Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dream of Control

I had to do a podcast last night on black writers. Supposed to start 7:30 but noooo Obama had to do a speech and all the black folks in the (speculative and otherwise) universe had to look at it. So then it was scheduled for 8:30. But then the lady had trouble with her computer. Upshot? I was on the phone from 8:30 to 11:15. And Because of that I didn't sleep at all last night. That caused a great deal of painful attacks in my chest and a headache. In the past, if I don't get into bed by 7:30 or so I am in a bit of danger of not sleeping. But it would have been rude to leave the conference.

Anyways, I had the most wonderful dream about control. I dreamt a woman producer was in charge of a film and in charge of a film production company. An actor and his wife were helping her in creating the film. I think the actor was the director. Except that they had gotten so used to being in charge that they wouldn't listen to her. She decided to take her power back. She asked them, "who pays your check? who owns this company?" They kept ignoring her. She kept her ground but they weren't paying her any mind. . . as if she was unimportant. They were silently mocking her. And the actress said something like, "you think my husband is so gorgeous, he has you under his thumb. you won't do anything to upset him." The producer said, "oh, you think I won't ruin his face" and she took a razor and cut the guy across the face." And she cut the actress over the eye or in the eye. Then she took a large bird out of the sky a great white dove or albatross or whatever....and she pulled it from the sky and threw it tumbling into the actor;s apartment.

When I got up I instinctively knew what the dream was about. There's a line in the Bible about the kingdom of heaven: The kingdom of heaven endures violence and the violent take it by force. The upshot is that to bring the kingdom of heaven into one's life one must be all out pushy for it.

I had been attacked by sleeplessness last night and all night I was up. So it's like about 40 hours so far without sleep and I decided to defy the tiredness -- which i always do cause I'm strong like that-- and I was being attacked by such a headache and such pain and such despair. That I decided to sing songs about the power of Jesus blood and to pray and to tell my body that Jesus healed it on the cross. I told my body it had better behave and it had better sleep because God had given it sleep. And told Gabe's body that it had better be healed. I was just supremely angry with sickness and the way it treats our family. And then I fell asleep and got this dream. So it was as if my body was saying, I will not be your servant and listen to you. But I was saying, "Who owns you? My spirit owns my body and my mind! Jesus said the body is a servant to the spirit, not the other way around! So you had better damn well listen to me! So I told my body all kinds of Bible verses and promises about the power of God's word in our life. And the word of God is compared to a spiritual sword which destroys the enemy (sickness, demonic entity, poverty, etc.) Hence the knife. Then the large white bird represents the holy spirit, i guess.

Anyways, upshot: I feel as if I have found my inner anger against sickness. I am fighting against it even though it tries to ignore me. That's the way it works sometimes but I WILL be heard. And this sickness will leave, and my body will have to come in line with God's word.

So am doing well. I know how to fight now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

God's Friend

What do the following folks have in common?
Enoch, Abraham, Moses, David? They were God's friends. Others who might fall into this category: Daniel (who was called "a man greatly beloved.") Joshua (who was called "a mighty man of God.") Elijah (who wasn't allowed to die normally but had a chariot take him away.)

What do the following folks have in common?
John, Lazarus, Peter, James (Jacob)? They were Jesus' friends. Others who might fall into this category: John the Baptist, Judas Iscariot. (Yeah, I know. But Jesus called Judas a friend and who am I to disagree with Jesus?)

Let's ponder what being a friend of God means:
Obviously it doesn't mean life is easy. It also doesn't mean stuff happens instantly. Oh, God was aware of them. But maturity was necessary. And it didn't help matters that John said that he and his brother could drink the same cup that Jesus drank. These guys endured. God's friends learn to endure.

But something else: What does it mean to be anyone's friends? Isn't a friend someone who loveth at all times? Isn't there a friend who sticks closer than a brother? Oh, yessss! Jesus is our friend? What a friend we have in Jesus and all that! But are we God's friend? Are we Jesus' friend?

Do we love God at all times? Are we fairweather friends? Are we users? Do we come to God to force him to listen to our whining? Do we come to make him hear about all our sorrows? Do we ever ask to hear his sorrows? Do we ever say, "God, what are you sad about in the world? What would you want me to do?" Do we love God all the time? Do we allow God to be himself with us? Do we allow ourselves to be ourselves with God? Do we treat God as a personal friend or as a collection of dutiful behaviors? Do we make long phone calls to God just to chatter? Do we make short little phone calls to say nothing at all, but just because we want to hear God's voice?

Okay, back to that bitter cup John said he could drink. Can we drink the bitter cup? What if our friend wants us to do something very important to him? Will we do it? -C

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sins Jesus Hated

Hypocrisy, selfishness, greediness, unforgiveness, indifference to god, wasting of resources, worrying about one's life, not trusting God, divorcing your wife to get a new one, doing only the basics of religious duty, not loving God with all one's heart and one's mind, self-rigtheousness, love of power, love of being honored by humans, prejudice against the poor and against foreigners, and against those we consider unholy, spiritual sloth, anger, disregard for the poor, committing adultery in your heart.

The ten commandments doesn't mention any of these sins. But these are the sins Jesus talked about over and over and over. Sins of the heart.

Many Christians say Jesus freed us from the curse of the law and they think of the ten commandments. (and the Law) and so they continue to indulge in hypocrisy, etc. By doing this, they end up with cheap grace. God says, "you will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart." Jesus said, "we must stay in the vine."

How can we be angry with God for not doing what we want or answering our prayers when we are still sinning the sins Jesus so hates?

Jesus came to bring joy and peace and truth to our spirit. He does this by the holy spirit. The holy spirit was not able to go into the hearts of everyone in such a way in the old testament. But now the holy spirit is being poured out on all men. And yet, do Christians love God every day of the week? Do those who rejoice in the spirit on weekends rejoice in the spirit all week?

Monday, October 27, 2008

One day is as a thousand years

Peter tells us that one day with God is as a thousand years. And a thousand years is as a day. A lot of pastors use this phrase to mean "one day IS a thousand years." Those are the ones who are usually trying to show people that God is using some sort of clock and that there are 6000 years of time to be fulfilled, yadda yadda. (They do this even though we aren't supposed to be adding numbers and trying to pinpoint the time of Christ's coming.)

It's a grammatical twist used to push a spiritual idea. But grammatical twist aside I don't think Peter meant it the way it's often used by modern pastors.

Think of it: one day to God is like a thousand years. This reminds me of Psalm 139 The thought God has about us in a single day is more than the sands. Can you imagine the thoughts God has about every single person on earth?

And a thousand years is as a day. God is eternal. He seems our lives in Time sequences and con-sequences that we can never dream of. He sees our forefathers and descendants in a single glimpse. He lasts forever.

That would be a thing to really sit down and ponder, as opposed to forcing an equation that really isn't there...in order to force an interpretation that isn't there either. -C

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bible Word Study: Esteem

I was listening to a minister talking about the parable of the talents. The one talent, the two, the five. And, because we christians can be soooo works-oriented, he went on to talk about the lowly folks who have one talent (like church babysitters) and those great ones who have five talents (like Pastors who have PhD's etc.) Of course I wanted to shriek, "You officious, over-bearing smug a**hole!" But I didn't. We esteem and judge so differently than God does.

The Lord tells us to esteem others more highly than ourselves. This means that when it comes to contemplating the worth and work of others (if we are ever foolish to even do that) we should not judge things the way man judges, by appearance. Or when someone is in pain, we shouldn't say things such as "get over it" or "you know what your problem is: you're a blamer" or "Oh come on, it's not so bad!" Nor should we go to prayer asking God -- and insulting His intelligence-- by telling Him in a judgemental manner to change someone else's life or outlook or heart. We have to withold judgement. We have to forbear because as the Bible says the heart knows its own bitterness and a stranger doesn't intermeddle. As the Bible says, Who are you, oh man, to judge God's servant?

