Friday, September 14, 2012

Marriage Counseling

Following is my response to a comment written by Stan.  It was too long for the comment box.  You can read his comment under my post, "Marriage, It's a Given?"

Stan,
I sometimes wish I hadn't elected to comment on that particular post. I always use the ten before and after rule when looking at scripture. Obviously, according to this particular passage, salvation can not only be lost, but also, after reaching a certain point in our walk with the Lord, as in regard to the qualifiers mentioned in the post, salvation cannot be regained. The author has admonished us to go beyond the "milk stage" to the "strong meat" that "belongeth to them that are of full age". Have I tasted of the powers of the world to come? I'm not sure, as I stated, where this point is. I don't understand what would cause this sort of fatal falling away from someone that has become "of full age". I know that my desire is to reach that stage, not to fall away of course, but to obtain that obedience. A common thought is that Paul is addressing the Jewish converts who were now rejecting the gospel, hence the stern warning. The impossibility of return could be likened to man that has fallen into a well, thrown a rope, and then slashes the rope beyond his reach, the rope representing Christ’s atonement by the cross. God is not sending another messiah that meets his expectations nor is it a possibility except by Christ’s sacrifice, already a done deal. There’s only one meal on the menu, the Bread and the Blood. Christ’s once for all sacrifice insufficient,” seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” and relapsing back into a system of repeated animal sacrifice, probably not a good idea. Is there a connection possibly related to the unpardonable sin? I don’t know. I had hoped for someone wiser than I for enlightenment or discussion.

Actually, election came into the discourse because no one seemed inclined to talk about the Hebrew passage. Dismissal accompanied with repeated attempts to defend a once saved always saved doctrine along with the “if” does not mean “if”, if it doesn’t reinforce my position, clarifications were the default responses. Hence the posting I wrote which actually had broadened considerably to respond to my position. It seemed the kinder thing for Neil’s sake than to use His site for a platform. I’m not sure how to give you greater clarity and am afraid I’ll be just restating the same thing and it’ll be wordy and repetitive. As far as election, the elect are always in reference to the believers that the author is writing to. I have a hard time conceptualizing unbelievers falling away. How does that happen? What exactly have they fallen away from?  Chosen and choosing to accept the calling is a believing Christian. Colossians 1:22-23 affirms this position with Paul’s warning, “In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; [amazing, after ofter only 32 years from the crucifixion, the known world evangelized] whereof I Paul am made a minister.” Free will opens the door to rejection, corruption, violence and cruelty, and falling away. Now, remember I learned cognitive dissonance from you and Dan so don't be sensitive about it. I watch Barney too [video – we don’t do tv]. My point was in reference to God giving a person free will and then at the same time withholding it. God may indeed be willing that none should perish but His holiness and justice are such as to not allow the salvation of an unrepentant, unwilling, recipient. God's sovereignty is not impugned or diminished. Lewis talks of intrinsic possibilities and impossibilities. It's impossible for God to lie for example of an intrinsic impossibility. As Lewis would say "the intrinsic impossibilities are not things but non-entities. It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of His creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because His power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God". Cognitive Dissonance? I'm not willing that my children not walk with the Lord. I'm not willing that any of them be damned. Still it’s an undeniable fact of life. It happens all the time. My love is not severed from them and they were not snatched away, they walked away. Involuntary union is not love. It’s certainly not God like. It’s god like, the god of self, what we must be willing to surrender and let God kill. For me it’s a takes a constant beating, every day I wake up to the struggle of my flesh. Of one thing I’m sure, I’m in the race and the race is not over.

Do I believe the Hebrew passage as written and inclusive of the possibility of not being renewed unto repentance? Yes.

I had the opportunity to meet a man from India whose Grandfather [a Hindu priest on his way with another to beat up the new missionary] was converted to the faith by the Holy Spirit not knowing the language of the missionary. He was, of course, rejected by the village and family and forced to move. His grandmother died and the family decided he should be allowed to return for the funeral. She was three days dead when he arrived. He prayed over her and raised her from the dead in front of three hundred people. His family was converted on the spot. This is the short version of course. It came to pass that he was approached by a denomination that would support his ministry if he would do it under his name. He couldn’t find anything in the Bible to explain how the church could be divided into things called denominations and the offer was rejected. He did find a lot about healing, praying for the sick, casting out demons [commonplace in his ministry], and a host of other things that he uses based on a simple belief that the Bible is truth.

