This blog is more than a story about me and my journey to salvation. It is actually a labor of love that is written specifically for you, to help you to find the answers you seek and to give you the peace and perspective that were given me in the most unexpected way. They are founding truths from the world’s first self-help book called the Bible. But it is not the Bible as you may know it. It is from a time when words were more than letters on a page, but living expression filled with inner meaning. Even today when an artist paints it is not just oil on a canvas, but it is a deeper expression of his soul through the imagery the artist conveyed. The Word of God is no different, for God is the Great Artist and what He paints becomes real and alive. His Word is not made of mere mortal letters but a living essence and expressions of Himself. They 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 chosen specifically to have meaning beyond what you are taught in a church classroom today. It is a secret and living language of icons that has not changed in the thousands of years since its creation. The symbolic imagery of the Bible is actually a language in of itself, and if you are only reading the Bible like everyone else, you are then missing the other half of the true story that is written only for you. There is a another book hidden in plain sight within the Book you already hold so dear, and once you learn the sign language of the soul… That Book, and you, will forever change.
My name is Daniel Lyons and this is the story of my path to discovery, but please understand that I am not the message. I am only a messenger. These truths are not mine. I can only help point the way as a guide. If you are a true seeker of truth, then come follow the voice of God spoken into all of His creation and hidden on the pages of the greatest story ever told… these are the keys of the kingdom that will unlock the chains that bind the human soul.
The Journey begins here:
Unmasking the Truth
He Hits Like a Hammer! But He Loves Like No Other
Can you hear Him? He’s all around you. Listen carefully. He is everywhere that your eyes wonder. His voice resonates in the rocks and the streams. He whispers in the wind and speaks in the rumblings of the storm. He is in all of nature, and He is calling to you.
Your life is a gift, not a curse. Sometimes it hurts, but don’t worry, none of it can harm your soul. This life is meant to be your teacher, so please pay attention carefully so the lessons are learned.Your body is only a vessel, used for a purpose and a test, and if you are thinking it lasts forever… then you are not listening to that voice calling out from within you.
Consider the power of the Sun that shines upon you each day. Now try to imagine the size and scope of the entire Universe. Can you see it in your mind’s eye? There are few that can. He is the invisible power that fuels all these things, and His voice is the harmony of life, and after all this, if you still can not hear Him, then I pity you. Because like you, I too, one day, turned a deaf ear to God. And one day… He called me.
Being Christian isn’t a “life choice”. It also isn’t a religion, not really. The definition for Christian, means one who follows Christ. The Christ is Jesus. Jesus means: Saviour or Salvation. But the best way to remember who and what He is, is to know Him for what his name really means, and that name is “Freedom”. So when I say I am “Christian” I am saying “I am made free”. Free from the yoke of slavery to the world that once imprisoned my spirit and influenced my will. But through Christ we are all made free. And this is my story of freedom…
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.”
This is me lying on a bed in my room recovering from an injury. It’s called a “rectal fissure“. It’s fairly common, and VERY painful. I have been here for nearly a year. I have no job, and no money, and I am not entirely certain of my future. Life has done some very cruel things to me. I have lost much of the things in my life. In a way, I have become the character Job in the Bible. The name Job means “Hated”. Funny, but I don’t feel hated, even though I have lost my house, my car, my career, my wife, my children, my good name, my freedom and maybe even my future. But God chooses who He chooses to deliver his message. He does the choosing, not us. Like it or not, it is up to us to listen to that small voice within us. It guides us and pushes us along our path of destiny, to places that we may never have dreamed of going before. But God has a plan for everyone and everything. So who are we to argue with our Creator? All we can do is listen, and do our best to obey. But we must listen carefully to what He is saying, because sometimes other voices get in the way… mainly our own.
So like it or not God chose me. You may not have, I may not have, but He sure did! And it makes me ask myself, “Why me? Who am I that He should choose to do anything important with me, much less deliver one of His most incredible messages to the world?” He has gifted me with a message of freedom that the world seems to have forgotten almost all together, and I find that a real shame. Personally I would have chosen someone else to deliver it… Anyone else! Someone people could believe in. Someone that people can trust. Someone who looks like a movie star with a beautiful face and sings with the voice of an angel. But He didn’t. So why me?
