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”

 


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)

 

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

 

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.

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

A Fellowship Dinner Prayer (Communion)

dreamstime_m_36528682

“and the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover with us?” Mark 14:12 KJV

Might I have dinner with You?

Might I have dinner with You, My King

That you might Now set a chair for My Soul

That  will sit to see the  lands and kings  you control (1)

And set my mind and will to gaze at  kingdom plans  and ways

That my heart will settle  in your purpose for all it’s numbered days (2)

Might I have dinner with You?

Might I have dinner with You, My Savior?

That you might serve us the finest bread from Daddy’s glory revealed.(3)

And  drink the finest wine for our unbelief and  brokenness to  be healed(4)

To nourish us  Full to a newness of LIFE

That  we may be pure  and prepared as Bride and  Wife.(5)

Might I have dinner with You?

Might I have dinner with you MY FRIEND?

Where we can speak of memories and places we have been

Where adventures and stories live apart from sin

That I may again dream of seeing that which  fleshly man cannot see

And call from your Word that which they say cannot be

Oh, Oh, Oh Please might I have dinner with You?

Might I have dinner with You, My Lover?

That you may woo me with words  from deep to deep. .

That I may rest against your breast to find a sweeter  sleep

Where your beauty and strength come  penetrate my soul

That my mind , my heart, my will would be forever at your control

MIGHT I HAVE DINNER WITH YOU JESUS?

Might I have dinner with YOU and invite my friends

That every brother and sister might see YOU ARE PRECIOUS

PRECIOUS LOVE WITHOUT ENDS.   . . . AMEN

  1. John 6:53 (KJV) Then Jesus said unto them, “verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood , ye have no life in you”
  2. Psalm 90 :12 , 16 (KJV) So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom, Let thy work appear unto thy servants , and thy glory unto their children
  3. John 6:32(KJV) Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven
  4. 1 Corinthians 11:30 ( HSB)  This is why many are sick and ill among you, and many have fallen asleep. for if we were properly evaluating ourselves, we would not be judged.
  5. Ephesians 5:27 (ERV) Christ died so that He could give the church to himself like a bride in all her beauty.  He died so that the church could be holy and without fault , with no evil or sin or any other thing wrong in it.

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

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

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

psalm-91_1

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

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

IN THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No . . . .”

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

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

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

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

UNTO DEATH IN THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEEING SALVATION IN THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miss Ann reminds me “God is Good”

“yes, God is good ” I sigh

“All the time” She says convincingly.

“yep” I feel encouraged by Miss Ann ”

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

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

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

Doodling Words

Dedicated to” Doodle” , a child of God who prays the Word. . And Dedicated to Pastor Chris who taught “ if we do not pray the Word of God we do not release the Power of God.

                                                          “Doodle-bug, Doodle-bug tell me what I want to know”                                                                   Mark Twain The adventures of Tom Sawyer 1876

scribbling-in-the-board_1

Daddy don’t doodle! He doesn’t doodle  with the words of His mouth or the works of His hands.  I saw how he drew the  200 billion stars and the moon of one galaxy with His fingers.  He is both  perfect and precise.  But, sometimes , as His child , I forget what He wants me to do with my words.  Sometimes I forget He is ruler and Lord over the works of His hands , even my mouth . (psalm 8)  And I, like a doodle bug spin and swirl in the dust from which I was made . 

Long time ago, our Daddy gave “Rita Skeeter”http://wp.me/p3KvVr-a3 a big sister named Virginia.  Nobody calls her ‘virginia”  cause  she was  nick- named “doodle bug” by her mama.   One day her mama saw her baby crawling backwards  and it reminded her of  doodle bugs she had seen crawling in the dirt.

As for me,I did not know much bout Doodle bugs until I met MIss Doodle. Since then, I learned a whole lot about doodle bugs and doodling. Doodle also  knows alot about these critters .  Funny how, when you are named something, you are the expert on that thing.

Doodle bugs are a certain type of nerve-winged insect. Though they have wings, they don’t fly much. Mainly, they stay on the ground walking backwards. With their wings they leave scribbled cursive trails  in the sand.

When some kids saw these critters spinning and swirling, they said  the bugs were “doodling” . That day they  nick named the bugs “doodle bugs” . Daddy’s creatures are best described by what they do. But,  scientists like big names  for critters and so they  called  them “myrmeleontidae”. But even the scientists later nick named them “antlions”.

Big names are something fun for kids who like big words. Not everybody likes big words. I only like big words that describe Daddy cause He is sooo big . But Daddy even uses little words to describe Himself.

Daddy knows He is big but really doesn’t want anybody stumbling and stuttering over His name. I saw this one day when He was talking to Moses.  That old man was stuttering over what to call Daddy . Moses said “what do you want everybody to call you?” Daddy stared him down to the ground and said  ‘boy  “Just call me I AM”. (1)

Sure enough, when the old man Moses started saying Daddy’s words about Himself, a whole lot of things started happening. A serpent became a staff, plagues came and were lifted,  seas parted, people were set free, kingdoms crumbled,  and all  the people saw great things Daddy was doing.  All with just a few words.  Words that were Daddy’s words. So  the day when old man  Moses wrote Daddy’s rules on a rock, he didn’t mess around.  He got straight to “Holy” in 10 sentences.

20150109-061643.jpg

Doodle doesn’t mess around much anymore with Daddy’s words either. Rita Skeeter says “she aint going backwards” no more. If Doodle even thinks of spinning round, her sister Rita Skeeter helps her remember to go forward.  And Doodle likes going forward. Doodle likes forward so much that one day she was going forward  and fell. When she fell the enemy hurt her.  He had her hurt so bad  that she was lying in the hospital bed when I found her.

