How often, I have chided those that have taken their leave in this world, "Pick up thy cross pilgrim!" The secret is, we cannot assist in this journey, for this walk is all His. To attempt to pick up the cross, but only signals the advent of our pilgrimage of grace. For in lifting the cross, we discover there is only One, that can bear such weight.
With Ellie's series on "Leaving Bethel" I share this message as only an echoing supplement, to her encouraging word. As our sister has shared, we are leaving religion. Religion, is to believe man has a desire to die to self and with it, the ability to carry the cross. Modern Christianity, with it's whorish church system, is built upon the foundation, of this very very false premise. To the greatest contrary, the "cross", is a "God work", so awesomely Holy, man can have no part in it. Only Christ, within can carry the cross and with this, we die even to our effort. Let all Heaven and earth, bow to Him alone, who is Holy and Able!
CHRIST, THE INWARD ROOM WHERE IS
FOUND EVERYWHERE AND EVERYTHING
Pick up thy cross pilgrim. We are leaving the leeks and garlic of Egypt and are moving to the other side!
"And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. In the same way, none of you can be my disciples, unless you give up everything."
(Heb 11:13-16, Lk 14:33)
God's sons are sojourners, heaven bent. They are not here on earth, to gather and take their inheritance on this side. Daniel knew to refuse the pleasant bread and Jesus became the bread, worthy of all those that followed Him. These pilgrims had nary a place to lay their head, save Jesus, the Promise and Pattern Son. So it is, like Jesus, we die to our selves and die to the things of this world, to follow Him on into Resurrection Life. We cannot assist in this journey, for this walk is all His. To attempt to pick up the cross, but only signals the advent of our pilgrimage of grace. For in lifting the cross, we discover there is only One, that can bear such weight. He even stands before us at paradise gate.
Ray Prinzing wrote beautifully about the stranger and sojourner, we have become. Here is one of many inspired messages he wrote. It is entitled the "As a Stranger." I pray it will encourage and bless you.
“By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as a stranger, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Heb. 11:9-10)
It was girded up with faith that Abraham sojourned in the land of promise. He was actually in the midst of that land, it was alongside of him everywhere, yet he kept the status of a stranger, with temporary dwelling of tents. He recognized where his citizenship belonged, even in his fatherland, a realm that was beyond this natural, temporal land, and he knew his seed would inherit it after him, he would not settle down as if this was his permanent dwelling place. He could believe for the promise, even swell in the midst of it, but it was not the totality of his vision. The natural promise and fulfillment were to him only the projection of a vision, and he desired the reality and fulfillment of the greater.
If one is content to live in the midst of signs and symbols, they will not go on into the fulfillment of what that sign was pointing to. Abraham looked beyond – he did not belong to the promise, the promise belonged to him. He belonged to the One that was able to fulfill the promise, and satisfy the inner desires of the heart. To be sure, there are a lot of “promises” which belong to us, but how much do we belong to the PROMISER? Belong to Him Who shall work a total redemption!
God has promised us many natural blessings – they pertain to this LAND, this earthen vessel. Food, clothing, etc., your Father knoweth ye have need of these things. But for all these natural blessings, those who have caught a vision of the greater realities, become a stranger to these things. We will not drive our stakes down and settle for present portions – certainly not for the natural blessings, nor yet even for the spiritual blessings of the “in part.” We look for a greater, “when that which is perfect is come.” (end quote)
My friend, "Heaven on Earth" is a paradisaical realm of unimaginable glory and it lays closer, than the nose is to your face. Only Jesus can unlock the gate, to this paradise. He is even the Gate and Paradise Himself, the Supernal Garden that rests within each of us.
Adam, which be you and me, has left the external paradise for greater still. This new paradise is Christ and He is within. For when we see Him, we'll not care to keep the lesser, which stands without, but instead give all, for the better that rests within.
And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room, an everywhere
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments. and His ways past finding out! For from Him every thing comes; through Him everything exists ; and in Him everything ends! Glory to Him forever! Amen." Rom. 11:33,36
Part 3 ..... “The Inward Bethel....feeding on His life”
In the original story found in Genesis we see how man is given the instructions that he is free to partake of all the trees of the garden EXCEPT from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ....”And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, 'Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.'” (Genesis 2:16-17).
Again, as there are wheels within the wheel, there is an external dimension of Bethel I see as being a place prepared for those that have heard the call ‘to come out of her my people’. This call to leave the man- made church system can be for some, traumatic and for others, liberating. It is a time of questioning everything that one has ever been taught from that system. Up to this point the believer has endured much stripping and purging in order to bring them to this place where they are able to see and HEAR what the Spirit is saying.
Now is the time where the realization hits them that they have been lied to by the Babylonian system and that many things that they have learned are false and this creates such a shaking within their earth. It not only shakes them to the core but it also creates a hunger for THE truth. This hunger is a good thing and the Lord wants to satisfy it with Himself for He is the Spirit of Truth .... and this nourishment can only come about through the eating of His flesh (word) and drinking of His blood (spirit). This is why the Lord leads his called out ones to Bethel/Eden for it is here that they are given a place to rest and be fed. The Shepherd leads them to this garden of
green pastures and once again they too are told that they can eat of every tree of this garden EXCEPT one.
They are given many trees to eat from (trees are symbolic in scripture of representing people). These trees represent the celestial teachers that the Holy Spirit has provided to those who have made the journey to Bethel. They are free to eat from the fruit of these teachers lives. This is a glorious time of eating, drinking, and fellowshipping and this that I speak of is in the Spirit, not literal eating and drinking natural food but partaking of spiritual food and drink. The Lord delights to give us the Kingdom, he delights in our communion with one another for He is the
LIVING BREAD which has come down from heaven....and all those that are joined to Him also become that living bread in the earth.
Let us hear the word of the Lord ... “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I
will give for the life of the world ..... 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. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by
the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. (John 6:51;53-58)(emphasis mine).
I find it interesting that the Lord instructs us that in order for us to live we must do two things, eat his flesh AND drink his blood. He makes it very clear that those who eat of His flesh and drink of His blood He will raise at the last day. Those that are DWELLING IN HIM are those that HE DWELLS IN .... these are they who are eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood. The Lord explains that just as He lives by the Father so too as we eat of Him we will live by Him. Now this is a mystery indeed. This is not a work that we can do but that He does in us. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil.2:13).
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10) He gives us the appetite for His word and gives us the thirst for His Spirit .... He is the one who will “make you perfect in every good work to do His will, doing in you that which is well-pleasing before Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom is the glory -- to the ages of the ages! Amen.” (Heb.13:21). This is rest, knowing that He is the one who brings this about within us. He is the one who gives us the grace to utter the prayer “Lord help me to yield today to your workmanship” and “Lord help me today to learn what it is that you want to teach me”.
Brother Prinzing shares so beautifully this point of how it is all HIS WORK, HIS LIFE that brings this about within us ..... “Though all natural illustrations have their limitations, yet they also give us glimpses into principles of truth. In those areas of our country where we have the change of seasons, with summer and winter, we find there are certain trees, rose bushes, types of shrubbery, etc. that seem to often retain their leaves in the fall -- brown, dead, yet clinging to the branch. The winds and snows of winter cannot remove them. But come spring, with the upsurge of NEW LIFE, the inner life that flows outward through the branch will force the old leaves to fall off, that the new leaves might appear. It does no good to condemn the tree in the fall, the brown leaves hang on. You might carefully try to pick them off one by one. Or, you can wait till that NEW LIFE FLOWS, and then the INNER LIFE accomplishes what all the exterior condemnations could never do.
Furthermore, as the new life emerges, it does not carry on with harsh inditements, "get out of my way, you ugly, dead leaf." It simply LIVES, it quietly expresses its life, and everything that bespeaks of death falls away.
The more we are POSSESSED BY THE LIFE OF THE CHRIST, we will not condemn ourselves, nor anyone around us, concerning the things of the flesh, for HIS LIFE will cause them to drop off, while all the more HE is manifested in the positiveness of His victory.” (End quote).
