Satan’s Scourge


 

 

Crafty demon you are,

picking on God’s

children like a

schoolyard

Bully.

Tear sinew,

rip flesh from

bone.

Break my bones

if their crack

brings delight to

your fallen

Spirit.

Sear my flesh,

Oh, Beautiful One,

if my cries lighten

your burden.

 

Let your scourge

test my resolve.

Loose your

wickedness

upon this

broken

shell.

 

For, your realm

is in decay.

Hell’s

foundations are

crumbling.

You are

in

your

final

death

Throes.

 

So, break this

body if you must.

Brand my flesh, rob

me of all Earthly

Beauty, for

your end

is

Near.

 

I

Stand against

you

with God’s

Army Angels

standing as a fortress

in front,

at both flanks

and legions after

legions bringing up the

rear.

 

Take this useless frame,

twist it,

turn it,

burn it

but you will

never lay claim

to

my

Soul.

 

“Come Lord Jesus, Come.”

Revelations 22:20

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ANGELS


I beg my reader’s indulgence to allow me to write of a subject I know little about but am pursuing in earnest. Angels, who are they, what are they and how do they fit into God’s creation?
Large portions of society have designated this group of beings as some type of spiritual being that can or cannot be attached to the belief or existence of God. People are very vague in tying down their beliefs but often attribute the unexplainable to that of the work of these unseen beings or random luck. If you do believe in God and Christ as your savior then are you supposed to buy into this whole fuzzy angel subject? Well, I do not believe it to be a fuzzy subject at all because angels are documented all throughout scripture fulfilling critical purposes. They have names and are given specific jobs to complete. Some are messengers, such as Gabriel who played a critical role in and around the birth of Christ by telling both Mary and Joseph of the holy conception. He also announced John’s coming as well. He is recorded all throughout the scriptures as delivering this message or that to humans. Then Gabriel announced Christ’s birth to all the shepherds and was backed up by a heavenly choir. So we know there are messengers and singing angels who play musical instruments as well (Luke 1: 11, 1:19, 1:26 & Daniel 8:16, 9:2 [not a total reference list]).
We know through the prophets, Daniel, Jude, Elijah and many more that there is a great and fierce warrior angel that is in charge of God’s heavenly armies and his name is Michael. (Daniel 10:21, 10:13, 12:1 & Jude 1:9 & Revelations12:7). In 2 Kings 6:17, Elisha prayed that the eyes of the fear-filled servant would be open. The servant saw all the angel armies surrounding Elisha with the glow of fire all around them. This is a good story to illustrate the power and need of prayer. So many discount prayer as a weak instrument or a last resort but it should always be first and continual. Angel armies fighting for men at the behest of God who answered the holy prayers of his children.
I do not know if I would be grateful for the gift of seeing these ‘unseen’ battles between angels and the forces of evil. Humanity cannot win over heavenly beings so when the armies of the Lord go against humanity, it is a certain slaughter. Again and again, there are examples of God’s angels answering prayers, consoling others, directing, teaching, saving from harm, delivering messages, and making reports to our Creator. We have guardians surrounding us fighting the battle we cannot see but I certainly assure you that you may suffer glancing blows from the evil forces. In Matthew 18:10, Jesus tells us directly, “see that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in Heaven.” This tells me that God has appointed guardians over his children because he loves us and they communicate with our heavenly Father about us.
This topic of the unseen world of angels and demons caused me to engage in some deep pondering. How weary the angels must be because of humanity. Sure, the angel population has been around long, long before humanity was created and they have had battles with evil before us but just think of how much more work they have because of how often we screw up. I could not help but feel saddened for them. They never get a break and humans are not running out of ideas of how to sin and create more evil on this planet.
We only have a small glimpse into this other unseen world so we are infants in our understanding. There are so many unknown mysteries of the Bible and huge swaths of history that has been deliberately omitted that no one, not even the most learned Biblical scholar, can claim to understand in total. God omitted things because we cannot fathom it, we could not wrap our finite brains around the infinite wonders that always have been. I pray for the angels all the time because I know, I myself, make their job much harder than it should be because I sin. Christ paid the price of my salvation but we must accept and live with the consequence of each of our sins. I just feel very sorry for the angels and wonder when they will ever be able to lie down their swords and enjoy their creator. Perhaps they get time off? I have no idea but I know prayer works and that we take it for granted as we do this huge population of angels who have been working hard to help us humans since God first placed Adam and Eve on the earth.
I know how frustrated and disgusted I get with my fellow human beings so I can only imagine how that feeling is intensified when you have been fighting the same battles for so long. I continue on my journey to research these fantastic agents of good and those who chose to hate us, namely Satan and the rest of the fallen. Even the existence and account of Satan’s fall tells me that the angels have freedom to choose as well. This realization led me to the question of why would the angels continue to choose to help humans who never, ever learn? They love Christ and Christ loves us so they will obey Christ and do what they are commanded regardless of whether we humans ever get it right. I just imagine they must be weary after all this time. They need our prayers so that the heavenly hosts can remain strong in the Lord. At the very least, we should be grateful to them.
Now, do not cross the line and think they are beings to be prayed too, because there are several accounts in scripture where a human fell to worship an angel and the angel rebukes them telling the person to worship God only. John recounts this time and again, as he is recording Jesus’ revelation in our book of Revelation. Therefore, we know that we are not supposed to pray to them or worship them but that does not mean we cannot thank them for the battle they fight on our behalf…every single day. However, do not get cocky and think you are better than the angels. Jude 1:9 clearly tells us that we humans dare to speak boldly and foolishly about the unseen world, demons, and angels without having the least bit understanding. Jude reminds us that even Michael, the archangel dared not rebuke Satan directly but called upon the power of the Lord saying, “The Lord rebuke you!” Certainly, there is a relationship that can be had there between humans and angels but only with the understanding that we will not have full understanding until we see Christ return. Until then I think gratitude in the form of prayers offered for the angel armies would be appropriate. I am certain the war has heated up as the entirety of creation is groaning with the wounds it creates.

