Answered Prayer, Fresh Start, Hearing from God, Mid-life Crisis, Overcoming the impossible, Sign of Revival

Friend, Foe or Lord

God might be described as a Sovereign who will not allow His purpose to be crossed or thwarted. God has a Plan! Like a great and awesome river, He is going somewhere. Can we remain friends if our wills are momentarily wrangled like Jacob and the Angel of Jabbok? The man proceeded with a limp and that is no light matter. As some saint of old might comment from his heavenly bleacher, “I served with Jacob. I knew Jacob but you… You, my fellow saint are no Jacob!”

The patriarch also came away with a name change but no one seem to immediately notice not even Jacob, aka Israel! What was noted was seemingly, a loser’s limp.

Reading the passage from Genesis 32, the imagery is of a believer, uncomfortably bent over on his knees struggling in prayer due to his own evident shortcomings and self-inflicted problems. Back and forth he mentally weighs the issues of faith; His God appointed calling, his unworthiness compared to his predecessors, his lack of confidence; his fear. Jacob invited God to the tete-a-tete and as a Gentleman, when it was time to leave, God made it clear that He would be going only at His host’s release. God allowed Himself to be bound, in a sense, by decorum. This polite allowance is limited when He is likewise asked His name, just as He previously asked Jacob his name. With condescension, the angel replied with a royal snub. “Why do you ask?”

God is both Friend and Lord. As Jacob’s battle within transcended into the spiritual, God willingly joined the fray. Scripture reveals three areas that marked significant change as Israel, formerly Jacob continued his life’s sojourn. First, he prevailed spiritually speaking and the evidence is recorded and validated by a name change: Cheater to Prince of Power. Next, his *hurple, a war wound. God goes from being Friend to serious Enemy when His Sovereignty is questioned by unbelief. That wound was not gained by friendly fire! And yet, perhaps only eternity revealed to Jacob what he as Israel accomplished, seen on this side of the veil as that earthly limp. Finally, putting the man’s fears and doubts to rest, the Holy Ghost interchange went from mere dialogue, a tete-a-tete to a vis-a-vis. A face to Face encounter with the living God, at times a Foe but also, a Friend and forever the Lord.
*Contrary to popular English literary legend, the word, purple does have a rhyme.

Fresh Start, Overcoming the impossible, success-in-the-new-year

2017, A Fresh Start


Better is the end of a matter…
How do you know what will become of your project or prayer or endeavor at it’s inception? Like a small squirmy fetus resembling any other small squirmy fetus of a multitude, do not despise small beginnings. As counseled in the scriptures via Zachariah, ‘for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.’

The prospects! The opportunities! The challenges! The catalytic course of life! That transcendent spark giving cells the ability to duplicate and eventually, to form into a functioning organism will reveal what that specific small beginning is to become… A tadpole? A finch? A python or alligator? A giraffe? A whale? A human with the possibility of becoming a royal member of God’s eternal household? Every painted masterpiece traverses the gap of creative thought to actuality when that fimageirst stroke from the paintbrush touches the canvas. And such a small beginning, at that! Even an infant can dab color onto a virgin surface.
An accidental splotch does not a masterpiece make.

One year concludes and we can look into the rear mirror of our journey vehicle to say either Well done or Oh, what have I done?! Either way, as the annual sun sets, the future’s blank canvas arises with hopes of a new day arriving. Our palette holds the old stuff from which we must extract our masterpiece but also, colorful additions to bring eternal purpose to our endeavor. Will you be a child prodigy or an obsolescent genius? Perhaps, the New Year will allow you to discover your small beginning has already progressed into a delightfully eternal production which only needs you to be not weary in well doing.

Ecc 7:8
Heb 12:2
Gal 3:26
Gal 6:9 or 2Thes 3:13

Victorian postcard from flickr/nova scotia archives

Freedom from Torment, Overcoming the impossible

Freedom’s just another Word

God is taking us somewhere; He sees the end from the beginning. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ This statement from Isa 46:10 is not arrogantly spoken by a mortal, however powerful but as assurance by our Creator… When life takes a hairpin turn and all seems close to careening over the edge, God is at the wheel.

God’s purposes are the links which pull the plot forward to a conclusion. Truth is more than simply the substance of those links. It is the lifeline to the individual. Truth acts as carabiner and anchor, too.
A desire for truth is innate in humans. Jesus said, “Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”  Trusting that God is truth, firms up all the physical and non physical elements of life in the mind of the beholder. A child betrayed by an authority figure, may mature into an adult who struggles with the acceptance that eternal truth is absolute. When truth is distorted, the ground beneath one’s feet seems to shift; mental moorings go slack. Justice and accountability become suspect. We humans typically desire reconciliation to any given situation, bringing balance to life’s ledger… Often, we want to know the why of a thing. Certainly, a simplistic explanation of mankind’s sense of fairness and yet, once the why is discovered (the conflict reconciled, at least mentally), proper reaction results. 

Understanding from Jesus’ own statement recorded in John’s gospel chapter 8, truth frees, begs the question, then what binds? Truth is the key to freedom while the opposite of truth confines. Emotional, psychological or physical imprisonment may be undone by truth. In a sense, truth equals freedom. Freedom’s just another Word… for Truth.

Is it supernatural? Not necessarily but truth can be supernatural in that God, Himself is Truth and Jesus, truth in the flesh. Jesus’ life and death and resurrection transcends the natural and when applied as the key to any given “bondage,” freedom results. Freedom from spiritual and physical bondage reveals the cliff edge for what it is; a soon-to-be memory on our scenic route to paradise.

Overcoming the impossible


Not everyone loves a challenge.
When I look for the challenges of the impossible, my mind goes blank.

It is impossible that my parents should fully reconcile after 50 years? They are in their 90’s for heaven’s sake! and yet…

What about becoming affluent in a season of financial upheaval? People will continue to buy and sell until the trumpet blows…

Health? My peers and I are more fragile physically, emotionally, mentally and it would seem spiritually. Is is impossible to think that these frailties cannot be reinvigorated? No!

On the national level; cannot our nation be revived even as other nations have been in the past? How many praying saints does it take to see this nation rescued from defeat? God knows but it cannot be overmuch, surely.
Image result for ray of light pictures
Internationally, there are thunderous clouds of strategic dark forces plotting and preparing but in truth, light always overcomes the night when a single ray breaches the horizon. Is it impossible to believe that individuals and organized groups would not respond to the task at hand? I think not.

Abuse, violation, despair and suicide that have become personal strongholds in this generation, wearying the soul to dullness and apathy, seem impossible to overcome. And yet, God is no respecter of person. He will deliver by unlocking the intangible prison doors… ‘Ask, seek, knock.’

Impossibilities are limited because with God, ‘all things are possible.’ And, that is why my mind went blank.