Monday, December 17, 2012

No place I would rather be than here in perfect love, captivated not by myth but by reality's Creator.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Don't ever forget, son, that it is only what I think about you that matters in the end.  ~  The Father

Friday, December 7, 2012

There He Sits

As men all but forget beautiful purity, trampling her into the mud with the soles of corrupted minds filled with vain philosophies and demonically inspired thoughts; as women look for freedom in dark caves, for liberty in cages; as youth shrivel the substance of their souls with the mindless drivel of entertainment, young men sacrificing their manhood for pleasure's opposite and young women sacrificing their womanhood for the same; as kings and dictators and rulers refuse to do homage to the Son, the creator of all power and authority; as the poor and the needy bear the brunt of injustice, the product of an unbridled, undead selfishness; as men forsake their normal functions and women forsake theirs; as the whole mass of humanity forsakes goodness and even calls it evil; as it embraces evil and even calls it goodness; and as it stumbles toward the brink of chaos drunk on the wine of immorality, He sees.  No thing is hidden from His fiery sight.  And every pair of eyes will one day gaze into His as He peers into the the very center of selfhood, unearthing the beat of each heart.  That moment is mere seconds from being what we call the present, when eternity in all its terror bears down on human spirits.  Are you ready?  Don't be swept away in a flash flood of filth.  But always be beholding the throne; and the One who sits upon it.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mexico Trip Summary

Below is the letter that I sent out to all those who supported me in my mission trip to Mexico.  Enjoy!

Hello All!

What an exciting trip!  My time in Mexico was one of the best experiences of my life!  God, as always, far exceeded my expectations.  I thank Him for sending me with such a great group of people (my church youth group), and introducing me to some awesome missionaries in Mexico. He did mighty works through us all.

First off, to any supporters who read my blog, I want to thank you once again for your generous giving both in prayer and in finances.  Because you decided to give, I was able to take advantage of this opportunity to impact the people of Mexico with the Gospel.  Lives were most definitely transformed and impacted (including my own), which should be of no surprise to us since our God is always making old things new and restoring that which is broken.

Restoration and transformation were definitely the main themes of our ministry times.  And it began the very first night we were there.  After settling in to the houses of the missionaries we were staying with and spending half an hour in prayer, we drove in an 18 passenger van and a couple of suburbans (which were our modes of transportation for the rest of the week) to a local church.  The worship was full of energy and power (even though I could only understand a few words :) and we saw people healed of pain in the neck and other areas. Then after a timely message by my youth pastor, we were able to lay hands on the local members of the church and see them impacted by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Afterwards we spent another forty-five minutes or so praising the Lord in song and dance as the Spirit was preparing us for an awesome week.

Every day of the week in Mexico was filled with rich times of fellowship with each other and with the Holy Spirit.  And one day that sticks out in my mind as one I won’t ever forget is the workday.  The workday was an entire day dedicated to doing practical jobs on a church building located in one of the poorest areas of Guadalajara, Mexico.  These jobs included everything from taking parts of the roof off to painting large interior sections of the building to mixing and laying by hand 450 square feet of cement 3 inches deep on the second floor.  After all the work was done, I was completely worn, but extremely satisfied with everyone’s efforts to get everything done.  There’s something about physical labor that gives you a unique sense of satisfaction, especially when you’ve completely drained yourself in the process.

Now it’s critical you understand that when I say that every single day of my week in Mexico was awesome, I’m being completely serious.  But there are those moments amidst those days that stand out among the rest as personal favorites, the workday being one of those moments for me.  Another favorite moment of mine was the opportunity I had to preach at one of our meetings.  I won’t deny that there was a sense of nervousness beforehand as I prepared speak, but I also acknowledge the peace and the rest the Lord gave me in it, and the confidence that I had in Him to bring forth what He wanted to say through me.  A lot of times our fear of something (which could be speaking in front of people) is an outflow of our lack of trust in the Lord’s goodness and our ignorance of His unstoppable desire to glorify Himself through us.  And He did just that.  The message went smoothly overall (with the exception of a few misspoken phrases and a couple of translating problems which we all laughed at afterwards :), but most importantly, God moved mightily in the time of worship afterwards, and the Holy Spirit ministered to people in some awesome ways.

