Galatians 5:22 On Patience

Galatians 5:22-Patience
22 But the fruit of the spirit is…patience
Patience is a rejected gift.
Patience is the one fruit of the spirit we don’t really celebrate or like. However, it is the one thing that we need the most when we are dealing with difficulties, and while it usually is cultivated during the hard seasons in life, it can and should be practiced during the easy and fun seasons of life so that we will be ready. Patience is like a set of weights and our muscular system. The more we choose to embrace now, the easier it will become to exercise when all hell is breaking loose later.
God designed us to require patience, and yet there are people who say we should not pray for it.
I don’t live in that kind of unbiblical fear.
We are responsible to pray for–and embrace—patience.
It is when we do not actively pursue lessons of patience that we are unable to walk well in James’ command in 1:2 when trials come. The more adept we become at cultivating patience, the more patience we will have, and the easier it will be for us to maintain joy when trials come. The more patience we choose to cultivate in the seasons when we don’t need it, the easier the sequence of Romans 5:3-5 will become in the seasons when we do need patience. Patience is critical in times of suffering. Embracing suffering and combining it with patience yields endurance, then character, then hope, then the outpouring of the breakthrough that God wants us to have by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The end result of this steadfastness, which comes through the practice and execution of patience, is the possession of the crown of life (James 1:12).
So, what is patience?
Greek μακροθυμία (makrothoomia), which is a compound word:
1) Makro means “long” or “far”
2) Thoomia means “desire” or “passion”.
And passion is not just being excited about something so that you can convey the ideas “passionately” with zeal and intensity. That is what much of the modern church thinks of when they think of passion. To much of the church, “passion” is a glorified word for “intensity” and “fervor”.
No, actually passion is actually a Latin word that specifically carries the idea of suffering. The things that you are passionate about are also the things for which you are willing to suffer. If you are not willing to suffer for something that you are intensely communicating on social media, then you are not passionate. Rather, you are a keyboard warrior.
The 11 and Paul were passionate about Jesus.
This is where some translations render this word as “longsuffering” as opposed to “patience”.
Further, this leads me to another dynamic. James 1:24 says, be doers of the word and not merely hearers. So, in short, you are not only willing to suffer, and if need be, die for those things about which you are passionate. You are also willing to live for those very things, as well. You are willing to obey what you have heard, even if it means dying to yourself and being crucified together with Christ so that Christ in you may live.
Patience is that “over and over” fruit of the spirit. It is the one fruit that keeps us coming back for more when everyone and everything else is telling us to quit. Patience is that one fruit that keeps us listening to the Lord when His voice is the only voice that is encouraging us to continue when every single other voice is speaking something different, and when our friends turn into Job’s friends. Having large storehouses of patience enables us to push through when others would give up. Through patience, Jesus finished his race joyfully and endured the cross (Hebrews 12:1-2), and Paul endured his course, as detailed in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28.
Patience is what keeps us pursuing after the things we are passionate about, the things for which we are willing to suffer. Patience keeps us in the game long after everyone else has quit.
So, what is the root of patience?
Consider the following from Romans 8.
“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:25)
Hope causes us to wait for the things that have not come with patience. Thus, hope is the root of patience. Hope is our reason for waiting.
Jesus is our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:1-3). Therefore, we wait for his appearing with patience.
Patience is what enables us to bear with one another in love, especially when another believer is acting like a knucklehead.
And again from James 5:
10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast.
11 You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
That right there is a punch line for us. Job was an example of one who walked in patience. Yeah, Job, who endured hardship and lost everything, so much so that his friends turned into accusers. Job was not so far removed from us, given that he was a man of frailty just like us. How does that sound? When you know you are right in something and your friends and family, even your own spouse, all turn against you, patience causes you to continue in the thing to which God has called you.
This is a hard thing to consider, but it is worthwhile, and it leads us to the place where we can embrace longsuffering. So, as you are considering the fruit of patience, also consider what could be required of you.

