Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Heart of a Child

 For some reason I have been dwelling on the words of Jesus saying about children, that the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I guess it all started with watching some children color in a coloring book.
We could all use a little color in our lives at times. It made me content just to see them interested in something beside a video game or television. It was then that a castle came into my mind a bridge and a moat around the castle. The moat seemed to represent the complex religions of the world. The bridge the simplicity of Love , Hope and Forgiveness or the hand of a friend. In the moat they were swimming in circles of polluted mud and all crawly things. The children were walking over the bridge joy in their eyes heading toward the castle. Now some will say I have quite an imagination but these are the pictures that come into mind about religion and simple truths.
 I was attending a regular bible study , it was a nice social time sharing coffee , donuts and the bible. The study got deep into the hebrew translations and at first it was interesting. Then I realized all the many interpretations and directions things can take. Each person in the room all of the same church but many perceptions. Sometimes I think we need to put on our children's glasses and accept the simple truths. We just need to add some color to our faith. I enjoy being with other christians and especially those that are willing to share good testimonies.
  The heart of a child is so pure ,  and also  I have met a lot of elderly that have managed to maintain that purity throughout their lives, they are the real deal.
Thank you , Jesus.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Picnic or Panic

 Well it's summer  time for family gatherings and picnics. This year we decided to have a large family gathering in the state park over 100 attending. In years past we always held these gatherings but this is the first time for me as a grandfather and it is nice to pass on the tradition to our grandchildren. The whole concept of eating outdoors amongst friends and nature is just memorable. We usually play guitars, banjos and fiddles - yes we are a wild bunch. I have to say many are not christians but we grew up together, somehow the house got divided.
 Half my family are very devout christians and half are very devout party persons. We meet out of love for each other and some may panic because of the strange combination. My cousins are very close almost like brothers and sisters. We all lived in the same block or within walking distance growing up, now in different states and parts of the country. We still get together for fellowship and share our childrens pictures and stories. I remember visiting each relative and telling them about christ over 30 years  ago it was my mission to reach all members of the family. To this day when a relative is in the hospital - will take a ride out of the way home from work and stop to visit them.
 We all lived hard lives but the ones that turned to christ are still there, and their children seem to have more joy. Christ changes you but also the next generation , this is something of an experiment over 35 years. Seeing the difference in the 2 camps , so to speak -the new generation of faith is the best reward one could ask for. I always feel that it is necessary to come together with the other camp and remiss of old times , not just hang around with the saved. Jesus often would reach out to worldly , stay at their homes. He was often ridiculed for this , imagine eating and drinking with worldly, but he did.
“for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost”
We can never be to proud to think we are better than others , we are just fortunate to have found grace and if we separate ourselves completely from the worldly will never reach them. It always baffled me in contradiction there was a word, come out from amongst them and touch not the unclean, yet Jesus did not adhere to that he was the living word but yet lived amongst the sinners. I think Jesus meant for us not to be monks and separatist but live in the world as an example. As hard as it may seem - we sometimes have to go to dark places to be a beacon of light. Many missionaries have settled in villages where they were not wanted , some go to prisons. I tried prison ministry stuck my neck out a few times for some troubled souls , got them jobs , places to live. It seems like they were appreciative but in honesty most returned to their own vomit. Prison ministry was many lessons learned , I think truthfully God wanted to touch the lost but some just were not reachable. Some persons do have a gift for that ministry , after years of trying I only reached a few.
 I will not go into details it would be a breach of trust but you do not need go far to help a young man or woman, before they go to prison is my belief. Prevention is the best cure. Don't panic if you made the same mistakes I have, cause you can be a mentor and make a lasting impression. Reach the younger crowd while there is still hope.
  Back to picnics wrote a poem about an inanimate object that diverts away from  usual thinking but reminds me of family get togethers.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Raising the ceiling.

  The term raising the ceiling has gained popularity lately. Partly because we have over extended our
spending in this country I call home. We spent trillions on war , aid to persons inside and nations
abroad. Yet - much of the country is still without decent healthcare , decent living wages and many
have lost their family homes. I do not blame the leaders totally but everyone that has allowed their
thoughts to be controlled by commercialism. Even our children cry out for the happy meal while driving
by the golden arches of the happy clown.

  Now its time to raise the ceiling, the ceiling of debt. We are already knee deep in you know what but
is that the only answer? What happens when we raise the ceiling Wall street will be dancing again but
will it change the common mans way of life. Will health care get better? Will people get back to their
homes? No. In our spiritual life we can contemplate debt, but as a christian we have none. I am happy
to report not owing any debt it is the least thing on my mind- spiritually. I did not pay the debt - Christ
did and many religions would have you think otherwise. With debt comes control of the group that holds
the lean. My how some will use the sin card almost like a credit card, and raise the ceiling if needed. To
me it is an opposite - lower your standards is actually raising the ceiling.

