Coming into Focus

Old Jewish Cemetary at Ceremonial Hall | Prague, Czech Republic from Flickr via Wylio

© 2014 ganeshaisis, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wyliotime to focus

 

Keep you eyes fixed upon the Cross.

This is a time for penetrating prayer and fasting.

Hold tightly to all that is Holy;

letting go of all that is not.

The New Disciple is…

…to recognize the current hour.

…to hold fast to what is Truth.

…to be His Instrument in the Renewal of the Earth.

Colors of My Blood

Look in the mirror. Who do you see?

Wrinkled or smooth.      Coffee or Milky.       Angular or Round.

IMG_9957.jpg from Flickr via Wylio
© 2010 Michael, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

It matters not for we come from the One Source.  There is no real distinction among us besides that deemed fit by the Creator.  Those singular differences have spiritual merit and exist for His Glory alone.

Story time…

There is a remarkable food market in Columbia, Maryland.  It is nondescript save for one exception.  The grocery clerk at Aisle 7.  You don’t have to look for the number above her register.  You’ll know it by the line of people jockeying to get there.  All of them are in search of the same gift.  A moment with her.

Upon first glance you might be surprised.  She has a penchant for jewelry and wears numerous large crosses around her neck.  With luminous eyes and a full mouth, it’s difficult to guess her age.  Long black braids are pulled into an unwieldy pony tail, like liquid tar, tumbling down her back.  A steady alto voice accompanies a laser gaze.  Her smile is decidedly intoxicating.

I have experienced this great joy.  The first time I bumbled up to her with my milk, crackers, and almonds, she seized me in toto.  This delightful soul glows on you in such a manner that you wish she lived next door.  The typical hurried exodus you make out to your car will morph into an embarrassing lingering.  For in those few minutes of human transaction with this woman, you will be forever changed.

So what is so special about the clerk at Aisle 7 ?

She is the real deal.

She knows about the holy blood and lives by this knowing.  Somehow this creature  has not allowed the world to wrangle this precious truth from her grasp.  In her reality, there is no difference among humans.  She sees us all through the same lens; the spectrum of blood family.  Gifted with true vision, every shopper is her cherished kin.  And you feel it in all ways unspoken.

The New Era mandates we live by and for the Holy Blood.  This shared essence, commanded by God, binds us to one another.  And to Him.  Upon the Lord’s return there is no room for division in the One Body.  All lines of difference, not of Him, must be erased.

Know this:  The Holy Blood incites the enemies’ hatred.  

The snake seeks to keep God’s children divided and weak.  He revels at our warring and hatred for one another.  He fathered fear and indifference in our hearts.   The adversaries’  antics are mounting into a deafening crescendo in an attempt to impede and nullify the Remnant.

Yet he is a gnat.

In this hour, like never before, it is crucial to pledge our allegiance to the King and reclaim one another as family.  Our destiny is etched; we must go to all lengths to protect God’s Own.  This means casting off worldly teachings about who and when to love.  We must change now.  Loving without reason.   When it hurts and when it does not.  Going beyond capacity and stretching far past the imaginable.

Today, not tomorrow, we must share all that we have been given.  Our food, our time, our money, our compassion.  Ourselves from the inside-out.

We are being watched oh so carefully by The Creator in these moments.  

Dear Remnant Soldier~   Gift Jesus today.  Bring Him your offering of  Holy Love.  Lift up your prayer of unbridled compassion.  Show Him the true substance of your heart.

 

Standing with you mi carnal,

Cindy

Leaping Backwards and Other Feats of Valor

Now is the time for radical change.   Folks are seemingly making rash life decisions and  family and friends may be none too happy.  Seized with a baffling inner conviction, surrounding objections go unheeded.  Without looking back, the hero jumps.  In mid-flight, he realizes he has no clue where his feet will land.

How spectacular a sight.   For acts of true courage are irrational and remind us that martyrdom comes in many colors.

Look around.  Christians are committing massive acts of the heart every single day.  Some are forfeiting lucrative jobs to pursue personal ministries that offer no steady income.  Still others, guided by Godly conviction, are taking leave of house and hearth to follow the Spirit.  Young Christians are consistently defying peer pressure by embracing chastity and piety.   A steady stream of holy acts is encircling us as the Faithful choose God.  Especially when it does not make sense.

