Abandoned, Not Destroyed

image

After the sin of man, the interesting relationship they once had in the beautiful garden seemed abandoned. Yet it wasn’t even destroyed. It existed before the fall and after it but man didn’t know how they could have such interesting friendship with such a God whom the Old Testament jewish men defined as an angry, worse and unapproachable King whose glory seemed very striking and certainly they couldn’t even bear to approach such a God who has the desire to talk to each of them. They were just like today’s believers who feel that if they got any closer to him, he would strike them dead or even have his glory blindfold them. But it was all lies! If only they had an idea why he was taking those actions he took in the OT and finalized in the Son’s death on the cross.
  He was willing to conversate with his own people, the Israelites but they were so scared of his glory that they couldn’t bear to stand and listen to him speak. They preferred hearing him through Moses. They missed the opportunity of growing closer to him by demanding for a king who could watch over them. To them, God wasn’t enough.
  The impression and faulty thinking that if they came any closer to him, his glory would strike them dead or may even blind them, wasn’t created by anyone but the presence of the sinful nature inside of them. God was never willing to abandon communion so I don’t see the reason why we should. Even the carnal nature is aware that the communal relationship with the Almighty God is still available but what he fears is that he may fall down dead if he tries to. That’s how Adam and Eve felt when they felt God walk in the garden. They had realized their nakedness and tried to shy away from him. Of course, it wasn’t just them shying away but the SIN in them which couldn’t bear to stand before God. The friendship was no longer easy as they were scared to approach him. That’s the reason why most people run from him and prefer to reach him through a middle man.

