KDs are designed/developed/inspired/mused/auto-suggested/indigested to make folks think; an especially uncommon experience among Democrats, Republicans, and jingoistic mainline denominationalists who continue to discourage dissent with their ever-threatening thought police.
A prayer line
shared by Presbyterian Elders in Prayer and Belvidere, Illinois' First
Presbyterian Church along with my cellular's voicemail have the same message:
"Someday everybody will return from the cemetery but you or me. If
that thought troubles you, you really don't get it. You really don't
understand what Jesus has done for you. I would like to talk to you about
Him at anytime. The most important thing is your personal relationship
with Jesus so you can face the future unafraid - here, now, and
die in time on earth - sooner or later yet definitely
whether it's sooner or later.
live forever with the
ultimate destination being the only interrogative.
Revelation is all about - ultimate destinations.
everybody's gonna live forever in heaven or hell in the end.
especially entrusted or
breathed into John to encourage people who are going to heaven to
see beyond immediate burdens to eternal blessings: "The revelation of
Jesus Christ, which God gave to show to His servants the things that must soon
take place...Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and
blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is
This last book of
the Bible has been revealed to
women and men who have chosen voluntarily
to be servants/slaves of the Source, Starter, Sovereign, and
(because this book points to end times) and existentially (because knowledge of
the positive outcome in the end for those who have chosen God enables a sense
of triumph over temptations and tribulations in the meantime), Revelation is about the
consequences of the voluntary decision to
be or not to be a believer in God as Source, Starter, Sovereign,
and Savior: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears
My voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him and eat with him...I will grant with him to
sit with Me on My throne..."
choice to be or not to be a
believer with consequences here and now and forever was articulated so clearly,
concisely, and conclusively by our Lord in the most famous or at least quoted words
of Holy Scripture: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For
God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that
the world might be saved through Him. Whoever
believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned
already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And
this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the
darkness rather than the light..."
God provides the
choice - "No one can serve two masters" - but we must choose.
referred to this choice as The
Great Divorce: "It is...'either-or.' If we insist on
keeping Hell,...we shall not see Heaven. If we accept Heaven, we shall
not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of
Hell...There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God,
'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.'
All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice, there could be
no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss
it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened."
That's the big
message of Revelation.
We get to choose
our ultimate destinies; and Revelation is explicit in providing the details of
this great divorce.
anyone/everyone who chooses God: "He will wipe away every tear from their
eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying
nor pain anymore..."
anyone/everyone who fails to choose God: "Torment...no rest...the second
death, the lake of fire..."
The good news for
those who choose God and the bad news for those who do not are in the words of
the Lord: "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with Me, to
repay everyone for what he has done."
It's a consistent
message in Holy Scripture.
Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will
perish...The Lord has set apart the Godly for Himself..."
will separate the sheep from the goats...Come, you who are blessed by My Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you...Depart from Me, you cursed, into the
eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels...[and explaining how
behavior confirms the belief that determines ultimate destinies]...As you did
it to/for them, you did it to/for Me."
Unless one is
dense by design or decision, it is impossible to read Holy Scripture and not
acknowledge the ultimately and distinctively different destinies of those who
choose and those who do not choose God as Source, Starter, Sovereign, and
That's the big
message of the book, the whole book, and nothing but the book with Revelation
highlighting that message with symbolic language and flare to encourage
everyone who has chosen God as Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior.
are many other important lessons to be learned in Revelation.
If you want to
know what heaven will be like, it's there (viz., 24/7/365 worship): "Day
and night they never cease to say, 'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty..."
If you want to
know the difference between good/Godly churches and bad/unGodly churches, there
are seven letters to 1st century churches commending behaviors confirming
authentic belief and condemning behaviors exposing infidelity with striking
parallels to contemporary versions of the same.
If you want to
know more about battles between good and evil that will get worse before the
final score, it's there.
