Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thinking That Produces Feeling

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began" - 2 Timothy 1:7-9 NKJV

The God given Spirit is one of power, love and sound thinking. The love is not passive. It is grounded in sound thinking. The power is not reckless there is reason not to fear. Mind has met mind. God's thinking enters into a man or woman and the thoughts are connected to love and connected to a sound fortified kingdom.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." - Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV

The Spirit of Love produces the fruit of Love. The rational Spirit provides channels and shapes for our soul. Our emotions can then be healthy and flow in the directions they were designed to flow in.

A Spirit taught person will be Spirit led. That Spirit has the power to give the hidden manna we need to feed on. The manna in our thought life provides the nutrients that our emotional life has need of to make the fruits of Love.

Fear says... you will be barren... you will be alone... you will be exposed.

Love says... you will be fruitful... you are never alone... you will be covered in Love.

We put to death the passions and desires of fear because we reckon those things as dead already because of the cross. The handwriting of law that would rightful cause fear is no longer visible.

Thinking with God and then thinking with God and then doing it some more produces a fruit bearing environment for our soul. It may be summer and the fruit may be so plentiful that there don't seem to be enough baskets to carry it all... or it may be winter and the rows of trees and plants may yield nothing again until the next season comes. Trees that look dead but are really full of sap.

The power, purpose and love of God's revealed plan as it unfolds reveals a Savior who has been thinking about us from before time began. His power looked into the dust and saw us and what we would be and He loved us and designed us like an artist designs His master work.

"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." - Galatians 5:25 NKJV

Thinking with God will produce a platform for our emotional state so that we can walk with Him. Love gives us something to talk about when we are with Him.

We are privileged to live in this Spirit. The challenge is to walk in this Spirit.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Eyes of The Farmer

"For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: 'Break up your fallow ground, And do not sow among thorns.' " - Jeremiah 4:3 NKJV

This is a good thought.

"Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, And for lack of justice there is waste." Proverbs 13:23 NKJV

There is food waiting to be planted and harvested in the fallow ground. A farmer can look at an empty field and imagine the yield that one day could come from that place.

"Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you." Hosea 10:12 NKJV

How much of what God does is preparation? How much of what we do is? Is that time wasted? Prayer time... Slow steady investment time... Is that time wasted?

The seed will be wasted if sown on the wild soil or the thorny soil of our hearts. It just isn't going to take root. Soil preparation is not fruit production. You can till the soil all you want but with no seed the ground will just lie dormant. The poor soul has little grace in it. It has little truth in it. Maybe some wild things grow there but it is not the beautiful garden or the rows and rows of vines overflowing with juice and sweetness that God knows grace and mercy could produce.

What would a few moments with a shovel do? A prayer shovel that attacks the soil. A little fire of conviction where the thorny branches can be burned and disposed of first. What time that might save later.

Then grace and mercy can be added in abundance. Seed, water and care are added and God gives the increase.

"Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants. He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield. By his blessing they multiply greatly, and he does not let their livestock diminish. When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, evil, and sorrow, he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; but he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks. The upright see it and are glad, and all wickedness shuts its mouth. Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD." Psalms 107:32-43 ESV

God till my soil. Don't let me be familiar with a barren landscape in my heart... in my city... in my family. Help us take the shovel of prayer to people, places and situations. Then the seed of the Gospel can be sprinkled in that place where the shovel has landed. Love with life in it.

You are the Lord of the Harvest. What do you see in that field?

Monday, July 29, 2013

I Was Brutish

"Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalms 73:20-26 ESV

God is truly our friend.

When we act rudely and we are insensitive God never says, 'They are not worth it.'  He does not shun us.

Have you every woken from the dream of your emotional state and wondered at the strange conclusions you came to during that time. The things you did and said are like a strange did them and said them. Anger can prompt responses that cause regret later. We say words that we can't take back.

God also says words that can't be taken back. He has no regret about any of them. God's counsel becomes our guide even when we go away from Him and sulk. God's Word's still shine somewhere in our minds walking patiently for our own fire to dim enough for them to be seen and heard in quiet.

