Live in the present

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

Proverbs 27:1

Talking about what you think will happen distracts you from what's happening now.

Worrying disengages you from the present.

Most things we worry about never happen or happen differently than we imagine.

Nothing is wrong with success. Nothing is wrong with dreaming big.

The problem is when we brag about good things that have not even happened yet.
This leads to presumption- presuming success for ourselves.

The problem is that in presumption, we fall out of God-reliance, going to self-reliance, and in danger of delusion.

Only God knows the future. You can reach out to God, who holds the future, in the present.

Deal with your stuff first

"Don't criticise people, and you will not be criticised. For you will be judged by the way you criticise others, and the measure you give will be the measure you receive." "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and fail to notice the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me get the speck out of your eye', when there is a plank in your own? You fraud! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you can see clearly enough to remove your brother's speck of dust."

"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

Matt. 7:1-5, Phillips, The Message

Not much commentary needed except to say that we easily distract ourselves from ourselves by scrutinizing and finding fault with others. We are simply not called to do this. It's toxic and back-fires on us like a law of nature. We are called to deal with our own stuff first and then we can see others more clearly. If I am first working on my recovery and making sure I am keeping an eye on my stuff and removing the distortions and the desire to look away from my own stuff to distract myself from it, then I am more able to see the other in a humble way, as another person in need of grace and mercy and who maybe is not anywhere near being ready.

Sleeping gates and doors, open now

Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

Psalm 24:7

One person can open gates and doors that seem sealed shut.
When the King opens a door for you, it's for His glory.
There is a time when God acts and opens.

Just as there is a time period for sleeping, there is a time when we wake up. God can call slumbering gates to suddenly swing open.
God is good, God loves, God has mercy, God is wisdom, and so forth. But God is glorious and when God does what God does- and He doesn't do anything bad- He gets glory. That's the point of His acts, He gets glory at the end because He is glorious. So He wants to glorify Himself through what He does for you.

So, God opens ways where it seemed impossible, for His glory and we get to participate.
God's presence in the Holy Spirit goes before His people, leading them through gates and doors that were closed until He opened them.

Salvation from God

I will bear the indignation of the Lord
because I have sinned against him,
until he pleads my cause
and executes judgment for me.
He will bring me out to the light;
I shall look upon his vindication.

Micah 7:9

The context here is that Micah is identified with his nation. How often do we so identify with our tribe, our people, our city or our nation; that feel the weight of the sin committed against God? At first glance, we might think we are peering into Micah's prayer journal where he is writing about his personal stuff. You might ask then, why does he say "I" and "my" and "me"?
It's because he is so identified with his people that it is his personal sin. The prophet is also an intercessor. Real prophets have the insight about what's wrong and also know that the solution comes from the same place and bear that burden.

He says that he will bear God's indignation. do you think that if you have sinned or you are praying for someone or a people who have, that your place is to say something or pray something and then wait it out? People need to engage with God, to intercede that Christ's work would be appropriated into sinful areas.

Micah confesses his sin against God. It's one thing to feel bad about your sin, but it's another to be truly repentant. It's one thing to feel bad you got caught. Perhaps you make it all about you- "poor me that I got caught", and you blame or explain or rationalize why- the ends justified the means in your mind. That is not repentance. At the end of repentance, you are actually glad you got caught, because it restores your relationship with God and people.

Micah next says that he waits for God to plead his cause and execute judgment. What a great place to be, to be wanting God to take up your cause and do judgment on your behalf. Micah is saying that we realize we sinned and we are taking our punishment, but now we are calling upon God and waiting upon God to have mercy on us and deal with our enemies and restore us. Do you want to be a self made person or a person God lifts up? Do you want to solve your problem or get the solution from God?

Micah declares that God will bring him out to the light. God is in the business of bringing people out of darkness and into light, but you have to want this to happen and ask for it.

Micah also declares that he shall look upon (see) God's vindication. It's a humble thing to wait on God's vindication rather that trying to promote your own!

Thunder in praise

Let the sea thunder and all that it contains;
The world and those who dwell in it!
Psalm 98:7

The proper response to God is thunderous roaring cheers.
The sound is first in response to just who God is, the King and sovereign of all.
But God is altogether good. Good in what he has done, is doing and will do.

The sounds and sights of creation are the great orchestration of worship toward the creator.
Mankind is continually invited to join in to what is natural to do.

He is our peace

He is our peace, he has broken down every wall. He is our peace, he is our peace.

That's referring to Ephesians 2:14: "For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility."

Paul is writing about the hostility between Jew and Gentile being taken away in Christ. No more segregation, if we're in Christ. He breaks off all airs of superiority. Segregation. racism, classicism, ageism... all "isms" are knocked flat by Christ. Paul had bitterly despised Gentiles in his former life, but now that had changed. The blood of Christ, shed on the cross, obliterated the old system.

Peace also means wholeness. He is our wholeness. He brings wholeness. To hate or even dislike other people because of their race or because of anything on their surface is not wholeness.

Jesus came to heal us from our alienation from the other and to break down the walls of pride that separate.

Running stop signs

I can see the stop sign at the end of my street out the window and I often notice people driving by the sign without stopping. The signs are clearly visible to drivers. I' ve considered how this little snap-shot might be a parable of sin.

  • The sign clearly says stop, but we know better and don't stop.
  • We don't think anyone else sees us.
  • We may not care if anyone sees us.


I learned a few things about time and timing yesterday from Dutch Sheets:
There are generally three kinds of time: Chronos (time periods, general time), Kairos (a window in time, a specific period or moment in time, now time), and Pleroma (means fullness, "it's happening now"). These are Greek terms and there may be more to learn with Hebrew words, but I'd like to mention a few things about these Greek words or the concepts involved.

When you come into Kairos time, it's time to do something. If you don't do something, nothing will happen or what happens may not go well. Before the window of Kairos, you're doing things like waiting, standing, watching, listening, and abiding. While you will still do many of these in Kairos, it's different. Time to pray differently, time to move, time to do whatever you are being called to do, in obedience; in order to shift.

A good farmer knows that each year has seasons. Seasons to plant, to water, and to harvest. Life has seasons too. God has times and seasons and we have to flow with His calender.

Jesus did miracles through the Holy Spirit (not through his divinity)

Many Christian believe that Jesus healed people, cast out demons, and did miracles; because he is God. It's true that Jesus is God, but he did not do these things through his divinity. Philippians 2 tells us that he set aside his divinity during his life as a man. There is also the Mark 13:32 problem. An aspect of God is that God knows everything. But in Mark 13:32, Jesus does not know. The reason he does not know is not because he is not God, but because he set aside his divinity for his earthy life.

That leads to my point that Jesus healed people, did miracles, cast out demons, and did everything that was ministering through the Holy Spirit. That same Holy Spirit empowers or anoints believers to do the same kind of things Jesus did, today.

I thought I would write a post on this because I think that this is still not widely known and I heard Peter Wagner talk on this, this past week. He was preaching at Freedom Church, Dutch Sheets Church, last Sunday and I heard the podcast.

Interesting divorce statistics from Barna

The Barna group just published the results of a new survey they did on divorce. i thought some of these findings were interesting:

  • 78% of Americans marry
  • 84% of Christians marry
  • 74% of people of other faiths marry
  • 64% of atheists and agnostics marry
  • 33% of those Americans who have married have divorced
  • 25% of all American adults over 18 have been divorced
  • 32 & 1/2% of Christians of all varieties who have married have divorced
  • 30% of atheists or agnostics who marry have divorced

Sky Links, 9-27-17