Saturday, January 29, 2011

Due Diligence

I decided last night to read the New Testament again. A fellow that I was reading said he decided to read 1 John again and again, until he no longer got anything new from it. He read it for months, everyday, and found he always got something new from it, everytime. You see the Bible is a living text, it's the Word of God. Reading it just once isn't going to show you everything, nor twice, or three times. We need to immerse ourselves in it. So I started at the beginning of the New Testament with the book of Mathew. I only got 2 chapters in before something caught my eye.

Mathew 2:7-8 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
Akribos – circumspectly, diligently, perfectly

You see Herod knew that if the wise men were right, and the scriptures were right, then this person they were seeking was the Messiah. So he asked them many questions. He interrogated them for information. He looked for proof in what they were saying, comparing it to the Jewish scriptures. He was convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, so he feigned to be a believer as well. He claimed he would come worship as well.

He told them to go search diligently. Not to go look around and come back, but to make sure they were right. He REALLY wanted to know who was the Christ. So he could get rid of Him. He wanted to get rid of the Christ now so that his throne would be safe. Think about that for a moment, let it set in.

A man who was not at all interested in worshiping God, diligently inquired about Him. He asked questions, he looked at the proof. He was convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, simply based on the evidence presented before him. He was so convinced that he eventually murdered every child in that age range in the area he found out about.

Yet, we can't seem to be bothered to actually look for Jesus ourselves. We claim to be Christians, yet we don't diligently inquire about God. We have become hollow for the most part, going to a church once a week, and then going back into the world and acting as if God only exists in that building. Everything is present to God. Every action you do, he knows. Every thought you have, he knows! Your inner attitude is what he sees. Even if you are being a 'good' person, but doing it for the wrong reasons.. he knows! So it's our duty to be diligent! Diligently search for Him in the Scriptures. Jesus said that they testified to him! John 5:39

Study and show yourselves approved! Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Open up those bibles! Read the Word of God daily! See what he reveals to you as you read, and pray that He will open the windows of your mind and let light pour in.

In Christ,

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Husbands and Wives

Ephesians 5 22-24 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

This is a very unpopular verse. Mostly because it has been used in the past to make women subservient to their husband, with only he allowed to make decisions. That was not the intent of this passage at all. I will get to that later. First I want to talk bout how the husband is supposed to act.

Ephesians 25-32 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

Take a moment and let that sink in. There are a few characteristics that we can look at immediately about how we are to treat our wives. Mainly, we can look at how Christ lived his life for the church. Christ came into this world with one goal, to redeem his people to God. To bring his church into himself. We are after all the body of Christ. Christ LIVED literally for the church. He gave his life, his precious blood, for us. He suffered and died, just for the church.

Well husbands, we've got some serious shoes to fill, don't we. We are to love our wife, even when she doesn't deserve it! Not just when she loves us back, but period! Christ didn't come down for the saints, he came for the sinners! The people who turned their back on him! We have to love our wives, even when we don't particularly like her! I believe every couple has that moment as well. The moment when they are definitely not happy with their spouse. Be it when someone spent a great deal of money, without even consulting the other. Or someone hid something from the other. That doesn't excuse us! We still have to love her!

So what does the first verse tell us then? The one about wives submitting to their husbands? Well it doesn't seem to make sense if you think of marriage as a union, in which you just dissolve it when you don't agree anymore. It's not! Marriage is not something that we just leave when we have a disagreement. Someone has to have the deciding vote. Many people will tell you it's just the man, but it's not. It's God! The man should be approaching God with the problem and saying Father, help me to solve this in your will! Then he should be going to his wife, and saying “You mean more than my own life, what is your opinion in this matter?” Then out of love and trust in the Lord, he should decide. Even if the two members do not agree, they should abide by that decision. Because it was approached with ultimate love for one another, and love for God.

Women love your husbands! Respect them! Help edify them, lord knows we men need our wives support. Men love your wives, more than yourself. No man who loves his wife more than his own life will hold it over her head that he is put in charge of the final vote. He would instead cast that final vote in love for her! Or even step aside and say I love you so much, that we are going to do what you want to to do, even if it's not what I want to do, as long as it's God's will.

