Thursday, November 30, 2006

Remember Jesus Christ, Paul’s Gospel

Remember Jesus Christ, Paul’s Gospel

2 Timothy 2: 7-9. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained. (NIV)

There are some that seem bent on reducing Jesus to “doctrines and creeds”. (Again, these have their place, but must be in proper relationship to Jesus.) They claim the Gospel is a set of systematic beliefs… and quote scriptures to proof text their assumption. Yet when one looks at what Paul simply states… in many places, it seems that the Gospel is the proclamation of Jesus the Person!

Paul asks Timothy to reflect… to contemplate…to think upon what Paul is saying. The focus of our faith does not revolve around us… that being me or you, but the focus is on Jesus Christ. This Jesus Who was Messiah, and a descendant of David…the rightful King of Israel. This Messiah/King died and was raised from the dead… notice though in the verse that Paul does not mention Jesus dying? For all die… good and bad alike… all will face the dark lord of death in this world… yet there is something Paul is pointing to… something that had never happened before, or if it did that person, though privileged with more time to live as Lazarus did, still went obediently to the grave in his last days…

Yet, again, this one thing Paul points to… this stumbling block… yes this One Who was crucified… yet Paul speaks even in 1 Cor 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel--not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. (NIV) for without the Gospel (Good News) we are all still dead… and the Cross has lost its power… for the Power of the Cross is the Resurrection of Jesus. That Jesus Who was crucified died and was raised from the dead! In that we now over come death… in that we have hope… the blessed hope… the hope of the resurrection… for our Hope is the not just the return of Christ Jesus, but Jesus Himself returning! (Titus 2: 11-15)

This glorious Gospel we have… is the Person of Jesus Who is Risen from the dead! He is the first fruit of the New Creation… this New Creation, we who have come to know the Person of Jesus, now has been given to us to be partakers in… for as Jesus rose we to at the resurrection also will rise and live as imperishable, regenerated, renewed of our minds in Christ Jesus and given the inheritance of the New Creation, this New Heaven and the New Earth… for we will be a royal city in which God Himself will dwell… and be the Light and Life of all.. as we will be the New Jerusalem. Jesus will no longer weep over Jer, but instead present us to the Father as His Bride… made perfect in Christ Jesus.

Sadly one, who has chosen to not receive this Gospel, will not receive Jesus… for that is the Gospel… without Jesus there is no Good News… In that one has chosen to dwell in death… in that we must weep for those who are lost and reach out to them as if we were desperate for our own lives.

God is not out to send people to hell... or rather the Lake of Fire… in that one’s free will is given to choose. God will not interfere with a person’s path unless they ask. In that one without a renewed mind in Christ… we are only dependant on our own basic animal side… that side of man who in his heart is a mere brute. The man who in his own heart follows a path as if he knows better than the Creator of all things, that path which only leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12)

Jesus is the only Path… in Him is only Life...for He is Life… He is the only Truth… for He is Truth...This may cut across the grain of many in this age… it has since Christ first said it… it has since Jesus was raised from death to Life… first suffering… in which we to much share in this suffering as those who view Jesus for Who He is as a stumbling block… or a vain myth or fantasy… yet if He is as we who believe say… He is Reality itself!

The Kingdom is at hand… all one has to do is reach out… it is there. It is real… as real as Jesus is…for we once lived in the shadows… and now we live in the Reality that is Christ Jesus…


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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

If you are a Baptist one of your Tenants of Faith is…

If you are a Baptist one of your Tenants of Faith is…

If you are a Baptist one of your Tenants of Faith is… a relationship with Christ.

(I knew this yet it seems some of those associated with the SBC have forgotten)

I was reading up on the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention).

It seems that I would be a great SBC member… and I even for a time considered SBC for ordination as they are short pastors especially in rural Montana. I have a great friend in Arizona Dr. David Powell, who was ready to write a letter of recommendation if I had decided to pursue that idea… yet, (though many do affirm the gifts of the spirit) I did not want my view of the Gifts of the Spirit to ever come to be an issue. What I mean is that I am a bit too Pentecostal for the SBC. Over all I think they are wonderful Christ centered denomination… in fact as I was looking, I found that one of their emphasis is to bring people to a “relationship with Christ Jesus” and their stand on creeds (thought they consider themselves “creedal”) is that they must be run through the filter of scripture… and to that I say “RIGHT ON!” as this is what I teach.

I was really a bit shocked over their view of ministers…

Within the Southern Baptist Convention, the licensing and ordination of ministers is a local church matter.
There is no denominational ordination service. The list of Southern Baptist ministers is simply a compilation from the reports of the churches. The Southern Baptist convention neither frocks nor defrocks ministers.”

Which then seems really strange to have been attacked by someone from that denomination over what they claim is my “fraudulent ordination”. As UCMI (see link on right links section) basically does this, only from a national level then after a years probation gives one full status of “ordination”. And after these steps are fulfilled and some educational steps are fulfilled one can then request for a church charter… really it would have been much easier for me to become a Baptist pastor!
All in all this journey of faith that brought me to Billings to plant a church has been a real adventure. The 2 years of struggles to get a fellowship going and then find my current place as an intern and one the ministry leadership team at Billings Vineyard truly shows me God was in the vision of the church plant, and not just by doing it myself, but with Godly mentorship that I was seeking through UCMI. God is good… He will complete the task He has for you, me or anyone to do that He lays on one’s heart. Continue to be faithful to that vision that God has given you… and if you are not sure if He has, pray that your eyes and ears and mostly your heart is opened to His Calling. In spite of slanderous attacks God has preserved me, in fact I have been seeing more and more fruit out of this as more people come to me and say they appreciate what God is doing through me… that is not meant to sound arrogant, as I mean it to only point to Jesus to bring Him more Glory.

