God Told MeMB of IHOP has said, "We tell our people that they're only allowed one 'God told me' a year."Addendum: "...and it must be as enlightened by the Holy Spirit who never contradicts Jesus by the book."As noted in many Psalms and throughout Holy Scripture, early morning prayer yields increasing intimacy with Father God in the name of Jesus by the Holy Spirit.So apres sending out an early morning pericope to saints that like to start the day His way, I finish my first cup of caffeine and go for a mile or so prayer walk and listen more than usual.Today (2/24/22), I felt overwhelmed by two thoughts for...Not sure.You will have to decide if they are inspirations or indigestions concomitant to the first two sentence-paragraphs.Parenthetically, this has been happening with increasing frequency over the past three years; and while I have often injected 'em into messages, meetings, care and counseling, I feel compelled to share these two.Not sure why.You will have to decide if they are...1. Just like the CCPC19, I don't know anything for certain about geopolitics apart from our Lord's ultimate victory with His family; but the Godlessness permeating the current events in Ukraine portends existential tragedy. So pray up and stock up!2. Confessed sin with repentant intention releases burdens. The movie Patriot comes to mind. If this already speaks to you, you will know what follows. Then it is for you as it is for me. The patriot speculates the etiology of continuing misfortunes in his family goes back to the sins of his past. He is burdened. That's what happens when we rationalize or make excuses for our sins rather than confess them with repentant intention. The antidote is Psalm 32 and 1 John 1.If you want to stand strong, stand with Jesus.
Numbers 6 devotion to God has sometimes appealed to me because...well, uh, sigh...I want to be Godly.
I want what God wants which is what it means to be Godly.
I want to protect babies from womb to tomb because that's what God wants.
I want Biblical models of sex and marriage because that's what God wants.
I want the hungry to be fed and homeless to be housed and other Matthew 25 kinda stuff because that's what God wants.
Being Godly is the goal of everyone that wants to express gratitude to God for existential relief and eternal life by grace through faith in Jesus.
Of course, I get in the way of what I want to be because I have an I problem that compels confession with the hope of repentance in a Matthew 7:1-6 and Romans 7:13-25 kinda way.
I didn't miss the course on original sin that includes me to illustrate depravity...and you...and everybody else; which is why Jesus came.
We need someone to save us from the damning consequences of our insults to His holiness and injuries to His people; which is what Jesus does, again, by grace through faith.
So, yeah, I want to be Godly in gratitude.
O.K., sometimes I don't want to be Godly; which is why all of those things in Numbers 6 devotion aren't really appealing to me and ain't never gonna be a part of my gratitude to God.
Annnnnnnd even when I don't want to be Godly sooooooo often because I've gotta be me, I want to want to...or want to want to want to...
If I have to explain that to you, maybe you don't want to...like a bad sentence ending in a preposition.
That's for you to know and Him to find out; which He already has because, you know, He's omniscient.
Anyway, I'm not sure why apart from my desire to want to want to want to want to...be Godly...pero I've stopped trimming my beard.
There have been guys - sorry, gals - throughout history that have grown beards out of a desire to be, uh, Godly.
Kinda like someone that wears a cross or uniform or gets inked or whatever to show allegiance and affection.
Beards, especially long and unkempt ones, have symbolized humility, dignity, wisdom, strength, courage, and a penchant for grace, mercy, and forgiveness wrapped in love.
I'm not making that up; but, of course, if you're a sideliner or mainliner or lameliner, you probably haven't seen that in, you know, books, like, uh, the Bible.
Admittedly, I fall short on all of those things.
My life as well as my beard is sooooooo unkempt.
Still, I have the desire because I get it/Him.
I'm trying; and praying I don't get in the way because I really want to want to want to want to want to...
Chances are I'll trim it sometime because I'll probably cave to my mom, wife, sister, and gossips in the church that have too much time on their hands and like to talk about other people's sins as if they're sooooooo much better and haven't had anyone challenge them: "What's that I see in your eye?"
Churches are like farms in many ways...with pecking orders coming to mind.
That last sentence-paragraph is a bonus message.
If the aforementioned hasn't made any sense to you, read Ephesians 2:1-10.
That's/He's what rekindled my bearded desire.
Naked at Death
Death, more than anything else, exposes who we really are and aren't.
Because we deal with it almost daily, I tell my executive assistant who will always be a year older than me and has been uncommonly dutiful on the Corner of Lincoln and Main for over four decades yet has been in church employment about 4-5 fewer years, "While I've been around a lot of churches before landing here almost two decades ago and know every church has its distinctives that are often only coincidental to Jesus by the book, all churches have one thing in common. You can tell where a person is with our Lord by how they face death. If they can't talk about it or won't talk about it or wish I'd stop preaching about it, they really don't believe the best that God has to offer us by grace through faith in Jesus comes the first nanosecond after the last breath. Simply, people that can't talk about death don't really believe in Jesus. Jesus came to erase our fear of death. People that believe in Jesus aren't afraid of death. The bottom line of Christianity is eternal life by grace through faith in Jesus."
A friend just died.