God Bless you all and thank you for indulging my ramblings.

Artwork original by Samantha(Barto)Thomas titled: Anguish

Is Your Child going to Heaven?


 

I beg your indulgence, for something has been weighing heavily upon my heart for a long time so I must speak it. I am a woman, who has never borne a child but who has loved many more than she has loved herself. Once was a time that I was angry and bitter because I lacked the gift of motherhood but now I am rejoicing in much thanksgiving that the Lord blessed me in this way. Once, I accepted his will and opened my eyes then the blessings of his wisdom were plain. I am also a perfectly imperfect sinner and I have no delusions that I am better than anyone else drawing breath upon this planet. Paul said it perfectly, ‘We are all sinners, of whom I chief…’ .           Likewise, the vows I took at my niece and nephew’s baptism weigh heavily upon me. I, knowing the truth of salvation, have the responsibility to help them find Christ and his forgiveness. Nay, all whom I love have the right to expect me to point to Jesus in all things. They also have the right to expect me to screw up and ask for forgiveness because I am human and it will happen. Hence, I hope you keep these realizations in mind as you read my blog today.

Christians should not live by the world’s rules and expectations but should not use judgment bombs to annihilate the spirit of another. Jesus never, ever crushed someone in order to bring them healing and salvation so why do you think you can do it better than he? Or, could you be hiding behind the Cross of Christ to mask your own hate and prejudice? Having said that, it is also important to understand that we cannot project a “live and let live attitude” toward others. We can hold finite truths without tainting them with our own judgmental attitudes, eye rolls, looks of disgust, or hateful posts. Christians, who are truly trying in earnest to follow their  Savior in a Biblical manner will not give acceptance for sin but they should refrain from judgment.

I guess you can consider that a long prelude to the topic that has lit my fire today. My responsibility toward my friends and family coupled with my greater responsibility to my human family through Christ’s loving eyes and heart. If we know the truth, and I do, then we are commanded to share it, use it, live it in a manner that shines for Christ. When my niece and nephews were growing up I thought that the only things I wanted for them in this world was to be safe, happy and content. I now realize how terribly shallow and worldly those goals were for each of them. Happiness is Satan’s illusion and temptress, for it cannot be sustained. Being guarded in our words is always prudent but I have learned that keeping one’s opinion to oneself to avoid offense, at times, can lead to major disaster. Disasters that lead to long suffering consequences for many, many people. Worse for me is the heaviness in spirit I feel when I know I should have spoken God’s words, not mine, devoid of my opinion.  While it is certainty true that everyone must make their own life choices and bear the consequences of those decisions it is equally true that those choices never have a singular affect or victim. All of us bear the consequences to others choices and the closer in relation and enmeshment they are the worse it is. The individual may make the choice but they are never the ones to bear the total cost. In today’s society, people actually deny they have any responsibility at all for their choices. Yet, it is Christians to whom I am speaking, for we must take ownership of our actions and choices because we should know that each one affects not only us, our relatives, neighbor, community and so on but more importantly, they affect the Holy Spirit who resides in us. The thought is nearly too much to bear making it understandable that we shrink from acknowledging it. When I speak or act, it affects all around me. When I do not speak or act, it affects all around me. Whether the effect is good or bad  is only partially controlled by our own intent, for it is how they receive it that will determine the positive or negative ramifications.

I no longer pray for happiness for my nieces or nephews. Do I want them to be happy? Certainly but it is not as important to me or the Kingdom of God as if they were abundant in compassion, love, wisdom, generosity, strength, perseverance, joy, faith, discernment, and the ability to forgive. Notice, I did not list acceptance as a forerunner attribute/abilty because there are too many things in this life that should not be accepted. They can be understood, forgiven, rationalized, fixed but never accepted. I want those I love to enjoy life through the eyes, heart, and mind of Christ refusing to be limited to how the world sees and understands. We were not put here for mankind’s purposes. We have a job, which God knit us together in our mother’s womb to fulfill and that is where our focus should be in everything. Every decision we make should be funneled through the filter of Christ’s will for our lives. Some of you may be sitting there reading this and looking at the slice of pizza in your hand and saying, “Okay Jesus, did you want me to take another slice pepperoni or cheese?” Your mocking, condescending attitude aside, your choice to have pizza for dinner or a snack should be filtered through Christ. Sure, it’s not as major a decision as is who to date, whether or not to have pre-marital sex, start a family, vocation choice, marriage, or other such major life decisions but each and every choice we make should be built upon the premises of Christ’s teaching so we do not have to stop before taking a bite of that slice of pie and think in a mocking manner. Instead, the initial choice of whether to purchase the pie would have been develop through the years enabling such a mundane choice to be inconsequential because your thoughts were in line with His every step of the way. EVERY choice you make should be filled with Christ’s will and guidance for your life so that when the big decisions come along you will have the armor of God firmly in place to guide and protect you.

