From the Throne Room of Heaven

I hardly know where to begin on this “rainy day in Georgia” to explain a moment of enlightenment straight from the Throne Room of Heaven.

While watching the last few minutes of a Hallmark Christmas movie on the TV, my little dog, Sassy, insisted on joining me for a scratch and a warm place on my lap to curl up and sleep.   We enjoyed her request and my mind started remembering a statement given to me recently about this little dog.  “The bonding between you and that little dog is remarkable.”

Why was this comment profound in my mind?  You see, Sassy, is a little 8 ½ pound rescue dog.  No personal knowledge on our part of her life prior to her coming to be part of our family, but the results of that life was evident to all that came in contact with her.  She was a Survivor!!  She was skin and bones.  Had been given a good grooming and we were told she was matted to the skin, full of oil and grease.  She had a fondness for parked cars and hiding beneath them.  She snarled, and broke out in defense mode whenever there was any indication on her part she was about to be hurt.  Fearful of everything around her and she sharpened her teeth quite often on human flesh.  No one would have her, except us.  Several had tried, which is why she was groomed, but they ran out of time, and patience and she was discarded and the days were being counted off for her removal from this earth.  She was headed back to a shelter that would keep her only a short time.  She was very much in the snarl and bite mode, who would want her?

It took 3 years and today she is curled up in my lap, sleeping.  That statement about our bonding started rolling around in my head and a question came to mind. How, if said to me again, would I answer it today?  The one asking the question had observed our little bundle of fun in the beginning days and was making a today observation.

A today observation, hmmm, “Father how would I respond?”  My communication door had been opened and Father started speaking to me in that wonderful, calming, soft voice that I have grown to love.  “She, my child, is not unlike you humans.  You are all so loved by Me and yet such a daily challenge.  Just like she was hiding under cars, man hides behind many things not as obvious as her hiding places but hides just the same.  And the hiding places are a result of fear.  What, this day, are you fearing?  How are you any different than our little friend nestled in your lap?”

I thought about that question and He discussed my thoughts with me.  I agreed with the change in her and then was asked another question.  “What are you running from and where are you wanting to get to?”  Another question only He can ask and one I will listen to.  I don’t often ask that question of myself as I scurry from one needed project to another and try to care for those around me.  Little dog Sassy showed signs of doing a great deal of running.  She was very hungry, lost and not sure of a destination but running hard to find something different and hopefully better than where she was.  Initially she was watched to great lengths as we did not want to have her try to escape the home we were trying to provide because we had learned that she not only was needing shelter and love, food for her worn out body and soul, but she was also very sick.

Three days after she came to us, she started having serious Epileptic seizures and they were serious beyond anything we had ever seen.  A week in the doggie hospital resulted with a discharge of “Maybe.”  Doc, at the time, did not hold out much hope for her survival let alone her having years to function and be happy.  At this point all seemed so against her.  Personal tears flowed for something so small and innocent and so terribly abused by humans that were created to care for the animals.  Love, care, sharing and happy days had been taken from her and all she knew was pain, hurt, great grief and unbelievable fear.

Discussion continued between Father and me and answers on my part started coming forth.  Like all of us, there are pockets of lacking emotions in all of our lives that may have once been there and tragic moments in life either destroyed or were never recognized. Sometimes those hurts and lacking have a way of truly destroying today and tomorrow.  But, an example of something He was trying to tell me was curled up in my lap!!

I found myself being more and more quiet and more and more in the listening mode.  “Father, there is a message here in our discussion and I have a strong belief this is a message of importance, at least to me.”

His response back to me was slow coming and I determined that was preparation for my giving Him my full attention.  I waited and I listened.  He then spoke, “Child, what has happened between the then and now of this little dogs life?  Name steps along the way where you remember change in her and what was taking place to cause that change.”

Out came the Kleenex once again and I was beginning to see where I thought He was going with our conversation and I could not believe before my opening eyes what He was teaching me and the door He was opening before me.  His timing is so “on time” and I so want to sharpen my awareness edge in my life to not miss His timing.  Here I sat, in my own home, quiet and safe from the changing season outside and a cold rain to receiving a message straight out of the Throne Room of Heaven.

