When you can’t love yourself
and can’t seem to grasp
not the world at large
but the window before you-
find a safe little place
for some supernatural space
and wait for the appearance
I submit to you that that are many people out there who do not love anyone, not even themselves.
Recently, I read a short news article reporting about the multiple rape of a thirteen year old girl by a posse of illegal immigrants. It sickened me…however, I did not have the full story- not until a friend sent me a video of Glenn Beck.
I’m not a conservative, nor a liberal, I am a follower of Christ. My main concerns are not political, they are spiritual, and because of that, social. In fact, I don’t agree with Glenn Beck’s religious views either.
But what Beck revealed was, as Paul Harvey used to say, “the rest of the story.” And that left me even more perplexed, because when you reflect on such a horrific act- a thirteen year old raped by fourteen men, it is nauseating.
But what is more nauseating is when I ponder on what has happened in this sin-sick country. Great numbers of individuals are living like animals, so driven by sin that evil is glorified, and wrong celebrated.
And while innocents are raped and abused, egocentric women, vacuous in their thinking, arrange for the death of innocent babies God ordained to be created…a great proportion of wives leave their husbands, flaunting the sacred covenant of marriage in God’s face, because they are sexually depraved, narcissistic in their “beauty”- as Lucifer was before his fall (satan), and reject God…
…and then there are men, without wisdom, driven to act unnaturally because they reject the will of God and in rebellion rise up against the things of God…men who long to be wicked, violent, embracing death as a friend, and seeking to control and strangle life, not to love…
…and yet, there is a remnant. A small remnant. A chorus of people who seek the good, not what is evil. A group seeking to serve God and serve men, women, and all God’s children.
Today is the day of Salvation. Choose this day whom you shall serve…life or death.
For, as the great Bob Dylan sang, “you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”
Return to me, and I will return to you. That is the message in the first part of Malachi 3.
Way before the Lord speaks about the tithe in the latter part of Malachai 3, the Word speaks of Christ coming. This Messiah does not seem to be all cuddly here. In fact, it states quite plainly that He will refine, purify, those who seek to offer sacrifices so that they will be righteous before God.
When this happens, it states that God will act. But you have to go back to Isaiah 58 to understand how to get into this acceptable place of acceptable sacrifice.
True fasting is found in Isaiah 58. The definition of fasting has been obscured by traditions of men- just as God revealed through the prophet Isaiah. God desired that each of us walk humbly with God, and:
* Repent of sin (turn away from being in any state that keeps us from a close relationship with God. “God, I am sorry. I want to do things your way.”)
The next action requires complete submission to God as you need to be willing to be a spiritual warrior (if you are a follower of Christ, you will know what I mean).
* Loosen the bonds of wickedness (Now “wicked” is not good, it is cruel evil- when someone is attacked by a cruel evil, we are to help that person under attack. In fact, God tells us so many times not to be wicked. If you follow Christ, you are to do what you can – in action and in prayer. This is part of an acceptable sacrifice, part of an active fast)
*Break every bondage (Bondage is anything that has a hold on you- it might be drugs or another kind of addiction, but it may also be emotional bondage- baggage- or even mental bondage.)
*Free the oppressed.
*Divide your food with the hungry.
*Bring the homeless poor into the house. In fact, if you are homeless and your relatives ignore you, Isaiah 58 insinuates that your family members who turned you away are totally out of touch with God, therefore, in sin.
*Clothe the naked.
*Be available to family- do not turn them away. See above.
*Do not accuse anyone. If you accuse, you are doing the same thing that satan does. So, stop it. Yes, we are to reveal the works of evil…but not be an accuser.
*Satisfy the need of the afflicted.
So, it seems to me from this passage that we have a lot of work to do. If you say you are a Christian or a Messianic Jew, and you believe you have no time to act like this as you live out your daily life, check your pulse. You are alive. God gave you life again today. Are you ready to walk humbly with your God?
I’ve heard enough preachers in my day to do a full two hour stand-up routine with about every variety and denomination featured. I’ve heard some great phrases, one liners, and simple truths in those sermons too. I’ve boogied for Jesus with the grooviest dudes in Hackensack, and have sung a nasal chorus with Brother Moses the cross-eyed preacher, in a building so deep in the black hole of Nowhere, it lacked a sign, a heating source, and indoor plumbing. I’ve watched a deranged man coo at his congregation until one man nearly fell off his seat in laughter. And I have heard such a powerful sermon that throngs of people were affected. I’ve sat under the best, and I’ve heard the worst. You could say I have seen and heard a mighty big crowd of witnesses in my time.
