This evening I find myself craving pizza.  I remember back to all the pizza-like concoctions I’ve eaten as a kid.  The pizza casserole, which coincidentally is in the Manna: LCF style cookbook.  The tiny microwavable pizzas that I regularly took to school when I was in 7th grade.  To be fair, I ate it for a snack after chapel and mooched off almost every classmate I had.  The precursor to Totinos or D journos that took 660 seconds too long in the oven, which was too slow in reaching the prescribed temperature anyway.  I’m pretty certain I ate at least 2 of those at a time then as I do now.

The best version of the pizza is the recipe my grandma made almost every time we went up to the farm back when I was little.  They were made with homemade dough and fresh or frozen veggies, but always with black olives.  Hot out of the oven and the mounds of melted cheese, they were what I’m absolutely certain ambrosia tasted like, if one disregards all the talk that ambrosia tastes like honey.

Yet today, that memory can do nothing for my craving, save perhaps make it sharper.  In my current state, I am left with limited options but no amount of Vegetable Beef soup or Peanut Butter and Jelly will satiate this, no matter whether I manage to satisfy my hunger or not.  I don’t see how someone could see that I’ve written this without inferring that I will arrive at some point, which I will do now.

Do we ever stop to think about what we crave spiritually? Are we trying to fulfill that craving with something that we aren’t craving? Are we bankrupting ourselves trying to find that satisfaction?  Jesus said coming to Him causes hunger to be satisfied and believing in Him quenches thirst.  How could He say that if He wasn’t what we craved or were thirsty for?  So then, will you, will I, come to Him and let Him satisfy our longing souls?

Reasons to Walk-in

Today, work got called off again because of the weather.  I can’t say I blame my boss for that since the wind chill is hovering right around 0 degrees Fahrenheit.  It takes more energy to keep warm in those temperatures and work gets done more slowly.  There are all these reasons why work can’t or won’t get done, but I’m really frustrated about not getting hours so that my paycheck covers my expenses.  Perspective dictates that I rest in thankfulness for the job God provided and the grace to endure any lean times.

As I regain the proper focus, I wonder if God is ever frustrated with my excuses.  I read about God being frustrated with the children of Israel because of their disobedience in the Wilderness and their excuses why the Promised Land couldn’t be conquered.  The stories of the Old Testament have always been both history as well as metaphors to me and so the stories apply to me as well.

Part of my frustration is that I drive clear across town to the job site only to discover that we aren’t really going to do any work and then I have to drive clear back across town to my house, without any paid hours to show for it.  Isn’t that always the same with God when we make excuses for not meeting Him?  He always has great things to show us about Himself and our own lives, but we make excuses for missing the appointment.  Didn’t we agree we needed Him the first time we came to Him and gave Him the throne of our lives?  Did we not pencil in a daily appointment to “hang out” with our greatest friend?

Yet the winds blow, the storms come; the business of life sets in and steals the time of growth in our lives.  You see, unlike house building, it is the stormy and windy times of life that we need the lifeline the most.  When things get busy is exactly the time we need our Sustainer the most.  Our excuses shouldn’t be the reason we don’t keep our appointment with God; they should be reasons to be a walk-in.

Y is for Youth


“And afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” Joel 2:28

In lieu of this passage, I find an attitude within the church of Jesus Christ to be very problematic and personally upsetting.  It spawns from the relatively obscure story of Rehoboam, the son and heir of Solomon’s Empire, when he rejected the advice of the elders and instead listened to his young friends.  There is a distrust or sense of not taking young people seriously that I find disturbing, given how many examples there are in the Bible of young people doing the work of God or speaking the words of God.

If you start at the beginning and work your way through it, you’ll discover that Enoch was relatively young when he was taken (365 is to 969 what 30 is to 80).  Joseph was 30 when he became the second in command of all of Egypt (Remember he was as young as 17 when he became overseer of Potiphar’s entire house).  Samuel was only a boy when the Lord first spoke to him concerning Eli’s sons.  Joash, one of Judah’s godly kings took the throne at age 7.  Hezekiah was 25; Josiah was 8 and at 26, he conducted the first renovation of the temple in years and then held the greatest Passover feast since the days of the judges.  2 Kings 23:25 says that there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with his whole heart.  Uzziah, the good king of Judah that Isaiah mourned before his famous vision of the temple, was 16 when he became king and he also did what was right in the sight of God.  Esther is described as “young”.  Jesus was twelve when He wowed the teachers of the law in the temple after the Feast of the Passover in Luke 2:41-50.  Of the 12 disciples, only Peter was old enough to be required to pay the temple tax in Matt 17:24-27, which implies that they were younger than 20 (Exodus 30:13)

Yet we forget it was the older generation that God killed off in the Wilderness, because they did not believe Him.  Countless kings apostatized in their old age, where when they were young they followed God but somewhere along the line they rejected Him.

