Saturday, June 30, 2012

Recalling the MayDay Fire & Riot Dream....

As more of the fires now spreading around the West are being attributed to arson . . . my dream the night before the MayDay keeps coming to mind . . . . The jist of the dream was that fires were being set all around the outskirts of the city . . . intentionally . . . as a distraction and to stretch resources and "authorities" away from the city . . . while in the city, race wars and riots were being organized to be also set off at a certain signal . . . . And then there was the part about the Christian "church" being duped and infiltrated related to and during the ensuing chaos and mayhem . . . .

Several quick "confirmations" (at least, I took them to be) . . . occurred immediately after the dream, the next day.  One was hearing the news report of "Al-Qaida's" recent charge to its followers to "unleash hell" by starting wildfires . . . in the Western dry environs . . . . Also, randomly hearing about a mysterious, apparently somewhat secret military operation called "Operation Torch" . . . . And, as I was on the phone with Zeph, during the May Day interview . . .  I looked out across the valley . . . and noticed a fire that had suddenly flared up as I was talking about the dream . . . .

Looking back now, it seems to me that quite soon after the show and that dream . . . the fires started . . . and have been increasingly in the news, starting to headline . . . .
Indeed, we have had several serious and damaging fires, homes lost . . . quite nearby . . . .

In Colorado, recent reports are that 10 or more fires have been deliberately set . . . .

Now, I know that some or many of the fires are because of the conditions and accidents . . . but I'm beginning to wonder just how many.  I mean, would we really be told the truth if in fact that a lot of these major fires were the result of terrorist activity?  Maybe not . . . . It's not like our government is at its most honest and forthcoming lately . . . .

If what was in my dream bears out . . . then I would be expecting that right about now . . . as resources and responders keep getting ever  more stretched out and ragged . . . WITHIN the cities . . . quiet, seditious organizing is underway . . . and that the action will at some point switch to there . . . . Though in the dream, it never got to the point of the civil/city rioting and violence . . . so I never saw what that looked like--just who was mostly behind it.....

All in all, I have never seen the people I run into . . . old acquaintances . . . extended family and friends (we just had a funeral where many of such were present) . . . are so concerned--well, outright scared and anxious about what is happening in and to the country here.  Everyone I met related to being quite viscerally devastated at the Supreme Court's Obummercare decision . . . shocked, depressed, angry . . . .

God bless and protect and guide you all during the "fires" to come . . . .

(((6-29-12: Nationally, 52 large fires have burned more than 900,000 acres. Thirteen new large fires were reported yesterday. Residents near several large fires across the country remain evacuated.)))National Interagency Fire Center

[just for recalling . . . below are some of the relevant excerpts (April 30 thru May 3rd)  from when I wrote about the fire dream, fwiw]


------ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"It has been a while since I have had that particular kind of prompting related to direness of the hour . . . and I have not had any "prophetic" style dreams in a while either . . . .

Last night I did, and as has happened in the past . . . several "confirmations" in the manner I've become accustomed to . . . followed today . . . related to the subject of the dream   . . . .
 -------------
The dream was about . . . fires being set . . . in a city . . . on purpose--many fires suddenly and widely scattered . . . so as to stretch resources and cause distractions . . .  They were precursor to what was scheduled to be a night of mayhem--civil unrest, organized . . . an explosion of terror in the city, directed by certain groups and agendas . . . .
. and I was shown a preview of its coming troubles . . . betrayed foolishly from the inside . . . and it was related to the riotous events and agents thereof in the city scene . . . .----
My son Isaac and I were traveling, driving . . . on the outskirts of a city.  Driving toward the city, but still in the "outback" . . . where there were fields . . . industrial areas . . . some houses--the outskirts.  That is when we noticed a fire, small . . . but a definite thick white smoke rising up.  As we moved along . . . we spotted another fire . . . on the opposite side of the outskirts . . . then another . . . and another.  As we began to be passed by firetrucks and first responders . . . going in the different directions, we realized that these were not accidental fires, but had been deliberately set.


We continued to see them, even as we approached and entered the city area.  We were not in a "good" part of town as we proceeded and stopped at one point and got out and mingled a bit with folks there and that is when I noticed, as dusk was settling in . . . a definite unease in the inhabitants . . . they were expectant, like something was going on and about to really to go on.  I caught snatches of furtive conversations, whisperings about what was expected for the night.  At this point we had realized that the fires had been set in order to start diversions and stretching of "official" resources, leaving the city relatively empty . . . of "authorities".
Regarding the fires part of the dream . . . the next day, Monday, I received at least two clear confirmatory "signs" . . . about the concept and term of "fires" . . . . Like I say, this kind of pre-cog protocol hasn't happened for a while . . . but seems to be on the move now . . . .

Anyway, . . . as the t.v. popped on this morn . . . Good Morning America was starting and headlining the news--first story of the day, was a report about Al Qaeda magazine's new article telling its members and fellow terrorists to "unleash hell" in the form of widespread fires throughout the American countryside . . . .
It also stuck me . . . on that Monday . . . as the confirm were rolling in . . . I heard someone mention something called "Operation Torch" . . . which the military is currently training for . . . ."

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Gravity of our Situation

We don't appreciate the gravity of sin.  We are almost blissfully unaware of the offense of our rebellion and natural predilection to reject, spurn, loathe and ignore God.

We do not want to believe . . . in the hell the Word of God describes.  We may accept the rest of the Bible, but there must be a mistake there . . . perhaps a bad translation . . . or some sadistic special interest hijacked the scripture just to terrify people and control them through fear . . . .

We do not understand the meaning of the pure, absolute holiness of God and how He cannot forever tolerate evil, but will have absolute justice rule.

People do not realize the dire situation they are in, flaunting their self love, claiming credit for "successes" . . . pursuing pleasure, shabby fame, temporary security . . . prideful, oblivious and nonchalant as to the gift of life--their life; shrugging it all off, saying "whatever happens, happens--who can know?"

Busy in following a chain of entertainments . . . we rarely, if ever, stop to think and appreciate . . . the magnitude of what God did . . . deigning to be born as a man, limiting Himself in order to suffer all the effects of sin and the fallen world . . . to be so utterly scourged and take the penalty which deviant self-willed creation wrought . . . .

How serious is it?  Serious enough that He did that!  Oh, but the casual soul doesn't care enough to ponder the real horror of such a situation.  "Please, don't bring me down . . . . I don't want to feel guilt or shame.  I've decided not to, in fact.  Instead, I will live and party and work and pursue as I see fit, not really too concerned over big questions, like 'what is it all for?' . . . . "

First, of all things, we should be mortified--brought to our knees in humiliation and desperation.  No?  You mean that Jesus subjected Himself to the most debased, tortured, horrific of deaths . . . so that we can cavalierly shrug . . . chuckle . . . and walk away shaking the head, as if it's no big deal?

"Well . . . I don't know if I believe all that . . . . I mean, yeah, Jesus was a great man . . . maybe even the Son of God . . . but I don't believe in a God Who punishes people . . . Who creates a hell for those who reject and hate Him . . . . "

Well then, you don't understand the gravity of the situation here, do you . . . .

Perhaps you have been able to avoid real, life-changing tragedy in your life so you've never felt the need to find God, or, you do sort of believe in Him . . . but not with any intensity or urgency . . . . He is an afterthought . . . .

We do not understand the degree--the absolute degree!--that we are dependent on Him for our every breath; for every good thing that we enjoy; for the very fact of our individual life--the opportunity to experience, to choose, to enjoy, to have family, friends, work . . . the basics . . . all utterly and completely ONLY because HE IS . . . and that He deigned to create us for HIS "pleasure" (though not the tawdry, debased notion of "pleasure" we understand) . . . .

How insane . . . . How delusional . . . . How childishly small minded . . . . How weak and pathetic . . . is it that we are born . . . and then run off living a life for ourselves, amassing what honor and goods we can, attributing all to our "innate" attributes . . . NEVER realizing that not one second of this life is lived by our own power and ability and talent.  Not one shred can we claim actual credit for.  For our very existence in the first place . . . is only because of the will and intention of the divine, Fatherly Creator . . . .

And then to be angry and rebellious on top of it?  Demanding things . . . . Resentful over this or that "bad luck" in our life . . . . Feeling entitled to more? . . . . Expecting what we want when we want it! . . . . Sinning all the time . . . . Mostly ignoring the suffering of others, content to pile up our own little corner of treasure while others starve and curl up crying in pain?

We should be mortified . . . . !  Who do we think we are?  Barely listening, only sometimes reading, thinking on the commands and direction and intention of our spiritual Father, when we get a random urge or sleight twinge of guilt . . . .

Meanwhile, the rest of the time . . . it's me, me, me . . . . Hurry, while still young . . . . Horde and shun when getting old . . . serving King Self Comfort . . . content to put on a show of religion maybe, and if having found the little garden of self-righteousness to feed from, then dictating to others, demanding compliance according to our own opinions and predilections, and when they don't, feeling smug and superior . . . .

The idol of modern self esteem . . . recoils and grimaces at this message.  "It's not 'healthy'.  What are we supposed to do, go around hating ourselves?  What good is that?"

Well, we should hate . . . YES HATE . . . the sin that we still carry and the evil which has infected God's Creation . . . . And HATE that life in us which is dedicated to conscienceless self serving ignorance--that cold heart which does not see or feel or recognize the seriousness of the situation, but only wants to revel in distraction, forgetfulness, ceaseless entertainment, pleasure and comfort . . . . That one who is GOING TO HELL if he or she . . . does not wake up to what has happened in this world, described by the very Word of God . . . Who shows us the way to safety, to salvation . . . . And Says that we must LOSE our life . . . if we are to gain life eternal, glorified, in the presence of God . . . .

