by Jay O'Toole
The Lord doesn't always speak in an audible voice, but often in nudges, moving the heart.
The Lord is a gentleman. He is patient. He is longsuffering|
He often remains silent, while we are speaking, but He will not remain silent forever.
He can be grieved and quenched when we refuse His message.
When nothing else works to get our attention,
then He may allow "...the pestilence that walketh in darkness;..."
to come into our lives to urge us to "...abide under the shadow of the Almighty."
When He gets our attention, and we begin to cry, "Daddy, save me," (Romans 8:15, KJV)
then "...I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him."
These selections come from Psalm 91. Many times my thoughts return to my childhood
with the reading of this psalm. When I was a little boy, I was wont to hide behind
my earthly daddy when dangerous or unfamiliar situations arose in my life.
My Daddy on earth was much bigger and much stronger than I was.
How much greater, today, as a grown man, that I can look to my Heavenly Father,
Who is infinitely bigger and stronger than my earthly father ever was.
As children, we were very good at "reading" our parents.
They gave us certain looks, which told us how to act without ever speaking words.
"You better not speak right now. I am so angry about what you have done."
"I love you, Dear One. Come here. Let me give you a hug."
Myriad were the looks in between these two extremes on the continuum.
The Lord in like manner says, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:
I will guide thee with mine eye." (Psalm 32:8, KJV)
Earthly parents would often touch us on the shoulder in public,
especially when we were "acting up." When our eyes met,
they would simply hold up one index finger, waving it back and forth.
This meant, "Stop! Think about what you are doing!
Change your behavior before the hand of judgment falls on the seat of knowledge!"
Of course, at other times a big, strong, gentle arm would wrap slowly around our chests,
drawing us back to them in a warm embrace, simply meaning, "I love you,...just because."
The Lord in His inimitable ways gives us His Own Divine Nudges.
"Above all, taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench
all the fiery darts of the wicked."
(Ephesians 6:16, KJV)
To cover over all you wear
the shield of faith you must
take up for battle and declare,
"This Christ is all my trust."
Th'ability you'll have to quench
the burn darts of the foe.
You'll cause these thoughts to ride the bench,
to make him live in woe.
The shield of faith, our daily tool,
will help us win the day.
Enthrone the Savior's reign and rule
in all, you do and say.
The battle oft will weary you,
but man your daily post
for Blessings wait when life is through
from God, the Lord of hosts.
The ones belonging to the Lord
will fight just through this Day.
"The spirit foes" as quoth the Word
"will know fore'er dismay."
Beyond your battle's of the heart
will know forever Bliss.
This earthly life is but the start
for those, who Savior kiss.
The fiery darts a candle's light
remembered ever There.
The battles o'er with all made right
before our Savior Fair.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 30th, 2021
"Boast not thyself of to morrow;
for thou knowest not
what a day may bring forth."
(Proverbs 27:1, KJV)
Tomorrow's just a dream away,
and yesterday's a note.
Today is here to help me say,
"The Lord is our lone Hope."
A day's a breath of drink and food
with errands we must do.
To think of God seems really rude
to those, whose hearts aren't new.
We sleep some hours of each day.
We rest to make us strong.
We put our talents on display.
We draw or sing a song.
But at the end of earthly Day
to leave and face anew
the lasting Day for which we pray
when breathing life is through.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 29th, 2021
"5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths."
Describe what these verses mean to you.
Trust the Lord so deep within.
Your mind is not your base.
In all your ways acknowledge Him.
Your way He'll not erase.
Trust the Lord. Your Hope He'll be.
Your mind will splinters make.
When you lean upon what you can see
your weight it cannot take.
Trust the Lord with all your heart.
Your spirit man's alive
when self is not the place you start,
but He doth make you thrive.
Your greatest trust resides in Christ.
In all you do you must
acknowledge Him, Who paid the price.
Your own thoughts are but dust.
To trust: your weight rests full in this,
The Son, Who came to save.
In all your doings, let your kiss
adorn The One, Who gave
His life to give you lasting Bliss,
directly through the grave.
The Lord is where your trust must be.
So, never look within
to find the hope you long to see,
salvation there to win.
Your heart's the place of life or death.
If dead, it can't teach aught.
If living, from its first blest breath,
it knows, that it was bought.
The place we lean's an important Truth.
The self cannot provide,
but Christ, the Savior, from His youth
is where our souls can hide.
