Proclamation

I’m broken down,
I cannot break free;
My hope’s destroyed,
My heart finds no peace.

I’m a weak man,
I have no power;
I am sinful,
A worthless coward.

What have I done,
That You should see me?
Have I beauty,
You should desire?

Am I righteous,
That You die for me?
Or have I might,
To lift me higher?

The galaxies,
You have put in place,
Death shall come to,
Those who see Your face,

You form and break,
The waves of the sea;
The world’s a lock,
And You hold the key.

What sin have you,
That I might absolve?
Have you trouble,
That I should resolve?

Have You reason,
To rest eyes on me?
Have You burdens,
That my hands should ease?

Now do I rise,
Up with no disguise,
See with Your eyes,
My enemy’s lies.

My Lord, see now,
Death pushes me down,
Lord hear my shout,
As my vexed heart pounds.

Manifest truth,
Your love be the proof,
My lot’s aloof,
I will trust in You.

My grip is loose,
Death prepares the noose,
What can I do,
Except trust in You?

Make Way for the King

The earth went dark and the ground shook underfoot. The moon turned blood red and the sun was blotted out of the sky. The sound of a million screaming warriors filled the air. The trees groaned in the wind and dust swirled in the air. From the east formed a billowing thundercloud, with lightning bolts striking the ground below. Atop the rolling clouds a majestic figure stood, descending from heaven, accompanied by millions of mighty warriors. The figure resembled that of a man, and stood at the middle of a rainbow. His hair hung gracefully behind His shoulders, and His stature was that of a prince. His eyes were filled with holy fire. His face shone like the sun, contrasting the darkness below. Finally the man touched the earth. The ground cracked in the presence of His majesty and the trees fell before His feet. All prostrated themselves before Him, for His magnificence was undeniable. 
Suddenly the storm calmed and the earth was covered with a painful silence. The warrior to the man’s right loudly proclaimed, “Make way for the Son of Man, the Father of all Mankind, who was before Abraham! Make way, all you people, for the Lord, the Savior, the One who is and always shall be. Make way for Jesus the Christ, the Messiah who was sacrificed for you, mere mortals. Behold His mighty power, transcending majesty, and astounding glory. Make way for the King!”
The Son of Man separated Himself from His warriors. He looked across the people with eyes of fire, but also with great compassion. Another ear-splitting silence ensued. Finally, the Christ whispered in a voice like thunder. Calling each man by name, He separated all people into two groups: one two His right, and one to His left. Some families went together, while still more were separated. Sons and daughters were separated. Husband and wife were separated. Brothers and sisters were set apart, some to the Lord’s right, and some to His left.
The King looked to the people to His right, and proclaimed, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
But the people to the Lord’s right were bewildered. They asked, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”
The King replied, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Then the King turned to those to His left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.”
They answered, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?”
The Lord replied, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”[1]
Then the Son of Man raised His thunderous voice, “Lucifer, show yourself!”
A huge man presented Himself before the Lord. One could tell He must have been a mighty warrior, but now His countenance only displayed fear.
“You scoundrel, you have deceived my people for too long. You have been spreading your lies across the earth since the creation of mankind. You are the deceiver. You have nothing but evil in your heart. You are the devil.”
The Messiah gestured to the people to His left. “You have led these people—my children—to eternal punishment, and they shall descend to hell, with you at the lead!”
“Sovereign Lord,” Satan begged, “You created me masterfully, and I was the most beautiful angel. As for these people, I was only—”
“Enough!” the Lord screamed, and at that moment, one was inclined to think the whole universe might explode. “Your empty words do not entice me,” He scolded. “Go now, along the path that you have chosen.”
Then Satan was thrown into a lake of fire[2], where the screams of agony never cease to be heard, followed by all those to the Christ’s left. There was weeping and gnashing of teeth[3] like never heard before.
Then the Son of Man turned to those on His right, and said, “Now, you who remain, come with Me to the Father, and you shall have eternal life.”
Then a great mist came over them and the wind blew and lightning struck and thunder roared. Finally, the mist dispersed, and the people found themselves on a new earth and under a new heaven. There was no sun, for the Lord was the Light.
At last, all was made right, and the people could see the new Jerusalem. 

