The Banqueting Table

The Banqueting Table

When I think of my days so long ago, lost and alone. I called myself a child of God, but who am I kidding. No one wants me most certainly not God. So there I was roaming about life aimlessly, for all intents and purposes an orphan seeking the scraps that have fallen from the table, barely surviving, alone and without hope.


Little did I know that a feast, a banqueting table had been laid out before me. “No longer shall you survive on old stale scraps, crumbs. No no, you were made for far more than that. Come up here with Me, I have prepared for you a banqueting table, and the best part is, I have prepared it in the presence of our enemies. Come up from them and sit with Me, enjoy all the fresh abundance that I have created for you. Look around and you will see others join you there as well. They too were once outcasts and unloved as well but now in my name, the blessed name of Jesus, you shall no longer be called orphan or outcast. You are beloved, mine and best of all, you are a part of My family. You are chosen and bought with a price. You belong at My banqueting table. For all you need and shall ever truly desire is at My table.”


As hopeful1 looked upon the incredible bounty laid out before him, he began to doubt if this was truly for him. With eyes downcast, he spoke to his Lord. “Surely Lord, all of this must be destined for another. I have never been welcomed to any one’s table before, this can’t be for me.” His Lord stood there before him for a moment and stared at His beloved. Those same eyes, now brimming with tears and filled with compassion, remained fixed upon his beloved. Finally, as He began to speak, His voice started to quiver. “Oh my son, you have believed all the lies that have been told all your life, haven’t you? You have believed that you are worthless, that you’re junk. Don’t you know that when I created you I made you as My workmanship My masterpiece.”


Hopeful1, with his head and shoulders hanging down, slowly began to nod his head as he agreed with his Lord. After what seemed like an eternity, hopeful1 looked up to his Lord, although he was not quite able to look directly into the eyes of his Lord. With his voice barely above a whisper, completely lacking any conviction he said: “But Lord, You don’t understand. I have tried to be good so many times and as always, I’ve failed, I’ve failed you.” Once again, hopeful1 looked down, unable to look his Lord in the eye. Unexpectedly, hopeful1 felt the strong hand of his Lord on his shoulder. Timidly, hopeful1 once again looked up into those gentle eyes. As he did, his Lord reached His other hand to his hand, saying; “Rise up my love, stand on your feet. I have prepared this table for you, not because you are good. I know all about your failings. I also know all about My redemption and oh how I wish you would too. In the beginning, I said it is good. Stop trying to be good, I, through My redemption have made you good. Come up and join Me, My good and faithful servant.”


With confidence now restored in his Lord, hopeful1 joined Him and took his seat next to His Lord at His table. Before him lay a feast. The extravagance was unlike anything hopeful1 has ever seen. All of his needs were readily supplied by his Lords abundant riches in this glorious setting.


Prior to dining, his Lord looked over at him with a cautionary look and spoke. “But beware there are many imitators out there whose tables are filled with all sorts of delicacies, but these delicacies will only cause you to grow fat, lazy and complacent. Eventually, they will be at the root of death within you and those within your influence. Ah, but I have let you know My Heart, My secrets. When you come to a banqueting table and the head of the table is set for you, it’s a trap. Flee, flee as fast as you can, instead, run to Me, your strong tower, your hiding place. In the shadow of My wings, you can take refuge and then you will see that it is Me who is calling you up to sit with Me, for it will be I Am who is sitting at the head of the table. ”

The Garden

The Garden

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it remains alone, but if it dies, it produces much grain. John 12:24

The flowers rested as the gentle mist fell upon their faces. Within the garden they knew they were the most prized within all of His garden. Many times He would gently take care of them to ensure they would grow to be even more beautiful than before. Each plant rested in complete peace, for they knew that the Gardener would always take such great care of them. As His care for them grew, so  the flowers love grew more for their the Gardener. They could often be heard telling tales to one another of the Gardeners gentle ways, His love for them but the most treasured and shared tale of all was how He had saved each one of them from the drought, as he refreshed each of them with His springs of living water. The dream of each flower, shrub or tree within the garden was to be like the Gardener and hopefully bring life and love to others who are suffering, as they once were.

