Sunday, September 30, 2012

"It's time . . . for 'Wretched'..."

For those who don't know, Todd Friel has a highly entertaining and edifying t.v. and radio show called "Wretched" . . . . He is one of the co-founders of The Way Of The Master evangelism and broadcast ministry along with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron . . . . Todd came to Salt Lake City this weekend to present his Joy In The Home/Parenting/Marriage program and to help raise money for our local, struggling Christian radio station affiliated with Stu Epperson's Truth Talk Christian radio network . . . .

Todd has been breaching the subject of Mormonism more and more lately on his shows and had never been to Temple Square--the headquarters of the L.D.S. church here in SLC. 

It was great to hang out with him yesterday afternoon at Temple Square, filling him in on the Mormon culture and religion here . . . . A small contingent of the Born Again "misfit toys" brigade (I like to call them/us, heh:) . . . so we had an opportunity for a lot of one-on-one with Todd and he even had me join him on camera for a couple different segments, as his partner Bruce (very inconspicuously) shot some footage . . . that may make it onto one of his upcoming shows related to the Mormon church . . . . I talked about--yep--our son who has gone Mormon . . . and the "green apron", among other things . . . .

Some interesting things happened . . . as the somewhat ominous secret service-looking security dudes with earpieces hovered about and intervened once or twice when we got a little too Christian in our actions . . . which I will describe shortly . . . .

But I've got to get ready right now as we are off to go hear Todd preach at a Baptist church in town and then to C.A.M.P.U.S. for bible study . . . but will back with the full report asap . . . . God blesses and protects and guides you, amen, with Kingdom in view!

http://www.wretchedradio.com/

http://www.wayofthemaster.com/

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Caught By The Drift...

Get the drift?

Probably.

Is Obama the biggest threat going?  Against patriots . . . against believers?

Patriots . . . quite.

But how about the media?  Subversive, dishonest, malignant, immoral, blatantly anti-Christian . . . . Is this the major threat to the pilgrim's progress?  The lying anti-family, anti-Christian, God-ignoring politicians and academicians creating policy and think-tank papers containing skewed data to enforce ever more destructive and enslaving programs, laws, curriculum?

How will the believer survive and thrive with such an array of enemies coming at them at every turn?  And where should the spiritual warrior's attention and resources be drawn and focused?  At, to . . . the worldly leaders causing the mayhem . . . or perhaps their multi-leveled henchmen, closer to home, more locally . . . in the town, in the neighborhood?

As always, a greatest threat to the pilgrim's progress is actually found in the daily drift.  Indeed, it is in focusing too much on the affairs of the world. 

The world . . . is having affairs. 
The first definition of "affair" is "a thing to be done or attended to; matter; business; 'this affair must be cleared up'."

 Also: "a sexual relationship between two people who are not married to each other."

Whose bride are you?  The world's . . . or Christ's?  When the disciple of God becomes overly concerned with the issues of the day--the political, moral, social and economic state of things--they leave their first love and engage in an adulterous relationship.  What business has the citizen of the Kingdom of God . . . with the corrupt, dying and doomed kingdoms of the fallen world?  Some, yes, for a time . . . . But look how quickly the noise and sights fill up the courtyard of your spiritual stronghold.  Rather than attending to the fragile, sapling garden of the spirit, you look out over the wall and are soon mesmerized by some event, some affair carrying on.  You want more details and soon are associating with those who live outside the garden--those involved with sights and sounds, and their tales and gossip quickly draw you in . . . . It is shocking, deplorable . . . what's going on "out there"! . . . and . . . well . . . you want to hear and see more about it~!

Indeed . . . it is an intimate exchange--this truck with world, where your heart leaves your groom and becomes infatuated with new faces daily . . . .

Before long--yea, before the end of the day . . . you have drifted from your first love, wandered from the garden and are wrangling with others, contending with and for . . . the affairs of the world.

Nothing . . . and no one . . . in the world . . . has the power or authority . . . to draw you away from your pilgrim's progress . . . but that you allow them in . . . to trammel the garden, carry you off, and soon you are being ravaged and sodden by the God hating, world loving ghouls roaming the public squares . . . . Off to the tavern with you, where you are lost in some dark nook, nestling with course strangers and depraved specialists in some art or the other, keeping you distracted, entertained, drawn off . . . away from your pure, holy Beloved . . . Who waits . . . until, once again you are broke . . . and broken . . . and straggle back begging forgiveness--.  (It always ends the same, doesn't it . . . ?)

No, the big threat is not the station of the totalitarian dictator, which is filled by one character after another, since the beginning of the ages . . . . Not to the spiritual pilgrim anyway . . . . The immediate threat to be contended with . . . is the constant pull--the drawing and the drift--away from garden of sanctity, from presence of mind--from the love of all your "heart, soul and strength", from God . . . so that, your attentions become divided, diffused, enervated . . . such that the disciple's eye is no longer focused singly on the glory of the King, but on myriad, craven lessor kings, each vying for preeminence in that pilgrim's daily Walk . . . .

It happens subtly, but swiftly . . . the drift . . . . Ere nightfall the single, golden, holy thread is lost amidst the din--the party and riot allowed in the courtyard; the flowers and fruits are eaten, trampled,  tossed by strangers--the holy place defiled . . . .



Within our allotted sphere of relative independence and free will . . . we either choose to stay focused on and attending to . . . our fledgling garden of Spirit, OR we accede to the constant diversions over the wall, angling for our attention . . . and we go off a-whoring . . . .

The world and her followers get their biggest kicks . . . and even sustenance . . . from seducing away spiritual citizens--the Children of God . . . from their Groom, from the Vine of life . . . . The branches, once severed from the Vine, quickly die and are food and bedding for beasts . . . . Daily watering, care, nurturing, attention . . . is necessary . . . to keep the relationship close and alive, between Master and disciple.  The "drift" . . . is quiet, stealthy, like a thief in the darkness . . . it prowls the inner sanctum and carries the pilgrim/disciple/bride/student/child/citizen of God away . . . to silly and ultimately meaningless causes and ventures . . . . 

He knows our paltry ability and dire limitations . . . to stay true, does the Master.  At the very least, He expects and relishes . . . when we make effort to NOT be distracted, allured and carried off . . . by the affairs of the world, but remain steadfast in our desire to see, to know, to love, to serve only Him.

The drift . . . . The drift . . . . Is the biggest threat going.  You come to your senses one day, lost, disheveled, disgraced . . . in some stranger's house, given over to diverse lusts and adulteries, loving the world and its denizens . . . more, apparently, than would be expected of one claiming to love the Lord above all . . . . 

Oh, many excuses and justifications will accompany the drift--all sorts of reasons for the straying . . . . But it is nothing more profound . . . than that you found creatures and dramas and things more interesting and alluring . . . than the Savior within your heart . . . .  




Friday, September 28, 2012

Killer Technique: Imago Dei

A habit/ "killer technique" I have been using lately . . . to help persist in a Christian spirit and Christlike mode of thinking through any given day is this:

Out and about in public . . . when I catch my mind leaping to it's fallen natural position--judging others, feeling superior, subtly condescending, critical, annoyed . . . when it sees others . . . who are obnoxious . . . haughty . . . rude . . . slovenly . . . "IMAGO DEI" flashes across the screen of my thoughts . . . . My heart immediately softens, becomes one of "flesh" not "stone" . . . compassion, brotherliness, tolerance and even a form of love replace my sinful presumptions . . . .

[By-the-way, an example of the fallen mind's proclivity to evil projections . . . would be . . . like the person who reads this blog, but not from fellowship, who, reading the above depictions thinks "Aha!  See what a terrible person you are, "brother thomas", going around looking down on and judging people!  I never do that!"
But, in fact, we ALL do it.  All the time.  Most are just not aware of it.  They have not delved into the more subconscious parts of their minds where all kinds of dark, selfish, superior, judgmental, hateful, lustful and objectifying thoughts towards others are running constantly, like a stream of filth . . . . Those who fancy their selves beyond such things . . . are simply self-deluded and are only aware of the surface level of their thoughts where superficial ideals and self-concocted stories about oneself take center stage . . . . One of the greatest thrills and signs of ongoing "sanctification" by the Holy Spirit . . . is when and as . . . He starts peeling back the self-lies and shows you more and more what a depraved fraud you are . . . . ]

Anyway . . . I was reading some sections of an old book I have called "The Age Of Martyrs" . . . about the early Church . . . during the 3rd century . . . in a time of persecution and also devastating plagues were hitting the Roman/pagan towns and villages . . . and how the pagans just left their dead to rot in the streets and abandoned the sick . . . and how awed they were at the Christians who stayed and tended to the sick pagans and buried the dead, even the pagan dead.  many converts were won by the Christians example of care, compassion, love, bravery . . . .

