How about a bonfire for St Patrick’s day?

St PatrickI reckon we should be lighting bonfires on St Patrick’s day, rather than drinking green beer!  Why?  To commemorate the day in 433 AD when St Patrick served notice on the gates of Hell in Ireland.  

Lucifer loves to be known as “the light bearer.”  There was a pagan law that no fire should be lit before King Laeghaire lit the fire of Beltane.  The fires of Tara, the seat of the Irish High Kings, were the first ones lit every year at Beltane – and all other fires were lit with a flame from Tara.

Despite the fires, Ireland was left in darkness.  Wanting to bring light to Ireland, God gave a young Briton called Patrick a vision;

I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: “The Voice of the Irish”.  As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea—and they cried out, as with one voice: “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.”  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick

So Patrick, a man on a mission, returned to the land where he had formerly been a slave.  He lit the fire on Slane Hill to show that Jesus Christ is the one who is the light of the world.

And the people living in darkness saw a great light;
 on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light dawned.
 (Isaiah 9:2 and Matthew 4:16)

So here’s to St Patrick bringing the light of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God to Ireland.

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”  Hebrews 12:28

 

 

 

The Keys of the Kingdom – true confessions at the Gates of Hell

Key to the KingdomI found a key with ‘J’ on it in my sleeveless vest pocket.  I don’t remember acquiring it.  It must have been after I helped set up the sound equipment for my church, but I can’t find the owner of the key.  It’s funny because my initial is ‘J’ and I’d been reading in the Bible about the Keys of the Kingdom.

Where do these keys fit and what doors do they unlock?  What did Jesus mean when he said He would give the keys to Peter, the apostle who declared he was the Messiah?  The promise of authority came with a question; Who do you say I AM?”  Jesus asked.  Simon Peter answered “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16).

Upon this rockAs servants, binding and loosing depends on the master’s will; as Jesus taught us to ask “Your Kingdom come, your will be done.”

Jesus still lends His authority to His true ministers today to do the same work. Sadly, many falsely claim this authority and misuse it.

The Roman Catholic Church maintains that the Keys of the Kingdom were handed to the Popes through Peter.  The keys are on the Vatican coat of arms.  That’s easily refuted.  The early church began in Jerusalem, not Rome.  It never had a Pope – from the early 3rd century the title was a general term used to refer to all bishops.  The title “Pontiff” belonged to Rome and the old roman gods.

This argument is made for one purpose: to give credibility to the idea that Peter was the first Pope in Rome.

Let’s give the scripture some context – the who, what, where and why;

Who was Jesus asking about before he spoke of the rock? 
Himself.
Jesus asked “Who do you say I AM?” and Peter answered “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God, ”

What did he say he would build on the rock?
His church.
Jesus said he would build His church upon that confession, and the Gates of Hell would not prevail against it.

Cesarea Philippi

The Gates of Hell at Caesarea Philippi. The niches in the wall held images of the gods Pan, Echo and Hermes.

Where was he when he said that? 
He was at the Gates of Hell.  They were in Caesarea Philippi, a city dominated by immoral activities and pagan worship.  There was a huge rock there, at the southwestern base of Mount Hermon, with a grotto dedicated to the Greek god Pan.  (Pan has horns and hairy legs like a goat).  The locals called it “the Gates of Hell.”

Why did he go there?
Jesus made His declaration at Caesarea Philippi to declare war on the gates of hell.  When Jesus sent out the twelve disciples, he said; “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)

He did not mean a sword like Mohammed’s.  The sword he spoke of is the Word of God.  In Isaiah 49:2 we read, “He made my mouth like a sharpened sword”.  When Jesus returns to our world leading the armies of Heaven the sword will be in His mouth. (Revelation 19:15)

The Confession; The Rock; The Church
I recommend the page on this site: http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository-matthew-16-16-18.htm

The Confession

For the question Jesus asked; “Who am I?“, the confession is all important.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
In fact, we know that the person who refuses to acknowledge this truth is refusing to be saved! Jesus said, “If you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”  John 8:24.

I hope you have made this confession.  They are the most important words you will ever speak.

