Willohroots


In His “Carbon Free” footsteps
February 18, 2010, 11:03
Filed under: Church wrongs, culture | Tags: , , ,

British bishops urge ‘carbon fast’ for Lent

Change global climate, in the name of Jesus!

LONDON — Several prominent Anglican British bishops are urging Christians to keep their carbon consumption in check this Lent.

The 40-day period of penitence before Easter typically sees observant Catholics, Anglicans, and Orthodox Christians give up meat, alcohol or chocolates.

But this year’s initiative aims to convince those observing Lent to try a day without an iPod or mobile phone in a bid to reduce the use of electricity — and thus trim the amount of carbon dioxide spewed into the atmosphere.

Bishop of London Rev. Richard Chartres said that the poorest people in developing countries were the hardest hit by man-made climate change.

He said Tuesday that the “Carbon Fast” was “an opportunity to demonstrate the love of God in a practical way.”

There are times that try my good will, and some things that drive me not up, but through the wall of polite concern.  This press release has upped my blood pressure and caused me to think bad thoughts.

First of all,  even the UN is getting off the “Climate Change” bus.  Even Al Gore has been quiet lately.[  Thank you, God].  With all that is going on in the U.K., as far as the influx of Islam, alcoholism,  their economy, church closings, and a host of other really scary, absolutely negative social trends, this group of clerics has decided that their best effort could best be directed toward a problem that does not even exist.  Help me Lord to not say, “Rocha!”.

Now to the measurable science of it all.  A charger for an Ipod or cell phone consumes less than 500 mA.   Five hundred Milliamperes.  The impact of shutting off all the cell phone and Ipod chargers in the UK would be nill!  Most people charge these devices at night, past peak power usage times.  Perhaps these Anglicans think there is someone at the generation station reading a dial that will say, “Smith-Jones turned off his Ipod,  crank her down, mate.”Preposterous!  Of all the energy reduction consumption programs in the world, this is the least effective.

This is not a ‘practical way to show God’s love’ , this is a politically correct way to jump on a band wagon that has been proven to have no wheels.  God’s love an be shown best by sharing the Gospel in a country where Christians are an endangered specie.  Studies show that in Canada the Anglicans will be extinct in one more generation, cell phones and Ipods or not.

I applaud the idea of going without electronic companionship for a day, even a week, or for all of Lent.  Everyone is so plugged in, turned on, and tuned in, that the voice of God, the still, small, voice, is often lost in the air waves.  What a fine and noble Lenten message it would be to say,

“Listen to those around you this Lent!”

“Unplug your devices and pray quietly this Lent!”

“Turn your radio on, and listen to the music in the air, turn your radio on, get in touch with God”   [anybody remember that one?]

“Power down, to be empowered from on High!”

This Lenten message makes the Church look petty and ineffective, filled with politics and false beliefs.  Well, if it quacks like a duck….   God forgive me for my anger.



Gnastic influence not Gnew, Gnow Sourced
February 6, 2010, 11:42
Filed under: Church wrongs | Tags: , , , ,

I have had a few conversations with Gnostics.  In order to converse with them I have read some of the Gnostic “gospels”in the same way that I have read the Koran and the Book of Mormon and the L. Ron Hubbard books.  It is an advantage to be able to relate to a differing belief system with some level of understanding,  and having a common platform from which to begin communication.  It would not be possible  to communicate with people unless you have some common frame  of reference.

It has been much more difficult to communicate with the Gnastic  Christians.  These are the people who just seem gnasty.  They have gnasty comments,  gnasty  actions and while they claim to use the Bible as a study guide, I have long suspected that another volume of “wisdom” of some kind takes precedence over the Blessed Scripture.

Certain modern bible scholars have used an inductive method to come to a conclusion that there was a pre-gospel book called “Q”,  the “source” for Matthew, Mark and Luke.  The claim is that there is so much commonality that a written form MUST have been in existence that the writers used as a template for their letters.  As an uneducated man, I always supposed the commonality to Christ.

Using this accepted scholarly technique, I propose that there is a source book for the Gnastics.   It is obvious from their large number and  homogenous nature, the uniformity and ubiquity of this branch of Christians , that there is some guiding text book on which their behavior is based. I will call it “The Gospel of Gnast, Guide book for the Gnasty Christian.”

