Monday, December 23, 2013

Holding God

I watched in absolute silence as my daughter was born. O, there was a lot of noise in the operating room in Blodgett Hospital, but I didn't hear a word. I was part of the greatest miracle humans can experience, the birth of a child. I came around when the doctor spoke to me and asked me if I wanted to hold my child first. In a second, or less, I was holding creative perfection.

I wonder what Mary and Joseph thought that night so long ago when they were holding  onto God. Was the skin of baby Jesus extra soft to their touch? Did he have the scent of purity and innocence covering him like a blanket. When He cooed and made the precious baby noises did his parents understand that it was the voice of their child that spoke solar systems, galaxies and the very universe into existence?

Take a moment with me and allow the miracle of, "Logos Incarnate"too seep into your soul. Mary and Joseph had placed in their hands, God Almighty. When Mary bathed the baby Jesus she was bathing God. When she nursed him at her breast she was giving life to God. How absolutely incredible those scenes would have been.

Simeon was an old man who had God moments and was given a message to his soul. The message was that he would not see death until he held the salvation of Israel and the light to the gentiles. On the eighth day of the life of Jesus he was taken to the temple to observe the prescribed law and ritual. Upon entering Simeon held onto the baby Jesus and his soul sang for joy and the fulfillment of the promise given to him. An old man holding onto God. As he lived in peace with God he could die content and in peace with God.

There are precious memories that God has allowed me to place within my heart. Spiritual memories of holding God. They are memories of absolute stillness when the presence of the Almighty was as real as my grandchildren on the couch laughing and my wife sitting close to me. Yes, there are times when I had the absolute honor to hold God. And, you know what? I have watched others who have shared in that honor with me.

Merry Christmas and hold God.


Tedd Galloway is the author of the soon to be released book by Morgan James Publishing, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God. The book is scheduled to be released in the spring. you can also visit his website at http://.www.teddgalloway.com

Monday, December 16, 2013

God uses "Common"

As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ I have told the story of the first Christmas many times. I have tried to look at the story from different angles, points of view, etc. and so on. We have heard the stories of the Magi and their gifts. The story of humble shepherds tending the flocks that belong to others. When I think of the shepherds my mind goes to countless Christmas programs with antsy and nervous little boys dressed as the shepherds and a cute little girl looking into the wooden manger at a baby doll.

This Christmas will be pretty much the same. We will sing the same carols, light  candles and give hugs. I am pretty well convinced that God is pleased with our feeble efforts. I will talk of the gifts brought to honor the Christ. And, how an evil ruler sought the death of Jesus.

Again, I will talk about the humble men working on the hillside tending sheep. What an image fills my mind when I picture the thousands of sheep on the spring hills. The sheep were waiting to be chosen as representatives for thousands of Jewish families as they prepared to celebrate the Passover.When Jesus was making his first public appearance as the Christ, John the Baptizer exclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God who bears away the sin of the world."

God loves and uses the common and ordinary things, and people, in this world. Humble men of the outdoors listened to angels and walked to a stable. Lamps that burned olive oil, used by thousands, provided a faint glow in the stable area. The straw that every animal, in every stall, slept on, provided the cushion for the animals as well as the humble servants of God gathered in that birthplace of the glorious God incarnate.

The men of the earth found a very young mother and the child's father next to a stone, chiseled into the fashion of a feeding crib. The rectangular trough,fashioned with one end higher than the opposite with a hole chiseled through to hold fast the animal at the manger. In that manger was placed the Creator of all that was, is, and can be. His creation became his bed.

During the ministry of Jesus he stood in the temple and proclaimed to all with earshot that, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry." A feeding trough held him at his birth and even today He invites us to come and dine.

During His last earthly Passover he took bread and broke it and passed it to His friends. He said, "Take and eat, this is my body, broken for you. As often as you eat and drink, remember me."

