Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Truth Is Objective

Yes, this is pretty much the book I was thinking of writing someday as it goes deep and thoughtfully into the real mindset, subjective theories and experience of "natural religion"--Eastern mysticism/New Age-ism/the occult . . . which I plumbed in so many respects during my early spiritual seeking.
 The book is called "Embraced By The Darkness" by Brad Scott. . . .

"The Dethronement of God"
"If every soul is Christ in the making, IGNORANT but not sinful, and if every soul is divine by nature, having God, his True Self, already at the core of his being, then external authority and objective truth become meaningless.  To be sure, the spiritual seeker will consult his 'experts' on 'ancient wisdom', as it's called; but he will decide how he will believe and whom he will believe.  His own judgment and intuition, then become his guides.  These subjective faculties, not God, occupy the central position in his life.  But the truth is, God, the Supreme Other, is objective--that is, He really exists apart from our subjective experience of Him.  His existence isn't contingent upon our belief in Him.   We give Him rule over our hearts by accepting His objective reality, having faith in Him, and conforming ourselves to His will, which, again, He has expressed for us OBJECTIVELY.  True, the subjective dimension is there--after we have submitted to God; but it's secondary to sacred Scripture, tradition, and right reason.  So who or what is at the center of the New-Ager's life?  The self--the feted, pampered, rebellious self."

"When one acknowledges the objectivity of God's truth, he will necessarily have to use his mind, body and senses to perceive, understand and practice that truth.  He will consult Scripture, take guidance from his pastor, examine orthodox teachings, and study nature.  However, he will also pray to the God in whose image he was made, knowing that God abides in him through the saving grace of Christ and yet transcends nature--and the self--altogether.  Therefore, to such a one, the body isn't an expendable object, and God--not one's intuition or judgment--must be trusted.  This person lives by faith in the Son of God.  To become good (righteous) and even holy (sanctified), he relies not on self-effort but on grace, for he knows that 'if righteousness could be gained through the law [Mosaic or karmic], Christ died for nothing!'" (Gal. 2:21)

"By contrast, New-Agers [eastern mystics, occultists, etc.] place their faith in anti-rational, subjectivistic, man-centered methods--in short, in 'natural religion'.  Then, glassy-eyed and overconfident, they wait for those satisfying subjective clicks that will pry open the secrets of the universe for them so they too can master their physical vehicles and become divine incarnations or avatars--at last finding themselves, so they believe, on the same 'plane of consciousness' as Jesus Christ.  Yet in and through their spiritual systems and methods, they are plainly fooled by their false faith in man.  In this way they submit to the oldest sin known to man: pride.  They fail to perceive the single lie that lies at the root of their systems and methods.  In their "New Age", God isn't manifesting Himself as man; man is masquerading as God."

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sin or Ignorance? The Story of Today Tells It

Regarding your comment (Alem?) about being surprised I have an extensive background and experience with Eastern religion . . . yes, I do.  I've been a "Christian" on and off through my Eastern mystic forays but a real, Born Again Christian since 2004 (12 years now).  I would say that I was studying or practicing various forms of Hinduism on and off for about 30 years prior to that, with serious travels through "Urantia-ism" also at times.  I believe it's all in God's hands how it went . . . but one of the reasons I would say that I never grasped the profundity of Biblical Christianity (The Gospel) was because I was never presented with it.  Living in Salt Lake, growing up . . . Mormonism stood in the way of realizing what the Bible actually taught.  There just aren't many real Christians around here.  And I decided early on that I had serious doubts about Mormonism representing the true Gospel.  And I never really heard the true Gospel as taught in Holy Scripture, God's Word.

The last thing I was before being Born Again . . . was a "Vaishnava"; for 8 years roughly, from 1996 to April 16th, 2004.  I had always considered the "jnani" path of Hinduism the highest and purest, which was the path of intellectual discrimination where you basically practice, "neti, neti" which, from Vedic origin means "not this, not this".  You believe that God is a transcendent Being in and through all things, but separate at the same time.  By eliminating all forms of ignorance in your life, becoming detached from everything, everyone, including your own ego . . . ("Brahman", or the Supreme Being is "not this, not this") the idea is that eventually you have eliminated all "maya"  (illusion) . . . and are finally left with pure God.  But since, after many years of study and practice I felt I hadn't gotten to where I wanted to be spiritually I thought I would give the "bhakti" path a try via the "Vaishnav" spiritual philosophy as conveyed by Srila Prahbupada.  This is the way of "devotion" . . . emotion, love, worship toward God.

In this philosophy, everything is offered to God.  Everything is considered to be God's first--we are only using, borrowing.  So, for instance, every meal is first offered to God in reverence and a sense of sacrifice.  Once this is done, the remaining food (called "prasadam"), is thought to be "spiritualized", purified.  Then, instead of just adding more ignorance and materialistic, carnal karma to you through eating it as usual (unpurified) it helps instead in a sort of transubstantive way to rectify your fallen nature.  Likewise ALL activities (work, play, art, study, walking, talking etc.,) in daily life are to be first offered in devotion and worship to God (who I considered to be Krishna/Vishnu), and, considering oneself to be a slave of God, only the remaining scraps are left (now purified) to be used personally.

You can see why this might be an attractive spiritual philosophy for a sincere, dedicated seeker of God.  You can see the similarities in this approach and ideas that Biblical Christianity teaches or recounts, ie., the "offering of first fruits", the idea of being a "slave of Christ", the idea of being wholly submitted to God.

