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Monday, September 16, 2013

Doom and Gloom

Hi, my name is David.  Most anyone who reads this blog already is aware of that.  But I want to make people aware of one simple fact.  I'm not a very important person. I don't have a big title, I'm not  head of any major company or ministry.  I'm just me.  I started to say that I'm just normal, but that's not at all true.  I'm not normal by any means.  I just work at Taco Bell, and I'm not even really important there. I just work in the drive thru. This might really bother some people, but I'm actually content with my life.  It's not that I'm not motivated, I'm just not motivated by earthly things.  I'm the only Christian at work.  I'm the only light they see.  If not me, who else?  Not only am I really not an important person with a big title nor do very many people know who I am, I plan on keeping it that way.  I have no intentions of becoming more "important".  I have no plans to further my own name or influence in this world at all. I just plan to cultivate my relationship with my God, find how who I am, and continue living on.  

    In this blog tonight, I plan on sharing some important words that I feel like God gave me,  I'm just me, but I am a friend of God.  He speaks to those that walk with Him, but the thing is this.   Every single one of you have the same access that I have.  You can talk and hold conversation with Heaven.  Because maybe you're like me.  Maybe you're not important in this world by it's standards. But you are treasured in Heaven.  You're a child of the Good Father.  And you're important to Him. I'm saying all of that to say that anything I say or feel like God said to me, you can pray about it, ask Him about, and discuss it with Him.   I'm not saying I'm 100% right, but I do believe that what I'm saying here is what I've heard or felt from God

  This blog is going to have two major points.   The first is my honest opinion of "doom and gloom" prophets and many of the prophecies that are out about the end of the nation and the end of the world.  The second is a word I feel like I have about the times we live in and what I feel like might be coming.

 So first, let me share how I feel about the "pro judgment" crowd.  When I say "pro judgment" crowd, I mean people who saw Katrina hit New Orleans and were happy, and maybe even said "I saw this coming" People who saw that as an act of God.   People who maybe saw 9/11 as punishment for our wicked ways.  People who like to stand on street corners shouting out to random strangers "You're going to Hell" or maybe "God hates FAGS" or something like that.  I think in general, those people are idiots.  I think the exact term would be bastard. I don't mean that in a swearing way at all!  I don't cuss, but I mean that in it's literal meaning as "illegitimate son"  and I feel that I can say that with somewhat certainty because these people are acting like they have never met their Father. They bear their Fathers name, but they act nothing like Him.  They have a Father who is love,  yet they live in hate and criticism.  These people misunderstand the heart of the loving Father that we have, and they actually hurt the Kingdom they are trying advance in some cases.
    Fear is not a tool that we use to gain people into the Kingdom.  We use love and peace.   The Bible says in 2 Tim 1:7 that God has not given us a spirit of fear.  So if we are trying to use a spirit of fear to gain control over people, where did we get it from?   Fear does not motivate people to repentance.  Romans 2:4 actually says that it's God's grace that is intended to being us to repentance.

            Let's take a look at the the "Doom and Gloom" prophecies of the Bible.
  We see the first one with Sodom and Gomorrah.  Even here, we see the grace of God.  Abraham kept pressing God, "what if there were this many?" and "what  if there were that many" . And every time, God agreed that if there were that many righteous were in the city, it would be spared. All the way down to if there were two, the city would be spared. Now if you read it, it really seems like he could have kept going!  It really seems like Abraham could have asked, "What if there is only one" And maybe Sodom and Gomorrah would have been saved?  Who knows, and that is clearly just my speculation.  
  But we read in Exodus 32 that God was angry.   He was furious with Israel and was going to destroy all of them.  He did not say "If you pray, I will save them" or "If you repent" or "If you fast"  He simply said He was going to wipe them out.   He told Moses this.  BUT Moses pleaded with God. Moses begged God. And the Bible actually says "The Lord changed His mind"!!!!!

    This makes me ponder, what if all of the Old Testament prophets had done this?  What of all the doom and gloom prophets were begging and pleading with God?   God did not provoke Moses to plead, as far scripture tells. Moses did it on his own human accord, and God responded with grace.   Who's to say that  God would not have responded the same way to any Old Testament prophet?   I do strongly believe that in a lot of the doom and gloom prophecies out today, there is a little bit of truth, if not more.   But it's how we respond to the truth.  Maybe God is going to allow evil things to happen to this country, it would indeed be surprising if He did not with the leaders we have put in place and the morals we uphold.  But what should we, as the faithful, do about it? I say pray for one more hour.   Pray for one more month.  Keep praying.  God's grace is beyond measure. And revival could break out.  We could pray for revival that causes our leaders to repent and one that changes the heart of this nation.   It's possible!!!   God is alive and well and can move today!

  Now onto what I feel.   Last year I shared on Facebook and with many friends about a coming shift.   I included that terrorism  had a new face.  It was going to start attacking movie theaters, elementary schools, and sporting arena's, and it was going to it us where it hurt.  This was only a few day's before the shootings at the Batman movie, and it was a few months before the shooting at Sandy Hook and in the schools there.  Obviously, that did happen.  I'm not saying "I'm right, believe me"  And I'm not saying that the fact that one single word happened to be right validates me in anyway.  What I am going to point out is this.  There have been no sporting arena attacks.  But in the vision that included the other two attacks, I saw stadiums and coliseums covered in blood. I also feel that it was a live event, and a big one that many people were watching and that's what made it such a nice target.  I believe that this is something we should pray against. The fact that the first two parts of that vision did come to past makes me feel strongly that I need to be praying for peace for our country, and over all the sports fields.   I really feel like for this season we need to pray for two things.  Grace, and readiness.

    We need to be praying that the best will happen, but ready for the worst.  At least that's how I feel on a personal level, and  I would appreciate it if all of you who read this would pray about what God is telling you.  As I said at the beginning, we all have the same Holy Spirit living inside of us and all can ask and converse with Him at any moment.  He is ready and willing to talk with you.  I have not shared anything with the goal of scaring you, nor with the goal of making my self more important in anyone's eyes.  I wrote this post, as well as all the others I've posted, just to help expand our minds and to ask questions that aren't always easy.  

   I know many of my friends who will read this will not be happy because they are either doom and gloom or they are ultra grace and believe that anything happening is out of the question.  I feel like both of those are extreme views, and I hold neither.I really hope that NOTHING happens, but I do feel that SOMETHING is going to happen. And I feel that we might be unprepared in some ways.  But if I am to look honestly at our lack of preparation, I must look at God, who is able to prepare us!  I do believe that in this moment we live in, God is preparing. He is preparing the hearts and minds for something.  Something big.  And I think it's revival.  I think it's a big one.  A never ending one.  A great one.  At least that's what I'm hoping for.  But again, if I look at revival, I must say that the first verse to come to mind is in Exodus,  The more the Egyptians persecuted the Hebrew's, the more they multiplied.   I really believe that in this issue, it could easily be both "sides"  or both opinions, are right in some ways.    

Thursday, September 12, 2013

True Worship

   Worship has been my favorite part of church service for a long time.  I've never cared about the music, the worship leader, or anything else. I've always just loved being in the room with everyone seeking the same thing with the same heart and experiencing God.  As I've experienced more of Him, I would say my definition of worship has changed. You see, I no longer view worship as a set of songs on Sunday.  I don't even connect it with music in the same way I once did.

  I really feel that the definition I went by is what most of the church knows.  What I thought was that worship was a song, or songs, about God that we sing at church.  While that IS an expression of worship, it's a very shallow understanding and experience of what the reality is.
I believe worship is not only a song, but a lifestyle. I was worshiping and praying in my bed room maybe five years ago when I looked up and saw a demon above my bed.  It was white, and it was beautiful. It looked like a living flower.   It smiled at me and said "Worship me".  I of course said no.   However, God showed me how I HAD worshiped it.  It  was a spirit of lust and perversion, and by entertaining lustful thoughts, I was feeding the demon.  Just like blood in water attracts a shark, this demon had been attracted to my lustful thoughts and had come to feed.

