Dark Light:No Joy Found in the Pretense of Religion

Religion at its best is a pious expression of human pride. Religion at its worst is a destructive tool in the hands of power-seeking individuals and the driving force of persecutions and war. Religion gives governing forces a powerful construct for reforming and controlling individuals, outwardly but can do nothing to satisfy the natural hunger for God that is in the heart of every human being. Religion is man’s carnal attempt to imitate what only, the Father can provide: true spirituality and inward transformation. Every religion (even Christian religion) is a Tower of Babel built with the purpose of lifting man to Heaven to reform him and make him like God. It is God’s merciful intervention that keeps these towers from reaching completion and apprehending their intended purpose. The language of religion is a confused language that prevents the pretentious dark-light of religion from consuming the world. Religion is an empty replication of a true spiritual relationship with the Almighty God who is Spirit and the giver of all life. Religion is a dead work and there is no Life, Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Hope, or any inner transforming power in any religion devised by human beings.

There is one Biblical religion and that is the religion of the Old Testament handed down by God to prepare Israel for their future Messiah. The Law, as written through Moses is spiritual, as it is the very Words of God Who is Spirit and it expresses His spiritual character. Even though the Law is spiritual it still lacks the power to transform carnal human beings because mortal creatures aren’t equipped to employ what is eternal. As human beings struggle to keep the Law, they are revealed for what they truly are: fallen, carnal beasts unable to lift themselves above what their nature dictates. The religion of the Old Testament reveals everything in human beings that disqualifies them from being like God. Without God’s purpose and direction, humans are just another kind of animal vying for survival and heading toward extinction. The Law makes it perfectly clear that human beings can never achieve god-like status through the practice of any religion, not even a religion created and handed down by God. Humans aren’t spiritual and by their nature unable to perfectly, obey God’s Law and thereby, make His character their own. Some respond to this revelation by denying God and abandoning themselves to their nature, surrendering to the beast within. When many people do the same, nations fall and civilizations crumble in chaos. Though this situation seems impossible for human beings, all things are possible for God.

Through Jesus, God reaches down to everyone with the purpose of restoring human beings to a right relationship with Him. The ultimate purpose of that relationship is not to lift human beings to be like God but to transform them to be like Jesus, the Man who’s every action was carried out in humble obedience to God. Because Jesus was sired by the Holy Spirit, he walked the earth as a spiritual man, the true Son of God. In a carnal body of flesh and blood, He fulfilled the Law and every Word ever written in Scripture. Jesus, the second Adam, repaired what the first Adam destroyed; and those who put their faith in Him are spiritually reborn, becoming new creatures that inwardly, become spiritual while still living in mortal bodies of flesh and blood. This is the transforming power that religion seeks to imitate and it has the power to do what religion can never do; restore human beings to their intended purpose in a loving relationship with the Father, who created them. It is the Holy Spirit dwelling within that enables them to be like Jesus and fulfill the Law in obedient reflection of their Father’s character. It is the Holy Spirit working in them to transform them from carnal creatures, unable to keep God’s moral commands, into Spirit-led persons, who one day will awake with the full-nature of Christ. In Christ, there is no need for religion and the struggle to obtain god-like perfection. Those who abide in Jesus rejoice for they have been obtained by God and found in Jesus, the spiritual fruit that every human being hungers for and through the ages, has sought to possess by religion. There is no joy in the pretentious spirituality of religion but in Jesus there is ever-increasing joy, in fulfilling the gift of eternal life that transforms even the wickedest sinner into a true child of God!

Matthew 6: 22-23 The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great that darkness! ~~~~Jesus~~~~~

Joy’s Shadow Malice

Joy is a woman who lives up to her name. Her character is marked by graceful actions proceeding from an attitude of joyful faith. She is kind, giving, loving, and merciful. She is human, not perfect, but she lives in dedication to Jesus. Though some might deride her because of her faith, no one questions that her faith is genuine. However, this wasn’t always true of Joy and as a young non-believer she was a very different kind of person. Raped at five, again at fourteen, and thrown out of the house at 16 where she became the victim of many crimes and committed many crimes in response, Joy at the age of 17 was a very hard, angry young woman. In the seat where joy sits now, sat Malice as the defining spirit of her character. Anyone who knew anything about her childhood didn’t question her need for revenge but the insanity of it also couldn’t be denied. Back then, Joy was a destructive force, a hurricane of rage creating ruin and demolishing her life. Her rage kept her alive as Malice drove her to a certain bad end, the sure consequence of her wild life.

