This is from the blog ColorStorm:
Let’s face it, there is an element of sympathy for a soul who lives ‘on the rails’ as it were; no place to call home, feeding on others leftovers, not owning a pillow, no steady job, an unfortunate identity, a ‘nobody,’ sloppy in appearance, somewhat odorous, no phone, no address, and most sadly of all, no true family.
We like to think we do not know anybody like this, for that would be an indictment of our own lack of ‘love thy neighbor’ but sadly, we do in fact know a hobo or two.
It is easy to confuse a beggar with a hobo, for we mistakenly put them in the category of lazy souls looking for a handout, with no meaningful differences, both being an encroachment to society, but the hobo is a man not afraid to work.
He finds rest on the ‘cow crates,’ those rolling freight cars bringing him to another place, looking for a moment to belong. The search is short, and a meal is traded for a small amount of labor. The hobo does not want a handout, for he has mettle in his soul.
Remember the ‘kid’ nobody wanted on their team, remember the girl who smelled funny, remember the guy who had no friends, remember the strange lad on the bus who everyone thought was from outer space? Well, these kids grew up, and to this day they have no friends.
Their peculiarity grew stronger and they were forced to a life of separation, whose days were fixed by the seeds of neglect. These ‘nobodies’ were made so by the artificial and unfounded opinions of people who looked on ‘outward appearance’ only.
These hobos became weeds of humanity, just ‘in the way’ of others good fortune, and a mere blight on an otherwise good day. Immediate thoughts of ‘get a job,’ ‘mooch,’ or ‘beggar!’ are common when we see these souls.
Perhaps more is revealed about ourselves than we would like to admit when we run into these kind, for our hearts cannot hide from the arrow of honesty; our thoughts have spoken. But the hobo is a step up from the average beggar, for this man travels the world looking for his next adventure with another strange bedroom only to be found in the great outdoors.
What then is not to like about an adventurer? Unplanned, not knowing what, when and where a day will bring, accountable to not a soul, where friendships are rare, and judgments by others are even less. Perhaps the hobo has found a way to go through life hiding from the scrutiny of others, no more fear of being ridiculed for simply waking up.
Maybe the hobo would not exist if it were not for the indifference of the privileged. This ‘bum’ has become a master of the game of ‘hide and seek,’ for hiding is easy and seeking is a necessity. He has crafted a life of unexpected predictability where the day is arranged by a pattern of decisions that always lead down the road.
The hobo is industrious and strange in the best possible way, with manners that exceed most others. He is the lone maverick who does not engage in jealousy; he simply plays the cards he has been dealt, for whatever reasons, he must live this life.
He gets no mail, has no address, does not have a phone, has no place he really must attend, and if he has a friend, that would be the greatest of jewels. Mind you, he knows a lot of other hobos, but long difference friendships with others who also have no means of communication are difficult to maintain.
It would be easy to be jealous for a hobo, in the very best way, for a life of faith is definitely called for. The charm of what city or farmland will he see the setting sun from today, brings a small upward turn of the lips when considered.
Most will find a slur at the life of a hobo, but consider the benefit of such an aloof life. Waking up like a bird and flying as the breeze permits, following the instinctual chirp of safety, feeding, water, and touching base with others. Sharing moments of life before passing on yet again, God knows where.
The hobo is probably an intellectual who never ‘fit in,’ or should I say, was never welcomed in the norm of society by they who paved the way for his solitary life. So while the hobo knows he is considered a piece of trash by some, a ‘nobody’ by most, and thought to be fool by others, yet he knows in his heart of hearts, there is value in trash, for he reads, ‘there is much food in the tillage of the poor.’ Yes, this man is a closet scholar.
Reminds me of Another who lived life without a reputation, a nobody, a person thought to be trash-like by the honorable members of the human race. This man too was homeless, but he did not beg, he had not where to lay his head, unlike foxes who at least have holes.
He was thought to have a devil, and his piercing questions revealed knowledge that was other worldly: ‘How can David’s son be David’s Lord?’ Yes, a hobo as it were, held in disdain by most, doubted by they closest to him, and understood by none. Truly a man without a country, yet strange for he owned all, yet kept under wrap his deserved majesty.
His moral glory however could not be dismissed, for he said ‘which of you convinces me of sin?’ a question for the ages still unanswered. This man was full of character, his yes was yes, and no was no. His word was good. He was okay with being known as a miscreant; he was okay being called a religious fanatic; he was okay sitting in the back of the bus; he was okay not being picked for the team, he was okay sleeping with the animals, and being homeless, well, that was expected.
