Tag Archives: God

I Hate War

I can truthfully say that I hate war.  There are no good wars and I would have to ask if there are just ones.  Why am I saying this now during the time of Christmas?  This is a season for Joy and Love at the celebration of the coming Christ Child, so why talk about war.  Yes, Christmas is a time of Love and Joy, of giving and sharing, family and friends.  But at this time war is occurring, people are suffering and dying.  Militaries stand opposite each other seeking the opportunity to defeat the other.  Many will not come home at all and many will come home injured and maimed, physically, mentally and emotionally.  Families will not be together and even though it may be the troops in a faraway land who are threatened with physical harm the families back home suffer as well not knowing whether their loved ones are safe or are in harm’s way.  And all look for hope during their time of despair.

Christmas, 1970, was spent on a firebase in South Vietnam.  There was no joy there because a few hours earlier in setting up for a Christmas Eve cease fire there was a friendly fire incident where 12 of our fellow soldiers died.  Talk about rip the heart out of Christmas that will do it.  For the soldiers involved the exact cause is still unknown but the cause does not matter.  What matters is that 12 of our brothers did not come home to celebrate.  The ultimate gift man can receive is the gift of a Savior, the ultimate ruin is to have blood on your hands.  How, or rather, can they coexist?

Right now it is two weeks until Christmas 2015. Two Thousand and 15 some odd years since the first Christmas occurred, the actual Christmas Day.  We hold so strongly to that event so long ago and pull meaning out of the story even today.  At the same time, at least in America, most everyone is going nuts with shopping, lights, tinsel and general madness.  How much can they spend, how much says I love you, can I have as many lights on my house as the Griswold’s (yes, I watch National Lampoon’s Christmas and laugh).

So Christmas is coming once again and here I am talking about hating war.  Our nation’s fear level is increased about possible terrorist attacks within our nation, disturbing our peace at this time we hold dear.  Halfway around the world the military is fighting actual war and we are having to be prepared for more wars in different places, all combined with fears of possible threats around us.  If people cannot see the tragedy in this then they are blind.  If they cannot hear the cries of the suffering then they are deaf.  If they will not join and say that they also hate war then they are dumb.

I hate war and would choose to not go again to war.  But, if I must I will and if I could go in place of a young person and spare them the pain thus allowing them to know the fullness of life without seeing war I would go in their place.  And on top of it all this Christmas I will worship and rejoice at the greatest gift man has ever received, the Christ Child, born for you and for me.