I'm always amazed at how highly people prize themselves and their opinions. I remember reading a magazine where a Christian woman talked about what she did when her friend left an abusive marriage and went off into an affair. The abusive husband had been beating up her friend, verbally and physically and the new man in her life was good, kind, rich. This woman stated she started to pray that her friend would leave this evil relationship. And she said she prayed very hard and hard for it until she started to see the effects of this prayer. Okay, am I being a wuss here? But shouldn't this woman have minded her business and prayed something like, "Heal my friend of her wounds." And ONLY pray that. Doesn't it seem a bit pushy and very like witchcraft for her to set her heart to destroy a new relationship, adultery or now? Am I just being a wuss here? And I totally believe there are such things as negative prayers that get answered. The devil answers them, or human ESP answers them. So we really have to stop esteeming our opinions of others lives better than their opinions of their own lives. Once we start believing that people have "a blind spot" about their own lives, then we get so caught up with showing them their blind spot that we don't ponder our own blind spots. Anyways, for your perusal: the Bible word: esteem

Deuteronomy 32:15 "But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation."

"for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed." 1 Samuel 2:29-31

"Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food." Job 23:11-13

Job 36:19 "Will he esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength."

Job 41:27 "He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood."

Psalm 119:128 "Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way."

Isaiah 29:16 "Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?"

Isaiah 53:3 "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."

Isaiah 53:4 "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."

Luke 16:15 "And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."

Romans 14:5 "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."

Romans 14:14"I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean."

1 Corinthians 6:4 "If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church."

Philippians 2:3 "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."

1 Thessalonians 5:13 "And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves."
Hebrews 11:26 "Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Scattered Thoughts -- almost believing

Okay, a couple of weeks ago, I wrote that I would think of almost believing.

Acts 18:25 "This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John." Acts 18:24-26

As I said, most Christian churches nowadays know only the baptism of John. They believe in the holy spirit and some of them speak great sermons and are fervent in spirit but the only baptism they tell people to have is the baptism of repentance.

Luke 3:16 "John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." Luke 3:15-17

But Pentecostals believe in the full gospel and in doing everything Jesus told us in the great commission. Healing, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, preaching the gospel, baptising in water, baptising in the holy spirit.

Then there is what is written in Hebrews:

Hebrews 6:1 "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God" Hebrews 6:1-3

Hebrews 5:12 "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. Hebrews 5:11-14

And even Peter says that the milk of the word is for newborn spiritual babes. 1 Peter 2:2 "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby."

Jesus told us to preach about the kingdom of God. Most evangelical churches teach that we are prophets of God who help to reveal God's will to those who don't know. OR they teach about the priesthood of believers, that we can make intercession and stand in the gap for others. But they don't really preach the kingdom of God. They keep teaching us about the foundations. Those foundations are good but they aren't the entire building. After all, Jesus rebuked a storm twice. And in both instance it's clear that he was annoyed that he had to do it when the disciples could have done it. In one instance, he was going to walk past them. In the other instance, he was sleeping. Heck, he rebuked the storm. So it's obvious God hadn't produced the storm. He wouldn't have rebuked it otherwise. But churches nowadays behave as if God sends the storm and we should accept it. Hey, Jesus has given us authority over sin, sickness, storms, spiritual evil! Why can't we move onward to greater works that Jesus told us we would do?

In Job we are told to decree a thing. In the gospel we are told to be kings and priests on the earth!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

True Forgiveness

Often I hear Church people using forgiveness the wrong way and mis-applying basic Bible principles to force forgiveness upon those who have been wronged. For instance they might tell an abused woman, "You have to forgive. He's sorry for his sin." When they do this they are bullying the victim with their spirituality, using Scripture badly, and might be causing further grief. But they think they are merely telling the victim of the abuser to take the higher spiritual road.

Let us be clear about what the Bible says and stop falling into flaky church tradition. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus "heal a relationship." He restores souls, he heals bodies, he casts out demons. But it is up to humans to do the work of healing a relationship.

True forgiveness is accountable.
Why? Because repentance is often incremental. For instance, the Bible tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it? Cruel people don't know themselves. Abusing people can't see their own hearts. Not all at once. Heck, they might feel they ought to apologize and they might be sorry for their sins. But they have not yet learned the skills of being a kind human, or the skills of anger management. To ask an abused person to re-enter back into a relationship with such a person is abusive.

True forgiveness can never be demanded.
Why? Because if an abusive person comes to you and says, "You have to forgive me. I'm sorry now," that person is not really humbled enough. Nowhere is it written that someone should demand forgiveness of another. They can ask, and we can forgive. But that doesn't mean we have to enter into a relationship with such a person. Again, repentance and self-knowledge is incremental.

True forgiveness means the person who has sinned against another must confess.
Why? Because there is a difference between admission and confession. Abusive folks are often great at admitting a fault. They are also manipulative. They will wound someone quite badly, then they will go to the pastor or the elders or the family and admit their fault. Then, after admitting their fault they will say something like, "Pastor, Brother, Sister, Mom-in-law, could you call my wife (or my husband) and ask her to forgive me and to live with me again?" This is all very good-appearing, but it's not really confession of sin. It's playing the spiritual game. It's the old "I'm converted now, so you have to accept me" slick game. Again, conversion takes a while. We can say, "Well, praise God! You have seen the error of your way. But you don't have the skills yet. Conversion takes time. So keep away from the person you are abusing until you truly understand how bad you have been."

True forgiveness does not mean the scale is wiped clean.
Why? Because pain, woundedness, griefs, are still in effect. It's like being stabbed with a knife. One may forgive the blow but the wound is still deep. Repentance means paying for one's sins. Oh, Christians will say, "but we don't have to pay for our sins. Jesus paid for our sins!" But that's not true. Jesus paid for our sins, but we also have to reap what we sow...in our lives, and what we have sown in other lives. Consider a man who leaves his wife for another woman? His wife becomes sickly, loses her insurance because she is no longer married to a wage-earner, is living with the kids in poverty while the adulterer and his new wife are fairly well off. if the man says he's sorry, he was in love...and he couldn't help himself, we may forgive him. (Although, the Bible tells us that emotions are our servants and we are not theirs...and the man should not have fallen into the lie of "I couldn't help falling in love" the fact is the Christian church is so wimpy about the power of the will (especially when it comes to love, attraction, and sex) that we'll forgive the guy? But shouldn't this man remember to take care of his wife? Shouldn't he try to heal her heart now that she has gotten hill because of the hurt he caused her?

Or consider the man who has stolen --not a spouse but money-- and says how sorry he is. Shouldn't he return the money? And if he doesn't, the scale is not wiped clean.

Peter was crucified. Jesus forgave him but I suspect his rejection of Jesus had a lot to do with how he died. He still had to prove his love, to reap what he had sowed. David kicked out his wife Michal from his bed and later killed his friend Uriah in order to protect the adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah's wife. God forgave David through Nathan the prophet but nevertheless God declared that the sword would be against David's house FOREVER. FOREVER!!! And then David ended up losing ALL his concubines from his bed, just as Michal was cast out. That's not just old testament. In the New testament, we are repeatedly told that we should not deceive ourselves, we reap what we sow.

So it is kindness to remind the sinner who continues sinning what true forgiveness is. For our sanity, and for his salvation. Perhaps we should always link true forgiveness with true repentance. In that way we don't further wound and burden the person who is already in pain. -C

Prisoner Alert:Nguyen Van Dai


In May 2008, Nguyen Van Dai, a Vietnamese Protestant church leader and lawyer, was sentenced to five years in prison and followed by four years of house arrest. Nguyen was accused of a wide range of crimes, including "conspiring with terrorists, in their efforts to promote human rights efforts, including religious rights and democracy." He was also accused of compiling "evidence of Vietnam's suppression of the Protestant religion and providing it to the U.S.-based Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam and the U.S. embassy."

