not fitting in

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, Col.3:12

I know everyone just wants to have fun. Here is a hard word: life in Christ is not about “having fun”. That is not why we are here on this planet, as ambassadors and witnesses of the Kingdom of God. I know, I’m “no fun”. I realize that.

I do love life: i love nature, birds, trees, flowers, gardens, feeding people, talking to people, making things pretty, writing, and being useful. Did i mention I love babies. I love music and art and mountains and beaches. I love the fall season, the leaves, the weather, the crisp air. I like the beautiful things God has created. He created people. He is redeeming people. He gives grace, mercy and love to people.

That is why i do not like Halloween. I do not think there is anything to “celebrate”. Halloween in fact makes me sad. Why do i not “have fun” with it? Because i am not a pagan anymore, as i once was. ( I know what and who Halloween is meant to honor.) And because i care about people. People get taken, hurt, raped, tortured and ritually killed. That hurts my heart. It makes me hurt. I have feelings of empathy and compassion for those who have been ritually abused, and for those who have been killed. I hurt for them. Some of them I know (the survivors). I have respect for them and care about them. I am sad for them, I hurt for them. This makes me “no fun” on Halloween. I have been in a witchcraft satanic place of worship. Yes, built for this purpose. For torture and killing and worship of the god of this world. I can no longer “have fun” with Halloween.

But Jesus came to rescue from death. And that He does. He rescues lost sheep. God rescues from the domain of darkness and transfers them to the Kingdom of His beloved Son. He cares about them. I was one He rescued. I now want to care about people like He does. I want to join Him in rescuing the sheep. My flesh does not want to follow Jesus into this level of love….. my flesh would rather have “fun” and of course I’d like to be accepted as “normal” by everyone I know in Evangelical Christianity. My flesh wants to be “accepted” and to “fit in” and be “normal”….. but Jesus leads me by the Spirit, further away from my flesh. Yes it hurts. It feels like death. And it is. To my flesh, my “self”. But the real life, LIFE IN CHRIST! Christ’s life, is worth it all. Lord Jesus, help us all die to ourselves, and live YOUR LIFE, in your power, sacrificially, in love and compassion, for the others.

2 harlots

‘I SIT as A QUEEN AND I AM NOT A WIDOW, and will never see mourning.’  Rev.18:7

1. Jesus redeems, purifies and gives Life to the poor-in-spirit harlot on the street corner who repents.

“Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more”, He says to her. She receives His love, becomes His friend, and obeys and follows Him with faith, tears of repentance, much rejoicing, in humble obedience with holy and undivided love for Him.

2. Jesus warns and then judges the Haughty

Harlot on the corner of Church & Main St. who does not repent.

“I have other lovers”, She says. “I love Balaam’s teaching, I love Jezebels, I love those Nicolaitans; they’re all a benefit to me. I love spiritual adultery (it’s fun and profitable!), I love the world, I love myself, I have a name that I am alive, (I love my name I gave myself, I love my reputation, my fame), I love to flaunt my stuff. I have power, I get to influence and help the world rulers, I am successful, I love being lukewarm, I am rich, and am wealthy and have need of nothing. I love to commit fornication with the kings of the earth. I get to show up at all the important events, dressed to kill, and hobnob with the important people! I love to ride that Beast. I am dressed so fine with gold, jewels and colorful fabrics. I welcome demons and unclean spirits and hateful birds to come dwell in me. I invite everyone and everything to come in to ME. I love to glorify myself and live sensuously. I love to get drunk on the blood of the saints and witnesses of Jesus. I have arrived! I help rule the earth! I sit as a Queen! I am sure I will n e v e r s e e m o u r n i n g! I, I, I, i, i……i…………….i………………….”

Celebrate Ramadan

So what are you doing for Ramadan this year? The Jewish high holidays are also right around the corner. These holidays make for wonderful conversation opportunities. There are people from the Middle East all around you, and they have not yet heard the Good News. God has brought them here –to you–so they could hear the Truth of Jesus and join the redeemed sons and daughters of the LORD.

If you pray and ask Him, He will give you opportunities. He will also give you courage.