The fool argues all day long and puts off decision . . . . "Well, I just don't know if I believe all that . . . . "

Yet, the truth . . . is written on the heart . . . and the still, small voice is ever testifying . . . and revealing . . . to the earnest seeker what is true . . . . Anger and resentment and rebellion . . . come from rejecting . . . what is known . . . within . . . .

Peace and joy and rest . . . come when we finally give in . . . and bravely and sincerely face . . . the actual direness of the situation we find in being in this world and our life in this world, and the saving mission of the Son of God . . . .

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Headed For the Fires

Ahhh . . . the bitter smell of tyranny in the morning . . . .

U.S.S.A . . . United Soviet States of America . . . it's official . . . .

I can understand Marxists and Communists like Barry Soetoro and a good portion of the so-called Democrats ramming the "health care" monstrosity down our throats and glad to do so . . . . And delusional megalomaniacs with brain dysfunction like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Christ Mathews . . . going along for the self-serving ride . . . .

But what is most troubling is a coward who should know better, like Judge Roberts . . . . One man--in a black robe . . . against the democratic wishes of millions upon millions of concerned, desperate citizens . . . decides that the rule of law, the grand experiment of constitutional government is . . . over.  That is NOT a representative Constitutional Republic . . . .

This horrible decision . . . combined with the decision to deny Arizona it's sovereignty as a state authorized to defend its borders . . . plus the Court ruling allowing the EPA to regulate and mandate (make law!) "cap and trade" proscriptions on everything that moves . . . pretty well says, yeah, it's over.

Meanwhile . . . no one is noticing the United Nations Law Of the Seas Treaty (L.O.S.T.) gaining steam and may finally be slipped through by the lame duck (traitorous) Democratically controlled senate . . . which would force Americans to pay a global tax, lose control or our coastlines among other great effects . . . .
Along with the Rights of the Child Treaty which would mandate international welfare and foreign aid, but more insidiously . . . basically end parental rights where it could be criminal ie., to home school, to discipline, to have your children belong to the religion YOU choose as a parent and so on . . . children would be entitled to legal representation over any parental decision they deem "unfair" etc. . . .

It's a grim time for freedom . . . for America . . . no doubt about it . . . .

Which . . . is why, more than ever, I seek the solace and freedom found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, happy to let the foolish tinker with their rotten, sin perverted world . . . which they increasingly are messing up . . . .
While I love the world that God has made and intends . . . and am happy to speak to my brothers and sisters who love the Truth, trust the Lord . . . and try to find more who See the wisdom--yea, the NECESSITY!--of that . . . .

It is quite clear that attempts to "fix" the country, "save the planet" . . . "bring back America" . . . etc., are lost causes.  And it is written . . . how it shall end . . . .

Better to be about sharing, teaching, preaching, spreading the Gospel, to change hearts and save souls, as this whole mess is headed for the fires . . . . And those who hate God, spit on the Truth, reject the offering of the Lamb of God . . . shall have their places in the fire, sad to say . . . but thank God there will be REAL Justice at last . . . . .
 


*******************************************************

[According to the Parental Rights website, the substance of the CRC (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child) dictates the following:
  • Parents would no longer be able to administer reasonable spankings to their children.
  • A murderer aged 17 years, 11 months and 29 days at the time of his crime could no longer be sentenced to life in prison.
  • Children would have the ability to choose their own religion while parents would only have the authority to give their children advice about religion.
  • The best interest of the child principle would give the government the ability to override every decision made by every parent if a government worker disagreed with the parent’s decision.
  • A child’s “right to be heard” would allow him (or her) to seek governmental review of every parental decision with which the child disagreed.
  • According to existing interpretation, it would be illegal for a nation to spend more on national defense than it does on children’s welfare.
  • Children would acquire a legally enforceable right to leisure.
  • Teaching children about Christianity in schools has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.
  • Allowing parents to opt their children out of sex education has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.
  • Children would have the right to reproductive health information and services, including abortions, without parental knowledge or consent.
“Where the child has a right fulfilled by the government, the responsibilities shift from parents to the government,” Farris said. “The implications of all this shifting of responsibilities is that parents no longer have the traditional roles of either being responsible for their children or having the right to direct their children.” http://www.wnd.com/2009/02/87929/ ]




[LOST establishes an International Seabed Authority with the power to regulate 70% of the earth’s surface, placing seabed mining, fishing rights, deep-sea oil exploration and even the activities of the U.S. Navy under control of a global bureaucracy.
It even provides for a global tax that would be paid directly to the ISA by companies seeking to develop resources in and under the world’s oceans.
The treaty was originally finalized in the 1980s but rejected by Reagan over concerns it would cede U.S. sovereignty to the ISA and could force the United States to hand over sensitive technology to Soviet-allied states.
One of the more nefarious and insidious of its provisions is Article 82, which requires the U.S. to forfeit royalties generated from oil and gas development on the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles — an area known as the ‘extended continental shelf,’” notes the Heritage Foundation’s Mike Brownfield.

U.S. adherence to this treaty would entail history’s biggest and most unwarranted voluntary transfer of wealth AND surrender of sovereignty. LOST, which was a product of the Left/Soviet/unaligned movement agenda of the 1960s and 1970s, created the International Seabed Authority (ISA). ISA is a new supranational organization with unprecedented powers:
  • The power to regulate seven-tenths of the world’s surface area;
  • The power to levy international taxes;
  • The power to impose production quotas (for deep-sea mining, oil production, etc);
  • The power to regulate ocean research and exploration;
  • The power to create a multinational court system to render and enforce its judgments!
 http://ppjg.me/2012/05/31/reject-the-law-of-the-sea-treaty-lost/ ]

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Forgiven and Forgotten

Brought to my mind's eye . . . I see a fellow . . . someone who believes in God, loves Jesus and trusts the scriptures . . . .
And who wants to be found in the peace of God, but cannot shake the memory of certain things past. 
He has, years ago, when his flesh was weak . . . betrayed one or another loved one, wife . . . and thus family.  Maybe it was a long time ago--while for another, not so long ago . . . .
Repentance has been made, but still the thorn lingers, and gnaws in the back of the conscience.

Indeed, we have all acted in ways we now regret, if we have not so seared our conscience through the repetition of such acts that we resigned ourselves to the fires of hell, as, in fact, some have . . . .
Horrifying . . . that . . . .

But for the one who now sees the error of old ways and seeks today the mercy of the Lord, let it be well understood and fully accepted . . . that at the time of turning to the Lord, and away from pursuit of sin--upon repenting and committing to trust, in faith, upon the promises of the Saviour, then no matter how deplorable and shameful are the mistakes of the past . . . our Father in Heaven has clearly made known that He NO LONGER holds such sins in view.  HE is looking at them no more.  YOU may be . . . but HE is not!

Does the fellow really not believe this?  Believe it!  It is written!  And promised!  And He is not a liar or trickster.

Foremost, He loves you . . . and wants you to come into the peace and holy repose of His Kingdom . . . .

YOU . . . . Yes, you the individual . . . with all your quirks of personality, your unique signature of being, different from EVERYONE else . . . .
Each person is a treasure of unusual fashion.  Each one, fashioned, designed . . . in certain ways and distinction . . . unlike anyone or anything that the Holy Artist made before or after . . . .

Our Lord certainly knows--from firsthand experience!--the trials and difficulties of this (fallen) world.  Having been through it Himself, He appreciates the temptations, the weaknesses, the confusion, the strife and struggle that exists for each human . . . born onto this sin-racked and corrupted planet, where we are born to sinners, surrounded thereafter by sinners, and are ourselves shot through with sinful influence . . . .

It is His intention . . . that at last . . . we finally realize . . . accept . . . believe . . . and then move on from . . . the most profound, blessed good news that a person could ever hear.  That is, of course, that our Creator came down . . . into His creation . . . as a Son . . . and as a real, flesh and blood man, to pay THE FULL PRICE for our redemption from the clutches of sin and death!

He wiped the slate clean!

While you . . . may still be holding on to regrets and the pain and guilt of the past, KNOW THAT HE DOES NOT . . . .

The Accuser--that tired old worm--delights in all the time and emotion and energy you spend dwelling anxiously on old sins, for then you are blocking the love and joy of the Father who seeks your happiness in Him.  You become that much more ineffectual for the expressing of the Gospel . . . .

But here too, do not let the Wily One--that angry old serpent--convict you that you are not doing enough for the Lord, adding more guilt to your conscience.

Many times . . . God will not right away answer your request to be made more useful, more busy, more directly involved with efforts of ministry.  He knows our true stature in the truth . . . and while we may think we are ready for more . . . He knows that if we were to actually get it . . . it would be our undoing, so He holds it back . . . until a time when we are ready, which HE knows . . . .

I recently heard a good word from a preacher who said that . . . when we finally and truly understand and receive the love that God ALREADY has for us . . . versus . . . working at trying to make God love us . . . then we do more for the glory of the Kingdom accidentally . . . than we ever did intentionally without that understanding . . . .

It is a lack of faith . . . and a sign of some lurking distrust in the promise of God . . . to yet hold on to oppressing guilt over past sin . . . as if God doesn't really forgive and forget . . . .

There comes a time . . . to finally put it away . . . and quit looking at it, dredging it up in your mind--re-animating the old man who is dead and crucified in Christ . . . .

