Perhaps I’ll be called a religious simpleton for advocating for simplicity, but that’s okay, it helps me make my point. Innocence really does invite simplicity. We can see it around us and we can make a case for it in Scripture.
For starters, the Bible has a way of boiling issues down to their essence while leaving large gaps that could be filled in with all kinds of complicated details on how something might play out in a person’s life. It was written in a way that was understood by laymen of its time. The most important issues can still be understood by laymen. The rest is probably misunderstanding by modern people of historical context.
We should all be a part of the resistance. An organized, cohesive unit poised to take back that which an occupying force has usurped. No one should be sitting on the sidelines as long as this occupying force has a shred of influence in our territory. We have been tasked to confront this force and wield against it such weapons as are suitable for its defeat.
Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
10 Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity. – ESV
Something I’ve struggled with over the years is finding purpose. Everyone wants their life to count. To be meaningful. To have value. Taken to an extreme, this can cause Christians to endeavor, carnally, to do spiritual work. And it can cause believers to disdain work that seems mundane by nature. Both are the result of working from a false premise, and I’ve been ensnared by each.
There have been times I’ve questioned the prudence of rearing children in this hour. The waters of life seem so murky and troubled. The culture of our nation seems to be increasingly hostile to sound Christian values. Will we face persecution in the near future? People have already lost livelihoods due to their faith. What if we’re entering the very last days?
Have you ever noticed that the world system in which we live, is a mold? In the same way molten metals are poured into a mold and are formed into the shape of it, so are the lives of the masses poured into the mold of the world. Most people who are poured into this mold remain there and harden like metal. Soon they are perfectly formed by the system as were the designs of devil who poured them in.
Hi all, since the release of my book, I’ve taken a break from blogging and have taken the time to reorient myself a bit. I’ve started a podcast in order to host the audio-file of my book as a giveaway for those who sign up for my email list. Since I’ve already set that up, I’ve had the idea—which was also suggested by a friend—to start doing podcast episodes.
Adventure. Exploration of the human condition. All woven into a grand tapestry…
In this allegory, join Talon Forge on his youthful quest for a brighter destiny. Brutal work at the forges and a dogmatic culture are behind him. The world is at his disposal. Unfortunately, he finds rejection, suffering and darkness awaiting him. The Xandrian estate is the first place he finds that offers hope and light. But also a cross. He detests this and is easily persuaded by Lumen, who is crossing the Xandrian estate, to travel with him to an island called Prospect.
To get to it, they must go to a harbor called Wide Gate, sail the Sea of Delusion and dock at the Port of Inflamed Imagination. There is light and happiness in abundance as the voyage begins. All is luxury and decadence. But Talon can’t fit in. And he discovers an undercurrent of hostility despite all the accommodations. After serving time in the oar room and eventually being evicted from the ship on a raft, will he get to Prospect somehow? If so, will he finally find his utopia, or just more putrid darkness beneath a shiny surface?
Forged Destiny is a thought provoking and captivating allegory containing timeless truths and timely insights. Readers of John Bunyan’s allegories would enjoy this tale!
Buy Forged Destiny to join Talon on his quest, today!
Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. – ESV
Is the cross a package deal? It certainly is, and people these days really put a lot of emphasis on that. It is said that if you are in Christ, you are a new creation. Plain and simple. Top to bottom. That’s the end of the old you. The problem is, the cross is a really big package, while many these days portray it as a small package we get one day from Fed-Ex laid on our doorstep. It is portrayed as a little package, easy to open, and it brings an end to all things past upon opening.
Psalm 62:5-6 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. –NIV 84’
Many Illegitimate Options
How many things do we find rest in? Now more than ever it is possible to create illusions of security and rest in corruptible things. The temptation is, to put our eggs of hope for rest in many baskets, in case any of them fail. If we are fortunate, they all fail at once, so our illusions are forever shattered. Continue reading “Find Rest, O My Soul”→
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. — ESV
How many of us feel like we have been perfected in love? Does fear spring up from time to time? Perhaps it is a constant problem. According to what we find in the verse above, it is because we expect punishment and have not received God’s perfect love.
Have you ever paused and considered how many different ways Jesus could have changed the world? As the author of life and the creator of the universe, He had all the knowledge and ability needed to do anything. Jesus could have invented things that weren’t even a thought among men, until about two thousand years after He died. He could have made exhaustive lists of the best remedies for all diseases—existing and upcoming. He could have written books on any number of subjects. No doubt they would have been the last word on every subject He touched.
