different by design: Revival

 

Psalm 85:8-10

Will thou not revive 
us 
again that 
thy people may 
rejoice in thee? 
Shew us thy mercy, 
O Lord and 
grant 
us thy salvation .
 
I will hear what 
God the Lord will 
speak for he 
will 
speak peace unto 
his
 people and 
to His saints let 
them not return to 
folly. KJV

REVIVE US OH LORD!    

Seems like folks don’t talk much bout “revival” nowadays. If they do talk about it,  it’s an old stale memory . They say “it aint  ever gonna happen again like it did” .

But, from these same folks, I’ve heard buckets of rain bout revival . Heard it will change a person in a moment , it’ll flip a whole family, then in days , turn a town upside down. Coming like the worst hurricane, before you can say “whew”, a whole city instantly changes its mind bout God , sin , Jesus and the Devil.  Stories like this still  spread even now  saying that a revival could one day change a nation.

Sometimes I am caught telling people what I read in a book about revival. In Old Testaments and writings of Jews, there are revivals before Jesus came. Many  brave men and women were shouting  “Repent” from caves and desserts and mountains  and palaces. John the Baptist carried on with “repent , the kingdom of heaven is at hand” to announce the Reviver had Come!

Then, there was Peter who repented and revived  turning to Jesus and saying “to whom should we go you have the words of eternal life” And there were Awakenings and reformations and revivals after revivals all through time. Even  to this very  morning when I got out of bed and saw a bird singing in the rain and said “woe is me for I do not sing” and before I knew it , , , I was singing a song. Revivals wake up whats dead in us. Or so , that’s what Ive read and hear folks say.

Every denomination and every nationality has had a revival. . But “maybe you are right” I say.

” Maybe revivals were  a long time ago and, like “ice chests” and “wall phones” and outhouses,  we just don’t need them anymore. Shucks, we got everything in packages and wired to go. You know there just might be some “revival plan ” app on your phone”  I tell folks. But quietly, secretly, I think about them every day.

EVERY REVIVAL IS DIFFERENT

“Well its just too bad you never got to go to a real revival “a brother said to me  last Sunday,” you would have liked it”

“well, brother, just thinking bout revival keeps me revived! “I told him as I sat in my “usual seat” in the back of a church.

It had been a long time since I had come to see my brothers and sisters in this church. My friend  “Frog” sat in front of me . As I wrote years before, Frog and I are different. And seeing Frog made me feel like I never lost any time at church.

When the preacher said “Don’t be thinkin bout folks around you, just keep your eyes on Jesus” , I had just been looking at Frog . But mostly I was remembering how Frog taught me everything about revival.. . and about keeping my “eyes on Jesus”

One thing everyone says bout “revival” is that each revival is “different” . The Spirit of God makes it so. Each revival happens like a winter storm or a summer rain. It is when something from Heaven drops down on folks : individual drops of the Spirit, like the tounges of fire, and all start speaking different. See revival ,they say, is when Jesus sneaks into a whole lotta hearts at once. Its when we ask  for Jesus to come change our hearts and we wait to see what He does with them . Without a doubt, you will know when He comes. You will know  because he is escorted by the flame and wind of the Holy Ghost!

When I looked at Frog , I remembered all this. I remembered long ago  when revival came to this little church.

REVIVALS AREN’T PLANNED

When the band played the first song I wanted to think about revival . But as much as you can think about it, you can never plan it . It happens anywhere but ,only at certain times ,all for Our Father’s reason. Lots of Folks try to plan it but, it can NEVER be planned . Its a gift. “It can only be prayed for ” Jesus friends say. They say you gotta see Jesus face and be in His heart before you can see revival in any place .

“you just  gotta pray real hard for revival” a sister told me. I believed her like I believed Jesus first friends.

So  I started praying for revival . I asked in the morning ,in the evening ,and in between . I talked to Our Father bout revival while on toilets, in trucks, in cars, in planes, in houses , in prisons, in hospitals, in gas stations , in kitchens, chapels, bathrooms  and especially in the park. I talked to Him everywhere I went, always saying “bring revival”. “we need revival!”

Lots of times I would tell Frog ” Frog you and I gotta pray for revival” . Frog would nod smile and always say “uh huh” but never would he say “Amen”

You know “he’s watching us”. “I mean it Frog you gotta pray a lot if you want revival!. “I would warn

You want revival don’t you? ‘I begged one day when we were bagging groceries. “uh huh” Frog would croak and then walk away waving both hands in the air singing syllables of songs I did not know.

” Im serious he’s watching you frog!!!” I warned back.

Frog walked on down the road to  the store and back to playing cards and just maybe sipping beer. I knew that Jesus watched him the whole time.

“he’s waiting for you to pray Frog!” I shouted again after him.

But I wasn’t so sure about that. I knew Jesus was watching Frog play cards. But I wasn’t sure he was watching for him to pray. Maybe he was waiting for me to pray for Frog. And maybe he was just smiling to see if Frog would win or lose at cards before Frog prayed to Him.

One thing I forgot . I forgot Jesus was watching me too.

As day ran into day ,without revival, I grew into what Jesus told me not to grow. I grew ” weary.” I walked around very weary saying “it doesn’t really matter” ” I am so tired of praying. I’m tired of being the “only one praying” for revival.” Soon my heart went from mad to sad. And I then saw a glimpse of Jesus eyes. He was weeping.

I saw he was in weeping over my business and Frogs business. He looked and said  to my heart, It is all His Business . . it’s just sometimes. . . lots of times we forget he sees all this business. We forget bout His eyes running to and fro seeing everything. And if we do remember, we want Him to catch sight of all our “good things”. So While Frog was at the store being seen by all drinking beer and playing cards, with the rest, I got  busy “doing things for the Lord”.. ..  hoping He’d see me.

And the Lord Jesus’s eyes were running to and fro looking for but one. . . .

Behind the heads of  all flowers that died  and flowers that bloomed . behind all faces with  scowls and faces with smiles,  Behind hot bright our sunny skies or our cold dark skies , I could see His glance looking . Beneath much and beneath little,   He moved His eyes across  everything , ever so thinly.  as a ray of hope, He would peek at us.. . . Looking for but one to repent and turn to LOVE HIM. (1)(2)(3)

REVIVALS INTERRUPT

But the Fullness of the Son’s face was not on us.(4) Everything seemed cloudy and dull.  I even thought of Frog  like a cloud himself. Like some nimbostratus  rain cloud , big and dark carrying bad weather.  I never knew when Frog would show up. Whether to the park or to church, Frog would disturb the climate when he came .  He would either drift slowly in on foot  or  zoom loudly on his lawn mower.

Everyone would be drop their pencil or bible, look about and whisper to one another. Some folks started to plan to just lock the door so Frog couldn’t come late and disturb them.

Frog on the other hand never acted ashamed of being late. he just looked happy to be there.  As dark days came and went , Frog acted more and more like a cloud.  keping the same weather pattern , Frog was always Coming late, leaving early. I complained to Our Father.

“He’s like  a Cloud He doesn’t  think much bout what folks think of  him and he never  pays much mind to what you have planned. ” I groaned. “What good are clouds anyway  I asked. They just come to bring rain like tears. ”

The more I looked at Frog, the more I thought about my own behavior. I found it easy to compare. . . .” Well “i am mostly on time. well I really never leave early if I do its caus I got a real important assignment. well I really never disturb anybody . ” I could see all the things I was doing “right”.

Soon I wanted to do more “things right.” I started thinking bout what I was wearing. how much I gave for my offering, when I would pray, how long I should hug. who I could hug, how many  this how much that how long this how far that. . . .

I started thinking about what others thought more and more.   And the more I looked at Frog and how Frog was not doing things right, the more  I was busy acting “more right”. And the more I worked , the more the tears and rain fell on every page of my diary. There still was no revival.

“Frog you gotta show Daddy you love Him so  you gotta show up on time and stay the whole time when you come to the house” I would say to Frog on Sundays .

He would just smile shaking his head at me like I said something all wrong. Then, He would crank up his lawn mower and drive off.  .

Frog walked in the next Tuesday right when Pastor was closing in prayer . During prayer , Frog wandered all around the back of the house. He then came to me with  money  rolled up in a ball. “my oooooofrng” he said to me and then walked out the door.

Saying “it just aint the right time for offering Frog, ” I stuffed it in my bible.

After prayer,I tossed Frogs crumbled offering on Pastors pulpit . “He picked the wrong time  for this He is supposed to do this on sunday morning,” I said proudly .Pastor took the offering and unrolled it ” its okay, sis ” .he said. Smoothing out the wrinkled bill he said, ” Hes just Loving Daddy ”

“well Love for Daddy outta be on time ” I thought as I marched away to scribble a complaint in my diary.

REVIVALS TURN TABLES TO  MAKE A HOUSE FOR GOD

Pastor let Frog love Daddy in his own time lots of other times .Frog would come in late often bellow and “AAAAAmen ” and then turn right around and leave. His amens were like a burst of thunder in the room.  Pastor kept loving Frog in all his disruptions.

He loved him so much that one day when we all dropped our pencils, and bibles and turned in a cold hard stare at Frog getting up and leaving, Pastor kindly spoke across the room to Frog. He said “Frog, you got someplace to go?”. Frog turned around smiled walked back to his seat and sat down. It felt like Frog and Pastor were working together to teach us something .

Seemed like everybody’s mind was going out the door that very minute that Frog got up . And after Pastor spoke it seemed like the  Lord was saying  to each of us “Children, do you too have someplace else to go”.

