Saturday, September 16, 2006

2006 is Over, Republicans Retain House and Senate

For every mean spirited venomous writer on the left there is a sweet gentle counterpart on the right. Sometimes they are bearers of good news.

Peggy Noonan is just one such.

She writes this yesterdsy:

They say the election is all about Iraq. It's not. It's about George W. Bush. He dominates the discussion, or rather obsesses the discussers.

I think that Americans have pretty much stopped listening to him. One reason is that you don't have to listen to get a sense of what's going on. He does not appear to rethink things based on new data. You don't have to tune in to see how he's shifting emphasis to address a trend, or tacking to accommodate new winds. For him there is no new data, only determination.

You know he means it when he says he is trying to protect America. You know his heart is in it. You know he means it when he says there are bad guys and we will stop them. And that has meaning.

With all this polarity, this drama, this added layer Mr. Bush brings to a nation already worn by the daily demands of modern individual life, the political alternative, the Democrats, should roar in six weeks from now, right? And return us to normalcy?

Well, that's not what I sense.

The Democrats' mistake--ironically, in a year all about Mr. Bush--is obsessing on Mr. Bush. They've been sucker-punched by their own animosity.

"The Democrats now are incapable of answering a question on policy without mentioning Bush six times," says pollster Kellyanne Conway. " 'What is your vision on Iraq?' 'Bush lied us into war.' 'Health care? 'Bush hasn't a clue.' They're so obsessed with Bush it impedes them from crafting and communicating a vision all their own." They heighten Bush by hating him.

One of the oldest clichés in politics is, "You can't beat something with nothing." It's a cliché because it's true. You have to have belief, and a program. You have to look away from the big foe and focus instead on the world and philosophy and programs you imagine.

Mr. Bush's White House loves what the Democrats are doing. They want the focus on him. That's why he's out there talking, saying Look at me.

Which leaves them unlikely to win leadership. And unworthy of it, too.

And that my Friends is why 2006 is now in the bag for the Republicans. Not because they deserve to win or that they did such a good job. But because the Democrats fought the wrong fight. When you hate Bush that much it blinds you to anything else. Place foot directly under gun barrel. Pull Trigger. It's over.


Tent Torn Down

Today the tent is being torn down in a cornfield near Asheville North Carolina. There has been a revival meeting going on there for the last few months. 4000 people have been saved and/or baptized in the nearby river since this revival meeting began in July. The tent meeting was only scheduled for a couple weeks. It just didn’t stop.

I have seen this before. It is a wonderful thing. Even the newspapers reported it. Do it again Lord, do it again.

Friday the President of the United States was asked at a press conference about statements he had made about a third great awakening:
Bush told reporters he has noticed far more people approaching him at public events lately and telling him "Mr. President, I'm praying for you."

The president said he considered the prayer offerings a sign of a "third awakening" of religious devotion similar to the great spiritual revivals that transformed America prior to the nation's independence in the 18th century, and again before the Civil War in the 19th century.

"It seems like to me that something is happening in the religious life of America," Bush said. "I'm able to see a lot of people, and from my perspective, people are coming to say, 'I'm praying for you.' And it's an uplifting part of being the president. It inspires me."

I see it too. Something is up. Dead religion is being set aside for a true spiritual focus on Jesus. Creative new ideas are being implemented by men and women of God to build bridges to the lost. To create an atmosphere for revival. This one intrigued me. Jesus in a beer glass. I wasn't offeneded, I was impressed.

Of course religious people hate revival. Always have, always will. Never support it, never engage it. Persecute it. Jesus was crucified. The Pharisees are still crucifying Jesus.

And, the non-Christian doesn’t have a clue. Deer in the headlights. Look at what Maureen Dowd said about the President’s remarks. She uses a sincere comment by Bush to bash him. They are pitiful and pitiless. The comments on this person's blog show you the "depth" of their hatred for Bush. Blinded by rage they lurch headlong into a hell of their own design.

No matter what you believe, only one is true. Heaven or Hell is the ultimate destination. Religions have different ways of teaching who will end up where. I think it is the ultimate bad gamble to hope things will work out and not explore deeply what it means in God’s economy regarding our eternal soul.