The Declaration

The declaration is “I will build my church on this rock.”  Jesus did not have the Vatican or any other powerful religious structure in mind when he made that statement.  He is the rock.  Peter is simply named after him.  Jesus is going to shake the world like he shook Hell.
The prophet Daniel had a vision of the end times, where he saw a rock not made by human hands knock the statue representing the final world empire off it’s feet.  The New World Order was broken to pieces and swept away without a trace, but the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.  Daniel 2:34-35
God said there is no other rock beside him.  He said it twice in Isaiah 44:8 and 45:5;
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?  No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

The Church

Ekklesia means “called out ones”, the Church.  It is a nation of priests, of servants, built for faith, called out of darkness, wrested away from the Gates of Hell.
We become part of the Ekklesia when we confess Christ as our Lord.  His Church is built on that confession.
We are fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  (Ephesians 2:20).
NicolaitansWe were not made to be cogs in the wheel of an authoritarian,  man-made power structure.
Jesus hates that.  He spoke against it twice in his letters to the seven churches;
“But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.  Revelation 2:6, letter to the Church at Ephesus.
Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”  Revelation 2:15, letter to the Church at Pergamum.

Who are the Nicolaitans?  ‘Nico’ means rule and ‘laity‘ means clergy.  Get it now?

The devil wants to render us powerless, but consider this; “everyone born of God overcomes the world.” (1 John 5)
Jesus said “whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist.  And then He said, “The Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”  Matthew 11:11-12.
They take it by force because they want to take the authority away from God.

Jesus delegates authority – just like He did with the twelve disciples, and He has given the Keys of the Kingdom to His Church, His called out ones.

Signs in the heavens, October 2014

Lunar_Eclipse_Masterton_1After playing cards on Wednesday night I stopped to look up at the lunar eclipse.  It was a chilly spring night on the 8th October 2014.  The full moon was out, unobscured by the clouds which had blocked the first blood moon of the 15th April.    

Lunar eclipses are common, but a Tetrad where there are four lunar eclipses in a row is not.  This Tetrad is even more unusual because there is a solar eclipse in the mix.  When the last Tetrad occurred in 1967 Israel had the Six Day war.  Israel considers blood moons to be an omen of war and when there is a solar eclipse it’s an omen of war for the other 70 nations.   Jesus did say that prior to His return there would be wars and rumours of wars.

As the moon slowly moved into the Earth’s shadow creating a spooky sight I wondered what constellation the sun was in.  I opened “Stellarium” on my laptop, a free planetarium program which is great for star-gazing.

8-10-14 Blood Moon

Virgo, 8th October 2014, night of second blood moon of the Tetrad.

The sun was on Virgo’s arm, as she held a branch in her hand.  Virgo is a significant sign.  The prophet Isaiah stared 700 years into the future and gave Ahaz king of Judah a prophecy involving a virgin and Son.

Ahaz the King of Judah was at war.  Isaiah said; “Ask a sign for yourself from your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.”
But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord.”  Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

Immanuel means “God with us”. We know that Virgo means the virgin, but the meaning of the constellations was lost in Babylon. Virgo holds a branch in her left hand, and an ear of corn in the other.  The brightest star in Virgo is Spica.  Spica has an ancient name, handed down to us in all the star-maps. It is called in Arabic Al Zimach, which means the BRANCH.  What was the meaning of the branch?  The BRANCH was the title of a servant of God who would come to remove the sin of this land.

“Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.”  Zechariah 3:8-10. 

The stone in Zechariah’s prophecy represents Jesus, and the seven eyes represent angels and churches.

The ear of corn in Virgo’s hand represents a harvest.  When Jesus was on Earth, He went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  Matthew 9:35.

2migiddo-church-7I moved my attention to the moon, which was now a rusty shade of red.  The moon was in Pisces.   The sign of PISCES means “Their blessings in abeyance” (temporary cessation or suspension).  The three constellations in PISCES are;

  1. THE BAND–bound, but binding their great enemy Cetus, the sea monster.  (The beast up out of the sea in Revelation 13).
  1. ANDROMEDA (The Chained Woman). The Redeemed in their bondage and affliction.
  1. CEPHEUS (The King). Their Redeemer coming to rule. The brightest star is called Al Deramin, which means coming quickly. The next is named Al Phirk (Arabic), the Redeemer.

Jesus said “Behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Revelation 12:13-14.

