God so loved the cosmos that He gave His only begotten Son to you. And even though you may hate, mock, and revile Him, He would do it all again if it was you who had crucified Him. That's love man. That's some dynamic love.
I was in Pecos Texas yesterday for lunch. My wife, having exhausted all of her patience with me, dragging her all around Texas, was done with it all, so we went to Pizza Hut instead of eating local food. She was tired, so it was the best thing to do. After shooting some shots at the local museum, we were on our way.
It was right at eleven o'clock, so we were the second customers. The kitchen was hopping with all of the last minute Sunday afternoon end-of-the-year orders. The oil workers need pizza too, it seems. The salad bar was empty and the chairs was creaky and the table was sticky from the night before. Having grown up in Wichita, Kansas, Pizza Hut was home.
Our server was new, so we didn't get the 411 about what types of crusts there were. That was alright. Just bring me the deep-dish. I ordered water and my wife ordered lemonade. Her salad came and we talked about our trip seeing all of my aunts and uncles scattered hither and yon about the great Lone Star State. It was a good time of reflection. We had just visited my mother's grave in the thriving metropolis of Grandfalls.
Our veggie pizza came out and we were happy with the taste. The kitchen knew what they were doing, even if our server didn't. Things were fine, but quickly we got a to-go box so we could eat on the road. I boxed it all up and off my wife went to the car.
$25.92? That wasn't right. How was my wife's lemonade $8? Who drinks an eight dollar lemonade unless it's got something in it to give you a kick? I asked the cashier if that was the right price and that I would like a to-go lemonade as well while the rest of the ticket printed. I signed my name to the ticket with no tip.
She brought the lemonade to me from the drive-thru window area and I pointed it out to her that there were two charges for lemonade and that I had left no tip. I told her that it was her decision to either fix the check and give the server the four dollars for the extra lemonade we did not drink or that she could keep the ticket the way it was and choose to give the server no tip.
"Work it out." I said, as I opened the door to the outside, leaving behind the worst Pizza Hut I had ever been to.
Lemonade. $8 a glass, at the Pecos, Texas, Pizza Hut.
There was a time in my life that I lived in another world. A world of wonder and freedom. This was my childhood. I had a wonderful childhood. It was glorious. Except for the debilitating disease that threatened to kill me every day, it was a dream and I was always happy.
I was born in Kansas, United States and traveled to the Island nation of Indonesia directly after. I was not allowed to cry. If I cried, my internal organs would leak out and I would die. So I was held and cooed and given everything a baby wanted, needed, or desired. I was never sad, I was never unhappy, I was never too cold or too warm or hungry or unchanged. I was the most loved baby in the world.
“Little Pauly can’t cry.” My mother told our two servants. Tikini and Alli and mom would make sure that I would be ever cared for, ever loved, and ever protected. They were local girls, they had great jobs - working for the “Americans” as house servants. It would be their joy to watch me and love me and care for me… Until it wasn’t.
At the age of two, after a routine doctor’s visit, my mother was told that it was alright for me to cry. The stomach lining around my abdomen had formed well enough. My rectum and scrotum had tightened enough to where the pressure from crying wouldn’t push my intestines out. I would not die from the herniation.
I have no memory of any of this story so far. For the first memory, I have as a person is of my mother closing the door to my room. I watched her leave me in my room, at the age of two, alone for the first time. My first memory. The one that formed me, is one of abandonment.
How I cried that day. And oh, how it must have hurt her. I have never been a parent to me, but I can imagine how it must have felt to leave little Pauly alone in a room, to cry himself to sleep. Sure there were tears on both sides, I’m sure… But for the two-year-old me, it was a moment of clarity and demarcation of a new reality.
I was but two and did not know this. All I knew was that I was loved from the womb until now and love was all that there was. Soft blankets and breasts and hugs and kisses and the blissful sweet elixir of soft naps in the sunshine... Until the moment that I watched my mother walk out the door, abandoning me to the cold, wet, gravel-pocked reality that is forced upon every man - whether he is ready for it or not.