The life of man, if left to his own devices, is like the seething waves of the sea, forever beating against the rocks, finding no rest for his soul. Like the restless tongue described in James, he is set on fire by hell, burning with passions, lusts and dreams not given by God. These provide an impetus to search in all the wrong places for the peace he longs for more than anything in the world, but can never seem to secure as his own. In fact, everything he sets his gaze upon to pursue in hope of finding this peace, only stings in the end, with the poison of sin that drags him deeper into his pit of misery. Continue reading “He Keeps Us In Perfect Peace”→
Where is the fear of the Lord? If we gaze across the global landscape, it is an obviously missing ingredient in the vast majority of influential societies. It is probably beyond coincidence that our world is in chaos right now. I think the two are very much connected. In times past, there have been great evils done and endorsed by large segments of the populace. However, it seems it was mostly because of blindness and deception. Or prejudices and biases. Continue reading “Where Is The Fear Of The Lord?”→
Often, I’ve thought of a hedge of protection as something God sovereignly gives to people for reasons not practical or traceable. I’ve thought the only thing you can really do practically to obtain a hedge, is to ask for it. Of course, it is true that asking for it helps greatly. Many times we have not because we ask not. It is also true that God is sovereign and we can’t always trace why He does things. Continue reading “Receiving A Hedge Of Protection”→
Our spiritual walk is an evolving one. God does not mean for us to be stagnant, stale or slothful. Because of this, we frequently find ourselves coming to the end of seasons and into the beginning of new ones. As the new ones begin, it is similar to a birth. We have the pains and struggles of a birth as a new form of spiritual life or duty manifests.
Proverbs 20:30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts. – ESV
What a statement from the wisest man who ever lived apart from Jesus. It is very counter cultural, and even counter intuitive for many of us. Our flesh cries out against the thought of discipline. That very fact should be an encouragement for us to consider embracing it. Often what is perceived as bad by the natural man, is good for us spiritually. Continue reading “A Merciful Stroke From Heaven’s Whip”→
Hebrews 12:26-28 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. – ESV Continue reading “A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken”→
Note: this post was first published on this site October 25, 2017
Freedom—the human spirit longs for it; people steal for it, go broke for it, even murder for it…and then there are people who actually fight for it and find it. This may come off as a strange or mysterious way to describe this cosmic battle. But as with all things, we will view this through the lens of spiritual understanding. Most take for granted that freedom is a good thing. There are exceptions to this rule. Mainly you find them in people who want to take away others’ freedom. Or else people who have a sycophantic view of those tyrants. But you will find in the main-stream human being, a general acknowledgment of the virtues of liberty. Continue reading “Freedom”→
I remember when I first discovered I was very proud. It was a shock. I had struggled with inferiority most of my life and I had no idea that pride and inferiority operate together quite well rather than working against one another as I had supposed. The opposite of pride is humility and meekness—not inferiority. Inferiority comes from the enemy just as much as pride does, and he uses both, either separately or together as much as he can get away with. Continue reading “A Few Shades Less Proud”→
Psalms 119:162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. – ESV
God’s Word becomes precious to His saints who use it as it is intended. Hopefully we don’t read it as some religious rite, or duty to get out of the way. Rather, we should seek it as life-giving spiritual nourishment in every season. If we treat it as dry religious text to appease our conscience, it will appear as dated material that has no practical use to the modern person. Same if we read it intellectually and try to analyze it. Continue reading “Finding Great Spoil”→
Luke 24:32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” – ESV
Two of the disciples were walking on the road to Emmaus when Jesus appeared to them. They didn’t recognize His physical appearance, but after He left them, they recognized Him in retrospect because their hearts had burned within them in His presence. Continue reading “Did Not Our Hearts Burn Within Us?”→
Jude is not a popular book by most standards. It’s short, and it uses its limited space to mostly put forth some very stern warnings and convictions. It lists many attributes of fake Christians having snuck into the ranks of those Jude was writing to. The one that stuck out to me is found in verse 12 when it refers to shepherds feeding themselves. Continue reading “Shepherds Feeding Themselves”→
At some point in my walk with the Lord, I had a revelation concerning the seriousness of suppressing the truth. It occurred to me that it is the ultimate form of self-righteousness and evil. Suppressing God’s truth is like saying to God, “Your version of reality is a lie. I’d rather construct my own universe in which I can govern things as I please.” If God’s truth has the audacity to enter that universe, and toy with my fragile constructs that suit my own agenda, I’ll evict it and go on with my own way. Continue reading “Suppressing The Truth”→
Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. –NIV 84’
I’ve gone through times in my Christian walk when I felt powerless over sin and evil. I had to wonder what people meant by saying we no longer have to sin after we become Christians. Supposedly we only have to be born spiritually and our desire for sin is automatically cut off. And all we want is to do good. Continue reading “Hate Evil And Do Good”→
