Friday, November 23, 2007
If you read them, I am expectantly waiting for definition of sexism from a responder.
Click the "Comments" link at the bottom of the blog entry 'Feminist True.'
Any and all comments are welcome.
that a brown bear use its paws
to eat plankton in the depths of the sea?
What confusion it would be
were a squid to be seen
grazing in a summer prairie?
Should a calf wean from a bull
instead of the cow,
or the buck give birth to his doe?
Were a feminist true
it would cause me and you
madness and confusion more than we know.
[Should I cut it here, or…?]
Adam would give birth
,taking pain and mirth,
and deprive this joy from Eve.
Women would provide
lead and decide…
[…try to finish this paragraph? It is quite difficult to even think of something that would not be considered sexist. What traits are unique to Man that would be considered odd if attributed to Woman? None, it would seem. Not in a developed nation!
[In itself, that is quite indicting as to how over-sensitive society is to role reversal when it comes to Women, but can find the most humorous situations when it comes to role-reversal of Men. Think of the movie ‘Junior’ with Arnold Swarzenneger and Danny DeVito.
[Or…ah…here is a thought that is so rarely visited.]
Woman would derive
the strength and boldness to protect and provide
from the loving support of Man by her side.
["You cannot reform biology." – Bill Maher. What do you think?]
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
How true this statement is. There are many good applications for this, Lord.
To be like you is to be blessed. To be like you is to be whole. To be like you is to be a blessing for all your children. To be like you is to be part of the eternal symphonic progression of this life.
Will life always progress with such sympathetic harmonies? Will we always resound and vibrate with a noise of progress, prosperity and peace?
What happens, though, Lord when we come into contact with those who are not sons or daughters? What happens when we encounter those who think that they are serving you but really aren’t? What happens when those whose reverberation is like a hammer clanking an anvil, thudding as it wields the chains that bind them?
Why will they do such things, Father?
I have told you this so that when the time comes you will remember
that I warned you. – John 16:3-4a
What is the authority you speak of, Father? How can I act in authority? What does it mean to be like you here on earth?
Monday, November 19, 2007
Wow, what is your command, Father?
But how can I? What is the appropriate thing to do day to day? When I get pulled over for an expired ticket, what should I do? When I like a girl but do not see the resources with my natural eyes to move forward, what should I do? When I want to serve the man of God in my home town but feel called to fulfill a mission in another land, what should I do?
Father, what should I do?!
When I was in Vero Beach, Father, I ran around looking for where you would have me serve. I tried to diligently serve the man of God. I tried to meet with my faithful friend, and get her to open up. I tried to return to the place of serving the ministry that I was at before I left for Lakeland over a year ago. I felt, though, that I didn’t fulfill the things on my heart. I flouted your command for me to write. I let the time slip away. I did not wake up early in the morning to pray. I did not take my time to read and study. Even though I made sure that I worked out, as well as kept from old habits, I still feel that it was almost misuse of resources.
Forgive me, Father. Forgive me for being distracted. I am here. I am listening. Guide me once again, Father.
I see much, Father. I see a downtrodden church body. I see old, stale bread in most houses. But, “a, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” – Jeremiah 1:6
Yes, Father. Amen. So be it as you have said unto me. I will speak. I will speak with my words. I will speak with my writing. I will exercise the obedience that I have been writing about. Your will be done in my life, Father.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
2008 seemed to be before me as a small sliver of time. I could grasp what I desired to do and accomplish. More specifically, I grasped who I want to be and how I want to operate in 2008; my modus operandi. This weekend I will take significant time to write it all out and envision my future.
In December I want to prune and add to my dream list and dream machine. I know a little bit better now what I want to be doing. Currently, the dream list and dream machine are very much a shotgun approach to envisioning.
That being the case, I find that great care must be taken on what one chooses to do.
Notice I did not say that we have to choose just one thing, or limit ourselves. But being specific brings great power and unlimited force to us. And, surprisingly, this does not limit our options. Instead, it rather opens them us.
This paradox will not be understood fully except by those who have experimented with themselves on human effectiveness.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Whenever you try to mention obedience to an American Christian, you get the tomato.
What is the tomato? It is a flying vegetable! (Or fruit to be more exact.) You know, people throw them when they are highly displeased?
Yeah, if you try to convince Christians that obedience is what is missing, they pull out the vegetables (or fruits.) American Christians have the problem of thinking that they already ARE being obedient.
Along with that, a mental picture usually forms which makes them think of slavery. I know that in the past, whenever it was mentioned that I needed to be more obedient, I pictured an over-bearing task-master demanding my allegiance and dogmatic service.
He is asking for the obedience of a child.
God doesn’t want us to be slaves. What kind of service and obedience would that produce? It is not a service that comes from the heart.
God does want us to be sons. This produces a type of service and obedience that God loves; that which comes from the heart.
John confirms this. When recalling a conversation that Jesus had with him, John tells us that Jesus said:
15:9 - As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.
Then, He seals the deal as to how we can be obedient as sons. He gives us a command that cannot be fulfilled by a slave. It can only be completed by a son.
15:12 – This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
15:17 – I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
I do not think that Jesus could be any clearer. Read the entire chapter to be even more educated on what Jesus thought of obedience and sonship.
I believe that we will find that to be obedient with God, we must be obedient as a son. To be obedient as slaves may have the right actions, but they are sure to have the wrong heart.
Check out the ChristianCrunch blog for missing posts to this or other series.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
That is “washout.”
In youth ministry, I was told all the time that if I made it more than 2 years that I would have beaten the national average. Apparently, the average time a person serves as a youth pastor was only 2 years. (That numbers are not verified, and I don’t think I agreed with them at the time either. I despise being pigeon-holed!)
But I DID see washout happen quite a bit. A fellow-youth pastor, single for years, one day simply disappeared from his ministry. He turned up in Louisiana almost 2 years later with a wife and 2 kids. He was cool, but you could sense something was ‘off’, just a bit.
How do so many ministers become so burned out so fast?
Didn’t God say that “the joy of the Lord is” our strength?
Didn’t He say that He would never leave us or forsake us?
What happened to the fact that “it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives within me”? Wouldn’t that mean that He would keep us from burning out?
In the pursuit of questions like these and more, I did come to one particular conclusion: either A) the Bible is wrong and God is a liar, or B) there is something wrong with me.
What do you think is the obvious answer to that question?
There is definitely something wrong with me. It may be in my theology. It may be that I am doing something wrong. But, regardless, the problem is moi.
In pursuit of a solution to this, I felt impressed in my spirit that it was an obedience issue.
“WHAT?!” I exclaimed internally.
“God, how could that be?! Ministers are doing so much for you.
“They are being so diligent in bringing new people into church. They are praying and fasting. They are preaching 4 nights a week. They are attending house calls, prayer meetings, and networking with area pastors. They are financing the church, managing the staff, planning the sermons and sprinkling holy water on anything that moves!”
“That is not what I have asked of them,” was all the answer I got.
“What do You mean? They are sacrificing so much!” and that is where I suddenly stopped myself. I knew immediately that was the problem.
But He still reminded me of that fateful scripture.
“I want obedience MORE than sacrifice.”
I knew in my heart of hearts that even though ministers are running to and fro performing for the Lord, they are usually too busy to actually HEAR from the Lord what it is that He wants them to do.
For certain this is what I fell victim to. I was all too familiar with doing 27 hours worth of work in a 24 hour day for the ministry to go home and feel exhausted. And it wasn’t just being exhausted. It was drained without joy.