     I believe we are worshipers all the time.  It's in our DNA to worship.  We can't stop.  In fact, science has discovered that on our most basic molecular level, we are music.  We are each a unique song that is actually shaped by our emotions!  There is a whole science behind this, and I really would love to go into a rabbit trail here, but I'm trying to avoid that!   I just wanted to mention it because I feel it supports my view that we are ALWAYS worshiping.  Maybe not always God, but I believe every action is an act of worship at the most basic level.   Maybe we are worshiping our cars, or families, our houses, or maybe our jobs.   We can look at what we are most anxious to please, what we are laboring for, and where are our life is pointed.  I think most people worship money or things.  Many worship sex.    I even look at Jesus's temptation with Satan differently.  The whole  "worship me and I'll give you kingdoms"  temptation really stands out in new light with the understanding that our sins feed into the spirit world. Satan could have received any sin as worship, and what he was actually tempting Jesus at the time was doubt.  That's why he said , "IF you are the son of God"
  You see, the "science" of angels is that they feed off of the will of God.  They get substance and strength from doing His will.  Demons, which are just fallen angels, need substance and strength as well.  They obviously do not sustain themselves from the will of God, so therefore they must look else where, which is why our sinning in so important to them! This is why Ephesians 4:26-27 says do not give the devil a foot hold, because by sinning, your are worshiping them and giving them strength.  It's also why James 4:7 says that if you resist the devil, he will flee!  When we are no longer feeding him, he has to go get fed elsewhere.

 This is why Satan and the demons with him want you to sin so badly.   Not only is it a slap in the face of God, but it's also the only way they can get strength.

But this is not suppose to be a blog about the science of demons by any means.  I just wanted to share how crucial it is to stay focused on God and worshiping Him. Worshiping Him really does start in every area of your life!  You don't even have to change most of the things you do, you just have to change the motives.  

Eating!!!!  Your eating can be an expression of worship! Start eating healthy, so that you can serve God with your body for years to come.  Give your body substance and take care of it so that you can use it to further His Kingdom. Things like even working, you can be at work, extending the Kingdom of God and you can use the money you earn there to do the same!   Even TV and movies!  Yes, your mind needs to be ministered to as well!  Allow your mind to be refreshed and entertained so that you can rest better and enjoy time with your family.  Your mind being ministered to is good stewardship of what God gave you, and is therefore, worship, as long as it's done with decent tv and not in access.

  I really do believe that every action we do is worship, and it's important to change our motives and actions in a way that only blesses God and furthers Heaven.  Yes, it's radical, but are we called to be anything else?  Radical Christianity is the only Christianity endorsed by the Bible!
  True worship is not a song we sing, but a life we live, and the sweetest worship we can give is how we live when no one else is watching. Integrity is worship.  This is really convicting to me in a lot of ways to see how I have worshiped demons and entertained them with our meaning to. However, conviction is not my motive, and I don't want anyone to feel a heavy burden or feel terrible for entertaining demons! When you fall, Jesus will stop you from drowning, but it's important that you try and stop.  It's important that you try and walk forward. When you fall, fall forward, into the arms of Christ!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bad choices

  I had two dreams a few nights ago that were really interesting.   In the first one, I was a teacher.  A music teacher for advanced musicians. My room was at the end of a hallway and half of it was blocked by partitions and was being used for storage.  My half was open, I had the students desk all facing mine and mine facing them.   When they arrived, I was surprised that I was a teacher. I kept thinking "Me, the craziest person in this room haha"  I was being my normal weird self, and than I woke up as Justin was heading to work.   I fell back asleep, and had another short dream.  In this dream, I was a student.  I was taking a test and I knew I needed to write perfectly.  It was like the way I wrote was more important than the answers them self.  I was carefully writing my name, very very neatly, when I woke up to get ready for work.

  I walk to work, so I had some time to think about these dreams, and although there are parts of both I don't fully understand, I think I grasp most of it.  In the first, I was where I'm going to be, and in the second was where I was.

I feel like I'm being tested for what the next season is going to be like, and I'm not sure I've been doing so swell to be honest. I've been failing at some parts, making bad choices on everyday things and improvement seems to be so hard for me.  I really have been making pretty sorry choices for things, and I know they are bad, and yet I make them anyway, and afterwards I always feel depressed.   A pastor once told me Satan is with you through out the temptation process but leaves you when you've sinned, and that's why you feel so alone and down.   I actually think he stays with you, and THAT's why you feel so bad.  I think he not only wants you to mess up, he wants you to feel to bad to get better.  He wants you to settle.

  I know God still loves me, He is love and that's what He does.  His opinion of me can not and does not change.  I am still His child.  Yet I still need to step forward, I can not molest the grace of God, otherwise I manifest my love for sin is greater than my love for Jesus.  And Jesus will give me over to which ever I truly choose to love.   I can not have two masters, and eventually, I will choose one or the other.   The whole reason I'm writing this right now is to keep my self on track.   I'm choosing to serve Jesus.  I'm going to make less bad choices tomorrow.  And even less the next day.  And maybe I'm writing this hoping that one of you will read it and need to know someone is  broken and at the feet of Jesus just like you.  

  Our lives are alabaster jars.  Let's just all shatter them at the feet of Jesus and let him take the burden.  He wants to take it.  There is no need to labor anymore.   Let him take the struggles, the depression, and the sin.
I will make better choices tomorrow because I'm giving up on messing up.  I am walking with Jesus, because He will remain my one and only master.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Focus on the rest

Focus on rest

So, I was in a cold hearted season.  I felt no passion, it was hard for me to get into the word or worship.  I was angry, depressed, and struggling with things that I had not even thought about in over three years.  I was not just sitting around letting these things beat me up either.  I was fighting them full force WHILE they were beating me up.  I spent so much energy into fighting being depressed that when I continued to fail, I was even more tired and more depressed and had no energy for anything.  
 I DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO COUPON.   Anyone who knows me knows that if I’m too worn out to coupon, something is really wrong with me.  Of course, Justin was more than happy to oblige and allow me to take a rest from the couponing haha. After exerting so much effort into myself repair, I became even weaker.

I really want you to understand, I put every effort into fighting my sadness.  It was not until a friend messaged me and described what she was going through, which was exactly what  I was going through, that I realized all of the junk that was going on really only symptoms.   Symptoms of complacency, distraction, and ignorance.   I know that sounds harsh to say to myself, but what had happened is I just got distracted and the illusion of my past struggles sprung up as a warning sign that my attention was off focus.   I became ignorant of a fact that I cherish.   I’m restored.  Jesus died, and Jesus said “It is finished”  The works of the cross are already complete inside of us all, and there is no depression inside of me.  The struggles that rose up were just lies.   Jesus took my sinful nature into that grave with Him, but only Jesus made it out.  That’s not just my opinion, take a look at Romans, Ephesians, and 1 John, and you’ll see that the works of the cross are indeed 100% finished, and there is no more work to do, and you’re also see that our sinful nature was present, killed, and buried with Christ.  And it’s also important to note that only Christ made it out three days later.
   I got distracted from my identity in Christ.  From who I am and the wholeness that I have with the Divine.   I fell back into effort based religion, where I was trying to fight my way to a victory that was already mine.   And all the crap that I felt, it was only a light in the dashboard telling me to take a look under the hood. It wasn’t something that I needed to fight, or resist.  All I needed to do was surrender to Christ.  Fighting sin will do nothing for you, but there is victory when you surrender to Christ.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Godly Discipline.

Godly Discipline.

  After I started writing this blog, and while I researching, I flip flopped on this issue in some huge ways. I had the entire thing written, but after doing some reading up, I believe I have completely changed my heart on this issue.

  Let me start off asking you a question.  Do you want your children to obey you out of love, or out of fear?  Do you want them to do right because they are wise, or just because they fear punishment?   Choose one, and it will greatly impact how you discipline your child.

   Discipline absolutely must be present in the life of a child, and it must be present in the life of believer.  The Bible says in Hebrews 12:6, Deuteronomy 8:5,  Psalm 94:12, Psalm 3:11, Proverbs 3:12, and Revelation 3:19 that God does discipline.  It is very clear, and I put so many verses up so that if you are like me, and value the voice of Scripture above all, you do not have any room for debate.   All of these verses also say more than just that God disciplines. They all say clearly that it’s a good thing that He does, and also they say He does it out of love.  Always.  

  I’ve talked so many times about the love of God, and about how He is love 100% of the time.   Even in His discipline, the above Bible verses leave no room for any other fact than God disciplines those that He loves, and that His “wrath” is not separate from His love.  If I go into more of the details here, we’ll get distracted, but this is something I’ve blogged about before, so please go and read my past blogs if you want more understanding of what I’m saying.

   But since we can conclude and read that God only disciplines from the deeper motivation of love, than we should align ourselves the same way.   Our discipline should look like the Fathers and should only be done from a place of love.   I have said before, and offended people, but I’ll say it again.  Any form of discipline done out of anger is child abuse, and it’s the lack of self-control manifesting itself in your life.    No one has power over your emotions except for you.   Only you have the power to allow yourself to become angry, your children have no power over your mind or emotions.   You might blame your lack of self-control on them, but it’s not their fault you got mad and “lost it”.  You allowed yourself to get angry.    When I say any discipline, I mean it.  If you are doing anything out of a fit of rage, you’re not thinking clearly.   If you’re not able to think clearly than you need to exercise self-control.  I’m not just talking about hitting your children out of anger, but spanking them on their butts, locking them in their room, yelling at them and anything done out of anger is wrong because you’re doing it from the wrong motivation.  It's not wrong because of the action, it might be the appropriate action, but if it's the wrong motivation, you are in the wrong.   Your discipline, which your child does need, must come from a place of love.  They must understand that even in their discipline, your love for them is not conditional. You’re the first picture of God that they paint in their heads, and discipline is a biggie.  

