31 October 2015

Grace gRace grAce graCe gracE



Sometimes I find out just how feeble and weak I am, or how weak my body can be when the spirit is out of focus.

I've been shown how easily I can fall, how quickly I can succumb, and how I can foolishly revert to the fragile shell of a man I once was.

Thoughts are believed to be the front-line to the invisible battlefield, but our battle begins in the heart.

Here, clandestine operations are carried out while the mind is distracted and unaware.

We experience the battle when the mind contemplates thoughts and mental scenarios are played out.

If thoughts are too long entertained, they will desire to be expressed in the flesh.

When I consider my weaknesses, I can easily become overwhelmed.

My past life experiences are the mold I had chosen for myself for many years.

It is this faulty mode, built in pride and in imitation of a world influenced by the faulty choices of others, that is a bothersome memory.

Guilt can grip my emotions, where self-hate may commence.

It can become a real pity party.

But, from places I can only imagine, comes the remembrance of His promises.

I'm reminded that I have dominion in choice when I choose to submit to His direction.

I'm reminded I have choice in my thoughts, and thus, can choose what is or isn't fleshed out in my life experience.

I am an emotional guy, my wife can attest to this.

Yet, in my weaknesses, or what some would consider a weakness, I interestingly find His strength.

The inner struggle, the battlefield of the spiritual plane, the pondering and consideration of life in more detail, this is the field where righteousness is reaped and harvested.

This is the field we all should desire to find ourselves planted.

30 October 2015

Love Is In Order




Some folks attack and ridicule things they know nothing about.

They repeat and forward what other bitter hearts have raged at their object of frustration.

Yet, is love frustrating?

Can you blame love when it asks you to make peace with your inner turmoil?

Can love be blamed when it has fashioned a natural order?

Blaming what is written somewhere, when nature’s order is not at peace within your own heart, is misplacing your blame.

If it is true every human being has been made perfect, but the world has caused imperfections to take root, are you to blame the Designer or who has corrupted the world?

Since the human being is free to make choices, are your choices adding to the corruption in the world?

Blaming others for your internal struggles has never proven anyone right.

Am I the reason for your heart's conflict?

Am I the reason why you hate?

Am I the cause of the natural disorder?

Blaming me, or people like me, or what I believe is not addressing your hate.

Blaming others is shifting the blame from yourself.

You were made perfect, but you need to take responsibility for how imperfections manifest in you.

Your design is faultless, yet some things in this world are twisted.

What is good is being called evil.

What is evil has been labeled as good.

If the message commands “love your enemy” yet men, justifying their actions by citing their laws and their religions, kill enemies instead of loving them, is the message to blame or the choices of men?

If nature teaches male and female conceive the next generation, is nature's order to blame when same sex couples desire to replace nature's gendered roles?

Is nature archaic and outdated, or are people choosing a reality outside nature's constant?

29 October 2015

Jesus In Rome




Let us consider an argument against Christ's existence.

Perhaps my logic or dogma impedes my understanding.

Some argue the Romans would have recorded the Christ event if it did happen.

Let us entertain that notion.

Would first-century Rome collect testimonies pertaining to what a Jewish man said and did?

Were Jews and their moral views accepted or rejected by Rome?

Would Roman scribes keep records of events and testimonies outside Roman ideologies and values?

Since Christ and followers didn't implement a political change, a coup d'etat or other similar physical effort, what then would demand a scribe's account?

Did the followers of Christ effort a military revolt?

Consider a message revealed which would deflate political power with no independent social media.

Isn't the Christian message defeating to Roman ideology and identity?

Would the people in power censor or promote such a message?

Wouldn't the influential lose power, control and position?

Would they publicize a message that would ultimately defeat them?

Would these people deny or acknowledge accounts which will diminish their legitimacy?

Wasn't the proclamation of faith: Christ is King above and over Caesar, and God having become man, anti-Roman identity?

Are not these two spears which pierce, deflate and defeat Roman ideology, identity and political sovereignty?

Would first-century Roman elites proliferate such a message?

Wasn't the threat to the power structure and status quo, the message of Christ, eliminated along with the adherents?

Am I the simpleton in asking these logical questions?

What does the Jewish Talmud say regarding Christ?

In recent history, was Martin Luther King's civil rights message, or John F. Kennedy's politically unifying message popularly embraced by the social and economic hierarchy of the U.S. elite?

People deny Christ's existence, but they cannot deny the evidence of thousands of Christian martyrs in the first two centuries.

28 October 2015

Love Brings Light, Religion Obscures Light



The issue of religious fanatics of any religion is troubling.

Religion is man's attempt to explain the inexplicable.

For example: many atheist scientists have made a religion for themselves, calling it science.

