..... there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Pro 18:24

A number of weeks ago I began to contemplate what a "best friend" should look like in the Kingdom of God. I know one thing for sure and that a true Kingdom friend will put everything on Jesus. If I come to my friend with a need it will always be Jesus to whom I am pointed. If I send my child to a friend I must know he or she will put my child on Jesus. Today, I am blessed to have some "best friends", real "Kingdom friends" and what blessing to know that they know to put me, everything, and everyone I send on Jesus. In this series I will call these, "My Sticky Friends :-)"

Today I was led to pray all day about some situations I am involved in and also to intercede for other people involved. As always while in a day of prayer I also lifted up those that often pray for me. How precious it was tonight to find out that a friend, without my prodding, had been also praying all day concerning one of these situations I am involved in. So tonight, I begin a series of blogs on "Sticky Friends" and what a better place than to begin with the subject of prayer. I, for one, don't believe God does anything in the earth today save a man or woman somewhere has prayed about it. And to quote an old adage I also believe "he that loveth much prayeth much, and he that prayeth much loveth much."

The other day I read on a web site a woman's ponderings on prayer and I first thought, "dear lady you're close and the authors you recite are like wise, but you and these others haven't experienced it yet."

The central issue these writings examined seemed to be what is described as "emptying prayer." This is supposed to be the portal to the deeper experience of God. However to her defense, the neat thing about this web site writer was that she wrote in a pondering matter and came to what I believe a rightful conclusion. That concluding truth being, that the prayerful portal to God should not be the "emptying" state where one "thinks of nothing to gain everything." Instead if one embraces first and centers on "Christ and His Cross" in prayer, all will be set on a right course. To this I say Amen!

I believe there is an "emptying" of sorts within the position of prayer but as even this woman contemplated there is a counterfeit which opens one up to all kinds of spirits, where even "Emma" (Todd Bentley's angel) or the Goddess with six arms and three eyes might show up and show off. Truly the only emptying there can ever be is that all that we possess is surrendered upon God's altar and laid at the foot of the Cross. That is where true prayer begins and therein lays the "hidden portal" to the Father's heart. It is from that position we will even find the Son, within us, speaking and making petitions to the Father. For these sacred petitions there is only and always a "Yea and Amen." It is truly from the foot of the Cross that Resurrection Life is boldly breathed into our prayers and praise. Nowhere is it more evident that "less is more" ....... "down is up" ......"death breaths life" and the "servant ministers as king" than in the rightful obeisance of a man or woman entering into the Christ Spirit of prayer. Right prayer is not an eloquent and flowery mantra but is born of the sweat and blood of His Life poured out from within us. Only Jesus can teach one to prayer and I believe when one learns to pray, one discovers it is only Jesus that does the praying. This Jesus ....... Oh this Jesus, a Gift like none other. God's Lovely Gift that ever keeps giving of Himself. How truly wonderful is He!

"Whenever anyone is aligned with God's Purpose and begins to pray for God's Kingdom and for God's Will, all of Heaven will be moved to support, strengthen, encourage, protect, supply, and fight on behalf of that yielded vessel." "The heavens do rule" (Dan 4:26). Brogden

Lest brevity gain rare control of my soul(LOL) I want to share the anointed words of Preston Eby on prayer and it's mysterious and creative nature. Following this short excerpt allow me to close with one of my favorite stories on prayer. I always cry when I read this touching account and tonight was no different when I rediscovered it.

The prayers of the saints! Prayer is not a useless exercise, it is part of God's cosmic purpose. I don't pretend to understand it, but when Jesus was going away He said, "Up until now you have asked nothing in My name, from now on you will ask the Father in My name, and whatever you ask the Father I will do it." Ah, we have missed the importance of prayer in the redemptive and reconstructive and restorational purposes of God! Our prayers ARE important! Don't ask me to explain the mystery of the apparatus, but they are important. You'll find yourself praying, you'll find yourself desiring to pray, and that's the Holy Spirit urging you to do what is necessary to enable things to happen the way they are supposed to happen. There is a relationship between the decrees of God and the response of God's people! God created all things by a Word. God SAID, "Let there be ... and it was so." That's a CREATIVE WORD! Prayer is a participation in the creative Word of God, speaking the new creation into existence. It's a mystery I don't fully understand, but there are times when I have to pray, there are times when the altar of my soul is full of clouds of holy incense as I send up to God petitions, as I decree a Word, not for myself, but for others, and when I can't articulate them in English I send them up in an unknown tongue. And there is that deep inner consciousness that somehow I am participating in a great tableau and drama of history. Eby

"And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" Dan 4:35

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us" 1Jn 5:14

The Empty Chair

A man's daughter had asked the local Minister to come pray with her dying father.
When the Minister arrived, he found the man lying with his head propped up on pillows, and an empty chair sat beside his bed. The Minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. "I guess you were expecting me," he said.

