Saturday, November 26, 2011


Exodus 3:14: And God said to Moses, “I AM THAT I AM” (I am because I am, I am the ever becoming One), and you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me. “Am” is from the verb for “to be”. Several more times in the ensuing chapters, God continues to refer to Himself as “I AM” in the process of getting Moses to understand and trust Him. Not knowing the Hebrew word for the ever being one… I continue.

The word “I” in the Greek is the term “ego”. And as we know, everyone has an “ego”. That part of us that says, “I am number one in my world”. Is there a similarity and are there differences from what is said in Exodus 3 and how I view myself?
In Isaiah chapters 40 – 46, repeatedly, God refers to Himself as “I AM”, and says, “I will share My glory with no one else”. He is the only One with the characteristic of “ever being”, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, as revealed in Genesis chapters 1 &2, “Let Us make man in Our image”. Not three God’s, but One God revealed in three Persons. So, I contend that the great “I AM” is revealed and consigned to only One.

In the New Testament, Jesus refers to Himself and “I AM”. In the Gospel of John, these statements start in chapter 4:14, 26, 32, 38; chapter 5:34, 36, 43, 45; chapter 6:35, 40, 41, 48, 51, 63, 70; Of course the most famous and most quoted is John 14:6, “Then Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by Me’”. That is a pretty bold and narrow statement. But, when you take the essence of all religions and compare them to Christianity, it looks like this; religion says, do the best you can and it will all work out in the end. While Christianity says, your worthiness is like filthy, dirty rags (those of a woman during her menstrual cycle), and you need someone who is pure and righteous that will take the dirt and filth and destroy it and make you pure and righteous. How would you like it if the person in front of you in the line of trillions of people was the last one “good enough” to make it in on his own “good works”? Or, would it be easier to rationally think through the facts and come to the conclusion that you needed some “outside help” to get to heaven?

That thought brings me to the alter-ego statement, “I think, therefore I am”. If we are created in the image of God, then we have the capacity to think and reason, just as He does; and we are and do. The problem comes with the “fall of man” and the sin nature we all have; some may want to deny that sin problem, but we all have the propensity to want our own way, do our own thing and command our own destiny. And those things are simply the proof of sin. We think with a distorted view and cannot see the truth of our situation. Thus the statement becomes, “I think, therefore I AM”!!! I am the ever becoming one. Yet, we all die, another proof of sin. The egotistical person or persons will come up with, “Well, dying is just part of the evolutionary design so the next generation can move us farther along the path”. Yet these people deny design, because that supposes a “Designer”, a God, and that means responsibility to that God and they really get things distorted and in a lot of cases contradictory. Don’t get me started on “global warming” or the newer phrase, “global climate change”; climate changes, and it happens all around the world, the globe, which is the basic definition of climate. The Bible says somewhere, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”. The Book of Proverbs contrasts the wise man and the fool. By reading it “you” may become a wise man.

I think, therefore I am, type of person must then think, now let’s think, I created me and everything else. But then the question becomes, “If you created it why can’t you control it”? It may seem that the One and only true God is not in control as we see wars and calamities all around the world, but He is. It is because He made us with the freedom to choose, and with only one choice, we condemn ourselves. That choice is, “to do it my way”. God is in control, but He is not controlling. If you look closely at all recorded history, you will find patterns. Patterns revolve around certain people groups. And even within those people groups, there are two types of people, those who obey and those who don’t. Obey who or what? The answer is those who obey God’s laws and standards, and those who don’t. But does that then lead us back to my obeying mean good works? No, because you can’t obey perfectly, again, because of our own ego, and that because of sin. That’s why God is the Creator and sustainer of all that is. That also shows us that we need someone to intercede for us, before the presence of that One, True and Holy God, revealed in three persons. And if you have not understood that up to this point, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, one God revealed in three persons. It is only within the power of the Holy Spirit living within us that we could ever hope of being “good enough” to even stand in the presence of God.

Ego is a dangerous thing to live with. It needs to be put into subjection under the One who allowed it to be. In Christianity, is the only way and truth and life, Jesus, who allows for the proper side of ego and lets it, function in a good and constructive manner. I know whereof I speak. You see, I once was blind to the truth, but now I see. To the age of almost thirty, I was in full control of my own life, but it was out of control. So, was I really in control? Or was I just “playing the game” as so many others were? Yes, I was just playing the game. Then I heard about the life I had been trying to live, that God offered. But the problem was I had to give up control. Was I willing to do that? Was I willing to give up, “I am” for “HE IS”? That’s your choice.

Thanks for listening,

Monday, April 11, 2011

Preparing For War

I was going to title this “Going to War”, but I didn’t, for a reason that will be forthcoming.

