Remembering Brandon

It’s funny how you think you know someone until they die and so much more comes out about them.

I picture Brandon being a photo with holes all in him and that’s the Brandon I know.  I don’t know many things – but in each hole is a photo of another person who knows that small piece of him.  So the holes are filled with all the people who touched his life and experienced his life with him at different times.  The whole personality of Brandon is made up by the influence of many people and circumstances. Each person is grieving that part of Brandon that they know.

The picture is becoming more complete – but only God knows the true man Brandon became.  One day I will see that man too.

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Which One Are You?

Battle Scars was started from a thought I had one day.  I was of course picturing Jesus’s hands and then I pictured my own. Jesus wore “battle scars” on His hands, feet, back and side.  As well as His head from the crown of thorns.

My hands didn’t look scarred or bloody. My physical body shown no scars at all. My soul however, felt war-torn.  Had I been in battle?  Why did I feel like I was – and still am?

I battle Satan daily. I pray and talk to God all day long some days.  I know I cannot fight Satan alone.  I need his armor.

Ephisians 610Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Do you wear “battle scars“? What are they from?  Like Jesus, they are from a battle with Satan.  If you don’t have any, then you may be AWOL.

AWOL Absent Without Leave. Not good.  God doesn’t like that.  That means that you aren’t involved in the fight at all. Not for your soul or the salvation of others.  You are simply enjoying life without thinking of “why you are here”.  You are here for a purpose:

Matthew 28:19- 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

If you aren’t AWOL and still feel like you aren’t actually in the battle anymore, then perhaps you are  MIA.

MIAMissing in Action.  You were in the battle, but decided that earthly possessions and Satan’s lies were easier. Maaayyyybbbeee you forgot to get strength from God and the Holy Spirit and simply surrendered.  Or you may have given up on Him.  Perhaps you prayed for so long, and He didn’t answer and so you gave up. Gave in.  Now He doesn’t know you:

Luke 13 – 22Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

He said to them, 24“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

26“Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’

27“But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

28“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

He detest lukewarm Christians.  Are you in the battle but don’t know if you believe in the cause or have faith in the outcome.  Do you feel like you are unsure?

Revelation 3 _ 14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

POWPrisoner of War. Satan and his demons are keeping you captive.  You struggle daily with depression, and obsessions.  Maybe it’s gambling, drinking, sex, or drugs.  You know God, but you are a prisoner of sin.  Do you know Jesus?  Have you taken communion with Him?  Have you been baptised?    If you said yes to all the above, then you need intervention in the manner of prayer.  We are great prayer warriors.

You have prayed for help for so long you are worn out.   He hasn’t forgotten you.  Have you ever forgotten your child?   How deep is your love for your child?  Man – you can’t even fathom His love for you. Take your love for your child and multiply it by 100,000 times.

His grace is sufficient.

2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

His love is everlasting.

  1. Psalm 103:17 – But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children-
  2. Jeremiah 31:3
    The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.

His mercy is great.

1 Peter 2:10
Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

The battle is not over.  The war however, has been won:

Revelation 17:14
They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers.”

I pray for you.  I pray for all who are in battle and those who have not yet fought the good fight.

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 10:28
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.

Do not despair and do not give up. The battle may rage on.  But the war is won. We are praying for you.


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“Our Battle Scars”

I was thinking of my son the other day – he’s 27.  Special Forces and I’m soooo very proud of him.  To think that he voluntarily lays down his life daily, takes up his cross and our freedom and marches onward without hesitation.

I thank God that he became a Christian at an age when I knew he understood it.  He was an Eagle Scout, always active in the church and always wanting to serve his country in some way.  He thought of becoming a Coast Guardsman, an Air Force Pilot, he tinkered with going to Clemson, and he actually majored in Criminal Justice to become a police officer.  A wonderfully strong-willed young man full of brevity and compassion.  Not unlike thousands of young men and women who have gone before and aft in this country. Bless them all!

But my thoughts this day went to the cross.  I was picturing Mary there – watching as HER son was beaten, spat upon and mocked.  I cried for her.  I felt her pain.  We often forget her being there and witnessing her son being tortured. But I’m a mother.  The mother of a son whom I cherish dearly.  I put myself in her place for a time.  I tried hard to feel what it was like for her.  She knew who He was.  She knew a gentle, honest and loving young man.  She also knew the Son of God.  What on earth was she thinking?

God didn’t share much about her thoughts with us in His word.  But I know. And He knows.  He comforted her.  Reassured her.  And He cried with her.  He cried so hard the curtain was torn and earth shook violently.

Matthew 27:51 51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.

So many mothers have had sons in battle. Sons willing to give their lives for a cause.  For this country.  For our freedom to worship God Almighty.

I knew what she was feeling.  It hurt so bad.  I pictured the men and women who have lost their lives in the hands of terrorist and sadists.  I prayed very hard for strength for he and I.  For his sister and his wife and daughter.  I pray often for him.  I pray for them all.  And I thank God for them all.

They carry wounds back from the front lines, from behind enemy territory and the secret places they’ve been. Wounds like those who served in Vietnam and Korea.  We don’t know the depth of the wounds.  These men and women are so strong on the outside.  But pray that the wounds that go unseen are healed by the only One who really knows the damage.

Whether you believe in this war or not.  In this President or not.  Our sons and daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters are fighting for us.  They took an oath to defend this country and our freedoms but also to protect those who are being persecuted and tortured.

They deserve our support, prayers and love.

Like Mary, they are being treated like they’ve done something wrong by so many who don’t believe in the war we are in or understand it’s significance.   We cannot always see the reasons or understand them.  We don’t understand why Christ had to die in such a horrible way.  We don’t need to.  All we need to understand is He did it willingly.

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