THE POWERFUL WORD OF HIS SPIRIT

image

Another Word from Jesus had dropped by that moment of utter confusion and I had no reason why I blamed Him. Then, He assured me of His forgiveness and encouraged me to not stop half-way on the journey but go on to get the Crown. Indeed, His loving Spirit is an encouraging Spirit.
Now, He began to tell me about the true Christian journey. These words were both words of rebuke: to those who cultivated the habit of “injustice” among His people, and words of encouragement: to those who love Him and are seeking Him to continue to do so.
Christian Bribe
“I am the Word of God! There’s also a spoken word which ascends from the mouth of the Father. Anyone who is against My Word is against Me. Until now, there have been some teachers and servants of truth who can’t release the Word of God to anyone unless it was to be bought. Of such activity, My hand is so far away.”
“These profit-makers are deceiving many, and through this activity, the Word of the Lord was fulfilled,’…in the last days, there shall come false prophets and teachers who would lead so many astray…’ Therefore, with-holding the Word to gain money isn’t the Will of the Father. My Word is released freely without cost to all men through My true servants. It is a gift, given to all men who come to Me. There’s nothing you can do to earn it. I have paid the price, so you will hear it freely.”
Fullness of Life
“A willing heart filled with My life, will never do that wrong, would it? It will continue to desire fullness and become really joyful when it goes through circumstances. It wouldn’t smell the cup but drink it immediately. My Word becomes alive in you when your heart becomes so ruled by My Spirit.
“Each passing moment is a glorious adventure of important mysteries. Today’s brokenness is in preparation for tomorrow’s fullness. Desire to be ruled by the Spirit, then you wouldn’t need to live a ruthless life. My life; My Word is awesome when you know Me in Person.”
“Today’s trouble is a pointer to tomorrow’s glory, and the moment of each glory, is a greater process of ruling power. You must be truly ruled by My Spirit, if you want to get to My Kingdom. Only holy men can get there! Their hearts are pure. They are free from religion’s claws and their love isn’t faded. The further you become ruled by My Spirit, the more you will have My nature. My glory is revealed in My nature. The importance of getting ruled is fullness of life in all measures. Paul attained this and concluded, ‘…no longer I but Christ that lives in Me…’ He arrived the fullness of life in the Spirit and became a ruled-man after My Father’s Will.”
“If the people of this age must have their stay in My Kingdom, they have to recognize the ruling of the Spirit and not the flesh. They look towards ‘what they can do’ and not ‘what I will do’. My plans are superior to yours; and the blind-eyes of men will always lead them astray.”
“You need to totally submit your heart completely, to Me. And forecasting the future through your agenda is so much of your ability. Recognize My ability! See My finished work, achieved on the Cross! My agenda, My plans is a supernatural one but My desire is to have it activated in your life.”
His Plans Are Revealed Moment By Moment of Daily Walk
“Then, why don’t You tell us all Your plans?” I asked, so worried. “At least, our mistakes mayn’t be so much or mayn’t even exist.”
Suddenly, I realized that this was just the difference between the Old and New covenants. The Old had all laws stated on two tablets of stone and not following them increased the guilt of the people who try to follow them; while the New had the words and ways of God written in our hearts. We experience His Spirit’s leading, a day at a time.
Jesus continued, “My obedience is the Will of My Father. He tells Me His plans and I do them. He has given Me all authority in heaven and on earth and even over all Creation. This is the difference between the Old and New covenant- all the laws were stated to them and written upon the tablets of stone but in the New, My Spirit became your daily Guide. Once disobedience, comes death in the Old and in the New, it is My grace upon men. But the Father is never willing to unveil all His plans for a full year but reveals His plans, a day at a time.
“Follow the Spirit at every pace of life. If I unveil all the things that will ever come upon your life in your days on earth, in just a single day, to you, you will not be interested in trusting the Father. Instead, you may not walk with Me anymore, and you will focus on your ability rather than Mine.
“And your mistakes aren’t a means to punish you but they are permitted, that you may learn through them. The more you become afraid of making mistakes, the further you get to make them. I weave your mistakes into glory, as the master-weaver weaves errors in and out into a better pattern or design. My ability changes all things! All Creation will fully recognize the Power in knowing My ability, when the Father truly wills. Follow Me, a day at a time. Today’s plans will be revealed to you while you mustn’t bother about tomorrows: it will worry about itself.”
Yes, He was right! When we look what we have today, we see Him and see how solved the problems are. It’s when we LOOK FURTHER into the future that we begin to worry. This has been repeated in the lives of many.
Then the Lord continued,
“When My agenda is told to you, you will abandon yours and run the race completely. You will engage in the full word of Truth and become filled with My Spirit. For, you will know that He is with you as you learn to follow Me daily. In this, you require willingness! All you go through is to give unto you a new heart which is controlled by My Spirit. I desire that you have a holy heart, given to you, freely from the Father, so you would freely experience the coolness of the atmosphere of God’s Kingdom.”
“Daily troubles arise to quicken the transition of your heart to the heart of the Father. Holiness spring forth from the union of that heart with Me: a free one not bound in religion but being a bond-slave of Christ.”
His Judgments upon Our Lives
“I urge you to ask continually that My judgments will come upon your life. Pray that I judge your heart, so it wouldn’t be condemned with the world. I desire to send My judgments upon My people, so they can be pure and holy as I AM. Truly, My judgment makes a difference when it is released. My judgment is true and powerful; it changes the hearts of men into the hearts of after the Spirit. It transformed Nebuchadnezzar into an obedient son and prince. So, why won’t you desire it?”
Jesus Is the Truth
“Lord, I truly desire to have Your judgments upon my life. However, Lord, I know You are Grace, and I know You would have us know Your will,” I prayed, becoming convicted of my sin, as I was also seeing His judgments upon my life. I knew that His people need to also have His judgments upon their lives.
That’s when the Lord answered and said, “Conviction is the work of My Spirit! I am the Truth but I am not grace! I am the Truth from the Heart of God but I am not grace.”
“Lord, I thought you were grace?” I asked again, knowing this had been a truth I had heard for years.
“No, I am not grace but I am the Source of Grace, for grace has a limit but I don’t have a limit. If I have a limit, I am not God. However, I am not grace but I am Truth. Grace comes that all should repent and turn to the Truth. After grace is the ‘time of the last judgment’. It is the ‘time of My Wrath’. Grace exists through Me. The fallacy many have come to believe is that I am grace and that I will give them more time even if they choose their ‘moment of repentance’.
They unknowingly forget that ‘grace’ has a limit before the ‘time of My Wrath’ set-in. For grace is repentance time and I will give more grace unto My people who run quickly to Me.”
“I am the reason why grace exists. I am the One Who have ruled the line! If I am grace, I have a limit. But since I am not, My plans are forever and My life is unlimited.”
The Lord began to communicate His desire for His Creation. I felt the pain in His heart and the joy which later arose from within Him, “The purpose of grace is that all should turn their hearts to Me…The immediate longing of My heart is for you to have intimacy with Me. That is the purpose of creating mankind. I desired a love-affair with My Creation in Eden but it was lost. One man (Adam) brought death to all, but I (Jesus) brought life of the Father to all. I took My life and shared it with many that they also will have their lives, renewed.”
“When the relationship in Eden was lost, the communion between Me and man was also lost. Now, a new way has been opened for many to partake of My Spiritual tree. This was what Enoch ate that he never tasted death; that Elijah tasted and wasn’t ready (refused) to join the way of the world.”
“The Father desired to have a love-affair with His Creation and has opened the way for this through His Son. My life was laid that many should be saved from death. I became the sacrifice for the opening of the new-Creation people.”
“The world has failed: for it refused to recognize Me as the Power of God. It hasn’t believed in My death nor has it remembered My Captivity as the Only Solution to her problems, because of their love for Sin.
“It is time to know I am the Way to Holiness! Only when your heart is united in Me can you truly become holy as I am. And this is the Will of the Father, ‘that you be dead to Sin and alive to Him.’ At each moment, you must recognize that when I died, you also who believed, were dead and buried with Me. Now that I am arisen and alive, you also will arise again on the Last Day. However, you who believe have already arisen to live a new life and testify of My glory.”
“I urge you to come to Me and partake of My life!”
Intimacy is so deeper than we expect. We have to desire it than anything else. THIS IS THE PURPOSE WHY WE EXIST!

Written by Samuel O. Samuel, in his eBook: THE KINGDOM CHILDREN. The link to the book https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/493157

Freely check the link. God bless you.

AMERICA: a Rebellious Nation

AARN; as I love to abbreviate it is one of  the ebooks published last year on smashwords.com about America and its rebellion toward God. Here is the link to read carefully: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/498378

image

That (photo) was written by a dearest friend of mine who also lives in America and witness many of the crimes or rebellions which are today committed against God. This doesn’t mean that the occurrences aren’t by God’s wisdom. In fact they are. The Bible makes it clear that there will be a time of rebellion and the man of sin will come before Jesus comes.

