Come out of that closet child? lets go somewhere” I would coaxed my daughter out of her bedroom closet on many afternoons. Tenderly, I will always remember the face of her reluctant obedience. Wide eyed and startled, she would leave behind her beautiful world to go for a walk in a park. As we walked, she would slowly awaken out of her imaginary world. Her blue eyes would narrow in the presence of reality . But all that went on in the closet was just as real. Slowly she would tell me of what she saw in the closet. Every conflict was resolved in her closet. And everything good was preserved.
I had other children. I would say to them in a scolding tone, “its time to come out of the closet!” Their shamed faces, I remember ,were pale with reluctance as they were leaving behind an addictive world. It was the only place they knew that they would not feel the pain of this world. Without a word , their pained faces confessed they saw shackles in their freedom and yet knew only freedom in these shackles. Their closet was a world where conflict is resolved with the anesthesia of images or substances
Since creation , Everyday , children all over the world ,are coming in and out of these closets. All of them escaping to make sense of chaos or kill the pain of its effects. We are all children in a garden . And we all have a parent pleading to us “come out of the closet’
Big grown kids nowadays are isolated in their houses. Some are surely hiding shackled in futility and shame . And yet many seem to speak how they hunker down in another kind of closet. The biggest and bravest kids I know still talk about going to a place called their “prayer closet. ” These cloistered closets may be as big as a bedroom or as small as a backpack. Even as flimsy as the hem of Suzanne Wesley’s apron who buried her head in prayer amid 11 children. It is a hiding place for the child of God to enter the beautiful world that has no pain and never dies.
I suppose it was not so different than the duplicitous closets the first children. Adam and Eve lived in. While in their innocent prayer closet, the garden something greater than the present was felt. Eternity unfolded in them as they walked with their Father. Here all was more than they could ask or imagine . But then , temptation birthed sin.In the closet of the garden , they reached for the forbidden. And when the father said come out of the closet. in their shame were hiding in the same closet with their imaginations were pained and their minds became paranoid .
Since then, whole of mankind groans in closets. While some are in prayer closets, others are in addictive closets trying to kill the shame. Instead of hiding in garments of beauty and truth they are hiding in drink or food or images. And what can change these closests ? No paint or remodeling but a full demolition . The closet must be built by desire. And desire can only come from the Builder of all things.
Interrupting the duplicity of man’s desires is a man called Jesus. He comes and builds a place for each child to enter. He comes as the “DESIRE of NATIONS” to establish a closet for every child of God. He has come lying himself down as the cornerstone of the closet. He has come to build a secret place in the midst of dying garden. A sweet foretaste of eternal life where we will not run from closet to closet hiding. Rather taking our toys and taste of wrath, he gives a sweet cup of grace . In this cup To give us wide eyes of wonder at His Beauty and Majesty in this earth. And right when our eyes are wide eyed , The Father comes saying , ” child out of this closet into the world …. and tell tell of all you have seen. ”
The following blogs, in the category of “Church Doors” , will journal my hiding in the Catholic closet. I may lose friends, increase enemies . But, I can no longer hide in the closet . For my Father calls “lets go somewhere .
“But you, when you pray, enter into your room, and having shut the door, pray to your Father in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will repay you.”
Matthew 6:6 CPDV
I thank my husband George Unglaub, Good Shepherd Church and Blessed Sacrament chapel for every day I have been In Our Father’s Closet.
“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”Ecclesiastes 3:11
Geno got to see his brother today.
Geno got to see Dennis today. Kinda strange how Our Father gets us all together over time. Geno left out of this town without as much of a good bye on his birthday. And today , bout a month later, his brother Dennis did the same thing.
They both just “high tailed” it out of here without a word.They both went to a city whose designer and builder is God.
I don’t know why Dennis went chasing so fast after Geno. All I could think was that he got all frustrated . He got frustrated , like the rest of us, with saying “good bye”.
We’ve all been trying to say bye to Geno since he left last month. We have tried every day and even late into the night. Folks in his town even made a billboard at Chicken Delight saying “We miss you Geno”. I reckon that they put it there just in case Geno wanted to grab a wing before going or just in case Geno was looking back that might see his name all big on a billboard.
We all tried lots of other ways to say good bye to Geno. Some with flowers, some with paintings, some with food, some with photos, some with words, some with tears. But we all knew Geno was far away . And we all knew that …only our Love made perfect, in Jesus , could really reach and touch Geno. He was just that far away. He was just that close to Jesus.
Geno was a long way gone. Lots of songs are written bout folks leaving without good bye’s. Country and folk and blues all cry from the heart of the one left behind. But, when folks leave for good, when they are “a long way gone” it’s a whole different song.
When we have folks we love leave for good ,our sad hearts try to sing a song that just doesn’t fit in any category. It doesn’t even feel like a song. It feels like a cry from the dirt of the ground. It is off key and wordless. It is cold like silence with a groan.