"No, who are you?" asked the father.

The Minister told him his name then remarked, "I saw the empty chair, I figured you knew I was going to show up."

"Oh yeah, the chair," said the bed-ridden man. "Would you mind closing the door?"
Puzzled, the minister shut the door.

"I have never told any one this, not even my daughter," said the man. "But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the Pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head. I abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old man continued, until one day about four years ago my best friend said to me, "Johnny, prayer is just simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest. Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It's not spooky because he promised, I'll be with you always. "Then just speak to him in the same way you're doing with me right now."

"So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours everyday. I'm careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm,"

The Minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, and returned to the church.

Two nights later the daughter called to tell the Minister that her Daddy had passed on that afternoon. Did he die in peace?" he asked. "Yes, when I left the house about 1’ o clock, he called me over to his bed side, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, he was gone. But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?"

The Minister wiped tears from his eyes and said, "I wish we could all go like that."

Jack & Joian


May your soul swell with the call of God's supernal grace as you read these anointed words of why, "He, Who is most precious, is worthy to be told."

"Go and Tell Jesus"
by Octavius Winslow 1808-1878

At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, and he said to his attendants, "This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him."
Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, for John had been saying to him: "It is not lawful for you to have her." Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered him a prophet.
On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist." The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. John's disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus. Mt. 14:1-12

As if to illustrate the nature and test the efficacy of His great and gracious expedient of saving sinners, it pleased the redeeming God that the first subject of death should be a believer in the Lord Jesus. Scarcely had the righteous Abel laid his bleeding lamb upon the altar, that altar and that lamb all expressive of the truth, and radiant with the glory of the person and work of the coming Savior before he was called to seal with his blood the faith in Christ he had professed. But if the first victim, he was also the first victor. He fell by death, but he fell a conqueror of death. He lost the victory, but he won the battle. Thus was the “last enemy” foiled in his very first assault upon our race. The point of his lance was then turned, the venom of his sting was then impaired, and, robbed of his prey, he saw in the pale and gory form his shaft had laid low the first one of that glorious race of confessors, that “noble army of martyrs,” who in all succeeding ages should overcome sin, hell, and death, by the blood of the Lamb.

It was on an occasion similar to the death of the first martyr, that the passage suggesting the subject of these pages was written. Falling a sacrifice to his fidelity, as Abel had to his faith, John was now a mangled corpse the victim of Herod’s sin and cruelty. Taking up the headless body of their master, the disciples of John bore it to the tomb, and then went and poured their tale of woe into the ear, and laid their crushing sorrow upon the heart of Jesus. “And his disciples came and took up the body and buried it, AND WENT AND TOLD JESUS.” It was, perhaps, their first direct communication with the Savior. They had known but little of Jesus until now. Another being had engaged their interest, and occupied their thoughts. Absorbed in their admiration of the star that heralded its approach, they had scarcely caught sight of the Sun which had just appeared above the horizon. In vain had John, with characteristic lowliness, reminded those who he was not the Messiah, and but His forerunner. Wedded to their master, they thought of, clung to, and loved only him. John must therefore die, the star paling and disappearing before the deepening splendor of the divine ascending Orb. All this was the ordering of infinite wisdom and love. The removal of John was necessary to make his disciples better acquainted with Jesus. They had heard of Him, had seen Him, and in a measure believed in Him; but they never fully knew or loved Him until now that profound grief brought them to His feet. What a Divine Savior, what a loving Friend, what a sympathizing Brother Jesus was! How truly human in His affinities, compassionate in His heart, gentle in His spirit! They had no adequate conception until the surge of sorrow flung them upon His sympathy. Ah! How they clung to Jesus now! Owning no other master, seeking no other friend, repairing to no other asylum in their lonely grief, “they went and told Jesus.” Favored disciples! Honored men! Oh! How many now hymning their praises in heaven, or still watering their couch with tears on earth, will alike testify that until God smote the earthly idol, or broke the human staff, or dried up the creature spring, JESUS was to them as an unknown Savior and Friend. Blessed, thrice blessed sorrow that leads us to Jesus! That sorrow, dark, deep, though it be, will wake the harp of the glorified to heaven’s sweetest melody. The bitterest grief of the saint on earth will issue in the sweetest joy of the glorified in heaven, because that grief, sanctified by the Spirit, brought the heart into a closer alliance and sympathy with Him who was emphatically a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”