Our strength is not in our perfect behavior. It never was. It is in God's loving commitment to us.

"For he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?' " - Hebrews 13:5a-6 ESV

Friday, July 26, 2013

Destroy This Temple

"And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, 'You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.' " Matthew 27:39-40 ESV

In fear they took Jesus' words and twisted them. A kingdom of evil and the fallen human heart see personal transformation as a threat to their broken but settled way of life.

Jesus said,

"Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' The Jews then said, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?' But he was speaking about the temple of his body." John 2:19-21 ESV

It got turned into this:

"We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.' " Mark 14:58 ESV

and this:

"This man said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.' " Matthew 26:61b ESV

At another time speaking prophetically Jesus said this:

"Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, 'You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.' As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?' And Jesus answered them, 'See that no one leads you astray.' " Matthew 24:1-4 ESV

He knew His words would be twisted but He needed to say them to prevent loss of life when Titus of Rome would come and in 70 AD destroy the second temple. It is said that it was destroyed the same day of the year that the first temple was destroyed.

Truth is so needed. It saves lives. The Gospel of grace is a harmless message. It is a proclamation of a grand provision. Life freely given and debt canceled simple by believing that what Jesus did on the cross 2,000 ago was a personal provision for the person who hears the message. It is a great gift anyone can receive freely... forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

People want a practical demonstration of power. They are at the same time afraid of what that power if manifested can do to them and their way of life.

Grace and Truth are rarely understand at face value in the moment. They boomerang back on us later. People want to use truth as leverage to gain power. Grace gives power to lay down our lives because of a relationship with God. That kind of divine Love is the most powerful thing around. The power to destroy has immediate dramatic results. The power in love has lasting edifying results that touches people in the moment and then later in life after the speaker is gone and it is needed.

If we are walking in the Spirit today it is likely we will be misunderstood and our motives may be put on trial but it is important that without striving we are not silenced.

Paul asked the believers at Ephesus to pray this way.

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." Ephesians 6:18-20 KJV

It is a good prayer.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Anointed for the Coming Battle

"And Samuel said to Saul, 'The LORD sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.' " 1 Samuel 15:1-3 ESV

God anointed Saul and then gave him the Amalekites.

"The Philistine said to David, 'Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.' Then David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hand.' When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine." 1 Samuel 17:44-48 ESV

God anointed David and gave him Goliath and the Philistines.

"And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.' Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." Matthew 3:16 - 4:1 ESV

Jesus was Baptized and anointed of the Spirit and combat quickly ensued also.

The Spirit of peace often brings conflict.

"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34 ESV

Jesus is the Prince of peace and yet in peace He stands opposed to all that is unrighteous. He is lamb. Yet even in His peace He is ready for war.

Anointed Truth takes on the lie and wins. God uses the anointing to break the yolk of bondage. An unclean atmosphere is banished and holiness is brought in. The Amalakites will attack us when we are weak. Goliath will try to intimidate us with his loud voice and impressive claims. The wilderness will try and wear us down.

"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." Acts 10:38 KJV

Jesus has overcome all enemies. He has conquered the wilderness. He has defeated death and plucks us like brands out of the flames.

"And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us" 2 Corinthians 1:21 ESV

Let's live like lambs but walk in victory overcoming evil with divine good.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Life of Denial or The Cross of Redemption

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:24-26 KJV

"And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9:59-62 KJV

Grace and mercy are relentless. They are like the gentle streams of water that flow in and fill up the low places.

"For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things - things that belong to salvation." - Hebrews 6:4-9 ESV

Once a person has had the light shine in the darkness they can't go back to the pretense they used to live in before. You can't un-tell the secret. You can't un-taste the peach. Once a person has been given the true meaning of the cross and it's significance they can't go back to thinking that somehow they can save themselves. If they do it is like a farmer who works hard to place a crop and work a piece of land only to find that thorns and thistles have sprung up. The frustration is more than if the field had just been left as fallow ground.