Unlike so many clergywomen/men and other politicians, he didn't agree with the last person that he talked to like a bad sentence ending in a preposition.
You never caught him on Facebook with a "like, like" upokrisis about something/someone that God doesn't like.
He was Godly.
He wanted what God wants.
He wanted babies protected from womb to tomb because that's what God wants.
He wanted Biblical models of sex and marriage because that's what God wants.
He wanted the hungry to be fed and homeless to be housed and other Matthew 25 kinda stuff because that's what God wants.
Catch the drift?
He was fearless because he feared God more than anyone else.
He knew the only judge that matters in the end.
He had his priorities in order.
He knew he will spend a lot longer time with God by grace through faith in Jesus than anybody else; ergo, again, he had his priorities in order.
About two years ago, someone left our church after a failed attempt to persuade me to be a nanny and numbskull concomitant to the CCPC19.
She conspired behind my back with some church officers and members.
She wanted me to cancel worship and lock people out of the church or, at least, mandate behaviors.
Never did and never will.
I don't pay attention to Godless politicians.
It's a Matthew 6:24, Acts 5:29, and first half of the big ten in Exodus 20 thing pour moi.
My 62 year old friend in heaven reinforced that for me.
Anyway, she seemed earnest enough as she also seemed to be pleading more than rationalizing while barely concealing an unseemly idolatry, "I want you to know I'm not afraid but..."
She repeated that several times.
Methought she protesteth too much.
So much fear.
I could see it in her eyes...alone...because, uh, I couldn't see the rest of her face.
Well, my friend's in heaven.
Awesome for him!
That's what believing in Jesus is all about in the end.
Read John 3 and Revelation 21 for starters for why people that really believe in Jesus miss those that go to heaven before them yet are happy for them and know they'll be together in the end.
It's like I tell my executive assistant so often, everybody, churched or not, is the same when it comes to the ultimate common denominator.
Naked at death.
Survey Results on What People Have Learned in the Last Two Years
The CCPC19 remains unprecedented, fluid, and incrementally unfolding with diametrically opposed "experts" on its magnitude and duration.
Apart from Fauci idolaters and 45-47 whatevers, most folks now admit they don't know what the anything but heaven is going on because, uh, they don't know what the anything but heaven is going on.
Go back to the first sentence-paragraph.
Of course, there are some that are very passionate about pretending they know what's going on even when we know they know they don't; like the woman that said to me, "I'm following the science."
I asked, "Which one?"
She said, "The right one!"
I've never pretended to know what's going on because, uh, I don't know what's going on; pero I read a lot and I've been connecting the dots to...
Ah, that's for Kennedy, Rogan, #12, and other articulate advocates of intersecting truth to talk and write about.
Let's circle back.
I'm mostly interested in how people are moving through the hyperbole, hysteria, and histrionics.
Aside from the Bears making a big mistake in dumping Robbie, I'm interested in what thinking people that aren't pejoratively sheepish are thinking.
So I asked several, "What have you learned in the last two years?"
I asked folks to keep it to a sentence or two.
Obviously, never known for being brief, I didn't think I could participate in the survey.
Actually, I did come up with something to say in one sentence: "I've learned America needs Jesus more than ever before."
Fortunately, lots of folks that are lots smarter than me responded.
Here's a sampling.
Newspaper editor: "A lot of people in power in this country have made it clear they are for the power and not the people."
Financial Manager: "The American media has made evil acceptable if it fits a political agenda and is against Christ and America. The biggest racists in America are the people calling people racists."
School teacher: "Well, you got what you wished for. You hate him more than you love America. How's Brandon working out for you? Sorry, three sentences with this fourth. Here's a fifth that I could use after Trump and Biden followed by a sixth. Yes, I'm a school teacher that still knows how to count as compared to those that only know how to enforce children wearing masks and asking for more time off."
Saint in Belvidere: "I've discovered how much I need Jesus and His presence in my life."
Poet in Rockford: "Jesus' love sustains when mortals continually disappoint. Start with Jesus and stay with Jesus!"
Farmer: "People today have had life too easy and are willing to give away America and God for promises from LIARS in government."
Rocker: "I remember the 60s and 70s when churches and pastors and school teachers stood up against the man not with the man. Have you heard that new song by Kid Rock?"
Pastor in Aurora: "The Word of Truth is not meant to be an option."
A Really Smart Guy in My Franchise that I Need to Get to Know Better: "I've learned that people of all backgrounds buy into hysteria and stop using logic. Mass media and other sources can manipulate society more than I ever imagined to believe something with little science, data, or logic backing the information given to them labeled as science."
Rockford Renewalist: "As freedoms continue to vanish and the economy gets crazy, I'm praying earnestly for a historic move of God in our times."
Recently Retired Pastor: "I am reminded of what the prophet Mark Twain once said, 'There are lies, damn lies, and then there's statistics.'"
S: "I am totally,100% dependent on Jesus ALONE!!!
That's my unscientific survey.
Seems appropriate with what's happened to "science" in America.
Here's my point.
Keep thinking and learning...and stop swallowing their...
The willfully ignorant are the frogs in the kettle.