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
For the Whole Earth is the Lord’s and Everything that is in it. ( Psalm 24:1, Psalm 50:12, 1 Corinthians 10:26)
Trance is a dog. In Genesis , I see God designed the first dog. The first of Trance’s kind, God made out of the ground. (Genesis 2:19). That was a long time ago. . . that was the beginning of time. In the beginning of time God created All things for HIS GLORY.
Nowadays, in these times, no one much says “made for His glory”. It is far removed from our texts and tweets and tags and toungue . So, now today, when I talk about Trance, folks say “He is just a dog”.
Sometimes, lots of times, I have used the same identification of another’s dog. “Geeze, it’s just a dog”, I whine when they express affections toward their dog.
Words suddenly put on an honor however when folks start showing pictures of their dogs. Suddenly, Our vocabulary dresses up with compliments when we see the dog. We say”ah, how cute, what an adorable face, wow what a pooch, ” We say lots of great words avoiding the few true words which resound from heaven ” that’s a creature of God’s glory”
Since Adam named the animals, God has given us freedom to name all things. Like the first day in the garden , “Trance” was named by his owners the first day they met him. Squatting in the Denver gravel floor of a shelter pen, My daughter and son-in-law had great dreams for their “dog” as they gave him his name. Their dog would go whereever the “Trance” Giant Bicycle could go. Surely, Names are from God for us to give but, the purpose of all things belongs to God.
When Trance was first “adopted” , he stood eager before his new mother and father. His eyes would fix on their face. Any twitch, any movement , he would follow. He did not flinch when kennel keepers moved around him . He was on mission.
His new owners said “I think he will be easy to train”, Trance watched them look at one another in agreement without blinking. He was a picture of obedience.
Obedience is a listening, a looking , a following a voice. Trance had the look of obedience. His ears erect, His eyes fixed , his feet ready to follow a command. When I saw him look at his parents, I thought how I was created to look at my Father in heaven. My ears erect for the Holy spirit, My eyes fixed on the face of Jesus, and my feet ready to follow the command of my Father.
My stance , my posture before my Maker was not like Trance.
I said his name , “Trance”. He quickly glanced at me and turned back to his new parents. It was as if he was preaching “Do you not know (old woman) that if you continually surrender yourself to (just) anyone to do their will, you are a slave to those who you obey, whether that be to Sin, which will ruin you or to obedience which leads to righteousness and LIFE?” Romans 6:16 AMP
It was as if Trance was barking. “Im not listening to you or to other dogs or to that kennel guard, I’m listening to the one who can set me free!!”
“He only likes to do one thing” my daughter would say. “he never quits, we have to make him lie down”.
Trance’s father threw the first ball for him. It was a yellow tennis ball. It was held in his masters hand high above Trance. Trance bent both neck and hip to look to the height of the ball. The ball was the mission yet to be executed. Trance knew if he did not look at his masters hand and the angle , time and velocity of the execution of the ball , he might not serve his master rightly with retrieval. Trance is a skilled retriever.
The first ball was tossed but a few feet. Subsequent balls were thrown farther and farther. In parking lots and prarries, across fields and woods,up mountains , down valleys, over puddles , into streams, on fences and rails and up into trees, Trance completes mission upon mission. And if , on occassion, a ball is lost, a mission failed, he returns ready for another chance.
From Denver, to Ashville, to my own backyard, Trance has taught me . How many times had I looked up in worship to hear a call , an assignment in the hand of my Lord for me, and not gone after it. And yet, when I had gone and returned, what joy and readiness I had for yet another assignment. But then, there were the times I had gone and it all seemed lost. What of these failures to please my master?. Was not Trance exhorting me , return, return, there is yet another one where that came from.
Was he not quoting Paul who ran with every command to “go” from the Lord? “Old woman , I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do : forgetting what lies behind (in the woods or stream) I strain forward to what lies ahead and so should you old woman press on tward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phillipians 3:12-13)
Obedience Lies Down
“So you have to make him lie down?” I asked my daughter
“yep, pretty much. Sometimes I fall asleep throwing the ball first”
Trance relentless pusuit to please his master haunted me. I often thought of missionaries and martyrs when I thought of Trance. Their focus to the mission yet their forgetfulness to the things of the world, like sleep and food ,humbled me. It seemed to be the ultimate fullfillment of God’s call for our obedience to Him. It seemed to be a beautiful picture of a life lived for His glory.
One day Trance was given a different mission . He was not to run , not to chase, not to retrieve. He was to carry on his neck the wedding rings of his parents. He was their “ring bearer”. It was an unfamiliar mission, but like an obedient servant he listened, he “heeled”, he approached the outdoor altar to present the rings. Children were thrilled, adults laughed, the parents were proud. The Father of all Creation rejoiced. Trance was part of a picture of Jesus and His church.
Three months later, yesterday afternoon, Trance looked at his Master, he was ready to obey yet again but there was a delay, a turn, there was a car. In moments Trance lay in my daughters arms lifeless. ” I held him but I could look and see he was going . . .” He was going to where there is no more need for obedience. He was going to lie down.
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”Revelation 5:13
Amen and Thank you God for Trance and all that was given to us through him!!
True stories about my brother, in Jesus, named “Frog” and inspired in my soul by a message by Brother Ansel Norton .
And the voice came to Peter a second time, “Peter, what God has made clean, do not call common.” (Acts 10:15) And Peter said to the Jews ” you yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I SHOULD NOT CALL ANY PERSON COMMON OR UNCLEAN” (Acts 10:28)
I know a man named “FROG”.
“where did he get that name?” I asked my big sister a who had known Frog many years.
“His mamma gave him that name” my big sister answered in her “matter of fact “way.
“Well, why did she name him that name ” I asked
“Guess its cause of how he talks” she said
“hmm, yep, I guess” I said as I thought of the last words that I heard Frog say when I saw him in the park Tuesday.
A whole week and a Sunday had passed since I last saw Frog. But I could remember clearly how Frog’s words entered the air as his hands lifted in praise. That day, I started thinking aloud . . .”. Well that day ,he sure enough had a different way of talking . It sure enough did sound like the croaking of a frog rising out of deep waters”.
My big sister doesn’t say much else about Frog. She doesn’t even say he is “different” . She just says he “talks different”.. But she says that about me too. See, my big sister likes short pointed sentences and I talk with long circular sentences.