Also in this form of "Vaishnavism", unlike most other types of Hinduism, it is strictly monotheistic and not pantheistic.  God (Krishna) is  considered totally unique and separate from the individual.  You will never be God.  Yes, you can be "godlike" and come to resemble God more and more, to being almost identical with him in "heaven" . . . but you will never BE God.  Whereas, in the "Advaita" forms of Hinduism (which is monistic) "Brahman" (God) is considered to be all in all.  Everything is "Brahman"/God.  You, me, the rocks, the sky, water, birds, stars, matter, "anti-matter"-everything is "one".  The only thing separating us from being "one" with Brahman/God . . . is ignorance. 

Also in "Vaishnavism" we believed that evolution is a complete fraud and a lie.  We were taught that abortion is a horrific crime/sin.  Killing of anything alive is considered murder, including the baby in a woman's body.

Again, you can see the similarities to certain Christian beliefs and understand why I, who was raised nominally Christian, and who never stopped praying to Jesus throughout all my seeking, might find "Vaishnavism" attractive and comfortable.

But, generally speaking, in all the New Age/gnostic/Eastern mystic/Hinduistic etc. spiritual philosophies there is one, big, giant difference from Biblical Christianity . . . which makes all the difference in the world, in TRUTH.

That is, where all these other "paths" would basically agree that the main problem which separates us from God (or "God-consciousness") . . . is IGNORANCE . . . . . .  In Biblical Christian doctrine what separates us from God is SIN!

Also, in all those other paths, it is all about what YOU do yourself to get yourself worthy to see or be with or become "God-realized".   Whereas in true Christian doctrine it is all about WHAT CHRIST DID and DOES in and for you.  You can do nothing to get yourself to God.

While there are many similarities between some of these other spiritual disciplines and Biblical Christianity . . . it is that key difference which MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE.  The lie that it is only "ignorance" which separates you from God . . . and the lie that YOU can work your way to God through "good works", austerities, "good karma", renunciation etc., are lies, which, if believed, will get you a one way ticket to Hell.

We are to put our trust and faith solely in the works of God Jesus because it is SIN which separates us from God which only HE can and did remove . . . as celebrated on this day, some roughly 2000 years ago!

Praise God!  Jesus is the way--the ONLY way to the Father, to God.  It is because of what HE did, as celebrated today, that we are saved, with the hope, because of what He did, that we may indeed become more like Him, as He lives in us through His Spirit, to be perfected in the world to come!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Only 2 Religions: One of Self, One of God

Oh good, I don't have to write my book on Eastern religion/Western Gnosticism/New Age . . . contrasting it all with the truth of the Bible and the way of Christ.  I was once very deep into all that stuff, was myself  a "renunciate/sannyasin" . . . before getting saved by the one, true and living God.  I stumbled across a book that pretty much describes the issue involved quite in depth, which I have always found lacking in any of the Christian p.o.v. books that I'd read before on the subject.  Most Christian authors, apologists, I have found only have a very superficial and cartoonish understanding of the lure and doctrines of Eastern mysticism. They tend to just call it "pagan" or a "cult" and that's it.  They miss, and do not respect whatsoever the deep thought and analysis and practices, sincerity and dedication that many seekers have who do get caught up in ie., Yoga, Buddhism, or Hindu Vedanta.  And by so doing, they miss how it is that so much of Eastern mysticism has itself invaded the Church--the Body of Christ.

Why I think it is such an important area of thought and belief to treat seriously . . . is that I find many of the same concepts bound up in a lot modern Christianity--especially the emphasis on SELF and SELF WILL and denial of God's absolute Sovereignty. . . .

Also ideas like "law of attraction" . . . "karma" . . . "renunciation of body" . . . hatred of the physical . . . "sincerity saves" . . . "everyone has their own truth" etc., permeate post-modern Christian thought.

Here is an excerpt from the book, regarding the idea of man's "free will" (sovereignty) vs. God's sovereignty . . . and why you can't have both.  It's either one or the other. . . .

"A God who is merely a substance or power that you or I can draw upon at will to do, be, or have anything we want isn't the Sovereign, unless we were to argue that the Sovereign permits us to be sovereign, in which case there could be no sole Sovereign.  But if such were possible, each of us, if we were adept enough at manipulating the Mind-Substance, would be able to fulfill all our desires.  Obviously, however, such creative autonomy is impossible because my desires must at times conflict with yours.  If two sovereign beings want the same job, only one can obtain it.  Who, then, knows what is best for the two people--or sovereign wills--that are involved?  Only a sovereign God, who knows what each of us deserves and needs.  Therefore, although God may possess power, he cannot be employed according to our wills.  otherwise, he wouldn't be God, the Sovereign."

"In a mechanistic, man-centered universe, the only God would be the Self.  And no matter how richly this idea is adorned and ornamented, the result is narcissism.  God, the very reality that many New-Agers had set out to verify, is denied altogether.  If all of nature, including matter and thought, is maya, then so is the concept of a sovereign God who controls and orders his creation.  As long as the New Ager is ignorant of his "True Self", he of course conditionally accepts the existence of "prakriti", the primal substance of the universe; but he also believes that, according to the law of karma, he has an absolute right to control and direct--to do, be, and have whatever he wants.  Because he believes that his True Self is the Self of the universe, he concludes that he has the right to rule over his own creation.  And he has no doubt that all of nature must yield to him.  In this way, from beginning to the end of his search, all that matters to him is his own Self."

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Hiddeen Cruelty of New Age Doctrines

Always beware the diabolical, increasingly pervasive doctrines of antiChrist . . . as they arrive in cloaks of light; ie., the cruel, pitiless theory of the "law of karma" . . . and its wicked stepchild "the law of attraction". . . .

As with all of the worst devilish doctrines, a large degree of truth is included which lures the unsuspecting in--but the devil is in the details. . . . In the details of that portion which is a lie. . . .

There is no room for grace or, worse yet, GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY . . . in a universe ruled by the "law of karma"

According to "New Age"/occultic/Eastern mystical theory . . . those victims of the terror attack who were blown apart or had their faces torn off by blasting nails . . . well, they deserved it.  They must have done something bad in a previous life and are only getting the results of their karmic debt.  It's actually a "good" thing, in a way, that it happened. . . .

