Georgetownrose

…from glory to glory

Archive for the category “Walking with Christ in the Wilderness”

The Kingdom of Heaven in My Dusty Existence…

July 5, 2015: A Multitude of Thoughts…

Just thinking about what it’s like to be sitting here in this little condo in a little burb that is a big-city-wanna-be…this moment on this day in this year in this land on this earth…who I am…where I’ve come from…what I am becoming…part of God’s great plan, bound for a new home in Glory, on the other side of this veil…yet I am living out this great plan in humiliation unto dust…the days not so great…cannot see the greatness of anything but God in this place of exile…I see mercies—great mercies…but the greatness of how anything in my dusty existence is part of any plan of God’s escapes my vision…I must walk by faith and not by sight on this matter…

On this particular day in the plan, I wait for healing…healing for what next, I do not know…I have plenty of ideas about how to use the mercy of relief from this upper respiratory virus in the coming days…but for now, I wait for restoration of strength…in the meantime, I think about my companions whose names I know, whose lives I once shared in times past, whose footsteps on this side of the veil in their own dusty existence part of God’s plan have taken them away from nearness to my life to work out God’s great and good pleasure elsewhere…One travels across the seas to Israel, while waiting on God’s answers to our prayers for her healing from cancer…she knows what it is to live in the humiliation to the dust, walking by faith and not by sight…Great things God does with lives walking humbly before Him, yet what He sees is hidden from us while He works it out…Another continues to wait another day upon many days, months, years for answer to God’s prayer for deliverance of her children from the dangers of life with an abusive, perverted father and grandparents…Her life in this dusty existence, a life of exile from the revealed joys of her promised Home in Glory, is heart break, sorrow, yearning for her children to be saved from corruption and perversion of this world…every day the hours pass with the same demands of keeping what God has granted in order…faithfully stewarding His mercies in exile…walking humbly before Him, yet the greatness of His plan which He sees is hidden from us while He works it out in our dusty existence…While I write this from the resting place of my recliner with the blessings of wireless keyboard synced to my computer across the room, there are mothers and children half a world away in Africa, looking for a safe place to hide from the dangers of wicked, hateful men who seek their lives…these mothers and their children are companions in Christ, too…they must walk by faith and not by sight, trusting that their lives in their dusty existence in this exile are part of God’s great plan…their moments of their days unfold in constant dependence upon the mercies of God, the eyes of the LORD, being awake and aware of their needs in the humiliation to dust that characterizes their life…

If it were not for the sure and certain Presence of the Lord in all these things, and the Joy that always resides and abides in this life in exile, I would be depressed and despaired…but no…the recognition of this great paradox does not depress or discourage…it merely helps me understand and rest more at peace in the care and wisdom and sovereignty of the God who has ordained by His pleasure to make my dusty experience part of His great plan…He sees it all; that I see any of His greatness while I walk in this exile is great joy which triumphs over all humiliations; at last that is enough for me…

