A righteousness not my own

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Step with Abraham ( Romans 4)


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

John 8:39

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

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

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

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

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

“well he aint.” the girl said

” How do you know. . .

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

Dressing UP

girl in white

“What happened sis?” the boy asked the girl as he looked down his chest, to his stomach, to his feet.

“I don’t know brother! Last thing I remember is when we both called out from that broken limb up there” the girl pointed to the tree limb dangling above her head
“we called to our Big Brother, we called out “Jesus ” real loud and then..” The girl paused” I think we fell. . .”

Both children looked from where they stood in a stream of water to a large puddle of mud beneath the tree. Puddles shaped like silhouettes of their bodies held their crumbled dirty clothes.

. “Look sis. Look There are our clothes all wadded up and filthy” the boy said as he looked at the muddy puddle .

Wiping a drop of mud from her eyes, the girl blinked to see more clearly.

Suddenly , the girl scolded her brother turning his head with her hands ” yuk, boy don’t  you look at that!!”

She turned away looking down at her dress. ” Look at what we have on now!! ” She shouted. Twirling in the clear water where she stood, she lifted up her white dress  like a bridal gown .

“Well Where did we get these dressy clothes sis?” the boy asked, looking at his white suit.

“I dunno” the girl replied .

Smiling she continued  , “Really, I don’t remember changing clothes at all!!! Somebody must have done it for us”

There was something very ugly about the two types of children we had seen  in Romans 2  . see “in the trees” http://wp.me/p3KvVr-d .  We entered Tuesday December 16th remembering these children . Easily, we concluded with Pastor’s  review.” These folks lived like they didn’t need God.” They would either say there is no goodness ,  no glory, no God  OR  they would try to become their own goodness, their own glory , their own God.

” But this isnt just talk about all those people out there, this is what we all look like apart from Jesus.  Every last one of us is busted and disgusted without God’s mercy ” Pastor reminded us. Something broke in our souls as we remembered. We remembered all too well the ones who fell from the tree. It was not so much others as It was  our selves.

Naked (condemned)
Like children falling into muddy pits of wrath from trees of handmade glory, we fell. Our handmade limb to heaven could not sustain us. We were “busted and disgusted” with our disobedience. How it brought such bitter fruit!  And, when we would try to “make up to God” with good works, we found  self righteousness just as  wearisome. and It’s fruit tasteless, hard, and  fake.
Was it not true that  all of us had  truly fallen short of the glory of God.? (Romans 3:23) This  lethal accident was set  from the beginning of time. It was a fall of both an angel and man  A fall resulting  from going “out on a limb”, away, from Daddy’s  Glory. It was a” going out on a limb”  by seeking our own glory.

The hot, holy, accusations of the Lord burned into our souls as Pastor delivered Daddy’s word.

None is righteous, no not one one understands ,no one seeks for God. all have turned aside. together they have become worthless, no one does good not even one.. . there is no fear of God before them. (Romans 3:10-12, 18) ESV

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness as filthy rags; an we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind , have taken us away (Isaiah 64:6)KJV

The fire of the holy WORD melted all our idolarty like the first day we believed.  It burned our lustful idols and melted our prideful facades to clay mud. We fell prostate in soul before our God.

Ashamed, we were naked . With our clothes melted ,we looked like the first naked and defenseless brother and sister in the garden . Who could rescue us in this mudslide of sin melting beneath a Holy look from God?. Who could cleanse us ? And who could clothe us?  Would our Perfect Daddy find a way to cleanse us and clothe us? What garment would He make? Surely, It had to be more than the animal skin he put over Adam and Eve!.

Our souls called out:

But now , O Lord , thou art out father; we are the clay , and thou our potter ; and we all are the work of thy hand.  Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. Isaiah 64:8,9

Imputed( righteous )
Imputation.” . “. say imputation ” our Pastor Chris  said.  Only a few shyly mumbled” imputation” , The rest asked their neighbor”what did He say ?”.

“I dunno, it’s one of those big preacher words ” I said to my neighbor.

We did not know it was the Designer label on the clothes sent to us from Daddy THE DESIGNER.  A most expensive label  that cost Him His Life, “Imputation” declares and delivers a most beautiful  garment of Daddy’s Love. This garment clothes every naked part of the body , soul , spirit and mind. It is His RIGHTEOUSNESS.

