Coming Age of Darkness

Overgrown grass,
Heaps of trash,
Cracked sidewalks,
Crumbling walls,
And the once-shining city falls.

Politicians bray,
Economists weigh,
Ministers pray,
While people play,
And the once-blessed nation strays.

New temples rise
In grander size,
Gilded prophets
Claim their prize,
And the Church lurches in painful cries.

Now is the summoning,
Great change is coming,
We hear the drumming
Of our own unbecoming
By divine hand to be a wandering band.

Gathering clouds,
Darkness shrouds,
Desolate crowds,
Fields unplowed,
But night will eventually give way to light.

This coming dark age is but another page
In the divine mystery of human history.

Pray and hold fast to faith!

Beyond Answered Prayer

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.  (Psalms 16. 5  NRSV) 

I cry to you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.’  (Psalms 142. 5  NRSV)

… and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  (Ephesians 3. 19  NRSV)

I made five specific supplications (prayers of request) yesterday, all of them deeply heartfelt and, morally speaking, good … well, just good, period. Of course, I put no time constraints upon God — as if we can do so anyway, and how silly to think this way — and did not necessarily expect those petitions to be answered that day. Guess what? God answered every single one of them!

I was amazed and overwhelmed. I was awestruck and deeply grateful. Naturally, I praised God and thanked Him, and I shared this testimony with my dear sister, who rejoiced with me. But something strange happened after all of this: As I came to the close of the day and readied myself for bed, I felt a kind of let-down, just a bit ‘blah’ inside. Mind you, I was still thankful and still rejoicing in answered prayer … but something seemed missing.

This morning as I was waking up, but still lying in bed, God showed me why I was not feeling as enthusiastic and fulfilled as I thought I should, given all of the answered prayers. In my soul the Spirit whispered and said, “I answered your petitions and you were glad, but those answers didn’t bring the level of satisfaction you expected when you made those requests. The answers failed to bring you the kind of deep joy you anticipated.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because the kind of deep joy and complete satisfaction for which your soul so desperately longs does not come in answered prayer, though answered prayer certainly brings joy; nevertheless, no amount of answered prayer, in and of itself, can ever bring you the joy for which you hunger and thirst. You see, it’s not in answered prayer, or ministry, or miracles, or even my gifts… It’s me! It is me and me alone. God must be your joy and satisfaction.”

Like the Psalmist, then, I have learned to say that God “is my chosen portion and my cup” of salvation and joy. The Lord is “my refuge” of peace and satisfaction, my all-satisfying “portion in the land of the living.” And so to “know the love of Christ that surpasses merely human knowledge” fills me “with all the fullness of God.” The Lord God has become my all-in-all, through all and in everything.

So answered prayer is wonderful, awesome, and certainly reason to give much thanks! But only God can fulfill the deepest longings of our heart; only God can fill and satisfy our souls; only God can be our ultimate and everlasting joy… It’s all about Him and our relationship with Him. Nothing else and no one else can or will even come close to fully satisfying us and bringing us complete love, joy, peace and contentment.

God bless you!

Voice of Love in the Garden of Soul

Me, yes me by the raging sea kept under Your cover
Like an unrestrained lover who hovers over me night and day,
And leads me down the way of peace with new lease on life,
An unsullied life of which I never dreamed, nourished
By cream of heaven and leavened with joy untold
That makes me so bold in the cold winter nights of earthen home;
For this is not my destiny, this mud from which we were formed
Ere we became deformed, but You mean me for more and have in store
Even now garlands and unseen jewels of the heart as I walk
And talk with You in the Garden of renewed soul, where we commune
In tune with angels while Father looks happily on companions
Entwined by the Spirit, who fills all in all, despite the Fall;
And ever I hear Your call my feet leap like deer in mere pleasure
For Your voice itself is an invaluable treasure, no measure
To its worth; it was Your loving voice that called me to rebirth.

We Do Not Fit, But God Is Raising Us Up!

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. (1 Corinthians 1: 26-29  NRSV)

I am not a normal Christian. I am poetic, eccentric, weird, offline, sometimes offensive, brash, intellectual, emotional, drawing outside the box and much more that does not fit comfortably into mainstream Christianity.

