Saturday, March 01, 2008

ronald weinland, "prophet"

I'd say a surefire way to stay away from false teaching is to note when the teacher promotes themselves. Have a look at the fifth of six important facts at the bottom of his page, but read the rest too. I'm sure you'll find that the fact that Ronald Weinland knows the exact day of Jesus' return enlightening. Apparently there's a surprise party, and Jesus is the only one who can't know about it. Another helpful hint is to note that essentially no emphasis is placed on Christ.

My dad told me a story once of a family friend of his in Rhodesia (way back in the day) who was a Jehovah's Witness, I believe. For the reason that they believed they knew the exact day Jesus would come back, or that world would end, they refused to treat their son for an illness he was suffering from. Needless to say, Jesus didn't come, and their son never got treatment, and their son died. End times belief like this can be terribly exciting in a Lord of the Rings kind of way, but in reality following teachings like Weinland's can be deadly.

Friday, February 29, 2008

There the Lord Commanded

Consecrated Blessing
To Life forevermore.
To Live forevermore!
In Life forever for
Sacred Coalescing!

The call: reverse and change!
For connection,
In convection.
Sweet correction....
White Blood, Justice arrange!


Thursday, February 28, 2008

i have laid next to jesus

I laid next to Jesus once. Really, it happened. I think it was a Christmas or two ago, that this thing happened. Some people have visions, some dreams, but I laid next to Jesus. I remember the night, although it was really like any other night- cold, for Florida, quiet in the house, as my parents were already asleep. My mind still ran, in fifth gear more than likely, and I probably involved myself in something unproductive, like TV watching or internet surfing. But I remember feeling lonely, doubtful. I remember feeling depressed, burdened. I remember feeling like I can often feel.

I walked out on the tile floor to our living room, where the Christmas tree stood. All the lights were off, except the tree lights, which were my responsibility to unplug. The tile reflected in a blurry way the reds and greens of the bulbs, as they gently, slowly, quickly, rhythmically pulsated and danced for me. As I stood there, stopped in my way by the splendor that is the piney arbor of X-mas, I stared at them, pondering… nothing at all, but everything all the same. I cried to myself, “Jesus….” It was so weak and pathetic. I was tired in so many ways, so I laid down on the cold tile, which felt quite lovely, like my face had just laved the Ichetucknee head spring. I quieted my mind, I breathed slowly, I tried to forget my shortcomings, my burdens, all that, as I did that, I felt Him there. My God! As I imagined these wonderful things- peace, joy, freedom, love- I imagined Jesus. Have you ever seen rock, only to realize you were looking at a mountain? And in one of the most physical ways I can remember, I felt Him next to me, I felt Him embrace me, nearly literally, and I smiled. He turned my tears into joy. He metamorphosed my burden into His lightness.

And after I had spent time bathing in the pure spring of His Love, I stood up, my hair matted and saturated, water dripping off the tip of my nose. I performed my duty and turned the tree lights off. My lips curled into a smile, I razzed my lips, sent spring water misting, and pushed some hair off my forehead realized, I think I’ll go to bed, and I won‘t bother drying off.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

on salvation, briefly

This is a response to a post on apostasy from Peter Kirk of Gentle Wisdom:

Look at Phillipians 2:12-13, where we are charged to work out our own salvation, but we are also told that it is God who works in us. We are also told that God works all things for the good of those who love him. There is that "if" clause in there, but the way I've viewed this matter is that if one is truly a Christian, then God will continue to conform them to the image of his Son, as he promises. But if one is not truly a Christian, and is one who says, "Lord Lord," but is not known by Christ, then their fruit will show the evidence. So pragmatically, I have faith that God will save me because I love him, and I know his love is greater than mine, so in that I find security, yet I also feel that if somehow I am not in relationship with Christ, he will hopefully make that apparent before I die. In that thought I do tremble, but honestly I do not feel much fear from that idea, at least not now, and in fact the fear of that continues to lessen as I grow. Perhaps it is because my love is being perfected by our Lord, and fear is being cast out.

I hope that made sense; I'm rather tired and this is such a hard topic! I was going to say something short and sweet about salvation, but then I realized I couldn't do that without raising a crap-ton of questions. Anyway, love Jesus.


climbing the ladder

I was just thinking today about a former co-worker at a job I held last summer waiting at an "upscale" Chinese restaurant (think Ted's Montana Grill, but trendy and from Canton... and without the buffalo). We called him Roy, mostly because that is his name. He was a Christian, in the Pentacostal vein, so there was a lot of Benny Hinn and general TBN watching on his part. During my stint at Jade's Bistro, I was feeling dissatisfied with my Christianity, that is, as my status as a "little Christ," so I looked at this guy's life and wondered what he was doing differently, because to me he seemed to really believe what he was talking about, and to be excited about it. The most obvious difference was that he payed attention to guys like Benny Hinn and... whoever.

So I did too.