The word used here for tasted is the same word used in Heb 2:9 when Jesus 'tasted death' it is the Greek word Geuomai (G1089). It is the place where perception and experience meet. It is when food no longed is separate from you but becomes integrated into your physical body and part of you in a different form.

The Gospel will either ruin someones life or save it forever but either way it destroys the possibility of living comfortably in the illusion that morality will be enough to be a protection from death and and entrance into eternal glory.

If you leave the plough in the field and seek to pick up pleasure and self justification you will always live a life of 'What if?'... I life of settling for second best... your field will become a by word of overgrown weeds with the sign 'Used to be a Christian' over it because no one who has tasted of the Heavenly gift is ever going to really fit into the fallen World again anyway.

Yes. Grace is relentless and mercy will follow us all the days of our life.

But, The crazy thing is that when we do pick up His cross and make it our cross we find that the yoke is easy. Our lives make sense again. Christ's cross is a cross of redemption and time is bought back. Mistakes are covered and redeemed. Not erased but incorporated into a redemptive history instead of a broken identity. The cross separates our past from our future like it separated life from the criminal.

Once the illusion is no longer 'on the table' as an option truth is revealed to be much better than the fiction ever could be. The thorns and thistles give way to the fruits of the Holy Spirit and they are peaceable fruits indeed.

God is holy and will never compromise with our flesh. When we make that decision also by responding to grace and living in the finished work instead of an Earthly program then we really walk with God as a disciple and miracles happen on the road with the one who has no place to lay His head in this world.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Five Loaves and Faith

"But Jesus said to them, 'They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.' And they said to Him, 'We have here only five loaves and two fish.' He said, 'Bring them here to Me.' Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children." Matthew 14:16-21 NKJV

"Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope! Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually!" Psalms 119:116-117 ESV

Have you ever cried out this way?

We can look at our ability or our provision and say, 'It is not enough.' We divide the bread in our minds and look at how many people need to be fed and begin to live in unbelief.

Later in Mark 8 when the disciples forgot to bring enough bread Jesus reminds them of the five loaves in Matthew 14. Who forgets bread? We do. Who often lacks ability? That would be us.

Did the disciples eat? Yes. Were they ashamed? No.

I am not condoning irresponsibility... but addition and subtraction fail us often in this life. We need a life of multiplication.

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:2-8 NKJV

God has given all that we need and He has a way of multiplying things that goes beyond our scope of understanding. Our little mustard seed of faith becomes enough.

If we are going to add to anything... add faith first. Add to the thing that is not a work. It is a mindset and a relationship based on God's ability.

Have you forgotten the bread? So what! Grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Temptation and The Cross

Grace if properly taught should bring us into a place where we rely totally on God's provision and God's strength.

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." - Galatians 5:16-21 ESV

If you feel the pull of these things remember... your resistance alone is not what will win the battle but identification and correct categorization of desire is important. Grace has not blurred the lines of holiness. It has given us a means to live in holiness. The law is not the means to live a holy life but it does define the boundaries of holiness.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit." - Galatians 5:22-25 ESV

A Spirit filled life is a Holy life and the crucified Christ is the only way we can live that life. Law can not accuse that life. Law can not produce that life. God does this and in the moment of temptation we make choices with Christ in sight. If emotions outside of union drive our decision making in the moment of temptation we can rationalize carnal decisions. Grace has given us a cross. That cross, Christ's cross, becomes a point of reference that guides our decision making. When it does we are on the same page as the Spirit of God. Resurrection emotions and Resurrection fruit will be the result.

"Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself." - Galatians 5:26 - 6:3 ESV

This is a personal dynamic. Not one can make these choices for us. When we are restored we have a mind to restore others. The works of the flesh are self focused works that have no inheritance. A cross minded person loses self as they pass through death into Resurrection life.

"But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." - Galatians 6:4-10 ESV

Temptation is going to happen. We can get grace and mercy then give grace  and mercy through that time. The life in us from God has a supply that will not only keep us but it will give us victory. The 'Yes and Amen' is us overwhelms the desire to be satisfied apart from God. One victory over what we have never had victory over before can start a chain reaction of victory in our life.