I love that quote ... it is so beautifully true. How gentle are His ways....truly it is His gentleness that makes us great. How glorious and good is our Father! It really is all about the simplicity of Christ. Did not our Lord teach us how to pray? He instructed us to pray for our DAILY BREAD. Each day I ask my Father to give me His daily bread that He has for me and my family. I also ask for His grace to see it (his daily bread)...for the grace to recognize it when it is given .... and for the grace to learn what it is that He wants to teach me so that I am NOURISHED by Him. He is so good to hear and answer this prayer....for once again it is HIM that is working in me to will and to do ..... all praise to His most glorious name!
What does this daily bread look like to you my beloved? I will tell you what it looks like for me in this season that the Lord has me in. I see his daily bread in the four little loaves that He has given me to raise, these four loaves are my precious little children. I see, taste, touch and experience His daily bread in the glorious gift that He has given to me in my beloved husband. Truly, these five precious loaves that the Lord has given to me is His daily bread that brings nourishment to my body, soul, and spirit. I find His expressions, His words, His tenderness, correction, joy, comfort, encouragement, love, truth, wisdom in the lives/bread of my husband and children .... I am nourished by my Lord through their voices, their hugs and kisses, their laughter, their tears, their questions, their trials, their triumphs ..... many lessons are taught to me through my family....the Lord uses them in such intricate ways to process me and conform me INTO His image. I give you praise Lord ..... oh how I love you so. Oh yes, the Lord also gives to me His daily bread found in the lives of many others as well....those that have shared in His cross, that know Him and His ways. These are those that not only know the written word but have had the breath of the Spirit write it upon their hearts and are now BECOME His living epistles that are read by all men. I praise you Lord.
As we eat of His flesh(Word) and drink of His blood(Spirit) we shall dwell in Him and live by Him. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”(Jhn.15:5) This is UNION. This is the union that Jesus spoke of when ‘Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (Jn.5:19). I am amazed at how the Lord will allow circumstances to touch our lives to not only show us the truth that APART FROM HIM WE CAN DO NOTHING but also to let us EXPERIENCE this truth in our daily lives. I can testify to the truth that I have been learning this lesson daily and I dare say it has been quite painful...for it has been a year of new emptyings, new strippings, new purgings and yet all of this has happened for my GOOD in order that He can FILL me with His strength and BE my strength. It is one thing to quote the verse “The Lord is my strength” .... and quite another thing to KNOW HIM AS STRENGTH....truly this is when the scripture becomes REALITY within. He would have our eyes so singular upon Him that whatever He is gazing at we would be too. He would have our hearts beat in such rhythm with His that whatever moves His heartbeat moves ours too. This is what He is doing within us as we feed on His life....as the old saying goes .... ’you are what you eat’ ..... so true indeed ..... we are becoming ONE in His life.
It is in eating of His flesh that we are renewed in our mind and are able to discern the difference between the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (soul) and the tree of life (spirit).
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb.4:12).
There are many within the ekklesia that have yet to come into the understanding that the Word is LIVING .... the WORD is Jesus Christ Himself .... ”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.” (John 1:14). Not only does He dwell among us but He dwells WITHIN us .... ”Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21).
Just yesterday a dear friend of mine retold a conversation she had with another christian lady. In this conversation my dear friend was retelling how this lady spoke of her love for the Word (the letter) and how she loves those that also see the Word as very black and white. My precious friend was troubled by this statement but didn’t really know why .... I then explained to her the reason she had a check in her Spirit was because THE WORD is living...and COLORFUL .... He is Spirit and in Him is LIFE. “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” (2 Cor.3:6).
These beloved children of God, like this precious lady mentioned above, know Him as the letter. He is the man that walked the shores of Galilee two thousand years ago, the man that fed the five thousand with only a couple of loaves of bread and a few fish. They have read of this man in the holy scriptures and believe in this man. They have even put their trust in this man for their salvation but they still don’t really KNOW this man. They still have not really come to know His voice within. They look to their daily devotional to hear ‘a word’. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a daily devotional, I enjoy reading one too and yet I am very much aware that the Lord uses it as he does with other writings including the scriptures to CONFIRM what He has been speaking WITHIN.
All we have to do is remember back to the dark ages, a period of time where Father’s holy sons and daughters were not permitted to read the scriptures on their own. These saints were not given access to the holy scriptures, they certainly did not have access to any lexicons or a concordance either, and yet it was during this time that some of the greatest REVELATIONS of God were given. How did this happen? Jesus was the LIVING WORD .... they came to know His voice within. As Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). These precious sheep of the dark ages sat at His feet and heard Him. He would then open up their spiritual eyes to see some of the most glorious mysteries hidden in the scriptures. I have been enriched by the broken bread found within the life of a precious daughter of the King that lived in the 1600's. I sit in awe as I read what the Lord allowed her to see and experience. She knew THE WORD on such an intimate level as very few have known Him. She knew His voice WITHIN. This is true for all those that FEED ON HIS LIFE .... I give Him praise even now.
Continued in Pt. 4 “The Inward Bethel .... Sinking Into”
I would like to touch upon the external dimension that I have seen and experienced regarding how this test unfolds within the sojourner’s life as they encounter Bethel/Eden for the first time.
As I have stated in the previous article there is an external dimension of Bethel where it is known as the place in time where one leaves the man-made church system and they come into the realization that they are the ‘church/temple/house of God’.....they don’t have to GO to church....but that they ARE the church. I really don’t like to use the word ‘church’ for its meaning is derived from ‘circus’ (and how true that is and sad at the same time) so I would prefer to use the original word when referring to the Lord’s called out ones and that is the greek word ‘ekklesia’(strong’s G1577).
It really is a liberating time on so many levels when one finally arrives spiritually at Bethel. I remember how freeing me and my husband felt when we finally cut the chord of the ‘church’ and entered into enjoying our weekend. No more having to hurry up and get the family dressed for ‘church’...no more feeling like we had wasted an entire day with church activities and not having enough time to enjoy our family, really all of it was nothing more than works of the flesh and saying good-bye to that was joyful and freeing. It was also a time of child like wonder...of the Holy Spirit introducing us to new teachers...those that have been born OF HIM...established BY HIM... those of HIS KINGDOM. How delightful it was when the Holy Spirit gave to us these heavenly teachers to help us learn of deep kingdom truths.
These teachers are His hidden ones. They are hidden from the masses and shun the spotlight. They have been trained on the back side of the desert for many years and have no desire to build an empire. They only want to please the Father. You will not find their teachings being sold in the market places of Christendom either for they have come to understand that freely they have received so freely they must give. No, you will not find His hidden ones, period; unless they are given to you from ABOVE. This is the time where one comes into the experiential understanding of what John meant when He said, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.”(Jn.3:27). Wow is all I can say.....and I continue to be in awe of all those that have traveled further up Mt. Zion. I honor the Lord in their lives. I appreciate what it has taken and the deaths that they have died in order to manifest more of His life and truth in their earthen vessels....of BECOMING the broken bread that enriches so many.
I love what Ray Prinzing writes about all those that have been called to BECOME HIS BROKEN BREAD..."God is preparing that which shall become “bread for the hungry”. Jesus is the ‘LIVING BREAD which came down from heaven”, (John 6:51), was broken for the world. And now, that which is becoming HIS BODY, becoming in Him “one bread”, (I Corinthians 10:16-17), is also being bruised, broken, as a living sacrifice which shall become the ministration of His life for all of His creation." (end quote).
I give you praise Lord even now for all of your hidden ones, your precious saints that have endured the cross, and are BECOMING ONE with you, to BE your BODY/BREAD that is given for many.
It is during this time of being introduced to new teachers and dining on the richest of fare that the child of God is brought right back to the first test given in Paradise. Yes, this test is still given today. This test is given (and I believe will continue to be given as long as necessary until eventually we pass it) and enter into HIS REST. “ There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” (Heb.4:9-11).
