Posts Tagged With: Peace

Inheritance

(Based on reflections on our inheritance in Christ which is mentioned in Paul’s letters and the gospels and my own yearning for “something more.”)

I long for an infinite treasure
I can’t even start to measure.
Something yet to dawn and come,
More sure than death has ever won
Against our mortal, human flesh.
Eternal life will never mesh
with gaining stuff when others lose.
I want to rest, but cannot snooze
when I worry about lost love.
My hands now shake, though I wear gloves,
And it is warm around about.
My heart’s soul cries, I want to shout:
with many friends, I remain alone.
So inwardly, I start to groan,
and I am burdened with heartfelt pain.
In my global quest, what have I gained?
“Lord, hear me as I sob and cry!
And if You answer, here am I.
Provide fresh joy and hope and grace
that I might know and see your face.”
God’s Comfort comes despite my self,
And thus I’ve found that treasured wealth.
A peace the world never knew
I have God’s Love: the Lord is True.
This Gift is not for only me:
God gives to all who ask, He’s Free!
I hope these words expand your view:
Christ Jesus came for me and you.

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Divided Loves: One Another and the World

 

In Christ, when strangers are a one another,

feet get washed, refreshed, and bodies fed

with festive, hearty food. The poor are clothed.

Those once alone become all sisters, brothers,

saints–together we taste living bread.

Though once ashamed, now praise becomes our robe

of righteousness. A word of hope is shared

among the brotherhood. A word of love

is given as a sacred trust. The bond

of unity now proves that we are cared

for by the King. Around, the world may shove.

But those immersed within the sacred pond

will find a gentle, just and perfect peace,

for from our sins we’ve been set free: released.

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Jesus Loves Members of the Islamic State

I would encourage you to join in prayer for ISIS members. That they, like Saul turned to Paul, would bear the fruit of the Spirit and would be reached in every place of the world where they are operating.

https://files.ctctcdn.com/198b864e001/6acfa5e8-226c-4d65-ba54-a52a6a52a689.pdf

Categories: Persecution, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are They Really in a Better Place?

The death of a loved one is hard. Pondering one’s own demise is hardly any easier from a natural perspective, so I have been a bit hesitant to raise this issue in so public a forum. Yet, I have heard it too many times, and today, my Bible reading raised this issue to the very forefront of my mind:

Often when someone dies, people mourn by saying, “At least, they are in a better place now.”

Are they?

Do all dogs go to heaven?

Or do dogs merely go into the earth, never to be remembered at the end of the age?

On a more significant level: do humans who refuse the glorious good news of Jesus Christ enter into peace on the last day?

OR was Isaiah right when he quoted God as saying, “There is no peace for the wicked.”

It certainly can assuage fears of the terrible termination of life at the least. At worst, such false assurances regarding those who are without Christ lulls the living into a false assurance that everything is gonna be alright … When in fact, it will not be alright for those who are not right with God.

There are some who like to talk about being witnesses but are not honest about the dread of falling into the wrathful hands of the Living God. Yes, the Lord is loving, but for those who refuse to acknowledge their need for him, only wrath is stored up.

Sadly, churches are drifting away from being honest about this aweful truth. People like to talk about the “fear of the Lord” as though it is just an exageration for respect for some large being. Kind of like you would feel in a giant redwood forest.

Friends, the fear of the Lord is real. Those who are not walking in faith with Jesus will face the terrors of eternity if they do not repent!

Have you consoled yourself with a generic, everybody goes to heaven, kind of conversation? Let me warn you: You are deceived.

Have you lied to yourself by saying, “I deserve heaven”? Wake up o sleeper and Christ will shine on you! God alone deserves heaven. For all other creatures it is His loving mercy which alone draws people into His presence.

Prepare your heart to enjoy God’s mercy: Don’t get drunk with wine. Don’t sleep around. Don’t get into agry fits with others. Forgive. Trust. Hope. Love.

Are you wealthy? Share what you have with others.

Are you healthy? Serve the sick.

Are you happy? Listen to the cries of the sorrowing.

Are you busy? Slow down and read the Bible and pray.

