Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Notice Any Similarities?

For over five years we at Pilgrim Scribblings have tried to sidestep controversy and, at times, our posts may have been bland and as tasteless as cold mashed potatoes (as the late Christian apologist Paul Little has termed bland Christianity). I hope not. Tell me they haven't been. Please!

I couldn't resist the temptation to compare two You Tube videos that have very noticeable similarities.

Check them out here!

What do you think?

Keep your jackets on, folks!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hiding in the Shadow of His Wings

My fellow writer Mitzi Busby has penned the following words. I must confess that I get a bit uncomfortable when scribes put words in Jesus' mouth and write as though they are equal to "holy writ".

I don't believe that Mitzi is doing this. What she has written can be backed up by scripture. Read it for what it's worth and ask the Spirit of God to use it in your life where He deems necessary.

Mitzi writes:

"Today begins your breakthrough, the relief that you have been longing for and praying for. I have heard your cries and will give you the desires of your heart. I am more than able and more than enough for anything that you face. Your destiny and future will be realized as nothing can hold back what heaven has ordained. Receive My light and hope. You will begin to walk in faith more than ever. Stand in the Power of My might and walk in love by My Spirit. There is an acceleration of time and all things will be brought into order. Trust Me, My Child. I love you and long to give you good things. You are my Beloved, My Precious One. I uphold you and give you the power to soar on wings of eagles. Hold fast, I'm here and working on your behalf. Surely you will see my goodness, mercy, favor and blessings upon your life. Do not look at what is going on in the world, only keep your eyes on me and do all that I instruct you to do. I love you with an everlasting love that is stronger than any force in existence. I am showering you with My love and peace even now.

I’m taking you to the place that I always intended for you to be. The journey has not been easy or comfortable, but necessary in the shaping process for you to reach your destiny in Me. It is all for My Kingdom’s Purpose that you had to stand in faith against the pressures and take back ground. It is time to walk out of the fire with all of its testing and refining and soar with Me in a higher place. I require all of your faith and trust. The keys have released you from the past bondage and you are held together in Me.

You have yielded control of your life in total surrender to Me. No more worrying or anxiety-only relying in faith and total trust on My guiding hand upon your life. I will light your path even in the darkness and show you every step to take and every word to say. Do not move unless My Spirit says move. Do not turn to the right or left. I will make the way clear. You will walk in total victory over any circumstance-not by might or power, but by My Spirit. Stand firm in Me as I do not shake. I see the beginning from the end. You are held in Me. Feast on My faithfulness as I Am more than enough. Let My will be done on earth even as it is in heaven. Walk in the fullness of My Power and Glory. It rests upon you and is rising up in you now. Now is the time to step into your destiny for My Kingdom and to realize the meaning behind all that I have shown you and promised you. Walk closely behind Me in My shadow. Believe all that I have spoken to you.

Under the shadow of My wings come and hide. Rest in Me and cease striving. I will lead you beside the still, quiet, restful waters. I will restore your soul. I will show you the beauty that you hold inside. This beauty was placed there by Me. My spirit gives all the strength, love and power that you will ever need. My nature is love. I love you outrageously and deeply. Receive My love that I pour over you now. You will always and forever be My Beloved. Nothing can ever change that. Rest in Me. Still your thoughts and busyness. Rest, relax, bask in My love for you.

Trust Me. I Am bringing you through to the land of milk and honey. I AM lifting you above all of the snares. Walk with Me hand in hand and I will direct you. I will show you the course for the race. Keep pressing forward and don’t look back. I Am healing past hurts and pains that they will have no effect on where you travel today. Rest in My love for you. I have plans for a hope and a future for you. The enemy cannot stop what I set forth in your life. Newness is coming, it is breaking forth. The life I give is not as the world gives. I Am bringing heaven to earth and the natural things will operate according to My spiritual laws. You don’t need to understand it all. Just trust in My leading."

No Cannons in Lighthouses

"We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining--they just shine."

- Dwight L. Moody (American evangelist and publisher who founded Moody Memorial Church)

Along Came a Spider

SIM (Serving in Mission) missionary Christiane Fox posted the following story on her African Nurse blog. Check her site out here.

This is why thousands of us are not missionaries. Fear of bugs and snakes...and huge ugly spiders.