Going to war precludes that you have prepared. Only those who have “signed up” will go through the proper training that will prepare them for war. Today, in 2011, many wars are going on around the world, more than at any other time in the history of the world. These fighters or warriors, have all had some kind of training, some very technical while others will just point and shoot. I will be the first to admit that war is ugly and a disgusting thing, but there are right and wrongs in this world. But some people just don’t like other people, because of race, religion, or a dozen other ridiculous reasons. It is wrong to commit murder, the taking of another person’s life for no reason; and then there is war, which is defending one’s own life and property. Your “rights” stop at the end of my nose.

Back to the training part: Proper training will, in most cases, assure victory. Plans, equipment, strategy, personnel and execution will produce success. The main problem with victory and success is that casualties will occur. The main point of “Basic Training” is to create a unit, defined as “many parts working as one”. That process is done by stripping away “self” from the individual and rebuilding a bond with other members. Some of you may have seen the movie, “Band of Brothers”, that’s what it’s all about. Something happens when people share things in common and have a common goal and purpose. Not everyone will be doing the same job or task, but all will do his part to accomplish the mission. The mission is bigger than the “sum-total-of-it’s-parts”. Some army’s will look disheveled or rag-tag, while others will be decked out in the finest of uniforms. Think of the movie “Braveheart”, here you had a bunch of farmers, going up against the King’s finest, in full “battle array”. A modern saying is, “It’s not the dog in the fight, but it’s the fight in the dog, that makes the difference”. Preparation starts in the heart and in the mind. Do I believe in what I’m fighting for? What am I willing to give up something (self), to defend what is right and true? What will it cost me to prepare for my mission?

The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, that the “body (one) is made up of many parts (hundreds or thousands; millions or billions if you break it down to the cellular level). Each part has its own thing to do, but when done properly, functions with other parts, doing something different, functioning with other parts, that makes the whole thing “work”. Oh! Did I mention… God caused it to be. I could get off on just talking about how complex and complicated the body is, but that is not my point. The bonding agent in the human body is called laminin. Under the microscope it looks like an x with one leg longer than the other three, thus the shape of a cross, interesting.

Back to the war and the battle: That’s almost like, “back to the future”, where the war and the battle will take us. Remember “Doc” saying when the picture or writing was erased from the paper, “Of course, your future isn’t written yet, nobody’s is”, another reason to prepare now. We may not know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future.

So… how are you preparing for your future? Are you preparing spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically? And then… what does each look like?

Spiritually: Do you have a good handle on the word of God? Do you continue to read and dig and study to know God? Or, do you read just to have more knowledge? Steven Hawking has been considered one of the most brilliant men over the past decade, yet he knows nothing about God, at least I have never heard him or his narrator say anything about the great God and creator of the universe. The Bible tells us over and over, that we are to be like Him, and those who seek Me diligently will find Me, do you want more and more of God’s kindness, learn to know Him better and better. If you don’t know Him better than you did last year or last month, you are not seeking Him. Romans 12:1,2 “Therefore, I urge you brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world: but be transformed, by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”.

Mentally: Does anyone lack wisdom, let him ask God, who gives abundantly. That is from the book of James in the New Testament. The entire book of Proverbs is full of the wisdom of Solomon, on about every topic you can imagine. This wisdom is about life and how to live it, and in some cases, how not to live it. It won’t tell you if you should buy a new car, but it will give you strong guidelines as to how to make such decisions.

Emotionally: I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “He really doesn’t have his heart in it”. That’s your emotions. Do you go around in a “hap-hazard” or “willy-nilly” way, with no real purpose or direction? I know that from time-to-time we all have those days when we think, “I really don’t care what I do today, or what happens today”. But a lifetime of this kind of thinking is not good for one’s mental or emotional being. What’s your heart telling you? Do you need to get it engaged? In The Gospel of John Chapter 21 verse 15 - 17, Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love Me more than these? Peter answered, Yes Lord You know I love You? Jesus answered, Feed My lambs.” Then Jesus said to him again, “Peter, do you love Me? He answered, Yes Lord You know I love You. And Jesus said, Tend My sheep”. And then a third time Jesus asked him, “Peter, do you love Me? And Peter was grieved because He asked him the third time, Do you love Me? And Peter said to the Lord, Lord You know all things and You know that I love You. Jesus said, Feed My sheep”. So my question is, “Do you love the Lord? Is your heart in it, all of it”?