While a hobo may have impeccable character, he cannot take away your sin. This One who was friend to that devilish Judas Iscariot had every reason not to ‘friend’ him, but the exquisite nature of a good man could not be hidden.
Beggar, hobo, very little difference except in the area of character, but we must guard our hearts when we face such kin. The other man of ‘unfortunate identity,’ well, that’s another story. Yes, some thought he was a hobo, a complete nobody, and in this incorrect assessment, we learn the worth of the Son of God, and if we care to learn even further, we may glimpse into the heart of man, and not enjoy what we see.
He took upon himself ‘no reputation,’ do we get this? A man whose understanding was infinite, a man in whom dwelt ALL the fullness of the Godhead, this man walked with a reputation that was ‘nothing.’ He said nothing when Herod called him a magician, and was mute when Pilate asked Him ‘what is truth?’ Yes, just another hobo.
Yet, this ‘nobody’ took upon himself the righteous wrath of a holy God against sin, something a nobody could not do. If you see a hobo say hello, offer a kind word, a glass of water, a meal, something. Not only is it decent, but you may be entertaining an angel unaware.
The First Time I Rode a Freight Train
This is from the blog The Mad Parson:
Mary gets a lot of (deserved) press this time of year. It is entirely countercultural to a narcissistic world, because Mary is the quintessential anti-narcissist. Consider what she says when Gabriel breaks the news to her that her life is about to get a lot more difficult:
I am the Lord’s servant. . . .May it be to me as you have said.
Or what she says when she visits Elizabeth:
My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
Mary is the definition of humility, and her example challenges us to humble ourselves, as well. And yet, that’s so hard to do. It’s not only hard because of the self-centered world in which we live; it’s hard because even the act of being humble is praiseworthy!
In C.S. Lewis’ incomparable The Screwtape Letters, the uncle demon advises his nephew demon to tempt a Christian with humility. If the Christian actually becomes humble, the uncle says, remind him of it and laud him for it. Encourage him to pat himself on the back for being so humble! And if he avoids patting himself on the back, praise him for that, too! Humility is so easily turned to sanctimony that it’s scary.
So how to pursue true humility, and keep it? Simply mimic Mary. Resigning ourselves into the care and guidance of the Lord is a start. Praying “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be with me as you have said” is a spectacular (and humbling) experience. Making sure what we say and do shines the spotlight on God is another way of getting closer to true humility. If you read on in the Magnificat, Mary talks about what God is doing, not what she is doing. She’s not telling anyone else how to live; she’s not talking ad nauseum about her own walk with the Lord; she’s simply describing what God is up to, and how majestic he is in the process.
William Law (1686-1761)
A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
By William Law
Concerning the nature and extent of Christian devotion.
“It is very observable, that there is not one command in all the Gospel for public worship; and perhaps it is a duty that is least insisted upon in Scripture of any other. The frequent attendance at it is never so much as mentioned in all the New Testament. Whereas that religion or devotion which is to govern the ordinary actions of our life is to be found in almost every verse of Scripture. Our blessed Saviour and His Apostles are wholly taken up in doctrines that relate to common life. They call us to renounce the world, and differ in every temper and way of life, from the spirit and the way of the world: to renounce all its goods, to fear none of its evils, to reject its joys, and have no value for its happiness: to be as new-born babes, that are born into a new state of things: to live as pilgrims in spiritual watching, in holy fear, and heavenly aspiring after another life: to take up our daily cross, to deny ourselves, to profess the blessedness of mourning, to seek the blessedness of poverty of spirit: to forsake the pride and vanity of riches, to take no thought for the morrow, to live in the profoundest state of humility, to rejoice in worldly sufferings: to reject the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life: to bear injuries, to forgive and bless our enemies, and to love mankind as God loveth them: to give up our whole hearts and affections to God, and strive to enter through the strait gate into a life of eternal glory.
“This is the common devotion which our blessed Saviour taught, in order to make it the common life of all Christians. Is it not therefore exceeding strange that people should place so much piety in the attendance upon public worship, concerning which there is not one precept of our Lord’s to be found, and yet neglect these common duties of our ordinary life, which are commanded in every page of the Gospel? I call these duties the devotion of our common life, because if they are to be practised, they must be made parts of our common life; they can have no place anywhere else.”
Christian Classics Ethereal Library
This is from the blog Daily Meditation:
Isaiah 1: 9: “Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.”