I am embarrassed when I read in my social media feeds the ridiculous, the faithless, the fear-mongering and the baiting of others by people who call themselves “Christians” (like Christ).

But Christ calls mankind to love their enemy, forgive those who tread upon you and to consider others better than yourself.

There are many religions when it comes to man's effort in finding or figuring out who God is, but when Christ revealed God's heart when God chose to become a man in the body of Christ, men have lost all excuses when they continue peddling their religious nearsightedness while failing to love their enemy.

When men fail to obey this very key command to love their enemy, their religion is worthless.

The religion that teaches to harm those who disagree, or attack those who ridicule one's beliefs, is to not know righteousness and what love can do.

These only believe in themselves, mere mortal men and the empty words of men and men's dreams.

Religions of men teach hate, indifference, war, justifying murder and many more atrocities in the name of religion and in the names of men, but no such thing was taught by Christ, the Anointed of the Intelligent Design some call God.

Killing in the Name revealed from heaven is not knowing Him.

The command to love an enemy didn't originate from the heart of man.

The call to love isn't terrestrial.

The one who doesn't love is revealed as lacking any semblance of God's nature.

Religion cannot find love nor express love.

Allowing love to transform you is the Way.

God is Love.

27 October 2015

Division Is Yet Another Idea



If you surround yourself with only like-minded people, are you able to see beyond the hedge?

The outcome of a monoculture type lifestyle is ignorance of other points of view. This is what has continually plagued politicians, statesmen and civic 'leaders' throughout the ages. Having surrounded themselves with people who are like themselves, they fail perceiving the lives of others; those very people they derive their societal hierarchy. This narrow perspective is what also blinds some wealthy people who only focus on their business interests.

When people's social circles consist of mostly those similarly like-minded as themselves, is it any wonder that prejudices and fears of others persist?

Many are the fences and walls which separate one person from another. Political ideology, economic status, ethnic heritage and religious beliefs are a few of these divisive perspectives. I would say that religious can be one of the most dangerous and limiting.

I find so hypocritical and ignorant the desire for someone who perceives themselves a Christian (like Christ) to only desire to be around other Christians (others who think they are like Christ).

Did not Christ surround Himself with an initial group of 12 very different individuals? Most of the twelve would not have ever taken the time to have a conversation with one another, let alone break bread.

Wasn't Christ criticized by the religious of that day for hanging out with “sinners?”

Did not the gospel's message reach those whom the religious were ostracizing and ignoring?

Wasn't it the sick who were being ignored?

And didn't Christ purpose a reaching out to the sick of society? I personally battle with this reality very often, for I too fail to 'see' the bigger picture when I focus too long on the sickness rather than applying the cure.

Love is the cure.

26 October 2015

His Story Always Repeats



Almost everything is debatable in relative terms, being 'true' according to an individual's relative understanding. Normal is widely debated as relative, as is morality, ethics, integrity and so on. Laws have been written to define morality and ethics, and are 'updated' or changed as consensus and opinion changes. What was immoral, unethical and forbidden yesterday can become 'legal' and demanding social acceptance. This is how man makes the world around himself, believing himself to 'evolve' while stretching the bounds he himself is oblivious of. Until society has eaten itself from within, when history shows the repeated eventuality of man's nearsightedness, man will not relearn the lessons of life.

What is natural can less likely be relatively debatable, but some people do make an effort to turn the obviously unnatural into their definition of normal. Morality can also be debated as a relative term. Seems like “modern times” have always pushed the envelope of societal norms. The term 'evolution' is used. The desire to loosen the constraints of what is defined as conservative, the seemingly 'liberating' sense of what is defined as liberty is promoted. Last generation's sexual revolution in western societies perceived that a society without restraints could arrive at the freedom, peace and love that past social orders failed to reach. But wasn't the perceived 'freedom' simply the typical rebelliousness of young and foolish immaturity once again recoiling against its upbringing?

Some folks believe the typical nuclear family is a thing of the past, something archaic, outdated and long overdue to be buried like a useless artifact. But what has divorce, single parenting and loosened morals wrought? Aside from the atypical story of grace and redemption, do we not see brokenness in the individual products of cultural looseness? How typical is a child from a broken home going to effort a faithful bond and imitate that which it did not know growing up?

The human body gives signals to the person when something is wrong. A fever signals a foreign and undesired something has afflicted and infected the host; the body. Can cultural afflictions and infections be easily diagnosed as a virus or bacteria in the human body?

Some nomadic Middle-eastern tribes do not understand “stealing” as this notion is understood in western cultures. For some tribes, they are justified in stealing from travelers. They perceive their take as a form of tribute. Their forceful demand of property or monies is part of their ancient cultural fabric. For them to view their generational practices as 'wrong' or 'sinful' is demanding the near impossible, like asking the tiger to change its stripes.

