Well, we are entering that phase of our journey were I believe our bus driver may take us over a water fall and into some deep waters of a dark canyon or two where monsters lurk.  Just warning you as I really don’t know when this is going to happen.  I am only relaying things when he allows me to be the tour guide for a bit.

During these times where we enter into the deep waters a bit, you may see and hear monsters that may scare you a bit or even a lot.  Don’t worry, none of them can touch you and you have us to help you.  We are all together in this.  They just look and sound scary and attempt to make us fearful.  They know they can only really scare us if we run from them and jump out of the bus.  I will explain more of what this means on and off during our time together.   However, I just want to say that you want to try to remain in the safety of the bus.  Even if you do run or fall out a few times (or get afraid by the monsters in the deep) our awesome bus driver (God himself) will still be HOLDING you during the time of your walk in the darkness.  He actually allows this to happen until you and I learn to fully trust him and no longer be afraid of the monsters of the deep dark.  He is teaching us full trust in his goodness.

Once we fully trust him, we can let go of everything we have clinged to for safety. For some of us it is money, status, careers, cars, husbands, fitness, addictions, etc.  You name it, we ALL have things we cling to while we are learning to trust him.  The monsters are very scary before we know him.  Once we see how safe he is, we can give it ALL to him in his safe and STRONG hands.  Then, you will stop falling out of the bus and getting beat around by the monsters of the deep.  He may show you how they really can’t hurt you and if you are especially lucky he may show you how they actually for him but are merely a teaching tool.

Each one of us are different and he’s doing different things inside of each of us, but all of it is very good when he is done.  He wants us to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride inside his “bus of love” called Christ.  When the dragon and other monsters of the deep try to scare you, just smile and look at your bus driver.  He has a wonderful journey for you and many worlds to explore with him.

Duane

In one word… the UNEXPECTED!  Or pure craziness.  I guarantee you will have the thought at least one time, no more than one time.

“He is crazy”.

You will!  I even do often.  I often don’t fully understand the things I write, at first.  Or even second.  Sometimes it take 4 or 5 times for me to understand what I am sharing. I have to try from many different angles for our humanity to “get” at least a grasp on them. That includes me too!

So, I can’t really tell you what to expect… I don’t even know.  It is so different each day and even within the same day.

I will appear to be crazy or schizophrenic at times.   I freely admit that.  You may have to just sit back and put on your seatbelt as we may be taking this bus OVER THE WATERFALLS!  Hang on!

Some days, I will be relaxed, warm and fuzzy (like today).  Everyone will want to snuggle their hearts up together as we read a nice story and have cookies by the warm fire. I love these times together.

However, just a warning.

Tomorrow may be a bus ride over the waterfalls.  You will be very afraid and dismayed.  Truthfully, I will be too.

See, I am not driving the bus, God is.  None of us know this when we are born or most of our lives.  However, if you have been taken over enough waterfalls and didn’t have your seatbelt on, you will begin to realize you are not driving the bus!

But, don’t worry. The bus driver is the best there is.  He won’t let anyone fall out of the bus.  No one will die, at least not the way man believes and has taught us.  We will get bumps and bruises especially if we have our seatbelt off.  So, keep it on at all times if you want to avoid that and keep your eyes on him when you get afraid.  He will calm you down.

Our bus driver knows the course well.   He has driven it a million times before.  So, when things get scary and dark, you may have to remind yourself he knows what he is doing. Believe me, they will get scary and dark.  He will take you through some dark canyons and over huge waterfalls in order to get you to your destination.  Believe me, you will LOVE the destination. It’s the very place your heart has been longing for.  This place fulfills all your deepest hopes and dreams.

If you look within, you will see this.

Now, as your part-time tour guide, I will try to warn you ahead of time if a waterfall is coming or we are about to enter a canyon.  Some of these words I speak may sound harsh at times.  I believe they are so that we will wake up and stop being afraid. I will remind you to not be afraid as often as I can.   If I get afraid, you can remind me.  We really are in this together and none of us have any higher status or role than anyone else.  Sometimes, you may be the tour guide and I the passenger if I am afraid. I am still human.  God will use whoever is not afraid at the time who knows the way he is taking the bus.  Whoever is hearing and knows his words of truth.  Its these very written and spoken words of truth that will calm the rest of the passengers. They will instill peace in our hearts and remove the fear.  I need them all the time or I will fear.   They are the very warm cookies that sooth us by the fire.  But, they are also the sharp rod of discipline that wakes us up when we fall asleep.  Our father is the best daddy there is.  He always knows exactly what we need.

Such are the ways of God.  Sometimes soft and warm like warm cookies from the oven, sometimes painful like a belt on our behinds.

All are love.  True love.    And we so need them.

Duane

I have been thinking “who is my audience”?  Who will be willing to listen and think about the things I share?

Great question….

Today, I think I am hearing the answer.

“A true soldier of God!”   That is who I am hoping to share these messages of hope and truth with.   This is not what you have been taught it is, however.

A true “soldier of God” is one who does not follow and take orders from man, he reports directly to GOD himself and ONLY follows HIS orders!  He completely disregards man’s thoughts, opinions and orders.  If God says “take the city”, he gets in his TANK and storms into battle.  If God says “speak these STRONG words of correcting truth to that person whom you love” (but have been under “leadership bondage” to for a long time), he does them without hesitation. He (or she)speaks them and let the chips fall where God has them.  Will he do it perfect? HECK NO!  But even that is all part of the plan to teach, train and refine HIM (or her) even more. This is the kind of person that God wants.  A true soldier who is willing to forsake all to please our Heavenly King. He knows to do God’s perfect will is to find his true self and being.  Only God knows what is best for us and for others we come in contact with.  Often he will give us words to speak and things to do that are very difficult, but they must be done.  Will you do them?  It’s ok, if you aren’t yet ready.  He will prepare you for the battle that is looming as you sit at his feet and learn of his ways.

