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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Why i think we need more poets, artists and musicians

There are people in Kosovo kidnapping others and harvesting their organs for the black market.  There is a market for illegally harvested organs.  There are people kidnapping girls to use as sex slaves.  There is a market for sex slaves.  There are people selling their sons and daughters.  There is a market for sons and daughters.  There almost isn't a country left that doesn't have unrest and armed fighting in its streets.  There has never been a better time in history to be rich nor a worse time in history to be poor.  There has never been a wider gap between the two.  What used to be sins are now inalienable rights.  Murder is now contraception and assisted suicide.  The church now has a greater divorce rate than the secular world.  Faceless, soulless corporations now have the same rights as people but with far greater power and influence and no conscience.  Children are showing up on our doorsteps, homeless, hungry and afraid and we think the answer is more guns and laws on the doorstep.  Famine, drought and diseases we should have eradicated by now kill millions but we do nothing because those millions are in countries we don't care about.  We build elaborate homes for our cars while others sleep under tarps.  In a world where nothing is wrong, power is the only right.

It's not a lack of resources, laws, guns, money or power or will that's the problem, it's a lack of prophets.

It's a lack of the fear of Yahweh.  It is the prophet's job to call us back, to open our eyes and ears and turn them inward to see the sin in each of our hearts and outward to see the God-man wanting to heal those hearts.  The train of the world is running to the end of the track and it's only picking up steam.  Now more than ever we need to repent and return to God.  Who will call us back?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Repost

[Hi y'all, in my readings today, i was going through Mark 5 and i remembered this old post i wrote back in the days when i was smarter.  I needed it today so i thought maybe you did too.  What you really need though is time with the Lord so if this can encourage you to do that, amen.  Anyhoo, enjoy this old rabbit trail called, "No Boat for You!"]


38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.” (Luke 8)

We’ve been talking a lot about boats as a metaphor for following Jesus.  Getting in them, getting out of them, what keeps us from following Jesus and the like.  How we need to let go of everything in order to truly follow Him.  How nothing is more important.  How this is our true path.

But what if Jesus tells you not to get into the boat?  What then justshane?  Huh?  What?

Ummmm.

I’m gonna admit right up front, this would have been really hard for me to accept.  If Jesus had done this kind of wonderful miracle for me, knowing how I am right now, I would want to follow him, be with him.  I would be very envious of the twelve yutzes getting back in the boat to leave.  Why Jesus?  Why can’t I sit at your feet and feed off your every word?

And yet, this is pretty much where every believer is.  Standing on the shore of mortality, looking across the ocean of death, knowing Jesus is on the other side.  Our true home is on the other side.  Our true selves are on the other side.  Perfect peace and prosperity are on the other side.  The lover of our souls is on the other side.  Jesus came, saved us and left us here!  Whut up, Jesus?

As simply as I can put it: because we are different.  13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many….17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” (1Cor 12) 

In some things we will all share.  We all have the same calling.  We are all to obey and submit.  We all must love God with heart, mind and strength.  We all love each other as Christ loved us.  We all are told to go and make disciples of all men.  These things are universal.  Every new Christian can be told them.  Every new Christian should expect them. 

But there are also specific callings.  God knows us.  Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12)  God knows you!  Yes, you!  He knows your struggles, your history, your sins, your potential, which he placed in you.  He knows His design for you!

So to a dutiful fisherman with a family and responsibilities and natural leadership skills, he says, “leave your nets and follow me and I will make you a fisher of men.”  To a tax collector, an outcast of his society, he says, “follow me,” and makes him part of and a leading scribe for the Kingdom of God.  To a rich young ruler, he says, “go and sell all you own, give it to the poor and follow me.”  To a woman caught in adultery he gives forgiveness and tells her, “Go and sin no more.”  To a Pharisee, he explains the mysteries of the kingdom so this man can teach them to the people.  To a widow with a dead son, he restores the young man to her.  And to a demon possessed man, living among the tombs, he restores his mind and says, “Go home.”

