Strategies

I just read this December article from Dan McLaughlin at the Federalist. What a great read. He is talking military strategy and applying it to the election cycle. On that level alone I am totally in tune; but I have the added excitement of applying it to the spiritual warfare battlefield in which I fight. Here is a quote:

We can better understand what Trump has done successfully, as well as his ultimate limitations as a candidate and why he would be such a terrible president, using the ideas of military strategic theorist John Boyd. Trump has been, thus far, the true Boyd candidate in this race, yet he is already exhibiting symptoms of precisely the flaws that Boyd saw as fatal in combatants.

Observe, Orient, Decide, Act

Boyd, an Air Force fighter pilot, Vietnam and Korea veteran, and fighter design engineer, is best known for the “OODA Loop” or “decision cycle,” a concept he developed as part of a broader study of “patterns of conflict” in the 1970s and 1980s later widely adopted in the military, especially the U.S. Marine Corps. OODA stands for Observe-Orient-Decide-Act, and refers to the process by which soldiers in combat—or humans engaged in any form of conflict—absorb information, make decisions, and act on them.

As you read it. What are your thoughts about the battlefield? Are you being manipulated or are you setting the agenda? This goes back to my early days as a pastor in Seattle where I realized I was constantly counter punching. It was one spiritual mishap after another with me constantly reacting and never getting ahead of the battle. Once again, worth the read with the spiritual dimension in mind especially.

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I’ll Answer That

Why I we turning to bots to carry on conversations? They are never tired, irritated, sick or confused. They do their best each time every time. Yet, any human encounter carries with it all of the risks that go along with being human brought into that moment of meeting.

We need something bigger than ourselves?

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Just Thinking

Microsoft has a big hit with XiaoIce on social networks in Asia. The “bot” is trained in chatter and thus able to be entertaining while answering questions, as Cortana does here. The wired magazine says it has over 40 million users and an average chat lasts 23 back and fourths.

What is it about our existence that we seem to be moving away from human interaction towards more and more artificial interaction?

I dare say we have lost a level of politeness and kindness in our interactions.

I am thinking about this in light of doing “one minute bible studies”.

Just thinking.

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SJW’S

So I finally took the time to look for a definition of SJW. I kind of intuitively knew it was the other side of the spectrum in which I exist, but I didn’t even know what the letters stood for. They stand for Social Justice Warrior. Almost sounds like Christ like; or an angel of light representing the spirit of anti-Christ. As the song says: “You got to serve somebody” and they serve the side darkness.

Well here is an article that took the time to get into the definition deeply; I didn’t have time to finish it yet; but here it is: “What is a Social Justice Warrior”.

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Sermon

 

Time and Chance

In 1920 a couple gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Carol was described by her mother: “Mine was a pretty baby, unusually so. Her features were clear, her eyes, even then, it seemed to me, were wise and calm.” While her body grew, her mind failed to keep pace, “I think I was the last to perceive that something was wrong.”

“Then began that long journey which parents of such children know so well. I have talked with many of them since and it is always the same. Driven by the conviction that there must be someone who can cure, we take our children over the surface of the whole earth, seeking the one who can heal. We spend all the money we have and we borrow until there is no one else to lend. We go to doctors good and bad, to anyone, for only a wisp of hope.”

Her journey ended when a German doctor at the Mayo clinic told her the best she could do for her child was to find a comfortable place for her and leave her there and concentrate on living her own life.

She was now estranged from her husband who wished to spend no more money. She wanted to keep her child in a first class institution and realized that she needed to find a way to make some money.

Time would go on. Another woman facing the same problem with her two children would visit Dr. Folling of Oslo, Norway. He discovered an chemical in the urine that should not have been there. This led to the discovery of a phenylpyruvic acid in the urine that was there because of a faulty gene that led to the body’s inability to break down a particular amino acid in their diet.

The disease is PKU and doctors in the 1950’s and 60’s started testing for the acid in the blood and urine and even before the actual mutated gene was discovered could steer the babies to a healthier specific diet that did not include milk and other proteins in which the more severe impacts of the disease were greatly reduced even living nearly normal lives.

Little Carol would live until she was 72, living in a institution specializing in discovering and treating mental defects in children. In 1960 her mother was asked to smell the urine from a child suffering from PKU. She remembered the smell. In 1920 no one knew, by 1960 doctors could take action for a child suffering from PKU.

Carol’s mother would get a $500 grant from a missionary organization to write a Sunday School book for missionaries. This would lead from one writing piece to the next until in 1931 she would write the novel “The Good Earth”, a Pulitzer Prize winner; all to help pay for Carol’s stay in the Training School in Vineland, New Jersey. PKU gave us Carol and her mother, Pearl Buck.

Texts: Eccl 9:11 I returned and saw under the sun that —  The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rev 21:4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

  1. Time and Chance

1 Cor 15:42-49 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.

There is no godly prescription that will insure that we or our loved ones will not be affected by inherited mutated genes or by mutations that affect us as we get older, such as cancer.

