Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dear Dad

It's been too long since we talked face to face, almost 19 years. I know you're not keeping time but I'm still stuck in it. I am really missing you right now. Things are absolutely crazy here right now. So much family stuff but Twice this morning I have been reminded by older believers (Dee's Mom and your sister...yea we talk all the time, she is a blast for an old gal, still laughing about everything)...any way there was a 8.8 earthquake this AM in Chile (Top 5 in last 110 years) they reminded me that earthquakes are one of the signs of the times for the return of Jesus. That reminded me of one of your favorite parting tag line I must have heard you say a thousand times when you left someone: Here, There or in the Air! It is true: Luke 21:11 "There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven". Jesus does tell us we cannot know the time or date but we should be able to note the season with clarity. To be honest, when grandpa died in 82, grandma in 84 mom in 85 and when you left in 91 I was devastated that you all didn't make it to the rapture. We were so sure. Now I just don't know. It's 2010 already and I never expected to get this far! At 60 I have seen this scenario before so it does not move me much except for the fact that I really miss you all right now. What is really crazy is this. What I never have seen before is the immediate spread of information between individuals via twitter and facebook. (Ask some newbie what that is. Elsie probably knows. Ray is big into it, it would take to long to explain) As I write this I am listening to CNN live on my computer headphones. I can switch to the live stream video any time. I also have an open bible, several documents and sermon notes open that I can switch between or split the screen and see them all at once on my screen. I am watching the Olympics from Canada live on my 42" HD flat screen TV too. (I know that sounds big but it is actually small for a flat screen) My cell phone sits at my side waiting for anyone to call, tweet, email, text or blackberry me with a message, picture or video that they took munites ago. It also has over 100 hours of pod casts (think your entire music collection on something smaller than your fingernail!, a GPS for anywhere in the world that knows where I am and will tell me how to get to anywhere I want to go or even suggest the closest gas station, restruant and tell me what is playing at the closest theater. I can also take master card for my business on my phone, pay bills, transfer money from savings to checking and about 80k other things all on my phone! (your sister loves her cell because she can call anyone long distance for FREE) I am waiting for the tsunami to hit Hawaii in about an hour and getting updates constantly. I will see it as it happens from cameras, phones and web cams already in position. CNN is broadcasting the addresses of private web sites that are focused on different bays in the danger zones. I am listening right now to 3 Chilean Olympic athletes in Canada telling of their plans to bet back to Canada...and I have not left my chair! AMAZING! Right now a lady in Hawaii on the beach is talking to CNN telling of the impending wave. Everyone everywhere is watching everything all the time! What is new is the private social sights are SUPPLYING CNN! There is so much more but what makes all this technology interesting to me in light of prophecy is all the speculations and explanations we have heard about the possibility of this prophecy:

REV 11:1 I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. 2 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. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 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. 6 These men have power to shut up the sky 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.

REV 11:7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. 8 Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.

50 years ago as a kid the explanation of this event was a tape feed from the new thing called TV. 40 years ago it was a faster Feed via CNN...remember the nightly reports on the Viet Nam war? Then it was live satellite via TV. 5 years ago it was the web. Now every corner of the earth can watch it from their CELL PHONE real time. Speculation of how it will happen is over. WE NOW EXPECT TO SEE EVERYTHING AS IT HAPPENS AND NEARLY EVERYONE CARRIES THE CAPABILITY TO BROADCAST TO THE WORLD RIGHT ON THEIR CELL PHONE VIA THE WEB! It is happening right now in Chile with no power available to homes but the cells are still working. I have no Idea how to explain twitter and tweets, but it works. Who saw that coming 2,000 years ago when John penned these words!

So ok, I guess I am starting to get a little excited again. Just can't help it. See you soon? I guess Here is out of the question now, but we still have There and in the AIR! Your sister insists it will be in the air! OK with me.

Love, Don

REV 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon."
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Leading or Blinding?

