MyPraize blog section
Matthew 5: 3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Most people tend to think this verse is for the poor, the pauper, the destitute. You'd be half right. If you look at the verse a little bit closer it says "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Think of a wild animal like a horse that they are trying to tame. They are trying to break their spirit. Make them conform to what they want them to, not the way they want to be. In Jesus time, the poor were treated horribly. Even Jesus himself who had the riches of the kingdom was poor while he was on this earth. He depended on the kindness of strangers most of his adult life. People who are poor in Spirit are humbled before G-d. They have no arrogance, no pretensions, they don't pretend to be better than they are. And that is the good news for the genuinely poor and oppressed in this world. The poor person is not excluded because of his poverty; and the rich person is not accepted because of his wealth. Both must humble themselves before the Lord in order to be part of the kingdom. It is often easier for the down and out of this world to do that, than for the rich to do it. That's not saying the poor are more deserving, but if you truly think about it; we all have to become poor to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
MATTHEW 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
Hunger and Thirst isn't about food and drink. Hunger and Thirst is the desire to know more, to hear more, to DESIRE to BE Like Jesus more. To be filled with the Spirit until you can be filled no more. Give your Life and your heart to Him! It is the best thing you will ever do. It makes your life worth Living and the pain and suffering that you are going through right now, yes He knows about that..Only he can take it away. Choose Him today, Choose Eternal Life.
Sometimes a song will put things into perspective a bit. In this case a Hymn came to mind.
Just a Closer Walk with Thee
I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.
Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.
When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more;
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.
One of my favorite Chapters in the New Testament are found in the book of Matthew beginning in Chapter FIVE. The Sermon on the Mount. I sit sometimes and imagine that day. All those hundreds of people gathered out in a field with their families with Jesus. The air filled with excitement! Can you imagine families, neighbors, friends, people had come from towns all around to even just get a glimpse of this man everyone was talking about. Here was Jesus and his disciples walking around talking to as many as they could. Jesus sitting on a rock and speaking with the young children, while his disciples just couldn't understand why he bothered with them.
The beatitudes were part of the Sermon on the Mount and the disciple Matthew is the only one of the four who speaks of this meeting that I can find. Most of the time we get to see the different views from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; but this is an exception.
I may not go through and discuss them in the order they are in the bible, but I will discuss each of them. These are my point from studying the bible and researching them for quite awhile.
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
After a week of keeping her nose in schoolbooks, Friday came and Crystal could relax. But the next day she would be out all day working at the sidewalk sale. Then afterwards she would deliver the proceeds herself to St. Michael's Shelter just a few blocks down from the shop. First time she had that responsibility. That night she went to bed a little earlier.
The next day, it was hectic. And a lot of money was raised. She successfully delivered the money to the head of the shelter and headed back home just as the sun started to set. Crystal goes her usual route but is detoured by a water main break on the main street. So she has to go around it through an area best advised to be accompanied at night.
It was 7 at night and it was so dark only the lights that barely could pierced the darkness. The short section of street was littered with trash and the atmosphere was, best to put it, creepy. Not one person was around until Crystal reached a side alley.
Daniel had been at her side the whole time. His hand on his sword, ever vigilant. Also the nerves of what was to come made him tremble. Wondering if she would make the right choice. From a distance, he saw some demons waiting. Ushering her in the alley so Crystal could tie her shoe, he pauses and speaks to one of these creatures waiting just outside.
"So, how's the angel business?" it asked Daniel. Taking the form of a bum, the demon was really an imposing being with a impressive physique if it was actually human. Green rough flesh and wings like leather. Daniel remained silent as it harassed him and Crystal entered to keep out of sight.
She caught the scent of waste and cringed. But there was something else that made her flesh crawl. It wasn't seen, but that sixth sense kicked in like before. This time it was more intense, almost overwhelming. Feelings of nausea started coming up. Still she bent to tie her shoes and prayed she'd get home safe.
Outside, two beings clothed in white, stood as the demonic armies assigned to this region spread out to do their master's bidding. "So it now begins, the conference of how they will break her." The older of the two angelic beings said to the younger.
