Monday, May 30, 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Sin that so easily besets us

I really wish the apostle had actually said what the sin that easily beset us is. It seems to be a collective sin. In context, it seems as if he's talking about unbelief. But, honestly, since we are always told to be loving and to be's possible that the besetting sin is a lack of love or unforgiveness.

So, because I'm not too sure what the collective besetting sin of humanity is, I'll choose (in this post anyway) to talk about the besetting sin of unforgiveness.

It is a hard thing to live in this life, in this world. Cruel people exist. And good people can be cruel to us for various reasons. Sometimes it's a case of "they know not what they do." Sometimes they just don't consider us worthy of their kindness. Sometimes they do know what they are doing (in the earthly sense anyway) but they don't know in the profoundest spiritual way the effects of their cruelty upon others and upon their own lives.

Whatever the reason folks have wounded us -- or we have wounded others-- we have to reach a place where we must forgive. Because God is love and we must be loving as well.  This is a hard thing because God can really afford to be loving. Yes, yes, I know... Jesus came and died for us, etc. Jesus suffered in his love for us more than we can know, etc. God can be hurt in His own way because He is a Personal Being, etc. But really, in the long run...compared to us humans, God can afford to be hurt. So it's easy enough for Him to forgive.

For the human heart --especially the sensitive human heart, especially the kind human heart--  sustained love for one's enemy, sustained forgiveness, sustained loving prayer for those who are wounding us, sustained commitment to keeping an open, inviting, loving very difficult.

But we must do this. We must learn the Christian response of forgiveness whenever we are wounded. We are not to be footstools. We are to be wise as serpents. But we are to be harmless as doves. We are to so train ourselves that whatever cruelty comes at us, our ultimate (if not immediate) response is to refrain from any evildoing, evil thinking, evil speaking on our parts. Worse (or is it better) ....we are to leave the situation praying for them.

If there is one thing Christians in our time need to understand it's this: prayers are left unanswered if we train our hearts to be closed and unforgiving. Spiritual growth is minimal if we allow ourselves to close our hearts to others. It is a terrifying and sad truth. And Lord knows, I would rather keep my heart closed to certain people who have wounded me. But I want God to think of me as His true loving daughter. And I want my prayers answered.

Anyway, the idea of forgiveness is the key part of the poem that will be found in the appendix of The Constant Tower. A hard poem to write...but will see.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dream Cast for The Constant Tower

Nahas, King of all the Wheel Clans: Julian Sands or Jason Statham. Julian is not hot currently but he is most like what I picture Nahas. Nahas is a king with a good ability to bully his disabled deformed son, but he is a noble warrior as well. His problem is just that he simply don't know what to do with this weak petulant creature he has spawned.

Prince Psal, First Born son of King Nahas, Peace child with the Macaw Clan, and Chief Studier of Worlds for the Wheel Clan  I CANNOT think of  any actor who would be the perfect Prince Psal. The actor has to be able to seem needy, petulant, angry, and princely at the same time. It has to be a black kid actor, preferably biracial.

Ephan, Second Son of King Nahas and the Voca Queen, Peace Child with the Voca Clan, Studier of Worlds for the Wheel Clan: A blond Hiruma Miura, maybe. Or, if there is some albino very androgynous actor out there. The actor has to have the ability to carry off a sense of melancholy and nobility....with an indifference that doesn't turn people off because they see the kindness under his exterior. He also has to be able to show physical woundedness without seeming weak.

Netophah, Third Son of King Nahas. Peace Child with the Waymaker Clan, the heir of the kingdom of all the Wheel Clans: A red-haired Ryosuke Miura, I think. Ryosuke has a fun joyous quality which Netophah has.

Ktwala, Chief's daughter of the Iden clan. Alfre Woodard, maybe. But someone a little plumper and a little darker. Earthy, kind, direct.

Maharai, daughter of Ktwala, betrothed to the prince of the Wheel Clan: A dark-skinned little African-American or African actress. This actress has to show innocence at first and then we have to watch her grow into a shrewd powerful girl.

Cyrt, near kinsman to King Nahas: Paul Bettany, I think. Paul has the ability to look both gorgeous and cruel..

Gaal, Chief Steward of the Wheel Clan and the King's Best Friend: Jason Statham or Julian Sands. Yeah, i know...interchangeable. As Gaal, Statham and Sands could portray a kind of outsider wariness, a silence when bad stuff are going down that makes you think they know what's going on but they just aren't going to get themselves involved in a vicious family battle.

Ezbel, the Voca Queen: Cate Blanchett. Of course, Cate Blanchett! Who else? The paleness, the sweetness, yet the cold cruelty all at once.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

God's Fingerprints in Japan is a documentary to discover if there is evidence of the Creator God In Japanese history and culture. Is there a connection between the Tea Ceremony and Communion? Is it contradictory to be Japanese and a Follower og Jesus? Find out in groundbreaking documentary. Disc is formated for USA and Japan. Japanese and English versions.
God's Fingerprints in Japan

  • Format: NTSC, Color, Anamorphic, Full Screen, DVD

  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)

  • Number of discs: 1

  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)

  • Run Time: 28 minutes

  • ASIN: B000W1SBVW

  • God's Fingerprints in Japan                

    Here's the blurb:

    "In this second edition we take a look at the difficulties that the Japanese people face today and how Christianity is beginning to be accepted as a way to find peace in life and as a way back to their ancient roots with their Creator God.

    We also find out that there is evidence that Christian influences became embedded in Japanese culture at least 1000 years before western Christianity arrived. The Creator God has never left Japan and is waiting for His Japanese children to "come home" to Him.