At the start, I said I consider myself blessed for not having children and now will tell you why. Being a parent is an awesome privilege and the most important responsibility in your life. I feel the heavy weight of making certain my nieces and nephews have the tools needed to make their way to Christ. Yes, we must ensure they have the skill sets needed to be healthy, productive citizens of this world but that is so minor in comparison to the responsibility we carry to lead these young folks to Christ. If you bring a child into this world but fail to teach them of Christ then you have had a child to give to Satan. You have had a child, who you say you love, to hand over to the devil condemning him or her to eternal damnation. There is nothing more important in this life that salvation, for we are here are very brief time but there is an eternity to be had. A simple choice separates you from paradise or damnation. Whether these places exist or not does not depend upon your belief of their reality. Whether God or Satan exists does not depend upon your belief of them. By the time you realize your mistake, it will be far too late. Scripture recounts a story of a man, who had received and rejected the message of salvation, suffering greatly in Hell. He looked up and saw in Heaven a lowly man who the world despised in life enjoying paradise. The man suffering from burning thirst begged the heavenly onlookers for a drink but he was told that he had received all his rewards he will ever enjoy while he walked the earth. The man in hell then begged for messengers to be sent to warn his family about this wretched end so they would turn away from living the high life the world celebrated. His request was denied as well. The angel told the suffering man that all people are given the same message of grace and salvation but are not forced to accept it.

If you are a parent then you know the bittersweet mixture of love and frustration it brings. It is the hardest and most important job that God has ever called anyone to accomplish. If you fail to teach your child about Christ then you rob them of hope, peace, strength and wisdom. The world will fail them whether they have Christ or not but if you love them then why, oh why, would you send them into a viper’s pit unarmed and unaware? I have seen and worked with more broken children than I care to think about and my work barely scratched the surface of the brokenness out there. The majority of my clients did not teach their kids about God or Christ and those are the ones who were in the most danger of being lost as they had no anchor or foundation. They could not count on their parents or relatives to be the responsible adults so they had no one of permanence in their lives.

Hence, whether you made the conscious decision to have a child or not, they are here because of you and your spouse (paramour). The common response, “Well God wouldn’t have let him or her be born to me if it wasn’t His will.” My response, “Yeah, and that should SCARE THE HELL OUT OF YOU, literally, because God expects you to raise that child for HIM!” That “God’s Will” line is used as a cop out of responsibly when it is actually a brand of duty! Parents, especially Christian Parents, need to make certain that the most important thing in their child’s life is Christ, period. You are preparing him or her for the battles of this world but also for all the spiritual battles around him or her.

Satan has been trying to destroy me from the very womb and has never relented a single day; therefore, if I had been denied Christ in my youth I would have fallen to the prince of evil long ago. I know his wicked power, I know his tactics and how he revels in human pain and misery. I know how he enjoys seeing a Christian fall so imagine his delight when he can convince the parent of person, who was created to be a warrior for Christ, not to teach him or her about the savior. Satan has won many future battles by taking out one weak Christian from the start. Could the child eventually meet Christ? Absolutely, for God’s plans are never thwarted but how many are lost due to the delay? What if that child’s message was meant to change the heart of a kindergarten teacher who then affected all of her students, who then went one to affect thousands upon thousands of others? It never happened. Those thousands were lost for eternity because Christ was not the most important focus in your child rearing toolbox because you failed to realize Christ is the toolbox and everything else is useless. Are you right with Christ? Can you call yourself a godly parent? Yes? Great! keep striving to walk in the Lord. No? Then get right with God, now because you chose to bring a life into this world so make certain he or she has the tools necessary to make his or her choice for eternity.

So, to my nieces and nephews (whether by blood or ‘adopted’ into my heart), you can consider me the crazy religious nut aunt all you want. You can consider me annoying and irritating and a fun-time kill joy but I do not care. I love you and I want to see you beside me in paradise someday. I do not want to see you looking up from the fires of hell begging for relief that I have no power to give. This is not directed at any of my friends or relatives but it has been a heavy burden on my heart and spirit. I have learned to listen to the Spirit because ignoring or deafening yourself to his whisper brings nothing but pain and agony. You young bloods may consider me nosy, intrusive, pushy, judgmental, out of touch, Bible thumper, etcetera but it matters not. I am not interested in your happiness. I am not interested in your pleasure with me or my opinions. I am interested in your salvation and, if you have children, in your children’s salvation.  You cannot give them salvation but do not deny them access to the road where they can meet Christ for themselves! I say these things in love and concern and I pray you take them to heart and think. Look at your child and think what you should do. Hold your child and think where you want them to be when everything around them has turned to dust.

As we are in advent season, it is a perfect opportunity to get the introductions started and provide your little one (even if they are 99) the key to joy and contentment, the path to hope, the road to eternal salvation. Everything in your life and their life should be pointing toward Christ, everything. The only thing under the Christmas tree that you should honor and give praise for is the meaning of the nativity. Sure, the newest toy and gadget will bring monetary happiness but nothing else has the power to bring salvation except Christ.

Give your children the most important, love-filled gift they will ever receive, introduce them to their savior and then work together to keep yourself and them on the path to his Kingdom. Always, in Christ’s love I leave you with these thoughts.

The Unwelcome Guest


 First rays of the summer sun

 race to illuminate the small

grove. Its inhabitants awake

without complaint.

The grove was abundant in food

peace and safety. The only

other occupant was

an old country church patiently

awaiting its fold.

Blue birds filled the air

with

songs of praise.