"So far she's refused. I have never seen one so stubborn to answer the call. Fear maybe?" Daniel tells his superior as the night sky opens up to reveal the moon and stars. Beautiful. "Whatever they are planning, we must be ready to preserve her life. This is what the mortals call 'a make it or break it moment'. The superior angel pauses and turns his focus on all the people working in the building. "If only man could see what REALLY is going on, they would have a whole new perspective. That's why the Order was founded, on command from the Father's throne. To prepare people for the times to come and it will be soon."
Daniel sighs and after a few hours, they are back to the Courts of Heaven with new instructions. Opening and reading the scroll, he holds back anger and tears. The enemy had plans for Crystal. One to discourage her from being who she was meant to be. All her life he protected her and now he can only stand by as she would face the hardest trial since her parents and brother died.
That always made him wonder. How people can go through so much and still come out the other side, while some stall and even give up hope. Still, despite his feelings, his duty to the Father came first and foremost before his needs and desires.
It had been a week since that encounter and Crystal still could see the shadow creatures. She had gotten used to that. Now she had to really get into her classes. Also, there was the sidewalk sale at the comic shop she volunteered for and the proceeds went to the homeless shelter. She became too busy to think really of anything else. That was Saturday.
On the southern part of Anderson Bay, where the shipping port was centered, in a dingy warehouse, a meeting was starting to commence.
As the workers go to and fro moving crates and all, deep under their feet, an infernal meeting was called to order. Ugly creatures of all shapes and sizes filled the basement. Dirty and dingy pipes dripping water onto all.
In the center of the back wall a throne of bones sat empty. Then a rush of air reeking of sulfur comes through, surprising everyone already there. A voice, screeching announces the arrival of "His Fallen General of This Region". When the noise calmed, sitting on the throne was a being that looked almost human. Skin green like a reptile and his wings scaly and bat-like spread out from his shoulders.
His breastplate was covered with medals from his many victories over the centuries. Each finger on both hands had multiple rings with gemstones imbedded. One word in a whisper brought the court to order. " I have traveled to this speck on Earth because I got word of a potential new Guardian of the Order of Christos," he spat at the last word, "Is this true the old man has died or is this a sick prank? If so, I want the head of the demon who started this rumor." He pulls out his curved black sword and slowly moves it in an arc before the crowd. Some of the smaller creatures jump back to avoid it.
The crowd was too scared until one small minion came forward bravely. "I was there when the old man died. A girl was there too. He must have passed the job to her in their traditional manner. She has a white spot in her hair and he was laying hands on her. Just before that, the girl looks my way and it was like she knew I was there. Then an angel swatted me away telling me to get out while I still had my head." With that, he cast his eyes upon the ground and bowed.
A murmur began among the crowd. The one up on the skull throne pondered this information for a moment and then finally spoke again.
"I want everyone to find this mortal girl and make her life miserable. Rewards to those who drive her to despair." As he spoke, a messenger came up with a scroll. He receives it and opens the seal of Hell, reading it.
"Change of plans, everyone go about your duties and leave me and my generals," indicating a line of six medium sized demons in armor,"and you" pointing to the little one who had reported on the old man's death. "You just got a promotion and I need your input."
That little demon came forward and received his new rank. "Ocantis, Fallen Prince of St. Avalon." Along with this came an increase in bulk and power. He was now second in command to this great fallen one.
"Now, my generals and Prince, we begin to plan!"
Crystal's mind was confused by what she just heard. She stops Daniel and explains that she is a Christian and all she wants to be is to be a normal girl (or as close to it as possible). "All I did was help a man I help out at church, he dies in my arms and all this starts happening. I don't want whatever you're offering."
Daniel looks up and says into the air something about her being a stubborn one. He sighs and tells her if she wants to know more, let God know. Then he vanishes and she is back in her room alone. Then Aunt Marty calls her to dinner. Her Uncle David had just gotten home from his job running a comic book shop not far from her house.
She had lived with them since her parents and little brother Stephen died in a car wreck almost seven and a half years ago. They were her godparents and though they couldn't have kids of their own, this was close enough. Uncle David was Dad's twin brother and the younger of them. They looked exactly alike, but the personalities were almost opposite. Crystal's dad Michael liked things organized while Uncle David was the wild one. To her it was strange that she lives with the spitting image of her late dad. He and his bride Marty had done their best to fill that role as parents, at times it was just difficult.
