Mr. Know-it-all (I want to sell you a car)

We have all seen these super slick preachers who come across the tv channels with special revelation knowledge mixed with obscure Bible verses.  They always have some special prophetic message for us given to them by “God himself.”

Never mind the fact that you have a Bible at home and can read for your self, they have this special, important message that only they can provide. Too, by some way or apparatus, or somehow there is always some mechanism by which we are to send money to them to avail ourselves of this special knowledge.

The package generally presents itself with at least a three volume tome of at least $39.95 each with accompanying DVD or other learning media.  Of course, they never address the fact that if the information were so vital to Christians that they should be giving it free…heck no.  You’ve got to pay.

Unique to these ‘snake oil’ salesmen is that they believe they are specially gifted to provide this opportunity and that they have also received a special ANOITING.  I have never figured out why or by what means, but some way or another, they always have an anointing. Never mind how all Christians are anointed by baptism, they have this special appointment.

I call these guys (sometimes women) know-it-alls, for there is nothing they don’t know or understand.  That is, if you listen to them.

The truth is that they have no special insight than either you or I and what I am encouraging you to do is to search the Scriptures for yourself. In short, there are no know-it-alls, only regular, ordinary people the same as you or I. In the final analysis, we all have special access to God’s throne by grace through Jesus, the Christ.  Again, I encourage all to go to Him directly for the guidance He promises to all who ask. Christ and Christ alone is the man for all answers:  above Him there is no other.


I Don’t Care

Of all the stupid things we can say, ‘I don’t care’ is one of them.  The fact is that we can get so overwhelmed, or depressed or aggravated or pushed that we can utter these stupid words.

It may be that we are at Joe’s Bar drowning our self with alcohol when we think:  we should be home, that we have to get up and go to work and then we think:  “I’ll worry about it tomorrow.”  Yep.  That’s the truth.  We simply don’t care.

Other drugs can really accelerate this attitude but the truth is:  as rational thinkers, we can justify almost anything and that is without the aid of alcohol or drugs.

For whatever the reason, but at a moment when our guard is down and we least expect it we can come up with this attitude.

The attitude might be in response to work whereas we tried as we might, became exasperated and then quit trying due to frustration.  We get to the point where we simply just don’t care.

And at this phase, we know we should care, but we don’t.

As Christians, we should know better than anyone than to adopt this type of mentality, but true enough:  the same happens to Christians and Christians might also come to the point where they don’t care either.

It might be that you were in a situation where you gave and you gave and gave and to no avail.  Finally, you said, ‘Screw it.  I don’t care.”

And where we’ve all been there and have messed up, the idea here is that we should not be in that place in our life where this becomes routine or where we feel good about walking away.

True, there are times where it makes good sense to walk away during counter-productive exercises, but this is far, few and in between.  A higher truth says that Christians should be above this type of behavior.

Okay, and then again we are not at times.

And insomuch that at times we Christians are not where we should be, we should try with all our might to do so.

I don’t know any pat answers to make us always rise above the limitations of our selves.  Yet, I know we are to trust the Lord with all  our hearts and depend on Him to guide us.

In the end, we may have no better answers than we did from the beginning.  However, I believe of all people it is Jesus who would never say that He didn’t care about us and that he Cares about what we do and are going through.

The target here is Jesus and how Jesus approaches problems and life as a whole.  And to that effect, God cares.  He cares beyond our ability and that is where our thoughts should rest.  And if we don’t care about anything else in life: the one thing we should is that we should always, without hesitation and under all circumstances should care about God.

Loving in Disagreement

When speaking of Godly love it often comes to mind we are speaking of harmony and agreement.  At least we are more or least taught as such for we are always seeking cooperation, unity and oneness.

And as much as on the surface this seems to represent agape well enough I think a greater love the type more often encountered is the love yet a love while in disagreement.

Truly, anyone can love something or someone that agrees.  This is natural and human enough:  but with Jesus we are to go beyond human, enter the spiritual realm and love Godly and supernaturally if you will.

The task presented before us here is that we disagree and yet still love our mate or our brother or sister or stranger: no matter that they represent views or behavior so much differently than our own.

As foreign as a concept that this might seem I believe this is in keeping with what Jesus said when he told us to love one another.

The same would be true when he tells us to love others as our self.

In this way love then transcends the humanness in us and steps over the boundaries into God’s kingdom of Heavenly love.

More simpler terms even, it means we are to love people who flat out disagree with us and still find some way to get along with them and care for them in spite of our own views.