When a society and culture embraces the unnatural, the atypical and the immoral as acceptable and viable lifestyles, even normalizing certain activities in the name of 'civil rights,' how obtuse will the return to the natural be to a generation who has swallowed the idea that their modern expression is an evolution of human nature? How difficult it shall be to 'see' when the return is considered primitivism when what was once a fringe lifestyle has been mainstreamed?

I see men walking hand in hand, and women with women. The clothes continue to leave little to the imagination. When a society idolizes the naked human body as a tradable commodity, certain fleshy parts of the body are considered assets. Great investments are made to accentuate the chest as well as the buttocks. The face is another landscape open to be sculpted by a knife, or injected with fat from other parts of the body. These efforts are considered modern achievements by some people. For some others, yet a new level of depravity where previous lows proved not to be the bottom.

Emotions rush through me when I see these things on a daily basis, not in media, but in my daily walk. The pendulum sways from one end to another as life moves forward, and when that pendulum begins returning to center (as history always shows), the adjustment is always a painful and dreadful experience.

25 October 2015

Sandy Finger Tips



Looking closely at your finger tips, the seemingly smooth surface is actually an array of rolling ridges. Depending on the angle, the light, the background and your eye's focus, these ridges resemble the carved sandy surface of a wind blown desert. But unlike the desert's constantly changing sandy surface, the lines, grooves, turns and roundabouts of your fingerprints do not change. The desert prints are drawn and measured by the wind, and are redrawn and remeasured as each day's wind is directed by the sun's scorching heat. The lines on your finger tips were laid as a one-time foundation, as if a unique wind blew and drew those specific lines for your specific person, leaving a signature stamp with none other alike. Only a scorching heat hotter than the sun's rays can change the lines on your finger's print, but no new lines will be redrawn or remeasured, as with the desert's landscape. Depending on the burn or the cut or the abrasion, the same lines may continue to be formed. Wonderfully, our person's character is not always as unchangeable as those lines on your finger tips. Gratefully, the character can be redrawn and remeasured with the strong winds and heat that life provides. And one need not always traverse a desert to have their character lines altered by the wind's discretion.

23 October 2015

What Color Am I?



Did you know there are no black people in heaven?

Neither white, brown, orange or even green people are in heaven.

There simply will not be ______ (your favorite color) people in heaven!

Are people colors?

Where is the green person?

I know, “aliens” right?

Are we talking about “illegal” aliens or intergalactic ones?

Are there colors of people awaiting to be seen by the heaven-bound?

What has possessed men to classify humanity as colors when mankind has always been known by family and nomen affiliation?

Did you know there are no Americans in heaven?

Neither Russians, Egyptians, Africans, Arabians or Chinese!

What is a name of a nationality when names change over time?

What once were Britons, Germans, Italians, etc., now perceive themselves as Americans.

Similar occurrence when Rome absorbed peoples into its empire.

So “who” is in heaven?

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

- Revelation 7: 9

Preceding this verse a specific family is named; Israel. Aside from Israel, there is no designation (desig-nation) of peoples, rather it speaks “every nation, tribe, people and language.”

I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to My voice, and there shall be one flock and One shepherd.

- John 10: 16

The theory of a single tribe/nation/people making it to heaven falls on deaf ears.

Only the deaf believe this ear tickling.

We clearly see this foreshadowing of every and all tribes and peoples shall worship God and be found in heaven.

Be amazed!

Today, all peoples call Christ their Lord and praise His Name!

22 October 2015

What Grace Sounds Like



If your heart secretly sees grace as a license, as permission to do as you please Today or in the future, you may not (yet) understand.

Some live like writing bad checks, oblivious to consequences, not (yet) realizing that Grace motivates us to cease acting upon ill intentions, desires and struggles; thoughts we carry inside our hearts which are not of the light, not kosher and unjustifiable before the eyes of Him who sees the unseen, even our hearts.

Grace compels us to do good works.

The struggle is real, yet we rejoice that He triumphed over The Greatest Struggle... the struggle which none of us could have overcome.

Guilt, from the instigation of the accuser, can be pervasive and debilitating for some of us.

Let us not forget that while this flesh of ours counts for nothing, the strength of the Spirit can not be compared to the weakness of the flesh.

The strength always prevails over the weakness.

It prevails when the choice is made to pursue the strength and not entertain the weakness.

Yet, the weakness of the flesh should not be equated to weakness of faith, that is, unless we doubt the True strength the hopeful believer has within them.

This is where faith meets prayer; faith and prayer cohabitation.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

- 1 Corinthians 10: 13

Preceding this verse humility is messaged; humility before God and before the waging battle.

The battle isn't within us alone, but in the heavenly realms; places too difficult to fathom.

