[STUDY] ROCK AND ROLL STUFF!
(1403) SIGNS, SIGNS, EVERY WHERE ARE SIGNS. BLOCKING UP THE SCENERY, BREAKING MY MIND, DO THIS, DON’T DO THAT, CANT YOU READ THE SIGNS- Tesla. Yesterday while reviewing some old radio messages, I listened to a message made around 6 years back- as I was debating how to check it off [either good to play, or don’t play] I shared on the tape how at the time of making the program it was pouring rain and how the rain seemed to be a sign because I was teaching on the feasts of Israel and talking about the rainy season and stuff [it was record rain for Texas, like more rain than in 100 years type thing]. I also mentioned how these ‘signs’ can happen even if you’re listening years later, I basically dated the radio message for the purpose of saying ‘look, no matter when you are hearing this message on the radio, it can still be significant’ sort of like be on the lookout for weather signs. I thought ‘geez, I don’t think I will play the message, sounds too spooky’. Then as I was in my yard trying to study, the sky got dark and it started down pouring, I mean I got flooded, I was upset- too much rain! Then the hail came, ice balls all over the place, my kids are like ‘hey dad, it’s raining ice’. Now, we get hail maybe a few times a year? It’s certainly not a monthly type thing. I’m sitting in my yard on a spring like day, just planted tomatoes and am surrounded by ice all over the ground, maybe I’ll play the tape after all. Okay, the point being we need to not read too much into stuff like this, but also not be too intellectual to dismiss these types of things. The other day I was watching an apologetic show and a woman called in and asked whether or not dreams mean anything, the able teacher basically said no, that Christian theology does not teach that dreams have meaning. A few years back I was listening to another apologist, Ravi Zacharias, and he was relating an experience about this tribe of people who converted en mass to Christ. One morning they woke up and as the day went on they all found out that the same evening everyone in the tribe had dreamed of Jesus coming to them. They took the dream as a sign from God and converted. If you do a detailed study from genesis to revelation you will find many instances of God using dreams and signs, in the book of acts Paul has a vision of a man from Macedonia calling for him to come. The bible says they took it as a sign from God. Without getting into the whole debate over cessationist doctrine, the point I want to make is God can give us direction in ways that seem unorthodox. The apologist who simply answered the woman in a way that he felt was safe ‘there are no meaning to dreams’ really didn’t do justice to the scriptures by giving this type of answer. I understood his concern for opening the door to all types of problems with the whole charismatic movement, but the honest answer should have included the pros and cons. I’m glad the tribe who converted to Christ because of their dreams didn’t ask the apologist first.
(1298) THEY ARE GREEDY DOGS WHICH CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH AND THEY ARE SHEPHERDS THAT CANNOT UNDERSTAND: THEY ALL LOOK TO THEIR OWN WAY, EVERY ONE FOR HIS GAIN… THEY SAY TOMORROW SHALL BE MUCH MORE ABUNDANT- Isaiah 56:11-12 In the mid 18th century we had what is commonly called ‘the industrial revolution’. In Europe there arose a new class of people that never existed before, these were the capitalists that were making lots of wealth and the laborer was drawn from an agrarian type lifestyle [country/hamlet living] into the strong industrial cities like London. These poor workers were thrust into a system of profit that consumed their days and surrounded them with a new atmosphere of industry/factory. The invention of the steam engine by James Watt was one of the catalysts of this new era. Men like William Booth [founder of the Salvation Army] would see the hopelessness of these Londoners and start a ministry to help them. Even in our day the effects of the industrial revolution still impact us, as a boy growing up I listened to Black Sabbath, Ozzy came from an area like this. Contrast his songs with Kiss and you can see the difference! There was an observer of this scene who would write a document and launch a revolution as a result of what he saw as the encroachment of capitalism on the common person- His name was Karl Marx, his document was called ‘the communist manifesto’. Many people resent the western mindset because of its seeming inability to never be satisfied with finally having enough, we are a consumerist nation. I caught a quick few minutes of religious channel surfing the other day and of course I heard the normal preaching on ‘this year is the year of more abundance than any other year’. Have we ever asked ourselves when we will have enough? Seriously Isaiah is pronouncing a judgment on ‘greedy dogs- those who are never satisfied’ one of the condemnations in Revelation is to believers who say ‘I am rich and increased with goods’ yet they were spiritually poor. Jesus challenged his followers on many occasions to forsake all to follow him. Now I am not advocating irresponsibility, but I am challenging our western mindset and our inability to say ‘that’s enough’. We preach a message that never seems to leave this option open; we create an insatiable desire within the church to live each day with an obsession to gain more. The bible condemns this attitude over and over again, yet we as westerners never seem to get it, if we ever want to truly have peaceful relationships with the rest of the world, then we will have to change our mindset in these areas. Many Muslim countries see our materialist arrogance and use this as an excuse to reject ‘the Jesus of the west’ [though he was technically from the east!] We as the people of God need to return to our own ‘manifesto’ [the gospels] and live them out in reality, if not there will always be a Marx waiting in the wings with his own.
