What Does Home Mean?

“”Can you hear me say, “I love you” from across the sea?””

Much like my friend Dallas Fluegel, I contain no musical talent but love how Dallas is contributing to the musical world by his website “The Unheard“! And through his vision am inspired to share in that contribution spreading the word to those unheard; ha, that rhymed! But in all seriousness… everyone, because the unheard need be heard much more!

I’ve been listening to the song Oslo by De Joie (Kaley Rutledge) and meditating on the question given by Dallas at the end of his article…

WHAT DOES HOME MEAN?

This song is beautiful! And you can read about it with the lyrics by clicking the link above in that question (“what does home mean?”)!

MY TAKE

As I listen to the song, I experience a mental simulation of myself walking along this shore of a sea or ocean. And as I’m walking along… I peer out across this vast expanse of water, incapable of seeing where the water meets the shore on the other side. I wonder to myself, “”can she hear me say, “I love you””.

I especially resonate with this idea of hope for home to know, “I love you”, while in the same verse communicating, “I’m wild and free”. Funny, because essentially that’s saying, “I’ll miss you, but don’t worry, trust me, I’m in good company.” I think there is this sense of security we have from home that gives us this ability to roam as though wild and free. And as you can see, Norway is a long way away from home.

I’ve never been to Norway, but have been to Germany. My grandma saw me off with a prayer and there I went, far from home on a mission trip to Weimar with my church at the time. I’m so impressed with how this song fits the description of feelings experienced at a particular stage in my life far from home, wild and free. But when I was there did my grandma hear me say, “I love you”, from across the sea? And, “don’t worry, trust me, I’m in good company.”

The meaning of home, for me, at that time, was my grandma. I was at a crossroads—a very difficult time in my life in my early to mid twenties. I was in a very broken place, vulnerable, but through unexpected events and immense amount of love and care from the God in my grandma… I found the meaning of home. I can hear God say from across the sea, “I love you”. And because I can hear it, my home is complete.

So now here I am away from home, not too far off from my twenties at 32, married to my beautiful wife, Laura. Saying from across the sea, “I love you”. And wonder… “can she hear me?”

To think on that causes me to feel something special. A metaphor with the potential to penetrate every soul with the sound of God. Because just like we tell home from across the sea (metaphorically), “I love you”. So too does God from across the other side of life because death will eventually be abolished. We can hear Him say, “I love you”. And we don’t have to worry, we can trust Him, because we are in good company.

You can know that you are in good company because of the seal of the Holy Spirit given by God through believing in Jesus Christ. When we make the personal decision to accept the Word of God as the truth that it is, we are claiming the gift of the Holy Spirit to seal our salvation from death and resurrect to life eternal by faith in the work of God. We are incapable of salvation apart from this help of the Holy Spirit to sanctify our souls from living amongst the enemy of God, that enemy is the dust of death.

That is why I believe we can feel a sense of security here on this side of eternity, wild and free in good company, because God is where our home is. Can you hear God say, “I love you”, from across the sea?

Can This Post Feed 5,000?

Featured photo: The Chosen  (Season 1 Episode 3)

Has there ever been a time in your life where you had food prepared and ready to go for work but woke up late? You just left it thinking by some hope of providence, you’ll get fed. And it just so happened the boss brought donuts just for you to have an excuse to break that diet and get through the work day!

Or perhaps there was a time in your life where food was expected, but not given? Your friends invite you over for steak, you get there… no steak. What the heck! Turns out no one really cared about your appetite, and the lack of consideration is quite discouraging so you plot to kill em all.

Not really. But still! Not only is that plot idea relevant to this post, It’s time for some new friends, don’t you think? because true friends will treat you like a king or queen. And this post is about to become your friend.

BECAUSE YOU ARE A KING QUEEN!

Alright friend, let me take you back in time! lets hit the rewind from A.D. 2020 to peer into the time of A.D. 27 through A.D. 34! Who and what are you thinking about when this history comes to mind? For me… it’s about Jesus and what he did!

There was a time in history that maybe you’ve heard of? An event where 5,000 people went hungry for food after watching and following a man capable of doing miraculous signs. They of course knew this man as Jesus of Nazareth, until this event nearly changed everything!

They didn’t have vehicles back then so Jesus walked to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias) up on this mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples. See now… Jesus knew these people needed to eat and had a plan to feed them, but how in the world was he about to feed 5,000?

Even his disciple Philip was like, yo, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them” to even receive a little. But the point of all this was to concern themselves for the people, to feel and have compassion for these people traveling to see and experience these miraculous signs that Jesus is doing.

The reason for these signs is much more than just proof that Jesus is the Messiah, but an expectation for the King of the Jews.

Now that the hearts of the disciples were focused on compassion for these people in response to Jesus’s’ prompting question, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?”. Thankfully one of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, *said to Him,  “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” That’s like me asking…

What is this post for so many people?

Jesus knew what he was about to do and how it was going to reveal to compel their idea to make Jesus the King of the Jews, but not for the reason the Jews anticipated… which was to deliver them from the oppression of Roman governance.

So as you can see, this “lad”… had a significant role to play in bringing the 5 loaves and 2 fish because it is through this selfless act of provision that the miracle of feeding 5,000 persuades the crowd to force Jesus into becoming the King that delivers them. But that is not the reason Jesus was to become King, do you know what that reason was?

You might want to sit down for this… considering that was the instruction of Jesus at that time for all these people, “Have the people sit down.”. Gaw… I love this, because in it we can recognizing the work of God! This act of communion bears so much meaning and symbolism to the body of Jesus being broken on the cross… but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Jesus is already the King, but desires these people, his inheritance, the chosen of God to share in His Kingship. Behold Israel! For salvation is from the Jews! But because these chosen people so strongly desired deliverance from Roman oppression, missed the reality of their own sin.

And so this Prophet who is to come into the world withdrew himself from these people to be alone on this mountain. He was like, “yo Pops, I need some new friends up in this house, these people aren’t cuttin-it”. No… of course he didn’t say that, it was more like, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

So now here comes the question, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”! Can you imagine eating your favorite donut without the side affects forever free, or how about a nice juicy steak for free whenever your appetite calls for it? I think that’s what these people had in mind, like yo…

FREE FOOD FOREVER!

But that wasn’t what Jesus was communicating and to their defense, they didn’t have a personal relationship with God through the seal of the Holy Spirit at that time to understand God intimately. That is what it meant to follow and believe in Jesus, to understand the heart and mind of God. But they just wanted the ability to have free food.

So then what is the answer to that question, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Well… it’s this, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” It’s quite simple really, believe in Jesus Christ. If you do believe, you’ll find that breaking open your Bible to John chapter 6 is where your spiritual meal is waiting.

LET’S EAT! I’M FAMISHED!

Why The HECK Should We Pray Anyways?

Let’s read through Luke 18 together.

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” ‭‭Luke‬ 18:1

Always pray. Don’t give up praying. That is the meaning of the parable Jesus is about to tell us. We don’t even need to read it to find the meaning. It’s clear.

When we do read it we find the parable of the unjust judge who provides justice for the widow because she is a persistent (maybe even annoying) person. Jesus is saying to us, if that is what an unjust, powerful official does for their subjects, God will surely bring justice to his chosen ones. 

He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Luke 18: 2-8

A little while after this parable we come to the story of the rich young ruler. A man who would not give up his great wealth and follow Jesus to earn his salvation.

18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’[a]21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” Luke 18:18-26

I feel for the rich young ruler. Immediately after I read this I hesitated to pray, ‘Lord take my riches if that’s what it takes for me to be a true follower of you.’ Clearly – there is still room for sanctification to happen in my heart. But Jesus tells us, “What is impossible with man is possible with God” (Luke 18:27), so there’s hope for me yet.

In fact Jesus goes on to promise us that those who leave everything to follow him will get more than that in this age… and in the age to come. That means in this life and the next! What a promise!? It just takes some trust. 

2“Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18:29-30

At the end of this chapter we see a little bit of a call back to the parable of the unjust judge. A blind man yells at Jesus as he is walking by and continues to call out to him despite others telling him to stop and to be quiet. The blind man is persistent. Jesus hears him. Asks him how he can help. And then gives him sight.

35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. 42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. Luke 18:35-43

Conclusion

Always pray. Don’t give up praying. Our just God will hear you. 

Why Do You Look For The Living Among The Dead?

The other day I was reading the last chapter in Luke and a verse struck me. It is a quote from one of the angels talking to the women looking for Jesus in the empty tomb.

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?” Luke 24:5b

I think it’s a particular stunning verse, and in the context of the Luke’s narrative it is the turning point. Preceding this moment we have a close friend’s betrayal, unjust trials, torture, and the crucifixion of an innocent man. Let us sit in that for a second. Imagine yourself a witness to these moments:

A friend’s betrayal

Unfair, unorthodox, & unjust trials

Torture – flogging and mockery

Crucifixion, a humiliating and painful execution of state sponsered asphyxiation

Death of an innocent man

Then BAM! These ten words nearly jump off the page and bring a sudden stop to the terror.

Why do you look for the living among the dead?

Jesus is alive!

Can you feel the power in this verse? Do you see how the whole world pivots from this moment? Can you put yourself in the shoes of the women that day? Can we have the humility to put ourselves under the same scrutiny?

Why do I look for life among the dead?

I have sought to find life and salvation in relationships with women. I have looked for pleasure in the grave of porn sites. I have fought and sought to be approved and impressive to others who themselves are seeking life in the cemeteries of this world.

Even now I search for comfort among the cushions of the couch instead of in the God of the universe. I search for appreciation and value for the deeds I do in my house, at work, and in my friend group instead of doing great things out of the confidence that God has already declared my value infinite. I search for happiness and joy within my life without going to the source of happiness and joy. I search for comfort, appreciation, approval, happiness, & joy in a world that has no idea how to acquire them while the Creator of these blessings offers them in abundance.

Why do I look for life among dead?

I do this because I have not convinced myself of the full goodness of God.

A Prayer

Father, please change my heart. Make me into a new being. Inspire me to be a man who seeks after You. Win my heart over. Convince me of Your love and goodness. You are so kind, so gracious, so loving. Help me believe that you are the source of life and not this world. I love you. Your will be done. Amen.

I know I’m not the only one. What about you?

Travel Back In Time And Discover The Beginning!

Right now I’m currently studying through Genesis for myself, but also with my wife and some friends. The idea is to philosophize about the deep things of God together and understand our relationship with God for salvation.

We live in some very confusing times, but my God is not an author of confusion. Now while that is fact, it does not negate the reality of our condition because obviously confusion is prevalent in our society.

However, I think by exploring the genesis of our condition (death) will bring enlightening evidence to a very important spiritual truth that calibrates our understanding.

So let’s begin.

In…(Genesis 3:1-5)…it says:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die. ’“The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.””

NASB

So this serpent made some pretty serious accusations and claims of which are lies and false because it turned out God was right, eating that fruit was the wage of death and is why God warned us not to eat it.

Now… the information from that passage presents a thought that need be taken as a grain of salt, because it’s just a thought, but it seems to me that God may have had a plan for the fruit to be eaten in due course, just not prematurely.

However, it also seems the serpent saw an opportunity to become evil incarnate by giving premature information that betrayed the trust of God for political gain, to remove God from His throne and be in that place itself.

Anyway those thoughts seemed to be reasonable, but of course don’t take anything of what I say as gospel, listen to God and learn from His Word for yourself. Apart from that…

Lets imagine a scientific concept!

A concept that resembles ‘the makeup and movement of a serpent that slithers’, a snake!

Now direct that concept to the night sky and see the stars, imagine how the fabric or our universe is like the scales of a serpent that slithers on the service of the ground. Only this serpent described is not moving on the surface of the ground, but rather is the very makeup and movement of our realm.

How?