We all know that dying for Jesus is a great honor.  Yet holy martyrdom is multidimensional, so do not assume the worst. One day you may be asked to shed blood for Him.  On the other hand, you may be prompted to suddenly go where it hurts most.  Such as:

Your wallet.

Your sense of security.

Your desire for acceptance and prestige.

These invitations of the Holy Spirit never cease to amaze me.   His descent is not just some ancient movement witnessed at the first Pentecost.  Oh how He is working right now!  The constant companion of Our Lord and harbinger of the Great News is manifesting among us at record speed.   Again and again, we the downtrodden are being lifted up by His steady hand only to find ourselves opting for a new skin.

In this unprecedented house cleaning, many of us are being reappointed in preparation for what lies ahead.  It appears that in order to be of maximum use to Our Creator, we must move beyond our comfort zone.  If this is your reality, consider yourself chosen.

Our 12 Star General knows what He is up to.   Not one of us will be left out of the change-game as His troops are readied for battle.  The question is not whether you will have to stretch beyond yourself.  That is a given and no noble metamorphosis comes without seismic struggle.  Instead take note of your personal unveiling before the eyes of the Lord.

Therein lies true beauty.

For now, we march together with each soul humming a singular note.  Unknowingly, our individual offerings of bravery converge as a great orchestration before the throne of  God.  It  is our earthly gift to Jesus at this time.

Carry on Good Comrade.  You are not alone.

 

Your Sister in Christ,

Cindy

Confessions of A Dog Owner

dog photoThere are moments when you want to just scream.  When so much is going on around you that it becomes surreal and you feel you landed a bit part in a Fellini movie.  It matters not the type of chaos that suddenly erupts whether it be a massive snow storm, sudden illness, or erratic human behavior at the office.  The end product is the same.  You feel confused, vulnerable and more than a little lost.

My spiritual advisor calls it ‘swirling’.  Yep.  Last week was swirling all right.  Ironically, the only one in my life who is seemingly unaffected is my dog, Biscuit.  He seems to handle the current times with great aplomb, impervious to the turbulence that surrounds him.  In fact, Wee Biscuit (as he is known to those in his inner circle), is the epitome of normalcy and calm.

Let’s talk shop for a minute shall we?

We are in the Time of Testing.  A resounding cry is welling up among the Christian corridors and it has the same hue throughout. Whether we follow contemporary Christian prophecy, point to scriptural warnings, or have inner discernment; the Body of Christ is acutely aware we reside in chaotic waters.

Even the New Age barista who works at the local Starbucks is scrambling to account for a world off kilter.  He recently told me, as he kindly handed over my cup of joe, that we are in the ‘age of Aquarius’.  I had to smile at his sincerity but without a Christian backdrop, he like so many, is lost at sea.

And then there is us.  The Christian Remnant.  How well are we handling the nearly constant battering of our sails?

Let me start by exposing last week’s internal dialog:

Ugh.   Help.   Are you serious?   Get a grip.   Just a minor set back.   Chin up!    Ah, this ain’t good.   Hmm.  What in tarnation is going on?   Help.   Could I opt for another generation?   Jesus, help.    No really…help.

So now you know that my mental chamber is far from being that of a Rhodes Scholar.   Yet my recent cognitive thrashing is not too far off from what I suspect other Christians are experiencing.  Yes, the climate is changing.  Yes, the global economy is spiraling downward.  Yes, moral decay abounds.  None of this is too surprising for those of us who closely follow Jesus and His Word.

Yet something much more insidious is at play when the Remnant’s mental and emotional realm comes under attack.  The confusion in the self is very real and must be exposed for what it is.  There is a reason that the faces around you are melding into a collage of bewilderment and confusion.

Satan has significantly ramped up his attack on our psychology.

This is not a reference to a tragic descent into mental illness.  I am speaking of one of the enemy’s primary strategies to oppress the Army of God.  Our foe is cunning and has deployed evil forces to hinder the minds of those who work for the Holy Kingdom.  He will use whatever means within his gnarly grasp to coerce us into a state of spiritual immobilization.  A Christian Soldier, who becomes baffled and befuddled, is easy to topple over.

