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Prophetic Endurance

Out of Africa

And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Matthew 2:15 (NIV).


"It's true we're "hard pressed" - and also "not crushed." We walk in supernatural calm that only comes from deep relationship...with Jesus!"


Read Bruce Marchiano's Newsletter here.


 

Call to Prayer for the Ukraine

Details from Dr. Dobson's Letter:

Personally, I am convinced that Almighty God is active in the affairs of mankind. It does appear to me that we are entering what has been referred to by biblical scholars as "end time events." No one knows how human history will play out in the days ahead, but we can be sure they will be guided by His mighty hand. Ultimately, according to my theological understanding, the Rapture will occur along with the other events that were foretold in Scripture by the prophets of old.

The New Testament ends with the phrase, "Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly." Amen.

This is a critical time for prayer by people of faith. Let's join together with a united voice in asking the God whom we serve to lead and guide in these perilous times. Nothing will happen that is not permitted by Him. This is not a time for despair. Our obligation is to win as many people to Jesus Christ as possible and to say with the prophet Isaiah, "Send me."

By Dr. James Dobson, Family Talk


 

Empires

Daniel’s Dream of Four Beasts

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.

Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.

“The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it.

“And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’

“After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.

“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

“While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.

“As I looked,

“thrones were set in place,

and the Ancient of Days took his seat.

His clothing was as white as snow;

the hair of his head was white like wool.

His throne was flaming with fire,

and its wheels were all ablaze.

A river of fire was flowing,

coming out from before him.

Thousands upon thousands attended him;

ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.

The court was seated,

and the books were opened.

“Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

The Interpretation of the Dream

“I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this.

“So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: ‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. But the holy people of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’

“Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.

“He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time. 

“ ‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’

“This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.”

Daniel 7:1-28 NIV


I too have been on bed rest this week, after two trips to the emergency room. Unable to work, or barely crawl from one room to the next, I was unsure how to do the things I needed to do. But the sickness stopped me and I was unable to do anything outside the Lord's will as usual. When I read this verse, the explanation was given to me that this event has occurred again in modern times. The beasts spoken of represent four ideologies or sects. Each one exists in the constellation of the prophet. The first beast represents the Vineyard denomination where I grew up (my father pastored and planted the Victoria Vineyard form the time I was 10 to 13) and I later attended 8 Vineyard churches. From out of this lion of John Wimber came the eagle of the prophetic: the prophetic school in Abbotsford (founded in 2000). The pain represented by the wings being ripped off the eagle symbolizes a womanhood with no needs (one who can live in the desert), the dire opposite of a structured Mennonite Community. The mind of a human was given to it: the rational mind and the ability to teach the symbols, times, and practice of the prophetic and the ability to publish.

The second beast was that of a bear, representing a family on Bear Mountain (they lived for twenty years at the foot of crown land called Bear Mountain), and the sect of their non-profit society that influenced the spiritual development of over a thousand people over twenty years. They called the practice of their work "listening to Jesus". The bear means they were a little embarrassing at points, occasionally discussing their personal issues and letting their clothing air on the line. The bear eventually takes three ribs in its mouth (does this mean Adam, Eve and Lilith?) After I fasted for a month on olive oil, my brother fell and broke two ribs in continuation with this war between the sects. The flesh represents an "O" blood type who eats meat whenever he wishes and is favoured for his blood. 

                         

I had a frightening and vivid dream one night that they had formed a commune and were dissecting their children while still alive to harvest their internal organs for spiritual food during the pandemic. The commune lived together on a piece of property and were completely run by the father of the leopard clan. The children seemed to accept this and would just wait for their turn, and say "Their time had come." They were unschooled and not aware that this practice was socially unacceptable. I asked them in the dream to raise cows instead but they just didn't see it my way.

The third beast was that of a leopard: representing paternity. The leopard is wildly fierce that his offspring must bear children with his name. But his son, instead of having children to continue the family name (he had been given the same name as his father), subverted the command to another union in the same extended family where four rules, all children arose. They ruled the home, where they refused to listen to the advise, counsel, or leadership of adults. They established that children would rule their parents on earth under an "apocalypse". They would defy maternity. They came into the world at the times of 4 different generations including X, Y, Z and Apocalypse. The final child, a fifth was called a "drop of the sea" and was not included with the other four. Through the family the demand for paternity was met, but it was conveyed to others that they too must fulfill this demand and have children, or it was a form of lewdness. The panther ruled the entire family with his threat of "disowned" should they not comply with the rituals of high society.

The fourth beast was a totalitarian empire, based on non-violence. It was a rule of iron, representing the medical profession. It crushed its own patients, dehumanizing them, then shipping them away in trains of hopelessness and despair to a concentration camp of debt where they were given numbers on their arms instead of names. The iron rule was control of the subverted force of healing to kill (by plague) and sterilize the human race, dividing it into two races, one of which was unacceptable. The bodies were buried with their clothes on. It had one small speaker (one small horn) who spoke boastfully (in an extroverted way), claiming to be the owner and proprietor of the sea. He started out with the right motive, but eventually turned into Judas Iscariot, selling the sea out into the hands of witchcraft and slavery. He continued to exert control over the earth and nature, while setting himself up to be the equal of the other beasts. He claimed the label of a missionary and went over to the Orient where his resentment festered in the marshlands. There he stayed for three years, but as the poetry depicts in "the evolution of Covid", his second wife bit a pit viper (left behind a germ), and left her mark. Their medieval presence would sweep over the earth like the Black Plague, leaving devastation in their wake. 

                       

Finally the books were opened. The Ancient of Days has spoken. The sea has roared. The church has suffered long enough. The court is seated and the defendants will state their case. The happenings surrounding the sea and its inhabitants will be tried in a court of law. There will be no more pretense over this terrible trauma that has befallen the earth and its inhabitants, only Justice and Liberty; for this is the final hour.