When God intervened and reached down to save her through Jesus, Malice was pushed out of the driver’s seat and righteous joy took the wheel. Joy being ashamed of the girl who’d been possessed by Malice, pushed the girl she’d been into the shadows with her. Malice continued to sulk and stalk Joy’s every step. Malice was satiated by Joy’s sacrifice of the child she’d been and accepted this bargain as Joy denied her past and moved forward to try to be a different woman and live a new kind of life. She was successful in re-creating herself and becoming a woman guided by the Bible rather than raging emotions but something was missing and no matter how hard she tried to leave the past behind, she was haunted by the things she’d suffered and the sins she committed in response. Malice dogged her every step and waited for the opportunity to re-inflict pain from the past. Joy loved Jesus! However, Joy still lived in fear because God’s love hadn’t yet been perfected in her. Joy lived in constant terror of being found out and of coming in contact with those who had damaged her as a child. Malice jabbed her in the ribs anytime someone asked her about the high-school she attended, her prom, and all the other normal experiences of childhood that Joy wasn’t able to enjoy. Malice could no longer possess Joy but through her denial, she oppressed her and kept the past she was trying to outrun continually, in her present thoughts. Joy loved Jesus, was grateful to Him, and wanted to please Him but the truth was that Joy had only given Jesus half of herself and sacrificed the other half to Malice, in hopes of appeasement. The joy she possessed in Jesus couldn’t be fully actualized until, she allowed Jesus to reclaim the broken little girl inside that continually, cried out for the love and acceptance she’d never known.

Joy’s life changed and Malice was driven further into the shadows, when Joy embraced the little girl within and tended to her wounds by applying truth as disinfectant. The power of her painful past was diminished as she cast denial aside, along with pretense, and brought all the events she’d hidden in darkness into the true light that is Jesus. Each one became a light that produced enlightenment in her and also, became light to lead others out of the darkness of sin and abuse. The lost, damaged, thrown-away, little girl found purpose in Jesus and Joy found wholeness in self-acceptance. Joy became a more effective follower of Christ, as all the spiritual fruits began to reproduce in abundance in her life. The joy that Joy possesses in Jesus is no longer diminished by ghosts and demons from her past. Though Malice still shadows Joy, she can’t find a foothold for oppression because Joy no longer lives in fear. Every part of her is surrendered to Jesus and perfect Love liberated her from the fear of her past.


Emotional pain is the trap-door that led to his addictions.

Fantasies and Denial are his natural coping-methods.

Chemically-induced-joy best fit his personal predilections,

Of dream-world-avoidance over facing-truth-methods.

Belonging- in-the- wrong-crowd fulfill Mom’s predictions,

A life of crimes he chose as feeding drug-habit-methods.

Dope-fiend! Hop-Head! Addict! His personal distinctions;

Lost-Joy-Popper! Adrift with no right-life-living-methods,

Won’t last long! Predestined for final addict extinctions!

Here the road ends, when relying on self-abuse-methods.

Lost-Joy-Popper! He listened to heart’s instinctual directions.

Faulty-messages chained him inside faulty-coping-methods!

There is hope for all Lost-Joy-Poppers in Jesus. By faith in Him, addicts of every kind can find freedom from the slavery of addiction by embracing Truth and employing God’s divine love and grace in their lives. Chemically induced joy pales in comparison to the true joy found only in Jesus!




Joyless Barracuda!

Once upon a time a little girl was shattered.

No one noticed the darkening of bright soul…

Embracing the black lie; none of it mattered…

At her very core opened a gaping black-hole!




In sharp shards everywhere lay scattered!

Love was punctured! Wrath filled her bowl!

Joyless Barracuda rise! Innocence tattered!

Painted green eyes to hypnotize her goal…

Beautiful spirit broken girl-child battered;

Outwardly ravishing masking a dead soul…

Passive-Aggressive leaving men shattered!

Emptied bank accounts her devouring goal!

Proving to everyone that little girl mattered!

Who inside died from Man punctured soul…


Inside every man-eating barracuda lives a broken little girl. Jesus is the only One who can restore shattered women and empower them to become the women God intended them to be. What isn’t possible for human beings is possible with God and no one is too broken for the healing grace found in Jesus. Even a joyless barracuda can be transformed by faith into a joyful lady in Christ.





Smart professional on top of his game!