Many within Bethel begin to eat from various trees and this is good for God created these trees and called them good. Trees in scripture are symbolic for people. It is from the fruit found within the lives of these holy teachers that Yahweh has given, that the saints of Bethel eat from and enjoy. These precious lambs that are being raised within this lush garden begin to have a very discriminating palate. They no longer are drawn to the shallow and corrupted teachings they once were fed while dwelling in the Harlot’s house, but now have come to relish the table set before them by the King himself. They are growing up in Him and their inner man is becoming stronger by the day. This is the time where the test begins to unfold to find out what is in the heart, the appetite of the heart.
It is here that one can be drawn away by the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. It is here that gluttony can begin to crouch at the door. Gluttony for more and more knowledge. This is where the temptation comes to allow oneself to be given over to epicureanism found within the soul. The dictionary defines epicurean as one “devoted to the pursuit of sensual pleasure, especially to the enjoyment of good food and comfort.”
Yes, the soul will always look for comfort. It will shun the cross. The gluttonous appetite will take and take. The glutton has no patience to wait upon the Lord, to wait to receive from the broken bread of His life. The broken bread can only be received from His hands....His nail pierced hands. It is in the waiting of life’s circumstances (the cross), the yielding, the
processings, the inworkings, that we BECOME crucified with Christ and have our eyes opened to SEE HIM.
This is where the spiritual glutton misses it. For the glutton only wants more and more knowledge, wants to hear more and more revelation and has no desire to be decreased so that the Lord can be increased. They are enticed by the pride of life to tell and show off all of their new found knowledge and wisdom. Sadly, this is true even for those who have heard the call to sonship. There is a temptation to go and tell others and share all the glorious revelation that they have received in the garden. The motivation of the heart is really about promoting self in order to gather a following. Did not Jesus warn us of this when He said “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” (John 7:18). This is the ego that has now made Bethel into the golden calf. The fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil has now been ingested and SELF has become the idol.
Ah, but those that wait upon the Lord, those that deny self and say yes to His cross, for them there is an entirely different outcome. They become the TREE OF LIFE people.
The truth is that those that say “Yes Lord, not my will, but yours be done” these are those where the message received and ingested becomes the MESSENGER of His life that is manifested.
They become ONE in the message. Christ is now their life.
It is at this point where Bethel is no longer and external dimension of being a place where one is fed, but becomes and internal place of Christ being the source of living water, that flows from the very throne of God.
To be continued......in pt.3.... ‘The Inward Bethel....feeding on His life”
I honor my Father today by sharing this message that He has given to me. My desire is for the Lord’s Kingdom to be increased within all those that read these lines. I have come to learn that I can only give out of what I have received from heaven and that I am to let my light shine so that what I have experienced of His Kingdom advances in others and is multiplied. This is a five part series entitled “Leaving Bethel”. Being prepared for His fullness one has to leave all that they have known to come into all that they have not known. This is leaving Bethel to come into the land of promise.....THE GREEN MOUNTAIN of His life. May the Lord bless you deeply and richly as you journey on with Him to Zion.
Leaving Bethel...for ‘my’ Vermont.
It has been over a year since I wrote my last article ‘Prepare the Way’. There is something so precious about the anointing when one writes...for one understands that they are just the vessel and it is the Holy Spirit that is writing through them. “My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” (Psm.45:1). Little did I know at the time how prophetic that article was and how generous the Holy Spirit was in sharing some deep mysteries. I am humbled and so thankful to my Lord and King. When I speak of it being prophetic I am referring to the Spirit of Prophecy, the Lord Himself, opening up more of HIS WAY within my life and the lives of His people. I look back now and see that it was the Holy Spirit that moved within me to write about the mystery of Bethel knowing that I would only be seeing it from one facet of the jewel.
Bethel means ‘house of God’and just as there are wheels within THE WHEEL the Lord has begun to enlarge my understanding to the deeper truths regarding Bethel and why His sons and daughters must leave it, in order to come into His fullness. I love it when the Lord brings us to that place of hindsight....of looking back, seeing, and understanding His ways. It truly is a precious time of surveying the ground that has been covered and appreciating the intricate details of the journey. That is how I feel today, as one who has come to the mountain top with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation of how my Lord has led me through the plains and valleys in order to arrive at where I am at this point in my journey IN Him. I also am very keenly aware that there is still an upward ascent to an even HIGHER mountain.
This last year has been a tough one for me as I have been allowed to go through some areas of shaking that I have never encountered before. The Lord is in control of all things that touch our lives and so I take comfort in knowing that He is using everything for my good so that I BECOME His will and purpose in the earth. I have been made more tender this year to people that struggle with health issues. I have been made more tender this year toward seeing my own need for the Lord’s mercy and His deliverance. I am amazed at what the Lord uses within our lives to process us and conform us into His image...for it seems that much of this year has been used to conform me into His mercy seat....and it has been painful but I praise Him that He has given me the grace to say ‘yes Lord, not my will but your will be done.”
My beloved precious brothers and sisters in Christ... my prayer is that what I have been learning over this last year and am about to share will be a blessing and will encourage and strengthen you to leave your Bethel(s) so that you can move onward to’ your’ Vermont.
What do I mean by ‘my’ Vermont?
Vermont is derived from two french words....vert (green) and mont (mountain)....literally meaning green mountain. If you were to ask me where I would like to live in the United States of America my quick reply would be Vermont. I have never been but I have this romantic vision of what living in Vermont would be like. Since fall is my favorite season of the year I am captivated by the glorious beauty of the fall foliage that Vermont is renown for. I love how the citizens are commited to preserving and restoring the architecture of their charming villages. I love to read about their organic farms and how the state is known for its maple syrup. I love that the green mountain state seems to take great delight in ‘swimming upstream’... for I sense that the citizens of Vermont are very open minded people and yet grounded.
So, as far as I am concerned with living on this natural plane, this is what ‘my vermont’ looks like.
On a deeper spiritual level my Vermont....my GREEN MOUNTAIN....is the Lord Himself....my inheritance....my promised land...of complete UNION in spirit, soul, and body with Him. Even as I write those words I am aware that I really have no idea as to what that is going to be like....I can peer only so far with the eyes of my spirit for I am still seeing through a glass darkly....and yet I am amazed as He continues to draw me onward to Himself by giving me the grace to follow His light as He leads me to His Holy mountain....all praise to His most Holy name!
“Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, the Sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established,” (Exodus 15:17).
“Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.” (Psalm 43:3).
In “Prepare the Way” the Holy Spirit unfolded this truth....
“The Lord wants HIS BODY/HIS BRIDE to be prepared.....and He has His ministers, His HOLY CHAMBERLAINS that minister to only Him that He will send to those virgins that are still camping out.... these chamberlains are those that know the King’s likes and dislikes....they know His tastes. Some of these virgins are still camping out at Passover....others are camping out at Pentecost....then there are those that have heard the feast of trumpets but are still camping out at BETHEL. Bethel is the place/house that has become VERY COMFORTABLE for them.....for this is the place where usually their beloved earthly teacher is residing....and this is the place where they have learned many deep and profound kingdom truths....but just as Abraham they too must LEAVE THEIR FATHER’S HOUSEHOLD and go to a place I will show you.....a place of the UNKNOWN.....the feast of Tabernacles.
The journey of the Feast of Tabernacles begins at Jordan....the place of descending....this is the place of dying to all that you have known, to come into all that you have not known. This is the INWARD JOURNEY. “
As I wrote that above about Bethel I was writing from the perspective of those that have left the Harlot’s house (the church system of man) and have heard the call of sonship and been given the understanding of the restoration of all things. These are the ones that have had their eyes open to the REAL HOUSE OF GOD... “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16) and for them it is a time of great delight and feasting. All those that have made the journey to Bethel have found that truly there has been prepared for them a place in the wilderness, “And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.” (Isaiah 25:6) Not only is it a place laden with fat things but they also have been supplied with glorious celestial teachers to aid them in their understanding of great Kingdom truths that have been hidden from the masses. It truly is a time of rejoicing, rich fellowship, and FEASTING.
This feasting begins at Bethel. I have come to understand that this place is really a journey back to Eden, for Eden is where we see the first environment given for man to dwell...and this environment of feasting is necessary so that the appetite of man can be tested. For it is in Eden where once again we are given the opportunity to CHOOSE....we can either take from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.....or we can receive the broken bread from the TREE OF LIFE.
