PART FOUR– Bernalillo to Moon River (cont.)
I was mildly surprised when I red these words months after writing them. Mildly, I say, because it wasn’t a surprise, and yet it was, to see how I have been so down in my hopes, feelings, and outlook on things. I marvel somewhat because I know this has happened on many occasions while between those times I have felt as though the Lord were very much with me and that, by Him, nothing was impossible.
I have particularly felt the latter way, with full conviction immediately after the Lord manifested Himself to me in some unmistakable way. But how soon and how able we are to forget and be in despair!
The whole world rots before my eyes.
Blind I am not to its corruption;
Men bide their time in vain travail,
Awaiting their time to go.
Suffering and death are everywhere,
Sickness, disease, and Hell;
Selfishness and greed reign over all;
Each man denies another’s rights.
Hell is on the left, Death is on the right;
Fake religions promise emancipation;
Vain hopes carrot asses everywhere;
The wisest are led by them,
bled by them,
and slain by them.
God is here, God is there, God is everywhere,
There is no truth, no mercy, no compassion,
No righteousness or justice in this earth.
Men are quick to boast their virtue,
To make a show of goodness,
Til they have you where they want you
And slit your throat for what you have,
If even so very little.
I see the wickedness and the cruelty,
The deception of every man,
But though I have power to see all this,
There is nothing I can do.
I am as helpless and selfish as other men,
Striving for the truth, yet against it all,
Hungering for the right nowhere in sight,
Contributing to its non-existence.
I have sought to be the Lord’s,
To be His and His alone,
To serve Him well and do His will
But I have sought in vain.
There is nothing for me to do;
My searching is at an end.
I cannot go on; my hope is gone;
I see no other way.
What, then, can there be for me?
Where will I go, and what shall I do?
I despair and cry and writhe inside;
My God has forsaken me.
He has forsaken me, I don’t know why.
I know that in me there is no good,
But I thought and hoped that He would come
And save me if He could.
I am worse than I was a while ago,
And worse I get each day.
What can I do and where will I end?
What more am I able to say?
My depressions come more often;
They envelop me as a shroud.
My strength is fainter day by day
To withstand the onslaught of evil.
I have boasted and spoken of my God;
I’ve acted as though I’ve known Him.
Some, though few, have sought my words
To guide them on their way.
But now I find I am no guide;
I have no one to guide me.
Silent and subdued within,
After many years, I am at an end.
Promises have come and also gone;
I stand with empty hands;
Nothing to show for all my work
And sacrifice and search.
If I could find someone to end
This miserable life I have led,
I’d let him have the privilege,
If I knew the other side.
It may well be from pan to fire;
It may be for the worse;
I don’t know, so I can’t go;
I must bear this curse.
Though many who presume to preach the Gospel of salvation would deny this, they give people the impression that, upon believing the Gospel, all trials and troubles will flee. While it is true that if we walk in truth and righteousness, we save ourselves untold evils, nevertheless it is evil which the Lord uses to break us and mold us after His likeness. And these trials can be far more difficult than those we had previously.
Take the apostle Paul for example. Though surely as a human being, he had his problems when yet an unbelieving Jew, was he whipped, stoned, and beaten with rods while sitting amongst friends at the feet of Gamaliel?
The evils applied to us for good develop invulnerability and immortality.
Resilience, where would I be
If not for your helping hand?
At one time I was deathly ill,
So vulnerable to the slightest afflictions.
Scratches would hold sway
Like a pestilence
And linger in my soul
But now like a ball of Indian rubber,
I bounce away from a wall of brick
Whereas once I was an egg.
The past is a fearful jailor,
A formidable tormentor as well.
With an iron grip,
With shackles and chains,
It held me
In bitterness and regret,
In shame and dismay,
In helpless thoughts
Of revenge and amends.
Not so now.
Resilience has come,
Riding upon healing,
Healing harnessed in pardon,
And now I am free.
Afflictions still come
And pain is there
From enemies far greater
In power and number
With liberties of warfare
Given to them
And denied to me.
But whereas a scratch was once
A mortal wound,
Now what seems to be
A mortal wound,
Is but a scratch.
There is life in me
The enemy can’t touch,
Much less overcome.
I am sheltered in a
He has carried me to safety
And there I trust in my Savior
Rather than fear my destroyer.
Resilience, you are mine.
I hadn’t written any papers since 1980 or 1981. At that time, the Lord promised me that if I forsook those, He would give me something much better, which He did. In 1984, I wrote three – The Church, Obedience, and So You Want to Walk with Jesus.
Fred Molnar questioned me about them. “Why are you writing those?” he asked, in a tone and spirit that suggested it was a silly thing to do. I replied that I didn’t know why – I just did what came. Since that time hundreds of papers and letters have been written, yet these three have remained prominent in importance for many (they’ve been revised and improved a few times).
More poems were also given in October 1984, many of them on October 1st….
(I marvel at how so-called worshippers of God are so much more important to themselves than the One they profess to worship.
I marvel at how they worship themselves for worshipping God and how they worship worshipping itself.
I marvel at how they insist and demand of God how He should be worshipped.
In essence, they are demanding that men worship them for their dedication, piety, and wisdom in the way they worship God; truly, they demand of the One they profess to worship that He worship them, even as Cain demanded appreciation!
I marvel at the reversals of men, their utter contradictions, and their blindness to it all.)
(“Beware of false prophets. You shall know them by their fruits,” warned Jesus.
Eggs are fruits, and many seem to assume all eggs are good fruit because they are eggs, but eggs are neither good nor bad in themselves. What kind are they?
Smiles and friendship are neither good nor bad. Why are they? Religious talk, praising, and extolling God are nothing in themselves; so one must have discernment to tell good eggs from bad. That discernment is the gift of God given only to those who love the truth, selling all they have to possess it, even their very lives.
