Willohroots


Prayer Request
December 8, 2009, 09:29
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am off to Scranton to interview with the Salvation Army for a Drug and Alcohol counselor position.  I would be a chance to get paid for what i am doing already, and an opportunity to work where I do not need to hide my Bible.

Please pray that this works out on His plan,  it would be a blessing if this is His will.  It is entry level,  and that is fine with me, as I am entering a field I left 30 years ago.    This is a job that would fit into my Dayspring schedule very well. May His will be done.



Look What They’ve Done to My Song, Lord.
December 4, 2009, 12:30
Filed under: Christ, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Luk 2:14      Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.   So we have read it, so we have sung it,  so it must be, right?  Then how do we explain to those not of the family of Christ, and they always want and need explained to,  why there are wars, and why so few truly have peace with God?  You can not be at peace with an unknown entity,  not be at true peace with One you feel hostility toward.  Since the Word is true, why did the Advent of the Christ not bring a new era of peace to the earth, and make the last two thousand years a paradise?  Where is this peace of which the angels sang?  Something is wrong here.

My journey through faith and reading of the Word has taught me that if there is a fault with the Word, it is on man’s side not God’s.  Let us take a look at other translations.
New King James “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Footnote:
* NU-Text reads toward men of goodwill.

NLT   “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.*”

Footnote:

  • Or and peace on earth for all those pleasing God. Some manuscripts read and peace on earth, goodwill among people.

NIV  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

NASB and RSV “Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”*

ESV “Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”*

Footnote:

* Some manuscripts peace, good will among men


I see here a huge difference.  God did not come at Advent to make nice with the world.  God came to give an avenue by which we may please Him,  the avenue of Faith in the Messiah.  How did the King James translators deal with this verse later in the same book?

Luk 12:51    Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

Does that not propose a conflict?  The fault is never God’s, it is ours.  Would Christmas attitudes be different if the carols sung said, “Peace on earth to all who please Him by Faith?”  The unbelievers might feel a bit more left out, and seek to get on board.

Do you have the peace He brought?  Are you pleasing to the Lord, not by your inherent goodness or your works, but by your faith that brings the inevitability of good works?  May we all praise God for the Gift this season!



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?



Hamfluenza virus strikes!
November 11, 2009, 14:51
Filed under: Uncategorized

hamI feel like swine.   I am going to pop myself in the oven until this is done!



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



Holy costume party Batman!
October 31, 2009, 17:46
Filed under: Uncategorized

I just got something sprung on me, the AA meeting I wish to go to to support and celebrate at is a costume gig.  I found a Hawaiian shirt,  a bible, and a cup from Starbucks,   any ideas?

 

I know, I am going as,,           Rick Warren!



Kingdom Math
October 27, 2009, 09:32
Filed under: Uncategorized
Carry the two, add the ought , divide by short span of attention

Carry the two, add the ought , divide by short span of attention

If you are one of the Dayspring people who recently were baptized please stop reading now.  Seriously, if your initials are Mike K. [ yes, you] , or any of the new people,  don’t let this bring you down, it is just how it is.    Anyway, for the rest of the Willohroots readers  there is a mathematical problem in new church plants that is manifesting itself at Dayspring,  and is all too common in the Christian world.  I have heard church planters talk about it, and I have read some blogs about this phenomenon,  but it sure gets real when your face gets rubbed in it.

A new church start with a Christian core group of a few established, experienced  disciples, and a larger group of  newbies,  seekers and the walking wounded has a wonderful balance.  There are experienced, stable people who can provide the voice of godly wisdom, and who are financially secure enough to be a back bone of support for the outreach ministries of the church.

In our capitalistic  society, a hug is wonderful,  a shared meal is a delight,  but to impact a life often takes money.  We have had no success with our rich young ruler [Mark 10:17] ministry.   Most of us had to be shown we were lost before we saw we needed a savior. While many unsaved people are quite wealthy, some lost people often need a bit of help.   We don’t want to see someone who is cold and needs a coat, and say “We will pray for you!”.  Dayspring has paid a couple rent, tax, light, and phone  bills, bought some clothes, and generally showed some love to the people God has put in our path.  These small expenditures have proved very effective in getting the attention of un-churched people and illustrating to them the Love of Jesus.

Most of the people to whom  we have reached out have responded very positively to the Gospel message,  our small gifts were enough to get their attention and open their hearts to a life changing method.  Many of these people are stabilizing, and with God’s help overcoming addiction, arrogance  and biblical ignorance,  improving their own lot in life and moving toward a position from which to help others.  This movement may take some time.  Often there are fines to be paid off, amends to be made, new jobs to be found.  The adventure of a Christian life is just beginning for these folk, and it is a joy to observe and share God’s involvement in their lives.

So often, however,  that portion of the church that was the financial backbone , the tithers who have walked with God and who have been blessed with health and jobs and a stable financial base begin to move away.  These new people do not act, or speak,  or dress like the church people of former fellowships.  some have coarse language, no idea of how “church people” act,  and as they are reinvented by God  often have unstable employment, and contribute spottily to the church.   They did not grow up in a pot luck covered dish society.  They bring a bag of chips and joke about the lack of a six-pack.  Many step outside for a smoke, as we must sometimes  pick an addiction to fight.  There are times that the slogan T-shirt is way wrong!  If these people invite family to a church function, there will often  be trouble, as their families are often a wreck,  and  not supportive of one of their own who has gone ‘religious”.