Why were the Christians so intent upon caring properly for the bodies of the victims which had been left in the open for dogs and carrion and decay?   Because they considered all humans--human forms, bodies, beings . . . as being made in the sacred "image of God"--Imago Dei . . . .

So, through the day, to re-train my mind . . . according to the sanctifying direction of Holy Spirit, I regular recall . . . that the folks I meet and interact with, even when they are difficult, abrasive; or those I notice from afar . . . I bring to mind . . . are created IMAGO DEI--in the image of God and the work of our Lord . . . who I have no position to be impugning or dismissing or basely, unconsciously disparaging . . . from reflexive, fallen inclination . . . .

["Clement, describing the person who has come to know God, wrote, “He impoverishes himself out of love, so that he is certain he may never overlook a brother in need, especially if he knows he can bear poverty better than his brother. He likewise considers the pain of another as his own pain. And if he suffers any hardship because of having given out of his own poverty, he does not complain.”
When a devastating plague swept across the ancient world in the third century, Christians were the only ones who cared for the sick, which they did at the risk of contracting the plague themselves. Meanwhile, pagans were throwing infected members of their own families into the streets even before they died, in order to protect themselves from the disease."
http://www.earlychurch.com/unconditional-love.php]


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in other news . . . Todd Friel host of the Wretched t.v. and radio show . . . is coming to town here in SLC to help raise funds for our excellent Christian radio station KUTR am820 . . . . Their station equipment mysteriously (I believe sabotage) was destroyed . . . their website hacked . . . just recently, and I suspect Friel coming to town, where he has been doing a lot of shows about Mormonism . . . uhh . . . well, has something to do with the timing . . . . Todd is going to be at Temple Square tomorrow in the afternoon . . . and Isaac, wifey and I plan on going down there to meet and see him.  I think he might even do some street preaching or witnessing . . . if possible . . . .

Thursday, September 27, 2012

crash

argh.. well... computer down for the count... will be bumpy for a bit but will continue to post from son's as able.. God bless

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Honeycomb's big, yeah yeah yeah"

p.s. My cousin Linsey Holley has gotten her daughters in the running for a Honeycomb cereal commercial... they are such a cute familly--Linsey is a sweet mother and wonderful person ....

You can vote for them.... or check out their home-made "commercial" here...

http://www.facebook.com/PostHoneycomb?sk=app_352453581488609

Created For His Good Pleasure

And so I looked at that tiny, crystalline wisp of a bug on the garage--again struck by the scope of God's creative design and reach . . . .

Same consideration . . . when I think of the lone beetle, lurking under a rock, right now, out in the wilderness, living it's life, unseen, unheard, unknown . . . except by the Creator.  For does it not say that when a sparrow falls . . . the Lord knows it?  And that He has numbered every hair on a person's head and named every planet and star, which are as many as grains of sand?

So when I look at nature--at creation--and I combine it with clues in scripture . . . I get some inkling of His style and personality.  I see what kinds of things He does and I read about His attributes, such as being omniscient . . . knowing all things and existing always, beyond the finite time of creation . . . .

If I believed, as the Mormons and Buddhists and Hindus do . . . that we humans . . . are co-eternal with God--have existed in some state or condition of being forever also, then yes, I might accept that we have some kind of independent ability . . . to choose God.  Indeed, it is the amalgamated "new age" proposition that we are all gods or, god . . . ultimately--our individuality is just an illusion, and thus, once we "awaken" we will become "one with God", because really we are not separate . . . and so, it is easy to imagine that latent within us are great powers and qualities . . . just like God's . . .  and not a stretch to think that we are quite capable . . . of finally "choosing" the right path to reunion with God . . . and that, rather than being an utterly depraved wretch, incapable of even wanting God, we are basically "good"--even perfect, within . . . .

But the Bible says we, in fact, are in no way able . . . to want or choose God . . . until He gives that capacity and desire.  We are dead in sin.  Dead!  There is no faith, no life, no love of God . . . in the dead, until HE changes our hearts (from "stone to flesh") and we are reborn . . . in spirit.

"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) . . . . "   --Eph 2:4,5

"No man can come to me, except the Father who has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."  --John 6:44

Now,  a typical Arminian argument against the "pre-destination" position . . . is to say "what kind of God would create only some people for heaven while creating others . . . who are doomed to die--to suffer the "wages of sin"?

And I would look at nature . . . and creation . . . and reply, "the same God Who creates billions upon billions of diverse, intricate, astounding, individual creatures . . . planets and stars . . . which are bound to die."

Why does the caterpillar exist--the one that turns into a magnificent butterfly . . . only to flutter for a few brief days . . . then die?  Did that translucent bug on the garage have a soul?  Is it going to Heaven?  Why are there whole meadows, running with multi-colored wild flowers . . . near a babbling brook . . . with exquisite birds singing melodiously near-by . . . and no person . . . will ever see it . . . to appreciate it's breath-taking beauty?  Only God . . . Who created it . . . will see it, "enjoy" it?

Yes, I can easily imagine--and actually seem to see revealed all through creation--a "kind of God" who obviously can . . . and does create . . . practically endless varieties of creatures and designs of matter . . . FOR HIS OWN GOOD PLEASURE, which . . . will not be in Heaven or persist through eternity, once this age of creation is done.

"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him."  --Phil. 2:13

"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.  --Eph. 1:4-6

 I simply don't find it hard to believe . . . that God IS a kind of God who . . . made some vessels . . . for one purpose . . . and others for a different purpose.  He created some creatures to ultimately dwell with Him in Heaven, while others, were made for a time--according to the GOOD pleasure of His will--but which will not persist into eternity . . . bugs, perhaps most animals, flowers, planets and stars, and some people.

If this is the case, then I do not think that the "un-elect" . . . are "alive" . . . even presently, in the same way . . . as the "elect".  They are more like props--like animals or insects . . . lacking certain features from the beginning.

So, when the Arminian . . . complains that it is not "fair" or "right" that some are "predestinated" for glory, while others not . . . they are projecting . . . . They are assuming that "the dead" have the same yearning as they do for God, for truth, for "light" and life . . . and that it is cruel and tragic and possibly even sadistic that they are not "chosen" for the Kingdom, but designed for Hell.

But, if they are "dead" . . . and never are reborn . . . in spirit, I suggest . . . they don't care.  They love darkness and sin and separation from God.  They hate the light.  You who have been awoken in the spirit, reborn, who want God and eternal life with Him . . . imagine that every one else also wants that as well, and so, it is a macabre scenario which would have God excluding some, against their will, from Heaven.  But is the deer or that see-through bug or the butterfly . . . sad it does not get to go to Disneyland?  Is it lamenting that it is not on white sand, Caribbean beach, relaxing with a Margarita?  No.  It knows nothing of such things.  It does not want such ends, for it is not designed for such ends!  Same with the . . . "un-elect" . . . .

Now, we here in this stretch of space of time . . . do not know who is or isn't "elect" . . . and He has designed it such that our efforts, inspired and guided by Him, indwelt with Spirit, is the means to reach His flock . . . so we are not apathetic, uncaring or uninvolved.   Just as we are moved from a spirit of compassion and love to care for animals, though they are a different creature than us, we too are moved with compassion and love to care for any and all humans, whether "elect" or not . . . .

But, all in all, I look at nature, at creation . . . and see . . . "Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?"  --Rom. 9:21   

Who am I to project . . . my limited human prejudices and opinion and judgment onto God's purposes and schemes and design?  How dare I try to make Him conform to my paltry, fallen, sin-darkened notions of "a kind and loving God"?  

He obviously--to me--takes great and good pleasure . . . in creating myriad and endless types of things and creatures . . . which no human will even know or see . . . and which will be born, live for a time, then die . . . . . while others, He creates for a different purpose--to be perfect and live with Him forever . . . .

Saturday, September 22, 2012

"If My Kingdom Were Of This World....."

. . . . Was going to follow-up on my nature revealing election vignette this morning, but am looking to that now for Sunday morn . . . as a fairly intense gripping of "that ol' feeling"--that sudden and out-of-the-blue sense of dread usually preceding an "event"--hit me hard in the pre-dawn hours . . . difficult to breathe, such was the oppressive effects and is still permeating.....[I prayed through it . . . and there will be a lot more of that as the day goes on . . . . ]

It's different than what comes when you just take a look at all the obvious madness, lies, demonic agendas roiling in the present worldly moment . . . . It could be something close to home, so-to-speak . . . or, more usually . . . is something with wider ramifications . . . .
Anyway, it's a bit overwhelming on me today . . . so I shall hold tight a bit to see if it fades or continues and plan to pick up the continuity tomorrow . . . .

