Written from the heart by S. E. Ray - 02/25/08

1. All praise to the glory of God through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. All good gifts come from the Father of Lights, and to Him alone do I bestow the honor. May His servant be a witness to the world in humility. May the holiness of the Son be magnified beyond the contributions of this mortal vessel.

2. Our faith is tested every day in many ways. Sometimes the pain is almost more than we can bear, but to those who are called according to His name, He is working to humble us and draw us to Himself which is always for a greater benefit. The trials we suffer are not unusual punishment, but tools of life to learn about the many aspects of truth that always lead us back to the Creator. Nothing we suffer is in vain when serving under His Lordship, no matter what our trials.

3. We have daily afflictions that we would not care to share with the world, but God the Creator knows them intimately. Despite our depraved nature, pride, selfish ambitions, and choices that are not conducive to the path of righteousness, the Creator reaches out to us through grace by means of the sacrificial blood of Christ and says, "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear." Isaiah 59:1 Whether we have been involved in adultery, been responsible for the death of an aborted baby, or something so heinous that we feel complete shame. The One Creator who spoke forth the universe by the might of His power intimately and lovingly beckons to all those who recognize their need of His divine presence, assurance, internal worth, and love.

4. God loved us enough to share the essence of His own person by provision of His Son in the humanity of Jesus Christ of Nazareth... that through the purity and righteousness of this one mediator, God provided a means by which we can enter boldly before the throne of grace. We can cry out “Abba Father,” or “Daddy God,” forgive us of our selfish ways and toying with sin. God the Father wants to restore your heart and grant you the compassionate provision of His unyielding love. One might pray, "God, allow me to experience your forgiveness and reassurance by means of your Spirit. Breathe life into my heart, Creator God, so that I can again sing forth Your praises by the strength of Your presence. Bind the voices of darkness who whisper lies into my mind, that same unholy power that keeps me from seeking your face. Grant me your everlasting mercy and allow me to experience deep renewal in my Spirit by means of your presence."

5. And as if you are the only person ever created, God will gaze lovingly upon us, will reach in and touch our hearts as we repent earnestly of our doubts and wanderings. He will independently take us aside and bind up our wounds, apply the ointment of restoration and cover us with His everlasting love of healing.

6. Do not feel bad about feeling angry or punitive with God in the midst of many troubles, but rather seek to understand God's purpose in everything. Many have a painful list of calamities to walk through. While some people have issues that have an end in sight, there are many whose list is permanent. As long as they shall breathe, this conflict will challenge their lives. As Jesus spoke from the heavenly dwelling to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9 Do not wrestle with God about those things that cannot be changed, but seek to learn how they may glorify God's purpose.

7. My heart aches in compassion for those who struggle through dire experience. Not pity, compassion. Life doesn’t grant special provisions to the good, or even hope to the destitute. I have spoken with a Vietnam veteran recently who sits with no arms and no legs, using face devices to work on the computer. From my vantage point, if anyone wants to be angry with God, he certainly has a reason. However, this man has passed from anger to making peace with God. Now he is a radiant example of what the Spirit can do through anyone who has released all to God, trusting His purpose for their life, no matter the condition.

8. We humans are all in the same boat, living on a planet that is spinning down. The infinite Creator created a universe with incredible precision including our sphere of existence. It is staggering to learn how many of the chemicals and gases on our planet are within a 1 to 2% threshold to support life. If anything would shift, life would perish. The exact distance we are from the sun… a few hundred miles either way, the planet would not be inhabitable. If one genetic gnome shifted 1%, our chromosomes would fail to produce more humans, albeit if even a nucleotide was off, we would not be. I look at dozens of exacting measures in our existence and realize there HAS to be a grand architect behind it all... not happenstance like the evolutionist have foolishly believed.

9. I mention all these facts to point out if an intellectual being created everything with such precision, does it weigh in favor that the Eden creation account is in keeping with that exact precision? That two people were given free will to choose wrong which resulted in a paradigm shift from eternal spiritual bliss to a regressive realm of matter that is subject to constant decay? Thus our physical realm is filled with trouble because everything is now imperfect leading to the eventual cessation of life. Humanity has spiraled down this course of calamity for 6,000 years to fulfill the time of the curse, for the number of man is 6, and the number of perfection is 7, which is the millennial reign of which we are upon the threshold. The Creator looks at all this and even though it has been a long time for humanity, He is on the outside of time, and it is only a fraction of a second to Him. Our lives are indeed like a vapor, here and seen then gone and forgotten ever so quickly, but never quenched in spirit ,as we do live on.

10. Since the sacrifice of animals for forgiveness of sin to the cross of Christ, prophets foretold of the one who would come, ordained of God, to reunite humanity to Himself through His own essence… that essence is the truth who is the Son. It was necessary that the One would die that the many would live in the Spirit forever! God knew how it had to be done, and has provided. That same power that created the universe is available to us through faith, for we CANNOT experience the daily power of God in our lives without the channel of faith being pure, and our walk being holy. Once we lay hold of this faith, we open the portals of heaven from which substance comes to support us in every possible trial; even in the face of death from our bodies can we have bold confidence. But we must come into agreement with God through the provision of the Son, that what the scriptures say are true about Him, about creation and about our souls... not laying again the foundation of turning from darkness or trying to grasp the faith, but maturing in the faith through the constant renewing of our minds... a composite of spiritual truths written in His guide book for us. More than just a book, but a manifesto of life, transforming axioms that can separate the carnal from the spirit and give rise to a transformation that leads to enlightenment... the profound light of His presence that gives us joy in the darkest hour, confidence in the face of trials, assurance in the worst of storms.

11. I try not to pity myself even though, at times, I am persuaded by my emotions. However, sometimes, in my flesh, I find my heart restless about the unmet needs in my life. At times, I hear the voice of my flesh and the powers of darkness whispering doubts in my mind about my worth in the life, value to others, and any other doubt that could discourage me. But as I mature, I take immediate note of these internal lies, and lay hold of the truth that “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13. We also read that "No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn." Isaiah 54:17.

12. Our acceptance and love does not come from without from others, whereas as scripture says, "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm... " Jeremiah 17:5. This scripture means, if we look to others for worth and acceptance, we become as leeches and end up needy and unfulfilled. God designed us to be filled with Himself, and then the outward expression is a constant cascading stream of giving, one to another. Instead, in our fallen nature, we scramble about, trying to find others to complete or fulfill our needs... thus, the cause of so many divorces. One should never seek marriage unless they both come into agreement that they are coming together to serve the other, and then none should be found wanting if both hearts are subservient to the Spirit of God.

13. It reminds me of the story about a man’s visit to the afterlife. There are two identical banquet halls, both are filled with long tables, brimming with the most spectacular foods and desserts imaginable. The one room is red like one would perceive hell; people are sitting across from each other, starving, absolutely miserable. They wish to eat, but cannot because strapped to their arms are forks and spoons three feet long. No matter what they try, they cannot enjoy the feast. In the white heavenly banquet room, they, too, have the same restraints of eating implements attached to their arms, except they are happy and fulfilled because each feeds the other across the table. We are here to serve, not to be served. Christ taught it and lived it, I pray to learn it more every day.