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Monday, July 24, 2017

A weaned child, Psalm 131

 O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.  Psalm 131 NASB

I used to come to those breasts for what they could supply me with, but now I just want to be with the Person. I am weaned from seeking for provision, I just want to be with Him. From this blessed place of being weaned from a utilitarian, (what can I get from you) approach to God, from this place of just leaning upon His breast and hearing His heart beat, I look around me and I proclaim, "Hope in the Lord", in the Person of God, He is Mercy, He is the Everlasting Covenant, He is our Hope, start here and now in Him and go out into eternity! Amen and Amen!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The One Thing

Those who name the name that is above all names cannot, must not, toss aside the need to daily spend time focused on Him.  It is in that focus that we are changed into His likeness.  In beholding His face, our face is changed.  Time is required.  Time has to be carved out.  Did you get alone with Him today?  Did you choose to take time to look into His transforming face?  You must, or you risk shipwreck.  May His love draw us to His presence.  My dear friend calls it, effortless union with the Godhead.  It is a high calling.  Acknowledge your deep, desperate need of His transforming power and seek the One Thing that brings about transformation. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Expectations Kill

"All my hope is in You, God"  great lyrics to a great song.
But
No one I know is actually living that out.

If all my hope is truly in God, I would have no expectations on others, and I would live from a place of faith and trust in the God, who I know to be, faithful and true.

No expectations, I don't expect you to treat me fairly, or nicely, or courteously.  I don't expect my day to go the way I planned or hoped.

I don't expect you to meet my needs.

You are set free from my expectations and I am set free because I don't live with any expectations on you.

Love, unconditional love can finally grow.  It cannot grow with the choking, light stealing, nutrition stealing vine of expectations curled tightly around it squeezing out freedom and joy.  Expectations can always find a way to feel, let down, disappointed, discouraged, angry, and depressed.  Each one of these is centered on self, how they treated me, made me feel, hurt me.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Be Still, Cease Striving, Drop Your Hands,

Day 5 at camp.  God kept it very simple, by referring to Psalm 46, and taking us to a place of rest.  Maintain the relationship with God at all costs.  Rest and trust in Him to work through your yielded vessel.  Micah 6:8 clearly states what God expects.  "do justice" only He knows all the background and history of any situation, only His life can do it.  "Love kindness" His love flowing through us, "walk humbly with your God".  The beginning, middle and end of the answer to the question, Now what? for the person who is newly born again is, maintain your close relationship with God.  From that place of relationship, His life will flow through you. 


Day 6, my last day, because God had me give away Friday to a woman who is working on staff who has been specifically named, by at least 3 other staff in their testimonies as a person they relied on during a hard time. We looked at the ways that Satan works in his kingdom as contrasted with how things work in the Kingdom of God. 
The Loser rules through, power/control, threat and manipulation.
The Kingdom of God is about weakness, surrender and trust.  Deut. 32:36, "When He sees that their strength is gone".  Daniel 12:7, "When they come to the end of their power."  Rev. 12:11, "They love not their lives unto the death." 
It is a blessing to come to the place, the knowledge of our absolute weakness, because it is from that place and only that place that God can work.  Refusing to use our own power, and by faith connecting to/trusting in His power and life, all the glory goes to our faithful God.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

From Gomer to chosen, holy, and dearly loved!

Day 4 at camp, 2nd part of the series, Who is God?  Who are we?  Now what?
Who are we?
We started with words you almost never here in Sunday School, "Turn to the book of Hosea."
We reviewed what God called Hosea, whose name means salvation, to do.
Go and marry a prostitute!
We saw that this was God giving a living, breathing picture of His amazing love!
Gomer, the prostitute, has one child to Hosea, one child to another man, and another child, 3 in all.
Then Gomer runs away and returns to her old lifestyle.
In Chapter 3 God says to Hosea, go get her and buy her back.  Gomer is his wife, he never divorced her, she ran away, why does he have to buy her back?  Amazing love!  Salvation is all of Him and none of us!
We turned to Chapter 14 and read the end of verse 3 and verse 4.  "For in You the fatherless finds mercy.”
I will heal their apostasy,
I will love them freely,
For My anger has turned away from them."                                             
God promises here to heal their apostasy, which is a full turning away from God.  Amazing Love

Lastly we looked at Col. 3:12 in light of the fact that before salvation we are Gomer, what are we after salvation.
We are Chosen By God, Holy-set apart for Him, and Dearly Loved!

