This post is a request for help. I’m trying to determine where the “Church” is at concerning PRAYER. I have 12 easy to answer simple questions for any Christian willing to help me make some determinations. Simply click on the Prayer Survey button in the header bar and leave your comments. Thank you so much for your help. Again, this is only for Christians as we seek to survey the Church.
Monthly Archives: June 2012
What is friendship?
How can two people walk together if they are not in agreement?
Perhaps we were the “Odd Couple”. We have something we call “friendship”, but we have so little in common. This is the Tale of Two Mountains, or, more accurately, two people living on two different philosophical mountains, yet, attempting a friendship. Have we failed? I’m not even sure. Probably. But it has been an interesting experiment. If you would like to know more of the details, simply click on the “2 Mountains” button in the header bar.
“REGARDLESS, The Rough Riders pushed forward towards the outpost along with the regulars.”
I think one of the toughest lessons for us to learn in life…is that life is NOT FAIR. I don’t know about you, but that is the one I struggle with the most because there is something “in me” that seems to think life ought to be fair! Even though I have learned this lesson a million times, and have taught it to others many times, I still can’t shake that emotional feeling that life should be fair, but as we all know, folks, it sure is not. Therefore, “things happen”! We simply cannot allow ourselves to become discouraged when “things happen”. That was the True Grit of the Rough Riders, and every Church leader needs that same spiritual True Grit! Now lets continue with their story.
It appears there were three “main” battles, and I will speak of two of them. Of course, the first battle is always a major one, because you are still learning exactly what you are dealing with. Here are some details of that first engagement with the enemy.
The Battle of Las Guasimas: It was a Spanish outpost. The Rough Riders were given the command to start “marching” towards it and secure the area. In other words, defeat the enemy and take the territory. However, the enemy held the advantage, as they knew the territory and the twisted trails of the jungle! They predicted where the Americans would be traveling on foot and exactly what positions to fire on! The enemy was just waiting on them to walk right into their line of fire! The Spanish also used a “smokeless gun powder” which did not reveal their position when they fired. An invisible enemy! The jungle was so thick in some places, that you could not see very far.
In spiritual warfare, we have an enemy we cannot see. Many times we look at the “unfair” events besetting us and cannot even determine what direction it is coming from! It is essential in spiritual warfare to walk by faith, and not by sight. The snake is the symbol of our enemy, and he knows how to hide, but we have the gift of spiritual discernment, as well as other gifts, and we must learn how to walk in these gifts.
The Rough Riders were not yet in position when the battle started. They had been given a much more difficult path to travel. The guys who were not trained to be footmen were given the more difficult march. (Fair?) At first they had to make their way up a very steep hill! Many of the men, already worn, weary, and footsore, found the pace up this hill too hard, and either had to drop their bundles, or fall out. (Not good!) Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt became aware that there were countless opportunities for any man to fall out of formation and resign from battle without notice, as the jungle was often to thick to see through! This was yet another event that left the group with fewer men than they had to start with, and this is where our “quote” comes into play…
“REGARDLESS, The Rough Riders pushed forward towards the outpost along with the regulars.”
Useing careful observation the officers were able to spot the enemy locations and begin picking them off. At one point it was thought Colonel Wood had been shot and killed. (Remember, there was no radio contact in this battle.) Due to this misconception, Roosevelt temporarily took command and gathered the troops together with his “leadership charisma”. The battle lasted one and a half hours from beginning to end. The Rough Riders, in spite of everything, suffered only 8 dead and 31 wounded. The outpost had been taken, and the men finally had their first chance for resupplies and recuperation. They spent 6 days recovering and preparing. A few more men died of fevers during that time, but this is a lesson that if we hang on long enough, times of refreshing can come!
Battle of San Juan Hill: Over one-thousand Spanish soldiers waited for them at the next assigned target, which also involved an 8 mile march to get there. The original plan did not have The Rough Riders as the critical tool involved in this battle, and as it began to unfold, they found themselves in a dangerous position of being hit by friendly fire, in a valley area at the foot of Kettle Hill. They quickly began to move, making their way along the San Juan River. There they took cover along the river bank, but soon found themselves vulnerable and pinned down by sniper fire! (This was certainly not in the plan!)
Interesting note: The Spanish “regular” guns were able to fire 8 rounds in the 20 seconds it took for an American “regular” gun to fire 1 round! However, the rounds they fired were 7mm Mauser bullets traveling at high velocity, which inflicted small, clean wounds. Some of the men were hit, but few were mortally wounded or killed!
Colonel Roosevelt became deeply dissatisfied with General Shafter’s “inaction” with sending men out on reconnaissance and failure to issue more direct orders. He was very uneasy about his men being left in the line of fire. He tried to get the General to give orders to advance from their position. Finally, they got orders. Roosevelt, riding on horse back, got his men to their feet. He claimed he wished to fight on foot, as he did at Las Guasimas; however, he could not move fast enough on foot to keep track of, and encourage his men. He also realized his men could see him better while elevated upon the back of the horse. Of course, so could the enemy! “REGARDLESS”, Roosevelt mounted that horse and rode! And he challenged his men not to leave him alone in the charge up the hill!
