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Christianity 0ut of the Box


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The Pen


Certain doors we walk through we probably shouldn’t.

Others are traps set to distract us from our purpose.

Unknowingly, we continue our anointed calling a door appears in the floor.

Lured by deception we enter in only to fall down creaky steps in the dark.

The cement is cold and dirty; the abandoned basement smells of mold and decay.

Climbing back up to get out is worthless since the door in the floor slammed shut behind you.

The only light glimmers through a tiny window covered in iron bars.

Barely enough to see are dusty antiques, cobwebs and furniture with holes in it. Boxes full of old letters, books and files strewn between broken chairs and tables. The dungeon like surroundings have death written all over them void of any human contact for a very long time.

How did I get here? Did I ask to walk through that door in the floor? Not that I know of.

If the smell doesn’t sicken the lack of food and water will. Human life can’t survive long in such vile surroundings.

Fear sets in as if the devil himself walked in and announced, “You are going to die, in here all alone.”

Shaking, cold and weeping, you cry out to God, “Where are you? You promised you would never leave me.”

Immovable, your body deteriorates as time passes. 24 hours later hunger and thirst is overwhelming.  Sleep is impossible even though you’re exhausted.

Another day passes. Weakness has overtaken your senses but not enough to ignore his ugly presence. He has returned to solidify your obvious demise. “Why won’t you leave me alone you sinister creep? His wicked laugh follows him as he leaves you to die.

By the third day calling out to the God who hasn’t heard you is hopeless. No water or food has left your physical body dry, limp and defenseless.

One more time the demonic forces appear, “Give up. It’s over.”

Sounds good. Can’t do this anymore.

Rolling over in another position something pierces your side. You don’t have the energy to remove it.

All of a sudden that still, small voice you know speaks, “Get that pen out of your pocket.”

“What?” Once again, “Get that pen out of your pocket.”

Fumbling through the pocket of your cargo pants is this pen. A green and white, rather cheap writing pen you have never seen before.

“What good will this pen do me except to write my last words with it?”

The pen was structured with a plastic piece on the side that turned it on or off.

Pushing it startles the heck out of you. Not only was this a writing pen, it was a flashlight.

Immediately out of nowhere you gain the strength to get up. The little flashlight was so bright you could see everything in this “hell hole” even a 2nd door in the floor.

Making your way to this door, it opened with ease. The sun appeared as you crawl out into a fresh field of flowers. The scent was so wonderful it was as if breathing in that which you lost and so much more.  As you make your way through red roses and magnolia blossoms, revelation abounds from the God you thought had abandoned you.  Greeted by the most unlikely person, God catapults you to a new level of spiritual maturity. He has given you favor with one of clout and notoriety who was there to help you; only now it is the other way around as they seek your wisdom for confirmation, knowledge and future allowances.

 

Days later after much nourishment, care and love from others you realize the door to that deathly hallow had nothing to do with you. It was a means of one more perpetual attack against the anointing God placed on your life only the attacker never knew about the 2nd door in the floor.

Settled down and rested with the entire crisis behind you one question remains.

How did that so-called pen/flashlight you have never seen before land in the pocket of your pants?

pen


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Drab and Dark Days


Such a catchy title here it makes you not want to read it?kgo-winter-storm-man-clears-snow-from-car-ap-010714-600

Haven’t we seen enough of this gloomy winter?

Haven’t we suffered enough for one season?

As we indulge the freezing temps, snow and ice in many parts of America we dream of the flowers blooming in spring and warm sunny days of summer.

WAKE UP! (we aren’t there yet)

Do we really have anything to complain about? We could have been in Australia sweating in miserably record heat during their summer.

Our dampened spirits are locked away in “cabin fever.”

Our cramped legs imagine the first walk down a sun filled street.

The bears have nothing on us humans this winter. Hibernating has made its rounds.

The weather isn’t always the reason for drab and dark days. It could be a life on the rocks of illness.
A family torn apart by divorce or the financial strain of months of no employment.

