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ALIVE

ALIVE is a book presented as a blog series about human life from its inception. It studies the purpose of life, the philosophy of life, and the difference between physical life and spiritual life. The book does this by delving into the relationship between humankind and its invisible but highly active and involved Creator.

Based on Biblical narrative ALIVE enters major events and fleshes them out. In so doing ALIVE makes discoveries about the origins and evolution of human life.

ALIVE combines imagination and scriptual accuracy to develop the themes of what it means to be much more than physically ALIVE. Although imaginative, ALIVE never contradicts Scripture. Enjoy and learn.

The Bride's Year

This is a series of posts that make up a story describing the Year of The Church. The Church is The Bride of Christ who will be married to Him at The Wedding Feast of the Lamb as described in the Book of Revelations to John. The Wedding of Jesus Christ with the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church occurs after the destruction of this old earth and the inauguration of the new earth, also known as The Land of Immortality. 

It is a tale of a cynical little angel that God sent to earth to learn about the mystical year of synchronic time and about His Betrothed.

My writing offers readers a fresh way of looking at and learning about orthodox Christianity.

The style is intended to help the mind and heart overcome old prejudices and awaken them to the Truth of God’s plan for the human-gods that were created in His image and likeness.

 

About the Blog

This blog is for those who take the line in the Nicene Creed seriously that says, “I await the resurrection of the dead and the life of the ages to come.” That is the life immortal into which Jesus Christ will someday usher renewed humans. For centuries these people have been called Christians, and they are still called Christians, but since Christianity has become such a broad term and Christ said that the gate into immortal life is narrow and difficult to squeeze through, then perhaps those few serious people would be better identified as “Aspiring Immortals”.

 

This blog is a journal of just such an Aspiring Immortal. Through stories, poems, and journal entries I teach orthodox Christianity. I am not a religious rebel, instead I’d rather identify with GK Chesterton, CS Lewis, and my favorite Saints such as Francis of Assisi, Chrysostom, and Climacus whose vision and creativity have guided so many aspiring immortals through this earthly life.

 

A companion to this blog is my book entitled “The Immortal Life (TIL).” TIL teaches orthodox Christianity to those who want to know the reason for life and death, good and evil. TIL explains it all from the fall of mankind to the annihilation of this planet with a refreshing contemporary voice that is at times even funny.

 

We all work very hard to improve life on this planet for ourselves and for each other. And yet there is so much more life has to offer. Aspiring immortals are the salt of this earth and the substance of the next one.

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    Entries in Moses (11)

    Friday
    Oct202017

    ALIVE: Chapter 58, Darkness

     

    Pharaoh tossed and turned all night. It was getting harder and harder to be the strong decisive leader his father had taught him to be. He was in agony. He didn’t want to fall asleep because every night plagued him with horrendous nightmares, dreams of frustration. The sleep state found him lost and desperate to find his way, or being chased by wild animals and not able to hide, or falling off a precipice. He was afraid of where his mind would take him, and yet his waking hours were just as horrendous. His idiotic magicians proved useless. From his birth Thutmose had always gotten his way. Anything his heart desired had only to be named and it came to him within hours, the tastiest food, the most beautiful women, the best performers of music and dance. He remembered the day that he was told that his father died and he was crowned Pharaoh as the most thrilling day of his life. Then, when his first born son was presented to him. Oh joy; what magician conjured that up! A miniature version of himself with a touch of his father and of his mother all rolled into one sweet smelling bundle of emotions. The baby smiled and gurgled so much; how he often wondered what was making this child so joyful.

     

    Could it be that if only he would release the Israelites to go into the wilderness to pray, then their god would be pleased and restore his kingdom and his peace of mind? Thutmose could not understand why he vacillated so, and why he was being so stubborn? Why did Moses only ask for permission to go away to pray, when they both knew full well that once gone, they would never return? Why did Moses repeatedly expect him to believe the lie that they would return? He might as well have asked for permanent release. Did that false brother of his think him a fool? He should just let them go and be rid of the whole lot!

     

    NO NO NO, what demon placed that thought in his mind? Absolutely not. He would not be bullied by that god of theirs. Pharaoh admitted that he showed his weakness too often when he asked Moses for prayer and offered to let them go. He really had to stop that. He must win. He must show himself strong and decisive. If only he could get a good night’s sleep, everything would be better. He needed a sleeping potion. He would try one more time to clear his mind of thoughts and focus on resting his every muscle from his royal toes up through his body until he reached his mind, the summit of his being and even there he must be in control enough to sweep away any thought that displeased him. Pharaoh craved rest, to fall into the warm soothing waters of oblivion. 

     

    Meanwhile, back on the hill, the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven so that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness that can be felt.”

     

    Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was dense darkness in all the land of Egypt.

     

    Pharaoh stayed in his bedroom and tried to sleep as long as he could. His man servant entered holding a candle and said, “Sire, how long shall this darkness last? The people have stopped working. The cows have stopped giving milk. The roosters won’t crow. The people want to know when the light will return. What shall I tell them?”

