Way Up There


This is what separates reality from fiction:  what is real and what is not.  I am talking about whatever is phony or real.

If God remains way up there in the sky, in the heavens on His throne, then man is doomed and always has been that way.

Yet, if man has been quickened by Christ and follows his commandments, then God remains on this earth through the actions and expressions of faith by men.

Today, Man has the ability to be the host spirit of Christ.  We then reveal God’s image by our words and actions as the author of our actions is Christ.  At least they should be Christ.  The lack of actions produce a lack of visibility of God here on earth.

The separation of reality then hinges on FAITH.  For it is by faith the Christian not only proclaims the merits of God’s grace through Jesus, but by action demonstrates the power of mercy and forgiveness-His love.

The gift from God was in fact of gift of Jesus to this word- to us.  Eternal life does not begin at death, it begins at inception of becoming a Christian. The testimony to the word are the actions and words to unbelievers as a result of obedience.  Without action, there can be no obedience, only empty words.

The fact that the Son of God came down to this earth to dwell with us separates His father from being way up there.  Christ was down, down here with us and remains through his body, his church.

Again, the separation is faith.  But what good is that faith if it is not shared to others? If only we possess it, how then is the church to grow? And this is the essence of the gospel—that it is presented for all, that none should perish.

If God is to be more than fiction-If Jesus is made to be alive to this world, then the complement of his glory through actions is a necessary component.

It is a matter of us being down here with the spirit of Christ to all those others who also have need to experience a God who is more than way of there.

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The Last Word


“In the Beginning was the Word…”

My argument here is with the idea of equating Jesus with the Bible.  The two are NOT synonymous. They are separate entities.

Of course, it is a given that in some passages of the Old Testament, prophets would utter pronouncements said to be God’s word but certainly this is not all of the Old Testament.

Clearly, the New Testament was\is different.

Christ is the LIVING WORD.  The presence of Christ is Life itself.

The problem with utilizing the Bible as the ‘Word’ is that more often than not, Christ is avoid altogether.  In fact, Christ is often not even part of the equation when HE should be at the center of the discussion.

I think at least part of the problem here is that we skirt Jesus because it is so much easier to quote scripture than to live the life Jesus has called us to live.

It comes down to pointing fingers.  We can salute the Scriptures with all attention to it, back away from the situation and thus avoid responsibility as to actually doing something.  In this way, the entire onus falls of Scripture rather than on us, the Christian who claims to have the faith of Christ.

Another way of saying it is that this is another progression of either putting up or shutting up.  Post Hoc Ergo:  the fingers should be pointing to us, the Christians as we model our Lord, Jesus.

As any excuse is as good as another, we can’t have that.  We must blame anything but ourselves, thus, we blame the Scriptures as we only refer to them rather than become part of them.

Insomuch that Jesus is the LIVING WORD, we too are to be a reflection of our master.  We are also to be living examples of much more than mere words.  We are to provide service through ACTION.  IN this way, it too becomes alive and vibrant, independent of mere words to be judged on their own merits of goodness.

Finally, the accountability lies within us as Christians.  We can either quote or we can do.  The testament lies in what we do as an example and produces what others will also testify as our actions of our last word.

The Words of Men


Apparently Jesus was really upset with the Talmud.  The Talmud, up to that time had been a handbook if you will of instructions from elders about how to practice their faith. During this time, more emphasis was placed on people and what they had to say, rather than scripture.

Truly Christians don’t follow the Talmud, but we have a host, in fact a full arsenal of man-made instruction in the form of books, videos learning tapes and seminars and sermons.

We follow gimmicks of: Prosperity teaching:  Faith Healers, Positive Thinking Gimmicks, Name it, Claim it charlatans and a cast of thousands.  We have everything BUT God’s word.

Most sermons find some mechanism to bypass the words of Jesus.  They’ll begin with some promise in the Old Testament, teach about how God zapped the enemies and then jump off into a tangent into the Book Of Revelation, once again illustrating where God is Zapping someone.

This is all done at the expense of overlooking the very words that Jesus commanded us to follow.

If preachers preached Jesus we would be required to obey the words of Jesus.  NO, we are too much into understanding, into feeling good, being forgiven, being blessed or feeling guilty—anything but following the words of Christ.  Heck, Jesus didn’t ask us to feel good about what we are doing, simply to obey it.  Examine what he says to the priests of his day.

 

Matthew 15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Jesus was really big on this. In John 8:44 he says:

44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

We are no different for we speak of how great our Lord, Jesus is and then make excuses as to why we are not that way.  We are not that way because we refuse to be.  Lacking the truth, we speak of alone any other lines, denying the fact we are the same as the ones Jesus met up with in his day and time.

And so then, how do we change?  We change by doing it one step at a time by obeying exactly what Jesus told us to do.  Begin with service to others and continue.  You’ll find the need to listen more to Jesus and less from men.  The truth will set you free.

