Monthly Archives: February 2008

The Will of God–His Wish, His Desire

     God’s will is His wish, His desire.  And whatever the Creator wants done in His universe, that is exactly what will come to pass.  And we, His royal offspring, should make it our life’s goal to find out what the King’s will is and do it. 

     But it’s a great mystery finding out exactly what God’s will is.  The word, “will,” is an overused word that has as many meanings as there are denominations.  His wish, His desire, His will is like a mighty invisible river that flows from His heart throughout the earth.  He is the cause of all things; His desire causes His vision for His universe to come to pass.  Nothing can stop His will from being done.  Nothing can stop Him from accomplishing what He has set out to do.  The King will make his wishes reality.

     As his royal offspring, we need to study His immutable word to find out just what His will is.  For if we have a purpose or desire or wish in this life on earth that is not His desire or wish or will, then we will feel thwarted and blocked.  Nothing will work out.  Futility will haunt our endeavors.  All the pleasures of this world will seem “cold, stale and unprofitable.”  It will be “all is vanity and  vexation of spirit” if we are out of His will.  It will be as if we are paddling a canoe upstream.  We thrash about in life, working so hard at what we believe is the best direction to take, and yet we are working against the current.  And that current is His will/desire/wish.

     So, what exactly is God’s will–not just for our lives, but for this life here on earth?  God desires to reproduce Himself.  So much so that in the end, “Christ is all in all,” according to the apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians.  In fact, all his letters ring out this truth:

“It’s no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives in me…”

“Christ in you, the hope of glory…”

“Bringing many sons (and daughters) unto glory…”

“That you might be filled with all the fulness of God…”

“Perfecting of the saints…”  And many other passages too numerous to mention in this article.

     God’s will is to magnify Himself, to multiply Himself into a spiritual body of many sons and daughters.  Everyone and everything is either flowing with the stream of God’s wish and desire or they are struggling in vain against it.   (More later)                                           Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Studying to Be a Prince and Princess of God

     Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and heir to the throne of Great Britain, believed that he was in that position and has prepared himself for it.  Most future monarchs do just that.  They take their station in life seriously and prepare themselves to rule.  And so should the sons and daughters of God, His princes and princesses.

     For we are no different than the natural princes and princesses like Charles and Diana.  How do they prepare?  They study.  They avail themselves to learn the royal way.  They study what is expected of them and do it. 

     But Prince Charles did not study and prepare in order to receive the position of prince.  No.  He first believed that he was a prince and then he began to learn what that position entailed.  Now if we want to know what all he has done to prepare himself to be king, we can go to the Wikipedia.  But that is not my point.  The point is belief came first, then he studied so that he could be approved to become king.

     It is the same for us spiritually.  We must transcend mortal earthly doubts and negative thoughts about our future and believe what our Father has given us.  We are a “royal priesthood.”  We are the sons and daughters of God.  We are His princes and princesses.  That is the truth of the matter.  That is how He looks at us.  But before we can reign with Him on His throne (see Revelation 3 to those who overcome Laodecia), we must take his gift of sonship and daughtership seriously and study, seek, and search.

     “Study to show thyself approved unto God…”

     “Seek and ye shall find; knock and the door shall be open; ask and it shall be given…”

     “Search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, but these are they that testify of Me…”

     And this exhortation to study cannot be legislated or demanded.  The urgency to study will come into a person’s heart in God’s own time.  “Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights…”  Our calling to be his sons and daughters is a good and perfect gift.  But we must “make our calling and election sure.”  We can only do that by studying our Father’s letter to us, the library of holy books, the Bible.       

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Untraceable: A Movie Review with a Christian Perspective

   Let’s see.  You take a computer wiz with a grudge against a society that he feels doesn’t care.  Then watch the geek’s hatred transform himself into a serial torturer/murderer/exhibitionist.  Yes, he puts the horror live on his website for all the world to see.  The catch?  The more the masses clamor to see the victims writhing in agony, the quicker the death comes.

