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It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of thieves.” Matthew 21:13 in that verse Jesus was referencing Isaiah 56:7 where God said “For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.

Sadly I can count on my fingers how many churches I could walk into and say this is true of, and have fingers left over. And that is a sad testimony for the church in America. I thank God that I have the International House of Prayer (IHOP) here in KC when I can go 24/7 and both worship and enter into prayer with the brethren. I often go on Friday nights to the Encounter service, witch is 6 hours of Worship, Prayer and a study of the word. Love it, I usually spend 4 to 5 hours there in worship and prayer with others, giving and receiving prayer, and worshiping God, that’s what I talking about. That should be the norm for a church. If you cannot go to your church, especially on Sunday morning and engage in prayer with the body (and I don’t mean a 3 min prayer time), its not only a tragedy, but according to Jesus, its not His house, His church your in. Because His house, church will be a place of prayer, prayer for the nations. Prayer should be central to every gathering of the body of Christ, the church.

girl-worshipping2

This is the woman I am looking for.

There are many things I could post about her, but it comes down to her pursuit of Jesus.

A woman who is firmly seated upon her identity in Christ. A woman who doesn’t need me to feel whole. A woman who abides in the joy of our heavenly Father because she’s aware that He sings & dances over her. A woman of the scriptures who is more concerned with intimately knowing her Creator than filling her head with knowledge. A woman who understands the Gospel is of first importance, not reformed vs Lutheran or arminianism vs calvinism or pre-trib vs post-trib. A woman with a heart burdened for the least of these, passionate for the poor, the naked, hungry and thirsty, who doesn’t mind getting down and dirty and loving them in tangible ways. A woman who can appreciate long biblical discussions over dinner. A woman who spends time with her Abba in the secret place, found on her face before God daily. Who is passionate in worship, who cannot contain her love for God sitting in a pew, she must dance and sing to God, shout out her own words of love to Him. A women with a heart for the body of Christ & a desire to serve it well.  & ultimately, a woman who sees no greater purpose in this life than to make much of Christ & Him crucified.

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When a married man says, “I love my wife even though I Lust after every pretty girl that I see,” is lying to himself, what he’s really saying is his heart goes out to his poor wife while his flesh goes out to every pretty girl. The husband is essentially split in half: he’s not a whole person, he is not wholehearted towards either of them. He isn’t really loving either of them, that’s not love. And this is where Jesus was most clear about real love. There’s a maturity there that does not see in part but loves in full. It leaves the childish ways of playing with toys that you leave on the floor; while yelling at your parents demanding more toys still yet. He is the immature child that has a toy in hand but screams and throws a temper tantrum wanting the toy another child  has, he either appreciates or loves neither of them. Love sees sincerely, without hypocrisy, love seeks after the good of the other, it is single-minded.

Love cannot exist in a lie, saying you’re in love with one while desiring, lusting after another is a lie. Love is bound in truth, and in such it is fully alive.

In Greek there are five types of love, they are found in the bible. One being Eros (???? ér?s) is passionate love, physical or sensual desire and longing.  i.e. Lust. Another is Agape (???? agápe) which means “supreme love, an ‘unconditional love”  as in “I love you” i.e. In love with, the highest form of love.

I believe that too many men sadly and mistakenly marry someone for Eros, out of pure lust for them, not because they are In Love with them, and therefore they lust after others, because their heart is not in the marriage. They are not In Love with their mate, only in lust with them and lust is never faithful, it covets without end. So it will continually seek what it does not have, seeks fulfillment, it’s never satisfied. It wants only what it does not have. But no one who marries someone because they Agape them, are In love with them, will lust after another, they will not because the one has their whole heart. They are satisfied, fulfilled, their heart has what it wants.

I have married guys who lust after other women tell me I do not understand because I not married, which is nonsense. you don’t have to be  married to know that is wrong, not normal. And I have been in many long term relationships and I never once lusted after another woman while in a committed love (Agape) relationship. I was engaged once and I never even as much as noticed another girl. Why would I, I was in love (Agape) with her, she had my whole heart, she was the only girl I wanted, I was in love with her. She meets my every need, she lacked nothing that I wanted or needed in a woman. No other woman could have offered me anything, I was deeply in love with Joan, as the song by Art Garfunkel goes, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, and I did only had eyes for her. My eyes, my heart, my mind desired her alone and none other. That is at the heart of being In Love with someone, you only want  them. That’s how you know they are The One, The Only one you want to spend your life with, and so it was with Joan. I never, ever betrayed Joan even once, not even with my eyes.

So I am speaking from experience, I believe based on my life experience, as well as other married men whom I have known that were in love with their wives that it is imposable to truly be in love with one woman and lust after every skirt that walks by.

I will leave you with the lyrics to “I Only Have Eyes For You”

My love must be a kind of blind love.
I can’t see anyone but you.

Are the stars out tonight?
I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright.
I only have eyes for you, dear.

The moon may be high,
But I can’t see a thing in the sky.
‘Cause I only have eyes for you.