Sometimes , after i stop talking to breathe, she looks at me with her head tilted to one side and says “you talk funny”. I like how she says it. It doesn’t hurt at all. I think it doesn’t hurt cause when she talks to me , the room fills with Daddy’s love. Daddy calls it “sincere love” (1). She brings His sincere love with her every time she comes down from His lap.
Not everyone is like my Big sister. Most folks talk without having been with Daddy. They use the word “different” when talkin or textin or facebookin to one another. But, when they are smack dab in front of us, they say , ever so sweetly, the word “special”. They make their syllables long and say “your sooo speeeeeeeciaaaaal!” They think that we are so different that they have to use a completely different language when talking to us.
When these folks talk to “special” folks like Fog and me , we just smile back and say “Well , you are special too!” We don’t use long syllables like they use cause we can’t talk like them. Frog sounds croaky and I sound like circles spinning. But both of us try to let our heart hear how Jesus would talk. Then, we let our whole being speak like Jesus would tell them , in Love.
” well, brother, well sister, you are special too” we say.as we throw our arms around them. . I don’t really know if Jesus made His words long or short, slow or fast. I don’t know if He hugged lots of folks. I just know every word came out in “sincere and perfect Love”.
In fact, Jesus is alive and talking to them right when they are talking to us. , Jesus is smiling at them right then and saying with us the exact same thing. So when it frustrates us to say “your special ” and we get misunderstood cause it doesn’t come out clear., we ask Jesus to say it to their hearts.
He talks to hearts and each word is perfectly clear. No one who hears His voice in their heart misunderstands Him.
Everything became beautiful and clear when I first heard Jesus call me “special”. I looked at Him and My entire face changed into excitement (2). Lot of folk faces look like they are not excited about being called “special” by Jesus. Some look afraid but most have a “plain face”. I used to have a plain face it looks bored or “indifferent”. Faces like that just havent ears to hear Jesus say “you’re special”. Hearing changes your whole face.
Sometimes I ask the Holy Ghost to pass out hearing aids to these “special ones” that don’t have ears. Everytime I am in Daddy’s house I ask the Holy Ghost to give us hearing aids.
One day, after I asked Daddy for these “hearing aids”, a brother from another town came to preach. He came to tell us what Daddy thought about “different folks” . As soon as Brother Norton began saying, “I’m gonna tell you what God showed Peter bout being “different”, I started thinking about Peter.
Peter was the first in a lot bad things and the first in a lot of good things. He was the first to call Jesus “Lord ” and the first to deny Him, He was the first to be called “blessed” and the first to be called “satan” He was the first to walk on water and the first to sink. But best of all He was the first to be called a “different ” name by Jesus.
Jesus called Peter “Cephas” which means “rock”. Jesus told Peter that on this “special” “different” “rock”, the church would be built. But, Peter didn’t really hear Jesus until Jesus went to sit with Daddy and was praying for him. From Acts Chapter 10, The visiting brother showed us how Peter learned what Daddy thought about things that are “different”. He showed us Peter hearing the voice of Jesus.
Our visiting brother Norton showed us how we should hear Daddy’s word and see through Jesus’s heart. He showed us how what was “different” was different by Divine design of Daddy. And we should not be indifferent or bored about what is “different” but instead see how what is “different” makes a “difference”. He kept saying “your difference makes a difference”. The “special” children that could hear kept repeating “amen” “amen” with every “your difference makes a difference”. And with every “amen” shame , like a roach, scurried out the door.
I kept looking at the door. I wasn’t looking to watch shame leave but looking for my brother Frog to come in. I knew he would love to hear the visiting brother’s words from Daddy.
“Come on Daddy please send the Holy Ghost to get my friend Frog. I know you want him here Daddy!!” I kept talkin’ to Daddy thinking I could get Him to go down yonder and drag Frog into the house. Frustrated , I tapped the shoulder of Frog’s friend Gerald. . .
“Where’s Frog?” I whispered
“He’s home restin cause he got beat up by some ‘jitter bug ‘ in the park last night” Gerald replied
“What kinda bug is that? What kinda bug did you say beat him up?’ I asked
” silly , it ain’t no bug its folks that just beat up people that are different” Gerald replied
I leaned back to listen again. The message was ending . .” so we are going to pray , cause we understand that Jesus himself was different and the reason He came was to make a difference”
(to be continued)
Romans 12:9 ” Love must be sincere” or “Love must be genuine” or “Love must be without hypocrisy”
2 Corinthians 3:18- 19 And we all , with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image rom one degree of glory to another . For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Note : this writing is allegorical not reflective of the spiritual state of Renewed Life Outreach Center where I attend church. But , rather, this post is a warning to all churches and a call to all members to apply Ephesians 6 . For we are NOT unaware that the Enemy is not only after the body of a man but also THE BODY OF CHRIST! THE CHURCH.
But Jesus turned to Peter and said “Get behind me Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not SETTING YOUR MIND ON THE THINGS OF GOD BUT ON THE THINGS OF MAN” Matthew 16:23
“Hey, brother, what are them bugs that beat up Frog? Are they like skeeter hawks or doodle bugs?” I asked Brother Gerald as the message ended.
“what are you talking about crazy girl ?” Gerald demanded as he grabbed my arm “them are jitterbugs! Don’t you know what them are? Ain’t you ever heard of them jitterbugs?”
Pulling my arm back , “Gerald , there ain’t no such thing as a jitterbug and we ain’t gettin bit by one right ?” I said looking at my very tiny sister Azion. Looking at the three year old child in Daddy’s house ,I said, ” Daddy didn’t make no jitterbugs. Right Azion?”
“Right!!” Azion shouted putting her hands on her hips and nodding her head up and down in equal confidence.
“silly, they ain’t BUGS! They don’t bite they just mess with ya ! They are BULLIES. . . you know what a bully is dont ya!” Gerald replied
“Yes I do” I said stomping my feet ” And I really, really don’t like bullies! i aint seen one in years “I told Gerald.