We know so much of divine truth, my reader, as we have in a measure a personal experience of it in our souls. The mere speculatist and notionalist in religion is as unsatisfactory and unprofitable as the mere theorist and declaimer in science. For all practical purposes both are but ciphers. The character and the degree of our spiritual knowledge begins and terminates in our knowledge of Christ. Christ is the test of its reality, the measure of its depth, and the source of its growth. If you are advancing in an experimental, sanctifying acquaintance with the Lord Jesus, you are advancing in that knowledge which Paul thus estimates: “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord.” Dear reader, let the chief object of your study be to know the Lord Jesus. It may be in the region of your sinfulness, emptiness, weakness, and foolishness that you learn Him, nevertheless, however humiliating the school, slow the progress, and limited the attainment, count every fresh step you make in a personal acquaintance with the Lord Jesus as a nobler triumph, and as bringing you into the possession of more real wealth than were the whole chests of human knowledge and science mastered, and its untold treasures poured at your feet. When adversity comes, when death approaches, when eternity unveils. Oh! how indescribably valuable, how inconceivably precious will then be one faith’s touch, one faith’s glimpse of a crucified and risen Savior! All other attainments then vanish, and the only knowledge that abides, soothes, and comforts, is a heartfelt acquaintance with the most sublime fact of the Gospel, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Oh! Whatever other studies may engage your thoughts, forget not, as you value your eternal destiny, to study the Lord Jesus Christ.

Communion with Jesus

The subject which we must keep prominent before us is: Communion with Jesus. That there may exist a serious defect in the experience of many Christians touching this point, we solemnly believe. There is in the walk of many so wide a chasm between Jesus and their personal and confidential fellowship, as to leave upon the mind the conviction that they have no dealings with Jesus at all! Hence the distressing doubts, the timid fears, the obscure evidences, the beclouded hopes, that shade the luster, impair the vigor, and render dubious the religion of so many. The secret is, they have so little to do with Jesus! And, as a natural result, Jesus, in the bestowment of His favors, in the manifestations of Himself, in the breathings of His love, has so little to do with them! Oh! How sad, that such distance and coldness should ever exist between Christ and a soul redeemed with His most precious blood! What an evidence of the fallen condition of our humanity, and of its but partial sanctification, even in its renewed state.

We propose, in the further unfolding of this interesting subject, to state the grounds upon which the believer is warranted to go and tell Jesus the occasions on which he is privileged to go and tell Jesus, and the blessings that will flow from his going and telling Jesus.