Christiane writes:

Ok, so I JUST killed THE MOST disgusting and BIGGEST spider that I’ve seen since I’ve been in SUDAN... and it was IN my HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhh... now I’m all twitchy and creepy and feel like there are more lingering around every bottle or book in my hut! :P Seriously it was BIG... and not one of those flat black ones.. it was HUGE and stood OFF the ground like a full inch – the body was ROUND (not flat like all the others) and was so big it actually had a PATTERN on it!! Black, white and brown... and it had eyes... RED ones that reflected in my head lamp light!!! SOO Creepy!

Anyway, he was on my table, casually chilling out on the side of one of my big clear containers that holds all my spice containers... so I prayed (out loud, b/c that’s the only way I can cope with these crazy things), grabbed my “fly” swatter, and swung as hard and fast as I could... I hit it, but as I suspected, couldn’t kill it b/c it was TOO big for the swatter’s force – I worked up my nerve and peered underneath my table cloth were, again as I suspected, it was clinging to the underside (creeeeepy). So I took a deep breath and unleashed the wrath of my “doom” can on it, where it ran (even now I’m getting the shivers) to the far under-side of my table... I could see it’s grotesque legs twitching from where I was squatted, so again – with the doom pointed at this horrid creature, I sprayed until I was certain he would not be long for this world. :) Within 10 seconds the dizzy eight legged monster dropped to the floor, trying to flee for its life, but it was no use... for I was NOT going to let it get away (lest it be a very sleep-less night for me!)... I hit it two more times with my “fly” swatter before I was satisfied enough that it was dead. So I scooped it up onto my swatter and, with MUCH adrenaline pumping through me, gingerly maneuvered through the mosquito net at my door (keeps the bats off my porch), and out of my hut to go and get some well deserved praise from whoever was still awake in the dining hall! It was show-and-tell of the most disgusting kind :)

Needless to say I am just a little proud of myself :) (but still looking over my shoulder!)

Note: This is NOT the actual spider that Christiane is writing about.

"The Nails" by Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

The following post by Stephen and Brooksyne Weber appeared on their Daily Encouragement web site on Tuesday, March 30th, 2010.

Stephen and Brooksyne are good friends of ours and I encourage you to check out their site. It's a good one! Why not subscribe to their Daily Encouragement e-mails while you are there. They are well-written and very pertinent for today's generation.

"This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross" (Acts 2:23).

NailsThe Tremont Nail Company in Wareham, Massachusetts, is the oldest continuously operating nail manufacturer in the United States, making nails since the early 1800's and they're still stamping them out! When I lived in New England I would periodically drive by the Company and, although they didn’t have plant tours, I recall curiously looking through the windows to watch. The nails they manufacture are not the round kind we typically see, but square, peg-like. At the little country gift store across the street I bought three of the longest ones I could find. I still have them though I misplaced one. Holding these nails, rubbing my fingers across their coarse surface, and considering their lethal purpose in Christ's crucifixion illustrates more vividly the price Jesus paid for our redemption.

King David provided "a large amount of iron to make nails for the doors of the gateways and for the fittings" of the Temple (I Chronicles 22:3). Until the end of the 18th century, they were made by hand; an artisan known as a Nailer providing them with a head and point. We have no photographs nor are details given regarding the nails that affixed our Savior to the cross, but they were likely iron spikes five to seven inches long. In the daily text the action of nailing our Lord to the cross is taken from the Greek word "prospegnumi” and literally means “to impale.” Did you notice that the English word "peg" is in the middle of the Greek word? How indescribably horrible this form of death was.

NailsTo partially identify with the humanity of Christ, perhaps in a rather basic way, I recall getting splinters in my hands and feet when I played outdoors as a child. I dreaded telling my mom, for I knew she would want to dig it out and it would be a painful process. But if she could find a needle with a very sharpened small point the pain was less than a needle with a large point. To this day if I have a splinter I will carefully select a sharp pointed needle to lessen the pain of the piercing required for the needle to prick my skin.

Certainly Christ felt the physical agony of those long, thick, spikes driven into His hands and feet, in addition to the other horrible wounds He received. But surely He also felt another type of pain or “nail” as He hung on that Cross for our sins.