This is serious business.  As a Christian, you must be extremely vigilant over your thoughts and feelings.   Prayer, fasting, and immersion in The Word will offer you the grace of Divine Protection.  It matters not how solid you think you are in Jesus, the devil is presently engaged in an all-out assault of mankind.  Especially the Remnant.  This is not the time to rest on one’s laurels.   You must not let down your guard of prayer.  Ever.

Jesus is good.  He knows when we have lost our grip and has a gentle way of stitching up our tattered seams.  However, the Lord has given us spiritual tools to fight the evil one and we must ardently employ them in this Final Hour.

You are a Soldier for the Most High.  I beseech you to move into your spiritual practice with renewed fervor and do not deter.  This is a tall order but you were created for this very moment; there are no mistakes in God’s Creation.

As always, I am astounded by your courage, faith, and love.

Your Comrade in Christ,

Cindy (and Wee Biscuit)

wpid-2012-08-01_07-15-24_570.jpg

I Thirst

jesus painting photo: i thirst ithirst-1.jpg

If thou art willing to suffer no adversity,

how wilt thou be the friend of Christ?

                                   Thomas à Kempis

One Nation Under Selfie

selfie 1Vanity.  The blight of the beautiful and even the not-so-comely.  Some say it is the hallmark of youth and others claim women champion the cause.   Seems to me that we are in a world of increased self absorption whether it has to do with how one looks, what one eats, or whether one is breathing or not.

Please someone tell me what in tarnation is going on with this selfie movement?  Admittedly, I am old and more than a bit tarnished.  The only selfie you are ever going to see of me is right here in my recent wardrobe acquisition.

Taking pictures of yourself with your kids, family, and friends for the sake of posterity is not a moral crime.  I, for one, cherish the pictures I have of my friends and family.  Yet our country has become obsessed with pictorial diaries of every conceivable human moment, action, and whim.  Facebook pages seem to volley for who is having the most fabulous, selfie-consumed existence.  As a psychologist, I don’t believe for one cotton-pickin minute that everyone is having a glorious, toothy-smiled life.  If that is the case, explain to me the ever increasing rates of suicide, domestic abuse, self-cutting, depression, and anxiety in our nation.  Need I go on?

So what does Jesus think about all these selfies?

Oh…here is a clue:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”                                                      1 Samuel 16: 7

Evidently humanity has always been seduced by the outer shell.  It doesn’t help that the devil is all about luring us away from holy love of self and others.  He is the consummate “poser” and entices us into the same.  If we don’t actively resist the temptation, we spend our days building a shrine to self.

The art of navel gazing precludes the expression of God’s love in our lives.  Recently, in prayer, it was put on my heart that charity is the sure antidote to vanity.  What a beautiful thought.  Funny but I don’t worry about my wrinkles or dreaded muffin top when I am giving a hoagie to a hungry person.   It is true.  Charity to others propels us out of self-absorption at rocket-speed.

Enter Mother Teresa stage right.  No one disputes that this tiny woman gave herself over, hook-line-and-sinker, to loving others.  It was all she did.  So powerful was her life testimony, that she remains our cultural icon of charity.  And here is the kicker.  This tiny, living verb of service to others, privately endured the pain of a spiritual vacuum.  Posthumous letters detail this Saint’s interior disconnect from Jesus while endlessly doling out blankets, soup, and prayers.  Now that is sobering. 

If Mother Teresa was able to avoid the pitfalls of selfiedom without feeling the love of Christ, what is our excuse?  You and I are Remnant Soldiers.  There is no time to waste.  We must resist the red tide of self-absorption that is consuming our planet.  We may not be magazine-cover material in the world’s eyes but we are BEAUTIFUL to the One Who Comes.

Now get up and do something amazing for someone in need.  I dare you…you beautiful, magnificent Christian Warrior.

Your Comrade in Christ,

Cindy

Triumph in the Fallen Garden

'Child Hiding' photo (c) 2006, D. Sharon Pruitt - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/My father died 11 days ago.

There are no words in any language to describe what it feels like when someone you love dies.  There are also no well-intended platitudes, spiritual rhetoric or flower bouquets to lessen your despair.  You suffer through it like a fly glued to sticky paper.  You writhe, groan, and spasm.