     

    “How should I know!” shouted Pharaoh. “Tell them that the light will return when they have pleased their gods. Tell them that I proclaim a holiday and that they need not report to work until the darkness is lifted. Tell them to pray to the gods that their rest is deep and restorative. Now GO and leave me be!”

     

    “I have one more message Sire.” added the daring messenger.

     

    “What is it peon?” replied Pharaoh nastily.

     

    “I am told that Gotham is bathed in light. They have no darkness there.”

     

    “How can that be?” replied Pharaoh incredulously.

     

    “We don’t know.”

     

    “Then they should be working! Order the slaves of Goshen to clean their streets and their fields. I will send inspectors in three days and expect to see Goshen spotless! And while you are there order Moses to return to me. Now please leave me!”

     

    The messenger walked out after kissing the hand of Pharaoh and bowing low. His first stop was to the municipal room to tell the officials about the holiday.  They chuckled at the news. 

     

    Then the messenger turned to start his trek to Goshen to give them their orders. He had a very difficult time making his way through the streets of Egypt. His candle blew out. The darkness was so dense and pure that he had to walk waving his hands out in front of him and around his sides. No one else was out, which made it easier than it otherwise might have been.

     

    As he approached Goshen he was shocked to see the dull luminous fog that made it much easier to walk. The closer he got to Goshen, the more light. It was amazing, it was dumbfounding. Goshen was filled with light, as opposite as the darkness of the rest of Egypt could be. He looked up at the sky for the sun, but found not the familiar ball. The messenger wondered if the light came from their God. Was He showing Egypt that He was indeed the God of light, and they were people of darkness?

     

    With no task masters showing up for work, with all the merriment he observed, it appeared that they were the ones having the holiday. The messenger went directly to the Town Square and announced the requirement to clean their streets.

     

    Then the messenger walked to the home of Miriam where he found Moses and Aaron eating lunch as if it was a typical day in paradise. He ordered them to return with him to the palace.

     

    Moses didn’t seem to have half the trouble walking back to the palace as the messenger had had wading through the darkness. Either he was being guided by an inner light, or the path was so familiar that Moses could walk it in his sleep.

     

    They arrived to find lit candles everywhere. Pharaoh’s throne room was bathed in jittery candle light.

     

    As soon as he spotted Moses, Pharaoh said, “Go, worship the Lord. Only your flocks and your herds shall remain behind. Even your children may go with you.” Pharaoh felt, that by saying this he was being generous and yet, authoritative enough to demand reasonable limitations. He expected Moses to comply and he looked forward to the end of the standoff. Sitting in darkness, Pharaoh had no clue that the worse was yet to come.

     

    Without hesitation, without compromise, Moses replied, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings to sacrifice to the Lord our God. Our livestock also must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must choose some of them for the worship of the Lord our God, and we will not know what to use to worship the Lord until we arrive there.”

     

    Pharaoh was angry that Moses wouldn’t take the olive branch that had been so hard for him to offer. This demanding, unyielding, uncompromising opponent would not get the best of him. Pharaoh had no power over the light; he didn’t know the reason for the strange darkness, or when the light would return, but he still had it in his power to keep Israel from leaving, and that would be good enough. Good enough for this meeting. Good enough for this dark day. He would just try to fall asleep again.

     

    Pharaoh turned his stubborn heart inside out and barked, “Get away from me! Take care that you do not see my face again, for on the day that you see my face, you shall die.”

     

    Moses replied, “Just as you say! I will never see your face again.”

     

    Then the brothers departed from the palace for what they figured was the very last time. As they walked through the dark halls into the pitch blackness, they knew not what time of day it should be. All was darkness, all was stillness, like the day before creation, like the day of death. Moses and Aaron walked back to Goshen in silence as they tried to maneuver the streets without stumbling and falling.

     

    They finally spotted the dim yet welcome light of Goshen in the far distance and used it to guide them home quickly. They went straight to their hill and waited, but not for very long.

     

    Moments after they arrived the Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go from here; indeed when he lets you go, he will drive you away. Tell the people that every man is to ask his neighbor and every woman is to ask her neighbor for objects of silver and gold.”

     

    Moses and Aaron were immensely relieved to hear that the end was indeed near, as they had suspected.

     

    On the third day the people of Goshen could see the light of their district expand throughout Egypt. The days of darkness were over.

     

    The Egyptian people, tired, and hungry, innocent victims of the battle between egotistical Pharaoh and the powerful God of Moses were thoroughly drained; they had lost everything, their fields, their herds and flocks, their air of superiority.

     

    It was clear to everyone that Pharaoh with his useless demands was the weak one, the loser. Many of them wanted to leave with Israel. The Egyptians through all of these calamities saw what Pharaoh was blind to. Sitting on his throne, his own people rooted for Israel to win the battle and move on. Moses was clearly the victor, in the sight of Pharaoh’s officials and in the sight of his people.

     

    As they were told to do, the Israelites took advantage of the favor they sensed from their neighbors. The women went into the Egyptian neighborhoods, knocked on doors and asked for items of silver and gold to take with them. By then it was not a matter of whether they would leave, but when. Egyptian women gladly handed over their precious metals as a prayer offering to the god of the Hebrews. Each household tried to out do its neighbor in generosity to the slaves and their powerful God. Little did they know that their biggest sacrifice was yet to come.