Remember Christ came as a servant, he served the church even though he was it's King. You are to be your wives servant, even if you are the head. That's what it means to be spiritually the head, that you have went above your own wants and needs and are looking for hers. Because she is being obedient to God by submitting to you, you must be obedient to God and submit to her!

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

In Christ,

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Water Filters Eventually Fill Up

Our refrigerator has a light on it that only comes on when it needs the water filter replaced. The other day this filter came on as the refrigerator realized that the filter was so full of contaminants that the water couldn't get through. It got me to thinking about our own internal filter, the filter in our body given to us by God.

In our body is a filter filled not with carbon or sand, but with the Holy Spirit. When we sin we put things inside of us that don't leave room for the Holy Spirit. Just like a filter, if we fill our minds with sin then we need that filter replaced. We need to get the sin back out of our bodies and minds, and make more room for God.

That's when I realized that repent was not a single action, but a way of life. Each time we fall and allow sin in our life, we must repent and go forward. When we repent God removes that sin from our life and we no longer have a problem letting the water through. Jesus promised us living water, and that water can't flow if the filter is clogged. He also commanded us to go forth and sin no more. We cannot continue living life as if sin is not endangering our salvation. I'm not saying you won't sin. You will. Yet as you grow in Christ and your filter becomes stronger and stronger in your life, less and less sin makes it through. We should see that fruit in each other. We should see that a person is growing in Christ, learning to not go against the Spirit. We should see a growing distance in the flesh and the person.

It's not that the filter doesn't remove the sin, it's that we sin so much we fill the filter up. Eventually if we sin too much we push God right out of our life, and the filter is broken. That person no longer cares if he sins or not, because all he sees is sin. Selfishness.. Want only for what benefits him or her. That's why it is imperitive that we live our lives in obedience to God. Not because your works increase your salvation, your salvation is already there. Because your works show your salvation. Your works show that your filter has no sin in it, only the Holy Spirit.

So start today, repent of what you do wrong and go on trying never to do it again. Stop living in sin and pretending that God is just going to forgive you anyway. We should never sin with the thought that it's OK, Christ already paid our cost. We should stop sinning, knowing that with each sin we didn't commit, Christ didn't get punished for. We should show our love for Christ in our actions towards one another. It's not enough to pray and talk, we have to show our fruit.

In Christ,

Monday, January 17, 2011

70 x 7 ... that's a lot eh?

This is going to sound strange, and I know it before I type it, but there is something on my chest that I must talk about. It's actually a very familiar verse, but one that today God opened my eyes to in a new light. First I'm going to give the verse, then I'm going to talk about what it really means.

Mathew 18:21 Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times ?" 22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

So many times I've read that seven times seventy is about unlimited forgiveness, and well it is. Yet there is a reason that it is about unlimited forgiveness besides being a 'big' number. 490 times a day is a lot of forgiving, I agree. Yet there is another thing to consider, something God showed to me earlier today.

You see, there is a concept that was commonplace to the Jewish people of that time, that we as Christians really wouldn't be thinking about but they would. God instituted the Sabbath for a day of rest, a day in which we were to draw closer to Him, imitating the day of rest not because God needed rest, but because he knew before hand that we His children would need rest. Then he instituted a system of letting the land rest every seven years. Then in the sixth year the land would produce enough for three years. What is significant about that?

Well if you harvest enough in the sixth year to last three years, you have enough for the sixth, the seventh and then the 8th year. The 8th year you start fresh again, planting and tilling living off God's provision. That's very important. That we realize the 8th year is a year of fresh starts, and yet God is providing for us because we kept his Sabbath.

Then we look again and there is a period of 49 years, after which everyone forgives each other their debts. Seven times seven. Why seven times seven? Well it's seven periods of seven years, it's a year of Sabbath. During the Jubilee everyone gets back their land, they no longer owe money, and every slave is freed back to his family. This is something that Israel has stopped doing, and it's something that we don't hear about. God wanted us to do this for a reason. He wanted people to not amass wealth and have all their brothers poor servants to them. They were all to remember every 49 years that they were equal in God's eyes. To return the money and the land to the Lord because it was His already! It was a matter of faith.