Ryker was with me the other day and to amuse him, I gave him a small flashlight to play with. Toddlers love flashlights! What do you think was the first thing he did with it? That's right, he shined it straight in my eyes! Of course I knew he would do that, all toddlers do that. To be honest, I've done it myself....recently. I like the really big mega lights. My newest one is 20m candle power. It lights up the hillside half a mile behind the house. To demonstrate it's mega power I have put it briefly in one of my sons eyes. It won't hurt them because no one will look into it. I have used lights for years for home protection. It works better than a gun. Kids sometimes will park in my drive about 100 yards away to do whatever it is teens do in the middle of the night. A quick blast of light and they bug out. Funny, Ryker never did use the light the way it was intended to be used. He actually was never in the dark to need it, but he sure loved shining it in every one's eyes. Typical toddler. I have noticed something about believers along this line. When God shows them a new truth they just can't resist shining the light in someone else's eyes! Wouldn't it be a lot better to use the new light to light up the path in front and let others follow the light when they were ready? To often well meaning believers actually blind rather than bringing others into the light. How do you use your light?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Where did sin come from?

We are recording a video series, Back to the Basics for Grace Family Fellowship. I am thinking of making my notes available for the on line series to. Here is This Sndays. Any thoughts? It is in outline form but just ignore the outline and it will read ok.

What went wrong: The sin problem

1) Review:
a) Man created by God
i) (3/4 of usa pop. Does NOT believe in evolution) Jesus is the ONLY candidate who claims to be God.
ii) Bible is HIS story of redemption
iii) God created man for fellowship, to be a part of himself as he was one in the trinity…
iv) He had fellowship within himself and was expanding the fellowship base.
v) NOT other Gods.
vi) Could only be ONE WILL in the universe because there is only ONE POWER, One Light etc.
2) Most of the world knows the story of Adam and Eve.
a) They disobeyed God and were cast out of the Garden.
b) What happened behind the scenes?
c) What was sin and where did it come from?
d) No need to convince people that sin and evil exist, that is to obvious in every culture.
3) When God created man in the garden he gave man a free will as an expression of himself in order for man to be separate and distinct from God.
a) Created in the likeness or image of God, man was not God but a kind of reflection of him.
b) The lines of distinction from man's point of view were blurred.
c) God was obviously more powerful and the creator but man in his original perfection could not see all the differences clearly.
d) God created man with a free will to operate in cooperation and obedience to God.
e) Man’s free will is a reflection of God’s free will.
f) The infinite difference between the created and creator would only be known IF AND WHEN man should chose to exercise his own will outside of God.
i) Thus the one choice of the forbidden fruit…which gave man a choice…
g) When that happened the separation was infinite, immediate and obvious.
h) All that God is, man was not.
i) All that man now is, God is not.
j) The contrast is now quite clear.
k) Think of it like this.
i) God is a white piece of paper, man is a white cutout image.
ii) Place the cut out on the white sheet of paper and the paper man blends into the paper god.
iii) When man opted out of God’s will and into his own, the likeness was destroyed.
iv) He is now demonstrating one chief distinctive from God...exercise of his own independent will.
l) Man is now quite distinct from God, losing all that is in God.
i) As it were, man’s own will stained him the blackest of black.
ii) Now instead of seeing man white on god white, it is black on white.
iii) All That which is NOT god showed up instantly and immediately with no way for man to restore that division or unstain himself.
4) God made it possible to restore man’s purity and “whiteness” in the life and work of His son whom he indwelt.
a) When, by faith, man commits to the eternal will of God he does not become god, but is made white again and restored to his original position in God.
b) More of that in weeks to come when we talk about what happened on the cross.

5) Where did man’s original sin come from?

6) To understand where original sin came from we have to understand where ANYTHING came from.
a) The only reliable source of information on that subject is God’s Word as recorded in the Bible.
b) God opens His Book to us with the undefined declaration:
i) GE 1:1 In the beginning God.
c) As He unfolds the story we learn more about him but never everything.
d) His ultimate description of himself was given to Moses. THE ULTIMATE EXPRESSION OF HIMSELF IS JESUS
i) EX 3:13 Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, `The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, `What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" EX 3:14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: `I AM has sent me to you.' "
e) Later God will go on to explain: DT 32:39 "See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me.
f) Logically this statement I AM makes sense to me because something has to exist in and of itself, outside of and beyond creation.
g) Of necessity whatever the IT is, it must be all encompassing of any description or definition, perfect, limitless and eternal.
h) Every other model develops everything out of NOTHING, which is beyond absurd!
i) INTERESTING to note in every description of the nothing they assume a something to start with …
i) But according to them, that something cannot be “god” which is why ¾ of the population does not believe in evolution.
j) So what we know is that simply put, God IS, or God AM if you prefer.
k) Before he created anything at all, he was all there was.
i) Forget about time limitations here because there was NO time and nothing and no one to mark its passing.
ii) Injecting time into timelessness is self contradictory but I don’t know how to say it other than at some point at the beginning of time when the concept of time itself began, God began to create things that were NOT God
iii) but in everything he created there was a reflection of God.
iv) In time, God manifested himself in the person of Christ. Paul explained: The perfect, complete and final expression of himself
l) COL 1:15 He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
m) His point was not TO PUNISH SIN< but to reconcile! What appears to us as punishment is actually reconciliation. More on that in later lessons

