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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Pentecost the Birth of the Church, Uhhh, No!

Let me share a little parable.
Once upon a time a poor man was
sitting on a curb.
Another man came by who had
been working most of the day in
the sun, hard work that wore his
body down.  His employer paid
him and gave him a $100 bonus.


The working man gave that
$100 to the poor man.


As the working man was walking
away, he heard the poor man
exclaim.  Look everyone, "The birth
of a $100 bill."


With absolutely no appreciation
for where the money had come from
the poor man began to spin a false story
where the $100 had been given
directly to him by the employer.


He began to celebrate this day
as the "birthday of his $100 bill."


The poor man wondered why the
working man was not interested
in his story of the $100 bill!


So the Hebrew festival of Pentecost, first fruits, resulted in the first fruits of the Messiah's mission.
Many Jewish followers of God, came to believe in the Messiah.  A remnant from the chosen people
began the journey of becoming the sect of the Nazarene within Judaism.  All the way up in chapter 15 of the book of Acts this Jewish sect is still in the process of adjusting to the presence of the Gentiles and trying to show them the way to be gathered into the Father's chosen people.  He is faithful and true, His gifts and calling are irrevocable, there is no need for a new body, the mission of the Messiah of the God of Israel was not to reject Israel, isn't that obvious?  Go back and read Mary's excited proclamation when she realized she was carrying the Messiah.  Go back and read how Zechariah the father of John the Baptist exploded in praise and prophecy when his tongue was loosed.  This Messiah is the long awaited Redeemer of Israel.  Our privilege is to be included in their blessing.  We are grafted in to their vine, supported by their root, and this is meant to keep us gentiles in a place of humility and service, but alas, we have made up a story about our $100 bill and at this point we have begun to believe our own lie, and the result is arrogance that stinks to high heaven!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Frustrated Instead of Prostrated

Sharing some thoughts that my wife received.
It is not our job to put people down for how they are not measuring up or abjectly failing.
It is our job undergird and lift them us so that they can be what they need to be in the body. 
This is the posture of humility.  This is what we see the suffering Messiah doing, coming down to help those who cannot help themselves.

Forgive us Lord, for the times when we vented instead of lamented.

Forgive us Lord, for the times when we are frustrated instead of prostrated.

Cause us Lord to Selah, and to truly consider You and what You would have us to do in every situation.  

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Humility or Error

Psalm 62:2 "God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe and the fortress where I am secure." (CEV)
Pride is the most subtle enemy that we have.
It is patently ridiculous to think that you are immune to its wiles.
Loudly protesting that God alone is directing your life while choosing to ignore, down play, or even ridicule, a humbly presented caution against continuing in the path that you are on, is pride.
The faithfulness of God to His imperishable seed will bring destruction to the works of pride, but at what cost?

When giving a teaching on a certain understanding of scripture, I first seek out all the sections of scripture that seem to contradict or under cut what I feel I am being led to share.  It is the opposing view, the scriptures that don't seem to agree, that often bring me around to the truth.

We need each other.  
God totally designed the Body that way.  The voice of caution, the voice that says, "Let's put this on hold and pray about it." is a royal pain in the ass.  I've already talked to, bought, made the announcement, put it out there...pulling it all back now will make it look like I was running ahead of God and His will.

EXACTLY!  Humility would have us be open to that possibility.

And one of the only reasons you would totally ignore the word of caution is pride.

Later on in this beautiful song, verse 9 reminds us that we are all truly a vapor or actually lighter than a breath.  Anything that puffs us up to think of ourselves more highly than that is a lie.  Then verse 10 has the strange warning that we are not to be trusting in violence, oppression, robbery or wealth, wait a minute, why do we need that warning?  Because pride is so stinking subtle.  The dove is a bird that is easily scared away, when we push forward despite the humble warning not to, we are headed for a merciful destruction, brought about 100% by covenant love.  Oppression occurs when one assumes the position of authority and then runs things in a way that does not benefit those who are subject to that authority.  

Oh Father, have mercy and save us from such error.

Robbery is mentioned, because the Lamb will not resist those who run ahead of His leading and steal His glory.  He is in a state of rest, secure in His ability to redeem and gather back, but at what cost?

