Saturday, March 10, 2007

I'm sick of the Fresian Situation, And the Fresians are Sick of it TOO!

They're everywhere and every time theres a crime wave, drug deal, rape or sexual assault you see the unmistakable face of a Fresian in the mugshot.

What's bad is I know many Fresians. They're certainly not all like that but since the look of a Fresian is unmistakable, anyone who resembles them is immediately suspect and considered a bad egg.

In fact, if it's late at night and you are a Freislander driving around with a few of your Fresian Friends you will be most likely stopped and checked out by the cops.

They are distinctive. The talk with kind of a Fresian accent. Tall, blond, blue eyed and a little gawky. That's the distinguishing characteristics that immediately identify anyone who even looks like a Freislander as "ONE OF THEM".

Freislanders have their own style of music. It's considered crude and uncivilized by part of the rest of society. Some of those Fresian Orchestra members can be outlandish in dress, lifestyle and promiscuity. Some in society say the Fresian orchestra stars are a negative influence on young Fresians who want to emulate their heroes who play the cello and bassoons in those Orchestras.

The problem is there is a disproportionate percentage of crime committed by the criminal element in Fresian culture. Many Fresians have a hard time finding good work because the rest of society doesn't want to employ them. Freislanders are considered inferior, stupid and lazy by many people who lump them all together.

The worst is there are Fresian leaders who have used the social and economic plight of the other Fresians to their own profit and power hungry advance. Many Fresians at the beginning thought these Mis-Leaders were there to help. For the most part it just became a scam to enrich a few at the expense of many in the guise of social activism.

Now, we are in a cycle. Fresians can't get a break. The dysfunction in much of the Fresian community where most of the births are out of wedlock, school graduation is abysmal, marriages don't seem to work, and drug abuse is rampant means that something must happen to break the back of this curse.

Fresians are proud people. They came from the Coast of what is now Western Germany. They don't accept direction from other members of German society. They want to solve these problems on their own.

I don't know if they can. I don't know if the society at large has the patience to allow the crime and degradation to continue without taking hard action. The jails are already filled to overflowing with substantially Fresian inmates.

Every time there is a change in government they vow to get tough on crime. Crime means bigger jails with more Fresian inmates. Inmates that aren't fathers, aren't working, aren't supporting their children.

I have no idea what to do, but this much I know, unless this problem is solved we are well on the fast track to social division that will emulate the great social divide between the Fresians and the rest of society that existed before 1960.

Fresians who marched, who fought, who were martyred who were noble will have fought for nothing.

Rise up Fresians. Your future and your children's future is on the line. No one can do it for you, this one you will have to do for yourself. No one is going to finance it. You are close to being on your own on this.

I tremble to think of how badly this could all turn out if something doesn't happen. We already execute 5 times the proportion of Frieslanders in the population today.

Will it be 10 times soon? Will society's ultimate solution be to wipe the Fresians off the face of the earth? How close are we to the breaking point?

Sometimes it's Better to Quench that Hot Iron

The controversial Antonella Barba was recently kicked off American Idol and was interviewed after being ejected for lack of talent and not for what racy pictures revealed about her. In it she made this comment:

She'd like to have an image in the future that is "more classy," she said.

Having said that, she didn't rule out posing for Playboy. At first she said she wouldn't, but then a reporter asked if she would "absolutely not" ever appear in Playboy.

"I want to look at all the offers that I get," Barba answered. "I'm definitely not opposed to [thinking about] other offers, whether it's acting or modeling or something.

She added, "I want to strike while the iron's hot."

American Idol is a show I have NEVER watched even one time. I just can't get interested in a TV show that includes people deluded about their talent and snarky pseudo-celebrities making fun of them. I graduated from the 8th grade. I'm over that kind of preadolescence fun making.

In the 70's my wife and I traveled South America with a group. During that time I got to know a multimillionaire who was traveling with the rest of us. He had built a successful chain of Drugstores in the northeastern USA. He had sold them out to what is now CVS. His millions was allowing his wife and him to take this expensive and extensive 6 weeks around the southern continent.

I had ample opportunity to listen to him, hear what he said and learn all about making millions. Some of what he said has proven to be true, some was suspect.