"A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might... If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter." - Proverbs 24:5, 10-11 ESV

We may be weak now. No worries God has a provision for the weak. It is His strength. The cross is doorway through death into life. Don't fight your battle alone. Christ has already won the war.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Discerning Body Life

Just thinking about the Church this morning... the Church as the Body of Christ...

"In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." John 1:4-5 KJV

"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - Jews or Greeks, slaves or free - and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, 'Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,' that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you,' nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you.' On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it." 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 ESV

This is a great mystery. Really it is. In Christ's Body we find belonging, honor and purpose. It is a dynamic that one person can never see in it's fullness because much of it hidden in interactions that other people are having with one another. Compassion is multiplied. Care is multifaceted. There is individuality in unity. There is no need to 'talk to' our function or another person's function. The Body and each member has a 'Christian Dynamic' or a Christ likeness that give off pure light. The dynamic is only understood in part but experienced in fullness.

"So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love." Ephesians 4:14-16 ESV

In this place there is a supply. I say place not because the Church is in a geographic location per se but because it is a dynamic we can be present in or removed from. It is more than entering into the front door of a building.

"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" 1 Corinthians 10:16 KJV

"Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." 1 Corinthians 11:27 KJV

Is communion the wine and the bread alone?

Communion is not linked to my salvation but what do I miss if I miss communion? What supply is cut off?

If I see the Church as only a social place... a supermarket for my needs to be met... a playground to live out my desires... do I then partake of the communion 'unworthily'? If so God can change our minds and restore to us a true perspective and glimpse of His divine presence in the corporate dynamic.

Lord, If we don't have a Church like this lead us to one. If we do have access to one, or many, open our eyes to see if for what it really is not to have mouths open in criticism but eyes open in awe of the edification that happens in honor because You are present.

"Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, 'Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.' And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal... And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it" Revelation 21:9-11, 22-24 ESV

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Winning the Wild Ones

Horses are beautiful animals... powerful, intelligent and elegant creatures. Men have an interesting love hate relationship with these animals... because they are useful men have used them... because they are beautiful men have owned them... because man is fallen he has done these things in an often abusive way.

Many men have 'tamed' horses using violence and overwhelming the will. Other gifted men and women use their knowledge of the animal to win them... not by force but through patient knowledge and mastery.

A wounded person can find healing when they witness, or participate in, the rehabilitation of a horse. The horse's breakthroughs become their breakthroughs. Somehow when the wounded or wild horse's resistance yields to the loving understanding influence of the human trainer the wounded person who is watching can have a cathartic healing experience also.

The will of a person, while more complex, is not unlike the will of this grand animal.

Man surrendered his mastery of nature in the fall. Much is missing and broken in the world because of that. People often use violence to try and get back what they have lost. I think that witnessing the reconciliation of the horse to a person models hope to a person and shows them what is possible. Something lost is won back in front of their eyes.

Grace is God's elegant skillful method of restoring right relationships. It is what sustains a loving relationship and what makes it possible. It does not force submission it wins the wild will and creates union. It creates a way for the wounded soul who is on the run to join his creator again and be touched and directed by Him.

Look around. There are many wild wounded ones in the world. They run and run and run with no rest for their souls. Perhaps that was us before we met the master. God by His skill and love waited for us while working on us. He used circumstances. He used people.

God use us today. Let us be your hands and feet to give grace to the wild ones. Give us gentle, firm and patient words.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Who, How and Why

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." - 1 Timothy 1:15 KJV

Three parts of this verse grip me this morning.

Jesus didn't stumble into His role. He pre-purposed to act in this way. Who else can we say this about? Does anyone truly have a memory of their intentions before birth? Jesus arrived into His life on Earth.

"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." - Philippians 2:7-8 KJV

He found Himself in the fashion of a man.

Secondly, He came to save. Like a fireman rushing into a burning building... Jesus placed Himself in the human race to save us. Amazing. His visit was a business trip. Yes, He laughed and cried and lived a life but it was the life of one on a mission.

Lastly... He came for unworthy people. Broken people. Dirty people. Hopeless people. He came for the harmful and the helpless alike.

