Archive | July, 2017

Jesus the (Good) Thief 21 July 17

22 Jul

Friday, July 21, 2017

[10 pages]

Paul E. Hoffman: In the name of the Father, and of the Son (+), and of the Holy Spirit.

Benjamin L. Corey: What is ghosting? You might not know the term, but you probably know the action: ghosting is when someone abruptly ends a friendship with limited or no explanation, and when they proceed to quickly disappear from your life.

Anna Blake: My Horse Betrayed Me.

Brat: The Church said I was called, but didn’t know what to call me. Then it felt like she slapped a scarlet letter on me and tossed me out into the wilderness like the escaped goat in Leviticus 16.

Leviticus 16: 21 He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. 22 The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness.

Benjamin L. Corey: The destruction from the practice of Christian Ghosting, quite honestly, is often irreparable.

For those of us who have tried to live out the Christian life while being open to allowing new information to shape and stretch what we believe, the reality is that at one time or another, we have friends who will ghost us.

Anna Blake: In that instant, your horse goes from being your soulmate to guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. Slightly less paranoid riders would call his behavior a psychotic break. He became unpredictable. Uncontrollable. Is the term betrayal overly dramatic? He broke your trust.

Benjamin L. Corey: Somehow, someway, too many Christian circles have failed to realize that we don’t have to be in complete agreement to be in a complete relationship.

And so, when theological agreement is not in harmony, there’s always at least one family who feels like some evil magician made their life disappear without notice or even a preemptive “abracadabra” to give us a bit of warning that life is about to change.

Dr. Sandie Freed: Breaking the Demonic Threefold Cord of Jezebel, Athaliah, and Delilah

Anna Blake: The biggest reason to listen to your horse is because you have the awareness equivalency of a blind, deaf, hairless mouse. Horses are prey animals forever; their senses are so much more acute than a human’s that we literally have no idea what’s going on, even if we’re paying attention. Let that sink in.

Benjamin L. Corey: While we can’t control the actions of others, I do think we can do two things:

We can refuse to be the ones who do the ghosting.

And when it happens, we can practice praying, “Forgive them Father, for they don’t have the slightest ‘effing clue as to the damage they’ve done.”

Brat: Lord Jesus, the Church has been the one to do this ghosting to me. Father forgive them. Make a way to heal the breach where there is no way. Thank You for Your merciful intervention. Amen.

Psalm 38: 13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
like the mute, who cannot speak;
14 I have become like one who does not hear,
whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 Lord, I wait for you;
you will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat
or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”

Rabbi Avi Baumol: Psalm 38 is difficult to read, as it is almost entirely an expression of pain written by an individual suffering physically and spiritually. While his bones have no peace and his sins are too much to bear, his friends stand afar, unable or unwilling to help, and his enemies seek to hurt him. His response? I am deaf and mute: I pretend not to hear their taunts nor do I respond to their calls and “deceits” (verse 13). Instead, he calls out only to the Lord for salvation and deliverance. In the 13th century, Rabbi Menachem Meiri wrote that this psalm refers to the Jews in exile. He commented profoundly: “The psalm refers to our long exile in which our enemies are many and our nemeses ridicule us and sit in their serenity. We are hated and have no recourse but we pray that our salvation and redemption will come soon. Amen.” Eight centuries later, the redemption has begun and the Jewish people are no longer mute.

Psalm 38: All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you.

Lana Vawser: Foreboding Definition: a feeling that something bad will happen; fearful apprehension.

Synonymns: anxiety, fearfulness, disquiet, uneasy. (Google)

Anna Blake: Next week I’ll talk about fear in Part Two: Now I’m afraid.

Lana Vawser: Many have been wrestling with a sense of foreboding concerning the future and change that is coming. This foreboding is NOT from God, it is the enemy trying to stop you from receiving the joy God wants to give you in the revelation of His new plans upon you.

Sheri Rose Shepherd: Fear Only God

MorningStar Ministries: A Letter From Camp

Anna Blake: Then his discomfort got confused with disobedience. Horses just have one way of communicating and it’s with their body. If a generally well-behaved horse nips or tosses his head, don’t think you can “correct” his anxiety with escalation. When we get resistance from a horse, pause and breathe. Then resolve the anxiety while it is small and manageable. Let your horse see you as worthy of his trust.

Simon Brown: THE PARABLES OF JESUS The Shepherd the Thief and The Doorkeeper

Rabbi YY Jacobson: “While the reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” — George Bernard Shaw

Anna Blake: Lucky for you there are some rail-birds ready to dispense training advice. Put a chain over his nose. Run him in the round pen until he gives in. Get a whip and show him who’s boss.

Donna Schaper: Most people can’t stand criticism, much less persecution.  Are the beatitudes a hoax, false news, fake news or alternative facts?

Brat: And the G-20 Summit leaders cannot even sit down at their banquet table without the media sharks creating a feeding frenzy about the Trumps and President Putin collaborating on perceived deceptions!?[1] The press fed the five thousand with loaves and fishes by stirring up gossip. The leaders simply showed up, just as they were supposed to do, just as the disciples did. They are moving forward with their God-given gifts of leadership. If the media goes around looking for things to criticize and then reports back hurt paws for getting their knuckles cracked with the truth, then all we can do is ride the pony to the next rest stop and pray along the way that God will intervene with mercy.

Monk: Oh, but there’s a chain over their noses.

Israel 365: Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am Hashem. ~Leviticus 19:16 (The Israel Bible™)

Anna Blake: Whoa! Slow down. Can we rewind? Tell the lynch mob that you’ve got this. Because if the only response is hindsight punishment, riders are doomed. Here’s a radical thought: How about listening to him in the first place?

Rabbi Avi Baumol: The sages ask why the second Temple was destroyed if there were plenty of people studying the Torah, following God’s commandments and performing acts of kindness for others. They answer that people spoke ill of each other because of baseless hatred. This teaches that such hatred and foul-mouthed behavior is worse than idolatry, sexual infidelity and murder which are the reasons given for the destruction of the first Temple. They then ask, was there no slander or baseless hatred among the people in the first Temple period? Yes there was, but those who lived during the first Temple were open with their hatred, thus their punishment was shorter. During the second Temple, the people hid their feelings, secretly slandering and speaking hate, thus their exile lasted much longer.

Brat: Oh, you mean the ‘scaped goat that was released into the wilderness again? Okay, I think I get it a little better now.

Anna Blake: On top of that, science says that a horse’s response time is seven times quicker than ours; the fastest response time of any common domestic animal. When things come apart, it happens fast. It makes sense because flight – the instinct to sprint away from perceived danger – is the species’ primary defensive behavior.

Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter: What can we do to bring the redemption? The second Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred, a drastic lack of unity between Jews. Now, we must rectify this behavior by creating true unity between Jews. This must begin with each and every one of us identifying ourselves as an integral part of the Jewish people. May there be no “unaffiliated” among us. If you do not already, join a Jewish community or do something to identify yourself as a Jew. Do something nice for another Jewish person – a nice word, some charity, a kindly or favorable thought. DO SOMETHING! Through every Jewish person making an effort, we will shift the balance of the entire world for good, and G‑d will have no choice but to bring the final and true redemption now.

Revelation 3:Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Donna Schaper: Proportion established, there are real people who are meek and hungry and thirsty for justice, real people who are being persecuted, on this block and in Syria, real people who are merciful and try to make peace despite the extraordinary forces against them.  I call them the beautiful people, and today I’ve seen them jump- starting a blessing.  You know what jump-starting is right?  You connect to an external source of power to get yourself going after you have sputtered because you had no power.  Blessings are jump-starters.  They are promises for a tomorrow better than today.

Paul E. Hoffman: Jesus the Thief [2]

Anna Blake: When I ask riders for the long version of what happened, the story unfolds differently. Maybe he was hard to catch that day, or impatient and a bit barn sour at the gate, or maybe especially girthy during saddling. She got complacent. Small details were ignored for expediency. Some of us are so busy in our own heads that we don’t even notice the small details. The rest of us were taught to plow on ahead no matter what because we can’t let the horse “win.”

Brat: And when the Church is feeling pinched and desperate, then she cries in bravado: “Cheer up! WE KNOW HOW THE STORY ENDS!”

Revelation 16: 15 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles: The innkeeper was stupefied to hear this statement. He asked the stranger to explain why he wandered about in such a disheveled state. And this is the story he was told.

Anna Blake: I italicized instinct for a reason; it’s the important part. Is it fair to ask for obedience above instinct? The short answer is yes, our safety depends on it, but it’s complicated.

Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter: The Torah teaches that a Jewish person’s essential nature is to oppose sin, so as not to become separated from G-dliness; any sin is really committed by accident. Just as the accidental sinner exiled himself to a City of Refuge, so too, the Jewish people were exiled because of accidental sins.

Paul E. Hoffman: And if you’re not yet quite convinced, consider this afternoon’s Gospel reading from Mathew 25 that comes to its terrible and confusing conclusion with a robbery. So take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten talents. I’m not a particular fan of the direct allegorical interpretation that this “man going on a journey” is supposed to directly correlate with Jesus and that we are the slaves with varying degrees of wisdom around investment strategy. But at the end of the day, you can’t deny that there’s a robbery and we’re the ones left reeling, as one so often is when the robbery is over. For to all those who have more will be given, and they will have an abundance, but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. Hands in the air! This is a stick up. Here we are in the outer darkness of such an event, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Anna Blake: A rider with a greater understanding of her horse’s instincts and needs might feed a flake of hay while tacking up and then actively lead her horse to the arena by keeping a good forward rhythm in her feet. He has food in his stomach and she gets to ride within her time constraints. Best of all, there is no fight before the ride even starts. You can tell its good leadership because everyone “wins.”

Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter: Exile is a state of temporary penitence.

Ana Werner: All too often, when I am facing something hard in life, I just think about getting through it. It’s about the product right, not the process? Wrong. Process isn’t a word a lot of us like, nor is “refinement.” God loves me just as I am in my broken state, but He sees the potential. The process doesn’t scare Him, otherwise He would have long ago turned away from mankind.

Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter: We are part of a process – individually and nationally. Our personal difficulties are connected to the “narrow places” of our national exile. By investing the required effort, step by step, we are being liberated from our personal Egypt – our unhelpful habits and negative inclinations.  By travelling this journey we will eventually reach not only a personal redemption but also the final redemption for our people.

James Goll: Knowings started coming to me that this experience contained a multi-dimensional realm of understanding that would require prayer and time to properly process and steward. There is always at least a three-stage process in handling revelation or words from the Lord in a prophetic vein. These are often referred to as: 1) Revelation, 2) Interpretation and 3) Application. Since it is always important to start the process of interpreting revelation with prayer and with the Word of God, I began to search the scriptures.

Anglicancatholic.org: Sources of Authority. In his Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (1594) Richard Hooker emphasizes the relationship between Scripture, Reason, and Tradition.

Paul E. Hoffman: But fortunate for us, we are baptized into the God whose giving knows no ending. But before Christ can give, Christ first must take away. Like I said, Jesus the Thief. So while this may appear to be a Eucharist, first it will be a robbery. Jesus has come to steal away from us all that has the potential to separate us from him and from one another. All that darkness: pride, envy, jealousy, greed. Our laziness and our overwork. In a word, Jesus the Thief has come to rob us of our sin.

Anna Blake: Most of all, no one betrays anyone. The best reason for a rider to study and understand horse behavior is that learning their logic can keep us from a runaway of our own – an emotional runaway.

Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter: And, just as the Torah guarantees that the exiled person will be judged and released, so too, the Almighty will vindicate us and redeem us from this exile with the final and true redemption. This is especially so after so many heartbreaking and difficult years of exile, all of the promises of redemption, and the multitude of positive deeds and repentance performed by the Jewish people during this exile.

Anna Blake: Granted, it’s a little easier to be logical in a discussion over grazing rights than it is in the middle of a dangerous bucking incident, but we have to start small.

Paul E. Hoffman: That just about sums up our sorry state. You can name the outer darkness, and the inner ones, too: addiction, even the subtle kind like addiction to work, over-functioning. Or the other side of darkness – laziness, always looking for the easy way. It can be dark where its lonely, or dark where there are too many people and too many ideas. The Jews got this one right in their compact proverb: Where there is too much, something is missing.   We Lutherans like to call our darkness by its birth name, “sin,” but it’s a word that seems to ring pretty hollow with Post-moderns, so sometimes you just have to spell it out. Name it. Money. Sex. Power.

Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter: We must rectify this behavior by creating true unity between Jews….

Anna Blake: And it doesn’t hurt to acknowledge that, when you look at it this way, horses and humans aren’t that temperamentally well-suited to each other. So it goes; I don’t see either species giving up on each other.

Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles: How to Act in Exile

Ana Werner: “I love you and I am here, but you must know it even when you can’t feel Me. I am not a distant God. I will take care of you, but you must do your part. Praise Me. Press through the pain and worship, and watch what I’ll do through this. I am for you, not against you. The pressing is a refinement of your character. You will see what’s in your heart during this season, and you will see how much you truly need Me. Come, let’s do this together.”

Anna Blake: All of this is to say that when your horse appears to overreact to his surroundings, he isn’t wrong. And adding our over-reaction on top won’t make things better.

Israel 365: The Torah is replete with examples of the sanctity of human life. Judaism emphasizes that all steps must be taken to save a human life. Hashem commands us to act when another human being is in distress and requires assistance. When we see a friend or neighbor struggling, it is forbidden to stand idly by.

Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles: “I live in the city of Pest, near which I own several villages, fields and vineyards. Once a large sum of money was stolen from me, and I did not know who the thief was. We had a maid—an orphan—and since we suspected that this was her doing, we took her along to the local authorities. The police there beat her in order to induce her to confess, but she insisted she had stolen nothing, so they sent her home to us. But the harsh treatment that she had endured left its mark. For some days she languished in bed, and then died.

Brat: You live in the city of Pest? I’m a Pew Pest orphaned by the Church! Fancy that! Our stories are so similar!

Paul E. Hoffman: But one of the names by which we rarely refer to him is as Jesus the Thief.

Anna Blake: At the same time, it’s our nature to think we know everything and that our plan is the only thing that matters. It’s a good reminder, even if your horses live on your property with you, that you are only a small part of their experience. They have fully dimensional lives, with emotional ups and downs, that have nothing do to with you at all.

Sylvia Neusch: Who would have thought that a rag tag band of men marching around a city seven times, shouting and blowing trumpets and rams horns, could bring down the walls of the city of Jericho? But, it makes total sense in God’s economy. In Isaiah 55:9, God tells us that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. We must realize that our access to His thoughts and ways will come to the degree we yield to the call of the secret place.

Brat: All along (for ten years now) I’ve been asking for a safe place in which to pray and anchor.

Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles: “Two weeks later the thief was found. I was stricken by terror. I had suspected an innocent person, and through my doing, this orphan had met her death!

Sylvia Neusch: “The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. The King will pass through before them, the LORD at their head.” – Micah 2:13

Paul E. Hoffman: The Good Shepherd. The Door. Even the Gate of the Sheep. The Dayspring, the Morningstar, the Light of the World. We call Jesus the Lamb of God, the Son of Man, the Savior. In our hymns and in our hearts we hold him as the Vine, the Tree of Life, the Seed that falls into the earth and dies. And with good reason. All these ways of thinking about Jesus come from the Bible – many of them are references that he himself introduces or initiates.

The Archbishop of Canterbury: How can our lives be so embedded in Christ that everything we do, say and think is shaped by the life of Christ within us?

Anna Blake: The words we choose matter, not because they give horses a bad name, but because they damage how we think of horses in our own hearts.

Paul E. Hoffman: That is the call of the baptized people of the Good Shepherd, the Door, the gate of the Sheep. That is the work to which we are called as children of the Dayspring, the Morningstar, the Light of the World. This is the life of a disciple of Jesus the Lamb of God, the Son of Man, the Savior. Jesus the Thief has gathered us in. The new light is streaming. Now is the darkness stolen away. Forever.

Rabbi Chaim (ben Moshe) ibn Attar: Zohar teaches that the purpose of the Israelites’ trek through the desert was to enable the Israelites to seek out isolated sparks of sanctity and to release them from captivity. This required total sanctity, i.e. a combination of the complete sanctity of Israel, the Divine Presence and the holy Torah.

Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter: Just our forefathers’ experienced challenges and frustrations, so will we. As their journeys were a process of movement and progress, so it is for each of us. Each journey shares one purpose. Leaving exile and progressing towards the fulfillment of our dreams, with the complete redemption.

James W. Goll: “One God Encounter Changes Everything!”

Donna Schaper: Or are they too good to be true, too wonderful to be real, too pie in the sky to be boots on the ground?   What if your son was murdered or your mother deported?  Are you still blessed, even with a big problem?

Anna Blake: If you want an unthinking partner with limited intelligence, dirt bikes are a good option.  Otherwise, spend more time understanding and less time wishing horses were different. It takes more than a lifetime to understand horses. You don’t have any time to lose.