Simply put, I have the tools He could use for this task, and when He called, I listened. It seems sometimes these things are all you need for God to want to use you. If He sees you as someone of potential… then my friend, you are guaranteed to be used! So, no matter how you may judge me or my past, He doesn’t. He only sees that He loves me, and that He needs me. He needs my eyes, my ears, my mouth, and my mind, and my hands. He needs me, and He needs you too. Because you are just as important. We are the same you and I. You have exactly what He needs too. I was needed to be used by Him for a purpose, and He did whatever He had to do to get me to shut up and listen. And He believes in me, just like I know He believes in you too. He didn’t hold back on me when He wanted my attention! He gave me both barrels of that shotgun of love. BANG! Do you hear me? BANG! Do you hear me now? OH, I hear Him now! And I am so much better for it! Being used for a purpose is really the only way to live!
So there I was, barely 40 years old and behind bars… for a crime I never committed!
Yes, I was right here in this Hellish place, 5 rows up and 27 cells in, and to be honest, if I said I did it you would probably trust me and 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 second guess, and think “Hmmm, sure he didn’t. They’re all innocent”. So I really have nothing to gain by claiming this. In fact I probably lose a little of your respect. But I don’t 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. So when I said God makes you listen when He needs you to listen, He really MAKES YOU LISTEN!
I have little to say about the legal system in America. But I can tell you it is not like anything you see on TV. You are 100% guilty until proven innocent, and public defenders are not your friends, nor there to set you free. They are only there to get you a “Deal” and nothing more. So once you check in, you don’t check out. And it was so sad to see the lives of, good men, ripped apart, and the blind eyes that we turn because we choose not to believe that these things can happen in this day and age. But I have seen men lose years of their lives for little things, that I am sure you didn’t even know were a crime. Like peeing in a bush makes you a registered sex-offender, and a box of fireworks in the wrong county, makes you a terrorist. So please never say “It can never be me”… Because that’s what I thought too, and yet this still happened to me.
Imagine being alone. Now imagine being alone in a place that everyone mistrust you, and you are not safe because you are amongst killers, drug dealers, gang members, rapist and child molesters. Now imagine you are someone who has never littered or double parked your car, and you have never done anything but love, and tend to your family (In the suburbs), the best way you know how. Now imagine that you have never been drunk, don’t lie and you have never done a bad thing in your life, not even stealing a kiss… Now imagine you were me.
“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 horror until you have been in a place like this. This was the essence of Hell on earth. There is no greenery, there is no blue sky. There is no daylight and there is no one to love you… Does God live in a place like this? YOU BET HE DOES!
Any place you find pain. Any place you find terror, or 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.
I was a good kid. I was a little HYPER! I once rocked the springs out of the family sofa. It drove my step father CRAZY! But I was always a good kid.
The worst thing I ever did was steal a Hershey Chunk bar from the 7/11, by my house. I almost got caught too! I had broken my arm from “playing” football. That would be a great claim to fame, but I am 6’5″ now, and was 6’3″ by age 13, and who knows how tall back when I broke my arm at age 8. But back then I was growing too fast for my coordination to catch-up, so I would trip over my own feet at times, literally! Heck I just wanted to be the water boy for the team. I mean, I was a walking stick! But by the wisdom of a “Macho” step-father, I ended up in a cast at the beginning of the season. So anyhow, there I am, 8 years old, looking around the candy aisle and stuffing a block of yummy looking chocolate into the sling of my cast. I was poor and wanted something sweet to eat, but I was feeling the oppressive pangs of guilt spill from my subconscious into conscious thoughts, wondering if I would go to jail or Hell. But yet I still headed for the doors. The chime rang on the door as it opened to the world of Free chocolate, when I heard the dreaded call of clerk at the register yell “Hey kid! Come here!”
Me in my best 8-year-old non-guilty voice asked “Yes?”
“Let me look in your sling.” Came the words of doom from the clerk with eyes of a hawk.
“Um” I gulped.
Thinking quickly I searched through my list of excuses in my mind:The dog ate it… It wasn’t me… I don’t know… Nothing seemed to fit this very new situation! Heck, what do you expect from me, I was only 8!
