Friday, August 11, 2006
A soul that's fed on more than theory - not just the ashes of the lie.The bread which feeds our dwelling places will not feed the inner life. Communication from the maker trickle down to fall on paper Through the hands of fallen men The breath that filled the lungs of Adam bringing consciousness to clay, breathed the words that fill these pages with the food that fills the soulA life that burns with holy fuel begotten of belief in Christ Jesus-Savior from the separation, that slavery to sin.To reach to wake and run for Eden Break out the cells of ignorance and concrete walls of apathy . The wider road has greater mass and monstrous gravity-Will you reach escape velocity?a dead and fallen star of satansucks the life out of the worldBright the Morning Star is warming frozen tenants of the tombto greet the Crowned and Coming Dawn. The Voice that testifies to Truth has cut the worm out of my soul To wash that sticky scum of sinning from the feet of a citizen.Oh Great God A Fire burning Write a song on my lipsand give it soundso I can do what I was made for.
You had a dream, I tried to color it in, I had your permission, but then you said with a frown; "no that's not how it goes, it's a sky blue here and the grass is all wrong - why can't the ocean be bigger and the waves go running wild?" I shrugged handing over the brush and the colors to your impatient hands that strain to drip with heaven. But it wouldn't come out, no it won't come out, no not like that when you're throwing the brush to the ground to wash it clean with our tears and a scowl on our faces while our eyes start raining sorrows that fill up our hand with seas of distance as we sit wishing in the mud not caring as the clouds fill the room with a gathering gloom and we sigh as we pray for the dream to come back -Oh God can you make the dream come back? The dream that you lit in our ribs when we wished for a home with a wide angle view and a fire of longing was raging for you! Please make the dream come down - give it back, make us ready, make it real.
And I say with you again, make it real, in the name of Jesus, make it real!
"Not only do we not know God except through Jesus Christ, but we do not know ourselves except through Him. Without Jesus Christ, we do not know what our life is, or our death, or what God is, or ourselves. Thus, without the scriptures, the sole purpose of which is Jesus Christ, we know nothing, and see nothing but darkness and confusion in God's nature and in our own.
God through Jesus Christ. We know God only through Jesus Christ. Without the mediator all communication with God is broken; through Jesus Christ we know God. All those who have claimed to know God and to prove Him without Jesus Christ have only invalid proofs. But to prove Jesus Christ we have the prophecies, which are solid and palpable proofs. And these prophecies, being fulfilled and verified by the event, point to the certainty of these truths, and so prove the divinity of Christ. In Him and by Him, then, we know God. Apart from Him, without scripture, without original sin, without the needful mediator who was promised and came, we have no absolute proof of God, and can neither teach good doctrine nor good morals. But by Jesus Christ and in Him we prove God and teach good doctrine and morals. Jesus Christ is therefore the true God of men. But at the same time we know our wretched state, for this God is none other than the Redeemer of our wretchedness. So we can scarcely know God unless we recognize our iniquities. Those therefore who have known God without knowing their wretchedness have not glorified Him but themselves. 'For since the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe'" (1 Cor 1:21)
Just when you thought that France had nothing to contribute to the world...
More by Pascal, our longhaired brother in christ of four 1/2 centuries ago. (he proved the existence of a vacuum-not the hoover variety-, but he didn't think that was as important as knowing God):
Pensee (it means "thought", in French)#367 Ecclesiastes 8:17 shows that man without God is ignorant of all things and inevitably miserable. For it is miserable to have the wish but not the power. Now man wishes to be happy and to be certain of some truth; and yet he can neither know, nor desire not to know. He cannot even doubt.
Pensee #368 Its true nature being lost, everything becomes a nature to itself; as, the true good once lost, everything becomes its own good.
Pensee #370 What then do our desires and weakness proclaim to us? Only that man once possessed a true happiness, of which there now remain to him only the mark and empty shell, which he tries in vain to fill from all his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not obtain from things present. Some seek good in authority, others in research and scientific knowledge, and others in pleasure. But these are all inadequate, because this boundless abyss can only be filled by a boundless and unchanging object, that is to say, God Himself.
He is man's true good, and since man has forsaken him, there has been nothing in nature, strange to say, that has not served to take His placeL stars, heavens, earth, the elements, plants, cabbages, leeks, animals, insects, calves, serpents, fever, plague, war, famine, vices, adultery, and incest. And since man has lost his true good, all things alike can appear good to him, even self-destruction, though this is so contrary to God, to reason, and to the whole course of nature.
