Nov 15, 2012

Who New?

There is a simple question which clarifies the destiny of every soul.
And, beyond that, the answer to this question defines our theology, our spiritual investment level, and the quality of our relationship to God. The question is this:  "Do you want to be new?"

That’s a different question than, “Do you want to be forgiven?” It’s different from, “Do you need a new start in life?” And, it's different from, “Do you need a rescue from some dire circumstance of life?”

These can all be motives which drive us to Christ – and often do.
But, once we encounter Him, this larger and more encompassing question of personal renewal comes into play.  Always, in Christ, the overarching question becomes “Will you embrace a personal transformation?”

Obviously, this desire does not take root in the heart of all who come to Christ. Sometimes it is true, seekers wish only to make a minimal investment. Sometimes a little help, or a momentary rescue, or a simplistic religious experience is all they want. And, once those things are secured, they’re happy to leave it at that.


So, many simply have no appetite for allowing Christ to expose their personal brokenness, or for allowing Him to treat that condition. Their preference is more toward a kind of “Surgical Redemption.”

Surgical redemption could be described as minimally invasive to one’s priorities, schedule, and life plan.  This is a redemption which deals only with manageable specifics, and leaves the seeker totally in charge of his or her level of investment. 

But, the reality is this: “Surgical Redemption” is not the stuff of Heaven. Authentic redemption in Christ is always an “all in” proposition. 

And, as part of that devotion, genuine redemption always involves a renewal process which thoroughly rebuilds us from the ground up. It rewrites our value system from scratch. And it alters our own schemes and dreams in service to God's higher purposes for our life.

So, there is really no such thing as surgical redemption or a “measured response” to God’s redemptive offer. In Christ, redemption is always about going all in to become thoroughly new in character and influence.

Thus, our conversion experience may, indeed, involve a circumstantial rescue of some kind. It may involve the desperate need for a do-over in life. And God's forgiveness is certainly always a necessary part of the package. But, beyond all of this, the issue always ultimately becomes, “Will you embrace the pursuit of your own personal transformation?"

If your response goes something like this, “No, thanks; I really just need a little circumstantial help from time to time.  Or, "I'm really only interested in an easily managed religious involvement.” Then, that is what you'll get from God - and that's all.

If, however, your desperation runs along these lines: “Oh God, yes! I have seen my brokenness and I need your help! By all means, please fix me through Christ.” Then, a truly intimate relationship with Him and the resulting upward journey begins. And the rest is easily predictable.

The result of this buy-in to personal renewal is the divine initiation of a powerful process which flows, not from the Dying Christ of the Cross, but from the Living Christ of the Resurrection. The process begins with the literal integration of our human nature with the divine nature of the Living Christ.
(Ref. 2 Peter 1:4)

This experience is what the Church calls The Spiritual Baptism.  But, in common terms, this experience is merely a mystical merger with the Living Christ, by which the believer is literally empowered for newness.

Through this Spiritual connection to Christ, the believer receives what might accurately be described as a new "character DNA."  It is essentially a value system overwrite.  And this new, Christ-based character code then begins to change who we are – from the inside out. It begins to make us new at our core.

The Apostle, Paul said it best. “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.”


There are many religious games out there. And many choose to play them. But true redemption is not a game. It involves a very stringent selection process, the outcome of which is ultimately determined by one simple question: “Do you want to be new?”

“Do you want to be new?” It is this question which accurately conveys the full scope of God’s redemptive intent. And our response to this question is ultimately the real decider of souls – all games aside.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” - Jesus

Oct 16, 2012

The Real Portrait


I didn't see it at first.  When I began my journey with the Savior, I thought it was just about that - saving my soul.  And, I thought the process was basically about a long list of Dos and Don’ts. But, in fact, it's about something much bigger and better.  It is about  friendship. 

And that friendship means this.  In Christ, every day of our lives we rise to His presence with us.  As a result, we are never alone in any circumstance.  He shares with us every challenge, every achievement, every fear, every joy, and every milestone of any kind.  And in all of those times, we enjoy a constant access to all that He is.

When we go to the place where we pray in the morning, He is there.  And, we talk, and plan, and work out solutions for life.  And then we charge into the day - together.
And as a result of this daily friendship, we come to know Jesus through our life path.  We experience Him, for example, through our life as a student, through our work life, through our recreational life, and through our relational life.  And, in all of those circumstances, and many more, He becomes a force to enable our personal growth and truely meaningful successes. 

