in memorial

 

Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy that it cannot hear.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity.

No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.

They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; he who eats their eggs dies, and from that which is crushed a viper breaks out.

Their webs will not become garments, nor will they cover themselves with their works; their works are the works of iniquity, and the act of violence is their hands.

Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.

The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace. See Isaiah 59:1-8.

The prophet Isaiah unveils the American consequences for traveling such a road.

Therefore justice is far from us, nor does righteousness over take us; we look for light, but there is darkness!

We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noonday as at twilight; we are as dead men in desolate places.

We all growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves; we look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.

For our transgressions are multiplied before You, and our sins testify against us, and as for our iniquities, we know them.

In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.

Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.

So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. See Isaiah 59:9-15a).

A pause in the heavens causing divine evaluations noticed by the prophet Isaiah. And action, would occur by divine intervention

The LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.

For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.

According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; the coastlands will fully repay. See Isaiah 59:15b-18.

As history shows nations, who shun righteousness as a national standard bearer, they become nothing. History demonstrates their regrets but it’s to late.

So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. See Isaiah 59:19-20.

Someday in the future the times will be different. It’s the in between times that will be muddy.

“The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgressions in Jacob,” says the LORD. See Isaiah 59:20. A prophetic declaration concerning the United States. It’s the lineage of Jacob the winged lion of Daniel, Daniel 7:4, headed to the shores that would become America. Made to stand on its own two feet and given a man’s heart. Tagged by mortals around the world as Uncle Sam for his unending benevolence, guidance and protection.

“As for Me,” says the LORD, this is My covenant with them. My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants,” says the LORD, ‘from this time and forevermore.”‘ See Isaiah 59:21.

To say that troublesome times are upon the community of nations is indeed an understatement. God has chosen the Jews as His prime example as to what it means to get on His bad side. Gentile nations that have followed the Jewish path and are nonexistent. Nothing more than inked pages in history books. Modern Israel is still to feel more of His displeasure’s, as history progresses to its climax. With the United States suffering greatly from turning away from its divine commissions. As a light to the world, and as the salt which is its only preservative from self destruction. Acknowledged as truth by Jesus in Matthew 5:13-14. But despite her darkest days, yet to come. America will always have a remnant of descendants faithful to Jesus. And that’s by divine oracle as cited by the prophet Isaiah.

Behold the Man

So then, Pilate took Jesus and scourged (whipped) Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, “Hail King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands. Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault with Him.” Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!”

When the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify Him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him for I find no fault in Him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law and according to our law He ought to die because He made Himself the Son of God.”

When Pilate heard that saying, he was more afraid, and went out again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, “Are you not speaking to me?” Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release you?”

Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”

From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you let this man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”

When Pilate heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called, The Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.

Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King!” The chief priest answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they led Him away.

And He was bearing His cross, went out to a place called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on each side, and Jesus in the center.

Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then many of the Jews read the title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin. The chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, The King of the Jews,” but, He said, “I am the King of the Jews.” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” (Scriptural texts:John 19:1-22).

What the future holds

Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain woman met us. She brought her employer’s much profit by fortune telling. This woman followed us, and complained, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days, and it annoyed those she heckled and followed. Finally one of them said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out of her that very hour.

But when her masters saw that their hope for profit was gone, they seized two of the Christians. And dragged them through the market place, and presented them to the authorities. Who in turn presented them to the magistrates, and said, “These men being Jews exceedingly trouble our city. They teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.”

Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And after, they had been severely beaten. They were thorn into prison. With the magistrates ordering the jailer to imprison them securely. He did so by chaining their feet together and then anchoring the chain to the wall. (Scriptural source:Acts 16:16-24).

Question:Could that happen in modern day America?

Prophetic words from Jesus. “The they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And them many will be offended, and will hate one another.” (Scriptural source:Matthew 24:9-10).

Nevertheless:”How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace. Who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Scriptural source:Romans 10:15b).

The Spirit searches seven times, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” And makes seven promises Revelation 2:7;11;17.

Hear after note the promise that the Spirit speaks comes first. Then the Spirit searches. “He that overecomes and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations- ‘He shall rule with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessel’s.’- as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.'”Revelation 2:26-29.

He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; But I will confess his name before My Father and His angels, Revelation 3:5.

He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him my new name, Revelation 3:12

Revelation 3:21, To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. For the last, “He who has ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying ti the churches.”

Nothing to crow about

A crow sat in a tree holding in his beak a piece of meat he had stolen. A fox which saw him determined to get the meat. It stood under the tree, and began telling the crow what a beautiful big bird he was. “He ought to be king of the birds,” the fox said; ‘and he would undoubtedly have been made king, if only he had a voice as well.'”

The crow was so anxious to prove that he had a voice, that he dropped the meat and croaked for all he was wroth.

Up ran the fox, snapped up the meat and said to him, “If you added brains to all your other qualifications, you would make an ideal king.” (source:Fables of Aesop-Penguin Classics-“A lesson for Fools.”)

Six centuries before Christ, Obadiah wrote the following. “The pride of your heart has deceived you. You who dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high. You who say in in your heart, who shall bring me down to the ground?” Obadiah verse three.

But such a response, will eventually bring this result. ” Though you ascend as high as the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, from there will I bring you down,” says the LORD, Obadiah verse four.

Forever wise counsel, “… Do not be wise in your own opinion,” Romans 12:16.