     

    Strengthened by the return of light to Egypt, and by the treasure they were given by the people, Moses sensed too that he had won. Their God won!  Only now, the plague was yet to come. Until this time, in spite of all the loss, not one human life had been taken. God thought it only fair to give Pharaoh a warning of the tenth and final event, the plague, that would break Pharaoh’s God-produced strong will.

     

    The guards saw Moses and Aaron approach and sent a messenger to ask Pharaoh if they should be admitted. Feeling better after the three day rest, and the morning light, he consented to receive the brothers. Perhaps they were coming to concede, he thought. Perhaps, they were willing to leave something precious behind to insure their return. That’s all he ever really wanted anyway. He didn’t care that they had a holiday, he just wanted to retain their usefulness, and his power over them.

     

    Moses entered the throne room with an air of confidence and solemnity that shook the better mood out of Pharaoh. Aaron said, “Thus says the Lord: About midnight I will go out through Egypt. Every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the female slave who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the livestock. Then there will be a loud cry throughout the whole land of Egypt, such as never been or ever will be again. But not a dog shall growl at any of the Israelites-not at people, not at animals-so that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. Then all these officials of yours shall come down to me , and bow low to me, saying, ‘Leave us, you and all the people who follow you.’ After that, I will leave.”

     

    Moses had worked himself into a fury with this message. He was angry that it should come to this, the killing of so many innocents to force their release. By the time Aaron finished speaking, Moses was clearly fed up and in hot anger he turned without saying a word and walked out with Aaron at his heels.

     

    The Lord spoke to Moses’ heart, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, in order that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”

     

    Moses was comforted by those words; he understood that God’s ways are mysterious. It was more important to God that His power and favoritism of Israel be recognized, than all the destruction and death that it took to make it obvious to Pharaoh, to the Egyptians, and to Israel.

     

    Gracefeld and Perambula were both very pleased with themselves for so successfully helping the Lord carry it off. These angels had never worked so hard, neither in the galaxies, nor on earth. They expected great rewards would follow and their names to be  written in the Angel Hall of Fame.

     

    Moses and Aaron too clearly sensed that these were holy days. For all the frustration and suffering, surely future generations would hear of the marvels and the plague that was to come, and stand amazed that God orchestrated such an epic release from the chains that had bound them to Egypt and to Pharaoh for centuries.

     

    However, it wasn’t over yet;  the Lord still hardened Pharaoh’s heart, in spite of the threat of the death that would ensue, through his able emissary Gracefeld, and he did not let them go.

    Sunday
    Oct012017

    ALIVE: Chapter 56, Oh Hail!

    Miriam lay sleepless in the quiet darkness of the night. Thoughts that poured into her mind clashed with each other, taking turns for flashes of attention before dissolving. She felt the earth tremble under her.  She sensed the pain and suffering of her Egyptian neighbors while all was calm and peaceful in Goshen. They were still in Egypt, and yet they weren't. Her world was transformed daily while she remained fixed in her familiar home. She was confused and yet thrilled. Within a square mile existed both heaven and hell, peace and torment. "How bizarre," she thought, "for the most degraded of peoples to suddenly be the reason for calamity, like sweet revenge. Who is this God of ours?"

    Miriam had no one with whom to share these thoughts. Sepphora, being a foreigner, was a relatively free woman since the strangling hand of Pharaoh did not reach as far as Midian, Sepphora would not understand the magnitude of what was happening and Aaron was wrapped-up in his new role as spokesman and super-magician. Her neighbors were too busy with chores and forced labor to discuss how they felt about the series of calamities.

    While trying to fall asleep, she thought back to when she began to feel so unsettled. Was it when the calamities started, when the Nile turned bloody and the frogs and those horrible gnats appeared everywhere? She must have swallowed a cupful before they suddenly disappeared. No, oddly enough, she thinks she was most unsettled when the calamities happened to the Egyptians and not to the Jews. Who is this God?

    All her adult life, Miriam wanted to escape her captors, the pharaohs with their demands, but she wondered what this God would demand of her? Were they being set free, only to be flung into the clutches of a vastly more powerful tyrant? All her life Miriam made idols and worshipped them and prayed to them. She was in control of these gods made with hands. She placed her hopes onto these figurines. Sometimes they would grant her wishes and sometimes they didn't. But they never did anything on their own that she knew of, and they certainly never controlled nature like this. How could she love and trust this mega-powerful God of Israel Who spoke to her brother Moses, and wreaked havoc? 

    Before Moses came back into her life she only thought of God when she was being mistreated. For the most part, it was the menfolk who were the forced laborers. The women did the work they would have always done anywhere, raise the children, cook and clean. This was the kind of life no woman could escape, except prostitutes, and they had their own, worse and perverted forced labor.