Lets travel from the ‘here and now’ of our crazy year in 2020 (or whenever) to the edge of the cosmos where our universe started. We’ve theorized this concept as, “The Big Bang!”. And that is where we reach the head and tongue of this snake, our cosmic serpent that is slithering to it’s demise, “For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss” (Matt.7:13).

As we put the science together, atheists will not deny the evidence that declares the glory of God throughout our cosmic reality. It’s stupid to think that the void of our expanse is without intelligent design. But the concern shouldn’t be about the evidence.

Rather, the more important concern should be about the relationship in which the evidence describes.

To reject the relationship in which sustains our existence is to be subject to a different relationship by accepting the voice that speaks out of turn, out of place, and receive it as gospel. The voice of our reality, a serpent.

That is what happened at the beginning when a sinful language came out from the mouth of a serpent to influence innocent ears with ideas about God that were untrue.

That is also why I think Jesus said, “18 …“I watched Satan fall from heaven like [a flash of] lightning.“, because of what our solar system, universe, is made of.

And so here we are at the beginning, right where the bible describes our diverge from the truth we once lived into our present state of death and destruction.

Now zoom in just before the woman eats the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, remember this woman is also the wife of the man that God created and warned also not to eat from that fruit.

From that point, hit the rewind; the woman does not eat the fruit, puts the fruit back on the tree; the woman is back inside the rib of her man; the man is alone without a woman to help him in the garden; the man is taken out of the garden to where he was first created.

We are now at the beginning of where God first thought to form man from out of the dust of the ground.

In…Genesis 2:4-8…it says:

This is the history of [the origin of] the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day [that is, days of creation] that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens— no shrub or plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground, but a mist (fog, dew, vapor) used to rise from the land and water the entire surface of the ground— then the Lord God formed [that is, created the body of] man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being [an individual complete in body and spirit]. And the Lord God planted a garden (oasis) in the east, in Eden (delight, land of happiness); and He put the man whom He had formed (created) there.

AMP

Think about what has happened before our wage of death that claims every soul in this reality!?

Think about how the man and woman live in a place of eternity without experiencing death!?

Think about what happened before God put the man in the garden of Eden!?

I’m excited to explore with you! Hope to see evidence of your reading this! And until next time…

Nathan Dooley


Are You Living With Grief?

Whether it was on the mind or wasn’t, even now you may be asking yourself whether it’s relevant. I think it is… especially after reviewing why, because at the very least you’ll walk away with a foundational peace that surpasses all understanding.

However… while I can assure you that every person is living with some form or fashion of grief, you will not find peace without first acknowledging that you need to grieve by accepting the answer as “yes” for yourself.

I get it though—if this question was presented previous to the most recent difficult news in my life would’ve moved on as disinterested; it wouldn’t have been because I didn’t care, but that I didn’t understand the significance of grieving until the experience of pain became more than years could bear.

YES

Yes the traumatic experiences of life hurts, whatever that looks like for you—it could be that you’ve been through what feels like Hell, things I couldn’t possibly describe without knowing you intimately although can imagine because of how pain is all too familiar even though distinct.

It might be that someone you completely trusted lied?

It might be that circumstances made you handicap?

It might be that you’ve been abused?

It might be because you’ve lost a loved one?

It might be you can’t give birth to a loved one?

It might be that you just found out… cancer?

it might injustice due to bigotry and racism?

It might be the question itself?

I’ve learned that the significance of grieving is found when accounting for what’s been lost. “What’s been lost?” Feels more like a question of: What’s been taken? The answer is quite simple really, innocence.

LOST

Everyone handles grief in their own way, I get that. But how it’s handled is very important. it’s only been a couple weeks since losing my sister and the weight of waiting to lay her to rest is heavy laden on my soul.

And just as a friend of mine has graciously warned how grief will spontaneously sprout over the course of time when birthdays, holidays, and other days come round and my sister isn’t there will hit in ways unexpected. My wise friend said this…

Do me a favor. When the grief comes, when the pain comes— lean into it. As hard and as painful as it may feel, lean into the pain in order to live through it to reach the other side where the moments you remember are more of the ones you want to remember and not the pain you are currently feeling. What I did NOT say was to lean into it ALONE. You have a wife, other family and friends that you can lean on with all of your weight and we will hold you up until you can stand again. I am here for you just as I always have been. Whenever you need or want to talk or just have someone listen, I’m here. There is no such thing as too early or too late.

~ Draoun

And he’s right. You may not see me, but spiritually, you’re not alone. So whatever that pain looks like for you, get ready to take a few moments in the quietness of your soul and environment. But like my friend said, I didn’t say to do it alone. You can experience this with God, family and friends. Don’t be shy.

Don’t give into the pride of being perceived as tough. Lets get to a place where we are living with peace through that which is causing pain. If you were sitting across from me right now and I asked what your pain is…what would come to mind for you?

PAIN

Identifying your pain—is where you start not being lost in whats been taken, because whats been taken is what is causing your pain and influencing your life choices to consequences. Hence lost.

Like for me right now, I’m doing a balancing act by resisting the urge to react to the pain and suffering of the world learned through social media about stocks, coronavirus, injustices, politics, relationships, religion, while covertly getting through work day after day dealing with my responsibilities as a husband, uncle, brother, and friend.

Notice how I said “covertly getting through”. That means somethings wrong. The emotions that encompass the aforementioned reveals unspoken pain of which needs addressed because its’ influencing how I perform in all aspects of my life. So let the healing begin!

HEALING

Whether you’re reading this on your phone or on a computer, it is at this point you set it aside and think about what ails you. What causes you pain?

Don’t avoid that question as you would a confrontation, rather…confront that question headlong. Be real, raw, and authentic! Think of it as being in a place somewhere free, a cabin in the mountains maybe, or even a coffee shop that you feel like you own (even if you actually do) and journal what causes you pain and why.

Shoot! Even this post can become your journal place, that’s what the comments are for.

But as you do this, and take it seriously with time, you’ll start noticing periodic elevations in energy with a proactive desire to accomplish peace and live life to its’ fullest potential. Now here is where it gets difficult because a part of accomplishing peace is approaching demons you’ve avoided for however long in your life and these demons represent the emotions of hate to the extent of suppression, indifference, or even murder for the people or circumstances that hurt you to the core.

You need to remove these demons by releasing that energy or you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.

GRIEVE

God can handle the most worst possible pain you’ve experienced or even can imagine to experience. Let it out… share it… cry…

Don’t hold anything back, use your God given language to speak what is in your heart and listen… and I mean really listen …because God is handling it with you by making the choice at your own will to acknowledge that God can actually help you.

That doesn’t mean it will be easy or even simple, but the point is that you’re free…not bound by what laws you’ve created for yourself to be enslaved to. YOU ARE FREE! NOW GO AND LIVE IN FREEDOM!

In love…

Nathan Dooley


Freedom

Mercedes

Robbed Mercedes… When I got the call from our sister (Kelsie) about the news, didn’t know how to respond other than contact police departments to try and scrabble information. I didn’t want to believe what I heard, “NOO!…”. The feeling to describe the state of loss was…ROBBED…because you and I are designed to live holding … Continue reading Mercedes

The Thing About Stepping Stones

In light of my previous post this title seems most appropriate considering what troubles me. The sun is setting, darkness is fast approaching; light is dim, yet glistening off the stream of water. I think I see closure on the other side! But the surface is wet and bedded with algae. And the thing about stepping stones… is that they cause pause to ponder about ideas.

CROSS?

The stream has a peaceful sound, it’s gentle, feels safe… The algae? Yah, it’s true…I could fall; It’s a pretty green, slick to the touch. How about the stones? What is their condition? You’re right, “type of sandstone”…they’re brittle; but they seem reliable, sturdy enough and positioned in a way for every step of crossing


I try to bring it up in small doses or when problems arise for them to know that every stone is a stepping one.

~Mercedes “Sadie” Fulton

I won’t lie, I’ve doubted my calling to ministry for lack of academic credentials and experience. But the doubt that’s gnawing me presently is the philosophy of ‘doubt’ itself… it’s a problem you see …because as soon as doubt becomes effective it compromises confidence that would’ve otherwise prevented hesitation and thereby consequence.

The ideas of, “what if I said this or that—could it-have changed this or that… …am I somehow guilty…” weighs on the conscience.

While people in their good nature and mean no ill intent, might attempt to appease or fix these concerning thought patterns with words coated in flattery; they will not bring closure, and it does not bring healing to the parts of the conscience that need not healed because the wounds are already scars.

The closure that I see across the stream is not fixed on what I cannot control, nor any longer on the doubt that I CAN control. But my closure is fixed on what Jesus Christ is doing in my soul. I’m learning a valuable understanding about life of which each take part in their own way, but the understanding is this:

Every person purposed in their position of occupation to accomplish life is blessed with an internal choice that bleeds an external consequence, our days are numbered and sins are found out, but the legal divine right over every soul belongs to the one who wrote his or her DNA.

Every problem that is a stone is a stepping one. I will choose to have faith in Jesus Christ as I trust in the timing of God’s reasons to life and death that are beyond my compass of closure. I’m thankful to have a will to choose. And I’m thankful to have hope of which defines the character or my soul.

But what about you, reader?

How will you cross the stream of your life as the weight of your conscience is heavy burdened with sin? Do you see the problems of your life as stones for stepping or as algae for identity?

in love…

Nathan Dooley


Freedom

Mercedes

Robbed Mercedes… When I got the call from our sister (Kelsie) about the news, didn’t know how to respond other than contact police departments to try and scrabble information. I didn’t want to believe what I heard, “NOO!…”. The feeling to describe the state of loss was…ROBBED…because you and I are designed to live holding … Continue reading Mercedes

Are You Living With Grief?

Whether it was on the mind or wasn’t, even now you may be asking yourself whether it’s relevant. I think it is… especially after reviewing why, because at the very least you’ll walk away with a foundational peace that surpasses all understanding. However… while I can assure you that every person is living with some … Continue reading Are You Living With Grief?

Mercedes

Robbed

Mercedes…

When I got the call from our sister (Kelsie) about the news, didn’t know how to respond other than contact police departments to try and scrabble information. I didn’t want to believe what I heard, “NOO!…”.

The feeling to describe the state of loss was…ROBBED…because you and I are designed to live holding our grandparents and parents hands as they come of age to meet our Lord. I felt robbed of the many more years to experience life with you. And it was actually some friends (Daniel included) of mine that “coined” this feeling because of how they could relate to what I was presently experiencing—”feeling of being… robbed”.

And so here I am, robbed. Because when I go to message you now, there is no response, only…silence. Which is nothing like you at all. I think you might be one of the most obnoxious people I know apart from me. I mean, not that it was a competition or anything. Ha. That’s a laugh. Everything is a competition when you’re a free spirit; that’s what makes life interesting, reckless, and fun! Anyway… I can think of a few others in our family that are just as crazy as us and yet… still alive, go figure.

And for the record, Sadie, you cheated. I’m older, and it’s only fair that the elder goes first. Yes, you’re a lady and all. And myself, a gentlemen. But rules are rules. I get that ladies go first, but that’s cheating…sis!

Even though the feeling was a feeling of being robbed. After mourning and depression…have come to be at peace by the comfort of friends and family encouragement. But not only that, also in processing these moments I shared with you in our salvational engineering group discussion on facebook.

But I also feel the strength to not give up and to be around as much as possible to show the person the happiness and light I live in daily. I believe he made me for these types of people. Relatable to all types and strong in faith

I believe He (God) did too, Sadie. And I pray any friend and family that reflects on memories of you, they are comforted as I am by the motive of your heart.

I hate seeing beautiful souls get lost in thoughts of helplessness in their dark times … Now I just need them to want to ask questions and be ready and educated in my faith when it comes to those questions.

Me and you both, Sadie! I hope any person that ever comes to know you by testimonies about you, they will ask questions about that contentment and light, that hope, and us be ready and educated in faith to answer the hard questions. And while I’m not a judge to determine justice for any soul can only hope that every soul of which knows us will know Christ Jesus to be their salvation as He is ours.