Physically: I am trying to get my body, what there is left of it, back into better working condition. I know I will never be able to do what I did when I was in my
20’s or even 30’s, but I can be better than I am now. The physical has a lot to do with the other three areas mentioned above. Stuff goes on in the body, chemical reactions, that create and cause the mind and the emotions to function better. The last thing you want to do is withdraw or sit idle and do nothing, which is what happens if we get depressed. We just want to sit and click the clicker. “I want someone else to fix me, but I don’t want to do anything about it”. A verse that is coming back to me more frequently, these days is found in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, Chapter 12 verse 5, “If you have run with men and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, how will you do, in the thicket of Jordan”? I believe this verse speaks to more than the physical, but if you walk around the block and get tired, what are your chances of running a marathon? Come on… get busy!

Are you “chomping at the bit” to get into the game? Are you getting ready to get ready? If the “Coach” were to call you for that “last second shot”, are you ready? If not, what are you waiting for? Get engaged, head, heart and gut. Some of you need to “suck it up” and get busy. Not just for busyness sake, but get to know Him and let Him direct you where He wants to use you.

War is hell… but someone needs to stand up and fight for what is right! By the way, I wrote a peace entitled, Head, Heart, Gut, if you haven’t read it, let me know and I will send it to you,, or check out my blog,, for other writings that may inspire you.
Following the Shepherd,
Procrastination – Preparation – Perseverance

Let’s get some basic definitions down before we start.

Procrastination: to put off doing or to postpone habitually
Preparation: the act or process of preparing
Perseverance: the act of persevering, continued, patient, effort

Several questions come to mind: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Some witty but stupid answers also come to mind: Who am I? I am me, I always have been for as long as I can remember. Why am I here? I am here, because, I am not there. Where am I going? Crazy, do you want to come.

Procrastinate… now! Don’t put it off another minute. Never do today, what you can put off until tomorrow. Some people just don’t want to deal with making tough decisions. So, they just put it off, and put it off, and put it off. What if I’m wrong? What if it doesn’t work out? What if they don’t like me? Sometimes, life is just hard. We get to a point where we say, “I’m between a rock and a hard place”. By continually putting off making decisions, we get to the point of learning “the hard way”. Sometimes others will not have the time to wait, because they need a decision, they will no longer wait on us to make that decision, and they will make the decision for us. Then we have to deal with their decision and we may like that even less.

Preparation: Then you have those who… are always preparing! They have list after list, after list. They can tell you what you need for every event or occasion. But, they themselves, could not “put on” said event or party. I often think of the husband and wife who are going on a two week vacation. I ask the question, “Can a wife fill a suitcase so full that the husband cannot lift it”? The answer is yes and no. Yes she can, but even though the husband cannot lift it, he will find a way to get it to the car, out of the car, to the airplane, out of the carrousel into the rental car, out of the rental car and into the hotel. All without saying a word about how his wife over packed.

And that brings me to perseverance, what a segway. The husband has had to persevere with continuing, patient, effort.

By now, you are probably asking, “When is he going to get to the spiritual stuff”? Right now!

From day one, in the Bible, men and women have put things off, things that didn’t seem important at the time. When Noah was building the ark, the entire world was mocking him. “It’s going to what”? “What’s rain”? “Man, you’ve been at this for a loooong time, and we haven’t had on drop of water from the sky”. When Moses went up on the mountain, the people “went to hell in a hand-basket”. They didn’t wait and pray as they should have. They continually wanted what they had left in Egypt. They kept telling themselves, “Things were soooo much better back there”. Like living in slavery for 400 years, making bricks with no straw, wandering in the desert for 40 years because of unbelief and disobedience. And then, after living in the land of milk and honey they said, “Give us a King”! OOPS! About which I wrote another paper on that very topic. If you did not receive it let me know and I will forward it.
But now that we live in the 21st century, things are different. We are much more sophisticated, much more educated, much more aware of things going on around the world.

What types of things do we procrastinate about? How about Bible study, prayer, worship, tithing, caring, sharing you faith, and you fill in the blank, surely you have thought of something.

How are you preparing spiritually? You never know what type of adventure is around the next corner. Do you know enough or do you know enough to know you need to know more? Read it slowly, it will come to you.

When you get to a tough time in life, will you bail? Or will you stand firm? Ephesians 6: 10 – 20. This passage talks about putting on the “full armor of God”, in order to pray and stand firm; so that… you will be able to stand up against rulers, and powers and authorities, and world forces, and spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places, and yes, the devil himself. I guess this is a follow-up to my last writing, Preparing for War. This current writing’s title has been in a list of writing topics for at least a year. That list has over fifty titles, and most has been written on.

So, where do you find yourself? Are you procrastinating? Are you preparing? Are you persevering? How would you convince me of your position? Procrastinators in Noah’s day found themselves scratching at the door of the ark… after the door was shut. Some of the people who worshiped the “golden calf” died when the desert opened up and thousands were swallowed up. The people who wanted a king, got what they were asking for, and lived in fear.