I found her  stuck in a hospital bed with her feet up. She sure enough looked  like sprayed  bug turned on its back , wiggling its legs in the air. One  leg was all wrapped hard in plaster.  Like a bright white cacoon, it looked like it was bout to birth a butterfly.  Looking at her squirming on her back in the bed  made me wanna call Daddy and ask Him to fix her, flip  her over, and let that catepillar cast bust wide open. Really I just wanted Him to fix the mess I saw.

I know Daddy  tells us all the time to  go to Him and ask Him to fix things . He calls this” prayer”.  I think it gets a special word cause this is an asking with a guarantee.  We aren’t  guaranteed answers from asking other folks for stuff.  Not even doctors and scientists.  But prayer, asking Daddy, that’s a guarantee for an answer!! I know for sure cause my brother Jesus told me.

But when I saw Doodle, like a sprayed roach, stuck in the bed, I wanted other folks to help.  It was strange how I knew bout Daddy giving everything and yet wanted to bring a bunch of other folks into the delivery of the promise.

“Doodle Im gonna pray for you” I said ready to run to Daddy and ask Him to flip her over and let her run.

She nodded expectantly and took my hand.

“Oh Daddy ” I began ” I’m  lifting up my sister Doodle to you to get healed. . .” I raised our hands in the air . ” . so by your hand, help folks get  her ready for surgery. . . .”. I continued with many words asking  that Daddy, the  Lord of all creation, would use the hand of the doc and precisely set her bone. And that  the operating room be just right and  that all the germs scatter. . . .and the nurses be kind .” Many words seemed to scribble in the air as I invited all kinds of people and events to work together in the operation on Doodles leg.

I kept drawing  a picture with my words of how things might look if everything worked out in my mind. Though I was praying with many words, in a secret place deep in me,  I felt I was  walking  backwards . I was saying things about what I thought could happen instead of what Daddy had already done. I didn’t know how to stop .  It seemed as if so much had to be done to get Doodle back on the ground moving forward.

Suddenly,  Doodle seemed far a way and not settled . I prayed longer saying the same kind of things about doctors and rooms and germs and bones over and over.  The restlessness remained. So I prayed more. . . . for right medicines, and temperatures and food.

Doodle squirmed and cleared her throat. I ignored her impatience by praying that she would
“rest”.   I wanted to pray more till it was all well. The more I spoke the more It felt as if nothing was spoken.  The air swirled with stale air.

Suddenly, I heard Doodle  say “AMEN” as if to end this unending prayer . Doodle repeated her “Amen”  It became  louder and impatient.

“Amen”

It was not a “so be it” Amen ” but a  but a “good bye” amen.

It rudely repeated until I surrendered and said “Amen”

I dropped my hand from Doodle’s hand.  looked at Doodle. She stared at me. “well youre real sweet praying for me” she said as she continued to stare at me without a smile.

” But tell me ” she paused ” Tell me this. . . why didnt you  just ask Jesus to  heal my leg  now?” .(2)

Suddenly Doodle looked so different. Suddenly Doodle  didn’t look like the friendly aimless bug she was named.  She looked purposeful and certain.  She looked like she had a thing Daddy calls “faith”.

She also looked like what the scientists nick named   “Ant lions”  . Bugs that are purposeful in their design as  they consume their prey.  They do not carelessly stroke the sand but, rather ,take their enemy down into burrowed holes  to destroy them.  Watch these bugs in their purpose.  http://m.youtube.com/watch?v+CWKFAyfBDHE

I looked at Doodle and saw the “antlion” . I looked at her with my eyes and  ran to Daddy with my heart. “What do you want me to do? I dont know how to pray as I should for this sister? ” (3) I said silently to Daddy.

“He can heal that leg right now , you know” Doodle sternly looked to her cast and then to me.

My eyes moved to the cacoon on her leg.  Suddenly, it looked like a tomb.  It looked like a tomb awaiting a call. . . awaiting . . .

I put both of my hands on the cast  “yes, Doodle, Yes and AMEN.” I said waiting . Waiting for Daddy’s helper.

Slowly words came. ” BY HIS STRIPES. . by HIS STRIPES . . By Jesus’ wounds and Stripes HE Says you are presently Healed Doodle ! .  You are presently Healed in the name and by the power of Jesus. This we thank you for Daddy !  AMEM!!!” (4)

“AMEN, AMEN , AMEN ”  Doodle said with joy .

I looked at Doodle joyful, restful and settled.

“So be it ! It is finished!!” I said bringing my hand from the cast to her hand.

” Amen , amen sweet sister, you can stop praying now. daddy has  heard you”. Doodle smiled.

Based on 2 Timothy Chapter 3

Understand this that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. . . .some will have the appearance of God but deny its power.  Avoid being as such!!. . . continue in what you have learned and firmly believe. . . for All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training IN RIGHTEOUSNESS that the person of God may be complete equipped for EVERY GOOD WORK IN JESUS.

Doodling prayers talk lightly about what is  known about God and make requests based on  earthly natural ways . They spin uncertainty and powerless circles in the air.  Faith Full prayers take what is known about God In His WORD and reach upward to the heavens pulling down the Supernatural work of God. They strike the enemies of God and put everything contrary to God’s will beneath the dirt. These prayers strike with the foot of Jesus.