He claimed was a key piece of wisdom was the power of expediency. In millionaires expediency is striking while the iron is hot. Act now. That's good if you are quick at assessing.

The problem is some hot irons in life turn out to be hot potatoes. And if you strike too soon you end up holding that hot potato for a long time. I have not made as much money as my acquaintance. But I have done OK.

I have worked with hot Iron. I have blacksmithing skills. I know that sometimes when Iron is white hot if you work it you will get a form but not strength. Sometimes the thing to do is do a little work or maybe none at all and then quench the iron. It hardens it up. It allows for a firmer set of an edge. Not all hot irons should be struck some should be quenched and reheated for another run at form.

I could be wrong and I think MS Barbar is wrong if she thinks that the Iron of Fame is hot and it's the iron she wants to strike now. She would be better off quenching this hot iron. Figuring out the form she wants in her life and reheating.

She's young, this won't be the last pass if she's made of good mettle (metal).

Friday, March 09, 2007

Church Growth for Dummies - 5 Easy Steps to a Healthy Happy growing Church

I have a large number of Churches who will get this missive. I post it because there may be some who may read this blog and not be on "The LIST". If you are are a church leader, pastor or elder and you are a bit fuzzy on what it takes to make a great church prosper in this day and age, it's not that complicated. Do these 5 things and do them consistently, you will have a great church, loyal passionate members and enthusiastic growth.

Provide people with an identity, sense of purpose and self-worth:
People need a place of ministry and contribution where what they do really matters to the Kingdom as well as to them. People join not for what they can get but for what they can give. (not just money)

Provide a feeling of belonging:
People need to be part of a fellowship with people they respect and with whom they like to work. This is not just being friendly, this is being a "Fellow" in the acedemic sense. Not a them and me. I'm one of them. I belong here. I'm a part of the team. The mindset goal is "When I am here I feel like I can contribute and that I am among the competent and respected of my generation."

Create an environment built on direction, structure, and order:
People need fellowship where they feel secure. Vision, persistence and a Holy Ghost led Leader will make the day. People need to have confidence in who is in charge. They must have a sense that as a part of your church, that they are going somewhere and there must be a plan they can buy into. It must be fully submitted to the Spirit of God and there must be a sense that it's being directed with confidence and authority. Direction Structure and Order = Vision, Persistence and Leadership.

Give people a voice:
There is a destiny for each person in the Kingdom that is ordained of God. People have a sense as they grow what that is. As a leader your job is to help them identify it, develop it and release it. People need to have the capacity to express themselves in their giftings. They must be heard and heeded in the area of the ministry God has given them. Knowing the difference is the key. If a person is gifted in Mercy but comes with an opinion regarding finance you must hear them but understand that the mercy sometimes will trump the finance message. People must have confidence what they believe, hear and say matters and makes a difference in the assembly.

Provide the chance to develop:
Grow or die. That's the way it is in nature. A thing is either growing or it's dying. There is no stasis in nature unless it's dead. It's true in the kingdom as well. If your people aren't growing, being challenged, discipled, stretched, pushed, pulled, and sometimes even offended by the whole thing they are dying. People need the opportunity to confront increasing challenges, learn new skills, develop new disciplines, release new anointings and advance in the Kingdom over time. People are drawn to places they can grow, develop and contribute. Sameness and Stasis is living death. A stone can look alive and solid but it's dead. Don't let that be the Church you lead.

Now, go get one of those Easy Buttons from Staples. This 5 point strategy for Church Growth isn't unproven, for the most part in little anemic churches it's untried.

Try it, you'll like it. What is the only obstacle in the way? Your fear and pride.

Just do it. Push the button.

"That Was Easy"

Are you a Christian? No I'm Lutheran

Before you think that's an inflammatory remark it is the answer I got YESTERDAY to that question I asked of a man I met with.

This is a man of my acquaintance who I was in a three hour conversation with regarding a business deal and since I am pretty "out there" witness wise the question always comes up in conversation at some point.

This is a nice man, loves his wife, pays his bills and votes Republican. He attends one of of the oldest Lutheran Churches (Mo Synod) in our area. He attended Lutheran High School in an adjacent town. Cradle Lutheran.