Honoring Your Parents…What It Really Means

“I am leaving for Connecticut and taking the boys whether or not you come.”
The words cut like a knife.
The date was March, 2010.
The speaker was my wife.
We were living in Springfield, Missouri at the time. I was nearing the completion of the first year of my new assignment from my pastor, who had asked me to teach at our church’s school. Isaac was in Kindergarten, and Emmaus was in pre-school. We had begun the process of deepening a relationship with our pastors, and had just heard from the L-rd that we were going to be in Missouri at least another five years. We had pursued the process of renewing our passports so I could begin traveling with my pastor to conferences overseas.
We were excited for this next step.
Then an unforseen circumstance happened.
My wife’s mother had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer earlier, around November of 2009.
And my wife began having the conversation with me that we needed to move.
And I specifically heard from the L-rd, “don’t move. It’s a trap. You are not supposed to move. Stay put.”
And so I began to put the questions to her that I normally put to anyone who is making a huge decision.
“Did you talk to Father about moving? What did he say?”
And her responses indicated that she was irritated with those questions.
“I don’t need to ask the L-rd. The Bible says we are to take care of our parents.”
This ultimately devolved into her ultimatum in March.
What you may not know is that my wife’s mother was mentally very sick, having been diagnosed with Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder, among a whole host of other things, and had behaved in a very controlling and manipulative toward my wife for years before I had met them.
My wife’s mother never asked us to move in order to be closer, but my wife made the decision to move us, despite what I had heard from the L-rd, and I knew it was a matter of time before the manipulative influence of my mother-in-law would strengthen to the point where our marriage self-destructed.
I knew danger was coming, and staying away from that environment that was toxic for my wife likely could have saved my first marriage. And that walking into that, would accomplish precisely nothing productive, but only led to the destruction that happened.
This leads me to ask 3 specific question.
How much influence are parents supposed to influence their children?
What kind of influence is the right kind of influence, especially as adults?
Moreover, what does Scripture prescribe with respect to the interaction between children and of the parents?
Now, what follows may answer that question trio for my audience, or it may not.
What follows is not meant to condemn or criticize those who are currently taking care of their parents in their old age, especially when Father has commanded them to do so. So, feel free to read what follows with a grain of salt if it differs from your own situation, but also know that what follows is meant to liberate and not to lead to bondage.
Scripture is pretty clear that, in the beginning, unless a major shift and abdication of spiritual authority happens, parents steward the lion’s share of the authority in the lives of their kids from conception. Ideally, as they mature, children learn to walk in increasing realms of spiritual authority over their own lives, with an increasing say in how their lives flow.
Parents, ideally and simultaneously, transfer increasing authority to their children. Further, when children mature, they are supposed to “leave their parents” in order to marry or remain single.  Our growth means we begin a life of our own, as we are launched out by our parents.  The relationship is supposed to change from a leader/follower relationship to, in the words of Jim Fay, a consultant type of relationship.
But what happens when parents refuse to follow through on raising their children rightly, and provoke their children to wrath?
And what does honoring parents really look like?
We are responsible to recognize that our parents may not have raised us well. And we are also responsible to recognize that we are not entitled to good parents. We are only entitled to the parents that Father gave us, and the family into which He placed us.
Where is the love of G-d when he deliberately places us in a wounding situation, that was no fault of our own.
G-d gave us a package of good things and bad things, none of which we deserved.
As with Jephthah, we were each placed into a particular family, at a particular time, in a particular city and country, in a particular season of history, for a particular purpose, whether the circumstances were good or bad, through no fault of our own,
And we have each been dealt a particular hand, of incredible good things, good gifts, good talents, in addition to incredible tests, handicaps and some negatives, and it is our job to play the hand that was dealt us as best we can by His understanding. In playing the hand, part of our responsibility is demonstrating a right response to painful circumstances.
As a result, we are also dealt a hand of blessing and pain, and Father will show us how to negotiate and play that hand in order to maximize our potential.
He shows us how to respond to the pain caused by our family.
And He shows us how to find our sonship in Him.
We have a perfect Father, who is not defective. He is the best Father, and he lacks no resources with which to raise us from a generation of slaves to a generation of sons.
It is in being transformed from slaves to sons that G-d shows us what honoring our parents looks like. And it is not merely in taking care of our parents in their dying years and putting the call on our lives on hold solely in order to make them comfortable.
What do we do when a difficult situation arises and the L-rd seems to be telling us to do one thing, and our parental families seems to be saying another?
I have a friend who was raised with parents who were superficial in their raising of him, but in his words did not raise him with words of “I Love you, son,” or, “I’m proud of you, son.”
What about when we are raised by our parents in a superficial lifestyle where they will engage with us in all sorts of surface foolishness but will not lift their fingers to talk and converse with us about the most important things?
What about when we are raised by parents who didn’t give us that expressed affection and affirming words?
We are to honor them.
What does that mean?
Here is my 2-part definition (with some credit to Chip Ingraham of Living On the Edge”):
Live your life in such a fashion that:
your parents would have no regrets about what you did, on the day before Christ’s Judgment Seat.
Act toward your parents as if they both were:
1) Fully devoted to the full expression of the love of G-d
2) Really were interested building a platform under you for your success in the calling and birthright.
Assuming you know your calling or birthright, act as if your parents were pushing you in that direction, and as if they were honoring G-d with their whole lives, given they are supposed to raise you up in the nurture and admonition of the L-rd, and you will be honoring your parents.
The reality is you are to walk AS IF they fully agreed with your design and fully supported your design, even if in reality they are not.
Honoring your parents is acting in accordance with the heart of the best versions of your parents.
Let me paint a picture.
Your parents are dead.
They are standing before G-d.
If they violated your design and spoke against your birthright, then they spoke against the plans of G-d for your life.
Now, standing before the Judgment Seat, Jesus is correcting them in that moment for all the misperceptions they had about you, just like He will one day correct our vision so that we see clearly (1 Corinthians 15:51, 1 Corinthians 13:12).
Your job is to follow G-d regardless of what your parents say.
Your job is to follow G-d as if your parents agreed with what you were supposed to do, what you were made to do, what you were designed to do, what you were called to do.
Your job is to do whatever it takes to possess your birthright.  That is what honoring your parents looks like.
You possessing your birthright is a part of your parents’ legacy.
Now, I know that some people are going to say “that isn’t honoring your parents.”
My only response is, “I disagree”.
Others will say “are we supposed to rebel against what are parents are instructing us to do?”
My response is “if what your parents are saying violates your design, you are supposed to follow G-d”.
I have heard it said from believers that “if we don’t take care of our families, then we are worse than an unbeliever. This includes our parents.”
I am just going to say one thing on this topic.
You are to take care of your parents in their old age ONLY IF G-d tells you specifically. The Bible NOWHERE COMMANDS ALL BELIEVERS TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR PARENTS. Period.
Yes, I had to type that in all caps because our church culture in places is saddled with such a heavy delusion that calling gets placed on hold for the sake of parents.
Honoring your parents does not mean taking care of them necessarily. If G-d called you to missions work in Iran now, and you are putting this off 20 years in order to wait to bury your parents (Matthew 8:21) in Florida, you are not honoring the legacy the Father meant for your parents, and they will not reap the rewards G-d designed them to through your obedience.
If you are called to pastor a church, and you are waiting 20 years for your kids to grow up and leave, when he has called you to pastor now, you are not doing the right thing. If G-d says pastor, and you say no, that’s a problem.
And as for that passage in the New Testament of taking care of your family or else you are worse than an unbeliever, that is a reference to your wife and your kids. Unless G-d specifically speaks to you to care for your parents, you are to do whatever He has give you to do.

