Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What is Godly fear?

If you can watch Fox or CNN news these days and not get a little anxious about the future you are further along than I am. It is getting really scary out there...but it should not be. With a right understanding of the PROPER place of fear in our lives we can be fearless in this world. This is a longer "reference post" you may want to come back to some time. I simply categorized verses on fear from the Psalms. Before you read it, you might want to pray for the peace and understanding of the Spirit.

Understanding the fear of the Lord according to the Psalms.

In the Psalms we learn that we are to fear the Lord and NOTHING else. All other fear is based on some penalty that a situation or person could do to us that we do not want. Godly fear or the fear of the Lord brings blessings, love, purity and forgiveness. It puts God in his proper place. The fear is not for what God will do, but for what He could stop doing. If a proper attitude towards god is maintained, Nothing of any description can cause us to fear. We typically have it backwards. Fear of God begets blessings and relationship in a proper perspective.

PS 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear
and rejoice with trembling.

PS 3:6 I will not fear the tens of thousands
drawn up against me on every side.

PS 19:9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.

PS 22:23 You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

PS 23:4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

PS 25:14 The LORD confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.

PS 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation--
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life--
of whom shall I be afraid?

PS 27:2 When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.

PS 27:3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

PS 31:19 How great is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you,
which you bestow in the sight of men
on those who take refuge in you.

PS 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the people of the world revere him.

PS 33:18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
PS 33:19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
PS 33:20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
PS 33:21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.

PS 34:9 Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
PS 34:10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

PS 34:11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

PS 36:1 An oracle is within my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God before his eyes.

PS 40:3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
PS 40:4 Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.

PS 46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
PS 46:2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
PS 46:3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

PS 49:5 Why should I fear when evil days come,
when wicked deceivers surround me--
PS 49:6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of their great riches?
PS 52:6 The righteous will see and fear;
they will laugh at him, saying,
PS 52:7 "Here now is the man
who did not make God his stronghold
but trusted in his great wealth
and grew strong by destroying others!"

PS 55:19 God, who is enthroned forever,
will hear them and afflict them--
Selah men who never change their ways
and have no fear of God.

PS 60:4 But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner
to be unfurled against the bow.

PS 61:5 For you have heard my vows, O God;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

PS 65:8 Those living far away fear your wonders;
where morning dawns and evening fades
you call forth songs of joy.

PS 66:16 Come and listen, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what he has done for me.
PS 66:17 I cried out to him with my mouth;
his praise was on my tongue.
PS 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened;
PS 66:19 but God has surely listened
and heard my voice in prayer.
PS 66:20 Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!

PS 67:1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine upon us,
PS 67:2 that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.
PS 67:3 May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you.
PS 67:4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples justly
and guide the nations of the earth.
PS 67:5 May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you.
PS 67:6 Then the land will yield its harvest,
and God, our God, will bless us.
PS 67:7 God will bless us,
and all the ends of the earth will fear him.

PS 85:9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.

PS 86:11 Teach me your way, O LORD,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.

PS 90:11 Who knows the power of your anger?
For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.

PS 91:5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
PS 91:6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

PS 102:15 The nations will fear the name of the LORD,
all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.


PS 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
PS 103:12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
PS 103:13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; PS 103:14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
PS 103:15 As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
PS 103:16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more
PS 103:17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children—
PS 103:18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
PS 103:13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

PS 111:5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.

PS 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.

PS 112:7 He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
PS 112:8 His heart is secure, he will have no fear;
in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.

PS 115:11 You who fear him, trust in the LORD--
he is their help and shield.
PS 115:12 The LORD remembers us and will bless us:
He will bless the house of Israel,
he will bless the house of Aaron,
PS 115:13 he will bless those who fear the LORD--
small and great alike.

PS 118:4 Let those who fear the LORD say:
"His love endures forever."

PS 119:120 My flesh trembles in fear of you;
I stand in awe of your laws. PS 128:1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.

PS 128:2 You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.

PS 135:20 O house of Levi, praise the LORD; you who fear him, praise the LORD. PS 145:19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

PS 145:20 The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. PS 147:11 the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.