And, in the course of these interactions, He gives us honest perspectives.  He is forgiving of our weaknesses and mistakes.  And, as any true friend would be, He is sometimes insistent - in our best interest. 

I know very well that Jesus is Almighty God and the Lord of all things.   I understand the great gulf which exists between His station and mine in the grand scheme of things.  And yet, my more common awareness is now mostly just this intimate friendship.  And though I’ve never seen my divine Friend, that awareness has only deepened with time. 

And, indeed, He is normally invisible to the physical eye.  That is just the present reality.    And, for my part, that’s ok.  I just don’t have a problem with invisible. 

And is the true substance of any friendship ever really known in the external?

It is not by sight that we come to know Jesus.  It is by an inner awareness, an entirely new and divinly provided sensibility which reaches beyond the limitation of our physical senses.  And it is this inner sense of Him which allows us to perceive His emotions, His demeanor, and even to hear His inner voice.  So, the eye is really unnecessary to this friendship.  This friendship is enabled, not by sight, but by a divinely awakened heart.

Many people fear such things, that which they cannot see or understand through the physical senses.  But, we quickly cease to be one of those people when we taste the divine friendship in the simplicity of - just knowing Him. 

And again, I, too, have to admit that I once feared what I mistakenly perceived concerning God.  I thought Him to be all about intrusion, and demands, and a sterile, joyless existence.  Turns out, that’s just the Devil’s portrait of Him. 

Certainly, God is the absolute Authority in the universe.  But, most days, in Christ, you'd never know it.  And, in fact, when I think about God's authority, I find it comforting to know that all of that power is only ever focused on my highest good.  So, I now trust that power.  I do not suspect it.

In spite of how the Devil paints things, it is the divine friendship which enables us. In the energies of Christ, our character is renewed and made more attractive.  His love confirms us as valuable.  He brings confidence to our direction.  In Him, we find help, and companionship, and hope, and certainty.

Deep friendship, even with Almighty God, is still only real love wonderfully played out in shared days. 

And, it’s true.  I, like so many others, just didn’t see that at first.  I thought, back in the day, that God was, indeed, only about that long list of “Dos and Don’ts.”  However, what I have discovered is that life, itself, furnishes the Dos and Don'ts. 

God is more about helping us successfully negotiate those choices - in the simple context of a close and enduring friendship.

          End

To explore the idea of God's friendship in a different way, you may want to click on the link below.  It will take you to our (Flites Of Fancy Blog (short stories) where this writing describes God's friendship in story form.

                                      Jump To:  The Odyssey Of The Rising

Oct 8, 2012

The Even Bigger God


It is one thing to encounter the God who deals with the needs of our soul.  It is entirely another to encounter the God who takes on the needs of our days.  The God of our souls is certainly big.  But, in some sense, the God of our everyday need is even bigger.
 

The Apostle Paul recounts in the New Testament how he sought God three times for one such need, what he called his, “thorn in the flesh.”  We are not entirely certain of the nature of the problem to which Paul was referring.  But we know it was, as is many times the case in life, one of those enduring difficulties.  It was some sort of disability that was both insurmountable for him and long term in scope. 
 

  Paul is describing that frightening and seemingly hopeless place where lives the reality of being completely outmatched by our troubles.  And, it is all but absolutely certain that we will each arrive there at some point in time.
 

Paul, in such a place, says that he “pleaded with the Lord” to take this “thorn” away.  And this was the Lord’s answer to him.  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
 

This was probably not the answer that Paul was hoping for, at least at first.  He was probably hoping that Christ would answer in His “almighty-ness” and simple flick the problem out of existence with His divine finger. 
 

Most of us, when facing a similar intimidation, probably, approach God, at least initially, in that same way.  Our first hope is usually for a quick, or even an instant, solution from Him.
 

But, as the Lord indicated to Paul by His answer, there is another solution which God often chooses to employ as an alternative to instant deliverance.  It is the “Graceful Solution.”  And that is the solution that He offers to Paul for his “thorn.”
 

This offer of Grace instead of Raw Power may be a little disappointing, at least initially, to those who are actually suffering under the weight of some overwhelming burden.  But, when we understand the full implications of this offer, then, disappointment is replaced by relief and hope.  And that relief begins with the word itself, Grace.
 