Somehow, we’ve equated age with maturity level or ability to hear from God.  While it can be an indicator, I think it behooves us to take even the youngest of speakers seriously.  It would be a shame if we miss out on what God wants to teach us because we can’t see past the fact that His messenger was wet behind the ears.  What kind of mess would we have if people hadn’t followed Samuel after God told him about the death of Eli’s wicked sons?  Or if everyone wrote off Peter when he stood up to address the crowd at Pentecost?  So then, why do we write off anyone who is a third of our age as someone who can’t speak into our lives, who has nothing to offer us in our pursuit of God?

“Let no one despise your youth but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 Tim 4:12

X is for X Plagues

X Plagues

When God set out to deliver the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt and establish them among the kingdoms of the world, He decided to display His mighty power and make an example of the Egyptians.  In ancient times, a civilization’s might and success in battle was believed to be an extension of the power of her gods.  Egypt, at the time of the Hebrew bondage, was the foremost in economic power and military reach.  Their huge towering monuments were built on the backs of slaves, Hebrew slaves.  Therefore, God’s miraculous signs, which we call plagues, struck directly at the philosophical heart of their might, their belief in their false gods.

Each plague targets a particular Egyptian god as an assault on the religious structure of their society.  I will quickly list them off and then conclude with some comments.

I- The water of the Nile turned to blood (Ex 7:14-25); an assault on Khnum, the guardian of the river source; Hapi, the spirit of the Nile; Osiris, the Nile was his bloodstream (Therefore, their god was bleeding, lol)

II- Frogs (Ex 8:1-15); and assault on Heqt, the Egyptian frog goddess

III- Lice (Ex 8:16-19); an assault on Seb, the earth god of Egypt; attributed to the “finger of God”

IV- Flies (Ex 8:20-32); an assault on Uatchit, the fly god of Egypt; God now makes a separation between Egypt and the Israelites

V- Disease on Cattle (Ex 9:1-7); attack on Ptah, Hathor, Mnevis, Amon, Egyptian gods associated with cattle,

VI- Boils (Ex 9:8-12); attack on Sekhmet, the Egyptain goddess of epidemics; Serapis and Imhotep, their gods of healing

VII- Hail (Ex 9:13-35); assault on Nut, their sky goddess, on Isis and Seth, their agricultural deities and on Shu, their god of the atmosphere

VIII- Locusts (Ex 10:1-20); Assault on Serapia, their deity protector from locusts

IX- Darkness (Ex 10:21-29); Attacks on Re, Amon-re, Aten, Atum, and Horus, the Egyptian sun gods; and on Thoth, their moon god.

X- Death of Firstborn (Ex 12:29-36); this is an attack on all of Egypt’s gods as well as the Pharaoh, both his ability to continue to rule as well as the belief that the Pharaohs were gods

As you can see, God demonstrated His power over each and all of Egypt’s deities, while at the same time attacking their economic might as well.  Plague X left the kingdom’s ability to endure in jeopardy, but the cool thing is that the utter destruction of a civilization wasn’t yet complete.  God would, days after killing the firstborn of Egypt (yes it was the Lord, not merely an angel of death), destroy the entire might of the Egyptian military in a torrential wave at the Red Sea (Ex 14).

You can imagine what fear spread throughout the known world that the God of the Hebrews was not a God to contend with.  Time and again, He dismantled the power of the enemies of the Israelites and secured them in the Promised Land.  He did the same for us on the cross when He died, if we’d just believe Him, dismantling the power of Satan and the sting of death.

“Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory?…Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” 1 Cor 15:54b-55, 57

W is for Word


“All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  2 Tim 3:16-17

The missionary John Reider, who spent 35 years in the Ivory Coast and another 30 years in Mound City Kansas working a retreat camp, told me this once. He said, “You cannot know God until you live with Him in the word.”  Now, if any of you know John, he lives in the word.   Several years ago, we took some youth down to Mound City, to Shalom, to help with repairs and such.  We asked John, who is in his nineties now, to speak to us one night.  He talked for an hour and a half from the Scriptures without cracking open his bible; he had that much committed to memory.  I like to think of him as the modern day Enoch from Genesis 5:24.  “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”

I have said not just a few times that we ought to be getting know our bridegroom while we await His return.  I don’t know about you but I find it hard to get to know someone if I’m not with them or talking with them somehow.  Now I may not be the greatest conversationalist in the world and in fact I’m horrible just because of my personality, but I still try.  I recently acquired a pair of in-laws, one that I was fairly close to already and the other one not as much.  I very easily could have thought “meh, one out of two isn’t that bad” and not taken the effort to get to know them on some level, citing this difficulty as an excuse.  But we would never do that.

