Don Goulding - Blog

Author and Pen

ink pen hand 2ewmrzBut you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge. Dan. 12:4 (NIV)

One day a fountain pen decided he would write a letter, or perhaps even a thesis. He wanted the world to know he was important. The pen searched for facts that would be impressive on paper. He consulted a globe, a ruler and books. Everyone was helpful in providing data. He learned a range of details about life, and even the circumference of the world.

The pen couldn’t write without a hand holding him and now he longed for someone to pick him up so he could astonish the world with his knowledge.

When the master finally set out paper, the pen tried to think of something eloquent. Blips of information ran through his mind, two plus six equals eight and Magellan sailed around the world, but he had nothing truly significant to say. When he tried to express himself, streaks and blotches appeared on the stationery. 

The master stared at the awkward pen, shook it, and said, “What’s the matter with you?”

“I wanted to write brilliant phrases but I’m confused by the information I worked so hard to gather.”

“Silly pen. Pens don’t write. That’s the master’s job. If you want to be valuable, stop exhausting yourself acquiring facts and know my heart. I need a pen that anticipates my loops and strokes until the words flow effortlessly onto the page. You and I can create breathtaking paragraphs, but only if you accept being a pen and let me be the author.”

Prayer: Holy Master, take my life in hand and write freely.


Live the Fantasy

Frame 24 09 2018 11 11 40But you have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the assembly and congregation of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous, who have been made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant … Hebrews 12:22-24 (NETFull)

In rural Pakistan I watched girls playing with primped Barbie Dolls. The incongruity of brown children bending white dolls was forgotten as I gawked at the Middle Eastern layout of their dollhouse. Cardboard boxes were separated inside a miniature wall. The Barbie-mother was all beauty as she entertained royalty on a mat in the courtyard.

It dawned on my ethnocentric brain that of course the home would be fashioned like an extended family compound, what else had the darling builders ever known? Barbie didn’t notice anything was amiss as she carried out her perfect life like she does in every child’s world.

Humans are born with a universal capacity to indulge in fantasies of love, battle, and heroism. Boys envision battles while girls dream of romance. Even our music and art reflect our imaginings of grandeur. We crave something more than this monochrome life.

Because of Christ, we no longer need to deceive our hearts with science fiction or dime store romance. Our yearning for a bigger life is actualized. Instead of milking drama from the television, I am named as a character inside the most riveting storyline to ever exist. The Christian faith lets me intertwine with ultimate beauty and bring monsters down by prayer.

It turns out that old, insignificant me is not so boring after all. My truest existence really does include unearthly dimensions, heroism, and victories. Reaching for full life in Christ thrusts me into the most epic of life dramas.

Prayer: Valiant Jesus, with you the fantasy is real.


Primal Trust

IMG 9206“Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are?” (Matthew 6:25-26 NET_FL)

Food and water, check. Sleeping bags and pillows, check. Extra toilet paper, check. Our first mission trip to Mexico we were nervous about food, beds, and toilets. For mealtimes we ate from tin cans. At night we crawled into our van and shut the doors. And we wrinkled our noses at the bathrooms. The orphanage children must have thought we were loony. It resulted in needless worry and limited opportunities to engage the Mexican cherubs in their world.

Now I travel for months with only a knapsack. I’m learning my bond with Jesus is defined more by my trust in his provision of basic life needs than it is by success in leading revivals. 

If I live on more than $2.50 per day, then I’m ahead of one half of the world’s population. There is a trust that develops with the contact of living directly out of God’s hand. The half of us who have more than $2.50 miss that primal relationship.

To live out of God’s hand means I pray through needs instead of fixing everything with money. It means I know my value to my Father, embrace his faithfulness, and wait on his generosity. Taking each morsel from his hand reminds me his touch is near. I can rely on him for breakfast this morning, money to pay bills tomorrow, and life in the full through eternity. 

Perching on his hand also infuses me with courage to help the other half of the world.

Prayer: Loving Father, may I trust you today like the birds of the air.


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