New Year’s Day – January 1st, 2015

The Bad, the Good, and the Beautiful

With the dawn of each New Year I am consistently greeted with a myriad of emotions—foremost of which is that spawned by fatigue as the result of beer-drinking, gun-toting hellions noisily welcoming-in the New Year (a comedic cultural element in my locale). I was sorely tempted last night to return fire, but to do so would have resulted in sparking fear and pandemonium among my neighbors, in the wake of repeated blasts from decidedly unconventional armament (specifications withheld). And so, I opted for peace, and did my best to settle into a long evening of listening to my miniature dachshund snore through the night.

I’ve awakened to a New Year.

King David, in several places in scripture, writes passionately of his meetings with dawn—the dawn of a new day. At one point in the Psalms, he exclaims, “I will awaken the dawn!” (e.g. Psalm 108:2). He is so eager and intent upon spending time in the Lord’s presence, in worship, that he is intent upon beating the dawn at its own game, by rising while it is still dark, to worship the Lord. I’m not quite there yet, but give me some time, and perhaps I’ll get to that place.

Speaking of sleep and rising early; one of the most readily available healing balms at my disposal, in my desperate attempts for escape from a severe neurological disorder, is sleep itself. I usually don’t experience more than 30 minutes of it without being awakened by the piercing screech of tinnitus raging in my head. This therefore is why King David’s habit of awakening while it is still dark to worship, appears so far from my grasp. I typically awaken as exhausted as when I retired. What speaks new life to me however, is that of worshiping, on guitar. And so, that’s what I will find time to do this morning.

What I am also making time to do today is that to reflect upon the world as I see it, upon the dawn of a New Year. I suppose the reader may be inclined to quip, “Perhaps you’re assuming, David, that others won’t see that your view is sorely skewed by your personal suffering and chronic fatigue.” To this, I will admit that if my personal suffering were all I focused upon, indeed, my view would be sorely skewed. The reality however is that as I force myself to feed upon the Word of God daily, and worship Him daily, my view therefore often transcends my suffering. And it is in this transcendent state that I make efforts to speak but a word of encouragement to those around me today. Therefore, please prayerfully seek-out the jewel of encouragement as you swath through my musings which follow.

I’ve set my hands to tens of thousands of hours of public ministry over many, many years, in my pursuit to speak life into those who are tormented by one critter or another. In and through all of this, I’ve found there’s but one simple yet very potent ingredient that evokes life more than any other at my disposal, and this ingredient is that of a simple word of encouragement. Many of us are predisposed to scurrying about, in search of a revelatory word which will unveil the manifold mysteries of heaven, and in a flash vaporize our doubt, confusion, fear and unrest. When in reality, most of us need but a simple word of encouragement.

Come to think of it, it was but one simple word of discouragement which led a young Japanese exchange student on an American college campus, to return to his native homeland of Japan; march up the ranks of the military, and lead the entire Japanese Navy into attacking the “Imperialist Americans” in World War II (i.e., the Imperial Navy firing upon the “Imperialists”). The young student had been dissed by Anglo-American students, in a spirit of racism. He then allowed his anger to boil, and he purposed to get revenge. He did.

Conversely, the power of but one simple word of encouragement can also change the course of history.

I placed the title of The Bad, the Good, and the Beautiful above this musing, that the reader may in turn find prompting to expect a progression of thought that “gets better.” I’ve done so to counter the impression that I’m hereafter digging a dark tunnel into nihilism—the sentiment that life has lost its meaning. And so, if you have read this far, I encourage you to hang in there, that you might find that jewel of encouragement nestled within the barbs and trappings of the grim realities I’ll touch upon herein–the necessary navigation of many potholes, before the pavement in our journey become smooth.

The world as I understand it, is a planet spinning upon an axis which is actually moving faster than it was ten years previous. No kidding, the “axis-spin” if you will, actually accelerated ten years ago, as the result of the violent sea-quake and subsequent tsunami which decimated large portions of South Asia in late 2004. A decade later, researchers have concluded that the ultimate death toll of the South Asia sea-quake and tsunami is that between 270,000 and 310,000. It has been discovered that many smaller islands, which contained primitive people groups who had purposefully kept themselves from broader civilization, had been completely wiped off the map; rendered wholly extinct—before anthropologists even had the chance to fully research and document their tribal origins and history.