It wasn’t ever like that with Geno. It was never cold silence. And though Geno wouldn’t talk much and often would just grunt , “ha ha”,” hee hee”, “humph”, “yes mam”, “uh huh,”;Geno never ever groaned.
Geno never groaned cause Geno always had a song. And ,cause he always had a song, when the preacher would call “Geno , I need you to play a song on Sunday”, Geno was ready.
Geno was ready since the day he turned face to face with Jesus. He called this place with Jesus “a place of joy”. He was always ready with new strings tightened and his guitar tuned to show off this place of joy”.
“ If God calls you to the altar to give everything to Him and you give it to Him , you are Free, free to do anything He asks. . and what he asks brings joy” was what Geno last said to me three days before he left town.
Geno was joyfully free. And He would pick a set of songs Our Father would give him to tell us all how free we can be. Geno was free to play many songs. And, If church were a bar , we could have requested any song and he would play it . He would play it ,not asking for a single coin for his case.
But , in the church, the pick was Geno’s . So with each set of songs for church, Geno would pick a song called “10000 reasons”. And instead of coins in his case, Geno had 10000 reasons of joy in his soul.
Bless the Lord Oh My Soul10000 reasons
10000 reasons is a song based on psalm 103 where King David remembers all the blessings of Our Fathers goodness. The son after Our Fathers heart, David, serenades Our Father with “all the benefits “ of being a child of God. And ,like a big boy child, Geno would stand with guitar strapped around his shoulder, dressed in a white shirt, radiant with a joy unspeakable and play his guitar before his Father. Soon, with a verse or two, we all felt the same joy. Singing “Bless the Lord oh my soul , oh my soul and worshipHis holy name”.
Then eyes of folks hearts opened as they saw the Bigness of God. And seeing made their souls fat with Praise.! For as large as the Father , as vast as His creation are the 10000 thankyous waiting to bless Him. Every soul heard the commanding BLESS The LORD oh my SOUl when their eyes saw His goodness!
Geno seemed to sing from a deep place where He saw the Goodness and Mercy of our Father. I don’t know if he was on key or off key but he was in tuned to Our Father. And even if we couldn’t name it everyone one of us knew … really knew that we too had a reason to sing.
“YOUR RICH IN LOVE AND YOURE SLOW TO ANGER
YOUR NAME IS GREAT AND YOUR HEART IS KIND
FOR ALL YOUR GOODNESS I WILL KEEP ON SINGING
10000 REASONS FOR MY HEART TO FIND” we joined Geno. All one voice. One voice full of joy . Those were the days before Geno and Dennis left without a goodbye.
Sing Like never Before
I play “10000 reasons”10000reasons real loud in my car on my way to church as I go through the town Geno left. As the car moves east, I remember Geno. I remember times when Geno would sing 10,000 reasons and I would want to start singing with him as soon as he began to strum . Aching to start singing, I would tighten my lips waiting for others to sing.
“why don’t ya go ahead and sing mam?” Geno would ask.
He was really asking me “why don’t ya live free”. And his wife ,Rita might have said it that way.
“Well , I cant sing very well. . . Im really off key” I told Geno.
“That’s okay God makes it all beautiful” Geno said with a warm chuckle. Geno always warmly chuckled after a sentence where he said “beautiful”
And I would say “Beautiful” back to Geno.
I would say it slowly “ Beautiful . . Geno tell me again about your older brother” I would request.
Geno would then tell me about his older brother “John John”. John John was a brother that did not “know “the way most folks “know,”or think the way most folks think or act as most folks act. So folks called John John special names .But he himself chose never to call anyone such a name. Instead he chose to call everyone “beautiful” .”John John “left town” a long time before Geno and Dennis left town. And , unlike his brothers , John John probably said “goodbye Beautiful” to everyone when he left. He was “beautiful” like that , Geno and Dennis would say.
I think John John waited a long time for today. He waited a long time to see his brothers. But to him , like Our Father, it was like barely waiting a day. I bet today he holds his two brothers hands feeling like not a day had been between them at all. It probably feels as if they never needed a goodbye.
But “John John” didn’t know a lot of what he missed down here with us. For example , he never heard Geno sing 10000 reasons. . It will be a whole new song for him in that ” city of God”. And even though Geno and Dennis sang this song , it will be a new song for them too !. It will be a song ,perfected in Love , and it will be in perfect key.
And , maybe just maybe, if we turn to Jesus ,and worship Him today , it may be the “good bye” none of us got to hear or say to Geno and Dennis before they went away. Just maybe , if we listen with the ears of our heart , we may hear echos from heaven as …
. . . . as they sing to us. . . .
“ON THAT DAY WHEN OUR STRENGTH WAS FAILING
THE END DREW NEAR AND OUR TIME HAD COME
No time was lost because …STILL OUR SOULS SING PRAISE UNENDING
1000 YEARS AND THEN FOREVER MORE!!!
And we might not think we need a “Good bye ” after all. ..
