Wednesday, April 22, 2009

At War With God

We will be moving to video blogging in the near future, but I wanted to move forward and post previous text blogs to this page now for your enjoyment and edification:

REPOST FROM October 18, 2008

Ok, first - I can't take credit for the idea of this analogy. My father-in-law used part of the following comparison in a conversation with my wife yesterday. Rachel and I then used the following in conversation with our son last night.... and God pressed in and saved his soul. SO I'M SHARING:

Our world is at war. Our lives are at war. God has a set standard... the commandments in the bible. We are in rebellion against His standard. (Go through each of the commandments asking yourself where you stand on each of them. You will find that you come up short every time.)

When we are born into this world, we come with our sin nature and our own agendas. As a human, you are born at war with God. We want to live life our own way. We become lord of our own lives and start to manipulate the world around us to get the things that we want. You can see it in infants: they want food, so they cry until someone gives it to them. They don't want to go to bed, so they cry to get out of bed. They are not concerned with the fact that the mother may be asleep or that there is an intense conversation going on in the next room. No one teaches a child how to lie, children start lying to get what they want, to manipulate the lives of those around them in an effort to control their "world". These efforts are weapons in your start in their skills at your first cry.... that's when you start your own battle.... your first cry: "Put me back in!". You have your own army with yourself as the general. Every time you go against one of God's standards, you are in rebellion against His kingdom, His authority.

Now, how does a nation win a war? Well, one army has to either surrender or be captured.
As John McCain knows, if you are captured, you are put into jail as a POW and punished, often torchered.
If you surrender, treaty negotiations ensue and rebuilding follows under the new ground rules of the conqueror.

As a "lost person", you are battling God everyday.... you want to stay rebellious and head of your own life. Satan is on your side. He wants you to stay rebellious as well. God is on the offensive, He sends Christians (soldiers of God) in to do His will in our lives. You are shown truth, love, joy, compassion, etc. God is sharing Himself with you as an effort to win the battle you've started and to squash your rebellion. God talks to us in 4 ways, his four branches of the military:
1. Through the bretheren
2. Through the Word
3. Through circumstances
4. Through prayer
If you can see God working in one of these ways, He is communicating with you...

Make no mistake, God will win the war. And He will do it in one of the two ways:
  • You will be captured and pay the penalty of your rebellion and rejection - - you will be cast into hell as your jail and torchered in the lake of fire's flames.
  • You will surrender to His authority, you will discuss with Him the terms of your surrender, and He will help you rebuild your life under His authority.

  • What we tasked our son to do is to figure out what weapons he was using in his army to war against God. What weapons did he think that he was using to battle the Lord. One was the fear of the unknown... it was keeping him away from surrender. The other was self-obsession, he loved attention and saw that he was always seeking attention for himself in everything He did. Every one has a weapon that God must over come. For me it was my self-pride. I didn't think I needed God because... well, I was awesome. One of God's assaults on my rebellion brought that weapon in to clear defeat as I was injured and all of my fame and "awesome-ness" was stripped away from me because I could no longer play the part of the rockstar in my world... God was in control, and I saw it. With Davy, we took each of his weapons and talked them out to where he could see that they were useless in his fight and that God had already defeated his tactics. All that was left was for him to retreat, having faith in his weapons or in future weapons that he might come up with. ... or to surrender.If you surrender, you are acknowledging that He is the supreme power, that He is in control and that you and all your efforts are weak in comparison. That you are a weak, dreadful sinner that have done things to offend Him...and you are sorry for it.

    Next, you go into peace talks / treaty negotiation... that's "the prayer". You acknowledge that He is Lord, ruler of your life, and that you accept His terms. His terms? After realizing that you are a sinner at rebellion with God, you have to realize that God had to make a way to restore His relationship with you, with humans. Because humans are born with a sin nature and cannot have a relationship with God on their own, God came down in the form of a human... in Jesus Christ. He paid the penalty for our sins so that we could be restored into proper relationship with God. You see, the penalty for sin, is death. Blood covers sin so that God can commune with us. In the Torah, it was through a precise ritual that included the sacrafice of certain animals... this made a temporary covering (or atonement) of sins so that God could have a relationship with His people. It's all about restoring the relationship that we had (mankind) with God in Eden before the fall of man when sin entered the world (before our rebellious regimes, when we were still at peace under God's authority). When God came to earth as Jesus, He made the ultimate sacrafice... His blood covers our sins permanently.... so we can have an everlasting relationship with God and our relationships with Him, as humans, are restored. You acknowledge this truth, we call it "accepting Christ", in your peace talks... in your prayer and in your testimony to others before baptism.

