Tag: transformation

change in the making (Addison Road)

This song encourages me because it helps ground and remind me that it’s ok to be where I am on this life long road of redemption. I don’t know about you, but I need to constantly fight the impulse to get down on myself because of my desire to be further along on this journey of redemption than I actually am. I think we all have a bit of an overachiever in us who is always striving to be better at the expense of ourselves, others, even God.

What this song reminds me of is that my life is in God’s hands and that He is continually at work healing my heart as He redeems and restores my life. Even when I struggle with temptation and sin, sometimes desperately, I can rest in the truth that God will never give up on me and that He knows exactly what He’s doing and where He’s taking me. He knows the person He is transforming me to be. I am “under construction” and that’s ok because I am in God’s able hands.

Here’s a couple verses that help to keep me trusting in God: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11) and  “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). God’s heart towards us is goodness and love and we can trust  in His faithfulness to save, redeem and restore us as He changes and transforms us to be more like His perfect Son, Jesus. But, we need to allow ourselves to accept the daily grace that He gives us and be at peace with the pace of redemption and restoration God has ordained for our lives.

“Everyday God is chipping away at what I don’t need” which can feel confusing, even painful at times because it hurts when the idols in our hearts get smashed. So, “this is me under construction, this is my pride being broken.” It’s humbling to admit that without Jesus I will remain broken and incomplete. But, as long as I put my faith in God’s good work of redemption in my life, tomorrow can be better and tomorrow I can be “closer to who I’m meant to be” because “I am a change in the making!”

LIFE: words

Do you remember the childhood saying of “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” I remember chanting this when I was young, in order to mask the hurt I felt inside when the other kids picked on me for being different. No matter how much I said it, the words still hurt because words have power to build up or to tear down. Ephesians 4:29 says “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” (NLT). In working with people who struggle with addiction, from my experience trauma is one of the leading causes of addiction. Physical, mental, verbal and sexual abuses are all contributing factors that can lead people down the road of addiction in search of relief, self-punishment or misguided vengeance to name a few motivations.

For people who struggle with sexual addiction, rejection is a major catalyst that perpetuates the abnormal behavior. Objectifying people for our own sexual gratification is abnormal. God didn’t create us to use and abuse one another, but to love one another (1 John 3:11). Regardless of the many pro-porn arguments, pornography is demeaning, period. In helping these people work towards freedom the Lord has revealed to me that in many if not all instances, verbal traumas are some of the first attachment points that certain strongholds (rejection, self-pity, self-hatred, shame) began to take root which helped catalyze the road towards sexual addiction. Add on to this, other traumas like physical, mental or sexual abuse and the range of addictions increases (alcohol, drugs, food, anger, etc.).

The book of James talks about the tongue being untamable by human means (James 3:2,8) and how blessings and curses come out of the same mouth (James 3:9). I don’t know about you, but I experience the truth of these verses everyday, be it in my own struggle to control what I say or don’t say or when I’m on the receiving end of some not so self-controlled words from others. But, when I do feel offended, unjustly criticized or even judged, I am grateful for Holy Spirit who restrains me from reacting and reminds me of God’s love and grace. When I first came to faith and read through the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23a), I was always perplexed by self-control. But, the longer I walk with Jesus the more grateful I’ve become of this particular aspect of the Spirit’s fruit.

God’s heart towards His creation is one of love, redemption and restoration. The Father’s desire is to see us saved, redeemed and made whole. This was the precise reason Jesus came down out of Heaven to die on a cross for sin. It is in Jesus that people are set free from the bondage of sin, are delivered from being demonized, healed of sickness and disease and where our brokenness is restored. This is where the supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit in gifting people prophetically has great influence and power in joining with God in His mission of redemption and restoration. All believers have the privilege to speak truth and life into others. But, this must be done in love (Ephesians 4:15). The prophetic gift must be exercised in love, “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV).

Recently, I’ve been reading a book by Kris Vallotton, Developing a Supernatural Lifestyle, and came across this statement: “Never underestimate the redemptive power of God’s supernatural ministry. So many people are starving to know who they really are. You have the ability to alter the history of people who are lost in darkness and broken beyond repair.” This is a true statement. But, we must always remember that our own tongue fights against us and that unless we become more and more dependent on Holy Spirit in taming our tongue we will do more prophetic harm than good. Holy Spirit gifting does not equal maturity; it is through the fruit of the Holy Spirit that brings about maturity. Furthermore, though we should earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially prophecy we must remember that we must pursue love first (1 Corinthians 14:1).

So this is my prayer: that the Lord would continue to cultivate in us a greater capacity to love, that He would impress upon each of us the great need to be fully defined by the Father’s love and the need to always pursue love first and foremost. Help us Lord to allow ourselves to be fully loved by the Father and from out of that place of belovedness love others. For, as Your Word says “We love because God first loved us” (1 John 4:19). In Your Name Jesus we pray, Amen.

FREEdom I: are you free?

Have you ever really thought about what it means to truly live free? At first impulse, most of us would probably define this as: the freedom to do whatever we please, whenever we please. But, I believe that living like this will actually put us into more bondage, rather than freedom. I mean if we really sat down and took an honest look at our lives, we would see that we are all in bondage to a variety of things, both tangible and intangible, that keep us from living a truly abundantly full life. Now without going into detail about what an abundantly full life looks like. Simply put, from my perspective an abundantly full life is a life free from sin where we can actually choose not to do things. For me, that’s the core characteristic of freedom. When we are in bondage to something we lose the ability to choose. The world teaches that freedom is the ability to do anything, anytime regardless of the consequences. But, I believe that true freedom is the ability to choose to not do something. What is it in your life that has stolen your ability to choose?

Addiction is the epitome of the loss of freedom and there are so many addicted people in the world. Now, this may or may not surprise you, but, I believe, if we are all really honest with ourselves we will see, even admit, that we are all prone towards addiction. Take the the 420 Prayer Movement, we exists because of the harsh reality of the prevalence of drug and alcohol addiction. But, there are lots of people who are addicted to other tangible things like: smoking, gambling, food, video games, the Internet, sex, shopping, work, gossiping etc. But, there are also lots of people who are addicted to intangible things (which often times underlie the tangible addictions: anger (rageaholism), lust (fantasizing), stress & anxiety (always being in crisis), greed (accumulation of stuff), comfort (adverse to any change), laziness (lack of motivation), pain (self-punishment/mutilation), etc. But, the story doesn’t stop with our addictions. At the heart of the 420 Prayer Movement is the greater reality that true freedom can happen through Jesus. Do you believe this?

I mean, we all may say we believe this, but do your prayers reflect the truth that God is still supernaturally transforming lives? More specificallly, that He not only is able to set people free from addictions, but that He actually wants to do this because I believe He does. If you have never heard my story, please check it out because my own life is testimony to this truth. Too often I hear people say, “Well, that’s just the way I am” or even “What’s the use, I can’t change.” What this says to me is that they’ve lost any hope to change and are living purely coping lives without much hope, let alone joy. Addiction has a nasty way of sapping any and all hope, life and joy from people’s lives. But, that’s not what the Gospel says, at the heart of Jesus’ ministry was to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind and to release the oppressed because the year of the Lord’s favor has arrived (Luke 4:18, 19). What all of this tells me is that Jesus came to set people free! He even says, “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free” (John 8:36 NLT). Are you free?

birthRIGHT of love

God is continually transforming us into the likeness of Jesus (Romans 8:29). What this means for us is that God is continually stretching us to love as Him. A prophetic image that the Lord gave me for this was of new wine being poured into a heart shaped wineskin which symbolizes God pouring His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). Now the more that God’s love marinates within our hearts, the more it expands our capacity to love. His love literally stretching our hearts just as new wine stretches wineskins as it ages and matures. The longer and more fully we embrace the Father’s love, the more His love will stretch us to love as Him. I am completely convinced that the Father’s love changes everything because His love is fully alive and moves us to live more abundantly which for me means being set free to love completely.

