Ready, Willing and ABLE (Part 3)

     As I was about to share with you one of the most “Too Good to be True, but it is True” facts about God’s Love to His little flock of Dumbo sheep, my soul was feeling the Morning Dew glistening on my heart and welling up in my eyes.  When you have lived a life of failures and disappointments and something Miraculous happens to you, it’s just like Christmas morning as a child.

     “He’s making a list, checking it twice; gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. . .he knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness’ sake.”   Based on that criteria, my stocking would always be stuffed with coal.  One year I asked Santa for a train set.  I went to bed on Christmas eve so excited about waking up the next morning.  I could hardly sleep.  The new morning came, as it always does, and as I made my way down the hallway towards the living room, I could hear the sound of the train rolling down the tracks. Oh, was I wide-eyed when it came into view.  Hearing it first, then seeing it for myself. Santa was gracious to me.

     “And God is able to make all grace, every favor and earthly blessing, come to you in abundance; so that you may always and under all circumstances, and whatever the need, be self-sufficient. . . possessing within the Gift of Himself to you, a union with the Creator; therefore requiring no outside aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and donation of Love to others.”  This verse is  from the New Testament in the ninth chapter of 2 Corinthians.

     When Abraham was 99 years old and his wife Sarah was 90, God told him that he would be the father of many nations. They were not able to have children. They were both barren.  However, “What is impossible with man, is possible with God.”  They had a son whose name was Isaac.  God kept His promise to them. Only He can create something from nothing. . .Beautiful Lilies in the desert.

     Man is born barren, even to the self-knowledge of how utterly barren he is.  It’s a well-kept secret; but at the appointed time, when God’s Eternal Will turns the page of a new day, He reveals all the secrets to His little flock of sheep. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, those that mourn, the meek of the earth, those who hunger and thirst for something more than what this world has to offer; those who are without strength. . .they shall be comforted;  they shall inherit the earth; they shall be filled;  they shall fly on wings like eagles; they shall inherit the Riches of the King.” 

   Are you ready (lower case r); He is the Source of Readiness (Capital R).  Are you willing (little w); He is the Spring of Willingness (Heavenly W).  Are you able (only in your dreams,a);  He is the Ocean of Ability and Strength, the Omnipotent One.  “He Who spared not His Own Son, but gave him up for us all; will He not therefore in giving His Son, freely give us all things.”  Freely give all things; freely receive all things. Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to His Love I cling.

     “Thy people shall be willing, in the day of Your Power, clothed in the Beauty of the Colors of The Rainbow; equipped and furnished to fight the good fight, to live the good life and to soar above the troubles of life.”  Ready, Willing and Able. Fly Dumbo, Fly!

    

 

   

    

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Ready, Willing and Able (Part 2)

     I was sitting by myself, off in a corner of the room.  People were filing by and going up to the casket that my mom was lying in. It was like a dream. It didn’t seem real. Why did this happen?  How could He take her from me?  I am teary eyed right now writing this.  “Good grief”. Will I ever get over it?  The tenderness in my heart is an evidence that the sadness I feel is good grief.  Healing grief.

     A priest came into the room and walked up to my dad and said a few words to him.  Then he made an announcement that he was going to pray and invited the people there to pray with him. “Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallow be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. . .”  Thy will be done.  Thy will be done on earth. Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven.  His will, the Origin and Source of all that exists, in every way, shape and form, be done.

     I used to think that the phrase, “Thy will be done”, was my acceptance of whatever comes.  “Do your will Lord on earth and in my life.  I still think that, but now that thought has entered the Ocean and in the depths of what is true about the Creator, the phrase is an acknowledgement and awareness that everything that happens in time and Eternity comes from the Heart of the Author of Life.

     To live with purpose, to love with passion, to soar like an eagle, one needs to be ready, willing and able.  Are you ready?  Do you feel equipped and prepared for the challenges of the day?  Are you willing?  Is your heart and mind agreeable to fight the good fight.  Need some help, helpless one? Without Hope, hopeless one? Unable to fly like an eagle, little Dumbo sheep?

