Category Archives: Bible excerpts.

Walls

I have found walls to be a very fascinating thing in my life.  The walls of the place I live help keep my son and I protected.  Walls give me a place to live, entertain, and a peaceful place to rest or blog.  Walls can make fortresses for protection, they can also make jails for cells to restrict you and isolate us.  Whether we like it or not we are all born into a penitentiary of thoughts called assumptions and beliefs, which direct our lives and decisions as we make our way.

The subtle thing about ideas we believe is this, they have always been there, and we have learned to trust them without question, not because they are tried and true but because we rarely see our core values and how they control us.  However, because they have long been a fixture of our thoughts and actions, we therefore do not question them very often.  This conditioned thinking leads to response and decisions we sometimes do not understand.  Have you ever heard “That was not me that did that”?  Response: It looked like and sounded like you….?   Why do we make the decisions we make?

Do Not, I repeat Do Not start searching for these walls on your own!  Yes, they do guide your decisions and they are important to be aware of their impact.  Nevertheless, there is only one, who is tender, wise, and loving enough to deal with us on these core values and that is God and God alone.  I have found the path to seeing these walls is usually not a choice that we make but something that “just happens.”, not always though.

In my case, one such wall was a legalistic attitude.  A brief description of this attitude would be using God for vending machine of blessing.  The way this works is I drop in my obedience and a good work or two, then the vendor god would dispense a blessing for whatever it was I prayed for.  Yes, I know it is silly and not well thought through but it is subtle in my thinking,  The reach of these thoughts were  surprisingly hidden from me and far reaching in how I thought of God and all his creation. Enough said, bits and pieces as we proceed.

“Be angry and sin not” a real laugh out loud moment in the heat of this life altering realization that the “God I knew” was not there to help me in my CRISIS!  I tried to do the right things and good things even though I was in pain spiritually and emotionally.  Yet, where was Godin in all this stuff?  I was circling the drain and going down fast.  God still was not there!  I was still, crumbling and time was marching on.  Where was my friend called God who would never leave me or forsake me?

As I look back on this time, the only good thing I can think of that was happening in the moment was my life was so broken and falling apart. Therefore, I could not really take action against God and all the thoughts that I had against him!  What an awful time!  My anger toward God was hot, I am sure I sinned. Yet in all my doubt,  I never stop talking to this God that abandoned me. Things that make you go hmmmmm. This developed a good core value in me that I continue to depend on today.

A question that has been with me my entire Christian life has been: ”Is God good?”  I was in the grips of the most core-shaking  test of this question, which has ever taken me in the most painful way.

Several issues came to light in my struggle to answer the question, Is God good?  Number one issue was a seemingly unrelated issue of not forgiving two people in my life.( I had not thought of the wrongs in years but now could not shake the remembering)  Now if you were to ask me I would have said is no big deal and I would have ignored it as a happenings in life.  However, these two issues kept coming up in my mind over and over and over again.  In my mind I thought to God and said.  This is no big deal and has nothing to do with this situation God.  God hinted, forgive again.  No, not in an audible voice, just in promptings of thought from deep inside me.

So in my wisdom!,  I said okay I will forgive the people just to prove to you that this is a non-issue God.  Well, after forgiveness, the problems seemed to drop back into perspective, instead of looming out of control and actually controlling me.  I was stunned, amazed, in deep wonder and exuberantly joyfully happy all at the same moment all this because I chose to forgive an unrelated incident…  Think about it!  Unforgiveness caused chinks in my armor so Satan could grab me!

Think of it this way: Gods armor  he gives us is made out of God material.  God wants me to let go of sin so he will allow sin to pass out of his armor but not into his armor.  On the inside I was hanging on to this sin God was letting out of his armor to help me.  But since I was hanging onto the sin, on the inside, it gave a place that Satan could touch and hold onto because it was made of sin.  Satan cannot hold on to God material Satan rejects God material and God material rejects Satan.  So long as I was hanging onto this sin there was a place on my armor the Satan could hang onto made out of sin not God material.  Just a way of thinking of how Satan was hanging on to me badgering me, discouraging me and so on.

My absent God showed up on point of my worldly problems and I found he was there all the time and was waiting for me to come because he was calling me!  When I answered (honoring his request that I forgive) I could see him clearly but the fog I was in prevented me from answering quickly, I was in confusion.  This seemingly simple interchange happened over months.  I know I am slow!  My point in this would be when God prompts and you in a consistent calling or unction to take care of spiritual matters that have no real importance to you, they may well be very important to God.  Wrestle well with God, but in the end, be still and know that he is God.

As far as my wrestling with God over the months, I am glad it took me that long because I proved (to me) how good God is in his long-suffering toward me (us).  God is Especially patient with hard heads like me who want to wrestle.  “Be angry and sin not” is no longer just a verse of the Bible to me.  It has served me impeccably in the years after my wrestling with God.

Forgiveness is more free-flowing from me, yet in the forgiveness there is a fullness of realization of the wrong that is being perpetrated against me or others without the anger controlling me.  Which means I can be angry in the moment and still be clear headed enough to think about how to handle the anger and focusing the anger to energize me to do something constructive with the situation, instead of being frozen in anger with no reaction or throwing gasoline on the fire of reactions….  Have you been there?

Yes in my fiery trial the walls of my mind were broken down.  When the walls came down I found I was living in a dark prison that I was used to not a house.  God welcomed me into a bigger place that is so much more than what I expected here on this earth.  I saw core values uprooted and destroyed while others were affirmed and grew even stronger because the light of God which was shining on them instead of being imprisoned by self-protection walls.  Walls came down and light came in, Forgiveness is a powerful tool in the arsenal of Christian as we live.

