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.

Calm me Lord…

Remind me that Heaven on Earth is soon to come.  

For Jesus, I put all my trust in You.

This moment and all those thereafter.  

Amen ~

Truth Watch

You see us.  

In all our splendor and all our sin.  

Please Beautiful Jesus,

Have great mercy on us in this time of trials.  

Amen.

The Great Assembling

A movement is underground.  Gentle and steady, a persistent rumbling that oft goes undetected even when barefoot.  Forces are moving us forward dear comrades.  We are being maneuvered by the Heavens into a Divine Constellation.

There are  many among us who have dreamed of such a time and then others still with only vague inklings.  Nonetheless, a handful of souls are being led to a new destination of living.  A mode of life that will manifest the Glory of God.  Whether in small communities or solitary dwellings, a Holy Fraternity will soon appear in ways extraordinary.

Are such stirrings in your heart?

When left to my own device, I dream of hair below my waist and growing organic okra.  Maybe it is for this reason that I become annoyingly exuberant when envisioning communal life.

The pull of harmonious coexistence with God, nature, and man has owned me for some time.  So much in fact that I once laid claim to a 20 acre sanctuary in rural America.  It was a torrid love affair and to this day I tear up in memory.  With a dream of one day offering it up as a refuge for world-weary Christians, it sadly was not meant to be.  The yearning endures, however; and is assuaged by the multitude of prophecies and signs pointing to the New Era community.  

This emergence does not sit well with everyone.  Hushed conversations in back hallways reveal a growing fear of Christian persecution.  Ignited with dread, many are scurrying off to stockpile blankets and canned beans to ensure survival while in hiding.

                                                                                      Please take heart.  

                                                                               The Lord will not fail us!

Truly our cultural exile is fully underway but our Comfort draws near.  Joyfully, some of us will be led to cooperative life amid the Faithful.  This is a time for great celebration as sharing bread and blanket with our brethren will become the norm.  These settlements will bring light to Jesus’ teachings on radical sharing and selfless love.

Ownership will be replaced by true kinship.

Let’s not assume who will be in such places of mercy and grace.  He Who Knows All will extend His Hand and place specific souls together at the proper hour.  As His Children, we need only be attentive and obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit within our hearts.

Yet one thing is certain, such settlements will thrive despite the surrounding chaos and decay.  Prayer, fasting, and service to God and others will weave together in a unified rhythm.  The most mundane of tasks will be transformed into a daily, collective offering to Christ.

This is what awaits us sweet Remnant.  We are not to scatter, fleeing for higher ground.  Put your ear to the earth and listen intently for those whisperings that are meant for you and you alone.  Follow those promptings prayerfully and know that not one of us is to be lost or forgotten.

May we  find ourselves living as one in Him very soon.

Until that time, I remain your Comrade 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

Kaleidoscope Eyes

It people dont see things...is true.  You are a die-hard Christian and there are times you feel as if you’ve been beamed down on some alien planet.  The problem is that it’s inhabitants are none to happy with your arrival.  Persona non grata that you are; you look for others of your kind.  They exist but are far and few.  You comfort yourself in the knowledge that Jesus has your back.

Or does He?

Oh Oh.

Has that thought ever entered your mind?   If you have been hammered lately by financial hardships, societal decay, and cold weather; join the club.  It is R-O-U-G-H out there and the devil is licking his chops waiting for the opportunity to slip doubt and skepticism into your beautiful, rebel brain.  It is no secret that the darkest kingpin parties hardy every time a Remnant Soldier questions the Lord’s Faithfulness.

Crucial point:  You are an irreplaceable member of the RESISTANCE.  Therefore, expect continuous and increasing oppression from the enemy.  You are an outsider in this secular morass.  Like the proverbial gem in the 5 and dime store, your presence is notable and undeniable.  Standing front and center for Jesus, you stick out like a sore thumb on a hand that insists it does not need you.

But we do need you…

You are one who can rightly see and hear by the fortifying power of Christ.  That makes you a divine tuning fork for The Kingdom.  Those gifts of the Holy Spirit, you have tucked up your sleeve, are tailored for this very moment in history.  Because you are here among us, this age of encroaching darkness is down a notch.  You matter and then some.  The testimony of your prayers, fasting, and worship heralds God’s Ultimate Triumph and Victory over evil.  One day soon we will stand united together in His Divine Company.

