Alpha’s Journal: Part 7

How can one confuse light for darkness?

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Once again, I need to reiterate that this is not my journal, meaning I did not pick up smoking, if anyone happens to stumble across this blog entry. This poem is from a journal that recently and quite mysteriously showed up in my life.

 

“Every time I smoke I reflect.

The only reflection I see is you.

Mirrors show you what’s behind you,

And I guess I’m stuck in this looking glass.

 

I exhale with hope and exhale in the present.

Faith is a hell of a burden.

No guarantee, No proof, Just believe.

It’s a hard thing to have unless you can feel it. 

Emotions are physical even when not physically present.

Gift. A blessing and a curse.”

 

[Boy, this poem is more confusing than anything. Hell does not pertain to faith; Hell has all to do with fear — a twisted faith deriving from all things not of God. And faith does not have anything to with our power, our will, our feelings; they are a gift of grace by God Himself (when we submit our wills to His purpose), and everyone struggles with faith because we cannot manifest it for ourselves, within ourselves.

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

Again, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

We all have some growth to do. But it’s important not to confuse punishment (i.e. fear) with love (i.e. faith).]

Alpha’s Journal: Part 4

Love is action; it is not a feeling.

“I was so close to you.

You were so close to me.

Blinded by your light, 

I could barely see,

I’d been in the dark

Just waiting for a match

To light my fuse

And bring me back.

I can’t see a damn thing.

I’ve just been sitting here listening. . .

Wondering. . .

What about True love?

Is it really so hard to find?

Underneath this Georgia Sun,

Yeah, good things come in time.

What about the heartache?

I knew there’d be a price.

Nothing about love’s easy, 

Except the way we feel tonight.

Tonight.”

[I guess that answers my questions about the origin of this mysterious journal. Huh, Georgia. Well, Alpha, as usual, I have a few responses: You want to find True Love? Check out 1 John 4:8. There you’ll find that love, in fact, is not a feeling, but it is an act. And in response to your question, it’s really not that hard to find; just pick up the bible on your coffee table.]

Alpha’s Journal: Part 3

Do not get distracted by the side issues.

“I don’t know why things are this way.

I know I’m meant to shine light in the dark,

But I need to bum a light.

So much potential;

So much love to burn;

Where’s the flame?

I need you to light me.

You burn me, and I’ll burn for you.

We can breathe in the passion.

Never exhale.

Never.”

[One thing I must address to Alpha: Whether or not you smoke does not prove salvation or lack thereof. In fact, in time and trust, God has the power to change you and free you from this addiction. But do not get distracted by the side issues.]

Alpha’s Journal: Part 2

Where do you learn the Truth?

Here is another poem – or thought – from the journal I found in my long-lost hiking backpack:

[Note: These poems do not necessarily echo nor reflect any feelings that I have; they were written by a completely anonymous fellow with the handwriting of a twelve-year-old.]

“Wow.

The world has really done an incredible job justifying Judgment.

These people preaching about love yet belittling someone else’s way of showing worship.

Dance foolishly, 

Sing loud,

And don’t let them change you as they have been changed.

Love hard and hold your tongue unless to give words of connection, family, and understanding.

You preach your mind

While I quiet my heart.

Love always,

Joshua”

Ah, well, I guess this guy isn’t completely anonymous.

[Just a few things to address: The world, as a matter of fact, teaches tolerance, not judgment. And if this fellow were in church, at least a proper one, he would know that pastors preach the Word, not their thoughts. And, well, God’s Word is the standard. Dancing like a fool is a plus, as David danced in the same manner before the tabernacle. Singing loudly is also encouraged in several psalms. If you change in obedience and understanding to the Word, then so be it. But if you remain obstinate, stick it out with the world, and then see where you end up in the end. Also, holding your tongue proves to give the illusion of wisdom even in the reality of a fool. That is all.]

Merciful King: The Promised Herald

Matthew 3

“‘I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.'” – Matthew 3: 11

John the Baptist is a popular name among Christians, but the One who came after Him was far greater – and that man is Jesus.

Back in the day, if a king intended to make a proclamation to his people, he did not have television, the internet, cell phones, nor all the fancy gadgets we have today in order to reach people.

No, a king employed a man called a “herald” who would go to public places and project his voice outward to the townspeople while reading from an officiated decree. That way all the people in the land would know the king’s plan.

In God’s world, He is King. So, He obviously intended to have a herald Himself. [John’s birth story can be found in Luke 1; the confirmed prophecy of John as Christ’s herald is Isaiah 40: 3.]

But what did John the herald proclaim?

Repentance: Like all the prophets before him, John desired that his people would turn their hearts back to God and give up habitually practiced sin.

The Kingdom of Heaven (at hand): True salvation through Jesus Christ – the moment by moment life of Jesus on Earth, as He walked among us as a man.

Where did he proclaim these two ideas?

The wilderness/desert: Unlike a traditional herald, John was not dressed up and primped in order to please the masses. He dressed strangely and had a strange diet. In fact, he may have seemed like a lunatic. Whereas a traditional herald would be proclaiming the news for his king in a public and easily accessible place, John obeyed the Lord and went to the Jordan River. God’s Word through this man was so powerful that he didn’t have to go to them; they came to him. Flocks and flocks of people came to this strange man in the middle of nowhere. And their lives were changed forever.

But then trouble came. The snakes. Having heard of the popularity of water baptism, the Pharisees and Sadducees decided to be baptized as well. But John denied them. Why would he do that?

Two reasons:

Pharisees: Once it seemed like “the cool thing to do,” the Pharisees considered adding the sanctity of water baptism to their religious ideas, without considering the serious commitment of their hearts back to God the Father. Religious tradition contradicts the will of God, that we truly desire Him above our own outward appearance of holiness. We are not meant to change ourselves in order to get closer to Him, but we strive to get closer to Him on a relational level, knowing that Jesus changes us by His power and His sacrifice.

Sadducees: First of all, the Sadducees did not even believe in the resurrection (Matthew 22: 23 – 33), let alone anything having to do with spiritual matters. They were well-educated in humanistic tradition as well. With this in mind, let’s look at the purpose of baptism:

“Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” – Romans 6: 3 – 4

Baptism mirrors the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Without belief in Jesus as a once-living man, his death on the cross, his burial in the tomb, and his resurrection and ascension, baptism means nothing. So, like the Pharisees, the Sadducees intended to put on a show, not knowing in their minds what they were meant to do. So much for being well-educated.

But then there was Jesus, at the water’s edge, insisting to be baptized by the man who was unworthy even to hold his sandals. Why would Jesus get baptized if He did not need repentance, if He Himself was the Kingdom Come? Love. Humility. Obedience.

And the Father adored His obedience.

Are you a voice calling out in the wilderness? Do the words of your mouth carry witness to others about whom Jesus is? Would you consider yourself a herald for the King?

“‘The main character in this drama – compared to him I’m a mere stagehand – will ignite the kingdom life within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out.'” – The Message