    Perambula who was wafting through the house read the thoughts of Miriam and felt saddened. These people, these slaves of Pharaoh are so precious to God while they knew so very little about Him. Slavery and living among their oppressors stifled not only their freedom to assemble, and to fill their days, but their awareness of God. The concept of gods made by human hands, was too much for Perambula to bear.

    Trying to recall everything she knew about this God, everything her mother taught her, Miriam drifted into a deep refreshing slumber. She woke up before daybreak as usual, lit  the fire and was about to bake the bread-dough that had been rising all night.

    Aaron entered. “Good morning sister. Ahh fresh bread this morning!”

    “Miriam looked up and said with a hint of sarcasm, “What does our God have planned for us today?”

    Aaron replied, “I don't know. He just tells Moses before it is about to happen.” And then tossed a fig from the bowl into his mouth.

    Just then Moses enetered the room and said, “Come Aaron, let's go back.”

    “I’m ready.” replied Aaron enthusiastically and gave his sister a peck on the cheek and rushed out to catch up with Moses.

    In the middle of the night Moses had been awakened by the need to urinate. Back in bed, while trying to fall asleep again, the Lord spoke. He said, “Rise up early and present yourself before Pharaoh, and say to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and upon your officials, and upon your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth.

    By now I could have stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But this is why I have let you live: to show my power, and to make My name resound through all the earth. You are still exalting yourself against My people and will not let them go. Tomorrow at this time I will cause the heaviest hail to fall that has ever fallen in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. Send, therefore and have your livestock and everything that you have in the open field brought to a secure place; every human or animal that stays in the open field and is not brought under shelter will die when the hail comes down upon them.”

    As they walked Moses was anxious to deliver this message. He tried hard to repeat everything God said to Aaron in his garbled way while they walked to the palace. Aaron was made for this role. He remembered every word that Moses relayed to him, and never questioned or argued with the message.

    Moses and Aaron arrived at the palace, walked in, delivered their message to Pharaoh and his officials who had just arrived for the day's duties. At this latest message Pharaoh appeared dumbfounded. The timbre of Aaron’s voice was so clear and had such authority for a pitiful peasant, that Pharaoh had no response. His magicians had been reprimanded so severely that they hadn’t shown their faces in over a week. Moses and Aaron promptly departed. The officials followed close behind them.

    Those officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord hurried their slaves and livestock off to a secure place. Those who did not regard the word of the Lord left their slaves and livestock in the open field. On the way back home, Moses and Aaron returned to their favorite spot in the hilltop in Goshen to listen for further  instructions. Before long, the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven so that hail may fall on the whole land of Egypt."

    Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire came down on the earth. And the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt; there was haiI with fire flashing continually in the midst of it, such heavy hail as had never fallen in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. The hail struck down everything that was in the open field throughout all the land of Egypt, both human and animal; the hail also struck down all the plants of the field, and shattered every tree in the field.

    Only in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were, there was no hail. From their perch on the hill, Moses and Aaron could see the clouds ejaculating onto the neighborhoods in the distance.

    On their way home a band of locals approached Aaron and asked what was going on. He reported the news about the hail. Some of the men were astonished while one or two others chuckled.

    While the family was eating supper they were suddenly startled by a loud forceful knock on the door. Eliezer got up to answer it. It was no surprise to anyone to find a messenger from the palace who had come to summon Moses and Aaron.  The messenger, not much older than Eliezer, was drenched and bedraggled. Eliezer asked him to join in the meal and the Egyptian boy gladly accepted.

    After supper everyone stood up to leave for the palace. Miriam said, “Don’t you think you should find something to shield yourselves from the hail?”

    “Good idea!” said Aaron.

    “Indeed!” added the messenger boy.

    Miriam looked around the house and decided to let them take her platters to deflect the watery bullets.

    “We must be going now,” said the messenger. “Pharaoh will be furious that I have delayed.

    The brothers agreed and followed the young messenger out of their dry cozy home.

    As they made the familiar trek to the palace it was interesting to note how gradually the driving hail progressed from light rain to thousands of tiny bullets as they approached the palace. They used Miriam’s platters to shield their faces, especially their eyes from the driving hail so they could see where they were going.

    As they passed a field the brothers saw that the flax and the barley were ruined, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in the bud. But the wheat and spelt were not ruined, for they were late in coming up. It was a tragic sight. Their walked turned into a jog. The streets were empty. Even the animals were sheltered, some in barns and others in homes.

    When they arrived at the palace drenched and dripping they were given towels to dry themselves and then the brothers proceeded to the throne room.

    Pharaoh had been waiting for them on his throne. Without a greeting, Pharaoh looked down at the marble floor and said meekly, as if he was about to choke on his words, “This time I have sinned; the Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. Pray to the Lord. Enough of God’s thunder and hail! I will let you go; you need stay no longer.”

    Moses replied “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. But as for you and your officials, I know that you do not yet fear the Lord God.”

    “Be gone!” shouted Pharaoh forcefully. He had been humiliated enough and didn’t need these peasants to tell him whether he feared God or not.

    Aaron and Moses left the palace with the platters deflecting the hail that would have stabbed their faces mercilessly. It would have been impossible to look up to the heavens under those conditions.