Enter the “washout.” Our strength is gone. Our delight in doing the tasks is gone. The truth is that in the midst of our work we became task-oriented and not God-oriented.
When we are doing what God has asked of us, it may be difficult. We may be asked to put our tasks to the side and simply fellowship with Him.
We may be asked to work until our fingers bleed and our eyes bug out, but at the end of the day there is a joy in obedience. There is a satisfaction and a knowing that we were doing the right things.
Though trials and tribulations may come, when we know that we know that we know that we are being obedient to something specifically that He has asked us to do, we are filled with strength beyond ourselves.
It is rare that ministers stop long enough to ask, “God, do you even want me to do this?” But it may just be worth it. Think about it: if God wanted more sermons, couldn’t He just raise up more preachers on His own? Is God able to have the rocks cry out? Of course He is able to do that.
More than wanting you to go and just DO things for Him, He wants you to hear from Him first. When we are tapped into the voice of God, and are hearing clearly, when we are carefully heeding His instructions in our lives no matter where it may take us, we will be more than supplied with strength beyond ourselves.
When we are obedient, He will make a way where there is no way. “Wash-out” will be blotted out, and the life of victory that He promises will surely flow through us!
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
How can we succeed with this Christian life?
Here is the good news, and the bad news, (in reverse order.)
The Bad News:
The Good News:
You CAN’T! He can! He did!
Pointe blank, you and I have no way to live totally obedient lives.
Oh yeah, we can come close.
Yes, we can affect a lot of our living victoriously here and how. But, ultimately, it will depend on His grace to come through; the grace that He has already paid for.
How to tap that grace? Faith.
The only way to live this life of obedience is Faith.And Paul says this to some people who had stopped living by faith, and started living as if they could be obedient to God in their flesh. If you don’t know who I am talking about, it was those silly Galatians.
We have to have faith that we are hearing from Him.
We have to have faith to heed what we are hearing.
We have to have faith to observe what we are hearing with care.
Paul stated some words to them that we need to hear. If you know this one, sing along:
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” - Galatians 2:20Now, we could spend an entire 12 other books, blogs and chapters about ‘faith.’ I will let you do that on your own time.
But, to summarize, faith in something will produce a fruit relating to the thing you are having faith in.
From Faith to Fruit, I would say.
If you have faith in the chair (that it will hold), then you will sit in it! It doesn’t mean that the chair will hold you! You will still try to sit in it.
If you have faith that chocolate raspberry cheesecake tastes good, you will bite. Whether or not it has a foul worm in the middle of it or not is irrelevant! You will bite because you believe.
Faith in something produces an action. Likewise, if we have faith in God, we will act on it. It doesn’t matter whether or not we will receive positive or negative repercussions. If we have faith in it we will act.
That is why so many seers today claim that the majority of Christians do not believe, or have faith, in God; there are so few actions happening to obey what God is calling us to do.
That being said, we need to constantly cultivate our faith in Him. The more we believe the more we will act on (being obedient to) the Word that the Lord is speaking to us daily.
And, unlike the Galatians, let it be spirit-started and spirit-finished. Start your walk with God in faith; faith that He will move, that He has called you, that He will lead your way. Along with that, END your walk with faith in God; faith that He has put you here, faith that everything you are going through was known by Him when He called you. And let that push you to act on what you know you should do next.
One step at a time is what will bring us into obedience. Heeding His word, through faith in the Son of God to deliver, is the thing that will cause us to continuously draw closer to God through obedience!
Rinse and repeat!
Monday, November 5, 2007
Being obedient to Him has taken me around the world to 10 different countries. Being obedient has shown me café’s in South Africa, and surfing in Hawaii, and chocolate in Venezuela.
Being obedient has had me take the pulpit in Florida and Kenya. I have seen the sick healed, and seen the captive set free. I have watched my mentor flow in depths of the spirit that would cause people to stand in awe of who God is. I have seen rains fall for weeks at the mere prayer of the faithful.
Even this morning, as I approached my prayer spot, I was overcome with joy.
How did God bring me here?
How did I end up being paid for my creativity?
How did I end up being paid to grow and learn and prosper?
Doesn’t He know where I came from; what I have done?
What events did He arrange just to bring me to this one point in time?
There is so much joy and appreciation for who I have become (especially compared to the life I led previously!) Even how I survived that past with so few emotional problems, the mystery of how He brought me through, causes me severe joy!
That is how it was for the servants of God before Christ came.
The prophets all spent time with kings of nations. Those who were obedient were given great victories on the battlefield. They enjoyed love stories like Jacob and Rachel. They traveled all over the known world. They saw so much, and were ever in awe of who God was.
Likewise, the disciples and the early church all had times of immense joy. The Bible tells us in several gospels that when Peter and John left the empty tomb that they were full of joy.
Simply put, being obedient brings us the joy we so long for and desire!
Being American, I have observed the difficulty it is often for other Americans to want to be obedient to anything. Call us protestants. Call us revolutionaries. Fine! Whatever! The obedience factor is hard for us to understand.
It is even harder to conceive that we will ever experience joy unless we take it for ourselves.
Which is why it is so hard for us to believe that by submitting our entire beings to God, being 100% obedient to the Jiminy Cricket voice we are hearing in our head, that we will ever live the life we have truly dreamed of.
I assure you, it is true. Truth be told, the very reason we are not experiencing truly satisfying joy is because we are trying so hard to make it happen for ourselves!
What if I told you that we need to QUIT trying?!
What if I told you that we just needed to be obedient to the voice in our spirit?
What if I told you that Jesus actually told us this same thing, plain as day?
Read the entire chapter of John 15, but I want to zero in on verse 11 in the Amplified Version:
I have told you these things [His commands] that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be in full measure and complete and overflowing.
“Overflowing”! Can you believe that?!
Well, you should, and so should I. Its there in red and white, friends.
You see, Jesus spends the first part of John 15 talking about abiding in the vine as branches.
How does He recommend that we abide in the vine? By being obedient.
What will that produce? Our overflowing joy!
It may seem counter-intuitive; especially as Americans. But this walk with Christ is a walk of obedience.
It is not an obedience you would find at a dog-training school. It is the obedience that produces that which is good and prosperous for us. The best part is that He promises that it will bring us joy.
To be honest, the first few years of my salvation were hard. The transition of my old lifestyle to my new lifestyle was a slow, long path. But, just 8 years into this life I look back and think that it wasn’t that hard.
The difficulties were nothing compared to the joy and awe I feel day to day now.
Consider deeply how to be more obedient. Reading John 15 will bring additional insights as to how. But, when things get tough, keep in mind that on the other side of those obstacles is a joy that exceeds our greatest imaginations!
And when that I happens, I pray that your joy may be full!
Sunday, November 4, 2007
In Romans 5:19 (AMP), there are several possible definitions of disobedience. I mentioned before that simply failing to hear God was considered disobedience. The one that has gotten my attention lately has been that carelessness is an act of disobedience.
Why this has my attention is that I am very away of how prone I am to negligence. Simply put, I have generally been pretty forgetful. I forget names. I forget small errands or responsibilities.
What’s worse; I often forget the things that I feel that I have heard from God in prayer or throughout the day.
You would think that once you start to zero in on acknowledging His voice that you would become a super-warrior for the things of God.
Though that is true in many ways, you really become more aware of your frailness. The closer you come to hearing God’s voice, the more obvious our propensity for disobedience becomes.
That all being said the last two days have been an issue of disobedience. The day has gotten away from me twice now. I have been traveling and have had a busy schedule. By night time (when I write) my mind has raced and hit a thousand topics. I have been prepped for bed when suddenly the thought hits my mind. I forgot to write on what He told me to.