When you are ready, you will suffer for a bit.  But, God has a reason for these things.  It’s a perfect reason that only he knows and it’s all part of his mystery.  But it’s all VERY good and you will see in time.  He may not always tell us or we may think we run the show.  We just listen, follow and carry out the marching orders.  If we are not yet ready, he will have someone else do them and wait on us.  We just need more training is all. Then, he will send some of the spiritual locusts to “trim our flesh” a bit more until we are ready. We were still pleasing man and he knows that.  It was all rooted and based in fear.  He will remove it.  It will hurt though.  But, it will be good and in due time his “discipline” will pay off.

Next time he sends you an order or command, you won’t hesitate.  You will move forward and quickly carry it out without hesitation.  When the process is done, you will see something most amazing.

What you thought would “kill” you or the other person actually made LIFE appear in them and in you!  Wow!  You will be befuddled and amazed.  You will celebrate and praise his name.   You will realize he just used YOU to trim the “flesh” or unbelief of another person.  Now, they have had the darkness (unbelief) trimmed away in that area of bondage.  They see the light and the love of our Father comes through to them and bounce off them to YOU!  Both of you are FED incredible life and love.

Such are the ways of God.  Very mysterious to man.  He does things so differently that man does.  God says that death must come first before we experience life.  Sometimes we must hand out and perform what feels like death both in us and in the recipient, before life can spring forth from within.  Really, we are just “trimming away the darkness” in both of us.

So, are you a true soldier of God?  Are you willing to open your mind to new ways that man has never before seen?  God will make a path in the desert and wilderness that we have never before seen.  Man can’t see it.  It has to be God who makes it.  It will not be anything like the paths we have know.

“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.  Is 43:19

This very “path” is the new creation man himself who is one with God.  He does NOT follow the old creation paths of man who lives by rules, laws, and commandments.  He simply listens for his loving father’s voice and immediately follows it.  It will take him on the wildest adventure he could ever imagine.  He will hack his way through jungles of lies that are very think and completely impenetrable by man.  He will swing on vines across rivers of deception with his huge machete in his mouth.  He will fight and slay the very dragon himself each and every day under the Lord’s guidance of truth, power and wisdom.

He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.  Deut 8:15

Wow, what an adventure it will be!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  2 Cor 5:17

Are you ready to undertake this tremendous calling?

There is a cost, however.

You must be willing to forsake all that you cling to for safety.  All the people or things that you may put in front of him, you have to surrender to him.  You may or may not get to keep them.  However, when the battle is over, you will begin to see that the reward was much greater.  The reward was actually a BETTER version of the actual things you were holding onto.  The very things themselves were converted, improved and given life instead of just be a shadow.  Many of them even rejoice with you after the battle is won.  Time to rest in the Lord for the next battle against the forces of darkness and the lies they use to keep us in bondage to them.  You have followed the Lord’s orders and rescued today’s captive and set them free.

Are you willing to accept the cost and forsake all?   Are you ready to let go of ALL the thoughts and beliefs you have had about God and yourself so he can retrain you in the truth?

Only you can answer that.  I do hope you will say yes.

God bless,

Duane

It all started just over 2 years ago when a friend of mine gave me a simple book after we were hanging out one weekend.  My spiritual eyes would be opened and spiritual blindness would begin to be removed.  I would see things in God’s Word that I never did before.  Very powerful things.

“Hey, check this book out if you want” he said as he handed it to me.  “It seems scriptural, but there is something different about it..”

I looked at it and was very hesitant because it looked like a “motivational” or “sales training” type of book.  Like Tony Robbins. Now, don’t get me wrong,  I have nothing against these types of books and own many of them and have read them. I just knew by now that they weren’t the full answer.  They always left me feeling unsatisfied once the emotion wore off.

However, I took the book because I have a very open mind and will check out virtually anything that I felt would bring me closer to God and the truth.

That night was when my life was changed forever.

I remember lying in my bed reading the book and I only got about 10 or so pages into it and I sat completely DUMBFOUNDED staring at the ceiling.

“Is this TRUE LORD?”  I asked him quietly in complete shocked disbelief.  I felt a growing sense inside that it was.  And, BOY, was it GOOD!  What this person was saying about a certain scripture verse was exactly what I believed in my heart for a LONG time and it showed us that God didn’t require something that man has been telling us he does.  I had been going to a non-denominational church for 8 years at this time and felt I was pretty strong scripturally, but there were many times when I felt confused by what was taught.

I have since learned that this is called “mixture”, which is mixing the old covenant of law with the new covenant of grace.  Law says “man must do it to earn it” and Grace says “God does it for you for free, you just receive it”.  Since then, I have found it is EVEN BETTER than that!  We can’t even receive it, God has to receive it for us inside our hearts.  Under the new covenant of Grace, God performs both sides – God’s AND man’s.  Wow, could this get any better?

YES!  You just wait till you see what he has in store for us.

So, the book that I read changed my internal being and for the next two weeks, I was on such a high emotional state you would have thought I had won a million dollars.  I really won MUCH more than that, we all have.  I just didn’t start to know it until then.

I couldn’t wait to tell my church leaders.  I thought they would be so excited.  I could never have been so wrong.

I hope to share more of this story and the things I have learned soon.

Blessings,

Duane