The Feast of The Fowl

I saw the angel standing in the sun and he cried out so all heaven and earth and under the earth could hear, saying…Come all you fowl in the heavens to the feast of the Great King and eat upon the flesh of captains and kings of this world!”   Revelation 19

flock of birds

Photo by Alex Fu 

 

All who hear open your hearts and eyes!

Not out of fear or dogma but for His name’s sake

He will execute perfect love and mercy!

They who think they are wise but are enemies of The One

who is Holy and Faithful and True be aware!

His name is Faithful and True

His name is The Word of God

The King of Kings is His name

His eyes burn  with the white flame of justice

Many crowns are upon his head

He  will judge those who hate him still!

The sword of His word will judge in perfect righteousness

 All the fowl of the earth

will feast on their flesh on that day!

 

“You cannot find the way of the Cross. Jesus must lead you there…” Martin Luther

mountains nature arrow guide

Photo by Jens Johnsson

Oswald Chambers says “The Cross of Jesus Christ was the greatest and most profound collision of God and Sin”. In my sixty-three years of life I am still often astounded how I cannot grasp all that The Cross of Jesus means to those who choose to follow him. For you see it is a choice. Jesus never pushes himself on people because He knows that to be his follower there will be a cost.

In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book, Meditations on The Cross, I found myself pierced in the heart at my lack of true discipleship. Oh, make no mistake I am a born again child of God, regenerated and adopted into the family of God through Jesus’ blood shed for me however, having knowledge of that and thoughts and plans of my own on how that should go and how that should look I am learning to abandon.

In Bonhoeffer’s book he quotes Martin Luther and this quote absolutely “gutted” my spirit and has also transformed my idea of what following and obeying Christ means…I really don’t have the words to express what I have realized.

The Martin Luther quote, “things must happen not according to your own knowledge but rather immerse yourself in the abandonment of understanding and Jesus will give you true understanding. You cannot find the way of the cross. Jesus must lead you there like a blind person. Not the work you chose for yourself, not the sufferings you think up for yourself, but what comes to you contrary to your choosing, thinking, desiring, that is where you must follow, there He is calling. There you are the pupil, there is where your teacher, your Savior has come and is found.”

“So, this Great Collision between God and Sin, this collision absorbed by the heart of God is what the Cross of Jesus is. The world shook, the foundation of hell and death were defeated forever.”  Oswald Chambers

 

What the Cross is NOT is an act of martyrdom, in the sense that there is no “defeat” on Jesus’ cross. Only victory with the greatest price paid that eternity past, present, and future has ever known. The Cross is the central event in time and eternity, and the answer to all the questions of both. Nor is the Cross of Jesus something that “happened” to Jesus. He came for this exact purpose when he made His covenant between the three persons of the Godhead to become flesh and dwell among us.

Oswald Chambers says, “The Cross of Jesus is not “a” gift from God rather it is THE Gift from God! The Cross of Jesus is the literal act of God’s Holy judgment on Sin.”  Most Christians are familiar with these words but I tell you when I pondered on Martin Luther’s quote above regarding Jesus leading me like a blind person to His Cross, bearing my own cross of sin, selfishness, and vain knowledge I was undone!

In an ongoing study but now a  conclusion to this small putting together of words that cannot satisfy what I am trying to say,  The Cross is not the horrible end of a pious life, but stands rather at the beginning of community with Jesus Christ. Every call of Christ leads to death of self with the promise of eternal life in Him. You cannot know the way of the cross. I cannot make myself a disciple of Christ with my own knowledge, my own pursuits. It is only in following Jesus to His Cross that we will know the “Power of His resurrection” and eternal life. Lift up the mighty shield of faith for there are battles daily in this world but Jesus the God/man Redeemer of all is leading the way!

 

Oh what a Collision of God and Sin, my sin happened on the Cross of Jesus. The Cross of God. Oh my soul rejoice for the Joy of my Salvation has been restored!

 

(Credit to Oswald Chambers and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther, and the Holy Bible.)

 

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The Key Hole

antique close up door iron

Photo by Lukasz Dziegel

Peeping through the key hole in someone else’s dream

I thought I saw the answers to the meaning of deep things

There was no life-size rabbit or a balded man named Oz

There was simply Light blazing brighter than the sun

The Son, He is the King with lovers all around him

He cried, “everyone is welcome” but some people would not have him

Then once the door was open the King said, “Please come in”

His loving arms enveloped me can I sing that song again?

 

A handful of words you say…

belief bible book business

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I am a writer. Writers love to read other writers. I can only speak for myself but I like to read to see if I can find that author who has written something I have never read before. I have always been an adroit reader and have read profound words but honestly they have been said before. I have read deeply meaningful stories but they have been told before because we know, according to The Preacher, that there is “nothing new under the sun.”

