THE CALLING

                                                                

 MAMA SANG SONGS,DADDY PROPHESIED~

From the earliest reaches of childhood, probably even back to the highchair days when Mama was still spoon-feeding me, I was aware I was a "Sent One", called to the foreign mission field. It wasn't something I dwelled on, or spent hours pondering over, it was simply a fact, as natural to me as breathing. To my recollection, I didn't even talk about it. It was something I just "knew".

There's a story about this involving my daddy, which began before my birth. Mama used to tell it, and I would hang on every word. You see, I'm not the only one in my family called to the ministry, nor the first. My father was before me. He and mama experienced a dramatic calling for him to preach in 1954, the year of my birth. Soon after, they made a discovery. Mama was pregnant. Daddy almost burst from the excitement. This is a sign from God, he said, and although he and mama had been taught that prophecy ended with the early church, he prophesied over his unborn child just the same. With the same great pomp and ceremony by which the president enters a room, daddy announced, "This baby is going to preach. He will be a combination of Billy Graham, and the great John Wesley. He will have one of the greatest ministries ever seen." So convinced was he of the truth of this prophecy that he refused to even allow mama to choose a girl's name. The baby was a boy, as only boys were allowed to preach in our denomination. And his name? His name was to be Paul Wesley. That was firm. But the Lord had a surprise in store. He held in His hand the apple which was to upset the apple cart. He was about to exchange daddy's plan for His own.

As if already celebrating future events, this eagerly awaited child arrived on a day of great celebration, the 4th of July. There I was, all pink and lovely, and feminine, and not a boy at all, definitely a girl. But daddy, although somewhat puzzled and surprised, was not to be completely shaken by this unexpected turn in events. He simply prophesied a second time. "She is called to the ministry. She is to be a missionary." They named me Paula. The great Apostle Paul is my namesake, and some day, in what was then the far distant future, he would become my mentor as well.

It's not clear to me who all daddy shared these prophecies with, or which of them took them to heart and believed them, but there was one who was listening. The devil. And he believed them both, as he knew they weren't just the ravings of a newly called, on-fire preacher, but the words of God Himself. And he knew that God always fulfills His word. Without fail. No matter what. So he set about to change the outcome of the prophecies. There was not a moment to waste. Our sworn enemy, who hates all people created by the hand of God, does not seek any one's good. Yet, we heirs of salvation, he hates more than any. And we who are called to preach--what about us? His motto to the demons who serve him would be, "Stop them any way you can! Stop HER any way you can!" He is the one of whom Jesus warned in the book of John, "for the thief cometh not but to steal, and kill and destroy, but I have come that they may have life(zoe life--the lifeforce of God),and have it more abundantly."

FOR THE THIEF COMETH~

And the thief did not waste a moment. His initial attack was sudden and vicious. When barely out of diapers, I became gravely ill. The doctors diagnosed me with Bright's disease, an often fatal kidney disease. And they discovered a medical reason for it. They said I was born with a tube too small in my right kidney. This, they said, may or may not grow and correct itself eventually. But there was fear that I might not live to Adulthood. That I made it past the age 5 was a wonder in itself and no small act of God, as I was hospitalized countless times, and a shut-in at age 4. I experienced a serious fall, hitting the temple of my head on concrete, and suffering dizzy spells for a lengthy period of time. Each one caused me to scream out in terror, "Help me, mama! Help me, mama! The world is going round!" At the age of two, I was even kidnapped.

THE CALL~

Then, while attending a summer camp for Christian girls, the Lord officially called me to the Missions field. I was twelve. In the Bible twelve is the age a person is considered to be an Adult. I can vividly recall the moment the Spirit of the Lord spoke to my heart that day, how very moved I was within my spirit, and exactly how this felt. This was the second of the two times I am aware of God speaking to me during my childhood(the first being when I received Him as my Lord and Savior),although now I know without the slightest doubt that He speaks often. But, many of us do not hear much if any of what He is saying, as we are not sensitive to our spirits, our spiritual ears being dull. It's just that He, being Spirit, mostly speaks to us through our spirits. The more Word we get into us, the better we hear Him; the less Word, the less we hear Him.

