The Cynic and the Gospel

“But there’s no happy endings
Not here and not now
This tale is all sorrows and woes
You dream that justice
And peace win the day,
But that’s not how the story goes” ~Nick Urata — Netflix’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events

My response: What? Yes it is! Haven’t you heard the Gospel?

Cynic: Pipe Dream.

Me: How Love is the Supreme Ethic?

Cynic: Child’s Play.

Me: It wasn’t child’s play for Jesus who died on the Cross to make it so.

Cynic: Too long ago.

Me: *remembers Legend of Bagger Vance, where Matt Damon’s tells his beloved that their love life was “too long ago.” And the girl says, “No it wasn’t. It was just a moment ago.”

*Considers that this is the very reason for the Church today: to bring Christ’s death on the cross into the here and now. This is the message of the Lamb’s unsealed scroll in Revelation: the only thing that will bring repentance is when the impenitent world sees the followers of the lamb imitating the same loving sacrifice of the Lamb, giving their lives for others.

*Looking lovingly at the Cynic and says, “No. No it wasn’t. It was just a moment ago.”

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The Mountain

A young mountain grew taller and taller. The rocks grew stronger and stronger. The mountain took its shape, and started oozing with lava out the sides. One part of the rock split from the pressure, and the weakness of the stone. Another part of the rock split with a burst of flame and lava, and so another rock sculpture was being formed. The wind and rain beat against the rocks, and lightning struck from stormy clouds, and some rocks broke from the mountain. Some rocks refused to bend and be consumed, and they were covered over by the new waves of the same lava which formed the whole mountain. The shape of the mountain now was becoming a monstrous mass of various peaks and crags, but no single mountainous shape.

Then, all of a sudden, up the original central shaft, a burst of fire exploded from the top of the mountain. It spewed such a mighty and rapturous noise of New Earth, that the sidelong peaks crumbled and fell inwards toward the center, and the lava from the top filled in the crags and shapes with its blessing, until at last, it stood: a mountain reaching the heavens, filling the whole earth.

The Trench

In prayer I saw You
I knelt at the altar
Weak, in pain, sick
And weeping from anxiety

You said, “It will be beautiful.”
“What will be?” I asked.
“My ministry through you.
Do you want to see it?”

My heart struggled
I felt so lacking in will.
I felt no desire
Only the tendrils of Your grace
Still holding me

At length I said, “Yes.”
Though it was not fully my own will.
Then He said, “Go ahead and look up.”
I looked up at the ornate covering of the altar
And looked through them.

I saw a grey landscape before me
Surrounded in white mist
And the path was delved into the ground
Like a trench waist then chest high.
On either side a wall of shallow ground.

And I saw You.
You were white clad
Though I could not see Your face.
Your arms were outstretched.
Hands open, above the trench.

I suddenly felt this aching truth
Leap with tears from my heart.
Not only was my path on either side marked out for me
You moved onward on the path facing me
You invited me forward.

The single truth is hard to put in words.
I found myself longing to go towards you
Weeping with longing to be in Your arms.
All the while You guided me forward.
The way forward was simply getting close to You.

I’ve Glimpsed Him. (Poem)

It takes faith to believe that God is.
Once you have this, you can see him.
I do not promise that you will
Because He must decide to reveal Himself.
It takes a pure heart, with no guile.
Some believe that this is impossible,
But all things are possible with God.
How will you recognize him?
You won’t be able to ignore.
No more than a stick can ignore an all consuming flame.

How did I see Him?
I waited.
He spoke.
I looked.
He stood.
I bowed.
He is.

Music purged my heart of unexpressed filth.
Writing arranged my thoughts according to biblical specification.
Love set my heart on fire for another.
Joy surged in my creative freedom and pleasure of wisdom.
Peace quieted me in His approval.
Translation laid sticks of explosive dynamite end to end.
The Holy Spirit’s voice was the match.
The prizing and valuing of His own personal being.
And Jesus the Living one of all my life came.

T. Austin-Sparks~ “God’s answer to strengthen His people for Suffering.”
Is a new unveiling of the glory of the person of Jesus Christ.”

“What is the answer?
A new grasp of His greatness
That’s all.
And then if we are suffering
If we are knowing adversity, trial
And the clouds seem to be gathering, Accumulating, increasing.
How will we get through?
Only thus: by this:
Getting away
And asking
And seeking
And pursuing
In prayer
A new heart revelation–unveiling
of Jesus Christ.
And I am sure that will do it.
God give it to you.”
~T. Austin Sparks

 

Vision: God and the Scientist

I saw a man in a grey room typing at his keyboard. He was sitting in front of a computer, but his head I couldn’t see, except for a black square to mark out one whose face I could not see. He was a scientist. He was doing research on something.

