Saturday, May 28, 2011

If It Were Just Idolatry

It might be easier. But love is something far more than idolatry, right? At least that’s what I’ve always believed. Oh I know that focused passion and lust can be falsely incarnated as love, when actually those elements only and always produce idolatry when birthed in the void and pain found in most hearts. But the risk is usually worth taking.

Whenever I’ve read or heard the word idolatry, the first thing that comes to mind is a statue or totem pole or shrines with candles and incense and bowls of fruit. And when I take pause to think about it, then those images change to our great American habit of conspicuous consumption, credit cards and big mortgages and red carpet leases. Or how about our favorite TV show, American Idol. I mean really, who wouldn’t want to be a rich pop star?

Or what about the idolatry that happens every Sunday? You know; the big Christian shows that happen all around the country? The worship leaders that everybody wants to hear and the silver tonged orator preachers that we crave to make us feel better about our overextended idolatrous lives. Sorry, I digress.

But what if love in the hands of the ill prepared evolved into idolatry? I realize that no one in their right “Christian” mind would ever make the objects of their love, i.e. spouses, children, parents, family, etc. anything to eclipse God and that most paramount relationship, but guess what? I think we do.

I know I have. I mean we say, that God is first among many loves, and we can quote Jesus when He says our devotion to God should appear as almost hate toward others if our love for Him is real, but most of us usually don’t ever go that far. Am I wrong?

But what I’m thinking these days about my own personal growth and maturity and how they fit into the Eschaton kind of makes me unsettled. The reason I say that is, in these last days as we are sifted in many ways, one of those ways for certain will be the sifting of our love and devotion for the Master. And that sifting will be of greater value than any other we’ve ever experienced, yet it will be of great turmoil and pain.

For in the End, we can only love One. Oh we have become religious pimps and we’ve learned to share our bodies, our very lives with many lovers, to the sole exclusion of One and One alone. For in this world, one must be adept at looking “spiritual” all the while we’re being practicing idolaters.

Don’t cancel your subscription yet. I’m almost done.

If It Were Just Idolatry, we might be able to cut it off at the knees and end it. If it was as obvious as someone like Rob Halford or Scotty McCreery we could just disconnect our cable or satellite provider, but I think it’s more than that. I believe the privilege of love can be so twisted and corrupted that often we think we’re doing love, but we’re really engaging in a form of idolatry.

Oh I know you may be calling foul right now, but let me tell you, if and when you depend upon another in the name of love, and that thing shifts in a direction you’re not expecting, it just might be time for a idolatry wake up call. Because far too many of us are focused on the things and people of this earth, in the name of responsibility and love, but often in all actuality – we are simply idolaters. Sorry.

If It Were Just Idolatry we’d say NO, and amen! But too often the idolatry that we’re engaged in, is wrapped nicely in a soft blanket of Eros and not Agape. It’s wrapped in something far less pure than God had intended. Especially by those who call themselves “Christian” and who openly reject idolatry, and in word and even often in deed accept “love” as the only way.

Yet what happens when “love” fails? Don’t quote 1 Corinthians 13 right now and tell me love never fails, because God’s love – the love of God – does not fail, but anything that sources out of human lack or need and calls itself “love” will eventually fail. And our idolatry is revealed.

So, If It Were Just Idolatry, and we stated it right up front, we could deal with it and reject it, but far too often we like to call it love. May the God of all love and mercy, show Himself one final time on our behalf and teach us and infuse us with HIS LOVE ALONE.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Terminal Velocity

As I understand it, when an object is falling through the atmosphere, a mathematical equation comes into play. When the downward force of gravity (Fg) meets or equals the upward force of drag (Fd), the net force on the body falling is then zero and the result is that the velocity of the body remains constant. Google it if you want a more explicit definition.

Recently I’ve been thinking about Terminal Velocity from the standpoint of humanity’s downward fall from grace, and each individual’s portion in slowing the above said process. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we cannot save ourselves from hell or perdition and eternal separation from God. It’s not within our power, we were born outside of the plane in an ever increasing fall from safety, but God saw fit to step in and make a way where there was no way. Nonetheless my question still stands: If we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, then one must believe that our Terminal Velocity is no longer an issue. As a matter of fact our projected area of grace provided by God through Christ is so vast and the buoyancy effect so great that we are no longer free falling, but we are sustained or even floating if it were.