What did he mean, coming quickly?  It’s been 2000 years.  The Lord has no sense of time! “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  2 peter 3:8-9.

The prophet Daniel said; “The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.” Daniel 9:26. Coming like a flood means events will speed up.

Besides the blood moon, there were two lots of meteor showers in the northern hemisphere; October 5th-6th the Camelopardalids and October 6th-9th the Draconids (from Draco).

This blood moon happened on the Jewish feast of Sukkot, which means “the in-gathering”.

Tiberias_synagogue_mosaic_etrog_lulav2

Lulav

Sukkot celebrates the harvest.  It is called The Feast of Tabernacles. It will be a time for the survivors of the nations to bow before the King (Zechariah 14:16).  After the crops were gathered from the land God commanded a festival, where the Israelites were to take a bundle of branches from four different trees;
“On the first day, you must take for yourself a fruit of the citron tree, an unopened palm frond (lulav), myrtle branches, and willows [that grow near] the brook. You shall rejoice before God for seven days.”  Leviticus 23:40

It was called “Lulav”.  Is it a coincidence that the children of Israel are waving branches at Sukkot?  I don’t think so.

Jesus was familiar with the day.  In John 7 Jesus did not go to the Festival of Tabernacles at first.  Jesus said to his brothers “You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.”
After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee. However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.
Jesus has not yet fulfilled this Feast but the day is coming when He will.  http://kswptim.wordpress.com/page/3/

A future sign in the heavens

I study the signs because it helps me understand the scriptures.  God is still using the signs of the heavens in His word.  For instance, in Revelation 12; “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.

Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.” Revelation 12-6

The word for “snatched up” means “Harpazo”.  Harpazo is defined as seize by force; snatch up, suddenly and decisively – like someone seizing bounty (spoil, a prize); to take by an open display of force (i.e. not covertly or secretly).
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

This is what is meant by the Rapture.  I don’t know when this will be, before the Tribulation or during.  For the persecuted Church, the Tribulation has already begun.  What will be happening in the heavens when this sign appears?

The Lord expects His Church to be like the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times.  It is really important now, because just like in Jesus’s day, people are feeling harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 

I am here at your service.  I know my Bible, I have a gift of discernment, and I learn as much as I can about what I see.  A useful book is one called “The Witness of the Stars”, written by EW Bullinger in 1893.  He’s not going to mind if you download it for free.

If you don’t know God, I hope you can see there is a lot more to Him and the Bible than you may have been led to believe.  I have a heart for people to know God and take Him at His word.   If you have any questions I will do my best to answer them.

Stormy beginnings

calm-before-storm-1We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary in 2014.  Married life began in a storm, and what a storm.  It was a one in 20 year weather event, apparently.  It had gone on for a week and shown no signs of abating.

The month of February is full on summer in NZ and we thought the weather would be good for our wedding.  Wrong!

I think it was because we had a big  evangelistic crusade in New Zealand at the time, and it had gone to Wellington, our capital which was only two hours away.  The campaign, Impact World Tour was brilliant because all the churches of different denominations came together and worked as one to reach people for the Lord.  We were all involved in different ways.

The devil didn’t like it and tried to rain out all the venues.  It was a spiritual battle.  The only problem was our wedding was being affected by the weather too.  I should have thought about it more when we chose the date.

Everyone asked us what plan B was for the weather.  There was no plan B.  My fiancee decided to go ahead with having the ceremony in the garden.  It had a strange calm about it, even though the wind blew through the trees around this place named Homestead Garden.

There is a scripture in Isaiah 25:4 that describes God as being a refuge in the storm. 

Homestead Garden b&w

Homestead garden

When we got married we invited God to the wedding, which went off without a hitch in an island of calm, with radiant sunshine.  Our guests  got sunburnt.  All the other outdoor weddings that day got rained out and blown out.  People were amazed that the storm didn’t touch us.  I’ve never known such favour.

As we were saying our vows, two Monarch butterflies fluttered their way across the lawn in front of us.  It was a beautiful sign to be given.  The butterfly has turned up at different places in the story.

You’ll see the butterfly emerge in Chapter 5 of my book ‘The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams.’.  It flutters into the story again in Chapter 8, ‘Shelter in the Storm.’  This time, it’s not alone.

Here are a few photos of our wedding in the storm.