My poor core values were exposed and yes I was embarrassed to realize I was operating in that mode without even really realizing it.  In God humbling me he also lifted me up closer to him.  I sometimes call the Holy Spirit the original World Wide Web.  He connects us to him, and us to each other as believers.  I could tell Spirit was the one who was moving me through this maze of life that I was so discouraged in.  Because I had no idea what to do yet, just kept Going following one I trusted.

Now the connection is better with God than it has ever been in my entire life.  With people to!  The Spirit is a real working person in you, Spirit  is perfect, and wants to communicate with you and guide you.  No, I am not saying go on the street and go crazy.  However, worship the way you want, as long as your worship is focused on God and God alone, worship to God is all good.  Do not ignore the magnificent working of the Holy Spirit each child of God has as a part of the gift of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Some walls are good in our life; a mighty Fortress is our God!  Nevertheless, God’s Fortress must be mobile because the Bible also says: the gates of hell shall not prevail against his church.  So we God’s people who are connected to each other through the Spirit are to be a communicating battle group that is storming the gates of hell,  At God’s direction.  I have found most the gates of hell have been seated deeply inside of me.  Yes, I could blame other people for it.  However, when the bottom line was exposed it was and is me. Rats,, found those invisible for core values running me.  King David once prayed this in Psalm 139: NASV

17How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.

When I awake, I am still with You.

19O that You would slay the wicked, O God;

Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.

20For they speak against You wickedly,

And Your enemies take Your name in vain.

21Do I not hate those who hate You, O LORD?

And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?

22I hate them with the utmost hatred;

They have become my enemies.

23Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

24And see if there be any hurtful way in me,

And lead me in the everlasting way.

Please note, David after he praises the wonder of God, then talks about God’s enemies.  Immediately after talking about God’s enemies David says search my heart.  David did not mention a single outward enemy of Israel, or enemies of his person.  David went directly to his heart the seat of his greatest enemies, David ask for God’s help, and God’s leadership to lead him in the way everlasting.

God is good, forgiveness is powerful, this truth moving from my brain into my heart and soul was expensive, painful, excruciating leading to despair for me as a person. In all the trouble, it made me a person who is more refined.  A person who is no longer afraid of trouble people get into, because I no longer have to solve the problem, because it really belongs to God for his solution.

I just have to be brave enough to listen, walk with, and be there for the person that is going through the trouble.  Sometimes I even talk!  Maybe too much!  I have learned to not fear breaking down protective walls that I have and exchanging them for God’s protective walls, which are pure clean, and proper.

I would never choose to go through what happened  to get this epiphany from God.  Now that I have gone through this test, I would not trade my tested and proved relationship with God for any amount of gold, cash, or worldly possession.  Yes, it is painful writing this, I shuddered at times for the trouble that I went through, remembering it and feeling its seduction to doubt.

God is waiting for you at the point of your troubles, trust him for he is good!  Listen to his voice and answer his call.  Expect fear, especially when you are wrestling God and not going his way.  He is patient he will continue to call you and give you many opportunities to follow him.

Forgiveness may be the furthest thing away from you as you are going through a painful event, I encourage you to forgive no matter the cost.  God will show you how to afford it.  God is worth the trade and loss your forgiveness costs you, and God has promised he owns all vengeance, “Vengeance is mine thus saith the Lord.”  Let God repay, God knows the end and to who his vengeance is due, or not.  However: We do not know who vengeance is due….. Let God be God.

Are you ready to get off the bench Christian?  Are you Ready to start a new life if you do not believe in God?  First drink deeply into the forgiveness  and love of God, humble yourself, ask for forgiveness and God will meet exceedingly your need for him.  Seek his forgiveness, start growing the seed of faith that he loves you and is good.

Accept his gospel as complete and finished not needing any other additional act or proof.  Follow God in baptism just as Jesus did.  Baptism is an act of obedience, the symbolism is powerful, it will cause an epiphany in your life.

Baptism has never been able to save any person, salvation and the gospel are an act of God and God alone, a unilateral action of his love toward his creation and humanity in particular.  Come taste see how good the Lord is!  No matter your situation, history or feelings you are invited to his table.  The choice is given to you and you and you alone.  God will never take this choice away from you .  He will honor the choice eternally.  Come Taste, see for yourself, God is Good.

Respectfully submitted,

Denny

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Monsters in life

Matt.  7:15 Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them.   Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?

ME:  There are monsters.  Monsters cannot give something they are not.  More hate will not change a monster.  Monsters cannot be identified by gender, race, or claimed beliefs.

Matt. 10:16 Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.

ME:  We are to be aware of monsters, but learning to live well while enduring and learning how to avoid their insidious traps in life.

II Tim. 1: 12 For this reason, even though I suffer as I do, I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.

ME:  God is the only sure hope who is able to sort out and separate the monsters for eternity.  For now, we have light and dark together making a shadowy place to live.  Our hope is to make a dent in the monster population by introducing them to a relationship with our only true change agent, Jesus The living Christ.

Even though being a believer is not a absolutely sure way to sort out betrayal  in relationship.  It gives opportunity to experience the fruit of the persons life to help your decision on whether they would be a good choice in a mate for you.

Acts 4: 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, 9 are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed?  10 Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead.  11 For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,

‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’

12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

Me:  In salvation and the starting point of the Gospel is all about learning to beware of monsters, even harder learning to love your enemies  AKA monsters.  Feeding all monsters true love from God above so they can make their decision on the love of God and whether to reject or accept God’s Gospel (Good News).  Then you  will see the God of the creation manifest Himself to you in amazing ways as you do battle with God’s sincere love not hate, prejudice, conceit, or any other one of Satan’s many tools.

It is a tough way to live, not for the fainthearted.  The Bible is not afraid of truth; the Bible is the good truth that everyone is afraid of.  It encourages you to live for others and live less for yourself.  It also encourages us to allow God to be the architect of our life.  While at the selfsame moment, we are making decisions of how to live and the amount of influence God will have over us.