I am a writer and blogger who has homosexual and transgender followers who appreciate what I write, though I write from the deepest convictions of my heart, honoring and glorifying God without compromise.

I simply do not fit, yet I am a child of God and a full member of His kingdom, and He loves me! And He has a place for me, too … perhaps to the discomfort of some, but God is kind of different and eccentric, too! So He understands and appreciates me and “my kind.”

I am not saying any of this for self-adulation, but simply because there are more individuals out there like me, whom God is calling into his Church in order to refresh and renew and prepare for the waves of marginalized and outcasts who are soon coming.

I recently shared a prophetic-type poem about this: “Waves Upon Waves Are Coming.” And business-as-usual in the Church (generally speaking) simply will not suffice. They are coming, but even “seeker-friendly” and charismatic churches are not prepared.

Consequently, the Lord is bringing in His poets and writers, artists and sculptors, craftsmen and gardeners, musicians and playwrights and others to assume ministry in prominent places. Why? Precisely because they are the creative sort needed at this time.

One final note: Often times before a tsunami hits, the waters along the coastline actually tremendously recede. This is often called a “drawdown” or “negative wave.” In the coming weeks and months, the Church (in North America, at least) may very well experience a drawdown, but beware: The negative wave is actually an indication that the tsunami is just about to hit! So make no mistake … it’s coming. They are coming! 

And the Door Opens

Tumultuous waves pound against the coastline of my heart
And threaten to tear it apart, and I’m frightened
By the sound of the crashing lashing in my mind,
And I find no solace in the silence, no balance in prayer,
And I tear my soul asunder, plundering the depths
To find cure so pure; then the dæmon comes along so sure,
Filled with confidence I lack, whispering in my ear,
So near I can smell his breath of death, but he offers a cure,
Glass of fine red wine that mimics the Cup of Communion,
And he bids me ‘take and drink and think no more of troubles,’
And dæmon offers his stale bread, molded at the edges,
Saying ‘this will not fail to fill; eat and satisfy your hunger,’
And should I try to resist, and insist he leave, but my throat
Tightens and chest heaves; my skin breaks out in cold sweat
For the sins I’ve sown and the debt I own, and I wonder,
‘Who will come and rescue me from this venue of darkness?’
But someone has been here before, it seems, as light
Barely begins to beam through cracks in the wall, and I hear
Footsteps walking down the hall, and dæmon begins to shake
And crawl… ‘Take it!’ he screams ‘Take it now! Eat and drink!’
But I shrink back and wait on the floor as I hear hand on the door;
Someone is on the other side … someone who died but now walks
And stalks austere dæmons of fear without tear of remorse
As he draws near…
And the door opens

A.C.T.S. Prayer for Morning

With each passing day, I adore You more,
And cherish fresh dew of the morning new
You unfold in blessings yet to come untold.

Lord, I lower myself to my knees in pleas
Of mercy, thirsty for Your gracious pardon
In a sweet garden of Your love from above.

Thank You for Light that shines thru night,
Destroying blight, giving flight to fright,
Surrounding me in numinous heavenly shroud.

Now walk with me this day and gently talk
To my heart, for apart from You I am not,
And hold me, too, in Your arms; make me bold.

Amen.

Note: A.C.T.S. stands for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. Consequently, this acronym can be used quite effectively in structuring our prayers.

Freely Flowing Stream

Stream flows from the Throne of Grace in pace with the apprehensions
Of humanity in calamity of sin and death; the breath of God blows
In the wind sending peace and tranquility through the flowers and trees,
With honey bees and over the restless seas, and the Spirit streams
Through dreams of peace and reconciliation amid humiliation of disgrace,
Where the grace of heaven appears to wipe away every tear and bear
Every burden of care, to weep as the mother weeps in keep of her child
So meek and mild in earthen wild, yet so softly comes the whisper
Crisp and clear to clear away all confusion and illusions of hell,
To silence the bell of death, and give growth in place of dearth
For the worth of the redeemed by blood and resurrected life to turn back
An enemy with scythe in hand, and now the wandering band is brought home
By nail-pierced hand; in pleasant valleys to roam by the stream of Life.

Note: This is a stream of consciousness poem