The final special moment about which I want to write to you occurred on our final night of ministry.  On that night, after hitting the streets and inviting people from the local villages to the service, the team gathered near the front to pray.  We really felt like we achieved some breakthrough in prayer and were encouraged to see God move during the rest of the service; and He did.  After worship we laid hands on people with arthritis, back pain, and hearing deficiencies and saw them healed.  We saw a girl’s leg grow to its right length and we saw arches grow on feet that had none.  Talk about an increase of faith!  I was far beyond excited, I was overflowing with joy and thankfulness.  My heart cried, “There is no word I will honor above Yours, Jesus.  You commanded us to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, and cleanse lepers (Matthew 10:1), and now I’m seeing these things happen before my eyes.  I’ve always professed healing to be true but now my theory has become a reality.  How can I ever not believe again?”

I hope these stories have moved and encouraged you.  I’m excited about the work of the Holy Spirit continuing in my life and in yours.  And I thank you once again, for your support.  I pray that God would bless you, keep you, and cause His face to shine down upon you.  That He would reveal Himself to you from day to day and that you would be conscious of His presence at all times.

Grace and Peace,

Thomas

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Lord is my light and my salvation.  Whom shall I fear?  Not tribulation; not hunger, thirst nor any kind of want; not the future; not the past; not the present; not pain nor death; and certainly not man.  The Lord is my light, my vision; I see life by His light and I am guided by it daily.  He is also my salvation.  My heart, my soul, my mind, my strength, and everything I am is bound up in my covenant that He has made with me.  I don't have confidence in anything else for the salvation of my soul: nothing else delivers me from evil; only He snatches me from the clay, from the grave, from Sheol itself, and plants my feet solidly on the rock that is higher.  I shall not be moved.  Whom then shall I fear?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Beauty of Purity

The Lord loves purity, and for many reasons.  One that comes immediately to mind is that purity is a direct expression of his nature and his reality: the one who is pure is not tossed about or affected by the trends and fads - the winds this world blows and their varying temperatures; but instead he is timeless.  Immovable.  The very voice of love, hope, faith, joy, and peace

He is unstained, unhindered, by the perverted indoctrination of those who are bent on practicing evil.  Instead, he brings eternity into time with his very being - with every expression of his alive-ness.  He has a doctrine of life; but it is more than a doctrine: it is a way of life.  It is, in fact, the Way of life; and it encompasses him; it constitutes his existence.  So, one could say he is a doctrine of life.

Yes, he is timeless; but he is simultaneously within time.  He is not distant or far off in the future - impersonal and unreal. Instead, he is more in this moment than any one person who is trapped in time can be.  And yet he is not in this moment per se: he cannot fully be contained in one moment or expressed in it; but it is his coming to terms with the immortality of his soul that causes him to be simultaneously fully here and fully there - there referring to the fullness of God's Kingdom: the fulfillment of God's dreams (that they would be with me where I am).  Therefore, he lives unbound by time's chains, and yet he does not undervalue time.  In fact, he redeems time, making it beautiful, colorful, and creative.  He bends time to his Father's will; for he is a steward of all that his Father has given to him.


Yes, he is immovable in His faith; and he is a mover of others towards good works. In his immovability he is like the oak: his massive roots penetrate deep into the soil, and his trunk is the very picture of strength.  His spirit is deeply entrenched in the person of God.  He is always exploring God's mind and contemplating and meditating on God's thoughts and desires, slowly making them his own, integrating them into the patterns of his thought, into the tendencies of his heart.  He moves others in that he spurs others on towards good works of the Spirit.  He sees God's gifts in others and exhorts them to develop that which they have been given.