The positive side however outweighs all of the above.  These new Christians have hearts, so recently installed by God as He replaced the Flint hard, cold, sin drenched , damaged , evil hearts that these folk came with,  new hearts that love the Gospel, love a bird song, love the sun up, love the scripture, and love the little church that God used to bring them to Him.   There is an energy, a sense of victory surrounding them that is truly a blessing to behold.  All Christiandom should rejoice, as did the angels in heaven for the salvation of these precious souls!  Now for the problem, it is the Law of Diminishing Financial Return.

Due to poor life style choices of the past, this new group owes Caesar money for fines, and have had a share of employment issues.  There is no way, at the moment, that they can contribute much cash to the cause.  They contribute time, sweat, labor and prayer, but the economics are going to need to wait a while.  This should not be a problem, as you have the established brothers and sisters to back them up , right?   Here in lies the problem.  People who have been “churched”  for years have expectations.  They grow to miss the fellowship of body of like believers.  It is not easy being an elder in every social setting.  Sometimes they want to just be one of the group.  There is a comfort in a body of like-minded believers. It is nice to go to a pot luck knowing there will actually be other cooked products there.  It is refreshing to talk about Charles Stanley, and Billy Graham without someone piping up, “Who is that?  I listened to Joel Olsteen once, He seems like a nice guy!”  Stories of abuse and addiction can be hard to hear.   I didn’t say it was easy.

I have heard the frustration.  A wonderful woman,  a former Christian teacher and a bible student once said to me, “All these changed lives are great, but we need to get back to basics!”  She was quite serious.   Another saint left fellowship saying, “I feel like the oldest person here,  like a dinosaur, I need to be around older people.”  Other stable families visit, say they love the music, like the preaching, but they don’t return.  We do have some scary looking dudes.  I think these people are forgetting a lot.  We are not to be a club.  we are to reach out into the community and make disciples.  Church is not about what you can get out of it, it is what can you put into it!  Bringing in the harvest!  That is why we exist, and all else is but window dressing.   I would rather show the Light to one lost man, than be in the light with one hundred who can see.  We are called to be a life boat, not a community swimming pool!   Here are a couple verses that have given me strength lately, enjoy!

Galatians 2:10

They only asked us to remember the poor— the very thing I also was eager to do.

2 Corinthians 9:8-10 (New American Standard Bible)

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

as it is written,
HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR,
HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.”

Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness



Forgiveness Plea
October 20, 2009, 08:11
Filed under: Uncategorized

repentI repent!  In trying to make a point about division , I caused it!  Please forgive my lack of tact,  it is no secret that I have the subtle charm of a buffalo in a bakery.  No more allusion and tongue in cheek, it hurts when I bite down!

I must remember that we speak of serious matters and these are serious times.  I have learned that Justin has taken 20 lbs. of candi- corn and gone off to the desert.  I hope he will not harm himself or others.

Seriously, I might kid you, but I would never hurt you!  Sorry if some of you all got offended.  I might be stupid, but I am trainable!



Having Christ’s mind, Treasure in a clay jar.
October 17, 2009, 09:14
Filed under: Uncategorized

Having Christ’s mind?

Human skulls containing the mind of Christ?

Human skulls containing the mind of Christ?

People can argue about so many things.  The condition of ingested prophets,[please see last post]  that old question of philosophers ” How many pins can you stick in the head of an angel”, the color to paint the lobby,  Scripture vs. Tradition,  all these have caused rifts from church splits to shooting wars.  How in the world can any group of people be centered on a common mission?  How can peace reign with free thinkers?

From Philippians 2   Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but  made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

The Savior could humble Himself to the point of death, most of us won’t give an inch on a committee if we think were are right.  We would rather be right than relational.  Our grasp on our rightness far exceeds or grasp on righteousness.

Philipians 1 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent,  I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction,  but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,  engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

Will we suffer to put up with others even if we disagree?  Well if Christ could let go of being equal with God, i guess i can let go of some of my precious ideas.

If the salvation message of the Good News,  “Repent and Believe!” is foremost in our lives we need to put all other thoughts in second place.  So i repent in sack-cloth and ashes.  There will be no  “1st Baptist Church of Jonah Died in the Fish, Church of the Resurrected Slimy  Prophet” .  I can’t break fellowship with Justin and Joe over this issue.  Justin I am sorry I called you a candi-corn eating heretic. [ I didn’t type it, just said it, sorry],  Joe I will stop digging for dirt to besmirch you, If you are convinced Jonah lived in the whale, well my love for you in Christ Jesus means more to me than my opinion on a small issue.  I wish to be forgiven and continue our fellowship.  I would rather be humbled than alone.

But,  just asking,  would it be all right if we examined and spoke of my belief when this issue came up, and could we have discussion without division?

By the way, this was one of my opinions that was brought up to me as a reason I should leave a particular church where I was active in a few ministries.



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.