Thursday, June 30, 2011

Judgment and Judgmentalism: what exactly are they?

When most people think of being judgemental, they often think of one person judging another person's sin. But judgmentalism is much more than that. Entering into Judgement about another person is nothing more or less than a coldhearted smug assessment of another person's life.  When viewed in this light, we see that it is not only religious people who are judgmental. Everyone is judgmental; it's the norm of human life.

The Bible tells us to "Esteem others more highly than ourselves." Philippians 2:3,4, and Romans 12:10 Among other things, this means we are to enter into all relationships with a belief that the other person knows more about their own lives than we do, that the other person are on their particular path in life for reasons we cannot know because we are God. True, some of these paths are cruel, dangerous, self-destructive...and we would like our friends, foes, families to be far from these paths...but we must have an understanding art and an attitude of respect. We must understand enough about the limited state of human strength and human knowledge so that we don't think that if we had lived in the lives of others we would be living their lives vastly better than they are living them.

It is the essence of human nature to believe in right and wrong. (Even atheists and agnostics believe in right and wrong. They like to think they don't push their ideas of right and wrong on other folks but atheists are constantly telling people what is right or wrong about God, morals, truth, belief systems etc.) So, let's accept that there is this big tree of knowledge of good of evil growing out of human hearts. It wasn't what God wanted because He knew we would judge ourselves and others...instead of entering into loving life. But there it is: this standardizing we were born into

We are always aware of standards -- usually ours and those standards in the world that we respect and adhere to-- and we're always aware of how others have not adhered to it. This is how God will judge the world: by the inner laws we live by and judge others. An agnostic will be judged by how she has followed her own laws (and how she has unlovingly judged others by those same laws while she allowed herself a "pass".) A man in the middle of some tribe in the middle of nowhere will be judged by the inner laws/standards he lives
by and how he unlovingly judges others by those same laws while he excuses himself from them.

At the heart of all this is whether we have loved others as we have loved ourselves, whether we have been harsh and coldhearted to our fellow man while allowing ourselves free rein. It's all about love.

Cold-heartedness and lack of love is the issue. A person who thinks in her heart:

If I had that disabled child, I would be better at caring for that child ...
If I were poor, I would use money wiser....
If I were sick, I would not whine as this person is doing...
If I had a bad husband, I would not cheat....

Now, much of the effects of judging are like sown seeds. We sow judgment like seeds and we reap fruit and consequences which say to us: "okay, you judged and said if you were in this you're in it. Let's see you live up to your perfect standards."

This is one of the reasons why I get very angry at kneejerk disdain and folks who lack etiquette. Whether it's an atheist sneering at someone for being enslaved to old-fashioned theology, or a "spiritual" person sneering because someone is not as "wise" or "enlightened" as they are, or a non-drinker scorning an alcoholic or substance abuser, or a hard-worker sneering at someone who wastes money.... the kneejerk disdain shows our heart. And God doesn't look at the appearance; He looks at the heart.

I remember once I was listening to a Christian "cancer survivor." She had all the actions and jargon and mannerisms I really hate in Christians. I realized -- or Holy Spirit made me realize-- that I was so pissed at the  Churchianity in the lady (and at all the weirdo Christians who had brought me much grief in life) that I wasn't listening to this woman's painful healing testimony with a loving heart. One has to be careful. This is how God judges all men. We are to forgive everyone from the heart and we are to love everyone from the heart.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Levites

When Moses delayed on the mount, the people began worshipping the false idol. When he came down, the Levites were the only one who stood up on his side. A hard thing to stand on God's hand and to break one's connection with family and friends....all for the sake of God.

25And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) 26Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. 27And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, andgo in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. 29For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.  Exodus 32:25-29

They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."  Luke 12:53

32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36And a man's foes shall bethey of his own household.
37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
40He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. 42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.  Matthew 10: 32-40

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Something missing -- a warning for all writers

Saw "Awake" and really liked it. But I think it missed the mark a bit. At first I thought it was Hayden Christopher's acting. Now, don't get me wrong: he is really a phenomenal actor at showing woundedness and human frailty (Shattered Glass, for instance, was a film that made me cringe...he was that good!) But he can also be not so good at times. Which makes me wonder if he might be one of those actors whose greatness depends on the directors he works with. But I also got to thinking about the screenplay.

The screenplay was lacking. Not that it wasn't okay the way it was.  Trouble was it was lacking and missing certain scenes that should have been in the entire story. Yeah, I'm remaking yet another movie.

I just think the writer made two errors
Error A): The character is depicted as too strong
Error B): The character's heart problem seemed to have come upon him when he was older.

Sure, he showed the character as struggling to free himself from his mother and his mother as overprotective...but it didn't really send home WHY Mom was like that. It seems to me that we needed to see Clay's heart problems as a child. We needed to see why he didn't have a best friend before the doctor arrived, and why he didn't have a girlfriend when the love of his life arrived.

The character needed our pity and neither the screenplay nor the actor gave us such a character. So the sense of his being "unawake" emotionally wasn't really there. And his "waking" to the realities of life isn't poignant at all and doesn't touch us. It's one of the few movies I've wanted to see again, so I might try seeing it again before it disappears from my DVR. I might have missed the clues the screenwriter put in about the nature of the Character's problem. But, really, is it my fault if I missed them? The emotional issue should have been mined and we should have seen more of the desperation and pain and wound and frailty of the character.

This happens a lot with writers: the "missing scene" or the "missing chapter."

One of the worst things that can happen to any creative person is the strange scary feeling that “something is missing” in one’s art. I’m not a musician but I suspect many a musician has leaped for joy when she realized she needed to add this little bit of harmony or a clarinet or a djembe. For writers it’s much the same thing.

Finding the article or non-fiction writer, it’s probably easier to find the “missing” factor than it is for novelists. After all, the article writer is aware of trying to write a balanced article. IF he is aware of something being unbalanced he can look through the article-in-progress and search for areas where he’s generalized, or not given an opposing opinion. Of course IF he is not aware, then he’ll have written an article that will be challenged by someone down the line – an editor, a close reader, a reviewer, someone with an axe to grind.