I was raised lukewarm, am a lapsed liberal, former Baptist, former Open Bible, and now simply a Christian. I don’t take the name of anyone but Jesus. I don’t pet the sacred cows anymore to acquire membership in a denomination. I look at passages like Hebrews 6:4-6 and believe simply because it’s in the Bible. It’s true I don’t understand it all, but I understand more than I did twenty years ago.  I rode with Tankachin (The man spoken of above) in the back seat to a church in Rapid City, about sixty miles, and after spending that afternoon with him I was completely embarrassed about my walk with the Lord. He couldn’t comprehend how two Christians could divorce; he has a two to three percent rate among his converts. He said, “Even if man beat woman, we fix.” How come we don’t see God moving like you do I asked? He replied, “You don’t need God, you go to the doctor, you buy everything with money, you make God second, you don’t believe God.” If the Bible said it he believed it. “In India we preach the gospel and then we prove it, preach and prove.” He got that straight out the Bible. He runs around India in his Volkswagen bus with the old Barney style police horn on top singing about the blood of Jesus and people possessed or oppressed, never hearing Jesus name before, run screaming out of the village and he goes to work. We sit and we blog. It was a turning point with me that night. I sat in my seat ashamed while he never stopped praying unless spoken to. It’s good to be small.

I don’t spend much time like this on the Internet. I love reading Dan’s work, his style and reason, Neil’s engagement of our common enemies of the faith, and Glenn’s relentless footwork keeping me current on things I don’t have time to research. I haven’t had time to read a lot of what you’ve written but have thoroughly enjoyed what I have. My focus is primarily on fundamentals of the faith, things that will bind us together, though I do enjoy a little jousting in the spirit of Christian brotherly love. At any rate I’ve read enough to know you’re a brother in the faith and will not be offended at any differences in opinion and will read any response with an open mind and heart.
 
      Sorry so long,
      Gordon

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Inductive Equality Inducement

    
It's not just because election time is rounding the bend and equality is such a great seller for our politicians that "equality" is tumbling around in my poor little mind. It's that it has been ingrained so deeply into the fabric of our collective national conscience. We demand it! We'll have it because it appeals to our sense of fairness. We're created equal! My question is "How so?" In what way can we possibly be equal as in, perhaps, the domain of reality? I think the question is fair as we are constantly under a barrage of rhetorical embellishments of life fulfilling eutopic conditions all consummated under the banner of "equality for all." Once again I would ask ... "How so?" ... and how do they suppose this can be done? ... And how would this make things better? 

It's obvious to me that "equality" is elusive to say the least. I don't possess the same aptitudes of anyone else I know. A persons station in life ... Isn't that somehow connected to aptitudes and abilities? Does a collective education drawn from standardized requirements solve the problem of dissimilar interests? Does being born into equal circumstances level the field, somehow, as to motivational inducement? I can't see that equality exists anywhere. As a Christian, I can't find it in the Bible or even as something that is to be sought after. As a church, a body of believers are all different, ... elders, teachers, exhorters, some less honorable [that's me ... sometimes I’m doing well just to be a poor example] on and on it goes. Still it's the big seller and we're somehow induced into the idea that all will be fine if we can just attain it. How so? 

Is it just me or are the ones pushing for equality really pushing for equality or are they pushing for crowd control ... or a more manageable herd. The equality under the law seems a bit elusive. Variable consequence dictated by perview of assessors of political correctness in the name of equality and fairness doesn't seem all that fair. To be equal would seem to be related to what standard of convictions one would have to hold or rather, at least, the convictions one had been assigned. The idealistic appeal of equality disappears into a mist of confusion when one ponders as to who dictates what one's convictions should be. Dictate seems to hold the key to this puzzle. One needs to have a dictator to dictate.  