I know this book is existent!  It must be.  There is such an amazing base of evidence . Based on quotes so often heard from people who follow this philosophy I believe it is possible to reconstruct segments of the Gnast, even to find verses, based upon the behavior and speech of the Gnastic Christians. While my scholarship is poor, my experience with the Gnastics predates my conversion to Christ my Lord, and in fact may have delayed it.  Were it not for the supremacy of God and the relentless power of the Holy Spirit,  I believe the doctrine of the Gnatics would have kept me from the  Grace in which I live.  Based on these years of  [horrible] experience I will interpolate what their Gospel must contain.

Verily, The Lord seeith the heart through rose-colored glasses.                               The appearance of religion is what is desired of you by your God.                           Cruelty is to be honored if it is ye who are cruel,  honesty directed at thee is      cruel and mean Spirited.                                                                                                             Your salvation is a badge of honor to you, and is to be used to make the  unsaved feel like the miserable wretches they are.                                                         Those preachers whose message is an ointment to your ears are truly blessed,   those with whom you do not agree are hell-bound sinners.                                     The way you were when you first became a believer is the way thou shalt stay, and those doctrines you first embraced are never to be questioned.                     Suffer the little children to be scolded and criticized, whereby ye can feel good about thyself and thy mighty status as “true believer”.                                                 Those who would criticize thee by holding scripture to thy face as a mirror  are of Satan.                                                                                                                                       Blessed art the sour,  for they shall ensure the pews have much open space.      For God so loved some of the world,  That He sent His only Son, that ye and thy little clique might feel superior to all.                                                                           Thou shalt support the church and thy Pastor as long as ye are having thy needs met.

There is a great body of Gnastic teachings that I have yet to compile. These teachings run deep in the    Body of Christ.  Have you experienced them?  Do you  have some Gnastic Verse to share?  How have Gnastics affected your life, your ministry?

Or is it just me.



World Council of Churches, or World Climate Committee?
November 13, 2009, 09:58
Filed under: Church wrongs, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

oikoumene

It is so easy for a group to get side tracked,  to forget the reason it exists and drive the train of its time and energy down a good-looking dirt road.  Trains belong on tracks,  no matter what the power of opinion and well-meaning ulterior goals may be set up, a train on a dirt road is still a train wreck.

Keeping a group on mission the purpose of leadership.  When a town council declares the President a war criminal, the real criminal act is that the town council is not taking care of the town.  When the local PTA group getting involved in fundraising, they are not concentrating on v being a liaison between parent and teacher.  Fire Companies that become purely a social hall lose their focus on fire fighting.  Here is an example of this phenomena that I could never have thought up.

World Council of Churches to ring bells for global warming.

The leading council of Christian and Orthodox churches also invited places of worship for other faiths to join a symbolic “chain of chimes and prayers” stretching around the world from the international date line in the South Pacific.

“On that Sunday, midway through the UN summit, the WCC invites churches around the world to use their bells, drums, gongs or whatever their tradition offers to call people to prayer and action in the face of climate change,” the council said in a statement.

“By sounding their bells or other instruments 350 times, participating churches will symbolise the 350 parts per million that mark the safe upper limit for CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere according to many scientists,” it added.

The chimes are meant to start at 3.00 pm local time in each location.

The WCC brings together 348 Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches representing about 560 million Christians in 110 countries.

The Council of European Bishops Conferences, which gathers Roman Catholic bishops and archbishops, is also supporting the campaign, according to a letter released by the WCC.

If this were a group united to fight global warming,  I would have no problem with this decision.  Personally I find it a waste of time and energy by deluded people who have been convinced of a falsehood by a global climate change industry, but if that was what they were formed to do, more power to them.  However according to the WCC website these are the purposes of the organization:

  • are called to the goal of visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship;
  • promote their common witness in work for mission and evangelism;
  • engage in Christian service by serving human need, breaking down barriers between people, seeking justice and peace, and upholding the integrity of creation; and
  • foster renewal in unity, worship, mission and service

Here is their self description.

The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the scriptures, and therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It is a community of churches on the way to visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship, expressed in worship and in common life in Christ. It seeks to advance towards this unity, as Jesus prayed for his followers, “so that the world may believe.” (John 17:21)

These are commendable goals!  It would appear to me to be about as possible as bailing out the Titanic with a tea-cup at around midnight April 14, 1912, but I can appreciate impossible missions,  it is the effort that counts, but how does raising global awareness of a crisis that many do not buy into further the Cause of Christ?  How did a group who has avowed a purpose of Christian unity  become an environmental activist coalition?  Do you see this in their mission statements?  Here are some other issues the WCC addresses.

“A world without poverty is not only possible but is in keeping with the grace of God for the world” affirms a call that will play a central role at the 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Porto Alegre, 14-23 February.

