Greetings courageous one,
So you are one of the few, brave enough to investigate the Dark Hour; One of those who sees a little deeper, hears a little clearer and has not yet sold out to go with the majority. You must now realize, that we are living, in The dark hour. Things are not what they were, they are not what they seem to be and in fact, they are getting worse. There are not many doors from which one can escape from this impending darkness. In fact there is only one. It is the door called, “Reality” and finding it, is the only way by which one will survive this Dark Hour. Life is defined by choices, and one choice, can define your life.
At Any Price
We begin our story at the end of another mans story. Here sits, Mr. Stetson, in his luxurious house, with two cars in the garage, a 60 inch flat screen tv and every other item that any soul could desire. But Mr. Stetson is just sitting in a chair staring off into space with a blank look in his eyes and no expression whatsoever on his face. You see Mr. Stetson is in fact not from the planet earth. He is from another planet where there lives a race of people much like us.
Actually everything there is pretty much exactly the same as it is here. There are houses and cars and stores and business. People have families, work jobs, go to school, and have normal lives. The only thing that is significantly different is the currency they use to buy things with. You see, the currency they use is not paper money, coins or shells. Here, the currency they use is the memories from their minds. When they want to buy something they have to choose to give up one of their memories. The more expensive the item is, the better the memory has to be. For inexpensive things such as groceries, gas ecs. the memory required could be an insignificant one like what happen in the morning or the day before, or anything you deemed irrelevant. But certain expensive items require more important or precious memories.
There is a rating system set up to determine the worth of a memory and the quantity required to purchase this or that. You would simply lay your hand in a high tech machine called a memory bank, think on the memory and a meter would tell you how much you owed. What is difficult, and in fact dangerous, is determining what the values of your own memories are to you. For example, you can pay with the memory of that clear blue summer day when you waded in the river with the sun on your face, thinking that is all you are giving up, but you forget that at that same time you waded the river with the sun on your face is when you got inspired to learn to play the cello. Now with the absence of the memory, so comes the absence of music from your life. Or say you sell a day you went for a hike up a mountain, forgetting that was the day that you gained courage and confidence so now with the absence of that day, comes the absence of courage. And of course, there are absolutely no refunds. So the challenge to be successful is to determine what you can lose and what you can’t and how much you can give up to get what you want.
So the young man named Mr. Stetson was working his way up to success. He had a beautiful wife and a young son. He was gradually accumulating the things his heart desired. Going places, doing things, buying things and more things. Of course all of this was coming at a price and Mr. Stetson was spending memories faster than he was making them. Now the only thing left he wanted to buy was a new, very big rose colored house where he could settle his family and live in comfort. So he went to the relater and negotiated a price, a steep price but still, it was just what he wanted. He looked it over and smiled it was perfect. He went back to the house he was moving out of and went inside to pack up. A women with a child in her arms came out of the kitchen and greeted him with a big smile. She put the boy down and he ran up to Mr. Stetson and hugged him. Mr. Stetson looked around confused and puzzled, then became angry. “Who the heck are you”? he said. “What are you doing in my house?!” “Who is this kid?” The women began to cry and said, “I’m your wife!” “This is your son”. But the man had no memory of them. For amongst many memories he sold along the way, the price of the house was the memory of his wedding day and the birth of his son.
So here he sits, alone, in his mansion with no memories that would make a person a person. He has two cars but he does not remember how to drive for that memory was accidentally sold along the way. He has a piano but no desire to play for the memory that inspired him is gone. So he walks about like a vapor, a shadow of a man, merely existing, incapable of making new memories for he has even lost any memory that could enable him to make a new memory. Free will is ours, life is for living and things for the taking. But if getting what we want, means selling who we are, well then, who are we?
The Artist and the Museum
Name’s Johnny, I live in New York on the east side of Brooklyn and I’m an artist. I’d like to tell you the story of the man who taught me everything I know. So, some time ago there was this really great Artist that lived here in New York for three years. He was phenomenal. He only worked on the street, inner city and in the metro. He would paint all his works on the walls, subways and tunnels. Never charged a penny, took donations or waited for appreciation. I really can’t describe His art to you with a pen and paper ‘cause we’re talking color, design, panoramas, landscapes like you’ve never seen. People would stop in their tracks and gasp in awe.
