Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
I've always thought that one of the things I do best is to understand (and sometimes explain) abstract concepts. I'm certainly not a concrete linear thinker so that's all that's "left" right?
Today,as I reclined in my chair, lost in the serenity of the view outside my window Ihad one of those disoriented moments...It happened as I was making the transition. It was a moment in which the perceived insanity of this world seemed so clearly juxtaposed against the peace and tranquility of the world I had drifted off into,and like going from hot to cold the effects were magnified.
My next thoughts were analytical and seemed to question the authenticity of what I was experiencing and it's relevance to anyone besides myself but the case was quickly lost. I knew it was more than just my own egocentric flattery... No,the observance of this familiar topography was a product of months,perhaps even years, of subversive confoundment at the perfect storm of circumstances that seemed to not only be following me but hanging over the whole world as well!
One very dark cloud that's predominant characteristic or quality lies in the inability of anyone to put their finger directly upon it
I've noticed that everyday the water seems to get muddier. That with each new shocking headline or catastrophe I become a little more jaded. With the advent of each new previously unthinkable event we're forced to redefine what is reality.Have you ever wondered "What next?" And then,wanting to turn directly towards that roaring sound you hear creeping up on you, you begin to move only to be halted by your sternest inner parental tone barking out for you to do anabout face back towards "reality"? Often it's accompanied or supported by another inner voice espousing the convincing logic of continuity, the notion that what hashappened will always continue on and on,and to think otherwise is well...foolish
2 Peter 3:3-4
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
To me it's no mere coincidence that this is also the concept science bases much of what it espouses to be true upon. That this is the threshold of truth used as a platform for hypothesis and theory to explain practically everything. Be it carbon dating or that most sacred of scientific cow's "the speed of light" both of which have faced a re-examination in recent years. The crisis then becomes a cliche, it's almost like saying,
"What if everything you know is wrong?"
Am I being overly abstract even for me, painfully esoteric and annoyingly cryptic?
I've chosen to write this primarily for myself, if someone else gets it then great. It's simply a situation that's increasingly difficult for me to abide with and so my hope is that by exploring it here I can perhaps put a finger on it or give it a name. In the past I've railed against what I perceive as the hypocrisy of institutionalized religion that's become an "I've got mine" Christian social club or the pridefully motivated law keeping that would do the Pharisee's proud! But that's not really it. It's so much broader, and yet it can take the form of small annoying things that seem out of balance or somehow just wrong in your life...like living someplace where flies seem to outnumber humans by 10,000 to 1 or too much month left at the end of the money...
My annoyances and inconveniences seem petty when I look around and see the interminable struggle just to live that's faced by so many here on this blue and green spinning ball. Reconciling those realities is like trying to ignore some 800lb existential gorilla in the room or not be shocked at an emperor without any clothes. It's an out of whack reality that can unexpectedly slap you in the face evenin your favorite chair or anywhere that the illusion is strong enough, accepted as the norm or thought of as just the way it is...
I'm simply trying to relate how in one moment
I was startled to see through the illusion.
To some who read this what I'm saying will make little sense. Others may relate,acknowledging the new status quo of confusion and deception. It's probably not any revelation to many that this world is going to pot,
but what I'm pointing at is how, on a very personal level,
I feel the effects of what's happening!
How sometimes it still takes me by surprise.
like the frog in a pot eventually looking around as if to say,
"Isn't it getting hot in here?"
What in the world am I talking about?
It's really no great matter unless it leaves you different than you were before
Different in what way?
I think you know...
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
A story was told to me many years ago about love. About how when we're truly loved by someone whom we see as being wonderful the effect is transcendent. We're lifted up, empowered, the phrase used in the story I heard was...
If I said it was because of the way He so faithfully provides for the physical needs of my family and I, which I believe He does, I wouldn't be able to explain why it is that God loves everyone but some in this world go without.
I could say that I know God loves me because He sent His Holy Spirit to be a guide and counselor to me who leads me in all things but His Spirit is like the wind. You can't actually see it...even though you can easily see it's effects!
Would it be easier for people to understand how I know if they could experience His peace? If instead of feeling anxious about their circumstances,both present and future,they could cast their cares upon Him knowing He cares for them?
That's a lot of "If''s" in one sentence...
I used to walk through life carrying heavy burdens that I couldn't put down! I know Jesus loves me because He took my burden of condemnation and sin and made me free!
What about the way Jesus is working in my life to heal me from all of the wounds I've suffered from the weapons formed against me by my enemy, continually transforming me by the renewing of my mind...
Would my testimony be convincing?
Oh I know! It's the joy I feel in my life which is the fruit of His Spirit! It's very attractive to others but can be so difficult for them to accept because it's a gift!