Truly, our Lord is a liberator!  He is here to set the captives free!  Ours, is the God of Reconciliation!  Of Redemption!  Do we doubt this?  NO!
Let freedom and love reign, in your heart, your mind--and it will sanctify your soul, no more looking back, but stepping forward, line by line, day by day . . . toward the glory that He lovingly wills for each and every unique and distinct individual of His Sons and Daughters!

your brother in that walk, thomas :)!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Day of Holy Excitement . . . .

Here we are . . . another day . . . another week . . . .
The cares and stresses of the world clamor . . . with civil contentions, moral social storms, the heathen raging like they do . . . never content to let the peace of God flourish--fighting against truth and tormenting His sheep; angry mobs and violent protests around the world . . . with wars and rumors of war on the doorstep . . . the environment, God's nature suffering--the creatures being abused, poisoned, slaughtered . . . as the wages of sin roam the whole earth and evil is sparking around every corner . . . .

Also . . . another day of small pleasures . . . joys to be found here and there . . . the wonder of birth, new life, children . . . families striving valiantly . . . mothers and fathers caring for their little ones, teaching them, playing with them . . . amidst the awe-filling beauty and diversity of creatures throughout the planet--the skies, the clouds, the mountains, rivers, jungles, deserts and oceans . . . .

Another day . . . in paradise lost . . . with all its contradictions, wheat and tares side by side . . . .

I say, let this day be like no other before it . . . for the disciple of Master Jesus, Yeshuah Ha Mashiach . . . . And this week . . . . Perhaps share with me a determination to stay close to the state of prayer and faith throughout, praying always . . . connecting, relating, sharing with the Lord constantly . . . small things, big things . . . everything . . . .
Not letting the day pass like every other . . . lukewarm . . . half-hearted . . . going through the motions . . . rote . . . robotically . . . dry . . . dull . . . . No!

While here is life . . . !  And a new opportunity to UP the level of energy and focus and dedication to the living God!  Recover wonder and gratitude for the opportunity of life--even life on this fallen, sin-racked world; for here is the great trial . . . to have our weakness and lack . . . BE FILLED BY THE SPIRIT AND POWER OF THE LORD!

Turn over a NEW leaf, beginning now . . . to talk and walk and think and react . . . like the saint you are in Christ, Jesus . . . . Of a holy people . . . a chosen race . . . a royal priesthood . . . joint-heirs with the King of the Universe! 

If you knew today that you were the child of the most powerful and wealthy king in the world . . . and that, one day, all that was his would be yours to share . . . would you not be walking with a bit more anticipatory spring in your step?  Would not the current troubles and difficulties pale in comparison to the things to come?

And then, to be able to tap others and give them the challenge that they too, should they choose to accept can also share in that glorious destiny?

And then . . . to be able . . . through the day, starting now . . . to communicate to that King and supra-natural Master of life and death, like speaking to a loving father?  Now?  Today!? . . . and the day after and the day after that . . . ongoing?

Let not another day go by where this astounding situation is not recalled, cherished, exulted in . . . maintaining the spiritual poise and holy excitement of being a disciple of THE Master of the Universe, King Jesus, our friend . . . and our Father . . . . Amen?  Amen!  :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Expressing the Ineffable MORE

There is a language . . . . An effort at communication . . . which is beyond basic human thought and speech.  Sometimes, you are not sure what it is that you want to say to God, though some burden is there.  Yes, there are specifics--certain wants and needs you desire; but this is something more.  You want MORE than just a few details and annoyances addressed in your life.  Even more than present tragedies and crises demand . . . .

Have you ever had that feeling--that urge . . . a kind of pressure welled within that is seeking something more than worded-out answers to particular problems?  It is an ineffable prompting . . . . ["ineffable":  too great or intense to be expressed in words; too sacred to be uttered; indescribable, indefinable.]

I recall the many times, as a young boy, and then a young teen . . . alone . . . maybe walking along an empty road, or perched on a rock or wall . . . looking at the sinking, melodramatic, orange-red sunset, shafts of the dying, beautiful, melancholy light coloring deep clouds . . . spotlighting golden on some distant, verdant green hillside or a swath of quiet, gently waving farm pasture . . . .

Rich and sensitive and hurting and longing . . . somewhere inside my being a cry was going out, reaching out to find Him--my God, my Creator . . . . I could sense His presence all around, but with that too a strange, obvious silence--a watching and a waiting . . . . For what?  Please tell me, I would cry . . . .




Similar to this, and still happens . . . is a wordless exertion . . . where it seems that all of the questions and concerns and wishes and desires mesh together into one unutterable movement of expression; nothing in particular, but the whole combination of wonder and awe and doubt and knowing, which, just by itself--the living fact that it is there and yearning outward--exists as some form of self confirming testimony . . . that . . . this is real . . . it all matters . . . it is cherished and important . . . and that . . . some day . . . all of the loose ends and incomplete strivings . . . and wayward shots . . . and failed efforts . . . will be brought all together into one, whole, "successful", united, utterly satisfied . . . Godly intended . . . conclusion.  Something like "it is finished."

Though, to note, included in that, is also the sense and longing and transcendent knowledge that the "conclusion" . . . the truly happy ending . . . must be but the beginning of all that you, in your deepest and most perfect parts, have longed for.  Our longings, our dreams and desires change as to details, for when we were a child . . . a summer sleepover, a vacation, a certain toy or treat are what we aimed at getting . . . while later in life, it's a mate, a house, a rewarding job etc., . . . but, some or other want is always there . . . . As we get older and approach the gates of death, we hope for pleasant and restful fields beyond, spent among beloveds . . . . But with curiosities also . . . and hobbies and learning and growing yet . . . . MORE . . . is what we want, always . . . .

And the ineffable refrain, returned to, again and again, is there, lurking, beyond and below our surface wishes, which begs to be satisfied, so that . . . WHATEVER it is that we are doing, in our full being, we are at peace, surrounded by and expressing ourselves LOVE and joy . . . and safe from evil, from death, from loss . . . .

This indescribable urge . . . must be . . . our longing for God--for He Who contains ALL of the righteous and eternal desires of our supernatural hearts, our souls.

But it is beyond words . . . and beyond mere petty details of the present life and its concerns.  No, there is something MORE we crave . . . . Something sacred, mysterious, divine, whole, pure, lovely, beautiful, awesome, infinite . . . .

I recoil slightly from bringing the adversary into the discussion of such supernal motives . . . for he tends to dirty up the air in every case . . .  BUT . . . it must be mentioned that we must be watchful, when those moments of divine longing arrive, to not settle for some flashy or seductive or impressive counterfeit to hurry and fill the void which disturbs us.

There IS a void . . . in our present state . . . and it is MEANT to disturb us . . . so this is why the tempter is always there to assuage and distract and fill . . . so that for a moment we are sated and no longer maintain that sacred hunger and thirst for the (holy) MORE of God.

When this blessed moment happens--when you are at a loss for words, yet you are still drawn to praying and to connecting to God in some way . . . go ahead and let the wordless language of the spirit express itself to the Lord.  He knows the heart and that particular longing which is beyond mere fallen, material and superficial concerns.  HE knows what it is that you are asking for--which is HE in all His glory and repleteness as it is ultimately meant for your experience!  One "day" . . . . One "day" . . . you will arrive, both He and you know, for the end is written, like the law, on your spiritual heart, which already is present with Him in the sanctity of Heaven . . . .

Do not let a lack of words, or lack of defined message or request keep you from simply and spiritually . . . expressing the language of your soul's fundamental longing for Him; for things and a life that you are not even now able to comprehend or list . . . . Somewhere in you, your SOUL knows what it needs and this subtle spiritual sense sometimes touches you in your present heart and mind, though human words cannot apprehend or contain it . . . .

Beware the devil polluting it's vagueness with choice images or ideas or intentions, which will only draw you down, back to earth, back to his fallen, sinful kingdom . . . .

You are meant for MORE . . . yea, even designed for MORE, but not the "more" of this world, which is why no one is EVER satisfied in this world, even if they have vast power, vast wealth, vast pleasure, vast knowledge . . . and a long life . . . .

The "MORE" we are made for . . . is not of this world . . . . Your eternal soul righteously desires it and one day, it will be fulfilled by it, completely and forever . . . .

You KNOW this . . . somewhere within . . . for it is written on your heart and in the Book of Life, do you not?  Yes, you do!  Praise God! 
[Let it be known . . . the "more" . . . is glorification . . . . Those he fore-fashioned for eternity . . . he justifies . . . . Those justified, He sanctifies . . . and unto these He will glorify . . . . (Rom. 8:30)]

Saturday, June 23, 2012

7 evils of vanity in good works

"When your heart feels itself moved by the vain joy in natural goods, remember how futile, perilous, and pernicious it is to rejoice in anything except in the service of God.  Consider how great an evil it was for the angels to rejoice and take pleasure in their beauty and natural endowments, since it was this that plunged them into the abyss of sin.  Remember, too, how many evils befall men [and women] daily owing to this same vanity, and resolve (while there is still time) to employ the remedy which the poet recommends to those who are becoming attached to these things: Make haste and apply the remedy at the outset; for when evil has had time to grow in the heart it is too late to apply the remedy and the medicine."


"The principal evils into which a person may fall by taking a vain joy in their good works and habits . . . are all very harmful because they are spiritual in nature.

The first evil is vanity, including pride, vainglory, and presumption; for a person cannot rejoice in their works without esteeming them highly; and this leads to boasting and such-like things, as we are told of the Pharisee in the Gospel, who prayed and congratulated himself before God, boasting about his fasting and his other good works (Luke 18:12)

The second evil is usually linked with the first: it consists in judging others as wicked, imperfect, and inferior to us, by comparing their acts and good works with our own.  Some go even so far as to become angry and envious when they see others are praised, or do more good works, or are more deserving (of praise) than themselves.