 I think the wisdom of the common man was neither a borrower or a lender be. Perhaps this was not
understood by americans in a capitalist society that would be a no, no. We see more and more banks
rising out of the concrete to be sure that they will out grow the golden arches. Why to bring us more into 
debt , believe me the debt ceiling will be raised because otherwise how will all the politicians get paid. 
They will be paid on credit , and everyone will be happy at least for a few more years. In the meantime 
we will be asked to take a pay cut , yes beware the average worker will get the cuts.

  I do not want to dwell on this because it disturbs me that we are so gullible , we will be effected. I 
remember in biblical times there was a year of jubilee. In that year all debts are forgiven , it was a unique 
way of dealing with a debt crisis. Lets just zero out all the balances and start fresh - this almost sounds 
like christianity and islam too. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, 
some replace the trespass with the word debt- the Lords Prayer in part. What? Islam teaches the Lords 
prayer? Yes. This is the greatest thing we have in common - the Lords prayer. We also have different 
beliefs but actually accepting the Lords prayer to me is a step in the right direction.
My reading in the Quran - as it relates to the Holy Christian bible both teach the forgiveness of debt.

  I was asked to lend some money to a relative- learned a lesson. The relative was down on luck and 
sadly it was a demise because they avoided my company afterwards. Not being able to pay the debt, I 
soon realized it was happening and visited the relative, asked them to forgive me and became the beggar 
of sorts forgiving the debt between us. It taught me jubilee is not such a bad thing, they were honorable 
and kept insisting on repayment but I knew unless tides changed it was better just to clean the slate.
  We need to deliver on the Lords prayer and forgive not just raise the ceiling.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cats and Dogs

 I recently adopted a cat , it was given by a friend- her name is Nila. My son almost 30 years old, Sean has downs syndrome and likes cats. He doe not have a lot of friends and Nila is good company for him. I also just looked at some old albums and found Cat Stevens , who he was known as in my generation. Today Cat Stevens is Yusuf Islam. For the last 30 years Yusuf has fought world hunger, he adheres to the practices of Islam and makes very infrequent appearances, though a superstar in his time.
 Though a christian, I will not judge Yusuf for the path he chose. His music is awe inspiring of simple human truths. How can a christian love music produced by a muslim, its easy the human spirit is one with God, whether Islam , Hindu or Buddhist we are all humanity in its frail condition.  Cats were often kept to keep away evil spirits , it was said the spirits of the dead were afraid of cats. In the wicca cats are kept for this purpose, we often hear of the witch with her cat. Somehow things can get distorted and people can treat a pet more fondly than a family member.
 My mother -in -law has her dogs ashes-Minnie to be kept with her in burial. In the Zeroaster religion a dog is considered sacred. Many pages of the book of Zeroaster are dedicated to the treatment of dogs and how they will go to heaven with their masters, doggie heaven I guess. I attended a lutheran church for a time and when I first was introduced they asked if I was a dog or cat person. Knowing my hobby in archery they guessed a dog, but really I was neither- actually a bird person. Birds have always pecked on my window or if you see my photo of a bird. That was a wild bird that sat on my shoulder, once I held out my hand and a sparrow landed in it. If I leave the window open in the morning they will actually come next to my pillow. This may seem strange and my wife and friends can verify it. Now this may be because I feed them all the time and after awhile they are like children.
 In christianity the Holy Spirit came in the form of a dove at Jesus baptism. Soon after accepting salvation through Christ a white owl descended upon me, it was on the pacific island of Hawaii in the kohala region. This happened when I was twenty years old at Upolu point a mating spot for whales.

 Why do I not argue against other faiths or go on a crusade to stamp them out. Instead I reach out to the muslims, preached at jewish funerals. Speak at catholic funerals , whenever the opportunity is presented will speak about God's Love, Hope and Forgiveness leading to Word , Thought and Deed. That is my doctrine which I live by. It does not exclude anyone, I have been in prisons , hospitals many corners of the world not to speak to christians but all of humanity. I know Jesus and believe me , he would not just be speaking to christians to revive their spirit. He would be out there among all the people, touching all faiths, and judging no one.  Perhaps we know a different Jesus - maybe thats why I do not fit in traditional christianity.
 What has cats and dogs have to do with all of this. Before we categorize a person , by their pets or religion- lets not judge each other. It starts with cats and dogs , then goes to what they eat or not. We separate ourselves by denomination, by ethnicity, by color , by gender, by dividing humanity-  we see hatred breeding, war becomes the solution. Innocent children get caught in the crossfire, elderly are tossed aside. It may seem a speck but it can all start with cats and dogs - the person you are is acceptable to God , changes will take place but they will not replace your diversity and free will. We are each unique but connected. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Messiah Prophesies and the present