 

They are in a Better Place


How many times have we heard this callow adage spoken when at a loss or in responding to hearing of one’s passing?

Come on, now.  This is stupid.  They are better off?  Do we really believe a person is better off dead rather than alive?

Okay, okay.  I get it.  I know what Proverbs says about, about better off the day we die, but then again what age are we speaking of?

But to fully attack the issue.  Whenever we say stupid things like this isn’t what we really saying is that as people we are too stupid to say anything that is meaningful or anything that really makes any sense, so we pass it off to God in a mundane manner

No, in many cased they are NOT better off.  I wish they were alive, here with us.  I wish, for God’s sake, they were alive.

If, in fact, they were better off, how come we don’t take a plunge to our deaths so it could be said of us that we were better off?  We don’t do that because we don’t believe it is why.

Yes, anyone who is with God is better off.  But, unless I missed something, that is supposed to start here on EARTH, now in the present tense.  We are not supposed to die in order to be better off, and to be with God.  He is here with us NOW.

A greater truth is that we are not wise enough, not smart enough to know if they are better off.  No, we just don’t know and would do well to keep our mouth shut in cases as such.

Again as Proverbs says, “Even a fool appears wise when his mouth is shut.”  So much for the wise of this world.

And in the advent as to when I croak, then tell me I am somewhere yes, but that I was better off because I had met YOU.

Please sir, I want some more


American Standard Version
If I told you earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you heavenly things?
There is nothing wrong with Oliver Twist’s request for wanting more gruel.  He lacked just as the other children lack and his stomach raved with hunger.

Often, many of us are the same when we request an audience before God, demanding answers.

Sometimes, it gets outrageous.  Not long ago, I frequented a website where a pastor offered to ‘teach’ you how to hear God’s voice.  Mind you now, this was all for a fee which is all too common from the church or at least those who claim to be pastors.  Naturally, they claim to hear God’s voice and just as naturally, we don’t.

Personally, I find charging a fee to hear God’s voice to be outrageous and plain stupid.  Perhaps I am missing something.  Is God that weak that we can’t actually hear his voice if he is determined to talk to us?

Simply examine the Hebrews at the foot of Mt Sinai. When God was speaking there his voice was so loud and terrible that the Hebrews begged Moses to go to the other side of the mountain and speak privately to him there.  There was no whisper, no secret about who or what was being spoken.  It was clear.

And just as Oliver Twist, we want more from our Lord, Jesus. How is it we can ask for more when we don’t follow the simple instructions he left for us in the scriptures?  We don’t obey that so why or how can we ask for more?

Do simply the small tasks the Lord has asked us to do and believe He will instruct on any additional tasks or duties we need to know.  This is NOT rocket science.

Doing good is embedded into your soul, this does not really even require an instructor outside of the Holy Spirit for we are told HE will instruct us on all things and that no man need teach us.

So the, prior to us asking for MORE we should use up all that has been given.  We can start by giving and then giving some more to God’s people.  In the process of losing ourselves, we’ll discover and find God. In the process we’ll HEAR God’s voice through them.

Calling into Action


At the very least, a good sermon should move people, stir people, convict, inspire, convince, prod, and stir people to action.  In the absence of action, all we are really left with is a host of empty words.

Action should indicate change.  Change in this sense would indicate a positive attribute.  And what it’s all about is changing things for the good.

In fact, if all the empty words were recorded from each of us possessed in our data repertories then, were removed, we’d be left with nothing but silent lips.  So much for change.

We attempt to persuade the masses with intellect, overlooking the experiential aspect of truth. People gravitate to the scriptures not only because they are embedded in ink, but because they are living, active and contain power to move.

Our words should be the same.  They should reflect what we actually do, not so much as what we say.  In other words, they should balance each other:  words and action. Words as a result of action and no so much the other way around.

In providing testimony about God as His ambassadors, our witness is in the fact that God is alive, not that he ‘used’ to exist, but that he exists now through Christ.

And if Christ is to be made manifest on this earth now, His spirit should be reflected through us, His followers.

Thus, I attest that the only true sermons are those that are imbued with action. The actions define the words, not words defining action.

Friends, this is what separates BS from reality.  Reality is not only embraced by success, but the many failures that detail the greater truth as revealed by God.

In order to either succeed or fail one must actively be engaged in a physical activity.

Just as our parents were real to us through the senses, through one, the human touch.  We also must be available to those in need physically.  Who in their right mind would have desired a parent tucked away in a book?  Who would only want to read about their parents?

The same is true with God.  We desire to know more than about God.  We wish to KNOW God himself.  And the truth is:  whenever we drop our shields, and do what God asks us to do such as Love our Neighbor, God then becomes magnified beyond written or spoken words.  He becomes real in the flesh for those of this world.