I did not appear "chosen". No one would have ever guessed that I was a "Sent One". I was far from being a Billy Graham or a John Wesley, and even further lagging behind the great Apostle Paul. I did not even vaguely resemble these Spiritual Giants whose bold ministries have greatly impacted the entire world. I was just a skinny, painfully shy girl, who never prayed and never read God's word. But God often chooses the unlikely ones, the hopeless ones, the impossible ones to best show forth His love, His forgiveness, His power, His glory. He puts it this way, "Yet God hath chosen the foolish things of the world in order to confound the wise..."(I Corinthians 1: 27) I was that, I was foolish. But, I was to become even more unlikely and increasingly foolish before I gave myself to Him permanently. Fortunately, God's plans for us are not rigid, but cut to fit.

So what happened next? I had no anchor. My salvation-- my acceptance and confession of Jesus Christ as Lord when I was 8, was not built upon a solid foundation of the Word. I was in church each time the doors were opened for the two short lessons each week, AM and PM, taught from Sunday School and Training Union quarterlies, plus three sermons, and this was far from enough. "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word  that ye may grow thereby." (I Peter 2:2) ** Yet, the milk I got was watered down, and the flow of it that of a trickle, and the lack was already beginning to show.

 

How vital is it to feed upon the Word of God? (And by "feed", I mean feed, in the same way a cow or a lamb feeds. Slowly, lingering on each small mouthful it takes. I'm talking about opening a Bible--not a book having to do with the Bible, prayerfully concentrating on just a few verses at a time, or a short passage of scripture, and chewing and digesting each and every word. Not once a week, but daily. Proverbs 4:20-21 puts it this way, "My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings, Let them not depart from thine eyes  keep them in the midst of thine heart...”

So what's God saying to do with His words? Pay attention to them. Listen to them--really hear them. Look at them often. Keep them in the midst of your heart. Do this, not based on the way you feel, but with meaning, from the heart. You may think why? What's in it for me? The next verse answers this: "For they are LIFE unto those that find them, and health (medicine, healing) to all their flesh(body/soul, mind, emotions)." Jesus says it like this, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth(makes alive), the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are LIFE." (John 6:63)

 

My words...the words I speak...they are LIFE. They are LIFE. They are LIFE.

 

Peter calls the Word of God, "milk". Paul calls it “milk”. Twice. Elsewhere in the New Testament, the Word is often called "meat". Food. The Word is food for our spirit man.

So what would happen if you stop feeding your physical body? It would die. What if you don't feed your spirit? What then? Starvation, and eventual death. Eternal death.

Proverbs warns again and again to be careful what we see and hear, as these things flow into our hearts.Our eyes are the windows of our soul(in this case the spirit is referred to along with our imagination, though usually the soul refers to mind) And Jesus says, "As a man thinketh so is he." What we think is what we are. Proverbs again warns:  guard your hearts, to not put evil into them, as from the heart come the issues of life. But how many of us know this? How many of us know to guard our hearts and the hearts of our children? In my case, though my spirit was starving, I was being fed a steady diet of words, from TV. And music. But these words were a stagnant stream of philosophies from the world. And as subtle as some of these messages were, they were deadly to my spirit. Sex.  Immodest dress.  Free love. Be a "free spirit." Do your own thing. Worship Self. The Bible speaks of this change in attitude--of a generation that calls good evil, and evil good. This twisted philosophy twirls and dances the dance of death in the minds and hearts of our children. Dancing the dance of Self-expression, soul-emptiness, an insatiable hunger that more cannot fill. Only Jesus can fill it. In Psalms we are told, "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee." The world says, "Out of sight, out of mind." to which I now add, "When your Bible's out of sight, sin is hard to fight." So as I celebrated my 13th birthday, I had forgotten the significance of the summer before. I had forgotten I had a call from God to be a "Sent One", that same calling which I had lived and breathed in hope of throughout my entire childhood. I had forgotten I'd said yes to God.

It seemed natural to do what many girls of the world were doing at that age: go steady. In my case, I saw my boyfriend every day, and by age 15, the unthinkable happened. I was pregnant.

STICKS AND STONES~

Fast forward to age 17 to the day when I once again stood before my parents, but this time I wasn't pregnant. This time I was newly divorced. They spoke to me words which were to greatly affect me for the next 38 years. They were spoken out of love--words meant to be positive. My mama did much of the talking. "Paula", she said, "you are young and you have your whole life in front of you. This can be a new beginning for you. A fresh start. You can never be a missionary now, of course, because you are divorced, but there are many things you can do. We want you to do some thinking, and decide what you want to do with your life."

It's said that sticks and stones may break the bones, but words will never hurt me. But this is far from true, as words are powerful. They can wound; they can kill.