We also apologize for some certain words which weren’t meant to fit into some sentences e.g “perhaps” was used so often, and this was the author’s error not the editor’s or anyone who assisted.

I believe this will be a great read.

following Jesus OUTSIDE THE BOX of Organized Religion: the strangest encounter

This is a story of how I discovered my emptiness and slowly learnt to handle it. I had a big time learning how to know the difference between going to church and being the church; and between leaving the church and living the life of the church. I strongly believe Oliver’s answers will also help you on your journey.

image

Then we will know how to live as a soldier of faith knowing Jesus as the master builder of the church.

The Strangest Encounter





In the last few moments of my frustration, I had nothing else but get angry because of the whole scenario which I had encountered at this very point of my life. Diane and me had finally being appointed senior pastors of the church, Inner Life City, California, and at first it did sound very interesting to be at the peak of the whole thing. It seemed very true when a very good friend in the congregation congratulated me on my growing life in Christ. However, it doesn’t seem that way these days, and my frustration almost or even every time get to lash out toward Diane when I found out later on that what I had spent my entire time building up was nothing else but religion.



Truthfully, I hadn’t known this for over 17 years until that moment of frustration when a strange man walked into my life rearranging the whole thing I had ever known about this christian ‘stuff’ which I thought I had known so well but didn’t realize I was having this hollow place empty. To understand how it all began and how these experiences led to my big success, you ‘ll have to journey back with me to the time when it all started, and to the very end of it.

It  was an amazing moment when we walked past the Bubble Gum Alley where chewing gums had been pasted on walls. We ‘re headed for the usual Sunday morning programme which lasts for about three hours, when I bumped into a grey haired man. Having apologized, I continued with Diane and few others toward the building where the usual service was taking place.



Consequently, I had this feeling burning inside of me when I sat on a chair near the usher wondering how angry that strange man must have been. Or was there anything that moved me to apologize properly? The reason for this strange feeling was that he didn’t look like someone who was going to church. So I decided very quickly to rush out the streets and find him out, inviting him over to church.

As quickly as possible; yes, it was that way, I rushed to find him and encourage him to come in, but I didn’t find him. I remember minutes back when I glanced back at him as he was sitting at the nearby coffee shop having a conversation with the coffee seller. Nice idea though, but I tried to shake it off; it didn’t work. So I journeyed as fast as I could in awareness that the service would begin in about thirty minutes time. Thirty minutes was sure too much to encourage someone on basis of Christian and church life.



The bench at the coffee shop wasn’t empty; as for sure, he was there scanning the lawn. Certainly, on Wednesdays there was a regular mowing of the lawn which was meant for golf. This moment it still looked as tidy as it was when I visited it some days back. The old man didn’t seem to be drinking or reading any magazine, and I honestly found it an opportunity to walk over to him.



Approaching him, I quickly called out, “Hello!” as I still was conscious of time. His reply was a very comfortable one, “Yes,” which brought a new apprehension filling me. Then I introduced myself to him.

“I’m very sorry to disturb, sir, but I remember bumping into someone and wondered if he doesn’t go to church. So I decided to come invite you in,” I explained as nicely as I could. His eyes stared toward the church-building; gave a brief smile and crossed his arms.

“As nicely as your proposal seems, I find it hard to believe if you carefully had inspected what you said,” he presented.

“Pardon me, sir,” I apologized. “But how do you mean?”

“I ain’t a church goer, that’s what I mean.”

“But you know how compulsory it is for Christians to attend church every Sunday?”

“Hmm! And I haven’t found that in the bible. Can you show me where you found it? I really need to know if the Bible says attending religious services is compulsory.”



Though that request looked like those ones which I had once asked myself  when I was 18 years old, I quickly wondered who he was. Confidently, I settled beside him, forgetting that few minutes was left for me before I return back to the congregation.

“No, I’m really sorry. I’ve been struggling with this same thing for over 17 years. At the beginning when I became pastor of that church over there,” I explained, pointing to the structure which was few feet away from us. “I felt my heart had attained the very purpose why God called me. However, the glory of that which I treasured was no more: the emptiness overshadowed my sincerity in the whole thing. I tried to cover it  with my activities, trying to act more spiritual and even attend services regularly just to make it look like it was alright. Toward others, it was looking good but I knew I had a problem.”



“Well, Bob, it seems clear that you’re just trying to hide yourself from him and that’s why your heart may look even messier. Possibly, you may be pampering that emptiness too.”

“Pamper? No, that’s not it. It sure can’t be it.”



“You’re right! The further I keep trying to serve him, it often become very awkward along the way and it makes me wonder if he’s at fault or he went away from me – ”



“Or you’re and you did,” he gently reversed the playing field. “Don’t think God gets away from us, it’s us who get away from him as we gradually succumb to our will and desires.”

Gradually, I began to wonder that all the moment when I talked with him, my heart kept burning. Suddenly, he dropped words which got me shocked.

