A Tale of Two Hikes

A few years back I journeyed 20 miles for a taxing day hike over Blood Mountain.  What was special about this day was that I not only went up and over once but I went up and over twice.  I walked 10 miles out to Woody Gap from the north side of Blood Mountain and back.  I wanted to know if I could hike 20 miles in one day.

This was after a derailed trip to the Shenandoah’s when my backpacking companion became sick after 32 miles of a planned 100 miler.   Our trip consisted of two 20 mile days and one 17.5 mile.  On day two we only made 13.1 miles which threw a wrench in my plan.   I learned a lot of valuable lessons on that trip and now that I am writing, more revelations are coming my way……

So what lessons did I learn?

For one, my pack was too heavy for a 7 day trip.  I packed food like our normal 3 day extended weekend hikes times three.  Big Mistake!!!  While I was sucking it up, I had no empathy for my friend who was struggling with his pack (he should have prepared better, in my not so humble opinion.)  We tried to fit 100 miles into 7 days.  On our third day, we were trying to beat an approaching cold front where snow was forecasted.  Day two was shortened by 4 miles since we just weren’t moving as fast as I had hoped and it was late in the day.   All we needed to do was to hoof it and make up the lost mileage.  The goal was to make it to the shelter to claim our spot so we would not have to pitch our tents in the rain and snow and stay in the shelter.  First come first served is the law of the shelter.

It was all uphill as soon as we left the camp that morning.  It was almost lunch when we reached the crest.

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We heard how the Shenandoah’s were a piece of cake for those who had hiked it before BUT, those people had hiked as north bounders.  We were hiking as south bounders from the top end of the park.  As a section hiker you have to work on a schedule.  You have a limited amount of time and you need to account for everything like time on the trail, travel time, vacations, pick up points, drop off points, food (breakfast lunch, dinner, snacks,) water, camping spots, day 1, day 2……  and when you hit the trail you’ve got to move.  When I look back on this trip we tried to stuff ten pounds of potatoes into a five pound bag.

Our perspective was off, we had made so many assumptions based on 40 mile trips and the opinions of others that when we actually got on the trail, nothing we encountered was what we expected.  To the north bounder going down was going up, but to a south bounder everything was backwards.  The folks we spoke with were not newcomers to 100 mile plus stretches but this was our first 100 miler.

Think about your walk with Christ, has it turned out as you expected or thought?  Have you been disappointed because what you envisioned your walk to be is suddenly without the early fanfare?

How many times have you driven somewhere new and when you drove back you say, “I don’t remember seeing that.”  This is what this was like.  We heard what others before us said based on their journey and it was diametrically opposed to our experience.  They said it was fairly level but that was at the south end of the park not the north.

This was our journey and no one else’s.  These were our experiences now used to grow us up.  No matter how hard this trip was, nothing would have been learned if I had not stepped on the trail.

I was trying through brute force to push us through.  We were going to do this, we just needed to “break on through to the other side.”  Yes it was tough but “we can do this” I exclaimed!

My friend kept falling back.  We had hiked many miles together prior to this, but I was concerned with the finish rather than the journey.

Sound familiar?

By the time I realized that this hike would remain on the bucket list, I was mad, angry, and disappointed.  My internal thoughts were ugly and my comments where not uplifting.  We left the trail and found a lodge in the park.  As the night progressed, my friend became sick confirming his inability to continue.   I lost a hiking buddy that day.  Since then, I have made amends for my attitude and we still keep in touch but…..things were never the same.

So what does this have to do with my 20 mile hike over Blood Mountain two days after my return?  I was determined to see what 20 miles felt like even though it was with a day pack.  I wanted to know if my 7 day plan was a pipe dream.  As it turned out it took 9 hours 41 minutes 53 seconds according to my GPS stats for that day.  It was a dream if you take into account we really didn’t have our legs underneath us and the weight of our packs and the elevation changes.

So what is this lesson about you might ask?

It’s about perspective.

After I stopped for lunch at the halfway point and was heading back for the final 10 miles, I had the pleasure to hike 6 miles of those with a fellow hiker.  It didn’t take long for the topic of God to pop-up.  You have to picture this, two guys talking out loud in the woods about God, Christ, and the differences between the Latter Days Saints and my Protestant/Catholic experience.

You see he left the Catholic Church because he could not get his head around the Trinity.  He asked me:  “How can God, Jesus and Holy Spirit be the same?”  It was because of this one question he was lured away from God as I understand and know Him to be.

I had no answer except I believed it and have felt all three aspects of God work in my life at one point or another.  I can still see this guy asking me that question on the south side of Blood Mountain on April 17, 2014.

I would not have been on that mountain if I had still been in the Shenandoah’s.   I was on the mountain trying to satisfy my pride and ego.  Regardless of my attitude and ego, when I heard the call of God that afternoon, I stopped facing inward but outward and upward.

My perspective changed.  I was no longer trying to prove something, I was celebrating my Father who art in Heaven.  I was declaring His glory in the mountains with a stranger.

We talked for 2.5 hours about God.  We agreed to disagree on many points, but in the end we prayed before we went our separate paths.  I pulled a Holy Spirit sneaky on him and prayed that the Holy Spirit would convict his spirit.  That was the last I saw of him.  I do not remember his name, but I can still picture him.  I didn’t try to shame him, tell him he made a mistake.  My soul was not trying to convert him back, we talked about God and I shared how wonderful He was to me even when I am a brat.

So why are we here today?  I was reminded of this gentleman at the dinner table with my aunt the other day.

My aunt made a statement that answered this question about the Holy Spirit.  It was about perspective.  We go into many situations with preconceived ideas.  We have biased opinions.  We go into debates with one goal to prove you wrong and I/we right.   Are we open to HEAR the other side?  We expect certain outcomes.  We try to force solutions.

And many times we are reluctant to try and understand the truth, or try and find another way to explain the truth.  Instead we sometimes throw our hands up.  Do we see any examples of that in the Bible?  Who usually throws their arms up?     Those trying to understand God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Many of us have based our faith on the experience of a south bounder when we are traveling north.  How many times had we fallen off whatever wagon we were on because we were disappointed in God or did not try to understand Him.   When the answer does not come easily do we turn inward instead of upward?

So back to the trail.  When everything started to spiral, I became mad, angry and disappointed, as I said.  At the start of my journey I was happy, excited and everything was possible.  But as the journey progressed, I was not a stellar graduate from charm school.  Take everything we have discussed and replace everything with an experience related to your Christian walk.  One where you got your nose out of whack over someone’s behavior or you were judging your insides by other people’s outside.

When the truth starts to reveal itself and we don’t have all the answers, many of us try to white-knuckle our faith or look for an easier softer path.

That gentlemen I hiked with found a church that answered all of his questions through doubt and tangible beliefs.  I was all too eager to speak with him to bring him back.  Ready to place an offering on the altar per say when only four days earlier I had no compassion for my friend.  Why???  Because I was focused on myself.  It is always easy when we are not emotionally involved.

It is almost five years to the day since this tale occurred and, because my aunt was willing to share her experience, it helped me relive the truth about two hikes.

So today, this is my open letter to the man who could not grasp the Trinity, compliments of my aunt.  I hope the Holy Spirit finds him listening because I can finally answer your question after five years.  God did not take your question lightly and He loves us all even if we stray.

Are you ready?

It comes down to the molecular make-up of water H2o.  Whether it is water, ice or vapor it is still H2o.  Water runs through your hands, ice and snow can be held and vapor breathed in.  On top of that, at room temperature, it is called humidity and under pressure heated above 100 degrees it is now steam.

Coal and diamonds are made of carbon, but to look at them, you would not think they are from the same element.  One, we think of as dirty and the other, pure.

This is the conundrum of God.

God is and whatever form He takes it is still God.  I know that man believed in creation so if God created water and coal and they can take many forms, is it such a leap for God to take different forms?

Come home the water’s warm.

God Loves you, I love you and there is nothing you can do about.

Sex, Sex and More Sex But No Babies

On January 18, 2019, I was fishing with a buddy of mine.  We fished from nine until one.  It was raining and a mist hung in the air over the river about two stories up at different times.  And forty miles away, my Rita was at a prayer meeting and, from eleven to noon, praise and worship was underway.   Mrs. M. who was sitting in the living room wrote this vision down.

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Saw Roland on the side of the river fishing. Then the land started speaking to him like he had never heard before.  His eyes were open for the first time as never before.  The last song playing, “Holy” was like, I could see a mist all over the river and him. The angels were in the mist as the Lord was speaking to him and he was listening.  A new day for him and you is coming.

