Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The God Itch. . .

One night a few years ago, I was laying in bed having trouble sleeping. At a time in my life, in my depression times, that used to be a chronic problem of mine, but anymore there is generally a reason if I cannot sleep. I tried laying in bed and praying, then I got up on my knees but that wasn't enough. I began to understand, it was like an itch that needed scratching. That's the only way I can describe it. It's a very strong urge in a particular direction. I was supposed to get up, get dressed and pray. I've felt this way a couple of times in the past, so that's what I did. I thought I'd take Luke (my St. Bernard) with me, so just at the stroke of midnight we left the house and started walking around the little subdivision where Jackie and I live.

It was a very nice summer evening with a warm and silky soft breeze and a lovely moon. We made a couple of loops around the neighborhood. I really didn't know what to expect. I knew something would happen, but I was figuring maybe my presence would deter some vandalism or a robbery or something of that sort. I didn't know.

The last time this feeling or compulsion happened was maybe three years previously. I was awoken with a strong feeling. . . another God itch. . .that I was supposed to go to work, so I got up at 3 a.m. got dressed and went to work (I don't have to be to work until 8 a.m.). I drove the six miles or so down the state highway to almost the turnoff into the industrial park where my employment is, and I caught just a shadow out of the corner of my eye, that appeared to be an owl standing on the pavement of the road. . . It was just a brief glimpse of a small owl shape in my peripheral vision, and it was gone before it really made an impression upon me.

I turned my truck around, and made another pass without seeing anything. . . but the feeling within me arose almost to a panic, and I again turned my truck around and went back and made another slow pass. This time looking from the opposite lane of the highway, and I spotted a little owl just standing on the blacktop. I crossed the centerline of the road, and put my truck in a position to block any oncoming traffic. . . It was now almost 4 a.m., on a typically not very busy stretch of road in that time of the morning, but the next 3 vehicles were all 18 wheeler semis, who all patiently waited as I got out of my truck and picked up this little owl and put him in the cab on the seat beside me.

I just grabbed him. I didn’t know what else to do. He was just standing on the edge of the road without moving. . . sure to be killed by those semis waiting behind me. I got in my truck, and backed up, unblocking the road, did a u-turn a little bit up the road and continued on to my place of work. It was now somewhere after 4 a.m. when I pulled into the very empty and dark parking lot of my employment. The little owl looked OK. He wasn’t dragging a wing or bleeding, or in any way looking like he was injured, so when I got out of the truck I just kind of gently tossed him into the air, and he kind of floated/glided to the ground 10-15 yards away. . . not flying at all. Something was wrong, but when I went after him, he fluttered away from me a dozen yards or so, and we played this quiet desperate little game in the dark of the parking lot. . . me chasing, he fluttering away. . . over and over several times, until he gained enough altitude to land in the center of small evergreen tree, next to the sidewalk at the entrance to the offices of my employment. I blindly reached up over my head and grabbed the little bird with both hands. . . bare hands I might add.

He began making a little clicking noise. . . like a little bomb waiting to explode in my hands. I must say that I’ve never felt anything so soft in my hands. It was like I was carrying a little clicking cloud. My mind began to consider what this little creature did for his daily bread. He caught small mammals in his talons, and tore their flesh apart with his beak before consuming it. . . tore flesh much like my hands to shreds before eating it. . . tore flesh like my bare naked hands to bits before eating it. Well, nothing for that. Something was wrong with him. He was in my hands, and I had to get him into my truck. I carried him to the door, and kind of hooked the door latch with my thumb, and while still holding him, I opened the door, and put him on the seat and went into my work.

About 8:00, I went by the employee entrance door, and found that there were several co-workers gathered about my truck peering into the cab. There perched on my steering wheel was the little screech owl, gazing around with his full moon yellow eyes, an unusual sight to say the least, to see him perched there as if he rode with me to work every day.

At 9:00 a.m. I called the local humane society, and they in turn called a registered wildlife rehabilitator. Who picked up the little bird and took him away for a few weeks before being released back into the wild. The wildlife rehabilitator said he had a concussion, probably from hitting the side of a car or truck. For me, that was a magical night when God woke me from a deep sleep to save a little owl on the side of the road, so I've learned to follow these urges from God.