  1. Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.  http://bible.com/1/exo.3.14.kj
  2.  John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son .  http://bible.com/1/jhn.14.13.kjv
  3. Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought : but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered  http://bible.com/1/rom.8.26.kjv
  4. 1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sin should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.http://bible.com/1/1pe.2.24.kjv

Brother Ernie’s Air: Anatomy of a Miracle Part 2: The Trachea

introduction http://vunglaub.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/brother-ernies-air-an-anatomy-of-a-miracle-introduction/

The nose
http://vunglaub.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/brother-ernies-air-anatomy-of-a-miracle-part-1-the-nose/p
The Trachea

Let EVERYTHING that has breath praise the Lord!! Praise the Lord!! (Psalm150:6)

I saw that when Ernie could breathe well , he would utter an “Amen” into the air . These interruptions of praise seemed to take flight to heaven where angels would sweep them upward with their wings to the lap of Daddy.

boy_praying

But , on earth everything was seen differently. Ernie was admitted into the hospital for further tests. He was not looking like he could breath easy and folks were saying he might have pneumonia, bronchitis, or very bad COPD . They would pick a title to match what they saw. Some of them would agree on a word and they would write it in Ernie’s chart. The chart tells the story of how things look down here.

Daddy was sad when my eyes agreed with what they wrote. (1) He knew I would become afraid. Ernie was on oxygen and there was a number next to his bed that kept going down. When the number was down it showed Ernie was not getting the oxygen he needed. So, whenever Ernie moved in the slightest bit, the number would drop and Ernie would look pale. When I saw this I would get a little scared . When we are scared we start forgetting lots of things. We forget things we are supposed to remember forever. We forget that Daddy made every thing. We forget that Daddy made the respiratory system for his glory.(2)

I was so scared that I called another brother . I called a brother who knew Ernie and who wouldn’t let the things he would see scare him. “Can you come see Ernie. It just looks terrible!!” I said to the brother.

Ernie was glad that this brother was coming. And he didn’t want to be afraid with me. So while I waited , I worked. And while I worked I thought of Ernie’s airway and Ernie’s Amens.

“Amens” come from an ever so slight cul-de-sac in the “wind pipe” of the respiratory system called the trachea. At the uppermost part of the trachea sits the larynx , “voice box” . In the larynx are vocal chords which vibrate when air passes . When air passes they make noise. They were created to live expectantly to make “joyful” noises and reluctantly to make clamorous noises. Both can be made but one is most desired by Daddy.(3)

From the larynx, the trachea descends to its dividing road where it will open into the lungs. The trachea has a very beautiful congregation of workers that live along every millimeter of the path from nose to lung. They are are called the cilla. When I first saw a picture of the cilla, I took great delight in them. They are very beautiful , purposeful and free.

.

The Cillia are a congregation of many hands that sweep fluids and foreign particles out of the airway so that only the breath of God’s air can move freely. They protect the flow from atmosphere to aveoli. When folks get “respiratory” illness, the cillia are no longer free. They get stiff and sticky and are no longer swaying and sifting . They are no longer conduits of the breath of air .

I was thinking how Ernie’s cillia might be stiff and sticky . I was thinking about what might be wrong when I got the message that the brave brother had arrived to see Ernie. I hurried to Ernie’s room. I was ready to pray with someone that was not fearful and would call on Daddy boldly. But the brother did not pray. He did not ask Daddy for anything. He listened to brother Ernie and then he said “Well lets praise Daddy!”.

But “what about asking Him to fix things now”, I thought.

“We praise you Daddy!! We praise you Father!! For you have created All things!! All things are yours!!” He shouted as he walked from one end of the bed to another. Ernie sat . I stood.

The brother repeated “All things are yours. You own all things. You command and the winds obey. all things. All things are yours” Slowly Ernie rocked back and forth. Vague “amens” escaped . I felt my body sway. Then I heard the brother say. .

“You are worthy! You are worthy! Let everything worship you!! Everything!!”

The cillia worship. The cillia worship. ” my soul considered. How David considered the ant, I considered Ernie’s cillia. (4) I rested my hands on Ernies chest. Might they hear the praise and rejoice in their sweeping and sifting and protecting.

Suddenly the brave brother stopped. “Ernie what are you wanting from God right now”

“New lungs” Ernie declared

“Daddy we are asking you for new lungs. New lungs Daddy for my brother Ernie”. The brave brother said.

The entire room became brave. No longer did fear dwell with me. No longer did fear set Ernie’s face pale. He was pink yet again.

I looked at the oxygen reading. It was high. Air was entering Ernies’ lungs freely. Certainly the cilla were back to declaring praise with every sway of their being. How much more Ernie’s whole being. And the sister beside him.(5)

To be continued. . .

  1. Psalm 77:19 says that the Lord is working through great waters but His “foot prints” are “unseen” and 2 Corinthians 4:18 encourages us to look at the things unseen for they are eternal.
  2. From Revelation 4:11 In the end EVERY LIVING THING WILL DECALRE  “Worthy are you , our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created”
  3. James 4:10With the same mouth come both blessing and cursing . My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
  4. Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant O sluggard: consider her ways and be wise.”
  5. Psalm 150 The very last Psalm in the Book of Psalms sums up the whole purpose of all creation: Everlasting Praise http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm+150&version=KJV

Brother Ernie’s Air: Anatomy of a Miracle Part 3: The Bronchi

:But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters , be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

Ernie was to get “new lungs” because he asked Daddy. The brave brother and Brenda kept saying “He’s got those lungs”! They said this because they knew Jesus died so Ernie could have new lungs. It was all in the gift package from Daddy called “Salvation”. (1)

th (1)

But while Brenda and the brave brother thanked God for the “already new lungs”, the hospital folks told Ernie that he would be on a list to get new lungs in the future. He was to get them from another person who would die. They called it a “lung transplant”. Both Ernie and I knew that Jesus died to give him new lungs.(2) And we really didn’t want anybody else to die when we knew His death was enough.