I cannot explain the majesty I experience once I step foot into the river.  It is in that moment that I am one with the river.  The sound of rushing water that surrounds you as it cascades over rocks and boulders. The silent whisper as you move to the right about five feet.  What was once deafening is now silent.  Everything is magnified yet all things are noticed and in focus.  I study in amazement the different currents, river bottom nuances and the speed of the water.   Where some sections barely show a ripple, you would still never be able to walk across the current due to the strength of the flow. To see a minnow stationary in the same water and then two feet away see a branch speedily race downstream and at the same time knowing that if I do not keep your feet firmly planted, the current would sweep you away.

Respect for the river is equal to the “Fear of the Lord.”

A trout in all this madness can find a spot in the midst of all this power, find rest and wait for food to come to him.  A trout respects the power of the river.  It is the strongest force around once you understand the balance required to live in its presence. The river can sweep him away but yet he taps into its power at a moment’s notice to flee if threatened and able to hide. He uses the power of the current to find pockets of calm water amongst all the obstacles to find his secret place, which it defends from intruders. There he communes with nature himself, because in the midst of all its fury, it is here, he is sustained by the everlasting flow.

He understands his place, he taps into the knowledge God has bestowed in him to survive.  He doesn’t doubt the existence of God he embraces it.  He doesn’t tell God he identifies as a bass and wishes to be in a lake.  When it is time to spawn each sex knows what its role is.  Not just here but everywhere in nature each species understands innately what its role is as God created them to be.  It is the fly fisherman who tempts the trout with food that resembles God’s sustenance only to be fooled and yanked out of river’s spirit.  He was led to believe that what was placed in front of him would be OK to eat, only to have his world rattled.

Yes, he believed that it was the river of life, God who gave him to eat, but the great deceiver, lured him away with a hook wrapped in a fly.

What is funny, not really, but in all the political arguments we are told we need to respect nature to the fullest.  Each animal has a right to live as “Nature” intended.  Except for the humans, somewhere in the argument we are described as apart from nature, the anomaly.  We are actually the mistake that God made, and that is why it is OK to pervert all that God, so called, created in His perfect machine.  BECAUSE. IF THERE IS A GOD, HE GOT IT WRONG.  There is no value in damaged goods, so the smart ones will take it upon themselves to separate the goats from the sheep.

What we see unfolding in the world is a cry from those who self-appoint themselves as the immoral authority while claiming morality as the evil in the world.  The obstacle to all that mankind can be.  It is OK to slaughter the weak, figuratively or literally, to preserve the strong and hold on to all they hold dear here on the physical plain.  A belief system with no God or a God of your own image, is all that they have here, that’s it.  Take what you can, because if you don’t take it someone else will.

The Power of God is magnificent! It wasn’t until I moved up here and stood in the river’s presence that I have come to know and understand how wonderful and dangerous His power can be.  I did not have to read Mrs. M’s vision to tell me what I had already known.  I already knew it was here that God would reach me again and find the key to my heart and release all that binds me, every time I step in.  Like the trout I found my secret place, and only a select few have come to share it with me.

We are surrounded today by many fly fisherman who are attempting to yank us all out of God’s River of Life.  Shaming us, bullying us and attempting to convince all of us that there is no power in God.  That what we thought we knew was just a perversion, tradition, liberty of spirit, respect for God’s creation was all just a misinterpretation.  Why, because over time, we (the world) would know better.

Are you sure you can trust the Word of God? Is the Bible really true?  There are so many contradictions.

Look around, what God said should be isn’t.

The world says, “If it feels good do it!!!  You can take what you want but just don’t take it from me.”

God gave the world life and now the world is rapidly embracing death.  The world is demanding that we kneel to its desires and sex in any form  must be accepted. Any attempt to disagree is met with disdain and even violence. We are tarred and feathered, scorned and cast out if we do not kneel at this new altar.  Sacrificing life to preserve life.

There is no Fear of the Lord which is the beginning of Wisdom.  What wisdom is there that believes thwarting and perverting the essence of life should be the way of the world.  This is done by lifting up all forms of debauchery.

In addition, in many states and the number is growing, a baby if born alive after trying to kill it through an abortion, it is legal in the state’s eyes and even recently announced Presidential candidates to kill it and not protect the life that has sprung forth.  Would that be by snapping its neck or by suffocation?  The Humane Society and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would start a war if what is done to a baby was done to any animal wild or domestic.

We are sacrificing our children and defying God’s miracle of life, and they clap and cheer as though a great thing has been accomplished.  While those who pass those laws have blood on their hands, those who put them there do as well.

They have already received their profit’s reward. (no misspelling here)

The world is demanding that we ignore how God created men and women and the sanctity of marriage. Here it is OK to thwart nature, since it won’t satisfy the desires of the soul.  The movement is bullying its way into all churches demanding permission to stray from God’s word and in many cases rewriting statements of faith to suit their needs.  The church is bowing to the pressure and do you know why, because the Fear of the Lord has left them. Fear of man and his retribution has placed dominion over them, to the point maybe we should consider this change.

Why can’t we all just get along?

Those who yell the loudest are not always right, But it is the smart trout who has seen that trick before and stays away that survives and continues to live in the balance of the river.

Please understand when Jesus walked with us, His greatest rebuke was to those in power not to the sinners among us.  He warned those leaders not to lead his children astray.  A fate far worse would befall them that hurt the innocent among them.

I am not saying we cannot love those whom are special to us whatever sex they are, but what is challenged is how that love is demonstrated, that is what  is poison to the soul.  When Jesus was here He identified with those who struggled with sin in its many forms; from cheats, adulterers, murderers, non-believers, prostitutes and the list goes on.  The sick He healed were not the upstanding pillars of the community, they were the outcasts.  Those the general public would not want to be sitting amongst them.  But He spoke with conviction, and His words whether you accepted or ignored them, left a lasting impression no one could forget. So much so they are still trying to eradicate them today.

And,  the sin that he brought to light in someone’s life, those who recognized it, embraced His majesty.  Just like I did.  In many cases they picked up their mat and followed him.

When He said, “Go and Sin no more.”  They knew what that meant.  He did not have to spell it out.  Do you know why it was that simple, because once you are exposed to the Spirit of God and allow Him entry, it all becomes clear.

The body you have been given is a temple and it must be guarded with vigilance.

So if you are wrestling with God over something, it is more than likely you want something that either goes against the Will of God or you are trying to get permission to thwart the word of God.

Table is set for all, but the time has come to understand that all this noise about sex, transgenderism, infanticide, gender neutrality, and the enjoyment of human sexuality which knows no bounds is a means to satisfy the flesh.

As I have stated before my struggles with sex and pornography in my past is no different than any other sin.  There is no grading system or sliding scale determining which sin is worse.  Acting out sexual desires not blessed by the Word of God has a debt to paid.  I felt that debt until I did not want to pay anymore.  The cost outweighed the gain. It wasn’t until I surrendered to the river of life provided by God that a peace befell me.

I know in my heart when I choose myself over God.  I can’t run from it but I try to ignore it and even convince myself it is acceptable this time.

My Argument is:  You see God, I just don’t have the strength to fight the will of body. I am weak.

What I am really saying is: “God, I want what I want when I want and you can’t tell me otherwise.  Maybe I’ll change tomorrow, but for right now, it’s me baby!!!!”

That is what is happening in the world, they are fighting against the current. The anger level is reaching a fever pitch.  Why?  Because to borrow a phrase, they are going against the flow.  Sooner or later as this cup runneth over, the flow of the spirit will sweep it away.

I love you all and there is NOTHING you can do about it.

Roland

 

 

 

Is Being Happy The Key To Your Heart?

A few years ago as I was hiking on the Appalachian Trail in the Smokey Mountains,  I will never forget an encounter I had with a young woman who said all she wanted was everyone to be happy as she handed me an orange. She was part of the new age hippie culture where everything is mystical and Mother Earth is the central focus.  As I listened to her share her dreams and aspirations in life and what her role in it would be, I was struck by the level of human effort required to perform such a feat.  My summation was a goal that Mother Earth and humanity would reward us with a chorus of human and natural adoration.

Don’t get me wrong I am enamored by nature; I am amazed at its ever changing splendor and the majesty of it.  I love experiencing its serenity sitting against a tree with only the buzz of insects or the sound of a babbling brook.  I too get captivated by it in a mystical sense.  I also appreciate human affirmation.  However, now when I encounter these pleasant moments almost on cue, I pray:  “Thank You Father.”

When we want to be happy it is in a natural sense. Everything in its proper place and in harmony with no outside interference.  Once this level of contentment, for young and old alike is attained, then this world will be a better place.  We hear this chorus of goals spoken by many soothsayers throughout the world.   We hear many different formulas to achieve this goal.  When presented they sound like noble causes, ones that should inspire generations with everyone working towards the same goal:  Peace on Earth.  And, once that goal is attained, it is assumed that we will all be happy with what we receive.