Well, there you have it ... I've become transparent. I think all these politicians selling the "equality for all" are up to something sinister. "All things being equal" ... idealistic gas of the worst kind. Purity and perversion? truth relativized?, wrong and right?, sloth and industrious under the same roof? Equality doesn't reside there. Light and dark merge to produce gray for the sake of inductive equality? It produces questions for sure. Take a minute or two and reflect on the answers. We're born with unalienable rights for freedom and the pursuit of happiness that would all be negated by a society that ignores the possibilities that reside in God's unique gifting and precepts made for us as unique and varied as His creation. The "equality" that they sell is a promise of security in exchange for these God given opportunities based on ability, commitment, diligence, forbearance, and faith that yield their reward and harvest according to their merit and God's grace. It raises disturbing thoughts for those who have little interest in cultivating any of the aforementioned traits.  The ranks of those thus crippled by the lure of a free ride and guaranteed entitlements grows and empowers the corrupt who at the time of victory will just as quickly deem them a liability. But then, it's possible that at that time they're dreams of equality will be realized.
 

II Peter 2:19 "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage."

 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Marriage [ It's a given?]


Always start with a disclaimer. Because this concerns a post on Neil's "Eternity Matters" titled "Once Lost always Lost?” this in no way diminishes my respect and admiration for my fellow brother in Christ and the work he does. In fact, he would probably be the first to warn me about skipping around in mine fields and snake pits. Of course in this matter he doesn't lead by example. 

I like things simple. The Bible doesn't always seem to accommodate. The simplicity of the Gospel message is astounding, while the depth of Scripture is unfathomable. I believe in a six-day creation for many reasons, but primarily because the Bible says so. I believe Hebrews 6:4-6 for the same reason. I would like to be able to get beyond its abrupt dismissal to looking at the qualifiers made for the people in question.  

1. "for those who were once enlightened"

2. "have tasted of the heavenly gift"

3."made partakers of the Holy Ghost"

4." tasted the good word of God"

5."and the power of the world to come" 

It also looks as though all of these qualifiers are things to be sought out by any truly professing Christian and yet are the demise of all hope when they are then rejected when one has fallen away. The question for me is "am I there yet?" As in all election, there are qualifiers to be in the running or to be elected, or we merely reduce this to a state of random selection. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9. It would be contrary to the will of the Lord to say he imposes limitations in the extension of the hope of redemption by a simple selection process. This isn't a mere question of sin blocking our way to the kingdom; Jesus removed that obstacle. Still, sin too is a process. We're told that when it is full grown or fully manifested that it becomes death. You don't fall away in a moment of doubt either. It's a process of rejection when brought to completion that not only negates a return to redemption but also the desire. 

I don't understand this state. I've seen it. People that have been passionate in their walk with the Lord fall away. This doesn't undermine the security I have in the Lord. To put it in a Biblical perspective, I don't wake up in the morning wondering if I'm still married. I know I am. I cannot conceive that there is anything that could separate me from my wife. Still prudence tells me that my marriage is something to be guarded, so does Scripture, but I know that divorce can happen. Christ as the groom is infallible, but His bride is not. Christ has done everything He can possibly do. It's not His will that people perish or that people fall away. So is it His will to pick and choose while willing that none should perish? [cognitive dissonance, Stan?]The Father does indeed draw us to the Son. There is no other way. But can enough light pass through a dirty window to light a room or does He have to show us how to clean it. We have the Bible. We have access thru the Spirit to the Son, and by the Son to the Father, and by the Father to the Spirit, and thru the Spirit to the Son, and so it goes. The question is "who partakes and how can you partake and is there a share in the participation for you?" 

"Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept." Mark 10:4-5  This verse scares me. I have a healthy fear of the hardness of my own heart. Christ is the groom and he asks that I should step into this role regarding my own marriage. The only beauty that the church can possess is the beauty Christ gives it. The beauty my wife possesses is from me. That in itself places me in a position of responsibility I'm reluctant to accept. Her submission to the same Biblical model places her in a position of responsibility she's reluctant [though maybe not as reluctant as I with mine] to accept. Still this is God's will and plan if our marriage is to survive and be glorifying to God. This is the narrow path and many cannot abide in it. It breaks God's heart, it's not His will or plan, and he still loves us, but the separation remains, not because He chose it to be that way but because we did. 