The third kind of evil . . . is in those who, since they look for pleasure in the good works they perform, do them only as they see that some pleasure and praise will result from them.  And thus, as Christ says, they do everything 'in order to be seen by men' and not for the love of God alone.

The fourth evil . . . :  these persons will have no reward from God, since they have desired to find in this life joy or consolation or honor or the satisfaction of some other kind of selfish interest in the performance of their good works.  Of these our Saviour says that they have already received their reward . . . . Are we not justified in saying of some people that in the good works they perform they are worshiping themselves more than God?  This is the sounding of the trumpet, which, as our Saviour says, is done by vain men. (Matt. 6:3)

The fifth evil . . . is manifest in the fact that such persons make no progress on the road to perfection . . . for, since they are attached to the pleasure and consolation which they find in their good works, it follows that when such pleasure and consolation are absent they slacken and do not persevere.

The sixth evil lies in the fact that such persons commonly deceive themselves, thinking that the thing and good works which give them pleasure are better than those which give them none.  And yet, as a rule, those works in which a man practices the greatest self-denial are more acceptable and precious in the sight of God than are those in which he finds consolation and which may very easily become an occasion of self-seeking.

The seventh evil derives from the fact that to the extent that a person does not stifle their vain rejoicing in the performance of morals acts, they are incapable of accepting reasonable counsel and instruction in regard to the works they ought to do.  For they are fettered by the habit of weakness which they have acquired in performing good works while they were attached to this vain joy.  Such a person is greatly weakened in their love of God and their neighbor; for the self-love which governs them in relation to their good works cause their love of God to grow cold."

excerpts from St. John of the Cross "The Dark Night of the Soul"



"The dark nights which come to the inner person, when they feels deprived of peace and hope or especially when they feels utterly deserted by the God, are as necessary to educate them as the bright days when joy fills them because of the divine nearness."

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Fool's Errand?

A million and one things will rush to make you forget . . . God and His glory.
And really, there is nothing . . . NOTHING! else going on here . . . .
It seems like there is . . . but it's all a charade, an illusion . . . smoke and mirrors and glittering balls, shiny lights, noises, melodies, flashes and booms, smiling faces and pawing clawing animals tearing you away from the One astounding . . . awe-inspiring . . . mind-blowing, heart-wrenching fact of all reality--I AM THAT I AM . . . Who IS THAT HE IS!
In microcosm, the Distractor--the Liar--the Pied Piper tried vociferously this morning to prevent me from writing this.  Really?
"Really?" someone asks mockingly skeptical, eyebrow cocked . . . . "You think you are that important that the devil would try and stop you from writing on your silly little blog?  C'mon . . . heh, heh . . . "

Yep.  Anywhere, anytime . . . everyday . . . all day, moment to moment, day after day . . . guess who is there, all set up with striped tents, carnival barkers, strange oddities . . . hoping to keep you away from remembering and extolling the glory of God?  The evil one himself, the great deceiver . . . . He who wants the attention that should be going to God . . . . "Look at me!  Look at me!"  he says, the attention whore . . . .
The adversary is here for me . . . trying to derail what I want to do for and about the Lord . . . and he's there for you, laying snares . . . and for every living creature, full time . . . no matter how large or how small your footprint is in this world . . . .

Everything, all day, side to side, front to back . . . the prostitute is there dressed to kill--dressed to kill the quiet, holy, sacred spirit of the Lord, with seductive, mesmerizing glamor or, whining, complaining, cajoling . . . or using pleas for sympathy, portraying himself as some pathetic, dejected child . . . "it's for the children" . . . he will wail, demanding tears and action . . . . And when all these things don't work, then he begins to lay guilt trips, "if you loved me, you'd pay attention to me!" . . . "you are not a good "christian" . . . a "good christian" would _______" . . . . and finally, if none of this works, then come threats and intimidation in various forms of cover . . . something like the Caesars of Rome and other pagan kingdoms demanding "worship me as your god or die!" . . . .

Bills, gossip, competition, good works, security, hunger, thirst, pain, pleasure, entertainment, beauty, ugliness, poverty, wealth, family, friends, bosses, co-workers, artists, models, pan-handlers, grandparents, children, brothers, sisters, lovers, enemies, authorities, politics, social causes, philanthropy, scientific discovery, travel, food, natural disasters, disease, cancer, tyranny, revolution . . . .

A million and one fronts are laid out every morning . . . every day . . . through the day . . . into the night . . . then in dreams . . . the Deceiver is there, with his many minions . . . constantly, relentlessly, with vigor and cunning to DISTRACT AND THWART AND UPEND your intention to keep the Lord, our God, our Father and Creator . . . keep Him far to the edges, outside of view, out of vision . . . out of reach . . . a distant sound . . . a faint outline . . . vague, forgotten . . . fading . . . small . . . inconsequential . . . unimportant . . . an afterthought . . . .

HOW ABSURD!  HOW IRREVERENT!  WHAT AN INSULT!  Is there anything more foolish and small minded?

The very source and purpose and cause of our entire being . . . we ignore?  We allow to be set aside while we pursue ten thousand ultimately meaningless, derivative, tawdry, often filthy and deranged, insidious . . . diversions?  We forget the glory . . . the majesty . . . the wonder . . . the intricacy . . . the power . . . the eternity . . . of OUR FATHER GOD?  For monkey toys?  For dust to dust?  For man and woman-made baubles?  We become entranced and led by other creatures?  None of whom could take another breath or step if it were not for that same God . . . that cosmic, universe creating Sustainer providing every breath, every twitch of muscle fiber acting . . . to move, to walk, to talk, to LIVE!

Every moment, every day in a multiplicity of diverse and clever ways . . . there is your adversary, who wishes to confuse . . . and STEAL . . . and KILL YOUR SOUL . . . celebrating with likewise demons who want nothing of you but your misery in hell with them . . . conniving and contriving to DISTRACT and MISLEAD you THIS DAY, THIS MOMENT from remembering your holy, blessed, wondrous Lord!

He who suffered incomprehensibly . . . beaten, mocked, tortured, spat on . . . murdered ON YOUR BEHALF!  So that YOU would not be consigned to the place you actually deserve because of your love of sin, love of self, love and pursuit of EVERYTHING BUT GOD!

And we allow this to happen?  Every day?  To be so pathetically seduced and thwarted?  For what?  For a few indulgent moments of self seeking, self exulting, self promoting?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!!

Our Lord is knocking, calling, asking, inviting us to join Him in spirit ALL THE TIME!  Yet we say, "wait just a minute please . . . I've got a lot of things to worry and complain and stew about today--all related to my personal comfort and satisfaction . . . . I'll get back to you though . . . so please, just hang out and cool your heels while I lavish myself with a hundred tasks and plans and goals and desires and objectives of the moment."

WHEREAS, we should be dropped instantly to our knees, just looking at the reality of the I AM THAT I AM--that HE IS . . . and that He deigns to include us in ANYTHING!

We should be so struck with awe and holy terror and anticipatory joy . . . simply realizing the incredible situation THAT WE EXIST AT ALL . . . AND THAT THERE IS A GOD WHO IS LOVE WHO SUSTAINS ALL . . . and that we are invited to LIVE FOREVER IN HIS MIDST!

HE IS!  HE IS!  And HE IS LOVE!  This is boundless good news!  Just look at it!  NOW!  TODAY!  He is the ONLY relevant business, desire, task, purpose, dream, hope, target, subject, object . . . THAT WE HAVE TO DO WITH!  What if this were an existence where HE IS . . . but He happened to be HATE?

Yet, we're over here diddling on the sidelines, obsessed and niggling with other creatures, focused on THEM?  Following them?  Admiring them?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!

C'mon saints!  LET'S GO!  TODAY!  NOW!  ON YOUR KNEES, for GOD'S SAKE!  For GOD'S sake!

Or . . . do you want to keep being about . . . uh . . . hmmm . . . the DEVIL'S SAKE?!

Whose business are you about today?  God or Satan's?  Really . . . . When He returns . . . what will you be about?
But not only that . . . BUT HE IS KNOCKING ON YOUR DOOR NOW!  Nevermind when He returns in Glory to judge the age . . . HE IS HERE NOW!  IN YOU!
Are we dragging Him around on our errands for the devil today?
Are we busy with the devil's errands . . . right now?  Today . . . tonight . . . tomorrow?  saying, "just a minute Lord, I've got a few things to do first . . . but, don't leave . . . I'll get back to you . . . . First, however, I've got to focus on your creatures.   They fascinate me.  I'm envious, angry, resentful . . . over them . . . and I want to spend some more time and energy on that, not You . . . but please, no offense, . . . just hang around for a bit more while I spend some more of my precious mind and heart on them, not You . . . . If you don't mind, k?"

The fool's errand for you?
Or, GOD'S errands for you?
What's it going to be . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Real Alien

It's like waking from a dream . . .and finding yourself on an alien planet, a stranger, come from another world, behind enemy lines . . . .
Before . . . you walked and talked and worked among the native creatures,  thinking like them, behaving like them, following their laws and customs; maybe even marrying among them . . . .
Moving about, as if in a kind of trance state.  Thoughts and desires and feelings were beamed through the air and these you picked up and responded to, just like the natives.
Somewhere, however, inside your mind . . . like a tiny little voice--there was a noise that also was a speck of light, different than the general images, thoughts, feelings, colors, desires rambling around inside of you--a vague, disconcerting message was gnawing . . . .
"This is not real . . . . Alert . . . something is wrong . . . wake up . . . hurry . . . listen . . . SEE!" . . . seems to be the essence of the small, insistent voice deep within . . . and which never goes away, though often you have layered upon it so many interests and cares of the alien world that you find yourself ignoring it.