Matthew Chapters 5, 6, 7 are called the Sermon on the Mount. Ask, seek and knock are the keys to this passage. You are to ask Him. You are to seek Him. You are to knock at the door of His throne. And then be amazed at His leading and guiding words, back to you. But you have to slow down long enough and be quiet enough to hear “His still small voice”. Isaiah 30: 15 says this, “For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance and rest you shall be saved. In repentance and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and trust (confidence) is your strength is you strength.” Are you ready for the ending, you had better sit down… “But you were not willing”. When I was a kid, one hundred miles per hour was fast. Today, with “bullet trains and Concord jets and space shuttles”, one hundred miles per hour, is slow. What does it take to be willing? Maybe my next writing, who knows?

Following the Shepherd,

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Estate – The Legacy

Having been a Co-Executor of an Estate for the last ten months of a very dear friend, and it ain’t over yet, I have learned a lot about life and a lot about stuff. When this dear friend went home to be with the Lord, all of the “things she held dear” stayed here on the earth. All of her plans, thoughts and wishes came to a screeching halt. Not really, because of her will, but we were left with the task of finishing up and finalizing those wishes and plans, to the best of our ability.

Some of you may have seen or heard of the T.V. shows about hoarding. I consider our friend as a “collector with a purpose”. You see, hoarders, buy, find, keep, and clutch to things for themselves. Our friend was a friend to many and knew the needs of those friends. She also had a heart for foreign missions. So she would find someone who had something they may be throwing out and rescue it for another friend who had that need. It was never for herself. She would have a bazar and buy and sell all kinds of stuff, from T-shirts to turnips. She would take or send box loads of hats, clothing and trinkets to missionaries and missions around the world. And yet, at her passing, her two-car garage was packed wall to wall, front to back, basically floor to ceiling with stuff. Plus one whole bedroom was packed with boxes. So, as Executors of her Estate, we wanted to fulfill her wishes and plans for the things she left behind.

Over the past ten months, we have had side splitting laugher and mumblings of disgust all in the same day, sometimes the same hour, as we went through box after box, after box, after box, after box and I could continue that phrase for the rest of the page. My wife and I have made a commitment to not leave this type of situation for our children, and they have told us so.

Estate: the assets and liabilities of a dead person. Legacy: anything handed down as from an ancestor. In her estate she had stuff that needed distributed, she had things that were worth something and stuff that was junk. She had financial assets and financial liabilities. The stuff is almost all distributed or thrown away. As for her legacy… that will live on in the hearts of many. Most of what she did is known only by the person who received the gift. But, isn’t that enough? She never climbed or clamored for the spotlight. She just went about… doing good. She is and will be missed by many.

How about you? Are you busy planning your estate, your 401k’s, your retirement plans, your vacations? Or, are you developing a legacy? The old saying, “I’ve never seen a hearse pulling a U-haul”, is very, very true. Are you busy building your life plans and how you will retire? Another saying is, “The one who dies with the most toys, wins”. Are you teaching your children that the most important thing is living well and retiring well? Do you want them to grow up just like you? Most of us want our children to have more for than we had, but more of what? Is it just money and stuff? Is it power and prestige? What will they pass on to their children? What lifestyle? What mindset? Are you building a legacy or are you just passing on an estate? The legacy has nothing to do with stuff! It is about the mindset, the character, and the integrity of a person. Thus the saying, “Do your givin’, while you’re livin’, so you’re knowin’, where it’s goin’”. You can only pass on a legacy while you are living. Yes, the memories of you will continue, but you’re done.

Will your legacy be, “Oh, he/she was a really great guy/gal”. Or will it be said of you, “He/she really affected my life. He/she helped me through a tough time. He/she gave me hope and told me about Jesus.” Two things will remain after the last person has died, (if you can perceive such a thing), God’s word and Jesus. So, when you die, what will you take with you? The bumper sticker says it like this, “No Jesus, no peace-Know Jesus, know peace”.

You, in normal circumstance, pass on financial and physical stuff. You have to make it a choice to pass along the character and the integrity, and the spiritual legacy. And that is only accomplished through massive amount of prayer. The powers that be in the Psychiatric field tell us we are basically good and some, a few, will have tendencies to do bad. The Bible tells a different story. It says that we are all bad and need a Savior, to save us from our badness. This truth has to be explained to our families and friends, in order to live a better life and have a legacy not just an estate.

I hope you can make the “jump into hyper-space” with me. I just heard a preacher on the radio talking about being satisfied. I think that has a lot to do with inheritance and legacy. Please take the test below.
Answer 1 to 5, 1 being very dissatisfied, 5 being very satisfied. Please be honest, no one will see but you.