Rely and depend on His strength.

He has already triumphed!

21 October 2015

Consuming Fire



Science teaches that particles expand and move at higher speeds when heat/temperature increases. Isn't this also the case regarding one's temperament? Blood pressure rises, capillaries dilate, and speech patterns can increase and rise in volume.

What else expands when heat is turned up?

So the Word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

- Acts 6: 7

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.

Those who had been scattered preached the Word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.

- Acts 8: 1-8

Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the Name of the Lord Yeshua over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the Name of the Yeshua whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Yeshua I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the Name of the Lord Yeshua was held in high honor. Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way the Word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

- Acts 19: 13-20

God's good will and purpose comes about even in the most dire, dangerous and doubtful situations.

20 October 2015

The Roman Letter Fifth Chapter



Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Yeshua Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Yeshua Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the race of the one man, Yeshua Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Yeshua Christ!

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Yeshua Christ our Lord.

19 October 2015

The Fifth Psalm Seventh Verse



Listen to my words, Lord,
    consider my lament.

Hear my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to you I pray.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly.

For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
    with you, evil people are not welcome.

The arrogant cannot stand
    in your presence.

You hate all who do wrong;
     you destroy those who tell lies.

The bloodthirsty and deceitful
    you, Lord, detest.

But I, by your great love,
    can come into your house;
 in reverence I bow down
    toward your holy temple.

Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies—
    make your way straight before me.

Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
    their heart is filled with malice.

Their throat is an open grave;
    with their tongues they tell lies.

Declare them guilty, O God!
    Let their intrigues be their downfall.

Banish them for their many sins,
    for they have rebelled against you.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
    let them ever sing for joy.

Spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
    you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

17 October 2015

You'll See It When You Believe It



Why are miracles realized by some while some others do not experience them?

Sometimes, physical effort and faith is needed, like one account of a blind man.

Other times, only faith is needed.

Whose faith?

Without faith, not much will be done by God.

It isn't whether God is incapable.

I think it has to do with His glory, His sovereignty and His will in revealing Himself to some and not to others.

Some folks don't need to witness or hear about a miracle in order to believe in Love.

Some do need one.

And some others will not be seeing or believing much of anything.

But growing in faith is possible for the one who desires to believe, in order to see.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word about Christ.

- Romans 10: 17

Miracles are nonexistent among those who do not believe that they actually happen, or who do not believe in Him for whom all things are possible.

And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

- Matthew 13: 58

In the account of the Centurion's servant, the Centurion believes Yeshua can heal his servant by simply willing it to happen, not needing to be before the servant.

Christ's response: “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith... Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.”

The servant was healed at that very hour.

A woman had been bleeding for years, never finding a remedy or cure from doctors.

However, she believed if she were to touch at least Yeshua's garment, she would be healed.

In a packed crowd pushing against Yeshua, He 'felt' power go from Him.

The woman reached through the crowd and touched His garment.

He said “your faith has healed you.”

Let us realize how powerfully the faith grew.

So powerfully that the Name is not even recorded being invoked.

Perhaps the faith of the faithful had become a new paradigm; a new view of the world.

In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.

- Acts 14: 8-10

16 October 2015

Government Is A Tar-Baby



As I research code regarding my parking citation, reading definitions and the many words man's writes in his attempt to form a more perfect society, I am reminded of the story of Br'er Rabbit and Tar-Baby.

In the story, Tar-Baby is “a doll made of tar and turpentine used to entrap Br'er Rabbit. The more that Br'er Rabbit fights the Tar-Baby, the more entangled he becomes.”

This is exactly how I feel in dealing with government. The more I read their words, their rules, their procedures and their justifications for demanding monies from me for “disobeying” their rules, the more entangled I feel I become.

Any form of government has their jurisprudence. I have my own jurisprudence as well, and it has less to do with finding ways to make money and more to do with rights rather than restrictions.

A term I remember from working in the real estate business was “C.Y.A” (cover your assets). This is how the government covers their assets:

“If any portion of this code is held unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of any other portion of this code.”

- California Vehicle Code 5

Nice.

The Constitution, either the State or the Federal one, illuminates the rights of People and also addresses the liabilities due to unlawful activity. But in the code, which increases by the thousands every year, is all about “thou shall not do's” than rights. Rarely are laws repealed or edited down. Typically, laws are expanded.

That's man's typical nature; pointing out what is wrong rather than highlighting what is right.
The majority of 'laws' regular people are subject to are administrative codes whose trespass demands money. They're neither misdemeanors nor felonies; they're infractions. Ignoring how to deal with them could become a warrant for your arrest... or worse.[a,b]

14 October 2015

Defining Words, Reaching For Truth



Can God be defined and understood by religion?