Am I married? Believe it, I do. Am I fear driven? You bet! It's a healthy fear Jesus taught me.  

Mathew 25:24-30 "Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed.: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkess: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Opinion Tole


Opinion ... It drives society ... but in what direction? Maybe the question should be "what drives opinion?" Everyone has one or so we're told. It's something we're entitled to? Something that can be observed from different view points? Something from which you can draw your own conclusion apart from others? If this is true, it has little to do with an actual truth or fact. These, of course, are immutable rendering them incompatible in any way with opinion which is subjective in nature leaving them with only a navigational duty. After all, an orange is an orange regardless of which direction you're looking at it, and opinions to the contrary are rendered nonsensical and absurd. Still, they flow freely and the variety is almost endless. We reverence them in a way that is shameless, considering the sources that fuel these vehicles. Unfortunately, it's becoming increasingly rare that fact or truths are the navigators. Appetites for control or appetites out of control feed the propagating opinion mill with the most incredible whoppers all with the egotistical flair of the misplaced sovereignty unto man. The disciples of these mantras of deceit remain undaunted in their quest. Most of our encounters with the most outrageous of these abrogating, dictatorial purveyors of policy driven, for our own welfare, revolutionizing opinion driven mandates are usually armed with nothing more than a television and a bag of potato chips. Still, public opinion can be ruthless if you find yourself on the outside and you may find yourself being advised to keep it to yourself despite the assurance that opinions are, as they say, "everyone is entitled to one." 

Oh, but this is the country where free speech reigns. The first amendment says so. This is the perfect example for examination as to where we should venture. After all, it's rare that one can go very long without overhearing this discussed at work, church, the grocery store, or wherever groups may meet giving opportunity to weigh in with their discourse on a wide variety of remedial solutions for the country's problems.  

Let's start with the first five words "Congress shall make no law". At first glance one would suppose that this would mean, congress shall make no law, that they have been restricted as to making any laws as to what follows. "Respecting an establishment of religion" is what follows. This raises many a question. Does it mean that it's the judicial branch's responsibility to restrict religious freedom? Obviously, this has to be their role in preserving "separation of church and state". This certainly should be covered somewhere in the Constitution being a Christian term and after all Christianity was the only religion on the menu. I must have an edited version of the Constitution because I can't find that part anywhere. We'll just have to trust our judicial leadership on this one because of their ever-increasing prowess at extracting truth from the incredibly deceptive simplicity of that first amendment. It just makes you wish they could have been present to enlighten the framers of this document of all its intricacy.  

"Or prohibiting free exercise thereof" follows next. To the untrained eye one might expect this to mean prohibiting free exercise thereof. Of course this means, except where we say you can't, despite the poor example given by the Founding Fathers. Thank god, their god anyway, for the ability to perpetrate this one on an ever increasingly ignorant "we the people." Their god is very fond of manipulation and whoppers. In fact, the Bible refers to him as the father of whoppers. This is exceedingly important to me because it's an identifier. I'm rather narrow in this regard. Call yourself whatever; if this is your only means of promoting your agenda, I know who your daddy is.  

"Or abridging the freedom of speech,or of the press" is their favorite part. Despite the prevailing Christian philosophy under girding the intent of this portion that we're free only to be able to do that which is good and lawful under God's word [that's the difference between the Republic our founders formed and a democracy that they decided against because of the inevitable failure experienced by preceding experiments in this form of government] this section is invaluable in the preservation of pornographic enterprises. Surely, this protects and projects our earnest endeavors to protect an honest venture into capitalism. Still, we can be assured that this will never be used to endorse hate speech such as might be used in a politically incorrect fashion to promote antiquated ideals or virtues. Thank their god we can be protected from that one thanks to our watchdog servants in the Judicial Branch. Thank their god they're there for life protecting our freedoms.  

"Or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" ... We can kiss this one away now if we're deemed a terrorist in the eyes of the Governing body thanks to recent legislation suspending our fifth amendment rights by an overwhelmingly majority of our revered senators. It's a little late now to question their authority in interpreting this portion of the Bill of Rights [the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution by concerned founding fathers regarding the disregarding of the inherent rights therewith]. I know literacy and comprehension rates are falling but I wonder who is in la-la land, our congressmen or us for putting them there. So will our opinion be based on the notion of original intent or the prevailing opinion of separation of church and state in it's twisted polar opposite revision for the last 50 years win the day? Let's throw some light into the darkness to see what's really lurking there. 