Meanwhile, I will mention this briefly:  On the world and national stage despite all the proffered "reasons" and details . . . I hold to my early assessment of the situation.  Numero uno goal . . . beyond the geo-political machinations . . . directed from the "airs", from the "supernatural" realm, whatever the cover claims to be, the goal is always . . . to attack Christians and Christianity--to expunge, if it were possible, Jesus from the world, along with His believers/followers . . . . Whatever is reported or said, this is actually the main objective.

Also, I continue to just see Russia/Kremlin Communism . . . behind much, if not all of the protests, violence, upheaval . . . . The KGB early on infiltrated and trained what we are to now consider "radical Islam" in it's present "jihadi" form . . . . If you say it was the CIA I will say that it was KGB infiltrators, change agents and key "lever pullers" within the CIA . . . working to the same end.  Russia has been employing--in quite disciplined fashion--the martial strategies of Sun Tzu . . . feigning weakness and operating in the shadows, for the past couple of decades, pretending to not be involved so much anymore on the global stage . . . while, actually, they are more involved than ever, along with China, their partners in the plan of world dominion.
Their operatives in the State Dept. and at the highest levels of the U.S.'s intelligence agencies . . . have been cleverly directing/orchestrating American blunders in foreign policy to increase America's isolation and its becoming the scape-goat (along with "Capitalism") for the world . . . and vain stooges (useful idiots and "fellow travelers") like Hillary, Harry Reid, many in Congress etc., who fancy themselves "progressive" thinkers and political actors on the scene, have been brilliantly manipulated all the way along . . . to quite perfectly effect the exact policies and actions . . . which are wholly in line with the Kremlin's long-term strategic objectives.
Everything is going extremely well, according to plan . . . from the Soviet p.o.v.  Hardly ever, IF ever, is Russia anymore noted or blamed . . . for all the chaos and upheaval (whether economic, political, social) reaching climax, yet, if one were to look behind the scenes, you would find their fingerprints everywhere.
From a military standpoint . . . they deserve the victory they are achieving, as the West and America has fallen into their hands, just like they predicted--a ripe and rotten fruit, allowing itself to turn from God, from Biblical principles . . . and wallow in self seeking, pleasures, greed and Godless materialistic decadence.

Like I said several years ago . . . I believe it is all over and we are in the "mopping up" stages . . . .

Which is why . . . I don't bother too much about trying to "save the country" .  . . . I want to focus on the Kingdom of God, which is not of this world . . . and which will be victorious in the end . . . and will go on forever . . . !  I don't discount that some are rightly led to "get involved" . . . in certain social and political issues . . . but for too many there is a temptations and seduction that takes place so that, before long, the mind and heart are overly focused on temporal matters and the spirit slips away--which again, is the main objective of the enemy:  distraction, mis-direction . . . away from God . . . to the kingdoms of this world.

"Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom belonged to this world, my servants would fight . . . " --John 18:36

Friday, September 21, 2012

Revealed In Nature

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of humanity who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that humans are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened . . . .Rom. 1:18-21

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It seems to me, by looking, I am able to discern His personality, His style, His way of doing things . . . when I look at nature--at the creatures and the creation . . . .

It his me again, one particular aspect which relates to the notion of election, predestination . . . His grace and sovereignty . . . . I was "graining" some garage doors to look like natural oak wood . . . and noticed this most delicate little bug . . . sitting there on one of the slats.  It was virtually translucent . . . clear body, gossamer, pearlescent wings . . . thread-thin see-through legs . . . . How it was alive at all was my immediate wonder . . . for there was barely anything to it--just a wisp of lines with a couple of pin-prick eyes . . . .

Then, I often think of this also:  I look up into the mountains, across the valley . . . and imagine that somewhere there . . . is a rock.  No doubt, if I could teleport there and lift that rock, there would be at the very least, some little bug, scurrying about his day . . . digging, walking, eating, moving about . . . . How many billions of these are there "out there" which no human eye will ever notice?  They will be born, live, produce some very minor effects on their habitat . . . then die . . . unseen, unheard, unnoticed . . . .

Most recently, in my meditations on the Biblical verses describing "election" . . . "predestination" . . . it came into my mind to consider the caterpillar--the dull, grey, crawling worm of a thing . . . which then, goes into its chrysalis . . . practically dissolves, melts . . . then reforms into a beautiful, flying butterfly . . . .

Oh, how He has revealed Himself in nature!  The clues to so many questions and wonders are there!

Anyway . . . I got an answer . . . to these considerations, for I had a question . . . and for a moment before I relate what I "saw" . . . please consider this:  Why . . . did God create the caterpillar . . . . That amazing little creature . . . which metamorphs into the butterfly?  Think of how many of those are born, live and die, out in the wilderness . . . which no human ever sees . . . similar to my theoretical lone bug out there under a rock.

If you want, also imagine even the animals, small to large . . . who exist out in nature . . . living their animal lives, which no person has ever witnessed, used, or even know about . . . .

There is no doubt that millions and billions of wondrous, stupendously designed creatures, through the ages, have been born . . . lived . . . then died . . . living their unique, individual lives for a time . . . then gone, never to return, never to have been seen or known by any person . . . .

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Effible Truth

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.   For our God is a consuming fire.  --Heb 12:28-29

God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints,
And to be held in reverence by all those around Him. --Psalms 89:7


For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.  --1 Corinthians 6:20

But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” --1 Peter 1:15-16


---------------------------------
We are to worship Him in truth and in spirit.  Truth!  Which is why it is so critical not to be trying to look at and worship Him through a distorted lens--through a false religion . . . through false doctrines . . . .

And . . . I dare say . . . spirit is not strictly thought.  To worship in spirit . . . is something sublime and specific and is not simply about, ie., showing up at church, dressing or acting a certain way.  
  
"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."  --John 4:24

It is spirit AND truth.  Truth . . . is found . . . by the Word of God and indwells by the Holy Spirit.  
Spirit . . . is another substance.  Reading, believing, knowing the truth within . . . creates the vessel where spirit can at last reside in increasing fullness . . . . It (spirit) is more . . . and different . . . than just thought, ideas, beliefs . . . . There is a real, tangible . . . substance to it.  It is like a mist or a weaving . . . threads . . . made of pure holiness and sanctity . . . .
You will want to find it (spirit) . . . AND the truth . . . and worship the Great Spirit, the Father . . . in reverence and awe . . . which are both appurtenant . . . spirit and truth . . . .  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tonight on NBC: "The KTL" heh...

quick note... I've mentioned this oddity before... In the past, for many years, at times I have had premonitions or (lower case) "visions" of future scenarios--uncannily accurate in some of the details.  Except that . . . rather than actual events, sometimes it's as if I "saw" future media . . . art . . . representations.  Lol, not very useful as a prophecy tool . . . to "see" . . . for instance . . . a vision of fireballs striking and exploding small towns and farms in the countryside . . . only to realize that what I seemed to have "seen" or dreamed . . . was just scenes from the movie trailer for "2012" several years in advance . . . . (note... though in this case i still think the fireballs are going to happen, along with the liquid fire pouring from the sky which I saw in a real vision and also dreamed) . . . But anyway, it has happened too many times for coincidence . . . and details that are just too specific.

Here is another possible one of these.... Some here may recall the beginnings of an online book I started called "The Kraals of Thunder and Lightning" (the "KTL") . . . . The rough draft is still on my site brotherthoms.org ....

Those who read it may recall that I kept referring to an "event" . . . of sorts... some thing that happened "in the city" . . . which I hadn't yet revealed.  Meanwhile, the story takes off with the main characters . . . running around the mountains... trying to get horses ... to take back to the survival camp... there are other survival camps ... and the main weapons were fighting sticks .. knives... bows.. swords .... There were other clans/survival groups scattered around as well . . . . In the story . . . the main character ... after "the event" had been separated from his family ... and was trying to find them.  I don't know if I ever got to this part ... but one of them was kidnapped or kept by one of the other groups ... .and needing rescue ...

Anyway... as it looks .. the new NBC television series "Revolution" ha  ha ... is appearing to be .. uh .. pretty much the KTL ...