And now I will call my two witnesses.

Language of Heaven


So I will be like a lion to them, like a leopard I will lurk by the path.

Hosea 13:7


Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king. Their father asked them, “Which way did he go?” And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken. So he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And when they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”

“I am,” he replied.

 So the prophet said to him, “Come home with me and eat.”

The man of God said, “I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. I have been told by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.’”

 The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the Lord: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (But he was lying to him.) So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.

While they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet who had brought him back. He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors.’”

 When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him.  As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it.

I Kings 13:11-24


Today, love is overused and undervalued at the same time. We love everything from various foods to cars, from movies to retailers, from people to God himself. We may not consciously distinguish one use of love from another, in part because our speech is becoming more and more informal, but it’s important to be intentional about the differences. As we know, Scripture tells us that love is the highest attribute. So let’s look at the four types of love found in the Bible, and that Lewis helps to draw out in The Four Loves, published in 1960, and based on a radio series he did with the BBC a few years prior to the book’s release.

If we think that perhaps love is not worth the sorrow and pain, then we are more pagan than Christian. Though the fall has invited such selfishness to linger heavy in our culture, ours is the Gospel charge – to go to the nth degree to love those who are broken, not for some vague humanitarian effort, but to make disciples of all nations, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Let us ask God to awaken such an abandoned and reckless love to come alive in us.

Four Types of Love, C.S. Lewis.com

Read more . . .


What language do you suppose we will speak in heaven? Of all the languages ever spoken on earth, when I asked the question what language will we speak in heaven, the answer was: the language of love. The language of love is spoken in five dialects: agape (charity), eros (romantic love), pathos (burden bearing), philia (friendship), storge (affection). When we become familiar with these languages on earth, we are more and more suitable for heaven. We learn to speak from birth all five, growing in our attachment to our Saviour and his love for us. These may make us interdependent with the rest of the community of believers, able to give and receive.

Four of these loves were discussed by C.S. Lewis in the book The Four Loves, the fifth I have added as my knowledge of the ways of people has grown on. Burden bearing seems like it has been discussed in detail for over two decades. Although no one want to be a sponge, there are certain types of people who just pick up everything they come in contact with. They feel real pain and real emotions that aren't their own. They can even be diagnosed with diseases that don't apply to them. They cost more at the counselling office.

The conclusion: they are not delusional, saying all sorts of things that aren't real. They need to pray more to release these burdens to Jesus, and become a conduit in the process for intercessory prayer. Finding a verse that relates to each burden helps, but you might have to be a walking concordance. These people make good worship leaders. They will actually perceive the burdens in the body and society and sing them to the Lord. I have watched the nuns doing this as they sing their evening prayers, from the chapel of the Poor Clare's. Several books have been written on this phenomenon. One is the book The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity by Carol Brown.

More and more, it is needed for us to identify that love comes in many ways and many forms. For example chastity is a love of many people, whereas marital fidelity is the love of one person. The problem with long-term marriages is they have a tendency to make Christians feel self-righteous and look down on folks who aren't quite as fortunate. They are associated with "bad apple syndrome". No matter how faithful you are to your spouse, if you become a Pharisee, judging other's relationships as good or bad, you have gone bad yourself. No amount of Christian doctrine can save you if you think marriage is the way to heaven.

There remains the issue of prophetic inappropriateness. To ask a prophet for a prophetic word is a mocking taunt. The Bible clearly points out in that this is dangerous territory. They are not at your disposal; they have no need to answer your question. Your continual pestering of spiritual persons needs some exoneration. What is your motive? For one, whenever you ask someone a question, you may be perceived as testing this. It is good to question how appropriate this is. Second, to wear down and exhaust another person's defenses is time consuming and expensive. Jesus is busy, leave him alone. Bothering him is like bothering head office at Save-on-Foods. 

The question we need to ask is: am I testing Jesus or is he testing me? During this time of trial and refinement, it is an acceptable martyrdom to suffer, it has been ordained, and further, as my friends at the Vineyard would say, the difference between suffering and martyrdom is prayer.

Who is the Neck?

I have seen many institutional reforms. They often created all sorts of commissions and councils. Have we noticed many results? You do not correct a bad book by changing the binding or the paper . . . What we urgently need is to start looking again at everything with the eyes of faith. By reforming institutions non-stop, you maintain the illusion that the important thing is what we are doing, our human action, which we regard as the only effective measure. This type of reform, therefore, only shifts the problem. 


Atheist civilizations inevitably lose the metaphysical sense. Transcendent realities are foreign to them. Man now thinks he is sufficiently powerful to take his destiny in hand by himself.

Modern man wants nothing more to do with his Creator. And so he tramples the moral laws little by little, only to replace them with so-called democratic rules of law. The most rudimentary desires become the measure of everything. The majority, often represented by the parliamentary power of the States and manipulated by the powerful media, little by little rewrites the moral norm.  

Robert Cardinal Sarah, The Day Is Now Far Spent


What is the plague of transparency referred to by Sarah in his book The Day Is now Far Spent ? Has our practice of revealing things about ourselves or our businesses led us to be deceived about what is integrity. There is a demand to make things known to the public. Even political figures like the president have details about their health status revealed as a matter of course to everyone. This is supposed to determine if they are fit; and in their own protection, so they are not overworked. Their medical reports are made known by the media to everyone. But they are also paid for that invasive inconvenience by their triple figure incomes. Being secretive is not highly regarded.     