Our ways of living tell the world
the things we know are true,
and like a banner once unfurled,
it flies as ever new.
Confess His Name with all your deeds.
Just look to Him and wait,
and then when He directs you, heed,
not early, nor yet late.
The paths you need to take are plain
when Christ, the Lord is all
your seeking heart doth hope to gain
as on His name you call.
The Lord of Glory came to Earth
to save our forlorn race
by giving us His Blest New Birth,
that rests upon His Grace.
"Take the plunge over the Niagra Falls of Death into the Eternity of Life in the keg (aka 'barrel') of the Lord's everlasting Grace, even though when you commit yourself to this vessel, it will appear to be exceedingly rickety from all human methods of assessment. However, you must trust in the Lord,...period. Your own ability to understand the 'How' of Salvation will never do you any good.
"Everything you do, everything you say, everything you think, everything you are must confess (or agree with the statement,) 'Jesus is my Lord and my Savior.' At that point, and never before that point, Jesus will show you how to walk, how to talk, how to live, how to think, and how to be because He will be 'the way, the truth, and the life' (John 14:6) to the depths of your innermost being."
May the Lord open our eyes to His Truth this very day.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 28th, 2021
"3Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward,
and hide thyself by the brook Cherith,
that is before Jordan.
4And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook;
and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there."
(I Kings 17:3-4, KJV)
"Where God guides He provides." This is an expression I have heard for years when I've asked for help in finding the Will of the Lord for a major decision in Life.
Though this expression doesn't appear in the Bible the concept is found in Isaiah 58. You can read a fuller explanation, here. https://www.christianity.com/wiki/bible/is-it-biblical-where-god-guides-he-provi...
It has consistently played out in my life as well as in the lives of others, who are close to me. God always provides. He doesn't always provide in the way, that we think He should.
Bottom Line: God is always faithful to the Glory and the Reputation of His Name.
The preacher needs some food and drink.
The Lord tells him to go
beside the river on the brink
of nothing good to know.
"I'll give you drink and food enough
as birds do flap their wings.
The raven caterers are tough,
but the floor show really sings."
Deserts do not seem like much
when thirst and hunger reign,
but when the Lord bequeaths His touch
provision's always plain.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 27th, 2021
"14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."
Does your life reflect your faith in Christ? Why or why not?
When EMTs (aka Emergency Medical Technicians) arrive at an accident scene, they consistently triage the victims, treating the worst cases, first. EMTs attend to the most ill-affected victims by first checking for vital signs. These are heartbeat, breathing, and responsiveness.
If there is no heartbeat, nor breathing, then EMTs start CPR (aka Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation.) If this fails to restore the signs of life, then the victim may need to be paddled with 200 joules of current to start the heart.
Why is the restoration of life signs, such an intense, and time-critical activity?
People, who have no vital (or life) signs, are according to medical terminology, physically, "dead."
If a person claims to be a Christian but has no observable signs of spiritual life, being expressed from the inner man, then by the spiritual terminology of the Book of James, that person is still dead in his or her spirit. To ask such a person, "Are you sure you have been born again?" is the same as a physical EMT hitting the coronary muscle with 200 joules of current to restore a heartbeat. The question is, in Truth, hitting the spiritual heart with 200 joules of conviction to see, if there is any feeling at all in the spirit.
If the response is anger, "How dare you to speak to me, that way?" or fear, "I'm not really sure, that I am," then it is time to begin to massage the spiritual heart muscle with prayer for the aid of the dear Holy Spirit at this critical time in that person's life. The convicting question must never be considered to be mean in any way. It is the most loving thing, that a soul-winner (or spiritual EMT) can do for someone, who doesn't have any signs of spiritual life.
'Tis infinitely better to experience a little emotional angst on this side of the grave, and to ultimately become a true, and vibrant Christian, than to die, thinking one is going to Heaven, only to learn when it is everlastingly TOO LATE, that Hell is your eternal Home.
What, then, are the signs of spiritual life?
1. Christians, clearly, care about our fellowman, meeting both physical and spiritual needs.
2. Christians love to be with other Christians because they love Jesus, and by extension, they love the ones, that Jesus loves.
3. Christians have a hunger for the things of God, His Word, His Church, and the salvation of lost souls.
4. Christians have only a passing (or temporary) love for the things of this world because "this world is not our Home."
For more spiritual vital signs, please read the entire First letter of John. These signs are abundantly listed in that Book. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John%201&version=KJV
Humans love to eat, physically, every day. This is a sign of physical life.