And this is hard.

The fact is:  this is NOT natural.  We love those who enable or better us—-we are not programmed to like something that appears at odds with us.

And isn’t this how it is whenever we concede begrudgingly to a loved one? Don’t we really hate it when we do it and really feel like we lost and thus are giving-in to something and that they should be grateful that we took a backseat to them?

And while all of this might be true, it is love nonetheless and probably, in my way of thinking a much higher love than given by most.

To love in this capacity means we must reduce our personal egos and sacrifice a sense of self to the sense of others.

As humans we don’t like that.  We may say that we do, but we don’t.

So then, when approaching this mindset, we are not speaking of yielding from time to time or at just one negotiating as opposed to another, but in a constant—love stance that is constantly, continuously giving and forfeiting rights to others.

The truth of this is that at least as Christians we are to grow into this pattern and this mindset and finally as a way of life.

In spreading and expanding the perimeters of our faith and love, we must grow in order to do so.  The arenas of disagreement can be a bitter pill, but nonetheless necessary.  In the end the love in disagreement can also expand the horizons of our own life.  And as difficult or as impossible it might be, it is our onus to at least live the way upon which Jesus instructed.  Doing so means we must love often among those of whom we have large disagreement.  The harmony here is only in the giving and probably none for the receiving on our part.  And that is the love of true disagreement for it is giving up everything for all.




Creatures of Habit (Boring People)

Some of us in society are so domesticated, so tame and conducive and pleasing to others that we have relegated ourselves to nothing more than creatures of habit. As empty people we get up in the morning, go to work, do whatever we are told to do without question.

And in this methodology of life, we reduce ourselves to the point where we:

Fail to question the world or ourselves anymore

Have no real idea what time it is or day of week or year

No longer laugh or smile or even feel

Possess no real insight concerning self or empathy toward others.

In other words, we are just ‘here’.  We are not really alive and are yet impervious to the world and environment.

This deadness to the world means we no longer care.  And in not caring we have no feelings for others or meaning for our own lives.

The ultimate sadness to all of this is that at times, we are speaking of Christians.

In truth, there is no way a Christian should be walking around without caring.  The message and life of Christian should always be alive and vibrant and moving.

And when we are walking ‘dead people’ it is time for a regeneration.  The regeneration is a task of the Spirit through Christ and should be assisted by our brothers and sisters in Christ.

This ‘revival’ is necessary from time to time for anyone can fall into a rut.

The danger to all of this is in not caring one way or another.

Too, it is a shame to lose a day within depths of despair as the precious commodity of life, once spent, cannot be returned or relived.  In other words, we have but one life to live and we must live it wisely to the end—each day, day by day.

So then, if life sucks:  seek out a brother of sister: generally speaking, a person whose life is empty is a life that isn’t really giving for and to others.  In this sense, the more one gives of self to others, the more one discovers of their own being and existence.  The end gain and result here is value.

And in value there is no creatures of habit as each moment of life is exciting and rewarding, fill with interest.

The challenge as Christians is to break out of the dullness and dry life of just walking from one task to another and entering the full world of obedience to Christ to others.  The full promise of this message is LIFE through Jesus.  And Life is a message that goes far beyond the programmed life of insects and those who simply live as simple creatures of habit with no purpose or meaning.

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn — Thoughts on culture, politics and more (Even more blessed when you finally get your stuff)

Originally posted on Fat Beggars School of Prophets: Among the things I limit myself from sharing on the blog (not a complete ban, but severely limited) are matters at work, my wife, and revealing names. Of course these are fertile grounds for tons of writings, but the risks of upsetting someone and making unnecessary trouble…

via Blessed Are Those Who Mourn — Thoughts on culture, politics and more

Care? Or Not Really??? (Obscuring Our Care With Smoke Screens) — Fat Beggars School of Prophets Who Cares????

So I join a class at church meeting one evening a week in the dead of Winter to discuss how to care for the homeless “effectively”. The class meets repeatedly for about 3 months. The discussion goes deep, we watch video presentations, read books and websites, call on experts to advise us and so forth. […]

via Care? Or Not Really??? (Obscuring Our Care With Smoke Screens) — Fat Beggars School of Prophets

All the Things I could have been (Could of, should of, would of and all that other nauseous crap)

Come on, now.  We’ve all sat around a barroom or another and have heard these lamentations of our past.

“I could have been an Olympic swimmer…”

“I could have been a contender…”

“I could have been a great baseball player…”

And the list goes on ad nauseam.  In truth, maybe, there are ALL kinds of things we could have been.  Maybe and then again,  Maybe not.