It happened by time and chance

The North wind and the Sun were disputing which was stronger, and agreed to acknowledge as victor whichever of them could strip the traveler of his clothing.

The wind tried first. But its violent gusts only made the man hold his clothes tightly around him, and when it blew harder still, the cold made him so uncomfortable that he put on an extra wrap. Eventually the wind got tired of it, and handed him over to the sun.

The sun shone first with a moderate warmth, which made the man take of his top coat. Then it blazed fiercely, till unable to take the heat. He stripped, and went off to bathe in a river near by.

This fable shows that very often persuasion is more effective than force. (source:Fables of Aesop-Penguin Classics-“The Gentle Art of Persuasion”)

Who knows, maybe Solomon was the subject of the dispute between the North wind and the Sun. Because Solomon, in Ecclesiastes concluded the following. “I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happened to them all,” Ecclesiastes 9:11.

We inhabit an imperfect earth with imperfect inhabitants. And it has been said that the best intended plans are laid to waste. Causing the unexplainable to occur leaving us speechless and shaking our heads in wonderment. Because so often things can only be explained by timing and chance.

The universal question

With President Lincoln settling in at a Presbyterian church. No doubt felling a little exhausted from guiding the North through the Civil War. And as a man of conscience, he had questions that he desperately wanted answered. So he developed a relationship with the churches minister, the Rev. James Smith. He asked the Rev. Smith, “Why did God take my son Edwards life?” The universal question asked for centuries by grieving parents and families.

I do not know what the Rev. Smith told President Lincoln. Since most clergyman have had to deal with that question. This is the answer that I would suggest. Granted it varies depending on the inquirer and the emotional surroundings at the moment, but all that follows is somehow shared with the grieving parents and family.

People like stories because they provide illustrations. That can be related to with acceptance or rejection. And are not seen as assigning blame or justification. So I often suggest a story that Jesus told and move on. Very gently, because what is said can be disturbing and hard to accept, especially if the departed is perceived as a good person. With the loss of a infant or young children, a far more different approach is taken, where Jesus said, “Permit little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for such is the kingdom of God,” Matthew 19:14.

Moving to Acts 10:34, where Peter reminds us, “Of a truth, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.” On the number line of our birth our time may expire well before four score years.

Eighteen people were gathered at a waterway that flowed under Siloam, When the tower over the waterway collapsed, killing all eighteen, very innocent people. Jesus asked, “Do you think these people were punished because they were bad people?” (cp Luke 13:4). We live in two worlds, one of which has a temporal existence with absolute finality. Recorded as such, “The days of our lives are three score and ten; and if by reason of strength, they be four score years, yet is their strength, labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away,” Psalms 90:10. A world that separates us from God because of our very natures, “You have set our iniquities before yourself, our secret sins in the light of your presences. Therefore our days are passed away in your wrath; we spend our days as a tale that is told,” Psalms 90:8-9.

The other world, a world demands far different expectations from us than this world of temporal existence. That is based on a dog eats dogs world of who gets there first, gets the prize. The other world begins with not just understanding Luke 13:5, but accepting it because Jesus said, “I tell you, Yes! But except you likewise repent, you shall likewise perish.” Two worlds, two paths, one of which God has no time for because it is laced with sin and death, thus temporal. The other a world of conversion to Christ which is the beginning of life, without the threat of perishing, though life may be cut short for what ever reason. But not exempt from that dogs world, it is just approached from a Christ perspective.

Maybe from the Rev. Smith’s counsel, it seems that President Lincoln was able to reconcile the death of his son and his own death in the future in this manner. He believed that God was the author of life and history. Whereby, God draws out life’s plot, allowing his creation to punctuate the sentences. What Lincoln was suggesting was that every thing here is predetermined by God, and will occur whether we as humans can accepted it or not. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of scriptures can find ample evidence supporting such a theory. Nevertheless, it is one of the great schisms that divides Christians. Arguing that it takes away free will, still it is the only way of explaining the unexplainable.

A Prophet without Knowledge

A fortune teller was sitting in the market place and doing good business. Suddenly a man came and told him that the door of his house had been wrenched from its hinges and all house possessions carried off. He jumped up and with a cry of consternation ran to see what had happened. A bystander who was watching him said, “You profess to foretell what is going befall other people, but you did not foresee your own misfortune.”

This fable exposes the folly of men who mismanage their own lives, yet claim to possess foresight in matters which do not concern them. (source:Penguin Classics-Fables of Aesop-A Prophet without Knowledge)

Seems to this writer that Aesop confused the two which was the ability to foretell the future while at the same not being able to manage his own affairs. Meaning, I suppose, his inability to foresee his own unfortunate destiny. One could be a forceful forecaster of future events while failing miserably to see ones immediate circumstances. Because to be human is to error, as perfection in human affairs is beyond our capabilities, despite innate gifts. With that being said, as Christians, we all have specific gifts. And no matter what the gift, someone can always point a finger of accusation and fault. The key is to discover your gift, and exercising that gift faithfully to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ.

Perhaps the following will be helpful, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills,” 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.

One could benefit by engaging ones self in a study of the gifts of the Spirit. Perhaps the gift of prophesy. Not the prophesying of mysteries yet to come, but as one, who clarifies, what has been announced and what it means for modern societies. Because it is written, “For all the prophets …. prophesied until John,” Matthew 11:13.