Go to the Prisoner Alert website to see how you can write Nguyen and encourage him that you're praying for him.

Pray also for the Iraqi Christians. Since the US invasion, they have been persecuted, their women raped and forced to convert, beheaded, and their lands and houses taken away.



Go to Voice of the Martyrs to read up more about persecuted Christians.

Go to persecution.com to find out about other Persecuted Christians all over the world.

-C

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

He broke the bread

I remember listening to a Messianic Rabbi tell us about what Jesus did with the bread that was so different and unusual at that Passover Seder. Because we are disconnected from Jewish theology, we often hear ministers make up very strange explanations for things. So the general idea here is that something strangely weird happened as the Disciples Jesus met on the road to Emmaus saw Jesus breaking the bread.

A made-up mind

How does one get joy and peace in believing? How does one get rest in faith?
To simply decide to believe God, to have a made up mind.

Am working on that. Lots of peace today. Because I've got a made-up mind. Whenever something tries to disturb my faith that God is working, I hold to the word. I've got a made-up mind.

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Defeating the Forces of Darkness



SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Defeating the Forces of Darkness
by Dr Preston Bailey
388 pages
Xulon Press
May 20, 2008
ISBN-10: 1604778962
ISBN-13: 978-1604778960

Wow!!! What a book! Definitely one to get if one lives near haunted houses or haunted people!

Here's the blurb:

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Defeating the Forces of Darkness is a theological and practical book on overcoming the attacks of the Devil. Christians need to use the many spiritual resources that the Lord of Hosts, the Commander in Chief of the heavenly army, has provided for us to defeat the attacks of the Wicked One. Dr. Bailey describes the nine different types of attacks by demons along with how to respond to each type of attack in order to have victory. He also describes Satan's organizational structure of demons and how they scheme to attack people. Dr. Bailey has appeared on numerous television shows and was the producer and host of a weekly series called "The Christian Counselor." He has trained police departments about Satanic Ritual activities and been a consultant with law enforcement on occult related crime. He was appointed by the Governor as Chairman of the Task Force on Child Abuse and later appointed on the Juvenile Anti-crime Task Force that helped reduce juvenile crime in Florida. Since he has many years of experience in dealing with most types of occult and satanic related groups, he has done numerous seminars in churches and Christian organizations on the subject. Dr. Bailey also has counseled thousands of demonized people and hundreds of people who were ritually abused. Since he has led many Satanists, witches, warlocks, and those involved in the occult to Christ, his insight into the occult has helped him train thousands of Christian counselors in Europe, Canada, and throughout the United States and minister to those who have been demonized. God has given him many unique experiences that he has shared in this book which will enrich your life and reveal startling truths about spiritual warfare and how to have victory over the attacks of Satan.



His website is really a great site and you can download documents on how to pray for demonized folks and houses. It's a great site. Check it out.

Here is the amazon site

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Behold

Sometimes I find myself pondering the put-on piety of some folks I know. Yeah, Im judging. But honestly, by their walking around behaving in an holier than thou manner they are subtly judging me. And other folks. We humans are always looking for ways to be better than other folks. I remember an Orthodox Jewish woman who always felt very holy when she went to get her ritual bath. She said when she walked through the street she felt contaminated if anyone touched her. But honestly, what is external holiness when we are beholding the speck in another person's eye when we have a beam in our own eye.

I know of another woman who used to pray to God using "thees" and "thous." She didn't like it when I said "you" to God cause "thee and thou" are holy words. No, they aren't! But it was hard to describe to her that thou and thee are no-longer-used familiar forms of "you." And that although she was thinking she was distancing herself from God's great holiness by saying "Thou" she was actually being quite intimate with him.

Often we simply cannot behold even the smallest truth because we are so caught up with our own perceptions. When used in the Bible, the word "behold" often translates Greek words that mean, "Carefully think on this, ponder it, look into this, examine this, really, really, really look at this."

Behold, All things have become new!

Let us really really consider that. All things. All definitions of holiness, all definitions of what love is, all definitions of what righteousness is, all definitions of what God is like, all definitions of what illness supposedly does to the body, all definitions of what normal life is supposed to be. Study the Bible and see what Jesus wanted the world to be.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Revival Conference

The conference in Atlanta, Georgia will be webcasted live for all its sessions. I am excited about the potential web audience from all across that world that will tune in. Spread the word about the event. These are dire times in North America and what a good and acceptable time to seek God that He may be found.

You can watch the entire conference at: http://www.revivalconference.com

And also at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/sermonindex.net-live-webcast-events

The first session starts at 2pm EST on Tues, Oct 21st. And the webcast will be live for the next whole 2 days 8am-10pm EST. More information on the speakers and the schedule go
here: http://revivalconference.eventbrite.com/

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Building Jairus' Faith

Luke 8:41 "Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with him to come to his house." Luke 8:40-50

When Jairus came to Jesus to get his daughter healed, he was interrupted because a woman --who had been sick for about the same amount of years as his own daughter was alive-- approached and got healed. Of course Jairus could have had her severely punished for touching Jesus in her "condition" but he didn't. The entire incident probably helped his faith and helped him to believe strongly enough to get his daughter healed. Isn't God good the way he sets things up to help build our faith?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Weird Prayer One and Two

Okay, so this morning I get up and tossed up two weird prayers to God.

First:
I'm in the throes of admiration for testosterone. I love men. I love lovely men. So I'm thinking, "Lord, no sex in heaven! What about all this admiration I have for men with lovely bodies?" Yep, we have to discuss everything with God.

C S Lewis gave an example. I'll paraphrase: When you tell a small boy that being in love is wonderful, he says so it's like chocolate? That's cause the highest joy a little kid knows is the joy of candy. (Or Nintendos or PSP's) He can't conceive of anything higher. And that's how we humans are when we try to understand what Jesus said about heaven and there not being marriage in heaven. The first thing we feel is a sense of loss. Oh, okay, there are these super-spiritual folks who can live without sex or that wonderful sense of admiring another. And hey, I can understand the joy of loving everyone as my brother and sister.

But there is something wonderful about the sex drive. There is something wonderful about men's body's. If God takes it away, he is sure to give something better. I can only tell God that I HOPE so. Come on, now, Solomon wrote an opera to love: The Song of Solomon. So there's something there to hope for. So, that's weird prayer one.

Then there's weird prayer two:

I got up off the bed this morning and said, "Lord, my ego! Do something to make me not look so nutty in the eyes of certain people!" Yep, I was asking God to sure up my pride, not to destroy it.

Okay, so do I have any precedent to ask such a snooty proud selfish prayer. Well, yeah, Psalm 25: 2

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
2 in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.

Okay, okay, enemies can be sickness and sin and demonic forces. But sometimes it's plain old people. And God understands the way we feel when humans triumph over us. There's a lot in the Bible about the proud, the scornful, the mocking, the derisive. Often when I think of Jesus and his triumph over the suffering of the cross, I sometimes think "The pain was bad enough but to be subject to scorn and mockery and to be able to do something about it...and yet...to NOT come down from the cross and "show those a**holes"!!! Well.... that's the love of Jesus for us, that's the need for us to be freed from the depth of sin. Anyways, I'm kinda hoping to be a super-millionaire and to have my son's healing manifest. For happiness sake, but also to shut the mouths of those who have triumphed over me.

causing others to stumble

Was pondering this:

Romans 14:21 "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak." Romans 14:20-22

Actually, for the most part meat doesn't cause most Christian folks to stumble. Unless they're seventh-day adventist. But I'm evangelical and pentecostal, or as the Russian's call it "fifty-day Christians." Which means that we are in the day of jubilee, past the 7th day and into the New Day that God has made.