PS 76:7 You alone are to be feared.
Who can stand before you when you are angry?
PS 76:8 From heaven you pronounced judgment,
and the land feared and was quiet--
PS 76:11 Make vows to the LORD your God and fulfill them;
let all the neighboring lands
bring gifts to the One to be feared.

PS 76:12 He breaks the spirit of rulers;
he is feared by the kings of the earth. PS 89:6 For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD?
Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings?

PS 89:7 In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
he is more awesome than all who surround him.
PS 89:8 O LORD God Almighty, who is like you?
You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

PS 96:4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods. PS 119:37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.

PS 119:38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.

PS 130:4 But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.


PS 128:1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways.
PS 128:2 You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
PS 128:3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your sons will be like olive shoots
around your table.
PS 128:4 Thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
PS 128:5 May the LORD bless you from Zion
all the days of your life;
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem,
PS 128:6 and may you live to see your children's children.

the shack study guide

Monday, June 29, 2009

Arizona Ice Snakes

As grandfather of 11 grandkids here in Arizona I feel responsible to document a little known fact about the wild life here in Arizona…for their protection. It is a well known fact that Arizona has a lot of snakes, especially Rattlers. My son David once found five in the bushes in our front yard on the same day, all within a few feet of the lawn! He hasn’t offered to do any weeding around the house since, but he is kind of busy these days….that must be it…busy. I have some people, (ok it’s my daughter Doni) who come to my house who are actually nervous when walking to their cars at night. I assure everyone they will not bite….well there was that one that bit Dusty, but it was not a serious bite, just a leave me alone kind of thing...they just want to be left alone to eat small critters, which is ok with me. Anyway Rattle snakes are not that big a deal here, especially since they always rattle, ok often rattle, actually the ones that have struck at me never do rattle first…but they are supposed to rattle their tails before they strike, at least the polite ones do. Like the one that rattled his warning out by the hay when I almost stepped on him while feeding the horses. I digress to much here and you might get the wrong idea. Rattle snakes are not really a big problem here, but there is one snake here that is really dangerous. Of course the Arizona tourism Association disavows any knowledge of the existence of this creature, but I have put a picture of it above as proof positive of it’s existence. The snake I refer to is the small, but potent ARIZONA ICE SNAKE. These small, but lethal snakes inhabit the high country of Arizona, especially around Humphreys Peak, where the Arizona Snow Bowl ski area is located. The local Indian tribes are currently protesting the proposed use of treated affluent water to make artificial show on the mountain for skiers. The official complaint is that it will desecrate the mountain but that is just the cover story for the tourists. The real reason is that it is the Winter nesting site of the Arizona Ice Snake. Evidently they fear that the treated affluent may harm the breeding cycle of these sacred snakes or cause birth defects in the young. The censored news reports would have you to believe something different, but that is only to keep the skiers from knowing the real story. Skiing is big business and brings in a lot of money so ANY mention of Ice Snakes (not to be confused with the Mt Lemon Snow Snake) has been eliminated from every level of government. If you doubt that, just call any official from the governor’s office to the health department. They will all deny vehemently the existence of these creatures. But they cannot deny the plain cold, hard facts. They are easily spotted if you know what to look for. Most can be seen from the safety of the car. Like spotting any wildlife from a vehicle, never look for the entire critter, watch for an ear, leg or eye, some bit of the animal. Since Ice Snakes blend into the snow background perfectly, you need only look for their tale –tale eyes, and then you will typically only see one eye. Watch for a dark black spot the size of a small pebble beside the road in the snow. Sometimes you will see only one, sometimes there may be hundreds gathered together. Be honest, you do remember seeing them now, don’t you? You may have mistaken their eyes for gravel chipped off the pavement by the road grader. Don’t feel bad, that’s a common rookie mistake. Of course, it could be just flecks of gravel, but there is an easy way to tell. Stick an ungloved hand into the show near a speck. If after a few moments your fingers begin to get numb, you were bitten by and Ice snake. In moderate exposure to the venom the fingers will turn red, severe cases cause the nail bed to turn blue. If that happens get immediate treatment. Every year there are countless cases of Ice snake bites, most of which go unreported. Since they breed in late winter or early spring, the top layer of snow has melted into a hard crust of ice and they leave no trail. Earlier in the winter their tracks are completely covered by the snow cats that supposedly are “grooming” the slopes for skiers. The grooming part of the story may be true, but the real motivation is hiding the ice snakes tracks. Sometimes you can look carefully under trees where the grooming machines don’t go and see their trail in the powdered snow. It looks a little like a miniature snow ball rolling, but it is just nature’s way of hiding the tracks. The bite of an Ice Snake is not normally fatal. Their fangs are extremely sharp and fine so they barely leave a trace. The potency of the venom is quickly reduced with warm compresses or even hot breath. Symptoms of a bite usually include, but are not limited to a burning sensation on the tip of the nose and or ears. A stiffening and numbing of the joints, especially the fingers and toes of the victim is often reported. Prolonged exposure to the venom and lack of treatment very often results in an overall numbness and sluggishness. A mild to violent shaking of the body accompanied by teeth chattering is a sure sign of the need of advanced treatment. Some skeptics argue that these symptoms are just the normal signs of the onset of hypothermia, but that is just what they would have you to believe! Immediate application of warmth, internal and external will show rapid improvement in the victim of an Ice Snake attack. Younger victims respond well to the medicinal properties of Hot Coca while older victims generally prefer something more anticeptic with alcohol, like and Irish Coffee or Hot Toddy. A few use hot caffeine doses.
If a little caution and proper protection is used, Arizona Ice Snakes pose little danger to the public at large. Small children and the elderly need to exercise reasonable caution, but never let it stop your enjoyment of the out of doors.
There is a secondary value to teaching your small children about Arizona Ice Snakes. It is a great test for a condition called infant gullibleitis. If, after giving them the facts, you observe one leg to be longer than the other, they are most definitely a victim of this dreaded disease. If left untreated they may fall victim to any number of silly schemes. Treatment is simple. Just tell them they can be cured by kissing their own elbow.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Lion's Roar

