BeLOnGings - .....and being with you nothing else I desire.
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BeLOnGings - .....and being with you nothing else I desire. Music Why BeLOnGings? Top BeLOnGings .....and being with you nothing else I desire. Learning Time Language by on August 10, 2016 in Uncategorized With a houseful, Hilary and I have to schedule some ‘down time’. So each week in the summer we take a bike ride ending up in a favorite coffee shop. Last week as part of our ritual while munching a shared chocolate pistachio Danish we picked up the ‘real’ news paper to browse. Our hearts sank as we read the lead local story: Nebraska crash kills Minneapolis family of five. Missionaries in training, they were rear-ended by a semi in construction zone. Jamison and Kathryne Pals and their children, left to right: Ezra, Violet and Calvin. The vice president of a local nonprofit called the couple, “the most selfless people you would ever want to meet.” Subsequently we discovered the couple were good friends of a number of our good friends. As I pondered this event, Father began making some connections in my mind and imagination. The image of the semi ramming the license plate of this families car as they were instantly ‘snatched away’ out of this life pointed me back to last weeks blog called “Learning Sign Language” (Before reading on you might want to review it.) I had seen in our new license plate a message of how we are being prepared in this life to ‘cross over’. 1 Thess.4:17. talks about the ‘snatching away’ (Gk. harpazo) that we believe is immanent. Personally I do not believe this means ‘Christians’ will be ‘raptured’ out of a perishing world but rather a prepared company of believers dead and alive will be “raised” or “changed” in order to “rule and reign with Christ” in a Sabbath Millennium restoring the earth. (However the main message of this post holds true no matter what your end times eschatology) My friend Eugene from Ireland responded to that blog with a question “Might there be something in the VXL to do with Roman numerals?” I realized V is the number for 5. Then Father began piecing it together: Although from an earthly perspective this crash was a tragedy, from a heavenly perspective I believe it contained a message of grace (the biblical meaning of 5). These 5 in preparation for crossing over (an earthly ocean) had sold their worldly possessions in order to engage with Joy (Their blog: For the Joy of Japan) on the other side. “The most selfless people you would ever want to meet” were 5 who had chosen “the more excellent way” (VXL) – the way of self donating love. At our fellowship meeting last Friday I was lead to John 15 where Jesus at the end of a season of preparation says to his disciples: “I no longer call you my servants…..I have called you my friends.” It was then that it dawned on me this family was called “Pals” in buddies! The final piece of this revelation came when a friend said to me “They were both 29.…the biblical number for departure.” Their time had come to depart – this life, as “Jesus’ friends” This morning I read another headline about another family of 5: “Pennsylvania family of five dead in ‘murder-suicide” This family was called Short. Were their lives not cut tragically Short?’…… Is this one not a totally hopeless story? I believe not. In order to make sense of “This Life” book (whose ‘author and finisher’ is Jesus) we need to understand 3 things: Firstly we need to know “The Whole Story” I believe that sadly most of us who profess to be Christians know little beyond our own ‘personal salvation’ story. But consider these two questions: 1. What does it mean that, “From Him and through Him and to Him are all things.” ? (Romans 11:36) 2. Does the “all” include the Short family? At the end of The Story we read, “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them singing: ‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power. for ever and ever.”‘ (Rev.5:13) Secondly we need to know “The Timeline” I think it cannot be said of most of us as it was said of the Thessalonians, “Now, brothers about times and dates, we do not need to write to you.” (1 Thess.5:1). I know for most of my life I had a pathetic understanding of God’s “Secrets of Time” and of how God’s word has been and continues to be fulfilled in current events with absolute precision. Have we in assuming death the final deadline compromised the sovereignty of God to do all that He has said He will do? “For as truly as I live all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.”(Numbers 14:21) Thirdly to make sense of “This Life” book we need to learn “The Language” of a living God who is constantly speaking to each of us sovereignly, simply and specifically. As we allow our Father to expand our understanding of these 3 things we discover a “God of hope” who can “fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rm.14:13)…..Hope both for the Pals family and ultimately for the Short family, because I believe, that although one of them was ‘short’ of hope in this life our Father never ‘shorts’ anyone….for it was Jesus closest friend of all who said, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2) P.S. This morning I noticed a 913 sticker on a bag in our bedroom. As I finished the blog I noticed the word count was also 913. I turned to Psalm 91:3, “Surely He will save you from the fowlers snare and from the deadly pestilence.