Can someone come to know God by following religious doctrines?

What about these religions that billions adhere to?

Religion
“state of life bound by monastic vows,” also “conduct indicating a belief in a divine power,” from religion “piety, devotion; religious community,” directly from Latin religionem (nominative religio) “respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods; conscientiousness, sense of right, moral obligation; fear of the gods; divine service, religious observance; a religion, a faith, a mode of worship, cult; sanctity, holiness.”

According to Cicero, from relegere “go through again” (in reading or in thought), from re- “again” + legere “read” (see lecture).

Popular etymology among later ancients (Servius, Lactantius, Augustine) and interpretation of modern writers connects it with religare “to bind fast,” via notion of “place an obligation on,” or “bond between humans and gods.” In that case, the re- would be intensive.

Another possible origin is religiens “careful,” opposite of negligens. In English, meaning “particular system of faith,” sense of “recognition of and allegiance in manner of life (perceived as justly due) to a higher, unseen power or powers.”
Muslim
from Arabic muslim: “one who submits” (to the faith), root of aslama: “he resigned,” see: Islam
Islam
from Arabic islam, literally “submission” (to the will of God), root of aslama: “he resigned, he surrendered, he submitted,” causative conjunction of salima: “he was safe,” related to salam: peace
Peace
from Biblical Latin pax, Greek eirene, which were used by translators to render Hebrew shalom: “safety, welfare, prosperity” from Latin pacem: (nominative pax) “compact, agreement, treaty of peace, tranquility, absence of war”

Sense of quiet; meaning “absence or cessation of war or hostility”
Judaism
directly from Late Latin Judaismus (Tertullian), from Greek Ioudaismos, from Ioudaios" (see Jew), “Jewish faith, Judaism,” literally “Jew-hood.”
Jew
Hebrew y'hudi, from Y'hudah: Judah, literally “celebrated,” originally “Hebrew from the kingdom of Judah”
Christian
from Christos (see Christ), first used in Antioch, according to Acts 11: 25-26
Christ
title given to Jesus of Nazareth, from Latin “Christus,” from Greek “khristos” “the anointed” (translation of Hebrew “mashiah;” see: messiah), the Latin term drove out Old English Hæland “healer, savior,” as the preferred descriptive term for Jesus
Messiah
Messias, from Late Latin Messias, from Greek Messias, from Aramaic meshiha and Hebrew mashiah: “the anointed” (of the Lord), from mashah: “anoint,” in Septuagint as Greek Khristos (see Christ), in Old Testament prophetic writing, the expected deliverer of the Jewish nation, sense of "an expected liberator or savior of a captive people"
From The Road Less Traveled, the author writes an interesting definition of religion. In brief; each individual has their own 'religion' regardless of their belief in a god, or in themselves, or in nothing, or in science, etc. The individual's religion is their definition and understanding of the world around them. By default, each person has their own, unique religion or view of the world around them.

But is God a religion?

Can God be defined by a religion?

Is Yeshua-Jesus-Isa a religion?

The three religions mentioned herein have attempted to define and impart God.

Is that attempt even possible?

Only God reveals Mystery.

So who is right?

What was Christ's purpose?

Is He merely yet another Prophet?

Was not Christ the fulfillment of the epiphany Daniel, Isaiah and Ezekiel and many others experienced?

Shall we follow the Anointed or choose between religions?


For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders.

And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

- Isaiah 9: 6-7 (5th Century B.C.)


For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent Me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye—I will surely raise My hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent Me.

“Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I Am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the Lord. “Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that Day and will become My people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent Me to you.

- Zechariah 2: 8-11 (5th Century B.C.)


“I kept watching the night visions, when I saw, coming with the clouds of heaven, someone like a son of man.  He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence.  To Him was given rulership, glory and a kingdom, so that all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him.

His rulership is an eternal rulership that will not pass away; and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

- Daniel 7: 13-14 (5th Century B.C.)


When they saw Him, they prostrated themselves before Him; but some hesitated. Yeshua came and talked with them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim (disciples), immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age.”

- Matthew 28: 17-20 (1st Century A.D.)


“For God so loved the world that He gave His only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in Him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through Him, the world might be saved. Those who trust in Him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the One who is God’s only and unique Son.”

- John 3: 16-18 (1st Century A.D.)

13 October 2015

Every Thing Has Purpose



My heart is affected whenever I see someone in tears, especially a woman. Today, as I'm waiting for my coffee to be served, I notice a woman walk in and take a seat near to where I am standing. She has tears in her eyes. She is sniffling. Across the street is the court house. Earlier when I was sitting outside in the patio chatting with friends, I observed many people dressed in business and formal attire coming out of the court house. Some work there, others are obligated to be there.