This post is for Mary , Rita and Carol ….dear sisters left behind with souls that also sing now and forever more. !
1. “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”Hebrews 11:10
2.“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” 1Peter 1:8 KJV
A TRUE STORY OF THE HEART OF BROTHER ROSO AND WATCHMEN OF PRAYER
“For as many as are the promises of God, in Christ they are [all answered] “Yes.” So through Him we say our “AMEN” to the GLORY of God.”
2 CORINTHIANS 1:20 AMP
Two of my favorite sounds in Our Father’s house are the sound of brother Roy saying “glory” and the sound of brother Chris saying “amen.” When these two sounds come together it seems as if nothing else needs to be said.
Now I know, there are many sounds in Daddy’s house that speak . Some heard and some not heard. Some are so loud they make stomping feet shake Essie’s china cabinets. Some are so strong they make knees wobble down to the dusty gray floor. Yet, others are so free and light that they simply float through the air brightening every face.
Mostly, every word from heaven flies from Daddy’s office until it lands to perform its work.(1) Like a hundred drifting ballons, words fill the air all the time ready to release a promised word. Hundreds of sounds, waiting everywhere. .But on Sunday they are especially fat and filled and ready to pop.
One “glory ” with one ” amen” seems to seal heavenly deals (2). Right there ,the brother praying and the brother receiving the prayer, hand shake agreement over every spoken promise with Our Father in Heaven. As these hands hold these promises , it is like watching kids hold a three chord strand of a helium balloon. A big holy air filled balloon from Daddy’s office. Sometimes I want to shout What if we all would say “glory” and “amen”? . What if we all let loose a “thy will be done” I bet ,like confetti, promises would burst from balloons from Our Fathers lap?.
I always ask and imagine things like this on Sunday . I use to not ask or imagine at all. I use to just want and hope. I use to want every sound to be real and hope it would come true. But long ago, Our father gave me a pastor, and he said to me ” Sis, if you would just BELIEVE every time you pray you will invite the Glory of God to meet the Amen of God! And you will see miracles” I kinda thought bout things different after that. I started asking and imagining a whole lot more things of God. .And that’s when “glory” and “amen” became my favorite sounds.
So, On Sunday, when brother Roy stood by Brother Chris, I stood near ready to hear a “glory and amen.” I was ready to ask and imagine big things.(3) Brother Roy was asking for prayer from brother Chris because he said the doctor told him he needed a “Watchmen” put in his heart. That , to me, sounded like a big thing to ask and imagine.
See,brother Roy had already told me that the doctor said he had a small extra piece in his heart that was causing him trouble. It was like a little culdesac in the road of vessels in his heart. As blood got caught in this culdesac , it could stir up the blood and make it clumpy blood . Just one little clump in the heart could kill a man. The doctor said he needed to take out that piece that was causing all the trouble so this wouldn’t happen.
“They need to take out that ‘troublemaker’ so that brother Roy’s heart would be all right”I told my stayin prayin sister.
But to take out the troublemaker they had to put in what the doctor folks called a” watchman. ” A Watchmen’ would catch any clot and keep it from hurting our brother Roy. So brother Roy agreed with what the doctor was going to do. And on Sunday, like our the ancient Brother James taught, he asked for prayer so that he would be healed(4)
Our brother Chris said “yes ” to Brother roy’s obedience to Our father in asking for prayer . And when Brother Chris said that he would pray , Brother Roy let out a Big “glory to God!!!”. That’s when everything cranked out heavenly helium. Baloons balloons ballons. Ballons of belief, filled with glory, tied by an amen, let loose through the air. .
But then very suddenly brother Chris stopped and asked “whats that thing they are putting in your heart Brother?”
” A watchman” brother Roy replied. ” Well ” brother Chris stepped back
Then looking at brother Roys chest he said “you already got a watchman and his name is Jesus.”
Then came the “AMEN” and every brother and sister said” amen amen!!!.” .
We all went to our rooms thinking about Our Fathers goodness and the sounds of Jesus. And we all went to our rooms thinking about that certain prayer for Brother Roy .I was believing like the other folks that my brother Roy was already healed . But, I also believed it might be a big deal getting that watchman in Brother Roy’s heart to prove that he was healed. Suddenly I had two minds about this thing. And it made me unsteady (5) .
“I don’t know bout that watchman already being there . . I don’t know that it is already there “ I said to my stayin prayin sister.
” any thing is possible with God ” she replied.” we will just watch and pray”
People who really BELIEVE are “already there” , I thought. Like praying sisters, they are ” are already there.” They actually know bout things long before the rest of us folks do. They just watch and pray. Watch and pray.
