Monday, May 21, 2007

Proverbs 18:20

Proverbs 18:10-“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

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They’re right behind me. If I slow down or stop, I don’t want to think about what they’ll do to me. I can hear them, screaming at me at the top of their lungs.

I fell into their trap-again.

Their voices pierce me like arrows. I can hear the claws scrabbling against the ground. I’m running for my life.

How did I get here? Where did I go wrong? The past few days are flashing through my mind as I seek an escape route; a hiding place; anything to provide me some cover.

I think about what happened; about what brought me to this place. I’m fleeing for my life in the face of a demon horde bent on my destruction. I’m fleeing because of my own decisions and choices. I’m running because I couldn’t bear to let the “good life” pass me by without partaking in it.

And now, I’m here. And I’m tired. I’m ready to give up and just let them do with me what they will; maybe it won’t be so bad. After all, don’t I deserve it?

I need to stop. Wait; what’s that up ahead in the fog? What is that, some kind of structure? I’ve been running so long, I didn’t see it in the distance. But how did I get here? I feel like it has been here the whole time-like I’ve just been running around it.

The voices bring me back to reality. They have redoubled their screams as the building ahead comes into sharp focus. I see spires and towers, gleaming in the light. I run straight at it.

A door opens, and shuts behind me. Just in time….

I fall to the ground; a lump of flesh, shaking, just trying to catch my breath. I hear them beating on the other side of the fragile door. Screaming at me, wanting to rend me to pieces…

I stand up and look around. And I see them for the first time, my rescuers. They look so fragile. They smile at me. One comes up to me and offers me something to eat; another something to drink. “Slowly,” they say. “You’ve been running around out there for quite a while.”

But you don’t understand; the monsters are after me. That door is not going to hold against them. My companions just smile. One comes up to me; he wears leadership like a visible coat. I can tell he is the one leading this group.

“Things are NOT always as they seem,” he says. With that, they begin to dress themselves. I realize that they are strapping on armor. They are going to go out there and fight.

“What are you doing?” I say. “You can’t go out there. Those…things are out there. They’ll tear you apart!” And then I realize they’re going out there for me.

No, I don’t deserve this. I don’t deserve these people going out to die for me. I am so unworthy. I’ve done so much wrong. I try to get up; but I’m so tired.

I feel strong hands, sure hands; lift me up onto my feet. I watch as gates open, and the people who rescued me go out in the plain around the fortress. I watch them stream out, and I wonder why I didn’t realize that there were so many.

Then I look at them, and they look….different. They stand taller and more magnificent than I remember. And the weapons they have, swords, spears, all kinds of armament. Each one gleams in the sun. As if they were on fire.

The gates shut and I hear terrible sounds; awful sounds. I hear screams and shrieks of horror and fear. “No! They’re dying out there! It’s my fault! I brought those foul things here! I’m sorry!”

The hands take me up and lift me. I feel strong arms carry me up a flight of stairs. I find myself in front of a window, peering down on the battlefield. I expect to see carnage. I do; but not like I thought.

The demons are the ones shrieking. They are being vanquished. They are being dispatched by the hundreds; by the thousands. And the attacking forces, my rescuers, are methodically cutting down the demon horde.

I watch in awe. And as quickly as it started, it’s over. Not one of the marauding hordes is left to face me. They have been beaten.

I turn to look into the face of the Person holding me up. He has a crown on; and piercing eyes. He looks upon me, and I feel like I can’t hide anything from Him. This is even more fearful than the demonic group. I fall on my knees at His feet, begging Him not to look at me; sobbing that I’m not worthy of what He has done for me.

And I feel Him pick me up, and hold me close. And then, I hear, “My child, my child. You are worth my entire Kingdom. I love you more than you could know. I have always been here, with My army, waiting on you to call on Me.”

He is carrying me, right into His throne room. He carries me, and I am like a helpless baby in His arms. He seats Himself on His throne, and the returning army comes in and arranges itself around the room. Then they bow at His feet and praise Him. I hear them, as He holds me close, keeping me safe.

Run for the tower. Don’t give up, it’s there. The enemy is trying to hide it from you. He knows if you find it, you’ll be safe.

Run for the tower. You’ll be welcomed and safe inside.

Be blessed in the Lord,

Bo J.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Psalm 86:17

Psalm 86:17-“Show me a sign for good, that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, because You, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.”

I know your hurt and pain. I’ve been there. I’m walking through it myself. I know how you feel, even though you hear that you’re all alone. You’re in a long, dark tunnel with no seeming end. Your lamp is dimming; it’s not out, but it’s very faint.

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I’m tired, God. I just want my needs to be met, just once. I want everyone who counts on me, to know what it’s doing to me. I want everyone who thinks I am a great person, to just feel what its like to be me one day.

Believe it or not, I’m tired of everyone counting on me and knowing that I’ll be there to back them up. Oh, I know that’s You in me, but it’s just so tiring. I’m just fed up with it, and I don’t know why.

I’m tired of feeling like I have to rush to everyone’s aid; to do the things you have equipped me to do. I’m just tired of being there for anyone and everyone who seems to come along.

I’m a little worried God, that in Your big plan for the world and everyone, I’ve somehow been forgotten. I feel sometimes like You’ve misplaced my file, and now You don’t remember me.

I sometimes feel like You have taken my life and placed it on auto-direct. “It’s okay,” You tell everyone. “He’ll be alright, He can handle this. I’ve got some other matters to take care of at this time.”