The tent is being torn down today near Ashville. That doesn't mean God is done, it means he is doing a new thing. But, everyone's tent will be torn down. Then what?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Toxic Personalities

When I taught the Dale Carnegie Courses for so many years in the Dakotas sometimes there were people who came to the course as a result of the boss "Sending" them.  They were always difficult.
They didn't want to learn to "Win Friends and Influence People".
So, they were determined to be obstinate no matter how much  I and the graduate assistants would try to help them.
In most cases these were people who were in jobs that required them to have some interactions with others.  They weren't good at it.
I have the full list of all of the "Golden Rules" about how we can become the person we wish we could be, how to have more and better friends, how to keep friends, how to get over worry, how to become a more focused confident person, how to cultivate long term relationships and mostly how to be well liked and happy.
The original list is long, but, over time I have boiled it down to a few on being better with people:
To have more real Friends
    Be genuinely interested in what others are, it's not about you.
    Listen, stop talking, smile, listen, It's not about you.
    Don't argue, they aren't going to change their minds
    Ask questions, encourage for others to talk, It's not about you
    Tell people what you think of them ABOVE where they are, give people         a reputation to live up to.
    Don't Criticize, Condemn or Complain to or about people to others
To be happier:
    Learn to say Thank You.
    Most people don't think good or bad of you, they don't think of you at all,     It's not about you
    Be yourself, don't imitate others,be transparent, admit mistakes
    Lincoln said, Most people are about as happy as they make up their mind     to be.     
    Hamlet said, Things are neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so
    Fill your thoughts with peace, courage, health and hope.
Last, It's not about you.  Unhappiness and a self absorbed personality pushes people away instead of attracting them to you.  Worrying all the time about what others do or don't think of you or what their motives are is borderline insanity.
It's also a toxic personality.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Truth is Out There - or not

I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, you know, Hitler and Elvis are still alive and that guy that invented the 200MPG carburetor sold it for $50,000,000. I know it’s not true but its fun.

But in today’s world there are many really whacky theories promulgated mostly from the left. They have little concreteness lof any real ideas to offer the American voter so they manifest and propagate these inane ideas like:

  • The Government (CIA Probably) blew up the Twin Towers
  • NO WAIT The Jews blew up the Twin Towers
  • Bush's people blew holes in the dikes in New Orleans (Spike Lee)
  • And Oil Prices are dropping due to the Fall Elections

I wish the government (Bush) had the absolute power people insist it does. It does not. In fact, it's kind of anemic.

When bad things happen, these people MUST blame someone. And if good things happen, be sure to give no credit to anyone right of center and certainly not that anti-christ Bush. National Review Online has a great article you should read on these wacky conspirator revelators. Here's a bit of it:

“Conspiracy theorist” isn’t quite right either. These are priests of the Church of Conspiracy, a heresy of Gnostic heresy which holds that man is the ruler of history, the demiurge of all events that befall us. Powerful and unseen forces lurk in the shadows. The conspiracy theorists know they’re out there, even as the enemy’s name changes almost daily: Big Oil, capitalists, Republicans, or perhaps those eternal pullers of mankind’s puppet strings, the Jews.

The masons of dementia build upon a bedrock of one absolute truth: Bad things happen, and someone must be responsible. Upon this bedrock they pile convenient and selective facts like bricks. Contradictory facts are clever lies. When Popular Mechanics debunked 9/11 hokum, the immediate response from conspiratorialists was “cover-up!” and “CIA front!” because in this perverted faith, denying the ultimate truth must be proof of a lie.

This rough beast slouches toward sedition because it assumes not that our leaders are knaves or even mere criminals, but that they are murderous Supermen with no loyalty to nation, decency or law. Our Constitution is a fraud, a charade for the rubes some of us naively call citizens. If you disagree, you’re either fool or “in on it.” In his 1964 essay, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” Richard Hofstadter demonstrated that this fever of the mind is as old as America itself and its outbreaks flare up across the ideological landscape. What is so sad and frightening is that this diseased thinking is reaching epidemic proportions. More than a third of Americans believe the U.S. government was likely to have been involved in 9/11.

Oliver Stone and Michael Moore have done their best to inflame an ignorant unthinking portion of our country. I guess when what you believe in is every day shown more and more to be false, you will believe anything no matter how weird to desperately hang on to your warped view of the world.

I Investigate Nancy Grace on CNN Headline News

I am not a fan of Nancy Grace. She is a shrew. She has a yelling and screaming show on CNN Headline News. The only thing that allows me to know that she is still there is that she is on right after Glen Beck. I can't stand to watch her. I have tried. She's sickening.

