AN ILLUMINATING JOURNEY
This book is written for 21st century Christian leaders and followers of Jesus Christ. The power of truth has been written to lead God’s people from the “Broadway” to the “Narrowgate”, which is to God’s kingdom, to live the righteous life that he has provided for all who trust in him.
“My Journey to Patmos”, is a Christian book detailing a Christian woman’s eternal transformation from carnal living to internal spiritual living. This book is an allegorical autobiography about a Christian woman’s history of pride and her discovery of humility, on her solitary, spiritual journey to a place called “Patmos”. The story is centered on the illuminating journey of the main character, Temple Clay. She is a misguided Christian, who is struggling to find her place in organized religion. After countless failed attempts to be accepted in the church, she is forced to abandon the traditional church mandate, in order to find her place in the body of Christ
The story gives an account of her soul searching experiences, which takes the reader on a journey with Temple Clay, to the very depths of her menacing soul, and to the height of her discovery of true salvation. The story describes the bold exploits of Tempe Clay’s all-embracing testimonies of her lust for the world, and her denial of her weaknesses. The revelations she faces, reveals her inner-self on her journey, which will cause the reader to laugh and cry, and fall in love with Temple Clay. Traveling through this blessed journey with Temple Clay, will encourage the reader to consider a journey to Patmos too.
There are many literal and figurative characters in the book. Some of the characters are humorous and delightfully holy; and some characters are monstrous and deceitful. For example, Daily Grace, who represents the forgiving, and understanding the love of God. Another character is Will Divide, who represents division and conflict, challenging Temple Clay’s Christian authenticity. Each character in the book dares the reader to search their own heart for the hidden, and forgotten secrets that are holding them emotionally captive to the world and all of its delusions. Each character is placed in Temple Clay’s path on her journey to Patmos, to bring her to a spiritual understanding about true faith in Jesus Christ.
This book transfers its reader to a place in their heart that will challenge them to take a journey to Patmos, and become spiritually liberated, as all Christians are called to be.
IT’S LATER THAN YOU THINK!
“But God said unto him, thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then who’s shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” (Luke 12:20).
Some people spend their entire life trying to make a good reputation for themselves. Many want to be admired and lifted high, regardless of the insincerity or origin of their celebrants. These people are always rushing about nothing, but to them it is necessary to make a fuss and rush, rush!!! The sad reality of these busy, busy people is they rarely entertain the truth that life is short, and tomorrow is not promised to anyone! Never stopping to take a sincere look at their earthen vessel deteriorating. What is next is all that comes to their minds and hearts. Have we stopped and considered that our soul is required to return to God, and all that we have accumulated in this world will belong to some else? How do we come to terms with departing from this life? It’s Later Than You Think!
This is a reality check for all humanity. How are we spending our time, our days, our hours, and our minutes and seconds? What is so important in our lives, that we do not take the time to stop and consider that we live in this realm of life for a short season. We disregard the inevitable, that we must return to the dust and our soul returns to God, our Creator. After all, it is God’s breathe in all of us. Have we spent our time trying to please the world, and family and friends? Always seeking their attention and love to validate us as a whole person? When in truth, the only approval or disapproval, will be weighed by the only one, who has the sovereignty to determine our every act whether it be good or evil.
We lend our strengths and attention acquiring wealth and success, praise and applauds from others human beings who cannot raise the dead! Yet, we pour our hearts and souls into broken cisterns that cannot hold water. All the love and adoration that should be given to God, our first love, is showered over clay vessels, which is in the Potter’s hands. “And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19). I was questioned many times after the passing of my belated and beloved husband, how do you do it? How do you continue to live and smile and carry on? I replied, ‘I still have my first love, and that is God my Father. I still have the Holy Spirit and the love of Jesus in my heart. Also, I know my husband has returned to the Father. So why should I be inconsolable?’ Do I miss my belated husband, absolutely! Thankfully, I loved him in Christ, and I will see him again! It’s Later Than You Think!
Are we to be happy in this life? Can we be happy in this short life? Yes indeed, then the question becomes what is true happiness? How can we live a happy in alignment with God’s righteousness; and transcend from this life to a greater happiness without regret or fear? Time is tricky and we cannot determine our departure. “But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).
We love and value education to become more efficient in the world. Education sometimes increases our wealth and our station in this life, however, that too is short lived. The graveyard is filled with the mighty and the rich! Also, our physical appearance is surely happiness to millions or even billions. The cosmetic industry is proof of that reality! Again, time deteriorates the flesh to dust again. Time wasted in vanity will make the mirror laugh uncontrollably at what we ignored. Finally, there is surely happiness in family, children, and spouses and friends! This should make us happy and yet they too must depart to the same dust as we! It’s Later Than You Think!