    After that, God starts to rebuild our lives from the inside out. It starts with setting up a new government... a new mindset. Then the rebuilding spreads into the rest of the defeated country.

    Ah, good stuff! ... good analogy! Feel free to comment below and discuss...share what your weapons were and how they were proved useless against God.

    (c) 2009 Reformation Productions

    Daily Walking - Sept 14, 2008

    We will be moving to video blogging in the near future, but I wanted to move forward and post previous text blogs to this page now for your enjoyment and edification:

    REPOST FROM September 14, 2008

    John 7:24 - Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

    I have sat firmly on this truth for years. But it can be observed in so many different ways. Only God could give us a book that has one simple sentence, that can be viewed multiple ways and every way be of truth.

    1. Do not look at the outside looks of others and judge them holy or evil, because it is what is on the inside that counts.

    2. Do not look at the behavior that people show you and judge them holy or evil, because it may not be what is on the inside.....and the inside is what counts. The inner man is what determines his character, who he really is.

    3. Do not put on a show for people and for God, because He sees the truth... that which is on the inside

    4. Don't hold someone to a law and be "nit-picky", if what they did and why they did it truly shows the character of God. Again, it's the inside, the why they did it.

    5. Do not exalt someone based on what they've done, if they did it with a low character, for the wrong reasons, and/or with the wrong heart on the inside.

    God cares about what is on the inside...and why you do the things that you do.
    Your outside appearance doesn't matter.
  • If you have a 6 inch mohawk that is purple
  • If you have Sarah Palin's hair style
  • If you have multiple piercings
  • If you more closely resemble the conservative appearance of the President of the United States.
  • If you wear pants or not.
  • If you wear a suit to church.
  • If you have long hair or not.
  • If you wear make up or not.
  • If you dress in Ann Taylor or not.
  • God doesn't care.

    Your behavior isn't the point either:
  • If you give to the poor or if you can't.
  • If you go to church every week or if you don't.
  • If you sing southern gospel music or if you thrash your head.
  • If you preach the gospel
  • If you write books
  • If you write music
  • If you draw
  • If you are good at a budget
  • If you, If you, If you

  • All of this is not the point.
    Look at your inside, the true you. That is what matters... that is what God sees. That is what He instructs us to look at.

    Let's take this a little more indepth.If you are on the platform at church, leading that a "good" thing? Well you really don't know... you can't make a judgment based on the action alone.
  • If you are up there because you can play well, you like the attention it brings, you want to show people what you've got, to feel you are in a position above others, etc. Then ... not so much. Those are self oriented, "wrong" motives from you inner man.
  • However, if you are up there because you want to help lead others into worshiping the almighty God, because you consider it a blessing for God to be able to use your skills and talents to help the Brethren praise the Father, because you worship Him through playing your instrument, because you are open to others viewing you as a true follow of Christ, or you have been asked to serve and are humbled by the opportunity to follow God's will in your life. This are good motives from your inner man.

  • Everything is this way... look at everything you do.

    You like wearing short skirts.... is that good or bad? Let's look at the why.
  • Are you wearing it to feel younger than you are, because you are jealous of the younger women, to feel more attractive to men, to distract the pastor so he has difficulty in delivering God's message (because you never really liked the whole Christianity thing any way, you are just there because a friend of yours or your parents made you go), because that's how you were raised - your mother wears them, your sisters wear them, your friends wear them, because what you wear is not as bad as other people you've seen, or because it's the fashionable thing to do? Why are you wearing it? Figure that out and see if it lines up with the character of God... remember, more like Jesus is our goal.