Roosevelt went to the Captain at the back of the lines and advised that it was his opinion that they could not effectively take the hill in a slow advance, because it was too difficult to effectively return fire. It was his advice that they needed to do a full head-on charge up that hill. The captain did not agree. Roosevelt, recognizing the absence of the other Colonel, declared himself the ranking officer and ordered the charge! The Captain stood hesitant as Roosevelt rode off on his horse, “Texas”, leading his own men uphill while waving his hat in the air and cheering! (This is the position of true leadership!) The Rough Riders followed him with enthusiasm and obedience without hesitation. This stirred the hearts of other men in different units and they began bolting up the hill with their fellow countrymen!
Within twenty minutes Kettle Hill was taken, though casualties were heavy. The rest of San Juan Heights was taken within the following hour. The Rough Riders charge had been facilitated by three Gatling Guns, which fired some 18,000 .30 Army rounds into the Spanish trenches. Roosevelt noted that the “hammering sound” of the Gatling guns visibly raised the spirits of his men!
Jeremiah 23:29 > “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”
Cuba was eventually set free from the Spanish. Colonel Roosevelt’s example of valor and fearlessness in the face of danger served as motivation to his men to promptly follow his command and spring into the uphill charge. Had it been another leader with less charisma and spunk, the order to charge may not have been given, and the same enthusiasm in the men may not have been there.
Return home: On August 14, The Rough Riders landed at Montauk Point in Long Island. There they met up with the other 4 companies that had been left behind. Many of them felt guilty for not serving in Cuba, however, Roosevelt stated to these men:
“Those who stayed had done their duty precisely as did those who went, for the question of glory was not to be considered in comparison to the faithful performance of whatever was ordered.” (Excellent teaching for any Church service.)
The regiment was presented with 3 different mascots that represented The Rough Riders: a mountain lion who was brought by some troops from Arizona, a war eagle brought in by some New Mexican troops, and a small dog named Cuba, who had been brought along on the journey overseas.
Now this is special, the men also made sure to honor their Colonel in return for his stellar leadership and service. They presented him with a small bronze statue of Remington’s “The Bronco-buster”, which portrayed a cowboy riding a violently bucking horse. It is quoted that there could have been no more appropriate gift from such a regiment…most of them looked upon the bronze with the critical eyes of professionals. I doubt there was any regiment in the world which contained so large a number of men able to ride the wildest and most dangerous horses.”
I also personally believe that riding this next move of God will be like riding a horse called, Tornado!
This is a tremendous story, and the spiritual analogies that I see are many. When I felt impressed of God saying: “I need some Rough Riders,” I really only had a very shallow understanding of what that might mean. Two things that jump out at me is that these men were “cowboys”, and they were not trained in the saber, which usually is symbolic of God’s word, the sword of the Spirit. However, for some time now God has been speaking to me of a leadership that will be at home in God’s thunder, and about his word being as a mighty hammer!
A sword has no hammer, but guns do. I’m talking symbolically here. The trigger is pulled, the hammer falls, and if it is a big gun, the sound of thunder roars! Am I talking about taking up guns? Certainly not! I’m talking about leaders getting back to a place of anointing in God that people know they dwell in the thunder! I happen to have written of this in another blog site that I am still working on. I will set a link to it at end of this article, if you are curious.
I could not have written this article so quickly without the help of Wikipedia. The spiritual analogies are mine, but I have never been a history major and Wikipedia sure is a blessing. As I have said, the spiritual analogies in this story are many. Perhaps God will speak to you very personally in this article. I know he has me.
The other link of which I spoke: secularpriesthood.wordpress.com
Okay, I freely admit this blog site is a cowboy version of things. How far should I go in relating items that are spiritual to that of being a cowboy? I just finished up 3 weeks of making an analogy out of the Indian “Trail of Tears” and comparing it to very real spiritual events happening today and the coming future. Now I find myself looking at the “Rough Riders” and asking myself, “What is a man supposed to do?” I was in deep prayer this morning when I heard God speak to me, “I need some Rough Riders.” So I got on the Internet and began to study the subject and history. I was amazed. However, there was a word that caught my eye, and somehow the spiritual analogy now turning in me has something to do with that word. Here is the “word” and the quote.
“REGARDLESS, The Rough Riders pushed forward towards the outpost along with the regulars.”
And then I asked myself a question: “Why do these things happen? Why is it that the most important things rarely ever go smoothly? Why is it that even with much preparation, something goes wrong, something very “unfair” usually, and you find yourself fighting a battle that is much harder and greater than it should have been?
As you continue to fight, the word “unfair” echoes in your head, and the question, “Why”? And yet it almost always does happen! I think I can safely say that any “worthy deed” is likely to be fraught with the “unfair”, and yet we must press on. “Regardless”!
Are we mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually prepared for the “UNFAIR”?
Do we have the word “REGARDLESS” branded in our heart, soul, and spine?
