Here are some emails recently sent between Leslie Manto and myself:
"In patience possess ye your souls."
Waiting can also be dying to self. Waiting on the Lord is one of the best things we can do. We wait on Him, He tells us what to do and where to go and we go.
[I left the preceding message on Leslie's Waiting on God blog]
Thank you for that confirmation. Dying to self has been the theme this summer and autumn. Not sure if stuff is dead in me yet. Have to wait on God to do that, too. :-) But I came up here to Salmon for forty days and forty nights to hear from God. Even now I still don't know exactly what to do. But I know waiting for his direction is imperative and no matter how long it takes...that is what I have to do.
God has trained you to trust Him completely in all things. You've had no nest or foxhole to call your own. He has cared for you so wonderfully and given you many homes and friends. That alone is a needed message to those in the Body of Christ who trust in the things of this world and the princes of this world.
Thanks for your blog. It is quite extensive but I'm checking it out a little bit at a time. You remind me of many of prophets and evangelists who braved the unknown to speak the truth wherever God took them.
I'll be praying for your journey and a good place to land! That little deer caught in the fence made me cry! So glad Jesus cared about it enough to delay your journey. I hope its Mom found it again. May the LORD bless you, protect you and comfort you daily.
Just hitchhiked to Victor, Idaho from Dubois, Wyoming today. About the little deer getting caught in the fence: it looked so helpless--it was hung up in the barb wire and it probably lost circulation in its back legs. It really felt good to free it from its entanglement. I know it was very frightened of me when I walked over to help it out. It started bawling--I have never heard a deer bawl like that before. I am grateful that Brenda picked me up and took me to Dubois. We had some really intense fellowship. Brenda is what I would call "crazy in love with Jesus!" I am grateful that she told me that dream about Egypt.
I have met Christians that seem to want an instant fix from their troubles. Dying to self is not an event, but a process. I am grateful for what the Lord has done in my life. So many things that I used to think were important to me have died out in my life. Paul once wrote that all he wanted to know was Jesus and Him crucified. If we are truly surrendered to Christ, things die out eventually and our life IS Jesus and Him crucified--our life IS the sermon. And the people we meet in our lives feed off of the Bread of Life living within us: the Lord Jesus Christ.
I could be heading back into Montana in a couple of days.
Thank you for your kind notes. What you are doing is not extraordinary, it should be the ordinary walk of believers who love Jesus and seek to follow Him by way of Holy Spirit. I have tried to walk in this way for many years and have been misunderstood, maligned and even mocked as I am sure you have experienced. But, that is the way of the cross. God cared about the fawn caught in the fence. He cares about his children, his creation, it is a pleasure to be loved by Him.
You are in some of His most beautiful creation, or you were (Wyoming, Montana). I don't know where you are now but pray the LORD is watching over you moment by moment.
You have a journey in which you must rely upon the LORD in every situation. That is good. That is right. Keep encouraging others to do the same. I will pray for you.
I get weary of religion and politics and even literature. I know you love literature by your profile on your blog. I too love literature and music, and still do, but the Word of God and worship to Him in music are my highest delights now. Even now, I am in one of my favorite hangouts, the library on the free internet, which is a blessing....but I no longer get excited about all the books and music available. It is sometimes a quandary because I don't want to love the world anymore, but I'm still in it.
I was willing to stay in Salmon amongst the kind people there. I met some wonderful brothers and sisters at the church there where Mike and Anne go. But the Lord did not open a door for me to stay.
I came back to Salt Lake City where I live, but at the moment have no income.. I'm tired of trying to figure things out in my own mind. It only causes worry, anxiety and grief. The world and people walking in their own strength give me too much advice and it brings only confusion to me. Today I woke up and read the Word, (in Genesis with Noah, Psalm 119, near the end, Colossians and Revelation). I've been writing the books out for about 8 months now and see new things that way.
Yesterday I went to Calvary Campus, a new fellowship, that has expanded from a Bible Study. It's the only place in Utah where I have found the plumbline of the Word going on. Sean MacCraney ) is a fiery evangelist, teacher. He was born again into the Kingdom of God through Christ Jesus our LORD after being 40 years in the Mormon religion. http://www.hotm.tv/. There are a lot of Mormons coming out and come to hear Sean preach. Still there were a lot of "baby Christians" there running things. They meet in the Philosophy Building :-) at the University of Utah on Sunday.
I was raised in Utah in the Mormon church, four generations on both sides. Jesus saved my brother Vincent first at USU as he was confronted by a Christian (Campus Crusader) who challenged his knowledge of the Bible. (Vince is logical, analytical and reasonable. He is now a physicist) Three months later the LORD saved me as I was going to give up on this world and go kill myself at age 25. Vince told me that Jesus had given him PEACE. I had no idea what peace was in my shattered life. God drew me with that word, and instead of turning on the gas oven and killing myself (a la Sylvia Plath) I opened up an old seminary Bible I carried around and never read (yes, Mormons have King James Bibles) and turned to the book of John....chapter 14 and began reading "Do not be troubled, in my Father's house are many mansions, and I go to prepare a place for you." It was like somebody wanted me. Somebody loved me. I cried out, "IF YOU ARE REAL JESUS, SHOW ME NOW,!" I was broken, sin-filled and desperate. He heard me. I was filled with his PEACE, which flooded me like a river and I kept reading and didn't put the Bible down until I fell asleep. When I woke up in the morning, the PEACE that passes understanding was still there (and has not left to this day, 30 years later.) I read that I had been born-again. I believed it and began a new life.
As you know, when you believe in Jesus, then a sword comes between you and those who do not love him and many of those were my Mormon family. But as you know, the Lord leads the lonely into families and I had a new family now, those who do the will of God.
My only desire now is to stay right with God. I have repented of all God has showed me of my own sin and folly. I am on my face seeking his will alone and asking him to put to death all my desires, "needs" and dreams.
As you stated so aptly in your last e-mail:
"Dying to self is not an event, but a process. I am grateful for what the Lord has done in my life. So many things that I used to think were important to me have died out in my life. Paul once wrote that all he wanted to know was Jesus and Him crucified. If we are truly surrendered to Christ, things die out eventually and our life IS Jesus and Him crucified--our life IS the sermon. And the people we meet in our lives feed off of the Bread of Life living within us: the Lord Jesus Christ."
So, there we are back at the original subject. Thanks for listening or reading, rather. Remember all the wounded as you travel. I think maybe the little fawn was a reminder from the Lord to you, that so many are caught in fences, whether of their own choosing or of an error in judgement. Doesn't matter, they are wounded and need the healing touch of Jesus through his people. May God give you wisdom and discernment this day in your journey.
p.s. You are not scary looking, you are just big, but the Lord lets people pick you up and it is His ways, not ours. We all look at the outward appearance, but of course God looks at the heart and draws men to himself by His Holy Spirit.
Gotta go now....wherever He leads me. Looking for a "HIRING NOW" sign. :-)
May God take care of you!