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The story continues here . . .

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(Credit to Milt Rodriguez, from whom I first heard this parable.)

Taki gazed out across the cool green lawns, admiring the rocky outcroppings which her landscape artists had created for her enjoyment. The sun could not reach her where she reclined, shaded by cypress trees and just beginning to be sleepy. A gate rattled and Taki looked up, expecting to see her serving girl bearing refreshments, but the man who strode through her gate was a stranger. A mild surge of alarm awakened in her breast. As he approached, she stood, watching him. He didn’t appear to be dangerous, and no one had ever hurt her. He was most likely some maintenance man she had yet to meet. By the time he reached her, she felt only curiosity.

The handler spoke in a low, soothing voice as he clipped a collar around her neck. Taki supposed she must be going to see the vet for one of her frequent check-ups and followed willingly. The vet had a quiet, gentle manner, and always offered treats when she had finished with her examination. Taki liked her. But this new human turned the wrong direction, and Taki immediately took notice. She had never been led in this direction before. She peered around her with interest as they walked. A few moments later, they stopped and the man tossed a bit of food into a crate that sat in the back of a vehicle. Taki knew this trick. He would close the door after she leaped in and she would be stuck there for a time, but it was not too great a price for a treat. What did she have to do besides sleep? And a crate was as good a place as any to do it. She gracefully jumped into the box, and in a few moments they were off, bouncing down the road.

Taki didn’t care for the bouncing, and with the back gate of the vehicle closed, she couldn’t see what was going on outside. It seemed that they bounced and bounced for a very long time. She felt the sun must have passed halfway across the sky by the time the jarring and jolting finally stopped. The rear gate of the vehicle opened and the handler snapped the leash back onto her collar. The sun, high and hot, washed out any brightness of color her surroundings might have had, but it felt good on her back as she leaped out into the light.

In every direction she looked she saw space. Openness. Nothing but golden grass and hot, sharp wind. Taki crouched in fear . . . not terror, not yet, but she had never seen such a place, never felt such a huge expanse around her. Always, Taki had been encased in a womb of walls — not too close, but not so far away as to fail to offer protection, insulation from the things happening around her quiet enclave. Here, she saw no walls at all, and so far as she could tell, nothing at all happening around her, either. Only the vast open expanse of nothing. She pressed her body against the warm ground and made herself as small as she could.

Every muscle taut, Taki furtively took in those sights she could see without moving, and smelled the smells. These were not the loud smells that drifted over the walls into her yard at home . . . smells of humans and food and the nearness of many kinds of animals. These smells were subtle, wafting scents of grasses and heat and the occasional hint of another animal. The smell of the Land Rover still lingered, and of her handler crouching nearby, quietly waiting . . . for what?

More later . . . .

Note to those of you reading on this page . . . my blog is moving to http://www.journeyintotheson.com. I’ll post the rest of this story there.

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Life From the Hand of God

Life From the Hand of God

I just posted this to my new URL. To read the post, click here!

Love, Cindy

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Our Ekklesia has been studying the seven signs of the Messiah recorded in the book of John, and I’ve written several posts regarding this, based on my meditations on scripture and what I believe Jesus has said to me regarding them.  Here are the links:

Light Breaks Through

The Light of Men

Blind Eyes Seeing and Seeing Eyes Blind

Hearing the Shepherd’s Voice

Light for this Generation

The last one I haven’t published here to this site. It (and all the others as well) is on my brand new site, which you can access at http://www.journeyintotheson.com/. I hope to see all of you there.

Love in Him, Cindy

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You saw the feet and toes, partly of a potter’s fired clay and partly of iron–it will be a divided kingdom, though some of the strength of iron will be in it. You saw the iron mixed with clay, and that the toes of the feet were part iron and part fired clay–part of the kingdom will be strong, and part will be brittle. You saw the iron mixed with clay–the peoples will mix with one another but will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with fired clay. “In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever. You saw a stone break off from the mountain without a hand touching it, and it crushed the iron, bronze, fired clay, silver, and gold. The great God has told the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its interpretation certain.”
(Daniel 2:41-45 HCSB) (This is only the last few lines of the story in Daniel–be sure to read the rest if you’ve forgotten it.)

