Doodling On

 “Attend to me, and hear me: I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily, Because of the voice of the enemy. . . my heart is pained within me. . . So I say to you oh Lord. . .”oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest” from Psalm 55:1-6
Doodle went on today.

Or maybe it was YESTERDAY.Or. .. .

Maybe it was  a certain time last night,. . . ..

Last night when a cry for her to be “unknotted” went barreling out of  Daddy’s  house .Maybe it was when we were all gathered together, talking to Our Father, about bringing Doodle home healed.  Maybe , it was the very moment, when we were all were seeing pictures with the eyes of our heart and, SUDDENLY, one brother cried out “I see you  untie a knot in her belly Lord. Loose her Lord!” . Some say now , that  Doodle went on shortly after that cry.

But I don’t know how all that “untying of the knot” looked . . . I don’t even know what the knot inside her looked like. I just know the cry for Doodle sounded like it would send the hand of heaven right into Doodle. Right smack dab in and over and under the belly of her soul. And right there on her bed, in her belly, the Word would make a healing happen

.  No one  talked much after these words entered the room last night. We all just left them .But, like a vapor in the room, each Word drifted out the door ahead of us .(1)

I went home thinking a lot that night.. . . .  I was thinking bout the first time I held a “doodle bug ” in my hand. And, then, I was thinking bout when I last held my sister  “Doodle Bug” and tucked her in her bed.

My mind went from memories of 50 years to memories of YESTERDAY.  Like a shoestring ready for tying, I had in one hand,  my thoughts bout real live doodle bugs of childhood and, on the other hand ,my thoughts were about my real live  sister “Doodle”. If Doodle needed unknotting as the brother cried, I needed a tying together. I needed  these two memories to knot before I tripped and fell.(2)

In the left hand I held , LONG AGO.  I would think about “LONG AGO” when I held a “doodle bug” in my hand. I would think about  how I had walked many miles of  the beach with my grandfather. How, after our long walk, when granddaddy felt I had enough swimming and shells , he headed me back along a long wooden  seawalk .

Long ago, Granddaddy and I  walked  past sand dunes of  seaweed and sticker beds to his green sedan. Here I saw him, in my mind ,taking the white hat off his bald head and  brushing the sand off his feet .Then, I could see, on this one day LONG AGO, how I wandered under the planks to see a little bug .  A little bug walking in circles. .

Lookie Granddaddy,this bug is going round and round”. I said as I ran   in circles in the sand kicking up dirt ”  That’s just a antlion ” he called back

” What do you call it Granddaddy.?” I shouted

“just call it a doodle bug. . . call it a doodle bug ” he repeated.

But , then, at the same time, on my right hand was yesterday. . . it was just Yesterday  “Doodle bug”. I shouted into the ICU room. “What are you doing here?”

“I had to see you so you could pray for me” Doodle said softly.

Long ago Granddaddy said, on that day,”And you, my little doodle bug, come  on now  over here into the car” He said as he opened the car door.

“But Granddaddy catch him for me . . . I wanna take him home.” I called back to him. I wanted to take the little bug home to my collection of butterflies and snails and inch worms.”please please get him for me” I whinned as I kept running  in circles.

“I will be most excited to pray” I said YESTERDAY . Doodle’s face lifted, it lifted her glasses over her eyebrows.

“And now I know you know how to pray Vanessa ” Doodle encouraged ” you know you don’t have to use a lot of words AND you know that Our Daddy hears us right away” she said remembering our last time of prayer.https://vunglaub.com/2015/01/23/doodling-words/ We laughed . We could laugh because we were older . It had been a Long time since we last prayed.

But a real  LONG TIME ago, Granddaddy walked over to the sand . Maybe smiling, maybe secretly delighting, he scooped both bug and grains in his hand.(3) He bent his knees and held his hand to let me see. “you hold it ” he said. Suddenly I saw  the beetle who had relayed in the sand so furiously ,then roll into a tight ball and become perfectly still.

“What should we ask Daddy for together  Doodle Bug?” I asked YESTERDAY “To Show you off for Jesus and you walk out of here tomorrow? ” I suggested.

“how about that I could just get some rest”. Doodle replied.

“anything else Doodle? come on . . .”I coaxed.” He’s sooo good lets ask for a lot. .”

“No , sister, that’s enough, we can ask for more tomorrow. Just some rest tonight.” she said as she took off her glasses and set them on the bedside table.

“well Doodle, I’m lifting  you in prayer by the power of Jesus, into Daddy’s hand, where you can be as snug as a bug in a rug and get some rest” She laughed and let me pray. When enough was said, she entered her voice with a soft  “now Amen”. Then, she closed her eyes and whispered “you get some rest with Daddy too.”

The next day I went to see Doodle. I went to see how her rest would restore. Restore her right out the door. I went to see how we might then go out ,on a spring day and chase butterflies with Rita Skeeter. I went with flowers and a card full of pictures of places I wanted to go with her. Places where we would have room to raise our hands out to Daddy. Places where we could stretch out before Jesus. And places where we could run wild with the Holy Ghost. Places for the well and the rested.

That was yesterday . But LONG AGO, I remember seeing the bug in my Granddaddy’s hand and being very afraid and sad. “What happened Granddaddy? Did he die?” I asked.

YESTERDAY , I was afraid and sad again. I looked and looked in many rooms but did not find Doodle. When I sat down exhausted, Rita said “I’m sorry but Doodle passed on last night” I wept. Jesus wept. The Holy Ghost grieved. “Daddy, Abba,Father “……we all cried.

I fell asleep weeping and remembering LONG AGO Granddaddy’s reply “The bug is “resting”  . ” He is showing you what to do .” He lowered his hand back to the ground to roll  the bug onto the sand . ” But this is not your home . . .this is this little doodle bug’s  home and we are leaving him right here to rest “(3)

He grabbed my arm while talking about “resting” and “naps” and “don’t be so busy” and “you have way to much energy” Arguing and pulling against His arm I cried , ” But, ill never get to see lil doodle again. . .”

 Looking back at the bug ,as it uncurled and scurried in the sand, I let my loose hand free and began to wave “Good bye Doodle Bug”

That was a LONG TIME ago before I knew Doodle Bug. That was when Our Father showed us pictures as children, like shadows , of what will soon come.(4) Now is the time when Doodle bug will never move backwards, or play with me again ,on this earth.