It is good to talk about this. How He came, why He came and to whom He came are important things to understand. Then like Paul we can apply it to ourselves. We are qualified to be the reason for His coming.

We are qualified for that visitation today also. His graciousness qualifies us.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Adding to Every Season

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace." - Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV

"Charity never faileth" - 1 Corinthians 13:8a KJV

"I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." - John 17:4 KJV

There are different times for different things and yet what Christ has done spans the length and breadth of times and it's seasons.

We go through many seasons... Times of humor and comfort and times of distress and conflict but in all of them and through all of them Christ remains seated at the right hand of God and rises only to meet those who come to Him.

In each season we can say, "It is finished." Christ is our Rock throughout it all.

We can all read Ecclesiastes 3 and after each new phrase say "... but It is finished."

Friday, July 12, 2013

Treasures in Darkness

"Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever." 1 Kings 8:12-13 KJV

That little phrase 'thick darkness' stopped me this morning. It speaks of a darkness that is full not empty. Like the darkness that you might have in a thick fog. Something full but unknown because it is unseen.

"And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night." Exodus 14:20 KJV

"The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all." Ecclesiastes 2:14 KJV

One group sees because of positioning of the light. The other is blinded. It is the same event that happens to both parties.

"He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail." 1 Samuel 2:9 KJV

Obscurity can not be overpowered. If there is a cliff in the darkness you can send one man in or one hundred and it will not matter. The wicked are silent because they are listening and hoping one of their other senses will provide insight into the situation.

God brings light on the inside that brightens my outside in degrees. The Word becomes a lamp in my hand and a light in my mind. The Trinity has made a home in us that the Son has made possible. In that home there is a warm cheerful fire in the fire place even on the dark fog filled nights.

"with the purified you deal purely, and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down. For you are my lamp, O LORD, and my God lightens my darkness." 2 Samuel 22:27-29 ESV

"And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel." Isaiah 45:3 KJV

God can and does live in obscurity because of the separation mankind suffered in. He sees but we did not see Him. We don't have to live there anymore.

"I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." John 12:46 KJV

"Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me." Micah 7:8 KJV

Even when we do there for seasons either on purpose or because the circumstances seem to put us there... God will find us again.

"As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day." Ezekiel 34:12 KJV

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Vexing Is In The Mix

"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 5:8-11 ESV

This word translated 'suffered' is Pascho (G3958) and it means to be vexed or immersed in sensory identification. The woman with an issue of blood suffered at the hands of her physicians before she touched the hem of the garment of the the great physician and found healing. Jesus was vexed in many ways. The Messiah had to be vexed first and so do we have to be vexed.

There is no strengthening, confirming, or establishing without a period of vexing. It is a short period but a measured period that must seem long even though it is by comparison to eternity short.

Vexing causes identification with frustration and that is a necessary ingredient for the established person.

Has God poured a measure of vexing into your mixing bowl of late? Has He?

No worries it will all be folded in soon enough to make a batter that will rise and produce eternal glory. Our God of all grace will make sure of it.

Just like when divine red blood touches the blackest sin and makes it white as snow when mercy grace and truth are mixed with great vexing God makes something beautiful out of it. The dry wood of our humanity is overlaid with gold and a work of art is created.

Don't get me wrong it isn't easy. It boarders on intolerable. Jesus' body flinched at the crack of the whip and His brow hated the crown of thorns. It would not be vexing if it was easy. In the midst of suffering He was a lamb that opened not His mouth. He didn't beg His captors to stop... He poured out His soul to His Father.

I want to refuse to let my sensory identification with frustration to get me to speak words I will regret later. Let the frustration be wiped away like dross from silver and the purification process proceed as planned.

Eternal glory is never a deserved result. Only a God of all grace can establish us.

I surrender all to You the God of all power and dominion. I want to marvel at Your artistry. Today my eyes are fixed on You.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Push, Pull or Carry

"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." 1 Corinthians 6:12 KJV

This is one of my favorite verses. It is so practical. When weighing an action I can almost always add this verse to the equation.