In fact, don't try to alleviate the suffering, starving, tortured children in this or that "3rd world" country or totalitarian police state.  Let them suffer.  It's "good" they are suffering.  They are just paying off their karmic obligations from some previous life and if you intervene you will be short-changing them.  In fact, why not help their suffering along so that they can get that much closer to evolving to the next rung in their spiritual progression!  Don't mess up their "ascension"!. . .

Surely there is no room for compassion.  Indeed, the "compassionate" thing to do, under "laws of karma" is to let their suffering run its course!

And there can be no place for grace--especially for God's grace.  For, in the eyes of the "love and light" "New Ager", the universe is but a machine of sorts--a mechanistic system of law, where, if you do enough "good" and somehow resist doing "bad", by "law" . . . you will eventually attain "God consciousness"!  A sovereign God has nothing to do with it.  It's all about YOU.  YOU are the God of your reality just learning how to follow hidden "spiritual" laws.  Similarly, if you only think of "positive" things and what you want from life, from the "machine" (via using the so-called "law of attraction) . . . you can WISH your way to getting everything you ever wanted!

In the doctrines of demons . . . there is no room for compassion, for grace . . . for perseverance and submission in suffering, and especially no room for a Sovereign God who is actually in control of everything. . . .

No, on the contrary, SELF WILL is the god of demonic doctrine and all their is room for. . . .

Yes, there is a degree of "reaping and sowing", which produces various results, oftentimes which can be relied upon or expected.  But it never abrogates or trumps God's will, or His utter freedom to bestow mercy or grace where He sees fit REGARDLESS of good or bad works.

Obedience to His law is indeed crucial . . . and only the perfect can enter heaven; but it is a lie from the depths of Hell to suggest that any (fallen) creature is even ABLE to obey God's law perfectly.  Only the perfect God can (and did) do that.  And then, God's gracious mercy makes it so that we, who actually can do NO good, get to live (forever) as though we HAD obeyed, and continue to obey, perfectly!  Hence our deep gratitude, awe and worship of the Supreme Being, God--the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

When looked at more closely, with logic and love of truth . . . New Age or occult or mystical doctrines like the "law of karma" . . . are despicable, diabolical, cruel, deadly and a viscous lie straight from antichrist, from the devil himself. . . .


Monday, March 21, 2016

Cruising The Valley Of Dry Bones With A Lantern

"Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers."  --Psalm 1:1

It is fascinating to me--and a pleasant surprise as well--this experience of re-engaging with my "passion" (oy, I hate that overused term, but it happens to clearly apply) for doing music.  My first and supreme "passion" (next to Truth-seeking) was . . . football.  Ha, yes . . . I'm a "jock" of sorts.  Well, I was never into the "jock" culture . . . but I've always loved physical sport and activity, including, by-the-way, just plain old manual labor work.  Football--being a running back and scoring lots of touchdowns--came more naturally to me than anything and it's what I wanted to do growing up.  Music was there as well, but I was actually more gifted as a running back than anything else I liked to do or might have had gifts in.  Following the abandonment of that, after my mom's second divorce, which devastated me roughly at age 13, MUSIC (again besides my primary interest in seeking God and Truth, which was always first) was my next "thing".  But the responsibilities of family life made me put that on the shelf to a major degree, although I've always kept my hand in it off and on through the years. . . .

But the spiritual dangers of rock 'n' roll and the music business generally were also factors.  I was always conflicted as I pursued that dream, knowing and experiencing the carnal temptations and spiritual influences that surrounded the whole genre, including the very acts of writing and performing music--utilizing the muses of the dark realm to power much of the creativity that occurred.

I believe there are spirits leading and guiding virtually all the various areas of human activity, and if you open yourself up to the presiding (spirits) of the terrain you are planning to explore and conquer, well, they do come in to your life, take hold . . . and will take you on an excursion, which may even include worldly success and proficiency in that activity/proclivity/talent. . . .

It is a very different experience, however, operating in that particular sphere (the creative, performing, music sphere) as a born again, regenerating Christian.

While it is still exciting and satisfying, it is also a bit hollow, albeit in a good way.  What's missing are those carnal passions and egotistical energies/spirits which use to take over and drive the thing.

It truly is now . . . the sense of being "in it" but not "of it."  There is a freedom and a protection involved--"freedom in Christ" I presume--which was never there before; which COULDN'T be there before . . . as He was not Lord of my life but, by default, the "prince of this world" was. . . .

I can already see how certain spiritually brittle and falsely judgmental "Christians" can . . . and likely will condemn what I am doing, should it ever get far enough for them to notice . . . as they knee-jerk and out-of-hand rush to conclusions . . . based on shallow presuppositions they harbor according to their own dogmatic and personal biases.

I am, however, more convinced than ever . . . that the "new creature" God makes of a once lost, "child of wrath" . . . is able to walk through "fires" . . . mingle with "publicans and sinners" . . . and move boldly, upright and unscathed through the "valleys of dry bones" . . . so as to be able and called upon to take the Light of Truth and the message of the Master into regions desperately needing such, but where few dare go, or cannot go lest they be subsumed by the darkness there.

For sure, there was a time I could not, would not  (and thus did not) dare to go too far there, because I knew I was too susceptible to the accompanying temptations (primarily spiritual), for one thing . . . and for another, it was obvious that God was keeping ways blocked and doors shut anyhow.  Which . . . goes back to what I mentioned the other day . . . how grateful I am that God takes active measures more than we realize or appreciate--to PRESERVE us from . . . and thus not "lead us" INTO (acting on) temptations, where we would surely fail, given half a chance. . . .