All of us have placed our faith in something. Mostly in the things we can see like science,technology,and of course people! Every time we pay attention to anything we give it tribute and power in our lives. If we place our faith in Christ it can be said of us that though we may be in this world we're not of it.
Our faith is the only requirement for us to receive our Father's real love! But have you ever tried to explain what love is to someone? If so,you no doubt know it's futility.I can tell you how much God loves you, I can show you in His word how He's shown it, I can let His love shine through me for you to see, I can show you a world of miracles based on His love for you, but would it be enough?
The choice belongs to each of us,to decide what it is we believe.
Of course the responsibility for those choices is ours as well!
Would it surprise you at all if I told you how thankful I am to have the limited amount of intelligence I posses? On my better days I'm a person to whom humility comes easily and who harbors few if any misgivings about his place in the grand scheme of things. I suspect it was a product of his own similar revelation and his subsequent observations of me that my father once said,
"Son, you don't have to be really smart in this world if you have smart people around you"
His words stung a little then but now serve as a confirmation to me of a blessing that has in may ways characterized my life and that's helped me to be more comfortable in the many supporting roles I've played since.
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever
Knowledge can actually be a curse, look what happened to Adam after he "got smart" via the fruit of the forbidden tree! I think God is saddened by what's happened, it's as if He understands what a burden it is to know, to understand, and that as a result man will now be held responsible to choose good over evil...
Can you not see how much better off Adam was before just being
"dumb and happy" ?
In a recent post I wrote about our freedom in Christ and how Christians have allowed a spirit of fear and deception to keep them from experiencing any possible benefit or blessing from things like yoga,the martial arts, or even performances by theatrical magicians and I still believe that. I understand dancing is now considered "okay" as well...However, when it comes to things like Christians practicing Transcendental Meditation or being involved with any other altered consciousness producing practices I think you're on very shaky ground and through your own freewill are in danger of coming under their mastery and of being in an idolatrous relationship. It's more likely to be a person who's real god is intelligentsia who comes to see themselves as some sort of "mystic" Christian. People who because of their vanity, pride and egocentric perspective have moved out to form a new Christian elite of super apostles enabled to be our metaphysical snake handlers, qualified by Christ no doubt to handle things that would cause the rest of us to stumble...
After all, they're the Most Holy People of God!
I write about things that are personal to me and this topic is certainly no exception. I struggle with my own rebellious folly but thankfully I'm not smart or creative enough to come up with the necessary lies and perverted logic which would allow me to continue in it's pursuit. No, I'm a real amateur compared to people like Thomas Merton who laid the groundwork that "enlightened" generations of free thinking people! People who are, both then and now, spiritually seeking and who because the church was asleep at the wheel or busy organizing a bingo game somewhere were left without a proper challenge to this heresy which seemed to meet that need . I've noticed that people refer to him as a spiritual visionary. A so called Christian mystic who sought to bring together all of the worlds major faiths and traditions. Sounds good right but there's so much more! I believe that in the very near future it's going to be people such as Merton who will be the new age metaphysical apologists for the anti-christ and his one world religion!
When I first began thinking of writing on this subject I wondered if there were any real or legitimate examples of what could be considered Christian mystics. What about John of Patmos the writer of the final book of the bible Revelation? St. John of The Cross who's writings so many Christians find inspiration and comfort in? And in conclusion I think the answer has to be yes! But I don't think they're the pretentious, self-important, whack jobs that are attempting to pass themselves off as such today!
But what do I know? I'm just dumb and happy!
Several weeks ago I read a post by a woman explaining why her stock answer to anyone who had needs or problems of any kind was for them to simply "get closer" to God. In my heart I understood the truth of what she was saying but I also understood how someone might react incredulously or see it as a trite or flippant answer. Since then I've discovered many other bits of wisdom and insight as I browsed various social media sources that seemed to speak to the same issue. Like this one...
The video I posted in my previous blog also spoke about Christian people having a much deeper relationship with our Father through Christ and The Holy Spirit.
I think I'm starting to get the message!
As followers of Christ, as vessels of His Holy Spirit, as heirs through our adoption and with Christ as the firstborn, what I believe God's wanting us to do is to be His presence, to carry His glory with us in this world, to shine brightly into as many darkened lives as we can and to live lives of victory over sin! In all of the challenges we face, not only in our lives but also in those of people we encounter everyday I think God does simply want us to take authority in Jesus' name over sin sickness and death! What's most important is that we abide in Him and He in us, all of the stuff in our lives that's purpose is to distract us from His peace will only continue if we decide to focus on it instead!
I absolutely love what Jesus says here!
