Stop being Soul Blind (So Blind) to the truth.
This blog is filled with founding truths from the world’s first self-help book called the Bible, but not the Bible as you may know it. God is the Great Artist and what He paints becomes real and alive. His words are living images of inner-truths written through the lives of those He chose to reach YOU. Each word of the Bible is made from a series of symbols that have meaning beyond what you are taught in a church classroom. It is a secret language of icons and there is another book hidden in plain sight within the Bible you already own and once you learn the sign language of the soul… The “Book of Secrets” will be revealed.
My name is Daniel Lyons and this is my story of discovery.
I HEAR YOU LORD!!!
Matthew 11: 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
God has a plan for everyone and everything. So, listen carefully to what He’s saying, because sometimes other voices get in the way… mainly your own.
So what’s my story? Simply put, God called and I listened. Not because I wanted to but because He wanted me to and when He wants your attention, He gets it!
So there I was, barely 40 years old and behind bars… for a crime I never committed.
Yes, there I was 5 rows up and 27 cells in, and to be honest, if I said “I did it” you would probably love me more for changing my ways… But if I claim “I didn’t do it”, you will most likely take the opposite stance and think ‘Hmmm, sure he didn’t. They’re all innocent’. So I gain nothing by claiming that I’m innocent. In fact I would probably lose a little of your respect for it. But what do I care? I am not here to please you. I am not here to make you love me. The truth is I NEVER did the crime. What you believe, you will believe, and the rest is between me and God.
The point is GOD MAKES YOU LISTEN!
Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
You can not begin to imagine the horrors of a place like this. This was the essence of Hell on earth. No greenery, no blue sky, no daylight and worst of all, no one to love you… Does God live in a place like this? YOU BET HE DOES!
Any place you find pain, terror, tears, or misery you will find souls calling-out for mercy. In prisons, in hospitals, in the halls of suffering, God is there in ways that you can never understand until you have seen it first hand.
So how did it all start?:
I was a good kid, though a little… HYPER! I once rocked the springs out of the family sofa and I drove my step-father CRAZY! But I was a good kid.
The worst thing I ever did was steal a Hershey Chunk bar from the 7-11 on the corner from my house. I almost got caught too! I had broken my arm “playing” football. That would be a great claim to fame but back then I was a walking stick. So there I was, 8 years old me, looking around the candy aisle suspiciously and stuffing a chocolate bar into the sling of my cast. I was poor kid and I just wanted something sweet to eat, but the oppressive pangs of guilt spilt forth from my childish subconscious, wondering if I would go to jail or Hell. The chime rang on the door as it opened it to the world of Liberated Chocolate when I heard the call of clerk at the register “Hey kid! Come here!”
Me in my best 8-year-old non-guilty voice cried “Yes?”
“Let me look in your sling.” called the clerk of doom with the eyes of a hawk.
“Um” I gulped.
I mentally searched through my limited list of excuses: The dog ate my homework… It wasn’t me… I don’t know… Mommy! Nothing seemed to fit this very new and frightening situation! Heck, what do you expect from me, I was only 8! Suddenly a glimmer of hope as an idea popped into my brain! I realized that my sling was bulky with my winter gloves that I had just stuffed in as I walked into the store. I knew he would see the candy bar if I got closer… Wait a minute. He only sees my gloves!
“You mean my gloves Mister?” I asked from a distance with a childlike squeak and showed them to him (See, no candy here. Mua ha ha!)
“Oh… Um, never mind kid.” he said crest fallen that his triumph over an evil-8-year-mastermind was thwarted.
…And as I ate my sweet spoils of victories on the way to school, my joys turned to ash in my mouth as my mind swam with fears of what would have happened if I had got caught. Would my parents find out? Would I go to jail? Am I bad person and going to Hell? I was only eight and I was scared straight by these prospects and guilt and thus-ended my life of crime. Since then I have never really been tempted to steal ever again. Even when times were hard!
I had a tough life growing up. Not as hard as some, but hard enough. We moved a lot, we were poor and lived in some pretty scary places but I always talked to God. I knew if He heard my thoughts then I had nothing to hide. So why lie to Him? Why pretend to be someone I wasn’t, so all my thoughts were shared with Him.
I went to a lot of schools and I was always the new-kid, but I grew up no worse for wear. I married my first and only girlfriend. We had two wonderful children that were my whole world. We had a beautiful girl and an adorable son who unfortunately was born with a major heart defect…And I loved them both very much.
I worked a lot of long hours. I was very good at what I did. I made a good living making video games and we moved to a nice home in a wonderful neighborhood. But we made too many sacrifices and though we tried very hard we made too many mistakes along the way. We tried to make it work for many years. But eventually it all fell apart. But I never once stopped loving them. I gave them everything and dedicated my life to them. I held back nothing and sacrificed everything for them… but they still were taken away.