The Lord has filled you with His Spirit and has sent you to bring the Gospel to those who are brokenhearted over their sin. He has sent you to declare freedom and forgiveness to those held captive by the devil to do his will. He has sent you to those who are prisoners of sin, spiritual blindness and spiritual death; to proclaim Jesus: the salvation of the LORD.

Ramadan_Post_PhotoThe Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD. Isaiah 61:1-2

Related post: Mosque.  See also: Contextualization.

Lovely Progression

Lovely Progression

by: Nathan Pitchford
Reformation Theology blog

Jesus, how sweet your virgin birth,
Deep, lovely mystery:
Out from the unsewn womb sprang forth
God of eternity!
I kneel before your bed so rough,
My Savior in a feeding trough,
Divine before the world began,
And now in time become a man.

Jesus, how sweet your life on earth,
Your public ministry,
Your miracles of saving worth
O’er sin and misery;
I hear in reverential awe
Your thund’rous utt’rance of the Law,
And offer in my own defense
Your life of pure obedience.

Jesus, how sweet your saving death,
The atoning sacrifice!
My plea rose up on your last breath
Like incense to the skies;
I weep before that blessed tree
Where priceless blood was spilled for me,
Where all the wrath of God was poured
On the Beloved of the Lord.

Jesus, how sweet your rising up
Victorious from the dead
To fill my upheld mercy cup,
To crush the Tempter’s head!
I come by grace before your throne
And there in trembling joy bow down,
Before my King who now must reign
Till he make all things new again.

God Became a Man

I think the Bible indicates that Jesus was born in the fall, just in time for the feast of Tabernacles. We find that the observance of Christ’s birth as a Christian feast day was invented by the Roman Catholic church in the early Middle Ages, to compete with the pagan winter solstice observance of Satunalia. We have a record of the birth of Christ in the scriptures, but no where does the Lord tell us to celebrate the birth of Christ. Rather we observe the Lord’s supper and baptism, in which we remember His death, and identify with His death and resurrection, respectively.

So if Jesus was born in September (let’s say), then He was conceived by the Holy Spirit inside the virgin Mary, in December. The Light came into the world in the darkest part of the year. The incarnation did not happen at the birth anyway, it happened when God sent His Son into Mary’s womb(Gal.4:4) to become human, and dwell among us. Thus His “Tabernacling” among us began nine months before He was born, probably around this time of the year. To us believers, it is joyful to take every and any opportunity to worship Christ and thank the Father for sending His Son to dwell among us, so He could die for our sins as our Savior, and be resurrected in victory over sin, condemnation and death, for all who believe. How grateful and thankful we are! How good and great is our God, in His sacrificial redemption of us, the sinful, lowly “sons of men”.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us…John1:1-3,14.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons (into God’s family) …Gal.4:4-5.

The Atonement

My dream of graduating from college came to a sad end when I dropped out in my Junior year; I could not stomach the deeply occultic required reading for my major at SFSU. I was really at the wrong school. For years I wished I could have gone to Bible school or Christian college or something. But it was not to be. God was in loving control; He had another plan. He had something far better than college for me.

Years later, I was going to take a special class at church, but it was eliminated (due to lack of interest) right when I applied for it. After spending years starving to learn some systematic biblical doctrine and theology, God taught me Himself out of His Word. Later (three years ago) He led me to where I could feast on hearing these truths expounded. And now we’re in a church that preaches like this every Sunday. God is so good to provide for us in these last days, amen?

Anyways, I was thinking of someday getting Grudem’s Systematic Theology and reading it as a devotional, but now I don’t have to because I just listened to shai linne’s The Atonement.

The music is gritty, funky, rugged and “underground”. This album is good for evangelism as well as personal worship. The atonement is the center of the gospel, and the center of our redemption and our relationship with God in Christ. There is one song in which one man asks for definitions of theological terms, and the other man defines the terms, teaching basic bible theology. (Very thoroughly!) There’s also some really good sermon tracks mixed in. Check it out.

As I was implying, yes, there is more theology in this album than some saints will hear in a lifetime at many Neo-E churches. Learning, knowing and understanding theological Truth just makes us love and worship Jesus more. We love learning it. It is eternally attractive to us who are reconciled and redeemed, and whose sins are paid for by the blood of the Lamb.