But, while the brave brother and Brenda were expecting new lungs from the inside , Ernie and I were excited no matter how Daddy was going to deliver those lungs. Whether from the inside or from outside. Either way Ernie and I both liked to believe it was “already done”.

So, when Ernie came back to Daddy’s house “waiting” for his new lungs. He said that he was on a transplant list and he sat at the back table of the church again. He sat with other very brave brothers and sisters who began to speak to him about his new lungs. They would say that Jesus was going to give him a set of lungs very soon. And, they acted like no one else was going to have to die for Ernie to get them. They acted like Jesus’s dying was sufficient. Ernie caught a breath of the air spoken by the brave ones. And when he did , he started talking a little braver himself. I just watched Ernie get braver and braver and his hands raise higher and higher as he thanked Daddy . Sometimes he looked like the most excited fan in a stadium.

I would watch him and  then I would also cheer for Daddy thinking alot about what the victory would look like for Ernie. I would think lots  about Ernie’s new lungs. aveoli As air moves through the trachea it meets a “fork in the road’ where the trachae branches to the right and to the left. Air moves through these tubes which get progessively smaller. These dividing pipelines are called “Bronchi”. The smaller tubes into which the bronchi branch are called the “bronchioles” and they end in tiny air sacs called the “aveoli”. Here in the “aveoli” , a miraculous exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place. each lung houses about 300-400 million alveoli. “There are alot of alveoli” I thought” and alot of exchanging of gases in their presence”

Worshipping and pondering , I saw that there is alot of God’s grace and alot of exchanging of His holiness for our sin in His presence. How great His exchange ! Like aveoli on the bronchiole , our abiding in Christ makes us pure by His exchanging our sin for His righteousness. (3) The whole house seemed to fill with the freshest of air that Sunday.

Most every Sunday Ernie was at church bringing us an Amen or a raised hand. until one day In January. It was a very bitter cold day in January when Ernie was not at church. The sun was bright but the harsh wind was like a vengeful thief, it stole the warmth from every beam of light. As i left my post at the door to go to work I saw Brenda’s text “Moving Ernie to ICU, getting worse on his breathing”.

I became afraid. I remembered that Daddy has an enemy. And I knew that this enemy doesn’t like the “already new lungs”. The chill seemed to follow me down the street like a stalking lion. Even when I began to run fast into the hospital , I could feel it breathing down my neck.

When I got to to Ernie , he was breathing like a linebacker on a sprint . His face, once pink was now as a stone . Blood streaked through spit. There was no time between breaths for a word. There was only a wrestling. “Call the repiratory therapist. Has he had a breathing treatment? how fast are we moving him? He needs a CT scan first!Hurry we gotta pray!” Was it all only a wrestling of tubes and wires and face masks orders and prayerful hands? Or was there something else wrestling. . . something like principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in the places where that cold prince of the air lives? Has he come to block the great exchange of air? I was afraid. I remembered again that Daddy has an enemy and it frightened me more.(4)

I had just finished asking Daddy yet again for a request he had already heard. Like a whinning child I said “Daddy pleeeeeeeassse heal ernie”when suddenly I heard Brenda  command:

“Jesus,  you sic em. Jesus you sic em. And devil you leave my honey alone in Jesus name”.

I said to Brenda “what did you say?” She said it again. She looked so brave when she said it. She looked fighting brave like a coach calling a 3rd in 10 play. When I looked at her, I thought of something the brave brother told me a few weeks before. boy & girl football                   I remembered him telling me that Daddy had already given Ernie lungs but the devil will do whatever it takes to make it look like it has not happened. He will do anything it takes for us to fear. And when we fear we dont’ believe.

Suddenly, I was mad. I was mad that the enemy thought I was dumb to his tactics (5). Brenda’s command sounded like a battle cry. I was ready to fight. In Jesus, we were gonna fight that damned angel!!!

I walked the hall to Ernies ICU room hearing sportscasters predict plays for a big football game to be played that night. While the TVs in every room of the hospital spoke of an upcoming battle between two colleges for the national championship somethiing in the air seemed to whisper yet louder. Heavenly beings were speaking battle plays for Ernies victory.

When we got to Ernies new room the hospital folks spoke of putting Ernie on a “breathing machine”. I did not get afraid but got very mad and called the brave brother. “Brave brother!! I want Jesus to kick Satan’s ass and show off His glory!! Can you come see Ernie soon !” I screamed. Daddy cringed at the sound of His daughter. I could not find a sanctified word . I didn’t really believe that Satan deserved any sanctified word . “Cleanse my mouth Daddy and hear my heart ” I cried. I wiped off the tears and went back to Ernies room.