All of this to say . . . simply, praise God!  His will be done in all, whatever way it goes . . . and it is wonderful thing to "wait on the Lord" . . . while "waiting (serving) on the Lord" . . . trusting His timing and protection and wisdom on practical matters in life.  Which "life" has only just begun . . . and will continue . . . beyond this brief mortal flash . . . into glorious eternity. . . .


Friday, March 18, 2016

So Far So Good

Well, so far so good.  The players I managed to fairly quickly pull out of thin air . . . are all fantastic, as far as I'm concerned.  And I've even got a sax player who also can handle (quite well) the back-up vocals when not blowin' his horn.  And my oh my . . . the kid is superb!  I only have known my cousin Brady who plays bass and has played on songs of mine before--but all the other guys I found here and there on the interwebs (except for the drummer who Brady knew).  Anyway, the sax player sounds like Kenny G. in his sweet fluidity.  He's amazing.  The keyboardist is a pro, a character, and also fantastic.  The guitarist as well is very versatile and an excellent player.  Drummer, yes, spot on and plays well with Brady on bass so that the rhythm section is tight.  First night practice was, in my opinion, a pleasant shocker.  Usually, it's like herding cats to get a roomful of musicians to focus and actually make progress.  We already got 4-5 songs well sussed out, though there is still a ton to do. But yes, it went better than I'd dare to hope.... Very excited about this project... It is something I really need to take off and work. . . . Ain't gettin' any younger and these are kinda my last years of being still able to pull something like this off. . . .

Praise God.  The spiritual dynamics are interesting as well, and always at the fore of my mind and heart and I will share some of thoughts and developments on that as it goes on. . . .

More to follow. . . .

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Fascistic "Mystic Egalitarian" Disorder

Good ol' Lee let me know that my link to the video is not easily accessible... I think you have to quick sign up to Vimeo to see it....
But see if this link works easier....  https://vimeo.com/158853539

Also, I am trying to get my youtube back in order... where these (and more new stuff to come) will eventually show up.....

And while I'm at it... quick thought.  I was just reading an article about the Grateful Dead and their upcoming 50th reunion concert.  I was never a Deadhead or fan.. though had some friend in high school who pretty much lived by, with, for The Dead.... And was, dare I say, amused by the article.  It was mostly about how much strife, conflict, ego clashing, drugs, depression, dysfunction etc., that swirled around the Grateful Dead...  It just struck me as ... all too familiar and ironic.. how so many of these "peace" and "stick it to the man" . . . "free love", "free drugs, freenmusic" "democratic", . . . "no cares" "people power" etc., liberal, hippy-esque life-philosophy projects . . . turn out to be viciously negative, dark, conflicted, corrupt, ego-maniacal, money-grubbing, power-tripping train-wrecks....

It reminds me of a local guru I heard of when I was into my own mystical journeys in high school... a lady who went by the name "J_____y Lamb-Lion" . . . who did yoga and meditations and stuff . . . and lured some of the simple minds around town.... and ended up running a chi-chi vegetarian diner... where it was supposed to be all "karma-free" food . . . and all the staff, waiters, cooks, etc., were required to do all this group "positive" mental jive together and to never have "negative" thoughts or "egotistical" verbiage etc.,... Lol... and I heard from some who worked that it was a screaming nightmare working at that place!  They all got ripped off in their tips...cuz/... well it was "negative" to bring any disagreements or "money-grubbing" concerns up .... and the "guru" owner and her husband were total nazi's... I mean control freaks, cruel, totalitarian.. Yet it was all suppose to be about "love and light"...... and full of "positive energy". . . .

Haha, anyway that Grateful Dead account in the new Rolling Stone reminded me of that whole thing... how that usually goes.  Just like how the Democrats and a lot of lefties are usually the most racist, bigoted, "homophobic", greedy, polluting people around, though they espouse so much to the contrary....

Oh, and I know there are a lot of phony "Christians" who are the most lascivious, dishonest, blasphemous knuckleheads going as well.....

Really, unless God Himself, through the action of the Holy Spirit changes you and you are submitted to Him... all such idealistic (humanstic) programs fail and fail miserably.  I've always preferred the company of blue-collar, salt of the earth, worker type folk who are just honest with what they are, with no airs, compared to those with titles and phony religious or egalitarian fronts.....

I'm Baaack In The Saddle Again. . . .

Sooo . . . well, last summer i attended a family reunion of sorts (on my mother's side, which side I had the most to do with) . . . seeing all my many cousins, aunts, uncles . . . and their multitudinous children (they are all, for the most part, LDS church goers) . . . fun, quirky, creative people with several serious musicians in the bunch. . . . And I talked to Brady, my cousin, who is a bass player and who I've had record on a number of my songs in the past ("Don't Tread On Me, Swan Song, I'll Play You", "Transhuman Psychotronic" and more....

He is a great bassist and super great guy all around--sweet natured, quiet, dry humored, always friendly . . . and has been playing around town for years, mostly in blues and jazz outfits, with some power rock here and there. . . .

Anyway, he said we ought to try to put a little act together when his schedule cleared a bit, after 2016 began sometime....

Then, Jackson called me on the spot the day after Bowie died and I joined him in his band's performance at Velour music club in Provo that night . . . and found, after years of relative musical inactivity, I could still get it going....

And then, based on Brady's and my earlier conversation . . . I got a whole "vision" (with a small "v":) of a plan and the day after the Velour show started working on it.

Now, I've been out of the "scene" for a long time.  In fact, I never really was IN the "scene" because I mostly focused on studio recording versus playing out about town . . . but I did still have a lot of contacts and was up to speed on the latest musical/technological developments--at the forefront, in fact (composing, recording, engineering on the first, IF NOT the first all digital audio  movie soundtracks/post-productions done for film). . . .