But when Frog came back and sat down , an aroma , musty and earthy,  entered  like mud soaked in  fresh rain on the field . We all turned back to our bibles thinking “Lord to whom shall we also go ?You have the words to eternal life. ”

REVIVALS BRING UNITY AND LOVE

But the greatest preaching with Frog and Pastor came late one Tuesday night.   It came right when folks were figuring out tithes and talents and tassels and tatooes and tucking in shirts. He came right when some one was asking “exactly how should we hug one another” on a Tuesday night.

Frog came right when the circle was breaking and folks were gathering one another against one another. He came right when every brother and sister was mistaken and murmuring about one another.

There was so much rumbling it felt the coming of a tornadoe in the room. words were stirring almost angry.Frog walked to the front and stood still. He looked sad and dark like a very dark thick cloud . Like a cloud that held a torrent of rain.

Pastor said “well church lets pray . . . are there any other. . not questions . .” he asked hesitantly ” but requests for prayer?”Frog stepped into the middle of the circle, Pastor met him there. We circled around each holding the hand of the other.

“What do you want from God Frog?” Pastor asked

“oooooooooooog” Frog’s word entered the air

“What’s that Frog?” Pastor looked kindly closer to Frog

“ooooooooood” Frog said

I think he wants God” a brother whispered

“you want God””eaaaaah” Frog said as he nodded and smiled repeating “ooood, ooooood, oooooodd eeesus. . . . eeesus”

Then he said “moooooore   oooooood all eesus”

“More God?” Pastor asked

“uh ha uh ha uh ha” Frog said nodding

” Jesus is God ” pastor drew close to Frog putting his arms on his shoulders ” you believe Jesus Frog?”

“uh hu uh hu” Frog replied , his face beginning to speak more than any word spoken.”Then if you have Jesus , You have it all Frog”

“come on church, put your hands on Frog” Pastor said.

Suddenly, Frogs hands lifted and tears fell from his face. Suddenly it looked like streams of water twisting and turning across rich soil. A mist settled on his forehead as Frog replied with clear tounge

“Jesus , Jesus, Jesus, Thankyou, Thankyou Thankyou”

Hands that rested on Frog beaded with this baptism .We all felt the love of Jesus come by Frog’s invitation .  Then suddenly,  Frog flung his arms around Pastor. “I love you” .”I love you too Frog” Pastor said

“oooood is good.  Jesus. . .””yes Frog , He is very good” Pastor said as he watched Frog go to the older brother and sister.

The older brother and sister whispered in weeping   “all the time, Frog, all the time”

He went from brother to sister with the same love, flinging his long arms around each person, proclaiming the same love with the same fervor one brother and sister at a time.  A new baptism of Love splashed from limb to limb.

Messy Sweat and dirty tears taught  every soul one Tuesday night. It wasn’t tidy or told, it wasn’t even on time in our minds. It wasn’t a fresh clean rain . But in our hearts ,it was everything Our Father  wanted to give. And it was right on time.  He sent healing waters through Frog . . . rushing rivers of  the two greatest commandments into our body. . .  into His Body the Church.

I don’t know much bout revivals  or folks that go to them . But I know one thing about revival. It is happens only when Jesus is invited to bring the Love of God by the Power of the Holy Ghost in the room . And I know I have been to a “revival” cause Frog invited him in the room that rainy Tuesday night.

Stop Looking at your neighbor and look to your Creator” I heard the pastor say . I shook out of my fond remembrance of revival.

Maybe I just  might not  need to know much more bout revival .  The Creator of The Revival has taught me well.  For Jesus proved true in  all that he said about the two greatest commandments . And if I deny  my self and pick up them ,then I think I get revival .

There is no greater law or way or program or duty of man than these which Jesus brings by His Spirit into His church.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and first commandment.  And the second is like it ‘ you shall love your neighbor as yourself” On these two commandments depend all the laws and the prophets.

Revival dear Frog is when these two commands command our Hearts! Yes Yes AMEN and God’s revival is always RIGHT and  ON TIME.. . .!

  1. The eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good. proverbs 15:3
  2. For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord and he pondereth all his goings Proverbs 5:21
  3. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. 2 Chronicles 16:9
  4.  in times of revival ,we cannot preach of ourselves OR our works. “For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord and ourselves as bondservants for Jesus sake. For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST.2 Cor 4:5-6

5.https://youtu.be/k8Zt1Wy4gyA

When you find all you can do is testify , you have been ” revived” . For we are all born to testify of the greatest gift … God Himself !!

Our Father’s Glory: an Introduction

Now lettest thou thy servant depart, Lord, According to thy word, in peace; For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples; A light for revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of thy people Israel.” Zechariah        Luke‬ ‭2:29-32‬


Faces we Remember

“ I heard your father died.” they said to me today.

I thought of the word “ died” .

My father often said “ your God has died”

And today someone said the same thing about him.

“Not everything dies” I said quickly.

When someone dies… or as we now say “ passes”, we remember. While they are alive we spend our time laughing  and complaining and arguing with them . But when they die, when they leave us to silence, we remember.

Some have memorials for those who died. Often services, or “homegoings” shouts of memory are expressed in words or tears or visions in our minds. These are all a gift for us to let us “remember”. Some, who “die” , however, slip away, slip away without anyone remembering. Their bodies are put in paupers graves or burned and contained somewhere in a government-owned yard. Yet, we all know , even the coldest atheist knows, someone once saw their face. Someone could remember them.

When my father died,two weeks ago, he had only a few friends. Mainly he had wives and girlfriends and two daughters to remember him. All his life he imagined he would be remembered. He was not unlike so many of us too who long to be remembered . Yet in his imagination it was grander than most….he wanted to be remembered for being “Lord Makemson” . He wanted to be known as a royal person who had “mastered” it all .

Like a Renaissance  man, he had invented and written and designed and performed to the level of being the ” maestro” of all things. All his close friends would call him “lord M” and so would I . It would be many years until I could call him “Daddy”. He forbid that name, but with every greeting of “Lord M” or “Make the Snake” a impish childlike grin would erupt from his otherwise always “pondering” face. He wanted to be remembered for being very great in the eyes of man.

Looking back ,  I see my father’s face. I see that  I grew up being changed every time I was around my father. Some records in journals record my mature love and others record adult years of childlike anger. A range of words   at this man who thought too much of himself and of whom I had no name to call.

He thought so much of himself that he developed among  all friends an ideology of a system of “one world order”. In the “one world order” ,he was to be the Ruler. The one and only Ruler.There would be no God, no competing “Theocracy” only His “Aristocracy” that of an Artist and Scientist. In his system, only the scientists would have faces with eyes to see. And only what the scientists saw could the artist paint. “No religion !” He would yell.

“But God still sees all and the universe is His canvas,” I would eventually be bold enough to yell back.

“Oh to hell with your God”  he would say for many years.

His face in early years red and fierce later to turn pale and pleading.

” I  will tell your God to go to hell” he would announce .

But God never went where my father told Him to go . He stayed right near my father on the porch waiting for him to come home.

Stone faces

“I still see his face” my sister texted. We last saw him lifeless , still , stonefaced. But it is not the dead alone that are “stone faced”. Many folks in our lives can become static and frozen in our mind. They stay preserved in a scene as we remember when we last saw them face to face . Away from the scene ,  we look at them in media but they don’t ever look back. Though we call the place “social ” , it is only a place where the sound is silence.

Frustrated, we tour faces like children in a hall of a wax museum. We prowl across our computers. Every face stares back , immobile frozen , from some moment far away. We  cannot make it change with a greeting. It seems No matter what you type at it,  it is only an emoji that comes back . Now even  your dearest friends  face remains the same. It’s an immovable face. One thought away from being an enemy  or idol or dead.

But in reality everybody with a  face has a face that  faces a newness every moment. We are all being changed. And though we think , “ah that is so and so “and they are “doing this and that”. At the time we say it , it is past and God. . . the Creator Of time and events … is forever making something new. Still,  we hang , we hold, we hope , that what we looked at a moment ago matches our judgement whether good or bad of someone.

And we proudly say “ oh I knew that all along about them” “yep , they are just. . . “ or “Im happy that they are. .. “ and “went . . and saw and have. . .” We seldom judge rightly. . . . much less than we ought. Much less than God created us to do. It is really because we do not see them face to face

And yet , if we do , if we do see someone face to face, we become so busy with the thing at hand that we do not see them at all. It may be dinner or church or work when we are given the chance to “ see”  . . .But here again  we are always thinking and feeling and talking. We seldom really see . We seldom really hear. We seldom are in a place where it is just us and our neighbor, loving, face to face.

And so if we cannot see our Brother ( or sister) we just might find we are far from a place where we see Our Father as well. We cannot hear or feel or see Our Father. delighting over them or us… delighting over  His children.

Soon they die. And when they “die” we wonder. . . we wonder where they are and where is Our Father in all of this.

Faces that cannot see
So, Since the dawning of Face book, folks have left their life journals and tucked them dusty and forgotten on shelves. Even if we receive journals at Christmas and holidays we now are more distracted to look at Instagram and Facebook. Always we are lured away from the joy of tearing the paper, opening the present and feeling gratitude for the person who thought enough to buy us a little space in the world .

Before us , A sweet little space to record God’s story in us. But , Distracted and wanting, like spoiled children, we quickly toss blank pages aside for the next “posted” thing. Thumbs up and thumbs roll across holiday photos and friends posts of a lives we never ever saw. Of friends we never remember hugging, Of food our families will never taste.

We think we are in a story of time. But deep down we know what we hold  with social media is an illusion . We hold a souvenir of a reality Our Father would want us to really enter and enjoy. Our Father wants us to meet Him with our hearts face to face.

So, Rising up away from the gift of  a journal , we return to “our network” and consider what others  with stone faces on screens  are doing. The journal is blank on the floor. But deep down, though we have seen many faces, we are lonely to see the FACE OF GOD in something, in someone. We want something alive and close. In the “now”  there is not one we know . We barely know ourselves. Somewhere we have lost what God intended for us to keep . To record. To remember….. To tell of His Story …To Remember in a life he has ordained since Before He ordained time.