Why are 10 Jubilee cycles so important? Well some call it a grand Jubilee. Yet there is even more there. You see Daniel chapter 9 says,  24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
 25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens

Guess what happened 490 years after Daniel said this? Daniels decrees have been calculated to have been 490 BC... exactly 70 times 7 years before the birth of Christ. Now think about what that means in terms of forgiving 70 times 7.

We are to forgive in the manner of the Jubilee, the Grand Jubilee! We forgive in the way that God forgave us when He sent His only Son to earth, to be our goel, our kinsman redeemer. Not just 70 times 7 but forgiving in a manner that wipes away sin, forever blotting it from our eyes. Remember we are living in the perfected Jubilee of Christ! In this year we are to trust in God and his promises, forgive each other our debts. God has provided everything we need, the Word of God, to feed us through our year of rest. Now it is up to us to have enough faith in God to follow Him in obedience!

In Christ,

Martin Luther King

I intended to write a long post today about his 'dream.' About how we should share that dream for each and every man, woman and child. Then I realized that I could not share it in any more eloquent words than the words of Martin Luther King Himself. So without any further adieu, here is his speech and I must say.. he has inspired a dream in all of us, and we should further his work, until 'little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers." Until color is meaningless and we are all brothers and sisters of the human race. Until a man can be described without race, because we no longer hold skin color as any social, political or moral value.

Martin Luther King's Address at March on Washington
August 28, 1963. Washington, D.C.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. [Applause]

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
Martin Luther King delivering the I Have a Dream Speech

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There

will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I Have a Dream

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
I Have a Dream Speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Friday, January 14, 2011

Faith without works?

Lolium temulentum. That's a big word there, but it's one we need to understand as Christians. Many people in other countries already know this plant, but it's called by a more common name. Darnel or cockle. It's also called false wheat. Why is this important to us as Christians?

Jesus gave us a parable about the weeds:

Mathew 13:24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
 28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

It's really important to understand the spiritual nature behind this simple parable. So many of us are living in a false sense, that God has freed us from any sort of obedience, that we have grace and as such we do not have to produce fruit. While grace is indeed sufficient, if you have truly received grace, you will produce fruit. As James so succinctly put it, Faith without works, is dead. (James 2:17)

What does this have to do with wheat? Well this parable so eloquently describes something that would have been completely apparent to the audience of the time, especially the farmers. When wheat becomes ripe, it's fruit is heavy. It bows down under it's weight. Much like we Christians, bow down in obedience to God! When we produce fruit, it does not give us more grace, because grace was enough. But when we produce fruit, spiritual fruit, we are acknowledging God as our Lord. We, like wheat, bow down.

The tares were false wheat, sowed by the enemy. They look like real wheat, they even grow much the same, but when it's time for harvest, their fruit is very light. They stand up tall. Much like many false Christians, try to stand by their own works. They stand up in front of God saying, “I did all this, I should get into heaven!” Instead, our Lord walks through and he picks the tares, which are obvious because they are not bowing down like the wheat. He throws them in the lake of fire.

It's important that we produce fruit, it's important that when we get before God, we do not say “Look at all my fruit!” Instead we say, “Thank you for your work on the Cross, because you first loved me, I have loved you. I have done these things in your name!” We need to produce fruit, and we need to be obedient to our Father. We are free from the law, but we are obedient in Love. We now live in the Law of the Spirit, not the law of the flesh.

Galatians 5:22-26
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

In Christ,

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eat meat? Drink wine? What did he mean in Romans 14

Romans 14 is one of the most amazing chapters, to me. It tells us something about today in a way that still holds true. In order to get to that point I want to give you some insight into my own spiritual journey.