I chattered like a small child excited about a new direction and that child having a small piece of insight heads out with strong emotion and a lot of “I see, I see, Lord”.  Well, like that little child I quote, in His world “I see” little!

However, His grace gave me the freedom to tell Him what I was seeing and where He wanted me to go.  Of course I was pretty much wrong, but that was OK with Him because He was going to straighten my thinking out.  No time to waste with my personal insights I so easily grabbed and started telling Him about, with much wisdom and assurance, of myself.  As I said above, I was pretty much not as far on board as I thought.

He showed me patience and love.  Kind of like that Fatherly pat on the head.

Then we got down to the message for the day.  “Child, I too care, watch over, and love.  I love way beyond anything you can even imagine.  You have heard a statement for many years about being able to know My love for humankind and most particularly how much more love there is to tap when you are one of Mine. Now, True love requires abandonment.  True love requires trust, True love requires commitment.  True love wants to be with one another. True love wants to share.  Examples of True Love are many but are you starting to realize just a little what I am speaking to you about?”

“Yes, Lord, I do.”  “Sorry, child, not sure you do. I have not given you a beginning list of things necessary for you to have a relationship with Me.  Understand this!!  I am telling you the opposite.  These are some of the ways I LOVE YOU.  All that is necessary from you is acceptance.  Your little dog asleep on your lap has now accepted the love provided to her in her home.  Accept, child, that no matter where you are, no matter what you are confronted with, no matter what happens in this fallen world, you cannot get away from My love for you any more than that little dog can.  She is healing from her days of abuse.  She is being cared for and all she knows is she feels better and that the old days and her ugly past are not here today.  Your love for her is solid.  So is Mine!  She is accepting more and more each day the love provided to her in the home she lives in.  You and your husband show her what her life can really be while with you and I show what your life can be for Eternity with Me.  How is there any difference between relationship with that little dog and relationship with Me?  It all starts with Love and it all ends with Love.  There is no measure of dialed in acceptance of love and you are done.  No way to see that you measure up.  No way to cause you envy when you see others further down the path than you are.  All this Love thing needs to super charge your life is acceptance!!!  The defiled world about you can cause ugliness. I can give the very self-same world beauty and hope.  Sassy just accepts!”

It takes a bit of time to get over a gut wrenching.  I went back to the statement given to me by an observer.  “The bonding between you and that little dog is remarkable.”  Is bonding with the Almighty beyond your understanding?  Is it a foreign language to you?  Are the horrible cares of this world tearing at you and you find yourself wanting to scream, “God, where are You?”  Are you wanting to find a parked car of your own to hide under?  Are you so like me filled with “yes, but”?  And, oh, so many more mountains of questions.  How would I answer my question today.  I would gently scratch behind the ears of the little one asleep on my lap and smile and say,  “She just learned to accept.”

(Anonymous)

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Can Light Penetrate a Black Heart?

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My child sized heart pumped fiercely as I ran away. Fear filled me. I felt like the devil himself was close behind breathing down my neck. “If he catches me I’ll never survive.” I scream out, “Jesus save me” but He didn’t appear at my door. (I thought He would come to my house and save me from the abuse.)

That’s when the devil got his foothold. The anger at God for rejecting my plea intertwined with the fear. The roots of disappointment and a lack of understanding was transformed into a bitterness that grew deeper. With each injustice, betrayal, hurtful word, and rejection another black spot replaced what God created. Hatred filled spaces unknown within a normal pulsating heart that was created to love. Instead of the red blood of Christ filling a beautiful, pumping pink organ, the enemies blackness was trying to fill it to the brim.

Life continued with struggles and the bitterness against man and God continued to grow. God’s light would try to penetrate my darkening heart but with snarled lips and vehement words God was rejected. “If there’s a God then why……..?” “Don’t talk to me about this so-called loving God!” was spewed out from a heart filled with pain, rejection, bitterness, and a hatred so deep it seemed no light could penetrate. God would step in but the door was quickly slammed shut.

