Friday, February 26, 2010


Time is such and elusive thing. Elusive in the fact that it keeps running away from us no matter how hard we try to catch it or contain it. Stopping time IS IMPOSSIBLE, but stopping ourselves IS POSSIBLE.

Taking time to measure, evaluate or simply live life is critical (Socrates in Plato I think). Taking the time to really seek understanding, when we’ve misunderstood something is paramount to forward thinking and forward being. Because the lack of understanding tends to be one of the greatest deterrents we face in the upward climb of effective living and being.

I know this for a fact, because I can be the biggest bigot on the block when it comes to stuff or people that I don’t understand. So what do I do? I form an impression or opinion (which creates a feeling) based upon my lack of knowledge or understanding; thereby becoming a dangerous and offensive religious or social bigot (a dogmatist maybe). The end result is I go no where with relational matters and tend to blame “them” instead of my own ignorance. Maybe I’m just preaching to the choir, BUT IF NOT, can I get a witness or amen?

I think it was Stephen R. Covey who tried to convince us that one of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (#5) is “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood”.

Now back to Time. They say (almost as bad as them) that if you can move fast enough (just beyond the speed of light) you can go back in time. As a body approaches the speed of light, time compression begins to occur, age and wrist watches slow down. Ultimately suggesting the theoretical idea of time travel; but then again who cares right?

I mention the Time Space Continuum thing because slowing and compressing time by speed only works as one approaches or exceeds the speed of light. So that means for most of us; being in a hurry only wearies us and angers others. We CANNOT STOP, REVERSE OR COMPRESS time, as Einstein may have suggested in his theory (ergo the term theory).

It would seem that the only one able to move like that would be God. That’s why He can be all over the map of history as well as be right here and now as well as be somewhere in the future. The Bible uses words like “at just the right time”. God’s the only one whose really mastered Time Management.

So when matter moves at the speed of light, it theoretically becomes energy or light. In other words, throw a baseball at (299,792,458 meters per second; 983,571,056 feet per second and 670,616,629.2 miles per hour) the speed of light and it turns to light or energy. That translates to this: no matter how hard we try to go faster, we’re not really moving ahead in time or back in time; we’re just getting tired of moving too fast.

So, the bottom line is this. Slow down, stop, think, listen, feel, and observe for God’s sake and yours PAY ATTENTION. That’s right: pay it, cough it up, write the check, hand it over. Attention to details in life will costs us, but when we pay that price, life becomes worth living.

Time and Compression, you’ll never master it so go have another cup of Joe. Relax the End is near.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

STAND UP straight

I read somewhere that if you aspire to be a writer, you should write; everyday, rain or shine, whether you feel like it or not, whether you have something to write or not. Just write.

As for that discipline I’ve yet to fully develop a clear pattern, but it is emerging.

If there is a pattern to my writing it’s more like computer generated fractals. Sometimes pretty, often weird and always changing, but with a cyclical equation built in so as to keep generating thoughts that only God knows where they will end.

I kind of like it that way for now, but I believe God has something more in the days ahead. Did you know that some people never really liked tie-dyed or paisley clothing? I know that’s really hard to believe. I was never one of them.

My thought for the day is this: I’ve had many teachers over the years, but very few fathers. That’s right, fathers; men who have possessed such stellar character and depth of care and concern for my life that their very influence (relationship) has shaped who I am today. For that there are few to none. Read 1 Corinthians 4:14-16 from the Amplified or The Message Bible.

Oh I know my biological dad was a good man. And in terms of real influence he may have had his share, but I can honestly say that his share was often of less influence than the off balance influences others had.

When I was an adolescent my dad was constantly critiquing my body posture. Now granted, those were the days of slouching teenagers, bell bottoms, bare feet, and of course that proverbial long hair; but in all reality I did have bad posture. I suppose my dad was keen to that fact because of the Scoliosis he lived with. He contracted polio as a kid and it took its toll on his body. It even caused him to be declared 4-F for the Korean War.