Back to my Saint Bernard, and I walking around our sub-division at midnight. . .we came by the house again and I had a vision in my mind of the Seven-Eleven convenience store on North Main Street in Elkhart. So I crammed my big dog Luke in the front seat of Jackie and I’s Plymouth Neon, or I should say in the front and back seat. I had to put the back of front seat down. He put his paws there, his body between the seats and his butt was on the back seat. He's a big guy. We took off. For some reason I knew I had to come to the Seven-Eleven from the north. So rather than going directly there from the south, I jogged around across the Johnson Street bridge and came down North Main Street.

I don't know what to expect. I'm figuring maybe a robbery is taking place or something. It seems like you always read about this store being robbed. There are three cars in the parking lot and a fellow just standing in the doorway of the store. In my imagination I’m thinking robbery, and he's appearing to be acting like a lookout. As I get out of the car and walk up, he just casually gets in his car and leaves. So I guess that's not it. . .

I walk in, being thirsty from Luke and I's walk, figuring to get a bottle of water. As I walk to the back of the store, I hear the young man at the counter kind of razzing or harassing the clerk. She's a lady maybe my age and the young man is trying to get her worked up, really pushing her, saying things like, "How can you work here by yourself? Aren't you afraid? This place gets robbed all the time. Are there cameras around to protect you?" He was trying his best to make her afraid. You could tell she was basically agreeing with him, but putting him off. I was waiting in line to pay for my bottle of water listening to all this, when the young man finally left.

The cashier turned to me and looked at me with full eyes, with maybe more than a just a little doubt in her voice. Quaverlingly she said, "I am OK. I am protected. . . ." I absolutely agreed, "Yes you are!!!" She continued, "I pray every night for God to protect me and my family. . . ." It dawns on me. . .I am just dancing inside. . . ready to burst! I now know. I told her I'm from Bristol. I was laying in bed tonight, and God got me up and sent me here to tell you that He hears your prayers. He is protecting you. He's watching over you. YES, He definitely hears your prayers. It was amazing. . . an urge. . .an itch. . .a word. . .the right time. . . the right place. . . I paid for my water and left praising God all the way to the car.

I had two other thoughts in my mind. I wanted to drive down Middlebury Street, praying for the neighborhood around the church and I wanted to drive by Pastor Johnson's house. As I got near our church, just a couple of houses down, there was a car stopped and a young man was kind of waiving his arms. At first I thought he was drunk or high and I slowed but didn't stop. I kind of watched him and he called to me, so I backed up, rolling up the windows a little at the same time. Luke is a spooky dog. He is not a kind cuddly St. Bernard unless he knows you very well. If he doesn't know you, he is scary. He will try to eat you up.

Luke was barking (that's kind of like saying the Grand Canyon is a hole in the ground) and I stuck a five dollar bill out the cracked window toward the young man. I had heard him say something about being out of gas. "No! No!", He had money, he needed the gas. He got a gas can out of his trunk and kind of waved it at me. I told him I would get him some gas. I restrained Luke as he quickly shoved the gas can in the front door of the Neon. Long story short, I got the gas and brought it back to him. I now notice that he had a "In God We Trust" license plate. That was pretty cool. I told him that God was calling him. I was laying in bed when God got me up tonight. I didn't want his money. He could thank God for the gas. I went to that church right there, pointing to LTC and I didn't believe in coincidences. . . . There is a reason for our meeting. He was effusive in his thanks. His name is Tyrene Harris.

Three days later I again ran into Tyrene while doing street ministry. His wife or girlfriend was requesting prayer for a cousin who had cancer, when not knowing who she was talking to, Tyrene walked up. Another brother from church, Tyrene, the lady, and I had a little prayer circle, right there in the parking lot, where we prayed for the relation with cancer. When we finished, I felt an overwhelming urge to prophesy to Tyrene. . . “Tyrene God is trying to get your attention. He is actively reaching for you. You need to listen to Him. . .”

Since then, I have had uncountable itches from God. . . proddings to take a particular route home. . . to call someone out of the blue. . . or to begin praying for someone in the middle of the night.

Jesus said:

John 10:27
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

In a flock of hundreds of sheep, Jesus knows which are His. . . He knows the ones who are His because they know His voice. . .They respond to His voice. . . They hear and they do His bidding. . . They hear and they follow Him. . . Learn your Master’s voice, and obey it. . .Learn to recognize the God itch. . .Do what He asks. . .