Sylvia Neusch: There is a great call to step out in bold faith right now. Faith is God’s “love language”, and faith will move the mountains and pesky giants that are illegally on our land right now. Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness (Rom. 4:3), meaning His faith brought him into “right standing” and alignment with God and the promises of God for His life.

Anna Blake: Yes, you could say that I’m making excuses for horses and, not as sympathetic as I should be toward humans who have been hurt and frightened. I just want to suggest that we be a bit more careful about the words we use to describe horse behaviors. We must learn to accept and support each other’s instincts for self-preservation because that’s how both species will flourish.

James Goll: Father, in Jesus name, we call forth the Roar of the Lion of Judah in our lives, families, cities, in church history and society once again. We desire prophetic intercessory encounters in each of our lives. We welcome the sounds of heaven into the earth realm today. We declare that as we release the High Praises of God it will be a powerful weapon of spiritual warfare used to silence the works and power of the evil one in Jesus name. Amen and Amen!

Rabbi YY Jacobson: The “journeying” Jews focus on the constant changes in history: the fluctuating trends, the cultural developments, the novel inventions, and the newly discovered wisdom. These Jews are sensitive to the winds of progression, to the alterations in the human climate, and to the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead. They aspire to define Judaism – or a philosophy of life — that would be relevant to the contemporary conversation of humanity in its journey toward its own self-defined “promised land.”

Horse (in “Run, Pony, Run!” 14 July 17): I keep running. I’ve run through fjords and rivers, through creeks and brooks, through mud and bogs, through hell and high waters.

The Promised Land remains in the promises.

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

The blood is dripping worse. But the pain has subsided.

Rabbi YY Jacobson: Yet, in their zeal to embrace the future, they often abandon the past. In their passion to remain relevant today, they forfeit the power of yesteryear. In their yearning to capture the individual “your,” they neglect the depth of the “yore.” In their ambition to grow tall, they detach from the roots that have given them their original sap.

The Archbishop of Canterbury: The Community of St Anselm, based at Lambeth Palace, is an opportunity to explore how a life of prayer and spiritual formation can increase our impact as followers of Christ in every sector of society.

Sylvia Neusch: Our faith in God will bring us into alignment with God’s promises as well. Our faith positions us to receive the fulfillment of the promises He has spoken.

The Archbishop of Canterbury: Members spend time praying, studying and serving alongside fellow community members from many different cultures and many different expressions of Christian faith.

Rabbi YY Jacobson: “By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong,” Charles Wadsworth once said. The youth, fresh in spirit, creative in ideas, often seeks to chart a new path, to take the road never traveled by. There is something monotonous about traveling in the footsteps of your ancestors, and there is something intoxicating about developing a path you can call your own.

The Archbishop of Canterbury: Apply now to join in 2017/18: http://stanselm.org.uk/nonresident_membership/ #YearInGodsTime

Brat: [Sigh.] After all these years of trying to reach you, I still cannot make you understand that I want to dwell in the house of the Lord forever, and not just one year.

Christine Brooker: THAT MY FRIEND IS A LIFESTYLE.

Brat: Namasté, my friend!

Spirit Fuel: The House You’ve Been Praying For!

Rabbi YY Jacobson: As we know today, their good intentions were met with profound disappointment. On one hand, enlightenment in Europe and socialism in Russia turned against the Jews, and on the other hand, the descendants of the Jews who embraced them have been lost to our people. In their passion to journey ahead, to revolutionize the past, they failed to realize the power of eternity imbedded in their tradition and faith.

James Goll: This Fall 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Great Reformation in Church history. The phrase, “Let Lion Roar” was a statement made by significant church leaders from that period of time.  When the Lion of Judah roared from heaven 500 years ago, it came at a time of great disillusionment and was used to bring forth great hope and new life.

Rabbi YY Jacobson: Then there are the “departure” Jews – those who are always looking back to the past, to their point of departure. Their primary focus is on the unchangeable truths of history. Life, in their vision, is not linear, but cyclical. Tradition, ritual, custom, law, faith do not change just because Voltaire gave us Enlightenment, Nietzsche taught us about will, Tocqueville explained to us democracy, Freud uncovered the subconscious, and Barak Obama called for change. “What was good for my great-great grandfather is good for me,” these Jews rooted in tradition exclaim.

Paul E. Hoffman: But there it is. Right there in 1 Thessalonians – the oldest book of the New Testament: chapter 5, verse 2. The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. No doubt some will call “foul” on a technicality. It doesn’t really say Jesus is a thief – it says the day of the Lord is like a thief. But you can’t very well have a day of the Lord without a Lord, now, can you? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it: Jesus the thief.

Rabbi YY Jacobson: Yet in their attempt to hold on to the sacred past, they often stifle the ability to utilize and actualize the new energy of today, to discern the voice of G-d not only in the ancient, but also in the present, not only in the world that was, but also in the world that is. In their hope to continue the chain of history by adding their identically matching link, they fail to create space for freshness, for creativity, for authentic self expression. In their genuine zeal to protect the “piano” of Judaism, they scoff at any new composition, failing to realize that the very same piano keys allow for infinite compositions. The word of G-d, articulated in the Torah, can and must serve as a blueprint for the challenges of today, not only for the dialogue of the past.

Brat: Amen!

Paul E. Hoffman: That is the gift that is given to waiting, open hands, hands emptied of all the darkness of which he has robbed us. And into the light we are invited, to the land of the costly cross, yes. But also grave’s shattered door; the land of light where talents are entrusted to us for home and kindred, and to spread the gospel word.

James Goll: Through the exchange of the cross, God gives us garments of praise for the garments of heaviness. He exchanges the dark, the gloomy, and the negative for that which is beautiful, glorious, and uplifting. Praise is a mantle, a type of clothing we put on. We cast off heaviness by entering into the sacrifice of praise. You will look differently, act differently and talk differently when you put on the garment of praise!

Rabbi YY Jacobson: So “Moses wrote their departures according to their journeys … and these were their journeys according to their departures.” The majesty and magic of Jewish history, the Bible is intimating to us, is based on the synthesis between “departures” and “journeys.” The departures – the points of reference that have always defined Judaism – ought to serve as catalysts for the journeys of the future, invigorating growth and inspiring expansiveness. Conversely, the journeys toward new horizons ought to be “according to their departures,” founded and inspired on the timeless values of our faith and our Torah.

Israel 365: The Ultimate Kindness ✡ “Neither Shalt Thou Stand Against The Blood Of Thy Neighbor; I Am Hashem”

Paul E. Hoffman: And in its place, as we gather here with colleagues and friends, leaders and mentors, Jesus holds out an open hand filled with gifts. Way more than talents. A breastplate of hope and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. Jesus is robbing us of all that is dark and reminding us through his living presence in Word and Meal and the gift of one another that the days of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth have been taken away forever. St. Paul proclaims it: We are children of light and children of the day.

 

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-putin-second-meeting_us_596e840be4b00db3d0f3d45a

[2] http://www.faithformingfaith.com/sermons/jesus-thief/

Fancy That! 18 July 17

19 Jul

Working Dates: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 to Wednesday, July 19, 2017

[12 pages]

Manichaeism = an old religion that breaks everything down into good or evil. It also means “duality,” so if your thinking is Manichean, you see things in black and white.[1]

Father Antonio Spadaro: Together with political Manichaeism, another relevant phenomenon is the passage from original puritan pietism, as expressed in Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, to the “Theology of Prosperity” that is mainly proposed in the media and by millionaire pastors and missionary organizations with strong religious, social and political influence. They proclaim a “Prosperity Gospel” for they believe God desires his followers to be physically healthy, materially rich and personally happy.

Martin B. Copenhaver: Then Jesus told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you.'” – Luke 12:16-20

Matthew Laney (in “Run, Pony, Run!” 14 July 17): Meanwhile, we know dentists cannot put fillings in their own teeth, a hairstylist cannot adequately do his own hair and a surgeon cannot operate on herself. We cannot baptize ourselves or serve ourselves communion, but we still struggle to admit we can only be restored by surrendering to a Presence larger and wiser than ourselves.

Brat: Where’s the barn?

Hooves pounding the earth.

Matthew 13:30 Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'”

Brat (16 July 17): Probably the most poignant thing I heard Pastor John Tolle say this morning in his sermon was in a story he told. He and Rosemary were newbie pastors in San Mateo, CA. The Church Board told him “Our job is to keep you poor, so you’ll pray more.”