A band of confederates

A band of confederates, better known as disciples, later as apostles and today as Christians. Led by someone, who referred to himself as the Son of Man, Matthew 16:15.  Seeing himself, as being equal with God, John 10:30. For that the religious and political authorities murdered him. Yet he, and his followers in seven days set the stage that changed the world forever. A band of confederates because they were constantly doing what was blatantly illegal in order to accomplish what had to be done. Are we willing today, to step forward, and do what is necessary for the causes of our risen Lord and Savior?

With Jesus never saying anything about observing Good Friday-Resurrection Sunday. But he did leave clear instructions as to what he expected during those days, and the period continuing during his absence.

Different perspectives can be cast for what happened to Jesus. On a day referred to as Good Friday. It was filled with plenty of drama Eventually, concluding with the murder of Jesus. With both the religious and secular authorities being complicit in his execution by Crucifixion. A typical Roman punishment.

From the events of the week, known as Holy Week. Christians should understand that religion, politics, and Christ do not mix. Christianity should not be seen as a religion! Christ himself offered no identifying label for what he was doing. Other than to say, ” And I say unto you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock (foundation) I will build my church.” (Scriptural text:Matthew 16:18). It has nothing to do with Peter being the first Pope. Here is what it means. Jesus was having a conversation with his disciples. And asked them this question, Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am? verse 13. They answered Jesus from what others were saying, verse 14. Jesus presses them, and asked, “But who do you say I am?” verse 15. With Peter answering, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” verse 16. With Jesus answering, “Blessed are you Simon Barjona (Peters father, John 1:42) because flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, But my Father, who is in heaven,” verse 17.

That then becomes one of histories most miraculous occurrences after his resurrection and ascension into heaven. Bringing with it this remarkable transition, “… I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one can come unto the Father, but by me.” (Scriptural text:John14:6. Once the way, truth and life has been revealed unto us, then like Peter, we become rock solid foundations from which Christ can build his church. In a very real way, every believer is a church. With that being confirmed through, 1 Corinthians 6:19.

Think in terms of the Christ movement, as a loose band of; say, confederates. Without concrete and wood castles with stained glass windows or fancy robes. That is how this first band of confederates operated, as individual churches. Fierce fighting confederate Christ souldiers they were. Who created new channels of thinking, and behaving. Which cost them many hardships, including prison and death. They were without a Pope, or any type of hierarchy. All that stuff was added as time progressed. It served, and still serves as a means of securing manipulative power structures. With a history of inflicting mental and physical anguish. Some very brutal leading to serious injury and even death.

Time has progressed to the point where religionist hunger, and thirsts to be the state. Which once was a threatening prospect in the United States, A notion favored by evangelical fundamentalism. But splintered, into self empire building which is not much of a threat in the twenty first century. But the world evil of Islam, may well accomplish what evangelical fundamentalism could not.

It is different for Europe. Because the disease of Islam is far more deadly there. Europe seeks to Christianize their states as a means of religious and political salvation from Islam. As the age of Christianity progresses, a Roman Pontiff will speak with greater authority through out Europe. Never the less it is a very dangerous trend because it could allow governments to speak for God. Of course, it could be a prophetic end because two dreadful characters will dominate Europe and the world. One as the false prophet and the other as the anti Christ.

As this Padre has argued repeatedly, religion is one of the greatest calamities ever inflicted upon humanity. That is because humanity is not fit to speak for God. When a politician announces, that he or she wants to bring Christianity into the government run for cover. Because such twin evils are antagonistic to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christ spent his life, especially his last week of life, fighting religion, politics and profiteers. Are the three any different today? Of course not!

So the Christ movement should continue. Liberating humanity from the clutches of religion, government and corporate conglomerates. Demanding that the three provide for the temporal needs of its citizens. And of course, being a living presence for the way, truth and life of the government.

The calendar of Jesus was packed with 29 encounters. Some pleasant but most very antagonistic to his message and mission. Just a very brief discussion about one of those dates. As said, Jesus never said anything about observing this week climaxing with Good Friday-Resurrection Sunday.

Here is what he taught his followers about the observance of his life and death. It is found in, Matthew 26:26-29, And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat, this is my body. and he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them,” saying, “Drink all of it. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Key vs. 29, “But I say unto you, “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

In a previous discussion about these seven days it was said that Christ was providing a new relationship with humanity. Recall the silence of God during this period. Leaving humanity responsible for the planet. This period of unknown duration would be interrupted by Christ himself. During this period of silence our duty is four fold. Provide for the temporal needs of humanity and offer the gospel. Keep in perspective the breaking of bread and the drinking of wine. His broken body described as vesture. That was dipped in blood, Revelation 19:13. We were also told not to forget to pay tribute to Mary Magdalene where ever the gospel is preached, Matthew 26:13.

This day in the life of Christ, or for that matter, the entire week. Was designed by God to prepare the world for the putting aside of the old. With the ushering in of the new with clear instructions from Christ. Concerning what he expected during his absence. Along with the rewards and consequences of what to expect upon his return. Both for the believing body of Christ, and those in denial of his message and mission. Which is very distinguishable from all the pomp and glamor of modern day commemorations. That starts weeks before the final week of His life upon this God doomed earth.

Killed by Kindness

It is said that apes produce twins, one of which they lavish affection, feeding it with great care while they turn against the other and neglect it. But by curious dispensation of providence, the one that the mother delights to care for and strains tightly to her breasts is smothered to death, while the rejected one reaches maturity.