We hear a lot—especially from young people—about the importance of fairness. At face value this seems like a good ideal to pursue. It is a great starting point, especially when we are contemplating the way we are to treat other people. The problem comes when we start thinking in terms of life not being fair to us personally. When we start down this path, we soon discover entitlement issues are really at the root of what we are clamoring for. Continue reading “If Life Was Fair”→
Is it possible for us to contribute to the majesty of God? Would God entrust us with the task of building a throne for Him to sit on? This seems very unlikely to people who are very cognizant of their limitations and failures. We can contribute nothing by our own strength, this is true enough. But according to the Bible, God is enthroned on our praises! Continue reading “He Is Enthroned On Our Praises”→
The age we find ourselves in is fraught with deception. There are more ideas and opinions than ever before. This is a natural outcome of the breakdown of long held traditions. At a glance this seems like a tragedy. Many people are led astray by false teachers and prophets. Chaos and strife become the order of the day as people’s worldviews clash. Gone are the days of people sitting in church pews from sea to shining sea, drinking in similar messages, mostly of sound doctrine. But what if it is all part of God’s plan? And what if it is necessary to produce a more mature bride? Continue reading “Deception & Revelation: Twin Towers”→
Psalms 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. –ESV Continue reading “Blessed Is The Man…”→
It’s easy to look across the landscape of global activity and become frustrated, fearful and angry at this time. There is a shaking happening. There is a storm going on. A storm of spiritual warfare. Things look dark to many. Not necessarily because of the Corona Virus itself but many times because of the fallout that comes from it. It is exposing corrupt desires of tyranny in many American leaders. It is causing an increased outpouring of hatred, lies and manipulation from our media. People are divided like never before. Some are virtue signaling by getting their neighbors in trouble. Continue reading “The Storm Before The Calm”→
As people in various states and occupations practice sheltering in place, they do so to avoid placing themselves in vulnerable situations physically. There was a time when Jesus’ disciples practiced sheltering in place, because of an order from their Master. It had nothing to do with their physical well being. It was for their spiritual effectiveness.
We have heard many times that in Jesus is all victory. This is true, but I’d like to raise the bar a little higher by stating that in Jesus all is victory. Basically this means that not only is every victory we have, found in Jesus, but that if we abide in Jesus continually, all we face will be swallowed up in the victory we already have in Christ. Continue reading “In Him All Is Victory”→
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. –NKJV
Here is a timely subject. It’s been in my list of post titles for some time now, perhaps waiting for such a time as this. And no, I’m not digging it out to preach at anyone. I’ve had fears of various kinds throughout my life. They’ve usually not been the same as the fears the masses have. For example, right now I feel no fear about the Corona Virus. But having experienced fears of many other kinds, I am no one to cast judgement. The only blame I have is for those who are intentionally creating the fear. But even with them, I have to pause and realize, our battle is not against flesh and blood. Continue reading “He Did Not Give Us A Spirit Of Fear”→
Dying is something none of us wants to do, but every time we do it, we are pleased with the results. We want more of it. We want a deeper death next time. But next time comes and it’s still a battle. I’m not talking about a literal death of course. That only happens once. But even the death we deal to our sinful, or carnal nature, is perhaps good practice for the literal event. Continue reading “Dying Takes Practice”→
Joshua 24:14-15 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – ESV Continue reading “Choose This Day Whom You Will Serve”→
I’ve been reading a memoir of John Bunyan. He was a great sinner before he found grace and had many struggles as a Christian because of it. I’ve found a few parallels to his and my own testimony and have been very taken in by the story of his life. As I was reading, I ran across this line, and it seemed to me to sum it all up nicely: “Satan is loath to part with a great sinner.” Continue reading “Satan Is Loath To Part With A Great Sinner”→
1 Kings 18:24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” – ESV
This was Elijah facing off with the prophets of Baal. As he went into this confrontation with a false god, the litmus test all agreed on, was that the true God would answer by fire. Elijah did not concoct this scenario himself, just in case we get the idea he was putting God to the test. In verse 36, as he prayed, he said he did it all at God’s word. Continue reading “The God Who Answers By Fire”→
Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. – ESV Continue reading “Without Spot Or Wrinkle”→
What is the biggest reason believers fear to step out in faith, obeying the leading of the Spirit to do unconventional things? Most times for me it has been a nagging voice of fear, saying I will become a spectacle. That people would shake their heads and tell each other I’d lost my mind. Or that I was a zealot who should calm down a bit. Perhaps there would be a smirk or a snicker or an eye roll as I walk by. In short, I was afraid of being put to shame. Continue reading “We Will Not Be Put To Shame”→
In many cases believers find themselves going back and forth between grace and works as if the two are mutually exclusive. Somehow we can’t seem to grasp the fact that the two can coexist and even thrive together. But only if we have them in the right order and from the right source. If we work for God without first entering His grace, our work will be carnal and polluted and we have no hope of salvation. Continue reading “Work For It, Or Walk In It?”→