“When’ll you understand that the Christian life isn’t about mere attendance to meetings or religious services but about living Christ’s life to the fullness of it? Or you haven’t discovered that our religious trappings aren’t that on which we can absolutely rely to fill that emptiness which seems to occupy our hearts. This isn’t the kind of life Jesus lived, is it? He lived daily in awareness of his Father’s presence, knowing his Father can’t be at fault. When we keep looking at God is the one at fault, we’ll just have ourselves feeling more empty.”



“Yes. Yes I remember living in his presence everyday and experiencing it in me daily. However, it doesn’t sound that way now; at least it looks good on the outside,” I expressed, pointing toward my chest. “But my heart doesn’t seem focused now. I become very active in Church and continually miss God’s presence. How can I be a Christian and still not get it right?”



“Confusing, right? But it can’t be any better as long as you’ve your attention directed toward something that can’t draw you any closer to God.”



“Really? You mean my becoming so active in Church and teaching sermons from scripture is certainly different from living the life of God’s presence?”



“Absolutely,” replied Oliver. “It ‘uld serve as a pretty cheap substitute for what is real. Our activeness in church doesn’t indicate our freedom from sin or that we live his life. And the fact that we’re good teachers, gifted with teaching ability doesn’t express that we live in his presence. Being in his presence comes from following him closely as best as he leads you.”



“Should it mean that if I keep teaching others, I’ll continually go away from him and never feel his presence?”

“I believe you know I didn’t mean that.”

“Yes, but it almost sounded that way. You made it sound like teaching others is wrong and that we can’t be in his presence by doing so,” I queried.

“No, Bill,” he continued. “I’m only trying to help you stop finding his presence in regiment of rituals. His presence isn’t discovered in ‘doing’ but ‘living’. You find his presence in our spirit, not our ‘memory’. That’s what I need you to see – that his presence isn’t a certain place or activity but the spirit of Christ present in our hearts. All the freshness we will get will come from knowing his spirit in us. Therefore, what we teach others can seem more powerful when we live them. It doesn’t seem good to teach what we aren’t living at all. It ‘uld be like passing out sweet teaching from an empty bowl without life, only to find that these same people turn out like us. Sometimes, you mayn’t easily get to know how to reply your argumentators.”



Honestly, I really needed to rethink everything again, but what if God’s plan was for me to remain there: at least, I get paid through working there. It had been the place where I had spent my earliest years as the son of christian parents who played not with Christian teachings.

“But now, you seem to see that going to church is bad,” I blurted out sorrowfully.



“You didn’t hear me say that, did you?” questioned Oliver. “You just need to see that going to church isn’t compulsory nor is it even required. It isn’t easy to produce disciples in a crowdy place where their focus is on obligation and routines. These routines are very lifeless and equipping people when such considerations ‘re put in place could have a couple of things get mixed up.

“Mind you, Bob. Whether one is an attendee or not isn’t what matters but if he’s intimate with Jesus or not. Have you considered how many people live those teachings which they hear?”



“Yes, I would say most remained hard within them,” I confessed. “I haven’t even understood this Christianity completely.”



“No one can, but we just need to follow him as best as we can. You know we’re forever learning.”





A prolonged silence hung for a time. I had my intentions: if things become too tough, I’ll give up being a christian and ‘all leave California for New England. Breaking the silence, I blurted out, “It, at least, makes it obvious to discover that this church life isn’t about attendance but living. Even at a point, all these didn’t seem to make sense anymore. There’re so many rules and regulations, influencing me to conclude if we’re still under the law.”



“Is that what you struggle with?”



“It is. I’ve sort this relationship with Jesus years back but each moment when I find it, the next moment, I seem to be out of it. Maybe he got further away from me, or —”



“He’s loved you too much and ‘ll continually do,” corrected Oliver. “To think that God gets away from us isn’t at all true: it’s us who get away from him. You want to know why you still struggle? The reason is you’ve got the right intentions – finding God’s presence – but the way you try to seek it is very obverse to the way he’s planned for us. Have you wondered why you can’t find his presence in so many structures?”



I wasn’t sure I understood what he meant, yet I had to reply as best as I could.

“Maybe I must have. Perhaps, we aren’t performing enough to let his presence be there,” I guessed.

“Where is Father’s presence, Bob?”

“I know his presence isn’t in mere attendance but can be discovered as we learn to live daily in him. But, when I was a kid till today, I often think that when we go to church, we come into his presence. Though it sometimes sounded very foolish to me, but I had it as an instruction passed from my parents.”



“And it’s not something to sort out properly?” he asked with a raised brow. “Understand something, Bob, today’s system of church is performance based and it takes it very hard to discover any that help us grow closer to Jesus. Attending services doesn’t awaken the reality of being in his presence. It’s awakened through our willingness to follow him as best as we can.

“I met a guy who narrated how he got saved from organized religion. He said there was much props and devices to make everything look good, but on the inside, everything seemed awkward. Do you think people learning to live in Father’s presence ‘uld see things seem so boring and filled with manipulation?”



In growing interest, I answered, “No, they won’t. But why does mine seem so boring? I don’t get it at all!” 



“Boredom could come for several reasons; but the popular kind which I found among many whom I’ve met isn’t due to anything else but that they don’t feel they’re doing anything that counts.”

“You mean the mechanical way of life?”

“Yes.”

“Truly, that’s the same manipulative expressions I often feel everytime. I sometimes think it’s a result of my hunger that I’m beginning to experience it now.”