Christians love to eat, spiritually, every day. This is done by Feasting on the Word of God. I wonder, who regularly shows us how?
My life reflects my faith in God because...
1. I can't sin and enjoy sinning.
2. I get so hungry when I neglect God's Word.
3. I enjoy fellowship with others, who are in Christ, too.
4. I am burdened for souls to be saved in Jesus of Nazareth, HIStory's Only Christ, Who died, Who was buried, and Who rose, again, on the third day.
May all, who read this be in Christ, already, or become so, quickly.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 26th, 2021
"And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;"
(Ephesians 6:15, KJV)
My feet are ready with Your Word.
These shoes will take me far.
So, founded on the living Lord,
we mollify each scar.
The Gospel of Shalom is all,
that's needed for each heart.
The Holy Spirit's loving call
Salvation will impart.
"How lovely on each mountain pass
the feet of those, who preach
Salvation to each lad and lass,
and then to daily teach."
One Day in Heaven's portals found,
we'll dance and we will sing
for wondrous shoes in Christ abound
when lost ones to Him bring.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 23rd, 2021
When your life is moving fast,
you've no time to think.
Hurtful voices from the past
cause your hope to sink.
You've no time to write as much.
thoughts are rushing on.
Time to stop, and seek the touch
of God's Dear, Loving Son.
Write a word or two, that's all.
Silent listen, sweet.
That's when Jesus comes to call,
Sit at His Dear Feet.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 22nd, 2021
Make my feet to walk for God,
prepared as shoes can be.
Standing 'fore Him, truly awed,
amazed at what I see.
To walk, while bringing peace to souls,
who have none in their lives
must always be my lasting goal
to help more humans thrive.
The whole of Earth by footfalls touched
will minister the Name
of Christ, Who bore our sins so much,
and took our very blame.
Walk the deserts, mountain heights,
and forests of the wilds
to bring Salvation, set things right,
and lead them down the aisles.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 21st, 2021
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"
Do you have a plan ready to share the gospel if the opportunity presented itself? What would you do or say?
Let me start with my own personal paraphrase of Philippians 3:15, "But set apart to be holy, clean, and without contamination the Lord God in your hearts (at the very core of your being:) and be ready always (be prepared at a moment's notice, let your spirit move with muscle memory because you've done this so often) to give an answer, (responding with the Truth, John 14:6, KJV) to every man (without consideration to his relationship to you) that asketh you a reason of the hope (lasting confidence) that is in you (the bedrock of the DNA of your very being, your spiritual man) with meekness and fear, (since we have no room for pride because we know nothing of ourselves:)"
Jesus is, of course, the Best Example of this verse because He could take whoever He was talking with to the heart of His Father in a moment's notice for everlasting reconciliation, using the current interests of the person to Whom He was speaking at the time.
1. Jesus spoke with the woman at the well about "everlasting water, that could never run out." (John 4)
2. Jesus spoke with the man born blind about the sight, that could never know darkness. (John 9)
3. Jesus spoke with Nicodemus about being "born again," since the self-goodness of being a Pharisee could not make him right with God. (John 3)
4. Jesus talked to a lame man about walking. (John 5)
5. Jesus provided food to a large, hungry crowd because "I am the Bread of life."
Let's read Philippians 3:15, KJV, again. "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"
When Jesus has the preeminent, HOLY place in my heart, I will be able to respond to questions about my Hope with the clear, and succinct answer, "Jesus is my Lord, and my Savior." I will be able to give this response humbly because my life's Salvation is completely of Christ Jesus, and none of myself.
If the motivation of the person's question about my Hope is because that person has no Hope in Christ as yet, then I will be able to tell that person, "Salvation is the matter of confessing, that we humans can do nothing to save ourselves. Salvation is totally of Jesus, the Christ of Nazareth, and of no one else. To review, I can't save me. Only Jesus can save me. I asked Jesus to save me with all of the faith He has given me to trust Him. (Ephesians 2:8-10) I am, now, saved."
The specific verses, that I consistently use to verify my thoughts and words are found in John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10, 13, and Philippians 2:13.
May the Lord give us the consistent,
daily words necessary to reach the lost.
Be Blessed, Everyone.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 20th, 2021
"1 And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha,
Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us.
2 Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan,
and take thence every man a beam,
and let us make us a place there,
where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye.
3 And one said, Be content, I pray thee,
and go with thy servants.