But, it's been a while... and am now a grandpa and stuff, heh...

Nevertheless, I went back to work on my music project idea . . . and am glad to say that since the Velour/Bowie show with Jack . . . I've put together a band!  All pros--top musicians!  Drums, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Me, Sax/bg vocals.... And tomorrow night is our first rehearsal.  I know all of these guys might not work out--especially considering where and how far I want to take the project...but I'm hoping at least this bunch can launch it....

It's really quite amazing and thrilling.. to have pulled these fellows together, only one I really know (cousin Brady) .... in just a month and half or so time. . . . But I feel like it's got a flow and energy behind that is working, compared to other times I've tried to get a group together and it just seemed like pushing a boulder up a hill ... backwards... the whole time. . . .

I am hoping, praying . . . this works out the way I envision it, as I need a break to get on top of a number of things and be able to utilize my talents and (I hate the cliche') my "passion", heh....

But it's true.  I love music.  I love creating it, performing it, thinking about, working on it... the whole thing...and my creative side has been dying, held back for so long . . . while I've attended to familial and regular life drudgery responsibilities. . . .

I am staying close to God throughout this effort, knowing the dangers and pitfalls of the music biz well. . . . And feel closer than ever to Him, seeking His guidance and protection always. . . . I see great Gospel sharing possibilities and exemplification opportunities as it progresses, God willing that it does; though to the shallow and undiscerning it might not appear so. . .  More on that later . . . if need be. . . .

We shall see . . . we shall see. . . . Praise God. . . .

Now, here is a "bootleg" of a music video I made waaay back in '88. . . . For some reason i can't get into my Youtube account... can't figure out why... So I put this vid on Vimeo... and I've got a couple other classic/vintage clips as well which I will be uploading shortly. . . . And someday I will be able to put up a better quality version of these....fwiw.... :)

Take cake, God bless...

https://vimeo.com/home/myvideos

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Young Mind, Old Body & Priates

Boy time is flying these days it seems.. just rippin' by.  My first thoughts today upon waking in fact were about how quick this life is.  Truly it is a flash, especially as you get on in years.  And it's so strange, for the most part, mentally, creatively, etc., I feel much the same as when young.  Besides more regenerate type thinking and feeling, not much else has changed.  Old-ish body with a continuing young-ish mind is a . . . well often amusing, but also frustrating combination.  I know many experience this same thing.  Oh, heaven will be nice!  Enough with this aging and decaying and falling apart business when your soul is still raring to go! heh. . . .

But then, it does really kinda seem like 50 is the new 30, so to speak.  40s is more like late 20s early 30s . . . I'm hoping the 60s will be the new 40s.... age-wise... And with so many fixtures on the scene now dropping off, like Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer (one of my early fave bands and inspiration to get into synths and keyboards).... They surely were a talented lot!  Many of the early rockers were quite well educated and classically trained--at least the bunch I followed. . . .


Friday, March 11, 2016

Protection From Temptation

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
-------------------------------
Yesterday I was pondering in more detail the structure and meaning of this profound prayer, given to us by the Lord Himself. . . .
It begins with an acknowledgment of THE Creator of the universe, the Great I Am--the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Being above all beings and things--above and beyond and different than all matter, all creation, eternal-- . . . it begins with calling this supreme entity "our Father"!  The personal, intimate, loving, creative, protective aspect of God as a personality is described as being "our Father" showing at once the relational situation we have with THE transcendent Creator of all that is, was and will be. . . .
Wow.  Just those first two words say so much about the nature of God.  He is not some "force" or energy, nor some impersonal "essence". . . . He is our Father.  We are His children.  He is Someone we can relate to, look to, love, honor, obey . . . personally as One we know that has formed and cared for us.

"Hallowed be thy name". . . . The next thing we see is the holiness of God, a main attribute again and above all beings and things. 
And then "Thy kingdom come--thy will  be done in earth as it is in heaven.". . . . God's sovereignty is acknowledged.

I am always stressing what I (and others of like mind) see as a couple of the leading issues which the modern church and too many so-called "believers" fail to grasp, much to their detriment.  That is, the HOLINESS and SOVEREIGNTY of God.  Jesus wants to clarify these foundational descriptors and points of reference straightaway in His prayer.  

Along with the compulsion towards idolatry . . . there seems also to be a (fallen) compulsion to treat God as an equal, a "buddy" . . . or, as in far too much of "contemporary Christian" music, as a romantic love interest; bringing God down to a purely chummy, fleshly level.  "Jesus is my homeboy", "Jesus is my boyfriend". . . . Whereas, whenever a mortal has actually been in the presence of God's glory or even the reflected glory of one of His angelic servants, the mortal is instantly struck with dumb awe, falling on their face, overwhelmed with His "otherness" and HOLY majestic grandeur.  Yes, the Lord calls us "friends", but note that this somewhat casual relational form is not elevated above God's holiness in the prayer.  In fact, it is not mentioned in the prayer.  While someone may be friends with a king . . . it doesn't mean they are on the same level.

With this, there is the seeming (fallen) compulsion to want to wrest away some of God's sovereignty, to make oneself co-equal in terms of "free will" and autonomy.  No, it is THY will be done in earth as it is in heaven, not "MY will be done in earth, but I will let you (God) have your will done in heaven.

The Lord's pronouncement is clear:  God's will is done in heaven AND earth.  Full sovereign control above AND below. . . .

But I want to to get to what I find is a most illuminating line which I really was thinking about most when I happened to be pondering over the prayer:  "And lead us not into temptation."

I believe it is rarely considered or understand just how much evil God protects us from.  We are prone to look, for instance, at celebrities, politicians, business moguls etc., and react in subtle, judgmental, condescending disgust at the things we see that they do which are so obviously corrupt and compromising.  We scoff and sneer and condemn them as corrupt, weak, perverse. . . . What we don't realize is how, if we were in the same position, where vastly enticing wealth, beautifully seductive women or men, euphoria-inducing inebriants, slight compromises in business deals producing astounding returns . . . etc.,--just how susceptible we ourselves would be to giving in just as they have done and do.