     “Your people shall be willing in the day of Your Power, in the Beauty of the Rainbow of Your Love, and Your Strength, and Your Faithfulness.”   He is the Supreme Will of the Universe.  His will is the River of Life and all other wills are little streams that flow out from the River, carried along by the River and arrive at His predetermined destinations every day, in every way.  It is a Deep Mystery.  His Will and the will of His creatures.  The choices He has already made for them, and the choices they make for themselves every day. 

     There is an old song by the group, Birds called “To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn), There is a Season.”  For everything, for everyone, each new day is simply the next page of their life that the Creator has written.  He turns the page and a new day begins, just as He has authored it. The lyrics from the song are from an Old Testament book in the bible called Ecclesiastes, from the third chapter. Towards the end of the chapter, the mystery continues. . .”I know that whatever God does, what He wills to do, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, nor can anything be subtracted from it. That which has existed in His Own heart before creation, arrives now at this very moment; and that which is coming in the next moment, is simply His Eternal thoughts becoming your own personal reality in time.

     “And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom God’s Spirit made willing. . .they came to fight the good fight.”  Exodus 35:21  All of His sheep come.  All of His Lilies adorn the table that He has set for them.  He has ordered your daily food for you from His menu of Love.  He has provided all that you need, to be ready, willing and able. “Then shall the King say to the little flock at His right hand, Come all of you blessed by My Father; inherit the Kingdom prepared for you before the creation of the world.”  Matthew 25:34

He is so Ready.  He is so willing.  And tomorrow. . .we are so able.

    

    

 

    

Ready, Willing and Able

Just picture the delivery room at a hospital.  The expectant mom has been in labor for a few hours and all signs are good for a healthy delivery and birth of a newborn.  The baby is just about ready to appear, when suddenly there is a faint sound of singing.  It’s an old Rock And Roll song.  The mom gives one more push and to her amazement, and to the astonishment of the others in the room, the new baby arrives singing the Fat’s Domino song, “Well I’m ready, I’m willing and I’m able to rock and roll all night.”

Championship bouts in Boxing always begin with “Let’s get ready to rumble.” Every day in life is a championship bout. It’s all about being ready.  It’s all about being willing.  And most importantly, it’s all about being able to fight the good fight.  Let’s look at it in three parts.  Today it’s all about “Ready”.

Who’s really ready?  I love watching the extraordinary movements and actions of a new baby as she evolves in life.  Always thinking, always learning, always so fully reacting to everything around. Smiling, laughing, crying, speaking a real word, taking a first step, looking brilliant to those who love her.  Genetically and environmentally influenced to grow in stature and inherently predisposed to becoming a living, working, purposeful individual.  Ready to rumble through early childhood, adolescence, teenage and young adulthood, and Ready to rock and roll through the night and days of adulthood. Really ready?  Not this man.  He needs help with everything., and he’s found

“For we are God’s own handiwork, His workmanship; recreated with a new heart that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us; taking the paths which He prepared ahead of time enabling us to walk in them; living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us.”  This is the only exception to the rule, “If it’s too good to be true, it’s too Good to be true.”  Our work in life is prearranged and made ready by the Creator. He is always, “at the ready” enabling us in a moment,  to live the Good Life, to fight the Good fight, to have the Good Faith. He is the Source of Power for the sheep of His flock.  He is the Essence of Readiness.  “I can do all things through Him Who gives me strength.

Strength to Love, strength to forgive, strength to be patient, strength to be wise, strength to be self-controlled. Strength to be a Dad, strength to be a Mom, strength to be a Friend, strength to fight the Good fight.  A Divine, Infinite Resource.  Ready to rock and roll all night. . .and day.

Tomorrow, God “willing”.

A Broken Heart

2121298544_e9a10cd429_m     I had an unexpected  visit just 20 minutes ago from the Divine Florist.  It was a Special Delivery. It was one of His Lilies on the phone.  My daughter Rachel called.  She is usually attending a meeting and then spending time with a good friend on Sunday mornings.  Rachel is a friend of Bill W.’s.  She is one of God’s Dumbo sheep.  He Enables her to soar like an eagle and do the impossible.  He has Given her a New Heart.  The old one was broke.