Azion ran outside. Looking past Gerald, watching Azion run out the door, I remembered where I was first born. I was born in a country full of bullies. They would trap you in a corner, all alone, and put your hands behind you back. You might be just walking round looking at the flowers and singing and suddenly a bully would come up on you stealing something you had in your pocket or accusing you of something you didnt do or hurting you just cause they were strong and you weren’t. I was pretty scared of bullies. Beside all that, Daddy says ” It’s a dark country ruled by a Prince of Darkness where bullies rule,” (1)
But that was long ago . Since then I was born again in a country of brothers and sisters. A country ruled by one Perfect Daddy, One perfect Brother and a One All Time Friend. . In this country i now had no fear. (1) And everyone who lived in this country was ruled by The Prince of Peace. (2)
As I looked back inside Daddy’s house where only bugs like ” doddle bugs” and “skeeter hawks” lived, I felt safe. These were my brothers and sisters given to me in this new country ! They were Folks that , like all critters Daddy makes, moved with purpose and power. Purpose in Daddy’s word and Power in Jesus Blood. They kept me safe. . The more I stood still thinking on my own , the more I presumed I knew everything about this country ,(3)
” hmm.” I thought ” If a “jitterbug” was a bully, it didn’t belong in Daddy’s house .Maybe back where I came from but not in here. “I concluded.
The wind blew against the door. I held the knob to keep it from opening too wide.. Just in case some jitterbug might walk by .
“Well brother,Bring Frog here. Bring him in Daddy’s house” I said cracking the door just enough to let Gerald out quickly.”He’ll get everything back that them jitterbugs stole” I said .
“He don’t feel good enough to come here. ” Gerald replied as he squeezed sideways through the small opening of the door.
“what about the park?” I asked Gerald remembering all the brothers and sisters were going to meet in the part on Tuesday.
“Ill see” Gerald said “Kinda hard to go where you just got beat up. Maybe the law can keep them jitterbugs out of the park” He said as he squeezed through the door.
“Silly ,” I muttered to myself, as I walked away from the door. “There aint no such thing as a jitterbug. But if there were , just maybe if there were, the law aint keeping them away. I’m just gonna shut the door tight. Very tight to keep them out of Daddy’s house”.
As I turned looked back around Daddy’s house. I knew that if Frog came inside ,THIS HOUSE , he would get better. I knew that the blood of Jesus would touch him right smack dab where the bullies hurt him. In a Word, right then, he would be healed. If he would just come, If he would just peek in the door, I would drag him by the arm to the front of the house and our brother, Pastor Chris, would pray to Daddy for him. And. we would all be like we used to be , safe in Daddy’s house . Healed.
“Daddy, Darn, them jitterbugs,, ” I shook my head trying to throw off thinking about them.
I started running through the house ” I’m gonna think like a butterfly like you made me. I’m gonna fly from person to person, looking to see Jesus’s face in every brother and sister. Like a butterfly getting all sticky with pollen, I’m gonna go from brother to sister to catch some of your mercy and grace for myself.(5) And I’m gonna take it to my room and put it in on paper. And I’m gonna look at it all week long to think about how beautiful Jesus made the world for me. . . .I myself WILL NOT BE AFRAID OF NO JITTERBUG messin with me!!
But Gerald wasn’t the only one talking bout bullies these days. Lots of other folks in the house were talking bout them. While I was busy drawing pictures of butterflies, our brother Pastor Chris, kept talking’ bout Daddy’s Enemy,the Bully of All . He acted like that bully was everywhere. He kept telling us all how to get dressed so we wouldn’t get beat up by this bully when we moved about.
But not only when we moved about was the enemy after us. Our Brother Chris sounded like we were supposed to be dressed in a bunch of heavy armor even when we were sleeping. It just seemed like there was so much to wear:, helmet, breastplate, belt, shoes. In addition to all that, he said that Daddy said we also had to have a shield and sword in our hand at all times. I dont know how folks could ever go swimming or biking or running or playing tag with all this stuff on their bodies.
Pastor said Daddy paid a big price for this armor stuff . And He said that Daddy himself laid it out for each of us every day. And , he said, that we better put it on or we might get hurt or die.
” It just awkward and kinda out of date wearing all these old school accessories,” I would complain. Half hearted with the warning , I would often wear just a helmet and a belt inside Daddy’s house , leaving my breastplate parked outside the church door.
“Well, dont think you are going anywhere without putting ALL the armor of God on” the brother would say pointing his finger at me .
I didn’t much listen to him . Most times, I just kicked off my sandals and sat down to draw pictures of butterflies. Even though the brother told me a whole lot about Daddy’s word, i would pick out what I wanted to believe. And I believed that without wearing that ole heavy breastplate I was more free to fly. Besides, I was always wearing my underwear, the robe of Righteousness.
” Im telling you sister if you don’t wear it All, EVERY SINGLE PIECE, you will get hurt!” he kept warning. “The Enemy is after what’s in you!!” , the brother would shout while I stretched out in my seatat Daddy’s table(4)
“Blah, Blah, Blah Enemy Enemy ” I kinda got tired of folks talking bout “The Enemy ” in Daddy’s house. All my brothers and sisters would scream ” I rebuke you Enemy” over and over again. They acted like he was standing right with us holding our hand. He is so different than us that I didn’t think we would be holding his hand in the house. So, I thought it very strange they thought he could be among us.
He is COMPLETELY different than us !! I wanted to scream. He is AGAINST Daddy and we are FOR Daddy. We are minding Daddy’s business and The Enemy is minding everybody else’s business. He keeps count of everything when we are getting more from Daddy than we can count. (5) Surely we lived in a different House and stayed in a different Town than that scoundrel they called “Satan”.
But, Pastor, and Paul , Peter, and John and the tiny book of Jude,kept screaming about this enemy. They told me not to consider it strange. (7) , They said that this enemy was after us , hunting us, dividing us, accusing us , hurting us. Eager to beat the living Jesus out of us.!!!!! No matter how much I read and heard I wasn’t believing it all. I couldn’t believe cause I just didn’t think Satan could get in the door of Daddy’s house . It was my job to stand by the back door and watch it (6). As I looked out the window ,through the blinds, I didn’t see a jitterbug or devil I could only see my breastplate laying by the railroad track and Azion running across the track going home..
“You okay?” a brother and sister asked.” Yep , just thinking bout stuff”. I said follow them. Soon, some folks stopped me and asked me to to go to a room I had never seen. I didn’t ask Daddy or the Holy Ghost first. I just went with them . I wasn’t watching (8) where i was going at all, I was just excited to go anywhere in Daddy’s house.
When I got to the room , It didn’t feel like Daddy’s house anymore. It didn’t feel safe. It smelled and felt like the other country where I was first born. Not where I was born again. Words I had never heard before came in the air from faceless faces. Harsh accusations and false assumptions fired like arrows through the room.