After what I would describe as a Salem Witch trial by Ms Grace on Video the persecuted mother of a missing child who MS Grace accused of murder killed herself. No Judge, No Trial, Just an Executioner. Ms Grace. Salem.

MS Grace pleads innocent. Yea right.

It reminded me of a reporter who got the snot kicked out of him the other day in California. I had no pity for this idiot. The bad guy he was dogging was a bad guy. But in typical journalist style he dogged him anyway. Clue Video boy. You don't lean into the punch. You don't spit into the wind. If you jump off a high ladder you break a leg.

He got his nose busted instead. The guy he was invesegating beat him up. Bad. I have no pity.

Now he's crying the blues. When did news reporting become sacred? If he were a law enforcement officer I would be sympathetic. But he was a hack reporter who placed himself in harms way and suffered the consequence.

So Ms Grace - shame on you. Wheather that woman was guilty or not, her blood is on your hands. You are not Judge and Jury even if you act like one.

And to Mr. Brokennose. Tough Cookies. Wise up.

I'll bet you don't pull that kind of stupid manuver again.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sentiment from the Front

I have been accused of being just a little harsh, just a little critical, just a little direct by some readers in ministry who email me and say, Gene, "For a  Christian you...........".  To which I say, "you don't know what you are talking about.  You know nothing at all about the battle for the souls of men".
They are reading the WWJD version of the Bible and fail to read the real version.   It's all kisses and candycane to them.  No blood no whip no cross.
So, for a perspective from someone on the field on the frontlines of missions work fighting the battle for real I offer this (Emphasis Mine) excerpt from a missionary newsletter:
Hey! Spud killed a rat, actually in the last 4 days we killed seven rats. The neighbors decided to remodel their house. Guess who decided to move?  The rats! The moral of this story is that nothing reinvigorates Spud like a good ‘rat fight’, kind of like his owner. I’d decided to park the ‘Soap Box’ for 2006, I upset too many people! And, I am familiar with the proverb: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger, the tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.” And, “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace…” So, I decided to shut up, but then…, Spud killed that big rat….

So, “Drag out that box Spud!” Up I go… Now, I have a proverb of my own, “Never trust a friend who is afraid to make an enemy.” Why? They won’t tell you the truth. I know I have a big mouth, considered by some to be a ‘Smart (Biblical word for donkey)’, but I don’t lie. Do you know what got Stephen (the early church deacon in Acts) killed? It was his big mouth. He told the truth. If he had just left the verses in Acts 7:51-53 unsaid, he’d probably have lived a lot longer. But then God used that event to turn Saul around, and scatter the church to build the kingdom of God. Not a bad exchange.

So, why not just be a nice guy; promote world peace, etc.?? I’d probably retain more donors. We’ll, what about your favorite camp bracelet, “WWJD” (What would Jesus do?). I know, He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God”, so, there is hope for the wimps of the world, but what did he DO?? Hmmm?? He stood outside the temple weaving a whip (don’t tell me this wasn’t pre-meditated) as he watched the merchants inside making a fortune off God’s people, then He went inside and drove them out. (Jn 2:15) he called the Pharisees “Vipers” and “Whitewashed tombs”, not exactly terms of endearment, because they were taking widow’s, and even their parent’s money, and claiming it for God’s use.

Why do I stir up so much controversy? Because, the same thing is happening today with a lot of “Rip off Christian” organizations taking money from God’s churches and doing no ‘Kingdom good’ with it. They talk ‘Christ’ to the churches, and then never mention His name in the field; they love to talk about good works and “pre-evangelism”. They tell heart wringing stories about building schools, orphans, or rescuing prostitutes (and manage to get them beaten or killed), while raising millions of dollars in the name of Jesus, but are so afraid of loosing their secular funding, they won’t mention His name to those who most need to hear it.

Are you mad at me yet? If not, this should really stir things up. I have a suggestion, before you write another check, due to the emotional tug of these hucksters, find out how many souls are entering the Kingdom of God. What good are you doing, in an eternal sense, if you take a hungry, desperate, person and turn them into an educated, self satisfied, contented person, if in the process they never come to Christ? Good works, coupled with the Gospel, are powerful. That is precisely why Paul told Titus (3-14): “And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful” Make no mistake, the fruit Paul was talking about was souls.