I anticipate God doing great things… God is moving mightily already in Billings Vineyard. I will say that I have never been part of a church that has allowed me to be me… meaning to be able to freely express my faith in Christ without hiding things or gifts like tongues or when I was part of the AoG that I believe in eternal security. Mostly I have found friendship with the people at Billings Vineyard and people that truly love the people of Billings…

All this I count as blessings upon blessings… and hope out of all this to be able to focus more on blessings other and focus on ways to do just that by the Power of God.

Blessings to all!

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Your listening to iggyROCKS!

I know that some people do not like music on a website... So if you do not care to hear it just scroll down to the player on the left column and hit pause. (Actually I think I just fixed that, so if you do want to listen then click on the play button.)

So, Enjoy!

iggyROCKS! is my online Christian radio station that helps Christian indie artist get airplay along side the big names. This ministry is a free service to artists.

If you are a Christian artist, group, or even talk/teaching show feel free to contact me by email and I will tell you how to submit you songs/show.


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Monday, November 27, 2006

Christianity a relationship based faith...?

My assumption is that when the Gospel is preached, that one is called ot come to a point to accept Jesus in their heart... it seems that some do not agree with that...

Please leave a comment on why you chose the one you did and even a bit of your testimony. I would love to hear it.

So here is a poll... blessings!

Is your Christian faith based on relationship with Jesus?

View Results

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Some perspective please!

Some perspective please!

Recently and I believe there still is a protest against Mark Driscoll coming soon over his views on women. He is being called a misogynist.

I jumped into the fray at Bob Hyatt’s blog and soon found I too was an insensitive person who negated the feelings of those who were “abused” under Mark Driscoll…. As I asked simply to “have some perspective” and “get over it”.

I will go into the have some perspective in a moment. Though right now I want to address the “get over it”…

Mark never actually physically harmed anyone… his views are a bit Neanderthal and fundamentalist… he at times is part of the EC and then not… so I see him a bit indecisive at times. What I meant about “get over it” is this.

I see that we Christians in America have become so infected with the world… we have lost sight of being servants and are really overly concerned with “our rights”… I do not remember Jesus stating we are to even seek after “our rights”. Though some rights are God given, many are what we seem to "feel" we are just plain obligated to get. I see this as the outcome of the Americanized gospel that is self seeking and not Christ seeking. We are called to seek Christ and His Kingdom… not our own. It is just plain selfish. Again, some people are truly hurt, but to me, if you did not like Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll… you should have left… and instead of being a victim, rose in victory in Christ and walked out the same doors you came in through. Besides, this is America and one right we have is freedom of speech… and Mark is as free as anyone to say what he wants, even if no one agrees with him.

As far as perspective the people that are out to protest Mark over his fundamentalist views are (Just cut and paste as I do not care to link to them).

I said that if one needs to protest against abuse of women protest the human sex slave industry…

Now, I am angry…

This last week the Shiites literally burn alive a group of Sunni… and not one person has protetested that human rights abomination!

Again, is it just plain selfishness? Is the lint in our own belly button more important than a group of people slaughtering another? How about the Darfur atrocitiesand how it is affecting the children there?

Yet, Mark Driscoll is the devil… and I am sure he has never worn Prada!

So again, get a perspective… and get over it… and pray for real issues and problems this world is having… stop turning brother against brother…sister against sister… and let’s protest and speak out against real pain and real issues…

If there are real men and women out there please contact me if you are interested in protesting these issues.


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The Gospel… is there more than one?

The Gospel… is there more than one?

Many go to the writings of Paul to teach what the Gospel is… in that there is nothing wrong, yet, I have found many times that these seem to have a certain bend to what they call the Gospel.

Some seem to even imply that there is only the Gospel of Jesus and that being his death burial and resurrection. Again, I do not see that as anything “wrong”, yet I see it is much more than that…To say that was all there was reduces the reality we now have… the Kingdom at hand.

“And this Gospel of the Kingdom”

Jesus came and began preaching. We read in Matthew Jesus was teaching to watch out about false teachers and that a greater treachery would come. I am not going to go into the “desolation of abomination” because I am focused on the one phrase…

“And this Gospel of the Kingdom”

Jesus was preaching a Gospel… in that one must either believe that Jesus preached one Gospel and Paul another…as it seem some teach, yet I see that Paul’s gospel fits right in the Gospel that Jesus was bringing to us.

What was the Gospel of the Kingdom?

There is no way to adequately post all the intricate details that come with that question… so this will be a very brief and broad overview… For deeper reading I recommend N.T. Wright. In this I will be leaning heavily on his writings… Do not bother in telling me how Wright is all wrong about everything as I think he is contributing greatly with his insights… even if he may be off a bit here or there. To dismiss him would be a travesty.