Suddenly, an idea! A glimmer of hope. I realized that my sling was bulky with my winter gloves, that I stuffed in to it as I walked into the store. But I knew if I took them out-of-the-way he would see the candy bar just sitting there, waving at him happily… Wait a minute. He only sees my gloves!
“You mean my gloves Mister?” I asked, in a calm collected-voice as I took out my gloves at a distance to show him.
“Oh… Um, never mind.” he said with exasperation; seeming crest fallen that his triumph over evil-8-year-old shop-lifters was thwarted.
And as I ate that candy bar on the way to school, my mind swam in fear of what would have happened if I got caught. Would my parents find out? Would I go to jail? Am I bad and going to Hell? I was only eight after-all and I was so scared straight by these prospects, and guilt, that thus-ended my life of crime. I was never once tempted to steal ever again. Ever!
I lived a hard life. We moved a lot. We were poor and lived in some pretty scary and crappy places growing-up, but I still lived a good-clean-life. I always talked to God too. I knew if He heard my thoughts, I had nothing to hide. So why lie to Him? Why pretend to be someone I wasn’t. So all my thoughts were to only Him.
I went to school (Many of them and always the new-kid-in-town). But I grew up. I married my first and only girlfriend. We had two wonderful children that were my whole world. We had a beautiful girl who was my pride and joy. And later we had an adorable son who was unfortunately born with a major heart defect… But God bless his little heart, after 4 surgeries, he lived through it! …And I loved them both very much.
I worked really hard. I worked long. I got very good at what I did. I made a good living and moved to a nice home in a nice neighborhood. We made so many sacrifices to get there, but we made it. We tried so hard, for so long. But we made so many mistakes along the way. We tried to make it work for many years. But eventually it fell away. But I never once stopped loving them. I gave them everything I have and everything I am. I held back nothing and sacrificed everything for them… but they still were taken away.
One day someone made a claim. A claim of greed and shame. I was accused of a crime for a thing I could never do… All because this person wanted money from me. I am a man of principles. I don’t yield to blackmail on any level. The refusal to pay sparked a call to the police that launched a Hellstorm that caused me to lose everything in my life that I have ever known. 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, I remembered a child who talked to God in everything. And here I was a man who only a year before gave up on God. Stopped talking to God. I FORGOT ABOUT GOD!!! And then suddenly, there he was with me. In a jail cell, smaller than a coat closet, feeling all alone. My wife left me. My children stopped writing. apparently, It was “embarrassing to have me in jail” …Thanks honey. I had no way to contact anyone and “my friends” all fell away with their own lives, most not even knowing what had happened to me (Save one, who still remains today). My car was impounded and 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, but I was the one being blind.
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!
And then I realized that we as humans, all do this. We turn to idols; things that master our lives. Shiny baubles that have no meaning, drugs, sex, money, power, you-name-it and we call it “Master”. These things take everything and give us nothing in return, but emptiness and grief. We do this all the time, when the real answers are really right there in front of us, within arms reach… We just gotta’ reach out and take it!
This was from a man I tutored in scriptures with Rich Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. We did the full 40 day journey together. This simple man, was not the same man I met before when he first came into my cell. He was very changed inside and out. He had no concept of the story of the “Prodigal Son“. 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 that night. 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. ALL KIDS OF MEN! Unusual confused and hurting souls. And one by one they came. Even a few guards would take me out of my cell, late at night, to talk with me alone and learn the amazing things I had learned in Scriptures. They even broke the rules and confided in me, personal things that only a trusted friend would 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. When I came to that dorm there were fights, and chaos, and even suicides. When I left… there was peace. I know that we influence each other. We effect and affect others with our lives. So I learned, that we need to be the person you want the world to be, and others will follow suit. See them as you want them to be. Lift them up and encourage them. Love them unconditionally and they WILL BECOME THAT PERSON!
