Salmon

Imagine a fish in search of water. That’s kind of a silly thought. But picture a Salmon, a healthy, mature female Salmon, swimming in the ocean. High above, from a shoreline cliff, we watch as she diligently swims from one reaf to another. Searching in every cove, nook and cranny, in an exhaustive search for water. This continues and she grows weaker and weaker. One day she notices the school of salmon she left long ago, in her silly quest for water.
(These salmon have been doing the things salmon were designed to do, consuming nutrient rich food, alternately exercising and resting, growing fit and strong.) She sees them heading towards the mouth of a stream that feels strangely familiar. An unknown source urges her to tag along at the tail end of this impressive procession. She weakly struggles to keep up as they enter the mouth and continue upstream. They encounter their first obstacle, a foot high falls, that the school easily passes. After repeated attempts she succeeds and struggles to catch up. She is alone and at the point of collapse when she arrives at the next obstacle. After one feeble attempt to jump that three foot high falls, she finds herself in the grasp of a hungry grisly bear, unable to fulfill her destiny.

This is a sad tail, a fish tail of sorts, and sitting on that grassy perch, we perceive that it didn’t need to be this way. If only we could have warned that salmon, in some way helped her to see she had all she needed all along to live a fruitfilled salmon life, ultimately laying her eggs as she willingly gave all she had for those who would follow.

I wonder if our Father in heaven feels similar thoughts as He watches us pursue the things we do. Let’s mull that over a bit, and I’ll plan on sharing my thoughts about these things in an upcoming post.

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Dark Glass

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see through a glass, darkly;” This brings to mind the essential need to walk by faith, not by sight. We seem to go to great lengths to find new and more effective ways to ‘wipe’ that glass clean. In our God given desire to see and experience more of our Creators’ love, one could be inclined to imitate those relative few deemed to have had a close personal walk with God. The apostle Paul himself encouraged others to imitate him in his zeal and walk with Jesus. Today, as much, and more, as ever, we must search the Scriptures to determine if what we are being told and shown is so. This is what the Bereans did, and Paul encouraged it.

Unless needed corrections are made along our journey, being a half degree off at the beginning can cause us to miss the mark entirely.
Not all that long ago I inadvertently began to put more credence in experience (my own, and a certain author in particular) than in God’s clear teaching in the Bible. There had been red flags along the way that I found ways around, until I encountered one in which there was no sane way around. It was a Red Flag I had no desire to go beyond. I don’t even like to ponder where I’d be had I ignored that Red Flag.

There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for us all. Beware when anyone, regardless of how venerated, advocates we rely on anyone other than Jesus to curry Gods’ favor.

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Weird Al

No, this isn’t about “Weird Al” Yankovic, tho he certainly is an interesting fellow. I’m thinking of the other unusual Al. Albert Einstein. He was able to grasp and postulate tings most of us never even consider, much less comprehend. He concluded in his later years that past, present, and future all exist simultaneously.

This is, in my more concrete, simplistic thinking, like saying past meets future in the present, the now, this precise moment. I’m beginning to sense, ever so slightly, that the implications of this go ever so much deeper than I’m able to plumb. There is a logic here that eludes me, the past ‘kissing’ or perhaps even ‘marrying’ the future in the present. If this is so, I would postulate that the three, the so called past present and future, find its meaning, and are made complete in this statement of the One all things flow from.

(I have half a mind to stop here to allow the reader to ponder what that statement may be. Since even a half mind is better than no mind, that is what I will do.)

One huge, I might add inescapable, implication of these things is that each and every moment has intrinsic, infinite value, and is akin to eternity in itself, eternal moment upon eternal moment. The moment we ‘occupy’ is not simply a ‘place holder’ between ‘important events’ but encompasses (I’m at a loss of words). Is it a stretch to think of time as a ‘tri-unity’, the three perceived aspects of it enacting and accomplishing the will of the One who designed it? This would help explain some difficult to grasp things, things to write about in the future. 🙂

The statement I believe everything finds its meaning in is;

“It is finished”

These are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ as He breathed His last breath and made the Great Exchange. Nothing, past, present, or future, can come against, alter, or negate what took place there, on that ordinary cross. Therefore, this very moment, let us praise and give thanks to the One who is worthy, the One we shall see in all His glory.