Our brother Chris had told us to fast and pray for three days .He kept saying that we needed “to get in our closets”. So I fasted. But it was real hard to stay in a closet to pray . I find closests crowded with brooms and boxes .And , there’s no windows to see what Our Father is saying on the outside. On top of all those problems, there is always someone knocking on the door to tell you something different than what you are hearing. Closets always confused me .But I sure wanted to get rid of my unsteady mind and pray about Brother Roy and the watchman.
“I’m praying for brother Roy and Joanne” my stayin prayin sister said to me.
“So how do you pray?” I asked
“I pray everywhere all the time. I let the Holy Spirit lead. Its like a dance sister . I let him lead so I will agree “his will be done on earth as it is in heaven” she said.(6)
“you pray everywhere?” I asked not paying much attention to the rest of her words
“yes?!!” she said a little irritated that I had not listened to the rest of her sentence.
” Well I gotta go” I said impatiently. I hung up and hurried outside to pray. My new closet was gonna be big enough now to hold the promise I was going to believe ! My closet was gonna be wherever I could run!! .
I wanted to be like brave folks I know in Daddy’s house who pray all the time. I wanted to not just fast but also pray like my stayin prayin sister .
But, lots of things distracted me in my outdoor closet: trees and skies and flowers and bunnies and children and song birds.
I tried to pray but started thinking alot. I was thinking bout my brothers and sisters who pray in closets all the time. They pray mostly when no ones watching .Kinda funny how Our Father calls them ” watchmen”. I think maybe these” Watchmen” aren’t really being watched while they are praying . I think they are watching for what they are praying for. They are watching for it to come alive. They are watching a promise become a real thing.
That is why it is exciting it is to talk to a real watchman cause they have seen a lot in heaven come down to earth. They have really seen alot happen between the “glory “and the “amen.” And they can see ’cause they sit real close to Jesus in their small closets. Its just two of them on a date one saying “glory “and the other “amen “and the Holy Ghost being the matchmaker. They don’t have to wait for Sunday to hear sounds and see ballons.
Outside lots of things got between my saying “glory “and “amen.” First, my heart was troubled by many things. And then , I couldn’t stop thinking bout watchmen. Both kinds of watchmen.: the ones who pray and the one sitting on the shelf waiting to go into Brother Roy’s heart. ” It must be a little thing sitting on a shelf waiting to going to brother Roy’s heart.” I thought. And when I started thinking about how little the watchman for the heart was I started thinking again about watchmen who pray. I started thinking that they’re just little people that sit and wait on the shelf unseen by us. Praying and watching. Little folks looking for things to happen big between the glory and the amen.I thought much more than I ever prayed in my outside closet those three days.
On Wednesday , brother Roy went to the hospital to meet up with the doctor . He told him what needed to be done to keep his heart safe from the troublemaker. When he was signing all of his consents for the doctor , I was thinking about how we consent to God alot when we pray. I was thinking bout how we pray consenting for Our Father to “deliver us from evil”;just like asking Him to keep the troublemaker away.
Brother Chris came again to see brother Roy before he went with the doctor. Brother Chris said “we are going to pray” and brother Roy said ” glory” and it all stirred up heavens office again .Then it all wrapped up with another glory and a great amen And off with the doctor brother Roy went.
A couple hours went by till I could see brother Roy. When I got to him , Sister Joanne and sister Cindy were sitting next to bed. The sisters said that the doctor went in Brother Roy’s heart to look for the troublemaker, “the appendage” he called it. And the doctors said that when they went in the” trouble maker ” well . . .” it was gone!!!.”
“gone , like it never was part of his heart” Joanne said
“don’t know what happened. . maybe . . .this or that” the doctor explained many reasons why it may not be there” Cindy said.
“But Brother Chris told them “cause hes already got a watchman and His name is Jesus” “Joanne rejoiced.
I shook sleeping Roy “say glory Brother Roy, say glory” I shouted
“glory” Brother Roy weakly spoke and faintly smiled squinting his eyes.”Jesus”
That small breath of air, a puff of holy helium, breathed a great ballon in the air. Right in the hospital a balloon of glory lifted high the name “jesus”. Jesus , Jesus , Jeus is what what lives between the glory and amen. . I remembered the soft whispers of Jesus in the room the Sunday before Roy came to the hospital . I remembered Pastor saying Jesus. I remembered the prayin stayin sister saying Jesus. It was Him between the glory and amen.
Jesus, the watchmen of all watchmen . The watchman who prayed outside when I ran from the closet. And the watchman who prayed with Roy and Joanne in their closet. And the watchman who prayed with my stayin prayin sister every day. And the watchman who prayed in the closet of my heart when I thought I had no closet to go to. The watchman The great watchman intereeding for everyone about everything, at the right hand of Our Father. Enthroned between the glory and the amen He watches and prays. And more than that, sitting in the heart of trouble hearted children like me , he says “there is no trouble maker in your heart, the watchmen lives here” .