[Gasp.]

Lana Vawser: Pure Waters Coming Out of the Shaking Caused By the Haman Spirit!

Brat (in “Rat” 16 July 17): Hmmm…Lord, I lift that up to You. That, too, feels prophetic. “Our job is to keep you poor, so you’ll pray more” feels like a kingpin statement that could unlock the rest of the Churches to bring in their gifts into this conversation. But there is nothing that I (personally) can do or say to stir their hearts. Lead me, God. Pastor John is right when he says that he serves beyond us. (And so do I.) I won’t be able to see how You are knitting the story together until You show me.

Yosef Marcus: In the Second Temple era, however, the sins were not related to the seven negative traits but only to senseless hatred. This was the negativity of Midian, which is not one of the seven nations and is a subtler evil.

(In “Rat” 16 July 17): Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 9:06 am         Journal: Parked at Pleasant Valley Park. I was sitting under a tree on the patio of the old abandoned library with my back to the brick wall. I was talking to God – listening, actually, more than talking – and a quick movement caught the corner of my eye. I moved my head in its direction. At the base of the wall was a hole made for drainage. Sticking out of the small hole was a huge, LONG RAT TAIL! It must have been a foot long! Immediately I thought of Ezekiel 12. I’ve never, ever seen a rat at this solitude spot before, and I spent 3 ½ years here before God launched me. The rat paused for several seconds. One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand…six one thousand. Blink. He was gone…

Fr Dwight Longenecker: As readers of this blog will know, I’ve got plenty of criticisms about my fellow Americans, but we’ve got pluck, guts and a “don’t tread me spit in your eye” attitude that is the best answer to ignorance and arrogance.

Brat (in “Rat” 16 July 17): My “knower” knew this was prophetic. There is a “rat” in my camp. And I cannot touch him, because he is ordained by God.

Pastor Gary Dunahoo: How did he get that way? See, his arrogance made it impossible for him to have true leadership. Though he had leadership skills, he didn’t have the ethos; he didn’t have the leadership character. He couldn’t command respect. He needed time in the desert.

Fr Dwight Longenecker: An ignorant person can be educated. An arrogant person can be lowered, but a person who is ignorant and arrogant is unassailable.

Rabbi Curt Landry: What is the warning here?

Fr Dwight Longenecker: The problem is that the authors are commenting on something they don’t know about from personal experience. It’s all theory from a few books they’ve read and perhaps a few conversations with fellow intellectuals in some coffee shop in Europe.

Bible Gateway: It’s like being there.

Fr Dwight Longenecker: But there is a reason for Spadaro to create this straw man. He wants to create a scarecrow that is scary. By creating this imaginary creature “the American Catholic Integralist” he has given a label to all the Catholic conservatives he wishes to demonize.

Yosef Marcus: The sin of senseless hatred…is subtler and more difficult to correct….

Ephesians 6: 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Fr Dwight Longenecker: This follows the usual routine of conflict: 1. Generalize about your enemy. 2. Imagine they are organized 3.Create a name for this shadowy group  4. Demonize them 5. Marginalize them 6. Exclude them 7.Get rid of them. 8. Feel good about it.

Lana Vawser: Some generational giants many of you have been fighting are going to die once and for all this week!!!

Brat (in “Rat” 16 July 17): Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 4:30 pm Journal: Lord, if this was Pastor John’s young experience, then how would he know how to pass along a different experience to me? I pray for him and ask for refreshment for him. Show him (and us) how Your kingdom really works. I know he said that the church never provided and ultimately a member of the flock gave him a car (not the board). He doesn’t know the Church to be kind or trustworthy. (And neither do I.) But I believe You are setting us up to show us the card You have up Your sleeve. This is gonna be good. You don’t do anything mediocre. And as he said, “I pastor beyond us.”

Fr Dwight Longenecker: Fr de Souza has analyzed it brilliantly over at CRUX. His juicy observation about the article is that “It does not rise to the level of mediocrity”

Pastor Gary Dunahoo: He’s a shepherd in the desert. His career has gone nowhere. He doesn’t have a people. He’s a leader of scrub brushes and sheep, so it looks like his whole life is a ruin because he tried to do the right thing. The way the chapter ends, the people of Israel are crying out under their bondage, and Moses’ career is at a total dead end. It looks like he tried to do the right thing, and where did it get him? That’s how the chapter ends. What did we learn?

Brat: Pastor John IS a shepherd in the desert! He used to be a pastor to pastors. I bet he even pastored you. His career crashed for doing the right thing. Now he’s a leader of scrub brushes and sheep. His career looked like it was at a total dead end. And the people of Israel are still crying out under their bondage.

Rabbi Avi Baumol: Psalm 28:1 [A Psalm] of David. Unto thee, O LORD, do I call; my Rock, be not Thou deaf unto me; lest, if Thou be silent unto me, I become like them that go down into the pit.

Genesis 28:13 And the LORD stood beside him and said, “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring;

Richard L. Floyd: On the other hand I fear that sites like Facebook offer the illusion of friendship without the substance. I have several hundred “friends” on Facebook, but how many are really friends?

BIN Promotion: What does “Zion” mean in Hebrew?

Fr Dwight Longenecker: I can tell you from experience that an awful lot of Americans are pretty darned ignorant. This is not to say they are stupid. Its to observe that they just don’t know stuff. They are poorly educated and inexperienced about the rest of the world. For the most part they are ignorant but not arrogant.

Rick Joyner: When I served on an aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy, we were told that there was enough firepower on our ship to destroy all life on earth. In the entire U.S. Navy, there was enough to destroy the world twenty-five times or more. That did not include the Air Force’s capabilities with its nuclear bombers and ballistic missiles. Neither did it include the arsenals of our Cold War adversaries or allies. Winston Churchill lamented that mankind had grown in its destructing capabilities to the point where we could destroy the entire world, but had not grown in the corresponding wisdom or character to handle this power.

Fr Dwight Longenecker: It reminds me of the crusty WW2 veteran who happened to be visiting France. He endured a long tirade from some young liberal about the stupidities and crassness of Americans.

The vet said, “Scuse me. Do you speak German?”

The Frenchman said, “Non.”

The vet said, “You’re welcome.”

Monk: Hah! Good one!

Brat (in “Rat” 16 July 17): Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, God! Come be with me! Please give me wisdom!

Lana Vawser: God is significantly increasing and releasing discernment right now especially in dreams at night. He is growing His people in discernment. He is exposing the hand of the enemy and the ways the enemy has come to steal, kill and destroy in such subtle ways to even make it “seem” like it’s the Lord’s voice.

Brat (17 July 17): I just had a nightmare that I’m still trying to recover from where a long-time friend fell into the bottomless abyss.

Rabbi Avi Baumol: In this verse, King David declares that if the Lord remains silent to his request he will die. The metaphor he uses for death is descent into a pit. Genesis 37 describes the descent of Joseph into a pit at the suggestion of Reuben. The sages explain that though the pit was empty of water, it was filled with snakes and scorpions and, by Jewish law, Joseph would be considered dead because of the extreme danger of the situation. However, the verse says that Reuben was actually saving Joseph from his brothers by throwing him into the pit (verse 21), while the sages criticize Judah for taking Joseph out of the pit and selling him into slavery. Rabbi Chaim Ickovitz explains that living in the Land of Israel, even surrounded by snakes and scorpions, is better than living outside the Land of Israel.

Henry Karlson: Some brothers came to find Abba Anthony to tell him about the visions they were having, and to find out from him if they were true or if they came from the demons. They had a donkey which died on the way. When they reached the place where the old man was, he said to them before they could ask him anything, “How was is that the little donkey died on the way here?” They said, “How do you know about that, Father?” And he told them, “The demons shewed me what happened.” So they said, “That was what we came to question you about, for fear we were being deceived, for we have visions which often turn out to be true.” Thus the old man convinced them, by the example of the donkey, that their visions came from the demons.[1] [2]

Rick Joyner: For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm.

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk;

and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts. (Revelation 9:19-21)

Father Antonio Spadaro: So, then the Christian roots of a people are never to be understood in an ethnic way. The notions of roots and identity do not have the same content for a Catholic as for a neo-Pagan. Triumphalist, arrogant and vindictive ethnicism is actually the opposite of Christianity. The pope on May 9 in an interview with the French daily La Croix, said: “Yes Europe has Christian roots. Christianity has the duty of watering them, but in a spirit of service as in the washing of feet. The duty of Christianity for Europe is that of service.” And again: “The contribution of Christianity to a culture is that of Christ washing the feet, or the service and the gift of life. There is no room for colonialism.”