It was just a little startling to hear him say what he said. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and say he didn't mean what he said, or he misunderstood or he was unclear in the question. On the other hand Im convinced if you asked a hundred old-line Lutherans born, baptised, raised, confirmed and church members over 50 years old I suspect you would get this answer in the title of this post more often than not.

Many years ago while attending the International Music Camp in North Dakota near the Peace Gardens, I was asked upon registration a question about my religious affiliation. (You could then, This was pre ACLU.) The question was, " Are you a Protestant"? Having been born, baptised, raised and confirmed a Lutheran I answered NO. A few days later I was awakened by one of the counselors to get me up for Catholic Mass. I protested "I'm not a Catholic". He was puzzled. Then it was discovered that I had not answered yes to the question it was assumed etc.......

My identify was not in Jesus, it was Lutheran.

Who or what are YOU identified with or by? If that question is asked of you, how do you identify yourself?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Loss of a GOOD man

Some people when they pass it's mostly about the ones left behind that's important, or the accomplishments they had, or the work they did. Others are noted for the person they were to others.

Such was LaRoy Bobzien. He was my political science teacher in high school at Ellendale High in ND. He died today.

That is NOT what I remember him for. Oh, we had "Discussions". I think I was just a bit overopinionated for a teenager. He was tolerant and kind. Not dismissive. Even when I was aggressive which was too often he wasn't offended. I misunderstood his tolerance and kindness.

Only as an adult in returning to Ellendale and seeing him on the street, in a cafe, or at a function, when we talked then only did I discover the measure of the man. Kind, Tolerant and accepting. I enjoyed him. Later I told him how good it was to have had him as a teacher and how decent he was. I wasn't being condescending in spite of the fact that I can be, I wasn't being disingenuous, I meant it.

So to the Bobzien family my deepest sympathy. He was a good man. We have lost a GOOD man. May we all try to be that kind of man, not maybe famous, not maybe nationally recognized, but decent, kind, tolerant, and GOOD.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Iranian Imam Receives Christ , Escapes Country, still alive

"God is shaking the foundation of Islam in Iran. We have been praying for some of the main government officials to come to Christ and God is answering us."

One of the top Islamic leaders in Iran accepted Christ and left the country after facing death threats and imprisonment, according to an Iranian pastor living in the U.S.

"This man has been watching Christian TV programs for the past two years," said Pastor Elnathan Baghestani, founder of Iran for Christ Ministries (ICM). Pastor Baghestani and his wife provide Christian programming to the Mohabat Network satellite, which broadcasts 24/7 into Iran and other Middle Eastern countries.

The Imam called one of the phone counselors connected to Iran for Christ Ministries and prayed to receive Christ in early February. "The man has been watching Christian TV programs for the past two years," Baghestani said. "He said he has believed since he began watching the programs but his salvation was sealed through his confession."

"This man knows all the verses of the Qur'an by heart," he added. "After he began watching, doubt began in his heart about the Islamic faith." The man spent [time] in prison after he questioned the violence of radical Islam. Following his release from prison, he faced numerous death threats, [but then] escaped the country.

Several other religious leaders may follow suit. "He knows four other high-ranking Imams that are in the same condition and want to leave Iran," Baghestani said.

(It is illegal to own satellite dishes in Iran.) "They arrest people for having satellite dishes because they know the Christian programming is effective," Baghestani noted.

The Imam who fled, left everything behind. "Now he is a poor refugee in a foreign country."

"God is shaking the foundation of Islam in Iran," Baghestani said. "We have been praying for some of the main government officials to come to Christ and God is answering us," he reports. "I pray God will open more doors for us to send the Gospel to the Middle East."

Full Story Here

This is fabulous news. Breaking ground and taking it back from the enemy. Let's hope it accelerates. Meanwhile in America kids are forbidden to pray before school. You can read all about it here. We are among a sick and degenerate generation.

