The Stand

In listening to the music I’d ripped onto my laptop this past week, I came across this song on the Hillsong United CD.  It’s called “The Stand” and I’ve listened to it a lot.

You stood before creation
Eternity within Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure
Carried the Cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I'll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all

So I’ll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours
(c) Hillsong United 2006
JA Menter

His Perfect Timing

Almost two months ago, I moved to my new house called Nob Hill.  In the process of packing up all my stuff, I unearthed a few of my old journals from my years in youth group, including my orbis.  It seems weird reading through them and seeing what junk I was dealing with then, knowing that it was almost ten years ago in some cases.  it just so happened that not many weeks after I moved, the seniors at Z-360 were given the reins to plan the Wednesday night.  Already thinking about what was happening with me back when I was their age, which was only a few years ago but felt like a really long time ago, I listened intently to what each senior had to tell their peers as their last formal words.  I remember mine fairly vividly and my notes for it are scrawled on the front of my orbis in permanent marker.  “No Compromise”  I talked about Christ being our foundation and compromise is letting that foundation crack.  I mentioned the foolish builders from Matt 7 who built his house on sand (a cracked foundation) and when the storms came the house was destroyed.  Apply what we know from Proverbs about wise vs foolish and I would have another blog post to put in the long line awaiting my attention, but this is not really what I want to do here. 

Other things that are in my orbis are notes from Pastor Grady just after he came back from sabbatical.  On Sept 7th, 2003 (which is an anniversary of a date that is imfamous for WW2 historians like me, but that’s just an off-hand dork moment), Grady talked about how Job was surprised by God with a sabbatical.  His timing being perfect like it is, as I read through this trying to decide what entries I would put into my “reminising old journals” post, I was concurrently reading through Job.  That is the connection to my previous post, 789, and to what follows here. 

One of Grady’s texts that sunday was Philippians 2:5-8.  In that passage, Paul tells of how Christ emptied Himself to the point of dying on the cross to be elevated to the Name above every name.  Another pair of verses to check out is Isaiah 28:12-13, which talks about “religion” or “Precept upon precept” hindering the rest God wants to refresh the weary with.  The next week, he used the Isaiah passage to point out that “Without rest, we cannot be emptied or filled with Jesus.” God created us with a need to rest, a true rest only found in Jesus per Matthew 11:28-30. 

So now, Job was surprised with a sabatical when he was emptied of all he had, including I believe his friends.  From that state of emptiness, he saw God and, though declared blamless by God, repented in dust and ashes.  His reward was that the Lord restored to him two-fold what he had before. 

Some interesting thoughts:  We talk a lot about God testing Job, but it was Satan that was givent eh go ahead to attack Job, his possessions and his body.  Perhaps instead, this was Satan testing Job and God proving His omniscience.

Nevertheless, the moral of this post is:

“Rest is a weapon!”

JA Menter

God’s provision of lineage is proved over and over in the bible, but some of the implicated lineages are fascinating.


I don’t really know why I’m writing this at a time when I’ll have more time this afternoon, but here it goes anyway.

“He has stripped me of my glory and taken the crown from my head.  He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone; my hope He has uprooted like a tree.  He has also kindled His wrath against me, and He counts me as one of His enemies.  His troops come together and build up their road against me.  They encamp all around my tent.  He has removed my brothers far from me, and my acquaintances are completely estranged from me.  My relatives have failed and my close friends have forgotten me.  Those who dwell in my house and my maidservants count me as a stranger.  I am an alien in their sight. … For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth.  And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold and not another.  How my heart yearns within me.”   Job 19:9-15;25-26

Perhaps I will be able to make sense of this after work.

Foolish Puppets

Here’s the complete lyrics for the song that I quote part of a lot.  It’s called Puppet Strings by Randy Stonehill.  It’s on his Welcome to Paradise cd.