The first springs from what Jesus is Himself. The very fact that He whom we approach the Being, the Savior, the Friend with whom this close and constant communion is maintained, is JESUS, that forms our highest encouragement, our divinest warrant. It is not every great person who is at all times accessible. The official barriers which surround, or the austere address which marks him, may interdict and discourage all free and confidential approach. It is not so with Jesus. Infinitely great though He is, for He is the Maker of all beings and worlds. There is not a being in the universe so accessible as Jesus. We approach Him, and we find Him, sin only excepted,a being just like ourselves. His divine nature is clad with the human. His circumstances are human. His love is human. His sympathy is human. His compassion is human. His smile is human. His trials, temptations, sufferings, and sorrows, are human; all are so human that there is not a petition with which we approach, growing out of our suffering humanity, that challenges not a hearing, that awakens not a response. Let us add a few particulars. Do we go to Him burdened? We are in the presence of Him who bore the mighty weight of sin. Do we go to Him in sorrow? We are in the presence of Him who was acquainted with grief. Do we go to Him in temptation? We are in the presence of Him who was tempted in all points like as we are. Carry we to His feet our adversities, poverty, need? We are holding audience with Him who, when He sojourned on earth, was poor, homeless, and unbefriended, Who subsisted by charity, and had not where to lay His head. And, then, there is another encouragement to our approach growing out of His official relations. They are all in our favor. His prophetical office, His priesthood, His royal character, all have a relation to our varied need. Exalted as His position is, each separate office that He fills warrants and invites our approach. And, as if to crown the encouragements accumulating around our access to Jesus, there are His own personal attractions—all-inviting and irresistible. Everything in the person of Jesus encourages our advance. Does glory charm us? Does beauty attract us? Does love win us? Does gentleness subdue us? Does sympathy soothe us? Does faithfulness inspire confidence? Then, all this is in Jesus, and all invites us to draw near. He is the “altogether lovely,” and if our minds can appreciate the grand, and our hearts are sensible of the tender; if they feel the power of that which is superlatively great and exquisitely lovely, then we shall need no persuasion to arise, and go and tell Jesus every emotion of our souls, and every circumstance of our history. Take all that is tender in love, all that is faithful in friendship, all that is wise in counsel, all that is longsuffering in patience, all that is balmy, soothing, and healing in the deepest sympathy and its embodiment, its impersonation is JESUS. Can we, then, be insensible to all this personal attraction, and hesitate repairing to His feet, telling Him all? In addition to what Jesus is in Himself, there is the encouragement to repair to Him growing out of the covenant relations He sustains to His people. Apart from His ever-loving heart, kindly disposition, and sympathizing nature, Jesus is your Brother, your Friend, your redeemer. As a Brother, He knows the need of His brethren in adversity; as a Friend, He shows Himself friendly; and as next of redeemer, He has redeemed your soul, and bought back your lapsed inheritance. No, more, He is your Advocate in heaven, your Intercessor at the right hand of God, your Representative, having ascended up on high to take possession of heaven on your behalf, and to prepare a place for you. Upon His heart He wears your name, a precious pearl in the priestly breastplate. And there is not a moment of time, nor an event of life, nor a circumstance of daily history, nor a mental or spiritual emotion, in which you are not borne upon the love, and remembered in the ceaseless intercession of Christ. Is not this enough? What more, to win you to His feet in all the endearing confidence of one who delights in everything, to go and tell Jesus? Is there another being in the universe you can approach with such perfect repose of mind, with such full assurance of heart, with an unveiling of every thought, emotion, and feeling, so full, unreserved, and confiding? No! Not one!

May you bury your soul upon His heart and there see He has inscribed your very name. And it shall come to pass, that before you call, He will answer; and while you are yet speaking, He will hear. (Isa 65:24)

Jack & Joian


"And Such Were Some of YOU.......

I was so touched by Jan Antonsson’s article this month I wanted to share the liberty of her words with you. Both Jack and I have family members and friends who have been or are in a “Gay” relationship.

My brother left the lifestyle in 1975, miraculously delivered at the age of 40. He met a widow with two children, fell in love and married. They were happily married until his death some 25 years later. Several of his friends came out of the lifestyle around the same time. I will always be thankful I was a witness to such a miracle.

It is one of the most heart wrenching human issues. One where I stay judgment and speak only what the Lord puts on my heart……. This article was freeing to me and I know it will be to you.


By Jan Antonsson

I no longer condemn the Church of Esau for their failings, because we all share their guilt in one way or the other. There is no difference between the Jew and Gentile, the righteous and the unrighteous, the church and the world, for all are standing on the same step before the righteousness of God, which, as Lenny often says, is "God's fault." This is the true meaning of the verse I quote so often, "For GOD consigned ALL men to disobedience, that He may have mercy upon ALL" (Rom. 11:32).

If God consigned all men to disobedience, that includes all of us. Likewise, if in "Adam all die," we are all therefore, dead in trespasses and sins (I Cor. 15:22; Eph. 2:1). Thankfully, mercifully, gracefully, God did not leave us in that sorry state, the Church of Esau. "In Christ shall all be made alive" and all will be counted as members of the Church of Jacob. "But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness" (Rom. 8:10)……………………………...

I have been dialoguing via e-mail for over a year now, with a friend who has wrestled long and painfully with her sins. My response to her anxiety over what she counts "her mistakes" is that there are no mistakes in the economy of God, for if He has consigned all men to disobedience, then the buck stops on His desk for all things. Either He is totally sovereign, or He is not, and if He isn't, then we've all got an unsolvable problem on our hands. He has nailed all our sins and unrighteousness to the cross, and there we must rest, but instead, most people fall into one of two categories:

1) Those who blame themselves for everything (usually the ones who have themselves been abused)

2) Those who blame everyone else but themselves (usually the Pharisees, the abusers).