I know You’re with me, but I feel sometimes as if You’re just standing off to the side, watching me with a sideways glance, as we do our children. Not really paying attention to everything I’m doing, but just leading some generalities in my life.

I feel Your presence, but like it’s in a fog, or through a thick barrier. I miss You, and just for a fleeting instant, I wonder if I’m really the one who moved.

Please understand me, God. I don’t intend on giving up. No, this is a far cry from that. But if I can’t cry out to you in my pain and anguish, where can I go? Who’s going to listen to me if You won’t?

Where will I be if You abandon me; or worse yet, if I turn my back on You, how will I make it then? If I feel alone now, think of how I’d feel if I turned my back to You.

Sometimes, I just wish you didn’t trust my faith so much.

But thanks that You do, because I know that this too shall pass. It won’t last forever; it never does. And when the end comes, it’ll just happen. And I’ll just be going along and realizing, “Hey, this isn’t happening anymore.”

And then I’ll be able to look back on this and marvel at what I thought was so tough. I’ll laugh at how little this means in the big scheme of things. And then I’ll thank You for the person who is helped because of what You allowed me to go through in my life.

So that the person I touch because of You will not feel like I am down playing their fears. They will know that I can truly empathize with them and what they are going through.

Thanks for walking me through this, Lord. I couldn’t do it without You.

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Oh, if you’re looking for a better ending, forget it. Write your own. We all go through trials. How your story ends depends entirely on YOU and YOUR faith. No one walks with Jesus in anyone’s shoes other than their own.

Cry out to the Lord, because He will never leave you, and He will ALWAYS comfort you.

Endure; be faithful, but not because I’m telling you to do so. You should do it because the alternative is worse than you could possibly imagine.

Have faith; patience is genius. No matter what the world tells you.

Be blessed in the Lord today,

Bo J.

Monday, May 07, 2007

James 1:5-6

James 1:5-6-“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”

This verse has been drilling into my head a LOT the past couple of weeks. I’m sorry that I haven’t been in touch with you lately, giving you interesting tidbits of embarrassment in my life. I’ve been having issues with my computer and e-mail. I did send out one verse, but I just put it straight online on my blogs.

It seems like it’s been forever. I think of you and I miss you. But you know this kind of shows how we should be in our walk. You shouldn’t count on me, or on ANYONE for that matter. And I mean anyone.

Now please understand me here, I said you shouldn’t count on me, NOT that you shouldn’t trust me. I am just like you, I’m human and faulty. I fit the description on the Post Office wall of the person who needs Jesus most.

Anyway, what I mean to say is that we are all faulty. I hate to tell you this about yourself, but it’s true. And you know who else is faulty? Your pastor, that’s who. He or she is faulty as well. Your best friend; and the person you consider your spiritual confidante, they’re faulty as well. Deep inside, we’re all human, and all faulty.

Oh, it’s not something that we like to admit. It’s not something that we just come out and bare to the world. But that doesn’t make it any less true. We’re all faulty. That’s why Jesus came to Earth. He came to show us that just because we’re faulty, doesn’t mean we’re unlovable.

And it doesn’t mean that when you need Him the most, in your moments of indecision, that He will leave you to your own devices. That would be kind of meaningless in the whole big scheme of things, right?

A friend of mine at work taught me that it’s always, always, ALWAYS, okay to ask God for direction. Don’t take a road for granted, just because it seems to be the right road for you, and one you have taken with God before. Don’t ever forget Who brought you this far in your walk. If you could pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, you wouldn’t need a Savior after all.

Don’t be afraid to ask God the question most on your mind. See we like to ask the people here on the ball of dirt with us, ignoring the fact that they are subject to the same limitations and preconceived notions that we have in our lives.

But when you ask, don’t pre-determine the answer you want. Don’t limit God to one side of the equation. See, that’s not asking for direction. That is telling God to fix the world to work the way YOU want it to work. That’s telling Him that any wisdom He imparts to you will be followed to the letter, provided that it goes along with the choice you have already made.

That’s when we make a mistake, when we follow God only as long as it’s in our PERCEIVED best interests. We follow him when it appeals to us.

On the other hand, sometimes we don’t want to hitch our camel up and go to the country that God has set forth before us. Sometimes, we get comfortable where we are in life.

“But God,” we say, “don’t you see how good I have it here? Don’t you know what all I’d have to go through if I went there for you?” And God says, “Yes, I do. But don’t worry, because I’ll be with you. I’ll walk this dusty road with you side by side. You’ll never be alone.”

Fear is a great motivator in our lives. Sometimes it’s positive; sometimes it’s negative. But God has said that He won’t motivate us by fear. He says that His motivation for us is love for our souls. Our motivation for Him should be love for what He has done in our lives.

We should just do it. I know that it’s hard for you to sit there and believe that. You’ll tell me that I just don’t understand what you’re going through, and all the things that are weighing on you. I know all of your excuses, because they are my own as well.

Ask Him for guidance, wisdom, a light on the path; whatever it is that you need at the time. Ask Him, “What next?” The only thing you need to remember is that once He gives you the answer, you need to pursue it and stick with it. If it’s from God, He will not leave it. He will move whatever mountains He needs, to make it work in your life.

Don’t be afraid; you have not, simply because you ask not. Ask in faith, with no doubting that you will receive your answer in due time. And never be afraid to back up what you hear with Scripture. If it’s from God, He will never, ever contradict what He says to us in life, with what He wrote to us in His love letter, the Bible.

Be blessed in the Lord,

Bo J.