Amen and Amen.
Pray that God takes these truths deep into the hearts of everyone at camp!



God describing God

Day 3 at camp, started a 3 part series.  Who is God?  Who are we?  Let's go!


In Exodus 34:6,7   God describes Himself.  Well you can't get much more direct than that, so we read it.  "The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.” "


I emphasized when God says "slow to anger" it is far more amazing and big than when we say, slow to anger.  With the Ammonites, it took about 400 years!  Then we looked at the mercy hidden in visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children.  I personally know of a man saved from alcoholism when his 3 year old daughter looked at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Why are you doing this daddy?"  Seeing that your sin is affecting those you love, may be the thing that wakes you up.


Next we looked at Micah 7:18  "Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity
And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?
He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in unchanging love."
Seeing the amazing love that even has an answer for rebellious acts, intentional acts, and seeing that if we can think of things that we delight in, then consider that God delights in unchanging love, we are beginning to get a true picture of the God we serve. 


Once again sitting on a hillside at camp with about 60 young people and their counselors, what a privilege!  Thank you God of unchanging love!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Life Giving Water for Your Desert

Day 2 at camp.
Shared what I consider to be the key to maintaining a close walk with the Lord.  At the start of your day (whenever that happens to be) stop and give Him some time.   Every day we start as a dry desert, and I shared these scriptures; Isaiah 35:1-6, 40:3, 4, 51:3.  We need His life giving water.  If you start out dry and do not seek water you will continue to be dry and you will say and do things that you should not do, and you will not be in a position to give away the water (love) that you have received.
Then I gave this example of a simple early morning time with God.
 
"I know You love me God, the cross is proof of that.
    You are my defender today.
       My expectations are on You, not on other people - when people let me down, and they will, help me to put my focus back on You.
Jesus help me to see other people with Your eyes and speak to them with Your words. 
         You have done everything that needs done - even in the midst of my activity help me to res in You."


Short and to the point, such a blessing to share truth with 66 youth and their counselors.



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mary, Don't cling to me!

Today is the first day of "camp".  This guy, who never went to church camp, and who hasn't done anything with teens in about 14 years has been given the opportunity to speak to and hopefully with, 8th and 9th graders all this week.  God willing I will post an overview of what I intend to focus on.


Mary Magdalene is only shown doing two things in scripture, sitting at the feet of Jesus or looking for Jesus.  She did not shy away from the horror of the crucifixion and saw with her own eyes, her Savior's agonizing death on the cross.  Early on that resurrection morning all she was looking for was Jesus' body, His dead lifeless body.  Then she heard His voice, speaking her name.  Her eyes were blinded by hot tears of sorrow and disappointment, but her ears clearly heard the voice of her Beloved.  How many times in the last 3 days had she gone over her regrets?  She couldn't even give voice to words of hope, "If I ever see Him again...", but now, it was Him and she knew it.  I picture her throwing herself at His feet and wrapping herself around His knees and grabbing a hold of Him so tight that a cobra that saw her doing it would be jealous.  She had let Him go once and that was never going to happen again. 
Jesus made her a priority, interrupting His trip back to the Father to comfort her, to commission her, she was "sent out" by Jesus with a specific message.  Apostle means sent one. 
Now come the words that I picture being spoken as a command, because without a command from Him, she was never, ever going to voluntarily let go.
"Stop clinging to me!"  He had to say it, she was using all her strength to keep a hold of Him.
Worship looks like this.  Do you see any of this on a typical Sunday morning?
Mary breathed in grace and forgiveness from Jesus and she breathed out gratitude and praise.
This is our model of behavior.
We have the Holy Spirit to enable us to always connect to Jesus.  Do we "cast aside all hindrances" to get to Him?  Do you give the first part of your day to Him?  Nothing else matters, and the path to growing closer to Him involves knowing who He is, which leads to knowing who you are, which leads to overflowing love for Him and for others,

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Away With You

The truck my brother sat in the bed of when he committed suicide, was taken away to a junk yard today.  The lot where it was impounded after the police investigation, did not want it, so I had to drive it "home" to our old house, and it has sat there waiting for legal stuff to be handled, before it could be disposed of. 
He never liked it.  It was a Ford and he was a Chevy man, he only got it because once years ago I had borrowed his Chevy truck after a heavy snow and rolled it on its side damaging the whole side of the truck.  He repaired everything with putty and paint and the poor thing looked like the two-face character from Batman with one side nice and one side messed up bad.  So eventually he had to replace that Chevy and the only thing he could find  was this blue Ford, so he got it, only intending to keep it, until, he could find a Chevy.