These are my words for you this day.  Take comfort in knowing that you are of singular nature and destiny.

You are different.

You matter.

Don’t stop.

Your Comrade in Christ,

Cindy

Rockin the Body

'Awesome Jesus Bus, Front Shot' photo (c) 2011, Joe Wolf - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/Some days I just wanna go ‘Partridge Family’ and get me a Jesus Bus and tear up Route 1.  I’d talk to anyone and everyone.  I’d yap up Jesus so hard that my jaw muscles would lock up in a permanent charlie horse.

Are you hearing me Brothers and Sisters !?

Despite my attempts to get my most ardent, Jesus-lovin buddies to weigh in on my pipe dream, they remain unmoved.  No biggie.  Like Noah, I’d scurry about, filling up the seats with every type of Christian.  2 by 2.  This heaven-bound heap of metal would tote every ecumenical flavor.  We’d be one big happy family going gospel for the Kingdom.

< silent pause >

You say we might dissolve into endless bickering over doctrinal differences?

You know where I am going with this.  It is about being One in Christ.  You love Him.  I love Him.  He loves Us.  That makes us brothers and sisters under One God.   So why is it so difficult for us to all get along?

There is something afoot with the fragmentation of the Divine Body.  It has the markings of Slewfoot and I don’t like it one iota.  The devil has a serious upper hand when the Christian Army is disenfranchised.  This jockeying for supremacy hails all the way back to the road at Capernaum (Luke 9:46, Mark 9:33).  Jesus attempted to quell that little brush fire with scant success.  The in-fighting continued prompting Paul to later appeal for Christian unity in his First Letter to the Corinthians.

Fast forward 2000 years and such appeals still persist.  Pope Francis apparently rang in on this topic just the other day.

…our communities continue to experience divisions, which are a scandal.  There is no other word for it: the divisions between Christians are a scandal…because they used Christ’s name to separate themselves from others within the Christian community.  But the name of Christ creates communion and unity, not division!  Baptism and the Cross are central elements in our common Christian discipleship.  Divisions, on the other hand, weaken the credibility and effectiveness of our commitment to evangelization…                                 Pope Francis – General Audience – 22 January 2014

Prayer Week for Christian Unity just flew by in a whisper.  Ashamedly, I confess having just learned of this initiative that is well over a hundred years old.  In accordance with Christ’s will “that they may all be one”, it serves as an ecumenical prayer-fest for the unity of all baptized persons.  What a beautiful way to storm heaven with a universal song.

Let’s face it, beautiful Remnant Family, we have to roll up our sleeves and get to work.  The surrounding territory is increasingly hostile.  American Christians, like many of our international comrades, may one day face overt persecution.  In a sweep of the hand, cloaked communion will become the order of the day and the colors of the Christian rainbow will commingle out of necessity.

Collectively we comprise the Body of Christ and have been given one another for this time of trials.

Just as geese trailing south overhead in the sky, the Faithful seeks a fixed form.  It seems that Jesus may be holding His Divine Breath; only to exhale once His Remnant Body is finally realized.

May this day come soon.

Until then, I remain.

Your Comrade in Christ,

Cindy

The Uncommon Blizzard

'Fresh Snow Fall' photo (c) 2011, USFS Region 5 - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Yesterday the snow came.  Unrelenting and magical, I stood at the window marveling at the contradictions of this white onslaught.  Refusing to abandon an appointment with my spiritual advisor, I tackled the storm singlehandedly. Praying out loud and in real time, my little car swished to and fro on the icy roads. There I was…a collision of determination and stupidity. My three travel companions; fear, vulnerability, and awe, squirmed in the back seat tugging at my pony tail.  Not surprisingly, they all took a turn at me.

This morning, our little neighborhood awoke to a blanket of quiet.  A silencing of the world’s needless scurrying.  The blizzard has left it’s mark upon us much like a visitation from the Holy Spirit.

True confessions. 

I have a secret crush on the Holy Spirit.  He is bold and mysterious and comes only when He is good and ready.  Like a schoolgirl, I think of Him all the time and wonder if He notices me.  Taking many forms, I struggle to define His movements and whereabouts but He is His Own Person.  When He descends, He may flutter in on ivory wings or bellow from above as rampant fire.  Art begs to bring Him into focus but He is bigger than that.  Far beyond the human hand.