I personally believe the Church is in for a rough ride, and therefore, we’re going to need some “Rough Riders”! This is in complete harmony with what I wrote in “Christian Trail of Tears”. The indians were not having a party as they walked that trail. It was a sad time, a hard time, and many died. Are we ready for a rough ride? In order to be ready, I believe we are going to need some leaders who understand what it means to be a Rough Rider. I was also amazed at how much Teddy Roosevelt reminded me of George Washington, when he was in battle. He was smart, fearless, and self-sacrificing! Qualities of a true leader.
It seems the U.S. was weakened and left with little manpower after the American Civil War. I see the Church in the same condition. A huge wave of materialism has swept through the Church and we find ourselves asking, “Have we lost the power?” Samson chased after Delilah, fell asleep, woke up to shake himself but discovered the power was gone! So how do we get it back? Samson trudged round and round in a circle pushing that millstone for quite a while, before he reached such a point of surrender that he was willing to pay the ultimate price, to get it back. The Children of Israel wondered in the wilderness for forty years on what should have been like a five day trip! Has the Church been going in circles as America slips into moral decay? Running a rat-race of materialism? Not reading their Bibles, not praying, and not changing lives?
Is there a stirring in the body of Christ today? I believe there is, but it is going to require the right kind of leadership to nurture this “move” and bring it to fruition. We have a lot of work to do! There are those who want to cast off the chains and see a fresh move of God! A grass fire is beginning to burn, but will it survive? In our own Church I have seen a call go forth for volunteers, and at this time we are getting a great response!
But what will happen when things get tough, and even become overwhelmed in the “UNFAIR”?
In her weakened condition, America, put out a call for “volunteers” and the response was overwhelming. Soon she had her very first “volunteer” Calvary. There were three regiments raised in 1898, but only one of the three would end up seeing action. At first they were called “Woods Weary Walkers”, after its first commander, Colonel Leonard Wood, because of the fact that in spite of being a Calvary unit they ended up fighting on foot as infantry. (How did that happen?) The destination for these fighting men was to assist in gaining Cuban independence from the Spanish, known as the Spanish-American War. This war began the trend of American intervention in foreign affairs, which I guess we could say has sometimes been good, and maybe other times not so good.
However, what amazed me was how the tremendous preparations these men and our government had made, all of a sudden, at the last-minute, our government gave orders that threw these men into a completely unnecessary hardship! They were ordered to leave most of their horses, a third of their already prepared and trained men behind, and head out without even a proper food supply to keep the men strong! These soldiers had not trained to be infantry, hiking miles on foot; but they were highly skilled horsemen, trained to fight from horseback! How is it that they were suddenly sent out with their numbers slashed, no horses to ride, and a scanty food supply! As well as being sent into a foreign territory! They did not even have home court advantage! (Why did this have to happen?) But I’m getting ahead of myself. You really need to know more about these Rough Riders, and how special they were, to appreciate this event in history.
These men were not even dressed as other Calvary soldiers. The group was composed of native American indians, cowboys, college athletes, farmers, and ranchers, but their uniform had the basic look of a cowboy, complete with a slouch hat, blue flannel shirt, brown trousers, leggings, boots, and a handkerchief knotted loosely around their necks! The uniform was purposely designed to “set them apart”, and they looked exactly as a “Cowboy Calvary” would look!
Roosevelt saw to it they were well equipped also. They did not train with the saber as regular Calvary did, but were equipped with Springfield bolt-action rifles, (.30-40 caliber). They had Colt .45 revolvers, and Bowie Hunter knives. A wealthy donor also gifted them with a couple of gas-operated Colt-Browning machine guns in 7 mm Mauser caliber! These guys were not swordsmen, they were cowboys through and through! And if a horse could be ridden, they could ride it! The Rough Riders were not just handed weapons and told to engage in a disorderly brawl, but much training had gone into their preparations. So what in Sam hill went so horribly wrong that these men were suddenly sent out at half the power they had been prepared to be? How is it that this happens over and over again in life?
Example: Examples of this run from small to large. You need to add oil to your vehicle. It should be a five-minute job, but you pull the cable to release your hood, and it does not release! You spend twenty minutes fussing with the hood over a five-minute job! You go to Bureau of Motor Vehicles and have everything you were told to bring. After waiting in line, finally reaching the clerk, you are told you need another item! A one hour job turns into another trip and at least a three-hour job! Then there is the big stuff! Any thing that you deem to be of critical importance, such as going to war for a good cause. You have done everything possible to prepare, but some crazy orders come from above and you find yourself sorely unprepared and headed into battle anyway! What do you do now? Should we quit? Give up? This is not what I was promised? I’m not ready to die?
You would have every right to quit, but that was not what the Rough Riders did. In my many years of ministry involvement, I have seen this time and time again. “Always” plan on the “unfair” to just be part of the bargain. Expect it to happen. You will not know what direction it will come from, or what shape it will take, but it will happen, and if you’re not determined to keep moving forward in faith no matter what things may look like, then you better not even start the journey. If you’re not determined to continue “REGARDLESS”, then you will become discouraged and soon quit.