Category #1 types, know they have sinned to the point that they think God doesn't love them; they are hopeless, and can't get anything right, no matter how hard they try. Because they feel so badly about themselves, they cannot believe that "they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:23-24). They have to work for it, but since they have huge inadequacy issues, they will never get it right by their own efforts, leaving them in despair, mired in guilt and shame.

Category #2 types, think their sins aren't very bad compared to the awful things other people do. They cling to the small things they do right, concluding they are keeping the Law because they "tithe mint and dill and cumin," but as Jesus said, they "have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith" (Matt. 23:23).

After reading my assertion that there are no mistakes, our friend wrote one of the best "Hallelujah e-mails" I've ever read as she describes her journey out of darkness into the light.

She wrote:
"Well, I am definitely Category #1! The processings of the Lord have been a lifetime. I feel though that the past four years have been total fire, earthquakes and hail storms, one right after the other, sometimes all at the same time!

Every foundation that I have stood on through out my life is no longer there, except for Him. He has ripped it out from under me. There is nothing there anymore to stand on. How I think, feel (or not feel), relate with others and the Lord, all the 'old tools' are gone and I don't know how to use the new ones yet. The only thing I can stand on, is Him.

"That 'free' gift of grace, that He paid for dearly, whether I have acknowledged it, believed it or accepted it, He has worked it in my life always. He has surrounded me, all my life, with His grace and mercy, with Himself. Was it a mistake that I had the family I had? Was it a mistake that all my responses and self protective ways, the fixer (codependent) ways, that developed because of that?

"Was it a mistake that I couldn't overcome lesbian tendencies within, because of my desperate need for my mom to touch me and say I love you? Coupled with a father that sexually abused me, set me up for that battle.

"Was it a mistake that nun lied about me and kicked me out of school in 8th grade, turning my heart cold hard against God, and anything to do with religion, when I had such a profound knowledge of the Lord's presence as a child? (He was my hiding place all those young years).

Was it a mistake that I turned to hard core drug usage and sexual promiscuity after that? "No, you are absolutely right, there are no mistakes. From age 17 on, He has, little by little, here a little there a little, line upon line, caused me to walk in an overcomer's path. He foreordained me. He chose me; I didn't choose Him. I've run as hard and fast as I could away from the calling on my life.

I have been angry with Him, yet so desperate for Him. He's the only one that could go deep into my inner being and touch me, make me feel anything. He really did win my heart at 17. He has been the driving force in my life since. There was NOTHING without Him.

Yet, all my inadequacies and 'mistakes' made the journey very long and difficult causing much condemnation. But He is the one who put me there to begin with, which I have been aware for a long time. That is part of what made me so angry with Him. I didn't understand His plans and purposes, really until last year. I am just beginning to get free from that. He is making me free now. He will be glorified in and through my life because He ordained it!

"You were so right on in saying we can't touch the hem of His garment, but He touches us everyday in every way. Oh, how He has done that with me all along!" End quote.

God's healing is glorious to behold!

If her e-mail made you squirm and triggers you to condemn her or feel superior to her in any way, it might be an indication that you need to take your judgments and self righteousness to the Lord. We are ALL on the same step before the righteousness of God (Barth) and there is NO DIFFERENCE between Jew and Gentile, the Church and the world, the righteousness and the unrighteous, the saint and sinner (Paul the Apostle).

God, who knows the end from the beginning, knows what He will do with each life, no matter how sinful or worthless it may seem to others. Isaiah was referring to the Church of Esau AND to the Church of Jacob, the Jews, the Gentiles, the saint and the sinner, when he declared, "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined" (Isa. 9:2). Jesus was and IS that light, and in Him, we will never be ashamed (II Tim. 1:12).

One last observation about Paul's declaration that there is no difference between Jew and Gentile. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the POWER of God unto salvation for the Jew and the Greek, is therefore, for the righteous and the unrighteous, the church and the world, the saint and the sinner, the saved and the heathen, and I think you'll agree that really does include us all.