There is only one problem, as individuals we always want more.  It is in our nature, even as young children, we knew the rules set aside by our parents; “It is good to share,” for one.

Really!  If my memory serves me, it felt like I was forced to share.  Then as I got older I was reminded to share.  Now I do it, but it has to be intentional. Another thing I have noticed is that the closer I get to God, I want to give and not share.

Make sense?

But for the world at large what do we do when no one is looking?  Whom do we call on during times of desperation? How do we satisfy that lust for more when it feels like that is the only cure for the torment between our ears?

What will we do to keep the peace, not around us but inside of us.  The problem with happy is that it is an outside job.  Our goals is to acquire in the hopes that we will be satisfied.  We have heard stories upon stories of those who have had it all and were miserable.  They were led to believe that once they got to some mystical point of success then all their dreams would come true and….. drum roll please……You will be happy!!

But what is happy and whom does it serve?

At that point what is your guiding force?

My buddy Oswald Chambers put it very clearly in “My Utmost For His Highest” on Jan 4th.

“Natural devotion will deny Jesus, always falling short of what it means to truly follow Him.”

As predicted by Jesus, there is an overwhelming effort to force a choice between natural desires over devotion to Him.

December 29
From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. —John 6:66  (Notice the verse and Chapter)

You can’t make this stuff up!!!!!!!

Happy is the devil’s red herring leading to a never ending list of demands all designed to keep you hungry for more.  “Show us one more sign, then we will believe.”

But when Jesus said to those who believe in eternal life,
“Truly, truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you have no life in you.”  John 6:53

It was at this point that many could not accept this teaching from Jesus and many turned and walked away from Him.  Jesus even went so far and asked them:

“Does this offend you? Then what will happen if you see the Son of Man ascend to where He was before?  John 6:61-62

Whenever I read:  His disciples went back and walked with Him no more,  I picture slouched shoulders of people who are unhappy walking away disappointed.

This is the point where Jesus changed it into an inside job.

Up to that point they were all in, everything that was said made their walk on earth filled with purpose, miracles, signs and wonders. Yippie!!!!   That was until Jesus asked them to move up one more rung of the ladder.  You know that point where you are no longer comfortable and it takes courage and faith in the ladder to move up one more.

That my friends has to be the key you give God to your heart. Faith in Him above all else.

Regardless if you are happy with your circumstance or not.

You may have to wrestle in front of God to take that step.  “People want the blessing of God, but they will not stand the thing that goes straight to the quick”  Dec. 19th  My Utmost For His Highest

Natural devotion may be enough to attract us to Jesus, to make us feel His irresistible charm, but it will never make us disciples. Jan 4th  My Utmost For His Highest.

Happy is temporary only Joy satisfies.

Joy is a continuing journey where happy has an illusion of an ending point where there will be never ending peace.  Are we supposed to be in a catatonic state of euphoria?

Joy is a state of amazement and contentment on a continuing journey, always refreshed.

Happy is like a sugar high that you eventually fall from.

So are you sure you want to be happy or joyous and free?

When I want to be happy I hold the key and when I am joyous God has the key.

Who is holding your key?

I love you all and there is nothing you can do about it.

Roland

WWJD To Borrow A Phrase

It has been awhile since I have written a post.  It seems when I was on fire for God, praying over people daily, writing my monthly blog, praising God with worship, a good citizen to my community and being a faithful servant; I got poked by a pitchfork and yelled ouch.

It is obvious after two long years of spiritual isolation; I was running on my will and not the fruit of the Spirit.  Jesus said, that He was the river of everlasting life and if we drank from it we would never thirst.  How easy it is to say the words.  However, actions speak louder than words.  Do you really believe that in the inner most depths of your heart?

The pitchfork came in the form of homeowner’s association issues and power struggle (for the betterment of the community of course), over commitment, rheumatoid arthritis, panic attacks, internal vows, a never-ending fear I could not dig myself out whatever hole I found myself in or imagined.  To top it all off if that wasn’t enough, I was focused on what was wrong with the body of Christ and my wife.

Now there is a lot of false doctrine being preached, but I should have dealt with it as it encroached on my sphere of influence instead of searching it out.  That is how Jesus confronted it as well as  Jesus’ disciples.  They called, whatever it was, out as it directly affected those they were speaking to or came across in their travels.  That is how I read it in the Bible.

So if you don’t follow that script, what recipe do you think that spells?

So here I am living on a piece of Heaven in North Georgia, my weigh station, until my last breath, fascinated by the river, the mysteries it holds on a perpetual hold pattern.  I listen intently for Divine Providence, to break me from the spiritual prison I have put myself in.  Unbeknownst to me, I had the key. I was spiritually bankrupt and I forgot I had it and how to turn it.

Just waiting…….  my anger increased as each day passed…….no joy in my life……. work is a series of unfortunate events…….my mind wondering how I can FEEL better…..

So after two years of wandering in my own desert, I start reaching out. I was looking for a place I could find fellowship in the area. Sitting in my house on a Saturday, I felt compelled to drag myself to a Saturday night service, in lieu of college football.  There were about ten people for an informal service.  I met a person who actually lives up and across the river from me.  I met the piano player who was praising God. Who, by the way, had received news about a cancer she was carrying.  Then I heard a message about how God did not want a comfortable follower.  He wanted us  either hot or cold, because He can work with that.

I realized I had been numb to God since everything hit me at once.  It wasn’t that I did not love God, it was….. I was just too tired to get up for Him.  I had fallen and I didn’t want to get up.  I wanted to be lifted up.   Then when I realized something needed to change, I was for a lack of a better term, still too tired to do something different.

I was actually afraid to feel. I was afraid to once again surrender to God’s will. I was afraid of what might change in me and what that would mean.  I might feel something I had been running from.

After that short service, my new found neighbor, said he was going to pray at the altar.  I asked if I could join him, since this is what I came for.  After two years, I prayed from my heart to God and this man.  He shared his burden and mine with him.

The next morning, in lieu of fishing, I was compelled to go to another worship service.  So I stopped the debate of whether I should or shouldn’t, got in my truck and drove.

It was there, during the lesson it was mentioned “What Would Jesus Do?” (WWJD)

After about twenty minutes, I was once again compelled to share a thought about this statement.  People use this statement as a cute way to deal with a crossroads dilemma.  While this was a very successful Jesus marketing campaign, it missed the point.

Did it ever answer the question or did it just give you momentary pause? Or, was it a way to put someone on the defense and push Jesus in someone’s face.

This phrase had everyone looking to Jesus’ teachings, parables and words of wisdom all designed mold you into a morally fit person dealing with life’s problem’s and spiritual dilemmas.

For two years I was, socially kind, generous, I tried not to rock the boat doing what I felt Jesus would do.  When you are in a spot and you apply this phrase, I gravitated to Good Orderly Direction, my pseudonym for God, as a means to live a trouble-free life. A life of, so I thought, spiritual comfort.

So what is this leading to?  The answer to the question of course.

What Would Jesus Do?  Well for one he would have never reached the crossroads.  He would not have debated with Himself what He should do faced with a sinful choice.

Sinful Choice- Doing something apart from the Will of God

As a matter of fact, to further that point, Jesus did three things when confronted with tempting situations;

  1. He referred to God’s word not His own debating skills. (The Devil’s Temptation)
  2. Jesus said, He only did as His Father asked.
  3. When Jesus had pause, He went to His Father in prayer. (Gethsemane)

Is it noted in scripture that Jesus asked for an opinion?

So the next time, you ask yourself WWJD, I would ask yourself, “Why are you asking Jesus?”  If you have to ask,  have you already led yourself to the crossroads of temptation, which you have previously prayed not to be led to?  Now you are trying to decide who’s more important.

So if you have to ask WWJD, you haven’t been listening.

I love you all and there is nothing you can do about it.

Roland

Every Knee Should Bow and Confess To The Glory of God

Proverbs 9:10  NASB

The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Philippians 2:10-11

10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom, so written by King Solomon the wisest man to have ever walked the earth besides Jesus.  A man who understood the glory of God and witnessed the shekinah glory when the temple was dedicated to God, (2 Chronicles 7). A man who witnessed Jehovah Jira in all His glory, and yet this man, who came face to face with the Glory of God, turned to the world for comfort over time.  A foreign wife here another foreign wife there, a little altar here and another there, all erected to other Gods.  He allowed incrementalism to creep into his bed at night and distort his vision of God and his purpose for life.