Flawed Christian, Pt. 2

This is part 2 of “Flawed Christian” and I would like to expound on what I meant in part 1. I said I was flawed and that is just what I meant. I am not perfect (I already said that) and I do not meet the standard Jesus set to be perfect as the Father in Heaven is. How am I not? Consider how you and I are created, we are tripartite beings, body, mind and spirit. Maybe you want to say body, soul and spirit, to me that is minor. We are three part beings.
First we are body, flesh, organic, we bleed and we sweat, we physically feel pain and pleasure. That is body. It is physical and it is what some people think is all we are. Further we all decay and eventually die. No getting around that except for one possible exception. A concept in Christianity is stated born once die twice. Born twice, die once meaning that once we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we only die physically but we will live forever with God. I am not going to debate that concept here as it is not part of this story.
The only possible exception is Lazarus. Jesus raised him from the dead. It is written there that Lazarus was good and dead and ripe for several days when Jesus raised him. So, if Lazarus died then he died the death we all face and Jesus brought him back from the dead to live again. So did Lazarus die a second time? Now that is an interesting question to me. Could it be that in Israel right now is a little old 2,000 year old man who has a very bad attitude because Jesus brought him back from the dead and now he has to wait on Jesus coming back again. I know I would not be a happy camper. That is just some food for thought for the theological types.
I am 63 years old and not getting any younger. My body is physically decaying and beginning to break down. Is that a sin? No, that is the normal process of life. If the super Christian crowd prays for me to be healed what would it look like? Would it be the body of a young, healthy male or would it be the current state I am in being more comfortable and better able to perform normal routine activities? My point for this post is that I am flawed. I can no longer do many of the things I once could. Flawed is normal and I don’t have to try and be something I am not. Last summer I tried something I can no longer do. I was at the big city pool doing my water exercises and was watching kids jumping off the diving board with another lady who was doing the same thing as I was. She says that looks like fun, I think I will try it and she did. Nice dive lady. So I thought I would also and got up there on the board. Tested the board out for spring and distance of the steps with no problem. Planned on doing a simple jackknife and started to go up on one leg when the leg I went up on said “no you don’t.” I collapsed under me and I went off the board at a 45 degree angle on my shoulder in a complete belly flop that I sure was amazing to watch. No more going off the board for me.
We are mind, we have a brain (yes that is part of the body) that contains our learning ability. By this age mine should be chock full of knowledge and to an extent it is. 63 years of history and study and all kinds of stuff in there. Do you know the name of Dudley Do-right’s horse? I have that piece of wonderful knowledge stored away. But here comes a major factor in being a flawed Christian. The mind is where choices come in and quite often I choose that which is not pleasing to God and which He calls sin. I am flawed by my being weak in will and the choices I make. In Romans, chapter 7, Paul says that he does the things he does not want to do and does not do the things he should do. The great apostle Paul is saying he too is flawed. Puts us in good company I suppose.
How does Paul answer this dilemma? The answer is actually easy; the accepting of it is the hard part. In Romans, chapter 7, Paul goes on and says: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Then in Romans, chapter 8, Paul ices the cake saying: “God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh.”
This is Christmas folks, the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus, God made man. God came down from heaven and became flesh and blood, just like you and me, an baby infant, helpless and totally dependent on his mother to bring him into the world. Further, God came down in the lowliest of places to the most humble of people, poor and in a distant land from home, alone.
Yet they were not alone by a long shot. Who did God send to bear witness of this miracle? Shepherds that is who. Guys working the graveyard shift minding their own business, nice quiet evening out looking at the stars and making small talk about the local camel races. And lo, an angel appeared to them and the glory of God shone all around them! Hey, I am awake, okay. Fear not, for I bring tidings of great joy. Go down and look for the son of King David (really dropping names here) born this day. Oh, and by the way you will find him in the stable, in a manger, a feed trough if you will. What, the son of the great king David in a stable, in a manger, for shame, for shame. But that is how God comes to you and to me, humbly, poor, not lifting Himself up. He comes as a babe, helpless, willing to just “be” himself, no being anything special. That is our King, willing to serve.
Therein lies the key, are we willing to just be a servant, nothing special? That is all Jesus asks of us. Will you and I give Him our flawed selves this Christmas and allow Him to use us as He sees fit. I know I am not worthy, that I am flawed and am a sinner of the highest order (there is actually only one order of sinner and that is chief) yet God still chooses to occasionally work through me.
I hope and pray our new priest (Rev, Dr.) is a shepherd who is will to be approached by angels who come proclaiming good news and I hope he knows where the best grass is for his sheep because I am needy. This Christmas, his first with us, I hope and pray he leads us to lift our voices and hands to worship the coming of the King, son of God and son of Man. All I can say is Baaahhhh! Merry Christmas.

Faith is…..Again

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5UR_Y3yOF8

Before I begin the attached YouTube song is called “Out of the Blue” by Don Francisco and is found on his Grace on Grace CD.  I own the CD but this is not my YouTube upload and I have not secured official permission to post the song.  If you like it please go and buy his music for a very rich blessing.  The song is saying that God comes into our lives and shatters life as we know it and brings in His life.

I like how God speaks.  He not only displays a mastery of language but also that of the fine art of communicating, that is getting across the point He wants to make.  Further, God has a very rich sense of humor.  You gotta love it!