I took in all my parents said, but I couldn't get past these words, "You can never be a missionary, of course, because you are divorced.” I stood, reminded of my calling by God, and my vow to Him. The force of these words was that of a thousand barbed arrows hitting my soul. All my thoughts turned inward, "I can never be a missionary now...I have ruined this…I have failed...I failed God permanently.” In my mind, I was forever to be only conditionally forgiven. God says," "I will throw your sins as far as east is from west....I will remember your sins no more." On this day, words killed. They killed the hope I had lived and breathed throughout my childhood. Deepest pangs of guilt replaced the freshness of my youth. I was to walk hand and hand with this guilt; guilt of the kind that does not lead to repentance and freedom by Christ Jesus, but simply eats away at your heart. It was to become a more familiar companion to me than a best friend.

THE WOOING FROM A FATHER~

In Psalm 34, we are assured that God is very near to the crushed and broken in spirit. And I'm convinced that at that very moment, God so wanted to just take me into His arms, and hold me close to Him. To soothe my pain, to heal my crushed and broken spirit, but I did not go to Him. I did not allow Him to do this. He so often holds me close or speaks just the right few words when I am overwhelmed or in pain these days. And He will do the same for you if you allow Him to. I'm further convinced that as those barbed arrows hit my soul, and as my thoughts turned inward, He tenderly whispered, "I do not condemn you, my child, 'There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.' " His voice cried out to me, "Read the word, Paula. You remain chosen by Me. 'For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.'(Romans 11:29) I do not repent. I chose you for this ministry. You remain chosen. You are My beloved child. Do not turn away. Do not go back into the world where there is only death. Walk with Me, and serve Me. Walk in My love. Let Me show you the great plan I have for your life, to prosper you and not to harm you...” This day I set before you blessing or cursing; life or death. Choose LIFE. Choose LIFE. Choose LIFE. Choose...My words...They are LIFE to those who find them...My words...They are spirit, and they are LIFE." But I had not heard. I did not even know He was near.

Listening to my mind and not my heart, I turned to go, to wade back out into the waters of the world. The world is what I knew and the words of the world is what I consumed, a steady diet of rubbish. God, who IS love, loved still, and loved most, with His ever-abiding love: the love that saves, the love that forgives, the love that heals, the love that frees; the love that pursues; He promises He will never leave me nor forsake me. He keeps His promises. Without the slightest hesitation, He turned and went with me.

And that is what Jesus does. He pursues. He calls to us. He woos. He urges. He never bullies. He never forces. He leads. He guides. He gives choices. “For He created man in His own image, in the image of God created He them, male and female created He them. “(Genesis 1:27)In His own image. Not from molecules; not from monkeys. Nor did man just become created. Can you not see how far of a stretch this is? This is a lie, based on the original lie of the devil who said, “…ye will be like God…” Adam and Eve fell for this then, and many fall for it now.  Adam means ”earthy”. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7) The chemical composition of our bodies confirms this truth.

Woman (man with womb) was then made from a rib taken out of Adam. How many of us knew that man has one less rib than woman? But only on one side of the rib cage, the left. The same number that woman has on the right. If you knew, yet don't believe the Bible, how do you explain it?

And if you call yourself a skeptic of the Bible, how do you explain the mountain of scientific facts found within its pages? Perhaps you never heard. Perhaps it is a surprise to you that the Bible contains many scientific facts. God said them before men ever knew them. All were far above the prophets who uttered them, the scientific capabilities of their time, and for years-and I'm talking centuries- to come. Most have only come into being in our physical world in the 20th and 21st century, when Science is more advanced. So how did the writers of the various books of the Bible know these things? The Bible tells us. The very God who created all things inspired them. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16) And everything God says He confirms by saying it again at least at least twice, often three times or more, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”(2 Peter 1:20-21)

By now, some of you may be thinking,  ”Hey, hold on a minute! I thought this was a testimony about a calling?” That it is. But, this will serve to introduce you to the One who called me. Why do I choose to serve Him with my whole heart, soul and mind, and with every fibre of my being? What causes me to love Him with an all-consuming love? Is it fear? No, it's because of who He is. It's because He is love. I love Him because He first loved me. Perfect love casts out fear. And in this very same way, He loves you.