I love you my God. . .
I thank you my Lord. . .


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Let There Be Photons. . .

Genesis 1:1-5
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (3) And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (4) And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. (5) And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

In the ETV (The engineers translation version) of the Bible, in verse 3. . . and God said let there be photons, and there was light. . . Four little words. . . ‘let there be light’, yet it would take a thousand textbooks to come close to fully describing what happened with those words. The universe was filled with light. . . and heat. . . and energy. . . ‘LET THERE BE LIGHT’, and the universe came alive.

Photons are the smallest very tiny units which carry light, but they are much more than that. Photons also carry energy, which is sometimes visible as light, and sometimes only felt as heat, and sometimes neither felt, nor seen as x-rays or gamma rays or ultraviolet rays. Photons are mysterious. They have no mass. . . no weight. . . no charge. Put one photon on the end of your finger. . . put all the photons of the universe on the end of your finger, and the weight is the same ~ zero. . . no weight at all.

In a way of looking at them, they are without any physical properties of substance. They may be thought of as pure spirit. In any normal sense, photons cannot be destroyed or created . . They have no ‘anti’. An electron has an antimatter counterpart, as do protons, and neutrons, but a photon has no anti-particle. They can be reflected, and absorbed, emitted and absorbed, and re-emitted again over and over. Physicists do not fully comprehend these most fundamental aspects of photons, and of the universe called quantum mechanics. There are mysteries and contradictory observations here beyond our ability to understand. The universe looked at on this level is a very strange place of bizarre poppings in and out. . . linkages, of charge, spin, and a property called color, but having nothing to do with actual color. . .a very strange place indeed.

When a beam of light with uncountable photons strike an object, the light excites the electrons of the atoms, and the electrons absorb this energy. . . the electrons absorb the photons and the energy carried by the photons, and the electrons gain energy from the light and move to higher pathways around the nucleus of the atom. These electrons cannot remain in this position they must eventually return to their lower orbit, and when they do the energy is re-emitted, radiated again as a photon. Again in any traditional sense photons are never known to be destroyed, but they are seemingly in a mysterious manner endlessly emitted and absorbed, and re-emitted again as energy levels increase and decrease. We don’t know where these photons come from when they are emitted, and no one knows where they go when they are absorbed.

I am reminded of:

John 3:8
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

These photons. . . we don’t know where they come from when emitted, and we don’t know where they go to when absorbed. . . They are eerily to me as spirit. . .

I am not meaning this to be a physics lesson, but the Bible is not in any way in contradiction with modern science, but indeed the glory, the power, and the majesty of God is in vivid display by the investigations of science.


Psalms 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

In a way of speaking, in a way of looking at it, the light of Genesis 1:3 still exists today. That is a mighty thought to ponder upon. God said let there be light. . . and there was light and that light still exists. . .Still fills our universe, propagating outward from the moment of creation. In every direction that astronomers look, they see primordial light from that initial moment of creation. They call this light, the cosmic background radiation. In every direction we can see detectable light and heat from Genesis 1:3: and God said let there be light and there was light. . .

But it is difficult to understand Genesis 1:4 in physical terms:

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

In the physical, it is not possible to divide light from darkness. There is no magnet, or electrical field by which you can bend, deflect, and move light. Gravity will bend light, but as a general rule, light travels in a straight line, until it meets an obstacle. Darkness in the physical is not a noun. Darkness is not a something. The very same as cold is a lack of heat. Darkness is a lack of light and nothing more.

Without a physical barrier, there is no way to make a division between light and darkness. We can find no part of the physical universe where light is excluded from entering. From our understanding of light that is not possible. Only by something physically blocking light and casting a shadow is it possible to block light from an area, but that is not what God seems to be saying. . to have done here. . .

So many times in the New Testament, Jesus would be speaking spiritually, and the disciples would be trying to understand His words in a physical sense. In Matthew chapter 16, Jesus spoke of the leaven of the Pharisees, and Sadducees. . . His disciples wrongly thought he spoke of bread. In John chapter 4, Jesus spoke of meat. . . His disciples wrongly thought He spoke of lunch. . . And again and again, the Bible speaks of Spiritual things which cannot be understood or cause misunderstanding if viewed in the physical.