Let us talk together: let us consider the matter. There is a marked difference between transparency and intimacy. In times where the spiritual trend is to expose oneself, by revealing your shortcomings and sins to others so you feel at home and gain acceptance, there is a real need to seek Jesus' advice in this matter. There is a danger in letting it all hang out, in not keeping up appearances to outsiders. They will use their knowledge to bring you down. There is a real spirit of competition in secular society that makes people like hunters, looking for your weak spot. Don't disclose your secrets or you may as well expose your neck. The neck needs to be protected or a wild dog may go for the jugular. This expression brings to mind the vulnerabilities of the human body, but also the vulnerabilities of the spiritual one. If we are all a part of the body, who or what is the neck? The neck is the reputation of the body of Christ. If a secular attacker goes for the neck, he may bring the whole body down. We must protect our weakest points with not only armour but discretion.

The neck, or the reputation is being attacked whenever people criticize, or condemn the body of Christ based on behaviour. The current use of behaviour modification to correct everyone is deadly to the modern Christian. People want others to have normal schedules, eat at certain times, eat certain normal foods, and work a 40 hour week. They project and demand their expectations for normalicy be met. Where this comes from is the social norms that govern the middle class of North America. Social work also enforces these social norms. They are not necessarily bad in and of themselves, but they stray away from doing everything by listening to the Holy Spirit, or even being in tune with yourself, and having the wholesome practice of listening to your body. It is when we insist everyone else do the same as us, and that all society must conform to our expectations that we are angry and frustrated. There are people I call "free radicals" walking around who just won't conform, and precipitate out of solution at the slightest provocation to let you know. You are kind of hoping you won't meet one today.

The average family is expected to go to work, pay their bills, and put their children in school, in addition to having healthy meals, and regular mealtimes. Parenting is expected to conform to the expectations of schools, doctors, experts and institutions. When Christian enter society, they should realize these things are already in place; our priorities and behaviour may not match the norm. Who goes around giving out prophetic words, and looking for divine appointments? Who goes around doing servant evangelism, and giving out free brochures at the park or free coffee at the mall. I have seen committed Christians doing both.

Secular people use very different standard to bureaucratize behaviour and goals, usually to non-Christians, but they may aim it at you, They typically use insults, to the point of being degrading, or put you in your place (should you get out of it), or compliment you if you do the right thing, and give you warm fuzzies. There is also the stars and dots mentality coming from the book You Are Special by Max Lucado. It teaches us that when we do things or be someone, society gives us either a dot or a star. Dots can build up and lead to poor self esteem and the feeling of worthlessness. We hope in life naturally to receive commendation from people in the form of lots of stars.

The nature of knowing Christ is to refuse either stars or dots, by spending time with him. This is my working definition of intimacy. The more time we spend with Jesus, and the closer we dwell to his presence the closer we get to other Christians. It really does not work to try to get close to them to get to know them, as they have issues that would keep us at arms' length. This was a profound concept I discovered through fasting, as I was writing one day. Seeking intimacy with God brings us into communion with other believers. Seeking God is kind of like having a new pen and a clean crisp notebook full of lined paper.

As for secular punitive measures, dots and stars: this is the kind of up and down thing you see with celebrities on Entertainment Tonight; one day they are popular for giving back, the next day they are in the bad books for assaulting a fan or ending in rehab. Their social feedback varies from minute to minute with the comments on social media, so they can change their behaviour, based on criticism, to suit everyone. It strikes us as ridiculous when we know Christ, yet it occurs.

As a working definition from the social work profession: "behaviour" is only defined as behaviour if someone else is present. What we do when alone is usually entirely our business. If no one sees it and witnesses it, it never happened. The only problem with this is some people stoop to entrapment, to witness behaviour, even causing it (i.e. provoking free radicals) so they can stick them with consequences. The end result is everyone can be triggered by something or some word of discouragement (criticism) and react, even in public. Although we would like to hide the shame behind closed doors, we find ourselves being pushed to the nth degree by others in society. It is a very detailed and complicated idea to entrap someone to act differently than the social norm so we can imprison or use behaviour modification on them. A free radical predator would probably have to plan it out in advance.

The alternate is to employ an antioxidant like reality, neutralizing free radicals that don't follow the social norm and are triggered by our controlling efforts to make everyone act normal. I have always had the perspective, in teaching other health professionals and dietitians, to avoid behaviour modification as a rule. Making nutritional changes, what a nutritionist does, should not be about adding more control, or that you now control them. Is there something better? Using a sense of humour and laughing at the person if they do something wrong, is a gentle correction that makes them also able to laugh at themselves. I know people have come around to healing in my office when they begin to laugh, not only at their illness but at themselves.

Laughing in a good natured way takes the stress and punitive nature of control away, which needs more and more force to enforce. People with this characteristic think if you don't do what they want or say, they will call the police. Someone with a gun will make you, they think? The need for a real revolution in conflict resolution is here and now. We need to have conflict resolution people in every police department to enforce to the community that every conflict requiring police is an opportunity to engage in conflict resolution. I am currently recommending to four police departments to do this: to have a person available to the public to resolve disputes who is trained with the Justice Institute's course on conflict resolution. Some of us in Abbotsford have learned the hard way what happens if we don't engage in peaceful resolution, instead of using force on others. There are vulnerable sectors in society that could really suffer.

What it boiled down to is that we as Christians are controlled and possessed by the Holy Spirit. This affects all our choices, priorities, and actions throughout the day. We avoid controlling secular forces in society that lead to addiction, and bondage. Secular people who don't know Jesus, are under the influence. It is an influence that demands every aspect of their lives be regulated and controlled by fear. They respond to condemnation and guilt. They are led by force, and threats. They expect for wrong moves, punishment. What a way to live.

Let's not think like secular people and enforce this on others who are our brothers and sisters in Christ or they may question our authenticity. The beauty that lies within us is brought out by our imperfections. It was a diamond in the rough. We are polished by suffering and martyrdom not by routine and correction.

 

Living in the Desert

A Man With a Measuring Line  Zechariah 2:1-9

Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, “Where are you going?”

He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”

While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’

“Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the Lord, “for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,” declares the Lord.

“Come, Zion! Escape, you who live in Daughter Babylon!” For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye— I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me.


