As some of you who’ve seen my posts know, I am a sucker for the Fender Telecaster Guitar. Any Telecaster, for that matter, as some of my purchases, and photos reveal.
Thus, as I was rummaging a flea market recently, captivated by a little Tele, apparently abandoned by a child who was advancing either to the real thing, ( as this one is a toy) or, anticipating Santa filling their stockings with a whole new batch of toys for Christmas, I thought, either-way, even if it’s just a toy it is a Telecaster.
“Let’s look over here at the paintings,” my wife said. Okay. I responded, her words reverberating, never quite striking a note of recognition in my preoccupied mind.
Something about this little guitar… I couldn’t put my finger on it, ─ as the look in my wife’s eyes said, “It’s Just a Toy!”
Oh … the monsterish look… the seething teeth snarling at me like Lizzie Borden with her axe, saying; ”Get over here before I tear your ears off and ─ “
No, not my wife silly, the Telecaster! Okay, okay, the toy telecaster. It’s still a Telecaster!
Something so familiar, seemingly calling my name had me under its spell, causing me to drift into a dream world. Then I remembered rescuing a guy who said there was a “Monster” hiding in his closet a few years ago. I fearlessly went in after that hideous creature, with its samurai sharp, skull crushing claws, and slithery, serpentine, scaled muscular body, grabbed it around the neck, reared my head back in the classic “Mel Gibson head-butting” position and ─ kissed it like a baby!!!
Almost kissed the guy who sold it to me too, but, I didn’t want him to raise the price for the guitar…
You may remember the one featured here: Obey Propaganda Telecaster .
And, of course, as I stated in the post, the “Obey Propaganda Fender Squire Telecaster ” wasn’t my first choice of paint and graphics, but, just like this little toy ─ it is, after-all a Telecaster.
Suddenly, I awakened from my trance, snatched back to reality, when my wife called out; ” Oh, look at this one.”
I turned, barely making out her shapely form meandering through a double row of lanterns, lamps, and shades, when… the light came on in my head…
I turned again to my little Telecaster (toy) friend, beaming a whole new tune, knowing exactly how to fit him into the shopping cart, and get him back to my little work shop; with my wife’s harmonious approval, and ─ well, the rest is ‘Telecaster History”
Some say putting the Cross inside a dream catcher is sacrilege. I disagree. There are probably as many legends of which tribal people made the first dream catcher as there are stories of how, and why, they came about. Odds-are, there are probably as many stories throughout Native America of where the idea came from as there are styles of dream catchers.
I enjoy hearing the stories,─ love seeing, ─and making the art. But I seriously doubt even the first person to weave a dream catcher truly believed they would trap bad dreams in the web while allowing only good dreams through the hoop to trickle down the feathers into their sleeping thoughts at night.
And regardless of whether the night air is filled with flying spirits we know as dreams, or, whether a talking spider gave the secret of dream-weaving to a sweet little old grandma centuries past or not; To me─they are beautiful works of art.
Personally. I figure someone was sitting by a warm fire, weaving themselves, or their husband, a nice set of snowshoes for the next days hunt, when one of their children’s blood curdling scream, brought on by a nightmare, pierced the peaceful night ambiance.
They probably ran to the child’s side, snowshoe project in hand, laid it down, and after holding, and consoling the child long enough to calm their senses, picked the hoop back up, began weaving a soothing bed-time story, and realized they were no longer making a shoe… but, a “Dream Catcher“
Nighty-night Y’all ─ sleep well now.
5″ Brass Ring wrapped in dark brown nabbed suede leather, with foiled translucent bead, large turquoise bead, and acryli-turquoise shell bead set in a hand-made wooden cross. Overall length from top of ring to tip of feathers is 12.”
The Coming of Zion’s King
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
“Who is this Jesus person?” “What’s all the fuss about?”
Asked a wealthy merchant of Jerusalem, as a cloud of people, and multitudes of “Hosanna” shouts burst through the eastern gate of the city.
“He’s a great prophet” A bystander told him.”A prophet who has done many great miracles in the name of Yaweh.”