“I can’t keep from mourning for this topsy- turvy world
With all its strife and pain
Mourning for the lost and the desperate children
Who can’t remember their names”

“And I can feel it in my soul
Now the end is getting near
I can hear the devil laughing
And its ringing in my ears”

“Long ago He chose us to inherit all His kingdom
And we were blessed with light
But wandering away we disobeyed Him in the garden
And stumbled into night”

“And I can feel it in my soul
Now the end is getting near
I can hear the angels weeping
And it’s ringing in my ears”

“We are all like foolish puppets
Who desiring to be kings
Now lie pitifully crippled
After cutting our own strings”

“But God said I’ll forgive you
I will face you Man to man
And win your love again
Oh how could there be possibly
A greater gift of love
Than dying for a friend”

“And I can feel it in my soul
Now the end is getting near
I can hear the devil laughing
And it’s ringing in my ears”

“We are all like foolish puppets
Who desiring to be kings
Now lie pitifully crippled
After cutting our own strings”

“Cutting our own strings
Cutting our own strings
Cutting our own strings”

© 1976 King Of Hearts Publishing

After Long Furlough

There are many ways to start this, except that for perhaps the first time in the history of my blog, I don’t know where I’m taking the topic today.  I sat down to do this because I haven’t in over a week and the backlog just keeps piling up.  The topic I was going to write about last time seems to be less pressing in light of another development in the past nine days.  Yet, I’m not sure I should take this post in that direction.  Perhaps I will give it a go and see what happens in the future.  Again, this is the choice only because it is more seasonally sensative than what I’ve been holding back on the past few weeks.

Two Sundays ago was Father’s Day.  It was a hard time for me and has been for a few years now.  I know it’s a time to recognize fathers and to show them we appreciate what they do and all that, but the only thing I have been able to think about the past three years at this time is the desire to be on the other end of the festivities of Father’s Day.  I love young kids.  I love playing with them. I love how dependent they are on adults.  I love the simple, silly, innocent things that come out of their mouths and show how their minds work. 

So on Father’s Day, Jason’s sermon was on “The Big Two” responsibilities of fathers, instruction and correction.  I was sitting next to Johnny Brunk in the front row as I always do, taking notes as I always do.  At the end of the sermon, which was very good, Jason asked all the fathers to stand.  Jason worded the instructions in such a way that if people hadn’t known it was Father’s Day, every male in the sanctuary would have stood up.  Johnny peered at me as if gauging me to see what I would do before closing his eyes and bowing his head for the prayer.  I remember thinking to myself about how badly I want to have kids one day and I stayed sitted even during the closing song just wrestling with all that those thoughts bring up.  Of course, for me to have kids now would be to put the buggy in front of the horses, as anyone can gather.  I wrestled for a while and went about the rest of the day, probably visibly withdrawn.

Then, this Thursday, I went to do some drywalling at the church before and during Worship practice.  The four year old C was there half unsupervised.  He’s a frequent play buddy of  mine and tore me away from my tedious work with joint compound to throw a ball backa nd forth. Next, we ran around the sanctuary as all young children do. We played basketball with the ball we’d been throwing and then weent into the nursery to eventually play baseball with the stand from a toddler’s colored ring toy as a bat.  To put it bluntly, I had a great amount of fun and so did he.  It is these moments that are so bittersweet for me right now, because of that “not yet” aspect.

Obviously, the “not yet” is because I’m still single, or just simply single.  yet, I was also reminded of that fact this past week.  A friend from church that I graduated with got married Saturday afternoon.  We’d been in the same college class our first semester before the experiences spiraled us into different spheres.  Still, another person I grew up with was married, joining quite a handful of couples.  I have always felt out of place at big weddings and funerals and similar gatherings, like a fish out of water.  I am a introvert, only recently outgoing enough to start a conversation with my friends, much less strangers, yet in a gathering of this kind, there were far more people that I didn’t know than there were that I did. This contributes to my awkward, uncomfortable, reserved moods at these events.  In light of the previous week, my struggle just below the surface raged on.

After the reception, I went to church to finish the drywalling I’d done.  About 6 o’clock, the Yost’s came to church to set up their sunday school class.  J and A wanted to “help” me with some sanding I was doing.  I told them it wouldn’t be the best idea, since they were still all dressed up from the wedding.  Nevertheless, J took the sanding block and began to rub it across the spot of mud I’d been working on all week.  A noticed I had a length of tape wrapped around my thumb and asked me what I’d done.  I told her about an incident the afternoon before at work where I’d been careless with a razorblade. She wanted to see it and I offered to show her the cut on sunday because I didn’t want to get drywall dust in it.  That was acceptable and within a few minutes, the Yost’s had left me to my work.