 I am not a perfect person or one who claims to be , so if you think you have a more thorough understanding about a particular prophesy- please let me know. If you disagree with me , please let me know or God has revealed some truth , please let me know. All scripture is subject to interpretation and some are gifted in understanding scripture , my understanding of Gods knowledge is limited to first hand mostly and second hand as to what I can digest from others. I am able to discern the truth through the Holy Spirit but not predict the future. The bible teaches no one knows the appointed end of times, it just explains it. Realizing the importance of prophecy as it pertains to Jesus as Messiah, I provided this link:

 Many christians already know the prophesied Jesus , and know he was rejected by the jews
Psalms 188:22
The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.

 We also find major references of the Holy Spirit or comforter being prophesied by Jesus himself who said, he would send the comforter. I personally have experienced the comforter and believe me, the Holy Ghost or Spirit as some will say is not another human being or the angel Gabriel. The prophets that came after Jesus were filled with the Holy Spirit. Prophecy did not stop with the coming of the messiah, there will always be prophets and teachers of course they will not prophesy the coming of Christ because this already happened. I was never an advocate of end time prophesies because many cults have grown out of these in the christian faith. It is my believe some have the ability to understand biblical prophecy as teachers much better than I.  Have I ever been filled with the Holy Spirit and said, thus saith the Lord- Yes. Was it an emotional out burst , or inspired word- my experience has been this,  God spoke through me at that moment. I would try to hold back but was not able - later people would stare , certainly people thought I was just out of it. I even stopped attending church for a time because of being used by God myself did not understand. Imagine Earl standing up in a catholic or lutheran church saying thus saith the Lord, yet I have sinned for not being willing trying to respect their liturgies and order. Some times a word of knowledge would come to me and God would demand it to be spoken if it was a more open church would not hold back. Usually someone would say later they knew that the message was for them.
 Perhaps some reading this blog would say this was not normal but once God had me stop my car in a city. I got out walked over to a furniture store and there was a door beside it. It was dark around 9pm and   I was a little unsure but God wanted me to open the door, I did. Walked up the stairs - he had me then go to the end of the hallway and knock on a door. A frail older lady answered , she was bald from the chemo-therapy. I told her God sent me to pray for her and she said, yes I was waiting for you. I then prayed for her and she smiled in total relieve. I gave her my phone number and told her my name, she never called but her son did. He was in his bedroom when I came and heard me pray for his mother, gave his heart to Jesus Christ and called me. He actually became a minister , so God really wanted to reach him that night.
 This has happened many times , once driving down a road came to a nursing home. I walked in the lady at the desk asked me why I was there-told her to visit with someone. There was another person with me and God had me go all the way to the back on the left was a room. An elderly man was in a chair, I asked him if he wanted prayer and he said, Yes he was waiting for me. He smiled and was relieved - his faith pulled me in for prayer.
 I am not sure why once a man near me at a cafeteria, face turned red , eyes bloodshot -he started cursing. He said, I know you and shook terrified, it was then realizing he was possessed I held his hand and prayed with him to accept Christ. He later became an elder in a church and well respected christian. This happened a couple other times , and in public places. I spent a couple years in the pacific islands isolated from the world, fasting and in prayer. The islanders wanted me to open a small chapel for them, which I did and preached the gospel. A priest came to the island and invited me to Hawaii which later I did, he had wanted me to enter the priesthood I was not catholic , not really any denomination. A missionary asked me to come to Guam, I got a ticket . There was a filipino islander whose father died, I gave him my ticket to Guam so he could return to his family. The plane crashed killing all on board in Guam- it was tragic, I never understood why this happened many of the men had attended the small chapel.