So, I drag myself out of bed, and set down to writing. I am often sheepish in doing so because I realize that I had forgotten what the Lord was telling me just that morning. I had been negligent with the Word of God!
This reality of the stories of Jeremiah, Isaiah, and all of the ancient prophets is that they were careful with the Word they heard. They didn’t let the Word of God “fall to the floor.”
With the chaos of the modern world, it is easy to lose focus and have one’s thoughts jump from one topic to another. As a person who has overcome ADHD, I easily get careless with my thoughts. I ponder one thing and then the next. Even if I think of Godly things many times they are not the items that I have been instructed to focus on.
I must exercise care to rehearse the words that I have received from God. To run in obedience, to act with faithfulness to the unction in our spirits, we must take care to remember, write down, act on and heed the words we receive.
With a careful obedience to the Word of God in our lives, we will run deeper than we ever thought possible, and live the lives we were intended to live.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
But we constantly hit this brick wall to obedience; uhm, for lack of a better term, disobedience.
We don’t have confidence that He will move, so we don’t act on what He says, and then we think, “well, it probably wouldn’t have worked anyway.”
So, how can we overcome this obstacle to obedience? Well, let’s find someone who has dealt with being courageous for the things of God.
Joshua has the best introduction to ministry I can think of. If you haven’t done it yet, read Joshua 1. God speaks to him just He spoke to Moses. Throughout God calling Joshua to step up, He tells Joshua 5 or 6 times to be “strong and courageous.” Then the congregation tells him to be strong and courageous.
Then God hands him the key to being obedient and, thus, successful in the things of God. In verse 8, God zeros in on the main secret to how any of us can begin down the path of bold obedience.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of they mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then though shalt have good success.”God lays it out. To be obedient, just get in the Word.
Live the Word.
Breath the Word.
Think the Word.
Learn the Word.
And thus live the Word.
Often we doubt what we hear in our spirits and do not act on it.
We justify this disobedience any way we can. Usually the real problem is that we are not familiar enough with Who God is, and the only way to do that is through His word. We can better discern the voice in our Spirit by whether or not it matches the Word the Lord has already spoken in the Bible.
That way we will not have excuses for not acting when we receive unction to heal the sick, raise the dead or minister in some other God-ordained way.
We MUST act on what we have heard, assuming that it is accurate and in line with the Word and nature of God. The only way we know if it is in line with the nature of God is if we know God. The best way to get to know God is to get to know His word.
This week, delve further into the Word than ever before. Press in. Be diligent with it. Be strong and courageous to act on His Word, and THEN you should make your way prosperous, and THEN you shall have good success!
Friday, November 2, 2007
Ultimately, obedience requires grace.
Why do I say that?
First, it says it in scripture. Romans 5:19 shows that I am not constituted righteous (totally obedient) by anything I have done. It was one man’s sin that got people into the sin-mess. It was also One Man’s obedience that covers when I have not been obedient.
Secondarily, like tonight, I need the grace. Case-in-point: I was supposed to write on a scripture in Jeremiah 1, and cross reference it to Joshua 1. Instead, I went to a movie with several friends. (Another act of disobedience because of the violence, drug use, and nudity.) But when I got home, it was late.
I need God’s grace. I needed Christ to be obedient for me for nights like tonight.
Because of that grace, though, I can wake up tomorrow and begin anew; attempting to be obedient. I can rest easy, knowing that I obeyed when Christ obeyed on the cross. It affects my victory negatively, but not my grace.
Now, I am going to receive that grace so that I can be empowered to be fully obedient once again.
It is an unfair advantage to be sure! I thank God for that.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
When I say ‘everything,’ I mean everything!
Check out Romans 5:19 (Amplified version):
For, just as by one man’s disobedience (failing to hear, heedlessness and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one man’s obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him.)
In fact, I dare say that the only thing we have to do from here until our days are finished on this earth is be obedient.
Obedient to what?
Good question. We must be obedient to what God has said, and what He is saying to us.
Right here. Right now.
God IS speaking. We are just not listening.
In fact, in the Amplified Version of the Bible, it implies that “failing to hear” is an act of disobedience! We are EXPECTED to hear from God. Anything less is being disobedient.
And I believe we do get unction from the Lord quite often. We have just conditioned ourselves to reject Him. We have conditioned ourselves to rationalize away unction to help others, act on His instructions, or just get away in His presence.
Well, do you notice that “heedlessness” is also listed under disobedience? I did. That means that we HAVE to heed what we feel that He is saying.
One that I almost succumbed to today: carelessness. I have known that the Lord had desired me to be writing what I feel He is teaching me on. (Hence all of this Obedience stuff. He has had me on it for days! You think I may have a problem with it?!)
Today, the day got away from me. Carelessly I forgot my calling for this season to write. When I normally turn in to bed, I realized that I had not written. Do I get up and write, promise myself to catch up tomorrow with the writing, or just scratch it all together?
On any other day, a week ago, two weeks ago, I would have let it go. BUT, it is not about the writing, or even the quality of the writing. It is about the obedience of doing what I was told without asking questions.
The rest just flows.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
More on Reformation Day (wikipedia)
In the young years of Samuel’s life, the things that opened the door to the miraculous in his life was a series of acts of obedience.
Hannah being obedient to her vow to the Lord.
Samuel being obedient to keep the lamp of God burning, even when the high priest failed to do so.
Eli heeding the Word of the Lord as received from Samuel that fateful night.
But how did these people actually hear the Lord? It was recently noticed by a good friend, Elizabeth Carpenter, that I had written a blog about ‘Listening’, and then one about ‘Obedience.’ She noted how appropriate that was since one must be listening to God to be obedient to Him.
Her observation was quite impressive to me and got me to thinking.
What precedes listening?
The answer came to me in the still of the morning: quiet. It takes quietness to be able to listen (to be able to be obedient.) We must get quiet before the Lord to be able to hear what he has to say to us. The best example of this is what happened this morning during my prayer time.
It was blustery with wisps of drizzle in the dark of the morning.
When I got there, the cold breeze carried tiny beads of rain to my face. It was perfect to keep my senses sharp and attuned to the quiet. I began to pray several times, but I felt God say to me, ‘would you stop that already?’
This confused me momentarily, but I fell quiet again. That is when I sensed that God was speaking to me along the lines of an Emerson quote I had recently read.
"What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think....you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude." Emerson
God echoed this in my spirit. He said,
‘I need you to learn how to be quiet. If you can learn to be quiet, you can focus your thoughts. This is key, because I need you to be able to listen to My voice in the middle of the crowd; in the middle of chaos. You have to be able to hear my voice at all times. Even though the masses will be loud and speaking, if you can learn to quiet yourself and listen, even in public in the chaos, you will be powerful indeed.’
That being said, I picked up some material on Smith Wigglesworth and found that this was one of his secrets. It was also the secret of Brother Lawrence. It was the secret that Jesus used in front of his accusers.
Other observations of quiet are that the quiet brings vision. When you are quiet, it allows clarity. It allows God to speak in a way that you know that you know He spoke. When that happens, He can speak direction to you. And when God speaks direction, vision comes.
I was very intrigued by these thoughts. Suffice it to say that today I practiced being quiet to hear the Lord to be obedient.
My most significant observation is how quickly being obedient to God will place you in uncomfortable situations! (He told me to tell one girl that I did not know that He loves her.)
The second observation came just as quickly: how we let faithless fear get in our way; how easy it is to be disobedient. (I did not speak to that girl.)