But what if, what if someone’s words drive a stake into the ground right where you are standing? Or what if someone’s story breaks the chains of your heart and your own story comes to life?

That is the treasure hunt for me. The words, the expressions, the Truth, and the lies…like looking for sea shells for hours and hours and days and days seeing each one as beautifully written. The broken shells, the beautifully colored ones, the plain ones, the big ones, the little ones…all treasures.
In the end of it all I still come back to the most profound words I have ever read and these words DO drive a stake into the earth where I am standing and they DO keep me grounded and rooted in the life I have been given. This author is the only One who has broken the chains of my heart and allowed my own story to come to life…

Just a handful of words you say…yea and what a handful of words they are!

“I am the light of the world. I am the bread of life. I am the Resurrection and the Life. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I am the door of the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd. I am the True Vine. If you have seen Me then you have seen the Father. I am the Alpha and Omega. I am the Lamb that was slain. I go to prepare a place for you so that where I am you may be there also…”

“The human affair requires a miraculous solution…” (my nursing memories)

 

abandoned architecture auschwitz auschwitz concentration camp

Photo by Pixabay

She said, “the “human affair” requires a miraculous solution.  She shared how her mind would grow wings and soar in the great blue beyond. That is how she knew she was different…her mind would discover life’s secrets as it dipped and glided on the winds and over the Milky Way.  She said “I just never knew that most people did not seem to care to go where their mind would take them if they let it…”

She knew in order to please others her mind must stay tethered to her body but it seldom obeyed itself in this endeavor. She said,  “when people judged her she simply put them away like old worn out shoes because they could not help that they were worn out and would most likely never be able to take wings and fly with her.  It is a choice we each must make.  Most people think it childish to soar above the Milky Way or ride upon a raindrop.”  She said her fondest memory was when she made snow angels in her own snow globe because Winter was her favorite season and she like to remember the angels…

She spent two years in a German concentration camp when she was eighteen years old and she never saw her family again. She would watch the birds fly overhead mingling with the ashes of the dead and let her mind  go with the birds so that she would not become the ashes. Many years after the war she came to America and stayed with a distant Aunt who had also survived. She was put through many psychiatric test and told she was what we now call Bipolar but she never believed the doctors. She wrote beautiful poetry that lifted people up among the hopelessness of the aftermath of such a devastating time in human history. She had a tattoo on her arm and a limp due to a hip fracture she received in a beating in the camp because she did not stand up fast enough for one of the guards.

One evening as I was preparing her for bed I asked her if she believed in God. She looked at me without speaking for a minute or two and then she said with her chocolate brown eyes glimmering with tears, “who do you think let my mind grow wings and soar and still does? Who do you think slept by me every night in that camp and protected me from rape and disease and starvation? Who do you think I rode to the Milky Way with?”

“Oh child, she whispered, our God is bigger than all the evil, the most heinous deed man can dream up.”  As she lay her head upon her pillow and I tucked her in for the night she said calmly, “tomorrow I will be going beyond and will never be tethered to this old body again and when I go please don’t let anyone try to bring me back. I have waited long enough to meet my poet. It is God who writes the poetry of our lives and no one can take that away from you.”

I turned out the overhead light of her hospital room and I walked out into the night air and I stared up at the Milky Way and I cried. I cried and smiled at the same time. I knew I had been given a great gift. I would never forget that the “human affair” requires a miraculous solution and The Holy God is the poet of that solution. 

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
 If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

Psalm 139: 7-12

 

 

 

 

Observation in a Cafe…

portrait of young woman drinking coffee at home

Photo by Chevanon Photography

I suppose all writer’s like to sit and observe people. I am sure they must. I do this without even realizing it, even when I don’t want to.

I was sitting in a cafe yesterday for instance, in a nice part of North Dallas and four teenage girls came in…the following is what I observed and where my mind went…

The perfect girl, I will call her #1. She is tall. She has on designer shirt and shorts with the perfect little wedge shoes and subtle but elegant jewelry. Her hair is smooth and perfect and naturally deep auburn. Her sunglasses are effortlessly perched on top of her head. She is the Alpha Female, the leader, the talker. The others follow her but more importantly they trust her implicitly…

Girl #2 is so close to being an Alpha she has staked out being the #2 girl with authority. She is willing to follow the Alpha as long as the other two girls acknowledge that she is #2. She knows she isn’t as pretty or perfect but she is striking and smart, articulate and unafraid.

