Infectious Joy!

Photo by Magdalena Smolnicka on Unsplash

On my walks in the morning there are a number of people I see almost every morning. Many of them I know their names and will stop and talk to at times. But, there is one person that I doubt I will ever get to meet, but, who has had an effect on my attitude every time I see.

This morning was one of those days and I received a nudge from the Holy Spirit about this person.

He, or She, is a young black Lab. You can always tell when you are going to see him. His master takes him out every morning somewhere for exercise – I am guessing here – and the dog rides in the back of his master’s truck and sticks his head into the wind and barks continually with this goofy look of joy on his face. You can hear him coming from a long way off.

Bark, bark, bark, bark…

The joy on his face is infectious!

That was when the Holy Spirit nudged me and said, “Are you this happy to be with me? Is your joy this infectious that people will notice?”

That’s a really great question. And, I know; the Word says that they will know us by our Love for One Another, not how happy we seem. But, I don’t think the Holy Spirit asked me that question to contradict His Word. I think He is just checking my heart. And, He was not trying to make me feel guilty, because at the moment He was saying these things I was quite overwhelmed by His Presence. I could feel His Love towards me.

I pray for our Joy today. Check your heart. Are you happy He saved your soul? Or, has 2020 robbed you of that? Just like any Good Father He want us to be Happy. And, yes that means happiness in the midst of persecution, trials and tribulation. We are so favored. If we could see how favored we are in the Kingdom we would be speechless.

A Call to the Daniel Nash’s

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

To the Daniel Nash’s of our time.

The Bowls are close to tipping. It is time to press in even more. To stay on your faces until the tide changes. To stay on your faces until the world breaks. To stay on your faces until the flood comes. To stay on your faces until the divide comes down.

Do not allow Satan to cause you to stand on one side of the Great Divisiveness or the other. You are not Them or They. You are the New Creation, the holders of Jesus’s Authority. Jesus didn’t tell you to pray from the right or the left. He told you to pray from Heaven to Earth. On one side is Mercy and on the other side is Justice. But, both find their Truth in Jesus not on Earth.

The Bowls are tipping and time is ticking. Never has Time been so valuable. Put aside the divisiveness. It is time for Jesus to sweep this all into the Kingdom.

Stay on your faces until the bowls…

The Contrast of God

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

 

My day is not complete if I don’t get a chance to walk with Jesus in the mornings. This morning was a good walk and my mind, soul, and spirit were fed by His Presence. 

Besides my collaboration with Him on the stories I write, sometimes I recognize a truth about Him or His Kingdom. This morning I was brought back to a familiar thought about God’s contrasts.

1 Kings19: 11 – 13 talks about this contrast. The contrast between His Power and His Peace. The verse talks about how God wasn’t in the wind, earthquake, or fire. But, he came with a gentle whisper.

Is God pointing out a way to recognize Him? I believe so. The Psalms and Proverbs and the Prophecies all point out His Powerful capabilities of throwing mountains into the sea. Ending Kingdoms, blotting out nations, etc. But, He chooses to speak to Elijah in a whisper. He comes to Elijah by illustrating his contrasting personality traits. He could destroy the mountain the cave is part of, but He chose to come to Elijah gently.

The understanding this contrast I caught this morning on the trail by Little Chico Creek, started with a sense of amazement with how life in our universe is incredibly prolific. Without the constant efforts of man to maintain order in our world, life would take over and soon erase signs of our having been here. Any gardener understands this, as he/she attends to the weeds in the garden. You cannot stop life from springing up in the most interesting and unlikely places. There is a naturally chaotic momentum to this. To the orderly human mind’s impulse to seek order in all things, there is a futility to the wildness of creation. This leads the unbeliever to a distrust that God is in control of anything at all.

But, this wild, unstoppable nature of life is a reflection of our own relationship with The Father as evidenced by the above description of God’s conversation with Elijah. Our free will is just as wild and unstoppable. Without freedom of choice, love is coerced. And, it has never been God’s job to bring order to the creation. It has been ours.

Which brings me to another facet of all this. To the unbeliever, this chaotic nature – the unstoppability of life – is a sign that there is no God. But, to the believer, it is a sign of His Majesty, His Power, His Wisdom, and His Love. This very unstoppable nature of life itself is evidence of His Being. And, I would say, and have to believe, that it is evidence of extraterrestrial life throughout our universe. Why would He stop here? (Bunny trail?)

God spoke our universe into existence (some say he sang it into existence). The whole universe was declared “Good”, by The Father. God is the ultimate Dr. Seuss of life. Life exists here on Earth in an endless array of designs. From microscopic microbes to the whales. To the moles that burrow to the eagles that fly. There is so much diversity that – in my humble opinion – it is more of a stretch of the imagination to believe that life only exists here on Earth than it is to believe that that same diversity extends throughout the universe.

My God, the Creator of all things, the Almighty, Most Holy, has no limits and has placed none on life itself. And, the wonder of all wonders is that He has invited us to be part of joyfully shaping the creation into Glory upon Glory for all time.