Then suddenly, very suddenly, I felt a sharp pain. It was a sting not a hug. It was bitter not sweet. It was a lie not truth. It put a chain on me so I couldn’t move. Then, it stabbed real deep like a fiery dart in and through my heart . It entered so deep that it felt like it went all the way through me and was fixin’ to stab someone else if they got behind me. Before I could say “Help Jesus” , I had fallen wounded. I thought I was a casualty in a massacre not a war . Daddy seemed far away, Jesus seemed busy and the Holy Ghost seemed like He left on the last train through Greenville. Life stopped.
Then, as if the Holy Ghost was standing outside the door, He came and pulled me to my feet. I ran out of the house crying.
Other brothers and sisters stood outside saying “I cant believe you let the Enemy get you. ” “how could you let that happen” You need to go back and give back what was given to you’ “punch harder”” fight meaner”” get allies” . And some just screamed “get the hell out” . Everybody acted like they forgot what house I was running out of. Everyone acted like they forgot it was Daddy’s House!
Pushing past them, I saw Azion , “don’t cry, Its gonna be alright. Jesus says its gonna be alright” she called out.
” What if I have a lethal dart in my heart ? Is it really gonna be alright? All RIGHT? All that night,, crying , I thought of the sting. Its a dart. Its just a dart from the enemy. It ain’t no body. It ain’t no bug. It aint even the Enemy. Its just a dart from him. . . A firey dart. See, Vanessa, Frog got hurt in his lungs, where Daddy makes good air and you got hurt inside your heart where Daddy makes His love. And both of us are now flat on our backs wounded. ” I talked to myself.
I called out to Daddy like my brother Job cried in the dark. “Who can help me put on this armor now? I am cripple and down. Is it too late to dress my heart as I lay wounded ? Who can take the stinging pain ? Who can lift this mourning gown and give me a new dress not stained with tears?”
As I grew weary with my words, I found the breastplate stiffly faithfully held me on my back in the bed in the dark of the night (8).
Daddy , Daddy , i cried. Daddy I’m soo sorry ! I’m sorry I did not wear what you told me to wear!! I didn’t listen to where you told me to go!! Jesus help me ! Holy Ghost whats happening? Jesus , Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, . . . ” I drifted to sleep. I started thinking bout a poem Daddy wrote me. I started thinking bout Psalm 34.
In the night, Daddy gathered the tears . Motionless on my back . I could not toss . I could not turn. I could not escape a righteousness outside myself. It immobilized me . I felt The hard heaviness of His hand over my heart protect me from new darts. Darts coming from within me and about to shoot out of me. Darts of anger and resentment. As the original dart was released into His hand ,a flow of warm clean water washed over the wound.
Daddy had recycled ever tear in the night to wash and soothe my heart.
Slowly waking I felt the soft interior of the breastplate. It bandaged the wound left on my heart. A two sided righteousness overwhelmed me. Squeezing tight over me, it forced a new song from me . I awoke singing “who put this breastplate on me ? but my King! My King Jesus!! It’s All right!! It’s all Right!! He has dressed me in the Night!! He has Dressed me in the Night!! . . ..
Return child to His RIGHTEOUSNESS! Dress rightly today with both the breastplate and the robe!!
““What do you need to put on Church? What do you need to put on to fight the fiery darts accusing you ? What do you need to put on Church? What do you need to put on to not take offense at your brothers or sisters? THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. It’s His righteousness not your righteousness, NOT EVEN their righteousness . It’s His righteousness! Anyone’s RIGHTNESS IS ONLY FROM HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!” Pastor Chris Peterson
Ephesians 2:1-3 tells us that we were dead folks in a land “walking, following the course of this world, following the Prince of the Power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.”
Isaiah 9:6 tells us that we are now under the rule of the King of our Souls and “the government will be upon his shoulder and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God , THE PRINCE OF PEACE
Numbers 14:44 it is said of some folks that thought to do something apart from Daddy’s direction “But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ARK OF THE COVENANT of THE Lord and Moses, departed not out of the camp.
Ephesians 6 :10 – 18 commands Children of God to put on the whole armor . It begins with the position of “STAND” and ends with the attitude of “KEEP ALERT WITH ALL PERSEVERANCE” This is a confident not casual stance in His Might.
1 Chronicles 21:1 Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel
Isaiah 21:6 For thus the Lord said to me: “Go, set a watchman; let him announce what he sees.
1 Peter 5:8, I John 3:8-10, Jude 8-9
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, Ephesians 5:15
He had no form or majesty that we should look at him and no beauty that we should desire Him, He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. BUT he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities. Upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and WITH HIS WOUNDS WE ARE HEALED (ESV) Isaiah 53:2, 5
For God , who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the GLORY OF GOD IN THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST” ESV 2 Corinthians 4:6
“Aint nobody going to the park today . You might as well stay home.” the old brother said , looking down unto me while I was tying my shoes.
“I told you boy, there are always three folks there! ” I said as I looped the last lace. Then bouncing on both feet I held up four fingers “Daddy, Jesus, the Holy Ghost and me!”
“you mean one folk .” he said shaking his head and walking away .
“NO , NO , No! ” I said jumping up and down ” There are three in one!! Daddy , Jesus and the Holy Ghost !! ”
The old brother turned quickly . “Well, I’m just sayin. . . . if you go and you are all alone out there you might get hurt. . . .like Gerald said. . . maybe by one of them jitterbugs .” he warned.
I pounded my chest showing that my heart was not hurt anymore. There was no sting. I was healed of the jitterbug bite in the night. “See. . .. Lookie, ” I said ” I’m all dressed for the park” I stood before the brother touching my head, my chest my waist, my feet. I had the whole armor on for the first time in my life. Then , picking up Daddy’s book , I said ” And watch out I got a weapon !!” With my bible in my hand , I marched to the park.
Soon , while walking down the road, my mind started swirling with thoughts of the jitterbug, The Enemy. . . the enemy,. I thought about how much he hurt folks. How he hogtied them and dragged them through slop like sheep to be slaughtered . I thought bout how folks nowadays were cryin’ and dyin’, moanin’ and groanin’. How every brothers and sister I knew was either hit by the Enemy or was watching how The enemy hit others. Even our brother, Pastor Chris, would steady say that folks were all lookin either “busted or disgusted”. It was all you could see everywhere. All you could see was the bite and bruises on folks attacked by this faceless foe.