The obvious course or route to take is always back to the beginnings or the origins surrounding the article of debate. This is good for my stance and something only to be discouraged, hidden or distorted by the debunkers of the Judeo Christian undergirdings of our country's origins. The Founding Fathers knew you couldn't have a garden without a gardener, something from without that does the pruning, weeding, watering and so forth that separates it from the outside environment making it what it is. More to the point, they believed in the God of the Bible.

Daniel Webster, known as the defender of our Constitution, speaking from outside the White House July 4th 1851, a year before his death, had this admonition for the country:  

"Man is not only an intellectual, but a religious being, and his religious feelings and habits require cultivation. Let the religious element in man's nature be neglected - let him be influenced by no higher motives than self-interest and subjected to no stronger restraint than the limits of civil authority- and he becomes the creature of selfish passion or blind fanaticism. The spectacle of a nation [France] powerful and enlightened but without Christian faith has been presented ... as a warning beacon for the nations. On the other hand, the cultivation of the religious sentiment represses licentiousness, incites to general benevolence and the practical acknowledgment of the brotherhood of man, inspires respect for law and order, and gives strength to the whole social fabric."  

Just an isolated speech outside the Capital? At this time church services had been held in the capital for 51 years. December 4, 1800, after having completed enough of the Capital building to begin use thereof, the first order of business was an unanimous vote for the Capital to be used as a church with services reaching up four on any given Sunday. Thomas Jefferson was then Vice-President becoming President the following year. He arrived Sundays in pouring rain, snow or otherwise on horseback. Under his administration government money was appropriated for ministry to the Indians not to mention his personal enlistment of the military band for the purpose of playing for services at the Capital. Who would have thought he was so confused about "separation of church and state". Actually, he always had it right. He's not even within a stones throw of a modern democrat, much to their dismay.

"History by apprising them of the past, will allow them to judge the future." Thomas Jefferson  

This is an important clue as to why our friends have written a revisionist historical account. The adoption of Public Schools Marxist based version based on his proletariat systematic destruction of capitalistic forms of government confines history to be reduced to an economic cause and effect only version effectively eliminating any other aspects, such as Christianity. If it's not there we can pretend [or lie] it didn't happen nor did it have a place in who we are as a nation.

John Jay, Founding Father and one of three authors of the federalist papers, said this: 

"The Bible ... should be read in our schools in preference to all other books from its containing the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public happiness."  

Here's another signer confused about the Christian principle of separation of church and state. He's not the only one, obviously. Reverend Frederick Augustus Mulenberg, first Speaker of the House, was one of two signatures on the Bill of Rights of which he and his brother, Reverend John Peter Gabriel Mulenberg were framers. Twenty-four of fifty-six signers of the Constitution also held seminary degrees. At the ratification conventions, forty-four delegates were ministers. All of the grievances reiterated in the Declaration of Independence are found in the written sermons of prominent pastors [they wrote everything out much to the dismay of our revisionist writers]. The American Political Science Review in a study to review where our Constitution came from found that 94% of all documents of the Founding Era of our nation were based on the Bible. 34% were direct quotes from the Bible. This is incredible! How come they don't have an enlightened view of the Christian principle of "Separation of Church and state?"

My apologies to any of the home schoolers that may read this. You already know all of this. I would encourage people to go to the site "Library of Congress -Religion and the Founding Era". I've written enough make my case and there are thousands of actual documents and quotes. In all actuality, we understand the subversion of our country has been a battleground from the beginning. The issue of "Separation of Church and State" was settled in the Supreme Court [not really Supreme in reality] in the 1800's declared, under a barrage of evidence proving that this was a Christian nation, that it was, as always intended, "no prohibiting of the free exercise thereof".  

The passage of the bill in 1954 containing Lyndon Johnson’s one sentence 501[c][3] provision for silencing criticism detrimental to his election campaign slipped through without notice or debate providing the IRS to impose the free speech restrictions on pastors through regulatory administrative decisions. This means, and popular it is becoming, you can effectively side step "we the people".