Redundancy rings bells in my head, as it did with Storms and my dream about snakes.  In this time, all I can do is cling to 2 Tim 1:12b;  “For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep what I have committed to Hm until that Day.” Now, to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever, Amen.

…And Jesus Wept…

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

I was going to write a blog yesterday after work, but got caught up in other things and ran out of time.  I thought the timing was perfect because of the things that have been going on around me.   I had oddly had the urge to write it on Thursday, but again got carried away after worship practice.  Now, I think it was Providence that I didn’t, considering what has been on my heart last night and this morning.  granted, I believe that all things are providentially ordained, but that’s for another time, perhaps.

This past week I’ve struggled with a sin that has been a daily battle dragging on for many years.  I had thought I’d been granted victory in this area and then the temptation came again and I took the fall.  Most certainly a bit of a pride issue, but again, a side note to what I want to say now.  It’s interesting that I can always see a correlation between times of great victory  and getting into the Word and digging deep into it and times of struggle and eventual fall into sin when I’m not as diligent to seek God.  Perhaps that is the first great sin, but that’s for another time too.  (It’s actually in the works; one of those blog ideas I have yet to unveil because it’s not thought out to my standard)  If you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m saying that this past week I haven’t been in the Word as much, not sustained by Christ and His bread.  (I do this because I don’t want to assume things all the time, especially not here)

Needless to say, I was “behind” in my bible reading schedule, or at least in the Old Testament passages.  The last chapter I read previously was Ezra 4 a few days ago.  Last night at the SALT retreat, I spent several hours reading my bible and praying after everyone had settled down to sleep.  I read quickly through the next 4 chapters, until I came to chapter 9.  Verse 3 said that when Ezra had heard that the children of Israel had disobeyed God’s law and intermarried with the pagan peoples of the land, people God commanded them to not associate with but even further to destroy and wipe out from the land, he tore his garments and plucked his beard and fasted in silence.  In verse 5, Ezra bows in prayer to God and asks for God’s mercy on the people and confesses their sin before the Lord.  The first verse of chapter 10 tells us that he was weeping and the people wept with him.  Such was their sorrow over their sin.

It struck me that Ezra saw a great evil being done and, in the tenderness of his heart toward God, he wept for himself and all Israel.  His heart broke with sorrow over the reproach it brought to his people and his God.  At this point, I spent a lot of time praying about this and journaling etc, but I want to pile scriptures on this before I get to that.  This fasting and mournful prayer is a themetic sign of repentance throughout the Old Testament and a physical showing of Jesus’s emotions in the New Testament.  Most often, the fasting and weeping was first done by someone not directly involved in the repenting, but rather one who saw the injustice or sin being done and broke before God.

Nehemiah was the next book I read, after I was finished reading and meditating a bit on Ezra.  The first chapter is about Nehemiah seeing that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and the people were in distress and reproach because of it.  The first thing he did was sit down and weep over Jerusalem, mourning many days, fasting and praying before the Lord.  Again, he saw his people in lack, in calamity, and his response was to weep and mourn before the Lord, praying and fasting.  His heart was tender to their need and he mourned over them.

In 1 Samuel 7, verse 2 says “all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.”   Then Samuel said, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the ashtorehs from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only, and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.”  This began a day of fasting and crying to God in repentance, saying, “We have sinned against the Lord.”

In 2 Samuel 112, we read that, after David had sinned with Bathsheba and she bore a son, God’s judgement was that the son should die.  David pleaded with the Lord for the child, fasting and laying on the ground.  Then, the child died and David went to the house of the Lord and worshipped.  His servants asked him, “What is this thing that you have done?  You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”  His response was interesting:  “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept, for I said ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’  But now he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again?  I shall go to him but he shall not return to me.”  Again, it is probable that David wrote Psalm 51 during this fasting and weeping.

In 2 Chronicles 34, when King Josiah was read a book of the law that was found in the temple, he tore his clothes.  In verse 27, God says “because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before Me when you heard My words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I will hear you…”  This began a time of seeking the Lord by all the house of Israel as the people repented and God prospered them, even though God, like in David’s story above, did not relent on the punishment he would bring on Israel through the Babylonian captivity.

