Sunday, July 3, 2016

?Detoxing from Religion?

John Pavlovitz has recently written a post intended to convey grace......

But it is a dangerous grace........

A grace accepting grace without advancing it........

It is a stagnant pool that only receives without allowing the flow of waters beyond it........

It is a selfish view of grace.......

And, not so surprisingly, it resulted in a caustic response in the comments below (not attributed to Pavlovitz, of course, but 'toxic grace' does indeed draw out such caustic responses....):


The great hoax
foisted by religion

has been
the infallibility
of its doctrines

To which I responded:

a great turn of words.... but.....

The greatest hoax foisted by the flesh is.....

That those infallibly true truths can't be misunderstood by the soul......

Of course they are! By ourselves as well as by those who have led before us (or who are leading us now)..........

The thing that is John Pavlovitz's article is missing?


Which is the cure...........

You see, grace coming into us is not enough.

We must step onto the platform of grace for those around us.... even for those in leadership, who have led us, or are leading us, who have similar types of misconceptions of true doctrines (maybe not the very same ones..... but an inability to see straight..... which we also struggle with,..... no?!....)

Oh, the words might all be properly thought out.

The foundation of them might be properly established on the Cornerstone.......

But if our vision isn't changed by what we know "properly", perhaps the 'corrective lens of scripture' isn't sitting squarely on our faces.......... we still see life and living........ all askew.........

........ we still see amiss........

So, if we hope to receive grace for ourselves for such skewed vision........

How is it that we should not receive grace to share with those who have, or are --- leading us in the wrong direction.


When we really step up onto the platform of grace?  Then we can dive deeply into the living water.... the flowing, alive, fresh, life-giving water of grace.......

When we really step up onto that platform of grace?  For the whole body of Christ......

When we are really praying from the depth of our beings:

"OUR Father......."

Then it is that the healing begins..........

But not until then...........


Friday, June 24, 2016

Clinging to Our God and Father........

"In the world, dependence is seen as immaturity.  But in My kingdom, dependence on Me is a prime measure of maturity."  ---  or so Sarah Young attributes these thoughts to God's precious heart in her devotional Jesus Calling, in her entry for today, June 24.

......and methinks, she is right.

Or course, Sarah Young also included encouraging and insightful scriptures for the day..... one being found in Psalm 62.....  Now, I love it when I can take the time to read through the whole chapter or so in which these scriptural references are found, particularly when a psalm is involved.  Today, I was blessed to be able to do so...... asking questions along the way.

Today, I happened to scan my way through the psalm first, and found the whole thing to be so peace-giving and restful in regards to us, God's people - in spite of the trials of this life.  And against this peaceful foreground of "life at rest in spite of trouble," is the main setting:  the grand, and amazing, and powerful love of God for all of His people.

That alone is rich...... But then my curiosity was piqued when I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the author was Jeduthun.  Hmmm.... 'think, think, think....."  Who is Jeduthun? As it, of course, turns out, Jeduthun was a major figure in David's day, in spite of the fact that he did not play a big part in any stories told to me as a child.  Furthermore, in these more recent years, his name had not made an impression on my heart when I have been reading through scriptures.  So I did not place his name quickly, yet here he was, so honored as to have written this amazing psalm captured in holy writ.  Driven by a growing sense of curiosity, I searched in Biblegateway for his name in scripture.  

It was so exciting to see that this Levite, who had been raised up by King David to lead in thanksgiving, praise, and worship in the temple, wrote such a beautiful psalm...., one which captures so much of the heart of Sarah Young's message for today:  relying utterly on God in order to reach the fullness of maturity into which He has called us.

It was also exciting to notice how it is that his sons served with him in the temple worship.  Some of them kept the gates.....  Yes, they kept the gates while he led the people in worship. 

Hmmmm, the sons keeping the gates while the father leads in worship.

How beautiful is that!

How often does that happen today?  How often does it not?  How often do we fail our heavenly Father by failing to properly raise up our sons as He fathered and raised up Jeduthun, and as Jeduthun did as he fathered and raised up his own sons?

What is it that 'went right' for this to have happened in Jeduthun's life?