“You didn’t feel this way when your heart was in the mechanical thing?”



“No, I didn’t. Now, I feel that way. I know it’s because of my hunger to find out the reality of the Father’s life.” As he nodded, I checked my watch and found out the time was almost over. Had I stayed that long? I thought. We had talked for about two hours and I had an hour left.



“I would get to meet you another time, Oliver. As at this moment I’ve got to run as fast as I can. And one last question: Would it be good to introduce this way of life to the church?”



“Don’t be in such a hurry, Bob!” he warned. “Let this find a place in your heart as you find out answers to your many questions. If you begin teaching it first; even as it’s the surface, it ‘uld be a cheap substitute for living this incredible life in him. But when you begin living it first, you’ll find more people to equip on the powerful life of Christ.”



“Thanks so much, Oliver. I’ve got to run. ‘uld find you later.”



With that, I waved him and ran for the service before it becomes almost over. Things may go awkward but Oliver’s words ‘all stick to my heart. The last I saw him, he was conversating with the coffee-seller. Little did I know that this brief conversation and unexpected encounter ‘uld open ways to more answers to my many questions.








PAVITRA RISHTA: a friendship between you and your bestfriend

Do You Believe in Your Best Friend?

image

HOW DO WE RELATE WITH OUR BEST FRIEND?

Not everyone on earth can have a [earthly] best friend but we can agree that some do. Being a human, I wonder why I don’t desire to have any earthly one again. Perhaps, it may be due to HURT but I don’t think it is. Being a best friend, we share everything with him and he shares his with us. There’s the presence of trust and love which is a strong affection existing between us.

To our bestfriend, we would want to spend a very good time with him conversating with and learning from him. He would share wonderful experiences, ideas and teachings with us, being a godly friend. He would agonize with us in our times of pain and we would do likewise to him. Those whom he intends to intercede for, we would have thesame burden. We would free him to hurt when we are hurt and free him to joy when we are joyful. His will affect us the same.

image

We would share between us the true meaning of forgiveness, as if nothing happened between us. He won’t do away with the wrong I committed without helping me learn from it. Being my bestfriend, I would rely on him and not rely on anyone else. He would be with me in my moments of success and times when I have nothing: he will be with me more than a friend, in moments when I lack and when I am successful. In times of lack, we would work together to develop something good. We would work not only for ourselves but for the good of others too. Even our enemies won’t be hated by us: for my bestfriend won’t even allow it.

Being my bestfriend, he can lay down his life for me and I can do likewise because I know it’s worth it. He would live as the true life partner I had need of and understand me more than anyone else and I would keep on with becoming close to him.

WHO COULD HAVE SUCH WONDERFUL CHARACTER AS A BESTFRIEND?

Everything could perfectly be found in ONE person. A man whom we must have despised all our lives, believing that he doesn’t exist; called several names; worshipped idols in substitute for him; cherished others over him. All these we may have done but it would mean that we are running away from the wonderful love he has for us. Even while we seem to run from him, his love doesn’t fade. He, forever, is in love with us no matter what we do to smear his name.
Do you hate this man – one who is willing to be your bestfriend – all because someone said we can never see him, and he just doesn’t exist? Do you substitute him for idols; mere statues whom you pray to but don’t give reply or even move? If you really want to hear the truth about this man who’s willing to be your bestfriend, many of us who were with him have seen him and have talked with him intimately. For this reason, we have been commissioned to share the truth of his existence with you. He is one in whom we can absolutely rely; the ONLY Way to God, his Father. Most people today haven’t discovered him as their best friend because they don’t seem to see that if only they will accept his invitation and working in their lives, he would make their eyes opened along with their hearts in order to embrace this wonderful life in him.

Our reactions doesn’t frighten him. Instead it draws his heart to pain because our reply towards him reflect one which is unembracing of the life which he wants us to live. The closer we are to him, the further we become transformed into his nature. When we are caught in the world system, he doesn’t abandon us but keeps stretching his hand to us to come to him again. He is ever willing to accept us if we return. Be we gentile or Jew; friend of him or idolworshipper, he loves us the same and wants us to come to him.

In our worst moments when we are faced with suffering from within and without, he agonizes with us; comforting us that he’s making all things new.
When we have a knock from him upon our hearts, how do we reply him? The way we reply him would tell the condition of our lives at the moment: did our reply that moment increase peace within our hearts? Or did it ease that emptiness further? When he calls our attention, do we pause to hear all he has to say? Or do we tell him to WAIT till we are finished with our home chores?
Some kind of replies could save our lives forever while others would have us lose our lives forever.
The biggest question which he is asking you today is, “Will you walk with me?” Your reaction and how willing you are to have it put in practice after answering his question will determine how well your growth on your journey.

I have been using “he” to indicate this best friend, now I will tell you his name. His name; this glorious best friend’s name is JESUS. Don’t stop here. Begin knowing how much he loves you, then you will know his Person, not by what others say about him.

image

THE FIRST MEETING

image

This is a novel about how Bill Laggard met a man who encouraged him on his journey to follow Jesus in his marriage life as well as other areas of life. As Jack  makes it clear: You don’t ask because you think he wants you to decide that and because you think he doesn’t have to. He is in charge of your destiny, and as you have willed yourself to him, he is in control of you. And why do we have to ask? We have to because our eyes are but weak lenses with blind retinas that could capture but only a few range of life, but his are special binoculars that sees the future, even from the
beginning and from the greatest distance. Remember he is Omniscient?”
I believe that as you read this story, though the characters are fictional, all the stories are true. They are from real life experience gathered together to help others God brings our way.