July 24, 2015: Meditating on Acts 18.23-21.14…

I am better now; the healing for which I have waited has come and is continuing. I dreamed this morning. What a wondrous dream I dreamed this morning as I lay still meditating on the journeys of my brother in Christ, the Apostle Paul. In all His journeys, humbly in the dust and grime and sorrows and dangers and brutalities of this fallen world, in his earthen vessel, he carried the Treasures of the Kingdom of God—treasures both new and old. Like me, he wrestled with his own reflexes to see anything particularly great about being weak, threatened by dangers, and being called to preach the Lord Jesus Christ. With all the sensory attacks waging war on his mind, he stood as a conqueror in his dusty, sea-soaked, battered existence by focusing on the greatness of the God Who showed Him the grace and mercy and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just like me, Paul fought the fight against vanity, pride, delusion and despair this side of the veil by walking by faith and not by sight. And in all that is recorded of Paul’s tireless labors, he kept telling the Truth of what is real treasure, real greatness, real glory. In his own dusty existence, Paul boldly declared the only Kingdom that is real to many who languished in poverty, sickness and oppression at the hands of rulers who were blinded by self-worship and greed and acts of violence. In his experiences in chains and dangers, as well as in comforts and hospitalities, Paul persevered to explain the Treasures of the Kingdom of God to many who thought treasure could be found in what they could taste, touch, see and feel—in base and unholy passions and pleasures taken to extremes in foul measures in their dusty existences. Paul declared and explained and argued and contended and lived and died because he knew Whom he believed. He knew the great wonder of being chosen by God to behold the Lord Jesus Christ. In all his dusty existence and educated experience, Paul was born once again as the Holy Spirit quickened his understanding to see Jesus in all the Word of God—treasures both new and old. And because Paul was faithful, I see Him, too. And I know Whom I have believed. I know Him in my dusty existence and understand anew how to use the mercy of the healing I enjoy: to declare repentance toward God and the forgiveness of sins through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—to perpetuate His Spirit instead of my flesh—to increase His Name and His Kingdom in my dusty existence: because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand…

Real Power

Here is an entry from my journal dated December 8, 2007. It resonates in my heart during this season of Pentecost…

*********************

At this time of year when the seasons of reflection, expectation and dedication meet in one glorious explosion of joy and light, here I am, studying the work of God in the Book of Acts. On this day, what shakes the doorposts of my being are the words from the lips of Messiah Jesus–not at His birth, but prior to His coronation as the King of glory:

“Wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father…You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon you…” Luke 24.49.

What is this “power?” The Greek “dunamis.” Like dynamite: its properties when it ignites: highly flammable; reacts to anything which de-stabilizes it (nitro) or draws near to it with heat; earth shaking, transforms whatever is near it when it explodes–explosive; illuminating–blinding light comes out of its explosion…

(Did the disciples know anything of gunpowder and dynamite in their day?)

This is the effect of the working of the Holy Spirit. But the vessel who bears the Holy Spirit is not to be explosive. Instead, that vessel–that “temple” of the Holy Spirit–is called to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before [her] God…” (Micah 6.8). That vessel–that “temple” of the Holy Spirit’s “dunamis”–is instructed to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10.16) That “temple” of the Holy Spirit’s “dunamis” is to be both bold and gentle. The “dunamis” of which the Lord Jesus speaks to His chosen ones is the effect of submission to the increase of the Lord Jesus’ government in her; for He is the King of glory… How fitting is that perspective for my own transformation during this season of dedication, expectation and celebration of Messiah’s coming–for me!

Now I see the “dunamis” worked in my own being and character. Throughout God’s ordained span of time–God set carefully packed “charges” in people over that period to have that explosive effect of transforming me. Some of those vessels were more highly charged and combustible than others; but still, He has had His way of transformation…

Ed is the most, the dearest, the longest, sustained vessel of “dunamis” in my life. By his love and faithfulness, his patience and quiet wisdom, his enduring care and acceptance of who I have been and am becoming, his prayers for me; and I am sure much more than I can know at this hour…

Next, would be my mother, because her flame, though steady in my younger years, was not so long-lived, and it flickered under the winds of my adult wanderings; still her prayers for me might have endured even to her death; I can only suppose…

And then Paulette, because of her fellowship, her friendship, her acts of love, her prayers, her acceptance, and her quiet counsel in times when I was probably just too “on fire” for my own good, or the good of others…

And then, Scott, all for the same reasons, and then some: the brother I never had, and the brother who taught me about “family”

And there are more…probably prayer warriors along the way who never said a word to me, but knew enough to go to my Lord directly…

How does that “translate” for my personal life and witness?

I pray to be more sensitive to other “vessels” of the Holy Spirit’s “dunamis” whom He has laid, and continues to lay, along the path behind and before me. I pray to have a mind which remembers quickly that He has carefully chosen these vessels for deepening my own capacity for His power to be worked for His glory. I pray for a heart to see and to praise Him heartily for them.