Suddenly I was able to say to brother Roy “amen”. “glory and amen” “glory and amen”
“we will say it very loud on Sunday Brother Roy. ..maybe we will have a party” I said, imagining a room full of ballons.
“yes” Brother Roy smiled and returned to rest.
I walked away resting too. Resting in the Lord of the Amen and the King of the Glory.
Jeremiah 1:12 Then the Lord said to me ” you have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it” and 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. that is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory.
There are over 60 verses in Our Fathers word to us with Glory and Amen joined together. One of the oldest is from 1 Chronicles 16:35 -36 where David prayed “Save us O God of our salvation and gather and deliver us from among the nations , that we may give thanks to your holy name and GLORY in your praise from everlasting to everlasting.
Ephesians 3:19-20 Paul prays that we “may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpass knowledge that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly that all that we ASK OR THINK, (IMAGINE) according o the power at work within us.
James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of Jesus.
James 1:5-8 But let him ask in faith wit no doubting for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord: He is a double minded man unstable in all his ways
Staying Praying Sister: We do not manipulate Our Father. We are not begging Him we are agreeing with Him. We do not manipulate Our father we are the ones manipulated in prayer ,by our father . We are manipulated in love to agree with him
“And this is the TESTIMONY, that God has borne concerning HIS SON . . THE TESTIMONY that GOD gave us eternal life, and THIS LIFE IS IN HIS SON.”
(1 John 5:10b,11)
Testimonies from brothers and sisters
Folks in big towns and small towns: in towns in Madison County, Taylor County, Jefferson county and in towns all around the world, have stories. They hold, in their heart, certain stories that tell of something great or awesome or ,they hold , in their heart, stories that tell of something dreadful or fearful. These are all called “testimonies”. Testimonies talk tall . They use lots of words to explain ONE particular thing. The words lure our listening hearts and minds to focus on this ONE thing that the speaker or writer is promoting . We listen , We believe then , We start to look up to that One thing.
Lots of people say “testimonies are just a church thing.” They are often hearing what the preacher calls “a testimony” in their church. These Sunday speakers spout out many words to simply say “I got saved “. But they are not the only ones saying they got something and they are not the only ones tall enough to tell about it. All kind of folks everywhere are talking testimonies. Everywhere someone is trying to convince someone that their ” ONE thing” made a difference. Medical folks in hospitals are using words to say “this surgery works”. Food folks are using words to say “this food is delicious” Folks in education are using words to say “this curriculum teaches”. Folks with instuments, or toys, or cars , or houses, or dogs, or guns, or a million other things are giving “testimony” or “testify”that THIS particular thing is the BEST!.
Testimonies run across the world like wide roads paved with many words to secure the path. As we believe the testimonials, we go here and there toward many pursuits, riding along with the directions given from words. We take up the religion, we sign up for the surgery, we buy the food , we fish with the best fishing pole or we buy the best gun. The roads are very wide and the stories very broad that lead us to go toward ONE thing .. The ONE thing spoken of or read about.
So it is with all the stories layerered and paved throughout our journey in life. We hear and we go .. . .. words load and take us there. . .There ..smack dab ,face to face with that ONE thing.. the one thing most talked about in the testimony.
Now, when exaggeration and lie enter testimonials, like expanders in the asphalt, the road grows yet wider. The hearer can be led to a very dark place or a deadly cliff with a testimony, here , Testimonies become wide and crooked and full of darkness . These words begin deafening the hearer to truth so he begins walking broadly the way of the lie. Even with a very small story can convince someone to fall from great heights onto an abyss for a road.
While destinations differ, the word “glory”, is the pavement of the road in every testimony.
The often unsaid word “Glory” is the substance of every story. Who or what is going to get the glory? Who or What is going to get the glory in this story. . Is the most relevant question to ask of a story .
Is it this man telling the story who grabbed God, this doctor that found the cancer, this gun that shot the deer , or this bait that snagged the snapper. In every testimony , every story, there is ONE THING that gets most the glory. The one who gets the Glory . is the action player of the story.
In Genesis God begins His story and His story has but two characters: Man and God. The plot is simple in His story. God has created man out of His image of Glory and man rebels against His Glory and from His Glory. But Father God is not done with His children. He loves them back to Himself for His Glory. Now the devil , continues to try to interrupt the whole story . He says that man can write his own story and perhaps steal some of God’s glory. So He plants the questions in man’s head till man begins to wonder : “Did God really” write this particular story.? But , the devil is the liar. He hides behind us in his longing for Daddy’s glory.
So it is , when the devil interrupts God’s story, the road of testimonies get wide. They get so very wide that, in a story , it is often no longer about God’s glory but about mans desire for glory or man’s gain of stolen counterfeit glory from the devil. This is the wide road. This road leads to destruction.