Father, we thank You that You have lifted up the fallen and cast down the proud, healing us where we are sick and restoring us to relationship with You. We thank You especially, that the Church is Your domain, Your plan, and Your assignment, and that we are all members of the body of Christ, cleansed by His blood, perfected by Your Spirit, united with Him and with You for all eternity. In the resurrected and restored New Creation, make us a blessing to all who long to know You as You are.

In Christ we ask it, amen.

Link to complete article here……………

We love you,

Joian and Jack


For I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also. Jn13:15

This is one of those, "if it makes me weep, it's good to post."

Cardinal sent this to us with the introductory, "Once in a great while something comes along that reminds me of the God I know. This, is that. Enjoy, Card"


Beth Moore, is a married mother of two daughters. This is one of her experiences: April 20, 2005, at the Airport in Knoxville , waiting to board the plane, I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon what I was doing. I'd had a marvelous morning with the Lord. I say this because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you. You could end up doing some things you never would have done otherwise.

Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons not the least of which is your ego. I tried to keep from staring, but he was such a strange sight. Humped over in a wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes that obviously fit when he was at least twenty pounds heavier. His knees protruded from his trousers, and his shoulders looked like the coat hanger was still in his shirt. His hands looked like tangled masses of veins and bones. The strangest part of him was his hair and nails. Stringy, gray hair hung well over his shoulders and down part of his back. His fingernails were long, clean but strangely out of place on an old man. I looked down at my Bible as fast as I could, discomfort burning my face. As I tried to imagine what his story might have been, I found myself wondering if I'd just had a Howard Hughes sighting. Then, I remembered that he was dead. So this man in the airport... an impersonator maybe? Was a camera on us somewhere? There I sat; trying to concentrate on the Word to keep from being concerned about a thin slice of humanity served on a wheelchair only a few seats from me. All the while, my heart was growing more and more overwhelmed with a feeling for him. Let's admit it. Curiosity is a heap more comfortable than true concern, and suddenly I was awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-looking old man.

I had walked with God long enough to see the handwriting on the wall. I've learned that when I begin to feel what God feels, something so contrary to my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to happen. And it may be embarrassing. I immediately began to resist because I could feel God working on my spirit and I started arguing with God in my mind. "Oh, no, God, please, no." I looked up at the ceiling as if I could stare straight through it into heaven and said, "Don't make me witness to this man. Not right here and now. Please. I'll do anything. Put me on the same plane, but don't make me get up here and witness to this man in front of this gawking audience. Please, Lord!" There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging His Highness, "Please don't make me witness to this man. Not now. I'll do it on the plane." Then I heard it... "I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to brush his hair." The words were so clear, my heart leaped into my throat, and my thoughts spun like a top. Do I witness to the man or brush his hair?
No-brainier. I looked straight back up at the ceiling and said, "God, as I live and breathe, I want you to know I am ready to witness to this man. I'm on this Lord. I'm your girl! You've never seen a woman witness to a man faster in your life. What difference does it make if his hair is a mess if he is not redeemed? I am going to witness to this man."

Again as clearly as I've ever heard an audible word, God seemed to write this statement across the wall of my mind. "That is not what I said, Beth. I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to go brush his hair." I looked up at God and quipped, "I don't have a hairbrush. It's in my suitcase on the plane. How am I supposed to brush his hair without a hairbrush?" God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began to walk toward him as these thoughts came to me from God's word: "I will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:17)

I stumbled over to the wheelchair thinking I could use one myself. Even as I retell this story, my pulse quickens and I feel those same butterflies. I knelt down in front of the man and asked as demurely as possible, "Sir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?" He looked back at me and said, "What did you say?" "May I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?" To which he responded in volume ten, "Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you're going to have to talk louder than that." At this point, I took a deep breath and blurted out, "SIR, MAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR?"

At which point every eye in the place darted right at me. I was the only thing in the room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Long locks. Face crimson and forehead breaking out in a sweat, I watched him look up at me with absolute shock on his face, and say, "If you really want to." Are you kidding? Of course I didn't want to. But God didn't seem interested in my personal preference right about then. He pressed on my heart until I could utter the words, "Yes, sir, I would be pleased. But I have one little problem. I don't have a hairbrush." "I have one in my bag, "he responded. I went around to the back of that wheelchair, and I got on my hands and knees and unzipped the stranger's old carry-on, hardly believing what I was doing. I stood up and started brushing the old man's hair. It was perfectly clean, but it was tangled and matted. I don't do many things well, but must admit I've had notable experience untangling knotted hair mothering two little girls. Like I'd done with either Amanda or Melissa in such a condition, I began brushing at the very bottom of the strands, remembering to take my time not to pull.

