Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like....Radio Waves?

Okay….I thought this was a really illuminating way to describe it…..the spiritual realm and how it can overlap the natural…..occupying the very same space as the natural.

The place where you sit as you read these lines is literally filled with radio waves. Music, voices, and noises of various kinds are all around you, passing through the walls, and even your body. Do you feel them? Can you hear them? Do you see them? No—but they are there, they are all there, co-extensive with every visible thing, occupying the very same space! Yet each wave exists in a different "world" entirely. They are on different frequencies. Therefore they don't interfere with each other, they don't mix and become all scrambled up. They are not in the same world.

That is what I mean by a "realm" or "dimension." It is like a frequency. It can occupy the same space and yet be another world altogether. That's how God can be in heaven and in the room where you are sitting and in your heart at the same time. He is simply on a different frequency, in a different dimension or realm, but occupying the same space. Heaven has nothing to do with a "place," either here or beyond the stars. Heaven is a REALM OF REALITY, a DlMENSION OF LIFE. It is as omnipresent as God is omnipresent, as omnipresent as the universe is omnipresent— it is where He dwells.

"He that hath an ear, let him hear!" The spiritual ear is the "tuner" of the New Creation Man!

Ah-ha….that is the catch. The veil may be flimsy, however, it totally obstructs our vision unless we have the eyes to see. And the radio waves may be all around us…but without the ears to hear, we are stone deaf to the spiritual realm. Isn’t that what Jesus said when he explained to the disciples about his parables….and that the crowds did not have the eyes or ears of their understanding opened?

And how do we tune into the spiritual tunes? The right station? I will be pondering that in some upcoming posts. In other words…I don’t really know for sure :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pondering the Path of Life....

In a few History/Mystery posts I wrote not long ago, I mentioned a phrase Joseph Salmon used about the plot of the antichrist/flesh/whore/man of sin etc. etc. which is to prevent you from pondering the path of life. It seems as if it’s working!!! Alas…it is not as hopeless as it seems. In spite of the best efforts of the egoic mind…the flesh…eventually, the mind of Christ will reside in all of us…all mankind. In fact, it is my opinion that the mind of Christ resides in all of us (yes ALL of us right now)…slumbering…awaiting the quickening of the new birth. Alas, the egoic mind cannot keep you from pondering the path of life forever. And it is happening all around us. People are finally getting a clue….

Eckhart says:

With each person that awakens the collective consciousness grows and it becomes easier for others

Jesus talks about the leaven (in one of those tricky parables of his) spreading slowly through the dough

He spoke another parable to them, "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened." Matthew 13:33

Slowly but surely….

Preston Eby, in The Kingdom of God Part 1, says this

Our hearts should bow in holy reverence and rejoice that the heavens are opened and that the mind of Christ is coming to dwell in men. We should be glad with joy unspeakable and full of glory that the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven are being unveiled within our very hearts. The light of the Holy Spirit's wisdom and revelation is shed with its quickening and illuminating rays upon our understanding, dispelling the mists, dividing the light from the darkness, that all the elect sons of God may find an abundant entrance into the Kingdom of God in this great Day.

Preston’s ministry is a message that focuses on “the manifestation of the sons of God” ….thus the the “elect sons” reference. I’ve had many bones to pick with Eby…but less so now than in the past since I am finally coming to understand and believe a lot of what he is talking about. Scripture does talk about a first fruits/each in their own order concept….so some of us are going to be manifested (awaken) before others of us. I just think many (including Eby) may get a surprise when those manifested sons/first fruits do not all come out of the Christian tradition.

In part two of the same study (it is a 60 part series) he talks about what separates the spiritual realm from the natural realm….the veil

It is my conviction that the veil between seen and unseen is a very flimsy one, and that this seemingly solid matter that forms our prison-house is not so very solid after all. Probably it is nothing more than our own thought exercised upon a very limited plane, a darkened perception. It is quite conceivable that we might wake up, as it were, from a sleep, and realize that there never has been a material and a spiritual, but that we have all the time been living at the very center of reality, only we did not know it. If men were only endowed sufficiently with the spirit of wisdom and revelation, and ready for the change, the veil between heaven and earth would be taken away, the heavens would be opened, and the two would be seen as one, as it was with the servant of Elisha that day in Dothan when he saw the armies of heaven upon the mountains of Israel. This is what John means by the city coming down; it is heaven taking possession of earth and absorbing it into itself. That is the Kingdom of Heaven on earth!

More about Eby’s view of the spiritual realm in my next post…..

Monday, April 27, 2009

From the book YOU, On A Diet!!!!

I read parts of the book…YOU, On A Diet....appropriately enough…at the gym, while pedaling on the stationary bike…and treading away on the treadmill.  There were several snippets throughout the book that I took note of….and thought worthy of a blog post. 

In one of the chapters that dealt with brain chemicals and their effect on eating and the pleasure centers it said:

To see how this picture works, think of these chemicals as part of a scale.  When chemicals associated with positive feelings (like serotonin and dopamine) are in the up (or activated) position, you’re chemically high.  But when they’re down, you experience a big chemical downfall.  And this puts you in a state of anxiety that sends you searching for foods, especially those simple carbohydrate, that get you back to the chemical high.  That’s how illegal drugs work too; users keep seeking the high not always for its own sake but to avoid the lows.   

Actually this book talks a lot about the effects of different chemicals, neurotransmitters, etc. and their effect on weight loss and it’s ugly cousin….weight gain.  None of them are a miracle cure, mind you, but there is some insight into how these different chemicals work to control appetite, satiety etc.  But the idea that made the impact on me was not only about weight loss…but rather the relationship these chemicals have to drug and alcohol use.  People with substance abuse problems are not necessarily looking for the “let’s party” high…but perhaps more so they are avoiding the “I feel so sad” low.  One seems hedonistic, self gratifying…the other….well, more self medicating. Drug and alcohol use has touched my life in more ways than one…past and present…and this was sort of a light bulb moment. 

The other thought…which more directly deals with overeating was the simple question…concerning binging….would you stuff a family member with the crap you stuff yourself with?  Really…would you cram handfuls of potato chips down the gullet of your teenage daughter knowing full well that it would show up as rolls of fat around her middle?  No.  The revelation is simple, yet profound.  Have the same love and respect and concern for your own wellbeing and health. Easier said than done.....

Another thing I gleaned from the book...that makes a good motto....whether dieting, or at work, in a relationship or...driving in the car. The motto? One I've heard many times on trips, while Keith attempts to follow the sometimes out of the way directions from the GPS...