    Ok, one more - You are an evangelist. You are pumping the streets everyday tell others about the reality of Hell. Telling them that Christ is the only way to heaven. Is that a "good" thing?Well, where is your heart?
  • Are you doing it because you are super spiritual and you have to call out sin where ever you seen it? Obviously, you have none because you are an evangelist...even if you did it wouldn't be as bad as theirs.
  • Are you "helping" God because without you and others like you, He'd never be able to find all of the folks to populate this new place He's building called Heaven?
  • Are you doing it to try and prove that your way is right and that all other ways are wrong?or
  • Are you doing it because you love people? Because God loved you enough to save you from your trip to hell, so you want to help others realize God's love for them too.
  • Are you doing it because you dedicated your life to service God through reaching out to others with His heart as your own?

    Why are you doing it?

    It's all about the "why".

    (c) 2009 Reformation Productions
  • A Study Of Parables

    We will be moving to video blogging in the near future, but I wanted to move forward and post previous text blogs to this page now for your enjoyment and edification:

    REPOST FROM August 13, 2008 (editing 4/2009)

    Our natural ambitions for career and wealth need to be replaced with zeal and passion for Kingdom work.

    Are you trying to regain the things you surrendered when you joined the Kingdom? When you told Him that your will was His will. That you couldn't do it on your own and that you relinquished your own self-implied authority to His.

    Give up all that YOU have and are and join God's Kingdom. Surrender to His Lordship.

    God will bless us based on our work for Him... not on our work for ourselves. And blessings we gain for ourselves are nothing.

    God can do great things through seemingly insignificant or small means (people). Don't force it. It's not you doing it, it's Him doing it. If He's placed you somewhere to effect the Kingdom, allow Him to do it.... don't try to do it on your own out of desires for yourself. Your works are hay and stubble.

    (c) 2009 Reformation Productions


    We will be moving to video blogging in the near future, but I wanted to move forward and post previous text blogs to this page now for your enjoyment and edification:

    REPOST FROM July 27, 2008

    My mother used to tell me that I was "hard-headed". I used to think that it was just a way that people of the older generation would insult a boy. But now, old enough to be a parent myself, I think I finally understand what that term means.

    Being Hard-headed means to embrace a character flaw in yourself. You know that it's a flaw. You know that this character trait doesn't help you or others in any way, and yet you cling to it, claiming it as part of "who you are". It doesn't serve to help you in any way, except to make you feel that it's part of who you are. But let's remember, your character isn't what you do, it's why you do the things that you do.

    Examine yourself for a moment... why do you do the things that you do. The things that make your parents, your spouse, your friends, or your children upset... why do you do them? Do these things help you or them in anyway? Or do you cling to them as something that you do or don't do because it's just "the way your are". Is it a character flaw? Do you resist changing or altering things because it will be "out of character" for you, even though it would be the right thing to do?... Are you being hard-headed?

    (c) 2009 Reformation Productions

    When is the end of the world?

    We will be moving to video blogging in the near future, but I wanted to move forward and post previous text blogs to this page now for your enjoyment and edification:

    REPOST FROM July 16, 2008

    Ok, I saw a movie last night- The End of the Harvest... I've added a youtube clip below of the main points that stuck out to me and I'll summarize and add in a few thoughts (scripture references are in the clip):

    We all know that there is no set, known to us, hour and day for when the Rapture happens (when God calls Christians to meet Him in the air prior to the Great Tribulation period in the end times) or for the Glorious Reappearing (the Second Coming of Christ). But the bible says we can know the seasons and signs of His coming. The theories here are fascinating to ponder....

    The idea is that there are what Michael Rood calls "shadow pictures" in the Bible, events that actually happen that serve for a bigger picture in prophesy of things God wants us to know. For instance, the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac.... it's a shadow picture of Christ coming to sacrafice Himself for the sins of the world.

    Now, we also know through the scriptures that God often measures time in 7s.
  • 7 days to create the earth resting on the 7th day

  • Hebrews are commanded to work the week and then rest on the 7th day

  • the seventh week after Passover is a large feast and rest

  • the 7th month was a month of 3 major feasts and resting for the Jews

  • every 7 years was a year of rest of the land

  • every 49 years (7 x 7) was the year of Jubilee (a time of rest for the land and liberty for the people).

  • Using the idea of shadow pictures, the movie pointed out that God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. This could be a shadow picture of our time here on earth. The bible says that to God each day is as 1000 years... so does that mean that we will have 6000 years on this earth and then the 7th 1000 year period would be His millenial reign.