I was accused of a crime for a thing I could never do… I am a man of principles. I don’t yield to blackmail on any level. The refusal to pay sparked a hell storm that caused me to lose everything in my life that I loved. I never folded. I never cried. I never gave in. I knew I was innocent but they made it so hard. Who can beat a county that convicts 98.6% of everyone they suspect of a crime? Who can beat that? How is that even possible? But, I was determined to win! I fought for a year but as I was locked up the entire time… Then I remembered a child who talked to God in everything. And here I was a man whom only a year before gave up on God. I had somehow stopped talking to God. How had I Forgot? And then suddenly there He was with me in a jail cell that’s smaller than a coat closet. My wife had left me. My children stopped writing… and all my “friends” fell away, most never knowing what had happened to me. My car was repossessed. My house was stolen in the divorce. I was alone with nothing but principles and determination.
But God was there. He heard me. Turns out He was there the entire time.
This was shared with me by a man I shared a cell with, and it really helped explain it all:
“It’s like, you are a father. And yo’ child is still really small. But you ain’t seen em’ fo’ a long long time. You open yo’ arms only a few steps away, and ya’ look inta’ that child’s eyes, and you call them and ask dat’ they only come to ya’ so you can hold em’. Dey’ take a step in yo’ direction, but suddenly they turn to a toy, or somethin’ shiny and they pick it up! And now they call it “Daddy”. And so you call dem’ again… and again they turn to ya’, and start walkin’ yo’ way, but then they suddenly STOP! An’ they turn ta’ somethin’ else. And they do this, again and again. So, yo’ there with tears in yo’ eyes, and ya’ patiently call hoping dey’ may recognize yo’ voice. And when dey’ turn that one last time and see you, there with tears of joy in yo’ eyes and they call you “Daddy”. You run to them and you pick dem’ up into yo’ arms and YOU NEVAH’ LET DEM’ GO!”
I then realized that we all do this. We turn to idols of things that master our lives. Shiny baubles without meaning; drugs, sex, money, power, you-name-it and we call it “Master”. These things take away everything and give us nothing in return but emptiness and grief. We do this all the time yet the real answers are right there in front of us, always within arm’s reach… We just gotta’ reach out and take it!
This man had no concept of the story of the “Prodigal Son” and He knew nothing of God’s promise’s, but he knew more about love and God then most “Christians” I knew, just by loving his family. He said to me that night that, “I think I finally get it. I think I can hear what sounds like a stadium full o’ thousands of angels, cheerin’.” We wept that night, he and I, and he accepted Christ and the next day… he was released from jail.
I was in jail for a year, “fighting” my “case”. I met a great number of men while I was there. Most were confused and hurting souls but one-by-one they started coming to me for answers, even a few guards would take me out of my cell late at night to talk with me alone about the amazing things I had discovered in the Scriptures. They even broke the rules and confided in me personal things that only a trusted friend should know. I became a confidant and a spiritual adviser to many of the men in my dormitory. God used me in ways I can’t pretend to understand. I’ve never had the answers but when I came to that dorm there were fights and chaos, and even suicides. When I left… there was strangely a sense of peace. I know that we influence each other. We effect and affect others with our lives. So I learned, that you need to be the person that you want the world to be, and others will mirror your example, even if imperfectly. See them as you want them to be. Lift them up and encourage them. Love them unconditionally and they WILL BECOME THAT PERSON that God wants and needs them to be!
I didn’t know the any of the answers when I first got to jail. I even had a great many questions. I had no books to research with and that was frustrating to say-the-least. It was such a cold, bleak place without sunshine or hope but the more I prayed and meditated and asked HE GAVE ME! Books would come to me, provided by the people around me that I barely even knew. Men brought every bit of relevant materials they possessed. Some were sent to them by family members or they handed-down from inmate-to-inmate over the years. There was no library but however it was that the material got there, they somehow came to me. Bibles, dictionaries, science books, letters, studies…EVERYTHING I NEEDED CAME TO ME! I had no radio, TV, or internet. All I had was a Bible and a prayer. “Lord, empty me. Let me become less and you become more and please help me to find the answers I need.” And He did give. He gave and gave. I learned that when you are quiet, He speaks. When you pray, He listens. But while you are asking, or listening to anyone else, it is very hard to hear Him. So it is in meditation and in the quiet of the heart and mind, and through the signs that are all around you that He shows you things that logic can never explain.
I was never alone. I was Daniel in the lion’s den. No lions opened their mouth to me. HE SHUT THE MOUTHS OF THE LIONS AROUND ME… Praise you God! And thank you for my trials that made me a better me!
It was a year’s journey like nothing I could imagine. Many lives were helped and changed. It was such an amazing journey. I grew as a man and Christian. Forged in the fires of perdition. I was an instrument of good and a sword of light that held back the dark of night!