Prohibition provides one kind of motivation. Strong emotion or need provides another. A believer need never have the flesh become active because of restrictions. (The 'do not touch' sign ignites a desire to touch) nor do they have to come under any power but God's power. The question becomes what is expedient?

Expedient is Symphero (G4851) which literally means to bear together. The picture is two people carrying a large sofa up a flight of narrow stairs. Each one carries an end to lighten the load and help turn the sofa just the right way to get it to fit through the doorways.

What decision will set me right alongside the weight bearer? Obedience to God's revealed will put us next to God in the situation. Be careful. Knowing God's revealed will is a prayerful thing... it is a faith venture... it is a Biblical discovery.

God's will starts with being not doing. It involves recognition of the eternal. The next verse provides clarity.

"Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body." 1 Corinthians 6:13 KJV

If the expedient situation or arrangement is what we desire then we need to put things in their place. Destroy here is Katargeo (G2673) and it means to render idle or make inactivate. People and objects are no longer things to be consumed to meet my desires. Grace makes everything 'for the Lord' because God is the one who meets our needs and authored the root of our desires.

Our desires may have been warped and amplified over time but ultimate satisfaction is in the One who designed us. Restriction, domination and wrong thinking are what build false appetites.

Grace causes us to walk with someone mighty, peaceful and meek. In the situation we look for the ways that we can do that. Not because we must or because some power forces us to.

Christ's burden is light because He really carries all the weight when we walk with Him. God will give us eyes to see that path if we ask Him and listen for His leading.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Write a Reminder For Your Soul

The first few verses of Psalm 103 show the nature of a man's soul in a fallen world. A soul can forget. Even filled with joy and filled with recognition of the eternal it knows it's limits.

"Of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed." - Psalms 103:1-6 ESV

This Psalm is like a lucid moment of memory. The Psalmist writes a note for Himself in God's presence. Like we would write a note in the evening to remember something in the morning. We could forget to mail the letter or put gas in the car so in the moment of memory we leave ourselves a reminder.

God needs no reminders to be who He Is and do all that He does. My soul is a soul that 'blesses' when I remember that. All healing... all satisfaction... all justice... all redemption is in Him.

"He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." - Psalms 103:7-12 ESV

Remember His patience... think again of how personal He Is. How does He deal with us... Is it according to sin or our bad emotions... No... never that... His love is larger... Because of the cross His love is in sight but is so large that are human perception can not grasp the full scope of it... sin is removed far away and love fills our vision...

"As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children," - Psalms 103:13-17 ESV

Remember that God knows you. Like an attentive perceptive Father who knows each child our Father in Heaven knows us. He has compassion for our quirks and limitations. He sees what we are made of. Our frame has limits but His love does not. We are fixed in His love. His love makes our soul permanent because nothing limits His memory or His power.

It is morning and we can remember. Let the moments of recognition we have had of divine glory wash over us again in fresh ways...

Who Is God?
What Is He like?
What has He done?
What are His commitments?

In remembrance faith can be mixed in to our thoughts and love can fill us again. If we remember we will worship.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Be Ye Followers of Me

"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." - 1 Corinthians 11:1 KJV

Would I have followed The Apostle Paul? That has been my question this morning. It made me take a little time to pour over the books he wrote to see what he taught again. Instead of looking at it as doctrine alone... I am looked at these books as what a man was teaching. Paul knew grace. He understood so much. He valued people greatly. He loved. He had boldness. He was a hard worker... making tents to pay his way.

He also made mistakes. He was so bold that is must have seemed dangerous to his team. He loved his fellow Isrealites so much that he would have gone to Hell for them. People thought his study had driven him mad.

He wasn't Jesus. Jesus lost no one. None of his disciples died while He was walking on the Earth. How much more dangerous to follow some one like Paul who relied so heavily on grace and mercy.

How can we follow anyone who isn't Jesus? Good question.

Who will lead us into personal victories? Who will take new territory? Who can provide a covering? The world needs men who lead and men who follow.

In part it must have been what Paul believed and who he was that made anyone want to follow Him. But, It was also where he was going and His connection to Christ.