Accepting this truth is not an easy life but, I life that is abundant and rich through Jesus Christ.  Imagine walking up to a monster and not displaying hate but kindness that the monster knows they do not deserve.  This would be a lively application of being aware of the monster yet being in all forgiveness.

Beware and know this, God desires to heal even our known mistakes.  Never take God’s forgiving grace as an endorsement on how you are living.  Do take God’s forgiveness and grace as a manifested witness of God’s love for you.  Obedience is better than sacrifice.

In Mercy and Grace,

Denny

MY RIGHTS!

That is right!  My and I repeat my rights!  Let me see, what do I have to base my rights on?  Well, I have the constitution of the United States with the Bill of Rights.  While the Constitution and The Bill of Rights does not exactly cover every right that I am thinking of here.

My right to health, my right to do whatever I want to, live where I want, spend/save, work, no work, what I want, now that is what I am talking about, my rights!  Where do they all come from?  Are they like all the lonely people where do they all come from?

Think about your rights.  Do I have the right to respect?  Do I have a right to have a job?  Do I have a right to good health?  Do I have a right to live in the upper middle class or better?  Do I have a right to despicably abuse people?  Do you have a right to talk behind the back of others?  Do I have a right to gossip?  How about a right to love and be loved?

Maybe I should refer to them as civil society rights.  These rights defined by dictionary.com as a moral, ethical, or legal principle considered as an underlying cause of truth, justice, morality, or ethics.  Great definition in all respects dictionary.com.  Just have a few questions I would like ask to clarify before I adopt this idea.

Number one question is who establishes the truth in rights?  Next, who establishes justice?  What is the standard for morality?  What is ethical behavior?  In addition, what is foundational underlying all these principles to hold them up?  And what is morality today then tomorrow?  What is legal today?  I’ll ask one more question.  When all are answered “Says who! “

What exactly do we mean by rights?  Do my rights end the where another person’s rights begin?  A teacher presented this idea when I was in second grade.  At the time, it sounded impressive.  Then it became very subjective and hard to define as I tried to live and discern rights, where they ended and began for each situation.  I found it to be an impossible task.

This idea imprisoned me and freed other people to do as they please.  This way of living is not what I signed up for, groan.  But, no worries, right!  STUFF happens!  The philosophy of Government stated in the United States Constitution requires the majority of its people to be responsible individual people.  As we are finding, our government does not work well any other way.

Whether you have ever been in court or not, we are dependent on lawyers and judges to determine right and wrong.  The legislature legislates, the courts interpret, helping the legislature fill in discrepancies or make changes in the law completely, relegating the law.(divisive?)  The president, well, watches all this events unfold before their office and vetoes some documents and signs other documents into law.

Nevertheless, do these principles cover our basic rights?  If I move into science and evolution, for foundation for rights,  I find a very unsatisfying law of survival of the fittest.  If I am fit I kill you as needed for me and mine to survive, if you are more fit than I am, you kill me, then you and your clan survive.

This is one- method to decrease the surplus population and follow the law of evolution.  No backlash it is natural no worries.  Harsh, but it does follow the law of evolution.

Now, if your reaction was negative toward this thinking of evolutionary law which science has defined for us, what are you appealing your objection to?  Is it natural as the law of nature and instinct?  Nature is a fast food advertisement: Have it your way! Until of course, someone kills/eats you! I hope they kill you first before eating!

There is no other law nature offers no mercy, if you are strong/smart you exert your authority over whomever you desire.  Sometimes we call them dictatorships, emperors, cults, and many other names, in each of these governments’ people give up freedom to be part of the government.

There is not much hope in what I see in these governments.  They tend to lead to rebellions.  The wars sometimes replace tyrants with more evil tyrants.  There is no justice!  Is there another way?

I am not impressed with the answers I get from nature and science.  Is there a hope?  Is there another way?  We have become so civilized in our daily living that we have forgotten how violent the world really is.

How did we become so civil?  We have really forgotten to what we owe the ideas of benevolence, kindness, self-sacrifice, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Where do you find ideas like this in nature or science?  The empirical data for these ideas are not there.

I propose we are looking for something supernatural and outside of nature.  Nature is harsh, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, cold, heat, fire, sickness, and survival of the fittest.  Where is your mind going when it goes to the supernatural?  The supernatural life experience Hollywood/PBS portrays on different documentaries does not seem to be an absolute good.

To whom can we take our case to for our own personal rights?  Where do I go to obtain my rights as a citizen of the planet Earth?  Is there such a place?  There has only been one source for the ideas of a just a government found only in one place.

In a letter sent by the creator of the universe to men and women so that they could know, what God has to say about government.  I chose Isaiah as one excerpt from this love letter which indicates the direction and scope of government and who is responsible for it.

Isaiah 9:6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.

The government will rest on his shoulders.  And he will be called:

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 His government and its peace will never end.

He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.

The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!

Amazing, Amen and Amen!

Does this government sound like someone who deeply understands justice?  Would you feel comfortable trying your case for rights in front of this judge?  Whatever you believe in right now takes faith.  Dig deeply into what you believe what is it founded on?  It is kind of like a paper dollar note, which is worthless but someone says is worth something so we spend it as legal tender.

No belief system can withstand the quest for absolute proof; Faith is always an element that finalizes your foundation in what you decide to believe.  Dig deep and test it for yourself.  If you do not allow self-evident ideas to exist there is no absolute proof for any belief system especially Christianity.

In God’s word it says without faith, it is impossible to please God, a self-evident truth.  Therefore, there is no absolute proof there is God because it would set us up for failure to please God.

We are designed predisposed to live in faith because we are image bearers of God.  We understand we are not with God and things are not right.  The real world is on its way, your beliefs that you choose yourself will be bound in heaven unbreakable by even God because he has given you that choice and will not take it away.