Robbed

Speaking of answers to hard questions. The questions that surrounded the feelings of being robbed are put rest by answers that aren’t governed by my bias ideas of where you might be now, spiritually speaking. I can only hope to see you again in the clouds with Jesus Christ; while my dependency of that hope does not rest necessarily upon the sight of seeing you again, rather, that our sights together are focused on seeing Him because of the truth that Jesus Christ is the author and perfecter of our faith.

I love you Sadie! And don’t worry about Titan, the boy is in trustworthy hands.

Titan, BIG MAN TITAN…

You’re not quite old enough to read this yet, but one day, you will be. And I want you to know that your mom loved and still loves you sooooo sooo much. Don’t ever loose sight of that truth because it will be a compass for your soul. Don’t suppress the emotions of your heart, let the world know who you are. But understand this from your uncle Nathan, life is a mystery of proverbs that are worth discovering to learn from the Good Book.

Let the Bible be your compass in guiding you to life, truth, and love.

Here’s a quick story to remember your mom by: It was when we (me and your mom) were kids, just a few years older than you but can’t remember exactly what it was we were doing. I think it was either a game of tag or hide-n-go-seek. It’s a vague memory.

But that’s beside the point.

What I think I remember your mom running full speed away from was—getting tagged. She was always extremely competitive and quite fearless! Anytime there was a challenge, your mom was up for the task of proving her abilities. So as she was running full speed, focused and determined, nothing could stop her until… WHAM!

There was this horizontal steel pole that came out of no where, leveled her, knocking the air out of her as she hit the ground. But you know what… she got back up, she didn’t give up. Your mom was tough, just like you! And did you take notice of how focused and determined? She was, unstoppable.

And so even when obstacles come out of nowhere to stop you, Titan. Get back up, and don’t give up….

I love you.

Nathan Dooley


How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?

A good God can allow suffering because He is merciful. Let me explain.

IT GETS HARDER

The sixth and final question asked of the group brings up the problem of evil, but the original query that was asked was even tougher because it removed a core argument from the debate – freewill. So here is the full question that I will answer.

How can a good God allow suffering? Freewill seems just like an excuse.

I found this question to be quite difficult. I think the removal of freewill is the cause of my challenge in finding a complete answer. Freewill is not just an excuse. It is an essential piece to the human story. It is an essential piece to any love story. How can one love without choice? Does a wife love her husband because she can do nothing but love him? The question doesn’t even make sense. Love falls apart without freewill.

I digress.

Below are 7 statements backed by scripture to help understand the problem of suffering, doing my best not to harp on freewill. I prayed this would be God breathed and I pray now that this would be helpful to you.

1. Justice for all means extinction

If God were to end all suffering right now by bringing justice to the guilty everyone would be dead (Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:23, Romans 6;23). Suffering is the result of sin. Sin is done by sinners. We are all sinners. Therefore in order to get rid of suffering you must get rid of the sinner, and that would mean no one could be allowed to exist. The problem isn’t just some evil force working to do harm to all people. The problem is us.

2. God is merciful

God does not bring swift judgement to end all humanity (and all suffering) immediately because He loves us and is merciful (Psalm 86:5, Luke 6:36). 2 Peter 3:9 says “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” God has not judged us yet because he wants everyone to be saved.

3. God did not design a world with suffering.

In the beginning God created good. We see that over and over again in Chapter 1 of Genesis (Genesis 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). In Chapter 2 we even see that the relationship between man and woman is in good standing (Genesis 2:25). God did not design a world of suffering. This planet and its current affairs are not what He wanted for us.

4. Suffering is the result of human decision(s)

Genesis 3 lays out how what humans did to bring suffering into the world. They desired to be God, and they took action to achieve that goal in direct disobedience to God’s rule. Adam and Eve started a terrible tradition where men continue to try and replace God. This is the beginning of suffering. Elevating our thoughts, ideas, or desires above other’s wants and needs produces suffering. Our decision to lie at work hurts our employer and our customer. Having sex with a previous lover introduces possible insecurities in our next partner. Our rude, flippant remark at someone’s elementary mistake can scar an individual for a lifetime. We are the vicim and perpetrator of suffering.

5. God suffers with us

We are not alone in our suffering. God has done something really, really profound. He has chosen to suffer with us. In Mark 14:31 – 15:41 we witness God in human form (Jesus) experience dread, close friends unable to be there for Him in his time of need, betrayal, injustice, false accusations, disownment by a close friend, being mocked, torture, disgrace, public shame, and asphyxiation. Our God knows our suffering. He knows it intimately.

I’m not sure we understand the complete absurdity of this. God actually has experienced our suffering. It would be like if we were to go and experience the troubles of a worm. The individual worm’s suffering has no bearing on our life. There is no need for it. It makes no sense.

Unless there is love.

6. Suffering is not without purpose

A lot of us ask the question ‘why there is suffering in the world,’ but I think a more relevant and impactful question is ‘why do I suffer?’ The Bible tells us that our suffering has purpose (John 9:1-3, 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10; Luke 14:13-14; Acts 20:35).

This too is also quite profound. There must be suffering in this world because sin exists, but there does’t have to be purpose behind it. The purpose of suffering is a grace God has given to us in the midst of pain. He has found a way to make evil result in good.

7. God has taken action

When people say God has done nothing to combat evil and suffering that is a lie. God has done something and will do more.

He has always been a God of mercy and action. Even after the first sin God made clothes for Adam and Eve to help them cover their shame. He sent his only son to take our punishment for our sins so we can have peace and eternal life (John 3:16).

Finally, Jesus is coming back and His new kingdom is going to be epic. There will be no tears, pain, or death (Revelation 21:4). This world and its ways will pass away, and thank God!

Conclusion

The problem of evil and suffering is a very culturally relevant issue. I heard Neil DeGrasse Tyson give suffering and evil as the reason he does not believe in a good, all powerful God. He did not say because there was a lack of evidence. He didn’t say it was impossible. He said because there is evil and suffering. That reason does not stand, and we have an answer for it.

Please remember that just because we are people of faith does not mean that we are people without reason. Our God made the rules of this universe and any honest science will not disprove Him.

~ Daniel F. Grey

MORE ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS
Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?
Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?
How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?
How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?
Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

SOURCES

Bible Gateway
CBS Sunday Morning

OUTLINE

How can a good God allow suffering? Freewill seems just like an excuse.

I found this question to be quite difficult and I still don’t think I am satisfied with the answer I prepared below. I think the removal of freewill is the cause of my difficulty in this. It is not just an excuse. It is an essential piece to the human story. It is an essential piece to any love story. How can one love without choice? Does a wife love her husband because she can do nothing, but love him? The question doesn’t even make sense. Love falls apart without freewill. Anyways below is 7 statements backed by scripture to help understand the problem of suffering, doing my best not to harp on freewill. I prayed this would be God breathed and I pray now that this would be helpful to you.

  1. If God were to end all suffering right now by bringing justice to the guilty everyone would be dead. Romans 3:23; Isaiah 64:5-6; Romans 6:23
  2. God does not do this (point 1) because he loves us and is full of mercy. 2 Peter 3:9; Luke 6:36; Psalm 86:5
  3. Our God did not design a world with suffering. Genesis 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31; 2:25
  4. Suffering is the result of human decision(s). Genesis 3
  5. Our God did not leave us to suffer alone; he experienced it too. In Mark 14:32 – 15:41 we see God go through dread, close fries unable to be there for Him in his time of need, betrayal, injustice, false accusations, disownment by a close friend, being mocked, torture, disgrace, public shaming, asphyxiation
  6. Suffering is not without purpose. John 9:1-3; 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10; Luke 14:13-14; Acts 20:35
  7. Our God does not just sit back and allow suffering. God DID/WILL DO something to eliminate suffering. John 3:16; Revelation 21:4

Under Pressure | #8

PASSENGERS

Read Under Pressure #7 first! —No, Jim did not kill everyone. That part was a joke for those who’ve actually seen the movie.


THE INFLUENCE

Can you imagine though… being a passenger on a Starship spacecraft at the age of _whatever_, woken up by providence, to live the remainder of your days alone because everyone else is in suspended animation sleep until you’re dead? Well, sort of… I mean it’s not like they’re waiting or even wanting for you to be dead.

But what if you realized you didn’t have to be alone and found a way to give your life meaning by taking the meaning out of someone else’s life? “Say you’re stranded on a desert island with an ability to whisk someone there with you, would you?” (paraphrased from the movie).

That’s definitely not an emotional artificial intelligent robot type question, because robots don’t have a conscience bearing them responsible for an incalculable decision. So how does a person cope with that type of decision, once made?


THEY LIE

That’s right. They lie! But why? …pause…

You have to really think about that question for yourself. I’m bias to the belief that everyone assumes they know their reasons justified until the hypothetical becomes a reality for them personally, it’s only then, that anyone could truly understand the decision of another in this scenario.

And so if you were asking me that question. My reasons would be because of the ingrained nature to experience life to the fullest of its limited capacity. We are wired to live with each other, not separate. Therefore, it’s only natural that the inevitable will happen.

But the ability to cope, comes by way of motive. The chemical reaction of love, an impulse so powerful that the lie seems worth it all. Motive is what gives love meaning; which cultivates in a person’s character the ability to cope with difficult decisions, acquiring necessary mechanism to accept the consequence of their fate.


CHARACTER

I’m curious as to how these words typed affect you, reader. It’s therapeutic for me, quite literally affecting myself. Is that weird? I think, “yah”, that’s weird. Anyway, back to impacting our character.

Once the motive is established, the character falls in line and conforms into the ‘how to’ cope with the aforethought decision of whisking someone stranded on a desert island with you. And therefore we have, Jim. Our subject matter. Because in the movie you’ll find these mysterious qualities about the character of Jim as you watch to observe his personality.

So many questions come to mind through the progression of time Jim is alone on the ship until finally waking up the love of his life, Aurora. The hardest decision for him or, I think… anyone really …to make. And he copes with it by collusion with his bartender robot, Arthur. Yah, I know. And for awhile, I might add…(why is that even said “I might add” it’s an oxymoron).

Anyway, it’s the secret made with his emotional A.I. robot bartender that leaves the viewer and, well, now us, suspended with anticipation because of such an event. What do we make of this? It’s at this point in our story two motives emerge. Which, one: being that of inevitable love, and two: collusion for the inevitable love to happen. “So what do we make of this?” Do tell….


Stay tuned for Under Pressure #9 to continue in our journey with the passengers, consider following our blog and smashing that like button!

Passengers

Under Pressure | #7

In the movie “Passengers” a mechanic (Chris Pratt) and journalist (Jennifer Lawrence) are aboard a starship (and one of the best animated in my opinion) set out on routine course through space at 50% lightspeed to another planet-like Earth called Homestead II. While in transit the starships’ shield takes on some serious pressure upon encountering … Continue reading Under Pressure | #7

Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?

Yes. Your deceased, unbelieving loved one is in hell, but I wouldn’t lead with that. Let me explain.

A Reminder

When these six questions were brought to my group they were all challenges we were scared to have someone ask us as a believer. Can you imagine your new friend bringing this loaded question to you? How do you respond to it without losing a soul, but also with gentleness and tact?

How To Respond

Each situation is unique and I would not approach every person the same way, but I think you could combine the truths listed below in a number of different ways and maintain integrity, gentleness, & truthfulness.

1. Speak Truth

It is important to speak truthfully and lovingly into this piercing, heartfelt question. This query is one of heartbreak. Please be gentle with this person, but don’t misrepresent the truth. A well timed word can comfort the heart and a lie can lose souls.