  People have told me that they just get so angry, they HAVE to send them to their room for a few hours to cool down and then, after they have cooled down, they discipline the child.   They say it’s better than just hitting them in anger.   Yes, it’s better than just hitting them, but you should still be working on your self- control.   Remember, self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, and anyone who is a Christian and has the Holy Spirit living inside of them has immediate access to self-control.   Controlling your temper is your job, not the child’s.  This is something we should all be working on in other areas of our life anyways for reasons like lust, addictions, distractions, or other emotional problems.  Self-control is needed in every area of life, but it is crucial in raising and discipline children.

If you choose to discipline your children out of anger and a lack of self-control, than you have opted for fear based obedience instead of loved based.   Let’s remember Jesus said “If you love me, you’ll obey me.”  He was intentional with His wording here and could have included fear, but He made it clear the obedience He is looking for is love based.   If that’s what God wants from me, than that’s what I want from my future children.  People always want to cling to Proverbs 9:10 here where “fear is the beginning of wisdom.”   I don’t think most people who've read it and quoted it actually read it as it is written.  It says fear is the BEGINNING. It’s not the end result.  It’s a decent starting place for wisdom.  It is chapter one. We need the fear of the Lord or realize our own sin, to repent, but we don’t stay here. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.   I cannot stress the wording enough here.   BEGINNING. Not the end result.  We go on to read in 1 John  4:16-18 that  “…God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them.  This is how love is made complete in us so that we will be confident on the day of judgment.   In this we are like Jesus.  There is no fear in love, because fear has do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. “

I posted as much of the context that would fit in this post without distracting from the main point.   John was clearly talking about the fear of God, even talking about the day of judgment, saying that we would not fear on that day because of the love of God. It says that love completes us.   While fear is a good starting point, if you read through 1 John, you see clearly that love is the ending point. We have arrived to completion when we live in love.  When we walk in love, and are wrapped in His love.

    Now that we've established the need for discipline, and established love as the only motivation that constitutes proper discipline, and also that self-control is a crucial ingredient, let’s talk about patience.
Patience is also a fruit of the spirit, so again, it’s something every Spirit-filled believer has access to.
Let me ask you another question.   Do you want to discipline your children the easy way, or the effective way?  The effective way being the one that produces a love based relationship.  Sometimes that might be the easy way, but many times the easiest thing to do is just spank them.  Now this is where it gets controversial, at least for me.   I really want to challenge the current national mood on discipline here.
  Now scripture does say “spare the rod spoil the child.”, but let’s look at the context of this verse.   Proverbs 13:23-25   The uncultivated field of the poor yields abundant food, but without justice, it is swept away.  The one who will not use the rod hates his son, but the one who loves him disciplines him diligently.  A righteous man eats until he is satisfied, but the stomach of the wicked is empty.
So let me ask you, is the stomach of every wicked man empty on this planet? Is the stomach of every righteous man full? Does every property owned by all poor people produce an abundance of food?   No.  Righteous men starve to death, and there are wicked men having feast right now.   Does that mean this section of scripture is not true? Without a doubt they are 100% true.  But it means that it they are not a literal truth.  It’s a metaphor. A poetic way of writing a 100% truth. We can agree that the first sentence is a metaphor, and we can all agree that the last line was one as well, so does it make sense that there would be a literal truth sandwiched between to metaphors?  Not logically.
  The truth that permeates from this passage is clear  “It is an injustice for the poor to go without basic necessities, discipline is crucial if you love your children, and righteous man lives a life  of satisfaction while the wicked man always wants more and more. “

When a friend of mine and a mother of one, Nichole Furr read this verse today, this was her response which I found very eye opening and insightful.
"The first line says The uncultivated field of the poor yields abundant food, but without justice, it is swept away. - he is talking about the POTENTIAL the field has being wasted if the right amount of work is not put into it
the next line says - The one who will not use the rod hates his son, but the one who loves him disciplines him diligently.
this is him defining 'who' the field in the previous sentence represents - if you love your child you discipline them to help them reach their potential otherwise all of it is wasted
the best part is the meaning of the word discipline here - it means to teach, instruct, to make a disciple it has nothing to do with punishment
it has to do with training up your child and helping them reach their god given potential and then the last line sums up what happens as a result
a righteous man who has trained up his child "field" gets to enjoy the fruits of his labor where as the wicked man who doesn't is left always struggling and hungry for their child's potential that was left unmet"

  Everything in this scripture is true, but not literal.  And these are metaphors which are chock full of real and relevant truth.  But we can all agree that taking a literal rod and beating your children is out of the question. However, this verse makes it clear that if you do not discipline in some form, you actually HATE your child.

  My point in that is this. There is not scripture that literally says “hit your child”.  Spanking is something we do in the south, and we take the above verse out of context to excuse it.  Let’s look at some facts about spanking.  Now, let's look at the facts below with an open mind.

  Over 90% of American families report having used spanking as a means of discipline. 
  I don’t know anyone who was never spanked.  At least that I know of. Spanking your children is not unusually cruel, and it’s not necessarily going to scar them for life, but let’s continue looking the facts.

68% of American parents think spanking is essential to child rearing.

90% of parents spank their toddlers at least three times a week; two-thirds spank them once a day.

One in for parents begun to spank when their child is 6 months old, and 50% percent when their child is 12 months old.
   *at this age, the child has not developed reasoning skills, and cannot discern cause and effect.  In other words, all they know is that they are being hit by you.  They cannot, at this age, discern why.  Therefore, at this age, it is not an effective disciplinary tool. Again, patience, love, and self-control are the tools you, as a Christian, should want to use. Spanking at this age might be the easiest thing, but it cannot possibly be effective if the child does not understand why.   

Studies show that parents are more likely to spank when they are irritable, depressed, fatigued, and stressed. 

  In 44% of those surveyed, spanking was used as punishment because the parent at “lost it”

About 98% of parents expressed moderate to high anger, remorse and agitation while punishing their children. 

Although 93% of parent justify spanking, 85% say they would rather not if they had an acceptable alternative.

One study found that 54% of mothers said that spanking was the wrong thing to have done in at least half the times they used it. 

There is a 93% agreement in scientific studies that spanking is harmful to children.

Children who are spanked are twice as likely to develop alcohol addiction and other drug abuse problems.

Multiple studies show that children who are spanked are more depressed, have more drug problems, more alcohol problems, than children who were not spanked.

According to researchers at the University of New Hampshire, spanking by parents can significantly damage a child’s mental abilities and results in a lower IQ later in life.

And kids were physically punished had up to a five-point lower IQ score than kids who were not, and the more the children were spanked, the lower their IQ’s.

Also, every serial killer and murderer in America was spanked as a child.  When analyzing criminal minds, rather or not the suspect was spanked as a child is considered a factor. 

What does this all mean?  Does it mean that everyone who was spanked falls into these statistics? No.  But they are not just pulled out of air.  They are factual and relevant.  Just because you were not affected negatively in the long run does not mean that these statistics are not true.  After looking at all this information, there is no way I could endorse spanking.  I believe the only way you could is because “Hey, my parents did it, and I’m fine” or just because it’s a convenient form of punishment.   But convenient is not always best.   There are alternatives to spanking.  They just require more self-control and more patience.   I really believe communication and repetition are more relevant to a child. 

If you are a parent who spanks, I want you to understand, I did not post all of these factors to say “YOU’RE WRONG”.  I do not believe I have authority to tell you spanking is wrong, but I can say it is wrong if you are doing out of anger or just because it’s easier than communicating with the child.   I can also ask, why you feel it is ok to spank your child?  Why do you WANT to?   Just because our culture agree that it's a good thing is not a valid reason.   Do you feel it's the best way to discipline your children?  Do you feel it's the most productive?  Is it because you can't find valid alternatives?   Is it because of your anger?   I don't have the answers to those questions, they were only intended to really make your look what the action of spanking actually is and does.  But I will add this, I posted this and was actually intending to right in 100% defence of spanking.   AFTER doing research, talking with a number of parent, and praying, I have have not come to any logical reason to spank. Again, I'm not the ultimate source on the matter and I'm trying to tell you that it's 100% wrong, but I'm asking you to really think about the productiveness of it, and to watch the video at the end in the comment box which has a lot more information about spanking than I wanted to get into here.   The main point of this post was not to talk about spanking, but to talk about disciplining out of love.