1.How satisfied are you with life in general? 1 2 3 4 5
2.How satisfied are you with your job? 1 2 3 4 5
3.How satisfied are you with your marriage? 1 2 3 4 5
4.How satisfied are you with your Church? 1 2 3 4 5
5.How satisfied are you with God? 1 2 3 4 5

This test was given in an upper class, evangelical church in a very affluent city. He went on to say that, most people in the class where this test was given answered mostly 2’s some 1’s and very few 3’s or above. Why is that? His sermon and point was most people have a vague or casual relationship with God. They bury themselves in work, activities, and, as I call it, stuff. We say, “I must be doing well, look at all the stuff I have”. The busier I am the better. I don’t have time to sit and be quiet, it drives me nuts, I’ve got to be doing something. When all the time, that is what the Lord wants us to do, be quiet and listen to Him. Can I leave a true spiritual legacy to others, it I don’t have it for myself.

So, what are you leaving for you family and friends? Are you leaving an estate or a legacy? If you need help changing you 1’s and 2’s and 3’s to 4’s and 5’s write me an email, I think I can help.

Following the Shepherd,

Sunday, January 30, 2011

If All Roads Lead to God…?

Let’s look at the question posed by the title above. Many people in today’s society think that, if you are looking for God, you can find him anywhere. The nature lover says, “I can find God when I’m out walking in the woods or climbing a mountain, I just feel so close to him. God is nature.” Others say, “I worship god and my ancestors, because we are all one in the cosmos”. Some say that oxen are god’s and should not be harmed. While others believe we are on an eternal journey and come back in this life as other beings and animals until we attain our own godhood. Which one would you like to follow in your search for God?

Then you have the three main religions of the world, each saying that there is only one God, those religions being, Muslims, Jews and Christians. Of course you have varying sects or denomination in each. Each say that their religion is the only way to God, yet all differ and are exclusive from one another. If all roads lead to God, what should it matter? Only your eternal destiny is at stake.

In the following, I will attempt to make things simple and plain. I am not attempting to “bash” anyone, I am just trying to give you some facts and let you make the decision, “Do all roads, really lead to God”? There will be depth of facts and nuances that I will not discuss because of time and space of this document. If you want more of these facts I recommend two books (volumes), Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell and More Evidence that Demands a Verdict. This work was written while trying to disprove Christianity. As a result Josh McDowell came to know Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.

Islam or Muslim’s believed Allah is God and Mohammed is his prophet. The Koran is their “holy book”. Within its pages followers are told that only Arab Muslim’s are accepted by Allah and all other people are infidels and are not worthy to live and should be killed. And that they are the only true “road to God”.

Judaism has been around for a long time. Their founders are Abram (Abraham), Isaac, and Jacob (Jacob’s name was changed by God to Israel) and that’s where the name of the nation comes from, more commonly known as the Jews. Then you have Moses who brought the “slaves” out of Egypt and took them to the ‘Promise Land’. In that journey, they went through the Arabian dessert where Moses received the “Ten Commandments”, on Mt. Sinai. These Ten Commandments were the foundation of their belief system; also the sacrifice of animals, shedding of blood, for the taking away of their sin. Their “holy book” was the Torah. They learned the there was only one God and His name was Jehovah. He was the Creator of the Universe and they were to look for the Messiah, the one who would save the people from their sin. Sin, you say? Yes, remember the story about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and how the snake tricked them into eating the “apple”. That was sin, going against the law and rule of God, choosing one’s own way. So, if you say, I will choose my own way to God, my own “road” is that not sin? Much more could be said, but if you are interested call me, information will be listed at the end of this writing.

Christianity is a continuation of Judaism. Remember I told you that because of the sin of Adam and Eve, God had said He would send the Messiah, one who would take away their sin. Not only theirs, but the sin of the entire world. You see, all humans are related to Adam and Eve and thus have the infraction of sin on their lives and need to be forgiven. So, the Messiah would be sent from God as the only satisfactory sacrifice for the sin of the world, Jew, Gentile, Arab, Muslim, Hindu, Aztec, African, Buddhist; in other words, all the people of the earth. This Messiah had been prophesied or foretold from that day in the Garden, in Genesis 3:15. Christian’s “holy book” is the Bible that includes the writings of the Torah, what is called the Old Testament, and the writing of Jesus’ followers, the New Testament. Christians believe that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. These facts can be learned and confirmed in the book mentioned by Josh McDowell.

The Torah and the Bible talk about a Messiah who would take away the sin of the world. He would do that by dying on the Cross as God’s one and only satisfactory sacrifice for sin, the shedding of blood. This is the fact of God reaching down to man to forgive his sin. It is not about being good or good enough to warrant God’s forgiveness. You have probably seen the guy at football games with the rainbow wig holding the sign, John 3:16; some may even know what that Bible passage says. If you don’t, it says, “For God so loved the world, He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life”. Read Genesis chapters 1,2,and 3, then read The Gospel of John chapters 1,2, and 3.