His words drip life; in this way he is the voice of all that is good. His words produce abundant fruit in the lives of others; and they resonate within the pure in heart.  The pure one gives voice to the yearnings and longings of the Spirit; for he is always conversing with Him - always listening for the slightest of whispers.  He has forsaken all other voices; he listens and rests in only that which his Father speaks; and he reveals what he hears to the broken around Him, bringing the warmth of joy to their downcast hearts.  He is truly a deep drink for all who find themselves desperately thirsty.  And even as he is surrounded on all sides by overfed, piggish souls and neglected spirits, his words divide soul and spirit, and refresh and renew the spirit, restoring its health and injecting it with an abundance of life.  This raising up of dead spirits of man reflects the tremendous beauty that the pure one carries within him; his words of resurrection give us a perfect image of the richness of his heart; for out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks.

Yes, this one - this pure one - has a quality of otherworldliness that is simultaneously refreshing and disconcerting.  Refreshing in that it gives life to the deepest part of one's being; it reveals God on new levels and in new dimensions.  And disconcerting in that it confronts everything within us that is not of that same unstained quality and calls us to a deeper and more intimate abiding in the love of the Father - free from sins chains and free to follow and be fascinated with the God-man, King, Messiah, and Friend, Jesus the Christ.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

He's Been SO Good to Me


No natural circumstance will, in any way, taint that which I hear the Spirit speak, nor will it altogether hinder me from hearing what He says.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Martyrs

"...for they loved not their life even unto death." (Revelation 12:11b)

Here are two excerpts from the book Jesus Freaks Vol II.

"I Forgive You"  Abbot Iscu
Romania, 1951

"Abbot Iscu lay quietly awaiting death in the Tirgul-Ocna prison as a result of the tortures he had endured at the hands of his Communist captors.  He spoke very little and looked serene as he felt heaven draw closer.  If he did speak, his words carried the weight of eternity, and all attention in the cellblock suddenly focused to listen to him.  Yet each breath he took revealed the pain that wracked his body.
Across from him, horrified at the sight of the abbot, lay another prisoner near death.  He was once a Communist officer, and it was at his hands that the abbot had been tortured to the point of death.  He had been a faithful Communist, and for this he now shared the cell of those he had been told to make "recant the Christian superstition" for the sake of the party.  As a result of something none of the other prisoners ever learned, he had been imprisoned as well and tortured by his own comrades.

Though he, too, was at the point of death, he could find no peace in death.  He awoke in the middle of the night in a heavy sweat and grabbed the arm of the person nearest him.  He knew most in that cellblock were Christians, so he begged prayer.  "I have committed horrible crimes.  I can find no rest.  Help me, please"

Because of the damp cold and never really knowing when it was day or night, many in the cell were still awake.  At the Communist torturer's words, Abbott Iscu motioned for two other believers to come and help him.  With their help, he was lifted from his bed and brought over to the officer, where he was set down on his bedside.  The abbot the abbot reached out and laid a comforting hand on his torturer's head.  "You were young and did not know what you were doing.  I forgive you and love you, as do all the other Christians you mistreated.  And if we sinners who have been saved by Jesus can love like this, how much more is He himself ready to erase all the evil you have done, to cleanse you fully.  Only repent."

So in that common cell, others heard the confession of a murderer to one of the men he had murdered.  they also heard the murdered absolving his murderer.  They embraced at the end of their prayers and gave each other a holy kiss, as was the custom of Christians in Jesus' time as well as behind the Iron Curtain.  

They both died that night and must have entered heaven together.  It was Christmas Eve."


"My Heart Seemed Too Narrow to Contain His Joy"  A Japanese Prisoner and Others
Japan, 1622

A Christian in Omura wrote the following in a letter from prison:

"Oh, if you taste the delights with which God fills the souls of those who serve Him, and suffer for Him, how would you condemn all that the world would promise!  I now begin to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, since for His love I am in prison, where I suffer much.
But I assure you, that when I am fainting with hunger, God has fortified me by His sweet consolations, so that I have looked upon myself as well recompensed for His service.  And though I were yet to pass many years in prison, the time would appear short, through the extreme desire which I fell of suffering for Him, who even here so repays our labors.
Besides other sickness, I have been afflicted with a continual fever a hundred days without any remedies or proper nourishment.  Yet, all this time my heart was so full of joy that it seemed to me too narrow to contain it.  I have never felt any equal to it."