Have you felt true grief before?  If you have, you know exactly what I speak of.  It is life changing.  If you don’t believe me look at the before and after photos of soldiers’ faces from the Iraqi war.  Grief can literally etch itself upon your countenance and impact you at the cellular level.  The physical body screams out in agony.  When you take a breath, you fear you will explode. When you exhale, you wonder if it is the last.  It takes all the sufferings from your past and puts them in a box called Not Grief.  It suddenly casts you into an abyss of alienation from normalcy.

As Christian Soldiers we must find a way to cope with suffering, death, and the resulting grief.  If not, we will become emotionally and spiritually immobilized. Our desperate attempts to quell the pain via drugs, alcohol, sex, money, and food will be of no avail.  We will thrash about in a befuddled state and be of little use to the Remnant Army.  This is exactly what the devil desires.  Don’t let him win; you must embrace your grief.  I mean it.  There is no band-aid for human anguish.  You must honor it, feel it, and allow it to move through your being.  It will hurt like the dickens but you must walk through it.  And therein lies the good news.  You can walk though grief and journey to the other side.

God has a beautiful way of providing us with support during our trial of tears.  Don’t be surprised at how healing may manifest.  It may be predictable in the form of a close friend, pastor, priest, or grief counselor.  On the other hand, God may lead you into the unexpected.  You may find yourself suddenly writing poetry, endlessly sipping tea, stealing cat naps, or hiking alone in the woods.  Allow Jesus to offer you a very personal prescription for recovery.  You are a unique soul and the Lord knows exactly how you best be mended.

It is vital you be patient with your personal response to the loss of a cherished other.  There is no perfect way to grieve.  The moment I learned of my father’s passing, I felt completely cut off from God.  It was horrible.  My daily religious practice simply unraveled with the exception of robotic Church attendance.  I was the woman sobbing in the back pew.  The few words I could squeak out to Jesus were steeped in anger and despair.  Thankfully, my Christian friends immediately came to my aid, offering prayers up for my grief-striken family.  Don’t be shy about asking others to pray for you.  They are a precious gift from God for times such as these.  When you can talk to Jesus, do so.  Be honest with Him.  Jesus knows what you are going through and besides being a Just God, He is also a God of Mercy and Divine Love.

Time can take some of the sting out of death.  However, I have to wonder if the soul ever truly heals from the ravages of human decay and loss.  It is, after all, the gift that keeps on giving per the hands of our enemy.  Yet Jesus can heal even the deepest of wounds.  He provides us with Grace sufficient to rise us up so that we may engage in the battle once again.

My dad was a good man.  I want my remaining days here on earth to be a testimony to his spirit and his life.  His years of suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and final descent into death cannot be the end of the story.  Satan cannot have the final say.  It is in moments like this that we must choose.  We can retreat into misery, isolation, and inertia or pick up our spiritual weaponry and fight the prince of darkness who brought death and suffering to the human race.

Today, I choose to fight for the hour is at hand.

Please join me as the Remnant needs you.

Your Comrade in Christ,

Cindy

Merry Christmas Soldier

'Winter Tree and Dark Night Sky Fireworks like Supernova' photo (c) 2013, epSos .de - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

This is one of those posts that you wonder if you should even write.  I don’t have a choice.  Sometimes this feeling comes over me and I am rendered so small, so powerless in its wake.  Right now as I type, I am having this feeling.  It is like being stretched beyond your limits.  Between grief and awe.

It is about you and what you mean to me.  I am not kidding.  You are the reason I am here.  Really.  Not long ago it became very clear to me that I was to serve the Servants.  You are the Servant.  You are the Light of Christ.  You amaze me and I am humbled by…

Your strength.

Your love of Jesus.

Your loyalty to He Who Comes.

Sometimes I imagine Jesus looking down upon the earth from above.  He casts His eyes down and there is a blanket of black and blue-grey.  Thick.  Dark.  Then as His Eyes soften He sees His Lights.  They are scattered and few but their Beauty cuts through the void and gives shape to the shapeless.

I will never lay eyes on most of you but I can honestly say that I love you in a way that I cannot describe.

'Madonna Mary & Baby Jesus 01' photo (c) 2011, Waiting For The Word - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Merry Christmas Remnant Soldier.

Cindy

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