Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

This is a very personal account of an experience had regarding the theme of “the fear of the Lord.” The ancient text says that ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge.’ I have thought about this concept, talked about it, sung about it, but it was just that, a concept. This account is the story of how the the fear of the Lord moved from a concept to being the very fabric of my being.

img_0582Before I begin, I will tell you that I am simply a layman in my faith walk. I have not gone to seminary, nor do I claim to be a sage or anyone important. However, I have always been aware of the supernatural and I am intimately seeking connectivity with the Creator of the Universe, also known as Lord, God, King of kings, etc.. whom I call Abba (Father), which represents everlasting love. I’m one who has had an awakening to the grace extended by the person of Jesus to commune directly with Abba. He knows my language and speaks to my heart often. It’s very personal and I usually don’t share to much about it. I am just a voice…

In the ancient text (John 1:23) we see an account of John the Baptist, being asked if he is the messiah, if he is a prophet, if he is someone important? His answer is so profound to me. He says, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness...‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’  I am not John, I am not a man, I am not even a prophet. I have become nothing but the breath of God; moving and communicating completely in accordance with Abba's desire.

My friend Neil Beightol says “To be a “voice” is to be nothing but breath, shaped and formed to the desire of the speaker.”

Oh to have such a calling.

img_0998And so it was that I sat alone, well, just me, two pelicans and the Creator of the Universe, on the beach in the Byron Shire, NSW. It was a warm sunny afternoon in July, just a few months after my encounter with the spirit of death and hades.

I humbled myself before Abba Father and began to praise Him, calling out his amazing attributes and declaring his faithfulness. As I prayed and asked for a word I began to stroke the sand in a smooth consistent motion until a blank slate was created. I picked up a nearby stick and held it loosely, fully aware of the tension between wanting to create my own master piece and wanting it to be used as an instrument of communication. As I prayed, my hand was lead to draw what seemed like random lines and then to slowly to connect those lines. What formed was a picture of a mountain and two horses riding swiftly, in unison. Hovering above the mountain and the horses was a very large aggressive lion. The lion was pouncing on the mountain and the horses.

I prayed and waited for the Holy Spirit to offer an explanation but was directed to draw another smaller picture. This time there were three dots that were positioned at the top of the picture, and two large trenches or shields on either side of the drawing with an arrow and a the sun, in the middle. The passage “Thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,” came to mind. As I looked it over and prayed I was drawn to the three dots hovering above and recognized them as representing the God head, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and shields were boundaries on either side, with my body being the third shield, opposite the three dots. The arrow and the sun, which sat in the center of the drawing were surrounded on all sides and represented the enemy.

Then I prayed more but was prompted to go home and search the scriptures. So I did, I began to scour any mentions of horses, mountains, sun, or lions. As I prayed and read I was lead to 2 Kings and Hosea. This is what I found…

I believe the mountains represent humanity, specifically those who claim to be children of God. I also think the horses and the sun in the other drawing are connected. Humans have always worshiped the sun, so that seemed like a no brainer, but people have also always highly prized horses. There’s something in the manner of the horse, in its majesty and poise that tends to draws out the pride of man. However, God never intended the horse to be worshiped, only for this incredible creature to draw our praise, admiration and reverence to our Creator.  During the time of King Josiah, the Israelites had embraced “sun” worship.  Out of obedience to God’s direction, righteous Josiah destroyed the remains of idol worship.
 "And Josiah...removed the horses that the kings of Judah had devoted to the sun from the entrance of the house of the Lord...and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire" (2 Kings 23:10a, 11). 

The lion in the picture was fierce and dominate, towering not just above the horses but above the mountains as well. I was terrified by it. My first inclination was to view the lion as the enemy “prowling around, waiting to devour.” However, this lion was not prowling but rather charging, pouncing. So, I prayed and asked who the lion represented. I was led to Hosea 13:7 and believe the lion represents God in his anger towards HIS people.

