Saturday, May 06, 2006
As an expert at being stupid late at night. I know the signs.
So did you. Here is the police report. PK was loaded.
I just wonder how the MSM would have dealt with this if it were Rumsfeld or Rove. Look at how they leapt all over Cheney in his hunting accident accusing him of being loaded. And they constently trot out GWBush's drinking past. Don't wait up for anyone to say anything about the Liberal's Royal Family.
The only comment was that people should be more careful taking ambien. Poopycock. (I spelled it the way I wanted to).
NO, be more careful who you believe in the MSM. They Lie and Spin. Nothing they say is true. It's 1984 in the MSM. Truth is a lie, Lies are the truth.
Friday, May 05, 2006
There are two major categories of prophetic revelation:
The Spirit of God can and does often allow us to see meaning in events, circumstance, relationships, happenstance and seemingly random experiences. You will note I said the Spirit of God reveals these. So, the meaning of these things must come from a revelation by the Spirit within you. Of course, if you don’t have the Spirit of the Living God in you these events will just happen and you will miss the meaning if they had any. I have often said that I see Jesus in everything. Show me a rock, sing me a song, grow me a tree and I can make a parable or a prophetic meaning from it. Does the rock in and of itself carry a message? Not to many. But to some. It’s the Jesus living in me that carries and releases the message. It’s like a TV. An empty cardboard box receives the same signals that a TV set receives. It just can’t interpret them because the box is empty of what it needs to process the signal. On the other hand a TV set can “see” the signal and provide a vision of what the signal carries. Nothing inside means nothing received. Of course some people have the TV innards so to speak but refuse to turn it on or to fine tune the antenna for better reception. Sometimes they find themselves in a place where there is interference or bad reception. Garbage in garbage out.
This is an utterance from God by a prophetic voice. That voice often is in the Bible. Isaiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Jeremiah, Joel, Hosea, Daniel, Revelation. These all contain the objective prophetic utterances of God. No matter how you decide to deal with them, they will be fulfilled with or without your interpretation. You can choose to get in line with the objective prophetic movement of time or be run over by it. So knowing and being on guard for the prophetic triggers in life helps us all operate in more confidence.
The same is with modern prophets. They hear a word or words from God. They provide it to whoever will listen. They say, “Thus saith the Lord”. Or the Lord has told me thus and so. You can both hear and judge what they say or you can poo poo it and decide to let life’s semi trucks run you over.
Both the subjective and the objective require the same thing; a living breathing discerning Holy Ghost Spirit inside. Then like the TV set, it must be turned on, tuned in, and without outside interference.
What amazes me is how people miss it. I guess I have been walking in this so long I don’t get not getting it. I have learned to trust the prophetic voices around me. I have learned to trust the voice of God when he speaks. I have learned to see the signs and times like the sons of Issachar.
I’ve not yet arrived; I probably won’t on this side of the veil. But I can walk in confidence knowing that no matter what, God is speaking loudly and clearly if I’ll just see and hear prophetically both the subjective and objective.
It makes life so much easier and less stressful.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Pray hard. Thats a bumper sticker I see around. I agree with it. There has been a prayer movement in the Church which I endorse and support. Today is the national day of prayer. So we will hear a lot about praying on Christian radio and TV.
There is a problem. Not all prayer is effective prayer. Much energy spent on prayer is wasted and empty. Its not that prayer is wrong but much of what the church calls prayer today is idle words, powerless petitions and hopeless pleas. Gods not mad at us but he does want us to understand him and how we come to him. Hes the one who said, come lets reason together.
Here are the sorts of prayers that will be prayed today without much result:
- Prayer without faith
- Prayer of convention and rote
- Prayer without fervency
- Prayer without trust or belief
- Prayer instead of action
- Prayer instead of authority
- Prayer without specificity
- Prayer subject to circumstances
For clarity, the above are prayers prayed by the saints. The unbeliever who prays a prayer of repentance is always heard. Unfortunately the prayer of the unbeliever who prays without repentance is ignored or worse deceived into believing he or she is heard. A brand new Christian will often pray without knowing what or how to pray. Gods grace is extraordinary for the new believer. But as we become mature we are required to go deeper and further. Soon the Father expects us to grow in faith and grace and pray with effectiveness. When we were babies our worldly fathers loved our baby talk and fumbling ways. Thats not nearly as cute on an 18 year old, and even more painful for a 30 year old. So, believer learn to pray with effectiveness. Stop praying so much. Pray less better. More words does not make better prayer. I told some Pastor friends once, "the church prays too much". You would have thought I killed their dog. But many churches spend far too much time in meaningless empty prayer and zero time in the throne room.