This is a polarizing concept. I know it is. Many consider the risk too high to ever attach themselves to any man saved by grace. Some people who have been burned in relationships feel that way about marriage. Never again... until they meet the right one.

A nice church can be a nice place to hide... or perhaps a solitary life of faith is also. But, If you are connected to a man of God you will take the land. There will be victories and the dirty stalls that come with them on the outside and there will be conversions in the hidden territories of the soul also.

Time is too precious to hide out. I want all that God has to offer.

Friday, July 5, 2013


People have been lifting other people to exalted positions of spiritual significance throughout history. They make statues and set them on un-climbable marble columns in the town square. I think in some ways it is an easier way to live.

We can live like little boys and girls who never grow up.

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." 1 Corinthians 13:11 KJV

"And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ." Matthew 23:9-10 KJV

As children we need examples and they are given to us readily. Examples of people who do the right things and wrong things are ways to tell character lessons and instill moral fiber. Children need those lessons.

What happens when children become adults? Suddenly they become accountable to adult responsibilities... the middle man is taken away.

Oppressive societies want their inhabitants to remain childlike in these ways. It makes it easier to keep people under their thumbs. Other cultures strip all honor and respect from people causing a loss of innocence on fundamental levels.

God has a balance. A way to mature without loss of innocence. It is grace.

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." 2 Peter 3:18 ESV

Grace by nature gives glory to God while giving dignity to people.

"To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 1:7 ESV

All people can hear and answer the call to be Saints. The word actually means called out ones. Freedom means accountability. When we stand before God there will be no merely moral man standing between us and Him to shield us.

If anything shields us it will be the gracious relationship we have with Christ. Being in Christ will be the Ark that saves us.

"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." Romans 12:9-10 ESV

It is from this vantage point that true honor can be shown. We don't worship people but we do honor them more and more. Grace lets us love ourselves and have the power to face the future head on with no buffer but God Himself. The honor of a pioneer is a priceless thing. Let's love God, others and ourselves just that way.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Let Freedom Ring

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, - That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed...

...We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
    - The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
    - In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

Let all men still appeal 'to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions' as they did on this day in 1776. That is where all freedom is established.

Christ won every person's freedom. Freedom from judgement... freedom from spiritual oppression...

Freedom can ring in our homes and on our streets. If Christ is lifted up He will draw men unto Himself.

Let's appeal to the God of all grace today and thank Him for all the freedoms we enjoy and petition Him for those who are in bondage.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Is not the arrow beyond you?

Jonathan and David were friends in wartime. We all need wartime friends. These people know each other and function on behalf of each other even when the friend is not present.

If we want to continue to grow in being a friend then we have much to learn from these passages.

"And Jonathan said to David, 'Come, let us go out into the field.' So they both went out into the field. And Jonathan said to David, 'The LORD, the God of Israel, be witness! When I have sounded out my father, about this time tomorrow, or the third day, behold, if he is well disposed toward David, shall I not then send and disclose it to you? But should it please my father to do you harm, the LORD do so to Jonathan and more also if I do not disclose it to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. May the LORD be with you, as he has been with my father. If I am still alive, show me the steadfast love of the LORD, that I may not die; and do not cut off your steadfast love from my house forever, when the LORD cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.' And Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, 'May the LORD take vengeance on David's enemies.' And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul." 1 Samuel 20:11-17 ESV

We can't calculate how much the verbal communication of love means. Some say, 'talk is cheap'... it can be... but it can also be the most valuable thing going.

This little talk became a commitment. David would watch over Jonathan's house and later bless Mephibosheth because of it. David would hide the crippled legs of a man as Christ hides our crippled limbs and be a foreshadow of the Savior's love.

