Forecast

Predictions of what the future will bring, near or down the road, are as ubiquitous on the internet and facebook as cat and dog videos. And many of them are just as insightful. The discord of disagreeing opinions is unrelenting. Church leaders are still trying to show how their constant and repetitive predictions were correct and are adding attachments to their forecasting. Those who disagreed with these sentiments are saying why doom is imminent because of the outcome. Yet in the midst of all these messages of gloom and bright shiny days simultaneously, one thing is still missing. The church has yet to see the role it played in adding to the hate, division, and now this bitter animosity we see, and it continues to throw gasoline onto an already raging fire. Too much of “my side won” rather than prayer for His peace. Many say that they are not saying those things, but if you stand idly by with no response when others say hurtful and divisive things, then you’re part of the problem. I know that people on both sides of the issue are making polarizing statements, but the Church is supposed to be seen as a light in this world.

This is much like the practice of fracking. People want to get oil and gas out of the ground as quickly and cheaply as they can. So they force a mixture of water, sand, and dangerous chemicals into a crack in the earth’s structure. They get their oil and gas, but in the process they pollute drinking water, and the waste water from this has no place to go. Pressure builds up and seismic activity is induced, eventually causing an earthquake. Some areas have had drastic increases in earthquakes as well as an increase in the magnitude. This is analogous to what we see some are doing in the evangelical community. They are so intent on getting their message through that they pay no heed to the measures they use to be heard and of the consequences of their methods. Christ is usually absent from the ways many have chosen to align themselves to hate and discord. The ways justify the means. They celebrate what they feel is a victory, but the way in which this has been done has brought dishonor to Him. They have listened for the voice of God in the great wind that can tear apart mountains and feel they heard Him speak in the earthquake. They saw and heard directions in the fire of chaos, but they missed what He said in that still small voice. And He is still saying things in that still small voice for what may still come. But they’re listening to the storm, not to Him.

So the forecast says there is no lull after the storm. It still rages. There will be all types of inclement weather. It will be like watching the different tracks of computer models for a hurricane and the forecaster having no idea which one is correct. They will say a weather satellite is no longer in orbit so it’s just too hard to predict what this storm will do. Try speaking to it! Tell it to dissipate! Christians need to believe and show who He is in them. Quit following those who speak great swelling words of emptiness. They are like clouds without water. Behavior contrary to the teachings of Christ produces only division and ill will. Again, come out from among them and be separate. Quit fretting over every new thing you hear. As it so profoundly says in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Blessings.

Terebinth Tree

The Passion Translation in Ephesians 4:21, 26-27 and 29 says “If you have really experienced the Anointed One, and have heard His truth, it will be seen in your life, for we know that the ultimate reality is embodied in Jesus. So be passionate! But don’t let the passion of your emotions lead you to sin! Don’t let anger control you or be fuel for revenge, not even for a day. Don’t give the slanderous accuser, the Devil, an opportunity to manipulate you. And guard your speech—never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them.” And in Hebrews 12: 14-15 it says, “In every relationship be swift to choose peace over competition and run swiftly towards holiness…. and make sure no one lives with a root of bitterness sprouting within them which will only cause trouble and poison the hearts of many.”

 I’ve watched, read, and listened very closely to what Christians have been saying and writing for the last year. More and more, it just about became impossible to tell I was witnessing the words of those who were believers in Christ. I pray you take some time and reflect after this election cycle and see if there is anything you’d like to change in how you represented Him. We are supposed to walk as children of light. We will hopefully know tonight who our next President will be. We need healing. It’s up to us to pray.

 When I lived in Jupiter, FL, I had a place dedicated and bathed in prayer. As soon as I would sit there, both my dog and cat would immediately get as close as they could to the loveseat I always sat on. The presence of God would be there so quickly and they would not move no matter how long I sat there. They’d close their eyes and any external stimuli that would normally get their attention, was ignored. I’d spend time there each day. It became a place consecrated to the Lord and I’ve had trouble being able to recapture that since moving. There are things that have happened in my life that have caused me to lose focus, but this is still incumbent on me to recapture. I press on.

