His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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An Unexpected Power of Prayer

Be prepared for what answered prayer might do to you.

The text came in with bad news that caught us unprepared and threw my wife and me into shock. Later, more texts—the details that dribbled in just made us feel worse. Someone we know. Yet, there did seem to be room for hope. So I prayed. And what felt like a constricting snake in my stomach spent the day slowly rolling. That night, I fell asleep praying.

Next morning, on my knees, pouring my heart out to Jesus, begging, I mean intensely BEGGING him to step into the situation and do something that only He can do. Anything! All morning my heart was trembling. The snake rolled.

Noon, another text. NO! The outcome was certain, no more room for hope. The door had been slammed shut. The wave of shock returned and crashed over us.

We talked. “Just accept it. Stop hoping. It will be a bit easier that way.” Okay. So I let go of hope and started to try to accept the new reality. But no acceptance came. Just despair, and the feeling of the ever-present snake squirming in my stomach.

Later that evening, I puttered in the kitchen, struggling to get my mind to attach itself to something else … and trying to prepare dinner without cutting anything off an unwitting finger. And then another text. Oh crap. What now?

What!? The door was again open? There WAS still room for hope, much hope! The roller coaster started heading back up. But I wasn’t prepared for what came next.

The tremors began in my stomach as I rushed to my wife and we hugged. I quickly went back to turn off the stove so I wouldn’t burn dinner, for I sensed what was coming.

The tremors flowed up my esophagus, through my throat, and into my quivering chin. And then this internal volcanic wave of pure emotion exploded into a stream of tears and blubbering. I had no control. My nose sent a stream into my mustache. My eyes steamed hot with tears. Every muscle within seemed to tremble, every nerve seemed to fire. I felt wrapped in a soft blanket of joy. I clasped my hands over my face and leaned against the wall. I felt like a quivering mass of jelly.

And then the second wave hit—God DID answer the prayers! Jesus loves the people involved so much, that He stepped into the middle of the situation, wrap his arms around them, and did what only He can do! And the tears flowed stronger, and the blubbering grew louder. And my sense of being out of control of my emotions grew more intense. Good, I wanted to give control to God anyway.

To the heavens and any being that was listening, my heart screamed my love and praises for God and Jesus. Yet there was a layer of frustration on top of my joy, for the words of praise just didn’t feel like enough, not coming close to expressing my gratitude.

Since that day, the news has gotten better and the hope has grown more certain. But for someone who’s trying to put my faith into action with words, well, adequate words still won’t come to me. I don’t think there are words to express the magnitude of my gratitude and love for God and Jesus. Oh, how I wish I could.

By the way, I know God doesn’t answer all prayers as we hope He will. That’s not for me to understand right now. And I don’t want to think about unanswered prayers right now. I just want to tell you of one small example of how God’s love for us came alive, and showed itself in action.

I still want to shout out praises to God and Jesus … to the heavens and anyone who will hear me. That’s why I’m writing this now, in my feeble attempt to use written words to try to convey to you the magnitude of my gratitude and love for Jesus, and His love for us. As Paul said:

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)

Jesus’ love is so big, we can’t comprehend it. But we can feel it. I have.

 

Oh, and if you like, please check out my other website, my book website, where you can see something about my soon-to-be-published novel, We Called Him Yeshua. Yes, this novel is mainly about the love of Jesus, as expressed through his humanity while he walked the roads of first century Israel. Now there’s a great example of His love in action.


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Can You Hear My Voice?

I am the Holy Spirit – the voice of God here within you. I speak to you from the depths of your soul. I know that believing in me can be difficult. But even if you believe, it’s not always easy to listen.

You may look inside and see me here with your minds eye. Yet your mind doesn’t stop there. Your mind has so much to say. Try listening to yourself when you come to me while you pray. What do you hear? Does you mind ever stop talking?

Also, there are so many other voices within your mind, all clamoring for your attention – work, school, relationships – you know the voices that nag you and consume your mind.

I know it’s hard, but when you are able to gently silence those other voices, and when you are able to quiet the voice of your own mind; then please listen for my voice. And you will discover that even if I have nothing to say to you in that moment, your voiceless presence with me will give you complete peace. And it also gives me joy. Thank you for listening. Thank you for your love.


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Dear God … for Terrie

Dear God, dear Jesus… you know Terrie’s condition. You see the Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma that is rapidly killing her. You see her now, in that hospital bed.

I don’t know Terrie as well as you do. In fact, I haven’t seen her for many years. But because of your love that fills me now, I too feel love for Terrie, like a brother for a sister. And I love her husband, as a brother. And I love her children, as a father. Unfortunately, I’m feeling this love more profoundly only now – now that I’ve heard about Terrie’s pain and suffering.

Lord, as you know, Terrie enters my mind a lot these days, ever since we heard of the relapse. Today I just felt like writing my prayers, and sharing my prayers with anyone who might like to join us in prayer.

Dear Jesus, as I feel your presence within me now, please pour your presence into Terrie, and throw out the evil disease that possesses her, and fill her with your love and peace. I know you love Terrie, and maybe you are ready to bring her home to heaven to live with you. But I also know you love her family. For her family, please heal Terrie so she can remain with them a while longer.

But no matter what dear God, your will be done. I give all my trust to you. Thank you dear Lord. Thank you dear Jesus, for sending your Spirit to be with Terrie now. She may not feel you there with her, but you’re there.

All my love for you dear Jesus.

CJ


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The Spirit Speaks – It’s a Noisy World, isn’t it?

Noise of the world

I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, know how hard it is to empty your mind and focus on me. I know how loud the noise of the world is. And the fact that I don’t yell at you, that I remain peacefully quiet within you – this may not help.

When I walked the earth as a man, I too was surrounded by the noise of the world, the constant chatter and demands for attention. The noise was intense at times. So in order to have time with my Father, I had to first escape the noise around me. I had no home, no room I could go to, no door to shut to block out the noise. So I often escaped to an isolated place in the country, far away from the deafening noise of humanity.

And my Father was always there, waiting for me. But the noise still tried to crowd Him out, as it tries to crowd me out of your life. It took some time to first empty my mind of the noise. But once I did, I and my Father were one, without the noise getting in the way.

It’s not difficult, but it does take effort, and time. Once you are in your quiet place, you need to give yourself enough time to flush the noise of your world out of your mind. And once the noise has died down, it’s just you and me. And you will find that there is no better place in life than those moments when it’s just the two of us, alone together.


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The Spirit Speaks – of Fighting Against the Noise

Fight for time

Does it sometimes seem hard to find me, the Spirit of Jesus Christ? I’m always here, within your quiet prayers. Oh, but there’s the challenge; finding quiet with the noise of the world all around you.

Even in the midst of your quiet time, the noise of this world will invade and steal your thoughts away. So many distractions, the pressures, the tasks, the stress of this world all combine forces to wrestle for your every thought, battling to steal your time with Me. You need to fight back. Don’t surrender… to them.

Who would you rather have control your life … the random noise, or me? The noise doesn’t care about your wellbeing; I do. The noise doesn’t love you; I do. Fight back against the noise and win control of your quiet time. Surrender to Me, not the noise.

And with Me, maybe today will become the best day of your week.