If you want to be free unbind yourself from nature, science, and instinct, bind yourself to God who says he has built a mansion for you to live in with Him.  Science has never made that offer.

In fact, I almost get the feeling that God says, come up to heaven all you lightweight partyers, now I will teach you how to party.  I will give you bodies that are going to be able to withstand partying, as you have never dreamed of before.  There will not be a time of wondering when it is going to end or when someone is going to say something wrong to offend, there will be absolute love in this party and no wallflowers!

Everybody will be the life of the party!  Yes, even the drab Christians that we have experienced in life will be vibrant and the life of the party.  Think about it!  I cordially invite you to see this wonderful site with me by calling on Jesus’s name as I have.

If you think, I am wrong that is okay!  However, could you please explain to me why Jesus made the 160 gallons of a very fine wine to celebrate a small wedding in a local town near the end of the celebration?  This miracle is the first and a sign of who God is.  Do we just die and end as nature says?

Do we go to a party that is never-ending for all eternity, a celebration that is totally worthy of all joy and fun and fellowship?  Which sounds more plausible to you? Is there not something more wonderful in you than a thought or a heartbeat?

Are you really that stuck on yourself that we cannot be remade better?  I welcome you to do the adventure of believing in God.  Talk to him on your own and then look for someone or some group to fellowship with in his name.  Not all assemblies really believe and follow him but look deeply into the word of God the 66 books of the Bible for your guide.  Test and compare, the truth is out there!

Good Bible translations would be the new King James, the NIV, the new American Standard, the new Living Translation, and if we want to get crazy and be driven nuts try the amplified Bible and others.  Read more than one let the Spirit guide you to truth.

Do not delay, we are only gifted one lifetime to figure out whether there is a God or not.  There is a God, and you know it deep inside just look and listen as you get quiet it will come out.  If you are an especially downtime there will be a voice of good reason in kindness calling you, humble yourself and follow it.

With rights, I think,

Denny

Duality Within

I sincerely hope this finds you well and at peace.  As I write this, I find myself in an age-old struggle deep within me.  I made a in a hurry careless mistake last week.  The mistake did not seem to have a big effect negatively on anything, yet it was a haunting mistake for me.  Because of the mistake, I began to get negative on myself because I did something that was careless.

As this self-inflicted interaction within me was taking place, I found that there was no good coming from it.  In fact, there was collateral damage happening, creating other thoughts to grow that were negative and unhealthy in nature.  Things like anger issues, self-righteousness, negative attitude about life and other thoughts that at one time plagued me all to often.

With good reason, this set me on a spiral down into a deprived place in me.  Even though I am a Christian, I am still a sinner.  Becoming a Christian added something to me, that I do not deserve, called forgiveness a gift from God.  All my imperfection is still intact and working to control me in my Christian forgiveness, doing battle moment by moment.

As I was experiencing this most unsettling time of life a thought occurred to me.  It is something I have told people many times so to do battle with their sin nature.  The principal goes something like this: do not use Satan’s tools to do good!  This whole idea came home to rest on me in a unique way.

What happened was this, what I was trying to pound out and destroy in my own strength, was only serving to spread the seed of discontent, inferiority, and unforgiveness in areas that I was previously overcoming because of God’s forgiveness.  I was using Satan’s tools to do God’s work of sanctification/purification.  (SIGH) What an opportunity to practice what you preach Denny!  Rats!  Found out again!

In being found out by my misconception of God’s grace there was an epiphany moment, sin is extremely subtle influencing us away from God.  Even with experience in living in faith I was fooled.  When I use Satan’s tools to do good I am using a defeated method.  Therefore, whatever I do with Satan’s tools is bound to fail by God’s Victory over sin.  All of Lucifer’s tools are defeated foes.

Now if I applied God’s tools to the same situation of my mistake/sin, (Now I am) tools such as confession, grace, forgiveness, and humility what would have grown out of those God-given tools?  God desires to prosper His children not destroy us.  Each human being is an image bearer of God therefore; Satan has no problem cannibalizing his own followers (unredeemed image bearers) to do his evil, or anyone else who will avail themselves to his power lies and work, even believers in Jesus.

Paul the Apostle prayed three times for a thorn in the flesh/sin to be removed from him.  God answered Paul and said: My grace is sufficient.  Without checks and balances in living it is easy to be duped into a sense of victory when in reality it is God dependent -given victory not self victory.  We say something like: Do not worry God I have got it handled.  I will stamp out sin in my life let me show you how.  God, see how good I am!

Good and perfect gifts come from above and the book of James tells us our own sin nature leads us astray.  It certainly pulled me astray in trying to take care of my own sin.  I am dependent on a merciful God for all the forgiveness I will ever need as I live.

A mixed bag of blessing and failure is how I appear right now to others and me.  However, to my Lord and Savior I am sinless and un-condemned see Romans 8.  I call 8:1 the first three rules of Christianity there is no condemnation, there is no condemnation, there is no condemnation.  It is my choice on how I live, I do not choose to continue to use Satan’s failed tools.  I want to learn to use God’s tools for living well and not be duped into a lesser life.

To be or not to be is not the question!  To live by God’s grace that is wild and wonderful or to have a false sense of control of your life and live by Satan’s rules of pseudo-life is the real question.  God has given each of us one life to figure this out.

Jesus is building a place for you, your choice; do you want fellowship with God forever?  If you answer yes, then ask Jesus in your own words to forgive your sin.  Then start walking with Him, remember you are forgiven, and live like you are thankful for what Jesus did for you.  Yes, salvation can be that simple. (if God has forgiven you, you will see that living in thanks to God is a privilege and joy not a law of any kind) God wants your fellowship so much He died and overcame death to show you the way to overcome sin.

In Christ’s resurrection.

Denny

A right to good health?