Jonathan, Saul’s son, said that it is nothing with God to save with a few or with many (1Samuel 14:6-15). And he went into the camp of Philistines, with his armour bearer, just the two of them, with that understanding. Definitely, he was a man of strong faith.
He did not wait to get permission, to get a consensus, he did not call for volunteers and he caused such a commotion. After killing a few in direct combat, God sent an earthquake to back up his audacious initiative.
In the time of Gideon, God told him to go and deliver Israel as one man, but he thought he was very small (Judges 6-7). He thought he was the least person in Israel that should be considered for that job. Eventually with only a few hundred people he led the people to strike the enemy. God said he did so that Israel will not think that she made it happen by her own strength and so become puffed up.
David as one man defeated the army of Philistine (1Samuel 17). Goliath has put himself forward from among the them are a representative, as a champion, and asked that someone from Israel come forward for a one-on-one battle, instead of the full armies confronting each other. He was so sure of himself, sure of his war experience, sure of his big spear and his giant stature.
But David showed up as someone without those credentials. But he came fully kited with trust in God and at the end of his encounter with Goliath, David stood with his cut-off head in his hand and the remaining army of the Philistine fleeing, not believing their eyes.
The one in whom they trusted was downed by a young lad barely weaned from his mother’s breast milk. They did not know that out of the mouth of babes and suckling God has ordained strength to silence the enemy (Psalm 8:2).
God used a young man, with only a stone and a sling, with virtually no experience on the battlefield to give Israel victory at that time over their perennial enemy, cause to flee the battlefield in total disarray.
God is not so enamoured by the crowd as he is with the state of people’s heart. He sees the heart and not the appearance. He said though many people call him lord, lord; he only regards those who do what he says (Luke 6:46). Many may shout Jesus is Lord, but a few live it.
He said there are two roads, one to life and the other destruction. The one to destruction has popular appeal, it is a broad road, many find it; it is the place for the crowd. But the road that goes to life is narrow, and a few find it. It is the path to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). The high calling is highly costly. Few can pay the prize.
God asked a question: Who shall I send, who shall go from us (Isaiah 6:1-8)? Isaiah answered: here am I send me. He decided to choose what God chooses, leave his own preference to embrace God, to speak the words of God, while others speak their own words, he chose to represent God while other represent themselves. He represents the remnant. And God told him not to fear what the people fear nor come to their ungodly conclusion (Isaiah 8:12-13).
The bible says, everyone do proclaims his own goodness, but a faithful man who can find (Proverbs 20:6)? Those who look out for themselves are many but those who look out for the things of God are few.
David prayed, help lord, for the godly man ceases and the faithful perish among the sons of men, i.e. they are going into extinction, getting fewer and fewer in number, those who hold to moral values are diminishing in number (Psalm 12:1). They are a remnant, rear breed and hard to find.
Paul wrote that in the last days the Spirit expressly says that many shall become lovers of themselves; abandoning the love of God (2Timothy 3:1-2). But there will be a remnant. Will you be one of those who stay true to the end? Jesus said he who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13).
When in the wilderness and the children of Israel fell into idolatry, Moses was angry and the wrath of God was burning against the people. And Moses called out: who is on the Lord’s side (Exodus 32:20-35)?
And the tribe of Levi stood up to be counted. Though one of the tribes of Israel, that day they began to journey to distinction in that nation.
Moses asked them to do something dangerous, something that will make them hated by men, hated by their brothers. Moses said they should take up dangerous instruments and kill their brothers and sisters from other tribes. And they obeyed. They chose relationship with God over relationship with their brothers, obedience to God over social expectations, similar to what Jesus said that if you do not hate your brothers and sisters you cannot be his disciples (Luke 14:26).
On the discipleship gate, there is no sign saying: everybody qualifies. Everybody is called but not everybody is accepted, not everyone qualifies (Matthew 22:14).
When Gideon blew the trumpet, in the time of the Judges, over thirty thousand showed up for war, but when the screening was done, only 300 were left.
These passed the test of fearlessness and the huddle of inner dispositions which was reflected in their physical posture when they wanted to get water from a river. You will think you have more chance of victory with such a crowd when you want to defeat an enemy, but in God’s calculation, having a crowd is not always linked to victory.
That means when you want to go forward in the will of God, you cannot act based on consensus, it is not about who agrees with you or who does not, who supports you or who does not, who sees things from your point of view or not.
When Jesus said he was going to die on the cross, his best pal, Peter was firmly against it (Matthew 16:21-23). Jesus did not say that he will go and think about it. He was harsh to Peter, telling him: get behind me Satan. He surely did not walk based on consensus but the will of God.