The Gospel was not a new idea. In fact it was used by the Roman Empire to proclaim the new emperor.

NT Wright writes:

“In Paul’s day, the cult of Caesar was the fastest-growing religion in the Mediterranean world. In Rome itself the emperors did not claim full divine honors, but they did adopt the title “son of god”-the god in question being their recently deceased, and newly deified, predecessor. And in the provinces, from Greece and Turkey through the Middle East to Egypt, divinization was standard. The people had worshiped rulers before; why shouldn’t Augustus and his successors, with their extraordinary powers, receive the same divine honors?
So the imperial cult grew. Its “good news” was that Caesar, the son of God, was now the lord of the whole world, claiming allegiance from everybody in return for bringing salvation and justice to the world. Resistance was met with crucifixion. The system was based on sheer power.”

So the idea of a “Gospel” was not something new with Paul… or with Jesus… It was however directly subversive to proclaim another Gospel… as it was to say that Caesar was not divine, nor truly Lord… nor that his kingdom of supreme… With that Jesus proclaimed His Gospel in the face of Caesar and in defiance of Rome. Again, this was subversive and a political declaration of something greater that the Roman Empire… and that was the return of God and His Theocracy. The Gospel of Mark begins with the very proclamation,

Mark 1:1. The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Originally God wanted to be King of Israel, yet Israel rejected God and chose Saul. Yet, at the appointed time God, through Jesus came to proclaim His Kingdom and would restore all things to Himself.

That was the Gospel of the Kingdom. This is the Gospel of Jesus and of Paul. The Gospel did not change as it went from Jesus to Paul, but kept complete continuity. This Gospel was what Paul proclaimed as he said: “every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.” (Rom 14:12) This was also in the proclamation of Caesar as it was demanded to obey Caesar or die.

In that continued Gospel it finds it’s fullness in Christ. Paul by revelation gives us insight to what Jesus taught of Himself… “Matthew 16: 21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Again, there is the continuity…

So we have the big picture… the Kingdom of God is now here… or as it is said, “at hand”. We also see the teaching of Jesus lines up with Paul.

We have one Gospel… it is not just about me… getting saved to go to heaven… though it is part of the story. Yet to stop there is to deny the Gospel in its fullness. The Gospel is the Proclamation that is taught in the Lord’s Prayer. “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt 6:10)

That is the gospel… God’s Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven and in it we are part of the bigger picture. This is the Abrahamic promise in fulfillment. We gentiles have been blessed through the Jews… by Jesus… we are now blessed to be a blessing to the world!


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Sunday, November 26, 2006

At closer look at the Gospel

At closer look at the Gospel

Acts 5: 41 - 42. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ. (NIV)

I love the gospel… I love that we have a God Who loves us so much He Became a man to dwell amongst us. That man is Jesus. Some may be a bit confused over the terms as we speak of God becoming a man (the incarnation) and also of God sending His son…

When we say God sent His Son we are talking of something/someone that existed within God before the creation. This is His Word. In Genesis 1, God speaks and things come into existence. God simply says, “Let there be…” and it was. Through those very words all creation came to be! Later in John 1:1 we read that this Word, became flesh.

We think of Jesus as the Son as it best represents the relational aspect of Jesus and the Father… or The Speaker and His Word…

A Father is greater than His son… Though my son is equal as a human, I am greater (at least for a time) than my son as he has much to learn and needs to depend on me for all things. My son must live in total dependence on me (and his wonderful mom) for his very life.

Jesus lived in relationship with the Father that same way, in total dependence on His Father. In that Jesus is our example now in how we should live.

The Gospel is more than mere propositions. It is Living, it is the expression of the Father and Son by the Holy Spirit to all creation of His great love for us. By using the “tools” of propositional truth, Paul reveals the Gospel in a Person… that is Jesus.

1 Corinthians 1: 1-8

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ--their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
For in him you have been enriched in every way--in all your speaking and in all your knowledge-- because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.
Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)

First notice Paul is “an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God”… from the git-go, Paul states who is sending him and that it is by this relationship that he is an apostle. With out the relationship as the foundation, the propositions to come mean nothing.

Second, This is sent “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus”. Again, it is because Jesus Christ sanctified this church that is exists… it is only out of the Churches relationship with Jesus that they exist…

Third, Grace and Peace come out of this relationship…

Now why is this important? Because one must take the foundation of a book of the bible as it is set up as to what will come later. That is called context… so we see so far the context here is on our relationship with Jesus.

Corinthians 15: 1-8

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. (NIV)

This is very clear we are saved by a story… that story is the Gospel… The story that is told in the four Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

In this story, Jesus died for our sins to fulfill what was written… the OT was a Gospel also, one based on living in relation to the Law in order to please God… Though some will debate and I am open to the idea that the whole of scripture is based on God's relationship with His Creation... yet at least part of His dealings before Christ was by the Law.

You seen God wants relationship… and always has and always did… That is why He created Adam and Eve in the first place! To walk with them in the Garden and fellowship with them. Yet, this fell apart as Adam and Eve sinned.