    This is where hope and healing lie for the Japanese people as well as all of the people groups of the earth. Join us as we prepare to connect to our ancient roots through a relationship with Jesus Christ."

                    God's Fingerprints in Japan 2 ~ Sequel to the International Tiely Award Winning Documentory

    One last word on False Prophets, Discernments, and Private Interpretations

    Harold Camping misinterpreted The Bible because he believed he had received some special revelation from God about how to interpret the Bible. Therefore, through a system of numerical calculations, he felt he had come up with the date of the exact end of the world. He was wrong.

    First, the Bible is not a complicated book. The Bible says that if the Word of God seems complicated or hidden, it is complicated and hidden to those who are lost. Now, I'm not talking about reading the Bible in a language you can't understand, such as a Spanish Bible or the King James Bible or a French Bible. I'm saying that if you are reading the Bible in your own language you will not be so confused as to get some far-off interpretation of a doctrine or a prophecy.

    Secondly, the Bible declares that Scripture must be used to interpret Scripture. Numbers may mean certain things in the Bible but nowhere are Christians told to use numerical calculations to interpret the end of the world. Just because the Bible says "To God a thousand years is LIKE a day a thousand years is like a day" doesn't mean that a thousand years IS a day.

    But what then about the verse that declares "knowledge shall increase." What about all the verses that declare the church will grow in knowledge, goodness, love, power, etc? How are Christians to react when some new insight pops up? How can we discern between truth and falsehood? After all, we have people like Mohammed who says he was the promised Holy Spirit. We have Mrs White whose "revelations" created the Seventh Day Adventists. We have Joseph Smith who creates the Mormons. In addition to these false prophets, we also have modern teachers who are showing us how to understand aspects of our faith that have long been forgotten, neglected, or unexplored.

    The third thing to remember is that the Bible does not contradict itself. (Folks who don't know their Bibles are always saying it does but it doesn't.) Harold Camping and other false prophets often hold on to their own interpretations in the face of verses that challenge them. Jesus declared, "No man knows the day or the hour." Even if Jesus now knows the day and the hour, He is not going to tell anyone. We understand some date-setting is made in the Book of Revelations. But that was not what Harold Camping was talking to.

    So, how are we to deal with discerning?

    Well, the Bible tells us:

    Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:20

    All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16

    Well, let us see what Paul does with a particular insight into a verse:
    "Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain." This verse is found in  Deuteronomy in a long list of verses about all sorts of stuff. 

    He considers this verse so important that he says it again in 1 Timothy 5:18
    For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages."

    He uses this verse in his second letter to the Corinthians. Here is the entire excerpt:
    Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. 2 Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 9

    I'm choosing this excerpt because 
    A) Paul did such a good exposition job expounding on the meaning of the verse 
    B) this verse is so abused by so many money-grubbing ministers who ignore the balancing verses such as the ones warning people not to "suppose that godliness is gain" 
    and C) I want to show you the principles Paul used in applying his interpretation to this verse. 

    First he uses human logic.

     Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?

    Then he brings in human logic and common sense. He wants to show that the insights he received about the verse is from God:

    Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.

    Then he shows other Bible verses that shows why his interpretation of that particular verse is right:
    Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

    Before Paul said this interpretation about the ox and the corn, no one else in the Bible (as far as I know) had hinted so clearly that the ox is the minister of God's word, that the corn was the word of God, that the treading of the corn was the teaching of the word and the breaking (down) of the spiritual bread into bite-sized pieces. We know the corn is the seed/Scripture because Jesus hinted that the sower sowed the word, when he told the parable of the sower to the crowd. But He had never broken this down to this extent. This is the first time we see (again, as far as I know) this verse being used to show how ministers should be paid from their ministries.

    Let's find another example:

    Paul writes:
    "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"  Acts 20:35

    Now, Jesus never said this specifically. It looks as if Jesus said this to Paul in a vision. And Paul must have told the vision to his hearers and he is reminding them of what Jesus told him in a vision.

    What are we to do with what Paul heard in his vision? What are we to do with what we hear in a vision?
    The Bible tells us that we must try the prophets to see if what they are saying is true. It tells us we must not believe any spirit that comes to us -- whether an angel who comes in a vision, in a trance, or in a dream, whether it's from a human being, or a supposed alien. (Remember, Mohammed and Joseph Smith had visions of angels. Remember, Mrs. White had her revelations in a trance...just as St Peter had a trance. Remember, the little girl with the gift of divination (mentioned in the Book of Acts) also spoke the gospel. So just because something is supernatural and someone seems to have heard from God...doesn't mean we can listen to any or all of what they tell us.)

    So, Paul says, "Jesus told me that it is more blessed to give than to receive."
    The question we ask ourselves is this: Does this sound like Jesus? Has this "rhema" spoken to our spirit, has this angelic message, has this comment in a dream, been echoed anywhere in the gospel?
    In Paul's case, this word from Jesus is true. Why do we think it is true?

    Because Jesus said: Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down.
    Because Jesus said: Bless them that curse you.
    Because Jesus said: If your enemy hunger, feed him.

    Although we don't get the same exact "It is more blessed to give than to receive" coming from Jesus' mouth, the words spoken to Paul fall in exactly with what Jesus would say.

    I remember getting two statements in dreams.
    In one dream, a horse said to me: "You've got to be conceited just enough to survive." This was given to me because I tend to be a pushover and had very little self-esteem as a kid.
    The second was another dream where someone said to me: "The exception on earth is heaven's rule."

    Both these statements are with me and have helped me for a long time. Now, are they "Biblical"? After pondering them, I believe them to be.

