It Started Way before 9/11…

…a post from December, 2010…

Jesus, the Revolution & You

In the days following September 11, 2001, I heard something like this from the Lord : that He took no pleasure in that horrendous, vicious wounding of our nation. While many who stood behind pulpits, or listened from pews in front of them, preached judgment on America for her sins, I heard something else. I heard that a silent poison had been spreading, and was far more advanced than we knew. Stopping its spread required perseverance and a ’never forget’ mentality, and these in turn required such a wounding as the catastrophic tragedy that took place in New York city that morning. A lesser event could fade from memory, and not elicit the sustained vigilance necessary to combat terrorism and preserve our land.

This was how I understood what I believed was shared with me that day.

Today, I understand more. I understand the poison that had been spreading was…

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Guard Your Heart…but not from Jesus

Is God real to you?  How about His love?

I have believed that Jesus is Lord, and Savior of the world, approaching 40 years now. In a heartbeat, I can look to Him, and He is there.  But yet…for me, a more conscious apprehension of His love, and especially His love for me, has remained elusive.  Sure, there are moments…but something has been missing.  I questioned if I really was one of those included in the Scripture “God causes all things to work together for good to them who love Him…”  I knew I needed God, but I wasn’t at all sure that I loved Him.  Because I wasn’t at all able to have a sense of God as love.  Though the Scriptures make that clear, for me it seemed a void.

I don’t see a final, permanent solution to anything outside of God’s love, which engenders His promises.  I have concluded that if you can’t trust in His love…for you…you won’t be able to consistently believe His promises.  This inability to believe leaves an open door for doubt & fear to enter, to gnaw away at your peace and make you sick.

Ours essential battles are not against flesh & blood, but powers & principalities which deal in fear.  At root, the issue isn’t that money is tight and costs prohibitive to even survival. The issue is fear.  The issue is, do you really trust in God?  If we really trust God, we will not fear.  And I have yet to guarantee an easy way to trust somehow you don’t know.  Perhaps some can, but with God. who is invisible, it might take some effort for others of us.

I have had to work at it. I have had to really think about certain Scriptures, and make decisions – repeatedly, over the past few years.  And I am telling you, though you may struggle a lifetime, when the love of God arises like the day-star in your heart and all around, every wall falls down, and every strong hold is broken.  You KNOW.  You know He is the Mighty God, King of the Universe, Who alone is good and will always do what He promises.  In Him, you stand in power and truth, and you KNOW it.

~~~

When this Light ,which is God, causes there to be no place found for darkness, the alacrity of His faithfulness becomes astonishingly apparent.  It is mind-blowing.  It is real and true.  If you are not in that place yet, be absolutely assured that it is there.  It exists.  Keep fighting your particular good fight, and stay the course. As difficult as it may seem to do so, there comes a point when it is the only recourse left to you.  Like those final throes of a woman in labor, give it your one final push.  Make the decision to forge ahead, in Christ, for all you’re worth, not looking back.  At this point, for you, His kingdom is very close.

~~~

thelordreigns

…sometimes Keeping the Faith is Hard…

Events have transpired in my life, over the past year, in such a way as to have very much hindered my writing pursuits.  “Jesus, the Revolution & You” while never leaving my heart, has even so floated to the back burner of actual production efforts.  Mainly, I’ve re-blogged previous posts.

I’m writing today simply because I want to get my toes back in the water.  A slight reprieve from what has become an unexpected lifestyle routine has been given to me today; so, after lollygagging awhile, I’ve decided to let the dishes sit,  leave the laundry in its pile, and forget about responsibilities in general.  I’m headin’ towards the water’s edge!  Perhaps some  encouragement for others, similarly re-routed in life, can be salvaged from my current experiences.

~~~

I have worked all my life.  Because I’ve been trying to walk with the Lord, and follow Him, I did not pursue a career – even job training.  I never felt that He was leading me to do that.  At age 50, I did believe He was leading me to choose between either that course of action, or writing.  Though it may have appeared foolish and risky, I chose writing.  It was an easy decision.  I knew that I had writing ability and had never really used it.  I also knew that if I should die any time soon, I would not regret not having, say, pursued a career in law…but I would SO regret having wasted the gift of creating with words.

It took a few years to realign my routines & activities with more creative pursuits.  Long story short, finally, last March, I retired.  Finally, I could write.  EVERY indication pointed in that direction.  And I still do not believe I erred in my decision, but…though I prayed, got numerous confirmations, sought counsel, thought & thought about it…and had a very clear vision of unobstructed, prosperous writing bliss…and would bet money that God was leading me to follow this path….

…it is almost a year later and I have done almost no writing.