We, as the Church, need what the Rough Riders had! On May 29, 1898, 1060 Rough Riders and 1258 of their horses and mules made their way to the Southern Pacific Railroad to travel to Tampa, Florida where they would set off for Cuba. Upon arriving they awaited orders. Under heavy prompting from Washington D.C., General Shafter gave the order to dispatch the troops EARLY, “before” sufficient traveling storage was available! Due to this problem, only eight of the twelve companies of Rough Riders were permitted to leave! The many horses and mules were almost entirely left behind! Soon, one forth of the men who were sent had already been lost, most dying of malaria and yellow fever! This sent the remaining troops into Cuba with a significant loss of men and moral. Who could blame them, and why did this have to happen? (But it did!)
The story only gets worse from here, but REGARDLESS, the Rough Riders pressed on. They are in a strange territory, much of it like a jungle! Food supply is short, disease lurks in the darkness, the Spanish are well fortified, and it looks like a no-win situation, but Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders pressed on as true “heroes” do.
When this next move of God does not appear to go smoothly, and it begins to cost us in a very personal way, perhaps threatening our finances, play time, job security, entertainment, or whatever it may be, but it becomes a real personal cost…, will God’s people press on?
This is what it will take take for the next move of God, leaders who are committed…REGARDLESS!
Jesus said: “Remember Lot’s wife.” (Luke 17:32)
To be concluded next week.
PART 3 / CONCLUSION
“We as Choctaws rather choose to suffer and be free, than live under the DEGRADING influence of laws, which our voice could not be heard in their formation.” George W. Harkins
We cannot say our voice has not been heard, but what good does it do? No matter how many times we vote it down, they, (whoever “they” is), just keep bringing it back up, eroding away at the Judaic Christian values until they manage to stuff it down our throats!
So where are we going?
If I am right and history is repeating itself in a multitude of ways, it is going to get ugly, folks. I see a convergence of several past history biblical events repeating within my lifetime. (Of which I will only mention a few.) As far as this coming election? I do not see a win for “Christians” whoever ends up voted in. First of all, both of these men are what I call “globalist”. They all have been globalist for some time now.
Scott Walker just defeated the Unions in Wisconsin this week. A major defeat! Actually, the Unions were defeated the minute we decided on free trade and a global economy. (Welcome to the Trail of Tears.) A man was heard saying that the Unions have had no real power ever since we entered a global economy. That is the plain logical fact, folks. How can they have any real leverage when all big business has to do is run somewhere else for cheap labor? Shoot, I cannot even make a Costumer Service call without ending up talking to someone in India! Why did our country take this fork in the road and head down the path of globalism? Greed, wealth, and love of money! (Not to mention “power”.) There is the potential for wealth “beyond your wildest dreams” for those who are in the right positions and businesses. However, if you’re not one of those? Well, just use your imagination. (Also, the Unions did ask for this, by getting too greedy themselves!)
The Unions were defeated the moment we decided on free trade and a global economy!
I’m going to jump right into this because I’m up to 382 words already, and I must conclude this. I am amazed at how closely a particular period of Jewish history compares to our present times.
My opinion of our two candidates? The one is for bigger government, more debt, and a form of socialism. The other, I believe, is all about discipline, money, and success. Ordinarily I would say that might be good, but not when it is attached to globalism! (Unless you are a globalist.)
Most people have heard of the biblical character, Jezebel. She is more well-known than her husband was! (And there is good reason for that.) Ahab was the 7th King of the northern kingdom of Israel, about 869-850 B.C. He ends up marrying a young woman by the name of Jezebel, who just happened to be the daughter of the king of Tyre! This, of course, made this Tyre woman “queen” of Israel!
Her daddy was “Priest”/King of Tyre and Sidon, and she was a devoted follower of the idol god Baal! Which means this devoted follower of Baal has now married into the royal courts of Israel. Why might they do this? Was it love? Love of money was more like it!
The marriage of Ahab and Jezebel set up an “alliance” with the Canaanites (Phoenicians). This led to a strong connection between the Israelite royal court and the Phoenician maritime centers along the Mediterranean coast line! Their marriage cemented “POLITICAL”, (i.e. Washington D.C.) and “ECONOMIC”, (i.e. Wall Street, Trade Center, Big Business, NYC), ties! It was an unholy alliance that brought great wealth to the merchants and poverty to the peasants! (Not to mention a ton of idol worship to Israel!)
Yes, Politicians were in bed with Big Business at the expense of the “little guy”. History repeats this same theme over and over again. Sin never changes and neither does the nature of man, therefore, the Bible is always very relevant, even ahead of our times.
This marriage allowed the Israelite “entrepreneurs” to profit greatly from what was “world trade” at that time, (Phoenician ships), and this economic activity led to the “polarization” of society, (Occupy Wall Street?), between merchants and farmers. Large numbers of people in the northern kingdom had become alienated from the ruling dynasty of Ahab and Jezebel because of the royal house’s close identification with the MONEYED MERCHANTILE CLASS and their frequent EXPLOITATION of the peasant farmers, and because of their close identification with the worship of the Canaanite deity Baal. (Do we see any similarities here?)
