August 25th, 2009
|06:29 am - No mere angel « Following Christ|
Hi folks, I wanted to leave a reference to the newer blog location, so here's a lead-in to the latest entry. I hope everyone is doing well here; been a while.
I have a friend who’s been talking with some Jehovah’s Witnesses for a while. As it inevitably had to be, the conversation eventually found its way to the divinity of Christ.
When she had first become a Christian a few decades ago, my friend had come into contact with JWs on this same issue. As a result she became very confused and distressed for a period of time. After all, Christ’s nature is central to the faith. Now, by her own admission my friend hasn’t had too much experience with visions and manifestations. But one night back during this period God woke her up and spoke into her mind. And though my friend is usually a non-assertive person, she adamantly insists that it was God who spoke to her.
The worship conundrum God asked her what the First Commandment is. Of course it is “I am the Lord, your God… you shall have no God’s before me.” Then, with elegant simplicity, He took her to Philippians, where it says:
More: No mere angel « Following Christ
June 5th, 2009
|08:00 pm - The Master Strategist|
I've been very slowly reading Paul Billheimer's Destined For The Throne. I can't buy into everything he says yet, but he is bringing out some very interesting points that have augmented my own thinking on some foundational issues.
I've understood for a long time that God knew, before He "rolled up His sleeves" and began history, that Creation would fall and that the sacrifice of His own Son, Jesus Christ, would be necessary to save it from eternal destruction. This is what the Word means when it tells us that the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. - Rev 13.8
If that reality is new to you, take a moment to dwell on it. Seeing the end before the beginning (Is 46.10), and the terrible Price salvation was going to exact, it would have been so much easier for God to say, "Nope, nice idea, but it's just way too expensive. Who needs the aggravation? For a bunch of ingrates?" He could have declined, and no one would have been around to feel bad about the decision. No harm done.
But He went ahead with The Project. And we must ask why. . .
June 3rd, 2009
|07:48 pm - The Presence of the Lord; Death and Life; Morality Trumped by Love|
Things have been changing lately, in subtle but tangible ways.
Nothing exteriorly has changed (unfortunately, from my POV), but I have had a new sense of God's Presence.
It's both a more constant sense and a stronger sense. It has absolutely surrounded me at times. And it has had a new quality of solidity about it. I almost expect to be able to see it or feel it physically, but I'm not quite there yet.
I was thinking that the best thing about this Presence is that it causes me to remember to rest in Him when I begin to go off into my own anxieties.
But a new revelation came just a while ago. I found myself responding to the Presence by telling Jesus that I loved Him, but then I realized that that wasn't quite accurate. I paid closer attention to the feeling and then I identified it. It wasn't that I loved God, it was that He loved me!
That distinction may seem esoteric, but I assure you it is not. True love originates only from the Author of love. We reflect His love back only because He first loved us -1Jn 4.19. The order of incidence is extremely important, otherwise we are operating on soul power.
Read full article. . .
(I'm thinking of concentrating most of my writing efforts at an independent blog site.)
June 1st, 2009
|10:24 pm - Why Shooting Abortionists is a Bad Idea|
(This is a piece I wrote over on my blog...)
Most readers don't need an article on why murdering an abortionist is a bad idea. But there are some of us who actually must go through the mental exercise in order to be at peace with the subject.
After all, the matter is serious. It is human beings who are being torn apart in the womb by these abortionists. And it is the women, men, and family survivors of abortion that are deeply affected. So the question arises, why then not take out an abortionist as a matter of defense of the innocent?
Consider this. In Numbers 25, Israel was sinning badly. Through the treachery of the prophet Balaam, they had joined themselves to Moabite women and had sacrificed to the Moabite god, Baal. In plain terms, that means that immorality was rampant. At its most flagrant high point, Phinehas took matters into his own hand. He thrust his spear through two fornicators, putting an abrupt end to the party – and the plague that had befallen the Israelites. Make no mistake: the Lord honored him for it:
Full article: http://onfollowingchrist.blogspot.com/2009/06/why-shooting-abortionists-is-bad-idea.html
May 24th, 2009
|01:58 pm - Book Review: Sister Aimee, by Daniel Mark Epstein|
I Had No Idea
Before reading this book I simply had no idea how important an historical figure Aimee Semple McPherson is.
I had no idea that she was such an intensely popular media figure, on the scale of a top Hollywood celebrity;
that she was one of, if not the, first to break the gender barrier in circuit evangelism and pastoring;
that she was the first religious radio broadcaster, having set up her own 24/7 radio tower atop her Angelus Temple;
that she pioneered modern religious drama at the pulpit of her temple, or that she had prodigiously composed both popular songs and whole operettas, had preached a voluminous corpus of her own sermons and had also written extensively;
or that she had spearheaded a massive ongoing relief effort, matching or exceeding that of the government, in the face of disasters such the Great Depression and the Santa Barbara earthquake.