Faces upon Faces, Posts upon Posts, we become like James says , walking away and forgetting who we are. Everything seems unreal. And when it is far away and unreal, we then become like prodigal sons who have run away from our Father’s face. We don’t even remember His face. We cannot see it smiling on the one who is sitting in front of us , we cannot hear it  we cannot believe it is real.

Our Father, God , who gave us our first blank sheet of paper to describe or draw a reflection of His Goodness waits. Though he seems like a “BabyDaddy” and we his  ‘latchkey children” being raised by a TV screen, there is something real and alive with us as a Father every moment . He has a face we cannot see.

Faces in Books
I sit now before photos and notes. Photographs and journals , as old fashioned and far away as they sound, are the next best thing to books. We all know it to be true when we hold it in our hands. We know something deep and mysterious and real may come from something bland and blank. Paper with ink. Photos with images. As trees ache, so do souls groan, for the axe, the axe of a Holy Hand to yield a better story. . . one with our name on it. One that is Alive.

“Scribbles”! My father thought it “common, trite, and close to barbaric” for me to write in a journal. While , he wrote many “great thoughts” on small spiral notebooks he ridiculed “the common folk ” writing in journals. As well , while he took many pictures, few photographs he admired. Yet often , in the last days we would delight in pictures of his ever thinning ‘European face”.

Busy through the years with “lord M’s” health and home, I did not know at the time what was beautifully unfolding. But now each journal entry, each picture,  like a presents drop in my lap waiting for me to unwrap little clues to the great treasure that was given to my dad.  I only unwrap the clues. The present was a gift only for my father, from my Father in heaven. .

I wish that I had written more clues and situations . I regret that I did not record every discourse and distress, every battle for belief, every tender shared joy of the atheist man and his “Primitive, slave, “ Christian daughter. But most times my entries would be interrupted by another. Mostly ,Jesus would enter between me and my father.  the complaint of ours turn to praise and the hurt of ours turns to health. .

“ I prefer you not disrespect me by bringing your imaginary Messiah around “ my father would say “I do not need him to be in the story of my kingdom”

My pen might dry for a moment. But with a shake soon I see I could bring my father ,” The other” around Jesus at least  in my journal . And when I did it would totally change my mind about my father on that very paper and for a moment I would REMEMBER HIM AS OUR FATHER KNEW HIM. . . for a moment I would see his face as His heavenly father saw His face . And even if , I could not, even if I were to slam my book shut in unbelief, there remained an eye in my heart opened for the impossible. There was the whisper saying ” no eye has seen no ear heard what God had prepared.”

I  begin to write this for my family and For all who call me “family. “But I write it also for any who long to believe for another, for those, like Saint Augustine’s mother ,who prayed thirty tireless years for the salvation of one.  And this is also for ones who do not want to grow weary but write to Our Lord  about their wrestling in hope. And this is for my father, my sister’s father, the writers, to bear patiently with my grammar and to hear what we share.  . a Story. .. A Story of a very GREAT GLORY that Our  Father wants us to see . . FACE TO FACE!

So at the right time, a time when we see Glory in the end was a Glory we never saw in the beginning ,we might Believe Him much more! Yes and Amen there is Something about the way Our Father created us, all of us. We continue though all time to write stories and take pictures.

Perhaps, I said to my father “ there is a story being written about you by God. What if He is not dead but a brilliant writer ? ”.what if He is the most brilliant writer whose story he wants every one to remember ? And what if His story remembered Gives Him Glory ? ( to be continued)

Caleb Cottontail

The Lord gave me a story The tale of Fear Rabbit ( a child’s tale of the message of 9/8)

many years ago to set me free from addictions and distractions. But now ,He has given me a story to tell that has set me free from a fear filled and cold religion . The devil will always try to use addictions distractions and dry religion to keep us from the freedom and Perfect Love we have in Christ. Certainly we are more than dumb bunnies if we fall for his tactics !instead we must say …

It is written … if the Son set us free, we ARE free indeed.

John 8:31

“Where are your feet?” The sister asked her brother.
“They are … ugh.. stuck ” the boy replied with a grunt. twisting his hips back and forth in the sand. , his feet remained unseen beneath hard packed dirt.

the boy pleaded “ Sister help me. .cant you hear the coyotes howling. We gotta get outa here before dark ! before them dogs get us”
“I hear em, I hear em they are just howling “ the sister calmly replied sitting beside her brother in the dirt.

” great now what ? you want me to sleep in this cold sand and get eaten by dogs ” the boy asked “we’ve got to do something to get me unstuck! ”

“Chill brother “the girl said laying down beside him on top of the sand “ remember Phobia Phobia who became Faith Rabbit. . .”
“yesssss” the boy replied with another grunt and twist..”so what does that have to do with us now !!!”

“ well once the Immortal Invisible one rescued Faith Rabbit from the Cunning One, he lived with the Freedom Family.

“Great … wish I were there” the boy said sarcastically.

The girl continued ” well the family changed his name from “Faith Rabbit” to “Caleb cottontail. ” They called him “Caleb ” because he became just like Joshua’s two friends  “Strong “and “Courageous”. And with these friends, Caleb went many places to tell other bunnies how they were set free.

Whereever the Shadow of the Immortal Invisible One was , they traveled . And ,if the shadow was not there , they would just ask their Father and he would the extend the Shadow to many new fields. The Father only would ask that they show White Pure Light everywhere they went. And that was easy because they were all Cotton tails.

So Everywhere Caleb went you could see the light of his tail. It bounced through the field under the shadow of Perfect Love . It bounced and bounced bright and free though many fields .

Caleb’s paws carried pictures, and flowers, and letters, and poems, and stories to tell about how Jesus, the Immortal Invisible One , sets bunnies free. Everything he made told of the story of the day the Perfect one, Jesus, came to destroy the works of the Cunning One, the Devil. He knew that He was created to do this everywhere!

Caleb would bring these and many other things back into the freedom family where other cottontails were freely singing and waving flags to celebrate what The Immortal Invisible One had done for them. It was a beautiful time in the Freedom Family when they lived freely in the open field.

There was no wall or fence, no varmint or rodent,  to constrain them under the Shadow of Perfect Love .

And There was no need for the cottontails to fear anything. Fear had left the field. And while coyotes still  howled

“and are still howling sister.  .” the boy interrupted still twisting in the sand where he had buried himself

Continuing the girls voice thickened

“AND every fox tried to steal grapes…even then , these snarling critters could not come near the bunnies’s camp. They were always at a distance. In fact, many a supper, the cottontails gathered remembering Perfect Love’s  last supper with them….and”

The girl lowered her voice ” right then , at these suppers, you could see the eyes of the canines in the field glaring at them . ”

” and their tongues licking their lips to eat them ” the boy said

” Oh yes . . and hear howling and snarling! ” she intensified and then paused

. . . .but listen ,Boy , it was all put to dead silence as the aroma , that sweet sweet smell of the Last Supper  filled the air.”

The girl closed her eyes.

“It’s that it ? “The boy asked

“It should be ” the girl replied but…she continued

BUT …one day a Fox.  . a real fox came to dinner dressed as a bunny.  And this Fox told the cottontails that they needed to do more to keep The Cunning One , the Devil, away.

The fox said that they were not as free as they thought they were.  And that the Cunning one could still get them. He told the cottontails that bad weather was coming and that the Cunning one could raise his head again for a final strike.

Not once did the Fox talk about the foot of Jesus on the Cunning One.The Fox only spoke but only about the frightening dangers ahead.

Though The Cunning one in reality remained far in the field where Caleb last saw him . There, immobile, with the foot of the Immortal Invisible one firmly on him , Fear  erupted in the field of the Faith Family . Rumors spread.

Many bunnies soon reported that The head had not yet decayed .” In fact it looked as alive as the first day caleb saw it” they would say. And even though It did not move and it had no teeth , bunnies swore that that its eyes followed all rabbits with hatred and accusation. And in truth ,it did do that very thing for those who drew close to it.

Many bunnies were going back into the woods of Doubt and Fear to see the head of the Cunning Evil One. And as often as they went, they looked at his head and not at the foot of Jesus.

Soon, Every bunny who went to the dark woods to look in the Cunning One’s eyes would get hurt. So hurt were so many bunnies that you could hear their screeches in the night.

And not only their screeches, but the Cunning One’s hisses. He would hiss and hiss as they ran back looking for safety.

He would hiss “scared rabbit. . . ha scarred rabbit. . run” Each hiss they heard invited Fear back in the field. And so it spread from bunny to bunny , fear upon fear.

Now Caleb heard all the fearful things that the bunnies were saying about the snake in the field “His head is rising! He will strike again! He is after you! He can take your freedom away! He smells your coming! He hates those with the whitest tail! And you Caleb your tail is tooo white!”

So Caleb became very ashamed and very afraid. Many friends left Caleb to go back to houses of addiction and distraction . ” I too have got to hide .” Caleb thought.  So he buried his white tail in the dirty sand.

Caleb was sure he would blend in with other bunnies who dirtied their tails with distraction or addiction . But, it was not always so.

Because whenever Caleb would talk to the Immortal Invisible one, Jesus , he would get joy and bounce. And when Caleb bounced, all the dirt would fly off his tail. It was very hard to keep his tail buried and dark.

Soon , Only a few of Caleb’s friends remained in the field. But even they were not free.

“We are going to protect ourselves “they would say. “See,you stand out Caleb like us  . . but we are building a big house where you can come in  and be safe“ his friends said “they will be nice strong houses with plenty of room and you will have everything in them that you need. You wont have to go anywhere else Caleb Cottontail, you will be safe with us. So come stay in the house we will build under the Shadow of the Immortal Invisible one”

It all sounded very good to Caleb Cottontail.