The idol god, Baal, in the Ugaritic tablets, also has the name Hadad, god of winter rains, and most prominent in the “fertility cults”. (Information from “The Dictionary of Bible and Religion” by Gentz.) Winter rains and fertility cults? (My interpretation, i.e. “prosperity and sex”.) Sex in the Big City? Jezebel was actually a high priestess of Baal and did an incredible job of leading God’s nation into Baal worship. This sets up a pretty grim picture “at that time”.
Ahab (Washington D.C.) may have been king, but Jezebel (Big Business) was the one really calling the shots.
Here is an example scripture: “But there was none like unto Ahab, which did “sell himself” to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife STIRRED UP. And he did very abominably in following idols…” (I Kings 21:25-26a Certain hi-lites added by me.)
I believe the growing gap between the wealthy and the average, the influence of big money in D.C., increase of false gods in America, the temptation of wealth beyond our wildest dreams in world trade, the infiltration of false gods into the Church, and the political alliances between politics and Big Business, are just a few of the clues as to the time we are in. Not to mention Freedom Tower, ooopps…I mean “ONE WORLD TRADE CENTER”! (I don’t have time to connect “all” the dots here, but I hope you get the picture.)
Now the question has been asked, Where is the hope in your message?
The hope, and possibly the only hope, is exactly what God did at that time. What did he do at that time? His answer was to raise up a man named Elijha, whom you might say is the prophet of fire! (I wish I had more time here.)
I see a grass-roots movement! It shall spread from tree to tree! It will be a return of not only the fire, but the Wind and Fire! And it shall be as a forest fire! Leaping from tree to tree!
Once again our hope is in the true Church, and at this time, more specifically, the “Remnant”! Time and time again, when God’s people appeared to be down and out, the Remnant rises again and sparks a new fire in God’s people! The Remnant is like the hot core of our earth! The more Satan wears away at the Church, the closer he comes to unleashing the hot Remnant who will never bow their knee to idolatry!
Elijha faced 850 prophets of Baal that day, on Mount Carmel. (I Kings 18:19) This Prophet Elijha, who had called down fire from heaven a couple of times before, did it again, and then slew the prophets of Baal. Now let me be clear, the fire I’m talking about the Church calling down from heaven “today”, is a spiritual fire that lights the soul of man! But Elijha had said, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven…! (And it did!) I have seen a grass fire starting! And we need to fan the flames!
Elijha was also taken up into heaven by a “flaming chariot”. (A space ship? I think not, because flaming “horses” were also seen, and I think they knew a horse when they saw one.) Some also think Elijha will be one of the two witnesses who come back in Revelation and prophecy for 1,260 days in sackcloth, before they are slain, and then rise again! If any man shall hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth! (Revelation 11:4-5) I believe the Church needs to look to the fire of Elijha again. We need the fire of true men of God to be able to “consume” us again!
After slaying the prophets of Baal, Elijha ran for his life (from Jezebel) and ended up in a cave. It is there that God revealed to him the Remnant he still had. Elijha thought he was the only one left, but God said: “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” (I Kings 19:18)
Where is the hope? Many nations have faded into the past never to be the same again. But if you think the same is going to happen to the Christian nation? (and I don’t mean America per say.) The more you chip away at the Church, drawing closer and closer to that hot core, the more you chance waking the sleeping giant. The One we serve knows how to rise again, even from the dead, he has proven it time and time again. So you think God’s Church is down and out? If it were me, I wouldn’t bet on it!
One more thing, and then I simply must stop. The completion of the One World Trade Center is scheduled for some time in 2013. My eye has been on that modern-day tower of Babel ever since it began. (I could preach a whole message on the power of the tower.) But my eye has also been on something else for some time now. I never expected these two events to possibly converge, and if they do, I will be very very worried, for the time is upon us, even as I already expect that it is. The Bible speaks of “darkness”, but it also speaks of something it calls “gross darkness”, eat your face off kind of darkness. There is a certain person in this earth whom I thought would already be dead before now, but he is not.
This, “certain person”, when he dies, if it is very close to the time of the completion of the Tower? I am watching this extremely close. Who is that person? I will not state his name, but just so you have some kind of validation that I am not playing games here...his initials are B.G.
Maybe it is because I have just spent three weeks discussing the subject of the Theory of Evolution, but I just read an article by Sean Durity that just “refreshed” me greatly in everything I believe. Getting into the arenas of ideas, along with all the theories, opinions, scriptures, speculations, and so on, can be a lot of “work”, but very necessary work. However, what I am trying to say, as important as all that is, it sure feels good when the work is done and you can just come back to the peace of the Lord. Like they say, there is no place like home!
So, if it is alright with my friend, Sean, I’m featuring the beginning of his article on Psalms 19. It is excellent! If you want to read it in it’s entirety, including the beautiful pictures he put with it, (because I’m not sure if the picture will copy over or not), simply click on this link: durtonthebible.wordpress.com and it should get you there. Enjoy!
“PSALMS 19”, article by Sean Durity, From Venus to God.