I bring all of this up because each of these stories is about people who saw God’s judgment on sin or God’s glorious name being tarnished and in reproach because of the disobedience of His people.  In each case, their response was to fast, pray, weep and mourn.  Even Jesus lamented over Jerusalem in Luke 13, desiring that they would believe in Him and be gathered again to their Father.  I imagine that lamenting was similar to the emotion of the famous shortest verse in the bible–John 11:35.  The people around Him remarked “See how He loved him!”  Two verses earlier, John relates that Jesus “groaned in the spirit and was troubled.”

Back in late August, I was in worship, singing on stage and I felt the urging of the Holy Spirit to kneel.  I believe the Lord told me that the church was under attack, like the Israelites of Exodus 17.  The thought came, “Will you be Joshua and fight the battle?  Will you be Moses and lift your hands before the Lord in intercessory worship?  Will you be Aaron and Hur who supported his hands?”  By the time it was over, I was crying and had made a puddle of saltwater on the carpet.  I believe I am supposed to be the leader like Joshua, zealous for God and defender of His people.

Several Sundays ago, I had a similar experience without the weeping part, except I was only reminded of this thing which had happened back in August and the insuing events.  I remember times these past many months when I wanted to just weep, to mourn, to release past hurts and pain, but I’d forgotten how.  Last night when I read how Ezra heard and tore, saw great evil in God’s people and wept in the tenderness of his heart, My heart cried out, ” Lord, teach me to weep again; make my heart tender toward You.  Cause my heart to break when Your heart breaks and mourn with the depth of Your emotion; to hate sin as You do.”  God, help me to understand how Your heart breaks when Your creation choses to reject You in the way they live.  Cause my own heart to break in repentance when I choose not to follow You in everything I do, say, and think, but even more that I would desire to always glorify You with those things.

JA Menter

Would if the paradox of God’s Sovereignty and free will were only a matter of perspective? ~JA


So after almost a year wait, I have bought a laptop.  I wanted to get one last summer but school was going to cost the usual arm and a leg so I couldn’t spare a few fingers.  Even this year there were a number of hurdles before I could actually get it.  First, I was going to get it during the school year, in an effort to help with note taking and such, but the taxman took all my life savings at that point.  Then I had a bunch of expenses that required my attention once school got out, such as a new bookshelf and summer clothes and shoes of various occassions.

Tuesday, I went to the computer store and looked at laptops, having received my first paycheck from my summer job almost a week before, bloated with a few hours of overtime.  The first store  I went to had computers that were expensive and I couldn’t have really afforded them.  I went to my parents house to talk to my dad about getting the best deal and checked and then went to BestBuy.  They had exactly what I wanted in my price range.  In fact, the computer I was looking at was at BestBuy for the same price.  That was nice.  Now I had picked out my computer.

There were only two sales reps in the computer section of the store and so I waited for about a half an hour for my turn. the people in front of me in the pecking order didn’t really know what they wanted at all.  Anyway, I had to tell the guy four times that all I wanted was the computer.  I didn’t need to hear what it could do, because I already knew. I didn’t want to hear about extra services for assorbatant extra fees, I couldn’t afford them anyway.

Finally, after being on the hunt for several hours that Tuesday, I was in the checkout.  Unfortunately, checks were my only payment option.  Needless to say, the $480 check didn’t clear with my driver’s license, which he tried five times.  Next, we tried to set up a BestBuy charge account, but that didn’t work either. Without other options, they held the computer for me until yesterday. 

Yesterday, I went to the bank over my lunch break and withdrew $500 to pay for my new tool.  That took the entire time so I didn’t get to eat lunch at all.  After work, I biked to the store and slapped 5 $100 bills on the counter for the laptop. Still, I hadn’t eaten anything substancial that day and needed to get home to take a shower.  I was done with everything except eating by 5, which surprised me greatly, because I thought it would take me much longer to go to the store.

So, in addition to the new bachelor pad, I now also have a computer and unlimited access to the internet.  It has been said that I wouldn’t have the self-control to not be online playing games 24/7. I think that is one thing that separates me from a number of people. When I was 11, I saved my allowance when other people were spending it at my dad’s candy store. When I first got my bank account, I gave my dad $93 I’d saved up to deposit. In an era of sixty cents a week allowance, that kind of money was hard to come by.  Basically, what I’m saying is that for me unlimited access doesn’t always mean unlimited continuous use.  In fact, I won’t be on this any more than I was during school.