Later, when he heard that he would be burned alive, he overflowed with joy.  He constantly expressed his gratitude to God, for he felt himself unworthy of dying as a martyr for Jesus.

On September 2, he was taken with twenty-four others to Nagasaqui, where, only shortly before, fifty Christians had been executed for their faith.  When they arrived near the city, they were taken to twenty-five stakes that were all in a row and tied to them.  The wood had been set all around them with the farthest extremity about eight meters away.  When the wood was lit at this point, it took about two hours for it to burn to those tied to the poles.  The Christians stood all this time with their eyes toward heaven until the flames finally took them.


"We share in the terrible sufferings of Christ, but also in the wonderful comfort he gives.  We suffer in the hope that you will be comforted and saved.  And because we are comforted, you will also be comforted, as you patiently endure suffering like ours.  You never disappoint us.  You suffered as much as we did, and we know that you will be comforted as we were."  (2 Corinthians 1:5-7)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I desire to be fully separated from the world and its systems and wholly abandoned to God and His wisdom.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

You Know Me - Steffany Frizzell

This song is amazing!  I'm not positive, but I'm almost certain the lyrics are based on and are a beautiful expression of Psalm 139.  I encourage you to read Psalm 139 either before or after you listen to the song.



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Love Laughing at Myself

"IF WE ALL GET TO HEAVEN!...er...wait...is it when?  Oh!  WHEN we all get to heaven."  *hysterically laugh at myself*

Messing up can be a good thing if you get a good laugh out of it.

Purity Part 1

God finds great delight in those who refuse to be covered in the dirt and filth of this world and have determined to live set apart, godly lives in the midst of a perverse generation.  He searches for those whose hearts are exclusively committed to him and the furthering of his Kingdom: he takes great pleasure in the purity of their heart, he savors their worship and loves to bless them (Psalm 24:4-5); for he knows that through them his life can flow untainted into the dying world all around; he knows that they can be trusted with the burdens of his heart; he knows that they will remain set apart, forsaking the world and its wisdom and presenting their bodies as holy sacrifices unto God (Romans 12:1).  God is jealous for the pure in heart.


Nevertheless, though he desires purity - total separation from the world and its systems, and total abandon to God and his wisdom - above all else, the workers, the harvesters, remain few.  For purity is no longer something that is desired by God’s people - desired enough to be pursued at the cost of their lives, anyway. The church has become like the harlot to whom Israel is so often compared in the Old Testament: we have ignored this New Covenant that God has made with us and have chased after worldly pleasures.  


Where are the men of God?  Where are those who would rather lose their life than be stained with sin?  They are trapped within a cage created by their own self-indulgences.  All that remains is a shadow of what was - sin has destroyed everything else that had any worth.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Helper

"But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you." (John 16:7)

What an amazing statement, and one whose reality and weight is so often overlooked; and if not overlooked, never really applied in the personal lives of people.  How different would we be if we allowed the truth of this statement and its pertaining reality to the Spirit-filled people of God to conquer our doubts and fears; if we allowed the Holy Spirit - the Helper - to be fully Himself within us, expressing God's love and manifest presence to the people around us?  What changes would be made if we were to grasp both mentally and spiritually this certainty, that as we walk in our neighborhoods and other public places, the actual Spirit of God lives within us (in full measure) and wants to come out of us  through our speech and the way we do life and into the needy, broken lives of people around us?

The truth: we have divine power and presence which abides on the inside.

The current reality: we don't fully believe in Jesus' statement, that it was better for Him to go away so that the Spirit might come. We don't fully understand as we should our purpose in this life and the person (the Holy Spirit) who indwells us to help us accomplish that purpose.  And we are so wrapped up in our own affairs, that the yearnings of God's heart are not important to us: we go days and maybe weeks without acknowledging their existence, and we certainly do not let them break us or move us.