A sound so pure and clear,

a melody worthy of the Creator’s ear.

The sun climbed ever higher

casting a shadow upon

 the man turning the key

opening the large doors of

the chapel.

He always arrived an hour

or two before any other filled

a pew.

Time to reflect, time

 to pray, time to ask

for wisdom, patience, and

feet of clay.

“Lord Jesus, lend me

your eyes that I might

see this flock as you do.

Give me your heart to

love all whom you send

my way and a discerning

mind that wisdom would flow, Amen.”

Standing and grasping his Bible

he started toward the sanctuary

as muffled voices and distant

car doors announced the

arrival of the congregation.

The Pastor knew he would

be here and there was nothing

he could do because the

unwelcomed guest

always received an

invitation from me

and from you.

He would sit in the

very front row knowing

every word of scripture

but not letting it show.

He wasn’t there to learn,

fellowship, or become

more like the Savior. No,

none of those things is

what he did savor.

The Pastor sighed deeply

upon stepping to the pulpit

as he recognized their guest

was already working the room.

The people were settled into their

familiar clicks. The poor sat in the far rear

while the affluent took the lead.

 But none sat next to the family

 who lived without running water,

Their respectable senses

were aghast.

Tongue clicks and whispers veiled under breath

spread disdain and disgust in the

presence of such an obvious

disgrace.

Over there perched the family of judges,

who would snicker and point with their eyes

to alert one another that there was laughter to be had

or condemnation to be made of those just entering

the sanctuary.

The Bennet family, fragile as can be,

sat holding one another in their

fear and in their grief. They had lost a son

in Iraq last summer and now their little one

is fighting cancer. Their faith is stretched thin but

they have not given up hope. Our Guest is

trying his best to destroy them but he is failing.

Then you have those who feel it

their duty to reveal your sin, criticize

your worship or prayer life, and condemn

those who are struggling.

 In their reason,

 one is sick, barren, in

financial woe or experiencing

heart ache due to some unconfessed

sin.

 “Get right with God and your

hardship will be delivered.” is the chant

they cry in disapproving condemnation.

Driving divisions among God’s people

is his favorite activity and we are

so willing to play.

Yes, he is here and they invited him

as they do regardless of the warnings.

He knows the Bible better than most

Christians but he does not see its truth.

His hardened heart does not feel

the forgiving love of Christ.

Instead, it angers him and

he takes his fury out upon

the flock.

“They have more than us. She is far prettier or talented

than I. I heard…cheated on his wife. God cannot

love or forgive you since you did that horrible

thing in your past. You are not good enough to succeed. Your

beliefs are childish superstitions. You will fail.”

Lies, his favorite lies, he uses against

the flock.

He has enjoyed great success in

invading the church and scattering the flock.

His minions carry out his orders sewing

discord, jealousy, bigotry, hatred, and

cynicism where ever they go.

Church after church has fallen to his

attacks.

He is becoming angrier

and fiercer as he

sees his time ebbing away.

He tortures any who work

to follow the Savior’s path.

Yes, Satan is the first one in church

and the last one to leave because turning

one Christian to sin bringing him to ruin

will convince 1000 more souls to reject

Jesus because of his sinful people.

Satan loves to use fallen Christians because

it hurts the Father deeply when his children stray.

He will never give up, never stop, and never

show mercy.

Children of God, take warning and

be on guard so you do not

become one of Satan’s favorite tools.

In a world of pain and destruction,

be determined not to add to the

brokenness of Creation.

Instead, build…repair…create

and healing will be had in your church,

home, work place, social group, neighborhood

and maybe, just maybe, it will keep going and

heal our lands.

 

 

“If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray then I shall hear from heaven and heal their lands.” God

RADIANCE


Brilliance envelopes
her being.
Every cell pulsating
with tingling
warmth bringing
her to the precipice
between pain and pleasure.

A mere reflection of
His Glory.
A passing glance
of His
boundless
Love and Mercy.

The sensation of pure
Joy and Love
brought her to her
knees. She wept.

He dropped to
the ground
before her.
Gently he bent close
to her ear.
“I Love You, Daughter”.

She recoiled as if
struck with a hot iron,
scurrying away from
his sacrificial love. Never
had she felt this before and
its strength was excruciating.

Slowly, he crawled
to her, scooping
her into his arms.
“I Love You, Daughter”.

She cried out in sweet
anguish as his words
healed her brokenness.
Her chest heaving with the
effort to draw breath
began to calm as
his tears mingled
with her own.

Mustering all
remaining strength,
she found her voice.

“It was supposed to be me!
It was my sentence! I committed
the crimes. I deserved to be punished!
You didn’t do anything so why
did you tell them that you did it? Each time
they spit at you, that was mine to bear. Every cruel
blow was supposed to land
upon my flesh. I deserved it, I sinned, I
was cruel and dishonest.
Those lashes you bore
were mine!
I know how to take people’s
cruelty because I am used to it but your
love hurts so much.
Why, didn’t you let me
confess and bear the punishment?
You did nothing! You did nothing!
I did everything. I tried, I really
tried to get to you and stop them from
nailing you to that tree. I tried to confess
over and again but the soldiers just
laughed and pushed me away. Why
did you take my punishment? Why?
Father, why?”
She blurted
this stream of sorrow, guilt,
confusion, and fear towards
him using a single breath.

