It has been said that confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom. This can also be said of its lack. How crippling is the power of uncertainty and fear! It can reduce an otherwise mighty man to an emaciated personality fit for little more than to exist.
Ironically the victim is paralyzed so effectively by his own power which makes him so weak. In this he is practically omnipotent so far as his state is concerned. Nothing can alter this condition but a fiery judgment that comes into every man’s existence sooner or later and either delivers or destroys the wretched soul depending on his inclination and desire.
I see a BOY.
for an acknowledgment and appreciation of himself.
He hungers for love –
which only a good father could give –
but finds none.
“See, daddy? See, daddy?” he exclaims,
waving his arms wildly.
His Daddy ignores him.
Always crestfallen, the boy is unable to cease
trying to prove, to please.
No matter the greatness of his efforts and accomplishments;
they are not enough.
His countenance tells
both his effort and his frustration.
I see a SOLDIER.
What an excellent soldier he is!
What a fine sword he possesses!
All his armament, his physique and his skills
are to be both admired and feared
by friend and foe alike.
But what will he do in
the Firestorm that approaches,
nay, that is even here?
As the father,
it recognizes no sword;
it laughs at physique
and scoffs at skill and experience.
I see a PRISONER…
in a cell.
His cell is small.
He starts and is afraid.
He darts from place to place.
He seeks solace
in his cot, his clock, his sink, his toilet,
his food tray, his allowance, his books and even
Though he waits for the light from his window,
he prefers the dark.
it comforts and discomforts him.
It hides him from others
but not from himself.
And it hides others from him.
He receives little consolation
from other prisoners,
whether from that they are
or what they are.
Not at all alone
he is very much alone.
He guards his own cell,
keeping a vigilant watch on himself
lest he escape.
The key to his door
is in his cell;
It is rusty;
his fading eye loses sight of it
and fading memory
awareness of it.
What a wonder!
Why won’t he take the key
and release himself?
Ah! He thinks it to be only a locking key!
That which would release him
he rejects and fears.
A message is passed
through his window
Will he discover
that a father
awaits to shower
with all that his heart could desire
to its innermost depths?
Will he receive the new weapons and power
to prevail, yea, overcome
in the Firestorm?
Will the message get through
or will the guard see it
and prevent it
hiding it from him
telling him it will not do?
I see a GUARD
only secondly by training
but firstly by nature.
“You’re a man, not a boy!”
“You are satisfied and not hungry!”
“You’re the father, not the son!”
“You are an invincible soldier;
nothing can prevent you!”
“You are not afraid!”
“You are sound in sight,
pre-eminent in memory
“You’re not a prisoner”
“but free to come and go
possessing many books
not to mention ample time and money”
“The Firestorm is a myth,
of a dreaming
with more opinion and
only one way,
a narrow way,
a blind way
(Make fast the prisoner there, guard)
He takes out pleasant cloth…
“You’re not alone”
What more can you
with what you have”
“It is a virtue
to be content
with your lot”
Persuading, the GUARD
conceals the key
with pleasant cloth,
cloth neither good nor evil of itself
a while longer.
This was written at a time when we lived in a literal desert in Israel and I could feel all the things expressed, within my soul, because we were also in a desert in our spiritual lives, a desert through which all pilgrims on the journey to the city of God must pass.
This writing was also prophetic of events that would shortly come to pass as we spoke the Word of God to Paul, whom the Lord had given us to be our friend. As a matter of coincidental fact, the day of this introductory writing (Oct. 9) is, I believe, the very anniversary almost to the hour, of Paul forsaking his wife in obedience to the Lord, to walk in the Way of Life.
The desert is dry and parched, and I am hot and thirsty;
We two have been matched as partners in this stretch of our history.
The sun’s scorching face is forceful enough; from it I can find no escape,
No shade, no water, no nightfall to comfort my soul in its wearisome journey.
Miles and miles of burning sand, I scarcely know where it began…
It started with greenery, then greenery and sand, and now it is sand upon sand.
Yet after some miles I’ve trodden and feel I can go no farther,
A trickle of water comes out of a rock, destined for that very hour.
With leanness of soul and hungering for life, not a soul for months have I seen,
And all my possessions have slowly been lost, ’til much lighter my journey has been.
It’s strange how the harder the trials, the sweeter the life becomes;
The easier the life filled with comforts, the more ...
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...
We are all in need of help. But is it the noun or the verb we need?
Woe is me! How can this be?
Where is that help I have sought?
Nothing but wretched know-it-alls
Come to disturb my thought - and my peace.
Peace? What peace?
What am I saying? Who am I trying to kid?
If this is peace then give me war
And I shall rest and sleep and snore.
Time passed on and matters grew worse.
I soon lost all that I had.
My friends had gone their merry old ways,
My family too was gone.
My business failed, uncertainty prevailed;
I slowly began to wrestle with myself
For a change.
What's this? A knock? A tiny knock?
I haven't had a knock since that beggar came by!
I wonder who it might be?
Eh? A whimper? A sniffing? A sobbing?
More trouble! Add fuel to the fire!
Is there no rest for the wicked?!
I opened the door and there stood a boy,
One hand over his eyes and one on his knee,
From where trickled blood to my doorstep!
Sir! the lad cried with tear-stained face,
I stumbled and fell just in front of your place.
I have nobody to help me.
Are you a doctor or someone to bind my wound?
Angered at first at the gory mess,
I nearly chased him away.
But though I knew I was only a laborer,
He had flattered me with his question.
Fancy me a doctor!?
“Lad, you have saved your knee,” I thought.
“Oh, very well, come in, come in.
We'll see what to do with your wound.”
I bound up his leg and sent him away,