That being said, can we do anything to resume the effects of downward gravitational pull, and thereby see Terminal Velocity kick in once more? And as we tuck our arms and legs in, and tilt our head once again in a downward direction, do we break free from the projected area and buoyancy provided by God’s grace and once again find ourselves in an ever increasing free fall and Terminal Velocity?

I ask this question, because the scriptures are somewhat divided on the matter of eternal security. Or at least the scholars are divided. And if the scholars are divided, is it any wonder the laity may find themselves confused? Let alone the lesser studied clergy?

For if we cannot fall from grace, it matters not what our potential Terminal Velocity might be, in terms of sinful behavior and waywardness from Christian conscience. But if we can fall from grace, then it would seem lucid and reasonable that we must enter into our own efforts (aided by the Spirit of course) to reduce our Terminal Velocity, by spreading our projected area of mass wide enough (ramping up biblical Christian behavior while avoiding worldly or secular behaviors) and thereby assist the grace of God’s buoyancy and the prevention of splattering on the surface of eternity without God. Make sense?

Regardless of whether it makes sense to you, the question still stands: should we be concerned with our spiritual Terminal Velocity or not? Can anything or anyone separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus? Or can we just, as need and circumstances dictate (usually based on feelings); put our head down and tuck our arms in and see how fast we can fly through this life? Without ever giving a care or concern that the abrupt stop that MAY be coming is really all in God’s hands and we should have no worries?

I believe in this day and age there are far too many questions being levied and for certain there are far too many erroneous answers being tossed out as fact, if not truth, for this whole question to go unaddressed by those who are supposed to actually have the answers. You can join in the buzz these days and take up sides, but one thing is for certain, if Terminal Velocity IS a genuine issue attached to our eternity, we better get the equation right or else its hell pancakes for us all.

I just sayin’

Saturday, May 21, 2011

And in Regard to Judgment (John 16:11)

Throughout history people of deep faith have been convinced that the End was at hand. Even in the Apostle Paul’s writings, the tenor changes from him being convinced that he will experience the Parousia in his lifetime; to one of understanding his death would come before that event.

So what might be the significance of this most recent spurious prediction? Well I can tell you it’s less about the accuracy of someone’s biblical prophetic chronology, as it is the WORLD’S awareness and cavalier treatment of the subject.

Even this morning, on the national news (and last night on the late local news) discussion has flown around this subject. But beyond that, what tends to get lost in the melee of mockery IS THE FACT that it’s in the public discussion. Juxtaposed with the headline “Can Peace be Achieved in the Middle East?”

Even right after our President’s speech and declaration that Israel should give up ground to Palestine; people continue to make light of all these matters. For that I’m saddened, yet made very aware of one major fact. The Spirit of God has come to this earth following Jesus’ assentation to the right hand of the Father. And part of the Holy Spirit’s office work is to convince people that our enemy has already been judged, and that judgment IS COMING ultimately to all who inhabit the earth.

Yet with all the Spirit’s efforts to convince the world that the end WILL arrive someday, they go on in their mockery and delusion; while totally ignoring the biblical facts that express the full truth of God’s divine plan. It’s staggering to me, while at the same time inspiring and sobering.

Could any of us have imagined Middle East peace talks, the Rapture, and Judgment Day being the headline for most major news outlets? Probably not, but that’s what’s happening for today; at least.

So what? Right? Well I’ll tell you what; awareness IS BEING RAISED as well as numbness to the truth. For if the truth can be made out to be folly and fairytale, then most hearers will excuse any and all facts that WILL ultimately lead to God’s final plan. Ergo the promise of scripture that mass delusion will come to this planet in the final days and hours before His return.

Even so Lord Jesus come quickly!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Are We Ready to See Clearly?

In Mark 8:24-25 Jesus begins the process of healing the eyes of a blind man. The curious thing is that Jesus took him by the hand and led him outside the village. Why? I wonder. Was it because the method that Jesus was going to use was so unconventional that it would have sparked criticism or worse yet, copycat attempts to do what He did? I really don’t know.

But the one thing I do know is that like other occasions, this healing was somewhat progressive. Oh I know it only took a few moments, but you’ll note, the first laying on of hands and spittle mud application didn’t completely get the job done.

Now I’m not suggesting that Jesus somehow goofed up or something, or that He didn’t have enough faith in the first prayer, but I am suggesting that we can derive a principle from this story. And the principle is this: As Jesus leads us out of our comfort zone; He always leads us into a process. And furthermore His processes are intended to be progressive, because they in turn require us to submit or trust in His leading and admit that we simply don’t see it all very clearly YET. But eventually we can expect to see everything clearly. Before you cheer, are you sure you want to see everything clearly?