Yet, again, as
Grandpa Kopp warned, "Don't miss the forest for the trees!"
about Jesus as Alpha and Omega - Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior - who
has always wanted to save us for Himself forever
and will do that with enthusiasm, without equivocation, and without
exception as the ultimate consequence/destiny of our choosing Him.
I like Tozer's
summary of this book as a summary of the whole book and nothing but the book:
"Since the Christian is a part of God's eternal purpose, he knows he must
win at last, and he can afford to be calm even when the battle seems to be
temporarily going against him."
Then Tozer echoes
C.S. Lewis' conclusion of the great divorce by
choice: "The world has no such 'blissful center' upon which to
rest and is therefore constantly shifting about, greatly elated today, terribly
cast down tomorrow, and wildly excited the next day."
We live triumphantly here and now
and forever because our Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior predetermined
that triumph in the end for all who choose Him.
That's what I've concluded
by scratching the surface of the book, the whole book, and nothing but the book.
It's possible to
live happily ever after by
Following Jude's lead,
let's be honest about churches.
church membership rolls have been polluted by people who really don't get
it/Him and often don't really want to get it/Him but just wanna be listed as posingly getting it/Him
for mostly social reasons or something equally hypocritical; noting the Greek
word for hypocrite that Jesus used referred to people who wear masks to conceal
who they really are.
historically, we know lots of clergy who have been employed by churches without
being called by God who don't get it/Him and often don't really want to get
it/Him but just wanna pose for a catalogue of reasons suggesting pejorative
pathologies rather than confessional intentions.
know Jesus knows who they are; or as He said, "They come in sheep's
They slither into
churches like terrorist sleeper cells to ravage and rape the sheep at "an
opportune time": "...unGodly people, who pervert the grace of our God
into sensuality and deny our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."
Yes, they may mouth faith and go through the motions of
faith; but their true character is exposed by their antics to distract, detour,
divide, destroy, and damn: "...ungodliness...These are grumblers,
malcontents, following their own sinful desires...loud-mouthed boasters,
showing favoritism to gain advantage...scoffers, following their own unGodly
passions...cause divisions...worldly people...devoid of the Spirit..."
While Jude wanted
to be warm and fuzzy and extol everybody and everything, his discipleship
demanded honesty to God and the Godly: "Although I was very eager to write
to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to
you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for
So it's nothing
Bad apples find
their way into barrels of fresh ones and threaten to make 'em as rotten as they
Truly authentic Christian
leaders - there's a need for redundancy to press home the importance of The
Good Shepherd's call to undershepherds
to encourage, equip, and protect the sheep - know they must, in obedience to
clear commands in Matthew 18 and Romans 16, identify the irregular, irascible,
and irreconcilable; isolating them from the immature and maturing and praying
and laboring for their redemption via confession and repentance and removing them if they continue
their dark behaviors.
then remain contemporary as churches are inhibited and sidetracked from
becoming part of the Church by unconverted clergy, unconvinced laity,
and Pharisaical reincarnations.
Succinctly, unconverted clergy are
women and men without faith in church leadership who lied about their
infidelities to "get" ordained, never really believed but faked it to
"get" ordained, or abandoned Biblical Christology somewhere somehow
along the way but lack the integrity to admit it. Unconvinced laity are the
children of unconverted clergy. Pharisaical
reincarnations substitute organizational order and human traditions
for the commandments of God as enfleshed in Jesus and explained in Holy
They were a
problem exposed by Jude while continuing to expose themselves today;
particularly in their faithless inability to talk about Jesus by name; "If
you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that
God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
While we've gotta
love 'em enough to call 'em back to Jesus and leave the ultimate judgment to
Him, Jude makes it equally clear and conclusive that they will be judged for
their distracting, detouring, dividing, destroying, and damning: "Woe to
with a glorious doxology preceded by practical preparations echoing the truths
of John 3:16-21, 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, Ephesians 6:10-20, 1 John 4:15-18, and
parallel texts certifying our empowerment over darkness by remaining in the
Light: "Build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy
Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God...have mercy on those who doubt;
save others by snatching them out of the fire...Now to Him who is able to keep
you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His
glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our
Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and
He exposes the
contrast between churches corrupted by the world and the Church
remaining faithful to Jesus by
He never doubts
Jesus wins in the end; and people who
really believe in Him and behave, more than less, like they believe in Him
share the victory.
catches crabs and puts 'em in a big bucket with no lid.