“ I think Im going to live with my friends” Caleb told Joshua one day while they fished by the Main River.

“ Well. . .as for me” Joshua replied

“I know… ” caleb wouldn’t let him finish his scriptured sentence .

“I know your Word….but we too can ‘serve the Lord. ‘We must keep people safe from the Cunning One. He cannot get us if we build the right kind of house” Caleb said to Joshua

“ you make sure you stay free” Joshua warned Caleb .

Hearing a coyote in the distance Caleb bounced away” I’m always FREE . . just be sure to . . . tell Strong and Corageous, I will miss them”

“I will and We will pray for you Caleb. “ Joshua shouted back , wiping a tear with his paw.

“ . . . .beware of the foxes”he weakly cried.

The house Caleb entered was big and had a room for everyone in the family.

An official rabbit from another country set up rules and ways because he had built many houses before. It all seemed comfortable. There was time for speaking, time for singing, time for dancing, time for eating, and all things were done together in order .

But as  the days passed, more and more order was given, the bunnies stopped talking and thanking together. And the house became both big silent and cold.

Bunnies began to take their food in their own rooms and sing their own songs in their own rooms and dance their own dance in their own rooms . Soon everyone was in their own room and their only company was the mirror on their wall. The bunnies wrote alone to themselves, . . . . everything to themselves. There was nothing to “one another.”

The roof over their heads blocked them from seeing the Shadow of the Immortal Invisible one and they soon did not talk to him either. If anything broke in the house ,instead of asking one another for help, they would send for someone from another house to fix it.

Little by little , foxes moved into the house all dressed as bunnies. They would come promising to fix things but, instead ,they would steal things.

Though contrary to their instinct , the foxes always left the bunnies alive. It seemed that they had no want or craving of the bunnies because the bunnies no longer had the aroma of a bunny.  They did not even sound like bunnies. Fear had made them no longer sound or look like what they were created to be.

In this house, Caleb too forgot who he was. And he became very lonely. Especially when winter came. No one invited him to their room and he was too afraid to invite another bunny to his. He was afraid that they may make fun of his tail. He still knew it was white but,  like all the other cottontails, He became very self conscious  and embarrassed of his white tail.

It soon became soo very cold in the Big House . Day after day ice would gather another layer of ice on Calebs door . Ice upon Ice until Caleb was in a corner and the door iced shut.  He couldn’t even get with other bunnies if he wanted too. A cold wall of ice had grown right there in Calebs room!.

Cornered again , Caleb felt full Fear come over his whole  body. He shivered and cried so much that the tears gathered as icicles on his pure white fur , all the way down to his tail.

In a few months …maybe days…possibly years, he found he was frozen against a wall. Time seemed frozen as His cottontail stuck in the ice.

But this was not so for Joshua. Joshua and his house stayed in an open field. They continued to eat together and thank the immortal Invisible one with great fearless joy. No matter what the weather. No matter how many foxes or coyotes gathered. The sound of their joy and the aroma of their faith kept the foxes and coyotes far away.

And , as for the Cunning One , his voice was so distant and small , they would sometimes gather and laugh saying, “is this the one who scared the nations?.” .

But quietly, When they would laugh , Joshua would ponder and sometimes weep . .”is this the one that scared our brethren into that cold dark house? ”

Joshua thought a lot about Caleb. He thought and talked to Jesus, the Immortal Invisible one every day about Caleb. And often times when he was fishing , he thought about the last day that Joshua fished with him . With every thought and prayer , he wept.

Joshua wept many tears into a river. It was the big broad river that flows from the Home of the Immortal Invisible One. Joshua’s Tears gathered everyday until one night.

One night they met up with Caleb.
One night, Caleb was pulling against the icy wall with all his strength. Tearing hair and skin , he pulled and pulled. but the more he pulled , the more ice would fall from the wall crushing his every effort to be free. His feet became raw cold immovable. His lips were raw, his throat parched. He remembered to pray but he could not .

His lips were frozen shut. “now now when I remember to pray, I cannot, I cannot loose my lips to call for help.” he thought then moaned  . . .ohhh… a… ba….. a …. Ba.

Two syllables came from his stomach like a belch out his throat. His lips tore apart , blood dripped from his lip onto the ice. .”Abba Abba” he cried patting his lips together to stop the bleeding.
But ,The few drops of warm red blood dripped on the door frame where Caleb stood.

The building slightly shook. A small crack formed. Soon, Water came trickling through the crack . Soon the ice all around the door was melting. Caleb continued crying but his tears were now warm and flowing.

He cried and cried with joy as he could faintly hear birds singing, bunnies bouncing, trains  passing and far off….. far off in the distance, his dear friend Joshua praying.

Caleb’s weeping face slipped fully free from the melting ice and bent to the ground of the trickling water.

The small drop of blood disappeared in the flow . Caleb touched his lips with the water . . . “give me drink “ he said . . . . sipping and sipping as the ice fell all around his room . A large chunk fell from the door and the sun came into the dark house.

The warmth began to melt the ice around his cottontail
. No longer afraid of Coyotes, or Foxes or the Cunning one. No longer cold. No longer without speech. Caleb soon bounced Free.

It took a long time for the ice to melt the rest of the house.

Many bunnies thought something was broken and they would call on  Foxes to fix it. No matter how many times Caleb sent letters to tell them that Perfect Love would melt the ice in the house so they could be free they would not believe him. And no matter how many times Joshua would tell them that the Cunning one was defeated they still stayed in fear in the cold house.

But Caleb was free. He was free on the day the River of Life came His way. And it just might have been because he had a brother who prayed.

72165455 - cottontail rabbit in snow
“So give me your hand . Let’s go from here.” The girl reached her hand to her brother and he stood.

“How did that happen? .  “The boy stood up amazed.

“Because Perfect Love Casts out all Fear and without Fear we are FREE!!”the big sister replied.

“now shake the sand off your feet and lets go” she commanded

“Okie sis and Im shaking a tail  all the way “ the boy chuckled.

“That’s right boy and don’t let no foxy bunny tell you it aint white as snow!!!”

Reference:

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/gal.5.13.esv

“And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭13:32‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/luk.13.32.esv

“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.””

‭‭The Song of Solomon‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/sng.2.15.esv

“For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:7-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/1jn.5.7-8.esv

The “Center” and the Cross


HERE … having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which is contrary to us.  He has NOW taken out of the way (EVERY SIN) having nailed it to the CROSS..so far be it from me to boast except in the CROSS  of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Colossians 2:15   Galatians 6:14

 Intro

I praise magnify and adore the LORD with other brothers and sisters in a small storefront building . The building  sits in a small Florida town . It faces south to a railroad track and  west to a park. The park surrounds  a small pond . In the park ,a statute of Ray Charles sits immovable like a royal guard .  Day and night brother Ray is poised playing a  piano . Ready to strike notes we never ever hear . His head is tilted  slightly upward as a reminder that something blind ,weak, and insignificant became insightful and strong right here in Greenville Florida. 

“That’s not really Ray Charles ” we teach the young ones  . “it’s just a thing to remind us about him”  we say.

But ,Ray Charles is not the only great story from Greenville. There are volumes of stories flowing from this town about God and Jesus and  all the Holy Ghost’s battles in this town. If there were a statue for every story in Greenville from every  spiritual battle and every valiant warrior, we could rebuild ,yet again ,the legacy of Rome. But now how many of The Lord’s sit  stoically still with  hands poised ready ?  How many spiritual statues await with eager longing?(1)

The Cross Invisible

The stories rumble from the ground with every passing train. Out and  over and in the building where I worship there are dramas . Many twisting  and turning  tales of faith filled fights that became healings of bodies and minds and spirits. They are valiant stories. Stories of folks pulling out the Sword to cauterize addictions. They are gentle stories . Stories of full grown folks becoming children again in the arms of “Abba”  “Daddy” their God and Father . (2) There are volumes  of stories on the shelves of time in a spiritual space .

A story about a wooden cross  first began for me ,in my living room, where a remnant of my church family first met. . We were meeting 50 miles away from Greenville . We came from many places together in a place that had no name. But,  God gives everything a name. So ,one day , He gave a name for our meeting to a young man .(3) The young man was so excited to have the name that he wrote it inside a big Bible dictionary. He wrote ” to the church of the Tuesday nights” It was easy for us  to live up to that name. We met Tuesday after Tuesday night. And, when we invited folks to come, they always remembered what night to come by our name.

In the “church of the Tuesday nights” , Brother Chris preached and teached behind a flowery green end-table topped  with a cross and his bible. We bent our kness on a green rug and we believed with Jesus for everything God promised. That was a story from long ago.

Pepsi stains and watermarks speckle both table and cross now . They stand tucked away in a small room silently speaking a story better than my writing could ever tell. They gather dust like ashes while I drive to Greenville on Sunday morning.

When we moved to the building in Greenville, we did not have a table or a cross. It was all new because Pastor and his family were bringing something new to Greenville. He had a podium for his bible and a new name for his meeting. We didn’t have a cross and we weren’t called a church.  We were named “Renewed Life Outreach Center”.

I thought a lot about why it might be named “center” and not “church”.  I was old thinking when I was younger. And in those days I always would give questions to heaven where answers either come down or where the question would be held hostage.  It was before I learned to TRUST.

This particular question was kept hostage with no earthly answer. But when  I prayed I had to call it something. So, with  Jesus I called it “His church”. (4) But when I was around folks, I would forget the name so often  that I would call it silly names like “skeeter hawk revival” .  And sometimes ,when I wrote a check, I would write “Renewed Life Outreach CHURCH”.