You see .. the "event" I never described ... but was about to when the main character is being "debriefed" by the FEMA thugs ... is .... that an EMP bomb went off and shut down all power, electricity ... hence.... the return to sticks... swords ... bows and stuff ... (guns being suddenly scarce and coveted) .... Horses also... a big deal for transportation ....  

There is however a very unique twist in my story ... which I don't think will be in Revolution ... which I won't reveal yet .. hoping I can get back to writing some day.... perhaps .. when the power goes out .. for real...

It's probably just a coincidence in this case... or a now fairly obvious kind of plot line .... but.. yeah... kinda got my attention when I saw the promos for it ... the swords... no power ... gangs... little survival groups ...

isaac's pretty jazzed to watch it ... We also like Grimm.  I think that's a fun show.... Also The Great American Bible Challenge we enjoy... I dig the live choir going to break ... singing unabashadly about Jesus on the Game Show Network .. haha ... people are actually starved for some entertainment that isn't about superhero women cops/doctors/lawyers ... gay gay gay ... broken "mixed" dysfunctional families... teens and preteens having sex .... etc.  Rotgut.... They had the highest ratings for the premier of Bible Challenge in their 17 year channel history .. duhhh.  

Indeed, "what LOVE is this?"

I asked God to reveal this to me, if it is so . . . . And I believe He is beginning to show me--

I have a wide appreciation of, and am edified by . . . a quite diverse range of Christian teachers, preachers, saints and even so-called "mystics" . . . . I love the tender heart, scholarship and effective evangelical results of certain Arminian types like John Wesley and in current times, messianic Jew Dr. Michael Brown . . . William Lane Craig and our own pastor. In my own experience, study and analysis I find most in common with those of the "Reformed" view--Jonathon Edwards . . . Spurgeon ,Whitefield, Bunyan . . . RC Sproul ....

What I asked about . . . and what is beginning to burn in me . . . is a real comprehension of just how dire and lost our situation is.  Tied to this is the consequential issue of working to save the "lost"--getting a "heart for the lost".

Within this prompting . . . is how I saw the "layers and layers" . . . of "worldly rubble" that encompass the typical person.  We think we are in ok shape . . . and not so far off the mark . . . with just a bit more tweaking needed . . . and that God is practically nonchalant about so-called "minor" sins . . . .

Many "try to be a good person" but admit to "making mistakes" and being "weak" . . . and just find it hard to believe that God's justice is as serious and severe as some--ie., certain preachers like Edwards, Calvin . . . and JESUS HIMSELF!--have warned it to be.  But I think we are so far from realizing God's holiness and character . . . buried in a mountain of corrupt human traditions, mis-directions and outright lies . . . that we see that little crack of light and think we are seeing it "all".  When, in fact, we are deeply, profoundly delusional and deceitful to ourselves, encouraged by Evil Spirit . . . so as to not even be close to understanding, let alone facing, our horrific predicament.  We want to balm over it with "sweetness and light" . . . . And we project OUR ideas of what "love" is on God, from our selfish, limited, finite, highly ignorant, humanly frail VIEWPOINT and opinion.  "A loving God would not do (fill in the blank____________"such-and-such").

What do we really know about LOVE--about the type and quality of PERFECT LOVE which God is and has?  How dare we make judgments and statements and critiques of "God's love and mercy" . . . putting on it a style and version and type . . . that WE think it OUGHT to be?  I suspect it is quite possible that what we experience in our present state of being of "love"--what we FEEL and IMAGINE it to be . . . is so distorted and corrupt and myopic . . . that it bears little resemblance to what is in reality DIVINE LOVE.  I don't doubt we have some experience and comprehension of it . . . as we are made in the image of God and have His Spirit to dwell in us . . . but I am wary of any who would think to project onto God . . . what HIS "love" ought to look like. 

This is what the militant atheists do.  Their favorite calumny is to say, "what kind of "loving" God would . . . ie., tell Abraham to sacrifice his only son . . . or tell Israel to slaughter the Amalekites . . . or . . . most obvious of all:  What kind of "loving" God would require that His "only begotten Son" be brutally beaten, tormented, mocked and executed like a common criminal?  Why is there evil at ALL in the world?  All the disease . . . war . . . poverty . . . death . . . . ?

The mind un-enlightened by Spiritual revelation . . . cannot see or comprehend or, more importantly ACCEPT such things.  Not from a so-called "merciful" God Who is purported TO BE love . . . .

But what is also not realized by such persons . . . is just how depraved, wicked, evil, rebellious, murderous, blasphemous etc., WE ACTUALLY ARE.  We swim in the filth . . . so completely, that we cannot discern it.  We know little to nothing of true holiness and divine love and have only our distorted, small, selfish opinions and interpretations of what they are . . . . Hostility toward God and His Son is . . . the very air we breathe and what courses through our veins.  We've developed a severe "normalcy bias" towards it--this innate hatred of Him--and so, aren't even aware of how thoroughly it motivates our actions, thoughts, and feelings.  Even when we cloak it in "spiritual" terms . . . and put ourselves through motions and costumes of "serving Him" . . . it is almost always false, self-delusional; if you were to uncover all the layers and expose our true hearts and intents . . . we would see nothing but vileness, self-serving aims disguised as piety.

Oh how the people have roiled and risen up when they hear it put this way.  Congregations have rioted, whole towns and families have attacked . . . violently . . . those preachers who have sounded this type of alarm.  GOD-- JESUS HIMSELF WAS HATED AND KILLED because He did not sugar-coat or gloss over the seriousness of our sinful condition and especially of those who consider themselves righteous.

Paradoxically, I find great comfort, vibrancy and life . . . when I am presented with, and appreciate the depth of our depravity.  For me, it smacks of THE TRUTH, and He has made me to yearn for and (in a sense) "love" THE TRUTH--however superficially uncomfortable it is to acknowledge, face and address.  I don't want to live in any mollifying self-delusion.  How bad is it really?  Let me know!  So I can honestly and urgently cut to the chase and get it rectified through Him.

This is what I asked for . . . and this is what I see . . . .

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Vigorous Call To Those In The Spider Hole!


Imagine you were buried under layers and layers of rubbish.  Like what happens in earthquakes when a building crumbles and there at the bottom some person is still alive, though cannot move but a finger . . . and there is a sliver of daylight observable through a crack close-by . . . . Air can come in . . . and out . . . barely--enough to keep breathing, if kept to short puffs . . . .

But in this case, the person trapped . . . does not know it.  They think they are free . . . to breathe . . . and wiggle the finger . . . to their heart's content . . . though within the extreme restrictions.  They are not aware they are restricted, however, and imagine themselves quite at liberty.  They can roll their eyes around . . . wrinkle their nose . . . hum . . . talk . . . and think about whatever they want to . . . there in that limited space.

Let's say they were born in this condition . . . . They have no experience of the wide, bright world above and outside.  Within their constrictions, they fancy themselves master of their fate . . . free . . . and a go-getter!  Boy, they can wiggle that finger to the left . . . to the right . . . up . . . down . . . . They can close their eyes and have only darkness, or, when it's day, open one eye . . . then the other . . . then both . . . and look at that crease of light . . . .

Meanwhile, a whole world exists above and beyond . . . the mountain of covering rubble.  Birds are flying in the sky, through the clouds . . . . Billions of unique insects buzz or crawl around . . . through dirt, over rocks, in waters . . . . There are rivers and oceans and waterfalls and seas . . . wind and waves . . . fish and multicolored creatures throughout miles of the deep . . . . Buildings, cars, planes, traffic, farms, sun, moon, space up above . . . . A whole universe of color, sound, texture, relationships, stories, dramas, current events, art, music, food, entertainment . . . exists . . . above the trapped, subterranean person . . . stuck in their dark crevice.  But they know nothing about it and consider themselves adept and fulfilled at pushing the boundaries of their cramped, covered living space.

This is how I see too many believers.   And I happily include myself--because I want out!  Then there are those who don't even know there stuck . . . . Claiming to be in personal relationship with the Creator of the universe . . . following the true and living God--Jesus, who died horribly as a sacrifice and servant to the whole fallen creation . . . yet living day to day with no vibrancy, no fire . . . cold, stone hearts . . . bored, impatient, stupidly self-righteous (for supposedly being "right") . . . fussing and engaged over a million petty issues and selfish concerns . . . tired . . . lackluster . . . lukewarm . . . dull . . . judging others over trivialities (which is about the only time they show anything close to excitement) . . . gathering together, when they do . . . out of dumb habit or worse, for fear of not being well thought of . . . by the other cud-chewing cows . . . .