Another year behind us, a fresh one on the horizon. It’s amazing how the week between Christmas and New Year causes us to put on the brakes and think soberly. I know I did this past week, as I reflected on 2019 and focused on my Kingdom Goals for 2020. This year has been an incredible mixture of trials and joy, of failures and successes, of laughter and tears. So much has shifted, changed and been cleansed from my life. I lost a business and gained one. We had lost a child through miscarriage in 2018, but gained another this year. Step by step, God shuffled little things and big things to suit His purpose. Continue reading “Kingdom Goals For 2020”→
Isaiah 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. –ESV Continue reading “For To Us A Child Is Born…”→
Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. —NASB
Many people talk about God’s unconditional love these days. To me it is a moot point whether God loves unconditionally or not. All we need to know is that we cannot receive God’s love without meeting certain conditions. So even if He does love us unconditionally, it does us no good if we do not avail ourselves of it by meeting His conditions. This is true of even the first step in receiving God’s love through the promise of salvation. Salvation is for everyone, but only if we repent and accept Jesus’ righteousness for our filthy rags. In the same way, we find conditions attached to the promises we live by after receiving the first taste of God’s love. Continue reading “All Is Good—If We Love Him”→
How often do we face enemies? How often do we retreat? I’m not talking about physical enemies. We are in a war in the spiritual realm. Every day, if we are wise, we put on our armor, ready to do battle. The battle does not wait on us—it is around us all the time. We can choose to be caught in the cross-fire or become effective combatants. And though the battle is not physical, the best examples on how to fight in it can be drawn from physical parallels. Continue reading “Standing Before Our Enemies”→
1 Corinthians 14:32-33 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. –ESV
How many times do we find ourselves in doubt—questioning the will of God, our motives and even the path we are on? In a sense, these questions can be good. A person who never has doubts or at least serious consideration concerning some of these things probably does not have a healthy fear of God. But perhaps at times we take it too far and bog down in our consideration of details. Continue reading “He Is Not A God Of Confusion”→
I am going through a major transition in business right now. My partner and I had two businesses together. We have agreed to separate, with him taking one business and me taking the other on negotiated terms. I have sensed that God has orchestrated this. I believe He has led me to this place, but it has been a walk of faith. The business I am leaving behind is one that I believe God showed me He cannot bless. I won’t delve into the reasons why. After He had shown me this, I prayed for Him to open doors in a different direction. Immediately things went terribly wrong in the business I am leaving behind. The result is me leaving it and taking over the other business on negotiated terms. Continue reading “Dealing With The Curses Of Balak”→
The history of Halloween is a long one. Many cultural practices have conspired to create the product we have today. I’ll try to present this information chronologically to avoid confusion, and will add a few of my own thoughts at the end. I do not claim to have created a comprehensive account here; only a brief over-view, since many are not familiar with the basic history of Halloween. Continue reading “The History Of Halloween”→
There are many things that guide people, that people essentially use as a compass. Money, relationships, entertainment and pleasures of all kinds. Or perhaps in many cases these things are more like treats dangled in front of us, leading us one step at a time to an unknown destination. In our natural state, we are quite content with this moment by moment existence. Our imagination keeps us supplied with notions of how ultimately we control the course we are on. But that is not reality. We are really walking one step at a time in a mirage that is ever shifting and changing on us. But we have no problem with it when we are walking in the flesh. Continue reading “God, My Compass”→
We were all created with the need for a Shepherd. In Eden, man communed regularly with God and they were in a perfect state of dependence on their Shepherd. When man fell, it was due to the fact that they wanted to become shepherds and gods unto themselves. God let them have their way in this and they effectively became independent of God. Continue reading “Our Need For A Shepherd”→
In an age where repentance is hardly acknowledged as a necessary means of salvation, my title may come off as paradoxical to some. Many view the idea of repentance negatively. It creates a premise that we are fundamentally evil. This used to be a commonly held belief in the church. But today many have lost sight of it and have turned to some hippie version of Christianity. They believe all is mellow and all people are good at their core. Continue reading “The Gift Of Repentance”→
I know some of these plays on words are cliché by now, but it struck me how true this one is, and I have never seen it before as far as I know, so it might even be original. Being holy before the Lord is not something written or talked about much in the church today, since the popular message seems to be grace. And the way grace is talked about in many cases is not necessarily Biblical. Continue reading “Holy (& Wholly) Unto The Lord”→
Many things in life are illusions, deceptions and counterfeits. If we have the Spirit of God as our counsel, and a healthy hunger for the truth, then this soon becomes obvious. The more we walk the walk of faith, the more we come to realize how little in this life is honest, real, and lasting. Continue reading “Stimulation Does Not Equal Life”→