Helping My Old Man

Although this never happened, just imagine if it had. Imagine that when Jesus was a young man in the flesh He had been set upon by a group of thugs organized and paid by those same religious leaders who hated Him. Imagine that instead of simply killing Him, they had locked Him away in a dungeon, underfed, beaten, forced into slave labor for countless years until He was finally a weak, frail, shabby old man fraught with sores. Then one day, He was simply dumped into the street; left a grey-haired beggar barely able to lift His head.

Now, imagine that you happened by and saw Him lying there covered in dust, wearing only filthy rags and smelling of decay. He is holding out a shaky arm, begging for water and food as pleading tears run down from His weary eyes. And, suddenly, you know fully who it is you have come upon!

What would you do?

Would you run quickly and bring Him water? Would you pick up His emaciated body now light as a feather and say, “It’s okay now. I’ve got you, Lord”? Would you hold Him close to your heart despite the smell and cry tears over Him as you walked? Would you tenderly carry Him into your home and spoon feed Him from your own table? Would you bath Him and groom Him and give Him a soft place to rest? Would you stay faithfully by His side and hold His shaky hand? Would you caress His face and gently kiss over His tears of relief? Would you help Him with all you had? Would you treat Him better than your own grandpa or your old man?

Matthew 25:34-40

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Although we are incapable of ever fully grasping the depth of the love that beats for us within the heart of God, these precious words from Him do afford us an intimate glimpse as to its flavor.

So, whenever you feel the whisper of compassion blow into your good Samaritan’s heart for that neighbor in need placed by God before you, then just give. Give generously and without hesitation. Love your neighbor as yourself by simply giving of yourself; your touch, your time, your words, your focus fully in the moment. Give of all you have with all your heart despite the smell. Give as though you were giving to Jesus, Himself, because, my beloved … are!

Posted in Christian | Leave a comment

Hated Whisperers

Here is something Jesus showed me last night. I’ve never quite thought of it this way before…

Fear is a reaction to a possible negative future outcome; it’s a reaction not to what already “is” but to what “could be”. But only God can see what is to come; only He can decide what is to be. So then, is He the One who whispers about the scary thing to come and then just leaves us alone to feel our feelings about it? No! God is not indifferent. He’s compassionate and comforts His children with gentle promises in the face of a scary future which by His own word is guaranteed. If we trust in His perfect love and sole authority over all things, including future events and our possible suffering, then fear can’t touch us.

Fear is not of Him because He is Holy and lying is a sin, and by that I mean, “fear always lies”. Even if spirits of fear do happen to whisper about future pain that does come true, they didn’t know it would, and yet they want you to believe they did as if they are God, and that is where they are always lying. Do you see? We should never believe any sudden thoughts of the future unless they come from God, Himself. Any other spirit claiming to know the future is lying, even if that future comes to pass, because they are claiming to be equal to God.

Even if a thousand-foot-high wall of water is just seconds away from crashing over us, and our own understanding is telling us we are about to die, God can deliver us to safety at the very last second, showing us that our own understanding lied to us as well. (Our own understanding is not God either and should not be relied on as such.) Believing our fears is acceptance of divination, and is acceptance of other spirits as equal with God. In that sense, it is adultery. Only God has final say over all things. When we rely solely on Him and not on voices of fear or our own understanding, then we honor Him as our God.

Ever notice how babies laugh rather than cry when tossed into the air by their daddies. They know no fear because they have yet to be hurt. Satan is allowed to administer pain and then his spirits of fear are allowed to whisper promises of more future pain in an attempt to get us to transfer our faith (belief) away from God and onto them. We trade our God for them. Isn’t that disgusting? They lie! They are NOT God. Don’t allow them to set themselves up as such.

Fear is like a man who walks up to you, points a gun to your head and says, “I am going to kill you!” Can you in peace and calm reply, “You can do nothing but that God allow it, and I bow to His will alone.”? We need not be afraid of what God might allow, for He is master even over the pain of death, and He loves us to the end of the universe and back.

Posted in Christian | Leave a comment

HE BE — An Autistic Poem

God is infinite. Do you think He isn’t used to that? He has been infinite infinitely. It’s simply how HE BE. “Who are You?” we ask. He humbly tells us the truth. “I AM.” And, once He opens our eyes to see, we can only ever respond, “HE BE.”