No forethought can prevail against destiny. (source-Penguin Classics-Fables of Aesop-“Killed By Kindness”)

If no forethought can prevail against destiny, is becoming a Christian one of personal choice or divine selection? In that Jesus said, “No one can come to me, except the Father, who sent Me, draws Him; and I will raise him up at the last day,” John 6:44. And when the Gentiles heard this they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed,” Acts 13:39. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. Which were born, not of the will of the flesh, nor of man, but of God,” John 1:12-13. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake,” Philippians 1:19.

A world outside of a world

What is this seeking of the kingdom of God and His righteousness all about? And, what are all those things that would be given to them? Who come in possession of this seemingly ambiguous directive by Jesus. It’s intriguing because of the way people respond, when it belongs to them.

So lets unveil this mystery and hopefully discover the lessons Jesus provided for all posterity. For us, from an old book that never grows old. He said, that the kingdom of God is like a treasure in a field. And along comes someone and finds it, and he hides it. Then with great enthusiasm, he gathers his possessions and sells them. Then he goes and buys the field.

Imagine yourself in such a situation. What kind of a treasure would it have to be to cause you to mimic such behaviors. For most Americans, spectacular because God has blessed the nation with the fruits of His divine providence. But for most of the worlds trouble populace, given the such an opportunity, the field would soon become theirs. That’s why Arab/Muslims countries kill Muslims, who leave Islam because they found that treasure. And why countries like China prosecute Chinese who also find that treasure. Though they understand it not, they know that treasure, if found by many will end their tyranny. Because in those countries, their is no such experience of fruits through divine providence. Rather any fruits manifested occurs through oppressive means. And they are a world of people, outside of a world of His divine providence. And it’s a road, America is now traveling. And watch our America dry up just like the Mississippi River, if you are a news junkie, then you know all about what that means for the nation.

From Jesus Christ himself, this how that treasure is found. “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but can’t tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone, who is born of the Spirit,” John 3:8, NKJV. Which brings about this experience which has no human explanation. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new,” 2 Corinthians 5:17. And that’s what was meant, when this was recorded in the first paragraph of the previous posting. “So we have the setting for a disturbing discussion designed to reek havoc among people within a certain world.”

Now that is a treasure likened to one hid in a field. Which causes the fortunate finder of such an experience to forsake everything to own its possession. And so it is with the merchant predisposed to seek great wealth from his pearl. But when, the merchant finds and experiences the beauty of that elusive pearl, everything changes.

And so our treasure discoverers and merchant seekers of pearls are picturesque of you and me. Who cast a net into the sea indiscriminately. Resulting in a gathering of every kind. And that reader is what happens, when the treasure of God that appears hidden to human reasoning and is unexpectedly discovered. It’s the process of the Spirit of God blowing among the worlds people. Irrespective of race, ethnicity or gender.

And, that is what it means to seek the kingdom of God. It’s sought by us, according to Jesus, who said, “No one can come to me unless, the Father who sent Me draws him. And I will raise him up at the last day.” Because Jesus, when asked replied …. “The kingdom of God does not come from observation; nor will they say, See here!’ or See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” And, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Scriptural texts:John 6:44;Luke 17:20-21;John 14:6). As is His righteousness because we are made righteous through Christ. (scriptural text:2 Corinthians 5:21). Which allows us to find the kingdom of God which was thought to be a possession of seemingly ambiguity. And now it’s known, that it’s not the case at all.

And then all these things are added unto us. Which is to step up for Christ, whether as the person privileged by the Spirit to draw people to that field. Because people unknowingly are drawn to that treasure. Or as the merchant in the market place, where people again, unknowingly are seeking the pearl of life eternal.

Good fortune is a gift of divine providence. And having made that treasure yours, as did the finder of that elusive pearl. Then combining their efforts, the net is cast into the waters of life. And sure enough many respond, and referred to as, one of every kind. And the good was gathered into good vessels, but the bad was cast away.

Anyone privileged to hear the word of God announced is left with a choice. Buy that field and own that treasure. Polish that pearl and enhance its value. Or walk away because the cost is deemed, as to expensive.

So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just. And cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be a wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Discussion constructed around the scriptural texts of, Matthew 13:44-50.

In a world gone crazy

“IF”-By Rudyard Kipling
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired of by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies
Or being hated don’t give away to hating,
And yet don’t look to good, nor talk to wise;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

If you can dream dream-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And threat those two impostors just the same:
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but not to much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything in it,
And-which is more-you’ll be a Man my son!

X 2 change America

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed! It’s the only way that it can ever be done,” Margaret Mead, 1901-1978, cultural anthropologist.

Margaret must have hitched hiked on the heels of the worlds foremost cultural anthropologist, Jesus Christ. Who said, “follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19. Read on I’m thinking about 2 kinds of fish, both stink! But some Christ truth first because it’s the only way to change our world.

And after selecting twelve, he sent them out to change the world in pairs of two, Mark 6:7. The were to take the message, first to the Jewish community and later to the non-Jewish world. Ordering them to announce a profound message, “But go, rather to the lost sheep of Israel. And as you go, ‘preach,’ saying, ‘The kingdom of Heaven is at hand,'” Matthew 10:5-7.