So yeah, this meat thing. Gotta update it for today. What are the things I might accidentally do to make my brother stumble? I suspect that telling a new Christian not to gamble then them seeing me buying a lotto ticket ...well, that might fall into this category. Or speaking about keeping the eyes pure and the mind holy and be caught renting a porno flick. That kinda thing could make folks stumble. Anything else?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Habakkuk: a prophet for historical perplexities

The Bible always presents us with perplexities.

Consider Psalm 73. A good person is perplexed at what he sees happening in his life and in the lives of others. Nevertheless, he holds his course. He finds something to hold onto.

Well, Habakkuk is a short prophetic book which talks about bad stuff happening. In it Habbakuk tells us that when troubles occur, we shouldn't compare our goodness with the goodness of those who are oppressing us. Have faith. Remember that God is the only sinless one. Trust God and live by faith. God uses even the evil person ...and even those who think they are good arn't as innocent as all that. Check it out.

NCAI Native Prayer Breakfast

The first ever National Congress of American Indians National Convention Prayer Breakfast is due to take place next Thursday, October 23rd in Phoenix. It will be hosted by Richard Twiss of Wiconi International. It's the first time the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has allowed a prayer breakfast. Bill Miller is coming to share his music, Lael Echo-hawk, Wendell Berkland, Larry Anderson and others will be sharing during our one hour breakfast.If you live in the Phoenix area and want to attend the prayer breakfast you can call our office for registration details ($25.00 cost). Please be praying for this historic first ever, ANNUAL, NCAI Prayer Breakfast!!!

And I mean definitely pray! Native American believers and Messianic Jews often have a lot of struggles within their communities because, well, let's not forget what white Christian folks have historically done.

He states in his monthly newsletter, Smoke Signals,
My new favorite poet, Hafiz, writes, “Everyone is God speaking. Why not be polite and Listen to Him?”


Then he goes on to say:
"You know, at a fundamental level it is God who initiates communication with people. Johannes Henrici says, “Communication is deeply rooted in God’s nature and it is this nature he imparted to humanity when he created us in his own image.” To paraphrase Viggo S√łgaard, communication is an ability God gave to us little images and “is the only way to be fully human.”

Before Europeans arrived here, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Bible…Jesus – was communicating to the Lakota, Pawnee, Apache, Navajo, Cherokee, Mohawk and hundreds of other tribal people here in Turtle Island – North America. The scripture says in Romans 1:19 "since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.(NIV)" And in the NKJV "because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them." (NKJV)

So then, God was communicating with us Injuns through Creation, revealing his divine nature/attributes to us, while we were still in darkness, savagery, paganism and lostness. Holy cow!

So what does the voice of God sound like to you? What expression of his divine nature is God communicating to you in the midst of bad news headlines? Does he sound like a conservative republican or liberal democrat? Is he white, black, brown or earth tone? Is he a socialist, capitalist or environmentalist? Is he speaking English, Spanish, German, Chinese or Lakota? Or maybe he is just “speaking in tongues” all the time? Holy smokes! Maybe Hafiz is right, “Everyone is God speaking. Why not be polite and Listen to Him?

Now what do we do when Jesus does not appear to prefer to speak to humanity through one language, political ideology, economic policy, musical form or liturgical style? Holy cow! Maybe God “does not show favoritism, but accepts all people equally…” (Acts 10:34). But hey, we all embrace a favored “biblical” political platform, social agenda and church preference ….. and of course Jesus in on our side. So how do we befriend, and love our neighbor when they hold opposing views from ourselves.


NATIVE LEADERS SUMMIT IN VANCOUVER

Sixteen First Nations men and women who give leadership to networks are meeting for 2 ½ days to begin exploring new possibilities for the next generation. They covet your prayers for God-inspired outcomes!

Who God wants us to vote for

I'm always amazed when I hear Christians talk about God wanting to bless America. First of all, we really don't know that. The United States is responsible for so much heart-ache and corruption in this world. Our government, movie industry, and wealthy corporations have overturned so many countries, killed financial growth in other countries, propagated racism, poisoned our food supply etc, etc, etc. So why should God want to bless us?

Am thinking of all this cause I had a dream about John McCain a few months back. Yeah, imagine my surprise. And actually, he was kinda nice. Now, let's assume the dream was not born from my brain but was actually sent there by God. Or maybe I "picked up" something in the ether. Some would say God might be telling me who to vote for. Others might say God is telling me who will win. A vast difference there.

The weird thing is that before Bill Clinton became president I had a dream about Hillary Clinton. She was quite nasty to me. And from that moment I totally disliked her. Yeah, I live in a weird reality where dreams matter to me.

But this is me and my dream. Many other Christians are saying they feel God wants them to vote for John McCain or Barack Obama. Generally, the white ones want McCain, the non-whites, and generally the Blacks, want Barack. These folks are utterly convinced that God wants them to vote for these people.

Question, though, when some Christians get a hint from God as to who to vote for, why do they assume that the reason God hints at voting for a certain person is because the person is good for the country. Is it possible that God wants us to vote for the person who will destroy the country? Hey, the Almighty is subtle. In the book of Kings and Chronicles, God often arranged for the wrong person to become king so that the kingdom could be punished. Will see.

Right now, I pretty much trust that God knows human nature. He knows, for instance, how spiteful Hillary Clinton's supporters are. He knows how many blacks want to vote for Barack simply because he's black, and how many whites don't want to vote for Barack because he's black. He knows how it'll all come out in the mix. Will see. -C

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Levites

So there I was reading Exodus and I see where God says he wants the tribe of Levi to be his special heritage because Levi's heart was tied to God's. So I start looking backward to where this great scene of Levi connecting to God is shown. NADA!!!! Just before God says how blessed the Levites are, the only other mention of Levi is the curse Jacob gives to him when he's on his deathbed.

Genesis 49:5 "Simeon and Levi are brothers— their swords are weapons of violence. Genesis 49:4-6

Genesis 34:25 Three days later, while all of them were still in pain, two of Jacob's sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, took their swords and attacked the unsuspecting city, killing every male. Genesis 34:24-26

Numbers 1:47 The families of the tribe of Levi, however, were not counted along with the others. Numbers 1:46-48

Numbers 1:49 "You must not count the tribe of Levi or include them in the census of the other Israelites." Numbers 1:48-50

Numbers 3:6 "Bring the tribe of Levi and present them to Aaron the priest to assist him." Numbers 3:5-7

Numbers 3:9 Give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to him. Numbers 3:8-10

Numbers 3:12 "I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine," Numbers 3:11-13

"Take the Levites from among the other Israelites and make them ceremonially clean. Numbers 8:5-7

Interesting. I mean there is no place in the Bible that shows how this special relationship between Levi and God. Generally, we see everything. The interesting thing is that Levi is so cursed by his father, and yet his descendants are blessed. And we don't know why. At least not from the Bible. Moses gives us no record. Maybe there is some incident where Levi felt guilty about his sins. Who knows?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mirror, Mirror

“For if any be a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a mirror. For he sees himself and goes his way and forgets how he looked.” James 1:23, 24.
“If your whole body be full of darkness, how great is that darkness.” Luke 11:34
“Take heed how you hear.” Luke 8:18


I hate mirrors. I simply despise looking into them. Over the years, lipstick has successfully found its way onto my lips but I need not tell you that although I have trained myself to put on lipstick without a mirror I sometimes I miss my mark That’s when I end up with lipstick below my lower lips or with other clownish disasters. But messing up one’s lipstick is nothing compared to taking the wrong path in life.