A Dynamic Of Mothering From Kate Mazur

Well-written words on mothering type of love from Kate Mazur. Reposted from Facebook with author’s permission.
Kate Mazur
Jan 13 2017, 10:28 AM

As I sat this morning holding an angry, screaming four year old, I thought about life and love. He didn’t want anything to do with anyone, including me. Yet, as I held him close telling him it’s okay to be mad and okay to cry, I felt his body release just a bit of tension. As the minutes passed, I thought about loving- no matter what: Love never failing. I want my six children to know my love for them, even when they’re angry, sad, etc. “Don’t cry” isn’t something they will ever hear me say.

I think an hour passed as I held the angry one. It may not have been that long but it did feel like it. Usually, he gets back to happy pretty fast, but for whatever reason it took him extra time this morning. For the past few weeks, he has needed extra help dealing with strong feelings, and sometimes I have not helped him. Probably that’s why it took so long this morning.

Trust continues to develop as I prove my love to my children, mourning with them when they are sad and celebrating when they are happy. I have had to be taught in recent years how to do this. As I acknowledge their intense feelings and get close, they feel me and KNOW I am there. Once they KNOW by feeling my closeness, they calm enough and I can eventually talk about their feelings, naming them (feelings) and asking questions.

How much I appreciate these mornings when Super Husband is home tending to the needs of the other five children. What a gift so I can stay in peace and give my love to one who, in those moments, is not lovely. I admit I have all the patience in the world to sit with an upset person, though I cannot remember always to keep food in myself, remember what I was doing before the uproar or know for certain what day it is.