Yet, Now is the time Doodle bug will never long for rest . She is loosed in heaven entering a rest where all that we believe is seen. .(5) Doodle bug has put her glasses down . She sees everything brilliantly. She sees face to face Our Father and Our Savior. She is loosed to see what she longed to believe. The knot of sin and death is undone.!(6)

Long ago and Yesterday have met in Forever in my hands as I write and remember. And in the place of  Forever, no more prayer is needed for my sister Doodle. She is resting in the AMEN.(7)

  1. Psalm 141:2 tells us that our prayers are “set before (the Lord) as incense” and Jeremiah 1:12 tells us “you have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it”
  2. Ecclesiastes 4:6, 12.” Better is a handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit. . a threefold chord is not quickly broken. ” So it is , an agreement with the Holy Spirit, in the midst of  a conflict of our souls ,will bring the unbroken strength of quietness and trust in God.
  3. Our earthly fathers are only a hint of the image , a shadow of the glory, of our Heavenly Father who watches over us every moment saying”The Lord thy God is in the midst of the thee, He is mighty and he will save and He REJOICES OVER THEE WITH JOY AND HE WILL REST IN HIS LOVE HE WILL JOY OVER THEEE WITH SINGING.
  4. Psalms 144:4 Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow Colossians 2:17 These are a shadow of the things to come But the substance belongs to Christ.
  5. Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption . . . Behold a mystery We shall not all SLEEP BUT WE Shall all be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51. “For now we see in a mirror dimly but then face to face Now we know in part but then we shall know just as we are truly known “1 Corinthians 13:12
  6. The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through out Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15:57
  7.  “To go to heaven fully to enjoy God is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here.  fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, children, or the company of earthly friends , are but shadows. Bu the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean. ”              Jonathan Edwards

in a day’s work: ASK

SHORT POSTS OF ADORATION IN BUSY TIMES OF VOCATION


The room is lit with lights . Small lights , large lights, like spotlights on a stage  . Lights from pumps for the heart, pumps  for the lungs, pumps  for medications, pumps for suctions,  pumps  for feedings  and the pump I brought. The pump in place of the kidney.

A large light beams from the ceiling onto the center stage, a bed.  It is light. Bright but not natural. Every beam shines small and with purpose  onto the stage where one man is set central. A man ready for the performance of his life.

Eight adult children sit in the background of the pumps. I, the nurse, watch the man on the stage. They watch me.  We all look for signs as to who  to believe. We listen to the minor roles speak.” His prognosis is Poor” “his heart is  good as dead””his kidneys are shot”” His lungs are filled with fluid” . The words that hovered on computer and paper and minds all around are now released. Unbelieving words that never can land rightly.  They only ricochet around and around the room.

I wait my turn. Then , enter with words. I recite the script that I have memorized for years. “Ill do the best I can ” I say. Clear loud with confidence.  The words leave to join the chorus of  dancing phrases.

Suddenly, impromptu a voice enters. ” do your best ,that’s all we can ask” the small plea bends around a pole from the back of the room. Another well memorized line from audience and cast heard over and over many episodes in the same theatre.

The script is the same but the players are different. Their movements seem to  contradict the plot.The small voice calling “do your best” has a face tilted up and not down. Shadows from lights show a bend. A glimpse away from the stage I see  hands held tight.  Nothing moves but a bible dripping and dipping off one bended knee.

Moving the props and changing the scene, I wonder. Could she break away from script and call for another playwrit?. Could she ask for more if she wanted? Who is writing the lines on her bended knee?.

I drop syringe and lift up my mask. My part must be abandoned. I step away from the stage. Away from the lights, away from the camera, away from the script, dodging every word that lingers in the room.

I look at the face of the voice to say “Yes,That is all you can ask of me. But of Him  . . HIM who made this man. . .please ask much more”

1. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

http://bible.com/114/mat.7.11.nkjv

2. “Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you. Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭46:4, 9-10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

http://bible.com/114/isa.46.4,9-10.nkjv

 

between the Altar and the Door

in reflection of the death of Father Hamel and the young terrorists killed on Tuesday July 26 2016 in Rouen France. Revelation 12:10-11

Oh God can’t you see from the Altar to the Door

See how Blood spatters and speckles the church’s Dusty  Floor!
See the men in taverns tell tots tales of a Holy War.
See mamas move  prostrate sneaking prayer in a corridor.
Look , crowds on the  streets scream “we cannot take it anymore!”
While your reporters write of a cry that they long to ignore:
Many are the words of  martyrs fighting  for a sacred score.

see, see, Oh God, drops, drops, drops, of blood like rose petals  falling to the floor

Bend to see dear Father God, from the altar to the door.

see there dead, see here dead, from Turkey to  France

See on Tuesday an old priest  slaughtered in another martyrs dance

Look  God, the Knives and  guns are outspeaking the  bread and wine?

as blood gushes through veins screaming “not my will but thine!!”

Oh God see the spatters and speckles on this church’s holy floor

and drops, drops, drops, drops of blood like petals of roses fall

more and more, more and more from the altar to the door.

Did you not read Oh God the reports on that Tuesday night,

young men in black and the old man  in white

both caught sacrificing a body for what they call “right”

Did you see the one in white with host in his hand?

Did you see the one in black with mission and command?

Where were you God when the Bride was stabbed at the altars?

Why do you wonder at our faith which flounders and falters?.

Oh God see the spatters and speckles on your Church’s holy floor

And , drops , drops , drops like petals of roses fall

As martyr after martyr lays down to the Bridegrooms call.

BEHOLD God I hear  you are there between the Altar and the Door?

I faintly hear  an Alpha, Omega in the distant now and forevermore

Are you Speaking songs for us to sing from throats that are throttled and  slit?

Are you prompting Praises pounding with promise  for every violent hit?

is  that you GOD I hear !  ?ever so sofly like The rose petals of  carpet lain?

and  from my hearing ,see, the Martyr of Martyrs, the  final Lamb that was slain!

Is that your life:  drops, drops, drops  , your Blood, that settles the Holy score?

That is you , God, prostrate between the altar and the door. . .

drops drops drops of your blood for our sins fill oceans shore to shore

Why has thou forsaken me , I will scream nevermore!!

For there you lay, my Savior, between the altar and the door.

Calling me also to die as I longingly adore.

Adoring You , JESUS, from the altar to the door.

“And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”

‭‭Revelation‬ ‭12:10-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://biblecom/59/rev.12.10-1.esv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A righteousness not my own

At times we must return to remember what The Lord once tenderly taught us. This is a post refined and matured from 3 years ago . Difficulties and darts seemed to  dull the glorious truth once planted so deep in my spirit But. . .He waters His word with our tears and so it grows !. I thank my church for  refreshing me in truth and  growing me up in this word …image

 

When we first enter church on Sunday  there is a sense that all of what the preacher is saying, and all of what the songs are proclaiming,  and all of what the folks are “naming and claiming”, is very far away.

Entering , we realize how we have forgotten much from the week before. There were so  many large and heavy words said in the church that were not said outside the church on the days that followed Sunday. We enter with the shadow and dust  of the world. It follows us in like a dark cloud .

Yet quickly , ” the dust settles” and the veil of fog lifts when Pastor prays. At that moment , the Holy Ghost, like a stage hand, draws back the dark shadow of dust and fog . With a strong arm He pulls back the curtain to introduce God. BEHOLD YOUR GOD !!!The Holy Ghost shouts!! He shouts in whispers deep into souls.

