Literal or spiritual

In the gospels, the word “stone” is used literally and spiritually. For example, Matthew 7:9 appears to be a literal use of the word.

“Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?” Matthew 7:9

rock-pile-ivan-slosarLikewise, Matthew 28:2.

“And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.” Matthew 28:2

Matthew 21:42 and 44 on the other hand, use the word “stone” as a spiritual metaphor, in reference to Yeshua.

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:” ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Matthew 21:42

And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” Matthew 21:44

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Repentance

Since posting “Choices”, I’ve been pondering the nature of repentance, particularly since with every election, Christians renew the call for America to repent. Asked to elaborate, most cite abortion and homosexuality as their primary complaints. War, divorce, removing prayer from schools, and pornography are also cited, though typically with less revulsion than is reserved for abortion and homosexuality.

'Hit him again Martha he still hasn't repented...'How I wish I could claim I’ve never been caught up in one of Christianity’s campaigns to stamp out sin in the world. Frankly, the world has every right to sin; a right granted by the Father. But when has scripture – the Word of Truth – ever stopped a religious person who was hell bent on doing a vain religious work? Certainly scripture never stopped me when I was headstrong to carry out some self-righteous work “for God”.

Let the one who does what is evil continue to do what is evil. Let the filthy person continue to be filthy. Let the righteous person continue to do what is right. And let the holy person continue to be holy.” (Revelation 22:11 ISV)

The operative words above? “Let them.” Regretfully, my youthful zeal was easily exploited by those who rail against sin and one day I found myself Continue reading

A dream remembered

NOTE: This article is a follow up to the article Deacons? What were the apostles thinking?

The Strange Fishing Dream occurred 10-15 years ago and with the help of friends, the understanding seemed clear. Not long after, I had another fishing dream, forgotten until the Lord brought it to mind today and helped me to see the meaning.

The Dream

funnyfishFrom the window of a vacant industrial building on a pier over the Puget Sound, I was fishing and hooked a big fish, the size of a cow. Somehow I managed to reel it in on a pole much too small for the job, lifted it out of the water, pulled it through the window and placed it on what looked like a boat cradle. I don’t remember that the fish weighed anything.

It was a funny looking fish, with a rounded boxy shape and unlike anything I’d ever seen come out of the Puget Sound. It was bloated looking, smooth skinned and had a pleasant but dumb looking expression on its face. Continue reading

Wheat field vision

The Vision. Spring of 2000.

wheatfield

Suddenly I was standing in the middle of a vast rolling wheat field. How I got there, I had no idea. It was as if one moment I was a stalk of wheat and the next I was a man. As the vision continued to unfold, I thought to myself I need to look for others and began to look around for a building where I might find other people or a phone where I could call someone to come and pick me up. Turning completely around I didn’t see ANY evidence of buildings or other men in sight. So I stood there, waiting.

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Caught up with Jesus, yet?

The_Late,_Great_Planet_Earth_coverHal Lindsay’s book The Late Great Planet Earth was first published in 1970 the same year I received Jesus as Lord. It was about 10 years later I finally read the book whereupon I was gripped by tribulation-mania and the possibility of being caught up at any moment in the rapture with Jesus. How well I remember deliberating whether to renew my subscription to the Wittenburg Door Magazine for 1 or 2 years. If the rapture were imminent, renewing for 2 years would be a waste of money, so I renewed for just 1 year.

It’s a silly story, but the fact is Hal Lindsey’s book and others like it, have sewn much yeast into the body of Christ. Christians fixated on the impending rise of the antichrist, the tribulation and the rapture have been rendered ineffective in the present by constantly fixing their eyes on a future escape from reality. Instead of living and rejoicing in our Savior who is here even NOW and who said “the kingdom of God is WITHIN you” (Luke 17:21), they await a future encounter with Jesus.

What an utterly useless way to live!

Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today. Matthew 6:34
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Lord, teach us to pray!

While waiting for my wife, I watched a man hobble out of the post office to his car, laboring over each step while leaning on a cane for support. With so many elderly in this community, it is fairly common to see people who are struggling with failing health. My heart goes out to them and often I find myself quietly praying for their healing and comfort.

prayerAs I prayed for the man at the post office, the Holy Spirit impressed me that I was relying on human sight to pray for people suffering from obvious physical conditions. With that in mind, the Holy Spirit prompted me to consider how my praying might change if I could see a person’s spiritual needs and respond with prayer for them.

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Hog Farms and the IC (Institutional Church)

The Lord gave me a prophetic experience one spring that went a long way toward dealing with the guilt I’ve felt over NOT being successful in bringing change to the institutional church I attended for several years

I need to share a little background – I was born and raised in a suburb south of Seattle and lived there for 42 years before the Lord directed me to move to the rural Midwest. The good ol’ boys had themselves quite a time kidding me about being a city boy and I often joked about corn, bugs, stifling heat, and hog farms common to the area. I’ve written song parodies about farm life and sang them for the locals, along with the inspirational and worship music I write.

hog1That spring, my musician friend, David, visited and he’d suffered through enough of my corn and hog jokes and parody songs, that one morning he woke and requested I drive him to a farm so he could have his picture taken with a hog. David must have thought our little town was like “Green Acres” where the pig Arnold roamed Main Street and was included in the population count. Continue reading