If reading that doesn't leave you feeling empowered you may want to check your "spiritual pulse"
Friday, June 17, 2011
In the past few weeks just prior to Pentecost Sunday and in the partial week since it seems as though I've been thinking, talking, writing, reading blogs, articles and "tweets" about, watching video's, and listening to other people talk...
all about the same thing!
(Check out the video on youtube)
It's just like Bill says in this video, between bites of lunch...It's a move of the Spirit, a fresh presence of Jesus one can only describe as an "encounter". Jesus is showing up in miraculous ways and reaching out to His Church, to the people who are truly seeking Him and who are dependent upon His Holy Spirit to empower them for His mission works which are to begin within the church first and move out from there. Some are being healed, others delivered from crippling emotional wounds, still others from stagnant and prideful religiosity, The mission is the same, it's a great co-mission between Gods Holy Spirit, Jesus and through us to deliver the captives! The miracle is that none of the weapons formed against Gods children can prosper in His Holy presence which is being poured out, He causes the lame to walk and the blind to see! The manifestation is His Glorious light and His presence that we carry with us into this dark, and dead world!
It's said that fear is the beginning of wisdom, in that verse to fear means to be in awe of who God is. We're taught that no sin can come into the presence of a Holy God and I believe that's true but why? After all, Satan is the father of lies but didn't Satan come before God to talk to Him about Job? Could it be that our misunderstanding of this is whats keeping us from experiencing a life changing fullness of His presence? When we finally come to a place where we know what we are and seek to repent be forgiven, are we still afraid to come into His presence because of our attention wrongly being placed on the sin's of our past and those we're yet to commit, on OUR profound unworthiness instead of His agape love? What if the reason no sin can be in Gods presence is simply because of how much it breaks His heart? Some don't believe God has feelings and that the descriptions of such in His word are allegorical and simply for the benefit of our understanding but I don't agree! All of us love our children, can you imagine having them paraded before you in any condition other than being in perfect health and how that would affect you?
I AM THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ!
I think some people's perception of God and the idea of being in His presence are scary thoughts because they imagine the experience being something similar to that of Dorthy in The Wizard Of Oz!
Surely at some point in your life you've encountered a stray dog who's been severely mistreated by people. Even though it may be starving and you're holding out food to give to it, it will approach you with fear and almost against it's own will,with it's head down ready to run at the first sign of your displeasure. Sadly, because of their life experiences that's how many people feel about love and so consequently they also feel that way about approaching God who actually IS love!
I want a visitation, a personal encounter with Jesus! Like the Israelites I want to pass over the Jordan into the presence of His blessing and rest. Joshua Made two piles of stones that day to mark the significance of what had happened, the first one on the bank from smooth river rocks that were taken out of the Jordan and another in the middle of the river where the ark stood as the entire nation walked past. I believe the stones he used to make the second pile were gathered from the land and were in a much rougher sharper condition than the smooth ones he first used, their roughness symbolizing our present sinful condition. The smoothness of first stones was the result of the influence of the water, placing them in the river represents the Holy Spirit's work on our hearts of stone and just as it was with the Israelites who did cross over into Canaan it took an act of faith to make the waters part and repentance or the circumcision of their hearts to enter in! Through my experiencing the presence of Jesus and His wondrous love, I too must leave my own sin or "Egypt" behind before I can cross over into and all He has waiting on the other side for me!
Saturday, May 28, 2011
I asked her,
"What if someone cleaned your room when it was so messy that there was no way that you could ever do it yourself! Picked up all your toys, made your bed, vacuumed the rug, we're talking immaculately clean! And then, after they were finished they leaned against the door frame and just watched you because they love you and enjoy seeing you play in your restored to order room. Would it change how you played? Would you try your best to keep it that way and never let it get dirty like it was before? If you answered yes then know something about what it means to have a relationship with Jesus!"
Since that day I've continued to search for answers to my own questions about what it means to live your life in Gods Presence. The subject of how we are to live as Christians is one that plays out daily in the many details and choices we all face. I know that there will come a time when my simple analogy to my daughter will no longer suffice and so I want to be ready when perhaps she'll come to me saying,
"I want to honor God in this way but I'm afraid some people might not understand"
I want her to know then as she did before that the reason God always has His eye's on her isn't because He's watching to see if she does wrong, it's because He loves her so much that He can't take His eye's off her!
I also hope she know's that in her relationship with Jesus there's an intimacy between her heart and His and that He understands her motives. His judgments are based in a love that not only "thinketh" no evil but one that,
1 Corinthians 13:7
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
I don't want her to live her life as if she's automatically guilty by association if she should become involved with things that might be thought of as being inappropriate for Christians.
I've dug myself quite a hole there, here's what I mean...