God is infinite. Just try and count Him. Do you think He would then create something, anything which He could not control? In His naturally infinite wisdom, He created us, a “whole”. He is infinite, but we are singly, solely, only, wholly… one. I am aware of myself. I think, therefore, I am. But, I am also aware that I am… only. In my separation behind this veil, I am an only, an only, lonely, wholly one. I am alone.

I know beyond a doubt that He is always with me, before me, beside me, behind me, inside me, closer than the air I breathe, yet I cannot perceive. I don’t see Him, smell Him, taste Him, touch Him. I’ve yet to meet Him face to face. Yet, He speaks to me somehow in ways that fight description, seldom in words, seldom in pictures. He shows me concepts instantly, gently in a flash. He leads me by the heart, yet I’ve no proof to offer, even to myself. Belief and faith in Almighty Him, for me it is not senseless, it’s sense-less. And so, in faith, I hunger behind the veil.

Though we’ve come to know our God as three, it is infinite HE BE.

Posted in Christian | Leave a comment

The Testimony of Your Life

When we are willing to publicly display our personal walk toward Jesus by allowing even our unsightly dross to appear in public view; when we openly share our personal journey of refinement, we provide others with such rich and fertile soil from which to gain courage and grow. Our personal testimony stands as the proof that Jesus DOES change lives.

Allowing others to witness our imperfections and moments of pure (and often ugly) humanness and then allowing them to accompany us through the beautiful transformation process is so gut-level honest, drawing us all closer together. Jesus can powerfully melt walls and enable us to see with His eyes when in obedience, His people willingly share the honest, undoctored testimony of their lives.

The raw, honest, vulnerable, exposed, messed-up-yet-beautiful truth of our life is indeed a powerful blessing. The parable of our life is not a trivial thing. It is a powerful tool of truth. Satan hates the mighty healing-power of honest testimony, and persistently produces comments out of loose mouths to intimidate us from sharing the naked truth. Have we not all experienced this pattern of discomfort-intimidation? Yet, from Jesus’ Spirit of courage, we stand, responsible to the truth, despite all that enemy-generated discomfort orchestrated to tempt us off the path.

When, for fearing the discomfort of criticism, we do cave to this intimidation, step off the path and begin offering an altered perspective (whether by hiding our truth behind a wall of protecting-silence, or, presenting a carefully-constructed, highly-polished, comfortably-perfected yet dishonest testimonial-mask), this altered, greater-than-we-are perspective can give the appearance of pridefully placing ourselves on a pedestal. Critical spirits can then emphasize that pedestal to the insecure, causing them to become threatened and themselves uncomfortable, tempting them to knock us off that pedestal, bringing us back down to our rightful place in their eyes — below their level — thus restoring their own comfortability.

Yet, if we, in humility, would only innocently stay the deeply-honest course (like a child) and not cover up the truth of our delicate light (but stand in all our vulnerability against any temptation of pride or fear of criticism), then we would not have so far to fall when the proud and insecure pass by, would we? For, they would see no threateningly-high pedestal to kick over. All they could do is scoff at the obvious imperfections of those whom they see as beneath them, and kick dirt in our face with their criticism — still painful, yes, but much less so, perhaps leaving room enough for us to pity them their place and quickly forgive them.

But, my greater point here is that this scene is incomplete. For, while our wary focus may be on those proud and insecure children who can and “will” hurt us, there are so many more children who are looking on — vulnerable, impressionable children seeking with open eyes and tender, broken hearts. Imagine the healthy and inspiring impact when they see us refuse to play the perfection-game of the insecure and the proud, but instead let our imperfect-yet-so-beautifully-humble-and-honest light shine despite the painful attacks, trusting that our Jesus will not let His transparent, beautiful lights come to shame for their imperfections.

When we take our seat on the witness stand of the courtroom, are we asked to speak of that which we do not know? All we can give is the testimony of our life. For, we are its one-and-only witness. How can the parable of our life and the beauty of our transformation achieve its full, inspirational impact when our full journey remains untold and all that is shown is our final destination, where it is we look our best and feel our safest. The parable of a life is a gritty story that only one witness can tell, but like reading a good book, it is a journey that many can take, a journey that deeply impacts the soul, forming a powerful loving-bond of friendship with the story’s main character. Satan hates this impact, so he badgers us to give an incomplete or less-than-truthful testimony, air-brushed, polished and refined for our own self-comfort.