Here, at that moment , God becomes very big and very glorious in our minds . And , at that moment , when the songs are sung, God becomes very strong and able in our hearts . And , at that moment, when Pastor preaches, God becomes very near and pressing in our minds . And , at that moment ,when the people touch us and pray , God becomes very Merciful and Healing.He becomes present. He becomes  Just like Jesus in our midst.

BUT, the moment we leave the door, that moment when we echo our last “good-by”, all His glory begins to shrink. There seems to be a commonness of life that steals the glorious. We sense someone has stolen the “garment of praise” and “the robe of righteousness” right off our back .

To begin to walk ” in faith” , to even write this  is to press into greater obedience.  I began to wrestle as I do on Sunday afternoons. I begin  to hold a fear of losing sight of His worth and glory. I have given my writing to Him and felt always that to privately write Him was my act of worship. At times,  He would have me write to others but never publicly.

Worship is where God magnifies Himself to us and we in turn adore Him. So God would do so when I would write. It was like entering church for me, an entering in and being dressed by God in His glory and His righteousness.

My greatest fear was that I would either become self-righteous or would fail if I tried to glorify Him in public. This is how the enemy keeps us from worshipping Our Lord with our gifts.

So also, He hinders us as we go into the world. We all carry His Word as our worship and have Christ’s commission to proclaim. But , This is sooooo often  held back by our greatest fears of self-righteous pride or of shame and failure. This is when we operate from ourselves, our feelings.  The enemy has us think we will be stripped of all of His presence as we go out , as we obey a call from the Spirit . We suddenly  feel naked reaching  hard to grab clothes of righteousness to put on. We reach for clothes when we are already dressed IN HIM and BY HIM!!!.


BUT GOD.. But God we hear from Pastor Chris , From every worship song , from every prayer.   “But God” does not leave us undressed.   When we leave the door of the church, we feel naked of His presence only because we have let our minds forget we are clothed!!!!We are a royal priesthood dressed in the most glorious gowns and robes ! Designer Gowns and Robes labeled “Jesus”.

We are not like the royal one  in the children’s story by Hans Christian Anderson (1837). In the story , “The Emperor’s new clothes” a king commissions a designer to make clothes. He is fooled that he has the best designed suit but ,  he is actually naked . The king displays nakedness in the street  thinking he is clothed.  How often we are like this royal one ? When we try to design our own clothes are we not like this foolish emperor? In an opposition to the truth , we are foolish in our thinking when we, ones who are clothed in Christ,  think we are naked ?

As the Emperor did not know he was an old naked man when he went before the crowd, we do not know we are a clothed “new” man when we go into the world.  When we forget that Christ has bore EVERY sin from dark sins of the body or mind or tongue to the self-righteous sins of body , mind and tongue  on Himself.  (Galatians 5:21) , we forget we are saved.  We forget we are covered eternally in “robes of righteousness”.  We forget we are pure children and “if children then heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ!” What Christ is wearing today, at this moment , is what we are wearing.

To look at this glorious truth and forget it is called  “double mindedness’ (James- 1:8, 22-25).  Like the Emperor we do not know what we look like.  But to know what we look like is to have a single mind, the mind of Christ.  The Scriptures of  Isaiah 61:10  describe how we are dressed: “with garments of salvation (SOZO) and robes of righteousness”

As my mind agrees in greater certainty  with my spirit that holds the clothes of Isaiah 61:10, I then agree with God.  And , only as I agree with God ,can I write this blog , can I go and pray, can I love , can I produce fruit or gifts or desire my greatest treasure and worship Jesus with my whole life. !!

The glory of God does not only  sit inside a few moments on Sunday morning. It sits on the inside of me. It sits certain and bright.   It sits on the inside of us His Bride , The Church !! It has dressed us beautifully in a “robe of righteousness” and a “garment of  salvation” that we may live and act to the “praise of His glorious grace”.

Our Rightness/ His Righteousness at RLOC 1/31/16 #SoundCloudhttps://soundcloud.com/vunglaub/our-rightness-his on

Abiding Above the Rifle of ” Roof” (living in Psalm 91)

 This is a letter to my brothers and sisters at my church, Renewed Life Outreach. It is current and true.  It is a call for revival.  For revival is truly built on the blood of martyrs.  And we, in a small town of 800 are seeing many martyrs have shed their blood overseas and now at home in the US.  

This is a declaration to the Enemy of our Lord that the victory is won and we are not afraid. Thank you Emanual AME for being a modern day cloud of witnesses to us at Renewed Life Outreach Center , Greenville Florida.  To our God be all glory. 

psalm-91_1

My most dearest brothers and sisters of common blood, of the Blood of Jesus:

I have been awakened in the night since we have met on Tuesday  with Psalm 91.  I am most certain I have been awakened by the Holy Spirit.  He wakes me with the word we spoke to one another in the Haffee Hays Park.  He has wakened me for four nights saying “ you will not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day”. He wakens me with “a thousand may fall at your side ten thousand at you right hand but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked”.  He wakens me with questions He wants to answer. He awakens me to write to you .  He awakens me to a “secret place of the Most High . .

IN THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY

On Tuesday we rejoiced in the Word of the Lord in the Park.  We spoke of our secret place right there at the right hand of Daddy where Jesus gives to us any and every spiritual blessing we ask for.  We spoke of how Jesus longs to draw us to his perfect Heart , under His wing.  We talked of how we hear he weeps like he did over Jereselum also over Greenville. The Spirit called that we would come close to hear His heart to find refuge and from there we would  see His kingdom.

Snuggled beneath His wing, we see  so many great ways that He protects us and cares for us. We are never in want .  We are never harmed.  Rattlesnakes in our yard do not touch us.  Viruses and germs stalk after us to no avail. Homelessness and hunger have no place for us.  And gunshots. like arrows ,fly past us all day.  We only look with our eyes, perhaps weeping like Jesus, for the recompense of the wicked.  All because we hold fast to Him in Love.  All because we hold fast to Him in Love, He delivers us.

In the park, we were distracted by children and cars and  heat. Surely the 100 degree heat reminded us that everything withers. . . . Everything but His word.  “ It is all that remains” we agreed.  And Joseph opened praying, “God let your kingdom come, your will be done by your Word”

After our worship and study , we walked to RLOC in an awareness of the protection of our great Father . We heard that  Pastor was not able to come to Bible Study. But we feared not for him because we believed Psalm 91 for him as well.  We only missed him.  We all missed him for He had led us for many weeks from Ephesians to Romans. Verse  by verse , he equipped  us with great words from Daddy.

Last Tuesday night , our souls were parked at Romans 12:1 where we were left weeks before “Therefore , in view of God’s mercy we present our bodies as Living Sacrifices Holy and acceptable unto God for this is our reasonable act of worship”. We had been in prayer for weeks after this verse.We were in prayer and study about the gifts that come to us to  use to worship in this way to Daddy.  Through prayer and fasting,   The Holy Spirit had been putting fire under these Living Sacrifices. .Every  soul at RLOC seemed to burn brighter.   Daddy was teaching us the depth of this verse.

