A Pilgrim Song
O God, remember David,
remember all his troubles!
And remember how he promised God,
made a vow to the Strong God of Jacob,
“I’m not going home,
and I’m not going to bed,
I’m not going to sleep,
not even take time to rest,
Until I find a home for God,
a house for the Strong God of Jacob.”
Remember how we got the news in Ephrathah,
learned all about it at Jaar Meadows?
We shouted, “Let’s go to the shrine dedication!
Let’s worship at God’s own footstool!”
Up, God, enjoy your new place of quiet repose,
you and your mighty covenant ark;
Get your priests all dressed up in justice;
prompt your worshipers to sing this prayer:
“Honor your servant David;
don’t disdain your anointed one.”
God gave David his word,
he won’t back out on this promise:
“One of your sons
I will set on your throne;
If your sons stay true to my Covenant
and learn to live the way I teach them,
Their sons will continue the line—
always a son to sit on your throne.
Yes—I, God, chose Zion,
the place I wanted for my shrine;
This will always be my home;
this is what I want, and I’m here for good.
I’ll shower blessings on the pilgrims who come here,
and give supper to those who arrive hungry;
I’ll dress my priests in salvation clothes;
the holy people will sing their hearts out!
Oh, I’ll make the place radiant for David!
I’ll fill it with light for my anointed!
I’ll dress his enemies in dirty rags,
but I’ll make his crown sparkle with splendor.”
You didn’t think we’d really do 7 candles without one of the low hanging fruits that everyone else uses? It has been my experience (in general) that people who talk alot, don’t do much, and if you do it, then really there’s not much need to talk about it… idk, maybe it’s just me. As you read, and burn this last one down, please know it’s only a pearlstring of good things that I’ve kept close by this season. We only want to take you to the reality of Jesus Christ by calling you back up to God’s vision for his people. It has always been the same. So let’s close the loop, pop the top, and rise… all only so that we can engage with the earth and all life the way our Father always desired, be like Jesus, his way. What a revelation! Behold and return, so that the old is new again!
If we’re ready with cleaner hands and purer hearts in Christ, then let’s do this because Jesus is always ready, willing, and able in Glory…
Thank God because he’s good,
because his love never quits.
Tell the world, Israel,
“His love never quits.”
And you, clan of Aaron, tell the world,
“His love never quits.”
And you who fear God, join in,
“His love never quits.”
Pushed to the wall, I called to God;
from the wide open spaces, he answered.
God’s now at my side and I’m not afraid;
who would dare lay a hand on me?
God’s my strong champion;
I flick off my enemies like flies.
Far better to take refuge in God
than trust in people;
Far better to take refuge in God
than trust in celebrities.
Hemmed in by barbarians,
in God’s name I rubbed their faces in the dirt;
Hemmed in and with no way out,
in God’s name I rubbed their faces in the dirt;
Like swarming bees, like wild prairie fire, they hemmed me in;
in God’s name I rubbed their faces in the dirt.
I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall,
when God grabbed and held me.
God’s my strength, he’s also my song,
and now he’s my salvation.
Hear the shouts, hear the triumph songs
in the camp of the saved?
“The hand of God has turned the tide!
The hand of God is raised in victory!
The hand of God has turned the tide!”
I didn’t die. I lived!
And now I’m telling the world what God did.
God tested me, he pushed me hard,
but he didn’t hand me over to Death.
Swing wide the city gates—the righteous gates!
I’ll walk right through and thank God!
This Temple Gate belongs to God,
so the victors can enter and praise.
Thank you for responding to me;
you’ve truly become my salvation!
The stone the masons discarded as flawed
is now the capstone!
This is God’s work.
We rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it!
This is the very day God acted—
let’s celebrate and be festive!
Salvation now, God. Salvation now!
Oh yes, God—a free and full life!
Blessed are you who enter in God’s name—
from God’s house we bless you!
God is God,
he has bathed us in light.
Festoon the shrine with garlands,
hang colored banners above the altar!
You’re my God, and I thank you.
O my God, I lift high your praise.
Thank God—he’s so good.
His love never quits!
Some of the messages and songs that have carried my wife and I through this season. And we just hope that one day we might repay the favor, a favor from God meant to be shared. Again there’s no “set order,” the Holy Spirit can be a little wild on appionted ocassions. But even then, Jesus is always the theme for us, or haven’t you gotten that and his message yet? What other affirmation could come from seeing God’s face and living?
Let’s actually do the red letter words that Jesus Christ published with his blood, not to be portioned and rationed out by fruit inspectors and carnival barkers. So it will be easy for Him to spot us. Know this: if you obey God to engage the world through the salvation that our Lord so genereously gave to us for free, and you live out that Grace his way, then you are marked with his blood for sure, and no body else’s! And let the haters hate. Because who could argue Rightly with what the Word of God says in the Word of God for the Word of God?! Let the chirppers chirp and the rosters crow, and all the new school Babylonians howl. Yes, they are inivted too! But for us, now, we have Life to live and give! So we beg you to enter into God’s engagemnt with us all! We dare you to move.