     The killer says to one of his victims, “I’m not killing you.  The people clicking on to the website are to blame.  If no one wanted to view your death, then you wouldn’t be dying today.”  The cruel madman seems to take more of a sadistic pleasure in implicating society in the murders than the killings themselves.

     Diane Lane plays Jennifer Marsh, a recently widowed FBI cyber-agent who tracks down internet criminals, and, of course, gets heavily involved in this particular case.

En route to the predictable ending, we must endure three slow, gruesome murders.  We viewers of this movie are not alone for 15,000,000 people in the movie click on and view it with us as we see the counter rushing the poor victims to oblivion.

     I was reminded of the gruesome games during the era of the Roman Empire.  Christians and other innocents were fed to the lions in the Colliseum and other venues.  The Roman citizens were guilty of the blood of these martyrs, for they gawked and cheered and revelled at the slaughter.  And yet, I am sure that if they had been asked about the spectacle as they strolled home, the Romans would protest their innocence.  Reading the emails of those who watched the live streaming video of these deaths, one got the same thought.

     Untraceable.  The killer thought that his deeds were undetectable.  He worked diligently at covering his cybertracks.  He put up an effective front, slipping back into “normal” society when convenient.  He was the ultimate hypocrite and deceiver.

     “The heart is deceitfully wicked above all things; who can know it?” the prophet asks, knowing the old heart of natural man.  Many humans think that their thoughts and deeds are untraceable and undetectable, hidden from the eyes of the Creator.  Because people cannot see the invisible Spirit God, they think that He can’t see them.  It’s the ultimate self-projection and self-delusion.  In their lofty imaginations, they think that He can’t see them do their shameful selfish acts.

     But all will “give an account of every idle word,” for God “is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  And we’ll all stand before Him someday to answer for all the deeds done in our body, which actually is designed by Him to be His temple, His residence.  For some, there will great weeping and gnashing of teeth while those who got right with Him through the “death of self” will shine as the sun.

     Untraceable?  No.  Our deeds and thoughts are most detectable.  We humans cannot hide from the eyes of God.                        Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Butterflies and Funeral Marches {short fiction}

     To just keep on living–that is the hope I hold on to every time we march in one of the company’s funeral processions.  I saw my face reflected in the side window of a sedan while we were marching last week, and it seemed to say, “On this another fateful day, I have hope.”

     The deaths come regularly.  Someone is always dying, and then we march.  I try to find something positive in it, but it is difficult.  Someone’s death does get your attention, I suppose; that’s one thing.  And it teaches you to not take life for granted; that’s something.  But then you start thinking, Who is going to be next?  But I never think it is going to be me because I have hope.

     Yes, you do have the formal funerals where the dead are put into the ground.  That’s bad enough, but it is the walking dead, the marching dead–that’s another matter.  They keep dying so very close to me, and I am thrust up against a wall of doubt, and I am tempted to believe that I am going to die just like they do.  My heart and mind are roughed up by this bully Death.  He storms into my life and steals dear acquaintances, and I, in shock, wander around asking myself, Why?  Why me?  Why now?  That’s when I think about sunshine warming up a moist green hillside–how the air quivers right before your eyes–and then the nausea subsides for the most part. 

     Hope.  I still got it, though.  I have this hope to live.  It is not a hope that is taught.  This hope in me is innate; it is a part of my very spirit inside.  It is as much a part of me as the ability to inhale air.  I want to live; I want to stay in this sometimes cruel and inhospitable environment, no matter what comes.  In fact, I secretly hope to live on–to prolong my time in this fleshy body.  Yes, to somehow cheat or conquer Death, to beat him at his own game–that is what I am after.

     I share all this with my wife.  I believe that she still understands me.  She, of course, doesn’t say anything, but she doesn’t have to.  She just smiles at me all the time with those playful upturned lips.  I can count on that smile because it never changes.  It’s always there, believing me and helping me.  Her eyes, too.  They seem to wink knowingly at me as if to say, You are going to live on, my love.  And that reassures me and usually it is enough to get me through the night and on to the next day.