Children, Rise up and REBEL against your Parents Secular Values

Now that I have your attention.  According to a Wall Street Journal article in the last week young people across the country are rejecting the liberal pagan humanistic secularism of their parents that was developed in the 70's.  It's time for this generation to arise. 
The Crosby Nash Stills and Young song, Teach Your Children Well didn't work out.  We assume parents will teach good Godly values, reverence, and awe of God.  It's not true.  Undiscipled parents produce undiscipled children.  The parents of today are "Do your own thing" parents without any anchor of faith.  Raw unrestrained secularism.
So, to those of you young people who have parents who are lost and apathetic about things of God, RISE UP AND REBELFollow Jesus. 

Here's the story:
More and more young people raised in secular homes are finding Christ, but the trend is creating division with their parents, the Wall Street Journal reported. Two years ago 16-year-old Kevin Ellstrand told his parents, who say they are secular humanists, that he "was following Christ with all of his heart," the newspaper reported. Kevin has since participated in mission trips and attends a weekly Bible study. Kevin's parents say they are thankful that he is not rebelling against them with drugs or sex but still object to his choice to follow Christian doctrine. Kevin worries that his parents will go to hell because they don't believe in God, fears his parents think are unwarranted. (my insertion, they ARE going to HELL, He should worry)
Christian observers say young people are increasingly forgoing secularism for more religious devotion. And the conflict that creates at home reaches beyond philosophical differences. Some young adults are forgoing secular jobs to pursue full-time ministry.
Tom Lin, whose immigrant parents sent him to Harvard University to succeed economically, were disappointed when he chose not to pursue a career as a corporate attorney so he could become a minister. Lin said his decision to follow Christ was not easy. His mother threatened to commit suicide, and his family disowned him for seven years. "When immigrant children forsake the very reason they came to this country, it's particularly devastating," Lin said.
Jesus always creates a division.  In the Church in Fargo we had a young couple who's lives were devastated by drugs, infidelity and pain.  They both came to Jesus and were sold out.  Their parents (Lutherans) told them they would rather they had stayed on drugs than become sold out Christians.  They had offered them money to come back to the Lutheran church.  The label was more important than the life they had found. I had gone to church with their parents in the Lutheran church before I was saved. It was very sad.  They never went back or looked back and pray that before their parents change worlds they too will give their lives to Jesus. 
That is the sickness of the secular.  It's ok to give lip service but don't sell out.  I pray this conflict will spread and that young people won't lose heart.  This is tough but Jesus said he came to bring a sword.  This is that.  Even my own family wishes I weren't so radical.  I wish I were more radical.  I wish I had followed Jesus sooner in life.  I missed so much.

I find this stuff so you don't have to

If you read the newspaper, listened to talk radio or were generally alive the last few days there has been much brouhaha about Al Gore, his use of power, his carbon footprint and his purchasing carbon credits (from himself) to offset his huge (20 X the average home) greenhouse gas contribution.

I always have loved blatant hypocrisy. Gore did it again. It's so much fun.

So do you. Every time you pass gas or your dog passes gas you add just a bit to the alleged greenhouse effect.

What are you going to do about it? Well, never fear, modern technology to the rescue. A company in Australia is issuing a card for carbon credits for flatulence. If your dog is gassy it only costs you about $6 a year to offset the effect in the atmosphere. You need to buy one for your dog, you, and for that guy next door.

I think I'll get two. Give them next Christmas. My birthday's coming up. I can think of lots of reasons we all need to give the gift that keeps on giving and giving and....

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The reading of TOO many books leads to Systematic Theology

When I allowed people to speak in the Church I used to Pastor or in any other ministry I have been directing I always tell them the same thing. DO NOT READ A BOOK AND COME TO TELL US WHAT YOU JUST READ. I am convinced that much bad preaching, bad teaching and bad discipleship practice comes from trying to put God in a 6X9 box called a book.

I do read Christian Books, I do go to the local Christian bookstore. But, I only will buy a book and read it with care. I avoid reading most alleged Christian Books. I am not impressed by a Pastor who has a huge library. Many times he hasn't had an original thought in years. He regurgitates what he heard or read. He doesn't allow a download from the Spirit of God because he trusts in the devils capacity to deceive him more than he trusts Gods ability to open a part of Scripture, reveal His grand creation, amplify the interaction with others or recieve an "aha" of fresh oil of revelation.