He never did find one.


He had told people his legs were bothering him and he wouldn't be able to cut their grass this year, but that was the only clue we had that anything was wrong.


Dead air, that is what they call it when a radio station has silence being broadcast.  Paul Simon in his "The Sound of Silence" song speaks of superficial communication that creates emptiness.  True communication is intimate, revealing, vulnerable, accepting.  It is a rare gift in this world, and the Satanic plan is to make it more and more rare.


So AWAY WITH YOU old nasty truck of death
and AWAY WITH YOU superficial communication.


God help us, make us a people who have true, intimate communion with You, and with each other, and in that LOVE we will make You known.


 "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another"  John 13:35

Monday, June 12, 2017

Ministry of John the Baptist

To bring the mountains down low...
Live a life of humility and gratitude for grace and those who are puffed up will see and know the true way to God.
To bring up the valleys...
Live a life of faith and trust and those who are ruled by fear and anxiety will see and know the God who is faithful and true, and can be trusted at all times.
Rough ground become level...
Live a life that does not waver when hard times come and many will see God is always with us, not just during the smooth and pleasant part of the journey but ALWAYS!

We let His life and His love flow through us and it attracts others to HIM.  We lay our life down for others and they can see there is a better way.  We hope in God, and He reveals Himself as faithful and true.

We love others, with the love that He first loved us.

Pretty simple.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Oh Please Wake Up!

99% of the news, all sports and entertainment are ultimately meaningless. Ponder these words: "Consider what preoccupies you. What frightens you. What drives you. What you cling to and what you pursue. And ask yourself if you’ve ever truly felt satisfied and fulfilled for more than a few moments. The things of the world cannot bring lasting peace. They were not intended to." Vaneetha Randall Amusement is at its root "a" meaning NOT and "Muse" meaning THINK DEEPLY.

Now WHO would ultimately be the beneficiary of "amusement"?
Ding, ding, ding...Satan!

My brother committed suicide last month.
Choosing to cut your own life short. Short of the goal. Short of its full meaning and depth and life.
Choosing to invite death in, overwhelmed by despair, drowning in it so that HOPE is a distant, unattainable thing.

Divorce, disappointment, watching someone you love die, feeling like you never want to be a burden, but totally missing that although there was an aspect of "burden" there was an overwhelming aspect of LIFE and LOVE and HOPE.

Blinded to hope, just long enough to pull the stupid trigger on a stupid gun.

I want to live my life as the beloved of the most Loving being in the universe. I want to crush the lies of the liar, and expose his pathetic, fragile, pussy of a kingdom for what it is!

I am loved by the everlasting Father, Creator and Lord of Lords. His faithful love is the only reality there is!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Serve you

Speaking the truth in love.
Being patient and gentle, and understanding that God has taken many years to work some truth into me.  Sharing and then backing off and giving God time to work by His Spirit.
About two weeks ago, God impressed these words on my heart,
"Stop doing what seems right."
Out of love or concern I would act or write or send gifts and no visible good came of it. 
It takes humility to "wait on the Lord" before you act.
It takes humility to listen to another persons point of view until you really hear what they are saying.
It takes humility to be heard.  Arrogance is a universal turn off.
Oh God work in us the delight You feel in bending low to serve.

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Church is not Israel

I have a dog named, Max.
I have promised to always take care of Max.
If Max gives me a hard time or does not live up to what I think a dog should do, that doesn't change anything.
If I choose to give Max away because he disappointed me and then I get a new dog and I name that dog, Max, I have broken my promise to take care of "original Max".
There is no way around it, the new dog was given the old name, but that does not change the bottom line.
I broke my promise.
I can't be trusted.
I am not faithful.

God has a chosen people, a chosen land and a chosen place to put His Throne.
The Jewish people, the land of Israel, and Jerusalem are these choices of His.

If you subscribe to a thinking that the church is the new Israel, then
God broke His promise
God can't be trusted.
God is not faithful.

