Saturday, April 12, 2008

No context, just my recent experience

Today, once more, I was struck with this truth from Jesus:

Don't give to dogs what belongs to God. They will only turn and attack you. Don't throw pearls down in front of pigs. They will trample all over them. Mathew 7:6

Once more I must confess, This is most certainly true!

Will I EVER Learn?

Why I Refuse to Be a Church Member

OK, refuse is a strong term. I object to the whole idea. I am a member of the Body of Christ. Full and intact. So are many Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterians, Assembly of God, Methodists, Lutherans, Seventh Day Adventists and Apostolic. We belong to different tribes. We affiliate with them. But, we are in fact if we believe in the core center, Jesus is True GOD, we are members. I am not alone in this thinking.
Having read Dan's life a bit, he would call himself a Lutheran in Doctrine and a Pentecostal in Practice. I'm just exactly that.

The idea that I must somehow become a Member with all the "Rights and Privileges" is hard for me to stomach. Who gives that right and privilege? I have been member of a Church in the past. If it was essential to my ministry I would be again. I have always been clear on that.

Via Steve Scott of From the Pew, I got this fine link today that is written by an ex Catholic regarding the banality of trying to create "Church Members". If a person affiliates with a church he or she is a member. Barna says that in today's Christian world n the USA most Christians
have at least 3 and up to 7 different affiliation's they maintain. I know I'm over 3. This doesn't divide. This embraces and builds. Only if you are trying to build an empire will you as a pastor worry much about membership.

OH, I want members who are committed and who have the best interest of the Body at Heart. They should be voting members. That makes sense. I just with it had more to do with faithfulness, giving and ministry involvement than some silly little man made program that makes a member of an uncommitted lukewarm once a month Christan and holds at arms length the man or woman who Loves Jesus but who is unwilling to be rubber stamped with a label. I am a "Member" by participation in at least 3 fellowships on a regular basis and 3 other occasional fellowships. I do NOT agree with everything every one of those fellowships would teach or practice. But, I agree with most of them in each of them or I wouldn't maintain the relationship.

From this Pastor's Writing on Membership:
A great deal of the tomfoolery concerning division in churches could be done away with if we took the time to base membership in the local church off of identity–who a person is in Christ–instead of thinking that membership is a matter of joining up with a particular community or expressing a commitment to a certain local church. At our church, if you attend at least once a year and in so doing worship with us, take communion, and give financially we consider you a member–because these are things normal Christians do and we are always ready to recognize that reality in people. We don’t have membership vows and we don’t have any sort of commitment pledge card for you to sign. We don’t ask for you to commit to things you’re not ready to commit to or require you to be someone other than who you are.

We must come to realize that denominations as they exist today are a mirage. They really have no bearing on the state of one’s soul. They play no essential role in the existence and spread of the church. For eighteen hundred years prior to their existence, the church was able to do all that she needed to do quite without them and they only arose in a particularly unique and heretofore unseen historical context.

Likewise, churches that pretend that membership vows are necessary to embark upon good church discipline and commitment in their churches also hit well wide of the mark. What commitment isn’t implicitly or explicitly made in Baptism that is reflected in these church vows that are made when a new family joins these churches? Why is an additional post-sacramental vow necessary to reaffirm what has already been promised in converting to Christ?

Put simply, if you are a Christian you are already a member of the Body of Christ. If you come and participate with us in worship, we recognize you for who you are. If you come more than once, we treat you like the family you are. Doing more than that by adding additional guidelines and commitments that you’ve already made long ago amounts to legalism and shouldn’t be a part of our churches.

These ideas about Christian identity are radical (though, truth be told, they really do have ancient and biblical precedent) and have consequences all the way up and down the line.

He also has something to say about Ordination. I agree with him. We in our denomination RE-Ordain people. WHAT? Credentials are Credentials. I know some Dr's of Divinity I would NEVER let in my Pulpit because they are loons. (SPONG!) I know some humble good men of God who are local licenced pastors who any Church would be thrilled to have as a leader. How did it all get so stupid anyway?

These ideas about Christian identity are radical (though, truth be told, they really do have ancient and biblical precedent) and have consequences all the way up and down the line.

It means, for example, that ordination by one ecclesial body ought to be respected by others and things like “regularization of orders” or “re-ordination” ought to be condemned. What?!? It’s only your particular fellowship or denomination that’s rightly ordaining ministers? Please. Let us abandon this sort of denominational thinking in favor of being in line with the actual truth of the matter.