No matter what realm in religion or medicine or education, when the glory of the story is not for God , it is wide! And a wide road is a dangerous road. In truth, it is a deadly road.
But God intersects every wide road . God intersects the plan of the devil with the everpresent detour of Jesus’s narrow road. He intersects every wide road so that His children always , always have a way to escape.(1) And, in their escape from giving glory to another, they can enter into giving glory to God. They can enter the narrow road.
This is a beautiful and glorious place , this walk on the narrow road.(2) It is here where we find a “Good Testimony”. It is where Children of God write Stories of His Glories into one another’s lives, gracing them with the Spirit.
In Stories for His Glory , the words run across the land and change every sorrow into a praise, every ugliness into a beauty, every dullness and death into a vibrant color of life . It is a good news, a gospel story. (2)
A “good testimony ” is one that begins and ends with God’s claim on a thing for His glory. This is the story that deserves an Amen. These are stories Our Daddy God has me chase down and record as I run along ever so dependent, on this narrow road.
So again , I run simply as a child with a pen. I run with what Daddy has given me ,for this time, to hold. And as He whispers ” write it here” I return to this door with the Good News from previous bolder children of our Glory Full Daddy. (3)
In this door others , the Father of us all has chosen the town of Greenville . He has chosen the precious brothers and sisters of my church: those of whom live on the narrow road and possess, as a treasure, many many many stories of His glories. They will not be put to shame.(4)
Psalm 147:15 He sends out His command to the earth; His word runs swiftly. 1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it.
Matthew 7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. Luke 9:26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words , of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in His glory and the Glory of the Father and of the Holy angels. (here the Lord Jesus tells us it is His testimony that is to be promoted and it is because of His glory)
Psalm 45:1 My heart overflows wit a pleasing theme; I address my verses to my king (Jesus) my tongue is like a pen of a ready scribe.
Psalm 119:46 As we speak your testimonies, we will not be put to shame.
I have a sister, she is most precious to me. She is precious because Jesus is so precious and I have watched His Love grow big, and glowing, and bold in my sister Ann. When anything or anyone comes around to tell Miss Ann that she isn’t big and glowing and bold with Jesus she says “the Devil is a liar!
She says this like a judge in a courtroom , her words echo in any room with authority. I like how her words sound and they are always full of power and truth.
One day I gave her a journal. I said “sister you must write down all that Jesus is doing all around you. You must write it down because it is most wonderful! And you must write it down so when the Devil tries to make you forget or make you think Daddy didn’t do much for you , you will have a book that testifies different. And you can say to any body ,with full assurance, “the devil is a liar”.
Ann took the small black book and wrote that very night. This is what she wrote:
“I learned from Psalm 46 how to trust God more and more.
And I learned to believe what His word says. On May 11, 2016, my mother , Carrie May, fell in her yard and hit her head on something. We all thought that it was just another fall and there wasn’t much to it . But we were wrong. My mom was acting like she was really hurting so we call the ambulance to have her checked out. she was taken to Madison County hospital. As we were in the emergency room we started praying and I asked God to reveal to us what was really causing my Mom to keep falling.
The hospital checked her out and fount out that she had and infection and that her potassium was high. My mom had also stopped talking so the hospital decided to do a CT scan on her head. The scan showed two spots that were between her brain and her skull and these spots were leaking blood. We all got scared . This was definitely not what we wanted to hear. It was not what we believed. So we started to pray again.
My mom was then transported to a larger hospital where they did another CT scan and got the same results. There they said my mom was starting to have seizures and that her blood pressure and blood sugars were too high. I started crying and again began to pray.
As I prayed , God spoke to me and said Ann your mom is healed. God also said “Be Still Ann and Know that I am God”
I believed what God had told me but I wanted to SEE what he had told me!! We all prayed and I kept saying “She’s healed in Jesus name” Everyone around me looked at me as if I was crazy. They thought I was crazy only because they couldn’t see that she was healed just as I couldn’t. They were seeing her at her worst time. I looked with my eyes again and . . .
The crying started again. I knew what god had spoke to me but I wanted to see it with my eyes. God said it again . . . He spoke in my heart and spirit “Don’t worry Ann, She’s healed”. I replied back “you keep telling me this Lord, oh Father God let me see it with my eyes.
Suddenly , my spirit settled, I said to God ” Okay God I hear you” and Hebrews 11:1 filled my mind. I heard as it says “now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ” Suddenly, I was able to keep the faith, even though I wasn’t seeing it. I just had a sudden trust in what God was telling me.
Then I thought of Psalm 37:34 and spoke it to myself “Wait on the Lord and His way and He shall exalt you to inherit the land.” I then thought God was telling me to wait on Him because He is always in control and He alone knows when and what He wnts to do. I said “yes Lord, I will wait on you cause there is really nothing I can do for the Power is in your hands. I thank you today for blessing me to keep trusting and believing in Your Word.”