I know it takes courage to expose our light in the presence of those few who might hurt us because of it, but there are truly so many others who will be drawn to it and deeply impacted by it. Our light is one of unconditional love, but also vulnerable truth. We each are the witnesses who carry our own testimony. It is this truthful testimony that the Lord can use for His glory, to save His children. They are all our future friends. And on behalf of those yet unsaved friends, I thank each of you, my brothers and sisters, for your courage and willingness to be vulnerable. You may not like your own life’s parable, but don’t underestimate or even attempt to judge its huge impact. Just know with a peaceful certainty that it is a very powerful story.

Posted in Christian | Leave a comment

The 99% Theme

Can we all not see how God’s enemy, the prince of this world, is using the ways of this world as his own mocking version of God’s loving, velvet vise; how he is relentlessly pressing God’s children by continually bombarding us with this world’s increasingly-ungodly systems and practices? Do we truly not know that this is Satan behind the wheel, coordinating this constant push to lull us little by little away from the loving ways of Jesus and into a kind of numb acceptance of man’s lower ways, ever manipulating us to adopt these ways as good and acceptable?

It would seem that gradually, down through recent generations, we have found ourselves born into an ever-greater ignorance of the more godly and God-pleasing ways of our God-fearing forebears. “Well, this is all we’ve ever known, and it’s not so bad.” Surely, those of us rich in years have noted this world’s insidious and subtle march down and away from the pure and holy standard of citizenship required for Christ’s beautiful kingdom, as set forth by our loving King. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) How would those born in poop even notice? How many, both rich or poor, now think mostly of themselves, are actually proud of their pride, boast about their sinful conquests and even scoff at acts of selfless kindness when offered by those with the courageous love to speak the name of Jesus out loud in public?

How can we not recognize the smell of the enemy on this, our modern world? Today, don’t we actually expect to be lied to by merchants and politicians and played by those who’ve “got game”? Don’t we purchase a majority of our products with the customary expectation that they will be overpriced, poorly made and become a landfill’s cherished heirloom? And, what about the violent, profane, adulterous and even blasphemous ingredients that are now regularly folded into our entertainment omelets? Has this not indeed become our daily food? Even graphic scenes of fornication that would have fainted our then-young great-grandmothers are now common place and accepted by the vast majority–and their now-young children. Who couldn’t see that one coming for a long time now?

Though some may ritually fast from food, how many are willing to come up out of Babylon and fast from their entertainment? Are we so addicted and desperate for our pleasures that we now unthinkingly accept any garbage ingredients they contain? Do we even notice that taste anymore? Where are those with the strength to say no to the appetites of their flesh and endure the symptoms of withdrawal? Who now can be still and quiet long enough? Oh, how we have hurt God’s heart by preferring the junk food of His enemy with all its artificially enhanced flavors and colors. Are there truly so many who do not fear God and are willing to risk their eternal soul for a seat at the world’s banquet? Is there anyone left who loves God enough to walk away? Why are we so willing to break His heart? Do you not know the lateness of hour in which you live? God is about to destroy the world’s banquet and hold His own banquet for His Son.

When Jesus said, “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher” (Matthew 23:8), I don’t believe the god of Hollywood is the one teacher to which He was referring, do you? So, why then do we gather so recklessly at the foot of the silver screen for our daily bread? Do we think we are smarter than the devil? Do we think we are not changed by what we take in through our eyes and ears? We can not enter the arena of the enemy and come out unscathed; we can not say to ourselves, “I feel no pain, so I must have made it through okay.” Don’t you realize that the devil is an expert in anesthesia, and is relentless and calculating? You have not known determination until you have heard Satan raging at the Father. He has nothing left to loose. But, WE DO! He wants us all destroyed. He is the god of money, the god of the boast, the god of selfishness, lust and greed. He is the god of Hollywood, and he is now pulling out all the stops. Say hello to the world’s teacher.

(1 John 2:15) “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.”

Count on both hands how many a movie you have seen where its lead characters, when faced with a painful or dire situation (or even a barely-challenging one), turned as a matter of course to the one and only sovereign Being, the Judge of all creation and said something akin to, “Only by Thy will, Abba Father, could Pontius Pilate hand me over to my kinsmen for persecution. Please, take this bitter cup from me. Nevertheless, Your will be done, not mine.” How many armies or heroes, or even one solitary good guy, have you ever heard say, “Guide me, Lord. You know how this looks to my natural mind, but I will resist the temptation to take matters into my own hands and rely on my own understanding. Instead, I will wait on You, Father, for You oversee all events and timing. I shall be still and know that You are God and in control of all things”? How many have put their trust in Jesus and sought to please their loving, eternal Father by obeying Him and relying on Him for all their needs as did king David? Can you count the number of movies on both hands? Can you count them on even one?