A miraculous thing happened to me as I started brushing that old man's hair. Everybody else in the room disappeared. There was no one alive for those moments except that old man and me. I brushed and I brushed and I brushed until every tangle was out of that hair. I know this sounds so strange, but I've never felt that kind of love for another soul in my entire life. I believe with all my heart, I - for that few minutes - felt a portion of the very love of God. That He had overtaken my heart for a little while like someone renting a room and making Himself at home for a short while. The emotions were so strong and so pure that I knew they had to be God's. His hair was finally as soft and smooth as an infant's. I slipped the brush back in the bag and went around the chair to face him. I got back down on my knees, put my hands on his knees and said, "Sir, do you know my Jesus?"

He said, "Yes, I do." Well, that figures, I thought. He explained, "I've known Him since I married my bride. She wouldn't marry me until I got to know the Savior." He said, "You see, the problem is, I haven't seen my bride in months. I've had open-heart surgery, and she's been too ill to come see me. I was sitting here thinking to myself, what a mess I must be for my bride."
Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine moment when we're completely unaware of the significance. This, on the other hand,was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had intervened in details only He could have known. It was a God moment, and I'll never forget it. Our time came to board, and we were not on the same plane. I was deeply ashamed of how I'd acted earlier and would have been so proud to have accompanied him on that aircraft.

I still had a few minutes, and as I gathered my things to board, the airline hostess returned from the corridor, tears streaming down her cheeks. She said, "That old man's sitting on the plane, sobbing. Why did you do that? What made you do that?" I said, "Do you know Jesus? He can be the bossiest thing!" And we got to share. I learned something about God that day. He knows if you're exhausted, you're hungry, you're serving in the wrong place or it is time to move on but you feel too responsible to budge. He knows if you're hurting or feeling rejected. He knows if you're sick or drowning under a wave of temptation. Or He knows if you just need your hair brushed. He sees you as an individual. Tell Him your need!

I got on my own flight, sobs choking my throat, wondering how many opportunities just like that one had I missed along the way. .... all because I didn't want people to think I was strange. God didn't send me to that old man. He sent that old man to me.

John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We Have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." Life shouldn't be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly shouting, "Wow! What a ride! Thank You, Lord!" Don't tell God how big your troubles are - tell your troubles HOW BIG your GOD is!

Jack & Joian

PS. Joian told me a story of how her daughters washed the feet of a contrary soul this last weekend. That act of love brought tears to a hardened woman. Such an occurrence was an eternal moment that will work it's passion and love even beyond that woman's life on earth. Of that I am sure.



For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1Cr 2:2

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Gal 6:14

Joian E-mailed me some writings last night and I thrilled to read what she had sent, as they spoke of the Cross which so many seem to want to bypass today. Even a couple weeks ago someone derided me as one that seems to worship the Cross because of my constant emphasis on this most glorious of all of God's works. How can we ever separate Christ from the Cross, and dare we think we could ever know the heart of the Father without fathoming the all encompassing supremest sacrifice of His Only Begotten upon the tree that stood atop Calvary. I am more than convinced that in order to know God and be conformed into the image of our Christ Jesus we must come to a complete revelation that we were in Christ on that Good Friday in Jerusalem two thousand years ago. How shall we ever know the supernal depth of the Love of God save we be completly encompassed by His Love Hanged Naked on the Cross. I shall ever and more so with each day cry out to those that falsely declare love, that Love is Christ and finding ourselves in Christ on the Cross is where we shall be transformed into His loving image. The sharing of the Cross of Christ is the equal of our ongoing resurrection, for as we suffer with Him we also reign with Him, until He be All of All that we are.
What a Cross!
What a Christ!
What a Message! ....... and He is still writing it within the hearts of men and women everywhere.

"For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all." 1Cr 15:25-28

I should but wish all would be encouraged by the following message Joian sent me. Truly this anointed word is even more timely than it was a half century ago when it was originally penned.


ALL UNANNOUNCED AND MOSTLY UNDETECTED there has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different: the likenesses are superficial; the differences, fundamental.