    Psalm 91 declares that those who live in the shelter of God's arms will be protected in all dangers. They will be protected so much so that they won't even hit their foot against a stone. They will be so protected that 1000 people may fall at one's right side and 10,000 to one's left side but no danger will come near them.  Can we dare to believe that we could be so protected? Yes, if we can trust that God loves us so deeply and personally. It takes a great deal of conceit -- good spiritual Christian conceit-- to believe that. Conceited enough to survive in this world but no more. Plus, a horse said it to me. In addition to the pun, (I heard it from the horse's mouth) the Bible shows a horse speaking to Baalam. Moreover, the Bible declares, "Let God be true and every man a liar." So there is a precedent for being conceited in God's power, because God's word alone is truth. If God says an impossible thing can be done, a modern Christian must learn to be conceited enough to believe that the impossible can be done...despite what others might think.

    As for the other statement, "The exception on earth is heaven's rule," in the Lord's Prayer we are asked to pray that "God's kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." The pun on the word "rule" is found in that prayer.  Rule meaning "standard" and rule meaning "control." God alone has power to make us the exception on earth, and what is normal in heaven is abnormal on earth. We are, however, to pray that God's kingdom come to earth.

    So what do we do if we get a word from God in a dream or in a vision? What if an angel tells us something? We go to the Bible and search it to see if these things are true. God's Holy Spirit will not whisper into our hearts anything that is different from what He whispered into the hearts of the Bible writers.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Poor in Spirit -- Powerlessness, Humility, vengeance, writing

    I keep thinking I've overcome pride. Well, last night I was talking to a debt collector. The guy was like all debt collectors... incredibly full of himself and his noble duty of destroying dead-beats such as myself. I disagreed with him on something and he hung up on me. I HATE being hung upon. All my desire to be equal with this guy, to get back at him, to be spiteful and do something to avenge myself... popped up. So yeah.....Obviously, I am seriously unable to deal with being powerless.

    It's part of the human world, this feeling of powerlessness: the rich have more power than the poor, the borrower is slave to the lender, etc. In heaven, there is no such battling to save one's heart from the boot of another's personality.

    Jesus told us in the Beatitudes that we should not be

    I've read a lot of manuscripts by some black writers. There's a lot of power issues in them. But when one reads speculative fiction by Black male writers, the power issues really go overboard. It's like escapist novels put up to a vindication degree. Characters who are janitors and ex-convicts with lowly jobs by day and who vampires secretly holding their powers in...until..well "they just can't take the power structure in the world anymore."

    Now I'm all for stories as a means of working out one's pain but one has to be subtle about it. One can't go showing one's neurosis without making it elegant first. In my stories, characters have powerlessness issues. But (patting myself on the back here) I try not to go overboard. I have dark skin and my light-skinned half-sister taunted me so much that to this day I can't look in a mirror. But I don't make my female characters into tragic fair-skinned mulatto (which is what one of my self-loathing black writer friends does....with green eyes to boot.)

    A lot of sword and sorcery writers are truly honing in on the past lost African culture when they do sword and sorcery -- soul and sorcery-- stories. But some of them...well, there is a lot of woundedness there. A lot of them need to use the wounds of daily life -- monetary wounds, racial wounds, career wounds-- in stories to heel their pains.

    Now, what power do I have? Do I have any? I guess I have the power to keep my mouth shut. I have the power not to have my button pushed or to "fret myself to do evil." I have the power to pray and bless them. I have spiritual power as well. I can do spiritual warfare. The dramatic "commanding/exorcism" type..and the inner kind of spiritual warfare where we fight against strongholds within ourselves. (In my case, the stronghold I have against rich white guys with money arrogantly telling me what to do.) I can pray to God for justice and I can pray to God to let the favored ones (the ones the world honors) turn their hearts toward me. But when I don't believe that God hears prayers for justice, or when I think that praying really will do no good....what do I do?

    This is why so many people "take justice into their hands." They shoot or steal or lie or cheat. Because they want justice and because the pain of being powerless on earth is too much. We really must hold to the Lord and not give up. Or the devil will use destroy ourselves in the name of justice.

    I have to laugh now... I mean... if we are in the last days...and mockery is one of the big tools to be used against the believer in the last days (according to Jude's epistle) and if I have no humility to deal with the mockery of petty human can I deal with the mockery that will be thrown at me and at all Christians from the antichrist?

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Sustained faithful joyful enduring hope

    I hate when I forget things. Especially important things I should be remembering. Today I remembered again that we have already conquered the world (the diseases, the fears, etc).  When I remember that the gates of Hades do not prevail against the church, when I remember that we little children have overcome the world, when I remember that all we have to do is to joyfully believe and resist the devil, then I am happy.

    But I had forgotten.

    I was feeling overwhelmed by chest pain, sleep issues, money issues. Been that way a lot. Pondering the things of Egypt. Wondering how I would survive. Then tada! it dawned on me that --wait a second!-- by Jesus' wound I WAS healed.

    I thought suddenly (yeah, because I had now suddenly remembered) that YES, I am not entering into the "rest of faith." I have not been affirming the victory from a peaceful faithful place. So, am getting better now. I affirm  the truth of God's word. God is not a liar. Jesus answers prayers. Jesus has answered our prayers.

    So my mind, spirit, and heart are back on track again. I prayed this morning in maybe it was the praying in tongues that set me straight again. But once again, I believe that I HAVE been healed, that God answers my prayers the INSTANCE I ask them, that I have been blessed. And now I must walk in faith and praise God that he HAS heard my prayers, that I HAVE favor, that the answers have arrived or are arriving. I rejoice in thanksgiving now even though I don't see the answers. I walk by faith not by sight. The cares of this world aren't stressing me and working against peace. God's answers can come now because I have entered the rest of faith.