Crystal had wanted a baby brother or sister and was like a proud parent holding little Stephen for the first time. The picture was in her room. Then almost 8 months later, a drunken driver slammed into them while they were on their way to his checkup. She was sick that day and remembers the police coming to the door. One of them was Dad's best friend. Then Uncle David sat her down and broke the news.
It took a lot of counseling and love to bring her out of her withdrawal states. She still sees her pastor every week or so for support, but nothing real serious in the last few years. If only Mom and Dad could see her now.
Crystal gazed over at the family portrait over her bed and wiping tears from her eyes, went down to dinner.
Being around Daniel gave Crystal feel like she was bathed in liquid love. That soon overcame her fear and only curiosity remained. He reached out and placed his hand over hers. Then he starts to explain.
"I've been watching you since you were born. Do you ever recall seeing me as a little girl? Especially at your lowest moments." Crystal finally could really notice his face. He did look familiar, but she would have to really think back to place it. Maybe sometime if he's willing, she could get him to pose for a painting. She would have to ask sometime.
Then it hit her. He was the nurse who picked her up when she was in the hospital at age 3 and slipped out of the bed, pulling out her IVs. Then again when she broke her wrist at 5 falling out the tree in the backyard. And at her family's funeral. She's graveside and felt a hand on her shoulder. But nobody was close enough to do so. It was him that was there. That feeling from those moments was there again.
"Yes, I was sent to protect and watch over you through those difficult times. Now I have a new task." Daniel spoke, a look of sadness in his eyes, like a shadow crossed over them. "If you are willing, I have a offer from the Father to bring you into a new level of your relationship with Him. Also there's more to your family than you know." With that he waves his hand into the air.
A panorama appeared before her. They stood on top of the clock tower in the center of St. Avalon. The scene below was of people out and about, seemingly peaceful. Except that the only thing making this seem so out of place was all the ugly shadows moving without anything attatched. Crystal remembered what happened at lunch earlier. Seeing these things made her feel like throwing up.
"There is another world most cannot even begin to comprehend. One unseen by physical eyes. But by the Father's grace, at times He allows His servants to take a peek into it. A great war beginning before time began still is being fought to this day." Daniel then points to a spot where one of these shadows is in a fight with a being clothed like him.
It was a short one. The shadow was wounded and allowed to leave. "The worlds of matter and spirit come together more often than even the children of God can even imagine. There is a group risen up by Jehovah Himself stand in the gap. Not just prayer and fasting, but actually fight hellfire with the Holy Spirit."
Chapter Two Part 2 coming soon
Other than what happened at lunch, the rest of the day went pretty good. After classes ended, Andi had a doctor's appointment and so it was Crystal and her Aunt Marty.
The stress of the day took Crystal straight up to her room. She laid down on her bed and went straight to sleep.
Her dreams were strange. She was seeing things from ages ago. Part of it was seeing a man tied to a stake. Men and women were demanding he be killed for spreading false doctrine. Leading this crowd was a man dressed like a archbishop, but his eyes were creepy, unnatural, otherworldly.
This archbishop demanded the man at the stake renounce what he called "doctrine of demons". When the man at the stake refused, he ordered two young men with torches to light it up. The man facing this fate was saying something, but Crystal was more focused at how much she resembled him. The nose, even down to the white patch in his hair was like hers.
Then the scene changes to three battles between what seems like light and dark. She sees the faces of the first two, the second being the man at the stake. Both leading the side of light. And they looked a lot like her. But the third one seemed to be in the present, maybe future. She tries to get a look at the face of the third leader, but it all goes black before that. Then a bright light fills the room she could see from behind her eyelids.
Shielding her eyes with her forearm, Crystal then blindly feels around for that baseball bat she always kept beside her bed, but couldn't find it. The light was coming from the foot of her bed. Where a glob, as best as she could describe it, was the source.
The light toned down and her eyes stopped hurting. There was a handsome young man in white sitting right at her feet. He looked no more than 16, possibly 18. His dark hair was barely brushing his neck and he had eyes a teen girl like herself could drown herself in. Those turquoise blues melted her right there.