As one makes their selection from which tree they will eat from their EYES are opened. If one chooses from the tree of knowledge of good and evil their eyes are open to see self, the soulish life....if however they choose to wait upon the Lord and receive from Him, from the broken bread of His life found through the sharing of His cross, their eyes will be open to see HIM and in so gazing they will see, know, understand and find their TRUE LIFE hidden with Christ in God... “for ye did die, and your life hath been hid with the Christ in God;” (Col. 3:3 Youngs).
To be continued in “Leaving Bethel....the external dimension”....pt. 2.
The Bible is a book of war. “The Lord is a man of war” (Ex. 15:3). Heaven is a realm of war, as well as the earth. “And there was war in heaven” (Rev. 12:7). Jesus is a man of war. “Think not that I am come to send peace of the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Mat. 10:34). “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them” (Rev. 17:14). David was a man of war. “Thou (Absalom) knowest thy father (David) and his men that they are mighty men, and thy father is a man of war” (I Sam. 17:8). David faced Goliath and took his sword. He was a man of war before he met Goliath. David is a type of Christ. His followers were men of war. “And there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker” (II Sam. 3:1). The sons of God follow a man of war! Thank God! as the battle rages the Christ within is waxing stronger and stronger, and the kingdom of the flesh is waxing weaker and weaker. So shall it be fulfilled — the natural man shall be subjected to the spiritual, the flesh shall be ruled over by the spirit, and then shall we see “all things in subjection under His feet” (Heb. 2:8). (author unknown)
All the violence, from the Amalekite baby dashed upon the rocks, to Jesus at Calvary, to the first church martyrs. All sacrificed their lives, that we might know "the Kingdom of God is within." The great and last war is fought within and blessed is the man, with a soul, that has raised a white flag in sweet surrender.
Jesus is Victor. When He rose on the third day, Jesus made death, and all the enemies of our soul His footstool. Those enemies aren't outside, they are within and how very few know this.
With the world in travail, many today are involved in eschatological discussion, searching for apocalyptic signs, to know how and when it will all go down. I personally have not time for discussions of eschatology except to proclaim, I have met the risen Christ and Jesus is Victor. He has taken my rebellious soul captive and laid it to rest in Love. That is my "apocalypse" and my eschatology is "only an eye for Him." Today, I no longer even bother to follow Jesus, for He has swept me off my feet and now He carries me as His surrendered captive in Love.
Ah, Sweet Surrender, Sweet Jesus. For me, they are the same.
In the summer, I love to look up at the stars in the night sky. Partaking of such a heavenly view, I find myself raptured by the random and prodigious thoughts, giving rise in my mind. I even enjoy more, the the rare occasions, upon which I write of the discoveries, scientists have made as they have searched the heavens. With that, allow me to share the thinking of a couple of familiar characters, as they gaze the night sky.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert. After they got their tent all set up, both men fell sound asleep. Some hours later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says, "Kemo Sabe, look towards sky, what you see? "
The Lone Ranger replies, "I see millions of stars."
"What that tell you?" asked Tonto.
The Lone Ranger ponders for a minute then says, "Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three in the morning. Theologically, the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What's it tell you, Tonto?"
"You dumber than buffalo. It means someone stole the tent."
"Jesus does not give recipes that show the way to God as other teachers of religion do. He is Himself the way." Barth
To those liberal Christians, that look beyond Christ, I sometimes want to scream. "DO YOU EVEN KNOW HIM?!" This outrage arises from the very Truth, that above all, Jesus embodies the nature of intimacy in God. God through Jesus, saves all of men. He saves all men, one soul at a time, giving all of His love and all of His life, personally, to each of us.
It seems my outrage turns to sorrow, knowing, the soul that looks beyond Jesus, for his or her needs, has not been made aware of God's intimate care and affection through Jesus, yet.
"We love because he first loved us." 1Jn 4:19
Wesley writes, " We love him, because he first loved us - This is the sum of all religion, the genuine model of Christianity. None can say more: why should any one say less"
The paradox is, that while Jesus died for the whole world, He gave His life for me alone. Those that constantly liberalize Christianity, to where it has no bounds, know nothing of the nature of God's intimacy revealed through Jesus. I am sorry, they do not know this. I, however, am joyous that one day they will. With that my initial outrage turns to sorrow that is finally tempered with joy.
I hope you spend some time alone with Jesus today, and come to know, how very special you alone, are to Him.
FREE WILL, listen to it's vain voice:
"I WILL ascend into heaven, I WILL exalt my throne above the stars of God. I WILL sit upon the mount of the congregation... I WILL ascend above the heights of the clouds; I WILL be like the most High." Isaiah 14:13-14
I saw that scripture rendition of Isaiah. on Roach's new paper and put it together, with some emphasis, while also adding the state of man's vanity. Elwin also succinctly writes of man's mythical free will:
"Such madness makes man's will more sacred than God Himself."
The belief in "free will" comes from the vain spirit, that is ingrained in man. Eventually, we are made to fall by God's hand, that we might recognize our vanity, along with our overwhelming futility. We come to see our true state, as being descendant from the first Adam.
"For the creation was subjected to vanity and futility, not of its own will, but by reason of Him who subjected it, in hope." Rom 8:20
Yes, FREE WILL eventually receives a vanity crushing YOU WON'T, served up as humble pie, by our creator. Oh my, I well know the taste of that bitter meal. O Lord, I indeed do!
Today, that which was once bitter has turned into pure sweetness, and rest to my soul.
When we finally recognize God's absolute sovereignty, we do find glorious rest. We also become a new creation, after the likeness and substance of the Last Adam, our Christ Jesus. Bless His Most Precious and Holy Name!
Just thought to share a new way of illustrating the frustration, that man is born into, that he might know God. The old maxim, "experience is the best teacher" rings true. We must experience the opposing natural carnal nature, with which, we are able to measure, appreciate and hold Holy, the spiritual nature of God. Following our frustration, we are relieved, as we recieve the call to share in the Divine Nature. First the natural then the spiritual (1Cor.15:46).
"The creature was made subject to vanity ..... " (Rom 8:20). So of course, the creature would think himself, a free moral agent (laughing out loud).
Another translation reads, "the creature was made subject to futility." Finally, some render the verse, as "the creature was made frustrated."
So, we might say, by using all three renditions, we have the vain creature chasing his tail in futility and becoming frustrated. Thank God, He pulls us out of this maddening circuit and to Himself, where we find glorious rest in His will, the one and only will.
"Why do we suffer such?" you might ask. One reason is, that in order to measure and realize selflessness, we must know it's opposite which be vanity. The same would be instanced, with futility and omnipotence, also, frustration and rest. So it is, we first suffer, for which to know the glorious well being in God. Thank you Father, for the One, come suffer for, with, in and through us. Thank you God, for Your Christ Jesus and our Christ Jesus, Bless His Most Holy Name!
"Then I realized how bitter I had become, how pained I had been by all I had seen. I was so foolish and ignorant. I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand. You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do." Psalm 73:21-28
"For it is GOD who works in you both to WILL and to DO of His good pleasure" Php 2:13
Yes, it is God, who works in us and His good pleasure is always, toward Love,
Christ has stood by you and He has stood by me. He has stood with is, by us and within us from all time, suffering and rejoicing, living and dieing, as man and as God. Christ died as the first Adam, to be raised as the last Adam. He stands His ground and raises it to Heavens farthest reach. We are Christ's earth, become Christ's heaven. What a plan, what a purpose we find in our Christ as He stands.
Today, many know Christ stands by them, tomorrow they will know He stands in them, and one day they will know they stand in Him. Most importantly, all will realize before Christ stood, Christ stooped. Such is the Love, we know as Christ. All praise be, to man's Christ and to God's Christ!
I am blessed to study and contemplate, what I think, some deep things of God. However, my heart is always moved by the simple testimonies, where God just shows up unexpectedly in someones life. These kinds of stories always bring to me tears of tenderness. Be blessed with your reading of this beautiful account, of His grace bestowed.