I don’t know if we’re in a garden
Or on a crowded avenue.

You are here, so am I.
Maybe millions of people go by.
But they all disappear from view.
And I only have eyes for you.

 

Pastors you’ve got a choice: you can shepherded a church or run a country club. If you’re going to shepherded a church, you’d better offer Jesus and the gospel on Sunday. If you’re not, you’d better build a golf course, because you’re not going to get away with being a country club with no golf course.

thinker

After taking off almost 4 months from Blogging, I am back, well maybe. I took a break do to the turmoil my life was, still is in. As well as I have been re-thinking my whole social net working presence. Blogging as to should I keep on blogging, is so for what purpose. As well as Twitter and Facebook, if I should even keep them up as well.

After all does anyone really read my blog, or my Tweets and FB? does what I say really matter to anyone?

So I will be working through, both thinking and experimenting with by blog for the next few weeks to see if I will keep it up, end it, try something new. With my life (if you can call it that) in such turmoil this might be a bit of a challenge for me at this time, but what better time is there to reboot every aspect of yourself.

January 5th came and went, it turn out not to be D-Day for me, the end it all, the day I would be cast in the street. That has been delayed tell March 1st or maybe even later date. God is keeping me here tell then from something. Time will revel what His plan is, if any for me.

12-15-11

All I have ever wanted in life was to be loved, server God, to have value and meaning as a person.

My story: I never had love as a child, felt like I did anyway. Growing up in a divorced home, tossed back and forth between 3 homes.

My mom never really connected with me in a intimate parent child way, loving way. When I lived with her in my early childhood she was never really there. Often leaving me home alone while going out, even when I was under 5. When she was around and most of my memories where of her yelling at me, not really being close to me at all.

I also spent a lot of my first 6 years staying with a baby sitter, a Jewish woman of whom I spent more time in her house with her family than with my parents. My time with them was great, I enjoyed the time with them. That was really the closes as I came to a family when my parents where together as far as I can remember. Family dinners at their table, going to synagogue with them and playing with her daughters.

At 6 when I moved in with my dad and his new wife, I became a step child. My step mom was very good to me I have nothing but good memories of her. I was closer to her than I was my real mother, but still I was a step child. Even children can since the difference. I was introduced to others as “Howard son” when my half brother and half sis come along. There was a treatment difference. I was the step child. Never treaded bad, just difference.

My dad was not really there much it seems, working all the time, even though my dad was marred 5 times and had 7 children he was never really a family man. He and I seldom did anything together, other than him and I going to a movie together now and then.

At 12 I was tossed back to my mom because my dad and step mom where moving to Ca, and the decision was made with out me being included, that I would go back to my mom’s.

My dad moved to CA and after a couple of brief phone calls over a couple of months, I would not hear from my dad again for 6 years.

I felt rejected by my dad, abandoned.

While living with my mom, then remarried I once again became a step child. My mom worked at night, so I was alone every night after school. My step dad was not a nice guy, he treated me like a step son. Very harsh with me. He was a functioning alcoholic who had fits of rage. Thank God he was a traveling salesmen and was gone Monday threw Friday. So I was alone every night from age 12 through 18. To keep away from my step dad on weekend or when he was home on weekdays. I would ether stay out very late, tell he was in bed. Or stay over night at friends every weekend.

So I grew up with out love, with out having a family. Felling abandoned, unwanted, unloved, like I belonged no where and no body wanted me.

I never knew what it was like to be loved, be part of a family, have my own family that I was part of.

Then I thought I found love for the first time, oh so I thought, a girl who was the love of my life, that I loved more than I knew I could love someone. She was perfect in every way a woman could be. She said she was in love with me, and so we where engaged to be married. But then without warning just like so many times in my youth, she was gone, pack up and moved on. With out so much as a reason as to why, no discussion, I was not involved in her discussion. She decided to end the relationship, called me over the phone, told me it was over, and good by, end of discussion. She was not mad at or anger with me, just simply and calmly as canceling her cable service, she ended our relationship. I was not worth talking it over with, working out what every it was, and worse not wroth fight for, fighting to keep our relationship.

So just like when my mom left me at home alone, when my dad left me to move on, I was left behind, pushed aside for something else.

All I have ever wanted is to be loved, but that was asking too much it seems. I have had a live void of love, acceptance and family. Felling like I have no value to anyone, no meaning, that I do not matter to anyone.

And that has dominated my actions in life, my thinking. Caused me to live a life willed with depression and very bad decisions. Thank God I never married for the sake of getting married, married just anyone. I have sought out the real things, real love, pursued true love,  my own family, the right one.

I know from my life there is no substitution for the real thing, a real family, love, marriage, I have had the substitutes they don’t fill the void inside. Silence the screams for love and acceptance. They can’t fill the void inside.

I own up to my bad decisions in life that have lead to my end that I now face. So many bad decisions that I have made be cause of the brokenness inside of me, especially in the area of career/work.