Scorning at the cross1. The nail of blasphemy: This was demonstrated by the soldiers, the thieves crucified beside Him, the religious officials and the onlookers as recorded in Matthew 27:27-44. They mocked and hurled insults at Him, blaspheming the very One who willingly laid down His life for their sins. The opposite of blasphemy is worship and we are called to worship the Lord John 4:23-24.

2. The nail of rejection: This was demonstrated by the “other” unrepentant crucified criminal who hung on a cross beside Christ as recorded in
Luke 23:39. He rejected Christ to his dying breath. The opposite of rejection is acceptance as taught in John 1:12.

3. The nail of denial: This was demonstrated by Peter and is recorded in
Mark 14:66-72 The opposite of denial is confession and we are called to confess with our mouth that, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead. Romans 10:8-10

Games at the cross4. The nail of indifference: This was demonstrated by the soldiers playing games at the foot of the Cross as recorded in John 19:23-24. The opposite of indifference is attentiveness and this is taught in Hebrews 12:1-3.

5. The nail of unbelief: This was demonstrated by so many: those who stood watching from a distance; those who participated in the sordid events leading up to the crucifixion; those who carried out the crucifixion and this unbelief was most famously initially exemplified by the disciple, Thomas, in
John 20:25. The opposite of unbelief of course is belief and as Christ reached out to Thomas he fully believed, declaring, "My Lord and my God!" as recorded in John 20:27-29.

Tragically, the majority of people continue to respond to the claims of Christ either by blasphemy, rejection, denial, indifference or unbelief. But we who look upon and embrace Jesus' nail-pierced hands respond by crying out with Thomas: "My Lord and my God."

We give thanks for those nails knowing that He was pierced for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. Surely He bore our sorrows and by His stripes we are healed.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we know that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of man ordained by You for a miraculous birth, along with many signs and wonders that You performed through Him. He was handed over to wicked men and gruesomely crucified by the nails that bore Him to the cross. This was done by Your set purpose and in Your foreknowedge. But God, You raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keeps its hold on Him. And now He is exalted to Your right hand making intercession for us. "What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul!"

(Prayer based on Acts 2)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

One-Day-At-A-Time Healing

My good friend, writer and blogger Vicki Gaines wrote the following post that appeared recently on her blog Windows to My Soul. She echoes my feelings exactly. Thank you for sharing from your heart Vicki! God bless! - David

Even though I'm freed in Christ from self and sin, and rejoice in my new identity in Him, my healing hasn't come easily or instantly. Maybe because I've been a bit of an artful dodger instead of living out of my union with Him.

If we're only able to trust to the extent we intimately know someone, I'm afraid for many years I didn't know Jesus very well. I belonged to Him, and my salvation was secure. But I had only begun the knowing.

Funny, but the more I know Him, the more I sense my need. To my relief, the only thing grace requires is a need. "The bigger the hole, the more grace there is to fill it," someone once said. True. And so this same grace reveals through pain and troubles, just how broken I really am.

This is not something the unwounded life, the self-sufficient life, can relate to. Only the broken heart cries for healing, not ashamed to admit sheer need of the One who loves and gives, protects and heals.

Yet we're slow to wait on Him, distracted by many things. I, for one, have turned to others for remedies before I ever let Him feed me the mystery of His hidden manna.

But in turning back, I find that He works in quiet, little by little, revealing Himself, dissolving self-focus, increasing His vision; healing and satisfying need where the heart is surrendered. This is my one-day-at-a-time healing, where I'm conscious of His presence, His Spirit drawing me to the written Word, to worship and offer up my need. There in the quiet, I'm nourished. There too, I'm baffled at any prior resistance, knowing full well the need is too great to ignore Him.

All these years I collected quite a library of truths in my head from the Bible, desiring to change; eager not only to escape any trifle or pain - but to cover it up, and appear oh-so-spiritual and do for others. I certainly believed (and still do) that "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free," but a cerebral study of truths couldn't heal me, only Jesus.

My healing comes the more I know and experience Him as my life. No shortcuts. The regurgitated spiritual food of others can't sustain me, only His manna will do. And in my brokenness, powerlessness, and weakness... Jesus rises up strong in me.

Through the Lord, I'm learning to stop 'jerking' from crisis to crisis, and rest in radical trust. Underneath are the Everlasting Arms. Amen!