7) The Bible simply declares that EVERYTHING, of any description is in Christ and created by him and held together by Him.
a) Does this make Christ the author or originator of Sin?
b) Scripture and logic both demonstrate the impossibility of that.
c) God declares that he is both Love and Light.
d) We be;oeve that the opposite, hate and darkness exist but how?
e) They were not in God.
f) But since they exist they must somehow be a part of creation.
g) It is hard to physically picture the love / hate relationship so we will use the parallel Dark/ light.
h) We Know for a fact that darkness does not exist in God.
i) logically it cannot since God is Light. If we miss the logic, the Bible flatly declares:
(1) 1JN 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
(2) Forget the argument that the light of god is not PHYSICAL light. Doesn’t matter, Physical light is the manifestation of the spiritual reality…ie essentially the same thing.
8) So where did darkness come from if it was not created and for that matter what is darkness?
a) There is no formula for dark as there is for light.
b) Google or Bing Formula for light and you will get pages of formulas for different aspects of light, wave length, speed, etc. Google formula for DARK and you will get all kinds of products from fabric dyes to chocolate to beer, but nothing for dark itself.
e) Without the light, we could not know or understand there is darkness.
f) You cannot start from darkness to discover light…because it is nothing!
g) Darkness is simply the ABSENCE of light. Before creation there was NO darkness because ONLY God was and he is light.
j) That is why mankind is totally dependent on God coming to reveal the light. We are in total darkness.
9) Genesis tell us more:
i) GE 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. GE 1:3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning--the first day.
b) In creation there is a difference between God/light and the created/dark. It was dark because it was NOT GOD and God had NOT given it light.
c) Creation only has the light God gives it. In and of itself it is dark.
d) Dark can be only on the creation side, never the God side of the God/not God equation.
e) We only have a sense of it by the CONTRAST with light.
f) God did not create darkness anymore than he created hate because it is not in Him.
g) Hate should be seen as darkness, the absence of God’s love.
10) God did not create sin but his creation revealed it as something that is not in or of God.
a) Sin, darkness, hatred and the like are not the true reality.
b) They do not even exist apart from their presence being revealed by the contrast with the Holiness, love and light of God.
c) They will NOT EXIST in eternity with God either! (not real sure about hell, only that I won’t be there)
i) 23 Rev 21:23: The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
11) In God’s original creation it was all good and a true reflection of Him.
a) Man’s exercise of his free will (which was also a reflection of God’s free will) brought into the light all the evil, destruction and darkness we call today sin.
b) Before Adam’s free will exercise (see Why God allowed sin) sin had no meaning or power.
c) AFTER his action he lost all the light of God with no possibility of regaining it on his own.
d) Now he had only the light of the sun and could see he was naked…thus the fig leaf jockies.
e) All subsequent generations were NOT born in the image of God, but in the image of Adam, in darkness.
i) GE 5:3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.
12) Man was created in the image of God of holiness, light and love, but BORN in the image of Adam in darkness.
a) Jesus, the second Adam, came and destroyed the bondage of darkness and all its relatives that befell man in his independence from God
b) and made it possible for man to return to the purity of the Light and love of God.
c) Darkness no longer has any hold over any child of God:
d) The good news is that darkness in any form will never regain control again, NEVER!
e) And that can begin now in your experience here like it will be then. God promises us: Romans 6:14 1 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
i) Law reveals the darkness, Grace reveals the light!

13) Rev 22:5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Amazing! The Shack has sold over 10 MILLION copies world wide! The message of God's love found in The Shack is manna to a starving world. My Shack discussion guide is still available via email upon request in word or pdf format, just send me your email address.
In case you missed it, you might want to listen to Wayne Jacobsen's Transitions. It is a tape of his weekend retreat that talks about a life lived Love and what it might look like. You can find it at Click on the word transitions or the picture.