God preserves us from acting out on so much that is secretly lurking in our degenerate, prideful, lustful hearts, that, if it were placed before us, and we thought no one was watching . . . we would succumb to the temptation just as fast or faster as those who disgust us!

It is a great blessing and grace from God that He preserves us from sullying ourselves in action where it is bad enough that our hearts are there already.  While it is true that God sees our hidden hearts regardless of what we end up doing . . . He also will expose all our deeds DONE in the flesh, not just what we thought about doing or not doing.  Our actions do have eternal significance.  While the believer will not be eternally condemned because of his/her works . . . they will nevertheless be revealed and either rewarded or not . . . in the hereafter.  Thank God He leads us not into paths and circumstances where temptation could be realized in the flesh . . . to the degree that He does!  Many, if not most or all of us . . . have a breaking point where we would surely fail if presented at the "right" time, at the "right" place, with the "right" temptation!

We should be praying for this particular protection and blessing a lot!  We should understand that, little doubt, when some of our prayers are not answered in the way that we would like, it is because God is preserving us from some temptation down the line that HE sees is there, where we would surely stumble. . . .
 
 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Wending Through The Collapse?

Operation "wise hiding" . . . may be getting underway. . . . How to be in the world but not of it . . . and protected and sustained through the tyranny and chaos. . . . It's too soon to tell but I may be seeing, at least in my own life, how this might be done.  It surely is a God thing--I've expected all along that He would have to move and make things happen in ways that heretofore seemed impossible.  It also may be a component of "the rising of the lambs" and/or related to the notion that a remnant will be taken up and through the collapsing artifices of the globalist charade. . . . Knowing that God's will will be done, I've never felt wholly comfortable expecting success or outright protection, but also have nevertheless expected it-or has it been mere hope?  I've always seen it at something like threading the eye of needle--this act of God wending us through the dark days of tribulation and trouble . . . and am ever thrilled when I detect Him doing just that.  He does so much already to protect and sustain us, which we take for granted. . . . If we saw how often we are kept from harm and even hassles compared to what we think is overly troublesome--well, we would stop our complaining.  In a sense we are like the three kept unharmed amidst a blazing fire all about. . . .

Sorry to be so cryptic.   I will, over time, "unpack" here what I'm getting at.  It's early days and I still and cautious and prepared for whatever.  But it may be I am seeing the way through . . . how to be in the world, not of it, in a bigger way . . . wise and amidst the serpents, but gentle as God loving, peace loving doves. . . . Rising lambs at the last moment so that it is clearly, obviously only God Who could get the credit, the glory. . . .

Whatever the case, I praise God through all, the ups and downs, the darks and lights, the rough and smooth roads (Oy, can we please get to some smooth roads now, lol).. . .

carry on...
take care,
God bless,
bro, t

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

More Political Musings....

It's certainly a very intense and often divisive issue--how, as a believer, we are to choose politicians and based on what. . . . For instance, while I agreed that Romney would have maybe have been slight bit better than Obama, the spiritual implications were just as serious.  If I believe that Mormonism is a cult--and one whose goal from the beginning was and still is world domination via "secret combinations" . . . could I justify voting for him simply because politically he would be a margin better than Barry?  Would I vote for an avowed Satanist or Luciferian so long as they kept the trains running on time and wanted to cut taxes?  If I imagine standing before God, accounting for all my mortal deeds, would I be justified to say, "Yes, I voted for a civil leader who is thoroughly against You, hates you, fights you, is in league with secret factions out to destroy your people and your Kingdom BUT . . . he was gonna cut taxes, create jobs and get the country out of debt!"?

Or--assuming there was a candidate who I genuinely believed to be a man of God, but he had no chance to win--I say, "I voted for _____, who had no chance to win, but I couldn't support any other who was against You."

Who is not FOR Him is against Him. 

In this case, I really can't say for sure who might be a genuine believer and follower of God.  I believe I can tell who obviously isn't, by their fruits, what comes from their lips (showing what's in their heart), and stances on the life issue. . . .

I am nevertheless relishing how the people have woken up more than ever in realizing the despicableness of the "establishment". I am loving how, finally, no matter how much money they throw at the "insurgent" candidates, especially Trump, it keeps backfiring and only making the people more determined and justifiably angrier that their will is being attempted to be thwarted.

I don't, however, see that the people have repented of their sins against God; they are "repenting" it seems of their bad political decisions in the past.  So I don't expect that God is going to give us any more breaks.  He has been patient a long time and I don't see how we will be avoiding reaping what has been sown.  There appears to be a political awakening, yes, but not a spiritual one . . . which is the one that counts.

One thing I DO believe strongly . . . is that this political stuff should not be something that believers divide over.  Just as we are not to divide over "non-essential" doctrines of the faith, we certainly then shouldn't be diving over temporal, political issues!  Again, I just keep thinking . . . oh that this much passion, interest, energy, thought, verbiage, effort etc. were put into proclaiming and sharing the Gospel!  THAT is what would change the country, the world. . . . It shows where peoples' heart are really at--what they really care about most:  this world and not the world to come.  And I aim this at myself as much as any. . . .

Oh God save us. . . . We are so weak, so fallible, so needy of your power, guidance, love, blessing!

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Trump-like Softening

Okay . . . wait. . . . Let me pull a current Trump and soften, compromise my position a bit.