    When they arrived at the first spot where there was no more hail, Moses stretched out his hands to the Lord; then the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain no longer poured down on the earth. Moses listened to hear the cheers of the people he saw in the distance venturing out of their homes.

    Back at the palace, when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and thunder had ceased, he sinned once more and hardened his heart, he and his officials. He no longer saw a reason to lose his labor force, and once again changed his mind. So the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had spoken through Moses.

    Monday
    Aug142017

    ALIVE: Chapter 54 The First Degree of Freedom  


    It uses a false measure for a free man to estimate the impact of seeing those swarms of flies buzzing around the Egyptian’s heads, and not theirs. It was like seeing a vast army of aliens from outer space coming to your rescue after 400 years of oppression. A free person might laugh at the sight of hundreds of sets of flailing arms creating a Jackson Pollock dance, but the slaves felt a mysterious multilayered satisfaction, as if justice was born, a flickering sunrise after the longest night. It was a sign from heaven that the earth was about to open up and swallow their suffocating world, consciousness and all. All they could do was to sit in a semi-paralyzed state and wait to see what would happen next.

    The two angels flying overhead reading into slave hearts and minds had pity on these crippled people imagining life with clipped wings. They wondered if they could safely make the short leap from slavery to humility.

    The slave is forced to submit to the will of the master, whereas the humble one voluntarily complies with the will of God without the fear or malice of a slave, but instead with the trust and faith of a child. The similarities between a slave and an child of God are striking and profound, and so are the differences. So much more profound than the difference between a steely willful free man and a yielding humble man. The willful man and the humble man can hardly know each other, being more like a tiger and an artist staring at the other with deep curiosity. No.

    The metamorphosis from slavery to piety can be silky smooth, albeit with lumps and grit. Each is made with a similar pliable fabric, a similar soft texture. Is this why the heavenly Father endured watching so many generations of misery between Joseph and Moses? Were those centuries of gestation and cruel pharaohs the crucibles of God to mold Abraham’s children into His own? The flies not bothering them, was the first centimeter of dilation before their birth into a brand new state of existence. It was the very first sign that these lowly people were special and beloved. The labor pains were still to come.

    The serpent staff, the bloody Nile, the frogs and gnats introduced the Hebrew people to their God with magic. This mysterious ancient God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob of lore became real by showing His power over nature in a shocking way. Egyptian and Hebrew alike witnessed the biggest magic show that there ever was and ever will be until the Second Coming of Christ. For the first time since Creation, the laws of nature, were defied by their Maker in order to show humankind, especially the oppressor-class, the source of real power.

    Magicians were allowed to duplicate the marvels. Yes, magic exists in this world of scientific laws, but only up to a point and no further. They couldn't make gnats because they weren't allowed to, and from that point forward the magicians were bereft of their false power.

    Thousands of years ago, in Egypt, through a series of shocking events God descended from His throne room to become obvious. It was a unique display of real power. It was real, intentional, purposeful, and effective. This chapter of human history, the story of this one people among the millions of ethnicities was as a flash of lightening that illuminates the heavens for a brief moment. If only we can grasp the sight that was exposed, and remember it through the generations and tell our children and our grandchildren what we saw; we would humble scientist and philosophers. It was loud and bright; it was frightening; it was alarming; it was revealing. It only happened once, and only needed to because God, the Maker of heaven and earth, only needed once to transform this one mass of slaves into a free humble people that He could call His own. He only needed one group that some day He would incarnate into for the grain of thirty-three brief years, for one purpose: to free humankind from the iron shackles of death, in this world and the one under it.

    And yet, even God with His armies of angels could not do this alone. He needed one human liaison, one child of man, Moses, whom He raised from birth.

    Moses is a giant of a man, because he was a humble man. He humbled himself to God by listening and doing what was asked of him. Moses allowed God to steer him. God needed Moses to link His power from heaven to earth through his greatest creation, humanity. Moses was most alive by virtue of his extraordinary ability, or was it fortune, to communicate with God, to be His tool.

    On the day when Pharaoh first rescinded his permission for the Hebrews to leave to worship their God, the people cried. This event too was part of their introduction to the Lord and King. This terrible disappointment was their first opportunity to become humble, trusting people of God. God knew He had to pry them away gently, so He did this with a succession of five offers by Pharaoh to allow them to worship in the wilderness.

    God knew that no one was yet ready to be free. He had to tease them out of Pharaoh’s clutches for their sakes and so Pharaoh could get used to the idea. This also explains why Moses only asked for three days when he meant forever.

    Monday
    Feb202017

    ALIVE: Chapter 44 Moses' Midlife Miracle 


    Overwhelmed, Moses had only imagined running away from the extinguished burning bush when he fainted. God was far from finished speaking to him.

    "Gracefeld, Perambula, wake up this man that I may continue to instruct him!" ordered God.

    Perambula spoke up. "Lord, I'm afraid that speaking with You was too much for him. He needs a moment to absorb the magnitude of Your presence. Let's be patient and let his subconscious process."

    "I must agree my Lord." added Gracefeld in uncharacteristic defiance of God's command.