The apostle James tells us that the Word of God is a mirror. When we look into it, we see ourselves, we see where we are situated, we see what God has given us –not the selves we think we are, not the selves the world thinks we are! Our real selves: the New Creations in Christ. But we often forget who and what we are.

The Word of God exhorts us to renew our minds. (Rom 12:2) We are warned that the world cannot receive the Spirit of Truth. (John 8:40-46) But often we find ourselves looking to the world’s mirror to tell us who and what we are. The world overflows with opinions, but these opinions come from human reasoning and not from revelation. For example, many women think men will love them if they dress seductively and have a sassy attitude. But the Bible tells us that men often love women with kind hearts. They might be attracted to externals, and certainly a sense of humor isn’t bad, but it is a soft gentle heart that they truly love.

As we read our Bible, we begin to see that the World has it all wrong. The world says Money brings happiness. While it is true that living in poverty is painful and wounding to the spirit, it is not equally true to think that money alone brings happiness. But the Word of God tells us that true joy is found only in God who gives us the power to gain wealth and who uses our tithes, our acts of giving, in order to bless us. The world tell us that God helps those who helps themselves, but the Word of God tells us that while we are to work diligently, we are to remember that God provides our daily bread because He is a Good Shepherd who cares for His sheep. (1 Peter 5:7) Some superstitious Christians knock on wood, read their horoscopes, or visit psychics and mediums in order to see their future. But John tells us in his first epistle that we have conquered the evil one, and the Bible tells us to avoid mediums and fortunetellers. (Lev 19:21)

When Jesus warns us to take heed how we hear, and when He tells us that if our eyes are full of darkness, our whole body will be full of darkness, He is speaking the Truth. He came from above. He came from the True Reality. He knows the Truth. Our Lord Jesus told us that Words are alive, that what comes out of the body – unforgiveness, adultery, bitterness, envy– defiles the body,
and that life and death are in the power of the tongue. (Matt 15:11) The world tells us that words are powerless and that only germs, viruses and visible things can defile the body. Whom do we believe? We believe the one we have been listening to. Which light do we follow? We follow the light we trust.

The worst of the world’s errors is its depiction of God. Christians know that both the Father and the Son are alike. Jesus is loving and approachable, therefore God the Father is loving and approachable. When we accept the world’s views instead of the Bible’s revealed Truth, we a in danger of becoming double-minded. The Lord desires a pure people of pure faith, untainted and undefiled by the world. (Psalm 119:1) He urges us to love Him with all our minds, souls, and hearts. (Deut 6:5) The world often depicts God as A Celestial Bellhop, a Divine but extremely busy CEO, a benevolent tyrant, or even as non-existent being whom only weak people trust in. If we are not careful, these views affect our relationship to God who has proclaimed Himself to be our loving Father, Guide, Comforter, Caregiver, Healer, and Friend Who sticks closer than a brother. Christians then, should be careful how and what they receive the world’s theories.

In all things, we must ask ourselves...am I walking in the Truth? What mirror have I been looking into? Do I see my life, my work, my talents and my God as God sees them?

Prayer: Lord, let me understand your truth. Let my eyes, ears always focus on your truth. And let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be always on Your truth. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

Understanding His Love

David writes in Psalm 139:6 "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain." (Psalm 139 is one of my favorite psalms. And I always read it in connection with Isaiah 40. One chapter tells about God's nearness to me, the other tells about God's greatness and farness from we humans.)

Anyway, what knowledge is David talking about? The knowledge of God's love. I won't even discuss the amount of people in cults who think that the knowledge God wants us to know is some odd picayune weird extreme secret doctrine or precise doctrine or behavioral doctrine.

What David was writing about and what I'm thinking about is the knowledge of God's love.

And again, I won't talk about those people who think God's love means they should be licentious in sin because God's love totally cancels out his righteous judgement, or those people who feel they can be hateful towards other people because God only loves their race. I am talking about a simple love between a created being and her creator.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is high; I cannot attain unto it.

Sometimes I just sit in my bed feeling on the verge. On the verge of what? On the verge of understanding even one percent of God's love. Sometimes I almost glimpse it. I lie in bed almosting it. I feel totally sad and upset sometimes that such knowledge is so wonderful for me. For me. Too lofty for me to attain. I feel that if I understood God's perfect love, the knowledge of that perfect love would cast out all fear. I would understand what is the height and width and depth and length of God's love in us, around us, through us, in Christ. I feel I would immediately be healed of so many hurts, physical and emotional.

I find myself thinking of people who have attained a knowledge of this love. People now on earth, people now in heaven. People in the Bible and known by all. People not in the Bible and known by all. People unknown by most. I ask myself, "How did they attain to this knowledge of God's love?" Well the Holy Spirit helped them attain to it. But they also strove to understand. Paul was dragged into the knowledge of God's love. Murderer though he was, God saw his heart. But think of the other folks who attained to this knowledge of the love of God. Even knowing about a mere 1% of what God's love is like is enough to do miraculous wonders and enough to make folks attempt great deeds.

Smith Wigglesworth, Mother Theresa, Emily Dotson, Andrew Wommack! St Paul. St John. So many people.

What do we have to do? Trust the Word of God. Only believe what the Bible says about that love. The Holy spirit is the word and they agree. If we are in the word, we are in Christ, we are in the spirit. (I forget the verses which show that but for the moment take my word for it. ) We should also fast and strive and pray to God to understand His love for us. That's what I want to do? To totally know God's love.


Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What Would Jesus Buy

A great DVD for those who want to challenge our nation's addiction to buying is What would Jesus Buy? Ah! Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Now!

Here's the synopsis:
Take heed brothers and sisters! The shopacalypse is upon us! America is fat with greed and addicted to shopping. Luckily, Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir are here to save our souls from overspending! In the weeks leading to Christmas, Reverend Billy and the Choir board a bus headed from advertising-thick Times Square through the heartland’s shopping malls to the commercial mecca—Disneyland. Part performance art, part spendthrift evangelism, they cross the US singing and preaching to spend gently. With the average American holding about $8,500 in credit card debt, his work is overdue. Reverend Billy is serious in his message. He doesn’t preach the impossible task of never buying again, but encourages us to be mindful of where our dollars go. We visit a Main Street men’s clothing store struggling for customers against the Wal-Mart up the road and a line of Christmas shoppers waiting to buy an Xbox 360 lest they feel the wrath of their consumption-addicted children. Billy and the choir go caroling to incite ‘change-a-lujah!’ along front porches in gated community and from church pulpits. They’re making trouble, evading Mall of America security, and just like the rest of us, they’re fighting the urge to buy for the sake of spending. By the time they get to Disneyland, you may find yourself converted, ready to buy American and swear-off big box stores in favor of your local merchants. -Rose Vincelli, SilverDocs


One of the producers is Morgan Spurlock, the same guy who did Supersize Me.

Here's a youtube trailer:



Another clip:


Here's an article on the documentary over at democracy now.

It played at the SF Indie documentary festival Oct -Nov 2008

Jacob, James, and King James

I was utterly surprised when I heard a sermon in which a minister was actually talking about that which is perfect is come meaning the KJV Bible.

Yes, there are still people who absolutely worship the King James Version of the Bible as if the translation is the work of God. What does one do with people like this? Okay, one's mouth falls open with surprise that there are still people out there who think that God personally oversaw the translation of the KJV. But then again, there are people out there whose mouth drop open in amazement when we Christians actually talk about hearing from God. So, I'm not gonna get too pushy.