From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique-a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before.

The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam's proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure, only now he takes delight in singing choruses and watching religious movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor. The accent is still on enjoyment, though the fun is now on a higher plane morally if not intellectually.

The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better.

The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. To the self-assertive it says, "Come and assert yourself for Christ." To the egotist it says, "Come and do your boasting in the Lord." To the thrill seeker it says, "Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship." The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public.

The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross.

The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said good-by to his friends. He was not coming back. He was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more.

The race of Adam is under death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life.
That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die.

We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.

God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God's just sentence against him.

What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life? Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God's stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die.

Having done this let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen Saviour, and from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power. The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ.

To any who may object to this or count it merely a narrow and private view of truth, let me say God has set His hallmark of approval upon this message from Paul's day to the present. Whether stated in these exact words or not, this has been the content of all preaching that has brought life and power to the world through the centuries. The mystics, the reformers, the revivalists have put their emphasis here, and signs and wonders and mighty operations of the Holy Ghost gave witness to God's approval.

Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of power, tamper with the truth? Dare we with our stubby pencils erase the lines of the blueprint or alter the pattern shown us in the Mount? May God forbid. Let us preach the old cross and we will know the old power.

----A.W. Tozer

Aiden Wilson Tozer (1897 -1963) wrote and preached of the possibility and necessity for a deeper relationship with God. He lived a simple and non-materialistic lifestyle, he and his wife, never owned a car, preferring bus and train travel. Even after becoming a well-known Christian author, Tozer signed away much of his royalties to those who were in need.

"His preaching as well as his writings were but extensions of his prayer life"

In 1950, he wrote "It will cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages, while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. But it will pay in the long run and the true Christian is not much interested in anything short of that."

God bless and please note Joian and I have a rare "two-for" going today. If you haven't already read Joian's earlier post I hope you scroll down and with the reading are blessed. What a delight it is to share a blog and the Cross with my dear sister. And how much better is it to share Him with you, our readers.

Jack & Joian

(background on Tozer
garnered from Wikipedia)

Fellow Pilgrims

As with so many of us, I have been involved in a lifelong struggle to trust, rarely seeing the bigger picture. I have learned to lean hard on God through it all, not blaming or correcting him. I no longer have answers for all the questions, but that I trust my Father loves me.......and all his children.

Yes, I've come a long way blindly trust, to throw the oar into the river and hang on is scary for us Martha types, at the same time

I will spend the rest of my life living out that message .........perhaps I am circling the mountain for the last time. Coming out of the wilderness as a dead man, experientially so......and singing, Lead On, Oh King Eternal...........

This article below, by one I've come to trust especially moved me. I always see the working of the Lord as he writes, especially shining forth in the love for his wife and family. He has this humble vulnerability and transparency as he shares.

by Jack Gray-excerpt from blog on The Pilgrims Path………

Stepping out Blind
“The destination cannot be described. You will know very little till you get there. You will journey blind. But the way leads to the possession of what you have sought for so long in the wrong place.”

The above quotation comes from T.S. Elliot’s play. “The Cocktail Party.” I read it only a few months after Margaret and I had taken the big step out of organized church and, because it struck me strongly as relevant to the journey we had just embarked on, I noted it in my diary. Now, more than twenty years down the track, I see how true it is. Having been for so long and so deeply involved in institutional church life and activities, it was a venture into the unknown.

All we knew was that God had spoken to us more clearly than ever we had experienced before and called us to break camp and move on saying that if we wanted to know Church His way we had first to die to the old.

That is Father’s way often. When He calls He does not always show us what is ahead or fully reveal the destination he intends but He looks for those who will simply and trustingly obey. That was His way with Abraham when God called him to leave homeland and family to go to a land which he would be shown.

Isaiah has a prophecy along similar lines: “I will lead the blind in a way they know not, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things that I will do, and I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)

I am still on the journey and can testify to the truth both of these words and those of the T.S. Elliot character. Progressively I am coming into possession of what I had sought for so long in the wrong place, a deepening intimacy with Jesus, a fuller understanding of God’s way of Church, and heart fellowship with fellow-pilgrims along the way.

May this be an encouragement to any of hungry heart who hesitate to leave the old ways and step out in faith with their hands in the grip of the sure guide who will show them where to plant their feet.

Joian and Jack