Lastly, what it does mean is that I’ll have the internet to post more regularly. Now, granted I still will probably not post just for the sake of saying I’ve posted. That’s not how I roll, as I’ve already said, but it will mean that the backlogged posts will be forthcoming when I decide the right order etc.

Finally, I’ve been labeled a bum by Joe and Dan. This hardly makes sense considering the circumstances but there it is.  They both say it is because I don’t have a life.  I’m assuming that they believe they do.  This “Life” that they have doesn’t seem to me to be something to search for and aspire to.  Joe doesn’t have a job but is in ROTC and will have training later this summer, which limits what he can go in terms of work anyway. He has a fiance that he spends almost every waking moment with, again understandable but it means that there is nothing besides that. Dan works two jobs, so he has that on me, but working is not what they mean by “a life” or Joe wouldn’t qualify.  Daniel also has a significant other that he spends a great deal of the rest of his time with, the time he’s not working, attending classes, and I would say doing homework but that has become a group activity. In other words, if having “a Life” means isolating yourself from the rest of the world and devoting all your energy and attention to a single person, I don’t want a part of it.  I have tried the isolating myself part and it’s utterly destructive. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and when I see other people doing it, I wince at the knowledge of where it leads. That path is not scenic nor healthy by any means.

Consider this an excited tease with the hopes of delivering more posts soon.

JA Menter

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget. Yet I will not forget you.  See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me”  Isa 49:15-16


I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself.  Thoughts swirled around in my head like the ingredients of a fruit smoothie in a blender.  Lights flashed before my eyes in this dark room.  Sweat seeped off my chest and pooled underneath me.  My feet were icy cold and I couldn’t tell where my hands were.  Pain impulses that should have been sent from my knees and back were ignored as my mind screamed, “God, Help me!”

I turned to look at the clock.  12:14 glowered at me in green fluorescent numerals from across the room.  Five hours til my first alarm alerts me of work.  I hadn’t the energy to think about that.

All I could do was listen as the thoughts separated into their constituent parts.  Thoughts as loud as the storm that would crash in the sky in the future bombarded my mind before making room for the next one.  They were like a disorderly courtroom or the din of quarreling subjects before the throne of a young, untested prince.

What was the circumstances that triggered this, you may ask?  I read a word in a sentence not minutes before and now the possible implications roared through my head.  It’s better that I not repeat the word to avoid a similar episode.  These are thoughts in overdrive amid tossing and turning and silent screams.  I recall writing about a storm of thoughts, which appears in a chapter of my book but this is a little different.  This word might only be heard in the dreaded passages of Gnar-Angrith or the savage evil of Urkkarth.

I don’t ever want to be implicated or associated with this word; it’s a state I can never find myself in.

I tossed and turned and fought and wrestled.  Whispered pleas escaped my lips and fell on a silent dark, empty room. “Help me!”  I know not when total exhaustion overtook me, only that it was the only thing that stopped the madness.  I was jarred awake by the loudest storm I’ve ever heard. Again, I stared at the clock reading 4:49.  The outdoors peered in the tiny sliver of my window, but its noise shook me.

Today, I’ve only sort of recovered and my body stubbornly objects to my every move.  It’s like all the messages of pain my brain refused to acknowledge last night were back logged to resurface today.  I’m running on fumes.


“We are all foolish Puppets who, desiring to be kings, now lie pitifully crippled after cutting our own strings.”  Randy Stonehill


I heard that word a lot, especially during my growth spurt when I was 13 years old that saw me shoot up from about 5’4 to 6-foot and beyond.  I think it’s just a tactful way of saying “you’re clumsy”, particularly because it’s most often used when someone’s body has changed to the point of being foreign to its possessor.  The statement really makes my head feel a lot better when I discover through experience that I should duck when I go down the stairs, or that there isn’t enough clearance underneath the door of the cupboard above the refridgerator for me slip through. There used to be, so why not now?  Yeah, I grew almost a foot, but it should be the same as always, right? 

Nope, I just have to face it.  At 14, I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin.  I had no idea where my body actually was in space, let alone in relation to other objects. I was uncoordinated or at the very least, had a lack of coordination that made me clumsy. It has been a long time since I became more comfortable, more coordinated, even deft, but high objects still invade my headspace and remind me of those tough weeks I spent relearning where my head was in relation to everything else.