But honestly! I won't go into the various errors that are in the KJV but I'll just start with one: The changing of the name of Jesus' brother from Jacob to James. Through one translation weirdness to another. From Aramaic to Greek to Latin to English. What is listed as the letter of Jacob becomes the letter of James. Every reference to Jacob, the Lord's brother becomes James. Every application of the name Jacob in the new testament becomes James. So James the Least "Little James" one of Jesus disciple was actually Little Jacob. And James and John we actually Jacob and Yohanan. Now, we can accept John because it's all a matter of dialect translation. Yohanan becomes John, or Ewan, or Ian or Yan or Jan depending on what language one speaks. Same for Miriam. Mary. Maria, Marie, Maryam. The same for Yeshua: Jesus, Joshua, Iesu. But the leap from Jacob to James!!!! Nah, that is too much, and it's an error in many of the latin-based translations. So why do the KJV folks worship it so much.

Yeah, yeah, I know. the KJV is my favorite translation also.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Miracle in the Forgotten Land by Setan Lee

Miracle in the Forgotten Land (From the Killing Fields to New Life in Christ)
by Randa Lee, Terry Hill Setan Lee (Author)




Here is his part of his testimony:
One day his student ID, hidden in a small pocket, was discovered and the Khmer Rouge sentenced him to death along with three other young men. He was blindfolded, heard the screams of his friends as each one was hacked to death. When it came to his turn, Setan cried out to "The Lord of the Universe, Whoever You Are," and a male voice yelled "Stop"!! saying, "We must investigate this man further."

Although Setan was a medical student with no training in agriculture or engineering, he was given a paper and pencil and told to design an irrigation system. Miraculously, the God who saved him, provided the design and these plans are still in use today.

In 1978, the North Vietnamese attacked the Khmer Rouge, capturing Cambodian land, and they eventually invaded the camps where so many hundreds of thousands were in forced labor. The day they invaded Setan's camp, their captors scattered into the jungle to avoid the North Vietnamese, and Setan, seeing the moment to escape, ran also, hiding in a ditch for hours before he made his way through the jungle. For a month as he headed towards Thailand, he avoided land mines by stepping on dead bodies along the way, eating leaves and fruits, and drinking water from hollows in trees. When he heard soldiers approaching, he laid still for hours at a time. One day, not far from the border of Thailand, a strange man appeared, clothing tattered and he seemed barely alive. He spoke to Setan and asked him, "Do you believe in the Lord of the universe?" Setan remembered calling out to the Lord, whoever He was, and answered, "Yes, I do believe in the Lord of the universe." This strange man then said,
"His name is Jesus Christ." Suddenly, the man disappeared. Setan told us he believed that that man was a messenger from God. He said, I had never heard of Christianity, but that day I became a Christian.


They have a newsletter also:
http://www.kampforchrist.org/page.php?page=Newsletter



The book about Setan and Randa Lee's story "Miracle in the Forgotten Land" finally become available in some churches' book stores throughout the US, or you can order it by:

Sent check or money order payable to:

KFC/Book/DVD Order
P.O.Box 440283
Aurora, CO 80044-0283

We are also have Setan and Randa's story in DVD motion picture "1000 Years In The Killing Fields"

* Miracle in the Forgotten Land = $12
* 1000 Years In The Killing Fields = $10

* Please add $2 for shipping and handling

Or you can order through email below:
kfcusa@comcast.net

Saturday, October 11, 2008

pondering sanctified

Sanctified, yet unsaved

1 Corinthians 7:14
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
1 Corinthians 7:13-15

Sanctified through one's own works.
2 Timothy 2:21
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
2 Timothy 2:20-22

Sanctified through Jesus's body and death.
Hebrews 10:10
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:9-11

Sanctified through the truth
John 17:19
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
John 17:18-20

Sanctified by faith in and reliance on God.
Acts 26:18
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Acts 26:17-19

Sanctified by the Holy Spirit
Romans 15:16
That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Romans 15:15-17

Sanctified in Christ
1 Corinthians 1:2
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's:
1 Corinthians 1:1-3

Sanctified by the name of Jesus and the Spirit of our God
1 Corinthians 6:11
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:10-12

Sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Jesus
Jude 1:1
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
Jude 1:1-3

Friday, October 10, 2008

A father's blessing

Was listening to Psal 72:10

It's a psalm written by David for Solomon. It includes:

The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores
will bring tribute to him;
the kings of Sheba and Seba
will present him gifts.

Talk about a prophecy! Father's blessings are powerful. The Queen of Sheba did come bearing gifts.

We should be careful what we say to our children.

Lord, don't you care?

How many times have we Christians seen the letters WWJD? They mean "What Would Jesus Do?" But if you notice, the christians who use this phrase tend to be pretty limited in the things they thing that Jesus would do. <-- clunky sentence, but you know what I mean.

Okay, here is a "what would jesus do moment?"

We have moments when we are so stressed we can only shout out to God, "Don't you care?" The disciples also snapped at Jesus and said the same thing. Now, in modern times, whenever we hear sermons about this talked incident the minister generally ends with us saying "We shouldn't fall apart. God is taking care of us."

I believe that is true. But we really must ponder what Jesus said? HE said, "Why are you so afraid? Don't you have any faith?"
So what does he mean? Faith in God? Faith in ourselves? Faith in the holy spirit working in us? Faith in the word of God when he tells us to go and do something?

Mark 4:35-41

35And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
36And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
37And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
41And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

I truly think that sometimes Jesus means for us to still the storm. By speaking the Word of God to it. God helps us often when we step out in faith and do just what Jesus would do. But whenever people start talking about "What would Jesus Do?" they often get all sentimental. They talk about Jesus' kind heart. Jesus wouldn't judge. Or they talk about Jesus generosity. Wouldn't Jesus have helped his neighbor? But they often neglect the fact that What Jesus would do often has a lot to do with the showing forth of God's power by speaking the word boldly.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Isaiah 53: Christ the atonement for our sin

Isaiah 53

1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

11 After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Example of interpretation of tongues in old testament

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin Dan. 5: 25-28
It can be literally translated “numbered, numbered, weighed, and divisions."

But check out Daniel's interpretation.

And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN. This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE (literally a "monetary toll"), God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL (literally a "tokenary weight"), you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; PERES (literally a "division" or "portion"), your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians. (NRSV)
Plus Parsin is a pun on the Persians.

That often happens in interpretation of tongues. Someone says something small and all these words come out.

Interpretation is not the same as translation. And interpretation of tongues is not the same as translating. So when someone says how come a person said X and the interpretation is XXXXXX, XXXXX, XXXXX, that's why.

Dream: Inside or outside the glory

Well, I've been reading sooo much about healing that well, it has to be expected that I dream about healing.

So last night I dreamt of a big battery type thing. Kind of in a case. IT didn't look like a battery. It looked more like those plastic things that blankets usually are contained in when we buy them. A "covering" cover, so to speak. But instead of a blanket, there was a contraption which was either God's power or representative of God's glory. When I looked inside I saw wheels, and wheels inside the wheels. Reminded me of Ezekiel 1:21 Actually, all of Ezekiel. With the wheel within the wheel.



Ezekiel 1:15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
Ezekiel 1:14-16

Ezekiel 1:16
The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.Ezekiel 1:15-17

And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
Ezekiel 1:18-22

So I knew it was the holy spirit. As I looked people were going inside to get healed. And I got the idea that there were two kinds of healing available. One kind of healing if one went inside the container, and another kind if one stood outside. In one type of healing, the glory totally enveloped you. In the other kind, the glory touched you.

I wanted to have longer hair and I wanted my son healed. HE didn't go inside the glory, though. Something came out of the container and touched him. I think I was afraid of going into the glory. But my hair started growing. It grew a tiny bit but as soon as I started pulling it, it was as if I was pulling it out of my scalp and more hair came.

