The scalpel, cod liver oil and discipline are examples of the many things in life undesirable and hard to take but which are there usually for our good.
It will not suffice to judge good and bad by our own understanding which is “understanding.” We can tell nothing by appearance. So our selfishness is removed by trials and tribulations, fires that purge us of pride, self-sufficiency and arrogance in which we think we know what is best for us.
There come times when we are troubled
And in that trouble we have nowhere to turn it seems.
At such a time of desperation we cry out for help.
Somehow, having asked for help before,
We receive no reply.
But our cry must be loud enough and earnest enough to be heard.
“Prince Valiant, Prince Majesty, come to my aid;
Only you can save me now.
I’ve waited too long and now I must turn
To such as yourself for deliverance.
Oh! But I need a miracle!
I need a shining light,
The sound of thunder and a shaking of earth;
No less will do for me now!
A chariot of God; to take me up
Leaving my enemies far below.
Who is this man I wait for?
A man in shining armour,
Fitted from head to toe;
With perfect knowledge, power and wisdom,
Compassion with overflow;
A flaming sword in his hand,
Magnificent shield in arm;
There is no standing up to him…
Invincible is his name.
Who is it I hear knocking at the door?
Another enemy? Is it more trouble?”
I view through the peephole an unpleasant spectacle…
I’m not at all amused.
‘What is it?’ I ask in an impatient voice.
‘Why do you bother me now?
Can’t you see I’m in trouble enough?
Besides, I’m expecting a welcome guest.'”
“I heard of your trouble” the man replied,
In not too impressive a tone.
“I came if perhaps I could help you out
And I’m glad I found you at home.”
Incredulous, I gasped in utter dismay!
“You?!” I spluttered out.
“What height of presumption and lunacy
Can possibly cause you to speak?!
Just look at you now, as ugly as sin,
Your clothes are ragged and worn;
Your face isn’t beaming – you have no horse;
Don’t you think it was wrong to be born?
I’m looking for someone strong and great!
Who else can get me out of this mess?
If you can possibly help carry water or cut wood,
Go to him that needs it.”
“I admit” the stranger replied, “I’m not a pretty sight
But my credentials are not my looks.
If you really believe that sight is right,
You have no hope at all.”
“I know what I need and I know what I want
And the likes of yourself won’t change that,” I said.
“I’ll thank you to remove yourself from my land
And go back where you came from…
If they’ll have you!”
With that I cursed him to his face
And cursed my circumstances
That instead of a hero to help in great need,
I received a bothersome twit.
Back to his base returned the stranger
And went directly to the stable.
He unsaddled the steed and gave him to eat
The finest oats in the land.
Servants attended, removing his armour,
Preparing him for the King.
He bathed and groomed and dressed himself
In the aftermath of his battle and journey.
“Prince Valiant, Prince Majesty, noble and true,
How did you fare with the man who cried,
With the man who asked help in his trouble?”
“My Lord,” he replied to his honoured King,
“The cry was not from the heart of hearts.
I came with my horse and armour,
In magnificent array as You sent me
But he could not see clearly through his peephole,
Blinded by the deeds of his heart.
He thought he saw a beggar,
A man more wretched than he, and
He refused to grant me entrance,
Commanding I get off his land.”
“Be at peace, My son, It isn’t your fault.
The time is not yet ripe.
But sending you, he’ll one day know
That he was not without help.
And when the time does come
That he’ll be respectful to you,
Then that will end all his troubles for,
He’ll be respectful to Me.”
Living with loose ends that seem perpetual is one of the difficult facts of life, especially if those ends were not expected to be loose and most of all if those loose ends had at first appeared to have the promise of completion upon which we set our hopes. As we press on toward the mark we gradually begin to learn that those things we counted important, achievable and our destiny were really only elements of a process. With the process complete in any of its stages, we discover firstly a change in ourselves and then the elements we once considered so important are cancelled with our ready consent. The destination is not without but within. When once the work is done within, those outward things we sought fade away, no longer perceived as desirable or important. How many times have I thought I arrived only to discover I was just beginning! That which was is no longer relevant, as a fading flower that falls to the ground. One must come to the sobering truth that all we do is vanity. The greatest works of men upon earth are entirely vain. What's more, as much can be accomplished and\or learned in the most mundane and simple things and activities of our existence as in what we perceive to be higher and more noble works. Who has the measure? The issue is not one of what we do or how well we do it but one of motive and attitude. There is the key of deliverance from Periphery. Periphery, Periphery, Your victims going round, Seeing, smelling, Even tou...
If and when financial blessings come, one comes into danger of straying after mammon. Mammon has a way of creating and whetting the appetite for more. More accurately, it has a way of rousing the carnal nature with what is already there. I began to be dissatisfied with what my money was doing in the bank at terrible interest rates, thinking I was a coward or a poor steward by not working the money to get better returns. I ended up in the stock market. Fear and Greed, two robust bullies, caught me in the back alley on my way to the bank and beat me severely. I lost two years of peace with my family and God knows how much more. My faith was greatly battered. One cannot play with fire and not get burned. A bitter lesson indeed. My boy had been such a joy to me and I missed him for a part of our lives. If you value life, flee mammon; don't rationalize; don't compromise; don't even think it...flee to God for your life. I wrote this during a fast a couple of years later, when I was expected to die. I've missed my boy since '93; Money was all that I could see; Even robbed him of maternity; Without my boy since '93. Hung a plaque up on the wall The words of which would say it all And failed my duty to heed that call Now all I can do is bawl and bawl. Son, don't ever cry, the fault's not yours; I'm persuaded the Lord will even scores. How does He do it? by the blood He pours, Reuniting us on better shores. Mom, please don't spoil ou...
What did the religious who accused Christ of blasphemy do with what He told them about themselves and their sins? They blasphemed! And that’s the way it has always been for God’s children, who serve as a mirror of light that reflects the image of those who come against the truth. Didn’t Jesus warn His followers about those He called the children of Satan, “If people call the head of the family Satan, what will they say about the rest of the family?” (Matthew 10:25 CEV)? And we, as Christ’s ambassadors, admonish His children, “For consider Him Who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest you be weary and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:3 MKJV). Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Wherever did you get your gall? I’m not guilty of such things at all! Mirror, mirror, take a fall! I have a different image in my mind, Of myself that’s much more kind. A finer person you’ll never find; Surely, mirror, you are blind! Mirror, mirror, full of lies, What you show me, I despise, What I see, my heart denies, Things not fit for holy eyes! Who holds this mirror before my face? I find your judgment cruel and base. Is your agenda my disgrace? You need to learn and know your place. I will now even the score; I will escape what I abhor. Crash goes the mirror to the floor, A false impression to give no more. But now I have only shattered dreams. There’s no more peace, it seems, Only eyes full of beams, A sta...