(1097) Okay, lets do one on apologetics, the last few posts drained me too much! During the time of the Reformation, Enlightenment and scientific revolution [15-1700’s] you had people dealing with the reality that many of the former institutions that they trusted in [Catholic Church] were being challenged at the core. Though the scientific method was introduced by the church, yet as time advanced many would use science as an excuse to challenge the existence of God. As certain philosophers grappled with the effect that this would have on society [Immanuel Kant] they developed belief systems to explain the necessity of some type of belief in a moral higher power, versus the other extreme which is defined as Nihilism. That is the basic belief that nothing really has meaning at all, as the rock group Kansas put it ‘all we are is dust in the wind’ [p.s. try not to listen to this song if your feeling depressed!] Those who advocated Nihilism [Niestche] still had to explain away the reality of this almost universal belief in God. Where does it come from? Why do people gravitate towards this belief? For the most part the atheistic philosophers said it was born out of this innate desire of man to want more than Nihilism, basically man could not accept the reality that he came from nothing and was heading nowhere, so that’s why he came up with God and religion. Now it was important for the atheistic philosopher to come up with some answer to the dilemma, and this was basically it. What’s the problem with this answer? The majority view of God [Christian, Jew, Muslim] is a view that God is this all-powerful being who knows all things. He also has this moral code that if broken demands strict punishment, and man in his humanity has a really difficult time living up to this code [of course Christians solve this problem thru the Cross!] and any man who lives his life as a lawbreaker will not be able to escape this all knowing judge who has all power to carry out all justice for all men. In short, if man developed a god for psychological reasons, as some type of cosmic crutch to help him thru his meaningless existence, for heavens sake it wouldn’t be this one! Thus the explanation that the atheistic philosopher gave didn’t really solve the problem. Now Immanuel Kant rejected natural theology, he did not believe the arguments used to prove the existence of God from natural means were valid [Anselm, Augustine, Aquinas] but he was accused of driving God out of the front door and letting him in thru the back. Kant said in order for man to have rule and order, civil society, that you would need some basic things. Man would have to have some type of moral code to live by, he would also have to be assured that those who broke it would have to pay some type of penalty [in the after life as well as now]. In order for a just future judgment you would need an all knowing judge who you couldn’t slip something by, he had to be just, not one you could bribe! He would also have to be all powerful, if by chance he couldn’t execute the judgment then crime would still prevail. Kant called this basic moral requirement ‘ought ness’ that is the things that all people ‘ought to do’ the moral code implanted in man. Kant recognized the danger of Nihilism, if man had no outside moral agent to whom he was accountable to, then civil society would eventually be lost. So you now see the problem with the period of human history where men went thru a revolutionary stage. As they tried to cast off the church and God, they also realized that these things provided the very foundation of civil society. If Nihilism won out, society would eventually collapse.
(1096) THE FINAL DAY these past few weeks we have looked at the circumstances surrounding Jesus and his friends, their struggles and weaknesses. Thought it fitting to do one from the perspective of Jesus himself. Theologians have questioned how much Jesus himself knew of his own purpose and destiny. When he was 5 years old did he fully comprehend the things that awaited him? Of course not, but at the age of 12 he most certainly was seeing the ‘writing on the wall’. His own mother Mary was told early on ‘this child will effect many, nations and people groups will stand or fall based on his life’ oh, and one more thing Mary ‘a sword will pierce thru your own heart also’. Did she reveal this to her son? Did she embrace the fact that she too would experience terrible loss over her involvement in the life of Jesus? The bible says she ‘pondered these things in her heart’ she basically realized that a little more was going on than meets the eye, this strange experience, prophets and religious experiences that are intruding into her average life. Seeming to see future things about her son, things that he wasn’t fully aware of at the time. Oh well, file it away until another day. As Jesus grows in wisdom and stature he begins to grasp more fully the day that awaits him, he sees the prophetic things that surround him, things that were unexplainable, except for the fact that God was showing him what must happen next. Is he wondering somewhat? He goes out to his cousin John at the age of 30, John says ‘behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ he tells Jesus ‘I am not worthy to fulfill this task, I am not worthy to even untie your shoes!’ Now steady John, I know this seems to be going too far, you being the one prophesied by Malachi, the ‘Elijah to come’ but I have to deal with a much heavier matter, you said it right when you just called me ‘Gods Lamb’ I will fulfill my destiny in a way that my closest friends don’t understand yet. Some of them are very close to me, ‘swords’ will pierce thru their hearts. They do not fully see the bigger purpose, their attachment to me was meant for a higher purpose, my father knew that to get their attention they would need to be involved with me in some way, then when my destiny is complete, they will forever have been effected. John baptizes his cousin and from the sky a voice says ‘this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased’. Jesus knew the course by now, too many signs for all of this to be some type of coincidence. But what about my friends father? My disciples, people who have become emotionally attached in some way? The recent discussions over the DaVinci code and stuff like that have caused many to wonder about Jesus’ ‘love life’. Was Mary [the female follower] possibly more than a friend? [By the way, the answer is NO!] But people have asked. The Catholic Church has changed it’s stance on the traditional belief that Mary Magdalene was the same woman that Jesus cast 7 unclean spirits out of, the prostitute. But whether she was that Mary or not, we don’t know. But surely she must have been affected by this whole scenario. This person who accepted her fully, he truly did love her, but not in the way normal people would define it, but yet in a greater way! It’s hard to explain, he knew her brief attachment to him would end with a sword piercing thru her soul as well. But what could he do? This was part of the destiny he now fully understood, his friends can’t really see it all yet, they are being drawn into this drama by events that seemed to be an accident, Jesus knew better. As the tragic day draws near, though it will end great in the victory of mans redemption, yet tragic in the sense that he could not really live a normal life with his good friends ‘attending the school reunion’ are you kidding! I am about to fulfill a destiny that will impact the world! No time for that sort of stuff. Now we have already covered the emotions of Judas, Peter and others. Is Mary [the disciple] thinking ‘who knows, maybe Jesus will marry me? After all it is a custom for many of the religious leaders of the day’ was she hoping for more than his destiny would allow? He realizes that he has brought these friends along for a ride that they didn’t fully see yet, but when it’s all over it will have turned out all right, but for now they will sacrifice the normal pleasures of life. Jesus has now spent 33 years contemplating the big day, he now fully grasps what it’s all about, no more possibility of persuading him to not go thru with it. Sure, his friends will try ‘God forbid that you even have the thought of going to Jerusalem to die! Why are you even having these thoughts’? Peter felt responsible in some way to help his friend out, to intervene in any way he could. Jesus was determined; there was no stopping him now. Oh well, let the chips fall, we did all we could do. He begins to agonize over the actual event itself, wondering if there might be some other way. Mary [his mother and the disciple] was surely praying for it, they hoped with all of their hearts for another end, they have prayed and asked God ‘please help him, we love him so much, please let him live!’ Jesus is very tired now, it’s been quite a long road to this point, he now fully grasps what’s going to happen, he hoped he could have handled it a little better. He doesn’t want to show weakness right now, but he is fully man and fully God. The man says ‘Father, I know we have come to this predetermined place. My mother heard about it from the prophet at my birth, I realize that I have come for a much greater purpose, but PLEASE, PLEASE listen to me, if it’s possible, let me not go thru with this. If there is another way, please lets do it that way’. He knows deep down inside that he shouldn’t be asking this, he prepared himself mentally for this day for quite some time now, but a big part of ‘this day’ would be his struggle, his inner turmoil. His friends will one day read what went on behind the scenes, they will get a glimpse of the intensity of the struggle; they will see why he seemed so intense at times, things that they didn’t really know about, but the agony was part of the whole story. He will sweat drops of blood; the turmoil seems too much to bear. Sure, those around him would taste part of it, but they would have no idea how much it was effecting him, he was the target. He comes back to his disciples, they are sleeping! ‘Didn’t I ask you to pray? I really need you guys right now, please don’t give up on me now!’ they were dumbfounded ‘why is he so upset?’ they weren’t seeing it from his perspective. ‘It is enough, I am now going to be given to sinful men, they will do to me as they will’. Jesus once said ‘when the salt looses it’s flavor, it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under men’s feet’. The three year ministry of Jesus had lots of flavor, many who followed his calling were really blessed, I mean no one could teach like him! Plus he really did do a of lot good, lives were touched for ever, but things are now wrapping up with him, his friends didn’t turn out as good as he had hoped, they are denying him left and right! The flavor is being lost, he is about to be cast out and trodden under men’s feet! His long awaited for day has arrived, the day he looked forward to ‘for this purpose was I born!’ he would say, but yet he was in agony, you could almost taste it! So here we go Jesus, the time has come, any last words ‘You will see me coming in the power and glory of my fathers kingdom, do what you have to do’. Wow, we never had a final statement like that! They scourge him, a brutal act of whipping a person until his flesh falls off of his bones, ‘some king’ quick lets cover his face with this bag ‘Whack’ they beat the hell out of him ‘prophesy now Jesus, who hit you’. Well let’s nail the prophet to the tree. He is suspended between heaven and earth, he looks down. His mother is there, his poor mom. She somehow knew this day was coming, she hoped it could have been avoided, but it’s here. She remembers the prophecy from years ago ‘a sword will go thru your soul Mary’ the sword has penetrated. The other Mary now knows ‘it will never be! I had hoped that maybe this person who loved me more than anyone would be mine alone’ but he was given to the world, Mary will never be the same. Jesus is determined, it’s gone too far now, his friends are tasting death themselves. He mentally knew what the Cross would entail, being forsaken by God for the sins of men. A feeling of ‘forsaken-ness’ that no other person would ever be able to comprehend, though he intellectually knew it, yet he still had never really tasted it. No man ever has. What’s it feel like Jesus, if your who you said you were, come down and we will believe. They put a sponge on a stick with ‘vinegar and gall’ actually an act of mercy from his executioners, they had experience with others who have died this way, right at around this point they all drink the gall, it was a painkiller of sorts, helps you thru the pain- Mick Jaggers ‘mothers little helper’. He refuses ‘no, I’ll drink in the pain’ seems a little self destructive? He cries something that is misunderstood, they think he’s calling for Elijah, but his words are garbled, he is unrecognizable for heavens sake, a truly tortured man! He was once again calling to his God. It all seems too much, weigh too much intensity for such a short life. He had his struggles, don’t get me wrong, HE NEVER SINNED, but did go thru stuff. We heard lots of rumors about him, but now this day, this tragic day has arrived. Of course we know it was really a great victory, but tell that to the pitiful figure on the Cross as he screams ‘Oh my God, why have you forsaken me like this’ and dies.
(285) A few years ago I read the autobiography of Bob Dylan ‘Chronicles’. It got great reviews and I am an old rock and roll fan. I love going to the rock stores in the malls and checking out the stuff. Recently Brad Delp committed suicide; he was the lead singer for ‘Boston’. I read a statement from a family member. It said ‘he gave all he could give and was tired’. Others said he was the nicest guy in rock and roll. He was one of the few who didn’t party or drink. He was health conscious, his lyrics were uplifting, a lot of old rockers wont admit that the group was good, it’s sort of being wimpy to like a group who isn’t radical. Its like ozzy Osborne said to his wife when he walked in to the auditorium where they were giving the concert that night. His wife Sharon had fixed up the special effects where some machine was blowing out bubbles. Ozzy says ‘I cant have this Sharon, I’m supposed to be the ‘bleep, bleep’ prince of darkness, and you have bubbles blowing out’ [I saw this on their reality show on MTV]. I have a John Lennon poster hanging on my wall. I read an article on Lennon how in the 70’s he was watching a famous T.V. evangelist and accepted the Lord. He was actually going around for a few months witnessing for Jesus. His wife Yoko, who isn’t Christian, revolted against this. She convinced him of all the ‘horrors’ of Christianity and he eventually walked away [thanks again Yoko!] He even wrote a song about this, how his wife ‘opened his eyes’ to the wrong path he was going down. Dylan also accepted the Lord and even made a Christian album, Slow Train Coming [you know I like train imagery!] I found it interesting to know that Lennon was actually preaching for the Lord in 1977 in New York City, while I was getting stoned about a half mile away on the other side of the Hudson River listening to his music! In the Dylan book he talks about coming to New York and having some friends who he would just ‘crash’ at their houses and live this nomadic existence as he was learning about life. A lot of the underground music scene was thriving in the City at the time. One of his buddies had a great collection of all sorts of philosophers and historical books. Dylan spent hours reading all these ideas and concepts and reasons for society. It was like having a ‘Google’ in written form. I have spent years reading and buying books. Accessing the Library and becoming a student this way. The last 3 years I have done a ton of research on line. You can’t beat Google for an exhaustive search on any subject being right at your fingertips. But the many years of manual study adds a depth to your understanding that doesn’t come with a Google search. I felt like the death of Delp [Boston] was prophetic for me. I used to play an old Boston C.D. when I first moved to Corpus. I hadn’t played it in a long time and just recently started listening to it. Then Delp died. This is 2007, a year where I felt the Lord said we would ‘die’ to many old things and familiar surroundings [things that we rely on] and we would ‘come alive’ to other things. I still love ‘More Than a Feeling, Long Time’ and a few other Boston hits. Sorry Ozzy.