“ I believe I received this message because I am being taught “The Language” so I can grasp “The Whole Story” and understanding “The Timeline” have hope for all. “Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet . The last enemy to be destroyed is death…..When he has done this then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.” (1 Cor.15.24-29) Learning Sign Language by on August 3, 2016 in Uncategorized Last week we got a new license plate in the mail. Before putting it on the car I did something I wouldn’t have thought of doing a few years ago, I paused to listen. Sure enough there was Father’s ‘gentle whisper’ in the sign. ‘9′ is to do with ‘visitation’. There are 9 fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. These are the ‘fruits of the kingdom’ that Jesus is looking for in our lives.(Matt.21:43) Jesus is the Heavenly Fruit Inspector coming to gather evidence to present in the divine court. In Luke 19 he laments over Jerusalem ‘you did not recognize the time of your visitation.’ 40 years later the city was destroyed. The few ‘good figs’ (Jer.24) were the disciples and converts who had recognized and received Him and many were expelled from the land by persecution. They were spared the judgement and began the first stage of the faith journey – justification. ’40’ represents the wilderness training God’s people undergo as these fruits are cultivated through testing and training. (Deut.8) This is the next stage of the faith journey – sanctification. Between the numbers and letters there is an outline of the State of Minnesota’s border with neighboring Wisconsin giving the profile of a white face. This reminded me of Moses face that shone after encountering God on Mt Sinai, and Jesus on the mount of Transfiguration. Both these incidents prophecy about the change we are anticipating. “Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Pt.1:13) The double helix reminded me of DNA. When we are changed in our ‘atom-os’ (1 Cor.15:51,52) Our Divine Nature will be Activated. This will be the third and final stage of the faith journey – glorification where we will cross over into the Promised Land, regaining the inheritance that was lost in Adam as we are “filled with all the fulness of God.” (Eph. 3:19) ‘VXL’ spoke to me of ‘the more excellent way’ (1 Cor. 12:31) This is the way of love which is the way of God, who is Love. As we receive the heart of God and the mind of Christ we will be fitted ‘to rule and reign with Him’ in the Great Sabbath Millennium that is almost upon us. (Rev. 20:6) I believe a major step in this coming into oneness with God is the discovery that while He is absolutely just, as the title of Pope Francis’ book suggests, “The Name of God is Mercy” and that ultimately, and for all, His mercy triumphs over His judgement. (James 2:13) I believe this song (captured in our basement) captures that heart and mind toward which we are journeying: I’m so glad I paused to listen……and that you paused to listen too : – )) Sharing Papa’s Joy by on July 28, 2016 in Uncategorized I mentioned a few weeks ago that we have a house-full! The 22 people currently living in the Big Green House include our son Ben, his wife Kim and their new son, Asher Ewan, born just a week ago. Of course it’s all hands on deck and this morning after a disturbed night for mum and dad with baby and sick kids I heard Isla, now big sister, stirring at 6 am. I thought I’d see if I could buy the parents a couple more hours sleep so put Isla in the stroller and started jogging down the Parkway, singing as we went. As a parent you learn how to kill three birds with the one stone : – ) I found myself reflecting on the difference between a dutiful son and a faithful son. A dutiful son ticks the boxes in his head. His focus is external conformation. A faithful son shares responsibility from his heart. His focus is internal transformation. One knows only drudgery the other knows only joy! The prodigal’s older brother in the story of the two sons is the classic dutiful son. But “out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks” and his angry outburst of complaint against his father and younger brother revealed what was really going on inside. “All these years”…it had been drudgery! Our older brother Jesus is the perfect example of the faithful son, “Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind. “ (Prov.8:30,31) From the start… has always been joy! I started singing Isla a happy song that I co-created with Dad (and Rogers and Hammerstein) as I drove each day last year to my sandwich delivery job at Jimmy John’s. O what a beautiful morning, O what a beautiful day. I’ve got a wonderful feeling Jesus is with me today. O what a beautiful morning, O what a beautiful day. I’ve got a wonderful feeling everything’s going His way The delight of a co-creating son continued for me today…… as another verse rose up. O what a beautiful morning O what a beautiful day. I’ve got a wonderful feeling everything’s going my way, Cause my way is His way, in this day and always, Everything’s going our way! We arrived at the 3rd tee, of the local golf course. The 333 yd hole overlooks the 3 iconic skyscrapers in Minneapolis. The perfect setting for another song. “Let your glory, Let your glory, Let your glory fill the earth. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Let your glory fill the earth.” I don’t think Isla was passive in this process. I believe her childlike spirit was engaged in this prayer just as Robin’s had been when I pushed him around Munich for hours early one morning 37 years ago and Abby’s had been when we toured the terminals for several hours at Gatwick airport in London when our flight was delayed 23 years ago. How did these songs asking Jesus to come and restore his creation in those places play into the shootings last week in Germany or the Brexit vote the week before or into next week’s news in Minneapolis? God only knows…… but He does know, for our “Amen” on earth to what has been decreed in heaven seeds the clouds of the Spirit. As we arrived home, having completed the circle. Isla delightedly exclaimed. “Look Papa. – It’s raining!” Following Jesus can be simple……. just love every “little one” He sets in front of you in the creative way He shows you.…..and you may incidentally find yourself a history co-creator…. for “the hand that rocks the cradle” – with Jesus joyful heart, does “rule the world.” Chasing the dream or living the vision? by on July 20, 2016 in Uncategorized “On your left!” Vroom!.….I barely had time to steady my bike when the serious senior cyclist brushed past me – a yellow streak of lycra with a goal in mind. “Still chasing that American dream” I thought. A moment or two earlier I was slowed in my tracks as a rabbit ran across the path in front of me. I recalled the words from our Creation song, “The rabbit that skipped as His foot touched the ground.” I too had been speeding along, but the incident caused me to slow down to a pace more in keeping with my attire – yesterday’s shorts and teeshirt, an old pair of sandals and no helmet!! As I began to be more present to His foot-print in the woods around me all sorts of wonders appeared. Of course they had always been there, I was just going too fast to notice. I pondered my white-haired counterpart who had just zoomed past….. presumably a ‘successful’ man now retired and able to afford “all the gear”…..rising early and speeding ahead. I came to a familiar crossroads and thought “I’ve never turned right here” so let the notion take me while my thoughts continued in a straight line….There in front of me I saw the first sign: I remembered another “Vroom-man”, one of my fellow “Freaky Fast” drivers at Jimmy John’s when I had followed the Spirit to a sandwich delivery job for a season last year. When I asked him “How are you doing?” he would always give the upbeat reply, “Living the dream!” I knew he was studying and aiming for something better than JJ’s delivery and that his positive confession was more about his distant aspiration than his current position. Keith Green’s song came to the mind. “You can run to the end of the highway…and not find what you’re looking for.” Then as I cruised round the next corner I saw the sign: “Damascus Way” I chuckled, and gratitude rose up in me as I realized that just like my famous namesake, God had halted me too from “chasing a dream” The unconverted apostle’s earthly dream was not ‘worldly’ but religious… wipe out those evil Jesus followers…..maybe the zealous illusion that we are “serving God” is even more dangerous than fame or fortune? At the end of the book of Acts Paul discloses the secret to his change of focus. ” I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven” On the Damascus Way, Paul was ‘stopped in his tracks’, and exchanged his earthly dream for a heavenly vision.…. a vision of God, as he really is, and the good things He has in store, especially for those who seek after Him in this life. The blind prisoner in the house of Judas (Jewish law) on the Straight Street (of orthodoxy) after being knocked of his (high) horse was after three days of reflection transformed from Saul (the demander) to Paul (the little/humble one) as his physical vision was restored and true spiritual vision awakened for the first time! (Acts chapter 9) Years later he still writes, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Yesterday I heard an interview on the radio encouraging people to consider writing a legacy letter to leave for their children. Often people say to me. “So you left Medicine to go into Ministry?” I thought, “I don’t want