This separation of light and darkness can only be understood in spiritual and not physical terms. From the very beginning. . . from the moment of creation, the light was divided. . . separated from the darkness. . .to be holy is to be divided from. . . to be separated from the unholy. . . This divided. . . separated light of God was from the moment of its creation holy. . . not mixed with or diminished or tainted by the darkness.

There is much in the details of this separation, which we do not know. Lucifer’s sin was the ‘original’ sin. In his pride he thought himself equal with God, and along with 1/3 of the angels was cast out. . . separated from God’s presence in heaven.

The original natural state of man, before the fall was pure and white. . . basking in the light of God. . . we were created in the image of God without sin, but by sinning we were divided from God. . . we were separated from God. Our nature was changed when we were divided from His presence. . . separated from His energy. . . divided from His light. The light of God was not destroyed. The photons of His original spoken light still existed within us, but now because of being divided from God, at too low of an energy level to be seen. Spiritually we became absorbers, rather emitters of light.

At the lowest energy level, a photon displays itself not as visible light, but rather in the infrared as heat. Feel your chest. Is it warm? If so then you are alive. This warmth you feel is the emission of the lowest energy level photons, a dim reflection of the light God spoke into existence in the first day of creation. All men who draw breath. . . who were created in the image of God, no matter their spiritual state. . . no matter their distance from God. At a very low level, they are still reflecting. . . emitting energy created on that first day when God spoke in Genesis 1.

By Adam and Eve’s choosing to eat of the forbidden fruit rather than to obey God, we as mankind sinned, and we were separated. . . we were divided from God. We were no longer in His light. We were in darkness, and for the first time we knew death. . . We were in a dark place. . .we were in a dark valley of sin, under the shadow, now under the penalty of death. Sin became that which divided us from God. The light and darkness were divided, and we no longer knew the presence of God.

The 23rd Psalm famously speaks of the shadow of the valley of death, but this shadow. . . this valley is explained in another Psalm:

Psalm 107:8-15
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (9) For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. (10) Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; (11) Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: (12) Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. (13) Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. (14) He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. (15) Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

When you are in sin, you are in rebellion against God. You are in the valley of the shadow of death. You are divided from the light of God. Because of sin, death holds dominion over you but even there God is with us. Even before I knew God, the hand of God was in my life. God was with me. Separated, but still along side of me. . . waiting for me to reject sin and to worship Him.

Within each man and woman, no matter their spiritual condition. . . within each man and woman resides the primordial light. . . the reflection of our created image of God, though when separated from God the energy level of that light diminishes to an all but undetectable level. It is still there, but not seen. The clouds of sin divide us from Him and cloak the light of God within us.

Matthew 5:14-16
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (15) Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. (16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

The light of God, the range of energy of photons starts at the invisible. . . the infrared heat. Feel your body. If you are alive, your body is warm. This heat is expressed as low energy photons. Not visible to the eye, but detectable by infrared film and cameras. Physically In darkness, an absorber of photons, but not an emitter.

This infrared light. . . this heat, might be thought of as the glowing warmth of God’s love and is directed to and emitted from all living creatures equally without discrimination. As you climb the energy scale of photons, you next come to the visible light spectrum. These are photons which we can see the world around us. . . by which our paths are lit. Continue to climb the energy levels into again the invisible, but more energetic. . . the ultraviolet. . .x-rays alpha, beta, and gamma rays. . . The realm of the violently intense light of the sun. HIgh energy light so powerful that it can pierce not just clouds and darkness, but even pierce solid items. Discerning light of such intensity that no darkness is possible within its presence. A burning violent consuming light. . .able to penetrate even inches of solid lead plate. None can stand within this unshielded high energy illumination.

John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (5) And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

In Genesis 1 we tried to understand God’s division of light and darkness in the physical, and failed. Now in John’s paraphrase of the beginning in his Gospel’s first chapter, we can clearly see that it is spiritual what is being spoken of. . . The dark are those whose sin is shielding them from the light of God. . .

John 1:12
But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Interesting choice of words here. . . If you receive Him, you have the ‘right’ to become a child of God. . . If you meet the residency and age requirement, you have the ‘right’ to vote, but until you vote, you are not a voter.

Likewise, having the right to become a child of God does not make you a child of God. . .

Romans 8:14
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

You must be let by the Spirit of God, before becoming His Son. . .The Spirit of God must guide your path. . . must lead you. . . must manifest Itself within you. . . must shine brightly in your life.