#3 is Happy. She is happy to be here. She is smiley and bubbly and very pretty without knowing it. She is easy going so she can never be an Alpha Female and she is okay with that. She knows her place and she knows she is just as smart and articulate as her friends but she knows “the art of waiting…”

#4 is the youngest in the pack. She is beautiful and smart but insecure. Her first words were “I didn’t wear my sunglasses.” She is afraid to step out and speak her mind yet because she is a little scared the others will make fun of her. For now, at this stage in her life, she is a follower but has every intention of overcoming her doubts and become the Alpha Female one day herself. She is the one who interacts the most with #1 because she is learning and soaking in observations. The teacher and the student…

I do not believe that women in the American culture have ever been taught or given the okay to move in packs or accept they are part of a marvelous tribe. Most of us bear the good and bad of life in a private place. We may have one friend or two we can tell most things too but it is rare that we would ever run a joint household as they did in the ancient days…The statement “it takes a village” is not true in the  America that I see. An American woman is expected to do it all and do it on her own and we all can see how well that has worked out.

I digress…so there they were, four girls, just eating, laughing, talking…they are probably nothing like what I observed…it is crazy right? I know.

The Sacred Ache

hourglass-time-hours-sand-39396.jpeg
This sacred ache  only you can fill

no words can describe the place

when you shattered that hour glass of shame

all the dust cleared I heard you call my name

 

Nothing on earth fulfills this longing

I have learned this yearning is not to be despised

yet held within so tenderly and bittersweet

you hold every tear I have ever cried

 

This sacred ache that you have filled

keeps me gazing at the stars each night

I look for your return my Lord and King

each day I long to live inside your light

 

 

No one else can propagate this longing

so I freely keep it there and open

when you shattered that hour glass of shame

when all the dust had cleared I heard you call my name…

 

“Daughter are you crying?
do the tears belong to me?
Daughter I am close as I can be.
and our time has just begun.”

Sharp shooter on the roof top (part one)

  1. war chess

    Photo by Gladson Xavier

I dreamed I am  in guerrilla warfare, watching sharp shooters on the roof tops

The King was right when he said we do not fight flesh and bone

Yet we insist on killing our own over and over,  the choice made, cannot be taken back

There are many traitors among us, or most likely they never were a child of the King

 

They look just like me so I cannot know who will gun me down, it is not for me to judge

The Truth can pierce the bone from the marrow, I know because it happened to me…

I must don God’s armor at all times, be vigilant in lie detection, oh the enemy is so smooth, it is a false light…

My heart is pounding, I cannot be silent, for every day is a day of war in the spiritual realm, to immense to be ignored

 

The manifold wisdom of God sees all, the Captain of the host holds all power in his name, Messiah, Jesus, God with us

So I take up my weapons… the belt  of Truth, the shield of Faith, the helmet of Salvation

I continue to walk behind the enemy line for I know the Battle is the Lord’s, I long to remain a diligent warrior

The sharp shooter is still on the roof, the scope on the rifle is aimed at my head, I can see his eyes dead like dolls eyes

I choose to keep walking

 

 

The solitude of mere humanity (another lesson from Job)

 

person sky silhouette night

Photo by Snapwire

The solitude of mere humanity…without tasting the solitary aloneness of  yourself before the God who created you one cannot experience the path to the Cross of Jesus Christ. Our parents faith, our family, our worldly status, our friends cannot enter into this solitude with us. The paradox of the supernatural and eternal Unity of the Cross with the certainty that we each must meet and know God alone is the reality each human must face.  This is the story of Job and every other human.

There is no way around it but it need not be a terrifying solitude. We cannot hide from this meeting with the Holy.  It is an offensive, not defensive stance.  To come home like the Prodigal son, to repent, to rejoice in the Wholeness provided in Jesus. To remove the facade of religious and worldly answers and simply stand unashamed and naked like Adam did when he was molded from the dirt and dust of the earth in the wonderful marvelous light of God’s presence. There is an innocent soberness to this kind of solitude.  Just us before God without another single human being.

It is in the solitude of mere humanity where there is intimacy without playing games. We all experience a time of total loneliness in this life yet in that place something within us cries out to us that we are NOT alone.  Job experienced this. Jesus certainly experienced this in the most utmost sense of the word. God does not play games with us. We came into this world naked and alone and we will leave this world with the solitary escort of the Holy Spirit of God into the very presence of our Creator, Savior, and King Jesus. That is so astounding and kind and simple.

I believe that God is in love with our human-ness. We are his ultimate design an image bearer of our God. We are the Crown of his creation. Not only does God love us he delights in and trust us with the lives he has given us and in our solitary aloneness  with him we can know these truths intimately.

 

Psalm 73 (interpretation)

heart shaped red neon signage

Photo by Designecologist

 

 

That familiar ache of longing

stings my heart again

My flesh and mind are failing

the Spirit within my only defense

 

Transparent in my need

find me once again

Vulnerable to the hurt of man

the certain pangs begin.

 

I declare you are my strength 

the Lover of my soul

I surely would have fallen

unless my God had taken hold