It is often the case in more recent times that Grace is merely understood to be God’s “unmerited favor toward man.”  This definition actually better defines Mercy, which is certainly a product of God’s grace.  But Grace is a much larger term than Mercy, and so, the two don’t equally interchange.  Grace, as generally defined by any dictionary, is best and more accurately understood to be, even in the New Testament context, “an innate or naturally occurring goodness.”
 

So, what we are really seeing in the Lord’s offer of His graceful sufficiency to Paul is His willingness to bring the innate goodness of His divine nature to bear.  Christ is offering to put His natural goodness to work in Paul’s behalf. 
 

This is the same Grace (natural goodness) which designed the redemptive plan for mankind.  This is the same innate goodness mentioned in the Book of Ephesians, where Paul writes, “For by grace [God’s natural goodness] you have been saved through faith, and that, not of yourselves, it is the gift of God…”  So, Christ is offering to employ His own limitless goodness to design and provide a wonderful solution for Paul’s dilemma.
 

But, why?  Why not simply use His “mighty cosmic powers” to just instantly remove the problem?  Why go through the motions of some graceful solution, when quick and easy are so available.
 

A few days ago my 10 year old grandson came to visit me.  In his hand was a Walmart bag.  In the bag was a bunch of parts from a lamp, now thoroughly broken.  Together, he and I built this lamp for his room, a couple of years ago. 
 

He said, “Pawpaw my lamp is broken.  Will you fix it for me?”  I was overjoyed.
 

Now, I could have said, “Oh, let’s just run to Walmart, and I will buy you a new one.”  That would be the quick and easy, “almighty power of Pawpaw,” flick the problem away, kind of solution, of course.
 

But, I much prefered the gracefulness of another solution.  That is the solution where I take my grandson to our beloved place, my workshop in the back yard, and we spend time together doing what he needs done. 
 

There, while we fix the lamp, we will talk about a thousand things.  We will tease each other.  We will challenge each other.  We will laugh.  We will brainstorm. We will tell tall tales. And he will learn, not only about lamps, but about Pawpaw.  And I will learn about him.  And our love, and the depth of our relationship, and we, ourselves, will grow through this time of pure goodness as it unfolds.
 

That is the answer to the “Why.”  God chooses to employ Grace, to allow His natural goodness to unfold before us, because in doing so, we interact with Him through the process.  And, in that interaction, our love grows, and our relationship is deepened, and we are transformed.
 

Paul’s response, when He eventually understood the inestimable worth of what God was offering to do for him, was this, “Therefore, most gladly will I rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Paul eventually understood that his troubles were only the opportunity to experience, at a new level, the transforming power of Christ’s natural goodness unfolding through his need. 
 

The simple reality is this.  What life presents as trouble, grace (the divine goodness) is able to transform into the means of a deep and durable friendship.  And, that process changes us and introduces us to the even bigger God, the God who is our everyday help.

End

Another article regarding "Grace" which you may find interesting is "The Nature Of Grace."                    
                                 Go To:  "The Nature Of Grace" article.
 

Oct 2, 2012

The R/Gap


If I took a word, Humility for example, and arbitrarily assign a new meaning to it, consider the impact that this would have on human relationships.  Let’s suppose, to replace the true concept, I assigned this meaning for the word, Humility:  “An intellectual commitment which need not have any real impact on everyday behavior.”

So, here is how this new concept of “Humility” would then play out in some of our common relationships.  In the case of children who normally should be meek and obedient (humble) before their parents, they would no longer actually feel obliged to be so.  Under the new concept of humility as “meaningless commitment,” they would simply promise to obey and then go do whatever they wanted.

 In the case of marriage, true humility causes each partner to value the other above themselves and behave like it.  But, with this new idea of humility, the partners could commit, at the marriage altar, to “honor and cherish” each other.   And then, under the new concept of, “empty promises are ok,” they would be free to emphasize their own importance over the other in the relationship which follows.

In the case of a business relationship, a needy sales person, being grateful for a large order, might, humbly commit to serve the customer well.  But, operating under this new concept of humility as “pretense,” the sales person would, after the sale, simply ignore the customer’s needs in the interest of her own. 

The point: 

When we alter the concept for which a word stands, it can completely change our reality. 

And so it is with the word, Faith.  In more recent decades, pop preaching and the Devil’s theologians have managed to alter, on a broad scale, our working concept of “Redemptive Faith.”

The opening paragraphs of this article actually are an explanation of the problem.  We have done, as a culture, precisely what is described there. 

In fact, redemptive faith actually is best understood to be“a profound personal humility of will before God.”   