At any rate:  we love to say these things and keep our focus on the past.

Yes, yes, of course.   Because of our constant and persistent screw-ups of our youth, there are all kinds of accomplishments we could have performed, but failed due to well….our screw ups.

We’ve all been there and should be able to relate.

The attention here is on the past and as Christians our attention should NEVER be on the past, but on the present and the future.

Sure.  WE screwed up big time in the past and for many of us, if not most of us, that is why we were brought to our knees before the Lord and converted into Christianity in the first place. We were such screw ups.

Now that we’ve said all of this so what?

The point here is not to speak of all the things we could have should have been, but to point to where we are going.

In other words, in what direction are we going now?

This means I don’t care where you were or what you could have been, what I care about is what you are and what you are going to become from here on after.

I believe it is the same with God.

God forgives our past if we repent and ask Him.  His concern is we are at the moment and with God, He lays out plans for the rest of our life.

So then, forget all the things we could have been.  Forget all the things that we’ve lost from our past.  Focus on Jesus here and now and for the days ahead into tomorrow.

As a Christian our past is no longer important.  Truthfully, the same can be said for anyone else as well.  What we were has no bearing on who we are now.

Concentrate therefore not on the losing statements of yesterday, but on the hope and promise for tomorrow. As a new creature in Jesus, there was no tomorrow for all that sin was buried in the sea of forgetfulness.  Our future belongs only to Him that matters.  It belongs to God.

Giving and Receiving Love (Unlike Coca Cola, it’s the REAL thing.)

If there were ever an attribute for a hallmark of Mental Health it would be one’s ability to give and receive love.

Oddly enough some people are able to give love but not receive it.  Others simply are unable to give it at all.  This is probably the more familiar case with most people.

None of this should come as a surprise to any of us as the ability to give and receive love requires strength, freedom and of course, love.

Some like to speak of this as Agape Love as if agape love were different than other love.  Actually, I believe love is love but nonetheless a pure kind or form of love arrives without attachments or hidden agendas. Calling it agape love is okay with me.

Taking this a step further, we should all take notice of the origin of love and that is of course, God Himself.

As simple as all of this is, it would seem that love would abound us all: but as we all know—-it doesn’t.

And what are the stumbling blocks?

Pride, contempt, envy, jealously, selfishness, in other words—-SIN.  This all blocks love.

In some cases we don’t love simply because we choose NOT to.  This much the case when we fail to help or assist someone simply because we choose not to, not because we can’t.

And so it is with man and woman.  In relationships, whenever the lust wears down and it comes down to pure relationships, we generally stumble because the relationship was built on sex and not on the characteristics of love.

This brings us all back to the issue of giving and receiving love. In some respects I say this is a skill set and thus, we need to give and practice it often in order to grow.

And in so doing we mature spiritually and mentally.  The challenge is in giving of oneself and in becoming vulnerable with no holds barred.

In the end, it is what we will be known for in our living and in our passing.  I think the highest calling indeed must be in this virtue.  Nothing can be better than in giving and in receiving the benefits and substance of love

Before Jesus FACE-TO-FACE

Exodus 33:20

And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

Jesus explained to His disciples that those who had seen Him had also seen the Father.  Fortunately for us, the mystery of God’s countenance had been solved through His son, Jesus.

In the absence of Jesus, God’s face was so powerful, no man could gaze upon it and live.  Truly, this is the separation between Holiness and sin: the frailty of humans.

Jesus and His church changed all of that.

Today, we no longer need to look way of there for some ethereal existence we call God.  Jesus promised NEVER to leave us and to dwell among us and within us forever.

Whereas prior to Jesus it might be said we had something of a Medusas’ relationship with God:  His son, Jesus change this relationship forever.

In a word, if we seek the face to face with God Almighty, we have no need to search any further than our brother or sister in Christ.

And here is the hard part: if we say that we believe in the words of Jesus, then we also believe he is no longer messing around up there, but down here with us just as he promised.

Can Jesus possibly be in two places at one time?

Sure He can.

So then, He is in Heaven on the right Hand of the Father, but His spirit is down here with us.

To recognize His face, then look for your brothers: the Christian and it will be there you will see God.

It is there in the proximity of our Christian brother and sister than not only do we near the presence of God, but also experience the true revelation of God in the flesh, face to face.

The experience of this is no longer death, but the promise of eternal life for all who have experienced this encounter and believe.