 In Genesis chapters 13 and 18, Abraham has an encounter with God by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron. He built an altar to the Lord at that place in dedication to Him. Abraham ministered to the Lord by bringing water to wash the feet of the Lord and the feet of the angels, and provided food and offering. We need a place that is just ours where we meet with the Lord. Dedicated to Him. In our hearts of course, but also a physical place where we wait in prayer. The terebinth tree was known for being a symbol of strength and power. One tradition, according to Josephus, says the tree was as old as the world itself. Angels came there. The terebinth tree had an extensive root system allowing it to remain green even in drought. All of this reflects Christ. We need to sit in His presence and listen to what He is saying. We need to be healed and refreshed from this season of ugliness. We need to repent. We need to be like that tree as it says in Psalm 1:3 “That is planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does will prosper.” We cannot prosper or do anything of worth for the Kingdom remaining like this. Find that place of solitude with Him. Plant your terebinth tree.  See how deep your roots will go.

Walk in the wisdom of God and make it your duty to make Him known. Let every word you speak be drenched with grace and tempered with truth and clarity. I pray peace and renewing in all of us. Blessings.

Babel

Pastors and prophets have for months now been telling you what they will do regarding this election. It has become commonplace to call evil good, and good evil. They cite a couple of examples of how the person lines up with what a Christian should believe but disregard so many other glaring faults that should disqualify that person. They choose to compromise contrary to God. Many of these well known pastors have brought a wolf into their congregations to fellowship with them under the pretense of introducing them to the congregation. Sheep usually follow the shepherd. They see a wolf on a leash and think maybe they are safe. He’s the shepherd, so why would he put them in harm’s way? They follow aimlessly, but a sense of unease is starting to take root. They argue with some of their fellow sheep and some walk off on their own. Usually, to their demise. Something is off but they are not able to recognize what it is with any discernment. Too much discord causes stress. Soon their wool loses its sheen and thickness. They’re still looking to the shepherd, but he is self-absorbed, and because he has stepped into an arena that caters to his own self-interest and not the flock, he is now unable to see the danger he has loosed within his own flock. Now the sheep head in different directions, as the voice of the shepherd no longer is one of truth and right standing authority. Some people look upon all of this and shake their heads in dismay. What shepherd, aware of his standing before the one who entrusted these sheep to him, would lead their sheep to drink from bitter and polluted waters? These shepherds thought they tamed this wolf, but they set him loose among the unsuspecting. For the wolf, it is now mealtime.

Still, these men who purport to serve God and look after His sheep, come up with so many reasons why they are right. I’ve spoken to quite a few people that are either on the fence regarding belief in Christ or are even agnostic or atheist.  They see this as a good reason to remain where they are. I am thankful He allowed me to speak to them in the hope something might resonate. The Lord did not tell me that His choice was Trump or Clinton. He did point me to His word and I know it did not change. He likened this to Genesis 11, when the people listened not to God but went off united on their own path. But the Lord told me that it was His mercy displayed when He confused their language so that they would not be able to understand one another. But He is not doing that now. He is leaving us to our own devices. We already do not understand each other, yet continue to rail against every precept He has set before us in an uncommon unity. When we follow things that appeal to the most vile and visceral parts of our nature, how can we expect to hear Him with clarity? Something in my spirit has been in a state of continual unrest and agitation for too long. My prayer time, for this especially, has increased. If people could truly look to see what they have willfully followed, and the hate and discord it has wrought, would they stop and realize the destruction they have brought upon the Kingdom? I’m speaking to those who say they are Christians. What have you done with the teachings of Jesus? Are you aware that this same hatred you voice against so many you openly disagree with has such a negative but forceful power to cause lasting damage? Are you aware that this same hate-spewed venom is tapped into the main root of that same spirit of hate that said to Pilate of Christ, “CRUCIFY HIM!”?  Are you no more enlightened then they were that day? As I keep saying, come out from among them!

It is said that if God’s people will humble themselves and pray, seek Him, and repent, He will forgive and heal this land. It is never too late. I pray as Paul did in Rom. 15:13 “that the God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Blessings.

Lesser of Two Evils

I have been receiving messages on Facebook, constantly reading Christian views on what they feel I’m required as a believer to do, or having people start conversations as to why I must vote a certain way. The fate of the world is hinged on this election. I opt out of their conversations. Yet the closer we get to Nov 8, the more I hear from others that I must cast my vote for Trump to protect the 2nd amendment or free speech or state’s rights. Please someone get a copy of an 8th grade civics book to find out what measures one has to take to change an amendment. As to religious leaders being worried about losing their tax exempt status if they say the “wrong” thing, try preaching the kingdom and see if that produces different results. Quit trying to align yourselves with people of power no matter who they are. Come out from among these people who will say anything to get your support, and be separate. (more on this in a future post) When I tell the few people I share my views with that I am writing in a candidate,  I’m harshly met with how I will be responsible for the future balance of the Supreme Court.  You’re trying to put that on me? When that clown car drove up to the circus tent and they kept getting out, you had 16 choices. But the 17th clown got out and he was the one with the bucket, threatening to throw water on everyone. You all laughed. But it turned out to be toxic waste. And instead of being horrified, you followed him and ate up every horrible thing he said and did.