Yes, this Christmas will be like all of the past celebrations. Thank God for the common, it is easy to remember and still be blessed.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Advent Contemplations- Absolute Silence


Absolute silence- planets spin within solar systems and solar systems are engulfed in the endless miles of the universe, and not a sound can be detected. Far beyond the first light, the first twinkle of the first star, the movement of wings is felt as celestial air is stirred. Heavenly beings keep their place as wings perform their ordained dance. They sing in a language unknown and unheard, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts. Their song brings even greater brilliance to stars and the endless expanse of space.

In a dimension only visible to Cherubim, Seraphim, and their Creator, a holy and mysterious convocation is taking place. Absolute majesty, power and authority surround the only begotten, the Creator of all that is and can be, the Christ of God. The conversation is not understood by the created hosts that surround them. They speak for eons, yet is over in an instant. Eternity is not touched by time or space.

In an instant the movements of powerful and majestic wings give sign that Gabriel is on the move. The untold numbers of ministering spirits follow every command the angel gives. For they know he speaks and moves for the Father. In an instant he has traveled from the far end of the universe to the holy city, the City of David.

As the smoke of incense rises from the temple Gabriel finds the one to receive his message. He is an old man, well advanced in years and experience. Yet, one experience has escaped his heart, the joy of a man-child. The messenger from God speaks and the old man is struck dumb. In an instant Gabriel is back in the presence of his Creator. As he bows and covers his face with his wings he announces that his task is done.

In the timing of man weeks pass, in the heavenly realms it is but fleeting seconds. Again the powerful Gabriel moves without effort to the planet of his prior visit. He moves silently into the presence of a young maid, a virgin favored by the Father. His presence and his message are startling and the holy messenger reminds the virgin that nothing is impossible with God.

His bowed head announces to the Father and Son that the message has been delivered. The powerful angel is not sure that any other being understood the message that just moved from the heart of the Father to His Son. As if signaled from the deepest ends of the universe a vast array of Cherubim and Seraphim gather around Gabriel. In perfect rhythm of wing and voice the servants of the Most High sing, “Holy is the Lord of Hosts, Holy is the Father and Holy is the Christ.”

In the midst of fluttering wing and song, a message was passing from Father to Son.  In a burst of light, blinding even to the hosts of God, the Christ was gone. Gabriel, moved by the blinding light knew instantly the message he was to give. In a voice unknown to the world he announced to the gathering, “The Christ of God is Emmanuel, He will become the Overcoming Lamb.”

Once more Gabriel moves from timelessness to earth. This time he appears to men working on the hillsides tending sheep. His appearance brings the men to near death. He speaks and his words bring news of hope and peace. As his words end the gathering around him join in chorus, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men, with whom He is well pleased.” As the singing hosts of heaven depart with Gabriel the men of the earth and caretakers of sheep walk to Bethlehem.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hidden Dangers

While our family lived in the bush of Zambia I was responsible for the infrastructure of a rather large compound. The compound contained a boarding school for around five hundred students, a hospital with a nurses teaching school. So, it was a large place with quite a few people depending on the utilities that I was responsible for. During the rains we would go days without public power and I would have to oversee the generator system that served the hospital, school and all of the residents.

After a rather long rainy season one of the street lights shorted out. As bad as that was every other light was without power as well. Remember the Christmas lights, one bulb burns out and the rest do not work. Well, that was the street light system. After two or three days of looking, which meant a ladder to each pole and checking every wire, I located the culprit. It was going to be an easy fix as the insulation was worn off a wire and shorted out.

With the ladder in place I climbed the twenty foot pole and set about cutting and splicing the wire. A worker by the name of Office, was holding the ladder. Now picture this, if you can, Office weighed about ninety pounds with wet clothes on. I weighed 2.5 times his weight, do the math.  I really don't remember how close I got to having the repair done. After a very unnerving and rather ominous sound everything went blank.

White ants had eaten through the utility pole and now I was riding it towards a waiting fence and the ground. As I was holding on to the ladder in a rather fast decent the last image was my friend Office, trying to hold the pole and the ladder up. I made a split second decision to get off the ladder just before it hit the ground. That move saved me from some certain pain from head to toe. After a successful roll I ended up with just a broken ankle.

