Monday, August 17, 2015

The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.”

― Arthur Miller

With that in mind....

How to become a person of influence? How to force-feed good into the harsh world? How to make a difference, not just in the world, but in the lives of real people?

I'm struggling, straining, stretching toward some hidden sun; trying to burst through the clammy loam to a sensed world of embracing warmth and sweet light.

I know it's there, I can not quite feel it, but I know it's there. I know I'm not meant to stay here in the cold, damp, dark.

But how to break out? All I know to do is to keep reaching up and out; to not give up, to not quit.

I try to do the daily, day by day, trivial tasks at hand and to imagine them important, imagine them making a difference, but in the long run, at the end of life, have they made an impact? Has anything really changed? Is anyone different? Better? Happier? Stronger? More blessed? Kinder? Gentler? More loving?


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bizarro World

We are living in a Bizarro world - the alternate universe of Superman where everything is backwards.

Let me get this straight: Palestinians fire a rocket into Israel deep enough to set off alarms in Tel Aviv; aiming, as always, at civilians. Israel responds, killing four members of Islamic Jihad who, according to the terrorist group itself, “oversaw the manufacture of bombs and rockets.”

"There is no chance of speaking about a truce now, following such a big crime against leaders of the group," said Islamic Jihad spokesman Abu Ahmed. "Now we are talking about the suitable response to this crime," he said.

Okay, wait a minute. You're walking through the forest and you see a sleeping bear. You find a sharp stick and poke him in the eye. The bear gets up and mauls you and cry about the bear committing “such a big crime.”

What am I missing here?

Oh, by the way, the rocket was fired from (and the Jihadists were killed at) a terrorist training camp near Rafah, a former Jewish settlement that Israel gave up as part of a “land for peace swap.”

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year,
I felt a door opening in me and I entered
the clarity of early morning.

One after another my former lives were departing,
like ships, together with their sorrow.

And the countries, cities, gardens, the bays of seas
assigned to my brush came closer,
ready now to be described better than they were before.

I was not separated from people,
grief and pity joined us.
We forget - I kept saying - that we are all children of the King.

For where we come from there is no division
into Yes and No, into is, was, and will be.

We were miserable, we used no more than a hundredth part
of the gift we received for our long journey.

Moments from yesterday and from centuries ago -
a sword blow, the painting of eyelashes before a mirror
of polished metal, a lethal musket shot, a caravel
staving its hull against a reef - they dwell in us,
waiting for a fulfillment.

I knew, always, that I would be a worker in the vineyard,
as are all men and women living at the same time,
whether they are aware of it or not.

-Czeslaw Milosz

Saturday, April 25, 2009

More conversations with A.

A. The gift part of your above comments is eye opening and profound. While I have always understood it to be a gift and even read the scriptures that say so I guess tht never has made sense before. It was always a 'necessary tool to get further in God' and while that may be, it has always been presented and understood by me that it was really something special that was very difficult to obtain. This is fun chatting though. How about another topic that pertains to our respective church attendance? How does the predestination message come into play in your opinion? How about Eternal security? As you know I attend Bethlehem which is Baptist so you know how they believe. I have not felt these were Heaven or Hell discussions and I am one of those people who believes that the D. P. way is incorrect. You can't be an alcoholic and womanizer, conciously and with intent, and be in God's will and have His blessings. I just don't buy that teaching. He is always there to fogive and accept us when we sincerely confess but can we get to the point where we have lost Him, so to speak, or fallen away? I guess I think of D- S- L. A baptist would say that apparently he didn't have a 'real' salvation experience. What's your take?

Me. It would be absurd to say D- had never been saved. So the only alternative is yes, you certainly can choose to turn your back on God. If we don't have free will,  life is just a Punch and Judy puppet show.

A. Maybe it was simply interpretation but what about where the spirit draws us? Doesn't that say He chooses who He calls? Few are Chosen. Same thing? I am not saying I go either way at this point. I believe a little of both. The ways of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord. Does that mean He decides what when where? Or He simply put the circumstances there knowing which way we will go? Again I think as you seek God daily some things just simply fall into place but it is interesting to discuss.

Me. I think you have to start the discussion with the foundation that "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." To me, "whosoever" sounds all-inclusive. 2Pt3.9: "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." Again, to me that's pretty plain - God is not willing that any should perish. But some do. Why? Because they choose to. They reject the constant wooing of God's Spirit and choose death instead of life. Think back to the Garden. God gave Adam the perfect environment. But Adam rejected God's counsel and chose disobedience. Now Adam repented, but not everyone does. I think Adam is all mankind in microcosm, i.e. He deals with all just as he dealt with Adam. All are fallen but God calls everyone of us to repentance. Some are quicker to resond than others; some harden their hearts and turn the other way and eventually cannot hear the Holy Spirit's voice any longer. It's interesting to me that when Moses saw the burning bush in Ex. 3, it is "when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, [that] God called unto him...." What if he hadn't turned around to see? I think millions of people every day ignore the burning bush of God's presence in so many ways. "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." Attributed to Einstein (I'm not so sure) "It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure." That's another one that I'm more inclined to believe Einstein might actually have said. Anyway, my point is that the world is an obvious miracle, that God is constantly calling all of us; sometimes we turn aside to see and sometimes we don't.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A. My computer got infected with a virus so I have been without for a while. I read your forward to me on the Holy Spirit and it is a good read. Again, I struggle with that as I have seen it so abused and while I realize and know that when I see it happening I cannot get it out of my mind. I have a couple Living Word questions in that regard. Do you have times in service where people speak in tongues? Other than a prayer meeting are there times where it is specified to seek the baptism? I ask because we did it kind of stragely at Full. I haven't seen anyone come to the altar for prayer in the middle of worship service a LWCC. Is there only a specific time for that? I want to know and understand but it does get difficult after 30+years of chaos if you know what I mean. ANyway just curious and maybe you have some reading material in your collection for me to read in regard too this that could help me out. I am curious

Me. Yeah, I wondered what had happened to you. 