The love never left
his expression as he spoke.
Each word calming her
spirit as he breathed healing
upon her soul.
“Yes, the punishment was yours
to bear. Justly, you had been
convicted. The bruises belong to you.
The torn flesh should have been worn by you.
The blood spilled
should have drained from your
broken body.
But I could not allow it. What
the world does to you is harsh
but what awaits the guilty
is far worse and
lasts for eternity. What
they inflicted upon me
was very little compared to
the days I spent in Hell.
You could not have bore
the unseen torment. It
would have destroyed
you completely.
I had to open another
door for my children, for
the deceiver has lured
many to their doom.
He offers sweet lies
and beautiful promises
tricking my wayward
children by making
them very comfortable.”

Breathing normally, tears dried,
she asked, “How can
I ever pay that debt?”

“You cannot. It was
a gift of my love. I
bore it all for you, daughter.
You are my child and
I love you more than life.”
He spoke with such intense
love and devotion that
she did not doubt his words.
When he spoke, she didn’t only
hear each word but she felt them
as if he were writing them upon her
very heart.

“What can I do to show
you how much I love you
and how thankful I am
for this precious gift? I
have nothing of any value, but
all I have I will give freely.”
she offered with a depth
of sincerity she did not
know she possessed.

“Love. Love me and love others
as much as I have loved you.
Use my eyes to look at everyone around
you so that their worth will be evident. Use
my heart to feel the hurt and pain in your
sisters and brothers. Minister to those needs
and show them the way to my
loving, forgiving, embrace. I will
never stop pursuing my children
until they make a choice. I will
knock at their doors night and day
until they choose to answer it
or reject me. I will either enter
their hearts or I will honor
their choice and walk away.
Each of my children must
decide for themselves.
YOU MUST
MAKE
a
CHOICE.”

Take My Hand


Blinding radiance
brings an arm to shield her sight.
Looking into the
faces crushing about
reveals they see nothing.

Pulsations travel through the soil
moving her being.
A tingling sensation progresses from
her feet, to her knees, to her center.

Blood is afire as it surges through
her veins making the roar
audible to her alone.

Lungs freeze in expansion.
The heart stills as the
energy continues
its upward journey.
There is no pain.
There is no fear.
There is only being.

The eyes once stung by
the radiance now adjust as
the energy fills them
from within.

Her eyes see…everything.
The throngs continue in
their pursuits.
They are shrouded in
darkness, yet appear happy.
Nothing has changed for them.
They are happy.

Exhaling, she realizes she had
been holding her breath.
Form after form becomes
tangible in the light.
The colors are brilliant and
hold a depth she has never
before witnessed.

The air is crisp and dew
droplets cling to the
vegetation growing in lush control.

A small, unfamiliar sound
tickles her ear. Looking about
her eyes find its maker. A small,
red-haired fox. A kit, alone but
unafraid of her approach. It was mewing.
Calling for its mother or siblings, she thought.
Scooping it up, she knew she had
never felt such luxurious softness.

It’s eyes looked at her with interest
but began its mewing again when she
failed to produce the familiar scent its
mother owned alone.

The plants before her parted.
The dame had found her lost kit.
There was no tension between the
three. The mother simply came up
and plucked the kit from the woman’s hand.
Then it disappeared into the foliage.

Perhaps she was sick,
lying in the hospital with fever?
Maybe she was dead!
Regardless of these thoughts,
she felt nothing but peace.

The mutterings of those
milling about the edge of the light
was indistinct chatter. Although
fascinated by this fact, her attention was
drawn back toward the place she
knelt.

“Take my hand, child.”
A voice so melodic commanded
with gentle strength.
Every cell tingled at its sound.
What a glorious sensation!

She accepted the extended hand
and felt her entire being
radiate with power. It was
as if every good thing her senses
had ever recorded was
being felt all at once.
Waves of glorious sensation
made her want to hold this hand
forevermore.

Once upon her feet, he released her.
Eyes spilling their joy,
she looked upon his face with
intensity.

He heard the questions of her
heart but only offered a smile
of knowing in return.
Once her tears stopped
spilling and her
breathing leveled.
He began.

“This is a veil separating you
from the purity and
love I used to create existence.
Your mortal self will not be
permitted to tarry.” his voice
caressed her senses.

She could only listen as
her entire being was captivated
by the love emanating from
that beautiful voice.

“Daughter, you have been
called to walk between the
light and darkness.” a soft
sadness caressed every word.
“Some of my children are so
lost they have accepted
the darkness as reality.” pain had
entered his voice and the sensation
upon her being was pure agony.

“Are you willing to help them?” he
asked motioning to the shadowed
throngs.”Some are so far away
from the light, they cannot see a pinpoint.
Some have so much pain they
have given up the search.
And still others are diligently
working to destroy.”

The pain in his words brought her
to her knees. The intensity
was searing her essence. He was
not inflicting it upon her,
she was experiencing
a ‘glancing blow’ of
his broken heart.

“Daughter, take my hand”, his words
ended her pain immediately.
His loved poured into her
as he grasped her hand.

“You must go,”
speaking with all authority.
“You are not alone.
I have called many to the path you
have been asked to walk.
Each of them have arrived upon
this path through different vehicles
but all who have been called know well
of hardship and pain.
Just as you, they have survived
the darkness
with help from those, whom
I sent before you.
If you choose this task,
you must keep one foot in each realm.”

Each word he spoke
overwhelmed her due to the
sensations his voice caused and the
weight of their content. As long as
she held onto his hand, she was able to
endure it, but only… just.