Genuine love is a God given birthright that too many people fail to claim. I mean we live in a pornographic culture where people pawn their God given birthright of genuine love in exchange for something that is perverted, shallow and selfish. God is love (1 John 4:8) and so He designed us to love. But, sin has perverted the way that we love. Now, here’s the good news of the Gospel for those who choose to believe: Jesus has restored us back into fellowship with God which means the Father’s love now lives within us by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). Jesus has redeemed our perverted love back into genuine love. But, we need to choose to reclaim our God given birthright to this love which means letting go of our old way of loving and choosing to learn this new way of love.

After coming to faith in Jesus, one of the very first things that God revealed to me was that I really didn’t know what it meant to love. In that moment, Holy Spirit moved me to begin praying this very simple prayer: “Jesus, teach me to love.” I remember praying this prayer every day for years. Today, I am close to being 10 years in the Lord and I still pray this simple prayer, maybe not daily as I used to, but at least once a week I am confronted with how much more I need to learn about loving people unconditionally. What I’ve come to realize is that it’s God’s love that transforms my love to be more like his true love (I blogged more on this here: TRUE ✞= ♥ LOVE). Again, it’s Jesus who has redeemed our perverted love back into His genuine love.

A Scripture verse that I find great comfort in is 1 John 4:19 which says, “We love because God first loved us.” I find comfort in this because this means that I don’t have to generate this genuine love on my own, but just need to lean more and more into God’s perfect love (1 John 4:18). The more I press into God’s love the more His love will fuel my love both for Him and for others. So this is my prayer: “Jesus, teach us to love. Help us to follow your lead in loving the Father and loving others. Father, pour more of Your love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom You’ve given us. And Holy Spirit help us to rest in the Father’s love. In Jesus Name, Amen.

“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3 NIV).

transFORMation II

When Jesus tells us that we will do the things He did as well as even greater things (John 14:12) – what this says to me is that we are being transformed to do the supernatural good work of the Kingdom. Earlier, when Jesus preaches the sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) He specifically says to “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NIV). What this says to me is that the way we love and serve people around us declares to them the goodness and kindness of God, Who is not distant and indifferent, but is committed to the world and active in the lives of people. Again, from my understanding of what the Scriptures say, the only way a person can truly make an eternal impact in this world is when they are filled with God’s Word and Spirit, walking in Holy Spirit power, gifts and exhibiting His fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23).  

I love what Peter says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Peter 2:9-12 TNIV). It is only because God has chosen us to be His people, taking us from living in darkness into now living in “His wonderful light” by transforming our lives by His mercy. But, it’s not about speaking and serving in our own strength, but about doing everything in the strength that God gives us (1 Peter 4:11).

I believe that the reason God doesn’t just take people to Heaven right when they get saved is because there is a lot of good work that He has ordained for every follower of Jesus to do here on earth. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV). We are His masterpieces that He is continually transforming as He forms, shapes, gifts, equips and empowers us to do right, love mercy and to walk humbly before Him (Micah 6:8). What God has been impressing on my heart more and more is that when I testify about Him, He WILL show up and confirm my testimony about Him. But, I need to be actively taking God at His Word and stepping out in faith by leaning into the presence and power of Holy Spirit in my life. The way we live our lives reveals what we believe. We are Jesus’ ambassadors here on earth (2 Corinthians 5:20), but the sad reality is that many Christian have really failed at representing Him accurately.

But, if I’ve learned one thing with God, it’s this: “It’s never too late!” I am more more and more convinced that the world is waiting to hear the words of the Gospel of grace and hungry for a demonstration of the supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). God is looking for more people like Abraham, who will take Him at His Word (Galatians 3:6; Romans 4:3) and step out in faith and begin proclaiming and demonstrating the truth and power of the Gospel. So, this is my prayer: “I pray that Jesus would help each of us to embrace more of the Father’s grace. That Holy Spirit would move our hearts to consciously ask for more of God’s grace to be birthed and released into our lives. And that He would equip, empower and embolden us to be a people who take Him at His Word. So, Jesus we receive Your Word that tell us that we will do what You did, even that we will do even greater things, In Your Name Jesus, Amen.”

“As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:7, 8 NIV).

a new BEginning


by Gerald T. Ching


In the dark of the night

when all my defenses disintegrate on compassionate winds

and my soul rests in peaceful bliss,

I journey in my dreams to a star at the very center of the universe.  


As the expanse across the bridge to that distant star shortens

and its glowing brilliance starts to encompass all that my eyes can see,  

I feel all that has held me in fear dissipate

in the loving star shine – penetrating

the thick solid walls that have kept me

in false security for so long a time.


My soul that was a gift to me,  

I have fed garbage all my life.

As my pride ruled supreme, my heart

quietly suffered, patiently waiting

letting my mind know on the need to know basis.


I have been caught

in the lies of a depraved world. The shadows of my past

finally converging with my present state of affairs,

filling the many gaping holes that riddle my soul,

making me face the consequences of sin.


My life passes into a panicked state.

What is going on with me?


My soul already knowing the score

screams and kicks in rebellion. My heart

knowing a secret waits for some final transformation

that may never arise, but still waits – hopeful.

With a stoutness, never giving up its dreams,

my heart holds on.


When I breathe my last breath, I will know the Truth.

When I cry out in sweet anguish to be taken home,

when my rebellion is made obedient,

when the darkness is overtaken by that brilliant Light –

in that final moment I will know the Truth.


But for now

with Beauty soothing the ugliness that was born in me and

that has become me, I am a seeker

left to wander this decaying world, in disarray.


Throughout the whole of my life I have been working so hard

to prove to everyone that they were wrong about me. This bitterness

has cost me. My arrogance has come at a price.        

All the blood, sweat and tears that was shed for my cause

was poured out in meaningless rage. Not a day

was added to my life, not a hour

to my future, not a minute, to my cause.


In ignorance I pressed on

with pride blazing a path before me.

From the deepest and darkest places of wickedness that resides

within me, I struggle towards obedience

searching for freedom.


Shadow boxing in this prison

my heart, soul, and mind fight this transformation

while an all consuming jealous fire swirls purposefully, full of love

through all I am. Within this fire, this trueness,

my defenses are not needed and

no walls of solitude stand.


The compassion that oversees all in this gift of love

shines Its brilliance that warms the core of my exposed

heart and soul, lighting the way. Sorting

and filtering the negativity

that shatters me to my knees in brokenness.

Within this light love reigns above all

hand and hand with hope, in faith –  together.


This Radiance overpowers the hatefulness that surrounds me

as I walk through life, finally

setting me free. Giving me the strength to look

into another’s eyes with unashamed love.  

I have been humbled

to honesty mingle amongst all of you,

full of love and compassion – truly set free.


transFORMation I

Do you know that God is working miracles in your life each and every single day? In my last blog “EXodus” I talked about the miracle of being a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). To further expand on this, I also believe that on top of the initial miracle spark of new life that gets breathed into us when our spirit gets eternally fused with Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11), God from that moment on continues to faithfully transforms us into the image of Christ through His Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). What this says to me is that God will continue to miraculously transform me day by day, until I am completely remade (recreated if you will) into the image of Christ.

What is a miracle? To me, every transformed life is a miracle that reveals not only the evidence of God’s grace, love, mercy and power, but also His nearness and concern for His creation. Now the natural inclination is to see only the whole completed process as a miracle, but I think we need to recognize that every part of the work of God (no matter how minor we may think it is in comparison to the whole) that recreates us more into the likeness of Christ is also a miracle. I believe that the people of God (myself included) need to start recognizing this and start giving God the glory that is due Him. Just as partial healings are still miracles, so must every transformational increment be seen as the same.

To use more illustrative language, when God turned darkness into light during creation (Genesis 1:3) most people would categorize that as a miracle. Well, that’s exactly what He does with us: He takes the darkness that’s within us (Luke 11:35) and miraculously transforms it into light. I mean that’s the language of redemption, isn’t it? “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ”(2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV). I believe the more we begin to see ourselves from God’s perspective, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8 NIV), the more we will recognize the miracle of daily transformation.

I believe the more we recognize and give God the praise and glory that He deserves as He faithfully transforms us into the likeness of His Son, Jesus, the more this will increase our awareness of His presence in our lives. We must never forget that no matter what: God will continue to do the good work of transformation within us until this work is completed (Philippians 1:6). So, praise God today for the miracle of your transformed life and lean even more into the daily miracles that He promises to work in and through your life.