AMEN MY BROTHER! I'm proud to be a member with you in the only church body that matters. THE CHURCH.

A Book that Helps Reveal the True Nature of God

I don't read many "Christian" books anymore. I own a thousand or so, have read them all, but find much of which is in Christian bookstores to be mostly banal. I have given up finding anything that really is worthwhile.

Once in a while one comes along that is fresh, new, challenging, painful and revelatory. This is one such. The Shack.

I won't even try to tell you the story line, I won't try to convince you of it. It's only a couple hundred pages and readable in a couple hours. I finished reading it this morning. Peggy and I read the whole thing in one sitting. Unfortunately if you start reading it, you won't stop till it's done.

Being a partial Biblicist I recognize the faithfulness to scripture. If you want to try to take another look at the doctrine of the Trinity this can help.

What really helped is the idea of the fractal of life. A fractal is one of those pictures of people's faces that makes up the whole of the USA map. You have to look close at this map to see one face. But there it is. Every event we live is a color or tone on the fractal of our lives. Nothing is good or bad but our thinking of it that makes it so. It's a clear understanding of Romans 8:28.

I recommend this book. You can get all the information on it by going to this website.

It might be in Christan bookstores. Or not. I don't go there much so I wouldn't know.

If you want to know God better in all his glory read this book. It'll ring more true than you know. It can help heal your broken heart.

Liberal Snobs

I have known snobs. I have been a snob. I don't think being a snob is a good thing. I don't like it in Pastors, I don't like it in friends, I don't like it in Mayors, I don't like it in neighbors. If I meet a snob I keep my distance from them. If you see yourself as superior to me and look down your nose at me I will make a distinct habit of avoiding all contact with you. As a snob it's all you deserve.

In the last couple days Barak Obama has found himself in deep weeds for saying some things that reveal the snobbish side of Liberalism. Liberalism snobbishly says, "I know better than you do, that you are stupid, that your belief in things we can't prove (religion) is flawed and most important let me run your life for you because bluntly you're are too darn dumb". That's a sad but true evaluation of what it's all about.

Let me introduce you to the face of liberalism. The snob:

On the other hand Clinton didn't do herself much good in saying:
“I don’t think it helps to divide our country into one America that is enlightened and one that is not,” Clinton continued...

I guess Liberalism is an elitist snobbish political movement.

Leaves me out.......

Friday, April 11, 2008

How Bad do you WANT a Job

In this morning's Chicago Tribune was a great story about a man who was let go after 25 years in corporate life. He was also unemployable pretty much. Over 50 you see. No jobs.

So, he decided to do work no one else wanted to do. He is a pooper scooper. He picks up those piles your dog leaves all over your yard that you step in. He charges for it of course. He has a route doing this for people who find this work disgusting and distasteful.

And, he makes $75,000 per year doing it.

So, if you are un or under employed and would do ANYTHING for a Job, I have only one question. Do you want it as bad as Ron Johnson the Poo be Gone man.

How bad do you want a job?

War and Cancer - I hate them BOTH

I have lost friends to both war and cancer. It hurts.

I wish both were abolished forever. There is a cure for cancer. It's a killer. It's purpose is to destroy the body. It grows and only by extraordinary violent means is the cancer stopped.

It's ugly, it's painful. It causes loss.

One of my friends, Beth, who had brain cancer lost her hair, lost weight, lost a part of her brain, lost her complexion and bluntly wondered all thru her treatment if it was worth it all. The price for fighting cancer was too high. It made her cry. It caused her pain. She was sick much of the time.

But after almost three years of fighting Beth was declared cancer free. Today, 5 years later she is much recovered. Oh there are scars, there is remembrance, there has been loss. It cost her a marriage. She went nearly bankrupt from the cost of the cure. She lost her home.

But she's alive and recovering. Beth is brave.

There is a cancer on the earth that is trying to kill us. We can let it and avoid the pain and tears or we can take the treatment and live.

The price either way is expensive and painful.

One way is certain death, death coming while we are pretending there is no threat, the other is life, difficult but life.

I hate war and I hate the process people have to go thru to cure cancer. Neither are desirable. Some work better than others. It's all hope trust and attempts, some that fail, some that succeed. It's the end that justifies the means. Some people do extraordinary things while fighting cancer.