To Thyatira: Revelation 2: 19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

Pastor Gary Dunahoo: When Moses killed the Egyptian he was functioning as an Israelite, but he’s thinking like a pagan. He means well, but there’s a pride, there’s an arrogance, and there’s also a temper. He doesn’t have control of his temper. He has, in some ways, the heart of an Israelite, and yet he kills somebody. Now when he realizes the Egyptian has rejected him, and the Israelites have rejected him (they’re not going to follow him; naked power doesn’t win their hearts), he has a choice. He can go to Pharaoh and say what happened. He could make up a story, and Pharaoh would not have become upset, because as I said, that’s just the way royal people acted all the time.

Fr Dwight Longenecker: I could tell you stories until the lights go out about the uppity English and their ignorant, arrogant attitudes about America and Americans.

Pastor John Tolle: Devil attacks are courage killers. Be armored of God. If not the devil will sap your courage. Put on the WHOLE armor of God, not just peace.

Ephesians 6: 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pastor John Tolle: Use the armor to encourage yourself in the Lord. In the midst of battle we often get hardened. If someone treats you bad, we harden our hearts. We think the hardness is justified, but the Lord wants to heal our broken hearts.

Rick Joyner: The ultimate answer to all of our troubles is for man to turn back to God. As Revelation reveals, the great troubles coming on the world do not generally cause man to turn to God. Rather, they harden their hearts in rebellion, only increasing the troubles. Even so, the bondservants of the Lord that are being sealed will also have impact, as we will see. We can expect the winds to be released and the devastation to increase at some point, but there will be great lights in the darkness and “cities” of refuge from the devastation that in some cases will be nations of refuge.

(In “Run, Pony, Run” 14 July 17): Hmmm…Thyatira may dash to pieces with her authority, but it is Pergamum who stands before Jesus. He has the double-edged sword. The Word is Truth. Truth must be tempered in mercy, not “turn or burn.” Mercy is what tempers God’s wrath.

“He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.” (Rev 19:15)

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (Mt 5:7)

Anna Blake: I think it’s the best we can hope for from a horse; to find a bit of grace for our loud and rude ways. Perhaps he hopes that one day humans might learn to communicate.

Eric Church: “Kill a Word”: [https://youtu.be/1MH07rieK8w]

If I could kill a word and watch it die
I’d poison “never,” shoot goodbye
Beat “regret” when I felt I had the nerve
Yeah, I’d pound “fear” to a pile of sand
Choke “lonely” out with my bare hands
I’d hang “hate” so that it can’t be heard
If I could only kill a word

I’d take “brokeness” out back
And break “heartbreak,” stand there and laugh
Right in its face while shootin’ it the bird
I’d put “upset” down in its place
I’d squeeze the life out of “disgrace”
Lay “over” under six cold feet of dirt
If I could only kill a word
If I could only kill a word

Give me sticks, give stones
Bend my body, break my bones
Use staff and rod to turn me black and blue
Cause you can’t unhear, you can’t unsay
But if it were up to me to change
I’d turn “lies” and “hate” to “love” and “truth”
If I could only kill a word

I’d knock out “temptation”‘s teeth
I’d sever “evil,” let it bleed
Then light up “wicked,” stand and watch it burn
I’d take “vice” and I’d take “vile”
Tie ’em up there with “hostile”
Hang ’em high and leave ’em for the birds
If I could only kill a word

So give me sticks, give stones
Bend my body, break my bones
Use staff and rod to turn me black and blue
Cause you can’t unhear, you can’t unsay
But if were up to me to change
I’d turn “lies” and “hate” to “love” and “truth”
If I could only kill a word
If I could only kill a word [3]

Revelation 19: 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.

[Sigh.]

Rick Joyner: We must not be afraid to stand out from the darkness. This is our time to stand, as the great saints have in every age.

Brat (in “Rat” 16 July 17): I lay this in Your holy grace space, Lord, for You to use to open the reservoir gates. Pastor John admonished us NOT to sit on our reservoirs, but to open the faucets to let the waters of the Holy Spirit flow.

Henry Karlson: This, then, should serve as our example when dealing with mystical experiences. If we have some fantastic vision, some exciting spiritual encounter, we should distrust it. If it is something which continues happening to us, we should seek out a spiritual director, and heed their advice; if there is goodness and truth in what we are receiving, our detached humility will only allow us to receive it better; if there is any deception coming to us, either attached to some real good or creating the illusion of some good, we will not heed it, nor will we be harmed by whatever evil intent lay behind the deception. Truly, humility is the way past prelest [spiritual deception]. “The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life” (Prov. 22:4 RSV).

Brat (in “Rat” 16 July 17): Pastor talked about the “motivational gifts” from Romans 12:4-13. Not all members have the same function. (Neither do Churches, and that tied in with what I was talking about in “Run, Pony, Run!”) The seven motivational gifts are:

  1. Prophecy
  2. Ministry (serving)
  3. Teaching
  4. Exhortation (encouragement, speaking the truth, building up)
  5. Giving
  6. Leading
  7. Mercy

In General Stilwell’s biography, President FDR says, “It’s a terrible thing to look over your shoulder when you’re trying to lead—and find no one there.” (p 177) Pastor John is trying to lead. I’m trying to show mercy. But whoever heard of a prophet that shows mercy? O well, I give it to You, God. You’re the One that called me. I didn’t call myself.

(Echo): “Our job is to keep you poor, so you’ll pray more.”

Rick Joyner: So the most important thing we can do to prepare for these times is to:

1) ARISE. Stand up for the truth and never retreat before the darkness.

2) SHINE with His glory.

Father Antonio Spadaro: In this theological vision, natural disasters, dramatic climate change and the global ecological crisis are not only not perceived as an alarm that should lead them to reconsider their dogmas, but they are seen as the complete opposite: signs that confirm their non-allegorical understanding of the final figures of the Book of Revelation and their apocalyptic hope in a “new heaven and a new earth.”

Rick Joyner: We have been in the most precarious place for a long time, with the most destructive conflicts of all time seeming to cascade down upon the world. Then something changed. The trend was toward increasingly devastating conflicts, and though we have had wars since World War II, they were contained and restrained. Could this be anything but the time when the Lord sends His angels to hold back the four winds of the earth until His bondservants are sealed, as told in Revelation 7? If this is true, then the sealing of the bondservants of God is the most important event taking place at this time.

Pastor Gary Dunahoo: What does it mean to give your life to Him? It means to stop saying, “I’m the center of the universe.” It means to stop saying, “God, I want everything to go my way. I have an agenda. I have a way in which I think the world ought to go.

BIN Promotions and Israel 365: Murder on the Temple Mount! Please Help!

Brat: What are they doing in the double meaning of things?

Abra Forman: Islamic Waqf’s Sovereignty on Temple Mount Is “Over” [4]

Rabbi Curt Landry: An idolatrous image was placed in the Holy Temple by opposing forces as a brazen act of blasphemy and desecration.

Father Antonio Spadaro: Religion at this point becomes a guarantor of order and a political part would incarnate its needs. The appeal to the apocalypse justifies the power desired by a god or colluded in with a god. And fundamentalism thereby shows itself not to be the product of a religious experience but a poor and abusive perversion of it.

Microsoft Rewards: Kathryn, extra points for wearing a cape…

Patheos: Spiritual Deception, Scapegoats, and When Compliments Become Creepy

Jewish Journal: B.S. detectors at the Temple Mount

Henry Karlson: Humility Protects Us From Spiritual Deception

Fr Dwight Longenecker: In other words, use a scarecrow to create a scapegoat.

Pastor Gary Dunahoo: The way of salvation is filled with betrayal, rejection & pain…..but God takes it all and uses it for our good WHEN we love Him with all our heart, mind, soul & strength.

Henry Karlson: Prelest, spiritual deception, is one of the grave dangers, which we consistently encounter on the path of salvation. Insofar as our intellect remains darkened by the stain of sin, we find ourselves pulled in by the siren cries of error. What leads us to sin, what pleasure and good which we see in the sin, is the foundation by which sin deludes us, and then whatever comes in accord with that delusion, is able to reinforce it and lead us further astray. We do not need anything external to ourselves to lead us astray: our intellect, darkened by the stain of sin, is able to take its ignorance as the foundation for its reasoning and come to poor conclusions as a result.