to be remembered by a destination…. but by a disposition – as one who stopped “chasing earthly dreams” and started “living a heavenly vision.” “Blessed are those in whose hearts are the highways to Zion.” (Ps.84:5) Praying this legacy be written on the hearts of all our children. Arrivals at Rivendell by on July 14, 2016 in Uncategorized Last night we had 22 people (and 3 cats) sleeping under our roof. LaRaye flew in from Maine on her way to California and Peter and Loes Donkers flew in from the Netherlands. LaRaye discovered she had spent a year of high school at a village 15 miles from where the Donkers live. Father, showing off again : – )) Another little fella flew in from heaven. We trust he’ll be here for a longer stay. This morning his brothers and sisters called, “Papa come here and see the rainbows” Each morning the sun shines through some cut glass in our front door to bath the hallway in rainbows. We recalled the story of the flood and the rainbow being a sign of our Father’s unfailing covenant love which endures from generation to generation. Then I spotted the rainbow in the photo above. This is the original painting which provided the cover for the Flame CD. It was done by our friend Paul Newton in Australia from photos of his father’s hands and daughter’s hands. Faith, hope and love being passed down three generations. Does the flame burn brighter in your hand than it burned In the hand of your father when he said it’s your turn Take the torch of faith run throughout the land Let the flame burn bright within you. Our latest grandson has been given the name Asher. Reading a George MacDonald story Kim was made aware that ashes are a necessary part of our being reduced to nothing so that the risen Christ can become everything in us. Then we will receive the blessing of Asher, “Your strength will equal your days”….and our days will never end! Madeline and Cloud 9 by on July 11, 2016 in Uncategorized The morning after the drum circle I went for a run along Madeline island’s southern coastline. At one point I stopped and sensed I should walk down the driveway of one of the homes that seemed unoccupied, built on a cliff with an eastward view across Lake Superior. As I reached the house I realized it was boarded up. Around the windows were scorch marks. There had obviously been a house fire that now rendered it uninhabitable. As I stood at the cliff edge I spotted an idlylic little beach below. “I would love to reach that place” I thought. “but the descent is too steep.” Then I noticed a few feet away that a rope had been tied to an old tree stump and was running down the slope. “Thank you Father” I said and began to to abseil down to the peaceful cove. “We wake at daybreak, put on our moccasins and step down to the waters edge. Here we throw handfuls of clear cold water into our face or plunge in bodily. After the bath we stand erect before the advancing dawn, facing the sun as it dances upon the horizon and offer our unspoken prayer. Our mate may proceed or follow us in our devotions, but never accompanies us. Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new sweet earth, and the Great Silence alone.” These words of Ohiyesa the Dakota leader in Soul of an Indian….perfectly described my experience……as they say, I was “on Cloud 9” ……but with no moccasins : – ) As I stood there in the silence, another poem rose up – a favorite of my Dad’s. I remember our family holiday where we drove to the end of the County Sligo country road, and sat and gazed longingly at another peaceful island – the inspiration for Yeats lines: I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made: Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee; And live alone in the bee-loud glade. And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings; There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, And evening full of the linnet’s wings. I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I hear it in the deep heart’s core. Again Father’s whisper came. “You have found ‘heaven’ here with me, the heaven that all men long for and are destined to find….. after they ‘burn out’ and ‘come to the end of their rope!'” I’d heard another old Indian put it well. “The religious life is for those who fear hell. The life of heaven is the life in the Spirit for those who have been to hell and back!” I clambered back up the slope and reaching the road smiled realizing the house number was 939. Full of 3s a perfect number beloved by the Celtic saints, and the “9 bean rows” A few days later the story came full circle when talking with our Dakota spiritual daughter Raine Cloud who lives with us. She said she had just decided what to name her Etsy store: “Rainecloud9” Then she presented us with a little bag – the gift for Kim and Ben’s baby, our latest grandson, soon to be born: “When a king’s face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain(e) cloud in spring.” (Proverbs.16:15) P.S. Do visit Raine’s site by going to: Not only will you be able to