God is a persistent God! He never gives up pursuing the lost. He didn’t give up then and He hasn’t now. He continued to chase me down and at my lowest point was standing there to pick me up. I accepted Him and He taught me much. With much love and patience He began healing the heart wounds from all the years of hurt and betrayal and gradually I learned who I am in Him. The blackening of my heart began turning grey. Some of the black spots of evil dissipated. But with a news report I learned it was still filled with hatred. The roots of hatred and bitterness still ran deep. I desperately needed surgery! The kind only Christ can do.

God’s light broke through the darkness within a dream. In the dream the flames within the cage roared about the body of man while ISIS stood watching with vile, wicked grins and slapping each other on the back for a job well done, I screamed out, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” It wasn’t the man being burned alive, it was me! Just before I awoke, I glared at the evil men and said, “If Mohammed was here I would spit in his face!” I awoke suddenly with my chest filled so full of hatred that I thought I was having a heart attack.

The hatred grew within me until I thought my chest would burst. I prayed in English, I prayed in tongues, I asked God what was happening to me. At one point I felt I wanted to jump out of bed and scream at the top of my lungs. I didn’t because it would wake the whole subdivision. I couldn’t move. The chest pain continued until I thought my chest would explode right there in my bed. I prayed some more. I rebuked the devil to no avail.

Confusion swirled around in my head, “Was I feeling what Christ must feel?” I told the Lord I know He loves those people but, “Forgive me, I want them to suffer every scream, every cry for help, every pleading agonized breath and feel every pain that every person and every child felt, for all of eternity in hell!”

My chest grew, the hatred increased. It was vile, it was ugly. I could barely breath. I could taste the wickedness of it. I prayed some more. I cried out for understanding and even threw out the fact that Jesus got mad and threw tables around the Temple. “I can’t ask You to forgive them because You will if they ask, but they won’t!” And, “I won’t pray their heart be changed! They are Satan’s incarnates! That’s like transforming Satan’s heart! It ain’t going to happen!” My thoughts whirled around like a balloon skittering around a room when suddenly released of its air. One minute I was thinking like Jesus might want me to and the next I was lashing out with hatred.

I don’t know how long I spewed the vile hatred I felt for what is going on in this world. The evil that surrounds us all. I confessed, I quoted a couple of scriptures, I did everything I could to try to rationalize and try to understand what was happening to me. Had I not been wide awake I would have thought I was in the middle of a horrible nightmare.

Suddenly a thought dropped into the midst of all the praying, all the arguing and expounding on why I should hate these people,“You have hurt people, too.” That shut my mouth for a moment but then of course my first response was, “I haven’t chopped off anyone’s head! I’ve burned no-one alive! I’m not robbing and stealing and raping!” Then the realization took hold, I have hurt people with my words, some deliberately and some not. I have rejected others, and above all, I rejected God and His Son for many years.

The pain in my chest began to slowly dissipate as that realization took hold. A calming began to replace the pain of hatred. It seemed as though my chest was deflating slowly and as that realization of my own sin penetrated my heart I realized that maybe, just maybe, it was my heart that needed to be changed.

There was no glowing translucent light filling the room. No angels appeared in white robes. No heavenly choir songs rang out from heaven. There was only a hushed silence as I whispered, “Is it my heart that needs changing, Lord?” The pain suddenly vanished! I was left limp and exhausted.

Many of us have prayed, “Search my heart O’Lord.” He takes that seriously and in my case He used the evil of ISIS on a T.V. newscast to reveal the depth of hatred in my heart and not only to expose it and make me aware of its depth but to taste the vile bitterness of it. “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” I was hating the sinner as well as the sin.

We’ve all suffered pain of some sort. We all have areas of hurt. There are no pure hearts in humanity and He’s still working on mine. By His grace I am saved, not perfect.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”

Ps. 139:23

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Been there-not going back!

imagesCA9KB85OMy fingers are cramped, my back hurts, my eyes burn, and my neck feels as though its frozen in place as I sit slumped over the legal pad and my pen skirts across the paper filling page after page as it writes the chapter about my visit to hell.