Rabbi Curt Landry: Pray with me: Lord, we decree and declare that this time of the Dire Straits are renamed as the time of Divine Opportunity. Lord we speak protection over all of Israel and we speak protection over our nation. We speak protection over the persecuted Church all over the world. We deny the right of the enemy in the nations to attack the temple of God. We decree and declare, and we intercede for God’s Body of Christ on earth. For God so loved the Church that He gave His only begotten Son. Thank You Lord that in the year of 5777 that there will be no curse and no cause for the Dire Straits to manifest. In Yeshua’s Name…Amen!

Rick Joyner: Our Time to Stand: The Book of Revelation

Lana Vawser: I felt the Lord saying, “Any indecision will hinder the manifestation of Heaven’s vision.” The Lord is asking for His people to stand and DECIDE. Decide that no matter what He does, no matter how He decides to move, “if I perish, I perish” (see Esther 4:16). A resolve that says, “NO MATTER WHAT, I choose to serve You, Lord.” That deep call of surrender and yieldedness is upon the Body of Christ and the nation of Australia.

Genesis 28:14 and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring.

Brat (in “Run, Pony, Run!” 14 July 17): So, what do the Seven Churches have in common?

Perseverance: Ephesus (Rev 2:2) and Thyatira (2:19)

Poverty: Smyrna (Rev 2:9) and Laodicea (Rev 3:17)

Strength: Sardis has the reputation for being strong. (Rev 3:1-2)

Ryan LeStrange: My Monday Word for You…Coming Glory Storms (prophetic word)

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

Philly has little strength but endures patiently. (Rev 3:8)

The sword: Pergamum (Rev 2:12)

Rick Joyner: We must keep in mind that as the times get darker, we are promised the revealing of the Lord’s glory. Ultimately, all of the nations will come to the rising of the Lord’s people, as we see in Isaiah 60:1-3:

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

“For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples, but The Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you.

“The nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”

Father Antonio Spadaro: [Pope] Francis radically rejects the idea of activating a Kingdom of God on earth as was at the basis of the Holy Roman Empire and similar political and institutional forms, including at the level of a “party.” Understood this way, the “elected people” would enter a complicated political and religious web that would make them forget they are at the service of the world, placing them in opposition to those who are different, those who do not belong, that is the “enemy.”

Fr Dwight Longenecker: When will these people learn that not all conservatives are Wal-Mart shoppers with a gun rack in their pick up?

Pastor Gary Dunahoo: The midwives lied to Pharaoh and God commends them. Why? What’s so interesting is when a human government commands what God forbids or forbids what God commands, we are duty bound to obey God rather than them. Christians have always been strange-looking people to all the political ideologues of the world. Here’s why. In Romans 13, Paul says Christians submit to and respect the governing authorities because behind and above the governing authorities is the authority of God. The state is not a human invention; it’s a divine invention, and God’s authority is behind and above it.

Rick Joyner: This being said, safety is not found in a place, but in a Person. The safest place is in the will of God, regardless of our geographical location. The Lord Himself is our fortress.

Brat (in “Run, Pony, Run” 14 July 17): Jesus bore my stripes and by Him I am healed. (Isa 53:5) What does this have to do with a barn to rest from all the perseverance?

Ephesus?

Thyatira?

Pastor Gary Dunahoo: Moses & Jesus triumphed through losing and so will you. Honestly, many times obeying God looks like a death. For some it looks like the end of your career. For others it looks like the end of their love life.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker (in “Run, Pony, Run” 14 July 17): But the real reason to learn about sin is very practical. Sin is whatever we do or do not do which hinders us from entering heaven. Heaven is not the reward for being good. Heaven is the result of becoming good. In other words, heaven is the final destination for people who, through a life of repentance, faith and faith-full good works have become perfected by God’s grace. Heaven is their home. It is where they belong.

Brat: So heavenly-minded that we’re no earthly good?

Where’s the barn where I can perfect the talent that came by God’s grace?

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

Thyatira and Ephesus kiss through the lattice.

Anna Blake: Instead, let the air rest. It’s easier to listen then. Be curious in silence.

Brat: There is no conversation with a leopard.

Fr Dwight Longenecker: The article is a classic example of the progressive passive-aggressive tactics. The talk is all about sweetness and light and tolerance and being nice, but while they smile they stab and while they kiss they twist the knife.

Father Antonio Spadaro: Theirs is a prophetic formula: fight the threats to American Christian values and prepare for the imminent justice of an Armageddon, a final showdown between Good and Evil, between God and Satan. In this sense, every process (be it of peace, dialogue, etc.) collapses before the needs of the end, the final battle against the enemy. And the community of believers (faith) becomes a community of combatants (fight). Such a unidirectional reading of the biblical texts can anesthetize consciences or actively support the most atrocious and dramatic portrayals of a world that is living beyond the frontiers of its own “promised land.”

(In “Run, Pony, Run” 14 July 17): The Promised Land remains in the promises.

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

The blood is dripping worse. But the pain has subsided.

Rabbi Curt Landry: “For I am bringing you into proper alignment with your calling and your purpose—because you have asked Me to, I am delivering. Even the enemy did not expect Me to deliver during the days of the Dire Straits, but the enemy’s ways are not My ways. For My ways are higher than those of the enemy’s or the ways of man.

Pastor John Tolle: We are His workmanship. You are a poem, a work of art. His image. His piece of work. You are a piece of work!

[Laughter]

Pastor Gary Dunahoo: If the scenery in your window looks like you’re in a desert; don’t you believe it. God will draw you out, and He will deliver you to make you a deliverer. You are His workmanship; He is preparing you. Believe He can take everything in your life and weave it together to make you someone who can do something for Him. Just because you’re in the middle of the story doesn’t mean you should despair. Think of the One who, when He was in the desert, when He was in the garden, when He was in despair, did not go back but said, “… thy will be done.” Look what God did through Him. What God did with Moses is what He can do with you.

Pastor John Tolle: You are a sculpted piece of work to do good works.

Father Antonio Spadaro: The religious element should never be confused with the political one. Confusing spiritual power with temporal power means subjecting one to the other. An evident aspect of Pope Francis’ geopolitics rests in not giving theological room to the power to impose oneself or to find an internal or external enemy to fight. There is a need to flee the temptation to project divinity on political power that then uses it for its own ends. Francis empties from within the narrative of sectarian millenarianism and dominionism that is preparing the apocalypse and the “final clash.”[2] Underlining mercy as a fundamental attribute of God expresses this radically Christian need.[5]

Brat (in “Rat” 16 July 17): Honestly, we still need an apostle. Pastors were not meant to do an apostle’s job. And neither does a prophet. We need a kind of man where “the buck stops here.” Of the Seven Churches, even if the Seven had the seven motivational gifts doled out among them (and upon reflection that is likely what God did, but I’ll have to go back and look at that some more), we’d still need a real apostle where the buck stops. That’s why God gave Offices. That’s why the pope is the pope. I’m not talking about the guys that are power hungry and call themselves apostles. I’m talking about the ones that come in and get out the rats.

Hmmm…the rat from this morning? God? Whatcha up to?

Rick Joyner: There are judgments of God and the wrath of God that is clear throughout the Scriptures. These seem to be the result of the extraordinary grace and mercy of God being exhausted. However, much of what is blamed on God is man’s doing, not God’s. All the troubles in history and our present are the result of mankind thinking that we could run this world without God. They could probably be more accurately called “the judgments of man.” These are the result of the law of sowing and reaping, and mankind has sown bad seed.

Matthew 13:37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man

Brat (in “Run, Pony, Run!” 14 July 17): My love seeks to find the grace to hear past (and through) the loud and crude ways. Would that one day the humans might learn to communicate without shedding blood. Truth is whinnied in cookies of mercy, but is the mercy heard or just cloaked?

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

Father Antonio Spadaro: This is why Francis is carrying forward a systematic counter-narration with respect to the narrative of fear. There is a need to fight against the manipulation of this season of anxiety and insecurity. Again, Francis is courageous here and gives no theological-political legitimacy to terrorists, avoiding any reduction of Islam to Islamic terrorism. Nor does he give it to those who postulate and want a “holy war” or to build barrier-fences crowned with barbed wire. The only crown that counts for the Christian is the one with thorns that Christ wore on high.[4]

 

[1] https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/Manichean

[2] [1] The Sayings of the Desert Fathers. trans. Benedicta Ward (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1984), 3.

[3] Writer: ERIC CHURCH, JEFF HYDE, LUKE DICK Copyright: Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC. Source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/e/ericchurchlyrics/killawordlyrics.html.

[4] Read more at https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/91736/islamic-waqfs-sovereignty-temple-mount-says-government-minister/#Io8xObuY5wOCYteT.99

[5] [2] See A. Aresu, “Pope Francis against the Apocalypse”, in Macrogeo (www.macrogeo.global/analysis/pope-francis-against-the-apocalypse), June 9, 2017.