But most of all, the greatest desire of my heart is to increasingly surrender to the goodness and love of Messiah’s government in my life, being transformed more and more, and worshipping Him in my here and now, forever… The “dunamis”, the effect of that surrender, belongs entirely to the King of glory…

Being Human

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Strength and my Redeemer. –Psalm 19.14

Early May brought the conclusion of nine months of study of the Book of Luke in the Bible. Last September, when my Community Bible Study leaders announced that our Bible study would cover the Book of Luke, my inward parts thought I would not learn much that was new or even challenging to my life. I confess that I even groaned a little, because I was hungry for something that would challenge me and change me. My pride in my decades of Bible study led me to entertain a fantasy that I would probably not be provoked or challenged by the sublime familiarity with the content of Luke’s testimony of Jesus Christ. So, naturally, I was surprised when, along about November, I was awakened to a new and deep challenge to my life: seeing in living color, panoramic vision, and soul-surround what it means to be human…

I have been meditating on this for months, prayerfully seeking expression of what God has shown me in the Book of Luke about being a human. If you want me to quote specific passages of the Book of Luke, I cannot oblige you in the space of this entry. Seeing the life and character of the perfect humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ unfold on the pages of the Book of Luke showed me that Jesus is the perfect model of being human—from the hour of His birth, throughout the accounts of his youth and in every action and response and prayer in His earthly ministry unto death. On the pages of the Book of Luke, I found the Living Truth driven deeper into my understanding about my intended place in relationship to God; that is, to be in relationship with God is to be human. To abandon relationship with God and to deny His existence is to become un-human. Thirty-four years ago, I relinquished my “humanism” to bow before the Lord Jesus Christ whose grace and sovereignty I was glad to embrace. But in this study of His life and ministry God impressed on my heart a greater awareness of what He thought about when He formed me in my mother’s womb. I was not formed to perpetuate my SELF.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us…Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day… –2 Corinthians 4.7,16

As I examined Luke’s record of Jesus’ life in His earthen vessel, I saw Him totally co-operative with the Father—the purpose for which Adam and Eve were created from the beginning, as being a real human. Where the first Adam abandoned his cooperation with God, the Second Adam, Jesus Christ awakened us who have been blinded to what being in full cooperation with God is like. Besides His miracles which were the authenticating signs of His Deity and authority to judge, His obedience to the Father in all things is the authenticating sign of His Perfect Humanity and His right to judge all who perpetuate rebellion against God—because He demonstrated obedience without fault in His Humanity. In His human vessel, Jesus lived to co-operate with and to glorify the Father—the same purpose for which Adam was formed. His is the Image imprinted upon us, and legally whose image we bear it is the authority of this One we are to honor and uphold. His is the Spirit Breath which was breathed into Adam’s lifeless clay and made him alive.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. –Genesis 1.26; 2.7

This is what being a real human is; anything less is a perversion of humanity. Adam corrupted humanity and wounded all creation with his rebellion against God. By his rebellion against God, Adam did not exalt his humanity, he lost it; he was blinded to his humanity and has passed on a perverted image of it throughout his generations. But Jesus, the Son of God, was humbled to live in a human vessel for the purpose of turning the hearts of the children to the Father, to fulfill the Law, and to keep the Father’s promise of the redemption of Adam’s progeny. Even the angels of Heaven have not experienced such a work of valiant, sacrificial, glorious love. This is what it means to be human…

As a former “humanist” who worshiped a god of my own making, I might be read here as returning to my humanistic rantings of old, in which I placed humans as the highest form of life in the universe. This was all before God took hold of my blindness and opened my eyes to what it means to live in denial of Him. You might be asking, “Isn’t she just substituting one form of humanism for another?” No. I am not promoting worship of man or his “human spirit.” What I am saying is that if a person refuses to put the Lord Jesus Christ first and supreme in his life, he is abandoning his real humanity; his life is on the road to becoming less and less human. It is only in Christ Jesus that a person will ever begin to become—to grow into the fullness of being—a real human again, the being God intended when He formed him with His own Hands and breathed into his nostrils His own Life-giving Breath.

velveteen rabbit - becoming

To be a real human is to be humbled to the truth of my resident inclination to resist surrendering to God, to be willing to be numbered with the transgressors. To be a real human is to trust in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ to rescue me from the perversion which has corrupted my understanding. To be a real human is to become like Jesus. To be a real human is to choose surrender to and co-operation with the will of the Father in the Lord Jesus Christ by the Spirit of God.