Now you say I must choose the lesser of two evils, and for evangelicals, that is Trump. That’s not scriptural. Duet 30:19 says, “I set before you life and death, choose life.” Josh 25:15 says “choose who you will serve. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Gal 6:8 says “sow to the flesh and reap corruption or to the Spirit and reap eternal life.” We can follow Christ or not. We can believe or not. We are not to believe that choosing the lesser of two evils is right. Rom 3:8 says, “And why do evil that good may come from it as people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.” And it says in 1Thess 5:22, “we are to abstain from every form of evil.” I cannot profess one thing and follow another path set by man. I have enough trouble doing what is right to consciously follow a lie.

Please do not mistake this for a partisan rant. I’m an independent and always have been. I supported both Reagan and Bush41. I try to follow what I believe is right and I am in deep prayer on this. But when those who identify themselves as Christians and support a person who denigrates a war hero like Senator McCain, or a hero who died for this country but happened to be of the wrong faith according to some, who encourages violence, is comfortable maligning anyone who disagrees with him, is racist, hateful, arrogant, xenophobic, has a history of cheating contractors he agreed to pay, refuses to commit himself to learning what is necessary to know as a leader of the U.S. , or has the temperament of a spoiled brat, then you need to step away from a person like that. And though politicians are known for lying, he has made it a new art form. But even with all of this, his treatment of women from things he has been heard saying, to name calling, to threatening to sue those who have testified publically to what they said he did, to a lascivious look at a little girl and saying he’d be dating her in ten years, is more than I can stomach. I’d rather see the Republican party implode and learn from its mistakes.

A pastor I know wrote, “We the church have a much higher call than one presidential election. We have to stand for righteousness no matter the cost.” He also asked, “Church, what happens if you gain the Supreme Court but lose your soul?” I know this is a troubling time, but we still have to show who we are in Christ. The Lord said through his prophet Micah in 6:8, “What does the Lord require of you but that you do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with the Lord your God.” We have to follow His precepts no matter what is going on around us. Trust Him no matter the intensity of the storm. Just like Abraham, “contrary to hope, in hope he believed.” Blessings.

Word to Christian Voters

I have never been more disheartened with what I see from fellow Christians that are involved in the terrible state of affairs over this current political cycle. The vitriolic spouting of words filled with hate and anger amaze me. Each election gets worse. Granted the shape of the world is also deteriorating at a seemingly breakneck speed, but as Christians, your light is supposed to shine rather than be extinguished by a miasma of political vapors. You are to guard your heart for out of it springs all the issues of life. We who are spiritual should judge all things but we are told by the apostle Paul to imitate Christ. I do not see that. Your faith should be in God not the wisdom of men. At what point do we stop and say, “Is this who I am, is this the person that represents my beliefs?” I hear demonic and sensual dialogue masquerading as wisdom. Words fueled by anger, wrath, malice, filthy language, hatred, dissension, jealousy, backbiting, and selfish ambitions. And Evangelicals rally around these sentiments raising their voices in support! Come out from among them and be separate! You are to show Christ in you and your love for your fellow man. I am not professing an exaggerated example of turning the other cheek as if all will work out. But I am saying that you have the mind of Christ and with that you should expect to be led in the Way you should go and not be led by man. There is a way that seems right to man but in the end is the way of death. The words of their mouth seem smoother than butter in how they entice but war and division is in their heart. I find it astonishing that the same people that purport to follow the teachings of Christ and have the word readily available to them and supposedly within them, fall prey to those who easily lead them away. Who has bewitched you!!! The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells within you. Yet you are enticed by clouds carried by a tempest spouting great swelling words of emptiness and with promises that you know will not be delivered and are fueled by jingoistic fervor all the while saying this will lead to liberty but is actually leading you into bondage. We are to be examples of whom we serve. When hate, anger, lies and dissension reign, then that is what enters us. We become what we behold. And with that this is how we are seen by those who already step back from Christ. We are the first thing people see when they look to Christ. Is it any wonder that Ghandi said “I could believe in this Christ if it wasn’t for you Christians.” There is more at stake here than just who wins this coming election. Your very essence is involved. Again, guard your hearts. And gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.