As unconscionable as this sounds, the mind is yet further stretched when one considers the reality of an excerpt of the Book of Proverbs (8:29), which reads: “He set for the sea its boundary, so that the water would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth.”

If you therefore believe all of scripture (i.e.,“the whole counsel of scripture,” Acts 20:27), you must conclude that when the seas transgress their borders, it is only because God has allowed it to happen. That’s one strong cup of coffee there.

Within my social sphere or orbit here in the West, I am met foremost with an immediate and pressing reality of fear and uncertainty on the faces and in the voices of those about me. The most pressing reality that I see and hear is that of the evil emanating from the White House, and its subsequent course of wholly destroying the United States, not unlike an image of molten lava spewing from a volcanic eruption of political vice, and vaporizing everything in its path as it oozes north, south, east and west, to blanket the entire nation. The reality is that this imagery actually does best describe the destruction of our nation as we know it—the same Republic that millions of men and women have died defending for 100s of years. However, we must once again shift our focus to the reality of Scripture—a reality far greater than our personal orbits. For once again the voice of King Solomon echo’s from the pages of the Book of Proverbs; this time in the form of Proverbs 21:2, which reads: “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He wishes.”

Here we are again, with the reality of a God who has not only allowed the borders of the sea to swallow-up as many as 310,000 people in December of 2004, but who has also allowed a spirit of Antichrist to propel and wholly consume the heart of the president of the United States, that but one man may in turn wholly destroy a nation once committed to honoring Him. It is indeed the same God, the God that the Apostle Paul speaks of in Romans 9:18: “He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.”

Lest the reader conclude that God arbitrarily plucks a soul from the earth to work evil, not unlike a blindfolded man plucking a piece from a chessboard, which He certainly can; understand that history rather reveals that He typically hardens those who have given Him cause to do so—those who have made the choice to give themselves over to evil. His judgment of such is that to allow them their very wish—a heart bent upon evil. And He has allowed the president of the United States to serve as a vessel of divine judgment, to bring the nation to its knees—the same posture that the founding fathers of the U.S. dawned as they first dedicated the nation to His glory.

And so, the United States is being systematically destroyed by our own president. Six years into such destruction, it is clear the national landscape will never look the same by the end of the present presidential term. The United States will never fully recover; the damage is that extensive. Lest we become consumed in our national demise however, why don’t we for a time fix our gaze upon the globe at large, in an effort to perhaps remind ourselves that the world is much larger than our Western paradigm?

Not long ago a very young investigative journalist discovered a man who had been living wholly alone in the wilderness of Chile, for the previous 46 years. A few times a month he would with a pack mule traverse extremely rugged mountain terrain to trade livestock and furs for other goods. His marketplace encounters were limited to very small towns. The man therefore had no interaction to speak of, with modern technology or those shaped by western formal education. He would during his visits into the villages pick up the newspaper and later pour over it in an attempt to understand the world at large. Of course the paper, like most, was tainted by the personal paradigm of its editor. Therefore, the man had only his instincts to rely upon as he sought to navigate world events.

Speaking of instincts; perhaps its timely to insert a little-known segment of research into the dynamics represented in Instinct and Intuition, and their respective relationship to what we in the West understand to represent Intellect.

It was French Philosopher Henri Bergson (1859-1941) who contended that our intuition is a greater force in impacting the world about us, than our intellect. I tend to believe he was right, as the Western approach to quantifying Intelligence Quotient is largely rooted in surveying a person’s ability to memorize data, and to process such memorized data in logical fashion, quickly–a brain function solely rooted in the Left Hemisphere of the brain–wholly ignoring the Right Hemisphere–which is rather devoted to abstract thought and artistic impulse. One could also suggest that intuition is lodged in the Right Hemisphere. I rather tend to believe that such is a product of our spirits–a facet of our being which transcends the intellect, and which engages the function of discernment (commonly mislabeled “intuition”)–when the spirit aligns itself with our Creator, i.e., the Mind of Christ.  Lets consider therefore that the Chilean Hermit, in and through his complete and prolonged removal from the Western onslaught of social media and mass-confusion wrought of metropolitan life, had learned to “trust his instincts,” or rather learned to be guided by his spirit.