Jesus died on the Christ as prophesied in the scripture, then was buried… yet that in itself is not much of a story… the outrages thing that happened next was on the third day, Jesus was raised from the dead…
Then the story begins again! Jesus visits his friends… these are the people He spent 3 years developing relationships with… to disciple and love and guide… He came back to re assure them of His love and that all that was written is not fulfilled in Him… the Person! The Messiah, the King of Kings, The Anointed One… the Lamb that was slain, The Lion of Judah!

And if we do miss the one thing that is being said in this passage is this… though Jesus walked and talked and then came back to reassure those Who in those three years knew Him on a Personal level… and that Jesus wanted them to still continue in that… there is one who was not like that. This one was not a disciple, nor had previously had a relationship with Jesus, yet, it seems that Jesus took a special interest in this one man… He met him on the road to Damascus, and Paul knew Him and cried “Lord!” Jesus took the time to introduce Himself… personally to Paul… and Paul’s life was never the same… as Paul, from then on walked in a relationship with Jesus.

This is great news for all of us, as it is still happening today. Jesus is still introducing Himself on a personal level to people today! He desires to meet you, to have a personal relationship with you, to introduce you to His friends and meet together… to be part of His Body… the church and in that learn to walk in His Love and also learn to share His Love with others…

This passage is about relationship… it loses it power… that power of the resurrected Christ if it is reduced to mere propositions… as I said earlier. That is how we approached God in the OT as we could nto enter into relationship with God. Now the Door to the Kingdom ha been thrown open to all… to enter in… to meet the Person… Jesus Christ.


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Rob Bell... Knowing if I waited truth and sanity would prevail

I said a while back that the accusation against Rob Bell by Ken Silva, (he has posted on one of my comments so you can follow his link there) would come to light in what really is going on in the book... I did not think it was the big coverup/lie/deception/conspiracy/satanic plot... Or whatever insane labeling would or could be attached to it by the self appointed judges of the brethren. I was right.

On Fishing The Abyss there is a post that will give some truth to the ignorance is bliss crowd always looking for some hole to poke and make up against their brothers in Christ. These people need our prayers, but not our attention.

As I said, if this is a real lie then it would be an issue... But as one reads the post I think one will actually see what is going on...

So check it out...

Be Blessed,

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On this day 42 years ago...

On this day 42 years ago... a child was born. He spent many hours in an incubator as they were not sure if he would breathe properly on his own. His mother paid the army hospital 5 bucks and after a few hours rest made her own bed and gathered her new born boy and took him home.

His dad loved him, though was not around much, in fact he spent much of that time in jail... from drinking too much and getting into fights... His mom would drive over the mountains between Tacoma and Fort Lewis where he was stationed, to visit him when he had been drinking and crying over the phone about how much he missed her and me... The boy would sit on the car seat (not in one) and was known to roll onto the floor at times when mom had to stop fast.
She would talk to him, and she would confide in me that she did not know what she had gotten into.

His first memories are of being at the family ranch house... he was placed on his belly and his grandpa called out to him to come to him... he struggled and fought, yet finally slowly crawled over to his grandpa... he picked him up and was very proud of him...

As the boy grew, his dad was around a bit, yet hard times made his mom and dad make a tough decision to leave him with his grandparents for a summer as they tried to find work. He was left on the farm... he saw the animals befriended an uncle who swore way too much and would hang on his pockets. He even recalls the day the chickens had to be slaughtered as they had gotten some sickness... the hatchet came down, the heads would roll, the wings would flap and the headless bodies would run around and around... it was fascinating! The women then went hard at work plucking and dunking in steaming water to remove the feathers.

Mom and dad returned.

We lived in a small town, in a very humble house... that is still standing today in Cut Bank MT. One day the dog went through a fence... the boy followed and soon realized he was lost. Some girls saw him walking on the sidewalk... and picked him up and asked him where he lived... he had no idea so they drove around the block until I saw my mom on the side walk frantically looking for me... she was very happy to see him!

Dad still drank... and one night he went out with friends leaving his boy and wife home... he never came home...he crashed into a on coming truck with his girlfriend by his side. Mom said he fell asleep... the boy figured it out years later.

As he grew God put people in the boys life. They shared with him God's love... They told him God really loved fatherless children... somehow... someway... I wanted to know this God... but he was young... and G.I. Joe was his best friend.

He grew older and was excited that he was going to get to go to school! Kindergarten... but then was told... the he could not go as he had not lived in the district long enough... or something like that... so he never got to go.

They moved to a new town which was not too uncommon as they moved often, yet this move seemed different... He attended grade school on the south side of town... He felt like he owned the place as he knew where the best place to get comic books... steal peeks at he girly mags and could wheelie his bicycle around the block! All went well until 6th grade as then he had to move across town to another school... which was tough as he went to the bottom of the pecking order...

Father Kale King was the Episcopalian priest who lived next door… he desired this family to come to know Jesus and befriended the boy. The boy served as an acolyte for a while… Father King tried to teach us about Jesus... He used slides and I have no idea what he was talking about… but I liked that man… he was gentle and caring… The boy sort of saw him like that Jesus he talked about… Yet on Sunday… the boy noticed that God was taken out of a box… everyone good and bad ate Him… then drank His Blood… the same blood Father King’s son and the boy would sneak drinks from the fridge downstairs.
He also noticed that the same people who went to the bars at night… would be in that little church on Sunday… The boy would listen to father King preach… and could not understand a bit…

The boy went to another church once and attended Sunday school… the teacher did the flannel animal story board… it was about Moses. The teacher asked the boy who Moses was… the boy said he did not know… the class laughed at him and said he was stupid. The teacher smiled like she agreed.