Thing is, no one had ever paid much attention to the artist, they just loved his art. So anyway, I don’t remember all the details, but I know that after about three years, He kind of disappeared. The city people, well, they decided to replicate all His art, build a museum and display the paintings there. First just one museum, then more and more till there were many. They all had different opinions on the meaning of the art and would put a museum attendant in charge and visitors were encouraged to donate a small sum when they left. Even though the Artist’s paintings were all over, everyone just went to a museum to see the replicated art, beats me why, I don’t get people sometimes. Then these people would argue about which museum was better and which one you should go to.
Well, anyway, there was this one painting on the wall outside my apartment where I grew up. It was of a gorgeous sunset with a stunning cloud formation. Sometimes I’d just sit on the curb, stare at it, forget the world and just let it all go, you know what I mean? Well, as much as I loved it, all it made me want to do was meet the artist. So I started about the city, you know, asking around here and there where I could find the Artist. This guy tells me to go to a museum. I was like, “Oh, is he speaking there today?” The guy was like, “No, kid, the Artist ain’t around anywhere, but that’s where his art is”. I said I just wanted to find the Artist but everyone kept directing me to go to a museum. So I went to a museum and walked around and looked at the art. It was fine, personally I enjoyed it a lot more on the streets, it seemed less beautiful here, kinda plastic and superficial. Then, when I left the museum, I had to pay. I mean they said it was a “voluntary donation”, but the way the guy looked at me, I had to pay. So I asked about the Artist, I mean, he must have died and be dead now, right? No, they replied, He’s alive. Huh? Then why the heck would I go to a museum to meet Him? If He is alive, I’ll find Him myself and no one is gonna tell me different. Well, talk like that didn’t sit so great with the museum staff, turns out they threw me out, said I better not come back. The Artist wouldn’t like it they said. So, as I’m leaving, this guy walks up to me and tells me that they threw Him out of the museum as well! At first I was like, ok, whatever dude, but then I looked closer and recognized Him. I mean it was Him, it was the Artist! He told me that even though the museum was supposed to have been built for Him and His art, and even though they talk about Him, they want nothing to do with Him. So long story short, the Artist took me with Him, kinda took me under his wing. We walked the streets and He taught me how to paint, how to create and He taught me the only thing I really wanted to learn, who He is.
Everything I know, I learned from the Artist. I learned about Him, because I met Him, and that’s all I ever needed to know. So my suggestion to you, my friend, is forget about the museums. Doesn’t matter how great you think your museum is, it’s just a building that talks about the Artist. They don’t know. Go meet the Artist. Name’s Johnny, I live in New York on the east side of Brooklyn and I know the Artist.
“You have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things…”
“God…does not dwell in temples made with hands…
So They Changed it Out
There was only one thing on men’s minds back in the late forties when they came from all over the world to reach California. Gold. That precious stone that would forever change their lives. They would endure terrible living conditions, sickness, and bad food, all in hopes of finding pure gold. Gold has worth, gold is precious. As the years wore on, gold got more and more scarce and harder to find. In the town called Sincerity, less and less people were coming to the general store with their sacks of gold to get weighed. Business was slowing and nearly drying up.
Word reached this town, however, of another town, about 100 miles south, that was thriving in gold intake. They had apparently not suffered any let up in the amount of gold being mined but on the contrary, it was increasing. A young man, from the town of Sincerity, named James decided to journey out there and see for himself. If there was still gold to be found, he would find it.
He arrived at the town on a warm summer morning and rode up to the general store to get some supplies and information on where to go. He placed the items he wanted to purchase on the counter and handed the clerk a pinch of gold from a sack. “You got yourself a problem here son,” said the man while chewing a big wad of tobacco, “This here ain’t real gold, I can’t take this”. A few people standing around in the store chuckled. “No, sir” said James, “It certainly is real. I had it weighed out and tested myself”. “Well, I can only say what I can say the way I can say it, son, It ain’t real, and I don’t want it, now scoot”.
James left the store distraught and empty handed. He walked across town to the bank to have his gold examined. “I’m sorry to tell you that it’s all fake, my boy, fool’s gold they call it, not worth a dime”, said the banker, behind small rimmed glasses. James was upset and confused. The banker looked at him, “Real gold is much lighter, if you know what I mean” he said with a wink.