Consider Numbers, chapter 22.  Again, I leave you to read the story and to read the full context, not just pick and choose.  At the start of the chapter the king, Balak, was trying to get Balaam to come to him to help keep from being wiped out by the Israelites.  This had been going on for a while when God finally released Balaam to go, but to only speak the word God told Balaam to speak.  So the next morning Balaam gets on his brand new, circa 580 (or so) B.C. donkey which came complete with leather upholstery and takes off.  Now, God was not happy with Balaam’s attitude and put an angel with a big sword in the middle of the road to deal with things.  Note that the angel had a big sword.  Balaam never noticed but his donkey did and they went round and round a few times about going on until the donkey had had it and just lay down refusing to go any more.  So Balaam smites (don’t you love King james English, smite) the donkey and God really lets loose with the art of communicating.  He gives the donkey a voice.

“Hey dude, what for are you beating me?  The donkey continues to discuss this matter with Balaam with it being a two way conversation.  Personally, I think I would have stopped with the first words out of the donkey’s mouth in bewilderment.  Balaam, nah, he just kept on arguing with a donkey.  There is a sign in a BBQ place I eat at that reads never get in an argument with a fool, bystanders might not be able to tell the difference.

My point is not the story of Balaam but rather how God communicates with us.  The point is that God does communicate with us.  God knows us, knows our needs, wants, thoughts, rights and wrongs.  To the very depth of our core being He, God Himself knows you and me.  You aren’t going to hide anything from Him, you aren’t getting away with anything, so don’t even let the thought linger in your feeble little brain.

Bare your heart and soul to your God, the God of heaven and earth.  Let it all hang out and while God is the master of communication we are but rank amateurs at best.  Cry to the Lord and even further seek for others to cry to the Lord on your behalf.  God does not need elequance to listen and hear us.

So what am I saying (or trying to say) and what is the point of this post?  First my motivation in writing this evening.  Over this past weekend I got hit with the proverbial sledge hammer.  Now mind you this is not a bad thing as being hit with a sledge hammer is often times.  Rather it was facing some facts concerning a situation and the reality found therein.  I hurt and felt deep pain but I must confess that I knew that I was going to be hurt regarding this situation.  Knowing it is coming is supposed to help one handle things but nah, never happens, it still hurts even though none of the parties involved wanted anyone to get hurt.

So, being me I took this pain to heart and curled up like the baby I am and woe is me, nowhere left to go but wallow in self-pity.  Have you ever done that?  Probably.  This went on for a full day and a half (actually a little more) until God communicated with me.  Now we bring in the long preface to this post.  For a donkey God chose to use someone’s blog, as in my own.  I received a note from WordPress that a post of mine from June was liked and commented on.  Cool, let’s go see who it was and what they commented.  So I went and of course I had to reread the post to see what I had said.  Can you saw Hee Haw here?  It’s donkey speaking time!

The post is titled “Faith Is.”  Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  I posted and talked about faith but deeper than that I talked about Jesus Christ.  That is what I have to post about and talk about.  He is my all in all, Jesus is my life and my confession.

Here I am wallowing in my self-pity, woe is me.  It took God to use my own words to remind me that I am a person of faith and my faith is that there is substance greater than anything, repeat anything, that may try and rob me of the life I have in Christ Jesus.  My faith is evidence that He is greater, that God Himself is working in my life for His good pleasure to accomplish greater things in life that I could ever dream of.

People who read these words, do you hear what I am saying about you?  You are loved by God, the most high God of the Universe.  More importantly He is as wrapped up with loving you as much as William and Kate of England are with the new royal baby.  You, you are loved and cared for beyond your wildest imagination.  Sledge hammers may come but your father in heaven is there for you.  My you be blessed with His presence in your life.