But God , in His mercy, would not let me hurt my head thinking about why we weren’t called church too long .He held the question in His heavenly grip and slowly released an answer to me.

He began speaking first, in Corinth where Paul first had “church”. He took me there where I saw how the apostle Paul set up a place to meet right in a center of the town of Corinth . It was an open storefront and just like my “church” , it was first used as a market .

No one in Corinth that I met could tell me what Paul  called his church . At least they could not tell me what it was called before Paul wrote to us “the church of God in Corinth”.(5)  Maybe he called it a “meeting place” they said.

From reading his letters to these Corinthian folks it surely was some kind of a meeting place!  It was  a meeting place for the dead in sin to be made alive in Christ. It was  a meeting place of deliverance from the sevenfold troubles of pride , gluttony, lust, greed, sloth, wrath and envy that caused divisions among folks in this first congregation.(6) It was such a meeting place for exchanging “the old” for “the new” that it  could have easily been named  “Renewed Life Outreach Center” .  And Paul , the preacher, might have easily stood at the doorway  of the enterance advertising ” cash in those rags for robes, renew your life here”

 

Korinthos Greece ancient ruins of the “market place”

And, like Renewed Life outreach center, he probably didn’t have a cross in his building either.  He seemed to talk about the cross as a message and not an object.  He wrote words about  it’s invisible effect  but never as an object  to wear or draw .(6)
In fact,  folks around Corinth  told me that they did not have any crosses in town for a long time. Things of life ,like fishes and peacocks ,spoke the effect of the cross from one believer to another. https://churchpop.com/2015/08/14/8-ancient-christian-symbols-and-their-hidden-meanings/ Rumors , rubble and written books all say that the cross was an object of shame in the early church.  It did not speak of freedom but ,instead ,was a symbol of the death of slaves. (7)

 

fish was the first early Christian symbol to represent both baptism and discipleship

 

Folks made signs with their hands of the cross 200 years before they drew them .It really wasn’t until the 4th century that a cross was first brought visible as a display of faith. Constantine abolished crucifixion as was practiced in Rome and brought forth the Cross as a display of this victory. They say that brother Constantine might have had the right spirit about the work of Jesus’s particular  cross. He knew the Spirit spoke that Jesus physical cross was used victorious over the devil and death.

But the Devil took Constantines thinking away from the Spirit of the cross and had many people killed who didn’t see the cross in the way Constatine did.   The Beauty of the cross mixed again with Bloody sinners in the Crusades and became a message of death and slavery.

All the rest of His Story about the cross is a tug of war between the true message freedom and the Devil’s message of slavery.(8)

The “chi rho” symbol adopted by Constatine meaning “to Christ” the victory

 

The Cross Visible

It wasn’t four hundred years but, just   four years that Renewed Life Out reach church was without a cross.  It did not seem like  four years. It just felt like we were as  Paul’s Corinth church. And it wasn’t for lack of believing in the cross. The whole mission of RLOC was “birthed out of the desire to see Gods people walking in and possessing all that was purchased for them by Jesus’s death ON THE CROSS” http://www.facebook.com/RenewedLifeOutreachCenter . Similarly ,a sign outside our building was wooden with a painting of a purple cross and our name.


“Where’s your cross” a visitor asked.

I held the cross on my neck. “No I mean a real live cross. You should have one” she insisted.

We just don’t have a cross” I told the visitor who asked

“we believe in the Jesus’s work on the cross”. I said , reciting something I heard a pastor once say.

She looked at me , then looked again around the room as if for a lost best friend. She then hurried out the back door facing the railroad and never came back. She eventually  found her friend . She found her friend in a place where a cross hung from a ceiling in a big church with colored windows.

Even though I was settled that we didn’t need a cross, I would sneak to chapels with colored windows late at night to pray alone and  see a cross .  And always, In  RLOC,  i might see the cross on the video screen from the back door on cloudy Sunday mornings .

As the four years passed, I would see more and more crosses everywhere.   I would see crosses on necks , in pictures on walls,  on tattooed  arms, ankles and chests, as screens on computers, hovering over churches, in the hands of the dying.

Every day I saw them more and more  peeking through bushes, as clouds in the sky, as breaking beams of sun, in cracks on side walks, on lattice windows and doors, even in prison gates.  One day, on Good Friday, I made a cardboard cross and took it to the park where Ray Charles sits ever so still . I wanted everyone to see the cross .

Crosses were every where in those years. And on top of that , Pastor was preaching like Paul every Sunday ,for all four years, the message of the cross. https://soundcloud.com/vunglaub/sets/the-kingdom-of-his, a playlist on #SoundCloud. The cross was a tool to see our Savior and not a trinket to throw on a night stand or hang on a wall.

He had us look at  every angle and side of the cross that could be seen. We looked so much at crosses our eyes felt splinters. Even some felt nails in their hearts and crowns on their heads. Everyone felt the work of the cross in their own individual way . 

But not many talked together about it. We just talked of hunting and knitting, eating and fasting, working and retiring, if we talked at all.  And we were a lot like that church in Corinth. Each one walking his own way.

The Cross Indivisible

But then, in the 4th year,  on April 2nd , something began to change. It was Sunday during the first worship song . Some were singing aloud , some were singing silently, some did not sing. Some had eyes open. Some had eyes shut.

Open or shut, our  eyes were chosing to see other people or problems or pain instead of the power of God. But, we centered our stance toward a podium or a screen expectant of something greater than ourselves .

As the first song played, our eyes were everywhere. There was not central place to set our eyes. There was no object that we all could converge on . Some were upward expectant at ceilings (9) , some downcast at the floor (10) . Some looking at the podium, some the screen. Some with eyes in the back of their head staring at the man or woman across the room.

Eyes were all over. Inward and outward. Eyes making judgement about what they saw. But  , that Sunday , when Houston and Roland wheeled the cross through the back door, all eyes turned to them and turned to the cross.

It came through the very door that my friend had walked out. It came during a pause of our wandering eyes and worship . It came right when I was wondering if we were a church or a center. It came when sinners were looking for Jesus and the saints were saying “jesus” while secretly sinning

The cross came when I, a sinner against a Holy God, was looking for Jesus and when, I, a saint, had been given everything  of Jesus to keep me from sinning.  It came tall wooden and varnished, with a small base, on wheels. And we all turned and looked with surprise when Pastor said “we have a cross”

“So Houston I gotta meet with you to find out about that cross” I said to Houston later that Sunday. “okay ” he said.

“I bet you got a story about that Cross ” I said in great anticipation.

“I guess “he said drying off from his baptism.

When the time came , I shot round after round of questions at Houston” “So what made you make that cross. . . oh it was you and Roland making that cross . . what were yall doing that you thought of it making a cross .  . oh an altar at the base of that cross. . . oh too big you say . . . then wheels for that cross. . . so you loaded that cross in the truck . . . what made you even think of all this . .  what made you make this cross Houston?” I paused to breathe

Houston stared at me in silence perhaps wondering if I would let him answer. I stared back trying to hold back more questions.

 “Well, Miss Vanessa,” Houston began pausing to make sure I would listen. “Well,  I saw we didn’t have a cross. and thought to my self don’t every church need a cross.?”(11)

“that’s it”

“Yep” he said

“Okay Houston. That’s  it “I said and walked away. I walked away wanting only to remember the April day the cross first stood center in the church. The answer to every question.

   The altar that Houston had only imagined drew many that day. The cross loudly preached  the answer to every question that longed for truth. It preached a surrender of more than was possible. It preached like  tounges of the Holy Ghost  in my soul saying “By The Spirit of the Cross all things are possible”. It bellowed and whispered, it wooed and wept and it awakened and warned. It was not a piece of wood at all , it became the center point in the church. It spoke the message of Jesus’s death for my sins and renewed life in my freedom from sin. And it spoke with The Spirit . The visible spoke of the INVISIBLE.(12)

The upward plank  still speaks each Sunday , every Sunday,  of how much we need our savior. And the reaching planks , where His arms bore the nails, speak of how much we need His Love for one another. What joy set before Him compelled  His outstretched arms of Love  for this church?  How generous His Spirit for  every dead church to become a LIVE and WELL church beneath These arms!

Suddenly , centered in the shadow of this cross, made by our own brothers, we touch heaven  and  we rightly touch one another with heaven and change the face of those on earth. (13) Here we are clothed by Jesus that we may rightly wear the “Renewed Life Outreach ” shirt because our hearts are “Centered” on Him. Here is His Cross. And Beneath it He finds HIS JOY , His Bride.(14)

Where’s Jesus ? He’s not on the cross” the little child asked , yesterday , on Pentacost Sunday.

“oh He’s here ” I said as I pointed to the church worshipping.” He’s off the cross He’s alive in them”

And yes, Houston,” every church needs a cross. “And every cross needs a church. Thank you dear brothers Roland and Houston for your obedience to the cross. … an obedience that gave THIS CHURCH A CENTER and the center is THE CROSS.