    Also in the Bible, Christ also took a selected few disciples with Him after 6 days and witnessed His transfiguration...a preview of His Glorious Reappearing. Is this another shadow picture?

    Jesus waited 2 days before going to Lazarus to raise him from the dead. Could this be another shadow picture? Perhaps a foreshadowing of how God was going to change His focus from His chosen people, the Jews, to the rest of the world for 2 days, or 2000 years... which He did in the church age.

    When the Jews rejected Christ, God scattered them across the world, but He said he would bring them back in 2 days... so that could be 2000 years or the Church age. Israel is now coming back together before our eyes. In 1948 , Israel became a recognized nation again and now Jews from all over the world are going back to their homeland.

    - Mankind has figured 4000 years from the creation of Adam to the birth of Christ...that's 4 days.

    So 4 days before Christ birth + 2 days of the Church age= 6 days or 6000 years. When means that the year 2000 could be when the end time is coming. But that's passed right?

    - We also think Jesus was 33 when He ascended, which could mean it will be the year 2033 when He returns... just around the corner.

    -Then there is also the fact that the original Hebrew calendar, that was used in Biblical times, is not the calendar that we use anymore. We don't even count the day the same as the Jewish people. What impact does that have? What year is it to God right now? What month? What day? No wonder we don't have a set time.

    However, one thing is for sure.. the time is close at hand, look around... watch the clip below:

    (c) 2009 Reformation Productions

    Without love, all is lost

    We will be moving to video blogging in the near future, but I wanted to move forward and post previous text blogs to this page now for your enjoyment and edification:

    REPOST FROM July 6, 2008

    Love the Lord your God with all your mind, all your soul, all your heart and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.

    These are the greatest commandments ever according to Jesus the Christ.

    If you were to sum up Christ's ministry on earth into one word... that word would be "Love".

    Why is it that "Love" is the single attribute that is missing the most among Christians? I don't care if you can call out judgements left and right, if you can call out any scripture to hold against your brother/sister, if you can tell about the end times, if you can provide for your family, if you can give a million dollars to the church, how many dos and donts you think you know, or if you can preach a mighty emotional sermon from the pulpit.... if you don't have love... then you've missed it.

    Jesus didn't come to judge folks, show hatred, and condemn people. And for you to tell people that you are yelling at them, belittling them, and condeming them out of make them better... is a lie that you are telling yourself to make you feel better.

    Another favorite of legalistic Christians is to quote scripture against people. Can you imagine? - using the Word of God to cut people down and to make them feel worse! Are you doing it in love? Really? Taking scripture out of context in order to pass judgement on someone or to make someone feel different in any way is characteristic of Satan. Not God. So many people quote scripture out of context, with no love in their heart.... it makes me sad. Jesus "could have" shouted judgements on everyone He met while on earth... but He didn't ... He ministered to them in Love. Because you "can" doesn't mean that you "should". Look at Christ's character.. that's our model.

    Are you characterized as having love? Showing compassion? Or are you a red-flag man.... beating people down and having no compassion for others?

    (c) 2009 Reformation Productions

    More indications of the end times.

    We will be moving to video blogging in the near future, but I wanted to move forward and post previous text blogs to this page now for your enjoyment and edification:

    REPOST FROM July 5, 2008

    For those of you that don't think that a one world religion is possible? Or that the ground work for such a religion is being laid TODAY.

    As I often say in regards to the microchip implants and the fingerprint payment systems that are emerging in our society, I'm not saying that THIS IS IT... but it certainly points to the foundational ground work for it.....

    (c) 2009 Reformation Productions

    Lead Guitar

    We will be moving to video blogging in the near future, but I wanted to move forward and post previous text blogs to this page now for your enjoyment and edification:

    REPOST FROM July 4, 2008

    Ok, so it has come to my attention over the years, and again recently, that some people don't know what "lead guitar" is. So I'm going to clarify what street musicians mean by the term.

    Lead Guitar is a position in a band where the musician is responsible for guitar solos. Yes, they play rhythm or embellishment guitar as well, but if there is a rhythm guitar player, then the main thing that the lead guitarist bring to the band is playing solos.... Spot solos, main solos, fills, etc...adding the sparkle to the tune.