The little boy
asks, "Mister, aren't you afraid the crabs will crawl out of your
The crabber explains,
"Don't worry, son, for as soon as one of the crabs gets close to the top,
the rest of the crabs reach up and pull it back down."
I feel it, Lord.
It's a dark
They're trying to
wear me down; attempting a cumulative effect.
Sooooooo negative about
everything everywhere with everyone - like bad leaven mixing in to make it
dedicated to making everyone everywhere about everything as miserable as they
Yet, as I move to
You and You move to me because I move to You when You move to me, I'm released
And the more I
move to You and You move to me because I move to You when You move to me, they
can't pull me back down to their...
I don't feel
empathy for the miserably pejorative anymore, Lord.
The more that I
move to You and You move to me because I move to You when You move to me, I
don't feel or understand or relate to their...
Moving to You and
You moving to me because I move to You when You move to me, I'm no longer
stuck in the bottom of the bucket and no one has the muscle to pull me
back down because I've moved to You and You've moved to me because I've moved
to You when You've moved to me; and I just can't get/be as miserable as...
I don't know what
it's like to be captive anymore to/by...
Yes, I feel
sympathy for those who are pulled down or stay down because they don't move to
You as You move to them and...
I've even tried
to feel as miserable as...because that's what they want for...but I can't when
I move to You and You move to me because...
I can't help
them; and they can't help themselves until they move to You as You move to them
starting to move to You as You move to me because I move to You when You move
I can't explain
I feel it.
It's a choice.
Move to You and
they can't pull me/us back to the bottom of...
I want You for
the rest of the crabs.
I know You
release crabs like me when we move to You as You move to us
You said, "I
will set you free!"
about parables and poetry and even prayers.
Ya get it or ya
Reminds me of
Him or we...stay in the bottom of the bucket.
Sooooooo when Kathie asked
me to write something short for
our forthcoming pictorial church directory, I thought I'd knock off two pins
with one toss.
Informed by 1
Corinthians 1, you'll find my obit in the first paragraph below.
Though I decided long ago that my
understanding of eternity precluded gravemarkers and other affronts to the
first few of the big ten, here's what I'd put on mine if inclined that way:
"He loved Jesus and loved people enough to tell them about Jesus."
Sooooooo when asked for an introduction to this
directory, I thought about what would be eternally as well as existentially
worth taking this much space.
God's love has
been most clearly and conclusively expressed in Jesus.
Our clearest and
most conclusive love for God is expressed when we love Him like He has loved us
gratitude; or as John wrote, "Let us not love in word or talk but in deed
and in truth."
Our gratitude in action authenticates
our comprehension/trust aka faith
in Jesus being God's love in
difference between a religion about Jesus that's kinda Christian in that it
goes through some of the motions of being Christian and a relationship with
Jesus that increasingly goes through more and more and more of the motions of
being Christian; or as John wrote, "No one who abides in Him keeps on
sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him... We
know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning."
In short, it's
all about Jesus and loving Him by loving like Him.
letters include four major themes of Biblically Christocentric fidelity: (1)
Jesus is Lord and Savior and only Jesus is Lord and Savior; (2) Forgiveness is
fleshed out by Him and His; (3) Love is faith in action; and (4) The Church's
reason for being is heavenly.
Jesus is Lord
and Savior and only Jesus is Lord and Savior.
are consistent with the other 24 New Testament witnesses to the unique place of
Jesus in God's plan of salvation: "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the
Christ has been born of God...Who is it that overcomes the world except the one
who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?...He is the true God and eternal
identifies anyone antagonistic to the unique place of Jesus in God's plan of
salvation as anti-Christ
or an accomplice of evil's main motivator whose goal is stealing salvation from
souls: "Every spirit that confesses that Jesus has come in the flesh is
from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from
God...Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he
is in God...Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?