I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”

Rev 11:1-3


"A hermit said, 'The monk's cell is the furnace in Babylon in which three children found the Son of God. It is the pillar of cloud out of which God spoke to Moses.' "

The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks


Desert Fathers, early Christian hermits whose practice of asceticism in the Egyptian desert, beginning in the 3rd century, formed the basis of Christian monasticism. Following the example of Jesus' life of poverty, service, and self-denial, these early monks devoted themselves to vows of austerity, prayer, and work. (Source: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Desert-Fathers).

“The Desert Fathers were the first Christian monks, living in solitude in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. In contrast to the formalized and official theology of the "founding fathers" of the Church, they were ordinary Christians who chose to renounce the world and live lives of celibacy, fasting, vigil, prayer, and poverty in direct and simple response to the gospel. First recorded in the fourth century, their Sayings—consisting of spiritual advice, anecdotes, parables, and reflections on life—influenced the rule of St. Benedict, set the pattern for Western monasticism, and have inspired centuries of poetry, opera, and art.” (Source: Amazon book backmatter).


There is a certain group of people that have left society and live in the desert. This is a figurative picture. Last blog we talked about people who think or act differently being cast out of society. In the times of Jesus, there were people with mental illness living among the caves outside the city. After Jesus' coming and death, there were the early Desert Fathers who chose a reclusive and later monastic lifestyle, leaving society voluntarily to follow the Lord. They do this in the physical realm, but as believers are we called to leave society in the spiritual realm? Are we called to live in the desert like the early Christians, a following that attracted all sorts of outcasts (uneducated peasants, shepherds, itinerant traders, former slaves and prostitutes). This seems the norm with the People of the Way as a whole. They have a different way of life, that they have chosen voluntarily, along with its difficulties. If we openly did things differently out of obedience to Christ while in society everyone would react to our jaywalking, and might think you have a mental illness.

Is the far side of being a Christian being mentally ill? To not be so radically different that you are disturbing to everyone, it is important to have good teachers, be part of communities such as a church who do the same as you, and see your place in the community as constructive and helpful (such as forming a charity, and giving aid to the poor) not negative and destructive. So what is our identity as followers of Christ? We have been taught repeatedly over the past 25 years it means to choose differently than the world, to "go against the grain." This almost sounds like swimming upstream, yet at time, to be fruitful salmon do swim upstream. Yet this as a way of life seems anti-social and tiring.

Would it work if we had a list of antisocial rules so we wouldn't participate in the way of the world? It might read: no drinking, no dancing, no playing cards. The modern world has some advantage as there is a spirit of moderation in these things, but we are not here to make a list of rules you must follow to be modest and proper; otherwise the next Christian comes along and their lifestyle looks offensive and licensious. 

What is the measuring stick? Are we just supposed to go to church, or compete for holiness with the next guy in the pew. Do we follow the decrees of the Bible, such as fasting and communion or just read it. Every denomination might have come up with its own verdict on this, as to what is required, but in short they may have gone too far, distancing believers from each other in judgement of whether the others would even go to heaven. If we all acted exactly like Jesus, and walked around doing exactly what the disciples did in this day and age, people might notice you, diagnose you as abnormal and even arrest you under the mental health act. We can't act exactly the same way. But this I would advise you, whatever you do to chastise yourself, as sobering behaviour, in the fear of God: do it in secret so no one sees you. This way, they cannot criticize you, and arrest you because you are more spiritual than they. People who are more spiritual make people angry, and this is the exact factor with schizophrenia, they want to put the person in jail or in the psych ward for not following "the rule" of society (This was documented by Psychiatrist Abram Hoffer: that people are given a diagnosis to protect them from being jailed or accused of a criminal offence). 

There is an unspoken rule, and if you break it or act anti-social and if you break it they suspect you. But there are all sorts of ways to break rules in society. Getting everyone to act the same would be a huge challenge. 

Why does everyone act differently? It is not just the outcome of our education, upbringing and skills. What we eat has a huge influence on our behaviour because it is not human control that forced people to act a certain way, it is the intrinsic messages that come from the things they just ate (and its influence on blood sugar, hormones, and neurotransmitters). It might be a justified assumption that people who do not act right, have not eaten right today. How many days have you not eaten right? That is the question. It seems undeniable that our food is what gives the brain the messages on how to act and interact with others in a compatible way. Ask any parent if food affects the behaviour of their child. When we eat junk, and our modern diet is poor, we are not being healed, we can be destructive and careless.

We must take into consideration when we build for eternity, what is an Old-Testament plumb line? When they did construction in Old Jerusalem they measure the building to see if it would stand by an plumb line. Today, we are building a house in heaven, and setting the foundation for eternity. The plumb line is the measure of our character. What is the plumb line in the modern world? What are we measuring our character by? Is it the scripture? Is it our relationship with Jesus and whether he really likes us or not. What if he is more subtle? What is he has a plumb line and you don't know what it is? When your building comes across it, you are being measured. This is an uncomfortable feeling. It makes many people angry to think that they are being measured by something or someone. It is innocuous though. It is not a seductive object.


"Amos proclaimed God’s judgment upon his people for failing to live by God’s standards of justice and righteousness. Amos pleaded with God to relent his judgment and, in their place, God places a plumb line. A plumb line is a weight suspended from a string used as a vertical reference line to ensure a structure is centered. As they always find the vertical axis pointing to the center of gravity, they ensure everything is right, justified and centered.