”Recalcuating Route


“Take the next authorized U turn”

I think Keith's GPS might say something a bit different....but the gist is the same. You're headed the wrong direction. Turn around, Bud. Not bad advice for in the car...or in life. When you find yourself going the wrong direction, don't get pissed off, discouraged, don't give up. Just take the next available U-turn. There is the old saying, “when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”....well this just takes it one step farther. Once you stop, you can do the GPS equivalent of ”recalculating route.” Sounds a little bit like repentance. Doesn't repentance mean to change your mind? And then to change your actions (and direction) to go along with the new outlook. So make the the U-turn. Did you blow it at dinner? Well no need to order the thousand calorie brownie delight at Friday's and keep heading in the wrong direction. And if you fight with your husband/child/coworker....don't drag let it drag on and on. Stop and make the next available U-turn. Pretty good advice for a diet book, don't you think? And some of it applies to more than just dieting!!!

I found an amusing blog post about GPSing at a site called Shamelessly Sassy....

I can relate to the adventures and misadventures of a road trip with the GPS serving as tour guide. GPS Virgins comes pretty close to some of the experiences Keith and I have had. Beware, the article uses the F-word a few other expletives.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

From Preston Eby on antichrist....

Recently (before I got off topic a bit) I wrote about the antichrist. As a starting point to ping pong my ideas off of, I used the writings of Joseph Salmon, Andrew Murray and Eckhart Tolle. (I’m pretty sure nobody comes here just to read what I have to say so I try to draw my ideas and examples and views from a wide source of references…different paradigms etc.) Another modern day writer…who I have mentioned and quoted quite often on this blog….also has a lot to say about (the) antichrist. He most definitely has more in common with Joseph Salmon than Eckhart Tolle. He would be more inclined to warn us that Tolle’s writings are a counterfeit. I would disagree, but even so there is a lot to learn about the concept of the christ within and the carnal man “without” from Eby.

The following excerpt begins with the question..…who are the antichrists (and John says there are many...right then and there in their midst….

Jn. 2:18 Little children, it is the last hour: and as you have beard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; wherefore we know that it is the last hour.

And so this “last hour” has been going on now for roughly two thousand years (give or take a few) and antichrists have been proliferating within the church…and the world.

First the question:

But who are they, what are they, and how do we recognize them?

And then Eby’s thoughts on the matter….

First, let us consider the meaning of the word. It comes from a compound Greek word made up of the preposition "anti" and the Greek word for Christ which is "Christos". "Anti" is a Greek word meaning "opposed to" or "instead of" or both of these meanings. The Greek word "christos" means "anointed". When "anti" is compounded with a noun signifying an agent of any kind, or functionary, the compound signifies a vice-functionary, or a functionary of the same kind opposing, or sometimes both. Some apply only the first meaning - a person "against" Christ. But this would not be a very specific point of identification. Millions of people have been against Christ. Paul, before his conversion, was "against" Christ. The Jews, pagans, communists, and members of non-Christian religions of all kinds have been against Christ. But such a broad application of the word could not be what was meant by John. His description is far more definite than this!

When John spoke of certain people which were a type of antichrist which was to come, he did not refer to all opposers of Christ. Instead, he referred to a certain class of people - apostates who were teaching things that were contrary to the revelation imparted by the Holy Spirit! These were not openly against Christ, they were professing Christians and apparent ministers of Christ! Therefore we find that the word "antichrist" properly signifies one who opposes, or one who sets himself up appropriating some of the attributes of Christ. That is, antichrist would appear as Christ and by so doing would actually be AGAINST Christ - usurping that place that rightly belongs to Christ alone! Anything that is placed INSTEAD OF Christ, is literally antichrist. We have contained and practiced a lot of attitudes, ideas, beliefs, doctrines, rituals, ceremonies, sacraments, ordinances, religious forms, babylonish traditions, which have TAKEN THE PLACE OF TRUTH AND REALITY in our lives. These may have contained bits and shades of truth and life, but they WERN'T THE LIVING REALITY OF CHRIST HIMSELF at all! They were shadow, but not substance; form, but not essence. Any little form of SUBSTITUTION that detracts from HIS INDWELLING LIFE is ANTICHRIST.

If at any time we accept an "instead of" rather than HIS WORD AND WILL AND LIFE WORKING WITHIN US, we have accepted that which is "antichrist". It is not merely that which is in direct opposition to Christ, but also includes anything, which of itself might be good, but is used INSTEAD OF Christ. And, beloved saints, the battle is not so much an outward one, but an INNER CONFLICT, until we are so cleansed by His blood, so purged of babylon's spirit and ways, that CHRIST IN US becomes our ONLY hope of glory! Praise God, the consuming fire of the dealings and processings of God in our lives is being, used to remove all these "substitutes" and "counterfeits" and bring us down to the true and only reality found in the LIVING CHRIST.

Now even though Eby is a bit more modern in his wording of things….he pretty much says the same thing Joseph Salmon was saying way back in 1647. Antichrist is not so much a person…but more of a spirit. The spirit of antichrist…and not just against Christ, but instead of. We see that all over the place…and one might argue we especially see it in organized religion. Looking “without” for what dwells “within.”

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More About Revelation

Although I think the book of Revelation might be a fine and dandy topic to write a few blog posts about, there is the time thing…as in not enough of it. But I can recommend a few resources that do not fit with the theology of mainstream Christianity...the Left Behind theology.

Preston Eby is a very prolific writer but he outdoes himself with his series “The Candlestick to the Throne” He has been writing the series as long as I’ve known Keith. It is nearing its 90th chapter. He sends out one every month and has done so for the past 89 months. It is a very in-depth study that focuses on historical context, word meaning, anecdotes and quotes from other kingdom (and not kingdom) writers….all focused on minute details and nuances of the book of Revelation.

Another resource that looks at Revelation from a different perspective is Revelation, A Positive Book by Ray Prinzing. A quote from the book about the ways Prinzing has observed Revelation interpreted....

It has been said, there are five ways to interpret the Book:

1) Historically, it all happened a long time ago. 
2) Present, in our now,  but mostly negative, as people try to fit the events of  their day into its pages, wondering if these certain happenings fulfill the judgment and doom they  have been told is to come, to signify times end,  though they hope they can escape from it all. 
3) Futuristically, it will all happen out there some time. 
4) Idealistically, poetically, using mental images from which to form your ideals and  values, etc. 
5) All of the above, practicing parts of each.  Perhaps that is how many view it today.  Some of it is viewed historically, some of it is viewed prophetically, and betimes men look to see if it verifies the time table that "the end is upon us.''   While occasionally  passages are used  to draw images and pictures that men apply  to their day, as they interpret various points and fit them together.