The plants of the garden trusted the Gardener deeply, and their hearts would leap for joy as they heard His footfalls approaching. Today, they noticed something was different about the Gardener. His face, which usually radiated a serine calm and love, was today etched with concern and determination. Although somewhat perplexed by the Gardeners unusual demeanour, they knew that they could trust Him, for His ways were always gentle and kind. Any apprehension immediately gave way to calm as they felt the reassurance of the Gardeners strong hands lift their leaves from the soil. Quickly, and without warning the Gardener pulled his pruning shears from his belt and set about pruning each of His beloved plants. He circled the young saplings as a jungle cat circles its prey. The garden plants could not understand why He was treating them so. With His old pruners in one hand, He set about the task of expertly pruning each of them. Their astonished cry’s seemed to be ignored, as He wrapped the blades around their stems and squeezed. They would try to resist His shears to no avail, as the blades would get stuck half way through a stem. Frustrated, He wiggled the pruners until the branch gave way exposing the raw wood beneath the bark. He continued, seemingly without mercy till his task was completed, leaving each plant with barely more than their roots in the ground.

During a brief period of respite, the plants caught their breath and with pain in their voices they collectively cried out. “Why, why have you done this to us, we thought that you loved us, have we displeased you in some way, is that why you’re punishing us like this?” The Gardener knelt down on one knee, and when he looked up to His friends, his face once again radiated a peace that passes all understanding. “Oh My precious ones, don’t you realize that within all My garden, you are My most prized possessions. Yet a bitter frost has settled upon you and is slowly destroying you. I have heard your hearts cry, as you yearn to be more like me, and I will answer you. Yet that day is not today, for first I must strip away all that is not of Me. The bewildered plants once again cried out, “but why are You cutting so deep. We are already in great agony, if you do anymore You’re going to kill us!” A tear silently rolled down the rugged face of the gardener, as he looked at each one with love and compassion, he replied. “In order to give you abundant life, I must first allow you to fall and let all that is unhealthy and not of me to die away. I know this is painful, but it is for your good. This death must take place, in order to save your lives. Without this pruning today, you would surely and completely die.” Taking a deep breath, the Gardener once again faced his beloved and continued.  “Since I planted you within My garden, I have never left you. I know you feel alone and confused as My pruning shears have cut you so deeply, please understand, I never have nor will I ever leave you. I will care for you and restore you to  your former glory. Fear not My loved ones, spring is almost here.



This story I’m about to share with you was written by me some years back. It was at a time when seemingly all was going just great, or so it seemed, but on the inside, I was living a much different story. The inner story was one of hopelessness, where I truly believed I was no good to anyone. One day while I was praying about this, I felt the Lord give me this story, and thus started the long path of healing leading from “hopelessness to His hopeful 1”

“Rise up my love, my fair one, And come away”  Song of Solomon 2:10

As she awoke, her heart was filled with wonder as she heard the voice of her beloved singing. “Arise, my love, arise my fair one and come away with me. Arise my love.” She arose and cried out. “Yes my Beloved, I will come to You; for You are my desire ~ My Salvation ~ My Love.” Hopelessness rose to her feet and ran out to the garden still dressed in her night garments. As she ran past the Gates of Praise, she fell to her knees and sang the song of her Lover, “I am my Beloved’s, His desire is for me ~ I will sing the songs of His love, for His love is for me.” To her delight, she heard the voice of her Lover singing softly before her. “Arise, my love, my sweet love, come to me for my desire is for you.”

Her Lover stretched out His hands to her and raised her to her feet. In His strong arms, He embraced Hopelessness and consumed her in His passion. With His hands, he raised her face and gently kissed her. His eyes blazed with passion as He gazed upon the one that held His desire. With a firm but gentle voice, He spoke. “My love, my fair one~do you love Me?” Hopelessness buried her face in His bosom and in a voice barely above a whisper, she spoke. “Only You know my heart, for You have healed and filled my heart with Your love.” Then she trembled with delight as she gazed into His eyes and answered with unspeakable joy. “Yes ~ I do love You.” Barely able to contain His joy, He took the hand of Hopelessness and cried out. “My love ~ come away with Me for I have prepared a place for our marriage celebration. Do not go back to your cottage to exchange your night garments, for I have for you here the garments of praise.”