Later God would select a man named Paul, a Jew, to take that same Christ message to the non-Jewish world, Romans 11:13 and Ephesians 3:8. In the meantime Paul had been a fierce persecutor of those, who preached the message that the Kingdom of God was at hand. Because they said that it was time to change the world scene. By setting aside old Jewish customs and embrace this foreign notion about the Kingdom of God as being at hand.

Why did Christ utter that phrase ‘the Kingdom of God is at hand?’ Because, “And so it was written, the first man Adam became a living thing. The last Adam became a life giving spirit. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second man is the Lord from heaven,” 1 Corinthians 15:45;47.

“As was the man of dust, so also are those, (you and me) who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are heavenly. And, as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly man. Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit ‘the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption,” 1 Corinthians 15:48-50.

As it was before the time of Christ, during his time, right up to ours. The world consists of the corrupted and the uncorrupted. The God plan is simple bring the corrupted into the world of the uncorrupted. Resulting in a people from that corrupted world embracing the Christ message. And by so doing the command, “and as you go, preach the Kingdom of God,” has been and is being fulfilled constantly. Because the Kingdom of God, now, are his ‘body of believers,’ who wait for their true inheritance in the heavenly ‘Kingdom of God.’

So Margaret got part of it right by declaring that a small group of citizens can change the world. The only problem is that world is corrupt and temporary. While that which is not corruptible and permanent requires the same effort from dedicated Christians. Because according to God that’s the only way the world can be changed.

It’s a tough battle with this padre in search of mercenary warriors, who are up to taking on the corruptible for the incorruptible. Especially the government, who have mastered the art of euthanasia. As its mercy kills, the people through self centered governance.

Compounding insult to injury by allowing Muslims to construct military fortress one after another on American soil that are call mosques. If that’s not evil enough, the government once thought it was okay for Muslims to build a 15 story mosque. Within walking distance of ground zero of their 9/11 twin tower massacre.

But because of fierce opposition to its construction, it’s on hold. According to the devil himself, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. But in order to gain public favor the proposed mosque has been tagged to be an Islamic Center which didn’t fly either. So now the mosque has been renamed as, Park 51. Different names, same intent destroy America. Get fierce America, demanding that nothing Islamic should exist in God’s pitiful America.

So if; enuf is enuf for you, then find this padre by clicking the ‘contact us’ tab associated with navigation link. And learn, how to use a particular weapon designed for Islamic destruction. By turning the corruptible, into the incorruptible.

A law called murphy

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Celibacy is not hereditary.

Beauty is only skin deep.

If everything seems to be going well. You obviously don’t know what the hell is going on.

Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference.

Friends come and go but enemies accumulate.

The other queue always moves faster.

Anything you try to fix will take longer and cost more than you thought.

The chance of a slice of bread falling butter side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

Never sleep with anyone crazier than yourself.

The repairman will never have seen a model quite like yours before.

A short cut is the longest distance between two points.

Anything good is in life is either illegal, immoral or fattening.

The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlight of an oncoming train.

Murphy’s Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold makes the rules.

No matter how long you shop for an item once you’ve bought it, it will be on sale somewhere else cheaper.

In order to get a loan. You must first prove you don’t need it.

Avoid any action with an unacceptable outcome.

The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle. (source:not this writer)

America a sinking ship

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a Father, where is My reverence? And if a Master, where is My fear? Says the Lord of hosts unto you. To you priests who despise my name.”

Yet you say, “In what way have we despised Your name? You offer defiled food on My alter.” But say, “In what way have we defiled you?.” By saying, “The table of the LORD is contemptible.”
“And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?” Says the LORD of Hosts.

Discussion done in an allegorical manner. Manipulate each paragraph of behaviors in your mind in accordance with the polluted table of each paragraph. Substituting it with modern day offerings by America, or for that matter, that of individuals. And wonder if Jesus would accuse the government of contemptible behaviors.

Concluding that if God is the father of America, as he is, where is the honor or the respect due him? And would the governors, or the courts who examined such behaviors? Be pleased and exonerate their personage?

Who knows the answer from the human perspective? But God answers, O! Priests that despise my name.

Therefore; ends any ancient and modern day brain teasers, designed to provoke thinking through allegorical picture telling.

As always, no matter what the circumstances repentance is encouraged, “And now, seek God’s favor that He maybe gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, will He accept you favorably?” Says the LORD of hosts. (scriptural texts:Malachi 1:6-9).

But unfortunately; as a nation, America is a sinking nation because she has defiled herself in the presence of God Almighty. And is making no attempt to mend her ways, thus experiencing His favor. Bringing these consequences upon America sooner than latter. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor shall be.” (scriptural text:Matthew 24:22).

And to a very large extent the afflictions that will pound America with terrifying consequences is found in Revelation 13:1-4. In capsule form the pain will come from the beast or false prophet. With some suspecting that it’ll be a Roman pontiff named, Petrus Romanus, or Peter the Roman. Those who speculated such an occurrence thought this pontiff would emerge after the reign of Pope Benedict XV1. In that Pope Francis assumed the office of the papacy after Benedict. Such speculation by the speculators might have gotten it wrong. But maybe not, perhaps the error was in the name and not the man. Only time will tell.

Here is what is not speculation. Whoever the false prophet is, he will work in conjunction with an influential world leader scripturally recognized as the anti-Christ. It’s thought by many that He will be an European associated with the rived Roman Empire of ten horns. (cp Daniel 7:23-25). Resulting from a reformulated European Union of ten nations states. Both getting their power and influence from the dreaded dragon of history.

