This morning I found myself thinking about Jesus and His death. As a Christian we all know that it is His sacrifice that has allowed us to be accepted into the kingdom so I am not going to go there but this is where I am going.
There was a night long ago in my past where the fellowship that I attended was doing a bible study that was taught by Kay Arthur. We had her books and her video series but this particular lesson was on the night that Jesus surrendered himself to the religious authorities to suffer one of the most horrific periods that any man had ever endured. As I watched Kay describe what He was going through in great detail I found myself going into shock as I allowed myself to receive the truth of His suffering that He went through for my sake. When I say my sake I mean in a truly personal way and not the group type of understanding.
This was the night that the reality of what Jesus has done moved from my mind to my heart where I felt my own suffering that someone who loved me so very much was enduring this so I would not have to. I got to see through the eyes of my heart that this torture He was going through was unjust for Him but totally just for me. My life had earned suffering and death, not applause. He was abandoned by those he loved which would have been my fate. All my buddies that seemed so important to impress would all take off when things became unpleasant but it was happening to Him instead. This one friend I had, Jesus was the only friend who would stick by me when nobody else would and yet it was everyone but Him who got my best. Why would you stay with my when I was so unfaithful to me. I never deserved this love from you.
My heart was breaking but I didn’t want the people I was with to know how close to breaking I was. One of the men began to teach on the cat and nine tails but in a purely academic way that triggered such anger in me. I just discovered that Jesus was the best friend I ever had though I never realized it until now and also the reality of His death had hit me hard. I wanted to attack this man for his insensitivity! I wanted to grieve this loss I had just had but I seemed to be alone in this. I went home where the house was empty. My wife had just left with the kids just weeks before so I felt very alone. I allowed myself to go back to the thoughts I was having at the study. I became overwhelmed and I tried to tell Jesus how sorry I was but words could not express the pain I felt. I just knelt beside the bed and I let the dam go. I cried and sobbed buckets of tears that seemed to have been held back for years. This is what repentance must really have felt like. I had lived my life so wrong and been the poorest of friends to Jesus. I was no better then anyone and I realized it for the very first time.
I think that a part of me died with Jesus that night. When I had finished my sobbing I was a different person. I was a friend of Jesus now that did appreciate Him and did really love Him. My understanding had changed. He never chose me because I was so good or amazing but it was because He is who He is and very little to do with me. I just allowed myself to let the truth take root and change me. I was a sinful man born in sin so why did I think I had became something different. A worm does not transform into a butterfly unless it is willing to first allow itself a type of death for life to come forth from this.
This morning I was remembering who I had become and wondered what had happened to me that I no longer felt that new life flowing through me. I is all different and though my theology tells me that I belong to Him a great part of me feels like I was before this happened. As I pondered this a thought came drifting into mind. A word actually. “ ENTITLEMENT”. Somehow I think that I am now entitled to blessing and not suffering. I don’t need Jesus anymore as I “ saved” so I can move independently of Him. I looked up the word to refresh my memory of what this word really means:
ENTITLEMENT- he fact of having a right to something.
“full entitlement to fees and maintenance should be offered”
• THE amount to which a person has a right.
“annual leave entitlement”
the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
“no wonder your kids have a sense of entitlement”
I was rescued by Him, so I could be part of the fellowship with He, Father, & Holy Spirit. I am meant and was made for this family and not to be independent or alone. How did I get so far from the truth? Perhaps it is time to repent once again. If you have forgotten what this word means
noun: repentance; plural noun: repentances
1. the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse.
“each person who turns to God in genuine repentance and faith will be saved”
Tuesday, January 9, 18
I HAVE THIS AWESOME FRIEND YOU SEE
WHO OFTEN HIDES HER SELF
A PART OF HER IS BROKEN
SO SHE DOESN’T SEE HER WEALTH
SHE DOESN’T SEE THE VALUE
DEPOSITED RIGHT FROM THE START
ON EVERY TEST SHE FAILS HERSELF
AND DAMAGES HER OWN HEART
OH THE DEVIL IS SO CRAFTY
AS HE SPEAKS HIS LIES TO HER
YOU’LL JUST NEVER BE ENOUGH OH CHILD
AND NOT WORTHY TO BE HEARD
THE OTHER GIRLS ARE OH SO SWEET
AS THEY LINE UP NEXT TO YOU
IF ONLY YOU WERE MORE LIKE THEM
SO ON THESE LIES YOU STEW
THE TRUTH YOU SEE IS GOD MADE YOU
WITH PURPOSE AND PLAN IN MIND
HE OFTEN IS REVEALED THROUGH YOU
BUT THE LIES HAVE LEFT YOU BLIND
YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO YOUR FATHER
AND TRUST HIS WORK IS GOOD
HIS HEART DELIGHTS IN WHO YOU ARE
IF YOU ONLY UNDERSTOOD
GOD’S MERCIES ARE FOR EVERYONE
IN THIS YOU DO BELIEVE
IT’S TIME TO LIFT YOUR EYES AND SAY
HIS LOVES I DO RECEIVE