So when I say I have been on that “detour on the way to destiny, more than once,” I am hoping I’m not using another preacher’s sacred sermon phrase. That detour on the way to destiny has caused a lot of problems in life. I have seen it in my own, when I missed a road sign from heaven and ended up in the second best football field ever. Now, I’m heading for that best football field ever. Too bad the fog was too thick to see the gate entrance until now…
But now I have my ticket…
It seems strange to the world, but God does work in such unusual ways that it confuses those who do not know Him. They’ll think that they are running the show, they are destroying their enemy, but in reality…..God will take their evil and twist it around for our good- for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. The Imposters, and the ones following their own selfish desires….think they have a victory when everything seems to be going their way. But then something impossible will happen- the one following after God’s heart will suddenly come through the mess on the other side with a better job, better living conditions, a better group of people to work with, a better home, a better wife or husband, a better day to day existence, and even a better reputation, You can count on those poor unrepentant sinners scratching their heads till Judgment day…unless something changes.
I’m going through what seems like an impossible situation…but God has already promised me a victory and a new situation better than what I have had before now. If He will do it for me, He will do it for you. You have to “put all your chips on the table,” telling God “you’re all in.” When you move all of your trust over to God, like in poker when you put all those chips on the table, it is no longer you trying figure it out.
Think about it…then go do something about it….and you’ll be blessed…(no, no pastor’s quote there, just yer man from the mountains).
PS I don’t play poker, but when I was younger…
She propped a leg on the curb and took some serious puffs on a dwindling cigarette, communicating stress. An older man, dressed in suspenders, a heavy blue-plaid flannel shirt, and pants belonging to a long-forgotten era, brought his pipe and importance to the edge of the curb. She flung her head one way, exhaling, her pony tail swishing, as the old man pointed left at an invisible idea. And then, he was gone. But unlike Joshua marching around Jericho, the old man puffed his pipe and waddled his way around the back side of the restaurant.
As i climbed into my seat and turned the ignition, I wrestled with what had happened in the parking lot. I watched the stressed girl walk back to her job inside the restaurant, while I passed a woman drinking coffee, walking on the curb edge like a little girl playing, and the old man heading toward the golden arches.
And I thought about them, three wandering souls, all looking stressed in one way or another, all exhibiting images of the lost, without a word of speech. I did not see a cigarette abuser, a pipe addict, or an old demented woman, I saw three people in need of comfort, compassion, and a better way in life.
Still, there are many today who would judge them, in the name of tolerance and liberal-thinking; they would be the first to attack a fellow human being. To malign them, to scatter lies about them, to subjugate them…to bury them in a pit of darkness…that would make these dark fiends happy, to see their fellow men and women suffer so. These are the ones with consciences seared, closed minds to the things of God; the ones running head-first into destruction, seeking others to drag down with them. They speak lies until they believe it is truth, and speak lies against the truth. Their way is the only way, there is no tolerance for anyone else.
Pity them, pray for them, that their eyes be opened, that they repent before eternal darkness covers them. As Christ came for the three wandering souls in the parking lot, he surely came for even those so deep in the pit that hatred and destruction is all they know. God’s perfect plan is that all be delivered from that pit. It is the job of those who have a flashlight to spread the light around so those in darkness can first see they are in darkness and need to get out of it.
If you know the truth (and the truth sets you free), then pray for these unfortunates… and have mercy on those you see…wandering around the parking lot…
When leaders abandon righteousness, exchanging it for the law of sin- that nation, hypocritically appealing to God, will neither stand in the place of blessing, nor be spared from the judgment of God. But those who trust in the Lord, who surrender their hearts at His throne, will step through the fire, refined, and walk where no man nor woman can stop them, for the Lord is the One who gives the blessing, not some man or woman.
Those who do not seek God, who cling to The Hope, who worship at the Idol of a man or image built on lies and deception, who relish in his skin color-will sing a song of want, of lack, and of defeat- in the end.
I can hear that “o’ gospel song,” singin’ loud and clear across the land…from the sofas of people collectin’ big checks from the government while those caught on welfare try to escape the trap…while the greedy get richer and the average citizen struggles to keep from falling through the cracks…while the chorus of deceitfulness slams smut across the front of our monitors…small devices…and even the very institutions claiming to promote peace and goodwill toward men and women…
…and still, the simpleheaded sing…
The Prez is my shepherd,
I shall always be in want.