One hidden failure left the people in the dark for a week or more. Once it was found and repaired, by someone else, the lights were on and people walked the dark red clay road in safety. The other hidden failure, wood eating ants, had longer lasting consequences. I had to hobble as the hospital had no fix for my ankle. The pole had to be replaced and I had to deal with a bunch of men who laughed at me and Office as they made motions of Office trying to hold up the pole with me at the top.

Some things in our lives we wish could be hidden forever, they can't and won't. There will be no secrets in the afterlife. Grace will cover the forgiven and their secret burdens will vanish.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Folded Flag

There wasn't much that could stop the cold blast from the wind. There were only a few trees and an old clap board building in the cemetery and their flimsy resistance to the blast of cold was some distance from us. December in Riverview Michigan can be a mixed bag of weather conditions. Ice hockey on the local pond can be in full swing or the rain and mud can reign. That December day the ground was frozen and the wind spit balls of snow and ice.

My mother and father were seated on metal folding chairs close to the grave and the artificial turf that was trying in vain to disguise the hole. The honor guard stood at the rear of the hearse and the shinning black and chrome door swung open. The men from the funeral home were quiet, yet direct in their instructions to the honor guard. As the casket rolled from the hearse the men took their position, bearing their burden to the tent and the waiting grief stricken family members and the multitude of friends.

The flag seemed to wrap the casket like a cocoon, her colors were vivid and brilliant. I had never noticed the sharp contrast between red stripe and white stripe as I did that day. Each white star seemed to shine against the deep blue background. My family, and the others, were gathered in the presence of something sacred, dare I say, almost holy.

More words were said about the young Marine, my brother. Words about selflessness and willingness to serve were offered. The chaplain spoke words of ashes to ashes and dust to dust and then he prayed. As soon as he finished his prayer he stepped back from the casket and the honor guard stepped forward.

The flag seemed to float from the casket as expert hands moved in perfect unison and harmony and the rectangle was transformed into triangle with her stars shinning again. With fluid motions and grace the man in the dress blues bent low and placed the flag into the hands of my mother. He moved back to his position and plain and clear orders were given. The rifles cracked their salute to the Marine.

Before the wind could be heard again the mournful sound of the bugle announced, "Day is done". Most eyes were stinging as Taps brought tears to cold cheeks.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Giving up- Not an Option

Two years ago my book about our life in Zambia and the events that followed was doing to be printed. My family and many friends were excited for me. Every person who read the story gave me very positive comments and very sure of the success of the book and the power in the message. Upon the release my expectations were high. I knew that I had a lot of work to do to make the book a success.

The first month of the book out on the market I sold a couple of hundred copies. I had no idea of how to measure whether that was good or poor. I traveled to a few places close by and told the story of how love can save and transform a life. I was committed to the story and the message of love that should be colorblind.

The second week of August I received a letter in the mail from the Federal Bankruptcy Court in Arizona. The company that printed my book filed bankruptcy. They had copies of books from many authors and they had my print files from the manuscript and all the cover art. I was angry and disheartened. The information from the courts was not welcome. The publisher had files and did not know when and if they would be released.

Almost three months later I was able to speak to the Acquisition Editor who had left the, now bankrupt company, months before their demise. He was able to recover the entire publishing files for me. I breathed a sigh of relief and felt that God was behind this event. I worked with the editor, now a friendly acquaintance, and he was willing to pitch my book to  a new publishing house. My sense of hope continued to grow and just past New Years I received an email message stating that my book had been accepted.

Twenty months since the first printing the book is set to be released. The company, Morgan James Publishing is a top notch publishing house and the blessings to me continue to roll in. They have put me in touch with a publicist, Meg McAllister, who loves my story and is helping, in a big way. Meg, in turn, put me in touch with a really gifted media company that is building my web site.

All of this is coming about because God put into the hearts of people a desire to help tell the story of colorblind love that can transform a life and the world.

If God has your heart, never give up. The tribulations and disappointments will always be temporary.

My website,TeddGalloway.com will be up before the end of November. This blog will be available through the website as well.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thoughts on Freedom

What ever possesses a man to leave everything behind and head into the darkness of the unknown? It might be the spirit of adventure. It might be the spirit of  escape. And, it might be the spirit of freedom. That is alright if you are single. But, what if you are part of a family, that changes the consequences. The cost rises with every person you include in the venture.