Of course, being a huge fan of the messages in scripture that can be found by knowing the meanings of names in the Bible....... and in seeking to meditate on these particular scriptures, and especially in seeking leading from the Holy Spirit, I sought to know more of this man, Jeduthun, by learning about his name!

There are two main roots to the name Jeduthun. As it turns out, like the name Judas/Judah, at the heart of the name Jeduthun is the holy name of God:  confess....God!

The HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament provides a slightly more expanded version of 'Confess - - God!' by rendering the meaning of Judah as: 

"to acknowledge or confess sin, God's character and works, or man's character."

Consider then how appropriate it is that this man who was raised up to lead God's people in praise had a name which gave Jeduthun an opportunity to remember our need to do this each time he heard his own name!

Consider then also, how Jeduthun's sons knew that they ought to grow up worthy of their father's good name..... not to the perfection of their father!  Oh, no!  For their father, they knew, had to confess his own nature, which was not sufficient for life, to God in worship.  But the good name of their father came from the fact that he humbly did just that. Jeduthun did 'acknowledge and confess sin, God's character and works, and man's character.'

Jeduthun's sons must have had at least some very real understanding of our need to 'Confess... God!'.  They also seem to have been very faithful in the task set to them.  They understood that they needed to be keepers at the gate, protecting those who were attending to this vital need in our lives!

Were Jeduthun's sons 'tending to their father's business?'  

It does indeed seem that they were.

What an honor for them all.

Now, may we be about the Heavenly Father's business........

Leading out before the people, 'Confessing....God!', and loving them, helping them to understand the love, peace, and honor that comes from their choosing to do the same.......

As Jeduthun said so poignantly in his psalm:

'Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
   my hope comes from him
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
  he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
  he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
  pour out your hearts to him,
  for God is our refuge.'  Psalm 62:5-8

What else can we do than to repeat this sentiment down through the ages?  Even to those who have failed with their own children in days past....  What else can we do for those around us today?  What else can those around us do?

Each one of us will either cling to the good name of Our Heavenly Father, and stand and watch the gates as needed, and thereby cling to the gift of His Son..... the gift of life......

Or we have nothing with which to cling onto anything at all.........

Which truth is said so well at the end of Psalm 62:

"One thing God has spoken,
  two things I have heard:
'Power belongs to you, God,
  and with you, Lord, is unfailing love';
and, 'You reward everyone 
according to what they have done.'"

What an amazing thing.... that when God has spoken one thing..... we indeed must hear two!

Confess...... God!  In.....deed.........


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What of 'Shame' in the New Testament?

II Thessalonians 3:14  "If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame."  (NAS)

Greek for 'shame' in this instance is entrape, from:  [1788 entrépō (from 1722 /en, "in" and trépō, "to turn") – properly in (a state of) turning, i.e. to turn one's attention to in a riveted ("locked-in") way. This term is also used of recoiling (turning away) in shame, at times of a "wholesome shame which leads a man to consideration of his condition" (Berry).]

Taken in light of the complete work and teachings of Jeshua ha Meshiach, it is clear that 'do not associate with him' must be seen in light of the Great Commission.  Certainly no one is to be treated worse than the heathen, and the heathen is to be loved by those who are called to serve Him if one takes the full context of scripture into play, including the Great Commission. Therefore, this has to do very much with spiritual association alone.

Taken in light of the complete work and teachings of Jeshua ha Meshiach, before any distance in spiritual association were to begin, Galatians 6:1 must be honored in as much as it is possible with the church, "Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won't be tempted." (Holman)  "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."  Romans 12:18  (NASB)

Taken in light of the complete work of Jeshua ha Meshiach, it is also very clear that the hope of the believer is for the one being put at some distance will come to a point of 'wholesome shame which leads a man to consideration of his condition', after which, that one would come into an obedient relationship with The Word, our beloved Savior, the great, "I Am Salvation."


Instructions which Paul, Silvanus and Timothy said should be obeyed in this letter include:

1)  Our love for each other should grow ever greater:

This 'instruction' is only an instruction inferentially.  However, it is clearly an expectation since this was something for which Paul, Silvanus and Timothy were already thankful in regards to the behavior and heart of the Thessalonian believers at that time.