James thought all this over, for he knew without doubt that the gold he carried was real and he knew that real gold was heavy, not light. He asked the banker if he could feel a pinch of “real” gold, so he could see the difference. When James took the “gold” in his fingers, he instantly knew. It was fake. As he opened his mouth to speak, he turned to see the sheriff, with three other men, who stood waiting to escort James out of town.
Here’s what happened:
Time passed, and less and less men were willing to work enough to find real gold. One day, I am not even sure how or where it started, but a rumor began to spread that everyone should begin to accept fool’s gold as real gold. The idea being, if the whole town unanimously agreed to call fake gold real gold, and gave it the same worth, then the system would still work. Some said that it was ridiculous, it is valuable only because it is GOLD, that’s what gives it worth and how it works as money. But the majority began to agree and insist it would work. Obviously if just a few tried this idea, it would be thrown out and rejected, but if a lot of people, in fact, almost all the people did, it would be accepted. Word got out what this little town was doing and, after time, other towns started doing the same thing and trading between other towns until fool’s gold was given more worth than real gold and real gold was considered worthless.
We live in a generation of great deception where truth has lost its value. Many claim to be a “Christian” but live like an unbeliever. They have mere fool’s gold, nothing real. Truth,“ pure gold” can only be found by going to Jesus and learning from Him.
Once upon a time there lived an author who was in the middle of writing a book. He was a bit older, with a few gray hairs streaking his head and slight wrinkles beginning to form on his face. He wrote the first chapters of his book rather quickly but now, at the middle of the book, he was stuck. Writer’s block some would call it. Every time he looked at the blank page that came next, he just sat there and sighed, his hands hovering over the keys unable to type a single letter. The problem was that every time when he could begin to write a new chapter, he would instead go back and re-read the previous chapters. What he read filled him with sorrow, pain and regret that he had written them the way he had written them. And it was too late to change them for there would not be time to complete the book if he did so. Therefore whenever he would begin writing, he would begin regretting. He could not change the beginning so he could not create an ending.
The years turned quickly, soon the author would be too old to even consider writing anymore ever again. He would just sit in his empty house on his old chair with the book on his lap and read and reread his half written book. Regretting the way he had written it, regretting he could not change it and regretting that he had never finished it. One day a man sat besides him as he sat on a park bench. He gave him a new pen and told him to start again. “Forget the whole thing”, the man said, “Start a new book. It’s the only way. Toss aside the half written book and just start a new story, here and now”. The man got up and left and the author sat there looking at the pen. He thought to himself, “I could never just waste all this work. I could never set this all aside and forget it. No, I’ll just keep working on this one and I’ll finish it someday soon…someday”. He set the pen down and left it on the bench, got up and walked back to his empty house. He sat back in his old chair and began to reread the first chapters of a book that would never be finished.
No matter how hard your past may have been, you cannot change it no matter how long you think about it. You must forget the past to find a future.
“…One thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead..(Phil.3:13)”
Whatever it Takes
Once upon a time there was an aspiring actor. He had a beautiful wife and three lovely daughters. His wife repeatedly asked him to pursue a different career since acting would take him away from his family so often. But his mind was set and he promised that no matter what, he would spend most of his time with her and the girls. He desperately wanted to be a famous star and be successful in Hollywood, so he told his wife to give him one year away where he would move to California and see if he could make it. She agreed but only for one year.
He took acting lessons from many different teachers who would tell him certain things he had to change. One coach told him he had to work on his voice tone because his natural voice was quite nasal and too high pitched. So he worked and worked until he had retrained his voice to be very low, almost too low, but they said it was better. One person told him that his eyes were too dull a color to be attractive, and that most good actors have better looking eyes. He was offered a certain kind of contact that enlarged his pupil and changed the eye color. They said after a few years the contact would attach to his eye and become normal. One person told him he had to alter the color and style of his hair, so off to the barbershop he went.
They said his nose was too small and he should have plastic surgery to adjust it, and so he did just that. They said the way he walked was not good and he should learn a new pace and so he did. Each of the new things he learned he over-exaggerated to make sure they were noticed. The year quickly passed and everyone told him he was now ready to try out for films and would make it as an actor.
He auditioned for a part and got it. It was a small role, but everyone said that’s how you start and his career would take off from there. He went home to tell his wife the news and that he would be successful after all. He got on the freeway and made the long drive home. As he walked up the stairs to the porch he could hear her in the kitchen and smelled dinner. He smiled as he walked in and called out to her. Suddenly his wife screamed for she knew neither his voice nor his face. She ordered him out of the house and dialed the cops reporting the break-in of an intruder.