Big mistake. I know people have gone on and on about these folks, so I won't do that here, but what I will say is, get your spiritual food from a trustworthy source, like the Bible for instance, or get morsels from a friend whose life you are familiar with. Trying to understand TV's favorite miracle-healer left me thinking I must be an unfaithful person if I can't free people of physical ailment or be freed from it myself, because I thought, "These guys are so ON FIRE. They are so DEDICATED. They must know exactly what they're doing. Besides, Benny Hinn says if you bring an accusation against him, God will smite you, so yeah, he must be the real deal."
The mindset I only partially developed, thank God, was deleterious in that it focused on how other people related to God, not to mention that what was being planted in my mind was spattered with bad theology, and generally felt dishonest. So for a time, and I think I still struggle with this, I gave my faith to some guy on basic cable. I gave my faith to Pat Robertson and Christian books, and to religious literature and pseudo-religious websites.

I understand that behind all those books and TV personalities are real people, hopefully trying to follow Christ in truth and integrity, so I'm not going to rail on them right now. What I will harp on is my foolish trust in what they say, in their own theology and experience. Maybe there's nothing wrong with what what they believe, but I think there is something deeply wrong when I tried (and try) to make what they have my own. I have my own breath for a reason, for a purpose, and to forfeit that to some mortal life is not only impractical, but it is also sacrilege. It was a selfish striving to be better for the sake of being better.

But I cannot be any more now than what I can be.

Think of this concept in education. There is an developemental theory called the "zone of proximal developement," which says that at any given stage of developement, there is physically and mentally only a limit to what a person can understand. For instance, if you give a four-year-old a piece of paper and a crayon, and show him a Rembrandt, or heck, even if you show him a drawing a six-year-old did, he is simply not going to be able to copy that drawing, no matter how hard he tries. His brain and his muscles are just not capable; it's not in him. In order to teach that child, or any child, the teacher must reinforce what he already knows, and then reach just a le-e-tle bit higher. The child can grab on to the next rung of the ladder, then the next, and then the next, but that's all he can do. Maybe it will be more of a stretch sometimes, and maybe sometimes it will seem like the rungs come down to meet him. It is all part of learning.

And this is the way it is with spirituality and spiritual growth. God builds those in Christ in the way that He knows is best, and if that means I can't understand certain spiritual truths or have all the faith I want, well there's a good reason for that. It's out of my "zone of proximal developement." What that reason is specifically though, I can't pretend to know, but I do know God provides me with grace through Christ, and that ought to be enough for right now. I guess my point is to keep climbing the ladder, but don't be afraid if those hands and arms seem enduringly wrapped around your current crossbar.

There was another point I wanted to make, and it was really my original point. I remember standing at the Jade's Bistro half-bar, and watching TBN or something on the flatscreen with Roy, and Benny Hinn was on. Roy said:

"You know, Benny Hinn, he's really got the anointing, he's got that anointing. When he was a young man, God he really grabbed a hold of his heart, so he just hungered he hungered for the word of God. He just had to get it. He worked at a ice-cream place and he would just read his Bible there, his face in the book, just handing people their ice-cream, without even looking at them. Boy, he paid the price all right, he read that Bible eight hours a day. He has the anointing, yes, but he payed the price."

And early this morning as I recalled what he said, I thought:

"That has got to be one of the most rediculous things I've ever heard. He paid the price? What price? He got to read a book he thoroughly enjoyed? That is no price to pay! Guys from the beginning, the Apostles, like Peter, Paul, and Stephen. And Jesus! Those guys payed the price. They died for faith, they died for men's souls. They didn't just read a lot. So the next time I or anyone else thinks they or their loved one is paying some sort of price for what they believe, they ought to think of the countless Christians who lost their lives for the love of God and for man. When I have been scourged and died, when I have been humiliated and mentally abused, then I still have no right to complain. And there are people who were joyful when this stuff came upon them, because of the hope they had in Jesus. The world was unworthy of people with such faith.

And you know, I think that's where the last rung of the ladder is."



Wow, it has been a very long time since I've looked at this blog, since I posted the pictures that populate this blog about two years ago. Honestly, I cannot help but simper with nostalgia and sadness and irony as I peruse these old stills (which are in the yarchive, if you're interested), these portraits of unique moments in time, never to be repeated. One friend in these has moved on, down to South Florida, and I don't see or talk to him anymore, and another friend I see very often, yet am no longer friends with. Yet another I am friends with, but never see. In fact, most of the people in these photographs are far removed from my life nowadays.

That's odd.

I remember having these feelings of closeness and excitement that I shared with them, this joy of being in college, finally, of being free. And now much of it has simply... gone. Oh well. Perhaps a lot of the friendships I had at the beginning of college were superficial in the first place. In a perfect world, in the kingdom of heaven, would we all be friends? Is it our selfishness that stops us from true intimacy with our fellow man? Probably that has a lot to do with it, but sometimes people just grow apart I guess, by no particular malice prepense- nothing more to it than an evolution of self, and changing of station. As some song probably says, "Life goes on."

At any rate, I suppose I just want to introduce this blog. I want to say, "This is absolutely the only unique contribution I can make to this rediculous planet: My Life. And hopefully you can see something is this momentary painting that you empathize with, something that speaks for you, something that can pray for you. I hope it inspires you to think with your heart. I hope it bears a brother for you."

And I hope you paint on this canvas, too.



My photo
Tallahassee, Florida
I am a 22 year old person. I currently am studying Buddhism and practicing Zen. I love my family quite a bit and want to learn more about what makes life a good thing.