Few folks in the hospital are dressed . Most look real naked except for a thin gown. Some dont’ look so naked in these gowns cause they got long underwear from Jesus. Like these folks, Ernie always wears his undergarments. These are the undergarments that cover every naked inch of our being with eternity and righteousness. But when folks , like football players, go to fight for victory they put on extra gear. The brave brother came back to the hospital to remind Ernie that he had a suitcase of gear to put on for this battle. He helped him get dressed one item at a time. .. helment, shield , belt over his undergarments and a sword for his right hand. You could almost hear Daddy say : “Dressed ,Ready. Therefore Stand.”(6)

By afternoon, I brought every person I knew with Jesus in them to come to the room. I knew they carried the Mighty Warrior. They were dressed just like Ernie. And this was a battle. Hands and Hymns and Hallaleujah bathed Ernie’s bed. A respiratory therapist let Jesus sing through her lungs into Ernies “Jesus Walk with me” and Ernie,beaming through the large mask pressing on his face, leaked an ” Amen!!!. “ football players Surely, marching around territory like Joshua and singing like Jehoshaphat’s choir was enough to send that cat running. Ernie was not on the big breathing machine called the ventilator but he was on a smaller one called bipap. The enemy could not accomplish all his threats. He was indeed weakening. I returned to work expectant that the total healing would come soon. I told Brenda to go home and get rest. While Ernie lay in bed waiting for his new lungs, the enemy roused new players.

The play remained the same. The play “Did God really say. . . “ (7). Did God really say you will get new lungs Ernie? came to Ernie’s bed while we were away. Folks explained to Ernie that it was time to die soon. And the enemy whispered “did God really say you would live”. Folks explained to Ernie that he would not get off oxygen and his “quality” of life would be poor. And the enemy whispered “Did God really say you would have full life every day anyway”. Folks explained that Ernie could quit this fight anytime. And the enemy whispered “Did God really say to fight? Aren’t you tired of fighting” One after another, unknowing vessels of the viper came in and counseled Ernie while he was alone. Firey darts pinging against Ernies shield of faith. Until Brenda came back to the room.

Rested and roused for battle , Brenda called ” Sister !! This is crazy!!They want Ernie on Hospice. Over my dead body!!!” she said.

Even folks that do not believe in the power of words cringe at the word ” Hospice.” And Satan . like a cheshire cat, smiles at the power of the word “Hospice. ” He smiles because he scores points with anything that brings fear.

The three of us stared at one another in the room as Brenda said the word again. When spoken out of it’s time it sends a chilling wind like the one that first chased me into the hospital.

“Damn its just a word” The Bold Brenda stomped her feet together.

“Its a damned word” I said suddenly feeling brave with Brenda. “He is THE WORD” He is the word made flesh dwelt among us and now dwells in us. ”

Our hands fell on Ernies chest. Simple small prayer from two daughters of a king set loose in the air a counterplay.

In Jesus name Ernie is healed. And you Satan , out of here in Jesus name.”

There was no trembling or tears or trumpet or tamborine to follow. Only “Amen”. For if the name “Hospice” has power , how much more “Jesus”(8)

The nurse entered the room . “Did you know who won the game ? Yep ,FSU, and what a game it was. . . . no one could believe FSU could win. “Then, just as routine as a football score , she said ” Looks like you are going home with “hospice” tomorrow. but we have to get bipap for you so it might be longer. But if you are here tomorrow you might get to see the championship trophy they are going to place in the lobby. We’ll see what happens” The nurse left the room.

The next afternoon, I received a text from Brenda” Hurry sis you got to see my baby!! AND we are going home” I ran to the room. Ernie was dressed: pants, t-shirt, shoes and a face beaming and free of all devices.

“im just waiting for transport to take me to the parking garage” Ernie announced

“no oxygen”

“Nope”

“Well brother, Let me have the honor to escort you out of here.” I ran and got a wheelchair weeping and dancing and longing for tamborine and trumpet. I ran past nurses on their way back from the lobby seeing the victory trophy for FSU.

Victory!!. Victory!!!” I shouted back .

“go FSU” they said

“Go Jesus” I said.

Ernie skipped into the wheelchair. He had to ride in a wheelchair not because of need but because the hospital required his discharge in this manner.

As I grasped the handles I felt that I was carrying the most valuable trophy in the hospital and all of heaven. I wheeled Ernie past the display of the glass foot ball . ” thanks be to God. . “ we said to one another as we parted. I drove the empty wheelchair back through the hospital. praying” Yes thanks be to you Daddy who in Jesus always leads your kids in triumphal procession and through us spreads the fragrant wind of the knowledge of you everywhere. For we are the very air of Jesus to you Daddy. . .(9)

I slowed down. “I am not sufficient to hold these things. . . “I sat down in the wheelchair in the lobby and wept and wept. I recalled every beautiful scene, I could not contain the joy of seeing this miracle.

A security man came to me “ you alright? Just looking at that trophy eh. . . that was some game wasn’t it ? Just never know whose gonna win in a game like that “

“no, sir, you don’t. But I was just sitting here thinking how I forget who has already won every game ”

“What are you talking about?” he said.

“Jesus and His Victory in all things” I stammered.

“well, I know that !” he said with confidence.” I was just talking bout life stuff not religion”

“ Me too. That’s what I’m talking about sir” I said as I got out of the chair.

THE END . . . .>OF SATAN Post Script Daddy has waited until this day to let me finish the story. He had much to show me about Himself since January. The story has not changed but Daddy wanted it to be told rightly. And Daddy wanted time to be the evidence of His work. For now, four months have passed. And ,as of today , as I post this story , I know Ernie is well. The set of lungs inside of him are from Daddy. Daddy made them and Daddy lets me see them work as I see Ernie worship Him every Sunday.