The truth is that good works alone may do more eternal harm than good, if they eliminate the spiritual hunger that could lead people to Christ.

“Spud! Why are you growling at me? You got your rat, let me have mine!

Back boy! Bad dog!” 

There are ministries, even high profile ministries I will not support.  Some even some run by friends of mine.  I would like to tell them the truth but I may not have earned the right for them to hear me yet.  If I am going to put my life on the line to raise a half million dollars for some ministry it better be demonstrating the ability to get results for the kingdom or don't come knocking.

I offend a lot of people, but as the old saying goes, if something offends you then it must have revealed something in your heart.  We are never offended by non issues to us.

I was appreciative of Barry Kolb taking the initiative to support some schools in Liberia instead of certain high profile ministries with limited success, or of Don Lyon who is in the middle of an expensive building program setting it back by raising nearly $50,000 in one Sunday for a Ugandan Orphans of Aids Mission.

That's meat and potatoes front line missions work.  Watch out little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear.  There are seducing spirits everywhere.  Even in the Church.




The dangers of Blogging While Angry.

I wrote a nasty mean piece of villification which I don't repent of as much as repent of the lack of literate tone.

So, I rewrote it. It's almost readable now.

I would ask you to read it again. It bears repeating. Thank you for your indulgence and now re-run Turning Evil into Good again.

Your humble rewrite servant.

The Road to Oblivion is Paved With Bad Intentions

I don't like to just cut and past whole articles and usually won't UNLESS they are so good that simply linking to them won't get them read. Gates of Vienna (the blog) is one of my "Favorites". Level headed, european in scope. You can read it in it's origional form with all the hyperlinks.

The Road to Oblivion is Paved With Bad Intentions
by Dymphna

Larry Kudlow warned the MSM about their hubris, using The Washington Post’s front page report from Tuesday on President Bush’s 9/11 anniversary speech:

Keep misunderestimating President George W. Bush as The Washington Post did this morning on its front page when it trashed Bush’s 9/11 speech to the nation.

Curious, I wandered over to Wapo’s front page "news" (subscription required) for 9/12 to see what they had to say. Kudlow was right: it was not a straightforward news report, it was analysis veneered with a thin layer of events, and larded with snarky asides. Here is one such passage:

The president’s painstakingly choreographed day was intended by the White House to recapture — at least for a moment — the sense of shared purpose that prevailed in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

But Bush faced a tall order. Although he urged Americans last night to “put aside our differences,” Democrats have been attacking the administration over Iraq and Bush’s national security record, hoping these issues will help them reclaim one or both chambers of Congress in November. Polls suggest the public does not accept Bush’s contention that the war in Iraq is a “central front” in the campaign against terrorists.

Last night, Democrats said Bush politicized the Sept. 11 anniversary. “The president should be ashamed of using a national day of mourning to commandeer the airwaves to give a speech that was designed not to unite the country and commemorate the fallen, but to seek support for a war in Iraq that he has admitted had ‘nothing’ to do with 9/11,” said Sen Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).

Bush has sought to shift public opinion in the past two weeks with speeches aimed at explaining the nature and goals of radical Islamists and putting the war in Iraq in a broader — and, he hopes, more popular — context.
And as Kudlow reports, while the MSM continues on this road (the one to oblivion, not the one paved with good intentions), in the real world — the one where people put their money where their mouth is — things are looking good for the Republicans. is showing gains for the Republicans in the November elections:

The Senate GOP ‘06 contract is up to 84 from 78 just a few days ago. And most important, the House GOP contract is up to an unbelievable 46 today, compared to 38 just a few days ago. Especially for the House race, this is big news.

Kudlow also chortled over the strong gains in the stock market today, following the events of the 9/11 memorial and speech. Traders love tax cutters, despite the foils and curses of the economically illiterate MSM.

Dow 11,498.09 +101.25
Nasdaq 2,215.82 +42.57
S&P 500 1,313.11 +13.57
NYSE 8,348.32 +86.15

The learning curve for journalists seems to be infinite. Somehow I don’t think they’ll ever get over the fact that Woodward and Bernstein are your father's journalists, and Vietnam is so 20th century that as a meme it's road kill -- very flat, not much left of it. Certainly not enough to dine out on anymore.

Along with their Dem pals, the MSM continues to wander the halls, hoping that things will change. But "things" have changed; it's the Dems and the MSM who are stuck in a time warp where doom and gloom cloud the atmosphere with threats of scarcity and chaos.