My husband is always saving news articles for me that he thinks I’ll find interesting. Usually, I do. A couple of days ago, he left one on my computer about all the economic trouble that’s currently afflicting Europe and how difficult it is for Europe to hold together. It made me think of something a friend and I were talking about during our weekly bible study together–somehow our discussion drifted briefly from the gospel of Matthew to the above passage in Daniel. I asked the Lord about it after I read the article, and here’s what I sensed Him saying to me:

My time for these things has not yet come, though you are always eager. Soon. Soon, My bride–soon. But not just yet . . . .

To you, the fired clay represents something less weak than the wet clay–yet wet clay clings and flexes, while brittle fired clay only crumbles and shatters and breaks apart. It can take no impact or shifting. There is no give. Inflexible, rigid, dry and dead; it cannot be made alive, but it will be given the appearance of life for one brief period of time before I shatter it, along with the iron (which is also brittle, though stronger).

This dead thing with the crumbling feet is the enemy’s appalling answer to My one new man. How little he comprehends of life! How flawed and diseased and depraved is his vision of living, of power. This is the best he can fabricate; joining bits he’s found lying about; scattered remnants of glory past; discarded shells and dry leaves disguised as precious things. His sin-crazed heart can no longer see the true wealth or the true glory, which is love. He is depraved beyond all redemption, and was so the moment he chose to seek his own above all else.

The iron and clay–he has nothing better to work with. He used all the more suitable and beautiful materials first, and now, when at last he has come to the first–the foundation–the feet, he has but iron and clay, which, though he knows to be grossly inadequate, he must use or fail utterly. It will hold together for an hour–a day–an abysmally short time. If I did not crush it, this aberration would crush itself by its own absurd and unthinkable weight. All the weight of all the years, bearing down on those feet of iron and clay.

You will be able to see it go, but you will not have a hand in it. Only with your eyes will you behold and see the salvation of your God. In this will My righteous servants be justified. In this will My sons and daughters receive the glory I have kept back, to bestow it on them at maturity. In that moment, as the dead are raised, as the righteous are vindicated, as the wicked are destroyed, as the sovereignty passes to the daughters and the sons of My hand–in the moment of final triumph shall death be swallowed up in victory and sin in peace.

My question, which He never really answers to my satisfaction: “But how long, Lord? How long must we wait until You come? How long until we see Your face?”

Soon, Child–very soon. You will see these things unfold. You will see Europe darkened and the pale greenish glow of the angry star of Ishtar as it rises to give its ghastly light. A light that obscures and obfuscates–that hides and confuses and misrepresents–a light only the blind can embrace–and there are many, many blind. This “light,” instead of shining out, sucks everything into itself, like a collapsing star–like a dying star.

But you, My daughters and sons–but you, My noble children, shall watch with me as My firstborn, the Son of My love, cleanses and annihilates and utterly shatters the nations. He shall dash them into shards, like a potter’s vessel. He shall grind them into powder and scatter them to the four winds. He shall retrieve the earth for its final day, for its Sabbath rest, for the ice cream, the celebration, the last good day, the reunion time, the time of rest and remaking–of the making of mighty sons and glorious daughters. My family shall I have, My bride and My body–My city of priests covering the universe. One city, one body, one bride, one people. The dream of God and man come together in one.

I didn’t know anything about Ishtar and figured I’d probably seen his name in the bible as some pagan god. It’s not in the bible, at least not in this form and in any of my translations. I did find Ishtar on Wikipedia, and it’s a she–not a he. A really interesting article. Plus, the “star of Ishtar” apparently has further meaning, but I haven’t time this morning to read up on it. If you know anything, feel free to post it. Otherwise, when I’ve studied it a little while, I’ll post an article about it.