Yet, how many movies lately have you taken in where the main character, after having fornicated once or twice and taken the Lord’s name in vain a handful of times, will hatch a plan, grab a weapon, lie, spew profanities, kill and then be worshiped as a hero for having saved the day by his own hand without any apparent help from God? Don’t tell me you don’t recognize this theme. Does it not fit 99% of all heroes offered up by Hollywood today? I call it the “worldly good-guy” theme, and this theme has continued to evolve over generations under the guidance of the god of Hollywood such that now the hero, being more edgy and gritty than ever, is nigh indistinguishable from the anti-hero, while at the same time, we are now being led to humanize and sympathize with the evil-persona.

Can you not see this sharp contrast between king David who relied on and loved his Lord and the near superheroes of today with their confident, emotionless expressions and their arms folded about their chest? Can you not perceive how you are being deliberately pushed to adopt the “rely on myself, take matters into my own hands and be my own hero” way as truth? This is not God’s will. This is not God’s way. This way is a deception and a very dangerous path made popular by Hollywood.

What will you do when your economy tanks, your currency becomes worthless and your food becomes scarce? Through His prophets recently, Jesus has said that this will happen very soon. Will you give in to Satan’s spirits of fear, anxiety and anger when they come a-callin’? Will you push God aside and proceed to take matters into your own hands like all the “good” hero examples in your DVD collection?

(Isaiah 8:11-13) For the LORD spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me, “Do not walk in the way of this people; do not think like everyone else does. Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. But the LORD of hosts, Him you shall honor as holy. Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.”

There is a particular movie being released in theaters this Valentine’s weekend. Please, do not seek it out as your teacher. The Lord has indicated that anyone participating in this will come under a type of cover; a dark one, and that it will be rare to find a pure marriage bed once the enemy carries out his assignments. Please don’t hurt God anymore. Do not push the Holy Spirit out of your marriage for the sake of sensual pleasures. Do not allow your appetites to rule you. God has called us to love Him with all our mind, heart, soul and strength. Sacrifice this movie as your first-of-many acts of love toward Him.

Don’t play the devil’s fool. Please ask the Holy Spirit, not Hollywood, to be your Teacher.

Posted in Christian | Leave a comment

Journal Entry, August 28, 2014

The Last Fig Falling

I have been pulling near-all-nighters most days these past couple weeks. I was up till 3:30 AM both this morning and yesterday morning, about 5:00 AM the day before that, around 2:00-2:30 AM before that, etc. I never plan it that way. It just happens sometimes when I’m working on a big project. Normally, when I pass through a mini-season of late-nighters, I will typically wake up somewhere between 9:30 and noon. But that isn’t what’s been happening this time. What did happen sticks out in my mind as something I ought to share.

Okay, so, every now and again, I will be concentrating on something, and for no reason at all (at least that I can perceive), my eyes suddenly snap to a clock (like unthinkingly scratching an itch) and there I will see the numbers 9:11 which then prompts me to pray. “Lord, are you trying to tell me something here?” I do not live a clock-driven life, so it doesn’t happen often that I should look at a clock for no reason, much less see easy-to-recognize symbolic meaning in the numbers there. I’m also not the kind who would notice all the numbers around me as being spiritually significant, so these few “clock experiences” are about the extent of it for me. (Edit: 9:11 is being used here as a past example. It’s been several months since God has communicated to me in that way.)

One morning last week, wondering how late I had slept in, I looked at a clock and saw 7:47 AM. My only thought at the time was, “That’s kind of early after having been up so late.” Then, the very next morning, 7:47 AM again. “What? Lord, are you trying to tell me something here?”

Then, two mornings ago, Tuesday, August 26, 2014, I was dreaming about something (I can’t remember now) when suddenly my dream was interrupted with a vision of a fig tree. I saw only one fig on that tree. It then let go and fell to the ground. At the very same time, a branch from the begonia in my room broke off and fell to the ground. The sound that it made not only fit perfectly into the vision of the last fig falling, but it also woke me up. I looked at the clock, 8:48 AM. I asked the Lord what it meant, and He immediately brought back the two 7:47’s in a row. Any ideas?