After I reached a half century in age, which was a while ago, it suddenly struck me, “I am getting old!” The time is growing nearer for God to call me home, and my body will return to the dust. For an entire year after my milestone birthday, the thought of life and death was on my mind. Although I am a seasoned preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I asked myself, What are you going to do with the rest of your life? The answer, “I will give God all of me!” It became urgent and more defined and focused without distraction to totally invest myself in God. I have spent a lifetime telling and showing people that I loved them, and if they did not see my love, they will never know! I detached myself and my cares from the world and pursued God’s will and not my own. I would no longer demand the impossible from a world that has no regard for God, its Creator. I would pour myself into God with the blessed assurance that when my soul is required, I had spiritually departed from this world. I will have already made heaven my home and God my Divine Father, and Jesus my King! I am happy in the presence and the will of my God. “The righteous shall be glad in the Lord and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.” (Ps. 64:10). It’s Later Than You Think! Come to Jesus while you still have time! God bless you and amen.
Written by Reverend Jessica L. Matthews
PROTESTING OF THE SOUL!
“Therefore, if any man be born in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Moral values are the root of any protesting behavior! What one believes or are taught what is right and what is wrong; or what is good and what is evil. The key word here is BELIEVES! One is protesting on the bases of right and wrong and good and evil. Some people believe wrong is right and evil is good! The world holds different moral principles, so we pick and choose which moral ethics we approve of in our heart. However, one must ask oneself, what is the true standard of a man’s soul? Even more, who is the final judge of a man’s soulical condition? There must be an infinite model of righteousness to live by. Otherwise, we will have utter chaos without a ruler of righteousness in one’s soul! When a man is expressing outward protest, his soul is not at peace! How does one find peace within oneself to stop the looting of truth and spiritual understanding? If the Spirit of God is not sort after in one’s heart, the result will always be “Protesting in the Soul”.
Protesting to change injustice is a loud cry that will be pacified with written promises and role changes. But the true problem will remain the same, which is the condition of a man’s soul! The man’s heart has not changed even though the aspect of a thing seems to be different. An unholy heart is agreeable for a moment, but the essence of his heart is truly indifferent to the injustice and the protesters. “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” (Proverbs 26:11). For a man to truly change his habits his soul must be renewed in love and righteousness. One can cease to perform certain outward actions, but his heart is unclean and full of hatred! “Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof…” (2 Timothy 3:5). The protest continues within and will eventually reveal the restrained sinfulness. The ultimate reason for the looting in the heart must be removed by the forgiveness of sin through Jesus the Christ! “Therefore, if any man be born in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The protest of the soul continues because one has not unlearned sin. In fact, when one displays abstinence of a protesting soul, his soul is filling with more and more rage! “Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10). Peace comes within when one knows God who will give him salvation and a peace that surpasses all understanding. The protesting soul must seek forgiveness of sin and then become the salt of the earth! Moreover, internal peace and comforts comes to the soul through faith in Jesus the Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. True peace of the heart comes only when there is obedience to God’s word. We know peace and happiness ended in the Garden of Eden because Adam and Eve disobeyed God. The world and its inhabitants have not had peace and justice since. The Christian as well as the sinner, must learn to obey God. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give unto you.” (John 14:27). “Let the peace of God rule your heart.” May God bless you and amen!
Written by Rev. Jessica L. Matthews, Missionary Pastor
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Although we love to deny the truth the majority of the time, the mirror does not lie. The reflection we see in the mirror is our flesh! The whole lump of us! We can say to ourselves that a mirror puts on or takes away poundage, still we deny the truth! This is who we are in the flesh! Sometimes when we consult our mirror, we become quite aware that our fleshing is decaying and life in the flesh is coming to an end. But we should not be in despair because on the other side of this METAMORPHOSIS is LIFE EVERLASTING! The change will be like a caterpillar turning into a “Butterfly”. However, unlike a butterfly, there will be no more death after this transformation. All who trust in Jesus Christ will be transformed into a new life that will never face death again! A place where there will be no more sickness, sin or disease! There will be no more sorrow, “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall: feed them and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17).
When youth is on our side, we are not fearful of consulting the “Looking Glass,” the mirror. It seems that we cannot get enough of admiring ourselves. Some people are so vain that they consistently look at themselves on their cellphone camera feature. Personally, I think that is beyond vanity, I believe that is an obsession with oneself! Anyway, in our youth we are not confronted with dark circles under our eyes, unless sick, wrinkles, crow’s feet, gray hair, Bengay, Icy Hot, denture creams or a turkey neck! The challenges of youth are pimples, great hair styles, the latest fashions, careers, facial hair, cracked teeth and make-up. The thought of gray hair and moles, wrinkles, mental illness, wheelchairs are not considered. So, I say enjoy these youthful days while they last because if God is merciful and let you live long enough, the daunting days of aging will come upon you.
As we reach our midlife, our mirror indicates that we are changing, dying in fact. Our steps are a little slower, our bladder leaks, teeth are falling out, vision is blurry and our strength is leaving us. We finally see the “Caterpillar,” we discover a few gray hairs popping up here and there. We try using the tweezers or some sort of dye to conceal the aging process, but the gray hairs are stronger than any dye or tweezers can combat. If you pluck out one gray hair, five more show up! I can’t personally speak about hair dying, I vowed never to do that to my hair because I would be denying God his glory. But from my observations, even though people dye their hair, I can still tell they have masked their gray with hair coloring. Because gray hair is so bold and aggressive! The other ways we try to hide the truth is with wigs, toupees or hair extensions! I say, “What’s the point?” The gray hair is going to win in the end anyway! I say embrace the wiry truth tellers and give God his glory!