Blessings, Cindy

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And the Life was the Light of Men

In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. God equates life with light. We see only the symbols of these forces; life and light, but God, who knows all things, has chosen to reveal them to us through His Son. If you haven’t read my last post, please take the time to check it out so you’ll have a foundation to understand this one better. God wasn’t done talking to me about the subject of light and the meaning of the  miracle Jesus performed when He healed the man blind from birth. Here’s what I received from Him a few days later:

Stay under My pavilion. You will still feel the weather, but I will keep the worst of it off you. My church that is founded on Me will not/cannot be shaken. If anything can be shaken, let it go. It is not of Me. I know how to keep My own, and I know how to purify My house. Some may go out and come back in, yet others will remain within. He who goes out will suffer because of it, but will not be lost. Some, however, who are not of you, will be shaken out, and they will not come back. I have the words of eternal life, and that is precisely what they are avoiding.

The light exposes that which they are unwilling to let go, yet which they need to leave behind. In the shadows, they can and do hide those things they know will not and cannot be approved. They can pretend they are citizens of the Kingdom, benefit from its fellowship, prestige, make themselves feel they are accepted in the beloved–all while maintaining the laws of their native land in their hearts.

That is why I said that, as the light of the world, I came to make blind eyes see and seeing eyes blind. It is not enough to say, “I see” whilst keeping your eyes tight shut. Open your eyes. You will see things you don’t like–things that shame you. Yet you must open them if there is ever to be a deliverance for you from darkness. It has been given to Me to have life in Myself, and that life is the light of men. You have no life of your own. What you have that you so desperately cling to is a mere image–like a photograph–of life. If you have a desire, as you behold that image–a desire for more–a deep longing–know that is Me you desire and long for, for I am life.

More later . . .

Blessings, Cindy

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Streams of Water in the Wilderness

In the first part of June, 2009, I was sitting out by the pond, and God whispered to my heart to read Isaiah 32. Yeah–pretty obscure. I didn’t know what it said. I looked it up, and it still didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I went back later and looked over it a little bit closer, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and I began to understand why God had put this particular reference in my mind.

First, you really will have to read along with me in the bible. If you use the link above, you’ll have the same translation I’m using, but pretty much any other translation you like will work as well.

The text starts out talking about how righteous leaders become a shelter from wind and sun, and allow careless minds to learn, stammering tongues to speak fluently, and keep fools and scoundrels from gaining the applause they so often garner in our world. I asked God how I could possibly become such a leader. (Please realize that in context of house churches, a leader isn’t a preacher or a manager, but merely a servant.) Here is what He spoke to my heart:

“Roll yourself up in Me, child. You are to walk in Me, speak in Me, do in Me. By this thing alone, you are sheltered from every wind of doctrine (diverse and sometimes false teachings), which would seek to trap you. By refusing to be buffeted by these winds, you become a shelter to others as well.”

The next few verses tell what fools and scoundrels do. According to these definitions, a fool is not just someone who is easy to use and abuse, as we so often define the term. The attributes of a fool are listed here. The last two, depriving the hungry and thirsty of food and drink, probably should be taken metaphorically as well as literally. Food and drink often symbolize relationship with God through Jesus Christ His Son. Fools don’t want a relationship with Jesus themselves, and they don’t want anyone else to have one, either.

Scoundrels are worse, as they actively seek to use and abuse those less powerful than they.

Noble people are also described as *planning noble things and *standing up for noble causes.

Following this, Isaiah begins addressing his target audience, whom he calls “complacent women.” Dictionary.com defines complacent as: pleased, especially with oneself, one’s merits, advantages, situation, etc., often without awareness of some potential danger or defect; self-satisfied. Isaiah is using the symbolic “complacent women” to reference the people of Jerusalem. However, scripture can have many applications, and I sense God speaking to me through this scripture, and warning me not to be one of these “complacent women,” who, in this application to our times, symbolize the complacent among modern church-goers.

Isaiah adjures the complacent women to “stand up” for noble causes (hence displaying nobility.) They are not currently doing this, but are going about their own little lives, focused principally on themselves. They are not fools or scoundrels, but neither are they noble.