~~~

The details aren’t important here.

What is important is faith.

~~~

I remember hearing a pastor once say, while preaching on 1 Peter 4:19 regarding suffering, that if after you enter a situation, it changes in a way that causes you difficulty/suffering etc., and you yourself are not responsible for the change – then it is God’s will.  Now I am really not lovin’ hearing about suffering of any kind.  But, things come to pass and there you are, somewhere you hadn’t intended and don’t want to be.  If you are not yet one of His, it may be easy for you to just leave.  But once the Lord has a hold on you…not so easy.  You may not be happy where you are, but your heart is inclined towards “…Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  You are getting a hold of that pearl of great price, and will not let go.  It is not just for you or about you, is it?  You endure, for the joy set before you, hallelujah.

~~~

A very helpful principle to consider, in times of deprivation & disappointment, is that of death & resurrection.  More than once, I’ve heard messages on this subject.  In a nutshell, when God gives you a vision, it may come to pass that right afterwards, everything relating to it goes kaput!  In fact, circumstances lead you in the exact opposite direction.  God said “Up!” but you find yourself “Down.”  Someone once outlined the three R’s of such situations – revelation, reversal, then reality. Like a seed being planted, in a dark, pressured place, roots go – where?  Down.  Then, over time, results are manifested.

Keep the faith.

~~~

When I ‘stumbled’ upon this Scripture about a week ago, my heart leapt.

“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”   (Hebrew 10: 35, 36)

Each of us who believe have our own walk with Him, and each of us hear Him.  You can ascertain, even faintly, what specifically His will for you might be.  His sheep hear His voice, and another’s voice they will not listen to…so…test out your thoughts on this.  An event is about to happen, and when it does, you will understand.  And you will be glad you stayed the course.. 

The Chronicles of Narnia: Not Just for Kids!

An abundance of possessions does not  make up the substance of one’s life; food & clothing, while certainly necessary, are also not that substance. (Luke 12:15, 23)  Jesus cautions against accumulating provisions, commodities and wealth of various sorts while remaining scarce toward God. (Luke 12:21)  Now, life in this world requires so much just to survive – we need ‘things’!  And He knows that.  I don’t believe the issue here is having wealth or possessions but rather pursuing them, being anxious & distracted over them and in the process, missing the Lord.

Living life is tricky business.  Everyone’s path is unique.  How you get to where you’re going takes a lot of time, effort & energy.  Heartache and pain will be part of the journey; mistakes will be made &  regrets will probably be felt.  There can be times of great joy, jubilant victories, moments of deep satisfaction   There is so much in life to occupy our minds & our hearts & our time that it is easy to be, or become,  ‘scarce toward God’.

~~~

If you are someone who knows and believes the Word of God, but perhaps decades of life in this world have wearied you, and worn down a strong, joyful & brilliant faith to one of a dull luster, may I suggest something?