After my mom died my father joined us on vacation to Northern California. We picked him up at the San Francisco Air Port for a quick tour of the sights before we went to our final vacation spot, Mt Hermon Christian Confrence grounds where he spent his summers as a kid. . He really wanted to take the grand kids to see something special at the SF Zoo that he had enjoyed as a child. In the center of the zoo is a "lion house". Hundreds of people pack into the center of a church size room that is lined with steel barred cages, kind of like Alcatraz in the round. The lions are let in, one to a cage. The keepers roll in a cart with huge chunks of meat, maybe upwards of 25 lbs a chunk and they rattle the bars of the cages to announce dinner has arrived. In eager anticipation the lions ROAR! That was my first real appreciation for the strength of steel bars!. If you are close enough you can feel the roar deep in your chest! It feels very threatening, but I doubt anyone has ever been hurt by the caged lions. Dangerous? Definitely, but not in that situation, they just make a lot of noise. This reminds me of another lion that goes around making a lot of noise but is, in reality, caged. Scriptures say the devil goes around as a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Know this, it is just noise to all believers because "greater is HE that is in you than he that is in the world." His ONLY power is the voice that speaks to us and it ahs now authority or power over us. Jesus destroyed Satan's power and sin's hold on us on the cross. The secret is to just ignore him and all the noise he makes. Jesus has him caged and conquered.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