Blinders and wishful thinking don’t make for a sane foreign policy or for prosperity at home, guys. Bad science, bad economic theory, and ignorance of history lead you to the dustbin. Oh, well -- you'll have lots of company as the unions jump in with you. Perhaps being wrong — dead wrong — is less painful when you have lots of company.

All I could say was AMEN, they said it so much better.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Oil at ~ $45 as predicted and Gas at $2

I have much faith in the spoken word of God to my spirit. I know that freaks many people out. It shouldn’t. It’s available to all who will just be still, are full of the Holy Spirit, know what his voice sounds like (it sounds like you), and know how to discern.

Jesus said my sheep will hear my voice and know me. I hear it and I’m a sheep.

Last December as I waited for the Lord to give me whatever he wanted me to share with you all he gave me a word regarding gas prices. I have been confident in that word but have wondered when it would happen. I’m confident in all his word, spoken and written.

He said to me:
Oil prices will begin the year at $60 crude. Thru an attempt to manipulate the market some time in 2006 crude will breach $100. This manipulation will fail and the price will fall to $45. Your security isn’t in cheap oil. I can and I will provide all you need. In 2006 a new energy source will be revealed. In 2005 my prophets told you of this impending discovery. When you see it you will not recognize it. But I will provide. I am Jehovah Jira.

Now oil prices are $64 today and dropping. Gasoline is $2.00 in parts of Iowa and that price is spreading fast across the nation. It’s still $2.50 in our area.

Of course alarmists are saying it won’t last, this is an illusion. I’ll check with the expert of the ages on what he says. I’m not panicky.

But what about the price thing? Last fall the price of Gold was $448 per ounce. Today it is $583 per ounce. This also means that in real dollars as per the time of the prediction the price is about where He said it would be. That makes the current $64 price in real last fall dollars at the time of the prediction $48 per barrel in last fall money. The real proof of the pudding is $2 gasoline. A price everything inside me said was a real price. I even said it earlier.

So could it happen exactly as predicted yet? Perhaps. I just know our security isn’t in cheap oil. There are new things coming on. When the creative heart of God is released in man’s spirit supernatural breakthroughs will take place. They already are.

I haven’t heard the news media talk about his much; I haven’t seen those pictures of high gas price signs. Sigh. I guess it doesn’t matter when prices go down and people settle down.

Turning the Bad of 9-11 into Good

I’m not happy 9-11 happened. I am happy with some of the net results of 9-11. It wiped the mush off our goggles and have allowed the country I love to begin to think and see clearly again.

Things I’m glad have happened as a result of 9-11:

1. Air Base Baghdad and Air Base Kabul. They aren’t perfect yet but they provide a visible restraint on the nutcases who want to kill us all. I wish we were further along in securing them but we will. I hope our men and women stay there for a hundred years. We still have work to do. We also will win the hearts and minds of Arabs as we do what we must to stabilize the Middle East.
You also see others who criticize the American response to the attack calling it "savage" or "brutal" which are words commonly used by the Arab media that at the same time ignores the savage brutality of the attack in the first place.

2. Saddam is in jail. His boys are gone. He is and was an evil man who unabashedly hated the USA and Israel. He was the centerpiece for a culture and movement that rubbed our noses in our incompetence and timidity before 9-11. Guess what spiderhole boy, we ain’t timid no more.

3. Our REAL Enemies have revealed themselves. We now know exactly who they are and every day we kill some. Sometimes we let them live in captivity. They hate us and we must crush them every chance we get. You don’t negotiate with a snake, you kill it.

4. Syria and Iran have been revealed as state terror sponsors. No more Mr. Nice guy with those thugs. Oh, and Nukes, you get one, it will blow up in your house, not ours. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to kill every American man woman and child if he gets the chance. He won’t if I keep my gun cabinet full of deadly weapons loaded.

5. Russia and China have been revealed for who they really are. They are not our friends allies. All the nicey nice talk is stifled by the lack of support for what needs to be done.

6. Europe (except for Britain) has been shown up for the paper tiger it really is. This will get some legitimate governments off their behinds and cause them to defend themselves. I only wish it wasn’t the French working in Lebanon. My hope is Europe will wake up and learn to fight again. NATO is a joke.