And he answered, I will go.
4 So he went with them.
And when they came to Jordan,
they cut down wood.
5 But as one was felling a beam,
the axe head fell into the water:
and he cried, and said, Alas, master!
for it was borrowed.
6 And the man of God said,
Where fell it? And he shewed him the place.
And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither;
and the iron did swim.
7 Therefore said he, Take it up to thee.
And he put out his hand, and took it."
(II Kings 6:1-7, KJV)
Paraphrase by JOT:
"And Elisha's student prophets said,
'Hey! Look it, our dorm is way too small.
2 "'If you don't mind, we'd like to go to the Jordan River,
and every one of us will cut down a tree for wood,
and then with your permission, we'll build a new dorm,
one that's bigger, and we can relax then and just chill.'"
And he said, 'Go ahead.'
3 And one of the preacher boys (aka prophet students) said,
'If you don't mind, I would really love
to have you come and go with us.'
And he answered, 'No sweat. I'll go.'
4 So he went with them, and everything was cool.
When they got to the Jordan River,
they chopped down some wood.
5 But as one of the students was chopping down his tree,
the blade of the axe fell off into the water:
and he was beside himself.
He said, 'What am I going to do, now, Teacher!
I borrowed that axe.'
6 And Elisha, God's chosen servant, said,
'Where'd it fall?'
And the student showed him the exact place, where it fell.
And Elisha cut down a stick
and threw it into the river over the place,
where the axe blade fell in, and it started to float.
7 At that point Elisha said,
'Pick it up.'
And he reached for it, and picked it up."
End of story.
Right about now the knee-jerk response to this story is "That's impossible. An axe blade can't float on the water. This is a sweet little fairy story, but it is not scientifically accurate."
Is that so?
Which weighs more, the blade of an axe or a full-grown human male?
Axe blades weigh about three or four pounds, but I doubt very much, that any are made weighing more than 10 pounds. It follows the same principle as the bowling ball. "It has to be heavy enough to do the job, but not so heavy, that the user is unable to repeatedly lift and swing it during the job or the game. I know for a fact, that bowling balls can weigh up to 15-16 pounds, but I usually choose one of 11-13 pounds, due to the repetition factor.
Yours truly weighs well over 200 pounds. Ergo, I weigh over 20 times as much as an axe blade, and almost that of a bowling ball.
Still, it seems incredible, that an axe blade or a bowling ball could do anything other than sink to the bottom since the weight of each is so compact (or dense,) and it has nothing to keep it buoyant. A human male of my weight at least has buoyancy features like lungs and spaces between the cells scattered throughout the body as well as body fat to help him stay afloat when he is properly relaxed.
All of these videos, except the last one, demonstrate an important truth. "Certain objects, that appear too heavy to float can float based on the scientific concepts of surface tension, and buoyancy.
1. The needle may appear to be too dense to float, but there is sufficient elongation to make it able to take advantage of the interlocking molecules of surface tension, thus keeping the needle afloat.
2. The water strider insects have feet and cilia, which use the same advantages as the needle to stay afloat. When weight is distributed over a wide enough area of surface tension this intriguing creature can walk on the water.
3. Adult humans can float on the water, based on the buoyancy of the lungs and the ratio of fat cells to muscle cells, since fat is more buoyant than muscle. However, floating on the water is done in a horizontal position.
It is scientifically impossible, according to every currently-known principle of water function, for an adult to walk (or float) on the water in a vertical position with the human perpendicular to the surface of the water.
It is equally impossible from a scientific viewpoint for a high-density object, such as an axe blade or a bowling ball, to float on the water without outside help.
That is, indeed, what happened. Jesus is the Creator of the heavens and the Earth, and as such, He acts upon the environments of these events, like these, to create what is necessary to get the job done. (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-4)
How did Jesus walk on the water? How did Elisha bring an axehead (or blade) to the surface of the water to be retrieved? In both cases, a miracle was required to accomplish God's purpose in HIStory.
What is a miracle? According to Merriam-Webster, a miracle is "1: an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs." I would like to express it in my own words. "A miracle is an occurrence, which is outside of the normal operation of scientific laws. In actuality, a miracle is the suspension of or the superseding of the normal laws of scientific understanding."
How did the "iron float"? How did Jesus walk on the water? Any answer I could give would be based on speculation, and is, therefore, unequivocally, a matter of pure faith on my part.