It really doesn't seem to matter what sport I am watching....and I watch a little of them all...somewhere in the process of the game the announcer will tell me (usually repeatedly) that this player or that player is "one of the most under rated players in the game". Really? From the frequency of that statement, I am thinking that statement has the same approximate meaning as "he's some kind a ball player". Aren't they all some kind? It seems to me that the announcers and fans are IMPUTING a quality to a person they really hope he has, but the proof of it can only be demonstrated on the field. That's why sports drafts are so risky. Players are paid on an imputed value scale, ie they hope the player proves to be worth the money. Sometimes it a deal, sometimes a steal and sometimes someone got robbed! I imagine more that more than one player got himself into big financial trouble by borrowing and spending money on "imputed" but unproven and undelivered worth. It is one thing to earnestly believe millions of dollars are in the near feature, it is an entirely different thing to start spending money you don't really have. In high school, LaBron James was said to be potentially worth millions and his mother bought him a brand new hummer based on future earning potential. Fortunately for all of them, it worked out as predicted and maybe even better. The majority of times the first round picks do not measure up to the hype and hope. Read any 5 year old list of top paid first round picks in any sport. You may be expecting a who's who list, but more often than not, it turns out to be a Who Knew? Some struggle in their rookie year but somewhere along the line they realize they really do belong and begin to shine. Some, in their heart of hearts, come to realize they do not really have that extra something that makes a star shine and resign themselves to the pine for as long as they can get a pay check. A similar thing happens in the Christian life. New believers are (erroneously) told they have the imputed nature of Christ's righteousness covering them. There are even a few songs about it, The big problem is CHRIST DOES NOT IMPUTE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO US! Imputed righteousness is a nice sentiment but does nothing for real power. What Christ actually did was IMPART righteousness to us. He literally and actually restored what was lost in Adam. Imputed righteousness is promise unfulfilled, IMPARTED righteousness is power realized. It is the difference between playing the part of a believer and actually being a believer. True believers are not just covered in righteousness they are indwelt by righteousness the same way Adam was before the Fall. Jesus restored it all. True believers actually are righteous. True believers don't sit on the pine, they get in the game and shine. the shack study guide

Monday, June 22, 2009

My NEW country

To understand how I am feeling right now you need to listen to this first: Just click: http://www.tangle.com/view_video.php?viewkey=6b985e24092d9d41dc56
Are you as discontented with the state of this country as I am? Our president is on record stating in his belief America was not founded on a Judeao-Christian Ethic. He is said to be an educated man (even if he cannot verify who or how his expensive law degree was paid for) but come on, read a book! I am pretty sure changing history is NOT one of the powers of the president. I am resisting a tirade here because it is not my point. My question is, If my country is going to abandon me and it’s own foundation, what do I do? I certainly do not agree with the direction of the country on any front. I can find no true, significant differences between the parties and according to A. G. Janet Reno, I am a right wing supremacist twice over (I believe I have the right to own a gun and I won’t mangle, torture and kill babies) making me comparable to a terrorist. I feel like a man without a country, but where can I go? This anti God, anti Christian sentiment is permeating the world. Escape sees impossible until I remember who I am. I don’t belong here anyway, I AM JUST A VISITOR, PASSING THROUGH. Of course I must obey the laws of the land, Jesus said so, but this is not my home. I’m gonna set up an entirely new country and government’ I am going to set up my own spiritual theocracy and since the current government will have no clue as to what it is, they will not be able to outlaw or tax it! They won’t have any control at all on anything that will matter fro eternity. In my spiritual theocracy I am definitely NOT going to make me the supreme ruler. I have been experimenting with that under the present democracy and it is not working out so well for me. I think this time I will go with at true professional, I’m thinking Jesus here. He has all the right qualifications, heritage, temperament and attributes, plus that resurrection thing puts Him way over the top, a true one of a kind. For it to work well it will have to be an absolute theocracy, which means I don’t vote on or for anything. I don’t even need to make suggestions. We will just talk. I will tell him how much I appreciate him as a ruler and king of my country and tell him how I’m feeling and He will supply everything I need plus a lot of things I don’t really need. He gets a kick out of giving good gifts, the kind of stuff everyone wants but no one steals. In any government there is stuff to be done but instead of telling me what to do and how to do it, He says he will Always go with me and we can do it together, kind of like I did with my invalid dad when I was a kid, His plan and brain, my body. Half the time I had no idea of why I was doing what I did, but we got a lot of stuff done together. Once I insisted on doing it my way and he let me with the caution that it would not work my way. It didn’t. Our National Anthem will be a medley of “This World in not my home”, the Hallelujah chorus from Handle’s Messiah, A Mighty Fortress and Amazing Grace. He already has a band and choir that is out of this world, so I’m thinking they will put in some awesome transitions. I hear he has an awesome trumpeter that will be great for the transitions. I caught one drum solo when the drummer really cut loose once while driving on I-10 across the Texas plains. There was an amazing laser light show that accompanied the drum solo. It ran for over an hour. It was electrifying! A couple of times it felt like I was in the bass. I think it must have really moved the angles who were listening because the road got all wet from what a little girl told me was angle tears. They were tears of joy at the display of His power. The more I think about this, the more excited I get about moving full time into my new country. If I am really living in a Spiritual Theocracy, it will not affect me one bit what happens in this democracy-come -whatever. This democracy can go to where ever it wants to go in the hand basket of its own making. This world is not my home, I’m just a visitin.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