That is the antichrist, he who denies the Son has the Father...Deceivers have
gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in
the flesh...Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have
God...[and echoing Romans 16:17ff.]...If anyone comes to you and does not bring
this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for
whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works."
fleshed out by Him and His.
spelled out the connection between Him forgiving us and us forgiving them: "If you forgive
others, you will be forgiven. If you do not forgive others, you will not
be forgiven...The measure you give will be the measure that you get!"
crudely, grudge-holders are gravediggers and the only graves being dug are
often observed it's easier to get forgiveness from God than most people who are
putting their unforgiving souls in jeopardy because of what Jesus said about
unforgiveness; and John shows how in one sentence: "If we confess our
sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
Love is faith
active love as proving the veracity of professed faith: "...[remembering
Jesus said the evil one is a liar and its followers are liars]...Whoever says I
know Him but does not keep His commandments in a liar...Whoever hates his
brother is still in darkness...We should love one another. We should not
be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother...Everyone who
hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal
life...Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."
reason for being is heavenly.
like the entire book, has one goal - getting people pointed in the right/His
direction: "We are writing these things so that our joy may be
complete...I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of
God that you may know that you have eternal life...I have no greater joy than
to hear that my children are walking in the truth.'
Maybe that's why
some of our friends refer to themselves - their mission - as the salvation army.
When we are close
to Jesus, we share His reason for being - praying and laboring for everyone's
As we've been scratching the surface of the Bible as the best way to scratch the surface of
our relationship with God, several consistent themes have emerged; including
(1) A recognition of God as Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior; (2) The
best way to love Him is to love like Him as best exemplified in Jesus and best
explained in Holy Scripture; (3) "Trust and obey for there's no other way
to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey"; and (4) While never not needing
Jesus as Savior because we cannot earn salvation (works righteousness), we are
expected to show our praise and thanks to God as Source, Starter, Sovereign,
and Savior by praying and working to be wholly holy in/through/for Him
I like how Tozer
put it: "Faith in God is to be demonstrated, not defined...It is not
enough for preachers in their pulpits to try to define love. The love
that God has promised must be demonstrated in the lives of the believers in the
pews...God wants His people...to demonstrate all of the outworking of faith in
their daily lives and practices."
Simply as well as
summarily, authentic believers who really recognize God as Source, Starter,
Sovereign, and Savior walk
Every book of the
Bible fleshes that out as Jesus fleshed out His divine self.
continue that education of believers for enfleshment by believers: "set
Or as Peterson
paraphrases, "God the Father has His eye on each of you...to keep you
acknowledge the challenges in time for Christians who are living in time as
preparation for eternal life
with the Lord: "You have been grieved by various trials, so
that the tested genuineness of your faith...may be found to result in praise
and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Peter emphasizes authentic Christianity as a call to be wholly holy for Him no
matter who, what, where, when, or why in honor of Jesus as the way, the truth,
and the life here and now and forever: "Be holy in all your conduct."
distinguishable by enfleshed belief consistent with the perfect pattern of
Jesus as prescribed in Holy Scripture.
Jesus and those
who knew Him best in time never said loyalty to Him would insure
immunity from life's miscreants, meanness, madness, and misery.
Indeed, He said
we would catch hell for declaring heaven only through intimacy with Him:
"You will be hated because
also promised that fidelity in time to Him would be more than matched by His
fidelity to us forever: "If you die with Me, you will also rise with
Of course, that's
why Paul exclaimed so enthusiastically without equivocation, "I consider
the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that
is to be revealed...Nobody/nothing will be able to separate us from the love of
God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
proclaim people who get that/Him look/act like they get that/Him.
People who get
that/Him remain loyal to Him whether it's smooth sailing or rough seas.