So, rather than you saying, ”Is He for real?” Why don't I show you a fact or two about this God? Some I.D., let's say. Consider it a light appetizer. Rather than you saying, ”Is He for real?”  From His word which is a vast storehouse of treasure, and an inexhaustible source of His wisdom. God and His word are one. It's who He is. And why His living Word is unlike the books of any other religion. Therefore I can stand firmly and unafraid to proclaim His Word, and the power of it. Because His Word, the Bible, is truth, and He is who He says He is, and does exactly what He says He will. For within its pages we learn what was, what is and what shall be. This truth confirms itself.  Science backs up the scientific facts; Archeology, the events, history, and  all past prophecy fulfillment. And present prophecies? There's no searching for them, or grasping at straws. Prepare to be astonished. Find them on the news, either being fulfilled, or becoming. For God has said, ”Behold, the former things are come to pass, and the new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.”(Isaiah 42:9) There are no holes, no contradictions, no wild theories, no ridiculous claims, no philosophies in the Bible. Only depth, yet simple to understand. And life-changing. Precious beyond compare. The truth found within its pages spiritually discerned. With the heart, not the head.

From the garden of Eden throughout the book of Revelations, The Bible is an autobiography of God, our Triune Creator, yet much more, of Jesus, the second Person of the trinity. Who He was, is and ever shall be. A revelation of our Creator who loved us so much that He became our Savior.

VISIONS FROM HEAVEN DANCED IN OUR HEADS~

Sometimes something so astounding will happen it feels like a dream--your mind may try and talk you out of it, but cannot, as your heart knows it to be real. This was to happen, and the memory of it is so clear, so vivid now 38 years later, that it may well of taken place earlier  today. The exact date does not spring to mind, but the month and year do--it was August 1974. I know this because I was cradling my youngest daughter in my arms the entire time. She was born in July of that year, just after my 20th birthday. We were in the car coming back from the evening service at our church. Daddy was driving, one sister was in front with him, and I and my two daughters were in the back. The hour was fairly late, but the daylight remained, still as light as an afternoon hour, as is the norm in the middle of summer. We had just passed through Desoto (So. Illinois), heading steadily toward our home in Carbondale, when something caused me to look out the window to the right. And there it was before me. As big as life. Glorious in living technicolour. Like being at the pictures. Yet reality. For in the sky sat the moon. It was huge, raw and powerful. It was the biggest moon I'd ever laid eyes on, filling up almost half the sky. It was not a crescent moon, or a quarter moon, or a half moon. It was a full moon. And that's not all. It was unlike any moon I'd ever seen. This moon was red, for it was the colour of blood. A moon of blood. A chill passed right through me, traveling up and down my backbone, causing the very hairs on the back of my neck to stand on end. Into my mind came the prophecy from Joel 3:28-32 and in Acts 1:17-21, seen by John in the book of Revelations. "...The sun shall be darkened (eclipse) and the moon turned to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord(the 2nd coming of Jesus)." Was this what I was seeing? Were we that close?

Yes, we were. But not as close as we are now. Jesus tells us this. ”Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is tender; and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near: So likewise you when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”(Matthew 24:32-33) In the same way as that of the fig tree parable, the Bible is our map, pointing us toward, and taking us straight up to the 2nd coming of Jesus. Why? Because God love us, and He wants each of us, even you, to know, to be ready.

There is prophecy upon prophecy about this time, the time in which we live. Almost all of them have fulfilled to the letter. The main ones had to do with Israel. The key prophecy being that Israel would once again become a nation. After almost 2000 years. This happened in 1948. And it happened exactly how the Bible said it would. There followed a blood moon(a sign for the nations),and an eclipse(a sign for Israel) on annual Jewish Holy Days, no less. And no, blood moons are not common.  Yet, the Bible was emphatic. The city of Jerusalem had to be a possession of Israel before the End could come. 20 years later, this happened(1968). Tiny Israel against all of those much stronger and bigger Arab nations. Yet she won. In a miraculous 6-day war. The number 6 is significant. 6 is the number of this world. The number of man.

Israel’s opponents not only surrendered, but they gave over land to her, as well. Jerusalem called “the praise of the nations”, was once again hers. And in this year of 1968, upon Jewish Holy Days, what do you think happened? Yep, that's right. A blood moon and an eclipse. ( If there is ever a blood moon and eclipse, look at Israel. Expect to discover that these occurred on Jewish Holy Days. You can be certain of it.) Since Jerusalem became the capitol of the State of Israel once more, prophecy fulfillment has been happening so thick and fast it is difficult to keep up with.