In this chapter, God basically says, “I’m still your God, the God who saved you out of Egypt. I’m the only real God you’ve ever known. I’m the one and only God who delivers. I took care of you during the wilderness hard times, those years when you had nothing. I took care of you, took care of all your needs, gave you everything you needed. You were spoiled. You thought you didn’t need me. You forgot me. So, “I’ll charge you like a lion, like a leopard stalking in the brush. I’ll jump you like a sow grizzly robbed of her cubs. I’ll rip out your guts. Coyotes will make a meal of you. Crows will clean your bones. I’m going to destroy you, Israel. Who is going to stop me?”

Here read it for yourselves…

Hosea 13

When Ephraim spoke,people trembled; he was exalted in Israel. But he became guilty of Baal worship and died. Now they sin more and more; they make idols for themselves from their silver, cleverly fashioned images, all of them the work of craftsmen. It is said of these people, “They offer human sacrifices! They kiss calf-idols!” 

Therefore they will be like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears, like chaff swirling from a threshing floor, like smoke escaping through a window. “But I have been the Lord your God ever since you came out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Savior except me. I cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of burning heat. When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me. 

So I will be like a lion to them, like a leopard I will lurk by the path. Like a bear robbed of her cubs, I will attack them and rip them open; like a lion I will devour them—a wild animal will tear them apart. 

“You are destroyed, Israel, because you are against me, against your helper. Where is your king, that he may save you? Where are your rulers in all your towns, of whom you said, ‘Give me a king and princes’?  So in my anger I gave you a king, and in my wrath I took him away. The guilt of Ephraim is stored up, his sins are kept on record. Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him, but he is a child without wisdom; when the time arrives,he doesn’t have the sense to come out of the womb.”

As I read Hosea out loud I began to tremble and shake. My breath shortened as if the air was going out of the room and my heart felt as if it was being snuffed out. I literally fell hard to the floor. A deep weight of despair hovered over me and I could not get up. I was scared and thought, “this is it, I’m all alone, Craig and Banjo are out, and this is it! I’m going to die.” I was freaking out and my tongue was tied, but I was able to cry out for mercy. “Lord have mercy!! Lord have mercy on us all!!”

I cried out and instinctually began to confess my junk. Things flooded my mind that I though were already dealt with, things like my desire for power by dabbling in the paranormal in my youth. And as soon I confessed, it was as if the angel of the Lord took his sword and cut that barnacle off of me. I confessed my warped sense of sexuality that I used to gain power over others in my youth. And as soon as I did, it was as if the angel of the Lord took his sword and cut that barnacle off of me. I confessed my lack of faith. And, I confessed the ways that I had used my words to manipulate and control situations. The prophet Isaiah’s words danced in my mind, “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a person of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” I continued to cry out, “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.” I confessed the sins of my people, their lust for power and domination, and the ways that my people use their faith to manipulate and condone their agendas. I saw the idol of narcissism sitting high on a mountain and their were many bowing down. I cried out, “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy on us all.” And as soon as I did, I watched the angel of the Lord take his sword and in one glorious swoop, cut that idol down, lowering it straight to the ground.

I lay there soaked in tears, time stood still, then, a rush of fresh air and a feeling of relief flooded the room. Slowly the pressure subsided and it was only then that I knew that I wasn’t going to die. I continued weeping quietly, “Lord please have mercy on us.” Then I felt Yeshua’s hand stroke my hair with tenderness reminding me of his blessed assurance.

When I was finally able to rise, I was famished. It felt like I hadn’t eaten in days and I walked into the kitchen and ravished a whole papaya! As my strength returned I exclaimed, “Wow! What in the world am I suppose to do with all of that?!”

“Write” Abba said, “write it down, remember, and warn my people.” And, so Kinfolk! Bride of Christ, if any of this resonates with you, PLEASE I beg you to fall, face down, with an openness to feel/express sincere regret/remorse (repent) and turn your faces back to Him, for only Abba can renew a right spirit.

img_0568I can not explain it any better than this; the fear of the Lord has a whole new meaning now! It’s no longer just scripture, a line in a song or a concept but has been deeply woven into the fabric of my very being! Oh man!!