Now we would present a different approach, as the holy Spirit quickens various passages, and gives us a POSITIVE VIEW, with our Lord Jesus Christ as the Center of  our focus, for this is declared to be, "A REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST."  This phrase tells it all. The book was written for one purpose, to be the revelation of a Person, not of historical events, nor of future doom and negativism. Every woe, every vial, every thunder, etc. has but one purpose, TO BRING FORTH THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST.

Another resource… David and Lois Field’s Third Day Fellowship site. He has a chapter by chapter, verse by verse commentary on Revelation (and some other books of the Bible as well…Ecclesiastes, Romans, and Hebrews) These are available to listen to or to read as a PDF file. There are some new commentaries…available only as audio's. 1st and 2nd Peter, 1st and 2nd Timothy, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians…most of the books of the New Testament.

I actually met David Fields once at a home meeting in Ontario. Keith and I were living in separate countries at the time. We were traveling back and forth to visit each other. The kids were much younger then and a handful, I worked full time…plus there was all that travel back and forth across the border to visit. And when we couldn't visit in real life we met late at night to talk on NetMeeting (an antiquated version of skype)  It all took it's toll...and I was so tired that night I could not keep my eyes open. Talk about head nodding!! Let's just say, I missed a lot. 

So for now this post is my contribution on Revelation….

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Sermon on Sunday....

I’ve been thinking some more about the sermon on Sunday. The services are usually “multi-media”...tastefully done but a bit gimmicky. This was the first Sunday of the new sermon series...and they kicked it off with a “re-enactment” of a narrative John might have given long ago. An older guy played costume (head thing, robe, sandals and all) and he talked about his experiences with and feelings for Jesus. He talked about the Samaritan village, a story found in the Gospel of Luke.  The village  turned them away without “a crust of bread or a sip of water.”

"John" told of how his anger got the better of him and he cried out, wanting to call down fire on the village....”like Elijah.” Jesus rebuked him saying, “you do not know what manner of spirit you are of.”

Too many people still today, more than 2000 years later, don’t have a clue what manner of spirit they are of. How can people read that account and give any merit to a literal interpretation of Revelation ala the Left Behind Series? How can they believe in a hell where God will eternally call down fire on people who do not “welcome him into their heart?” A mystery? Yes, indeed!!

Anyway, the sermon veered into Revelation (which was written by the same John) The pastor said that he could sum up the entire book of Revelation in one sentence. sentence. Hmmmmmm, I wondered, could he really be going to hit the nail on the head here?

See, I know the one sentence summation of Revelation. I learned it from listening to Lynn Hiles preach.  He says that Revelation is the only book in the entire Bible which flat out, plainly, unambiguously declares what it is about. In one sentence, no less. None of the other books have a lead in quite like it. Revelation clearly states, first sentence...

This is a revelation of Jesus Christ.

But, instead, the pastor on Sunday declared that the whole message of Revelation is this....

We win. God’s people win.

In the battle of good versus evil, God wins. We are on the winning team. In a way, he’s right...God does win. We ARE on the winning team. But so is everyone else!!! There are no losers in God’s world view. There are the "first fruits" followed by "each in their own order" but eventually every knee bows, every tongue confesses and every tear is wiped away.

In Revelation chapter 22 .... which is the very last “that’s all she wrote” chapter....verse 17 says

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

Huh?  To whom is this invitation extended? Aren’t all God’s people already included in the “bride”? Could it be the ones still “outside”...the dogs, the sorcerers, the immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying? The ones from verse 15? Who else would they bid, “Come”? Come and drink...without cost."

And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

And the invitation remains open until the last “each in their own order” hold out straggles through the Gates...weary knees finally bow....joyful proclamations that Jesus is Lord. Tears of joy and repentance gently wiped away. Behold, he makes all things new.

The offer never expires, the invitation is never withdrawn, the welcome mat is never rolled up and put away, the Gate is never closed. The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.”

Talk about digressing...more tomorrow...

Monday, April 20, 2009

More Mysteries....

I keep running across that phrase!!! The History or the Mystery. Yesterday I went to church with Emily. I go once or twice a month. She rarely misses. They handed everyone a small (4x8ish) copy of the Gospel of John…in The Message translation. Later, when I looked at the bulletin, I saw an announcement for the new sermon series; Gleanings from John.

John’s gospel is an eyewitness account of the life of Jesus, written by “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” It was the last of the four gospels written, and gives more of the mystery of Jesus, than the history of his deeds.

Gee…there is that concept again. I forget a lot of the sermon…(usually nothing very profound gets said) but I figure there must be something for me in the book of John…since God saw to it that I got my very own purse sized copy.

I guess I’ll put it on the steadily growing list of things that I want to write about…

The trouble is, I have more ideas than time!!!

Which reminds me of something that happened yesterday…..(digression begins)

Beth is working in the dietary department at one of the hospitals in the health system. It is about 20 minutes away. She doesn’t have her license yet. (She was too busy with full blown rebellion when she turned 16…skipping school, drug use, running away…. way too preoccupied to really care all that much about getting her drivers license) So the gist of this is…she needs a ride to and fro…there and back….most of the days she works. When I take her, I usually just hang out in that vicinity for the four (or more) hours she works. I spend some of the time walking (as in exercise) around the mall. Saturday evening Emily came with me to shop for a prom dress. Oh that was interesting :) And I sometimes spend time reading and sipping coffee at the Borders book store. Nobody seems to mind if you take a stack of books to the coffee bar…sit at a table…or plop down in one of the arm chairs and read for a while. We did that yesterday for about an hour…Keith and I.

There was another couple sitting nearby that I took notice of. They were “young”…probably under thirty. He was tattooed…a lot of tattoos and piercings. The woman he was with was pierced also…nose ring…a few lip things…eyebrow thing. She was reading a “plain and simple” magazine. From her appearance, I expected something a bit “edgier.” Another couple they knew happened along…

”Hi”….”Hey”…”How ya’ doin?” Pleasantries exchanged. “What are you guys doing here?”

The woman (couple # 2) shrugged and said, “Hanging out…..just killing time before bed.” She shrugged, “You gotta’ do something, ya’ know” Huh? It wasn’t even 5:00 pm!!! I was more or less aghast at this disdain for time...almost like it was an inconvenience...something unpleasant to be dealt with.  But it inspired some thoughts on my own relationship with time, which probably does not exemplify living in the NOW.  Let me rephrase definitely does not exemplify living in the NOW. 