  1. Greek word for”Salvation or saved” is “Sozo” used many times in New Testament. It’s meaning includes ” to save, to rescue, to deliver, to protect, to heal, to preserve, to do well, and to be made whole.  The most commonly quoted scripture referring to “Sozo”  carries a vast promise to Daddy’s Children. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9
  2.  5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new cration.  The old has passed away, behold the new has come.
  3. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin so that IN HIM we might become the righteousness of God.  THE GREAT EXCHANGE!!
  4. Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
  5. Paul speaks of “not being outwitted or ‘ caught unaware’ by Satan’ saying “we are not ignorant of his designs” 2 Corinthians 2 11. Also Peter encourages us to “be alert , sober minded & watchful” to the schemes of the devil. 1 Peter 5:8
  6. “Know Ephesians 6:1-18 and wear it” “Be both a Child and a Warrior in the kingdom” Pastor Chris Peterson. Order messages preached March 2014 DVDhttps://m.facebook.com/RenewedLifeOutreachCenter
  7. Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden” the serpent said to the woman in Genesis 3:1.
  8. “God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth. ” Philipipans 2:9-10
  9. 2 Corinthians 2:14.

Brother Steve and the Mustard Seed

My daddy has many mighty sons. Daddy sometimes calls these boys “mighty men of Valor” (1)

They carry treasures given from Daddy differently than their sisters carry treasures. They also tell about their treasures in a different way . Sisters carry many words and sparkly things to describe presents from Daddy. They put all these great treasures from Daddy in their purses and talk about them in their diaries. Sisters pack purses as if they can never get ENOUGH. But brothers , brothers carry all their treasures from Daddy in their boots or in their pockets. What mighty men of valor carry is always ENOUGH. It might be a little “rough on the edges ” and muddy but it is always Enough

And , unlike their sisters , brothers use mighty sounds rather than words to show off Daddy’s gifts.They grunt and moan, wrestle and stomp, kick and sigh, yelp and holler to tell about all Daddy’s goodness. A lot of these boys are seen In Daddy’s book, You can just about hear Brother Paul grunt and moan when he talks about “not boxing the air” and “running the race” and getting ” beatings imprisonment and sleepless nights.”(2) I think even Brother David’s wife would say he was a hootin and hollering kind of boy. (3)

And boys, like these, hold mighty tight to their treasures. A sister can punch wrestle and even call a boy “ugly” and that brother won’t be shaken. He just won’t let go of a thing from Daddy until he and Daddy have agreement on the matter. He is keeping that treasure deep in his pocket till he agrees with Daddy to show it off.
My brother Steve is a Daddy’s boy. He grunts , he moans , he holds tight to treasures. He’s a steady, solid .stubborn, son of a great King. . . I know this because I saw what he did with a certain treasure from Daddy.

My brother Steve was sick one day. A bunch of folks in white coats ,from outside ,told him that he was sick and they took pictures of the “thing” making him sick. They called it cancer and sent him home. A few days later my brother came to Daddy’s house and asked for prayer.

On that morning, we all gathered real close around Steve putting our hands on his head, on his belly, on his chest, on his shoulder , anywhere Daddy said to touch.(4) Right then , I was thinking that the “thing” might be scared right out of my brother by all our heavy hands. But, instead, it looked as if my brother was scared of us. He put his hand over his chest like he was protecting something and his face went long and serious. I found out later that he wasn’t scared at all: he was just hiding something from us. He had something deep in his shirt pocket. It was really small and even with all our feelin on him no one found it.

Every Sunday,after that, I wondered about my brother and what he might have had in his pocket that day. Even though none of us felt it, we all kinda knew it was Enough for Steve. He always came to church with that look that we get when we are hiding something good . It’s a head tilting, eyebrow raising, closed lip smiling look. It was real obvious one Sunday when brother Chris started telling us about a tiny treasure Daddy gives to each of us.

Brother Chris called it “Faith” and he told us how our Great Brother Jesus described it. He said it is small but it is full of heaven and, if you plant it , it gets so big birds want to make nests in it (5). And,it is so powerful that it can move anything you can think of out of your way.(6) Even mountains. Right when Pastor said this, I saw my brother Steve grin, tilt his head and raise his eyebrow. I knew right then what he was hiding.

Suddenly, I thought. “he got himself a mustard seed!! Well that rascal probably buried it in his back yard without telliin a soul!”

mustard-seed-symbol-faith-18949436

Brother Chris says every kid of the King has mustard seeds and that we have “Enough ” faith in these tiny seeds .(6) Some folks know they have Enough faith and readily plant a seed to watch it grow. But folks, like me, sometimes go and dig holes, ready to plant, but get so distracted by the ugly dirt we forget to put the seed down. When we do that, Brother Chris says, we are looking at the problem (the dirt) and not the provision and promise (the seed and treasure Daddy gives). Brother Chris fusses at me sometimes saying “you got faith. Do something with it sister.” Sometimes,I just stare at it . Sometimes it looks too small to plant. It doesn’t look like Enough to make something big.

Brother Steve’s daughter Christy is not like me. I saw her plant a seed one day at a revival in the dirt of a stranger sitting next to her .It was Enough for her to plant that thing without hesitation into the heart of the girl sitting next to her . immediately, when that girl received the seed, she sprouted up like a big bunch of 9ft tall mustards ready for pickin.(7) And sure enough, The Lord picked her that day and she shouted “Jesus is Lord”!! I tell you, if birds were ready to nest ,they might have nested right there in Christy’s mouth that was wide open with awe as she watched that stranger believe.