find beautifully authentic Dakota beadwork but by purchasing it you will also be able to practically support her special calling from God. Madeline and the Capstone by on June 30, 2016 in Uncategorized A few weeks ago I asked our ‘Praying Friends’ to pray for the upcoming FREEDOM! retreat here at Rivendell. I sent the emails in three batches and then noticed all three had gone out at the same time – 2.04. I realized it was Father’s “gentle whisper” prompting me to blog another recent 204 story A week earlier we had been invited by our Ojibwa Jesus friends to join them on Madeline island. This is the largest of the Apostle islands on Lake Superior. It is a sacred site for the tribe who over 500 years ago in response to a prophecy known as The Seven Fires prophecy began a series of seven migrations from the east coast. The prophecy stated that at the end of the migrations they would find a turtle shaped island where ‘food grows on the water’ – a description of the wild rice native only to this area. Many believe that we are living in the days of the seventh fire. The essence of this is a second opportunity for the “light skinned people” and the Native Americans to come together in the right spirit. If this happens the prophecy says it will mark the beginning of an age of worldwide brotherhood and peace. As seven of us representing both people groups gathered round the drum praying in Ojibwe songs, we sensed the heartbeat of the Father was finding expression in the beat of the drum and of the hearts that had been brought into unity in Christ. An eagle flew overhead. An old Ojibwe elder said. “That means we are in the place we are meant to be.” We already sensed that when the day before we arrived at our rental apartment at La Pointe. As we stood at the front door our friend Clarke looked at me and said. “Did you plan this?” “Plan what?” I answered. “The address of this place?” “No” I said. We went inside and began unpacking. I produced a book I had brought to read – a classic called “Sabbath” by Abraham Heschel. Again Clarke had that amused/amazed look on his face. Then he began to put it all together for me. He said, “The Hebrew Gematria for Sabbath is 7676. 76 happens to be the number for cleansing, and 76 times 76 happens to be 5776 which is this year in the Jewish calendar – 2016 in our calendar – the year in which we are now living!” Clarke has made a study of the Great Pyramid which is described in Is 19:19,20. The capstone was never placed on the great pyramid to fulfill the prophecy in Psalm 118:22, “The stone the builders rejected has become the head of the corner (or the capstone).” The gematria of these two verses in Isaiah is 5446. This is the height of the great pyramid as it currently stands – without the final stone in place. If the capstone were to be put in place, the height would be 5776. i.e. this year- 2016 The capstone would be the 204th layer of the pyramid. This explains Clarke’s incredulity when we arrived at the front door of the rental to discover the address was: Apt 204 ……. and that the combination # for the lock was C (for capstone) 2016 There has never been a time when it was more important to be in the place we are meant to be.…….our hearts cleansed of idols and beating in unity with our Creator and Redeemer….. in readiness for “the head of the corner” and His body to come together. I pondered about a photo from the island trip, and thought of the “smiling face” above I snapped on an early morning island run. The asking price for the “Ford” painted in blue on the windscreen – $3000 – caught my attention. Informed by the type in Joshua chapter 3 we see it is now 2000 years since Jesus (the ark of the covenant) has passed across to receive his inheritance (a glorified body). Like the children of Israel we are instructed to now follow 2000 cubits/years later. It is time for His body that has been prepared, to “Ford” the river, receive our inheritance (1 Peter 1:3-5) and enter into the third Millennium – a Kingdom Age marked by “the increase of His government and peace” (Is.9:7)... just as the scriptures (and old Ojibwa prophecy) foretell. P.S. I noticed the license plate number. Maybe a reference to Ps.65:2? Father’s happy Day by on June 24, 2016 in Uncategorized Last Sunday was Father’s day in the US. The week before I kept remembering how my Dad used to chuckle as he repeated a line from one of his favorite British comedy shows where the ‘husband” would turn to his friend and with a knowing look say of his wife, “She knows you know!” Dad knew it was true of my mum – that uncanny feminine intuition that invariably saw to the heart of the matter So when the other night Hilary said to me ‘So what’s going on?” I knew she was on to something. “I don’t know.” I said quite honestly. “Probably just need to go to sleep” A few hours later I woke. “Disheartened” Father whispered. He then replayed for me some critical feedback I’d received that day. I appreciated the insights and realized I needed to adjust some things. Then he