Countless signs--what to look for, what to expect have been given. Not cryptic ones. Clear-cut signs.  Jesus gave many. The few I'll touch upon here are: Nature gone nuts…bizarre weather patterns...massive earthquakes increasing...volcanic explosions increasing...signs in the heavens and upon the earth, and in the waters. I've seen the rivers of blood(blood red)John describes, appearing in nations across the earth.(also lakes)...huge spiders descending from the very clouds of the sky, on threads they have spun, but not attached to anything visible(What then, clouds?)...animals, birds, fish dying everywhere we look...catastrophic weather systems sweeping the earth killing many in their paths...meteors.

Science attempts to explain what caused this phenomena or that one. But, there are so many of them by now, that they no longer even bother attempting to describe most. The majority are ignored, and often do not even make it into the main news. As for earthquakes, even some major ones, there are “too many” of these  by now also, so news of them must be searched for.

Here’s a fact that many be of interest to you. One of the most astounding earthquakes happened in the waters off the shores of Israel early last year. For the first time since the 1960s,when the Shah still ruled in Iran, Iranian ships-warships, in fact-entered the Suez canal enroute to Egypt. But, the Iranians are now deadly enemies of Israel. So what would God do? Would these ships pass through the canal without incident? Not a chance. The Iranians were in for a shock. Just as they entered the canal, there was a powerful earthquake. And this was not a “normal” earthquake in any sense of the word. This one lasted 20 minutes. The result? The warships were unable to pass, and were forced to make a fast retreat. Let me ask you, have you ever heard of a 20 minute earthquake before? Cause I haven't. But such is the power of God.

Skeptics ask, ”Where is his promised coming? Everything continues on as it has since creation.”   Well now, you will see it come about before your very eyes. Jesus said, ”This generation shall not pass away till all these things are fulfilled.” He's speaking of the generation born in 1948.

Is this all crazy talk? Your mind may say so, but your heart doesn't. In your heart, you know I speak the truth.

Jesus came the first time to save. The second time He's coming to judge. But God is not willing that any man should perish. Not me. Not you. God is three Persons, each with a distinct personality and functions, yet He is one God. The Father loved you so much that He gave of Himself the most precious gift He had to give: Jesus, His only begotten Son. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

That God “gave” is important. God sure thinks so. I know this to be true by way of something that happened back last year. I had John 3:16 written down from memory in a small notebook. I always confessed this along with a number of others on a daily basis. But I had it down wrong. I had put “sent” in the place of “gave”. So one day ,I was confessing this verse, as I had time and again.  As soon as I got to the part, “He sent”, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. “Gave”, He said. I replied, ”Is it? Let me check”. Turning over in my Bible to that passage, I read the first sentence again. “Yes, I said, ”You're right. It is “gave”. I'll change it, and say it right.” Why did He insist on this? Because Jesus was the ultimate gift to us. To you. To me. From the heart of the Father God.  A  gift is always given, never sent. So was His reason selfish? No. Purely unselfish. His reason was love. “For God so loved the world...”. He loved us, the people made with His own hands, so much that He gave His Son. He gave Jesus in exchange for us. For you. For me. “For when we were yet without strength(weak, dying, helpless, without hope)in due time, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6)

The Father gave His Son specifically for this purpose: to die. And Jesus? He the Living Word, by whom all things were made, and for whom all things were made, came for this purpose: To die. He loved so He gave. He gave the most precious thing He had to give. Himself.

“But God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”(Romans 5:8-9)

Our Creator came. And He did all He came to do. He has done His part. He became your sacrifice. All sin was laid upon Him. He became sin for you. He took on your sicknesses and carried your diseases. By His death, you are reconciled to God. He no longer considers you an enemy. He now sees you as a friend. By His life, you are justified(made not guilty in the court of heaven). And because of Jesus, He wants you to become His child. I am the messenger of this good news. A messenger of His love. He is the gift that never not stop giving. What do you do when someone offers you a gift? You receive.

God is saying to you, ”I set before you an open door no man can close.” There's only one who can close it. You. Don't close the door. Receive the Father's gift. Receive Jesus. Receive today. Repent, or turn, and receive. You will never be sorry you did. You will forever be sorry you didn't.