“The man looked around. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around’. Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Don’t go back into the village on your way home.’”

I understand that this man’s physical sight was completely restored, and he now had full use of his eyes, but I believe a greater sight was given, and then protected by the Lord in His command to not return to the village. He was NOT supposed to go back to the place where he had once been blind, because with the miracle of seeing things clearly and surely differently, one MUST NEVER return to the place where blindness is the norm. That place where blindness is expected by those who once knew you; where blindness was the preferred handicap of choice. Because after all, who could find a blind man guilty? You know, it wasn’t his fault, he simply couldn’t see.

But NOW he could. And that changes EVERYTHING. So much so, Jesus led him in a NEW DIRECTION. And that’s often what happens when Christ makes everything clear so we can see.

Are We Ready to See Clearly?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Samuelson and Broken Skin

Most of you, who might read this, will have no idea what it’s like to live your life as a “wanna-bee”. But I do. Ever since I can remember, I wasn’t good at conventional sports, nor was I the stellar academic, albeit I believe my IQ is genius or above, and my graduate studies kept me in the 3.0 or above GPA, that means nothing to those who issue credentials for the elite or the like in kind. But you’ve got to consider I was raised in the home of a staunch Democrat… Old School though.

As I found myself in the back of a station wagon riding to Sacramento California in 1974, I remember me and Chris, listening to Led Zeppelin on a little Radio Shake cassette player. I’d never heard them before, but my parents didn’t stop us. All the while, the warm winds of California blew through the windows of our 1972 Vista Curser. Who could argue with life on this level?

Somewhere around 1975 I realized something; skateboarding. Oh it was far from the mainstream at that point in history, but it was something that I could do, and didn’t need anyone else, but me. In the early days, I road barefoot on a plastic or aluminum board until my feet looked like hamburger. But no one noticed. I’d spend hours after school down at Samuelson Elementary ALL BY MYSELF; trying anything I could, on those four urethane wheels.

I remember tying a string across an area on the south side of the school and learning to jump over the string. Then I built some standards and used a piece of wood trim as the bar to learn how to jump up and over and land back on the board; hours and hours by myself. No coach, just me and me. No magazines to tell me what to do, just me and my imagination.

Can I tell you, I lost more skin at Samuelson Elementary than most guys lost on the practice fields of any local junior high school field of practice? To this very day, my entire joint system aches, because of the trauma experienced at the mercy of any given concrete of my day. And why; seriously why?

Because I was looking for that niche, that spot, that place in community where everyone cheered! Yet reality begs different.

I spent hours and hours figuring out the nuances of balance and forte in the art of skateboarding; because it was the only thing I knew. It was the only thing that WORKED FOR ME. Yet I found no place in the professional world.

I found no place in the ranks of those who wore navy blue and wingtips. I found no place in the ranks of those who kissed ass and played the party line, all the while ignoring Biblical precept. Can you live in the Kingdom and not follow biblical precept or principle and still get a place at the table? I wonder.

As it stands, I left lots of skin on the asphalt and concrete at Samuelson Elementary and on the plywood at the Birdland Marina half pipe and elsewhere… and why? Because I just wanted to FIT IN; that’s why! So tell me I’m sick. Tell me I need “Christ-Life or Cleansing Stream” and I’ll tell you I need Jesus. Not you’re marketing schemes or 18 week discipleship program. I need Jesus…

And who among you has the stones to be Him? If so, call me: 515-491-8285.

PS: Rent “The Lords of Dogtown” and get a glimpse at what my life was all about in 1976.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Element of Endurance

I’ve never been imprisoned for my faith or my political position, but I have been imprisoned. Oh nothing like others around the world who’ve lost it ALL because of their faith in Christ or their politics, and for that I am humbled that I can barely make it to church some weeks, let alone stand with a gun to my head because I simply wanted to be free and worship.

Everyday around the world, millions are enduring extreme hardship because of their faith and or desire for freedom. Or simply because they live in a very difficult place, where food and potable water are at a minimum, or where tribes and troops take up arms to divide and conquer. Either way, my level of suffering and imprisonment are NOTHING compared too many others.