“We live in the culture of the Big Me. The meritocracy wants you to promote yourself. Social media wants you to broadcast a highlight reel of your life. Your parents and teachers were always telling you how wonderful you were.
But all the people I’ve ever deeply admired are profoundly honest about their own weaknesses. They have identified their core sin, whether it is selfishness, the desperate need for approval, cowardice, hardheartedness or whatever. They have traced how that core sin leads to the behavior that makes them feel ashamed. They have achieved a profound humility, which has best been defined as an intense self-awareness from a position of other-centeredness.“—David Brooks, “The Moral Bucket List,” The New York Times, 4/11/15
What if you handed over your social media to Jesus, some, not all, at first. You’re still in it but He runs it… um say… like your life? Ooh, so that’s why this blog is somewhat ananoymous? Kinda, but mostly because I know Jesus, well and personally… and I want everyone to know him better than I do. There’s plenty of room. I’m an old man now, and the only thing that means anything through all the sorrows and occasional sucesses is that I managed to introduce him around a little to folks of all sorts all around the world, hopefully by His many acts that He ordered, and when needed, if necessary, I used a few words. If I had one thing to say it would be, “follow Jesus and never ever stop, let go & let grow!”
All these to edgy for you to reach for? Well, if these aren’t hittable for you, what are you here for? Sure they sound different but they are all about the same thing: Jesus.
In Him, repenting is not for your past, only God’s Grace (Jesus again!) can cover anything like that. No, repenting in Him changes your future! Still want hypergrace and prosperty gospels? Well you are invited still but you need to remap to the Word of God a bit, just a bit. Don’t believe me? Okay then, here’s the great-granddaddy of the reformation and those two earthly principalities, regimes of human thinking: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” –Martin Luther’s 1st and therefore crowning thesis! Yeah, I read other books too. So, where’d so many go wrong? Get right with God the Father, be righteous in Christ Jesus… then I beg you, make room for our Holy Spirit.
RELEASE… RECEIVE… RISE TO RETURN! RELEASE… RECEIVE… RISE TO RETURN! RELEASE… RECEIVE… RISE TO RETURN! RELEASE… RECEIVE… RISE TO RETURN! RELEASE… RECEIVE… RISE TO RETURN! RELEASE… RECEIVE… RISE TO RETURN! RELEASE… RECEIVE… RISE TO RETURN!
“The all of God and the all of Christ demand as a necessary consequence the all of the Spirit. It is the work of the Spirit to glorify the Son as dwelling in us and by Him to reveal the Father. How can He do this if He Himself is not all and does not penetrate all with His own power? To be filled with the Spirit, to let the Spirit have it all, is indispensable to a true, healthy Christian life.
It is a source of great loss in the life of Christendom today that the truth is not discerned that the triune God must have it all. Even the professing Christian often makes it his very first aim to find out what he is and what he desires, what pleases him and makes him happy. Then he brings in God in the second place to secure this happiness. The claim of God is not the primary or main consideration. He does not discern that God must have him at his disposal even in the most trivial details of his life in order to manifest His divine glory in him. He is not aware that this entire filling with the will and the operation of God would prove to be his highest happiness. He does not know that the very same Christ, who once lived on the earth entirely surrendered to the will of the Father, is prepared to abide and work in like manner in his heart and life now. It is on this account that he can never fully comprehend how necessary it is that the Spirit must be all and must fill him completely.
If these thoughts have had any influence with you, allow yourself to be brought to the acknowledgment that the Spirit must be all in you. Say from the heart, “I am not at liberty to make any, even the least, exception — the Spirit must have all.” Then add to this confession the simple thought that Christ has come to restore the all of God, and the Spirit has been given to reveal the all of Christ within us. Remember that the love of the Father is eagerly longing to secure again His own supreme place with us. Then your heart will be filled with the sure confidence that the Father actually gives you the fullness of the Spirit.” — Andrew Murray, Experiencing the Holy Spirit
BREATHE…BREATHE…BREATHE…BREATHE…BREATHE…BREATHE…BREATHE… & RISE UP!
Now, these two, wow, what a lovely and talented family. It really is ridiculous! I put them here because of their parents. I have a sneaky suspicion that all they ever want and wanted is and was to have their children and grandchildren lifted up! Me too, and they’re perfect messages for here and now:
But this one, used to be my ‘catch phrase’ to my crew when we were first in and last out in service. And sometimes there were real explosions too. Looks fun, at times it was, but I am just happy to make it around the park with my dogs nowadays.
Now the tails from here below which have become the heads up there, because if I only had one sermon to give in my life, then I would give this one. It makes me weep everytime, every everytime. I am weeping now because everyday I am a poor man who needs a chance, everyday I am a sick man who needs healing, and everyday I am an ignorant man who needs wisdom… I need a daily Revival for my spiritual condition…
The Queen of Jesus’ Good News, who else could I head to a close with?