People who get
that/Him know the challenges of a world hostile to Him and, therefore, His do
not build their character and commitment to Him but rather expose their
character and commitment to Him.
notes behaviors indicative of believers regardless of the weather such as
"...a sincere brotherly love...pure heart...born
eschatological expectation with its reward for those who keep keepin' on for
the King of kings is unmistakable: "Beloved, do not be surprised at the
fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange
were happening to you...Rejoice...as you share Christ's sufferings, that you
may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed...If anyone suffers as
a Christian, let him not be ashamed...For it is time for judgment...The day of
the Lord will come like a thief...we are waiting for new heavens and a new
earth in which righteousness dwells."
German pastor Johann Christoph Blumhardt summarized all of Biblical Christendom
as well as Peter's letters as having one ultimate goal: "...readiness for
God's kingdom...Awareness that the Lord will come has made people gird their
loins and have their lamps burning."
Or as I have come
to accept with revived passion while scratching the surface of the book,
we're going to live a lot longer with Jesus than anybody else; hence,
establishing Him as our first priority in all things at all times in all places
with all people is a no-brainer.
One of the things
that I liked about Richard Nixon was he resigned before destroying America.
I also liked how
he often said changing our minds is a sign of strength not weakness; noting how
he often changed his mind if warranted by fresh facts and new insights.
advice, I voted for him once;
just like I did for Jimmy Carter.
I joined the majority of Americans who elected them to first terms in the White
House; and then redirected my votes as they ran for second terms.
It brings to
I'm more messed
up than anyone who's ever been President.
Come to think of
it, realizing the time that I've spent far exceeds the time that I've got left,
I've been amending some words as I approach the table: "O Lamb of God, who
takes away the sins of the world, we thank You for mercies past, present, and
I know I really
need Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Including my own,
I know I fall short of everyone's expectations as a Christian, husband, father,
son, brother, pastor, presbyter, professor, police chaplain, and...you name it which you can if you know me.
and with increasing enthusiasm without equivocation, I praise God for Jesus
my/our Lord and Savior.
While I think I'm
closer to being who my antagonists advertise than my mom's gracious delusions,
I've always identified with the apostle: "I don't do the good that I want
to do. I do the bad that I don't want to do."
I can still
remember Bert Atwood's words back in seminary ringing sooooooo true for people
like me: "No matter how good we are or become, we'll never be good enough
not to need Jesus as Lord and Savior."
I'm reminded of
Verne Clifford, an old farmer near the Delaware Water Gap on the border of
Pennsylvania and New Jersey, whose prayer before a Sunday dinner has been
repeated countless times since in my dailies: "I thank You, Lord, for
forgiving my past sins, present sins, and the sins that I will commit in the
future...through Jesus in whose name I pray."
Sadly, I've spent
too many years pretending to be better than God knows I know He knows I've ever
I've been such a
admitting that I'm as or
probably more messed up than most other pulpiteers and pewsitters,
I've often posed fidelity for public consumption while insulting God's holiness
and injuring His people; bringing to mind a rhetorical challenge from those closest
to me that has often driven me to my knees: "Why don't you practice what
While don't ever
recall not knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior because of faithful parents and grandparents,
recalling Timothy's experience, I do know I was regenerated (i.e., born again again) during my time with
Eugene and three covenant brothers in Montana back in October 2011.
I really don't know what happened. It wasn't really anything that was
said or read or... It/He just happened. The only thing that makes
sense to me about that time is what Jesus said to Nicodemus: "You know
well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling
through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it's
headed next. That's the way it is with everyone 'born from above' by the
Wind of God, the Spirit of God."
I haven't been
able to get enough of God ever since - through worship and Bible reading and
prayer and sacrament and music and...
I want more and
more and more of Him...
Though I know He
knows I know He knows I'm just scratching the surface of my
relationship with Him after spending too many years in books about the book and
posing something/Someone that I didn't really, really, really know
personally, I've never felt more convinced, calm, courageous, and enthusiastic
about/for sharing Jesus.
