Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Avalon Chronicles #6 "Passages to One's Heart"

     Several days ago I commented to my wife Linda that these days with her as my wife (now in our ninth year) have been the happiest and most contented and joyous of my life. I defined it as a time or period of my life, but searched my vocabulary for another word to define it. I knew there was one and asked God to bring it to my memory. He did and it was "passages". I have by my living room chair a facsimile copy of Webster's 1828 dictionary. In it a usage of passage is a quote in a poem by John Dryden, "And with his pointed dart explores the nearest passage to his heart." In Proverbs 4:23 it is written, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
     We have several "passages" or periods of our lives and we are subjected in each of those times to experiences that are good and bad that impact us. They depend upon what enters our heart and our reaction and action to the influence.
     In the NIV Bible it is written in Ephesians 6:16, "...take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." Arrows are large darts. My study of spiritual warfare has taught me that our spiritual adversary has authority to send "flaming arrows" to us for two major reasons. They are because we have unforgiven sin and we have not forgiven all others who have wronged or hurt us.
      In Jeremiah 24:7 it is written, "I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord." In Ezekiel 11:19 it is written, "I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh." The footnote to this scripture is, "This new life can only be the work of the Holy Spirit. It is God's work, but we must recognize and turn from our sin. When we do, God will give us new motives, new guidelines, and new purpose." In I Chronicles 28:9 it is written, (in speaking to Solomon about building the temple), "...for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts." NOTHING is hidden from our Father. We may hide it from the world and even ourselves, but not from him.
     In the New Bible Dictionary the heart is defined thusly: "The heart is considered the governing center for each of us, and all our attributes, physical, intellectual, and psychological. It is who we are and governs all our actions."
      What enters our hearts is crucial to our well-being. When we have faith in God and what we learn in the Word of God, we can experience passages of our lives by controlling what passes to our hearts.
      In Psalms 37:4 it is written, 'Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." I like that agreement.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Avalon Chronicles #2 "Jesus is Available"

Avalon Chronicles #2 "Jesus is Available"

Feb. 19, 2013:
     I was sitting in my living room yesterday and these are the thoughts that came to my mind. I truly believe as I listened that my Lord was speaking:

     "There is so much pain in the world and always has been. I came to remove much of that pain and sorrow for those who call on Me for redemption and salvation. The enemy occupies the territory my Father created. My mission was defined in the New Testament as that to reclaim the inhabitants of the land so they would be free from oppression of their souls. I came, died, and was resurrected so that those who believed in Me could have a new way of life. It would not be trouble-free, but it would be a life where troubles and tribulations could be looked upon as inevitable, but whose impact would be lessened and ameliorated when I am called upon to provide understanding of causes and then guidance as to changes of heart, direction, or acceptances to work through the condition or issue. I am like the original 'ap' on your smart phone. Click on me without charge, learn from me, and have direction, knowledge and wisdom to approach any challenge. I am available 24/7/365. (366 in leap year.)

Avalon Chronicles #1: "The Why and What of Avalon Chronicles"

Avalon Chronicles #1 "The Why and What of Avalon Chronicles"

     For months I have agonized over sharing with people closest to Linda, and me and others whose path has crossed ours, our spiritual thoughts. I have decided to do so on an intermittent and sporadic time frame. I am motivated to send you these messages, because, at age 70, having endured the Vietnam War and all the emotional, financial, physical, and medical battles of my life, I do not know how many years God will continue to bless me with life before I am gone to the fulfillment of the immortality of my soul in Heaven.
     Avalon is an ancient island in Great Britain where Joseph of Arimathea from Jerusalem, the man who took Jesus down from the cross and placed him in the sepulchre on his own home place, arrived in 36AD. Avalon was the location where Christianity began its spread into "the isles."

On February 3, 2013 I wrote the following in my diary:

     I am reading a book by George F. Jowett titled Drama of the Lost Disciples about the establishment of Christianity in Great Britain upon the arrival of Joseph of Arimathea. The larger locale today is identified as Glastonbury in southwest England. (Linda and I will travel to Glastonbury in Nov. 2013.)
     I am truly inspired by the foundation of the faith there and the "Scarlet Thread" of the history of Jesus' sacrifice for us and the propagation of our faith for the past two millenia. In the course of reading this history of the beginnings of the movement of the faith outside the Holy Land, I have been moved almost to the point of tears, with how important is my faith and my responsibility to be holy and pure and "sold-out" to Christianity.
     The word "imbued" came to mind. Webster's original 1828 dictionary defines it in this manner, "to tinge deeply, to cause to imbibe (to absorb: to receive or admit into the mind and retain; as to imbibe principles) as, to imbue the minds of youth with good principles. (Most on my list are "youth" to me as I am in my 8th decade.)
     In the course of this time of reflection this morning, I began to be reminded of Linda's frequent proclamation, "The Lord told me." I have until today always listened with a sense of skepticism to what she has said. Obviously, it is not an audible voice, but rather a progression and transmission of a thought process transmitted by our Father in Heaven and imparted to her, who listens to God's quiet and still voice in her prayer time.
     I have come to the conclusion this day for the first time ever that, when we totally "sell-out" to God, that our mind becomes a conduit of the thoughts of God to and through us for guidance, direction, and correction.
     May God bless and keep you all. Allen

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Avalon Chronicles #5: "Broken Arrow"

     Several weeks ago I was the guest of a long-time and good friend, Gene Blanton, a Marine, who presents at Plano's Prestonwood Baptist Church a program for men titled "Semper Fi Warrior." I was a presenter one night on one of my topics titled "Spiritual Warfare." When I finished, Gene began a program about "Broken Arrow." He proceeded to show a short clip from the movie We Were Soldiers, when on Nov. 14, 1965, the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment-Custer's Old Battalion, landed in Vietnam's Central Highlands to fight a vastly superior in numbers North Vietnamese force. Gene went on to teach the following:
     On the second day of the battle the enemy attacked ferociously leading to severe hand-to-hand combat. Ltc. Hal Moore's battalion was in imminent danger of being overrun. It was classified by Col. Moore in his opinion that "His unit was in grave danger of being overrun." As I viewed this film clip I began to tear and had to wipe my eyes recalling the sheer horror that back on that day my fellow Army soldiers had to have felt. In reflection since then I realize that we all feel at some time that we are about to be overrun. The pressures of our lives seem to be overwhelming due to family, financial, situational, and sin issues.
     When Col. Moore broadcast back to his headquarters "Broken Arrow," it was the code word meaning there was no further questioning or hesitation or calling for a conference. All available aircraft in country immediately descended on the battalion's battlefield to deliver air support to the beleagured ground troops. The enemy assault was repelled.

     This story in our military history is quite gripping and the scenes in the movie leave one with an indelible memory. That actual situation has its comparability in many of our own lives. We all probably face some or many extremely traumatic situations in our lives. When we do, it is time to ask for all the divine help we can obtain from our Father in Heaven. That is when we cry out, "Broken Arrow," in humility just as did Col. Moore. As Blanton relates, "In the same way, when God hears a 'Broken Arrow' coming up from one of his (people), He always hears our prayers and mobilizes resources. 'He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.' Psalm 91:15. We receive help, but in all candor we must recognize the issue may not completely be obliterated. There are consequences sometimes due to our decisions that brought on the challenge.
     Our God in Heaven who sent His Son to die on the cross for us 2000 years ago at Calvary is in that headquarters in the sky and is able to send forth all the help we need. We need to be faithful enough to believe He will be there for us and answer our prayers. We need to ask Him for help out of our situation when the enemy is everywhere.