”The black sky was underpinned with long silver streaks that looked like scaffolding and depth on depth behind it were thousands of stars that all seemed to be moving very slowly as if they were about some vast construction work that involved the whole order of the universe and would take all time to complete. No one was paying attention to the sky.“ Flannery O’Connor in Wise Blood, chapter 3 (emphasis mine)
Yesterday, millions of people around the world were focused on the transit of Venus across the sun (from our point of view). My son, Aidan, a would-be astronomer, wanted to watch it, too. So we turned on NASA TV and watched for awhile. Aidan got bored with just seeing the black dot of Venus against the solar backdrop. It didn’t move fast. It didn’t explode or shoot off fireworks. It just kept imperceptibly moving. (He loved the solar flare pictures and other parts, though.)
However, I was in awe of the Creator of this universe. I am not alone. King David was often moved to worship as he observed God’s creation by looking up. Psalm 19 is a prime example. (Stop and read it before reading on here.) What is most interesting is that David moves from a poetic description of the stars and the sun to outbursts of praise for God’s laws and commands. How did he make that leap? I think the Venus transit explains it perfectly.
(I highly recommend reading the entire article. It is excellent, and not overly long either. It is to be enjoyed.)
About three weeks ago a friend asked me about evolution and a small discussion began. We didn’t get in to it too much because I have basically three or four points on the matter that sums it up for me, and since I’m more into spirit and nature than science, once I have my basic understanding of my position, I’m ready to move on. However, a lot of people are very involved with the theory of evolution, including some Christians. There are also those who have become emotionally invested into the subject, and some are even financially invested, as in college courses and degrees.
So three weeks ago a small discussion began for me and I decided to try to put my thoughts in an organized fashion in an article, which I am prone to do, it seems to be my nature as a writer and teacher. (I really can’t help myself.) I wrote the article “I’m not an Animal” and I thought I did a rather good job of expressing my thoughts concerning “the soul” of man, and how the answer “for me” lies in the spiritual realms. Nonetheless, after writing it I ended up in a bigger evolution debate with a young man named Adam, which I welcomed, and I tried to stretch myself to talk in terms more scientific, as much as I could.
Basically God came to my rescue when another person, by name of Benjamight came into the discussion and was able to talk Adam’s language. I mean, they really had a discussion, if you know what I mean? And Benjamight did an excellent job of defending the Bible. (He really did.) I guess you could say they talked to a stalemate at the very least. In the process, I made an effort to try to learn a little more science.
I did not expect what happened next. A new discussion of the subject sprung up on WordExpress Weekly magazine, and boy it was going full steam with no Christians there to defend Creationism. Adam had moved to the magazine, copied his argument to it, but made no mention of the Benjamight. I found this group basically asking where all the Christians were to defend their Creationism? Well, most of us were working! But I jumped in any way, since no one else was around, and I also put out a shout for Benjamight. Thank goodness he showed up and , WOW, did things get interesting then! Once that discussion finally ended, I thought, “good”, we shared a lot of good stuff and people can make up their own mind. That discussion was eventually removed and I thought it was over…but not so.
I came back to the magazine to find a new discussion going on the topic as if no Benjamight had ever said anything before. I started to jump in again, but quickly became so sick of the subject that I thought if I typed another word I was going to literally throw up. I typed a last statement and left the discussion. I had complete burnout on the subject, and was so ready to get back into the peace of God, spirit, and nature. But as I drove in the quiet of my truck all that night, I kept asking myself the question, why do I lack the interest in this subject that so many others seem to have?
I had to ask myself, “Why do I lack interest in the subject of evolution?”
It was quite a while before I felt like I really got to my answer. I didn’t have any good answers at first. I had just never tried to understand this part of me before, and yet, because of three weeks of discussions, I now found myself wanting to understand this. I realized it immediately when the real answer began to come, and that is what I am ready to share.
People say the Bible is no longer relevant. Actually, just the opposite is true. The Bible is still ahead of its time! We are the ones who are behind and still trying to comprehend everything that is in it, of which we have barely scratched the surface of! We have yet to catch up with the Bible! We say it is old and no longer relevant in our modern-day of living. The Bible laughs at us and says we are still so far behind, we do not even comprehend what we have in our hands!
I remember a very cold night and my semi was breaking down. The fuel filter was freezing up, my temperature gauge was going up for some unknown reason, snow was flying, the wind was blowing like sixty, pitch black outside, and I was in a mess! Of course, I started asking God for help. I was praying with and without my understanding, a supernatural thing many people have no knowledge of. I did not break down and God got me through that night, and you know what? On a night like that, whether I evolved from a monkey or not is completely irrelevant! How was my monkey’s uncle going to help me that night? And yet I reached into the supernatural and got real help right when I needed it! I could tell you many instances just like that.
God told me this economic crunch was coming. He said I needed to make more money and told me what to do. I completely left my warehouse job, became a truck driver, more than doubled my income, and now, while so many people are hurting, my house is “almost” the only debt I have. In another six months it will be.