    I'm expecting good news any second to manifest.

    Now, if only I could have this sustained joyous hope...and the sustained joyous affirming. If only, I could develop a constancy of joyous continually expectancy of good.

    Please, Lord Jesus, change my character so much that I will live constantly in joyous expectancy and faith. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be always acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.  

    Discernment: Art and Christian mumbo-jumbo

    Have you ever had to sit and listen to someone tell you how utterly "touched" they were by a supposedly Christian theme of some big Hollywood blockbuster? (Rolling my eyes, here)

    I'm thinking right now of a friend who thought the Matrix Trilogy was some sort of Christian movie with Christian themes and Neo was a Christ-figure. Oh really?

    There are tons of people in the world who think so and who think other movies are Christian. They think this way because they lack discernment (and true spiritual discernment requires understanding subtle deceptions and counterfeits.) And they think this way because they are swayed by some similar theme, some "christian" word, thrown into the mix.

    Now, of course folks can be "touched" -- even spiritually touched-- by a movie that makes them think of Christ. But just because a movie makes one think of Christ doesn't mean it leads you to the Biblical Christ. In fact, sometimes it leads one to the Antichrist...a false notion of what the Christ represents.

    And let's face it...we Christians are so sentimental and gooey that we are easily touched by anything that reminds us of our Lord. So when a film uses Christiness to somehow depict a different Christ...we fall for the ploy.  Honestly, let's ask ourselves: what is the theology of the Matrix trilogy? What is the doctrine of that movie? It's right in that it implies we are all asleep and some evil force is using us and feeding off our emotions. Whether its corporations in the physical realm or demons in the supernatural realms or governments.... we know instinctively that we are not free and that we should fight against the parasitic power. But...does it lead to the specific salvation pointed to by Christ? Seriously, any old savior -- mythological, folkloric, or historical-- can fit into the savior mold without it having to be particularly Christian.

    Yes, i know.. Matrix was decades ago. But the fact is...Christian lack of discernment has gotten worse..and the average Christian's ability to see through the subtlety has also gotten worse.

    The crappy Christ figures are even more annoying when they show up in artwork by so-called Christian writers. A character doesn't have to be totally Christ in all aspects but must he be so one-dimensional? When I see books such as The Shack the writer in me -- not even the Christian in me, mind you-- just thinks: "What a weird character this Christlike character is!" If the writer in me can see silly sentimentality and bad characterization, the Christian in me....well... yes, I get supremely pissed. What has happened to the ability of modern Christians to truly think and dissect all aspects of a subtle work of art? What has happened to our ability to know how to think..period? Most Christian commentators and Christian writers are not deep. The folks writing these supposedly deep books come from strange disciplines where they study a lot of modern books but they never studied the great theological books of Christians from other ages or other countries. They don't know that some of the objections or ideas showing up in modern books are old as heck. And because they don't read as widely as they should...they basically think they are asking new questions and stating new propositions......not knowing that they are showing their ignorance.

    Oh, I could go on but I am just so annoyed at the lack of critical thinking, the lack of historical knowledge in so many modern Christians.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Vain Imaginings: Return of an old fantasy

    So there I was feeling fairly sane ....when suddenly this Arnold Schwarzenegger mistress thing pops up. And what happens? Some dying-but-not-quite-dead thing in my soul arises.

    Back in the day -- when I was way more sexually insecure than I am now-- I'd have the most amazing (if I do say so myself) sexual power fantasy. Okay, I'm not as bad as my friend who always fantasized about being the madam of a brothel but I was pretty bad.

    I'd fantasize about being the secret (second, or first) wife of some powerful Japanese businessman. I could write great novels from some of my fantasizing...but ya know... because I have such a serious case of morbid introspection ... I probably couldn't enjoy the fantasy...and the book would be so much navel-gazing soul-baring. Which isn't bad, but well, it wouldn't be fun. I really don't think I could write a fun book about any of my fantasies.

    Anyways, thinking about Miss "Patty" and her betrayal of her boss and friend Maria Shriver. What the heck was going on there? Love??? Nah! Needy unhappily-married woman with powerful-man-whose-ego-needs-stroking? Minority/poor woman desirous of undermining her boss? Okay, I vote for the second and third and really for the third.

    Now this is where the fun (and sin) begins. As a minority woman, I've gotta say I was way pleased that the secret mistress in question was hispanic. AND overweight! But --and this is where the guilt begins-- the woman was also the friend of her boss. Alas, for all my fantasizing as possible secret wife and femme fatale...I have never ever seen myself as betraying a friend.

    No, that doesn't make me good and Miss "Patty" evil. It just makes me think I value friendship over quickie sex that might ruin a friendship.

    Let us imagine this situation... even if I'm on the side of a short, fat, overweight, minority woman. The deceit involved, the sense of cruelty, the guiltlessness, the spite and power issues. Okay, let's not imagine it.

    So, yeah, while this situation reminds me of some of the fantasies I used to indulge in when I was younger. Fantasies in which ...well, I will spare you...

    Let's just say... I could not actually go all the way with this kind of thing in real life. As an older adult or as a needy young kid. I just couldn't betray a friend. And yes, I'm one of those women who cannot read novels where one woman betrays her friend because of some man. I just never bought the rationalization the main character/adulteress came up with (or that the author came up for her.) Partly because I can see through sin really easily and partly because I can see through my own rationalizing bullshit..and once I recognize the fact that I'm bullshitting I always make my main character realize he is bullshitting also. Yeah, my characters haven't the ability to bullshit and rationalize away their evils.  Nor would they want to.