Yet we do that with God all the time.  Studying the Bible is hard; setting aside the time is difficult.  The piercing edge of God’s holy Word cuts deep, (Heb 4:12) sometimes it hurts.  So instead of engaging the Word as we’re encouraged to, we shy away from it; we let our pastors and Sunday school teachers engage Him and tell us what He said.  We, like the Israelites in Exodus 34:29-35, put a veil between us and God so that our hearts are shrouded and we cannot be molded into Christ’s image.

Deut 6:6-9-> “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Psalm 119 is full of verses talking about the Law of God.  It’s a chapter, though long, that I’d suggest reading.  Verse 105 says “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  Verse 11:  “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”  A personal favorite for me is in Jeremiah 15:16 “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.  If you are in the Word enough, Jeremiah 20:9 becomes true of you.  “Your Word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones.  I was weary of holding it back and indeed I could not.”

I have found that it is easier to not sin in my actions, thoughts and attitudes when I have been reading the Bible that day.  When I don’t have that daily immersion and washing, I can easily forget God and try to take control again, trying things in my own strength.  Indeed, In the Word is the cure, being refined by your Friend so that His likes and dislikes become yours and His attitudes and thoughts become yours.

V is for Victory


Carl Frederick Buechner is an American writer and theologian who has won awards for his works.  He’s an ordained Presbyterian minister and graduate of Princeton.  He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1981 and presented with many honorary degrees since he graduated after World War Two.  In his book, Wishful Thinking, Buechner writes, “The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

God calls His people to participate with Him in bringing His kingdom to men.  Our role in that is revealed when God breathes His spirit into our talents, abilities, interests and personalities.  Just as an employer would never hand his employee a task without equipping him to perform it, so much more, God would never give us a task without equipping us for it.

I believe there are two main avenues that the enemy uses to get us off track.  Neither one is necessarily sinful; they often act as distractions from the purpose for which we’ve been called.  These are the focal point of every attack and temptation, because if the enemy can get you to not fulfill your calling, you will live defeated and useless.  Now for the big reveal, these two avenues are 1) distorting your talents, abilities, interests or personality or 2) bringing tension between the desires of your heart and God’s kingdom.  I’ll give you some examples of what I mean.

This past month, I believe that I have been fulfilling a piece of my calling.  I have never felt more alive or more excited as when I hear responses to the things I write.  I love hearing about how the thoughts I’ve committed to paper (or virtual paper) have moved others, either to think or to tearful revelation.  Yet it saddens me to say that at no other time in my life would this, these essays, have been possible.  For a long time, I succumbed to the attack that said that I had nothing to offer and if I did, no one wanted to hear about it.

From the time I was a teenager, I walked around thinking that no one wanted to hear what I had to say.  I thought no one was interested in me.  I was an extreme introvert as much by choice as I was by personality.  Yet, I could still have internal conversations, whether or not they were logical or cohesive didn’t matter, and I had/have a very active imagination.  I have always been interested in writing and wrote my first short story on one of the earliest Macintosh’s when I was 7 years old.  At ten, I started writing a mystery series that reached 120 pages.  All during college, I wrote an epic novel, at first with the help of my cousin and then later on my own.  I finished a first draft of it a year and a half ago and it was almost 450 pages long.

I graduated high school not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, much less what God wanted to do with it.  I enjoyed strategy, history and writing and talking about it.  I set out to be a teacher without really asking for counsel about it from anyone, least of all my God.  I discovered I liked teaching, just not school, and graduated with a history degree three years ago after 12 semesters and two failed attempts to be accepted into the Teachers College at UNL.

At the same time, most of my life was internal and private.  I dwelt long in silent thought, until thought spun out of control.  I lost focus and couldn’t concentrate; even the mirage of my control was uncontrolled.  I called it being restless or bored out of my mind, but I had just simply lost control of it, of everything.  One of the strengths of my personality, my sharp, provoking mind and imagination, had become my weakness, turning against me, sometimes to my own physical harm.  In a word, my personality was distorted and it had convinced me that something was permanently wrong with me.  I seriously thought I was going insane except for the knowledge that insanity is not self-cognizant.  Believing one lie born out of a series of misunderstandings almost destroyed me, literally.