A lot of working men have lower back problems. I injured my lower back lifting things I never should have. The problem was very persistent but I did not want anyone to know I was damaged goods, it can be bad for job prospects. So I never went to any kind of doctor, never had any kind of surgery, and yet I overcame that problem, with the help of God, and it is completely gone. I have a pain-free body. My list could go on and on and I will not bore you with any more, but I have learned this entire creation has Spiritual Laws woven into its fabric, and if you learn them, and apply them, you can drastically affect your physical, emotional, and spiritual environment! This knowledge is hidden in the word of God, and I have barely scratched the surface! Jesus was the Master at it, and he showed us what is really possible.
I get very excited every time I discover a new spiritual law that can help me not only in the here and now, but also eternity. Evolution is basically irrelevant in that regard. I have no desire to spend precious time on a theory that is so full of missing links it would sink a battleship, when I can be learning powerful supernatural truths that empower my life today and forever! And this is why I love what I love.
Time is precious. People are precious. How is my monkey’s uncle going to help me face financial difficulties? My wife and I raised five kids on an income of 35,000 dollars per year, while giving to the Church! (All five kids are doing well.) Evolution never helped my wife and I have a solid marriage of 35 years now, in a time when 50% of marriages fail! I find no hope in evolution when I face death! In God’s supernatural I have found power, peace, joy, real answers, life, understanding, wisdom, morals, prophetic future, answers about the “other side”, and most of all…I found God!
I understand Christians who want to learn scientific answers that support the Bible and God. I believe that is a ministry in itself. And I believe Benjamight is most likely one of those people, and he sure helped me during that time. We all have our own calling in God, but God and the Bible are still waiting on man to “catch up”. We are the ones who are behind, and except for God’s great love, we would be the ones who are irrelevant!
Here’ some science for you. I heard a scientist last night, talking on the Quantum theory. They do not understand how a subatomic particle seems to behave different when it is being “observed” by man, from when it is not being “observed”. They theorize that our consciousness may affect things! I have always believed “faith” affects things, even to the point of shaping things. It is the world I have lived in for some time now. Is this evidence of that? I do not know, but, he also said that most cutting edge scientist agree that the Big Bang makes no sense at all. So here we are, another scientific “theory”. Have fun with it all you lovers of science! Figure it all out and let me know what it means. In the meantime, I’m going camping. I’m going to walk wooded paths, listen to the wind in the trees, pray and ask God things, and enjoy a campfire under a star lit sky. The world is changing, and it may be changing away from God, I am well aware of this, I am aware of many things I see coming. But let the world do what it will, I’m staying on the cutting edge with God. I love it here.
I hear a Choctaw, and I hear a Christian in my head, saying…
I hear a Choctaw in my head saying…This is the land I grew up in, but it is no more.
It was a land of clear streams and pure air. We never heard of acid rain. Trees did not die on tops of mountains because of poison in the sky. The painted pony ran free and the buffalo was abundant. When I shot my bow the sound of it did not disturb the peace of my surroundings. We had our games…we ran long…and rode bareback…it was glorious…nature was our home…and the Great Spirit our way.
We loved our wives and taught our children to be great hunters, and yes, warriors, too; for we did have our tribal battles, but it was not like the war with the white man. Our Totem pole stood proud and tall! The majesty of the eagle! The strength of the bear! The endurance of the wolf! We loved our family and our tribe. It was our way…but then the white man came and all began to change.
Not only did white man bring war, but also diseases we had no immunity to, and a drink that put fire in our soul and caused many a young warrior to lose their way. And so it was, but it is not now, except in my memory of a day gone by. It is gone forever. It was the way I loved, and still love, because I am Choctaw!
I hear a Christian in my head saying… This is the land I grew up in, but it is no more.
In the fifth grade my teacher, a very sweet old lady, use to read a portion of Bible each day at the beginning of class, until it became against the law. Against the law in America, the land of which “in God we trust”. I was too young to know of such things at that time. I got spanked by a teacher once also, for running up the stairs in school. It got my attention and put me straight, but now our schools are war zones. We have guards and metal detectors. Many students need medication just to get through a school day. If a parent is seen spanking their child, it is called child abuse, and they may lose their child. My parents spanked my sister and I. I didn’t feel abused. I learned from it, and developed something called discipline. It has served me well in life.
In my day family units stayed together a lot more, even if it was only for the sake of the children, or trying to be faithful to God. “Only” for the sake of the children? Only? As goes the family so goes the nation, they say. This does not bode well. As a Christian I hate this war on marriage. Man with man? Woman with woman? In my day it was understood to be unnatural. In the day that has been lost, what went on behind the bedroom door was left there. I miss that day. I miss the day when family units were strong, the country was strong, and we did not have half the country needing government help just to get by. I miss that day because I am a Christian. Like the Choctaw misses his Choctaw nation, I am rapidly losing my Christian nation.
That is what it means when they say “Post Christian”, you know?
You might have to go back a ways, but I believe there was probably a time when politicians claimed to be Christian, and they really were! The welfare of the country came before their career. Washington D.C. was not a viper’s nest of bribery and special deals. You might have to go back a ways though. And the Church Preacher was real, too! Not playing with porno when no one can see him! It was not a business or career, but a “Calling” from God! I blame the Church for this mess we’re in.