On Sunday May 15th , I went to church when I really thought I needed to be at the hospital. I went because God spoke to me and said “go on to church , my child, and give me my praises. Know your mom is healed!.
I went on to church, just as God had told me. Pastor Chris and my church family prayed for my mom and Pastor Chris told me that god had touched my mom that very morning. I then began to thank Jesus and give Him all and every praise in me.
After church , I called the hospital and fount out that my mom was healed. I thank you Jesus ! ”
I thank you sister Ann for sharing this fight of faith.
2 Timothy 1: 8 Therefore my sister Ann , do not be ashamed of this testimony of prayer and faith in the Lord Jesus, the Name above every name, but share in suffering for the gospel BY THE POWER OF GOD.
Then Daddy , hear from heaven your dwelling place, and FORGIVE US and render to each of us whose HEART YOU KNOW, according to all our ways for , you , you only know the HEARTS of your CHILDREN 2 Chronicles 6:30
“It changed my heart” said my Roman Catholic sister .
“Really, it changed my heart ” Kate said as she held her fist over her the sweater.
Her sweater was clinging to her shirt; her shirt clinging to her skin; and her skin was sealing all the tissue and bones that covered her heart.
” How deep the heart is hidden within us” I thought as her fist bounced against her chest.
” It’s a lot of layers to go through to get to this matter of a heart “, I thought.
“you know what I am saying don’t you?” Kate spoke like a teacher making sure I understood her.
Yet, today outside Kate’s church, it was strange to hear Kate speak. She was not at all speaking in the position or role of a teacher, she was speaking as a sister.
Years ago, I had been the one learning from her about the ways of the heart. Today, after mass, we were students together with the same teacher. Jesus.
“I remember what you said about the heart ” she said to me. I felt uncomfortably forgetful of what I had said. She spoke softly outside the entrance of her church.
Kate whispered her story . She paused at the conflict in the story to say, ” Vanessa, I had to forgive this person who hurt me deeply by things they said” Kate looked as if this work called “forgive” had been the greatest effort of her heart . Face at rest now, she spoke words of an attack on her heart. She spoke as if she had been assaulted and immobilized by an enemy and and somehow set alive and free by an angel.
She looked as if this enemy of the heart ,unforgiveness, had tried to deface the beauty and strength of her heart .(1) Speaking moment by moment of the crippling thoughts of self justification and rehearsed hurt, Kate spoke like a burglar had entered the peaceful home of her heart. It was as if this thief, unforgiveness, did not knock loudly or ask for an invite, but instead, pushed and bolted through every layer of defense into Kate’s heart. Once in, it sounded as if it tied her whole being to a post leaving it immobile with strings of anger and bitterness and distrust trailing her every move. (2) But now, now, while words spoke of war, her face spoke peace.
She looked as if something had freed her. Unforgiveness must have been violently evicted from her heart. Perhaps now, every bitter string was running homeless in the dust , unattached and powerless .
There was no damage to Kate from this Unforgiveness. In fact she looked like the day I first met her 15 years ago. Fifteen years ago, I was a student and she, a teacher. On that day, Kate was pointing to a picture of and anatomical heart on a large news print paper flip chart. The chart was set on a easel in a small classroom. All this was arranged down a long hall in a large hospital. Tall was the easel next to Kate. Petite and precise was Kate presenting the working of God’s magnificient creation: the heart of a human. Snuggly, chair against chair fit while many new eager nurses fixed their eyes on Kate. Late to the class, I anxiously looked for a seat.
“Right here Vanessa” Kate’s voice was kind as she read my name tag and gracefully waved her hand to an open seat.
She continued teaching as I took a seat,”The heart has both mechanical functions and electrical functions” “injuries and assaults to either function can change the heart” She then began to draw a dark spot on the upper portion of a sketched heart as she explained different factors that could hurt the heart. Elegant her voice and hands as they together emphasized each word. Urgent her every expression. She spoke as if it really were a matter of life and death this thing called “the heart” of man. Every sense of each student was pulled to engage its attention towards this magnificent master organ: . Eyes following hands, ears capturing words . . you could almost see and hear the life of a HEARTBEAT in the room.
“you see an injury here can affect the whole electrical and mechanical system of the heart and that is where you develop arrhythmias”. “an arrythmia is anything that is not the ‘normal”syned fuction of the heart.’ Kate explained.
“yes ” I awoke from my memory of our first meeting to answer Kate
” are you hearing me Vanessa ?”Kate prodded.
” Oh yes Kate it so has that affect . .It messes up our rhythem. ”
“That’s it ” she said with excitement. Her tone was like the “aha” of a student . Like the “ahas” she had produced in me so many times.
I looked at her hand remain over her heart. She was no longer speaking of hearts of the flesh of man. Fifteen years later, She was now standing before me speaking of another heart. She was speaking of how Unforgiveness affects the conduction and function of the heart in the soul of man.
