Obedience: a Tribute to Trance

For the Whole Earth is the Lord’s and Everything that is in it. ( Psalm 24:1, Psalm 50:12, 1 Corinthians 10:26)

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Trance is a dog.  In Genesis , I see God designed the first dog.  The first of Trance’s kind, God made out of the ground. (Genesis 2:19). That was a long time ago. . . that was the beginning of time.  In the beginning of time God created All things for HIS GLORY. 

Nowadays, in these times, no one much says “made for His glory”. It is far removed from our texts and tweets and tags and toungue . So, now today, when I talk about Trance, folks say “He is just a dog”.

Sometimes, lots of times, I have used the same identification  of another’s dog. “Geeze, it’s just a dog”, I whine when they express affections toward their dog.

Words suddenly put on an honor however when folks start showing pictures of their dogs. Suddenly, Our vocabulary dresses up with compliments when we see the dog.  We say“ah, how cute, what an adorable face, wow what  a pooch, ” We say lots of great words avoiding the few true words which resound from heaven  ” that’s a creature of God’s glory”

Since Adam named the animals, God has given us freedom to name all things. Like the first day in the garden , “Trance” was named by his owners the first day they met him. Squatting in the Denver gravel floor of a shelter pen,  My daughter and son-in-law had great dreams for their “dog” as they gave him his name. Their dog would go whereever the “Trance” Giant Bicycle could go. Surely, Names are from God for us to give but, the purpose of all things belongs to God.

              Obedience Believes

When Trance was first “adopted” , he stood eager before his new mother and father.  His eyes would fix on their face. Any twitch, any movement , he would follow. He did not flinch when kennel keepers moved around him . He was on mission.

His new owners said “I think he will be easy to train”, Trance watched them look at one another in agreement without blinking. He was a picture of obedience.

Obedience is a listening, a looking , a following a voice.  Trance had the look of obedience. His ears erect, His eyes fixed , his feet ready to follow a command.  When I saw him look at his parents, I thought how I was created to look at my Father in heaven. My ears erect for the Holy spirit, My eyes fixed on the face of Jesus, and my feet ready to follow the command of my Father.

My stance , my posture before my Maker was not like Trance.

I said his name , “Trance”. He quickly glanced at me and turned back to his new parents. It was as if he was preaching “Do you not know (old woman) that if you continually surrender yourself to (just) anyone to do their will, you are a slave to those who you obey, whether that be to Sin, which will ruin you or to obedience which leads to righteousness and LIFE?” Romans 6:16 AMP

It was as if Trance was barking. “Im not listening to you or to other dogs or to  that kennel guard, I’m listening to the one who can set me free!!”

Obedience Retrieves

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“He only likes to do one thing” my daughter would say. “he never quits, we have to make him lie down”.

Trance’s father threw the first ball for him.  It was a yellow tennis ball. It was held in his masters hand high above Trance.  Trance bent both neck and hip to look to the height of the ball.  The ball was the mission yet to be executed.  Trance knew if he did not look at his masters hand and the angle , time and velocity of the execution of the ball , he might not serve his master rightly with retrieval.  Trance is a skilled retriever.

The first ball was tossed but a few feet.  Subsequent balls were thrown farther and farther.  In parking lots and prarries, across fields and woods,up mountains , down valleys, over puddles , into streams, on fences and rails and up into trees, Trance completes mission upon mission.  And if , on occassion, a ball is lost, a mission failed, he returns ready for another chance.

From Denver, to Ashville, to my own backyard, Trance has taught me . How many times had I looked up in worship to hear a call , an assignment in the hand of my Lord for me, and not gone after it.  And yet, when I had gone and returned, what joy and readiness I had for yet another assignment.  But then, there were the times I had gone and it all seemed lost. What of these failures to please my master?. Was not Trance exhorting me , return, return, there is yet another one where that came from.

Was he not quoting Paul who ran with every command to “go” from the Lord? “Old woman , I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do : forgetting what lies behind (in the woods or stream) I strain forward to what lies ahead and so should you old woman press on tward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phillipians 3:12-13)

Obedience Lies Down

“So you have to make him lie down?” I asked my daughter

“yep, pretty much.  Sometimes I fall asleep throwing the ball first”

Trance relentless pusuit to please his master haunted me.  I often thought of missionaries and martyrs when I thought of Trance. Their focus to the mission yet their forgetfulness to the things of the world, like sleep and food  ,humbled me. It seemed to be the ultimate fullfillment of God’s call for our obedience to Him.  It seemed to be a beautiful picture of a life lived for His glory.