What did Jesus say? John 12:8
For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

Christians should aid the poor, but a global redistribution of wealth seems out of line with the teachings of The Master.

Here is another project the WCC is working on.

Resettlement of people displaced by the consequences of climate change was highlighted as a major concern for churches at a gathering of ecumenical representatives from Asia and the Pacific region.

Now i am sure that if global warming were a truth, many regions of the world, Siberia, the Step’s,  would become hospitable for settlement and food production, but that really does not fit in the purpose of the WCC.  Seriously these people honestly think that global sea levels will rise dozens of feet,  submerging islands and leaving people in a “Water World”  environment.  I thought they might be followers of Kevin Kostner, until this picture surfaced.

Leader of the Warmer Climate Coalition This could explain a lot. Well meaning people get into a group and some sort of mob mentality takes place that drives them from the goals originally set up as their very purpose in life.  Global warming and poverty are not the only issues derailing the WCC.

agenda_02Peoples and the Earth?  I thought they were out to unite Christians?  Somehow the concerns of people and the earth have taken over.  The stated agenda now is Alternative Globalization.  I really don’t like the sounds of that, and I admit I do not know what it is.  None of this makes me want to dive in and join the WCC in its campaign to unite churches,  if they still try to do that.

Every group needs a purpose, and leaders exist to make sure that the group does not deviate from that purpose.  If the WCC  is now more interested in political, sociological, and environmental issues, that is fine, disband, or at least reorganize.  To continue to take money from churches who want to see increased fellowship and a move toward uniting the fractured Bride while existing to make social change is at the least hypocritical, at the most robbery.

Here is another WCC project.

SayNoToGunsThe terrible truth of this fallen world, is that guns often stop the killing. At Fort Hood it was an armed officer who ended the rampage.  History has shown us that it is the unarmed population that is subject to slaughter.  Opinions aside, do you think this fits into the WCC’s stated purpose?



Scranton Catholic Woes, continued…..
November 6, 2009, 23:43
Filed under: Church wrongs, Reaction | Tags: ,

I post these problems not to gloat, i have learned that that does not work out for me.  I serve a God who humbles His servants!  I post this because the Catholic  church around my area has one problem after another.

My imagination is disturbed enough to think that I could have been sitting in a service watching a Power Point on the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, and have the Chippendales or worse put on the screen.  It is almost humorous, except  that my imagination is also fertile enough to imagine myself putting on the presentation.  Ouch.  It must make this guy feel a bit better. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IymxMidkyI4

The one that really concerns me is  Bob Timchak.  I was a regular reader of his faith column.  He wrote some great stuff on several congregations that I like.  He seemed to me to be a really good guy.   I am hoping that this is some sort of rig.  Seriously, I am that jaded.  The tip to the authorities came from the diocese.  We have had all sorts of molestation cases, a case where a priest was charged with perjury to a grand jury looking into a mobster friend of his,  stories of mis managed money and DUI payoffs by a bishop, but the diocese drops a dime on Timchak.   If they are going to rat people out, they could start on some more pressing examples!  Well, I will follow the trial with interest.   I pray God will allow our legal system to bring justice.     Here is an article on Bob, I found.  I will keep you posted.

Timchak has served in the diocese since 1992, starting in Wilkes-Barre at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception.

After stints directing religious formation at Seton Catholic High School in Pittston and Bishop Hoban High School in Wilkes-Barre, Timchak was assigned to Hazleton, where he became a controversial figure in 2006.

As pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Parish, and Transfiguration Parish in West Hazleton, Timchak was outspoken about his disillusionment with the diocese’s closure of Transfiguration School.

“Jesus said you cannot serve both God and money, and when the church puts money before everything else, it really is going against the message of Jesus,” Timchak in 2006 told the Times Leader newspaper in Wilkes-Barre, for which he wrote a regular faith column.

“Father Bob,” as known in his newspaper column, subsequently took a yearlong leave of absence before being assigned to Pike County. During his leave, the diocese said, he worked for the Luzerne County Probation Office.

timchak

Robert Timchak



Scranton Catholic Woes
November 6, 2009, 14:35
Filed under: Church wrongs, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

elec city
774px-Scranton_welcome_sign_from_The_Office_creditsSome of you have seen this sign on a TV show called ‘The Office’.   My daughter watches the show, I do not.  I tried, but I just do not get the humor,  if there is any. There is far more drama, and even comedy in the reality that is Scranton.  The City broke away from Wilkes-Barre a century ago at the hight of industrial Pennsylvania,  and is a fascinating place.  It is the home of two really quality, really Catholic, Universities,  Scranton U.  a Jesuit institution, and  Marywood,  founded by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.   I am no expert, but that sounds about as Catholic as it gets.

