Stop being Soul Blind (So Blind) to the truth.
God’s waiting for you.
Firstly let me say “God is AWESOME!” But just how awesome I didn’t know.
This blog is more than a story about me and my journey to salvation. It is actually a labor of love that is written for you. 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. It is from a time when words were like paint on a canvas with deeper expressions than the image itself. 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 that has not changed in thousands of years. The symbolic imagery of the Bible is actually a language and if you are only reading the Bible like everyone else, you are missing the best it has in store! 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, but I am not the message. These truths are not mine. I am only a guide. If you seek truth, then come follow the voice of God hidden on the pages of the greatest story ever told… Here in this blog are the keys to the kingdom that unlock the human soul.
However, my personal journey began like this:
He Hits Like a Hammer! But He Loves Like No Other
I HEAR YOU LORD!!!
Can you hear Him? He’s all around you. Listen carefully. I heard Him 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 was me, some years ago.
This is me lying on a bed in my room recovering from an injury. It’s called a “rectal fissure” (Basically, it’s a cut in the butt). It’s actually fairly common, and VERY painful (OH, SO 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 most of the things in my life. In a way, I have become like Job in the Bible. The name Job means “Hated”. Funny, but I don’t feel hated, even though I have lost everything. But God chooses who He chooses. He does the choosing, like it or not, but it is up to us to listen to that small voice calling from within. It guides us and pushes us along our path of destiny to places that we never could have dreamed of going. But God has a plan for everyone and everything. So who are we to argue? All we can do is listen, obey and hold on! So, listen carefully to what He’s saying, because sometimes other voices get in the way… mainly our own.
Okay Daniel, like it or not, God chose you. You may not have, I may not have, but He sure did! And it makes me ask myself, “Why me Lord? Who am I that He should choose to do anything important with my life?” Personally I would have chosen someone else, but He didn’t… So why me?
Simply put, I listened. Also, I do have a few tools He could use for His task. Sometimes it seems obedience and a few useful 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 you too, so be ready! Because if He believes in you too He won’t hold back when He wants your attention! He gave me both barrels of that shotgun of love when He called me… OH BOY!
Psst, do you hear me Daniel?
BANG! BANG! Do you hear me now? OH, I hear you now Lord!!! 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! (True story!)
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 think “Mmm Hmmm, sure he didn’t. They’re all innocent”. So I gain nothing by claiming that I’m innocent (But I am). 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!
Our legal system stinks here in America and it’s not like anything you see on TV. You are guilty until proven rich and public defenders are not your friends. So once you check in, you don’t check back out. It’s sad to see the lives of good men ripped apart for little crimes but that’s what happened to me (Even though I didn’t do it).
So what was it like?
Imagine being alone. Now imagine being alone in a place that everyone hates and mistrust you. It’s not safe either because you are amongst societies worst and like I said they hate you! Now imagine you are someone who has never littered or double parked your car, and worst of all, lived in the suburbs most of your life. Now imagine you’re 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 the horrors of a place like this until you have been in 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. I was a little… HYPER! I once rocked the springs out of the family sofa. 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 from “playing” football. That would be a great claim to fame but I am 6’5″ now and I was 6’3″ by age 13, and who knows how tall I was 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. No, 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, a walking stick 8 years old, looking around the candy aisle suspiciously and stuffing a block of yummy chocolate into the sling of my cast. I was poor kid and I just wanted something sweet to eat, but I was feeling the oppressive pangs of guilt spill forth from my child subconscious, wondering if I would go to jail or Hell. But yet, I still headed for the door with chocolaty spoils tucked away in my cast sling. The chime rang on the door as it opened it to the world of Free Liberated Chocolate for ALL 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 the eyes of a hawk.
“Um” I gulped.
Thinking quickly I searched through my limited list of excuses in my mind:The dog ate it… 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, an idea popped into my brain! 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 up close 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 at a distance, in a calm collected-child like squeak as I took out the gloves and showed them to him (See, no candy here. Mua ha ha!)
“Oh… Um, never mind kid.” he said with exasperation and seeming 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 as my mind swam with fears of what would have happened if I got caught. Would my parents find out? Would I go to jail? Am I bad person 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. And since I have never really been tempted to steal ever again. Even when times were hard!
I actually did live a hard life. Not as hard as some but hard enough. We moved a lot growing up. We were poor and lived in some pretty scary places, but I lived a good-clean-life. 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 to only Him.
I went to a lot of schools and 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 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 and after 4 surgeries he lived healthy and happy! …And I loved them both very much. (Notice the whole past theme here?)
I worked really hard long hours. I got very good at what I did. I made a good living making video games and I moved to a nice home in a very nice neighborhood. We made so many sacrifices to get there, but we made it so our kids would never be for want. 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 (BY THAT EVIL BACK STABBING… *sigh* but I digress).
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 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?
98.6% is a whole lot of %!!!
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… Then 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 that’s smaller than a coat closet, feeling all alone. My wife had left me. My children stopped writing… It’s “embarrassing to have you in jail” she said …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 ever 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 who was away being blind and deaf.
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 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, 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 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 KINDS OF MEN! Unusual they were confused and hurting souls but one-by-one they came to me for answers. Even a few guards would take me out of my cell late at night to talk with me alone and to learn 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 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 you need to be the person that you want the world to be, and others will follow suit and 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 people around me that I barely knew. Men brought every bit of religious material they possessed. Some 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 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; in the quiet of the heart and mind, and in the reflecting on God and His Word, and through the signs that are all around you; that is where He shows you things in such amazing ways 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!
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 to my cell. 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 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 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 this 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 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 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 was 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 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 I thought). So from one fire into another I went… oops, EPIC FAIL.
We go deeper into the darkness to find the brightest treasures.
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 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 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 bits 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 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!
So this is my gift to the world
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 whom 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 suited to lead his army.
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, so I surrender my will and trust in HIM. The 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 all for 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:
“Have the passion and conviction to make it happen. Be the person you want the world to be. Run the race despite the obstacles and opposition, because, in the end, you will be the person He meant for you to be.“ ~ Me
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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