Even right here in the United States, people are struggling and suffering in much greater degrees than I, and yet when the shackles of your pain and struggle are clamped upon you, it seems the only thing you can notice in life IS YOUR OWN suffering. I know that sounds selfish and likely it is, but that seems to be the nature of many who suffer at their own hand in folly and wealth. Meaning, we are so well healed and provided for, and the duress of our lives here in the States (at least for now) creates such a shallow ability to endure hardship, it’s no wonder much of the world looks at us with distain.

I think it was Amy Grant that sang a song about 30 years ago, about Christians that were Fat Babies. God help us in these last hours of our known structure and order, to change our focus. We must understand what IS OF GREATEST IMPORTANCE and we must seek to develop the God ordained Elements of Endurance; for therein lays ONE of the keys for our victory in these our last days.

Hebrews 12:1-3“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

More Later

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bloggers Block

Hey, have you ever felt like there was something VERY IMPORTANT inside you that needed to be spoken or written, but you simply couldn’t get it out? That’s me at this very moment.

Some might call it writers block, I’ll call it Bloggers Block (preachers call it sermon block). If and when we have outgoing communication blocks, we must ask ourselves several questions. A) Is God preventing the door from opening? Or B) are we holding the knob shut from the inside, unwilling to let the door open?

Either way, blockage is blockage, whether divine or earthly. I really hate not being able to let the inner river of thoughts and feelings flow. I mean, I do believe that in Christ there is an artesian well of life that IS TO FLOW from us, but at times the well seems capped; and maybe for good reason.

I think what I should do is, put more in and see if I can blow the lid off this log jam of the soul. We’ll see what happens. Keep your fingers crossed. By the way, what do YOU DO to get that inner river flowing?

Just let me know, I’d love to hear about your methods and your madness, whatever that may be. Thanks.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Prophetic Parity

After seeing the news last night and this morning, it appears that one very evil and determined man has been killed by our brave military personnel. And for that I am grateful for everyone who had a part in the pursuit of justice for these last ten years. Thank you to all our men and women who’ve devoted their lives to serve and protect our nation. We are a blessed people.

But as the information and images have spilled forth, regarding the termination of one head of the medusa of evil, I got to thinking about kingdoms rising to collision. And what began to materialize in my thinking, was the concept of Prophetic Parity.

What I mean by that is this: Each move in the Kingdom of God will likely and history proves it, be countered by the kingdom of darkness. That being said, as God’s prophets are removed from the stage of life here on this earth, so too will the enemy’s prophets be removed, such as the one alluded to above.

Let me stretch this thought. For a global power vacuum to become a reality, so as to be filled with someone who can placate both sides of the equation, conflict and counter-conflict will have to be eliminated; at least for a season. And that my friend is where the concept of Prophetic Parity comes into play.

Eventually, all opposing voices will have to be silenced, at least publically; and all opposing forces, especially Judeo-Christianity versus radical-Islamic influence (which in reality is just orthodox Islam), will have to come to the bargaining table. Now granted, there will always be a disparity between secular and sacred bodies of people, but WHAT WILL happen is a coming together for the greater good of Mother Earth and her children.

And therein we find the plot behind the actions of our military upon said forces of evil. Oh not that anyone is actually aware of being some divine marionette, but each side of the equation will have had to push against each other to the point where the world has had enough of their squabbling, and demands peace, love and equal commodities. And Prophetic Parity is what this is all about.

Once the “good guys” and the “bad guys” are all put in their place, conflict will cease, right? Isn’t that what we should be looking for on the horizon of prophetic events? Shouldn’t we be watching for the slinky seduction of the Whore of Babylon to draw us into a renewed interest and passion in the pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes?

I’m here to state my case, and that is this: Prophetic Parity will now be the pattern to watch for, because as the voices of dominate and destructive evil are quelled; so too will the voices of dominate and divisive good be silenced, and unity will prevail, at least for a season.

So the bottom line is this, the playing field will have to be leveled for peace and safety to arrive globally, and that is what we must be vigilantly watching for. Oh there surely will be retaliation, between the opposing voices, but soon that too will cease; so as to set the stage.

Okay, that was my two cents on the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Good job to our Navy Seals and all the intel people who pulled this thing together. Just keep watching the plot unfold.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Final Warning

Just days ago, David Wilkerson was killed in a car accident. His life was long and full, having enormous eternal impact on millions of people.

Of all the things he’s done for the Kingdom of God, and they were many, one singular activity, goes unnoticed by many, yet is likely one of the most profound. I believe David Wilkerson, among many things, was a prophet of God.

