Jan 31, 2011

The God Spot

Abigail and Dolley readers I am in the desert right now.  Everything in my life has changed and I find that I am once again clinging to the Lord for direction and guidance.  There is a lot of writing that will pour out during that time as HE reveals truths to me and I will explode with revelation if I do not write them.  HE talks to me on a regular basis.  Sometimes through a breeze, sometimes in an audible voice in my head, sometimes through other peoples words, sometimes by confirming truths to me in objects, songs, and scriptures.

Am I crazy?  I don't think so, but some might disagree.  I do not believe I am any crazier than those that have been called before me to do the mighty works of God.  It must have seemed crazy to the Israelites to walk through the Red Sea.  It must have seemed crazy for them to walk around the city of Jericho and blow horns.  It must have seemed crazy for the disciples to leave everything and follow a Preacher.  It must have seemed crazy to Saul on the road to Damascus.  Daniel, John, and Ezekiel must have felt crazy for writing what the Lord showed them.  Those that loved them and knew them must have felt all of their loved ones were nuts.

I have said these words multiple times in the last three weeks, "I cannot explain this to you right now."  I cannot explain this peace that surpasses all understanding.  I cannot explain what HE has revealed to me or what HE has shown me, I do not understand it all myself, yet.  I will say though that HE does still talk, HE does still listen, and HE does still answer questions.

So let's just take this one little bite at a time and talk about the still small voice of the Lord.  Up to this point in my life I have heard him clearly only on a few occasions and the subsequent confirmation of the voice has proven that it was HIM and not me.  Why do all men seek to put a name on the voice?  One thing can be said for man throughout the ages is that he is incurably religious.  If there is nothing out there why have men always sought to explain it?  I believe it is because within us, there is a God spot.  A hole that was created in our Spirits that can only be filled with God.

Some seek to fill it with food, sex, drugs - things of the flesh that turn black and destroy their souls.  Some seek to fill it with Religion, rituals, rules, and structures - they are seeking to put God in a nice little box.  They are seeking to explain the unexplainable and they try to tame the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.  Some seek to fill this God spot with science and in the process create their own secular religion that leaves out the Creator.  There are a myriad of ways that men try to fill the God spot but all will leave them cold and wanting because there is only one true filling of that spot and that is from the One who created it.

In these days, the Holy Spirit fills the God Spot and only HE can stop the endless pursuit.  Only HE can give your spirit rest.  Only HE can give you life, peace, and hope in this fallen and dangerous world.

If you are searching your restless spirit, if your soul feels empty, if you KNOW something is out there and nothing you have done thus far has given you rest, I can tell you what you need.  You need the Holy Spirit.  HE comes to you through the shed blood of Jesus.  HE does not glorify HIMSELF but points you to the Savior.  So if you are tired of questioning, tired of struggling, and tired of trying to figure it all out you've come to the right place.

It's a simple thing: pray, ask, and accept.  You KNOW the truth and let HIM take you the rest of the way.  Father, I believe.  Help my unbelief.  Send your Holy Spirit to fill my heart, my life, and my mind.  Take away the doubts.  Thank you, Lord for your Son who gave us the power to pray this prayer through his shed blood at Calvary.  Lord, I need rest.  I accept you, I worship you, I thank you for the filling of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Jan 30, 2011

Going Down the Egypt

Abigail and Dolley readers I must confess, I am still not watching the news but I would have to be dead not to notice that Egypt is on fire right now.  It is worthy to note that Egypt, Lebanon, and Israel are still in existence by their Biblical names and there is plenty in the Bible about Egypt.  Did you know that anytime anyone travels to Egypt in the Bible they are said to be going "down" to Egypt?  Anytime someone travels to Jerusalem it is said they are going "up".

I heard some preaching on this a while back and it is worth sharing with you now.  Egypt in the Bible represents the World and Man's way.  If you are headed down to Egypt you are seen as doing what the world tells you to do not what God would have you do.  Egypt is full of all sorts of pitfalls for the child of God.

As for me and mine we are on the long journey out of Egypt and we have our sites on Jerusalem.  I fear there is a desert between us, I only hope it is a short sojourn but I must remember it is in the desert where we learn to rely on God.  It is in the desert where we feel HIM more fully.  It is in the desert when the ways of Egypt and the fat we have accumulated in the world is burned off in the fiery sun.  The people that come from the desert can face the enemies of God and carry his sword into battle and emerge victorious.

So I ask you today, are you going down to Egypt or up to Jerusalem?

Jan 28, 2011

The Second Day

Abigail and Dolley readers I have been thinking about the Apostle Thomas lately.  Now stop for a minute, I will bet the vast majority of you thought to yourselves, Doubting Thomas.  Am I right?  I will bet that I am.  Have you ever stopped to consider though that that is not a fair assessment?  Have you ever thought that poor Thomas got a bad rap?  Has it ever occurred to you that Thomas had a moment of weakness and that his faith, his work, and his reputation have been unfairly maligned?