But for the novelist, the search is much harder. We have to really wrack our brains to see what the missing something is, and where does it belong. And if one doesn’t find the Missing, the story often stands as it is unless one has an editor who is totally on one’s wavelength. If she is, then all will be well. She’ll return the manuscript to you with a helpful comment about you needing a scene that accomplishes thus and so. If she isn’t, then the book goes out into the world less beautiful, less true, less effective than the writer had wished. 

So what could this “missing” thing be?

It could be a missing character. This is a particularly tough one. Imagine having written a novel and being pretty sure you’ve peopled it with everyone you need only to realize during the editing process that your villain needs a wife or your main character needed to have a sister who was murdered back in the day. But, of course, that’s when you realize what the missing character is supposed to add to your story. 

Your problem could be a missing scene. After my speculative fiction novel Wind Follower was published, I realized I should have written some small scenes where my main character found the corpses of children who were victims of infanticide. That was the reason I had given for the destruction of the land of the three tribes, after all. Yet, in all the book, one doesn’t see anyone killing a baby. Let’s just say I was a bit annoyed with myself and am awaiting the publication of the second edition so I can include tiny little scenelets littered with baby skeletons. The book didn’t suffer because of the missing scene and no one seemed to notice this error on my part. But I noticed it, and for me it’s a major error.

The novel could also be missing plot thread. This could be some tiny little sub-plot that should have been utterly apparent to the writer but somehow the writer totally missed picking up on it. I’m not talking about letting a plot thread drop. I’m talking about totally, totally not realizing that character A would DEFINITELY have wanted to murder character B, or would have fallen in love with him. Or that something would’ve happened when character A brought some apple pie over for dinner to character B’s house.

The missing sentence. This is the easiest type of missing thing to fix and the hardest to find. It’s as simple as it sounds: the novelist simply forgot to mention something. Or she thought she had mentioned it. All the same the thing is missing and she may not be aware of it. As I said, this is the easiest thing to fix. The trouble is being aware of it. Annoyingly, this kind of stuff-gone-missing happens a lot because, what with all the cutting, pasting, and revising—stuff sometimes get dropped out of the novel even if the writer had already put them in.

Well, here I sit in the middle of revising and feeling something is missing. But what? I wish I could tell you how to discover what it is. One answer (I was about to write “only” answer but remembered my rule about generalizations) seems to be to have my first reader read the entire thing and give me their opinion. I have a perfect reader who is a blessing to me. Our minds are on the same wavelength and she’s a real lover of books. Unfortunately, she’s in grad school – law school of all things. So sending her the entire 540 pages to read is out of the question. I suspect I shall have to trust myself. That’s what we writers have to work with – our minds, educated guesses, creative intuition. So that’s what I’ll do. Trust myself. But, of course, not too much.

Ah well. A good film that might have been more touching if it had enabled the actor to delve into the character's weakness or if the writer had been aware of the "missing" scenes he should have written.

Happy Creativity, All

Monday, June 27, 2011

Anticipation?Of what?

Do interesting this new phase of my life.

This morning I stayed in bed and didn't have any reason to get up early. I walked downstairs leisurely about 7:30 feeling happy and free. Am still believing that God has sent His healing word to heal Gabe so am anticipating the manifestation of the healing. But for the moment, until the healing grows into fruition, I'm writing, cleaning, and watching younger son play with soap bubbles in his kiddie pool in the back of our yard. No school system hassles for the first time in 16 years! What a blessing being free from the school system is!

A teacher who works there dropped by to bring Gabe's diploma, a poster with photos of him at the school, him with his graduation picture, an autograph book and other stuff. Sure, I got all weepy. Because for me they are all signs of how abnormal his life has been. I would've wanted to see a regular diploma and it would be good if Gabe could actually read the good wishes. Now, he doesn't even know he won't see some of his friends again. But I am hoping in God. I have to remember that God is working. Wanted to cry when I saw everything but I am resting in God's word. Let God be true and every prophetic child-limiting prognosticating pontificating teacher and educator a liar.

Am sitting around, walking around, anticipating. Anticipating Gabe's miracle, anticipating financial blessings, anticipating healing for myself. So what do I do while I anticipate? I can praise God. Many Christians have done nothing for years, thinking they're waiting for God when God has whispered directions they were too busy to hear. Ah, the still small voice! Not to mention our doubts about the rhema spoken directly to us. I'm determined, though, to let His word (in Scripture and those words spoken to my spirit) be a lamp to my feet. One small step at a time. And with praises... walking by faith that God has done what I asked what I need Him to do, what I begged him to do. Just trusting in His love, His power, His word, and His idea of what true delivering Christianity should be.

So...yeah...walking by faith and not by sight. Thanking God that He has healed my glorify His Son.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Without Knowledge, even zeal is not good

Someone on facebook wrote this:
My autistic neph was not a curse or punishment, but a BLESSING. My mothers cancer wasnt a curse or punishment, but a BLESSING. Losing woman i loved wasnt a curse or punishment, but a BLESSING. Losing my business wasnt a curse or punishment, but a BLESSING. Why? cause LIFE is abt the Spiritual being not the earthly being, and ALL these BLESSINGS are God's way in molding me in His Image and Likeness!

Several people "liked" this bit of blasphemy. Cancer as a blessing? Ah, the stuff pious Christians say!
Some of the greatest blasphemies are disguised as Christian platitudes. Not that I'm saying that God wouldn't put cancer on someone... God can do whatever He wants...but there are certain things I just think go against Scripture.

I remember a woman who went around giving teaching seminars. She's very famous in her circle of Black evangelicals. People pay to hear her speak. And she said something like: "God doesn't give you more than you can handle. If life is treating you badly, it's because you haven't learned what God was trying to tell you. And God will keep messing up your life until you turn to him."