Over the years he has written and spoken powerful truth and light that few were willing to embrace. For at least several decades, his words in print and in spoken delivery have cut to the heart of an ever growing apostate church. And now he is with the Lord, so who will NOW SPEAK FOR THE LORD?

I can’t answer that right now, but I can say that, when the prophets of God are all gone from the face of the earth, one of two things is happening: 1) the rapture of the Church will have already taken place, or 2) Jesus Himself, will now do the final speaking into the hearts and lives of people on this earth, and then the end shall come.

I take this point of view because in the last days, it will be exceedingly perilous in many ways. For instance, wars and the rumor of war will afflict people globally and fear will be on the increase. Nations will be in dire conflict for all sorts of reasons, and kingdoms (spiritual and physical) will collide without apparent answers to solve their conflicts. Food, shelter, fuel and potable water will all be pursued commodities worthy of war. So things won’t be a bed of roses, not to mention the earth and the atmosphere will rise up to set in fear those who desired to worship the creation instead of the Creator.

But of all these things, one additional element will be of greatest concern for those of us who are in Him. And that is the ploy of false prophets and false teachers. It will be a ploy of false hope in a twisted doctrine that will deny the conflict between good and evil. A doctrine that will deny the deity of Christ, that will deny the existence of hell and consequence, because what kind of a good God would be so mean to send people to an eternal damnation?

Now here is where we MUST BE ON OUR GUARD and be ever vigilant. For as perilous times increase and the press of physical and emotional needs increase, so too will humanities need for peace, safety and last but far from least LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE.

For ever since the beginning of time, the LOVE COMPETITION has been thriving, because we’ve refused to embrace the Truth of God’s never ending love for us, and we’ve taken in the lie that tells us, somehow He is holding out on us, and there must be something beyond Him, or at least something to ADD TO HIM to make things better. And that my friends, is what this FINAL WARNING is about.

Jesus told us in the last days there would be false prophets, and so too the Apostle Paul warned that they would abound and find willing hearers, to speak what the hearers WANT and not what God’s truth actually says.

Even thousands of years ago, the Prophet Daniel warned that the lawless and deceptive voice of the last days would employ the strategy of flattering people, so as to garner a huge following. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE as our Father has set in place the warning signs over the millennia TAKE HEED. For in the day we live, even the most elite spiritual leaders among us, could be subject to this hellish bait-and-switch. Therefore, if the very elect, are subject to this potential deception and delusion, HOW MUCH MORE ARE WE WHO ARE NOT the spiritually elite?

And here is the real kicker; it’s all part of God’s plan. For He alone sends a powerful delusion upon those who have REJECTED THE TRUTH, or in essence to those who have chronically broken the Second Commandment, meaning the ones who’ve created a god of their own liking, while ignoring the Genuine Living God and His Word to the nations.

Which, all the more sets the stage for a vacuum to be filled in the lives of TRUTH rejecters; and false love will fit the bill. A false and flattering word that will tell everyone a major part of the actual truth, but that will withhold the whole truth. These voices in the last days will pander to the deepest need in the lives of mankind; love and acceptance.

For in love is acceptance and security. In love and acceptance is community and peace, and that will last for exactly three and one half years, and then the lie will be revealed in all its brazen contempt for the Living God. And then, life on this big blue planet will spiral into the worst times, ever known or recorded in human history.

So why do I put forward these thoughts? Because THE CLOCK is ticking and time as we’ve known as our ally will soon be our worst enemy, for she will be over as the dispensation of grace slips into the clouds and out of sight.

Oh you may say I’m an alarmist, but may I tell you, Jesus gave us fair and ample warning that He came not to make peace on the earth, but to wield a righteous and holy dividing sword. This sword will divide nations, churches, families, and even the hearts of those most close to the hand of the vanquisher. Yes, it is Christ’s desire to divide our souls from our spirits ONCE AND FOR ALL, so that when the time comes, we will fully and only perceive with our spirits, the things only perceivable by spirit.

And the peace that He promises that will surpass all understanding within our hearts and minds will come at a price. And that price is often thought of as too great to pay, so people reach for the lower shelf and cheaper ingredients to satisfy.

And that my friend IS the world we are living and dying in at this present time. My prayer is that I too would hear the Voice of the Real Shepard and follow Him alone. Because a long time ago, we were given a warning, and I’m not sure if we believed it then, let alone hearing or believing A Final Warning when it is given.

May God be merciful on us one more time and speak and show Himself in even more pronounce ways that ever before. Amen.