Samuel is back to happy now. He was angry because his monkey was wet from the disinfectant wipe his eldest brother used on it.

Once he began to settle down, I asked:. “What made you angry?”

“Lukie got my monkey’s faa wet with a wipe.”

“Faa??” I asked, wondering what he could mean.
“Fur! Your monky’s fur is wet and you don’t like that!!!!!!”.
Oh for joy to know what made him so blasted angry!
“Ok. I can understand that. (Pause rubbing his back)…. Do you know the fur will dry?”
“Okay…But you don’t like that it’s wet now.”
“Well, I can understand how that made you mad. (More pause thinking how to redirect) Ruth blow dried Joseph’s monkey. Would you like her to do that to your wet monkey?”
“Ok Well, now that you’re happy again, I think Ruth is the right person to help you. (Pause for long hug) I love you, Samuel even when you’re angry.”. He hopped off our bed and took Ruth’s gentle, calming hand and away they went.
As I sit here and reflect, I notice Our home is back to the normal sounds of contentment:. lessons, chores, drums, washing machine and Brent instructing whatever is happening on the other side of the bedroom door.
During this season of motherhood, I rarely leave these four small walls. I know sometime soon this intense, all consuming time in our family’s life will give way to a different kind of season. I confess to enjoying even these moments -doing real life with the extrordinary people with whom I reside. Keeping it real is amazing. What day is it? I have no idea and know it doesn’t, in this moment, matter.

My Review of Alien Human Spirits, Series 1

Disclaimer:  Some of you will balk at the title.  For those that do, I am confident that if you just give it a listen, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Sandy Landry and I worked through this album together, and the one that follows it.
This album, of all of the SLG teachings was the one I understood intuitively the fastest.
You know, Arthur made a comment on this album on Disc 1, Cut 1, at about 5:30. He said:
“So for those of you that are purists and require only the finest and the best of theology, I recommend you shut this CD off and run for the hills.”
I vehemently disagree with his assessment of what he has produced.
By training and education, I am a theologian. I have a niche anointing and earned authority in the area of theology, and I am not just talking because I went to seminary.
I have read a lot and studied a lot and digested a whole lot.
The problem with most theology is that it does not answer or even bother to wrestle with the “so what?” question, especially as it pertains to present day Monday morning work.
This set and the two that follow it are honestly, in my estimation, some of the finest in theology precisely because they provide a new paradigm designed to address the lack of liberation prevalent in the body of Christ.
Now, do they answer every question pertaining to the concept of AHS/unclean spirits? No.
But do they attempt to work with some considerations that may be missing from our modalities of deliverance? YES!
And theology is not theology unless someone first has the guts to pose a question, and then WRESTLE with that question in order to answer it.
Arthur, you accomplish effective theology in short order, and yours is some of the finest attempts at wrestling with the texts while being sober in the assertion your material is not a silver bullet.
On one hand, we need fewer silver bullet showmen. On the other hand, we nee more hunting skillful theologians that “tremble without excellent speech” and who dance the waltz between principle, revelation, and “a demonstration of the Spirit’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:3-5).
Arthur here does just that. And he takes us from the place where we think everything is alright, to the place where we are forced to acknowledge and refuse our own denial that something else might be to blame for what really is wrong with us, and he does not back down from explaining a very plausible theory for what might the the cause, and then presents a possible solution, nay, a series of solutions for the problems that plague us with respect to things that defile our essence.
And in this series, Arthur verbatim encourages people to work in self-deliverance as much as possible. It is so blasted refreshing to hear someone who understands deliverance modalities exhort the body that it is okay for us to do it ourselves rather than rely on his or her unique covering in order to get free.
It is refreshing that Arthur resists the siren song that encourages us to embrace a welfare spirit that says we cannot do it ourselves, but constantly need someone to fix us or pray deliverance over us.
I had a vanishing twin and survivor guilt, and working through that on my own, I was able to rid myself of some things that were creating defilements in my very essence.
And I want the same for the rest of my friends and family.
This journey is about your essence, and not you trying to live vicariously for others, nor is it about someone else trying to live vicariously through you.
So, consider yourself warned, this will jostle your theology if you are used to having a safe and secure theology that isn’t messed with, but it really will give you a solid exposition on how we are supposed to look at some different packages of critters that are out of the ordinary and can afflict us.
Get the album. You will not regret it.