Ah yes, another case of one of God's friends thinking she's tough, thinking she knows God, but really giving a very cruel unpalatable God.

The Lord warns us through the apostle Paul: "Be not many teachers." The Lord warns us not to put a stumbling block before people. The Lord warns us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. Yet it's become par for the religious course for the church to be filled with people who think they're teachers. Sharing one's faith in God is about God and our heart. It's about why we love Him. It's about our encounter with His holiness. It's not about going about teaching and preaching and thinking you're supposed to challenge people with "hard" sayings. God's worst enemies in evangelism are often those who think they are His friends.

Anyway, rant response to this guy was:
Jesus never called any sickness a blessing. God never called any sickness a blessing. We live in a fallen world where sickness can come to us because of human agencies, the environment, our eating habits, our own sins, or the works of demons. God is able to bring blessings to us and TURN  troubles to good but he does not give us blessings in the guise of sickness. Anyone who has had cancer can be blessed by God but God did not give the cancer. Autistic children who suffer a great deal of pain and isolation aren't blessed. Someone might walk around saying how blessed they are about someone else's pain but that doesn't mean the person experiencing the sickness is blessed or that the blessing was sent by God. As for life being about the spiritual being or the earthly being, I recommend David Pawson's commentary "DeGreecing the Church" in which he shows how the separation of spirit from body is a Greek idea and not something one finds in the scripture. The passages in the Bible that seem to speak as if the body and earthly being is one thing while the spirit and spiritual things are other things....are passages wrongly understood by the Greek-influenced church. One of the effects of the transfiguration on the mount is to show that the holy spirit made Jesus' clothes glow white. Spirit affected earthly things. Paul could heal people by a handkercheif; once again, no difference between spirit and earthly matter. The holy spirit uses our bodies, our hands, our tongues, to heal... The Jewish belief is that he spirit and the body are intertwined; the Greek idea separates them.

Then there was this:
It is written, weeping may endure for a night, but Joy cometh in the MORNING. what does this mean? It means sorroow, anxieties, fears, anguish is created by spiritual blindness which comes from one being EARTHLY MINDED, but when Spiritual enlightening breaks forth in their Life, and they see what LIFE really is(spirit, not earthly) they REJOICE in ALL things cause they SEE them ALL working for GOOD.

To which I replied:
Jesus wept. He wept all night in Gethsemane. He wept when Lazarus died. Jesus was never earthly minded. I understand that we sometimes are too earthly minded to see what God is doing but pain is a part of human life. The thing is to endure during the tribulation and the night of sorrow and to know that good will come at last.

To which he said:
Jesus didnt weep in Garden of Gethsemane He was suffering. One can suffer and have JOY. WOrd tells us to REJOICE in our suffering. SORROW is an antonym of the fruit of the Holy spirit..antonyms of Fruit of Spirit is SIN. Jesus had no sin,NOTHEING earthly abt Jesus thoughts or walk..ALL the Spirit of God. He was showing us US, how we anguish over desiring our will, but than showed us, not our will be done, thy will be done.

As for with lazarus, there is a deeper meaning behind Him weeping. The ppl around him all thought He was a prophet, they didnt know He is God. By Him weeping in front of them BEFORE He RAISED UP LAZARUS from grave, He became a weeping prophet in their eyes. The weeping prophet to the ppl was JEREMIAH. The name Jeremiah means, GOD WILL RAISE UP. By Jesus weeping in front of the ppl, BEFORE He raised up lazarus from grave, He was showing them that He isnt a weeping prophet they think He is, but He is GOD who raises up the dead, which the weeping prophet Jeremiah prophesied abt was coming. Notice, Jesus didnt WEEP in sorrow when He heard His cousin John the baptist was beheaded.

Then I answered:
‎"Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared" Hebrews 5:7

"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. " Hebrews 4:14-16

Jesus is perfectly God and perfectly Man. To give him suffering without anxieties, fears, and anguish is the kind of gnosticism the church fathers preached against...and the result is we end up with a Savior who only "pretends" to know our despair and anguish.

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 53:3

 The Holy Spirit “intercedes for us through wordless groans” Romans 8:26. Groans are cries and weeping, I think. The Holy Spirit is in and of Heaven...without why would the holy spirit groan. I will also add that Paul told us to "weep with those who weep" - Rom 12:15 unless he meant we are to weep in joy at the plight of other folks, I think God made tear ducts to enable our bodies to deal with sorrow. God made us capable of all emotions: joy, sorrow, grief, anger. And we are made in His image. Nothing wrong with feeling grief...and even spiritually minded people can weep in grief.

Then I did this (because I was seriously pissed at the odd Jesus he was creating): 

New International Version (©1984)
He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled.New Living Translation (©2007)
He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed.
English Standard Version (©2001)
And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled.
International Standard Version (©2008)
He took Peter, James, and John along with him, and he began to feel distressed and troubled.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
He took Peter, James, and John with him and began to feel distressed and anguished.
King James Bible
And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;
American King James Version
And he takes with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;
American Standard Version
And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly amazed, and sore troubled.
Bible in Basic English
And he took with him Peter and James and John, and grief and great trouble came on him.
Douay-Rheims Bible
And he taketh Peter and James and John with him; and he began to fear and to be heavy.
Darby Bible Translation
And he takes with him Peter and James and John, and he began to be amazed and oppressed in spirit.
English Revised Version
And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly amazed, and sore troubled.
Webster's Bible Translation
And he taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and began to be greatly amazed, and to be very heavy;
Weymouth New Testament
Then He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be full of terror and distress,
World English Bible
He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be greatly troubled and distressed.
Young's Literal Translation
and he taketh Peter, and James, and John with him, and began to be amazed, and to be very heavy,

And then I seriously considered unfriending the guy. So-called Christian teachers are the hardest people to correct because they are always so lacking in humility.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ghosts, closets, portals, the meeting of worlds, and the representation of things

I used to watch a lot of paranormal stories on TV. To be expected, I had a childhood filled with annoying demons, ghosts, and the lot. The weird thing I noticed is that so many ghosts on shows like Celebrity Ghost Stories etc... seem to like using doors, especially closet doors. Now, what is that about? It got me thinking.