*Photo below: area in Chile where hermit was discovered.

Enter a young female journalist, to make discovery of this amazing story of a life lived in utter seclusion for nearly half a century. At one point in the many recorded conversations with the man, he alludes to the peculiar and erratic changes in climate and seasons. Intuitively he had begun to sense a change in the world about him; a change that must have global implications as well. He simply concluded that “something big was up” — bigger than his ability to verbalize. It was clear the man was truly discerning something larger than life, yet couldn’t quite place his finger on it. I do not doubt the hermit had in turn concluded the changes about him were the result of God’s dealings with the planet, and God’s timetable in general; though he was not given the opportunity to share such. Rather, he was abruptly intercepted by the young college graduate, who in turn informed him that all that he had observed of the climatic changes can easily be explained by “Global Warming.” Within moments therefore, this elderly hermit had been duped into believing one of the grandest lies of the century–a lie which has duly fed the federal monster of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)–a monster which continues to levy crippling federal restrictions upon the Small Business sector–thus by default continuing to wipe out the Middle Class–a subversive tactic representative of a much larger scheme to destroy the U.S. as we know it–all the while lining the pockets of the financial elite with billions of dollars. I’ll stop there, before sowing disillusionment into those who’ve fallen for the EPA lie, hook, line and sinker.

It is truly remarkable, the mush that is being spoon-fed young minds on college campus around the nation at this stage. I listen to them only to cringe within moments as they parrot the secular-humanistic mumbo-jumbo emanating from their “professors.”

The elderly Chilean hermit, prior to his encounter with the young “enlightened” and freshly graduated college student, had in fact begun to understand the very gist of Romans 8:22, which reads, “…the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs…” In other words, the earth is reacting in natural dimensions, to an unfolding mystery of spiritual dimensions, dully underscoring 1 Corinthians 15:46, which reads, “The spiritual is not first, but the natural; first the natural, then the spiritual.”

Equally so, the Chilean hermit was witnessing the fulfillment of Romans 1:20, which reads, “…since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made…”

And so, we’ve fixed our gaze far beyond our personal orbits, to take a glimpse of an unusual event in Chile; that of a hermit observing God’s handiwork, only to have 46 years of such the observation placed in a tin can of secular humanistic psycho-babble. One hereafter might be inclined to question how I might in turn conclude the fallacy of Global Warming. By way of an answer, consider this excerpt of scripture: “…those who diligently seek the Lord understand all things” (Proverbs 28:5).

The context of Proverbs 28:5 is that of underscoring the reality that those who passionately pursue the mind of Christ, consistently understand the nature of all things that unfold around them. This understanding includes access to the Revelatory Gifts–which very often reveal “the wizard behind the big curtain.”

The fruits of the young journalist, meeting with the Chilean hermit? Deception on the part of the young woman. For the hermit had deemed the young journalist a prophet, from a land far away, who made the arduous journey, to enlighten him. My hope is that the philosophical entropy induced by the journalist, was only temporary.

My point in alluding to this little-known event in Chile between the hermit and the journalist, is that to underscore how quickly something very precious can be thwarted in a matter of moments, by a misguided soul. It is for this reason that we are challenged in scripture to “hold every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).  And it is in the spirit of holding every thought captive, that I wish to shift our gaze to a few more points on the globe as we continue to ponder the implications of having stepped-into yet another New Year.

As we continue to consider the globe spinning on its axis, and as the New Year unfolds, let’s say we shift our gaze randomly to Kurdistan; the mountainous region where eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, northwestern Iran and northeastern Syria converge.

*Image below: map of Kurdistan.