 Keep in mind, 100% of the time, spanking produces fear in the child, and it a violent act by definition.. Also by definition, I have to add, it does not cause permanent physical harm and is intended to hurt the child without lasting physical harm.   If spanked on the butt, there is actually extra padding there.

 By taking the time to communicate with children at young ages about why they are being punished, you are building their reasoning skills.  There is whole generation that has a lack of reasoning skills. I believe personally that this has a lot to do with parents reaching for the more convenient belt over a logical conversation about right and wrong. If you say, "I spank because they don't comprehend the conversation about right and wrong"  than you don't need to spank because if the child can not comprehend right and wrong, he will not comprehend why he is being hit.    So if you are to spank, there must be clear communication as to why this is going to happen when the parent is calm. It’s ok to tell the child that punishment is coming after you cool down, but you need to remove yourself from the child.  Today, most parents who know they should not react out of anger still will send their child to their room until the parent cools down.   However, this is still an anger based reaction.  It’s not the child’s fault you have poor self-control.   You need to be the one to day “This punishment is coming, but I have to leave the room and cool down because I love you too much to react to anything you do with anger. “

 Now what about yelling?  Yelling is a signal of danger. It is a warning that something bad is about to happen. Hearing someone yell at you has an immediate effect on the chemicals in your body, telling you danger is coming, and causing you to immediately get defensive. In nature, yelling is warning that a predator or some danger is coming, and the animals react in the same way we react when we are yelled at.  When we scream at a child, it automatically releases adrenaline and makes the child afraid.  The child might manifest that fear  that your pushed on him as anger, being defensive, or just crying, but yelling at them as punishment as no logical benefits.  When I worked around children, we were told to only yell when there was danger.  This was so that if the child heard me yell, they knew they needed to pay attention because something bad was going down.   I never yelled at a child except for when a dog entered the playground.  When they heard my voice yelling, they knew something was wrong and they immediately paid close attention to everything I said.   The dog turned out to be super friendly and I ended up taking “Sugar” home with me, but still, the children were able to get out of potential danger quickly.

 Yelling can be very damaging to a child’s mind and developmental skills. 

These are both the most common punishments in the South, if not America as a whole, but how logical are they?  And how often are you able to spank your child or yell at them with a motivation of love, peace, joy, kindness, gentleness, self-control,  goodness, and self-control, as  Galatians 5:22-23 states are the fruit of the Spirit of God living inside of you? 

 Every action directed towards your child, if you are a Christian and believe the Word, needs to be saturated in these fruit.   I would be only thinking rationally and logically to say that any action that is outside of these parameters is outside the will of God for your life in any area, and the includes child rearing.  

 I believe that God knew what He was doing when He made it clear that obedience out of love is better than fear, so why change that?  Why not apply that to your own child rearing?  I think it will make a happier home, a more productive way of punishment, and more enjoyable and meaningful relationship.

You do need to be creative in your discipline. Every child is different, and you will need to raise each one different.  Grounding, taking away toys, etc, will all have different effects on different children.  Not all children will care if you take their toys away, but that will get the point across to others.

In closing, I would ask a few more probing questions.  Why would you want to spank out of anger?  Why would you want to perform any discipline out of anger?   I once was at a church event where the pastor’s wife began spanking one of her children on the back hard. She smiled as she did it. She was extremely angry at the child, and wanted to punish him.  It reflected the current mood of punishment in our nation.  We view punishment as the end result, but really a better person should be the end result.  Our prisons would be a lot more empty if we were more concerned about rehabilitation than punishment. Most parents, according to studies, view punishment as the end result, and do not plan in advance whether it will advance the child's perception of right and wrong or not.   You should never have a desire to harm to a child, there is no reason, and it’s just demonic to actually desire harming your child.  Your punishment cannot come from a place of anger or agitation; it must be a clear logical and rational choice.  It must reflect the Love of God,  however the looks to you.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Signs of the times.

  Being a lover of Jesus means being a lover of truth.   It means desiring truth to be shouted from the rooftops. It means that you despise deception.  It's not just limited to any focus or area of the life of a mature believer, but in every area a mature follower of Christ looks, truth is evident and truth is a major focus.  Straight facts.  The bible says this over and over and over and over.   Throughout the New Testament, Paul urged and applauded the early church to search out the truth in all matters.

In the life of a mature believer, it can not be contained at all.   The love for truth over spills into everything that we do say or hear.  When we speak something, we speak the facts that we know.  When we hear something, we want to get to the facts.  We desire truth in the circumstance and will dig to get to it.   From conflict resolution to just reading up on current events, the need for truth is needed and craved in the life of the believer.   We desire for true justice to be shown.  We can not settle for one side of a story.  

 I'm obviously not talking about every little issue here.  I'm not saying we need to look at every item in our home that says "made in china" and question it.   I'm not saying that mature Christians would looks it up and only be satisfied when they knew the exact town, time, and date when the item was made.   I'm talking about major deals here.   I'm talking about major events that are happening and I'm talking about the scriptures.   I'm talking about just accepting what a pastor says over the bible, and I'm also venting about how our nation accepts lies from the media on a daily basis.

In the circles that I am in, many Christians do not want to be "political" and I want to confront this mindset head on right now.   You may not be called to be a politician, but you ARE called to intercede for your nation, and you are called to intercede for the leaders of your nation.  You are called to pray for, and sometimes against certain things.  You have to be informed in what you pray about.   I'm not going into the whole theology of why you can't just say "God take it all" and that be that. You can't do that for a few reasons, but one is that God gave human kind dominion over the earth and told us to subdue and labor over it.   Not striving or growing weary, but work was part of the garden. It's not the kind of work that we have today, it's a whole different mind set.   Weariness, striving, and those kinds of things are a result of the fall.  But effort is not.  Effort is not a starting place, but it is a result.   The Bible says that Faith without works is DEATH.   DEATH.   That means you can not just have FAITH and pray "God take it all"   Some things you've got to labor over.   You've got to put effort into them to get the breakthrough.  And that goes for us on a personal and national level.

The disciples even  asked Jesus one day "why did these demons not go out for us as they did for you?"
Jesus replied " Because some can only go out with prayer and fasting"  

This means to me that there are times where more effort is needed or required to get to the point.  I am not works based at all, but effort it just part of the kingdom.  I know a lot of people who would like me to just talk about how we don't need effort at all, but all birthing requires a painful push or two.

Now, as I mentioned before, many of us are not political at all and are not called to be, AT ALL.  God did not create us to be, and that's just who we are.  Others ARE created to be like that and love is that's just who they are.  However, all of us are called to pray.  That's not an option, and praying for a nation and it's leaders is a scriptural mandate. So even if you are not called into politics in any ways, who are still called to pray for them.    Since "works"  is the fruit, lets look at two things that would water or enable the fruit of intercession in our lives.

A passion for Jesus.   That would cause any of us to prayer and intercede.  Our love for the Father and becoming one with that love causes us to pour that love back out to other through prayer.

Knowledge.   Sometimes knowing something allows us to pray for something that we would not be aware of otherwise. If a friend of yours has a sick relative that you have no clue even exist, it's doubtful you would spend any time praying over that sick relative.  However, if your friend shares this need with you, the knowledge of the sick relative brings you to prayer.

 This is crucial to understand our times and events.  It does not mean that you have to be political and posting about your opinions.  It does not even mean that you have to have too many opinions, but it does mean you and I need a basic knowledge of true events in our nation so we can point our prayers.   I have turned on the news and began praying for something right then and there because I was just made aware of something.
  However, the need for truth is needed there also.   I will dig for the truth so I can point my prayers more accurately.  There are controversial issues that I wouldn't post on facebook, but I did research and approach because it was a major event in our nation.  If I had just taken the word of the media, my prayers would have been pointed in the wrong direction, but once my the truth was discovered, I was able to pray more accurately and effectively.

 Some of these issues are things like Obamacare, the recent Zimmerman trials, and a whole slew of nonsense coming out of the White House these days.   I agree with the christians out there who do not want to offend anyone with politics, and I do not plan on posting my opinions on some of these issues because it would OFFEND.  My prayers are the only requirement scripture makes as far as the political side of things.   On a personal level, God may lay it on your heart to post or share about things, and you might offend people.  That's ok!  Not everyone is called to get on a soap box about everything, but everyone is called to pray.