As I’m sitting here writing this blog and I am in great pain in my right knee.  I just landed a decent job, supposed to start in a week and a half.  I can barely walk on my right knee.  I have already given notice to my former job.  Has God abandoned me?  God knew what was going to happen when I applied for the new job and turned in my resignation for the old one.

I try to leave a half decent life, should God owe me a healthy knee, need time to start my job and try get health benefits and some time off to recuperate from whatever is going to happen to my knee?  Should I be doubting through my faith trying to figure out what’s going on?

Do I have a right to good health?  I think of Johnny Erickson, and my friend Bill whom blogs on WordPress as unshakable hope, they both have wonderful ministries and reach many people.  However, they both have health problems, they are different but, nonetheless glaring health problems.

Why would a common guy like me deserve better health than these two fine warriors of the Lord doing wonderful work bringing his peace and love to the world?  So here, I am in my pain, and feeling sorry for the bad situation I am in.  Should I even ask God to heal my knee so I can go to a new job or even work?

My best answer is yes I should ask.  But my attitude is I have no right to ask God to help me in this situation.  For now it is like this, here in the Shadowlands where there is dark and light, good and evil, there is a price to pay in fallenness.  However, the price I pay is a bargain compared to my life without God.  If God decides not to heal my knee it simply means he has another plan for my life that I gave to him upon my salvation.  Help my faith in Jesus and his everlasting love.

Salvation is kind of a word that says God fulfilled All laws of the Old Testament’s requirement in perfect obedience.  Because of this perfect obedience to the law of the Old Testament God was able by one death to pay for all sin that was ever committed.  He kept the law because he knew I could never do it on my own or even with his help here in this world that we live in.  Jesus is risen and living today.

I currently have his help in the Holy Spirit indwelling me, I still struggle with the darkness and go to war war with it on a regular basis.  It seems that I win battles but only to find that there are so many more to be fought.  At first this sounds discouraging but, God is a life-giving Redeemer.  This gives an ability for me to see how short I fall of his glory and be encouraged because he has promised to love me and obliterated my biggest problem I had.  I never have to worry about going to hell ever again because the work of Jesus.  It has nothing to do at all with my work that I do but everything with the work that he does.

All I did was receive Jesus’s perfect work by answering his call, no work involved at all on my part.  Now about my knee, if I have trusted God with my salvation and life.  Why am I having such a hard time trusting with something as simple as the human knee.

There are many medical procedures to help fix knees and other parts of the body.  The timing and everything else of this injury has been so wrong for me.  One day I am fine the next day I’m barely walking.  I am in a struggle with doubt and want, darkness is of varying degree.  Help me Lord Jesus!

OUCH,

Denny

Salt

Salt

Salt is just fascinating!  It is made of two poisonous elements when they are mixed together becomes a molecule of life giving foundation.  Too much you can die, too little and you will die. You can even race a car on the rock of salt!  If you grind sugar just right, it looks like salt. HMMMM!

In the contrast between salt and sugar, just visually, sometimes I find it difficult to tell a difference.  But the moment you touch’s sugar and salt there is a texture difference.  Instantly as you taste sugar and salt there is a flavor difference.  The similarity does not end there.

If you eat enough of either one, of salt, or sugar you will become thirsty physically.  Your body needs water to dilute the salt.  Your body needs water to digest the sugar.  Aside from flavor and texture there are other differences between salt and sugar.

Salt you cannot live without.  Sugar you never have to ingest to live.  Sugar is sometimes used to celebrate because of its great flavor.  The same for the flavor of salt, it is a spice that enhances the flavor of many savory culinary delights. (they enhance differently)

In Matthew five 13 it says “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.  Since I claim to be Christian, I am to be like salt making people spiritually thirsty for living water and better after the contact.

In Christianity, have we (THE UNITED STATES CHURCH) become too sweet?  Is this the condition of the current church in the United States?  Are we so sweet that were hard to digest?  In my personal opinion, we are SALT trampled under as the church.  There is no longer the same respect church had in bygone years.

I am truly hoping the grace awakening that is occurring slowly in the organized church will be a grassroots movement to restore respect and love of the church (its spiritual saltiness).  Jesus never wavered from his mission or message, yet, he never lacked a crowd of people around him to listen.  “Methinks” were doing something wrong as the church a.k.a. the body of Christ!

Jesus is spiritually salty.  Jesus provides the living water to quench the thirst.  All believers who have been, or ever will be, are ambassadors of the same exact gospel a.k.a. salt.  Learning of this gospel and speaking of it in purest terms, not adding to the gospel, not taking away from the gospel just as Christ did, we can also.  The gospel, the whole gospel, and nothing but the gospel in sincerity and truth and love is the purest witness of  Jesus.

Jesus did not have to change his message for the Jew or the Gentile a.k.a. Greek.  The gospel invited everyone not just select few to the Most Exclusive place, God’s very own home.  This is God’s own home with all benefits of perfect health, adventures incredible, and never a dull moment, freely extended to all God’s children/family.

Yes!  You are welcome to answer God’s call at any time.  Come taste, witness in purest condition the Gospel of Jesus.  God is looking for you and calling your name, waiting for you to answer.  This kind of wisdom is calling you within the continuum of life, as long as you live!

If you have never interacted with Jesus, walk with him for a while, he will never force you to walk with him.  If you have walked with Jesus or not, try the book Prodigal God by Timothy Keller.  Understand the gospel in a new purer way.  If you are in the throes of battle walking with God in his gospel, persevere and be strong and courageous.

Jesus is the only one that can take strong and courageous and make it look meek and humble!  Dear ambassador of Jesus, do not grow wary of your calling, faint not in your well doing.  Amplify your dependence on the source of your strength in Christ Jesus.  ‘Today is a good day to die’, or is it: be a living sacrifice!