And the blood moon? I looked to daddy. Had he seen it? Yep, he had. His eyes were seeing the same thing I was, I could tell by his expression. I knew too that he was familiar with the same prophecies. I knew that he was thinking the same thing I was. As for my sister, I wasn't sure how much she knew about the End Times. She was younger than I. Even so, this strange moon was an in-your-face happening. Hard to miss. Impossible to ignore. Glancing over at her, I noted that she was also gazing intently in the same direction. The three of us sat there in complete and total silence, simply staring. That's all that we could do. Stare. For what seemed almost to be forever, but was, in fact, around 15 minutes, we stared, my daddy somehow managing to drive at the same time, though I'm not sure how.

 I was never to speak about this experience with daddy or my sister. It would be years and years before I even described it to anyone else. It was a sight meant only for us three--daddy, me, and my sister. Yet, I did question others about it. Many others. The very next day. I questioned each and every person I met. One could say I carried out a brief moon survey. Without fail, each conversation went something like this: me: "By the way, what did you think of the moon last night?"  person: “Nothing. Why?"  me: "Well, did you notice anything unusual about it?" "No, normal. What do you mean by unusual?" Then, not wanting to appear crazy,  cut the conversation short by commenting, "No matter. I just wondered."

It struck me as odd that no one else had seen the blood red moon I had seen, only a normal moon. That this was a sight meant only for daddy, my sister and me.  I had never seen a vision before. I didn't think daddy had either. The word "vision" was hardly in our vocabularies, as we had only seen descriptions of them sprinkled here and there in the pages of our Bibles. But, it was so real. It was so real; as tangible as any tree or bird in our physical world. An incredible, though chilling, sight. Yet, only for us three. For daddy. For me. For my sister. Please know this: there was no Internet at that time. And Hubble? Not even the word itself had been invented. So what of blood moons? I'd not heard of any, except within Bible prophecy, and relating to the End Times. Exclusively.

I may not have known what to call vision, but I knew that that moon was from God, and that there was a reason it was shown to us as a group. We are assured, "And we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) God uses everything in our lives. For a reason. Sometimes its meaning is not clear right away. It would be 37 years before I was to learn the reason for the sudden appearance of the blood moon meant only for three. And 37 years before I was to see an actual physical blood moon all of Europe saw as well. Until then I was only to wonder.

But that was only the first of two visions the Lord gave me during the early part of my Adulthood. The second was a much shorter than the 15 minute blood moon shown to daddy, my sister and me, yet every bit as vivid and clear. The year after the blood moon, Mama and I were in the car heading down the highway. Mama drove, while I sat beside her chattering away as usual about who-knows-what. As we were passing the mall, I glanced toward it, and as I did, what I now call a “mini-vision” unfolded before me. I saw myself. I was at the mall, in the large, busy parking lot, as well as going in and out of the middle doors of the mall itself. I appeared to be in a rush against time. There were what appeared to be tracts, or some small papers or cards in my hand. I was preaching Jesus to every person I met. This unfolded before me so quickly. It vanished just as quickly. It would be easy to say, ”Oh that was nothing. Just my imagination.”  But, no it wasn't. I turned to mama and said, ”You know, I can see myself at that mall, hurrying around with tracts or something, and witnessing to people.” Now this was in the day when no one did these things, that I know of anyway. It just wasn’t done. (It’s still not in many places, especially here in the West)And my mama, who had for her entire lifetime only know Christianity in that of a physical church building, turned her head and looked at me as if I'd lost my senses. She didn't answer, but she didn't have to, her face spoke for volumes.

CES'T LA VIE!~

This life, at best, is fleeting,”...as a tale that is told.” (Psalms 90) And mine, that of a fable, a real page-turner; a tapestry woven with dark threads of tragedy speaks of years lived in waste; of using and being used; of serving God in triumph, only to turn, again and again, and walk away. Yet, stepping back from the wall, threads of gold shine as sunlight dancing upon a prism, the countless miracles worked in my life by the hand of God.

Each time I cried out to God, He was there. Each time I was close to losing my life, His hand restored it to me.  Often I had made wrong choices, as I waded into the deep waters, and for these I often knew pangs of deepest regret. Regret. Yes. But did I show true repentance before God? Not often enough, and not lasting. Not to the point where I would give myself, all that I am, to Him, permanently. And finally, the tapestry was almost complete. I was the foolishness about to be made a fool for Christ. The life I wish I'd always known-the life by which I'm now known. A new creation. Once more. In His image. New life. Eternal life. The life force of the Father breathed into my spirit man, the real me, by the Holy Spirit. A new heart created by God.  His workmanship. His plan cut to fit. For His glory.

 

TOTAL  RE-CALL~

 

TO BE CONTINUED...