But hiding and hoping the cancer will go away is not a cure, it's just fatal delay.

War. For the right reason, it's all we have.

Why isn't this man in JAIL?

A private citizen is going against the policy of the USA and meeting in the open with an enemy of our country. He has been told don't do it. He is obstinate and decides he will spit in the face of our government.

If that were you or me they would arrest you and put you in Jail as they should. You have no right as a private citizen to commiserate with a known terrorist, particularly if you have been warned off.

SO, I have just one question. Why isn't this man in Jail? PICTURE HERE.

This Guy Plays Guitar EXACTLY like I do

I mean, he uses a pick, his guitar has strings, it's made of wood. What's the difference. OK, I'll practice this PM.


His Name is Monte Montgomery.


With several other people from Church we spent yesterday in Court witnessing the criminal trial of one of our members.  I won't go into detail here, if you know about it you need none, if you don't it's really not your business.
I see Jesus in everything.  Even sitting in that courtroom I saw a vision of the trial we will all face.  We will stand before the right and perfect Judge.  Satan our accuser will bring the indictments.  Our sin.  If we are found guilty on even one of those points we are condemned to an eternal Hell.  It's not popular to talk of this, but I'm not looking to be popular.
Here's where the vision gets good.  The judge says, how do you plead?  Without a word guilt is all over us.  We are sin.  We deserve eternal punishment.  We deserve to hear the Gavel come down and the word Guilty pronounced.  No defense attorney in the world can save me.  No amount of evidence.  No clever legal maneuvers.  No long list of character witnesses.  Even Mother Theresa stood at the bar.  Even Pope John Paul II.  Even James D. Kennedy.   They stood before the Judge Guilty of the penalty of eternal death, guilty of sin.
The advocate.  Much better than anyone who ever appeared on the fictitious Boston Legal could be, THE advocate stands before the Judge.  He is perfect, He is Sinless and he has an "IN" with the Judge.  Somehow in some supernatural way He and the Judge are ONE person.
The Judge is the Advocate and the Advocate is the Judge.  The courtroom is amazed to see what happens next.  The Advocate asks the defendant, the fully guilty defendant to rise.  When he does, the Advocate somehow embraces the defendant and in a flood of red, blood it looks like, the defendant is hidden within the  Advocate.  The Judge looks at the Advocate and says, I see no sin.  Innocent.  The gavel bangs, Satan loses again.  The accused walks free into an eternity of Passionate Worship of the One who set Him Free.
He doesn't owe a bill, he doesn't owe his life, he owes his eternal devotion which he happily pays. 
That's how it will be for all of us and unless we are hidden in Christ we will hear that gavel come down, guilty.  And the Judge Advocate will with a tear in his eye have to turn his face as the accusers demons haul us away.  He wants to never bring down the gavel as Guilty.
This differed a great deal from the outcome of yesterday's trial.  Only the Mercy of God and of a Human Judge will keep this man from Prison.  There will be those of us who will stand and testify of his humanity.  We will tell of the good works the man has done, his heart, his family, his life, his affiliation with a Church.  All that may be interesting but it may mean nothing.  We will be hopeful but we are only human.  The verdict is still guilty.  No matter what good things you or I have ever done, no matter our upbringing, no matter our history, no matter our church membership, we will all stand and be found guilty.  Because we are.  There is only ONE difference.  We have an advocate who takes upon himself all our sin in his blood.  Without that, no matter how good our life is or was we are doomed.
This will take the true deliverance of the Lord and only Intercession thru the Holy Spirit will things change for the better for my friend to avoid Jail.  We can only avoid Hell if we have all our sins paid for in full.  That is not our ability.  It's only Jesus.  Not Buddha, Not Mohammed, Not Krishna, Not Oprah.  They can't save you.  They aren't well connected with the Father Judge.  Only Jesus.
When the sentence comes it will be terrifying.  Not as terrifying as the sentence a person who does not believe will hear when it is too late and he hears that gavel fall.

One Benefit from the Fall of Communism

I saw this on John Armstrong's Blog this morning.
Back in the days of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Red Army had an official choir composed of male soldiers and musicians. It still exists. The Red Army Choir performs throughout Russia to this day.