But, we have allowed this true concept of redeeming faith to be perverted to the bogus definition used above.  So, the modern concept of redemptive faith has largely become “An intellectual commitment which need not have any real impact on everyday behavior.”

This perversion has the same impact on our relationship to God that it was shown to have on our relationships with each other.  It robs the relationship of all validity and authenticity.

And this flawed concept of faith also entirely explains the "Relational Gap" which has developed between God and the present culture.  We are now generally more distant from God, individually, and thus as a culture, simply because we no longer understand how to correctly engage Him through faith.  And we will not be able to close this relational gap until we once again embrace the idea of saving faith as a thorough humility of will before God,
 
                a complete volitional "sell out" to the Savior.
 
 
End

For a more comprehensive look at the concepts surrounding “Redemptive Faith” you may want to read the article, “Crimson Link:”        Go to: “Crimson Link:”
 
Two shorter articles of a similar nature are located on the Nuts And Bolts Blog which is a part of The Prophet’s Passions Website network.      Go to: “The Nature Of Faith”  
 Go to: "The Common Path Of The Redeemed"
 
I would also encourage the reader to plug this authentic concept of saving faith into the various places in the New Testament where faith issues are being discussed.  It will make for very dramatic insights into what the scripture is really saying.

May 2, 2012

Dark Spiral

Within the human being is this wonderful, maddening, unpredictable, (and did I mention wonderful) thing which we call a heart. In general, our heart, not the physical heart, of course, but the figurative heart, is the centralized essence of all that we are.  Basically it is our character essence.

OK -  I guess if we have to be more specific, it is made up of both our our conscious and our subconscious minds. And, certainly it contains our emotions. And, without doubt, it houses our conscience and our value system.

But, most days, it is just our heart. It is what we feel. It is our sense of good and evil, right and wrong. It is the driver of our day, the setter of our direction, the decider of our actions, and our reactions.

When our heart is right, i.e. living in harmony with God’s truth, we are truly blessed. Our existence becomes fulfilling, meaningful, and beautifully ordered.

But, when our heart goes wrong, when we start to live in discord with the divine truth, everything goes spiraling downward into a very dark place. And sometimes that spiral transcends generations to become an inter-generational decline – enabling the darkest of the Darkness to touch our existence.

And this downward spiral of perception, thought, and attitude toward God is very traceable. Its trajectory is clearly etched in the pages of the Bible, beginning in the early regions of the book of Genesis - chapter 3, to be exact. 

There we find Adam and Eve living in perfect harmony with God and His truth. And we can notice the ideal state of their faith, which was essentially this:  "There is a God, and He is watching out for my best interests. And, I am happy for Him to do so."

We can see this simple confidence in the first couple when the Adversary comes to Eve and sarcastically accuses God of being restrictive to the pair. He does this through his question, which he delivers with a negative spin regarding God’s protection of the couple. The Adversary says, “Has God indeed said, ‘You may not eat of every tree of the Garden?’”

Eve responds to this negative accusation by pointing out that God has kindly given them access to all the trees in the garden except one, and that, only to protect them from the consequences of its deadly fruit. Thus, with a perfect confidence in God’s care, she says, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But, of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it; nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

So, this is the high place where God intends for us to live. Faith is to bring us to the simple truth that, yes, indeed, there is a God; and he is, in fact, looking out for our best interest, which we are happy to allow Him to do.

But then, we notice the beginning of the downward spiral. A background question is introduced to the conversation between Satan and Eve. And, it marks the first point of the trajectory toward the Darkness. The question is this.  “Yes, there is a God.  But, is He really watching out for my best interests?”

We see this inference in the Adversary’s statement when he says, “You shall not surly die. For God knows that in the day that you eat of it [the fruit] your eyes will be opened; and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Notice, the Devil does not challenge the reality of God, here. It is the verity and goodness of God which is called into question. Eve is being asked simply to suspect the motives and actions of her Creator.

Eventually, as we now know, Adam and Eve succumbed to the subtlety of Satan. So, believing the suggestion of Satan, that the fruit could make them like God, self-sufficient and with a more perfect awareness of what was truly good and truly evil, they ate the the fruit.  

And just like that the next step away from God and toward the abyss of the Darkness was taken.    It was this.  “There is a God, but I am really my own best hope. So, I will rely on my own aspirations and actions.”
Adam and Eve quickly discovered the error in this thought. But, they could not undo this poisonous attitude of self-determination which had already infected their heart, and which would eventually infect the whole of the species through them.