Scranton is amazingly culturally diverse.  King coal brought in labor from Europe in stages.  The dates on the many churches give a guide to the waves of immigration.  First the Irish, then the Italians, and when the coal companies had enough of those, they went to Western Europe to recruit.  If there were one group they might unite, and that just would not do.  Fortunately for the mine bosses , all these ethnic groups pretty much  hated each other.  We have Slovak, Polish, Czech, Italian , Irish, Russian , Greek , Hungarian, and plain old Catholic churches in this area.  These groups never worshiped together, often fought in gangs, avoided intermarriage like the plague,   and had their own language, customs, foods holidays and Saints.  These were people who took their Catholicism seriously.  The church was a major part of their lives, providing all social contact, education in the English language and trades, and giving political direction.   Even today in Jessup, right outside Scranton,  St. Ubaldo races the other Saints for honor, it is close on occasion, but Ubaldo always wins!  Even when he fell of his perch one year and had to be hastily reassembled, he won!

Times are changing.  Now there is intermarriage,   a more homogenous culture, and a lot of empty churches.  Bishop Martino became very unpopular  by closing Catholic schools and churches.  The diocese was broke, he said, do to a lessening of contributions and the payouts made to all the child abuse victims.  As bad as things are, they get worse.  Like this.

Continue reading



Nerf Swords don’t cut
November 4, 2009, 09:40
Filed under: Church wrongs | Tags: , , , ,

 National Publishing and Jones Brothers, 187[?]                      Willohroots family bible from  my ‘s dad’s  side.New Illustrated Devotional and Practical Polyglot Bible [Cincinnati]: National Publishing and Jones Brothers, 187[?]   The Willohroots family bible on my father's side.Monday started off with rank disappointment, so instead of getting all down and blue, I thought I would listen to  Jeofurry sermon.  I like to hear Jeff preach, and thought that would be uplifting.  Just to continue the downward spiral of the day, I could not get any of his sermons to load.  At least the day was consistent.

 

I popped over to the church site of a friend of mine,  someone I had not checked in on in a long time.  I found an eight part series on The Beatitudes, at least that was the title, but they really weren’t.  A little googling and I found out that they were Rick Warren sermons, from one of Rick Warren’s sermon series.  I listened to most of them.  Now I was really depressed.

I heard a good man, a man with a loving servant’s heart become a shadow.  His sermon illustrations were not from his own life, they were from Rick Warrens life, and so the message I was getting was like a fax of a fax, a bit blurry, lacking the crisp detail needed to bring a message.  Seeing some one attempting to imitate anyone but Christ,  well it just isn’t Christian.

Armed with a cynical attitude and already filled with negatives, by the power granted to me by Google,  I set out to check out other web sermons.  I found way too many cheap imitations of the same thing.   Now I imitated Warren at a fancy dress party,  but never in the pulpit.  There are so many people going to Hell, so many of the saved that need the guidance of Holy Writ, and the exhorting that comes only from the Word,  that I take my post very seriously.  I can imitate no one.  I do not need to.  My God has worked in my life, He continues to do so, He does this so that I may share His Glory and point to Him.

To fight the Great War we are given the words of Moses and the Prophets, the Apostles, and even the words of the Messiah Yeshua!  These words have Power!

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edgedsword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Ephesians 6:17
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

I am afraid some of my brothers are using imperfect swords.  The power is not there,  because instead of reaching up to God for power in preaching, they are reaching out laterally to other preachers who have had success in their area.  They must forget that the success they are viewing  came from God,  not from the preacher whose church they are observing.  Instead of getting the message from the source, they are sitting in the shadow of a man, not the light of the Son.  If  you attempt to copy Warren, or Piper, or Keller, or MacArthur you will be such a shadow, wielding a shadow sword.  Reach High!  Attempt the unattainable, and seek to copy Christ, as did James, and Peter, and Paul, and all the rest.  You will fail, as I am sure they did, but it is a glorious failure, as the attempt is a victory, and fail to reach that hight the highest worship that we have.   The sword from this armory will have little effect in real war.

 

nerfswords0

Blades of sponge do not pierce to the heart.