Anyway, my dad was constantly riding me about standing up straight, but often his concern for my outward appearance over shadowed any concern for my inward appearance or my future life and influence. Don’t get me wrong, my dad did care about my eternal destiny, but beyond that, his influence on my inside was very little, plus what influence he did have was tainted by his own baggage and misconceptions.

So I ask you today to think deeply. Take some time and ask yourself what mentors or influencers had the greatest affect on your life? Don’t try to put people in that picture who you think or wish should have had the most influence, but be real and honest. Who shaped who you are today? Your answer may cause some degree of shame, but embrace the truth it will begin the process of setting you free.

For me, an honest assessment of those individuals will be very painful and eclectic; ergo the patterns and persona I’m known for… like it or not.

I think I’ll go put on something tie-dyed or paisley and get on with my day. But someday I will be a father and it will have nothing to do with tie-dye or paisley. So I’d better stand up straight or else.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Words or the Lack Thereof

So often we approach life and communication with such cavalier. We serve and volley words back and forth as if they’re some inanimate piece of sports equipment that has little or no meaning.

Wordsmithing in the 21st century has become so easy and frivolous that anyone with broadband and the least-among-us-hunt-and-peck-method of keyboarding can post a blog, a tweet, a status update or any number of other means of faux communication.

The thoughts came to me earlier today as I considered my own words or the lack thereof. That’s right, words or the lack thereof. Either way one can find themselves on the wrong end of the fulcrum of intent.

As I understand the Bible and Christian theology, words are paramount to God. He created the entire cosmos with the power of Word. As a matter of fact, His Son has the title The Word of God. He tells us to confess or speak words so as to be forgiven of sin or receive the subjective part of our salvation.

He tells us, life and death are in the power of the tongue. He tells us that blessings and curses flow from the mouth of man, as well as the divine. He tells us that His Word will last forever. Even when the cosmos implodes, Word will continue to echo where nothing else exists.

So words must have power; right? I mean, that whole stupid thing about sticks and stones breaking my bones, but words can never hurt me, must have been penned by someone who was never called fat, ugly, stupid or a looser in the public setting of junior high school. Or at least if they had, those words were outweighed by affirmative words of love and affection.

And then there’s the flip side; the lack thereof. Sometimes our silence is tacit agreement with evil or malice. You know what the Bible tells us about being ashamed of the Son of God before men? I mean, our condemnation is readied for us if we don’t speak of the Son of God when the opportunity arises. So in that case silence is not golden.

On the other hand, sometimes keeping our mouth shut is the best display of wisdom one could express. You know the old saying; if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all. I guess that’s good advice. That’s even found in the Bible; Psalms and Proverbs I think.

So here I sit on the horns of a dilemma. Can I use that cliché? If I speak or write; my words can kill or destroy. If I speak or write; my words can give life and restore. If I don’t speak or write; my lack of communication can imply agreement with evil. If I don’t speak or write; my lack of communication can imply the greatest wisdom for the moment.

Can you see my problem?

Words or the lack thereof… be very careful.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sin Nature

Dear Friends,

Below is a brief and simple treatise on my understanding of the sin-nature-issue that we’ve opened up, according to Paul’s writings in Romans 6-8. I know that MH is not the par excellence of scholarship, but he was quick and easy to access.

May I challenge your premises that we are bound to the sin-nature until we reach heaven? As I read Paul, I understand that our “sin” may ever be with us, because of the “lie” our flesh or the enemy plies against us. But nonetheless, it is a lie, that we believe to be true, that causes us to be duped into acting according to a dead law that seems to fit with our flesh. As we walk in the Spirit and the Word, we are ever washing and exposing our flesh to the truth that sets us free from the lie. The lie that says (our flesh speaking) “I can’t do anything but yield to the impulse I’m feeling.” (mind you, most people don’t have an actual dialog inside regarding their rational response to their feelings, but for the sake of this narrative). Be it, unholy anger, depression, sexual urges, spending urges, binging urges, pride and power urges, etc. All are responses to feelings, caused by a lie.
Regarding the fact (the argument at hand) that our sin-nature is ever with us may I expound.