Yes. I’m reminiscing too much. Let me quickly list a few things for the sake of speed, and then I’ll go away. Whether believed or not, the Bible was greatly respected, and a strong part of the Judaic Christian foundation of morality for this country. A good Church was highly recommended to one and all. Pornography, sex and nudity, on t.v., in movies, on Internet, being thrust at us from every direction, was not to be seen. A divorce rate of 50% or more was unheard of, but now it is even in the Church! And Walmart almost got rid of the words…”Merry Christmas”? What is this world I find myself in, and where is it going? These are only a few things I could mention. As a Christian, they stand out to me like blaring lights! Legal abortion! It breaks my heart! Our slide down this slippery slope appears as nothing to others, but for the devout Christian, it’s huge, and gaining speed! Who is going to fix our financial irresponsibilities? Are we looking at a world bankruptcy? It ought not be so!
I will only mention one more thing, even though I see much more. In the America that was “strong” we use to see something called…”Made in the U.S.A.”! If the wisdom of God were still in D.C., we would not be over our head in debt and lack of jobs because we would still have an abundance of the words “Made in the U.S.A.”! Is there any intelligent person out there that really thinks the American standard of living can compete with a $2.00/hour China worker?
Our standard will come down, and it is coming down, not for the elite, but for the masses. But I fear the America I loved is gone forever, like my Choctaw predecessor, change has come, and it may not bode well for the Christian nation. If I spank my child? Or repeat out loud on a city street what the Bible says on homosexuality? Bad things can happen to me. The Choctaw will never see the America they loved ever again, and perhaps, neither shall I?
So much for reminiscing. I can see there will need to be a “Part Three”. I had a lady comment on Part One and ask, “Where is the hope in your message?” There is hope. God seems to like the number 3, so maybe it is apropos to be in Part 3, but for now I have one more issue to stir up. Yes, it will probably stir up. I must say it any way. We speak the light we have, and then we stand or fall by those words.
“Made in the U.S.A.?” I guess it means nothing that the tower replacing its fallen comrades in lower Manhattan, will not be called “Freedom Tower”, but it will be called “One World” Trade Center. It means nothing to me because I already knew what the truth was, I’m just surprised they actually had the guts to call it what it really is! It means nothing, right?
It is scheduled to be completed in 2013. That is not far away at all. It will have 104 floors, and its total height to the tip of its spire is 1,776 feet tall. 1,776? The same year as our nation’s “independence”? “One World” Trade Center? Yes, they are very bold now. Very bold indeed. It means nothing, right? Made in the U.S.A.?
According to Wikipedia, the building’s first lease was announced on March 28, 2009, a Beijing based – Vantone Industrial Company. A 190,810 sq. ft. “China Center”, located between floors 64-69. Made in the U.S.A., or everywhere but U.S.A.? Good paying jobs for the “average” person? I don’t know. What do you think?
Isn’t world unity a good thing? That all depends on what kind of compromises you have to make in order to be all buddy-buddy with evil countries. If I’m not mistaken, the indians may have made that same mistake. (At least in their opinion.) Do we think we can buy everybody’s love? Not much longer, we’re broke! And one more note about leaving Christian values? “SIN” = “EXPENSIVE”!
Sin itself carries a very high cost of living tag. Injuries due to drunk driving, lawsuits, prison costs, trial cost, lawyer fees, oh God, lawyer fees, doctor bills, theft, rape, abortion, car repairs, building repairs, police force, medications, drug addiction, mental health, stress, rising health care rates, rising taxes, rising cost of living, inflation, battery, abandoned children, child abuse, people eating people’s faces off, running around naked, super strength, feeling no pain, eating the heart and brain. Sheesh! I don’t know, think I’ll stop here.
Yes, I think we can state for a “fact”, sin is very expensive. So the more ungodly a people become, keep pulling out your wallets, folks! (Those of you still working, that is. Those not working are not affected, they have other problems.) We don’t really hear people complain too much about the cost of sin, they call it a lot of other things.
So, back to the “One World Trade Center”. I believe, prophetically speaking, we are in an ” Ahab and Jezebel time”. And no, I am not referring to our President and his wife, but I am referring to Washington D.C. and the World Trade Center! (Including Wall Street!) Washington D.C. has power, but just like in the days of Ahab, it was Jezebel who was really calling the shots! Also, that Israel time period was greatly affected by “world trade agreements” that were enabling the merchants to become the elite, while the peasants just got poorer, as a wider and wider gap developed between the two, and social unrest set in. See any of that today?
I will explain this further in Part 3, and I will talk about the “Hope”! But I am up to 1,540 words right now, and that is enough for one sitting. So, yes, call me crazy, but I just claimed we’re in an Ahab and Jezebel time period, with history basically repeating. Yes, I really said that. I’m not going to try and defend what I said, until Part 3. But until then, I welcome any and all comments, whether agree or disagree. (As long as we keep it clean, folks. Thanks.)