Jr High had its challenges and the boy found he was a good athlete. He would throw shot put with the Jr varsity and varsity as a 7th grader... and sometime out throw them!

But, as it would, he found a new passion... rock music... and girls... and of course... beer!

Sports lost their appeal. And as a 9th grader he began hanging with the seniors! One reason was he played guitar and they needed someone who could play, and that was him. The other reason was that as a 9th grader he seemed to mature faster than most, and could buy the beer!

This went on until one day the boy met a man who invited him to come over and play guitar with him. Brain was a bit weird... he was a youth pastor... and at this point the boy was not too sure about that God thing... though the boy still would get stoned and talk about God with his friends. One said he was an atheist... and the boy asked why? He said, "Because my dad is." The boy thought and asked, "What if your dad is wrong? Shouldn’t you think it out for yourself?" He pondered on it for a bit and they smoked another joint. His dad was a womanizer, and pothead and a drunk... he was cool! He was a bouncer at a bar and would bring home different women all the time. He once got in a fight against 3 guys and though was beaten pretty bad... held his ground... the boy wanted be like him... except for the smoking pot with his kids... that seemed a little bit... unfatherly.

Meanwhile Brian began reaching out to the boy... he was invited to go on an overnighter with the youth group... one of the boys friends went to it and there was this girl... yep... a girl.

He went to the overnighter and Brian sat and talked to the boy well into the night. He told his a strange story of a guy named Jesus who loved people so much he let them kill him on a cross... they hammered nails in his feet and hands... and then they shoved a spear into his side... but he was dead by then. Brian said this guy then rose from the dead... the boy had heard some of this story before at a youth church camp... It was fun there, we sang, swam and they talked about Jesus like he was an astronaut. Or they would read a book about some Lion called Aslan and try to talk about it with us… it was a strange book and I did not see what Jesus had to do with it. The boy even accepted this guy in my heart at a young age... he was the guy that was said love fatherless children... the boy wanted to know him... yet... felt so far away.. This boy had become too much like his father. At this young age, he felt dirty and bad. Like no one would love him... and not even this Jesus would care about me... The boy one night went to he medicine cabinet to end it all… only found aspirin and lost count a twenty pills. He felt numb and strange… and did not expect to live… but he woke up and did not realize the true miracle till later as someone told him that his liver should have shut down the next day…. The boy realized that if there was a God, that God must have a purpose for the boy somewhere.

The boy told Brian, "I want to go to hell because I want to meet my father. I know my mom... but I never really met my father." Brian was a bit taken back by that!

The boy went on with life... and Brian asked the boy if he would come to a concert at the church. The boy was not sure... but the band played a bit at our school. They were Native American and talked about their culture... the boy thought they were pretty good... so the boy went to the church.

The church would open their doors to the youth... there one could play air hockey, board games and listen to... Christian music... which was like the music I listen to but was about God and stuff.

The boy sat through the concert... and even at one point his friends came in and tried to get him to go and party... the boy had a bit to drink even before going to he concert... he told the friend he promised to stay until the end as Brian told him that the band would talk a bit after the concert.... and they did...

"If you are struggling with something... sex, drugs, alcohol... what ever, Jesus wants to help you... ask Him to help you and He will!" the man proclaimed... the boy thought about it... he was drinking way too much. So he said, "If you keep me sober tonight, I will see what I can do for you..."

Funny to think back on that. That boy had a lot to learn and really still does.

He felt a burden lift... literally it was like weights were removed from his shoulders. His head was clear... he left and went out to his car. He was going to go out and look for his friends to party it down... but... he... had... no ... gas...

He had just enough to get home and then go to the station later... because he had not money for gas. he went home... and God kept him sober... that night... and the next... and a week later... then a friend of his got a 6 pack... the boy tried to drink but decided it was just too boring!

He began to wonder what had happened...

There is much more to this story... but I need to wrap it up a bit. I have had people that God has placed in my life... just at the right place and right time. Without those people that boy would not have grown up to be me.

Even today... at age 42, God places people in my life... even as a father with children of my own, this Father in Heaven has never let me go from that long embrace of years ago... I may have doubted, and even wished it all away... yet He was and is always there... on time... in the right place... for me.

I see you all here on this blog as each one being one of the people God has given me as a gift... a friend... I have been slowly... (Very slowly) even realizing that those who are my enemies, may also be my best they do not care for my feelings but are sure to tell me of my failings! In that it reminds me to remain humble.

You have been part of God's plan to make me the man He desires me to be. In that I thank you.

With much love,

Friday, November 24, 2006

I am emerging, not post-modern

(I have mentioned that everyone who lives in this age is postmodern by default, which is true, but one can live in an age and not be of it, or as Jesus stated, we are in the world, but not of it.)