Now, I looked for brother Steve for a few Sundays after I knew about his hidden treasure. But Christy said he went driving across country to visit friends. I started thinking how he wasn’t worried about that seed. He must have just planted that thing and thought that was Enough. He left all the watering, fertilizing and weeding to daddy or the Helper. Guess he thought he would come back home and everything would be all grown. He was darn sure of what he hoped for and certain of what he could not see.(8)

When brother Steve finally came through the church door in November, the sun followed him in. it was the hottest November day in Greenville and Bother Steve had a smile that was stealing all the sunlight. On that day, both eye brows were up , his grin crawled from ear to ear and his head tilted to the sky.

“Well, well look who the possum drug in” I said.

“What do you mean possum ? ” my brother asked

“Well possums hide stuff in their pockets. ” Quickly, I reached for his shirt pocket.

His hand pounced on my hand to brush it away., I felt a fullness in his pocket.

“What’s in there boy? You gotta tell me!! ” I demanded

” I’ll tell you bout it when its time” he said as he walked away with his hand over his pocket.

When all the children were seated in Daddy’s house, brother Steve brought his daughter with him to front. Everything on his face turned toward the sky. He was so bent in a smile , he could barely talk. So his daughter pulled the treasure out of his pocket. And right there she read from a mustard leaf these words “‘the previously noted focus of tracer uptake in the distal esophagus has resolved . There is normal tracer uptake in the thorax” .

And we all shouted: “Thank you Daddy that “thing ” is gone!!!”. Steve’s free, Steve’s alive. ” “Ain’t nothing taking him but Jesus” we said.

At that moment when all the kids were clapping and praising, I understood that Daddy took that ugly thing away the day brother Steve planted that tiny seed. Still, i wondered if Brother Steve thought what he got that day was bigger than a mustard seed and that’s why he was so sure of himself. I wondered if he had a bigger seed than the one Daddy gave me.

So I asked him, “brother , did you have ‘big’ faith?”

He looked at me like he didn’t know what I was asking.

“kid I just had faith. i wasn’t gonna die. Ain’t that enough.”
“Yep.” for the first time I believed , yes, the seed is “enough”. It’s enough because it is packed with all the power of heaven. It is the kingdom of God.(9)

REFERENCES

1 .1 chronicles 11:10, Nehamiah 11:14 2 chronicles 14:8 (“their brothers mighty men valor”) valor is defined as bravery, courage, “pluck” or boldness in the face of opposition

2. 2 Corinthians 6:5 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/search=2%20Corinthians+6:5&version=KJV

3. 2 Samuel 6:15-17 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Samuel+6:15-17&version=KJV

4. James 5:14-15 Daddy tells us how to receive healing when we are sick http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James=514&version=KJV

5, Mark 4;30-31 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%204:31&version=KJV

6 .Mat17:20 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/search=Matthew%2017:20version=KJV

7. Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) a very old Christian brother describes the variety of mustard seed that Jesus spoke about as “pugent in taste and fiery in effect, extremely beneficial for health. . . . once sown, it is scarcely possible to get the place free of it.” In other words this seed has power and it germinates to remain. Such is our faith.

8. Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things (we) hope for, being the proof of things (we) do not see and the conviction of their reality (faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses) Amplified Version

9. Mark 4:26 And Jesus said to me on that day, daughter, the kingdom of Daddy is as this man who cast a seed upon the ground and while he traveled , slept and rose, it grew and he knew not how. It is right to marvel in this. It is right to now cast the seed He gives you.

The Four Most Powerful Words for the Pastor

“Brethren Pray for Us”

Pastor Paul writes his church in Thessalonica .

2 Thessalonians 5:25

imagesCANOBJ27

Perhaps, through our lives together as a church, the greatest appreciation we can give to God and Pastor is hearts that ponder and submit to the power of this verse. I ask you to enter into God’s word and see how He might have you pray as we journey through our next year with Him. As we pray,there are two certain results of our obedience: Satan will be irritated and interrupted in his scheming and God will be glorified as His Kingdom is manifest. We have nothing to lose and very much to gain.

“And now Lord, with our hearts bare in humble gratitude before you, encourage our pastor with our appreciation towards him and our thankfulness to You for him. And arise, O Holy Spirit, have our Pastor enter Your rest and let him be always clothed with Jesus’s very precious salvation. And let us, your servants and saints, continually rejoice in your goodness toward him and us! We pray, Lord God, turn your face brightly to your anointed one, Pastor Chris , drenching him with your ever fresh oil. And from this great abundance of your love, give him exceedingly and abundantly all the wisdom and discernment and love that he asks of you. Then from these very precious gifts, produce words to boldly proclaim the mystery of the gospel with increasing tenacity and zeal. This we ask , that Jesus may shine brightly through Greenville as your very light: casting all darkness to the depth of hell and bringing forth your kingdom. Amen.”

We join heaven’s chorus and Jesus intercession, as we celebrate Pastor’s Appreciation praying without ceasing.

References:

  • 2 Chronicles 6:41-42
  • 2 Corinthians 4:1-5
  • 2 Corinthians 2:2-5
  • Psalm 92:10
  • Acts 10:38
  • Isaiah 61:1
  • Exodus 30:31
  • Thessalonians 5:17

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

????????????????????????????????????????????“What does it look like?” the boy asked.

“I can’t tell you what it looks like ” the girl replied. “I just know that we are supposed to have nothing to do with it.” (1) she explained.

“Well, how am I ever gonna know how to ‘have nothing to do with it’ when I don’t know what it looks like?” he insisted with a tone of frustration.

“I don’t know. . . .” she sighed as she kicked the sand. “My pastor said it looks like a rabbit cornered by a rattlesnake. . . that’s what it looks like.” she tried to explain.

The boy was not satisfied “How is a bunny gonna escape being cornered by a rattlesnake?”