reminded me about some other comments of exasperation that left me wondering “Am I ever going to change!?” I got up to go outside for a while, and noticed the clock said 4.14. I stood on our front grass barefoot. “Grounding” or earthing is the modern term for doing what our ancestors did without thinking – going barefoot! Science has now shown the health benefits of this. As I felt the gentle warm breeze of a Minnesotan June, I experienced again the truth that we are in fact “grounded in love.” All the negativity that I had allowed myself to pick up during the day was neutralized as I saw again my Father’s smiling face, or at least it’s reflection, in the moon : – )) I returned to bed noticing the time was now 4.41. I smiled. One of the corrections I’d received was to do with a teaching I had just given about the two dedicated groups of 144,000 in Revelation 7 and 14. I had got so carried away in my enthusiasm to say what I was seeing that the more pastorally orientated folk said I had “left people behind” The two times on the clock containing the numbers 1 and two 4s was I knew my Father’s smile saying, “It’s OK to not get it ‘just right’ – you can still be part of that company :- )” The next morning (Father’s day) I collapsed onto the grass to recover after doing my “Peak 10” exercise routine. As I opened my eyes I saw on a leaf in front of me what looked like a Hebrew character, inscribed presumably by an inspired snail : – ) I realized this was the spot where I had got ‘grounded in love’ the night before. I knew it was another God-photo opportunity and snapped it. then looking at my clock realized the time – it was the same numbers – this time in the correct order….1.44. A third witness indicating “It is time for that company to come forth” So I pondered “the message on the leaf” and here is what I concluded. The main line is a Daleth which represents the number 4. In biblical numerology 4 is the number for earth. It also pictures a door. Then to the top right I saw a Yod. This is the number 10 which is for divine order being reestablished. The other symbol to the left is a Greek Omega, which is the last letter. Jesus said in Revelation 22:12,13 He is coming soon as the Alpha and Omega. He really does have the first and the last word : – )) Putting this all together I understood Father to be saying. “You are at the door. I am even now bringing this age to a conclusion and reestablishing my divine order in the earth that will be rooted and grounded in my essential nature – of love.” So if you are feeling “Disheartened” – TAKE HEART! The news I was reminded, is extremely good, and the future is full of hope. We are living in Father’s happy Day….and remember, not only will the birds of the air instruct you about this but the leaves of the field too!! What a Dad we have!!! P.S. Of course leaves are open to interpretation. Please let me know if you see something else in the leaf (or in my mental state : – )) “The birds of the air will instruct you” (Job 12:7) by on June 15, 2016 in Uncategorized Last Sunday morning we were saying farewell to the last of our guests. It had been a joy to see caged “birds” fly free at our FREEDOM! retreat, “I feel so much lighter” was the parting comment that morning from one “old bird”. His Ojibwa name is Woodpecker. He’d been in rehab 38 times before meeting Jesus and getting free and with each retreat here the peace in our dear friend seems to be deepening. After being “cooped up” inside all day Saturday I was delighted to now get outside on my own to run and re-create! I found myself jogging along the nearby railway track – eyes down and anxiously fixed lest I should miss a tie and twist an ankle. The railway reminded of a recent talk I’d done from Psalm 66. ” What is the poorest demographic group in the USA?” I had asked the fellowship. “Middle aged suburban white folks.” came the answer – from one of our Native friends. “Right!” I said. A recent study I read showed that this is the group that is experiencing the fastest rise in suicides.” I would propose.” I said, “That this is an indicator of spiritual poverty, amongst the most materially affluent.” Then turning to scripture I took my proposition a step farther. “Might verses 10 – 12 be a commentary on the American experiment? “You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our back.” “Is this a depiction of the African American experience?” I asked. “The prison ships? The literal shackles?” “You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water.” “Is this a depiction of the Native American experience?” I suggested. “The railroad? The fever of infectious diseases deliberately introduced? The ‘fire -water’ called alcohol?” “Notice” I said, “That the sovereign God takes responsibility for these trials. But then what does it say?” “You brought us to a place of abundance.” “Is it too simplistic to believe that these allowed trials produced something precious in the way of a spiritual heritage that these races were (op)pressed into….. prayers of