The stories of people escaping from East Berlin, remember that time, always gripped my heart. Some fantastic escapes took place by men and women and entire families. Ideas from hot air balloons, zip lines, to extensive tunnels, were used by very brave men and women. The images of those who died trying to escape must have been ever before them. Yet, they kept trying to escape.

Oppression is an evil power that has given millions of people the inner desire and drive to be free. There is some God-given inner voice that whispers to the soul of mankind, "I want to be free, I need to be free, I must be the one who decides my destiny." That voice, the desire to be free, has indeed brought that very freedom to millions across the earth.

I believe it was that voice that filled the hearts of the earliest settlers in this land. Many left their homeland yearning for religious freedom. Their conscious could never given in to the dictates of a government trying to regulate the voice of God within their heart. In their desire to worship God according to their own spirit they were willing to pay a very high price. Weeks and months on the high seas is taxing to the very hardiest of men. The families that took such voyages were brave to the extreme. Yet, they would never confess to bravery.

The dream of a land of freedom brought thousands upon thousand to our shores. Almost every person in this great land would find their roots in the family tree of those brave souls. I am aware of the countless who were brought here, not of their own accord. Indentured servants and slaves by the thousands were brought here, to the land of freedom. With free men and women all around them their hearts must have yearned all the more to taste the sweetness of broken chains and writs of servitude torn in half.

Our forefathers used a couple of phrases that I want to mention. The first being this land was the, Second Israel. A land of men and women who were seeking the heart of God and desiring to build a land that would honor him. The second phrase being, A Great Experiment in Self Government. They knew that it was indeed an experiment and that many things could go wrong and some things would go wrong.

The long journey across the treacherous and deadly Atlantic did not allow for the spirit of ease, nor complacency. Our journey today, I'm afraid, is filled with both evils.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ego and Prayer

John the Baptist said of Jesus and his influence, "He must increase and I must decrease." Those words from a very strong man, like he lived in the desert and ate bugs, encapsulate the biggest struggle in Christ following. John was bold and full of courage, he never minced words. His influence in the region was so powerful the religious ruling class took notice because throngs of people were coming to hear him and give allegiance to his message of prayer and repentance.

John knew that the message and influence of Christ was to be greater than his. He knew that Christ was the ordained and anointed one and that he would have to get out of the way. It is not so much that he would, have to, get out of the way, like he was forced. He knew that it was the way of God, that the Christ would come and fulfill what he, John, had talked about.

The ego is such a very important part of our humanity. It is what drives us on. It is the power in the spirit that compels mankind to excel, to explore, to invent. The ego is God's gift to the spirit of mankind. The determination needed to accomplish great things takes a great ego.

Ego has a dark side as well. The drive for power and prestige has destroyed thousands of people and those around them. The last forty years has witnessed the rise and fall of very powerful voices in the community of Christ Followers. Men, and women, have raise millions of dollars and become super-powerful, only to fall. Their empires, built on the money of innocent and loving people, seemed to be nothing more than monuments to their gargantuan ego.

When millions of people praise you and your vision, and your ego has not been crucified, your fall is assured. Leaders, in and out of the church, must have their own personal agenda, their ego, on the sacrificial alter. That is tough medicine, it is a hard thing to relinquish, my ideas, my desires, my plans, to God.

So often, we ask God to bless our plans and ideas. That seems perfectly normal, doesn't it? It is a bit backwards, when we should be seeking the mind, heart and spirit of God before we set forth with plans and ideas.

I would have faced less heart ache and disappointment had I practiced that last piece of advice.

Tedd Galloway is the pastor of West Adrian Community Church and the author of the soon to be released book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God. Morgan James Publishing is setting the release date. He is also working on a novel that will follow the first, The Crossing. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter

Monday, October 14, 2013

God- I'm Really Mad, at You

God, I'm really mad and I'm mad at you. Sounds like words inviting lightning and destruction, don't they? My opinion is there is no better way to be an Authentic Christ Follower than knowing that you can express the deepest pain and questioning in your soul. To think that an honest heart cannot make this expression is to really deny the all knowing power and majesty of God. We cannot say anything that will cause God to love us any less, or more, for that matter.