Seek God while He may be found. If you are reading this, there may yet be time for you to repent and be restored to the King of the Universe.

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Comfort, Comfort, My People Jerusalem

Right now the Middle East remains in an uproar: Egyptians are in an uproar, and Palestinians are raging against the state of Israel. Jordan is facing a flood of refugees. Bethlehem may soon have a few tourists. But I find that the “Jerusalem Syndrom” or “Stendhal Syndrome” to be most interesting of all this: people go to the “holy” city only to find that there are a bunch of sinners there. Sinners needing to be evangelized, so they evangelize them, or at least attempt to, in their own religious versions.

I’ve been there and done that! In 1994, I was a short term worker in Washington, DC. Enjoyed my time, but got a little too isolated from the group and my mind started to wander away from the mission. I started to peregrinate and preach. I dare say, it was fun. I thought the world was going to end in 3.5 days. (Times, time, and half a time, you know.)

Well, it didn’t, and the Lord forgave me for my false prophecy. So I am no prophet. Big deal.

But that does not mean I am not an evangelist. I may not be called upon to bring a final serious message of judgment, but I can bring a message of joy to the world. That joy is found in Jesus. Moral reform is good. Preaching is good. But all cities need this preaching. All souls need the good news. I am not much of a church planter, though my efforts to disciple others have resulted in a small disciplemaking movement.

The reality is though, that my life is marked (or some would say marred) by something else: suffering and disappointment with the worldly and the temporal hopes dreams. I work part time for a government agency that works among the least and among of those in the worst circumstances as a certified peer support specialist. In other words, I’m not just certifiable, I’m certified. I have a plaque to prove it.

That sits at my desk like the the Plaque I once received as a Distinguido Guesped used to at my dorm in college. I was a Distinguished Guest of the governor of Sinaloa State or Mayor Mazatlan there in Mexico, or something like that. Yippee!! Distinguished guest. All I had to do was do a little dramatic interpretation and travel with a bunch of choral members to a podunk, persecuting part of our Southern Neighbor and have a good, clean, moral life as I honored Jesus. The Bible says, those who honor God, God will honor.

What if the Kfar Shaul Mental Health Centre in Israel, were to not issue a certificate of insanity, but of honor to these guests, who like Saul (i.e. Shaul) had a few chips shy of a full bag, with a certificate for their intense interest and compassion for this city of conflict. Imagine how you would feel going on vacation to Hawaii only to find all the natives working in gray suits and ties and all the land given over to the chaos that happens on Wall Street … Doesn’t sound like a vacation.

Just because you went to such an advertized “tropical paradise” that had been corrupted and spoke out for a little common sense, would you want to be called a fool? No.

But Hosea said that the prophet will be called a fool (Meshuggah). When a nice person meets a wicked world which has been worshipped with wonderful words, that nice person might get a little upset when they find out the reality. You would … Right? I hope you would.

So, back to the issue at hand. As these prophets / religiously fanatical tourists recover, why not give them a certificate for wanting the city of Jerusalem to be morally pure and peaceful?? Honor them for their ability to cope again with a sinful world. Commission them in Jesus name to preach peace to all nations.

Use those with Jerusalem or Stendhal syndrome to become Fools for Christ … people who don’t fit in with the world because they love God. Let us be a little loony for the Lord! Let us give him our minds and let us give the world a piece of it too.

Maybe those that the world calls misfits are simply called to fit into another world, a world yet to come. A world that is perfect.

In this world, we will have trouble. BUT, TAKE HEART! Jesus conquered the world!!! He is alive! He’s not dead. He’s not crazy. He’s not lazy. HE really is LORD and HE really dead get up and folded the grave clothes at the tomb. Now, he is busy building a new Jerusalem.

The old Jerusalem is like Sodom and Gomorrah: it distresses the righteous lot who try to live their so much that they can’t stand staying there forever, they run for their lives. Distressed and dispirited. But Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He takes care of souls who go to great cities like Mecca, Rome, and Washington, DC and New York City, only to lose their grasp on “normalcy.” He comforts us with the hope of His return. He is the Messiah. We are not.