“There is so much damage Daddy” I cried running into another house on my way to the park .” Who will fix all this hurt Daddy” I fell to my knees and I looked up . As I looked up, I saw a picture. It was a picture someone had painted of Jesus’s face.
When I looked at the picture, I remembered what Daddy said about Jesus’s face. He said that It was so very different than any other face. He said it was marred and not majestic , a face so scary that we would want to hide our face from it” and yet. . . .” Daddy says that this face is the “radiance of His glory” He says real boldly to me,” though they spit on this face , This face , His face, would heal every person that looked at Him”
“Jesus show your face in the park today “, I prayed
Frog came very late. We had all been singing and reading Psalm 34 when frog came. Marilyn had already shared a picture of how Daddy works in the night to heal us from all them jitterbug bites. I was amazed how she could draw a picture to explain a poem from Daddy’s book. Everyone was telling how Daddy did wonderful things for us all while things looked bad all around. We were all singing and happy with all Daddy’s goodness
But Fog sat sad. He sat on a bench in the back. His head hung very low below his shoulders. I thought how his lungs were still hurt from the jitterbugs. I started crying for Frog to Daddy. Some other folks started crying too And when we were crying to Daddy , I became certain that Jesus was looking at Frog , I was so certain , I thought I saw a light shining right over Frogs’s bench.
As we sang, The Holy Ghost said ” Go touch Frog” . I asked some brothers and sisters to go with me, Marilyn, Ann, Barbara, Joseph, Mary and her friend , all came. As we touched Frog I asked Jesus to turn His face to us. Then, I put my hands on Frogs chest and immediately I felt a light come upon us. “Jesus looks now to heal you ” I said
I kept watching Frog’s face. I kept hearing brothers and sisters around him say “jesus” “jesus” “Jesus” Slowly Frog’s head lifted, , He looked up past the plywood ceiling , probably looked way past the clouds.Maybe he was seeing Jesus peek through the clouds or ride near us on the clouds. I just know his head tilted and lifted . . And then, . . . . like a Frog.. . . Like Frog croaking out of deep waters, he shouted “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!!” Then , he stood with arms raised shouting “Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus” .
Suddenly, I said what I never thought to say. It was as if the Holy Ghost said it for me: ” we forgive them now, Frog, We forgive the jitterbugs !! The Devil just used them. They were but little darts in his hand. We forgive them, see we can forgive them . . .. Cause He has forgiven us!!!! We can forgive because He healed us today!!!” In that moment I forgot every hurt , every sorrow, every pain. FROG AND I WERE HEALED BY THE GLORY OF GOD THROUGH THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST!!
THE END. THE AMEN .
Post script: “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self , which is being renewed in KNOWLEDGE AFTER THE IMAGE OF THE CREATOR. . JESUS .here there is neither black or white, male or female, BUT CHRIST IS ALL AND IN ALL. SO, then as GOD”S CHOSEN ONES HOLY AND BELOVED, put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another FORGIVING EACH OTHER AS THE LORD HAS FORGIVEN YOU > ABOVE ALL THESE , PUT ON LOVE WHICH BINDS EVERYTHING TOGETHER IN PERFECT HARMONY. Collossians 3
Brothers and Sisters we will no longer be outwitted by Satan for we are no longer ignorant of His designs (2 Corinthians 2:11) Joseph is my brother. And Joseph knows I get kinda mad when folks outside the house snicker and say “if he’s her brother , then he’s her brother from another mother”. They wouldn’t say stuff like that if they knew our Daddy. Daddy would look at them one time with His glory and they would be ballling and sayin: ” we’re sorry, so sorry, amen amen , they BOTH look like their Daddy!!” (1) Until then , there is whole lot of talking behind our backs, right in front of Daddy.
To me , Joseph looks more like Daddy than I do. Sometimes I see the spitting image of our Big Brother JESUS in him . Our brother , Pastor Chris, has been telling us every Tuesday how Jesus is IN each of us. If we took a group picture, with all the other brothers and sisters round the world , it would be a big portrait of King Jesus .(2)
On Tuesday nights, when our brother Chris tells us about these things , I sometimes look over at Joseph to see what Jesus looks like IN just one of us. Sure enough, when I look at Joseph, I see a whole sun of the bright light of Jesus bursting through Josephs face. There are lots of folks that glow like Jesus on Tuesday nights.
It is really a miacle, this thing about Jesus in Us!! It’s a miracle we don’t always see cause, lots of times, when we get outside the door, we look so different. We look a whole lot different than Jesus. It bothers us cause we want to look beautiful like Him. But we trust what Daddy said about making us look more like Him day by day. Till one day , a most glorious day we will look the same outside the door as we do inside the door. We will look JUST LIKE JESUS EVERYWHERE!(3)
One day ,Joseph and I were standing outside the door. We were with sister Marilyn and brother George. We were watching a train go by Daddy’s house. The train looked long , strong and unwavering. I knew it was just a train but it looked like something created with purpose , the way it moved.
We looked different. We looked different from Jesus right then. I was frown faced worrying bout another brother . Joseph and George were covered in clouds of cigarette smoke and sister Marilyn had a neck like a giraffe, straining to look for something. She was looking for hobos on the train. Marilyn was the only one fit to talk that day. She said “sometimes them hobos attach themselves to a box car where they don’t belong”
“Them trains are for carrying cargo NOT hobos! ” she declared. The rest of us stared at the train and started looking with her for hobos. We looked a long time.
I know we looked a long time because brother George and Joseph finished a couple cigarettes. So when the last box car and caboose passed, the brothers stabbed their stumped cigarettes into the sand and went inside Daddy’s house. We never saw a hobo that day. The last thing I remember seeing was two cigarette butts, smothered in the sand, breathing their last breath of smoke. I did not know that was the last cigarette to get friendly with my brother Joseph. I was too busy worrying to think much about anything.
The next Tuesday , Joseph took the box where the cigarettes lived and crushed them in his hands. He left them on the table maimed and surrendered in Daddy’s house. Joseph looked like Jesus that day. He looked like Jesus turning over the tables saying ” my Daddy’s house (this body) will not be the house of robbers (Satan’s thievery) !! Our brother Pastor Chris prayed over Joseph and all of laid hands on Joseph just like Daddy said for us to do. It was a very exciting night in Daddy’s house.