The song that silenced the cappuccino machine....
It was chilly in Manhattan but warm inside the Starbucks shop on 51st Street and Broadway, just a skip up from Times Square . Early November weather in New York City holds only the slightest hint of the bitter chill of late December and January, but it's enough to send the masses crowding indoors to vie for available space and warmth. For a musician, it's the most lucrative Starbucks location in the world, I'm told, and consequently, the tips can be substantial if you play your tunes right.
Apparently, we were striking all the right chords that night, because our basket was almost overflowing. It was a fun, low-pressure gig - I was playing keyboard and singing backup for my friend who also added rhythm with an arsenal of percussion instruments. We mostly did pop songs from the '40s to the '90s with a few original tunes thrown in. During our emotional rendition of the classic, "If You Don't Know Me by Now," I noticed a lady sitting in one of the lounge chairs across from me. She was swaying to the beat and singing along.
After the tune was over, she approached me. "I apologize for singing along on that song. Did it bother you?" she asked.
"No," I replied. "We love it when the audience joins in. Would you like to sing up front on the next selection?" To my delight, she accepted my invitation. "You choose," I said. "What are you in the mood to sing?"
"Well. ... do you know any hymns?" Hymns? This woman didn't know who she was dealing with. I cut my teeth on hymns. Before I was even born, I was going to church. I gave our guest singer a knowing look. "Name one."
"Oh, I don't know. There are so many good ones. You pick one."
"Okay," I replied. "How about 'His Eye is on the Sparrow'?"
My new friend was silent, her eyes averted. Then she fixed her eyes on mine again and said, "Yeah. Let's do that one." She slowly nodded her head, put down her purse, straightened her jacket and faced the center of the shop. With my two-bar setup, she began to sing,
"Why should I be discouraged? Why should the shadows come?"
The audience of coffee drinkers was transfixed. Even the gurgling noises of the cappuccino machine ceased as the employees stopped what they were doing to listen. The song rose to its conclusion.
"I sing because I'm happy; I sing because I'm free. For His eye is on the sparrow And I know He watches me."
When the last note was sung, the applause crescendo to a deafening roar that would have rivaled a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall. Embarrassed, the woman tried to shout over the din, "Oh, y'all go back to your coffee! I didn't come in here to do a concert! I just came in here to get somethin' to drink, just like you!"
But the ovation continued.. I embraced my new friend. "You, my dear, have made my whole year! That was beautiful!"
"Well, it's funny that you picked that particular hymn," she said.
"Why is that?"
"Well . .." she hesitated again, "that was my daughter's favorite song."
"Really!" I exclaimed.
"Yes," she said, and then grabbed my hands. By this time, the applause had subsided and it was business as usual.. "She was 16. She died of a brain tumor last week.."
I said the first thing that found its way through my stunned silence. "Are you going to be okay?"
She smiled through tear-filled eyes and squeezed my hands. "I'm gonna be okay. I've just got to keep trusting the Lord and singing his songs, and everything's gonna be just fine." She picked up her bag, gave me her card, and then she was gone.. Was it just a coincidence that we happened to be singing in that particular coffee shop on that particular November night? Coincidence that this wonderful lady just happened to walk into that particular shop? Coincidence that of all the hymns to choose from, I just happened to pick the very hymn that was the favorite of her daughter, who had died just the week before? I refuse to believe it. God has been arranging encounters in human history since the beginning of time, and it's no stretch for me to imagine that he could reach into a coffee shop in midtown Manhattan and turn an ordinary gig into a revival. It was a great reminder that if we keep trusting him and singing his songs, everything's gonna be okay.
I also found a new dimension in the love of my children and friends. I was privileged to see over and over “Christ” as he came through their lives to me. Our Father has mixed the bitter and sweet together and uses it as he wills……..he is God, I am the clay………in that knowledge I have learned to be content.
My trip to the pit of hell started in ER. I had endured a series of blood tests and lots of poking and prodding in the previous weeks as they tried to determine why I was not getting better. I was scheduled for a sonogram the following Monday. Early one morning awakened by pain, I questioned when deliverance would come. I finally heard the Lord clearly say; this time it is necessary to “go through” what lies ahead. I had no idea what “going through” fully meant but it sounded like it had a beginning and an end…….with that, I began to lean back and trust.
It has taken over two months to come to grips with all that happened during that time. A cancerous tumor was located in the intestine, just above the colon and was removed, along with a third of my colon. Fifteen lymph nodes and my appendix were also taken for good measure. The blockage was so critical it nearly burst my small intestine. We were later informed surgically removing the tumor released cancer cells throughout the rest of my body via blood cells. In my surgeons’ opinion, I would require chemo therapy to stop the spread of cancer.
I awoke with tubes everywhere and in the worst pain I had ever experienced. I would taste an ongoing, kind of hell for the next three days. I felt like my bed had been placed in the center ring at a circus, with all the sites and sounds of the same.........lol
The second afternoon home from the hospital, I awoke from a nap feeling a tangible presence of the Lord. It was almost as if I lay curled in his arms. We talked of the recent events and my fears. I told the Lord I was willing to go through the chemo therapy and that if I lived or died I trusted him. His reply was that I would not die and that I was not to go through chemo. In such a weakened state it rather frightened me to think of bucking the Drs. and possibly my family. I thought “whew” if I miss your voice I could be in big trouble. To which he answered, “Honey, I will send messengers who will make the way plain, you will not miss me once.” Then he added, “I will lead you in the gentle way”. Just then my daughter knocked at the bedroom door to let me know my brother-in-law and sister-in-law had just stopped by, and did I feel like seeing them? Thus began a most remarkable journey as the first two messengers had arrived.
My sister-in-law is a three year survivor of breast cancer. She refused radiation after the removal of a malignant breast tumor. Her prognosis was 2-5 years. Yet today she remains cancer free. They began to share the journey of the past three years with me and my family. Before they left they had pointed me to the beginning tools of my recovery. I took everything they said, as if they had been angels sent from the Lord. They introduced me to a foundation called Hallelujah Acres and left four DVDs. One from Hallelujah Acres, two by Dr. Lorraine Day and another called “Healing Cancer From Within” from the book, “The China Project”. I would spend the next two months learning how to……live again.
The next messenger would be a close family friend. Maria is almost family, as her brother married one of my daughters. She is also a professional masseuse. I have referred dozens of clients to her and go as often as possible myself. She has always been the frosting on the cupcake of life…..lol. When she heard I had cancer she began to pray for me. That same night she had a dream from the Lord. Among other things, he told her to anoint me with a specific oil for my healing. The next morning she searched through her essence oils and was surprised that she had an unopened bottle of those very oils spoken of in the dream, a blend of frankincense and myrrh.
It would be weeks before either of us could meet as she was suddenly taken to the hospital the next day with what they thought was a mini stroke. As we both recovered I searched out more information on frankincense and myrrh. I found that Moses was instructed to mix a small amount of myrhh into the frankincense that was used for incense in the temple. Myrhh is described as bitter, while frankincense is called sweet. I was struck by the symbolism to life’s mixture of bitter and sweet. It is in the bitter; I find the deep parts of HE himself.
A month passed before I was able to meet with Maria. We both cried as she anointed my head with oil. As she moved to anoint my feet; I felt the presence of the Lord just as if he were standing physically in the room, his hands on my head. Maria was massaging my feet as the power of his being went through me. It touched her so strongly she needed to lean against the wall to remain upright. I believe we both experienced healing that day….three hours would pass like a minute as we shared in the Glory of his presence. Truly….Living is IN and through Christ ~ to DIE will be nothing but GAIN!!!
One final hallelujah before I close. Two weeks ago my daughter Amy sent me a link to an alternative cancer site she found. It was founded by a 78 year old man named Bill Henderson. Bill authored the book “Cancer-Free”, which was written several years after losing his wife to the disease. It exposes the ignorance practiced by medical doctors and alternatives to the poison called chemo therapy.