“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

 

Houston . . . the cross. . . . Roland

AMEN

 

Foot of the Cross Notes

  1. Romans 8 :22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together like in pains of childbirth for the revealing of the sons of God.
  2. Romans 8:15 . .  having received the Spirit of adoption as sons and daughter we cry “Abba Father”
  3. Psalm 147:4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by name
  4. Ephesians 5:27 So that he might present the Church (HIS BRIDE) to Himself in splendor without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
  5. I Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God that is in Corinth , to those sanctified IN JESUS CHRIST call to be SAINTS TOGETHER with all those who in every place call upon the NAME of OUR LORD Jesus Christ both their LORD and ours.
  6. 1 Corinthians 1:18 For the MESSAGE of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
  7. The letters to the Corinthians are loving instructions to a congregation who was born again as new creatures able to live free of what the ancients called “the seven deadly sins” that the enemy uses to kill God’s children.
  8. My brother named John Calvin long ago among others incited hostility against the physical image of the cross. He stated that it was” impossible to visually depict God who is invisible and transcendent therefore it is idolotry” This teaching resulted in the destruction of many crosses and art inspired by the Holy Spirit to draw sons and daughters to a deeper love for the invisible three in one reality of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Brother Calvin and I  are no longer friends on this matter.  I have seen again and again the cross is an visible though perishable reality of an invisible imperishable reality. And that reality is the GOSPEL.
  9. Mark 2:4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. Some look to the ceiling desperately seeking a miracle
  10. Matthew 15:27yes it is Lord” she said “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table” Some look to the floor for but a crumb as a sign of a miracle
  11. Exodus 36:1Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person in whom the LORD has put ability and understanding to know how to do all the work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work according to all that the LORD HAS COMMANDED
  12. Colossians 1:15 Jesus is the (ONLY) image of the invisible GOd the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth visible and invisible . . . all things were created through Him and for HIm!
  13. The caption on the back of the “Renewed Life Outreach Center” T-shirt reads “Touching Heaven changing Earth” . It speaks of our upward reach like the upward beam of the cross to Heaven  and our outward reach in heavenly blessings as the outward beam of the cross to one another and the community.
  14. Finally Hebrew 12:2,12 we LOOK TO JESUS THE AUTHOR AN FINISHER OF OUR FAITH, WHO FOR THE JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS DESPISING THE SHAME AND HAS SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE THRONE OF GOD. . . . THEREFORE STRENGTHEN THE HANDS WHICH HANG DOWN AND FEEBLE KNEES AND MAKE STRAIGHT PATH FOR YOUR FEET SO THAT WHAT IS LAME MAY NOT BE DISLOCATED ED BUT RATHER HEALED.

Doodling On

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

Or maybe it was YESTERDAY.Or. .. .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Glory and the Madman: God has descended into Hell. Part 3

part 3 of a story birthed by a journey of faith with my atheist (now agnostic) father. Subtitle: The Nicene Creed negates Nietzsche.
Previous chapters :

https://vunglaub.com/2015/02/01/the-glory-and-the-madman-part-1the-latern/

https://vunglaub.com/2014/02/01/the-glory-and-the-madman-part-2-god-is-dead/


friedrich_nietzsche_quote_3

My father has walked and talked in what believers call ” a healing” for three years.It was not a complete healing. The cancer in my father’s bowel has not grown further but has instead , at times ,decreased in size and not gone to new territories in his body. Standing at attention to every report,   brothers and sisters in my church , like the Centurion soldiers  (matt 8:5-10), have prayed and believed with me for my father. And now, weekly on Sunday, we rejoice in my telling of the containment of the cancer  .

As for my father, forgive him Heavenly Father, for he does not know. He is an agnostic. And  he has easily ignored the  divine hand that has held and healed him these three years. Instead, ignorant , he has chosen to work and wine and dine and write plays and poems without interruption . . . without any interrupting  thought of  The Eternal Creator God.

Like many of us who need the same forgiveness , the act of ” living  well” has had a way of interfering with” thinking rightly” about Our God.  Yet ,in a moment, a word from a doctor  jolts believing and unbelieving minds  to desperately long for something miraculous.  We long for the  “Eternal” to extend what is called “terminal” , the “Creator” to fix His created thing. Our thoughts line up like soldiers on mission to find hope. . . . . we look for merciful deliverance from  a terminal end.

it may be 6 months , one more Christmas, the BOWEL cancer has grown ..” we hear.

“It is inoperable.” Dr S said as she crossed her legs, turning  to my father ,with ipad  displaying my fathers latest medical results on her lap.

Bowels and Bathrooms

“The bowels of existence do not speak unto man except as man ” Friedrich Nietzsche

Suddenly,  both  our minds were jolted to thoughts of mortality, the end of life as my father knows it. We left the office to walk down a hall that had grown longer than ever before.
“Am I going to die?” my father asks

” I don’t know when?” I answer (1)

“This may be my terminal point , this Christmas.” my father speculates

“But you know there is an eternal point for you as well”. I offer

“I don’t want to hear that religious fairy tale ! I’d rather my soul live in the bowels of hell than to have to pay homage to another, . . . that God of yours” my father says angrily .

“He is your God too , you just don’t know it yet” I reply as we walk. 

” The bowels of hell my dear. .” my father chants in a kinder tone.

” speaking of bowels “, he smiles as if to apologize for his outburst ” I must use the restroom before we leave”.

My father turns away from me and shuffles  down the long corridor back towards the restrooms at Mayo clinic.

“I’ll wait here ” I say as I sit on a bench .

Waiting here, I think of prayers prayed for . I consider God’s specific answer to specific prayers. We have prayed  for my father to experience the mercy and love of God through Jesus. And yet, I have only thus far watched  my father  turn and spin  with every reaching of the Lord’s hand.

This resistance  has had me so desperate that ,on one Tuesday night, I begged some brothers for prayer again . The dear brothers initiated a prayer for my father that I expect answered.  I expect an answer,  by the power of God, before my father’s earthly departure. One brother in particular, Mr Larry Fussell  ,prayed “may your  Daddy have a glimpse of what hell looks like so he’ll change his stubborn mind about going there” .

After an “Amen”, Mr . Fussell grabbed my arm and said “I just don’t  want to even think about him  going there when Our Father’s got such a better place for us. . . .may Jesus turn him around”.

“i amen that  ” I said to Mr. Fussell.

That night many of us prayed and  tarried for my father to agree with Our Father and so run into the eternally merciful arms of  “Our Father who Art in Heaven” . That was a year ago.

These  prayers prayed for my father remain as a sweet aroma , an incense for my hope filled  soul. When I am with my father, I imagine that this aroma  fills the air around my dad  like a cloud . And like a cloud driven by wind I pray it follows him everywhere.

Then , I pray that the aroma is so strong that   it produces a hunger in  the “hounds of heaven” (2) https://youtu.be/V6hNu8U7NScth that may be released to retrieve my father  back to his Creator, his Father, his Master and his Lord .

Sometimes, I even see these hungry hounds  guarding my father’s feet from the very bowels of hell  . . .AND even chasing them into the “Bowels of Christ”  Then, from  these imaginings  I  rise and say: .

he-descended

“I beseech you from the bowels of Christ , Dad, to think it possible that you may be mistaken (about the bowels of hell”( Oliver Cromwell)

My heart shouts these words as I watch my father come back towards me down the hall.

“Bloody hell! They are cleaning the water closet. I’ve got to use another one”  My spirit of  shout is subdued to a sluggish slur “Ill wait here while you go “I say.

” Here I go” my father turns to another direction ” Here I go , sent not to know for whom the bell tolls, ,, it tolls for me” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/44107 my father quotes John Donne as he walks by, his finger pointing in the air..

I remain on the bench in the hallway of Mayo Clinic to write this story on my phone. It is triggered by a thought of Christmas.

Many pass by me, each to a destination . Do we really know of the final destinations that Our father has prepared for souls ? That thought is too weighty , so, I think of Christmas . . . . a last Christmas this year .. really will the “bell toll?”  . . naw, I chose to think of memories of last Christmas NOT the fears of this being ” the last Christmas. . . .”

Bowels and Church Bells

Last Christmas eve , my father went to church.  Every Christmas Eve that I can remember my father has consistently set suit , tie and a certain time to go to church. He always chose midnight. There is something strange and compelling about the midnight hour.And, midnight would  always come quickly on December 24th.

When I  recall many December 24th’s , I see my father dressed  in tuxedo at 8pm for cocktail , conversation and caviar. I see him standing as a great orator in the living room ready for discourse with friends . I hear his  intense philisophical bantering about the futility of life and stupidity of having faith . I see how he would use controversy mixed with literary dialogue  to introduce his greatest ideology , the future of His “New World Order”.


His ‘new world order’ was an Order where scientists reign as the governing body. An order where  “true culture and art are the only legal pastimes’. Additionally, he would edict a decree against  the breeding ground of “faith” by mandating a ban on ” the primitive culture, churches and ritual” .

Finally, with eloquent words from Voltaire and other “enlightened men” he would pronounce an Order where “the abomination of the lower class would be culminated by prohibiting all fantasies produced by Faith .”  The only reigning expression of life that he would allow to remain would be  ART and SCIENCE .

Once the company was convinced of the corruptness of religion and the grossness of Faith , he would invite them to toast  with a shot of brandy or schnapps . “to Lord M ” they would say “and the New World Order”.

With toasting glasses ringing like bells , I would know it’s time to slip on my black patent leather shoes for my yearly ride to church.

How upside down it all was. The worship seemed to be for the man, my father.  and the entertainment seemed to be the ritual of the church.

“let us go celebrate the’ philosopy of hypocricy'” his faithful followers would quote my Father as they drove to church on Christmas Eve.


The tradition of midnight candlelight service  captured my fathers senses since he was baptized in 1933.  On that date, the date of his baptism,  my father was first seen by heaven, in a large ornate Anglican church in downtown Jacksonville.

Now,  ever since his  first sniff of incense and his first hearing of church bells and his first sight of a cross pointing downward to his frailty, my father senses have longed for the celebration and majesty displayed in the season.

But last Christmas, last Christmas when invited to church ,my father announced.  . .”I am not going for all that raving about saving, I’m only going for the pageantry of Christmas”  he reminded me 80 years later as he sat weakly on the side of his bed .

Dutifully , I looked at him, setting aside shirt and pants and coat for our traditional trip to church on Christmas Eve.

No religion okay. Religion is the opiate of the masses” he quoted Stalin as he looked back at me with a childlike grin.