For the rest of that day I felt anxious. “Lord, does this mean there is no time left? Am I spending my time wisely? Should I work harder to complete this project, stay up even later, or just let it go?” I kept hearing His word: “Be still. Be anxious about nothing. Ask for My will, and trust Me to guide your steps. My timing is always perfect.” Then, yesterday morning I woke up, 7:45 AM, my anxiety was gone.

Today, when I awoke (around 10:45 AM, back to normal I guess) I thought again about that last falling fig and wondered what it meant. Then, as I spent my customary morning-time with the Lord which includes reading at least one chapter in His word, the chapter that was next in line was Amos 8. Where God, Himself, tells us what the symbolism of ripe fruit means. Interesting, isn’t it?

Posted in Christian | 3 Comments

That Diamond Shore

(Psalm 139:17-18) “How precious are your thoughts concerning me, O God! How vast in number they are! If I should count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.”

The first time I ever encountered this verse, it went in smooth and easy. For, The Lord had already put in my heart that any one soul is more precious and valuable than all of His material creation combined, that we are indeed priceless to Him (John 3:16, Mark 8:36). So, right away, I went into my imagination and visualized a vast, empty beach of wet, light-tan colored sand, where every grain contained a thought, all concerning just one particular child of God. And, from that first encounter long ago, this simple visualization became my floating concept for that verse. This light-tan beach seemed to float right past my mind’s eye whenever my heart told me that someone needed to hear that verse.

But, over the decades, there existed one small, blank spot in my imagination which I routinely avoided, though not consciously, of course. You see, I could never quite picture myself as that child. This parable beach of my imagination always more easily represented His thoughts for someone else, anyone else. It was never mine. I think perhaps I would have simply felt too embarrassed to ever allow that verse to fully sink in. But, that’s okay. Matters of the heart take time, and Love is so very patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Anyway, yesterday, I found myself mulling over this same, sandy verse once more, contemplating the hugeness of God’s dedication to each and every member of His beloved family — yes, including me this time. I think I might have been trying to take this simple, long-established, cold-and-hard fact about God and somehow bring it into its heartfelt fullness, to make it more warm and real, to find that spark-of-life, that telltale sign, which is always present in His divine truth. But, I could not, and you know, it never dawned on me to ask Him for help. (I seem to keep forgetting to do that.)

But then, this morning, as I lay awake seeking the Lord’s company, this verse passed before me yet again, and as always, I am there, standing on that same empty beach, staring at that same wet sand, almost as if I could reach out and touch it. I was even faintly aware of small, quiet waves peacefully lapping at the shore behind me. I could hear myself talking, as if to someone else, saying, “Go ahead, pick up any one grain and ask Him which thought it represents.” But, as I tried hard to focus in on that one, wet grain of sand sticking to my index finger, something in my heart told me that it was time for this old scene to receive an update, that it was time for me to come more fully into the truth. My journey toward God is like a long stairway cut into the side of a mountain. Each step closer is a step upward, and as I stepped up, that lone grain of plain-old sand, which I never could quite clearly see, became a perfect, tiny diamond, and that long-held, visual concept of my imagination, that smooth, wet, light-tan, sandy shore turned a dazzling white and sparkled brilliantly in the late-morning sun. And at last, the truth of His heart settled warmly into mine.

Yes, not only are God’s thoughts concerning us more numerous than the sand, but each and every one is a pure and precious grain, a flawless diamond. Each thought for our sake, brought forth by our Creator is born in love, a pure, perfect, holy thought of the ultimate, highest quality. God’s thoughts about us are never callous or flippant, careless or sloppy, shallow or short. His considerations run so much deeper than we can comprehend, on currents of love unfathomable. His thoughts are never without richness of heart. I began to cry.

Somewhere in God’s heaven, there is a breathtaking, beautiful seashore with sand so stunning and sparkly-white, where all its diamond grains represent God’s thoughts of you, and you alone. This is your beach. This is your proof, the evidence of how much you have been loved and cared for all this time, though you never knew. Somewhere in heaven, on a breathtaking, beautiful seashore made just for you, it is raining diamonds… even now.