Similarly, when God asked Noah to build an ark to prepare a remnant when he planned to send a flood to the earth to destroy every living thing (Genesis 7). The only people saved were Noah and his family. Jesus revealed what happened at that time will repeat itself, in which people will continue in their previous lifestyles and normal social engagement when a major catastrophe was coming on the earth. The majority were blinded from the import of the moment while Noah and a few people member of the family was saved. Only a remnant was saved.
Dreams from the LORD 2011-2015
16 February 2015
Last night I had a dream where I was in this house. (Whenever I have a dream, it is usually in the early morning hours.) In the house, I was with a friend and Mitt Romney. My friend asked me if I could make a few phone calls to help elect Mitt Romney for President of the United States. Mitt Romney was sitting at a table looking at some papers and making phone calls.
I told my friend that I didn’t know too many people and that, since I am very prophetic, I didn’t have too many friends. I think I tried to make one phone call.
Today is Presidents Day (interesting detail).
Rankings of the Presidents
This is from the blog Into Stillness:
From the Treatise On Spiritual Perfection by Diadochus of Photice, bishop [Diadochos of Photiki]
The mind has a spiritual sense which teaches us to distinguish between good and evil
The light of true knowledge makes it possible to discern without error the difference between good and evil. Then the path of justice, which leads to the Sun of Justice, brings the mind into the limitless light of knowledge, since it never fails to seek the love of God with all confidence.
Therefore, we must maintain great stillness of mind, even in the midst of our struggles. We shall then be able to distinguish between the different types of thoughts that come to us: those that are good, those sent by God, we will treasure in our memory; those that are evil and inspired by the devil we will reject. A comparison with the sea may help us. A tranquil sea allows the fisherman to gaze right to its depths. No fish can hide there and escape his sight. The stormy sea, however, becomes murky when it is agitated by the winds. The very depths that it revealed in its placidness, the sea now hides. The skills of the fisherman are useless.
Only the Holy Spirit can purify the mind: unless the strong man enters and robs the thief, the booty will not be recovered. So by every means, but especially by peace of soul, we must try to provide the Holy Spirit with a resting place. Then we shall have the light of knowledge shining within us at all times, and it will show up for what they are all the dark and hateful temptations that come from demons, and not only will it show them up: exposure to this holy and glorious light will also greatly diminish their power.
This is why the Apostle says: Do not stifle the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of goodness: do not grieve him by your evil actions and thoughts, and so deprive yourself of the defense his light affords you. In his own being, which is eternal and life-giving, he is not stifled, but when he is grieved he turns away and leaves the mind in darkness, deprived of the light of knowledge.
The mind is capable of tasting and distinguishing accurately whatever is presented to it. Just as when our health is good we can tell the difference between good and bad food by our bodily sense of taste and reach for what is wholesome, so when our mind is strong and free from all anxiety, it is able to taste the riches of divine consolation and to preserve, through love, the memory of this taste. This teaches us what is best with absolute certainty. As Saint Paul says: My prayer is that your love may increase more and more in knowledge and insight, and so enable you to choose what is best.
No Shame in Stillness
A Calm Spirit
Dreams from the LORD 2011-2015
5 February 2015
Last night I had a dream where I was at this church picnic. There were probably fifty people at the picnic. We were inside this building at this park. There was this youth pastor* there and he began speaking against certain people in our group. He was being very critical and putting people down.
When he came to me, he began mocking and ridiculing me. Then he stepped outside the door where he was met by two small groups of men. They didn’t like what he was saying and took him further from the building. They began beating him up. The two groups of men turned into a mob.
I observed what had happened to the youth pastor and said, “It must be the hand of God.” Then the dream ended.
[*The youth pastor represents shallow Christians.]
I think it is interesting that sometimes the Lord will incorporate into a dream something that I had learned or experienced that day or that week. Yesterday I discovered this blog that had some good information concerning the Hebrew Calendar. The blog was called The Yood of Elohim: translated, means “the hand of God”.
Psalm 105: 15: “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”
Isaiah 54: 17: “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”
[This is from the blog The Yood of Elohim: “The Hebrew letter ‘yood’ is represented in the picture language as a hand. It’s numerical value is 10. It is the closed hand of Yahweh representing power and strength.” (Tevet—VA-AYRA “I appeared”]
Wearing a Rough Garment
Overcome With Great Sorrow
Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Wyoming
A Parable About Lukewarm, American Christianity
Hand of God Nebula