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If you want to know what the new Jerusalem looked like, read Revelation 21 and 22. Also, read my post The New Jerusalem to understand exactly the size of the city.

Braeden Frantz,
braedensconfabulations

Footnotes:
[1] Matthew 25:33-46
[2] Revelation 20:10
[3] Matthew 13:42

Where Is Chivalry?

Where, now, is chivalry?
To where has honor gone?
For evil lies thither beyond,
And now honest men preach heresy.

How can blind men see?
That evil carries along?
That dusk succeeds the dawn?
That dark spreads like a deadly disease?

Where, now, are courageous men,
To take Lucifer’s scepter?
Whom, now, shall we send?

Yes, the Son of Man shall forthwith descend,
And strike down the prevaricator.
Thus all shall serve the Beginning and End.

Braeden Frantz,
braedensconfabulations

Redemption Is Available to You

I know you’ve felt like a wretch; I’ve felt that way before.
I know you’ve felt hopeless; I’ve thought the same.
I know you’ve sinned, and stained your beauty.
I know you’ve felt worthless; I know the pain.

I know you are lost; I know your blind eyes.
I know you feel unlovable, and so have I.
I know you’ve cried, alone in your room.
Even though you’re unworthy, God will make you alive.

Even though you’re evil, He sent His son to you.
He knows what you’ve done, yet His love never ends.
You think you’ve gone to far; you think you can’t be saved.
But there’s nothing in the world His power can’t transcend.

Jesus died on the cross, and rose again for your sins.
He brought you forgiveness, by His divine plan.
Redemption is available to you, broken and unworthy.
For God is reaching out His hand.

Are you going to take it?

Braeden Frantz,
braedensconfabulations

A Different Outlook on Pain

We all wish for our lives to be easy. We all think of a good day as a day where nothing went wrong. We pray for God to protect us, that we may have a good day. We ask the Lord for good health, for money, and to pass every test we take.
We all want a painless life, yet the happiest people I see always seem to be the ones who have gone through the most adversity. This holds true almost without exception. Time and time again, in historical figures and people I know, the ones that seem kindest and closest to God are ones that have experienced the most pain.
This has given me different outlook on pain. Perhaps, this pain we fear should not be threatening to us. Maybe our greatest fear should be that we never get to experience adversity and betrayal as Jesus did. Think about it: pain is a perfect tool for gaining wisdom. When one faces trials, one realizes how weak one is. One finds that one cannot make it on one’s own. One learns to turn every thing over to God and to submit to His power. When one experiences pain, one gains the ability to understand the pain of others. When one realizes the wretchedness of oneself, one can be content in every situation, for one then realizes the very life one has is a blessing, and more than one deserves. When all the worthless possessions are stripped away, one realizes the only way to happiness is to submit one’s will to God, the only worthy One, and then continuously retain the joy of the Lord through the worship of Him.

Braeden Frantz,
braedensconfabulations

A Man of Different Ways

The darkness lights the earth,
Silence rings through men’s ears,
And the greatest of powers,
Is conquered by fear;

But a man of different ways came into the world,
He spoke of hope and faith, of things unseen,
The frightened men adhered to the message,
They wanted to make him king;

But this man was of humble origins,
He was a man of noble birth,
He refused the glamour of kingship,
For he had come to serve;

When darkness saw this light,
Which seemed to be gaining favor,
They plotted to kill this man,
For the last thing the world needed was a Savior!

So they arrested the man,
Put him through a world of hurt,
Nailed him to the cross,
And put Him in the dirt;

But light was too powerful,
To be held by darkness’ snare,
And in three days he conquered death,
And rose up in the air;

Now the bondage of pain,
No longer holds the keys,
Because Jesus is alive,
And now we are free.

