Saturday, April 07, 2007

Top Ten Ways to Know if you are TOO Obsessed With End TImes Prophecy

  1. You always leave the top down on your convertible in case the rapture happens.
  2. You never buy green bananas.
  3. Your Church starts using "Up Up and Away" as a Worship Song
  4. Barcode Scanners make you nervous
  5. You get a tax refund for $666 and you refuse it
  6. You can name more of the "Signs of the End Times" than the Ten Commandments
  7. You are certain that the original Hebrew Text came with Scofield Notes
  8. You think the "Church Fathers" refer to Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye
  9. You get a few goose bumps if you hear a trumpet
  10. You use "Left Behind" books as Devotional Reading

Dance Dance Dance

This morning our Men of God group had a great time exploring Dance in Worship. In the end the Men got up and danced. If you missed it you missed a great deal of anointed fun.

We started by saying that all of us as kids even as teens danced. We put on a tune and by ourselves like Tom Cruise in Risky Business danced a free and abandoned dance.

Little kids who can barely talk will dance. You don’t have to be taught how to dance, you have to be untaught to not dance.

The most dance free zones in America are the Churches. So what can we do, what should we do? Why don’t we dance despite the Biblical Encouragements:

He turned our Mourning into Dancing Psalm 30:11
When we are most depressed or discouraged the dance will break the back of it.
11You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,

Dancing as an act of Faith Jeremiah 31:3-4
Sometimes when you don't believe you must dance anyway
3The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying,
"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.
4"Again I will build you and you will be rebuilt,
O virgin of Israel!
Again you will take up your tambourines,
And go forth to the dances of the merrymakers.

Dancing for Joy before God
2 Samuel 6:16
David before the Ark Danced with abandon. He was critisized. But he loved God more than the approval of men.
14And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod.
15So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.
16Then it happened as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
20 When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!"
21 David said to Michal, "It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD's people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor."
23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.

It’s still that way today.

People that won’t dance or are critical of dance in worship will be rendered barren and fruitless.

David after bringing the Ark to Jerusalem made sure that worship went on day and night with plenty of noise.
1 Chronicles 16-4-6 and 40-43

4He appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the LORD, even to celebrate and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel:
5Asaph the chief, and second to him Zechariah, then Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom and Jeiel, with musical instruments, harps, lyres; also Asaph played loud-sounding cymbals, (editorial comment, this should take care of the idea that drums don't belong in Church)
6and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests blew trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God.
39He left Zadok the priest and his relatives the priests before the tabernacle of the LORD in the high place which was at Gibeon,
40to offer burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of burnt offering continually morning and evening, even according to all that is written in the law of the LORD, which He commanded Israel.
41With them were Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest who were chosen, who were designated by name, to give thanks to the LORD, because His lovingkindness is everlasting.
42And with them were Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those who should sound aloud, and with instruments for the songs of God, and the sons of Jeduthun for the gate.

Dancing to insure the future
This is dancing for a new and better future.
Judges 21:21 Shiloh and the Sons of Benjamin

17They said, "There must be an inheritance for the survivors of Benjamin, so that a tribe will not be blotted out from Israel.
18"But we cannot give them wives of our daughters." For the sons of Israel had sworn, saying, "Cursed is he who gives a wife to Benjamin."
19So they said, "Behold, there is a feast of the LORD from year to year in Shiloh, which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south side of Lebonah."
20And they commanded the sons of Benjamin, saying, "Go and lie in wait in the vineyards,
21and watch; and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to take part in the dances, then you shall come out of the vineyards and each of you shall catch his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.
22"It shall come about, when their fathers or their brothers come to complain to us, that we shall say to them, 'Give them to us voluntarily, because we did not take for each man of Benjamin a wife in battle, nor did you give them to them, else you would now be guilty.'"
23The sons of Benjamin did so, and took wives according to their number from those who danced, whom they carried away. And they went and returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the cities and lived in them.

Anyone who decided they didn't want to dance that morning was left behind and never was able to move into the inheritance of the Benjamites.

Dancing on those injustices in your life
Sometimes when things are done to you, you have to place them under your feet and dance upon the injustice in your life. That is why the part in the song
"Can you hear the mountains tremble" includes the verse that says "Dancers that Dance on Injustice".