I loved this from Aaron Telian's blog today:

When a society trained to daily planners, traffic signals, and meticulously labeled microwave popcorn encounters religion, the results are somewhat predictable. They rush into it, chop it up, sort it down, file it alphabetically, and sit back pleased at their splendid spirituality. But all is not well.

We are, despite widespread sentiment about "not putting God in a box," quite willing to put Him in a spreadsheet. Like the jolly stupid Hobbits of the Shire, who "liked to have books filled with things they already knew, set out fair and square with no contradictions," we line our bookshelves with pompous hardbacks about simple things like the Trinity. We have more cross-references than crosses.

I haven't yet met a systematic theology that hasn't become a sodden substitution for a life of faith and a respect for the unpredictability (or even inconsistency) of God. If we are still debating these things after 2000 years, is it possible that we're missing the point? It certainly begs the question.

Theology, etymologically, is simply the study of God. We do this when we seek His face, read His word, and discuss His attributes with others. I have to wonder if "Systematic" Theology is something of a mirage, if not an outright contradiction in terms.

If I sound biased, it may be because I am. I have not, however, completely denied the potential existence of a comprehensive creed that takes into account the vagueness and volatility of real life. God certainly endowed us (well, some of us,) with a passion for organizing things. I'm just not sure he included Himself in the list, that is, as something to be "organized." One does not "organize" a lover, or a hero; they adore them

It is difficult to contain or quantify things that are dynamic and alive. It seems to me that this is the case with Christianity. It's going places. It's doing things. It's like a butterfly specimen: you can't pin it down without killing it.
What impresses me most is that Aaron is a very young man. Only 1/3rd my age. How in the world did this profound insight come. OR, is this a harbinger of the thinking we old guys in the church will have to deal with in the future? We are in for a change and it's not at all what it was the last 500 years in the Church.

I for one am glad. The essence is: One does not "organize" a lover, or a hero; they adore them.

Whatever Happened to Discipleship?

I have nothing to offer but a link to an astounding discussion. John Armstrong.

I don't know anything about the contended UBF thing they talk about but the issue of whether any real discipleship takes place in churches today is a valid question.

If you are interested in a lively discussion read THIS.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Men who love Jesus and ZZ TOP

I must admit. I love GOOD rock and roll. I also love Jesus. Are the two compatible?

Yes. I'm a guy and I'm not very religious. But I know what moves me.

In an article in the Q section of the Chicago Tribune last Sunday there was an article called, "Men Muscle Their Way Into Faith that Fits. I have recopied the whole thing in case you don't subscribe to the Chicago Tribune. I hope they don't mind. It was a great piece.

I enjoyed it, I hope you will read the whole thing at the link above. It's a bit long but if it doesn't make you long for something real in male friendship and fellowship in Jesus I'll be surprised.

The Holidays just aren’t what they used to be

Today, March 5 is Casismir Pulaski day. It’s a state holiday in ILLINOIS. When we moved here we were puzzled. Kids had the day off, banks closed, no garbage picked up, why there was even a parade in a few polish communities. Coming from North Dakota there was nothing like this there. I had never heard of Casimere Pulaski. FYI - He was the first Non American killed in the revolutionary war on the American side. You can read all about him HERE.

Now, 21 years later it’s not nearly the holiday it used to be. Kids still get the day off for Pulaski's day. But otherwise it’s like every other day.

I don’t think they even have a parade anymore. That’s what assimilation will get you.

In any case, I didn’t even put up my Casimir tree and decorate it with pirogues. I think I’ll have red beets for supper. That’ll be the extent of my exuberance. On the other hand, he was and is a part of our history, he helped win the revolutionary war and there is a stature honoring him in Washington DC with him gallantly sitting abreast his mighty steed. Freedom is won by spilling the blood of patriots, even if they are polish. Come to think of it, if my people hadn't moved out of Pommerania before it reverted to present day Poland I might well be celebrating Casimir's day more seriously.

Happy Casimir Pulaski day, may he rest in peace.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

17, 000 Scientists and counting AGAINST human caused global warming theology

Just so you can sleep at night, 17,000 Scientists from across the USA have gone on record declaring the whole human caused global warming hypothesis wrong. I don't have a scorecard but that might just TRUMP the scientists who are on the other side. I discount Gore, amateurs, Hollywood celebs, and politicians. They all have an axe to grind and without credibility.