"Then Jonathan said to him, 'Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty. On the third day go down quickly to the place where you hid yourself when the matter was in hand, and remain beside the stone heap. And I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark. And behold, I will send the boy, saying, 'Go, find the arrows.' If I say to the boy, 'Look, the arrows are on this side of you, take them,' then you are to come, for, as the LORD lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. But if I say to the youth, 'Look, the arrows are beyond you,' then go, for the LORD has sent you away. And as for the matter of which you and I have spoken, behold, the LORD is between you and me forever.' " 1 Samuel 20:18-23 ESV

Our friends have to hear from God. Our father is no cruel man like Saul was but still... it is His will that determines the location of the ones we love. We are at war. Will we serve close by or far away. No one wants to serve far away from the ones they love.

The arrows of life will fly and we must make choices and listen for the voice of God. Where is He calling the 'young men'? Often it is beyond. He is often saying, 'Don't go left or right... go beyond.' God sends them farther and our heart goes farther also.

"In the morning Jonathan went out into the field to the appointment with David, and with him a little boy. And he said to his boy, 'Run and find the arrows that I shoot.' As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. And when the boy came to the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the boy and said, 'Is not the arrow beyond you?' And Jonathan called after the boy, 'Hurry! Be quick! Do not stay!' So Jonathan's boy gathered up the arrows and came to his master. But the boy knew nothing. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter. And Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, 'Go and carry them to the city.' And as soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap and fell on his face to the ground and bowed three times. And they kissed one another and wept with one another, David weeping the most. Then Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, 'The LORD shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.'' And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city." 1 Samuel 20:35-42 ESV

God sent His Son farther. He did not send Him left or right. Christ was sent all the way to the cross and then beyond into death. The animosity of sin sent Him there. We as watchers and listeners have heard the voice command Him to go in the Gospels and He went. It saved our lives.

Our friends go. We go. Children go. Parents go. We see the separation in the world. People are lost and someone must tell them. God shoots His arrow beyond us. Our friends hear the voice of the Son crying out, 'Is not the arrow beyond you?' and we must embrace them and let them go where God has sent them. That is life in wartime.

It will not always be wartime. There will be a great reunion. We sometimes have little reunions in this life but later when death, our last enemy, is put down there we be a great feast and in the timelessness of eternity we will swap war stories. Until then we pay our vows, shed some tears, pray prayers and go to work our mission fields. God will never leave us or forsake us.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bask in Love and Rest in Love

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 ESV

"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love." Galatians 5:6 ESV

We live by faith in the Son of God. The faith that is in us because He indwells us. It is faith powered by love and not proven by action. Action avails nothing. Christ is everything and His action was what availed something.

It is Jesus. It is all about Him. Everything was and is about Him. Not us... Him. Not them but Him.

He is where it starts and He is were it ends. That is the pure place to live. From there love can move us. Move us it will... but it will never move us away from this starting point.

"Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love." Revelation 2:4 KJV

"We love him, because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19 KJV

In God's love and the Son's faith we are centered and can hear. Maybe this morning we do nothing else but listen in rest at His feet. That is enough.

If I do anything else it is because I moved to do it by Him. Right now I want to just bask in the love without a care. It's like siting in a bath or resting in a hammock... for those moments there is nothing else and should be nothing else.

My rest is a person. He is my rest.

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Rare Love

"And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul." 1 Samuel 18:1 KJV

Being knit together in love with one another is a great privilege. We can all say the relationship Jonathan had with David is a rare one. God did it. Grace enabled it.

"For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:1-3 ESV

Face to face love should come easy to a believer in Christ. In an atmosphere of love, mercy and forgiveness we can love one another.

Hidden in Christ is a deeper love than that. We love the person we do not see. The ones we have met and God has knit our hearts together with and those we have not yet met but long for because God longs for them and our love is intertwined with His love.

This past week our Church had a great meeting where people came from all over the World and great grace was given to us to receive and fellowship. I saw barriers go down between people in profound ways. Barriers of distance and spiritual, emotional and intellectual barriers as well. The face to face love was poured out.

Now on my way down from the mountaintop and into the valleys of life I want to let that love that I was soaked in really knit me together with people through prayer remembrance and action as God leads through the year to connect and be involved in the lives of the ones I love.

Together we can 'reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.'

Just as David saw God in Jonathan's love. We can love one another this way. Yes, It is a rare love... but we have a God who can make the rare multiply in our lives.