I wont try to teach all there is to know about prayer but in the interest of time and space I offer you these comments about each of the 8 categories above.
1. Prayer without faith. What? But we do it all the time. We pray but we dont really believe what we are saying. We hope and pray but mostly hope. If you cant truly believe it is Gods will and Gods plan for what you are praying stop. You are taking the name of God in vain.
2. Prayer of convention and rote. Here is a sacred cow that needs slaying. Most written prayers, most planned prayers, most books of prayer are ineffective. Inspirational yes. Gives you words to say, a spiritual vocabulary; OK. Worth reading, of course. But not for prayer. Any prayer that is prayed which allows you to walk thru without thinking or faith is a waste of time. This can even mean the Lords Prayer. The Lords Prayer CAN be prayed with effect but usually isnt.
3. Prayer without fervency. Fervency doesnt mean volume. It means passion, belief, desire, fire, faith. It means if its not answered you are surprised even shocked. Thats fervency.
4. Prayer without trust or belief. We pray for things and people and dont believe for a second anything is going to happen. This is most prayer for the sick (which I dont believe in) in the church today. It is prayer for the sake of prayer. I do something even if its wrong or ineffective and hope it counts. It doesnt.
5. Prayer instead of action. I met John Ashcroft Sr. Senator/Secretary John Ashcroft of Missouris father. He once said: You are a part of the answer to every prayer you pray. If you arent willing to be involved in the answer, dont pray. IF we just enforced this, most empty prayers would be silenced. If you pray for someones provision, for someones wholeness in some way you. if you need to do something you must do it. Put another way, if you have a conflict with a neighbor and you dont go to him or her to correct it but rather just pray about it, you are wasting time.
6. Prayer instead of authority. Sometimes we pray when the answer is already given. This is particularly true for salvation and healing. Mostly those things should be confessed or commanded. You have been given the authority. Stop praying. Command. A few days ago I was in a business situation of difficulty. A semi truck had been stopped in Iowa by the police with my product on it. I started to pray. I heard the Lord say, Stop praying. Speak to that mountain. So I did. I stood up, pointed west and commanded the truck to move, commanded the police to let them go. Without any more phone calls, the mountain moved, the truck was released and things were resolved. Jesus never said, pray that the mountain be removed, he said, speak to the mountain. We too often pray when we should speak with the authority we already have.
7. Prayer without specificity. This is too common. We pray a scattergun prayer. Bless them Lord. We have no idea what to pray, we just pray a general prayer. Sometimes we tell the Lord to read someones mind. Lord you know all about this, do whatever it is you are supposed to do. What? What about asking, seeking and knocking? If you dont know what you are praying for then why pray?
8. Prayer subject to circumstances. This is a tough one. We pray like this, Now Lord, you know how our bills havent been paid, and Im out of work, and we need money, and theres no hope and and and. Prayer must be prayed in spite of circumstance. Pray the prayer that says I believe that even though it is not, I pray as though it already was. Have confidence in God.
In the end, there is one catagory of prayer that is always heard and helps us in the infirmities which otherwise might force us to pray like the examples above. That is the prayer of the Spirit. Praying in Tongues. Mark 16:17 The Spirit of God takes our tongue and prays a prayer that is not understood except by him. It takes a prayer of our heart and connects it by the Spirit directly to God. We dont know how to pray but he helps us in out infirmities by groanings and utterances we cannot understand. Rom 8:26. So many times when I no longer knew what or how to pray I began to pray in an unknown tongue focusing my mind on the situation. 1 Corinthians 14:2-4. Sometimes that goes an hour. Sometimes only a few minutes. Ephesians 6:18. But in the end I know that a breakthrough has come and I stop. Going on would be vain repetition. Its a free gift and will help you pray with effectiveness and faith. I have it on good authority that the Apostle Paul recommends it. 1 Corinthians 14:5.