The other side of the debate is shallow and without substantiation. It's based on a socialistic presumption of "man as sovereign philosophy." My main objection is their premise of a relativistic, floating crap table that allows lying to be okay in obtaining their equality for all mirage. The Pilgrims were the first to discard the failed trappings of this philosophy after two years of starving. Exodus 18:21 provided them with the foundation of elected representation. Welfare reform came from the Biblical mandate that if one is able, one should not eat if one does not work.  

1Tim. 5:8 “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.”  

Marx did not deny that his proletariat form of rule was dictatorship. Many a Christian will deny this allegiance, but any honest research into the architects of the separation of church and state will find themselves at his door. 

So, is it just a matter of opinion? Opinion has a way of disappearing under the light of truth. I still have my opinions but have an earnest desire to be free of them. I don't believe that will happen this side of heaven, certainly not by holding onto that bag of chips and the remote. My ultimate conception of humiliation would be to be defeated by such as these.  

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God."  

Those who would deceive and rob us are numerous and driven. If you have to own an opinion or have an opinion own you, make an honest effort to discover the architect. You have a choice of two. One cannot lie; one is the father of lies. I'll say it one more time because it's an "identifier".  Manipulation is a lie. God will lead you into truth by His Word. The Founding Fathers were grounded in this belief and laid the foundation of our country on it. Our detractors know this too and are furious and unrelenting in their attack and that is why we stand firm. We stand on the Truth. 

Opinion: The judgment which the mind forms of any proposition, statement, theory or event, the truth or falsehood of which is supported by a degree of evidence that renders it probable, but does not produce absolute certainty. 

Tole: To draw or cause to follow by presenting something pleasing or desirable to view; to allure by some bait.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Caught in the Act

     I have an older friend at work whom, as he's leaving, always remarks with a quip from a generation soon to pass, "catch your act later." Am I an act? If indeed I am an act, I hope it's a good act, or at the very least a good portrayal. "Of what" do I portray? Is it in the sense of moral conduct as in deeds done or behaviour appropriated for the occasion of the moment? At least it would seem to have been done I hope, as an exploit or achievement, whether good or ill, as my dictionary translates. It just strikes me as such an odd remark leaving me feeling rather uneasy, espescially after my last post. If, when upon observation, my presence is summed up in such a quip as this, how was my perfomance received? And much more to my horror, did anyone see, as I sometimes see, how phony and poor the performance can be when scrutinized by a discerning eye? After all, what I long for in relationship, is simply, genuiness, something real, something concrete. A pretender, after all, is nothing more than a liar. I'm as convinced of this as of anything else because it's who I am too much of the time. I'm not saying that one should not be kind when the feeling is not there. We're all past that I would hope. I'm not saying that "to put on Christ" is not to be pursued with all of our heart, or at the very least an attempt to be made. I'm saying it scares me to death that my present witness could be reduced to a mere act, unsustainable and  laughable by my preceding acts, revealing a lack of depth and conviction. When the reviews come in, or rather out when I leave the room, are they compelling enough to sell the story. After all, you can't sell what you don't have and it preys upon my mind and spirit when I'm "caught in the act."
     One more of the many ways in which my dictionary references act is this.  "A state of reality or real existence, as opposed to a possibility."
     "The seeds of plants are not at first in act, but in possibility, what they afterwards grow to be."
                                                                                                                                               Hooker

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memory Loss

     We do not watch TV [outside programing such as cable, satellite, antenna etc.] at our house. Yes, I'm starting out with a disclaimer. We do have a TV for select movies primarily for times of relaxation and/or for sedation. Yes, It comes on at bedtime, and for ten or fifteen minutes we watch the same events unfold night after night before succumbing to sleep. We're not much for variety ... that's not the intent. Right now it's Emma, night after night, doing the same thing, making the same silly remarks, caught up in the intrigues of her plotting, entanglements galore, Frank Churchhill entering the room again and again, character flaws abounding, hidden engagements, secrets exposed, character after character impregnating their contributions into the unfolding unadulterated, story line, all under our purview. In fact, the deeds are done. It does little good to stick the DVD in again and again.  The same remarks are made, the reactions still the same, the hurts, the joys, the anger, the rebukes have all been said and done and all the viewing or re-viewing in the world will not change that and it makes me wonder about my own life.