” When I let what they said about me hurt me really deeply, I noticed I was thinking about it all the time. The, I found I spoke about it often. So often I brought up the hurt that you would think they were hurting me everyday. But the worst part for me was when I saw my husband felt the hurt for me as well! Suddenly , he was unforgiving too! I was spreading the injury!”(3)
Her hand remained over her heart. ” Hurt.” My mind meandered again to my first day with Kate.
The classic symptom is “chest pain” Kate explained to the novice nurses. “Every patient describes their hurt differently” Kate would say. With a MI, a myocardial infarction, an assalt and injury due to lack of blood supply to a particular section of the heart. The injury could have tissue proximal to it die as well . The infarction could spread affecting one, at worst, unto death, or, at least, in rate and rhythm of life.
How much the same is the heart of the soul of man, I have thought. Perhaps the heart of the soul gets a particular injury from the words of another. Perhaps it shuts off the blood supply of Jesus to a particular part of the heart of the soul. Perhaps then we experience an excruciating pain.. it is accepting the judgement of another and letting it lodge like a clot into our heart. It causes an infarction of a tender beating heart. It changes its rhythym, it interrupts its flow, it hinders its function. Then, quickly, a section of our heart dies . And like a necrosis, bitterness comes spreads to kill another section till we lay almost dead .Dead hearted. And then, deadhearted and diseased, we spread our unforgiveness to anyone nearby.
” so I took what was read in mass and I truly believed what Jesus said” Kate dropped her hand from her chest reaching towards me.
‘I hope you learned something ” she had said in class as I left that day. The day along time ago when I was an infant in faith and so innocent of injury.
Remembering my own assaults to the heart of my soul, every sense from that moment was captured as I looked at Kate. I could almost taste and smell death of the heart of our souls.Chest pain. Chest pain. . . I could hear men yell and defend their heart and women whine and deny their heart. So the heart of the soul worked like the heart of the flesh when injured and it strained in agonal beats . . . .
When an infarction occurs, if the blood supply is cut off ,more and more of the heart will die” I remember Kate say
” I remember you said that ‘without his word you would die'” she said to me. I jostled away from my dreaming analogy. Suddenly, it felt as if she was eavesdropping into my thoughts.
“What was that Kate?” I asked ”
“you said ” The Word gave you Life”. she replied to me.
Kate continued ” So I took the reading of Matthew 18:22. . . . where Jesus tells Peter to forgive 70 times 70 and everytime my thoughts beat a unforgiving note, I forgave. . it was at least 70 times 7 “. She smiled and thumped her fist in her hand beating it rhythmically, and now here I am”
“In CPR we mimic the rhythm of the heart at least 100 beats a minute. . .60 – 90 is a normal beat But if we want to perfuse the heart in our compressions we must pump more,. we must keep it alive’ Kate had taught me.
“forgive us as we forgive” I would say to myself over and over, Kate explained.
Lub Dub, Lub Dub . .Kate spoke the sound of the heart.
“I said it over and over again.” Kate repeated
Lub Dub Lub Dub. . . a heart beating. . .you must do compression to the rhythm of the song “Staying Alive”. . press, press,press, staying alive , staying alive.
” soon , I was free of all that hurt Vanessa. Even more, I was not speaking against them but loving them. It is life.!!! Truly life what is said here” Kate pointed through the door to the pulpit of her church. Then she pointed to the Bible I held against my chest.
Behind Kate hung A large banner . On the banner was a picture of the large hand of Jesus, reaching down to a bended woman. Written around the picture were words proclaiming “the year of Mercy” in her church. It spoke of an open door of Mercy for all. It spoke of the Year of Jubilee.
More vibrant than the banner, louder than any words was Kate. The banner looked ever so lifeless and dim behind her radiance. The picture of Jesus’s hand seemed invisible against a visible hand on Kates heart. Oh but how vast this hand that guards and holds our hearts!! It has rescued us from death and hell, it has synced us into a perfect rhythm of Life. And life to the fullest !. It had resuscitated Kate with a word. The banner seemed merely an advertisement for a year of hearts such as hers.
Return oh heart to your healer. Hear His Word and you will be healed of hurt and you will Forgive as He has for given you!
As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man” Proverbs 27:19 ESV http://bible.com/59/pro.27.19.esv a womans beauty is found in the hidden person of the heart . But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:4 ESV http://bible.com/59/1pe.3.4.esv
And in anger his master delivered him TO THE JAILERS, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to everyone of you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart. Matthew 18:34-35http://bible.com/59/mat.18.34-35.esv Jesus tell us that unforgiveness is like a “jailer” binding us into greater debt, the one we owe our Father for all of our unrighteousness.
For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness, All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person “ Mark 7:21-22 ESV http://bible.com/59/mrk.7.21-22.esv