“Im going for the sake of art and ART ALONE” he announced with the defiance of an adolesent child

.” I will only go to a church that appreciates art. I will only go to the Anglican or Catholic church where there is some art and culture”

“fine”  I threw his pants across the bed ” Halleluiah !” I shouted displaying a charisma from my Pentacostal church

“Well,You know all art declares there is an Artist” I shouted from the closet looking for a shirt.” I just want you to know I don’t believe in religion either, religion does nothing for my soul,” I say as I sail a red dress shirt across the bed ” I believe in God! and we worship because He is beautiful”. I think beyond my words, . . .  most certainly our worship is God’s artwork for Himself.

My father interrupted my thoughts. “Hells Bells.   . . stop that nonsense, stop being a attorney for that felon God. . . and bring me some champagne that I may lubricate my soul to prepare for this ritual of yours and of all the masses” my father shouted back.

The Bowels of Hell : No Beauty

The Catholic Church where my husband attends is built in the 70’s. It is not ornate or particularly profound in its display of the doctrines of Christ as other sanctuaries in the Catholic faith.  Sometimes, it feels as if the Lutherans were on the building committee. A large wooden carving of The Good Shepherd greets you like a massive metamorphosis of a trunk of a tree outside the church entrance.  The interior is large sanctuary style seating over 1000 facing an altar where a large simple  concrete crucifix hangs before long window panes etched with a vine and grapes.  Stations of the cross sit simply as a back drop around the sanctuary.

Yet, something about Christmas Eve makes the most simple become most sacred. The sancutuary in the Christmas season smells of pine from trees lined across the altar. Candles cast warm glow over faces , even the faces of Jesus in each  stations of the cross glows. Red tapestry drape the altar. Art unflolds in celebration.  Every thing seems to bend or lift to the coming King. And my soul continues to say “He is beautiful”

“we are going to be late if we stop at the liquor store” I explained to my husband.

“He wants a miniature to make it through mass” my husband replied.

We arrived five minutes before mass.  My fathers miniatures of Bushnells Irish wiskey was tucked upright in his pocket. My husband and my daughter proceeded me in entering the sanctuary.

“come on .hurry on pop” I said to my father. He followed behind deliberate and delicate . He walked deliberate because of his age but delicately because he thought himself an artist..

The prelude of the entrance hymn was playing.  A soloist was singing Handel’s Messiah. She served a soprano “who may abide the Day of His coming?who shall stand when He appeareth?. . .” I waited for a response. It is strange how year after year , no one ever answers Handels questions (3) . . . they just sing as if they have the answer.

I genuflect as I enter the pew . I like to bend my knee imagining  that I am right in front of Jesus.  It is my present for him at Christmas. Since a little girl my knee would bend. My knee knew more than my soul knew for many years. But now my soul knows . So the   song surrounded my soul as a Thankyou note for letting it know what the knee already knew . Everything, sound and smell and note ,caused my knee and soul to linger longer than ever before last Christmas eve.

So long did I linger that I felt my father fall against me .  “Bloody Hell” he shouted. His words echoed along the walls and up the ceiling to the etched glass . Most every face  turned.

The soloist stuttered.

Lifting one finger up , my father declared

” well ,bloody hell lets get on with the show”

The soloist continued to sing ” And He shall purify. .” from Handel.

” Why did you have to shout  in church ?” I scowled at my father as we sat . Our flesh sat instead of submitting to the ritual of kneeling to pray. 

“what? ” my father looked impish yet child like.

“Hell” I said.”you shouted bloody hell.” I explained .”  Nevermind” I shook my head and began to sing the assigned hymn. Singing words without my soul, I began to think. . .

Why in the hell would my father shout “hell” and make his life choice “hell” ? Hell. Hell has no art on its walls. “Hell has no song in its sanctuary. Hell is chaos with no center point.  

Hell  is a place void of the Glory of God.

This church, with its order and beauty and song, as  every church, show glimpses of Glory.

Truly all that inhabits the  earth shows hints of the Glory of God.  People with  all their expressions of beauty, in sanctuaries, out of sanctuaries,  only reflect hues of the true beauty of the glory of God.

There is no place where there is a complete void of a glimpse of the glory of God. But Hell…Hell is void of all glory, all beauty.  Hell holds no reflection of the beauty of the Glory of God.  Truly,Hell is “bloody hell” it is “true very true hell”.

In its bowels there is not one song to make the soul bend. not one painting to cause the eye to wonder. There is  not one story to transcend the soul to new thought and new lands. There is probably not one color. All that is hell bound will be separated from light and life and love. It will not be “a hell of a place” but a “place of pure Hell. “

For there is no beauty in the bowels of hell.

THE BOWELS OF HELL: NO END

My thoughts fired like bullet upon bullet through three hymns. And my father and I continued to worship together in the church. Soon together the Christian and the Atheist  said the Nicene Creed  .

“and He descended into hell”.

I looked over at him when we said “hell” yet again. Together.

We smiled and then kept reading. I  soon tucked the creed in the hymnal and said it by rote memory so that I could pray with my spirit . Praying in the Holy Ghost that my father chose another destination..

My prayer was interrupted as I thought how the church looked at him when he screamed “bloody hell” . I thought how most of  the  church folks had their bodies turned toward him as he shouted.

How quickly they turned from the altar to a man in mortal distress. But they did not know he was in distress. Can they really recognize the hell bound. Might the screams” hell ” send them tarrying and falling and pleading like we did the night my church prayed. What would happen if there is no one to plead for my father?  If my church or this church no longer prays?

I returned to pray ” Don’t let him go there Abba Father. Don’t let him go to hell .How awful it is and he does not know” I pray.” And Father ,why did you send your son there?” I pondered

” I wouldn’t even send my father in all his ways there for a day. . . and you. . .   . and you oh Father  sent your son”

On the third day He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father(interceding for my father)

Some Church folks don’t use the word ” Hell.” They soften old King James junkies with words like Sheol, and Gehenna. And they  speak of a place where there are two levels one for the righteous and one for the damned.

In the Bible, the one person most talked about, by Jesus, for going to  heaven ,as a destination, is the man named Lazarus. And the  One most examined for going to  hell, as a destination , is the anonymous “rich man”. These  two men oppose one another in a sad story of Love consummated by Lazarus ,  and Love pleaded for by the rich man.

The place of hell and the  design of hell is often debated. But one thing is certain, Jesus last sermon was preached there.  The Word declares that Jesus, God’s son, descended  to preach in this place  and to capture for  himself those righteous souls separated from their body . And from there he  sent the unrighteous to an eternal fire and those trusting in His righteousness to an eternal life. To the righteous he declared the sting of death forever gone to the unrighteous the sting of Death to forever to be felt.

“And sits at the right hand of the Father from whence he will come again to judge the quick and the dead .  And His kingdom will have no end”

Even before  our birth we  were created for eternity : but a choice remains for either an eternity of LIFE or an eternity of DEATH. This eternity is buried  in our hearts .From the position of life God has a place without end called ” heaven”. Yet from the position of death there is a place without  end called ” hell.” .

“Holy” is what divides the road. It is the stop sign in the forked road of heaven and hell. The roads lead either to a final verdict of “holy”   “Without sin” in heaven OR a final verdict  of the”unholy” “dammned”  in hell .

To think it simply ,  life along the roads in heaven are  a consummation of every longing  while life along roads in Hell are an intensifiying of every regret . And all of this in an Always, Forever, Everpresent State

The mortal body  is but dust in the road as the soul begins its course to the doors of either heaven or hell . At the door,  all will either encounter the Loving  embrace of their Father who has made them “holy” by His Son  going before them  Or they will encounter  the complete and final loneness of self ,separated,  weeping  longingly with no one going before them to make them “right” for His embrace. There is no escape, both places are the endpoint of an endless existence that encounters its Creators judgement . .a judgement previously encountered on the cross by Christ or a judgement encountered on the individual at the end of his mortal life.

The BOWELS OF HELL: NO RESSURECTION

“and we believe in one holy (Catholic) church , the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection of the dead.” the Nicene Creed

My father and I said ,together , the greatest promises of our Maker. We recited “we believe in , the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection of the dead”. The creed ends with a declaration of the proposal of God. The Proposal cries as it did in the garden for His first children.” I love you and I have prepared a place for you” It shouts. It is a display of love more glorious than any love song or story or art or church or person. It is the place where every longing for beauty and love is fulfilled. It is where you will come face to face with the one who Loved you first. The One who has rescued you from hell and resurrects you into His presence in Heaven.

“Amen” we said. “So be it” many pastors translate. I thought of this as my father put his book in pew. So be it. So be everything my father  said last Christmas in his unbelief. Have Mercy Lord Jesus on my fathers unbelief. Have Mercy in this Year of Mercy.( 5)

The memory closes as I see my father come down a different corridor from the one he had gone.

I go to meet him “Where did you go? The bathroom was the other way. . .isn’t that where you said you were going” I ask

“yes, I don’t know what happened.  Some how I got turned around but where I went was much better” my father continues “there is always a better place “

“yes there is always a better place” I reply “Amen”

 

  1. bloody” was a common used word, type of cursing in british english since  1670 . implying” completely entirely, truly” not emphasizing blood however german/ Dutch may indicate intensifier related to God’s blood making the noun it modifies most true. Similarly, Austrailian usuage and indication for use when saying “Bloody struth” meaning “without a doubt , the truth”.
  2. And it is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment Hebrew 9:27
  3. The Hound of Heaven https://g.co/kgs/qQMVdS.  https://youtu.be/V6hNu8U7NSc
  4. Nicene Creed http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/nicene.htm I believe in one God the Father Almighty,Maker of heaven and earth,And of all things visible and invisible:And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God,
  5. Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light,
  6. Very God of very God,Begotten, not made,Being of one substance with the Father,
  7. By whom all things were made;Who for us men, and for our salvation came down from heaven,And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary,
  8. And was made man,And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
  9. He suffered and was buried,And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures,And ascended into heaven,And sitteth on the right hand of the Father.
  10. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead:
  11. Whose kingdom shall have no end.And I believe in the Holy Ghost,
  12. The Lord and giver of life,Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son,
  13. Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified,
  14. Who spake by the Prophets.And I believe one Catholick and Apostolick Church.
  15. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.And I look for the Resurrection of the dead,And the life of the world to come.Amen.
  16. 2016 was designated the Year of Mercy by The Church. All year , everywhere you can hear the Lord cry ” listen to me you stubborn of heart, you who are far from righteousness; I bring near my righteousness it is not far off and my salvation will not delay. I will put my slvation in you For My Glory  Isaiah 46:12-13 

The Glory and the Madman: Part 2 God is Dead?