If we change who we are to be who they say we should be, then who do we become?
“Do not be conformed to the standard of this world…”(Rm.12:2)
Larry the Soldier
Larry always wanted to be a soldier, ever since he was a kid. He read books about soldiers, subscribed to magazines, bought army relics and learned all the terms and language. By the time he was an adult he walked like a soldier, talked like a soldier and wore a soldier’s uniform. Everyone he knew called him “soldier” and assumed he was going to enlist. Problem was, the only part about being a soldier that Larry did not like is the part where you had to be willing to lose your life. He didn’t like the whole danger thing, the thought of going to war or giving up comfortable civilian life. He just liked the title and respect you got when you walked around in a soldier’s uniform.
So Larry never enlisted, he just pretended. He moved to another town where no one knew he was not a real soldier and they believed that he was. He had read lots of war stories and learned to make them his own. Larry was a really good talker so he talked like a soldier, but lived a regular life. The funny thing was, there were actually a lot of people that were doing this, pretending to be soldiers, so this made it easier for Larry. They all recognized each other, kind of winked at each other and carried on pretending. And since there weren’t many real soldiers around, they didn’t have to worry about getting caught. So Larry lived as a civilian, never risking his life or giving anything up, just pretending to be a soldier. And that’s the end of the story. Kind of a lame story, I know, but it was about a really lame life, the life of a faker. Eventually though, these pretenders will get caught, and when they do, they will face very serious consequences.
It is easy to call oneself a Christian or say we believe in God.
It’s easy to talk a talk, but only those willing to lose their life will ever truly live.
“No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life…”
Obsession with the Irrelevant
Two men were running for presidency, each from very different backgrounds and with very different campaign strategies. The first man, we will call candidate number one, did something that no one else had ever done in the history of the country. He created free access to himself. Meaning there would be no body guards, no secret service, no need for an appointment or rare town meetings. Directions to where he lived would be clearly posted and anyone, at any time, could go to his office, knock on the door, walk right in to talk to him and ask him any question they might have. According to this strategy, anyone could get to know candidate number one very easily. But the strange thing was, the new rug he put in front of his door, remained brand new and untouched.
Candidate number two, however, was dominating the polls by a land slide. He never showed himself at all, actually, not even once, come to think of it, no one had ever seen his face, in fact, he would go out of his way to hide himself and remain unknown. How was he winning you ask? He would give many things to the citizens as gifts. Devices, gadgets, things to listen to, things to watch, things to drive, things to do and even gave them each their own religion. Little things, big things, places they could go, entertainment they could watch, “churches” the could attend, and the list went on and on. When they got tired of those things, he would give them new things, updated things, better things. Politics and debates were quickly forgotten as the only thing discussed was who had what version of what and who went to what “church” where. Although these things were completely irrelevant, everyone was completely obsessed with them. The citizens would go from one of his places, to driving one of his things, to looking at one of his devices, listening to one thing, watching another thing then talking on one thing, watching a different thing, writing on another thing and communicating with each other through another thing all the while completely distracted from any sense of time, reality or care to who they were receiving these things from.
Well, I don’t think I need to tell you who won. In fact, I don’t think Candidate number one even got a single vote. The paint on his door was never faded by even a single knock and the rug never got dusty from a single visit. No one cared to meet him, they were too busy being obsessed with irrelevant things.
Some time after Candidate number two took office, the citizens made a terrifying discovery. For the first time, in a long time, they looked up and realized they were slaves! Slaves to an evil dictator who’s only purpose was to own them and control them. The world around them was crumbling and they had become as cold, careless machines, mindlessly moving from one thing to another thing and the most horrible part was, they did not care or remember how to care …but at least they had their things.
“ The whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1Jn.5:19)
“Do not love the world nor the things in the world…” (Jam.4:4/1Jn.2:15)
A Town Called Saym
The town called Saym is the safest, securest, most comfortable town in the entire county. Every structure is painted white and it is a beautiful, quiet little town. Every street and alley is the same distance apart, every stop light is at the same interval at the exact measurement as the one before it. Every house the same size, every sidewalk clean, every storefront and business in the same style. Everything was squared off, as if everything was a box with perfect dimensions and symmetric boundaries. Every clock and wrist watch is set to the exact same second and the hours of every business open and close the same. This is to avoid the chaos that comes with delays, bad timing and personal desire to be somewhere else or do something else. Every wall, structure and building is painted white, and every car is black. This is to avoid the chaos that comes from the possibility of offending anyone due to personal taste or likes and dislikes of any kind.