All roads lead to God? Have you ever considered what God has to say about that? “You shall have no other gods before Me”. Can a Muslim get to heaven by killing people who don’t believe the way he does? Can a Buddhist get to heaven by worshiping his ancestors? Can a Hindu get to heaven by worshiping oxen as someone who is traveling back to this world as an ox on his way to his own deity? Can a Pantheist who says all things are God, get to heaven? Only Judahism and Christianity talk about and deal with the thing called 'sin". All of these roads cannot possibly ultimately lead to God when they oppose each other. Not to mention the atheist who says, there is no god and we evolved from the apes. Two atoms, whizzing through space collided, and that began it all. Where did the atoms come from?

So, is there a true “Road to God”? I believe there is. It is God’s way, not mine. Jesus, the Messiah is God’s one and only way to heaven. If I’m right (and I believe I am) I will make it to heaven based on the finished work of God in Jesus. Then you will spend eternity separated from God. If I am wrong, and you are right, I have lived a life I am not ashamed of and have been at peace with “my God” for many, many years. And I will see you in “Heaven”. By the way, Who created Heaven? Was it man or God? Should not the Creator have a say in who will be allowed in?

Those who think that “all roads lead to God” have probably not read any of the “holy books” of any of the religions. They think they know it all.
If you have questions write me at

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Human Beings

In the beginning… God created the heavens and the earth. The Bible goes on to tell us that He created all other things, land and sea, sky and air, sun and moon and stars. Then He created the things to inhabit these spaces, beasts of the fields, birds for the sky, and fish for the sea. Then He created His “crowning achievement” (if you can call anything that God does, an achievement), He created man, male and female He created them. Of course our evolutionary friends will have great problems with this thesis. To them, two random atoms whizzing through the universe, collided and the spark of life began. At this point, I have two questions: 1) Where did the two atoms come from? 2) Where did the universe come from? There was probably nothingness and then something happened and then the two atoms collided and then the universe happened and then nothing turned into something. That makes it perfectly clear doesn’t it, or does it make it more foolish? I assume that most evolutionists and atheists don’t want to think about the possibility of there being a God, because if He is, then they are responsible to Him for all they do. And they don’t want to do that.

Anyway… back to the future…. We are created and we are responsible to Him. He created us with love and purpose. Love because we were created in His image. Purpose because He wanted us to reign over His creation. Personally, I think that all the created things were created in full maturity. If you would have cut down a tree in the “Garden of Eden” you would have been able to count ten, twelve or twenty rings of age or even more. And the same would be true for the other plants and animals.

I really am trying to get to my thesis, which is human being. We really are His crowning glory, because of being created in His image. Of course, I do not think that God looks like me. There is something unique about this likeness, but I can’t explain it. And neither can anyone else. But, we are something special and love beyond our imagination.

This thing about being human beings is simply this; we are human beings not human doings. I think God wanted us to “be” more than He wanted us to “do”. Does that seem to make sense to you? I’m sitting here writing and listening to some music on my computer. The music combines and enhances what I’m writing. You will probably be surprised to know it is a kid’s album, not by kids, but for kids. Its title is The Polka Dot Bear by Barry McGuire, way back in the 1980’s. But, isn’t that what God wants us to be… kids? We can’t do anything for ourselves, we must rely on Him. And that’s called being, not doing. Unless you become as a child, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. It’s a simple love relationship. Do I love Him enough to surrender and submit? Will I say, “Not my will, but your will be done”. If the relationship is not growing, the being is not growing. He breathed life into us, His life, and His being. His likeness should be more and more in control. When he Holy Spirit, I assume you know that the Holy Spirit was given to you when Jesus became your personal Savior. You can find this in the Gospel of John, chapters 14-17; along with some other important things. Anyhow… the Holy Spirit works in our lives, as well as the rest of the world, to convict us of sin, righteousness and judgment to come. He convicts us to make us more like Jesus, that being thing, being like Jesus, not doing more things to make “me” feel better because “I” have done all of these great things. When we “be” we “do”. When we “do” we don’t necessarily “be”. But this being happens only by submitting to the Holy Spirit.

Let me interject at this point another side-bar, side light or whatever you want to call it. God revealed Himself to Moses as “I Am”. Thus, referring to Himself as the “ever being one”. Jesus referred to Himself as “I Am”. If we are to become like Jesus, then we need to be in the process of being and becoming. We will never become or be God, but our likeness can be restored. The relationship needs to deepen every day. Do I love God more and more each day? Do I see my sinfulness more clearly every day? Am I sorrowed by that sinfulness more and more? Not that I have achieved the point I want to, but I strive to be less and Him more. Like John the Baptizer said, “He must increase and I must decrease”. By the way… John was not a “Baptist”. (A touch of humor there).