"I wanted to look into this further so I located a sermon online, 'What’s your plumb line?” written by the Rev. Joseph J. Clifford, in which he writes, “By what do we measure our lives and our community? What tells us that things are aligned, that life is where it needs to be?' ’'

(Source: "Commentary: Biblical ‘plumb line’ remains a relevant allegory" https://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/tn-dpt-me-0724-commentary2-20160718-story.html )


Following the Holy Spirit's guidance should always involve how to eat in a healing way, developing resilience, and abstaining from indulgence in food that would make us sluggish and foolish toward the things of the Lord. When we know how to eat, instructed by the Holy Spirit, we are able to be in the center of his will with more accuracy, and don't make the prophetic mistakes we might. I believe the Lord wants to open our eyes to the value of classically trained nutrition instruction in upholding our faith, our ability to endure, and our resilience to stress when tempers are short and times are difficult. This could be the downfall of us: times are hard right now. Many people do not have enough finances or enough to eat during Covid, and are stretched to the limit (thus government intervention, and food banks taking in anyone, no question asked.) Exhaustion is applicable to everyone trying to go on in a semblance of normalcy with this many obstacles.

As for what could happen if we don't discipline ourselves? Being teenagers, with the need to be controlled instead of acting as adults is dangerous. Even more so as Christians, we cannot just be babies, we need to be mature. There is no guarantee that the effects of communism on our society won't lead to suffering. Suffering by Christians under communism has been well established, in countries such as China. In China, one form of torture is to arrest Christians, put them in a psych ward, diagnose them and medicate them until they go insane or believe they are mentally ill and go along with the government. In our democratic country, I fail to see how this is not happening too. This is actually common practice, and seen as compassionate to mental health sufferers for their lack of resources. This happens every day to people who don't make the cut. They are told they have been a shame to their families. They are forced to commiserate with others of the same rank. Unfortunately we must only consult the annals of psychiatry to see that this is in fact the worst torture known to mankind. There are too many corpses behind them on which they have practiced medical experiments in the last 1,000 years. And today, there is little improvement. 

People wake up. What makes anyone following the Lord more or less righteous than you? They must listen daily and immaculately to the voice of the Holy Spirit. They must be taught right and wrong by that sweetness of Jesus Christ who hung on a cross for us. It is a practice of listening, because we overstep our bounds when we even think we can walk across a room without the will of the father enabling us. We are not allowed to do anything without the Father's permission. We are not to speak, we are not to act, and we are certainly not to criticize other when they speak and act because they are less mature than us.

Blessings to you in the name of the Father, in whom we live and move and have our being.

Manifestation

There is a new term being used to describe a certain state of being. Not really a new term it is an old term to most evangelical Bible-believing Christians. The term " to manifest" has been used for decades by the church to describe someone's behaviour when possessed by an evil spirit. What we expected twenty years ago was that someone who is manifesting has disturbing or anti-social behaviour and that it was an undesirable state. Well-meaning pastors might have attacked the issue by doing inner healing to improve people's spiritual lives by casting them out, and experiencing strange symptoms at times. The only problem with this is it tied in to the medieval practice of exorcism to respond to people with mental illness. They were in the Middle Ages, considered by the church to have the symptoms they did as a form of possession. If the priest could not cast it out, they were removed from society: put outside the city or put in asylums. (This information was particularly relevant in my 6 months (full-time) of social work program, where I learned the history of mental illness.) How sad, we would think today; that is not a compassionate approach. Not that we have modern day psychiatry, we understand a biochemical model for disease. People's diseases are thought by modern medicine to be caused by biochemical causes, not demons. People are treated with medication an ideally go on to live productive lives in spite of their diagnosis.

The modern pep-talker Mel Robbins is putting out numerous YouTube videos to discuss this term "manifesting". This she has"re-defined" in depth, stating that it is a higher state of being where we make our minds fertile ground for the enemy and accomplish what we want to in life (using the power of the indwelling demon, which we control). A very successful woman who was once a lawyer, elaborates this effective mind altering technique to accomplish not just dreams in life. In fact, the dreamers are the loosers.

What is a dreamer? Were not dreamers commended in the Bible, particularly those who dreamed prophetically? Joseph was thrown in a pit by his brothers, who faked his death, for his dreams. His father gave him a beautiful multi-coloured coat, which made them jealous because he was favoured. His dreams involved sheaves of grain bowing down to him, but he was taken to Egypt as a slave and eventually became once of the most powerful men and rulers in Egypt. The point of favour comes to mind. There is nothing that would make a successful woman and the high-level highly paid executives of our day more frustrated in life, than simply put, "God has favoured someone else." We have to acknowledge the idea that God favours those he chooses, and we can't necessarily work our way into his good books. The other idea is of the things we dream and want, taken modestly to the Lord, invite prayer. Prayer here, in a modern day pep talk is made no mention of. In fact it is completely an attitude of "God; I don't need you."

Christians are marked by prayer. When something comes to mind, it is considered from God: a seed that grows in our hearts. It is watered by the Lord. It is brought to fruition by his husbandry. Dreaming so to speak, is taken to the Lord. We live to be at the center of his will and don't want things or higher states of being, such as a home-owner, without his permission. This relates to God as not only provision, but a loving Father who wants the best for us.

On Mel Robbin's video, she literally conditions her mind to get where she wants to go. She is totally oblivious that her 'very scientific method', that she says even Olympians use to compete, is making a human person the perfect dwelling ground for a powerful demon: to give them more power in life. It is just not good enough to be poor, modest, and meek. We want things in life, and what is holding you back? You, she would assert. With dozens of popular pep-talk videos online, she is becoming something of a global panacea for the minimalist poverty ensuing from the economic depression of the pandemic. People are looking for ways to get ahead, and if it scientifically involves consorting with demons, well they are too innocent. The demon may even be named she contains while she is talking, to the discerning, and she brazenly ignores the practice and simplicity of a sweet relationship with Jesus Christ.

Many are coming out these days on YouTube: there are videos from empaths, intuitives, and Mel Robbins, advising us to use their method and become a successful person. Are these false prophets? They claim a higher level of spiritual success and knowledge. They can easily become sensations overnight. And we might even watch their videos and believe their lies. But the word manifestation is an old one, and its meaning is already clear. YouTube has become a forum for everyone to share their physical, emotional or spiritual teachings. We must only engage in watching any of them with guarded heart, and not at all if you are weaker spiritually and easily convinced or drawn in.