Thank God on this day of Prayer for the gift of Praying in the Holy Ghost. Jude 19-21.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
“If only” is the way it sounds. Or, if when. It’s all about hoping for something that has not yet happened. A tomorrow that may not come. It’s how we are living in the future and missing the glory of the present.
Someday is the operative word. Journey. Growing. Developing.
Those are all words which tell us we are stuck. They sound positive enough but they in fact intimate a not yet which is hoped for. This is living in a never never land of someday which never arrives.
How does this happen and how do we get out of it? How can we stop living for tomorrow and start living today.
Abraham Maslow in the 1940’s developed a chart describing a hierarchy of needs. It looks something like this:
I say something like because there is one added component, that is the spiritual. So instead of the original 5 levels, there are 6.
Let’s see how this can help us live all life has to offer. Each need must be satisfied before the next need can be accessed. Reaching for self-actualization and spiritual fulfillment is the goal. But there are several things that must be fulfilled first. Unless the lower goal is fulfilled the higher cannot be.
Level 1. Body needs=I want to live today. This says, I must survive. I must make it today. I must not die. I must be OK for a while. If a person has a gun to his head he thinks in these terms. People on the battlefield live at this level. I must eat. I must duck. The drowning person seeking his next breath is at this basic level.
Level 2. Security needs=I want to live tomorrow. This is shelter, a little money. Maybe some food. Some level of provision. Once I want to live today is satisfied then living the next and the next and the next month and the next year become important. But, if I am threatened with my life, I fall to level one immediately. I can’t move up the pyramid unless the lower levels are covered. Children look hard for this.
Level 3. Social Needs=I want to belong. This is wanting to belong to a family, a group, a club, a bowling team, a company, a church, something that gives me a sense of connectedness. I want to be loved. Acceptance. This is why we have last names. This is why we marry. This is why we are alumnus of our schools. This is why sometimes we live in community or cities. We have a need to belong. But if my security is threatened this becomes less important. If my survival is in jeopardy this couldn’t matter less.
Level 4. Ego Needs=I want to be respected. This is where we want to feel like others admire or respect us and what we are or can do. We need to feel self-respect and respect from those who we are close to. Demeaning robs us of our ability to operate at this level. We want to feel like we can do what we want to do. We develop a healthy pride. That we are able, capable and autonomous to accomplish whatever we want to. We want to make the decisions in our lives. This is and can be a great place to be but it requires so much feedback from others to validate us. This trap can cause us to be stuck in a role of trying to please others to gain respect when the opposite is often the real generation of respect. We want to be loved but we want to be respected. Many wives love their husbands at a level 3 but don’t respect them at a level 4 and therefore rob them of the capacity to grow into the person they hoped they would marry. They become the destroyer of the person they hoped their mate would become.
Level 5. Self-Actualization=I want to contribute to the world; I want to count for something. This is having, knowing and operating on your purpose in life. This requires a fulfillment that sometimes is anonymous. If you are looking for accolades for you actions you haven’t left level 4 yet. Here’s where you realize you have tremendous potential to change the world for good and you try. Even if you fail you try. Who knows. Your growth is not in what you can do but in who you have become. You give because you know that the joy is in the giving not in the glory that goes with it. You are confident in your ability to do what you feel your purpose on the earth is and was meant to be. You have a sense that this is why you were born and why you get up and put your pants on every day. You are doing what you were created to do. You operate on your own volition because you want to. No one has to urge you to do more or better. You just do. Critical people don’t bother you much. At this level your personality is so healthy and solid that your purpose and mission in life trumps everything else anyone can think of.
Level 6. Spiritual=I know there’s so much more. This is seeking after God with a hunger and thirst that will not be quenched except by more of him. This is living in the fullness every day. Never getting enough, but getting all that you can possibly contain for that day. Never satisfied but always satisfied. God wants us to live here and be fulfilled all the way down.
The paradox of all of this is that as you move up the scale the other things take care of themselves.
So, what does this have to do with stuckness?
Most of us live lower in the pyramid than God intended because we buy the lies of the devil. He traps us into not moving up.
Level 1 lie. You’re gonna die. Health fears. Crime fears. Food fears. The devil traps us by making us believe we may not make it tomorrow. So we are stuck at level 1.