Yeah, I said it!  Cud-chewing cows!

You mean to tell me . . . YOU--who once were bound for Hell . . . hopelessly lost in your sin and ignorance . . . meandering purposelessly through a dead-end life . . . blind . . . deaf . . . tormented by demons and familial psychopaths . . . scheduled to die . . . YOU--who say you got saved . . . found God . . . love Jesus . . . are aiming for Heaven to live with the Alpha and Omega . . . in perfection, love and joy . . . for FOREVER . . . can barely say an "amen" or shout a "hallelujah"?!!!  You wake up depressed, bored, anxious, ready to nag . . . and yet . . . you claim to have a PERSONAL SAVING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE?!!!  And the best you can do is show up at a few events, maybe go to church, try to understand a sentence or two of what the pastor is saying . . . then slog back to your mundane, food and bills and sleep and television life . . . without another thought or feeling TOWARD and ABOUT that personal God you profess is your ALL IN ALL?

Not only that . . . .

You "tsk tsk" the "heathens" . . . the gays . . . the adulterers . . . the thugs and gang-bangers . . . the Hollywood glamor fools . . . the rich man down the street . . . the slutty-dressed teenage girl . . . the drug users and drunks in the bars . . . looking down on them and feeling pity and no shortage of hidden disgust and superiority . . . because YOU supposedly have "found God", "got Jesus", "believe the Bible" . . . .

You feel smug and self-satisfied that YOU "know the truth" . . . and have a seat waiting in Paradise, while all those wretches . . . (you secretly gloat) . . . are headed for Hell with the devil . . . .

There is the purported Christian . . . resting comfortably in that dark, cramped, barely lighted hole, comfortable enough . . . buried beneath a mountain of weight, garbage, layers and layers . . . thinking "this it it! I have arrived!  Praise God!"

And then, from that dank, tepid tomb . . . shouting at others "get saved!" . . . and occasionally trying to convince them they ought to join you in your "relationship" with the living Christ . . . .

Meanwhile . . . a whole world exists beyond your murky spider hole!  A vast SPIRITUAL world . . . of light, air, adventure, service, action, feeling, intensity, joy, pain, exultation, exaltation, purpose, sacrifice, giving, sharing, healing, teaching, preaching, study, learning, revelation, communication . . . wind, sky, sun, water, walking, running, resting, playing, building . . . within the Kingdom.

Now here's some relieving news.  All that big pile . . . is not your fault.  Yeah, you're in it . . . and must deal with it . . . but it comes from the layers and layers of lies and corruption of ages and ages of a world making its way without God.

There we are, wiggling a finger with pride . . . vastly unaware of how much utter rot and waste is stacked on top of us, shutting out the light and life God intends for our joy and His.  We have little to no idea just how thoroughly buried we are in vain and meaningless nonsense foisted upon us . . . by the wreckage and dredge of Godless materialism.  We discern a shred of light--a speck of illumination, in our claim to have been saved and know the truth . . . and lay there satisfied, immobile, un-thrilled . . . resigned . . . as if this were enough.

More good news, however:  Just as we had a minor hand in the stultifying accumulation that weighs down our being . . . it is not up to us to remove it and escape it.  Well, it IS up to us to look and attempt to move in that direction, but it is not possible for us, with our extremely limited ability, to climb our way free . . . . No, a rescue must be made, from the outside--One who IS able and has the power and knowledge to extricate us from our gloomy position.

But if we do not appreciate just how limited and pinned down we are, then this explains our lack of enthusiasm over the REALITY of the Rescuer!  Should not one in such a pathetic condition be exploding with gratitude and excitement over the chance at liberation?  How is it that people who claim to have been found and released by The Emergency Responder . . . continue day to day . . . with a vague, dull mumbling of the event?  Why is it not the first thing on your lips, heart and mind--proclaiming the Good News?!!

Instead, some so-called "man of God" stands there and speaks in monotone some rules and legalistic proscriptions, closing with an "amen" then wanly recites a few pallid old tales with little current relevance . . . . A few listeners make a mental note, mildly interested--which is never followed up and the rest shuffle off to get back to gossip and the cares of the world, which seem far more pertinent and pressing. 

And you claim to have a personal relationship with the King of all Creation?  With the one who made the planets and stars and babies and flowers and oceans and life and death?  You talk to Him?  You purport to be in His immediate loving service . . . above all else?

Or maybe you follow the vulgar circus acts masquerading as "seeker-friendly" ministering . . . thinking that loud noises, off-color jokes, sex-talk and motorcycles at the pulpit . . . are necessary reinventions of God's Holy Word . . . in order to stay relevant . . . as if human nature suddenly changed and God needs help relating to "modern" popular culture . . . .

Please. Enough of the charade.

Oh, how we need revival!  Individually and collectively.  What in the world is up with this comatose, lethargic, half-baked, stone-hearted, lukewarm wiggling of a finger in a spider hole . . . and calling it "reborn" in the Spirit?  [By-the-way, the "wiggle" is usually either a middle-finger, or pointing at another . . . . A "spider hole" is where a sniper sits, hidden, observing, taking pot-shots when a target presents itself . . . .  Flipping the bird and/or sniping is the gist of the life of our friend here, ensconced beneath the world's debris.]

Believers have given their lives--lost all--faced wild beasts, pyre flames, torture, threats, abuse, rape, starvation, imprisonment . . . JUST for refusing to deny the conviction of their testimony . . . . They have suffered and died . . . to bring the Gospel to us, to others, forsaking all--comfort, family, vocation--because His life and death . . . was so sacred, so profound, so real, so important and vital . . . . Yet, we barely lift a finger and moan that we can't wiggle a toe, content nonetheless to repose in that dank, crimped, entombed, cold-hearted, enervated, pit at the bottom of the world's rubble . . . on top of us, around and under, and IN us . . . .

If the Bible is the Word of God--of the Creator of the universe . . . and Jesus is His Son, the Messiah sent to suffer the wrath due a fallen, sinful and rebellious world--a due that WE are born into and would inescapably inherit were it NOT for His mission . . . . And if we call ourselves believers in Him--His disciples even . . . indwelt by the Holy Spirit of that same almighty God . . . . . . Then this is the most exciting, thrilling, astounding, motivational, glorious, joyous, profound, incredible GOOD FREAKING NEWS that every day should be filled to a large degree celebrating and remembering and ACTING upon it!

Holy moly, my Christian brothers and sisters!  We need to WAKE UP, break out of our lethargic complacency and be cheerfully busy about the business and joy of our Lord's business!  Break out of the spider hole!  Stand . . . walk . . . run . . . jump . . . in the open air of His light and truth and love--the Gospel!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cleaving to the Holy Brigade

To stay in the Holy Spirit . . . . Holy . . . holiness . . . is sweet . . . and pure.  Love is there--love which puts down contentions and dissolves all the weapons of the world . . . . Greater is He Who is within than he who is in the world . . . truly.  Let not this be a vague notion--something easily said, but then you go about your day tormented by the spirit of the world.  By "world" I don't mean the beautiful and awesome world that God made, which we are not to hate and deplore.  But the "world" that is this nightmare propagated by the Beast.

The fallen and falling kingdom of the Beast surrounds and corrupts nearly everything.  But not the pure Holy Spirit.  The evil one cannot touch that!  And HE is given to us within, so that no matter how insane, violent, treacherous is the work and product of the wickeds' designs, ALWAYS we have available a place--a PERSON--Who is pristine and protects us . . . within.  It is a spiritual kingdom that we seek and belong to, so we may or may get the physical protection that our worldly, temporary selves clamors for . . . . But there is always recourse to spiritual protection and comfort.  When it seems like there isn't, it is because we have expectations and demands of how and what and when exactly we want the Spirit's response to be.

When we don't get what we wanted, then we think God is not answering or consoling us.  But we should rely on His Word and have faith that He said He will not leave us, and so, we are always being answered and provided just what He knows is best--long term and spiritually--for us.  And that may or may not include our more selfish and material requests of the moment.  If He withholds something, or we find ourselves in some terrible predicament, rather than rush to self pity and complaint that He is not listening or responding, we must simply look for the lesson and spiritual provision that is intended.

As we mature in the Walk . . . it becomes reflexive, habitual (something we can train ourselves to do, in fact) to know and trust . . . that everything we are going through, including the chaos and evil of the world that is afflicting us . . . WILL be for our good, and we are thankful for all.  We learn to search out the purpose for the way of things especially when they seem not to meet our expectations and wishes . . . .