What you realize, after a time, is that you are not like the others.  There is something different in you which seems to be absent in them.  You . . . are increasingly troubled about this world you find yourself in, while most of them appear just fine with it and indeed spend all their energy and time pursuing all of its goods and services . . . .
More and more . . . you feel disconnected from the native creatures . . . . Something is wrong! . . . you are certain of it!  But what?
If you ask them and seek advice from their proffered "wise counselors" . . . with different details and techniques, all their prescriptions amount to telling you to just "try harder" . . . to fit in or excel at the "game of life" in the world.



One day . . . a visitor arrives--a distinct person full of power, light and grace . . . and love . . . unlike anything or anyone you have associated with on the strange planet.
The person . . . reaches you from WITHIN . . . from the same direction, and of the same quality and substance as that tiny but piercing voice of light.
This being . . . shows you your actual situation amongst these creatures . . . and suddenly you perceive that they are in reality violent, lusty, rapacious entities with whom you have made your life and purpose . . . .

You have been living a lie, merely following dumbly along in all their ways.  But the being tells and shows you that you are not of these creatures; this is not your world--you belong to another.  YOU are the alien, only passing through--a stranger in a strange land; no place to make home, for the person also tells you that this world is destined for complete obliteration--it will be consumed by a great and cosmic fire.  Everyone who lives by and for the doomed planet is likewise doomed and busy with fools' errands . . . having no ultimate purpose and investing in nothing of any lasting value.
The being speaking from the inside said, "I am your King, your Lord and I love you and will bring you to where you belong and where you have an inheritance with me.  Look to me and I will guide you in all your ways."

Then, it was as if a mesmerizing drug left your body.  Before, you saw things as the native creatures saw things . . . but now your eyes are opened and you can see the madness of their ways.
"Be separate from these, though you live among them for a time yet . . . . I will teach you my ways."  said your King, "You are of a royal and priestly kind, and not like these who roll in their mud trying to surmount and impress each other, driven by every passing and unclean spirit."

"And there are others . . . like you . . . who do not know yet who they are . . . . I will put you in contact with them and I want you to awaken them, to save them from the awful, suicidal trance of this place.  I will be in them and when I see you come to relieve them, I will likewise remove the covering from their eyes and the shields on their ears, so that they too will see that they are not of this world, but of another one which is perfect, where I rule in love and glory forever . . . . "

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Stay Tuned . . . .

Oy vey  as they say... er, some say....
When it rains . . .  it pours... Seems that things all decide to break at once, in concert . . . "all together now" . . .. . sprinkler..pipe  . . sprinkler head.. minor stuff there... but car . . . more problematic.. cell phone.. argh... Most drastic these days, though internet/computer . . . yow .... So, I'm scrambling a bit, trying to "stop the leaks" and patch up the dam . . . lol . . . .  and about 10 other sudden "crises" of various types . . . . Ah . . . life in the decaying, fallen, devil-run world . . . . Can't wait for the perfection of Heaven!:)
anyway . . . . I've been wanting to write here since Sunday morn, but couldn't ... Stopped by ma's to make this quick note ... because . . . .

So much more God to talk about!!! :) ....... every day! ..... soooo important not to let a day or even hours go by without communion with the Holy Spirit..ongoing, checking it . . . listening, watching, discerning . . . staying in touch . . . . The full frontal assault that is going on presently in the culture/society right now . . . is brutal.  I am pained when I think of those who are looking at current events and the (dreadful) "sea change" going on right now WHO DON'T HAVE GOD and the Word with them to cut through the murk and insidious agendas and tactics the enemy(ies) is/are using on every level to attack truth, assault believers, dismember the Word, corrupt the children, mangle morality, steal, cheat, undermine, . . . .

More than ever (though it's always the case) . . . the answer is . . . to stay focused on and in the Gospel--the Redemptive Story of creation . . . what has happened here, what God did to save us, how we are saved and looking to glorious ending . . . . NOT being distracted or caught up in the pathetic, temporary political and cultural manipulations of diseased minds and evil hearts . . . . But instead staying on task, wading into the Harvest . . . making disciples . . . . THAT'S IT!  Harvest . . . sanctification ongoing . . . making disciples of He Who saves and restores and regenerates from corruption and death . . . .

  Stay tuned . . . .

Stay tuned WITHIIN . . . . Do NOT let the liar seduce you to "changing the channel" . . . lost, harried by the prince of the "airs" "channels" WITHOUT

back asap . . . with more . . . love of God! :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Stop, Drop & Walk Away . . . from the Smoke Monster

It's like a swirling, thick, morphing smoke monster . . . which you keep alive by looking into it, fiddling with it, re-animating it.  Expectations . . . are doom.  It's just a slight step away, so close, to be in another world, another reality, in the spirit.  Oh, the effort . . . the struggle . . . the burden . . . maintaining hold on the old self with all its issues, hurts resentments, expectations . . . as it seeks to control others' . . . get their favor . . . wanting recognition but not getting it the way it thinks it ought . . . .

And then there is the mighty secret . . . to just drop it.  Give up.  Let it go.  Turn away and turn to God, to Jesus instead.  Such a simple, blunt move.  No finessing, no wrangling with the details (where the devil lies) . . . . It is just a hair's breadth away, yet it is a world away--another dimension, so that, while you literally leave one world behind and move to another, it is not so far that you still don't see others, care for others, maintain your basic personality and God-given proclivities . . . . What you are, you are . . . and that remains.  But all the smoke you create by trying to change others . . . wanting others to appreciate you--what you do and have done for them . . . but they don't . . . and it hurts . . . . You just step away from it--turn the other direction and look at Jesus.  No need to figure out all the doctrine and looming questions at that point.

Simply, when the temptation comes to delve mentally into all the concerns, attachments, wishes . . . of the smoke monster . . . simply drop it and look at Jesus.  Just look at Him.  Grab hold and nestle into His comforting embrace, needing to say nothing more.  He knows all . . . . HE will work the rest out . . . .

A great and liberating freedom is found . . . when . . . you face the reality . . . that all of the stories you have made in your head . . . about how life is, how it should be (for you) . . . what others have done or not done to you . . . for you . . . that you think they ought . . . . And then you realize that all of the noise, all of the wrangling and fretting and attempts to rectify . . . are like a moving, billowing smoke in your being.  Smoke, but no fire, no light.  And you can just walk away from it--step out, let go, stop holding to it.  YOU are the one animating the anxiety, the worry and care . . . keeping the old self animated where it then pulls you down, covers you in darkness, bringing negative emotions like envy, jealousy, resentment, fear, competitiveness, needy for attention . . . for it is the attention you give it that keeps it "alive" and oppressing you.

But . . . oh blessed day . . . that you finally recognize and face . . . that it's all in your head.  A bunch of smoke, taking shapes . . . and that . . . nobody cares.  No one--no fellow creature is ever going to appreciate what you think you deserve or need or should be recognized for.  They are too busy with their own smoke monsters.  Everyone is selfishly working to take care of their own stories--crafting them, portraying them to others . . . . When one of these happens to do something nice or appreciative for you, it is most likely because it fit in with their own agenda.  It happened to help you . . . but really, they will instantly be back to their own business, regardless of the selfless and sacrificial claims they try to portray and claim.

You are . . . alone . . . with God.  Though we spend our whole lives loving and serving and even worshiping God's creatures . . . you must realize that all such time spent and effort made . . . is nothing.  Our whole purpose for being . . . which we have forgotten . . . or never have yet realized . . . is to be looking at, loving and being in direct relationship with God!

So many distractions and temptations and allurements take us away from this, however.  And we try to convince ourselves that while we are loving and serving and glorifying other creatures, we are actually doing so for God.

But no.  This is a lie.  Smoke and mirrors.  This is the smoke monster keeping you confused and mislead.  All you are doing is wrangling with the smoke . . . with the rising dead smoke of the old, fallen, buried self.

Instead, when we drop that old thing . . . and turn only and forcefully and determinedly to God FIRST and ABOVE ALL . . . THEN . . . we are actually in a state of being where God works through us, using us . . . then to help, love and serve others.

But until that drastic shift is made . . . despite how we cloak it . . . we are still just self seeking, puffing and dressing up the monster.

The monster--the dead self--is to be deprived.  And when you keep staying on task, by instantly and continuously turning away from it, TO GOD, TO JESUS/YESHUAH  SPECIFICALLY, then you stop giving the old creature life.  You stop feeding it. And right quickly, its edges begin to yellow . . . go brittle and dry . . . and wither away.  As you keep going . . . more and more of it . . . dies away . . . and drifts and blows away . . . like a lifeless charcoal statue . . . which once had form--had your shape and form--but now chunks are breaking off . . . disintegrating . . . crumbling, desiccated . . . and falling away into dust in the wind.

Meanwhile, you are over here--alive . . . God breathing through you, showing you holy things, and you are above the fray . . . like the fragrant lily hovering above the muck of the pond . . . .
You do things as you have done before . . . but expectations for return and gratification are gone.  No expectations, but guilelessly doing, acting, working, loving, serving . . . with no thought for recognition and compensation.  Now it is just what you do, because the Spirit of the Lord is in you . . . and HE rains on the just and the unjust--giving, giving, radiating out like the warmth of the sun, in all directions, so that whoever comes into view, into relative contact with you . . . He, through you, radiates on them, and, finally, where you use to seek and strive and finagle constantly to try and be content, loving, happy, at peace . . . NOW you just are those things . . . because you--the old, pining away and complaining and hankering you--is not there to gum up the works. 