2. Read The Room

Before you bring your sword of truth to bear, remember this -> We do not know with 100% certainty the final state of a person’s heart; only God knows and sees that. We do know that God is good, just, and a God of mercy. We can trust Him to do the right thing, and He is the one that makes the final judgement, not us. So before you declare the truth to your friend see if you need to tend to their heart. Sometimes a hug and a ‘I don’t know” may be all that is needed.

3. A Message From The Grave

We may not know where their loved one is with 100% certainty, but we do know, whether in heaven or hell, they have a desire for your friend. The parable in Luke 16:19-31 tells of a rich man sentenced to hell. There he is starved of the goodness of God and is filled with agony. He begs that his family would be told the right way to get to heaven… No matter where our deceased loved ones are, they want us to know Jesus.

4. Heaven On Earth

The after life will always contain some mystery, but there are certain things we can thank God for now. In this life their loved one got to experience the goodness of God in what is known as common grace: food to enjoy, satisfying work, good friends, rain and sunshine, the beauty of the night sky, etc… The world is full of wonder and we all get to live in it, no matter what we believe.

Conclusion

If this question was brought to you with heartfelt sincerity I think you could use these four pointers to help plant or water the seed of faith in their life. However, if you are approached with hostility I think the best way to respond is through point 2, then show them you care by following up at a different time. In the words of Frederick William Faber “Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning.”

~ Daniel F. Grey

MORE ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS
How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?
Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?
How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?
How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?
Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

SOURCES

Exoduse 34:6-7
Lamentation 3:23-24
Matthew 5:45
Luke 16:19-31
BrainyQuote.com

OUTLINE

  1. It is important to speak truth and love into this piercing, heartfelt question without misrepresenting the truth. 
  2. Sometimes a hug and a ‘I don’t know’ may be all that is needed to be done. 
    • We do not know the final state of a person’s heart; only God knows and sees that and He is the one that makes the final judgement
    • We do know that God is good and just and we can trust him to do the right things. Plus He is a God of mercy. Exodus 34:6-7
  3. Luke 16:19-31; we may not know where the loved one is, but we do know your loved one’s desire for you. The rich man, starved of the goodness of God, begged that his family would be told of the right way to get to God/heaven.
  4. We do not know where your loved one is now, but in this life they got to experience the goodness of God in the common grace He set forth on earth (Matthew 5:45).  Food to enjoy, satisfying work, good friends, rain and sunshine, the beauty of the night sky, etc…

Under Pressure | #7

In the movie “Passengers” a mechanic (Chris Pratt) and journalist (Jennifer Lawrence) are aboard a starship (and one of the best animated in my opinion) set out on routine course through space at 50% lightspeed to another planet-like Earth called Homestead II.

While in transit the starships’ shield takes on some serious pressure upon encountering what appeared to be a comet cloud.


The spacer you see above is an indicator of time intervals between segments of writing.

If you haven’t watched the movie between now (2020) and 2016, then I’m about to give you a unique perspective as you watch it for the first time. And if you have seen it, well… as you read what is typed jogs the memory and entices you to watch it again, you’ll also get a unique perspective as this post will come to mind.

5000 passengers are in their hibernation pods experiencing 120 years worth of animated dream-like state while traveling across space in an artificial intelligent and dare I say emotionally intelligent spacecraft. But upon a comet puncturing through the shield causing significant damage, of which the impossible happens, a “failsafe” hibernation pod’s ‘time chip’ fries…and wakes Jim (a mechanic) 90 years too early.


Imagine the concept. How is it any different than living aboard earth, the spacecraft you’re on right now? Onlyyyy… you share a dream with about 8 billion other passengers. And in this dream you wake up before 8 billion other people, realizing that… you’re alone. Everyone is as good as dead and there’s nothing you can do about it. Or is there?

After a year Jim is alone on this starship the pressure is weighing and desperation is calling. An idea emerges. Jim begins to investigate a hope and possibility of making the rest of his life meaningful, but at the risk of taking the meaning out of someone else’s life. So Jim kills everyone. Okay you got me, that was a joke. Just making sure you’re paying attention.


If you like what you’re reading, consider following our blog and I’ll see you in the next “Under Pressure” post where I’ll continue this life riveting concept.

Spiritual Insight | #17

The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.

Proverbs 16
Do your motives reveal Jesus Christ?

To continue from my insight #16. The elements that make up our reality communicate options to possibilities. They also communicate our limitations. But what do the motives of our conclusions reveal about us? I wonder.

Ahhhhh… this aught to be interesting!

Right now I’m at work typing up this post. Let’s get right to the meat of it. Each of us are capable of judging to discern the nature of what is good and what is evil. So you be the judge and determine whether the motive of my decision to work on this post while on the clock, is justified.

Every moment spent typing this up is paid for: how do you feel and what do you think about that?

Lets investigate!

“Zero justification” may be the immediate response to the feeling of some. And if you’re my wife, then chances are you’re bias to the risk of what might happen upon the action found out and the discipline expected. “What if you’re fired?”. Which is a very logical and wise position. It goes to show genuine respect for the occupation at hand in honor of personal conviction by the Holy Spirit for that individual.

However, I’m of the belief that ones personal conviction about a given situation may differ than that of another’s in that same situation. And while they may differ, the consequence solely falls on the one taking the risk. Judge wisely. It is important to take into account what a person does with such information if their conviction is strong enough to act on by presenting the issue to necessary personnel (listen to wisdom).

[“Unless you’re a religious political risk-taking genius (or a lawyer)” then you’ll eat this up like steak and tators (considering what the news is reporting about our meat). Alright… now while you may excuse it for confidence and admittedly, it even felt good to write. It’s an unhealthy perspective, totally prideful and arrogantdon’t chalk that up to anything more than humor; motives like that consequence’ a fall so hard, you don’t wake up in freedom.]

My position also, is a bias one. The risk of someone’s eternal salvation; spiritual birth, growth, accountability and responsibility. Therefore, I’m motivated to the knowledge of the gospel by what little time is counting my days to write and do videography with this ministry.

This spiritual insight is about purpose.

I know what my job requires of me. So let me reassure the reader, I’m doing my duty. While my general orders may be confidential and proprietary, they are being accomplished. But did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?

The real job of any believer is the salvation of souls by the power in the gospel of Jesus Christ preached.

Just as Jesus willfully took the risk of death by crucifixion I too will take the risk of losing my life to serve His Kingdom come. And I’ll do it with wisdom taught by His Spirit active in me presently. But will you hear the motive of His Name? Do you see Jesus Christ revealed in the motive of the cross in your own life… and mine?


Proverbs 16 (Motive)

Spiritual Insight | #16

2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives. Proverbs 16 Have you ever woke up feeling… weird? Like… spiritually weird? I did, and can’t figure out why, or what is going on. SO! Thought it appropriate to write about and see what we find out. At first I … Continue reading Spiritual Insight | #16

Spiritual Insight | 15

3 Commit your works to the Lord And your plans will be established. Proverbs 16 I love thunderstorms! I hear its sound and see its magnificence approaching through the window and must leave my typing to go outside and experience it… I appreciate how a thunderstorm displays the majesty of God. Not that I woke up to, … Continue reading Spiritual Insight | 15

Under Pressure | #6

I’ve been on a ‘social media fast’ from my phone. So I’m choosing to wait until I’m actually at the computer to discover notifications from new friends, friends, and family. The pressure is real when trying to manage time faithfully when the enticement of social media is beckoning.

But it’s worth it. Because if we’re not diligent, we can get sucked right into the vortex of time wasted by the convenience of social attention at our finger tips. It’s a difficult psychological adjustment because, the chemical effect by each expectant ‘buzz‘ or a ‘ding‘ is addictive.

It’s okay to be honest with ourselves when calculating how much time is spent where, and why, because healthy accountability is gold in our day and age of technology and connection. Don’t lose yourself amidst the chaos. No one owes anyone time. Don’t worry, the pressure is good.

UNDER PRESSURE

Spiritual Insight | #16

All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives.

Proverbs 16

Have you ever woke up feeling… weird? Like… spiritually weird? I did, and can’t figure out why, or what is going on. SO! Thought it appropriate to write about and see what we find out.

At first I had this nagging question in my mind, “Was it the wine?…”. And although the ‘fruit of the vine’ does play some affect, it doesn’t satisfy to answer.

I work days and nights to which my sleep schedule is a little “loopy” (crazy) at times. And that also plays a role in this weird spiritual feeling, but again, it doesn’t satisfy.

I didn’t intend to write a blog post this early morning because my MOTIVE was to sleep through the night to be ready for work today, but it appears my Lord has weighed that motive and so here I am.

When I wrote my previous insight, I told myself that I’d “continue in the proverbs”. But was it me that told myself that, or…. was it instructed to and for, me? I wonder. The above paragraph is in bold because it communicates a direction to an answer that satisfies.

Time for some music, and I’d like some coffee but don’t want to get up… because… I’m naked. ….huhhhh…. Whatever, I’m getting some coffee. (Don’t worry, I got dressed).


I’ve been meditating on the procedure of mercy, grace, and faith as elements of God given to humankind for understanding salvation communicated by the gospel, and…. let me tell you, the experience is extraordinarily awesome!

My heart feels for the people unbelieving the gospel preached to all creation. Not because I don’t share in the sins of this world, but because the unbelievers would prefer to identify themselves with the sin of their choosing over their trust in Christ.

My soul experiences the same consequence of condemnation as the person in a jail cell for life. I pray the wisdom of conviction within is heard and understood by the unbelieving, because we’re forgiven by what Jesus did on the cross.

My mind perceives the inspiration of scripture written in my flesh by the reality of its’ decaying. There is no excuse for what I’m incapable of changing, be it sin. Therefore it’s only logical to express the need for HELP, unbeliever.

My strength calls out in weakness because you, unbeliever, are Christ’s mission. If the gospel does not speak to me then T4P means nothing and sin is my cure, but because the gospel does in fact speak. I will help build with eager preaching, your tent.


I’ve questioned how, exactly, does salvation work in the conversion of some but not others? I feel like that question is important to an extreme, so let me make it special.

How does salvation work in the conversion of some but not others?

As I study about the temptations of Christ (which I’m anxious to get finished and posted), learn about spiritual consultation between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Jesus, although not born of the seed of man, is still very much a man being tested by the sin of man. That is what and who I believe the devil is representing (sin of man) when tempting the qualifications of the Son of God. Because mankind is on a course of complete unrighteousness under the governance of spiritual evil, ergo the ‘devil of time’ is suspect.

However, because Jesus is completely righteous, mankind is left without excuse to the truth of who governs good. Jesus represents the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the sin cursed flesh of man. This is why no person is capable of conversion apart from the faith of Christ Jesus. And no I don’t mean faith of myself, or you, reader, but faith of Jesus.

Jesus is the Person of God revealed. God is a Person that qualifies as the sources of elements which convert a sin cursed devil (mankind) to a righteous holy saint (mankind). This is possible by the faith of Jesus given as a gift of good news (gospel) for all creation to hear. But this begs the question. Is the Person of God bound to convert a person that does not truly believe in Jesus? Although professing to be christian.

What choice do we have?

For me, the most effective way of answering this question is observing the person of Judas Iscariot (one of Jesus’ chosen apostles). I believe the gospel is revealing the desire of God for all to be saved, but that not all will accept it for reasons entrusted to a Holy God for judgement.> Please investigate the scriptures for yourself if you disagree with me and share your concerns.

I do not believe God’s desire is for repentant robots, meaning to control the elements of a people He created against their will because of His power to do so. Rather… I believe God’s desire is for you to choose to trust Him, because if you don’t, the reality is unrighteousness doomed by the choosing of elements sinister by nature.

In other words I believe there is a scientific explanation of convertible energy that defines information which holds a person accountable to their will (choice), and is ultimately judged by the truth manifest and revealed by our motives before a Holy God.

Do your motives reveal Jesus Christ?