1. Did Jesus increase the amount of load, that surface tension could support when He and Peter walked on the water? That is not verified, nor does it appear to be verifiable. However, that is at least a plausible and logical possibility of the HOW, based on the words of the historical account. My faith does not lean on understanding the HOW (Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV) in order to believe, THAT Jesus did actually walk on the water with His friend and disciple, Peter. Jesus is God. Science obeys Him, not the other way around.
2. Did God create buoyancy in the axe blade to give it the ability to float? Did God create a magnetic force to draw the axe blade to the surface of the water, and then increase the load-bearing properties of the surface tension of the water to keep the axe blade afloat? Again, neither hypothesis is provable, but both are plausible (at least to this Christian.). Bottom Line: I don't have to know HOW God did this miracle in order for me to simply believe, that He performed a miracle.
The miraculous in the Bible and the miraculous in daily life are both based in the faith, that God gives us to trust Him Alone, not the ability (or lack thereof) to trust in our own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV)
Our faith to believe God's miracle-working power returns us to the state of innocence in the Garden of Eden in which we trusted God to be TRUTH. (John 14:6, KJV) Disobedience and distrust in God cause humans to fall away from TRUTH to trust in the pseudo-truth, which may be grasped and scientifically "verified" through the human intellect.
May the Lord restore the miraculous in our lives.
May we trust Jesus, the Christ to BE TRUTH.
May we be truly blessed in Jesus of Nazareth, Now and Forever.
(John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10, 13; Philippians 2:13)
by Jay O’Toole
on April 19th, 2021
"But made himself of no reputation,
and took upon him the form of a servant,
and was made in the likeness of men:"
(Philippians 2:7, KJV)
Jesus left His stable Home in Heaven to enter a stable home on Earth in order to purchase for Himself, His everlasting Bride. To accomplish this He chose willingly to lay down His title, "Lord of All" for a time to become known as "the Carpenter of Nazareth." Jesus never stopped being The Lord of Glory. He simply took the journey to the home of the bride to pay the dowery required to take her out of her home of origin, the Kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of His Glorious Light.
Even Shakespeare swerved into this wondrous truth in his play, Romeo and Juliet. Albeit, the "swerving" was from his perspective. From God's perspective, it was Divinely ordained. Sovereignty counts.
"’Tis but thy name that is my enemy.
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face. O, be some other name
Belonging to a man.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And, for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself."
(Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene II, Lines 41-52)
Jesus was born without a good reputation in the world of humans. For the 33 1/3 years of Jesus' earthly sojourn, He was, no doubt, referred to in whispered voices as "Mary's illegitimate son" by those, who rejected the prophecies and the words of the Angel Gabriel.
An illegitimate son could not be the first-born of the father.
An illegitimate son had no property rights.
An illegitimate son could not have a position of leadership in the temple, nor in the community at large.
However, in the book of Judges the illegitimate son, Jephthah, became judge over Israel because nobody else was willing to take the job at the time. (Judges 11:1-11)
Jesus rules forever in Eternity. The Eternal harmony in the Godhead is never in question. However, the created Man had sinned in the Garden of Eden, and the only way for Adam and Eve to be restored to fellowship with God was for the sinless Son of God to leave the Glory and Harmony of Heaven to become one of the dusty humans of Earth, living more than three decades without sin in order to remain the sinless Lamb of God, paying for the sin, that He did not owe in order for us humans to be given substitutional Perfection, fitting us for everlasting fellowship with God, Whose hemophilia to sin, prevented Him from being in the presence of sin,...EVER.
Romeo and Juliet talked about changing their names to be with each other. Jesus, actually, did change His Name in order to redeem His bride unto Himself. He is now the Carpenter of Nazareth, the Creator of the physical realm, Who is the Lord of Glory. Jesus is now 100% human and 100% God, concurrently.
The similarities and the contrast with Romeo and Juliet continue with staggering clarity. In each account, both husband and wife were dead at the same time. However, Romeo took his own life, mistakenly thinking, that Juliet was really dead. Romeo was really dead, unable to come back to life. Juliet took her own life and thereafter remained dead.
Their story is a tragedy because two family's hatred of each other kept two youth separated from a peaceful love story in life, which they tried to remedy by being together in death. Anything that humans try to fix in their own strength never ends well, but in Jesus Hope remains.
