Friday, February 4, 2011
Like Alice in Wonderland, I was speechless with admiration for it’s wild and sublime grandeur. A torrent of power and beauty washed over me and through me with a loud, spirit filled silence that spoke eloquently and profoundly, that God does imperially and emphatically exist. Transfixed with an exalted sense of being, my eyes dripped with tremendous tears of emotion as they gazed upon the silent vista across Silver Lake. The towering granite cliffs and the snow melt avalanche of fresh water that fills the lake is surrounded by a grand grove of majestic Sequoia trees that have weathered 2,000 years ~ Their twiggy limbs stretch up in praise of the One who created them. What a gift from our loving Father, whose great delight it is to usher His children along into a Disneyland that twirls us about to give thanks to our beloved Dad! Absolutely enchanted by Dad’s great joy in witnessing my discovery of all that He has done for me, I descended into the hypnotic romance of Plasse’s Resort. Forever after this personal experience so long ago, I became a zealot, an absolute fanatic of God’s creation. With quaking hesitation I humbly give God the glory with this simple utterance intended to glorify God Almighty. I am filled with honor for His thought of what would delight me, what would speak to me ~ to assure me with such overwhelming confidence that my Father; the Creator of all things did this for my pleasure and knowledge of Him. AMAZING! My words beg to not diminish His purpose in creating the seasons, the snow, and the scripture of nature. What a treasure to look up at what appears to be an old gothic cathedral of rocks with spires that point up ~ to the glorious happy works of God. Every tree and bush grew from a seed planted with a great purpose. The natural grace and charm of Plasse’s Resort uplifts, regenerates and washes the mind and spirit of all who visit.
IF a movie could be nominated for an OSCAR based on a message of TRUTH, or IF a movie was nominated for it's VALUE in society, then the MOVIE entitled "The Gospel of John" would win the BEST MOVIE for the century! The script was written by God. This 3 hour EPIC does not add one word to the Gospel of John. Enjoy perfection on screen. Purchase on AMAZON with commentary by the producers. Hear the Word and watch Father, Son, Holy Spirit love us --- even in our doubt, denial, rejection of the truth, He tells the truth, but do we listen? Do we accept that God is God and we are not? Mary poured out all she had because she loved Jesus, He had just raised her brother Lazurus from the dead! VISUALIZE Jesus, the Holy Spirit telling us the Truth, and yet some still do NOT believe? Must we also see miracles in order to believe? "Sir they said, 'we would like to see Jesus'." John 12:21 Excitedly Andrew and Phillip raced to tell Jesus that even Greeks wished to see Him. Without restraint of their internal jubilation about their close friend Who would soon rule the world --- Jesus knew the motive of their hearts and He had already rebuked them for their pride --- Knowing all things, compassionately He said "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." John 12:23 --- He knew that they just did not get the agony He was about to suffer. In love Jesus then explains "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." John 12:24 --- One life changing lesson in this scripture: ONLY when we die to our selfish desires, can our life increase the harvest of souls for His kingdom. "His heart was touched and He was deeply moved. Where have you buried him. Jesus wept." For one seed to produce more grain, it MUST fall to the ground and die. The blessing of a broken heart, a broken pride, a demolished dream --- is death to ourself, to a life's meaning ~ as the world teaches is meaningless. In that moment we realize what Jesus demonstrated to us. On this side of the cross, His lesson is clear --- the TRUTH will set us free to love as we are loved. Like a grain of wheat, the mission of God complete, Jesus came down into the pit, into the world to be seen, die and rise that we might believe. His death and resurrection gives us hope as He returned as He promised, in the Person of the Holy Spirit to be within us forever. Jesus knew that He would send the Holy Spirit in His absence, and that in the future, generations of people would understand through the Counselor. So without explaining what was meant in words, Jesus said "The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:25 What did this mean? Disciples then and today are baffled because to choose to die to our ways---when in our education, in our world, this makes no SENSE ---the cross, the life and death of Jesus confounds the wise! Because it takes FAITH in the purpose of Jesus to crucify our desires for recognition and importance. To fully YIELD our lives to the purpose of God, is to understand what Paul said "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." The power in a single seed, a single life... is in the portion we allow the Holy Spirit to rule. It is ONLY in our full surrender that He is glorified through us. That is when one is willing to hate this life on earth, to die to it's own: will, goals, dreams, desires, wants, needs, plans, rights and personal reputation. Jesus said "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." Whose approval do we seek? Approval and blessings from the world or from Jesus, the Son of God? Who do we listen to? What voice calling out in the desert? "I am the Good Shepherd -- I know My sheep. The hired man runs away because he does not care about the sheep. I am willing to die for them. They will listen to My voice and become one flock" One church, one body united in Jesus Christ. Are we afraid of speaking about our faith in public because we will be laughed at? "Those who speak on their own authority are trying to gain glory for themselves. But He who wants glory for the One Who sent Him is honest. There is nothing false in Him." Then Jesus told the Pharisees, the highly regarded teachers of the law of Moses "Stop judging by external standards, and judge by true standards." Today, on this side of the cross, as per His promise, the Holy Spirit resides in our body which is the temple of God. As Jesus taught in the temple, He said in a loud voice "Do you really know Me, and know where I am from?" "A branch can only bear fruit if it remains in the Vine."