniel to a favored place in his court after three of Daniel’s kinsmen miraculously survived the most dreaded punishment in the kingdom: the king’s fiery furnace. The king had sentenced Daniel’s Hebrew compatriots for their refusal to worship the images of our Babylonian gods.

Shown at right in former King Nebuchadnezzar’s execution furnace are Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego fieryfurnaceepisodewith the apparent manifestation of an Angel from their God with them. The phenomenon stunned everyone gathered to witness their execution, and during the remaining years of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Mesopotamian Law Code mandated worship of the God of Israel.

Daniel’s posture toward the leadership of the kingdom has never stooped to militance or treachery in order to gain the king’s favor or to influence the legislative system in Babylonian government. On the contrary, Daniel has honored the king even when his own life was in danger because of a law to which his conscience prevented his obedience. Daniel’s strategy in such instances has consistently been to pray to his God. Sources inside the palace report that Daniel’s habit in his 60+ years of exile has been his discipline of prayer to his God three times daily. The kings of Babylon have become so accustomed to Daniel’s habit of prayer that they consider it one of his duties of state. Every king from Nebuchadnezzar till now has highly commended Daniel of Judah for his loyalty as a subject of the Babylonian Empire. Yet Daniel has never abandoned his identity and spiritual heritage as a citizen of Israel.

danielpraying2Shown left is surveillance photo of Daniel in his upper chambers in his customary daily discipline of prayer. It is written in Israel’s prophets that those who believe in their God are to pray for the city wherever they are captive, because its peace will be beneficial to them (Jeremiah 29.7).

Sources inside the palace report that Daniel’s colleagues in government sought to legislate against his right to retain his spiritual convictions. Their objective appears to have been the removal of Daniel from his place of favor in the king’s cabinet. Sources close to King Darius report that their strategy consisted of obtaining the king’s seal on a law that they secretly drafted to condemn to death in the lion’s den every person in the kingdom who prays to any god or man other than the king for 30 days. Their draft of the law became effective 24 hours ago, and it granted authority to these government leaders to levy the death penalty for a period of thirty days from its issue. They knew that once signed and sealed by the king, such a law could not be changed. No one was exempt from this law. Unaware of the objective of his officials, King Darius signed the decree. Shortly afterward, the PRESS received reports that the palace prison facilities were being expanded and more lions were being captured to handle the multitude of prisoners expected from enforcement of such a decree. The result of this decree promised to be a bloody holocaust, the first of the condemned being Daniel of Judah. Palace sources report that Daniel was seized during his habit of evening prayer in his private quarters. That law is now abolished with King Darius’ new decree issued this morning after Daniel’s miraculous exit from the lion’s den.

babylon prisonShown above: The grisly jaws of the entrance to the King’s lion’s den where it was expected that millions of Jews would be executed for refusing to cease from prayer to their God. Today the mouth of this den swallowed up 122 of King Darius’ officials after the first Jewish victim, Daniel, emerged miraculously unharmed by the voracious lions. The 122 were found to have been involved in clandestine political activity which King Darius judged to be equal with treason. Their plot intended to destroy Daniel’s reputation as one of the king’s favored royal servants.

In an exclusive interview with Governor Daniel, I asked him the subject of his prayers for so many years. He confided that he was compelled to confess his own sins and the sins of his people. He thanks his God for mercies and kindnesses even here in his exile. His most urgent requests have been for his God’s forgiveness of sin, wisdom in leadership and the fulfillment of his God’s plan for the people by blessing or by affliction, in the Land of Israel or in exile. I asked Daniel what motivated him to pray to his God under such a mortal judgment as the latest anti-prayer law. He stated that prayer is like breathing and that even death could not break his communion with his God. If Daniel’s feline companions could talk, I wonder what they would report about Daniel’s prayer and Daniel’s God.

Shown at right: One of King Darius’ lions lounges comfortably after an abundantly satisfyingreluctant lion morning meal. Daniel was to be one of his midnight morsels, but reports from the palace say that Daniel’s God exercised His power over the lions’ appetites and made them content to bunk with Daniel through the night. Daniel was the first intended victim of the Mesopotamian decree that influenced international law in the empire. His prayers to his God appear to have made him the last Jewish victim, and resulted in influencing international law in the empire in favor of his God.

Daniel’s prayer habits appear to have made him a reliable spokesman before kings and before his God on behalf of himself and his people here in their Babylonian exile.

 It is written in the Scriptures which Daniel has believed:

 If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.–2 Chronicles 7.14


The new post window is open and here I sit with my fingers on the keyboard…

The weeks have drifted by, washed in currents of reading other friends’ posts, led on paths to re-visit Middle Earth, immersed in the water of the Word of God, and plunged into dialog with other hearts…

My little sailing ship has cut through many currents, venturing far and wide across the seas during what I hope is the very last blast of winter in our region. I’d rather be someplace tropical and sunny, but I am exceedingly grateful for God’s mercies on my stretch of the sea of life…

Now that I’ve managed to steer my little craft back into harbor, I am beginning to think about how to blog all the things I’ve discovered and learned on my little voyage to encourage all who are in this boat with me, as I sail from glory to glory…

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