The website contained a newsletter that is filled with encouraging stories and links. There is also a podcast site where Bill interviews doctors and cancer survivors. It is literally packed with information and links to other sites including the protocol I am using for healing. I read for several hours and was in the process of saving the site address to my favorites when I saw its name, http://www.beating-cancer-gently.com/. I burst into tears, the Lord had left another sign post along the way……..how faithful is our Father who intertwines us each with the other, and oversees our lives down to the smallest detail, GENTLY leading us.
Rest in Christ
Rest in Peace
We rejoice with you, in your perfect never ending day.
Please be assured my SONSHINE friends, I have not bailed on our blog. Instead, I have only been called, to spend a season in a another place. That place, where I have writing of late, is Facebook, which has turned into fertile ground for the publishing of the real "Good News" and the deeper truths of God. It has been a tremendous blessing and if you frequent the verdant pastures of Facebook, please make a friend request of me.
With that report of my whereabouts. allow me to share, that for some time, Ellie and myself have been enjoying weekly phone visits, whence we are blessed to share His anointing. Our conversations are filled with the telling of the events of our everyday lives, lived in Christ. Also, we share the glad records. of that which we both are learning of our precious Lord. Ah, my friends these visits have truly been times of blessed refreshment as our Lord fills our thoughts. It is indeed wonderful, to dwell with brethren and as we go deeper into God, it seems we tread a common path with fewer and fewer of the saints. I can only say, "God bless, those of you, that are being drawn to highest reaches of God's Holy Mount, where New Jerusalem rests.
Now, before getting back to Ellie, let me interject, that this week on Facebook, I have been telling of my Father's burial at Arlington National Cemetery. The formal ceremony took place Monday, while my Dad had died in October. Because of my illness, I was not able to attend the burial, yet still, our good Lord made a way that I would have a part. It seems the attending Navy Chaplain had asked my Father's wife, Lois, if the family might have a few scriptures they would like read at the burial. This request in turn, gave way to Lois asking me to think of a few verses that I thought would be meaningful and appropriate for the occassion. Seems, I soon discovered, I had received a much more difficult assignment, than first envisioned. I also appreciated that difficulty, because I knew of One that thrived in difficult places and He has a way, of doing all things well.
Yes, what seemed a simple chore, became difficult as I realized that "the sea" should of course be the theme of a eulogy, fit for a career Naval officer. If you understand types in the Bible, you already know, "the sea" in scripture represents tumultuous humanity. So as I previously reported, I was completely stymied. Finally, after a time and with repeated calls as to the where abouts of these sought after verses, I sat down to type. I called on the Lord and instead of a couple scriptures or even a Bible passage, we wrote a book (lol). Of course I kid about the "book". However, let me say, that which I felt led to write was way more than I think anyone expected, including me.
So truthfully, I was surprised and even more so pleased, that my message was actually read by the Chaplain. I was equally edified, with the repeated reports, saying my part of the eulogy was the most moving. In writing these words, I felt empty of self and at a loss, only praying this message would be His. When I typed out the closing sentences of this message, I thought, "oh my, this is much too esoteric."
Then I thought, "I don't expect this to be read, so what the heck."
After all, my father's widow had only asked me for a couple scriptures to be recited.
So back to Ellie, it was today, she asked that I might share this message on SONSHINE. Bless her heart, the great encourager, she is. I had earlier E-mailed Ellie, the message and she thought it grand. So without further adieu. let me get to the message, First please allow me a prelude, by quoting the following excerpted words, from the whole of the message. These are thoughts, that surprised me, when I typed them. By the way, "Charles" is my Dad and following this excerpt, is my explanation of this which I quoted.
"Be assured, dear family and beloved friends, today, Charles enjoys the unimaginable beauty of still waters, full of peace, joy, love and mercy. And in a most mysterious way, all that have known and loved Charles in this life, are there enjoined with Him. So glorious, so grand and beyond description is this Mystery, we know as Christ ...... 'Christ', the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End of all things. Amen"
So it is, dear reader, I believe that, in the highest heaven, where time is of a different rhythm, God's purposeful plan is finished. With such a blissful state, even you and me are found complete in Him. We sit, even today, in the highest place, resting as complete in Christ. That is indeed "esoteric", and as with the meaning of the word, this truth is only known in this present world, by the initiated and enlightened of Christ. What a wonder, this Christ of ours and what mystery, that today, WE ARE BECOMING WHAT WE ALREADY ARE!
Yes, on Monday afternoon I had tears, when I was told such wondrous words of hope were read at my Dad's burial. It was a good day, because God is good. The following, is that which was recited in it's entirety and I am pleased to say, I still continue to receive more calls and mailings telling of how moved everyone was by this, which I believe was penned by His hand. Many said they wept, as they felt God's comfort come from out of this message. Bless His Holy Name!
Commander Charles A. Hennessey, US Navy retired (1920-2009)
The following thoughts are taken from the sacred scriptures found in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 21. This message was recorded by Jack, son of Charles, at the bequest of Charles' wife, Lois and on behalf of Charles' family.
Charles, husband and father, as we knew him, was a career oceanfarer, well acquainted with the storm driven, tumultuous sea. In the Holy Bible, the unruly sea is well used, as a descriptive metaphor, for our unsettled humanity. Each of us has been assigned a space of time, in the midst of humanity on earth. In this time, even a long life is measured, as but a fleeting breath in the face of eternity. In this short life, even the best of days enjoyed on earth, carry with it a subtle tension, for want of the perfect endless day in a perfect world. So it is, a perfect day in such a world, we are all given. With this life's duties end, we will all come as Charles has, to find and enjoy the perfect rest. Such wondrous bliss, is found besides Heaven's still living waters, poured forth for us, by our creator and redeemer, Christ Jesus.
Today, we bury the remains of Charles' body in honorable remembrance, knowing. his seafaring soul has departed. The spirit and soul of Charles, was called to home port and to Heaven's restful leave, in the fall of last year. Dust and memories, only, were left to remain. Charles' homecoming, was made the perfect day, when he was met by His Savior and Lord, Christ Jesus. Ages ago, Jesus, had gone before Charles, to make all things new. So it was on Heaven's entrance, just before Charles took his rest in paradise, Jesus stood and wiped away the tears from this seafarers face. With that Jesus assured, there would be no more death, sorrow, or pain in this new and perfect world. All the old things had passed away, upon entrance to this glorious rest, prepared for Charles, by Christ, his Redeemer.
Be assured, dear family and beloved friends, today, Charles enjoys the unimaginable beauty of still waters, full of peace, joy, love and mercy. And in a most mysterious way, all that have known and loved Charles in this life, are there enjoined with Him. So glorious, so grand and beyond description is this Mystery, we know as Christ, Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End of all things.
Rest in Christ, Charles. Rest in Peace. We rejoice with you, in your perfect never ending day. Amen.
by Vachel Lindsay
Though I have watched so many mourners weep
O'er the real dead, in dull earth laid asleep—
Those dead seemed but the shadows of my days
That passed and left me in the sun's bright rays.
Now though you go on smiling in the sun
Our love is slain, and love and you were one.
You are the first, you I have known so long,
Whose death was deadly, a tremendous wrong.
Therefore I seek the faith that sets it right
Amid the lilies and the candle-light.
I think on Heaven, for in that air so dear
We two may meet, confused and parted here.
Ah, when man's dearest dies,'tis then he goes
To that old balm that heals the centuries' woes.
Then Christ's victory cry in all the streets is rife:—
"I am the Resurrection and the Life."
A risen Christ shares victory over, our every hard and broken place. Life out of death; how would life or death, take upon meaning, would one be absent from the other. So we come to know them both, finally settling and resting upon life, His Life, Precious and Eternal.
May we find the occasion, of every day, to settle and rest our hope upon You, dear Jesus,
"If anything about my salvation or right standing with God depends on my faithfulness, I'm toast, damned to hell." Gavazoni
As of late I have been writing and contemplating the "matter of man" and it was a few days ago, that Joian sent to me, an amazing prayer. This prayer, quoted below, expresses that which I believe I am making a strong case for with my "matter of man" messages. That objective is , that man is purposed as utterly futile, in the face of God's almighty power and all knowing wisdom. Although not by the same words, I have prayed this very prayer. I would describe this below, as a creed of complete surrender or better yet, and with more of a catch, a "LET GO, LET GOD" prayer.