Daddy God did not cancel Bible Study. He kept it with Brother Roy as the leader because he wanted us to hear testimonies.Testimonies of Daddy’s work.  In every testimony we  knew all that was said came from the Word manifesting itself in the life of a lost child found by Daddy . We had learned this Word as we had been taught by Pastor.  We saw how true the Lord had been  to His word that says again and again to His children “I love YOU”

It was if Daddy Himself was giving testimony of His salvation for the most unlikely of all . . . US. He was saying in every testimony: I created you as my child. I created you for my glory.  You exchanged the glory of God for a lie.  You sinned and fell short to my glory.(Romans 1 &3)   But , I the Lord ,came to rescue you.I came as Jesus the exact imprint of Me God.  I came to buy you back to Myself, my purpose for you, for My glory.(Ephesians 2)  I died to do this.  I God , died for you through my son.  I have bought you with a price . You are not your own, nor the devil’s nor any created thing’s . You are mine. Choruses of testimonies resounded: I once was lost but now Im found. . . therefore I give myself away that He who saved me may be glorified, magnified, and shown worthy!

Brother Roy ended the night in a prayer quoting from Revelation 12:11 “They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” He did not quote the rest of the verse but, in a day, it was displayed in a church not far away.

“Isn’t Psalm 91 awesome? And those testimonies. . . that was awesome” I said to Joseph on the phone the next night

“yeah, but did you hear what happened in South Carolina?” He replied.

“No . . . .”

Soon I did hear. I heard that  on the night after our bible study, in Emanuel AME church in  Charleston South Carolina a few folks gathered with the same mind as the brothers and sisters at  RLOC.  Like minded brothers and sisters , by blood, by the Blood of Jesus gathered to worship their King. Reports say a young man entered the church for the first time.  Reports say they welcomed the young man into their Bible Study.  Reports say he listened to them for an hour.  Reports say he almost received prayer. Reports say he said “they were so loving it was hard to do what I came to do”.  He came to shoot them dead

. Had not Psalm 91 been written for them? I heard myself ask.  Had not the Church of Emanuel of South Carolina  who were dwelling in the secret place of the Most High been in the Shadow of His protection? Doesn’t Emanuel mean God with us? Where was God?  Why could  they not have just seen the recompense of this wicked young man? Why did they not get saved from the arrow that flew by day? Why did you not save them from the deadly pestilence that stalked into that church that  night?  Daddy why? And Daddy how can we sit in the park in Greenville and think we are any more safe? Or how can we be in RLOC and think we are in an even safer place? If your word is most true,  and I know it is Daddy, show me , show me the glory of it amidst this tragedy.

“When we can’t see His Hand we TRUST HIS HEART” Pastor has told us again and again.

“WHERE IS YOUR HEART DADDY ? WHERE IS YOUR HEART JESUS? I MUST KNOW THAT I MIGHT SERVE YOU !” We all must know because  there is a Louder voice saying what  Brother Roy prayed on Tuesday night . . .”a Loud voice from heaven says “NOW the SALVATION and POWER and THE KINGDOM of OUR GOD and the AUTHORITY of CHRIST has come for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down who accuses them day and night before our God .  AND THEY HAVE CONQUERED HIM BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB AND BY THE WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY FOR THEY LOVED NOT THEIR LIVES EVEN UNTO DEATH”

UNTO DEATH IN THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY 

In World War II , the chaplains would quote Psalm 91 over dying soldiers.  It did not make sense for that fact to be shared on Tuesday afternoon on the 16th of June.We were but Children of God hovered over by a Good Daddy.   But now , on June 20th,  I am compelled to think of us as soldiers.   We must see we are soldiers in a battle that has already been won.

This psalm read over and over was shared to give the soldiers a hope. And eternal end.  The psalm speaks of a current promise of protection for the believer and an eternal protection promised exclusively to the believer.  In this life both unbeliever and believer are given protection.  The unbeliever , a limited protection. The believer , an unlimited protection.  The unbeliever is not protected from eternal damnation (unending death)  and hell.  The believer is protected from both death and hell.  Though our bodies die , we live forever.  This is not so for the unbeliever, Therefore there is indeed a limit on the protection THE Most High offers the unbeliever.

So, in WWII , when bullets  and arrows literally flew by day and pestilence walked at night and ten thousand fell at their sides , there was comfort, great comfort in Psalm 91. There was great comfort  in hearing the chaplin read to the dying believing soldier “Jesus covers you with His feathers and under the wings of God you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler”. This is the HOPE of a certain end.

As Angela said in the park “its like we are strapped to Jesus. Always Buckled to Him FOREVER”

“Sheild and buckler” I awoke in the night hearing the Spirit say again and again “Sheild and buckler”.

Awake, I saw in my mind  the young man speak to the boy Roof:  “you don’t want to do this” . It is said a certain young man at the  Bible study stood before the shooter to try to talk him out of his planned assault.  It is said that his argument failed in the mind of the boy and the boy proceeded to aim his gun at the believer’s aunt.  In order to save his aunt, the believing man lunged in front of the gun.  He was ready to take the bullet for his aunt.  He was ready to die.

NOW for a good man one might die, but God show HIS LOVE for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us”. Romans 5 preaches in the night to me. The young man could die for the body of his aunt but not for her soul.  He is shot.  Eight others are shot.  But Christ remains the shield and buckler for the young believing man who went from life to life while saving the body of his aunt. His life testifies “The Lord took the bullet for you sinner”.

I remember again what Dylan Roof said “ It was hard to do what I came to do because they were so loving”. Love delayed the work of the enemy. A love poured lavishly into a surrendered heart delayed the devil. The Love of God poured down from heaven into the hearts of a dozen of believers halted a man equipped in mind and weapon and backed by Satan. He was held hostage to the Love of Jesus for over an hour!! Love almost stopped the shooting.

Suddenly I saw RLOC, Daddy’s church in Greenville  ,holding Satan’s minions hostage through the Love of JESUS. Still Nine believing children of God, servants of King Jesus , were killed.  Murdered. In a moment amidst the Shadow of the Almighty., Nine saved souls murdered  in the sight of three who looked with with their eyes.

IN scenes of WWII we see the blood of thousands  drip onto and  past the dying soldiers eyes.  Meanwhile chaplains pray desparately from Psalm 91 “ a thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand but it will not come near you .you will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked” . They say that blood was everywhere in the church. They say not everyone was shot.  They say Roof wanted to leave a witness to the crime because he said he was going to kill himself and he wanted someone left to tell the story. A few remained alive covered with the feathers of the Most High.

A few were there with  Jesus weeping as Jesus said “ Roof, Roof, my created boy that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to you.  How often would I have gathered you a a hen gathers her chick under her wing but you were not willing. See now your house is left desolate. “  Matthew 24. With His wings outstretched , the shots fired.  Only the victims  found “refuge” in His wings.