     Like this morning, before leaving for work, I pick her up and gently wipe the dust off and hold her to my chest and clutch her there and bring her up to my lips and softly kiss her mouth.  I never want to leave her.  Sometimes I even want to take her to work with me–just put her inside my jacket and zip her up close to my heart.  But I don’t because she would probably just get in  the way and be broken.  So I just set her back down by the candles.  She doesn’t mind being left alone at home.  She understands me.

     But my coworkers do not understand me.  They do not share my desires.  They are a strange lot to me, for they all in one accord tell me that I am much too optimistic.

     For instance, we are on lunch break last week, and as I am opening my turkey sandwich with mayo and leaf lettuce, Henry says to me, “What are you so happy about?”

     “Happy?  Why do you say that?”

     “You’re smiling like you know something we don’t.”

     “I am feeling pretty good today, now that you mention it.”

     “How could you feel good in this dump–this, this plastic sewer of a job site?”

     “At least we are working.  Some don’t have that privilege.”

     “Privilege?  You call this mind-numbing noise a privilege to work in?”

     “Henry, I have a life.  We would be destitute if I were not working.  Why do you work?”

     “Why do I work?  I’ll tell you why.  A man has to do something while he is waiting for his turn.  You know the old saying: Boredom and aggravation are Death’s herald.”        

     “So you are just biding your time until your time to go?”

     “Yes.  Isn’t everyone?”  Henry sits and stares at me vacantly.  He is not eating again.  I don’t know why he doesn’t eat.  Very rarely does he lunch with me.   He is so much like the others.  They are all thin and hollow-jowled.

     “No, not everyone.  I’m not,” I say to the black moons under his eyebrows.  I have learned that you’ve just got to look them in the eye and speak your mind.  They are not to be feared–only understood.  “I am not changing the subject, Henry, but are you eating at home?  You really need to eat something.”

     “I’m starving myself again.  I want it to come soon.  It is a miserable and lonely existence.”

     “You are selling yourself short.  Did you ever really live, Henry?  I mean, really breathe in the warm air of love and then clutch the hand of the golden-haired girl beside you and run through a green meadow in spring and chase yellow butterflies and fall down laughing at the baby blue sky smiling down on you, and then turn and  press your lips upon her moist hungry mouth and then melt and swirl as one back into eternity?”  I look in his eyes and night has fallen in them.  Empty streets wind their way down to the center of his darkness.

     “No, but then, no one has experienced that!  That is just some dream of yours, some wild idea of what life could be.  There is no such life.  There is only death.”

     “No, you are wrong, Henry.  And so are all of your buddies.  You just haven’t seen what I have seen that’s all.”

     “You haven’t seen that because it is no where to be seen!”  He is shouting now and getting up out of his chair.  “You are a liar!  There are no butterflies and grass and, and love, and pretty girls!  It’s all lies!”

     “No, Henry, you have believed the lie.  Life is good; life is sweet.  Life is to be lived and not squandered in nothingness.  You cannot negate truth with a lie.  Life is good.  That’s the truth.  Your misery is really the lie, for it does not exist in real life.”

     “No, the truth is that we are all miserable.  We are waiting to die.  Death is the only thing that we can count on.  And so I have nothing to smile about now.  There is no joy here.”  He pokes himself in the breastbone, and it yields a thumping sound. 

     “You are miserable because you believe that a pleasant life is impossible.  You have accepted death as the ultimate reality, when, in fact, it is an aberration, an interruption, a temporary detour.  You do not accept life today because you long for death.”

     Henry’s face is snarling now.  He lunges at me and grabs my neck and wraps his bony fingers around it.  He is an animal, fighting for…what?  He is shaking  my head in all directions now, and I see the faces of the others who begin to smile.  And I look at Henry’s face, and he is smiling now, too.  He is grinning and leering at me as the others begin to yell, “Get him, Henry!  Give it to him good!”