The clothing that each person wears is pre-prepared and sold in preset boxes depending on the need. Work clothes, school clothes, play clothes etc., all colors and styles are similar. This is to avoid the chaos that comes from being unique in any way or causing conflict due to one’s own choices, convictions or beliefs. There are boxes for everything, you could be an athlete, business person, student or whatever you chose, as long as it was within the guidelines of the town called Saym. There was even a “different” box and you could be “different” as long as you did it the same way as the others who were “different”. So technically, the citizens would all live in a box, work in a box, study in a box, pray in a box and then ultimately, end up in a box, six feet under.
You never have to decide what color car to own, or what kind of a house to own or even what to wear. Every decision is decided for you and all you have to do is get up in the morning and do the same thing you did the day before. This indeed is happiness, this is safety, and this is what it means to truly live. Occasionally change was allowed, as long as it was predetermined and socially agreed upon. Everyone that lives here is happy with the way things are in the town called Saym. They like the way things have always been and want them to stay that way. Everything is perfect.
The only thing they feared was the very dangerous man living outside the town. Someone who was from a generation of men that lived a long time ago and who was very powerful. This dangerous man was known by the title of “An Individual” and he was more powerful than everyone in the entire town combined. It was the item he held that made him so dangerous and so strong. He had something that all the citizens of Saym had lost long ago. He had something precious, something of great worth and something he would not lose but guard with all diligence. The item he held was called “A Heart”.
There were but a few that existed who were called by the title of “An Individual” and owned the rare possession of “A Heart”. Whether male or female, they were a great people, courageous and wise because they did not care what anyone thought about them. They had the power to change others and upset the safety of Saym.
The town would seek out “An Individual” and attempt to capture them. Not by violence or force but rather by persuasion and influence. The town would offer free housing to them, acceptance and friendship in hope of eventually making them a citizen of Saym and erasing the horrible title of “An Individual”.
But a true “Individual” cannot be caught or conformed. He has a standard, he has a Heart, and he knows who he is. If you ever see one, you will know, and if, by chance, you are one, be careful, guard your Heart, and let no one make you conform to the laws of the town called Saym.
You can be one of a million or one IN a million. Give Jesus your life. “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Prov.4:23).
The Nicest City
Once upon a time, there was a city that was known as “The nicest city in the world”. This was achieved by many laws that had been put into place over the years. It is quite a long story, but I will omit some detail and shorten it for your benefit.
When the town was newly founded, a man warned another man that his wagon wheels were about to come loose. The man with the wagon, however, was extremely offended that someone would tell him anything. He ignored the man and went on his way. An hour later, a wheel came off, the cart was lost and a child was injured in the accident. The man however, did not regret that he had not listened to the man, only that the man had told him in the first place, making him feel accountable. Anyway, this was the first step into a chain of events that led to the current laws. Other such events occurred where one would warn another of an error or danger, the other would ignore the warning and then later suffer consequences. Because the citizens of this city were very proud, the results were always the same. One would not regret not listening to the other, only harbor anger that they were ever told to do something contrary to what they were doing. So a vote was taken and laws were written. Many laws, but I will sum it up for you with the basic law, “No citizen shall hereby tell another citizen anything contrary to what he or she would want to hear as determined by the hearer.” If the law was ever broken, the perpetrator was considered full of hate, evil and would be punished.
So now, years later, everyone either kept to themselves, or only spoke in support of what another was doing regardless of what they really thought. Although the citizens considered themselves “very nice”, an outsider might perceive quite a different reality. Accidents occurred, property was damaged, people got sick, and lives were lost, all because no one ever broke the law and ventured to tell another anything that was contrary to what was commonly accepted as normal.
So one day a merchant was sitting by the main gate to the city when he watched two travelers approach. He watched as the gatekeeper questioned them as to the nature of their visit and how long they would be staying. When the keeper was satisfied, he opened the gate and let them in. The merchant recognized the travelers and knew them to be of an enemy land. However, not wanting to break the law and contradict the gatekeeper, he kept silent. Three days later the two travelers, who were indeed enemies, had burned down the entire village.