7. The Taliban are gone, yes they try to come back, and we kill them again. We must. They're like ants in an anthill. You can’t kill them all until they congregate. Let’s have a Taliban convention and ……….. There’s a Toby Keith song to that effect.

8. All this disaster has focused our country on the real menace facing us. We are arguing less and less about if there is danger. We know there is a real enemy and he really wants to kill us.

9. Left Wing Delusions have been exposed. There are still a few deluded people who don’t think we have to take the battle to the enemy. An equally deluded media encourages the confusion they feel. One benefit of 9-11 is the deluded masses are exposed for what they are. Those on the left do not understand what it will mean to them specifically if this war is lost. Everything they hold dear is over when the Taliban comes:
……..precisely the values that modern liberalism had done so much to promote and protect for the past 40 years: civil rights, gay rights, feminism, privacy rights, reproductive choice, sexual freedom, the right to worship as one chooses, the right not to worship at all. And so they bid an unsentimental good-bye to their one-time comrades and institutions: the peace movement, the pages of the Nation and the New York Review of Books, "the deluded and pathetic sophistry of postmodernists of the left, who believe their unreadable, jargon-clotted theory somehow helps liberate the wretched of the earth," as Mr. Rosenbaum wrote in the New York Observer in 2002.

10. 9-11 and the Iraq war have exposed the anti-American media in our country. All the leaks, treasonous reports and un-American things the press has engaged in has done two things. Caused people like me to doubt most of what I read in newspapers. And to look for the bias in what I do read. They are exposed for the traitors they really are.

11. The weak, ineffective and unpatriotic behavior of some of our elected officials is disgraceful and has taken the mask off of who they really are. They are exposed as people of bad faith. They have given comfort to the enemies of America over and over again. I hope that people now see them for the weasels they really are.

12. I am thankful that we have learned to fight again as a country. Yes there are a great number of pantywaists in our country, but there is a brave noble cadre who make up the new greatest generation ready to fight the most dire threat this country (and Western Civilization) has ever faced. That is not only my opinion. It’s the opinion of many. You my friends are part of the greatest generation. Opposition to courageous action is nothing new. Most of the citizens of the USA didn’t want to go to war with Hitler in 1940. That is not until Pearl Harbor. 9-11 was a greater travesty than Pearl Harbor. Even after Pearl Harbor there was nearly a majority who didn’t want to go to war. That’s why we have leaders. That’s why we trust them to do what needs to be done.

When we survive as a country it will be in spite of the opposition from within and without. From without I understand the battle, from within I do not. Dissent does not include putting my loved ones in harms way be your words and actions. That's sedition.

It’s time to decide what side you are on. There are only two. You must choose. This is a pretty black and white choice. As President Bush said to international governments after 9-11, you are either with us or you are against us. Neutrality is no longer an option.

We are at war, either here or there, we are under attack, either here or there, we will take casualties either here or there. The choice is ours. I choose there.

If we take this battle to them, they take casualties too. And in the long run I’m betting on our war capabilities and the goodness of the American spirit. Oh, they can run and hide, they can shoot from the caves, drive the car bombs. But with every bombing we get better, with every attack we get smarter, with every incursion we get more savvy. They do too, but we have the right stuff to beat them if our elected officials will let them do what they are designed to do as an armed force. Kill the enemy and destroy his things.

This is going to be brutal, it’s going to be bloody, and it’s really only just begun. We must be ready for decades of this war. We must win. If the traitors and cowards among us don’t defeat us from within we will win. Winning means we are no longer faced with an organized enemy who launches mass attacks against innocents in the USA. That will be victory. But it will never be as it ever was. That was a fantasy world we pretended to live in. The price of peace is eternal vigilance.

Peace and victory is our only option or we will live in submission to an occupying power and ideology that hates everything about us.

I choose Victory first and then Peace.

How about you, what side are you on? There are only two.

Thou Art The Man

You know the story. Nathan comes to David, David has commited terrible sin. Nathan tells David a story. David becomes enraged at the protagonist in the story. He says, who is this guy?

Nathan says, You da man.

Usually You da man is a good thing. We say that in a golf game. We say that as a masculine comment. But, sometimes when things go wrong in life and we wonder why what we really need is a mirror. A mirror that can tell us, You da man.