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father” (John 14:11-13 NIV). Thank You Jesus!


            Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.”

Matthew 26:36 (NKJV) 

Forever Faithful

by Gerald T. Ching

LOVE: When I earnestly began seeking to connect with God through prayer, He met me, filling my heart with a joy that has no equal. Being welcomed home into the Father’s loving arms in forgiveness has deepened my capacity to love like Jesus.

[separation: caught between life and death]

1.         And so it began with the Lord God Almighty banishing them from the Garden of Eden; for him to slave over the ground from which he was taken and for her to be ruled over by him all of her days, giving birth in agony to all his children. In painful separation from their Creator they were to live, the weightiest consequence of their sin. They walked from the presence of a Holy God into death and darkness.

2.         Glittering, sparkling like diamonds within the dense foliage of a flourishing rainforest, droplets of dew dance with brilliance reflecting the radiance of life. The fiery orb that beams rejuvenating rays down to a thirsty creation slowly descends, relinquishing its reign across the zenith. The day comes to a close in the brilliance of a setting sun, the soothing hues blending earnestly with one another.

           Quickly but purposefully, night descends from the heavenly realms upon the lush landscape of this beautiful terrain. A cool refreshing breeze billows through the rainforest lulling the great silverback giants, whose loud grunts and roars rattle the timbers of giant trees into peaceful slumber. The bright face of the moon crests the evening sky with authority. Her quiet gracefulness shimmers in splendor, awakening the creatures of the twilight while lightening the heaviness of nightfall. The soft chirping of night creatures calms and soothes the heated day’s events.

           Standing by a clear flowing river and under incandescent stars ablaze in the night sky, Your grateful child stands amongst it all filled with a flooding joy as I see the continual unfolding of the unending love that You have for all of Your creation.

           Crabs skirt across the ocean surf with angry faces searching for the tiny bits that sustain their existence. Intimidating predators swim in the depths with solemn faces, grimacing at all that pass their long-sighted sonar. Warm currents mix with the icy surges from the deep, creating a swirling atmosphere for the creatures of the sea. Short-haired sleek mammals knife through the water like acrobats, forever in motion and at play.

           Rays of a brilliant rising sun shimmer through the blue. The light dancing upon the rippling surface penetrates and plunges into the ocean depths bringing life-giving energy to all it touches. In perfect perpetuation this astounding balancing act of an entire ecosystem was set in place by Your wisdom with each participant playing its instinctive part where predators hungrily reap through the herd driven with prey laying down their lives for the cause.

           Seeking power, holding no law sacred, principalities vie for supremacy. In a depraved world this thirst to dominate and rule comes naturally to the fallen who have been bred since birth to glorify themselves. Destruction hangs in the balance, threatening to plunge all into blind chaos.

3.         Hate, the word turns my stomach; it makes me want to roll on the ground retching bile and spewing froth. Hate, the word sends spikes through my heart; it makes me want to curl in the corner crying deep sobs. Hate, the word weighs down my soul; it has driven nine inch nails into Your hands and feet.

[empowered: learning to embrace the love of God]  

4.         Standing tall among the trees, I peer across the lands of my youth. Somewhere along this rocky path I have found my way back to You. The twists and turns that slowed my journey in the past with guilt and suffering are now keepsakes in my heart. (I know now that back then, Your Hand was ever upon me, guiding and teaching me.) Day after day I wrestle within myself, powering through the most extensive of trials. Lost in this without the means to survive, I cry out for help. Like a lightning bolt I am rejuvenated; with quickness I am loved. Growing stronger daily I am forever thankful for Your faithfulness. Like rigid steel I stand amongst it all, for the Lord is my strength. Shielded by faith I walk. Striding to barriers unbreakable before, now teeter and fall. Submitting to Your will is what is commanded of me; it is the very reason I was born.

           Till my dormant heart with a sharpened wheel hoe, driving the steel spikes deep into the hard packed surface. Rain Your love upon my barren soul emptied of goodness, laid to waste, and sold into slavery. Throw Your seed into my heart with the promise of new growth and the promise of peace.

5.         Starting at the opposite end of the field, I begin the long walk to holiness. A medley of angels trumpeting at the momentousness of this occasion sends my spirit soaring. Jumping through the rings in my heart, You shine like a candle in the core of my soul. Radiant and pure, Holy Spirit pours love from an overflowing wellspring into my heart. Intertwined like ivy creeping across a stone bridge, You support me in this chaotic world, strengthening me when I weaken, guiding me when I am lost.

           My heart sings when I hear Your Word. Your heart cries when You feel my pain. My heart quivers when You are near.

           Sitting with me in a grassy meadow, pondering with me the trials of life, telling me of the dreams You have for me, sharing with me all that You have in Your Heart as I share with You what I am able. Doubt creeps about, confusing even more my lost and wandering soul that is riddled with worldly sins. Embedded with their deadly poison, I walk crowded streets with bustling people searching for the answers to the mystery of life.

6.         Crunching through this life at alarming speed, I hit crossroads daily. What am I supposed to do? Which way am I to go? Whom can I turn to? Who can I trust? Soul searching until I am nothing more than a waft of a spirit, I come before You. Questions rise, deep resounding groans resonate from within my soul; the words reverberate throughout.    

            “Father, I am afraid to look into my heart; I am afraid of what I will find there. But I do know that I have wronged You. So please forgive me, for I have sinned against You. You are my Heavenly Father who has taught me to love by first loving me, and I know that whatever is in my heart, You will stand with me helping me through it, lovingly and justly.”

[transformation: forever changed by the God’s faithful love]

7.         Your healing touch strokes my conflicted flesh. Deeply Your hands dig, kneading the flesh into submission. Terra-cotta flies through the air from Your masterful hands, sending all scattering to the farthest reaches of this foray to await the completion of the final masterpiece. Snatched from the fires of a sin-ridden world and placed upon the worktable of a Master Sculptor who works expectantly, the clanging of tools and chisels sends sparks showering in all directions. The Almighty Hand of the Artist instills His passion into the very core of all His works of art. The warm gentle rubbing of polish marks the ending of another magnum opus. Another masterpiece is ready to be unveiled. The sounding of trumpets accompanied by joyous singing echoes in Heaven proclaiming the goodness of God as the new creation comes to life.

           Being made whole opens my heart to drink in the living waters of Eternal Life. Fresh water from the well quenches my parched soul; words rise to my lips but go unspoken. My life brightens with Your words of grace.

            “Sit with Me and find comfort. Hold My hand when you doubt; receive My strength when you stumble. Rejoice in My faithfulness, and be filled with My goodness. Joyful I will always be, when you call upon my Name.”

8.         All I am and all I perceive dissipates as You open the vision in my heart. Surrounded by images of You, cool refreshing breezes rejuvenate my spirit, calming and easing the anxiety that rattles about me. In the warmth of fellowship the longing of solitude is staved off, quelled with the kindness of a gentle Soul whose love washed the world with hope. So no one could boast and all could benefit in the pure form of a pure love given freely. Never to be sought by the greed of another, but to be shared with another as another needs. So that others may know the joy of peace while living in a sin riddled world, addicted to distraction. Within this blanket of Truth that shields me, I shine with a warm glow of love.

[nearness: learning to embrace the longing for Divine Love]

9.         A reassuring calm settles my battered spirit. The link that connects me to You in this illicit world of deceit holds me close to You when I am overwhelmed. The needful yearnings from my heart scream to be filled with Your love. Hear me as I call out Your Name; hold me with the tender lovingkindness of a gentle Companion. Whisper to me words of love and encouragement, stroke my soft fragile skin while gently brushing away the tears that stream down my face. Your compassion instills the warmth in my heart that gives me hope.

           Fill me with this love; let my heart bubble over with joy as soft kisses brush against my heart. I feel the warmth of Your love when You hold me; it radiates through me like an electrical charge. From inside my heart I hear Your words. These warm swells that resound deeply within my chest speak to me like the shining sun. Flowing outward, penetrating the layers that lead to the outside world, Your words swirl warmly in my chest. Growing and then spreading to the farthest reaches of my soul, Your Light reflects to others on this walk of faith.