    Endtimes: Passionate sincerity and a little vaccination against the real thing.

    I find myself wondering if there were false prophets prophesying the end of the world in Noah's time as well. Let's face it. If there were, there'd be some people miscalculating the prophecy about Methusaleh ("After him it will come") and saying the end was near...and just messing up Noah's message of salvation. After all, the book of Hebrews told us Noah preached while building the ark. 

    True, Christians seem to go on an end of the world kick in surges about every ten to twenty years. Although lately it's been the end of the world this and end of the world that. And honestly, the end will come. But when it comes to predicting it and making fools of ourselves! AAARGH!

    Okay some of these folks are partying and giving away their money and quitting their jobs but quite a few are trying to get folks saved and are real evangelists types. They're going out in the byways and highways and trying to save folks before the end -- uh, this Saturday. Some of them are very weepy about it from what i could see in articles. They're putting up billboards, having websites, telling folks the gospel. They're doing what Noah and Lot did...but they're doing it at the wrong time...and in the case of Noah and Lot....well, Noah wasn't given the exact time but he was put in the ark to wait for 8 days. And Lot was told to merely leave town because something was coming. So the end of Noah's world depended on A) the Methusaleh prophecy, B) the work Noah had to do with building the ark, C) the the gathering-in-of the animals and D) the preaching to the world (probably much of this preaching had to do with Noah convincing his family to help him build the ark. As for Lot, the end of Sodom depended on Lot leaving but also on some timing known only to the angels. But these folks...well, they haven't been given any word from God or any angelic hints as far as I know. They're following Harold Camping's numbers. And although they are preaching the gospel, they are so hard-headed about this setting of the exact time of the day and the hour. There is much pride in it. 

    Okay, so I don't believe that the world is ending tomorrow. And I've researched the reasons these folks think the end is coming tomorrow. And, well, I must say the reasons and numerical calculations are downright amusing and silly.  (Yep, they go back to the exact day, minute, hour that God created the world.) But I have to give them credit for their actions in trying to save folks...even if it is going to be very damaging to Christians in the long run.

    The way I see it: our lives could end today or tomorrow. And there are folks now who are laughing at these predictors saying that the end is not tomorrow who probably will die tonight of murder or accident. Life is odd that way. Everyone in the world has a moment when the world ends for them. And just as no one knows the end of the world, no one knows the end of his own life. 

    But, a question: when the day comes when we true believers know who the Antichrist is, will we go about telling these false prophets are doing? They have a certain bravery, I must say. 

    In World war II, the Jehovah's witnesses were great preachers for Christ because they had prepared themselves for the end...much better than the mainstream christians. They were prepared for persecution by the antiChrist. They did well! So there is something to be said for the passionate sincerity of folks who are sincerely wrong. They're doing more to save folks than I am...yet...aaarh,. they are so embarrassing to the cause of Christ. And who knows how much this little vaccination against the real thing will affect people when true warnings are being told. 

    These folks are fulfilling a prophecy Jesus told about false prophets. How can they not see that they are fulfilling such an obvious prophecy? Because they are deluded and deceived. (Again, perhaps by their need to escape persecution. Or perhaps because they like feeling that they are folks who know hidden secrets no one knows.)

    But they are not wise. They aren't following the Word of God. They're following a man. 


    There will come a day when we will be looked at as ridiculous for saying something the world considers silly, and something other christians think is silly. So I can't entirely judge them.

    True, I already say things that the world considers silly. I believe in hell, demons, etc. I say it on facebook. I say it everywhere. And these people are trying to get non-saved people saved. And whatever the reason the gospel is being preached...from stupidity or out of a desperation to save folks or out of arrogant pride in their occult and secret knowledge...Christ is being preached...we hope

    Now, question. If i knew someone was going to die and go to hell tomorrow, if someone was on her deathbed, would I have the bravery to try to save them by saying something silly? Heck, the prophet Elijah warned folks then fled, poor guy because someone was out to kill him. I think the problem with these folks is they fear death and persecution. I suspect i might be brave one day if someone i knew, like my friend Rain was dying. But I don't know if I would be so brave. And if I fear being seen as insensitive, or ridiculous, how will i handle persecution? We shall see.

    The sings of the times are here. (And one day the end-sayers will be right about some guy being the antichrist, about not taking the mark of the beast or whatever.) Who knows? One day we shall see how brave we are in the face of mockery?

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    guidance and disobedience

    Luke and I realized how much God was guiding us, but we also realized how utter disobedience. We determined that from now on if a guidance dream comes, then we will obey it because we ask god for guidance. and we get dreams of what food to eat, what is going on , how to clean the house and we don't do it. So we finally said, "Know what? if we ask God for help and he gives us an answer...and we aren't obedient in small things...what is the use?"

    I mean if we whine about Gabe's tummy ache then we have a dream in which someone is asking us, "Where are Gabe's greens?" and we don't obey...what are we doing? Why should God tell us anything else?:

    Same thing with the dream I had where the angel pushed the corn, pork, cold cuts, and wheat from my plate.

    Why ask for guidance then ignore it? Even if the guidance seems small, do it. 

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Words are just that....really?