Your brother in Christ,

Denny

2 John 1-13

New Living Translation

Greetings

1 This letter is from John, the elder.

I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children, whom I love in the truth—as does everyone else who knows the truth— 2 because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever.

3 Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.

Live in the Truth

4 How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded.

5 I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. 6 Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.

7 I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. 9 Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son.

10 If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. 11 Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.

Conclusion

12 I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to do it with paper and ink. For I hope to visit you soon and talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete.

13 Greetings from the children of your sister, chosen by God.

 

“Love implies anger. The man who is angered by nothing cares about nothing.”

Edward Abbey

“You know how big love is? Love is big. love can hold anger; love can even hold hatred.”

Alice Walker
Be wise, not easily fooled.

Denny

Immature thinking?

What is immature thinking referring to in the Bible? This is the best section of Scripture I could find to attempt to answer this obvious question.  I only included a short excerpt of the longer more complete principle being taught.

A Call to Spiritual Growth    Hebrews 5.

11There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.   You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

This section of Scripture brought to mind the parable triplet of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son.  I know a strange connection, but let’s pray, and see where it goes.  The first two parables of the triplet have elements in common.  Something valuable was lost, the object of value was tirelessly searched for, was found, and was celebrated.

The third parable of the triplet was similar in a few ways, on several levels something valuable was lost, there does not seem to be a searching for the valuable object lost, then a reasoning surprise, there was a return of the lost with a plan, the younger brother.  Yet I find no indication of a search going on for the younger brother, except maybe in his heart.

The younger brother seems to have come to an end to all supporting resource, physical and spiritual.  And he was willing to return to his father’s house to be a worker not a son.  As the son was in process of returning, his Dad saw him a long way off and began the reunification process.  The father did not hesitate to run to close the distance more quickly to reunite with his son.

All the while as Dad ran, Dad was giving orders to start a celebration because his precious son had returned.  When the older brother returned and found out what was going on and why the party was on, for his sin-laden younger brother.  The older brother was outraged and would not rejoin the party.

The Father did, in fact, seek out in search for his lost oldest son to invite him to the celebration.  The Father received a rebuke for wasting more family resources on the younger brother.  The elder brother decided not to join the celebration for the reunification of his younger brother to the family.

If I understand this parable correctly, the father in the story is actually Father God, the two sons represent two basic ways of living this life without God.  The younger brother was in total freedom doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, and how he wanted.  The older brother represented a law keeping, staunch, dependable, and displayed a self-righteous unforgiving attitude for anyone who is not like him.

My question is this which way was the right way to live?  Living by the law or living by pure unbridled freedom?

Well, one immediate advantage of living by unbridled freedom; it would seem you would come to an end of your freedom abusing ways at some point, “at least in this parable.”  On the other hand, the legalistic older brother did not seem to ever rejoin the father.  So it must be much more difficult to come to an end of yourself for a proper, clean living, legalist than a wild living sinner.

I believe this story shows two extremes in living this life in the flesh.  Neither one of these extremes, or the variant combinations in between, are ways to a relationship with the Father.  They are both disasters and failures at reunifying with our heavenly Father.

I pose to you this thought: The Bible is teaching that childish thinking is this, people can live a life that makes them worthy of getting into heaven through “good” behavior or free-living behavior.  Both of these mindsets are far short of what God requires for entry into heaven.  In other words, both methods of living or any mix are too tame for entry into heaven and fellowship with God.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is this:

Jesus paid it all.  There is a complete, perfect payment for your entry into the Fellowship with God and heaven. We can do absolutely nothing to earn what has already been paid for by God and his desire to have fellowship with us.  There is nothing on this earth like unto this unique principle God exemplified to us in Christ and still trying to teach us.

He desires for us to enter into the rest of his salvation through faith in this truth and live shalom in this life with full confidence the Father can do what He said. (Yes, without our messy help, your choice, to return to God, God will not force you, it is your choice to enter in as deeply as you want.)

After immersing yourself in this love that is totally unmerited, growing faith that this perfect love is true, then there is a foundation for your life to change.  Not because of your effort kind of change, but a flow of pure love pouring out of you because of what was poured into you.

And this is love, not that we first loved God.  But God in his perfect strength extended his love to us while we are sinners far away from him.  This is the love that can overcome any way we choose to live, transforming our life into God’s best by receiving this ultimate forgiveness.  There is now, therefore, no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.  Truth/reality at its finest!

If you have accepted Jesus Christ today or ever, Ephesians 4:17-31 will give you some of the destination points you are headed for as you immerse yourself into God’s forgiveness.  If you are a strong legalist, you will begin to love the sinners that float in and out of churches, they are in much pain in all the partying that they are participating in.  Final hope: Owe no man anything, except to love him.  Love covers a multitude of sin.

While learning to love in Christ,

Denny

Inspiration

inspiration

  1. 1 a :  a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation b :  the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions c :  the act of influencing or suggesting opinions
  2. 2 :  the act of drawing in; specifically :  the drawing of air into the lungs

Inspiration, a word used to describe a common act such as drawing air into the lungs, or a complex act of explaining a new idea intellectual or spiritual, and even influencing someone or group by opinions, suggestions.  Inspiration is a word used to describe how the Bible was written; the inspired word of God is the only accurate description of the Bible.  Now how can you say such a thing?

As I will admit to you I have limited time to expose myself and read all literature that has been written so this article will come to you from a limited standpoint of what I have read.  There are many people more qualified than I to write this article, but I felt it needed to be tackled.  My experience though is this: books tend to pass away and become dated.  Homer did a powerful job of writing.  The existence of his works proves it, and they have been translated into many languages.

Yet, the style in which Homer used has become dated.  It seems that Homer is respected for being an ancient writer that is still being read.  Even today Homer is not as well read as he was 50 or hundred years ago.  Yet, even over a longer period of time the Bible has been accurately recorded and handed down over a longer period of time.