Level 2 lie. You are not gonna make it. You’ll go broke. You’ll lose your house. You’ll live under a bridge. You are one paycheck away from bankruptcy. All of these are lies but people that came thru the great depression went to their graves with money in the bank and never having accessed what God had provide for them and their families because of a stuck ness in fear. What’s worse is this can be so obsessing with many people, this is not love of money, it’s fear. This can become so obsessing that people never really come into the joy of the next 3 levels.
Level 3 lie. Nobody loves you. Not even your family. You are living alone with others. You will never become anyone because you are unlovable. The only reason you are still with the friends and relatives you have is because they have to love you. Nobody at work likes you either. Or at church. They all hate you and talk about you.
Level 4 lie. You are a loser. People laugh at you behind your back. You never finish anything. If it wasn’t for others you’d be nothing. You are a fake. You are low and don’t deserve whatever you have.
Level 5 lie. Nothing you are doing counts for anything so give up. You are on the wrong track. You have wasted your life. You should have given up and retired a long time ago. In fact retire now. The world is better off without you.
Level 6 lie. There is no God. Someone made it all up. You should just stick to making money and forget about spiritual things. Money is all that counts.
Of course you recognize that each of those lies are lies. But the ones at the base that we hear stop us from moving and activating the ones at the top.
If you are stuck lower in life than God created you to be, ask yourself, what lie am I hearing that is causing me to be stuck. What am I waiting for.
The reality is you aren’t going to die soon, you are safe for a long time, you are loved by friends and family much more than you can possibly imagine, you are honored and respected by those around you even if they don’t tell you all the time, you are able to make a difference in the world and God loves you more than you can possibly imagine.
Step out, take your place. Do what you were created to do for your God and for mankind.
Our worries about future security can keep us from being faithful to the Kingdom today. (Matthew 6:19-34)
In the text the theme is unmistakable.
- v. 25 Do not worry about your life…
- v. 27 Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?
- v. 28 Why do you worry about clothing…?
- v. 31 Therefore do not worry.
It was a constant whine. So, who gives authority? What makes authority? What comprises valid authority. How does that fit in with responsibility?
Let’s take a look.
Every employee in every corporation feels like they have far more responsibility than authority. The opposite is true. If they took the authority it would exceed their responsibility. They fail to take both sides.
When is authority given? It is given because someone who can make the decision offers a responsibility to someone. If they shirk or hide or dodge the potential responsibility that comes with the new job responsibility they forfeit the authority that goes with it.
You can’t have authority without responsibility. Responsibility isn’t always about being willing to take the blame. It’s about being responsible. It means being responsible to someone who will end up taking the blame by keeping them covered and informed. Chain of command.
I have never known a person in charge who wouldn’t just LOVE to have people who work for him who will take responsibility and authority in submission to the mission the person in charge has. There are many who would love to have the authority. Few who are willing to shoulder the credit or blame for what goes right or wrong.
This is most often expressed badly in Churches. Churches can be an artificial environment in this respect. Committees and boards love the authority but have no implied portfolio for getting actual results under authority with full implied responsibility. They end up being sideline snipers.
Some pastors struggle with authority. They don’t know how to take it. They want to share it. It becomes a weakness borne from a fear of man.
How did Jesus exert authority? Just like we should. You take it. It’s not given. It comes because you choose to step out, proclaim truth, speak with confidence and integrity. Even the Pharisees were amazed that he could and did speak as a man of authority. The Centurion who came to Jesus understood authority. It comes not because someone else gives it to you , but because you take it. The Centurion said, I am a man like you who is under authority. Who placed him there. HE DID. His authority came from his being under authority. This is the lost truth.
I have a good Pastor friend who humbly says about meetings he attends, “Wherever I sit at the table becomes the head of the table.” How does that happen? Not because of degrees, not because of ordinations, not because of Church politics, not from belonging to some group that tells the world you have authority. It comes because like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day the world recognizes and quickly is ready to acknowledge true authority.
I have another Minister friend who loves titles, loves the long black robes, loves the collar, loves the accolades of being an apostle, bishop, whatever. He is the least person of authority I know. He will bask in the tiny light he has shown on himself.
I have one more minister friend who I love very much that if he would just take the authority he has been given, along with the blame and responsibility that comes with it, his ministry would become all God planned it to be. His timidity causes him to stay in the ranks, in the shadows well below the potential in God he was anointed with.
