Environmental Healing

Tangled Roots & Broken Branches

Opening up history and genealogy
unleashes a panoply of potential terror:
diving deep to see where we come from
in hopes of seeing where we will go.
Digging up roots and truths we really didn’t want to know.
Facing lies that unleash monsters of the past
into our present fascade.
Feeling intrigued and put off … kind of odd,
wanting to dig deeper, yet grieving at the loss of innocence.
Looking up, broken branches loom,
Rotten, bitter fruit
and mushrooms scatter on the ground-
a reminder that they feed on death,
out here in the wild.
Suddenly, I simply want to be a child
simple and free,
certainly not so guilty,
I just want to be loved for being me.
shame and fear loom overhead in the forest of the nations, as well as in the untended garden of peace,
fears and tears are slowly released,
and as they fall,
the stains upon the dim reflection wash away the grime
the crime of days gone by, and I behold,
The promises offered from the Eternal One to ancient fathers
I never knew … is it true?
I am a child of God.

A cutting to the core, torn away and grafted in,
Will I ever know the life-giving flow of life again?
The Gardner wraps me in His tender care.
Bound to His favored tree, he tends to me,
so I reach out to Him, my initial fruit is a simple hymn
The Anointed One is Risen!
He calls my name …
Love, unspoiled, whole, complete,
The past is trodden underneath His feet.
I want to cling, but run to meet
the fellowship of family united in the promised Seed.
Bitter tears are replaced with pleasant praise
Now I can stand tall and reach up for happy days
The King shall be touched by our fruit upon His head.
Christ is risen from the dead!!

Categories: Environmental Healing, Poem, Suffering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Give & It Will be Given.

Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38 NIV)

This past weekend it snowed. Over New Year’s, it also snowed. The accumulation at present is over a foot, deeper in the drifts. Now, I have received it and if anyone is wanting to enjoy snow and you miss it, you are welcome to come to one of these Northern realms affected by the climate change.

However, to my knowledge, the snow did not come in answer to the sharing of snow with others. It is not like God blessed my generosity of sharing my snow with others with more snow.

However, I did observe a kind of giving like this occur over the past week. New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day, I shoveled several other people’s sidewalks. They cleared up and I got some good exercise. Later, someone else pitched in and helped me by clearing out my sidewalk a little bit … not once, but twice … one of those times on a day when the snow was particularly heavy they cleared a path.

Some people think that this verse is all about money. Others insist it is all about karma. Both are wrong. There is something about people who fear God to some degree: they will return favors and often be more generous in the return gift than the original gift. God oversees the hearts of people so that sometimes even hard-hearted souls will give generously in return when they receive a gift.

Again, that giving may not be tit-for-tat. It may be that Person A will shovel a walk and Person B will bring cookies. This giving was seen after the generosity of Americans to Southeast Asian natural disasters. Americans gave a LOT of money to help. The Southeast Asians helped generously, though the amount was not the same, when Katrina struck New Orleans. Actually, proportionally, the people from SE Asia probably gave more generously. The Good News of Jesus was at work in both instances. God brings generosity not according to what one does not have, but according to what one does have.

The Church & Mission’s appropriation of the tithes and offerings for local churches operates on a similar basis: Some give the Good News to the congregation, the church supports them. Some give their lives to reach lost people among the nations around them. The church supports these missionaries as their representatives.

I count it a privilege to have received gifts to pass on to others, such as the gift of $20 one lady gave me. I had given a few New Testaments to a ministry she was involved in, and she helped so much more. Now the bus tokens purchased with her money are going to those who happen not to have bus fare when they get on the bus … and with the tokens is a token of truth: A booklet, a gospel of John, etc.

So the gifts keep flowing, Because I am generous? No, because God is generous!

Categories: Environmental Healing, Missions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creation Comfort

In the beginning …

Those words are like an invitation to a fresh start. God started fresh when He began this world. There is minimal information about what preceded the earth, other than that when it all began, it was formless and void. Devastation and ruin and in the mist of that time where the Spirit was at work, brooding. The Word was preparing to move out into action. The Bible does not give us any description of potential other beginnings; it says, THE beginning. This was the time when God created the heavens and the earth.