Primary in all of this is getting a real taste for holiness.  Loving, yearning for . . . relishing . . . the Spirit of holiness . . . which accompanies His presence . . . becomes our food and water.  This is how saints since the beginning have managed to genuinely sing and praise God even in the worst of circumstances and temporal suffering.  The power and strength and glory of holiness--the effulgence (the radiating light and love) of His character . . . is so fulfilling and transcendent to the current mess of this world . . . that it sustains and refreshes like nothing earthly can.

Especially in these times, where the hounds of war and riot are running rampant, and the rotten houses of cards the rebellious and wicked have built are crashing violently down all around . . . ALWAYS there is a place of respite, peace, tranquility, sustenance, plenty, light, love, fellowship . . . ready to be accessed and enjoyed and rested in.  It is a place--a Person, actually--which never fails and is every time greater than anything the world and its demonic hordes can throw at you.

Do not let too much of the world's weapons pour into you--into your mind and heart and soul.  For this is its big objective; to so cover you and indwell you, permeate your being, your space . . . with filth and garbage and blasphemies . . . that you don't even bother trying to find the presence of holiness within.  You can and should limit . . . the intake of the world and all it's temptations and harmful, insidious words, images, propaganda, spirit . . . . Not to be an ascetic, shut away.  But to yet be in the world, but constantly feeding and dwelling in the thoughts of God--in His Word, listening to and conversing and staying close to those who love Him and know Him.

Holiness is here, amidst all this rancor, darkness, din . . . . Within.  Submitting always thankfully to Him, knowing that whatever your needs and requests, He will always be providing just exactly what your soul truly needs . . . for its SPIRITUAL survival and flourishing.  No weapon formed . . . no vile creature . . . no worldly enemy . . . can EVER take this away! 

Oh, how I love and relish His holy spirit . . . His Holy Spirit.  The love, the care, attention, the sacred and divine and holy nature of His character!  Do not believe the lies from the world and its ignorant, evil minions.  Holiness EXISTS.  And we can and will partake, who love and surrender to and serve Him!

Glory be, amen!
brother in the Holy Brigade, thomas

Friday, September 14, 2012

Looking Beyond the Power Plays

I hope you don't mind, Lee that I reproduce here your notes to me reminding me of a few things I had written in the past about the Middle East situation considering the way it is developing now.  I see I even mentioned Samantha Powers and the matriarchal cabal I felt was behind the scenes, ironically instigating much of the violence . . . bloodshed . . . chaos . . . instability there (ironic considering the deceptive charge that if only women ran the world we would at last find peace and gentleness) . . . .
Above all, again I reiterate to myself and other believers . . . to maintain focus on that which matters beyond these movements of rulers and traitors and subterfuge--power plays.  An eye can be kept on it, but only as it is kept singly on His glory and the glory to come . . . . Distraction from Kingdom within . . . is the primary goal of the enemy in all this, regardless of the various and sundry details of the ongoing mayhem . . . .
note.... Lee's words are in blue . . . . 
  

On Libya….
--Speaking of Libya . . . . It feels like an ominous step was recklessly taken . . . . Michael Savage found the pertinent scripture describing the day:  "My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths."  Is. 3:12

   
What an apt description of our current predicament!  Indeed, it appears that Hillary Clinton, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice . . . part of the bloodthirsty harpie elite, against the inclination of top military officials, decided to put the U.S. into another war . . .


And then…
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Meanwhile . . . I feel terrible about Libya right now.  I have the same sense of dread I felt when the 2nd Gulf War was being considered and sentiment stoked to invade Iraq, knowing that it would be a human catastrophe--much suffering and chaos at the hands of downright evil globalist operators.  Same crew is involved with this, obviously.  Even from a simple "mainstreet" analysis of the thing, what the hell business is it of ours or any other country to be bombing and meddling and removing sovereign leaders, whatever we think of them?

It will mean especially, more persecution, murder, theft, rape and pillage and plunder and displacement of Christians, among other innocent victims.  From the spiritual vantage, this is one of the simultaneous important goals of all this "nation" destroying/building going on in the Middle East. 

And, since this recent Libyan violence and the killing of the US Ambassador & staff was fueled by a Mohammad video, as you said - mentioning Islam or Mohammad in a negative light . . . . IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF FREE SPEECH as we have known it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Looking Toward & Leaning: Let's Ride!

Thank you Lee and Light for your encouragement re the Rider motif... There are clues in there for a very real, pragmatic means to elicit . . . in a sense . . . the powerful and profound and transformational operations of the Holy Spirit in His work of sanctification.  It is a loose hold on the reigns.  From long and persistent and dedicated experience in wanting to be changed FOR REAL within--the heart change we read of in scripture--I have found it to be more of something like a "knack" that one gets, rather than a program (of self improvement) or attempt to control (the beast/horse/carnal self) . . . . It is like a leaning toward the destination, wholly relying on Him--but looking toward and leaning--rather than forcing

Becoming impatient, frustrated . . . demoralized . . . when we don't find ourselves becoming more holy as fast as we would wish . . . short circuits the divine process.  We just get in the way, and even if we do manage to make ourselves conform to an image of Christ . . . it is false and dangerous as it leads to spiritual pride, delusion and secret hypocrisy . . . . Some of the things I have moved beyond are as treacherous and impossible as any you might imagine.  It was when I finally gave up trying to change and just turned it (the reigns) over to Him . . . trusted . . . and waited patiently . . . YET ALSO putting effort to stay focused on the destination, on Him, on the Gospel (looking toward and leaning at Him and away from the world) that . . . over time these burdens and strongholds . . . just fell away. 

Definitely, you don't want to dwell on them as they do, for recalling them overmuch gives them power again over you . . . so, as was advised to Lot's wife "don't look back" at your Sodom, but instead keep looking forward as you find you are moving away .....

Our will is involved . . . but it is delicate, a "loose hold" on the reigns . . . . In that trusting, waiting, patient state . . . where prayer and communion and remembrance is always kept close . . . then you can discern His promptings--which way to turn, when to rest, when to gallop with the wind at your back, when to buckle up, pull the wrap tight and persevere into strong head winds . . . .

And when you fall off, which you will more at first, then less and less, you don't waste time lamenting.  Yes, some time repenting--feeling the sting; but then quickly remounting, dusting off and pressing onward giving constant thanks for even the falls, as all now is working to the good because you love Him . . . .

Let's ride!  :)


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hail The Rider . . . With You

So . . . there's like this wild horse.  And you're on it.  You are holding the reins and some of the time are able to direct it to where you want to go.  Other times, it just takes you somewhere, and you let it, but then realize that you are off the trail, lost in the woods or mired in a bog.  With much great effort, you can manage to get back to where you were going, but you are more and more worn out each time and with a lurking dread you realize that eventually, your strength will not be enough to struggle with the steed and it will finally take you where it wants, and there won't be enough left of you to right the situation.  Bitterly resigned you will surrender to it, far far from home and await your end.

The horse is your fallen, carnal self--a mix of corrupt genetics, animal instincts and passions, egocentric ambitions and all the dark, misguided agendas and expectations poured into your head and heart from an equally lost, sinful race, demonic enemy, wicked society and world.  When young, you have some fight in you--big ideas and hopes--and seem able to be fairly well in control of the horse, but after much to-ing and fro-ing you at last raise your eyes to asses and wake to the disheartening fact that you've mostly been going in circles.  Little, if anything has changed in any significant sense in you and there really has been no progress and refining of character . . . . The envying . . . the coveting . . . the jealousies and possessiveness . . . resentments, anger, self-pitying . . . lusts, pleasure and self-seeking . . . vanity, pride, secret self-loathing . . . are mostly all still there, only maybe better disguised and hidden deeper down . . . . Plus, you've not reached any place to call home nor found any land of peace and plenty.

Then . . . with a start, however . . . you discern that someone is with you--has been with you all along, riding behind you in the saddle all the places you have wandered and explored.  Yes, you had been crying out for guidance and looking for treasures and answers, here, there . . . to mountain tops, down in the valleys, to the shore, across deserts . . . in dreary towns and riotous cities looking . . . searching . . . seeking, and often you thought you had at last found Shangri-la . . . only to be disappointed yet again; then moved on . . . .

While all the while, the master scout and captain of your soul was there next to you, waiting for you to give Him the reigns . . . .

[He is invisible, but He is more real than anything else you've found and definitely with you . . . your companion . . . . ]
But here is what He does.  Yes, He wants the reigns, reaching around you to take them, like a father who assists the child in their first horse ride together, protective and in control . . . . Yet, He has you also hold the reigns--so that together you lead the horse out of the thicket, though you know it is He Who is truly master of the situation.