In theory, I may be a timeless being, but in my “reality” I live in time. God put me here ensconced within it. To me, time is utterly precious and I am always conscious of it and its passing. I am always trying to manage it.  I am miserly about doling it out…not wanting to waste it…and definitely not wanting to “kill” it!!! Perhaps this shows how utterly unenlightened I am but it’s where I dwell…."at this point in time."  It seems there is never enough of it, I always want more of it....and I am always trying to make the most of it.....yet, with this nagging feeling that I am wasting it.  Time...

Now that would make an interesting series of posts.....

I'll have to put it on the list, too.....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Another Mystery??

When I went to the gym on Friday, I took along something to read as I often do as I am hoofing it on the treadmill. I took Part 5 and 6 of the Kingdom of God series. I read Part 6 out of order…by mistake…maybe. A few paragraphs about the incarnation stayed with me. Then later that night, after I noticed the Whispers of the Mysteries in the bookcase by happenstance (maybe) and was leafing through the chapter about the mystery of Christ, I came upon a very similar passage about the very same thing…even including a similar explanation of the Greek word “express”

First from Eby.....

The writer to the Hebrews tells us that Christ is “the express image of God’s person” (Heb. 1:3).  The word “express” is from the Greek word CHARAKTER from which we get our English word “character.”  It means that Christ is the CHARACTER IMAGE of God. The transcendent essential factor is that God is PERFECT SPIRITUAL CHARACTER.  It is the supreme intelligence, combined with holy and righteous character, that most importantly distinguishes God from every other life form.  Of course God, too, possesses supreme and omnipotent power and eternal, incorruptible existence.  But without right CHARACTER, such power and perpetuity would be destructive and dangerous.  A monster would be in control of the universe!  And should any one of us acquire an immortal body prior to having developed a holy and incorruptible character, a devil would surely be born!  

Then later, after I had taken the Whispers of the Mystery off of bookshelf and was leafing through the chapter about the mystery of Christ, I came upon a very similar passage about the very same thing…even including a similar explanation of the Greek word “express”

From Ray Prinzing’s Whispers of the Mysteries….

We need always to remember that "God is a Spirit." [John 4:24]. That is His substance. While the various titles we use. Jesus (Saviour), Christ (the Anointed), and Lord (Sovereign Master), all speak of the various dimensions of His position in manifestation. "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature." [Colossians 1:15]. "Being the brightness of glory, and the express image of His person." [Hebrews 1: 3].
         "Express Image . . . "  from the Greek "charakter," thus, literally, the IMPRESSED CHARACTER. This word was used of an engraver, one who mints coins, a mark engraved. Metaphorically it meant "a distinctive mark or token impressed on a person or thing, by which it is known from others, a characteristic, the character of." Jesus Christ was a revelation of all the character of God, a visible expression of the Invisible.
"Express image of His person." Now we note the word "person" from the Greek word "hupostasis" or "substance." The word is a compound of HUPO meaning "under" and HISTEMI meaning "to Stand." Combined it means, "that which stands under," or, THE SUBSTRATUM.

Thus we understand that the essential being of God is conceived as setting its distinctive stamp upon Christ, coming into definite and characteristic expression in His Person, so that the Son bears the exact impress of the divine nature and character. He was a manifested exact reproduction of the divine essence-- He IS THE SON OF GOD.

Still from the “pen of Preston Eby”

A dear brother  in Christ has penned these valuable words of admonition: “The opinions we form by hearing about people are usually found to be wrong after we have come to know them personally and intimately.  This is also true concerning God.  When you come to know Him as He really is, you will find Him very unlike the description given by theologians.  You will come to know that much that they teach is only rubbish because it is contrary to the nature of God.  It certainly was so with the Jewish theologians and doctors of the law.  When Jesus came He smashed their theories to bits and tore the robes of their ecclesiasticism to ribbons.  He ate with sinners, cast the devil out of the Syropheonician, let a sinful woman of the street wash His feet, forgave a thief, healed on the Sabbath, ate with unwashed hands, called the most esteemed religionists of His day liars, hypocrites, children of the devil, whited sepulchers, and a generation of snakes.  They thought that they knew God, but they didn’t.  He was more pleased with the sincerity of sinners than with the ritualism of scribes and Pharisees.  When you come to know Him, you will find that it is the same now as it was then. 

And he quotes Bob Torango…

Two thousand years ago the same beloved apostle John who wrote so extensively of God’s marvelous love also left us this solemn warning, “Little children, keep yourselves from IDOLS (that is, false gods, or false ideas and representations of the true God)” (I Jn. 5:21).  “Little children, keep yourselves from false ideas about God!”  Do we have false ideas about God?  I fear we do.  How the world and the church are filled with them!

I’ve often said that there are four gospels…all telling virtually the same story…with minor variations so that WE get the point. So that the teachings and behavior and mercy and kindness of Jesus sinks into our thick skulls. THIS is Jesus…and furthermore…THIS is God. If you’ve seen Jesus, you’ve seen the Father!!! Someone on a message board once said…Jesus came to RE-present the Father because everyone had his SO wrong. The God they worshipped was nothing more than a capricious, jealous, raging, unpredictable, blood thirsty tyrant. Truly…who wants to draw close to the God so much of the Old Testament proclaims? I think he was the God they made in their own image. They had it so wrong. So Jesus came. He burst into history (as my friend Dena pointed out in a post this morning…into HIS story) so that we could finally see God as he really was. And what’s more, he told us that at our core, we possess the indwelling of that God. He is the real root of our tree and all the while we are living as if adam is the core of our being. He came to tell us, to show us, to lead us. Yet, so many today STILL get it wrong and worship a schizophrenic mixture of the God of the OT and the God Jesus tells us about, shows us, explains to us, mirrors for us!!

And more from the above mentioned “dear brother”

“Furthermore, to know Him who is truth empowers one to immediately recognize all that is error.  The more you come to know Christ, the more you come to recognize the flagrant error of so much that is taught in the name of truth.  If the doctrines that men try so hard to prove run contrary to the very nature of Christ, then know that all that is contrary to His gracious Spirit is error.  For years without number the evangelicals in their missionary fervor have taught that all heathen men will be condemned forever to groan in eternal flames in unremitting torment because they did not accept Christ, their ignorance of His existence being no excuse whatever.  I have no hesitation whatsoever in calling this a lie, because everything about it is contrary to the very nature of the blessed Christ I know.  It is contrary to His love, contrary to His kindness and mercy, contrary to His foreknowledge, contrary to His immutable wisdom, and contrary to His great and all-inclusive redemption, of which it is stated that as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” 

Which brings me to another mystery……Why do different believers who “know him” see different truths? Something to ponder for sure...but for today I can only answer for myself….with the words of Jesus himself….