God Is

God is.  Simple noun and simple verb that make a complete sentence and therefore a complete statement.  It can also be the jumping off point for a lot more and there are countless expositions of the nature and character of God.  Wherever you want to go with it you can and it would be valid.  But that is not the point of this simple post today.

This morning I went to the gym for a workout.  My time on the floor was good, not great, and I accomplished a lot in terms of exercising my body.  Generally when I finish on the floor I spend time in the hot tub followed by the lap pool.  Feels really good to first loosen the body and stretch muscles I have just worked.  Then the lap pool is very cool and sucks all the skin back tight and just washes me all over.  Wonderful.

So the hot tub jets are operated by a timer that cuts off the action after 10 minutes which is a reasonable time to not get overheated.  So I am in the hot tub and the jets and pulsating action quit and I was left sitting in a nice really hot tub of water.  A compulsion came over me to seek the presence of God.  Right there and right then.  Before I describe this I will say that God is always with us, always present (whether we like it or not) always available to us to commune with Him.

So I closed my eyes and began to adore Him and worship Him, and I began to dwell on who God is, what does that mean?  My first leading in this thinking was the heavens above, the universe we live in.  The world of stars and galaxies and all the other grandness.  I thought of the galaxies which right now are in massive collisions,  greater than anything we can conceive of, the black holes which swallow all matter just out there right now.  Then I thought about particle physics, the smallest things man studies and knows about.  We can’t even see them.  If science is lucky they will take a picture of the trails left when they are able to collide two of them, and God is.  He is above, below and all around it all.

I moved to the lap pool and began swimming broad backstrokes doing laps, back and forth, back and forth.  God is, God is present, God is.  As I was floating on the water God is under the water, holding me up.  God set about for hydrogen and oxygen to be able to combine just right to form water.  God allowed heat to warm the water.  While on the floor I had seen on of the trainers working with a blind lady.  God is the creator of the phenomena we call light.  God set the conditions for light to act both as a particle and as a wave, characteristics necessary for it to behave like we know.  To allow for the diffraction of light in the atmosphere, light from some 93 million miles away, to produce the blue sky, the yellows, oranges, reds, and myriad more that we all love to watch.  God is who set about the absence of light, darkness.  Ever tour a cavern where at the very lowest point the tour guide is obliged to have you sit while they turn out the lights to show you what total darkness it?  Yet Go is, her is there and He is the author of it as well as the comfort in it.

I thought of our earth.  Now, in our culture we think of north as being up.  So I pictured God, with His index finger at the south pole, spinning the earth like a top, just watching it in amazement as it spun round and round.  Think Harlem Globetrotters here folks.  Pretty cool huh?  God just spinning the earth, with us on it, watching and enjoying His ability.

So, do you think about God?  How do you think about God?  Give that question a few minutes to sink in.  God is not limited and we are created in His image.  With God nothing is impossible.  What is the God vision He wants to share with you?  Will you reach for all that He has and break out of the normal?  Our normal is really second or third class.  After all we are talking about God here, God and you and me.  Last Saturday I stopped by the place that cuts my hair.  On the side they make hula-hoops (yes, I am old enough to remember them) and I asked to borrow one.  Because it was the first weekend of summer I tried to hula-hoop after all these many years.  With everything God I ask you simply, why not?

Faith Is

I would like to start out asking for the forgiveness of all who take time to read my blog.  Most of my posts, well, all of them, are my thinking aloud to myself and working through the thought process of a topic that comes to me.  I do thank you for taking the time to read what I put down and hope and pray that it helps you challenge yourself in walking with the Lord.

I have started reading a book by Derek Prince on the Will of God.  In the opening chapter (I have just started reading it after all) Derek quotes from Hebrews, chapter 12, where Paul talks about Jesus being the author and perfecter of our faith.  That is the key that struck me and has me thinking.  You should see the wheels turning and the smoke coming out of my ears.