For sure, He is actually the one in control now, for although your hands are holding the straps and move with His in the direction He turns the animal, it is His power and strength and guidance and knowledge . . .  which is leading the way back to the proper Path that will start taking you to the destination you have always craved and longed for, though you didn't quite know what or where it was . . . .

From the outside, an observer would see that your hands and heels appear to be directing the horse--and in a sense they are, for they are moving and leading the beast in a definite direction--but it's all guided by an unseen power, a presence, indeed a PERSON who is close . . . with you.

Sometimes, He will loosen His grip on the reigns and allow you to proceed and take more control.  If you are foolish and get distracted by your old ways, you head again for the brambles or to the noisy tavern.  Over time, however, you learn to be sensitive to His promptings and you go the way He is urging.  And with His presence and expert admiral-ship the horse begins to tame . . . . Less and less it is the unruly, willful beast bolting and whisking you astray.  There is less and less fight and contention with it.  More and more it appreciates the disciplined walk and gives you fading troubles . . . .

Here is a picture of how His will . . . works on and around you--His arms around you holding the reigns, yet how also your will is involved, also holding the reigns, following His promptings . . . .

Yes, until you reach the destination, the horse must be fed, watered, rested, sheltered--even allowed to frolic once in a while; just like your present earthly mortal vessel.  And it is a beautiful, wondrous creature in its own right, which He designed and serves its purpose, carefully, but firmly cared for and mastered . . . .

If He wanted, He could have taken you off the horse and just sent it away and instantly transported you to the Kingdom destination without any journey.  But this is obviously not His will.  No, He is having you travel every step of the way, experiencing much--a diversity of scenes and characters along the route.  He wants you to experience holding and guiding the reigns--the steering--though only with Him in control . . . will you reach your rest safely.  Then there will be a celebration and while He was in charge, you had your share in the experience and journey . . . which He desired you to have.  The Father enjoys when His children have ventured, seen the world, then returned home knowing without a doubt and filling with new-found joy . . . that only with the Master could they have survived and ended victorious, in, by and through Him . . . .

Hail . . . the Rider . . . with you . . . .

[hail:  To greet or acclaim enthusiastically; used to express a greeting or tribute]

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Going for the One

“When it comes to accomplishing things for God, you will find that high aspirations, enthusiastic feelings, careful planning and being able to express yourself well are not worth very much. The important thing is absolute surrender to God.”
“In our moments of enjoyment we feel as if we could do anything. And in times of temptation and discouragement, we think we can do nothing. And both ideas are wrong.”

---


“When God blesses you remember to keep your eyes on Him and not the blessing.”
“There is time enough tomorrow to think about the things tomorrow will bring. The same God who feeds you today is the very God who will feed you tomorrow.”
“We can learn a lesson from babies. Babies own nothing. They treat diamonds and apples alike. Be a babe. Have nothing on your own. (It all belongs to God anyway!) Forget yourself. Give way on all occasions. Let the smallest be greater than you.”

---

“When we come to these valley experiences, when we are deprived of faith and assurance, there is only one thing to do. We must go straight on through the valley, walking with the Shepherd just as we did before we entered that valley.”
“When he was dying, St. Ambrose was asked whether he was not afraid to face God at the judgment. He replied with these unforgettable words, ‘We have a good Master.’ We need to remind ourselves of this.”

---
some daily "fen"

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Die Early, Live Late

It is a death . . . any way you look at it.  YOU--and all that you think is yours . . . must . . . and will . . . die.

If you have invested everything in your self . . . and the property, people and reputation you take credit for, then when all of that is swept off the table, as death finally separates you from it . . . what remains that you will take into the life hereafter?

We are born . . . live for brief stretch of time . . . then die.  Guaranteed.

During your life on earth . . . you will have an allotted, set amount of energy and time to use for various purposes.  For most people, the majority of that allotment is used most basically for sheer physical survival--keeping the body alive.  Some portion may be further used for entertainment and interests, hobbies, relationships . . . .

For the many, a very small fraction is invested in the things of the spirit.  It is an afterthought and usually done because of a vague, sublimated and gnawing guilt within . . . that there is more to this life than just to attend to and lavish the needs and wants of the earthly body, which is bound to die.

Here is the great obstacle to those who one day are confronted with the call from God:  so much has been invested in this temporary self that the person cannot bear the thought of abandoning it . . . for a future unseen hope. 

Imagine the Jewish scholar . . . who has spent thousands of hours studying the Torah, the Talmud--the law and commentaries.  Within his mind is an impressive mountain of knowledge and opinions and his whole self identity is bound intricately and deeply throughout this edifice . . . of self.  He is attached to it, woven into it and carries it wherever he goes.  "This is me . . . . This is what I have done--what I have!"

Or, the worldly person.  She has worked hard and fought for every thing she has, triumphing over chauvinism, the "good ol' boy" fraternities . . . and stands proudly before the world saying, "Look at what I have accomplished!  I have material security, wealth, power, status . . . . This is me--I have done this and this is all mine!"

Or the power-seeker . . . . He revels in the powerful political and business connections he has made in his life.  With a single phone call, he can destroy or build someone's life in the world.  He is respected and feared and/or loved wherever he goes.  "Look at me, what I have attained.  I am like a god in this world.  Others leap to satisfy my desires.  Everyone seeks to please me.  And I have done it myself and it is mine!"

Then there are the writers, artists, scientists, philosophers, builders . . . each who can recite their personal litany of works, accomplishments, and admired discoveries and creations.  "This is me--all I have done and produced.  I have invested my time here to "make the world a better place.  Statues, foundations, buildings, cities even . . . are named after me!"

Yet, how much . . . from such a person . . . was ever invested in the matters of the spirit . . . and that ALONE which will carry beyond the grave?  A few token appearances at church?  Some profitable and reputation-polishing and tax favorable gifts given to a few charities and a needy person or two?  Or, maybe you read a couple of self-help books thinking that if you are a "better person", if there is a God, He will be impressed with your beach or pool-side summer reading efforts . . . . 

Then God calls. 

There, standing before you . . . is some social odd-ball Christian telling you about Jesus Christ and the Bible. 
You want them to leave.  You may be polite for a moment, but inwardly you just want to get away from them.  They seem a little fanatic--too extreme in their zeal.  Besides, what do you need Jesus for?  Look at all you have done!  Look at all you have acquired and possess--all the people, power and property under your control and influence.

And here God is saying . . . it's all rubbish, worthless . . . in the grander scheme of things, beyond this quick earthly life.  All that time and energy invested . . . in the world and in the self . . . wasted, for it ALL will burn. Anyhow, you can't take it with you when you die.

Only what you invested in the Kingdom of God . . . will be of worth in the hereafter.

God will look at your mountain of knowledge . . . your piles of money . . . your lists of important contacts . . . your buildings and books and theories--your whole collection of "good works" and accomplishments and possessions, which you invested in with the vast percentage of your life . . . and say, "Show me what you have done to spread the Gospel?  What have you done IN MY NAME, solely for My Kingdom . . . which is the only Kingdom which will go on . . . after death?  A thimble full of your time, energy, effort and devotion was applied to Me--the One Who gave you your life in the first place . . . and gave you ALL your abilities and talents and time and energy . . . to get what you got . . . which you collected for yourself and your own glory?"

When God calls upon the soul . . . there are few indeed . . . who are willing to step away and die to . . . all that they have been working for and investing in . . . to build up their selves.  It is too hard.  They are utterly and deeply attached to that self they have been investing in.  Throw it all away?  Walk away?  "I might as well die!"

And so it is . . . that, for fact, DEATH is required one way or the other.  Physical death will come and separate you from your worldly and self-centered achievements and you will be left standing naked before God . . . making excuses as to why you invested little, if anything, to know and live for Him and HIS purposes and will.

Or, the truly wise one, will be more like that "fanatic", "extreme", hated-by-the-world Christian enthusiast  . . . and DIE EARLY!  Die BEFORE the physical death and begin at once investing the remaining allotment of life into those things which WILL carry over into the next world! 

What is the real wealth and the obviously wise thing to do?  Spend the vast majority of this life focused on things and issues and achievements and property . . . which is ALL going to be left behind at death?  OR, spend this life investing in the "things" and issues and SUBSTANCE which will still exist in the hereafter?

But . . . people . . . don't really believe.  This is the hitch . . . and why it so simply and profoundly all boils down to . . . BELIEF . . . FAITH. 

