“Coharie Slough”

From times of Colonial script ─ troubles, of Indian  lore ▒ A people then called “driftwood ,” along southern swamps and shores.

Strong enough to fight when pushed─ brave enough to stand.  Smart enough to live in peace─for a piece of what was once their land.

They fought one side or the other, in every “New World” war─ vested forthwith, the only gift ─ black-water, and the gift to drift no more.

Stories are endless, and many.  Archives of misconstrue… But between the lines of Carolina pines, The Coharie still stand true.Coharie Snake Dream Catcher 010

“Coharie Slough” Hand Carved Snake wrapped forked Bass Wood Branch with Dream Catcher… Snake  carved from woody river vine, Gator head carved into the Bass limb, and the spear head carved out of Red Cedar. Bass Wood and Cedar  stained with Red Oak, for the deeper, darker tones, and the snake stained with Natural. All leather is genuine leather made in Italy, including the wrapping on dream catcher. Comes with faux Eagle feathers, and two dancer bells. ( Inspired by the Coharie Tribe)Coharie Snake Dream Catcher 014Coharie Snake Dream Catcher 006Coharie Snake Dream Catcher 004Coharie Snake Dream Catcher 004Coharie Snake Dream Catcher 001

“Woods Art”

“Roll Away the Stone” Chapter 17 Palm Sunday

Zechariah 9:9

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.

                             

                                Matthew 21:2-5

                             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.”

John 12:13  

 So they took palm branches and went to meet him. They were shouting,

“Hosanna!
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.

paulwillis-2013 ©

Image#1 Brainmwhite

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Image#3  By Jeanie Belgrave

Image#4 @Waiting for the Word

“Roll Away the Stone” Chapter 14

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

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.       John 6:35

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?

You wonder sometimes why no one ever shows; You’ve created such wonders, a place for them all to go. Hard to imagine, what else they expect to find out there;When you’ve given all they’ll ever need, in one place for all of them to share. There’s devotional time, insight, forums and news; Yet the flock remains scattered, as words in a library, among books too numerous to choose.There’s creation, drama, action, and love; sea shores, mountain tops, even fire from above.There’s conquest, chivalry,  sermons and prayer;Yet, still I am alone it seems, for in my quiet time, I alone am there.Now, this may seem selfish, to those of you reading;

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” ?

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“Roll Away the Stone” Chapter 13

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

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               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”.    

Roll Away the Stone Chapter 1

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“Roll Away the Stone” Chapter 12

          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

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