There are many times in our life when we can look back and say, "After that point things changed." I can honestly say that my greatest sense of spiritual freedom came when I told God what He already knew. I was mad, mad at Him, mad at my denomination, mad at myself. He already knew all of that, it was just that I needed to come to point in my trusting that I could honestly express my anger.

All around the world there is terrible injustice and pain. Innocent men, women and children die by the thousands and many of us cry to God, God please stop all of this. And, it continues day by day, month by month and on and....... 

After spewing out all of my anger, I shut up and spent time listening. No world changing revelation came to me. Very slowly I began to understand the revelation meant for me. All mankind is given the freedom to bless or curse, heal or hurt, give or take. When we act positive we can bless the poor, the innocent, the suffering. When greed and hatred fill our actions the innocent suffer and die.

God, by His understanding of me, allowed some terrible things to happen, so I would continue to be transformed into His servant.

It is OK to  be mad at God, He already knows and loves us anyway.

Tedd Galloway is the pastor of West Adrian Community Church and the author of the soon to be released book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God. Morgan James Publishing is setting the release date. He is also working on a novel that will follow the first, The Crossing. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Authentic Christ Following and Prayer

One of the deepest marks in authentic Christ Following is left upon us through praying. Many years ago I read a very small book about prayer. The book opened my eyes to the wonder and simplicity of prayer. A few hundred years ago a monk by the name of, Brother Lawrence recorded his thoughts on praying. He was given the kitchen duties in the monastery and found himself knee deep in potatoes and other vegetables. During his long days he began praying as he worked. Before long the kitchen was turned into a prayer room where the modest monk would spend hours in prayer. His time became known as, practicing the presence, and the name of his short written work.

It really changed my attitude about praying and set me free to pray, whenever and wherever. So many people of God believe that prayer must be confined to certain times of the day, in a certain room and in a certain posture. Nothing could, and should be further from the truth. Oh, yes, it is important to set aside a place or time for devotional prayer and corporate prayer in worship. That is without a doubt a valuable gift. But, if that is the only time we pray we short change ourselves, God, and the pressing need.

For years Donna and I have prayed with people over the telephone. Many  times a person has called and expressed a burden and almost always before hanging up we offer prayer. When you tell a friend or even a stranger, through conversation, that you will remember them in prayer what stops you from offering up a prayer right there, even a held hand and silent prayer is all powerful.

My congregation as West Adrian Community Church comes from a rather liturgical background. The worship prayer were printed in the bulletin and read by pastor and congregation. My fear was that the folks were being limited in their understanding of praying, private and corporate. We are finding more freedom in our worship prayer, yet I still compose one myself for the service and the rest are spontaneous.

The Apostle Paul instructed Authentic Christ Followers to pray without ceasing. It will change our life and leave deep marks from the Master upon our soul.

Tedd Galloway is the pastor of West Adrian Community Church and the author of the soon to be released book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God. Morgan James Publishing is setting the release date. He is also working on a novel that will follow the first, The Crossing. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Marks of Authentic Christianity

The Christian life finds its beginning in the truth of Pentecost. For Pentecost was God's affirmation that Christ had indeed suffered and died for mankind, that He was raised from the dead on the third day and He ascended into heaven. The church finds her life blood in the truth of Pentecost. So, Pentecost, the life changing experience of being renewed by the Holy Spirit, is what I consider to be the first mark of authentic Christian faith and experience.

To follow that, the early church, as recorded in Acts finds itself devoted to what I consider to be more, marks of authentic Christianity. These being: Devotion to the teaching and words of Jesus, spiritual fellowship through worship and prayer and the celebration of the Lord's Table.

The Apostles were perfectly suited to talk about the works and words of Jesus. First hand experience is very powerful. The people always seemed to be caught up in the miracles of Jesus. The Apostles would be able to explain the nugget of truth that must be mined by thought and prayer. The healing of the blind, lame and leper always carried at least two truths. The first truth being the physical act itself, the healing of the body to a full purpose. The second truth being the deeper spiritual truth of blindness, uncleanness and even death.