Proverbs 16 (Motive)

Spiritual Insight | #17

4 The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil. Proverbs 16 Do your motives reveal Jesus Christ? To continue from my insight #16. The elements that make up our reality communicate options to possibilities. They also communicate our limitations. But what do the motives of our conclusions … Continue reading Spiritual Insight | #17

Spiritual Insight | 15

3 Commit your works to the Lord And your plans will be established. Proverbs 16 I love thunderstorms! I hear its sound and see its magnificence approaching through the window and must leave my typing to go outside and experience it… I appreciate how a thunderstorm displays the majesty of God. Not that I woke up to, … Continue reading Spiritual Insight | 15

Under Pressure | #5

If you think you’re incapable of becoming known to the world for making a difference, you’re wrong.

You are capable!

But… question is…

What will you be known for?

You didn’t click onto this post to be flattered. But to be encouraged!

LISTEN

If you think living out on the street, hotel, or luxury home by what you’ve become in this life is hidden from the radar of making a difference?> Ummm… shut up!

Check this out! Hear this little story!

You and two strangers unexpectedly meet up at the street corner of ‘under’ and ‘pressure’. You all three awkwardly look at one another like, “why are we here?”, and begin to dialogue. After you get through the same old routine of “Hi! Hi! Hi!”, the conversation turns to what?

Multiple Choice:

  1. (a) mush
  2. (b) philosophy
  3. (c) humor
  4. (d) concern

Spiritual Insight | 15

Commit your works to the Lord And your plans will be established.

Proverbs 16

I love thunderstorms! I hear its sound and see its magnificence approaching through the window and must leave my typing to go outside and experience it… I appreciate how a thunderstorm displays the majesty of God. Not that I woke up to, but it’s a pleasant feeling when waking up to a subtle thunder and flashes of lightning, grace filled rain fall. …Awww… think of the smell of rain, love that smell!

During work at (T4P) this morning I’ve come to realize my project on ‘The Temptation‘ is taking much more time than I’d like to commit to, honestly, but the spiritual journey due to the commitment is so very rewarding.

The proverbs ring true at this insight, I’ve committed my work to the Lord and plan to have published work for my readers to read this morning. Imagine coffee in hand, bible at my side and in my heart, journal before me to record this process, and finally, ear buds in my ears to hear scripture rapped by Shai Linne.

There is a divine experience when the work of the Heavenly Kingdom is in the work of my fingers to type each word signifying the gospel manifest in the saving work of the Holy Spirit in my life to hope for my readers salvation in Christ. That is the spiritual insight of this post—that the word of the Kingdom of God is evident in this work of my commitment to Jesus Christ, and the work is also available to you.

How do you use your time to commit to Jesus Christ?

I would genuinely like to know how you apply that proverb in your life. You can tell me in a comment or maybe I’ll watch and read about it sometime somewhere, Lord willing.

I’m deeply encouraged by my bothers and sisters in Christ (in my life personally) already applying this principle to their life. It’s so AWESOME!

I so strongly desire to spend time with many of my fellow brothers and sisters in the faith while struggle in that same desire by the cost of time; it’s possible I’ve failed to communicate my priorities to several of my friends that desire time, there is no excuse but to continue in my work of the cross by this (T4P) site.

But I pray that any friend reading the above paragraph does not think that all my time goes into isolating myself behind a screen to do this work. It’s doesn’t. Let me explain. I’ve committed myself to a select few in life under the stewardship of Watermark Community Church to help govern my life in the counsel of scripture by God through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.

I’m on active mission with these select few in honor of the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ to cultivate the birth of salvation in those lost by our world of sin, yet hopefully found by the hearts behind this site pointing to His MERCY, GRACE, and FORGIVENESS.

The sacrifice is real!

I think the most difficult aspect of my faith is navigating time with my fellow believers appropriately. But not only them.

Biological family is also demanding when it comes to desired time spent, not a bad thing, it’s only natural because of endearment. But here come why it’s difficult.

Expectations!

I expect, you expect, they expect, we all expect! Expectations have such potential to cause unnecessary consequence, pain and hurt due to the sin of idolatry. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Lord willing… We’ll have eternity together! I love you!

God speed.


Proverbs 16 (Motive)

Spiritual Insight | #16

2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives. Proverbs 16 Have you ever woke up feeling… weird? Like… spiritually weird? I did, and can’t figure out why, or what is going on. SO! Thought it appropriate to write about and see what we find out. At first I … Continue reading Spiritual Insight | #16

Spiritual Insight | #17

4 The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil. Proverbs 16 Do your motives reveal Jesus Christ? To continue from my insight #16. The elements that make up our reality communicate options to possibilities. They also communicate our limitations. But what do the motives of our conclusions … Continue reading Spiritual Insight | #17

Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?

I know this is a tough topic. There are a lot of emotions tied up in this subject. Some of us likely have gay friends or family. Some of us may even identify as LBGTQIAP ourselves.

Before we go any further I have to tell you something very important. God loves everyone. He loves the Lesbian the same as he loves the straight dude the same as he loves the asian little person. These labels are ours, not His. He loves you for you just as you are.

Also there are people who can do this message so much better than me. Check out this talk by Jonathan Pokluda or this one by David Marvin.

My Answer

I decided to breakdown this question in order to get a more unbiased look at it. As a result my two new questions will put the spotlight on all people not conforming to the standard of the bible, in other words… everyone.

This is tough so I’m going to start with a prayer.

Father, let the words that I’m typing be true and if they are not true would you encourage the readers to overlook them or to challenge me with scripture so that I may be sharpened in my understanding of you. Please help our defenses to go down and let your word cut its way into our life. Help me to yield Your Word with grace and mercy and please forgive me where/if I have misused it. I need you! Amen

A Breakdown

The question ‘can someone embrace homosexuality and still be saved’ can be split into two more generalized questions: 1) What does it take to be saved? 2) Can someone embracing sin still be saved?

What Does It Take To Be Saved?

There are several scriptures that lay out what is required in order to be saved. John 3:16 is world famous, but the another good verse is Romans 10:9 NIV: “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

You might ask, “don’t you need to repent and be saved?”

The interesting part about these verses is the absence of the term repentance. However, when we study the book of Acts particularly focusing on the narratives regarding people coming to salvation we start to notice a trend. Acts 2:38, 3:19, 11:18, 17:30; 20:21; 26:20. Do you see it? Where there was salvation there was repentance!

Therefore, I have come to conclusion that salvation and repentance are two side of the same coin. In order to get salvation you must have repentance. Thus, one is saved when they declare Jesus as Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead and as a result of that salvation we should see some level, even a tiny amount, of repentances as evidence of one’s new faith.

Can Someone Embracing Sin Still Be Saved?

To embrace an idea is to believe something is true or make the concept one with us. For example, if we say Bryan has really embraced vulnerability we would mean that Bryan has taken the concept of vulnerability and applied it to his life. If Bryan did this well we would be able to say, “Bryan is a vulnerable person.” The embraced concept becomes a part of who he is, so to embrace sin is to make it part of our identity.

As stated at the beginning of this post I wanted to remove the focus on homosexuality and focus on how this question affects all people. When we generalize the original question we can turn it into a fill in the blank.

Can someone embracing (___INSERT SIN___) still be saved?

We need to really think about this question. How does this apply to us? Can I really keep embracing my disrespectful attitude toward my boss and still be saved? Can I continue pursuing these lustful fantasies and still be saved? Your questions could also look like the following?

  • Can someone embrace gossiping and still be saved?
  • Can someone embrace stealing time at work and still be saved?
  • Can someone embrace sex before marriage and still be saved?
  • Can someone embrace homosexuality and still be saved?
  • Can someone embrace coveting others possessions and still be saved?

Conclusion

When we believe in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and declare Him as Lord we are instantly saved. We are made completely new in the eyes of God, but we still have many, if not all, of our flaws. We don’t just stop sinning the moment we are saved. We are continually convicted and shown our old and new sin in a process of sanctification. We are saved, but we continue to sin through moments of weakness/ignorance/disobedience. We live our lives and then when we are confronted with our sin we should confess it (sometimes over and over again) and find healing. We should not see our sin, justify its existence, then accept it as who we are. When we embrace sin we are declaring our desires as Lord, rather than Jesus.

However, if one can be ignorant to God’s teaching then maybe they can be saved while embracing their sin. However, I have deep concern for anyone’s salvation who knows they are sinning and chooses to keep sinning anyways. That reaction to Jesus seems like the response of a person who is choosing a life of what they want rather than surrendering to God’s wants for their life. In essence they believe in God, but they declare themselves as Lord.

~ Daniel F. Grey

MORE ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS
Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?
How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?
How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?
How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?
Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

OUTLINE

  1. What does it take to be saved?
    1. John 3:16, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
    2. What about repentance?
      1. Whenever I was looking through Acts on how people got saved I saw a trend – where there was salvation there was often repentance. Acts 2:38, 3:19, 11:18, 17:30; 20:21; 26:20.
      2. We also see that bible warns against unrepentance and the result of unrepentance. It also says that we are suppose to cut sin from our lives. Romans 6:1,12,15; 8:2; 1 Corinthians 6:18, 15:32; 2 Corinthians 12:21; 1 Timothy 3:20; Hebrews 10:26, 12:4
    3. Considering a and b together I have come to the conclusion that salvation and repentance are two sides of the same coin. In order to get salvation you must have repentance.
      1. Therefore one is saved when they declare Jesus as Lord and believe in their heart that God raised him from the dead and as a result of that salvation we should see some level, even a tiny amount, of repentance as evidence of their new faith.
  2. Can someone embrace sin and still be saved?
    1. I have now generalized the question so that we can apply this to everyone. So the new question might read as such 
      1. Can someone embrace gossiping and still be saved?
      2. Can someone embrace stealing time at work and still be saved?
      3. Can someone embrace sex before marriage and still be saved?
      4. Can someone embrace coveting others possessions and still be saved?
      5. Can someone embrace homosexuality and still be saved?
      6. Can someone embrace _____sin______ and still be saved?
        1. I’m not including addictions on this list on purpose because at the point when someone is addicted I don’t know if that person is capable of choosing what is right and what is wrong.
    2. To embrace an idea is to believe something is true or to make the concept one with us (for example if we were to say Bryan has really embraced vulnerability, we would mean that Bryan has taken the concept of vulnerability and applied it to his life so that one could easily say, “Bryan is such a vulnerable person” – the embraced concept becomes a part of who he is) so to embrace sin is to make it part of our identity.
    3. When we believe in Jesus resurrection from the dead and declare Him as Lord we are instantly saved. We are made completely new in the eyes of God, but we still have many if not all of our flaws. We don’t just stop sinning the moment we are saved. We are continually convicted and shown our old and new sin in a process of sanctification. We are saved, but we continue to sin through moments of weakness/ignorance/disobedience. We live our lives and then when we are confronted with our sin we confess it (sometimes over and over again) and find healing. We should not see our sin, justify its existence, then accept it as who we are. When we embrace sin we are declaring our desires as Lord rather than Jesus. However, if one can be ignorant to God’s teaching then maybe they can be saved while embracing their sin. I would have deep concern for someone’s salvation if they know they are sinning and choose to sin anyways. That response to Jesus seems like the response of a person who is choosing a life of what they want rather than surrendering to God. In essence they believe in God but they declare themselves as Lord.

SOURCES

The Bible (NIV)
Matthew 5:48
John 3:16
Romans 10:9
Acts 2:38,3:19,11:18,17:30,20:21,26:20
2 Corinthians 5:17
Romans 3:23, 6:1-2
James 5:16
1 John 1:8-10
https://www.theporch.live/messages/3066
https://www.theporch.live/messages/5610

Under Pressure | #4

Timer Set!

It’s frustrating when you’ve committed to a project that gets interrupted by unpredictable events. But it’s exceedingly peaceful when the intended labor is put to rest by those events to accomplish a different purpose during the time of interruption.