I ponder what to say to her, if anything, which may at least let her know that God is good, is always in control, and that nothing happens outside of His will; even events one would consider a tragedy. I consider my words, for I need to firstly consider her and where she is, not wanting to come across overtly religious or too passive / dismissive.

When my coffee is up, I receive it and pause, turning to her. I ask “are you okay?”

She says “nothing that Starbucks couldn't resolve” (some coffee) with a forced smile through red and tear-filled eyes.

I say “there is an old saying” as I rub away condensation left on the bar from cold drinks; “ex malo bonum.”

“What does it mean?” she asks.

“Out of bad comes good.”

She says “like; 'this too shall pass.'”

I agree and tell her “yes,” agreeing that her statement is quite true as well.

I tell her “if you believe in God, then you understand that nothing happens outside of His good will. All things happen for a reason and for good to eventually come about.”

She says “I'll have to remember that.”

I say “God bless you” as I walk away and pray.

12 October 2015

Going Further With Prayer



Does God have selective hearing?

Some would argue He does.

A parent desires their child to listen and follow their teachings.

God calls us to a mutual relationship of listening and, of obedience.


God desires to hear you:


I love the Lord, for He heard my voice;

   He heard my cry for mercy.

Because He turned His ear to me,
   
   I will call on Him as long as I live.

- Psalm 116: 1-2


If you ignore His instructions, He may not be listening much to your prayers:


If anyone turns a deaf ear to My instruction,

   even their prayers are detestable.

- Proverbs 28: 9


How soon does God attend to our prayers?


He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision.

- Daniel 9: 22-23


What heart does God respond to?


Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.

- Daniel 10: 12


The prophetic fulfillment of being brought near after sin's separation is read in Isaiah 59.

This is what has come of those the Lord has called, has chosen, whom He listens to; for this is what He has done:


“As for me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and My words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.

- Isaiah 59: 21

11 October 2015

What Is Prayer?



Is prayer already on our hearts, waiting to be invoked?

Are not words stirring within us waiting to pour out from our hearts the stream of consciousness God intended to reverberate throughout the universe?

If God is the Author of life, hasn't He placed these prayers within us like a treasure long ago hidden, now being dug up and bringing Him glory?

If the Spirit He makes live in us speaks on our behalf, are we not simply vessels set in motion and playing out what the Grand Director has written in the script called "My Life"?

Considering His sovereignty, are we deciding anything on our own or, are we acting on faith as we "decide" to obey His Way?

Considering if we have free will in all matters, do we not also see how His hand weaved out the Path and situations He has pulled us through?

Do we not also have our part along with His plan?

The thread pulled by a needle can be used to make beautiful tapestries, fine rugs and elegant clothes.

This same thread, pulled opposite where the needle directs, can also unravel good and fine works, even our very lives.

Perhaps it is time to cease undoing the good work which has been started.

Allow yourself, like that thread, to be directed where the needle knows best.

Is the simple thread afraid of becoming part of a beautiful masterpiece?

Does the thread doubt its color and length can be of good use to the Master's needle?

Let loose those words, buried in your treasured heart and now desiring to be unsealed, return back to He who placed them there.

Your prayer is also for you, to hear what has been placed there, hidden and unknown to you, but known to Him since eternity.

10 October 2015

Something About The Name



My wife's relative was diagnosed with MEN Syndrome (multiple endocrine neoplasia). It signifies she has a hereditary predisposition to forming tumors. Cancer was found last year in her pancreas and her thyroid. Several tumors were removed from these two locations. In February during a post-surgery follow-up, her doctor confirmed she had developed more tumors in what was left of her pancreas. She told no one. She figured her relatives had suffered enough. She is single, young and dearly loved.

Last month the cousin and some relatives went to church commemorating the passing of a close family member. This particular day, the service was themed “praying for cancer survivors.” My wife's cousin had no idea. She participated; writing down her prayer and going along with her relatives when called by the priest. He and all her relatives prayed, laying hands on her, in the Name of He who lives forever, for healing.

A week prior to this church visit the cousin had another scan to monitor her development. The results wouldn't be ready for another week and a half. So, a few days after the church visit and, with the doctor looking over the recent scans, guess what happened?!?

The doctor was clueless to why there were NO tumors present in the recent scan!

May His Name be praised!
 
Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the Name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

- James 5: 14-16

08 October 2015

Oh My Goodness



“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
 
- Luke 6: 45


Have you ever heard someone speak from their heart?

What did their message sound like?

Is it possible to “see” the heart mentioned here?

If this were possible, what do you suppose the heart of a good man may look like?

What would the heart of an evil man look like?

What does the storage space of a good heart resemble?

How about the space of a bad heart?

What is a good heart?

What is good?