     In my last post I marveled at the fact, in and of itself, the act of Jesus on the cross was indeed, a part of His reality in a way that is always with Him, unchanging, revealing, amazing and humbling. Now, I look at my life, at all the things I would rather forget and know that God, when He looks at my life, sees my story much the same way; well, possibly somewhat the same way I do when I'm watching Emma, only it's real and it's always now to Him. I, on the other hand, am very capable of rationalizing and making accommodations for the purpose of making these memories less egregious and defensible or at least conveniently forgettable. As I grow older, and somewhat in my eyes at least, have matured in my walk with the Lord, I can see that this won't do. There has to be a point in my own story line where the story changes. Things I did yesterday are no longer an option. When God looks at my story ... all of my story ... there has to be a turning point, change, a destination, a viable plot and an ending that pleases my Lord. There has to be a response to what Jesus did on the cross and it's not all easy. It's not a cheap entitlement. It's hard work. It's a "working out of our salvation with fear and trembling." Oh, and for everyone that's saying "oh my gosh it's another works theology," I'll add, "for it is God that does this work in you." But in saying that you'll notice that the work is still there and every day I pray for that strength to do that work. It's called relationship! The fact that we can have relationship in and of itself is amazing to me and I don't completely understand it all, or the whys and the ifs of it. As for my story, God has seen it all, He created time. I'm the one stuck in it. Tomorrow for me though, is a blank page yet to be written and a chance to hold my Fathers hand, to follow and to endeavor unto obedience. I do know I lay completely and utterly exposed to a God that through His mercy and forgiveness through the sacrifice of His own Son has promised, at the end of my story, a self imposed memory loss of His own regarding the sins I've laid before Him.

     It's not to be confused with a sequel for all has been made new and now we can only wonder about what will be, but we know that "we shall be like Him." An end to a story, I suppose ... a new beginning, a surety. What was lost shall be found, newness of life, real living and unashamed relationship restored ... and as for sin ... powerless ... removed ... a memory lost.


For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.
                                                                                                                      Psalm 103:11-12

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Reality

Once again, yes once again, another Easter has rolled around the bend. To some, it is most precious. To some a struggle, an obligation to bring to remembrance [after all it's a command from our Lord] a point in time, for us anyway, in which the world was forever altered. Still, not a lot has changed. The mockers are still at the foot of the cross, the religious leaders indignant in their displaced theology, the flock in shock ... befuddled spectators, disarmed without purpose or direction. A lot has remained the same. We will go to church to hear of His sacrifice, that “He died for you” will once more be echoed throughout our little place in time and we'll try, some of us will really try, to grasp what it really means, now and for us today.  

That's a lot of “you's” out there and I can't help but think that there are quite a few of you that I can't stand and tolerate. You are blatant enemies of my Saviour, my country, values, invasive with your perversions, murderers of the unborn, contrary in all regards to the absolute truths I hold so dear ... and yet even you are part of the “you's” He died for. He commands us to pray for you, of which the sincerity if any, of my prayers might well be regarded as sinful just by my attitude and regard. Still, we will say, and rightly so that He was made to be sin for us for the redeeming of our souls and the hope of our resurrection through Him. He made a way, gave us a choice and a hope that doesn't disappoint. "While we were yet enemies" speaks for us all, and in my heart I know He didn't choose to save us. This has nothing to do with choice. For Him it was not just a point in time, He created time. For Him it wasn't just an event that altered history, He is His story. For Him it's not just a remembrance, something to revisit every year, that's for us. For Him it's who He is. It doesn't leave Him, it can't be anything but constant, even the pain and torment. Sacrifice is a real part of who He is. This is undefiled Truth, the Word revealed and Life freely offered. This is Reality, ultimate Reality, this is the Who behind all the ”you's” damned and lost, the ones I so derisively spoke of, the ones of whom I am inclusive. This is Jesus.