David didn’t like what he heard. He didn’t love the fact that Nathan became his spiritual mirror. Nathan didn’t like it either. David could have had his head for saying what he did and that would have been that. But David feared God more than he feared the worldly consequence of his sin. When we have someone in our life who is a God Agent sent to be a spiritual mirror it can be painful but if we fear God it is essential. We must look ourselves in the face directly and deal with the issues God puts up before us.

This comes up because of a corporation my wife used to work for had a conflict resolution consultant come in and work with the corporation as to why there is so much muss and fuss among the people. After a time the expert went in and sat down with the CEO and said, You da man.

That wasn’t what the CEO wanted to hear. He wanted to find out who was causing all the trouble OTHER THAN HIM. No, the expert told him, it all starts at the top. Whatever problems exist, whatever assumptions your people have, whatever conflicts exist they exist substantially because of you. Your people reflect who you are. If you want change in your organization you must change yourself.

I don’t know if he will. I kind of doubt it. It’s a smaller company. He may not have to. But if the company does or if it wants to grow it will outgrow its CEO quickly. HE is the single limiting factor in the organization. It is ever thus.

I have had this experience in my own life. When I lived in Fargo my combined workforce in the companies I ran at that time was about 80 people. They unfortunately reflected the culture I provided. Our success (creative and aggressive) and our failure (organizational and asset management) flowed from me. Oh, we did OK. We were successful to a point. But to move up took another person. They outgrew me. I began to realize I needed other people’s strengths to help me move ahead.

Same thing happened when I became CEO of a large corporation in Chicago in the mid 80’s. We made bold and fast changes. Heads rolled. Things happened. Results came. But there came a point where the lean sleek aggressive nature had to be moderated with structure. It worked because the naysayers were gone. We never did it that way before was no longer in the corporate culture. We didn’t ask if or how we were going to do thus and so, we asked how soon. The only regrets I have from that experience is not taking action when the time presented itself. If fired too late, stayed with old programs too long, left old systems in place beyond their lifespan. I would have done better by taking action, demanding the system work and putting up with the complainers who said, “I’m not happy about the changes going on around here”. I had a few of those. They didn’t last.

When I left that company, some of the dogged determination and “get things done” spirit left. More meetings. More strategy sessions. More wonkyness. Not bad, it just didn’t flow from me.

This is true in Churches and Ministries. I have several friends in ministry who are tremendous leaders up to a point. Then they hit a spiritual ceiling that sits on top of them that if they don’t’ break thru will condemn the ministry they lead to stagnation in the same place they are today. A year from now they will be fighting the same battles with the same people with the same issues with the same frustrations because they left things the same. Not all change is improvement BUT there is never any improvement without change. Be of good cheer little flock, Change for the most part is reverseable. Unringing some bells can be positive change. It can be a unifier.

I know a pastor (who doesn’t read this blog) who was a tremendous leader. Prophetic gifting. Charismatic. But, the answer person. If an idea didn’t come from Pastor it wasn’t going to happen. When people came to Pastor with ideas or even potential course corrections nothing happened unless Pastor could construe it as coming from the Pastor’s vision. Ego driven Pastorate. This comes from a lack of confidence. That Church is about to close. The building will go up for sale. It lasted 6 years. Grew to 150 people and now is dribbling away to nothing.

The opposite of that is Doctor Owen Weston. When he was the Pastor sometimes ministries would spring up in the building without his knowledge, they would prosper and only after a couple months would he hear of it. People would say, "Wow, that ministry to Mom’s you have at your church is something". He would say thank you and then go back to the church and ask, “Do we have a ministry to Moms?” His churches grew organically because his people were enabled to move with confidence in ministry with confidence. Doc O has written several books on how to do it right. I have always admired him and his vision for allowing the Body to be the Body without the Pastor’s intervention. Most Pastors aren't as courageous or as confident as Doc O.

If you wonder why your ministry is like it is, find a mirror. It can be just a looking glass if you can tell yourself the truth or better still find a person who is a mirror for you who has the right and ability to say, You da man.

Otherwise, be prepared to live in mediocrity and far less than the potential God had prepared for you. It’s about you setting the tone. Whatever is important to you will be important to your people.

Since I have a couple dozen people who read this in ministry I’ll be nice and say, this isn’t about you. Unless it is.