The idea of portals is nothing new. Special places, which are supposed to join two worlds, abound. The new-age world even has some notion of places on earth which are hell-mouths, the gates of hell. Crystal balls are also symbolic portals. As are mirrors. And pictures of idols. And temples.  One might even say televisions, computers, and phones are portals as well because they bring the world into our houses. I have even heard of people who have received phone calls from dead relatives....yeah, yeah, after the person has died.

Which, of course, makes me think about God's command to Moses: "See thou makest everything according to the pattern you saw on the mount." He said this in his description of the temple of heaven. The holy of holies on earth had carved golden cherubim because there were cherubim in the holy of holies in heaven. There was altar on earth because there were altars in heaven. Same thing with the tongs. Yes, there are even tongs in heaven! Same thing with the veil in the earthly temple and the drapery in heaven. Isaiah 6:1-5

So there seems to be the spiritual reality and the earthly pattern of that reality.
Some verses come to mind:
Let thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
What we bind on earth, God will bind in heaven.
So the two are intricately connected and the earth mirrors (or should mirror) heavenly things.
"Take, eat, this is my body."
"You are my body."

So yeah, back to the ghosts and the closets. And to portals. And to things representing other things. Certain portals and meeting places where earthly and spiritual things meet are forbidden. Some things are encouraged.

Communion and taking the eucharist is a portal. In taking it, we are joined to all the children of God living in the world or in heaven. We are joined even more to God. We are taking spiritual food but the spiritual food also affects our body. When we pray, we're also creating a portal and a meeting place of the spiritual and the earthly world. These are encouraged.

But when we look into a crystal ball, or tarot cards, we're also opening a portal as well.

Some folks think all portals are bad. Some even think C S Lewis descriptions of portals (the wardrobe, the painting, etc) are sinful witchcraft. I'm not convinced of that. A portal is a portal is a portal. The portal's existence isn't the's our entering into it if we are forbidden to do so. I've heard Buddhist masters speak of meditating before a picture or an image they suddenly saw the person in the picture coming to life and walking out of the picture. I believe this. One should be very careful about the power of the human mind to open portals.

Back in the day, when I was a teenager, I would accidentally end up in out of body experiences. I would find myself suddenly in strange places. I came from a family of seers so...when I  began reading paranormal books and reading tarot cards portals opened up. Then about 25 years ago, my first son -- who was about 2 at the time-- he came to me one night and said a hole had opened in his world and it seemed someone was asking him to enter into it. He looked at me intently, "But I didn't." Smart kid!

People have seen hell sometimes or heaven. So the spiritual worlds and the physical world are very near each other. And passages seem to open to those who can open them. God specifically forbids going to mediums, fortunetelling, and certain spiritual practices which open portals. But if such portals open by themselves, that doesn't mean one should rejoice that they are opened. If one can muster up boldness, one should command the spirit coming out of the portal or closet to go to the foot of Jesus. One should not hang out with the spirit or feel special or feel safe. If an angel comes out of the blue (angels never come out of closets, btw) ask it about the blood of Jesus and if Jesus conquered the demonic world, sin, and death, by becoming human in human flesh. Generally, angels show such love and inspire such awe that one can tell they're good...but one never knows.

Anyway, I'm thinking about all this because I was thinking of portals because I was thinking of ghosts coming out of closets and I was thinking of my short story, A Cry for Hire. So I figured I'd write this. I know some Christian folks will be mad at the whole portal thing in that story...but that's how the story presented itself to me and I think it a very Christian story. 


 Not sure what worthiness means but in the Bible there is a lot said about worthiness. Although Jesus saves us from our sins, it seems worthiness is something we have to do ourselves.

One always has to count the cost when one aims for something good! Giving up rendering to Ceasar is hard, battling mammon instead of being on its side is hard. One has to really know what one is doing and be committed or else one will realize too late. It's like when the sons of thunder asked to sit on the right and left side of Jesus. Jesus asked them if they could really drink the cup. Great rewards and great blessings cost a lot. The Bible also talks a lot about worthiness. In several places we're told to make ourselves worthy...or that we must try to be worthy for something. To escape the things coming on the earth, for example. People of whom the world is not worthy. So it isn't enough that we are cleansed from sin, we have to be worthy. So there is a higher journey, something that is higher than mere skin-on-one's-teeth salvation. Even the kind theif on the cross had to count the cost. Although he was dying, he could have gotten a little bit of respect from  the other theif and the crowd (if they heard him) if he had joined in with picking on Jesus. And even speaking out the kindness to Jesus caused him something... breathing and talking while on a cross just to be nice is hard. But he did it.

... Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all
these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. ...
// - 17k

..... Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me ...
// - 17k

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy
of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of ...
// - 18k

All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted
worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. ...
// - 17k

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been
counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. ...
// - 16k

Luke 20:35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in ...

But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection
from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage ...
// - 16k

I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy
to open the scroll or look inside. ...
// - 16k

The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor,
especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. ...
// - 17k

Matthew 10:38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me ...

and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. ... If you
refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. ...
// - 15k

Hebrews 11:38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in ...

the world was not worthy of them. ... of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about
in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. ...
// - 16k

"Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person
there and stay at his house until you leave. ...
// - 16k

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Anti-hero and conservative cultures

I've come to the conclusion that most of the anti-heroes we see in American movies are plain old bull-shit  hipsters, not anti-heroes at all. Sure, they offend and "startle" the rules and morals of their fellow characters in the book that depicts their "world" but they don't offend the liberal American culture at large.  