Run, Pony, Run! 14 July 17

16 Jul

Working Dates: Friday, July 14, 2017 to Sunday, July 16, 2017

[8 pages]

I am a horse of a different color. All the colors of the rainbow blended in to make white.

Not so different than you.

Anna Blake: Common Sense about Horse Communication

I have a name written on me that no one knows but God.

What’s that on my back?

I smell a leopard. I can sense him better than I can see him.

Anna Blake: Most of us think our horses are psychic because it’s easier to believe than how limited our own senses are. Compared to prey animals, we’re not nearly as aware of our surroundings. We tend to be loud and dominating, especially with our hands. We act like we know everything.

Brat: My eyes are wide with alert.

Come, Holy Spirit, come!

Lana Vawser: THE ALARM IS SOUNDING – HE IS COMING!!!

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: St Irenaeus says, “the Glory of God is a human being fully alive.”

Brat: I smell a leopard. I smell blood.

Yikes! It’s my own!

Lana Vawser: I have been feeling a significant urgency in the spirit recently, I can hear an alarm sounding in the spirit but it’s not an alarm that sounds EMERGENCY and is NEGATIVE. This alarm is sounding URGENCY, EXPECTANCY and a CALL TO POSITION.

Brat: The leopard’s claws dig in tighter as I run to shake him off.

The linen belt (Jer 13:1) is more like a saddle cinch than a belt.

But now it is ruined and completely useless. (v 7)

Hooves pounding the earth.

My Gypsy Vanner feathers and mane are flying in the wind.

Bob Seger: “Against the Wind” [https://youtu.be/KiviKbxP9xM]

Lana Vawser: It is resounding like the cry of John the Baptist and Psalm 24:9 both echoing…. HE IS COMING! THE KING IS COMING! MAKE WAY! MAKE ROOM! PREPARE YE THE WAY! THE KING OF GLORY IS COMING IN!

Matthew Laney: I understand the reluctance. Part of me would rather believe I can improve myself through my own efforts: a spiritual tweak here, a moral upgrade there, instead of admitting I need a total overhaul of heart and mind.

Bible Gateway Verse of the Day (15 July 17): Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. (James 1:21 NIV)

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: That’s why we should be aware of sin because it is missing the mark. As an athlete gets rid of anything which keeps him from winning the prize, so we should get rid of every sin. As a musician works hard to perfect her talent, so we should work hard (by God’s grace) to purify our souls.

Brat: Is there no room for me in the Church?

Matthew Laney: That’s scary until we realize there is nothing more liberating than giving everything to God and nothing more terrifying than being left to our own devices. Giving up control is frightening until we acknowledge we have never been in control for a day in our lives. Life begins when we turn to our Savior, one day, one moment, at a time.

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

What’s that sound?

Brat (13 July 17): Please think of this as a Roundtable Discussion.

Anna Blake: I use the word “conversation” with a horse because of what it doesn’t mean: Lecture. Soliloquy. Pontification. Sermonize.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: What is sin? Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Sin is therefore anything we do or fail to do which falls short of the Glory of God. What is the glory of God?

There’s water up ahead.

I can taste it in my nose.

Matthew Laney: Meanwhile, we know dentists cannot put fillings in their own teeth, a hairstylist cannot adequately do his own hair and a surgeon cannot operate on herself. We cannot baptize ourselves or serve ourselves communion, but we still struggle to admit we can only be restored by surrendering to a Presence larger and wiser than ourselves.

Where’s the barn?

Hooves pounding the earth.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: When we see sin in this light we should not be feel guilty and ashamed. Instead, like the athlete or the musician, we persevere in order that we might one day win the prize of the high calling heavenward to God in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:14)

Horse: I keep running. I’ve run through fjords and rivers, through creeks and brooks, through mud and bogs, through hell and high waters.

The Promised Land remains in the promises.

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

The blood is dripping worse. But the pain has subsided.

Matthew Laney: Here’s why: If I am healed by my own efforts, there would be limits to what God could ask of me. But if I am healed by the grace of God in Christ, then I belong to Christ and I owe God everything.

Brat: Jesus bore my stripes and by Him I am healed. (Isa 53:5) What does this have to do with a barn to rest from all the perseverance?

Ephesus?

Thyatira?

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: But the real reason to learn about sin is very practical. Sin is whatever we do or do not do which hinders us from entering heaven. Heaven is not the reward for being good. Heaven is the result of becoming good. In other words, heaven is the final destination for people who, through a life of repentance, faith and faith-full good works have become perfected by God’s grace. Heaven is their home. It is where they belong.

Brat: So heavenly-minded that we’re no earthly good?

Where’s the barn where I can perfect the talent that came by God’s grace?

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

Thyatira and Ephesus kiss through the lattice.

Anna Blake: Instead, let the air rest. It’s easier to listen then. Be curious in silence.

Brat: There is no conversation with a leopard.

Rabbi Avi Baumol: Psalm 19: 1  For the Leader. A Psalm of David.

2  The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork;

3  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night revealeth knowledge;

4  There is no speech, there are no words, neither is their voice heard.

5  Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tent for the sun,

Rabbi YY Jacobson: Judaism is not only about a moving Yom Kippur experience or an emotional memorial ceremony; it is something the Jew lives every moment of his life. It is the dedication of ordinary people to construct, through daily ordinary acts, a fragment of heaven on planet earth.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: Hell, on the other hand, is the home of all those who have gone the other direction. All those who have lived for themselves will have only themselves. Those who have denied God and turned away from him will get what they have chosen–eternity without God.

Anna Blake: Much of what we do with horses is for ourselves. We use them for comfort and that isn’t a bad thing… unless we never give back. Unless we always think that it’s all about us. If you are looking for a better relationship with horses then listen more. Strive to understand them more for who they are rather than who we want them to be.

Brat: The leopard takes only to serve its own needs.

Evidently he doesn’t have an awareness of my intention. I must have trespassed on his turf.

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: One of the problems with our society is that we are wallowing in sin, but we have consciences that are very uninformed and ignorant. We have been taught that there really isn’t such a thing as sin. Instead we make “mistakes” or we “do sometimes do things that are not best.” How many times have you heard a priest introduce the general confession at Mass with weasel words like, “Let’s all take a moment now to think of those things this week that have made ourselves or others unhappy.”? You get the idea.

Brat: There is a sentiment beyond the clawed silence that I do not understand. I sent him “Critical Stage.” I thought that was clear.

Lillian Daniel Prayer
With all we do not understand, thank you for reminding us that we need not be afraid, and thank you for trying to explain it all anyway. Amen.

Brat: Maybe the rabbis can see what I cannot. Israel is a prophetic nation.

Rabbi Shneur Ashkenazii: But when you are talking about personal interests, even this minor fact was inescapable. You cannot hide from it. Everyone is affected by their agenda. What do we learn from this? Rabbi Yehoshua the son of Parchia is quoted in the Mishna Pirkei Avot, “Find for yourself a Rabbi”. No one can be objective when it comes to himself, even when he is convinced that he is. No one is free from his conscious, or sometimes subconscious, agendas. Everyone has to have an objective “other”, an advisor with whom to take counsel in taking the right direction in life. Having an advisor is also a vessel for divine guidance to merit to receive the heavenly blessing for good.

Jeff Jansen: Don’t try to bypass the process or short circuit the circumstances as you will only have to repeat it again. Accept, relinquish and submit to the process of God, and you will emerge from the flames as a burning one with renewed strength and power.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: Wow! So sin is anything which is less than our being fully alive in Christ. Sin is anything which keeps us immature or on a lower level of development. Sin is not reaching our full potential in Christ.

Brat: We must persevere, he says.

Rabbi YY Jacobson: The Depth of Perseverance

Brat: But there’s no rest. Where’s the barn? There’s no room at the inn.

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

Rabbi YY Jacobson: The Midrash quotes four opinions as to which biblical verse best sums up the ultimate message of Torah. One sage, by the name of Ben Azzai, believed it was the verse in Genesis [5:1]: “This is the book of the chronicles of man; on the day that G-d created man He created him in the image of G-d.”

Kris Vallotton: I feel like the church has lost a sense of beauty as a way of worshipping God. Some people think that beauty and art are not spiritual. But the truth is that art, creativity, and expressions of beauty are spiritual and purposed for worship! To all of you creatives out there, I want to encourage you today and tell you that if anybody told you your craft was not spiritual, or that it was a second-class act of worship, that, my friends is a lie! Your gift is just that—a gift. And if you don’t consider yourself creative, I have news for you today. You are made in the image God, a creator. So you are, in your own way, innately creative. It’s time we all start to own our creativity and the spirituality that comes with it.