Jesus came to redeem His bride, who was actually dead in trespasses and sins. (Ephesians 2:1, KJV). Jesus did not take His own life, but He willingly allowed it to be taken from Him in sacrificial payment for the sins (Sin) of His bride. Jesus returned to life on the third day, and restored to new life the bride in every human, who willingly received (receives) His Gift of Salvation.
Jesus lived a life of stigma, during His first 33 1/3 years in human flesh. When He returns to take His rightful Throne in Jerusalem, He will start His eternal Reign with the Name of Honor in which no one will be able to question His Right to Rule.
Jesus' lack of reputation was His tool of limited duration. The reality of His Person is everlasting Glory, Honor, and Rulership.
O, Dear One, receive Him today.
(John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10,13; Philippians 2:13)
by Jay O’Toole
on April 16th, 2021
|The helmet protects the brain more extensively than the head can because metal is tougher than bone.
The helmet deflects arrows.
The helmet absorbs the shock of blows from swords.
A helmet is a useful tool in Medieval warfare.
Modern warfare neutralizes the benefits of helmets, due to the more extensive effects of the power of these weapons.
If Medieval forms of protection have little or no effect, regarding the saving of our individual lives in modern times, then one can only guess at the minimal effectiveness of Medieval protective gear in the realm of the spirit in which physical protection provides little or no salvation for our persons in the eternal battle of life or death. Spiritual weapons in the realm of overarching Existence make physical weapons, (even of the 21st-century variety,) look like nothing more than "pop guns."
What are expressions of spiritual warfare?
1. "Mind your thoughts."
2. "I have a gut feeling about that."
3. "He (or she) makes my skin crawl."
4. "I can't go to that store or business. The atmosphere is oppressive."
5. "I love visiting a certain friend's house because it's always so peaceful there."
6. "I love spending the weekend at that retreat. When I drive inside the gate, I feel like I am home."
7. "When I have an appointment with that person, I have to be 'prayed up,' since their unseen entourage makes that one hard to deal with.". (Ephesians 6:12, KJV)
Becoming a Christian has never been a life of leisure. Submission to Jesus Christian is the spiritual equivalent to signing one's name on the enlistment form at a military office. The main weapon of the Christian is love, which is the very reason why Christians often appear to be losing the battle. In reality in the realm of Eternity, "The way up is the way down."
The Helmet of Salvation is the spiritual garment of protection for the Christian's mind, which is the Word of God. The Christian protects his or her mind by receiving the Mind of Christ through His written Word (The Holy Bible,) through receiving the merits of Christ in the stead of the Christian's everlasting demerits, and by memorizing the Scriptures to protect the precious mind of the saint when attacked by the enemy forces as well as for daily nourishment for his or her spirit.
The Christian does not leave his or her house dressed as a Roman soldier every day in order to fight the battles of the spirit. The Christian dresses, physically, in the clothes, that agree with the dress code of their job or school or church. The spiritual armor, specifically the helmet of Salvation is not seen by the naked eye, but its evidence is clear when the heat of the battle is on.
May we represent the Lord well when we face the enemy, not in fear, but in the courage of our position in Christ Jesus, the One, Who grew up in Nazareth.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 15th, 2021
When I think about my days
upon the Earth, and breathe my last,
how many times have I obeyed
the Lord in choices of my past?
This I like, and that I don't,
but does it matter to the Lord?
Forever lasts, but this life won't.
A choice is often dark and blurred.
My hair, my clothes, the thoughts I mind
are choices tense and quite enough
to make the Truth go silent, blind,
before I see He's made me tough.
What does God think 'bout how I look?
Does He call me to live for Him?
Are days on Earth lived by the Book?
Is saving Grace now watered thin?
I have opinions, thoughts, desires,
but Jesus paid for all of me.
His thoughts of Heart are always higher
than what each earthly day may be.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 14th, 2021
You wonder what it means to trust.
Can faith be meant for you?
Your life's a hopeless, ragged bust.
What could some God now do?
"Nobody in my life still cares.
My gifts are down the loo.
My shelf-edge perch is where I stare.
The best of life is through.
"I've talked with doctors, preachers, saints,
and friends, who shake their heads.
My list of 'could's outweighed by 'cain'ts.
What wasted hours I've read.
"I'd done been fixed if faith was strong
within my battered heart.
Five minutes can't give me a song.
Why would some helper start?"
"Too hard to save?" "Don't waste God's time?"
"You're just a pile of poo?"
So many times I've heard each line,
but I'm still loving you.
How far the faithful Father looks,
until horizon crests!