They may bother us because they are so full of anger or a general hatred for the people in their world or a different set of rules from their society, but let's face it...basically an American writer would find it very hard to write about anything that will "shock" or "challenge." I mean I -- Carole, the religious nut-- find nothing wrong with a heist movie where the bad guys win or a revenge movie where the deserving victim gets murdered by the hero. Is it because I am just so terribly unChristian and worldly? Nah. I'm just used to shifting standards in American literary and cinematic art ...and a culture of grays. I will say it's a culture of understanding, actually. I suppose one can attempt anti-heroes in Christian fiction but many Christian writers know their audiences and will not push the moral envelope too much. They may create an anti-hero but they will so soak the book with his neuroses and explanations as to why he's like that that... after the apologetics is over, we're waiting for him to be healed. And let's face it... a real anti-hero does not get healed. A real anti-hero does not "come around" to the common moral ground of society. 

I'm saying all this because I've been watching some Japanese and Korean films and amazing myself at how conservative and rigid their society is. Literarily, it is very difficult to have even the most worthy of anti-heroes be exonerated by the cops or by society. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Graduation Day

Younger son graduates today. I'm writing the post the day before right now I'm probably getting son ready so we can go on our way to the campus.

Twenty-one years of praying...and I've grown during that time. I so hope the healing will manifest tomorrow at the graduation. For various reasons...few of which are holy. Yes, I want him well...but I want to show the school people a thing or two. Impure prayer alas.

I believe God has healed younger son, that healing is in him and is growing like a seed...blossoming one day into perfect healing manifestation. But another part of me wants it to happen quickly. As a kind of wink from God to me... to say "see, it's not about a formula. I know you want it to be a special day and I'm gonna make it a special day for you." In that way, the idea of God as a CEO who works when we "sets the ball in motion but really doesn't deal personally in the day-to-day nitty-gritty" will be squashed. I will see that he knew what I wanted and gave it at a particular chairos moment that showed he was aware of me in a unique way. Instead of me being and doing the mechanics needed and him rubber-stamping it.

So, today, he's going to leave friends he's known for years. I don't know how much he loves them, how much he understands about his and their place in the world, or if he will see them again. Don't know if he'll care much. Heck I don't even know his sense of humor...but ...

Ah well... will see.  A new day has come (although the car rental guy hasn't quite come yet) and I'm vaguely expecting something wonderful in the future...

But present joys:

No more getting up in the morning from a sleepless night to bathe and dress younger son.

No more sending equally-sleepless son off to school

No more sending him off to school sick because "the school wants him in school and he's been sick all his life and today he's not so sick as he usually is"

No more getting up from a sleepless night to make four or five different breakfasts which he doesn't eat because he's not ready, then watching in sadness as he goes on the school bus without breakfast carrying a lunch he will not eat, then waiting for him to come home starving.

No more lack of control about the food he eats in school

No more waiting for his schoolbus to return and shaking with fear of his returning with some note from the teacher rebuking me for something he did there or something we didn't do.

No more leaps of the heart into one's throat whenever the school calls in the middle of the days for fear of something he did there or something we didn't do.

I dream of the day when other things we consider normal will no longer be part of our lives...but as it is... this day brings a lot of freedom.

But the main thing is: now Gabe is free and out from under their authority. Teachers, parents, ministers, and all those who have some kind of authority over us have the power to curse and to bless us. Now, Gabe no longer has their cursing words: "he can do this but he will never be able to do that." We can speak health and intelligence but it was difficult because he would return to school to deal with people who worshiped their IEP's and who would agree (emotionally, intellectually, spiritually) that this and that about him was incurable, that he could never reach some level. It was a battle, Luke and me against this communal authority's mindset. If one goes to a meeting at the school board and one hears words declaring how far one's child will not go, or how one's child CANNOT learn unless he has a drug, one really should challenge it. Because spiritual law is the same as earthly law: silence gives assent. But it's hard to challenge a table of experts. They think one is in denial; they think one knows best. And although the spiritual thing is to say, "I believe in Jesus' name that your educational knowledge is not better than God's power" one knows best not to say it if one doesn't want to be insulted or reported.

So now Gabe is no longer under their authority. Authority is a powerful thing. Everyday we would pray for him but then we would have to give him to the school and he would be under their authority and the power of their words, words which can curse. To not be believed in, to be gossiped about and disbelieved in. Now, the entire family is free and Gabe is no longer under the authority of those who limit him. This is a new day and a new time in our lives. Our prayers fly to God unheeded. Thank you, Lord Jesus!

I dream, dream, dream of the day my family and I will graduate from this life as we go to the real world that is our true home. Even so, come Lord Jesus. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weekend Movie-viewing: Kurosagi (another wounded Japanese guy)

Saw a Japanese drama called Kurosagi...which means Black Swindler. Basically -- the premise is-- that there are white swindlers. Swindlers who take money from innocent dupes. Then there are red swindlers who swindle people's hearts. And there are black swindlers who swindler red and white swindlers. The hero is a kid whose father was swindled and the father killed himself and others in the family because of it. This kid is on a mission...and I will add he has the same silent wounded intellectual hero thing going for him as all the other Japanese avenger types I've been seeing. Crime fighters as math/intellectual whizzes. Every episode is a challenge and a swindler who gets destroyed...although he has yet to conquer the swindler who destroyed his family, a guy he inexplicably works with and who is dying (I think) and who keeps doing inexplicable thing.  Meanwhile he meets a noble-hearted girl who is aiming to become a prosecutor. He's her landlord. They have this sexual tension and of course he's wounded so...yeah, she has to understand him without him telling her. I really, really, really hate that trope but it seems to happen in all these Japanese movies: woman as supporter/challenger/ and understander Anyway, she doesn't understand in the beginning but soon she does and both of them begin to move intellectually closer. He sees that swindlers probably aren't all bad and she sees that black swindlers probably isn't all bad...because the law really has not helped any of the swindled. 

One of the things I've noticed is the subtlety of the Japanese notion of humility. It's not as if the person is truly humble within but the person must be humble towards others. So even if one is right about something, one keeps silent. This leads to a lot of -- for lack of a better phrase-- "hidden pride" in these characters.