The northern half of Kurdistan sports majestic mountains and beautiful terrain. It reminds me much of northern Idaho. And, nestled deep within these rugged and often treacherous mountains are armies of all-female Freedom Fighters (well, about 98% of them are female anyway). The formal designations and factions of these armies can be confusing. I’ll simply define them in general as well trained militia who refuse to submit to the chauvinistic and brutal imposition of Islamic culture and its inherent abuse and mistreatment of women. They are fighting-back, quite literally. And as they fight-back against oppressive government, they are concurrently fighting Islamic State; taking them head-on, and are very often successful in beating them back. It is a truly amazing story of the vision, courage and determination of these women.

We take an interesting turn however, when we unveil the teaching and indoctrination occurring within the Female Freedom-Fighter camps. A small number of men have joined-up with these females. The number is growing. As part of a typical day within these camps, all present must sit under ongoing teaching and indoctrination. Found within such indoctrination is the belief that the mistreatment of woman began back in the Neanderthal era, and has shown no sign of slowing down. Obviously the belief completely renders the biblical account of spiritual harmony resulting from men serving as spiritual leader of a given household, wholly erroneous. In short, the bible is a fairytale to them. The men present in these camps therefore, are programed to believe that they should be subservient; to accept the reality that they are inferior beings, who must be led-about and dominated by women.

The Kurdish female fighters have therefore initially embarked upon a noble mission, to fight the forces of evil; only to allow themselves to succumb to a deceptive belief in the superiority of women, and the subsequent domination of men. Once again therefore, we have traveled to a remote corner of the earth, to meet both beauty and the beast—the beauty of nature and noble pursuits therein—and the beast of misguided steps which can easily undermine an otherwise noble pursuit.  The story of these brave women underscores among other things, how easy it is to become disoriented when we fail to “hold every thought captive.”

Lest the reader conclude I’ve rendered these women null and void in their mission to fight tyranny, please rather understand that I wholly support their mission to fight-back the forces of evil in the natural, and I have great respect for them. At the same time however, I must alight upon the spiritual forces at-play, and the way in which such forces intertwine themselves into every scenario of note, when they are permitted. The spiritual dynamics herein therefore, represent the central thread in the remainder of my thoughts.

If I don’t miss my guess, the Lord of Hosts has already dispatched Kingdom agents to make their way not only to the hermit in Chile, but also to the female militia hidden in the mountains of Kurdistan. The clock is ticking, and its only a matter of time before they each meet with an authentic dose of Kingdom reality.  This will make the hermit’s hermitage all the more beautiful, and the female-fighters’ mission all the more purposeful.

*Photo below: A Kurdish female fighter.

Let’s now randomly shift our imaginary telescope to North Korea. One of the darkest countries on the planet (figuratively and literally—see photo below, of North Korea at night, in contrast to South Korea).

On New Year’s Day, Dictator Kim Jong Un made the formal gesture of peace negotiations with South Korea. The gesture was received as a complete joke by the South Koreans, for those who know anything at all about North Korean history, know that Kim Jong Un is a madman. The history of tyrannical dictatorship in North Korea has included the brutal murder and torture of millions of innocent people for the last century. Christians especially, upon discovery, are thrown in prisons resembling hell on earth, and are forced to work like animals for18 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are fed food rations equating to maybe 5% of what the average American eats in a given day. And, they are systematically tortured and executed on a daily basis.

Where therefore, is the element of merit in Kim Jong Un’s gesture of “peace negotiations”? The gesture is absurd. The only way to establish any credible gesture of peace on the part of North Korea, is that to first eliminate Kim Jong Un and his entire regime, which means also eliminating the entire North Korean army, which is the 4th largest military in the world, and which is armed with many nuclear warheads. My overriding point? Evil must be wholly excised from its victim in order to free the same to begin embracing the metamorphosis of divine-design—the habitation of God and His purposes therein.

As we reduce the North Korean saga (this time around) to but one word, we arrive at the same word defining the scenario within the mountains of Kurdistan: deception. North Koreans believe their dictator is a god, and that he can do no wrong. Those suffering cruelly within the many prison camps however, know otherwise.  Equally however, I suspect the Lord of Hosts has also dispatched a Kingdom agent to knock upon the door of Kim Jong Un’s heart, in due season.