Then, I discovered something.  Until we realize that apart from God, we can do nothing, we will think that somehow we can do all things in our own strength.  That is the root obstacle to a complete surrender to God and victory, because we, I, had bought the lie that said that we could do it, that we had to do it alone.  We can’t, but God can, will, and does.  Until we surrender and are truly in God, we won’t reap the victory.  God is victorious, always, and until we are in that victorious God through complete surrender, we will not see victory in our lives.  It is not that we do anything but God works in us that victory.  A verse that caught me at the right time was 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, which says “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

This second avenue, bringing tension between the desires of your heart and the Kingdom of God, is all about a crisis of belief.  Do you believe that God has what’s best for you at heart?  Do you believe Matthew 6:33 when it says “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you as well”?  The example of what I mean is me again, which makes the rest of this monologue very difficult for me to write.

For over a decade, it’s been my desire to get married and start a family.  It just hasn’t been in the cards, I suppose, probably in large part because of the above struggle.  Frankly, this desire makes weddings and family gatherings difficult for me.  With this, as with other things, it would be tempting to pursue this wholeheartedly to the exclusion of everything else, including God.  In this desire at least, the pursuit can easily lead to very sinful acts.  Sin, we all know, separates us from God; it causes us to want to hide from Him.  If we are hiding from God, we are also not fulfilling that calling.  I know firsthand that not knowing your calling or purpose is very damaging, just as not acting on that purpose leaves you lost, directionless and wandering.

For the past three weeks I’ve laid out a discussion about who God is, what He’s like, what His motives toward us are.  In this as with everything, it boils down to the question: do you believe Him and will you trust Him with this?  My response was like the father of the boy with an unclean spirit from Mark 9:24.  “I believe, help my unbelief.”  I’m not saying that I don’t still struggle with my desire or that I don’t want it anymore, but rather that I have made the choice that my desire will not become a place of contention between me and fulfilling my part in advancing God’s kingdom.  And victory comes when I bow before the Victor and put my hand on His thigh, submitting to Him, knowing full well that I can’t do it on my own.

“In the Word is the cure.”

U is for Unforgiveness


“Regret makes you old and bitterness poisons the people around you.”  “Bitterness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies from it.”  Just as a lack of thankfulness, unforgiveness can have dire consequences, particularly for the ones who call themselves Christians.  What follows comes straight from a devotional I did for a youth trip two years ago.  For this to work, you will need to follow along by reading Bible passages and making observations on your own.

Read Matt 18:21-35

Our willingness to forgive others directly affects how God forgives.

Read Matt 6:14-15

Read Matt 5:23-26

Forgiveness is a very powerful thing and unforgiveness is damaging and crippling.

Can you think of anyone who has done something to hurt you, whether it be intentional or not intentional?  Have you forgiven them?

Is there anyone that you have hurt that you need to ask for forgiveness from?

Whether you have someone to forgive or to ask for forgiveness, I challenge you to make an effort to go to them in person and make it right.  Walking in forgiveness is commanded, which means it’s a choice, not a feeling.  Will you choose to be obedient to the One who forgave you?

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:31-32

T is for Thankfulness


“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

Naturalism is a philosophy that excludes supernatural or spiritual explanations for the cause of the natural world.  It is a Godless philosophy and a blind one.  If one were to consider a spectrum of atheistic versus theistic religions, naturalism would swing to the former.  Just slightly right of center is the beliefs of ancient animism.  I say ancient because the word is also used, starting in the 19th century,  to describe the neo-pagan religions, such as Wicca and the New Age movement.  The ancient understanding of animism is that people worshiped objects and phenomenon as gods i.e. the sun, moon, trees, an eclipse, etc.  I see an explanation of the cause of this and pantheism (Think Greek, Roman, or Norse Mythology) in the passage if you continue reading after my opening quote.

“…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.”  Rom 1:21-23

I find it interesting that Paul writes that thankfulness is one of the causes of false religion and idolatry.  “Thanksgiving” is the expression of joy God ward and is therefore a fruit of the spirit as found in Galatians 5:22.  Paul thanks God over 20 times in his epistles, and urges his readers to do the same.  “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph 5:17-20

Literally the day before I started posting these, we celebrated Thanksgiving.  Setting aside the history of the holiday that started four centuries ago, we consider Thanksgiving to be a day to be thankful and spend it with family and turkey but it’s not.  It’s a daily choice to be grateful to God for who He is and what He does.  The consequences for not being thankful are dire.