I am not condemning Rich Warren, there are plenty of blogs for that,  but I am pleading for us all to use the great weapon we were given, the Sword of the Word.   Jeff , get First    Baptist  Langdon,  North Dakota site fixed,  and encourage your pastors to be themselves, as God has molded  them.  My wife has taught me much, but most of all to be me in the pulpit, just me.  If God put me there, [and He did] , why try to be someone else?  It is best to be a real little guy, standing in the Light of Jesus , wielding the true Sword,  than the shadow of a giant, holding a Nerf blade against the  Devil.  The bible has many stories of God using men and women, but I can only think of one where He used a Shadow.



Jonah, the Myth, the Story, the Sign.
Get real.

Get real.

The stories of the Bible are a gift from God to mankind.  The inspired prophets penned tales that illustrate the condition of man, his relationship to God, and God’s great Love for us all.  It is annoying and horribly upsetting when well meaning people take these wonderful tales and present them in a way that renders belief in them almost impossible, and actually misrepresents what I would consider the main points and message.  The story that most offends me today is the story of Will,  pardon me, Jonah.  I relate to this story as it seems to be the story of my life.  To have it reduced to the story of Pinocchio is really upsetting.

The case in point that chafes my chaps today is the tale of Jonah.  I love this story!  I relate to this story! I think every word in this story is true.  I do not believe that the picture above is indicative in any way of what occurred.  The flannelgram pictures I was shown as a child that threw me into rebellion [ ok, I was already in rebellion, but this stuff helped],  are still out there.  The testimony of Christ himself should confirm my point.

I was in a study group one time and the leader told me,  “It is OK if you do not have the faith to believe that Jonah lived in the whale three days.”  I do not think it is ok to believe that Jonah lived in the whale, as I do not believe that to be an example of faith, I believe it to be an example of poor hermeneutics. Look at what happened in the tale as Jonah was pitched overboard.

Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights

Fish.  Not whale. The Willohroots concordance defines the word used there, Keetos, as ‘giant swimming thing you would be scared of if it swam by you.

Here is a picture of Keetos from the willohroots concordance.

large-Whale-shark-feedingIt looks very capable of swallowing Jonah, or anybody it wants to, or is ordered to by God.

So this is probably a better representation,

August Jonah and the whale sm

Than is this,

GeppettoWhaleThe verbiage involved in the story seems to agree with me.  The King James’ says:

When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

Now I am not really sure about what that  means,  but I doubt I will be doing very much blogging after my soul faints.  The ESV makes it a bit clearer:

When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the LORD,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.

Seems like Jonah died.   I am not making a point to be argumentative, I feel this is very important.  When we teach the New Testament , the Old Testament stories are often critical to a complete understanding.  When Jesus, Yeshua, the Son of God and Messiah said,  “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one[i] greater than Solomon is here. 32The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.”

So when we teach the sign of Jonah, does this make sense?

Sunday school illustration used when I was  a kid.

Sunday school illustration used when I was a kid.

Or should we be teaching this?

sidebar_tomb_sealedHow could the Savior have said to people,” I will live inside a fish, or more believable[ or no more believable than that] a giant whale, for three days, this is the sign I give to you.”  Is that what He said?  Or did He say, ” As Jonah was dead for  three days in a fish, so I will be dead three days in the tomb.  That is the sign. ”   What do you think was the lesson our Lord brought there?  Is there any way to use Jonah living in a whale to illustrate Jesus?

The bible , my Savior, my God, taught that,

jonahwas a foreshadowing of

tomb

So tell me, am I being one of those weird preachers that goes through the nursery and gets rid of the stuff that reminds me of Pinocchio and fails to teach a Gospel message?  I fear that putting falsehoods into the minds of children, even small ones give the Devil a foothold.   I am not saying i am right all the time, or smarter than the average bear, I am saying I care and will do all I can to rightly interpret the word from the nursery onward.

What say you?

The Sign of Jonah

29As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. 32The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.

May God richly bless the reading of His Word, and may the Holy Spirit who inspired it lead us to a useful and correct understanding of it.



Baby Jessica Update! Praise God, keep praying!
October 13, 2009, 08:49
Filed under: blessings, faith, Jesus | Tags: , , , ,
By the Grace of God, still with us!

By the Grace of God, still with us!

Patti sends us an update on our miracle girl!  This is Jessica, who was so ignored by her birth parents, that she needed to be Life flighted to Hershey Medical Neonatal Center, on the brink of death.  They neglected to give her food or water.  She is a survivor! Thank you Jesus

From Patti:

First of all I would like to thank all for your prayers to our awesome God for our sweet Jessica and Bob{[Patti’s husband, Jessica’s uncle]and myself. Don’t ever doubt that your prayers aren’t heard and answered,  and so gratefully and humbly appreciated by Bob and I.