You have turned to God, to Jesus . . . and away from animating the smoke monster (your old attached thoughts, desires, will, selfish machinations, manipulating, controlling impulses etc.) . . . and almost immediately . . . that whirl of confusion--the smoke you kept pumped up--begins to die down, begins to settle . . . and distance is created between the new you and it . . . so that, increasingly, as you KEEP turning away (from sin) and stay facing the Lord . . . the air clears . . . and you can finally SEE . . . . In time, situations and issues that use to knock you off your peace . . . and drag you down into selfish complaints and attempts to control . . . no longer have power to grab you.  Oh, you might feel a little twinge--a very slight, sad pain . . . but fleetingly . . . . You are NOT torn from your peace in the Lord.  You remain fast, steadfast.

And not only that . . . but now . . . you have the holy craving to avoid situations and especially old ways of thinking and feeling . . . because this new peace and power in Spirit is so precious, you do not want it sullied; so that, while you walk through the darkest of dens of iniquity, where the heathen rage and where enemies lie in wait to snare . . . and where all manner of carnal filth and debasement is the order of the day, nevertheless, you stay untouched, "above" it all. 
No, you no longer take the bait to follow after your internal self-made stories and fallen self-seeking agenda . . . so you stay away from that . . . but, you may find yourself--and likely will, because the Lord will be using a useful vessel like you--in the haunts of the world, among unbelievers, walking by and through the lost . . . but this time . . . you are in another world altogether, like another dimension, so that none of that touches you inwardly and it does not pull you down or disrupt your joy or stir back up the smoke and dust of the dead and buried self.  Yes, you are still in the world, but you are not of the world.  You are like an alien landed in a foreign land.  And you keep looking to and recognizing the "alien righteousness" which is now in you--WHO is now in you . . . and living and moving from that--.

Most everything that bothers you, aggravates you . . . pulls you down . . . creates tension and anxiety and fear and anger . . . and envy . . . and competitiveness . . . is nothing but smoke.  Smoke and no light, no fire.

It's all the silly, selfish stories you tell yourself in your head and then the attempt to control others and reality to conform to the story you've made . . . to feel important, special.

It's garbage.  It's not you and it's not them.  It's just fantasy, childish, juvenile fantasy you yet cling to.

It is a happy day . . . when you realize you can just drop it . . . totally!  And walk away.  No more tinkering with it.  No more trying to fix it, shape it a little better . . . . No more trying to get others to conform to your storyline.
Oh, it looks so terrible and scary, like you will cease to exist if you let go, or that the world somehow wants and needs you to hold onto it.   But it's all a big shadow play.  Nothing is there.  Only the old, dead and doomed self trying to maintain it's existence in you.  It will try to get you to feel sorry for it, pleading, warning you not to abandon it.

But it's an evil liar.  And it's a tool of the liar to keep you from enjoying the presence of God in you, because you keep looking at and playing with the smoke monster, with your back to Jesus while you do.

Repent . . . . Turn away from it . . . . Turn to the Lord.  Just face Him, hold the hem of His robe.  Sit with Him, saying nothing, and His presence will comfort you and begin to heal and protect you.

DON'T look back to the wailing old beast trying to get back your attention.  Just look to God, pray that He takes you deeper into His comfort, praying for the Holy Spirit to indwell and guide and take you over . . . .

Just . . . stop, drop . . . and walk away . . . from the smoke monster, turning to Jesus . . . . I pray, Amen.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Lighter Side of Mormonism

While I can see that Joseph Smith's made up religion has become a horrendous monstrosity which threatens the eternal salvation of millions of otherwise well meaning and earnest followers, placing them in the bondage of devious works-based religion, which combines elements of witchcraft/Masonry and pure fantasy from the mind of the lascivious charlatan who founded it . . . there are some general qualities that the people themselves have which . . . are admirable.  They work hard, generally . . . are quick to help out in tragedies, local or global . . .
. They are, like the bee logo they employ, industrious and creative . . . and I do appreciate the dry, sort of "gallows" sense of humor that runs through the community.  Sometimes it verges into the sarcastic and mean, and I admit to having this same kind of tone as well sometimes, brought up in the L.D.S. community . . . but also, a lot of the times, they are just plain silly and funny and love a good laugh and practical joke.  Fundamentally, my arguments against Mormonism, are directed at the terrible doctrine and obfuscation and outright lies that the church too much advances . . . while claiming to be "Christian" . . . . The people, I pity . . . and, having many family members caught in the web of deceit, who I love as family . . . I am concerned for them and pray that they would wake up and see the danger to their souls in following the gospel of Joseph Smith, instead praying they find the real Jesus and relationship with Him, enlightened by the real Word of God, not damaging fiction.

I have a bunch of cousins and they all have that same kind of silly, dry wit . . . many of them quite talented in music especially, but also crafts and art.  I love how they love their little children (my cousin's children . . . who would be my 2nd cousins? I think...is that how it goes?) and encourage them in their quirkiness and joys of simply childhood.

One of my cousins Lindsey is a great mother of . . . I think 5 . . . FIVE, yikes . . . beautiful little girls . . . and my wife follows her postings on facebook which are always clever, guileless, intelligent, creative, and dryly witty as she describes the travails of young motherhood and having all those girls.

This one cracked me up.  
This is Anna Belle, a 2nd cousin of mine . . . singing the Star Spangled Banner to annoy her sister out of the bathroom . . . . Lighthearted, clean fun :)  And holy moly ... SHE GOT ALL THE WORDS CORRECT!  That can't be said for many of the so-called professional singers who have mangled the song lately, lol.



This one is cute too.  It's the same family, the newest addition Eloise . . . at only 2 months . . . trying to sing, say "hi", prodded by one of her sisters.....



 Oh golly, while I'm spotlighting my cousin's cute talented family .... here is an older daughter, Phoebe singing and playing the piano . . . .


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Please Tell Me You're Joking

It occurs to me sometimes . . . to think of the person who might stop by this little lean-to at the watering hole, and think, "good grief, still talking about God and Jesus . . . don't you ever give it a rest?"

And then I think, "goodness gracious, you still don't think of God ever' day, but only once in a blue moon?!"

To me, it is pert near the gates of Hell, that place where some live day after day . . . and rarely, if ever, consider God, the purpose of this life, or how to secure a hereafter.  That place is one of dumb animals, who eat, sleep, chase some pleasure, maybe build a little structure . . . but all amidst the smoking ruins and barren surrounds of meaningless existence.  Is there anything so vapid, so dull, so pointless, so meandering and superficial . . . as the life that is lived with no thought of eternal being . . . no consideration for life after life . . . no wonder at this world of awful beauty and terror . . . no concern for absolutes . . . no search, no questing for truth . . . . But instead, like the one dimensional life of a cow, just eating, chewing the cud, standing about . . . with occasional random lowing . . . .

No, I think it quite otherwise my friend.  It is not fanatical . . . nor obsessive . . . nor overbearing . . . neither misguided nor misspent time . . . to ponder and attend to the person of God and His intention for our lives EVERY DAY, looking constantly to a perfect eternal life liberated from the corruption of a fallen world and body . . . . Everything else shall pass away!  All the great works of art . . . the cathedrals . . . the 7 wonders of the world . . . the recordings and sheet music of Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Hendrix . . . the schools, the sculptures, the fountains, the statues . . . the exquisite gold, ruby and emerald jewelry . . . pension funds, social security, retirement benefits . . . Greco-Roman capitol buildings, the Coliseum, the Louvre' . . . the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, the Redwoods . . . the Mediterranean . . . the Nile . . . the sacred Ganges . . . ganja, coca, Coca-Cola, morphine, Celebrex and Cymbalta . . . your house, your apartment, my house, his cabin, her high-rise suite . . . all your hobbies and crafts . . . everyone's hobbies and crafts . . . your racing bike, your ATV, his boat, her scooter . . . all Ipods . . . all HDTV's . . . every museum . . . every great literary work, novel and poem . . . .

ALL GONE.  Swept away.  Rolled up like a scroll . . . .

Who DOESN'T think of God every day?  Who shouldn't try to find God and a more permanent meaning to this flash-in-the-pan life?

Who wouldn't want to be in relationship with the God-Man who came to earth, lived and died in the flesh, and made it so that we can live forever in holy perfection?
Who wouldn't respond to the call to have daily, personal interaction with the very spirit of God, the Creator, where He invites every soul to be in communion and subject to His perfect wisdom, mercy, love and guidance?

You mean you DON'T address these matters every day?  Are you joking?  Please, tell me you're joking . . . . Of course you are not surprised I am still here, day after day, talking about the Lord and Savior and related issues . . . because . . . we all must agree that . . . well . . . what else is there?   Right?

Wait . . . what?  You're bored with the topic?  You've had enough?  Please . . . dear friend . . . tell me you're joking . . . .

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Summon Bonum of Spiritual Practices!