Windy wedding 2 Our wedding at Homestead Garden 3 resized Windy wedding 1

 

 

Some things aren’t built to move

What do you think of same sex marriage?  The Church didn’t see it coming, and we’re left scrambling.  Some Churches see themselves as inclusive, and they will conduct gay marriages.  Other Churches are taking a “wait and see” approach.  The Church I belong to is sticking to what is written in the Bible, that marriage is between a man and a woman. I agree with my Church. 

Now you may see me as being an intolerant bigot.  No, I’m a repentant sinner.  There’s this saying I like; “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes“, and I am going to.  Please hear me out.

I have the same right

Jesus was very clear about divorce, and marriage being between one man and one woman.  You can read it for yourself in Matthew 19:3-11.

My story “The Kingdom” began when I was a divorced woman with a married man.  At first, I didn’t regard that as being a terrible sin.  I mean, he was going to get divorced!  Do you see how messed up that was?

When I got to know God, He showed me that He regards divorce, adultery, and homosexuality as sin.  It was a struggle for me to trust God to get me out of all of that.  I got there with a lot of help from my friends and support from people in different churches.

After my divorce God in His mercy gave me a second chance, and I was able to leave all of that behind me.  I am now very happily married to a man who loves the Lord as much as I do.

What do you think the Church is here for?  It’s to deal with sin.  We’re like a cross between a school and a hospital.  We teach the truth, and bring emotional, physical and spiritual healing to those who are wounded by sin.  That is what we do, knowing that we ourselves are sinners.  We are not perfect, we’ve been forgiven.

The church is there to help turn our lives around, so we can go the other way.  That is what we are.  We are like a lighthouse – an oil filled one.  Oil is a symbol for the Holy Spirit.  If your Church is offering same sex marriage – run.  It’s a Church without any oil.

Jesus told a story about a Bridegroom and oil in Matthew 25, the parable of the 10 virgins.  That Church is not interested in dealing with sin, or your spiritual condition.  The Church is supposed to deal with sin, not accommodate it in the name of “tolerance” or “inclusiveness”!

We can’t change the marriage covenant.  It would mean abandoning our faith to do it.  You might as well be asking for a lighthouse to move!  Here’s a clip about the USS Montana and a lighthouse.

Holy smoke, St Patrick and the fire he lit

St Patrick and shamrockcloverWhen I think of St Patrick’s day, I think of green beer, leprechauns and shamrocks.  Everything Irish. 

It’s celebrated somewhat in NZ, but for me I’d have to go back five generations to find only one Irish ancestor, so it’s hardly worth observing.  I don’t even give it a nod by wearing green.  How about you?  Do you celebrate it where you are?

I can see how the shamrock came about.  Saint Patrick, a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century, explained the Trinity using a clover leaf.  I thought it was a clever idea.  Its the kind of thing Jesus would do.

The word Trinity means the triune nature of God as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  God is love.  The bond of love between the three is so strong they are like one being.  The word Trinity is not found in the Bible, but I can demonstrate the Trinity to you using these two passages from the Bible;

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”  Matthew 3:17

Here’s the Trinity in a blessing;

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  2 Corinthians 13:14

So I hope you can see the Trinity from those verses.

Now here is something I didn’t know about St Patrick;
St Patrick Paschal fireOn Easter eve of March 26, 433,  Patrick lit a fire on a hill in defiance of a King who had ordered all household fires be extinguished in preparation for a pagan festival of light.  The Paschal fire Patrick lit was a real bonfire which blazed out the message that Jesus Christ is still the Light of the world.

It could be seen across to the next hill, the hill of Tara where the king and his followers were preparing for their pagan festival.  It was fortunate that the pagan king did not kill him for his defiance, but Patrick’s courage and faith won the day. From that time on, the influence of St. Patrick increased until the whole of Ireland had heard the message of Easter: that Christ is the Light of the World and that everyone can be saved through Jesus Christ.

Hill of SlaneWhat I like about St Patrick’s day, besides Patrick’s clever use of the Shamrock is an Irish folk song called “Slane” – for the hill where St. Patrick lit his holy fire.   My favourate hymn “Be thou my vision” uses the music from Slane.  It’s an old Old Irish hymn originally sung by 6th century monks.  The English version is still sung to the tune in which it was sung originally.  The song reminds me of the Kingdom of God – with the King, the word, the armour and the battle we fight.  May we be as brave and bold and defiant as St Patrick.

