Two Essential Worldwide Values: Cultural Musing

In attending to what people throughout the world establish as important the world over regardless of value system there are two noticeable threads. One thread pertains to what is of the greatest evil and one thread the highest good. Neither of these world cultural values are held by this writer and intend on sharing comments on both. First, will examine what people consider the greatest evil and then examine the value that seems to be the highest good.

Suffering is seen as the greatest evil in the world. We set up plans and goals to eliminate the various form of suffering. Something about seeing another human suffer and being aware of the suffering touches the core of humanity. When suffering is know, it even often allows for improved generosity. There are philosophical or religious symptoms built around the premise of reduction of suffering. In the world, the big, bad, evil things are things that create the most suffering. These big bads include poverty, disease, and disaster. Ultimately, we all suffer.

The existence of suffering is even a huge barrier for people understanding God has loving. Suffering has long been the world’s villain. The mindset is often if only the suffering could be reduced then everyone would be at peace. That concept is faulty. For lack of peace has nothing to do with suffering. A person can be whole and still suffer; rather it comes from selfishness and selfism. A lot of the suffering that occurs in the world is directly related to some ones self-directed choices.

The highest good is in stark contrast. The highest good essentially is in having and tending to children. Granted it is not the highest value for everybody, but having and raising children is the primary business of the world. One reason for the high value on raising children is that in a sense it is a way to pass on part of self. This is particularly true for those who believe this life is all there is. You live, die, eat, drink, be merry, and reproduce. The value to the world is found in your legacy which is most lived out by the children you bring into the world.

Recently have notice that people can be quick to comment or criticize others who they do not believe are focusing the proper attention on children. Argument have been made that people who help others and choosing temporary separation from their own children are neglecting or perhaps even traumatizing their children. Such an attitude really reflects the attitude that your children are to be the highest value, even over attending to the suffering of others.

Now producing and raising children are a blessing and certainly something that needs high priority. But the value is elevated way to high. Children should not be the most important aspect of living. People live and die by the success their children do or do not have sometimes. Rather, for this writer the things of greatest value are loving God and loving others. Now, granted raising children are part of that, but only a part of that dynamic.

Suffering is difficult, raising children is important but the balance in world cultural place on both are skewed. Do you agree or disagree with those thoughts? Where does suffering and raising children fight in your view of life? How does either influence your view of God?

Musings on Cures for Suffering

Suffering is awful. I see suffering every day. There are many diseases and global problems that really seem to be giants and the world would be better off if we had a solution to them and that suffering eradicated. Yet, it is worth noting that Jesus once stated, “the poor will always be with us.” (Matthew 26:11) The fact is suffering exists because of the sin of man. The first sin resulted in the twisting of all creation the proper order was displaced. Therefore, suffering is ongoing. Today thought about things such as praying that humanity develops a cure for cancer and other such issues. The reality is once one disease and suffering defeated, there is always something more discoveries. It is an ongoing process; it is death released by the separating from God and emphasizing self. There is only one answer to suffering, and that is the Kingdom of God. That Kingdom is not about removal of suffering in this life, but rather being content, at peace, and whole. Ultimately, all suffering has been defeated at the cross. There will be an end to suffering and it comes at the cross. It comes in what is yet ahead. The return of Jesus will lead to the final defeat of the tyranny of suffering.

Now, it is very easy to say that but for those in the midst of suffering, it may seem shallow. Yet, the only true hope is hope placed in God and a reconciled relationship with the creator. The answer to personal suffering is recognition of God’s love for us and following his ways. Such a mindset does not alter the circumstances of situations of suffering rather it changes our perspective. Then when in right relationship with God and showing genuine response, we can reach out to those suffering in love, even at times meeting needs and touching those who are suffering. Ultimately, we are all suffering, every one of us. Our suffering diminishes with love. Only God’s love truly touches the deepest levels of suffering. The only real cure is to suffering is the return of Jesus which will restore all things from their twisted, decaying state and bring true wholeness. Therefore, there is a true cure for suffering. All suffering will end. It comes at the end of this world, when all the sources of evil and suffering are defeated. In the meantime, we have the ebbs and flows of life filled with trials and difficulties. Suffering is a cruel master and the world is in its grip. Yet, it is a defeated master whose time will come. All suffering only lasts a season.

2010 Objectives and Prayer Requests

The purpose of this article is really to put down the things that God is doing in my life and the areas where hope for blessing and productivity. In this article, first I will list me objectives and desires for 2010 and then a list of general prayer requests. Feel free to contact me personally if you want any further details.

        Objectives:

Grow in my relationship with God and show love that is more complete.

Follow Gods leading over my own ideas, wants, or desires.

Be intentional in actions and choices.