Send me your address and I can send something to you.

You guess correctly, we do it differently at LWCC. It's not looked at as such a huge unscalable mountain, but just another gift to receive, like salvation. You don't "tarry" for salvation - you ask and you receive. Same with the baptism.

At the last new member's class I saw about 35 -40 people all come forward after the teaching, all get prayed for and about 98% of them get the baptism and speak with other tongues. That was, btw, awesome!

So as soon as people come forward for salvation or rededication and then they leave the sanctuary and go over to the Chapel for more follow-up, we routinely have them ask the Lord for the baptism right then.

A. I just remember being up there for what seemed like hours and people yelling at me and shaking me and moving my jaw and stuff. I think you can actually bring an evil spirit into play there if you aren't careful and causing an emotional state that is so overwhelming you do have manifestations. What do you think about that? I would not say always but I believe it is possible if we are not cautious.

Me. After thinking about it for a while I would say that I don't think that could happen. I don't think anyone could get possessed by a devil while they're sincerely seeking the Lord.
What could happen is that the devil could lie someone into believing it though.
What do you think?

A. In my experience though there was enough distracting things going on that I think I forgot why I was there and I can tell you details of probably 10 different people at that time. All of a sudden my 'seeking sincerely' wasn't there. I was told I spoke in tongues and had that infilling but I don't know if I did or not. Perhaps that distracting is from the devil and opens the door for him. Maybe not at that moment but later when the momen t is passed. I guess I always heard so many different stories of some who were seeking that for years and couldn't get there and then others it was simple and the first time. That is where I think when we pray with someone seeking the gift of the Baptism we have to try to be careful not to distract that person or possibly 'cheapen' their experience. What do you think?

Me. Like I say it's a whole different paradigm as taught at LWCC. Which I believe is more Scriptural.

The baptism in the Spirit is a gift (and I can think of 2 scripture references off the top of my head that verify that, tho I can't give you ch & vs w/o looking them up). You don't tarry for, and wait for, and seek for a gift. A gift is given to you and you receive it. Just like salvation.

If you asked, then I think you did get it and probably did speak in tongues. Jesus said "Ask & you WILL receive". I only got just a word or two in tongues even though I was blessed with a huge spontaneous baptism of the Spirit. I had only been saved a few days and knew literally nothing about it. But I knew I had been touched by God so I just believed  what the brethren were telling me about the baptism and about tongues. So I kept practicing those few words and eventually got more and more.

Yes, I'm sure the devil swooped right in on your confusion, doubt, and , let's face it, disgust with everyone manhandling you and screaming and spitting in your face (such strange things are done in the name of the Lord) and got you focussed on that and robbed you of the genuine experience you would have had if you had simply been led to receive the Gift.

I say you've got it right now and when you have some time go get in your closet and by faith speak a few words that your rational mind is going to tell you is nonsense but ignore that voice, concemtrate on the Lord and let Him loose you.

Love you bro

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stir It Up!

I just noticed that this blog is referenced on several other blogs so I'd better get with it and make it worth looking at.

I just did a study on Timothy that was a blessing.

Rick Warren has a book out on Bible Study methods and I followed his outline for a Biographical Study.

You know what Timothy was like-young, lacking in confidence if not outright fearful, and yet Paul had great confidence in him.

Paul was not looking at Timothy in the natural. He was not looking at Timothy's weaknesses- but he saw the gifts that God had given to his young protege; Paul remembered (and reminded Timothy) that prophecies that had been spoken over him. He was constantly reminding Timothy of two things: God can and will use you because of the gifts He has given you; and God can and will use you regardless of your natural shortcomings- because of the gifts He has given you. But Timothy had to allow himself to be used. He had to learn to rely on those Holy Ghost gifts that were in him and not hold back because of perceived inadequacies.

It is Christ in us the hope of glory. It is the Greater One in us that enables us to do all things. It is the Father and the Son taking up their abode in us that makes us more than conquerors. It is no longer I who lives but the very Christ Who lives in me and out through me if i will be faithful to follow Him step by step, day by day.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Little Help from My Friends

Dear Pastor Tim

Thanks so much for the phone call last week. It came at a time when I really needed it. I know God is faithful. He never has failed and He never will. But sometimes discouragement comes in like a flood and it can be tough to hang in there. In those times it really helps to have someone confirm that you WILL win that battle you're fighting.

It reminds me of the child who was afraid of the dark. His mom tried to comfort him. "Don't be afraid, honey, the Lord is always with you."

He said, "I know, Mom, but I want someone with a face."

We love the Lord, Pastor Tim. God has been so good to us in so many ways. He has blessed us so much. Finances has been that decisive point of conflict Pastor Mac has taught us about. We are believing God for victory there and that will be our Baal-Perazim, our breakthrough.

We have made our list and we are praying over it every day. We will not be denied the fullness of salvation that our Lord died to secure for us. satan is defeated.

Well, praise the Lord. I feel better now!

Thanks again, Pastor Tim. You and Renee (and Danny & Stephanie) have been a huge blessing in our lives and Star and I can't thank you enough-but we will try!