My Review of Redemptive Gifts of Cities

Content can be found at:
Without realizing it, I have been tracking with Arthur since 1999. Let me explain.
When I was in college in the late 1990’s, during my Sophomore Year, I connected with someone who was a violinist and a Music Major at the time, and she told me about this church she was attending, where G-d was moving. That was late 1999 or early 2000.
Within the first few weeks of visiting this church, the associate pastor made a statement that was curious to me: “DeLand, Florida is a Teaching City and this church is a Teaching Church.”
He then went on to list characteristics of a Teaching City, including division of the city into two parts and the careful meticulous research thst is done in the city, along with the presence of many educational institutions and churches.
Now, though that was my only exposure to Sapphire/Plumbline teachings for years, before Arthur’s name came to be associated in my brain with the teaching in this series, it had an impact on me 18-19 years ago.
Further, I started making other connections over the years and recognizing the gift of Teaching independently in other entities. And I always kept that bit of paradigm in the back of my mind, because that church was so influential in my life.
And then I found out from a close friend about SLG, and the Redemptive Gifts. He was a Prophet and, in response to my queries about Leviathan, he pointed me to Arthur. And this series fell out into my lap because of my intense draw to working with land.
This series had that impact on my life because of my passion for cities. And I have come to recognize that the vast majority of cities in which I have lived, and the significant turning points in my life, to an item, have all occurred in Teacher Cities.
My hometown is a Teacher City and it is precious. I now recognize that quality of Teacher land for producing revelation in my life.
College, Seminary, my second marriage, my Spirit Baptism. And then there are the cities profiled here.
Boston…Bakersfield…Baltimore…Santa Clarita…San Jose…Washington…and…San Francisco, HOME OF BEAUTY AND EXCELLENCE.
You want to take care of those places where you go, and though I have visited only three of these cities, Bakersfield and San Francisco gripped me the hardest with compassion over their unrecognized influence.
And I know we on the East Coast have jokes about Los Angeles, but G-d help us, we should be moved to tears for being life-giving to that city.
I have prayer-walked cities after dark because of the passion that Arthur sent my way 18 to 19 years ago.
I have a deep and strong heart for the loveliness amidst the brokenness. I have prayerwalked UCLA, and thought deeply about LA since I was there last 17 years ago.
I remember the friendships that were lost after they were gained as a result of visiting that city.
I remember the depth of Boston as I walked the streets to Fanueil Hall woth my wife and kids and the affection of the Father that BROODS over that city. It moves me.
And how in Teacher City after Teacher City, Father has dared to move in revival and power.
And how deeply the families of Bakersfield are loved, and the history of my people, the Blackfoot Indians, and their tender affection for Colonel Baker, in response to his fairy love for them.
This album changed me.
Years before I knew who Arthur was.
Thanks, friend.

My Review of Redemptive Gifts of Individuals

Arthur Burk RGI
The Redemptive Gifts of Individuals by Arthur Burk
How many people have benefitted from this material, the original, and I am the fourth reviewer?
This series is the original teaching that deals with the identification of many traits of each of the gifts, and it deals with many of those traits with excellence.
Now, Arthur has done his homework here, though later in 2008, he expresses regret over not having given Servant and Mercy their due.  And I can see that, but those gifts are vastly underrated by a lot of us anyway.  I know this, because I underrate my Servant wife on a constant basis.
You should definitely get this one to listen to, understand, make your own inventories in your own words, digest these gifts, compare to the Videos on YouTube, and Majesty of His Artistry, and then move into identifying your own gift.
I am very impressed with the level of attention to the details of Scripture that are found in here, and in the reflections in each member of the fractal that are found throughout the Holy Writ. This series does a lot to add to the coherence of Scripture.
And my thorough exhortation to the body is not for us to use Arthur for what we think he is good for, but to bless him for being such an asset to the body of Messiah Yeshua.
Get this album, understand the nature of the gifts, and deepen your understanding by a thorough read-through yourself of Scripture and an assessment of your resources because you are each sons of the King.