Although the timer be set, the pressure of this post is not in the time but in what need be communicated. While you’re vision is limited in what is typed, it’s unlimited by the right of your choice to choose what to do about the information given.

I found this exercise I’m about to share interesting because of how its potential is to alter my reader’s lifestyleas it’s altering mine.

Have you asked yourself whether you would follow the person that you are right now?

There is a lot to unpack in that question; because it pertains to much more than how you look in the mirror, but what you know about who you are.

As I think about that question for myself, I wonder whether my reader will relate.

I think about where I’ve been weak and vulnerable in my life and how that sin of lust enticed me to decisions unworthy of forgiveness upon asking the people that may still hold resentment or bitterness in their heart against me.

I think about how I claimed Christianity without understanding conviction of the Holy Spirit upon my believing to be Christian… because my heart was filled with brainwashed sickness of self-righteous pride and passive arrogance. I thought I knew truth enough to teach it.

WOULD I FOLLOW MYSELF?

When I get up from my seat of typing this post right now and turn to look at the empty seat where I sat…

Now back in my seat to type, I stop and look at where I stood…

Thinking about the man standing, would follow the hunger and thirst after the purpose of the truth of Christ in the person of Nathan.

But let me tell you what I would not follow after in the person of Nathan. I would not follow after the ‘sin type of lost‘ aspects; even though I proclaim the Kingdom of God, the gospel of my (and yours if you believe) Lord Jesus to this world, does not mean the temptation of sin that condemns me is not present with me.

I give thanks and praise to God for the salvation found in me because I’ve been found by Christ and will live to serve Him with all that I am.

Although sin is present with me, it is my belief and faith in Jesus that produces life altering changes with the capacity to resist certain temptations which test me for overcoming what seems to be impossible.

  • Acting out in lust after sex without respect of consequence which teaches us against such perversion.
    • Reacting in arrogance to success as though attained without God to bless by giving or taking away.
      • Eating in gluttony by luxury or worry because gaining the world is more important to life than dying to live with Christ.

Change starts by believing in the Spirit given by God to change your life.

UNDER PRESSURE

Spiritual insight | #14

ON THE EDGE OF ETERNITY

Is it possible to be aware of eternity set in the heart?

For me personally, I do believe it’s possible because of what is written in the link provided in the title header (ON THE EDGE OF ETERNITY).

I acknowledge an invisible God that teaches me about spiritual matters to which weigh on my conscience. To have knowledge about those matters and refrain from manifesting truth in the wake of sin must mean that I would care more about me than the mission of the cross of Christ.

What is the mission of the cross of Christ?

The mission is the eternal salvation of your soul, reader.

so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:7-9

Reader, we live in a time of technology where information is rapidly evolving to become a tool of deception and selfish gain. It won’t be that the “tool” is evil, but that the sinister element in the individual/s’ use’ of opportunities against a gullible people that will inspire an evil tool (the devil). That is an inevitable fact given the nature of sin.

How so?

Prophecy foretells of an event that will reveal the man of lawlessness, a false God. If you are without faith in Jesus Christ, this false god will convince you of a deception that will delude you into believing a lie.

From my experience with atheists, they demand evidence for believing in a proclaimed god because of the person making such a claim as Gods’ existence without appropriate evidence. We are all bias. It’s not that an atheist will not believe in God, but that the atheist demands evidence to support the truth of the claim. To which only God can demonstrate for Himself to that specific atheist.

It is only a matter of time before there will be a false God to demonstrate a lie so perfectly it will appear… as true. And so I fear for the atheist that will not accept the truth of the gospel and offer their life for the sake of Christ. Because if the actual God went the extent of miracles surrounding His own Son’s crucifixion to prove that eternal salvation is real and available to every soul, then how much more will the false God demonstrate miracles to convince you of a lie when you’ve always had the truth—but chose to suppress it for your own satisfaction (to which the false God provides).

You have come to the edge of eternity! We are at war, it’s a spiritual war. The war is about you and me, our salvation or damnation. The lie is that there is no war and you should carry on about your daily living without care for spiritual matters and responsibilities, but the truth is if you believe in God and are a Christian then it’s time to snap out of your false comfort zone and go to war. I’m recruiting your name into the battle field for an eternal comfort, let’s go!

THE GIFT OF GOD

What is your name, and why is it significant?

So at the small town of Iowa Park and city of Wichita Fall’s, TX, where I grew up; there is only one mall, and in my youth I would walk around Sikes Center Mall to waste time. One day there was this mall kiosk that sold paintings with the Hebrew meaning of different names; this very nice lady asked me, “What is your name?” And so after telling her, learned the Hebrew meaning of “Nathan“.

After reminiscing that time in my life, and some in-depth research. I found some freshly interesting insights about myself and the significance to that name ‘given me’ (pun intended).

Now… while the significance of my name feels like a calling, it means absolutely nothing without the significance of this name, Immanuel (Jesus of Nazareth).

In the Kingdom of King Jesus, every person is king (MATTHEW 23:8-12), and the Kingdom will be held together by the Holy Spirit the way a person’s soul holds together a person’s body. Leadership in the modern sense is a fungus that grows in loose joints.

Abarim Publications

Whatever your name is, it was given as a gift to you which identify’s your existence in my reality. You are a gift to my life and I’m honored to serve you by this insight. I love you because God loved you first. I have a responsibility to you as far as pointing you to faith in the only one who can save your soul.

12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:12

So please take this insight into consideration as you process, research, and study. I need your help in this war. If you’re interested in being commissioned to the most important mission of all, I’ll be here, post after post. See you soon.

God Speed.

How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?

You should not (for the most part) admonish someone who is not a believer. Let me explain.

Even upon hearing this question I had another question pop up into my mind, and in doing my research I have found others have the same objection -> Should you admonish someone who is not a believer?

Should You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?

Paul makes it clear in his first letter to the Corinthians (5:12) that it is not our business to judge those outside the Church. That is God’s job. Your non-believing friend never signed up for the Christian life you did, so you should not be surprised when they do not conform to the standards of the Bible (Matthew 5:48). The truth is they are doing what they are suppose to do.

What does this mean for you? Should you confront your adult buddhist brother about sleeping with his girlfriend? Should you preach to your atheist neighbor about how he got wasted that one time? Should you argue with your friend about his unbiblical desire for money? No. No. & No.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

What should you do then? Dive into your relationship with Jesus. Let Him change your life. Pray for your friends. Ask God for an opportunity to speak to them about Jesus, and when that time come don’t waste your time on their sin. Tell them about Jesus. If you don’t know how to do that. Here are some tools.

Tools
The Bridge Illustration
Bible In 60 Seconds
Tools To Be Even Bolder
Joining Jesus
One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven
Unashamed (For Those Living in Dallas Fort Worth)

THE EXCEPTION

However, we do have to address Proverbs 24:10-12 which basically condemns someone who knowingly watches an ignorant person head towards their demise. This means that there is some imperative on the Christian to mediate a situation where someone is heading towards death and destruction. Appropriate application of this verse include interventions for substance abuse, stopping physical abuse, or literally preventing someone from walking off of a cliff.

CONCLUSION

I think we are not to admonish nonbelievers unless we see them heading towards significant harm for themselves or others. We are free to also give biblical admonishment to a non-believer if they ask our opinion; let’s hope they do. As a result we should allow all nonbelievers to sin (for the most part) freely… This feels blasphemous, but I think that is what the scripture is saying. Perhaps if we look at their destructive habits as an opportunity for them to turn to God when they hit rock bottom we might be able to understand why God would prefer our silence.

PLEASE RESPOND

Please leave a comment. I’d be curious to hear where other people land on this so I could have a better idea if my conclusion is incomplete, well founded, or completely wrong.

~ Daniel F. Grey

MORE ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS
Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?
How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?
Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?
How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?
Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

 Sources

-http://applygodsword.com/should-a-christian-correct-a-non-christian/
-https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/should-i-confront-sin-in-my-non-christian-friends
-https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/when-should-you-confront-someone-about-their-sin
-1 Corinthians 5: 9-13; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Matthew 5:48; Proverbs 24:11-12
A bit of side track but interesting and tactical.**
-https://thejourney.yesheis.com/how-do-i-handle-conflict-with-non-christians-6c4b0a9ae9bd

 Outline

I don’t think we are suppose to admonish nonbelievers (mostly)

  1. We are definitely suppose to admonish our brothers and sisters in Christ. There are tons of verses to back this up but here are a few. Matthew 7:1-5; Colossians 3:16
  2. Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians that is not our business to judge those outside the church. That is God’s job. 1 Corinthians 5:12
  3. However proverbs says we should warn people if we see them heading to their demise. Proverbs 24:11-12
  4. In conclusion. I think we are not to admonish nonbelievers unless we see them heading towards death (like alcoholism or physical abuse to oneself) or we are asked by them to speak into their life. And we would leave some of the “lesser” sins completely alone (watching inappropriate videos or cursing or stealing). This feels blasphemous but I think that is what the scripture is saying. Perhaps if we look at their destructive habits as an opportunity for them to turn to God when they hit rock bottom we might be able to understand why God would prefer our silence.

Under Pressure | #3

Timer set!

So why am I doing this ‘Under Pressure’ challenge?

Because I’m self-aware, and when my mind is idle it tends to venture off into vulnerable places that influence poor choices to consequential decisions. And in my line of work that won’t fly. But not only that!

There is so much temptation as it is that this world has to offer it’s difficult to practice the spiritual fruit of self-control. When certain ecstasies are experienced in life… my soul then begins to crave those experiences over and over again, inevitable to the destruction of my life and others with me by submitting to the idleness of my mind and desires of my flesh.

When the forgiveness of sins are received and experience in my soul through the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, it proves the reality of a converted person that died to sin and lives in Christ. However, if you witnessed my heart and mind continue to entertain thoughts contrary to my faith in the will of God, would you trust the truth of my convictions that point to the Word of God? No. At least.. I would hope not.

This challenge will put your convictions to the test and help prepare your heart and mind to endure the burning passion of lust and pride within this world of sin that we all experience together. I am approaching YOU, reader, in the ring of your life. Will you be ready to stand the test?

Are you prepared to beat me in a spiritual sparing match?

God Speed!

Under Pressure | #2

The timer is set!

Under an hour inspiration, at your service.

Putting myself under pressure causes me to operate on a different wave length. I like it.

With that said, I encourage you, reader, to apply the technique on yourself. Put a time restraint on yourself for a what needs completed in that time and GET TO IT, get to work. I think you’ll surprise yourself when applying this strategy to your life, because we tend to get complacent and procrastinate necessary production for completing projects.

Steps to strategy!

  1. Set Timer
  2. Stay Focused
  3. Stop and Publish

It’s really that simple. And you’ll be surprised at what you get finished, feeling accomplished because you took this strategy to heart.

Now about the “Stop and Publish”, this is an example to publishing an article you’re inspired to complete within in an hour. But take out of the example, the core value.

The core value is…

Production

Whatever it is you need to accomplish, set the timer, and get to work. It doesn’t matter what it is. And if you get that project finished, be satisfied and move on to the next task at hand.

If you do not get the project finished within that hour, then take a break from it as it may not be time for it to be completed for reasons beyond the understanding; taking your mind off of the project to accomplish a different task may aid in that previous projects’ completion.

Don’t get stressed, that is not purpose of this strategy. If you are getting stressed, then you’re putting to much obsession to something that should not have control over your attitude. Keep your heart and mind sober, respect the project and reason you’re working on it.

God Speed!

Under Pressure | #1

The time is set! The pressure is on! I have under and hour to write this blog and it will become a practice. I’m an ambitious person, but not to accomplish success by how this world interprets that meaning.

What does it mean to become successful in our world?

I think it’s a fair assessment to communicate that people with acquired academics and managing monopolies are deemed successful people. To which I would agree only in part, because there is truth in that understanding. But the real achievement to success is the work accomplished in the human soul.

