What happened when Jesus rose from the dead …

happy-easterEarly the first day of the week, the King rose from the tomb. (Mark 16, Luke 24)

Mary Magdalene saw him first.

“Woman, why are you crying? Who do you seek?” he asked.

Standing at the empty tomb weeping, Mary Magdalene didn’t recognise the King.

“They’ve taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve laid him. If you have taken him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

“Mary” the King said.

“Teacher” she cried in recognition, turning to him.

After being in the belly of the earth for three days and nights, even preaching to those who’d perished in the flood of Noah, the Lord had returned from death.  (1 Peter 3:19)

He said, “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father, but go to my brethren, and say to them, I ascend to my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God.” (John 20)

Obeying him, Mary, Joanna and Mary the mother of James went and told the disciples the Lord had risen, but they were not believed.

Meanwhile the Lord entered the Kingdom of Heaven, the keys of Death and Hell in his hands. The gates of Hell had not prevailed against him. Walking across the sapphire pavement, the resurrected Son of God approached the throne of his Father.

The eyes of the creatures hailed their creator as the angels formed a rank of honour.  All bowed down as he passed.

A throne awaited him.

But first, before mounting the stairs to take his place at the right hand of the Father, the Son of God presented himself as the first of the harvest.

Looking ahead to the harvest of mankind that awaited, the angels sang for joy. The creatures added their voice, “Hail to the First-fruits of the earth.”

All of Heaven rose to their feet as the Father rose from his throne, accepting the sinless offering of the earth.

The Son of Man would serve as the High Priest of the New Covenant in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.

The sanctuary built by Moses was a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. Hebrews 8.

The only man-made thing in this place were the scars on the King’s body.

Now Heaven would await the arrival of the Church of the Firstborn.

And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. Colossians 1:18

Seeking an open minded reader

book-and-letters-ipad-backgroundRecently I attended a party in a beautiful spot near Leigh, a fishing village further up the coast.  While we were all mingling and enjoying the view, I was asked about my book.  “What’s it about?”

Er, um.  “It’s about a journey through two worlds – the outside world, and a hidden, inner world called “The Kingdom.”  The main character, the King, is Jesus.”

I study my listeners face as I try to explain my counter-cultural book.  I’m relieved to see she hasn’t shown any antagonism at His name.  I never know what kind of reaction I’m going to get.

“Are you religious?” she asks.

That’s a tricky question.  To me, religion is a lot of man-made rules and structures in man’s attempt to reach God, which doesn’t interest me. Jesus is different.  He is God’s attempt to reach man.  Jesus said “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”  With Jesus there are only two rules – to love God with all our heart and all our soul and all our strength and with all our mind, and love others as we love ourselves.  I believe and try to live by those rules.

the-greatest-commandment

“I am a believer” I answer.

“Where is your book sold?” she asked.

“Right now, as an eBook on Amazon.  It’s a bit hard to market the book because Jesus lacks credibility in the world’s eyes.  And my book doesn’t fit in a niche.”

How can I promote the King in a world full of disinformation and lies?

It’s a shame because I know Him from experience, but it’s MY experience.  How can I convince people He is real?  Or of His worth?  Or talk about all the proof there is for Him?  I can’t offer any of that unless I have permission to.  And a party is not the place.

“I’ll check it out” she said.

I am surprised.  I think people can be more open-minded than I give them credit or.

overcome-personal-prejudice-step-1-version-2

Nicola was one such reader.  She wrote “I didn’t expect God to play such a huge role in the book or for there to be quite as many bible quotes, I am ashamed to admit if I had read the info sent to me better I wouldn’t have read the book. That being said I am grateful if misread my info as I would have missed out on a truly original book.”

Willing to overcome her bias and consider new ideas; she kept reading and found she liked my main character; “I really liked that God was a real character in this story and I think he would be very happy at the way he was portrayed, we saw things from Joanna’s view and also from God’s.

Lucifer was also portrayed, his voice at least. I liked the way that Lucifer was portrayed, not as his cloven, evil personal as he usually is, in fact I found him quite funny the way he heckles, scoffs and laughs, all the while whispering in Joanna’s ear how God doesn’t love her, how she doesn’t deserve his love. His role is to put doubt in people’s minds, convince them they are not good enough, not liked etc… etc… I found him more believable than the fire and brimstone totally evil role he usually plays, in this I found him more real his turning people from God by deceit.

God on the other hand is constantly assuring Joanna and others of his love for them, that he has always loved them and always will, and his sadness at those who turn their backs on him. I felt he was a very human God who had all of our good points amplified and more, with none of our bad.”

So I am seeking open-minded readers for “The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams.”  Come and read a one of a kind book where God actually replies and converses with the characters. At some points you can even see the story from His perspective. This story is written with a different mind.

Can we understand something of the mind of God?  I hope you will read and decide for yourself.