     Sometimes I listen to someone and a part of me says, "she isn't saying this with her words, but this is what my spirit hears her saying. So I'll answer her words with what my spirit has heard...even though she hasn't said it." And that can be good if a person doesn't have the skill or bravery to be clear with what they're saying. Or it can be bad...if your insight into what the person is saying challenges them. Also there's something else. English is a language of tone as well as words. One can say a lot of cruel things to people and get away with it by saying, "Oh, but you misunderstood me! Don't 'take it' that way." So if someone misunderstands our words we have to be careful that we really were clear. I also think that writers have to be careful and not pick on the very tools they use. Vagueness only causes more vagueness when we use words, but we should try to listen with the heart....and speak with a kind heart as well. 

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Loving how God loves my family

    Luke and I had a great spiritual talk last night in bed about our growth in God. So good! We talked about the times God has shown himself to be our jehovah jireh miraculously, and as our guide and shepherd, and as our protector, and as our parent who taught us how to eat...and how we're looking to see him show himself to us as jehovah rophe, the God who heals. Two nights ago at the end of the fast. I went to bed and i prayed in tongues. I didn't know who to pray for but if a thought or a person came to my mind i assumed it was the interpretation of what i was praying so i prayed for all the folks who came to mind especially for all the special ed disabled folks we know. 

    Well something said, "pray for logan." So i prayed for logan that he would be saved that he would go to church. Prayed that in my mind while i spoke in tongues. Well suddenly, yesterday, logan calls me up and he asks, "Where am i???" 
    I say: "At our train station?"
    "With the inlaws in CA?"
    "Mom, what day is it? where would i be?:
    I screamed and yelled out..."CHURCH!!!!"

    Turns out he was there with this girl who he has had a crush on for a year or so. She's the daughter of a minister and he's been liking her forever and she likes him but she has been adamant about being suspicious about him, like a good christian girl! thank heavens! So he finally after all that time decided to go to her church and the sermon was on mercy and grace. And i just screamed with joy because it was the plan of God. It was like God saying to me: "I gave you an instant answer to a prayer because i know certain things. And now can you believe that there are things happening, that you don't see? Can you see what is happening with Gabe, Carole?"

    Then I got to thinking how God loves me and my family so much. There is this issue about that with me
    how much God loves me. And so last night we were talking about God's special graces to little old us and how the spiritual world works. It looks as though maybe this is the girl for logan. 

    Can you imagine? I was saying to God, "God, if you want  you can make me die so that gabe can have my life"
    and now it's like he's saying, "Carole, you and luke are going to get a new family possibly in FL. I will finally have the extended family i always wanted. Will see. 

    Anyways.. a coupla years ago, I was telling logan about the power of the word. And i said to him, "When gabe was small i was so frustrated i said, "I can't deal with this kid. It would be better if he was dead!"
    Gabe wasn't around at the time I said that but from that time on every day Gabe started running out into the street into cars! It was sooooo weird. And my friend Rodlyn sayd, "Take it back take it back!"

    So i took it back and it stopped. So i hadn't mentioned it in years and 2 years ago, i was telling logan about this and THAT very day, logan was in MT Vernon where Gabe's school is and Logan is never there. But he was there  for some reason walking around. And AT the very moment he was there he saw Gabe bolt into the street...from the corner of his eyes. And he recognized the runner as Gabe and ran and caught him.

    Now i always thought, "That is so weird! I never talk about this thing and the day i talk about it happens again and logan is there to witness it?" And i took it as an affirmation of the word that we really have authority in our word, for better or worse. But last night it dawned on me how God had choreographed that, that logan had been there to see it! that logan had been there to run and catch Gabe! That no one else had to catch Gabe.
    It showed how loving God was to us. It really showed me how he led logan, how he was showing logan and me how much he loved the family, how both my sons are linked together.

    Once around christmas Gabe's class went to burlington to buy christmas presents. And of all things logan was there. Again, Logan is rarely there. He turned and he saw Gabe. It was weird. Logan is never there and neither is gabe but at both times God brought them to the same place at the same time. But the incident with the running away and wandering in Mt was God placing logan there for safety. 

    And as hubby and I thought about it .. I felt God's love for our family. 

    When luke was 17 (in 1976 or 1977) he bicycled across the country, from California to the east coast. His tube broke and the bicycle needed a special tube, and wouldn't you know it? It happened when he was in Kansas and this town had a bike store where the guy who had a bike shop had had a bike tube specifically for that type of bike which had been mistakenly ordered. The guy had kept it in the back for 6 months kinda waiting but procrastinating on returning it...and there it was! yes! And it was a special heavy duty one. He could bike the rest of the way and he had that tube on his bike for years. 

    The more i think of it the more convinced i am that God was giving Luke (son of atheist) something to remember, to hold onto, to build his faith on. 

    I remembered the time God prevented me from falling over the side of a cliff. A miraculous angelic intervention. Heck, I even remember the day I was craving mustard and I mentioned it in prayer and I went for a walk and there was an unopened bottle of mustard in the middle of the sidewalk waiting for me. As if it had fallen from someone's shopping cart...or from heaven. ;-)

    So it dawned on me God DOES love me!

    Why do i have this battle that God doesn;t love me???
    He's always being so close to me.. why am i so hard to convince?

    I mean pretty much everyday i worked on onion he would do a "korea" godwink. So I feel very loved today. I'm finally seeng that God loves me personally and is involved in our lives. The evil heart of unbelief in me is being hammered at. Instead of this kind of benevolent indifferent love I've been feeling hurt about, I'm seeing God's specific love for my family. I mean when i thought of how he had logan there to save Gabe and to tell us about it.

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Conversation about "Enlightened" Conversation

    Jessica and I had an IM conversation about enlightened conversations. Transcript follows.