SEEING SALVATION IN THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY

Another night is interrupted.  Aching for my church I pray the prophecy of psalm 91:14-16 that we spoke over each other.  “ Daddy because they hold fast to you in love you say you will deliver them, you will protect them, because they know you name and when they to all to you You will answer them . . . You will be with them in trouble you will rescue them and honor them with long life. . . . . “ I weep for the church of Emanueal With long life Daddy. . . . what about with long life. . . . I ask Daddy. He answers with the last six words of Psalm 91.

“I Will Show Him MY SALVATION”. I cannot sleep.

Though I never watch TV , on Friday afternoon the whole town had TVs showing the bond hearing of the shooter , Dylan Roof.  Broken children and parents spoke from hearts that knew deeply what  the angel Micheal knew , vengenace and judgement are assigned only to God. Vengance belongs to the Lord to speak but Salvation belongs to us to speak.

Clips of family members speaking echo in my mind.  They spoke so much forgiveness I could but hear my Savior from the cross speak to Dylan “Father forgive him , he knew not what he did”  So the families spoke one after another of the work of God “we forgive you because He has forgiven us”  “God forgive you and have mercy on your soul.” “Take the opportunity now ” Anthony Thopson said to the young man ” Repent. Confess. Give your life to the one wo matters the most, Christ, so he can change your ways no matter what happens to you and youll be ok. Do that and you will be better off than you are right now” Suddenly, salvation was spoken.

“When you can’t see His hand Trust His heart” Pastor says again and again to us

How His heart beats louder than His wrath. The murderer stands bound by shakles of both man and Satan.  In my mind I  see him standing with a youthful innocence yet staring with a haunting emptiness.  The word of salvation lands on him like an arrow, an artillery against his captor, Satan.

Jesus calls “I came to seek and to save the lost”. I came for you Dylan Roof.  It is no accident that you were exposed to the love of the saints.  It is no accident that you were assaulted with Love and Forgiveness of Jesus.

“if there were but one sorry hamerknocker of a sinner in the world.  If it was just you ” our Pastor shouted one Sunday “He would die for you!! He would die for one!!!” I pray for a chaplin like Pastor to preach to Dylan Roof.

I imagine Dylan saved .  I imagine and I remember Brother Roy say ” Satan will look like the small wizard from the Wizard of Oz in the face of the Glory of God.” In righteous anger and godly hope,  I read Isaiah 14:15-17  to Satan. ” How you are cut down to the ground oh  Evil one who aims to be like the Most High!! You defeated foe!! You puny enemy who makes the earth tremble who shakes kingdoms who make the world like a desert who does not let his prisoners go home. Look what The MOST HIGH is doing!!!  He is saving yet another through the testimony of the Redemened. ‘

Miss Ann reminds me “God is Good”

“yes, God is good ” I sigh

“All the time” She says convincingly.

“yep” I feel encouraged by Miss Ann ”

Aint the end of the story till God gets the glory” I say.

God is Good and Faithful to His Word. All the Time. Is not the Shadow of the Most High His Love for His people? His Love has saved us. His Love keeps us and protects us.  AND His Love consumes us in the face of the Enemy.   Finally His Love sustains us in death by the Enemy.

And in this War,  His Love is Testimony. The testimony comes in the death of His saints. And testimony is to “SHOW HIS SALVATION” so that more and more will “DWELL IN THE SHELTER OF THE MOST HIGH AND ABIDE IN THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY”

In Step with Abraham ( Romans 4)

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“If you were Abraham’s children you would be doing the works Abraham did”. Jesus

John 8:39

“You said that we are going somewhere special sis” the boy said to the girl as they looked down a rugged winding dirt trail that stretched before them . Squinting the boy continued ” and I can’t see nothin but an old man and an old dog following him.. Looks like a huge tree at the end of the trail but no mansion like you promised sis.”

“That’s him. . .” the girl exclaimed pointing to a distant figure in front of them. ” Daddy says we are supposed to follow him.  That’s Father Abraham.  He will take us to the mansion brother. ” the girl said as she put her foot forward into a large footprint left by the old man.

“okay sis ” the boy said tip toeing  in the the footprints of the dog “I’m right there with you”

“Boy  don’t follow that dog, he looks like he is fixin to die. I told you , follow the old man!!”

“What’s the difference sis, that old man looks like he is fixin to die too”

“well he aint.” the girl said

” How do you know. . .

“Cause Daddy says. “The girl began to walk and sing “Father Abraham had many sons. . ..”

FATHER ABRAHAM

It was in December when we entered Romans 4.  It was cold and raining and It was two days before Christmas. Less than a dozen brothers and sisters came to Bible Study on that night. The packages and pageantry  of the Christmas season were set aside for the evening.  All was abandoned to hear the Word. Tired , hungry folks sat before their open Bibles entering a story that foreshadowed the nativity of our Lord Jesus. A story of birth and redemption. A story of our faith. Leaving all the wrappings and bows of the season ,we sat ready to receive.  It was as if the Lord Himself was there speaking  to the few folks “Get thee out of thy house and from thy kindred and from thy many duties and go unto a land I will show you” Genesis 12:1. The very words spoke to Abraham became the words spoken to our spirits.

Pastor sat and , as many Tuesdays before, he opened saying “we are going somewhere.”  Somehow we were certain of his declaration.  We were certain that , while the world frantically moved towards the celebration of Christmas, the Word would gently put us to the scene  of the Lord’s birth in our hearts. He would put us there as we set out in the steps of our very old Father, father Abraham

Pastor introduced Abraham singing ” Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had Father Abraham and I am one of them and so are you so lets just praise the Lord , right foot, left foot, right arm, left arm , spin around” . Like children again, we laughed as pastor demonstrated the motions of the song he learned in his youth. https://myoutube.com/watch?v=UbLvpd9bUL4

HAD MANY SONS

Though many sons were promised to Abraham, he actually had only two sons starring in his life story.  The firstborn was Ismael, son of  Haagar, the slave woman.  The second was Issac, son of Sarah. the free woman.  One child was obtained by the the flesh .  The Second obtained by the Spirit . According to Galatians 4, one was a striving of man to obtain the promise of God .  The later was a miracle of God to fulfill the promise of God.

God does not look at flesh except to command its banishment. Much like he did the slave woman Haagar into the wilderness with Ishmeal, On its own, the flesh will have no life without The Spirit. The Spirit of God enables the promise of God to be birthed from the Word inside vessels of flesh.  So it was was with Issac. Brought forth by the Word of promise and kept by the Spirit of God, He , Issac,  is the brother of all who believe. As Paul so rightly rejoices in Galatians 4:31 ” And so brothers we are not the cildren of the slave woman but of the free woman!”  For it was said to him as to us “the Lord will provide the sacrifice”.

Beginning with Abraham’s son,Issac, we see the  genealogy of this faith recorded in Matthew . It includes both men and women, both royal and rejected, kings and prostitutes, thoughtful and simple, respected and outcast. Many sons , many daughters: all from a Word spoken. These are  the bloodline promised children linked to the very “word made flesh”. . .   Jesus.