I wanted to do the same thing with my worry that night. I wanted to lay it on the table . It seemed like I picked up fretting like a smoker picking up a pack of cigarettes , drawing out one smokey thought after another all day. Some how worry just clung to me and I was not ready to crush it and lay it on Daddy’s table. Somehow, it felt like it was clinging to me , like a hobo on a moving train.
I began to worry more and more. Folks kept telling me to TRUST Daddy with the things I worried about. In my mind , I would say TRUST over and over again. But worry stayed on board . It stayed on board my soul like a hobo inviting his friends. Worry piled on worry till I think I worried myself sick. Daddy says you can really worry yourself sick. Suddenly, like a hobo hijacking a train , it sends you off rail , crashed.
By Friday evening, I was sick of being sick with worry. I was very tired of being left spinning upside down, train wrecked in the woods of worry. With my knees to my chest , I rocked back and forth crying “abba , Daddy””Daddy interrupted me that night with a phone call . It was Marilyn.
“Sister Vanessa , Did Joseph tell you what he did?” she asked like a big sister fixin to tell on her baby brother.
“no what did that Joseph do?” I asked
“well , I will let him tell you hiself” she said ” “here Joseph, you tell sister V what happened”
” well. . . .” Joseph let one word fill the air.”we’ll”
“Well what Jospeph?” I interjected the air.
“I had a cigerette” Joseph confessed. (4)
“Ah brother. . . what happened?” I asked.
Waiting for Joseph to speak I remembered the train. I remembered the last cigarette with Joseph. Again I could only pray: “abba, Daddy”
” Well I just had one . . . i don’t know what happened. . . I do know ,it didn’t even taste good to me anymore, It didn’t taste good at all”
Suddenly, I felt Daddy send a wind. A wind to flip my train-wrecked soul upright. Suddenly I saw what Marilyn was saying outside the house about Hobos. I saw why she said they didn’t belong on the train.
Certainly, they were to have no part of the train! They are only jumping on board to steal a ride or take something away from the train . Like the habits that the devil throws on us are hobos jumping on a train. The devil is always ready to re-engineer our bodies and minds with harmful habits so he can derail our destinations assigned by Daddy. Oh how this homeless vagabond, Devil, is always trying to make a home with us and train wreck our faith.(5)
And then, then, I saw something greater and greater AND more powerful. Something brighter and stronger than that dark robber of our souls. I thought of the Engineer of the train. I thought of Christ in us!!! Christ the Engineer of this engine. . .
“Of course you don’t have a taste for cigarettes!! Jesus doesn’t have a taste for cigarettes!! He doesn’t have a taste for worry. He did not worry a single moment!! Neither did He smoke a cigarette ! That’s who is living IN us. Jesus doesn’t wanna have nothing to do with them smokey little hobos!! Thank you Jesus for showing us that today!! Thank you Jesus!” I felt Jesus kick worry off my soul as I saw Him snuff every cigarette before Joseph would reach for it.
Together Joseph and I praised Daddy for crushing cigarettes like he crushed the head of Satan long ago (6). We praised Him for kicking devil hobos off our train. We said we would not invite them anymore. We said we would let Jesus kick them off before they got on board. Together we thanked Daddy for showing Himself very great and strong in our weakness. Together we thanked Daddy for our appetites for Him. Together we thanked Daddy for an appetite to TRUST Him in all things!!
With hands waving and legs kicking we pointed with praise to the seat set for Jesus!! He would drive this train once again!! And if anyone saw us that day, that day they would say “them two kids look just alike . . they MUST be brother and sister!!”
Ephesians 3:20 NOW TO HIM THAT IS ABLE TO DO EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL THAT WE ASK OR THINK, ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US . UNTO HIM BE GLORY IN THE CHURCH BY CHRIST JESUS THROUGHOUT ALL AGES WORLD WITHOUT END . AMEN.
The Beginning of the Glorious WORLD WITHOUT END
Galatians 3:28 “there is neither Jew nor Greek , there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male no female: for yea are all ONE IN CHRIST.
Ephesians 4:13 till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, (Jesus) unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ!
2 Corinthians 3: 18 But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by he Spirit of the Lord.
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
1 Timothy 1:18 (paraphrased) This charge is entrusted to you, children of RLOC, in accordance with all the prophetic word calling you Children of GOD and Servants IN CHRIST, that you wage good warfare, holding faith and TRUST and a good conscience. For by rejecting this some have Trainwrecked their faith. BE NOT LIKE THEM.
Maybe, one of the first things we learn as kids is this :
Daddy has breathed life into every living thing. We look around and see, from babies to bugs, breath in every being.
The movement of this breath fascinates us as we see a lively exchange of air into action. Rhythmic inhaling and exhaling producing energy, life and purpose. All a display of God’s glory.( 1)
When we grow big in our minds, we then learn that Daddy started all of this glory from a grain. A grain of dirt. From dirt He made ribs and ribs He made both brothers and sisters. Into the first brother, Adam , to every child born thereafter, He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and created a living soul.” Genesis 2:7.
It is all very fascinating. And, curious children, like me, have wondered where all that air goes when Daddy blows. I once put things in my nose to see where His breath traveled. But I could only go so far. Maybe Daddy laughed when everyone saw that I was “picking” my nose. But, Daddy knew I was just being nosey about his creation . He says that searching things out is a great honor that He gives us.(2)
Later , other kids showed me pictures that people drew of what they had been told about Daddy’s traveling air. I tried to draw a picture for myself. It is very hard to draw a thing exactly how Daddy designed it. And, I think, He is right when He says that we really can’t see everything fully like He made it. He says, in His diary, that His children “see dimly”.(3)
For now, lots of us see the flight pattern of His wind like this. . .
Through the nostrils in the nose or through an open mouth, air goes down the trachea to the bronchi to inflate the aveoli where a fascinating exchange happens that makes “a living soul.” These “living souls” Daddy later calls “His children”. There are seven billion of these children and almost twice as many lungs .
Amidst all these billions , my favorites set of lungs rests in a single Daddy’s child named “Ernie”. Ernie carries my favorite set of lungs because they have breathed a new life of faith all around. God used Ernies lungs to breathe a genuine faith(4) , one more precious than all the gold in the world. And yet, even more than that, God told a story about Himself that I am excited to share. From Ernie’s nose and mouth, to his trachea to his bronchi and finally to his aveoli, Ernie displays a very spectacular story of Daddy’s glory.
(to be continued . .