The Bible has been changed!  But the Bible when changed, does not last very long as a viable work or literature.  A Bible that has been modified by new ideas is no longer inspired word of God.  Yes, it may have some of the structure and ideas that the Bible has but has added corruption.  These modified “bibles” certainly appear to have a time in the limelight, but soon get weeded out. (Just to be rediscovered and re-entered as a new idea, so sad)

This process of weeding out inaccuracies over time is not a normal pathway for a book to take.  In this  age of remakes, parodies, sequels, and the like of movies, modernization of movies and books, it is commonplace for changes/updates to happen to literature to make it more relevant to today.  However, the Bible has not taken the same route.  Its purity and relevance is eternally founded with its source author and inspiration through mankind. (Many men authors, only one eternal God, who authored, breathed the word of God to man)

The Bibles route has been much more interesting, it lends evidence to have a life of its own, and with its own biologic immune system that keeps itself pure through time and translation. (In time killing off infections of the Word )Hence, the Bible is called the living word.  It not only preserves literature but it also preserves life itself.  The Bible has been described as the one book that understands humanity, people, and me.  In my opinion, understanding implies intelligence and life.  Let us reason!

The essence of life has never changed!  Our technology and things that make life more bearable have changed immensely.  But the simple essence of life has not changed from the beginning .  There is no book that has ever compared to the number one bestseller of all time called the Bible.

Read the Bible for any reason, the Bible will either soften your heart or harden your heart.  If it hardens your heart you will want to change the Bible to something more palatable to you.  If you read the Bible and your heart becomes soft, the living words will begin to change you and move/lead you into a reality that you thought impossible.  It will call you into faith in things that you cannot see, or even imagine in most instances.

A good solid translation or version of the Bible will serve well to lead you in life. all the way to everlasting life.  The inspired word of God is the deepest most unchanging hope mankind has ever been given.  There is perfection in the word of God which requires a helper  to understand.  Yes, the helper is available to you for the asking.  There is no special formula to obtain the help, just some kind of understanding that you need help from God to understand His Word.

I pray God’s inspired word will soften your heart.  I pray that you will enter the struggle to understand reality; it is not easy or for the fainthearted.  Fortunately, we have a help, which will always give us boldness and wisdom for the wise choice to walk more strongly with God or you can choose to faint away at any time.  God is a God of many chances; forgiveness is paramount with God’s interaction with mankind.

Choose to walk with God in full acknowledgment of your imperfection, because God is perfect in understanding with respect to your relationship with Him.  God is perfect, and through the cross of Jesus Christ, he has chosen to give you freely at His cost the same perfection and is calling you to it today.  Yes, right now God is calling you!  It is a choice that is put into your finite hands, and it is absolutely your choice.  My advice, enter into to God’s rest in his perfection.  The gospel of God is following you, chasing you and desires to have fellowship with you.

My prayer for you today is this: May God’s gospel, love, and blessing be invited to  dwell with you even today.  May life’s entrapments not discourage you as you walk toward truth eternal.  As you experience temporary loss, may the hope and faith of eternal fellowship with God and redemption of all bad  be ever your vision and hope.  To God be all honor and glory as we walk and live this current life.  Amen

In Christ,

Denny

A 1% Christian

1% is one part of 100 units.  So, if I had a stack of 100 pennies, took one of the pennies away, one penny would be an example of one percent of the 100 pennies available.  One part of 100 is another way of saying 1%.  You can do this with money, commodities, intellectual property, and all static things in the universe can be measured in this way.

My original thoughts on being a 1% Christian, as the idea physically came into focus, was to think that the work that God did was 99% of what being a Christian is, and I only contributed a measly 1% through my free will choices to be a Christian.  Then I was going to say how prideful I was in thinking that I even had 1% control over this area of being a Christian.

Okay maybe, not bad, I could easily think through this 1% idea in the Bible.  I would cite such verses as, Matthew 11: 28Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”.  I could also use 2 Corinthians 4:17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,          Still there was something missing.

Then God finally got my attention and the verses in James 1: 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to changed 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.  The obvious question was whether or not I was including the source of all good!?

I had to rethink my assumptions.  As long as you are talking about a limited amount of material, it is possible to calculate 1%. With the eternal clearly unmeasurable, what is 1%?  Then the story of the parables came to mind.  Jesus took simple everyday things and compared them to heavenly concepts and ideas that were perfect.  Most every parable pushed hard enough will break down in trying to describe something perfect.  Anytime I use imperfection to compare to perfection the imperfection is willfully deficient in expressing truth of the perfect heavenly concept.

So in the weakness of this 1% analogy of the Christian participation in Christianity I hope you will forgive me for my pride, but please, never forget the source of all good that mankind has ever experienced.  Do not be misled that you are unimportant to God.  I present two truths that you are the least and you are the greatest at the selfsame moment with God.

What is mankind that God has taken notice of him?  All good comes from God in Heaven, not from any person.  All truth, all love, all pure and kind acts, no matter who performs them comes from God and belong to God.  Do not be fooled in any of this.  We are least in these matters.

At the very same moment and in all eternity it is also true that Jesus came and in his weakest moment with great suffering, gave up life.  Then the life that was stolen from him by Lucifer was picked up again in the resurrection happened totally out of Satan’s control.  Our beaten foe has strong propaganda on the source of all the evil that goes on in this world.  Do not be fooled.  We are most important in these matters.

You are very important to God and you were judged worthy by God, of his suffering on the cross which makes you a royal priesthood unto God.  God still gives himself to us by pursuing us each and every one, calling us to come to him.  If you want to become new, accept Jesus as your personal savior.

The evil one will use every tool of discouragement available to him to stop you.  God will allow you to make the choice on who you believe more strongly.  The gentle way hard choice or the entrapment way of no choice, This is the choice we have in this world to make continually as we live and breath.