Jessica will be 18 months old on October 21st. She is now almost 20 lbs and a healthy, bright, energetic little girl.  She is running, and talking.  She loves reading and can recognize all of the alphabet and some numbers. She knows pretty much every animal and the sound they make.

We took Jessica to an animal park/zoo.  She loved it so much.  She just laughed and pointed at all the animals and called them to come to her.  She fell in love with Twigga, the giraffe, who she got to feed carrots to. She had no fear as this huge animal bending down to her and wrapping his tongue around her little hand to take the carrot.  She laughed and wanted to keep feeding him, which she did many times.  Many people there took great joy at watching Jessica enjoying the animals.  They followed us around, some took pictures of her, one man took a video.   All had such smiles on their faces watching this little angel enjoying God’s creatures.

She is the biggest little helper.   She loves to help me cook and bake.   She is very stubborn and determined and just understands so much.   She truly is a miracle and a wonderful blessing and an amazing little girl.

October proves to be an eventful month.   Her birth father is awaiting a bench trial.   He has pleaded not guilty although the DA thinks he may end up pleading guilty at the trial.   This trial is to be within the next two weeks.   Her birth mother has her plea hearing on October 27th and is expected to plead guilty.   They both have been testing positive for drug and alcohol throughout the entire judicial process.     They had a meeting with Children and Youth and the mother showed up drunk.   Children and Youth have tried to get them to give up their parental rights, but the birth father said “it’s my kid” and they think the birth mother would have given up her rights,   but she was drunk,  and the birth father wouldn’t let her alone with them.

God has been proving to me over and over again who is in charge. In my most anxious moments He wraps His arms around me and says,” be calm, I am here”.  We had the nightmare case worker, and then she went on maternity leave and we were assigned a new case worker who was a dream. In September the old case worker was back.  She called me on the phone to set up a visit and not two minutes into the conversation she was already telling me not to get my hopes up about keeping Jessica.   Well, needless to say, my asthma kicked in because of my anxiousness.   I dropped to my knees and prayed God to let me just not listen to her.   I prepared myself for this meeting by having people pray,  and I spent all morning going from room to room just praying the blood of Christ and glorifying God for all He has done and will do.   By the time the knock on the door came the Lord had me in a peaceful state,  knowing he was in control.  When Miss Nightmare  came in and sat down,  I took a deep breath and smiled.    I  asked her how she was,  and told her how Jessica was doing.   She then told me (brace yourself)  Children and Youth were going to give total custody of Jessica to us and they would be out of the picture.   What an awesome God!!!   So on October 21st (Jessica’s 18 month birthday) we have a hearing to appoint Bob and I as Jessica’s sole legal guardians.   Thank you Jesus again and again!

We will now pursue adopting her. We have no idea what it will involve. Our prayer is that both parents will give up their parental rights. Maybe once they are convicted and jailed they will realize what they have done and if they care anything at all about Jessica they will realize that she is happy and thriving and in the best place she could be.

Please keep us in continued prayer. We look forward to adopting our little Jessica. Pray that we have wisdom in what to do and who to go to.

I thank Pastor Will and Dawn for their constant prayers and help. I thank my family at Dayspring Bible and also all of you who I wish I could meet and just give you a big hug.

Thank you so much! God bless you all!

Patty



Searching for what is not hidden
October 3, 2009, 11:21
Filed under: apostacy, Bible study, Christ, faith, Jesus | Tags: , , , , ,

hiddeninplainviewIt is human nature to explore, to search and to delve into depth and hight never visited before.  This personality trait  of mankind has motivated us to cover the globe with  civilization,  exploiting as many of the God given resources as we can find and put to use.  Were we not made this way there would be no advancement, no exploration,  no progress.In  academic and philosophic  circles there is a great desire to plow the virgin field, and to stake claim to new grounds as the inventor or discoverer or progenitor of a new theory or school of thought.

It may be this portion of our nature that cause so many people to search for a “deeper” or “hidden meaning”  in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am personally convinced that the Holy Bible holds all the    information needed to know and please  God, though the Good News of Jesus, the Risen Messiah.  The Bible has proven itself to me to be authoritative,  complete, and truly Holy.  There are many translations available to compare and contrast what is said to come to a personal  understanding of the meaning presented.  It is enjoyable and educational when people bring different translations to a small group study.  comments like,   “My Bible says,”  or “It is said a little differently here”  bring open discussion allow varying perspectives to be examined,  giving participants the opportunity to voice the sentence in their own words, so as to bring the meaning home.