 I have been shown things that have happened in my own life, or maybe it was a sort of sixth sense or a calculated probability. Things that were personal to me but not of a global sense. It has always been my belief as a christian to live in the present. That is why my blog is stone in time, it is my contention that we are placed in this space and time by God for whatever purpose. Perhaps in my lifetime I have led hundreds to Christ as a minister but only when led by the Holy Spirit , this may seem strange that some persons I just do not feel led to reach out to. The bible does say do not cast your pearls before the swine and perhaps God knows who will accept his message and who will not. Not that I believe in predestination but grace , it is important to note that salvation is offered to all.
 I alway's have avoided relying on signs and wonders , yes - miracles. Jesus warned of false prophets that would produce such miracles, the anti-christ in particular. It was for me to walk by faith , howbeit
disturbing to some christians. Will God ever use me to perform a miracle - he might, he might use you. I will never deny miracles can happen and am not surprised when they do. It is my contention that ministers are there to build faith, either through teaching , preaching or encouragement. In building faith it involves communication with God , not just the minister. Some would say they have the power to confirm , power to give absolution or forgive sins. I will say this we all have the power to forgive each other , it is an act of grace toward each other and God gives this to all christians not just ministers.
 Men or women tend to leave the Holy Spirit out of the equation - they do this because they have never received the Holy Spirit. They will claim there is nothing beyond a simple confession in Christ. My contention is confessing Christ as savior and truly believing - the new believer will be comforted by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit , there is no good word to describe except the words Jesus used comforter. Our guide , our teacher- Jesus said, unless I leave he will not come. He also said, the Father was in him and if you have seen me , you have seen the Father. What is clear is Jesus was trying to explain the relationship of the Father , the Son and the Holy Ghost. You will clearly understand this relationship when you too are filled with the Holy Ghost.
 Jn.14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
 This is where many religions , christian denominations and most persons stumble. He was not talking to the apostles or gnostics of the day, he was talking to you and to me. This is the present, this is what is happening now- we are in the age where the Holy Spirit is trying to reach us. What is stopping you from being filled with the Holy Ghost , you first need to accept Jesus teachings on the Holy Ghost. Not many will - you need to empty yourself of virtual reality, this is the greatest obstacle today - virtual reality games. I do not have cable TV , it drains me of spirituality - these are distractions. I live a life of minimal material things, yes I own a home. If it came down to it I could also live in a tent, which I have done for a year. 
 A person who teaches God's glory is money is a false teacher. God and mammon do not mix, my friends if you are still with me at this point - cause now we just lost 90% of readers. They will not give up materialism for God, they will continue to try and explain away and some may even leave christianity, well not really - they will turn to a church branded as christian that accepts their concept of materialism.
Can we own anything , no we are ok to possess and use these things but not truly be bound to them. This may come as a shock to most christians if they have not already left this blog. If you want to be filled with the Holy Ghost truly thirst after righteousness , you need to leave room. Is the Holy Ghost worth all of this, I remember the story of Job , it alway baffled me until personal experiences helped me to understand the hard way. God will eventually return all those things and more to you, he may not actually take anything away - he only wants to know if you are willing. Forgive me for getting off subject with my personal testimony, but God is real - I pray everyone who reads this will receive a blessing. That the Lord reveal his presence and in some way touch you.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Is there time

 Often wonder is there time to do all that is needed, the daily chores, the weekly chores and all the things that need fixed around the house. Time for friends , time for family , time for community- where does all this time go. Seems like more and more things are being rushed and that is usually when something goes wrong. I remember when it was sufficient to work a 40 hour week and have a decent wage and time leftover for family. Now, the world demands a 48-60 hour week and family is suffering for it. Not to mention time for your self to read a good book or just enjoy a relaxing cool glass of tea and admire the view.
 This makes me reflect on Ecclesiastes 3 1-15 a favorite verse in the old testament. There is a time for everything under the sun.  This verse is so true, even today- especially make time for yourself. We often get roused by work, family and friends to do this or that. I by nature accommodate others and put myself at the end of the line, maybe it was shyness or humility- not sure. I know shyness soon gave way to knowledge being born in a poor coal town, then rising out of poverty was no easy feat. I do remember taking time for my children coaching the teams, vacations, and attending graduations etc. but have to admit slighted myself.  I now take time to pray and read a lot, not just educational but inspirational literature and sometimes just a old classic.
 I enjoy camping out probably something in my indian blood - even though there is just a little there. Once I remember when in the Coast Guard leaving the barracks and living in a tent for an entire year at a local campground. I just wanted to get away from military life and be with other people. I was allowed to live off base and gave my cousins address, went there occasionally to visit. Often would enjoy cookouts with the other campers and outdoor activities , horse shoes etc. I stayed till winter when everyone left and went home but ventured out to the outdoor showers at 5am in the cold putting in my quarters, left when they turned off the water, ha ha!.
 A friend of mine said I was a minimalist , that was the first time hearing that expression. It means a person who has minimal needs and strives to protect the environment. My son always was asking me why we did not live in a bigger house or nicer car. I could actually afford these , then when he got married guess who helped him buy his first home. It all worked out now my grandchildren have a roof over their head and I am content in knowing that. Is there time? If we only take what we need and not live a wasteful life , I think there will be time. Time to smell the roses , time for reflection and for prayer.
The only selfish desire I have is a little time for myself and God, not talking about church but just alone time.