10.       Roaring to life, the fear that resides in solitude stands at its full height in blatant defiance, and the connection to the living spring of unconditional love is re-wired and re-networked with the freedom to choose overriding this alliance, and addiction serving the eviction papers.

           In the distance I see You walking towards me. My own face darkens with apprehension which lays heavy my heart and furls my brow. Your Presence makes my heart sob lightly when we embrace. Faithfully You nurture me with a gentleness which knows no bounds as the deepest parts of my soul whisper in worry; long relaxing conversations of all things holy cast away the worrisome spirits, banishing them to the shadows to cower.

           Happy go lucky and carefree we speak of love, my heart bonding to Yours. The dark clouds of an unknown future part with the sunshine of a new dawn, uplifting me to the highest mountaintops to dance amongst the clouds. Spinning round the beautiful treetops, swaying in the refreshing breeze, my spirit rests.

           Reclining comfortably in relaxation, happily content, our union sets my soul at ease. Singing in perfect pitch, resonating throughout the land, a watch of nightingales fills the air with their song. Birds of all varieties accompany them in the harmonies of joyous song. In a triumphant crescendo the Maestro conducting this operatic masterpiece passionately closes on the last measure, the last note echoing in the distance.

           Inspired by their song, I surrender a little more of myself to You as a cool and refreshing sun shower bathes me in tranquility. Peacefully I lay as You whisper to me of love and devotion. Lingering in the mists of Your Presence, my heart drinks in understanding while my mind drowns in the simplicity of it all.

[testing: learning to rest the goodness of God]

11.       Staring into the distance, moss covered pillars reach ever skyward while lazy jagged rocks lay heavily on the earth. The burning rays of the sun pound the landscape. Moving not a muscle, I patiently wait. Hotter the rays shine, the heat relentlessly baking my corrupted flesh. Crackling flames spontaneously combust, scorching brush and earth. Swirling dust demons dervishly whirl, filling the air with ash, blackening my skin. Holding onto Jesus, I patiently wait. Black rolling clouds collect in the sky, thankfully shading my blistering flesh from the sun. Sheets of rain smother the relentless heat, washing away all the charcoaled ashen remains. Mercifully cleansed, I stand refreshed.

           Peering breathlessly over the edge, pin prickles line the skin draped over my weary bones, excitement even for a tired old soul like me. Across the great expanse cities litter the terrain with gargantuan monuments stretching towards the sky. Dark ominous towers standing like pillars of achievement towards the heavens, glimmer in my eye with invitation. Gently You calm my anxious thoughts and quell the longing within my heart. Quietly, Your reassuring Presence eases my worry as I jump from the ledge knowing You will be there when I fall.

12.       In the distance, victorious laughter mingles with cries of joy as the saddened are elated and the broken are mended. Lucky stars shooting across the blue morning horizon stream across the zenith leaving their carefree imprint. Rhythmic dancers frolic across animated stages before a crowd with smiles in their hearts, sending jubilant laughter swirling through the air. Jingle bells ringing in the distance brings to mind a quiet tranquil time, when snowflakes covered a slumbering landscape with peacefulness soothing the surrender of autumn.

           This winter season brings with it troubled times that cast their long shadows of doubt upon me. Forgiveness lies dormant in this frightened heart. Darkness kidnaps me in a cloak of secrecy. The ebbing tide of lies laps at my will to survive, manipulating the sustaining Word that keeps me alive. Spiraling down into this ever frigid blackness, I fall victim to winter’s cold hand, which prods and pokes at me with the gentleness of a riding crop. I call out to You and am refreshed with the warmth of Your embrace. Tiny snowflakes fall from the sky cooling my now heated skin, rejuvenating what was once old, but has now been made new.

13.       Washes of color spray across

            the empty canvas of my soul,

            painting me with the Fruits

                 of Holy Spirit

                     leaving no area barren,

                     leaving no corner unfruitful,

            letting no darkness harbor its long shadow,

            creating me into a masterpiece

            filled with love, made to reflect

                 Your light onto a lost world.


            Weakness opened the door to my heart

            and Your strength was able to enter.

            Leaning not on my own understanding,

                 but on what You

                      have instilled within me,

                      I acknowledge You

            in all my ways. Your holiness fills

            this refined heart with a goodness

            that comes with the pureness of You.

                 Powerful yet meek, Your integrity

                      flows selflessly through this

                      divine intervention of love.


            But still the relentless onslaught of deep

            seeded anger shoots from my soul,

            undeservingly aimed at the righteous

                 and the innocent.

                      Their compassionate hearts

                      endure the battering

            with an understanding forgiveness

            that stems from unconditional love.


            My judgmental spirit,

                 always swirling around my insecurities

                      lifts me up superficially.

                      This is the nature of its false power.

            My self-serving, prideful spirit

                 deters me from accepting the help

                      I so desperately need

                      to stay on this road of salvation.

            I cry to all who have ears,

                 and receive

                      their prayers

                      and petitions.

            Humbled and at peace

                 I stand amongst you all

                      with love behind my eyes.

14.       Longing for a fulfilling embrace, waiting in anticipation I lay curled like a newborn suckling its thumb. Mercifully I await Your gentle touch, the loving warmth of Your presence that shelters me in a cloak of devotion, in sweet rapture. The times we spend together put my struggling heart at peace. Your gentle Spirit eases my troubled mind, bringing clarity to my blurred vision. His soft sweet whispers ease the burdens of the day’s trials, lifting the veil that covers the eyes of my heart. When we are one, I am free. Together at last, I am at peace.

15.       “O Heavenly Father, thank you for being so tangible and for loving me so passionately. Thank you for the transforming love of Jesus, who invites all into Your family. Pour Your Holy Spirit deeply into me and reveal to me all that makes up who I am in Christ. Teach me to dismantle the barriers that divide and to seek what unites. For Your Glory and Honor. Amen.”

[redemption: learning to live as a new creation in Christ]

16.       Who understands this road to redemption? To give up this control that I hold so dearly will take the innocence of a child and the courage of a lion. In this world of vengeance, blood is shed and wine flows down the throats of kings and thieves alike, neither any better than the next. Waiting on the Lord, angels stand in anticipation ready to

obey the commands of Christ. Meanwhile, saints following the movements of the Holy Spirit, fervently share with the broken-hearted the peace and joy that is their salvation from this miserable sin ridden world. I have chosen to accept this freely given salvation and am now homeward bound with the everlasting love of the only begotten son of God, Jesus, guarding my heart and my mind.

17.       When I came into the fold, Your eyes of Truth enveloped me in a shining light that blinded my doubting spirit. As I contemplated life, Your love flowed freely through the barriers of my defenses. Sheltered in trust, in the warmth of reassurance, a peaceful light radiates from above this sea of serenity. Within the midst of this divine intervention, the Holy Spirit came to dwell within me. He replaces all I’ve ever known in this life and of this world with the heated fire of the Truth.

           His presence softens the years of loneliness and doubt. Gently He soothes the rock that is this hardened heart. Like the rays of a rising sun, His nurturing light spears through the cold darkness as loving and healing hands commence their work of redemption. The birth of forgiveness finally begins to grow and nurture its disobediently defiant counterpart.

           The self-serving nature that is inherent to my nature with its relentless grasp enslaves me to earthly delights, hopelessly binding me in addiction, to idolatry. The laughter that once filled this heart now hangs heavy with the knowledge of the sin that riddles me. All the joys that I once held so dearly now encumber me with pain and guilt. Slashing and gnashing teeth grind at the intellect of my battered and captured mind, threatening to jab me into rebellion. But, Your merciful loving light from above penetrates this dark slimy residue that lingers after a fall, as I am brought to me knees like a beggar.

17.       Feeling like a prisoner on a cross Atlantic voyage, my heart yearns for freedom. My soul cries out to all who’ll listen, but falls on deaf ears. The selfishness that runs rabid in all Your children pierces me like fiery arrows, puncturing my gift of a soul. The faith that I long for in them is just out of reach. I can taste a sweetness on my lips, but their fruit produces no juice. The love I feel for them pains my heart and soul, while their daggers plunge deeper into my back. Each offense pulls from me a little piece of my spirit which is slow in healing. The Holy Spirit comforts me after each barrage, soothing the wounds.