To prove myself to be a nerd, I looked up the word “lanky” in the dictionary (As if I was going to find it somewhere else). It has two meanings and when people say I’m lanky now, I anticipate that they mean merely that I’m tall and slender and not that I’m a blundering fool of a clutz.

I can find other ways in which I am lanky, not just my height and body build. I am mentally and socially lanky as well, in the sense that I’m uncomfortable oftentimes, or even feel foreign, particularly this past semeter, which sneaked up on me, if that’s even possible. I limped through the entire semester uncoordinated, not used to the routine that was forced upon me. Normal life became abnormal and that abnormalty has never become familiar to me.  Lankiness usually comes right after a growth spurt, but I struggle to see where I’ve grown. It’s just change.

So I haven’t gotten used to my surroundings, my schedule, my time constraints, yet the semester is a week from being over.  My life will take a very different turn after finals, which will probably just continue the feeling I have now of unfamiliarity and a total lack of coordination.  By the same token, I’m not sure I want to become comfortable with how my life is playing out right now, to make my circumstances feel normal again.  Am I just being nostalgic or is something actually wrong here? In any case, don’t let my deft movements and efficient work fool you.  I’m still lanky.

JA Menter

“…Be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man.” 1 Kings 2:2b

A HOTP Excerpt

It’s amazing how many possibilities open up for me when I run.  Here is an excerpt from my book that I wrote this morning. (You should understand what “HOTP” means now:D)  Let me know if you require background; I always love talking about my story.

“The stairs came in flights of ten, each ending with a landing, and the flights climbed upward on the right.  The blue glow seemed always to come from the next flight, yet when the stairs were climbed, its source wasn’t there.  Lars and Jhadiz ascended the flights in benign silence.  They didn’t want to waste energy talking when all their strength was required to reach the Great Hall.

They knew not how many flights of stairs they trudged up.  Jhadiz lost count at twelve.  It didn’t really matter because they weren’t going to need to retrace their steps and they were coming from the very bottom of the stairs.  With each step, Lars sensed the presence in his mind grow stronger.  Twice, he’d halted at a landing to quiet his mind and catch their breath.

After about two hours, Lars and Jhadiz came to a landing that ended the stairs altogether.  A door across from the stairs opened into a wide room with a tall ceiling.  Lamps burned in each corner like torches mounted onto the wall with iron brackets.  The stone room was completely empty, but loud footsteps could be heard through the opening in the far wall.

Lars closed his eyes and bowed his head.  The sense in his mind was drawing closer and the presence was almost audible.  He tried to fight back with everything within him, but it began to speak.  The shade was very close.

In the opening of the far wall, a figure appeared.”

This figure was a part of his father’s past and, by extension, his past.  It had haunted Ashur all his life and been the only person to defeat him save the nineteen arrows that killed him. This figure’s voice was inside Lars’ head, limiting his effectiveness and draining his strength.  It was unfinished business that needed to be addressed before it stifled Lars and made him useless.  Naturally, a confrontation like this merits a back and forth battle to the death that Dez can’t help him with, but the figure summons a beast the likes of which Lars had never seen.  His past became a beast he couldn’t ignore.

Guess what, I’m not sharing this just to show off my writing or even to shine some light of the less-mentioned members of my circle.  I’m shifting into the kapu like I have a tendency of enjoying, which brings me to this set of questions.

Do you have a past that’s haunting you? A past that reminds you of when you failed. Has it become a dominant voice that shapes your decisions and leads you astray?  Has it become a monster you want to hide from but can’t?  I must admit, I oftentimes have to answer ‘yes’ to all those questions. Do you?

The good news is that the story doesn’t end there, and it shouldn’t in your case or mine.  You see, Lars has met Nehru (Jesus) and believes in Him. With God’s help, he slays the beast and lays to rest his father’s past. The past that haunted him, hunted him, and laid down the burden of a reputation Lars couldn’t live up to.  Jhadiz has a different past, one of being healed by Jesus, and is constantly reminded of it by a muscle spasming where the miracle took place.

We have been healed of our disease, our sin nature.  Are we always reminded of that miracle?  We can be rid of that beast of a past that haunts us.  Are we willing to let Christ fight for us and put it to death also?  Or am I going to continue to be haunted by the beast, my strength waning, so that it might limit how effective I can be in God’s kingdom?  Are you?

JA Menter

“I am only April’s fool.”