To make my point we will say that the merchant knew for certain that the enemy was going to destroy the town. Do you think he did the right thing by keeping silent and not offending anyone? If one knows for certain that there is a horrible place called Hell, would it not be cowardice and in fact evil, to not warn others? In that perspective, I warn you, my friend, this world will be destroyed. Seek the Kingdom that is not of this world (Jn.18:36).
here once was a Father, who loved music. He yearned to hear a perfect sound, a beautiful melody that would touch His heart. The only one who had ever played a sound like this before, was His Son. He only had one Son and He loved Him with all His heart. His Son knew the sound His Father desired to hear and played the song His Father loved.
One day, the Son set out in search of a new instrument that He could play for His Father. He left in search of something that would make a unique and beautiful sound.
He walked into a music store and scanned the aisles looking for the right instrument. He saw many new instruments, all typical, all generic. Everyone and anyone can play a new instrument, He needed something special, so He left the music store.
He gave up walking down main street, and turned down a back alley. He casually kicked a can, downcast, thinking perhaps the instrument He sought did not exist. The can kicked an object making a very unique sound. The Son bent down and looked at the object the can had hit. There, on the ground, was a broken guitar. It was not yet rotten, but had been destroyed and so was discarded and forgotten. The Son picked up the guitar and strummed the few strings that were still connected and tapped the side of it.
When he heard the sound it made, He heard the sound he had been searching for! Real sound. That special, unique sound His Father loved came from a broken instrument.
The Son took the guitar and refined it. Then He played for His Father and it was the most beautiful sound that one could imagine. For the Son Himself had been, “crushed..Smitten and afflicted..” And so knew how to bring beautiful, out of broken, song out of sorrow and power, out of weakness.
God will always oppose the proud, but will favor and bless those that are broken and lowly. Choose humility, and God will reveal Himself to you.
“God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things that are strong…the base things..the despised.. the things that are not, to nullify the things that are”. (1Cor.1:28/12:9/ Is.53/Mt.5:3/Is.57:15/1Pet.5:5)
The Unexpected Happens
Jack lived in the town of Procrastination, where no one was ever quick to do anything. They would wait until they were cooking the last egg before they bought more, they would wait till the morning the rent was due to pay it and until the car was flashing empty to fill it.
One day the town was notified that a catastrophic storm was coming, a storm that no house could hold up under. Every citizen was instructed to check into the shelter no later then 9 am on the 5th of august, which was ten days aways. The doors would close at 9:00 on the dot and would not re-open. “Ten days”, thought Jack, “I’ll make sure I get there some time next week”. The days passed boring and uneventful. There was no sign a storm was coming at all. Everything was still and in fact the weather was beautiful, Jack was completely in control of his life.
Jack woke up and lazily gazed out the window. The sky was gray, and a cold wind ruffled the curtains. Jack looked at his watch, 8:30am. He suddenly remembered what day it was, Tuesday, August 5th! It was the Last Day! “I still have a half hour” thought Jack, as he dressed and laced up his boots. He wandered to the kitchen and grabbed some coffee. 8:46, “I still have 14 minutes” he thought as he clicked on the news and sat down to drink his coffee. The shutters began to bang loudly as the wind picked up and the rain began to fall softly. 8:55, “5 minutes, I guess I should probably get ready to go”. 8:58, Jack walked out the door and started his car. The shelter was ten miles away. By the time Jack arrived it was 9:17 and the doors had been shut. The storm had arrived and he would not survive. Life is flying by. God says, “ Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your
There were certain lines you did not cross in the largest lab in the country. I mean actual, physical lines drawn on the ground. Boundary lines of places that one could not and should not go. For many years these lines were highly regarded and respected,.Ancient boundaries they were called, and no one touched them. But as years wore on, the workers of the lab began to get arrogant. They would occasionally cross over the lines just to see if anything would happen. When nothing would happen, they would get bolder and cross the line more often and more frequently.
They did not realize, however, that each time they went back and forth they were becoming contaminated with certain chemicals that should never be mixed. Each day they would sweep the facility with brooms dipped in a cleaning solution in hope that they could gradually, but permanently erase the lines. They carried on like this day after day, month after month, year after year until most of the lines had been crossed and erased. One day they realized that most all the lines were gone, and in fact, they could not even remember where they had been. What they did not know was that they had unleashed a horrible, deadly disease that would eventually kill them all.