“Ha!!! Prophet?” Retorted the merchant. “Riding a donkey?”
On February 15, 519 B.C. a young Israelite was awakened from what he described a trance, by an Angel of God. His name was Zechariah, and was given eight revelations while yet under Babylonian captivity. These visions, and message the Angel delivered, were not just words of the coming remission of God’s judgement, and freedom for physical Israel’s 70 years of enslavement, but, also a heralding proclamation to the world. A message of hope, salvation, victory, and finalized deliverance from the universal law of sin and death.
Though the book of Zechariah, including the vision Zechariah was given that night, entails earthly kings of power storming the land on colorful steeds, the spiritual message within the book was veiled. And, sadly, for some, without God-given spiritual discernment, still remains shielded today. The real hero in the prophetic vision wasn’t to show on the scene for another 500 years… Not riding a war-horse, or taking land, and spoil, by means of corporal shield and sword, but Instead, He came saving souls, with the sword of a Holy Spirit. An unshakeable passion of faith, on the most humble beast of all. On the back of a baby Burro.
The Royal Welcome
When they neared Jerusalem, having arrived at Bethphage on Mount Olives, Jesus sent two disciples with these instructions: “Go over to the village across from you. You’ll find a donkey tethered there, her colt with her. Untie her and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you’re doing, say, ‘The Master needs them!’ He will send them with you.”
This is the full story of what was sketched earlier by the prophet:
Tell Zion’s daughter,
“Look, your king’s on his way,
poised and ready, mounted
On a donkey, on a colt,
foal of a pack animal.”
So they took palm branches and went to meet him. They were shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord,
the king of Israel!” (The Message )
I saw a message on a Church marquee sign today that read: “Easter is not a Dead Issue.” And though we could argue about the word “Easter” and its origin. Or, the exact time, and date of the “Resurrection” of Jesus Christ, until the day of His return. I pray instead, if only for one day, if not, a complete Holy Week, we stand together, united in praise…
Because, one thing I believe anyone who knows the Lord Jesus will have to agree on, is, it must have been an awesome sight to behold; The Triumphal Entry. But, the most important Triumphal Entry of our personal lives…is the Day He Enters Our Hearts.
Are we being a Barnabas to our sisters, and brothers, in the family of God? Are we being a Barnabas even to our natural family members when they’re in need of encouragement? Maybe they did wrong. Maybe they’ve made some bad decisions in life that brought shame to the family. But, does constant chastisement, and nagging, on how bad one has lived their life ever help change a person, or help them to see the error of their ways? Or, does it take love, and gentle directive nudging?
Sometimes, of course, there is a need for confrontation, and speaking the truth to a person in tough-love, but then comes a time for encouraging, and disciplining that person in ways that are not accusative, or condemning . Saul, of Tarsus, for an example, was a very astute man of his day, in the eyes of religious law. Sadly, though, like many of today, he was over zealous in how he saw God and His work. Many extremist of the Mideast, Fareast, and even here in the U.S. will take a person’s life in a second, and even take their own life thinking they are doing God a great service. The Bible, of course, tells us this type of behavior will be common in the last days.
They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. John 16:2
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
This behavior isn’t limited to the Muslim religious extremist, it’s right here, even among some so-called Christians. Even as far back as the Crusades men went out for the wrong reasons, taking lives and thinking they were doing God some great service. Here in America, people have bombed abortion clinics thinking they were doing God a favor. And it’s not just in the abortion clinics by any means. Two years ago, a Dr. who was well-known as an abortion, or, right to choice advocate was senselessly gunned down. Taken in the prime of his life by one who thought he was doing God a favor. Not in his clinic, But, in His CHURCH!!!!!
(May 31, 2009, George Tiller,)
Now. Getting back to Saul. So extremely zealous in believing the things he was doing to Christians was all for the Glory of God, that he went to the high priest asking to be deputized, as it were, legally sanctioned to go out, capture, beat, and imprison, any and all Christians he came across on the way to Damascus. But, as we read, in Acts Chapter 9, Saul met with a greater authority. He met the “True High Priest,” on the road to Damascus,and was given a much higher appointment than that of a deputy enforcing the “Religious Laws of Man”. Saul met his divine appointment when he met JESUS the Christ!
