Ever Increasing Joy

Each of the words of this colour is a clickable link to that part of the story.

As a young man of around 16 yrs old, in High School, my art teacher, Randy Marchinko, assigned us a project where we were to create a series of panels using a different type of media for each panel. When placed side by side they would tell a story. The first was in a water colour, the second was in pencil, the third was an oil Painting, and the final panel was this Batik, which is the only one that remains.

“Ever Increasing Joy” could very easily have been the title of that series.

As I grow older, fewer and fewer things remain in my life. Mum and Dad are both gone now. Dave is gone. Things are gone. Like my Grandfather Forster’s sailing dingy, and my Great Grandfather Alexander’s leather bound KJV Bible, the one with all his devotional notes, and verses underlined. Oh, to know his heart just a little more. Just one of those verses turned out to be quite a story!

Zechariah 3:And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

But I have that memory, and that verse.

I have more of that Art Work from High School somewhere amoungst my things. But I don’t remember having some great revelation at the time I did any of those art pieces. It’s a comfort to me, any and all that remain here with me from the past.

The fence post is in each panel. A crass, clumsy idea as I look back on it. What everyone thought was a fence post was really a candle. My true identity. The black wick of the candle is there, though covered with a top hat in the first of them.

After reading Maslow’s book, where he talks about one’s potentiality, the unique person that each of us is, I have become even more thankful that I have gone through all that I’ve gone through, because it’s torn down superficiality. It’s put to death simplistic ideas. But I still remain in awe of the truth that went into that message, a truth that I’m sure I have yet to fully know. There’s death in that candle image. Time is running out for each of us. It’s in living life that we truly burn, and cast a light into this dark world.

God makes himself known. He does the convincing. I’m not here to argue the existence of God. That’s not what this Blog is all about. I’m here to TESTIFY that the God who will make himself known to you, knew you from before you were born. And created you to be with him. He allows us to make up our own mind. I’ve grown very tired of being so fascinated with ME, and am growing very fond of HIM. I no longer think I’m the answer to the world’s troubles. I long to be like Jesus, who said and did all that the Father, Our Father, told him to say and do. Obedience is what I long to be about.

In Parker Palmer’s book, he talks about our inner teacher. In Mere Christianity, C S Lewis calls it the law of nature. The Bible calls it the witness of the Holy Spirit to every person, the call of God to each of us, to come to him. It’s never too late. He’s that father, of the prodigal son, waiting for his son to return home. He let him go, he let him come home. He will let you come home. Christ is the way he provided for you to come home to him. God’s LOVE for you is absolute. You are HIS CHILD that he will never give up on. All that stands between you and God is your FREE WILL.

If I still had those panels, and could place them behind me on a stage, and tell you about my life, you’d see that each panel represented a phase in my life. You’d maybe think the pictures were crude in their attempt at being poetic, or figurative. But how would you react when I tell you that these panels were not created AFTER I lived through them, but before? For me, many years later, that’s exactly what I realized. And I am comforted by that. For this phase of my life is that warm, bright final panel.

At the end of my teenage years, the summer between my last year of school, and my first year of LIFE, I was at a district youth camp, at Manhattan Beach Camp, at Pelican Lake, Manitoba. I can’t remember which night it was in particular, but I was up at the Alter where God met with me many times that week in late August 1982. It was a reaping of all God had sewn in my heart and life throughout that summer in my individual devotion times.

As I prayed I saw a picture in my mind, I was in a high tower, like the kind in a castle, and off to the left side there was an arched opening with no glass, and a curtain lay across it. God’s hand pulled back the curtain, and I gazed out at a path, and as my eye moved from the beginning of the path in view, to the horizon line, I felt an Ever Increasing Joy that became so intense that I couldn’t bear it, and I stood up, ending the prayer, and the vision.

There’s lots more to the story, and that’s the reason for this Blog. An attempt by me to tell my story. And indeed, it’s been a case of Ever Increasing Joy!

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