I don't have facebook and don't know who of my acquaintances and friends are Trump supporters.  I don't want to offend any of them for sure.  I know that not everybody supporting him is of the wholly "emotional goggle" type.  Myself, I was hoping for the best when Trump exploded on the scene going against the politically correct (cultural Marxist) grain.  But red flags for me started when he disparaged Ben Carson's faith.  He (Trump) was recounting Carson's conversion story where Carson said he had just tried to stab a loved one, then freaked out, went into the bathroom and found God.  Trump scoffed, saying to the effect, "C'mon!  Who could believe that?"  Well, I could.  My own conversion story was similarly abrupt and radical and know plenty of Christians also who have had the same "born again" experience.  In fact, within Christian culture, it is not unusual at all.  Any real believer knows this and would never degrade such a profound, sacred moment.  It rubbed me real wrong how Trump dismissed it out of hand like it was some crazy lie or the ravings of a sociopath.

BUT, I still held out hope. 

Then, he started attacked Cruz with typical left-wing, establishment style talking points.  And on and on . . . his words have betrayed that his heart is really not set in conservative soil.

What I'm afraid of with him is not so much that he won't follow through on his more strident threats to the "elites" . . . but that, even if he were to follow through, they will simply collapse the system on him and we will quickly be in a world of chaotic hurt.  But then, I expect that anyway, regardless of who gets in.  It could be that with a Democrat (ie., socialist/communist) they will try to prop the thing up a little longer. . . . But the economic forces and laws, combined with the cultural rot, combined with the spiritual malaise, added to widespread war and civil war repercussions . . . I just don't see how this mess can be turned around any time soon.  It is crashing, falling apart, by design, and the bloodthirsty, megalomaniacs who have been generationally conspiring to bring it down in order to reform their new ("illuminated") Utopia . . . will not be denied one way or the other. 

I don't bemoan anyone desperately wanting a temporal savior . . . and grasping for anyone who might fit the bill. . . . I am just concerned that they will be sorely disappointed once again and will lose heart for the greater purposes we are here for. . . .

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Time, Energy, Heart, Thought For The President Of Light

Howya  like'n Romney now?  I never supported him, knowing he's a globalist shill, deceiver, who would carry NWO water as much as any other.  I'm afraid Trump will prove out much the same.  Except for those with emotional goggles on who refuse to analyze him objectively, it is easy to see his real heart on things slipping through the quick, loud rhetoric.  Like when Trump semi-sneered about "so-called conservatives" who oppose Planned Parenthood altogether.  No real conservative (especially Bible believing Christian conservatives) would disparage those who rightly see Planned Parenthood as a genocidal, child-sacrificing, money and traditional family-smashing racket.

His lauding of Richard Haas (Council on Foreign Relations president) as a guy he "respects" and "likes a lot" is troubling.  This is the guy that heads the org that's main objective is reducing America to U.N. colony.  Backtracking on his once objection to H1B visas . . . also eyebrow-raising. . . .

All in all, it appears to me that--great marketer and opportunist he is--he saw the mass resentment and anger in the conservative population and figured out which buttons to push to activate their die-hard emotional support, then pushed those buttons . . . but really doesn't mean half of it.

On the other hand, the hysterical opposition from "the establishment" seems to be a sign that he might be a real stick in their spokes. . . . And I do like that.

But, standing back of it all, what I really see playing out is more division, resentment, chaos being stirred up . . . which will only end up furthering tyranny.  The highly corrosive personal attacks (calling other leading conservatives liars, psychopaths) . . . is doing nothing toward ultimately uniting the genuine "tea-party"/patriot movement, but instead is fracturing it further and is only ensuring that, if he were to win the nomination, he will have so pissed off (ie., the followers of Cruz, Carson) that they will not vote for him in protest and hurt.  Myself, I want Godly men to be in positions of power.  Not men whose god is simply power. . . .

And then, really I don't think our support either way matters.  I don't for a moment believe that "they" have allowed our system to actually be democratic or republican (with a small "d" and "r") where the people truly get to choose the representatives the people want.  There is too much at stake to leave it up to the "great unwashed".  We are talking world power, one-world government . . . under rule by the "prince of this world".  I don't mean that we should give up or withdraw from political activism and civil involvement.  For SPIRITUAL Kingdom Of God reasons I believe we SHOULD be engaged and in the public square.  I just don't think that the theater we are being presented with will reflect much, if any of that involvement.  Our work is for the unseen, recorded and rewarded by the unseen, for purposes that are mostly transcendental at this point in time in the world, except for what we accomplish personally and in close proximity to where we physically live and move.

We are not here to "make the world a better place".  Yes, that is an incidental repercussion of what we are here to do, but it should never be the leading motive, otherwise we just get led astray and waste our time messing about the Enemy's camp and kingdom, rearranging tents and utensils in a village that is already on fire and destined to burn completely to the ground. . . .

Our purpose here is to glorify God, not politicians and countries and political philosophies.  We should be like David and be able to say daily, "I have set the LORD continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."  Ps. 16:8


The only thing that could change the course of a country or a people for the better--that could restore and regenerate it--is if the people in leadership (whether the citizens or leaders) become transformed by the Gospel.  THEN they will govern properly.  Until then, those who are not WITH the Lord, are necessarily AGAINST Him, and only death, destruction, chaos, corruption, perversion will result from those who lead and govern NOT by the Light of Truth but by the "lusts of the flesh, the pride of life."  (1 John 2:16)


Look how much energy and attention and hand-wringing, thought and words exchanged . . . goes into participation in this political drama.  Would that a THIRD of that time, energy and thought were spent in proclaiming the Gospel!  Indeed, I dare say . . . if a third of the conservative Christians who are now actively involved in supporting this or that candidate . . . spent the same efforts instead on spreading the Gospel, our country would be transformed to a nation of Light which could conquer the world for His kingdom.  For that is how powerful the Truth is compared to worldly thoughts and objectives. . . . But then, I've also read The Script and know where it's inevitably going.