What all this looks like in my here-and-now, I cannot begin to define or describe. I am not drawn to paint a “selfie,” because I can only see what I am becoming through a smoky glass at best.

I do know that I am glad I have been rescued out of my treason against God by His gift of grace and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. By Jesus’ redemptive work I have been restored to becoming a real human. By the record of Jesus’ Life in the Word of God, I have the perfect description of what being a real human looks like—surrendering to the will of my Father without bristling and kicking against it; increasing His Name and His Reign in the earth; seeking the increase of His government in my life… Easy for angels; valiant, passionate, glorious victory in Jesus for those who are real humans.

from glory to glory…

Intellectually, I know that we are all aging; but emotionally I feel like I am the only one who is. Buried deep in the struggles and fears and griefs of my aging process emerges my prayer for understanding and purpose amid the cultural aversion to being an aging human:
“What good can possibly come out of the aches and pains and decelerating pace of life–all conditions which are congenital, intrinsic, and inevitable in my aging?”
Gently, quietly comes this answer…
“The more my earthen vessel cracks and erodes, the more of the enduring treasure I was formed by God to hold becomes exposed…”
for His glory…

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
–2 Corinthians 4.7
If you are feeling like a crumbling rock, today, hope this little “aha” moment of mine will bless you and quiet your fears of growing older in a culture which worships at the altar of the six-pack abs.

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.


Daniel6vs7-10

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

That You May Know the Certainty…

…Blogging for such a time as this

In the first century AD there lived a physician who came from the city of Antioch in ancient Syria. He became a student under the teachings of the apostle Paul, and followed Paul until Paul’s execution in Rome. The physician’s name was Luke. After his study under Paul’s teaching led him to embrace the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, Luke served God daily, remaining unmarried and childless, yet fruitful in the Holy Spirit throughout his years of ministry.

Luke lived in a world of cultural diversity, a world in which the truth was always debatable, always “relative.” Luke’s studies provoked him to write a record—a journal, if you will—of Jesus’ teachings, quoting Him from eyewitness accounts and interviews with those who had lived with Jesus during His life and ministry. In Luke’s journals he quotes Jesus’ call to those who follow Him in a world of cultural diversities, a world that preaches a doctrine to pursue the gods of pleasure, comfort and independence. Luke reminds those who trust the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ that they are not to be seduced into the complacency and inebriated slumber of those caught in the snare of will worship and pleasure cults.

The following is a quote by Messiah Jesus from Luke’s blog written “that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.” (Luke 1.4)

Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. –Luke 12.35-40

Handwritten Journal Entry – November 2014

I penned the following journal entry in the space of 20 minutes during our monthly Ladies’ Spiritual Journaling group. The topic is usually fortified with quotes from the Scriptures and from other wise sayings. Sometimes there is a brief introductory commentary, and always, there are questions upon which we can hang our thoughts as we approach our journaling time together.

I have to say it took me more time to type this from my handwritten notes than it did to write with my pen in my journal notebook… This is the truth as I live and breathe…


Speaking the Truth in Love…For Such a Time as This

A true witness delivers souls, but a deceitful witness speaks lies. –Proverbs 14.25

Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life. –Ezekiel 13.22

…That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ… –Ephesians 4.14-15

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. –John 8.32

These are among the many Scripture passages which remind me and exhort me to stand courageous to protect what is true and to guard the hearts of others from deceiving ideas…