forefathers and mothers that the current generations are still being afforded protection by? What else could explain the drop in suicides among black men in prison? What else could explain that there still exists an Indian population in this land despite the many attempts to annihilate them?” “Get off the track!” I heard. My attention had switched to the birds singing on either side of the railway. “Get off the track!” they sang again. “Why?” I thought and checked to see if a train was coming. No train. Then just as my ears had been opened my nostrils began to smell the creosote of the railway lies under my feet. “It’s killing you too!” I came to a halt and looked up. there in front of me was a young doe, beautifully innocent, and so still, I wasn’t sure if it was real or a statue. I walked to within a few feet…. then all of a sudden she turned and ran off into the woods. A rabbit scampered away. An eagle soared overhead. I obeyed, and moved off the railway track – from reflections on earthly trials back to a earthen trail. I knew I had also been moved inwardly as my ‘spiritual senses’ had been awakened. I was no longer the anxious dominator on his rigid iron road, but I had rejoined the rest of creation as a peaceful friend and as the one charged by the Creator to ‘tend’ it. I looked down. This time not at the deadly ties that bind but at a broken egg…. from which a little robin had just been freed and given flight into “a place of abundance” I open my eyes……I see your smiling face : – ) by on June 9, 2016 in Uncategorized Not only is Father opening our ears to hear his “gentle whisper” but He is also opening our eyes… see his smiling face. A few months ago Hilary and I were in Uptown Minneapolis. As we often do I wandered in one direction and she in another having arranged to meet again at a kitchen store. Arriving back first at the rendezvous I noticed outside the kitchen store a table of CLEARANCE items. A spatula caught my eye. It had a smiley face……….like the yellow smiley face badge I was wearing the very first time Hilary and I met in a high school classroom back in Belfast 45 years ago. “What is the significance of that button?” she had asked me. “Oh” I replied. “‘Smile Jesus loves you!” That first exchange laid the foundation of a growing relationship from brother and sister to husband and wife to father and mother…………….. I handed over the few dollars for the spatula and headed for the car to hide her gift under the passenger seat. When I returned to the store, there was Hilary…..sifting through the clearance table! Her hand settled on another spatula, again a smiling one, this time pink. “I think this would be nice for (our granddaughter) Ana.” she said. “She’s really enjoying baking.” We returned to the car, her parcel in hand, and as she sat down I said, “Why not have a look under your seat?” There of course she found my matching smiley faced spatula…..cue for a photo…..and for a song….. This is the greatest love story ever Pain beyond bearing: joy beyond pain This is the real thing now and forever Toward which all other stories laid claim And now your thoughts are my thoughts Your truth is my truth Your will is my will One heart we’ve become And now your ways are my ways Your words what I’ll say I am where you are Together we’re one This is the substance, no longer shadow The drama of ages has all art made plain It’s childishly simple this wisdom of sages It’s science uncovered the cosmos explained And now your thoughts are our thoughts Your truth is our truth You will is our will One heart we’ve become And now your ways are our ways Your words what we’ll say We are what you are Together we’re one This is His plan for “Oneness” with us all – mirrored in what we can potentially experience when He gives the gift of marriage in this life. So “Smile Jesus loves you” Paul (and Hilary) P.S. The parents of our next door daughter-in-law, Kim, were visiting last weekend. Linda volunteered a story that confirmed to me the above was the right blog for this week. Her mum and sisters were making the trip of a lifetime to the Holy Land a few weeks ago. Sister Sally’s husband, Fred, another “Prince of a man” had died a few months before and one night as they were watching a sunset together she quietly said to the Lord, “This is what Fred and I used to so enjoy doing together. It would lovely to know that he is here participating in our joy.” Nothing of note seemed to happen. A few weeks later mom and sisters happened to be assembled once more on a beach back home in Florida – again watching a sunset. First one of them noticed a “heart” in the sky! That got everyone’s attention. Then the heart was followed by – a smiley face!! Then came – the wink!!! Then the evening beach crowd’s tranquility was completely busted by the uncontrolled outbursts of delight from the girls as “The Father and Fred Show” came to a grand finale – with ‘the green flash’!!!! 1 2 Next Page ? ? 2016 ·SingleBox · by Whois

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