A certain ruler asked Him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
 
“Why do you call Me good?”  Jesus answered.  “No one is good—except God alone.”
 
- Luke 18: 18-19


If only God alone is good, what is mankind?

Can anyone reading this proclaim themselves to be “good?”

Sure, we have all done good things, said good things and thought good thoughts...

But being good all the time?

Doing good all the time?

Thinking good always?


Now while He was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs He was performing and believed in His Name.  But Jesus would not entrust Himself to them, for He knew all people.  He did not need any testimony about mankind, for He knew what was in each person.
 
- John 2: 23-25


It is interesting how the message reads regarding “testimony about mankind.”

The person who is honest with themselves knows where their heart can go, what their heart can conceive.

The individual can identify how far from 'good' they have been.

The individual can also testify as to how vacant of goodness they can be.

07 October 2015

To Kill Or Not To Kill



Does the follower of Christ have the 'right' to take a life? This has been argued for centuries, accepted for just as long, and defeated as man's wisdom, fear; faithlessness. To put the debate to rest, besides the obvious teaching that Peace proclaims, to satisfy the naysayers the evidence in loosening of peace needs to be found.

We see Christ chastising Peter when the sword was used. The argument is that Christ's chastisement was because violence would prevent His eventual sacrifice. Is this so? What about nothing happening outside of God's will?

There is an interesting passage which shows the key fulfillment of a prophecy pointing to this mystery; partially fulfilled when Peter used his sword. The absence of violence in the Gospel and letters, other than Peter's volition (based on human logic), is evidence to the complete fulfillment.

Believers were massacred, persecuted, thrown into prison and challenged with death when failing to deny Christ as Lord. There is no secular historical evidence showing the believers acted out with violence. No evidence of defending their life or property. None. They faithfully met their death, and as we believe, passage into glory.

When the Roman state adopted the faith as a new religion is when we see the beginnings of carnal defense and justification of violence behind religion. The justifications for the ways of this world are shown, not so much faith in God and His sovereign protection over life.

This departure could arguably insinuate that as the Way absorbed the kingdom(s) of the world, so did it also absorb the ways of men and their natural order. Yet, where is the justification for taking a life other than in the writings of men centuries after Perfection revealed Peace? Is killing allowed by God under the covenant of loving your enemy?

06 October 2015

My Emergency Room Experience



It probably wasn't much of an emergency. I didn't want that toe pointing out the rest of my earthly life. I decided to make a visit to the hospital. I recalled two prior injuries to my fingers when I delayed going to the hospital, only to find out “if” a visit the day of injury would have have prevented the two ugly fingers I now have.

I tried pulling my toe back into place, thinking it was simply dislocated at the joint, but it was very loose to the touch. Didn't seem any cartilage was holding the distal phalange to the middle phalange.

Looking at charts online, it seems the mediae phalange was ripped. I know you're asking; “what is with these terms?” It's my inner nerd who desires to know what happened and what things are called.  I may never use phalange again in my life, so here's my chance!

What did make an impression on me besides the pain of walking before and after the hospital visit, was the people I encountered there. Most notable was Joe in radiology. He was very personable. We shared a few laughs.

I am always weary getting zapped with who knows how much radiation, having to wear lead overalls. After the first zap, I still heard the machine making a sound. I mentioned nuclear fallout. He laughed, saying the sound is like a turbine still spinning after being shut off. He asked what happened and I told him how I was vacuuming so my wife would come home to a clean and tidy home (she was out visiting relatives). He joked how I was trying to be a good husband and look where it got me; in the emergency room!

This human experience, although having painful consequences, bears fruit in unknown ways.

04 October 2015

Knowledge & Wisdom; Distinctive & Different



Do not boast about tomorrow,

    for you do not know what a day may bring.

Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth;

    an outsider, and not your own lips.

Stone is heavy and sand a burden,

    but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.

Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming,

    but who can stand before jealousy?

Better is open rebuke

    than hidden love.

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,

    but an enemy multiplies kisses.

One who is full loathes honey from the comb,

    but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

Like a bird that flees its nest

    is anyone who flees from home.

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,

    and the pleasantness of a friend

    springs from their heartfelt advice.

Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family,

    and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you—

    better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.

Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart;

    then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.

The prudent see danger and take refuge,

    but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger;

    hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.

If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning,

    it will be taken as a curse.

A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping

    of a leaky roof in a rainstorm;

restraining her is like restraining the wind

    or grasping oil with the hand.

As iron sharpens iron,

    so one person sharpens another.

The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit,

    and whoever protects their master will be honored.

As water reflects the face,

    so one’s life reflects the heart.

Death and Destruction are never satisfied,

    and neither are human eyes.

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,

    but people are tested by their praise.