And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
In other words, Jesus was saying. ” Saul, you are defeating your own purpose, and persecuting those you should be encouraging”.
And he (Paul) trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. Acts 9:1-6
Now we know this was a very humbling experience to say the least for Saul. He was blinded by the Light of Jesus’ exuberant manifestation, and led by the hand to Damascus where all he did for three days, and nights, was pray. He wouldn’t eat, he couldn’t sleep. He just prayed.
This was no covert operation Saul, of Tarsus had been on in the taking, and imprisoning of the saints of God either. Saul, of Tarsus was a dreaded, and greatly feared name, when heard, or mentioned, among the disciples of the Lord as we see in Acts 9:13. After Jesus told Ananias in a vision to go to straight street and “lay thou hands on and anoint one Saul of Tarsus”, Ananias retorted : ” Lord, I’ve heard so much of what this man has done among our brethren. Are you sure this is what you want me to do Lord, this man may just cut off my headstone me to death”. (Paraphrased)
Our loving savior Jesus, assured Ananias it was what He desired for him to do, as Saul was a Chosen vessel for the work of the Lord. After which, Saul was a born again, filled with the Holy Spirit of God, baptized, new man in Christ, (Now called Paul, ) and went out almost immediately after Ananias laid his hands on him, and the scales fell from his eyes, and began reaching in the synagogues that Christ was the son of God.
Nonetheless, just because we know all of this, do we think he no longer had guilt to deal with over the things he had done? Of course he did. In fact many believe this guilt, and lack of self forgiveness was the very thorn in Paul’s side, which the Bible tells us clearly, in Paul’s own words, buffeted him till his last letter to Timothy, before being killed.
The Bible tells us, of this thorn in Paul’s flesh, that he asked the Lord to remove it three times. Gods only response was: “My Grace Is Sufficient”. And, seeing as Paul was known to pray for three days at a time, those three times of his imploring God to remove the thorn could have been three different occasions in prayer equaling nine days or more. So. If the Great man of God, Paul, who wrote 13, and some say 14 books of the Bible needed an encourager to help keep him from falling into despair even after seeing Jesus the Christ, in a great vision of light on the road to Damascus. Then who are we to not be an encourager to our sisters, and brothers? Knowing that we need encouraging many times our selves, even if a person has fallen, or caused shame, or less than perfect in his, or her, walk with the Lord, if God says His Grace is enough, then who are we to cast stones of discouragement and doubt at that person?
I’ve personally heard several sermons, preached by two different preachers, both saying “the Church has taken this Grace thing just a little too far”, and both times, in both services I said to myself ; (and wanted to stand and shout it ) Maybe you’ve taken yourself too far preacher! But, brothers, and sisters, if God says ye are saved by His Grace, then the only thing I’m taking from the Grace God has given to another person, is my hands off.
The Church needs more Barnabas’
We need to edify our sisters, and brothers. We need to bring them up when they are down. The Bible tells us that we are to glory with one another in our mountain top experiences, and mourn together in our valleys. I believe for a man, or a woman, to be truly born again we are to see a change in the way we feel toward other people in their hardships, and pain, even in the midst of our own mud bogged pain filled situations of life. We need a Barnabas, and we need to be a Barnabas . The only way the Church I believe will ever come together again in one accord is to learn this lesson from the great book of Acts, and to learn to apply it into our daily interactions with our brothers, and sisters, in Christ.
Now Paul wasn’t the only one who had doubts. Can you imagine the thoughts of the disciples of the Lord the first time Paul showed back up in Jerusalem? Can you imagine the fear, and hatred, and total distrust the disciples must have felt toward a man who stood firm as he held the coats of those other Pharisees while they cast the stones that killed Stephen? And only the Lord knows what other things he had done…In the Name of the Lord, of course. Or, at least, that he thought was a great service to the Lord, according to his Religious schooling of the time. These things could have not been easy for even Paul to forget, and no doubt were on the minds of all the other disciples.