“Everything of God is obtained through His promises” Pastor stated.  A dozen “amens” chorused in the room.  ” Them two were as good as dead.  Sarah, an old woman and Abraham an old man.  But that don’t matter cause don’t you know ,.everything birthed of God is from the word of God!!!!”. Pastor explained. Pastor then showed us from scripture to scripture, in Genesis,  the story of how Abraham received the child promised him through the word spoken to him.

The promise of a child came.  A child of God, Issac to birth Jacob to birth . . . .families of children of God and nations of children of God. Birth upon birth recorded until  it it looks as if as many  as the stars of the sky.  All from a word of God.

AND I AM ONE OF THEM

It is now March and Easter draws near. I have thought of Abraham every day for three months. The Lord has kept me in Romans 4 for His purpose. From December , I stumbled into January as I looked back at a year of failed promises I had made to the Lord in 2014.  February awakened me to look forward but had me working hard to make happen all that did not happen in 2014 .

I longed for the faith of Father Abraham  wanting all the promises from God that I had forfeited in unbelief last year.” Maybe if I pray more, fast more, work more , serve more, I will see a move of God? “I thought. Weeks of  working hard to  make promises  on my own, I birthed nothing but an Ismael of exhaustion. A “wavering “wild purposeless  child in the wilderness.  A faith dead , dry, dangerously religious.

“What makes Abraham so great?” “how can he be great when he lied about his wife ?” “How can he be so great when he tried to obtain the promise pimping through Haagar?!! ” And Look at Ismael, how do I know I am not an Ismael ?”  Frantically,  I  ask.  Pastor replies ““Abraham is the Father of our Faith because He believed in  God and in the promise made. . . . is your faith in your self and your efforts toward the promise OR in God and His promise?”

 Suddenly, Romans 4:16 began to set my feet rightly. That is why it DEPENDS ON FAITH, in order that THE PROMISE may REST on GRACE and be GUARANTEED to ALL HIS OFFSPRING- not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the FAITH OF ABRAHAM WHO IS THE FATHER OF US ALL.. The promise of all my obedience and vision rest on the Grace “undeserved Love ” of the Father and Author of the promise. It depends ALL on God.!!!   A child birthed in me by GOD. . . . That is, the birth of CHRIST IN ME. Not an Ishmeal but a CHILD OF GOD.  Three months later, it felt like Christmas! A gift from Daddy igniting my walk of faith.

RIGHT FOOT LEFT FOOT, RIGHT HAND LEFT HAND

The child’s song “Father Abraham” continues with words commanding motions.  As a child of God , I love motion. Yet, motion without purpose is a return to slavery.  It is rebellion at its worst and dull religious ritual at its best.  Either way, it is a wavering of Faith in God.  It is said that Father Abraham “did not waver.” The song declares we are to walk as he did.”  Right foot, left foot, right arm left arm. . .

The scene of sacrifice in Genesis 22 is the manifested walk of a inward faith in the man Abraham.  Here Abraham declares ” i and the boy will go over there and worship and again come to you” to a young man attending him. From that declaration he proceeds to walk in obedience to the call to sacrifice his son. From a purpose to worship, he walks.  He walks saying “God will provide the sacrifice my son”.

That is why it is said “his faith was ‘counted to him as righteousness. . . ” because “no unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised”.  Romans 4:20. Words about promise gave me a promise!!. Every Word that had quickened in my heart I suddenly knew would be done.  Every word,  and every layer of meaning as God intended in every word written in the Bible He would do as he had promised!!  As many as there are stars in the sky would be born in His time.  So . . .

LETS JUST PRAISE THE LORD   

 When Abraham learned to take both the promise of God and the provision of God , He became the father of our faith. This is the footsteps we follow.  Knowing  this:   footsteps are always the evidence of faith not the means of faith , I walk now , resurrected by the Lord and His work , ready for Easter, I walk unwavering in worship. And I  call brothers and sisters to come walk in these steps of Father Abraham in a life of worship. . . . Let’s just praise the Lord, right foot , left foot, . . .. . .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A16XTnzAf18&sns=em

Funeral of The “Old Wretched Man” based on Romans 7

grave yard

Oh Wretched man that I am who will deliver me from this body of death? But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive , so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old ways of the written code. (Romans 7:24,6)

PREACHER invites:

Brethren , we are gathered today among  angel and saint

To bury a man who once thought himself great!

We are gathered today among the saved and the bought

to cremate with fire the works he so wrought

Brethren , what have you to say of this wretched man and his way?

Brethren , what have to remember of this wretched man’s members?

PEOPLE respond:

He pushed me angry without cause

And turned  my mind to resent Daddy’s laws.

He  bruised me sad without reason

And hardened my heart to render Daddy treason.

He starved me, wanting me into great greed

And kept my monies to gamble me reckless to need.

He bound me anxious in a soul which  always trembled

So that I would hide from the church Daddy had  assembled

He wrote sin and death as the last chapter of  every story

so each  scene was set in darkness to hide all  Daddy’s glory.

He turned my eyes to all faces but that of my Master.

So that I would weary busy into greater depths of disaster.

Disaster upon disaster , he set me to die

He set me to die,  He set me to die, He set ALL of me to die!!

He set me to die! Just that wretched man and I!!

PREACHER AND PEOPLE (SPEAKING TOGETHER)

So we gather here today , among angel and saint

To say an eternal Good Bye to this man once believed so great

We gather as one , as one saved and bought

and will let the Fire of Jesus Eyes for this man’s cremation  be sought!!!

We unite as one at his death today

to say to this wretched man :

Rot and decay !!!

We forget Your works and your evil way!!!

We forget your works and all your foul play !!!

Crucified and buried, Your tombstone  will forever claim

“With the death of the Old man ,

the Lord has come to Reign!!!”

CHORUS  3 times

(PEOPLE AND PREACHER JOIN HANDS CIRCLING THE GRAVE OF THE OLD MAN)

DEAD OLD MAN HERE YOU REMAIN

OUT THIS DUST THE LORD WILL REIGN

DEAD OLD MAN

DEAD YOU REMAIN!!!

Caught In the Trees

Children picking fruit in tree“Lookie sis over there! It ‘s another tree ! A bunch of dirty lookin kids are all in it. They are all just looking at the sky. They aint looking at the mansion.” The boy observed

” dont you pay them no mind brother . Daddy’s  fixin to let them fall out of that tree ! They are gonna die  if they don’t get their heads looking right”. Sis replied

“But sis Whats all those  shriveled up old apples hanging on  the tree”? the boy strained to look closer at the tree.

“They aint all apples brother. its all kinds of bad fruit” the sister explained

“Well lookie at this we got us some good apples sis” the brother reached over to pick a bright shiny  apple from the tree

“Dont pick that brother!!!” the sister screamed  pulling the boy’s hand back

“But sis its so beautiful Daddy must have put it here!! ” The boy begged.

“No !! Boy,,  look in front of the mansion see that tree !?.  That is the tree we go through before we go into the mansion.”  In front  of the mansion stood a large trunked tree with an opening at the trunk. On the tree were fruits of all kinds.  The girl stared at the tree in awe and released her brothers hand.