We give God the glory for our successes, and know he gave us what we have in the first place. otherwise we would complain when times are tough. We would let the stress of life overwhelm us, if we did not acknowledge that God is in control. Watching this video made me respect and admire the champions of the faith, who spend time with their dreams on their knees, and acknowledge the Creator of dreams. May our concession that as a prophetic people we need to rival the likes of Mel Robbins, find us an hour a day on our knees, as men and women of prayer.    

There's One Anonymous

These are difficult days we live in. God doesn't take lightly our unhappiness, our pain, and even unbearable suffering at events we cannot control. Something interesting came to light this week. I thought you my prophets could read it, wrestle with it, and see what the Lord shows you. There is an anonymous prophetic person writing in great deal under one of my domains. He has a website that you will go to if you misspell one of my blog domains. This is usually a technique used by false websites to pick up customers from a real company. The phisher is usually replicating the real company, and may even use their logos, and name to get your money. Here, in this instance, a prophetic person may be "coming against" the phishers by doing something similar. Read the word relayed here and determine how relevant it is to my ministry or yours. 

There is no name, no credentials, no request for funds, no contact info. All is a dead end. Why did they choose to communicate this way, and where do they derive their authority from? What do they want so badly to be heard?

Here is the website in its normal form. http://theworldtoday.co   If you read their interpretation of the Book of Revelation, I see some things are re-interpretations of Church History's take on this book. They might be traditional perspectives. In reality, the events of Revelation are unfolding all around us. The discomforting new reality we feel during a pandemic with a death rate the size of WWII is a New World Order than controls our every behaviour. This is not romantic. Our hands are sanitized at the entrance to every place of business. Is this another "Heil Hitler!?" Someone once called out to me in the street a few years ago, "Have you heard of the New World Order?" I had no response.

The overwhelming aspect of the tribulation is that everything in the Book of Revelation may be happening at the same time. I am noticing that it is not chronological. Everything I do may as well be part of a worldwide play, a drama that is being played out with some actors playing more than one character. People are even being killed off, and coming back to life by switching to a different character. How could such a portrayal of the divided hearts of men be so exemplified than by current day multiplicity caused by the level of trauma in the world? 

Like Lapis Lazuli


How the gold has lost its luster,

the fine gold become dull!

The sacred gems are scattered

at every street corner.

 

How the precious children of Zion,

once worth their weight in gold,

are now considered as pots of clay,

the work of a potter’s hands!

 

Even jackals offer their breasts

to nurse their young,

but my people have become heartless

like ostriches in the desert.

 

Because of thirst the infant’s tongue

sticks to the roof of its mouth;

the children beg for bread,

but no one gives it to them.

 

Those who once ate delicacies

are destitute in the streets.

Those brought up in royal purple

now lie on ash heaps.

 

The punishment of my people

is greater than that of Sodom,

which was overthrown in a moment

without a hand turned to help her.

 

Their princes were brighter than snow

and whiter than milk,

their bodies more ruddy than rubies,

their appearance like lapis lazuli.

Lamentations 4:1-7 (NIV)


There is another reference to Sodom in the New Testament. this time: Revelation 11:1-10 (NIV)

I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.” If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.

Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts . . .


Note the underlined text. This reference by a prophet John on the Isle of Patmos (actually the Apostle John, Jesus's closest friend) in response to a vision he had is a reference to a figurative Sodom. Jesus was not literally crucified in Sodom in person, but he was crucified in our hearts, in our evil domain (Sodom), or in "the world" referred to as Egypt. The actual Sodom was a city in the Old Testament in the time of Abraham in Genesis 19. Read on . . .


Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed

The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”

“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”

But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

“Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.

The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”

So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.

With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”

When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please! Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”

He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar.)

By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.

Genesis 19:1-28 (NIV)


In the New Testament's book Revelation (written down by John), the next Jesus (or Christ figure) also known in the Gospel of John as "The Prophet" (who is really the two prophets dressed in sackcloth, probably both male and female) are crucified in a figurative Sodom and Egypt too (he might as well have said in Canada and the United States). Wherever they were crucified is as Golgotha. It would be an accursed place without the redemptive power of the cross, or the symbol of their torture and execution (a fleur-de-lis).


John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah

Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”

John 1:19-23 (NIV)


The idea of figurative places and figurative persons is no more aptly demonstrated in the Bible than in the book of Revelation. Everyone may have a second identity: everyone is not who they seem. This is partly due to the "internet age" as I would call it, giving everyone the chance to adopt another alter as an email address or invisible side, that they might commit lawless behaviour, or take part with the Lawless Man, who I believe is the internet. There is no law online. It is completely defined by your own choices, own level of personal censorship of your material and your family's, and own personal morality structure.

The internet is subtle, but also covert, luring people with false identities into porn sites, because they can hide their true selves. People are spamming, fishing and hacking--and then making other innocent users their victims with horrendous words, words that kill. If it is possible to heal with a word, it is also possible to kill with a word. If the earth was created by the words of the creator, do not think he can also fold up the world's map in an instant with as many words as he used to create. He knows how to undo the world as much as he knows how to put it together. Life is not just a mixed up Rubik's cube that someone took the stickers off once. We shake our heads at the grown children brought up in the seventies and think, "Hopeless!" How put out we can seem when this does not fit in to our schedule. What if we even laugh like Lot's future son-in-laws, and do not escape with our spiritual lives.

This end seems punitive, and the story of Sodom seems like an unjust punishment: but looking at the times we live in. . . are they not as forward and provocative spiritually as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah? Would a prophet not have to rival the times, and be as famous as a rock star not to mention equate in the spiritual at the level of every earthly religion and every ideology. They could literally compete with all, and outdo them. Now that's an expensive request, and a tall order!