Psalm 149
1 Praise the LORD!
Sing to the LORD a new song.
Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful.
2 O Israel, rejoice in your Maker.
O people of Jerusalem, exult in your King.
3 Praise his name with dancing,
accompanied by tambourine and harp.
4 For the LORD delights in his people;
he crowns the humble with victory.
5 Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them.
Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.
6 Let the praises of God be in their mouths,
and a sharp sword in their hands—
7 to execute vengeance on the nations
and punishment on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with shackles
and their leaders with iron chains,
9 to execute the judgment written against them.
This is the glorious privilege of his faithful ones.
Praise the LORD!

Dancing in Victory over your Enemies
Exodus 15:19-21
Miriam and the women danced after the Egyptians were drown in the Red Sea.

19 When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers rushed into the sea, the LORD brought the water crashing down on them. But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground!
20 Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced. 21 And Miriam sang this song:

“Sing to the LORD,
for he has triumphed gloriously;
he has hurled both horse and rider
into the sea.”

Dancing to Honor and Celebrate God’s Hand on Others
1 Samuel 18:6-7
It’s right to dance to celebrate and honor others. We do it at weddings.

6 When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. 7 This was their song:

“Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his ten thousands!”

Dancing to Release the Power of God in Warfare (God will fight our battles for us as we dance).

Joshua 6 Jericho March

Like Joshua marching the Israelis around Jericho until God came to fight their battles for them by crushing down the walls, So, when we take a stand in faith God will fight our battles for us and push back the darkness.

2 Chronicles 20:14-25
Worshippers and Dancers before the army confuses the enemy
15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you!”
18 Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the LORD. 19 Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.
20 Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”
21 After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the LORD and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:
“Give thanks to the LORD;
his faithful love endures forever!”

22 At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the LORD caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. 23 The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. 24 So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.
25 King Jehoshaphat and his men went out to gather the plunder. They found vast amounts of equipment, clothing, and other valuables—more than they could carry. There was so much plunder that it took them three days just to collect it all! 26 On the fourth day they gathered in the Valley of Blessing, which got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the LORD there. It is still called the Valley of Blessing today.

And, the ultimate Dance -
Father God Dances over you (Exults) with singing.

Origional Hebrew in this phrase has him twirling and spinning while he sings over you. Zephaniah 3:17

17Jehovah thy God is in thy midst, a mighty one that will save: he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love; he will exult over thee with singing.

Exult and Sing. Two different actions.

If you could NOT Speak or Sing could you worship? Why do we think singing is the only acceptable form of Holy Worship?

Luke 1:20-23 Zacharias struck DUMB and still worshipped.
20"And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time."
21The people were waiting for Zacharias, and were wondering at his delay in the temple.
22But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them; and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he kept making signs to them, and remained mute.
23When the days of his priestly service were ended, he went back home.


In the Dance. In movement.

We all danced when we were younger. We were born to dance. Little kids dance constantly.

At the disco you did before you were saved.

Let's Twist Again, The Monkey, The Swim. We all did.

Why not here? Why not us? Why not NOW?

With Tambourines and Banners

Raising of the hands in A Wave Offering
When we raise our hands and wave them we are saying, GOD, Here is my offering to you today. I bring a sacrifice of praise. Many people use the waving and hand motions to accentuate what is being sung.

Exodous 29:23
and one cake of bread and one cake of bread mixed with oil and one wafer from the basket of unleavened bread which is set before the LORD;
24 and you shall put all these in the hands of Aaron and in the hands of his sons, and shall wave them as a wave offering before the LORD.
Leviticus 7-9
26From the basket of unleavened bread that was before the LORD, he took one unleavened cake and one cake of bread mixed with oil and one wafer, and placed them on the portions of fat and on the right thigh.
27He then put all these on the hands of Aaron and on the hands of his sons and presented them as a wave offering before the LORD.

The Clapping of hands

Psalm 47:1
1 O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

Isaiah 55:12
12For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Falling Before GOD
17.--And when I saw him, I fell down at his feet as dead; and he laid his right hand on me, and said, Fear not; I am the First and the Last; I am he who lives and was dead; and behold I am living forever and ever; and I have the keys of the unseen world, and of death. Write the things which you see, even those which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. As to the hidden meaning of the seven stars, which you see in my right hand, and of the seven lamps of gold: the seven stars are messengers of the seven congregations; and the seven lamps, which you see, are seven congregations.

Bowing a la Jews at the wall
Whenever the Hebrew word "shahhah" is used as an action toward God, the translators translate this word as "worship". But, whenever this same Hebrew word is used as an action toward another man, the translators translate this word as "obeisance", "to bow" or "bow down".