No, the amazingly complex seemingly chaotic unstoppable nature of life is not a sign that God is not there. It is a sign of His Contrast. Ultimate Power balanced with Perfect and Precisely designed Peace. The perfection of a Humming-Bird to address the prolific display of flowering plants. There is a balance to the apparent chaos. Power and Peace. The Word and the Spirit. God is in the contrast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The History of Things to Come

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Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

 

It has been a while since I have heard the Holy Spirit speak to me…drop a thought into my mind…during that time in between awake and asleep. But, last night was one of those moments. Sometimes He says things that can be difficult to understand. But, I recognize as something He is prompting me to write about. This one is a bit difficult, but bear with me as I attempt to describe this thought.

He said, “The past of things to come”…

What?

As I laid there in bed trying to figure this one out, I realized it was similar to what I have come to understand as the contrast of how we understand the Holy Spirit (or try to). Where we come to understand the “Omnipotence” of God balanced by His Perfect Peace. How can the ultimate power of the Universe be the ultimate presence of peace at the same time? There is the contrast of God’s personality. He can be both at the same time.

But, how does that apply to what the Holy Spirit said to me?

How can there be a past tense in the future?

The only thing I could think of was that in Heaven there is no past or future, only now; an existence where there is no beginning and no end to time or the Creation. Which is hard enough to grasp as it is. But, it is just another indicator of the difference of Heaven from Earth where the past and the future come together in one person Jesus Christ.

Where the understanding of an infinite universe begins to make sense as the place where we will fulfill the first job God gave us in the beginning. To steward and husband the Creation, as well as worship Him throughout eternity.

For those of you that read this and thought this was a bit too spaced out. I agree. I am just trying to be obedient and put this out there. In my own heart, the thought of The Holy Spirit attempting to describe something that exists in the heavenly dimension to me is similar to when The Lord told Moses, “I Am that I Am.” Or, “Tell them I AM sent you.” How do you describe the indescribable in human finite terms?

But, the fact that He tried is precious to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Creation

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(Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash)

A number of years ago I gave up trying to fight the Lord in the early hours of the mornings when it seemed He wanted me to wake up and talk. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that those were some of the best most intriguing, most inspiring times of my life. I’ve joked about how I get to have Him all to myself during those early morning hours. But, it’s true. I’ve never missed the lost hours of sleep that I have spent talking to God. Never once have I complained that I should have been allowed to sleep because now I was too tired to work. Quite the opposite. Those times in the morning have energized me beyond what I would have imagined. So much so that now – before going to sleep – I invite the Lord to wake me up to talk.

Now, don’t get me wrong here, at times it is a challenge to hold up my end of the bargain. Very rarely has the Lord NOT taken me up on the invitation. The hard part – for me – is to remember that I invited Him to wake me up.

Sometimes it is just a time of prayer and presence that I can find depths of peace for my soul. Sometimes, it becomes a time of sharing my concerns and deep intercession for my children and the Hastings Tribe. And, sometimes He takes the time to download ideas to my imagination. All of the stories I have written come from that Divine Spark of Creative Imagination. ALL of them! That is the purpose of this blog today. The hard part – when He inspires my imagination – is to discipline myself enough to turn on the light and write down what He dictates.

On September first…yesterday…at 4:46 AM (Pacific Time), I managed to turn on the light and write down the following idea.

Every human being carries “potential” as a New Creation. Much like a sperm cell has the potential to create a new human being. Each new human being has the potential to enter the Kingdom of God. 

Each of us is given a measure of time to find the Truth and impregnate it with our potential. We are either successful and become the New Creation as our lives are “Born Again” in Jesus Christ. Or, we reject the truth and after we use up that measure of existence – gracefully given by The Creator – we are thrown onto the refuse pyre as failures.

Now I am sure some of you are thinking; “Doesn’t The Truth impregnate us instead?” And, all I could say is that this is what I was given. But, think about it. A sperm cell “Seeks” out the mother’s ovum (egg). And, although John 6:44 says;

“44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”

We are called to seek Him in Jeremiah 29:13;

13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

So it seems that there is a natural sense of mutual attraction that exists between the Creator and the creation. So the idea of a New Creation – a New Creature – being Born is a compelling Visual. As is the thought of people rejecting that birth, throwing away that potential to join God’s family.

This is THE most important decision any Human can make ever. And, the most strategic point that Satan attacks. The tragedy is when Satan deceives a person into rejecting life in Jesus Christ. He aborts the New Creation.

Pray for your family. Pray for your prodigals. Pray for your tribe and your neighbors that the eyes of their heart, soul, and spirit would be opened to see The Truth. Pray for that process of seeking and finding. Pray for their “Knowers” to recognize His Presence and embrace the New Creation. To step into that New Birthday!

Gravity

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(Photo by Ben O’Sullivan on Unsplash)

 

My life changed the day I pulled myself into the Library. It was a place I never wanted to visit. Life was a daily grind of launching and landing. The struggle to keep the lack of gravity from dominating my life. Just like everyone else I knew. The struggle was very real. The day began with releasing the belts that held me in my bed so that I could sleep without worrying about floating to the ceiling or out the window and out into space. 