My mother loved me, make no mistake about that. The love that she had for me was apparent. She did not want me to be crippled physically or emotionally. She genuinely loved me. No man could say otherwise. The love of a mother to hold, and to cause others to care for and tend for and coddle for a baby is apparent. All mothers who are rational love their children. But to do this for two years is beyond love. Any good mother knows that to give a child everything they want is to spoil them.
Every action has an opposite and equal reaction. The spoiling of me was inevitable. However, wealth grows where men initiate labor. The unspoiling of me was perfectly possible. I could be cultivated into a tree of good and not of evil, that I might bring forth my fruit in my season. But it would be a hard load to tow.
I was emotionally crippled for most of my childhood and young adult life. I did not know who I was. At the age of twenty-five, I was still emotionally fourteen. It was tough to reach my own age on all levels, but the towering idea of self-reliance and the burning desire to overcome can do wonders. It is with this faith that I was able to reach out to Jesus Christ and ask Him for complete healing to forgive my mother for her supposed wrongs and the damage that I went through on the way to healing.
The healing was long and slow and was halted several times during my recovery due to divorce… But time is on the side of perseverance and to those who practice it, therefore, all things are possible to them that believe.
And so it was that I worked on myself and my forgiveness until I woke up one day and started writing this story about why it was that I had been afraid of success. At the time, I did not know that the tap root was born out my fear of abandonment. I did know what it was, but the fear was real of success was real and I had to dig around the tree until I found out where the deepest roots were so that the entire tree could come away in one great effort, without the fear of coming back.
Once I had discovered that the entire root system was one large Banyan tree of fear of abandonment, it took some work to dig around and come to the heart of the matter. Year after year and false trunk after false trunk, I found the real trunk and eventually reached the tap. There was a lot of earth to move, but once I laid into the root with my ax, it was easy going.
When I reached the heartwood of the top of the tap root, I felt a frenzy come upon me like I had never felt in my life. With each mighty chop, the splinters of the wood fragmented away and it became easier to demolish, the deeper I got.
Now, this old ugly tree lies in large chunks around my feet and on the remaining ground where it once stood. Angry birds and squirrels chatter all around me, blaming me for the destruction of their home. What is easy to see, however, is that these nest builders never belonged there and even now, they flee in hatred to find someone else’s tree to build in.
The clouds that were overhead are clearing. Lo! The sun peeps through the cover and shines now bright all around me. And the beams from my great golden sky-friend are shining all around and the roots and limbs are dissolving into smoke. But this otherworldly smoke dissipates quickly and soon it just me with my ax.
My clothes, once the hearty work-shirt and overalls have been changed and my ax is now a spade. I am wearing a clean white tunic and plain trousers. I look down at the hole in the ground and there is a clear cool spring bubbling forth. I get to work filling in the sides of this new well from the surrounding turf.
Very quickly I fill it in, and bright shoots of radiant green grass spring forth almost immediately. My work is done and I plant the spade deep next to the new well. It turns into a sign, white wood on a white pole. It reads long but thus:
“The well of healing, brought by King Jesus, for the healing of Pauly’s heart. He is loved by me and his Father.”
The heart of one living in fear of anything is rotten in some part. Though we can ignore it, and live around it - it will continue to eat at our actions like a worm.
What is best?
To be healed, even as I have.
My fear of success was detrimental to all of my relationships. My two ex-wives and all of my friends can attest to this. They suffered long and hard but God was merciful to them. No matter how I was treated, the fault in my heart was not theirs, but mine alone. Only I needed the healing to treat others the way that I desired them to be treated. For the second greatest commandment is not filled out by others, it is filled out in what I do to others.
I look back, next to my mother closing the door on her son. I place my hand on her shoulder and I see a tear in her eye that I have never seen before. She closes the door slowly, speaking loving affirmations to me and weeps. It is a cry that is not heard by the little boy in the other room. Only now I am able to hear it.
Oh, how her heart breaks. She leans against the wall and would fall down, but that I hold her in my arms. For I am seeing her as Jesus would. I am holding her as Jesus would. The compassion from the great Holy Spirit of God is reaching out to her and saving up her tears even as she quietly wipes them away.