Worship by bowing is appropriate and Biblical. Copy those Jews at the wall and bow to the music.

Dancing before the Lord sometimes even means moving our feet

Worship is not a noun, It is A VERB
An action work that means as David Says:

Psalm 150
Let EVERYTHING that has breath praise the Lord
Let all that is within ME praise the Lord

IF you don't want to dance and sing just hold your breath for an hour. It says if you have breath praise the Lord.

Psalm 103
1Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Some might say, It’s not my style, or I don’t need to dance to worship God. That’s true sometimes.

We don’t have to dance all the time, but if we never dance ………..
We don’t have to clap our hands all the time but if we never do ………
We don’t have to raise our hands all the time but if we never do………..

The choice is ours,

If you choose NOT to who is it you really are worshiping…..Pride Fear?

If you choose not to who is really restraining you in worship

If you enter in it will be contested. Satan hates worship. He hates that you worship. HE was the worship leader in heaven and thru pride was cast out. He is jealous and angry when you worship. He does all he can do to stop you.

Pride, Tradition and Fear will keep us from Evangelizing, Worshipping and Prayer

It can NEVER be based on how we feel.

He’s either worthy of all our worship or he’s not

We must get up and do it.

We need a touch of madness. Madness driven by our love for Jesus. Fearlessness,
Boldness, presenting our body in dance as a living sacrifice before the Lord.

Romans 12:1-3
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

To truly worship it must be as if you were in a deep rushing river. If you stay motionless you will drown. We must be moving and trusting the River of God to take us where HE want to. We must dance to survive.

Ezekiel 47:
1 In my vision, the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing east from beneath the door of the Temple and passing to the right of the altar on its south side. 2 The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the water flowing out through the south side of the east gateway.
3 Measuring as he went, he took me along the stream for 1,750 feet and then led me across. The water was up to my ankles. 4 He measured off another 1,750 feet and led me across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist. 5 Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the river was too deep to walk across. It was deep enough to swim in, but too deep to walk through.
6 He asked me, “Have you been watching, son of man?” Then he led me back along the riverbank. 7 When I returned, I was surprised by the sight of many trees growing on both sides of the river. 8 Then he said to me, “This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea.

The first 6 verses of Isahia 62 speaks to why we move out in God in Worship including the dance.
Isaiah 62

1 For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,
for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet,
till her righteousness shines out like the dawn,
her salvation like a blazing torch.
2 The nations will see your righteousness,
and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4 No longer will they call you Deserted,
or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah (which means married or Betrothed),
and your land Beulah ;
for the LORD will take delight in you,
and your land will be married.
5 As a young man marries a maiden,
so will your sons marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.
6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the LORD,
give yourselves no rest, (DANCE)

Then we closed with a Song that is drawn from these two passages of Scripture:

The Song is "THE RIVER":

I have heard there is a river
Making a way thru the desert
Life Giving streams to all who dream on a barren height

All who’ve tasted of this river
Have touched on joy and new found freedom
There’s deeper water still
so let the hunger build a greater thirst for more

And my heart cries over here Lord
I need much more of you,
I need much more of you
And my heart cries over here Lord, I can’t stay silent – NO
I need you much more than I ever knew

I am going to that river
Take me into the deep water
Trusting in your strong arms
Learning to hold on with all the faith I have

I know your best is in the river
Because you are in the water
I have tasted the best,
Now I can’t settle for less than your own presence Lord

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. Come to think of it, for the Christian, Every Sunday celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus.

We just spend a little more time on it tomorrow.

Let yourself worship Jesus in the Dance. It’s the right thing to do. At least How I read my Bible.

Have a Great Easter.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ron McKinzie on Church Leadership

Ron McKinzie says what I know to be true sometimes better than I ever can. Blessed Economist is on the links to the left. I am convinced that the idea you can VOTE in church is the seed of all kinds of rebellion. Even a forum for idea input sends the wrong message. If the Man of God with strong Apostolic Gifting casts the vision and implements it with the assurance of the Prophetic voice behind him there is nothing that will stop that train from moving down the track. It's only when the idea of votes and consensus is considered that it falls off the tracks. Been there Done That. Doesn't work. Read Ron's take:

Most people assume that democracy is a superior form of government, but democracy is rule by the people (demos kratos = people rule). The problem is that sin and the fall means that people can make terrible mistakes so democracy is dangerous. Many of the worst political dictators were voted into power by large majorities. Democracy generally results in the majority group in a society ruling over minority group that loses their freedom.