God Is dead Yellow Edited

Originally written Feb 1  2014

“why must you pose as an criminal attorney for a dead man?” my father asked as we drove to his radiation treatments

“What do you mean” I asked.

“I mean God is dead” he said.

“Have I killed Him? ” I asked recalling a line from Nietzsche’s madman.

“No He is a felon.  He did it to Himself” he replied.

What became a saying among the seeker , an artillery for the atheist and a point of repulsion for the Christian has now become a common phrase for many. Popularized currently by counter arguments that state “God is not dead” in movies and songs, many have become familiar with the phrase “God is dead”.  The phrase itself is birthed in  a nest of questions posed in Nietzsche’s “The madman”.  It is a conclusion that erupts from an encasement of hypocrisy and skepticism.  It is a rebellious creature of the soul for the unbeliever. And it is  likewise a rebellious aspect of the soul of a believer who doubts . There is a strange blunt honesty  in these three words that rivets like the three words of Pontius Pilate when he cried “What is truth?”

Listen to the angst in the agitated soul who sees God as dead. The angst is not so much from watching  God’s death from an abortion of His own being in the cosmos . Nor is it  a view of the suicide bombing of a Deists galaxy of belief, But ,rather it is written  as an interrogator investigating the crime scene of a murder.

Where is God gone? he called out.  “I mean to tell you!! We are all his murderers! But how have we done it? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the whole horizon? What did we do when we loosened this earth from its sun? Whither does it now move? Whither do we move? Away from all suns? Do we not dash on unceasingly? Backwards, sideways, forewards , in all directions?  Is there still an above and below? Do we not stray, as through infinite nothingness? Does not empty space breathe upon us? Has it not become colder? Does not night come on continually, darker and darker? Shall we not have to light lanterns in the morning? Do we not hear the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? do we not smell the divine putrefaction? For even gods putrefy? God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him!  

I looked over at my father, I had grown tired of defending God.  I had grown tired as I pulled up to the Cancer Center.  My readiness and my answer for the hope I carried within me felt depleted.  I said “go ahead , go to the check in and I will meet you after I park”.  He smiled as a  boy who had first won a fight with his mother, Impish yet naive.  He did not know of the havoc over his soul  in heavenly places.

Perhaps, Frederick N and my father, Lord M have killed God with their minds.  Their minds bent on logic and science as  the measurement of the possible life of one called “God”, extinguished the possibility by probability. And yet, both probability and possibility, are merely by products of a Creator of all things.  For the atheist to cling so solemnly to Nietzche’s cry is in itself a cry of contradiction . How foolish to say He is dead and at the same time so claim Him as having existed . Declaring His dead  existence only limits His scope of existence. It sets His existence in a time frame not in Eternity.. 

But what of the Christian.? What of me? Weeping and moaning in a parked truck calling to God in complaint of his creation, my father? Has not both the saint and the sinner killed Him in our minds as we reduce the extent of His existence  in all things.  We say” He is over all things” and “all things are under His feet” from His very words.  And yet, we reduce Him to an inactive God : a bellhop for desires,  a life raft in trauma, or ever so distantly . .  a corpse.  Might we be jarred by His voice in Job to hear Him say:

Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man I will question you and you make it known to me ‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding,  Who determined its measurements . .  have you commanded the morning since your days began and caused the dawn to know its place that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth. Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness that you may take it to its territory and that you may discern the paths to its home?.(various Job 38)

I got out of the truck . The air was tenderly crisp. The flowers were budding in the front of the center. Creation was declaring a beauty.  And in the beauty was a cry of Infinite Being . The cry of one who does not need an attorney for He represents Himself . He is saying “I am not Dead. Even though you try to kill me. Even when you say I have not heard. I have not acted , I say .  I AM.”  I AM. The breeze seemed to whisper “I AM”.

And Job replied “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you: Therefore I repent”. And so I too repent  of killing you , limiting you in my mind FATHER.

to be continued

 

 

 

The Glory and the Madman: Part 1:The Latern

originally written Feb 1 2015

 

Atheism  is not a threat to God’s glory but an opportunity for Daddy, Our Father,  to interrupt a soul’s mind for His glory !  These posts are to challenge the atheist and to challenge an authenticity to manifest in the Christian.

I have a Daddy . He is my Father in heaven. And I have a father. He is my father in the flesh given to me by Daddy . He calls himself “Lord M”. He dwells on this earth with me . He is an atheist and I am a Christian. We love each other dearly. And I am writing in honor of that love. But mainly, I am writing in honor of the Love Daddy has for both me and my father.

nietzche The Madman

“Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place and cried incessantly:’I seek God!! I seek God!! as many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? Emigrated? Thus they yelled and laughed. ( the beginning of “the madman” from “the Gay Science Fredrick Nietzsche 1882)

My father is an architect, engineer and play-write, He has both a large and complex mind. He says that he has a mind with an affinity towards all subjects except “Theology and Medicine”. I have a smaller mind and am only fascinated with Theology and Medicine. Somehow , my father and I converse. There is an unsaid sense of a an unseen common ground. Perhaps it is because of the ” One” that is common in all these areas.

The plays that my father has authored are complex and historical and philosophical. Often my mind cannot manage the complexities. One particular play however captivated me. In 2005 my father wrote a play entitled “Costumes Unlimited”. It is a play of dialogue among very diverse characters captive in a costume shop. His list of “cast of characters” includes : “Madman” “Obsteperous”,”Cleavage”, “Jock”, “Susie”, “Chuck”, “Candi”, “John”, and “Street People”.. It is the “madman” that fascinated me most.

in the casting , my father “Lord M”, defines the “Madman” as “the philosopher Frederick Nietzsche in a cage. Either from arrogance, apprehension or angst, he does not step out of the cage”. A mocking counterpart to the “madman” is the character “Obstreperous” who is defined as a “god like proprietor of a costume shop. His salient quality is the arbitrarily use of power.” From these two characters I have learned much about how people “outside” the church view God. But greater, and deeper, have I learned how my life has fallen short in reflecting God.

The madman lit a latern

There is a darkness in this world.  Perhaps all mankind can agree that there is both dark nights and “dark nights of the soul”.  There are always times where we feel it necessary to have light. Both the mad man and the believer seek a light.

The Christian often quotes from Jesus  how he is “the light of the world. ” He may sing every so often and ever so tritely “this little light of mine , I’m gonna let it shine”. But rare is there a true follower  of Christ who knows deeply the source of his light and how great a light it is in a dark night. They are few and they are what Jesus calls the “blessed”. There is a radiance in their being. So they do not speak of shining the light , they indeed are seen as light. They need no lantern and Jesus gives them “oil”.

Sadly, more common is the singing christian with a sleeping heart and an oil-less lamp. They work hard to be like another or better than another .They repeat phrases that make themselves “sound” Christian.  They do not resound Christ but rather mimic what they think sounds “Christian” They do not possess a life “not their own ”  (belonging to God) but rather one very much their own. It is scheduled and fed like any other. These are the ones the madman sees and thus disbelieves . Perhaps it is these that he asks in the market “where is God?”. He disbelieves rather than believes that he  will find God because he does not see anything miraculous in his midst.

Like the trite and hypocritical Christian who works to gain light , the madman ,who knows not the light , must also light his own lantern. There is a striving of both souls. Indeed, there is a madness in trying to create light when it is God’s realm and domain to do so. Perhaps that is why it is so odd that both light lanterns in bright morning hours. Might they be expecting a rising Light  rather than trying to ignite their own light?

Surely for the Christian this should not be. The Christian should not be like the madman. But rather, the true Christian ,should be a great lantern from which the madman begins to see an illuminating of Christ.

For the madman :  He is blind and knows not that God has provided light. What excuse is there for the hypocritical Christian man? The man like  Obsteberous This man strives to obtain by control that which he already possesses by design. He cannot make light but rather is designed to carry the light.

Cried incessantly “I seek God”

Churches in the 80’s began to target the “seeker of God”. They were filled with welcoming Christian who were once lost but now “found” by God. They would sing “amazing grace my chains are gone” as if God had chased them down like “a hound from heaven”. And yet they opened doors inviting folks to “seek God”. They seemed to tell the world that the Creator was  detouring. Were the Chritian people now asking : Had he stopped chasing? Was He only in this marketplace of a church? Did He limit His domain? Had these leaders of The Church agreed with the madman?

Might we both see how He has never lost one of us.  Both the madman and the hypocrite need  a shedding of scales and an unstopping of ears that they may know He is never far away. But the Christian , who possesses an eternal lantern, must not hide this lantern of glory beneath a bushel of blessings.

For what the  true Christian proclaims is not themselves but Jesus Christ as Lord with the Christian as the servant for Jesus sake.  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” 2 Corinthians 4:5-6

A Watchmen Heart

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.

Notes:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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

 

 

Ann’s testimony Psalm 46:10

imageI 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.

image

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.