Together they danced through the fields towards His garden. As they approached, Hopelessness stood alarmed. The entrance to the garden was blocked by three trees. As Hopelessness looked upon the trees, she saw that the two trees on both sides of the entranceway to the garden were dead and very ugly. But as she looked at the tree in the center, she gasped in horror, for blood was flowing from that tree. She turned away and looked towards her Lover and said, “We cannot enter Your garden by this way. For to enter by this way can only mean death.” He gazed deeply into the eyes of Hopelessness, and with deep compassion, He spoke. “My love ~ there is no other way into My garden but by my tree of blood. You are right when you say to enter by this way means death.” Then He took the hands of Hopelessness and spoke to her saying. “Do not fear, for this death is necessary but is not forever. If you follow Me into My garden then our love shall be complete.” Then with a love in His eyes that burned brighter than she had ever seen before, He asked her again. “Do you love Me?” Hopelessness fell at His feet. Barely able to speak, she whispered. “You alone know my heart, for my heart belongs to You.” As her tears washed His feet, her voice trembled as she spoke.  “Yes, I do love You, for You are my Love. Take me into Your garden. I will follow you where ever You go.” He raised hopelessness to her feet. With his hands, He lifted her face and gently kissed her. Then with His strong arms, He picked her up and carried her towards the tree of blood. Hopelessness looked into the eyes of her Lover and whispered, “I am my Beloved’s and He is mine.” Then she closed her eyes and fell asleep.

The sounds from the river of living waters awoke her. At first, she didn’t know where she was as she lay upon the cold rock floor, but then she remembered her Beloved and began to yearn for Him. She looked towards the river of living waters and saw a deer drinking deeply from it. She too was thirsty and needed to go to the river and drink as the deer did. As she approached the water, she saw her reflection and saw that she was no longer dressed in the garments of praise, but instead, she was dressed in a spotless, pure white wedding gown. Then to her sheer delight, she heard the voice of her Beloved as He sang out to her. “Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come. Arise, my love, my fair one and come away with me!” Hopelessness leaped to her feet and ran to her lover as she flung herself into His open arms. He took her in His arms and laughed out loud as He spoke. “No longer shall you be called Hopelessness. You have followed me and have passed through the tree of blood, so I have given you a new name. Now your name shall be Hopeful One.” Then her Lover, unable to contain His joy, began to rejoice over her with singing and dancing. Thus He sang to Her. “I will sing to you my beloved, for you are my bride.” Then He lifted His Hopeful One up into His arms and sang out. “Come away with me my beloved. For our wedding celebration is prepared.”

Your Story Is Worthy

Your Story Is Worthy

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players”

As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII William Shakespeare


 Have you ever thought of the life that you’re living, as a story, a story worthy of attention? Imagine if you will, that I tell you the story of my day. I begin, of course, at the beginning where I would say, “I woke up,” in the middle, “I went to work,” and finally the climactic ending, “ I went to sleep.”

Is that  an accurate depiction of my life’s story? After all, it does contain the steps necessary for the creation of a story. There’s the protagonist who in this case is me. But still, is this how a story unfolds? Is this how your life story rolls out before you, by the very act of waking up, which then leads to a progression of events? Well, technically yes, it contains what is widely believed to be the three elements necessary for a story to, well exist. It has a beginning, “I woke up,” a middle, “I went to work,” and of course an end,  “ I went to sleep.” But is this alone what makes your life’s story a great story?

Well, I think we know that the answer is a resounding no, it’s not even close. Our life story contains much more than just a structure. The aforementioned story contains no crisis or struggles to break through, no revelation and in the end, no real change’s have taken place. Yes, it contains information that follows a chronological sequence of events, but that’s just a dry account that contains none of the essences of life that makes a story worthy of attention.

So allow me to ask you one simple question, do you believe that your life is a story worthy of attention?

My answer is YES. Your story is worthy because you are worthy. You have been made in the image of God, and on the day of your birth, He placed a pen in your hand and said: “write your story, liveyour story.” Still don’t believe me? Well, let’s look at the essential components that make a story, your story.

Introduction – The beginning of a story is the invitation where you invite the reader into your life. Here is where the mood and tone of the story are set. At this point, the formal introduction is made between you, the protagonist and the reader.This is the deciding point where the reader chooses to come in or move on.

