What If This is the Filthiest of Places?

[Image by Stumayhew]
Out of somewhere, a strange wind blows heavily upon you, lifting up strands of hair, letting them rise above your shoulders only to drop again in cascades around your neck.

Wait, are you thinking it is a refreshing wind? Oh, no. You're mistaken. This one carries with it the stark staleness of desolate homeless men and women sitting on pavements with torn, wrinkled, rotten blankets and old socks.

See, you thought you'd be the least likely person to be found here, this despicable place of filth. No man should be here, not even them. However, here you are, holding up your right hand to cover your nostrils; walking in a zig-zag manner to avoid kicking them by any chance, seeing that they lie about like flea-infested dogs.

You try to block the stench, but there's just no way. It forces itself on you like a harlot, begging you to take it in.

...ѕυ∂∂єηℓу, уσυ яємємвєя ωну уσυ'яє нєяє...

That night at the revival, wasn't it you who came out lifting up your hands and wanting to be used? Yes, you came out crying, asking God, "What about me? I want to be Your vessel. Use me," you pleaded. You didn't know how or when you wanted to be "sent," but you weren't worried about it. The world was dying, and if you were living, of what use was life to you?

So you drop your hands, releasing your nose to allow the stench. You breathe in and out for the first time. At first you feel like fainting, but there's an invisible hand on your back keeping you straight. A voice speaks, "You will not faint, or grow weary."

In the light of this knowledge, you run to the first seemingly lifeless person, toss away his torn, wrinkled, rotten blanket. You take his hands in yours, even though they are stained with mucus and old chicken soup.

"I'm here to save you," you whisper, in the midst of your crying.
"What?" He doesn't seem to understand.
"I said, I'm here to save you, sir."

You begin to pull him up. The pulling gets tougher and tougher, and at some point you just want to let go, but that invisible hand comes back again, and two become stronger than one. That's it, the homeless man is up. You did it! You allow the tears to fall, but this time they are tears of joy.

So what if this is the filthiest of places?

✤ ✤ ✤ ✤ ✤

Children of God, when you find yourself in filthy places and dark trenches, don't be the first one to run away. Don't be the first one to cry, there's no need to. You were placed in the kingdom for such a time as this. So when it seems rough and you seem to be living the most difficult life, turn that difficulty into a miracle for someone else.

In case you forgot, let me remind you of who you are:

 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set above a hill cannot be hidden." (Matthew 5:14) | Hey, light exists in dark places.

 "Then [Jesus] said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19) | His followers become fishers, and fishers go through seasons of turbulent waters searching for the biggest catch.

 "And these signs will follow those who believe: in My Name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues, they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16:17-18) | These people spoken about here will, at some point in their lives, be surrounded by demons and serpents which they would have to be courageous enough to cast out.

Question(s) for the Day: So what if you're in the filthiest of places in your life right now? Is it at work, or school, or in the marketplaces of your world? Will you stay right there and be bold enough to do what you were called to do?

Nothing Like a Good Answer

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A few nights ago, I lay cuddled up in bed counting the seconds before I fell asleep. One, two, three, four, five. The events of the day began to draw upon the last few calories of energy I had left, and my breaths became more and more relaxed, drifting away into the concentrated breathing that comes with slower heart beats. Just as my eyes began to close, I muttered the words, "Thank You, Father."

I just wanted to show a little bit of appreciation, you know. To thank Him for showing me the way, how to handle the tasks of the day. You see, it's not every night that I remember to thank Him, but I was glad I remembered that night.

However, I didn't expect what came next. It was beyond me. I thought I'd say "thank you," close my eyes and fade into the night. But what happened next exceeded my expectations. It didn't end there. I heard a voice within my spirit say the words, "My daughter." 