Then breakfast. Tubes of “Cap’n Crunch” squirted into my hungry mouth, trying to ignore the longing to have a plain old bowl of “Cap’n Crunch” in a bowl with milk and the satisfying sensation of the actual Crunch. Still, I wondered at the very existence of that thought. No one ever experienced that. This was life on Earth. A weightless existence. We all made the best of it. 

Every day, began the same. The effort to get from point A to point B. Home to work and back again. Everyone’s strategy was different, and much of it depended on how much money you had saved up. How wealthy you were dictated how much ease you were able to experience as you went about business every day. 

The most basic was the cable poles that lined the streets. First I would open the front door of my apartment and hold onto the door frame. Concentration is everything when attempting to move from point to point. And, yes after a bit you gain a certain amount of expertise in this. You either learn to move or you eventually give up and hide in your home and never come out. Thousands of people in our city give up every day. The insane asylums are overflowing with those that give up. But, I digress. Back to the door frame. 

Using my arms like the elastic bands of a slingshot I launch myself at the pole outside the apartment building. There I can grab the cable that winds its way through the city until I reach my office. The hard part is when you encounter people going the other direction. Yes, certain cables are designated for one-way traffic. But, many people let their frustrations get the better of them and they ignore those rules and just grab the first cable they come to. 

Then there are those that can afford a propulsion backpack. As I am pulling myself along on the cable I can look up and see the wealthy powering their way to work effortlessly and in their cocoon of privacy afforded by their backpack. 

Then there are the EMTs in their helicopters rescuing those that lost their grip on the cable. Or those daredevils that use the ancient launchers from the tops of their homes or apartments. A dangerous proposition as you actually need to have a computer app that will calculate exactly what kind of power to use on the launcher and at what angle and elevation to set it to reach your destination. It definitely requires a daredevil mindset to use those. These daredevils keep the EMTs busy. And, we lose a few every week as their launchers malfunction and send their users into orbit and out into space.

As I pulled myself along on the cable a sense of desperate hopelessness rose up in my heart. Why was living this way? Why was there a sense of something better nagging at the back of my mind? Wasn’t life always this way? 

Then I saw him.

About a mile ahead I saw a man walking down the sidewalk all by himself with a big grin and a to-go coffee cup. And, he didn’t have a hold on the cable. He was just walking as if his feet we stuck to the ground. I had heard that there were a few companies working on shoes that would stick to the sidewalks. But, the costs were thought to be too prohibitive as most thought the sidewalks would need to be electrified so that the shoes could be magnetized…or whatever it would take to make that work.

I was dumbstruck. How was that possible? That man was unaffected by the lack of gravity. Then he was gone. He WALKED around the corner. Unfortunately, I had stopped on the cable and received a quite nasty push from the woman behind me. So I continued on my way to my office. 

But, I never made it to the office. I saw a building I had never really noticed until this morning. “Public Library”, the dingy unlit sign proclaimed on the outside of the red brick building. There was that nagging at the back of my mind. Something that said that there was something new, something containing hope. Something tells me that life wasn’t meant to be hopeless and the same-old-same-old. My heart screamed to follow the nagging. So I launched myself towards the two large oddly barbershop poles on either side of the doors of the Library. 

I managed to grab the pole to the right of the double doors. Each door was made of solid dark stained oak and had large smiling faces carved into each door. The faces looked like the face of that mythological character Santa Claus that my father used to tell me about as a child. All those old stories about Santa and a man from the dark times named Jesus. I forgot about those stories. Probably hadn’t thought of them in years. Years and years of struggle to stay on the ground and not drift off into space. Just a life of survival and the mind-numbing hopelessness of the sameness that kept going like a bad dream.

As I opened the door a warm blast of air escaped and washed over my face, and light streamed out the growing gap between the two doors as I pulled with as much leverage as I could gain from the pole. Until I finally stood next to the door.

I was standing.

There before me were rows and rows of shelves filled with books and people standing around reading books…not held down by anything. 

I walked into the library and came face to face with the Librarian. 

“Hello, Derek. Welcome to the Library. I am here to answer your questions and to lead you into all understanding into the land of Gravity. Out of the darkness and into the light. Out of the hopeless and into the New Creation. My name is Jesus. 

You have been called out of a world that has lost its anchor. I am the anchor. I am the Way, The Truth and the Life. There are weight and gravity in the Kindom and a future. Life without Me is without gravity and lost. Most of the people outside those doors are stuck in their ignorance and have no idea they are lost and drifting off into nothingness. 

You have been called to take the message of gravity to those lost and clueless about their lostness. It won’t be easy as those lost can’t see the hope. Indeed, most won’t even see you. They can’t see beyond their hopelessness. There is a kind of comfort to being lost. Especially when you don’t know you are lost. 

Welcome to the New Creation. Welcome to Gravity.”