Looking Back...Insights from Arkansas

Since arriving here at the Minirth Ranch in the Arkansas Ozarks, the Lord has been teaching me so much.

The pristine beauty of the hills and valleys, the rivers and creeks has helped to speed the recovery of this burnt out child of the King.

Depression when brought under control of a sovereign God, can be subdued and ultimately defeated as we submit to His Lordship and the wise godly counsel of men like Dr. Frank Minirth.

As we walked down to Big Creek the other day and skipped smooth stones across its clear surface, I was reminded of many things just by observing.
As the great New York Yankee ballplayer Yogi Berra once stated, "You can observe a lot by just watching.

As I passed by a bonfire pit with the charred remains of a once-blazing fire, I thought of my own life and the experience of many other pastors and Christian leaders who have suddenly found themselves burnt out.

Only a fresh encounter with the living Christ of God can re-ignite the flame which once burned unabated for the King of kings.

This, plus wise, sound, biblical counsel can "get us back" as Dr. Minirth has repeatedly expressed to me. The good doctor and the God of heaven are determined to "get me back".

As I continued to walk leisur
ely along the banks of the creel , I noticed the massive root network under a "big old tree".

I was reminded that in order to get our lives under control we have to "get to the root" of the problem. With my depression it was a series or significant losses over the past five years plus some unresolved issues from my teen years and early 20's that had precipitated my defeatist state of mind.

As we got to the root of the problem I began to understand why I was in the midst of this gut-wrenching battle.

Much of our depre
ssion is caused by our failure to be kind to ourselves. I'm learning that many depressed people are very kind to others but they fail to be kind to themselves. This can lead to destructive behaviors and, then, inaccurate thinking. The downward spiral continues until we get help. The help I've been receiving has been life-changing.

Walking on, I saw some awesome vines creeping over a rocky ledge and dropping to the ground below. As I mused on these sights, I realized again that unless we are super-naturally connected to the true Vine, Jesus Christ Himself, we will never truly be healed and fulfilled. He alone is the source of life and wellness.

Where are you at, dear friend? Has the raging battle brought you down and robbed you of any hope? There is hope and a future for those who know the eternal God, through Christ Jesus. Take His hand and let Him lead your through. If He can do it for me, He can accomplish the same for you. Give Him a chance.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Pilgrim Has Returned

The pilgrim has returned from his 6-week stay in Dallas, TX and the Ozarks in Arkansas. I was there getting treatment for my depression and other issues I've been struggling with. I am feeling much better but there is still a long journey ahead of me.

My writing juices which had pretty well dried up have started to gurgle beneath the surface and I'm grateful to God for that.

This evening I went back and read all of my entries on my Pilgrim Song web site. As I read the posts, prose and poems I was reminded of where I once was...before the deep depression began to strangle and choke me. The last year has been horrendous. I haven't posted on Pilgrim Song for over 1 year. I was dry. I'm still dry but at least I'm thirsty.

Please pray for the pilgrim as he re-adjusts to life in the real world.

Check out the posts on Pilgrim Song where I have shared some of my poems written in some of the darkest hours over the past five years.

Temporary Home

I'm not sure what all the buzz surrounding Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood is all about. Great hockey player (and Christian) meets great singer (and Christian). Some would say this is a match made in heaven.

Carrie's song Temporary Home has a message worth sharing. I love the song...and the video.

Check it out here.

Yes, this is only our temporary home. We are looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. Someday soon all of us who know Jesus Christ personally will settle down in our eternal home. Until then, let's not get too caught up with our "temporary home".

Yes, Mike is my nephew and we are thrilled that Carrie will soon be part of the Fisher family.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kick Start...Finally

You may have noticed...and maybe not...that I haven't posted anything on Scribblings for exactly two months. Writer's cramp? Not sure. Lots to write about. Too much as a matter of fact.

I discovered this afternoon that the best way to get shaken out of my doldrums was to visit a prolific blogger. The best, in my opinion.

Carol and I visited the Voscamp farm where Darryl, Ann (no E), four boys, Caleb, Joshua, Levi & Malachi and two girls, Hope and Shalom raise little
porkers (pigs).

I've enjoyed Ann's blog, Holy Experience, for five years and finally got to meet her today.

Please check it out. She's an incredibly gifted wordsmith.

Thanks, Ann, for giving me a kick today. I needed it.