Rich Mullins…

Words written long ago by the late great Rich Mullins. And still true.

These Days

There’s a song down in my heart, nobody there to sing it
Like a vision asleep in the dark, with no one around to dream it
We just all sit back and watch all that we love sinking away

When we got to where we was going, we forgot just where it was
The next thing that you know is, all we found was, we was lost
And the blame, oh, the blame comes down on all of us, these days

And these days, we got nothing left to find
These days, oh, it’s the blind leading the blind
And these days, I need more than just a line about Jesus
Oh, I need to see His love, these days

We got sophistication in the wake of the fall
Now we got this civilization and it’s got us all involved, in nothing
Oh, nothing at all but atomic waste

And we got too many people, who are too easily disposed of
Well, you can make it all legal, but in the end you know that it ain’t right
You were just doing your job and your job did you in, these days

And these days, we got nothing left to find
And these days, oh, it’s the blind leading the blind
And these days, I need more than just a line about Jesus
Oh, I need to see His love, these days

And these days, I need more than just a line about Jesus
Oh, I need to see His love, these days

Songwriters
Mullins Richard W; Hall Pamela Ann

ead more: Rich Mullins – These Days Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Check out this You Tube Video.

 

The Reproach

This blog is all about sharing…sharing knowledge of the scriptures gained through personal experiences, observations and opinions, or as the Lord reveals insight about living in this last hour. This is a long message, contemplated on for a few days, simple, but I hope the reader will glean from it as the Lord desires.

Safe in America

First of all, as Americans we live in a very secure nation. Nevertheless, when our foundation is shaken we are easily disturbed by fear of the unknown. For many, at this point is when they turn to God. Still, through the socialization process, we gain a sense of assurance, that for the most part we are safe in our communities and safe from foreign invaders. However, having this assurance does not prevent some of us from experiencing fear and panic when law enforcement helicopters start hovering over our streets searching for a gunman that just shot down an 18 year-old man. Regardless, we remain secure in the knowledge that we live in a society where our defenses are impenetrable.

I live in San Antonio, so I am only about two and a half hours from the Mexican border. Regardless of living so close to Mexico the fear of an enemy invasion via Mexico, or enemy fire from the across the border never seems to cross anyone’s mind. Apparently, we don’t need fences to feel secure. It’s ingrained into our DNA. We tend to have this arrogance that no one would dare invade the USA, even after Sept. 11. Nevertheless, I am confident that most people would agree that we are living in dangerous times either globally, locally, or both, believer, and unbeliever alike. This need for security, to feel secure, no one can deny, but it comes at a high price. As the saying goes, “Freedom has never been free.”  Read more

Matthew 24:24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

This statement was posted on a Christian artist’s Facebook page…

ABOUT JOEL OSTEEN: I usually don’t comment on this stuff but I feel I need to speak up. For some reason many credible church leaders are finding the need to dissect Joel Osteen as a speaker and even his credibility as a Christian. Even going after his wife and dissecting her words by the phrase as if they’re prosecutors and she’s on a murder trial. Folks this has got to stop. Joel is one of us. He is a God ordained bridge between the mainstream world and the church and we really need to protect our bridge. He’s a pastor. He’s not an evangelist. Though he does offer prayers for salvation, he doesn’t have to in order to fulfill his call. We have to see him for everything he is instead of terrorizing him for everything he’s not. He can not say everything we want him to say. But if we keep him in place he creates a hunger in people to go to their local churches and hear “the rest of the story”. The Bible says Some are called to reap, some to water and some to sow seeds. Joel is a world class seed sower. Who, by the way, is not afraid to water and reap. So let’s back off this key representative in the mainstream world. Satan loves it when we partner with him and destroy our own leaders. God has a seed sower for every generation. Wether it’s Norman Vincent Peale or Robert Shuller or Joel Osteen. We support our troops in the military, now lets support our troops in the church. Joel Osteen is one of our finest soldiers and he needs our support. Can I hear an Amen ?