The girl stood up “I tell you boy, it takes a miracle!! I guess I need to tell you the whole story or you will never have a clue. . . . .

.Fuzzy Wuzzy Bunny Rabbits

Here it goes. .Phobia N. Phobia was a bunny. He came from a long line of Phobias. This story will be too long if I name them all. Just a few I will mention that you know . . Acrophobia and Claustrophobia. He had friends outside his family also . These friends were mainly from the Freedom family. (2) They would gather in large open field and play. They taught Phobia a lot and he liked to play with them but he never stayed with them long. Sometimes he worried what other people thought when he was with them (3).His best friend was from the Freedom family. His name was Joshua. Joshua would often dress in silly clothes (4)and scare all the foxes and coyotes away in the field.

One day there was a rumor among the bunnies that a great pack of foxes and coyotes were coming in the field. All of Phobia’s family hid in their different houses. The house of Addiction invited everyone to party until the pack crossed the field . Phobia didn’t want to go there. Instead, Phobia wanted to take Joshua into the House of Distraction where they could pass time. But, Joshua said he was staying in the field with his cousins Strong and Courageous.( 5).

Phobia was frustrated and did not know where to go. He looked to the right and to the left and he saw woods on both sides. They were the “what if woods”. They have always been to the right and left of the field. A sign pointing to the woods said simply “what if the. . .”. Phobia’s mind wandered thinking of all the things possible if the coyotes and foxes suddenly came. He could no longer rest so he ran into the woods (6). He left his family and all his friends from the Freedom family to go into the woods. He took nothing with him.

Now Ramai Rasha was a very mature snake (7). His every sense had been trained to kill bunnies. He was slithering deep in the woods looking for a creature to devour (8). Suddenly, he picked up on a certain aroma. Though Phobia was just entering the woods, Ramai could smell unbelief.(9) It’s a bitter odor, but for Ramai Rasha it was an appetizing odor. Once Phobia was in the woods and could no longer see home, his family and his fellowship with the Freedom friends, he felt only himself, “Phobia Phobia”. He began to sweat and the aroma became strong off his fur.

The paths in the woods became very confusing to Phobia. There were signs but they did not seem helpful at all: “What if you die. . .” “what if you are found foolish” what if you go hungry” “what if you never can go home ” “what if you lose your mind” “what if you lose your tail” “what if. .” road signs were everywhere. They turned Phobia in so many circles that he found himself at a dead end”(10)

“And who do you think is there waiting?’ asked the girl

“No” the boy said “Ramai Rasha?!”

“Yep” the girl said sitting down to dig her feet back into the sand as if her toes were in search of a treasure.

His victim came right to him . He hardly had to slither an inch. He arched the neck of his body to strike. But, as is custom for the Rasha family, he paused to ritually pronounce words over Phobia reminding him how lost and deep in the woods he had come. (11) Phobia could have run but he stared without a blink and heard every word. So Rasha uncoiled to move in closer and then repeated aloud every wrong turn Phobia took and reminded him how alone he now was. Eventually, all the muscles and nerves in Phobia wearied and motionlessness became tremulous. When Phobia began to feel his body shake, he knew that Rasha would strike.

“Is Phobia going to die?” the boy asked desperately

“Yep, But not like you think. That is usually what happens but it was different for Phobia. “

As Phobia felt his hind legs give way under him, he remembered a name of an invisible Bunny that everyone in the Freedom family talked to in the field. He tried to just think the name silently for dread of moving his lips before Rasha. But, suddenly the name escaped his mouth. He cried “Perfect Love”! (12)Suddenly, a large foot, a very large foot entered the scene and it descended on the head of Rasha. (13)

Phobia rose to his feet and ran with the greatest speed he had ever known. He ran back to the field. There he told Joshua everything. Joshua was so very excited. He said to Phobia. “You just aren’t the same looking bunny”(14). I am going to give you a new name. And on that day, Joshua renamed Phobia “Pistis” which in the Greek means Faith.

“So,” the girl brushed her hands and pulled her feet from out of the sand “that’s what the preacher said Fear looks like” “and faith. . .” she continued “it’s the opposite . It is what happens when everything is under the foot of Perfect Love, Jesus.”

“wow” the boy said “i just ain’t ever going into those woods”

“Well , if you find yourself there. . ” the girl said looking down at her sandy foot “don’t call me, call Jesus, He’s got a bigger foot!!!”

THE END

2 Timothy 1:7 FOR GOD HAS NOT GIVEN US A SPIRIT OF FEAR; BUT ONE OF POWER AND OF LOVE AND OF A SOUND MIND.

References:

  1. John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled
  2. John 8:36 So if the son sets you free you will be free indeed . “PHOBIA” Greek word for fear
  3. John 12:43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God
  4. Ephesians 6 (the armor of God)
  5. Joshua (chap 1-3) 1:6 be strong and courageous for you shall cause this people to inherit the land
  6. Isaiah 30:16 and you said “no, we will flee upon horses;” . Therefore you shall flee away . . .
  7. Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord has made. Hebrew word for deceiver=Ramai & for wicked one =Rasha
  8. 1 Peter 5:8 Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour
  9. Hebrew 3:19 so we see that they were unable to enter rest because of unbelief
  10. Romans 8:6 the mind that is set on the flesh is death
  11. Rev. 12:10 . . .the accuser of our brethren
  12. 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. .
  13. Genesis 3:15. … He shall bruise your head & 1 John 3:8 . . the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
  14. 2 Corinthians 5:17 . . new creature in Christ