Things that were considered taboo years ago, are now considered acceptable and normal and sacred standards have been blurred. The word “tolerance” is used to hide cowardice because no one has the courage to hold the line. Delusion is great. These are the last days. “Evil an insanity is in their hearts…”(Eccl.9:3) “Do not move the ancient boundary…”(Prov.22:28/2Tim.3:13)
The White Shadow
There is a great danger that is sweeping the land. A terrible dangerous thing that chases men down and then controls their lives. What is most dangerous, is that no one knows it is dangerous. Men think it is harmless, even a good thing. Some welcome it, some seek it and some work their whole lives to draw it to them. I will call it the “White Shadow”. By now, it has caught much of the human race, settled on them and casts its spell upon them.
After it traps someone, it puts an invisible door, like a portal of magic, called a “Motion” over every place they go and walk and live. So if they go in or out, anywhere, any time, they cannot escape. They are doomed to spend their life going through the Motions.
The White Shadow is more commonly called “Comfort” and very few have ever escaped from its claws once they are caught. In fact, very few want to escape. Nothing is more dangerous than the safety of being comfortable. It is better to face the danger of the unknown, than to know that you will never face danger. The only way to break it’s spell is to obey the ancient commandment… “Go..Therefore”(Mt.28:19).
Jesus said that someone born of His Spirit will be like the wind (Jn.3:8). If you are not changing, you are dying and comfort is the enemy of change.
Once, a long time ago there used to be a beautiful breed of bird that populated the country in abundance. It was a magnificent creature covered in brightly colored feathers and sang the most unique and lovely song. Over the years, however, the bird became less and less common until the day came, when the bird, that was once taken for granted, was now basically extinct. Days, months and years would go by without seeing a single bird, and the sad thing was, the people did not even seem to mind or care at all. In fact, not only did they not miss the bird, they seemed quite glad that it was gone. Every once in a long while, this beautiful, rare bird may, perhaps, cross your path. I doubt it. I doubt you will ever hold one in your hands, but perhaps it may happen. If it ever does, don’t ignore it, don’t take it for granted, because you may never see one again the rest of your life. The name of the breed of bird is Sincerity.
There once was a very shrewd and wealthy business man who had two sons. He needed to decide which one he was going to leave his entire company to, so he informed them he would be deciding over the next few years and would make his decision based on their actions. The first son quickly packed his things and left to go study business. He traveled around the world, studied abroad, and spent much time and effort to learn everything he could about business. He bought fine business suits, nice shoes and learned all the language that was used in the business world.
The second son did no such things. He did not go anywhere, buy anything or study elsewhere. He stayed with his father, every moment of every day and learned from him. He watched the way his father would work, the way he made business deals and negotiated contracts. He learned the way his father would talk and walk, what he liked and did not like and he learned all his father’s ways.
When the time came for the father to hand over the company, the decision was clear. It was the second son who would receive everything he owned. Jesus said, “Come…Learn from Me” (Mt.11:29)
Perfect translation is a great skill, and interpreters are paid very highly for their services. Some languages are so different from other languages that certain words the speaker says in one language may not even exist in the language being translated. Thus the interpreter must choose an accurate word, or series of words, which will communicate the exact same meaning. There may be multiple words which the translator could choose that basically mean the same thing, but the “basically” is what makes the difference between a good translator and a great one. For within the culture of the country there is a specific feeling and mood to certain words that convey a certain meaning. If the translator merely translates the speaker’s words literally, much would be lost and perhaps misunderstood. In some cases, translation does not have great consequences as long as the two parties understand each other, but in the case of two countries on the brink of war, the consequences of miscommunication could be catastrophic.
Joshua sat at his desk sorting papers and arranging his schedule for the coming month. It was one in the morning and his eyes were growing heavy. He put all the papers in his briefcase, clicked off the lamp and left the office. It was early spring in Chicago and still cold and cloudy. A light rain fell as Joshua put on his coat and walked the six blocks to his apartment. He was only in his early thirties, but the lines on his face and around his eyes said he was older. Joshua was the most sought out Interpretor in the nation, perhaps even the world. He spoke many languages perfectly and would take on his client’s tone and passion so exact that it was if they themselves were speaking. Every single word was perfectly communicated and never, in all his years had he made a single mistake or lost even one word. He spent most of his time in Washington, working directly with the president and was only home in Chicago for the weekend. Many wanted to hire him but, since he started working for the president, he was committed only to him. The last few weeks he had been with the president in very intense translation over possibly the most important conversation of all time.