Here are the words;

Be thou my visionBe thou my vision, O Lord of my heart.
Be all else but naught to me, save that thou art.
Be thou my best thought, in the day and the night.
Both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word.
Be thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord.
Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son.
Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight.
Be thou my whole armor, be thou my true might.
Be thou my soul’s shelter, be thou my strong tower.
O raise thou me heavenward, great power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise.
Be thou my inheritance, now and always.
Be thou and thou only, the first in my heart.
O sovereign of heaven, my treasure thou art.

High King of heaven, thou heaven’s bright sun.
O grant me its joys after victory is won.
Great heart of my own heart, whatever befall.
Still be thou my vision, O ruler of all.

St Patrick Slane Hill

A statue of St Patrick keeps watch over the surrounding land from Slane Hill which towers 521 feet above the surrounding Irish countryside.  It’s quite a view.  To the east are the mounds of Newgrange and Knowth, and the Irish sea beyond.  To the north can be seen Slieve Guillion, a mountain in Northern Ireland, to the south is the Sugarloaf Mountain in Wicklow, and to the west are the midlands of Ireland.

Here’s a clip of the song “Be thou my vision”.

Seven circles

ChuppahEven though the Church was born in Jerusalem, it is separated from Israel – to our loss.  In these troubled and interesting times Messianic Jews (Jews who have accepted Jesus as their Messiah) are bringing back a cultural context to the Bible that was lost to the Church for over a millennia.

For instance, one night the couple who led my home-group decided to present the teaching of a Messianic Jew on the meaning and symbolism of a Jewish wedding ceremony.  This was for general application, to show parallels between a Jewish wedding and the Church’s relationship to Christ, outlined here:
http://www.gotquestions.org/Jewish-wedding-traditions.html

The teaching had ties to Jeremiah 31:21, where I had been given a word from Jeremiah about going full circle.  For me it was a Rhema word, that is a word for personal application.  It filled in a lot of blanks for me, as well as confirming the rhema word.

The confirmation on this occasion really amused me, because it was so Jewish. Even though Jesus belongs to us all, it reminded me that He is a Jew.  Jesus talked about the Bridegroom in some of His parables.

Chuppah 1In Jewish wedding tradition, the bride may circle the groom 3 or 7 times under the Chuppah.  This is generally an Ashkenazi practice.  The Ashkenazi Jew comes from Europe.

The Chuppah is a canopy under which a Jewish couple stand during their wedding ceremony.  It consists of a cloth or sheet stretched or supported over four poles.  A traditional chuppah recommends that there be open sky exactly above the chuppah.  So the Ashkenazi custom is to have the Chuppah ceremony outside under the stars, as a sign of the blessing given by God to the patriarch Abraham, that his children shall be “as the stars of the heavens” (Genesis 15:5).

Why does the bride circle the groom?

I love this explanation;

The bride, by circling the groom, expresses her awesome power over him.

The seven circuits are reminiscent of the biblical story of Joshua leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. They came to Jericho, a city known as the key to the land – if they could conquer it, the land would be theirs. But Jericho was protected by a big wall. There seemed to be no way in.

Similarly, every man has a wall built around his heart. Men are taught to hide their feelings, to create an impression of impenetrability, to make it seem that they have it all figured out. Men create elaborate defenses to hide any sign of weakness or vulnerability, and fiercely guard their deepest secret – that inside they are sensitive and meek, simple and soft.

But a wise woman can pierce this defensive wall. If she surrounds her husband with the protective aura of her love, if she envelops him with affection, and if she makes him feel that he is the anchor, the center, the focal point of her life, then he can feel safe and comfortable. When that happens, the walls protecting his heart come tumbling down. Then she has conquered him – all of him.

Source: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/586014/jewish/A-Mans-Deepest-Secret.htm

In the next chapter of The Kingdom I had met the man the Lord had promised me, after going around him in a big circle.  This was the third time our paths had crossed.  The trouble was, he didn’t exactly welcome me into his life.  There was a big wall around his heart.  I found him cold and stand-offish, and didn’t know if I liked him all that much.  It wasn’t an auspicious start for us.