Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Old Caleb Friend

I'm not fooled old Caleb friend,
your gaze as sharp as flint.
Upon that crowd of noisy men,
which says your life is spent.
I alone, see that light,
gleaming from knowing eye.
There's yet within you one more fight,
you're not ready now to die.
Let them run to the dusty town,
content with the noisy masses.
Your view is fixed on Hebron's crown,
and its silent rocky passes.
You will dwell where eagles nest,
and walk the path of lions.
Caleb, in your courageous quest,
that drives you toward Mt. Zion.
Lord, make us brave and fearless men,
as was Caleb entering Canaan.
It's certain there'll be no cowards then,
nor be those a'faintin'
No, I'm not fooled old Caleb friend,
you're all of what I've claimed.
If you were ever afraid of Anakim,
then Joshua is not my name!

The Raven

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Babel Syndrome

A continuation of the "Clumsy Ox"
With the blood of a slain man on his hands, David anxiously asks, "How"? How shall I bring the Ark of God to me? Do you wonder, with me, that the "man after God's own heart" would have to even ask this question? Was all of Israel so spiritually ignorant that they did not know what was written? Or even worse, didn't care? Can the finger of accusation be pointed to that long gone generation without a thousand fingers being pointed at us of whom much is given? David had been betrayed by an enemy "within". An enemy so insidiously woven into the psyche of the human soul that listening to its voice had become second nature to him. What is that enemy you ask? Ask my children or ask my long suffering wife who has had to bear up under my "rants" for four decades! The enemy is a serious, but common, malady affecting all mankind. I call it the "Babel Syndrome".
When David decided to use the method of the Philistines nothing, at the time, seemed more logical. Ah ..., logic may be acceptable in Gath but finds little comfort in Jerusalem. Bring the Ark of His Holy covenant by mechanical means home to Israel? Never! God forbid even thinking such a thought. The Ark was to be borne by man himself. Nothing more and nothing less. No shiny red cart with yellow wheels for God's grand entry! Simply the linen clad shoulders of simple men. The method hasn't changed today for He still dwells with men and is carried throughout this world in humble vessels of clay. Not methods, not mechanics, not movements but ... men! When Jesus ascended into the heavens he left it all in the hands of eleven simple men [ and a suicide] and you know what? It worked! It will yet work today.
But what of this "Babel" malady? At the birth of the nations the human race was building a tower in the plains of Shinar that caused God, Himself, to pause and take notice. We will build until we reach the heavens themselves, they declared. We will make a name for ourselves! In the realm of man's redemption from sin and death he can't get away from the idea that there must be something he has to "do" to obtain this status. Thus "religion" is born and the Earth became full of temples, sacrifices, and ceremonies. That religious spirit is alive and well today embodied as the "Babel Syndrome" . Paul waged war with it in his day with the Judaizers who had infiltrated the infant church. Others battle it today with those who preach another gospel of "works" and doctrinal "hoops" one must jump through. The fear mongers scream about worldliness, television, and standards but let me tell you who to fear. Fear him who kills real faith. Fear him who can't see beyond the "works" of man. Fear him who points to programs for his righteousness. Fear him who has acquiesed to that age old sickness of the heart that says, "Surely there must be something I can do to attain my tower to heaven!"
O' Great Physician come and heal us of our disease and give us life for we have been sickened unto death!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A Clumsy Ox

The story is well known. The Ark of the Covenant had been taken by the Philistines with disastrous results. Now the Philistines couldn't get rid of it fast enough, but to be safe they sent it back to Israel on a "new cart". After some delay, David wanted to complete its journey to Jerusalem and proceeded to bring it back in the only way that was known to him, the way of the Philistines, in a "new cart".
In studying the evolution of religious organizations down through the years, there is a common thread. No matter the doctrinal differences the "medium of delivery" remains very constant: The ox-cart delivery that brought us to this place seemed to work so we mindlessly adapt the cart to our ideals and re-name it. Today, I watch it unfold all over again as another ox-cart, under a new name, is being built. Trying to enable man in his feeble attempt at helping God do what only can be accomplished by those that are Spirit led! The old adage was never more true than today: "Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it." Unless there is a real spirit of revolution within our hearts do you really believe things are going to be any better with a "new cart"?
But, there is an even more important point to make in this story. I Chronicles 13:9 reads: And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark, for the oxen stumbled. It happened then, it is happening now, and it will happen tomorrow, for the oxen will always stumble! The results? vs. 10 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God. Innocent people will, and have suffered! I don't know of one family, in apostolic pentecost, that has not suffered from the error of using the "clumsy oxen" of the Philistines. Not one! I'm not pointing a finger at men but methods. After you shoot yourself in the foot several times wouldn't it be wise to take a course in marksmanship? Must we keep making the same old mistakes over and over? Or could we wise up like David and ask: "How shall the ark of the Lord come to me?" The answer begins with the question but it certainly doesn't end there. To be continued ..........