But above all, I had no idea that Aimee possessed a simply incredible healing anointing, far greater than anything I've ever seen or heard about with any other healing evangelist.
( Read more...Collapse )
May 7th, 2009
|10:18 am - I love this guy's writing|
I discovered Frank Viola not long ago, but he's already had a major influence on me. First there was his take on women in ministry, which spun my head around like no one else was able to do on that topic.
Maybe it's me and where I am at this time, but next came his essay, He Takes Away That He Might Establish, which coming upon again yesterday, I read as if for the first time, it is so deeply relevant to what's going on in my life. Beside it's great substance, it's a masterful example of the short teaching essay/sermon, with its use of progressive repetition.
Then I read this excerpt from his latest book, From Eternity to Here, which prompted this post.
Whatever it is, I am getting a lot out of his insights and careful methodology, and I'm now looking forward to the new book.
(BTW, that first link is a .pdf file. I seriously recommend downloading the free pdf-exchange viewer at www.docu-track.com for a quantum leap over Adobe's bloated whale. It's amazing how much functionality they pack in, and they are nice guys who've been very responsive to feature requests.)
May 6th, 2009
|10:54 am - Book Review: The Prison Angel|
The Prison Angel: Mother Antonia's Journey from Beverly Hills to a Life of Service in a Mexican Jail
I was going through my files, cleaning up, and came across a powerful article I had saved from the Washington Post a couple of years ago. A little research revealed that now the story had grown into a book. And man was it worth reading. Here's my review from Amazon.
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable
This is a very unique story of a woman who found her true calling in life. And she knew she had found her path because there, against all circumstances, she found lasting joy.
The story is very well told. At more than one juncture my eyes were moist as the authors brought out the beauty and power of one life lived wholly unto God. And their work is done transparently, so that the logical flow is clear and you can almost see the researched parts being put together.
The basic story is that an upper-middle class American woman, twice divorced, approaching middle age, pursues her charitable work right into a very seamy Mexican jail. It's the improbability of the thing, each step of the way, that makes the tale so remarkable.
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April 23rd, 2009
|10:12 am - Hebrews 6: Restoration for fallen Christians|
This is a little sketch on Hebrews 6, for Christians who feel condemned because of something they have done even after accepting Christ. So often the guilt and remorse of such a one is unbearable. Know that if your sin is unbearable to you because of a sense of offending Holy God, that indicates that your heart is not hardened. There is hope.
Often this passage of Hebrews is used to quash that hope just when it is most needed. I intend to show that that was not the writer's purpose at all; quite the opposite.
( Read more...Collapse )
April 12th, 2009
|07:26 am - Dream: baseball training and resurrection|
On this night before the celebration of the Resurrection, I received a fitting prophetic dream.
In the dream, I was part of a new team, of maybe thirty members. We were getting in shape by running around a large baseball diamond.
The team assembled neatly on the Third-to-Home baseline, at Third Base and facing the outfield, but I lagged behind at Home attending to some kind of groundswork. I felt a bit out of place, like I hadn't fully made the team. The baseline between Third and Home was divided into three segments by chalk lines. I didn’t know if I should, whether I had the authority, but I decided to go ahead and write PAST in large letters in a chalk box adjacent to the running path near Home. The coach came over, inspected it... and liked it. We labeled the three segments between Third and Home as PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE. Then someone suggested using inverted mortar pans set diagonally with the words on their respective sides, so that they would be easily visible from afar (they looked like four-sided pyramids with their tops truncated). And we did.
I see two important things here. ( Read more...Collapse )
April 9th, 2009
|07:45 pm - Easter for Secret Believers|
Here's a prayer from Open Doors for our oppressed brothers dwelling in lands of darkness. All we ask of these nations is human dignity and freedom of conscience. We are supremely confident that the power of the Gospel can well do the rest.
And while I'm at it, here's a Resurrection Day prayer for all of us. The enemy has many ways to bind up and oppress people, and no one escapes spiritual warfare. May we come to know the power of the resurrection, as well as the redemptive sufferings of Christ, as we continue to abide in His sweet Presence. Glory to God.
Easter for Secret Believers
Our Father in heaven, may your family of believers around the world unite this weekend and glorify the risen Lord.
Whether we are
praying at a sunrise service
whispering in an underground church service
witnessing your creation at sunrise
watching a service from a hospital bed
singing in the choir
shivering in a prison cell
reading your Word with our family in secret
praying the Lord’s Prayer in a mosque
…we are the body of Christ.
And we worship you.
Hosanna in the highest!
Easter for Secret Believers -