He maketh me to lie down on filthy sheets
He leadeth me beside crumbling streets
He restoreth my soup kitchen bowl.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of fear
Thou art with me.
Thy spies and thy staff they stalk me.
Surely wickedness and depression shall follow me
all the days of thy reign…
and I shall live forever
in the house on the hill…
with no care,
and no future.
The time to wake up is now…you’ve been conned.
“What national park lies directly south of Dollywood?”
In the center of the class, a tall boy stuck his hand out like a lantern post.
“Mongolia,” the boy answered.
No one laughed. No one checked the map. In fact, no one got the message, because no one thought it was important.
And while it is conceivable that a freshman high school student might rush into a linguistic nightmare (“Mongolia” for “Monongahela,” also wrong) while not studying the map, it would seem inconceivable that an organization with a spotless reputation would myopically abolish common sense in favor of political results. Yet that is exactly what the most respected Christian organization in the United States is doing. It has decided to compromise spiritual beliefs in favor of political beliefs.
Perhaps it is time to resurrect history’s timeline to learn from the lessons of ideological encroachment. Travel back in time with me to the 1920’s and 1930’s, to a country known as Germany. We have beat the horse dead so many times that too many of our people have not learned the lessons of what incubated and grew into the Third Reich. One need only look to the abandonment of religious principles, in favor of political principles, to see how a nation fell into a pigpen of spiritual harlotry, allowing for a radical agenda to spring forth, bud, and be nurtured, emerging as one of the most evil creations mankind has ever developed. But it did not come overnight, it came in on cat’s feet, as TS Eliot might describe, in a time when people were not focusing on the spiritual, having bowed down to the political. And that, fellow citizens, is just what the Billy Graham Evangelical Association is doing- abandoning Christian principles for political motive. That said, all Americans who seek to live their lives following in the footsteps of Christ, must respond as we are told to do. For those who fail to forsee their future, end up regretting their past.
While it is true that one evil may be better than a greater evil, the lesser evil does not give any Christian license to abandon any tenet of the faith, just as no believer in Islam would reject a pillar of their faith while remaining an ardent follower. It is inconceivable. When a sect does not agree with the standard pillars of that faith, it cannot be included among those revered as “the brethryn.” Equating a heretical sect with a believer in right standing, a part of the body of believers, is both unscriptural and unscrupulous.
I am therefore calling on my brethryn throughout the United States to examine themselves before scriptural truth to determine if they have compromised the truth, as the Billy Graham Association is now doing in their latest move. They have fallen prey to myopia, for each viable candidate in the race has an agenda: one attacking the structure of the nation as an anti-colonialist, and one waiting in the wings for an improbable utopian dream broadcast by fringe prophets of a fringe sect that has crept into the halls of power and may quietly do just as the Nazis did in 1930’s Germany, taking over the soul of a nation, creeping in on cat’s feet…
It is better to hold to the truth, than to capitulate to a lie in the hope that a lie will erase a more evil future. The leaders of the nation have embraced a path that will lead to more trouble, long before hope can flicker a tiny flame in the descending decline of a once- and no more future- power…
I do not care about being politically correct; I answer to a higher call. There are some- not on wordpress.com- who believe that anyone is fair game, for any reason and can get away with murder, character assassination, or spread filth because they embrace it. For those, there is a time of reckoning, and that is who this poem addresses as “you.” There are many of you who will agree with this little poem because you too know that a wicked and perverse generation is at loose in the world. These are the ones who have embraced lies, worship at the feet of the culture of death, and who would like nothing better than to see God’s own destroyed. As the poem points out, the Word of God states that they will have their due- if they continue in opposition to those who are seeking God with all their hearts, or trying to. Don’t assume that I am attacking anyone- this is a warning to those who need warned, not the majority of us.
there is that
assumed it is from me-
left from a morsel
wiped from my feet…
the sidewalk below
on the fire escape
with nowhere to go-
you think that you have me,
but I will not stay-
my heart is not touched
by your game of decay.
my mind is on Heaven
I try to declare
while yours is on Hell
and baggage-filled care.
you call into question
the right and the pure
while your heart is rotten
with no earthly cure.
beware spreading rumors
beware spreading hate
touch not God’s annointed
or it might be too late.