And something else is hidden. They don't explain themselves. Someone else explains their foibles, talents, emotional woundedness, family neuroses. Never the characters...and the person is not really present. Either the person "overhears" the secret of the beloved hero, or the hero hears of the secret love of the beloved. There is no direct explanation of the self. And sometimes there is this strange underlying decision to be cold because life is so hard. The female character therefore has to spend all her time coaxing the guy back to life and out of his self-protective coldness. (Note: I have yet to see a cold female character be coaxed out of her coldness. By the time she's cold, there's no turning back..and she's usually so cold and cruel she has become a monster. (as in the film Audition) And there are few films where guys try to heal a cold woman.

Weirdly, it kinda reminds me of something I connect with. I tend to be very terrible when it comes to challenging someone who has hurt my feelings. Weird, yes. Sometimes I can be  brave and honest but more often than not I want to say something but I don't. Yet there is this wish to be made known and to be understood...just like these noble silent characters. Back in the day I would think of lambs sheared silently who "opened not their mouth" and I was silent not because I chose to be silent but because I was repressed. And I always hoped that when heaven comes and judgment day is here when all secrets in all hearts are opened to all hearts...then those who had wounded me by mistaking me would see where and how and why they were wrong. I still kinda hope for that. But I also kinda hope to be able to stand up for myself as well.

The McDonnell's little Disaster Kit

Okay, so hubby and I were sitting in bed last night thinking about what would happen if the Indian Point nuclear power plant went into disaster mode. Then we talked about tsunamis, earthquakes, etc. A lot of this is because I've been getting dreams and I had one vision about something really horrible coming. Whether to the local area or to the state or to the country, I don't know. But there it is... this feeling that we should prepare.

So in addition to Psalm 91 and using my Christ-given authority to speak to mountains and nuclear disasters, what are we to do? In case of house fire, in case of tornado. We cleared the window on the second floor ...the one which was above the back porch. (His computer was in front of it.) Always good to have a place one can escape through in the middle of the night should a fire start.  And we figured we would probably go to the basement if a tornado popped up. We prayed that we would never be separated from the rest of our family. (That is what many Christians should pray for in these last days. We don't want to have some terrorism  trouble or some moon rock devastate the country and have our kids all over the map.) Then we got to thinking what we would do (not having a car, this is kinda out of the question), where we would go if the county was devastated, who we would hook up with in the neighborhood (a group being better than one family alone) if we couldn't get out of the country (if there are panicky traffic jams or the infrastructure is all destroyed because of earthquakes and people just can't move), and what we would have to pack and where we would put the packed stuff.

So... let's say we get some major bucks: here's what we're gonna do:
In the basement:
A big water-proof bag with sleeping bags.
Three bicycles
Food in non-paper packages
Can openers
Copies of family paperwork

Have course this means cleaning out the books and stuff from the basement.

We thought of which friends we would hook up with a la disaster films. So we won't be a family alone...with marauders and looters around. We haven't told them this yet, mind you.

There are some good ideas on NY preparedness which I have to sort through as well. Anyway, am now not exactly prepared but I'm prepared to be prepared to protect each other, kids, dogs and even annoying indifferent half-feral cats.

Then, if we hear some icky siren blast in the middle of the night or in the day, we are somewhat prepared. Either to camp out in the basement while the tornado or whatever blows over. Or to take stuff out of the basement in the days following. So silly to have to think of these things...but it's the thing to do in these last days when anything weird can happen. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pondering: Salvation through the doctrines of Christ or the person of Christ?

Pondering: Are we saved because we know all the doctrines of Jesus or because we know Jesus and Jesus knows us.

This is true: What we know about Jesus is what makes us love Him. We could not love Him so much if it weren't for what we believe about his work, his person, his sacrifice. Yet, in the long run...are we saved because God has ordained that we should believe several doctrines about Jesus....or are we saved because God has told us to love His son and to believe on the love His son has for us?

Are we saved because we believe in the doctrines about the inerrancy of the Bible, the nature of God, hell and heaven, man's need of God.....or because we Jesus loves us and knows us?

Is it a heart/love thing....which it the person of Jesus who saves us? Or is it a mind/doctrine thing...which is we know and believe all the things we should know and believe? Or is it an action/legalistic thing...which is...we do all the things we are supposed to do in order to get saved?

I suspect we are saved because God knows us and we are known of God.
But if any man love God, the same is known of him.  1 Corinthians 8:3

But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Galatians 4:9

It is wise to know all the doctrines of Christianity and to believe them. (I'm talking here about the Biblical truth and not the various confused doctrines and traditions of men) But let's remember that what saves us is the personal relationship with God. We trust in Him everyday. We walk and talk with Him everyday. We laugh and cry with Him everyday. We are led by Him everyday. We are not led by our doctrines or our own ideas, but we are daily led by Him.

At the end of time He will say to some, "I never knew you." And he will say to us, "I knew you."

The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A strange wonderful little meaningful thing

Okay, this will make some folks laugh and snigger goes:

I was playing Othello against my computer when I got a call from someone I met on the internet. I was talking to her on the internet where she has a radio show and she was talking about how she needed prayer so I sent her my tel #. She called and I got up from playing the Othello game. We prayed, a really wonderful time of prayer then we hung up and I went back to my computer. I sat there looking where to click on the game and that's when I saw it....when I left the game the entire gameboard had been in this beautiful symmetrical design. It was as if my eyes were suddenly tuned and I saw the perfect beautiful SYMMETRICAL pattern. Now, this is not the kind of thing one would see at all. And there is no way I could have planned this design. I would have had to program the computer to do this. ("If I go here, then you must go there" kinda thing.) My luck with this game is so far 41 wins out of 388 games played. I had left the game the minute when she called and it turned out to be the PERFECT time to leave it because if I had played another move the pattern would have been lost and I would not have noticed it at all. I mean, I never look at the patterns the black and white discs are making when I play the game. 