As a learner, I always try to put up an exuberant performance, to impress my aunt and also to persuade my lecturers into thinking that I was no ignoramus.  But this year, this peculiar year, I massively missed the mark for the four core subjects or courses in line with biochemistry. Some of my less intelligent colleagues were even successful. I cringed at the thought of it. Was it that my lecturers felt a little inconsistency with my answers? Having known me to be someone in whom he had confidence, and also hearing the news of my failures, the vice chancellor of the university, Mr. Clang Waiter, called me to his office. He blamed me for losing concentration and bringing my academic end to ignonimous. I seethed inside as I left his office. He spoke roughly to me and I had never seen him explode so. Afterall, I wasn’t ill-bred so as to reply roughly in return but I did know that he wanted no other than the best for me. It so gripped me with guilt that I was going to throw a whole full year, having spent a whole lot of money, estimated €150,000. What was I to do?

Trying to control my emotions, I wiped my brows with my pocket handkerchief and began plunging down the stairs which opened up to a broad lawn which lay in front of the water fountain. I caught a glimpse of the vice chancellor, Mr. Clang, coming out of the office. He scowled and turned around the other way, started towards the other staircase with each squawk from his shoes, sending pain through me. I had never felt so frustrated in Oxford. When I got to the end of the stairs, I saw three among my course mates. Kim, Rake and Jokstan were members of a deadly secret society located two blocks away from the university,  and even at that, they were expected to fail. But when I indeed ask them, they said they all passed. The thought about this seemed to incinerate my mind and I could detect signs of incipient unrest winding up in my heart. I preferred it best to move about incognito so as to at least, ease the painsome, and not only that but to also reduce the level of my fame. I walked a few steps away then withdrew and hid behind a tree with my ear still zeroing into the conversation of my friends. My gut roiled as I heard them making jest of me; calling me names. And then they hummed a rondo and laughed wickedly. I was awe struck with the laughter that was imbued in their staccato of voices. So, I decided to leave there at once to find some place to have this guilt feeling rest for a while.

The streets of Oxford were very busy; quite as usual, but the atmosphere was crisp and dry and even the place where I had usually gone out of my way to wash my hands was now completely dry. After walking two-quarter a mile, I reached a coffee shop and checked in, requesting for a diner for two. I wasn’t really expecting anyone because I hadn’t scheduled one. The waitress came out from the servery with food in a large glass tray covered with a piece of acetate material. This was my favorite and I really ate until I was sated. Eating was now the only thing that could satisfy my emotions, and I soon came craving to forget about the morning experience. I requested for a cup of coffee, and when it did come, I freely drank. It calmed my nerves and I soon fell asleep.

A few moments later, I was awakened by a buzzing bug which had stung my ear. I whimpered a little and turned towards the glinting wall which was enough mirror to see my reflection and examine my ear. Amidst all this, I sensed a growing impulse, stimulating me to turn back but I though it was just a series of passing infatuation. Rather, it was so pressing that I couldn’t resist it. I gazed dreamily out of the window and caught a glimpse of a figure coming towards the entrance on the horizon, which was tiles with silver. I chuckled with delight, thinking it was my nephew, Collins Errando. He was my best person in the world. I got past the rest of the people taking coffee and tiptoed to the sliding glass doors at the entrance, trying not to make a squeak of my shoes as I loosely buckled them. From the door, I could see three men- one old and two others- with two ladies. One of the four college-aged opened the door ahead of the old man and the others. Seeing them, I pretended to be the waiter, although, I wasn’t on uniform. I ushered them to a group diner close to mine at the far corner of the room. Rubbing my hands, I asked if they would prefer tea or coffer or any other food, according to normal British etiquette. They requested coffee, and I turned round to inform the waitress of their arrival. She served them coffee and I think I heard fragments of their prayer. Then as they settled down to drink, I awkwardly shuffled forward to take my seat, and burying my face in an album of pictures. Almost simultaneously, one of the ladies inserted her hand into her grocery bag and brought out an envelope which she threw on the group-table.

“That’s my result. Do open and see,” she requested.

Carrick Helmington, a young college-aged bespectacled german, with an air of warm smiles and gentle sense of humor, extended his vein-lined hand to grasp the envelope, but the old man got it just before he could. I chuckled inwardly as Carrick paused, with his hand stretched out and a bewildered look at the old man. The old man actually looked like some belligerent, with arched brow, sunken eyes and aquiline nose, appearing to be some unpleasant fellow with a vicious look. His face broke into a smile.

“Cool!” He exclaimed. “You came fourth in the microbiology department. Take a look at this Carrick.” Now that he spoke, I found places in my heart to believer that he might actually have some avuncular behaviour towards this friends of his.

“Well, Mathelda, not in the least,” Carrick said. “And that’s because my elder brother whom I stay with wants nothing less than third.”

Amused, I looked over the album, just to see the name “MATHELDA STONE” and to hear Carrick’s concluding statement; “But it doesn’t seem so to me.”