Grow in showing, speaking, and reflecting God’s love in relationships around me.

Be productive at current employers. I am working for two employers, one doing crisis evaluations at a local hospital. The second is providing counseling/psychotherapy services at a local clinic. These employers provide a sound base and I want to do my best to glorify God at the places where I work.

Establish private practice. This is a key goal for the year ahead. It requires lots of steps and investment in time and money. It is one thing that really is at a beginning.

Find ways to serve God in the church congregation he has placed me. My heart right now is to be involved in some way or fashion with Men’s ministry. Currently waiting as the church and pastor know my desire to be involved in some way.

Write more intentionally and with greater consistency.

Completed planned article series such as Foundations of Strong Delusion.

In God’s time, work on becoming a father with wife.

               Prayer requests:

Brother and his family: Pray for strength, comfort, and healing. They have undergone a long ordeal of loving and caring for someone who is dying, Nancy Kimmey. The trial the have gone through during this time has been extremely difficult on them all. Pray for a sense of God’s peace during the time and that they come through the ordeal ultimately stronger and that their mourning does turn to dancing as the ordeal brings them a taste of the Joy of the Lord.

Mother: As posted on the blog before she has encountered vision lost and diagnosed with rod dysphasia. She is moving in to a new time of life. She is a strong, independent woman who know has to increasingly depend on others. Pray that she grows in being able to reflect God’s love to those that assist her. Pray that her eyes, ears, and heart be opened to see in new ways God’s glory and find ways transcending beyond self to communicate and give voice to what God stirs.

Father: Pray he gains sense of God’s leading and direction. Pray for strength and faithfulness in following God’s lead beyond own ideas of what God is leading. Pray for God ordained appointments while waiting on God’s move and direction. Pray for God’s directions to be clear and that of self to become small. Pray for provision to do what God calls and directs.

Step-mother: Pray same as above but in addition continued strength in battle. She had a victory over cancer, yet the battle continues as she has three lesions in her brain and will need further prayer. Pray for discernment and for any root cause of the cancer to be dealt with and disabled in prayer.

Step-brother Tim: He has been serving God in mission field. Pray for His service to be rewarded with fruit, whether he sees fruit or not. Pray for Him to be further built up, rooted in God’s love, and able to share God’s love with others. He is leaving on January 12th for a 2 month stay in Mexico helping build a church. He will return to North Pole, Alaska to serve an outreach radio station.

Wife: Pray for God to continue to work in her life with restoration and healing. She is working on losing weight, a difficult battle with medical conditions that complicate. Pray for strength to continue to fight the battle. She desires that we try and have a baby before the year is out, so pray for God’s will and leading on that front in His time. Pray for strength, as she is often tired. Pray for her to find joy at work, as the job is tough for her and stressful. As she is at work, pray for God’s light and fragrance be evident to all around her.

Mother-in-law: Pray for her to grow deeper with God. For her wounds to be filled with God’s love. Pray for her to be filled to the brim with God’s love to touch those around her with love both in terms of family and those around her in Maceio

Father-in-law: Pray for God to touch his heart as he serves and loves others. Pray for God to touch whatever wounds are within his heart and to see fully God at work in those around him.

Brother-in-law Lon and his family: Pray for strength, wisdom, and guidance. He is pasturing a church in Maceio, Brazil. He is pulled in many directions and the church needs to move from dependence on Him and grow in dependence on God. Pray for all of His family to grow in loving God and others. Pray that the pull and desires of self and world diminish and appetites for the Kingdom of God grow.

Brother-in-law Leo and his family. Leo is not following God and walking in the darkness. He is ruled by lusts and pride. Pray for God to send the Holy Spirit to convict and draw him to repentance. Pray for his wife and daughters, that in the pain and heartache of betrayal that they get drawn into deep relationship with God and his love. Pray for their wounds to be healed and for their hearts to be touched with the love of God.

Other family members and friends: Pray for God to move and touch them where they are, in their pains, struggles, joys, and journey of life. Pray for God’s love to be made clear and deeper in all, whether they know God or chosen to walk away from God.

Pastor Brian Sinclair: Pray for wisdom and strength to lead New Joy Church with the vision of God. Build him up with words that build up the congregation in the faith. Pray for protection for Him and His family related to the wiles of the enemy.

New Joy Church: Pray that ultimately God brings a work that frees His New Joy amidst the congregation as the church becomes further rooted in the truth of God’s word and obedient to His call. Pray for wisdom, clarity, and vision for what God has ahead. May ideas of self be clear and reduced and may we all hear and see what God is directing.

Steiger International: Pray for God to continue to use them to reach those in the darkest places of the world with the Gospel. Pray for protection, wisdom, guidance, and provision.