Paul needed someone. Paul needed Barnabas. We need a Barnabas, we need to be a Barnabas. We need to be a comforting, welcoming, soul warming glimmer of light for the Lord, in someones life, and not a flashing red, flag of condemnation.
Now, Barnabas had a divine calling as well. He was born on the Greek Island of Cyprus to a Jewish family, and the Bible tells us if we go back a little further in the book of Acts:
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet. Acts 4:36
Here we see that Barnabas was already being prepped to help encourage the Jew whom God had chosen to be the “Minister of Salvation” unto the Gentiles. The Church Needs More Barnabas :
Here’s what the Bible says Barnabas did first among many other things concerning Paul. Straightway Paul preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. 25Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. 26And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. Acts 9:20-26
When the religious leaders got wind of what Paul was up to they were furiously indignant, and out for more blood. This time, Paul’s blood. Here was a man hunted by his own people, once in the same mind-set with, and same erroneous belief of who God was, now willing to die for what Jesus had shown him an opposite cause. He knew, however, that he wouldn’t die this day, as God had told him of the things he would suffer for Jesus’ name sake before he would deliver the message of the Gospel to Rome.
No, the time was not yet come, and he knew what he was supposed to do, and whom he was supposed to be with. But, they did not trust Paul at all, and Paul understood that. Paul really suffered in his mind, and heart, over the things he had done in his past to people he wished now he could bring back, love, edify and encourage. But,that was as impossible as becoming one of the close-knit disciples of the Lord must have seemed to him at that moment. When, right before his eyes, Gods wonderful plan continued to unveil its self:
But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus. ( After this the Bible tells us ) Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. Acts 9:27-31
Without Barnabas standing up for Paul, the likelihood of him becoming accepted among the disciples was not good. In fact, one could have just as easily torn him down, assassinating the chance of a changed character, as many times today we are prone to see. Peter was not even about to come around such a man as this, had it not been for Barnabas.
So, the same choice is ours to make. God already ordained us to be an encourager, yet He also has given us a choice. Ruth, had Naomi, David, had Jonathan, Job, should have had three close friends who sat at his side, and suffered along with him as he was so painfully scourged physically, and spiritually, but, instead they accused him, and pointed a self discerning finger and made his pain even worse. But, what did God have to say about it?
And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.
And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. JOB 42: 7-10
Who will you be? ..an Eliphaz, a Bildad, a Zophar? Or will you choose to be a Barnabas?
She Sails Fare Another Day
Waste deep in the drink of woe.
The light you bring shares life;
A beacon of glimmering hope.
You carry the torch not for selfish gain; But, foundering ships avail.
Stranded aground, gurgling sounds, off starboard in the Captains gaze…
Hips be lifted, beams a shifted; Hoist the mainsail Maties!!!
She Sails Fare Another day.
Why does God allow adversity? That’s a question we’ve all asked at one time, or other, in our lives. We don’t even have to be a child of God to ask that question. It seems, in fact, the number one most pondered question of all times when it comes to the quest for the meaning of life. It’s also the most widely posed question among all diverse groups who seek the meaning of life. Atheist, use it to try to prove their claims that there is no God. Agnostics, use it to try to balance the teeter tottering split rail fence rung their indecisive minds spin from possibility, to possibility, on. And, we the children of God, ask it many times from the midst of our own anguish filled tumult, and tragedies.
As hard as it is for us to accept, or, even contemplate when we are experiencing such life altering circumstances, the answer boils down to one thing. “Faith.” How much do you believe God’s word? Do you really believe God allows adversity in our lives to prepare us for something better in life, as His word so often alludes to?