This statement is awfully disturbing. I know I said I would not comment on this mess with the Osteen’s, but it has yet to die down. I thought I would follow with this…people are defending the Osteen’s character, their ministry, their sincerity, their abilities to bring others to Christ. Where is God? Where is Jesus? People seem more concerned with the audacity of fellow Christians passing judgment on the great and mighty Osteen than on Word of God and rightly dividing the Word. And they are doing the same thing in passing judgment…

2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”PicsArt_1410802722882

I am amazed at how many Christians are using the “don’t judge” card. And the real truth is this…Only God knows the heart of any man…we don’t…so if we defend a messenger of God, we better make doubly sure that the messenger is indeed sent by God. We are to know the true believers by their fruit. Well…sometimes that can be a bit tricky…if you do not read the scriptures. Without knowledge of the Word of God..without reading the Word and having God reveal it to you, a person can pretty much believe anything that sounds like truth. I mean, we humans do the same in many other areas, not just with the things of God. Some people are easily ensnared.

This is not about the Osteen’s or any other false teacher, preacher, pastor or teaching. This is about Christians…no.. this is about people desperately seeking ” …” and finding “…” fill in the blanks.

2 Corinthians 3:15-18 “But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

There seems to be a lot of conversion, but very little in the way of transformation…and all of us can recognize transformation.

2 Timothy 3 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,  persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Luke 17  “Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sin

Don’t Judge Me! Who are you to Judge Me? Christians shouldn’t judge! Better arrows from a friend, then kisses from an enemy.

Have you heard those comments before, or something to that effect? Just about everyone has been subjected to finger pointing at some point, especially if you are a believer. But what about when the person ordained mishandles the Word of God, especially those that draw crowds by the thousands? Those who claim to have been called by God to preach the Gospel? Do we just allow them to pervert the Word of God? We should know the people of God by their fruits, but instead we see them as in the old days of the priests. We don’t see, or call many of these lovely preachers, teachers, pastors, or prophets – false prophets. We call them anything but that, and we don’t even try to steer fellow believers away from such as these. I recall the apostle Paul calling out a couple of them. This one topic, that of false teaching, false prophets and such is always a great lesson for believers, well…for me anyway.

I ask the question again, do we cut them any slack? Well, this incident with the Osteen’s has certainly brought this question to the forefront. The incident has disturbed the slumber of some believers and nonbelievers. However, there were some believers that were watchful and now they are being criticized for criticizing the powerful and great Osteen ministry. We can expect criticism from the typical anti-God groups, that is not troubling, if anything expected, but what is troubling is that many believers, especially new believers, babes in Christ may be getting the wrong idea of what the Christian faith, believing in a living God, and the message of the cross is all about. And it’s not just her remarks that trouble me, it’s her response and that of some of their followers, many of which may be new believers.

I ask God, is there resolve in this matter, as in the case of ISIS according to the fella from DD, is it one of two choices: repent, or ignore God and suffer the consequences.  Or as believers, do we just let it slide? Knowing of course that the Lord will deal with His own. We can know with confidence that the Osteen’s will not repent, because repentance connotes wrong doing. And Osteen has pretty much admitted no wrong doing. I am surprise that she did not use scripture to support her remarks. I am confident that anyone at all concerned about this has already forgotten about it, or put it in God’s hands, which is what I would have done, but for some reason…I can’t, so I am just going to address it this last time and put it in God’s faithful hands. He alone knows the heart of every man. Praise God!

Matthew 18:6 Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. The bible warns repeatedly to watch out for the false prophet.

Well, the hour is at hand.

Last night I had this image in my mind. In the garden of Eden, Eve took the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. She handed it to Adam. Adam took the fruit and ate of it. So, here comes God, walking in the garden, calls Adam. Adam admits he is hiding because he is naked. Why, God asks Adam do you think you are naked? Well, you know the story. Eve handed Adam her belief that the fruit of the tree that God told them not to eat from was a better choice…and you know the rest of the story. God dealt with both, but let’s face it, Adam got all the blame. He went along with Eve, but not without consequences. I had to discuss this image in my brain with a friend before I completely understood what the Lord was showing me.