Three books I have recently read or am in the process of reading, The Wright Brothers – Overland Stage, by Tim Wright. This is a book about the local Indy band and its successes and failures, from Tim’s perspective. This is Tim’s own personal striving to “get to the top” of the music industry. So much of self was interjected into life, he and the band forgot about their Christian roots and how to allow God to direct the paths. Another book is Radical by David Platt. David had to go to a Southeast Asian country and see “church” done in such a different way that when he came back to the USA he was shocked to see how he had been following the American Dream and playing “church”, and he was the “Head Pastor” of the church. Now he is in the process of changing the “way he does church”. The third book is The Pursuit of God, by A. W. Tozer. This writer has an interesting perspective, having written his book in 1948. His main thesis is that people, the church, have left their pursuit of God for the American Dream. They have lost their awe of God and replaced it with the comforts of the world. And in doing so have lost the zeal and affection for God. Their thinking is something like this, “Oh I leave the tough stuff for God to take care of, and I can handle the little stuff”. God is not an American. We think that God has to do it the “American Way”. God’s own words are these, “Without Me you can do nothing”. When will we ever get this through our thick skulls? It’s not about me; it’s about Him and Him alone, His will, His way, His purpose. Our part and our only part is listening and obeying.

If we are to become like Jesus and we are, Jesus life was boiled down to this, “Not to do My will, but to do the will of the One who sent me”. “And the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve”. We are to serve and to be obedient.

I think I’m done, but who knows? My challenge and questions are few. Are you a human being or are you a human doing?

Human Beings Part Two

With all of this stuff rattling around in my head, I must continue.
Human beings, they are more being than doing this is the key. Jesus says, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. He also says, “I Am the way, the truth and the life”. Thus, knowing Him is the essential part of the entire equation. If you are not in the pursuit of knowing Him, you are not in the pursuit of “being”.

As I have read the book Radical, I have come to some conclusions. I think it starts out strong, but falls away in the end. What do I mean by that? In the first two chapters or sections, David Platt describes his experience in the Far East. He is finding people who have a hunger for God’s word and is amazed at how far the people travel to hear God’s word. They walk or ride bicycles for miles, even a full day just to hear the word, spend several if not many, 10 or 12 hours in listening and asking questions. Then they ask if they could do it again tomorrow. David is astonished and amazed, and also tired from a very long day of interaction. But he agrees to continue to teach the next day. This seems to happen day after day after day. The interesting thing is that these people are not asking how Americans “do church”; they are asking and begging to be taught the word. They are not asking about the latest music trends or what the latest Christian Books are. They are saying, “Teach me the Bible”.

To me this is another part of the “American Gospel” that is lacking in substance. We, the American church look for the next best seller or the next conference, in order to help us in our short comings and our problems. The answers are given to most problems, “Well, just do more, or try harder; you’re not having enough quiet time, you’re not praying enough”. These are not bad in themselves, but how do they help us “be”? Am I interested in getting the next wrist band or the next t-shirt or the next syllabus? Again, conferences are not bad in themselves, but some people have every book and every CD on their shelves, they have a t-shirt for every day of the week, but nothing is going on in their heart. They are not becoming! I also wrote a paper on “Head, Heart, Gut”.

The weak part of the book Radical is that, when David returns home to the USA, he sees a different kind of American church than when he left and a far different kind of church than in the Far East. So he starts teaching on “going into all the world and preaching the gospel”. Here is where I think the departure starts; people are encouraged to look at their lives and see what they can do without and think of how they can reach people in other lands with the gospel. Again, let me say, this is not a bad thing, but it misses the entire point of David’s time in the Far East, and I think David loses sight of what he was being taught by God (not that I know what God was trying to teach him). But as I was trying to think through and process my way through his book, it seems that the emphasis was on the hunger for God and His word. Jesus told His disciples, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness”. Are we hungering and thirsting for righteousness? Or, are we looking for a way that makes us look like we are hungering and thirsting for righteousness? Do we know the difference? The Apostle Paul makes the statement, “If I give all I have to feed the poor and do not have love, I am nothing”. Thus, it is a heart problem!

Clean and unclean things…. It is not what goes into a man that defiles him; it is what proceeds from within (out of the heart).