It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him:
                                   If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him:
                                   If we deny Him, He will also deny us:
                                   If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful:
                                          He cannot deny Himself.
                                             2 Timothy 2:11-13

"Truth is always about something, but reality is that about which truth is."        C.S. Lewis  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

CLOSER - Lyrics



This song is fun. Well, at least it is if you're reborn. It's a good reminder that the old man is someday, if at all, just going to be a memory. Sometimes, even now, I forget that my life is short. When that happens I may inadvertently break into a rendition of "my wife is short." Yes she is .... and tremendously cute too! Amazing considering she died first. Actually, after seeing how beautiful she became, I was glad I went after someone that had already died. My fondest wish for everyone though is to die now and be reborn, rather than to die later without that chance to really be alive. May God draw you into a life freely given and may you thumb your nose at the devil instead of Him.


               CLOSER  

Verse 1:

Life is short or so it would seem
Yes, people tell me all of the time
The days slip away and the seasons will pass
And the years parade across my mind
Yeah time doesn’t stand still for anyone I know
We’re still wondering where it did go
And life with a slap says as a matter of fact
You’re just getting old 

Chorus:

I’m not getting older
I’m just getting closer
I’m not getting older
I’m just getting closer 

Verse 2:

Now I’m not saying that my time should stand still
Or I can stop a tick of the clock
But life can be anew with a simple change of view
Not of me, not of you, but the One who made it true
Just had to die to be made alive
Reborn and taking on a new form
Of the One who conquered death and rose from the grave
Of the One who’s come to take me away 

Repeat Chorus: 

Bridge:

My life is short
                        No no no no no
Your life is short
                        Ya yeah yeah yeah yeah
My life is short
                        No no no no no
My life is too too too short 

Chorus:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Shot Down --- Lyrics

Another addition to my FUNDAMENTAL project, this song is actually a song of hope. Sometimes
I tend to view too much of the apostasy [An abandonment of what one has professed; a total desertion, or departure from one's faith or religion.] around me .... so songs like this bring me back to a healthy balance.

Shot Down


       VERSE 1
Shoot now, my aim is sure
One more shot that’s sure to be heard
Can’t run and I can’t hide
Soldiers are falling; let’s turn the tide

Chorus

The sheep were scattered and running scared
But now they’re praying a prayer to be heard
The spirit is a-stirring, the saints persevering
The Shepherd is speaking and the Word is reaping

       VERSE 2
Shoot now, my hands are high
I’ve surrendered to my Lord this time
Can’t run and I can’t hide
Shadows are fading; let Love’s light shine

Chorus

The sheep were scattered and running scared
But now they’re praying a prayer to be heard
The spirit is a-stirring, the saints persevering
The Shepherd is speaking and the Word is reaping

       JAZZY RIDE 1
Dee-de-ly Dee-de-loo
High time, my time is Your time to use
Dee-de-ly Dee-de-loo
To You be true and choose to lose your blues 

       VERSE 3
Shot down, the old man dies
Buried deep with all of his pride
Turned around, just walked away
In Jesus Christ I’m sure to stay

Chorus

The sheep were scattered and running scared
But then they prayed a prayer to be heard
The spirit was stirring, the saints persevering
The Shepherd was speaking and the Word was reaping 

       JAZZY RIDE 2
Dee-de-ly Dee-de-loo
Walk the talk and testify for You
Dee-de-ly Dee-de-loo badumba – so far – so good
So sweet – complete – from me – to You 
 
       NEW CHORUS
How do you do?  Are you real? Are you true?
How do you feel?  Are you freed?  Are you clean?
How do you do?  Are you real? Are you true?
How do you feel?  Are you freed?  Are you clean?
How would you choose?  From the sorrow?  From the pain?
How could you lose?  To be broken?  To be saved? 

       VERSE 4
OOOOO I cherish my shame now
But you say it shouldn’t be
Well I say I’ll trade it someday for glory
Keeps me walking the same way 

       NEW CHORUS
How do you do?  Are you real? Are you true?
How do you feel?  Are you freed?  Are you clean?
How would you choose?  From the sorrow?  From the pain?
How could you lose?  To be broken?  To be saved?

       VERSE 5
Hmmmmm…well, that’s my story
Nothing can take it away
Hmmmm…It’s the same old story
Hmmmm….Still it’s new every day