I think God uses His people to bless humanity and glorify Himself as we handle the ups and downs of life.

I think of the admonition to forgive. I think of the admonition to endure. I think of the admonition to hope.

Rom 8:18-25 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

  1. Sin, Mutations and Death

Heb 2:14-18 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

The wages of sin is death.

Gen 3:15-19 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” 16 To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” 17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

Thus, the mutation is born.

III. The Glorious Hope

1 Cor 15:26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

1 Cor 15:54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

Rev 21:27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Rev 22:3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Conclusion

Jesus, with a strand of DNA from Mary and a strand from the Holy Spirit, and “we shall be like him”.

Walking on water, multiplying loaves, healing, knowing, loving, communing…It really is a glorious hope.

 

 

 

 

 

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Time and Chance

  1. Joan and I were returning home after preaching in Wickenburg. We were in a crowded Phoenix airport Starbucks when I noticed something out of place with the corner of my eye. I looked again to see two heads on one body. I tried to not look again. As I waited for my drink I watched people as they tried to not stare at the two girls. Yes I could tell that much about them. As I went up to get my drink I asked them if they get two separate drinks or share one. Then one of them answers me and said that normally they get two but since they are in a hurry they are only getting one. One of them said thank you to me as they got their drink.

I was at school the next day and thought I would check out how often that happens. Well it turns out that Abby and Brittany Hensley are a well known pair of conjoined identical twins. They had parents who worked real hard to enable them to carry on as normal a life as possible. I have been reading books about DNA and the twists of fate that go with it all and the main reason I wanted to talk with them is to see if they were living or bitterly surviving. I felt life as I talked with them and now see that they are two incredible people with their own reality tv show at one time. I will put the notes of my “Time and Chance” sermon next post so you can see where my mind was as I ran into these two girls. The best to them.

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January Conference 2016

January Conference 2016

This conference encouraged me. Last summer’s conference spoke to exactly what I was undertaking with “one minute bible studies”. Pastor Stevens preached pastor as entrepreneur, Pastor Golobev preached on trying new things and Pastor Greg Mitchell told us to go “cut wood”. It was just encouragement time this week with very few practical’s or pointed directions. Here are some quotes:

Pastor Wayman Mitchell: “My greatest crisis was going to Beachboro, Australia in 2009. One of my first sermons there was: What do you do when You Don’t Know What to do. The answer is: you do what you know to do. We need to be love and be loved; we need to accomplish something; we need to be recognized for what we have accomplished; and we need to venture out in life or roll the dice of life. God is a God of conquest and we need to gamble for God in the adventure of ministry. Ask God for wisdom. God is a living God – that means He can be contacted and we operate in a spiritual reality. God only guides those in motion. God finds men who were working. Toronto/Brownsville appealed to three kinds of people; unfruitful, this is the magic formula; wingnuts; and rebels. The wells of Gen. 26 are pictures of dominion; the first well was contested; the second had the Philistines against them; and the third was Beersheba, seven spring wells in one place. You have to do what we do. A young man commented after Pastor Mitchell’s arrival in Australia: “When you came here all we wanted to do was to make money and buy houses—now we want to preach the gospel”.

Pastor Kevin Foley: “We need folks to have an encounter with God through the word of God. Christians are easily diverted to substitution for the presence of God. The genuine presence of God where God meets you in the issues of life happens through the word of God. The heart is the seat of our active self. What you do reveals your heart. Jesus expounding His word moved their hearts.”

Pastor Evert Valk: “Life conquered me – because of a life in the flesh without the hope of God. What is the dominating factor of your life. A dominating factor can be a way of thinking. Sickness does not have to become the dominating factor in our life because Jesus is on the throne.”

Pastor Richard Rubi: “The toxic waste of ministry. The sick man confesses to the righteous man who prays to God. This is spiritual. We are all working with sick people who are seeding the physician. How you handle the sacredness of confession is critical.”

Pastor Joe Campbell: “Biggest regret; that we would have risked more. Men who risked their lives for the name of Jesus Christ. Adventure is God’s DNA for man. DRD4 is the genetic code connected to risk taking. I will make you fishers of men. I will make you a great nation. I will shape your testing. A picture of the vinedresser. Security; my definition is dead. Boredom is the root of all evil. Pastor, are your sermons boring? Maybe it is because your life is boring. Lot will never walk with Abraham like he did before. Real security is in the will of God. Life is more than minutes and money. It is movements and memories with God and people. That’s life. Are you living life or just chalking off pages?”

Pastor Nigel Brown: War will always be a divisive issue. Why do people want to be pacifist? Because of the cost of war. The danger of the unused sword (pastoral authority). Not because it is the safest, but because it is the right thing to do. Use of the pastor’s sword is a sacred issue. Lording over God’s people with harshness, you are betraying God’s sacred trust. Correct intel is necessary for war. You better have your facts right. The three swords in the tower of London are mercy, with the tip cut off, spiritual justice and temporal justice. A sword used correctly will bring peace and prosperity.”

Pastor Glen Cluck: “The only thing the devil understands is violence. How can you be texting in the presence of God. Red sea crossing had to be 5 miles wide for 3 million Jews to pass over in 1 night. You’ve been delivered from drugs and alcohol but you hate everyone. Keep yourself from grievance, rebellion and pride. Recall is a wonderful gift from God.”

Pastor Paul Stevens: “You might not realize it, but you might be in desperate need of a lifesaving, destiny saving correction. Correction is a necessity not an option. God answers prayer to intervene and if you are not praying he can intervene anyway. God will frustrate your purpose. There are those around you, pastor, who see what you don’t. David listened to the correction of Abigail.

Pastor Greg Mitchell: “There are things that God wants to happen. You are going to get into circumstances that you cannot fix. I know this will never get me on Christian TV. You have the theory but not the pain to back it up. Pain does not bring destiny; it equips you for destiny. The will of God is being at the right place at the right time.”

Pastor Sergei Golubev: “Difficult people; some churches have a lot, some more. Pastor maybe you are not discipling properly. The pastor’s words: ‘How long faithless generation.’ Because of bitterness you will not realize how your sermons have changed. You will not be able to inspire people. Church and pastor: mutual indifference. I did not stop dreaming bout the revival. I am going to stretch your heart and enlarge the tent of your dwelling. There needs to be a healing of your viewing of your church. The process of learning from your church. If our pastor loves us everything falls in place.”

Pastor Rajesh Gunashekar: “In India there is a god for everything you can believe in. Let your word take control Speak life into dying nations. That six pack will someday be a family pack; we need men filled with the Holy Spirit. Place me in a place where the dead are so that I can speak words of life. We need to practically bring Jesus to the nations of the world. Revival started when men stopped goofing around and got serious about their destiny. The simplicity of the gospel is powerful.”

Pastor Mark Aulson: The hazard of a Christian is a wounded or broken heart. If you are saved you ought to hear something from God. Sometimes we have to have an intersection with Jesus.”

Pastor Tom Payne: “Do you realize how important every day is. Consumer verses entrepreneur who adds and creates value. Life is a passing opportunity. The strategy of hell is to distort our view of reality. His ultimate goal is to get us to choose incorrectly. Arthur Brook wrote Romeo and Juliet as a Christian example and warning—Shakespeare stole it and rewrote it to glorify an illicit relationship. When you invest in God’s economy God can touch what we do. Life is meant to be lived by faith and understood in retrospect. Homeless kid who became pastor in Kenya ‘We used to go to the Catholic church Sunday morning for food and visit your church that night for the preaching.”

Pastor Scott Lamb: “The church will never be free of bad elements until the judgment. If we evangelize we are guaranteed to have good and bad and the problems that go with them. The nature of the church is good and bad living side by side. It is these problems in the church that destroys pastors. Doubt, unbelief begin to rule the day, you begin to doubt true salvation, becoming cynical, preaching at problems…having lost the kingdom of heaven in church. The supreme toll is thee shaking of his confidence to do the job. These parables here are a kingdom of God sandwich. Tares, evil one, stinking fish and in between the kingdom of heaven being treasure and pearls. Between the problems you dig down and find the treasure. To look at the treasure and only see the problems hurts. Chinese lives matter…your church is a beautiful thing; don’t you forget it.”

Pastor Jose Torres: There are areas of our life that we have not surrendered. Going and sending is the DNA of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This has to be in our bloodstream. Somewhere God had to be God in my life. What can you do for God?”

Pastor Harold Warner: “We might not all be called to be pastors but we are all called to be ministers. Every church has loadbearing people. Bearing one another’s burdens is the essence of the church. We weather one crisis to just weather another crisis. So many metaphorical statements using back…get a backbone. Only a relationship with Jesus will keep you from being a bitter, old pastor. Grace under pressure. Ministry requires the quality of mental toughness. God is committed to training our backs with resistance forces. God has a special way of strengthening our backs to do the will of God. I was thinking how I am going to get my wheelchair up that mountain. Seth was thinking how Leon could make it to the top of that mountain. That is ministry, helping others finish the course.”

Pastor Wayman Mitchell: Doctrine determines productivity and destiny. The church is a mystery. The Jews rightly said they were the people of God—pushing this to the limit creates false doctrine—they thought gentiles were only good to feed the fires of hell. Blindness happens to the Jews until the time of the Gentiles is complete. The times of the gentiles and the fullness of the Gentiles fare two different times. A great mystery is that Moshe Deyan made Jordan in control of the temple mount in 1967. People are bussed in to study the Koran on the temple mount. Because he is having some Jews saved he is wrongly saying that the time of the Gentiles has finished. You would have to be an idiot or a democrat to not understand that time is running out. What we do for God we must do quickly.”

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