You see, I have looked in the mirror and seen the disgusting depravity of my very own heart. I have seen wickedness in the hearts of humanity and I have come into intimate contact with darkness. I have felt deep fear from humans and from the powers of principality, but the fear of the Lord… takes it all to a whole new level. God, the Creator of the Universe, the Holy One, the King of kings, Abba my father, is the only one worthy of my fear. And, I am grateful for this perspective. For you see, in my own wilderness I have found such an assuredness that I freely surrender my body, with it’s particular agendas, desires, and even needs, to become one with and indistinguishable from the breath and message of God.

This is what I know… Perfect love, casts out fear.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Author, William D Eisenhower says, “When we assume that the world is the ultimate threat, we give it unwarranted power, for in truth, the world’s threats are temporary. When we expect God to balance the stress of the world, we reduce him to the world’s equal …. As I walk with the Lord, I discover that God poses an ominous threat to my ego, but not to me. He rescues me from my delusions, so he may reveal the truth that sets me free. He casts me down, only to lift me up again. He sits in judgment of my sin, but forgives me nevertheless. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but love from the Lord is its completion.”

Yeshua demonstrated love beyond human understanding when he lived out his words, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” With love like that, what is left to fear but God?”

 

A Perspective on Healing Part 3

Cancer In the human experience, story is of the utmost importance. It is nearly impossible to tell our stories without the intertwining of others stories within our own. That is the beauty of it all. That is the beauty of my story with cancer. It’s a story that includes conversations with God, with medical professionals, and with anyone who would listen. And, eventually lead to an introduction to Debbie, a cancer survivor and warrior. Her story is now my story.

*Please note that this entry has some graphic images. So don’t read further if you have a queasy stomach.

I am three weeks into the healing process and this is my practical experience with the Black Salve. I started with a small area near my eye. It had been flaking/itching for about three months. Based on the 5000 photos on google images and WebMD descriptions of different types of cancer, my educated guess is that this one was Squamous Cell Carcinoma. This non-melanoma skin cancer may appear as a firm red nodule, a scaly growth that bleeds or develops a crust, or a sore that doesn’t heal. It most often occurs on the nose, forehead, ears, lower lip, hands, and other sun-exposed areas of the body. Squamous cell carcinoma is curable if caught and treated early.

During my first 48 hours of treatment my body responded with aggression as the white blood cells began to fight. I was immediately exhausted and it took me about three days to be functioning at 80%. I had a slight head ache above my right eye during the whole process.

I was vigilant about my eating habits, trying to alkaline my body’s PH by eliminating meat, dairy, wheat and refined sugars. I took immune building supplements, made smoothies with mango, kale, banana, raspberry, lemon, lime, ginger and almond milk. I ate lots of greens, used an ionizer in my liquids and took chlorophyl drops. Every morning and evening I would clean my escher with peroxide and dab it with vitamin E oil before covering with a band-aid. The total process took two weeks. Based on the size of the Escher it was most likely pre-cancerous.

After my first round, I decided to attack a spot on my nose. It arrived six months prior and at first, seemed like a blemish. I tried to pop it but instead of a pimple coming out, blood appeared. It never really healed over and continued to itch and bleed.

Based on my research and educated guess this one was stage one, Basal cell carcinoma. This is the most common and easiest-to-treat skin cancer. Basal cell tumors can take on many forms, including a pearly white or waxy bump, often with visible blood vessels, on the ears, neck, or face. Tumors can also appear as a flat, scaly, flesh-colored or brown patch on the back or chest, or more rarely, a white, waxy scar. The stage is based on the size of the tumor, how deeply into the skin it has grown, and whether cancer has spread beyond the tumor to the lymph nodes. In stage one, the tumor is 2 centimeters wide or smaller. It may have spread into the dermis but has not invaded the muscle, cartilage, or bone and has not spread to lymph nodes or other organs.

I only felt tired the first day with this one. The process moved much faster, taking a week from start to finish. I did not have pain or headaches, only slight swelling at the beginning and itching near the end of the process.

Also note; there is a sore near my eye that also arrived about six months ago. During this process it began to respond to what was happening on my nose and it started to shrink. I will more than likely treat that spot next. Just going to wait until after the Holidays and all of the Christmas photos. 🙂

A Perspective on Healing Part 1

Healing MedicineWhen it comes to our health, there is an ebb and flow between managing and healing.