“What’s that to you? You follow me.”

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Speaking of Mysteries....

When I was running the vacuum in the downstairs hallway last night, my attention was drawn to the bookcase that holds Keith’s collection of “kingdom writings” and in particular to the writings of Ray Prinzing. Ray has written a series of “whispers” books. There is the Whispers of Worship…Spiritual Progression….His Redemption….His Judgements, Of His Call, Of the New Covenant. I vaguely remembered reading one part way through about 7 years ago….Whispers of the Mysteries. It fell flat at that time….but perhaps now, I will find more within that resounds with my spirit.

The Whispers Series is available to read online…along with other shorter writings. Probably the most complete collection of Prinzing’s writings is at Spirit of the Word. His monthly studies are available there too….Gospel Echoes….which was later renamed Letters of Truth (Collection One and Collection Two) He also has a daily devotional called Daily Overcoming.

I had planned to write a bit about what I found as I leafed through The Whispers of the Mysteries….but this is a “baby you were born to run” weekend and I’ve got to get going. I have to run, run, run the girls, here, there and everywhere today (and tomorrow…ugh….)

But do check out some of Prinzing’s stuff if you are so inclined. He also had many, many spoken messages….most of which Keith has on cassette tapes in the closet in the dining room. I listened to many of them 10 or so years ago. A few of his audio messages are available online. Google it if you are interested….because I’ve got to cut this post short and get a move on….

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The History or the Mystery...3

I have quoted from Richard Rohr several times in posts past. (Posts past...say that 10 times really fast :)

Anyway...the other day, annie posted the following devotional by Rohr and it seems to go along with the gist of "posts present"....our inability to comprehend the Christ...the mystery...and focus so much of our attention and base all of our faith on..Jesus, the history.

Rohr calls the writing The Cosmic Christ.

Uh-oh....using cosmic and Christ in the same sentence is sure to get some Christian panties in a wad.  It is one of those "new age" kind of words like...oh...metaphysical.  Following is the definition for the word "cosmic' from Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary

Function: adjective
Etymology: Greek kosmikos, from kosmos order, universe
Date: 1685
1 a: of or relating to the cosmos, the extraterrestrial vastness, or the universe in contrast to the earth alone b: of, relating to, or concerned with abstract spiritual or metaphysical ideas2: characterized by greatness especially in extent, intensity, or comprehensiveness

And from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary:

Pertaining to the universe, and having special reference to universal law or order, or to the one grand harmonious system of things; hence; harmonious; orderly.

Nothing too heretical. 

Rohr begins the devotional by asking a loaded question.   

Is my faith focused more on Jesus or on Christ?

In other my faith focused more on the HISTORY...or the MYSTERY? 

He goes on to say:

The three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are largely about the historical Jesus who worked miracles, who taught, who promised us a new way of seeing, a new form of life.

In great part, although it is seldom pointed out, Paul is not talking about Jesus; Paul is talking about Christ. Paul hardly ever quotes the historical Jesus and never knew him in the flesh. Really rather shocking when you realize that his letters are one third of the New Testament!

We take Paul as a touchstone of orthodoxy, the central, foundational teacher of Christianity—and yet he hardly quotes Jesus! Something else is going on here, which has largely been off of the Christian radar. Paul has largely fallen in love with "the Christ", and it was Jesus who pointed him there. Most Christians still need to make the same movement, and to believe in both Jesus AND Christ. They are two distinct faith affirmations.

 "The Resurrection was not just a historical event, but a present Presence"


Something to think about, huh? While you are pondering the path of life..the Christ...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The History or the Mystery...2

In both The Antichrist in Man and The Kingdom of God is Within You, they talk about the inability, unwillingness, disbelief about the Christ within. Eckhart talks about this too….just in different terminology than either Salmon or Murray. Different words…same theme.

So Murray words it this way….

Do you fully and truly believe in the indwelling Christ? You do believe in an incarnate Christ. When the name of Christ is mentioned, you at once think of One who was born a little babe at Bethlehem, who took our nature upon Him and lived as a man upon the earth. That thought is inseparable from your faith in Him. You believe, too, in the crucified Christ, dying on Calvary for our sins. You believe, too, in the risen Saviour, one who lives for evermore. And you believe in the glorified Lord, now sitting on the throne of heaven. But do you believe as definitely – as naturally – in the indwelling Christ? Have you made that one of the articles of your faith, as really as you believe in Christ incarnate or Christ crucified? It is only as the truth is accepted and held that the others can really profit. The experience of the love and the saving power of our incarnate, crucified, glorified Lord depends entirely upon His indwelling in us to reveal His presence and to do His work. If you find your life feeble or sickly, you may be assured that it is because you do not know that Jesus Christ is in you.

Okay…let’s face it. It oftentimes seems like a really big stretch to imagine Christ is living in me….and sometimes it is even harder to believe he is living in others. Why is that? The Bible clearly states it but it is a concept that is really hard to wrap your head around. Joseph Salmon blames it on “the whore”…..your fleshly wisdom….the Matron of iniquity. (He does use some pretty strong language to describer her) He claims the reason we don’t/can’t believe Christ dwells within us is her doing!!!

She wants to keep you distanced from the Christ within

It is the property of this strange woman, your fleshly wisdom, to render Christ to be at a distance from you….

The wisdom of the flesh will tell you that the Goodman Christ Jesus is gone abroad; He is at a distance from you. This whore will be contented that you should know anything but Christ Jesus, and Him crucified in you. She is willing that you should know Christ naturally, but not spiritually; Christ in the History, but not in the Mystery: Christ for you, but not Christ in you.

Your fleshly wisdom will be contented that you should be acquainted with what Christ has done for you, but she will not endure to let you see Him in you.

....she is willing to let you understand that Christ has been made flesh for you, but not that the Word is made flesh in you; that is, that God by His own power has begotten Himself, brought forth Himself in His own likeness in you; that you are this virgin that is over-shadowed with power from on high; and have the immortal seed of God in you, which immortal seed by its own power brings forth its own self in your soul, by the puttings forth of the motions of the Spirit in you. This your fleshly wisdom will not let you behold.