Now, yes, Jesus is the author of my/our faith.  But I had not thought about Jesus as the perfecter of faith.  What does that look like and where will that lead me?  I like to start with root word meanings.  Faith, that which we believe by; believe what, how, why?  The spiritual realm is unseen in the physical real in which we live, so it is something we cannot see and touch, there is no feely to it.  So is faith blind or senseless?  I think not, I think we can and should “know” what we believe.

Consider Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  This is the King Jimmy version which I love.  Faith is substance and evidence.  Those are both very tangible words.  Substance,  I picture reaching down and grabbing a handful of earth, to hold and feel.  Evidence, name your favorite court drama, the court is only interested in evidence, facts, what the witness knows to be true.  No opinions allowed.

By faith we hope for that which is unseen, we hope to hold that which is precious to us and that precious thing is God Himself who makes himself available to be held and seen.  And in Hebrews 12, quoted above, Jesus is perfecting this faith in us.  Oh, what glory we behold, what love can be so great.  Jesus wants us and is working to make perfect our sight of spiritual things, the spiritual realm about us, our spiritual lives, to be fully fulfilled in Him.  That is His goal for each of us and His work by the Holy spirit to bring about.  I say embrace this and welcome it with all of your being.

Reading in the area of Romans, chapters 3 and 4 (you get to do some of the work here) Paul then talks about faith compared to the law.  The law is harsh and hard, it is final, a yes or no proposition.  Faith seems to challenge the law but it does not, faith confirms the highest law, the law of the love of God, the law that says God is supreme and in that supremeness He choose all who would have Him and Him alone.  By faith are we justified and made righteous.  An image I offer is of you being brought into the great court, the high court.  You stand before the judge who hears the evidence against you and by the law is bound to find you guilty as charged.  Guilty, the word rings out though the court as the gavel bangs down loudly and the sentence is pronounced, guilty, guilty, guilty.  But then, yes, then, the judge rises from his seat, takes off his robe and walks around to the front of the bench to where you stand.  He joins you there and there he proclaims, “I will pay this debt, I will pay the price required of the conviction.” 

You have been freed, you have been set totally and completely free, just as if your crime had never been committed.  You are made righteous, whole again.  Can you imagine?  The depth and breadth of this freedom, granted by the same as who condemned you, done by his own free will.  He came down from the judgment set to pay the price for you.

It takes faith to see that, to grasp it, to hold it, to shed tears over the receipt of such love undeserved.  Faith in the unseen, the unknowable.  But we do know, we do believe, we do respond to this love, by faith and faith alone.  Yes, there is so much that I want, that I think I need, but that is all so shallow because the reality is that the spiritual realm is of so much greater importance that our physical real.

And Jesus is the perfecter of our faith.  So much can be said there that this post cannot begin.  But let it be sufficient that He is at work in our lives to bring us to Himself and His Father, perfect and whole.  That is happening right now, right now, day or night as you read this simple word.  Embrace that He is and you are and that it is alive and that it is well with your soul, for it is.

If just one Wang

This is both a call to the church and is a personal thank you to someone very special to me. Right now they are half way around the world answering God’s call on their life. They did not say Lord, send someone else, nor did they choose where they went. This person heard God call and obeyed.

A few weeks ago an email went out saying that they had learned of a person in very serious need of Jesus and a touch by the Holy Spirit. He had shared shared some things that indicated darkness in his life. So the call went out for prayer that at a meeting set up that Jesus would reach this young man. The young man’s name is Wang. Please keep him in your prayers as the light is reaching him and he is being led to the Lord.

Now comes the part that applies to you and me. Are we answering God’s call? Are we walking in the place that He has for His purposes? Are we touching lives for the Kingdom of God? Are we comfortable in our homes, in our society, in our lives? Are you?

I am not saying you or I is called to go halfway around the world but I am saying each of us is called of God to be the glove that His Holy Spirit fills and uses in this world. Yes, God wants to touch lives through each one of us and He really does not want us to be comfortable.