........"the love of each one of you toward one another grows every greater." II Thessalonians 1:3b

 2)  Our perseverance and faith must continue in the midst of all of our persecutions and afflictions, which we must endure:

This 'instruction' is, again, inferential.  Continuing in perseverance and faith on the part of the Thessalonian believers is also something for which Paul, Silvanus and Timothy were already thankful.

....."your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure...."  II Thessalonians 1:4b

3)  We must continue to believe the testimony of the apostles:

Yet another inferential 'instruction.'  Those who have fully believed the testimony of the apostles will be saved from eternal destruction, not be turned away from the presence of the glory of His power, one day be free to marvel at the Son of God

4)  Other..... so walk with great care:  There are other salient points within  II Thessalonians which should be honored for us to have a right understanding of what 'do not associate with him' can and cannot mean.......

In short, walk in love:  It is the greatest commandment, and the second greatest commandment.


for our testimony to you was believed

will we believe this:

Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won't be tempted. Gal 6:1

Ode, to guarding against shame........ in our own *hearts*, more than in our associations.....

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Thoughts On the Gospel According to Luke........: Luke 1 - Ode to the Names...... (part 1)

Ode to the Names ......... the names of first one, then another.... and another, and another simple man and woman...... in Holy Writ......  Men and women, by any other name, still beloved of God, yet given amazing names......   names fit just so, in order to convey to us....... that God is love, has a plan, and wants to reveal it to those who will listen, and look, and hear..... He who has ears, let him hear......

Luke: the Light Bearer, wrote to Theophilus: the God Loving!  (We love Him because He first loved us........ and showed us that love so clearly when God's son became a man...., in particular, He became the Son of Man, to die for us.)

Indeed, though Luke does not use the name 'Son of Man' until the fifth chapter (when Jesus boldly established His own authority to forgive sins), and Jesus did not refer to His needs as a man until He was tempted in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13), the Gospel according to Luke emphasizes Jesus not only as man - but as the Son of Man (see below).  Of the four symbols associated with the four gospels: the lion, the bull, the man, and the eagle, --  it is the man which is associated most directly with the gospel of Luke:  Luke's genealogy goes back to Adam - thus begins with an emphasis on Jesus as the Son of Man - symbolized, of course, by the man; whereas Matthew goes back to Abraham - with an emphasis on Jesus as the King of the sons of Abraham - symbolized by the lion; and John shows Jesus as coming to us from eternity, the Son of God on high - symbolized by the eagle.....; leaving Mark, listing nothing about genealogy: which is more in line with the genealogy of a servant - the bull...... because, for a servant, a genealogy is not really important to any other people in his life.

The Light Bearer tells the God Lover that Jesus, as the Son of Man, fulfilled all that the prophets foretold about the first coming of the Son of Man (Luke 18:31).  As the Son of Man, He called Himself Lord of the Sabbath (Luke 6:5), who, as the Son of Man, out of love for mankind, established in and for Himself, the power to forgive our sins (Luke 5:24); and for that reason He, as the Son of Man, came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:20), yet mankind falsely accused and utterly misunderstood this wondrous Son of Man (Luke 7:34), and betrayed Him into the hands of men (Luke 9:44). He, as the Son of Man, suffered many things - was rejected - and killed (Luke 9:22), even though He, as the Son of Man, stands as the perfect son, in stark contrast to the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32).  Yet He is still willing to forgive those who have spoken against the Son of Man (Luke 12:10); moreover, those who do not deny the Son of Man will be accepted by Him before the Father - acknowledged by the Son of Man before the Holy One and His angles (Luke 12:8), those who love the Son of Man will follow Him, will be like Son of Man in that they will be falsely accused on earth (Luke 6:22),  when He comes back, as the Son of Man, He will light up the sky (Luke 17:24), when He is revealed as the Son of Man before mankind again the second time (Luke 17:30), He, as the Son of Man, will be looking for faith (Luke 18:8), yes, when He comes - at an unexpected hour - the Son of Man wants us to be ready! (Luke 12:40).