From the ones who have, Jesus takes.  To the ones without, Jesus gives.  Those who feel themselves established, built up, on solid footing, secure, Jesus tears down so He may build them up again on the Rock.  So He may make something new and true and eternal.  To those who have lost everything, who have nothing, who are cast out, unclean, unloved, He restores what was lost and more. 

This demon possessed man of the Gerasenes, has suffered greatly.  To him, Jesus restores mind, body and soul.  He does not ask him to follow him onto the boat, to share in the sufferings and depredations he and the disciples will still face.  He sends him HOME.  A place the man hasn’t been welcome in who knows how long.  He gives the man back to the community, back to his family. 

And he gives him this command, “declare how much God has done for you.”  Full circle.  We come back to the universal commandments, Love God, Love neighbor, make disciples.  Obey, submit, love.  Paul sums up his dissertation on spiritual gifts in this way…
“29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way. 13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing… 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1Cor 12,13) 

Love is obedience, submission.  Where ever God sends you; whatever field He gives you to tend; whoever He sends you to minister to; whatever mountain He has given you to climb; whatever He has taken from you or given to you; whether He tells you to get into or out of the boat; remember this: He has chosen you, He has trained you through the trials of your life, He has equipped you with His Spirit and His Word and He has prepared the way for you.  He “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,” has got this!  Go forth, be fruitful and multiply!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Just a thought.

If we ignore or turn away the poor and fatherless and the widow and the alien at our gates, how much more can we expect when we arrive at Yahweh's gates?  As you have done to the least of these, so let it be done to you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A lost post-it resurfaces

I did not turn backwards;
i gave my back to those who struck me,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face from insults and spittle.
And the Lord Yahweh helps me,
therefore I have not been put to shame;
therefore I have set my face like flint.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sticks and stones

can break my bones
but words can kill me.

"And I said, “Woe to me! For I am destroyed! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I am living among a people of unclean lips, for my eyes have seen the king, Yahweh of hosts!”" (is 6)

i was reading Acts 2 this morning.  We christians love to look at the Acts 2 church.  We love to talk about the Acts 2 church.  We love to invoke the model of the Acts 2 church.  Well, i got news for ya.

We're not the Acts 2 church.  

"And they were devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayers."
"And every day, devoting themselves to meeting with one purpose in the temple courts and breaking bread from house to house..." (Acts 2)

Do you know what the word "devoted" means?  We tend to use it as just meaning an intense love.  We might say 'passionate' love, but that's because we don't know what 'passion' means either.  Devoted, to devote something or someone, is to take a solemn vow.  Now if you have ever read the Old Testament, you know how important vows were.  You know how serious God takes them.  About the only place modern man makes a solemn vow anymore is in court or in marriage.  All you have to do is check the stats on perjury and divorce to know how serious we take our "solemn vows" these days.  How devoted we are to each other and to truth.  When you finally get honest with yourself about the culture we live in you will realize there is no fear of Yahweh anymore!  No one fears God.  No one takes him seriously, not me, not you.  

Now are you ready to cry with Isaiah and me?  No?  Well then, let me introduce you to my buddy Jeremiah...

"Therefore you must not pray for this people, and you must not lift up for them a cry of entreaty, or a prayer, for I will not listen in the time of their calling to me, in the time of their trouble.

     What rights has my beloved in my house
    when she has done many wicked things?
     Can the flesh of holiness pass over you?
     For you engage in your wickedness, then you exult."

When the reckoning comes there will be no more time to buy oil.  Read Matthew 25.  You may be a universalist but Jesus isn't.  You may think God loves everybody and He wouldn't do that to someone he loves but look at what he calls Judah right before bringing the Babylonian horde down upon them, "My Beloved."

You think hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?  She got nothing on Yahweh.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Some highlights of Jerry 10

Everyone is stupid, without knowledge...

I know, O Yahweh, that to the human is not his own way,
    nor to a person is the walking and the directing of his own step.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Run Ahimaaz! Ruuuuuuuuuuuun!

There was literally a race to tell David the mixed message of the results of the battle.

On the one hand, the Pretender had been defeated.  David was king alone in the land again.

On the other, the Pretender was dead.  Absalom, David's eldest son, his firstborn, was dead.