Educated; cultured; a smooth operator…

Upwardly mobile, wears the right name!

Handsome, debonair; slim-sleek-otter…

Deftly heading toward power and fame!

Speaks eloquence; refreshing like water!

Conquering, dominating, others to tame;

Owns one woman, prowls for one hotter…

Driven by greed and doesn’t know shame!

Knocks down anyone beginning to totter…

Crush the weak! Turn! Leave them lame!

Sees all others as clay, himself their potter…

Scape-goats God annuls any and all blame!

Jealous, driven-green-envy, love squatter…

Self! God! Others! Burning hate flame!

Top man has money; but it doesn’t matter…

Hollow-man craving; satisfaction can’t claim!

Pitiful, joy-starved, sad, sick manipulator…

Deceived! Dehumanized! By his own game!


He’s the son of that original joy-starved-master-manipulator, the father of all lies, Satan and if he continues in his father’s footsteps, he’ll share the same destiny. There is hope for all joy-starved-manipulators who repent, receive Jesus and His anointing of righteous joy, in the place of driving envy and greed.


Finding Joy in Discouraging Times

There is no place more discouraging to life than the Sonora Desert in mid-summer, at the peak of day. The relentless sun blazes like an oven, baking any living creature that dares to come out from below ground. It is a dry heat consuming every drop of water in its path. To those ignorant of the desert, this alien, inhospitable landscape appears to be devoid of life. Rocks, hard-baked sand, near leafless trees, and towering Saguaro armies standing guard over a host of diverse cactus brothers all armored in long sharp thorns. First time visitors often rub their eyes in response and wonder if they’ve been somehow, transported to another planet, unawares. It takes patience and a willingness to endure to discover the abundance of life hidden and nurtured in the Sonora Desert; but for those who faithfully wait, the desert reveals in radiance a beauty that rivals all earthly beauty. It is a kaleidoscope land of rainbow colors that shifts with every hour of the day; within a cycle of seasons that pass from hell in the summer into winter paradise. This special desert performs a continual dance with the heavens reflecting its joyful colors. Even in hellish summer, this joyous celebration continues, in magnificent sunrises and sunsets that transforms the land in colorful reflections as bright as the sky. In all times and in all seasons the desert faithfully glorifies the sun.

Full-time Sonorans are a rare breed. Millions flock to the Sonora in winter and quickly flee northward at the first hint of summer heat. Only the faithfully dedicated remain and endure the discouragement of summer and patiently, await the return of the longer temperate season. Taking their cue from the native plant and wildlife, they hunker down and pull inward for necessary sustenance. Surviving the desert requires adaptation and the kind of nurturing that comes from within. Life-giving water stored in a place where the hungry sun can’t reach is vital for all who hope to emerge from the summer furnace to enjoy future seasons of growth and abundant life. It is the Saguaros who have adapted best. With vast stores of water within them they tower reaching for the sky fearlessly, standing guard in all seasons. The summer heat seems not to affect them as they patiently wait for the flowered crowns that adorn them in late winter and early spring. It is the Saguaro who set the example for all living things in the sometimes, harsh Sonora Desert.

As a believer in Christ Jesus living in a time inhospitable to faith, I also, look to the example of the Saguaro; those faithful guardians of my beloved Sonora Desert. I hear the discouraged cries of my brothers and sisters and I hope to encourage them also, with this message from the Saguaro. Dear ones, be assured that the Paradise season is on the way. In Jesus, we have all we need to endure the blistering heat that is beginning to beat down. Our sustenance is that fount of Living Water that through faith flows deep inside, safe from the thirsty heat. Like the Saguaro, those who belong to Jesus have our roots hidden in the cleft of the rock. With roots reaching deep into an underground stream that is unknown and unreachable to the relentless burning, we receive all we need to endure. Refuse the discouragement offered by the world and instead, reach toward Heaven and with joy look forward to receiving your flowered crown! No matter how hostile to our faith the world may become, no one can take away the joy we have in Jesus or evaporate His promise of future Paradise! Like the Sonora Desert, let us daily celebrate by reflecting and glorifying the Son in our daily lives. His righteousness is the only source of true joy in life-discouraging times.



Unique Sparkling Joy!