And, this downward heart spiral, which Adam and Eve introduced to humanity, did, indeed, continued through subsequent generations. We can read of this in Paul’s writings, in the book of Romans, chapter 2, where the Apostle describes this trans-generational darkening.

He says there, “For since the creation of the world, His [God’s] invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they were without excuse; because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts. And their foolish hearts were darkened." [Brackets added]

So, eventually, as succeeding generations come and go this progressing "heart darkness" brings humanity to ask the next question question in the downward spiral.  Man starts to ask,
“Is there really a God?”

And now, in this late hour of human history, we have come to the place that arrogantly brag of our final and definitive answer to that question.  Relying on reason, and science, and the power of our own intellect, we fashion this conclusion:  There is no God!”

And as the darkness of the species progresses man eventually arrives at the only conclusion which will ultimately satisfy his arrogance.  It is this idea: I am the God.  The idea being that, “We are self sufficient, the masters of our own destiny and answerable to no higher power.” 

But, in fact, we are not, of course. The simple fact, which such a delusion always evades, is that we all die. Thus, less a redemptive Creator, every individual in the species is born merely running headlong toward his or her personal extinction. 

So, if in the thinking of our dark heart we subtract the redemptive God from our reality, the destiny with which we are all left becomes merely - oblivion. If we have no divine Savior, our end is simply to cease to exist. Obviously, all of this smacks much more of insufficiency than self- sufficiency.

But, in fact, there is a loving and redemptive God. There is, indeed, a divine Savior. He is Christ, the completely unique Savior of the world. And He goes far beyond merely saving us from the consequential death of our decision to entrust ourselves to ourselves. He also restores our heart to a true enlightenment.

And with that restored heart, a heart which is once again in harmony with God’s truth, comes a durable and completely fulfilling renewal of our friendship with our loving Creator. And, as a result, we are brought to a wonderful destiny of real substance - an elevated and everlasting existence.

Nevertheless, all of that goodness depends upon this complicated inner mechanism - the heart. It is that thing which enables us to feel. It is our sense of good and evil, right and wrong. 
It is the driver of our day, the setter of our direction, the decider of our actions and our reactions.  

And ultimately, depending on whether it is enlightened by Christ or darkened by our own arrogance, our heart will make of us one of two things.  Either it will make of us a blessed and grateful child of God.  Or it will make of us an arrogant and egocentric fool.

Apr 22, 2012

God: Manager Of Train Wrecks

“Poor little me,” there is just too much of that emotion going on among believers these days.  Feeling sorry for yourself is not a productive posture, and thus, not something that men and women of God should be involved in, monthly or weekly, much less daily.

If you deserve to be felt sorry for, let somebody else do it.  Let those who love and care about you do it.  Or better yet, let God take care of that.  He is a very good judge of circumstance.  He will certainly know when you need to be emotionally stroked, and perhaps lent a divine hand.  If you really deserve it, allow your compassionate God to feel sorry for you.  And that will come off looking, and actually being, a lot better than you feeling sorry for yourself.
On the other hand, if you don’t really deserve to be felt sorry for, then why in the world are you doing it.  “Poor little me,” isn't flattering to anyone - ever.  But it is especially unflattering when it becomes a chronic coping attitude.  So, if that's what's going on - quit it.  You're better than that.
Here is a better way to deal with life's pain, heavy burdens, and rough patches.  #1, stop running around in your own head and listening to your own voice.  Start listening for God’s. 

And this is what His voice is going to say.  I know, because this is what He always says to us when we are struggling under the weight of life’s painful loads.  He will say, “Come aside to Me.”
When you hear that divine invitation, #2, Do it!  Determine to have a true personal emphasis of some significant duration (think: “make this a big deal”) aimed at spending quality time with God, and through that, understanding his purpose and direction for you.  Set some things aside.  Leave some things off.  And just go alone with Him in a very intentional way.
When you do, God’s love will comfort you and help you in just the ways that you need to be comforted and helped.  And He will give you a personal renewal and a new direction. 
And when he does, #3, Follow it!  Trust God and let God.  Allow Him to work His plan, His way, instead of believing that you must work your plan, your way.  Trust and follow His instructions.
If you will do these things, you can go from “poor little me” to "how great thou art, Lord" - a much better frame of mind.  And that leads to a much happier and more productive lifestyle, and a much better looking daily posture for men and women who know and serve a compassionate and almighty God.
How do I know all of this wonderful stuff?  Hummm… Now, let’s see…

Feb 15, 2012

These Words

One of my concerns when my children were growing up was that one day they would be - all grown up. But who would they then be? Would they be people of good character? Would they be people of faith? And would their faith lead them to their own vibrant adventure with God?