Be blessed dear reader.
A Personal Prayer of Faith
Over the years of Christian publishing it has been popular to issue collections of prayers. I will share a prayer with you that you’ll probably not find in one of these collections.
God works to bring us to a place of weakness, so that we might be totally abandoned to Christ alone as our life. On many such occasions the Father has so moved in my life as to pray a faith-emboldened prayer similar to what I will now share with you. I do so for the encouragement of our many dear readers who have experienced this same working of Dad in their hearts and lives as well.
The following prayer is based on Philippians 2:13:
For it is God Who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
I seem so lost most of the time. My life and heart appear to be such a big mess. I have no idea what I am doing or where I am going, let alone what I should be doing, or where I should be going, or even who I really am. My heart aches and is so heavy. I give up!
After all, it’s not about me anyway, right? I can’t live the Christian life. I never could. I never will. It’s You or nothing – but, the mess of my life is You working in me. You said so! You said that I was Your workmanship; You started me, You will complete and finish me. I am the workmanship, You are the worker. I am the clay, You are the potter. That’s all there is to it.
I know that You know what You are doing, and Your Word is true. So, if You want to make a complete mess out of my life – have at it. I am Yours, and I am Your work. So I quit. If anything is going to get done then You’ll have to be the one Who does it. After all, that’s what YOU said, right? So, You must want this mess. Therefore by faith I will quit and let You do whatever You want with me.
You said that You work in me to “will” and to “do.” So, I don’t “want-to” anymore. So, I quit. All I know to “do” anyway is what I have been taught all my life to “do” from the religious system; and if I know anything, that is all empty and vain, and it doesn’t even work. Yet it is all I have known. So, I quit – and since You work in me to “will,” I am not going to “do” anything else with my spiritual life unless I “want” to, and right now I don’t “want” to do anything.
My heart is so heavy, it is so empty, and You are responsible. After all, You are God, not me. You are the Potter, not me. You are the Father, not me; and God, the Potter, and the Father are all responsible agents!
So, if You do give me a “will” to do what You want, You also are just as responsible to “do” it in me. You said so! Then even if You work the “will” in me, I will make a mess out of everything, because even if I have the “want-to” I can’t “do” it either. I don’t even know how. So, You’ll have to do both parts, just like You said you would do. Therefore if I don’t “want” to do anything, and nothing gets “done” then it will just be Your fault, because I am just a creature – You’re the One Who is the Creator. So there, I quit. Now it’s all up to You. I am just going to trust You; You are all that I have, and I am going to rest in You. My quitting is going to be, for me, an act of faith. I am going to rest in this quitting, because my quitting is trusting You. I am NOT trusting You to help me; I just quit. I am trusting You to do it all Yourself. After all, You are God, and You’re responsible.
If by chance You don’t follow through with what You said, I am going to hold You responsible on the Day of Jesus Christ. When I stand before You, You’ll see what You made, and if You don’t like it – well, I’m Your workmanship, I’m Your creation, so you can’t blame me. If my life is just a big mess, it will be Your big mess, because I am just Your creature, and You made me weak and subject to vanity. I didn’t even ask to be here; I am a product of Your Own making. It all happened on Your watch. If You expected anything different out of me – in the weakness of who I am without You – then You were supposed to provide the “will” and the “do.” You said so!
Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
LIFE IN THE HOOD, "The Culinary Adventures of Monsieur Hennessey"
My two French dogs staged a sit in, today. They had been sitting and barking all day below the kitchen counter with the simmering pot of Beef Bourguignon. I took pity and dipped a few milk bone treats in the du jour for them. Burning my fingers, I accidentally dropped one into the mix, amidst the baby potatoes, onions and carrots. Try as I could, I never located it. So now, I repeatedly circle the doggies in the kitchen. Occasionally bowing my head to them , I exclaim with my best Julia Child voice, "BONE APPETIT !!"
Next time you see a dog and it is wagging it's tail, know the dog is laughing. They laugh with the wrong end but hey, it's all good in the neighbor hood, where children shout, dogs wag their tails and Aunt Sally sits in the parlor cracking the seal of a second bottle of gin.
Someone once wrote, "laughter is an instant vacation" and I am blessed to have a lot of friends and a few animals, that I think of as travel agents. My life has been bit tough as of late and I don't want people to cry for me, but instead laugh with me. Seriously. lol
So let's really get serious now, as we pick up again, our series on the "Matter of Man." Before we look at the natural law and the sense of mortality, placed in Adam, from the get go, let's explore the first man's overall nature. Keep in mind, this nature is "the matter of man, which is the matter of the world."
The Fall of Man?
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "
4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"
Some say it's the oldest trick in the book, man reaching to become like God. Is it really a trick? Heavens No! It is not a trick, but instead a plan, purposed according to the will of God. And as Adam before us, we each must experience the same "reaching to become as God." It is all according to plan, purposed in a mysterious love called, Agape. Maybe instead of the "fall of man" it should be called "God's plan for man."
The Cursed Creation?
20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it . . . . . "
This is an incredibly important scripture, should we care to understand Adam and his progeny, which includes you and me. It also includes Aunt Sally, in the parlor breaking the seal to her second bottle of gin, today. Yes, this verse in Romans paints the original picture of man, the natural man, Adam, you and me and also the drunk lady in the parlor. In the context of this verse, the creation or "creature", as some translations render it, is created to "frustration." This word "frustration" comes from the Greek word, "mataiotays" and in other translations, it is rendered "futility" and "vanity." I often share this verse, in this way (below), to give greater meaning to Adam's sore plight, which is man's sore plight.
"For the creation was subjected to frustration/vanity/futility, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it ...."
One commentator explains, that this term "mataiotays" applies to our "inward vanity or emptiness of the mind." So the creature, Adam, as created is "non rational and empty of mind." This emptiness is as far from the "mind of Christ", as one can get. I won't go as far as the aforementioned commentator, with regard to "Adam's emptiness", because I believe, Adam, is not really empty but filled with an unbearable tension and I will get into that subject in proceeding blogs, Lord willing. As for now, let us look at Adam, the first man, as having a form of child like innocence, not knowing good from evil. However, there is a plan, and Adam's eyes will be opened shortly and try as he can, Adam will never be able to rid himself of that which he will see and experience, because of his reaching for the forbidden. This reaching for the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, is the beginning of all dead works and these works, will fill Adam's life, as it did, each of our lives. The vain futile works, born of frustration, will take their deadly toll until "the wondrous hope" is first glimpsed and finally fully realized. This glorious hope is the fullness of life, obtained from, in and through Christ Jesus, the last Adam and man's Creator, Saviour and Lord.
"For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,"
Yes, there is a second part of this all important verse, we know as Romans eight and twenty, and it speaks of "hope." With this most high and supernal of all "hope", meaning is given to the "curse of creation." The curse, all along has had a plan to it. And with the realization of the perfect plan, the curse is miraculously made into a blessing. Such is the "mystery of Christ", who makes all things good in time. Thus it is, I believe, that "frustration, futility and vanity", gain purpose and are necessary , to understand and measure their opposites, found in "peace, strength, and fulfilment." Every created thing in the cosmos, must have it's counterpart, in order to take measure and render rational meaning, to our existence in God. There is no rest without frustration, there is no selflessness without vanity, there is no fulfilment without futility. The antonyms are endless and before Adam and all his children will be through, they will fill the book of life with all the opposites. And in the end all the antonyms will be reconciled, finding meaning within a solitary and single synonym, "JESUS."
What the first Adam's vanity could never realize, the Last Adam's selflessness will reveal. This has all been planned, purposed and reconciled, within the perfect care of an unfathomable love called Agape. So it is, we will come to rest in the last day, when all things are realized and measured perfectly in Christ.
But hold on! Even when all is perfect, there must come, the dawning of a brand new day and a more glorious day. This is because, an "unfathomable Love" must always spread it's wings further and more perfectly, encompassing all the more, for ever and ever. Selah. O Lord, let us forever enjoy the thrill of experiencing a new and greater measure of your unending love. You are immeasurable and beyond wonderful!