    The two angels and God looked down at Moses laying barefoot and fast asleep in a fetal position.

    "He looks so peaceful doesn't he?" said Gracefeld.

    "Please wake him up Perambula; there is much to do and I am ready to get started."

    "How can You be in a hurry after waiting so many centuries?" replied Perambula and quickly added, "my Lord!"

    Without any help, or at least any perceived help from either angel Moses gradually opened his eyes to find himself still in front of the flaming bush. He quickly closed them again refusing to accept such a phenomenal reality and wishing only to flee back into his increasingly illusive dream.

    "Moses!" bellowed God. "Stay with Me. This conversation is only the beginning of the wonders you will see and perform as My right hand."

    Moses awkwardly propped himself to his feet while saying, "Lord God. I am a simple shepherd. Let me go and tend my flock. I know Pharaoh. He will never release the Hebrews."

    Without responding to Moses' request God continued, "I know, however, that the king of Egypt will not let My people go unless compelled by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders that I will perform in it; after that he will let you go. I will bring this people into such favor with the Egyptians that, when you go, you will not go empty-handed; each woman shall ask her neighbor and any woman living in the neighbor’s house for jewelry of silver and of gold, and clothing, and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters; and so you shall plunder the Egyptians.”

    Perambula looked over at Gracefeld and said, "That will be the day! How can those spoiled Egyptians survive without their slaves?"

    Then Moses, at the pace of cool honey, accepted the fantastic situation he was in, and said, “But suppose they do not believe me or listen to me, but say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’”

    The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

    He said, “A staff.”

    And He said, “Throw it on the ground.” So Moses threw the staff on the ground, and it became a snake; and Moses drew back from it.

    Then the Lord said to Moses, “Reach out your hand, and seize it by the tail”—so he reached out his hand and grasped it, and it became a staff in his hand— “so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”

    Moses looked at his staff and chuckled. He was amazed by what God did with his own staff. He looked up at the burning bush with a huge grin on his face, and then looked back at his wooden staff and tapped it on the ground twice. Indeed it was as hard as ever.

    Again, the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.”

    With the grin still frozen on his face, Moses put his hand into his cloak; and when he took it out, his hand was leprous, as white as snow. Moses gasped in horror and quickly looked up at the flaming bush for an explanation.

    Then God said, “Put your hand back into your cloak”—so he put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored like the rest of his body— “If they will not believe you or heed the first sign, they may believe the second sign. If they will not believe even these two signs or heed you, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground; and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”

    Perambula turned to Gracefeld and said, "Have you ever, since the creation of man, known God to speak so much to a person... who can hear Him? I confess Gracefeld, this alone is more astonishing to me than any of these magic tricks."

    "Maybe so, maybe since Eden, but then neither you nor I went to Eden, so we wouldn't know. What God is about to do is probably important enough to defy the laws of nature." replied Gracefeld who was both irritated and offended by Perambula's use of the word magic.

    "Freeing a few slaves?" questioned Perambula.

    "Remember Perambula, these people that He wants to free, don't really know Him. God is about to introduce Himself to His children!" Tears welled up in Gracefeld' angel eyes to match Perambula's emotions. "You take knowing God for granted Perambula. Soon you will witness a facet of God that you have never seen."

    While the angels chatted with each other Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”

    Then the Lord said to him, “Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.”

    But he said, “O my Lord, please send someone else.”

    Perambula whispered, "This isn't going very well. This man doesn't even want to help God answer the prayers of his own people, of the mothers and fathers of abused children! What a coward of a man, what laziness, what a worm!"

    Then the anger of the Lord was also kindled against Moses and he said, “What of your brother Aaron the Levite?"

    Perambula surprised that God would offer to appease this coward rather than destroy him and find someone else, also wondered how Moses could have a brother since all the baby boys had been killed when Moses was a baby. Gracefeld heard Perambula's thoughts and shrugged. He assumed that this brother was in-fact a cousin, since God called him a Levite, a cousin who had been born in a remote village, closer to Midian where he first met the refugee Moses, a distance from the grasp of Pharoah's henchmen. Besides, the identity of this co-worker did not matter, neither to Gracefeld, nor to God who must have known this would happen and prepared for it.

    Annoyed by the angels' side conversation, but aware that Moses could not hear them God continued, "I know that he can speak fluently; even now he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you his heart will be glad. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. He indeed shall speak for you to the people; he shall serve as a mouth for you, and you shall serve as God for him. Take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs. Go.”

    This time the flame of the burning bush sputtered until it was thoroughly extinguished. The bush rapidly returned to its facelessness. After several moments used to collect himself Moses tightly gripped his magical staff, turned his back on the bush and walked down the mountain gradually shedding the person he had been, a man of fear and doubt.