           Hovering over other fallen souls, You shine Your Righteousness into them, raising them up from even the deepest pits of despair. Resurrected by Your light with Your holiness now flowing through their veins, one by one they rise to kneel before You. In the light of Your mercy all have come into servitude not as slaves to a Master, but as children to a Father; “and you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free” (John 8:32 NLT).   Knowing the Truth Himself is to know freedom.

           My true self, filled with the goodness of God, nurtured with His love and compassion, is ever kind with my dark and greedy self. Patiently he waits, waiting for what has always been beyond me. This struggle of the strong is the effortless walk of the meek with whom You shower all Your wonderful gifts and graces. Ever hopeful and ever faithful are Your promises. Your Eternal Flame that burns deep within my chest is a constant reminder of the love that You have for me and the faithfulness that Your love brings into my heart. The goodness that is You envelops me with a joy and with a transcending peace that words could never describe or a mind ever comprehend. Upon compassionate wings Your messengers bring good tidings to all, uplifting them in needful times as Holy Spirit plants His fruit across a despondently disenchanted vanishing generation. The children of every race are united in this calling.

[the Call: entering into a life of love]

18.       “Walk with Me through the fields of love. Sing to Me your song, breathlessly I’ll listen. Whisper to me your sorrows, your hopes and your dreams, set them before Me for all to see. Do not be embarrassed, ashamed, but set free.

           Let Me wipe the beads of sweat from your brow; lay your weary head on My shoulder, let Me soften your heart with My Spirit. Find refuge in the peaceful folds of My mind, and dance through all that I have created. Know the love that I have for you, and pass it on to another.”          

19.       Pilgrimaging to a most sacred place, I hold my heart in hand. Written upon it are the tales of my walk, the trials and tribulations that bind and release me. My heart holds all the many riddles and challenges that have slacked my thirst. Bound to this plane of worldliness, I walk upon this rolling path of enlightenment. Prudently I tread with kindness from a healing heart, with You forever showing me the lighted way. Harbored deep within my sleeping soul lies the dream of a man that I wish I could be.

20.       In exhaustion I crawl through this life with a dignity that only a loving Father could ever appreciate. The hunger for a reassuring Word to calm and relax my racing mind bounces through the hardened enclosure that encases my brain. All too quickly though, anxiety overcomes me with sinfulness. In a fevered panic, searching through the many drawers that hold my memories, I rifle through stacks of paper, scattering, shredding, and cluttering the floor with misinterpretation.

           Slowly, leafing through the debris You orderly catalog the strewn papers, organizing and filing the meaningful and inconsequential debris accordingly. The chronological ordering of a chaotic life is the current task at hand. Ever time consuming this process of elimination to regroup, Your patience knowing no bounds or limitations compiles all the information. Binding the final version of the book of my life, You carefully write in a hopeful ending to this sacred romance. Countless new discoveries of the truth unfold as the latest chapters are written in prose. Your gentle words guide my every move, perpetually pushing me back towards You. In the farthest reaches of my mind, I see Your face. Your Presence fills me with the knowledge of forgiveness, swaddling me in love and cradling me in peace. Into a stormless sleep I cede.

[harvest: the joyful fruit of a devotional life]

21.       Blossoming before the Eyes of God, the bountiful seed from a year past has taken root deep in my heart. The winds of change have cultivated the soil uprooting the weeds of guilt and shame while the rainy season of repentance has prepared the soil for planting. I have been humbled.

           The burning ball of fire rises high in the sky marking the beginning of the new season. The rays of warm sunshine tenderly replenish any nutrients lost in the recycling. Daily You walk through the garden calling out my name, inviting me to linger and talk with You. Daily, new blossoms bloom, filling the gardenscape with new foliage. 

           Feeling wonderfully refreshed as this flourishing garden grows within my heart, You continually fill me with a peaceful hope while nurturing the ever-important seeds of faith. You walk among the thriving foliage daily, speaking in reassuring tones of love and holiness. You prune and preen the deadness away making way for new growth as I ripen on the Vine. Cultivating with sweet justice You spread peace and joy throughout my soul. In quiet stillness, with the setting sun encompassing all, You blanket me in peaceful serenity.

22.       Quietly You stare and watch me grow, watering and nurturing as only a Parent can. Rising with the dawn, I stretch myself skyward. My face deepens a rosy ruby in the sun as I raise my limbs ever higher, thirsting for the warm embrace of Your love. I am maturing within Your grace. Visitors come and visitors go bringing with them the scents and flavors of others, tempting my sensual desires. This longing for another gets washed away with Your love. Satiated, I curl with the setting sun, content with the sweet scent of freedom helping to ease the pain of surrender.

23.       In the confinement of night I cry out for help, like a knight in shining armor You come to my rescue, filling me with strength and courage. Your Presence reassures me of Your goodness and reaffirms me of Your love. Allowing You to gently nurture me into holiness, encouraged by Your gentleness I share with You my deepest secrets knowing You will judge justly. Enamored with trust, I share with You my deepest pain knowing You will stand by me. Excited within Your love, I share with You my triumphs knowing You will rejoice with me. You are forever faithful. I trust in You knowing You will never harm me.

24.       The pristine flow of a mountain stream, the lush green pastures of paradise, a life without strife and pain brings tears of joy to this face now aglow. My heart smiles with renewed vigor as my spirit is set free upon angel wings. Climbing ever higher, aloft in the higher troposphere within the temporal clouds of a spring shower, I am lifted up and out of this realm. To relax here with You, I am at peace.

           When we sit together with no distractions, the beauty in the calm serenity is priceless. Your love penetrates the unwillingness of my soul to be opened up in surrender. When the moment of our union was to be, the timing was flawless. It was Your wisdom that set the foundations of the earth. When the crumbling of all my dreams came to pass, the timing was impeccable. My perseverance is born from the willingness of Holy Spirit to let me suffer. And when it’s time for my death, Your destiny for my life will have been fulfilled.

25.       A melody ringing through the still air brings to mind visions of idyllic waterfalls cascading freely on a bright summer day; where swirling waters sparkle in the rays of a late morning sun. Expanding and contracting the land stretches, letting the deep earth sigh in reprieve. Quietly, midday enters with a whisper, swaggering nonchalantly onto the pristine scene while grasshoppers hurdle the abundance of vegetation and butterflies soar drunkenly from flower to flower with clattery chirping crickets droning out the whispering cool breeze.

           The warmth of the sun heats the rocky flats where basking lizards collect and store their day’s energy. Small mammals scurry to cooler comforts; in shady underbrush they take refuge. High in the trees the familiar sounds of monkeys rattle the canopy of the rainforest. Peace reigns above all as the sweltering heat quiets even the noisiest of tempers.

           Soaring birds perch expectantly; from in the branches they wait for a flash of movement. Rodents risking their peering eyes dash for new cover across no man’s land. Confidently hopping from the treetops the sharp eyes of a hawk zero in on the impulsive prey and with quickness snatches its lunch, sending the other would be soldiers to their foxholes.

           In perfection life resumes with the setting of the sun, the warm vibrant colors basking the land in earth tones of old. Life exhales its baited breathe in a soft delicate breeze touching all of creation. Birds start to fly, animals start to scamper, and the natural order of life resumes merrily where it left off as the oppression of the day’s heat mercifully lifts.

           Darkness descends with the changing of the guard. Accompanied by millions of her friends, twinkling above it all, the luminous silvery moon glows in all her splendor. The quiet stillness of night soothes the soul as the droning sound of chirping crickets lulls the minds of the living.

26.       A divine untainted love that cleanses even the darkest of hearts returns to bloom in the most remote places where villagers gathering around drum circles dance to tribal rhythms blinded by pride, where warriors raise their weapons and shake their fists displaying their fierceness while declaring in their native tongues the greatness of themselves.