Resurrected holy god of heaven, - Holy means different, higher, more - You fill and wash and while so high you reach down to pull up. You raised me, you raised us from the cruddy sewer when we knew of no way out. You touch mud and make it men who sing, you make friends out of soil and sons out of men, you pour love like water into wrinkled hearts and make the wastelands bright with lily blooms I raise my face til tanned with grace - the sunlight of your love for me. For all the hurdles of what is right I've stumbled over spilling blood-you handed me your medal gold and pulled me past the finish line-Victory to the Conqueror! and me your spoils of war - It sings triumphant in His blood as we kneel and receive. Christ Jesus Lord and God - I believe. Fill me.
the girls @ my work are griping about pictures that are hanging up in the hall here in the basement level of Coffman Union (at the University of MN) outside our office. It's a bunch of pictures of students bowling and eating and doing cheesy fun things. Jess just walked in and went off about how annoyed she is at the girl in all the pictures showing off her huge diamond ring, even switching the hand the ring is on when the picture wouldn't capture it otherwise. Then Jennifer joined in (apparently she noticed this phenomenon right away as well) and both of them continued to harp on this poor girl in the photos (whose diamond I've never noticed, and I look at those pictures every day!) to the point that Jennifer said "I wonder if she's even still getting married, or even married." Then I piped in and asked why they were picking on this poor girl rather than wishing her some sort of happiness, and they quieted down to a low grumble. Why do ppl want to stomp on the happiness of others? There's that sin nature again
These kingdoms built on styrofoam and swiftly passing visions, blueprints brought on blackened wings to sleeping souls of men
fads and philosophies drip like used motor oil from the spirit of the age - a carcinogen essential for the vehicle of rebellion to run on and on away from the light that tears the corners of the horizon back, blazing heraldic on the earth like a lion tearing through a tent to reveal the burning sun, reflects in the faces of clocks towards twelve and all believing men.
Wake up, wake up Oh Sleeper, and Christ will shine on you!
the world will burn like styrofoam and melt with fumes that stain the air but even the fumes will be consumed when Messiah anchors there.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Brandy & I watched Lady In The Water and we liked it very much (the opening scene was hilarious, I liked the movie already after the first 2 minutes). I don't know why ppl don't appreciate movies like this, I thought it was hilarious and fun and imaginative-a lot like The Village in feel but not as dark. It's very much like one of the classic 80's movies (Goonies, Batteries not Included, Farris Bueller's Day Off) in that it has a lot of undeveloped plot lines, I don' think that's a bad thing, it just leaves room for the imagination. It is very "fairy taleish" which makes sense since it's based on a bedtime story M. Knight Shyamalan tells to his daughters. It was also very clean. I liked it enough to buy it once it comes out on DVD.
And I share Mr. Shyamalan's opinion of movie critics - which comes out in the film in a very funny way.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Just watched the Passion last night, it reminded me more than anything why Jesus died (yes, yes, "for our sins" - but how often do we really stop and wonder what that means, how it affects us every day, even this very moment?), I gives us no room to hold anything against our fellow man/woman, no matter how cruel, when we hear "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" coming from the Innocent One covered in His own blood referring to men responsible for his cruel torture and death-who by every appearance knew exactly what they were doing. But then also, it is why we need no longer to be afraid of anything, including death and torture. Fear should be foreign to a disciple of Jesus, one who has received the sonship through faith in Jesus - Jesus has gone through the worst there is, Death and suffering and all the unnatural dark happenings of our twisted and broken universe resulting from Satan's work and our complicity is no longer the unknown.
Jesus as both a Jewish thirty-something-year old tradesman-turned-rabbi, and at the same time as the Logos IAM God who created and upholds the universe has assured us that we will be hated by the world inasmuch as we align and ally ourselves with Him...it's no longer a question - it's a certainty (which is in a way comforting. when it's unsure, we spend so much time trying to avoid suffering and death, but knowing that it's a certainty frees us from struggling to avoid it). Best of all, He's given us life, bought us back into unbreakable connection with God - He will protect us from the spiritual forces of darkness, and will not let his holy one see decay. Death isn't the end, it's the veil that we as His children and those connected by death with Him pass through-to the presence of Jesus the Crucified and now the Victor and LORD who sits at the right hand of the Father. And in his Humanity, (for in Jesus now God is human as well as God) He sympathizes with our weaknesses as a Brother, a Friend, and oversees the details of our lives as an all-seeing Father. He (as Kurios/LORD over the universe from the galactic scale to the quantum scale) is neither ignorant nor passive in our sufferings. We face nothing to be really afraid of anymore. We have the constant assurances of God that all will be well come the conclusion, and all will be concluded soon. Without Jesus, we would have every reason for every fear - vulnerable on every side and in every way. But now we have a very present help in trouble and a reason behind what was once the dark unknown, and a Spirit not of fear, but of Love, and of Power, and of a sound mind.