She told me that she put a load of wash in the dryer and when she attempted to turn it on, nothing happened.  It wouldn’t work. It didn’t work. It couldn’t work.  It was broke.  It was incapable of doing anything that it was designed to do.  Her immediate reaction was to be frustrated and then concerned  about the prospects of either getting it fixed or buying a new one.  Her partner in life, Mark, was listening to her conversation with me and chimed in, “We’ll get another one.”  He was going to purchase a brand new dryer for her.  Just like the purchase made towards a new heart for the little flock of God’s sheep.

“O Lord, You have fully addressed all the controversies and troubles of my old heart. It is broken. You have Purchased a New One for me.  Your Son has paid for it in full. You have redeemed my life.” A Free Gift of a new Heart.  The old one doesn’t work and it can’t be fixed.  You are only on a life support system. You require radical, life-saving surgery. A heart transplant.

“A new heart will I give you and a new Spirit will I put within you.  I will take away (surgically remove with the cutting edge of the scalpel of your failures and weakness, with the sharpness of your despair and disappointment, the removing of your self-condemnation and guilt). Yes, I will remove the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart that is Full of Life.  It is My Own Heart that I give you. It is My Own Spirit that I will put within you.  I will accomplish and do for you, everything that I require from you.  After his heart surgery, St Augustine said, “Do for me what you command from me, and then command what You will.”  He for me.

I just received another call from Rachel.  She and Mark went out to Home Depot and already purchased a new dryer.  Mark was faithful to the promise He made to the one he loves. And so much more, God to His little flock of sheep, “Because of the Lord’s great Love, we are not consumed with the realities of a broken heart. His compassion never fails. It is New every morning. Great is The Faithfulness!”

My own human heart is filled with brokenness, disappointments, sadness, losses, loneliness, depression, fears, failures, anger, self-centeredness, addictions, constant hunger and thirst for things in life that only temporarily fill.  But he has kept His promise to me to purchase and provide a new heart for me. I am still recovering from the surgery, still recuperating from the Divine Ordeal, still being taught to rely on the Strength and Power of the New Heart. And Oh, He is such a Promise Keeper.

It is the Son Who Shines in the New Heart.  It is the Son Who made the purchase for the little flock.  It is the Son Who paid the price in full for the New Heart. It is the Son Who says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because I am the Voice of Good News to the poor, those without strength and helpless, and utterly broke. My Father sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to deliver them from their despair and guilt.  They are blind, but I will give them eyes to see; they are unable to do what is required of them, but I will do it for them and I will be their Strength and I will make them free.”

I found myself thinking of an old song this morning about a broken heart.  “Only Love can break a heart; only Love can mend it again.”  During the heart transplant, the old stony heart is disconnected and removed by the Divine Surgeon.  His Love breaks it and then His Love connects the New One.  The soul is mended.  A soul full of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faith, Self-control, Power, Wisdom and Hope.

Over The Rainbow

4808596214_52bf5ecf4e_m“Somewhere over the Rainbow, way up high.  There’s a land that I heard of, once in a lullaby. Somewhere over the Rainbow, skies are blue; and the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true.”  One morning this week my heart was very sad and lonely.  I am teary-eyed now as the thoughts of that morning revisit my soul.  When sadness and disappointment are present in me, my thoughts regularly turn to my mother for relief.  As a child, I sat in a movie theater with her, watching Judy Garland sing this song from the Wizard of Oz.  My mother died when she was only 37. It’s the memories of her that comfort me.  Is there any Love more wonderful than a mother’s Love?  Just the thought of those moments seems to heal my pain.

Rainbows are pretty cool, whether its one sitting majestically in the sky or a little mini-version that comes from the spray of a water hose in the sun.  The first Rainbow that appeared on the earth was in the time of Noah and the Ark.  The entire story begins in the 7th chapter of Genesis in the Bible.  The word used in the story is “Bow,” short for Rainbow.  It means, a bow for shooting Strength;  the Divine Archer Shooting an arrow from one end of the earth to the other.”  But it’s much, much more than that.  It’s so much more than that.  It’s Eternally and Divinely much more.