     And I can see my face flashing in his eyes.  I am a little blimp of light passing over the dark globes set in his sockets.  I can still hear the shouting, and then I see the Superintendent.  He comes in the door and shouts, “What’s going on in here?”

     At that, Henry loosens his grip on my neck.  He wheels around and stands at attention, and I hear Henry say to him, “I was trying to kill him, sir.”

     “So that’s what it was?  I thought so.  You were choking him all right.”  Henry backs up now and joins his coworkers on the far wall of the room.  The Superintendent walks over to me, looks at my neck, and asks, “Are you all right?”

     “Yes, I’m okay.”

     “I want you to report to my office immediately to fill out the necessary paper work.”

     “What kind of paper work, sir?” I ask.

     “It is strictly a formality.  He was trying to kill you, and that is obviously a capital offense.”

     “I don’t understand what you want me to do.”

     “Attempted murder is worthy of death, but the law states that you will have to put it into writing before the charges will stick.  After that, of course, Henry will get his funeral.”

     “No, sir, you have got it all wrong.  It’s not Henry’s fault.  It’s really all my fault.”

     “What do you mean?  I saw him myself with his fingers around your throat, and you’ve still got red marks on your neck.”

     “I know, but don’t blame him.  I was telling him about blue skies, butterflies, and girls, and it made him a little crazy.  He’s okay now.  I am willing to forget all about it.”

     “Suit yourself,” the Superintendent says, and then turns and yells, “Okay.  Let’s get back to work!”

     I look at Henry and the rest of the guys, and they are laughing and shaking his hand and patting him on the back.  He looks at me and says, “Are you ready to go and fill out the paperwork?”

     “There will be no paperwork today, Henry.”

     “What do you mean–no paperwork?  I need to have the papers in order, so that…”

     “I am not filling out the papers, Henry.  I am not pressing charges.”  I reach over and pat his right shoulder.  “It’s okay.  I forgive you.”

     He looks at me and moans, “Why?  What have you done to me?”

     I just smile.  I want to tell Henry that life is too precious, but there will be plenty of time for that later.

     I rub my neck.  That was close.  Death reached for me and almost got me.  And yet, I knew I would get through it.  I have this hope that I will live for a very long time–maybe even forever.      

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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“Doubt Not in Your Heart”–Ripping Off the Shroud

     Belief is the distinguishing characteristic of the sons and daughters of God.  They will just flat out believe God and His word.  Period.  They will rip off the shroud of doubt that lays like a suffocating blanket of death over their own hearts, and they will shout, “No!  He’s alive!  In me!  He is risen in me!”  Because that’s what He says.  That’s what He wants us to believe.

   And then they will look around and see that that same shroud of doubt is smothering their brothers and sisters.  And they will realize that through His truth, God is now using them to peel back the doubt and cast it away.  They will simply believe God and His promises.

     When Christ says, “The Father is in Me,” they will believe it.  And in so doing, the promise of His infilling Spirit shall be kept.  “He that believes upon Me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (this He spake of the Spirit)” (John 7:38).

     The princes and princesses of God will believe that their King divested Himself of all heavenly grandeur and actually walked around here in an earthly body just like theirs.  He died, was buried, and rose again for our justification, sanctification, and glorification.  And by faith–just believing having not yet seen–they will be beneficiaries of His promise. 

     And this promise is that the Holy Spirit, the invisible God, will come down and “abide” in them (John 14:15-17).  “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (14:23). 

     And by believing His words, the works that He did we shall do also–and greater works shall we do as His sons and daughters!  Why?  Because He said so.  How?  By His indwelling Spirit.  And that’s all we need.  He that believeth on on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…(John 14:12).

     That’s our destiny.  To just get out of the way and let Him do His work through us–just let Him channel His light and love down and through us to the rest of His creation.  This is our destiny–if we believe.             Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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