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One day Trance was given a different mission . He was not to run , not to chase, not to retrieve.  He was to carry on his neck the wedding rings of his parents.  He was their “ring bearer”.  It was an unfamiliar mission, but like an obedient servant he listened, he “heeled”, he approached the outdoor altar to present the rings.  Children were thrilled, adults laughed, the parents were proud.  The Father of all Creation rejoiced. Trance was part of a picture of Jesus and His church.

Three months later, yesterday afternoon, Trance looked at his Master, he was ready to obey yet again but there was a delay, a turn, there was a car.  In moments Trance lay in my daughters arms lifeless.  ” I held him but I could look and see he was going . . .” He was going to where there is no more need for obedience. He was going to lie down.

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” Revelation 5:13

Amen and Thank you God for Trance and all that was given to us through him!!

 

 

 

A Friend called Frog

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A Friend called Frog

True stories about my brother, in Jesus, named “Frog” and  inspired in my soul by  a message by Brother Ansel Norton .

And the voice came to Peter a second time, “Peter, what God has made clean, do not call common.” (Acts 10:15) And Peter said to the Jews ” you yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I SHOULD NOT CALL ANY PERSON COMMON OR UNCLEAN”           (Acts 10:28)

I know a man named “FROG”.

“where did he get that name?” I asked my big sister a who had known Frog many years.

“His mamma gave him that name” my big sister answered in her “matter of fact “way.

“Well, why did she name him that name ” I asked

“Guess its cause of how he talks” she said

“hmm, yep, I guess” I said as I thought of the last words that I heard Frog say when I saw him in the park Tuesday.

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A whole week and a Sunday had passed since I last saw Frog. But I could remember clearly how Frog’s words entered the air as his hands lifted in praise. That day, I started thinking aloud . . .”. Well that day ,he sure enough had a different way of talking . It sure enough did sound like the croaking of a frog rising out of deep waters”.

My big sister doesn’t  say much else about Frog. She doesn’t even say he is “different” . She just says he “talks different”.. But she says that about me too. See, my big sister likes short pointed sentences and I talk with long circular sentences.

Sometimes , after i stop talking to breathe, she looks at me with her head tilted to one side and says “you talk funny”. I like how she says it. It doesn’t hurt at all. I think it doesn’t hurt cause when she talks to me , the room fills with Daddy’s love. Daddy calls it “sincere love” (1).  She brings His sincere love with her every time she comes down from His lap.

Not everyone is like my Big sister. Most folks talk without having been with Daddy. They use the word “different” when talkin or textin or facebookin to one another. But, when they are smack dab in front of us, they say , ever so sweetly, the word “special”. They make their syllables long and say “your sooo speeeeeeeciaaaaal!” They think that we are so different that they have to use a completely different language when talking to us.

When these folks talk to “special” folks like Fog and me , we just smile back and say “Well , you are special too!” We don’t use  long syllables like they use  cause we can’t talk like them. Frog sounds croaky and I sound  like circles spinning.  But both of us try to let our heart hear how Jesus would talk.  Then, we  let our whole being speak like Jesus would tell them , in Love.

  ” well, brother, well sister, you are special too” we say.as we throw our arms around them.  . I don’t really know if Jesus made His words long or short, slow or fast. I don’t know if He hugged lots of folks.   I just know every word came out in “sincere  and perfect Love”.

In fact, Jesus is  alive and talking to them right when they are talking to us.  ,  Jesus is smiling at them right then and saying with us the exact same thing. So when it  frustrates us to say “your special ” and  we get misunderstood cause it  doesn’t come out clear., we ask  Jesus to say it to their hearts.

He talks to hearts and  each word is  perfectly clear.  No one  who hears His  voice  in their heart misunderstands Him.

Everything became beautiful and clear when I  first  heard Jesus call me “special”. I looked at Him and  My entire face changed into excitement (2). Lot of folk faces look like they are not excited about being called “special” by Jesus.  Some look afraid but most have a “plain face”. I used to have a plain face  it looks bored or “indifferent”. Faces like that just havent ears to hear Jesus say “you’re special”.  Hearing changes your whole face.

Sometimes I ask the Holy Ghost to pass out hearing aids to these “special ones” that don’t have ears.  Everytime I am in Daddy’s house I ask the  Holy Ghost to give us hearing aids.

One day, after I asked Daddy for these “hearing aids”, a brother from another town came to preach.  He came to tell us what Daddy thought about “different folks” . As soon as Brother Norton began saying, “I’m gonna tell you what God showed Peter bout being “different”, I started thinking about Peter.