I am more and more under the conviction that the biggest reason we are having a gap between those of the Modern based church… (Based on human reason and propositional truth in which creeds and doctrine replace a relationship with Jesus) and the emerging church… (in which not all that is taught and practiced I would consider of Jesus, let alone the “emerging church”) is that those who cling to their creeds and doctrines over a relationship with Jesus have been caught in the spirit of religion and are blinded to what God wants and is doing.

I do see that there are many in the emerging church who are also suffering from a bit of delusion. This delusion is that if one “does” the “cool things” and still bases their faith on their own interpretation and reasoning… that they are “in Christ”.

That is why I have never called myself a Post-modern Christian, as I do not live my life as a Post-modern but live my life from a biblical world view. In that view I see that if one places their faith in Christ Jesus and live their life in Him… creeds can be a nice supplement… but are not the same as living by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the power of the resurrection. The Christian Life is not about “doing the right things” (which is works) to earn ones salvation, nor is it about “believing the right things” as we can easily deceive ourselves as to what is the “right things” to believe… As in the book of James it is stated, “even the demons believe, and they shudder!” So in that we can “believe” or even confess the way of salvation as in the case of the girl with the spirit of fortune telling Acts 16:15-17 who called out to Paul and Silas, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved."

A huge issue is that often the modern view which has infected the church makes one think they have “made it”. By just believing a creed, or saying a prayer, or going forward to an alter… all are just fine in the right context… are not fine if they replace the Person of Jesus for one’s salvation. We must introduce people to Jesus as a real Person… and they must believe on Him and place all their trust in Him. If one thinks there is some magical line to cross… which is a lot easier than having and building a relationship with someone… can get one saved, is a sad deception of the enemy. I have seen many and have help some who have been caught in a religious system of belief, who when they come to the Person of Jesus have had their lives changed. Some of these people, including myself walked as a Christian… or rather struggled as what we thought it was to be a Christian yet lacked any real power to change. We in ourselves do not have the power to change. Yet, with God, what is impossible for man is possible for God.

As one releases the grip they have on religion… as defined as “man made doctrine” and realize that God’s job is to be perfect, and our is to be the creature He has created… which is imperfect. He is alright with that as The Father does not see us in our sin… but as a true child of God, clothed in the Person of Christ Jesus. Jesus is our covering and salvation. In Him there is no sin… and as we dwell in Him we too have no sin!

Am I saying we never sin? No. I am saying we are forgiven and our sins have been taken away by the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. This is the core of scriptures teaching. This is the tip of the iceberg of our Great Salvation… can you believe it only gets better that this! No longer do we need to worry as God is for us… and Jesus is our mediator and defender before the Father.

Modernism and postmodernism both have there point that one should consider. Yet, one should never take both without running it through the filter of the Biblical world view. If we are not careful, both modernity and post-modernity can taint and reduce the Gospel from its true Glory.

That is why I push Jesus as a Person… and to have a personal relationship with Him… in that He becomes are focus. And in Him we have His Eternal view and attributes. In that we are empowered to go into all the world to make disciples… to reach this generation with the Gospel of salvation… To be part of the New Creation. To be a New Creation.


Is Jesus Risen… or do we believe words?

Is Jesus Risen… or do we believe words?

I have considered what some seem to call the Gospel… one based on human reasoning and propositional truth… so I decided to take some key passages and reinterpret them to their view… just to see how it all would fit together…

John 1 – 3 In the beginning was Propositional Truth, and Propositional Truth was with God, and Propositional Truth was God. Propositional Truth was with God in the beginning. Through Propositional Truth all things were made; without Propositional Truth nothing was made that has been made. (Non-relational-Propositional-truth Bible - translation)

John 3: 16 - 18. "For God so loved the world that he gave his Propositional Truth, that whoever believes in Propositional Truth shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Propositional Truth into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Propositional Truth.
Whoever believes in Propositional Truth is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's Propositional Truth. (Non-relational-Propositional-truth Bible - translation)

Romans 3: 23 – 24 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by Propositional Truth through the redemption that is in Propositional Truth… (Non-relational-Propositional-truth Bible - translation)

1 Corinthians 15:1 - 8 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Propositional Truth died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that Propositional Truth was buried, that Propositional Truth was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that Propositional Truth appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, Propositional Truth appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then Propositional Truth appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all Propositional Truth appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. (Non-relational-Propositional-truth Bible - translation)

Galatians 5: 1 - 2. It is for freedom that Propositional Truth has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
2. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Propositional Truth will be of no value to you at all. (Non-relational-Propositional-truth-Bible -translation)

Really I don’t see how I can have a relationship with propositional truth… unless it is a person… but I am slowly being converted! NOT! LOL!

No, I will not give up my relationship with Jesus Christ for your false god of human reasoning. I will continue to fully trust in Christ Jesus and let the tool of propositional truth be in its proper place under Christ Jesus… Who is Truth Absolute Incarnate. I choose to worship and follow Jesus the Person... Who lived, was crucified, shed real blood, and willingly gave His Life on a Cross, was obedient unto death, was raised, and glorified by the Father... Who placed all things under Jesus' feet.

To God be the glory for ever and ever... and praise to His Son... by the Power of the Holy Spirit.

My prayer is that all come to live in the Power of the Resurrection and live the Life of Christ in it's fullness.


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The Jesus Creed: by Brian McLaren

I recently has someone challenge the emerging church to give a concise sumary of the Gospel.
So here it is...