Finding “hidden” meaning in Scripture is quite another matter.  There is a thriving industry, and has been as long as there has been scripture, in having some “enlightened soul”  teach the secret meanings, and “unlock” they mysteries of Holy Writ.  The new rash of Cabalists  tell people that they are skilled at finding the meaning in the white spaces on the page, not in the inked portion.  This obvious nonsense satisfies Madonna.  Books and websites and cults that brag on finding treasures hidden for centuries in the most read of all books abound.  There have been claims for everything from higher levels of awareness, to the location of Atlantis,  all placed in the bible, usually  KJ 1611,  or the original Hebrew, or even in a painting of The Last Supper.

Re-reading some Gnostic literature has fanned the flames of my irritation.  I take the words of Paul seriously, “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” , and I honestly do not believe that one can be a steward of the mysteries of god, without being a servant of Christ.  The conjunctive is binding.  Those who claim to have “mysteries” but are not serving Jesus, are quite possibly serving someone else all together.   Those who use the very words of the Savior to weave a web of confusion deserve a special place on my list of irritants.  Let me share this portion of poison.

Jesus’ Five Stage Model of Consciousness And How His Theory of Nature Provides the Key To Stage IV

Jesus’ parable of the sower (Mark 4:13-20) conveys how his teachings are received according to the stage of consciousness of the receiver. What the sower is sowing is the Word, meaning the logos/mind of God. As soon as those on the edge of the path (those in Stage I) hear about the word/logos, they let Satan [the personification of evil] come and carry it away. Similarly, those who receive the seed on patches of rock [those in Stage II] hear the Word [Jesus’ logos/logic teachings] and at first, welcome it with joy. But because they have no root in them, they do not last;.. When the first test or persecution on account of the word comes, they fall away at once. “For they have no moral conscience to persist. Then there are others, [those in Stage III], who receive the seed in thorns, [meaning in a judgmental environment]. They have heard the word, but the worries of this world, the lure of riches, and all other passions come in to choke the word, and so it produces nothing. And then, there are those who have received the seed in rich soil [those in Stage IV]. They hear the word and accept it and yield a harvest, 30 and 60 and a 100 fold.” [Mark 4:13-20]

The key concept, upon which Jesus anchored his knowledge teachings, is that each of us is meant to grow through five forms/states of consciousness and each form is initiated by a consciousness-raising idea.

This discussion  of   “levels of knowledge or awareness”  is quite common among those who seek to find the secret in the open.  Perhaps a better  “unwrapping”  of this parable was given by the author,” 10. And as soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, [began] asking Him [about] the parables. 11. And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12. in order that while seeing, they may see and not perceive; and while hearing, they may hear and not understand lest they return and be forgiven.” 13. And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? And how will you understand all the parables? 14. “The sower sows the word. 15. “And these are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. 16. “And in a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky [places], who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17. and they have no [firm] root in themselves, but are [only] temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. 18. “And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19. and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20. “And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it, and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

Nothing of levels, but of different reactions differing people have to the gospel, a reaction we have all seen take place.  The 8th chapter of Romans is also given a treatment of being divided into levels.  It seems anything is used to promote the idea that some people know some facts that others have missed.

Could it be the truth is plainly laid out for us? Hebrews 1

1. God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2. in these last days has spoken to us in [His] Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Joh 1:14
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Deuteronomy 30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, IT IS NOT HIDDEN FROM THEE, neither is it far off.

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; 3. In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 6. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him: 7. Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Before delving in to supposed mysteries and hidden revelation, we should encourage seekers to contemplate the ultimate Mystery. 1Jo 4:19

We love Him, because He first loved us.



The Church as seen by a Ret. Vol. Fire Chief

 

It has pleased God to provide much of  my training needed to pastor Dayspring Bible Chapel in fire-halls and in fire service.  My leadership skills with volunteers [ still needing much improvement] , my teaching style, my counseling and discipline abilities were all honed in Fire Service at Mt. Zion Bicentennial Fire Dept.  To me this makes biblical sense.  Moses was trained as a shepherd,  Nehemiah in a king’s court, Luke in study to be a physician and many more examples.  God is a master of cross training.  