Why would that happen?  Could it be that we have an insatiable appetite that is never satisfied? Why settle for this when you can have that or better yet what someone else has. Why settle for truth when you can have what you want.   Today people want it both ways.  They want what they want, at the expenses of others.

Today stories are started in the middle of unfolding events.

I was just standing there minding my own business and this police officer tackled me.  What they fail to mention is that for the twenty minutes earlier they were running from them for a punishable offense.  True story, a would-be robber, felt he should sue a private citizen for using unnecessary force, after the citizen stopped him from robbing a store. The would-be robber pulled a knife on the citizen, who then disarmed and stabbed the would-be robber in self-defense. The robber is suing for excessive force.

This is a perfect example of what I am trying to express. People choose to ignore their sin and hope by pointing out the sin in others and a deflection can be made.

The would-be robber, through his law-suit is trying to say that the injury he incurred by Citizen Kane was more of a crime than his failed assault during the robbery, which could have turned deadly had he succeeded.

We use to say these were isolated incidents, but with social media, we now have a world of opinions, likes and dislikes, swipe to the left and swipe to the right.  If I say I dislike chocolate ice cream someone somewhere is likely to say I am racist to even voice an opinion like that.  Racism is being heralded at an alarming rate and the definition is changing to suit the needs of the true oppressors.  Those who are yelling for equality are demanding it by denying it to others.  Instead of rising up together from the ashes, evil wants two wrongs to keep it wrong. Putting others down to rise up is a false plateau.

Within this paradigm, another underlying theme was being permeated throughout. The theme is “authority is good “only if “I” am administering it.  Today people who live in the alter-verse behave as if “authority is bad” if it is linked to Christian values, not to mention Jewish ones as well.  To draw this out a little further, if I hold Judeo-Christian beliefs, I cannot even start imagining what it is like for those struggling.  Now the color of my skin automatically disqualifies to understand certain human conditions.

The human condition is the same and has never changed; the condition of the heart.

In this world of sound bites, massive amounts of dis-information bombard us daily.   Into this world of post-truth, we try to offer hope in Jesus Christ, only to be viewed as if we have suddenly grown two heads.

We have a society that is raising its fist towards God and wants to dismiss and eradicate His followers. It blames God for not keeping up with changes that are REQUIRED in this “world”.  If God or the church doesn’t understand why we need an abortion then you obviously need to go.  The world wants a personal god. It doesn’t want a god that says you shouldn’t engage in promiscuous behavior to prevent a pregnancy. It wants a god that will allow them to do what they desire and sweep all consequences under the rug of women’s health. A god that will love unconditionally and will SUPPORT them no matter what evil they partake. Is that what love really is? Kill one to eliminate another’s responsibilities.

People say they want to be loved…but only on their terms.  Anything thing that requires integrity or discernment is met with anger soon follows hyperbole.  We are not only talking about Eros here but, Philos as well.

My wife and I just went through a trying time. She had her way of looking at an issue and I had my view.  We were two worlds apart.  A resolution was elusive, each of us had dug in.  No matter how loudly one presented their case, the other remained unmoved.

Then came the night of nights, a few hours of debate, a sleepless night and each crying out to God for an answer.  I played out many scenarios in my heads, all of which God would not bless.  But once I was quiet enough to hear God, I heard Him whisper “You do not trust her nor she of you.”  We would not solve it, only letting Him in would.

When my wife came down the next morning, and we stood in front of the coffee maker we both start talking.  I said what God told me, and she did the same.  There in front of the coffee butler and then in the great room, two adults cried and prayed.  I admitted my fears and she admitted hers, then a decision was made that we agreed on.

Without a loving Father and obedience on each of our parts, this could have been a disaster.

These times of depressive attitudes is not new to any man.  Many prophets, kings, disciples and other heroes of the Bible have written of their journey into the abyss.  There was only one way out and that was with a humble heart that cherishes the life God graced us with.

The Truth is, God celebrates life.  He celebrates life so much, he allows all of us to exercise free will.  BUT to think that free will equals lack of consequences is stupidity in its truest form.  Mob rule, called as we see today is a “fight against morality” however it is defined, is nothing more than a temper tantrum at God.  In Galatians 5:15 Paul tells us to beware;

15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

God gave us free will, using it effectively begins with an established Fear of the Lord leading us through the door of Wisdom. When it is not embraced, its used for personal gain at the expense of others as I have described.  Even if you say that you keep to yourself and hurt no one, you have not contributed to the world.  This was illustrated by Christ in the Parable of the Talents, with the servant who did nothing with his talent but bury it until the master returned. The servant was cast out because he did not even attempt to use it for any endeavor. This servant said in the parable he was in fear of his master and knew him to be harsh.  His presumed fear of punishment instead of respect for his master’s authority was his undoing.  The other servants were rewarded.   If the master was harsh and was feared by all the servants, the two that were rewarded, embraced that fear and rose above it instead of surrendering to it.

If you fear authority and want to bring about change it does not mean we should not fight for change but examine your motivation and behavior in attaining that goal.  If you want an example, go read ACTS. See how the apostles were treated by social injustice, they did not take on the world and thumb their nose at every official.  The took the Word of God into the world and sowed Hope in Jesus Christ.  They embraced the life they were given.

However, there is another underlying theme growing in the world today and that is a lack of respect for life at any level.  When you don’t respect life, everyone is a mark to be manipulated, destroyed or killed for a desired outcome.  Rules are used at our beck and call, to change someone else’s behavior, but since we consider ourselves enlightened, the rule should not apply to us.  Because we are the only ones that will apply it fairly. This is not new, it is just anarchy packaged differently.

When you look at the past behavior of football players who want to make a statement while disrespecting the values that made this country great, we diminish the grace God has placed on this country, which does protect us from those would be villains.  BUT with new and progressive attitudes we are re-creating the mindset that many previous world leaders used to conquer other countries.  Those who are yelling white supremacy, black supremacy, fascist, neo-nazi etc… are really the ones demonstrating how history will soon repeat itself. As their view of the everyone around them is held with suspicion; they themselves are using tactics of those mindsets.

Israel, turning its back on God time and time again, was left to stand alone; God’s presence departed the temple.  What will it take for our country to see that hate, resistance and all the deeds of the flesh Paul repeated many times in his letters will lead to a fall.

19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Gal 5:19-21

These are not do-gooder attitudes they are the poison pill, the bad apple, the rigor mortis of spiritual decay when the Word has not been embraced.

The would-be dissenters cry for fairness and avert their eyes from God because He will not make it perfect them. They rebel because they DESERVE whatever they want and anyone who stands in their way must be pushed aside at any cost. What they fail to see is the hate that is oozing from within in them.

Opening yourself up to the Truth will bring this to light no matter how painful, but embracing brotherly love and the love of God will set everyone’s spirit plum with God.

I thought, as I started writing this, that I would come up with something cute and original.  However, as I weave my way through my thoughts, it boils down to a couple of points:

I kneel for my Lord.

I stand for my country

AND when it is all said and done I only want to hear one thing, Well done my good and faithful servant.  Maybe that is why I always call everyone Kemosabe when I start a conversation because I look at everyone as someone I can serve as a faithful friend and see them as a faithful friend and not an enemy.

When will we rise from the ashes?

God Loves you, I love you and there is nothing you can do about it!

A Fool Can Sound Intelligent; Legacy vs. Destiny

Many don’t have the confidence to stand in Truth like the disciples did!  Many walk out their faith on a perceived authority in Christ instead of the confidence in Christ.  This has led to many wars, crusades and a world of Christian legalism and authoritarianism.  There is a difference. 

“The Church ceases to be a spiritual society when it is on the look-out for the development of its own organization.”. Oswald Chambers

 “A religion of mere emotion and sensationalism is the most terrible of all curses that can come upon any people. The absence of reality is sad enough, but the aggravation of pretense is a deadly sin.” —SAMUEL CHADWICK

As we cover the resurrection of the dead as a fundamental teaching of Christianity from Hebrews 6:1-2, we will refer to a book throughout by Leonard Ravenhill, “Why Revival Tarries”.   As we uncover the difference between resuscitation and resurrection, remember a resurrected body has overcome death and a resuscitated body will die again.

Remember that song by Elvin Bishop, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” back in the seventies?   I used to say that was my theme song, since I confused sex with love.  Well one of my favorite bands, the “Apologetix” writes Christian parody songs.   They bring a fantastic message to the secular music we all grew up with.  They recently released a song named, “A Fool Can Sound Intelligent” to that melody.