Part 1 (the nose and mouth) Part 2 (the trachea) Part 3 (the bronchi and aveoli)
Isaiah 43:7even everyone that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him : yea, I have made him. (says the Lord who . . .) Romans 11:36 for of Him and through Him and to Him are all things : to whom be glory forever. Amen (KJV)
Proverbs 25:2It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. The heaven for height, and the earth for depth. .(KJV)
I Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known(ESV)
1 Peter 1:7So that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire- might be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.(ESV)
A child of God chosen to display Daddy’s glory, one breath at a time.
As long as my breath is in me and the Spirit of God is in my ..
my lips will not speak falsehood and my tongue will not utter deceit. For I hold fast to my righteousness and will not let go!”( Job 27 :3, 4, 6a)
I didn’t know Ernie was carrying a set of miracles deep behind his ribs until one day in October. Before that day, I just knew a man whose name was “Ernie”. A man who sat at the round table in the back of the church. That’s how it is in Daddy’s house sometimes. We say “oh I know so and so. . . ” And we toss a person’s name in the air like a balloon. But, if we told the naked truth, we would say that we REALLY don’t know them at all. As a “doorkeeper” in Daddy’s house , I get a little sad when I barely know some folks names . But, I get really excited when I remember that there is one in the house, who really, truly, knows them.
Jesus knows them. He looks on each one of those folks every Sunday. He looks past all the dirt and the ribs , straight past the lungs and heart, to a very deep place. He looks to a place where no doctor or scientist or researcher could go. . . the soul.(1)
Kinda funny to think like that . To think that there are places where no eye sees or tongue tells . Places where no picture has been taken. Kinda funny to think how Jesus knows Ernie so well. He knew every cell, seen and unseen, in Ernie long before He introduced the lump sum to me. He had been sitting near Ernie alot of days before He introduced Ernie to me and. . . me to Ernie.
Jesus handpicked the day He was to introduce Ernie and me. (2) That day was a day in October. That day, I had just left my assignment as “doorkeeper” and I was working at the hospital. And, It was in the hospital that Ernie was brought in for “shortness of breath”.
“Shortness of breath” is a phrase that hospital folks use for breathing that does not sound or look like the original design by Daddy. It sounds more rapid and loud and unnatural than we think it should sound . This is mostly during times when the air is going through the mouth and not the nose. These folks lie in stretchers like little birds in nests with their neck reaching up and their mouths wide open. They look like birds hungry for nothing but the air around them.
I could hear the sound of Ernie’s air as I turned the corner to room 42 in the emergency Room. The sound stopped me. I stood by the door and asked Jesus to introduce me to Ernie. I was afraid that Ernie would not know me and he might be too hungry for air to be bothered by me.
But Ernie was not bothered. And Ernie did not look like the other folks in the hospital . He did not look at all like anybody that I had touched that day. He did not even look like he needed a physician though he sounded like it. Ernie had a vibrant face . And ,most of all , he had a face that talked without using words. It said paragraphs in milliseconds. It was bright , kinda pink, with a leprechaun like smile. Sitting upright in the stretcher , I saw Ernie as a delightful design of Daddy. I saw what Jesus saw for the first time . (3)
Ernie’s eyes spoke boldly “I believe our Daddy wants me out of this place’ . His eyes seemed to sparkle with the proclamation.
An instant agreement came upon me, I said “Ernie , Jesus wants you out of here. This is not the door I should be greeting you through unless its back out. . . eh brother?”
Ernie winked. I considered his wink to be an “AMEN”. Amen means “so be it” or “let it be”. And It does not really have to be spoken. An Amen is agreement with Jesus bout all that Daddy gives.(3)
Folks at church talk alot about agreement. i don’t know much about all of what they mean when they talk. Sometimes these folks start talking in another language that only Daddy knows. .But, I now know one thing for certain, since Jesus introduced me to Ernie. I know that when children agree about what Daddy says all kinds of things happen. When children agree with Daddy, miracles are in the air. Moving in very unlikely patterns.
” ill be back to check on y’all after I am off duty” I said to Ernie and his wife Brenda. I left a room that was so full of Jesus I felt unworthy to return .
I felt unworthy because, truth be told , about four hours before I met Ernie, I had been whining and complaining to Daddy about His other children. I was tattle- tailing on them , telling how they were relying on another brother to give them what only Daddy gives. I even called that very brother on the phone and said” these folks are asking you to do what only Daddy can do for them and I think it is all wrong”
This good brother said to me ” what are you gonna do , sister, tuck your tail and run again”. That made me more mad and I hung up the phone.
I then cried and cried and told Daddy that I didn’t think my church was giving Daddy the glory He was due. And “if they ain’t doing that then they ain’t no church!!! They are just a ‘club house in a tree’ and nobody can get in and nobody on the inside can see out !!” I said.
After all the hot air from my phone call and prayer settled as dew on my dashboard, I stomped on into work. “Im just going on to work ” were my last words to Daddy. I kinda felt like Peter who decided to go fishing because it all wasn’t making much sense anymore.(5)
When I returned to Ernie’s room, I stood at the door and remembered my start of the day and still felt unworthy to enter. I stood motionless behind the open door asking Daddy if it was okay to go in. I was distracted by the sound of Ernie’s breathing. It wheezed and coughed and gasped..Suddenly, I saw Daddy’s intended design, I saw how the mouth is set for praise and the nose is set for air. Suddenly Daddy showed me, As unnatural as is Ernie’s breathing so unnatural was my speaking earlier in the day!! Ernie should breathe air through His nose, And I should praise through my mouth. God we need a Physician!!.
“There she is Ernie” Ernie’s wife peered around the door. “We are right here. Did you forget where you were going” she chuckled
I entered into the room. Ernie was getting a “breathing treatment”. This is where a medicine is mixed with the air so when one inhales it opens the lungs so they can get the oxygen needed. So Ernie’s wife, Brenda, talked. Brenda talked vibrantly, like Ernie but not as much with her eyes as with her whole being. From face to fingertips , she spoke more in motion than with words . It was as if every word she chose was moving. Like breezes of grace , a gentle enthusiastic grace.
So, when I timidly said “can we pray together?” she seemed to swoop softly across the stretcher to take my hand in expectant agreement.
I looked at Ernie. I looked at Brenda. I looked at our hands. Suddenly the air halted. I could hear each of us breathing. My own breath irregular ” Daddy I need a breathing treatment Jesus just say the word and your servant will be healed” my soul prayed quietly (6) . And I waited.
