a night with the lions III

continued from part II

instead of feeling excrutiating pain and blood oozing out from the wounds-to-be, he felt a slimy, soft, springy object rubbing against his face. it smelled bad, he thought. slowly, he opened one side of his eye, and then the other, expecting to be in heaven.

seeing darkness all around him, he came to his senses that he was very well alive and unhurt. "that's weird," he thought. a light filled the cave. looking at the light source, he saw a man of God sitting on a rock, patting the lionness beside him that was fast asleep.

"thus saith the Lord," the voice of the angel boomed. "Daniel, my servant. today you will live to see daylight again. for i have chosen you out of the multitudes to be a testimony of my existence to this ignorant nation. you will be my witness to kings and queens. fear not, for i am with you always."

a smile cracked from the side of Daniel's lips.

"God is good, all the time," said Daniel, as the lion continued licking his face.


a night with the lions II

continued from part I

under the faint moonlight, something moved. yes. he noticed two pairs of yellow-greenish eyes staring dead into his eyes, full with the killing intent. they made eye contact with him like lovers would, just under different circumstances.

fear gripped every part of his body. he would have been choked to death by his own fear if he didn't come to his senses that God was with him. every strand of hair on his body stood straight. goosebumps mushroomed on his arms. his shirt was soaked up with sweat.

"never will i leave you, never will i forsake you."

the saying of the prophets that he knew so well. it was the thing he held on to throughtout his stay in Babylon. he fell on his knees crying as the pair of eyes closed in on him. he looked up towards the tiny crack on the ceiling of the cave and shouted, "Lord, Lord. Forsake not thy servant. If this be thy will, i commit my soul and spirit to you... into your hands... everything i am...."

the echoes of his prayer bounced on the walls of the cave.

he knew his God listened to his prayer. he let out a sigh of relief and closed his eyes. he put his trust entirely on God. the slight hissing from the lions became a deafening, thunderous roae. he could feel the lions pouncing towards him.

"this is it..." he thought.


one night with the lions

darkness was all around him.

it was the only thing he could see as he tried to find his way in the cave.
he couldn't even see his own hand.
he had to depend on his other senses to survive.

his nose could only smell fermented, foul smell produced by rotten bodies.
echoes of water in a distance was the only thing he could hear.
his hands felt the rough, uneven surfaces of the walls around him.

unable to see where he was walking, he tripped over a rock and stumbled.
his slight cry echoed around the cave.
he began to rub the parts that hit the floor.
he leaned back against the wall behind him and began to think for a while.

"what did i do to deserve this? i have done no wrong."

as he continued thinking, he felt silence creep upon him.
yet, he could still hear a few barely audible sounds admist the silence.
his heartbeat, his blood circulation, his nervous system.
yes. he could hear it all.
he could hear his heart beating faster and faster as time passed.
chills ran down his spine.

he began to look around, in search of a way out.
gradually, he began to see light.
"that's not bad." he thought to himself.

he started to make his way towards the light, unaware that he was walking into a certain death.
his death.
food to the lions, famished after staying in there unfed for days.

to be continued


power of praying for another

A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agree that they had no other recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.

The first thing the first man prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man's parcel of land remained barren. After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing. Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing.

Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that his wife and he could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island. He considered the other man unworthy to receive God's blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered.

As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from Heaven booming, "Why are you leaving your companion on the island?"

"My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them," the first man answered.

"His prayers were all unanswered, and so he does not deserve anything."

"You are mistaken!" the voice rebuked him. "He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings."
"Tell me," the first man asked the voice, "what did he pray for that I should owe him anything?"
"He prayed that all your prayers be answered."

For all we know, our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone, but those of another praying for us. When Jesus died on the cross he was thinking of you!


only you and me...

"the art of losing myself, in bringing you praise."
"take me to that place Lord, where there's no one else but me and you."
"when it's all about you Lord."

those sound so familiar eh?
yes. they are the songs we sing...
but do we ever mean it?
have you ever been seriously lost in God's presence as you worship?
or are you still the self-concious you that worries about what people think of the way you worship, how you sing, how you dance, how you jump around...?

you may sing like a diva.
you may sing like a toad.

but does that really matter?
God looks at the heart and not the outward appearance.

sometimes, your hands may be in your pocket yet your heart is lifted up to God.
that's is what God wants.
God doesn't want someone who can sing like superstars, with arms high and on your knees and yet not coming with a right attitude and not having a heart of worship.

you think God cares about how well you can sing?

don't say you have sorethroat or whatever excuse.
although born with a broken voicebox, one guy still opened his mouth and sang his heart out to God, not caring about how bad he sounded.
because in his heart, all he wants to do is worship.
because " for a song in itself, it's not what you have required."

don't say you're soft spoken and can't sing out loud. imagine you're in the middle of the ocean. drowning, that is. suddenly you see a boat passing by. wouldn't you scream with all your might to be saved?

likewise God has saved you from the flames of hell. shout unto God...with a voice of truimph.