Don't be fooled.  It is no mistake that the church today has only a vague, impersonal knowledge of that which it possesses.  The enemy is ever vigilant to cloud the understanding Christ's bride.  But you should not be deceived by his wiles: recognize your identity as a son/warrior/messenger of the Lord, and bring and establish the Kingdom wherever you go.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Journey on which I find myself is not inspired by the failings of others, but the footsteps of those who went before me; and the companionship of them that walk with me; and the presence of Him who lives in me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What Are We Speaking?

"...but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head..."
(Ephesians 4:15, NASB)

Just today, as I was speaking with the Lord, I voiced a desire of mine: that my mouth would speak only that which is truth, so that the pure things of God - His mysteries and His thoughts - which originate in His heart, would find my mouth to be an instrument through which they might find expression.

To carry and express His desires and longings, those things that weigh on His heart, is one of my prayers; and I know that the mechanism of its fruition is that, in Christ, I develop the strength and maturity to do so. And an aspect of that developmental process is that I speak the truth...in love, as Ephesians 4:15 commands; that I put away all evil speaking, letting no corrupt word proceed out of my mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.  I want my Spirit to be a pure channel, untainted by the filth of this world, through which life-water can flow into those I meet.  I want my words to heal brokenness, not create it; to restore the ruins of a life ravaged by sin, not destroy what is left of them.  Instead of my words being the fire that incites needless controversy, I want them to be a refreshing drink to the soul, inspiring peace and communicating God's love.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Clash of Two Wisdoms

Just felt like I needed to post this excerpt from Art Katz's book, Apostolic Foundations: The Challenge of Living an Authentic Christian Life, p. 139. (This is an excellent book by the way, and I highly recommend that you read it)


The Clash of Two Wisdoms


"We need to understand that there are two wisdoms in collision. Even the word 'wisdom' is slightly confusing here, because we think of wisdom in terms of cleverness, and the application of knowledge. A better definition for wisdom would be, "the moral values of God." It is what God is in Himself, and therefore it is what the church must demonstrate in itself exactly who and what God is in Himself. This is what Jesus did in His earthly walk. Everything He did was for the purpose of the Father, without regard to Himself, even though it resulted in His own suffering and death. God is waiting for the corporate church to make exactly the same demonstration in order that the age might conclude. When we begin to take God and His Word seriously, and realize that this must be fulfilled through the church, then we should also realize that God is calling us to more than the casual conglomeration of saints meeting on Sunday. This requires an earnest, daily relationship, and a growing up together."

Walking Worthy of Our Calling

Paul really highlights chapter 4 as a transition in the book of Ephesians. This can be clearly seen from the start in verses 1-3, where he writes, "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord beseech (appeal, urge, implore) you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

I, therefore, beseech you. I, in light of all that I just said in the last 3 chapters, in light of the glorious inheritance that is yours in Christ, in light of the fact that he made you alive - he seated you in Christ in the heavenly places, in light of the fact that you are His workmanship; that you were brought near to the Father by Christ's blood, urge you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called. What a radical call to holiness! This is where the mysteries touch the reality of day to day life: in the walk.

Paul urges us to walk worthy, which means we need to walk lowly, gentle, and with longsuffering, living life together in unity, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Paul is saying, "This is what you have, and this is who you are in Christ, now walk worthy of your calling. Put away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking; and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. And also, speak the truth in love, so that you may grow up in all things into Him who is the head."

What do I see in all this? I see radical lovers of Jesus. I see the words FAMILY in every verse. I see relationships that are genuine and deep; that go beyond the carnal into a deep spiritual bond between brothers and sisters in Christ. I see a radical, fire-filled bride changing society.

So let's walk worthy of our calling, not only as sons but also as siblings. Let's take this family thing seriously and live it out, so that we may see Jesus formed in each of us, and the body of Christ grow to maturity.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Acknowledging What God Has Done

Just this past Sunday, I visited one of The King's People house churches and had a wonderful time in the Lord with everyone there. There was edifying fellowship among the people, God was present in the worship and the discussion, and life was transmitted from one believer to another.  And during a period of discussion in the gathering, there were many encouraging insights expressed, and one that I specifically wanted to write down and share.