I realized that he is being fed misinformation by those who do not acknowledge God, and who become foolish in their dark hearts.

And suddenly I knew. The answer is not better teaching.

The answer is God Himself intervening in the life of this scientist to bring Him to the knowledge of the Truth of Himself, in which all science is appropriated.

And as the Kingdom of Heaven latches onto him and lays hold. He passionately shares his findings and his way of thinking winsomely to the people in the scientific community.

Slowly the teaching in Science is changed back to a wisdom that advances the causes of science far into the reaches of unknown space. The galaxies were explored at greater depth. The human genome. The arch-robin and finches of the Galapagos are not classified separately anymore. A piece of flesh is sold in the marketplace for more tissue cells than ever before.

The Lord spoke to the scientist and he heard Him. He spoke and began to work wonders in his midst. A Christian who knew God but man knew not healed a nurse in a hospital.

How did you do that? “You ask because you will not believe. Ask and you will believe.” said the old man.

The scientist read his Bible and began to pray, and God found in his heart a pure passionate fire to live for him. The seed of rebirth was born in his heart, and flowered in living salvation. He began to speak to others about the revelation he found which was a light bulb to all his scientific teachings in darkness.

This is all I saw.

Interpretation: I believe it is the only answer to true salvation of the scientific community. God has to personally intervene. You who complain that the teaching must be better, and groan under the weight of misinformation called fact, and limited perspective called exhaustive, just take heart. All it takes is God intervening, and He will intervene in answer to the cry of His people, and He will remember His new Covenant in Jesus Christ. He is the Savior. Science is not the answer. Jesus truly is the answer, because only when God Himself intervenes to save, do we see the lasting powerful change and know in our hearts the goodness of God.

 

A Vision about the Persecuted Church

Yep. Sometimes I have visions. Acts 2:17 is my justification for it. This vision came to me August 11, 2014 in the back room of my Grandmother’s house right before I visited with Grandmother before bed. I’ve heard it said that visions are not always to be shared because sometimes it’s just for the one seeing it to know how to pray. But this is one God has permitted me to share. I do not claim this as orthodoxy. It is a manifestation of artistic reflection upon the nature of the world, the Church, and God. Ultimately, may God be found true and every man a liar.


In my availability
I sought the Lord about evil’s rise.
And at Grandmother’s before our talk.

I asked if We could take counsel.
He said “We can now.”
And I saw with other sight.

I saw the World before me like a globe.
And saw the Darkness spread abroad.
Then a light gathered together,
It was pressed, squeezed by the darkness around it.
I cried out as I understood,
“O Lord the Darkness proves Your glory
You are greater than all Your Word
And what is built upon Your word rebels against you
(It raises its fist)
It proves that You are what You proved to be when victorious
Even the darkness: the light has been tinted,
Even that dark is great, it is not as Great as You!”

In my sitting with Grandmother I considered this,
And drew on the orb, a circle of the light in the dark
The result was the dark inside it turned to light.
Like Joshua surrounding Jericho,
Like Gideon surrounding Midian.
Your glorious light filled the void
Because the Earth is filled with Your glory.
Like the world filled with magma.

I continued to draw circles, and light filled them.
But the darkness retaliated and I saw orbs darken.
Darkness continues to prove its power
The only answer is God Himself.
Not a church, not a word, not a book,
But God Himself.
And Jesus came so that we might take part in God Himself
As the Bride of Christ in communion with Him.
And I am joined with Him, and He entrusts Himself to me.
For we shall be Holy as He is holy.

O God, I am Yours. I look to You.
Let none of it be of me, but You all in me.
As you make yourself known
I worship and praise You.
For my heart is full of Your grace
And it resounds with Praise.

O God, deliver us!
Be our Deliverer
Show Yourself mighty
Show Yourself worthy.
Rescue Your beloved.
Redeem her, yea even in blood.
The blood she readily spills
For the World Jesus bleeds for today.

With humble awe, I marvel at this:
Jesus is still bleeding for the World.

Such is the love of husband and wife
They as one bear love for the same thing.
And the love of the World Jesus feels
Is the love of God and the Church for the World.

O Lord, my beloved are dying!