Why I am I even compelled to put this argument on paper, I don’t know, but God knows. Let the reader have ears to hear.

The Hour is at Hand…

In her words…

“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God we’re not doing it for God — I mean that’s one way to look at it (That’s the only way to look at it.),” she said from the pulpit. “We’re doing it for yourself, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives him the greatest joy this morning … just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy.”

With boldness, she reiterates her statement… rather than clarifying the awkwardness of the statement she had just made. This was her opportunity to acknowledge God, but instead chose to please the flesh. She might have gone into more detail with her church, or elsewhere, but no where that I found.

She added, “When you come to church when you worship him, you’re not doing it for God, really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy.”

Her defense or reasoning whichever way you want to see it… Read more

Should we cut the false teachers, preachers, prophets any slack?

Any decent bible scholar could create an argument in defense of V. Osteen’s comments, however, is that what God expects of His true followers? Truly, anyone that can read the scriptures can create an argument. I found this argument rather interesting and of course had to add my thoughts on his defense.

defense http://theweek.com/article/index/267390/in-defense-of-the-prosperity-gospel
As all believers know, God hates the false prophets, false teachers and when they say “Lord, Lord did we not…” (Matthew 7:21-23) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Sure we are under grace and we should forgive all who trespass against us but Jeremiah the prophet did not quit at warning about these false teachers and serving other gods…Jer. 25:6-7, Do not go after other gods to serve them and worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands; and I will not harm you.’ Yet you have not listened to Me,” says the Lord, “that you might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt..and really that’s the issue with these prosperity teachers (It’s all positive thinking theology which is not the same as having faith and trust in the living God.), that’s what Osteen is categorized under. They anger God because they deceive people. Their mantra was/is “name and claim it.” Recently, I heard it restated as, “see it, say it, seize it! Is there any difference, really?

Jeremiah 23: 16 Thus says the Lord of hosts:
“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord.

NIV says it like this…“This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.”

And while the true believer might be well versed on how God and prosperity can go hand in hand it may not always be as such with those that aren’t, as Paul told us that he learned to be content in all situations. Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Also, the idea that teachers, preachers, prophets… give their followers the notion that worship is anything else but unto the Lord is just a false truth.

Her comment:
“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it—we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy,” (I saw her partner at her side-that is her husband smiling-approving.) “That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy…” 
“So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. “When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really (Yes, we do it all for the Lord, let God be true and every man a liar. She displays more confidence here). You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?” 
Colossians 3:23-24 “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, (and we are men) knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
We are to love others as we want to be loved, but where does it say that we worship God for ourselves? God takes pleasure when we are obedient…and being obedient is not always about us being happy. We surrender our will for the will of our heavenly Father. We love God, because He first loved us and it is nothing of ourselves. He does it all.
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23).
“If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).
“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me” (John 14:21).
“If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching” (John 14:23).
“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love” (John 15:10).
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).
“everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice” will remain standing, while “everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice” will fall with a great crash (Matthew 7:24-27).
“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent” (Revelation 3:3).

Rev. 4:11
“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
So according to VO our motivation to obey… “I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it…” VO, that’s the only way to look at it (Yes, many will say it’s splitting hairs, but again let God be true and every man a liar.). Do it all for the glory of God. Any other way is the flesh in control.

1 Corinthians 1:29-31 “that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Of four things I can be sure… that other believers made their own assessment, that Satan is having a heyday…that the agnostic remains a skeptic and that God will deal with the wolves in the church in His time. That’s just my take. Be Blessed.

The Voice of Truth…is Heaven for Real?