    Butler:  I was appalled when I was watching a children's nature program and the naturalist, Jeff, is in this cave and a little baby swiftlet falls onto the ground now on the ground are cockroaches and beetles, which of course are zeroing in on the baby bird and he looks at the camera and says that he could easily save the bird and he would like to save the bird but he cannot because this is a natural part of life and he cannot intervene so he stands by and watches as these insects devour the baby bird and I'm thinking wow....amazing how letting things go their course often involves laziness

    me:  so evolutionaryist
    Butler:  and these are the same folks who scream their heads off if humans come anywhere near and damage the environment
    me:  committment to the natural laws yadda yadda
    Butler:  but if in their belief, humans are nothing more than an advanced animal. Then that is just as much a part of the natural laws. There is no reason for us to conserve or preserve wildlife than there is for a beetle or cockroach to be killed in our houses. But that's not what kids are going to see. Really it's more horrifying to watch and to realize that people can justify cruelty by the natural order. 
     me:  plus it never occurs to them that perhaps their presence there might be one of those happy accidents of nature they go on about.
     Butler:  hmmmhmm. That was just what I was thinking

     me:  i was thinking yesterday how God said husbands love your wives...but so many christian legalistic men think "husbands rule your wives." Because they think it's a natural order. No sense of their relationship with god and wife as a love thing..but as some divine order thing.
     Butler:  yes. It's just sad the way that people are. Generally so-called enlightenment seems to bring about cruelty
     me:  and smugness about said cruelty
     Butler:  whereas naivety and those people who are considered to be naive are the ones who "interfere" and "mess up the natural order"
     me:  lol...well they could challenge you on the extinction of whales etc
     Butler:  oh they could! Christians and naturalists alike. Everyone. I was just reading over an article about some so-called naive Christian who was saving babies years ago from the Hawaiian death rituals and how horrible that was because it was a key part of the culture and the native culture was wise to understand the balance of life,
    that what should have been done is to allow them to do what they want because after all, they are wise. Actually what it comes down to is also pride
     me:  aargh, when enlightened christians indulge with enlightenesque speech it is so hard to deal with them and their smugness. You survived Christian college doublespeak-double-think though.

    Butler:  oh though here's another thing that I noticed. In terms of arrogance, there is a certain type of enlightened arrogance that is almost insufferable which comes from a first world citizen who goes to the third world and spends time. It's something I would like to capture in a story because not all have it. They have all of these quotes and trite superlatives about how the people survive.
     me:  Or when a third world person has been hanging around a lot of first world persons and thinks she's so deep now
     Butler:  (the other way that I have seen it come is from someone from a third world country and spends a lot of time in a first world. Wow
     me:  the kind of African or Arab who uses
     Butler:  we are on the same page
     me:  western phrases and looks down on the uneducated of her own land. Sooo annoying. They don't realize that they're trying to impress the west and just look like parroters. And when they say the crap while wearing a red white and blue or starry bandanna i just want to slam the TV set. Or else they start dissing our religion in our terms. Or they totally rework their own religion to make it palatable to the western minds. Either "well, animism and demonic possession isn't something we Africans believe in." Or "animism is a search to free the soul and to connect to all things." Or modern westernized Moslems saying with a straight face the Koran doesn't say something when all Moslems in the middle east or for centuries have always believed the Koran does say that thing. "O, Mohammed's youngest wife, no, she was 20!" "Oh... no, the Koran doesn't say to kill Jews." "Oh, the Koran believes in a God of love." 

    Butler:  yes
    really enlightenment is never good
    me:  lol
    Butler:  not the fake kind that permeates the world at least
    me:  Laughing very loud
    Butler:  because what seems to follow is pride, which then ruins whatever lesson might have been learned. It's hard.
    me:  nothing more annoying to me than some black character showing how enlightened he is by not "believing in God like other black folk." Oh, he's so deep and freethinking, you know! He's shaken off the evil white imperialistic Christian God by taking on the white enlightened freethinking atheism.
     Butler:  yes
     me:  and who says something sooo dumbly deeply shallow, which has been said many times before, but which americans totally eat up
    Butler:  and a lot of Europe too for that matter
    me:  and Africans
     Butler:  generally it seems that if it is seen as deep in Europe, it will be seen as deep here
     me:  really?
     Butler:  particularly if an Englishman with a great accent says it.'s automatically intellectual
     me:  yeah, sometimes a european says something so shallow it's like... really, really????
    or if it's tossed off by some teenager who is honest and hip and deeply searching. Aaargh!

    Friday, May 06, 2011

    How to Enjoy the Bible

    How to Enjoy the Bible: 12 Basic Principles for Understanding God's Word[Paperback]

  • Paperback: 464 pages

  • Publisher: Kregel Classics (May 6, 2004)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 9780825420276

  • ISBN-13: 978-0825420276

  • ASIN: 082542027X

  • How to Enjoy the Bible [Kindle Edition]

    E.W. Bullinger

  • Format: Kindle Edition

  • File Size: 661 KB

  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services

  • Language: English


  • Lending: Enabled

    • Publisher: Amer Christian Pr (June 1983)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0910068488
    • ISBN-13: 978-0910068482

    Product Description

    Ethelbert William Bullinger AKC (December 15, 1837 – June 6, 1913) was an Anglican clergyman, Biblical scholar, and ultradispensationalist theologian.

    In this classic book on Bible study, biblical scholar E. W. Bullinger provides a handbook for discovery, understanding, and enjoyment of the Bible's truths.