Moving from Fire Service to His Service I  have noticed a lot of  comparison points where churches fall far behind firefighters.  One area not lacking is technology. Churches use PowerPoint and email and websites, burning DVD’s of services and using audio visual aids with cutting edge science.  This is an area in which I admit Dayspring is far behind.  Other areas in the visible church could learn much from your local fire department, and my suggestion is we emulate or at least learn from America’s Bravest:

  • Mutual Aid,  one company calling and receiving assistance from others
  • Member Retention,  recruiting is fine, but keep what you have
  • Leadership Hierarchy, know who is in charge of what
  • Buddy System,  a pair beats high card every time
  • Personnel Accountability , know who is where and their condition
  • Member Utilization,  everybody works for the common good
  • Pre-Planning,  prepare for the worst, think ahead
  • Bonding in powerful life relationships
  • Community Service,  cat in tree, pool fill, non fire service calls
  • Effective Mobilization, calling out the troops in time of need
  • Fellowship in leisure activities,  work hard, play hard
  • Emergency Reaction,  no committee decisions on an alarm
  • Training,  the only usable personnel are trained personnel

Take a look at the picture above. A college age woman is using a Dry-chem portable extinguisher on an imaginary fire.  She has been able to hold the extinguisher, feel it’s weight, hear the sound it makes when it discharges, see its range and operate it in a safe environment.   She has no doubt been taught the mnemonic,P.A.S.S.   Pull Pin, Aim , Squeeze, and Sweep.   Imagine how her success at reducing property loss and mitigating a hazardous situation has been improved by this training.  Experience has taught that well meaning people without training have failed miserably in using hand held extinguishers.  More than one person has dropped a CO2  extinguisher in panic at hearing the loud roar it made when used.  Many frightened people have not pulled the safety pin, and strong men have broken many handles squeezing with all their might against the safety pin.  The extinguishing agent does no good against fire if not directed at the base of the flame from the proper distance.  
For the cost of a refill, $38.00, this woman has been made into a firefighter who could save millions of dollars.  No doubt she sees now what area the tool covers, and now understands how big a fire may be combated with this device, and has been taught when the battle is worth fighting and when to bail out.  An extinguisher in the hands of a trained person is a firefighting tool. An extinguisher without training is a red can on the wall that pleases insurance companies and  is usable only as a door stop.  

At church and in His service we fight the very flames of Hell.  How much training do we provide?  Pastors have seminaries  [I have deep rebellion issues on this one that I will get to later] , Lay leaders have conferences, but does the guy or gal  in the pew get training?   Training applicable to real world scenarios?  It just does not seem so. Here is a great read by Willohroots commenter Michael Bell, found on the Imonk site where we met.

“As noted earlier, before the age of 24, most of those who will leave have already left, whether they be Catholic or Protestant.”

Mike points out What is happening, here is my take on Why: They are untrained.  Putting a firefighter in a position of danger without proper training and equipment is a recipe for disaster.  Best case scenario, he will quit the service  feeling he is a coward and a failure, or worst case, he will die.  The church is too often presented as an island of comfort, a refuge from a world of sin, a safe society where sin is presented as “their” problem and we claim to have overcome.  When a young adult is loosed into a world of all nature of sin the flames are too much and the options are either to beat  a hasty retreat or be consumed.  There are some time honored training methods available to us, and we need to teach and preach them if we are to succeed. Here are some areas that we need to address:

 

  • Witnessing,  not tracts, not acting plastic, but sharing Jesus in a real and meaningful way.
  • Confronting sin face to face, retreat is not the only tactic.
  • Preparation for condemnation from the world , it is going to come, be ready, your professors [most] think we are crazy.
  • Real world issues are not black and white: divorce, sex, drugs,etc,  must be understood – not simply condemned.
  • History of the Bible and the Church, in truth, warts and all,  knowledge is power and many of our youth are powerless.
  • Evils of the Church,  we are His bride, but we have messed up a lot, from crusades to defense of slavery, the truth is good to know.
  • Denominational Distinctives,  we do things differently, get used to it.  Sure ,’we are right and they are wrong’, but God forgives [whoever we are].
  • Sin.  Sin is fun in the short term. Admit it and do not fear, we face nothing alone, He is there.
  • Forgiving, forgiving , forgiving

 

The church has a choice, to be a a life raft floating on the sea of society, tossed by the waves and adrift, or a surf rescue society, trained people with a mission deliberately putting ourselves in harms way , with purpose and mission , to head out into danger for the purpose of rescuing the lost and drowning.  We can be strictly a social hall, offering a nice place to have fellowship, or with training and the weapons provided by God,  rolling out with a higher purpose, saving the lost from the flames that never die while keeping each other as safe as possible in a hostile environment. 

We were saved to serve, not sit.  Our service cannot be done without preparation.  Next post,  Training.  What say you? Are you trained?  Have you been to some good classes?  Share, we all need to keep sharp.