Wealth is the last of the subtle devices that this portion of scriptures warns us about.  How much can we take away from having the financial doors wide open to make a thing happen?

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

The warning is simple about riches, do not set your heart upon them.  The god of this world is 100% capable of providing 100% of the funds pride needs to do its thing!

Humility is our utmost need, and the body is one of the means to that end.  Mercy, Lord! 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Those who are empowered by the life of the Lamb reflect His nature

Laura and I discussing how the servant of the Lord is to bring forth the word of the Lord.  It is to be presented with an open hand as a word for consideration since we are all aware of our humanness.  It can be posed as more of a question than a proclamation.  (Of course there are times for proclaiming, but they are far more rare than we make them to be.)


The word could be rejected simply because the presentation of it is from a place of arrogance and pride. 


I always wonder about tone of voice in scripture, knowing that Jeremiah had the heart of God and wept for the people he spoke to, I tend to think the voice is gentle that says, "you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”



God's wisdom is diplayed in one who is broken by the word of the Lord.


Humility that receives the word of the Lord even though it means a change in plans or a great inconvenience is a God-given key to growing into the likeness of the Lamb.


James 3:17 "But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy." The King James says, easily entreated, in place of compliant, it is a gentle way of living, of being willing to yield to the voice of the Lord. It is a true and beautiful safe guard placed within the Body if only we will have ears to hear.

  Even when a truth is being proclaimed there will be a sense of brokeness on the part of the one doing the proclaiming. The message is presented as a part of the over all picture/perspective of God, it is given with an open hand, not delivered in a way that implies "I am the sole possessor of this and you need to come to my side."

  Matthew 21:44, "And the one having fallen on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." Isaiah 8:14,15 "Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Isaiah 8:15 "Many will stumble over them, Then they will fall and be broken; They will even be snared and caught."

But what if one does not receive the word of the prophet?  They miss out on the prophet's reward, but from the perspective of God they could still be right in the center of His will and their life could be being used as a demonstration of the cost and effects of the stiff-neck response. 

This should give us pause and press us into the mercy of God, a living sacrifice is on this earth to give glory to God.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Broken First, Truth Second

I guess every post from now on will be a combination of Laura and I, this one sure is.


Listening to a teaching recently and it was clearly a repeating of things that the speaker had heard, but he wasn't really just reading the text of the Bible and letting the Spirit speak to him.  Things were spoken that were wrong, just plain, not the truth.  The blind was leading the blind, and my thoughts were along the line of, what is my responsibility here.  I am a teacher, these passages contain key truths that are being missed and or twisted.  I was feeling that I needed to address these things directly with the person and then the wisdom of Laura entered into the situation.


I needed to come to a place of brokenness and even weeping over the person, and only then would I be released to speak a word to them. 


Love is not just correcting, it is lamenting and identifying with your brother or sister.  I get it now.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Why do I pick bad boys? Part 2

Further listening to my wife, brings further insight into the heart of God.


The main concern of the heart of God is the heart of His people.
He knows the things that are driving you into the arms of bad boys and His
main concern is for healing the heart that is being driven to make these choices.


It is so important to see His heart for you accurately. 


He is not condemning you
for these choices,


He is broken with you and coming to you with healing and insight
to help you turn your life around.


At no time is God saying, "Straighten up and then I will love you."
His love, His healing, His acceptance and understanding is the safe place
from which we can begin to experience the healing that will eventually allow
a person to walk away from hurt-filled relationships, with peace, deep
God-given peace that harbors no bitterness.  It is possible, only in the Messiah, who
said, "Father forgive them, they know not what they do."



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Why Do I Pick Bad Boys?

Wisdom and insight from the woman I love.


Is this a key to the mystery of why some women pick bad boys over and over?


Is there a tape playing in your head that says, "You are worthless, no good,
you don't deserve a good guy."?


When you meet a guy who shows you love and kindness and values you, it
seems they are an idiot, because if they knew the real you , they would know
you have no value.  Then when a bad boy comes along and treats you like
dirt, he is in total alignment with the way you view yourself.


Is it possible also that in seeing a dad at times show love, but at times be
filled with hatred and physically abusive, a decision is made deep inside, "I
can't trust someone who says they love me." ?