History Repeats

israel-flag2  american_flag-971804

Firstly, some fun facts about Israel: http://israelcampusbeat.org/archives/2548/65-facts-for-israel-at-65/. A good many of these I did not know.

For quite some while now, I’ve marveled as to how the early Israelites and yes, even Jesus’ disciples, unceasingly stumbled. Mismanaging themselves, muddling, floundering, then return to righteousness before God; Israelites perplex and bewilder me.  Focusing on early peoples of early Israel, how could they possibly see the proofs and loyalty of God, while perpetually failing Him? What would seem as incredulousness in the face of credibility, are their very actions, in light of God’s pronounced presence. Yet, as often God would grant them reprieve, show pity through enduring generosity, they inevitably stubble, revert and regress.

Those of whom are familiarized with Old Testament scripture, Israel seemed doomed unto themselves. After all God consummated, even up to Elijah’s proving upon Mount Carmel, the people of Israel ebb into degeneration.

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/doomed-to-repeat-it lists some quotes from folks about repetitive history and what can be assured of those who do not observe lessons gleaned from ones past. Insanity, as I have read, is “Repeating the same actions with the expectation of a different outcome”. Has our nation become insane? Has America not learned or taken away, one useful morsel from the past? Even insomuch as setting the Bible aside, looking only at worldly events; we should well have prospered from this.

We [Americans] follow in the very footsteps of early Israel. God is, and has, for countless generations, beckoned us return. God, remaining ever tolerant and slow to anger, has allowed us to continue in our ways. But I suggest that we are being called back and called-out.

The Lord has made Himself, quite clear if we want to be candid in this matter, about His ways and His will. It is neither left to supposition or to debate as to what is expected of mankind with regard to its behavior and actions. God has granted us mercy for a time.

My personal puzzlement arrives in fashion of stupefaction. How is it, aside from the daily, gradual nudging, that we have ventured so distant? With reams, astounding volumes of historical information and insights at our disposal; we are as ignorant as a people centuries past. Basking in our arrogance, conceit, self-serving, intellectual prowess we have come to have almost a contempt for God in such a sublime manner. Most, likely do not even realize the subtlety with which we’ve fallen away.

Always, I return to his posed question, “How long will you limp between the two divisions?” How long will we debate, postulate, vacillate and finally, refuse? Have we become such stubborn, disrespectful and unmindful children? When will we honor our Father?

Church, people, multitude…will you hear my cry in the wilderness?

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Part the Skies, Prepare a Place for Me.

His name, fills my heart. And His voice, plays the part..

Of a father I’ve always longed for, in a home I’ve only dreamed of.

On His name, I believe. By His blood, I am, set free.

From a reminder of my failures. And a life I never wished for.

Part the skies, prepare a place for me!

For thirty pieces of silver, betrayed and delivered.

On a cross He gladly gave up, His holy ghost went straight up.

Part the skies, prepare a place for Me!

I believe, for all He died. And for relief, He must have cried!

To the Father that He longed for. To comfort and console Him.

In a home He always dreamed of. Leaving this life He never wished for.

I part the skies, a place prepared for Thee!

 

Thank You, blessed Lord, for that which I do not deserve. Your grace shall be my promise. Until that day when YOU part the skies and take me to the place You have assuredly, prepared for me.

 

Not For My Deeds

Wishing the “duality of man” were better understood; how great are our abilities, so terrible our actions can be, likewise. We’ve an innate kindness nested with selfishness. Are we aware of which master we choose to serve, each day? Can we overcome one and dispose of the other? Should we? Or should we keep both to better appreciate the need and benefits gained, one from the other? Do they compliment each other or are they simply detrimental to us?

We cannot serve two masters, for we shall love the one and hate the other, right? How does one properly wrestle this? How best to select one or the other seem left up to the individual. But that is not the case. We shall always struggle against sin and our sinful ways, for that is the nature, by default, of mankind. The Holy Spirit, which abides in us, helps; it is the “Helper” and the “Comforter” for many great reasons.