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place. Psalm 66:12
Or, do we instinctively assume the Devil is behind all adversity in our lives? Although Satan may be used by God in inflicting the adversities he has devised in one of his whiles against God’s children, it is never Satan who is behind the final outcome.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
When we face struggles in our life, God may only be trying to get our attention. He may be trying to teach us something, or just strengthening our faith. One thing is for sure. If you are facing seemingly bad circumstances in your life as a child of God, God has something good in it for you. Once we come to realize this, and begin to respond to those difficulties rather than ask why, God’s purpose behind our sufferings begin to show.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate. Psalm 34:22
Adversity is something none of us are immune to. The question, however, in our hearts, and minds, when adversity comes knocking should not be ..“Why does God allow this”? But, how do I best respond to it. If we get buried in the all too overwhelming questioning of why such a thing is taking place in our life, we may just miss the lesson, or message, He is trying to get us to see .
One great Biblical example that comes to mind is Joseph’s life changing dilemma of being thrown into a pit by his brothers, and then sold into slavery by some passing Midianite merchants, to later become the Governor of Egypt as part of God’s plan to one day rescue Joseph’s family, (the seed of Jesus ) from impending famine. Joseph could never have fulfilled God’s plan in all of this had he broke down in total despondency, and defeat. But, Joseph never blamed God. Though he may have had moments of wondering, and even asking God why. Sooner or later, he used the adversity as a starting point to carry on what he knew (By Faith) was a plan devised by God. How can that be? You may ask. Because, Joseph had long since succumbed to the realization that God was with him… Joseph rested.. In the Finished Works of God.
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Genesis 50:20
Am I saying that God is the author of all our sufferings? Not at all.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4
Dandy Lion, Your Seed Has Been Received
Like a Dandy Lion; Seeds blowing in the wind…
We are here for a moment..
Blown asunder… Our stems bend…
Floating gracefully our sprites do list…
All hollowed wonder, pondering the mist…
It comes as freshness. Replenishing our slumber. No longer a need for us to wonder. Peace and lighted wings of fire…Do you think He’ll let you fall? Rest natural child..the Super-Natural Father has a plan. He’ll inform you. He has control of it all. And in all. Peace. You’ll see, has no end.
God is a paradox in many ways to our finite understanding. Which in part could be why there are so many denominations or “Faiths” as the Church world has rationalized the term through the years. If so, that could only mean that God offers, and expects, more of His ways to be understood by His children. Wouldn’t it? It isn’t God’s fault. If God wants us more united, (and heaven knows we should ), as He tells us in His Word, it’s hard to imagine we all have the same love letter from God right in front of us. How can there be so many different interpretations of the same Bible that plainly states it is of no personal interpretation? The problem then is an individual one more than a church issue.
Notwithstanding, Satan, the accuser of the brethren, clearly working the onset, and fanning the flame of many disagreements leading to church divisions, the final fracture of the congregation falls on people who by not hearing from God take it upon themselves to part ways. When most church schisms spring from semantics of one verse, or just one word, it has to boil down to individual, personal, interpretation. A deeper, more attentive, relationship with God is the answer. The beauty of it for us today, unlike the Israelites who wandered around in the desert for 40 years instead of crossing into their promised land in the eleven days the trip should have taken, is that Jesus has provided us a perfect opportunity to commune directly with our heavenly Father. We have no excuse for wandering around aimlessly, when He has already paid the price with His precious life, and walks with us every step of the way. All He ask is that we believe in Him. And love Him.
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: Psalm 95:10
So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:19
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Matthew 23:37
WHERE ARE YOU?
But, fear not, do not think it just I pleading.
Tis not a letter from me to intrigue you;
But from my own daily forgetfulness to spend time with God;
These are words I hear, Softly, lovingly: “ My son”. ” Where are you” ?