           Arriving on these barren doorsteps in hope-filled baskets God’s gifts and blessings overflow with love, shine with the Good News of the Truth. Shooting stars falling from the evening sky shower the heavy-laden with dreams of hope. Faithful travelers from another place rise above this world of deceit, reflecting the redeeming light of Christ. A foundation built with this everlasting love spans the globe with a God fearing people bonded in genuine community and care. These Children of Light rejoicing in Holy Spirit, joyously sing Alleluia to the heavens with smiles in their hearts and faithfulness in their souls as they proclaim Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.

[celebration: worthy is the Lamb of God]

27.       “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come”  Revelation 4:8b (NKJV) yells the herald from afar, “Hear this Good News, bring in His good tidings, and embrace the offerings from the Lord Jesus Christ that quench all who are thirsty. Listen to His words: ‘Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star’” Revelation 23:12-16 (NASB).

           Melodies of miracles dance upon clouds where dark shadows were once triumphant, but are now cast down. A brilliant sunset splatters the heavens with a multitude of colors, sending pure delight jumping from heart to heart. In awe the warriors of the Son kneel in reverence. Their display of honor and adoration warms the heart, filling it with fresh faith. Joy fills those that witness, uplifting them to the most high where they stand trembling with hands raised in worship. There is beauty in a completely healed soul kneeling in reverence to a humble King whose hands and feet were pierced in fear and anger. In glory He reigns forever, shepherding His children home where they dance unashamed and radiant; fully free.

           For the rest of Eternity I will dance, spinning through the Garden of Eternal Life, singing praises to a kind and gentle King whose fingerprint touches my soul. My purpose has finally been made known. For His pleasure with love have I been sealed and covered with Everlasting joy, beaming with the love of Him who is love.

           “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promises as some understand slowness. He is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” 2 Peter 3:9-13 (NIV).

28.       Amongst all God’s wonderful creations under the sun and sky, I fall to my knees in the twilight of my years. I quietly talk to God about the trials of life, thanking Him for never leaving my side. Love passes through me like beams of light, penetrating and piercing everything that stands in its way. Hope is fully restored as my remaining doubt is shown the Truth. Filled with fresh faith and clearness of thought, my heart and soul are lifted up to the Almighty Father. Mercifully my will is finally completely bound to His. I pass on into Eternity in breathless worship whispering words of praise. Sanctified by His grace, carried on into completion, I am a new creation with a new body and a new name. Within His holy presence I now stand.

           On the golden streets of Heaven I am on my knees quietly talking to God about my joyous new life, thanking Him for always being by my side. Basking in the rays of wisdom, letting it fill me with understanding, I stand at my full stature in the mists of a golden city.  The prophecy is fulfilled within this Epiphany moment. All that once was turns white hot, explodes in a glorious blinding light that sends cascading sparks to the farthest reaches of the heavens. In an instant all vision vanishes from my eyes and the Age of Christ begins.

29.       Epilogue: At the gates of Heaven lines of people wait patiently with their hearts in hand. Judgment comes when the Savior reads what is written upon them. Purified are the souls of salvation whose hearts were torn, but are now mended. Humble and contrite are the hearts of the saints whose perseverance rings clear throughout the ages. Recorded in the Book of Life are the names of all the saved sinners. Written on their hearts are the tales of all their deeds done in life. Nothing is hidden from the eyes of God whose fiery gaze purifies our unclean souls with His holiness. All creation comes to kneel before Jesus Christ the Son of God.

           “Dressed in a robe reaching down to His feet and with a golden sash around His chest, His head and hair white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes a blazing fire. He stands with feet like bronze glowing in a furnace; He speaks with a voice like the sound of rushing waters and out of His mouth comes a sharp double-edged sword. His right hand holds seven stars and His face shines like the sun in all its brilliance” Revelation 1:13b-16 (NIV).

           Shimmering in the light of the Son, lines upon lines of souls kneel in wait. Justly the Right Hand of God judges each soul accordingly. His Almighty Word streams from His lips with authority, cutting through the density of sin within each soul. One by one each soul is carried away in the arms of an Angel of the Lord. Finality rides upon the backs of these angels who carry each soul to its final destination. Only some are going to the Promised Land.

           “After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in Heaven, saying, ‘Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and just are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.’ Then a voice came from the throne saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thundering, saying, “Alleluia! For our Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready and to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints” Revelation 19:1, 2, 5-8 (NKJV).

           “Now I saw Heaven standing open, and behold a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. The armies in Heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” Revelation 19:11-16 (NKJV).


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”  

Jeremiah 29:11-14a (NIV)

A Seeker’s Return

by Gerald T. Ching

SOUL: From the depths of my soul I cried out in confusion longing to be loved, but could not discern the diferences between physical pleasures and spiritual pleasures with God. By His grace I am learning the deepness of His Love.

     Lingering in the wings of a forgotten fortress,

patiently I wait for you to come calling.

      Peering out the window of the tallest tower with a hopeful heart,

patiently I wait for you to come calling.

      Watching the lone road that leads to my doorstep,

patiently I wait for you to come calling.

      Standing in the doorway with soulful eyes,

patiently I wait for you to come calling.

 [the desperate search for real love]

1.         In the swirling depths of my heart, I sit and wait, patiently expecting a visit from the one I long to be loved by. The endless hallways here are ever changing; the pathways are ever tedious; only one has the key to my locked heart. Wandering aimlessly through these burdensome corridors, visceral malicious feelings parade their ethereal forms, hoping to leave the imprint of their essence within my broken down spirit. Relentlessly their evil desires dirty the air, the stench of their decay disrupting the natural order of life. Mercifully, the fragrance of love floats in, disbanding the malignancies back into the shadows. Floating through the still night, musical melodies shower me in a waterfall of this love

2.         Miles upon miles of wire crisscross across the globe, connecting all. Whispering in heated conversations to one another of love and of pain, the endless barrage of words bounce and ricochet off the walls of this hollow existence with the longing for more reverberating throughout, and then deteriorating to nothing more than the echoing ramblings of conspiracy. The exchange rate of love inflates as each soul settles for a more physical love, a lesser love. Off in the distance a bazaar buzzes with seekers searching for bargains while workers restock their shelves hoping to catch the eyes of all who pass. People mill about laboring to take care of their daily tasks. Like puppets they purchase the empty promises that line these shelves. Sitting on the highest of shelves, love rests with the other rare and exotic treasures. I see you wandering past the many stands; hurriedly I make my way towards you.

3.         Gold and silver rings decorate your nimble fingers, platinum and pearls ride the curve of your neck; fanciful clothes adorn your supple soft skin, encumbering your spirit, hoping to fill the emptiness that is within your soul. A piercing whistle assaults the waiting crowds as a train pulls into the market. Weaving through the masses, we make our way on board. Hiccupping and hollering on the crowded train, your twisted ways of expressing affection batter my brow; your words shatter my already fragile spirit. Hours tick on through the endless maze of tracks, with passengers forever boarding, but rarely leaving. Hope and longing ride this train hand in hand, one never releasing its grasp of the other. My longing has consumed me to the point of obsession. Blindly I now walk, led by the gleam of golden idols

4.         Soul tied to you, I am pulled like an abused rag doll, stifling me from the growth that I need. Your suffering haunts my own life. With egotistical control, I tower over you, trying to blanket you in peace when my own being is racked with turmoil. I am running your race, clothing myself in your flesh, ignoring my own aspirations, losing my own race. In addiction I medicate myself, consuming you; feeding on you like prey. Shuttering in the winds of your frigid heart, I train myself to endure the stinging chill. Numbness has overcome me, dulling the pain, so the once bitter winds that scraped my delicate soul now go unnoticed. If they should ever dissipate, my longing for you would turn into a longing for this pain.

5.         Confusion sets in, bringing me to do battle once again with a ghost. Fear makes me run towards my strongholds, but the Truth slows my pace. Nefarious forces pressing inward, trudging relentlessly forward, raging forever onward, prickling the skin in fear, clamping ferociously upon my soul, the Evil One twists the very fabric of my reality. Dark winged muscular beasts take flight towards a murky horizon, higher and higher through the atmospheric haze they climb, in a putrid stench I am carried up and into the unknown. Chilling frost covers the hardness of my heart, freezing it. Time creeps as I roll upon these lawless winds of change to the frayed ends of this cerebral scarf of life, wondering – “Can I be saved?