The president awoke early, dressed and washed his face. He had not slept much again and hoped the coffee would work. The secretary of defense was also up and met the president in the oval office. “I’ve considered every single option” said the president, “and I don’t see how we can avoid going to war”. The secretary of defense hung his head and gave a subtle nod. Everyone knew that this would be the most catastrophic, devastating war ever. “I have tried everything with this nation to no avail. We will have our final discussion with them this afternoon and, based on the conclusion of that conversation, we will make our decision”. “Yes, sir” said the secretary, “I’ll call Joshua”.
The intensity in the room was so heavy you could feel it. It had been just less than two hours but Joshua had been translating so intensely that it felt more like seven hours. The anger in the president’s tone was barely suppressed as the ambassador on the other end of the line continued his arrogant rant of reasons his nation would not agree to the proposed peace terms. The conversation was coming to a climax and everyone in the room knew there would be only one conclusion, and then the foreign ambassador said the word. “So be it then” he said, “We will go to war”. There was a moment of silence, and then Joshua caught his breath and translated the words. Then he abruptly stood up, left the office and was not seen again for a long time. Three years later:
The two countries never went to war. For the first time, ever, Joshua did not translate accurately. For the first time, He did not say what was said. He changed a word, just one word. A nation spoke “war”, and Joshua, sacrificing his position as a perfect translator, spoke “peace”. He later walked back into the president’s office with a smile on His face. It is finished, Mr. President, peace has been won.
Man had provoked war against God. Jesus came as the Mediator, the
Translator and spoke peace.
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath
translated us into the kingdom…”
Jesse was a crime scene investigator and one of the best at that. But it was his recent discovery that had him greatly perplexed. There had been a string of crimes where the same suspect was seen fleeing the scene of each crime. Great and tragic damage had been done by this suspect. Families were destroyed, lives were ruined, and, in many cases, after the suspect committed his crime, there were accounts of divorce, suicide and mental illness occurring.
However, it was not seeing the suspect at all these crime scenes that had Jesse so troubled. It was what he began to find when he sat down to do some research on the Internet. As he cross referenced the information he had on the suspect with other crimes and incidents, he began to see the same suspect pop up all over the place, all over the country and what was most disturbing was that he was seen in crimes that took place generations ago! He looked up past crimes, assassinations, murders and was greatly alarmed to read the accounts of witnesses describing the same suspect he was now chasing.
Then he found himself looking up the past wars, the Civil War, World War Two and Vietnam and lo and behold, the suspect had been there! “This can’t be possible”, Jesse
thought out loud, “He would have to be hundreds of years old, be able to time travel, be many places at the same time and yet never get caught.” There is something I am missing…”
Jesse left his office, got into his car and started to back out of his space. Suddenly, a lady cut him off, trying to get into the space next to his before another car did. Jesse lost his temper completely, slammed his brakes on and cursed as she barely missed him. Suddenly, at that exact moment, he saw in his rear view mirror, the reflection of the suspect! The suspect was right there in his very own car…or wait…it was his own reflection..was the suspect actually inside of Jesse? The face of anger, laziness and selfishness are the many face of the suspect, the assassin called “Sin” that destroys so many.
No one talks about it on the nightly news but sin, is the reason for all our problems, killing us from the inside out. How many times, after a crime, have you heard someone say, “ I can’t believe he did that, he was not that kind of person…” ? Someone that seemed happy, suddenly commits suicide, reasons are given and the assassin called Sin remains unmentioned and hidden. Sin is not something we do or don’t do, it is the result of the fall of Adam and Eve and is as a virus in our very blood (Read Romans 3 and 7/Mt.5:21) This should not offend you, but rather give you hope. God knows what’s inside you, you don’t have to hide it. It is the reason He sent His Son, Jesus. Jesus drew the assassin to himself and killed him. He bore all sin in His body on the cross, then came back from the dead conquering sin and death forever. You cannot be good, or better yourself and God does not want you to. Jesus said, “You must be born again” (Jn.3:7/1Pet.2:24/Is.53/Heb.9:26)