I remember as a boy in my early teens . . . through my later teens and into my 20s . . . those times I was pleading, begging, imploring God to give me a clear sign--some word--which spiritual path was the one He wanted I should take.  At that time I had a lot of intense energy brewing and surging which I was eager to employ in the service of God.  I would fast for days, weeks sometimes . . . meditate regularly . . . and read constantly different gurus, teachers and mystics, spending a great deal of time in spiritual contemplation.  At one point I decided to become a renunciate and gave away all my personal belongings, going about in the orange-red garb of a "sannyasin", having given up ties and attachment to "the world" . . . determined to sit under a "Bhodi" tree like Guatama Siddhartha (Buddha) if need be.  My longing and searching to know "the truth" was at such a fever pitch . . . that I was prepared to commit myself completely to the path or direction God would show me, if He only would.  When it seemed that He didn't, I sometimes lost heart, but before long, I was back at, investigating and applying another alternative which I hadn't tried yet.

Those years of devotion and practice of austerities and meditation and contemplation were not entirely without value.  I gained insight into the subtle workings of the mind, the subconscious and fallen ego--how thoughts are connected to emotions and how it is that what we "feel" (ie., fearful, anxious, jealous, angry) is because of identification with and attachment to certain ideas and beliefs and thoughts, deeply maintained within our soul--within our mind.

And my interest and practice in various "spiritual disciplines" . . . was not cursory.  It wasn't enough for me, for instance, to take a class in "world religions" . . . or just attend some yoga seminar or meditation retreat for a week . . . or read "Be Here Now" and a couple other of the so-called "enlightened masters'".  I didn't just study a particular spiritual philosophy/path . . . . I delved into it, tested it, practiced it, read and pondered everything word I could find written about it.  Advaita Vedanta (a type of "Hinduism") I studied and applied for about 5 years . . . . Zen, 1-2 years . . . . Taoism, 9 or so months . . . Vaishnavism (a monotheistic type of Hinduism), 8 years . . . . Urantia Book, 5-6 years . . . . Mormonism, off and on 3-4 years . . . . Handed over to the realm of the demonic, 2-3 years . . . . Tantra/Left Hand path/Libertinism . . . 2 years . . . . "New Age" conglomerate . . . 1-2 years . . . .

And there were various months-long investigations and practice in things like Sufism, Tibetan Buddhism,Yoga, Shamanism and a few others along the way.

It may seem odd to some, but I never stopped praying to and believing in Jesus throughout it all.  Generally speaking, it was the Biblical injunction to "test" the "fruits" of the spirit that I kept in mind always, and what propelled me to keep searching.  Because my only experience with nominally "Christian" people was with Mormons, I was never exposed to true Christianity and had an aversion to it, because of what I saw and experienced in the L.D.S. church.  A lot of us born in Utah, surrounded by Mormons, grew up with an aversion and distrust of "Christianity" . . . and the Bible because our only models of people who supposedly followed Christ and carried the Bible around . . . were Mormons . . . . And because Biblical Christian doctrine and devotion to Jesus alone is NOT in the Mormon church . . . I never knew what it was until much later in life.

Anyway . . . here is my main point in bringing this all up.  One of the primary ways I used to finally determine if the "path" I was on was the correct one or not . . . was by judging the fruits of the Spirit in myself, whether they were developing or not.  Was I becoming a holier person?  Or was I merely practicing external spiritual disciplines . . . while remaining relatively unchanged in character on the INSIDE? 

Each time, when, after much effort and continued pursuance, a philosophy or set of knowledge and practices . . . did NOT result in much or any real change of character, despite appearances . . . deeply disappointed and frustrated . . . I would move on, searching, testing again . . . . Oh how desperately I wanted to find "the truth" of it all . . . so that I could devote my life to God and serve Him in the Way He wanted me to!  Oh what I would do for God, if only He would show me clearly the way!

Well, eventually, He did show me . . . O happy day! . . . . But what I find so extraordinary is this:  Very simply, having my thoughts changed from . . . . What to do to find God, to do for God . . . VERSUS . . . realizing WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR ME!

I can take all those different, intense, earnest, endless spiritual disciplines and doctrines and pile them on one side . . . and they did little to nothing to truly change my character and produce spiritual fruit . . . VERSUS simply recognizing and believing what Jesus did for me . . . which recognition has made all the difference in truly changing my character and producing spiritual fruit (which fruit is LOVE primarily . . . then joy, peace, kindness, self discipline, faithfulness, patience etc.

Of all the techniques and knowledge and efforts tried . . . THIS ONE has blown them all away, in terms of how profoundly, how deeply, how literally, how blessedly, which is simply . . . looking at Jesus, reading His story and mission in the Word . . . and looking at and remembering what HE has done!  It is not ever what I have done or do . . . but what HE has done and does.  That's it!  This truth, and the realization and belief thereof . . . is the key, the way, the "practice", the summa bonum!

And it's something a child can do!

What HE has already done!  What God did for me, for you . . . . Not what we do for Him.  This change of mind, of thought, of emphasis in approach . . . conquers all . . . . Please try it if you haven't yet . . . .

[ps i don't have time to proofread this for typos ... will do later :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Idols Begone

“What the heathen had in their wood, we have in our opinions.” Martin Luther

Idolatry is at the base of so much of our error, when we err . . . though it is rarely ever recognized as such.  For instance, when you get angry at someone, because they slighted you in some way, or didn't do something you thought they should have done and expected them to do . . . . Or, when someone offends you, or butts in front of you in a line at the store . . . and you feel indignant, angry . . . . It is because of idolatry--somewhere you think that YOU are important; you idolize your self, and worship at the altar of "King Me" . . . . Deep down, hidden is the ongoing presumption, "How dare someone cross me!"

It is a proclivity that we all have, to varying degrees.  By God's grace, however, we are fortunate when made aware of it in ourselves, and through ongoing sanctification, the proclivity lessons, which is a great relief, praise God.

As Luther noted, idolatry often occurs according to certain opinions we have formed and demand that others also conform to or "worship" . . . . The worst schisms and conflict dividing the unity of believers derive from this tendency.  One group is certain in their opinion that you must be fully immersed in Baptism to be "born again" . . . . Another group has the opinion that "no, sprinkling is good enough!" . . . and still another says that water baptism is not necessary for salvation at all, but is only a showing or sign of the rebirth already gained.

Someone else has the opinion that there is a pre-tribulation rapture and you must believe likewise!  Another says not . . . and is of the opinion that there is no rapture at all.

It appears to me that many times, besides pride and self idolatry, it is out of spiritual laziness that idols are formed.  If you develop an opinion (then make it an idol), such as, "self defense is NEVER to be used, in ANY situation" you relieve yourself of the need to be constantly in relation to the spirit and discerning, and instead can always just rely on your opinion-made-rule.  Some things are "written in stone"--it is never allowed to murder . . . but there are many issues and situations which are not so clear cut; yet whole new sects, cults and denominations are established based on "this-or-that" opinion regarding secondary beliefs/doctrines.

So much of the bickering, fighting, accusing, denouncing and divisions among believers are destructive and unproductive . . . and frankly, unnecessary in the Great Commission; if only we understood and then remembered to "major on the majors, minor on the minors".  Debate, discussion, argument even . . . can be fun and profitable . . . when controversial secondary issues are kept in their proper light and (one's own opinions) not elevated to hardline tests of someone else's fundamental standing as "true Christian."

Myself, I thoroughly enjoy the freedom found in Christ, and get great pleasure from studying, pondering, analyzing and attempting to discern the differences among the body of believers, where those differences are of minor nature--secondary to the basic, necessary facts of the Gospel: 

The gospel is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus—which is the power of God for the salvation for everyone who believes.

We are guilty sinners condemned under God's law; Jesus came to save sinners through His shed blood; when we believe and repent, being spiritually reborn, Christ's righteousness stands in our place, our sins forgiven and eternal life in the presence of God granted.

One of the more insidious and cruel opinions put forth as gospel . . . is the idea that if you do believe in Christ--are born again--that you will be rewarded with a "good life" and that things will go "your way" at last.  Jeanie Jesus to the rescue!

"So . . . if I believe in Jesus . . . and pray really hard . . . and have faith . . . then God will protect me from physical harm . . . from poverty . . . from starvation . . . from rape . . . from torture . . . and not only that, He will help me achieve my personal dreams in this life . . . heal me when I'm sick . . . keep me from disease and accidents?"

Scriptures are taken out of context, like Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'" . . . used by word-faith, prosperity doctrine hucksters when they insist that God only wants you to have the things you desire and "you best life now!"

What then do we say of the disciples who were put in harms way, persecuted, killed in the most horrific and violent of ways?  They did not have enough faith?  They must not really have been "Christians?"

Or the millions of believers through the ages who have suffered famine, disease, imprisonment, torture, rape, starvation, loss of children, property, health . . . ?

In fact, Jesus warned and braced the believer to expect not "your best life now" . . . but a likely life of hardship and persecution, because of being a believer and follower of Him.  What He does promise, however is that He will never leave the one who believes, and that His presence will accompany us in all of our trials.  "Riches" and "health" and peace and joy and love all around . . . we WILL have . . . one day, but not necessarily all of that (and most likely not) in this life, now.

But when we look at Jesus . . . above all . . . instead of our opinions, our self, this life, our dreams, our desires, and have Him as our sole subject of worship, the bounty found in the spiritual life, begun now, becomes sufficient, so that regardless of temporary deprivations, tests, pain and suffering, truly begin to pale compared to that growing and all-fulfilling hope . . . discovered and experienced simply . . . in His presence, His person, that He promised and, indeed bestows!