The link is to a really nice concert recording of Sinatra's "MY WAY". To me it is his summation of his life of success and regrets all beautifully done with credits to himself. Agreed, as a life goes, he was really successful by most if not all human measurements. As an entertainer I did enjoy his work. I know nothing of the man's personal life, I just wonder if he is still singing it. My life experience has taught me that doing it my way leads to more regrets than successes.

When I was a teen my father was an invalid with ambition. He always was building something and I don't mean little somethings. I guess the biggest project...and there was always a project...was a full blown, grass infield fenced and lighted baseball field. We started with a couple acres of flat desert behind the church. He rented trencher and I trenched and ran underground electric cable to the 60' power poles he got the utility company to place. He rented an auger for me to install the billion or so rail road tie fence posts and he bought a fence stretcher to help me install the fencing. We trenched the infield, put in sprinklers, planted grass (This was the fun part, Marty, my now bil's brother had a Pinto with huge slicks on the back. We used it to press the seed into the soil....worked perfect) At night we built lighting bars in the den. We prewired what we could of the lights so that I would not have to do all the wiring clinging to a swaying power pole 60' in the air. It would have been LOTS easier to use a bucket lift on the APS trucks but they wouldn't give me one. Go figure! Most of the time I did not have a clue as to what I was doing, I just did what he told me to do...and the lights worked! The work was made easier because early on I learned NOT to do it my way. It happened this way: We were installing the first lawn sprinklers in the back yard. That was pre plastic pipe. We were using 1/2" galvanized pipe. He had rented or borrowed a professional pipe cutting machine with dies to make the threads and he let me play with it. We must have been playing because he said we were having fun. Anyway one long run requires several lengths of pipe which all had to be hand threaded and screwed together using to pipe wrenches. I'm not all that big yet and could not get them tight enough to not leak. I was figuring it wasn't that big a deal if one leaked, I would just tighten it and fix the problem after the water was turned on. Dad said that would not work but I was just sure he was wrong. Sure enough when we turned the water on one of the middle lengths leaked. Not bad considering there was about 10 places it could have leaked. That's good for an A in most schools...but not dad's. I jumped down into the trench to tighten the one leaking spot. Dad said real calm, Don, that won't work. I said yes it will, watch...so he did. Assured of success I tightened the loose fitting and in victory turned the water on. It worked, the fitting I tightened no longer leaked. But the one down the line now leaked. What I did not understand was because of the nature of threaded pipe and some simple law of physics, as you tighten one end you loosen the other end! Dad let me learn from my mistake and showed me how to fix them all. The never did leak again. I learned that doing it my way, especially when I had no clue as to what I was doing, was really dumb. With that lesson learned, years later I did all the foundation and electrical work on my home and built an apartment for Dee's mom, all by asking an expert, what do I do now? That is the way I need to do all of life. Just ask the one true expert, NOT FOR ADVICE but for instructions...then just do it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