Crisis – Like it or not, crisis is a key component of our lives and therefore a part of our stories. At the point of crisis, when your life is turned upside down, this is where your story starts to unravel and the reader has now come along for the ride

Struggle – When you have been thrown into crisis, as life often does, the protagonist, you, are forever changed. This is your tipping point where you take whatever steps to try and solve the struggle and return to life as it once was. The thing is that the crisis has in one way or another changed you forever. Take a piece of clay otherwise known as you and press it against the wheel. From that point on, the force of the potter’s hand changes the clay from the form it once had and it will never be the same after. You can try to go back to life as it once was, but you will fail because life as it once was no longer exists and a new adventure awaits.

Revelation – At the previous stage we saw how the potters hand changes the form of the clay, but remember the clay is still the same, only its form has changed. At the revelation stage, the protagonist makes a discovery about their life. These lessons learned in the storm can now shape the direction that the story will go. Often these revelations will come in the form of life lessons, a trusted mentor or a combination of both. You either learn to conquer the storm or the storm will conquer you, it’s your choice.

Change – Have you ever witnessed the miracle of the common caterpillar as it is transformed into a beautiful butterfly. But that transformation didn’t come easy. Within the chrysalis, there is a great struggle going on, in fact, without the struggle there would be no butterfly, but struggle or no struggle, it will never be a caterpillar again. So it is with all of us and our stories. If we never experience the heartbreak of loss, the pain of rejection or even unspeakable joy, our lives will become stagnant and boring. But if we embrace our joys and our pains, we will experience new life. The change is the unfolding of the resolution of the crisis and the work it has accomplished in our lives. So without change, there is no climax in our story.

So let’s take a look and see if our life stories are stories worthy of attention.

Introduction – Ultimately, that’s up to you. Do you make the introduction for others to partake of your life and you of theirs or does the door remain closed. I would say that the act of closing the door is  a story in itself. What brought our protagonist to the point of shutting out the world around them. Mother Teresa was once asked the question, of all the wrong of poverty that she has witnessed, what is the worst of the worst. Her answer was simple but profound – loneliness.

Crisis – Do I need to go on?

Struggle – With crisis comes struggle. All of us at one point or another in our lives, however worthy we view them to have been, they  have had an element of struggle within. Be that when you took your first step, the first day of school or the heartbreak of losing a loved one, all came with an element of struggle.

Revelation –  With struggle comes revelation. I remember when I was in basic training there was a time for me when I hit the wall, I reached the limits of what I was capable. But with the exterior pressure of drill instructors, I was able to move beyond these perceived capabilities many times over. Let’s face it, we often learn the most when the most is at stake.

Change – With revelation comes change. When revelation smacks us upside the head, there is a decision to make and whatever the decision, it will result in change.

We all have allowed someone else into our lives. We have faced insurmountable odds in our lives and one way or another we overcame. As sojourners, we have learned how to live and even thrive if necessary within the storm. I have come to realize that there are some lessons in life that can only be learned as we go through the desert first. Finally, the wisdom we have gained by moving forward has changed us one way or another.

Still uncertain if your story is worthy of attention. Let’s consider the wisdom of Samwise Gamgee.

“We shouldn’t be here at all if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for because they wanted them because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seems to have been just landed in them, usually — their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on — and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it calls a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same — like old Mr. Bilbo. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?”

What type of story has any of us fallen into? Is it a tragedy, a drama, maybe a comedy or perhaps even a fantasy, who knows? But one thing is sure, it’s your story. And that drama or tragedy that your story  is, well that’s not the end of the story, it’s just a chapter. You have been given that story writers pen from page one and with God, you get to write this story to the last page. Has someone else stolen your pen, stolen your hope; if so, as one who has had my story rearranged by others in such a way that I’ve had to do many a rewrite, I am truly sorry and my heart aches for you. But, there is good news. That pen we spoke of, it’s still yours. Take it from a wrestler, I have had to wrestle my pen from the hand of the Devil himself and with God’s mercy and help, I am once again writing my story . With the help of Jesus, you can too, so go get that pen that is rightfully yours and go write that epic tale of yours. It is a worthy story, because you are worthy.

a new day

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