She knew her answer and felt herself being
pulled back toward the edge… between.
As her fingertips held desperately to his,
she felt as if she were drowning
gasping for her final breath.
Everything stilled.

“Daughter, have peace. I am always
with you. Never will I leave you.
Others are already in place
to help you with this
most important task.
I love you my sweet,
darling daughter.
I love all of you.”

At once, she felt others pushing
their way past her and the sound of
those selling their wares. Her eyes
focused and just when her mind
had begun to rationalize the experience,
she felt…more.

A beautiful green and yellow butterfly
took flight. She watched its
graceful dance
as the sun shown brilliantly
through it’s veneer wings.
The stark contrast between its
beauty and the misery that abounded
all around was
breathtaking.

“Everything…is different,” She
whispered. A broad smile graced
her countenance as she
took her first step toward
hope.

Spirit Fire


heart

Spirit afire,
love in bloom
whispers
begin to weave
a bond for eternity.

Time treads ahead
caring not for
love.

Love in Lust
or
Lust in Love?
The Spirit Fire
burns
permitting the
womb to grow
twice again.

Time treads forward
caring not for
love.

We look no more
upon the others
countenance
fearing we may
glimpse disappointment
given birth by debt, pain,
hateful words leaving
the Spirit Fire
barely smoldering.

Time treads forward
caring not for
love.

My locks are grey and
yours are thin.
Both hold more
weight than when
we first began.
Children grown
leaving each of
us feeling alone.

Time treads forward
caring not for
love.

How have we gotten here
to this place of
grief and despair?
Why did we allow the
Spirit Fire to die?
We loved deeply
passionately so
why did the fire die?

Time treads forward
caring not for
love.

Looking upon his bride
he sighed deep inside.
Eyes filling to the brim
wiping his wife’s
gently from her cheek.
‘I am not ready to say
goodbye,’ thought he.
I love my bride.

Time treads forward
caring not for
love.

Gazing up into her
husband’s grief-stricken face
she thought she glimpsed a
spark she had thought long
extinguished. Life had beaten
them down and tried to steal
their joy. It had bombarded them
with doubts, fears, and temptations.
She gently wiped his tears
smiling softly.
“I think we lost our anchor
somewhere among
the years. Alas, now
I see the spark
that is the Spirit
Fire,” her voice trembled.

Time treads forward
caring not for
love.

“Yes, beloved, when we
first began this journey
we thought time was endless
but now, here we are and
I realize those years
were but a wisp of smoke.”
He gathered her into his embrace
kissing her soundly and whispering
his love and devotion.
She returned his affection
but only for a moment.
He grasped her all the
tighter as her
Spirit Fire left her.

Time treads forward
caring not for
love.

If you have been
blessed with the
other half of your
Spirit Fire then
LOVE him or her
in Action, Deed, and Word
Every minute of every day.
Each person was created for another.
Two halves of a whole.
If your choices bring you together
then recognize the miracle in
finding him or her.
God will use your choices for
ultimate good but there are
many paths of pain, for
love is hard work and
the price is high but
the rewards are eternal.

Set your anchor to avoid the Drift.

Time treads forward
caring not
for love.

Walking upon Rice Paper


Walk upon the Rice
Goosebumps signaled her
skins reaction to the
cool evening breeze.

Far she had traveled to seek
understanding and wisdom
knowing the cost of which
would be hardship and pain.
Finally, she could see the pinnacle.

Moonbeams danced upon the
massive frame of the pagoda
sitting atop the next ridge.
Its beauty and solitude
was brightly awash in
a crystal blue light of the
heavenly star.

The frost laden night made
visual each exhale.
The ice crystals danced
in front of her beckoning
her to quicken her pace.

Ancient doors, cloaked in frost,
reflected the moonlight in
an awesome radiance.
Each door creaked
in protest as they
swung open to
permit her
entry.

Candlelight flickered strongly
casting a ballet of
fanciful shadows upon
the walls just beyond the light
that bore them.

The room was empty except
for her own person. It was
spacious but void of decoration
or comforts.
A path, running thru
the center of the space,
appeared to be
a delicate, long sheet
of rice paper.

Burned into a wooden beam above
the path these words instructed,
“Walk the path.
Leave no mark.”

Knowing the paper to be
fragile gave her pause before
venturing forward.
Her first step tore the paper
causing pain to travel through her.
Fear made the second step more
difficult to take but she took it.

Reaching the end of the path, of
thirty-three steps, she collapsed.
Pain and heartache had brutalized
her body and spirit.

Looking back upon the path
she wept at seeing the tears
all along the path. Before her
eyes, the paper was mended
by an unseen hand.

A soft voice instructed,
“Again, but leave no mark.”

The very thought of taking that
path again filled her with trepidation.
She thought to herself that she
just could not take that walk again but
obeyed the commandment without
understanding why she was
being told to do this.

After a hundred and twenty
attempts, each
ending the same as the first,
She plead for mercy and guidance.
“I cannot walk that path again.
There is no way I can walk it without
leaving a mark behind. Please, I do not
understand why this is necessary. I
cannot do this. How is this teaching
me wisdom?” She begged.

“Once more. Walk the path but
leave no mark.” the voice
commanded.

After sobbing a bit, she gathered
her strength then girded herself
with faith and determination.
“Father, please help me. I cannot
do this on my own.” she whispered.

Taking her first step, there was no pain.
The paper did not tear. Each step was
taken with more joy and confidence
until reaching the end of the path.
Looking back, she saw the unblemished
paper she had just traveled. Not only
was the paper devoid of tears but it did not
even have the slightest impression
from any of her thirty-three steps.
Now, she was more baffled than ever.