Watch Disney’s The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

I used to work in a Bible bookstore many years back, and I knew about this series of books by C.S. Lewis. But I had never read any of them.  My understanding had been that these were a children’s series, so my interest wasn’t exactly piqued!  Today, at age 62, after spending three hours earlier today glued to the television, I thank God with all my heart that He created a man such as C.S. Lewis, and deposited within him the desire and the ability to write such stories.  Perhaps others would not be affected as I was today, but by the end of this movie, my belief in Jesus Christ the King of kings was stronger than it has ever been.

~~~

The mythical land of Narnia first appears as a wondrous, magical forest, blanketed in snow.  It is breathtaking.  We have no clue that Narnia has been held hostage for 100 years in a permanent winter, and without Christmas, by the wicked White Witch of Narnia. Gradually, her influence and power is revealed to us.  We begin to see that ageless conflict between good and evil portrayed by the

Jadis, the White Witch of Narnia

chillingly beautiful witch Jadis (who calls herself ‘queen’ of Narnia but is not) and her officers & the inhabitants of Narnia, satyrs, centaurs, and forest creatures.  Four young children from the real world stumble into Narnia while playing hide-n-seek, when the youngest hides in an imposing wardrobe.  Pushing through layer after layer of plush fur coats to the back of the wardrobe, she falls out of it into Narnia’s snowy wood. Soon, her siblings follow. And we fall into Narnia and its enchantments with them.At first, the web is gently spun.  Gradually, the symbolism becomes more apparent.  When we approach Jadis’ malignant castle, its foreboding darkness brings quickly to mind memories of the frightening domain of the Wicked Witch of the West. It is becoming clear that Jadis embodies our adversary the devil; when she demands the death of an ignorant young transgressor because of the “deep magic” which requires his blood, we recognize Old Testament law.  Woven throughout Narnia are the consequences of life not covered by the grace of God, but instead the dictate of heartless law.

With an almost hushed excitement, word is spread that the mighty lion Aslan has returned.  When we finally see him, there is no doubt who He is.  I don’t know that any scene in any movie has ever impacted me the way that the sight of Aslan, slowly but willingly climbing the steep stone steps to the altar of his death, did.  Hordes of demented, hideous beings thronged about, and converged violently.  I don’t believe His crucifixion has ever felt so real to me. When Aslan intoned, “It is finished”, it seemed as if the Spirit of God Himself was speaking.

When the stone altar on which Aslan was left dead, collapses thunderously, and we then see that He is not there…He has risen…I think I let out a shout!

“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” proved to be a powerful and compelling film.  It left me jubilant, and renewed.

May it do so for anyone & everyone who chooses to watch it.

…relating to Nothing in Particular…

I wish I was focused enough, and alert! enough to write about so much more than I seem able to manage. Jotting down ideas on Post-Its, backs of envelopes & shopping list-type tablets just adds to the ever-expanding morass in my mind! which clutters up my focus! I’m caught between a rock & a hard place, or in a vicious (?) cycle…nonetheless, I keep jottin’ those ideas down. They are EVERYWHERE. Titles of books I want to buy – going back to G,H & Y’s beginnings – having been hastily scribbled on hot pink or lime green mini-Post Its, are everywhere, too. No system. (Plus, I hate lime green!)

(One thing I have learned, though – if you’re going to use Post-Its, you’ve gotta buy the real deal. No generic brands. They NEVER stick. Never. All over the floor and/or lost forever…I mean, who wants to keep bending down & pickin’ ’em up?)
So, as I was saying – capturing a moment of inspiration on a scrap of paper doesn’t guarantee it will ever become a fleshed-out article. Oh, it may! but…so I was thinking of something earlier today, and rather than jot down the idea, I thought I’d tap it out right here, right now. No biggie. No research, no notes.

I have heard that faith, without works, is dead. Now here is a Scripture that can really be distorted, so watch out for the legalist when dealing with it! (Maybe even the legalist that still has a hold on your own mind…or mine…) I remember a preacher saying – or writing?- by way of illustration – that when God told Abraham that he & Sara would conceive a child in their old age, Abraham started building furniture for the nursery…

So you get my point here.

Somewhere between one to three years ago, I decided that I wanted to start selling on eBay. For most people, that would be a simple matter, easily accomplished. But for me, as technologically challenged as I am!/have been…it was an impossibility. But still, though my computer barely moved, one printer after another kept malfunctioning, and a digital camera was financially out of the question – possibly forever, at the rate I’m going – I started collecting small to medium corrugated cardboard boxes (that were headed for the trash baler at work.) And bubble wrap, headed in that same direction. (Got a small mountain of this stuff in my bedroom right now.)

Of course you know where I’m going with this.

By this time tomorrow I will have placed my first listing on eBay.

High five, everybody…