Even many of those who claim to believe in God and may go to church and do various "good works" . . .  don't really believe in God.  They fear man, society, family, "officials", church leaders MORE than God, because their belief in God . . . is not near as intense or real . . . as their belief in and devotion to the present reality.  God is a vague, far-off, relative . . . notion or idea.  He is not a REAL person in their daily lives.  They do not wake up looking IMMEDIATELY at God and His will for that day.  They are much too busy and far too interested in their own careers, family, and current events and pop culture . . . to bother about feeling God's presence and knowing God's purposes for this life . . . .

Oh, they will likely say, "Yes, I believe in God . . . " and "I try to be a good person" . . . . but in reality, virtually all their waking moments are SPENT investing in activities and interests which ONLY pertain to this life and this world; which life and world ARE GUARANTEED TO DIE.  So, all their efforts . . . are for nothing, for that same death, so far as they are NOT used for that which is eternal . . . .

Like the "rich man" who Jesus told to "sell all your goods and follow Me" . . . they flat-out love their "goods" MORE than the Truth--Who and What is the Person of God.

It's just too much.  Surely you can have both . . . right? 

No, you cannot.  It is the One or the other. 

Even for those newly brought into Faith, born again . . . there is a remaining and ongoing tension where the old self and the love of the world . . . is constantly trying to get back in and in control.  It is frighteningly all too easy to DRIFT into the old habits and tendencies of the flesh.  Then comes a dangerous delusion and the blight of hypocrisy . . . where the proclaiming believer walks around preaching "death to self" . . . while still secretly loving and serving and REVIVING that old, dead self . . . such that, the light of the Holy Spirit, becomes once again blocked and His promptings ignored or twisted . . . to suit the YET persisting worldly appetites and ambitions . . . .

Here is where your effort and investment becomes crucial.  Are you deliberating making time . . . to spend in God's Word?  Do you find a way, somehow, whenever, wherever . . . to quiet the chattering mind and focus on His Spirit within . . . reaching out in prayer . . . ?  Regardless of your personal temperament and social predilections . . . are you finding ways to fellowship with other believers?  Are you giving to help support His Kingdom presence in this world--giving of time, money or prayer to those who are in the front lines of spiritual battle--teaching and preaching and healing?

It does not take long . . . to be swept up in a drift . . . away from close proximity to His Spirit and Word and into the powerful and surrounding currents of the world's enticements.  Real spiritual entities are constantly working and lusting that you forget and lose your way . . . on The Way--seeking to cause you grief and shame in your spirit . . . because you fell for their temptations or deceptions . . . . Because you DRIFTED through lack of attention and energy and investment in His spiritual matters . . . .

His great pleasure and will . . . is that we should want to want Him . . . more than anything or anyone else!

Those who do not care enough to want Him above all . . . will get their reward, based on their primarily selfish and self loving/wanting investments of time, energy and attention . . . in this life . . . and so, ignore inevitable death--put off facing the implications--and vainly "hope for the best."

The wise one, called by God, faces death NOW--dies early, before the inevitable . . . then turns from this doomed world and starts living amidst the tender shoots and first beginnings of the new world to come, which already begin to manifest . . . even in this earthly life of the believer . . . . Now, every activity and hobby or interest, efforts spent in temporal survival are ALL used for the glory of God and His Kingdom, which lasts forever.




Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sometimes A Ruckus Is Called For . . . .

Speaking of Shawn . . . an important point was brought out on his show the other night which has continued to weigh on my heart, haunt my mind.  He said it was a scary thought and I agree . . . . A heart for the lost feels and reacts to such concerns . . . .

We know from scripture . . . that the judgment upon, and final destination of, false teachers and prophets . . . is damnation and fire . . . .

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."  --Mat. 7:22-23
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."  --Mat. 7:15,16,19
 "'Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!' says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: 'You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,' says the Lord"  --Jeremiah 23:1–2

But what is even more frightening and ominous . . . is that the FOLLOWERS will be judged like their false leader!
I can't recall the precise verse Shawn mentioned--I think it was in Ezekiel, but not sure--but there are several other verses which warn of this sad and alarming scenario.

"When one blind person leads another, both will fall into the same pit." --Mat. 15:14

 "How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to make a single convert, and when this happens you make him twice as fit for hell as you are."  --Mat. 23:15

We look at the many people being deceived by the false prophets of the Mormon church . . . and genuinely fear for their souls.  It is called "Mormon bashing" . . . by the defensively PROGRAMMED cult members, because of their blindness; but it is LOVE and genuine concern and trepidation for their eternal status!  We see the spiritual bondage they are in--the darkness and guilt and worry over their "good works" . . . . Have they done enough?  Empty, they are, of that profound and deep faith and confidence in the PERFECT works and character of the Savior, Who most certainly brings the Believer safely to Heaven . . . .

Oh what a dangerous game they play, the deceitful teachers of false doctrine, who lead others astray!: 

"As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!"  --Gal. 1:9

Are we suppose to keep silent?  Are we to watch mute and uncaring for the trajectory of their souls?  Does not anyone shout and rush to stop another from blindly walking off the cliff?

We MUST speak out and warn.  Not out of arrogance or hate or bigotry.  But out of sincere, earnest, frightful love and concern for those many who are under a spiritual spell--who must be shaken, awakened, alerted . . . to their dire state.  They are like sleepwalkers, marching in single file, merrily together in a collective dream of imaginary kingdoms, worlds and familial fellowship--while a nightmare surrounds them in reality on all sides!  GOD!  Where is the Father?  Where is the Lord in that fanciful dream?  A false Lord--another Jesus, wholly concocted by the original false prophet is what they follow, as that Pied Piper . . . entices them and wraps them in delusion . . . to a possibly fiery eternal doom! 

No, if we care . . . and take heed of the Spirit's injunctions, we MUST try and warn them, though they call us names and misunderstand our efforts . . . .

"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage -- with great patience and careful instruction."  --2 Tim. 4:2

For them that believe . . . the stakes are too high . . . and the time too short . . . NOT to make a bit of ruckus, lest the dozing, deluded continue marching blindly . . . behind the false prophets and teachers . . . straight off the cliff to eternal destruction!  They may mistake the "yelling" for rudeness, hate or disrespect . . . but more often than not, whispers and caresses do NOT wake the deeply sleeping in nightmare . . . .

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Pope, LPS's and Good Earworms

Huh . . . . All the comments were right on, insightful and immensely encouraging.  Go figure . . . lol.  Thank you for the choice input!

Well . . . and it reminds me of an old joke . . . about pre-suppositions . . .which I barely remember, but will try:

A Catholic priest was on a bus when a rather disheveled, dirty and mumbling fellow hobbled to a seat nearby.

The wayward-looking fellow seemed to moan and groan a bit, as if in pain, while he read the paper.  He looked up suddenly and asked the priest, "Sir, do you know what causes a man joint pains?"

The priest, eager to seize on the opportunity, replied, "Why yes!  It comes from carousing, hard drinking, laziness, loose morals and dishonest living!  Such a man needs God!"

The bum got a concerned look on his face, cocked an eyebrow and said, "Huh . . . that's interesting.  I was just reading that the Pope's arthritis is acting up something fierce . . . . "

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

Hey, and a shout out to Mallory/"Loverboy" heh . . . in the comments. (note: Mal is the very talented singer/musician daughter of Shawn and Mary McCraney.) My wife and I woke up today with dueling songs of yours in our heads.  I had "And you will find . . . rest . . . for your souls" going on . . . Lindsay has had the names of the 12 disciples song going for . . . I think the third day now . . . "Thaddeus . . . Thad . . .  dee . . . usss" :) ......(I think its called an "earworm" when a song or phrase gets stuck in your head?lol) We managed to send out a batch of your first cd "In His Words" to several of the readers here . . . and I recommend that they also get the new one.  The harmonies you have going . . . are truly Brian Wilson quality . . . and so is the instrumentation actually--quite nice indeed!  It is a fine thing, if you are going to have a song stuck in your head all day . . . that it is not some dumb t.v. commercial jingle, or, more scary . . . some subversive Katy Perry lyric . . . but instead THE WORD OF GOD, which cleans the soul, refreshed the mind, strengthens the Spirit . . . . I just checked your pop's site and the "store" appears down for maintenance. . . . but I imagine that is where interested folks could get the new cd? . . . . http://hotm.tv/store/

God bless and strengthen and guide--as He will--everyone!  Oy, this convention stuff . . . I've never seen so many LPS -- lies per second . . . . It's gross.

Brother Thomas ©2015

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