"My child released from worldly hooks,
return him to be blessed."
"The effort of your faith is naught.
My faithful effort's all
you need to know, that you've been bought,
and fall in arms, that call."
by Jay O’Toole
on April 13th, 2021
To cover his most vital part
the soldier dons a metal bowl.
Before he lifts it up to start,
he makes sure it will keep him whole.
The helmet of salvation rare,
that guards my head, both mind, and bone.
I yield to Him all worldly care,
that Christ may sit upon His Throne.
A flap of metal o'er the ears
protects from spears and sharpest darts.
The foe may loft tremendous fears.
Once heard may shatter stalwart hearts.
The crown secured by metal cross,
full driven home by rivet firm
is forged to be of little dross
when fighting on a soggy berm.
Each fearful Christian faces death
when knocked down, and the helmet's gone.
No covering from the sword, nor heath.
No surety of life in the Son.
The helmet keeps the mind on right.
No devil can e'er pierce His side,
Who once was pierced in public sight,
defeating wrong's long enthroned pride.
The helmet of the Savior's cost
is free to every weary wretch.
That soul, whose life was very lost,
has Christ upon his forehead etched.
O, Soldier, in the battle long,
redeem the day with covered head.
Not seen by all the earthly throng,
the helmet bought by Christ, Who bled.
This Christ, the living Lord of all,
is Husband and the lasting Head
of those, who hear Salvation's call,
forever purchased from the dead.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 12th, 2021
|"...and having on the breastplate of righteousness;" (Ephesians 6:14c, KJV)
Paul seems a little matter-of-fact when he lists the breastplate of righteousness in the spiritual armor of the Christian. Paul says, "Put it on." It is a given, that a soldier will wear his or her metal covering to shield the vital organs of the body from the midsection to the neck from attack.
What is righteousness? Since the base word is "right," then righteousness is the environment in which right can flourish. "Jesus saith unto him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.'" (John 14:6, KJV) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1, KJV)
Bottom Line: Jesus is God. Jesus is Truth. Jesus is Right. Righteousness means being like Jesus. Our breastplate is effective against attacks, only when that breastplate looks like Jesus, HIStory's Only Christ (aka Messiah.)
Living like Jesus is the tallest of tasks. I am imperfect as a human being, therefore I need Jesus to live His Perfection through me. The life of the Christian is the life of exchange. I gave Jesus my Sin. He gave me His Mercy and Grace.
The breastplate of righteousness covers vital organs. Jesus is the Vital Core of Righteousness. In Christ, I live. Apart from Christ, I die.
May we all seek Jesus Christ this very day.
The righteousness, that shapes my core
is Jesus in my stead,
for Hope increases evermore
in Him, Who once was dead.
Upon the cross, He died for me.
In state He laid in tomb,
but on the third from death was free,
and brought me to His room.
All righteousness I now possess
is Christ's Gift, evermore.
Salvation in Him ever blessed
with peace to live in store.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 9th, 2021
"Wait on the LORD:
be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the LORD."
(Psalm 27:14, KJV)
"Just wait upon the One Above,
and live in courage with His Love.
For He shall strengthen all thine heart.
To wait on the Lord is where we start."
To wait on the Lord is where we start.
To wait on the Lord's the end.
We wait on the Lord. His Truth impart,
and lives will surely mend.
The Type-A person frets to wait.
There's so much we must do.
In silence, we are never late.
All is done when waiting's through.
"These things I have spoken unto you,
that in me ye might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world."
(John 16:33, KJV)
The days of Earth are short,
and know some sadness, here and there.
The Truth is best and blest import.
It lifts me from each daily care.
Eternal Day will never end.
We thank God for Salvation's Gift.
The pains of Earth will in Him mend.
With lasting Hope, He hearts will lift.
The victors live in Christ Alone,
overcoming through each day.
The pains of life are by them known,
but blessings start and last for aye.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 7th, 2021
"6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found,
call ye upon him while he is near:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
and let him return unto the Lord,
and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
(Isaiah 55:6-7, KJV)
"6 Seek the Lord while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near.
7 Let the wicked change their ways
and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously."
(Isaiah 55:6-7, NLT)
Please, seek for God when He wants to be found.
Please, call to His open ears.
All sinners, put your sinnings down.
Reject wrong thoughts and fear.
Return to the Lord. He will embrace.
His mercy's ever new.
Come back to God. Receive His Grace.
Abundantly He will pardon you.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 6th, 2021