“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”

S is for Sin


I have heard the gospel message hundreds of times.  I’ve heard it explained in a number of ways, the most common one being from the angle of Jesus taking our punishment.  I have thought to explore that angle a little further.  How can someone make the claim that He took our punishment?  Jesus was tried by the Sanhedrin in Matthew 26:59-66, Mark 14:55-64, and Luke 22:63-71.  False witnesses couldn’t get their story straight and only with two witnesses could anyone, even Jesus be put to death.  The High Priest took a more direct approach and asked Jesus “Are you the Son of God?”

Jesus’ answer would either be a lie or blasphemy.  God in human form chose to claim that He was the Son of God.  In the eyes of the Sanhedrin, that was blasphemy, punishable by death, and there were plenty of witnesses.  In Isaiah, he is said to be “crushed for our sin and pierced for our transgressions, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him.”  This is where an explanation of my thought process gets hard.   Jesus was falsely accused and killed for blasphemy, claiming to be God.

Several years ago, Jason preached a sermon on “Offerings of the Bible”, which if you want an audio copy of it, I know some sound techs who would be more than happy to burn you a CD.  Anyway, Jason talked about how God sets the standard of the sacrifice, that it must be perfect, spotless, and firstborn.  Part of the text was Malachi 1:7-14 where God through Malachi condemned the bringing of lame, blind, and sick animals to be sacrificed.  A quote that stood out to me was “The minute men determine what the offering should be is the minute they become god.”  God also is the One who determines what is right and what is wrong.

Therefore, when we determine what is right and what is wrong, we’re asserting that we are god.  Another way of saying that is that whenever we sin, we are claiming to be god, because we make the claim that what we’re doing is good and not evil.  Incidentally, Malachi later talks about wearying God when we say ‘everyone who does evil is good in the sight of God’. (Mal 3:17)

Now to formally connect these statements, the assertion that we make when we call sin good is that we can decide what is right and what is wrong, God.  A blasphemous claim.  A claim punishable under the law by death.  Jesus claimed rightly that He was God and was falsely killed for it.  We deserved death for our claim, the death that Jesus received for His claim.  There, He literally took our punishment.  The death we deserved He Himself bore.  But thanks be to God, death had no power over the One who created life.  Truly, the punishment that brought us peace and reconciliation was upon Him.

R is for Rock

Rock of Hiding

“Rock of Ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee.  Let the water and the blood from Thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure; save from wrath and make me pure.”

“Not the labors of my hands can fulfill thy law’s commands.  Could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone.  Thou must save, and thou alone.”

“Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling.  Naked, come to Thee for dress, helpless, look to Thee for grace.  Foul, I to the fountain fly, wash me, Savior, or I die.”

“While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyes shall close in death, when I soar to worlds unknown, see Thee on Thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.”

This hymn has been kind of on the periphery of my knowledge until today, when I looked at how to do this topic.  There is something I purposefully skimmed over in my F is for Face discussion that I want to revisit for a minute.  In Exodus 33, God says in verse 21, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock.   So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.  Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

God hides Moses in the cleft of a rock to protect him from the full effect of His glory.  Jesus is likened to a rock or stone many times in scripture (1 Cor 10:4, Ps 118:22, Isa 8:14).  He is the stone that the builders rejected that has become the capstone (read Luke 20 for Jesus’ interpretation of that statement).  I want to synthesize these two thoughts to make a statement and then move into a word picture I had from this concept.  Just as God hid Moses in the cleft of a rock to protect him from the sheer otherness of His holiness, we also ought to be hidden in Christ as that double cure to save from wrath and make us pure.

“I looked and saw a rock growing out of the earth.  It grew and matured in appearance to the form of a cross, glowing with radiant light.  I knew the light I saw was the glory and majesty of God.  Then a voice cried, ‘Broken witness, come to the Rock; Hide in the Rock.’   Then a man that looked like me but was blurry like from a dream came to the cross and hid behind it.  The glow grew brighter still and the rock expanded further, almost as if it were being lifted up.  The man stepped through the cross and became like the rock, both in appearance and in the glow of Its glorious majesty.  So I looked and the figure that was me reflected the rock.”

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.  Let the water and the blood from Thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure; save from wrath and make me pure.