Do you see how important this is?  This is not a side issue.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

He who keeps Israel

Psalm 121:1  I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

Maybe it is time to understand that "He who keeps Israel" will always keep her, and the safest place to be is humbly "in Israel" who is being kept by her faithful and true King.
The making of a new thing, under a new name (church) is not needed, and the inherent elevating of the new thing over the old thing is subtle and yet deadly.  Humility is a powerful offensive weapon in the kingdom of God.  Arrogance in any form is the precursor to a fall, every time. 
We are disciples of the Way, followers of the Messiah, the anointed King of Israel.  Paul, Peter, John, none of them rejected the people of God, the temple, or the feasts.  The book of Revelation is tied to the prophets and story of God from the very beginning. 
Oh if only we could see, and repent.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Joel 1:17"Spare Your people, O LORD,"

We who are called to be disciples are called to be a kingdom of priest unto our God.
I was reading Joel, today, straight through, the whole book.  Chapter 1 verses 17 and 18 states very clearly a call upon the life of the priest.

  "Let the priests, the LORD's ministers, Weep between the porch and the altar, And let them say, "Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not make Your inheritance a reproach, a byword among the nations, Why should they among the peoples say, 'Where is their God?'"


So the people that the priests are to be weeping and interceding for are called "Your people" and "Your inheritance" and they are contrasted with "the nations" and "the peoples".
Do you call yourself a true disciple?
Are you part of the "royal priesthood" of 1 Peter 2:9?  I wonder if you are what makes you royal?  Wouldn't it be that you were in service to the King?
Who does the King call His people, and His inheritance?
Is or is not your heart being drawn to weep for Israel?  Your brothers are lost!  Weep!

One book, one message, one people, one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism,

WAKE UP!!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Kingdom Divided

Mark 3:24,25  "24If a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot stand. 25If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand."  There is a strong principle here and if our eyes are opened it is a strong revelation, that will require repentance on the part of the "church" which sees itself as a new thing that God did in the world to replace the old, ineffective thing.  If you can't see the push toward pride in that type of thinking...you are a sitting duck for the arrows of the enemy.  Read the beautiful exaltations of Elizabeth, and Mary, and Zechariah as they realized the Messiah, the King of Israel was coming in their lifetime.  (All in the beginning chapters of Luke.)  They saw this as fulfillment of all that the prophets had spoken.  They saw a rising of the Kingdom of God, with the King of Israel at its head.  The long awaited Messiah ties the whole theme together of the whole book from Genesis 3 to the end.  
So how did Messiah, King of Israel, end up getting translated, Christ, which just means anointed and wasn't even a Greek word that was applied to a person, it was applied to a substance that you rubbed on something else, like Ben-Gay!  That is the $64,000 thousand dollar question and the answer should draw the "church" to repentance, as we begin to have revealed to our hearts that pride has crept in and built a very large edifice that has pride as its foundation.

Monday, April 3, 2017

"Don't pray for patience."

This statement could not be more wrong.
Love is patient.
"is" is the key word, Jesus is patient, His love flowing through you is patient. Our only call is to be dead and hidden in Him. There is such a "wrong thinking" out there..it says,"Don't pray for patience, God will bring hard times to your life to 'teach' you patience." No no no, when an annoying situation comes up, we choose to "die" to not take our rights, and our feelings and our junk to answer that door, in humility we recognize our weakness and we send the ONE who is patient to answer the door. He answers it, and we find that Love is patient. And the people around us that are used to "us" answering the door in our own strength and in our own "ability" are amazed to see Jesus answering the door with "perfect patience."  We are the people called to rejoice in trials, because they present an opportunity to display that God has taken over our lives.  We trust Him, not circumstances.  

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Copernicus and the Jews by Daniel Gruber

This book was gifted to me by Mark Klafter.  It strikes at the heart of the "arrogant kingdom" aka, the "church" or "Christianity". 
The God of Shem, The God of Israel, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is our God.  Read Ephesians Chapter 2 and understand what Paul (a Jew) is saying to the mostly gentile Ephesian gathering.  You gentiles were once "not a people" but Yeshua has come and now all the nations are blessed in Abraham.  (Bold, Italics, and underlined)  We (gentiles) are blessed because we have been grafted in to the vine, brought in to the commonwealth of Israel.  By grace, we enter into the ONE sheep pen, through the ONE Shepherd.  We attain to the unity of the ONE Faith, by the ONE baptism.  We repent of following our own way and choose to follow the way of the God of Israel, through the Messiah, the Anointed King of Israel, Yeshua the Messiah, pathetically and wrongly translated "Jesus Christ". 
Sadly and at the cost of the humility that would have led to great blessing and would have eliminated most of the "horrible history" of Christendom, we gentiles have allowed our Japheth pride to pretend that we are somehow, different, separated from, and just slightly better than our Shem brothers.  So we invent holidays to replace God ordained feasts, and we switch "worship days" based on the smallest sliver of Biblical words and twist them so hard they don't resemble anything like their original intent. 
I repent for the arrogant kingdom, in the same way Daniel associated himself with his people in Daniel 9 and repented for his people, I repent for Christendom.  "We have formed a terrible thing, and it has done terrible deeds and we have lost Your Way.   Draw us back, Oh God of Israel, draw us back to you!"