While I've been
writing and lecturing and teaching and preaching about Christianity for years,
I realize my relationship with Jesus was much more academic and professional
and Matthew 15/23ish than
real and authentic and personal.
I knew lots about
Him; but I didn't really know Him that closely or intimately or really.
God knows I know
He knows I know, like Heinrich Bullinger exclaimed, He worked in spite of me
for almost four decades of professional pastoral ministry; and He knows I know
He knows I know sooooooo much
of it/me was for show.
As bikers like to
say, if I have to explain that to you, you wouldn't get it anyway. You'd
be like me before October 2011.
Not that I'm that
much better now.
After sooooooo many years, I'm
just scratching the surface of what it means to love Him by following Him by loving like
I'm coming clean
and trying/praying to stay clean.
I've got a long
way to go; and, while calmer about it than ever before, I feel like I'm trying
to make up for wasted time.
Maybe that's why
I keep telling people that, barring my Grandpa Jacob's cancer genes or
assassination, retirement ain't on the radar. He knows I know He knows I
know I will not stop looking up, standing up, speaking up, and acting up for
Him in praise and gratitude for what He has done for me and what He has done
for others like me and what He can do for anyone who opens the door of her/his
heart at His knock.
I'm having too
much faith and fun to quit any time soon!
Truly, truly, truly, I
will die before I retire.
Again, I'm still
As Paul would
say, I'm still working out
my salvation; or praying and trying to behave like I say I believe.
I would like to
share three of the ways that the Holy Spirit has helped me to start cleaning
ask/expect His cleansing/deliverance in a Psalm 51 and Matthew 6:13 kinda way:
"Have mercy on me, O God...Blot out my transgressions...Wash me...Cleanse
me...Purge me...Teach me...Deliver me...Create in me a clean heart...Renew a
right spirit within me...Lead me not into temptation...Deliver me from the evil
Whenever I have
prayed that specifically about anything at anytime involving anyone, God has
helped me to stay clean.
pray/try to live in a John 3:19-21 kinda way: "This is the judgment: the
light has come into the world...Everyone who hates the light does not come to
the light lest their deeds be exposed...Whoever does what is true comes to the
One of the ways
that I protect myself from sneaking around and diving into bad stuff is by
letting everyone know my passwords are Kopper, 1952, and drkopp.
Though drkopp is
in small letters, it expresses my pre-rebirthed Matthew 23ish professional clergy
arrogance; while acknowledging the revelation of my passwords doesn't affect
money that I don't have anyway anywhere with anyone and is just exposed so I
don't expose myself to things that could insult Him and injure His children.
Third, I pray/try
to get closer and closer and closer to Him through spiritual disciplines like
worship, Bible reading, sacrament, fasting, and so on in the realities of Psalm
22:3 and Galatians 2:20: "God inhabits the worship/praises of His
people...It is no longer I who live, but Jesus who lives in/through me..."
I'm reminded of
the pastor who said to me, "I can't understand why my church is so
unfriendly. I have been teaching them about how to be a friendly
"You can't give away what you ain't got for yourself and you can't be
friendly like a follower of Jesus should be until you're so intimate with Him
that you start acting like Him in a Psalm 22:3 and Galatians 2:20 kinda
Simply, the proof/evidence/signs/fruit
of being close to Jesus are preceded by being close to Jesus.
Or putting it
another way, if you is, you is; and if you ain't, you ain't.
People who are
close to Jesus act like it/Him - increasingly more than increasingly less.
Again, I'm still
messed up; but I am getting better.
I'm coming clean
and praying/trying to stay clean.
I'm not saying my
way is the best way.
I'm saying His
way for you is the best way.
Of course, before
you criticize my way of coming clean and praying/trying to stay clean, I'm
trusting you have heard His way for you: so you're not hearing Moody's echo
when criticized for how he did evangelism: "I prefer the way I'm doing it
to the way you're not doing it."