If I truly believed that God was speaking to me, if I were confident that it was the creator of heaven and earth, I would have been obedient.
But faithless thoughts prevented me. (Are you sure that is God? How can you be sure it was Him? Do you know His voice well enough? That is just wrong socially! Don’t do it.)
If Christians got gut-level honest, they would admit to these same thoughts.
Just the same, if Christians got gut-level obedient, we would have a revival on our hands.
Here is to waking up tomorrow, and mustering the courage to a) be quiet, b) listen, and c) be obedient!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
But one thing in particular found its way to me today.
1st Samuel 3:3. (And, the surrounding verses for context, of course.)
and the lamp of God had not yet gone out [was about to go out], and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was,
If you have followed the life of Eli, his heretical and perverted sons, and the young boy, Samuel, you may already have an idea of what is going on.
The Bible says that it was a time when the Word of the Lord was precious. In fact, it goes so far as to say that no one had open vision any longer. This INCLUDED the high priest, Eli.
How difficult it must have been that Eli who once had vision, now could not see openly. As his natural sight was dying, so was his spiritual insight. He no longer had the ability to see, nor oversee the nation of Israel.
God even sent another prophet to warn Eli. Eli knew that the things his sons were doing were unjust and wrong, yet he did not utterly punish them. They continued perverting the sacrifices of God. After warning Eli by sending a prophet, one final misdemeanor performed broke the camel’s back.
It was not an act of defilement, but an act of disobedience that caused God to declare that He had forever turned his back on the family line of Eli.
The lamp of God almost, almost flickered out.
What is so important about this? Do you know WHAT lamp this particular lamp is?
This is the lamp that in Exodus 27:20 God instructed the Israelites to NEVER go out. It was the symbol of God’s presence in the temple, as it shone at all times. Some even believe that it was representative of the lamp that passed between the sacrifice which marked the covenant between God and Abraham in Genesis 15:17.
This same lamp was about to flicker out. Eli’s sons were irreverent toward anything holy, so it was up to Eli to ensure that the lamp of God remained. Yet, Eli’s vision was dim. He could hardly see anything at all.
He had come to live in partial darkness at all times. How could he be expected to even know if the lamp of God was going dim? Parallel this to Eli’s spiritual life and you can quickly see the sad state that this once-powerful man of God was now living in.
He moved about feebly from room to room in a dark cloud, unable to know that the presence of God was fading. The moment that his personal comfort came before protecting the presence of God, the moment just before the lamp was extinguished, the Lord called out to a young boy in the night season.
I can imagine Samuel, thinking that his master, Eli, had called him, went running through the halls of the temple. As he passed the lamp of God, I am sure that he stopped in partial terror. ‘Had the lamp gone out?’
As he approached, I can see him noticing the last fading light, quickly refilling the oil so that it burned bright once again, then continuing on his dash to visit his master.
I can almost imagine him totally stunned to find out that his master was snoring. When he first stumbled upon the fading lamp of God, I am sure that he must have concluded that Eli had been attending to other duties. Samuel must have sheepishly refilled the lamp expecting to find Eli asking him to do just that. Instead, Eli was deep asleep.
Even after rousing his master, Samuel found that Eli had no clue that the lamp of God was almost extinguished. This negligence of Eli’s was repaid with total reproach from God.
As He has said, “I want obedience more than sacrifice!”
This principle of God’s shone brightly that night. It took the innocent concern of a young servant boy to rekindle the presence of God for all of Israel.
Which carries me toward my new revelation (I use that word lightly) on obedience. It was more important to Eli’s sons to do the daily sacrifices than to have a tender heart to hear the Lord and be obedient. It was more important to Eli, old as he may have been, to rest than to tend to the presence of God for all of Israel. What dreadful thing would have happened if at that moment the lamp of God was extinguished?!
Here is the unique thing about Samuel. The Bible says that Samuel did not yet know the Word of the Lord. (By the end of the night, he would! In fact, Eli was so hungry for the Word of the Lord, that he threatened Samuel with a curse the next morning if he did not share what the Lord said.)
But Samuel was sensitive to the things of God. Samuel was tender-hearted toward what God deemed was important to Him.
Obedience is like that. You can be obedient to the Lord and not know all of His laws. You can do this by simply being tender-hearted and passionate about what He is passionate about. You can be obedient by being sensitive enough to hear Him, even if you do not recognize His voice.
By doing so, Samuel rekindled the light in Israel, re-established the Word of the Lord for His people, and became the conduit for the Lord to move in Saul’s life, in David’s life, and in the lives of generations of believers the world over.
Many people have made sacrifices for God, and go unrecorded. The obedient have been awe-inspiring, and motivate us to heed the Lord to this day.
Friday, October 26, 2007
I have been trying to listen to God. I have been trying to hear His word. I have been trying to hear His word for my life, His word for those around me, His word for ANYTHING.
This entertainment/distraction driven society, I have come to a new level of awareness of my distance from God. By distance, I mean realizing actually that God is.
What do I mean by this? If you and I truly (I mean really, seriously, truly, with-everything-within-us truly) believed that God is real, would we not drop everything we are doing to obey His desire for our lives?
The obvious answer to that question fresh in mind creates this revelation of how extremely little I act as if God were real; I mean actually real.
I know that He has wanted me to press in with my prayer life. I used to pray for hours daily. Recently, I have been so consumed with my work and projects and such, that I will (of course) "do it later."
So, I have decided to try with the little things, like listening. Listening for Him, to be more specific.
To be honest, it is one of the most potent tools in my spiritual-walk arsenal. Just trying to listen to Him for what His will is on this or that begins to turn one's mind on Him more continuously.
Is this even a valid tool for a Christian? I have often wondered if this is valid, or if it is a meager, Americanistic approach to spirituality that any moderately faithful Buddhist, Muslim, or Hindu scoff at. (Maybe not "scoff". That word seems as if it should be reserved for the British.)
Well, if you ask Lawrence, it is a VERY valid approach to having a real relationship with God. (Not Lawrence of Arabia. That would be more Islamic than anything. AND he was a Brit.) Brother Lawrence, the eternal soul whose life was revealed in "Practicing the Presence of God," was quoted as often saying that just listening for God in the little things was his key to a powerful walk in God.
He went to be with the Lord in 1691. 300 years later and his life still has a HUMONGOUS impact on the Christian brethren. His life MUST have been anointed by the presence of God. And his words can be relied upon for wisdom on how to live.
He believed that listening for Him was the key.
I challenge you: this week, take little moments and little decisions to listen to hear what God is saying. In the midst of the business and chaos, in the middle of our electronically-charged lives stop to hear what He is saying to you.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I doesn't get better than this: FREE RICE.
You heard me: FREE RICE!!! Free Rice for Developing Nations.
What are you talking about, Grant?
I am glad you asked.
This may have been the best thing for me to surf-stumble upon yet! Often it has bothered my brain to find some, simple-yet-profound way that I can make a difference in foreign countries.
We here it is. Wait no longer:
Play it. Give free rice. Yesterday alone there was over 32,000,000 grains of rice donated.
Rice is donated to the United Nations World Food Program.
It is that simple! Enjoy!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
"Where there is no vision, the people perish"
In this scripture, the word 'perish' carries with it a meaning of "casting off restraint." It is interesting to note that to cast off restraint would be synonymous with perishing, but along with that I notice that without vision, people fail to restrain themselves.
Images of a group of people without leadership pop into my mind. I believe that one possible understanding of this timeless scripture is that without VISIONARY LEADERSHIP, the people will eventually cast off any sort of leadership what-so-ever.