It's good to know that it's not just a "religious story" - but a real historical event, one that is backed with reasons.
There was a reason for everything that Jesus went through for us. I watched "The Passion" with a friend and we had communion together afterwards, just staring at the grape juice in the cup and thinking: "one day, Jesus' real blood came dripping in pain through His broken skin, it wasn't a happy thing, it wasn't an effortless thing - God in Jesus didn't fall back on His omnipotence but was in all ways as we are when that happened. When I sin, and I do sin, I can remember as I look at that red liquid we all drink, and remember that many days past He told us that we didn't start this relationship. We aren't the initiators. He's the one who started it, and His commitment to our rescue is that serious. Anytime I question if God could really want to forgive my sins, willful and disgusting and persistent, You, Jesus, point to that cup and that bread and say that you take it that seriously, and it is for such a vile one as I that You died, to provide the spiritual nourishment necessary for me to be joined to You, and blood to wash away my many, many, sins, removing them. As we drink in the red vehicle of His life, and take in the bread that He declared His body, God counts it as us truly receiving the life of His Son, Jesus said "My body is real food, and my blood is real drink - unless you eat the body of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." - without His life streaming in at His initiative and our acceptance, we are lifeless. As much as a baby in its mother's womb relies on its mother's blood to stay alive and grow (we don't think of that as "cannibalism") Jesus has washed away the stains of our sin in His blood. The life everlasting, creative, pure and passionate that courses in the Godhead is ours inasmuch as we have received the free gift of God. It's free, but it's costly. God help me to examine myself before your cup and before your body, to remember what you did and why you did it and that it is just as much for this moment as it was for then. Not so I could flippantly go on sinning, but that I could be joined to you in love and grow up to be like You.
And you, reader, if you have turned to God in repentance and Faith in Jesus Christ, you also are in fellowship with me in this. We both get our life from the same Father-greater than any allegiance we owe to any earthly family, we are His, you and I. We experience the same forgiveness from the same sin through the same blood, the same rescue from the same Dominion of darkness and deliverance from the same slavery to sin. We share a homeland and a first love. We have the same Spirit now at this moment working in us to both will and do the Will of God. We are brothers and sisters in the same Lord. Jesus, who unites us in Love.
So when we see each other, we can really know each other, in a way the world never can.
All because of You Jesus, what you did and what you continue to do.
The end draws near, psalm 83 and the rest of the prophecies of the scripture forecasting a coalition of mostly middle eastern nations surrounding Israel to destroy it is happening. One would have to be willfully ignorant to ignore this obvious literal fulfillment in favor of a "less offensive and crude" allegorical reinterpretation.
If Israel in Jesus' time had interpreted the messianic prophecies in the same way as some "sophisticated" theologians, then they would have recognized Jesus even less than the jews who expected a warlord messiah (which for some odd reason, they always get slammed for, when their real fault was in exclusively looking for the conquering messiah's coming, to the EXCLUSION of the rest of the suffering servant prophecies) One can imagine what a liberal and "Well Educated" rabbi might have said in the first century about the prophecy concerning the virgin birth:
"The prophecy of the coming messiah's being born of a virgin is not to be taken literally-however such a crude and preposterous idea may provide comfort to the incendiary and exitable elements of jewdom. Obviously "virginity", -a symbol of purity in the tanachic narratives, as everyone acknowledges- is a reference to the undefiled state of the nation that we must bring about through social reform in order that we, as a society, might "give birth", so to speak, to the messiah, who may indeed in my opinion be more of an Idea or State than an actual literal person"
Boooooo, I say. Why go for the acrobatic interpretation when the simplest and most common sense interpretation has taken place before one's eyes???The Kingdom of God is always spoken of as being brought about in a cataclysmic change preceded by an outpouring of judgement (and I believe after reading Matthew 24 and the Thessalonian epistles, the catching up into the air of the saints)Hey guys, I'm not one for hype, I'm one for caution. But we're definitely seeing the curtains closing on the present age.
on another cool note:::
A man in Ireland just found a copy of the psalms a thousand+ years old, when he found it in the bog, it was opened to Psalm 83, petitioning God about the nations gathering together to destroy Israel.Wow, that seems like a kind of eerie coincidence, doesn't it?check it out:
I've set the sails of a one-man ship
to slit the wicked sea
My astrolabe set to the Son
and a home I've never seen-
though I carry its stories and photographs
in all my waking dreams.
to come and die, to cut the ties
that bound me to that shore of lies
For a dream born solid, a world made new
I turned my back to all I knew
Begging now His deathless wind
to fill my inmost sails
and tear me towards my Fatherland
and hope that never fails.