Ultimately, the day we are born we begin to die and so the idea of managing that process is appealing. However, when debilitating disease or life threatening accidents happen we begin to not just pursue managing but we fervently seek healing. We want to live!

Around the world different people groups and cultures have valued both but have not always had a balance.  Our Western Medicine culture tips heavy towards the managing side. In Western Medicine there is more of  an emphasis on expertise, counting on professionals, science labs and pharmaceutical companies to create ways to manage issues and prolong our health. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing but systemically in the United States our medical ethos is driven by the almighty dollar and doesn’t always have our best interest at hand. It is precipitated by the consumer’s demand for the healing process to move quickly; even if it is not natural, even if it may have side effects and have repercussions down the line.

For instance, if one were to experience a common inner ear infection, the prescription would most likely be suspension (synthetic) drops and possibly antibiotics. Those resources can only be had by going to a doctor to diagnose the ear infection and write the prescription out for the patient. Three things happen here, one because we have to go to an expert to get a diagnose, we enter the system and essentially say we are not qualified to take ownership of our healthcare. Two, because it is the accepted practice, if one doesn’t go to a doctor for a diagnosis there is less credibility and those around the one suffering may have less empathy. Basically, having the doctor affirm your diagnoses give it credibility. And, third, because we’ve put so much trust in the system, we don’t question the prescription. Or, if we do, it’s really only to know what to prepare for once we take it. (i.e.. dizziness, nausea, etc…)

But, what if one were to opt out? Swim upstream? What if we were to look a the relationship between natural resources that the earth has to offer and our bodies God-given ability to heal? What if we were to even go as far as to seek supernatural healing?

Chances are those who are die-hard Western Medicine supporters would view this exploration unfavorably. They would label these free thinkers as homeopathic freaks or fruit loops living off the grid, new agers, rebellious, trouble makers, leftists, outcasts but really at the heart of it they would be viewed as irresponsible. And responsibility is a big deal in a society that defines it as “following the rules, not questioning authority and duty.”

However, there is a rising up of well-rounded, intelligent, responsible, citizens who are finding the current system out of balance and seeking other resources.  I had the pleasure of meeting one of those citizens two weeks ago. Debbie, a suburban mother, wife and business owner, welcomed our family into her home. After a lovely meal, Debbie began to share her journey fighting stage four melanoma near her left temple. She shared how the Lord lead her to an alternative option. My ears perked because I was diagnosed two years ago before we left in our bus. Those spots have been removed but a few new spots showed up about six months ago.

I have had all sorts of input about what and how I should be caring for myself from reliable resource, folks who love me and are concerned for my health. 95% of the folks have a panicked and demanding tone in their advice to “Go Get It Checked Out.”  However, we have no formal insurance, so I can’t play the game exactly the way most people do. I have to find creative ways to work within the system on a limited cash basis. Because of the fact, I’m a bit more hands on and picky with my health care and the care of my family.  And needless to say, two years ago when I went to the dermatologist I wasn’t won over by his expertise or charm.

healing_1So, over the past six months I, along with my family, have been praying for supernatural healing and we’ve been sharing our need for healing and provision with anyone who will listen. Open to going the modern medical route but waiting for the right connection, for the right referral. Waiting is hard, but we have learned that God hears. I just never guessed it would come the way it did.

Here’s the thing though, as a person of faith and having experienced God’s faithfulness to the fullest, it makes total sense. At the end of the day, this meeting with Debbie was one more reminder that God went for the jugular when he sent his own son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. My body will surely die, one day. But until then any healing that happens in my life, physically, emotionally or spiritually is purely a reflection of what Jesus did when he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all.

There is much more to cover and I will write a Part 2, offering all of the details about Debbie’s story and how it is interwoven with mine. In Part 3 I will share the tangible process that I’ve been going through to fight my skin cancer. Part 4 I try to understand nutritional therapy and Part 5  I chronicle the emotional toll that the healing process takes.

Thank you for reading, and for your continued prayers and well wishes.