No, I don’t think Dennis Rodman was was that Kingdom agent.

I have long maintained that virtually every seemingly complex issue can in fact be reduced to a very simple explanation. As such, I enjoy listening to commentators talk about the complexity of a given issue, only to see right through the “complexities” and into the simplicity of the issue. Remember my allusion to Believers understanding “the nature of all things”?

Recently an Islamic State militant posted a foxhole interview filmed by one of his buddies, via a smartphone. In the interview the militant stated that Islamic State would soon overtake the U.S., and that the Islamic State flag would be flown over the White House. U.S. media widely circulated the video, and was aghast at such a thought. However, what U.S. media and most U.S. citizens who have been duped by U.S. media are wholly unaware of, is the reality that the Islamic State flag is already flying over the White House, as it was hoisted into that position on the evening of November 6th, 2008; most simply cannot see the flag—as the result of a dynamic which can again be reduced to but one word. Can you guess the word at this stage? Surely you can: deception.

Now we’re “tracking.”

Lest the reader preclude that I am sowing a web of hopelessness; be reminded that I initially established that we’d have to first navigate a few potholes prior to reaching the fresh pavement on our journey.  Hope is around the bend…

*Photo below: Islamic State fighters in training.

We’ve just established that mass-media within the U.S. has aided and abetted the gross deception flowing from the White House, and that the majority of Americans do not see the extent to which they’ve been wholly duped. Those discerning among the landscape of the U.S., who happen to be a very small minority, have become increasingly enveloped by a combination of anger, hopelessness and despair, as they watch the president systematically dismantle every element of the U.S. Republic. What further magnifies the collective despair is that God’s hand in this scenario seems nowhere to be found. Believers are on their knees, praying for redemption in the White House, and the president only becomes more evil and diabolical as the clock ticks.

What gives?!

As we have established early on in this article, there is nothing that happens which is not first allowed to happen, by God. Therefore, He is allowing evil to runs its course, most certainly in the U.S. The U.S. is being purged with an intensity never before experienced. Every element of national security has quickly been morphed into national insecurity. Americans are stocking-up on food, guns and ammo, expecting the worst. And rightfully so. In the natural, these actions are wisdom at this stage. In the spiritual however, the good that is coming from all of this, is the purging of the soul of the nation. For the soul of the nation has become corrupt. The soul of the nation happens to be the Church.

The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, have, by our president, been declared little more than bathroom tissue at this stage—they simply have no bearing on his thoughts—they are nothing more than obstacles in his wake–a collective annoyance.  His obstacle however is much greater than these documents themselves; his obstacle is the God represented in such, for the spirit propelling our president is the very Spirit of Antichrist.  Note that I did not suggest that our president was thee Antichrist, but rather moving in a spirit of such—there is a distinct difference. And what is further perplexing about the growing maze of mindless mayhem emanating from the White House, is the largely unacknowledged reality that God has allowed this to unfold.

And so, God has allowed rampant evil to flow through our president, to wage war with Christians and Jews, and all who believe in the Republic. And as we reel in shock as one wave of evil after another rolls-in from the sea of corruption in the White House, we are being purged from the entrapment of “The American Dream.”
The American Dream and the Kingdom of God have to a large degree been at war with one another over several decades. Western Christians have been duped into believing that the apex of Christian maturity and favor is that evidenced by luxury, material wealth and wanton consumerism. Of course it’s not understood as consumerism, but that’s precisely what it is—the amassing of material security. How does this glorify God? It glorifies God only when a significant portion of our prosperity is channeled and funneled into eliminating the pain and suffering of others, firstly through meeting practical needs, and secondly through sewing the reality of the love of God into the same.