On a sleepless night from the darkest point in the universe, I sit and gaze upward into the night-time sky. From this unique vantage point the heavens blaze, emitting the energy that fuels the universe. No two suns, no two planets, no two galaxies are the same yet, they harmonize in a majestic, sparkling display. The Master Creator’s living masterpiece is beyond my comprehension but within me burns the compulsion to understand. Such an amazing ambition, coming from a creature so small sitting in darkness and gazing upward! Why? What are human beings (with ant-like insignificance) who by their nature are driven to grasp and own the knowledge lying beyond the capacity of every mortal creature? Does joy come by knowing comprehension or by my heart’s blind acceptance of my place within this wonderful creation? Is it my questioning that grates and destroys God’s natural harmony? Is my humanity diminished if I choose blind faith?

God why have you made me thus? Why have you given me, a creature so insignificant, the ability to question with the desire to own? My questions leave me feeling helpless and alone. My desire for control leads me into rebellion and ends in my personal destruction. I search for someone just like me, who will understand me, and end my lonely search; but I (like all you’ve created) am the only one you’ve made like me. I am hopelessly eccentric and seeking relief in commonality. Again, my questioning eyes turn upward, seeking answers to my “whys” and an end to my unique isolation. Within I am haunted by an echo of belonging to the glorious heavens surrounding and beckoning me. Infinity overwhelms my questioning mind and a small voice from eternity whispers, “My grace is sufficient for you. Trust me. I sent you my Son. Accept Him, follow Him, mirror Him, and find my purpose for you. He is the One through whom, I created all things and in Him I hold all things together. He is the answer to all your questions and the One who will make you shine in harmony with all that lights my creation. He will change your desire for control to trusting content. Faith is not blinded reason. It is the gift I give to guide my dear children, who are too small to understand. Now, open it, use it, and rejoice! Rest in Jesus in the place I created for only you to shine!”

The sun rises and the dark night runs away, as I forget its lonely questioning. I hear the birds’ cacophony of joyful praise! The world revealed in rainbow colors, ever brightening until all shadows fade. Because of night-time’s ink black isolation I have learned to appreciate the sunlight; earth’s unique star, that faithful light which energizes all life, not by chance but by design, is not a sign but a daily miracle that fills my heart with surety. God is in control and though I am the only one, I belong to God. Because of Jesus I celebrate my peculiarity. I shine as only, I can shine and I am sparkling joy!


Joyful Warriors Manifest as Salt and Light

The heathen rage glorifying their sin and filling the world with spiritual darkness. Many believers see the state of the world and mistakenly, enter into war with unbelieving sinners. Religious and political leaders create and use this misconception to isolate and control groups of people. (A people divided against one another are not likely to stand up against religious and political corruption.) Though we are called to wage war against sin, our battle is not with unbelieving sinners. We are to battle our own sin and stand up to sin within the ranks of believers. Jesus resisted His personal urge to sin to the point of death. Those of us who Name Him must also, ask ourselves what we are willing to die for and resist the sin that crouches within. As Jesus spoke truth to power when He confronted the Pharisees, the religious hierarchy of His day, believers must also, stand up to corrupted church leaders and professing believers who habitually practice sin. Believers who live as the heathen live and aid ear-tickling religious leaders in becoming rich and powerful, in Jesus Name can make no difference in a world governed by sin and death. It is those joyful warriors gaining victories with the sin in their own hearts, which manifest themselves as salt and light and thereby, preserve a society.

It isn’t secular heathens who are bringing on the fall of the western world. It isn’t homosexuals who have destroyed marriage and created fractured families. It is those believers who’ve chosen to follow the dark light of traditional religion rather than the true light of the world, Jesus, who have lost their preserving saltiness and allowed the enemy a strong foot-hold in the culture. It is believers who are complacent in pursuing pleasure, indulging themselves in sexual sin, pursuing material wealth, and wallowing in addictions who are responsible for the corruption over-running our civilization today. It is believers who count the blood of Christ as nothing more than a cloak for evil, who have tarnished Jesus’ Name and made God powerless in the minds of the heathen. There is no joy in disobedience and it is no wonder that so many modern church goers are sour rather than joyful. Sitting in comfortable chairs, in beautiful buildings, enjoying material wealth, they don’t realize that they are poor, blind, and naked before God. He sees every heart and every sinful action of those He called out of the world to serve His purpose. Those who remain true by resisting the sin within and obeying His commands will be preserved but those who have lost their savor by the unrepentant practice of sin, He will spit out of His mouth!