With the recent Zimmerman trials, I want to share this.   Our nation accepted everything the media spit out. Twisted manipulated half truths were vomited out on us, and we just thought what we were told to think.   Prayers were and are needed because this has a lot of tension in the air around the black community, at least where I live.  Also the need for truth.  I could not settle for just hearing the media's side of things, I had to dig deeper in the issue, just like I do with everything else, and my prayers were more pointed as a result.  

  There is a lot of darkness in the White House, and as Christians, it's our job to pray the light back in. It's our job to know the signs of the times we live in Jesus rebuke the pharisees, calling them wicked because they did not know the signs of the age they were living in.  In out times, we have to know the signs of the times. We need to be aware of things, and we need to know the truth.   It's a sign of the times that our generation will embrace  deception the way they do, but it's a sign of revival that we, as Christians don't.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The thought of Jesus.

This post is going to have two points.  When I took public speaking, they told me over and over have ONE point and ONE point only or you will fail to make either.  In ministry school when they teach how to write sermons they also stress the need for one focused point that every sentence used points at.  I was even told that any sentence that does not point towards the focus of the message is a waste of time and should be cut out of the message.  I'm breaking those rules because this is a blog and it's my blog and I might one day make a post with fifty points.

  The main point is about thinking of Jesus.   I always have the most stressful jobs.  I don't know why, but I do.   I always end up in a fast paced job that requires a lot of energy and emotions being poured out.  Yet at these jobs, just the thought of Jesus brings a wave of refreshment.  From the time when I was 16 at Burger King, I learned the key to a happy work day was Jesus.  I was on break today, and just looked out the window and went to my happy place with Jesus.  It was nice.   I had never really realized the fullness of just thinking about Jesus and what it does to you.

 We all have people in our lives that we think of and when we think of them, we allow certain emotions to be stirred up. Sometimes positive and sometimes negative. We think of what the person has done to us and what they are doing in life and we allow our emotions to be stirred up.  But that's the main thing.  We ALLOW our emotions to be stirred up.  It's a choice.  No one has the power to affect our emotions.  We say that someone made us angry, but really someone does not have power over our emotions.  We do. We allow ourselves to become angry or happy or sad or glad.  It's our choice.  Someone can not force depression on us. They can not force guilt.  They can not even force happiness. I know some people who would not be happy even if I bought them a brand new house.  They are just not happy being happy.  I could never force them to be happy.

  We talk about people who make us feel guilty or sad, but in truth we allow that to happen and we can stop it.  Sometimes that does mean cutting people off.  I've had to do it. Not just for bad emotions, but sometimes we need to walk away from people because they become our source of happiness and by allowing that to happen we put them in a position of an idol.  Sometimes God want's to use people to make us happy, but He wants us to know that He is the source of that happiness, even if He is using someone else to bring it to us.  So that's point number two.  Other people can't control our emotions.  Even in extreme cases where rape and murder are involved, I've seen people choose not to allow the attackers to have the power over them to live in fear or anger.

   The first point was that Jesus does have the power to change our emotions.  Immediately.  Just by thinking of Him, I can not help but be happy and overtaken by love sickness. My love for Him gets stirred up beyond my control or what I could conjure up alone.  It's all Him awakening a love from inside of me.  So the secret to stress relief to to think of Jesus. And would you know the Bible even says so!!!  Col 3:2 talking about putting your mind on things above and not on things of this world.  The world is a trap.   My pastor, Rick Joyner, had a message and part of that message he quoted a study on athletes.  The study was written about how athletes get in "the zone".   They had a lot of information about the body and the chemicals that was really intriguing, but what was most interesting was how athletes come out of it.  They can come out of "the zone" in one moment if fear or anger hits them.   The study said that one moment of fear or anger takes up the same amount of energy as 8 hours of labor extensive work.  I know this to be true in my life.   Just by thinking of things of this world, I allow myself to get fearful and worn out and even sick.

  The secret to good health and energy?   PUT YOUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE.  Stress has to leave in the presence of the provider.  Fear must leave from the presence of the protector.  And Anger must leave the presence of Love.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


This is going to be a weird post, but I'm weird and I live in a weird area of town.

For those of you who don't know, I live in the ghetto.  I'm not exaggerating here at all.  Most of the customers at the Taco Bell that I work at are strung out, homeless, or prostitutes.  Many times they are all three.   I'm seeing a different side of life than one I grew up in, and I'm exposed to much more than I've ever been.   I'm a country boy in the "big city" of Charlotte.

  One of our normal customers is a cross dresser named Apple.  Apple dresses like a woman, but is a man, and sells himself every night.  Apple is banned from most of the restaurants down the street, so he find himself in Taco Bell a lot.   We are always having to wake Apple up because he works all night and has no place to live.  Apple is the sweetest customer we have, which is why we tolerate him sleeping in the lobby on slow mornings.  Apple has some crazy friends that hang out with him, including his boyfriend and another crossdresser.

  I see this crowd all hours of the night as I'm going to and from work, and it's quite obvious how they get their money.  They stay in a hotel when they get enough, but it's nothing for them to go a few days with any sleep.

I'm sure Apple is not Apples real name, but that's all I know him by so that's what we'll call him.  Anyways, now that all the background information is out of the way, I wanted to start sharing my experience today.    Apple was the first customer of the day, and had just left when I left at 4:30.  He slept for a few hours on and off and kept ordering food.   When I was cleaning the lobby I asked him how he was. He told me he was worn out.  

 He had a crazy night the night before.  (I'm pretty sure all of his nights are crazy.)  Her exact words were  "Der was dis main shooten paaple urp n da hertells round her, so i hadda find ma bayfrand and get ma monay safe!  I was runna far ma life and this white man was chassen after me.  I was like ohhh naw, not tonight mathaf***er.  I turn round and show em urp.  I aint got no d@^^m sleep last night"

If you need a translation : There was a man shooting people in the hotel last night around here, so I found my boy friend and I gave him my money to keep it safe.  I was running for my life but then I turned and fought back, but I did not get any sleep at all.

  This was the first time we talked other than "May I take your order, please."   I take hundreds of orders a day, and everyone blurs together and I just see them as an order to fill and get out the window and to the front counter.   After this conversation with Apple, I realized that Justin and I are the only light shining in the darkness.  The people around here are hopeless, but it's been changing in our apartment complex.  My next door neighbor, who also sells drugs, told me that she never saw kids playing till this year.  Now the kids are all over the place because it's safer.  All that's happened is two crazy white people moved in and started keeping the place clean. I got tired of seeing condoms all over the place, so I started keeping the parking lots clean and the children came out.  There is something spiritual about children being out the brings light and the presence of the Father down.  This apartment complex is a huge untouched mission field that no one is trying to reach.  I mean at all.  There are literally kids here that have never heard the name of Jesus! Talking to Apple today broke my heart because Apple is better than the life he is choosing to live.  I could never live that lifestyle, and I know it takes it toll on him.   It also breaks the heart of our Father.  Abba LOVES and ADORES Apple.  He wants to hold Apple in His arms and be the father that Apple never had.  So in my journey right now, I am in a place where I can and I have to make a difference.   I'm excited because I'm making July the start of the mission minded living, and I'm going to start pouring my money, energy and time into the people around us.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A new vision.

One thing has been highlighted in my life over the past few months, and really it's been the underlying theme in this blog,  is newness,  fresh starts, a new journey,  and adventure.  A new vision has been something my spirit has been craving and gaining a new vision has become my vision for the time.

   I have felt the need for a fresh start since the move to Charlotte.   We arrived Easter weekend. It was so amazing, we packed everything in the truck Friday and we had everything out of the boxes Sunday morning just before church.  It was new day at a new church in a new city, and having it happen on Resurrection Sunday was without a doubt a prophetic picture of what is happening in my life.   The irony of packing our stuff into the U-Haul Friday night and having it emerge from the boxes Sunday morning is also obviously something that I pay attention to.  It was like our lives were being buried and and resurrected that Sunday, and the feeling of new life as we rode down 77 on the way to Morningstar was so strong in my heart. It was that morning that I knew I was in the center of God's will and that a new life had started.

     This has been something that has driven my relationship with Him to new levels.  I'm seeing more of Him, knowing more of Him, feeling more of Him.  My relationship with Him has evolved to to a place of rest and security I had never known.  His presence and life have been breathed into me in a new way.   I've taken so many steps forward, but I must be honest and say that for the most part they are baby steps.  A lot of the same junk is in my face, but it's less and less.  I'm awakening to the true me more and more, and as I do that, the fake me that the world created is dying.