I am a visual person. Many times there are problems with that. (Imagine me going through the Bible, the King James Version no less, the first few times. THAT was rough!)
But, as it turns out, it could just be the key to my leadership! In a study by Arizona State University they found the following differences between "visionary" and "non-visionary" leadership.
It turns out that visionary leaders are typically far more visual! (Who knew?)
How accurate do I feel it is? Only moderately. Though I am very visual, and many of the 'cool' areas of the visionary brain match up with my persona, I have the motivation of a Non-Visionary leader. Along with that, I have more active language and comprehension areas of my brain (characteristic of the Non-Visionary.)
That being said, I think that instead of getting vision from this visual on visionary leadership, I will continue to validate my vision from God, and let Him verify if I will be a visible visionary leader!
Monday, October 22, 2007
13 “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible. 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
This has been a profound scripture for me recently. I find that when I get further from God, I tend to sleep a lot more. I tend to ignore the cause of Christ on my life. I am the living dead. My purpose and vision is not as clear. Things are fuzzy. Like a foggy morning that blocks the sun; you could say that I am walking, well, in darkness.
But, when I come realize this fact and admit that I am in sin (by my mere separation from God instead of a particular sinful act), it shines light on it. And, as it says, that which becomes visible IS light.
That means that in the instant that I shine light on my wrong path, my path become visible and thus, light. I am instantly in God’s grace again.
I also realize that other things in my life fall into order. Waking up early to write about God, study His word, planning my day and working out all seem to come back together with ease. Struggling to rise at 4:30 a.m. is gone. I seem to just hop out of bed ready for my day.
That is what it is to be ‘awake’; to rise with purpose, to know one’s destiny (or at least be at peace and full of faith that God knows your destiny.)
Why all of this rising, and asleep and awake? Because there is only one commodity that we lack, and that is time.
Though we are, all of us (the righteous and the unrighteous), eternal beings, there is only a brief time that we can make our stand. This life is a proving ground where we wave our colors, be they the colors of light or colors of darkness.
We stand here in the temporal to determine how we shall spend the rest of our eternal existence.
As it says in verse 16, we must make the best use of our time. We must be sure to walk in wisdom in our short time on this earth in this time.
This is what it means to Awake, O Sleeper! Arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!!
I encourage you. Rise today! Raise your banner in your heart once again that it may blow in the wind of God.
Regain the purpose of your heart, so that Christ may shine on you today, and always.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
God is outside of time.
I can hear a big sigh of ‘Duh’ headed my way, but track with me for a second.
It was amazing to see Mr. Missler confirm some of the thoughts I was having. Not only that, but Mr. Missler also revealed how close I was to the scientific implications of God’s deity and how that interplayed with our limited, 4-dimensional understanding of the world.
To track with what I am saying, read my blog entry about the origami-man here, then watch the YouTube video on the Science of God here.
From here, my mind jumped to what I experience when I am in the presence of God. When I press into the presence of God, I lose track of time in general. Time is currently the top dimension that we consciously operate in.
If you notice, all references to God are limited by time. Look up most references to God and you will find that there are some implications and references to time. For God to have a nature that is loving and kind at one moment, and burning with anger the next, that would mean that either A) God is limited by time (He is one thing, and THEN something else), or B) our understanding of God being angry and then loving would be insufficient for God.
Who are these references for? Who is limited by them? When it says that God’s anger burned against Israel in the desert, did God really change?
One who is outside of time cannot be one thing and then the next. He must be both at once.
In our mind, when we imagine someone angry, we picture them doing something to show us they are angry. We see their face scowling, or them throwing something, or yelling. All of these actions, any actions, are bound by time.
We know that God is outside of time. He must be. (The bible says that there is none greater than Him. If God were limited by time, then there would be something greater than Him; in this case, time would be God. Though the one we are worshipping may be greater than us and some type of spirit being, it would not be God in that Time were greater than it.)
Since we worship an ultimate God, that God must be ultimate and outside of Time. If He is outside of Time, he must be outside of any actions or activities that are bound by time.
A smile is bound by time (and space; called space-time.) The points of my mouth are pointed down at one moment. They then shift from their location to pointing upward, and it is several moments forward in time. Their location has changed, and now I am smiling.
Though God may be able to smile, would He be using a smile to communicate because that is how He communicates, or because that is how we understand friendliness, friendship and love?
I offer that it is the latter.
Now, one can rightly inquire as to what is the origin of friendship? What is the origin of what it is to be a friend, to be love and loved?
These, I believe are truly Godly because they take you outside of time. They take one to another level that is irrelevant to time. When we love, truly love, it is a thing that lasts forever. When we are friends, truly friends, it lasts until death and beyond.
When we love, truly love, we learn something about the eternal. We feel closer to our God.
When we are friends, truly friends, we learn something about the eternal. We learn something about God. It lasts far beyond that moment, far beyond that person, and far beyond our own life!
Going back to the presence of God, it is another confirmation of our ability to step beyond our dimensional limitations by stepping into His presence. When I pray, I lose track of time. I develop a vision, for my life and internally, that far surpasses my limited scope. Faith, which surpasses our 4-dimensional limitations by its very nature, grows in me. Hope, which also surpasses our 4-dimensional limitations, grows in me.
When we spend time in the presence of God, our 4-dimensional limitations cease.
Two examples of that seem to confirm that with me.
First, there is a couple I know who spend hours every day in prayer and in the presence of God. Though their bodies have grown old with time, their countenance, and thus their complexions, have stayed relatively young. One is closely approaching 45 and looks younger in countenance than any 55 year olds I know. His skin is still young and taunt. His hair barely shows any grey. It is the same with anyone who has spent massive amounts of time with God (outside of our time limitations.) And, even as their body does deteriorate over time, their awareness seems stronger than those who do not in their old age.
The second example is the awareness of time. Time is a measurement of our detectable world. It is based on relativity. (Current discoveries on relativity and light could easily adjust these thoughts soon.)
When I am in prayer, I cannot tell how much time has passed. Like spending time with a lover, time seems to go by too quickly, yet simultaneously seems to have drifted so slowly. It was not enough time, yet it was so full of joy and excitement that it crept pleasantly by. My typical points of reference for time (how much work I achieved in a day, what the hands on my watch say, etc) are irrelevant to my pleasure.
This is the dichotomy of our eternal nature. We, for precious rare moments, experience what it is to be eternal. We are privy to what it is to be in His presence.
So, when my watch was an hour off yesterday after worship, true worship in His presence, did I step outside of time? Though practicality says that I did not; faith and hope tell me I did!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
In corners of India, being born with leprosy is despised, so being cast to the side and ostracized is used; condemned to a life of solitude. In corners of the Middle East, being raped is a sin, so being murdered in an honor killing is used. In corners of America, being poor is a sin, so shame through tithing and offering is used. However, in corners of each of our hearts, if we are ever subject to these responses to sin we know them to be wrong.
It would be wrong to be cast off as untouchable and ostracized!
It would be wrong to perform an honor killing on my wife or daughter!
It would be wrong to perform some degree of shame on someone for being in a poverty-stricken state!
We know that it is not a sin to be raped or poor or born with skin disease, yet mankind has defined these as sinful. We DO know that rape and poverty and disease are wrong. But why then do we attack the victims of these crimes?
Why has mankind repeatedly developed and redeveloped what is considered sin? Why do we dwell on in, talk about it, and look for it in others? Why do we justify dishonorable and horrendous acts in response to these man-made institutions of sin?