(299) Some things from Isaiah 46. THE IDOLS WERE UPON THE BEASTS, THEY ARE A BURDEN TO THE BEAST Idols wear you down, they put the responsibility on you to change your world. Sooner or later they will weigh you down. I HAVE MADE AND I WILL CARRY YOU AND DELIVER YOU True Christianity puts the ‘burden’ on God to pull us thru. HIS YOKE IS EASY AND BURDEN LIGHT THEY TAKE GOLD OUT OF THE BAG, AND WEIGH SILVER IN THE BALANCE. THEY HIRE A GOLDSMITH AND HE MAKES IT INTO A GOD God will not let this stand CALLING A RAVENOUS BIRD FROM THE EAST, THE MAN THAT EXECUTETH MY COUNSEL FROM A FAR COUNTRY. I HAVE SPOKEN IT AND I WILL BRING IT TO PASS. I HAVE PURPOSED IT AND I WILL DO IT HEARKEN UNTO ME YE STUBBORN OF HEART God says this time around I will perform my purpose to bring true reform. Many times you have been reproved and shown the error of idolatry, you have for the most part ignored it and have not allowed for true reformation. This will not stand any longer. The people are tired of the burden it brings and they will flee to God so he can ‘carry them’. NOTE: I have memorized the ‘ravenous bird from the east’ for over 20 yrs. I always took it personal. Coming from the east and all. ‘Blinded by the light’ song says ‘preacher from the east’. American Pie from Don McLean says ‘the 3 Men I admire most, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, they took the last train for the coast’ you have the train imagery and the coast. And the image from the gospel of John on ‘in my fathers house are many mansions’ speaks of people groups. Well Springstein says ‘ every body’s out on the road tonight in a last chance power drive, took highway nine to the mansions of glory’ I have driven highway 9, as you can tell I still like the old songs
(303) Was just praying while listening to ‘Fleetwood Mac’ [yes it’s possible!] and had an image go thru my mind ‘Son of man, thrust in your sickle and reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe’ [Revelation] Also Jesus words on the ‘harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few, pray to the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth laborers into the harvest’. This prayer can be dangerous, like praying for patience! God just might send you! Why don’t you Christians sell out while there’s still time? Jesus said walk in the day while there is still light, but a time of darkness is coming in which no man can work. God gives you seasons of grace and opportunity, if we are always living for ourselves we will miss these open doors. You will later on change your mind and say ‘Now that I have lived MY life I am willing to do Gods will’ but it will be too late. The time is now; no man can pull it off if he misses his season. The goal is not self-preservation or longevity; it is completion of the Divine mandate! Note: Just went back out to pray with this home made C.D. heard ‘when September ends’ by Green day. 7 years has come and past, wake me up when September ends. 20 years has come and past, wake me up when September ends. Thought it fit in pretty well!
(7) When I first moved to Corpus Christi from Kingsville, there was a political argument going on over whether or not to open an old [ancient] channel from an intercostal waterway to the gulf of Mexico. I live close to this area. This channel has finally opened and I felt like the Lord was saying ‘there are many enemies resisting the opening of ‘waterways’ but he would prevail and new waterways would open [spiritually]’. I felt like the Lord wanted me to go to this new channel and walk the jetty [which is a type of ‘wall’ strutting out into the ocean]. When I finally went I pulled up to a parking area and took off my shoes and socks and began the walk. After about a 150 yards or so I realized that I was burning my feet on the hot sand, but I decided to finish the walk anyway. I also passed a writing in the sand that said ‘I love Chris’ to which I added a T and it said ‘I love Christ’. Well I walked out on the jetty and sat for about 20 minutes and enjoyed the area. By this time I realized that I did burn my feet pretty badly but just went with it. On the walk back to the truck I passed the ‘I love Christ’ writing and saw another writing [which I didn’t see the first time] that said ‘I love Peter’. I felt that ‘Peter’ represents the ‘flesh’ and the Lord was simply confirming his love and acceptance for me [and you!] despite the many failings of our flesh! A few days later I was reading from a prophetic website [Glory of Zion/Chuck Pierce] and they share both prophecies as well as the actual things that they do during their early morning prayer time. One of the early prayer watches had a brother named John ask for a shofar, well I just attended a meeting a few weeks earlier and made the strange request for someone to donate to me a shofar. I really didn’t know why I asked for a shofar, but felt the Lord wanted me to ask for one. Well after reading the prophetic site I realized it was just a confirmation telling me to pay attention to this prophetic word. Well the word [from Chuck Pierce] continued on to speak about new waterways opening and also for us to walk on these new ‘higways/walls’ that will bring us to a higher place. The prophecy even said ‘that where you walked before and burned your feet, you will walk there no more’. Well my feet had blisters for a few weeks! Scripture says God will make a ‘way’ [waterway?] thru the wilderness and ‘rivers in the desert’. Both of these images speak of ‘cutting a road thru the sand and letting water run thru it’. Also if you add this to the ‘John the baptist/lighntnig rod/sons of thunder’ prophecy it really has meaning from the message bible, it calls John ‘thunder out of the desert’. John was a ‘prophetic blast’ that came out of [cut thru] the desert! Let me add another thing, after I wrote this, later on in the day I was watching the ‘God channel’ on direct TV. I saw a prophetic sister [Patricia King] who I never watched before. Her show is called ‘extreme prophetic’. Well it started with the verses about John the Baptist and spoke of the ‘burning man’ coming out of the desert. I thought maybe I should pay attention to this show. She spoke all about prophetic stuff and at the end gave a prophecy saying ‘the fire and lightning of God Are going to burn things out of you that don’t need to be there’ [This is not an exact quote, but the fire and lightning are!]