    From the Back Cover

    In this classic introduction to your study of God’s Word, E. W. Bullinger guides you in the adventure of open and honest study of the Scripture from within—allowing it to speak for itself.
    He introduces twelve practical principles of interpretation that make inductive Bible study come alive! How to Enjoy the Bible establishes the integrity and trustworthiness of Scripture based on its own internal evidence. All believers will be encouraged by discovering how to read, study, and enjoy the sacred contents of the Bible.
    E. W. Bullinger (1837-1913) was a direct descendant of the great Swiss reformer Johann H. Bullinger. An untiring scholar of the Word of God, Bullinger’s intense studies resulted in many books which have provided immeasurable strength and encouragement to generations of believers.
    Among Bullinger’s best-known writings are: The Companion Bible, The Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testaments, Great Cloud of Witnesses in Hebrews Eleven, Number in Scripture, Word Studies on the Holy Spirit, and The Witness of the Stars.

    E. W. Bullinger's (1837-1913)
    HOW TO ENJOY THE BIBLE - (1st half)A Guide to Better Understanding and Enjoyment of God's Word
    Written in England in 1906-1907

    It's published online here

    Wednesday, May 04, 2011

    Christianity versus Law: Mormonism, Islam, Seventh Day Adventism, Messianic Christianity

    The demands of the law is love. The demands of God is a heart from which evil has been cut out.

    When Moses and Elisha spoke to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, they spoke to him about the "exodus" he was to perform at Jerusalem. What exactly is the exodus? The translating of God's people out of the kingdom of power of the law into the kingdom of Grace, the kingdom of God's dear son, where the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil has no power to create sin or the consciousness of sin in us. 

    Many religions don't get the idea about Jesus' removing us from the world and the power of the law. Mormonism, Islam, Seventh Day Adventism, Messianic Christianity which wants to return Christians to using the Torah, (as opposed to Messianic Judaism) are religions that acknowledge Jesus in some way but don't seem to understand the Judeo-Christian idea that the law is of one world and grace is about another world. Instead, they seek to cause people to return to the law.

    St Paul's comment in Galatians that those who return to trusting in the law are under a curse. Would be nice to return to the Torah, if we didn't trust in it for our salvation. The law came in as a schoolmaster that the trespass might abound so that we could be seen as lawbreakers. The law exposes our true nature and God gave it to us so that we can see that we cannot of ourselves do anything to please God. The law was given to us in the full knowledge that we would break it. 

    In Romans 7, we see how God delivered us from the power of the law to curse us. The relation between sin and the sinner is that of master and slave. The relation between the law and the sinner is that of husband to wife. Unless the first husband (the law) dies, the woman cannot be married to the second husband (Christ.) The law is an exacting husband, but Christ fulfills in us the very demands of the laws that he makes. The law is going to continue til all eternity. How can we marry a second husband when the first husband refuses to die? God delivers us from the law by having the woman "die" to the law (the first husband.) In that way she is free. Once the woman is dead, the law cannot affect her. Once the woman is dead, sin has no power over her. The law cannot die but when we are dead in Christ, we are no longer bound to the first husband. The woman is dead and nos is discharged from the demands of her first husband which was the law. We were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, free from the law and free from sin. Death has dissolved the demands of the former husband upon the woman...the woman (God's people) is now free from the demands of that husband. Being united to Christ in death and in resurrection, she brings forth fruit unto God. God's holiness within her is perfected. The law is not annulled anymore but the Risen God in her does the works of the perfect law of God.

    The old man who wants to do the works of the law by himself is now dead. The second man, Christ -- the Last Adam-- has brought us freedom and is in us doing the works of the law in our recreated minds. We are new Creatures now. We are no longer children of the old Adam who chose the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil and who wanted to do works of goodness...but we are children of the tree of life and God is working in us.

    Sin came in with the law (which is the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.) With the law came punishment if that law was not fulfilled. Jesus freed us by the law by being perfect under the law. Because we died with him in baptism, we are free from the accusations of the Adversary (Satan is a legalist.) We're free from the punishment dictated by the law: sickness, death, demonic attacks. We have power to renounce generational curses. 

    In Christ, our nature is changed. Now that we are no longer children of the first Adam or the first Man and are a new entirely different creation (children of the last Adam and the second man) we have passed from human life to death to being like God, who is beyond the human law and the human idea of good and evil.

    In heaven, there is no good or evil. All is good. But more so, heaven is kind of a-moral. Note I do not say "amoral" as we would say it. But in heaven the power of the law has no effect on those redeemed by Christ. Because we are free from the law and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and by legal standards of righteousness, we have no consciousness of sin. Whether people sin or not will not matter because Sin same when Adam accepted the law (Tree of knowledge of good and evil) and the tree of knowledge will have no power in the New Jerusalem. Not one jot of the law will be passed away, but even so it has no power against those in Christ because we are no longer under the power of the law, but translated out of its power into the kingdom of God's dear son.  It is Jesus' righteousness that has fulfilled the law for us. It is His life which we now live. 

    True, we are no longer under the law because of Christ's sacrifice, and Galatians warns against legalism and Romans warns against the law. YET we must not sin. The Bible says the relation between law and the sinner is that of master and slave or husband to wife. When we're in Christ, we leave our first husband (the law)  and are married to the true bridegroom, the Second Adam, the Last Man (Christ..) Nevertheless, the law continues til all eternity. But we cannot spit on Jesus' blood. 

     Like the iron which was made to float in the water (the book of kings) our very nature is changed, and the law has no power over us. In the same way, Paul says we are NOW seated with Christ. So the Church is out of the world's ways, laws, etc. Why? Because we are in Christ. 

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