With his hand released and his sister distracted, the boy picked the shiny  apple from the tree. He  twirled it in his hand  and then tried to ibite nto it.

His teeth clamped  against the hardness of the apple. “Ugh sister its plastic!!”

“Boy drop that apple. Come on we are getting out of this tree before we die here”

Last Tuesday, in Romans we saw an aerial view of the  fallen world and the state of mankind as it looks from Daddy’s throne.  Looking down from the glory of God, we saw how mankind had become a polluted reflection of God’s intended  creature.

We saw two types of children left on earth.  Children of wrath, or unrighteousness, and children of hypocrisy ,or self righteousness.  Both bearing fruit after their own kind.

We had left the Tuesday the week before seeing only the “children of wrath”.In order to display Himself to these children Daddy shows Himself in His creation.  Yet, in looking at created things, the children do not look to the Creator Daddy , Instead they look for their satisfaction in the created things.  themselves. Instead of seeing created things. like stars and animals and food and sex and affections as reflections of Gods order and beauty, they worship them as gods.

They take what Daddy gives them and exchange it for a lie. A lie that says “there is no GOD , these things are your gods”.  So  Daddy , from heaven calls down, in His Holy wrath,  to these children saying “you are without excuse”.

Soon, Daddy gives them over to their own thinking .  Subsequently , they begin to bear fruit . And the fruit  produced from their worship of these gods is rotten. It is murders, envy, strife, deceit, maliciousness,  gossiping, slandering, hatred toward Daddy , insolece, haughtiness, boastfulness, intentions of evil, disobedience to parents, foolishness, faithlessness, heartlessness and ruthlessnes. (Romans1:26-32) Paul calls these the” works of the flesh”. We   call it “bad fruit”.

These are the children we  all were before we were adopted by Daddy.  Ephesians preaches to us that We were all children of wrath.

This child  recognizes them well for I was one of them, And  now I find  that I point my finger in newspapers ,at TV screens,  at Facebook, at folks in grocery stores and work, in jails, at  folks in my family and folks next door and folks in another church  and say “bad fruit”. There is a judgement I have as child of God .And there is a judgement we are allowed as children of God.

Pastor tells us that we can “judge” fruit but not “pass judgement” on a brother.  He says that we are to speak to the”in love “to show them Daddy as  the giver of good fruit . We are to “lead our brothers and sisters in love to repentance and restoration”, But there is yet another child we are to judge.  And this is the child of self righteousness.

This child is mostly in the church. And “this child” is a child that sits within MY  very being.   This child  in me is  not much unlike a sister of wrath.. It too bears “bad fruit”.

It is me in  my tattling loveless prayer : “Oh Daddy, he just continues to play you the fool in all he does. Straighten him out Daddy”. It is me when I count my times of prayer or obedience or scripture reading as a righteousness of my own. It is me when I do a “good thing” for the glory of another besides my King. It is me when I trust my efforts and not His finished work.

It is always me, a child of self rightousness and hypocrisy when the glory lands on “me”.  When the glory lands on me “the created thing” and not on the Creator Daddy.

And, Daddy who loves all His children   comes to me  and says the same to me as He says to the children of wrath.  “You have no excuse O child every one of you, even you Vanessa, who judges.  For in passing judgement on another you condemn yourself because you the judge practice the very same thing.”

The very same thing. . . .” what Daddy.? .i say indignantly.

“. did I not prophesy in your name and cast out demons in your name and do many mightyworks in your name?” matt 7::22

“you have exchanged the glory of God for . . .”unrighteousness  and self righteousness.

“I never knew you , depart from me , you worker of lawlessness” matt 7:23

“Either unrighteousness or self righteousness have kept you from the glory of God”. He declares from page to page in His word to me.  Woe for I have exchanged His glory for my own!

“both your unrighteousness and your self righteousness  rob the gospel of its power.  And you will not see the power of God , the kingdom of God, here on earth, where there is no gospel.  Where there is no gospel there is no power!!” Pastor Chris preached on Tuesday …

Sunday continued the theme as the Holy Spirit came, The words echoed again to the children of self righteousness, “Only God can produce godliness . . your production is just a  form of godliness that denies HIS  power” Pastor proclaimed referring to 2 Timothy 4.

The church in America will always appear cosmetic rather than alive and supernatural as it operates both corporately and individually with a form of godliness, a “self righteousness”. . Its efforts look plastic and tasteless not only to the world but to God. There is no glory or power to draw men. Indeed ,  It is a tasteless hard fruit apart from the gospel of Jesus .

It is God who says to these children, the children of wrath and the children of self righteousness,  “stand on level ground before the King of Glory.”

Descending from our Unrighteousness and our Self Righteousness we are equals.  We stand naked  before Him, and we hear plainly “there no one righteous no not one” . Trembling in this glorious holiness of God, His righteous wrath, we are ready for our Savior.

“But Sister we can see the mansion from here? Lets stay in this good looking tree!!  It is so comfortable!” the boy coaxed his sister

“Boy, Im telling you we are going to die if we dont get down from here and go through  the Tree of Life into that Mansion!!. And you, boy,  are going with me if I gotta carry you. Come on!!” The girl pulled the boy as she descended from the tree.

To be continued as we enter Romans chapter 3.

Seeing Saints

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” Slow down sis , we don’t have to get to Rome in a day” the boy said as he broke his run down, to a slow walk .

Looking ahead, he squinted and said  “And sis , I don’t think anyone is really going in that mansion yet”

“Oh Brother , yes they are!! You just can’t see from here” the girl said as she stopped with the boy by a large fruit tree. Looking to the top of the tree she said “Hey climb up there with me and then we can see”

Once settled with his sister in a thick sturdy branch, the boy strained his head toward the mansion. “Yep, they are going in ..and it looks like they are squeezing through a small,narrow door sis,”
“Hey ,and look at their shirts sis. They all got name tags .hmm I can’t see what they say . . . something like S. . .A…. I…..N….. T..”

“Silly ” the girl sighed “that spells ‘saint””

“Well, how can all them folks have the same first name when they don’t even look alike ?” the boy asked.

” SILLY BOY!! I done told you over and over ! Saint is the first name Daddy calls all of us !!! Ain’t you ever heard Him call ya that before ? !”

When we hear the word “saint”, some of us see thin, stone faced, darkly dressed, men or women with hands folded or, at best, hands drooping beneath stooped shoulders. Some may also think of such souls as ” perfect” before God.

Many of us quickly swat away any such label “saint” placed on us . Aware of our faults , both sinner and saved say ” well I ain’t no saint”. Tuesday night was no different as we heard Pastor Chris call out to us. . .,Us. . . . ragged and tired folks, sitting on worn chairs, in a dim light, on a cold floor “Grace and Peace to you Saints. Yes you saints!” he said.