To the contrary, the vast majority of “successful” Americans have allowed their insulated orbit of financial security to rob them of whole dependance upon God. A posture of whole dependence upon Him defines the true nature of humility. There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting material comforts for our families. However, there is something quite wrong when, as Believers, material comforts become our sole pursuit. Such the pursuit readily defines the bulk of Western Christianity at this juncture. This paradigm is an affront to who we are called to be. On this note, it was the late Derek Prince who, during one of his latter conference appearances while speaking on the topic of Deliverance Ministry, said: “The two most deadly idols keeping American Christians from walking in the fullness of their callings, are: 1) Comfort, and 2) Convenience.”

Americans are now being forced to reevaluate their faith, by the minute. This is a good thing—far more good will come from this than anything else we would be naturally inclined to label as “good.” Spiritual roots are being forced to inch their way much deeper into the soil of a real faith. The wheat is being separated from the chaff in our lives with an intensity that I have not before seen in my lifetime. In the process, many are falling-away under the heat of such intense dealings (i.e. “Because of the increase of wickedness and lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold in that day,” Matthew 24:12).

“That day,” my friends, happens to be well represented in this number: 2015—the very year in which we now find ourselves.

I mentioned moments ago that the soul of the U.S. is the Church. One of the more pointed reasons our collective soul is being so severely purged, is that of the result of our readily embracing an anti-Israel spirit, a spirit which, among other things has spawned a resurgent doctrine known as Replacement Theology. In very simple terms (remember, the art of teaching is that rooted in the ability to take something seemingly complex and reduce it to something very simply understood), the Western Church has chosen to embrace the lie that they have replaced Israel with respect to God’s covenant-promises with the Jewish people. The widespread sentiment is that the Church is now “spiritual Israel.”

The most effective lies are those which contain some element of truth. And in the case of Replacement Theology, the concept of a “spiritual Israel” is a half-truth. The whole truth is this: the Western Church is a spiritual extension (key-word) of Israel, as it is comprised of Believers who have been grafted into the olive tree of Israel. A branch therefore, grafted-into the trunk of a larger tree, becomes an extension. Romans 11:24 explains this quite simply, as follows: “…you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree…”

I have watched this very process demonstrated, in Israel. A firsthand, graphic demonstration of Romans 11:24 exemplified.

The Jewish Nation and the Jewish global population collectively, as God Himself has stated, are the very “Apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8). Is it now more readily understandable how absurd it is therefore, that the Western Church is presently standing before God and declaring, “We have replaced the apple of Your eye!” (?)
De-legitimizing Israel in this way is nothing less than cursing Israel (Genesis 12:1-3). And, as if this collective cursing wasn’t enough, coming from the Western Church; our current president more overtly curses the Nation of Israel by repeated threats with respect to Israel’s inalienable right to its military defenses. We are in fact wholly welcoming God’s curse upon our nation, and cursing our nation He is.

Our national sin however, is far more expansive than our cursing of Israel, which has spawned judgment enough. Our national sin has many tentacles. I’ll not go into all of them as the definitive list would sow nothing but despair for the reader. But I believe it will suffice to say that there is a corresponding number which well represents all that I’ve described, and that number, yet again, is 2015—the very year in which we now find ourselves. And 2015 also well-represents the fulfillment of a forecast seated in Isaiah 5:20, which reads, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter sweet and sweet for bitter…”

We are there, friends. We have “arrived.”

“Good,” as understood in Isaiah’s day, and somewhere between 930 B.C. and 722 B.C., when Isaiah 5:20 was written; was something entirely different from that which we in 2015 A.D., define as “good.” For now we “call evil good and good evil.” But the godly-good that I see unfolding, and as I have touched upon moments ago, is reflected in the violent stripping away of our collective conformity to the ways of the world, to include the toppling of our personal empires which “moth can destroy.” The only thing that will remain standing on the other side of this intense stripping, is “the Church not made with hands” – the “House of prayer for all nations” (Matthew 21:13).  This is the “good” that  promised at the onset of this musing.