If I had not gotten up, I wouldn't have left it in this perfect pattern.
If my eyes had suddenly not SEEN the pattern, it would have been lost. 

My eyes actually widened at the pattern because it was so perfect and the timing of me getting up and leaving it, then suddenly being drawn to see it...well God had to be doing it. To make the pattern, to delay the pattern from being changed before I saw it, to make my eyes see the pattern when I returned.

I was utterly stunned. I wish I could explain to you how perfectly beautiful and symmetrical that pattern a rose window...and there is no way I could have blundered into it ..It had to be that God had been leading me without me knowing it.

That's when it dawned on me that God was showing me that we are in the middle of things, floundering around, but even then we don't see the beauty he is creating. I wish I could explain the weirdness of this situation. But it gave me a great peace...because it showed me two things. 1. God is working in us, even when we are stumbling around and don't think He is. 2. After the troubled situation ends, we will see that God was working with us all the time. (kinda like all those times in the Bible when God says "after the miracle then you will know I was with you." and "after you have brought the people out of Egypt then you will know I was the one who led you out." and "After you are healed, then you will know it was I who healed you." So many signs from God are understood as signs only AFTER the accomplishment of some deed that depends on faith in his spoken. 3) After the troubled situation ends, God will let me see the great pattern I was making and working through in my life.

This game pattern thing is the sort of cute thing God does with me. (I'm sure he has other personalized cute way of talking with others who are his people.) ..and I realized it also connected with 1 Kings 12 (or was it 1 Kings 13?) when the prophet got a word from the Lord about Jeroboam but then didn't listen to the word because someone older said to discard and dismiss the personal word he had received. Sometimes we get a word (or in this case a pattern) from the Lord that tells us something. It speaks to our heart but others might consider it totally weird and something created out of our own minds (I'm telling you I looked everywhere on the internet for this particular pattern to see if it came up often in game play...and this pattern was NOWHERE!) Yet, when folks don't believe the vision -- or the pattern-- we have to hold on to the visionary hope and insight we have been given. To share it by telling it to some more rationalisitic people (or pessimistic people, or people who live in a closed universe) is like casting pearls before swine sometimes. Because they don't think God would play like this or that God doesn't communicate like this or that God might be communicating but that you're putting the wrong interpretation on it or that you're just seeing things. But if the power of such a sign (or in this case the Othello pattern) was so strong as to make me sit back in wonder, then I will share it because I believe it's God winking at me.

It also connects to a sermon I heard about trusting in the word of God. Although we get visions or dreams or signs/patterns in Othello gameboards, they must point to God and God's word. So seeing the pattern reminded me of God telling us that the daystar will rise in our hearts (there are things we will know in our spirit) and yet, we have A MORE SURE WORD of prophecy...which is the Bible. God has said He will restore us...and so although He restored and showed the created pattern, my hope in his restoration isn't in the sign alone but is in God's word. 

Commit all thy way to Him and He will direct thy paths.

It is the Father in US who does the works.

He is the vine and we are the branches. 

Christ in us..the hope of glory.  

‎"For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."  Habbakkuk

Shout for Joy -- Hallelujah (Indian Christian Song)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Nutty "great women": Jane Austen, Madame Guyon, Mother Theresa

Ah, Jane Austen! Ah, Madame Guyon!

Okay, okay, it's not always about the women but I'm talking about women today. One of the best biographies I read was Lytton Strachey's bio of Florence Nightingale. Ah, Florence. So perfectly odd, so psychologically perfect for her times.

So Madame Guyon writes an entire autobiography about giving up her selflessness and yet -- Good heavens!-- the book is replete with selfishness. A couple of things in the raised eyebrow department: She goes off and leaves her kids...and when they dislike her she considers this a trial sent from God. Duh? Jeanne? You deserted them and decided it was best to be with God than to rear them!!!! Then there is her terrible calamity: her husband has gout. How she suffers because of this! Really, Jeanne? NEVER once does she even state anything showing she understood his pain or suffering. Her entire book dedicated to being selfless and dying to self has sections and sections where her entire selfisness leaks out. It would be funny but for the fact that folks read her autobiography without really knowing this. We understand that she believes her mother didn't love her and didn't bond with her mother because her mother didn't pay attention to her...but do we go to the balancing part of this life and say, "But hasn't she deserted her children in the very way her mother deserted her?" I kinda hope she had been knowlegeable about her own woundedness and that her love for God was merely a weird deification of being special to a "special" man..Jesus being the ultimate lover...  It's a pitiful and un-self-aware autobiography. Every other second something so weird and selfish peeks out that one cringes. It's like one of the most self-deceived selfish spiritual writings about selflessness. Ah, the human heart is deceitful (and wounded) above all things...and desperately wicked! Who can know it?

Then there is Jane Austen... seen so often as a symbol of feminine strength. Another one with a rejecting nutty mother. So many feminists might say she avoids marriage for some deeplly ultra advanced feminists reasons but the nutty mom, folks! The discarded brother! And what the heck is it with naming perfect characters by her own name? Yes, Jane Austen characters named Jane. WTF?

Ah, not that psychology could have helped these women...people nowadays are as blind to their own emotional wounds and woundings as these folks are.

Hubby used to go to a male retreat at our local convict given by a guy who used to work for Mother Theresa. Let's just say that Mother Theresa was a pretty tough nut. I think also about my former priest who now goes about the world teaching the world about gay theology and love. In person, the guy can hold a grudge like you wouldn't believe! ( I won't mention his name cause he's pretty famous now, but yeah... seeing his talks in the media makes me want to giggle.)

When folks talk to me about St Francis and St Clare, I have to raise my eyebrow. These folks are human. They are holy yes, but there is always something inherently odd and imperfect in human holiness. So yeah, I'm saying St Francis is not perfect and there is definitely some psychological stuff going on there.  I read about the life of Elizabeth Ann Bailey Seton and I just roll my eyes. (No, I don't pick on Catholics alone... those are just the types I can think of right now because they're the ones who are praised as saints... and (because of my own upbringing) I have some issues with religious authority and supposedly perfect saints. I like em, don't get me wrong. But I can see through the weirdness.