A trusted friend knew about a million words

Another mental genius I’ve known

He didn’t care ’bout Jesus Christ, no sir

‘Cause he worshiped gold and the Stones

But then a fool can sound intelligent

A fool can sound intelligent

A fool can sound intell-igent

A fool can sound intelligent

It used to be when I’d seek a purpose in life

I read lots of books with bright-soundin’ names

But when they’d ask if I was gonna be there on the other side

I preferred outer space

 

My goal is that after today’s teaching, every time you hear someone teach and start bestowing you with new information about God, this song will resonate in your mind as a reminder that just because it sounds good doesn’t mean it is good.

You have been warned and your eyes will be opened, your ears will hear and you will be stood on your head before we are through.

In the book “Living with Purpose”, page 83, Dr. Miles Munroe states that we should look at the inventor and not the invention.

“Never use creation to find out who you are, because the purpose of something is only in the mind of the One who made it. That is one of the reasons why God has a tremendous problem with idol worship. How can you identify your ability by worshiping a snake…. You will never know yourself by relating to the creation, only to the creator. The key to understanding life is in the source of life not in the life itself.”

He points out that the inventor of the refrigerator had never thought that his invention could be a death trap with the old door handles.  Most of the time our intentions are sound but if you think things through you might find out that something is amiss.  This is certainly the case with many of our modern day theologies, philosophies and movements.  They start out with the right intentions, but, somewhere along the way, a little twist here and little twist there and before you know it, presto a new message that sounds intelligent catches on but no basis of Truth.

So, we are going to look at the creators and the inventors because looking at the “how good the message is” might miss the mark.  The Shriners do “good work” with the children’s hospital but this organization is rooted at the highest levels of Freemasonry, which is a Luciferin society.

Oh, but how can you say that, they do such good work. You must be a wicked man. Yes in the eyes of man I am, but that is not who I obey.

Question: If we have nine parts orange juice and one part poison: Is it still drinkable even though it is 1/10 poison? Would you drink it to prove that it is harmless? (Remember your answer.)

As I think about the resurrection of the dead and what Jesus is preparing us for, I was reminded of the many awesome messages that speak of Hope in Heaven(s). A message which Jesus never taught, He did refer to it, but it was not to be our Hope.

We have this line of thought that has infiltrated the Christian message, “On Earth as it is in Heaven” or, as I heard someone say recently, that Jesus wanted Heaven on Earth, (which I always take a double take when I hear it perverted that way).  While that might be true in a certain extent; it will be a new Heaven and a new Earth, not the old dead Earth resuscitated to resemble Heaven.

While it might sound intriguing what is behind all the cute words and sayings?  We need to look at some of the inventors and see if the invention is Truth or Dare.

Now many of you might say these are fighting words.  My response to you would be that God loves you so much He is willing to pull the scab and let you cry with pain so the infection some will drain.  God loves you so much He will hurt your feelings.  God loves you so much He will turn you on your head so you can see the Truth.  God loves you so much He will tear down everything you have built, so he can resurrect you in His image.

God does not resuscitate the old. 

 You see my God is a God of broken things.  In the book “Revival Tarries”, by Leonard Ravenhill

“a broken and a contrite heart God will not despise; in fact God only uses broken things. For example Jesus took the lad’s bread and brake it: then and only then, could it feed the crowd. The alabaster box was broken: only then could its fragrance escape and fill the house-and the world.  Jesus said, “This is my Body which was broken for you.”

From those examples, the Word is spread, it captures the heart, like the fragrance of a Tea Olive, in the fall, that hangs in the air… you ask, “Where is that coming from, as you search for the blooms to capture the sweet aroma?” Knowing that God created the essence of Heaven we recognize it and we search for it.

But a very prominent leader in this “On Earth as it is in Heaven” movement says,

             “I will not tolerate any theology that sabotages the clear command of Jesus to make disciples of all nations and the Lord’s Prayer that earth would be like heaven.”

That one statement, which was part of the Lord’s Prayer, was a petition to God from us to Him. A people calling on our Inventor to provide for us all that we need, with a “broken and a contrite heart.”   But to change the wording to fit a cause “that Earth would be like Heaven” changes the essence of the meaning.

Our Father, who art in Heaven

Hallowed be thy Name

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done

On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread…..

 

We ask, He provides.  Get the picture.

Additionally, we need to understand exactly what the definition of a disciple is. Oswald Chambers tells us on July 2nd.

“If the closest relationships of a disciple’s life conflict with the claims of Jesus Christ, then our Lord requires instant obedience to Himself. Discipleship means personal, passionate devotion to a Person— our Lord Jesus Christ. There is a vast difference between devotion to a person and devotion to principles or to a cause.”

All nations can be a people. Jesus always spoke to the person. That is our charge.  Jesus and His disciples operated under the governments that ruled over them.  They never tried to change the governments, only the hearts of men. Jesus, even said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” (Mathew 22:21) but as we will learn that is not the goal of this movement.   However, Jesus said, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. (Romans 13:1)

Can you see the difference?

But what is the answer to, “I will not tolerate any theology?” How is this played out when confronted with an opposing view?  Is, “I will not tolerate” words we would hear from our Master?  Are the words, I will not tolerate, words which requires a response?

If one does not tolerate, how does one get us (the problem) back in line?  The Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland said it in the recent movie, “Off with their heads,”  every time people did not get in line with her opinion.

Everyone says we should keep an open mind, when a new interesting way of looking at things in the spirit is revealed.  The key to this is discernment.  If it is new and compelling, we might have to compromise our beliefs to swallow it.  I do not know about you but when the Truth is revealed, I am awed. I usually have to keep an open mind if I am wrong, but in this regard, keeping an open mind is always about rationalizing something through a compelling argument.

When our position is challenged, we are put “on-guard”; as soon as we put forth our defense, the opposition gleefully circles the wagons and prepares to repel the attack.  Taking the absence of total acceptance of their Truth as an opportunity to mount their white charger in the name of Truth and the Great Christian Way.  And by the way, shame on you, you Infidel.

But, what if this time, it is the warning God is using to have the veil removed from your eyes?  God sent many prophets to tell the false prophets of their folly.  Will you still war against God if the creation is not rooted in the Truth?  Or is the creation too fantastic or big to fail?

(9 parts OJ, 1 part poison)

One leader who has been appointed (not anointed) an apostle in this movement said,

“Any thought that doesn’t inspire hope is influenced in a lie.” Now this sounds very mind opening.  On face value it is based on a feel good message, but if you peel back the words, is calling out of deception, which is not hope but a warning influenced in a lie?

Are the woe’s (Matthew 11:20-24) from Christ to the church and to the cities, He performed miracles in, because they did not repent, influenced in a lie?  You can’t have it both ways.  Jesus did not say I will not tolerate you.  He warned them that their choice had grave consequences, still leaving them room for repentance.  This is one of his strongest rebukes and yet He did not say, “I will not tolerate.

Either Jesus is all Truth or no Truth.  If Jesus and the Prophets can give a woe, why can’t we. Many think that if the message sounds good, it must be good. If it sounds good and there is just a minute amount of color outside the lines, we will just ignore that because the presentation is bigger than the tiny hiccup.

Everything is possible with God, but I dare ask is everything permissible?

The other day my wife and I went to Blue Ridge and I did not find one coin. (I find coins everywhere almost daily, not if but how much)  Considering the past year and the amount of money I find, that is unheard of.  The only thing that was different was, I was wearing sunglasses.  I had a veil over my eyes and could not discern.  The next day, no glasses and wahla, I found coins again.  Hmmm, great spiritual insight.

The world that we live in, is at war with God.  It dares us every day to fight the fight in the coliseum of their choosing.  They say if you want to live here and prosper you need a more balanced approached to the changing times.  They even tell us what type of message is acceptable and they define the terms.   We see it on the news, from our President and all the way down the line. We shake our heads when someone we were counting on rolled over once again, giving ground to the enemy.   Painting the Truth as a lie and the lie as the truth.

Is the narrative changing to paint a worldly Christian picture we can all get behind? As Leonard Ravenhill states,

“The fault in declining is not radio or television.  The whole blame for the present international degeneration and corruption lies at the door of the church!  It is no longer a thorn in the side of the world.”

You must agree that even church councils or boards (similar to a business) will direct pastors to curb the message if warnings and correction seem to scare the flock AND OUT FEAR OF BEING REPLACED, THEY COWER.  (see above statement)

IT IS THE “BOARDS” THAT NEED TO BE REPLACED, BUT THE WORLD SAYS TO OPERATE AS A NON-PROFIT AND NOT BE TAXED YOU MUST….. SO TO KEEP OUR BIG BUILDING WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO OBEY THE WORLD OR ELSE WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO KEEP THE BUILDING OPEN.

Was that Christ’s message surrounding the Temple?