I called him "Father," and He called me "daughter." There's nothing like a good response. Needless to say, it wasn't a one-sided appreciation. I became filled with so much joy that I couldn't help but start laughing. He answered me! He answered me! He could hear me too. Something so small became something so big. In that moment, I felt His presence so strong, and I knew He wanted me to know that more than anything else I was a daughter to Him and He'd always be there for me. He was my Father, but I also had an endearing title on His lips: I was His daughter. The very thing I needed to hear before sleeping.

* * * * *

There's nothing like a good answer, guys. For as many of you as have been waiting for responses, don't drift into slumber before He replies. If you can be quiet for a moment, He has a word to give to you too. If you call Him Father, listen close enough and you'll hear those words too. "My daughter," He would say. Or "My son."

Behold the Lord's arm is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor is His ear heavy,
That He cannot hear.
Isaiah 59:1

The righteous cry out
And the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
Psalm 34:17

Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying,
"This is the way, walk in it."
Whenever you turn to the right hand,
Or whenever you turn to the left. 
Isaiah 30:21

Now, this is the confidence that we have in Him,
That if we ask anything according to His will,
He hears us.
1 John 5:14

The scripture of Isaiah 59 goes on to say that it is our iniquities that separate us from Him. In other words, it's the unholy things we immerse ourselves in that prevent us from hearing His good response. It's not that He isn't there, but it's because we can't feel His presence. Sin hides His face from us like a wall that stands in-between us and Him.

Today, I want you to be CONFIDENT that you have a Father that hears you when you call His name.

Question for the Day: Do you have something you want God to respond to in your life right now? I dare you to get rid of every distraction and listen for that voice in the wind. The still small voice that comes just when everything is quiet and you're about to drift into sleep. I tell you, don't sleep until you hear His voice. 
PS: I want to use this opportunity to thank You, Father, for helping me reach a LANDMARK, the 400th post on the Lamp. Thanks to all of you readers who've continued this journey of "learning" with me. May God be as close to you as the oxygen you breathe, Amen.  

Waiting For Rain Is Like...

[Image by Peter Casier]


He rubs the seeds in the palm of his hands, slowly at first, and then with faster strokes. He touches their rough surfaces covered in dust from staying too long in the sack. He looks up to find his woman staring at him. She smiles, but he does not return it, instead he looks down at his palms again. Dissatisfied. Anxious. Impatient. Wanting something more.

He's a farmer waiting desperately for rain. Like we wait for the rising sun, or like green plants in a garden wait for the down-pouring of a misty early morning dew. Either way, waiting for rain is like waiting for an in-coming mail. You sit, and you get up again to check the mailbox. You ask yourself when your package will arrive, but sometimes you don't have all the answers.

The farmer hasn't seen rain in three years. There's drought in the land and the barns are almost empty. His woman smiles, but he knows her heart is heavy. She smiles because she tries to give him hope. But the rain is his only hope.

He rubs the seeds in his palms again, turns them around slowly. Then he does the unexpected. He opens the door to the yard, walks as far as the soil can take him, picks up the hoe and begins to dig into the soil. He wipes the sweat off his brows, and he continues to dig while she watches him from their bedroom window.

Come rain or shine, the seeds will be planted. They will be ready when the rain comes pouring. He won't wait anymore. The rain will come.

✾ ❁ ✾

Waiting for rain is like waiting for a package in the mail. It's like hoping for the impossible. Hoping for something that people have long since given up on. Here's what I read last week Friday.

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Therefore, be patient brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. (James 5: 7-8)

►►►The Reminder:

I was reminded once again that this life is nothing without God. We can go about our normal daily activities, but if we go without God, we will never find true satisfaction. Waiting for the second coming is like a farmer waiting for rain. He wakes up each morning asking the heavens when it will open its windows and let the rain come. He doesn't sit down at home doing nothing. He goes out, looking for good soil to plant his seeds. He sows before the rain comes.

What are you doing in this period of waiting? Are you sowing good seeds around? Are you preparing for the rain to come? To you who has given up on what you're waiting for, I want to encourage you today to pick up your dusty seeds and rub them in the palms of your hands. Feel the roughness, touch the dirt. Hold them gently, don't let them go, and begin to plant them. Plant them like a farmer whose hope is in the coming rain. Don't wait for others to start planting, be the trendsetter. Walk on God's path.