He advises them to strip themselves bare (my interpretation: put off the man-made trappings of modern church life which tend to stifle the power and lordship of Jesus in their lives), cover themselves with sackcloth and beat their breasts in mourning for the delightful fields, vineyards, joyous houses, palace, busy city, and watch tower, which will all be abandoned. My interpretation is that these will be abandoned by both God and by those who are actively following Him.

I asked God: Lord, do you want to illuminate this further for me? Are my guesses right? (My guesses are in parentheses above.) This is what I heard in my heart:

“Complacent women are chiefly concerned with themselves and how they look to others. The religious structure that has grown up around My glory has concealed who I truly am, so that no one can easily find Me. Beautiful buildings and Papal palaces are not My home. For a time I supplied them, but the wine (Holy Spirit) and the bread (Jesus) have now gone. The little they have left will trickle out until all who are truly Mine will finally abandon them. My Spirit has left and is leaving the traditional church. I will dwell in the desert and will cause it to bloom. I will raise up the waste places and make them fruitful.”

I want to make clear that I have no personal anger toward traditional churches. I have found them disappointing, but I’ve not endured anything I would call abuse or misuse from this institution. I honestly don’t have a prejudice against them that I’m aware of. This is simply what I heard in my spirit regarding this portion of Isaiah 32. Really, I wish I could say nicer things, as I’ve seen traditional churches doing a lot of good things, but God moves where He moves, and it’s up to us to follow. Please don’t just automatically assume I have to be wrong about this. I may be, but ask God before you make a decision. There’s a lot more of this sort of thing coming up. Truly, I’d rather say consoling things, but I would be lying if I did.

So, on to verse 15 and the rest of the chapter: The above state of affairs lasts “until the Spirit from Heaven is poured out on us. Then, the desert will become an orchard and unfruitful places will become blessed and lavishly fruitful.

If I were going solely by my intellect, I would say this refers to the spread of the gospel to non-Jewish people while it was rejected by Israel, and it probably does refer to this, but that was a long time ago, and that’s not what God led me to this prophecy for. Prophecies have layers, and they’re often re-usable. God does this all the time. So, for today, here’s what He said to me about this:

“Our love is like an orchard. wherever you gather to seek after Me because of your extreme desire for me shall become an orchard, be it ever so barren before. Seek after Me truly and I will meet you there and the streams of water (symbolic of the Holy Spirit) will flow abundantly, flooding the land with My mercy and grace. No one can be fruitful alone. The apple tree needs other apple trees to bear fruit–more trees equal better and more fruit on each individual tree. The complacent women think principally of themselves. The trees of My orchard are never self-pollinating. All require one another for fruitfulness and health. None stand alone. I am the Orchardist who plants the trees and nurtures them to good health. I prune out the unhealthy and diseased and evil branches to make room for the good branches to flourish and bear fruit.

“Many will be astonished that I have not chosen the fertile plains of the traditional church to grow my fruit gardens, but I can no longer bear the clumsy interference of inept and well-meaning, but bossy men. The vapid exterior and famine-ravaged interior of the complacent women grates on Me.”

(At this point, I thought: But I’ve met lots of people in the traditional church who had impressive knowledge of the things of God, good doctrine, study diligently, etc. God responded to my thought . . . )

Knowledge is not enough! I WILL HAVE PASSION! Don’t speak to Me of the surprising knowledge of these servants. They do not have passion. They do not need Me.

“Many have quietly left the traditional church because of hunger and thirst. These I will gather. I will water them with abundant waters and feed them with Myself. Wine shall flow from their lips when they speak in Me, and healing and great power shall be in their fingertips because I have sustained them with Myself.”

–Lord, I love You. Please empower me to love You more. Please–I want to be lost in You. I want to lose myself completely in You–

“It is these lost places to which I go, Dearest. Find Me where the wild roses bloom in flagrant disregard to usefulness. Their extravagant beauty has no purpose but joy. Come away with Me, My Love, to the hidden places–to the forgotten wastelands where I shall bring up wild and wanton beauty for beauty’s sake alone. Not vapid and empty beauty such as you have often desired in yourself, My Love, but beauty such as delights My soul, and you shall learn to delight in it as I do. There you will see the fruit of My passion–the (spiritual) children you long for, the community of love. There, in the hidden and barren places I have sought My love and have drawn her to Me.”