6.         Broken and busted in half, split down the bipolar fissure of a warring heart and mind, the clashing of these opposing sides rage through me, mercilessly. I gasp for air as another assault from my ever paranoid mind thunders and pounds against the reinforced door to my armored heart. Always searching in this mission of the lost, I am left to wander aimlessly in confusion with an ache in my chest whose origins are unknown.

            My heart gasps. My chest trembles. My breath becomes ragged with each passing second. My heart yearns for Your Presence. My thoughts run rabid as time seems to slow. My mind crawls. My vision blurs. The deeper You delve into my soul, the harder Your love pulls at my tattered heart.

7.         Traveling ever forward I draw in deep breaths; the distance between us shortens painfully slow. The years of lonely regret have lengthened this journey. In rebellion the ties of my soul scream under the strain, taut like stretched canvas ready for paint, yearning to be loosened by a tender Hand in love. Exhaustion soon overcomes me while the blazing ball of frustration looms high in the afternoon sky. Under an unrelenting heat wave I crash into the arms of a waiting land, spent and useless. Drawing myself to the corner of my soul, I shiver.

[trying to understand the difference between spiritual and physical pleasure ]

8.         My being yearns to be touched, which brings me to tears when You are near. My love reaches out to You like a babe to a mother’s breast. In impatient impulse I seek out whatever will satisfy, which sends my spirit gravitating towards another. Shackled to the post of this other’s bed, I sit longingly waiting to be fulfilled. Hunger pains pinch and pierce my spirit, the deep ache never appeased. The longing to be satisfied is released into the cosmos, only to return to me still in need. “Where are you, Lover?

9.         A pristine picture is coming together within the jigsaw puzzle that is my mind. A multitude of colors blending and swirling fills my thoughts with this new vision. Your robe is flowing lightly in a gentle breeze and with kind eyes You gaze lovingly into mine, sending my heart fluttering towards Yours. The warmth of love surrounds me as I drift closer to You. Pulled together with purpose, the magnetism of Your Spirit creates an ionic bond between us. This new awakening, frightening yet fascinating, makes my heart sing.

            Time speeds on, laying in its wake the faithless and the heartless that clash like rams vying for position on the mountain, brutally pummeling each other into submission. Strategically and methodically their maneuvering presses onward this conflict to becoming one. The sweet scent of freedom fills the air, mixing with my own poisonous musky essence.

10.       My heart lays exposed, naked, the tragedy of my life plays as an old 8mm reel flickers and pops into action revealing the travesty of a scorned life in perpetual motion. The frames slow as the drama unfolds, revealing a mass of celestial beings jostling for position with sublime elbows, each taking its position, each playing its part while curious travelers pass on by in wonderment. One by one passing travelers pause in concern as the tragedy unfolds. Long lingering moments flit on by in silence. In distorted reality the remake mimics the truth; each memory is gnarled and twisted with shame. In unison, in an endless parade of regrets, offense after offense gets played on the rewind.

11.       Painfully I press on, lost in the swirling winds of my mind. Foraging through the drawers of my thoughts, my existence is ever present, casting long dark shadows over hopes and dreams, shattering the remains of a hopeful spirit. “Comfort me, Lover. Separate me from my ugliness; erase it from existence while holding me close to Your breast.” Thump, thump, thump, my heart beating, never stopping. Light flickering passions dart back and forth as warmth radiates from within; from the depths, a spark of light flares threatening to extinguish the alluring darkness. “When will I be free? Free from these blinding images of false gods? Free from these broken promises of peace?” “Come to Me, My Beloved.”

[the first moments of entering into the presence of God ]

12.       Guided by Your sweet melody I drift through this endless maze turning left and then turning right, searching for the source of this charismatic song. Obstacles that once hindered are no more; hurdles that once obstructed are of no challenge. I walk a rhythmic shuffle as to not miss a beat, the magnetic chorus gravitating to all on this seeker’s quest. My mind fills with new thoughts while fresh, yet familiar longings pour from my heart. “Surround me with Your peacefulness, whirl through me with Your kindness, twirl through me with Your gentleness, swirl through me with Your joyfulness, envelop my heart with Your faithful love.

13.       Your sweet Voice floats effortlessly through the deep folds of my mind, catching and caressing the troubled thoughts, making them disappear. Reaching out to me with love and affection, an image of You burns into my mind’s eye, permanently engraving Your face onto my soul. “Whisper to me the story of Your life, teaching me Your ways. Talk to me with the gentleness of a Lamb; hold me in Your loving arms, warming me in Your heavenly embrace. Shelter me in Your protective sanctuary, radiate Your goodness straight and true, press Your heart against mine and pour Your love into my soul.

14.       “Call Me into the deeper folds of your heart, let Me fill the puncture wounds that riddle throughout. The pumping sensation you feel is the healing process of My love that will slowly fill all that you are.”                                                                                        

15.        Your Voice sound like home as it resonates through the cavernous tombs of my heart where my sins cower in shame. Calling out, Your kindness draws them out. Compelled by Your love and by Your grace, I confess for the Kingdom of God has come near to me. Day one.

[finding satisfaction in the pleasures of God]

16.       Shining in the morning’s light, Your Spirit encircles me. Slowly caressing my delicate face brushing away the tears that stream down, Your kind love cradles my heart. My spirit quickens at Your touch, stoking the fire that now burns eagerly for You. Joy takes me by surprise. My heart smiles as dark clouds part opening the heavens, basking us in warm rays of devotion. Comfort fills my soul; peace and calm endure when You are near. Laughter escapes unexpectedly from my lips, sending tremors that rattle and shake the foundation of my pain.

17.       Seizures quake through my flesh, shattering and setting it afire. Like thunderous waves on a winter ocean, Your passion crashes down upon me. I shiver in anticipation awaiting the next cataclysmic surge. The sureness of Your touch quenches me, slaying me as Your radiant Spirit flows all around me. Desperately, I call out Your Name. Faithfully, Your love guards my heart; sheltering me in a shimmering prism of devotion with rainbow hued emotions interweaving their luster, highlighting this moment of rapture. In this flaring emotional release, the chill that binds my bones melts, soothing my conflicted flesh while a blinding light engulfs me as the Holy Spirit fills me.

18.       At rest in Your loving arms, You quietly sit with me, soothing my weary soul. Your gentle fingertips lovingly caress my hardened spirit, softening it. Your blazing eyes ignite through me, melting the coldness that envelops my heart, vivifying the flame that burns deep within, easing the deep ache inside my chest as they watch with a panoramic gaze. Your radiating love liquefies me making me pliable and ready to be poured. Cool breezes of love fan this metamorphosis into faithfulness billowing me towards the shelter that I seek as my soul relaxes in the cool comforts of peace. “Open my heart so I hear Your Word; speak to me plainly so there’s no misunderstanding.” Filled with compassion, The loving Holy Spirit comforts my heart-felt sighs. With unending patience You pursue me, easing my longing and refueling my zest for life as Your Eternal Spirit communes with mine.

19.       Joined together, the union of our spirits spins past, serenely they are interlocked through Everlasting love. This Love radiates like an inferno, melting the chains of bondage. The hot air blasts through the long forgotten cobwebs of regret. Dancing to the highest mountaintops, skipping from peak to peak with blind abandon, we soar through the clouds, hot jet wash in our wake. At the crescendo of this maiden voyage, we stall in mid air to enjoy the vast horizon that is Your footstool. In that elated moment, all that I once held so precious dissipates to the four winds forever lost to oblivion. I am finally filled with a purer sense of freedom.

            Together at last, Your Presence takes my breath away. Joined in this Eternal blessed union of love, my heart whispers in humble devotion. In this moment of Divine intervention warmth swells in my chest as my heart and mind unite. In that moment I lose myself to Your Grace – Breathless.

[learning to walk with God and trusting in His love and power]

20.       In repose, walking upon the shores of an evening sea, thoughts of You pressing on my heart relax me. Nightly I walk along this sandy stretch of beach towards a peaceful private alcove. I cherish the quiet personal moments that I spend with You there. I’ve come to anticipate with baited breath this time. You help me to release the frustrations of the day. The long walk ends with the sweet vision of You, waiting.