Or, would their faith just be their father's faith, warmed over? I wondered, would they encounter God on the high plane of their own new story. Or would they just "phone it in," merely going through the motions of the faith habit that they learned in our home.

I don’t want my children to be on auto pilot when it comes to their faith. I want them to tussle with God in the throes of wrestling their way to their own spiritual maturity. I want them to hunger after God and God’s highest. I want them to spend themselves on the effort of their own personal discovery process.

I want them to truly invest, and then invest some more, as growth requires it. I want them to lay it all on the line out of love for Him. In short, I want them to be people of godly intensity. And, for that matter, I wish that same intensity for the whole of the Church. That is just the right way of things.

This early concern for my children came from a simple observation. What I saw is what I have come to call the "Second Generation Creep." That term pretty well describes what I have noticed: that sometimes, children who grow up in Christian homes develop a kind of "Rote Religion." That is, their experience with God has not the intensity of mom and dad’s experience. Rather, their experience morphs into something more mechanical. It becomes too automatic. It lacks the substance of their own deep devotion.

And it is true that this Generational Creep also seems to sometimes touch the Church as a whole, both on the local and the larger scale. When we get "all grown up" as a church, we sometimes just find our "Rote Rut" and get in it. We do what we’ve always done. We settle into the comfort zone of the familiar; and we just go through the motions - pretty much without intellectual, emotional, or spiritual intensity.

Nevertheless, the words of the first admonition remain simple. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength."

In one sense, these words are the First Words. And as we occasionally revisit them in our heart, these words, can save us. They can save us from the quagmire of an "Automated Religion" which merely takes us through the motions of our father’s faith without asking us to discover our own.

When allowed to envelope the heart, these words can awaken us to fresh levels of relationship with God. They can infuse us with new devotion. They can animate us with curiosity and heightened interest. They can move us to a very personalized investment. These words are the core words of real spiritual intensity.

Maybe, in keeping with this season of renewal, it would, indeed, be appropriate to revisit these words in our heart. And in doing so, perhaps we can experience again their powerful reminding.

No one ever really discovers God in the delusional fog of their Ho Hum. We only ever truly come to know Him in the clarity of our all.

Jan 12, 2012

Are We There Yet

It’s been a long and tiring journey to this point - through history, that is. And even just the distance of our own little part makes our bones ache with "road weariness." And some of our brothers and sisters have already fallen "asleep" as we have traveled. But some of us "kids" are still awake; and we are just ready to be "Home." And so we ask our Heavenly Father - "Are we there yet?" And this, I suspect, might be His patient reply...

"No, dear child, we are not there yet. But we are almost there. There are a few more difficult miles to make through the night, but we will all be Home soon. Just be patient.

"Perhaps you could pass the time by thinking about just how good it will be when we get there. Your sleeping brothers and sisters will all awaken to join you in a brand new, bright and shining day. And you will all be able to laugh together in the warmth of its unending Son shine.

"Just think, when you get Home, you will never cry any more tears - except for tears of the purest joy. Everything that ever made you cry with sadness will be behind you, all the bad people, all the pain, all the haunting fears. They will all be never again experienced, and soon forgotten. Because, only good things happen at Home.

"And you will have whatever time you need to pursue your God given passions, to become great at what you love, to perfect your every effort. Your mind will be your greatest tool; and your body will entirely cooperate with all of your wishes.

"At home you will know true freedom; because, aging, and disability, and death will no longer be able to set their harsh limits upon you. Rather, you will laugh with unending laughter at the sheer joy of your creativity, your abilities, and your power, even to make the mountains play leap frog, if you wish.

"And, at Home, there will be no anger, no discord, no harm among the family. For those things will be dispersed by the rule of Love. Because Love rules at Home. And from the rule of Love will come the core of our days, a core of peace and respect that will bless us all.

"So just anticipate the morning child. With the Son rise you will be home. And you will be free to rest, or sing, or work, or soar, or contemplate, or create, or compose, or walk and talk with Me. At Home, in the morning, you will find yourself - and all that you were meant to be. Just be patient, child, and watch for the Son rise..."

"Father."

"Yes, child."

"Are we there yet?"