These brave scientists have all signed on to a petition being sent to our government and a pretty good piece of scholarly work. Read it at the risk of having your mind changed. That might be dangerous.

But I mean what do they know? I mean the other side has Al Gore, right? And the liberal mainstream press, and lots of Hollywood stars and the power-hungry democrats who insist this is a fact fact fact and don't you dare deny it at peril of your job.

Oh, it's OK for James Cameron to go on TV with 20 year old discredited archeology and make a quick buck and the liberal media goes all ga ga. Atheists across the USA dance in the front room at the news.

Suckered in again. I'm telling you, don't believe any of this stuff. If the press and Hollywood gets on board it's almost always wrong.

Question everything. That's what I learned in college in the 60's. I also learned enough basic biology, ecology, Chemistry and general scientific principles to make very suspect much of the bulldung generated by junk scientists like those proposing we are all gonna die of global warming. Or drown.

On the other hand, it's a good plan not to be a pig ecologically speaking. I try hard not to be one. But it's also a good plan not to be a guppy either and buy every piece of junk science that comes down the road. Humans blamed for causing global warming was just one such. Thankfully it is finally being shown for what it is. A power grab conspiracy by left wing demagogues.

I have made a concerted effort not to be condescending. But I get a little testy when I see well meaning people sucked into just flat out lies for power.

When George W Bush said that the jury was still out on Human Caused Global Warming he didn't know how right he was.

Anna NIcole Smith in Prophecy

As one who operates in the prophetic I appreciate a courageous prophet like Kim Clement.  He is perhaps my favorite prophet on the scene today.  He brings a word about Anna Nicole Smith which I believe is valid and encouraging. 

I trust Kim Clement and if that's what God told him, it's ok with me.

Now, to the religious among you who are asking, why would God waste his time giving a word about Anna Nicole Smith thru a prophet of God?  Because it's an issue with people and God always does things in prophecy to address fears, concerns and questions in people's hearts.  I have been asked, why would God give prophecy about the economy, or the stock market, or anything else not seemingly spiritual?

What is more spiritual than the situation surrounding the whole Anna Nicole Smith episode.  God is in the business of answering questions.

I'm glad a willing servant like Kim Clement was available and hearing from God on this. I wish I wouldn't have been so cynical and had received that word for myself.

I'm still growing in the prophetic and see brother Kim as a path I haven't yet walked.

Here's the word from Kim and a link to watch it for real:

I Received Anna Nicole Smith

"Even as Anna Nicole died, there is a reason. There is something that must be stated from the mouth of the prophet regarding this lady's death." For God says, "The whole nation mourns, but I mourned long before she died, for she was crying out to Me three days before she died, crying out, 'God help me--I'm lost; I'm stuck.' Does anybody realize that three days before her death, I was there by her side, and I was touching the lady that they call Anna Nicole Smith?"

God tells you America, "It shall also be a warning to many that I'm about to judge the perversion in this nation." God says, "I will show Myself strong and raise up people like her to minister to those that are in the streets. There shall be a resurrection because the enemy took her," but God says, "I received her into My arms."

To watch the Video Clip of Kim Clement prophesying about Anna Nicole Smith CLICK HERE.

Kim Clement
Prophetic Image Expressions


Are you, am I a pharisee?

In a sermon I heard today the question was asked in the style of "You Might Just Be A Redneck IF"

You might be a modern day pharisee IF:

  1. You are unwilling to receive correction, instruction or direction from other people, even humble people who come to you in love.
  2. You claim only to obey GOD and no man, you have difficulty in staying in order when there are spiritual authorities in your life.
  3. You only see what is wrong in other people and never what is right. You believe faultfinding is a spiritual gift.
  4. You feel your spiritual job in life is to "FIX" other people.
  5. You feel you get no recognition from others in the kingdom of God and take offense when you consider yourself ignored.
  6. You have a mechanical consistent and structured prayer life. No one can doubt your life of prayer because it's so regular and organized. It however is lifeless.
  7. You are critical and disdaining of the manifestations of the Gifts of the Spirit. You don't believe in them and so look down your nose at them.