The Jesus Creed

This creed was originally shared at the Emergent Convention, Nashville, May 2004.

By Brian McLaren

We have confidence in Jesus
Who healed the sick, the blind, and the paralyzed.
And even raised the dead.

He cast out evil powers and
Confronted corrupt leaders.
He cleansed the temple.He favored the poor.
He turned water into wine,Walked on water, calmed storms.

He died for the sins of the world,
Rose from the dead, and ascended to the Father,
Sent the Holy Spirit.

We have confidence in Jesus
Who taught in word and example,
Sign and wonder.
He preached parables of the kingdom of God
On hillsides, from boats, in the temple, in homes,
At banquets and parties, along the road, on beaches, in towns, By day and by night.

He taught the way of love for God and neighbor,
For stranger and enemy, for outcast and alien.
We have confidence in Jesus,
Who called disciples, led them,
Gave them new names and new purpose
And sent them out to preach good news.
He washed their feet as a servant.
He walked with them, ate with them,
Called them friends,Rebuked them, encouraged them,
Promised to leave and then return,
And promised to be with them always.

He taught them to pray.
He rose early to pray, stole away to desolate places,
Fasted and faced agonizing temptations,Wept in a garden,
And prayed, “Not my will but your will be done.”
He rejoiced, he sang, he feasted, he wept.

We have confidence in Jesus,
So we follow him, learn his ways,
Seek to obey his teaching and live by his example.
We walk with him, walk in him, abide in him,
As a branch in a vine.

We have not seen him, but we love him.
His words are to us words of life eternal,
And to know him is to know the true and living God.
We do not see him now, but we have confidence in Jesus.


I am iggy and I approve this message.


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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Christmas Consumerism and Jesus Junk.

Christmas Consumerism and Jesus Junk.

We complain about Christmas become consumerism, yet… what about our churches…

I read John O’Keefe’s article on cheesy Jesus junk… and wonder how far we are from the world in our peddling of Jesus… this is much different than say going to a conference to hear a speaker. The very fundamental difference is like when Jesus cleared the Temple of the money changers making money off the people who desired to have a properly kosher sacrifice. Conferences cost a lot of money to put on. Though I think many are way over priced, I do not feel any pressure to attend one as I would have been compelled by having to have a perfect and kosher sacrificial animal.

Again, the difference is that people are getting ripped off by “prayer clothes”, and water that is more holy as it came out of the Jordan River (which I doubt). This is often to support some ministry and those who are asked are made to feel guilt if they do not support that ministry.

I think things like the “Birth Verse” is one of those things as John pointed out. It is a cheesy way for someone to make a buck on Jesus’ name. This again is much different then going somewhere, to learn something, or buying a book to read or even learning videos and other tools to help one with ministry or have fellowship with one another. I see a big difference in buying a bobble head Jesus for my car over seeing some well know speaker who would cost me a great deal of money… say like John Maxell or attending a emerging church convention, or even a SBC conference.

I have heard people complain about stores using “holiday” as a generic greeting, leaving Christians all in a tizzy over that they have dropped “Christmas”. Rarely have I heard anyone complain of the crass commercialization of this Christmas they are fighting to retain…

In the scripture Jesus cleared the temple of the money changers… These were those who made their money by exchanging money for a “fit” sacrifice for the temple. If the values were equal and not inflated, this would most probable not been a real issue as I do not see that making money is evil… it is if one exploits the other in the exchange… The wrong is in the taking advantage of the lesser to gain more.

I remember years ago I wanted a NIV Bible… as that was the version that was the one used in the church I attended. I was excited and though I had an old KJV (I had a real hard time in understanding it), I had $20 bucks and headed on down to the Christian book store… I went with great anticipation to the bible section only to find I was about $15 dollars short. We had hoped to buy two Bibles as my wife wanted one also… and we were still short… If I remember right we wrote a check and scraped together the rest of the money so the check would not bounce…. So we could have a NIV bible. Many Christian book stores claim to be a ministry, and some really are… yet most our out to make a buck and stay in business. I do not think they were obligated to give me a discount… and they may have given a bit of one… it was many years ago… I just remember the feeling as I stood there realizing I would not be able to buy the Bible I had in mind. I was frustrated and a bit confused as to why the Bible would cost so much if Salvation was freely given to all.

Since then I have seen more and more Jesus junk that just seems to fit those who are content on having something that in all honesty will only appease the flesh and not the spirit. Now before some of you get you panties in a bunch I am not saying that capitalism is all wrong anymore than the claim that some of my friends in the emerging church teach communism… money and commerce need to be handled from an ethical and biblical perspective. That is what we are saying in the emerging church. We need to use money for its intended purpose of blessings others as we have been blessed.

So this Holiday Season… remember others and bless them. Reach out and be Christ’s hand to others.


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One Quick Question… part two.

One Quick Question… part two.

The question again then rephrased a bit...

Truth abides...

‘Abides’ being a verb would mean that the 'abiding' is an action... So ‘Truth’ the ‘Noun of Nouns’... ‘The Nouns above all Nouns’, ‘Truth’ if it ‘abides’ is active...

John 15:4 also uses the same verb... in which Jesus states of Himself..." Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me." KJV uses 'abide' while the NIV uses 'remain'. again 'remain' is another verb... is it not... it denotes activity.