Monday, March 6, 2017

Faithful, sacrificial love demands that I be "post-trib".



The call comes to a prophet of the Most High God,  "

"Adonai’s opening words in speaking to Hoshea were to instruct Hoshea, “Go, marry a whore, and have children with this whore; for the land is engaged in flagrant whoring, whoring away from Adonai.”CJB
The word "whore" sounds very harsh and painful to our ears and we search for a "softer" word, because ultimately we are "Gomer" and we are going to have to "own" this title for ourselves.
We stumble over this stumbling stone because there is a teensy, weensy, bit of horribly ugly pride in us that says, in a teensy, weensy way I am just slightly better than the chosen people.  So, when "their deserved punishment" comes from God, I will be safely away, escaping to a "marriage supper".  See how ugly pride is when it is exposed to light!  
If this were to occur it would be a scene out of a horror movie, the groom looking aghast at the bride coming down the aisle, the severed and bleeding bottom half of a human woman with no torso from the waist up, organs and blood sticking out, because pride has blinded love and somehow the bottom half of the body is okay with the top half being cut off and tortured while "off we go" to the wedding!
Pride is a horror story.
So instead we join with our faithful and true Hosea, His heart of self-sacrificing love, becomes our heart, and we "love not our lives unto the death".  We see a Father, who chooses to remain Faithful and True even at the cost of His own life.  We join with Rich Mullins insightful lyrics, "The whores all seem to love Him and the drunks propose a toast..."
The only problem with this post is I will be totally and completely unable to convey the height, the width the depth and the breadth of His Faithful Love!  I was brought to slobbering tears this morning, as I even contemplated attempting to put words to such an impossibly, lofty reality!  An old saint has said, "I cannot reach the stars, but I can point to them."

One last thing to see is the connection God has made between the land and the people.  There is a reason why thousands of years later, Jerusalem, "the City of the Great King"(Psalm 48:2) is at the center of controversy.  God has chosen a people and secured for them a land.  One spot on earth has been chosen for His visible throne to be placed, and so the Usurper, has had his sights set on that piece of property ever since he found out the plan.  If you live with an awareness of these truths, lots of things that do not make any sense to the natural mind, become much more clear.

So the reality of the God who is faithful and true, the reality of sacrificial love, the reality that no human is any better than any other human,  is the reason a post-tribulation resurrection and "rapture" is the only view I can support.  May God continue to raise up a people who are broken by His love, united by His love, empowered by His love to manifest and demonstrate that He is alive and well, and working from a place of rest to restore, heal and forgive.

Monday, February 27, 2017

I am a beloved son!

I was born on July 6, 1961 to the surprised, but happy parents.  James and LeMoyne Bean.

Knowing these facts, imagine me praying this prayer.

God I want to be the son of James and LeMoyne Bean.

or on another day, maybe after I had let them down.

Oh God forgive me, I don't feel like the son of James and LeMoyne Bean anymore,
I think they are disappointed in me, make me the son of James and LeMoyne Bean again.

or when I move away from home

God I haven't seen my parents face and I haven't heard their voice lately, I don't
feel like I am the son of James and LeMoyne Bean anymore, make me more like their son again.

The Bible has a strong emphasis on being thankful.  There is a good reason for that.
The position and identity that we have when we become a new creation is "beloved child of God".

THAT NEVER CHANGES,  IT DOES NOT MATTER IF I FAIL.  IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW I FEEL.  IT IS A PURE AND SIMPLE FACT.  A GIFT FROM GOD AND THE CALL ON MY LIFE IS VERY SIMPLE.  LIVE THANKFUL FOR THE GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SHOWN.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Simplify

I realize it is a big book, with a lot of words and those words have been divided and studied and murdered by putting numbers next to them and creating chapters and testaments where there were none.  The Bible stands as an innocent victim of man's desire to create a god in his own image. 


What is the proper way to view the Bible?


See it as an insight into the heart of a God who defines Himself as ever present compassion.  Out of this compassion flow mercy, forgiveness and healing.


As you set your gaze on this truly beautiful One, you will become like Him.  Then you become His message to the world, you become love, mercy, forgiveness, and healing.  "Sinners" are drawn to you, the religious hate you, the political elite fear you.