Yeah, I know... what will folks say about me when I become famous? I hope I'll be transparent and folks can see through me. I hope I MYSELF can see through my own bullshit.

It's not only religious folks who are this un-self-aware. Other folks who are supposedly enlightened can be a piece of work. I mean Tolstoy was pretty creepy to his bastard son. And it's not to say that the works of these women are imperfect or that Madame Guyon is unholy...but it shows how easily the human soul can deceive itself and how we must be so careful in honoring all humans...even the literary and religious ones.  It doesn't mean we should throw away their works but it makes us see that God is able to work in and through anyone. The only person we can truly honor and worship is Jesus. We can't go getting caught up with praising and worshiping self-deceived humans.

See, this is why I like Peter and Paul. The Bible makes no attempt to perfectionize them. Peter was a schlub before the holy spirit came to him and he remains a schlub after. Even after Jesus changes his name from Simon (a reed) to Peter (a rock), Peter's wimping out and avoiding the Gentiles years later just because "important folks from James in Jerusalem" are visiting. As for Paul, he himself says how weird he is. He does this great theology but it's intermixed with him whining about people not respecting him...and folks seeing him in person and thinking not too highly of him. See, the Bible doesn't want us praising supposedly perfect people. Only Jesus is to be praised. 

Self and legalism

How utterly difficult it is to get some devoted folks to realize that all their efforts to be good, all their rules based on the Sermon on the Mount about how to live a holy a subtle spiritual trick of self. They try in their own strength to forgive their enemies, they try in their own strength to die to self!... when all that is needed is Jesus making us die to self.

It's easier for a monk to give up on the world than to give up on Self.

The Lord generally doesn't explain things to our human understanding. The Lord explains things to our spiritual understanding. This is one reason why God uses dreams and Jesus uses parables.

We can do NOTHING of our own will. Repeat: we can do NOTHING of our own strength. This is difficult for folks to understand, but I repeat.... even when we try to be holy in our own strength, the way the human spirit works is that all this striving and "will-worship" will lead us to either failure or success...and this success will lead us to trusting in self for our own righteousness.

What changes us or makes us holy? Only the word of God purifying us from within. Read the word ..not to pride ourselves in how holy we are that we have read the word...but read the word because the very act of reading it makes the word alive in us. We do not change ourselves by reading the word and deciding to be good. We read the word and see the mirror of ourselves and our God in the word....and when we understand it...then the word itself changes us. Again, the word doesn't change us because we decide to change. But the word changes us because we have read and understood it. It is God inside us Who does the work.

The same goes for preaching. We cannot trust that preaching will convince anyone of anything. The greatest sermon is nothing unless God chooses to use it. The worst sermon is the height of power if God chooses to use it. Anyone can love a great oration, anyone can be stirred to love God because of a great sermon, anyone can be made to feel guilty because of a great sermon. But the sermon that causes someone to FOREVER part from his self, the world, the devil, his legalism, his own self-righteousness, his strange/childhood/wrong notions of God and coming to see and truly enter into a relationship with God as God truly is...only God can do that.

The same goes for praying for the sick or healing. If we have perfect faith, perfect holiness, and we pray for the sick trusting in our knowledge and holiness and faith, nothing will happen. When we pray for the sick we must be aware that God is in us working God's will, and we (with our faith and holiness) are nothing. Then miracles occur. In all things, we must forsake self, deny self, look away from self. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

1 Kings 13 -- By the word of the Lord

One of the saddest sections in the Bible is a section where we read about a prophet who didn't trust something God told him. Or rather, he trusted God's personal word to him...but then someone comes by with seemingly greater authority, some refreshment, a "word from God" (which contradicts the word that God had given to the prophet.)

Now it's hard enough to let God be true when the Word one is following is from Scripture, but when one hears a Word directly from God and no one else seems to have heard it (or the Word is contradicted by someone of importance)....well, it becomes very difficult indeed.

For instance, Paul said, "I heard this from the Word of the Lord, 'We who are alive and remain til the Lord's coming shall not prevent those who are asleep (dead.)"

Paul and the rest of the apostles were always saying something that God had told them in their Spirit. Through Christ, God has made us all prophets and has awakened our spirits to hearing God's voice. What if no one else has heard this same word? If one is convinced the word is from God, best not to disobey it.

One of my favorite verses is found in Romans 3:4 "Let God be true, but every man a liar." 

One must be conceited just enough to survive.

But this sad story in 1 Kings 13 is about a good man, a prophet, who didn't listen to what the Lord had told him in his spirit. The prophet listens to the lies of another prophet. Okay, it wasn't exactly a big lie but it was a subtle lie. The word "angel" can mean messenger. So the aged prophet is subtly lying when he said a messenger sent him. His sons were the "messenger."

Just because one is a prophet doesn't mean one cannot be a blatant or a subtle liar. Look at Baalam. And just because one is a teacher doesn't mean one cannot be a blatant or a subtle liar. The gifts of the holy spirit are gifts and just that. They aren't fruit, which is borne from our own spiritual growth. God is wonderfully giving. He even gave Timothy a gift and Timothy had to be reminded twice to use it. (Probably because Timothy was so shy.)

Anyway, here's the chapter.

And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. 2And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee. 3And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. 4And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. 5The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD. 6And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before. 7And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. 8And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: 9For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.10So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.

11Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. 12And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. 13And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, 14And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am15Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. 16And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: 17For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest. 18He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him19So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.
20And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back: 21And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, 22But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. 23And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass,to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. 25And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.
26And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him. 27And he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass. And they saddled him28And he went and found his carcase cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcase: the lion had not eaten the carcase, nor torn the ass. 29And the prophet took up the carcase of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back: and the old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him. 30And he laid his carcase in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother! 31And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones: 32For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.
33After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. 34And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth.

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