Concerning the President's Comments on Sh**hole Countries

R. Loren Sandford is a trustworthy voice in the body of Christ.  In the few short months I have had the honor to connect with him, I have seen nothing but righteous and humble fruit FLOW from him, as well as a measure of the Solomonic wisdom that is designed to issue from the hoary-headed.  His counsel is sage, measured, and gentle, while also being holy, and full of the life of the Father.
President Trump made some disparaging remarks that were not tinged with grace and truth.  And beyond this, I offer no words besides those Brother Sandford has.  They are reprinted from his Facebook Page, and I am thrilled he supported my reprint of them in their entirety:

Some time ago, having examined a lot of negative fruit, and having therefore deleted some posts because of the division and ugliness they produced, I determined that I would not preach against a sitting president regardless of his party. Now I’m hearing cries of outrage from a broad spectrum of people asking, “Where is the church?” after the president’s remarks about immigration from “sh**hole countries”.
The idea seems to be that we pastors should spend pulpit time decrying the president’s statement, and that, if we don’t, we’re somehow not fulfilling our calling. We were called to preach Jesus in His house, so I’m not certain to what degree we have been called to use the Lord’s pulpit to call out a president who may not even be a real Christian. Nevertheless, I have something to say.
I’ve said it before, both in print in my Prophetic Moments blog and emailings and in messages I’ve given both at home in my travels. I put it in the context of a call to pray for the president as a man, as well as for the sake of the country. It’s very simple.
I have said that the president will stand little chance of advancing his agenda if he doesn’t learn some simple truths from God’s word and make them part of His character. Proverbs 16:7, “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Perhaps more significant is Proverbs 12:18, “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing,” or 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger,” and the verse that follows, “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly.”
From the New Testament: “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:19).
All of these principles apply most strongly to anyone in a power position where the impact of words spoken will be magnified. No one wins by insulting people and calling them names, no matter who they are. Pray that our president takes these things to heart before more damage is done. I mean pray, not vilify or judge or condemn, or in any way add to the hatred and vitriol currently tearing our nation apart. AND DO NOT USE THIS THREAD AS A PLATFORM TO SPEW NEGATIVITY, CONDEMNATION AND HATRED.

The sitting President is an Exhorter, and he will be called to account for how he uses his words.  Regardless of your thoughts on his political affiliation, you are responsible as a believer of Jesus Christ, Messiah Yeshua, to pray and intercede for him and his mouth.
If he is a believer, which I seriously doubt, given the accounts of a faith commitment are dubious at best, then he is accountable to rein his mouth in and his words.  Designating countries that are substandard in his perception as holes of fecal matter does not become the Chief Diplomat.  Nor does it show the temperance of one who is being molded after the image of Christ.  He is responsible to serve, and we are responsible as We The People to pray for him, and not curse him, as part of our leadership duties.
Brother Sandford’s words serve as a good set of prayer points. Hit those Proverbs, if you are concerned for the President’s representation.
But don’t curse the Democrats, and don’t cry foul and only behave as if One political party can do no wrong and the other can do no right.

Concerning the Recent Rash of Sexual Abuse Allegations Coming to Light.

Well, the Mesmerizing Spirit is finally beginning to be stripped back from the American culture.
And thank G-d.  It’s about time this crap got exposed, even if it is not pretty.
The garbage that is now getting exposed, started years ago, and we need to repent of it and call it what it is.  Sin.
Yes, America, this is what it looks like when we pray for the Mesmerizing Spirit to be broken off of a nation.
Some too-close friends of mine were sexually molested by pastors and those in positions of leadership.
This one issue is why I never returned to the town where I grew up.
Churches fired members of their congregation from paid positions of leadership because it would ruin their reputations.
Congregations stood by their pastors and against the victims out of loyalty, or perhaps out of fear of the consequences of what would happen if they did expose their leaders.
And the list goes on.
And it is not just women, but men as well.
Another sad thing, is that people with celebrity status are jumping on the bandwagon of the #MeToo movement.
Now, allow me to differentiate something.
I didn’t express it well with one of my co-bloggers.  Honestly, I was stupid and brash  and too quick with my comments.  I said I had some reservations about the #MeToo movement. But I do not.  Rather, now that I have had a chance to ponder my reservations with the #MeToo hashtag, I have a better way to express it.
There appear to be two groups that connect with #MeToo.  First, the very real victims.  These are the smoldering wicks and the bruised reeds that the Father of Lights promised He would never snuff out nor break.  We need to advocate for them.
And there is the movement that is comprised of those with celebrity status that would seek to use the victims…
They would seek to use the victims for their own gain.
They would also seek to use their own abnormally large platforms that was granted them by the powers-that-be in this perverse culture, for political advancement.  To advance an agenda that does not fix the problem.
They would seek to insert discussion about how the news media is righteous and the current political structure on one side of the aisle is bad.   This behavior is hypocritical and does not fix the problem.   This behavior proceeds from a false motive.
It confuses the care of the victims with agendas that are tangents to the heart of the problem.
The trouble is, church, we are all culpable for the mess in which we find ourselves.
And as one called to pastor I have one thing to say.
In the words of my co-blogger, Amy Dudley:

Transparency is a concept that leaves us paralyzed at the thought that we will be found out and then everyone will know how fucked up and broken we really are.