All ideas have consequences…

I can think of all the times I have had spinach in my teeth, or a bit of breakfast stopped on my cheek on the way to my mouth, or my blouse had one button which escaped being fastened; and people whom I believed were my friends never spoke a word to alert me that my appearance was less than tidy. I remember my private shame and humiliation that I had been left uncorrected for all this minor error to be seen in public–for ridicule.  Somehow, it seemed I wasn’t worth being told the truth about my error. My friends did not think enough of me to protect me from humiliation in just this small way…

…How much more my life, my eternal soul in the holy gaze of God?…

I can remember the hurt and betrayal I have felt when I’ve discovered someone whose counsel I’ve valued has lied to me–pulled a political device with others in their circle to avoid telling me the truth, because they were afraid to tell it. My character and friendship over years of relationship played no part in encouraging them to be forthright with me instead of being evasive and deceptive… This for some smaller principle of life…

…How much more grievous would it be in regard to my eternal destiny?…

There are those who say they are Christians who somehow have the idea that the TRUTH is not loving when it comes to speaking the Truth to those enslaved to ungodly social behaviors. Truth and love in many Christians’ minds are like oil and water. When did that happen?…

If the truth really does set one free–and Jesus says it does–why would I not speak out on an eternal issue in my own world, in a culture locked in battle with the Deceiver himself? His aim is to persuade men to find consolation, comfort, ease, pleasure, significance, meaningfulness, in alternatives to the Truth–alternatives to what God has said is freedom–true freedom–not slavery or bondage to an appetite which the Deceiver has enticed mankind to satisfy… And it does not… And it grieves the heart of the God who made us; it grieves the faithful who desire to walk in what is true, to know the freedom of peace with the heart of God…

The truth is that in order for me to be willing to speak truth lovingly and boldly into the lives of others in this age of cultural alternatives, I must cultivate the heart of God for the lives and souls of others. I must care more for planting the seed of truth for breaking the chain of their bondage, more than caring for my own comfort zone, or for how they are going to react initially to my speaking the truth…

We renounce no friendship. But it may be the part of a friend to rebuke a friend’s folly. –J.R.R. Tolkien, “Silmarillion”

TRUTH: it’s the new hate speech. –unknown

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. –George Orwell

The worst thing about being lied to is knowing that you’re not worth the truth. –unknown

The truth shall set you free…but first it shall piss you off. –Gloria Steinem

The truth may offend; that’s not my fault…as long as I give no offense in speaking it…

Go Ahead; Make My Day!

Out of my distress I called on the Lordthe Lord answered me and set me free. –Psalm 118.5

My week was rolling with joy having enormous fun preparing for a children’s Sunday School class–more fun than I’ve had in a very long time. Everything was prepared for their busy little hands and their hungry minds. It was late, very late, but I was elated before I retired for bed in the wee hours of Sunday morning. One would think that, with the wash of elation and anticipation of the session with the K through 2nd graders, sleep would evade me and my mind would gallop onward driven by the excitement of sharing with these young minds. Not so. I was at perfect peace and able to surrender the experience with thanksgiving and trust to God’s watchful care; and so I slept–until…

…You know, the usual nocturnal call–nothing extraordinary about that; but when I turned to rise to answer it, the room began spinning like the panning sequences you see in some movies. I closed my eyes and flexed my neck and shoulders, to no avail; the room kept spinning out of control…I grabbed my cane and carefully navigated the short hall back and forth between bath and bed with a temporary relief from the vertigo. But when I crawled ever so carefully back into bed, and turned to my side to lie down and sleep, the room began to spin at an unearthly speed. I actually felt like I was standing still, yet feeling every bit of earth’s 1500-mile-per-hour spin on its axis… Settling back in bed, the room mercifully stopped spinning long enough for me to sleep another two hours before my alarm would wake me to rise and prepare to go to church. I thought when I woke that the vertigo was past; my meditation and prayer to God had put it to flight, until…

I turned to rise from bed; the earth was asserting its spin on my room again. I was first a bit alarmed, wondering what could have caused this sudden attack. Then, I was crestfallen at the thought my day would be altered and the joy of being with the young children in Sunday School would be taken from my day. I cried, “Conspiracy!” Then I called our church’s 24/7 prayer line for prayer…