. This experience at the channel happened in 2006, in 1980 I went to this area of the ocean at night with some friends to party [my girlfriend, who is now my wife, and my friend from N.J. who died of aids, you’ll read this later] As we were drinking and getting drunk I had the great idea of swimming out as far as we could and live on the edge of possibly drowning. A great idea! Well me and my buddy did swim out, and of course I had to go much further than him. I realized that I swam too far and the undertow was drawing me out. I’m drunk, it’s around midnight and I feel like I am going to die this night. I started swimming back frantically and finally reached the point where I could touch ground! The same places where God would speak to me years later, the enemy tried to kill me on this night! ‘For thy sake we are killed all the day long. I will pay back reproach to the islands, I will cast your sins into the sea’ [bible verses]. Let me take a chance here and confess a few things. I believe I risked death too much with some of these chances I took. There is actually a ‘thrill’ at risking your life. Jim Morrison [the doors] also had this fixation. Listen to the songs ‘the end’ and ‘break on thru to the other side’. A few years ago I was at a truck fire [pretty common for firefighters] and out of laziness didn’t put on any protective gear. I was putting it out with the fire hose when the propane tank released hot propane from the relief valve. It didn’t blow up, but it did get hot. I just stood there [from a little distance] and kept putting water on it. I know its stupid but it could have exploded and hurt me pretty bad. The friend I was with at the fire is the fishing friend you will read about in this paper. He once came over to see me because it was a while since we got together and he had a dream that I died. I realize that even working with the guys I work with [addicts and ex-cons] that there is still an inherent danger in doing this. Not to long ago I was with some guys and they were actually smoking crack at one point. I am saying this to confess that you can try to play it safe and not take risks and live your life on a church pew [boring], or you can take real risks and possibly ‘leave’ a little early, but no one ever gets out alive anyway [another quote from Jim Morrison]. Don’t take dumb risks, but don’t live too safe!
(335) Was just listening to ‘simple man’ by Skynard. ‘Momma told me when I was young … forget your lust for the rich mans gold, all that you need is in your soul…don’t forget there is someone up above…all that I want for you my son is to be satisfied…don’t you worry you’ll find yourself…you can do this if you try…be a simple kind of man, wont you do this for me son if you can’. It’s sad that Skynard is more prophetic than many of the ‘prophets’.
(615) Took a ride yesterday to San Antonio to pick up family from the airport. It reminded me of the old days. I tuned in to one of the classic rock stations and caught a ‘re-play’ of the first Led Zeppelin concert in 19 years! They played the night before in London. I hope to catch the replay on VH1 some day. The rock station was playing the list that Zeppelin sang, but it was from their old albums. It’s too soon to play the live stuff. Well any way it felt good to jam to Zeppelin while driving thru some real traffic, you know the cutting in front of people and stuff, while all the time not wearing my seatbelt. I guess the old rebellious nature comes out every now and then. At the airport the ladies with the Jehovah Witnesses had a stand and invited me over. I spent around an hour just really having an open discussion. One was an older black woman, the other Hispanic. Very nice ladies. I did the normal routine of quoting scripture and really relating one on one. I actually quoted John 17 ‘to know God and his Son is life’ and then the Hispanic lady walked up [she didn’t hear me] and says ‘do you know what John 17 says’ and the Black lady had to admit ‘he just quoted it!’ I like prophetic stuff! I could tell I was truly having an honest impact with the ladies. The Black lady at one point said ‘do you mean I might have been wrong all these years, I can’t accept that’ she kinda said it in true concern. I was treating them nice [not like the prosperity guys!] I really brought the reality of Gods ‘true church’ as being all who have come to know the Father thru the Son [one of their favorite verses] and tried to show how this ‘true group’ are made up of all those who believe, even the ‘deceived Catholics’! That was a little too much for them. But as I had to leave, they really wanted to keep talking, not so much to convince me, but they seemed taken aback by meeting someone who was knowledgeable and all about their group. Quoted scripture and all, plus looks like one of these hippies who is looking for a fix! I had to go but left them my info. I told them to get the Saturday San Antonio paper and our blog ad and radio stuff is in it. They were too old to know the blog stuff, but the radio program does reach San Antonio. I enjoyed the time, hopefully if I get back to the truck in time I can catch some more Zeppelin on the way home! NOTE; Just got the recent release of their C.D. for Christmas, will be hearing ‘stairway to heaven’ soon!