“Take a break, child.” The Lord whispers in my ear. “Go lay on the couch and rest for a while.” He gently adds. I lay my pen down and standing I flex my fingers, groan, and stretch my back muscles. Taking a deep breath I slowly walk to the couch and stretch out giving a long sigh of relief. The pen has been writing furiously and now I can take a time out.

My head has barely touched the pillow when suddenly everything turns to black. Black as no other black I’ve ever seen. My body has suddenly been transported from the comfort of my couch to a place that is so dark I can’t see my hand in front of my face. I’m scared. My body begins to shake and I sense Someone has stepped up behind me. Peace begins flowing through me like a gentle wave. No words are spoken.

The blackness is so black there’s nothing for my eyes to adjust to. It isn’t like walking into a dark room where some light peeks in and I can see at least a shadow. No this is so black it can’t be described! Suddenly faces begin to appear in the darkness. I suck in a breath as they come closer and closer to where I’m standing. Men and women, teen-age girls and boys, with expressions of fear, anger, shame, confusion, and some with hatred written in their eyes and across their faces as though in large dark ink. I take a step back. Somehow these people are not allowed to touch me but they have. They’ve touched something deep within me.

A woman, with her head thrown back, screams a bone chilling scream as she furiously twists her long hair and pulls frantically. She screams an agonizing scream, yet no sound comes from her mouth. A man leans toward me and pleads “help me,” yet no words are spoken. His face is a horrible mask of agony like nothing I have ever witnessed.

Face after face appear and pass before me with torture written on them, eyes filled with emptiness, screams of pain and desolation. A man appears and comes toward me with his face contorted with absolute hatred and his eyes meet mine with a putrid violence. I jump back bumping into the white robe behind me. “You’ll be okay, My child” is whispered in my ear as gentle arms wrap around me from behind. I feel His beard on my cheek and the comfort of His arms.

I turn my head to look at Him and ask, “Who are these people?” His eyes fill with tears. “Those who have rejected Me,” He replies with sadness. “But can’t You help them?” I ask. “No child. They chose this place. I gave them every opportunity but they chose this as their eternal home.” I want to scream! I want to beg Him to take them out of here! I want to run from this horrible place. The comforting arms drop from their hug and He takes a step back.

Suddenly the faces are gone and I’m standing as stiff as a telephone pole. Red hot flames have encircled me. Orange, red, yellow, flares up on all sides of me and only my head and eyes move as I look around me. Furious fire engulfs me, yet not one spark touches me.

The Man is beside me. “You’re safe” He says. The flames grow hotter, taller and I can’t believe I’m not even feeling the heat from them. “I am with you,” He says. The flames lick at me but don’t touch me, they grow hotter still and looking skyward I can see the flames are all around me and above me. There is no escape! “I am always with you, even in the fires of life,” is gently spoken.

Poof, the flames are gone!

I’m standing in the total blackness again. My mind is whirling. I have a million questions I want to ask but suddenly my attention is drawn to a white building appearing out of the pitch blackness. It’s a small country-type church. It begins turning. The whole building is slowly turning counter clockwise on its axis. It begins to turn faster and gradually it begins to spin faster and faster and faster until it spins off its axis and flies out into the darkness and disappears.

Suddenly I’m jolted from the darkness back onto my couch with the blare of the telephone ringing just inches from my ear. Confused and disoriented I reach for it. I can barely speak.

I have no idea how long I spent in hell but there’s one thing for sure, I’m not going back! The Lord gave us free will and we are to choose whom we shall serve. Christ or Satan – we can’t serve both. I’ve made my choice as to where, and with whom, I will spend eternity, have you?

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you shall serve.” Joshua 24:14

Author Sue Cass- “Dawn’s Light” – “Pursuit” – “Laying Down my Net-A Walk of Faith” – “Sacrifices of a Saint” – “Seek My Face.”

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Blessings to you.