“FOOL!” you say. “You should be calling 911! You could be having a heart attack–or a stroke!” Yes, I suppose that is always possible; but I wasn’t so absolutely sure of such a dramatic event as that. Anyway, I reasoned, if I die today I would rather die passing on my LIFE in Jesus to the next generation than anything else. So, I thought, “Go ahead; make my day!”  So I prayed with my friend on the phone. She, in turn, passed my distress and my need on to others in my church family who minister in prayer. I waited. I tried to slowly exercise my body in some delicately executed stretches, which helped everything except the spinning in the room. I was fine; it was the room that was in trouble, as far as I was concerned…

I waited, moving about with my cane for support as the room refused to settle down. Although my footing proved to be secure, I did not trust my ability to drive. With that unfortunate technicality in mind, I called my teacher partner. Voice mail. Left her a message about the possibility she would  need to recruit a helper and to be prepared to teach the class if I could not arrive in time to set up the classroom. Nearly half an hour had passed since my prayers were spoken in one accord with my friend on the prayer line. I began to consider hiring a taxi to drive me to church, or just resigning myself to the victory of spiritual opposition throwing a wet blanket on my day. Until…

I noticed something was changing; the feelings in my stomach changed from an edgy quease to more of a quiet suggestion of hunger. In the moments following, I found relief from the earth’s intrepid rotation on its axis. The wild ride had come to an end. I could move; I could bend to dress; I could–DRIVE…

First thing I thought of were my friends on the prayerline who needed an update; no sense keeping them occupied in earnest intercession for me when God had already answered our prayers. I called my friend with my news. I was humbled to hear her answer me that she had been standing in the kitchen asking God over and over again, “Please, Father, make this go away so she can go and teach the children!” She was as ecstatic as I was, and dismissed me with a blessing to get ready and go…

God did not disappoint me. My teaching partner and I were like cream in coffee–smooth and energizing. Our activities and story time went better than I can remember from some years past…DID WE HAVE FUN??? YES! WE. HAD. FUN! Knee deep in the Word of God at the waters of the Jordan River with Jesus and John, God the Father and the Holy Spirit, God made my day…

…And if I die today, I will die having served my Lord and Love, Jesus Christ, exactly the way He has formed me to serve…

Feeling, thinking, thanking God–and not writing…

The Print Shop 3.5 Deluxe

Weeks have passed and my head is full of so many thoughts. It’s like mail–some of it is junk, too–that piles up unopened, unsorted, unanswered, left on a compost heap piling higher and beginning to smolder…

I look at the “head mail” and, just like looking at the stack of postal mail which collects and torments from my desk, I flinch and in my inertia, I whimper at it unable to lay hold of the faculty to sort the thoughts to be of any use to me or anyone else… My brain cells are stuck on feeling and thinking, but my brain-to-expression ability is unplugged for the moment…

Have I prayed? Yes. Indeed, I have, and I continue my conversations with the Lord. Praying is the air I breathe; my Lifeline…

Am I listening for God’s answer on this issue? Yes. Indeed, I am. And in the quietness I am comforted with the assurance that it’s okay to have a season of thought and feeling, inexpressible to anyone but God… After all, I am not at the center of this blog; it’s not all about me, me, me. It’s about Jesus in this life given to me. Apparently, this is going to be one of those aspects of the life God has given me to discover how great He is–how great His EXPRESSION is, when words fail me…So, dear blogging friends, keep writing what God gives you to share. I’m reading. I’m finding words to comment and encourage you while I wait on God to grant me utterance to finish some writing which has been interrupted by life and circumstances and my own limitations…I will keep on reading and encouraging you as God permits each day…

In the meantime, I am giving thanks for all things–including the weaknesses–knowing that His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in my weakness… and I keep walking with Christ in this wilderness, trusting Him for the words of encouragement, praise, and testimony in due time.

Post Navigation