Winston Churchill’s statement is often quoted, as if it were true. He said,

Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.
This statement is incorrect, because the best form of government has never been tried. The best method of government is theocracy. Theocracy is the rule of God (theos kratos = god rule). Theocracy is the same as the Kingdom of God. Kings rule over kingdoms.

God is king of the Kingdom of God, so he rules in the Kingdom of God. This means that the Kingdom of God is the same as the rule of God. Christians believe in the Kingdom of God, so we should be supporters of theocracy and not democracy. The rule of God is the best, because it is the only way to blessing.

Greg said...

Sadly, the American Church must bear much responsibility for exporting a flawed governmental system to the world it has sought to evangelize.

When the infant church in America began to experience the blessing of God, leaders sought a new form of government out of which they hoped this new church would flourish. Looking to secular society, these men saw the "Bold Experiment" of a Republican / Democratic form being developed. Without consulting God - much as Israel did when demanding a king (Saul), the church adopted a secular form to contain spiritual life. The result is more than 200 years of painful "limping."

In thirty-five years of working with the "institution" of the church, I've found that most church problems are government problems. If we would trust God, as Ron has urged, many church problems would dissolve for lack of fuel.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Gasoline Price Sanity

Right this minute ABC news is making headlines saying the price of Gasoline will soon spike to $4 a gallon. I don't buy it. There are such things as fundamentals that keep this market under control. There is no shortage of OIL. This is all about short term profits. The cure for high prices is high prices.

James Williams has a different View. He doesn't work for ABC news. He makes his living as an energy economist. In other words he actually knows what he is talking about.

He said gas prices could drop about 25 cents a gallon over the next two months because current gasoline margins aren't justified by the price of crude oil. Spring price increases came early this year, he said, because some refiners finished their spring maintenance early. Refiners switch at this time of year from winter blend to summer blend, which costs more because of more expensive ingredients.

Williams also said that crude oil prices may drop, probably next year, but that the maximum decrease would be to $30 to $40 a barrel because of the weakness of the dollar. After three to four years of sustained high prices, he said, consumer consumption patterns are beginning to react and gasoline production is increasing.

I don't trade commodities anymore. I used to. Now I just buy and fill my tank.

I'm not panicky and no matter what ABC says, or anyone else, neither should you be.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

As part of what I do I have to go testify as an expert witness from time to time.  I'm off to Columbus OH to do so tomorrow.  I'll be back late Fri night.
Then we have our Men's Group in Church on Saturday.  I have twice too much information to give and half too much time.  Typical.  I like being overprepared.  I am.
Then, the church I mentioned that lost it's lease found a place.  It's going to be kicking off Sunday Morning Easter.  Peggy and I have committed ourselves to help the Pastor get this off the ground.  This is a rough time for this young man.  He has been thru the wringer.
And, to top it all off this is the dead center of our busiest season in the nursery biz.
Thankfully Peggy is able to hold down the fort.  It's a tiny bit nuts out there.  Other than that things are fine.
One haunting question I was asked the other day.  What does my ministry look like.  How does it manifest itself.  I have to tell the truth, right now maybe less than it does at other times.
I have vision but I'm stretched.  I do better hearing from God when I take time and just listen.  I mostly hear the phone ring right now.
I feel a little bit lonely because of it.  I'm used to more Holy Ghost download than this.  Maybe on the plane and in the Hotel room I'll have some quiet time.  This isn't normal for me.
So, I'll be absent from Blogging till at least Sunday PM.  Maybe Saturday if I get a chance.
One other thing, that man I mentioned with the dog and the hematoma.  He just called.  They are worried about his leg being in jeopardy. 
Lose a leg for the love of a dog. 
That is really wrong.

Dyslexic Dog Lovers - 3 Stories

Big news in Chicago was that a lost and injured (not all that badly) coyote wandered into a Quiznos sandwich shop. The back door was open. They lured the coyote into a cooler. Animal control people came and looped him took him off to wherever animal control people take these wild animals. I hope it's not in my neighborhood.

You should have heard the hue and cry about the fact that the officer slipped a loop over his head and dragged him out. "He's so cute. He wasn't hurting anyone. Why didn't they just carry him out. I hope they Will take him into the wild and release him. Yadda Yadda Yadda."