Understanding that man is inherently sinful, I do not want to know what man considers sin. Understanding that I am wrong, I do not want to define sin for myself. Turning to God, what does He have to say about sin?
God has said that disease is wrong. But why then do we punish the diseased?
God has said that rape is wrong. But why then do we punish the raped?
God has said that poverty is wrong. But why then do we punish the poor?
God has said that the heart of man is wrong. But why then do we execute judgment on one another, when we are the ones indicted?!
The sin of man is not in his swearing or cursing.
The sin of man is not in his lusting or hurting others.
The sin of man is not him stumbling on any one of a list of particular rules.
These are the symptoms of a greater problem.
The sin of man is found in one act alone.
The sin of man is found in one sole infraction.
The sin of man is the simple act of manifesting anything other than Godliness.
By dogmatizing what is a sin, and the actions that follow that thinking, we manifest sinfulness. By accepting the victims of sin, and the actions that follow that thinking, we begin to manifest Godliness. When we welcome the diseased, the raped, and the poor, we manifest our Godliness.
We should strive to manifest our God-given nature. We should seek to lift-up the heads of those around us who are enduring not only the pain of these injustices, but the backlash of cultures that despises also the victim.
Why define sin? We know what sin is! We can smell it. We can taste it like the iron taste of blood in our mouth. We know what sin is! We need not clarify or define it or give it any more definable shape or respect in out lives.
Instead, let us define Godliness. Let us give shape and respect to our God-given nature. Let us dwell on, discuss, decide on and dedicate our lives to our godliness.
Our God-given nature is to give love.
Our God-given nature is to receive love.
Our God-given nature is to multiple.
Our God-given nature is to nurture.
Our God-given nature is to solve issues for the victims of sin.
Let us instead define, redefine and amplify our Godliness. Let people ponder and dwell on these acts throughout all the earth. Let Godliness, and not sin, be ever on our lips, and then we will be able to say, surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Why do so many men and women dedicate their lives to what is wrong with society? Why do we find so many people pointing out what is evil or wrong? So many individuals expel so much energy, they use so much of their creative power, to innovate what is wrong.
'Men can't be trusted. I don't like my neighbor.'
'Can you believe thus-and-so about this or that president?'
'Society here in America is tilted toward the rich. '
'What are we supposed to do; the economy is so bad.'
Why does this line of thinking glitch within me? Why does this line of thinking bother me so bad? Why do I turn off the television so fast when I hear reporters start in like this?
I tune this out because I already know! We already know that there are many things wrong out there! You and I know that there is something fundamentally wrong out there! And we know that it doesn't matter what shape or size it comes in!
We know what is wrong with the economy.
We know what is wrong with America.
We know what is wrong with the world leaders.
We know what is wrong with us.
It is the innate evil in mankind that is wrong. And there is a massive supply of evil and wrongdoing in the world. We know this.
There is very little Demand for more evil.
There is very little Demand for more knowledge of evil.
There is very little Demand to flush out and find more evil.
We have an over-supply, and no one is demanding any more evil.
We don't need it packaged it better. We don't need the creative mind of man to put itself to a task of understanding or uncovering the vast ways of evil. I tell you, we have too much supply of that in our cupboards and pantries already!
What we have little of, and is in great Demand, is more good; so much more good!
What we have a great need for are the rare points of view of people who are good-finders.
What we have a great need for are the savory words of decent people, who flush out, not the evil that we are so filled to the brim and overstuffed with, but the decency in every man. We demand for men and women who flush out the vision and love and greatness of one another.
We need those who flood the market with honesty, gentleness, goodness and kindness.
And the funny thing about that which is good is that no matter how much more you serve it, no matter how much more you fill the market with it, no matter how much more you consume, develop, engineer, import or export it, the demand increases greater and greater!
This is because supply and demand are parts of the fundamental make-up of man. Men and women were made to give and supply something. Men and women are created to need and demand something.
That something is not the endless array of foodstuffs found in fast-food joints around the world.
That something is not distractions found in mass entertainment around the world.
That something is not news media emphasizing and serving up more and more and more evil!
That something is not what is wrong with the world!
That something is the Goodness that is above every man.
That something is the Goodness and rightstanding of our Creator.
That something is an eternal goodness that each and every woman crave and will never be full of.
That something fills my cup to overflowing by which I will never hunger or thirst again.
This is why no matter how much of it we produce, and share with one another, we can never over-supply the world with Goodness.
We can never produce and seek too much goodness.
We can never shut the door on seeking ways to multiply goodness in this earth.
Goodness is the Divine Demand of mankind. It is the true cry of men's hearts when they think need more of something.
They are not craving more evil. They are not craving to fill their souls with the vile evil that they so often do. Goodness is so rare, like a famine in the land, that man will stuff himself with anything he can find, and all he is being served is evil.
Man is craving to fill himself with the Divine! Man is craving to stuff himself to overflowing with the love and kindness of God. Man is crying desperately, "Abba, Father!" If a son asks for a fish, will you give him a stone! If he asks for bread will you give him a snake? And you and I being evil, knowing how to give good gifts, HOW MUCH MORE does your father who is in Heaven know how to give good gifts to each and every one of you?!!
So, flood the market to overflowing. Pour out Goodness in abundance. This is the only commodity that can never be used up, and the price for such is soaring into the sky! Fill us to overflowing with the Goodness of God!!
Friday, September 21, 2007
Is this accurate nomenclature for the Creator of all?
In the Greek books of the Bible, He is referred to as ‘theos.’ This theos is deity among other deities, among other theous (Gk – theos as a direct object). All other names are capitalized as proper nouns, as is Jesus and Christ (when referring to Jesus or the Anointed.) I have yet to find theos (in reference to the God of Christianity) capitalized.
And this is really where we get our American name for God.
The word is our root for ‘theory’ (from the Gk. theoria – to perceive, to contemplate or observe.) It is more obviously our root for ‘theology’ (the words, or study of, god. Gk – theos + logos.)
The only time that god is referred to as a proper noun is when Paul is speaking in the Aeropagus and talks about the Unknown god. I have written it like this because the author of Acts uses this particular formula.
The word for unknown (agnosto – Gk for unknown or forgotten) is the one that is capitalized. The word for god is lowercase (theow – the different ending is such because it is the dative, or indirect object, of the sentence.)
I find it fascinating that the only time Paul finds it fit to use a proper name for God is when he is referring to Him as Unknown. It truly seems the only fitting, accurate name for God.
He is ever unknown. He is ever forgotten.
We hear from Him. We see His effects and affects in the earth (Gk – kosmos.) We glorify Him and reach for Him. We labor to serve Him, and press as hard where we may, yet there is some aspect of Him which remains unknown, or forgotten, to us.
We know in part, but can we know all about Him, the agnostic God?
I say agnostic, and some may retaliate quite vigorously to this, but this is what Paul calls God. If you look at the root of agnostic (see Bibliography), you will find that it simply means one who does not believe it possible to gain ultimate knowledge.
Historically, it wasn’t one who discounted God, heaven or the spiritual. It was one who simply believed that we cannot have complete knowledge of Him. And can we honestly ever be bold enough to state that we believe we can know God fully in this life?
I know that my life is an ever unfolding revealing of Who He is. I pray that someday I understand my theos more, and know Him by Name.
--------~~~~ Bibliography ~~~~-----------
American Psychological Association (APA):
agnostic. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved September 21, 2007, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agnostic
Chicago Manual Style (CMS):
agnostic. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agnostic (accessed: September 21, 2007).