I am a 1%, Christian, because I give so little and receive so much in return from a pure heavenly place that my father dwells.  I pray this truth will be understood through this poor parable.  Much as the in the parable of the talents, we invest life that is not ours, to honor and glorify a God who wants to give more to us.  Or we bury our talent/life in our self, living a much lesser life that is broken down and worn out.Then the good hidden is taken away and gifted to the investors.  A Life without hope, but filled with fear, worry, anger and a loveless life, can be healed and renewed.  Continuing with troubles, unimpeded by God’s good, as it is now on earth, forever is the alternative default choice.

It is your choice.  If someone makes a choice for you then you are being blackmailed or coerced to love God.  This is not God’s character.  God’s character “you to choose” to love him and trust him. or not.  This is what free will is all about.  Don’t be confused it is your choice.  The choice on how close you follow him once you become a Christian is absolutely yours also.  God is not a taker.  God is a source and you must travel up to him using His power and forgiveness to get to the source.  Are you an overcomer in life?

Humbly submitted,

1% Denny

Fashion statement or Sin Payment?

I will have to admit the photograph above of this beautiful piece of jewelry gave me a very strong reaction when I saw it. I am unsure as to all the feelings that went together to make me feel the way I did, maybe disrespect, accepting the cross as being beautiful to the eye,  just being accepted  as something that is fashion not of  faith.  I feel a deep anger as I write this. And I know that God will forgive me for my anger if it is wrong and also the makers and purchasers of this artwork of the cross of Jesus.

The God who accepted the mission of bringing God the Father’s love to this earth for our benefit laid down His life on the cross. I put the God-man on the cross because of my sin. Every time I see a Cross I feel unworthy of the love that was extended to me by an exceedingly wonderful God at an unmeasurable cost. I also experience the hope of the resurrection as I see the curse.

Galatians 3:13

New Living Translation

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

Strange, I do not find the cross worn as jewelry as being offensive. I do find it very challenging every time I see a cross whether on a T-shirt, made of gold, made of wood, made of spike nails, painted, inked, the media doesn’t matter, I’m reminded that I do not deserve the gift I have in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I know that no nail, law, person, or power could have held Jesus on the cross except for his own resolve to love us back into fellowship with God the Father.

Are we so civilized and removed from the cross that it has become palatable to make it a thing of beauty. Maybe the sin that was cursed on Jesus was not as bad as the Bible says. The conflict is this, the cross is a curse and the work done on the cross was pure bountiful love. So,,, If the Jesus of the cross is represented then it is beauty in the highest form, the cross is still a cursed, fallen reminder of the great price paid for my/our sins.  Yes I get grace for free, God paid the full price, God set/created the cost, to get us redeemed into fellowship with God.

For thousands of years, the Messiah was looked for and patiently waited for, then in a little over 2000 years the cross became a stylized jewelry status symbol.  Will lethal injection or an electric chair be worn around the neck in a few thousand years because somebody died on it?  The cross of Jesus Christ is uniquely special.  Is a symbol of the unfathomable cost that was paid there to reconcile man to God.

Where is the honor to Jesus in making his cross a thing of beauty, not a curse that was necessary to redeem man in his deep need?  Are we so removed from the cross that it no longer has the meaning it did at one time?  God forbid!  The cross was a place of torture and shame.  Neither of which Jesus deserved because he lived a perfect life.

Is there any good thing about the method that was used to kill Christ Jesus who did nothing wrong?  No, there is nothing good about the curse of the cross!  The work that was done on the cross was good and perfect love to us.  Let each of us consider carefully before we choose what we do with this cross Jesus.  Let us not forget the cross was not last act of God toward us.  The cross is the rugged start to our hope in Christ Jesus that we have a restored relationship with our heavenly father through the payment on the cross and a powerful awesome resurrection of Jesus.

Life can be better, but without the cross of Jesus Christ, life has no absolute standard to make all suffering we endure here a joy because of what was done for me on the cross.  James says that this way count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations.  Read the entire book of James in the New Testament.  You will see wisdom played out in a way not often experienced in the civilized world we live in.

I am in a state of weltschmerz in regard to how Jesus is viewed in an accepted yet, in a distortedly wrong way today.  Lord help us to see you more clearly.  Lord forgive my unbelief.  Lord help us to behave as you would behave not to get ourselves into heaven, but to show you that we appreciate what you have done and we are mimicking your ways to the best of our ability.

In Christ,

Denny

 

Psalm 20

Psalm 20     italics added
1In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry. Thank you for troubles that need God in my life.

May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm. I have no right for this.

2May he send you help from his sanctuary

and strengthen you from Jerusalem. (or Zion) God gives help from above, fresh from His city.

3May he remember all your gifts

and look favorably on your burnt offerings. Accept our offering of obedience to the Word.

Interlude

4May he grant your heart’s desires

and make all your plans succeed. Your direction and blessings are success.

5May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory

and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. You are our banner Lord.

May the Lord answer all your prayers. Help me accept your answer Lord. Worthy of our trust and life.

6Now I know that the Lord rescues his anointed king. You prove in your manifestations Lord.

He will answer him from his holy heaven

and rescue him by his great power. We quake at the demonstration of your Power. May I never be ashamed of  awe of your intervention in life here.

7Some nations boast of their chariots and horses,

but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.  All goodness raise praises to you Lord.

8Those nations will fall down and collapse,

but we will rise up and stand firm. Your will is possible, even when we see no earthly hope.

9Give victory to our king, O Lord!  Lord you are more than victory and you invite us to join you for ever.

Answer our cry for help Lord.  You freely give your help to us Lord.  Please help in our unbelief in our dark hours. When hopeless fear overpowers us. When we need you most Lord teach us to call on you on your high throne as you direct us through our weak faith. Carry our souls and bodies to your help. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.