The Livesay’s and Heartline Ministries Hati: Pray for God to continue to reach others with God’s love in gospel in that poor and hurting country. Pray for provision, wisdom, guidance, and protection.

The Hensel’s: Pray for God to grow the new Ministry and to touch the lives of the people where they are serving. Pray that they are able to help build others in the faith and draw others unto salvation.

The Gross family: Pray for God to bless them as they serve God. Pray for healing, strength, and renewal.

Simeon’s Cry: Pray that God uses them mightly to reach Jews and Muslims for Jesus. Pray for wisdom and open eyes and hears to see and hear what needs to be seen and heard. Pray for continued and ongoing discernment.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem: Pray that those of the nation of Israel grow in awareness of the Gospel and be brought to true wholeness as the recognize Yeshua as Mashiach.

Pray for Missionaries the world over, that they are able to draw others to turn from self to God and bring in a fruitful harvest.

And the requests for self: Pray for wisdom and guidance. Pray for ongoing growth in voice. Pray for growth in intentionality and consistency. Pray for God to draw those that he wants to use me in their lives to draw them into greater peace, learn of God’s peace, and receive restoration of heart and soul. Pray that I grow in loving God and others deeply. Pray for the blog and forum, that is serves to build others up, spread the light of the Gospel, and as led expose the workings of darkness.

    Prayer for 2010

Lord Heavenly Father, you who are the beginning of all things, you who set all things in motion. Touch the lives of all who read this that they may grow in knowledge of you. May each person who reads this blog grow in his or her response to you. May their walking in love of God and others be deeper and clearer. Open the eyes, ears and hearts to greater knowledge of Your love and your ways. Bring people into a greater sense of Your Peace and Joy. Heal the wounds of the broken, set the captives free, bring restoration to those in need. Transform each of our lives to reflect you greater. Bring us into greater awareness of our own sins and selfishness and help us to walk in repentance. Make clear to each one of us the areas of refinement you are leading in for this year ahead. Bring forth fruit as people serve you in love. Bring wisdom and discernment. Open eyes and ears of each to the ways accepted or walked in not of you. Expose the deceptions that have been embraced and the roots of the deception. Build each of us up in You. May your Kingdom grow and expand and be more visible to each of us. Help us to forgive as You call us to forgive. Help us to love as You call us to love. Bring the prosperity of further knowledge of your love and pushing forward in your ways grow with eyes toward treasures in heaven and not on the ways of the world. Thank you for the provisions that will come in the year ahead. Give each person the wisdom needed to make the choices as they come. Give strength, peace, and comfort in suffering. Give light and hope in darkness. Give clarity in fog. Give strength and direction in waiting. Pour out your love and light as all who serve you. Build what you have established, break down all that is not of you. Bring forth your harvest and fruit. Lead us in the sure path and sure ways and help us to return when we stray from your path. We thank you Father for all that you have done, for your gift of Salvation through Jesus, our messiah. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit and the ability to draw near to you, as you are on the throne. Thank you Jesus for Your love and mediating before the throne on our behalf. Thank you Holy Spirit for your ongoing presence even if at times we are muted in awareness of Your presence. We look forward to all that is ahead in 2010 and we thank you for what you have worked in our lives up to today. Above all, may Your will be done in our lives here on earth, as we seek to serve your Kingdom. All glory to your name. Your will be done. Amen!

More Lakeland Evaluation: The Commissioning

After my initial post on testing the fruits of Lakeland based on the categories of sin in 1 John 2:16, I have grown even more concerned. I of course ran into some Lakeland defenders who minimized and denied any of the sin categories could be operating because they were seeking after the power of God.  However, it is very Biblical that people can be tempted to sin seeking after God or God’s promises.  Two prime examples are Abraham who took matters into his own hand and sired Ishmael, the consequences of which we still see to this day.  We also have Jacob/Israel engaging in deception to gain the “birthright” from Isaac over Esau.  Again, this has long lasting consequences.  It comes down to a matter and test of faith and what kingdom we actually are pursuing , our own in the name of God, or God’s kingdom. 

            A stronger example is clearly found in Jesus forty day wilderness experience. First lets look at the text:

Matthew 4:1-11 (NIV)

 4:1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 

4:2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 

4:3The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 

4:4Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” 

4:5Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 

4:6″If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” 

4:7Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” 

4:8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 

4:9″All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 

4:10Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'” 

4:11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

 

Jesus was tempted in three ways. I have had described to me before in a sermon by one pastor or another that Jesus was tempted in each of the sin categories in 1 John 2:16.  The temptations, while within the “common temptations” of man, were specific to Jesus the Messiah. They ultimately were about temptations to establish his Messiah-ship by means of sin.  The temptation to turn stones into bread was a temptation to move in “power” and meet the “lust of the flesh” In other words; he was tempted to put his flesh over surrender to the will of the Father.