Then he spoke. "Sorry about that. Sometimes I let it get the best of me." His accent had a slight British slant. Crystal had a fondness for accents. She was dumbstruck and didn't hear one word he said. He leaned over and snapped his fingers to get her attention, it worked.
She wanted to scream. No boys up in her room without adults present was the policy there. But she couldn't, she was strangely at ease with this person. He started again. "I am your guardian angel sent by God to train you." Crystal was confused. Training for what? Who was this madman and where did he come from?
Finally she could reach the bat and was ready to use it. Lifting his hand, the angel wanted no violence. Feeling something strange, she looks over and sees a water noodle in her hand. Bright pink. Dropping it, it turns back.
"I come in peace. No harm." Then he rises and pulls up the computer chair for her to sit in. Reluctantly, she sits down, still nervous keeping an eye on the door.Then the introduction begins. "I am a lower ranking commander in the 36th Calvary under the command of the Archangel Michael. My name cannot even be pronounced by mortal tongues, but you may call me Daniel."
"I know you have questions, and most can be answered in time, but allow me to explain why I am allowed to show myself to you at this time."
Chapter Two starts next time!
Monday morning rolls around and Crystal wakes up at 6:00 in the morning for her first day of high school. She had the outfit laid out and finds her Aunt Marty fixing up a special breakfast for such an occasion. Eggs, sausage, and hash browns were reserved for weekends, but on occasion she whips up something during the week.
Andi's mom took the duo the half mile to Grant High. They took one look at the new building and were awestruck. It was much larger than the previous structure and everything was pretty much under one roof. Previous students complained about having to run to one building to another so as not to be late for class.
Midnight blue and white were the school colors and it showed. In the lobby, four booths, one for each grade, officials were busy handing out homeroom assignments. And of course, the freshmen had the hardest time. Good thing they put up a massive map of the campus on the wall.
Their homeroom was in the Art/Shop wing across from the cafeteria. Room 117 was big with all the tables and easels in the back. This was also Crystal's art class, usually it was for the advanced students, but with her submission, the instructor made an exception. A year two course as a freshman. Soon after they arrived, the rest started to come in. About 20 kids in this homeroom from all four grades.
Just before the bell rang, Mr. Kyle, the teacher, came rushing in. Rounded glasses and loaded down with papers, he staggered in. He looked about 6 foot 5, long arms and legs. He introduced himself to the class. "My name is Mr. Kyle. I am from England and came here about 10 years ago." He writes his name on the board. He then does roll call and walks over to each student and hands them their schedule. When he gets to Crystal's name, he gives her a slight smile and tells her he expects things from her considering he rarely bends the rules about allowing freshmen into Art Year 2.
Andi and Crystal shared English, History, and Spanish, along with lunch. There was a rule that if you had fourth period upstairs, you had the first lunch period, downstairs, second lunch period. And they had it upstairs.
The morning went on pretty good, getting material lists and textbooks. Until they met up at lunch around 11:50. They got in line and was sitting at a table in less than 10 minutes. Crystal was just starting chowing down on a salad when the clock in the cafeteria rang twelve noon.
Crystal was happily chatting with Andi when something started happening. Just over Andi's shoulder she saw something like a shadow, but it was moving on it's own, nothing connected to it. A thin, scrawny thing, running around the place. Spiderlike, it moved quickly and then more appeared. All over the cafeteria, some were attatched to people.
Passing it off as stress induced, she waves to some classmates over to the table and trying to keep her attention to what was going on around her. Then the shadow comes between her and Andi on the table. It had those eyes that bring chills to your soul. The stench was unbearable, and Andi was talking like nothing was going on.
With a slight lunge, the creature stopped short and then ran off through the wall. "What's wrong? You looked like you've seen a ghost." Andi asked out of concern and bringing Crystal out of the shock. "Are the spells coming back?"
After her parents and brother died, Crystal began to have periods of withdrawal. Her aunt and uncle feared for her mental health then. But after some therapy with a wonderful counselor, they went away. From time to time, she had them but at a lesser degree.
Chapter One, Part 3 coming soon! Spread the word and offer me feedback! Thank you and God bless, Wonder777