(One of the metaphors in the bible often used to describe the church is that of the bride of Jesus, and it is to this metaphor that the passage above speaks.)

“The beautiful buildings shall be empty when the remnant of My people has gone out to come to Me. I will leave the abomination barren. No longer will I inhabit out of mercy for the youth, who know nothing else, for the elderly, who have sought Me there all their days (and found Me), for the careless, but well-meaning daughters. Come out, children. You will find there nothing but barrenness of soul.”

–But Lord . . . there are still lots of good traditional churches doing good things. Obviously You are still there. And what about the mega churches that are hybrids? (They have large “services” as well as active small groups.)–

“A hybrid is an abomination to Me. Please do all My will. Don’t mingle My church with the practices of the world. I have begun to leave. At the right time, I pulled you out. Others have gone and still others will go.The trickle has become a roar. Soon it will go back to being a trickle until at last the lake has given all its overflowing abundance and very little remains. Nothing fresh, nothing moving, will remain. The great lake will become a stagnant puddle and at last the sun will dry it up completely and the mud at the bottom will crack. Thorns will grow there, and poisonous plants. I will gather My sweet fragrant water in a thousand sparkling pools to feed the hungry and satisfy the thirsty and water the whole land. The waste places will bloom and the thriving cities and the showy gardens will sink and be seen no more.

“The donkeys and oxen (beasts of burden–symbolic of those who carry the weight for the traditional church–teachers, hosts/hostesses, cleaners, support people, etc.) will delight in the land freely. Blessed is the pastor who unties his donkey and his ox and opens his hand to let them go with his blessings. Him I will bless with peace and he shall find a pleasant place in My new, yet ancient idyll. No one will take it from him, and I will cause him to rejoice and to rest.”

Next day, I was reading over all the above, and God placed a picture in my mind. It was the inside of a concrete cistern (A cistern is a holding tank for rain water–like a big, usually rectangular, man-made pool.) The last little bits of water were flowing out through a hole in the bottom. The rim of the cistern was grassy and broken down so that it looked more like a squarish pond than a man-made structure, but of course, without the water, you could clearly see what it really was. The sky was a fierce, hot, cloudless blue.

I asked, What does this mean, Lord?

“You see this? You thought it was a pond, didn’t you? Everyone did. (The cistern symbolizes the traditional church, which we all believed was designed by God, but in fact, was fashioned by human history and ideas.) I love you, so I went ahead and filled it for you. But now the water is draining away. I will no longer keep it filled. The managers of the cistern don’t really want My interference with their “pond,” so I have left it to their management. It will be difficult to pass off an empty cistern for a full pond. I have other places for My water to flow. Places where it will not be constrained to a man-made shape, or confined by concrete walls. Places where it will better give life without the interference of self-appointed managers.

“My waters are free, and they flow where I send them. My pure and living waters have the power to cleanse the seas (symbolic of the masses of people of the world). Everything they touch is reborn. Beauty follows My waters and life springs up everywhere they touch. My waters soak into the ground and cause the seeds (God’s word) planted long ago to spring to life. Rejoicing is in the sound of many waters flowing and sparkling in the Son of My love.

“My waters are fragrant and transparent. They bubble and laugh. No man shall tame them with bridges and dams and spillways. They shall flood at My will and hold back at My will. He who crosses them must do so on foot, and none who so cross can remain unaffected.

“The water is alive! The water is joy. The water will enter your being and make you one with it. Drink and never thirst again. The water is quick and pure. Drink! Drink joy. Drink pure joy into your spirit and become one with your Lord–your Betrothed.”

Be blessed!

Cindy

Here are some links that might be of interest.

To learn how to hear from God: Rachel’s blog, “Stirring the Deep,” also linked in my blogroll:
Lesson One
Lesson Two
Lesson Three
Lesson Four
Lesson Five
Lesson Six
Lesson Seven

And one by Frank Viola on non-traditional churches:
What is the Organic Church?

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