There are some who might see a person being involved with the Martial Arts as such based on it's links to Eastern philosophies and Buddhism. I just hope they don't try to sell that to Chuck Norris who's Kick Start program has helped thousands of kids find their way out of drug's and gang's and put their lives on the right track! I can't imagine a Christian having any objection to other Christians participation in the Olympic's even though originally they were intended as a competition to honor the Greek god Zeus! And Christmas? Oh come on! Ironically, in the two predominant holidays Christians observe there's more Pagansymbolism than there is Christian, does that mean we should stop celebrating them? I know at least a few that have for just those reasons...
If, in an effort to maintain the temple of the Holy Spirit which our bodies are to be we decide to employ the stretching exercises used in Hatha Yoga I hope we aren't shunned or looked down upon by other church members. Also, if your faith is such that you find exercise threatening to it perhaps yoga's not your real problem. I'm saddened that I can't tell people the whole story of how God has revealed His plan of redemption in the stars starting with Virgo the Virgin and ending with Leo the Lion of Judah's return without people thinking I'm a heretic of some kind because of the acceptance of our enemies perversion in our minds of yet another of Gods precious gifts to us!
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Several years ago I attended a revival given by a local church, during the service the kids were entertained down stairs by a Christian magician. Should I have turned around and left because of not wanting my child to be exposed to the occult? Some Christian's would say YES! Even though no where in the Bible does it say anything about theatrical magic being forbidden!
2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
I thought Id just go ahead and get this verse of scripture into the mix as well, according to the Strong's Concordance Itching ears are those which are "desirous of hearing something pleasant" as opposed to sound doctrine which is defined as,
a) of Christians whose opinions are free from any mixture of error
b) of one who keeps the graces and is strong
I'll leave it to you to decide what I am...or am not, but whatever conclusions you reach regarding me I've said all these things to make a point which is this.
I have an itch to see Gods church rise up in these last days and be all He intended it to be and for it to complete the purpose for which it was established! A burning and uncomfortable itch to see the church cast aside it's fears and it's dogma and allow The Holy Spirit to move among them in whichever way He choses! To stop allowing counterfeit spiritual perversions of practically everything God's given us to keep us from using those real gifts that we must employ if we're going to be the generation that He'll use to bring in the great harvest!
1 Corinthians 8:9
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.
If more Christian's would get a similar uncomfortable burning itch, and would scratch it, who knows...
We might just have a wildfire on our hands instead of no-fire.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Are you an investor? I think it must take a lot of nerve to put large sums of money into stuff and then hope that someday it'll pay off! I suppose it's kind of like the lottery, they say you can't win if you don't play but there are others who believe that you can't lose what you don't bet...I've been told that relationships are work, as if they're a task or a job that has to be done and that may be true...it would explain why so many don't work! I think it's also true that you first must venture something before it's possible to see a return of it, let alone to see a return on it! We sow seeds hoping for a crop and although there's a reasonable expectation of a result it's still not a for sure thing. I'm drawing comparisons here to various things that involve risk so that I can talk about what most people perceive to be the greatest one of all,
Allow me to clarify, I feel as though I need to because there are so many concepts people have about what that means. I'm talking about the type of love that can and most likely will cost you everything. The type that never stops to count the cost before acting or that leaves no room for compromise or half measures. It's an all consuming obsession that's primarily characterized by selflessness and a concern for what's in the best interest of it's "object" which of course is so much more than a thing to them...
it's their everything!
Many people practice a much more conditional definition of love as in,
"I love you as long as times are good or until you do something I disapprove of."
Another common example is the idea that I love you until it becomes inconvenient for me or until my feelings for you result in a "heartache" on my part at which point we're through. Some people do see love as an investment, and as such they have some very definite ideas about what they expect in return and while I do believe that love always comes back to us I don't think that anyone truly gives love only because of what they expect to receive in return.
Having said that I'd also like to say that even though expecting a return on our love investment is not in character, that when we do give, sow, invest, or commit ourselves to truly loving someone the return is guaranteed! Perhaps not in the way we might expect or from the person whom we've loved but just as the rising sea levels of a harbor lifts all ships we benefit from bringing more love into the world! Like am electrical wire with current flowing through it, we're warmed by it's passage!
I'd like to be able to say that I've loved that way, but what Robin Williams said about loving something more than yourself kind of left me hollow, I find it's quite a struggle for me to love something more than I fear being rejected by it...
I'm also floored to know that this is how God loves each of us, except it's actually so much more than I can even comprehend. He sent His only Son Jesus to be our redeemer even though I'm sure He knew that many would reject this supreme act of love!
Thank You Father for Your infinite love, please change my heart to allow Your love to shine through me more, and for me to see the fear in my life for the liar that it is!
Do I dare?
How dare you?