So here it is, the Light Bearer sharing with the God Loving all about the Gospel, the Good News, about God's Son becoming not only man, but the Son of Man --- to die for us: the Light Bearer sharing The Light of the Son of Man with us, so that we might first receive that light and walk in it, but more than that:  so that we might share that Light with others, that they might walk in the light as well   ------  sharing the light and life of Christ with others just as the Light Bearer did before us, and just as the Son of Man did before him  ----  All so that...... that..... the God-Loving may "know the certainty of the things about which [the God-Loving have] been instructed......"  (Luke 1:4) .... based on that which "the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed down to us." (Luke 1:2) .....which Luke, the Light Bearer, had "carefully investigated [fully] from the first" (Luke 1:3).


So, when did this story begin?  "In the days of King Herod of Judah." (Luke 1:5a)

Herod?  In the days of Herod?  In the days of a trembling, wild, Edomite ass, feeling like a scardy cat, while desperately, though in vain, trying to establish invincible authority over Judea, and likely as not, seeking eternal praise for himself!,.... Where did he seek to establish such praise for himself?  ...... as king of the Province of Judah: with Judah being a name meaning: to confess the nature of God and the fallen, sinful nature of man" and also indicating the Messiah's establishing a way for us to come near to the heart of God!)?

So Herod was brutally seeking praise for himself in the Province of Judah, that is, in the Province of Praise - - - a place specifically established to invite mankind to meet with and praise the Holy One - to become chavarim with Him in His presence...., Him, to whom all praise is due........


So, just focusing on the names thus far in the book of Luke, one can see:

The Light Bearer, sharing with the God-Lover, the veracity of the real life story about the good news, ...the good news about the Son of Man coming as a man to save the sons of men.  A story that begins in days when those, like Esau, had forsaken their birthright, and who by now were desperately, yet in vain, trying to establish their own 'way' (in contrast to The Way of peace)....  trying to establish their-own-way via some pipe dream that they could establish some sort of invincible authority within the Province of Praise  (where we are called upon to praise God as God and recognize men as mere men) - and thereby deny any claim that they needed to confess God as God, & man as man...., with the result that they were terrified by the growing shadow cast more clearly each day - cast by the looming truth that they could never succeed in their quest for supreme heroic gloriousness in the province of praise, and thus, they could never aspire to the highest levels of sublime immortality.


Going further,...... soon.........

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thoughts On the Gospel According to Luke........: Introduction

Ode to meet Jesus - and to breathe His praise from my whole being!!!!  That is the highest calling on my life.  Still, there is another smaller, yet still great ode to consider here, which is simply:  Ode, to meet Luke!

Through the years, teachers have dutifully impressed it on my heart that the Word of God is inspired by the Holy One himself.... There is great peace in resting upon that truth:  A truth which is an awesome force indeed!

Still, there is increasing gratitude swelling up in my heart towards those faithful men who penned the Word, and in the case of the Gospel according to Luke, that would, of course, be Luke.

Yet Luke did not focus on himself at all.  His name never finds its way into his own writings.  His focus is entirely upon Jeshua ha Meshiach!  The Savior, the Promised One!  In response, here at the outset of these Thoughts on the Gospel According to Luke, within my heart there is an ever increasing urgency in prayer:  That we may learn humility both from Luke, and especially from our Lord, and keep our focus on Jesus as the Promised Savior!

But also that we might know to whom we are to carry the Light of Christ.  Luke's main target audience, initially, were the Greeks, and he wrote in a high stylistical Greek form to show respect for the topic at hand, and to express the need for the Greeks he was writing to to take his subject seriously: to take seriously their need for the Gospel of the Messiah, the Christ, the Promised Savior.