But, as I've recently written, nothing is more sure than that we will follow a thousand other interests and worldly idols before we will put that much time, energy, heart and thought into working for the interests of God.


We are in the civil, cultural and political mess we are in . . . exactly because for decades, the men and women of the Body of Christ have abdicated their primary role in this world and instead have gone after chasing the Enemy's soul-destroying fleshly baubles and trinkets. . . .


I render unto Caesar's what is Caesar's . . . and get a kick out of a good portion of it.  But beyond that, I say "let the dead bury the dead".  God willing I'm looking at and fighting for the Kingdom of Life, which is NOT of this world.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Vain Repetitions

A question came up a while back--someone wanting to know THE holy name of God, to be used for chanting purposes. . . .

Okay. . . . So, the 7 or so years prior to being born again, I was a fairly dedicated practitioner/follower of "Vaishnavism" . . . which is a monotheistic version of Hinduism.  Generally speaking, in Hinduism there are considered to be two approaches to God.  Bhakti and Jnani.  And people are thought to have a tendency toward one or the other.  Bhakti is the "heart"/emotional/devotional way to God.  Jnani is the intellectual/mind/knowledge way.  Previously I had always considered myself Jnani but the Vaishnava path was Bhakti.  Vaishnava, the word refers to Vishnu, who was taught to be the supreme being in the trinity Godhead.  His ultimate expression was a Krishna.  I believed that Krishna was none other than God the Father. 

The means of reaching spiritual perfection in the Vaishnava philosophy was to chant the "Hare Krishna" mantra.  The mantra was said to possess supernatural, transcendental spiritual energy which, the more you chanted it, the more it would work in you to break down and purify the fallen nature.  This was taught also to be a means of showing devotion.  It (the mantra) was said to be imbued with the very person/energy of God (Krishna) himself.  Serious  devotees of this spiritual discipline will chant the mantra nearly all waking hours of the day, in the mind while doing other tasks along with doing it also solely in a meditative state.  16 rounds a day is considered a bare minimum. 100s of 1000s of times is thought to be most auspicious.

And what I learned later, once a Christian, that this has got to be the essence of the warning in Matt. 6:7:  "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."

This is just another one of those things that we might try to add in place of, in addition to, etc., relying solely on the perfect work of the Intercessor Jesus.  [In the case of Vaishnavism, I have since come to believe that chanting the Krishna mantra is the equivalent of calling up Satan and imbuing oneself with his evil energy.]

But any mantra . . . or rote prayer . . . or even saying the name Yahweh over and over . . . is but another excuse to avoid being in RELATIONSHIP with the living, one true God.  It is a "vain repetition".

We are suppose to be engaged with the Spirit of God, not "checked out" while repeating some phrase, word or prayer.  It is no different than, for instance, relying on a charm, a lucky talisman, or magical incantation etc., rather than being consciously engaged in prayerful communication or praise which ought be the mode instead.  It's an attempt at a short cut.  It's an avoidance of submission to God's commands and warnings.

In my own case, because of having practiced this method for a number of years, I still sometimes have a tendency to want to put my mind into a repetitive mantra-like, meditative state.  What I do instead, which IS sanctioned by the Word of God, is to memorize scriptural verses or, ie., the Lord's Prayer . . . and I may even repeat it (ie., before falling asleep) BUT I don't not "vainly" repeat it, where my conscious, deliberative mind is checked out.  Rather, I think of the meaning of words and I speak them in my mind, not "incidentally" but very deliberately, MEANING what I am saying as I say them.  It is a highly effective and blessed act . . . to have verses of God's Word memorized so that you can go over them in your mind, meditating (yes, meditating--but according to the Bible's teaching of "meditating") on their meaning.  We should have God's Words in our hearts and minds.   

Another great benefit in this is that it keeps the demons away.  They hate the Word of God when it is used according to its intended purpose and meaning.  (They don't mind using scripture to twist and distort its true meaning to something wicked).  But they cannot stand being around a mind and heart that is consciously, deliberatively focused on and thinking of the Word of God.  They will fight you at first (if you happen to be oppressed by them) but eventually they will split the scene.  On the other hand, they don't mind "vain repetitions" and will even use that as a portal to infect you further. . . .

Next, I will address the other question that came up related to this general discussion of how we are prone to want to use a thousand other things . . . in place of, in addition to etc., the simple, direct spiritual practices taught in God's Word.
 
 


 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Availing Oneself Of The Gift Of Prayer

I will be getting to the two issues I mentioned . . . asap.  They will take a little time to lay, which I'm short of at the moment.  But one thing I am strongly impressed to reiterate in the meantime is the necessity of constant prayer.  "Vain repetitions" are one thing.  That is not what prayer is about.  Where other so-called "spiritual paths" advise meditation (the emptying of the mind so that the "divine" can enter and transform) or the repetitious changing of mantras . . . Christian prayer is means of direct interaction with the one and only true and living God.  Relationship with God through prayer is the way of the Christian disciple.  And in these times, where it seems to me that the demonic is so pervasive and active, constant prayer is vital for protection and for calling upon God and (and thus His angelic servants) to be daily engaged with you in the spiritual battle that is raging all around.

It is said and true that the status of one's spiritual life can be gauged by one's prayer life.  It is astounding that we have such a powerful, merciful avenue of  divine contact, guidance and protection available . . . and yet we barely, if ever, utilize it in any meaningful way!

When you love someone you are thinking of them always; you are thinking of new ways to creatively laud and connect with them.  You shower them with affection, energy and attention.  Do we love God so?  Or are we pouring energy, attention and care into a thousand other things and beings?

What a mighty, profound caring grace the Lord has provided us--to be able to speak with Him intimately, as to a dear friend and Father . . . through prayer. . . !


Brother Thomas ©2015

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