    Rhythm Guitar is the position held by the musician that plays the guitar riffs and major guitar parts that hold the song together... the guitar arrangement that the song was built on.

    In a two guitar band, the rhythm guitar will play the riffs or chords and the lead guitar will play embellishments over them, including solos where necessary. Sometimes there are two guitar parts to a song, in which case, these two players will each take one of the parts.

    It's not that complicated, but when you say you need a "lead guitar".. know that you are asking for someone that specializes in playing "lead"... solos and embellishments.

    When someone tells you that they don't play "lead", that means that they aren't a virtuoso in playing solos. It's a different skill set for street musicians. You can play a mean rhythm guitar without playing lead.

    Other terms used by street musicians:
  • Kick Drum... we don't call it a bass drum.
  • Bass... we don't call it a guitar. It's in a class all by itself.
  • Number... we don't call them compositions

  • PS: You can be a rhythm player and still have the ability to play lead. It's about the position, not the person

    (c) 2009 Reformation Productions

    Daily Walking

    We will be moving to video blogging in the near future, but I wanted to move forward and post previous text blogs to this page now for your enjoyment and edification:

    REPOST FROM June 22, 2008

    Several things going on in my thoughts and prayers this week. I'm going to share one with you. What do we, as Christians, do from day-to-day? As we seek God's purposes in our lives, what should we be doing first and foremost? I believe that we need to know how to function daily so that we know how to pray and how to live in God's will.
    So, first I think we have to embrace and understand what we submitted to when we became Christian. When we first accepted God's gift of salvation, we saw our own depravity and accepted Him as lord and king of our lives. We agreed to stop doing things our own way and to do things His way. Some how within Christendom, we've forgotted what that means... after the point of salvation. I think that we first need to life-out that submission.
    First, let's go to what God has told us we should be/do in our roles:
    As a husband and father, my jobs are to be the best provider that I can be, to be the best leader that I can be in my home, and to be the priest of my home. (These are individually huge things but we'll just keep it to broad strokes today and not dive into the details of each one.) Every day I get up, these are my first goals. To live our my godly role as God has laid it before me.
    For the wife and mother, it would be to establish and maintain a home that is a refuge (a sanctuary) for the family, supporting and petitioning the husband so that he can fulfill his role effectively according to God's purpose, and caring for the family. Again, these are huge, but we won't dive into the details today.
    SIDENOTE: These are not the only roles that we have. They are simply my focus for today. There are also (may also be) your role at work, your role as a child, your role as a human being, your role as a friend, your role as a professional, your role as an employee/employer, your role as a citizen, etc.
    So first, I get up with these roles in mind.... I don't NOT get up because my children aren't following my leadership, I don't sulk in the basement because I'm not providing for the family in the way I would like, etc. It's not about me. It's not about if I feel like doing these things. Again, it's not about me. I do the best I can under my submission to God.
    So, let's talk about the elephant-in-the-room for those of you who know me and my current status - my role as provider in the home - as an detail example:
    I don't strive to do things in my own power to provide for my family outside of God's will. I strive to be the BEST provider than I can under God's authority. I am seeking God's will for my career; knocking on doors, looking for what God is going to provide me; looking at my own heart to ensure there are no self-motivated obstructions to His will; following His guidance, directions, and promptings in obedience; watching and waiting for His confirmations; and of course maintaining a consistent relationship with Him through focus time and prayer.
    You see, it is very important for me that I don't do anything in and of my own power that is outside of His will...even though that may be what some expect of me. I did things in my own power and for my own motives for a long time and I can assure you that it gets you no where. Sure I could go out a make something happen- I could get a job video editing pornography or working for a company that steals money from their clients by falsely reporting time-worked or I could work anywhere that is outside of His plan for me- but that wouldn't be right and it wouldn't be in line with His lordship over my life, His plans or purposes, or His standards for my life.
    Bottomline - when you get up in the morning, say to yourself:
    ♦"What can I do today that will embrace my God-given role and show obedience and honor to His authority, whether I feel like it or not."
    ♦"What can I do to champion my role in the family."
    ♦"What can I do today that will make my spouse's role easier."
    ♦"What can I do that will help others?"
    ♦"What can I do to further God's kingdom and show my love for Him"
    Remember love... that's what it all about.

    (c) 2009 Reformation Productions