The list of “winter blues” is too long to mention.Winter Weather Georgia

So what do we make of this murky shadow from “Punxsutawney Phil?”

6 more dreadful weeks of looking at your family too much?

6 more weeks of begging the forecasters to have something better to say?

Or….6 more weeks to learn about the drowning man who is so thankful for that life jacket he was given?

What about the homeless man on the street who received a free blanket and a “suspended coffee” to keep him warm with a job offer included?

And what about our military deployed in Afghanistan who is thrilled to get that letter from home he so desperately wanted?

Seasons don’t make the difference in dark or sunny days. I know that all too well.

It is the lessons learned, the heightened gratefulness and gratitude for finding the Savior in the midst of trials too difficult to even talk about.

It is understanding the drab and dark days will eventually become sunny again with white clouds floating through the sky.

It is knowing the God of the universe has used the dark days to make us aware of “how good we got it.”

Call it training; or “boot camp” for becoming a true disciple of Jesus.

The sorrow, horror and loss of his death brought unthinkable agony before his chosen few realized on the 3rd day he literally changed the world.

We must look beyond the wretchedness of the grave.

You won’t see a groundhog’s shadow, but the silhouette of the “Almighty God” spreading his love, joy and peace throughout the drab and dark days of winter. (Psalm 91:1)

And what did God say on the first day? (Genesis 1)

“And let there be light.”

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The Light that Waits


Graduating anything takes work, time and sacrifice.  Most of the time, the diploma received makes it all well worth it in the end. Forget the misery, sleepless nights of study and coffee breaks full of caffeine induced moments. Once it is over, looking back we wonder “how did we do that?”sleep coffee

Levels of growth are not always within the pages of Shakespeare or Chemical equations. After class or graduation, the hard work begins. And we thought it was difficult staying awake to read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Matryona’s Place.

So it is with learning the ropes of how the world works or making the list of the “survival of the fittest.”

That phrase really doesn’t apply to Biblically speaking formulas. No one is prepared much less able to live one day without God’s intervention. Many believe life is one big cliff waiting to happen or the step-ladder to fame and fortune is not far off.

Either way is a misconception of what God intended.

We tend to believe on the road to life after dissecting innocent frogs in Biology lab or Sweetheart Dances, bumps, potholes and major interruptions to our plans hit from all sides won’t happen to us. But, they do. Memories of those sleepless nights of reading boring Russian authors all of a sudden don’t seem so dull.

Unfortunately it may take years of alternate testing and problematic intrusions before we understand the Creator has been waiting to supernaturally intervene in those hard places. Had we done so early on the rest of the journey may have turned out completely different.  The brutality of life blocks the view that any remote thought of joy or peace even exists.

After so many blows we yearn for answers to stop the beatings. Knowing who to run to for help is an answer in itself, but getting to know him personally is the height of harmony.

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Reaching for his presence, reading his word and speaking to him as you would your best friend opens the door to entering into his Holy Place. It is there the mysteries of God reveal themselves. It is in that holiness miracles occur, visions appear and prayers are answered before our very eyes.

As much as we may want out of our dire straits, God has waited since the beginning of time for that moment when we seek him for the first time.  We were born for his company; to enter into a union of perfect love from him that allows us to begin to discover his character and nature.

Hearing over and over that “Jesus is the answer” doesn’t make any sense when there is no relationship with him.  Finding that out can be done by the saint or desperate non-believer who extends to God their hands for a heart to heart makeover.

John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

As he answers the calls he places the “Lampstand of Light” before us so that we might see his spirit upon our soul.  You might say it is “bonding” with “Abba” or the Father of us all.

Freedom comes from repentance bringing with it a purification of our guilt and shame. Once our conscience is clear, he begins a process of giving us revelation which is…

Jesus Christ resurrected; the Light of the World shed for us to shine for others.

 

Photo by Freddy Winter Media4lifephotography

Photo by Freddy Winter
Media4lifephotography

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