  Peter was the first in a lot bad things and the first in a lot of good things.  He was the first to call Jesus “Lord ” and the first to deny Him, He was the first to be called “blessed” and the first to be called “satan” He was the first to walk on water and the first to sink.  But best of all He was the first to be called a  “different ” name by Jesus.

Jesus called Peter “Cephas” which means “rock”.  Jesus told Peter that on this “special” “different” “rock”, the church would be built. But, Peter didn’t really hear Jesus until Jesus went to sit with Daddy and was praying for him. From Acts Chapter 10, The visiting brother showed us  how Peter learned what Daddy thought about things that are “different”. He showed us Peter hearing the voice of Jesus.

Our visiting brother Norton showed us how we should hear Daddy’s word and see through Jesus’s heart.  He showed us how what was “different” was different by Divine design of Daddy.  And we should not be indifferent or bored about what is “different” but instead see how what is “different” makes a “difference”.  He kept saying “your difference makes a difference”.  The “special” children that could hear kept repeating “amen” “amen” with every “your difference makes a difference”. And with every “amen” shame , like a roach, scurried out the door.

I kept looking at the door.  I wasn’t looking to watch  shame  leave but looking  for my brother Frog to come in.  I knew he would love to hear the visiting brother’s words from Daddy.

 “Come on Daddy please send the Holy Ghost to get my friend Frog.  I know you want him here Daddy!!” I kept talkin’ to Daddy thinking I could get Him to go down yonder and drag Frog into the house. Frustrated , I tapped the shoulder of Frog’s friend Gerald. . .

“Where’s Frog?” I whispered

“He’s home restin cause  he got beat up by some ‘jitter bug ‘ in the park last night” Gerald replied

“What kinda bug is that? What kinda bug  did you say beat him up?’ I asked

” silly , it ain’t no bug its folks that just  beat up people that are different” Gerald replied

I leaned back to listen again. The message was ending . .” so we are going to pray , cause we understand that Jesus himself was different and the reason He came was to make a difference”

(to be continued)

  1. Romans 12:9 ” Love must be sincere” or “Love must be genuine” or “Love must be without hypocrisy”
  2. 2 Corinthians 3:18- 19 And we all , with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image rom one degree of glory to another .  For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

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Frog and the Face of Jesus

20150811-122737.jpgHe had no form or majesty that we should look at him and no beauty that we should desire Him, He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. BUT he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities. Upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and WITH HIS WOUNDS WE ARE HEALED  (ESV) Isaiah 53:2, 5

For God , who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the GLORY  OF GOD IN THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST” ESV 2 Corinthians 4:6

“Aint nobody going to the park today . You might as well stay home.” the old brother said , looking down unto me while I was tying my shoes.

“I told you boy, there are always three folks there! ” I said as I looped the last lace. Then bouncing on both feet I held up four fingers “Daddy, Jesus, the Holy Ghost and me!”

“you mean one folk .” he said shaking his head and walking away .

“NO , NO , No! ” I said jumping up and down ” There are three in one!! Daddy , Jesus and the Holy Ghost !! ”

The old brother turned quickly . “Well, I’m just sayin. . . . if you go and you are all alone out there you might get hurt. . . .like Gerald said. . . maybe by one of them jitterbugs .” he warned.

I pounded my chest showing that my heart was not hurt anymore. There was no sting.  I was healed of the jitterbug bite in the night.  “See. . .. Lookie, ” I said ” I’m all dressed for the park” I stood before the brother touching my head, my chest my waist,  my feet.  I had the whole armor on for the first time in my life. Then , picking up Daddy’s book , I said ” And watch out I got a weapon !!” With my bible in my hand , I marched to the park.

Soon , while walking down the road, my mind started swirling with thoughts of the jitterbug, The Enemy. . . the enemy,. I thought about how much he hurt folks. How he hogtied them and dragged them through slop like sheep to be slaughtered . I thought bout how folks nowadays were cryin’ and dyin’, moanin’ and groanin’. How every brothers and sister I knew was either hit by the Enemy or was watching how The enemy hit others. Even our brother, Pastor Chris,  would  steady say that folks were all lookin  either “busted or disgusted”. It was all you could see everywhere. All you could see was the bite and bruises  on folks attacked by this faceless foe.

“There is so much damage Daddy” I cried running into another  house on my way to the park      .” Who will fix all this hurt Daddy” I fell to my knees and I looked up . As I looked up,  I saw a picture. It was a picture someone had painted of Jesus’s face.