Now consider the Finnish rock band called The Leningrad Cowboys. A little while ago, they held a concert in Russia, in which---to the screaming applause of Russkie teen-agers---they got the Red Army Choir to join them on stage for a performance of "Sweet Home Alabama." In English. You couldn't make this up. You have to see and hear this to really believe it.

I loved it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A day in the country

I was out doing what I do a lot of this time of year. Tagging trees.  Nice work.  Good to do.  Worth the time and energy.
After it got dark I stopped in and got a haircut in a little barber shop in the small central IL town.  This is a town of 1500 or so and it looks a lot like every other small town on the prairie.  Not much going on.  Lots of empty storefronts.  Hope for the future but not much prospect. 
My haircut cost 9 bucks.  I gave him a ten.  Keep the Change.  He thanked me profusely.  I guess in small town IL people don't tip.
I had not anything to eat, so I stopped at the little sunshine cafe for some all you could eat spaghetti.  It's Wednesday's special.  They must have thought I was starving, the plate they brought me was all I could eat.  Not el dente.  Soggy.  But as advertised, spaghetti.
The part of that meal most interesting was rubbernecking in on the conversation in the restaurant which like all small town restaurants are room conversations.  Not between any particular people, just people talking and others joining in invited or not to contribute their $.02 worth. 
The discussion was of Gas Prices, vacation plan curtailment, a new car someone bought, shortage of money, usual stuff.
This is not a conversation I hear in St. Charles Bistros.  There is not this universal conversation going on.
If I had picked up this whole little town and dropped it anywhere in the Dakotas you wouldn't have known the difference.  One last comment during one of the conversations was how the last pickup truck the fellow I was talking to cost more than he paid for his house 2 years ago.  $40,000.   In small town IL you can buy a lot of house for $40,000. But, Pickup trucks cost what they cost.
There is a great disconnect going on in the world.  Maybe John Edwards was right, there is two Americas.  I just think he's wrong in identifying them.  There's Urban and Rural.  Not rich and poor.
In retrospect, I'm not sure who's rich and who's poor in St. Charles or in Gilman.  I work enough with poor folks in the inner city to tell you their poverty is far different from the poverty of folks in Rural IL.  Of course, all that is being changed by $5 corn at 200 Bushels per Acre. 
Life as we know it is about to change - AGAIN.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A Higher Standard

We are all sinners saved by grace thru faith in Jesus. That's 4 important things.

  • Sinners (I am one and so are you, no one is without sin)
  • Grace (Mercy not merit)
  • Faith (nothing I can do will save me, I can't even have faith without him providing the ability)
  • Jesus (not Oprah, not Buddha, Not a Higher Power, Not nothing but Jesus)
So, I know all that. Just wanted to affirm it.


If a person is in a leadership role and he is proclaims his Christianity as a Merit Badge and even if it's only part of his persona, there is a higher standard he must walk than someone who does not for one reason or another yet Know Jesus.

That's why I was and am so Hard on Rev Jeremiah Wright. He should meet a higher standard. I'm hard on Pat Robertson. I'm hard on some Pastors. I'm hard on Jimmy Carter who is continuing to fumble his way thru his last years messing about where he doesn't belong.

I'm hardest on myself. I try hard to maintain a higher standard. I don't often and if you call me on it I'm willing to hear. If however you don't know what you are talking about and haven't earned the right to do so I'll ignore you and go on.

I have such men who hold me to a a higher standard in my life. John Armstrong is one such. While we don't talk enough and I try not to wear him out by writing too many annoying emails, but he keeps me sharp. I think about what I write in light of the knowledge that he would have the right and I would hear his criticism of my writing.

We are working on a project together. It will mean I will be doing some writing for publicity. I know I will have to be doubly careful in this.

My friend Barry Kolb is also one such. As is Harry Hein. Gray hair and years have a way of sharpening vision. I think about what I write with the knowledge that both of these men will read with a critical eye what I Post.

I hold these men to a higher standard. I have taken all three of them to task at one time or another when I have felt like they were off base. I don't know if they always appreciate the hammer when it comes. I do.
Proverbs tells us the wise man values rebuke, while the fool rejects reproof (see Proverbs 12:15 and Proverbs 10:17). I want to be wise, don't you?

The Bible says that one man sharpens another as Iron sharpens Iron. Iron can only sharpen iron if it has a rough surface and is harder than the iron it's trying to sharpen. Files and axes come to mind.