“Dear Father in heaven,
In Isaiah 55:8-9, You tell us that, as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are Your ways higher than our ways and Your thoughts than our thoughts. I rise over six feet two inches above the dust of this Earth. Yet, even the nearest star in the heavens is already 21,945,207,964,240,000 times higher that I am. That’s 22 quadrillion times my stature. My ways and thoughts are so incredibly low in comparison to Yours. From out of Your unfathomably high ways and innumerable, diamond thoughts come Your perfect plans for us. You are all truth and overwhelming love. I am merely a tiny, ignorant child in sinful flesh. Holding this simple truth deep within my heart has brought me the wisdom not to argue or insist on my own way about anything. For, any choice upon which I might insist outside of Your already perfect plan for me could only result in a plan less perfect, for which I might one day suffer agonizing regret. Thank You that You are the Father and I am the child still within my cradle. Thank You so much for faithfully guarding Your perfect plan for me despite my ways. How I dearly love Your faithfulness.
In Jesus name — Amen.”
Posted in Christian | Leave a comment

All I Want For Christmas

Though I have experienced many a traditional Christmas with child-like wonder well into my adult years, within the past decade or so, I began to feel differently about it. Somewhere in the midst of my suffering, I found that I had changed.

I no longer enjoy unwrapping things that are on my list. I am content to leave the joy and wonder of Christmas-morning stockings and gifts to the children. Instead, I recognize within myself a deeper spiritual need this time of year, a need for peace and for true fellowship; for the warmth of kind hearts; for the joy of giving and sharing; to feel that deep, grateful stillness which comes from appreciating the beauty of our savior — which comes from watching silent snowflakes fall, while listening and singing on the inside, where hope’s flame never falters.

For those who’s lives still fit well into this world, the experience of Christmas might still encompass family and gifts, singing and laughter, dinner and decorations, eggnog and mistletoe. It might still be a time of bright and sparkly colors, beautiful music and happy smiles. But, for most of us, for all the misfit toys and lonely, hurting hearts, there is a need for Christmas to be about something more important — surrender, forgiveness and healing.

The solace of the season comes to our spirit when deep down we remember that Jesus was born into this world to be the pure and final sacrifice for us all, to break the power of old covenant and create a new covenant where hearts are guided by the Holy Spirit, to reconcile us to our Father in heaven, to restore all that Satan has stolen and to be our perfect teacher, our voice of truth and our most faithful best friend.

The very heart of Christmas is most keenly felt within when we freely receive His precious gift and abundantly spread His love.

All I want this year for Christmas is His heart

Posted in Christian | Leave a comment

Armor Lessons – The “What” And The “Why”

The “What”:

Two men showed up one morning as construction volunteers at a Habitat for Humanity project located in their home town. Both men wore a hardhat, coveralls and leather work-boots. Both men carried a hammer on their tool belt, but that was all they appeared to have in common.

The first man showed up a little late. He was slow at his work, kept mostly to himself, and halfway through the day — he just up and left. The second man showed up early and brought enough coffee and doughnuts for all. He had a friendly smile, an engaging personality and expressed much enthusiasm for the project. He took the time to learn the names of each co-worker as he introduced himself with a firm handshake. He then listened attentively to what each person had to say. He stayed the entire day and even volunteered to act as an ad hoc spokesman for the group when a local news crew showed up unannounced to tape a segment about the project for the evening news.

Now, just from what you’ve read, honestly ask yourself how you would answer this question. Which man loves his neighbor more?

Many of you might say that the answer is obviously the second man. Some clever readers, expecting this to be a trick question, might wonder if the answer is the first man. However, those who’s habit it is to search their heart for truth will humbly answer, “I don’t know.” Now that, my friend, is a very good answer, though there is one better still, which is, “God only knows.”

You see, when you look more carefully at my question, you will realize that I did not ask you for an opinion. I did not even ask you to make a guess. The question I asked sought a specific truth, a comparison of the heart, that none but God can truly measure, especially since all there is to go on is the “surface-appearance information” which I previously provided.

Yet, how often do we habitually rely on our own understanding of, and assumptions about, “what” we see, read or hear? Aren’t nearly all of us swayed by appearances to some degree? I mean, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck, right? — Unless, of course, it’s a chicken at a costume ball.

In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus teaches us the Parable of the Tree and its Fruits. He warns us to beware of those, who come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (Interesting, that word, “inwardly”.) Jesus teaches us that we can recognize a person by their fruits, thereby overcoming any costumes (disguises or masks) they might be wearing. So, how do we do that exactly? How do we seek to know the fruit such that we are not taken in by any “outward” appearance?