In the original Star Trek series Spock commandeered the Enterprise to take a friend (Captain Pike) who had been completely paralyzed to a planet forbidden by the Federation. Spock risked jail or death for defying a Star Fleet order and mutiny. In the trial that was held on board the ship en route to the forbidden planet, Spock refused to reveal why he was doing this or release the ship. Spock and his former captain who was now in the wheelchair were the only people who had ever visited the planet. It was populated by essentially benevolent beings that had great mental powers. As the story unfolds of Spock's first trip to the planet it is revealed that a ship had crashed on the planet and left one small girl as a survivor. The inhabitants put her back together as best they could and she was beautiful. Captain Pike had feelings for the girl and offered to take her away from the forbidden planet, but she refused. Pike was confused until illusion of her appearance was removed by the host and she was seen in her true form, a horribly twisted and scarred survivor. For her to leave the planet would be the loss of the illusion of wholeness and beauty. The girl explained that, while everything worked properly, she was horribly disfigured because her well meaning hosts had never seen a human before and did not know how to put her mangled body back together. Pike understood her plight and left her on the planet. Spock took Pike back to the planet where he could share the illusion of wholeness and health and be reunited with the girl he fell in love with. In the last scene from the planet, Pike is see with his girlfriend whole and perfect, thanks to the hosts who took him in. Of course the Federation agreed with Spock's actions and was given a total pardon from any wrong doing. As I continue to review what happened to the Church in our day it appears to me that there is an allusion of beauty and wholeness that is in reality not there in fact. Well meaning and benevolent men (like myself) have done our best to put the Church together as best we can but we have never really seen the Church as God designed her. We have all the pieces and the do function but we have created something that in some ways is grotesque. We need a better image of what God had in mind. We are not far off, but if we rearrange our thinking to better reflect the revealed God of Scripture we can rebuild the church on a better foundation. We can literally do what the benevolent aliens could not do. We can be BORN AGAIN in the truest sense of the word. In the weeks to come, I will share with you what we need to understand and do differently. Remember the original purpose of this Blog for me was to rethink the foundations of our Salvation. For Doni, it was to leave a history for the grand children. I want to rebuild the foundation for them and I believe I the Lord is showing me how. Stay Tuned...for the next generation. The shack study guide.

Side note for google sheachers: Embedded in this blog is the words: The Shack Study Guide. This is why google led your search here. The guide is on the menu above. Just give it a click.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

In Plain Sight

I started watching In Plain Sight because in the commercials the main character reminded me of a woman in my church. At first it was just a blond version of my friend, but then the mannerisms added to the likeness. Mary, the main character is a US Marshall who looks out after people in the witness protection program for the government. In a recent episode a bridge collapsed and the designer was wrongly accused of design default when it was actually the builder who covertly changed the plans and weakened the bridge, resulting in the collapse of the bridge and loss of life. The Bridge designer obsessed over the failed bridge and studied it from every possible angel each time confirming his personal innocence. The climax of the show was the designer holding the builder at gun point insisting he admit to his modifications of the original plan. After his confession was recorded on tape the designer still wanted to blow up the bridge he was standing on. It was the first bridge he ever built and all his other 26 bridges were patterned after the original. Mary tried to convince him he need not die but he goes on to record that in his research he discovered that although the builder had cheated on some parts to make an extra million, that in itself did not cause the bridge to fail. His research revealed flaws in his original design that was carried on to all the other bridges. Had the builder not substituted inferior parts, it would have fallen in time anyway, thus the first bridge must be destroyed...along with himself. I told Mary to tell him he could not kill himself with his bridge because he was the only one who really knew what was wrong with and how to fix the other bridges. Evidently Mary did not hear me because she didn't tell him and he went down with the bridge. I was reminded of this tonight as I was studying the writings of William Law. For the past year I have been trying to figure out where Christianity and the Church has gone wrong. I say wrong, because after 40 years in ministry, I am not seeing the kind of Christian life style that the Bible predicts or expects. The deeper I get into the my study, the more I feel like that bridge designer. I find that I, and most everyone I know has some fundamentally unsound assumptions as a base. Here is one example: For years I have said the Bible is a book about forgiveness, which is true totally. It has been a foundation of my belief and preaching. Unfortunately I have used it as the Cornerstone for everything else when it is NOT the cornerstone, true as it is. The flaw for making this the cornerstone is this: Iif I see my salvation as fundamentally forgiveness by God for all my sin, it does not prevent me from sinning. I am the same person I was before, only God, for reasons of his own, let it slide. I have NO POWER to stop offending. Here is something you knew but maybe didn't know: A better corner stone is Salvation is NEW LIFE that comes complete with forgiveness and the absolute power to stop offending. We talk about being born again, but we never really think of what that means. I feel like the bridge designer right now. I am seeing after 40 years some flaws in the foundations of my thinking and understanding. I think I will take my own advice. Instead of blowing up the bridge, I am going to continue to inspect and and correct any weak points or structural flaws. I may not have gotten it all in balance but I do have 40 years of experience to help the next generation build better, stronger bridges to the kingdom. For those who may be worried, the problem is not with heresy, at least no more than I am ususally accused of, but with balance and what is the most basic to growth in our walk with God. The pieces are mostly there, we just need to restructure the foundation and in some instances truly understand what we think we know. The Shack study Guide