Newnes.  Rebirthing.  Birthing.   Those are not just words that describe God's heart for just my life alone, but for the whole body.  The whole body needs a place of restoration and awakening.  Religion has molested us.  It has killed us.  It has violated our hearts and our relationship with God.  Yet the most dangerous thing it as done as been offending us.  Or caused us to be offended.   We are a generation marked by offence.  Not just the young, but all who live in this time have struggled with offence in deep ways.   The church has hurt us all.  We have been hurt, and many times it's been a deep hurt that was very painful and real. The bible tells us clearly that this is a time that offence will run rampid.  The bible says that offence will cause our hearts to grow cold.   This is the ultimate end of religion.  A cold, dead, offended heart.   Religion not only points you in the right direction for offence, it walks you to the door of that molester and helps in you ease in.  Our hearts our growing cold.  Our love is growing weak. and it's because we are so easily offended.

   It's crazy how easily I have seen people leave a church, leave a family, and drop a relationship over minor issues.  If something is clear in scripture, sure it's worth fighting for, but I've seen people battle tooth and nail over non-issue things scar the body in the process.

There is a cure.   The cure is to wake up.  Wake up to our wrongness.  Wake up to His being right.  Waking up is the only option.   Or I should say, allow ourselves to wake up.  The Father is already calling and stirring, all we need to do is stop resisting. Coming to Christ was not an action, it was a surrender.  I stopped existing to sin. Before I resisted Christ, now I just give in.   We need to surrender to the alarm clocks that God is waking this nation with.

  I really believe God is about to do something BRAND NEW.   Bob Jones had a word at church this Sunday about new fruit that has never been in the world before, and then Tom Hardiman preached a word that was right in line with that, and both were confirmation to what I have been feeling in my heart.  Newness.

I'm going to stop rambling with this.  God is doing something new.  We need to catch hold of it.  Letting go of the old wineskin is important.   It's crucial.  We have to be willing to be adventurous and bold. This is not a time for cowards but for lions.  It's time to wake up.  It's time to surrender to new life.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


If you're working for Jesus, than it's about time you quit.   I mean that in a very liberal way that I'm sure people as soon as they read it are going to assume one thing and not read what I actually wrote, but hey, this is my blog and it's about my journey so I'm saying things the way I want to.

     If you are laboring under a hard yoke or burden, that's demonic.  If you are feeling the "burden of the Lord"  That's demonic.  In fact, Jeremiah 23:28 says so point blank, saying "You SHALL not say you are under the burden of the Lord."

   I'm all about works. Love them.  But I'm more about God.  I'm more about love.  And I enjoy the works that my love for God produces.   I understand that works are a part of my walk with God, but they are the fruit of the relationship, not the roots.  I don't work for Jesus, I love Jesus.  I'm not a slave, I'm a friend.  Jesus point blank at the Last Supper said.  "You are not my slaves, but my friends."  Point blank.  Out of the mouth of Christ.  No escaping it.  I don't mind repenting of sin, I don't mind turning my life around for Jesus. I don't mind giving to the poor, or volunteering at the church.   I don't mind these works.  I love my devotional life where I read the Word daily and I take notes and I spend time with Him everyday.  I'm not escaping works.  I'm embracing them the way they were intended to be embraced.  As a wonderful delicious fruit of a healthy relationship with Christ.

  However, we are raised to look at those fruit.  We are indeed suppose to judge the roots of our brothers by the fruit.  But we have taken our attention so off the roots that many of don't put them into the equation.  We are producing worse and worse fruit.  We think picking off the bad will make more good.  But any farmer will tell you, if the problem is the root, don't mess with the fruit.   We need to really readjust our thinking about works and how they play out in our lives.  They are never a way into a deeper glory.  They are never a key to another whelm.  They are always the product of healthy roots. I have dozens of garden analogies that I'm not going to bore you with, but I'm going to say the church should really think about growing some gardens and we might learn a thing or two about God.  I honestly know my view of works is wrong.  It's broken, and it messed up.  But it's better than it was yesterday, and maybe oneday I'll be able to understand and share what works are.  I just know we've got it wrong.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

This is not the post I meant to write.

I was going to right a different blog tonight, but this is on my heart and this is suppose to be more about my journey, so this is where I am at right now and this is what's on my mind.

ABC.   When I was young, I was taught the ABC's of becoming a Christian.  Admit.  Believe.  Confess.  Of course I've grown and realize a lot of things now, even about this formula. This is taught in every church I had ever went to, and is works based.  It was taught to me at VBS, and I was given pamphlets to share with my friends and school.  But this is wrong. It's death and religion.  The ABC formula about getting to Heaven states three simple things

1. You have to admit.
2. You have to believe.
3. You have to confess.

Read it again.  This is a formula about what YOU have to do.  It's a man centered formula about getting into Heaven on what YOU do.  These things are part of the Kingdom, but they are not how you enter it.  These things are religion. Religion is a man based system of reaching something that is already available for us all. I would have never thought that these things were demonic, but now that I am older, having put childish things away, I see now that this is bondage. It uproots hidden theology in our own hearts. It exposes the fact that we are unaware of what has already been given to us and are still trying to earn it.  I am not saying that those who taught me this are demonic.  They were all amazing people that I love and cherish and will see in Heaven.  But this is misguided to say the least.

   The "formula" to entering into Heaven, if there were to be such a thing, is by God.  It's not by doing anything.  Works will not at all change your salvation.  I'm not saying that you never have to admit, believe, or confess, I'm just saying those things are not our entry way into Heaven, which I think most people who read this blog would agree with me.  I believe that those things are a product of a relationship, and not the foundation of it.

The way the "ABC formula" is laid out is that our efforts are the foundation, but it's not at all.  To form a relationship with God, our works of admitting, believing and confessing are the tools that form our bond. But God's love is the foundation.  Anyone who knows me knows this is a soap box of mine, and I could talk about the light and love of God for hours and days even, but that's not the point of what I'm saying here. What  I'm saying here is that the foundation is not by our own works of admitting, believing, or confessing.  If we believe, it's only because He is known, and if we admit, it's only because He has drawn is to, and if we confess, it's only because He has shined His light in our darkness so that we may see.

I posted about how demonic so many of the things I grew up being taught were, and a woman asked, "what things are demonic"  I replied that the works based message  was one of the main issues, which has worked it's way into every area of my life, including my relationship with this particular woman. What's ironic is that this person, who claimed that there was no works based mentality, did not want to be a part of my life due to my works.  How she viewed me was based on my actions. Works based theology is poison.  It poisons our view of God, and it overflows into every area of our lives.  We hold others up to same strict standard that we apply to ourselves. We feel the need the work and perform in church, in hopes of a better reward.

This propaganda traps people into unhealthy relationships in churches that need to leave, but are in a co dependent state with the congregation where they need each other in unhealthy ways that we were not meant to need each other.  We begin to fill voids that we can't.

This is just a little post about a much bigger issue, which I plan on dissecting and throwing out into this blog into smaller portions.   The place where I am at right now is un rooting all of this.  I have spent my whole life earning a reward that is already mine.  I have labored in my brothers vineyard and Papa is calling me to a place of rest.  Rest.  I really don't know what that looks like, but I look forward to finding out.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dress Us Up in Unity.

I have to confess, as I was writing the title to this post, I was singing "Dress Us Up" By John Mark McMillan haha.

  I posted a little while back about the need for the body.  Today, I want to share an encounter I had when I was maybe 16 or 17.

I   was praying in my room and all of sudden I was no longer in my room.  I opened my eyes and immediately was aware I had entered into the abode of God.  Or Heaven.  I saw a worn down little workshop.  I felt pushed to go inside.  Everything around me was alive.  Not like here, but really alive.  The stones were singing, even the air was alive and singing.  I went into this workshop, and it was clean, but you could tell it was well used.  It appeared to be a carpenter's shed. Tools were hanging all over on the walls, but very neatly.  Then Jesus walked in.  With dirty nails I might add.  He had a torn white cloth which He carried as of it was the most important treasure on the planet.  He laid it down on the work table, and began sowing with a red thread.  As I moved closer I saw that the shape of a dress was forming.  He laughed and said "Everyone only wants to wear the part that fits them.  No one wants to fit together.  Right now my grace allows them to do this."  At this point He started weeping loudly,    "My grace allows them to shred the dress that they are suppose to be wearing, but it will not always be."

"I am coming back for one bride who wears one dress.  This dress.  They must learn to unite.  I created a unite, a bride.  I am coming for a bride who wears the perfect stainless dress, and here it is"

 At this point He showed me that the red thread He was using was not thread at all, but His own blood.  He continued sowing.  I then noticed the percilur method in which he was sowing. He was not sewing as a seamstress sews a dress,  but it looked far closer to a surgeon placing in stitches.  He  sewed it one piece at a time. One stitch at a time. He was healing us. He was repairing us like the doctor He is.  