Author's Note: The Rubik's Cube is a 3-D combination puzzle invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik. Originally called the Magic Cube, the puzzle was licensed by Rubik to be sold by Ideal Toy Corp. Rubik's Cube won the 1980 German Game of the Year special award for Best Puzzle. As of January 2009, 350 million cubes had been sold worldwide, making it the world's bestselling puzzle game and bestselling toy.

On the original classic Rubik's Cube, each of the six faces was covered by nine stickers, each of one of six solid colours: white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow. Some later versions of the cube have been updated to use coloured plastic panels instead, which prevents peeling and fading.

(Source: Wikipedia)


Author's Note: A lapis lazuli is my birthstone (December). Read more . . .

What do birthstones have to do with Old Israel, and where did the categorization come from? Read more . . .

Mercy is the Oil of Salvation

Today I am going to talk on the subject of mercy. As Mike Mason once said in his book, Practicing the Presence of People, "Mercy is the oil in the lamp of joy."

Mason wrote an entire chapter on mercy and said: "Mercy sides with people even when they are wrong, as Jesus did. Satan is an accuser, but Jesus is our advocate. Satan kicks us when we're down, but Jesus get down beside us to absorb the kicks. In the ancient dispute between God and man, Jesus takes God's side, but he also takes man's side. In fact when push comes to shove on Calvary, Jesus by the will of God took our side, though we were plainly in the wrong."

In case we are wondering, God isn't losing his marbles if he shows us mercy. He is not weak minded if he is able to love us in spite of what we do. Yet we imagine that when others do wrong they need a severe and punitive response. God in the Old Testament was severe, but it was the job of the prophets and the prayers of the saints to talk to him in a way that made him relent.

What is that way? The way is winsome. The way is to expect mercy.

God is able to show compassion to us. It was Jesus, moved with compassion that stretched out his hand to heal. "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9:36 (NIV).

If mercy is the oil of salvation, our salvation needs mercy to stay lit and feeds on the oil itself. How sad it would be if our favourite tree was full of caterpillars; this is the nature of parasites, they feed on other living organisms, and eventually kill their host. Were we like parasites to Jesus, determined to eventually kill him, or did he light our hearts to flame? We all know the answer: if our favourite tree was full of caterpillars we would light a large fire and burn them. 

Are we not being weak when we love or are merciful, particularly to sinful people? St. Therese of Lisieux had something to say about this topic. In the book on her little way of faith called The Way of Trust and Love by Fr. Jacques Philippe:

"Someone once asked me how to combine the attitude of littleness to which Therese invites us with the need to survive in this world, where any weakness or fragility can quickly put us out of the game. 

"I think it's not a question of merely surviving; we have to live in this world positively and confidently. And it's never been easy to practice the Gospel in society. . . Jesus speaks in the Gospel about this ongoing tension between Christian values and the values of society.

" 'I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.' (Matthew 10.16)

"There's realism! But it doesn't mean we're necessarily going to be eaten. God will always be our protection and refuge. . . The basic command Jesus gives to these sheep he sends out in the midst of wolves is to be "wise as serpents and innocent as doves." We must try to practice both attitudes at once. On the one hand, showing wisdom and intelligence, thinking ahead about what we are saying and to whom . . . But on the other hand, we should also keep our hearts pure and childlike. Therese says to Jesus in one of her poems: 

"I want to love you like a little child, I want to battle like a warrior bold.

"We have to fight in this world but keep our hearts pure." Or I might say it otherwise: we have to fight in this world to keep our hearts pure.

Let's keep our lamps lit; this time with mercy, like the wise virgins of the parable of Matthew 25.


“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

“Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’

“But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

             Matthew 25: 1-13 (NIV).

Who is the Real Lion?

What does the lion represent, and when we once heard on an individual basis from a living, breathing God, or the real lion. . . . do we still? Or do we hear nothing? This imagery crops up in the last book of The Chronicles of Narnia, where in The Last Battle there is a donkey being paraded around in lion skins, made to look and convince people it is a lion, and almost worshiped as if it is a real lion. The clever little monkey who cooks up this huge show has a nightly following that is as good as TV.

Who is the monkey? Who is the lion? To understand this analogy I had to hearken back to my earlier years when I was newly married and acquired a little niece of three years nicknamed "monkey". She claimed to have been raised by seven parents, including her birth mother and father, but I was the surrogate so to speak. I fed her, read her stories, and spent time playing with her and taking care of her. When her birth father was up late having a drug party, it was I and my husband who went over to his house at 10 PM to take her home. From then on she was a regular at our house. I was her nanny, and provided preschool for her on week days. When eventually she was separated from her birth mother by social services, I stepped in to hear her tears, and comb her hair, and tell her stories. I wrote all the books I wrote on an invitation from her grandmother, that I "put the poems down for Angel", who was born on Christmas Day.

There were none on paper at that point. So I started writing them down at night, while my husband worked the night shift. He was paying off a loan from his brother (monkey`s birth father), to his mother, for a business his brother bought and would not take ownership for: Nighttime Awning Washing. Ughh. As a new wife I hated losing my husband to have to pay off a business loan for his brother, but he was the responsible one. Eventually his brother took responsibility, got a job, married, and bought a house. In fact, the whole family benefited. When I arrived, they were high on pot, selling magic mushrooms for spare cash, and furnished the living room with stolen property. They all got off drugs, went to rehab, went back to trade school, married and got houses of their own. His sister even spent her life in YWAM, a Christian evangelical ministry. 