Go with me for a moment, back in time and let's see where it takes us.  Thomas was one of the Twelve, one of Twelve men chosen by the Lord to be his closest confidants, friends, and who would ultimately be responsible for establishing the church.  Thomas left his home and family.  He left his job.  Thomas would have been considered crazy by all who knew him for giving up his life to follow Jesus.  Any time a person is called by God to do extraordinary things there are those in their lives who throw up their hands in frustration!  He should be fishing, he should be farming, he should be staying home and providing for his family - instead he is galavanting around Israel following a Preacher!  The Romans were after them, the Jews were after them, the Darkness of this World was definitely after them.

Thomas gives up everything and follows the Lord.  At Calvary, everyone except the women and John flee, they hide, they are afraid.  Imagine this with me if you will - Jesus is dead.  Thomas had endured ridicule, persecution, the snide comments of his mother in law all because he believed, he believed in Jesus and now Jesus is dead.  In the tomb, buried.

Judas is dead, their friend had betrayed the Master.  The Sanhedrin was trying to find him and he knew what crucifixion looked like and he is afraid.  The remaining 10 hide out but Thomas has had it.  He's sick of the whole darn thing.  He's sick of church, he's done, and he leaves - by himself.  While he is gone the Resurrection happens and all the other Apostles get to SEE the Lord.  They don't believe either until they see, we do not call Peter, Doubting Peter, do we?

So after a couple days he decides to check in with his friends, they tell him the Lord is alive, but Thomas knows better.  You see the pain, loneliness, and confusion of the Second Day are with Thomas and he scoffs and says, "Then show me!"  When he receives the same confirmation the other Apostles had he repents and believes but he is no different than the others.

So I ask you, in his place wouldn't you do the same thing?  If you've ever had a Second Day, you will know what it is like.  Jesus is in the tomb, everything you have believed to be true at this point is in question, and you are scared.  So let's cut Thomas some slack.

Jan 26, 2011

The Gift

Abigail and Dolley readers sometimes the Lord takes you to a place where you can finally hear His voice.  Recently, I went to such a place.  There were many things He needed to tell me, things He needed to prepare me for, and somethings I still don't understand.  In the center of all of it, I learned something I would like to share with you all now.

In the midst of our lives, we are missing it.  We are missing the moments of our lives by not being present in them.  We spend so much time thinking about yesterday and the past and contemplating and worrying over what the future may or may not bring, that we miss where we are right now.  The gift we are given is simply this moment.  That is all we are ever promised.  We who are the recipients of this precious gift, let them slide by without notice.  If anyone should be aware it is us, but we are too busy to listen and we miss most of our lives.

All I know friends is that at this moment, I have your attention and I am thankful for you.  You readers who make this blog possible and who periodically give me the most precious of your gifts and that is your time.  So, let me say thank you.

I vow to appreciate these times, these moments, this life and to no longer waste it on worry over the past or the future.  I will simply be present.  I hope that you join me and I hope as always that our time together is special.  God bless you!


Jan 21, 2011

A Football Tale

Abigail and Dolley readers I would like to relate a story to you, a fictional "what if".

The story begins with Peyton Manning, three time MVP, Super Bowl Champ, and all around Super Star.  Towards the end of the season, he is heavily recruited by the Chicago Bears.  Peyton is happy with the Colts and he is honored and respected for his talent there.  He has a team around him that buys into his style of play and they have a genuine bonding and affection for one another.  At first he tells the Bears to go away, he is not interested.  Circumstances and life seem to interfere and after loosing the AFC title game and missing the Super Bowl the Colts freak out and all of a sudden the Bears offer becomes more interesting.

Peyton meets with the Bears and they, like the Colts are a good organization and have a lot of similarities.  They tell him they have always had Quarterbacks that hand off the ball and rush, but they want real talent.  They want to build the greatest football dynasty the world has ever seen and Peyton Manning in the vehicle they want to use.  They praise Peyton for his skills, not only on the field but in the locker room.  They know he brings understanding of the front office workings, the coaching, the training, the facilities, the ownership, and of course the game.  They make Peyton a very generous offer and tell him they are ready for him to come on board and help them build their dynasty.

With a heavy heart, Peyton leaves the Colts.  The city mourns, the players throw parties, the ownership laments, the fans are all very sad.  Peyton appreciates their love and support but is excited about the new opportunity.  The Bears have promised all this and more and it is time to move on.

From the first days of practice, he knows this is very different from the Colts.  All of the understanding and talents Peyton brings to the table are not needed at the Bears.  He has made his choice and as a man of honor he is determined that he will be successful, because he always has been.  Peyton is a winner and the Bears are paying him a good wage.  He works hard, although they don't want him to do what makes him great.

You see, the Bears are structured that everything is controlled.  Peyton does not have the freedom to make audibles at the line of scrimmage, the offensive coordinator calls in every play.  They have had bad QBs in the past and their structure dictates that this is how they do it, these are the rules, and Peyton needs to follow these rules.