"There is a dress that I will not fix.  I will not repair it, and it will be much smaller than this, but only those who fit in are worthy to wear it.  But it will be a dress that grows.  I'm placing a high price on unity, and a high reward for those who seek it."

I did not understand all I know now.  I did not know what He meant when He said "There is a dress that I will not fix, but only those who fit are worthy to wear it.  I will not repair it, and it will be much smaller than this.  But it will be a dress that grows."

I now believe that it means the bride that is willing to work together as one will be much smaller, and many will fall away when this is required.  I feel like something is going to happen where we have to work together.  I feel like any who want to stay alone, outside of community, will fall away.  I think it means those of us with so much pride will not fit. I think that when He said it will grow, it meant that as a Unit, we will be able to reach more.  We will make a greater impact for the Kingdom.  Only as A bride can we accomplish this!

 The Bride is lovely, so beautiful in every way.   I dare not carelessly speak against the bride of my Lord. But we MUST speak the truth in love.  If I am to speak love, I must speak truth.  The relationship between the two can not be broken.  I must speak my love for the bride, how can I hold it back, and I must speak the truth, otherwise I do not truly love her.

 In our times, the biggest division is always a steam from offence.  The bible clearly says our generation will be one who walks in offence, and this would make our hearts grow cold.  We must work together, pushing past our offence, so that we can burn.  The bible also clearly points out that when we separate from each other our hearts will grow cold.  The fire that ignited us comes from Him, but can only be maintained in community.

I want to talk more about offence in the next post, but I just wanted to share the encounter with everyone this time.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

My custody battle.

Today in Church, Bob Jones shared an amazing word for us.  I'm paraphrasing, so it won't be word for word what he said,but the word was that he saw something white.  He said it was not a dream, he was awake this morning.  He reached out and touched it.  It shocked him, and it was made of wool.  He asked the Lord what it meant.  He said he wondered because you can't wear wool in the Holy of Holies, and you can sweat there either.  The Lord told Bob that we had gotten cold.  That we needed to catch back on fire, and that the wool was to warm our cold hearts.  I'm sure it's up on the website if you want to hear it word for word and better understand it.  If you're looking for it, look under Sunday Morning meetings, and they shared it right after the worship part of the service was over.

     This hit hard for me with strong conviction, yet it was also very edifying. During worship, The Lord spoke to me and said "I've enjoyed your visitations.   You visit me every Sunday, and sometimes daily.  But they are just visits.  If all you've given Me is visitation rights, who has custody over you?  Who is your parental guardian? Custody with me means protection, custody with the father of lies means a jail cell.  I'm not looking for a visitation, but a habitation. "

It was a call to deeper intimacy with Him.  I've not been satisfied where I'm at and I've been starving for more.  Both these words confirm that I need more and that my heart has been distracted because of the storm around me with all the blows and the people the enemy is using around me.

I once shared my desire for more of God with a youth pastor, but it was not very encouraging. I shared with him that I wanted to go out and raise the dead and be radical for God and just do the things the early church did.  His reply was "You can ask for those thing, but you might never get them.  God does not have to give you signs and wonders!"

  I don't, and never have sought for signs and wonders.   I've always sought God, and what my youth pastor did not understand was that those things were put on my heart by God as a result of my seeking Him.  What my youth pastor also did not understand is that those things that I was asking for were already guaranteed to me.   Through both personal words and also through the Written Word. Mark 16:17 is a seal that those things are for God's children.  He does not have to give them to us, but He already has.

For me, a lot of the lack of the things I was desiring was only there to point out the lack of sonship I had with the Father.  I did not understand I was His son, and that He freely gave me those things.  I did not have to cry out for hours.  I did not have to beg.  Or fast, starving myself for months, or do anything because He gave them to me.  For FREE.    Every single one of my friends know I love a deal.  If it's from a thrift store or with coupons at Bi Lo, you can count me in!  But you don't get a better deal than what Jesus has offered us!  We are adopted as sons of God, alongside Jesus, and capable of everything He did.  Those things became evident in my life when I started walking in the custody of the Father.  

  Today's service really confirmed and makes me strive even more to have more of that fired burning inside of me.  Let me burn!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Broken Glory

I find myself at your feet, breaking my life open like a bottle of perfume that the ancient whores poured out on you.  I find myself undone and built up.  I find myself torn open and made whole.  I find the completion of my own brokenness at your feet.   Not an emotional downfall, but an uprising of grace.  I'm broken because of your deep love for me, which waters this thirsty desert.  My heart is a garden that thirst for the morning rain.  Every detail of my life is cared for by your tender hands.  The tender hands of a lover, of a gardener, of a farmer, of a father.  I fall down at your feet at the revelation of who you are.  You are a lion, strong and mighty.  You are a father, and your arms are like towers over me.  Loving me, guiding me, never neglecting me.  Unconditionally loving me. You loved the sinner inside of me because you saw past my sin.  You loved wretch I have been because you saw no wretchedness.  You have forgotten my wrongs because love holds no grudges, and love forgets.  You are love.  You are my love.  All love flows out of you.   Love flows from your mouth into mine and I overflow into the world around me.  Your love is deeper than the sky, and more complex than the universe.  You are the sun, bringing light and life to a dark and straining world.  Restore in me the intimacy we always have had.  Awaken the revelation of our oneness, my lover and God.  I know you beyond an imaginary being, I know you as real.   But if you were in my imagination only, than that's only where I'd be found.  But you extend to the Heavens. Into reality.  You are not limited. So I go.  I go where you go and you are everywhere.  I go and bring the revelation of your presence.  I am goer. I want to go where you already are.  Take me to the ends that the ends may have a new beginning in you.  You're more real to me today than yesterday and my need for you is more real than my need for water.  I crave you.  Just let me stay at your feet always.  The mighty feet of a lion on the prowl.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The need for fellowship.

As we've moved up to Charlotte and started a new life, we really realize that community is everything.  It's fundamental to our Spiritual well being and emotional health.  We are creatures of community and we need to  be around others.  We long for companionship.  Some of us desire large groups, and some of us want nothing more than a spouse.  There are levels of connectivity, and we all want some level of it.

Our first and foremost relationship comes from YHW.  Without a  creator, we could not even feel love for other people, (1 John)   Because He loves us, we can love Him back. And because we love Him, we can love others.  You would be ok with just Jesus, but I don't think you would thrive without the community that Jesus created and calls His bride.  The need for fellowship with other saints is fundamental to the faith.  Anyone who knows anything about the Christian faith knows that we take communion. You may not know what it is or what it means, but you know the church does it.   We drink grape juice for the blood, and bread for the body of Christ, and it's call communion.  This communion is suppose to serve as a reflection to a real communion that we really already have in Christ. A fellowship of our soul and God's soul is what communion represents, and we could not have that fellowship except through the blood and the broken body of Christ.  It's a reminder. When Christ was on the earth, He said "do this in remembrance of me.".

The blood represents His gift to us, and the bread represents His Body, which was broken, but which he rebuilt using us.   He is in a physical body right now, the scripture is clear, but we are his "body" or his agent on the earth.  We need to be in communion with the blood, and the body.  We can not have just Jesus and leave the body, and we cannot  have just the body and leave Jesus.  Paul warned early Christians of this, urging them to make sure the communion was real and the the acts of taking the elements were just representations of the way they were living their lives.  We need to be living in a way where we are living as one.  One with God and one with our brothers in Christ.  He really desires our unity.  I want to share an encounter I had, but not today in this post, but maybe in the next few days.  Just understand, community and union is very important to God, and we should never tear a bridge down in the body, but try to build and work together.  If you get attacked, swallow pride and turn the other cheek.   

  But community also means accountability.  We need to be willing to be corrected, and we  need to be willing to correct each other. I really don't mind being corrected, and have a hard time standing my ground against others who are wrong, not just in my opinion, but are obviously living in error. (I'm talking about Christians who are living in the world around me, not random people.  Those, who you are in fellowship with, are the ones you have a responsibility to be corrected and correct.)   I'm getting better about calling wrong thinking wrong, even when I'm under attack, but it is not easy for me. That is one thing I do need to work on, because walking away from someone who is wrong is easy, but it's not always right.  Sometimes God wants you to bring the revelation of the right way, so someone can get off the wrong path. Sometimes loving does mean walking away, but usually I find that the right thing to do is harder.  If it's easy to walk away, I need to stay most of the time, and if it's hard to say goodbye, that the path that I need to take.   I've had to do both.  When it's hard to say good bye, and you know you have too, that means you're doing right because your love for them is so deep.  When it's hard to confront, that can mean that you love them too much to offend them, but you have to!  The psalms say "Trust the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of the enemy bring deception. "

Community is not easy, but it's worth it and it's glorious. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why Not What If

Why don't we practice what we believe and know?  Why do we claim to have all the answers in the light, but when darkness comes we stumble?  I, and many of friends, have a deep and real relationship with Jesus, and in the past year, we've had the biggest doubts of our lives.  There has been a lot of stuff thrown at us that wasn't fair or right, and we let it get to us.  We said beforehand that we have a God who never leaves us, yet we felt so alone.  We knew He would never forsake us, but we stood forsaken.  Or so we thought. What if we carried our beliefs into the darkness?  What if we acknowledged and understood the truth of our oneness with Christ in what seems like a storm?  What if we really made the joy of the Lord our strength when depression hit. This sounds so simple in theory, but it becomes crazy hard when we try to practice it.  In the light, before the storm, it's easy.  But when doubt comes and we are tired, it's hard to keep on.  What if we really understood who we were?  What if we really understood what we were capable of doing and not doing?  What if the revelation of our dead sinful nature was real to us? Why do we willingly resurrect a dead man?  How different would our lives and our world be if we practiced what is true, even when we can't see it?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Spirituality VS Religion.