Then I dreamt of battling a spirit with the blood of Jesus. All this, mind you, from little snippets of sleep because I was up from 1 am to whenever. All in all it was a strange night, full of spiritual promise. And I feel renewed somehow. Am gonna read the first seven chapters of Ezekiel today. To enter into the glory. And I will try not to be afraid. -C

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Testimonies

Was reading ACTS and got to thinking about the testimonies included there.

Okay, so the entire book of John says the book is a testimony written for us.
And the other gospels presumably are testimonies, although Luke's is a second-hand collection of testimonies.
The Book of the ACTS is half second-hand and then when Luke starts using the word "we" in the middle of the narrative, then it becomes a testimony.

But reading ACTS I got drawn to two testimonies: the one given by St Paul and the one given by St Peter. Paul's testimony is the Road to Damascus testimony. He repeats this at least two other times. Acts 9:2 Acts 22:6 Acts 26:12 (He mentions it casually somewhere else in one of the epistles but doesn't go into the story.)
Peter's testimony is the Conversion of the Centurion. He repeats that twice. Acts 10:1 Acts 11:7 (This particular testimony isn't about Peter's salvation but it's about his testimony that the Holy Spirit wants Gentiles saved. So it's an important testimony in the life of the Church.)

Okay, I'm a writer. I am totally into editing. So a part of me goes, "Why, oh why, does Luke have to include these testimonies in their entirety twice?" Paul changes them just a teeny bit but pretty much we're reading the same thing over and over again. And the Holy Spirit is supposed to be a good writer. So why doesn't he just edit the thing down and say, "He have his testimony again."

Maybe he wants us to see it again. I mean, Luke was writing the book of Acts probably to convince the church that Jesus wanted them to go to the gentiles. After all, the apostles were quite happy to stay in Jerusalem and not convert anyone else. If they hadn't been persecuted, and if Paul hadn't been rejected by the Jews, the whole bunch of apostles --with the exception of Phillip-- who had a real love of gentiles and samaritans-- had no real inclination to save anyone who wasn't Jewish.

I totally believe there is power in a testimony. It's pretty accepted in the healing movement that those who are miraculously healed who don't continue speaking testifying about their healing often lose their healing. In addition people afflicted with an illness often get healed when they hear other folks giving testimonies. It kinda builds their faith.

There are some subtle changes of course. Partly where Paul adds the "It is hard for you to kick against the pricks" in a later rendition of his testimony where it is only implied earlier. Also in a later testimony he says something about God saying, "I will show you all the great things you will suffer for me and you will preach to the gentiles" and that wasn't quite in the original. Gotta think.

infowar: Gardasil

Okay, it's me again with my rant against pharmaceuticals. I was losing patience with the gardasil commercials but now I am more than impatient, I'm angry. Probably because in my very paranoid mind I suspect well-intentioned white teachers will tell parents of their black students something like, "well, your daughter is so promiscuous, she might end up with HPV which might lead to cervical cancer so she really should take Gardasil." You know how that goes? We already have tons of kids taking ritalin which is downright dangerous. But teachers are always prone to believing they are missionaries sent out to take care of the world's youth. And who wants to have a vaccine that costs $1000 to take?

Upshot though, I totally consider gardasil a subtle form of genocide. Yeah, but of course this is me. And I'm assuming black women and minorities will be the ones "encouraged to take it.

When will America wake up? The pharmaceuticals make a lotta money and they are linked to governments. And the nerve of these companies wanting to make it a mandate to make every little eleven year old take it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfauI5uXgA4



As of August 2007, a review of the National Vaccine Information Center revealed the following, quite alarming, statistic about this unnecessary vaccine: 2,207 adverse reactions to Gardasil have been reported.

Among them:
5 girls died
31 were considered life-threatening
1,385 required a visit to the emergency room
451 of the girls have not recovered as of July 2007
51 of the girls were disabled

Not to mention those women who were pregnant when they took it and who ended up losing their babies or having children with abnormalities.

Folks, it's a good idea to be distrustful. Especially if you're a Christian. Christians are supposed to be suspicious of this kind of thing.

Check out this article

Monday, October 06, 2008

His Eye is on the sparrow

A couple of weeks ago, the Lord told me -- I think it was Him-- to always save $100 from each paycheck or money I receive from my pension. On the one hand, that's a lotta money. It could pay off a bill. On the other hand, it's not a lotta money. How can one build a savings account. But it's what the Lord told me, I think.

So, am gonna trust that the Lord is telling me to do this.

All this is in addition to the Tithe we are ordered to give to God, and the offering that we should also give. So it's my part to save, to tithe, to give offerings. And basically to trust that God is taking care of me.

It'll be interesting. The Lord tells us that we can't serve God and money. He tells us we should be like the sparrow. The sparrow doesn't sit around saying "Did I tithe enough? Does God owe me? Have I sowed?" The sparrow doesn't sit around sowing and thinking about what that sowing will make him reap. We tithe because it's part of our realization that the tithe belongs to God. It's our opportunity to use something that belongs to God in order to show God how we use money that doesn't belong to us. When we tithe to help others, we show God that we are using what belongs to his in a cause he considers worthy.

Churches and Christian television programs kinda brainwash by saying God will bless us if we tithe. And while it is always good to sow, it is not really Scriptural to think that our daily life depends on us sowing seed and God blessing it. God blesses his children no matter what and He always takes care of us. It's good to tithe but the Lord tells us to give cheerfully. Not out of necessity. God wants to take care of his sheep and his sparrow. And God doesn't want us to think of Him as a means to an end. We are here to serve Him. He is our master and the good shepherd who takes care of the sheep. We should rely on God who owns all the cattles on a thousand hills. He has given us the power to get wealth. We should trust in His supernatural blessings. But we are to trust Him to provide for us and not to use God to get rich. We tithe in order to get money so we can bless OTHERS. We are not here to serve and seek after money. We are here to use money.

Ecclesiastes 7:12 "For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it." Ecclesiastes 7:11-13

We are not to fear poverty. That leads us into believing that God isn't there for us. Money is not picked on in the Bible but we are told how to use it.

Remember the wasteful steward in Luke 16:1-12 "And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods."

Notice how the story ends: The rich man was very happy to see how the wasteful steward handled matters. One would think he would have been angry with the steward for stealing from him and cooking the books. The rich man was proud that the steward finally understood how to use money: as investment, as a tool, instead of wasting it and not influence through it.
-C

Go the ant

Got up this morning and turned on the TV on my way to my computer. TV was on the Science Channel and there was a documentary on ants.

There is a Bible verse that says, "Go to the ant, you lazy person. Consider her ways and be wise."
Proverbs 6:6 "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise." Proverbs 6:5-7

Also a verse that is kinda related to it,
Proverbs 30:27 "The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands." Proverbs 30:26-28

Now the interesting thing about the locust and the ant is their hierarchy. They seem to be ruled from the bottom up. Yeah, they have a queen but they busy themselves in a kind of controlled organized anarchy. They are joined together by the phermones of the queen and by a sense of working together for one supreme cause. But there is no leader who tells them what to do.

The church is like that. Or perhaps should be like that. Christ is our head, the holy spirit guides us. Instead of waiting around for the minister to tell us what to do, and saying we don't know how to use our gift or what gift to use, we should trust that we are being led. This would definitely get rid of a lot of spiritual laziness where people go about saying they just don't feel "led" to do anything, or where they say they are "waiting on the Lord" to tell them what to do. -C

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Scattered Thoughts

Was reading Mark: 14

A few things popped into my mind

Jesus sat at food with Simon the Leper. Uhm, he probably wasn't a leper anymore if he had a feast. OR was he a leper but with a leprosy approved for mingling with people? Had Jesus healed him? IF Jesus had healed him why did the writer of the gospel continue to call him a leper?