This particular insight focused on the Israelites and their liberation from slavery and the many trials they faced during their 40 years in the desert.  And it highlighted first of all, their grumbling and complaining before the Lord: how he had brought them out of Egypt simply to be slain by the Egyptains in the desert, how he had parted the Red Sea simply so that they could die of thirst and hunger in the wilderness, seemingly oblivious to the many times that God had been faithful in keeping His promises to them, how He had never failed to keep His promises.  In spite of all that the Lord had done, they continued to grumble and complain against Him, not understanding that He was YHWH, their God and Provider.  They simply did not believe that the Lord was good.  That is what it boils down to: they did not trust in the character of God.

And looking from our perspective as we read through Exodus, we wonder at the conclusions to which the Israelites came, like the one in Exodus 14:11, when the Israelites said to Moses concerning their being pursued by the Egyptians, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?  Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?"  We read this and its hard not to laugh.  We think, "How can they doubt a God who had sent ten devastating plagues (from which they were spared) to demonstrate that He was the one true God and to release them from the bondage of slavery?  Then later on in Exodus 16:3, they complain about not having anything to eat saying, "Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full!  For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger!"  Why did they say these things; how could they say them after they had observed the mighty works the Lord had performed on their behalf?  It's not that they thought the Lord couldn't do it, it was that they thought He wouldn't do it.  Why?  Because they did not hold to and trust in His goodness; they did not believe that God was good.

And how many times do we in our own lives have those same thought processes?  How many times in our minds do we allow the magnitude of the situation to overshadow the magnitude of God and the reality of His goodness?  Let's finally start believing that God is a good Father.  Let's reflect on what God has done in our lives - pulling us through impossible situations and providing for us when we needed it most - and have confidence for today and every day for the rest of our lives that He has not brought you here - meaning any problem or trial that you are currently going through -  to abandon us.  He is GOOD and His GOOD plans for our lives - which do not exclude trials - will always prevail.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christ is Our Peace

"For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace." (Ephesians 2:14-15, NKJV) (my emphasis)

The Prince of Peace is one of the many titles given to our Savior, Redeemer, King Jesus; for He is the Reconciler, who has rended the veil between man and God, bringing peace between us and The Father and giving us free access to Him.  By God's grace we have been saved, being born of the Kingdom and co-heirs with Christ.  These are the things that He has accomplished: things of which He dreamed long before the world began; and the summing of those things are IN CHRIST.  This verse above is part of that summing up: that In Him there is neither Jew nor Gentile, but one new man, who was created In Christ when He broke down the middle wall of separation, abolishing the enmity and making it possible for God to dwell in us: we are the residencies of the Spirit.


One new man.  An entirely different breed of people.  This was His plan from the beginning: to have people who carry the presence of God; who strive to let the Holy Spirit be fully Himself within them; and who have a radically intimate relationship with the Father, free of the anxieties this world and its people possess; able to see from new heights in the Spirit.  These are the new Jesus People.  And all this because of Him who brought peace, and whose rule in our lives is one of peace, in place of the chaos we see all around us.

Note:  see Jesus people video in the left margin of this page, under Favorite Websites and Videos.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On Quotes

Last night I was pondering the value of quotes and the significant affect the good ones can have on a person's life: opening his eyes to truth, or helping him to learn from the experience of others; and I came to a conclusion which I transported from my mind to paper in two different forms.  I present them to you below.  Enjoy!

1) You must not take a quote simply to heart, you must delve deep into each individual word, discovering its function in and contribution to the complete thought - whether it plays the role of the foundation, the walls, or the roof - and build up to reflecting on the thought as a whole structure.  Then you must investigate the roots of the thought and the source which inspired the maker to express it; and with much deep musing within the realm of an eternal paradigm, either wisdom, revelation, or both will come for the undertaking of implementation.

2) A plant in full bloom and health can be an awe-inspiring sight to behold; but to experience full appreciation, you must look under and all around it.  So it is with a good quote.