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When I looked at the picture, I remembered what Daddy said about Jesus’s face. He said that It was so very different than any other face.  He said it was marred  and not majestic , a face so scary that  we would want to hide our face from it” and yet. . . .”  Daddy  says that this  face is the “radiance of His glory”  He says real boldly to me,” though they spit on this  face , This  face , His face, would heal every person that looked at Him”

“Jesus show your face in the park today “, I prayed

Frog  came very late. We had all been singing and reading Psalm 34 when frog came.  Marilyn had  already shared a picture of how Daddy works in the night to heal us from all them jitterbug bites.  I was amazed how she could draw a picture to explain a poem from Daddy’s book.  Everyone was telling how Daddy did wonderful things for us all while  things looked bad all around.  We were all singing and happy with all Daddy’s goodness

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But Fog sat sad.   He sat on a bench in the back. His head hung very low below his shoulders.  I thought how his lungs were still  hurt from the jitterbugs.  I started crying for Frog to Daddy. Some other folks started crying too  And when we were crying to Daddy ,  I became certain that  Jesus was looking at Frog , I was so certain , I thought I saw a light shining right over Frogs’s bench.  

As we sang,  The Holy Ghost said ” Go touch Frog” .  I asked some brothers and sisters to go with me, Marilyn, Ann, Barbara,  Joseph, Mary and her friend , all came. As we touched Frog I asked Jesus to turn  His face to us.  Then,  I put my hands on Frogs chest and immediately I felt a light come upon us. “Jesus looks now to heal you ” I said 

I kept watching Frog’s face. I kept hearing brothers and sisters around him say “jesus” “jesus” “Jesus” Slowly Frog’s head lifted, , He looked up past the plywood ceiling , probably looked way past the clouds.Maybe he was seeing Jesus peek through the clouds or ride near us on the clouds. I just know  his head tilted and lifted . . And then, . . . . like a Frog.. . . Like Frog croaking out of deep waters, he shouted “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!!” Then , he stood with arms raised shouting “Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus” .

Suddenly, I said what I never thought to say.  It was as if the Holy Ghost said it for me: ” we forgive them now, Frog, We forgive the jitterbugs !! The Devil just used them. They were but little darts in his hand.  We forgive them, see we can forgive them . . .. Cause He has forgiven us!!!! We can forgive because  He healed us today!!!” In that moment I forgot every hurt , every sorrow, every pain. FROG AND I WERE HEALED BY THE GLORY OF GOD THROUGH THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST!!

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THE END. THE AMEN .

Post script: “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self , which is being renewed in KNOWLEDGE AFTER THE IMAGE OF THE CREATOR. .  JESUS .here there is neither  black or white, male or female, BUT CHRIST IS ALL AND IN ALL. SO, then as GOD”S CHOSEN ONES HOLY AND BELOVED, put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another FORGIVING EACH OTHER AS THE LORD HAS FORGIVEN YOU > ABOVE ALL THESE , PUT ON LOVE WHICH BINDS EVERYTHING TOGETHER IN PERFECT HARMONY. Collossians 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Four Most Powerful Words for the Pastor

“Brethren Pray for Us”

Pastor Paul writes his church in Thessalonica .

2 Thessalonians 5:25

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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

Written not with ink

Last Sunday the handpainted sign for my church was released. It was released from God through hands that cut the wood and hands that painted the logo. The sign announcing my church unfolded like a big wooden card on the walkway outside. Like a greeting card from heaven it speaks to me . It is if there is Logos (the word) in the logo. The design contains a cross. It is a purple cross and in each quadrant of the cross is a half moon shape opening outward from each corner. Inside each half moon shape is a circle or dot. It is like the expression of a face blooming from each corner of the cross.

The logo has a beautiful joy about it. It comes into my mind as a reflection of all that is written of the Love of God. Each expression bursting from the corner of the cross sings of how Jesus owns our every expression, our every emotion . The author of all joy , of all love, purifies our every passion beneath the Cross.

I see the Purple cross, the great Passion of God in the life of Jesus ,as it captivates and holds me, drawing all shame and bitterness and regret from my soul. But ,He does not leave this soul empty. Instead from the cross, Red He pours His blood bought passion into my soul that I may love. Yellow He pours every jealous promise to pursue my soul that I may proclaim His jealousy. Green He pours His truth into my soul that I may grow in Grace and Knowledge of Him. Blue He pours His rushing waters over my soul that I may praise “all my fountains are in Him”.

The sign outside my church is an emblem of the Heart of Jesus. It calls me to celebrate when I enter and it calls me to remember when I leave. But greater is the call to pray that this sign will be a greeting card to many. I pray the sign to be a card of Love, a card that says “welcome back” to the wanderer, a card that says “happy birthday” to the babes born again, a card that says “Just married ” to the Bridegroom (Jesus) as He looks upon us . . . His Bride.

2 Corinthians 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. Image