We’re now approaching the “beautiful” that I also promised to touch upon at the onset of this article. And I believe Psalm 116:15, is very fitting at this stage; it reads: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

No, I’m not suggesting that the lopping-off of a Believer’s head, execution-style, by an Islamic sword, is “beautiful.” What I am suggesting however, is that the hearts of those who are willing to pay the ultimate price for Kingdom Ambassadorship, is in fact beautiful.  When our hearts are so yielded to God’s purposes, that we’ve wholly died to earthly entrapment to the degree that expanding His Kingdom is all that matters; then we are witnessing what is precious in His sight, and beautiful to behold, in the wake and context of a nation groaning in multifaceted upheaval–and judgement.

Psalm 116:15 has long been deemed that to speak of the beautiful heart-resolve of those who are so in love with the Lord that they gracefully accept martyrdom as their fate. This heart posture, and this complete yielding to His ways and means, is indeed “precious in His sight.” Consider however that this verse may actually represent a “double entendre,” in that it speaks to the former, but also, and perhaps more pointedly in this hour, speaks to the precious internal resolve to die completely to self, and to our vein adherence to the world, so much so that all which remains of our lives is a living sacrifice to Him—a vessel completely submitted to the ebb and flow of the Holy Spirit’s prodding, moment by moment.

Very soon, we in the West will have ample opportunity to die to the world, and wholly live for the Lover of our souls, as the economic, political and social structures come tumbling down in the wake of God’s intensifying judgment.

We love to quote the Apostle Paul, when his ancient quips accent or underscore our personal pontificating. But how often do we find ourselves quoting this one (?): “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need” (Philippians 4:12).

Now that’s beautiful. And that happens to be what we as Believers will soon find ourselves negotiating on a daily basis. This to say that we can no longer allow our external circumstances to dictate whether we are “being filled” with the Spirit. For when we are “being filled” with the Spirit on a daily basis, our external circumstances matter not.

I alluded earlier to the “earth groaning in eager anticipation” of the End of the Age as we know it. As it continues to reel at natural disasters and “wars and rumors of wars,” the authentic Church will further emerge and take Her stand in triumph of truth. Such the triumph may cost many of us our lives. But this is precisely what we signed-up for. For when we embraced Y’shua, Jesus, we gave Him all that mattered to us; our futures, our plans, our needs and wants. Has this resolve changed? If an honest reflection yields an answer of “yes,” then now is as good a time as any to re-submit ourselves wholly to the Lord, and to allow Him to resume Lordship of every aspect of our lives. In this way, 2015 will unfold as the best year of your life thus far, as it will unfold as the year in which your “first love” was rekindled in your heart, just like the early romance with Him many years ago. And it doesn’t have to end—it can remain through eternity.

How does one go about rekindling the flame of our first love with the Lord? Well, I can tell you that you don’t do so by signing-up for the next “Firepower Explosion of Glory Eruption of Prophetic Power Earthshaking and Releasing of Your Destiny with Personal Activation and Impartation Conference.” Rather, you can rekindle the flame of your first love in and through a very simple exercise; one that you can orchestrate even within the next day or so.

As you find yourself agreeable to such, consider carving-out a time of 30 minutes or more, with no distractions. As you do so, open your bible to Psalm 119. Before you begin reading this longest chapter of the Psalms, simply ask the Holy Spirit to move your heart when you get to excerpts of the chapter that you can pray, for yourself; excerpts that will serve as a springboard for asking the Lord to work in your heart, the very thing that David is emoting. The Holy Spirit will be faithful to walk beside you on this brief hike through the woods of David’s heart—which happens to mirror your heart as well. And, shortly thereafter, you’ll find the rekindling of the embers that were still glowing deep in your heart, much to your surprise.

Well friends, I’ve done my best to render a brief musing of The Bad, the Good, and the Beautiful in what I see unfolding before us as 2015 gets underway. We all “see in part,” so I’m simply sharing the part that I see, and I pray this part will have spoken to you in some measure. Perhaps it is most fitting to end my musings with an excerpt from King Solomon, who is speaking for the Ancient of Days:

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  May the epicenter of our hearts hold fast to a glimpse of eternity, in and through the reality of the beauty of Y’shua in our midst as the world shakes about us.

Your trench-mate,