Love is constantly flowing into you and overflowing out of you.  You received this by the blood of the Lamb, your words speak about this with overflowing gratitude, and your life backs up the words because you are not afraid to lay down all that is "self" to the point of death.


Rev. 12:11 "They conquered him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not love their lives
in the face of death."

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Red light, Green light

A children's game where one person stands at the end of the field, the goal, and shouts out either, "red light" or "green light".  The line-up of kids on the other end of the field run at the command, "green light" and stop at the command, "red light" if the person doing the calling catches you still moving after the "red light" is spoken you have to go back to the beginning. 
Had a dream/thought that "religion" sees a God who shouts, "red light" and catches you doing wrong and sends you back to the beginning.  Relationship knows a God who has no condemnation for those He chooses to call sons and daughters.  This God calls out "green light" and never sees the need to change to "red light".  There is no fear in love, punishment is not coming our way.  We do not have to sin, scripture makes that clear over and over, but "if" we do, our identity has not changed, we do not have to go back to the beginning, repentance, resets our abiding in God.  Faith connects us to our true identity, our faith is in what God says about us.  We are a new creation, in Christ.  "Green light" let's go!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

WHAT IF?

What if the crying need that people have is to know that they are loved? What if upon close examination the Christian sees that this, God kind of love, is very costly? What if the Christian decides to bypass letting the love and life of Yeshua flow through them, and in its place builds a system that pretends to reconcile God to man, without the messiness of "laying down your life"? What if that false system begins to become the "norm" and people associate the God of the Bible with this hulking, clanging, loveless, Bible quoting, powerless pile of crap? Who will fall down on their face and be a people bought with a price, a living sacrifice of intercessory love for those who "know not what they do"? Who will go lower to answer the call of the ministry of reconciliation?

Monday, January 30, 2017

I Pretended to Interview Jesus

Coming back to the house after a walk with the dog, and feeling the weight of having failed to die to self and let Jesus flow through me 100% of the time...I began to see the root of having expectations of others and then wanting control.  Somehow out of those thoughts I began to imagine an interview with Jesus.
Interviewer:  I would like to ask you some questions about things that hinder your prayers.  Do selfish motives ever hinder your prayers, James speaks of this in his letter? 
Jesus:  No
Interviewer:  Okay well how about not forgiving others, that is one You mentioned when You taught the disciples how to pray, do you have trouble with that?
Jesus:  No
Interviewer:  This one gets everybody, not being kind to others, Peter tells us that can hinder our prayers, is than an area You struggle with?
Jesus:  No
Interviewer:  Well, honestly, this interview hasn't been much help to me, I struggle in every one of these areas and they block or hinder my prayers often.
Jesus:  Why?
Interviewer:  Because I am human I guess.
Jesus:  Why?
Interviewer:  I was born that way.
Jesus:  But weren't you born again, born from above?  Aren't you a new creation?
Interviewer:  Well yeh, but as I look at these areas of my life I see how often I fall short and I try harder but, well, there isn't much change.
Jesus:  So you look at the old creation, instead of the new.  You are a new creation, spend time with Me, focus on Me, get to know My love for you and let that love flow out to others.  There is no fruit in looking at the old creation, the flesh, and there is no fruit in trying harder.  Fruit is found in Me.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

"living sacrifice"

