Two Rivers

Two Rivers
by Timothy G. Blake

Curtain rises
On knees beseech
Take me to thy River
Flowing from the fountain
In your temple
Thy will be done
Father gifts assent
Vision unfolds

Mighty City
On a Center Hill
Holy
Majestic
River flowing
Ever widening
Flowing Swift
Sure

Around the bend
Widest Point
Large Crowd
Venders
Lights
Sign post
Take drink
Imbibe
Enter in
Soak
One by one
Water swarmed
The water sweet
Aloe to the soul
Water soothes
Cleanses
Pleasure beyond depth

Euphoria Explodes
Laughing
Singing
Dancing
Playing
The crowd chants
Everyone needs to get some
More! More!

River retrace
To the source
Outside the gates
One of great stature
Crowned with Little Horns

Through his bull horn speaks
Gives command
The Time has come
All loyalty require
Brand them

Creature of Lights
Many Men of Renown
Do his biding
Line of Humanity
One by one
Branded
Herded
Commanded

Yet there are others
Already branded
My sheep
Bullhorn speaks
Herd them all
Threshing floor

Lambs slaughtered
Blood flows
The Slain Lamb weeps
and wounds grow deep

The ever present servants of the Lamb
Attend to the lamb
Gathering tears till cups overflow
Then wash the killing field
With the cup of tears
Blood of the slain
Tears of the lamb
Gather together
Mighty river is formed

Flashback
Wide River berth
Laughter
Signing
Dancing
Mirth
Many caught unguarded
Strong undertow
Drags under
Dashed
Many lose bearing
Swept away to the rivers end
Where vultures gather

Yet some awake
and flee
Sounding Alarm

Vision fades
Mourn
Confusion
Dismay
Lion Roars
“FEAR NOT!”

Vision Unfolds
Center of city
Eyes beheld strange sight
Spigotted rock
And a pile of scrolls
The voice of the Lamb spoke
Remove thy shoes
This is Holy Ground

Fear and Amazement
Drop to bended knee
Take drink from the rock
Spigot turned
The Living water flowed
A Simple Chalice filled
Blood red
Mouth Alive
All taste at once
Suddenly
Peace and Joy
within
Newness
Life
No more thirst
Bubbling to overflow
From the pores flowed blood red
Anointed Bathed, Cleansed

The voice of the lamb spoke
Take eat a scroll
The word consumed
Bitter sweet
Transforming
Truth known in deepest parts
And a sudden glow, light within
The Lamb spoke
Go and Forget not!

Walking temples
Fountains within
Living water
Blood red flowing
Touching
Giving life

The Word firmly planted
Lighting the way
In the darkness
Of realms outside
Where snakes in darkness wait
Snares and traps
But no matter where the temples walk
Living water flows,
Blood red
And each step
The Light of the word shines
Seeding darkness with seeds of truth
Each walking temple a stream

Vision fades
Questions remain
Voice of the Lamb speaks
My son, two rivers you have seen.
The River of judgment
The River of Life.

Lessons from a game called werewolf/mafia:

Lessons from a game called werewolf/mafia:

 

            Over the past three four years one of the ways I engaged in entertaining and distracting myself is a game called werewolf, also known as mafia.  It is a game about deception.  Basically there is a team of bad guys trying to deceive others and folks who are trying to figure out who the deceivers are.  This post isn’t about the dynamics of the game (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafia_(game) but some important lessons that can be learned.

            One important lesson is that no one is beyond being deceived. The most skilled people at spotting varied ‘tells’ or spotting the deceivers can fail or falter. No one is beyond being deceived by someone else or even themselves.  In applying this lesson, we each need to be aware and acknowledge that no one is beyond deception.. Anyone that thinks they are beyond being deceived is fooling themselves.  We need to continually engage in prayerful self-examination and ask God to show us the ways we have been deceived and to show us truth. 

            Another important lesson is that people prefer to follow.  I have seen this play out on numerous occasions. As soon as someone displays proficiency at finding the deceivers, others tend to follow them.  It is much easier to follow then to examine facts and details and search for the truth on your own. If someone exhibits apparently greater skills it is much easier to follow rather then examine facts for yourself. It works out well when the person is right but when the person is wrong, the results are not satisfactory and often assist those looking to deceive.   

In applying this  lesson to life and exposing deception we need to be willing to examine and test things on our own. We need to not just simply trust the words or actions of others, no matter how often they have display accuracy.  Blindly following others is detrimental, particularly if a person relies on others for the word of God and not spending time spending time and studying the Word.  Also if we spend more time reading Christian authors and others interpretations of the word, we leave our self vulnerable to be deceived or follow error.

Another important lesson is that the greater the distractions, the easier it is to be deceived. Time and time again I witnessed where people couldn’t sort through multiple information even when there were clues to what is true and what is false. The simple application to this lesson is the greater amount of distractions; the harder it is to assess truth.

            A surprising but important lesson is that when looking for deception it is easy to become paranoid. This means we can easily see lies and deception in people that are being truthful.  Now while such paranoia can make for interesting game play, in life it makes  things confusing.  God doesn’t offer confusion but we can sure generate a lot of it on our own doing. Given how easy it is to become paranoid this stress the importance of depending on God and leaning not on our own understanding. We can easily find lies and deception where there is none, just as much as we can fall prey to lies and deception. The enemy loves when we do become paranoid and find lies in the truth.

            In watching multiple games played out another sure lesson is that deceivers have no problem ‘eating their own.’   In order to gain trust, exposing someone else engaging in deception can be a way to gain trust and greater deceive others.  The last game I actually played, it was done to perfection when one member of the team of deceivers was exposed after another with even easily sorted out lies being spoken ultimately resulting in trust for one person who ended up winning the game.  Such tactics breed pride and over-confidence as well as stimulating trust. So while “the house” may be “divided against itself” the goal is to lay ground work for other lies or deceptions to be accepted or a deceiver to be trusted. In our lives, we need constant evaluation and with the light of scripture. We need to test all things continually and be wary. 

            The last lesson I want to discuss is that any time someone discovers a tell or a pattern to sort out the deceptions in the game, once the deceivers are aware the deceptions and game play the strategies and lies adjust to take them into account.  If lies always followed the same pattern, they can be easy to spot, but eventually there comes a time when what you used to rely on is ineffective.  Of course, with God, His discernment is always accurate, and always ahead of the enemy.  For each of us though, of our own strength and power, it is easy to be deceived and trust others based on confidence in a “technique” or “test.”  The enemy is crafty, and will adjust!

            There are probably more lessons I can take from the game but the essential point is we are all easily deceived and of our own effort finding and exposing deceptions is ultimately impossible. Our enemy, Satan, is the master of deception. Each of these things I have observed about deception is but a drop in the bucket of Satan’s tools.  We need to live in surrender and dependence to God, we need to repent of relying on our own strength, we need to Holy Spirit to give us wisdom, we need constant exposure to the Word of God, and we need to the grace of Jesus the Messiah to cleanse us from our self-effort and failures.  May we all grow in truth and be sober and alert lest we become embroiled in deception.