Because Of Their Testimony

Monday, June 23, 2014, 3:00 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put the song in mind, “He Reached Down.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 20:4-6 (NIV).

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

I believed in the Lord Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was around seven years old. I can still remember vividly that moment at summer camp when the invitation (altar call) was given. I didn’t go forward, though. I just sat right where I was seated on that hard wooden bench in the Pavilion at Beulah Beach Camp grounds, on Lake Erie, in Ohio. I wept, poured my heart out to God, repented of my sin, asked for his forgiveness, and invited him into my life to be my Savior. I know I was transformed of the Spirit of God at that very moment. I wanted nothing more in life but to follow Jesus wherever he would lead me.

I was very involved in church as a child, as a youth, as a young adult, and into my more mature adult years. My birth family was there just about every time the doors were open, as the saying goes. Yet, my home life was difficult. There were abuse and neglect issues. Yet, that only drew me closer to my Lord. I drew on his strength and comfort all the time just to make it through each day. It wasn’t all bad, though. I have happy memories, too. I was not a perfect child, though. I battled with temptations of my flesh, and sometimes I gave in. Yet I know I went to the Lord in prayer, asking for his help, guidance, wisdom and strength to help me to resist Satan, to flee temptation, and to draw near to God.

I took God and his word very seriously. That made me an odd ball, peculiar, different. I was never popular. Yet, I wanted to do what he said and what his word said. I had a strong child-like faith that believed God and took him at his word. During missionary conferences, the call to go to the mission field pulled on my heart strings. I cried out to God, committing myself to follow my Lord wherever he would send me. “I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord, o’er mountain, or plain, or sea; I’ll say what You want me to say, dear Lord, I’ll be what You want me to be” (Mary Brown), I would sing. And, yet, it was not his will for me to go to a foreign mission field at that time in my life. My work was on the home front.

I married Rick Love in August of 1972, nearly 42 years ago. We have four children. We have lived many different places. For many years we were very involved in church ministry together, singing in the choir, in ensembles, singing duets or in small groups, teaching Bible studies or working with children, youth and then college students. We had and have our battles, too. No marriage is perfect. Yet we have had many good years together, too, and I have an abundance of happy memories of our times together, and with our children, with our children’s spouses, too, and with their children, i.e. with our grandchildren, now totaling twelve – seven girls and five boys. I love our family times together. My grandchildren bless my heart on a regular basis. I know I am very blessed, and I don’t take that for granted.

Because of my close walk with the Lord, though, and because I took him and his word so seriously, I faced a lot of rejection in my life. I am not saying I was perfect or that people were not rejecting my personality, or that I didn’t have room for improvement, or that I never failed. I did, and I still do, yet I often stood out like a sore thumb because of my relationship with my Lord and because of my seriousness concerning his word. It hurt to get rejected and to be misunderstood, though. And, although I knew my Lord was there, and that he would comfort me, encourage me, counsel me and help me through these times, I struggled to truly grasp his sovereignty over my life, and so there were times when I just wanted to give up and run away from it all. There were times when I did just that, too.

I went through a period of several years where I was on an emotional roller coaster ride, it seemed. I would walk with the Lord and obey him and be in fellowship with him for a time, and then I would regress and would escape into sinful behavior patterns, only to come back to the Lord and follow him again, only to fall back into sin again and to disobey him. I would never have imagined at an earlier point in my life that I would have ever gotten to this low point in my life where I did some of the things that I did in disobedience to my Lord, but I did. Yet, in his love and mercy, “He reached down from heaven and rescued me; drew me out of waters so deep, I’d sink. He delivered me from Satan and my slavery to sin;” and he gave me hope once again. I shut the door on my past, and I never went back.

Then, the Lord Jesus called me to be a missionary, to take his gospel to the ends of the earth, but not by sending me physically to a foreign country. He called me to write down what he teaches me through his word each day, and to give it to a “runner” (the internet) so that the runner could “Run With It.” He spoke to me through Habakkuk 2:2-4:

Then the Lord replied:

“Write down the revelation
and make it plain on tablets
so that a herald may run with it.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it will certainly come
and will not delay.

Then he did something I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams. He gave me dreams and visions as allegories to illustrate Biblical truth in a way which was relevant to the world around me, and that was applicable to my life and to the life of the church. He showed me things I would not have known had he not revealed them to me through his Spirit. And, with great fear and trembling, but in the power and working of the Spirit within me, and with child-like faith, I dared to share what I believed he was revealing to me through his word and by his Spirit, i.e. how the word of God is being fulfilled in our day, and how it is to be applied to the real life situations which are going on in our world.

He also gave me numerous songs, too, to write as my testimony for him, and for my encouragement, and for the encouragement and strengthening of the body of Christ. The words and music came from him and from his word, so all praise and glory go to him. Most all of the songs, if not all, contain the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus has had me sharing that gospel in writing for eight years this June 27th. It is the gospel taught by Christ and by the apostles, but it is not a popular message today, and it is becoming even less popular as the days go by and so many are altering it to make it pleasing to humans.

Many throughout the world are being killed for that gospel. And, it is because they “keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus” (See Rev. 12:17), they do not deny his name, they refuse to bow to “the beast,” and they will not take its mark. Amen!

He Reached Down / An Original Work / February 3, 2014

Based off Psalm 18

How I love You, Lord,
My Rock and my strength.
My God is my fortress;
I hide in Him.
He is my shield and the horn of
My salvation, whom I praise.
I have found my refuge in Him.

He reached down from heaven
And rescued me;
Drew me out of waters
So deep, I’d sink.
He delivered me from Satan
And my slavery to sin;
Gave me hope of heaven with Him.

My God turned my darkness
Into His light;
Opened up my blinded eyes;
Gave me sight.
As for God, his way is perfect.
He gives strength to stand secure.
I have found my vict’ry in Him.

My Lord lives!
Praise be to my Savior God,
Jesus Christ, who died
On a cruel cross.
He is my Rock and the source
Of my salvation, whom I trust.
I will give praise always to Him.