To be more like Christ in our daily walk, we must allow the indwelling Spirit to do its job. Without resistance, given to supplication, humility and profound knowledge of our very need for its presence, we must be willing to be directed. The more of Christ which is within us, the less of things unlike Christ, can remain. For instance, one cannot completely fill a jar with more than one material at that same time. Different matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time. If the jar is completely filled with water, it cannot then by filled with sand also, while retaining the same amount of water. One will cause the other to be displaced. In this way, if we are filled with flaw, but allow ourselves to be filled with perfection, one will displace the other. Imperfection will be removed by displacement and occupation of perfection, in its place.

Always, there shall remain choice; we can affect the balances of the “fillers”. But when we maintain our desire to serve the Lord, knowing He is an endless, flowing fountain of Living Water, we learn and benefit. This fountain, continues to flow and whatever sand we allow into our life, it is easily and constantly being washed away {displaced} by the water.

Your faith shall always prevail, if you maintain your desire upon the Kingdom and the Father, to whom your heart belongs. Be of good cheer and strong. Grace will ever, surpass wrath when we make ourselves subject to the Lord.

Enduring Our Loss – Keeping Our Hope

So often, it’s been said of me, that I should’ve been born in another time. People often suggest a time, perhaps, like the early 1900’s; I tend to agree.

Upon reflection, my meager length of life has provided such an awe. Greatly, has our nation and its peoples changed; I do not say progressed. Once, we were a people of good cheer, kindness, morals, ethics. Consideration for others was simply a way of life; there was a natural, instinctual, respect for one another.

Such disdain, dissatisfaction…an utter reproach toward the manner in which our once, great nation, has run itself into the reef. We are taking on water and seemingly, in desperate fear of the possibilities of hopelessness.

Hard times come with realization – priorities change, understanding unfolds – what we must do now, what we have done in order to achieve this situation, etc. Eventually, it will come down to survival, hinged upon absolute necessity.

What hopelessness might await our people? Will there come a time wherein, we fully, insightfully and with humility, measure our failure before the Lord? As a nation, as a people, merely as children of our beloved Creator, we will find ourselves before Him. Either in wrath, pleading for mercy or in awe, thankful for additional grace…we will certainly come to an ends.

Gratitude affords me hope, in that, we have solemn promise from the Lord. If we seek Him with all our heart, we shall find Him. God is not hidden from us, and He has not yet turned His back upon us. God is able to have patience, for a time. Nevertheless, God awaits us to present ourselves before Him, not the other way around.

For the people that will continue to walk in God’s ways, remaining in God’s will, we shall know His grace, mercy and love. People who refuse Him, will assuredly know His wrath. Yes, believers shall see times of severe difficulty, but we shall face it with perfect clarity that God loves us and provides a means, a way and an end.

Prayer is a byproduct of faith, which comes from patience. Without faith, we cannot speak prayers to the Father; it would be completely futile and senseless. We must have the genuine faith He exists, that He is the only, true God, as well as hope that our promises shall be rewarded us for our good, faithfulness.

What I hope to convey and trust to assure, is that we shall never be completely without hope. We, His children, shall never be cut off from Him, cannot be removed from His will or cast out. Salvation is secured, hope is constant, faith is required.

Look always unto the Father, seek Him in all your way. Let there be no questions, debates or confusions about a complete certainty; God answers when we speak to Him. God ALWAYS listens and inclines His ear to us.

Testimony – Strayed and Returned to the Lord

Once, there were two families which were joyous in the Lord, my own and the family of the Pipkins. Our families became as closely-knitted as if to be one of the same. We shared fellowship, friendship, love and admirations for one another, completely.