Two little words that make no sense together should cause us to stop, to "selah" and consider, 'What is God up to here?'.  "living sacrifice"
Romans 12 (where this phrase appears) follows Romans 11 and the rest of this amazing book.  The mind of God is being revealed to us in this book and it is precious beyond words.  The Holy Spirit, The Ruach Hokodesh, The Eternal Spirit One with the Father and the Son from before the foundation of the world, is unveiling to Paul, the way of a Man with a woman.  (Proverbs 30:18,19 "There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Four which I do not understand: 19The way of an eagle in the sky, The way of a serpent on a rock, The way of a ship in the middle of the sea, And the way of a man with a young woman.")
This is a truly revolutionary way of living that has been revealed to us, if it looks ordinary or blends in, in any way, rest assured it is not the true gospel!
So the picture is the Bridegroom and the bride of the Messiah the King of Israel.  ("Christ", and I mean absolutely no disrespect, may be the worst "word" of all time, because it completely robs the original word, Messiah, of all of its meaning and implication.  If you stop at "anointed" which is all that that word means, and do not go on to "anointed King of Israel", you are destroying the word, and the concept that it is bringing across, and you are ripping it out of its true context and making a new concept that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the original word and meaning.  Tragic, but I digress!) 
Back to the point, Romans 11 has just brought us to an other-worldly crescendo, a height unattainable for anything written by a man.  The entire history of the world has been systematically shown to be under the control of a very loving, merciful, patient Hand.  From this height, because of this height, "Therefore" is brought in to transition us to the next truth, but with the full understanding that, this next truth is built on the foundation of EVERYTHING that was said leading up to it.  (We sometimes look for context by going back 3 verses, no that won't do, not really, it is one whole letter, just like it is one whole book and to even begin to get the meaning, you have to put it in that context.  Cue the whining, "That's too much work."  No, not really, the true and ultimate context is His heart, get that right and everything else flows like a river.)
The point that I am making is hard to follow, and I am okay with that, stick around, do the "hard work" because you are desperate for life-changing truth.
If we are truly on this journey with the Holy Spirit and Paul we are just beginning to come back to earth, Chapter 11 revealed a sovereign heart of mercy that is determined at the cost of His own life to show mercy and save "all Israel."  Paul was groaning under the weight of Israel's temporary, God-imposed blindness in Chapter 9, and God weaved the story together in such a way, that Paul was positively blown away by the Self-sacrificing mercy of the Creator God!  The path of salvation is over the back of the laid down Lover, God!  The blindness is only temporary and only meant to bring more people into the family, to expand the reach of mercy, and once the blindness has accomplished its purpose, the Good Shepherd is going back to retrieve every one of His  lost sheep!  Mercy triumphs over judgment!  Hallelujah!  Mercy is the point, Mercy is the Message!
The ministry of reconciliation, that has been lovingly placed in to the hands of all the communities that gather in His Name, is simply to live out and point to that great, incomprehensible, MERCY!

"living sacrifice"  Step One.  An ordinary human being is arrested by the notion that they are a sinner, in desperate need of the mercy of God.  Typically we do this by preaching judgment, (Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God) but Jesus did this same thing to Peter by showing him, overwhelming kindness, remember the story.  Jesus "borrows" Peter's boat, so that He can teach the people without being crowded by the many people who press upon his physical body.  He has just used, Peter's "place of business" for His ministry and inconvenienced Peter, but now it is time for the Lord who is full of mercy to reveal Himself to Peter by "paying back" the kindness that Peter showed.  At the instructions of this Rabbi, the fishermen cast nets at a time of the day when no fish can be caught!  It is the "eye rolling" obedience of a teenager who knows way more about life than there decrepit parents and their out-dated wisdom, but it is obedience nevertheless.  The catch of fish is "stunning" it is a haul greater than the nets can handle, greater than one boat can handle, others are called in to help with the "impossible" number of fish!  Peter is too busy doing his "job" while in the act of bringing in the fish, but as soon as he has time to consider what has happened, he falls at the feet of the Master in repentant, unworthiness, and receives a commissioning into the work of the Kingdom of God!  "And they left everything and followed Him!"  The presence of His overwhelming kindness brought Peter to repentance.  (Romans 2:4)
   Step Two.  Still overwhelmed by the kindness of God, and very aware that it was only that kindness that saved me, I want to tell others and show others "overwhelming kindness and mercy".
   Step Three.  My "humanness" (what the Bible calls my flesh) raises its ugly head and is mean, or lustful, or self-centered in any number of ways, and the Adversary is right there to say, "See it is not real, there has been no real change."  Defeated and with no one to tell you or show you any different you, hide your light.  You are 'saved' and waiting for your ticket out of this mean world, that you are powerless to effect.
   Step Four.  You come across someone whose life is demonstrating that the Person of Jesus can still be evident in a human being.  Overwhelming kindness can flow from the Heart of the Father, through a human being and bring healing, mercy, grace and forgiveness.
    Step Five.  Your heart is re-ignited with hope, that this message, this gospel is true!  You observe them, hang around them, and begin to see the key.
    Step Six.  "living sacrifice" God reveals that the foundation of their life is that they are so aware of the overwhelming mercy that has been shown to them by the faithful, loving, sovereign, Creator of the Universe, that they have fully given up, and given over their life to Him.  He has the total "say so" in all of their actions, in all of their life, and so Jesus can flow through them.  Jesus can love through them, Jesus can heal through them, Jesus can show great, powerful, irresistible mercy through them, because they "no longer live".  They willingly lay down their life and allow His life to flow.  They are bound to the altar with cords of love, they are a "living sacrifice" and seeing that this is possible you can no longer go back to business as usual! You lay down, you step into the glorious position of a "living sacrifice.".... and nothing is ever the same!  Mercy has called and commissioned you to fulfill your purpose on this earth, pointing to the Merciful One whose mercy endures forever!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Ministry of Reconciliation ... OUR LIFE!