            The second area of temptation was to cast himself off a high point   It clearly falls to temptation in the “lust of the eyes.” It was really a temptation about moving in power and bringing about bold miracle related to saving himself.   It was a temptation to “prove” that he was the Messiah and would feed the desire to be believed and to show off his great “power.” 

            The third area of temptation clearly falls into the pride of life.  Jesus was offered all power, to be head of all kingdoms, if only to submit to the will of Satan over the will of the Father.  Jesus readily pointed out the biblical defense for each temptation.   

            So having pointed this out, what is the point related to Lakeland.  Well, on June 23rd Mr. Bentley was commissioned by the Revival Alliance Network, led by C. Peter Wagner. Most of the said individuals are involved in what is known as the New Apostolic Reformation, the Third Wave, The River, or the Latter Rain movements.  It comes down to establishing a kingdom of the church that will never fail.  More details about the foundations of this movement can be found at http://www.deceptionbytes.com/StrongDelusion-theNAR and I encourage you to prayerfully read the article. So, Mr. Bentley was given a ceremony commissioning and ordaining him to a role in the government of the New Apostolic Church.  To me this comes off as a way members professing to be in the church have been tempted in the pride of life.  However, If I explain all my thinking on that matter I will detract from my main point. 

            The point is bringing this up, is I want to examine what C. Peter Wagner declared over Mr. Bentley. C. Peter Wagner said to Bentley on the platform: “This commissioning represents a powerful spiritual transaction taking place in the invisible world. With this in mind, I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley, your power will increase, your authority will increase, your favor will increase, your influence will increase, your revelation will increase.”…“I also decree that a new supernatural strength will flow through this ministry. A new life force will penetrate this move of God. Government will be established to set things in their proper order. God will pour out a higher level of discernment to distinguish truth from error. New relationships will surface to open the gates to the future.”

Pray over these statements. Can you spot the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life?  If not yet, pray and read it again. 

            Well, let me point out what I see.  First of all the lust of the flesh, the promise of new supernatural strength and new life force are certainly promises that appeal to the flesh.  Also promised of increased power, authority, and revelation are flesh appealing to the flesh as well. And actually both promises also appeal to the lust of the eyes. The proclamation clearly includes promises of increase and more, that what as been exhibited so far has not been enough, more is needed.  

The pride of life is very clear and prominent in what was proclaimed over Mr. Bentley. The very mention of government being established, setting things in proper order, pouring out a higher level of discernment, and new relationships open gates to the future all speak to Mr. Bentley being commissioned as someone “special.” And if you even begin to have an understanding of foundational beliefs and doctrines at the center, it is even clearer. However, looking at the plain straight sentences the core of pride of life is very hard to ignore. If you doubt it, check out this blog article on George Barnov’s declarations over Mr. Bentley: http://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2008/07/01/george-banovs-blasphemous-prophecy-at-todd-bentleys-ordination/.

 

Now the reader may sit there and scoff and state, the declarations were from a man given authority by God, and if it is of God, then it is not sin.  Well, if in your heart that is how you read the declaration I ask you to stop and read it again and ask yourself what is missing and to humbly pray and ask God to show you what is missing. If you have done so once and still don’t have an awareness of what is missing, please pray and read it again. 

What I don’t see in the declaration is any mention what so ever of the Gospel.  No mention whatsoever about Jesus.  No fear of God. No humility. No service.  No surrender to Jesus.  Just a straight forward elevating of Mr. Bentley with promises of being strengthened and improved, being given more, and being elevated to a higher position. (Barnov later promises him Eastern Europe.) It is sad to see this happen. It is a serious matter facing the church as a whole.

And while serious, what is more important is to examine ourselves and see where we might be engaging in the lust of flesh, lust of eyes, or pride of life.  Even if you are aware of the deceptions at Lakeland and the Revival Alliance Network backing what is going on in Lakeland, still pride may not be far from the door. The enemy has simple objective which is to kill, steal, and destroy.

How do we battle the enemy? Above all we need to humbly submit before God. We each need to ask and pray for God to reveal where there is deception in our lives, be it from ourselves or others.  Then as sin is reveal in our lives and deception is exposed we need to repent.  We need to spend time daily seeking God in his word, not just reading favorite teachers.  We need to seek not our own kingdom or any multiple false kingdoms we can be tempted with, but seek first the Kingdom of God.  Seeking first the kingdom of God is about losing our life.  It at the very core comes down via the commands to love God with the entirety of our being (not what God can do to, for, or through us), and love our neighbor as ourselves.  And when total loving of God is evident, the Gospel will be center stage.