Then there is the man with the waterpot. HE wasn't one of the disciples, probably. IF he was, he wasn't in the general group that hung around with Jesus. Uhm, how did Jesus get the message to this man with the waterpot? Oh, we don't even need to ask. We've had these moments where we are led to do things and to go places by the spirit.

But it got me to thinking about the almost persuaded such as Agrippa. Acts 26:28 "Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." Acts 26:27-29

And the one who was casting out devils but wasn't one of Jesus' company.
Mark 9:38 "And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us." Mark 9:37-39

God's holy spirit is always working. He said he would pour out his spirit upon all flesh. He didn't say only on those who believed. So he is working and leading and persuading and calling.

Acts 18:25 "This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John." Acts 18:24-26
Uhm, this is interesting. I mean, most of the church nowadays know only the baptism of John. They believe in the holy spirit and some of them speak great sermons and are fervent in spirit but the only baptism they tell people to have is the baptism of repentance. Uhm, will talk about this tomorrow.

Thinking of the linen cloth:

Then there is the place in Mark where the young man with the linen cloth followed Jesus and the soldiers tried to capture him and he fled naked, leaving the linen cloth in their hand. Mark 14:51-52 Interesting little situation. Some say it's Mark himself. But why was he only wearing the linen cloth? Even if the cloth got stripped from him, where was his loincloth? Don't they wear loincloth underneath? I remember that one time when Peter went fishing and he was naked when he fished.

I always think of this linen cloth? Or the other linen cloth. John 20: 6 When Jesus was resurrected and the linen cloth was left in the tomb and the disciples saw it and believed. I totally believed this is the Vera Icon (the true icon) also called Veronica's Cloth which is often talked about in history and which can be nothing else but the Shroud of Turin. Even before the Middle ages, this story was circulating and many of the icons showed pictures of this cloth. Probably the shroud was folded with the image of the face on top. Or maybe there was an image on the handkerchief that wrapped his face also.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Wonder what they are?

2 Peter 3:15-17


14Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

15And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

16As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Oh, it just makes me want to think and think and ponder! Wonder what these unstable folks were doing with Paul's words during Peter's lifetime???? Looking at what Paul says in Romans, I kinda get an inkling of what stupidity and deception modern folks get into.

Referring to the misunderstanding of Grace, Paul wrote, "... (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come?" Romans 3:7-9

And Jude also wrote in Jude 1:4 "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

Another instance of folks taking advantage of God's love (although this is not a case of Paul's revelations being misunderstood but the fact that God's grace is often misunderstood. Remember the story of Lamech? Genesis 4:24 "If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times." Genesis 4:23-25 Since God was gracious to Cain for murder, Lamech applied it to himself.

And David also talks about presumptuous sins. Psalm 19:13 "Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression." Psalm 19:12-14

Just a few verses that show how folks destroy themselves with the notion of grace. Either they accept it or they dismiss it or they do flaky things with it. -C

Thursday, October 02, 2008

pondering

Was reading Luke:

The first sermon Jesus gives, what does he say?
He tells the people that God's power came to strangers. To Naaman, a Syrian. To a foreign widow in Sarephtha. So his first sermon gets him stoned? What a way to make an impression?


Which got me to thinking of Naaman's story again:
2 Kings 5:2 "And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife." 2 Kings 5:3

This little girl doesn't exactly give a true report. After all, there was no previous story about the prophet that the prophet had healed anyone before of leprosy. And Jesus himself later states that there were many lepers in Israel in those days but only Naaman was healed. But this kid must have heard of the prophet. And she figured well, why not? Of course he could heal Naaman! And God answered her prayers. We don't see Naaman's faith affecting anyone else but himself. It certainly doesn't change the historical relationship between Syria and Israel. Yet, God honored the little girl's faith. Nice!

In honor of my Messianic Jewish Friends

Isaiah 44:5
One shall say, I am the LORD's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel.
Isaiah 44:4-6

Hey, we're in the season between Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah.

Ring of Truth: some strange thing

Every once in a while one comes upon a line in the Bible that has such a ring of truth that one knows the writer of that book knows what he is talking about. And that he is writing from his own experience to help us in our own lives.

Was thinking of Peter's being sifted as wheat and then later on when he said something to the effect that when we first believed it is as though something strange had happened to us. Either in 2nd peter or 1st peter. That really made me think.


Luke 22:31 "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat"

1 Peter 4:12 "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you"

Then Peter says that this kind of thing happens to believers all over the world.

We don't really see Peter being sifted in the gospels or in the epistles. But he must have suffered a lot. Cause I know what it likes to feel as if one is being sifted as wheat. The only thing we are told about is when Peter's mother-in-law was sick. The first attack on Peter's family when he started to believe in Christ. I suspect Peter's family endured so much that he finally wrote that phrase "as though something strange" because he almost felt like screaming and was working out his salvation with fear and trembling because of this horrendous choreography of evil. Death of wife? death of kids? Kid with some illness? All the devil could throw at him probably. But Jesus prayed for him that his faith would not fail. So I know God who is the author and finisher of our faith is with us. Jesus is praying for us that our faith doesn't fail.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Then Along Came An Angel


Then Along Came An Angel
by Julie Bonn Heath
is a collection of stories about true-life encounters with angels. Yours truly has a story in it.

Joan Wester Anderson, the popular bestselling author of multiple angel books, sent her comments on "Then Along Came an Angel":
Then Along Came an Angel" is a wonderful book, great stories. . .(I know you didn't ask for a critique but I had to put my oar in. I get very excited about good angel books. They fill a tremendous hunger, and keep the topic alive, and we can't get too many of them)...ALL the stories are GOOD
… Joan Wester Anderson

Here is a part of my account.
THAT SMILE


I was only 16. I was studying the Bible. During those times, I had horrendous nightmares of being pursued by a "Godfather" type figure who seemed intent on harming me. C.S. Lewis wrote that many people don't believe in God simply because they do not want to have another Father. But then it hadn't occurred to me that my inability to trust in God was rooted in the fact that I had no real father. Nor did the fact that the nightmare "Godfather" might be the same Person I referred to in my prayers as "God, Father in Heaven."

But there I was, reading the Bible and lying in bed when for no reason at all, I turned towards the wall. That was when I saw a being standing there. To say I was surprised is an understatement. The being whom I saw was a far cry from the typical angel one might see in greeting cards. There were no feathers, for instance, no wings. The being was plain and simply made up of light. It was as if someone had taken a fine-point pencil or chiseling tool and drawn a pencil sketch on the wall. Except that instead of dark still lines, what I saw was living moving light, a fine-featured being finely-etched like a drawing but quite real. The being wore a crown and except for a smile did not seem to move. And it is this smile that I will always remember.
It was a smile that seemed to say he understood everything about meB good and bad yet loved me anyway. I don't think I can adequately describe the feeling of intimacy and personal attachment that this person seemed to feel for me. It was as if we were old friends, as if he had always been there with me and would always be there with me. Here was a being to whom I was completely known and completely loved. A being with complete good humor and a sweet conspiratorial kindness in his eyes. All I could do was smile at him, as if to say, "Oh, it's you!"

The funny thing was that this angel did not say anything. He didn=t tell me any great spiritual truths about my life or the world. But his very presence showed me that there was a world where good and love and God existed. During the following years, I have endured several trials. During these times I have asked myself, "How could God allow this to happen to me if He still exists?" I have asked God to send his loving angel to me several times to comfort me. That request has not been granted and the angel has never reappeared. But, with the help of the Bible, this visitation has healed my past fatherlessness and has been a healing balm to the lovelessness of my earlier life. Whenever I am about to fail under the strain of the trials in my life, I remember the sweet sweet smile of that being from another country. The memory of a person I have yet to truly meet has stayed with me. And every thing in me longs for that wonderful loving country that is and has always been my Home.

Anyway, check out the tour of the book! Buy it for Christmas!

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