I don’t have long, let me kick some music on…

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re capable of achieving a PhD and owning your own business or businesses, but in the end you’ll have communicated the order of events and determined focus to achieving what any person can achieve if they put all their heart in it! Literally bleeding what they believe to achieve.

But did you credit and share the God who gifted you with the determination to accomplish what you so determined?

If not, then you didn’t achieve success nor accomplish anything apart from your selfish endeavors that, now, the world will feed on.

What does it mean to gain the world, if what you’ll lose is the opportunity to save souls?

I hear children cussing up storms about what they don’t understand because of the human responsibility to cultivate the ground in order to produce God fearing children. I say “cultivate the ground” to mean cultivating the hearts of our children that are being abused by this world’s interpretation of success, perverting success to mean pornography, cocaine, and this or that monopoly!

When real success is understanding the Word of God available to save the abandoned and unloved soul. No! God didn’t abandon us, we abandoned God, and then expect God to be bound by our terms.

“If you loved me, then…”

“Why is there evil, why did this happen, where were you…”

“I’ll live my life a good person, and if that isn’t good enough, so be it..”

We are a people so arrogant it sickens me because I hear it in the mouth of innocent children mimicking the perverted education of this world… of sin. So… I’ll leave it here…

When will you turn from the sin of your selfish ambition to success and cultivate the ground of your own heart in the Word of God for the purpose of saving the human soul?

UNDER PRESSURE

The Temptation | #1

will you stand the test?

It was 4:18pm here in Dallas, TX—on good Friday 2020 when I started working on this post. At that same time, it was 12:18am across the world in Jerusalem, Israel. Why is that significant? As each moment past, I think about Christ and the meaning of His cross…to crucifixion; and how my sin weighed on His conscience. The spiritual significance is about the reality of eternity; reality is, I’m unworthy of such a calling to eternity as described in the body and blood of the Word of God; it’s… bearing, and the weight, it’s… heavy!

Every moment of grace and mercy in our lives is an opportunity to a choice of faith. But will you stand the test of faith?

PROVING THE SON OF GOD.

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Matthew 4:1

No person had stood the test of proving the invisible God, visible, until you’ve met this man: Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What I find so interesting, is that the Spirit led Jesus to be tempted by the devil. Why? I have here open my Ryrie Study Bible; And in his commentary, Ryrie wrote:

4:1 Satan’s intention in the temptation was to make Christ sin so as to thwart God’s plan for man’s redemption by disqualifying the Savior.

Charles Caldwell Ryrie
keep reading

How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?

You can direct a stranger who wants to take the next step as a believer by baptizing, equipping, discipling, connecting, & following up. Let me explain.

But First, A Brief Commentary

Almost unbelievably whenever I did my initial research for this question I found zero articles to help and a quick google search now reveals that this question is still not easily answered by the first two pages of google’s search results.

I think there are two explanations for why I can’t find the answer to this question online: 1) I’m not very good at googling or 2) the question isn’t asked enough. I think both are possible and both are indictments. 1 is an indictment on me, but 2 in an indictment on the Christian. Are we sharing our faith with people? Friends or Strangers? Are you?

Back To The Question

Just because we can’t find any articles on the interwebs to satisfy our query doesn’t mean we can’t find answers. We have been given the Word of God, reason, & prayer. Through these tools I have come up with 5 steps to direct a stranger whom has accepted Jesus and wants to take the next step.

The Next 5 Steps

1 – Get Baptized
No, you do not need to be baptized in order to be saved. However, it is very clear in the New Testament that it is an important first step for new believers. We especially see this in Acts where time after time individuals accept Jesus as LORD and then are Baptized (Acts 8:13, 16, 36-40; 9:18; 10:41-48; 16:14-15, 31-34; 18:8). Does this mean you need to dump your new friend in water? Maybe… You should at least be discussing the importance of Baptism with them. In fact, it may be a good topic for step 3.

2 – Equip Your New Convert With A Bible
If you are sharing the Gospel and live in America you likely have Bibles at home just sitting there collecting dust. Just grab one of those and give it to your new friend. Remember, the best bible is one that they will read, so try to set them up for success; please don’t give any new believer your ancient Old King James Version Bible. It might discourage them with it’s archaic language. God is a personal God and he wants communicate clearly with His children. If you don’t have a free Bible your local church might have one or you can get one shipped to your house from Bibles For America. You can also get a free digital copy almost instantly on your phone from YouVersion with Apple or Droid devices.

3 – Disciple By Meeting Together Regularly
Congratulations, although you may have been strangers before you are now, at least briefly, close friends. I believe you have been put in this person’s life at this exact moment for a reason. Maybe you have an ability to speak to this person’s heart. Maybe there is a natural kinship. I don’t know, but please don’t leave your new convert all alone because you might be the only Christian he/she knows. Instead, offer to disciple (teach/instruct) your new friend on the Bible. Each situation is very different so I will not to give you detailed instructions, but I encourage you to have clear parameters. Try filling in the blanks of this statement: We are going to meet every for _____ weeks/months/years to discuss or any other pertinent topics.

4 – Find A Church
This one is easy. Invite them to your church or help them find a church close to where they live. They may even have a church in mind already or have a friend who is already part of a biblical church. Part of being an obedient Christian is belonging to a fellowship of believers (Hebrews 10:25), so help your new friend find a bible teaching church.

5 – Follow Up
I don’t just mean after the original conversation, but continually throughout the discipleship process. Send texts or emails between visits. Don’t hound them to death, but also don’t forsake them when they are not in your sight. Christianity promises tough times and they will really appreciate the love you show them by pursuing them even when life gets messy.

I hope you found this answer helpful. Below you can find my list of sources, answers to more tough questions, and my outline for this post.

~ Daniel F. Grey

Sources

The Bible (NIV)

Answering The Tough Ones

You may also be interested in my other articles
Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?
How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?
Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?
How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?
Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

Outline

  1. Get baptized – this is really consistent in acts. People get saved then they get baptized. Acts 8:13, 16, 36-40; 9:18; 10:41-48; 16:14,15, 31-34; 18:8
  2. Make sure they have access to God’s word. Through app or physical bible
  3. Set up regular meeting time. (This could be weekly to monthly, but something consistent and with clear parameters. For example: we are going to meet every Tuesday morning for a year to go over _____ and any questions you might have)
  4. Find a church (your church, maybe one of theirs friends is a Christian already and they have a church they could go to, or they could find a church close to home.)
  5. Check in (reaching out more than just your meeting time shows you care)

Spiritual insight | #13

DESPERATE FOR GOOD FRIDAY

I’ve skipped #4 and #12 insights for now. They may prove useful in the future, but am excited to write you on this GOOD FRIDAY morning.

“Have you ever been through a time where nothing made sense?

I’ve recently went through a difficult trial that broke me, spiritually, like a wild horse tamed at the reins of his rider. But just as a horse broken receives the blessing of purpose beyond itself, so to have I received a blessing of purpose beyond my wild nature of sin that will prove valuable to you.

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Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

An Introduction

Hello TP4 readers,

I am Daniel Grey, a friend of Nathan’s. I asked Nathan if I could use his soap box to help equip the Saints and he has graciously and generously welcomed me.

A few months ago a friend challenged my group of Christian friends to each bring our most feared question about the Bible/Religion/God. The result was six deep questions loaded with emotional and/or cultural baggage. And so I got to work answering each one with gifts God gave us: faith, The Bible, reason & (hopefully) gentleness. I hope each of you will take into consideration my answers, but most of all I hope you test everything I have presented. Be like the Bareans. Without further ado here is question 1 of 6.

Why Do Christian Obey Some Old Testament Law, But Ignore Others?

Christians obey some old testament laws and ignore others because we love God and all laws were fulfilled by Jesus. Let me explain.

There are three types of laws. These three categories were developed by scholars, not presented specifically in scripture.

  1. Ceremonial/Sacrificial – meant for the temple
  2. Government/Judicial – meant for nation state
  3. Moral – meant for everyday life

Jesus’ one sacrifice on the cross satisfies the need for any laws regarding forgiveness of sins (Ceremonial/Sacrificial laws) because forgiveness is offered to all Christians who ask for it. The Government/Judicial law is meant for the (probably ancient) nation state of Israel. Since most Christian do not live in Israel now and no one lives in the ancient state of Israel we can see that the the Government/Judicial law is non applicable. On top of all that we can turn to scripture and see that according to Romans 10:4 and Galatians 2:16 all OT laws were satisfied by Jesus so we are no longer under the law.

We have covered why Christians don’t obey certain laws (Ceremonial/Sacrificial & Governmental/Judicial) of the Old Testament, but why do they obey the moral laws?

The moral law states what is pleasing to God. Since we know God doesn’t ever change we know that what is pleasing to God 2,000 years ago is pleasing to God today. In other words, God loved when a husband encouraged his wife in 50 B.C. just as much as when a Husband encourages his wife today.

Don’t we (usually) want to express our love to those we adore? If a husband finds that his wife loves purple flowers, does he not buy purple flowers every time he gets her flowers? If a wife knows her husband loves back rubs when he is stressed does she not rub his back when the weight of the world is on him?

This is true of the Christian in their relationship with God today. A Christian need not obey the moral law for salvation. Salvation is obtained through Jesus Christ alone. A Christian simply obeys the moral law as an act of love toward God. We know these behaviors please Him and we do those behaviors simply because we love Him.

But how do we determine what is a moral law? As stated before the categories of the law are not laid out in scripture so any answer we find must be taken with a grain of salt. I landed on these answers which I got from Got Questions & Bible Study Tools. You can Identify a moral law if it does one of these three things

  1. Promote the welfare of those who obey
  2. Reveal the fallen state of man
  3. Restrain evil

I hope you found this answer helpful. Below you can find my list of sources and my outline for this post.

~ Daniel F. Grey

MORE ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS
Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?
How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?
Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?
How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?
How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?

Sources

Outline

Why do some old testaments laws still hold while others are overlooked?

  • 3 types of laws (these categories are made up by scholars, not presented specifically by scripture)
      • Ceremonial/sacrificial – meant for the temple
      • Government/Judicial – meant for nation state
      • Moral – meant for everyday life
  • All OT laws were satisfied by Jesus and so we are no longer under the law. Romans 10:4; Galatians 2:16
  • However, some Christians still follow the moral law… Why?
    • The moral law states what is pleasing to God and what is pleasing to God 2,000 years ago is pleasing to God today. 
    • As an act of love for Christ – people naturally try to please their loved ones to express their love for them – Christians do the same with Jesus. 
  • How do we determine what is a moral law?
    • Moral laws
      • Promote the welfare of those who obey
      • Reveal the fallen state of man
      • Restrain evil
        • This list is a combination of got questions & bible study tools articles.

Spiritual Insight | #11

As I prepare my spirit to encounter the heavens, I’m listening to Psalm 46 (Lord of Hosts) by Shane and Shane

You will lead us through the fiercest battle”

Bobbing my head just slightly ‘up’ and ‘down’ to the beat of the sound and rhythm of the music, it’s powerful and meditative. NOW GET READY, because I’m about to lead us to the Lord of Hosts, oh yah, let’s go.

…DON’T FORGET YOUR CUP OF JOE!

I’ve opened the Word of God—my Charles Ryrie Study Bible and present to you, scripture from 2nd Peter:

“Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;”

Peter was a fisherman called by Jesus to follow him… will you?

The above featured photo is of VidAngel "The CHOSEN" series episode 4, text is mine.
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Rich is easy, but are you wealthy?

This is about you, your time is valuable, no? …So let’s get to it!

Because our time, money, and energy are important to us for survival — this sales pitch will not come as a surprise to you when discovering the merch to reap the benefits of awesomeness… ideas that celebrate your cause… and products that bring value to your people… all at your disposal.

BUT THE VALUE WE OFFER, is to live instead of survive!

YES! THAT’S RIGHT. You heard me right…

THE VALUE TO LIVE INSTEAD OF SURVIVE.