For many years I was a member of a church where obedience to the word of God took a literal, fundamental stand. We had to be 'sinless' and if we were caught sinning, well weren't really saved in the first place. So for years I punished myself for every mistake I made, thinking if I were truly saved, truly a child of the King I would be able to withstand sin on my own. I'd be able to make changes in my life that were lasting, and would never be tempted again.

Then I had this startling realization. I realized that I wasn't under the law! God showed me that I didn't have to follow the law, that everything is permissible. That I could do whatever I wanted, as long as I had faith in God. So for about four years, I did just that. I drank, and I smoked, I partied, and I cussed. I watched bad television, listened to even worse music. All because I knew that I was no longer under the law.

Then God opened my eyes to something else. Something I had been missing all along. We hear it in church all the time. Faith without works is dead. Yet works do not get me anywhere? So why would I do them, I'm already saved? What is the point of works? Love. We do works not because the law tells us to, but because we Love God, and we love our neighbor. We go out and we help others, not because it increases our standing with God, but because, it's simply the right thing to do.

As Christians we should be consumed with that thought. A few years ago we had the movement of bands on your arm that said WWJD. What would Jesus do? It was a beautiful movement because it reminded us as Christians we are not under the law, but we follow the law because Jesus would!

Then one day I thought to myself, I've finally found it. I'm right! My beliefs are right, they were wrong before! Then God said to me, if someone thinks they need to eat meat... they should eat meat. I wasn't right after all but I was where God wanted me to be. I was growing in faith. As is everyone else. You see I grew up being taught that the Catholic church was an abomination. That people there followed Mary as God, and worshiped Saints!

God brought a catholic into my life. She was a beautiful woman, with three beautiful children. She had this faith that kept her from needing to ask the questions I was always asking. She asked saints to pray for her, much like she would ask me to pray for her. It was a beautiful thing that taught me a lesson about judging someones faith.

It's all about faith, you know? God gave Abraham righteousness, not because he was circumcised, not because he attended church, not because he did this or that.. You see Abraham was the first and God was teaching him as he went. He started out with just faith, and God counted that as righteousness! The same with you and I! It is still about faith, faith in Christ! However, if saying a rosary brings you closer to God then by all means say the rosary! If staying at home and having your own communion brings you closer to God, then by all means do it!

You see God doesn't want you to come to him being forced into a mold, he'll mold you himself. He knows where your faith is and what you can handle. He knows where mine is as well. He even wants me to do things that encourage your faith, that help build you up. Arguing about whether or not we should interpret the Bible the same or receive the same revelations doesn't edify, it tears down. Do not force someone to give up their meat, or give up their wine, or not to marry.. because that's not the what we are taught! Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

We could easily rewrite that, Let not him that prays the rosary, pray him that does not; and let not him which does not pray the rosary, judge him that does.. because God has received him.

God chooses who goes to heaven, not us. If someone loves Jesus, gives his life to him, believes that through him he will be saved. We are supposed to be one body, one family in Christ. Let's stop arguing over the things that divide us and remember the one Truth that cements us as a family.

So when was I right? At what point did I find authentic faith? You see I was right the entire time. It was a spiritual journey, meant for me. My faith the entire time was placed directly in God. Keep your faith there, and he will lead you on your own journey. He will show you what is right to believe, and what YOU are supposed to believe and when. We grow in Christ, not into.

In Christ,

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Soapy Water

I don't know how many of you spend time doing dishes, but it's a chore I don't relish. I am bad to let my dishes sit a day or so, and then get tired of seeing them and do them. I just don't enjoy it, and would not do them at all if I didn't have to.

You see I spent a great deal of my time in college washing dishes to help pay for tuition and keep a roof over my and my spouse at the times head. It was a difficult time, but all I seem to remember from those days was dishes. Lots and lots of soapy water.

A few years ago God revealed to me that he was just like a dish washer. At the time I wrote a poem about it and shared it. I'll share it again after this post. You see if you have ever washed a dish a few days old, it's difficult to get the food out of it. It's crusty and hard, and you have to use a lot of soap and elbow grease to get rid of it.

