Don Goulding - Blog

The Volcano

gateway to hell 982x750Sinners are afraid in Zion; panic grips the godless. They say, ʻWho among us can coexist with destructive fire? Who among us can coexist with unquenchable fire. (Isaiah 33:14 NET_FL)
 
To die to self and live for Christ is like jumping into a volcano. Nevertheless, I was so disillusioned with the world’s alternatives that I volunteered for the plunge.
 
My knees flexed ready to spring out but then I led with my head instead of my heart. I was scuffed and slid down on my rear. When you make your leap, don’t hesitate. It only makes the descent painful. Jump into the middle.
 
Now I’m falling inside the volcano, and yet, I’m more alive then ever before. The heat intensifies as one plummets and holy fire chars impurities at each temperature gradient. Once I grew accustomed to the tolerable loss, I realized the joy of the cleansing outweighs what I suffer. It feels beautiful to soar free of those encumbrances.
 
At first, I worried my identity would melt into oblivion, but that’s impossible. Whatever is yielded to the blaze is instantly remade as a new and fireproof me—the real me. 
 
Another observable phenomenon is that the deeper I fall, the more transparent the world appears while the things of the Spirit are increasingly real. Those questions we used to discuss on the rim—is God in our details, does the Spirit still do miracles—in here, all that’s obvious.
 
I’m not there yet but I can see the core is made of molten love. By the time I fall into its radiant heart, there will be less of the old me to burn. I’ll be impervious to heat, as the love-lava passes through my spirit in perfect completion.
 
I can’t wait to get there.
Prayer: Holy Creator, let me fall into white-hot love with you.
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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.

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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.

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