Before the Universe was created and time began, when only God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit existed, they had already determined everything that would exist in time, everywhere in the universe.  Everything. I was driving one morning through the parking lot at McDonalds  and the leaves were still falling from a small tree.  Each leaf fell at a certain moment and to a certain place to experience a certain outcome.  Everything is Certain and happens necessarily because of the Truth of the Rainbow.

God is the Archer and the arrow that He shoots from one end of the earth to the other, always Hits His Mark.  It is always a bulls-eye.  The arrow is called His Eternal Decree.  The decree includes everything in every way, shape and form that will come into existence each moment of every day, for everything on the earth and in the universe.  He shoots it with the Strength of Divine Omnipotence.  His Power is Infinite.  There are no bounds or limitations to it. It rules over every atomic second of life. in God, we live and move and have our being.”  The Master Planner has Arranged all things to reflect Himself and His Love for His little flock of sheep.

On each side of the Rainbow, what lies before and after its beginning and end, is Eternity.  So the Big Picture of the Rainbow is:  Eternity Past (which is hidden from view),  then creation and all events that come into existence in time, then Eternity Future (hidden also), after time no longer exists. All are present in the arrow that flies perfectly at God’s command, hitting His pre-determined mark.  That’s the Rainbow.  But Oh! There’s so much more.  There’s the Colors.

The Colors of the Rainbow are the Gifts of His Love.  In the midst of a storm, when the dark clouds of life visit the soul and the rain comes down, the Son Shines and the Colors fill the heart with His Presence.  Each color is Proof of His Love and Faithfulness.  Shades of Comfort and Peace, Forgiveness, Wisdom and Knowledge, Rest and Joy.

     “I do set My Rainbow in the cloud and it shall be an evidence of the promise that I make between you and Me. It is an Everlasting Promise that I will not be angry with you.  It is only an Eternal Love that I have for you. The rain that sometimes pours on your soul will only give Me the opportunity to Bless you with My Rainbow of Love.  .  .“There was a Rainbow round about the throne of God and its appearance was like a multi-colored Emerald.” 

The Rainbow in the sky is the Reflection of the Heavenly Rainbow that surrounds the throne of God.  The Essence of it is His Love, His Kindness, His Mercy, His Patience and His promise to do all things for His little flock.

He performs the things that He has predestined for me, and many such things are with Him.”

“Somewhere over the Rainbow, blue birds fly. Birds fly over the Rainbow, why then oh why can’t I”?  Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not be weary.  They will walk and not lose Hope.

Black (and White) Friday

It was 3:00 in the morning.  We were standing in line outside a department store.  There were 20 people ahead of us.  Would there be any left when it was our turn to go inside?  Please God, save some for us.  The entrance door opened at 9:00, and by that time there were hundreds of people waiting to get in.

The line slowly started to move.  The employees were only allowing a few people at a time to enter.  It was agonizing.  It finally was our turn to enter and we were ushered to a small room filled with Gold and Silver, diamonds and rubies. . . Cabbage Patch Kids!  It was exhilarating!  I knew what  King Midas must have felt as he lusted after his treasures.  Each of us were allowed to buy 2 dolls.  Although they were expensive, they had been slightly discounted and after we made the purchases, we walked out,  securely holding on to our little Pearls.

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:  Who, when he had found one Pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”    It’s hard to believe now, but in our zeal to purchase the dolls at any price, we used most of the available cash that we had.  I’m not even sure where they are now.  What are they currently worth   in sentimental value to our daughters, or in monetary value as collector’s items?  Back then, in the magical moment when we watched the girls open their Christmas presents and saw their eyes open wide with delight, the cost and the effort was worth it.  But moments like that are so fleeting.  They fly away.

“Hey, every one that is thirsty, come to the Waters and he that has no money;  come and buy, and eat;  yes, come and buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Why do you spend money for that which is not bread?  And why do you work so hard on possessing things that do not satisfy you.  They always fly away and you are still hungry and thirsty.  Listen to me.  Eat and drink that which is Good and your soul will be Full and Satisfied.”  As far as the human heart goes, it needs every day to be Black Friday.  Searching, seeking, treasure hunting every moment for that sweet deal, that special moment that makes life worthwhile.