During our confrontation with our degenerating caterpillar self. We should be preparing to be digested by decay and infused with the wonder working power of God to be transfigured into a beautiful Butterfly. As we look at our caterpillar state of being, we are reminded that the spiritual man is being renewed day by day. The real you is being strengthen every day! The earthen vessel is just that, an earthen vessel. It is not who you are! The real you, is spiritual! God is spiritual! We are his children and we are spiritual beings! Stop praising the caterpillar and embrace the Butterfly! The eternal you who will live forever and never die!
As the caterpillar wraps itself into a cocoon and prepares for its Butterfly transfiguration, we too must be prepared for our earthen vessels to be wrapped for the grave, that we too will be resurrected into a beautiful Butterfly. The beauty of Everlasting Life is that it gives God’s children a beauty and a peace beyond our understanding. Why would anyone want to stay a caterpillar when a beautiful Butterfly is waiting to be born? This I will never understand! When the Lord calls me, I want to go “Home!” and be there with God and be radiant and majestic like our Father in heaven. The light of God will shine upon us and display the beauty of God. Fly beautiful Butterfly into the presence of the all Mighty God. Live in the very presence of the Living God where there will be everlasting love and everlasting life! For the record, only a born-again Christian will understand this post! God bless you and amen!
Written by Reverend Jessica L. Matthews, Missionary Pastor
GROWING IN LOVE!
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.” (2 Peter 1:5).
Have you ever met a Christian who claim they have been in the Body of Christ for decades and behave badly? Oh my dear Lord!!! I have and it stands to reason that something is terribly wrong! There are three things to consider: 1) What kind of spiritual food are they being fed at their church? 2) Are they reading the Word of God daily? 3) Have they been baptized with the Holy Spirit? I know there are more areas to explore, but let’s consider these three areas of spiritual neglect. There is a reason why Christians are not GROWING IN LOVE.
The same way we must eat food for our physical body, we also must eat spiritual food to feed our spirit. If we neglect to eat food for the nourishment of our body, we are going to be weak and our body parts will not function properly and eventually we will die. The point is, we must eat the right kind of food in order to stay healthy. The same principle applies when it comes to our spiritual growth. The first thing a new Christian does is to read the Holy Bible to learn of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:29). The first lesson of many, which I learned from the Holy Spirit, was to read the Holy Bible for myself. I was feed Word by Word of the Holy Bible through the teaching power of the Holy Spirit. It was an entire year I spent in Bible Study with the Holy Spirit before I joined a local church. This may not be God’s plan for every Christian, but it was for my spiritual development. It important to know what written and applicable to Christian spiritual development.
In this church, there are those who are called to teach and preach the Word of God to nurture the growing Christian. But if the church teaching and preaching ministries are not led by the Holy Spirit, the chances are the members are not being fed the Word of God in Spirit and in Truth. Thereby, the members’ spiritual growth is undeveloped and their growth is stunted. Also, they are suffering from spiritual malnutrition and they will slowing digress into sin and feed from the world and strengthen the desires of the flesh. There is no spiritual growth when a ministry is not feeding its sheep. The sheep remain stagnant and unloving.
If we are to grow in love, we must read God’s Word. We have to know the Master of Love. The Word of God is the spiritual food that every Christian must intake daily. We cannot neglect the spiritual man. Our spirit must be stronger than our flesh, which loves world and sin. The flesh will overrule the spirit if the spirit is not nurtured with the Word of Truth. The spirit when it is strong and well fed will overcome the fleshly desires of the world. “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8). Don’t wait for anyone to feed you the Word of God, feed yourself! Make reading the Bible daily one of your priorities, along with prayer. Growing in Love relies on being full of the Word of God.
The final consideration is whether this person has been baptized with the Holy Spirit or are they still profiling their “Water Baptism”. The Holy Spirit Baptism comes when ones heart is truly sorrowful and repentive. We can say many things with our mouth, but our heart is far from God. God knows every heart whether it is true to him or not. The Lord is not going to dwell in the heart of a sinner!!! He is not going to abide with sin! “But ye that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Those who are in the church building each Sunday and have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit have not surrendered their heart to Jesus! This is the reason why so many who are not “Growing in Love” have not changed for the better. They need to give their heart to Jesus and stop playing church! “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:5).
Growing in Love requires a commitment of love and honor to our Creator. Christianity does not stop after water baptism, Christianity is an ongoing journey! We must strive every day in this earthen vessel to press toward the high calling of God. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge”. (2 Peter 1:5). We have to practice what we preach…Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” (2 Thess 4:1). Keep Growing in Love and pleasing in God sight! For the record, only a born-again child of God will understand this post!!! God bless you and Amen!
Written by Rev. Jessica L. Matthews, Missionary Pastor