All God had to do was speak and things happened. God is awesome!!

God said, “Let there be light, and there was light.”

Simple. Everything you see is light reflected or refracted through the universe, or perhaps an immediate revelation of Jesus as The Light Himself.

God is light, so the first thing God did was make light. What he spoke was accomplished exactly as He spoken. Precision. Beauty. Excellence. Good. Sun, moon, stars, and later rainbows and snowflakes are all excellent presenters of light. If you are in Jesus, you too are the light of the world. If the King of Glory shines in your life, the worldd will see you and reflect on the goodness of God.

Okay, light, but there was also life: plants were formed on the third day, later birds and fish on day five. The Life of God grows and spreads and multiplies. The life of God reaches the depths. The life of God soars on the heights. The life of God moves across the earth. The life of God reproduces after its kind.

In the DNA of every living thing, is the message of that creature. The message of human life is contained not only on the 23 strands of DNA in our bodies. The 24th strand of DNA is the revelation of Scripture. It serves to correct the mutuations of our sinful and cursed lives. The Scriptures were sent to bring blessing.

Indeed, humans were blessed in the beginning. Male and female were made to love. Light, life, and love. This community is something that governs the world. How? Simply by receiving and reflecting the love of God in creation. The male and female parts of the human race speak of the giving and receiving that take place between God and man, the Lord and Israel, Christ and His church.

Throughout the ages, there is interwoven, a mysterious dance of duty and delight we meets in the the Divine-Human encounter. The glorious mystery is hidden with Christ in God.

Notice that throughout Genesis one, there remain differences and distinctions, male and female, varying kinds, different days, etc. Yet despite all of that, it is very good in the end as all obeys the command of God. Obedience and conformity bring blessing when Christ is the shape of our soul.

God said, Let us make man in our image, in the image of God he made him. Male and female He created them. And He blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and rule over the birds of the air, over the fish of the sea, over the beasts of the earth and over every living creature that moves on the face of the earth and order it. He gave them every green plant and every seed bearing plant for food … and God said, It is VERY GOOD!”

Order is good.
Family is good.
Food is good.

The goodness in the world is best enjoyed when people, male and female, live to reflect not on their own glory, but to reflect the glory of God. Family must follow the divine pattern of male and female meeting on the basis of the image of God and in graceful respect and loving-kindness. Only then will order, family, and the meals we share be very good.

God rested.

At the end of it all, God is not just wanting to create stress. God is wanting to bring about a walk in the park. God desires for people to parade in his presence, not in pride, but in perfect purity and meekness. Instead of strutting, we must acknowledge that all our strength is in Him.

Then, we will find peace.

Categories: Environmental Healing, Good News, Marriage, Rest | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Saudi Weekend Honors Sabbath: Will Bless both Jews and Arabs.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia recently opened up the way for Saudi’s weekend to come more in line with Jewish and Christian interpretations of the weekend: Friday-Saturday rather than Thursday-Friday. Most markets around the weekend follow the Jewish or Jewish-Christian pattern of taking the Sabbath (i.e. commonly called Saturday) off.

Take a poll!

Bloomberg’s article on economic implications:

More significant than the economic implications though are the implications for how this is a partial fulfillment that the earth is the Lord’s & everything in it. The Lord chose the Jews and revealed the Sabbath to them as a day to work and rest. I encourage everyone to take time to do that: to rest from all work. What is interesting about this, is that it is a sign that Arab peoples are reconciling with the culture of the Jews, even if the motive is temporal financial gain. What will this lead to, but Life from the dead … when they honor the Sabbath which remains: the finished work of Jesus on the cross!

Jesus, Isa-al Masih is the real establisher Sabbath. He is Lord of the Sabbath. He is the Sabbath, or rest of completion in that he enables us to relax in Him. We no longer need to worry about anything. We are now free to work productively and be happy because we are no longer slaves to sin. Maybe one day all Saudis will be liberated from all oppression of all sinful desires, but first it helps to have the law conform to the Law of the Lord.

If you do what blesses the Jews, you will be blessed. Jews are being blessed as they follow a form, how much more will they be blessed when they follow the Lord with their whole heart!! Muslims in Saudi Arabia are prospering a little financially as they serve God with their lips and actions while their hearts are far from Him. Consider what would happen if they loved the Lord in both soul and spirit, with their heart and their whole life:

1. They would find salvation as they trusted the Word of God, as they became slaves of the Word of God (Kalimattullah).
2. They would spread the Good News of Jesus rather than the laws of the desert.
3. They would reconcile fully with Israel.
4. They would stop funding the spread of false teaching.
5. They would labor to free Muslims from honoring Muhammed as the Greatest and give that Honor to the Lord alone.
6. They would work harder and value hard work as befitting good fruit for good lives.
7. They would find happiness in life.
8. They would see the desert bloom.
9. They would cease calling down judgment and building Mosques for the LAW.
10. They give in ways that bless Jews and Christians around the world.

If you are a Christian or Jew, consider praying for the full salvation of Saudi Arabia.
If you are a Saudi, consider praying to God for a full revelation of the Sabbath.

Categories: Environmental Healing, Good News, Law & Government | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

American Religiosity: A True Parable of Rebuke

written: October 16, 2000

A rural farmer-preacher was sent into a small American city to fast and pray. It had not rained in the city for many days. The pastors were praying in the city hall where they kept the large plastic statue of the school mascot, the small metal emblems of corporate sponsors and civic clubs, and the national flag they called “old glory” with gilded fringe around the edge. The pastors, at the farmer’s request, read 2 Chronicles 7:14, and began praying fervently for rain.

The pentecostal pastor opened up by praying in tongues. The charismatic pastor began to rebuke the various spirits who were withholding rain from the city and many times they bound satan till he could move no more. The baptist preacher reminded God of how he had stopped backsliding ten years ago. The catholic priest invoked the name of Mary and her son. The orthodox priest had a very balanced prayer in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The presbyterian minister reminded God of the catechism. The mennonite elder pleaded for peace to be restored to the city. The methodist minister asked God why he wasn’t sending revival or rain even after he had organized this meeting. The independent fundamental preacher refused to come to the meeting because it was too ecumenical. The ecumenical chaplain at the hospital was too busy counseling patients to pray. The quaker kept waiting on the Spirit and was moved to do nothing.

When the hour for prayer had finished: the farmer confessed his attitude of pride and stubbornness and the factions he had allowed to grow in the small country church. He wept over the disunity of the church and mourned over the drunkenness & violence of his people. He pleaded for mercy upon the students and confessed that he had not been faithful to reach out to the high school kids. He admitted that he was more concerned about who won the latest ball game than if the players on the team were truly following Jesus. He continued weeping as he confessed to war crimes he had committed while he was in Vietnam and to the crimes of his fathers in earlier wars. The poor farmer couldn’t stop crying as he thought of all the injustice that had been perpetuated in the city and the lies that had been told in the city government. By this time, all the others began to quietly leave the building wondering what was wrong with that farmer. They wanted to encourage him by telling him that even if his crops failed they would help him out. But he went on praying.

Finally, when he was the only one left, the tears stopped. And the farmer began quietly praising God for his mercy and his kindness. He honored God as the Sovereign Ruler and Jesus as the Head of the Body and invited the Holy Spirit to fill him. He went home singing songs he had memorized from the hymn book, reciting the Psalms his mother had drilled into him, and even made up a new song in the Spirit. And as he left the city limits, a cloud moved over the country-side.

And as he arrived home, rain began to fall; and by nightfall, the rain poured out on the countryside where the preacher and the believers under his care farmed. But the city remained dry, and the city park continued to grow more barren as each day passed.

[On the day that I wrote this, God sent rain as my heart had desired.]

Categories: Environmental Healing, Good News, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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