“I do not understand. What
does this mean?” she asked the
unseen voice.

He began his discourse, “Every step
you take affects my world and the people
with whom you come into contact. It is impossible
for you to walk through this world without leaving a
mark. Walking alone, in your own knowledge, these
marks are painful to you and those you touch. When
you walk with me and my will; it is then that I work
through your every step to bring my light, love, and
healing to my creation. You cannot do this alone. It
is only possible when I carry my children. My wisdom,
mercy and love will flow through you if you humble
yourself to become my vessel. Shed your ideas of
self importance, presumptions of knowing my
will and just follow my voice. I will lead you
to my light. Others will see me
shinning through you and
hunger after the peace I offer. Follow
me and I will ensure that each step
you take will be filled with purpose.”

As the massive doors swung
closed behind her she thought,
“My thoughts are not your thoughts,
My ways are not your ways.”

Now she knew that she needed
to listen for her Father’s voice and
obey him in order to make each step
of her life bring forth fruit. We cannot
do it alone and we cannot see the
entire picture or outcome. That means
it is very important to finish whatever task
the Father sends without knowing the reason.

Alas, relief swept over her as she understood.
We are vessels that the Father works through.
We need only trust him and
listen to his still, small voice.

Little Sparrow


by
Tina Blackledge

Little sparrow,
tell me how
you can
sing so
happily.

My Father
cares
for
every
need.

Your father!
Indeed?
Why you and
not me?

Simple,
I believe.

Well, not me!
No, not me!
Are you blind?
Can’t you see
the misery?

Blind I am not.
Certainly, I
see all
the insanity
in humanity.

Yet, merrily
you sing from
early morning
till dusk. There
is no reason or trust!

Ah, reason
you say?
What profit
have you
found in
reason
up to
this
day?

Surely, you
have lost
your little
bird mind!
We have medicine
allowing us to
live longer.
We have technology
that makes our
lives easier.
Why, we even
have places
we live in
space!

Impressive, without doubt!
Then all humanity is happy
and free?

Not… Exactly.
Wait just a darn
minute! You know
full well why
humans struggle
and die.

Yes, I do.
Can you
see what
is truly
true?

Of course I
can, your Father
did us in! He
set us up for
failure then
left us in
sin!

Ha! Fool
that you are
it is little
wonder
why your kind
cannot see
very far!

Oh really?
Do tell, little
sparrow, why
you are so much
better off than me.

I was created
on day five
to serve as blessing
and to fill the skies.
Every corner of creation
have we taken flight
noticing an ever
growing blight.
Rightly said, Sin
did you all in
but that is not
where it all ends.

You are a silly bird,
falling for these
childish stories.
How does a single
one abate your
worries?

Oh man, cannot
you see, there is not
one shred of worry in me!
My Father’s eye is always
upon me and I trust him
with the life he has
given me.

You are a puny little
bird, you have no power,
you have no wealth, no
security, and no assurance.
How can you believe this
travesty?

If only you could see how
the world appears to me. Then
maybe, just maybe you could
believe.
In my flights, here and there,
I cannot help but hear the
cries of terror, pain, and anguish
spreading everywhere.
A plague inching its way
into every home.
The Father made the
ultimate sacrifice to
ensure each of his
children had an
opportunity to
return home.
You rejected him,
scorned, scoffed, slandered,
reviled, repackaged, and recreated
a modern palatable Creator, who
cannot offend any.

By your account
humanity has failed
and there is no hope
left in such a wicked world.

The Father is patient,
forgiving, and loving
beyond all measure
so there is always
reason to hope.

What could I possibly
do, for I am nothing, even
less than you?

No, this is not true.
I have not told you
all there is to know.
The plague of misery
spreads quite easily
but
there has always been
something extraordinary.
During humanity’s darkest,
most vile moments.
It cannot be seen by
human sight.
No, not from the ground
or a plane in flight.
However, birds have
perfect sight.
In the deepest, darkest nights
where the screams accelerate the blight…
something new grows bright.

What was it? Have we developed a
new weapon?

No…at least not in the
way you imagine. We thought
they were rivers at first but then
came to realize it was hope, kindness and
love being offered to humans during the
very worst times of their lives. It looked as if
a complex network of veins and
capillaries spread everywhere. Nothing
was untouched by this glorious light. It
was coming from believers in Christ
following God’s plan for his or her life.
The Holy Spirit revealed
in acts of love, courage, and compassion
offering salve to those trapped in an evil pit.
There is always hope to defeat shadows. Each human
created is given a task to help those
around you in desperate need, yet often this task
is clouded by greed.

If each one of you

could submit and obey to all the

Father has to say then your

spirit will grow adding

to this wondrous light show.

Matthew 10:29-31

Jeremiah 29: 11-14


Jeremiah 29: 11-14

11 For I know the plans I have for you, ” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, “declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.

When we go through times of difficulty and pain then our faith is strained because we cannot understand how a loving God, Father, and Savior could allow his beloved children to suffer such horrific events in their lives. Were we created to suffer? NO. We were created to commune with God in the Garden of Eden offering our love and praises to our Creator. But that is not how things turned out and the choice made in that garden has affected all of creation as it all fell with man.

I struggled a long time with scripture because of two distinct reasons. First, people who claimed to know what God was saying in his Holy book were interpreting it through their own biases leaving the message empty and at times painful. Second, well meaning folks threw snippets of scripture at me in an attempt to lift me up but they instead felt like insincere platitudes or cruel reprimands. I felt so alone and so distant from God that I turned my rage toward him.