This is terminally stupid. People who live in cities wouldn't know wild if it bit them on the leg. THERE IS NO WILD IN IL. Not like you think. If they take him to Winnebago County and let him lose he will:

1. Starve
2. Get mange or rabies and die
3. Be killed by a hunter
4. Kill people's kittys puppies and chickens and worse produce more coyotes.

But he is so cute. He's not a pet. Raccoons are cute when they are small but they can kill you when they grow up.

Then someone said, "Put him in a Zoo". I can't stand zoos. It's Animal jail except not as nice as a jail. I become ill going there.

You don't know what I would do. Animal rights folks are nuts.

Second Story
A good Friend of mine is in the hospital. Again. He has all kinds of ailments. His joints are all destroyed because his dog (actually a small horse) pulled them out of their sockets. I said to him (he's older than I am), "that dog is too big for you. If you want a dog you should get a little one."

"NOOOO.. He's my baby."

He's NOT your baby, he's a dog who doesn't care a whit for you except as a lunch ticket.
200 pounds of baby.

So, he takes all kinds of joint shots, can hardly walk, stoop or lift. The dog pushes him all over the place. Now he's near invalid. Because of a stupid dog. If I as his friend grabbed his arm, roughed him up and pulled it out of socket he would or should sue my rear end. But not the dog. Not his baby.

A couple days ago, his BABY pushed him over, jumped up on him. This is a badly behaved dog. Caused a huge bruise (Hematoma). My friend is on blood thinner. The hematoma moved and he passed out. He's in the hospital. He's in terrible pain. Because of a dog.

Once more I suggested he get rid of the dog to preserve his life. He admits that all of his physical troubles are due to this and his previous large dog. I'll bet the dog outlives him.

The dog will see to that. Again, if I, his good friend came and pushed him down and caused a huge bruise placing him in hospital by now a lawyer would be banging on my door.

I should know better right? The dog doesn't. YEP. IT'S A DOG!!! It's not human.

His owner should know better. Get rid of the dog, it's dangerous. That's why I have such a hard time with people who own big pit bulls and are shocked when they act like pit bulls.

"They're my Baby." Hogwash. They're dogs. This is not a good thing.

Third Story

This one is way off the chart. A couple not much older than I am grieving over the death of their 12 year old dog "Puppy" did what dog lovers all around the world do commited suicide together, they hung themselves. Seems rational. NOT!

How is this any different from story number two. That's a slower suicide because of a dog but suicide non the less. Or those that want a predetor loose in My Neigborhood because he's cute.

I am not anti pet, not anti dog. I have had dogs and cats and other animals on the farm. Yes, tough to break it to you but dogs and cats and coyotes are animals. Not furry humans. They don't love. They are animals. They don't have souls. They are animals.

People have come to worship their dog like they were dyslexic.

Praise DOG from whom all blessings flow.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Open Thread - Jesus Needs a Better Body

With a tip of the hat to Blessed Economist. When I look around at the Church in America Jesus Body looks like a 98 pound weakling to the bullies that continually kick sand in his face.


His body is weak, anemic and powerless. Charles Atlas of the Church where are you?
The open thread question (Open Thread is I am inviting anyone who wants to chime in Anonymously or otherwise to click on the comments link at the bottom of this post and say your piece). With Body Building as a metaphor for building up the Body of Christ examples might be:
    • You only build up the muscles you exercise
    • It takes good nutrition to help build bodies 12 ways
    • Steroids look like they are helping but don't really help at all
    • You can get exercise by being in the field or at the gym
You get the idea.

What can we learn from the body builders about building Jesus a better body here in America? Your comments please.

Too Much Theology Discourages Bible Reading

If you knew for certain that there was a secret map code hidden in the pages of the Bible that would lead you to buried treasure of fantastic wealth and all you had to do was find and interpret it correctly you would read the Bible. Like the Movie National Treasure. Nicolas Cage discovers a buried treasure from the Declaration of Independence (I think that's the plot, I never saw the movie).

There is treasure of course. But no one believes it. I am so sick of tired of the theological joy Robbers that suck all the life out of the word of God by explaining away the parts that are rich and full.

Every page in the word of God has truth meant to enrich your life. I have made this challenge to those who teach or preach. Open the Bible at random. Any Page. Look for the buried treasure. It's there. Any preacher or teacher of the word should be able to build a whole sermon including a life changing altar call from any single page of the Bible. It shouldn't be that hard to do.