The egoic mind/man of sin/Harlot is content to let you dabble in the superficial aspects of religion. The pomp and circumstance, the ritual, the works of the flesh, the outward shows of religious tradition…fasting…public prayer, legalism. The point is to keep your mind off the spirit within you…the Christ within. There is a vast difference between the history of Christ and the mystery of Christ…Christ in you, the hope of glory.

She will even encourage you to become religious…

She will move you to fasting, prayer, and humiliation, provided, that all this while you attribute the glory of all to herself. She will move as high as any outward ordinance with you, and all this is lest you should ponder the path of life.

So she will involve you in busy work lest you should ponder the path of life…..

Hmmm...the path of life.  Now that seems like a bit cheerier topic.  More on that to come....

Monday, April 13, 2009

The History or the Mystery.....

In The Antichrist in Man, there was a snappy little phrase that caught my attention. Not only is it a good title for a blog post, but it is something very ponderable….a mystery.

Salmon said:

For there is a History and a Mystery of Christ. The History is Christ for us, The Mystery is Christ In us Col 1:27

Could the HISTORY of Christ be the comings and goings and doings of the real flesh and blood man Jesus? The history would entail the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. Ah….the resurrection. That is where the history veers into the MYSTERY of Christ. The resurrection…the arrival (or acknowledgement) of the indwelling spirit of Christ. Christ in us….the hope of glory.

They say everyone likes a good mystery.  Hmmmm.  I don’t know about you, but many, many times I've wished that the gospel…the scriptures…theology....was a bit less mysterious and ambiguous and that it was a bit more “tell it like it is” without so much wiggle room for interpretation and conjecture. But alas, it is not a cut and dried thing. Christians see so many things from different paradigms there is not very much that is cut and dried.

I went to blueletter bible to check out the verses in the New Testament that mention the mysteries.  There are a lot of scriptures in this post.  I was not familiar with all the verses that talk about the perhaps others are not either.  So I post them as sort of a reference....mainly for myself. 

It is mostly Paul who talks about the mysteries. But Jesus does as well….

Luk 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

He says almost the exact same thing in Matthew and Mark. Apparently Jesus did not want the people to know the mysteries of the kingdom….since he hid the explanations in parables. And what’s this about the disciples? It was given to them to know? Do you not think they were a bit slow??  It certainly seemed to take a while for them to catch on….

Paul talks a lot about the mysteries. He tells us that they were a secret for a long time….as in before or around the time the world began.

Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

1Cr 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

And again he talks about how the mystery was hidden (echoing what Jesus told the is not for the people to know) and not only was it been had been hidden for a long, long time....

Col 1:26 [Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

Eph 3:9 And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Paul declares himself to be a steward of the mysteries of God…that he has been ordained to preach the mysteries. That God has made them known to share and teach.  He asked for prayer to open doors…

1Cr 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Eph 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

1Cr 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Col 1:26 [Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27: To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

So the mystery was unfolding then in the early church.…2000 years ago.  Astounding so many that came after Paul did not have a clue about the scope of the great mysteries. How many of us still do not have a clue!!!!

Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Yep…it is still a great mystery to most of us…….

And there are other verses I found that talk about the mystery of Christ/God/Godliness

Col 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

And the mysteries mentioned in Revelation…

Rev 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Rev 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.


Rev 17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

And that love is more important than than a multitude of spiritual gifts including an understanding of the mysteries….

1Cr 13:2 And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And then there is the mystery of faith…..

1Ti 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

And the mystery of iniquity (which seems to me to be the very cunning and crafty egoic mind/adamic man who hides his existence and convinces us that we are him/he is us….)

2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way.

More on this subject in my next post.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Same Idea..Different Era....

Lately I’ve stumbled upon some writings from yesteryear that piqued my interest. When I say yesteryear I mean way back to 1647 with a writing by Joseph Salmon called The AntiChrist in Man…and then fast forward a few centuries or so to the late 1800’s and one of the writings of Andrew Murray….The Kingdom of God Is Within You. For the past few days, I’ve pondered what these guys had to say and connected some of the dots contained within their writings to some of the dots contained within the teachings of Tolle. Many of the dots “line up.”

As far as Salmon and Murray…..I have not read their writings extensively. There are quite a few Murray’s writings online but The Kingdom is the only one I’ve read through. I have skimmed some of the others. There are only a few writings by Salmon. He wrote in the 1600’s….and from what little I can find about him online he was quite the heretic in his day….linked to the “Ranters”….which could be a blog post in itself. Like many of his time period who dared to challenge church doctrines, he was jailed until he later recanted some of the beliefs he espoused in The Antichrist writing.

Murray wrote in the late 1800’s and although I could not find any particular cries of “heretic” about him online, it is believed he held universalistic views. We know that is a big taboo….no, no….heresy to this day.

I’ve read more by Eckhart….who has done most of his writing in the past 10 or so years. His writing is also easier to read….written in a very straightforward, understandable style, with words and phrases I am familiar with. Interesting to note that he, too, has been labeled a heretic by many in the Christian camp.

In Salmon’s writing, the language is quite archaic. He refers to our fleshly nature as a her….the whore, the harlot, Babylon, the Matron of all Iniquity….which are just different words that describe the egoic mind. “She” pretends she is the real us…and does not want us to catch onto the fact that our true nature is the Christ within.  Tolle's message is very similar. Different terminology...same "gist."

Murray writes more in the style of preachers from the 1800’s. Think Spurgeon…

I can’t even remember how I stumbled upon these writings….even though it was just a week or so ago. Probably from a google search….but it strikes me as odd that the writing by Salmon addresses the antichrist…but Murray focuses more on the Christ nature….and Tolle talks about both but uses totally different terms and does not hone in on the specifics of Christian theology.

There must be some timeless concepts in these articles I am supposed to understand…perhaps even share. As I’ve said before, I am sure God tweaks the results that come up on my google searches to send me where he wants me to go. The internet has been my main source of spiritual information for a while now. There is a treasure trove there…ancient manuscripts, dozens of translations of the Bible...and links and leads to hard copy books…and teasers within the writings that send me back to google for more tampered with search results. :)

What is that verse about the Lord directing our steps? (not a concession to total predetermination by the way)

Anyway…I will be writing more about this topic for a few posts at least….

More to come.....

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dying to Self...

This morning I have been mining for similar nuggets of wisdom.... similar trains of thought between several diverse teachers....teachers from different centuries.  The first is called The AntiChrist in Man by Joseph Salmon (written in 1647ish) and The Kingdom of God Is Within You by Andrew Murray (written in 1897ish) and quotes I've collected from Eckhart Tolle's books (Power of Now, A New Earth and The Stillness Speaks)  I came upon the following quote I saved from page 46 of The Power of Now.

"Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to die before you die”

In a flash, the words of Paul popped into my head..

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.

Die before you die....crucified with Christ.  Very similar concepts, no? 

Interesting Website(s)

I've been reading some of the "classic" Christian writings lately.  Amazing that this theme of the Christ in You...the anti Christ in You has been expounded on for centuries!

I came across several sites this early am with writings of the past...

Island of Freedom 

Pass The Word Services

Sacred Texts

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Has Anyone Heard of the 11:11 Thing??

annie and I talked about this a while back...maybe last year at this time.  I think I first heard of it on Oprah's site...on the Eckhart Tolle message boards.  There are lots of sites about it on google with far ranging theories about what it means. UFOs, angels, demons, doom and gloom...the end...the beginning...awakening.  Following is an excerpt from a website that talks about the 11:11phenomenum

11:11 is a pre-encoded trigger placed into our cellular memory banks prior to our descent into matter which, when activated, signifies that our time of completion is near. This refers to the completion of duality. When the 11:11 appears to you, it is your wake-up call. A direct channel opens up between you and the Invisible. The appearance of 11:11 is an always beneficial act of Divine Intervention telling you that it is time to take a good look around you and see what is really happening. It’s time to pierce the veils of illusion that keep us bound to an unreal world.

The Doorway the 11: 11

This can presently be perceived as a crack between two worlds. It is like a bridge which has the inherent potential of linking together two very different spirals of energy. Thus this bridge functions as an invisible door or a doorway into the Invisible realm. The 11:11 is the bridge to an entirely different spiral of evolution.

I'm really not sure if this is all a bunch of crap or what.  I've seen 11:11 more than once on a clock.  Keith has seen it a few times too....

Yesterday morning Beth and I were in the van when I happened to look down and see the odometer.  It is an old van that I am eeking the last bit of umph out of.  The odometer read 111,111.  All ones. 

I jokingly said, "Wow...Beth look at that!!!  We're really reaching into the other realm."

I'm not saying I believe that...only that it was probably the one and only time in my entire life I will ever see an odometer read 111,111.  Strange...


Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Many times when pondering the POE, we wonder (accusingly) why God doesn't do something to alleviate the suffering in the world.  Feed the starving children, eliminate disease, house the homeless, heal the sick, rejuvenate the dying....wipe out pain and suffering.  After all, scripture does say (three times) he will wipe away every tear.  What...what....pray tell is he waiting for??????

For us?

Didn't he tell us to "take dominion"?  Didn't he give us the task of tending the Garden? 

In an article on beliefnet...written by Tony Campolo (which I have long ago lost the link to) he says of the ponderings and questions shortly after Katrina

Personally, I contend that the best thing for us to do in the aftermath of Katrina is to remain silent, and not try to explain this tragedy. Instead of asking "Why?" we should be asking, "What does God want us to do now?" The loving God calls all believers in the face of Katrina’s devastation to seek ways to express love in concrete ways towards those who have lost friends and family members; and to those who have lost homes along with most of their earthly belongings.

Even in the aftermath of catastrophes both large and small, even when the task seems daunting, we can do something, however small and insignificant it might seem at the time.   

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can still do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do." - Edward Everett

"It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can." - Sydney Smith

"How does the Master explain the evil in the world?"
asked a visitor.
One disciple replied, "He doesn't explain it. 
He's too busy doing something about it." - Anthony de Mello, S.J.

So take the first step...stop waiting for God to do it...and YOU do something, however small.

Do not despise these small beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” Zech 4:10 NLT

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More Ourselves, Not Less....

With the remaining quotes that struck my fancy, I am going to wrap up this impromptu series of posts gleaned from Cure For the Common Life.

He tailored the curves of your life to fit an empty space in his jigsaw puzzle.

He made you you-nique

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 confirms this...

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

And why do we sometimes have such a difficult time figuring out what our “you-nique” purpose is? Max says:

We suffer from poor I-sight. Not eyesight, a matter of distorted vision that lenses can correct, but I-sight. Poor I-sight blurs your view, not of the world but of yourself.

How do we clear up our poor I-sight?

Ephesians 1:11 (The Message)

11-12It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.

In the book Max writes about an excerpt from a biography about the life of Thomas Merton

Before Thomas Merton followed Christ he followed money, fame and society. He shocked many when he exchanged it all for the life of a Trappist monk in a Kentucky Monastery. Business world colleagues speculated what he must have become. They envisioned a silent, suffering version of their friend, dutifully sludging through a life of penance. After thirteen years, a colleague, Mark van Doren, visited him and then reported back to the others” “He looked a little older; but as we sat and talked I could see no important difference in him, and once I interrupted a reminiscence of his by laughing, “Tom, “ I said, “you haven’t changed at all. “Why should I? Here,” he said, “our duty is to be more ourselves, not less”

And so in Christ we become more ourselves, not less. You-nique….

Sunday, April 5, 2009

What Jesus Did For Us...?

Lately I am not sure what to think about Jesus. A friend of Keith’s recently pointed out in an email how so many writings these days seem to bypass the importance of Jesus. He is almost an afterthought. But is he? I’ve pretty much ruled out the line of thinking that proclaims that he is just one of us. I know that scripture proclaims him as the firstborn of many brethren but, as Dena says, he is not just the guy who “went first” to lead the way. I don’t have my thoughts about Jesus figured out but I believe he is much more than that.

And you know….I really want to continue to believe in the virgin birth…and that Jesus is God “with skin on” in a way that I am not.

This snippet, from Max Lucado’s Cure for the Common Life, touches me. It seems to hint of the penal substitution theory which I completely disagree with….but other than that….I think it demonstrates in a simple word picture what Hebrews 2 tells us:

14Because God's children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death. 15Only in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

17Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. 18Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted. NLT

Or…to word it the way Max does….

Little Blake Rogers can help us understand Jesus’s heart stopping act of grace. He offered a remotely similar gift to his friend Maura. Blake and Maura share a kindergarten class. One day she started humming. Her teacher appreciated the music but told Maura to stop. Itn’s not polite to hum in class. She couldn’t. The song in her head demanded to be hummed. After several warnings, the teacher took decisive action. She moved maura’s clothespin from the green spot on the chart to the dreaded blue spot. This meant trouble.

And this meant a troubled Maura. Everyone else’s clothespin hung in the green. Maura was blue, all by herself.

Blake tried to help. He patted her on the back, made funny faces, and offered comforting words. But nothing worked. Maura still felt alone. So Blake made the ultimate sacrifice. Making sure his teacher was watching, he began to hum. The teacher warned him to stop. He didn’t. She had no choice but to move his clothespin out of the green and into the blue.