I think that goes both ways. When I am taken to task for something, I accept it, rough and ugly as it might be.

Back to Reverend Wright:

If Rev Wright had said, "Folks, I have been imprudent in some of my sermons and I apologize first to people who see this and think I hate America. I don't. I apologize to my congregation for inciting ideas and mindsets that are false. Please forgive me". He didn't

If Jimmy Carter had said, "My fellow Americans, I am no longer your president. I lost that election. I have been out of line meddling in international affairs on my own without first coordinating my actions with the current President. I was wrong and I apologise".

Neither did nor will. I hold them to a higher standard and bluntly they failed.

Corporate Mindedness In The Church

I lifted this directly from Steve Scott's fine Blog, From the Pew. Steve is a great man of God and I appreciate his writing. He nails this one so dead on I thought rather than just link it, I would repost it. I have certain readers who tell me they will read what I repost, if I just link, not so much. I think this tenancy to make the CEO of the Corporation the Head Elder or Congregational President is a flawed governance. Read his post here or on his Blog.

There's a certain type of thinking that many people engage in that some of my friends and I call "corporate mindedness." It's the type of thinking that places norms of American business and legal practices above other methods of doing things. It's the type of thinking that says that a CPA with an MBA working as an accountant for a large corporation would make a better deacon than a regular Joe who runs his own janitorial service. His corporate training in following company policy makes him more qualified to handle the church budget than somebody who merely needs to feed his kids. It's the type of thinking that says that a man trained in the most prominent of seminaries is more qualified as a pastor than a man with a bible, the Holy Spirit, and experiences in the trenches of life.

It is the type of thinking that will seek counsel from attorneys, corporate professionals, licensed "experts" before reading God's word. It places state law above what the bible says. It looks at a man's earthly accomplishments as approved by a system as better than a humble, selfless servant who will do what it takes regardless of what man's laws say. It places more weight on how something will look to a judge in court than how it will look to The Judge on judgment day.

Corporate mindedness isn't limited to academic and business elites; it can be brainwashed into existence in the most common of people. The more you hear something, the more you believe it. Corporate mindedness has infiltrated the church, and the
kingdom suffers.


The Ragged Edge

Airlines, particularly low cost airlines are failing with amazing speed. Aloha, ATA, Oasis and a couple others I won't look up just now.

There will be more.

What stirs me about this is two things:

1. The lack of the airlines ability to contend with high fuel prices and counter that with equivalent fare increases. I can't believe that the elasticity of demand is so great. People have to fly and I would have thought that it were far more inelastic than all that.

2. The scrubbing of an economy by downturns and economic difficulty. I have lived thru a few of these. Some were far worse than this. The net result was that on the other side more durable businesses survived. We have not seen the end of this. Some of this is actually good for the economy. When it begins again the foolishness in the marketplace will be far less.

I'm convinced and concerned that government stay out of this. They seem to have a penchant to get involved in a natural cycle that is critical to new growth.

This is true in a spiritual sense as well. Jesus said, "I can guarantee this truth: A single grain of wheat doesn't produce anything unless it is planted in the ground and dies. If it dies, it will produce a lot of grain". These business failures, job losses, bankruptcies, foreclosures, contractions and currency devaluations are all important, yea, essential to regain the fruitfulness of our economy.

This will be over soon anyway. A year from now this will look very very different.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Finding THE ONE that Speaks in Tounges

I was listening to Relevant Radio (a catholic radio network) and heard an ad for Catholic It was interesting. My first thought was, "Hey, why isn't there such a site for Pentecostals"? I'm not looking but I know it can be hard to find others who believe what you do and with whom you would not be unequally yoked.

So Mr Google stepped in. Sure enough. There is such a site. I can see it all now: SWF Pentecostal seeking SWM Radical 30 yrs old or older.

I was surprised but then maybe not. It's a good thing. Religious division in a family can be hard. So if you're Catholic and want to meet a nice single Catholic there's a home for you to do so. On the other hand:

Take a look here.

Things I believe now and forever

I am a Pentecostal Christian Thru and Thru. I believe in all the teachings that my faith in the Trinity of God embraces. But, I also have a basic belief in solid theology taught by a great man some time back. What's interesting to me is that as a Pentecostal I hear this teaching more in Churches where the Holy Ghost is free to move than in many that carry this author's name.