There was a point along my walk of faith that I told God:
“If you are not going to help us, then just stay out of our lives. I do not need you screwing with my life so I will do what you refuse to do. I will fix YOUR mistakes!”
Obviously, each of these words was saturated with pain, confusion and a feeling of utter abandonment. I used the anger and hatred to plow forward determined my life would not be a repeat of my Mothers’, who was disabled and raised three daughters in poverty. I was going to become a doctor and have power to control things and help the people God refused to help. That did not work exactly as I had planned. I then decided that I was going to teach, not as much power but still equipped with what I thought would be a life-changing movement that would bring me and my mother out of poverty, finally. That did not work out as I had planned. Next, I decided to become a therapist and travel around the nation as respected speaker to educate the masses about child abuse and sexual predation. However, I was beginning to realize this plan, too, was doomed to failure. By this time I was being practical knowing my health would not hold up as long as the “normal” young woman so I decided to plan my career track in a way that would allow me a lucrative career where I could help many people without the need to be physically active. I would achieve financial stability and finally be able to secure my mother’s and my future well being. Well, my plans failed here as well. Oh, I earned the education and degrees but I had run out of time to bring MY plans to conclusion. My health began to fail me by exponential leaps and I saw my future disintegrate before my eyes. By this time my faith had grown and I had learned many things allowing me to understand that God had never been my enemy…he was and would always be my champion.

Today, after decades of suffering and an understanding that my future holds more suffering along with further restrictions on my mobility and independence, I am in full acceptance of GOD’s plan for my life and not my own. God had used each and every one of my choices to reveal another part of who he really was and what he needed from me. He has an everlasting patience and boundless love that will accompany us upon our journeys whether we want him there or not. He is there waiting for us to understand how much we need him. I was not a very patient person but I have learned patience. I was not one who trusted God completely but now I give myself, my life, my soul to him with full abandon because I know beyond any doubt that his plans for my life are to prosper me and not to harm me. Without going into all the gory details of my struggles I will provide a picture depicting a “before” and “after” image of living within my plans and now living within God’s plans for my life. Some may see it as very negative but I do not. In the first image, I thought I was doing what God wanted me to do and in the second, I know beyond all doubt this is where God needs me to be right now and that is okay because I care little of what the world sees as success. It only matters to me what God sees when he gazes upon his daughter…love.

2014 10 06_0444

Jpeg

Jpeg

In the first image I was happy but did not know joy or peace. In the second image I know joy, peace, love, acceptance, faith, perseverance, forgiveness, and all my waking efforts are to do the will of the Holy spirit who resides within me. Yes, prolonged, chronic illness has ravaged my body but not my faith as God holds me in his everlasting embrace and that is true and utter happiness.

When minor bad things happen use them to practice patience and to reveal to yourself whether you go to God for answers first or whether you rely on your own understanding, which is never enough. We cannot see the whole picture so our understanding of the now is severely restricted. God sees and knows all so we must put our total trust in his hands. When major, horrible, bitter things try to destroy us then we must cling to God even tighter than before. These horrible things whether they are minor or major are not from God but are borne of Satan. He is the target of our ire, for he is using all the power afforded to him in an effort to bring us down. He wants to rip our souls from our bodies and cast them to hell and sing victorious songs that he was able to destroy a follower of Christ.
God could stop it, all of it, in the blink of an eye but it is his unfathomable mercy and love that keeps him from stretching out his hand and beginning the rapture, the second coming, the return of our Savior. Most Christians see this as a glorious event, and it will be for believers but no horror, no fear, no depth of pain and suffering will ever compare to what is coming in the final days. God wants as many of his children to turn to him before that event occurs because he does not want to lose any of his children, whom he dearly loves. If you are a Christian then you know how the story ends and it is a wondrous, glorious, awe filled conclusion to the relationship between God and Mankind. However, many will perish, be judged, and cast into the eternal lake of fire. Each of us was created for a specific purpose. Each and every one of us was given specific gifts that were meant to equip us to survive Satan’s torments.

If we try to follow our own plans then we may find worldly success, if you are willing to compromise your beliefs and sacrifice a commandment here and there. The world will reward you but you are not fulfilling your purpose. If you are a follower of Christ then you will keep getting up each time Satan and his minions knock you down. It will not be easy nor pleasant but just as God told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee, for my power is revealed in your weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12: 7-10). Not everyone will be called to great suffering, for God has not equipped all of his children with the ability to endure prolonged suffering. Not all of his followers will be broken. No some will be very successful and well known. Not all of his followers will taste the bitterness that humanity and the fall has to offer. However, all will be held accountable for their walk upon this Earth. No one will escape the suffering this world has to offer and not everyone will turn to God for help. They will try it on their own and some may even appear as if they are succeeding in this world. Yet, whether or not they recognize the existence of God, He is there and there will be a reckoning.

We are not going to understand or like everything we are going to encounter upon our path to Glory but it is critical that we do not stop. Get up, keep moving one step at a time because the more suffering you endure the greater the work and purpose the Lord is placing before you. The more attacks you survive and thrive beyond then the stronger warrior you become for the Almighty. While he does not cause the pain, heartache, and suffering he will use it to fashion you, mold you, teach you, and create within you a clean heart that will shine so brightly all will know you are a son or daughter of the almighty King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Amen.