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Grave Error

What a wondrous and most miraculous day to remember. The dawning of a new day both physically and spiritually. The Resurrection and all that it means to mankind is something to remember and rejoice about. Thank God for the resurrection and the hope that now springs alive in our hearts of a new and better day that is coming. Yet with all of this there is a grave error at the grave of Christ and it begins with Mary. Early, that eventful morning, Mary finds herself looking into an empty tomb. Her first thoughts are that someone had stolen the body of her Lord and she began to weep. Hearing steps behind her she looks through tear blind eyes and sees who she thinks is the gardner. It was actually Jesus but she could not discern that because of her grief over his missing body. She tells the gardner that if he knows where the body has been taken she will go to it and take care of its burial. Jesus then says, "Mary!" When he spoke her name she turns once again and now recognizes him and cries out, "Rabboni! "This grave error is still being repeated today by those who persist in looking to their past and dwelling there. Yearning for the days long gone when things were less complicated and God seemed to be closer. Revivals of long ago, campmeetings of times past, great preachers of yesteryear. You would think that in long gone days the church was filled with power, overflowing with miracles, brimming with revelation, and had fulness of understanding. I'm here to tell you that it was not so! Not any more than you were the fastest runner in your school. Someone said, "The older I get the faster I was!" Every generation has had its shortcomings. To think that the elders of bygone generations had more power and more revelation than we do today is to contradict the word of God. For "the path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." [Proverbs 4:18] Why does man insist on looking in the wrong direction? Observe John, when being in the spirit on the Lord's day, he had to turn to a voice that was behind him. [Revelation 1:10] Being in the spirit is not enough! You must be discerning as to the direction you should be looking and it certainly is not behind you. Remembering an empty tomb is a comforting vision but turning around and embracing my Lord today is a dynamic reality! I encourage all who may chance upon these faltering words of mine to look to the future and seek a revelation of a living Christ who is leading us, in ever increasing light! Rev 1:12-18 12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Place Called There

Have you ever been there? That special zone where the pitcher produces a no hitter. The soloist hits the perfect note. The orator hits that cadence that flows so effortlessly. Or more importantly, that special place with God where the very atmosphere is charged and His presence so real that you are afraid to move lest you lose it? If you've ever been there you will never forget it. For when you're there and you know it, no mountain is too high. When you're there and you know it, no river is too wide. When you're there and you know it, no giant is too great. Ah, ... just to be there.
After his confrontation with Ahab, the word of the Lord came unto Elijah and said, "Go hide by the brook Cherith for I have commanded the ravens to feed you there." Because our God is moving, and His word is a "proceeding" word, this situation at the brook didn't last forever and the water dried up. That's why those who found that place called there twenty years ago are in such dire straits as to the revelation of God today. The brook dried up and they haven't moved! The proceeding word of God then came to Elijah and said, "Now go to Zarephath and dwell there: behold I have commanded a widow woman to sustain you there." While there the bread never ran out and the widow witnessed her son raised to life again. For such is the happenings when you are really there!
Then there came that wondrous happening at Carmel that resulted in a fiery revival for Israel and death to the prophets of Baal. Upon seeing his wanted poster down at the post office in Samaria, Elijah ran to the wilderness and found himself a cave. It was while in the cave that another word of the Lord came to the prophet. "What are you doing here, Elijah?" The difference between here and there is just one small letter! And the difference in just existing and really living right there in the white hot presence of Almighty God is often just a small little thing called, desire! This place called there must consume your waking moments and fill your dreams. Why? Because as it was with Elijah so will it be with us. There was yet a king to be anointed, and a prophet to be called, and that could not happen unless Elijah was there. Another generation out riding their bicycles and skateboards are depending on you being there, my friend. Let's not fail them for someone was there for me! Oh yes, one more thing. When Elijah crossed Jordan suddenly there appeared a fiery chariot and carried him away to another dimension. What do suppose would have happened if Elijah hadn't been there?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Before Whose Presence I Stand

1 Kings 18:1 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.

There are plenty of people who are more than willing to go show themselves and be the featured speaker at the conference, or the solo singer at the songfest. Of course you've seen them, they love to be seen! They have found the "in crowd" and everyone is waiting to hear them on the greatest night of the conference. Sure, Elijah was preaching before the king. But he had much rather be somewhere else, ................... such as standing before the King of kings!

1 Kings 18:15 And Elijah said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day.

The proper order is found, naturally enough, not in the books of leadership and the art of war but simply in the previous chapter to the one above.

1 Kings 17:3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

Until you "hide yourself" you are not ready to "show thyself". Until your service is a pouring forth of a life of solitude, a life formed in the secret place of the Most High, you will never stand on God's stage. You may live to see your own "kingdom" but make no mistake, you will never "see" God's Kingdom! How many do you know that have been "spotlighted" because of some talent or ability? Many! How many have been "hidden"? Very few indeed! So if your life seems to go un-noticed and unappreciated, don't worry you are in the proper order and your day will come.

Your Friend
The Raven

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Ah distinctly I recall
When the rains would not fall
And the fields grew dry
From a scorching summer sun.
God's wrath waxed keen
Before the wicked queen
And righteous men were scarce
As coins in a beggar's cup.
Safe from the wrath
Following Cherith's path
The prophet fared on bread
Each and every day.
It was a miraculous thing
Borne on the raven's wing
And Elijah drank freely
From the bubbling brook.
How long would it last
This royal repast?
The raven's croak declared
Ever more! Ever more!
You've been there and so have I
When hope within seems to die.
Only to feel God's loving hand
And once again you live.
So, how long will He guide
Through life's heavy tide?
Just listen to the raven,
Evermore! Evermore!