Any Ideas who said all these things?? No fair googling it. Guess. Jimmy Swaggart, Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Ken Copeland. Oh, yes, this is exactly what they preach today as if it were a brand new theology and have followers by the millions. So, who said it and why is it not taught in his church anymore? (for the most part)

"The truth is, I am all sin."

"Pray, and let God worry."

Faith and God live together.

"Reason is the enemy of faith."

"Nothing good ever comes of violence."

"Blood alone moves the wheels of history."

"The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid."

"If I had no sin I should not need Christ."

"Christian life consists of faith and charity."

"Every evening brings us nearer God."

"I would rather obey than work miracles."

"Sin is essentially a departure from God."

"Everything that is done in the world is done by hope."

"The God of this world is riches, pleasure and pride."

"Faith cannot help doing good works constantly."

"No, Satan, you cannot delude me into thinking I am holy."

"I more fear what is within me than what comes from without."

"The heart of the giver makes the gift dear and precious."

"The law discovers the disease. The gospel gives the remedy."

"Faith is permitting ourselves to be seized by the things we do not see."

"Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding."

"Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God."

"Grace is given to heal the spiritually sick, not to decorate spiritual heroes."

"You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say."

"Prayer is a strong wall and fortress of the church; it is a goodly Christian weapon."

"Yes, to have a god means to trust and to believe in Him with your whole heart."

"Wealth is the smallest thing on earth, the least gift that God has bestowed on mankind."

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

"Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying."

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree."

"God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees, and flowers, and clouds, and stars."

Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.

"To bestow peace and grace lies in the province of God, who alone can create these blessings."

"Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime."

"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage."

"Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire!"

"Ask God to work faith in you, or you will remain forever without faith, no matter what you wish, say or can do."

To have a god means this: You expect to receive all good things from it and turn to it in every time of trouble.

"Faith is a living, bold trust in God's grace, so certain of God's favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it."

"Peace is more important than all justice; and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace."

"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess."

"All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired."

"Count it one of the highest virtues upon earth to educate faithfully the children of others, which so few, and scarcely any, do by their own."

"Faith, like light, should ever be simple and unbending; while love, like warmth, should beam forth on every side, and bend to every necessity of our brethren."

"I do not bother my head with speculations about the nature of God. I simply attach myself to the human Christ, and I find joy and peace, and the wisdom of God in Him."

"In His death He is a sacrifice, satisfying for our sins; in the resurrection, a conqueror; in the ascension, a king; in the intercession, a high priest."

"Anyone who is to find Christ must first find the church. How could anyone know where Christ is and what faith is in him unless he knew where his believers are?"

"Practice this knowledge and fortify yourself against despair, particularly in the last hour, when the memory of past sins assails the conscience. Say with confidence: 'Christ, the Son of God, was given not for the righteous, but for sinners."

"My sins are not imaginary transgressions, but sins against the first table, unbelief, doubt, despair, contempt, hatred, ignorance of God, ingratitude towards Him, misuse of His name, neglect of His Word, etc.; and sins against the second table, dishonor of parents, disobedience of government, coveting of another's possessions, etc. Granted that I have not committed murder, adultery, theft, and similar sins in deed, nevertheless I have committed them in the heart, and therefore I am a transgressor of all the commandments of God."

The difference between the fabulous Clinton Economy and Bush's EVIL Recession

Hat Tip to Rob at Say Anything

Strange Dreams

I'm not a huge believer in the interpretation of Dreams.  If I have one I think is From God I have a prophet friend who specializes in these things.  I'll ask him. 
The other night I had one that haunts me.  I'm a hunter.  I know it's OK to kill what you eat and eat what you kill. 
In the dream I'm on a hunting trip. This hunting trip included killing some animals to eat that were wild horses.  They looked like horses anyway.  I have nothing against eating horses.  I have received some anger about that from certain people.
In the dream I shot but not fatally one wild horse.  Approaching the horse to finish it off as would be humane the horse spoke.  It wasn't angry.  It understood this was the order of things.  It was about to become meat. 
But it was a woman.  I mean more or less a woman and she as the horse spoke of the regret of the situation.  Still not angry.  Understanding but wounded.
Of course I couldn't finish her/it off and found medical help for my wound of her/it.  Took her to a medical facility and the dream ended. 
Pretty weird huh? 
I don't know why or what that all means.  It may mean I shouldn't have had that last piece of Dominos Philly Cheesesteak Pizza. 
Or maybe I need to rethink how I deal with people's feelings regarding horses and their affection towards them.  I've not always been understanding in that regard. 
I don't think Horses have souls and they aren't human.  But they have a differing value to people than a beef steer at 1200 pounds.
That may be what that dream was all about.  I wounded without knowing there was a person under all that.