Name the top frustrations you have in your ministry regarding:
  • Giving
  • Evangelism
  • Love for one another
  • Willingness to Change
  • Volunteers
  • Excitement
  • People inviting others
  • People not capturing the vision
  • Passion

Anything that frustrates you about the people you are the leader of as Pastor or Minister in large part flows from you. It trickles down from the top. You know it’s true of all the pastors you know in all the other churches or ministries you know. You are not exempt. It’s you.

You be da man.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Things I Learned this Weekend

I was busy ministry-wise all weekend. Friday night in Bolingbrook, Saturday Morning Men’s fellowship, Sunday Morning Church, Sunday Night Church, Movie on Channel 7 re 9-11.

Sometimes it’s just good to reflect, did I learn anything? I did:

People need to be let out of Spiritual Jail. Sometimes we just need to have someone speak words of release over us. God created the universe with a word. We can cause things to happen with a word of faith spoken over a person in need of a miracle.

People’s troubles are like Hurricanes. Every hurricane starts with a tropical depression. A tropical depression is only neutralized by meeting up with a high-pressure system. Our lives storms start with depression and are only corrected by meeting up with the most high. If you stop the depression, you stop many storms.

Most people let circumstance dictate truth to them. Even when the circumstances they face aren’t the truth of God they are controlled by circumstance.

Most people don’t understand what God’s plan is for the life they are leading. If they did they would walk with more confidence. People are immortal until they have reached the destination they were created for. It’s people who live aimlessly that are subject to being derailed by Satan.

Women are a mystery to Men. That’s good and that’s bad. There are answers. The Song of Solomon reveals the heart of a woman and a man. Get that and you will get it. God wants us to live in fullness in our marriage more than we do. And he has a wonderful way to do it. Dr. Phil doesn’t have a clue to much of this. Most “Christian” books on marriage are pop psychology set to the beat of a few Bible verses and “What a Friend we have in Jesus”. Ignore them at all costs.

When tough times come like 9-11 or Katrina people flee. They become refugees. When tough times come in life, many Christians become refugees from faith. They need to be nurtured and nourished by words of Faith. The must be helped back from being faith evacuees.

Seducing spirits are all around. They are harmless until we pay attention to them. Kent Hunter said this Sunday Morning. He is a good guy and a great grower of Black Walnut. I have seen lots of supposed Black Walnut plantations and never heard of anyone who had it together like Kent did. I look forward to continuing conversations with him.

If we depart from having faith, there is only one place we will live, the state of fear. There is no middle ground in the realm of believing God. A little disbelief can stop a train of faith.

God wants to show off thru us. Let’s let him. We have to find out what that looks like.

I heard the best altar call presentation I ever heard: “If you know you are in spiritual trouble and want to come back to Jesus come up here”. Powerful.

People who are unsure of themselves spiritually, talk too much. I call it the habbada habbbada habbada of spiritual leadership. It can be embarrassing. Once a person gets full of God and overflows in it they use far fewer but far more powerful words. Wordiness is a sign of spiritual immaturity.

Some people, well meaning people, even people who pray in tongues, pray in fear. It’s sometimes called, worrying our prayers. You’ve done it. “Oh, Lord, You see the big trouble we are in, this is a mess, etc”. Whatever is not of faith is sin. So, I don’t know where that stands. I do know this, sometimes praying the “Lord’s Will” is praying in fear. I don’t see anywhere in the word where Jesus rebuked the disciples by saying, “you have too much faith”. His only rebukes in this area were acting in fear, doubt and unbelief.

If someone is going to pray for me, I want them to pray in faith believing. Jesus said that unless you do this, “Let him not expect much from God”. I want to expect a lot from God. So, if it’s OK with you, I’ll pray in faith believing.

I saw the 9-11 film on ABC. This must be a two-headed attack to win this war. First we must crush those who want to kill us. That is war.

Then we must persuade the ones who don’t know of the truth who Jesus really is. This is the single greatest Challenge of the Global Church today. Unfortunately as anemic as the Church in America is I have no hope we can do much other then get out of the way. In fact, most of our missions programs are a waste of time. Only men and women of God from those Countries who can reach them and the converts in their midst can do this. If we support them there may be hope.

And, that’s what I learned this weekend.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

What Really Matters

I watched the Path to 9-11 (at least the part left after I got back from Church).

It was an extraordinary piece of work. I'm very impressed with everything about the film.

I just don't know why we have to be "Treated" to the Nightline people to "Balance".

So, what tomorrow night will bring? I don't know.

I'll watch. Only the truth matters. I want the truth.