Can’t touch that, even the good Lord himself is waving off my keyboard!
But I think maybe, just maybe, the Mrs. Jackson on heights above would grant me these three “leasts of the leasts” in the depths here below to close this post and series:
And here’s a mighty woman of God, who has been a gracious and elevating mentor to my wife as a female scholar surviving within “willy waving” environs. She makes it clear that Jesus was one of the least too, foremost in exdous and to return home:
The last of the least happened just a few months ago in a meeting with my home group. We were finishing up our testimonies and the facilitator asked a young woman, who was hiding in the back, no more than 14 years of age, to share. She was obviously in flight from vicious abuse and bondage. She was hesitant at first, and then she only said this: “I’ve been in recovery for only 3 days, so I don’t know anything. I’ve just learned one thing about God and my feelings… if it feels good now, then feels bad later, that’s the devil. If it hurts now, then feels good later, that’s God.” [heavenly mic-drop that rocks the world] the Spirit and I and some of the “elders” agreed that very well could be the greatest summation of wisdom and an instructive remembrance for anyone, since our God last spoke in the flesh. It was just another day with my people, but I pass it on to you for Love’s sake.
I hope and pray, most fervently, for God’s dream soon, and then to post a few during the season of Light. May the love of our Lord Jesus bless and keep you. Shalom y’all!
Moses, man of God, blessed the People of Israel with this blessing before his death. He said,
God came down from Sinai,
he dawned from Seir upon them;
He radiated light from Mount Paran,
coming with ten thousand holy angels
And tongues of fire
streaming from his right hand.
Oh, how you love the people,
all his holy ones are palmed in your left hand.
They sit at your feet,
honoring your teaching,
The Revelation commanded by Moses,
as the assembly of Jacob’s inheritance.
Thus God became king in Jeshurun
as the leaders and tribes of Israel gathered.
“Let Reuben live and not die,
but just barely, in diminishing numbers.”
“Listen, God, to the Voice of Judah,
bring him to his people;
Strengthen his grip,
be his helper against his foes.”
“Let your Thummim and Urim
belong to your loyal saint;
The one you tested at Massah,
whom you fought with at the Waters of Meribah,
Who said of his father and mother,
‘I no longer recognize them.’
He turned his back on his brothers
and neglected his children,
Because he was guarding your sayings
and watching over your Covenant.
Let him teach your rules to Jacob
and your Revelation to Israel,
Let him keep the incense rising to your nostrils
and the Whole-Burnt-Offerings on your Altar.
God bless his commitment,
stamp your seal of approval on what he does;
Disable the loins of those who defy him,
make sure we’ve heard the last from those who hate him.”
God’s permanent residence.
Encircled by God all day long,
within whom God is at home.”
“Blessed by God be his land:
The best fresh dew from high heaven,
and fountains springing from the depths;
The best radiance streaming from the sun
and the best the moon has to offer;
Beauty pouring off the tops of the mountains
and the best from the everlasting hills;
The best of Earth’s exuberant gifts,
the smile of the Burning-Bush Dweller.
All this on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the consecrated one among his brothers.
In splendor he’s like a firstborn bull,
his horns the horns of a wild ox;
He’ll gore the nations with those horns,
push them all to the ends of the Earth.
Ephraim by the ten thousands will do this,
Manasseh by the thousands will do this.”
Zebulun and Issachar:
“Celebrate, Zebulun, as you go out,
and Issachar, as you stay home.
They’ll invite people to the Mountain
and offer sacrifices of right worship,
For they will have hauled riches in from the sea
and gleaned treasures from the beaches.”
“Blessed is he who makes Gad large.
Gad roams like a lion,
tears off an arm, rips open a skull.
He took one look and grabbed the best place for himself,
the portion just made for someone in charge.
He took his place at the head,
carried out God’s right ways
and his rules for life in Israel.”
“Dan is a lion’s cub
leaping out of Bashan.”
“Naphtali brims with blessings,
spills over with God’s blessings
As he takes possession
of the sea and southland.”
“Asher, best blessed of the sons!
May he be the favorite of his brothers,
his feet massaged in oil.
Safe behind iron-clad doors and gates,
your strength like iron as long as you live.”
There is none like God, Jeshurun,
riding to your rescue through the skies,
his dignity haloed by clouds.
The ancient God is home
on a foundation of everlasting arms.
He drove out the enemy before you
and commanded, “Destroy!”
Israel lived securely,
the fountain of Jacob undisturbed
In grain and wine country
and, oh yes, his heavens drip dew.
Lucky Israel! Who has it as good as you?
A people saved by God!
The Shield who defends you,
the Sword who brings triumph.
Your enemies will come crawling on their bellies
and you’ll march on their backs.
(Next scheduled drop, sundown November 16th)