The pilgrim on the path of truth is thoroughly tried, and only the true seeker will enter into that which is behind the veil and have power to see under the shell.)
(The ways and thoughts of the Spirit of the Lord are far higher than man can imagine.
This work had the crucible of a man with above average intellect who was rather impressive and impressed with his powers. What a blessing it would be to see a man set aside his strengths, both real and perceived, and take on the “weakness” of Christ. I have yet to see a man of high intellect do so, besides Paul the apostle. Isn’t it written that God chooses the foolish things to confound the wise?)
(Our Lord’s final stage of suffering began, and His social freedom ended, with a kiss of betrayal from the lips of one who followed Him for years calling Him “Master.”
Our journey of learning has its bitter moments, none more bitter than the times of subjection to duplicity, hypocrisy, and betrayal.)
(“And he who hurries with his feet sins” – Proverbs 19:2 MKJV.)
(We are all in need of help.)
There’s the precious guest whom the Lord sends to minister to us. Truly, as hosts, we could be entertaining angels unawares. Yet, not all who come are precious guests and can’t be treated alike. There are both bad fish and good caught in the Kingdom’s net, and the bad must be returned to the waters. There are those without wedding garments, who enter in to feast with the saints and must be denied.
And then there’s the precious guest whom the Lord has brought so we might minister to him.
Though a guest must be received with cordiality, he may not be treated as a guest in worldly terms of hospitality and politeness. He may even be reproved, rebuked, and told the unpleasant truth about himself. By the grace of God, however, he will believe and discover he is indeed a precious guest, beloved among the brethren.
You have come not only because
You have chosen to do so,
But you have been brought here
To rest and to be comforted,
To hear a word in due season,
A good word.
Whether it soothes or hurts,
Whether it heals or cuts,
Whether it angers or pleases,
The truth will make you free,
You have here a shelter from the storm,
A haven of sweet rest,
If you receive it as such.
Bring your peace with you
If you wish to be rewarded,
And forsake everything unclean.
Take off your shoes
And rest a while.
May you be blessed and nourished,
Strengthened and healed,
Prepared to continue your journey
In an alien world,
In an hostile environment
Because you are His.
We hope you’ll be washed of this world’s dust,
Bathed in the Water of God;
We hope you’ll take on
A fresh change of clothes
And armor for trials ahead.
Fellowship with us,
And know our home is yours,
If you are His,
Because this home is His,
And what is His is yours.
Page 6 PART TWO – Pentecost to Israel (cont.) Particle - Bill Okkema, New Jersey For the remainder of our stay in New Jersey, we listened to sermons by George Verwer, Paul Troper, and others. We stayed in a large mansion owned by a bachelor, Bill Okkema, who owned a building materials outlet (Mowerson's, I believe). He had a fellow staying with him, a Hispanic named Juan. Bill was a member of the large church hosting the OM gathering. While we had some interesting talks on spiritual matters, it seemed Bill was merely doing his “Christian duty” by housing and feeding us, which was fine, but he seemed quite disinterested in the things of God, which I found disappointing. We had a meal at his mother's one day. She also seemed disinterested. Particle - Was Morley an Angel? The Scriptures declare: “Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2 HNV). We met him in New Jersey. I think his name was Morley (perhaps Murray), and I believe he had a New York accent. He was one of those who didn't fit in - quiet and unobtrusive, even apparently shy. He was not unkempt, but neither was he well dressed. I recall his questioning something some of us were discussing. He was one of those that could agitate one, poking at the validity of what was said. Though he seemed provocative, he didn't speak or question with strife or contention. I wish I could remember what was discussed. I believe it was...
Page 4 PART TWO – Pentecost to Israel (cont.) Particle – All Souls Are His Concern When I was first converted in 1973, I somehow came to believe that it was my responsibility to pray my immediate family into the Kingdom. Every day I prayed fervently that they would be saved. I believe this immature and unrealistic thinking and attitude came from the evangelicals. It comes when one is snared by Mystery, the harlot church and false religion, which captured me when I went forward that Sunday in response to an “altar call” delivered by Ken Campbell. Marilyn, on the other hand, didn't have this problem, though she had been with Henry Blackaby and the Southern Baptists for a few years. After receiving the Spirit, the Lord gave me the realization that my family was no more important to Him than others, and if I was going to identify with Him fully, His priorities would be mine and I would get to see all persons as He saw them. Therefore, the drug addict in the gutter might become as important to me as my own mother, the harlot as my sister, the atheist as my father, and the murderer as my brother. I ceased to pray as I preferred and began to depend on the Lord to lead me to pray as I ought: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings” (Romans 8:26 EMTV). Particle – A Surprising Revelation and Growing Realization o...
Page 5 PART THREE– Israel to Bernalillo (cont.) Particle – Let Your Requests Be Made Known to God Moishe could always find a way out of personal pickles, one way or another, obvious or not. One day when he was asking for money, I confronted him, saying he needed to make his needs known to God, not to men. It was a lesson God had taught me, and one I believed was meant for every believer: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 MKJV). As I pressed home this truth, and his arguments failed, he broke into an affected, “Oy, oy, oy! My head! Oy, my head! Oy! Oy!” I found it hard to believe he was being so obviously evasive. It appeared that Jesus wasn't his Lord, but his Larder. Particle – The Shnorrer Moishe was a shnorrer (look it up in a Yiddish dictionary). He was constantly hitting anybody and everybody up for handouts. As little as we had to do with him, we witnessed this several times. He shnorred when he was asleep and shnorred when he was awake. He was forever shnorring. Was he wise in his spending and money management? Could you give him anything with confidence that he respected or appreciated it? For example, he drove a big black old Cadillac, a gas-guzzler someone gave him. I was with him one day as he d...