The world lies in sin and darkness filled with lost souls. Never has the need for salty, light-filled believers been so great. Jesus return is nearer than ever before and those believers caught in complacency will experience anguish, weeping and gnashing of teeth. It is sin that dims the light of Jesus living in our hearts and it is sin that leaves believers ineffective in preserving a culture. My prayer is for every Christian soldier to return to the true battlefield and diligently resist sin and stand up to those who name Jesus but tolerate and lead believers into sin for purposes of their own. May all true believers including me, look to Jesus for ourselves and follow only Him, in personal obedience. May each be transformed from complacent sinner/saint to joyful warrior manifesting as salt and light and lead the charge to revival. May we be found faithful when Jesus returns.

Joy For All Seasons

Each day I unwrap as a gift given for a special reason;

Receive, open, admire, use; then I carelessly toss,

Expecting the generosity of a tomorrow like today;

Not noticing day’s life altering pass into new season,

Green to gold to red to brown to grey; life’s eventual loss

Days like leaves falling; debris piling raked cleared away,

Gather to mulch vegetable gardens; new life’s treason

Warmed by elder used days; tiny seedlings nestling moss

Nurtured beneath sleeping branches; await first spring day;

Receive, unwrap, celebrate, future days far over horizon,

No thought for those before who suffered day’s loss;

Sacrifice of life in death to gain new life! I kneel to pray:

My days be not raked cleared and burned in death season!

Instead gathered in sacrifice; like Your life-giving cross!

I wait until new life rises; Jesus honor my remaining day!

Redeem careless days, by Love-giving-joy beyond reason!








Joy vs. Fear and Wins!

Kathleen lived in a state of constant fear; and her fear wasn’t unreasonable. Raised in a home characterized by abuse and neglect, Kathleen grew up to recognize abuse as normal and even, an expression of love. This left the door open for child-rapists and sexual exploiters to further abuse her. Even though Kathleen accepted it as truth when her parents and these men said they loved her, something inside of her cried out for something better. Her emotional pain sat at her core, a black hole that sucked in any kind of attention but was never filled. She needed love, she reached for love, and received abuse mislabeled as love. Kathleen stared into Death’s face many times before the age of eighteen and she had no fear of him. Her fear was founded on those things that death comes by and her learned definition of love as degradation and pain. Her fear offered protection. Fear placed her on constant guard-duty, empowering her self-safety through hyper-vigilance. Raised as an unloved child in a hostile world: love, joy, peace, and security seemed to be lofty ideals forever, out of her reach. Acceptance of grim reality and constant fearful watching seemed to Kathleen the only choice for survival. Kathleen longed for the unknowing-ness of Death but her fear of how Death might take her, kept her fighting to survive.

Kathleen was the black-sheep of the family; the family scape-goat held responsible for her parent’s dysfunction. Kathleen innocently accepted this role and definition of herself because there was little effort by anyone, to teach her anything different. Sexual abuse is scapegoating in its most extreme form and Kathleen naturally took on the blame and shame for the abuse she was subjected to. The weight of a sinful, hateful world rested on Kathleen’s young shoulders and if she knew anything about herself, she knew she was sinful, very dirty, and probably evil. When introduced to Jesus as the Savior from sin, Kathleen reached for that salvation without hesitation! The black-hole inside her was filled with divine love. On the inside, she was new but the world didn’t change and in the world, fear still seemed to offer needed safety. Jesus and His unconditional love became a refuge for Kathleen, a special place to hide from a world that remained ever-threatening. Kathleen longed to leave the world and be only, with Jesus but God’s desire was for Kathleen to grow into His perfect love; and free her from her prison of fear, even while living in a dark and dangerous world.

Kathleen wavered for many years between trusting God and fearing other human beings. God, her new tender loving Father, met all her wavering with patience and kindness. He never expected more of her than she was able to give and never condemned her when she failed. Her Father didn’t react to her childish stumbling with anger or by reciting lists of everything she’d ever done wrong. By His love, expressed in truth, He freed her from the final consequence of her sin and thereby, blessed her with enduring hope. He also, freed her from the guilt and shame that others wrongly, placed upon her by that same power of truth in rightful reckoning. Jesus is the divine truth that reveals evil’s true face. Over many years, God proved himself to be a true Father by protecting her, being trustworthy, and never abandoning her. God’s love never failed Kathleen. As she grew in God’s perfect love there was less and less room for fear until, all her fear was gone. In an upside down world, the love of God turned Kathleen right-side-up and her state of constant fear was replaced with ever-growing joy!

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.


In the words of my seven-year old grandson, “God is infinity love!”