Ahimaaz ran to bring mixed news.  He ran so fast he outran those with a head start.  So eager was he to tell his news.  We have the best news imaginable.  That God, the true King has made a way for all us rebels and pretenders to find not only amnesty but full acceptance back into the kingdom as princes!

Who are we running to tell?

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

What will you do?

"A horrific event and something horrible has happened in the land.
The prophets prophesy falsely,
    and the priests rule by their own authority,
and my people love it so much.
    But what will you do when the end comes?"

Jeremiah 5

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The retelling of the Post Office

So for those who don't know, these pictures are post-its i put in my son's sammich box that he takes to school.  My mom started the tradition by writing little notes on my lunches when i was a kid and i thought it was a pretty good idea so i kept it up.  A while ago i heard a preacher mention how Proverbs was originally a training manual of sorts for young laddies growing up.  i thought, yeah!  i'll illustrate Proverbs in the post-its.  When i made it through Proverbs i thought, well, why not continue right on through Psalms.  i love the Psalms, they keep me sane.

But when i finished the Psalms i was like, well, where to now?

The answer came from Rascal and i's evening reading.  i still read the Bible to Rascal at night before bed.  And we had been reading from 2 Sam and there's just weird stuff going on all the time in there!  Like the battle against Absolom.  It has a very Entish feel, i thought.  So that's what we're looking at here.  An oak yanking up Absolom by his hair and saying, "oh, i think we've all had quite enough of you, young would-be king."

Monday, July 07, 2014

Had another thought...

Offense is always a choice.

Damage is quantifiable, if someone hurts you in some way, there is a measurable wound trail.

But offense is nothing more than wounded pride.  Usually, the greater the pride, the greater the offense.    So being offended shows more about you than about what you are offended by.

Time for a look in the mirror.


God's opinion of us and our behavior is often very different from our own.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Just a thought


The sacrifice given to ensure and secure the freedom
is often times much more valuable than
how the beneficiaries choose to utilize the freedom given.

If i gave each of you a million dollars, free of obligation, no rules, 

i might be more deeply honored by
how some choose to spend it than others,
but it was a gift
and as soon as you release the gift into the hands of the recipient,
you also release the control you have over it.

It doesn't devalue the gift,
it reveals the values of the one
to whom the gift was given.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Quote

"It is not the business of the Christian Church to preach patriotism. It has often done so. The Church has often been nothing but a recruiting agency, a recruiting station in times of war. That is a travesty of the Christian ministry."

D.M. Lloyd-Jones

Actually, i'm a monarchist

i'm not really all that keen on Independence Day anymore.  i don't like the symbolism of it.  Perhaps i over think things but really, there is no form of governance that displays our pride and arrogance and twisted natures, the Lutheric term "homo incurvatus in se, humanity turned in on itself comes to mind, than democracy.

Judges had another phrase for it: And each did what was right in his own eyes.

i call it anarchy.

God calls it rebellion.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

The bare necessities.

And what is necessary for life?

Eyes to see.

Ears to hear.

And a heart soft enough to see its sin, humble itself, repent and believe that nothing it could do, nothing it could say, nothing it could have could save it save the shedding of blood.

This is the grace.  You can't give yourself these things.  They must be given to you.

Then when you see and hear and believe that Christ our God has shed his own blood in your place, then you will have peace.  Peace with a righteous God who no longer needs to demand your death for your sin and the peace of mind that comes with that knowledge.  Amen.  May He grant you these things today.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Hold da phone!

So, i know what you were thinking, "hey!  What happened to Psalm 146?"  Cuz i was thinking the same thing.  Okay.  No one was thinking that but me but humor me, okay?

What happened was i had gotten clever and combined two different verses on Ps 146 and all i saw on the wall where i stick these after the Ballyhoo Gang bring them home in their lunchboxes was "Rom 3."

It wasn't until today when i grabbed then last batch to scan that i noticed the second verse.  And that's how that happens kids.  Mystery solved.  We can now go about our lives.  And what's more, we know Yahweh loves us who believe in his servant, his suffering Son whom he loves.  Ebbyding gonna be alright, dis mohnin'.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014