For a moment some souls ran to a place far away from the platform titled ” saint”. Ducking from the light of this honor, some of us bent heads low, thinking “I aint no saint”.

Very strangely, off this platform “saint” , the Holy Ghost rightly examines both sinner and saved. He sees both step away from the name saint.. Here we see the sinner has examined himself rightly. He knows instinctively that his sin has separated him from this pure name from God.

The saved however denies a name his Daddy gave him. When asked , he quickly says “I ain’t no saint” only because he does not want to elevate himself above the one who has called him “saint”. Without intention, his aim is to please the opinion of man rather the than to honor a truth of God. Suddenly, the enemy has a covert victory .His victory is over our mind when we pridefully want to “look” humble.

The first “saints” had settled in the light and stood fast on the platform. They had a right mind   The first disciples knew they were saints .” In fact the “world ” freely called them “saints” ( Acts 9:13) as we see Ananias refer in prayer to his fellow disciples. They knew who they were. ” It was not an offense at all to be called saint. A saint was set apart wholly and holy for God “.Pastor Chris explained. “They believed every word of scripture and from that belief they manifested a life that proved scripture true”.

We heard Pastor’s words.  Yet ,sitting worn, ragged and cold ,we looked at ourselves , we looked at each other whispering. “I ain’t no saint” . No saint looked like me , I thought, stumbling and often unable to even stand up on the platform beneath the light of Daddy.  If a saint , I thought , Daddy, this is not one for the photo albumn !

Then , pastor invited into our minds a picture from God’s gallery of an unlikely saints. One I thought looked just like me. He invited Mephibosheth..imagehttp://www.goodsalt.com

Suddenly through the Word and the Spirit, we saw how Daddy defined saint. It became a definition filled with His work toward us rather than our work for Him. We saw a saint in the making: Mephibosheth, a cripple child of God.https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Samuel%2020&version=KJV. Pastor told the story of David seeking, Mephibosheth, the son of his friend Jonathan who he had promised favor.

We saw David, keeping his covenant made with Jonathan, calling Mephibosheth born limp and unable to come to him at all. Also, much afraid and ashamed , he hid from the servants of the King. In spite of his lameness , he was brought by the King to the table of the king to sit in the limelight of the kingdom. There he was to feast and be nourished by the King.
Suddenly, in the shadow of this gospel story, we saw a true image of a “saint”. We saw something called and set apart for the kingdom. As the disciples so turned the world upside down, the Spirit so turned the word “saint” upside down in our souls. We saw Jesus, the King, lift us from the crippling of sin to the healing table of His  presence!  It was a calling , this title. a Title to no longer  “run away” from but to “run with”.

We were brought by the arms of King Jesus to feast at Daddy’s table!!!  The temperature became  warm, the chairs became royal ones , our legs became strong and our faces radiant. It was all very true in our hearts. Jesus alone had made us Saints!  Like our adoption papers given in Ephesians , our  authenticity papers of Sainthood were real . And bought with a very great price ! So,  when Pastor said “turn to your neighbor and say ‘I am a Saint’ we boldly said ”  I am a saint”!

And now we boldly proclaim to all of the church of RLOC : Grace and peace from God our Father  and  The Lord  Jesus  Christ  to you who are loved by God and called to be SAINTS!!

( Romans 1:7)

AMEN

The Door to Romans

22-castlebeynac

“You know the old folks said it was a road sister” the boy said as he walked with the girl toward a large mansion.

“I know what they said brother !! But, I’m telling you it aint no road!! It’s a castle! Its Daddy’s castle where every treasure is kept and the bestest meal is served. ” she said starting a jog towards the mansion.

“Well you know we probably wont get to go in . Cause, Look at all those people outside the door!. See all those folks trying to just look in . And , look sis, .see them folks with their ears to the door. Daddy must have the doors locked!!. You know sis, Some places Daddy made you just cant go into yet ” the boy said as he stopped pulling her hand back.

‘Oh silly you just dont know nothin ‘. the girl said as she pulled the arm of the boy toward the mansion.” Hurry up boy! You see them folks with their ears to the door. That’s just what we gotta do to get the doors wide open. We gotta get our ears against that castle door. Come on we are going in.” . .

Many of us have heard the phrase “the Romans road” referring to a set of scriptures from Romans that leads a person to salvation. On Tuesday, night as we gathered to enter Romans, I saw it not as a map of roads to a destination but , as Pastor Chris said , “the foundation of the spiritual building we call the church”.

As we listened to Pastor give an introduction to the Book of Romans , we saw this building, this large eternal dwelling of Word, packed in every crevice and corner. It is packed with wonders and majesties and mysteries and gifts from our Daddy God. . Some of us looked in the window and,seeing artifacts of the Great Mercy of God, were ready to run through the door. Instead of letting us run ,our Daddy had us stand at the the door and gaze at the massive  introduction . An introduction that stands seven verses tall.

We stood at this door to see there was a sign from our tour guide Paul. A sign and signature  we have seen from other followers of Jesus like Timothy, James , Peter and Jude. These brothers also put at the door of their letters the sign post “bondservant of Christ” . In these very  words we found the key to entering the mansion. The words “bondservant” became the key to the door of Romans for us on Tuesday .

“Bondservant of God”: this precisely cut condition of our soul is what Pastor referred to as the whole purpose of the book of Romans. He said it was “coming out of an ‘end of self’ and into the beginning of God”. Here we recall words like “submit” that were taught from the book of Ephesians.

Pastor shared that the term “bond-servant” is a translation of the original Greek word “doulos” meaning “one who is subserviant to and entirely at the disposal of his master, a slave or servant”. Ready for the voice of the master, the servant has no other authority and listens to no other voice.  He has put all allegiance to His master because his master owns him.  He has bought him.  Pastor reminded us how our God has bought us. And unlike any other servant exchange, any story of redemption  in history, the Master , Our LORD, became the debtor to gain the slave!.

From the Hebrew word “ebed” with its similar meaning we hear the heart of the bondservant in the Old covenant (Exodous 21:5-6) .“But if the slave plainly says ‘I LOVE MY MASTER, my wife and my children: I will not go out free. Then his master shall bring him to God and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost . And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave FOREEVER!.” (ESV)

“The bond servant owes everything to His Master and he finds it his desire to serve the Master who has given him everything” Pastor said. Surely, our hearts were taken as we recalled what the Lord had done for each of us. , We did not rush into Romans.

We stood in awe and pondered how  our Master’s love,  announced in every book of the Old Testament, has now performed the redemption promised.  Many of us  longed to be as Paul and  to set our ear ,in love , against this door of this great Daddy’s heart. Nailing it to the door in prayer. http://vunglaub.com/2014/11/14/bondservants-prayer-doulos-dirge/

Brothers and sisters may  we ask for this key, this condition of our soul  as we enter Romans . And ,as we look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,  With  this key we can be certain we will enter Romans in an “obedience of and  from faith”.

Romans 1:1-6  Paul , a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God , which he promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through who we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the gentiles for His name sake among who you also are the called of Jesus Christ.