Kairos is a prison ministry and twice a year in the units where Kairos is located weekends are held where 42 inmates, convicted felons are allowed to come out of the general population to participate. I have sat with convicted murderers and other violent criminals and shared the love of Jesus Christ with them. Is it scary? Yes, at times it can be but when you go you go in the name of Jesus Christ.

I know people who cannot go into prison and I do not think I could go overseas on an extended call. Maybe health reasons, maybe things in the past that do not allow such efforts. But, and this is the important but, each of us is called. You, my friend, are called by God for His good purposes, for His Kingdom. Go, seek it, find it, and embrace it. Go, and go quickly. Eternity means so much more than anything now.

If just one Wang is reached by my friend over the course of 2 years then those 2 years are more than worth it and I would send them again. If one inmate comes to Christ because of Kairos then Kairos is worth it all. So I leave you with “If Just One Wang.”

When I Gaze

This post originated while at the gym tonight.  I have a pulled groin muscle which at this time really hurts, as in pain.  When I hurt my thinking goes way off track which can be good or sometimes not so good.  The thought processes are altered because my mind is distracted (in this case by pain).  There is actually a psychotherapy technique called EMDR that uses a distracted mind to help patients approach problems.  That is a totally different subject that is way off track.  So, on to this post.

I don’t know what you believe or what led you to your beliefs.  Me, I believe in the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible.  To further clarify that I believe that Jesus is all He said He was, that He died for our sins and that we can invite Him into our hearts to live as Savior and Lord.

Music to me is meant for the heart.  Yes, I know that there is all kinds of technical and even mathematical aspects to it, but I like music that moves me.  Quite often it also speaks to me, volumes, about life and love and good and bad and about people.  I would like to share about three songs (of the many) that have had great impact in my life and which help me gaze in awe at the most wondrous, and Awesome God, the Great I AM.

The first song I heard live in 1971 and it is “Shauna’s Song” by Barry McGuire.  I was a new Christian and he performed during a seminar I attended.  Several aspects of it still stand as a testament to God’s love.  Barry was also a fairly new person in Christ and the testimony of his life and that is exhibited in this song is one of a life changed and transformed completely by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  It was so clear and obvious that Barry had been touched by the Holy spirit and made new.  The Christian term is Barry had been “born again.”  Here are the lyrics.

Shauna’s Song

I don’t know            why he loves me

I don’t know            why he cares for me

You know I ran from him, oh yes, I ran from him

I turned my back and slammed the door in his face

But still he said to me, said, “I love you”

Said, “I love you”

I don’t know            why he wants me

I don’t know            why he’s so concerned for me

You know I’ve hurt him so, oh yes, I’ve hurt him so

But still he comes to me with his arms outstretched

Whispering these words, “I forgive you”

Says, “I forgive you”

I just don’t understand a man who’ll stand and say, “I forgive you”

Say, “I love you”

But don’t you know

Now it’s true

I love him, too

Like Barry I don’t understand how God could love me how God could send His only Son to die for me, how Jesus could and would choose to die for me and love me.  But He does and He did.  Jesus hung on the cross to pay for my sins.

When I talked in the last post about gazing at the Great I AM I used the picture of astronomy because it was a very good image of gazing at something so vast and awesome and unknowable.  I don’t care what science says, they really don’t have a clue about the greatness of the universe.

Over Christmas of 2009 my wife of 37 years, Deborah, died from cancer and it shattered my life.  Well, God often speaks to me through music and this was no exception.  The first music He gave me was a song by Julie Miller titled “All My Tears.”  Like Barry when you see Julie in the context of her music you see someone who is very spiritual and very much in touch with God.  To me there is an innocence in her love for Jesus.  God gave me this song as being Deborah’s song.  Here are it lyrics.