The “Why”:

Perhaps in this particular story it might help if I also offered something of each man’s “motives of the heart” at this time.

The first man happens to suffer from a condition of chronic, debilitating pain. Yet, out of a deep sense of compassion and concern for his homeless neighbors, he forces himself to go and labor for as long as he is able, one day a week, every week, as a loving sacrifice to the Lord, because he, himself, at one time had also endured the pain and shame of homelessness. The second man had no practical, construction experience at all, but was preparing to run for a political office, and through his personal contacts he had arranged behind the scenes for the news crew to be there at just the right moment. The first man, though he was there but half a day, completed far more construction work for the homeless than the second man who spent the majority of his time talking and listening (campaigning).

Okay, so now how do you feel about the second man? Does he seem more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing to you now? Well, again you would be wrong.

You see, he was not acting. He is genuinely kind, friendly and enthusiastic, a people person. He is someone who sincerely cares about “all” the people in his home town and believes with all his heart that he can do some real good if elected. Though at this point in his life, some of his methods may not be the purest, the Lord knows his heart and has plans to use him as a leader in the near future.

Funny, isn’t it, how the deeper we willingly travel toward the true motives of a heart, the more that person’s overall appearance will change before our very eyes, and the closer we will get to knowing the actual person? We begin to see them “inwardly”. Yet, the straightest path on any journey to the heart begins by being disciplined about not relying on, or making assumptions about, what we outwardly perceive. We ought never to take anything at face value (especially ducks at costume balls). We ought rather to seek the intimate truth by asking that often most threatening of questions: — “why?”

For every “what” that you see or hear, there is always a “why”, usually more than one, each leading to a deeper truth, each leading to a more accurate taste of a person’s fruit.

Defining The “What” And The “Why”:

The “what” that we offer is what others can see and what others can hear. It is the “appearance” of the facts of our life. It is what we do, what we wear, what we say or write, even what tone we use when we say it. It is what we choose to share and what others can observe for themselves.

The “what” is just the shallow, surface layer, the cover of our own book. And, in this world, aren’t most people far more concerned about primping and polishing the cover of their book than they are about what’s written on the pages inside? Aren’t most of us afraid to expose the truth of our pages? Individuals, companies, governments — they all try to present a pretty book cover, don’t they? We should all know by now that we are fools if we blindly trust what we see on the shallow surface. The wolf is underneath the sheep’s clothing, remember?

Without the real “why”, the shallow “what” simply can not be trusted here in the enemy’s kingdom. The “why” is the deeper layer, the heart layer. It is the layer where we meet God. The “why” layer is where our true motives are exposed, which is the very reason “why?” is such a dangerous question for those who wish to hide the truth. The “why” turns on the light of truth.

Giving The Enemy Opportunity:

A “why” must always accompany a “what” or the enemy will use every opportunity to fill in the “why” for us.

In a previous blog post titled, Armor Lessons – Satan’s Mirrors, I talk about a favored flanking-maneuver of the enemy, where he comes at us from the side and whispers into the “hammer and anvil” of our ear, attempting to filter “what” we hear or the truth of “what” we see. He does this by strongly suggesting a “why” specifically designed according to our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The enemy knows us well. He studies us.

Even when our “what” is accompanied by our “why”, the enemy will still attempt to filter it out anyway, overriding it with his own version of “why”. He will even attempt to set the tone of our own written words, causing others to read between the line what is not even there. (Too many times, my “why” has been overridden by the enemy’s “why” through a loved one’s eyes or ears on its way to their heart such that they could no longer hear me at all.)

In my previous Armor-Lessons blog-post, I also shared this little story:

Her neighbor said, “Thank you for the cookies, but I don’t care for oatmeal raisin.” But, in her mind she heard flanking-words that said, “She doesn’t want your cookies because they are awful! She’s just too nice to say so. You are a terrible cook, which means you are a total failure as a woman!”

This is a good example of how a demonic filter works. The enemy attempted to replace her neighbor’s “why”. Can you see how listening to flanking spirits and then speaking their words out of our mouths can cause us to sound paranoid?

Beware Unsubstantiated Heresay: (Reject Rumors)

When listening to one person speak about others (or about situations involving others), be very, very cautious when accepting their interpretation of the “what”, lest it be slanted. And, NEVER take to heart their interpretation of the “why” unless they can back-it-up with proof (the verifiable witnesses of facts and truth), otherwise you may come under the influence of the lying gossip of flanking spirits spoken through that person’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities. (I spoke about this in a previous blog post titled, Assumptions.)