When I heard that list I had to examine myself. I'm not clean. Neither are you. I am repenting of the areas I am deficient in and will do better to not stay in that place.


So you know these descriptions are apt:

  1. Jesus was correcting and instructing the Pharisees of his day. They wouldn't hear it. They considered him a maverick and decided to close their ears to him.
  2. The Pharisees considered themselves above the law, Abraham's children they said they were. They wouldn't submit themselves to any law but the ones they made up
  3. They were critical of Jesus's Disciples washing of hands and fasting habits.
  4. They were coming to people and correcting them. Keeping them in line.
  5. They loved recognition in the marketplace, they loved the first seats in the Synagogue. They were offended if you didn't recognize them properly.
  6. They loved to brag of their religious observances. Sabbaths were not for healing. Prayed 3 times a day in public at the front of the synagogue for everyone to see.
  7. They were the ones who at Pentecost said, these men are drunk. They were the ones who questioned the blind man Jesus healed. They are the ones who interrogated the lame man healed at Gate Beautiful. They hated the gifts of the spirit.

What is so very sad in today's pharisee are many were men who at one time walked in the counsels of God. Today however some are even on church counsels. They proceeded in life and religion, developing a more and more Pharisaical lifestyle until one day they were cold and dead in their cold and dead religion. Oh, they talk big, act religious. There's just nothing going on inside. Whitewashed tombs with deadmen's bones.

They are like Sampson of old. Time and time again he operated in the power of God until his hair was shorn while he slept. Then when Delilah said, the Philistines are upon you, he did what he had always done before, He said to himself, "I will shake myself awake and shake off this attack". Unfortunately he discovered something he didn't even know, the anointing of God, the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit had left him. It was over. Because of that, Sampson in engaging the old forms of Godliness discovered that there was no power in it at all. His religious action of shaking off the Philistines no longer worked for him. He whist not that the Spirit had left him. His religion, his pharisee spirit cost him his eyes, his dignity and eventually his life.

My concern is that many men and women who call the name of Jesus are living as pharisees, and they know not that the Spirit has left them. They are operating in a godless religious system without any power at all.

It blinds them, robs them of dignity and eventually will kill them. This should not be so.

If this stings you a bit as it did for me, clean up your act, set aside your pharisee spirit and come back to Jesus.

How Long Before THIS Chinese "Product" is Imported to US Shores?

When I read about our huge trade disparity with China, the crash of the market from a Chinese initiative I wonder how long will this globalism we accept in economics be translated into cultural and religious action in the USA. Let a wrong group of leadership arise and we will be where China is now. Christians are easy to blame and the idea that Christians could be, “suspected spreading of rumor and disturbing the social order.”

I hope to God I disturb the social order I see accepted in much of the earth and I believe that many unbelievers believe what I know to be true in the Word of God as a rumor. Look at the big kerfuffle over the tomb of Jesus banality from James Cameron. They are treating the Resurrection as a rumor. We are very close to persecution in the USA. Read this from the Voice of the Martyrs:

When 34-year old Jiang Zongziu and her mother-in-law went to their neighboring market in Guizhou Province, China; Jiang took this as an opportunity to hand out Bibles and Christian literature. Only this day they had an encounter with the Chinese police.

The two Christian women were handcuffed together and brought to the police station. They were interrogated throughout the evening. The next morning they were sentenced by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) to 15 days incarceration for “suspected spreading of rumor and disturbing the social order.”

Jiang and her mother-in-law knew the risk of spreading Christian literature in communist China. Both had been active in their church for more than 10 years and dared to go forth. Even when they were arrested, interrogated and sentenced to serve 15 days, they were willing to accept the consequences of their actions-all from a government that claims to have “freedom of religion.”

But it was not enough for the PSB to arrest and beat these two Christian women for the crime of passing our Christian literature. The following afternoon Mrs. Jiang Zongziu was pronounced dead by the PSB office of Tongzi County. They claimed she died of “natural causes.” The fact is she was beaten to death.

The Voice of the Martyrs has received video testimony from the surviving family, photos of Jiang body showing her bruised body, and a copy of the actual arrest document. All of this had to be smuggled out of China as the authorities continue to attempt to hide their systematic persecution of Christians.