She is hurting. So much more than the little boy crying in the other room. She is pained with the pains of love and good deeds. She sees my suffering, my abandonment, but knows that I will one day grow into the man I am today, and so the trial pains her to watch.
Like Mary, eye-level with the feet of Christ on the cross, she is tortured. She desires with all that is within her to bless and cover her firstborn son. Yet she knows that the suffering will lead to a greater miracle in his life. And, yes, in other’s lives as well.
Mary, the mother of Jesus cries. Katharine Mae Eudaly Hart cries. I cry with them and Jesus comes within our small huddle and holds us all. For Christ Jesus is our success. His pain and His loss were made possible for our healing. Our greatest tragedies - He knows. Our greatest fears - He knows. Our greatest loss - He knows.
As I write this, I am near the place of her burial plot, in the northeast of the great Chihuahua desert of West Texas. In a few hours, when the sun rises, I will stand over her shed body and weep. I may say things there that are of this nature. I may read this story.
I know that she is not there and that her mind and spirit have been caught away with Christ, in the third heaven, above the firmament, with the Lord. But I will tell her things that my heart has been heavy with. I will tell her of the great tree that has been flung to the ground. I will tell her of my healing. I will tell her of the new spring that flows freely with happy waters in the place of the gnarled old rooted evil.
I will cry tears of joy, knowing that one day I will hold her in my arms. I know that my tears for her and her troubles on this earth too have been wiped away and saved. They have been saved for all who desire perfect healing. They have been saved for the martyrs that will come after me. They have been saved for the readers who find themselves even now, crying because the precious Holy Spirit is moving in their hearts. He is ready to take out the heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh.
He is ready and He is willing. Pure healing and perfect peace reside in His comforting hands. It is there, ready, waiting, like a puppy ready to pounce with affection and care and deep loving commitment. Healing is good. It is happy and pure and waits in the precious hands of the one who made you.
I have been healed. I have more healing to come. I am ready for it. I am wanting it. I am desiring it. It is there for me. It is there for you.
the mystery of the gospel (as paul described) is one of my favorite aspects of the gospel... that Jesus had to rise from the dead as a new man. for He had divorced Israel, and since you cannot remarry one you've divorced (breaking Torah) He had to die to be raised again, therefore He was able to remarry the lost house of Israel. He told the woman, that He came only for the lost sheep of Israel, so it is our blessing that He rose. For if He did not come to die and be raised then only Judah could be saved and not the gentiles and the lost sheep. since our Savior was born again, we all now are called and sanctified, so anyone who calls on the name of the Son is saved.
i will tell you, without hesitation, that just like in every aspect of life, there are adherents and there are the lazy. if you point to lazy muslims and tell me that they are peaceful, you would be wrong.
every "good muslim" follows the jihads. lazy people follow the lusts of their own desires.
one of the jihads is the battle against the enemy. anyone who does not worship a god (atheist), those who worship many gods (pantheist), those who worship YHVH (judah), and those who are worshippers of HIs Son (Christians) are described as enemies or infidels.
this is probably you. it is a commandment to battle you.
but why are they called "the religion of peace?"
islam is a "religion of peace" to all who are submissive to islam. there is no peace outside of submission, they say.
i awoke this sabbath morning to a call into holiness. i believe God is telling me to shake off dust from everyone who only preaches part of the Bible and not the whole thing.
this goes for people like Jeff Johns and Dean Odle specifically. whether they pronounced it to my face or from their pulpit that i am pretentious and don't want to submit to their authority is not the issue. the issue is that i won't and will never submit to heresy... no matter what man tells me to.
you can't mingle truths with lies. it only comes out to be lies. the Word is alive. it's sharper than any two-edged sword. Jesus is the Word. the whole of the Word is true... not just the snippets that we like.
so... i'm divorcing myself publicly from ministries and ministers who preach partial truths. you can't obey the truths of God "just a little." let God be true and every man a liar. even me. i need the cleaning and cleansing baptism of fire if i am to be pure.
Lord change me and use me and make me holy before you. let me be cleansed and purified to remain more and more small. let Yourself increase in my life and let me decrease.