(444) Today its June 25th, 2007. It’s been 6 months since I started this blog. Today is the day the Supreme Court outlawed prayer in Public Schools, this day in 1962 [the year I was born]. Yesterday I took my youngest daughter to church. My wife and other kids were busy, 2 of my daughters went on their own. After church I took my girl to see ‘Evan Almighty’ a good movie that does a spoof on the story of Noah’s Ark, but it is good. I told you guys once about my study, it is set up like a throw back to the 70’s. I have a lot of old stuff. One thing is I have the original ‘Gumby’ rubber man. I saw it once in a store and bought it as a collector’s thing. This week for some reason I was thinking of taking it out of the plastic that it’s in. I have no idea why I would be thinking of Gumby. Yesterday [the day I went to see the movie] I also was looking in the paper and saw some Dell Laptops, this week I have been thinking of getting one. They had a flyer on them in the paper so I was looking at the prices. Last but not least, as I am praying in my study I keep noticing this poster of John Lennon, it is a real charcoal drawing that someone had made. My wife found it in an abandoned apartment that she manages. I have had it for a few years. I was thinking of maybe taking it down, because as I am praying it kind of was distracting me, it’s got these real looking eyes that seem to pierce your soul. Well how in the world can any of this make sense? As I go to the movie I am looking for some signs or stuff the lord wants to say. The God character [Morgan Freeman] has the first conversation with the ‘Noah’ character [Steve Carell- ‘the 40 year old virgin’] and God convinces ‘Noah’ that it is him speaking to him by bringing up a childhood memory, he mentions ‘Gumby’. As the story moves ahead Noah grows hair and a beard, the son calls him ‘John Lennon’ and they play some Lennon music as well. Steve Carrel is doing all his work on a ‘Dell computer’ [a form of communication, like what I am doing on my laptop right now!] I did feel like the Lord showed me a few things. I have seen in the past certain things from Lennon and Dylan. Lennon was shocked by the effect that his words were having on a generation, Dylan was real uncomfortable about being a ‘prophet’ to his generation. If you read or watch stories on these figures, it was like the Lord was giving exponential ‘influence’ by the simple words they were speaking. On one MTV/VH1 special I saw Lennon confront a fan from an old video. Lennon was trying to tell this fan who was obsessed with the words from his songs ‘I am just a man, I am just writing my thoughts in my songs, don’t be so enamored with it’ it was like the Lord allowed certain ‘prophetic/rock’ voices to have tremendous influence, whether or not the ‘prophet’ wanted this attention or not. In the movie Steve Carell builds the Ark and is waiting for the rain, it rains a little, but the flood comes form a broken damn instead. This didn’t really fit in with the prophetic stuff I have been ‘seeing’ recently. I just dreamed of a huge storm the other day, where’s the storm? As we left the theatre my daughter says ‘look at the sky dad, a huge storm is moving in’ on the way home it was one of those flash flood storms that covers the sky and looks eerie. I got home and started writing this stuff on my mission statement, it was pouring at the time. NOTE: The reason God shows up is that Evan becomes a congressman and promises to ‘change the world’ God teaches him that you can change the world by ‘one random act of kindness at a time’ this fits in with my philosophy on the church and ministry. The biblical idea of church is for all believers everywhere to see themselves as the actual ‘fire starters’ of this Jesus revolution. It’s not the multimillion dollar ‘church organizations’ that are always appealing for money that will ‘change the world’ its all the ‘simple believers’ who have been told their whole lives ‘you cant have any influence yourself, send your money to us’ that are going to do it!