    Perambula and Gracefeld helped Moses round-up his sheep and goats. Nevertheless, Moses didn't have time to ponder his new mission until he was back home. When he arrived his wife and sons greeted him cheerfully, but Moses was not ready to tell them about his conversation with the Voice in the burning bush. He needed time to ponder his brand new role as savior, as God's ambassador to the mighty king of his world. After supper, Moses announced to his wife that he would return in the morning, and grabbed a bedroll, and walked out of his boisterous home and into the still and silent desert, to a spot where he often went to think. Under the stars Moses looked back on his life, his extraordinary life from the earliest time he could remember, when he had to leave his loving mother and sister and go to live in the palace as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He had cried for weeks, but she was patient and kind, often trying to distract him from his grief with marvelous objects, including his first puppy, his childhood companion.

    Early the next morning, fortified with newfound courage, Moses went back to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, “Please let me go back to my kindred in Egypt and see whether they are still living.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”

    A few days later, the familiar Voice of the Lord called out to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt; for all those who were seeking your life are dead.” So Moses took his wife and his sons, put them on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt; and Moses carried the staff of God in his hand.

    And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.

    Hearing that Perambula flew over to where Gracefeld was to say, "Why is God hardening Pharaoh's heart to do the opposite of what God wants him to do? This doesn't make sense!"

    Gracefeld often marveled at Perambula's stupidity, but being an angel Gracefeld knew that tolerance and patience were essential and replied, "He knows that the journey from slavery to freedom will be long and difficult, requiring much faith and perseverance. The people will be tested over and over again to build their strength and endurance. They will need the memory of marvels to cling to, to remind them that God, their God and Father, is with them guiding them, not only on the physical journey, but on a psychological and spiritual aspects of the journey to a promised land, that only you and I know is lightyears into the future.

    Friday
    Jan272017

    ALIVE: Chapter 42 Never Forget

    Perambula and God left the Jordan River and John with a crowd waiting to undergo the mock flood they called baptism. The curious angel figured that John demanded their repentance to qualify them to be in the imaginary ark of salvation which explained to the angel how baptism worked and why.

    God broke into the angel's musings, "Wrong." He said. "The baptized are those outside the ark. They are the resurrected who drowned in the Flood, but were reborn purified. Some events are so important that I can't let time bury them. The Flood is that. My people must be baptized." God looked deep into Perambula's angel eyes for signs of understanding, then added:

    "It is one thing for me to grieve all the death and destruction the Flood caused, but for the catastrophe to have purpose equal to its horror, it must be useful throughout time. No one must ever forget that the world was annihilated for the wickedness of humankind, their hateful self-centered ways. Every generation must be reminded that the reward of wickedness is death, because I meet-out Justice!"

    "Awareness is pretty important to You, isn't it Sir?" said Perambula.

    "Wisdom and knowledge separate man from animal. The dawn of awareness is the divide between death and life, sleep and wakefulness, darkness and light. I made light to initiate life and awareness. I want to make a world with no ignorance, with no darkness, with no death whatsoever."

    "A world without death." echoed Perambula wistfully and added, "You know Lord, that You already have such a world with us angels. And if the people turn into spirits after their bodies die, what do we need with human beings? They're such a nuisance!"

    "Don't be absurd Perambula!" bellowed God causing tidal waves through the heavens.

    Perambula recoiled.

    It was that moment that Perambula learned how sensitive God could be, and that God learned how ignorant Perambula could be.

    God continued as if nothing happened. Perambula re-inflated. "I am proud of matter. Humans pride themselves in their discoveries of the complexity of My masterpiece. Why oh why would I ever want to go back to living in a spirit world! NO! NEVER; no matter how difficult the battle of Wills, I will prevail, even if it takes seven millennia instead of seven days to make the new immortal earth.

    I WILL make a new earth and fill it with tangible human replicas of Me, who by their own will and with their own intelligence, overcome the temptations of the evil one. That spoiler will be in prison for a thousand years. No Perambula, there will be earth and skies and seas, but no flood and no corruption. There will be life without death, awareness without sleep, joy without sorrow, health without illness, faith without doubt, peace without conflict, truth without lies."

    Perambula's eyes swelled, and the angel looked back down upon the earth with its thousand colors and textures, viscosity, and purposes and looked upon the people there talking and working, and for the first time the angel knew jealousy. For the first time the angel understood the word 'reality'. Perambula knew that what was seen was only a sliver of reality, and that material beings could only relate to that sliver, which Perambula contentedly viewed as a flaw.

    Then, as if God was changing the subject, He said,"Just as you rightly feel the full weight of the event of Abraham about to slay Isaac on Mount Moriah, for yielding his will to Mine in trust, there was a similarly powerful event that they must repeat every year through time for the benefit of its lesson on life and death. You should know of the contrast between slavery and freedom."

    "What is slavery my Lord?"

    How could I explain slavery to an angel? thought God. One person forcing his will on another, when even I as God would not force My will on Satan? God stood quietly pensive for a while. Perambula was quiet too, hollow, and patient until God said,

    "Oh my dear Perambula, of course you don't understand slavery. Allow Me to explain. Those humans, made in My image and likeness each have an inborn sense of self. This sense is called the ego, or the "I". The ego operates through something they call the "will" of the person. The will is the engine of the ego driving the person hither and yon. Do you understand?"

    Perambula tried to visualize a mechanical will driving a shell of an ego and said, "Lord, it seems to me that Satan has an ego too."