If I recall around the time of Jesus, the Temple was the most important thing, not what it represented. The Shekinah glory had left a long time ago.  I also remember that Jesus prophesied that the Temple would be destroyed and rise up again in three days.  Why then are we so consumed with a building or ministry, when God breathes life into everything He wants according to His Will?

The book, “Pagan Christianity” by Frank Viola, illustrates where many of our traditions are rooted from.

Everyone is trying to capture the message which will bring everyone into alignment with the filtered Word and keep the doors open. Who you associate with is just as important as to what you are associated with.  To be honest, the Truth is usually the last thing people will associate with.  Many cannot hide under the simple covering of Truth.  Complexity and emotion has a way of hiding things in plain sight.  That is why I read very little extra biblical books in the religious arts anymore.  I do not want to be corrupted by erred teachings which distort Christ’s message.  I know my weaknesses and deep inside, if I do not stay vigilante I will succumb to promises poised by the apple.

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

Here is a quote from one of the early adopters “On Earth as it is in Heaven” Movement or the “Seven Mountain Prophesy” where it all started.

“Christians are intimidated by the mountain of culture.  They created a theology that eliminated the responsibility to take territory and rather focus on saving people so when Jesus comes back, He will have a bunch of little followers and He will take over and rule the world.” This was said mockingly.

The problem he said as he continued, “was that in Heaven, Jesus is to sit at the right hand of the Father where the earth is His footstool to the throne and UNTIL He has accomplished dominion over his enemies, Jesus is not coming back.”

That is not what I read; Jesus will reign on the NEW Earth.  In Heaven, the Father reigns if you read all the verses 1 Corinthians 15:20-28.

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.

Look at the Inventor!!!! Open our ears to hear what is being said.

Adding the word “until” and “dominion” and saying “from Heaven”, is the lie. The rephrasing of this has its roots in partial preterism which believes that judgment has already transpired  during the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. and the spiritual Jesus is ruling over His Kingdom from His throne in Heaven.  Also that God replaced the Israelites as His chosen people with the new forerunners to ensure that all of Christ’s enemies are placed at His feet.  Yes, this “new church”, by influencing the seven pillars of society can accomplish this daunting task.   There are so many variations of this; it is just easier to state it.  We could say 8 parts OJ and 2 parts poison.

According to the forerunner, we need to become Christian movers and shakers in the world where we live.  But I dare ask, by who’s instruction and guidance?  This scripture is about being subject to Jesus then to the Father.  Where Jesus will rule from Zion, on this Earth during the Messianic Era which has not yet occurred.   Don’t take my word for it.

“If we don’t change with the times we will become irrelevant. We must move with society, use spiritual means for earthly success…… We need to bring a tabernacle to the top of each of these pillars of society……  We need to live in this realm and use the power God has given us to co-create and bring the future into the present.”

This changes everything.  You don’t want to be irrelevant do you?  Sign me up!!  Let’s bring the future to the present because what is in front of us is too difficult to overcome on our own.

As he went on to say,

 “..that the purpose of the anointing is to solve problems with power to influence not to have more intimacy with Christ.”

Now we have come full circle.  To be significant in the world we need to influence the influential on their playground to be of earthly success. Forget obeying God.  It sounds like they are making sure their retirement is secure.

So earthy minded no heavenly use.

Another leader in this movement said,

 “This is not a doctrine but a strategy for Christian living.  A way to influence culture through family, government, education, arts, media, religion and the economy.”

The original promoter said we have a responsibility to take territory in Jesus name.  This teaching challenged people to drum up the courage to stand and fight because once you commit to this strategy you should be prepared for the spiritual attack that will come upon that person.

Is this the same strategy another religion uses to push loyal followers in the line of fire to promote their cause?

F.B Meyer had this to say:

    “If Christ waited to be anointed before he went to preach, no young man ought to preach until he, too has been anointed by the Holy Ghost.”

It brings to mind Acts 19

13 A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” 

14 Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. 15 But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered.

 

I just want us to be clear here that we are still discussing Hebrews 6:1-2 and we are up the resurrection of the dead.  The key to everything leads us to Christ, the resurrected one, WHO IS the only one that has overcome death and it is in that promise our Hope is in.

If your hope is to latch on to this movement while you are waiting for all the good work that comes out of it: What are you waiting for?  Listen to those who espouse it, it is creating a Kingdom alright but is it the Kingdom Jesus spoke of or a Kingdom they dreamed of.

21 “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their peculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,”  Romans 1:21-22 NASB

In my last message, I spoke about “Holy Desperation”; in today’s discussion we are discussing “Holy Assertion” and how we may have unintentionally formed “Unholy Alliances”. I want everyone to be clear about one thing.

Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. Luke 11:35 NLT

According the promoter of this strategy, “this teaching comes with a design, a practical plan of application and strategy of asserting itself.” 

It espouses the use of spiritual gifts for worldly purpose, a natural wisdom over God’s wisdom while saying we are following the Holy Spirit.

I hear Obi-Wan in the background saying, “Use the force Luke. Use the force.”

He went on to say that, “Intimacy with God and Holy Spirit is a retreat from something more meaningful.”

Remember a fool can sound intelligent.

Where is the Glory of God in this?  Where is the intimacy our Father wants so desperately from us so we can hear him?  This man has been allowed to speak in many churches over the years, leaders have adopted his ideas because they sound good.  This underlining doctrine of Holy Assertion has slithered its way into many bookstores under many different disguises. I question the judgment of those prominent leaders who endorsed this in their churches and welcome it in making it a part of their mission statement.  This again is about partial-preterism and Replacement Theology in the end Believing they are God’s Chosen people who will lead us to the Promise Land since the Jews wouldn’t take the mantle God gave them.

The evangelists today are very often prepared to be anything to anybody as long as they can get somebody to the altar for something.  They glibly call out: “who wants help? Who wants more Power? Who wants a closer walk with God?” Such a sinning, repenting, “easy believe-ism” dishonors the blood and prostitutes the altars. We must alter the altar, for the alter is a place to die on. Let those who will not pay this price leave it alone!”  From “Revival Tarries” by Leonard Ravenhill.

But wait, there is more. There is another movement that is an off shoot of this, but has a more controlled approach.  Yes a group of self-appointed leaders many of our local church leaders look to for insight above the Word and council of Holy Spirit, because they are the newly appointed apostles of our time. (Remember my last writing about being ordained by the Holy Spirit and not man.) Most of these leaders have been influenced by the Seven Mountain Prophecy founders.  But now they use their powers of Holy Assertion, they have status.  A group of leaders each having their own ministries but fall under another ministry where they converge together and discuss how they will lead the church with this strategy to influence the influential and influence the non-influential.

The New Apostolic Reformation, was a movement created in the mid-seventies that is the cornerstone of some of the most popular churches today and is influencing many of us.  It is a way to lead the church to their promise of a new day; a movement which asserts that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of prophet and apostle. Leading figures in this movement claims that these prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth.

What’s wrong with that, Mr. Roland, it sounds intelligent?  My answer always let’s look at the creator not the creation.

As I have heard before, “I AM TIRED OF CLEVER MEN, A simple gospel believed, Works!!!”

But what about Jesus’ most notable teaching, Sermon on the Mount as Oswald Chambers sees it.

Beware of placing Our Lord as a Teacher first. If Jesus Christ is a Teacher only, then all He can do is to tantalise me by erecting a standard I cannot attain. What is the use of presenting me with an ideal I cannot possibly come near? I am happier without knowing it. What is the good of telling me to be what I never can be — to be pure in heart, to do more than my duty, to be perfectly devoted to God? I must know Jesus Christ as Saviour before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of an ideal which leads to despair. But when I am born again of the Spirit of God, I know that Jesus Christ did not come to teach only: He came to make me what He teaches I should be. The Redemption means that Jesus Christ can put into any man the disposition that ruled His own life, and all the standards God gives are based on that disposition.

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount produces despair in the natural man the very thing Jesus means it to do. As long as we have a self-righteous, conceited notion that we can carry out Our Lord’s teaching, God will allow us to go on until we break our ignorance over some obstacle, then we are willing to come to Him as paupers and receive from Him. “Blessed are the paupers in spirit,” that is the first principle in the Kingdom of God. The bedrock in Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possession; not decisions for Jesus Christ, but a sense of absolute futility — “I cannot begin to do it.” Then Jesus says “Blessed are you.” That is the entrance, and it does take us a long while to believe we are poor! The knowledge of our own poverty brings us to the moral frontier where Jesus Christ works.

If in fact the starting point of a Disciple is “I can’t but You can” any claim that starts with “I”, pushes aside anything Jesus has for you.  How can we listen to the Holy Spirit if we are not Poor in Spirit??

One of these leaders has this to say,

“I am opposed to any doctrinal position that pushes the promises of God into a time zone that can’t be obtained in my generation and therefore takes away any responsibility I have to believe God for them in my lifetime.”