Well we are just like a pot or pan in our life. We get crusty. We sin against God and it's there inside of us to be washed out. God wants us to come to Him! He wants us to be clean on the inside and out! He gives us a good scrubbing and tells us, go forth and sin no more. He puts elbow grease into us, to free us from our binding! Yet we go out and sometimes in the same moment, put more food on the inside of us.

Just like food, when we sin it comes inside of us and we need God to remove it. Just like food, if we continue to sin without God cleaning us, it sets up inside and begins to crust over. The longer we continue to sin, the harder it is for us to give it up. The more habit it becomes. The harder it has to be scrubbed.

The Holy Spirit is a lot like dish soap, God uses him to clean us. The Spirit soaks into the sin inside of us and loosens it's hold on us. It begins to be easier to scrub, and easier to get rid of. Our lives start to look more and more clean, and we continue to grow in Jesus. So if you have food in your pot, give it over to God to clean right now! Before it sits in and begins to cling, begins to harden and has to be scrubbed even harder. Sometimes the scrubbing hurts more than we can imagine. Sometimes God uses that sin to show us our error, and the cleaning process isn't pleasant. It's easier though, if you get to it right away, don't put it off until it's a part of your life. Don't put it off till your heart starts to harden, and refuses to let anyone clean it.

The greatest dishwasher of all

the dishwasher clogged up earlier.
I had to clean the trap out by hand
Slowly pulling pieces of lettuce, carrot, unidentifiable meats
All from water that I could not see through
A veil that kept my eyes from seeing what was going on
It reminded me of our daily lives
How they are so full of junk
Things that rot and fill our days
How we have so many things in this little trap in our mind
That we just don't let go of
A piece of a relationship here
A heartbreak there
Two strands of long forgotten lust

Then I realized that Jesus was just like that filter
in the bottom of my dishwasher
He filters out the filth, and holds it at bay
Sometimes it backs up and we just need to let it all go
So that he can keep washing us clean

From Authentic Perplexity, Copyright 2010

Untitled poem


Like the morning Sun

Warming my soul

His touch thought lite

Makes ripples in the ocean

A gong of light

Blurring my vision

Only to make clear

Everything I see

Darkness fights

To break me

Pull me away

From this gravity

This attraction


Pulling my soul

To the Center of all

Brian Mullins© 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bro's before ?

I was meditating earlier, and I happened upon a memory that was very disturbing. I remember I had just divorced and the relationship I had just been in, was one that was unfaithful. I

won't go into details, but it really sheds some light on the things that were going on. I was dating this beautiful girl from Illinois, and my room-mate/work partner was engaged to this beautiful young woman. She was 19 or so, and completely sweet.

After rooming with him for about a month, he met some girl in the town we were working in and went out on a boat with her and needless to say, one thing led to another and he cheated on his fiancé. This wasn't the bad part. The part was my part that was horrible.

You see, the third time he went out with this woman I was sitting in the room on my laptop, and I got a phone call from this young woman who was left home with their child. You see, not only was he engaged, he was a father. She wanted to know what was going on? Why wasn't he returning phone calls? She confided in me that he had been unfaithful to her before, but had promised to never do it again.

Then she asked me, “Is he cheating on me?”

I lied. I told her he was just out and would be back soon. You see I chose keeping the guy I worked with and knew happy, against the truth. I didn't tell her that he was out for the third time with some girl he barely knew. I had just been in a relationship where my ex had been unfaithful, and it had been a huge blow to me. Yet here I was, able to tell someone the truth, and I don't.

I am quite ashamed of that time. I really don't have words to describe how I feel about it. Yet, I realize this verse really shows how bad a person I am.

Mathew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

You see I sat there judging this fellow for his actions, thinking of how bad a person he was for treating his fiancé in such a way. I was so hung up on his sin, that I didn't even look at mine. The sin of lying. The sin of approving of that lifestyle. The sin of not telling him to his face that what he was doing was wrong. That what he was doing was against God's plan. Who was worse? He for cheating on her? Or I for lying to her to make her think he wasn't.

The next time you are in a situation where you have the opportunity to show love, to tell the truth, do it. Make your yes, yes and your no, no. Do everything for the Lord... everything.