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A couple of years ago my two-year old grandson was sick with vomiting, fever and just feeling pretty bad. At some point, he began to look bad. His eyes were sunken in and his color was a bit off. It happens when you have stuff coming out both ends. Anyway, my daughter and I were keeping a close eye on him, believing that it was nothing more than a stomach virus. Well, it was late one evening, after about three days of illness that my daughter was in her room, sitting on her bed and just holding him. It was an ominous sight that to this day I cannot forget. My daughter, already tired herself, was holding my grandson. His little body laid almost draped over her, almost lifeless. She was worried and had called me in to check him out, not sure what to do for him. I cannot tell you the fear that came over me upon seeing his lifeless little body. I told my daughter that we had to get him to the emergency room, asap. We did not call EMS. We just got in the car and sped to the Children’s ER which was about twenty minutes away. When we got to the ER, of course they took him right back in. ER doctors immediately started running tests and such. As it turned out he had acute appendicitis and by God’s grace, we got him medical help in time. The doctors performed an emergency appendectomy and he was going to be alright. The doctors told my daughter that if we had waited any longer his appendix would have ruptured and things would have been worse. Praise God. God is so good.

So, I just finished watching the movie Heaven is for real. This movie is about a little boy that goes to heaven during emergency surgery. It’s a touching story based on real life. The reason I shared this story about my grandson is because the little boy in the movie had his appendix rupture and he nearly died. So the experience hit close to home. I don’t want to spoil the movie for those that have not seen it yet, but as I watched as the father struggled with his own faith, the mom not sure how to help, and the Christian community coming together to pray and support that also had a difficult time accepting and believing this little boy’s experience…I found myself… not questioning the validity of the boy’s experience, but just having a heck of time deciding whether to believe or not believe that God would reveal Himself through this little boy. There have always been individuals that have reported near-death experiences, some pleasant, others not so pleasant and most of us have some doubt about the validity of such experiences.

So, the little boy shares with his father his varied experiences while visiting heaven. His mother just seems to pass it off as a dream based on past experiences, and exposure to the things of God. Totally, nonspiritual, she was being a mom. Well, the movie goes on and later on, the boy shares something with mom that she knows he could not possibly know and she too begins to believe in his outrageous tale. After a while, typical… the critics come out, the supports start questioning the father’s behavior and such. In the end, everyone must make their own choice.

As I watched, I thought…how many Christian genuinely believe that Heaven is a real place and that Jesus is real and that we are not alone in this universe? How many believers can accept Jesus as a brother, father? How many Christian women would accept Jesus as their husband? Not just in a spiritual sense but like the Catholic nuns that wear a wedding band to signify their marriage to Him (I guess they still do that???).

Today, as I was skimming Yahoo news, I read that Ann B. Davis (of the Brady Bunch) died yesterday, right here in my hometown. It was reported that she had lived here, 18 years in a “Christian community”. I was like…what? She lived in San Antonio? What Christian community? I don’t know of any such here…that’s just the way it was reported.

Davis’s death and my grandson’s experience raised some questions for me. I have read of other near death experiences, but never watched any in film. This particular film struck a chord with me because of my grandson. Also, because of the mom’s nonchalant attitude at the start of it all…but more because God had a message of love and comfort to a world stricken with grieve and doubt, cynicism and just pure hate for the things of God. The little boy had a message for his mom, but also to rest of the us (I won’t spoil the movie). Reading about this “Christian community” that I knew nothing about also raised concerns about what “we” as Christians are doing to reach the lost with the love of God. Are we just sitting pretty somewhere, content in our own righteous living, unnoticed?

Well, I thought…the world wants us to believe that God, that Heaven and hell for that matter exists only in our finite minds. If we, as humans have retained anything it’s that human knowledge, unfettered, can be a dangerous thing. Not because knowledge is always a dangerous thing, but because the human chooses to believe in “survival of the fittest” as an end goal rather than on the Creator of the man and His destiny for each one of us.  You can fill in the blanks. History is filled with plenty of examples.

I just wonder, …as believers, can we distinguish the voice of truth from all the voices in our head? False teachings, false teachers, and false prophets grace our churches at every corner and people blindly enter, and our “Christian communities” sit by unnoticed. The biggest problem we face is that every church pastor, preacher, teacher, etc. believes they are preaching truth.

In this last hour…God has a message for us. How many of us are listening? Heaven is real. And if heaven is real…