The rest chuckled, seeming to deride his idea, perhaps because they thought it old fashioned as I did. Who was good enough even to be fourth? Carrick turned away. It was after this joke that their conversation began and I. Soon discovered the names of the others. The other girl was “LIZY CALLAR”, and “ELLE FREDERICTON” was the next young man and the old man, who had been silent for sometime was “JACK”.

“…You know, my brother feels there’s nothing difficult in schooling and studying…” It was Carrick speaking. “He graduated summa-cum-laude from Harvard university and is actually the best biochemist this town has ever seen. To him, all things are possible with God. How is that so?”

“You think it’s not?” Lizy questioned, with a mock chuckle.

“How should I?” Carrick shrugged. “It doesn’t make any difference. All things can never be possible. It is what I had been taught in my first year seminar. It’s not that I don’t believe in Christian teachings. I do, but even at that, doesn’t ti sound so foolish for someone to say that all things are possible?”

“If that’s what you think, better steel yourself for this question,” Jack said. “If all things aren’t possible, with God, then why are you living?”

“Well that only suffice a part, because he may be the one keeping my life but probably not my education, even though I came second in medicine and surgery department.”

Jack smiled. “Doesn’t it occur to you that if you had no life-sustainer, you would have no life, and likewise no education. If you were dead, how would you hold a pen to write an exam?”

I was astonished at how wisely this man answered questions.

“So, then, how would I make heaven for doubting God?” Carrick whined. “At least, I go to Church.”
“Then that’s all!” Fredericton exclaimed.
“Sure!” Lizy commented.

But Mathelda clenched her lips and crossed her legs. She just squinted at the morning’s young sun through the arms spreaded window, much to my surprise. Carrick winked at Jack, who leaned forward to acknowledge it with a nod.  Then he dropped his comment,
“When will you come to recognize that life in Christ isn’t about going to a place where you can find Christians gather and hear comments from the bible? Notice that I am not saying that you can’t share Christ’s life among other Christians but I don’t  just want you to view it the wrong way. Regular attendance in church meetings and continuous commitment to church activities can’t lead you to  heaven or earn you a place in God’s heart. You need an intimate and cordial relationship with him. Then he will develop in you the trust that Carrick now lacks. To think that God is happy with your just going to a meeting and just sitting down, without even digesting a helpful word in your heart, is estimately zero to the mark.” Jack implied.

“Sir, you speak of relationship. Where do we get that kind?” Lizy demanded. “As for me, I can’t attend a day’s meeting without commenting at the end that I gained something.” Fredericton added.
“Something like?”
“You know, feeling satisfied that I learnt something beneficial and also helped someone,” Lizy replied.
“Alright Lizy.”

I hated the somewhat criticism implied in his voice. I thought Lizy had finally bit him to it but it didn’t occur so. His face was still intense.

“But that has to do with motives and not mere words of mouth or external gestures and expressions,” he continued, “and the things learnt are many times forgotten once you get past those doors.”
“I know. It’s sometimes that way,” she agreed as the others nodded.
“Check this out,” Jack said, as his face turned serious. “Lizy, when you got to your service last week, what was your motive as you were going about your course? What did you really have in mind for that day?”

Clenching her fist, she replied, “Well, to be sincere, I really wanted everyone in the congregation to learn through my actions; to know how loving I was and how much worth emulating my life was. I also organized a series of songs to calm them down.”
“Wow!” Mathelda exclaimed. “How did they feel?”

“Glamorous!” She responded, with a beam of smile. “They couldn’t control their voices when they appreciated me. They commented that they haven’t seen such display of savoir-faire attitude. I felt my head spinning like a carousel. I was on top of the world with the realisation that I had changed enormous amount of lives. I was enthralled at the thought that I felt the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit.”

I nodded, knowing how much I had done that today. It occurred to me that I was no different from Lizy Callar and so I expected no contrasting response from anybody. Mathelda’s lips were pursed. Carrick had on his face a look of bewilderness and Fredericton was overwhelmed by a mock chuckle but Jack wasn’t even fazed. This expression of his was enough presage to determine his words. He didn’t berate, though, but took Lizy’s hand and began expressing his ideas.
“That was actually wrong, Lizy. Do you think God would be happy with such a mind setting? He doesn’t measure sonship by religious display and religious starship, but by discipleship.”

“But why not, sir Jack?” Carrick almost whined. “Being religious enhances for a steady growth in Christ. Doesn’t it increase God’s love for us?”

“That is where you are getting it backwards, Carrick,” Jack replied, clenching his fist. “Displaying of habit and praise seeking from men will make you no different from the religious leaders whom Jesus rebuked. They were extremely perfect in clothing the outside. They could initiate a thousand laws for others to follow. Attending ceremonies and sitting in the highest places at banquets were their ulterior motives, but they lacked the Holy spirit.

“All thesame Lizy,” he said turning to her, “many people get themselves started in ministry and religious institutions just to gain a good name down the street. It doesn’t seem to me that you went to that occasion that day to share Christ’s life with the body but to gain personal aggrandizement was your sole aim.”

That sounded antagonistic to my feelings. Outrageous! But I knew this man actually had the right answer.