So, what does all this have to do with the price of OIL? I have always been a person who pushes too hard, takes too much on, and nearly always ends up in charge. My wife is the same way. There has never been a group she gets involved in where she doesn’t become the head person of. How does that happen? How do some people rise quickly and others don’t. It’s all about the balance between authority taken or given. If you want to be the head goose you have to face the most headwind and you are responsible for not leading the flock astray. And you must quickly find other geese to lead when you get tired. Goose leading is no one man show but you must remain in authority even when you aren’t at the head of the V.
This isn’t at all about being a good politician. I’m the worst at company politics than anyone on the planet. I am an equal opportunity offender. I don’t play well with others. The only difference between most others and me is I’m willing to tackle tough things others shirk. I’m willing to take the blows. I’m without fear. I tick many, yea most people off. But I’m results oriented, not methods oriented. Pleasing methods seldom lead to pleasing results, Pleasing results come from unpleasing methods many times. By the time people are still just talking about things, I’ve finished the job. I do the things other people don’t like to do. That’s where authority comes from.
That may be why I so much appreciate our great President Bush. He does what he knows to be right even if everyone hates it and hates him. They make fun, they pick, they snipe and he just gets results.
We need more men like him. He takes authority and accepts the responsibility. That’s more than any president in the last 20 years including his dad. God Bless Him.
Monday, May 01, 2006
On the heals of successful outreach philosophies such as the Emergent Church, the 12/7/12 House Church strategy, Purpose Driven Church, Seeker Friendly Church, the Sojourner Movement and a dozen other strategies, The Values-Neutral Church Model has these 7 principles as it’s basic theology:
- V-N Churches take no positions on anything. Abortion, Homosexuality, Gay Marriage, Drugs, Pedophilia, you name it, you do it, we’ll love and welcome you in. Heck we might even make you an elder. "Judge not" is our motto. We have no stones to throw.
- V-N Churches will never ever express an opinion about anything controversial. In fact we embrace anything you embrace. We aim to please and please we will, by golly.
- V-N Churches are very much against bad things (unless you are for them); in that case we love and agree with you. We are very tolerant. We are against hurting puppies, war, bad people, and narrow-minded people. (You know who you are). We're very tolerant and liberal minded.
- We offer awesome Worshiptainment. We don’t think you should have to learn all those dumb songs. So you just sit back, relax and enjoy the band as it plays it’s worship set for you. We’ll do an entertaining skit. We’ll give you an amusing motivational talk (no more than 10 minutes). We will never embarrass you about talking about sin or hell. It’s just not nice.
- We built our churches in the middle of a growth corridor. The fact that we are growing demonstrates that our church model works well. We will grow and build and build and grow and just give you a great show every Sunday. It’s the best deal in town. We let the next pastor worry about decline (and the mortgage) when the growth around us stops. We think our success (size of the offering and attendance) validates our strategy.
- Bring your kiddos to the the V-N Church. We have games and fun every week. We won’t bore them with all those nasty stories from the Bible. We all know that none of that stuff really happened anyhow. I mean Adam and Eve, Noah, Goliath, Virgin Birth, Get Real! We have all read the DaVinci Code and we believe in evolution. So you can relax. Your children after attending our Sunday School will never find anything controversial to conflict with the fine liberal education they receive in the public schools.
- V-N Churches believe in good marketing. We have hired Jenny McCarthy as the spokesbabe for V-N Church affiliates. We think fine looking blond women with big hooters will bring people to church, don’t you? We have engaged some of the best marketing experts from nationally recognized advertising agencies to promote you and your church. And then there's the sales. Just think of all the CD’s of your messages you will sell. And the Royalties on the books. Heck, you don’t even have to write them, we know you are busy with Golf and can’t be bothered. So we’ll write and market them for you in your name. You’ll be famous.
So, Mr/Ms Pastor, sign up now. We don’t take checks. We do an electronic withdrawal from your bank account every month. We call it our Church-Member-Tithe System. You’ll never have to think about it. We know it’s not really a Biblical tithe (1 Corinth 16:1-2 or Deut 16:17) but we don’t trust you enough to believe you’ll actually give. So we'll just take it.
May the Higher Power
(Whomever you conceive him/her to be, It’s OK with us)
The Bishop at the Value-Neutral Church Movement Headquarters
View Our Video Called "Me Church".
Isn't that the kind of Church YOU want???