In the Greek, there is no relationship between the word ‘son’, and the word ‘sun’, but I am going to use this metaphor. . .

as many as are let by the Spirit of God, these are the suns of God. . .
as many as are let by the Spirit of God, these are the suns of God. . .
as many as are let by the Spirit of God, these are the suns of God. . .

If you are lead by the Spirit of God, then you are a son of God. . . Now let that Spirit shine brightly and become a SUN of God. . . An emitter of the full range of God’s light in our life. . . from the invisible non-discriminating warmth of God’s love. . . to His illuminating visible light. . . and upwards to most energetically shining His radiating light which reveals truth and cannot be shielded. . .

Let our flesh become so spiritually transparent, that no cloud of sin is found within us. Allow the Spirit of God within you to burn so brightly, that Spiritually you become as a sun. A star in the darkness. . . brightly shining, illuminating. . . sweeping away the darkness. . . revealing truth.

Emitting the entire spectrum of God’s light, from the great warmth of God’s love, to the pure clear light of the visible spectrum, into the high energy realms of the penetrating photons of x-rays and beyond. . . Allow God’s light . . . the light of God’s Spirit living within you to shine brightly. . . to illuminate the darkness. . .

I love you my God. . .
Let us worship Him. . .
Thank you my God. . .

Friday, January 4, 2013

Choose. Hope. . . Choose Life. . . Seek God. . .

I had my tonsils removed when I was 20 years old. I had recurring sore throats, and I asked my doctor to remove my tonsils and he arranged it. My room at Elkhart General Hospital was in a very old section of the hospital, and I was in a four man ward.

My bed in this small room, was on the left by the door as you entered. On the right by the door, was an old gentleman who was completely insensible due to some kind of dementia. I remember the night after my surgery having to go to the nurses station, because in some kind of dream or delirium he was ripping out his IV lines and doing himself damage.

On the right at the far end of the room by the room’s windows, was an elderly Amish gentleman with a long white beard. I’m assuming he was hard of hearing and had had prostate surgery, for I remember his doctor visiting him and speaking in a booming voice told him, “Well Zeke (cannot remember his real name, but I vividly remember these words), now you should be able to drill a hole in a six foot snow bank.”

On the left side of the room by the window, was a cherub faced man with twinkling eyes, and a lively smile affixed to his face. His window, though it looked out into the array of cooling towers, and other engineering structures on hospital rooftop, received a bit of the afternoon sun. I’m sure this placement was intentional on the part of the nurses. . . for this man had gas gangrene, and that hospital bed was to be his address for the span of his remaining life.

He had lost one leg completely to surgery, and his foot from the other. Several fingers from one hand were gone. . . He had one remaining good hand, but relentlessly his disease rotted him away, and he was being chopped to bits under the surgeon’s knife in an endless retreat of life from his perimeter.

I remember this man’s wonderfully cheerful disposition. He shamelessly flirted with each nurse, and female aide who tended him. Bringing smiles and sparkles to their eyes, with his shameless flattery, winking innuendo, and quick witted banter. He had good, kind, and uplifting words for each of his visitors that I saw. He was a kindly friendly grandfatherly soul to me, though wrapped in my own recovery, I watched him with amazement.

I saw a man clearly facing his own death in a term measured not by decades or years, but by a few torn sheets of the calendar, and yet he sparkled. . . a bright light in our dim ward. He who could be seen to be so needy himself, lifted up all the people he encountered. Death had no power over him. I saw no fear, or self pity within this man, but a ministering spirit.

Happiness is a decision. I see it in the jail. Two men faced with the same charge, the same sentence, and one will be depressed, sullen, angry. . . maybe suicidal, lashing out trying to hurt. . trying to make others as miserable as they are. The other man will focus on what they can do to change. . . strive for improving themselves. . .finding God. . . finding hope and a path upward out of their swamp. . .almost invariably beginning to minister to others around them, becoming a new light themselves in the darkness. All this based upon a decision. . . a choice. . . reflected and reverberating within my heart like that man in the my hospital room so many years ago.

I never spoke religion with that man, but today I recognize the light and power and peace of God shining from within him. . .

Choose hope. . .
Choose life. . .
Seek God. . .

I love you my God. . .
I thank you my Lord. . .