He knows you
He loves you
He completely cleared the path for you to come home


 I will work with my talented wife later to make this into a "meme", but this is a simple summary of the simple message of reconciliation that we have been given. It is not just meant to be words but an all encompassing "way" of living within a culture that needs to hear and see, a people who truly "do not know what they do"!


Much appreciation and love goes out from my heart to a small gathering of "beloved knuckleheads" who brought this out of the murky mire into clear focus.



11 So because we stand in awe of the one true Lord, we make it our aim to convince all people of the truth of the gospel; God sees who we really are, and I hope in some way that you’ll look deeply into your consciences to see us as well. 12 But we hope you understand that we are not trying to prove ourselves to you or pull together a résumé that will impress you. We are simply hoping that you will find a sense of joy in connecting with us. And when you are approached by others (who may value appearances more than the heart) asking questions about us, you will be able to offer an answer for them. 13 If we seem out of control or act like fanatics, it is for God. But if we act in a coherent and reasonable way, it is for you. 14 You see, the controlling force in our lives is the love of the Anointed One. And our confession is this: One died for all; therefore, all have died. 15 He died for us so that we will all live, not for ourselves, but for Him who died and rose from the dead. 16 Because of all that God has done, we now have a new perspective. We used to show regard for people based on worldly standards and interests. No longer. We used to think of the Anointed the same way. No longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone—and see—a new life has begun! 18 All of this is a gift from our Creator God, who has pursued us and brought us into a restored and healthy relationship with Him through the Anointed. And He has given us the same mission, the ministry of reconciliation, to bring others back to Him. 19 It is central to our good news that God was in the Anointed making things right between Himself and the world. This means He does not hold their sins against them. But it also means He charges us to proclaim the message that heals and restores our broken relationships with God and each other.
20 So we are now representatives of the Anointed One, the Liberating King; God has given us a charge to carry through our lives—urging all people on behalf of the Anointed to become reconciled to the Creator God. 21 He orchestrated this: the Anointed One, who had never experienced sin, became sin for us so that in Him we might embody the very righteousness of God.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Body is a Beautiful Thing

How wise of God to arrange His gathering in the form of a body.  Not a closed system that would have grown stale very shortly, but an open system with intake and outflow.  The emphasis is on every part is necessary, essential, needed, has a purpose.  Every angle on any given situation is a blessing if it is humbly received, even if all that it does is reveal something in the heart of the one stating it.  We are to be so "caught up in union with Him" that we truly cannot be offended.  It is not a matter of "holding back our hatred" it is a matter of being a new creation that does not have that hatred.  Yes it is a process but it is a process that starts from a place of "It is finished".

Another thought

Acts 13:45 in the Messianic Writings translation... "But when some Jews saw the crowds they were filled with jealous rivalry, and spoke against and maligned the things which were spoken by Paulos."
I want to hone in on the words, "jealous rivalry".  This is the reaction, this is the evil spirit, camping out on the flesh of man, that we will be "up against" as the body begins to act like the body and show the love and see the miracles that Jesus said we would.  Just like in Paul's day, the religious will rise up in "jealous rivalry" and speak against the work that God is doing.  What happens next, well if they have enough power they will "force us out" of that area and we will go to another area, filled with joy and Holy Spirit.

Lastly, I am only 25 minutes into this but I already highly recommend it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s06I3OkWD_A

Friday, January 6, 2017

"Don't cling to me."

Jesus told her, "Don't hold on to me. I have not yet gone to the Father. But go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"       John 20:17

God is love, so we can look for love in all the scriptures we read.  Love stopped to comfort an overwhelmed woman on a Sunday morning.  Love detoured from His bee-line back to the Father to comfort her and to give her a message and a purpose.  Love blew past the social mores of the day and sent out a woman as a witness.  Love dropped a gentle clue that the time for clinging to His human form was coming to a close and there was something so much better coming next.  The release of the Holy Spirit to come and live in us!  

We are so pathetically gentile and hardened and "churched" that we are not knocked off our feet when we hear the words, the Holy Spirit come to live in us.  "Oh what fellowship, Oh what peace is mine!"  

We should probably examine why we are so blase in the face of something that should by its very nature cause awe and wonder.