“But we are not under the law,” Fredericton said.
“But it makes no difference between you and them,” Jack responded with a snigger. “They thought keeping those rules and regulations would draw them nearest to God,but it never did and you think going to church would save you, even when nursing wrong motives and priorities.”
“I don’t know if you mean that those ideas are carnal?” Mathelda asked with a raised brow and John nodded.
“But even at that,” Mathelda continued, “your comment of a few minutes ago by-passes my understanding.”

“Okay take this illustration; Lizy went to ‘church’ last sunday, with the expectation that if she gave to the poor,  they will honour her and that with that she had attained what God wanted her to gain. Doesn’t that sound like being bred out of a carnal mind? A spiritual mind wouldn’t do that. Do you remember a part in the bible when Jesus refused to be called ‘good master’? Name calling and magnifying words Will make you think you have attained a great height but in other words, it will rob you of all the great things God has for you on this journey. Approving and accepting such praise will show that you are no lowly servant but a self-approved slave.”

“But I thought God ordered us through Christ, to always care of for the poor and give to the needy?” Fredericton queried.
“Not when it gets twisted as to coming from a wrong mind setting,” Jack implied.
“So it means I shouldn’t give at all?” Lizy further questioned. “All these seems like giggling over words.”

“It’s not,” Jack broke in. He sized the room and noticed my presence and my face fell again into my paper. With a smirk, which broke into a beam on his lips, he continued, “The fact that the young waiter over there is sitting on that bench doesn’t give an explanatory word to his love for the chair. He may hate it, but it’s meant to be sat upon, probably because he wants no one mocking him of having no place to sit.” Turning back to them, he explained his idiom; “the poor are always given. Yes they are meant to, I can’t alter that. But not when it gets twisted and you give out of a wrong mind. If you are being led not to give, don’t. If you feel you are led to, obviously, you should. But when you give wrongly and it dawns on you later that you didn’t ask yourself what motive or what feelings motivated you to do so, you will suddenly find yourself in a betwixted state.”

“I get that now!” Carrick, who had been quiet for sometime, said. “But Mr. Jack, I have a question. Just one more in my arsenal.” Jack nodded. What he said sounded less questioning. “My brother recently sent an amount of money to my bank account. I will withdraw it immediately I leave here. It is part of the evidence that he is really happy with my result. Sir, I will like you to advice me how much, or what percentage, I could give the less privileged fellows.”

“Where did you get that idea from?” Mathelda asked.
“What idea?” Carrick acted stunned.
“The idea that issues the necessity for a mere human with no special difference from you, apart from age and God-given wisdom, to dictate a specific part of your life for you, Carrick,” Fredericton broke in.

Jack smiled, “Who then should he ask?”
“I don’t know! I only expected him to dismiss that idea because you can’t let somebody remote you as though you were some blind and deaf, led by a labrador. You know, it isn’t at all right.”

They all guffawed. I tittered. I saw that Carrick, who didn’t laugh at all, saw this as a bit of laceration because he suddenly put on an icy glare. Jack resounded his question. “Who then should he ask?”
At least, I felt it right to get indulged into their conversation. This, as well, looked like an opening. This thought was indefinable, although I would have nothing to say if I get some questions from this icono-clastic minded fellow; so he seemed. Dropping my album of pictures, the words dripped out of my lips: “Ask God Mr. Carrick!”

Jack smirked at me and nodded. “I thought you were the waiter?”

I adroitly avoided answering that question. Collecting myself, I replied that I wasn’t the waiter but I only had to help them locate their places. Suddenly, the thunders uttered their voices. The sky, which had appeared a little rosy sometime ago, had turned indigo. Waves upon waves filled the air. The gale had begun and many large trees surrounded their branches. The clouds spread their arms to cover the sun and within some minutes, the entire premises belonging to the restaurant officials was soon filled with miniature rivulets of rain.  Almost all the loquat grasses in the environment were soon uprooted by the erosion.

“I think we have got to go,” Fredericton reasoned.
“I also suggest we use the rain coats with Lizy and the boots with Carrick,” Mathelda suggested.

The materials were presented and when they were prepared to leave, they put it on and as the rest headed for the door, Jack hesitated. Slowly but firmly, he gradually shuffled to my direction and placing his hand on my shoulder, reassured me of God’s love for me. He dropped only three words.
“Jesus loves you.”
“Could we find a little time to talk now?” I pleaded.
“I would have loved to but next time would be okay.”
“And when would that be?”
“You believe God is in control, isn’t it? Same I do because it is he who knows how to arrange our meetings. Trust God with that and have a nice day!”

With that, he turned and left. The last I saw of them, they were plodding towards the gate, through the rain. I never knew such truth and trust could ever lie in the hearts of mere mortals.

Read the other chapters here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/533730 FREE.

FaithWriters.com-Christian Christian Living – After Re-birth…

http://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=174620

After REBIRTH is an article conveying a message about the infant life of new believers and how they may grow. In this article you will discover that not all Christians grow. AFTER Rebirth has a second part which isn’t included in this first After Rebirth series. The second After Rebirth (2) talks about the equipping of new believers by mature teachers in the gospel. I believe the comments of mature believers here (WordPress) would help contribute to the development of this.
God bless.

Bob Hernandez.

image

I believe that preparing these young ones After Rebirth is a vital job as we look forward to HIS COMING.