What in God's Name Have I Done??

I was thinking today about something I heard on a Voice of the Martyrs broadcast recently:
In Islamic Sharia Law and in particular Iranian law if a Muslim converts to Christianity and Embraces Jesus it is a death sentence.  Not all die but all face a sentence of death.
Real courage means coming to the cross may mean losing your life.
What have we done? 
Give me he courage to lay it all down no matter what.

End of Days End of Times

Over the years I find myself honing certain truths theologically.  What that means is books I read 30 years ago as a new Christian are now relegated to the not so much graveyard. 
I am less and less and less likely to embrace some authors take on some theoretical outcome of end times theology than I used to.  I have not read the Left Behind books.  Don't care about them.  I did read several a long time ago.  Late Great Planet Earth.  I do and can interpret much of the eschatology writings from scripture.  I believe I do it with some accuracy. 
I do NOT believe in amillenialism.  or Pure Premillenialism.  I'm not a label person.  Don't think it pays to find myself in that place and don't want to use a label to put you in a place where you shouldn't be placed.
Here's what I believe:
Much of the writing of the catastrophes predicted in Matthew and Revelation have already happened.  72 AD.  Titus  Andronicus. 
But not all.
Some of the writings are prophetic in that we must learn from them to spot patterns emerging time and time again.  Past is prologue.
So I am not a PURE preterist.  I don't think it all  is over and that's it then. 
I do believe that there may be good evidence for a rapture.  Certainly on a personal level there always is a time when in  a deep trouble we are snatched up and taken away.  Some call that death.  It's only death if you don't know Jesus.  Otherwise "Shall we ever be with the Lord". 
I do believe in the Preterist theology of taking dominion.  That Christ's Kingdom is meant to be here on earth.  That Godly leadership and Godly government is better than ungodly.  I want to see every politician in the USA and around the world bow the Knee to Jesus in Worship not submission.  That's as it should be.  I have it on Biblical authority that at the Name of Jesus.....
The problem with the little boxes of labels we all hang on each other is we never allow for thinking outside of that little box. 
It is wrong for a Christian to ignore the warnings of prophecy in Ezekiel, Daniel, Matthew and Revelation.  Or Zechariah for that matter.  We must understand how the devil works.  Those are good informers of that.  We must also have faith that no matter what, God has not forgotten.  Prophecy informs that too.
What I am most concerned about are those who order their lives according to the latest sign from Israel or in the heavens or in  politics that causes them to think the end is Thursday.  So they live in fear. 
Prophecy should not bring a spirit of fear but one of a sound mind.  If I am speaking to anyone who lives under the impression that causes oppression I would advise you to take another look.  Contact me and I can help you.  It's too hard to go thru life worrying that the antichrist is under your bed.

Racial Politics and False Prophets

I was impressed with this essay by Star Parker. Her take on the whole mess and black racism and victim politics and our failed culture is so right on. I recommend you read the whole thing. It's critical to get a proper perspective on why we are in the mess we are.

Will Racial Politics Ever End?
By Star Parker
Monday, April 7, 2008

On April 4, 1968, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. walked out on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tenn., and was felled by an assassin's bullet.

It is a poignant and hurtful thing to recall. But, now, 40 years later, circumstances provoke more than the usual reflection about this man, his life and our country.

Given what King lived and died for, and given his milestone civil-rights achievements in his short life, why are we still talking about race in the United States in 2008?

Today, we have not just black millionaires but black billionaires, black celebrities, black CEOs, accomplished black professionals in every field. We have black governors, mayors and national and state legislatures filled with black representatives.

Certainly in our large cities, interracial couples no longer get stares.

Will electing a black man president finally bridge the racial divide? The prospect hovers before us. Yet, rather than fading into the background, the focus on race is getting more intense.

Can it be that, along with money and sex, talk about race will be with us forever?

King asked the question in his "I Have a Dream" speech.

"There are those who are asking ... When will you be satisfied?" And he answered, quoting the prophet Amos, not until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."