There is a mystery and wonder involved in Christian worship and fellowship. It is hard to describe the setting, atmosphere, call it whatever you want, when Christians gather to pray for each other, when they comfort a broken heart, or counsel a wayward soul. That mystery goes far deeper than what the world might consider fellowship. O Sure, we drink our share of coffee and eat our share of cookies, donuts, and pot luck food. But, that is even an event of the Spirit. We gather with people who have witnessed the hand of God.

For the past nine months I have been leading, coaching, cheering on, a congregation that was tied to tradition and liturgy. Prayer was read and repeated and lacked a real conversational element. I am not in the position to say that liturgy and read prayers have no place in worship. But, I am in the position to understand that people need to feel that prayer is a wonderful opportunity to talk with their Father, who just happens to be living in the heavenly realms.

My early background was not one that practiced communion. I have over the past decade experienced the beauty and worship of communion. I believe that communion, as a whole, finds its beauty in the entire setting as set forth by the Apostle John. We pass over all too quickly the entire dinner and focus on the cup and bread. To follow Christ is more than the cup and the bread, it is the self abandonment of service.

Tedd Galloway is the author of, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God. Soon to be re-published by Morgan James Publishing company. You can follow Tedd on this blog and on Twitter and Facebook. His email address is teddgalloway@live.com

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Birth Marks

Do you have a birth mark? I have one on the outside of my right knee. I have no idea what it is for or how I even got one. I suppose most people that have them are in the same boat with me. Years ago we were talking about birthmarks with the girls. I don't really remember if Marily or Hilary have one, that is not important. I remember Ana looking all over her little five year old body looking for her birthmark. Her beautiful chocolate skin didn't help in her search. After a few minutes Donna provided the best answer. She said, "Ana, your birthmark is right here in my heart".

I use that as an illustration for this thought. What are the birthmarks of an authentic Christian life? Jesus told Nicodemus that new life in Christ is like being, Born Again. So if that is true then there ought to be some evidences in those who make that claim. You may have some come to mind. I want to suggest that the very first mark must be the mark of Pentecost.

Pentecost came as the Power of God, to the people of God, to accomplish the Purpose of God. It is through Pentecost that His children have the inner witness of adoption. The Spirit of God bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. There may be other birthmarks, and there should be. Our lives should show the marks of love, devotion, kindness, the fruit of the spirit. Yet, the mark of Pentecost, a new life in Christ, must be the first.

Tedd Galloway is the pastor of West Adrian Community Church and the author of, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

New Beginning

A new beginning, those words sound wonderful and full of promise. As a follower of Jesus Christ my heart is filled with hope and peace when I think of those two simple words, New Beginning. Each day is fresh and clean, full of beauty and promise. I will use the day for the benefit of people and God's Kingdom or I will squander the 24 hours that I can never retrieve.

Beginning, to start over. What a great thought. Each day I can start over. I can forget about yesterday's challenges, struggles, failures and success. Oh, it is nice to savor the sweet smell of yesterday's flowers, but I must press on to enjoy new blossoms and fragrances. The disappointments of yesterday, the failures in thought or actions, those I need to leave behind or they have a tendency to drag me down. That is just the person I am.

A lot of water has passed over the dam or under the bridge, whatever, since my last blog postings. I have a million excuses, no but no valid reasons, for the lapse. And, speaking honestly, if it were not for my meeting with Morgan James Publishing yesterday I would have continued to put this off. I guess this might lead you to believe that this blog has not been important. It is important to me and I hope in the future it will become part of your weekly reading.

The Apostle Paul made two points, among hundreds, that I want to remember this day. The first being his thought to the Corinthian Church that followers of Christ are New Creations, the old has past and the new IS. The second point being; I must leave what is in the past and press on each day for the ultimate goal, which is. A glorified human in the presence of Him, who always was and will be. May it be so.


Tedd Galloway is the pastor of West Adrian Community Church and the author of, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter.