Awake O’Sleeper

Check this out… a very powerful image.

I see myself, and many I know, right here.

Do you hear the Lion roar?

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Living In A One Story Universe

I had written a long, and I thought good, post under this heading not too long ago about Father Stephen Freeman’s blog and book on the subject of Secular Protestantism.  As I stared off into space, sipping my coffee and pondering the imponderable, my fat thumb rested up against the back space key. And all of those priceless thoughts were erased. Not a problem really, if I knew of it and reacted quickly enough. But I took another sip of coffee, as I curiously watched auto-backup kick in and write over all of it with a nice, clean blank page. Drats.

To summarize, all of what I’d said before can said in one brief, astounding sentence that you may not agree with.

God is here, watching and present, listening, and because of his undying love for us He actually intervenes in the affairs of men.

He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and steps in and alters the course of history, of our lives, and those around us. Because He is merciful, loves us, and sent His Son for us. He holds everything we are, every last one of us. We live and breath in Him. Whether we acknowledge Him or not.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

 

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The Age of Unbearable Thinness

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I visited my ophthalmologist yesterday, and secured a good report from my annual glaucoma testing. The test consists of sitting with your face pressed into a contraption that measures your percent of retained visual field by the number of minute light speckles that you can correctly see and record by pressing a button on a small clicker. My eyes have remained stable for the last three years, thanks in part to some minor surgery that I had 2 years ago.

As I received my results, the doctor told me that I was definitely NOT a candidate for laser eye surgery, and that if anyone ever told me I was, to run. I don’t know why I’d  ever see anyone but him,  best eye doctor I’ve ever had.  His prognosis was that my corneas were too thin for any type of corrective surgery, and that I need to be careful. “Your corneas are thin, unbearably thin.”

Unbearably thin so as to easily sustain damage from routine bumps and bruises that life can toss our way.  This is also what has happened to our thought processes in the age of the internet, thanks Al Gore. We do not understand what it means to stand in the pocket and study a subject, conduct deep and meaningful personal study of a subject, take time to ruminate over a thing, not forming an opinion too quickly. Or not being too easily offended. We may look at some articles written by authors of questionable or non-existent pedigree, gather some opinions by those fear-mongers that seem to always fight their way to the forefront of YouTube, and then form an opinion within a few days, possibly a month.  We have “conducted our research”, decided what is “Truth” on the matter, and moved on to the next glittering subject. We’ve lost the art of marinating in a subject, pondering it, dreaming about it, praying through it, and most importantly hearing the wise authors of long ago, understanding what the ancients have to say about a subject.

We are soft, easily deceived and offended, having become eaters of spiritual fast-food that fancy ourselves to be gourmets.

We live in the Age of Unbearable Thinness.

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Doom-Porn Ravens

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Doom-porn is a subject of interest to me, and maybe one reason that there are so many hiding beans, bullets, and beer under the staircase. But if the world as we know it ends, hi-test alcohol will be the gold-standard trade item. The one sure constant is that people will do all they can to numb themselves from reality, whatever it may be.

There are many “predicting” the imminent demise of the US, the spread of Chrislam, global pandemic, New World Order, martial law, invasion by foreign armies, the crash of world markets, the emergence of Mahdi, and all other manner of doom orchestrated by the Elites. And Wal-mart.

I think of them as a flock of Doom-Porn Ravens.

I’ve chosen Ravens as the representative bird species here for more than one reason. They are highly intelligent, communicate detailed information to one another, and work together in most unusual ways. They also steal things, are carrion-feeders and represent the underworld in many ancient cultures.  And a flock of Ravens is called a “conspiracy”, most appropriate I think.

So, sooner or later one or more of these prophetic utterances will, more or less, come true. But these things are not all an overt plan of the Illuminati, so let’s not allow our “conspiracy” to take flight. They are much more insidious than that. They are the the mark of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Of all things fallen and despoiled. These things have been marked out in the heavens, and brought to life in this lower realm by the Prince of the Power of the Air.

I tend to think of  these “prophets” as one flying out front, but the next is tucked in tight and taking his cues from the derriere in front, all flying in the same general direction, spreading out as they go, quacking slight variations on a theme. I do think that the Lord warns His own, though usually in more personal and less public ways. I remember a couple of prophets that took some extreme solo measures to send their message, though.

So we must beware. Doom-porn ravens fly among us, twisting the truth, stealing the seed. And we are left craving the best thing we ever lost.

Just a general observation, but I think our appetite for doom-porn is closely tied to our love of gossip.  It is what we want to hear. But it is more than that. The story-lines that are offered are plausible, and in most cases largely factual. But “Doom-porners” make a living by crying wolf. They take delight in raising levels of fear, and then bask in the raucous calls of their peers. Scripture warns us to take care with the voices we listen to, as they can drown out the truth, confuse and overtake us, neutralize us in the process. Or worse.

Peter warned us in 1 Timothy 4;

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

And again in 2 Timothy 4:3 (NIV);

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

Certainly not doom porn, but an abused example from history is the Book of Enoch. Enoch supplies answers to some perceived gaps in scripture, providing us with fantastic stories of fallen angels and their devious plans to alter human genetics and create a hybrid race. I have to admit it is an interesting story, but it does not entirely ring true in my spirit. Yes, the bible speaks to something like this in less detail, Jesus having already told us that in heaven we will be like Angels which do not marry, nor are given in marriage. So I think we need to keep looking here for what the bible is telling us in this. The Bible itself warns us to not stray beyond what is written, beyond God-breathed scripture. The book of Enoch has come down to us in several versionkyles, some more descriptive and longer than others.  And has received new life in recent years, being used to enlarge upon Jesus words “as in the days of Noah”. But it never made it into the canon of Jewish Old Testament scripture.  Read it, the flavor is hardly that of Daniel, Zechariah, Zephaniah, etc. You can tell the author by their writing style, this does not bring to mind the Holy Spirit.

Next we have the 1st and 2nd Epistles of Clement. Clements books are now relatively obscure, though once regarded as scripture. He wrote some very encouraging words to the flock in Corinth, but went on to write about the Phoenix (chapter 25), an example from nature of a bird that resurrected every 500 years from a spectacular fiery death and rebirth.  He thought he was drawing a parallel from nature of the certainty of resurrection to encourage faltering disciples. It sounds like reincarnation to me. My guess is that so many came to know the Phoenix to be a fable that poor Clements otherwise fine books, possibly an embarrassment to wise and discerning Christian Bishops, were summarily relegated to the dusty shelves of history.  One misstep with the truth, and we venture off into the realm of the Evil One. The standard of truth is so much higher than we can readily perceive, or reproduce ourselves. It is, after all, Divine.

Both Clement and Enoch sought to encourage, warn or protect, but in the process included clearly false teachings. In the end they were deemed unreliable witnesses, not worthy of equal footing with other books of the Jewish Old and Christian New Testament. This is how serious the Ancients regarded fidelity to the Truth. Remember, Satan appears as an Angel of Light. And it only takes a drop of his mis-truth to change something glorious into something dark and cursed. One lie carried us from Paradise to the spiritual bankruptcy and corruption we see around us today.  One bit of leaven leavens the whole loaf.

But Doom-porn awakens long dormant memories of eternal truths spoken deep into our spirit that, like Saul, we can no longer conjure up without a dark guide.  It is the shiny piece of tin foil dropped on a dead-end path to lead you away from the Truth.

Scripture does say that in the end the deception will be so great that even the Elect will nearly be fooled.

Jesus said “Let him who has ears hear what the Spirit is saying to the church”.  If we take care and listen closely, we will hear His voice.

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Just One Bite

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My wife has a favorite phrase,  “I just want a bite”.  If it is something especially choice, a “bite” may appear quite unexpectedly and in the most inconspicuous of places.  It almost sounds biblical now that I think about it.

Anyway,  several of us were having a conversation a while back about what we think church should be like, what it shouldn’t be like, and eventually how certain books were included in the bible.  At some point someone made a comment that we should at least be able to see the reasons why certain books were included in the canon by the Bishops of old, and decide for ourselves. I understand where this comes from,  but think it is a dangerous exercise because we elevate ourselves above the many wise and godly that have come before us.

Our natural tendency, especially in these United States, is that WE should decide. We are the final authority, we are in control. This is not a new phenomena. We doubted Gods goodness first in the Garden, and in every generation since.

This is the history of how Protestantism came about, and continues to die and shatter into myriad expressions of Jesus “one church”, continuously for the last 500 years! At the outset, Martin Luther wanted to exclude a number of important books in our New Testament because he felt that they undermined the primacy of grace and reinforced works, prayers for the dead, invalidated the work of the Reformation, etc. Books like Hebrews, James, Revelation, etc. Can you imagine what we would have lost had these three books been stripped from our spiritual conversation?

So the thought seems to be that if it was done in the past, it was uninformed, and the reasons for the choice were primitive, not as informed as we are today. That only now do we have the enlightened ability to rightly separate wheat from chaff, truth from error, god-breathed scripture from the imitation.

This position invalidates the work and witness of the saints of the past, what the church calls Tradition, and what Chesterton calls the Democracy of the Dead.

“Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father.”  I would go on to clarify by saying that Democracy today tell us not to neglect anyone’s opinion even if he is our enemy, while Tradition asks us not to neglect a good mans opinion even if he is our Great Grandfather. You get the point, we can’t and should not adjust the past to appease our current myopia.

So what Orthodoxy refers to as Holy Tradition can really be understood as Chesterton’s Democracy of the Dead, the wisdom of all the generations of godly that came before weighing in on a subject. The great cloud of witnesses.

If you accept this definition of Tradition, then you see how the church becomes a plumb-line through time, never changing, never wavering, shining as a light and a witness because she is consistent from generation to generation.

This is what I believe was gradually lost in the Reformation, seeking the fresh and new, and throwing out the wisdom of the ages.  Mat 13:52 –Then he said to them, “Therefore every expert in the law who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his treasure what is new and old.

I think the great tragedy of our day is our loss of continuity with the past, family traditions around holidays, the luxury of spending time with one another.

But the greatest tragedy of our day is that we doubt Gods truth, His words, and the wisdom that brought them to us.  The church is like a bride who has seen her face in a mirror and having gone out and taken a bite of forbidden fruit, has forgotten what she looks like, who she is.

 

 

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Every Day

sweet-ice-cream-photography-98429Sweet Ice Cream Photography

I remember many bits and pieces of my early childhood,  lessons that my parents imparted to me.

And later in life I began to draw upon the things that I was taught, not so much verbally, but more by example.

I remember my Dad getting up and going to work,  every day.  When he had several ruptured discs in his back, he would lay down in the back of our station wagon, my mother would drive him in, and we kids would help him slide out of the back on a piece of plywood so he could earn our bread. He would stand nearly all day long.  For months. And later, when he had lost his job,  he still got up and dressed for work, putting in applications and resumes until he had a new job. Every day. 

Years later,  I was stricken by Lyme Disease. Every day was a struggle,  a battle against unbelievable fatigue. It took it’s toll on my physical being,  my interpersonal life as well.  But I remembered my Dads lesson, and I got up and went to work. Every day. Most days my friend Wayne picked me up at my front door and took me to work.  We worked together, and he was a good friend through it all.  I supported my family,  and learned how the Lord carries us through the toughest places.

Dad was a stickler for detail.  If a thing was not done correctly,  exactly, specifically,  it was not really done at all.  That may have been partly due to our German heritage, but the point was well made.

Unless you did something in particular, it was not done at all.  You could not, should not,  “do something half-@ssed”. (My sweet little old mom). This is beginning to sound like a primer on “how to live the deliberate life”.

I’m going somewhere with this.  Stephen Freeman talks about the tendency of more and more Christians to make less of special,  holy days in the Christian calendar.  The Reformed downward slide into “Every day is holy” has resulted in no days being holy at all, separate or distinct, set aside for God. Many will disagree with my next statement. But if you do not worship God regularly, deliberately on a day that is set aside for Him, when do you worship Him, really, at all? What I’m saying is that what likely passes for worship now after the desacralization of Christian life in these United States is more of an internal head-nod to conservative principals. In general. Not specifically. Just like Mom described.

I think some of the frustration and apathy within the christian community has to do with the abandonment of historic biblical values by mainline churches. Churches that ordain women, promote globalism, brush pedophilia under the rug,  perform homosexual marriages, and even ordain homosexual female bishops, share a disproportionate share of the blame for a disaffected christian population. Their leaders have failed them. They are sheep without a shepherd. The scripture speaks to this specifically;

Eze 34:5 They were scattered because they had no shepherd, and they became food for every wild beast.

Eze 34:8 As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, my sheep have become prey and have become food for all the wild beasts. There was no shepherd, and my shepherds did not search for my flock, but fed themselves and did not feed my sheep,

Mat 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were bewildered and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Jer 23:1 The Lord says, “The leaders of my people are sure to be judged. They were supposed to watch over my people like shepherds watch over their sheepBut they are causing my people to be destroyed and scattered.

Eze 34:10 This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I am against the shepherdsand I will demand my sheep from their hand. I will no longer let them be shepherds; the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore. I will rescue my sheep from their mouth, so that they will no longer be food for them.

Joh 10:11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

1Pe 2:25 For you were going astray like sheep but now you have turned back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

The scripture appears very clear that in any crisis of failed leadership the result is a scattering and winnowing of God’s people.  Wolves rush in among the innocent.  This present crisis is no exception. God will allow us to go our own way, interpreting things as we see fit. And the wolves will rush in, feeding on the flock.

So here we are today, many Christians, especially in America, feel alienated from the church, from one another, and especially from their government. Our Kings, our leaders, are immoral and godless. They have lost their divine mandate to rule.

But this drives us all back to the reason that we are discussing this. God holds failed leaders responsible for the fate of their flocks.

In America, the flocks response has been naturally to want a church, an ekklessia, without a Shepherd. Leaders have failed them,  they have gone their own way, so let’s do away with the need for them entirely.

Many will likely argue the priesthood of all believers. That is true, and yet God has specifically set aside men in every generation to lead His flock, speak the truth out loud, and suffer on His behalf. Specifically, not in general.

1Co 12:28 And God has placed in the church first apostles, second prophetsthird teachers, then miracles, gifts of healing, helps, gifts of leadershipdifferent kinds of tongues.

But scripture tells us that our enemy comes like an angel of light, he looks good, sounds good, and tells us what we want to hear. And will try to cut us out of the herd.

2Ti 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,

Now if you open your eyes, you will see and hear all manner of teachers out there professing things that tickle itching ears. They tell us fanciful tales of life with no pain, plenty of gold, aliens, doctrines of demons. All manner of things to distract us from the Truth.

We don’t need to believe any of these things to be saved. We only need to believe in Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, and rest in His birth, life, death, resurrection, finished work and second coming.

Every day. 

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Welcome to Lilburn, Georgia

I know where Lilburn is, and lived not too far from there at one point in my life, this makes me ever so sad.

Jesus Christ died for everyone of these men, but their level of deception is clearly evident. And we have to balance our socio-political context with the overriding truth of the Eternal Gospel of Jesus, what does God expect of us, our behavior towards others, in this? But we also cannot stand by and allow the future of our country, of our children and grandchildren, to go the way of Europe. Islam is opposed to everything but itself, and has come to kill, steal, and destroy. Jesus said the Pharisees were not children of Abraham, but of Satan. If the shoe fits…

Money Jihad

The future of America, Shia-style

Or maybe Lilburnistan.  Did you think that only Europe is being Islamized?

Lilburn is similar to many cities in America.  It has a cozy population of 11,000 in Gwinnett County about 15 miles outside Atlanta…  It also has at least four Islamic facilities each with colorful back stories.

The one pictured above, the A.G.A. Dar-E-Abbas Islamic Center, has a history of code violations.  Those violations are partly why a Dar-E-Abbas rezoning request was denied by Lilburn in a heated decision last fall.

Then there’s the “Nasfat of Atlanta,” also in Lilburn.  They seem to keep their noses cleaner than Dar-E-Abbas, although they promise on their website “to become renowned for quality da’wah,” which is Islamic proselytizing.  Nasfat also states that they will “not discriminate”…against Muslims.  There are no pledges on their website about discriminating against anybody else.

Next there’s a nonprofit corporation known as the Al-Rasoul Masjid…

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Trump-led Populist Exit

donald-trump-brexit-trexitWell, it looks like we’re about to give the Left Wing, elites and the globalists a big Johnny Cash middle finger.  Get ready, we’re going to see some big changes.

We may just get our wall, see a mass exodus of illegals, and see a repeal of Obamacare afterall.

George Soros, you can keep your Open Society…

I guess we can call this populist movement “Trexit”…

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Mean Bean Recon

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I remember the first time I had a great cup of coffee… I was 20 years old,  and my boss invited me to the break room for a cup and a Danish.  It was fresh brewed,  and the sense of well being I felt  was almost illegal.  I worked furiously for the  rest of day… I was hooked.

Fast forward 30- odd years.

I met my beautiful bride at a non-descript horse stable and riding school in central Texas. I told you the story here a while back.

My hosts were not coffee-drinkers, but I didn’t discover that until it was too late. I stumbled into the kitchen the morning after my epic drive, rubbing the sleep from from eyes and bouncing off of the door frame. They offered me a cup of Earl Gray tea. I thought…”Aw nah… McDonalds is At least 15 miles away.”

My  future bride-to-be arrived later that day, and I was smitten immediately. That was nothing compared to what was about to take place.

The next morning I was steeling myself for the long decaffienated drive into town when she walked her gorgeous self across the yard with a steaming hot mug of fresh-ground Starbucks French Roast with my name on it. Are you kidding me!? That was a Johnny Hendricks left hook to the jaw, knock-out…

That was THE best cup of coffee I’d ever had in my life up to that point.  No doubt. It was made with love.

We’ve had coffee together many wonderful mornings since.

The last shopping trip we went on together, I cleaned Walmart out of 8 O’clock Coffee Dark Italian Roast beans. I bought every bag they had, on my hands and knees pulling them out from the back of the bottom shelf, tossing them up to her by the cart. My wife laughed, then offered a satisfied smile. I said “you can’t take a chance of them running out of this stuff. Anytime that we like something they stop carrying it within the month…” Sure enough, try to find some 8 O’clock Itallian Roast Beans next time you shop.

Flash forward to this afternoon. I received a somewhat cryptic text from my bride on her day off,  something like “Just bought 14 bags of 16 oz stRbucks whole bean dark Italian roast for 5.99 each.”

What?  That’s 224 oz., or 14 lbs, of the most heavenly coffee.  With tax that’s ~$95 worth.  Most husbands would have something to say about spending that much on coffee. When I came home all I could say was “Baby,  that’s fantastic! What a deal!!! Great job!!!”

Sure enough she one-upped me. Raised the bar. Now I’m looking for 50 lbs. burlap sacks to be delivered by pack mule…

But in the morning, we will share mugs of steaming hot, smoky sweet love with roasty overtones.

That’s what she said. 😉

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New Dark Ages- Wayward Pines

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I’ve read a lot lately about the incredible moral shift that has taken place in this country, and which has been greatly accelerated by the last two administrations. Make no mistake. This began a very long time ago, and has happened many times before. Students of history will tell you there truly is nothing new under the sun.

Depending upon what you’ve read and understood, the Dark Ages generally refer to the time when the light of classical antiquity had been extinguished, when the heights to which Mankind had risen; science, art, education, and spirituality, had all been largely lost. “Enlightened Humanity” survived apart from the general population in a cloistered “Wayward Pines” existence. Much of what we know and revere of our  past today was preserved and brought to us by Monks living in isolation. They went into a time capsule, an Ark of sorts, and emerged around 1000 A.D. with the spark of civilization still burning. Everyone else suffered short brutal lives of death, disease and want.

The era began with the fall of Rome. She is all around us, we’ve borrowed from her engineering and social programs, her political system, and her war machine. In more than one sense, we have tasted Rome, and she is in us. As are her foibles, failures, sins and inadequacies. I understand that the Fall of Rome was a process, a 200-300 year period in which Rome progressively lost control of her territories, military, political, and financial power. In the end, Rome was conquered by the very barbarians she enslaved and used to protect her walls, fight her wars, wait her tables, plough her fields, and bake her bread. She was a multicultural phenomena who fell apart under the weight of her own diversity, centralized power, wealth, and decadence.

So here are we are today, in “Rome” once again. Most good men with a listening spirit can hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church. Darkness is coming, Death is coming. Barbarians are coming. And the dream of self-determination is rising again along side of these.

Perhaps survival happens again by exercising the “Benedict Option”, living a life apart from the culture, wholly disengaging where our consciences tell us there is a a better way. Perhaps withdrawing from society in an even more drastic manner, living in religious seclusion, living a collective simple life in Christ.  Maybe that’s not enough this time, this may be the end of the age and the next light we see will be The Light of Life, Jesus Christ.

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Organic Union

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Earlier this year my sweetheart and I tied the knot. Jumped the broom. Got hitched. Reading the title of this post, one who is less alpha-aware might think that this is going to be about well-composted, aromatic herbs, what someone I know refers to as “Skunk Apples”. This is not the case. This is not about herbs, apples, or organized labour Unions. This is about marriage.

Nothing about my bride, or myself, could be misconstrued as “traditional”. Perhaps once upon a time, but less so as we’ve matured and had our eyes opened to a number of things in this old world.

We both struggle with the traditional organized church, and how we as Christians first continue in fellowship with the Saints if we aren’t in some sort of body (25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching), and exactly what it looks and feels like to be in meaningful communion almost daily with our spiritual kin. Something to chew on for sure.

But back to our nuptuals…

We obtained two marriage licenses before we were able to pull it all together, meet the J.P. and hear the official words pronounced over us, having our intentions officially witnessed before God and man. Not sure what that says, but we took two runs at it, and with diligence we got there. We thought remarrying this way would be simpler, quicker, and less stressful for the families that we were “blending”.

The day of the ceremony I was working, and told my bride where to meet me and our witness. She didn’t baulk at the fact that we were meeting at the local feed and supply store, which to me was a very good sign. She had passed many tests and jumped through many hoops already just to get to this point, so this was further confirmation that she was indeed my woman!

I waited for a few minutes outside the feed store, looking for her to pull in when the owner stuck his head out and said “you can come inside unless you are afraid she’ll drive on by without you…” We should talk about prophetic giftings later.

There I was standing on the side of the road, you know, to flag her down so that she wouldn’t miss the turn into the feed store. I saw her round the curve, accelerating the whole time, and began waving, jumping up and down, etc. She shot past me like Usain Bolt hitting his stride on the way to the finish line… Nothing but a cool breeze to tell me she had been here seconds before.

“Brother, just keep waving, one of ’em will stop sooner or later!” the store owner choked out, my witness, and by-standers started snorting and chuckling as I turned in dismay. “Maybe she’s sending you a message” said my witness… “yeah, she may have found a better deal” another one hooted.

Dang. I grinned a bit wider, and figured I’d use it to amuse you all here.

So I called my sweet bride-to-be.

Me: “Baby, you just shot past me.”

Her: “You said a half mile. You’re always very precise with your distances. I haven’t gone that far yet.”

Me: “Uh, just turn around and keep an eye out for me on the right side of the road”

Her: “OK”

She eventually made it, and we migrated down the road from the feed store a piece to the ceremony site. There were killer Chihuahuas and Bassett Hounds in attendance as we exchanged vows, and signed our papers. Most interestingly, in this civil ceremony, God was named and invoked in as reverent a manner as if in the greatest Cathedral. Jesus was there, after all. We’ll talk about how this is at some point later on. But He was there.

“You may kiss the bride…” You’d better believe it, if she loves me enough to get married this way, I’m going to keep her till the day I sail over to the other side. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me, I love her dearly.

Afterwards she hopped in her car, and headed to our new home. I stuck around to pay for the ceremony, and make sure I had a copy of the official, executed license.

The store owner smiled at me, and said “you did a lot better than your bride did, sir, you’re a lucky man”. She is a beautiful little thing, and I’m crazy about her for sure. Truly my better half.

This was really like a frontier wedding in so many respects. Very few people attended, it was very functional in that we didn’t waste time on a big fancy spread, clothes, etc. And once it was over it was business as usual.

After we got home, she looked at me and said “I’m hungry!”

So we drove up to the restaurant on the corner, sat in the bar at happy hour and had burgers and sweet potato fries, and a few cold beers a piece. 🙂

There are no juvenile, puppy-love moments between us. We experience an incredibly rare intersection of two lives on a journey to eternity. We’ve had our disagreements, and differences, but I can honestly say that sharing life with her is better than I could have ever imagined.

Marriage requires sacrifice, no doubt. But what else is there on this earth that at it’s best can so nearly mimic the love and care of God towards us, bringing death and rebirth in submission to our Lord and one another? And in this becoming something new and more glorious than we could ever be alone.

This must be why the Ancients held marriage to be a sacrament, an outward sign of the grace, presence and working of God.

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The Apocalypse of Faith

ridersoftheapocalypse

 

From Wikipedia- An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apokálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω meaning “uncovering”), translated literally from Greek, is a disclosure of knowledge, i.e., a lifting of the veil or revelation. In religious contexts it is usually a disclosure of something hidden, “a vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities”.

We have a neutered, culturally acceptable definition of “faith”.  By faith, we are often speaking of our “religion”, more  our brand of religion, our specific belief system, our “Denomination”. We have Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Reformed faiths of all sorts (Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, etc.) And once you move outside of the rigorous definition within Christianity, the word almost loses meaning.

But what exactly is faith? It is believing what cannot be seen or proved, stepping out and trusting that what God has said (in scripture, and by witness of the Spirit),  acting upon it. Risking your life’s direction on the faithfulness of God.

Father Steven Freeman, in “Why Does God Hide? “ says this about faith, that it is a holy exercise of hide and seek, one that requires you to make a decision. To be all in. 

“The question for us is how to live there, or even just go there for once in our lives…

If you liked Ferraris, your friends wouldn’t be surprised if you had photos and models, films and t-shirts. It might become obnoxious. But if you sold your house and used the money to make a down payment on one, you’d be thought a fool, possibly insane. Seeking God is like that.

The God who wants us to seek is also kind enough to hide. Finding out where He is hiding is the first step. Finding out where you are hiding is the next. But the greatest and most wonderful step is turning the corner, buying the field, selling everything that you have, picking up the coin, making that phone call, saying “yes” and “yes” and “yes.”

Most of us would not characterize God’s apparent lack of presence as “kind”. We would say that He is not available, some may say asleep at the wheel. Not present for us, the way that an idol is. There for us to walk by and casually brush with our finger tips as we go about tending to the pressing cares of this world. No, to find Him we have to leave the place where we hide in this world, in activity, in self-definition, in chasing our existence, and seek Him out where He hides. In inapproachable light.

The definition of the Apocalypse, the revelation of Truth, is dependent upon where you stand. For those seeking God where He dwells, it is a beautiful thing to behold. It is all about the final restoration of the Creation. For those far off, chasing the world, the Apocalyspe is about TEOTWAWKI, the end of the world as we know it.

 

 

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