Braeden Frantz,
braedensconfabulations

The Account of Jesus’s Resurrection (According to Maximus Manlius Lucius)

[You get two posts today for your patience.]

Introduction

For school I had to write a paper that was a first person account of a story in the book of Luke. I wrote about the resurrection of Jesus from the view of a Roman soldier guarding Jesus’s tomb. I named him Maximus Manlius Lucius, which means “greatest morning light.”
This is a fictional account written by a fictional character, but Jesus certainly is real and really rose from the dead.

The Account of Jesus’s Resurrection (According to Maximus Manlius Lucius)

The sun was just beginning to set, and a cool breeze made way for the approaching night. I walked along the path with my fellow soldiers. We were dispatched to guard the tomb of Jesus, a Nazarene who claimed to be the king of the Jews. But there was only one king in Rome: Caesar Augustus! We were bound by loyalty to him, the emperor of Rome, a god himself. But this Jesus claimed to be king, and he had been crucified for his blasphemy.
“Lucius,” my red-haired companion said to me, “is this not going to be great? Instead of fighting in battle or something else perilous, we get to loaf around a tomb and beat up any Jewish scum that tries to steal the Nazarene’s body!”
I returned, “O Rufus, why are you a soldier, who has no desire to fight? And what if there is a riot? There is only five of us.”
“Yes,” began Nero, the commander, “a riot would be deathly to us. And what if the demons the Jews always talk about actually are at the tombs?”
“You do not actually believe that, do you?” asked Nerva, a strong fighter.
“I do not know, but I would not liken to being overcome by a spirit, Nerva.”
“Jupiter will protect us,” Rufus insisted.
“Jupiter does what he wills,” I said, “and if it is his will that we be overcome by demons, it shall happen. Let us serve Caesar Augustus, for he shows favor upon those who swear allegiance.”
“Well said, Lucius,” Nero replied, “Now let us make haste to the tomb, lest any robbers arrive before us and take the Nazarene’s body.”
Thus, I along with Nerva, Rufus, and the never-speaking Tacitus, followed Nero to the tomb. The tomb was in a garden, and there were many places a robber could make himself hidden. The tomb had a large boulder to cover the entrance, and we put a seal on it so no one could move it. Nero assigned Nerva and Rufus to one side of the stone, and Tacitus and I to the other, while he searched for Jewish grave robbers. Or, more likely, Jewish women.
The night went as expected. Rufus made inappropriate jokes, and received several punches from Nerva. I murmured to myself as I reiterated my devotion to Caesar, and Tacitus said nothing. At some point Nero arrived and said it was time to sleep. One of us would keep watch, while the rest would sleep. Nerva took the first watch, and next was to be Rufus, Nero, Tacitus, and finally myself. I laid my head down to sleep.
I was walking to the Capitol, and there before me stood Caesar Augustus himself. “Lucius,” he said, “You are a great soldier and worthy fighter. Today you shall be my personal guard, and together we shall ride into battle and conquer nations.”
Caesar brought out my horse. Its hair was pure white, and its muscles bulged in anticipation of battle. Its mane flowed gallantly down its neck. The horse pounded its hooves fiercely. I mounted my horse, and by Caesar’s side I rode off to battle, when a tap to my shoulder suddenly brought me back to my somber reality: I was guarding a dead Nazarene. Tacitus looked at me with expressionless eyes and then lay down to sleep. It was my turn to keep watch.
Keeping watch was boring and uneventful. How I longed to fight alongside Caesar! I thought I would sit peering into the night forever. I was convinced my fate would never change, which, naturally, was the very moment that it did. A sudden, violent earthquake shook the ground. In an instant, we were all awake and afraid out of our wits. Lightning began coming down from heaven in the form of a man. His clothes were as white as snow, and his eyes were filled with a terrifying fire. He wielded a sword forged of an immortal smith. His face looked as if it had never felt fear. He was a god!
“Jupiter!” I cried. “Have mercy upon me!”
The man paid no attention to me. Instead he began to roll away the stone which covered Jesus’s tomb. This was no god! This was an angel of the Lord of the Hebrews! He had come for the Nazarene! My fellow soldiers were on the ground as if they were dead, and only I saw what happened next. As the rolling stone made way to the door, light poured out of the tomb, so bright as if Sol himself were inside the tomb. Out from the tomb walked Jesus, in transcendent glory, emanating an unearthly light. His hands bore the scars of the evil that had been done to him, yet his face showed no such evidence. All that could be seen was power and might. One could see in his eyes the honor of the conquerer of death. His glory was too much to behold, and his radiance burned my eyes. My head throbbed because of his magnificence, and I fell to the ground in pain and submission. This man really was God. This man was the King of the Jews. He had overcome the enemy, and His reign was inevitable. On earth, and heaven above.