We’ve all heard that undeniable “Inner Voice” as almost a shout in our spiritual ears; “Don’t Do it”, or maybe, ”Do This.” By undeniable I’m speaking of that voice we as children of God “Know” without any doubt at that moment it is the voice of God! ( And We Know We’d Better Heed His Voice ) Many times, though, most of us who know Jesus as our Lord, and Savior, have sought and awaited for what seemed an eternity to hear God’s voice in answer to a particular question, or prayer in our walk with Him. Nothing seems more frustrating to a believer than not hearing God’s voice while seeking an answer to a question, or guidance from Him for a certain direction in life. A big part of the problem is not taking time to listen, thereby giving place for the all too many other voices, or ..”thoughts”to fill our heads. When this happens we may actually be hearing the answer from God, yet can’t distinguish, or put our finger on which is His voice or answer. God’s Word tells us in many places that the answer is to “Trust” Him. By doing so, from my experience, dedicating time with God, and waiting in trust that He is always on time with His answers with our best interest at heart, doesn’t leave any room in my head for collective static, or interferences. Staying plugged into God clears the airways so that I hear no other messages but His.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
THIS CROSS SAYS GOD LOVES YOU
But, can He forgive me for wrecking my life, and hurting my family for so long? Asked the young man holding a gun to his own head. Yes, said the cross, God loves you.
But, can He forgive me for hurting so many people for so long, and the things I stole from them? Asked the thief. Yes, said the cross, God loves you.
But, what about all the scars I’ve left on my body? Asked the young girl as she slashed another bloody lesion on her leg. Yes, said the cross, God knows the hidden scars you are trying to cut away from within your soul.
But, what about the times I cursed Him, and swore there was no God? Asked the broken-hearted atheist. How could He ever love, or forgive me? A broken leg heals easier than a broken heart, said the cross: Matthew 11:28
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
But, surely, He can’t love me; said the lady with the aborted child running across her broken heart, spirit and mind for the past twenty years. Yes, said the cross, your child is with God now, only waiting and praying for you to come to Him as well.
But, none of this makes any sense at all; Said the philosopher, there is no logic in it to be found. Man’s logic is not God’s logic said the cross: Isaiah 55:8
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. Oh this is all just a lot of foolishness. Said the philosopher. Yes, the cross replied; 1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto those which are saved it is the power of God.
But, I have studied in the most prestigious Universities, and learned from the greatest professors among man, the philosopher retorted. Of course, said the cross; :1 Corinthians 1:21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used foolish preaching to save those who believe. In fact, the cross said:
1 Corinthians 1:27
Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.
As the philosopher sat back down, an IRA gunman stood in his place with gun in hand, and tears in his eyes and said; I have always thought I was doing God a great justice by fighting for my cause, but, standing here before you, I am suddenly overcome with the realization that I have taken the lives of countless innocent people, for a cause that never really made sense. Surely!!; The gunman said. You’re not going to tell me that God still loves me, and will forgive me for taking those people’s lives… Are you?
The cross leaned out, touched the man over his heart, and whispered into his ear: On this cross, the world killed the Son of God, and the Son said just before He died:
Luke 23:34“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
In our ever talking world of voices, and opinions, it’s hard for some to distinguish truth from another persons version of truth. There are so many denominations, and religions, it can be confusing to those who’ve walked with God for years even, if they are not intimately grounded in their faith. In our heart of hearts, though,there is only one voice we should listen to, and of course, that voice is the Holy Spirit of God. His is the only voice that can tell us what we truly need to know. And He does so if we listen adamantly. This is why a constant relationship with God is so very important. Especially in a time where legions of new-age notions, and persuasions, inundate the air-ways, and everyday activities like never before in the history of humankind.
From social- media, internet, TV evangelists, and over 300,000 churches, in the U.S. alone, every wind of doctrine, from seed-liner, to Chrislam, and Kabbalah, purport their personal beliefs. All, though diametrically opposed in many of their foundational Worldviews, lay claim to being Christian. This realization alone speaks to our crucial need to have the Living Word of God immovably embedded in our hearts, and minds. The Logos Word, of course, which is none other than Jesus Christ. All of this is not to say that we who are grounded in our faith can’t listen to sermons, or points of view on salvation, other than that which we are already at peace in our hearts with. As long as the Holy Spirit is living within us to discern false gospels, and teachings.
One thing we should always consider. We are saved by God’s Grace, through the faith that He has given us, and nothing else. If we try to be righteous in and of our own power, we stand as much chance of entering His kingdom as did the Pharisees, who thought they were earning God’s favor and righteousness.