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Spiritual Insight | #10

I can see you.

You have something to say, but you remain quiet.

The “intellects” talk with assertive language that communicates’ no need for questions for appearance to have all the answers.

But I see you… I can feel your heart… I know you’re there. There is potential, a gift inside so ready to burst; the mouth opens, but no words proceed.

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Emotional Logic Theory

As the heart of my spirit searches for the unsaved have suddenly made my tent in this theory. If you’re familiar with my work since the beginning will know the flux of change as though moving from place to place; salvational engineering to providential ministries, writing to videography—constant development, forgive me, it’s exhausting… I understand.

Let this post be a starting place of rest. I’m setting up camp to build on this theory because I’m convinced by it’s potential; it’s like finding the right place to mine because of a feeling based on a hunch, “There will be diamonds!”, perseverance is my tool of choice.

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Spiritual Promise | #1 | COVID-19

I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. (1 John 2:12)

Do you think it a coincidence that toilet paper has a better understanding of this promise than the world in a panic over the coronavirus? I pray the hearts of those turning to God in this pandemic will truly consider the faith that accompanies such a promise, because toilet paper won’t save you. Don’t get me wrong, there is wisdom in the 5 “P’s”:

  • Prior. Planning. Prevents. Poor. Performance (Paper).
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The Psychology Of A Spiritual Relationship | Spiritual Insight | #9

Oh Lord, bless me with words you would find pleasing to read and that will reveal Yourself in them. It’s amazing to think about writing in a way that doesn’t just say something about me as your writer, but rather, the ‘Spirit’ giving utterance to inspire me to write with words that communicate information about what only the Spirit can know.  Do we understand the personal nature of the relationship between the Spirit, Writer, and Reader? Let’s find out, yes?

As your writer, I think of a question and way for me to relate to you (my reader). This can actually compromise the relationship because it depends upon the heart trying to figure out a way of gaining insight about information without the relationship of the Spirit, therefore not providing truth that builds trust, but an agenda which outcome is to be manipulative for personal gain.

Let us bear in mind that the Spirit is not of flesh and blood, so that changes the dynamic between us three. And if we understand the meaning of a relationship then we’ll know that there is a force of nature at work for a relationship to be possible. So… This is about to get interesting because there is an authority that governs between two different wills, of which gives us the freedom to choose who we are in a relationship with and why.

There is a ‘Spirit of Truth’ and a ‘spirit of lies’, now why did I capitalize the ‘S’ and ‘T’ and not the ‘s’ and ‘l’? This is a way of me (Nathan) as your writer, claiming to have a relationship with truth while identifying, in fact, that there are two different Spirit’s. Why? Because this is how we learn who we are in a relationship with although not seeing the “Who”. As a couple quick examples:


I’m not always with my wife (Laura), but when I’m away (not physically seeing her) can still hear her presence with me; such as driving, as I go above the speed limit her telling me to, “slow down”.

You are reading this with all that defines you. but not writing it, because there is a spiritual structure in place for us to have purpose and discern the who, what, when, where, why, and how the relationship is possible between us even though we don’t see each other.


It’s 3:32am, March 11, 2020! It’s crazy to think about so many years before leading up to these moments, expecting 3:45, then tomorrow, and then the rest of our lives… until the reality of death comes without even knocking. That is what keeps me up at night; the thought of my next moment to live when it’s someone else’s next moment to die, inspiring me to wonder about the reason why. This state of thought has me changing colors because the reason is life changing, and that reason is… Love!

It’s 3:45, the truth is in our relationship with Jesus Christ, the testimony about Jesus demonstrating the love of God for all people through His crucifixion on the cross is how we understand the relationship between Spirit, Writer, and Reader. I am called to tell you about the relationship because the spirit of lies is eventually going to be taken out of the way for the truth of salvation revealed in Jesus Christ at His coming. So here comes the conflict between us sense we’ve developed a relationship since the beginning of this post.

Are you in a relationship with the Son of God, Jesus Christ, through the Spirit of Truth? Or. Are you in a relationship with the Father of Lies, The Satan, through the spirit of lies?

What information would I learn about your heart that testifies to the relationship you have in truth, or, in lying?

God Speed.


Disclaimer: I (Nathan) am not a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Spiritual Insight | #8

Do any of you learn by experience, also known as experiential learning (EXL) according to my quick google search? When asked how I learn, I’ve always just said, “I learn hands-on”. Click “hands-on learner” to see more about experiential education.

Capture

Experiential learning at Cascades Academy is implemented at all levels of our curriculum and revolves around the central idea of learning by doing. The central tenets of this methodology include engaging students in a cycle of (1) activity/experience, (2) reflection, (3) conceptualization, and (4) application of desired learning outcomes. While the classroom affords many opportunities for students to engage in experiential education, the school also employs this learning methodology outside the traditional classroom.

So apparently ‘hands-on learning‘ is a form of ‘experiential learning‘, but there is so much more information to delve deeper through the links provided above. Check’em out!


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Mindset

Introduction: This is my first post on T4P, Nathan has granted me access to contribute from time to time. My name is Glen. I hope this post helps someone.

I recently had an event that could have had me very upset. I’ll go into specifics in a minute. This article is not about being upset though. It’s about using emotional triggers to look inward, pray, see what scripture has to say about the matter and come to peace and growth.

A brief background. I am currently going through a chapter 7 bankruptcy. That is not what this article is focused on, but it is important. I want to go into that more in another article later. My mom paid $2000 for my bankruptcy lawyer with the expectation that I will pay her back as I can. Pamela offered to pay that in full when her income tax refund comes in. She planned to replace the beds for the kids and us as well. They are all very worn with several holes chewed out by dogs and sagging spots. She also planned to do vehicle maintenance. Her car needs new tires and the check engine light and slip light are on. Past that, she agreed to give me $2000 to go toward converting half of our two car garage into a man cave / study. It is very difficult for me to focus on anything with no space for myself in a house of five with three teenagers. I go to Dennys’ to do homework almost every day when I take classes. So all of these things had me very excited. I was making 3D Models of the garage conversion and had a running spreadsheets for materials with prices and links to where I found the best deals. 

Cut to the event. Pamela got a letter from the IRS that all of her refund except $1000 was applied to her outstanding student loan and we’re not getting the money we had expected. She graduated from a culinary school about 7 years ago. The original student loan was $7000, but with interest and fees about $9000. She was on a payment plan, but the small payments were barely chipping away at all and we didn’t know what to do about it. I kind of figured it would always just be there. 

When I first read the letter my initial reaction was to reassure Pamela that we will be ok and that I am not upset with her and will find another way to take care of the things that we need most, such as vehicle maintenance, kids clothes, beds, and that I will pay my mom back. The rest of the day it really sat in that I will not be able to make my little area of refuge in the garage. 

This is something I really want. I can act extroverted in social situations, but deep down I identify more as an introvert and I feel a need to recharge by myself. I have not been able to do that since I started dating Pamela. I don’t play any musical instruments anymore. I don’t draw. I have to go out to program or study. I very rarely even watch TV or play games on the PlayStation or PC aside from when I pick up Big Mike and take the laptop to Dennys. Trying to get everyone to leave me alone so I can think straight for an hour or two is not worth the fight it takes to achieve such a miracle. The boys will find ten reasons to come out of their bedroom and ask me questions. They blare their TV and Phones, usually both at once in competition with each other for volume. If I take away their phones, then they fight with each other loudly out of boredom if nothing else. By the time I get any quit I’m ready for bed. There’s also the issue of feeling stupid for going through such trouble if it’s not for something important like school. I feel ridiculous just trying to have a peaceful minut to watch TV or especially to play a game. I work 50, 62, or 74 hours per week, and intermittently take classes on top of that and try to keep the house in decent maintenance. Sometimes I just want to stop and play a game, but I don’t. 

If I had a little space in the garage walled off and cooled with a mini split ductless A/C unit and a desk and TV I could stay home to study or relax any time I needed or wanted and feel more recharged to have quality time with the family in between. 

Anyway, enough of that. I wanted to emphasise how strongly I felt about it and what it meant to me. That done, I can move on to where I am now. 

The following thought process has helped me find peace and grow closer in relationship with God and build better character through a healthier outlook on life many times. Here’s how it works.

God wants us to have Peace in all things. Not just the good. Even in the midst of stressful situations or problems out of our control.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I use any emotion that triggers a feeling other than peace as a sign to stop and pray about why I don’t have peace and ask for help to find it and give thanks. 

In many cases my thoughts were not aligned with scripture. Theophostic Prayer Ministries has a great method to help people pinpoint conflicting beliefs and find harmful thoughts that do not align with scripture. 

In this case my thoughts about finances were not aligned with God’s will. 

Romans 13:7

Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

I was content to slowly chip away at a debt with no real hope of it going away while spending money that could have repaid that debt on other things. 

This article sums this up very well: https://get.tithe.ly/blog/bible-verses-about-debt

With this new view I was able to see that having the tax refund go directly to the student loan and paying it in full now has freed us, not burdened us. God helped us to not only do the right thing, but the thing that would benefit our future most and a thing that we would not have done on our own without this new scriptural alignment.

I am thankful that this has happened the way it did. I have a bit more content with my current situation as well. I believe my garage conversion can still be in my future, but in God’s timing without debt, and with peace that when it does happen, it will be a blessing and not a curse in the form of debt.

My hope in writing this is that the reader will take the following lessons to heart. God loves us and wants what is best for us. When we don’t have Peace, God is trying to tell us something is not in alignment with His will for us. When this happens, the best thing we can do is stop and pray. Search Scripture, and be open and looking for change in yourself, not in anything external. The situation is just a trigger, the real problem is always within our own thought process. 

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

I highly recommend looking into Theophostic Prayer methods of self reflection and prayer for healing linked here: https://www.equip.org/article/theophostic-prayer-ministry-part-one/

Spiritual Insight | #7

I’m excited to write! It feels good when you’re focused on the task at hand, but feels especially good when that task is complete and you can say, “It is good…”. That line of thought immediately took me to… ‘The Beginning‘! Or the book of Genesis in the Bible. It’s just, the sentence flow seemed more…dramatic, with; ‘The Beginning‘!


Side Note: when I wrote,“That line of thought immediately took me…”, connected me to Philip in Acts 8:39 as he was took by the Spirit of the Lord. It’s interesting how the Holy Spirit works with our spirit, to take us where we need to be in honor and glory of Jesus Christ.


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Spiritual Insight | #6

I can hear spring blowing in by the power of the wind. I wonder if I stepped outside the wind would launch me out of my present state of confusion…into clarity. It’s weird when you have this overwhelming ambition to work in the Spirit of God as called to preach the gospel and make disciples, having been given this vision to see the condition of the world for the purpose of the cure, but feel it pointless. “Am I missing something?” I wonder. Lets put it to the test.

I’ve given brief background to my conversion story in previous posts so I won’t burden you. The question that pricks is, “why me?”. Why have I heard the gospel and believe it so true that I’m willing to do whatever necessary to preach it for the salvation of the world? Is it that the potential of this message contains the power to save the world and convert every soul from death to life?

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Spiritual Insight|#5

I know what you’re thinking, “…skipped 4”. But I didn’t, that one actually turned out to be a very personal one that I may publish eventually…we’ll see. So I’m doing a study on the Holy Spirit of God, and I must say, it’s quite literally an enlightenment every step of the way. I was listening to my wife the other day in our little Toyota Corolla on the way to church criticizing the way I explain things sometimes; she was very encouraging, the fact is, I take leaps in logic when trying to transition two different forms of thought in my mind that are conflicted with feelings. It’s like my brain ‘short circuits’ thinking of the necessary transition for a proper explanation to the feeling and insight at hand, but skips the entire transition all together leaving the person scratching their head like…. “what just happened” (haha). All together, It’s frustrating.

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Essay Your Transformation

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