My trial was now only two weeks away and I was ready to be set free… But it seems God had a different plan.
“NOT YET MY SON. YOUR SERVICE IS YET NEEDED FURTHER”. There was more than the service I did in the county jail, it seemed. “NOW YOU MUST GO DEEPER”. And deeper I went! Straight into the jaws of Hell! I said earlier that I went to prison, and so I did. I was about to go to trial and risk everything and fight for my innocence, but in the holding cell just before I went into the courtroom, where I had to make my final decision about going to trial or taking a plea bargain, a man was brought in to my cell. He was vile man. He was vile in ways that are hard to explain. He said and did things that shamed even the other hardened criminals around me. But when the time came and I was about to go to the court room, shackled like an animal, the guards came and took this “Ever so lovely fellow” and me, and put us both in a holding-cell together… You know, to hang out together, and wait… and chat. And here I am thinking, “Great, biggest decision of my life and I am stuck in here with YOU“.
But to my surprise I found that I was suddenly in the company of a very different man. It was like being with Legion in the Bible and seeing the before and then after shots from when he was healed of his demons. When this guy found out I was a man-of-God, or at least trying to be, He told me about his demons. He opened-up and he shared things from his heart with tears in his eyes. He said “I don’t want to be this way”. It turns out his father was dying and he was scared and confused and he ran from his troubles to drinking, sex and drugs. But simply because he knew that I was a man-of-God he let me in and then let it all go. He gave it to God. He cried and he confessed his sins to me and God, and in that tiny holding-cell he suddenly became beautiful like a new creation.
HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN IF GOD IS NOT REAL? How can I deny my maker? I knew right-then-and-there, He had spoken to me. He put this man in that room with me for a reason. The Bible says that sometimes we entertain angels unawares. Well, I don’t know if he was an angel but, I know God Himself was there with us. So I took into account the events of that year prior and all that had transpired that day. The story of Daniel the prophet came to mind (whom I am named after) and I thought about the 12 hours of night that Daniel faced. Was 12 months like 12 hours in a night? Had I become Daniel in the den and I had I prevailed? But I knew this den had to go deeper. There were worse things lying ahead. I knew there was no way I was here by accident. I was put here for a reason. I was abandoned by everyone in my life for a reason. When God hardens hearts, he does it to prove his love by making others raise to the challenge. So, I took a “deal”. I figured that the Govern-ator would, in a few months, finally agree with congress and sign a bill in the making to let 40,000 inmates go do to prison over-crowding and needless deaths each week from poor health care… And I would soon be out in a month or two. I could then fix my life and get this all erased from my record come the next October (So I thought). So from one fire into another I went… oops, EPIC FAIL.
I told you about this place already. No amount of soap can clean the stains-of-shame of a place like this. And I don’t just mean spiritually either! This place was pure filth! When I came to this Hell I was treated with such horrors! I had as they say “No game” and apparently “Game recognizes game”. And as a man with “No game” I was in for some interesting sport. But with patience and loooog suffering, God again gave a way to have people see the light in me. I stayed focused and I stayed wise. I never lost my conviction and people saw it. You don’t have to stand on street corners preaching to win souls. Just be there for people and they come to you. They all start off a little reticent, resistant, and harsh at first, but when they see you are the real-deal they let down their guard a little bit at a time, and they will eventually feel safe with you. People do change and they become what you hope for them to be when you treat them as you want to see them. As a Christian you are the light of the world. You are the light into their soul. Through you they find the gates to Heaven. Just give them the chance and the keys.
In all the time I served so many lives were changed. I questioned everything I learned and taught. I prayed and meditated on wisdom, and compassion and He continued to bring me more… and more, and more!!!
You can not imagine what my eyes have seen. The lives believed to be beyond reproach or repair had changed. They all change once they begin to believe. So as a reward for all my service, I learned things so deep and so powerful. God was opening a world to me, in the Bible, that I didn’t even know existed. I saw things I didn’t think possible. I learned how to read it and understand it in such a way that when I read it I started seeing something was a little off. There was something I couldn’t quite yet understand. It turns out there is a kind of code in the Bible written in a spiritual duality like a language-within-the-language.
In the end I never got out of prison as early as I wanted but they let me go without parole. This too was an amazing gift as it let me return home. Since that day I have had more amazing revelations and gifts given by God. I have found the love of life who too has known suffering and pain and together we are dedicated to overcoming adversity through our faith. My studies have since grown in leaps and bounds. It took many years and many trials and tribulations but it was all so very worth it. I have finally cracked the code and found that all along it was the answers I sought for my whole life. In the end I have discovered that that once you understand how to read the Bible’s book of secrets you will have discovered the world’s very first self-help book. It was written from God through the lives of His chosen to help every seeker of truth find peace and salvation while yet living.
And once you learn it… It will change you forever!
The Bible as a Self-Help Book
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