Now, what about those who think this world is all there is? I feel sorry for them. They may be in animistic tribes wearing animal parts or they may be in the ‘hood wearing hoodies or they may be businessmen wearing ties and going to fine restaurants or they may be on a campus wearing a backpack or they may be taking care of a posse of kids whom they hope will grow up to be “normal.”

Let’s get real. It is OK if dreams are shattered and illusions are exposed. It is OK to be different. It is OK to preach outside or in the streets. Let the prisoners free! Let the slaves go free! Let the fools go free! Maybe if Jerusalem had tolerated the most Divine Fool she would be a cultivated city today, instead of a city where the past is nearly all that there is to celebrate about it at the present.

Blessings on all who go to Jerusalem to comfort my people: the mentally ill and non-conformists. May God’s people surround the saints restrained with comfort and friendship.

Categories: Evangelism, Peer support, Suffering | 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

Islam: A Step Forward or a Stab in the Dark?

Some would say that Islam is peaceful. It is akin to peace for sure: “you submit to me so I can have my peace or else.” However, Islam as an inherently peaceful religion is not faithful to historical realities or contemporary practice.

A. Muhammed is reputed to have led a number of raids in the name of Islam per Islamic traditions.
B. Islam after “the time of Muhammed” was spread by the edge of the sword.
C. Islam preserves its numbers by the sword. It says that there should be no compulsion in religion, but it has an enforced restraint on the practice of faith: sharing the Love of Jesus.
D. Islamic movements around the world are today toppling governments and establishing and enforcing more rigidly Islmamic movements at the edge of the sword.

Islam claims to follow Jesus.

Jesus said, “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” And so, you can understand why radical, violent Muslims are dying like flies: They serve the baals (masters) of this world and the sword of the flesh.

Some Muslims propose that Islam was a step forward over paganism. Actually, it is about the same since most Muslims are still afraid of spirits. Even in the Arabian Peninsula sorcery is still practiced and immorality continues, only now with the endorsement of temporary marriages in some situations.

I love Muslims. I spend time with them. I hope that one day more will come to know the truth, but this root of violence must be dealt with.

The recent violence in London is of a crime committed. Some fear radical Islam. Some fear a new terrorist plot. Some say it is random individuals. The reality is that people who kill cannot build the house of God.

You say, “But look at David. Didn’t David the King of Israel advance the Kingdom of Israel through the sword? Didn’t he kill many? Wasn’t he called a man after God’s own heart?”

It is true he killed many. It is true he was called a man after God’s own heart. But it was also true that he was rejected from building the house of God because he had blood on his hands (1 Chronicles 22:6-10). And even he did not seem to delight in blood (2 Samuel 1-4). Inherent within the narrative of David’s life is the fact that he was kept from his dreams because he did his job: it was his job as a king to kill. His dream was to build a house for the Lord, instead he prepared the way for others.

So did Muhammed prepare the way for others? Did he point the way to Jesus?

He is reported as calling Jesus: Word of God, Spirit of God, Pure (sinless), virgin-Born, Messenger, Servant of God. Amazing! Jesus is greater than Muhammed if these are true for he not only brought the Gospel (Injeel), but is the point of the Gospel.

Indeed the Good News is that Jesus did not retaliate for the wrong that was done to him but actively rebuked those who sought to “defend” him. Jesus healed his captors. He preached to Pilate. Jesus looked forward to joy even on the cross.

There is no such thing as politically correct Christianity. Only a politically-incorrect Christ can rule.

It is politically incorrect to forgive evil. But that is what Jesus did.

If you want to be politically correct, enforce the law, and serve justice alone, then you need to become a Judaizer. If you want to serve the Lord, follow Jesus.

Jesus preceded “Muhammed.” Submission to the law of the sword is inferior to walking in love. Those who walk in love will move from the Arabian Prophet Muhammed to the Advocate & Peacemaking Messiah. For as love expands, it must expand from the lesser to the greater, from the temporal and regional to the eternal and universal.

Jesus is alive.
Jesus is Lord of all.
Jesus is coming again.

Are you ready to meet the Father of all families?

Categories: Good News, Islam | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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