 

 

A Plastic Smile


One feature about people that really sickens me are those (and there are many}, celebrities, salesmen, preachers even and many, many others who, when in front of an audience place this great big smile on their face and show nothing but teeth.

 

The disgusting quality about this is that it is money and fame that are the driving points behind this antic.  There is really nothing genuine about it.  It is a ploy.  It is ugly, hideous and deceptive.

Many of these same people, once removed from the stage also remove there corruptible grin, their smile.

We see people such as LET’S MAKE A DEAL dressed like a strawberry jumping up and down like an idiot—all for the sake of money.

No, there is nothing wrong with a smile when it is genuine.  However, boosted and prompted by money, the smile becomes nothing more than plastic.  IN fact, the person transforms as well into the plastic mold for it indicates they sold out for the benefit of money.

The only time people even really refer to me as ‘Sir’ is a salesman when he wants me to buy from him. Any fool knows to show respect if you want to effectuate a sale.

Sadly, respect should flow with the absence of money. Virtues cannot be bought.

Okay, I said it clear and simple and will now end this blog.  However, let me express that as I wrote it, I failed to have a smile.

 

 

 

Everything Happens for A Reason


This is one adage all of us have heard from time to time and it’s one that mostly doesn’t help at all. I’m going to assign this to the ‘Sour Grapes’ syndrome as it’s about the same thing.

Of course, everything happens for a reason.  We call that logic.  But many of those reasons are bad reasons, evil reasons and items that defy our fragile, human minds.

Most of those ‘reasons’ have nothing to do with God.  Sure, God can take any circumstance and change it around to our good, but that doesn’t mean that God was behind it in the beginning.

Let’s face it.  Many Crappy things happen and God is not up on His throne, looking down and playing around with us as if we were chess pieces.  God desire GOOD for us, not all the harmful, lousy things we come across daily.

God is not behind world hunger, the millions destroyed in war and all the mayhem behind it.  Jesus, through God is the solution, not the reason behind these terrible events.

And no, God is not in control for these horrible experiences.  Sure, ultimately, God surely permits it and will eventually finalize an answer to the darkness of this world, but in the meanwhile, we are those responsible for what goes on.

For many things that happen, it sucks.  Clear and Simple.  Good, positive thoughts will NOT make it go away.  You lose a loved one, or witness the many injustices throughout the world, this is NOT for any GOOD reason.  It is for EVIL.

Too often, our religious leaders sugar-coat life, provide answers that really are nothing more than empty platitudes.  Rather than saying they simple don’t know, many will cough up phony reasons that someone suggests that God is more or less providing tests for us that will build our character.

I don’t believe this for a moment when it comes to the over 70 million killed, say in WWII.  No, I do believe that God assisted us in defeating the bad guys, but HE was NOT responsible for the deaths of his children.

The next time you hear the adage of ‘Everything happens for a reason,’ challenge that person and let them illustrate all those good reasons and ask them to point in the bible to back up those claims.  In the meantime, know that evil is active and busy at work doing nothing but building traps that can do nothing but tear us down.  This is a full time job and when it happens to someone it is horrible.  There are reasons alright, and all those reasons are bad.

Talking a good Game


As indicated by the thousands of Christian Books at the many Christian Book stores, our ability to internalize, think, ponder, cogitate, and write the many wonderful characteristics of God are innumerable.  Truly, we possess an amazing capacity to envision our creator.

And perhaps, this might also be where we suffer the most.  Our exercise of conceptualizing God and His Son, might satisfy us to the point where we fail to act on the very images of which we pursue.

This arrangement puts us into conflict by projecting a diametric paradigm, that is, we have: 1. the conceptualization of the intellect and: 2., the actual performance (operationalization} through action.

Anyone can argue that Christianity is not science, but I believe any reasonable person would also believe that not all things should be bound by faith alone.  What this means, is that at some point, the Christian, the attester to whatever truth it is should at some juncture provide a reference point of observable evidence of said faith.

This was easy enough in the Old Testament as the prophets provided this on a myriad of occasions.  The same can be stated that Christ and His Apostles also provide physical evidence that verified their claims to represent God.

Now then, what I am proposing is that at this point in our Church History, we are performing an amazing job of thinking, writing, speaking our faith and more or less performing a lousy job of putting this into actual practice.

This means that our faith cannot be put to plain reasoning with the world because what we say is NOT observable. In a nutshell, it is not observable because as disciples, we fail to exercise our faith, our knowledge that concludes the logical argument that only verifies its non-existence.

In ordinary terms, this should illustrate that mere words, not matter how good they may sound are worthless.  The real genius of Jesus is that not only was he foretold by prophecy but that he also came and dwelt here on earth.  Jesus is more than words.  In fact, he is far greater than words.  He is action and that is what makes him