Modern Language Association (MLA):
"agnostic." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 21 Sep. 2007.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Inforizon came up as a French word which meaning I still need to look up. I used inforizon to refer to the ever-expanding, infinitely reaching, and highly-unreachable destination of technological advancement. More specifically the internet which makes that unattainable destination tangible and felt.
Deopomorphism only brought up 1, count 'em, 1 result on a Google search. So, I am heretoforth claiming rights as the originator of the word deopomorphism. My personal first usage of this word was in the fall of 2006 in a theology class at Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL. I used it while debating with my teacher about humanity trying to describe God in faulty ways by using anthropomorphisms. I expressed my dislike of man using anthropomorphisms to describe God, and then I stated, "are we not more like His deopomorphism of us?" That was it's origins.
Origamiphism was a word I made up that has a Google search result of 0 as of today's date. It was used in a description I used to contrast the relationship of the origami-man and me, and compare that to and me and God. See my blog on Describing God for the details.
A man ever fails at describing God.
He may worship God. She may say what God is similar to. He may say what God may or may not do.
Despite the endless array of material that tirelessly works around the topic, a person will ever fail at describing God.
She can ponder God. She can ask the questions that should be asked. She cannot, regrettably, honestly answer those questions definitively for herself.
Should an origami-man that I create by folding paper back and forth try to describe me?
“Grant is funny,” it may say.
How can it know? It does not have ears. It does not have an ear canal or take advantage of bone induction. It does not have a brain of electronic dendrites that communicate with memories to resolve a though.
What if I were to draw ears with blue ink on that little origami-man?
What if the origami-man exclaimed, “Oh! I have ears!”?
Would he be any more qualified to hear me or understand when I make a joke?
We are that origami-race of men and women who lack ears to hear or brains to understand our Maker. “Oh!” we exclaim. “I have ears!”
Yes, but not the same ears as our Maker. We do not have the mind of our Maker. Everything we hear is with blue-ink ears. Everything we think with our brain was folded and weaved into our being when we were created.
Any conclusion we come up with would be an origami-conclusion; a paper thing readily torn.
And origami-conclusions cannot ever compare to flesh and blood truths.
Origami-conclusions are not the real thing.
They are an effigy. They are symbols of it. They remind us of it.
But they do not describe God. They simply compare Him to us.
I just used the word ‘Him’, as if that were even accurate.
Does He (pardon my anthropomorphism) even qualify as a ‘him?’
Is He not so far out of the realm of ‘Him-ness’ that he no longer qualifies as ‘Him?’
The feminine traits of God are becoming more and more real, so how can we call Him ‘Him?’
An anthropomorphism is used when we describe an inanimate object with human traits. For example, if I were to say,
“This article is silly,”
I would be using an anthropomorphism. Likewise, the origami-man with blue-ink ears is an anthropomorphism of us. It is an inanimate object with human traits.
Are we not God’s deopomorphism of Himself (pardon my anthropomorphism)? Are we not trying to describe an non-human object with human traits?
How silly it would be for the origami-man to say of me, “my! How origamic you are!”
That would not be right!
I would quickly reply, “No, my dear origami-man! How human you are.” He is my anthropomorphism. I am not is origamiphism.
Likewise, we are God’s deopomorphism. He (pardon my anthropomorphism) is not our anthropomorphism.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
The enlightenment happens when one reads a word in Greek, sees its meaning, then learns of the application in English. This gives the English word a new dimension that far surpasses previous understanding.
Just one such word is the English word 'thesaurus.'
Why is this word so stinking cool? I am glad that you asked!
This word comes from the Greek word 'θησαυρος'. Transliterated that is pronounced "thay-sore-oss." Or, more closely 'thesaurus.'
What it means is cool, though. It means "treasure."
A modern thesaurus is not a desk reference, but a "treasury of words."
How much more poetic can it get? How cool is that?!
It makes one begin to look at the English language and inquire: what else in American language and culture borrows itself from ancient cultures AND has much more significance than we give it?
Oh so much! The more I study Greek, the more I find.
Another example is the English word "eccentric." It can be traced to a compound word "εκσευτρικ" (my best guess; I don't have my reference in front of me), which broken down is 'εκ-' meaning "from, away from" and '-σευτρικ' (pronounced "centric") which means "center."
"Off centered." How funny is that?!
Other words of interest (and there are so many):
- galactic (word for milk in Greek; think Milky Way!)
- philosophy (love + wisdom; the love of wisdom)
- philanthropy (love + man; the love of man)
- and on!
(For example, learn why we are not and do not want to be a democracy, but are a republic! Words are VERY powerful.)
I could go on, and would love to share more as I learn more. I DO encourage anyone interested pick up the most powerful educational tool on Greek here. Basic Greek in 30 Minutes a Day
Learning other languages opens a "thesaurus" of words that can open the world around so much more. Take the time to understand the words you use. Expand your understanding of the world you live in.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Only 17% of Americans read after college!!!
Can you believe that stuff?
I heard it (or read it??) in the last day or so, and was astounded. So, I figured I would ask you!!
I have put together a quick 5 or 6 question survey to get your feed back. What do you think?
Here it is: Opulent Reading Survey
Just click that and enter your answers. I will be extremely grateful!
I hope that all is going extraordinarily well, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!
In case you haven't yet, you can sign up formy free monthly newsletter. You will get to download a free e-book byThomas Troward called "The Spirit of Opulence" if you do! Just go to my home page at IamOpulent.com.
Have a great day, and thanks again!
Friday, August 24, 2007
I am so full of love that causes me almost as much pain as it does joy. It feels like I will get a surge of pain rise up in my chest and almost make me weep, when an overwhelming relief of joy crashes like a wave and consumes the pain.
At that moment, I am full of joy for where the Lord has brought me.
It is a mix of hurt for how I have acted or how distant I feel from people I love. My heart reaches out to them across the nation, yet I cannot feel them. I remember all of the best memories I have had over the last few years and love them and the people I was with, but then the pang that makes me realize that those same places with those same people will most likely never be again.
It is a longing and a yearning and a loneliness of sorts, all at the same time.
Yet, I am consumed by a warm joy. I am grateful for the time with those who are no longer running with me. I see the faces of those who still are. I see the faithfulness of my closest friends and marvel.
Their faithfulness manifests something of God’s nature that is new and fresh with every day they call or contact me.
I am so satisfied in where God has brought me; totally at ease which mixes with the pains of lost friends and loved ones.
The only thing that I know that can swirl pain and joy at the same time is love. I am consumed by love; a different kind of love that I am used to. This kind of love only consumes me once in a while.
It is a Great love.
It is an immense love.
It is a love so broad that it breaks the borders of my reality.
It spans my entire lifetime and all my adventures.
It encompasses the pain, the good times, the lonely times, the fears of the unknown, and shapes those things into gratefulness, passion for the mission and an intense love.
This is a day of the Great love.
Great love is a brief moment where all silence of our lifetime deafens the static noise of day-to-day life. A silence so disconcerting that I would stop my car in the middle of the road and look to the sky, and up and down the valley for a sign of this silence's origin.
Great love spans throughout our life from beginning to end and in that brief moment, total gratitude, total appreciate for life, total realization of life, hits in the depths of my chest and stops me from all.
I want to praise and weep. I want the moment to stop because it hurts, but I want the moment to never end because I can see everyone I have loved even though I can't touch them.
I want to run with those who are still with me in a vision so big I can't see it end to end; I can only feel it.
This is the day of Great love.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
What was I to do? Walk down the street to the local coffee shop, Java Breeze, and ask for one of course!