I would assume that even the most rabid Barack Obama supporter wouldn't claim an Obama administration would produce a mighty stream of righteousness.

So will it ever end?

The civil-rights movement led by King was, of course, a Christian movement. Its songs were spirituals. Its color and tangibility came from biblical imagery. It recalled the Israelites enslaved in Egypt and Moses demanding Pharoah to "let my people go."

And, in those fateful words that night before he was shot, King said he'd gone "up to the mountain. ... And I've seen the Promised Land."

The Israelites wandered for 40 years. Soon after they left Egypt, it was evident the generation of slaves was not ready to become a generation capable of the responsibilities of freedom.

Although there probably is no word more frequently used in American political discourse than "freedom," our popular sense of this word is quite different from the principle in that biblical story of liberation.

Receiving the law was the crucial stop between escaping Egyptian servitude and entering the Promised Land. Freedom amounted to exchanging external oppression for personal responsibility.

Like Moses, the great prophet and leader of the Israelites, King did not make it into the land.

Perhaps the message is that even the greatest leader has his place. He can lead in adversity, but he cannot live your life for you.

The Israelites' great sin, which condemned them to wander for 40 years, was to say, despite having all that they needed, "We're not ready. We can't do it. The challenge is too great."

King led the movement that produced the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, closing the door on legal discrimination in this country. But more than 40 years later, we still hear, "We're not ready. We can't do it."

Washington lobbyists and special interests are not to blame for single-parent homes, drugs, promiscuity, abortion and sexually transmitted diseases, high-school dropouts and the accompanying poverty. The conditions reflect personal decisions and can only be addressed through personal conviction and resolve.

The Israelites were warned about false prophets. In today's terminology, I'd call this anyone, be it politician or clergyman, who suggests that anyone but you can solve your own problems.

The greatest tribute any American, black or white, can pay to King is to embrace the traditional values and truths critical to live the free life that his work helped make possible.

By so doing, racial politics will finally end and righteousness will flow "like a mighty stream."

Star Parker is a regular commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News as well as author of White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay.

He Picked the Wrong Girl to Kidnap

If this wasn't so sad it would be funny.

A young Fargo ND gal, 23, Former Miss North Dakota Runner up was accosted by an armed gunman who informed her he was going to rape and kill her.

It didn't go well. While she prayed for him and hoped he finds God, she beat him up till the cops arrived.

I don't know this lady but I'll bet she's something.

Don't mess with these ND women unless you want to bleed.

Read the whole story.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Why people that watch Colbert and the Daily Show are so ignorant about current events

"The Daily Show” at mocking John McCain for a recent series of speeches in which he tried to draw lessons from his experiences of 71 years:

“Oh! Gather ‘round, everybody! An old man wants you to get on a bus so he can tell you stories about his life! Wow!”

There were 10 minutes of jokes about how an old man and history are “boring.”

Next up: A hip “Daily Show” parody about a dumbed-down culture with hardly a moment for, and almost no consciousness of, anything that happened before 1995.

QT Sun Times

I have wondered if in fact the left LIKES it that way, ignorance and gullibility masked in ridicule. Makes it easy to deceive people that way.

Democratic Patriotism can be Anti Maxim

Democrats in Seattle were meeting. During the meeting one of the delegates suggested that in the spirit of being patriotic that the convention should pledge allegiance to the flag:

At the mere mention of doing the pledge there were groans and boos. Then, when the district chair put the idea of doing the Pledge of Allegiance up to a vote, it was overwhelmingly voted down. One might more accurately say the idea of pledging allegiance to the flag (of which there was only one in the room, by the way, on some delegate’s hat) was shouted down.

Obama feeling the heat tried hard to convince Americans that he is a patriot. I have a feeling if he goes down that path too far he might lose votes in Seattle.

Hat tip to Rob at Say Anything

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Books that Make Sense

This is an interesting book list. I agree with all of them. I have read nearly all of these books.

So, if you haven't read them, do. It will open some spiritual doors for you.

I particularly encourage you to read Francis Schaeffer. It changed my life.

The Church of Oprah

I have been disturbed for a long time by the misleading of Oprah Winfrey and her Gurus. They are making some serious inroads into people with weak theology. This is dangerous stuff.

This video defines what the problem is. Even if you are not a professing Christian you have to ask this question, "How did Oprah become a Spiritual leader". She's not, she's leading people straight into hell.