            Welcoming me with open arms, I fall deeply into Your embrace. Your deep caresses soothe the burdens that weigh heavily upon my soul. Soft reassuring whispers warm my heart. From deep within my soul, a radiant glow wells up and begins to shine; with diligence it grows. Our bond of love is strengthening and growing with each encounter.

21.       Awakened by Your gentle touch, I sit up with the warm rays of the sun beaming on me. With You by my side I am at peace. Together we walk along the paths of life; gleefully we talk of my struggles. Anxiously I share with You my moments of awakenings. Eagerly I admit my moments of doubt, knowing that I grow with each faltering step. Gently You speak to me in warm reassuring tones, easing my mind, setting my soul to rest in peaceful bliss where poetic hymns flow from musical lips making all who have ears to hear rejoice with a bold love, filling the air with childlike laughter and bringing tears to the ones with hearts like lions.

22.       Kneeling before the Light of Righteousness, I am strengthened by Your radiant love; it fills me with hope. You beckon me to rise, but I dare not move a muscle for I am unworthy to be in Your Presence. Weighed down by self-inflicted guilt, Your love penetrates the fallacy, evaporating the fabricated mask of condemnation.

23.       Together with the breaking of the dawn we contemplate the day’s trials. Standing in the morning sun, You steady my hand as we tend to all events, helping me along when I am weakened by my own futile efforts. The chiming of the bells echoes high noon to my worn spirit; Your gentle Hand holds my elbow, steadying me as I stumble. Wiping the beads of sweat that have formed on my brow, Your reassuring Presence eases the toils of the morning. Gently, You speak to me in warm tones, filling me with confidence. Refreshed and undaunted we stride to the next challenge, Your brilliance shining as opposing dark clouds roll on in. In renewal we stand as one before it all. Our blessed union heralds a masterpiece in the making. Together we are invincible, for You have already won.

[enjoying God and trusting in His Word]

24.       Big fat heavy droplets of rain fall from the heavens, threatening to wash away the guilt and sorrow that lines my earthen vessel. In a loving caress, intense electrical charges explode with grace, shocking my flesh into submission while an Angel of the Lord soars brightly along side of me rebuking tormenting evil, for Christ’s name sake. Softly staring at me with loving-kindness, unmoving yet full of life, vibrantly Eternal, You have fulfilled my deepest desire which is to be with You.

25.       Kneeling in prayer, I uplift others who are lost in this evil, depraved world, hoping that all reach the peaceful sanctuary of the golden streets of Heaven, “Where God will live with man. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty the Lord will give drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and the Lord will be his God and he will be the Lord’s son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderous, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all the liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever (Rev. 21:3b, 4, 6, 7, 8; 22:3-5).                                            

26.       Your Word soothes my worrisome spirit as we approach the finish line of this race, reaffirming the convictions within my heart. Quietly, without reproach, a thunderous hum of vibrating angel wings fills the heavens, crescendo with the roaring cheers from the multitudes of Heavenly Hosts as we cross over as one.

            A transcending peace that knows no bounds overwhelms me. Without the sinful trappings of my fallen flesh You welcome me into Your rest. In my inheritance I am now to live as the sweet fragrance of Your goodness envelops me completely, refreshing and rejuvenating my soul for its final flight Heavenward. To completion You have carried me through, my Companion, my Counselor, my Friend. I am within Peace, as a powerful Arm lifts us home.

[more expressions of love towards God from a grateful heart]

27.       In the twilight of my years

                 I will still long for Your Presence.

                      The sweet scent of Your love

                           will still make my pulse race.

            In the twilight of my years

                 I will still long for Your Presence.

                      The tender flavor of Your Goodness

                           will still send me yearning for Righteousness.

            In the twilight of my years

                 I will still long for Your Presence.

                      The gentleness of Your Kind Voice

                           will still ease the burdens of my day.

            In the twilight of my years

                 I will still long for Your Presence.

                      The everlasting vision of Your Holiness

                           will still my pounding, excited heart

            In the twilight of my years

                 Your Presence will still fully satisfy,

                        ceaselessly quenching the thirst of my soul.       

28.                   I love Your passion

                        I love Your courage

                        I love Your loving Holy Spirit

                                    and the way He loves me

                        I love Your patience

                        I love Your kindness

                        I love Your gentle Holy Spirit

                                    and the way He cares for me.

                        I love Your compassion

                        I love Your graciousness

                        I love Your faithful Holy Spirit

                                    and the way He reassures me.

                        I love Your humility

                        I love Your justice

                        I love Your peaceful Holy Spirit

                                    and the way He purifies me.

                        I love Your goodness

                        I love Your self-control

                        I love Your joyful Holy Spirit

                                    and the way He understands me.

                                    I love You today

                                    as You loved me yesterday

                                    as we will love each other tomorrow.

29.       Epilogue: In a luminous night sky with shooting stars racing across the heavenly realms, angels dance radiantly amongst the clouds in preparation for the triumphant return of the Son.


When I was 8 years old, my mother tells me that I came home one day from Catholic Sunday School saying that I wanted to be a priest. In thinking through this statement today, I believe the reason behind this were two fold. On the one hand, I saw how much respect and reverence the priests received from people and I wanted that because I longed to be respected by my parents and peers. I was drawn to their positional authority. On the other hand, maybe in that moment this 8 year old Chinese boy actually caught a glimpse of God’s calling on my life. Though today I am not a Catholic priest, I am God’s missionary. But, oh what a long and winding road I have journeyed. Maybe on that day so long ago with the utterance of my words the devil began to do all he could to stop any sort of burgeoning hope or purpose that sought to get planted within my heart and life.

Growing up, I was a very sensitive child with a heart that longed to be held and kept safe. I longed for security in every way. I wanted to know that I was loved and accepted: to be reassured that no matter what, I’d be OK. This was especially important when racial slurs began from the neighborhood kids. But, I was caught between two cultures. A Chinese culture that believes: “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.” Pretty self explanatory, the one who makes noise gets reprimanded. And a American culture that believes: “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Meaning, the one who makes enough noise gets the attention. I was trapped in a valley between two seemingly insurmountable mountains. What I needed was a mentor to guide me along. Someone who understood my dilemma and could help me to navigate between the two cultures. I think that’s why I love to mentor people. Through building into the next generation, I get the opportunity to give to others what I so desperately needed by sharing not only the life wisdom I’ve gained, but also all the good that God has redeemed in me. It’s like I get to be a SIGNpost to others pointing towards the horizon of redemption on “the narrow road that leads to life” (Matthew 7:14).

Mentoring to me is one of those non-negotiable in life. Ideally, our earthly father should be the first one to be speaking truth and life into us. But, more often than not they fall short which is understandable, no body’s perfect. That’s why we need to be constantly seeking out others to mentor us. People who are concerned about building character and integrity into us while helping us grow emotionally and spiritually. Most of the mentoring I do would fall under the banner of spiritual direction which is a holistic approach to mentoring which includes counseling, discipleship, accountability, empowering and equipping, but leans heavily on spirituality. Jesus spent three years actively mentoring His disciples both through teaching and modeling. I like how Paul puts it, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Mentors should always lead by example. But, mentoring isn’t so much about duplicating yourself, it’s more about helping another be more fully themselves through you. It’s about partnering with Holy Spirit in solidifying and clarifying a person’s identity in Christ.

As I am writing this, I’m realizing that I am currently between mentors which means I need to start praying for a mentor to enter into my life. Whenever I seek to begin mentoring someone, I will always put it before the Lord and ask Him if it is time for me to take on another mentee and who that person may be. There are so many people whom I could be mentoring, that’s why I leave it up to the Lord to decide the person I’m to build into. He has never steered me wrong and I trust He never will. So, when I seek a mentor, I pray. Because the kind of mentor I’m looking for is a praying one. Someone who has one ear towards heaven (towards Holy Spirit) and one towards earth (towards me). Someone who is willing to take the time to come alongside me and who isn’t afraid to speak Truth and Life into me. Who do you know that could use a mentor? Do you?