(484) In a few weeks we will probably be finishing my overview of the last few chapters of Isaiah. As I was just praying I felt the Lord wanted me to speak a little more on ‘freely you have received, freely give’. There is a verse coming up in our Isaiah study [unless we already passed it?] that says ‘come, let him drink. Buy good stuff, without money and free of charge’ [my paraphrase]. Modern ministry is structured along the contemporary way we function in the corporate world. I need to make a distinction here. There are old time preachers who will criticize the church I attend because they play hard rock Christian music [hey, I listen to hard rock ‘unchristian music’]. I don’t want to be flippant here. I have absolutely no problem with modern ministries progressing and doing whatever it takes to get the gospel out. I am not in the camp of these old time brothers who are fighting for the ‘old time gospel’ but are really just defending a culture/heritage that has nothing to do with the gospel. I have already made plain thru all our teaching that the way we normally practice ‘church’ today is not in the New Testament. Now, as we progress as Christians [Pastors/leaders] we normally fall into the same mindset of the corporate world that causes us to ‘get our name known, be at the top of the charts, and publicize our personas for the sake of the ministry’. I just recently spoke on God exalting us in due time for his glory. Fame that comes from God is OK [Billy Graham]. It’s just the modern idea of going after it is so engrained in the way we do business that it’s hard for us to not violate the principle of Jesus when he taught ‘servanthood leadership’. The question of who would be greatest and rise to the top in Gods Kingdom was dealt with by Jesus in the gospels. He tried to change the thinking of ‘roman hierarchy’ to that of being last. It was hard for the disciples to truly grasp this principle, but he basically showed them that the normal idea of every man for himself as he works his way up the ladder was not the way the Kingdom would operate. So today we see nothing wrong with having highly famous people who Christian’s pattern themselves after to the degree where we have the ‘cult of personality’ operating in the Body of Christ. It is common for the universities of our day to put out Pastors/leaders who are looking to advance a business, and to see the ‘pastoring part’ as simply part of the whole package. I will serve these people [Marry, bury, etc] and they will tithe and together we will see this thing grow. The mindset is engrained into the way we function. We see ‘hired clergy’ as a vocation like we see ‘carpentry’. ‘Hey Pastor, you were hired to build this ‘house’ and if we think you are doing shoddy work we will fire you and get another contractor’ we function along these lines that Jesus expressly taught his disciples not to partake of. I just want to encourage all Christians today to see themselves as needed parts of the overall purpose of God for his church. We all are ministers who have gifts in us that are to be used to build up Gods people. Pastors, don’t see yourselves as punching a time clock. Give your self away for the world. Empower your people to do the same. We are not in this to make a name for ourselves, to impress the community around us, we are in this to fulfill his purpose and destiny. God highly values those who lay down their lives [their own desire to be ‘great’ in the eyes of men] and become the least in the Kingdom of God.
(780) JUDGES 12- Jephthah has a great victory over Ammon. Ephraim confronts him and says ‘why didn’t you tell us you were going to battle? Who do you guys think you are, hogging up all the glory’? Jephthah responds ‘I did ask you guys to help! You guys are always talking a big game, but you never show up when we need you!’ Ephraim does have a history of doing this. They said the same thing in an earlier chapter, I think to Gideon? There is a Psalm that says ‘Ephraim turned back in the day of battle, even though they were fully armed’. They truly were a legitimate tribe, who had the goods to war, but they seemed to be more concerned about ‘their image’ and what so and so was doing down the road, than in actually going out and winning some wars! Jephthah is the type of brother you don’t want to mess with. He is mentioned in Hebrews 11 among the great heroes of the faith. Why would he be in there? He led a tribe that was insignificant, yet he rose to the occasion and displayed great courage, at the risk of his own life, and was a true warrior. Jephthah responds to Ephraim’s big words by ‘beating the hell out of them’. He strapped it on! Ephraim was one of the big 12, a legitimate warring tribe from Israel. Jephthah made a name for himself and his people. He was like the Arturo Gatti’s [Jersey City] who were simple hometown boxers who rose to fame and put his town on the map [even though Gatti was out of his class against De Lahoya]. Or a Bret Favre from Green Bay [Packers] who in the heck ever heard of ‘Green Bay’? Jephthah put Gilead on the map of history. I just recently studied some stuff on the Jesus movement of the 60’s -70’s. One of the interesting characters was a brother by the name of Lonnie Frisbee. Someone just made a documentary on him [Life and times of a Hippie preacher] and tried to show how he had a lot of influence in the beginnings of the Calvary Chapel and Vineyard movements [2 of the most successful Church movements that came out of this time]. The brother who made the documentary felt like the leaders of the movement did not give him due credit because he died of Aid’s. Lonnie struggled with homosexuality for most of his life. Many of the people who were interviewed gave strong testimonies of Lonnie’s influence in their lives. While looking up some stuff on U Tube I found a few videos of him sharing his testimony, there seems to be no doubt that he was a child of God. Some apologists [Hank Hannegraff] attribute Lonnie’s ‘anointing’ to the demonic realm. They brought out the fact that Lonnie’s initial conversion took place while he was high. They showed how some of the Shamans shared the same types of things that Lonnie operated in [Jim Morrison of the doors is thought to have been a Shaman, the name ‘Lizard King’ spoke to this]. I for the most part accept Lonnie’s own testimony of believing in Jesus. I know it’s difficult to understand how the Lord could have used someone who struggled like this, but some of these judges [Like the next one we will discuss- Samson] had many struggles along with their victories. I dont want to give people excuses for sinning, but I want to encourage you to allow God to use you right where you are at. With all the faults of Lonnie Frisbee, the Lord still used him to play a key role in the early Jesus movement.