God's purpose for Luke was clearly fulfilled in his life.  Luke's name means 'Light'.  The light of the world became the very theme of his life's work.  The result is that he sought to more fully understand the Light of the World, and to walk in that light, and to share that light with others.  Indeed, Jesus had said, "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life." (John 8:12)  Luke clearly had the Light of life, followed it, and walked in it!  May we also!  But beyond that, Jesus not only extended that light to Luke (and to us), but He also called us all to share it with the world, as Luke has done before us, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)

So, how do we come to the Lord and be so filled with His light that we can share it with the kind of confidence in which Luke walked & testified of His Lord?  By being still and just looking at him, knowing that He is God (Psalm 46:10).   "The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!"  (Matthew 6:22-23)

What then if our eye has been bad and full of darkness?  Is there an answer?  Yes, indeed!  Long ago, God promised that, through Jesus, the blind can see again:  "Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped."  (Isaiah 35:5)  And indeed, Jesus opened the eyes of the blind (video):  (John 9:1-39)

May He open our eyes more fully, day by day.  For indeed, just as some in this world are born, seeing, yet they see with troubled vision (e.g. - my brother was born with two horizons, and never knew it until he was in his 40's, in spite of his successfully navigating his way into well reputed work as an engineer.... and yes, now he has sought surgery to correct the problem.... finally!, while my eyes never converged, which impacts my life in subtle ways as well....)....., anyway, indeed, just as some in this world are born seeing, yet with troubled vision with their physical eyes, the eyes of our heart and mind can misunderstand what is clearly and plainly right in front of our face......

The Light of life!!!!!

May His Light shine clearly through to our hearts and minds, that we may perceive what the lamp and light is showing us on the path of life..... today!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spent some time trying to balance the macros for some meal options.  I know, the lunch is more of a snack, and the snack is more of supper, but there ya go...... I just needed them more balanced. I know, the choc chips ought to be homemade, but I only recently found a good recipe for gyros...., I'm sure I'll need a recipe for chocolate, but I haven't found it yet, and I'm not going to use such a recipe this week anyway.......:

Following Tom Venuto's recommendations for overall calories (while ascribing to a 4 meal a day mindset) would result in an average of 500 calorie meals for me, four times a day, each with 62.5 grams of carbs, 37.5 grams of protein, and 11.11 grams of fat:

50 calories from carbs:             12.5    grams carbs
30 calories from protein:            7.5    grams protein
20 calories from fat:                2.222  grams fat

250 calories from carbs:            62.5    grams carbs
150 calories from protein:          37.5    grams protein
100 calories from fat:              11.11   grams fat

Eggs - Hard-boiled (whole egg), 2 large155111131241
Spinach - Raw, 2 cup14202470
Red Potatoes - Red Potatoes, 2.25 medium (2-1/4" to 3-1/4" dia) Baked with skin2485907862
Generic - Egg White (Jw), 4 Large6810142201
Oil - Olive, 0.25 tsp1001000
Garlic - Raw, 1 clove(s)410010
Spices - Rosemary, fresh, 1.5 tsp(s)100000
Add Food
Spinach - Raw, 2 cup14202470
Peas - Green, frozen, unprepared, 0.5 cup551004814
Body Fortress - Chocolate Whey, 1.5 scoop1959530833
Bananas - Raw, 1 large (8" to 8-7/8" long)1213101117
Hersheys - Dark Chocolate Chips, 21 pieces105127089
Add Food
Cooked Onion - Onion, 58 g38421801
Grilled Pepper - Grilled Green Bell Pepper, Large, 0.5 Pepper1740122
Veggies - Romaine, 1 cups1530171
Onions - Cooked, boiled, drained, with salt, 1 cup92210350210
Onions - Raw, 1 cup, chopped67160157
Chicken - Breast, meat only, cooked, roasted, 0.66 cup, chopped or diced1520329680
Oil - Olive, 1 tsp(s)4005000
Pineapple - Raw, all varieties, 0.75 cup, diced561501111
Nordic Naturals - Omega 3 Purified Fish Oil, 2 capsule1802000
Add Food
Apples - Raw, with skin, 1 medium (2-3/4" dia) (approx 3 per lb)721900114
Asparaguses - Steamed, 134 g (1 cup)2750333
Yogurt - Plain, skim milk, 0.33 cup (8 fl oz)45605626
Veggies - Romaine, 2 cups30612142
Oil - Olive, 0.25 tsp1001000
Nuts - Almonds, 2 tbsp(s)6926301
Chicken - Breast, meat only, cooked, roasted, 0.5 cup, chopped or diced1160222520
Rice - Brown, long-grain, cooked, 0.66 cup143301360
Add Food