The Pipkin family was made up of Bill & Claudia, (dad and mom) Louise (daughter) and Sammy….a most beloved son, whom the family revolved around. S…ammy was my very best and closest friend; he was a remarkable boy. Sammy was a vibrant, God-loving, energetic youth, that had a smile liken to that of an angel. Our families spent so much time together. If Sammy was somewhere, I was less than a stones-throw away and vice versa. We were absolutely inseparable. The Davis’, comprised of my mother Cheryl, brother Steve, sister Diane, and my Grandmother, Carolyn Clark were all God-loving, spiritual people and were completely intertwined with the Pipkin’s.

On one mid summer afternoon, their entire family had come to visit and pick me up to spend another countless weekend with them. It was a full house, with all their family, me, my mother, sister, grandmother and my sister’s friend. Everyone was doing their own thing. As Sammy and I waited and played in my bedroom, we passed the time as boys do. Talking and dreaming and cutting up, sharing everything we could think of and get our hands on. We loved to shoot and my mother had raised us all with STRICT gun safety and responsibility. This was a great thing which should never be talked about too much.

As I rummaged through the closet my brother Steve and I shared, I came across the brand new .22 rifle he was so happy about having received from his father. It was a semiautomatic, magazine fed rifle. First thing, I turned the weapon to its side and made sure there was no magazine, then, I pulled the bolt about a half dozen times to ensure the chamber was cleared. Just a s we were taught.

Turning to Sammy with the “cops and robbers” or “Indians and pioneers” laugh in our heads, we were joking about, the rife discharged. I knew this only because I heard an almost silent “pop” as I saw Sammy clasp his chest. I was still smiling at the thought of him acting out the silly part he was playing. Then, I realized, as he turned very starkly pale and blood ran between his fingers…it had happened. He collapsed and died, almost instantly at my feet, in my room, at my hand, in front of my face. I was not even yet a teenager nor was he.

It was not long after, at his funeral, his mother and father told me that they loved me and still welcomed and wanted me in their home. They loved ME??!! That was the moment when my heart really, truly…shattered.

I quit speaking for a long time, my friends at school called me names like “killer” “murderer” etc. Many joked that I did it purposely; kids can be very cruel, indeed. From those days, I no longer felt the love of God on my face. It went away and so did I. I resigned away to an existence (not a life) of all-consuming guilt and self-hatred beyond imagination.

His family left church, the dad became a drunk, the mother died of cancer, the sister a drug using prostitute. My family divided, all at my own hands. I could not bear it and simply just went away from everything. I joined the military to “get mine” and make certain that I would die. That I would be killed also. It never happened. I went out with the decision that I was going to hell and that I deserved nothing less and nothing better. I made a point to break every single commandment…many times over. I drank profusely, did drugs like candy and tried to find the ultimate, unforgivable sin, so I could commit it and guarantee myself an eternity in hell, where I belonged.

Now there is MUCH, MUCH more to this story as I have had a long life. But to this day, until Randall Taylor, I have never allowed myself to have a close friend. I refused to ever consider a “best friend” because I would not have their blood on my hands and deserved to suffer, all my life. I found new and creative ways to make myself suffer.

….And then came Jesus Christ, when I was so completely broken that I knew I was about to end my own life at my own hands. Enter a KING, into the life of a miserable pawn…but a pawn of heritage! I was also, His child and He, like the parents of my own and Sammy’s, told me that He loved me.

My heart surely burst, for I was given the understanding that guilt is not my own or His. I did not own it and it did NOT own me…but He did. I truly knew that this burden could be taken from me and I could, actually, mean something to someone one day. I mattered to one individual…GOD!

I wrote a song about it one day as well, and accepted both the forgiveness of Jesus Christ and that of my own. Sammy was never angry and never hated me. Jesus spoke to me and said, “In the great things you will do with the life I have given you, I will be pleased. You have survived all this to know, your very name, John. You are not here without anything else but John….John, means “God is Gracious” and He allowed you to come to this place, alive and spared you. I open your mouth, do not any longer, remain quiet.”

If you think you have issues with self-worth, esteem, value depression, etc. I TELL YOU A SOLEMN TRUTH….GOD shall overcome all things! Jesus Christ is the worker of miracles…even for someone like ME.