Pain is something that we all live with in one form or another. It comes in all shapes and sizes and is like a parasite as it sucks the life from it’s host. For this blog I want to explore the pain caused by betrayal. It happens to us all on the road of life but it doesn’t make it any less painful. I became familiar with betrayal as a young boy. Not all homes were that warm safe place growing up and mine wasn’t either. Mom and dad seemed to be at each others throats as longs as I can remember. The home was under constant threat of divorce. It was not as common as it is now but for me it was very troubling. I grew up with this nagging sense that I had no safe place and that love was highly unstable. ( She loves me, she loves me not )
Somewhere around the age of 10 I started to get really bad headaches. On one such time I was visiting a neighbor friend of my parents and she suggested I lay down and slept until it passed. She was always kind to me. I went to sleep and then woke as I heard a familiar voice. It was my father. I was curious why he was there. I went to see him and said “ Are you here to see if I was okay?” He said that he was. I was thinking how odd that he was doing that but I really wanted to believe that was true. I guess IO was never convinced at that age that I was really loved or appreciated at home. I really wanted to be so I accepted it as truth….. until I discovered that he was having an affair with that lady. That blow up was ugly which I got to see up front and personal. I was on my bicycle and going by that ladies house when my mother hollered for me to come in. I knew she was angry but I didn’t know why. I walked up the stairs and mom proceeded to tell me what this lady and dad were up to. There was lots of screaming. The ladies husband phoned and mom answered it. She tells the man what is going on and then takes the phone receiver and slams it into the woman’s face. At that point I left and so there blew up another place in my life that I found refuge in.
Well the family split up for a while and my sister and I were moved to my aunts in a small village. She was a nice lady and so we needed to make new friends. Things were much quieter there and we settled in. One of my favourite things to do was to go into town to the racetrack and watch the horses go. One night mom took us ( during the separation period ) and my grandmother was there. ( dads mom ) It was time to go home and I wanted to stay later so my grandmother said I could stay and she would bring me home. That was great as my mom agreed. We the races were over I was in the car with her when she started to talk about the trouble with our family. I can’t remember what I said about it at the time but it was a negative comment regarding my father being the bad one. She got very upset and told me that it was not all dad’s fault because my mother was just an ol whore anyway. That comment sent me spinning as my one remaining parent was untrustworthy as well.
It is funny how words can hurt and reshape you from one thing to another. My trust was destroyed as there was no place where you could trust other then I would need to trust my instincts and just watch myself. Where do you run as a child when home just isn’t home. It is funny but if someone were going to help me then and get me out of the mess I would have done whatever to stay there. My fear of the unknown was worse then the present fear I had. Yes betrayal can sure cause pain and the wounds are on the inside. Thankfully I discovered that there was a person who did love well and was willing to make me family. His love is unconditional and His home is indeed a safe place. His name is Jesus and He is very real. Anyway that is a few thoughts regarding betrayal that I found myself…… Just thinking
The seasons change
and my scenery too
From the cold of winter
To the wet and goo
The rain clouds form
closing out the light
now dark and dreary
with no end in sight
My heart grows heavy
As joy has now fled
Sadness now comes
Filling me with dread
If I were alone now
Stuck in this pit
Soon I’d be hopeless
In the mess I’d sit
But I have a friend
And He’s always near
His words are true
And full of cheer
In His presence
I will smile again
In spite of the weather
I’ll dance in this rain
Circumstances do change
And trials do appear
But the love of my friend
Is always so near
With Him things are different
I’m safe and secure
the love of my Jesus
shall always endure
As I sat by the fireplace early this morning I seemed to have a million questions for God. I wondered why His power seemed to be absent from my life in these days. I wondered why the things outlined in the bible were not being carried out in my life. I know that I am not able to heal but I also know that He is. He is living within me yet I am seeing nothing. These and other questions flowed from me to Him.
I sat there with my eyes closed waiting for an answer. It seemed that only a few minutes had passed when suddenly the wood I put into the fireplace burst into flames. It gave me a start so my eyes opened and I stared into the flame. I felt that this is what He said to me.
“ Our relationship is much like this fireplace. First you must stir up the coals that are still in there from times past. Coals are the remains of the love that burned so bright between us. Next you add the fuel so there is something to burn. I feel like the fuel is time and interaction that is invested with Him. Without these it would seem odd to be still hoping for a fire.
The first thing you will notice is that smoke will begin to rise. This scent will be picked up by anyone within your surroundings. Not everyone will know what that smell is but it will be a sign. Next the fuel will ignite into a flame. The light that comes from this will be cast out from within. This will enable you to see the next step or two you will make on your path. It will also allow those who are close to you to see what they may not have been able to see in the dark. As the fire continues to burn, warmth will be released that will make a comfortable atmosphere around you. It will draw those who are cold and remember what it is like to be warm.
This is what you are longing for. It is this that you lack. It is here at the fireplace that all the questions you have in your heart will be answered. It is time to make a fire.”