Monday, June 8, 2009

Just Clouds

If you were in Phoenix the other day and looking west, God painted us a picture. The picture does not do it justice but the clouds had a brushed effect like Doni had painted them in the sky. I love to look at the backdrop of the clouds in the summer from my back yard. They are God's reminder of His love for his people. teh shack study guide

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I mentioned back in April the great times I had when I was younger Scuba Diving in Mexico. Those were some really good times with one really notable exception. As I mentioned in a past blog, on one dive there were three of us sliding into the water off these rocks. We had to go around this point here to the left and head for the sandy beach exit a few hundred yards away. The water was maybe 30' deep most of the way with plenty of canyons and sea life to keep it interesting. My bil Dave and his friend Rick were interested in taking pictures while I was more interested in spearing dinner. Visibility was only 20 feet so we should have stayed together. Problem was they were scaring all the fish out of range. Who knew Fish were camera shy? Anyway I took a small but deep side canyon and broke a few urchins with the handle of my Hawaiian sling spear and hid behind a rock. In a matter of seconds fish were everywhere dining on the urchin and I speared a few. Meanwhile, Dave and Rick got lost. That may not be their opinion, but this is my blog. I surfaced to try to find them, but no luck. Since it was kind of choppy I took a heading and dove back to the bottom to head for shore about 300 yards away. That's when I discovered the thrill of flight! The surge of the incoming waves propelled me forward in the direction I wanted to go and by simply tilting my fins up or down I was literally flying underwater. It was the most incredible experience and the closest I will ever get to flying, considering I would never consider getting out of a prefect good airplane until it came to a full and complete stop! It was so much fun that did not realize that I had traveled the 300 yards without swimming a stroke....until the ground suddenly came up and I found myself body surfing in the curl of a wave 20 yards off shore. The wave flipped me over on my back, stripped off my mask and snorkel and wedged me into a crevice under water between two boulders. My air hose was pinned beneath me and it was in in the days before the quick release double straps. The release was like the old fashioned seat belts that fed the extra webbing through the buckle of my right shoulder and looped around my left shoulder. I could not escape the tanks and was trapped under maybe 3 feet of water. I could get my hand out of the water, but not my head. We were in a bay so the waves were fairly well separated, somewhere between 30 seconds and an eternity apart. I realized that if I did not inhale water, the cold temperature (low 50's) could keep me revivable for 30 to 60 minutes. I fought back the panic that I really wanted to embrace, it being a prefect opportunity for panic, and held my breath. As the next wave drew up the water around me to thrash me with, I got a quick breath of air, screamed loud enough to be heard by the dead and deaf, grabbed another breath and was pummeled by a wave with a very bad attitude. That process repeated itself three times when I saw Dave and my 2 other bil's jumping off the rocks to rescue me. For whatever reason the tank popped free from that last wave's beating and I stood up to tell my would be rescuers I didn't need their help now. Actually I still did. Evidently oxygen deprivation turns your legs momentarily to jello. The verbal beating from my bil's made the waves feel like a resort massage in comparison, but it was all in frantic love. I'm really glad I can (could at the time) hold my breath for a long time, but ordinarily, I'd rather not. These days I limit it to more pleasurable endeavors, like trying not to laugh in church at what one of my grand kids just did...that sort of thing. I was reminded of this story while reading William Law's observations on perpetual inspiration and perpetual respiration. Will observed that everyone knows they cannot hold their physical breath very long without gasping for air. It is like living with acute asthma . No one wants to live that way yet we try to live our spiritual lives with INTERMITTENT INSPIRATION from the Holy Spirit. That is the equivalent to holding your spiritual breath as long as you can and then taking a gasp of air, only to hold it again for as long as possible, being pummeled by the waves of life until desperation demands another spiritual breath. Having tried it in both worlds, I can testify to the stupidity of intermittent inspiration or intermittent respiration! My friends, take a deep breath and keep on breathing. There is actually MORE pure spiritual air available than there is physical air. Take LONG Deep Breaths of each and keep on breathing!