    "Satan and his demons have less power than humans. In fact, that was what I was about to say. The ego of most humans drives their will to become powerful. Power that can be used to build and power that can be used to destroy. But that is overly simplistic.

    Some humans consistently compare one with another, one group with another. They are being hierarchical, looking always for their advantages. They squirm, push and shove, elbow to climb over others. Some are more subtle but for many of those, it is to reach a lofty position from which to yield power over the others. Gold, knowledge, beauty are their tools like mountain climbers use spikes and ropes.

    Nature is their nemesis. Time corrupts, disease distorts and steals back the power."

    Perambula broke in, "Slavery Lord? You were going to tell me about slavery?"

    "Ah, yes. Thank you. Humans can be very useful to each other. They help each other and they use each other. A person's labor, if with little cost, enriches the most powerful. To enslave, to force groups of people has throughout history been a most beneficial practice. My own people fell into slavery, and I allowed that to teach them about the Will."

    "Did they learn? Where was I when all this was happening my Lord?"

    "It was after Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac and long before John started baptizing. My people were lead into Egypt because of famine in the land."

    "Did you have something to do with that Lord?"

    Ignoring the question God continued,"As I promised, Abraham's offspring grew in numbers and in strength, but not yet with land and kings of their own."

    "Lord," interrupted Perambula, "why are you withholding the promise of land for so long?"

    "I used their desire for the land to drive and to teach, and to test them. Back to the story, as the years went by and new kings ruled over them, kings felt threatened and had to suppress the Hebrews, fearful that they would conquer Egypt and take the fertile land and enslave the Egyptians.

    The Egyptian king told the midwives to kill every baby boy at birth but the midwives knew that the Hebrews were God's people and they feared God's revenge if they did, so they let the boys live. Pharaoh then commanded all his people to throw every Hebrew baby boy into the river Nile to drown."

    "How awful!"exclaimed Perambula. "How did I not know this?"

    God replied, "All of my angels cannot be assigned to earth. Nevertheless, a certain baby boy was placed by his parents in a basket and floated on the river. Pharaoh's daughter came down to bathe in the river and spotted the baby in the basket. The baby was crying and she took pity on him. The baby's sister looked on and when she saw that her brother touched the heart of Pharaoh's daughter, she asked if Pharaoh's daughter would like her to get a nurse to feed the baby. That was so agreeable that Pharaoh's daughter said she would pay the nurse to feed her baby. So the sister took her baby brother to his very own mother to be fed and grow in safety."

    "Ahh, what a nice ending." sighed Perambula.

    God smiled and continued.

    "The baby grew strong and when he was weaned the sister took him to Pharaoh's daughter as her son. She named the baby Moses which means to be taken from the water."

    "Gee," said Perambula, this is familiar! Being rescued from drowning in the water; sounds like the baby was given its own ark!"

    God smiled again at His angel's quickness and continued. "This was not the end of the story, but just the beginning.
    For hundreds of years Abraham's offspring served the Egyptians against their will in slavery."

    "And You allowed that my Lord?!"

    "Yes." and He continued, "The child Moses grew as Pharaoh's privileged grandson. On the surface he was Egyptian royalty, while deep inside he was a lucky Hebrew. One day Moses witnessed an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave. The inner Hebrew Moses became irate, looked around for witnesses and saw none, so he killed the cruel Egyptian and buried him in the sand."

    "Oh my!!!"

    "Weeks later Moses saw two Hebrews fighting and tried to break it up, when one of them said to him, "Do you mean to kill me as you did the Egyptian?" That shocked Moses, and the word of it got back to Pharaoh. Before Moses could be arrested he fled into the desert."

    Perambula said, "Were You not angry too that Moses killed the Egyptian?"

    God replied, "He knew it was wrong. To Moses it was an act of justice for which he duly suffered punishment by exile loss of power, position, and comforts. Moses became a refugee, lest he become a prisoner."

    Perambula stood agape. The angel was fascinated by the story which wiped away any jealousy he had felt over humans moments before.

    During those terrible years of slavery, My people, Abraham's offspring, recipients of the covenant, experienced slavery to understand the value of a free will. To appreciate freedom, they had to experience bondage. There is also a bondage to wickedness, to anger and hatred that is as powerful as the subjugation of one person to another.

    My dear angel, would that you could see how Satan's defiance of My Will and My Power will forever limit that fallen angel's free will. Satan believes that an army of souls are gathering behind the veil of darkness, but without precious bodies and without light, they will forever be hostage to each other."

    "The lesson is so dark My Lord! Will Abraham's children ever ever receive the land and power of your promise? Will they ever learn?" cried the angel.

    God grew frustrated over telling Perambula about Moses. Although in the description He could provide commentary, it was time to take the angel to Egypt.

    "Perambula, let us go to Egypt so you may witness for yourself the conditions Abraham's children fell into as they struggled with slavery."

    "Are you forcing me to go with You, or am I allowed to refuse my lord?"teased the angel.

    Without answering God quickly started the journey back in time, but not very far in space.

    Perambula raced to keep up.