I have struggled with a reason to live for over 20 years, a deep sense of meaningless, hopelessness, lovelessness. Every decision I have made in my life has been ether out of the quest for love, family, acceptance and meaning. Or the feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness. So many sinful decisions to let my flesh take over and do sinful act trying to find meaning, acceptance, love, intimacy, and fulfillment. So many just to cover the pain inside, the emptiness with something, anything that felt good.

The end is here now it appears unless miracles grater than anyone has seen come through. The screaming pain inside, the vast emptiness will come to an end finally. If just one person would have loved me, so much pain, so much sin would have be avoided, so many bad decisions would not have been made. I would not have come to this end. If God would have just stepped in, intervened, told me I was loved, worthy, helped me, healed me.

I stand alone with no one to listen
I scream out no one hears
I cry no one cares
I’m alone.
This is my World
I keep asking Why am I here?

 

Also read: I’m Dying, My Life is Ending

10-10-11 There is so much reference to reformed theology today, so many pastors refer to it, claim it, and teach from it. So many books on it today, so many people and churches claiming, even bragging we are of a Reformed Theology, there’s even a New Reformed Theology and there is a host of other theologies out there as well, both new and old. My question is Why?

Let me start with what it is it if you don’t know, Reformed theology grew from the sixteenth-century revolt against the Roman church, lead by Martin Lutheran whom was rebelling from the wrong beliefs, theology of the Catholic Church. He was joined, followed by a group of other men whom became know as the Reformers, and the period known as the Reformation. To sum it up in a simple definition.

But my question is Why are so many wanting to stand, use the theology from this time period, use a “Reformed Theology”, follow the teaching of the reformers, the likes of Luther, Calvin and others. Reformed Theology came out of rebellion of the Catholic Church theology, beliefs, Luther’s teachings where just a modification of some of the Catholic Churches teaching, theology, 95 point to start with.

A friend of mine is in the process of finding a new church, one he recently check out the pastor is in to something he calls Eastern Theology. He is all about the Eastern Orthodox church vs. the Western church, a split that took place around a 1000 years ago. He is using their teaching to form his theology, beliefs about Christianity and a the framework for his church.

With so many pastors and Christians today being all about Reformed Theology as both their framework of their theology, what they beliefs. And also the framework of what church is and how do to church.

Why? I must ask! I don’t get it!

I do not, nor do I want to base my theology, what I believe on what a man or group of men said, 350 years ago, or 500 years ago or even 1000 years ago. Or how to do church ether. I go back 2000 years ago. I go back to the first church, to the teaching of the apostles, of God, Jesus. The master builder and His blueprint is all there in the scriptures.

If I want to know about salvation I read what Jesus said about it, what Paul, Peter, John and the others said about it, who ether learned from Jesus while being with Him or learned from those who did.

If I want a framework for church I open the bible read the New Testament, I can turn to Act’s read the first two chapters and there it is, the framework, the blueprint and what it is and how it functions. If I want to learn about pasturing a church, I read 1 & 2 Timothy to start with. Want to Learn about who God is, I read the whole bible, it just that simple. Yes I love to read what other men have learned from their study of Gods work, I can gain insight from them. But I do not build my theology on them. Say hay I base all I believe about God on what Jack or Fred at church says is true about God. To me that would be foolish.

So for as for my self I would say I am of  a “Biblical Theology” or of a  “Original Theology” you could say. I follow the teachings of Jesus, and Paul not Luther or Calvin. when I want to know about something I do not go to Luther or Calvin or any of the other reformers, I go to God, to Jesus, to the bible. The written word of God infused with the Holy Spirit is my source. The writings of the reformers are wrong on many points, the bible is wrong on none.

Its not that I have not studied these men and their work and lots of others from church history, because I have, even enjoy reading their work. It’s that I do not use them for the foundation of what I believe, framework of my theology, or church. It’s that I use the bible. I guess I would have to say I refer back to a great theologian whom is greater than Luther, Calvin and all the others put together, the Apostle Paul.

Just as Luther woke up and saw that the teaching of the Catholic church was wrong, so should the church today wake up and say lets go back to the bible, to the first church and get the truth. Why build on what might be faulty theology (Calvin was wrong on things just as much as he was right), beliefs of men of the past who lived many hundreds or years far removed from Jesus, when we can go back to the foundation of the word of God, to the first church and the words and life of Jesus Himself and those whom walked with Him.

Read part 2 here

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I have a grape vine in my backyard that I planted about 6 years ago, it has never produced mature grapes yet, the last three years it started to get grapes, little ones. But they just died off, never becoming mature grapes. The vine its self got massive, stretching out all over the place. But no fruit. I pruned it back a little every year, mostly just where it was over growing.

So this winter out frustration on taking up some much space by the gate and walkway, and never producing grapes. I cut it back to a mere stump, two feet high at best. I friend told me he heard that was what I needed to do, so I did. Well spring has come and every things else has spring up, leafed out and is green. Even some wild vines in the back. But my grape vine, nothing, I was afraid I killed it, it looked like a dead stump. (more…)