Not that we shouldn't pray for those things we want or hope to be spared.  We know that He wants what is best for us . . . . But in the long run--not if getting a certain thing, or avoiding some trouble . . . will not actually be to our spiritual benefit.  Sometimes, regardless of how we pray or what we pray for--He may give us the opposite.  What we are to do then is be thankful in any case, trusting that He is Sovereign and that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to HIS purpose.
 And to look for the lesson, the correction perhaps that God intends for us to see and make, in those instances when we get something quite other than that which we had hoped for or intended.
[My wife, in reading this section, adds a comment she heard from Pastor Greg Laurie, "Don't waste your pain asking God 'why?  why this, O God?' . . . rather ask 'who' and 'what' . . . . The 'who' . . . is Jesus . . . the 'what' is what work in Him is being done.  We may not know the 'why' until we get to Heaven.]

Beware of those, who, with subtle, devilish condemnation . . . would accuse you of "not having enough faith" . . . or not being a "true Christian" . . . if bad things should happen to you or you suffer some accident or tragedy or "misfortune" in your life.  Such are intending to make you doubt, and so, doubting . . . withdraw from or resent God . . . thus being made fruitless and useless in service to the Kingdom.  The devil cannot take away your salvation, but he can make you doubt it and question God when things don't "go your way" because of "your lack of faith."

Praise God always, in sickness and in health, in poverty or in wealth, in peace or in persecution.  THAT is overcoming.  THAT is avoiding idolatry.  And therein . . . is found the everlasting peace which passes all (natural) understanding, and guards your hearts and minds, being in Christ Jesus alone--rather than in some idol, some opinion, or some other part of self, disguised.  Idols begone and instead, enjoy freedom in Christ!


Friday, June 8, 2012

A Drone?...B.Boys & 3DN

Way to go Beach Boys! . . . . Isaac, ma and I were out and about last night for his birthday and listened to some of the new Beach Boys songs from their reunion album "That's Why God Made The Radio" . . . . I was quite pleasantly surprised and impressed!  Including the title track there are some really great songs here.

Usually, it seems to be a sad affair when the surviving members of a classic group get together to do a re-do . . . and especially in this case where there has been so much estrangement and absence (re Brian Wilson, the musical genius) . . . but wow.  This album is a very nice, sincere, well crafted, well written and performed collection of tunes, which I think stands up to some of their best work.  The childlike summer melancholy . . . is there . . . the awareness of fleeting life, the good times gone but still holding on to some meaning . . . reminiscing . . . . the simple, blunt descriptives of everyday life . . . nature . . . the sun, waves, beach, sky . . . . All there and not in a phony recreated way, but with the same genuine sense of awe and observation and recounting that Brian and the guys were so good at . . . .

I didn't hear any of the cynicism . . . or hipster retro posing . . . or satire . . . or over-doing that is so common among artists these post-modern/post-ironic days . . . but just plain, good, heartfelt musical artistry, as if it were 1967 again and Brian was dealing with his first loves, family losses, awareness of passing time . . . for the first time . . . .

No perverted innuendo or "required" modern day themes either did I notice . . . .  All I could think, knowing a bit about the band's struggles individually and as a group over the years . . . was, "way to go guys!  Nice job! A breath of fresh air in these worrisome, hackneyed, cynical and foreboding times . . . . !"

A musical compadre of mine, Jerod S., with whom I've collaborated off and on for 13 or so years now is the fella who really turned me on to the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson's musical genius.  Jerod is a huge fan and student of Brian Wilson . . . . Jerod himself is a fine song craftsman whose talent I quite respect and have had a lot of fun with . . . and there was a period there for a couple years where I devoured nearly every Beach Boy production I could find, analyzing and enjoying the harmonies, song structure and production, as well as the life stories of the Wilsons and others involved.  Our whole family, indeed got into them at that time and I am glad my boys are excited and interested in the fact that a new Beach Boys album is out--Isaac is the one who got it for us to listen to.

Meanwhile, another band--one of my long time most favorite, Three Dog Night, we saw a couple of years ago, are still touring and producing some new music as well, which also I have been pleasantly impressed with.  A couple of their new songs, "Prayer For the Children" and "Overground" are as good as anything they have every done.  I love seeing the old geezers still out there, working, performing, creating . . . . Most of them have been through the ringer of life and come out with God--Jesus specifically--and with family values, and as healthy, tough, decent folk . . . despite their early rock'n'roll excesses and lifestyle mayhem . . . .

An odd thing happened, though, driving home . . . the three of us . . . as it was getting dark . . . . Lindsay spotted a couple of strange reddish-orange lights in the sky above and ahead of us . . . not too high in the air, below the clouds . . . above the houses and a park we were approaching . . . . The lights disappeared . . . . Then one reappeared, and I could see it . . . and so pulled the car over . . . . We got out . . . and wow, this thing was strange.  Our first guess was that it was a drone, and I suspect it was . . . although it was very odd and the lights didn't look like what I'd expect drone lights to look like.  I appeared to be about as big as a barbecue grill . . . though we couldn't see the shape in the dark . . . except to say it was compact... not long or skinny . . . . It was not a helicopter . . . . It made no sound . . . hovering almost directly above us . . . . But what was weird was that it "flared" up . . . like it had fire . . . in it? . . . propelling it? . . . the light would surge, flicker, orange-ish-red . . . then it moved slowly away going south . . . then the light poofed out . . . but we could still see its black shape floating in the sky . . . it hovered away, slightly bobbing and rocking . . . then gradually descended . . . blocks away . . . seeming to disappear down into what would be a neighborhood . . . . . Strange and cool sight for Isaac's b.day.  He loves stuff like that--strange skyborn anomalies . . . .

Anyway, here's the B.Boys and 3DN for summer fun's sake . . . .


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Killer Techniques (pt. 3): Instant Recall

Again, to mention . . . I use the phrase "killer" in addressing our natural tendency to aggression and attacking, where we are inclined to always be "aggressing" and attacking others--ie., seeing their faults, judging others' sins, resenting and being angry at others faults and lack of understanding, growth . . . . And then taking that hating tendency (which the scriptures say is actually akin to murder): "Everyone who hates another believer is a murderer, and you know that a murderer doesn't have eternal life." (1 John 3:15)

. . . . And turn it back to oneself--the carnal, fallen self (which is, of course, the process implied in "And why behold you the speck that is in your brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?" --Mat. 7:3)

And, well, here is another one I've found useful . . . .

When you are involved with someone . . . . Or, there is a friend or relative--even spouse or child . . . . Or, a co-worker . . . or even a stranger or random person . . .  that you observe or must relate to in some way . . . and it is fairly evident that they have not realized some of the truths you have--they are a "babe" perhaps in the Gospel, newly won to Christ, a new believer . . . . Or they could be an un-believer, whatever . . . . They say things or do things that you can see are clearly ignorant or foolish or rebellious even . . . and your tendency is to think, "what a heathen!" . . . or "they don't understand the Gospel at all!" . . . or they say or do something quite genuinely offensive to you or about God, provoking anger and resentment in you . . . and there is the urge to quickly and bluntly correct them, chastise . . . harangue . . . retaliate in kind, feeling indignantly justified--you saying or thinking so from your "superior" position . . . .

Just stop for a moment . . . and recall how you too were once foolish, ignorant, prideful, self-righteous and clueless before you knew Jesus, understood the Gospel, and had benefit of the Holy Spirit's power working on you . . . .

Remember, for instance when YOU were . . . in your teens or twenties and felt quite assured that you knew more than most everyone else . . . about everything . . . including God and life . . . .

Consider all the times YOU most likely caused someone else grief--hurt someone's feelings through carelessness, selfishness . . . disrespecting elders, mothers, fathers, other believers . . . .

Think about how, perhaps it was not that long ago that you too were unaware of some of the deeper meaning of the Gospel and trampled over others' ideas, legalistic, demanding adherence to your notions of things or the other is damned! . . . .

Especially with our children . . . this can come in real handy.  We expect them to be at the same level of maturity and wisdom that we are at now, and so, when they make decisions or offer arguments that (with our own life experience and accrued wisdom we can easily see are fallacious, wreckless, foolish) we may be tempted to--in that moment--consider ourselves so much "better" . . . and, "if only they could see!" . . . . But forgetting that there was a time when we also couldn't "see" . . . . And BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD, and NOTHING by our own worth or ability--we would still be . . . just as "blind", "clueless", "foolish" and mistaken . . . .

In fact, I find it beneficial to go the step further, when this self idolatry (which is what it actually is) pops up and remind myself that I am still (in my old self) sinful, weak, foolish . . . . It is only when I am out of the way, and the Lord's righteousness and wisdom is standing for me, and Holy Spirit instructing and enlightening me, that I have any hope of acting with wisdom, righteousness, correct judgment . . . .

Anyway, the fast and effective technique in situations where some other person is aggravating or offending you . . . and you expect them to behave better, and see things the way you do--is to remember that, not so long ago, YOU were just like that and did the same thing.  And there is comfort in knowing that, whoever the person is . . . if it is someone you care about especially . . . remember that if they are one of the Lord's sheep, despite where their "level" is at now . . . HE WILL, just like with you, eventually find them, break them, and remake them, all the same . . . .

Hmmm . . . I suppose I shall call this the "Instant Recall" technique . . . . I find it works very well to deactivate resentment . . . frustration . . . irritation . . . anger felt toward others . . . the less "mature" so-to-speak . . .and replace with empathy, compassion, tolerance . . . .

NOT that you cease correcting or guiding others when possible--which is usually when they ask for it and are in an open, seeking frame of heart and mind--where it is your responsibility to do so, or out of love and concern that they avoid troubles . . . . Mainly, this is meant just to redirect judgmental tendencies toward others back on oneself, taking care of one's own "mote" . . . and to diffuse unproductive negative thoughts and emotions within, learning patience, longsuffering, faith in God (versus faith in our self to "fix" others).

Brother Thomas ©2015

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