 

 

Chapter 71 The new land

Lifeway CampusThe Princess rubbed her bleary eyes, rolled to her feet and padded to the window.  The curtains parted to reveal the grounds of a childcare centre.  It was her first glimpse of the campus.  They had arrived in the dark of the early morning hours, after a drive that took nearly 12 hours. 

Upon arrival they had fallen on bare unmade beds into an exhausted sleep.  Now they had woken to life in their two bedroom student flat, Isaac asked “Do you want to go to the dining hall for breakfast?”  “No thanks, I’m not up to meeting people just yet.  Can you just bring us some food?” she asked.

When the Princess did venture out with her daughter, she found the place had a different vibe from any place she had ever been. Every person on the campus seemed to know the King.  He was spoken of in the lecture theatre, the dining hall, and all throughout the campus. Warriors casually strode through the place wearing their swords, and there was not a dragon in sight.  They all ate together in a big dining hall, and did not have to lock their doors.  The Princess gradually stopped keeping an eye out for dragons and relaxed.

LifewayThe College was small compared to UCOL, but punched above its weight, especially in the field of animation. Their credo was “Do it with excellence”. As well as the campus, and the childcare centre, there was a church, a farm, a TV station, and a home for the intellectually disabled in nearby Warkworth. The campus was located on a peninsula in the Hauraki Gulf, part of the Auckland isthmus. Kawau Island, a large island with no roads, lay offshore. Auckland lay one hour south by road.

The land was called Mahurangi, meaning ‘Open Heaven or open sky’ in the Maori language.  The name suited the land. Picturesque beaches and bays fringed with Pohutukawa trees dotted the area, and behind that there were vineyards, farms, villages and pockets of bush.

The College was constructed by a visionary Prince named ‘Trevor’ and his wife Jan. His name in Welsh meant “great settlement”, which was appropriate. They were promised work on the campus, but it soon proved to be nothing but a mirage, putting them in a financial bind which she hated. In the vast desert she had crossed, mirages meant death.  What had she done? The Princess missed Engedi, her son, her home, the cat, and her income. It wasn’t a good place to start from.

The King sent a woman to her table as she was eating lunch. The woman was visiting her student son, and did not know her. “May I bring you a word?” she asked. Wondering, she nodded her agreement. “You are with Him in fellowship with his sufferings. He knows how much you have given up for Him. He knows. He is here with you. He is going to bless you.”

Reassured by the King’s words, the Princess tried to settle in to her new life as an adult student.

Besides the mirage, there were giants in the land.  The first giant was an obstacle called maths, statistics to be exact.  Statistics was a paper that barred many students from gaining the Diploma of Business.

Looking at what lay before her, she renamed the subject sadistics, and dug her feet in.  She sat in the lecture theatre looking at the lecturer blankly – clearly not understanding the paper. The Princess spoke to the King in disbelief.  “I have not been able to grasp maths since the age of ten. You know that, and now you want me to learn first year university maths in four weeks?”

“You can do it” the King reassured her. Isaac patiently taught her remedial maths, putting up with the anger, frustration and hurt as painful memories from the words and actions of her previous math teachers tumbled out, haunting her.  In her mind, the ghosts from teachers past all pointed out she could not learn maths.  The King did not agree that she could not do it. “You did not lack ability. Your teachers lacked accountability. They focussed on the children of the parents who expected results” He explained. “That sucks” she snarled. “My mother was no match for them, and it ruined my career prospects, until you came along and made me sit that IQ test”.

She bowed to Him, remembering what He had done for her. “The teachers did not ruin your career prospects, although they did blight them for a while. In the end, you got there in spite of them. Do not believe their words, or allow them to determine your destiny” He replied, adding “You have the ability, you always did. Now make friends with maths.”

The giant beat her back the first time. “I can’t do it” she sobbed. The King stood there, urging her “You CAN do it”.

Isaac told her “It’s just another programming language” “Well, it’s a rubbish language, the rules are not explained, and I can’t understand the logic” the Princess complained, but Isaac had sown a seed.  “You don’t need to understand the logic. You only need the rules” Isaac patiently explained. The Princess got it. She had learned several programming languages, quite easily. If she could learn those, she could learn the rules.

The King reminded her of what He had taught her;

Norman Vincent Peale saying“Throw your heart over the bar, and your body will follow.

She came back at the giant obstacle, and ran hard at it, throwing her heart over the bar. This time, helped by the King, and helped by Isaac, she soared over it, hitting a mark of 83%.

“What have you learned?” the King asked afterwards, as He smiled at the triumphant Princess. The Princess replied “I have learned not to believe the teachers who said I can’t do it. You strengthen me and say I can do it. With you, I can scale a wall.”

I have learned that I can do all things through the power of Christ which strengthens me. Philippians 4:13