Norman & God
December 12th 2016
The life I used to know
has somehow disappeared
The control and order in life
Is now replaced with fear
My confidence has been taken away.
Yet I still go through the motions
A part of me is dying
So for comfort I look to potions
Where is the God who saved me
Tonight while I feel this doubt
Is He still here with me
Or now alone I walk this out
He promised me He’d never leave
I will not be left an orphan
Guess He knew what He was getting
When He made me His own son
So by faith, I’ll praise my Father
and I’ll praise the 1st born Son
And I’ll look to find my teacher
Beautiful Holy Spirit, You are the only one.
How many of you out there like “preserves”? Who doesn’t like strawberry jam on a fresh buttered roll. Berries in my part of the world are strictly seasonal. So if you want to experience them anytime of the year then jamming or preserving them is the way to go. I decided to look up the meaning of preserve and here are a couple of examples.
to keep alive or in existence; make lasting:
to keep safe from harm or injury; protect or spare.
So nothing too surprising there. “Preserves” have moved way beyond that of fruit and vegetables now though. Every time we turn on any media it stares us in the face. The message is clear. Preserve yourself by wearing this makeup. It will take 10 years off your appearance!
How about the various exercise machines that will preserve that youthful body of yours! Invest here so in your later years you will be able to retire in comfort. ( Life can be preserved ) Here are the things you need to eat to “STAY” healthy. This list goes on but I am sure you get my point.
The question that comes to mind is; “What is so great that you want to hang on to?” This was never the plan for us by our creator. Just read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Here are just the 1st two verses. For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
Many of us are uncertain of what may come next and so we drag our feet thinking when the time to die comes that we lose everything at that point. Proverbs 3 ( the book of wisdom ) tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Life is meant to be lived to the fullest and hold nothing back. Our end goal is not to be pickled, jarred, or canned but to step out of this temporary living arrangement and step into the kingdom where all our enemies are gone. Sickness, fear, hatred betrayal are all behind us. There will be no preserve advertisements or dissatisfaction with oneself. The only regrets we will have there is when we reflect back of why we didn’t risk our lives for the sake of love. Not following a path that is prepared for you to walk. Perhaps not taking the hand of Jesus and ending up in a place where all your enemies are.
All of us will die and that is for sure. Maybe today is a good time to reset. Maybe it’s choosing to die in the waters of baptism and being raised in Christ the one and only real preservative for us. Maybe you have done that already but like me have bought into the lies that a wise person needs to preserve your self and so life has become nothing. They are all questions that we need to ask ourselves. There was already provision for you to live for eternity with the one who loves you most.
There is a better plan then just getting “pickled” or at least that is what I find myself.………. “ Just Thinking”
Spiritual hunger is very great in the earth at this time. People are hurting and hungry for answers. Some have come to my church and left hungry as there was no spiritual food there. If people are not able to hear me then they cannot hear what I am doing in the earth. The lost ones who are searching, come into our house and don’t find what they need to satisfy their hunger. The fields that are white and ready for harvest, do not grow inside of buildings. When I walked the earth as a man, I build no great hall for people to gather at. I sent out my disciples 2 x 2 and I am powered them so that their journey would be a success. They have only me to rely on as they were not allowed to take any extra money or clothes but had to put their trust in me to provide. They all returned full! The disciples experienced what it was to walk in the power of the kingdom as they moved among the people. Man has always feared the unknown and that still the case today. People are not willing to risk themselves for the sake of another.
There have been many groups who have tried outreaches and found no success. If you were going on a fishing trip, would you go without taking bait? Would you put out your hook with no bait and expect a fish to bite. Do you remember the story of the small boy who had a packed lunch with two fish and five small barley loaves? This was plenty of fish for himself but could not supply the amount needed for this crowd. When he surrendered his supply to Jesus and Jesus blessed and it became enough to satisfy the whole crowd. Many in that crowd we’re satisfied because they were looking for food for their bodies. If the food supply had of continued then those who hunger for food would continue to come. You must ask yourself ”what are you hungry for?” This is not what I came to earth for. I came to supply them spiritual food that they could never otherwise receive.
Today things are very much the same. People are “ministering” to the poor by giving them food and not giving me. It is I that they really need but I am not being offered. Often I am presented as the God who was, or the God of folklore rather than God almighty. I change not! Passing out hotdogs may fill their stomachs but it will not provide any hope for them. Just as you need me to make sense of your life, they need me both to offer hope, and to make sense of their life. Many of them have been taken in by people claiming to have power. It is now hard for them to trust. A Word from me through you, that they know to be true, tells them that I know them, and this will break through their walls because this is what they have been searching for. When they understand that I am real, authentic, and that I know and love them, they will be changed. Just as you were once overjoyed to discover that I wanted you as my son, they too will be overjoyed. They need to know that I am the way today, that I am the truth in this world of lies, and that I am the way to return home to the Father, the one who loves you most. So I ask you, Will the fruit hanging on the branches be left to rot? The harvesters truly are so few. The harvest fields are all around you.