Accept hearsay only as rumor until you can properly seek the truth as your witness. In this way, you can avoid the enemy’s traps and stay clear of dissension and strife. It should go without saying that words like, “I promise”, “I swear”, “take it from me” or “trust me on this” do not count as proof of the truth, but instead could indicate that there is reason for concern.

James 5:12 “But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.”

Habits Of A Warrior:

  • Form the habit that whenever you speak, every “what” that you say is accompanied by your “why” so as not to give the enemy opportunity to speak for you. (And please do not substitute the real “why” for a lessor truth. This is a form of deceitful manipulation.)
  • When others speak, learn to listen for the “what” and the “why” together, and boldly ask for the “why” when it is not offered. This will help expose a person’s fruit, revealing the truth behind their public mask, revealing the heart beneath the cover of their book. Remember to form the habit of asking for their “why”. Never allow the enemy to suggest a “why” or set the tone of any written words.
  • Make sure that every “why” you hear involving a third person is accompanied by the proof of witnesses (verifiable facts and truth) before you take any heresay to heart. If you are denied access to the proof, then DO NOT LISTEN!


  • The What: “I want to point out a mistake you made.”
  • The Real Why: “I have compassion, and I’m trying to spare you any future embarrassment by helping you fix it now.”
  • The Enemy’s Whispered Why: “You are being shown how much of an idiot and a total screw-up you are. You are being put in your place by someone better than you. You got served!”
  • The What: “They were looking right at you when you waved, but they didn’t wave back.”
  • The Real Why: “From that far away, they didn’t recognize you and didn’t think you were waving at them.”
  • The Enemy’s Whispered Why: “They can’t acknowledge you in public. You’re a freakin’ embarrassment! Get a clue!”
  • The Third-Person What: “I saw your ex walk out toward your car with a key in hand.”
  • The Offered-Without-Proof Why: “Your ex was going to scratch the paint.”
  • The Enemy’s Whispered Why: “Your ex hates your guts and is determined to ruin your life.”
  • The Real Why: “Your ex was kindly surrendering the second car key in a non-confrontational way.”
  • The What: “I decided to call you.”
  • The Spoken Lesser Why: “I’m just checking in to see how you’re doing.”
  • The Hidden Greater Why: “I want to pump you for certain gossip.”
  • The Enemy’s Whispered Why: “It’s a pity-call, you worthless loser.”
Posted in Christian | 1 Comment

The Parable Of The “I” And The “Y”

One day, as Man was peacefully walking with God, the Lord asked him, “Have you ever noticed how both the letter ‘I’ and the letter ‘Y’ at times sound exactly the same, while all other vowels are unique?” “Yes, actually. I have.” replied Man. “Do you know why that is?” asked the Lord. “No. Not really, Father.” “It is because the ‘Y’ originally came from the ‘I’. You see, at one time there was no ‘Y’, only ‘I’ as in ‘I AM’.”

“In the beginning, My love created all things, and all my creation was in union. They were one in me, the I AM. The letter ‘I’ was chosen to represent this union. It represented wholeness, peace and harmony, sustained by My love. But, then there came a time when the enemy of love came into being and began to act against this union. He works through your fear and pride, your sense of insecurity and inferiority, to cause pain and strife. And through his evil tools of dissension, My union is continually torn, split apart, destroyed. This pattern has repeated itself throughout your history. Do you not see it?”

“The first occurrence of this pattern took place in heaven before your time. Lucifer, the greatest of My creation, giving in to his pride and vanity, pulled away from Me a third of my angels. He has since been working to tear asunder every union I create.”

“Yet, often when a rift begins, there are those who stand against it for My sake, and hurt with me at the sight of it. They are My tenderhearted ones, My humble anchors who offer words of loving encouragement, words of life and healing. They will even beg while standing in a pool of their own tears. This they do for Me. This they do for love. As the ‘I’ begins to separate, they are the ones who work to hold it together, keeping in their heart the eternal hope of restoration. They are the ones at the bottom of the ‘I’ that has sadly now become a ‘Y’.”

God then asked, “Do you know what ‘Y’ stand for?” “No, Father”, replied Man. With a tear in His eye, God answered, “It stands for ‘What happened to the I?'”


Posted in Christian | 1 Comment