We sell everything that we have.  We sell ourselves for those goodly pearls, for that wine and milk and bread.  We give what we are and we give what we can, to be happy.  “Awake, awake, put on thy Strength. . .put on the Beautiful garments;  shake thyself from the dust of this world;  arise and sit down. . .the search is over.  You have sold yourselves for nothing;  and you shall be redeemed without money or cost of any kind.”

“There was a certain Creditor Who had two debtors ;  the one owed 500 pence and the other 50;  and when they had nothing to pay  and no future hope of paying; the Creditor frankly forgave them both.  Which of them will love Him more?”   It was Black Friday for both of them.  Instead of being thrown into debtor’s prison, they stood in line and were led in to the inner room where they found Mercy and Forgiveness. . .and it was all Free.  They left with an Arm Full of Treasure.  It was White Friday.

“I counsel thee to buy of Me, Gold tried in the fire that you may be Rich; and a White robe,  so that you may be clothed in the finest of apparel; so that your guilt and shame will no longer appear.  I will give you eyes so you can see Truth clearly.  You will be full of Wisdom and Strength.  You will Love and be Loved.  You will have Purpose in Life.  You will be the child of a King.”

God’s own flock of Cabbage Patch sheep, purchased by His Son.   He always holds them in His arms and Delights in them.

A Thanksgiving Lily

     It’s a little known fact (as are all of the Real Truths about God )  that the Dinner Table that is set in Heaven for the Thanksgiving Meal, is Decorated only with Lilies and Roses.

God says of Himself, “I am the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the valleys.  As the Lily among thorns, is My Love among the sheep of My flock.”  The sheep smile and say, “As He is, so are we Lilies in this world.”  He is the Vine and they are the branch.  He is the Root and they are the Flower, the blossom of His Own Substance.

The word “Lily” in scripture means, “Whiteness;  an ornamental Crown of a pillar resting on a Divine Foundation; to be bright and cheerful; to be full of Joy.”

     “I will be the Water of Life to My sheep; they shall grow as the Lily and cast forth His own Beauty to others, planting Lily seeds in their soul.  Their branches and blossoms shall spread, and His Beauty in them shall be as the olive tree, full of Healing Oil; and His Smell in them, will captivate the senses and the souls of others.”

I love the Lily of the Valley.  I love His comfort, when sadness and disappointment overwhelms me.  His sheep love His Power, when they are without strength and without hope, for He is the God of all Hope.  His little Lilies thrive on His Love that is given without conditions or payment, for it is Freely Given and they are freely forgiven.  They blossom in the Son-shine of His Love and bathe in the showers of His Grace.  They Root in the soil that is constantly turned over and over.  One trial after another.  Each trial coming from His Love that has predestinated every moment of their lives.  Each difficult moment a necessary event, preparing the little flower for another Miracle of His Love, conforming them to the image of the Original Lily.

   “And the crowns that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work in the porch.”  The fragile flower of God’s design, the weak, the poor, the sad, the depressed, the frightened, the fearful, the blind, the dumb, the lame, the sinners. . .the crowns on  top of the pillar, doing Lily work.  Little lambs filled with the Presence of their God, the instruments of His Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faith, Self-control, Mercy, Grace and Power.  Beautiful flowers with the fragrance of Heaven.

Eternal flowers.  Hand-picked by The Trinity of God.  Loved for as long as God has existed.   Chosen by the Father.  Redeemed by the Son.  Empowered by the Spirit to become the children of God.    Forever one with Them.  Union with the Lily of Lilies, the Son of God.   .   .together, a Heavenly Bouquet.

      “Thanksgiving to God, Who always leads us in the triumph of Faith in Christ and through us spreads everywhere, the fragrance of the personal knowledge of Him, our Lily of the Valley, our Rose of Sharon, our all in all;  for in Him we live and move and have our being.”