Blake smiled and Maura stopped crying. She had a friend. And we have a picture, a picture of what Christ did for us.

Interesting Websites..Hell: Fact or Fable?

I think I am going to start posting links to some of the web sites I come across in my web journeys...and possibly a paragraph or two to describe them, point to a specific article or call attention to an interesting fact.  Having honed my "leisure time activities" to not much more than spiritual reading and writing (mostly on the internet) I come across a lot of web sites that are worth a look/see.  So I am going to start posting them just in case anyone wants to check them out. 

So today...I came across one that looks interesting.  It is called "Hell: Fact or Fable?" and explores different articles and aspects surrounding the myth of eternal hell.  The site appears to be owned by Gary Cottongim.  There is also a link to Ken Vischer's link page...which has about 215 or so links to different kingdom ministries.  Following are some of the articles...


A video interview with the late Bible scholar Louis Abbott , who dedicated much of his adult life to studying God's Word in the original languages. After viewing this video, you will never look at God's Word in the same way again!
Free Download
Or view it.

Bible-believing Israeli nuclear physicist  Gerald Schroeder , talks about the six days of Creation during seventy-seven minutes of scientific reasoning that may very well change the way you look at the Universe.
Free Download
Or view it.

The idea of God's evil enemy has been around for thousands of years and it's still as powerful as ever. Where did Satan's story begin, where did he come from and how did he become the Prince of Darkness? The History of the Devil seeks to answer these questions.
Free Download
Or view it.


Articles by Gary Cottongim:

The Secret Rapture Myth

If God is All Powerful

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Which Gospel?

Genesis Reloaded Series
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six

The Hypocrisy of Al Sharpton

The Mother of All Truths

The Lucifer Myth

Love Your Enemies

Hell: Biblical Truth or Pagan Myth?

O Hell, Where is Thy Victory?

The Wrath of God

Five Questions Your Fundamentalist Pastor Will Not Be Able To Answer

Twelve God-Given Truths

Just What Do You Mean By The Word DESTRUCTION?
Part 1: Destruction
Part 2: Perdition
Part 3: Annihilation?

Free Will And The Beast

Gospel Of Judas Controversy Examined


Seven Deadly Spirits
(A personal testimony)

From Where Do We Get
The Word Church?

The Dilemma
(formerly our homepage)

The Davinci Code-Breaking Hypocrites

Answers To Your Emails

Links Page

Recommended Reading

An Analytical Study of Words,
by Louis Abbott

The Law of the Offerings,
by Andrew Jukes

The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment,
by Thomas B. Thayer

The Second Death and the Restitution of All Things,
by Andrew Jukes

The Prevailing Doctrine of the Early Church,
by J.W. Hanson, D.D.

History of Opinions on the Scriptural Doctrine of Retribution,
by Edward Beecher, D.D.

Antichrist Revealed!
by Joseph Salmon

Lazarus and the Rich Man
by Brian T. Huie
"Is this a picture of hell?"

Just What Do You Mean... Eternity?,
by J. Preston Eby

Are God's Corrections Punishment?,
by Bob Francis

Articles by Ken Eckerty:
Does Man Have Free Will?
Does Man Have an Immortal Soul?
What About the "Unpardonable Sin?"
If Everyone Will be Saved, Then Why Repent?
The Work of the Cross
Press on to Maturity

Saturday, April 4, 2009

You Think Your Job Is Bad?

Today is Saturday...evening.   Tomorrow is Sunday (which is usually how it works out :) First Saturday....then least most weeks anyway....

The day went so fast!! The weekends always do.  Friday night starts out filled with promise and anticipation....Saturday morning comes...and goes before you know it.  Sunday morning follows (too closely) on its heels.  About 3 pm on Sunday, I get this sinking feeling.  The weekend is over.  Bummer. 

My job is not bad.  It is not the highest paying job...but neither is it the lowest.  My boss is a great guy.  He and I hit it off.  We are friends.  He is great to work for/with...BUT....some days I am bored to death with the details of what I have to do.  Data entry...meeting minutes (the WORST) writing...and answering the always ringing phone.  In addition to doing all the secretarial stuff, I also have to help man the help line.  Answering and processing the calls for service from all three hospitals...service or repairs needed from biomedical, housekeeping, dietary, maintenance, couriers and lately they have added patient transport to the list.  So the phone rings all the time.  ALL the time. 

I mentioned the Max Lucado book I read on our trip...The Cure For the Common Life. The gist of the book was to offer guidance and suggestions about how to devote our workday lives to God.....not confining our faith and Christian witness to Sunday but to live it out every day of the week (sort of like the comtemplatives in the market place way of thinking) To make him look good through us.

Heaven’s calendar has seven Sundays a week. God sanctifies each day. He conducts holy business at all hours and in all places. He uncommons the common by turning kitchen sinks into shrines, café’s into convents and nine to five workdays into spiritual adventures.

Ideally, he guides us to a job we both like AND excel at.  However, if we find ourselves stuck (for whatever reason) in a job we are not all that crazy about...or even a job we hate...well, bloom where you are planted. Do it as unto the Lord.  And as he often does, Max offers a story about someone who did just that. 

Hold it there. I saw you roll those eyes. You see no way God could use your work. Your boss has the disposition of a hungry pit bull; hamsters have larger work areas, your kids have better per diems. You feel threatened to the outposts of Siberia, where hope left on the last train. If so, meet one final witness. He labored eighteen years in a Chinese prison camp.

The Communist regime rewarded his faith in Christ with the sewage assignment. The camp kept its human waste in pools until it fermented into fertilizer. The pits seethed with stink and disease. Guards and prisoners alike avoided the cesspools and all who worked there, including the disciple.

After he’d spent weeks in the pit, the stench pigmented his body. He couldn’t scrub it out. Imagine his plight, far from home. But somehow this godly man found a garden in his prison. I was thankful for being sent to the cesspool. This was the only place where I was not under severe surveillance. I could pray and sing openly to our Lord. When I was there, the cesspool became my private garden.” He then quoted the words to the old hymn, I Come To The Garden Alone.

"I never knew the meaning of this hymn until I had been in the labor camp” he said.

God can make a garden out of the cesspool you call work, if you take him with you.

Now this guy had a really bad job.  This would be hard to top...even on the TV show about the world's worst jobs.  And yet...against overwhelming hardship, he knew how to look beyond this temporal realm and commune with God.  I am so not there yet.....