The first paragraph is boring and not necessary but gives a little more information of my motivation for writing this.  You can read it or skip over it, the overall point of this post will remain intact either way.

  I recently read an article about spiritual but not religious people written from the point of view that you needed religion and it claimed that those who claimed to be spiritual but not religious were always rebellious, hard headed, or ignorant.  The article labeled those who claimed to be spiritual but not religious as SBNR (Spiritual But Not Religious), and highlighted two things. It highlighted that those who claimed to "SBNR" could not substantiate what it meant to be "SBNR"  or what they meant by claiming to be "SBNR" .  The assumption was that they were cut off or cut themselves off from the body and could not respect church authority.  It also highlighted the need for church structure.  The whole article had a lot of pretense and assumptions  about the "SBNR" crowd.  I disagreed with that because in my life, those who attacked a statement or strongly disagreed with it sometimes actually did agree with what I was saying, but because of the pretense and assumption because of what I may have sounded like, they spoke out.  It's not that what I said was not worded right to the crowd that I was speaking to, but rather we have a tendency to relate and compare statements.  I've had my statements related to and compared to things that I did not say at all, but I've done the same thing too.

   I do strongly claim to be "SBNR".  That does not mean that I am not plugged into a local church.  That does not mean that I have any trouble respecting church authority.  It means that my relationship with Christ is made by His efforts and not mine.  Religion is a man based  effort to reach God, or god's depending on the religion.   Maybe it's Christianity or maybe Muslim, if it teaches you have to do something to receive the gift of  grace, it's a works based path that I'm not on. I believe that God's grace is FREE and there is nothing that you can do to earn it or because it's already given to you and poured out on you. Now a lot of people will read that statement and assume that I am an univerlist. Nope.  I never said everyone is going to get into Heaven.  I said the grace was freely given, not received.   It's a choice.  You can choose to reject grace, but you can't choose to earn it.  It's impossible to earn it.  It's free, and you can't earn something that is free, otherwise there is a price. Being "SBNR"  means that I have a relationship, not a system of rules that I have to follow or that I am disciplined enough to abstain from sin, and it also means I'm not trying to be.  My ability to not "sin" does not come out of me from knowledge of evil or my discipline, but from my love for God. Jesus said "If you LOVE me, you will obey me."   He did not highlight fear or discipline as ways to obtain perfection, He highlighted love.   In 1 John, we read directly that His love does perfect us and cast out our fear!

Being "SBNR" means pursuing a relationship over knowledge.   I don't have the answer!!! The answer has ME.   That's enough for me.  Out of the relationship I have with the answer, revelation overflows, but revelation is not what I'm after.  I'm after time with Daddy.

Being "SBNR"  does not mean I am not involved in church.  It actually means I've awoken to my identity as the church. Not only do I go to church, I am the church!  Wherever I go, church is!   Now, I do understand the importance of being part of the body and fellowship.  I do not neglect the fellowship of the saints by any means.  Jesus said take my body and my blood.  The blood is what He gives.  The body is the church, and we must be in communion with both.

Being "SBNR"  means I follow every word of the bible, because it's a God based order, which leads to life, but it means that I don't follow man made traditions that lead to the grave.  The bible is sooo good, but our interpretation of it can be sooo wrong!

People ask me if I am a Christian or what I am, and the only titles that I really care for are mystic or lover.  Mystic is easier to explain to people, but lover is more accurate. I'm a lover of God.  I'm a lover of His bride, and His order, and I love seeing religion die.  I believe what the bible teaches, and most Christians would really agree with me on a lot of what I believe, but I just don't work under the slavery of works based theology.

Being a mystic means I'm seeking truth at all cost and I'm inviting everyone to join in with me.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dealing in Deception

There is a person that I don't speak with anymore.  I'm not bitter, although that is always the first thing that people think when they hear what has happened.  People think that if I had forgiven this person, our relationship would be restored, I would be calling this person and chatting up like old times. There was  a time where this relationship was the most important thing in my life.  Deception tears things.  It's destroys.   When you forgive someone, that does not mean that you are immediately reconciled with them.  It takes two.    Even with God, there are those that choose the be outside the gates.  There are those that choose separation.  I don't know what EXACTLY that looks like, but I know God loves us too much to force us into a relationship with Him that we don't want.  It takes two people to rebuild.  It only takes one to destroy. As far as this person goes, the best thing for me to do is stay out of their life.  If I go around them, there is a temptation for this person to control, manipulate, and deceive.  I'm not giving them a chance.  Not for me, but for them.  They will have to answer for those actions.  I use think just do right, and if they do wrong because you did right it's on them.  Now I feel that doing right means not giving that person a chance to do wrong that leads them into self destruction or pain.  It may mean letting people go.  Not for you, but for them.  In this situation, I know stepping back was the only option without falling into the lies.   I've also found that the more light in me there is shining, the more the darkness hates it.  The closer I got to God, the more this person has always seen demons on  me.  Times where I was really worshiping, they saw scars on my face.  Now I'm getting closer to God, and people are bringing confirmation to that, and this person, from long distance, is seeing the same things.  I'm getting closer to the light, and it's hard for them to see from the darkness they are in.  I don't know what the point of this post was other than to just ramble about today.

The great natural world.

I went outside to sit for a while and I was just thinking.  I once pursued spiritual encounters as the greatest thing and treasure in my life.  I experienced great things, that I will always treasure.  I was taken outside my body, met with angels , and flew over cities.  Things I could never do in just my body.  I always thought these things were better than the natural world.  I thought my visions and dreams were better, and I retreated further into them.  I still highly value them, but no longer do I view them as better than the natural world.  God looked at it and said it was good.  A kind of gnosticism had invaded my world.  God told me to garden this year.  My garden is just as "spiritual" as raising the dead, or anything else because it's what God wanted me to do.  If Jesus was coming back tomorrow, I would garden.  I would not stop gardening to pray, because Jesus told me to garden, and it's just as holy as any spiritual rapture that I might experience. I just sat outside, enjoying this world.  Just being in the world.  Not doing anything spiritual, not talking to trees or animals, just being with nature as part of nature. Being part of the natural world.  I believe just being natural and a part of this natural world is just as Holy as one who retreats to the desert to pray for 100+ years.  Everything is included in God, even my garden.  Gnostic views about the world around me and my self led me to wrong thinking about my self and the world around me.  It's time we start thinking of our bodies as TEMPLES and this world around us as GOOD, because that's how God views it.  I told you guys this would be mostly rambling, and this was one of those rambling days.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Starting a new journey that I was always on

I am starting a new journey that I've been on for a while.  It sounds contradictory, but it's part of the human condition.  We are all destined to transform or evolve into the truth of who we are.  This is the road that we all must walk down, although so many refuse to walk down that road.  Most don't even try, some will start, but it seems very few will step into truth.  Truth.  If I asked you what being wrong felt like, you would tell me it felt negative. It felt embarrassing, humiliating, or sometimes shocking.  Well that's wrong.  Being wrong does not feel like anything.  It's when you find out you were wrong that those negative emotions are stirred up.  But being wrong feels like nothing because ignorance is the numbing medicine we all choose to swallow. I'm starting down a road to truth that I've always been.  I'm leaving my fear of being wrong behind me and in fact, I embrace the hope of new revelations of how wrong I was and how much better everything is than I imagined.  I'm going to start rambling here.  Mostly it's going to be about this spiritual journey, but I plan to ramble about every part of my life while I'm on this journey.  I want to post my everyday life and the revelation that I think will come from seeking truth in all things.  I can't imagine anyone having it all figured out, and I don't think I'll get there, but the idea of trying is an adventure I just can't pass up, and I hope that a lot of you will journey this with me.