Yes, I included that because this is precisely where many of us have been left…
In a place of complete disarray…
Where what was sacred was made profane, by our own sins of omission…
Of neglecting to protect those dear to us.
My brother, to start.  Precious Exhorter that he is.  Precious, world-changing man of G-d, who found his courage in prison, and found a new life in the Great Plains.
And, in the words of Amy Dudley, what kept us silent?

“Two Words:  Shame. Fear.”

My brother’s shame became my fear.  Fear that paralyzed me from moving beyond places where he failed.
And I burdern-bore for him, for Y. E. A. R. S..
And now, all these years later, we are on a massive hunt for dignity for the shame that bound so many of our brothers and sisters.
Dignity is what breaks and displaces shame, not honor.
And we are on a massive hunt for Life, which breaks the spirit of Jealousy, and the rage of the Edomites.
And Dominion, that breaks the Victim Spirit, and the Babylonian idolatry that keeps us powerless before the Spirit of Antichrist.
And Honor…
Honor that comes from the Holy Spirit…
Let me get you a tiny little lesson on the nature of the Holy Spirit here.  Below is Romans 12:6-8 in the Greek. The original. Note the segment at the beginning verse 8 that is highlighted in blue.
6 ἔχοντες δὲ χαρίσματα κατὰ τὴν χάριν τὴν δοθεῖσαν ἡμῖν διάφορα, εἴτε προφητείαν κατὰ τὴν ἀναλογίαν τῆς πίστεως,
7 εἴτε διακονίαν ἐν τῇ διακονίᾳ, εἴτε ὁ διδάσκων ἐν τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ,
8 εἴτε ὁ παρακαλῶν ἐν τῇ παρακλήσει, ὁ μεταδιδοὺς ἐν ἁπλότητι, ὁ προϊστάμενος ἐν σπουδῇ, ὁ ἐλεῶν ἐν ἱλαρότητι.
That segment in the Greek reads, “and the Exhorter in his Exhorting” The Greek word here that is used to translate the fourth Redemptive Gift is parakleton “the one who comes alongside”.
Another form of that word occurs in John 14:16:
16 κἀγὼ ἐρωτήσω τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἄλλον παράκλητον δώσει ὑμῖν ἵνα μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ᾖ,
The text reads “and I will ask/pray to/beseech the Father and another paraclete/comforter/helper/exhorter he will give to you so that with you into the age he might be.”
So, the L-rd gives us an Exhorter as our counselor.
He gives us an emotional, tender-hearted, social, affectionate, personable, not-anti-social, loving, kind, generous-with-his-time and whole Exhorter to confide in.
I digress.
So Honor comes from the Holy Spirit…
That Honor and ability to see things as they really are, both the good and the bad, breaks the power of the mesmerizing spirit,
It destroys the belief that we have to return to Mizraim, the land of Egypt, to be Pharaoh’s slaves and build his cities with whips at our backs.
And Honor comes with Life and Dominion.  These are gifts that come as the members of the Trinity each minister to our spirits.
And that ministry heals, makes whole, softens hearts, breaks the power of death, gives dignity, and breaks the powerlessness.
So, as a pastor, I say, this attitude of protecting the rep of your church at the cost of hurting other people, can ultimately lead to the destruction of your rep.
If you FUBAR the life of someone and then discard them because their presence would ruin your reputation, it shows where you have gone.  You have allowed a mesmerizing spirit to steal in, unnoticed, and rob your church of not only its life, but also the one thing–your reputation and image–that you sought to protect.
And if you zoomed in on the five-letter acronym in the preceding paragraph, because you know what it stands for, and made much of it, then you missed the point of this post, and of Amy’s post.
Grit is the stubborn texture of the situation.  The part of the road that defines it.  It is made up of integrity or its lack.
Here is the bottom line, each of you local churches.
Your precious reputation is in His hands.  He does with it what he will.  It is not your job to protect your reputation.  That belongs to Him.  If He wrecks your reputation as He did with Elijah in response to the prophet’s stubbornness, who stayed with a widow for months, that is His responsiblity.
If He builds your reputation, then that is both His responsibility to care for it, and your responsibility to steward it.
Some of you have made an idol of your church’s reputation.  Some of you have made much of what your church’s brand is in the community.  You need to quit that.  It is Father’s job to make or break that reputation.
And it is your job to keep your grubby mitts offa someone who is not your wife, men, or your husband, ladies.
And with idols, Father has been known to command us to smash those.
Matthew 16:18 does not say you will build the church.  It says Jesus will Himself build His church.  Acts says, that L-rd added daily those who were being saved.  It does not say the apostles added anything.  They provided a good landing pad for the L-rd’s presence.
You are responsible to protect those who are harassed and helpless in your body among you.  You are charged by the Father of Lights in the law with three commands to love.
You shall love the L-rd your G-d with all of your heart, soul, and might.
Deuteronomy 6:5
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  Leviticus 19:18
And the third “you shall love” in the Tanakh, which is rarely preached on.