It was because of "Monkey," the little girl who had long blond hair and looked just like me that I had to think about why we over-venerate mothers in our society. Just bearing itself does not technically make you a mother in a world of adoption, abortion and surrogate mothers. I, never having had a child of my own, technically only raised Angel, and she now has a family of her own, a job as a cook in a restaurant, and a daughter. I felt I was treated at points in life like I did not like children, was doing something wrong, or was hard-nosed not to want to have children. I was at points related to as immature, and inferior. At some churches, I appreciated that they still gave me a flower on Mother's Day, they gave one to every woman, whether she had children or not: I knew it was for me because I had Angel, although I would not put the pressure on her to admit loyalty to one parent over another. 

So there is a "real" mother, in fact God, our Heavenly Mother with real Biblical qualities mentioned numerous times in the Scriptures. Then there is the Welfare Mother (with only enough money to buy cigarettes), who might not be able to raise us, can't sustain our life, and is technically over-worshipped. How does that relate to modern times? During Covid, the mother of the house became the medical profession, and we had to hearken to their every command. That is an interesting way to take over the house with a "false" lion. This lion has a lot of demands for loyalty, veneration, and adulation, but can't sustain our life. It can't sustain the life of every family and their needs during a depression. We might as well all be put on welfare, just to get by. How do we move on out of this state, when we are now government dependent?

Any comments . . .

A Walk in the Garden


Man of Sorrows 


The face was not cold, 
like expensive white marble, 
but lonely, 
discomforting with 
a wider, deeper 
acceptance of the north sun:
orange, and 
alluring. 
 
He hung with hands
outstretched in a cold cathedral,
subdued martyrdom
latent in the echoes
of the ornate gold throne.
 
Familiar with anguish, 
the tapestry hangs on the wall: 
millions of gilt gold threads 
and singular purity, 
the face of a madonna 
with child.
 
--Emily Isaacson, The Fleur-de-lis Vol I

    

Seminary of Christ the King, Mission Abbey, Mission B.C. Photograph by Emily Isaacson

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Build Yourself Up

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in your most holy faith. – Jude 20 (NIV)

Warm up with worship
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to the Almighty.
Increase the rhythm of the heart
with the jumping-jacks of praise.
Hop onto the treadmill of the Word
read it, study it
meditate on it, memorize it.
Then it’s down on the floor
for push-ups of confession
abdominal crunches of petition
and, firmly grasping others’ weighty burdens,
bench presses of intercession, set after set.
Up on your feet again for step-ups of listening
then cool down walking in place, silent.
End with a song of thanksgiving
that pours from a well-toned heart.
Now go out to meet the day
your spirit radiating contentment and joy
flexible and strong from its workout
with faith, hope and love.

Violet Nesdoly

Even So Come

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A Day of Prayer

The Dr. James Dobson Family Institute asked to join us in linking arms on Sunday, Aug. 22, with Rev. Franklin Graham and Christians worldwide in ardent prayer for the catastrophic events that are unfolding in Afghanistan. Please pray specifically for the Lord's intervention and protection of the tens of thousands of Americans and our Christian brothers and sisters who are in immediate peril by the Taliban. Keep this in your prayers as we continue on.

What is prophecy?

A prophecy is a message that is claimed by a prophet to have been communicated to them by a deity. Such messages typically involve inspiration, interpretation, or revelation of divine will concerning the prophet's social world and events to come (compare divine knowledge).

--Wikipedia

Maimonides suggested that "prophecy is, in truth and reality, an emanation sent forth by Divine Being through the medium of the Active Intellect, in the first instance to man's rational faculty, and then to his imaginative faculty."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophecy   


What is your definition?

Should prophecy engage the imagination, and if so, how?

Would you respond better to an overt word or a subtle word picture.


"According to Walter Brueggemann, the task of prophetic (Christian) ministry is to nurture, nourish and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture."

What is prophetic poetry?

Does every poet write from an ideology?


The ocean you find yourself in is oddly familiar, and that is the strange thing about poetry, how it is so solitary, but the realities spoken by the poem are shared by many.

--Onjana Yawnghwe, When Poems Are Rooms

What is a Levitical Ministry?

Beyond the great composers, the authors of the Hymns of the Faith, we have contemporary worship music. It is written by musicians. In the early days of the Bible, these anointed musicians were called Levites. A lot of new worship music is produced today, and featured on Christian radio. This is attracting contemporary society in droves. Worship leaders strive to present music in church settings that is cool, singeable for corporate worship, theologically correct, and an attractive sound. But we are really using worship music as a medium, a means of connecting in an intimate way with our Creator.

Prophetic Quotes

Praise to Jesus, my friends, we seek Him in all ways for all our everything every moment of every day, glory to Jesus! #onourknees my friends, crying out to He who alone is "our refuge & strength," healer & redeemer of ALL the enemy's games, glory to Jesus . . .

– Bruce Marchino, Twitter

No one can pray and worry at the same time. When we worry, we aren’t praying. When we pray, we aren’t worrying. 

–Max Lucado

No matter how dark things become, someone is always with you – and that someone is God. He helps by giving you peace and a positive mental attitude.

–Norman Vincent Peale

In every case, the cries of Christ are not declarations that he believes God has actually left him, but cries for help to a God who he knows is there but cannot hear, see or sense him.

– Brad Jersak

Those who never rebelled against God or at some point in their lives shaken their fists in the face of heaven, have never encountered God at all.

– Catherine Marshall

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.

– Mother Teresa

We trumpet our disabilities to God.

– Emily Isaacson

There is a tendency to see divine intervention in things that happen in the normal course of miracles.

– Robert Brault

“There is coming a new wind of my Spirit into the Fraser Valley and the language of this wind will be signs and wonders and dreams and vision (as stated by Acts 2). If my people receive my language in this coming season then they will be able to hear what I am telling them to do. However if they do not know how I speak and value how I speak this wind can blow right by them and they will not even know I am moving.”

– Murray Dueck

Prophetic Moments

 

Worshipful Postures

Keep your candle lit.  

Worship every day.

Pray for others. 

 

 

 

Quiet Time With Sea

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