When I hear these words in this context, I hear a belief that we have the power to speed up God’s time table, so they will see it in their lifetime.  See what?  Jesus, they say, is waiting for the church to be without blemish or wrinkle before His return.  That clearly puts the onus on us to get things right.

This seems to be a doctrinal position that pushes the promises of God into a time zone of their choosing or control.  (What is different is that a Dominion mindset is starting to creep into the picture.)

o    Matthew 24:36-40   36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37 For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.

Here are the promises of God, are there other promises he is referring to?

  • God has promised to supply every need we have. The Bible says: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus”.  Philippians s 4:19.
  • God has promised that His grace is sufficient for us. (II Corinthians 12:9). It is through an obedient faith that we have access into the grace of God according to Romans 5:2.
  • God has promised that His children will not be overtaken with temptation. Instead, He assures us that a way of escape will be provided. This promise is recorded in I Corinthians 10:13.
  • God has promised us victory over death. He first resurrected Jesus by way of assuring our resurrection.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:25-26, ESV For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
  • God has promised that all things work together for good to those who love and serve Him faithfully (Romans 8:28). God has promised that those who believe in Jesus and are baptized for the forgiveness of sins will be saved. (Read Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38).
  • God has promised His people eternal life (John 10:27,28).

Now our ministry is named Enlarging Territories, based on the prayer of Jabez, where we ask God to enlarge our territory and keep us free from pain.  We don’t take, we ask for it and wait on His Providence.  Our goal under the guidance of God is to enlarge His territory through the hearts of men.

Hey you can throw me out but, if spiritual gifts are inevitably used for gain, to move Christ’s church forward as a cultural cause similar to the crusades; that is not His call we are embarking on, it is sorcery.

The world wants us to move towards it.  Never will they move to us.  With this strategy we are pushed into the ring to dance with the devil.  Never mind talking about Christ’s real message, we let the work of the church and influence the influential do the job.  It feels as though the need here is to treat the symptom and hope through good works that the culture will change.  It is the heart of the matter that counts.

Jesus said his kingdom was not of this world, then why are these guys so set on transforming the world first instead of transforming people. There is a distinction and we will move to a form of legalism. I will put on my bullet-proof vest now but the radical Muslim wants to change culture as well.  Jesus sent his disciples out with nothing and said God would provide.  Why then do these Ministries need so much capital to operate? If it is God’s will, he will pay for it; if it is our will, we will pay for it.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 

I promise you we will affect more people if we talk to them instead of asking them to show up and hope they will be entertained or wowed enough to stay.

Legacy or destiny: that is the question we have to consider for God’s sake if nation building is the same as making disciples of all nations.  To me a disciple is devoted to the one he follows.

Another Prophet stated,  “I will not accept an eschatology that takes away my children’s future, and creates mindsets that undermine the mentality of leaving  a legacy.”

This Prophet also had a teaching on Esther and the video teaser said, “We will learn how to walk as royalty so that we may influence the influential.

I am reminded of an Indiana Jones movie; near the end they were searching for the Holy Grail.  The bad dude had to choose one of the many chalices on display.  He picked the one that had jewels on it and said, “Yes this is a cup for a god,” drank from it and died. The correct one was just a plain clay cup.

These types of statements lean towards Dominionism and place the burden on us for Christ’s return, so the church can be built prior to Christ’s return through a legacy of works.  Since when did God want us rubbing elbows and giving a wink and a nod, while preaching his Word?

Why does revival tarry? The answer is simple enough- because evangelism is so highly commercialized….. The tithes of widows and of the poor are spent in luxury-living by many evangelists……The poor dupes who give “think they do God service,” while all they are doing is keeping a big reputationed, small hearted preacher living in Hollywood style.  Why Revival Tarries.

And when they are visiting another church a yes-man is posted outside his door at night to fetch an ice cream cone or latte if the need should arise at two in the morning.  You may laugh but many know this is the truth of the matter when we elevate man above the podium..  But has this man or movement preached a Gospel rooted in Truth? Or have a they preached a Gospel that soothes the ears of many including the evil one.

Look no further that Ezekiel 37, but who can say today,  “I prophesied as I was commanded, and they L-I-V-E-D”?

We boys can get crowds. Our slick advertising, artistry, and strutting-our radio, music, build up and what have you- see to that.  Why brethren, we don’t even know whether or not He has commanded to enter the ministry. Have we a pain in our hearts for perishing men?”  Why Revival Tarries

A fool can sound intelligent and my God broke bread to increase.

  • 1 John 2:15-16 15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
  • Matthew 6:1 Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
  • My Hope is in Jesus and what he wants for me to do on Earth.  If I am working on a legacy my focus is misplaced.
  • Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16
  • Jesus says our treasure is in Heaven. If you want to build a legacy on Earth, who are you trying to impress. The tower of Babel comes to mind.
  • Gen 11:4-8. They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.
  • The only legacy that I should be worried about is the one that is written in the book of Life.

Do you believe that God the Father performs the orchestration through the obedience of his true disciples the Sons of God?

If you want the power of the Lord, I ask that you turn again to Ezekiel 37 and wait on the Lord.  However, we are told by this movement, there is no time to waste, get to work.  

“Not so Ezekiel. Listen to this; “I prophesied as I was commanded” (there is the crux of the matter-he was a fool for God); “O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.” Madness? Yes, insanity-of virgin purity…… To save our faces, we of course modify God’s command, and so lose our faces. But Ezekiel obeyed; and God, as always, operated “there was a great noise.  Well that should suit us. But Ezekiel did not mistake commotion for creation, nor action for unction, nor rattle for revival. Why Revival Tarries.

Then last but not least, if you think you have to bring the church to the point of glory before Christ will show up, what about Israel?  Yes I hear them speak of Israel. Not as God’s chosen, but the lost sheep who need us to shepherd them, since they are no longer under God’s grace and we are the new Israel.  Replacement Theology slithers its way through all of this as well a Partial Preterism, which states we are in the millennial reign of a spiritual Jesus who has already performed the first judgment against Israel in 70 A.D., which I already discussed.   You have to listen closely and see who is brought in to speak at some of the churches but if you look and listen carefully you will see.  Don’t look at the creation but at the Creator.

So while many of you are laughing at that statement; if you are not aware of it and you allow teachings that support it to infiltrate your mind, without a focus on Holy Spirit and understand what the Bible truly says, from a Hebrew perspective, you have been modernized, and not traditionalized.  Why do you think there is such a push to understand the Torah as Jesus and the disciples walked it out?

These are big topics, but if you want to be true to God and face Him with a pure heart, put aside your bias and stop saying it can’t be; read, investigate and confer with the Holy Spirit.  There is mixture in the books and the people we listen to are supposedly “highly regarded.”

Now if they are trying to influence the influential, in the seven pillars of society, it would only be a logical conclusion that books, media, music and teachings would promote this.   I have noticed every time I bring this up and the leaders associated with the movement, this immediate response is, “HOW DARE YOU SPEAK OF THESE WONDERFUL MEN OF GOOOOOODDDDD!!!! How dare you criticize any other ministry. That is against the rules!!!

But remember the central theme is their message and those who are not connected will be downplayed as insignificant.   Some teach subtle anti-Semitic theme since they believe God broke His covenant with the Jews.  If we are truly focused on the seven pillars, we push the wrong agenda in government policy concerning Israel and curse Israel and not bless it,  we know what God said about that!!

While some run from one teaching, to another one, waiting with Holy Anticipation for the next word from these men  I say.

Don’t look at the creation but the Creator, see who or what is behind the curtain.  Many of the religious cults, movements look great on the outside and many of the fringe ones are easily spotted like glaring forms of witchcraft and sorcery, but there is deception in the church and it is gaining ground with many of our closest friends. 

When Jesus returns He will establish His Kingdom. We must prepare the way of the Lord.  Yes, He is coming and we need to spread the Word not build the Word.

My Buddy Oswald struck again on July 2nd.

“The only One who truly loves the Lord Jesus is the Holy Spirit, and it is He who has “poured out in our hearts” the very “love of God” (Romans 5:5). Whenever the Holy Spirit sees an opportunity to glorify Jesus through you, He will take your entire being and set you ablaze with glowing devotion to Jesus Christ.”

 The Christian life is a life characterized by true and spontaneous creativity. Consequently, a disciple is subject to the same charge that was leveled against Jesus Christ, namely, the charge of inconsistency. But Jesus Christ was always consistent in His relationship to God, and a Christian must be consistent in his relationship to the life of the Son of God in him, not consistent to strict, unyielding doctrines. People pour themselves into their own doctrines, and God has to blast them out of their preconceived ideas before they can become devoted to Jesus Christ.”