Peyton is shocked to discover that they expect him to be a scrambling QB.  He has never done that in his career.  In opportunities, of course he can scramble, he does it well but judiciously and only when all other avenues of a play have broken down.  He is also disheartened to learn that his arm which is so good and so strong and made his career does not fit into the playbook, he is merely to hand off the ball to the players around him.

The players around him are adequate and some of them are even pretty good, but they are not allowed to buy into Peyton's philosophy in the locker room.  The front office is always there making sure Peyton does not bring his aspect of the game to the other players.  You see, the Bears have their own idea of what a locker room is supposed to be.

The draft rolls around and Peyton has great ideas about new players to recruit and trades to make.  A couple of the key players that Peyton has played with in the past are available.  The Bears have people to do that, so they tell Peyton, thanks, but we have our team.  Peyton is once again bemused, but they are paying him to play for them and that is what he is going to do.

After the first preseason game, the coach makes a comment that all the other QB's they have had were scramblers and they were successful at it, Peyton should start scrambling.  Peyton furls his brow and says, "But I have never been a scrambling QB only when I absolutely have too, but I guess I could try."  He never gets off the line of scrimmage, he's not that kind of player.

The Bears bring in an outside trainer to show Peyton how to scramble.  Peyton trains with the trainer, learns what he is telling him, and starts practicing.  They are asking him to change his whole game and it is going to take a little time, Peyton is not a rookie and he has a style that will take him a while to unlearn.  The new moves don't come naturally to him but he tries.  After the second preseason game, they see that he is trying, but he is not getting the job done the way they like.

The Coaches and the front office look at him and he is nothing they want him to be.  He is merely a high priced player that can't scramble and you don't need Peyton Manning to hand off the ball.  So three games into the preseason they release him.  He wasn't what they thought, they say.  He's never going to be a scrambling QB and that is what they want, that is what fits their structure and their rules.

So all of the things that make Peyton Manning special were not used or in the end wanted by the Bears.  He has failed there.  Are the Bears a bad organization, no they simply thought they wanted something but they did not.  No one likes ever thinks they are in the wrong and they tell themselves it was Peyton that did not understand what they wanted of him, not that they had changed their minds.  Peyton Manning would have never left the Colts had he known what the Bears expected of him, why would he do something so foolish?

The good news is that the arm that had been giving him trouble is rested and healed.  He also learned from the Bears and the outside trainer.  He watched and absorbed because some of the things the Bears did were great, he just did not fit.  He leaves the Bears facility that day with his pockets empty, they pay him nothing.

As he walks to his car, his ego is bruised, but he's still Peyton Manning.  He's always been great but the Bears don't need him and he's tired.  He knows what he has to do, the Lord has laid it on his heart.  There is a new mission for Peyton Manning, a new road he is to travel, and the greatness of his football career is nothing compared to the new adventure ahead.

In this story, faithful Abigail and Dolley readers, your humble author is Peyton Manning.  I am indeed looking forward to the greatness ahead.  I can only pray that unlike in this story the company that lured me away from my great job will do right by me now that I have been released.  When I left on Thursday I had no answers about severance.  I am the sole supporter of my household and can only pray that God through men will take care of me and my family while I pursue other roads.

Thank you for your prayers, faithful readers!  I need them.

Jan 20, 2011

Revolving Doors

Abigail and Dolley readers this has perhaps been the most jammed packed season of my life.  So many things have happened and I am sure, like a Hebrew Word, they are best read backwards.  Perspective shall be gained from looking to see what God has done and He has promised to light our paths and order our steps.  I like so many am wondering where to turn and what to do now that some doors are closed and others have opened.

Tonight I sit with the laptop and think, why has this happened and what does it all mean.  Many of my fellow countrymen are wondering the same thing, so I am not alone.  I have reached the pinnacle of my career and found it cold and lonely.  My true passion has never been in what I do, it has always been in who and what I love and that has never been my career.

So tomorrow, I begin a new adventure and adventure laid before the foundations of the Earth, an adventure that I was made for.  All that has come before has been for now, all that I have ever known has prepared me for what I am to do.  You see, last summer, in the midst of my struggles at the height of my despair I made a discovery.  Better phrased, I was given a gift.

This gift has lain fallow for these last months, a dream, a vision, an impossible probability.  I have been too caught up in the daily grind to pursue it and it has exerted itself and said, "You will ignore me no more!"  You see it is not really mine, I am merely the conduit.  So today, this January 20th in the year of our Lord 2011 we launch Pulse Points.

The proceeds in gross will Honor the Lord, He will get this first tithe, the first and the best fruits of this labor of love.  For whom much is given, much is expected and I have indeed been given much.  I would ask you faithful readers to remember me in your prayers.  I will need them to stay strong, to stay faithful, and to stay true to my promises.

In Christ,