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Utmost Reverence

The chosen ones had such high regard for the Name of their Creator that they wouldn’t even……..

They had such respect for the Name they couldn’t bring themselves to…

They so honored and revered the Name of the One all Life flows from that they refrained from……

I think I may be beginning to relate to their sentiment. The thought of that Name leaves me speechless, as well.

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Quantum Entanglement

Faster than the speed of light. Able to bridge vast, perceived, distances instantaneously. Unlimited power source. Oneness.

This is none other than prayer. Jesus’ prayer for Himself and for His followers in John 17 is truly astounding.
So is the apostle Paul’s proclamation that we live, and move, and have our being in Him.

When it was pointed out to John that people were leaving him to follow Jesus, he replied, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” I want to embrace and live in that reality. I believe this is a prayer He loves to answer affirmatively, to be emptied of pride, in complete antithesis of the foolish hubris of the one who endeavors to pervert and destroy all that is good.

Prayer. There is nothing magical or mystical about it.

Jesus, the One and only mediator between God and man makes it possible.

Anytime, anywhere. (Lord, take my every thought, and make it an on-going conversation with the Giver of every good and perfect gift.)

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The Belt of Truth

The full armor of God is essential if we hope to stand against the devil’s schemes, and conquer. “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…” Ephesians 6:14

Today a belt is more of an accessory piece, at most something to hold up your pants and maybe keep your shirt tucked in. Paul was referring to the vital piece of God’s full armor. Everything else is dependent on the belt of truth being firmly in place. Weaken the belt with half-truths and eventually the other pieces fall away uselessly.

When Jesus speaks of all the good in store for those who overcome, it is implicit that some will not overcome. For those who don’t overcome, woefully, the second death will harm. Jesus spoke of the terribleness of hell, remember, ‘If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it from you, better to enter life maimed, then to enter hell with two hands.’ This unpleasant truth is, understandably, not easily accepted.

Here is another truth the deceiver has adulterated; There is a Creator and there is the creation. (The Triune God, and everything that isn’t God.) The creation will never be the Creator. Everything that isn’t God will never be the Living God regardless of the lies that old dragon spits out. He continues to entice with the same old lie he tripped up Eve with. ‘You will not surely die, (there is no hell) eat this fruit God is with-holding from you and you will gain knowledge (true) and be like God.’ (Utterly false)

Truth and error cannot co-mingle, a little yeast leavens the whole loaf.
When we look to anything or anyone other than Jesus for our deliverance we are in danger of following in King Saul’s footsteps. You can read that sad account in 1 Samuel 28. He consulted the witch of En Dor to conjure up Samuel and bowed before him. He met his demise within 24 hours.

I hope to write about the rest of the armor God provides and the attributes of an overcomer in due time. There is no valid reason you and I can’t be overcomers.

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More Than Conquerors

“What then, shall we say to these things?” Paul goes on to say plenty, and some puzzling things preceded this. It all points to this amazing reality.

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

‘More than’. When I looked up ‘conqueror’ overcome was used in the description, conversely to conquer was used to describe overcome. This leads me to ponder Jesus’ personal message to the churches in Revelation 2&3.

To the church at Ephesus He says, “To him overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”

Smyrna; “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”

Pergamos; “To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”

Thyatira; “hold fast what you have til I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations-
‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’-
as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.”

Sardis; He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before the Father and before His angels.”

Philadelphia; He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God. And I will write on him My new name.”

And to the church of the Laodiceans He says, “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

More than conquerors, indeed! He has given us all that we need to overcome the evil one. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood. The choice to take up the armor and join the battle is ours. (This isn’t the end, but I’m finished, for now.)

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