Agony - Leonard Ravenhill

If you've read my posts, you'll know that I regard an eternal perspective as a very precious treasure.  How do I or anybody else obtain it?  Partly by listening to sermons - or excerpts of sermons - like the one below.




All For Jesus - Hymn

I couldn't find the author's name.  But here it is: an excellent hymn.


All for Jesus, all for Jesus!
All my being’s ransomed powers:
All my thoughts and words and doings,
All my days and all my hours.

All for Jesus! All for Jesus!
All my days and all my hours;
All for Jesus! All for Jesus!
All my days and all my hours.

Let my hands perform His bidding,
Let my feet run in His ways;
Let my eyes see Jesus only,
Let my lips speak forth His praise.

Worldlings prize their gems of beauty,
Cling to gilded toys of dust,
Boast of wealth and fame and pleasure;
Only Jesus will I trust.

Since my eyes were fixed on Jesus,
I’ve lost sight of all beside;
So enchained my spirit’s vision,
Looking at the Crucified.

Oh, what wonder! how amazing!
Jesus, glorious King of kings,
Deigns to call me His belov├Ęd,
Lets me rest beneath His wings.

The Harlot - Misty Edwards

A beautiful song.  Very long I know; but the description is vivid, and the message is priceless.  This was you.  This was me.  And that is Him taking our punishment, grafting us in to His family.  He declares to His Father, "This one...is mine!" And to us, "What's yours is mine and what's mine is yours."



Monday, January 2, 2012

We are not Uninformed, Underprivileged Acquaintances; We are Sons!


It is a great encouragement to me that I have been called a son; a title - more rightly called an identity - which implies trust, confidence, and responsibility.  The knowledge of this simple fact (simple in that it is simply true) and its perpetual work of shaping and molding my life, imparts great confidence and joy.  Yet there is something remarkably wonderful about this sonship into which I have entered that, many times, I find myself guilty of neglecting.  That is, we are sons, "..according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace..."  Yes, this is what gives me the greatest joy of all: my functioning as a son, my living it out both in the commonplace and the extraordinary, gives HIM glory, and testifies to the riches and power of HIS grace.

When I operate in my identity, it brings a big, big smile to His face; and suddenly a laugh erupts from inside Him, a deep belly-laugh, and resonates throughout heaven; and pretty soon He just can't help Himself and He's dancing in circles, jumping up and down, and shouting, "That's him!  That's my son, Thomas!  Wow do I love him!

And we are not passive sons, living in the shadow of our Father.  No, He caused the riches of His grace to abound toward us in ALL wisdom and prudence.  He made known to us the mystery of His will; and it was His good pleasure to do those things.

Of course it is all about Him: everything is to His praise and glory; but my point is that He has given US (not "United States" by the way :) the keys to the Kingdom!  He has made US stewards of mysteries!  We have been given responsibility!

In this knowledge, I will not doubt or fear.  I won't let insecurities rule me in any fashion.  But by that into which I have been called, through His wonderful grace, I slip out of the bondage...and into a new, white garment; I step out of the darkness...and into the light: the glorious riches in Christ.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Perspective

I had someone ask me once, "How many people will be brought into God's Kingdom and discipled through you this year?"

What a penetrating question!  Wouldn't you agree?

I say, let's keep our feet moving, our hands healing, our eyes seeing, our mouths praying, and our hearts understanding.  Let's make sure our lives speak of the One who transformed them, and testify to His reality.  And when the opportunity reveals itself, step out.  Give that which has been implanted in you to give.  Steward the mysteries of God and the beauties of His grace (1 Corinthians 4:1-5).  Think, breathe, speak the life which is inside you.  And remember, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts..." (Psalm 95:7b-8a)

Let's be Redeemer's of the times!

2012!!!

Is it just me, or does 12 look a lot cooler attached to 20 than does 11?

Motivations

I've been thinking in the context of this new year in the context of eternity, and I've concluded that the purity of my motivations is very delicate and a very precious thing to the Lord.  I pray I pursue it wholeheartedly!  And I challenge you to do the same!