Jesus speaks of us abiding in Him, and He in us... with that, we are not 'static' but living... as Christ Jesus is also living and active... His truth is living and active also... otherwise it can not be active...

The real issue is if one does not believe in truth that is living... how can it be active in us?

Likewise love is a verb also... it denotes activity... so a few verses verse 10 states: "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." KJV

Jesus is living in God’s love... and we are to live in Jesus Love... Here Jesus is the One abiding in the Father... and He is 'remaining/abiding' He is living... and the Father too is living/abiding in Jesus...

To further my point the phrase "truth abides" is not even in the bible... though we are now to "abide/remain in Truth"... Jesus is said to abide in us many times...

If one takes the time to really look... they will notice that words in the Bible often have specific and unique usages... as opposes to the general sense of the word... "Church" is just such a word...

The Word "logos" also has a specific usage in the Gospel of John. It in it common usage would be "spoken word". Yet in the context of John... John gives is a new meaning of being the Person of Jesus... this is not just figurative language, but as Colossians 2:17 teaches, "These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ." The very "let there be" in Genesis chapter one... was just shadow of the reality that is Jesus Christ our Lord! To reduce Jesus as Truth to be figuratively, then reduces Jesus to being figurative (He is much more as He is God Incarnate!), also note their relationship is interchangeable in scripture…

Both: Jesus and Truth are actively remaining in us as we remain in both Truth and Jesus. Truth only abides in us as the Person of Christ Jesus ‘abides’ in us. To have Truth, we must have Jesus... to have Jesus is to have Truth... And note also it is Truth and The Son Who set us free... and if set free by Jesus and Truth, we are free indeed! ( I wish I could express the joy in my heart as I say write that.)

We must never place this worlds understanding over the Biblical world view… if we do we then will have a warped view of Jesus and of the Gospel… it changes the teachings of sound doctrine into man made doctrines… it reduces God of all creation to be able to be understood in mans vain philosophies.

I close with this thought….

1 Cor 2: 12 - 16. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (NIV)

I have chosen Jesus not to just come into my life, but rather to exchange my life, which scripture teaches is really death, as I am dead in my sins… I have chosen to exchange my death, for Jesus Life. His Life is eternal. I have chosen to let Jesus the Person… dwell in my heart… to abide in me and I am abiding (dwelling) in Him.

In Him I have, Truth, Life, Salvation and Hope… among only some of the things living in the Reality that is Jesus. For Christ Jesus is not 'figurative' He is my very Life in Reality!

I hope this for you also.


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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Andrew Jones: Rules of Engagement

Andrew Jones: Rules of Engagement

Andrew Jones states something very clear and interesting… I know I am guilty of not doing some of these… in that I submit them to my readership to take a look at. To see all of them and in context Andrew’s link is here.

I will add that I tend to not jump in the middle of something controversial… with some exception… as the recent Marks Driscoll being protested by the endfundamentalism .com group…. Over his fundamental views of women… so they are anti-fundamentalist protesting a fundamentalist over some fundamentals… so go figure. For the low down on all this… you can check out over on Bob Hyatt’s blog… he has at least 3 posts on the topic… beware though the comments get a be a bit on the “mature audience” side… All that to say the recent Rob Bell accusations I believe may be a bit overblown and a bit premature to jump in and make educated comments on… though if Rob was a bit loose on the facts as claimed, it does need to be addressed on some level.

I am praying that those who have drawn the accusations will have more of a spirit of Humility, Grace and Mercy instead of their judgment and condemnation. Please be a representative of the Spirit of Christ and not model after the accuser of the brethren. Also, please leave the judging to THE Judge who will judge all things in their appointed time. In any case, contrary to outsiders accusations. This "Movement" does have in itself some basic disciplinary actions within it. So I will not come and mettle in your home churches inner squabbles and please respect us in that same way.

Thanks Andrew!

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I am ever surprised who reads my blog

I am ever surprised who reads my blog... In fact I am often humbled at it.

Recently with a post on Maj. Ian Thomas, Andrew Jones... aka TallSkinnyKiwi... Made comment on his blog. I was a bit shocked.. Now I know he reads me once in a while... But usually I thought it was because I reference his blog and he was out stat huntin'.

I have found my posts on other blogs who repost other peoples writings... I have found an article I wrote on the Australian version of the called Dtour... Which one can access through the website.

I have been asked to be part a few websites that wanted to repost my articles... I have declined a few, and rejected by others, yet I just accepted an invite from Christian Bloggers. com who with in two hours put up two posts! To see me just put "iggy" in the search.

Again, I am humbled... I mean I feel at time I barely am able to write... I depend on spell check for spelling and still get words wrong... And I use "..." Because I really do not get grammar that well either... (One of you so graciously pointed that out).

I can only say that God can use Balaam's ass ( I am referring to the animal) to speak from, he can use me... Yet I am always very humbled and even resisted writing this post...

Yet, I wanted to thank my readership... For listening. With that I hope in some way, that I have not been in the way of what God is saying... And that in spite of me being a mere human, with all my flaws, God will still use me in helping others come to a richer walk in Jesus.

I am blessed by all of you... My critics and loved ones.


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