Matthew Henry RE: Romans 6:3-10 The apostle is very full in pressing the necessity of holiness. He does not explain away the free grace of the gospel, but he shows that connection between justification and holiness are inseparable. Let the thought be abhorred, of continuing in sin that grace may abound. True believers are dead to sin, therefore they ought not to follow it. No man can at the same time be both dead and alive. He is a fool who, desiring to be dead unto sin, thinks he may live in it. (Emphasis mine)

I interpret the above highlight this way. Either I’m a Genuine Christian, really saved, really born-again and my sin nature is dead and no longer has power over me, or this whole thing falls back into a deadly trap of works. Note the following passages – including my commentary.

NASB Rom 6:6-7 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin.

I’m no Greek scholar, but it seems very clear that my “old self” my “body of sin” i.e. the original cause of my sinful, eternal separation from God and the original “Imago Dia” defacement – is “done away with”.

AMP Rom 6:6-7 We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin. 7 For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men].

Here again in the AMP, the words used are “old (unrenewed) self was nail to the cross… in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil”. Please bear with me but, this really sounds like a guarantee that my sin-nature is dead and gone.

NASB Col 3:9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,

Here, Paul tells us not to “lie” to one another… meaning there will be potential for lies to continue deceiving us. If Paul says, don’t “lie” because the “old self” has been laid aside through death on the cross with Christ… then what alone has any continual sway over us… but a lie. The primary lie Paul battled in the first century was mans need for legalism to keep him in check – so he wouldn’t sin. That’s still a lie we believe to be true – and often preach from our pulpits.

NASB Eph 4:22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,
Here it appears that we have an obligation to cooperate with the cross, and by faith let the “sin-nature” die or suffer death. If not, this old self, like a Zombie becomes animated (not alive – but living a lie) all according to “lusts” or feelings based upon deceit. Hmmm…

NASB Eph 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.

One of the final end results of effective 5 Fold Ministry is causing the Church to mature and become so healthy, that we stop the LIES. We finally come to the place where we “SPEAK TRUTH” and who alone has the Truth? We must speak what He speaks. That is the final and ultimate culmination of our faith here on earth. That is the work we are to “do” as our primary goal (John 6:28-29 we speak what we believe). It’s not programs or methods that set people free, but the experiential NOW Word of God spoken into a feeling, that finds the lie, that will ultimately change everything.

AMP Rom 7:8 But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment [to express itself], got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires (lust, covetousness). For without the Law sin is dead [the sense of it is inactive and a lifeless thing].

When law is present, sin finds opportunity. But sin, like a thorn that torments our new-self, is caused by our believing a lie which thereby arouses forbidden feelings. These feelings then cause us to “act” in ungodly ways.

AMP Rom 7:17 However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me.

Sin may find a place to hide or inhabit us, but only because we believe the lie that says it has a right to be there. The entity that Paul calls sin, is a byproduct of a lie we believe to be true about self. But it IS NOT our “old self”, because that “old self” or “sin-nature” is dead.

AMP Rom 7:20 Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no longer I doing it [it is not myself that acts], but the sin [principle] which dwells within me [[c]fixed and operating in my soul].

It is “not myself that acts” but a force or principle caused by a lie. Myself, my “new self” is not to blame, but a belief in a lie, which causes my feelings to rise, and I act – not according to my new self, but simply according to a “falsehood”.

AMP Rom 7:22-23 For I endorse and delight in the Law of God in my inmost self [with my new nature]. 23 But I discern in my bodily members [[d]in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law (rule of action) at war against the law of my mind (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [[e]in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh].

Finally (for now) it again appears that we have a “new nature”. Both the old and new CANNOT be alive together in the same being. One of the lies we believe is that our old nature still exists. It does not. Much like biblical foreshadowing’s of things to come, lies we believe to be true, cause false impressions, misinterpretations or false foreshadowing’s of reality. If faith is partly “the conviction of things not seen”, conversely, doubt (which is a “lie seed”) can become so convincing that we believe it to the very same degree as with genuine faith.

I’m tired now and need to go to bed. I welcome all of your input.