His Righteousness worn becomes an “all weather garment” penetrating His Holiness through and through us in all seasons, in all weather, at all time. More than an outer marking like a tatoo or a jewel, the garment of His Righteousness puts upon every believer the Righteousness of Jesus.  A full body suit of God’s Glory !

Once naked , we now recognized that we were clothed.  we read together with Pastor : “But NOW the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the Law. . . the righteousness of God THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST FOR ALL WHO BELIEVE!! (Romans3:21,22) Pastor stood . This could not be merely read.

“I gotta preach now” Pastor warned “You must know Christ is your righteousness. Your righteousness is not in you but IN HIM IN YOU! This righteousness is the same today yesterday and forever. It does not get better with strong faith or worse with weak faith. It is His Righteousness sealed eternally in heaven.  And it is put upon you. . . It is  IMPUTED.”

The big preacher word,   “imputation “ hovered in the air.  It was such a big word. But,bigger was what it contained. It spoke of how our Daddy acts as both the JUST AND THE JUSTIFIER. (Romans 3:26). So, eagerly , we listened to Pastor tell us, in many ways and with many words, the beauty and glory and love contained in the word “imputation”.

“Imputation” . Still none of us could say it .  We only softly said “thank you Jesus”.  Softly brother and sister would echo “thank you Jesus” with each agreed truth that Pastor preached.  Perhaps, our gratitude contained an “imputation” of perfect praise. Perhaps , we were His righteousness revealed.

” Well so why do you think we are all dressed up sis?” the boy asked as he looked at his white suit.

“I dunno , I guess we are going somewhere special” the sister replied. 

Caught In the Trees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued as we enter Romans chapter 3.

Seeing Saints


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

( Romans 1:7)


The Door to Romans


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The “completely” Perfect Pastor Present

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, COMPLETE MY JOY, by being of the same mind and having the same love and being in full accord and of one mind. “Phillipians 2:1-2

Like any other professional week, marketers burn with creative ideas and products to promote “pastor’s appreciation week”. Cards and cups and canisters, banners, plaques and brochures scream “we appreciate you Pastor”. Church folks buy and give with hearts bent in thanksgiving for all that God did through their pastor during the year.  But, somehow , deeply groaning, the Holy Spirit cries in the soul that there is an appreciation to give apart from what the temporal world would offer other professions.  Somehow, deeply, we know in our “inner man” , that there is something greater that THE LORD would give our pastors ,through us , in appreciation for their zeal in love and labor.

Perhaps, this concept is older than the modern marketer can trace.  Perhaps , Pastor’s appreciation is a call from God through the Pastor Paul many seasons ago.  From Phillipians ,we see ,that it is not so much a convention or ritual of  Christian church folks as it is a plea from a pastor himself.  Pastor Paul cries out for a gift that he wants given to him by his church. He wants the gift of “complete Joy” that only a church, under the unified headship of Jesus, can give.  This is a plea not for a glory that ends with the adoration of the pastor but a plea that ends with the adoration of Jesus.

A pastor is surely filled with joy that the Lord Himself gives him directly through an anointing in his spirit . And certainly, our Pastor, Chris Peterson, is a lively mage of a pastor with a “joy unspeakable and full of glory” But the words from Paul, who also had a great joy from a divine anointing, hint at a joy that is actually  incomplete.  He seems to call for it to be completed by the church’s submission to Jesus.  This “Submission “echoes from wall to wall , from ceiling to floor , to us every Sunday, as Pastor Chris calls  surrendered hearts to fall in the hand of a Loving Father, in obedience to the voice of the Shepherd Jesus.

So ,what can we really eternally give our pastor?  We can only offer ourselves , our “everything” to Jesus. Then, as each individual soul comes to fall before a One Father, hearing the One Voice of the Shepherd, in the Power of the Person of the Holy Ghost, unity manifests.  Submission will result in our oneness.  And our oneness will produce “complete joy” in our Pastor.

May we enter a season of complete joy for our pastor and his family as we have  like minded ,surrenderd ,eyes and hearts  fixed on Jesus!!