Suddenly, I saw Jesus looking upon Ernie with compassion ready to touch and heal. I saw Him delighting over Brenda. I saw Him ready to heal my lips. I prayed. Then Brenda prayed. The breeze, a the very warm summer breeze blew . Ernie could breathe a little easier. The room was very warm. The faces very moist.
Then , in natural timing, like a chorus of a song, Ernie’s “Amen” was spoken. It came out of his mouth as air went in his nose. It repeated itself , Layers of “amen” one upon another until Brenda and I shouted with Ernie “Amen!! Amen”. All of us moving now like children saying “yippie Daddy we have recieved”.
When our hands released, Ernie began breathing slowly and softly through his nose. Suddenly Ernie said his first sentence to me “This is the church!”. He spoke.
“Yep. Honey the Holy spirit was definitely here.” Brenda cheered. She did not know Ernie’s words were riding on the wind of the Spirit. Riding on the wind of the Spirit to restore my broken soul.
“This IS the Church”
A sweet silence again halted everything in the room. you could hear breath. Breathing Rhythmic and natural . Mouths declaring praise. I suddenly knew that I could not run from this church , This church. . . .it would chase me down.
“Yep,”. I winked.
And the spirit and the Bride said “Amen”(7)
John 2:24-25But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man.
Acts 17:26And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation.
2 Corinthians 5:14,16for the love of Christ controls us , because we have concluded this that one has died for all , therefore all have died. . so , From now on , therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh.
2 Corinthians 1:20For all the promises of God in him are yea and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us
John 21:3Simon Peter said to them , “I am going fishing,” They said to him, “we will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Luke 7:1-10. Jesus healing the Centurions’s servant ” And Jesus went with them. when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore FI did not presume to come to you But say the word and let my servant be healed. “
Revelation 22:17The spirit and the bride say, “come.” Let anyone who hears this say “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life”.
Let EVERYTHING that has breath praise the Lord!! Praise the Lord!! (Psalm150:6)
I saw that when Ernie could breathe well , he would utter an “Amen” into the air . These interruptions of praise seemed to take flight to heaven where angels would sweep them upward with their wings to the lap of Daddy.
But , on earth everything was seen differently. Ernie was admitted into the hospital for further tests. He was not looking like he could breath easy and folks were saying he might have pneumonia, bronchitis, or very bad COPD . They would pick a title to match what they saw. Some of them would agree on a word and they would write it in Ernie’s chart. The chart tells the story of how things look down here.
Daddy was sad when my eyes agreed with what they wrote. (1) He knew I would become afraid. Ernie was on oxygen and there was a number next to his bed that kept going down. When the number was down it showed Ernie was not getting the oxygen he needed. So, whenever Ernie moved in the slightest bit, the number would drop and Ernie would look pale. When I saw this I would get a little scared . When we are scared we start forgetting lots of things. We forget things we are supposed to remember forever. We forget that Daddy made every thing. We forget that Daddy made the respiratory system for his glory.(2)
I was so scared that I called another brother . I called a brother who knew Ernie and who wouldn’t let the things he would see scare him. “Can you come see Ernie. It just looks terrible!!” I said to the brother.
Ernie was glad that this brother was coming. And he didn’t want to be afraid with me. So while I waited , I worked. And while I worked I thought of Ernie’s airway and Ernie’s Amens.
“Amens” come from an ever so slight cul-de-sac in the “wind pipe” of the respiratory system called the trachea. At the uppermost part of the trachea sits the larynx , “voice box” . In the larynx are vocal chords which vibrate when air passes . When air passes they make noise. They were created to live expectantly to make “joyful” noises and reluctantly to make clamorous noises. Both can be made but one is most desired by Daddy.(3)
From the larynx, the trachea descends to its dividing road where it will open into the lungs. The trachea has a very beautiful congregation of workers that live along every millimeter of the path from nose to lung. They are are called the cilla. When I first saw a picture of the cilla, I took great delight in them. They are very beautiful , purposeful and free.
The Cillia are a congregation of many hands that sweep fluids and foreign particles out of the airway so that only the breath of God’s air can move freely. They protect the flow from atmosphere to aveoli. When folks get “respiratory” illness, the cillia are no longer free. They get stiff and sticky and are no longer swaying and sifting . They are no longer conduits of the breath of air .
I was thinking how Ernie’s cillia might be stiff and sticky . I was thinking about what might be wrong when I got the message that the brave brother had arrived to see Ernie. I hurried to Ernie’s room. I was ready to pray with someone that was not fearful and would call on Daddy boldly. But the brother did not pray. He did not ask Daddy for anything. He listened to brother Ernie and then he said “Well lets praise Daddy!”.
But “what about asking Him to fix things now”, I thought.
“We praise you Daddy!! We praise you Father!! For you have created All things!! All things are yours!!” He shouted as he walked from one end of the bed to another. Ernie sat . I stood.
The brother repeated “All things are yours. You own all things. You command and the winds obey. all things. All things are yours” Slowly Ernie rocked back and forth. Vague “amens” escaped . I felt my body sway. Then I heard the brother say. .
“You are worthy! You are worthy! Let everything worship you!! Everything!!”
“The cillia worship. The cillia worship. ” my soul considered. How David considered the ant, I considered Ernie’s cillia. (4) I rested my hands on Ernies chest. Might they hear the praise and rejoice in their sweeping and sifting and protecting.
Suddenly the brave brother stopped. “Ernie what are you wanting from God right now”
“New lungs” Ernie declared
“Daddy we are asking you for new lungs. New lungs Daddy for my brother Ernie”. The brave brother said.
The entire room became brave. No longer did fear dwell with me. No longer did fear set Ernie’s face pale. He was pink yet again.
I looked at the oxygen reading. It was high. Air was entering Ernies’ lungs freely. Certainly the cilla were back to declaring praise with every sway of their being. How much more Ernie’s whole being. And the sister beside him.(5)
To be continued. . .
Psalm 77:19 says that the Lord is working through great waters but His “foot prints” are “unseen” and 2 Corinthians 4:18 encourages us to look at the things unseen for they are eternal.
From Revelation 4:11 In the end EVERY LIVING THING WILL DECALRE “Worthy are you , our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created”
James 4:10 “With the same mouth come both blessing and cursing . My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant O sluggard: consider her ways and be wise.”