“You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”  Leviticus 19:34

This third command to love was the answer to the self-justified lawyer’s question:
“Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29)
You shall love the very one you hate, dear Jewish Torah expert.  You shall love the one you think is going to destroy your reputation, church.  That “bastard” Samaritan.
So, in finishing, protect the flock, and do not abuse the flock, and leave the reaping of your reputation and brand in the community to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Do it, without excuses.

When Cooking Sucked, Then It Happens

Spicy Honey Chicken Fried Rice
I am working through several issues today.
I know one person that I can confidently say is a legit fivefold prophet.  He is someone that talks to G-d on a regular basis, and G-d talks back.  He lives in the great state of Massachusetts, and has a stubborn streak of crankiness when it comes to ignorance of basic Scriptural understanding.  But he is a close friend and someone I can call, not just to talk about what word he has, but just to talk about how he is doing.  He is a father in the faith, and I have few of those.
He has an odd sense of humor.  And, because of him, I have a number of catchphrases that are very prophety.
And my sense of humor, if it can’t be odd enough, was added to in oddness from him.
His name is Jeff Sickler.  And he is precious, and more precious to connect with on a regular basis.
Today I was in the process of checking some things after a phone call, and he rang me earlier today with a prayer request.  Later today, he rang me again…
With the following, unprovoked lead-in question…
Jeff asked, “Have you been getting bored with cooking?”
I replied,”How do you mean, Jeff?”
(This was my way of stonewalling, because I was indeed feeling like cooking was becoming a chore.)
“Like, when you used to cook, you enjoyed it, but recently in the last few weeks, it has become more of a chore and you have seen it as humdrum.”
I replied that I had never shared this with anyone, but it was in fact true.  And then I asked:
“How did you know this, Jeff?”
“G-d told me.”
Typical Jeff.
And then he expanded.
“Actually, He has been talking to me about this several times, and told me to give you a call and pray for you.”
And so he started praying.
And as he started praying, I started thinking, “chicken, I need chicken.”
Grab chicken, and then put some oil in a pan, and what else?  Garlic.  Get a clove and press that.
And one at a time, the ingredients come.
And grab those dried cayenne peppers on my counter and grind them up.
Chicken starts sautéing, and then, I hunt for carrots.. Found them. slice them in the processor.
And dump the carrots in with the chicken and garlic, and honey and add a nice big pinch of cayenne and some black pepper.
Then…it needs more salt…no not salt…something else…nutty….soy sauce.
And didn’t we have some leftover rice in the fridge.  Yes, yes we did.
And boom.
Out it comes.  My spirit started cooking.  And the fragrance went pow!
So, I recognize that my spirit can cook, and make something insanely spicy that all of me really enjoys.
And I needed it, because after I finished cooking, I saw a comment on my Facebook wall in response to my punny comment that “Seatac is better than hardtac”.  The author said to me that she didn’t know what it meant. I explained that it was a veiled reference to the conference I will be attending in February, and what the play on words was, by explaining hardtack.
And she replied that it I was excited about the conference in SeaTac.
And I said, I was excited to meet people that I had never met before.
And then I said it….
“How can I miss someone I never met before?”
And then I realized..I know the answer to that question.
I have two answers to that question, and both have hit nerves for me.  I have at least one or two nerves that dwell with the Lamb, permanently, that I have never yet met.
And I recognize this as my birthday comes up.  I am missing some things that are precious to me.
New Treasures.
And like any scribe of the kingdom, I have Treasures….
And New…….