"Love is life's end, but never ending. Love is life's wealth, never spent, but ever spending. Love's life's reward, rewarded in rewarding."
In His Sweet Lord Jesus,
Might you feel like you have missed something in life? Maybe you share a painful longing for someone, or you fear missing a future event. Some of you may even suffer the loss of a facet of your living. In other words, you can no longer enjoy living as you once did, because of a present situation. If so, I thought to share one of my favorite messages of encouragement, that it seems, I rewrite in the spring of every year. I am ever the consummate perfectionist when it comes to sharing my writings, because they firstmost, are gifts of love to God and He deserves the best. Secondly, His saint's are the body of my God's Son, so I write with care toward you.
It happens that today is St Patrick's Day, which is my daughter's very favorite day of the year. Her name is Erin, which is the Gaelic rendering of "Ireland" and the home of St. Patty. So it is no wonder, my Erin should proclaim March 17, "the best day in all the year." The following is a story surrounding a miraculous event that took a place some years ago. This tale speaks of an occurrence of profound intimacy between Erin, God and myself. This recounted experience is one reason, I can write fearlessly on the subject of death, as I have been of late on our blog. With the reading of the last paragraph of the following message, I sincerely hope you will find encouragement in life's disappointments. I have red fonted this particular section, for it is profoundly pregnant with the hope, I wish you to share with me. Be blessed dear reader.
INTO A DAUGHTER'S HEART
If you have ever laid in bed and wept because of a person you will forever miss or occasions and enjoyments you have been deprived of due to one hard circumstance or another, I pray this story will soften your pain. I wrote this account a couple years ago and even today, it is one of my favorite writings ever. It seems even the original emotions, once so deeply felt as I originally typed this story out, have been made afresh as I read through it once again this morning.
I want to share a most extraordinary experience I had a few years ago, when God for one second took me out side the parameters of this world and deep into the heart of my daughter.
My only daughter Erin, upon entering the University of Kansas, received a letter from the Athletics Dept. inviting athletic freshmen women to try out for the KU Women's Rowing Team. Having been a recreational runner through out high school and being bold of spirit, Erin decided to give it a try. After many challenging hours of painstaking training, she was accepted onto the Novice Rowing Team. The following year for all her hard work, Erin was then elevated to the Varsity squad and awarded a full four year athletic scholarship.
It seems almost four years had gone by, since Erin had entered college and because of the distance and my lack of funds I was never able to visit my daughter on campus nor see any of her races. I knew that it was a "must" that I at least attend the last home rowing regatta of her senior year. This last race was an event, which included the KU Athletics Dept. putting on a large BBQ for all the rowing fans. Also included, was a ceremony honoring the parents of the graduating senior crew members, along with their daughters.
My ex-wife and Erin's mother, not being able to attend this event, just raised the stakes higher for me to be there. Three weeks away and after much prayer, I still saw no way, that I was going to be able to afford a flight to Kansas for the race. I was just heart broken and I was letting God know in prayer, how disappointed I was, when in the midst of my petitions, I received a phone call from my sister. She offered to fly me out to Erin's race. It seems, Jill, along with her partner and two of my other sisters were all going to be flying in for Erin's celebratory weekend. For a surety, they wanted me there also.
Lest I take from my dramatic event, I will tell you now, that we ended up with about fifteen Erin supporters in our crowd. When we left Lawrence Kansas following the big weekend, we found we were the talk of all the girls and their parents, as they marveled at the fun and exuberance we had in loving and rooting for our girl, Erin. All of us in the group were stone sober during our whole of our stay but because of our joy we were often asked what magic elixir, we might be drinking. lol
One other exceptional event I want to share, that lends support to God's miraculous ways, concerns an oversight of mine that became apparent at the Kansas airport. I found myself in a trying dilemma, when upon securing my reserved rental car, it was noticed my drivers license was expired. This negated any use of one of their rental automobiles. My daughter's apartment was a long forty miles away. As I was standing out on the curb, contemplating how I was going to complete my journey, a woman in a van drove up. She asked me if I had notice particular group of people waiting for a shuttle. I replied, "no" and then asked her where she might be going. She told me Lawrence, which is where my daughter lived and where the university is located. The driver, then told me to hop in, after I told her of my destination. Now, that's God's curb side service and it sure seems He knew, I would never once, be in need of an automobile the whole time I was in Kansas..
I spent five days in my daughter extra bedroom that week and I would accompany her each afternoon to the river for rowing practice. In those five days, I was blessed to enjoy all of her day to day activities, meet all her friends and visit all her haunts. It could not have been a more enjoyable and precious time, even without my miraculous experience which was soon to come.
So the big day of the race and celebration has arrived and it is an absolutely stupendous day to spend on the river. The weather was warm and still with not a cloud in the sky. We watched all the early races, with Erin in our company, while anxiously awaiting the final and most important race of the day. I am weeping right now, as I begin my account of what shall take place during this next event; Erin's last ever home race of her rowing career.
Being an ex-professional photographer I had brought my old 35mm. camera with all the lenses so I might capture the events of that day. I was set up on the shore about fifty yards in front of the finish markers, in anticipation of getting that perfect shot. This was where Erin and her team mates will absolutely be giving it their all, during the final yards of the course. It was so amazing to feel the heightened anticipation within the crowd and more so myself, as the boats came into sight, a mile away. The closer they came the louder the crowd cheered and as the teams closed in to where I was, every one was standing, shouting and clapping as loud and as hard as they could. Just as the Kansas boat, which was in a narrow lead, barely passed where I was standing, I readied my camera with it's long telephoto lens on Erin, for that planned shot. Looking through the lens, it was hard to comprehend the beauty of the rhythm of eight girls rowing together, while exerting every last ounce of their energy and strength for the last few meters of their final race.
I tightened in my focus and moved from the whole of the boat to where I could just view Erin's form, filling up the frame. I fine-focused and as I hit the shutter button it happened! In one single, incredible mind altering, fraction of a second, God took me deep into Erin's precious heart and I experienced every moment she had given to rowing in the last four years. I felt in my own heart, every ache and blister she had ever suffered during those years. I gloriously experienced all the joy she had received and also the whole of the disappointment she had endured during her four long rowing seasons. I tasted deeply the spirit of camaraderie she shared with her many boat-mates along with the encouragement, sisterhood, and closeness that had grown strong between them. Incredibly, I also was given understanding, of all the days Erin had gotten up at five in the morning to train in the cold and rain plus all the evenings she dragged herself home after a second practice to do piles of homework. Piercing my heart, was also the pure pleasure she enjoyed, knowing how very proud her Dad and everyone was of her, on this day. I could truly go on page after page describing what I experienced and saw in that smallest increment of time, when my camera shutter opened and closed during that perfect shot.
I believe I was the only parent that day that had tears in their eyes at the finish of that race. My sisters and our group of friends really gave me some razzing hell, upon noticing my face awash in my tears. If only God would have allowed me tell them the reason. It seemed this miracle I had just experienced, was just too precious for Him, also.
So I end by telling you, until I have left this earth, I shall never forget how God took me beyond the dimensions of time and space that incredible and amazing day. Miraculously, He allowed me to enter into my daughter's heart and experience all that I had once feared, I had missed. I can't help but believe this most miraculous occurrence was a foretaste of what we will all experience on that day, when we are made complete in Him. Since that miracle, I have been assured many times in payer, that I need never feel sad that I have missed anything of this world, because it is all being kept in store to be enjoyed throughout eternity.
And people wonder why I cry sometimes when I tell them how much I love God. Who could ever give you a gift like that!
PS. There is a rain storm taking place over my key board right now, but I want to also tell you that Erin went from a walk-on to being named 'captain of the rowing team" and "Oars Woman of the Year." Today a plaque in Erin's honor, along with many photos of her rowing, hang on the walls of a brand new state of the arts boat house and training center. That new boat house stands in the very spot, where once, for the smallest instance of time, a glimpse of eternity was experienced. God is good.