However this padre holds to a different theory. Thinking that perhaps the anti-Christ will be a Muslim. In that Islam is at war against the community of nations. Europe is practically owned by Islam. With European governments surrendering sovereignty to Islamic demands because they fear Muslim terror. Thinking acquiescence equals peace and peace is better than terror.

Note this phrase, “And shall intend to change times and law.” The goal of Islam is to bring the community of nations into conformity with the Islamic calendar of observation and worship. With the community of nations being governed by Islamic law. The seen enemy of Muslims are Christians and the God we worship. Note these phrases, “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High. Then the saints shall be given into his hand.” (cp Daniel 7:25).

Observe ISSI they execute Christians! In the United States Christians are being persecuted for their faith. Long standing traditions of Christian expressions in public places are now illegal. Failure not to honor the evils of political correctness and inclusiveness can cause people to be fired from their jobs. Because they were critical of homosexual marriages, or spoke against Islam. Christian clergyman asked to offer a prayer at public held forums. Have been told not to mention Jesus in their prayers. Refusal to do so resulted with them being removed as a participant. How close are we to Nazi Germany, when sermons had to be approved by the government? Closer than one might suspect. This we also know, businesses have been sued because they refused to offer their services to customers because the request violated their conscience.

Hot to trot are Muslims who want criminal legislation to punish people who say offensive things against Islam, especially their prophet. In that it has not happened yet, they legislate their own punishment.

So what’s new? Nothing according to the Apostle Paul. Who wrote, “Now we, brethren, as Isaac are the children of promise. But as he, (Ishmael father of Islam) who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him, who was born of the Spirit, even so it is now,” Galatians 4:28-29.

The Perfect Prayer

Most look for gadgets of some sort when wanting satisfaction from the toils of life. Gadgets meaning those pursuits of pleasure which are far to numerous to cite. A little use of ones imagination and dozens will come to your attention.

And strange as it may sound, or maybe not so strange, praying may be one of them. The do this for me and give me this syndrome. Perhaps that’s what Jesus had in mind, when he said, “But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking,” Matthew 6:7. Then in the next verse Jesus declares, ‘your Father knows what things you need before you ask him.’ So then, why pray? Seems like a waste of time, doesn’t it?

Dispatch any such notions because prayer plays a significant role in our lives. Especially when Jesus provides specific instructions about the role of prayer in our lives.

Having discussed qualifiers, when praying with the previous discussion. Here then is the first qualifier, in this manner pray! Our Father in heaven, hallowed or sacred is your name, Matthew 6:9. Meaning we are to recognize his purity and perfections as creator and the sustaining force of his creation. Nothing occurs without his permission. Not the rising or the setting of the sun. And everything that happens in between. Think about the awesomeness of what you just read. So praise him, again and again! Can we ever show him to much gratitude for his enduring mercy upon us as sinners, though saved by grace? Even we, who have so little, of this worlds wealth have so much compared to most of the earths people. There is a reason, and that reason is because America was Christ obeying and Christ honoring. In America today, Jesus is being marginalized and with such attitudes and behaviors, so will individual and national wealth be marginalized. So sorry, am I! One suspects Jesus mutters to himself.

One of my favorite verses is Psalms 24:1, which reads, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world, and they who dwell therein.” In just a few words, we have the essences of his hallowed being. The complete complexity and beauty of his creation. Most certainly worthy of his creations constant praise.

It’s not a choice, it’s a command to be offered to the Father. Because Jesus said, “In this manner, therefore pray. Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed is your name,” Matthew 6:9. That’s how important that command is to Jesus. It’s what we offer to God first and last when offering our prayers. And it goes like this, “For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever,” Matthew 6:13b. It’s that all encompassing awareness everything is because of him. So praise him!

It’s not done as a ritual or because Christ commanded it to be done. That how the pagans pray according to Jesus.  It done out of pure reverence for the Father deserving to be hallowed by our every breath. Often I proclaim his very hallowed being through a hymn. Sometimes just silently in my mind. Like these words from, “How Great thou Art.” “And when I think, that God his son not sparing. Sent him to die, I scare can take it in. That on the Cross, my burden bearing. He bled and died to take my sin away. Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee, How great thou art.”

To sum this up, for me there is something very uplifting and morale boosting. It’s just plain energizing. My prayer is that you’ll also find it to be as such. As you pray your selected hallowed praises to the Father. More to follow as the other qualifiers are developed.

God is nothing more than a hullabaloo

There is a character of enormous influence, who globe trots freely without a passport from one nation to another, Job 1:7. It has been rumored that this character even converses and barters with God. For the privilege of mischief and destruction, Job 1:8-11. With God having the ability to put some limitations on his mischief and destruction, Job 1:12.This character is none other than the great dragon, that old serpent, who is the Devil and Satan. Who is referenced in the Bible, with a destined future pictured in Revelation 20:2-3, with a thousand year holiday. Because he had deceived the nations, but watch out he’ll get another chance. But that will be for a later discussion, with the point being here, Satan never gives up! Especially those of us within the family of Christ, 1 Peter 5:8.

But in the meantime, God has allowed, that great dragon, that old serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, to molest the earth with great subtlety. This has been done through the conflicting dogmas stirred up by men about God. So that today, we have so many different God’s to choose from as there are specs of sand on a beach. To the point that today, we have a church that can’t speak as one body in and through Jesus and consequently is mostly useless.