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I have 11 beautiful grand children that really don't look much alike, except these two cousins. Zane on the left is David's son and Ryker is Darin's. Their sisters look nothing like them or their girl cousins, but Karsyn and Zandi are both quite accomplished as gymnasts doing thins way above their age level. At the moment the boys are most similar in looks and actions. They are both really action oriented. Ryker was at the gym the other day and a little out of mom's reach when another toddler came up to give him a hug. Ryker instinctively hugged him back....as he took him to the ground for the pin! Jody tried to explain that Ryker doesn't do hugs, he's more WWF. Zane was wrestling with his other grandpa the other day and thinking he was playing with dad David, doubled up his fist and clocked grandpa on the chin, nearly taking him down....all in the best of fun. That sounds bad unless you know David, he does play like that with Zane. Grandpa was a good sport and David explained to Zane that is ONLY OK with Dad. There is no real point to this other than I just wanted to post pictures of these two...since they look and are built the most like me.
I've been dreading doing something for over a year now, but this week it had to be done. I could not put it off any longer. Over a year ago I noticed a lump on the stomach of one of my Boarder Collies, Belle. It didn't seem to bother her and at her advanced age and the cost involved I elected to do nothing. She had a litter of healthy puppies this spring that seemed to kick the tumor into high gear. I have been watching it carefully not wanting to do what I knew had to be done soon. To be frank, I did not to put her down until I could dig a proper resting place for her on my property. I live in the country where it is permissible and possible and I wanted to keep her here. To some, especially my family, that will sound strange since I have never visited the resting site of my own parents, grandparents or Poppy nor do I have any intention to do so. Anyway, the tumor finally started to rupture and the demand for action came. She had to be put down mercifully or slowly bleed to death. She did not appear or act like she was in pain, never did. I hated to do it but love commanded no other choice. I realize that some who might read this might judge me in any of a zillion ways. Some might see me as a heartless cold blooded killer. Those who really know me know differently. They know that my actions were always based on the best I could do for my dog. Could I have done surgery a year ago? I could have, but my opinion was because it was not a pain to her and at her age surgery would likely shorten her life, I chose not to. Her tumor never stopped her from doing the things she always did as a free roaming ranch dog. I wanted to keep her as long as possible...and I did. Some who do not know me may think me cruel or even if they only viewed the final scene, wrathful or vengeful, missing the whole story completely. I might be able to explain my way back to neutral ground with them, but never likely acceptance....unless they got to know me personally. William Law wrote something on this subject in Spirit of Love. To paraphrase, he said that most folks who do not know God, and even some who do, do not understand what they see as the wrath or vengeance of God. They cannot understand because they do not know Him as he truly is: LOVE. Wrath and Vengeance, although rightly ascribed to Him by scripture do not exist IN HIM. He is Love alone. At the foundation of EVERY action of the wrath of God is his perfect love for His creation. To be honest, I do not understand all of that completely but I do believe it to be true because Scripture does declare that God is Love. I want to look at God's actions the way I hope you can look at my recent act. If you can't understand the work of my hands, at least try to understand my heart. the shack discussion guide

Thursday, June 4, 2009

An African proverb teaches that if you were born a lion, you must wake up every morning and outrun the slowest Gazelle. If you are born a Gazelle, you must wake up each morning and outrun the fastest lion. Either way you must wake up running. A similar proverb is taught in the Christian life. William Law (1752) taught that there are two choices in life, struggle against God or struggle against self. We know about the struggle against God, here is what he says about self:

And you have the utmost Certainty, what you are to do, where you are to seek, and in what you are to find your Salvation. All that you have to do, or can do, is to oppose, resist, and, as far as you can, to renounce the evil Tempers, and Workings of your own earthly Nature. You are under the Power of no other Enemy, are held in no other Captivity, and want no other Deliverance, but from the Power of your own earthly Self.

I guess if we are going to wake up fighting each morning anyway, we should decide who we are going to fight with….and which battle you can actually win.