Most can't do it.

They are expert at explaining the historical, chronological, theoretical, hermeneutical, theological context of the text from something they learned in seminary and strip out the joy and richness from the application of the spoken and written word of God. The mystery and awe is robbed by intellectual analysis.

This isn't about the gifts of the Spirit although it could be. It's about the Glory of God revealed on every single page of his word but unseen and unread. Like standing on a faboulous treasure and never digging deep enough to find it.

Because of this intelectual approach people feel inadequate to read the Bible. They can't "understand it". Instead of looking for clues to riches in Christ they look for intellectual grasp and miss the clues.

People don't read the Bible today because they don't think there's anything in there for them. Then at church they are taken on a guilt trip because the pastor tells them they need to get into the word of God to be good Christians. Because they don't they feel guilty. Then next week the Pastor spanks them again. And they feel guilty. Round and round it goes.

What really needs to happen is for the pastor to start showing them clues. Showing them how to start finding the gold for themselves. Showing them how to get past all the hermeneutics and start digging for jewels.
Only then people will start reading the Bible. It will change their lives. They will be richer in spite of the theologians who try to rob them by explaining away the glory and mystery of it all.

If I sound a tiny bit angry and upset by all this I am. If I could I would close all Christian Bookstores for a while I would. Teach people to read the Bible for what's in there for them and then after people have learned to hear from God for themselves you can start writing books again. When blind book writers write books for spiritually blind people they both fall in the ditch.

The Bible is better than Prego Spaghetti Sauce. It's in there.

Another Horseman of the Apocolypse Appears

I know for certain the end of days is here. 
Oh, There were early indicators.  Some will point to the formation of Israel in 1948.  Peanuts.
Much more important was the translocation of the Brooklyn Dodgers to some other town west of there. Then there was the Baltimore Colts who were obviously raptured out of Baltimore to somewhere (not heaven) who later came to wreak wrath upon the Saintly Bears. 
Now this morning's newspaper describes a horseman none of us saw coming.  The Cubbies, centennially not a World Series winner, will be sold and may be drug off to another venue somewhere. 
Wrigley Field will be leveled for either a new Wal-Mart or go Condo. 
I'm not one to stand in the way of progress.  But this isn't progress.
I'm just hoping the end of the world comes before another horseman appears.  I caint take it no more.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Another Gospel

I have spoken often of the apostasy in mainline churches. It's destroying people's faith who were taught badly or discipled incompletely.

Then this nut comes along. An Anglican priest in England says, "Jesus didn't die for your sins".

Worse is some people will hear him and believe him.

We fight over nuance in the Body of Christ when the true "Another Gospel" is right before our eyes. This represents all that is bad, may I say even EVIL in much traditional Church organization. Keep them stupid, untaught, immature, baby Christians and you won't have to deal with the hard questions or questions at all. Just treat them like mushrooms. Pretend everyone is "Growing in Christ" and lie to them. Shepherds who lead sheep astray are condemned in the Bible. I will add my voice to theirs. As bad is shepherds who don't lead at all.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Of Remembence and Sainthood

I just returned from a 3 hour intense visit with a man I have admired for many years.  He is a Pastor.  It was great to spend some quality time with him.
We talked about all kinds of things not all Biblical.
I have come to the conclusion that if you fear confrontation, difficulty, nastiness, negative people and sin then you should NEVER be in the ministry.
That's where they all are.
But the good news is I know who the redeemer is and he is well able to dig them back out of the hole they dig for themselves.
My friend Pastor Barry Kolb said that we are all in a boat and we think only our boat is shaking and seeming to sink in the waves.  It's not true.  Everyone's boat is rocking and seeming to sink.  But if we keep our eyes on Jesus the boat won't seem so shaky.  Heck, we might even walk on water.  That's another story.
I say that Barry Kolb is a friend.  He should be a saint.  According to the news they are beatifying John Paul II because a woman was healed from his intercession.   I know for a fact Pastor Kolb has been responsible for more than one person healed as a result of his prayers and intercession and ministry. 

So, if we use the same standards he should be in line for beatification.
Come to think of it so should I.  Saint Gene.  HMMMM.  Has a nice ring to it doesn't it.  I mean I have had a number of people over the years that I have laid hands on and they have been healed.  So. Don't I qualify?
But them I'm not Catholic.  St. Gene still sounds about right.  I mean I'd get one of those little statues of me and put it on the dashboard. 
Waddaya think?