If you believe what I just quoted, how can we partake in a strategy that seeks to conquer the seven pillars of society, using spiritual gifts.  We end up working for God AND NOT LIVING for God. Remember, Pharaoh’s magicians had spiritual gifts bestowed upon them.

If I am to be part of the cup of iniquity and my part to establish God’s promise, so be it.  If one day, as a member of the cloud of witnesses I am calling out to God asking, “is it time yet”, I will rest knowing that I stood firm for Christ and not for a man.

BUT if we listen to everything that these movements espouse, “living a life of significance is important before you go to Heaven”….  So, if you are not significant, these leading pastors can now equip you because Holy Spirit needs help making sure you get the message.  It is worth noting in my opinion this feels like prostituting a gift from God in marketplace.

Who sets the definition of significant, man or God? I hear Bill Clinton stating, “Depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.”

Even a fool can sound intelligent.

If you want a legacy, go forth and build it so they will come, play in the devil’s playground and waste your time playing King of the Mountain.   But as I have learned over the past month, I have to be intentional to go up to strangers and tell them it is their lucky day because I am going to pray over them.  Sowing a seed for Holy Spirit to germinate, is much different than paying for services at a popular church being lead around from one new line of thought to another.

Do not base your identity on the teaching of these men. They will give you a strategy for living a SUCCESSFUL Supernatural Christian life on Earth you can be proud of. Oh the good works you will do.

Peel back the layers and look behind the curtain and find out what is the motivation for good works.  As I said in my last teaching.

The sorcerer Simon who was baptized in the Name of Jesus,  HAD A LOVE FOR JESUS, once he saw the gifts after the impartation of Holy Spirit he wanted that too and wanted to pay for that power.

18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.  23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” Acts 8:18-24

But look to Holy Spirit to place us on the path Jesus gave us.  Jesus said the Counselor would be greater than He and when Holy Spirit showed up, the Disciples were never the same.  Why would you think an organization of self-appointed apostles would be a better alternative than the Trinity?

Remember the six essential principles of Christian maturity outlined in Hebrews.

Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2. of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. Hebrews 6: 1-2 NASB

I cannot let go of the term influence the influential, the same principle the Masons use to get their way in society.  Do you hear what I am saying?  A Christian movement not based on these foundational principles will have Paul  throwing a conniption fit in his heavenly roost.

Once Satan has us playing King of the Mountain some believe they are a few feet closer to God while others a few steps farther away.  To Satan everyone is pole vaulting over mouse droppings and he is laughing because a lost soul remains lost, while they battle over the seven pillars of society that Jesus will ultimately destroy.

SO, I ask again “9 parts orange juice 1 part poison”.  If we are talking about God and we hear 9 parts truth and 1 part heresy, are you able to hang around and keep it separated.  Will you try and separate the poison out to drink the good part or throw it all away.  In an effort to be inclusive, do you ignore that fallacy?

If you say you can separate this out, take what you like and leave the rest: Why won’t we attempt to separate the poison out from the orange juice but risk it with what is placed in our spirit.  I say it is harder to separate the spirit than the juice.  In Heaven everything is pure, this we all agree.  We need to work to keep our altars pure for the sacrifice to count on Earth as it is Heaven.

Jesus is in the resurrection business, He does not have to build His Kingdom, He needs only to establish it.  While these movements might be honorable in some sense they are certainly misguided in many others. I am thankful I never got on the bus for any of them. Yes, I put my toe in the water, but my relationship with the Father alerted me to the façade.

Faith rests in Jesus, the resurrected Christ.  If you truly have an open mind and love the Father you will investigate to ensure, your love is pure.

God Loves you, I love you and there is nothing you can do about it.

Appendix

7M-The Satanic Strategy

https://youtu.be/PC3K2VYkPTo

Seven Mountain Strategy Laid Out by Founder

Dominion Theology-The beliefs held by these leaders think that it is the duty of Christians to create a worldwide kingdom patterned after the Mosaic Law. They further believe that Christ will not return to earth until such a kingdom has been established.

http://www.gotquestions.org/dominion-theology.html

Replacement Theology-Replacement theology teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Proponents of replacement theology believe the Jewish people  are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel.

http://www.gotquestions.org/replacement-theology.html

New Apostolic Reformation(NAR)– is a movement which asserts that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of prophet and apostle. Leading figures in this movement claim that these prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth. They believe they are laying the foundation for a global church, governed by them. They place a greater emphasis on dreams, visions and extra-biblical revelation than they do on the Bible, claiming that their revealed teachings and reported experiences cannot be proven by the ‘old’ Scripture.

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/794-new-apostolic-reformation-2

http://standupforthetruth.com/2011/11/nar-is-another-name-for-dominionism/

New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) – Berean Research

 

 

Conjuring Blessings-Today Only Blessings Five Dollars Pt Deux

Quote

Continuing where we left off paying for access to a heavenly blessing;

When Jesus ordained the twelve on their first mission trip, they were under orders but it came with a stipulation.

Matthew 10:5-8. 5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.  

Then in Romans 8:32  He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?

Why would you think you need to pay for more God, if God sacrificed his own son, raised Him from the dead for us. Apart from a promise of a newly resurrected body, forgiven of our sins and a promise of eternal life with Him: What else do you want???

I forgot we want to control the outcome, maybe part the Red Sea at your beckoning, heal at your beckoning or if God is not imparting  fast enough maybe you can get it from somewhere else in the name of the Father , Son and Holy Ghost.  If you go get it that way it’s probably OK.

Jesus please give just one more sign and I will believe.

Even secular people will ride the bus if they see an act of God.  Let’s go to Numbers 22 7-13. Where the Elders of Moab wanted to pay for Balaam to curse the Israelites.

Continue reading

Conjuring Blessings-Today Only Blessing Five Dollars Pt. 1

Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2. of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. Hebrews 6: 1-2 NASB

Remember as we discuss this topic it is about our path to Christian maturity and now we come to the laying of hands.

You want to get blessed don’t you??

Throughout my life I have worked very hard to get the approval from… somebody.  I guess it started with my mother.  If I worked hard enough performing acts to make her proud, then one day she would be pleased with me.  Of course there was my father, who initiated me, but not in the manner I yearned or needed.  We all have a vision of what our life should have been and it’s always romantically tragic. I played my part, the rebellious teenager and while I was all those things I strove to be the best at whatever I did.  I always yearned for approval from anyone.

While I never heard the words I was looking for, I remained a perfectionist with a severe inferiority complex.  I never felt  worthy enough to stand up for myself, I never learned how to protect myself.  I struggled to survive;  Always the chameleon, always changing to be accepted wherever I was. Continue reading

Untether Your Old Faith: 2nd Principle of Maturity

Faith toward God implies exercising the fear of the LORD, who rewards righteousness and punishes sin.  It demands more than just belief in God; it calls for faith in God based upon the revelation of Jesus, that is to say, belief in the Son sent from the Father to reveal the Father.  (Elementary Principles-Six Fundamental Principles of Ancient Jewish Christianity by D. Thomas Lancaster)

After teaching and writing about the first principle of Christian Maturity, repent from dead works, it dawned on me the vacuum created by this needs to be replaced with something or as Oswald Chambers describes the “retired sphere of the leasts.”  This is where many fall off the road to Christian maturity, because once we recognize the “sin” (dead works) and believe we have conquered it, it could be the snare which keeps us in the same spot spiritually.  As Hebrews 6:1 says, drinking baby formula.  Continue reading

The Selfie Killer-1st Principle in Maturity

A.S. Since teaching this topic at the conclusion of a conference on March 6th (link below) inspired by Holy Spirit to ask and bring the message for that day; It did not take long for my words to be placed at my feet; A true test for the veracity of my truth with the Father, as it should be.  I welcome the fact that God answered my prayer for ears to hear and eyes to see as He pointed out to me that my time had come to truly repent from dead works.  As John Sanford (Founder of Elijah House) said in one of his books:  (I paraphrase)

When your dry well is filled with the Holy Spirit, some of the debris of your past will rise to the top and try to distort the light inside you.

I understand this to mean it is my job to skim the top so the Holy Spirit will flow out of us without obstacle. I am happy to report that my discernment and acknowledgment of what Holy Spirit wanted to reveal in me prepares me for an every growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

Selfie Killer Teaching presented on March 6

Have you ever felt the pain, inflicted by the Lord, at the very center of your being, deep down in the most sensitive area of your life? The devil never inflicts pain there, and neither can sin nor human emotions. Nothing can cut through to that part of our being but the Word of God.  My Utmost for My Highest March 1st-Daily Meditation Continue reading