This of course has created much confusion because it raises the question, as to which God is the God of truth. From all those God’s, which one is worthy of our devotion and allegiance? After all these God’s demand complete devotion, and expect some demanding sacrifices from their followers. So making the right choice, as to which God to follow is an important decision. But for reasons beyond me, many people  decide that the only choice is not to choose. Deciding that with so many conflicting notions about God, God must be nothing more than a lot of hullabaloo.

Along time ago, I learned that there is nothing that can be done to reign in those notions of hullabaloo’s about God that are embraced by so many. As much as, I want to people persuade differently, it can not be done. To do otherwise just leads people down the path of confusion. And so, I learned, that God does not need me to impound His truth. Clergy, like myself, and other well meaning people just get in God’s way, sometimes.

Here is how to erase those hullabaloo’s and find the one true God. By using my own conversion to Christ as an example. Someone placed the gospel of John in a in a conspicuous place. I picked it up and read parts of it. Later, and  not by coincidence, I suspect, I read a book. Detailing the awfulness of sin and what it can do to ones life. It was as though the author had written his book specifically for me. I experienced an unusual guilty awareness. That I was that lost person without Christ from the gospel of John that I had browsed awhile back. To this day, I have no recollection of what drove me to my knees in confession of my sins to Jesus Christ. And then, believing in him, as my redeemer.

This unusual occurrence, I recall. Was at night and the room was dimly lit. Then, I noticed that it was aglow with a white brightness. Sometimes upon reflection of that February night, I think that it was my new found exuberance. Having the awareness that something about me was different and had caused that seemingly white brightness.

So I went to bed, and when I got up the next morning. I knew that there was something very different about me. Having, so I thought, no familiarity with such supernatural things. And! I was not about to discuss my experiences with anyone for fear that they might think that I was crazy.

So, I got a Bible and started reading it. After a considerable time of reading, I came across 2 Corinthians 5:17. Which reads as follows, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away. Behold! All things are become new.” I knew instantly that experience had happened to me. Old controlling habits were gone, along with long cherished attitudes. That was the proof I needed to erase my own hullabaloo’s. I was indeed a new person.

One last thought about the supernatural. I was called to be a priest, when I was very young. As the result of an angelic appearance in my bedroom. To young to know what it meant. To young even to be able to read. I found the family Bible and started paging it. Upon coming across pictures of angels, I pointed to them out to my mother. Alarmed I could sense because the Bible was taken from me and hid. But my fascination prevailed, and I kept discovering where it had been hidden. And finally, that Bible just disappeared never to be found by me again.

And here I am today, saved by the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, in his service. Ordained into the priesthood decades later. Yes, indeed God is able to work wonders in very mysterious ways. God expressed it this way through Isaiah. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts,” Isaiah 55:8-9.

Then to keep those hullabaloos permanently erased here is a suggestion from Philippians 2:12. “… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. With fear because I do not know what bartering Satan has accomplished with God on my behalf. Knowing that the goal of Satan is to get me to curse God. And to send me among the ranks of those who see God as nothing more than a hullabaloo. Knowing also that God will put limits on his assaults upon me. Lessons from Job.

Over the years, I have to understand the beauty and majesty of the following truths. “So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but will accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it,” Isaiah 55:11. And know this, “The wind blows were it will, and you hear the sound of it, But can not tell where it came from and where it goes; so is everyone that is born of the spirit,” John 3:8.

In short be careful what you accept as truth. Unless you can confirm what is shared from the Holy Scriptures, the living WORD of GOD. In accordance with Philippians 2:12, … “working out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Because there is a lot of confusion peddled about God.

“And the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,” Philemon 1:25.That is the only way God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ can be experienced. Life with Christ lies in the future for those who accept his grace. Or (G) God’s (R) Riches (A) at (C) Christ (E) Expense. Defined as, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, put have everlasting life,” John 3:16. Then you’ll know what I was talking about personally, when I described my own ‘new live’ experience from 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Lifestyles

The journey’s of a clergyman takes them to the dark alleys of human consciousness. To discover this about lifestyles. The very best among us are capable of creating the most infamous of tragedies against each other. It is played out upon our community and world stages constantly.

Nothing new, it’s something we all know. So for now, I leave you with this to absorb. “In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor,” 2 Timothy 2:20.

And, if you have come to know all that, as all in Christ must. Because it’s by this declaration it is so, “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful to the Master, prepared for a very good work,” 2 Timothy 2:21.

Everything by human design is doomed to failure Only what is designed by Christ flourishes. And, it’s captured in the simplest of language which can not be sold or bought, bartered or stolen, won or lost. Instead it must be experienced! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things pass away. Behold! All things have become new, 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Fools die for lack of wisdom or do they

A monkey made a great impression by dancing before an assembly of animals, who elected him their king. The fox was jealous. Noticing a snare with a piece of meat in it, he took the monkey to it and said, “here is a choice tidbit that I have found. Instead of eating it myself, I have kept it for you as a perquisite of your your royal office. So take it.”

The monkey went at it carelessly and was caught in the snare. When he accused the fox of laying a trap for him. The fox replied, “Fancy a fool like you, friend monkey, being king of the animals!”

