Tag Archives: Book of Life

VISION 2020: Fisted vs Open

If you haven’t figured out by now to hit your knees and begin to pray for our country, you need to open your spiritual eyes and ears.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

This is not a just a physical war.
It is not about flags, statues or new names or even the destruction of landmarks. Those are only the outward manifestations of the heart.
It is about spiritual warfare. The inward manifestations that destroy the soul.
It is evilness versus righteousness.
It is birth pangs.
It is decision time that gives birth to choice.

Raise the fisted hand in rebellion on an earthly tower – – – or raise an open hand in His garden?

It started with my generation. Sorry. I screwed up. We screwed up. My father and mother both tried to tell me. Others also warned and were killed for their efforts. While the best of our generation were over seas fighting an enemy and getting spat upon when they came home, some of us sat in brick and mortar buildings and knew. Deep in our souls, we were sick to our stomachs and knew we were seeing the hazy face of evil.

Evil that was no longer hiding behind the curtain but only a thin veil.

We watched strong, wise, non-violent leaders murdered. We watched protests, and while we did not join them, we did not stand against them either.
It was the Age of Aquarius.
It was the Summer of Love.
It was the “Don’t trust anyone over 30!” generation.
Drop some acid. Head bangers’ psychedelic haze swirling round and round and round.
The Harrad Experiment.
The challenge to the rock of righteousness that had – even though flawed as all human endeavors are – protected our feet from the serpent’s bite.

Many Pied Pipers continually asking a simple question. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Gen 3:1b

And the beat went on.

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10:4-5

We listened to the protest leaders in the 70’s at the end of that time of violence as they basically said they wouldn’t go away. They would go into our strongholds. They would demolish our rock of ages’s morality. They would whisper their question over and over and over until they wore us down. For they were sure we would reach for the apple they offered just as so many others before us.

They were right.

It was an age old story. Repeating because we do not learn from history very well – even though He gave a Book of Life to guide us. We still reach for that apple. What can I say? It is easier. Who wants to chose warring existence when we can chose a peaceful one instead?

But – – –

There are time when we are required to find our knees.
Repent that we ate the apple.
Pray to Our Father that loves us with such Grace and Mercy that He helps us stand.
Stand on our sacred honor.
Stand as we put on His armor.
Stand in prayer as He taught us to pray when He stood among us.
Stand in prayer with open hands raised to the Father.
Stand in prayer with open hands raised to the Pied Pipers who offered all those apples – just in case they need a hand to stand with us.
Stand with His cloud before us, among us, behind us as we learn from our mistakes and walk forward on the dry rock bed that He has provided for our feet.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ep 6:10-11

Humans are flawed beings. If we’re lucky we do some things that are great. Things that will be remembered by those who love us and by Our Father who is righteous in Light, Love, Mercy and Grace.

December 23, 1776
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Thomas Paine

We can not be summer soldiers or sunshine patriots anymore. It is time to stand as Thomas Paine and all the other Founding Fathers did.
Stand on our sacred honor.
Stand in righteousness.
Stand as we open our rebellious hands.

For who knows? Perhaps we were created for such a time as this. (Esther)ap 8 2020 e [personal image]

#theReturn #HeisWorthy

VOiCE

“In the circle of successful living, prayer is the hub that holds the wheel together.  Without our contact with God, we are nothing.  With it, we are little lower than angels, crowned with glory and honor.”  Conrad Hilton in his autobiography, Be My Guest.”

This quote was one of the first things I read this morning.  I was surprised.  I had no idea that that Conrad Hilton (think Hilton Hotels) had written an autobiography, or better yet, that he was a prayer warrior.  Believe me, if I had known he had written an autobiography, I would have been using parts of it to teach my students every year as we worked on our autobiography unit.   I often use quotes or  portions of books when I teach: Ben Franklin – Fredrick Douglas – Eli Weisel –  Roald Dahl – Maya Angelou – Taylor Caldwell – various presidents (yes, even President Obama for those of you who are wondering) and, not to mention, pop culture idols (Michael Oher, I Beat the Odds).  Nothing like using the words of successful people to motivate students.  So Conrad Hilton, I will be adding one more book to my bucket list as soon as I finish this.

I know I have said this before, but I still miss teaching.  I liked teaching about writing –  which is weird because my first year of teaching – I remember skipping all the writing portions of the English book.  It made me uncomfortable.  They didn’t teach me how to grade writing in my course work during college…then again…maybe I just wasn’t listening that day.  I wasn’t the greatest student (I think I mentioned that a few times in class – if any of my former students are reading this).  Eventually, it became one of my favorite things to teach…especially when we were talking about VOICE.  Every writer has a voice and watching students develop their voice was always fun.

“Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire.  You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice.”  Deut 4:12

Moses is wrapping things up in Deuteronomy.  He wants to make sure that this tribe of people that he has been in charge of for the past 50 years, remembers what is important when they get to the Promised Land.  He knows they depend on him, and he knows that he won’t be with them as they enter this beautiful new land.  In a sense, Moses is writing his autobiography, just like we write our autobiography every day.  Maybe we don’t physically put a pen to paper and write, but it is recorded in the Book of Life and God hears our voice.  The good news is He is always speaking to us.  “It just – some of them [us] don’t hear so well,”as Racetrack said in Newsies (I think I remembered that quote right).  In the Bible though, David heard His voice real well:

“The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;  the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning. The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”  Ps 29:3-9

God spoke all things into being.  He sent His WORD to save us.  He left a book for us to read His words.  And if we are listening, He still speaks to us.  If we turn off the T.V. – turn off the computer –  put down the book, the phone, the gaming device, and maybe we can find some time to be still.  Can you hear the silence?  Let that slide by and listen to His voice today.  When we are in contact with God, writing our autobiography with Our Father’s Forgiveness, Grace and Love, the inflection changes in our voice – just like it changed the consistency and confidence of Conrad Hilton’s voice.

(Google images)hilton