►►►The Question
Are you still waiting? Wait for the second coming of Christ like a farmer waits for the early and latter rain. A lot of disasters are happening around the world, but don't lose your focus. This also applies to anything you're waiting on God for. Hold on to Him because He will always fulfill His word. Establish your heart. Stay focused. Stay planted. Never let go of God because He is your source, your refuge, your fortress, and your Father. Happy Monday, readers. Please pray for Japan.

Young Scholars in the Making | The Early Risers

[Image by Nia]
Hi Readers,

Have you ever been part of something that made you wiser, thankful, and thirsting for more each time you attended?

I have. And I have to tell you that it's been a fantastic experience. I joined The Early Risers Conference (TERC) in the fall of 2007, and since then I've grown, along with a group of beautiful young & vibrant people. We've become just like siblings in our walk, and the more we've shared with each other, the more we've increased in our individual lives.

You were never designed to walk on this road alone. Each of us was created with an innate desire for deep friendship, both with God and man. The bible says, "As a deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for you, O God," (Psalm 42:1).

So, if you've been struggling in your walk, or no...if you want this feeling of fellowship with other young believers, there's no need to crave what's already in your hands. You can pick up your phone every Friday morning (depending on what part of the world you're in, of course)...and dial those digits.

Do you have a topic you'd like to discuss? Drop a comment, we'd love to dig into the Word of God and talk about your topic. 

Meeting Time: Every Friday-5.00a.m (Eastern)
Call Tomorrow-TERC #: 712-432-0175
Code: 210524
For more information: http://tercblog.blogspot.com  

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The Ultimate Bodyguard

He's a strongly-built powerful macho person paid to stand by your side all day long, protecting you. To treat you like a treasure that can't be touched by common men.

The perfect bodyguard is stronger than the average man, wears a protective vest, a black leather jacket, and dark matching sun-glasses so you can't tell what part of the room he's looking at. He usually has the most modern technological means or equipment to target any daring offenders- such as surveillance ear pieces with noise reductions, an attached microphone, a long-range night camera, a spy-camera wristwatch, a GPS tracking device, a metal detector, and of course what good is a bodyguard without a gun?

When I was younger, I often wondered how it would feel to have a bodyguard protecting me. I'd probably feel on top of the world, secure from the dangers of ill-minded men. The thought of it was sweet, intimidating, and exciting.

* * * * *

Today, I want you to know that you have a God who is bigger than a bodyguard. Most times, we search for a protector, and many times some of us find this in our spouses. Nevertheless, human beings will always have their own weaknesses and limitations. There would be a day when a bodyguard is caught unawares, not wearing his protective vest, and then he might get shot by someone. But with God? No, that can never happen. He is our ever-protective SHEPHERD:

The Lord is my Shepherd
I shall not want
He makes me to lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside the still waters
He restores my soul
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me,
Your rod & Your staff,
they comfort me.
(Psalm 23)

He's the One-- the true Bodyguard you've been searching for. He stands by your side all day long to protect you. He provides for you so that you don't lack anything you need. He takes you to a place where the grass is green, and if you trust Him enough, you can lie down and take a good long nap. He leads you beside still waters, where the rhythms of moving waters are like music to your soul. He takes your filthy rags and turns them into His own righteousness. Even in the valley of the shadow of death, He's there to see you through. He's with you always, till the very end.

You see, He's not just a bodyguard who has no feelings for you. He cares for you and is ready to continue to protect you even until the end. If you don't know this God, you've got to go get a taste of Him. Only then would you understand what I'm writing about.

Question for the Day: Have you ever sought for someone to protect you? Today, I pray you understand the intensity of what it means for God to be your Shepherd. He's bigger than the best bodyguard that ever lived. He can't be stopped and He can't be killed.