I cannot tell you what God is telling is you to do other than; He wants you to be holy, not happy. Holy is a state of being, happy is defined by situations and circumstances, again, “being” or “doing”. Believe it or not, you can be holy without being happy. One short interjection: The “Be Attitudes in Matthew 5 says “Blessed” this not to be confused with happy. I have heard so many people and even pastors say that it means happy. That word goes far beyond happy, and if I am not happy does that mean I am not blessed?

Back to Radical: Just my opinion… it seems that David jumps off and begins a series on “Going”. And that seems to lead to busyness and not righteousness. The pastors in the Far East were not looking for people to come to build something (even though there is nothing wrong with that), they were looking for people to come and teach them the Bible.

We need to be challenged to read and study our Bibles and be “transformed by it”, the entire thing Genesis 1 through Revelation 21. We need to get to know the God of the Bible; Who He is and how He works, then get to know Jesus and who He is, and then the Holy Spirit in the same way. Constantly asking the Lord who He wants us to become and then what He wants us to do, where He wants us to go.

Would we be willing to walk for a day to hear the word taught? Would we go if the band was not going to play? Would we go in stealth so as to not be seen? Would we feel comfortable packed like sardines in a small room with one 40 watt light bulb hung in the center of the room. Dear friends, this is radical. What would you do if there was no music, no band for worship, just two hours of your Pastor teaching through the Bible? Then you took a fifteen minute break for bathroom breaks and something to drink. Then the teaching would start again for another two hours.

I know I’m short on scripture in this writing, so here goes…. Let’s look at two and maybe more passages to see what the progression is in “being” and “doing”.

Isaiah 6:1-13 (You can read the entire thing for yourself) In the year that King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on the throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple… “Then I said (Isaiah) woe is me, for I am ruined. Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips… Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I, send me!” And He said, “Go and tell the people.”

First, Isaiah, saw the Lord. My question to you is, “Have you seen the Lord in this way?” Maybe not in the physical sense, but have you had an intimate, eye opening, revelation of the Lord and how magnificent He really is. Second, was your response, “I am a man/woman of unclean lips?” Third, then did you submit to “being” before “doing” or going? Even though Isaiah had been God’s prophet for many years, he had a new experience, which changed him for the rest of his life. God said go tell the people. What was God asking Isaiah to tell the people? “Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand. Render the hearts of the people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim… lest they repent”. You see; God knew their hearts and that the people would not repent, so He told Isaiah to stop preaching to them. Thus and therefore, we must be about going, before God says, ‘It’s too late, stop preaching”. When I first turned my life over to Jesus in 1974 I did not know any of the things I am writing about today. I have grown and changed and have become more aware of how Holy God is and how sinful I am. If you knew me like I know me, you would probably not want me as a friend. But if I knew you like you know you, I wouldn’t want you as a friend either.

The next scripture is from the New Testament: Matthew 18:1-27 (Again you may read the text for yourself). Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane where He was praying before His crucifixion. The soldiers came to arrest Jesus and Peter tried to defend Jesus with a sword. Remember that Peter was a fisherman not a soldier; “doing’ not “being”. Peter followed Jesus to the courtyard of Caiaphas and waited at a distance. This is where Peter denied Jesus three times, just as Jesus had warned him. It is purported that Peter went out a wept (Not in the text); the sorrow of the sin of “not doing” and “not being”.

Our Bible study group studied one of the passages that David Platt uses in book; Luke 14:25-35. Again you can read this for yourself, the essence is counting the cost, choosing to love the Lord more than brothers and sisters, building a tower without calculating the cost whether you can finish it or not, and going to war against a more powerful enemy. David’s conclusion was from verse 33 saying, “So therefore, no one can be My disciple who does not give up all his possessions”. Does Jesus mean this in a true physical sense? Or is He trying to get at your heart? Is he trying to get at “your being” or at “your doing”?

In all of our being and doing, Who’s reputation is at stake? Anyone who undertakes a multi-million dollar building project and can only complete $100,000 worth did not calculate the cost very well and his reputation is ruined. If I say I am a Christian and I love Jesus and I am going to do great things for Him and fall flat on my face, whose reputation is at stake? If I make bad decisions it still reflects on Him.

I thought I was done when I wrote American Dream and the American Gospel. Next I wrote American Dream 2. Then I wrote the paper Aaaaand Their Off. Then I wrote Human Beings. Now with Human Beings 2 about to be finished, I am still in the pursuit of God and His answers for me.

This line of thinking may go on for quite some time, but for now, the summary, not a conclusion, the real conclusion is up to you, is this; I can only take these thoughts and ponderings and musings before the Lord for myself and ask Him, who He wants me to be and then what He wants me to do.

I am wrestling with the Lord on all of this; I think I am beginning to walk with a limp. If any of these writings have moved you, you need to take the information to the Lord and ask Him to reveal Himself and His will for your being and doing. I welcome your thoughts and feedback.