I didn’t know the any of the answers when I first got there. I even had a great many questions. But I had no books to research with, and that was frustrating, to say-the-least. It was such a cold, bleak, place, that when you got to actually go outside into the “Courtyard”, at certain times of year, you had to reach up-high to touch the sunlight, and then only for a few minutes. Inmates, actually would line-up to do this very thing. But there, in that jail, I learned to listen and then question what I learned. And the more I prayed and meditated and asked, HE GAVE ME! Books would come to me, provided by people around me. Men brought every bit of religious material they possessed, sent to them by families or handed-down from inmate-to-inmate for years in that dorm. However it was that the material got there, they came to me. Bibles, dictionaries, letters, studies…EVERYTHING I NEEDED CAME TO ME! I had no radio, or TV, or internet. All I had at first was a Bible and a prayer like Solomon. “Lord empty me. Let me become less and you become more. And please help me to find the answers I need.” And He did. 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 the meditation; in the quiet of the heart and mind, and in the reflecting on God and His Word, and the signs that are all around us, in life; that is when He shows you things in such an amazing way, that logic can never explain.
I was never alone. I was never in danger. 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!
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 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 court, where I had to make my final decision about going to trial or taking a plea bargain, a man was brought in. He was vile man. Vile in ways 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. 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 HIM“.
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, 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 the troubles of his world, to drinking, and women and drugs. But simply because he knew I was a man-of-God, he let it all go. He gave it to God. He cried and he confessed his sins to me and God in that tiny holding-cell.
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 the room with me for a reason. The Bible say that sometimes we entertain angels unaware. Well, I don’t know if he was an angel, but, I know God Himself was there in that room with us. So I took into account the events of that year prior; all that had transpired almost to the day, from that day. The story of Daniel the prophet, whom I am exactly named after, came to mind, and I thought about the 12 hours of night Daniel faced. 12 months/12 hours in a night? I had become Daniel in the den and I had prevailed, but I knew this den had to go deeper. There was worse things lying ahead. I knew there was no way I was here by accident. I was put there, 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 rise 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 the bill 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 from one fire into another I went… oops.
I told you about this place already. No amount of soup 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 Hell I was treated with such horrors! I had “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 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 started off a little reticent, and resistant, and harsh, at first, but when they see you are the real-deal, they let down their guard, little bits at a time, and they eventually feel safe with you. People change, and they become what you hope for them to be, when you treat them as you want to see them. As Christians, 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 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 it… and bring it, and bring it!!!
You can not imagine what my eyes have seen. The lives believed to be beyond reproach or repair. They 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 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 read something a little different from you. Because there is a kind of code in the book. A spiritual duality and a language-within-the-language. And once you learn it… It will change everything for you!
I hate lying around now! It’s driving me crazy! And though I am completely OUT-OF-SHAPE; which makes me angry after all my prison work-outs; but I love the research I am doing for my writing. And I am pretty sure that what I am writing will help a great many people. I know God does what He has to, to get what He needs done. I also know that He uses who He chooses, and He gave me this wonderful information and a burning passion to use it.
It’s one of those things that if someone else could do it, I would be more than okay with letting them. But I think I may be the only one who can, because, so far, I am the only one that understands this thing that I am working on… So then I guess the task is mine to do. You know how God gives people tasks? Like, how Moses couldn’t talk so well and was a murderer, but yet God decided to use him to lead a nation. Or how Gideon was a coward but God decided He was best to lead his army. Or how God chooses who He uses and we can only obey, because somehow we that know that it’s right. So, I think I have a pretty serious calling, and I think this one thing is mine to do alone, for the moment… It’s a little crazy, I guess, but it is just so important to me. So I am trying to save lives… and I don’t really fully understand everything I am supposed to be doing yet, but the answers present themselves, more and more, each day, that I surrender my will and trust in HIM. So, answers keep coming. It is so amazing, and it’s beautiful. I see and feel that this is right. So I guess what I am saying, is, if you want something bad enough. If it is important enough. Don’t settle. Do this one thing with such a dedication and commitment that nothing can stop you… and that will be the secret driving force of your success in life.
So I don’t like that I am laid up right now, but I know 100% that God allows some pretty amazing things to happen to us, for some very important reasons. So I need to use the time I have to do the best things I can do… and this will be my plan to change the world:
Behold the fool saith, “Put not all thine eggs in the one basket”–which is but a manner of saying, “Scatter your money and your attention;” but the wise man saith, “Put all your eggs in the one basket and–WATCH THAT BASKET.” – Pudd’nHead Wilson ~ Mark Twain
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” ~ Mark Twain
“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be” ~ George Sheehan
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