Phyllis Ford: I hear the Lord saying, “What was a mark of death to your dreams will become the very thing that seals its manifestation.” If God can do that for Joseph, what will He do for us, who now have the Blood of Jesus? Now that the Blood of the true sacrifice is here what more can be done for us than was done for Joseph? (see Hebrews 9:11-12). Does it not carry the power within it to change, reverse, and bring forth the fullness of maturation that is so needed in our lives?

Rabbi YY Jacobson: What the fourth and last sage, Shimon, the son of Pazi, was suggesting is that the verse that ultimately defines what it means to be a Jew, is the one that speaks of unwavering consistency, “One sheep you shall offer in the morning and the second sheep in the afternoon.” Every single morning and every single afternoon you shall make a sacrifice for your Creator.

Brat: I get that. That’s what I’ve been doing. And without a physical place to anchor, I might add.

[Pant. Pant.]

Taoist motto: “Through not doing, all things are done.”

What are the Chinese teaching the Christians?

Jane Clement: As many of you know, over the years, Kim and I adopted five children from China. Through this journey, I found God’s destiny for my life. It is to simply be the hands and feet of Jesus. We want to be Jesus to the world!

Brat: Jacob’s sons were the object of Joseph’s bad report. (Gen 37:3) They were also the instruments of redemption.

Phyllis Ford: Joseph transitioned from the PIT (Process Initiating Transition) to Potiphar’s house, to the prison and finally to the palace. One thing was sure – God was able to complete what He began in Joseph and great restoration was His portion. As we go through various stages of life’s journey, we can’t allow the hard things that happen to be the end. Yet we must continue to walk through whatever we are going through to see how God is going to skillfully work out all things.

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

Rabbi YY Jacobson: One can be moved to tears by the notion of tikkun olam, of healing the world; one can become aflame with a burning passion toward the ideals of human dignity, love and peace. One can be inspired to make a donation, to give a speech, to shed a tear, to attend a rally or to write an article. But the real and ultimate power of Judaism is that it always inspired its people to cultivate their relationship with their souls and with G-d on a continuous basis, every day of their lives. Judaism asks the human being to make daily sacrifices for truth, for love, for peace, for justice, for moral depth, for G-d. “One sheep you shall offer in the morning and the second sheep in the afternoon.”

Brat: I have been.

Phyllis Ford: This is a time where we must not just teach deep revelation, but also make ourselves accountable to what He is revealing…that we may walk in godly integrity with God, leadership and others. If we fail to understand that even when Joseph dealt with his brothers, his love was an active factor. If we don’t understand the manner by which he saw his brothers, despite their sins, we miss the beauty of the experience and continue on walking bitter and not better.

Rabbi YY Jacobson: During exciting days as well as monotonous days, on bright days and bleak days — “One sheep you shall offer in the morning and the second sheep in the afternoon.” In the morning, when you awake, you are called to make a sacrifice to G-d. In the afternoon, when your day is winding down, you are called, once again, to sacrifice something of yourself for G-d.

Brat: I have been.

Monk: Baaah! Baaah!

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

The blood is dripping worse.

Phyllis Ford: The blood on that coat spoke volumes. It was a type and shadow of the Blood of Jesus. Here is a garment that represented Joseph’s favor with God and it now had been covered in blood (the blood of a goat which could have been used to symbolize an old testament sacrifice to the Lord). A sacrifice that later is replaced with Jesus who is the last sacrifice. Yet long before then, Joseph’s favor was covered in the Blood and by his enemies.

Horse: Whoa! Joseph’s favor was covered in the Blood of Jesus? And the Blood covered his enemies, too?

[Whinny.]

Lana Vawser: The invitation I am feeling in the spirit has been so intense, I have been feeling the Holy Spirit saying “This requires a response from My people, this requires a response.”

Brat (14 July 17): Yesterday I sent Fr Dwight Longenecker “Critical Stage.” The Grand Silence continues today and Jennifer LeClaire posted The Plumb Line: “17 Things You Must Know About Angels in This Hour.”[1] There are so few clues to track the storyline in this grand silence. King David sang songs of gratitude to God after defeating his enemies. But the prophets said we need more Mordechais. There is no doubt that I have a Haman–Saul–Namaan somewhere in the ranks in my orbit but I cannot touch him. He is ordained by God.

Rabbi Avi Baumol: David sings a song of gratitude to God after defeating his enemies. Sometimes God’s support is in the form of a ‘still small voice’ (I Kings 19:12); other times it shakes the very foundations of the world.

Rabbi YY Jacobson: The mission statement of Judaism is that you are always an ambassador of the Divine, an ambassador for love, light and hope. When your sun rises and when your sun sets, you are G-d’s agent here on earth to infuse it with meaning, purpose and harmony, creating unity out of chaos, oneness out of fragmentation, light woven from the stuff of darkness. You may be having a good day or a bad day, you may be at peace or in the midst of a struggle, but you are, in the words of the Maharal, an “Eved Hashem,” a servant, a messenger of G-d. You are a ray of infinity, working for G-d, and reflecting His oneness in the world you inhabit.

Brat: Then I must be a good Anglican Jew. Do you know any Jesuits?

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

Rabbi Avi Baumol: The Torah predicts a time when the Children of Israel, settled in the Land of Israel, will seek a king (Deuteronomy 17:14). God acquiesces to the request on condition that His anointed will be different from the kings of all the other nations; he will be chosen by God (verse 15). This prediction came true in the times of Samuel (I Samuel 8), and Saul, followed by David and Solomon, who were chosen by the Lord as the first Jewish kings. The selection and anointing of the king reflects the vital relationship that the Jewish king must have with the priest, also anointed, and the prophet, God’s messenger who selects and anoints the king. Together, all three represent the leadership of Israel, political, ritual and spiritual. In order to lead the nation on the right path, the three leaders must work together and recognize the importance of each one’s role. When, as in the case of David, the nation reveres the king and the king recognizes that his power comes from the Holy One, God will truly answer from heaven and save His nation.

Michael Van Vlymen: The people around me were all waiting for something. Some had their attentions fixed on the Lord, but some were distracted. The Lord told me that this is a time to be fully aware and fully impassioned for the things of God. Do not let the noise and distraction of the things of the world steal your attention in this critical hour! Set your full affections completely on the things that are above and don’t be swayed by anything this world has to offer.

Brat: So, what do the Seven Churches have in common?

Perseverance: Ephesus (Rev 2:2) and Thyatira (2:19)

Poverty: Smyrna (Rev 2:9) and Laodicea (Rev 3:17)

Strength: Sardis has the reputation for being strong. (Rev 3:1-2)

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

Philly has little strength but endures patiently. (Rev 3:8)

Jane Clement: We now have the opportunity to go to one of the most impoverished areas of the world. Cambodia has endured years of revolution, conflict, and mass-murder. Due to this, the children of Cambodia suffer from the lack of basic healthcare, education, basic nutrition, and are often sent into the horrible world of child trafficking.

Brat (15 July 17): Pastor John Tolle’s son and his family are serving the orphans in Cambodia. This would be a divine connection for all sides if House of Destiny connected with Pastor John Tolle.

Rabbi Avi Baumol: Psalm 19:6 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run his course.

The sword: Pergamum (Rev 2:12)

Hmmm…Thyatira may dash to pieces with her authority, but it is Pergamum who stands before Jesus. He has the double-edged sword. The Word is Truth. Truth must be tempered in mercy, not “turn or burn.” Mercy is what tempers God’s wrath.

“He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.” (Rev 19:15)

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (Mt 5:7)

Anna Blake: I think it’s the best we can hope for from a horse; to find a bit of grace for our loud and rude ways. Perhaps he hopes that one day humans might learn to communicate.

Jeff Jansen: Remember, future generations will read about us.

Brat: My love seeks to find the grace to hear past (and through) the loud and crude ways. Would that one day the humans might learn to communicate without shedding blood. Truth is whinnied in cookies of mercy, but is the mercy heard or just cloaked?

[Pant. Pant.]

Hooves pounding the earth.

 

[1] http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-plumb-line/33266-17-things-you-must-know-about-angels-in-this-hour?utm_source=The%20Plumb%20Line&utm_medium=email&utm_content=subscriber_id:1144419&utm_campaign=The%20Plumb%20Line%20-%202017-07-13