People who attempt things without due consideration suffer for it and get laughed at into the bargain. (source:Penguin Classics-Fables of Aesop-Fools Die for Lack of Wisdom)

Someone else said,”Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.”

Jesus said, “Be therefore not anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,” Matthew 6:34.

And then it’s recorded, Ecclesiastes 9:11, this way, “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happened to them all.

Taxes to pay or not

Sometimes, this padre is shocked into disbelief, upon discovering how Christians conduct their everyday business. It’s anything, but Christian with God promising retributions for such behaviors. Consider what is to follow relating to the paying of taxes. But the scriptures, that are to follow are applicable to all behaviors. With the final word being this, be sure your behavior aren’t contrary to what the Bible teaches. Or you just might experience God’s retributions sooner than later. Meaning while you are still earth bound, then to stand someday before Christ and experience his judgment. Which is a judgment according to your works, occurring as such; and the sea gave up the dead, and hades delivered up the dead that were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works. (Scriptural text Revelation 20:13).

That is about what is commonly referred to as the hereafter. But what follows is about the here and now. As the partridge sits on eggs, and hatches them not; so he that get riches, and not by right, it will leave him in the midst of his days, and at his end he will be a fool. (Scriptural text: Jeremiah 17:11).

To me belongs vengeance and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time. For the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste. (Scriptural text:Deuteronomy 32:35).

Life as you now experience it, is irrelevant with its entanglements with the affairs of government. when compared to God’s expectations. Especially for those, who are Christians. That’s what Jesus meant, when he had a discussion with the authorities. “Teacher, we know that you are true, and care about no one; for you do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?” But he knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “why do you test me? Bring me a denarius that I may see it.” So they brought it. And he said to to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him. (Scriptural text Mark 12:13-17).

Now the authorities had this perception, when they said, “Teacher … but teach the way of God in truth….” Here is one aspect of the Christian journey that makes the affairs of this life irrelevant. Which is to honor, and glorify God. It is your primary responsibility once you become a Christian. As expressed in your scriptures, “Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; he is also to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before him; strength and gladness are in his place. Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples. Give to the LORD glory and strength. Give to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering, and come before him. Oh! Worship the LORD in beauty of holiness!” (Scriptural texts:1 Chronicles 16:23-29).

In all instances, do what is right and God will do right unto you. He will not allow your foot to be moved. He who keeps you, will not slumber. (Scriptural text:text Psalms 121:30).

And remember nothing in scripture is irrelevant or time dated. Because, all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (Scriptural text:2 Timothy 3:16).

The confession of a priest

Soon after my ordination, this young clergyman became disillusioned with the church. Because little difference seemed to exists between the people inside the church, who called themselves Christians. And the people outside of the church, who denied any association with the Christ or His Church.

Faced with the prospect of leaving the church was troublesome. I had studied and trained very hard to be accepted as a candidate for ordination. After a two day ordeal of examination by a council of clergyman, they announced that they found me fit for ordination. A date was set for my ordination. Invitations were sent out to family, friends, and associated churches.

On that most eventful Sunday afternoon, I knelt and listened to my vows as they were put to me. After each one, I announced, I do. Then the ritual of ordination was exercised by the church fathers. Finally, in what seemed like an eternity, I heard music. The choir sung ever so softly. It was announced that I had been ordained into the priesthood. Although young, I advanced quickly through the ranks. Surely destined for power and authority, so some thought. Though troublesome, I did leave the organized church.

Found real satisfaction in the inner city or ghetto. My whole experience there caused me to re-examine the meaning of what it meant when Christ said, “follow me,” Matthew 4:19. What did it mean to follow Christ?

The answer to that question is lengthy, but for the sake of brevity this is some of what it meant for me. It meant setting up a structure that provided shelter, food, health care, education, and employment. Along with whatever else needed to be accomplished in the service of the people for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ. (cp Matthew 25:35-36).

Component programs had to be created to meet the needs of the community. For example, these people needed health care. A doctor was found and a health clinic was opened. Writing about that experience with so few words makes it sound like it was a simple undertaking. It took many hours of hard work. Opposition to such a clinic was monumental and just plain exhausting. From exhaustion, the follower of Christ comes to the communion table.

Communion has unique aspects. It is the celebration of the life of Christ. Combined with the sacrifice of Christ. Aspects every Christian should deeply study. Much is to be learned through such contemplative study. Then the communion celebrant will begin to learn how to offer ones life in sacrifice and service to others. With communion becoming a festivity of renewal and camaraderie. Among Christians who have experienced the hard work of advancing the cause of Christ.

Communion was never meant to be a Sunday morning ritual for people in their Sunday attire without the work and sweat of advancing the cause of Christ.

Sometimes, when people experience the generosity of Christians. They decide they want to become followers of Christ. Instruction is then provided. First and foremost, is the necessity for repentance, and acceptance of Jesus Christ as ones personal Savior. Time is spent helping people change life habits that are self destructive and harmful to others because it hinders the cause of Christ. All the talk, and listening is useless. Unless the unexplainable occurs which is supernatural in nature. The apostle Paul found it and experienced it. So by God’s grace, Paul shared it with us. These are scared words, “Therefore if any person be in Christ, they become new creations. Old things are passed away; BEHOLD, all things are become new,” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Once the instructions are completed they are encouraged to seek baptism into the body of Christ. Then encouraged to embrace the Christ challenge of follow Me. Which means to go out into the community where one lives, and serve.