As the Faithful we know to pray often and with full heart.  We cry out to Jesus and His Holy Kingdom and we must.  Therein, lies our strength to remain active soldiers for the Good.  A year ago, my prayer life took on another dimension when I began to recite the Golden Sequence.  Sometimes in total and other times…just parts.  No matter. The effect has been palpable.

  Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love.

        Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created…and you shall renew the face of the earth.

Let that seep into your bones my friend.  Say it out loud and feel the power of God fill your being.  You might think this too rote or archaic a prayer but I promise that it will fortify your Remnant Heart.

As a Christian, you have been up close and personal with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  You know He never visits empty-handed.  Some of us have experienced His Descent while worshiping in community and others of us have had very private meetings.  It’s All Good.

Never falter little soldier with the big heart.  I love you so much…and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit loves you beyond comprehension.  Call out to the Holy Spirit often and with great anticipation.

He will come to you.

 

Don’t be shy Remnant Soldier.  Tell us about your experience with the Holy Spirit.  ♥

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

Overeating Sugar Plums: Part 2

'A Boy and His Cookies' photo (c) 2007, CJ Sorg - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

It is the Christmas countdown.  This can be such an amazing time of year.  Yes?  Personally, I love the beauty that Christmas can bring out of the human heart.  The dude at my favorite coffee shop winks at me, my typically stressed out hair dresser is giddy with joy, and even the dog seems to have learned a new dance step.  The world just seems…nicer.

So with that said, Jesus’ birthday is not the time for a sprinkle of self-hatred and a dab of distress.   Yet if you struggle with overeating, Christmas celebrations are likely a mixed bag.  Mustering optimism, you commit to gain control after New Year’s.  You try to pace yourself at the desert table.  Is it working?

Fear not for you can let go of trying to find the perfect diet to start on January 1st.  You can also ditch your food lists and weight charts.  Time to focus on what works.  The longterm solution lies in your relationship to Jesus and allowing Him to help you.  He can control your eating….if you let Him.

First off, never forget that the devil is lurking behind your struggle with food.  For overeaters, Genesis is disturbingly familiar.  It started with an apple and went downhill from there.   Hence, why you must be decked out, 24-7, in your spiritual armor; especially when you go toe-to-toe with a pecan pie.  Ultimately, there are three critical aspects of suiting up for this type of battle; prayer, fasting, and repentance.

Prayer is exceedingly personal.  Some folks opt for specific devotionals and others ad lib.  No biggie.  Just do what comes naturally for you and cry out to the Lord.  If your heart is in it, He will hear.  Be a shrewd Soldier and call upon our Triune God; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Take time early in the morning to beseech Jesus to release you from bondage to food.  Actively pray before each meal.  This means more than a perfunctory mealtime prayer and then diving headfirst into the sweet potatoes.  Honestly open yourself up to the Holy Spirit while you eat and unholy spirits will fall to the wayside.  You can do this in the silence of your heart without anyone knowing. Then send up a little prayer of thanks when you finish eating.  Jesus deserves our praise!

Fasting is an indispensable tool for the Christian Warrior as well as remarkably healing for overeaters.  If you know you will be feasting on ham and cranberry sauce on Christmas Day, consider fasting for part of Christmas Eve or maybe even for a couple of hours on Christmas morning.   The goal of such fasts is twofold: alignment with God’s Divine Will and preparation for the upcoming temptation of holiday fare.  In my opinion, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to fasting.  A person who has celiac or Type II diabetes cannot fast solely on bread and water.  Bad idea.   Your Savior knows how you should fast; approach Him prayerfully and you may be surprised by His Guidance.  You could be prompted to conduct juice fasts, mono-food fasts, or to fast from a specific activity.  It is common for our fasts to change in type and duration over time.  Jesus knows what is best for you.  Trust Him.

Society overall does not view overeating as a spiritual misstep.  In fact, overeating is condoned and encouraged throughout Christmas and beyond.  Diets, not repentance, are touted as the panacea for overeating.  Not true.  Repentance is the healing balm when we slip back into old patterns.  How you repent is based on the shade of Christianity you embrace.  Just know that for us humans, gluttony leads to demoralization, self-hatred, and separation from Jesus.  It is no good.  Furthermore, the enemy makes great strides when we refuse to repent to Our Lord.  Saying your sorry will put your eating back into the Hands of God.  Just do it and move on.

You are a Christian Soldier.  The Army of God needs you.   I am here for you.

Your Comrade in Christ,

Cindy

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