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. Romans 10:3
Can there be any difference in one who believes they are righteously living according to all 613 Mosaic laws in the Torah, enough to reach salvation, and one who believes that although God has saved them, they must work to keep what God has already said was a done deal? That way of believing is none other than legalism. Legalism does not save. Jesus saves. Do we perform good works for others? Yes, of course we do. But, we must be born again to the point of having the mind of Christ to ever actually produce those works of His fruit. God wants a cheerful giver, and not one who thinks that by doing good works they are purchasing a ticket into heaven. It can never be by our works, either before we accept Him or after. A sincere belief, and trust, in the free gift of His saving Grace, and faith in Jesus Christ, and He who sent Him will inevitably produce good works of righteousness. Hence, the term “Rest Secure in His Finished Works” doesn’t mean that we just claim to believe in Jesus, and everything is then done for us… It means we seek, and strive for a closer relationship with Him. Once we are “Resting” in His finished works, meaning, we know, that we know, that we know, that we love Him because of who He truly is, He changes our hearts, and minds, just as He promised, and we will instinctively make a conscious decision to do the things He would have us to do. His Holy Spirit then becomes our conscience.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. James 4:8
It is the absolute belief in what Jesus has done for us, in which only His Grace can instill in our heart, that will open the door for us to enter the righteousness of God. This true belief, and love for Jesus, can only come from one voice. Only “ONE” source. God has not given us the spirit of fear, therefore, how could one resort to teaching, or, preaching scare tactics to lead one to Christ?
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4
Many claim that Jesus taught more about Hell in the Bible than He did about Heaven. That is absolutely not true; even if Jesus’ words in the King James Bible, (and others )were not mistranslated, ( for whatever reason) Jesus spoke much more about heaven. But the reality is the words of Jesus in the New Testament were mistranslated when it came to the word “Hell”, because He used three different Greek words, in different places, that the translators substituted with “One” word for Hell… These three words are, Gehenna, Hades, and Tartarus. If Jesus was always talking about the same place, or event, why didn’t He just use one word?
I will be publishing a work on this subject at a later time. But, for now, as this book is to help roll the stones of confusion away from babes in Christ, and those seeking God’s love, I’ll just leave it at that, and continue rolling away the stones. Although, I feel I must reiterate that; Even if “Jerome” had not mistranslated Jesus’ words on these three points, from the original manuscripts, into his “Latin Vulgate”, Jesus taught much more about Heaven than He ever did of Hell. But, I wouldn’t let the fact that parts of the Bible may or may not have been slightly altered in places, or which reasonably translated version you choose to read, as God says what He means, and He means what He says:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
Jesus knows about the things that really hurt, confuse, and worry us. He’s lived it. When Jesus was praying to the Father just before His impending demise, He sweat great drops of blood. That can only be caused by the worst form of anxiety known to the medical world, and if memory serves correctly called Hematidrosis. Hematidrosis is a very real, and very serious condition, brought on by anxiety great enough to cause every capillary in ones sweat glands to actually burst. There have been only 14 other documented cases of this phenomenal medical condition, but, it’s real, and Jesus knows first hand.
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke 2:44
At a time like that, one would surely need a friend. Someone who would stand by you. Maybe even wipe the drops of blood from your eyes. Although He will never have to go through the kind of pain,anguish, and turmoil, ( the Bible defines as to the point of death) He went through for us ever again, He did it for us once. How many people, family, and, or friends do you know who would do that? Without even as much as a friend to stay awake and comfort Him.
I would probably, as was Peter, at that time, have slept for sorrow, as the bible says in one place, but, Jesus knows. Jesus knows what real pain, and anxiety, and separation from God can do to us as humans. That’s why among many, many, other promises that He has given us, He left us with these words of reassurance and truth.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:18
I can only think of Love when I think of Jesus who said: No greater thing can a person do but to lay down their life for their friends…But, He laid His life down for His enemies. © paulwillis – 2010
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Romans 8:7
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8