Braeden Frantz,
braedensconfabulations

New Year’s Resolution

Happy New Year! Most of us have made a New Year’s resolution before. Today I read a list of the top ten most common New Year’s resolutions.* Here they are:

10. Set aside time for yourself
9. Stop procrastinating
8. Improve a relationship
7. Quit smoking
6. Manage stress more effectively
5. Eat healthfully
4. Get a new/better job
3. Exercise more
2. Improve financial budgeting
1. Lose weight

These are all good things to do, and if one of these is your goal for this next year, that’s great, but none of these are important as our relationship with God. So make this New Year’s resolution with me.

At the end of next year, I will be able to look back, and, with absolute confidence, say that my relationship with God is better now than it was then.

Braeden Frantz,
braedensconfabulations

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* http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/12/31/the-10-most-common-new-years-resolutions-and-how-t.aspx#.UsL17nk3vwI

If We Really Understood God…

I wish we could fully understand who God is. If we really understood who He was, we would not be so quick to sin. We would fear His wrath. Whenever we ‘get away’ with something, we do not realize that we cannot get away with anything. We will receive the consequences of our actions (Galatians 6:7).
We would also not sin because we love and respect God (1 John 3:4-6). If we loved God the way that we should, we would not be able to bear sinning against Him.

If we really understood God’s power, we would not fear. No one could threaten us (Psalm 118:6, Psalm 56:3-4). Even if threatened with our life, our resolve would be unshakeable. Our faith would be unwavering. Those that are truly alive in Christ do not fear death. Those who fear God fear nothing else (Matthew 10:28).

If we really understood God’s wisdom, the wisdom of the world would seem foolish to us (1 Corinthians 3:19).  We would not be so perplexed by God’s decisions. When a loved one died, we would not wonder why they had to go. We would trust God’s choice no matter what.

If we really understood God’s reward for us, we would not chase after earthly treasures (Matthew 6:20). The treasure of heaven would be engraved in our minds. Our lifetime goal would not be a higher salary, not to succeed at sports, not happiness, not sustaining a family. We would find giving hope to the lost more important than giving a piece of our mind to those with secular opinions. If we understood His reward, following God’s will would be more important than comfort. God’s glory would be more important than ours.

Unfortunately, none of us can fully understand God, but this is what I do know: God’s wrath is great, but His grace is greater, and He is ready to forgive those who repent. He deserves our complete devotion. I know He is powerful, and He holds my fragile heart, and the heart of every human. When you are down in the darkest days of your life, He is still there offering a loving embrace and extending unconditional grace. I know God is the only one who can save a soul. I know God’s judgement is flawless, and that He is incapable of wrong, and He is just. I know God is the wisest being in the universe and beyond. No entity holds more knowledge or possess greater powers of discernment than the Lord. I know God has a reward for me in heaven, and that He is the greatest reward of all. I know God is.

Braeden Frantz,
braedensconfabulations