All My Tears

When I go don’t cry for me
In my father’s arms I’ll be
The wounds this world left on my soul
Will all be healed and I’ll be whole

Sun and moon will be replaced
With the light of Jesus’ face
And I will not be ashamed
For my savior knows my name

It don’t matter where you bury me
I’ll be home and I’ll be free
It don’t matter where I lay
All my tears be washed away

Gold and silver blind the eye
Temporary riches lie
Come and eat from heaven’s store
Come and drink and thirst no more

So weep not for me my friend
When my time below does end
For my life belongs to him
Who will raise the dead again

In and through these word I knew Deborah was home, healed and whole.  There was great peace which came (and still comes) from listening to this music.

The final song has a slightly stranger story behind it for me.  I don’t like a lot of modern Christian music because it seems to lack a depth of knowing and loving Jesus.  A lot of modern music seems written to sell and to stimulate, not to express the Holiness of the relationship we can have with the Father.  This is just some of my thinking so please don’t hammer me for it.  I am not making an absolute statement here.

I have worked in prison ministry with a ministry called Kairos where we go in for a weekend and “Listen, Listen, Love, Love” 42 inmates at a time.  There are broken down to 7 different tables where they sit with volunteers.  During the first Kairos weekend I worked after losing Deborah I was sitting at the table with inmates and ours was in the back of the room.  Over the course of the weekend we sing songs.

Before I go on I should say that I believe in the Holy Spirit and I believe there is a supernatural world that is all around us.  I love the Holy Spirit, believe in the Baptism in it and have seen God do miraculous things in this world.  Really.  Oh, and that is not part of the Kairos plan and is not encouraged.  The book contains the plan and we strive to stick with it.

So we were having a singing time and were all standing up having a good time.  Our music leader lead us in a song I suppose I had heard before but I had never “heard” it before like I heard it that day.  The song is “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me.  I swear I hadn’t heard it before today, okay.  Well, the Holy Spirit took me, in the spirit, up to heaven and there I was in the great throne room of God.  And Deborah was there to greet me with this great big smile that simply radiated with her eyes bright as can be.  Now you are probably thinking yea, the guy goes to heaven and sees his wife and she is hunky-dory.  I would be thinking that too so I don’t mind if you do.  But, this is my vision of heaven so follow along.  Then Deborah takes me by my hand and she leads me over and introduces me to Jesus.  The message God had for me came through loud and clear, it is all about Jesus  Here are the lyrics to “I Can Only Imagine.”

I Can Only Imagine

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk

By Your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me

I can only imagine
I can only imagine

[Chorus:]
Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I
fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all

I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the sun

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You

I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of You be still

Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I
fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all

I can only imagine
I can only imagine
yeah
Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I
fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all

I can only imagine
yeah
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever,
forever worship you

I can only imagine

When I went to the gym this evening I played these three songs in a loop over the course of about an hour and at times I buried my face in my workout towel and cried, weeping over the emotions these songs stir up in me, songs that stir up Christ in me.  Just like my vision which occurred in prison, it is about Jesus and the depth of the meaning of knowing Him.  Do you have a belief that is strong enough to carry you through life, through good and bad, to take the weight of all the wrongs in your life (called sin), a belief that can stand in the storm?  I do, I believe in God, the God, the Great I AM.  And along with Barry I don’t know why He loves me.  And with Julie I know that one day all my tears will be washed away when we see Him face to face.

To gaze at the I AM can be outward, heavenly, or it can be inwardly, inside each of us.  Gaze, be in awe.  Dare to look and seek to know Him who is.  Yes, we truly cannot comprehend Him but we can gaze and we can seek to but touch the hem of His garment and be made whole.

Below are YouTube’s of the three songs.  For Barry it is his performing it live, laid out like the question it is.  All My Tears has been done in many variations by many artists.  I give you Julie singing it in a simplistic version that I think lays open the music and bares it for the soul.  I Can Only Imagine is Mercy Me’s original version of the song.  Blessing on you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxv6Os66U3I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YzreoXax1A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_lrrq_opng