Though you grind a fool in a mortar,

    grinding them like grain with a pestle,

    you will not remove their folly from them.

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,

    give careful attention to your herds;

for riches do not endure forever,

    and a crown is not secure for all generations.

When the hay is removed and new growth appears

    and the grass from the hills is gathered in,

the lambs will provide you with clothing,

    and the goats with the price of a field.

You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family

    and to nourish your female servants.

- Proverbs 27 (NIV)

03 October 2015

My Graffiti Is Not Original



I see value and great responsibility teaching children about various world views and their cultures.

It's a loving service to make humans out of what the media has blanketed “religious zealots” and “evil” people.

The fear of different people, with different beliefs, is typical of human nature.

We see many narrow views through Christianity's paradigm; one Christian group hates and/or is suspicious of another Christian group.

This division also exists between Muslims; one hates and/or is suspicious of another Muslim group.

A secular approach surveying various cultures sounds prudent.

But how is this achieved when each individual human has a specific view and opinion of others and their cultures?

How can an atheist parent trust the religious teacher's biased perspective and vice versa?

If a secular school system is legally bound to follow edicts of the state, how does the religious parent keep up with abrogating the daily adverse teaching?

I too have my biased view ;)

How inclusive and identity-breaking was Yeshua/Isa/Jesus?

Did Jesus further Jewish identity or speak of each individual being accepted just the same as another?

Jesus retired “eye for an eye” (law of retribution), replacing it with love and forgiveness of enemies.

Jesus transcends Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and all other religious identities.

Honestly judging all religions by their doctrinal merits, all fail to come close to loving everyone as yourself.

Even Christianity, named after Jesus as Christ, has a bloody history and times of dubious leadership.

Do wicked acts of those in high religious positions also make the common adherents guilty?

Am I guilty because of what Christian zealots did during the Crusades?

Why then is a peaceful person who identifies with anything religious automatically judged?

The human is free to choose what they believe and follow, but who can defeat love?

02 October 2015

Asking Why?



Why does pain exist?

Perhaps to beckon gratitude when nothing is hurting.

Maybe to identify something that may not be working properly, or what is not right.

Pain brings appreciation for times of health and healing.

Pain is an indicator.


Why does darkness exist?

Physically speaking, the earth's vegetation needs rest from the sun's rays, otherwise life wouldn't function properly.

How can one appreciate the light if the darkness cannot be adequately identified as dark?

Things get lost in the dark.

When the light is on, those lost things can be found.

Without something being previously lost, the anguish and discomfort from the loss cannot be identified, and thus the finding of what is lost cannot be appreciated.

The desire to not lose, or allow some thing to be lost, cannot be desired.

The darkness accentuates the light.


Why does death happen and exist?

If a leaf does not 'die' and fall to the ground, how would the insects, the soil and the very tree the leaf fell from be nourished?

Without a seed falling to the ground, new life would not occur.

Death seems to be an occurrence which precedes life and completes the cycle of life.

Death sprouts the desire to live, and live this life to the fullest.

Death magnifies life.


Why does hate exist?

Fear and ignorance.

The human can be quick to hate what causes fear, like another human, an animal, or what another human has told them, teaching them to fear something unknown.

Jealousy and envy.

There is always someone smarter, someone more talented and someone more highly gifted.
Instead of appreciating, learning from and developing in what is lacking, to hate is to fail at the triggering emotions jealousy rouses.


Wise choices after emotions are triggered is crucial to conquering the human condition.

01 October 2015

Not Taken By Surprise



It is so comforting to know that God is in absolute control of all events in heaven and on earth!

Past, present and future events are all within His will.

Nothing happens outside of God's purview or will.

Even what could be considered a tragedy is allowed to happen, producing the seeds for something good to happen or to conform to His purpose.

The prophetic messages of the past, which foretold future occurrences, show how from an event coming to pass in the immediately near future (that same day or the next) to events centuries later, God knows the future.

The limitations reside not with God and His omnipotence, His omnipresence and His omniscience, but with the limited understanding of the human being.

Since God knows all future events, then He knows what your choice is going to be regarding any given decision you will eventually make.

God is never taken by surprise.

I can state this confidently, for in reading the message of His love saga with mankind, one can read how He says certain things in reaching down to bring man's understanding up.

I can also qualify my confidence by my personal experiences.

Everyone who walks by faith can look back and see God's hand working through their life events.

The accounts of the faithful allows us Today to see His providence over their lives.

We can read many rhetorical questions asked by God, beckoning the human to think.

We can read how God has tested men by questions, or by mentioning situations and circumstances.

We can read man's responses and reactions to God's directives.

I see it all as drawing out of man the will of God.

Drawing out man's typically carnal and earth-centrist understanding towards the preponderance of God's mind.

God is life's Master architectural Designer.