Upon arriving, I received a hearty 'hello' from the barista behind the counter. A burly man with a child's voice, I like him immediately.
"I would like a cubano," I said enthusiastically. I HAD to order something. I couldn't get a fork and not give them something in return, could I?
"Well, we don't normally make those," he replied gleefully, "but I can make one for you. I was a barista at another store coffee shop before this one, and I love cubanos."
While he was turned, I noticed that he was reading a book. It's title was 'Gun Ho' and caught my attention.
"What'r you readin'," I asked.
He was all too glad to tell me. He went on to describe a book by the same authors which preceeded this on. He described superior service. He told me about the ideals within the book that spoke of getting your own employees involved. This will ultimately create raving fans with your employees, and when they interact with your customers they won't be able to help but give them not just service, but excellence.
He was so pleasant and excited I couldn't help but just laugh. He was serving ME with excellence. I could see that what goes into the mind comes out of it as well.
This bubbly, burly, boyish barista was serving me preeminence; he was giving me superior service.When he was finished with my cubano (which was excellent!), I even ordered a breakfast wrap. As I walked back to my office, I couldn't help but think of preeminence. I couldn't help but think that if I hadn't inquired of his book, I never would have gotten this double-shot of wisdom.
Being opulent, digging for the gold in others, and abundantly inquiring of others has always brought so much blessing and abundance to my life.
Sipping my cubano, with a warm breakfast wrap in my hand, I couldn't help but laugh out loud again at the whole experience.
All because I needed a fork!
Friday, August 17, 2007
Another opulent thing out there is opulent marketing. (I will be writing about this on my website, IamOpulent.com soon.)
One type of Opulent Marketing is when a company takes a tested model, and makes it even better by making it a Win-Win for everyone.
An example of that is Yuwie.com. This is my new favorite shiny, happy, Stream of Income toy.
Imagine if you got paid for your number of friends and the page views they had on MySpace! This is what Yuwie has done.
In a nutshell, those tacky ads on MySpace pay them a big chunk of change to advertise to all of the little people clicking around all day.
Yuwie saw this as an opportunity to both bless their clients, themselves, and their advertisers; a true Win-Win-Win for everyone.
I LOVE this type of marketing because:
- It is mostly residual
- It is easy to do.
- You don't have to be a genius.
- You don't have to be rich to get involved.
Also, if you are interested in other ways to make money on line, or doing bigger deals, just contact me.
Thanks, and have an Opulent Day!!
Monday, August 13, 2007
For about a year or two in the making, I have been working on a book on servanthood. It started as an account of some of the crazy occurrences that have been a part of my serving my mentor over the last 6+ years.
I wanted to give you a sneak peek at the introduction. Read it over and tell me if it is something that piques your interest at all, or if it causes you to want to read more. Give some feedback.
Without further ado:
A quick note from the author.
Straight at ya’:
Servanthood ain’t easy, friend. Period.
For the last 6-7 years of my life, let me give you the superficial summary:
- Criticism on every side.
- Kicked out of prayer meetings. (Is that even possible?)
- Broken off 2 potential engagements.
Why do I paint such a difficult picture? To share with you a truth. To share with you the reality of servant hood. You may experience the same. Along with that, you will suffer the same fate as your mentor, which is not always a good thing.
You will be called for service in awkward situations. (Try having to skip a flight to see your girlfriend, which had been planned months in advance, to be a part of your mentor’s service which popped up suddenly.)
You will be stretched. You will be drawn and quartered. You will be hated by the world. You will sacrifice the dearest things to you.
Plan on marrying the girl? Try God asking you to breaking up with her instead. It happened to me… more than once.
Like your career path? Imagine having to quit and go on unemployment.
Enjoy your free Tuesday night ‘guy’s night’ out? Get over it.
Think you will have a lot of great ideas? Try getting shot down at every turn.
Do you like working out 6 days a week and eating right, staying fit and attractive? Try skipping meals, fasting 4 days a week, loosing your physique, and eating ramen every meal.
‘Sounds tough but it won’t happen to me.’ Maybe, but be mentally prepared for it.
When you seek to be mentored, when you seek to serve an anointed man of God, they will push every button you have and those you haven’t thought of yet.
‘Well, Grant, it doesn’t have to be that way.’ You know what, you’re right.
And people in Hell shouldn’t want ice water. But they do.
And if your mentor ISN’T pushing your buttons, then I would say that your mentor is soft and not really mentoring you. Look at them deeper, because they may just be making you “twice the son of hell” that they are.
Why do I say that? Growing up spiritually is plain and down right tough. Maturing is difficult. If we are not being stretched, we just aren’t growing. Besides, I think I heard it said once that “the Lord chastises those he loves.”
And not all of the conflict will come from your mentor.
Reminder: this is a Christian walk.
Simply put, that means the “world will hate you.”
Our one and only Rabbi said that life would be tough. It was tough for him, and it’ll be tough for you too.
What is the GOOD news?
The good news is: You will survive. (well, maybe.)
Now, allow me to give you the REAL results of the last 6-7years:
- Exponential Growth.
- Traveled around the world.
- Preached in foreign soil.
- Met anointed and famous men.
- Seen prophesies come to pass.
- Joy unspeakable.
- True companionship.
- Loyal friendship.
- Hearing the voice of God.
- Dreams and visions.
- Avoiding pitfalls and a stagnant life.
- Meeting some of the wealthiest people in America.
- Surprise checks in the mail.
- Becoming the man God has created me to be.
- Not to mention passive income streams, business savvy, and other material blessings
- And so much more daily!
Most of you reading this may have already seen these types of frustrations, and for you seeing the payoff is impossible. Maybe you haven’t hit the wall yet. Trust me, YOU WILL!!
Let me encourage you, though. Stick it out! Run the distance. Fight the good fight! Run that you may attain the prize! Stand firm, and after that, stand some more. And all that stuff!
What is the prize? The ultimate you! The ultimate that God has planned for you.
You will live the adventure that God has.
You will be in awe and wonder more than anyone you know.
You will not have the curtains drawn over your eyes as so many others have.
You will become the very Remnant, called to be the awakening the Body of Christ will need!!
Being a servant will take you to the furthest continents and villages.
It has for me.
Being a servant will introduce you to the most anointed people.
It has for me.
Being a servant will allow you to see the miracles of God, supernatural events that cannot be explained.
I have seen such things. I have even participated in some of them.
I never would have preached in Kenya, been kidnapped in India (and survived), met and learned from people who make $200,000 a day, or finished my degree if I had not continued to endure the service.
Why serve? ‘Cause the Body needs Servant-Leaders and not another degree-bearing pastor.
We are all called to serve.
Our one and only Teacher told us to.
It isn’t easy, but the payoff for those who endure is huge.
Welcome to the race. I hope you learn a little bit about how to serve the man of God in your life.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Can one be so extreme and not rest? Anything done to the extreme degree needs Extreme Rest!
For the last week, I have been pushing almost non-stop to achieve a new level of opulent health for opulent abundance. I have been studying, studying and studying some more.
Yesterday, however, I woke up with a strep throat that just wouldn't quit. Drinking orange juice was like swallowing nails on fire!
So, I took a bath in Vick's Throat Spray and pushed through the day. Then, before bed I coked up on Nyquil, Vitamin-C, ecchinacea, turned my alarm off and passed out.
This morning was amazing! The sky was blue, birds were singing, and I was ready to take on the day!!
Remember, even though we are all pushing for opulence, pushing for more, pushing through new mental barriers daily, we MUST take time for some extreme rest.