The Open Range of Ash

A Pilgrim’s Progress

Empty Vessels

I’m sitting here on my apartment balcony watching neighbors walk their dogs, cats sitting in windows, and caged birds singing a tune from their owner’s balcony.  I also see cows grazing in fields, stray cats slinking by, and wild birds doing their business across the rooftops and trees.  It all makes me think of the measures some take to cater to animals.  From over indulgence of pampering their pets to spending millions of dollars to protect some odd species.

Okay, lets put this in Biblical perspective, God created us, Mankind…flesh and blood with a living soul.  Our bodies are but vessels for the soul, and real eternal life or death begins when our vessel ends, our soul is cut loose, and the final eternal state begins.  Animals don’t have that.  Animals, such as dogs, have spirits, they have emotion to a certain extent, but when they die, that is it, they are absorbed back into the soil and that is the end of the story.

That is just the way it is, but don’t get me wrong, God also gave us the task to care for Earth and animals, but within reason people.  Animals are here to serve us, to sustain us, to help us.  If we are doing are jobs right, there is a healthy balance of maintaining population and putting Mankind before the animal kingdom.  We get in trouble when we start putting the animal kingdom above Mankind. We should, as stewards of this Earth, be responsible and manage responsibly, and protect the animal kingdom from abuse, but when it comes to the betterment of Mankind versus the animal kingdom, Man wins.

God is going to wipe this Earth and Universe out eventually, so keep it all in perspective, accept and get your life right with Christ, and eventually, once your short 70 some odd years (or less) are done here in this world, it will all be gone and you will be living in a new perfect world and universe under the active, present rule of Jesus Christ.  If you don’t, you’ll be in eternal burning, isolated, darkness.  All this debate and confrontation concerning the environment and the empty vessels of the animal kingdom of this temporary world will be long forgotten.

This is just a reality check, take it or leave it.

April 11, 2010 Posted by | Jesus | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sin is Sin, Including Homosexuality and Lesbianism

In my life, homosexuality and lesbianism seems to be more and more of a regular encounter.  Personally, my uncle lived a homosexual life.  Over the course of my life in recent years I have come across multiple individuals who live in this type of lifestyle.  Many of these individuals are more pleasant to be around than heterosexual friends who struggle with other sinful issues. I love the Ellen Show and she seems to be a wonderful person, so I don’t have homophobia or an angst against humans caught in this sinful web.

Off the bat, I direct you to http://www.biblebb.com/files/macqa/70-18-2.htm to read a detailed, enlightening and informational dialogue by John MacArthur using Scripture as support…and to sum it up, sin is sin.

We have all been born with different challenges, different vices that demand our attention.  Some of us struggle with gluttony, some with alcohol, some with an ego the size of Texas, and some of us are drawn to the same sex.  Sin is sin, no matter what you say, the Truth is the Truth.  To say one is born that way is a futile excuse to condone the act.

I have major sympathy for homosexuals based upon my personal experience with my uncle.  He was the sweetest, kindest, gentlest person I ever knew but he gave himself over to a temptation that ultimately destroyed him and he is no longer with us.  Consequently, his loving partner stole all is wealth on his death bed from my mother which my uncle had promised her, but don’t get me wrong, the money is not important, the end result of his actions is just further evidence of the baseness of this lifestyle and the self-pleasuring arrogance it harbors.  His partner now prowls around town in a new sports car with the plates “2hot4u”, or something like that, and may God have mercy on his soul.

Our society is slowly being handed over to this as the advocates of it’s legitimacy push for rights as a minority as if they are a race.  Just another thread being unraveled from the moral tapestry our world is based upon.  Just like after the Romans accepted all and any act as okay and eventually was destroyed, our country is on the same path.  Not a surprise, it is all written in the Word and expected, so I sit as a casual observer doing what I can to help those around me and pray they are able to pry the talons of this smothering sin from their lives and find the Truth before God hands them over to their perverse desires.

I find the following an excellent answer to, “What is life all about?”, by Rick Warren.  I may not be on board with everything Mr. Warren has written, but I love this text and to sum it up, this life on Earth is a dress-rehearsal of our real lives, whether in Hell or Heaven.  I totally respect what he has done with the wealth and success God had granted him.  Do you want to know why you are here and want a good example to follow, than read on what Rick has to say:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life?

And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body– but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.

And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems:

If you focus on your problems, you’re going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.’ But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her- It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.

Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.

It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don’t think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit.. We made no major purchases.

Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free..

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?

Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more interested in what I am than what I do.

That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.

Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.

Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD..

Painful moments, TRUST GOD.

Every moment, THANK
GOD.

August 5, 2009 Posted by | Jesus | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joel Osteen or Jesus?

Hey, Gotta Dollar?

If Roman Empiresque persecution was knocking on the arena doors of Lakewood Theater, 100% of the members would say,” Jesus who?” and say they’re just there for some inspirational teaching. Gentle congenial Joel is smoking a bowl if he thinks what he is doing pleases God. They appropriately chose theater like seats so the attenders can sit back, relax and enjoy the theatrical, dramatic, and flashy show. He wants us to find the champion in ourselves. LOL, how about we accept the Gift and let Jesus Christ inside of us? If I want to be a champion I’ll go to the gym.

I am on this soap box because I watched his interview on 60 Minutes this week, and BTW, Byron Pitts asked some hard-hitting questions. I’m going to keep an eye on his segments, I like what I see so far. Anyway, Joel says he wants to enlighten the masses about all the good things about God and that everything will be alright, totally ignoring the meat of the Message.

Unholy Joel has squandered his responsibility as a church leader. He professes to be a part of Jesus’ church but what he preaches is the doctrine of devils. He claims he’s making a difficult message simple, like the general population has no ability to do so themselves. While in truth he convoluted a very simple Message that even a child can understand. His message is not even in the same zip code as what Scripture teaches. Plain and simple, he is nothing more than a motivational speaker raking in millions not for His Commission, but his commission. Cajole Joel operates under the guise as a preacher. Is it to avoid taxes? Is it a thirst for power and prestige? Only he and God know his true motives, but I can guarantee it isn’t to cultivate Christians.

To see an example of a true Christian leader, go no further than Dr. John MacArthur (http://www.gty.org) who preaches the whole Book and not just the fluff. If you go across the pond and back a hundred years, Charles Spurgeon is another good example (http://www.spurgeon.org). Christ didn’t humbly descend from Heaven to Man’s level and endure the vicious and brutal torture and crucifixion administered by mere mortal Man so that Joel could cajole millions into believing there is no obligation to follow Jesus’ teaching. Joel says to just think happy thoughts and everything will turn out okay. Jesus was hated, not loved, and said the same would happen to His followers. If you claim to be a follower of Christ but cuddle with the carnal world, then you’re fooling yourself for whatever reason and you’re a christian by Man’s false definition alone. That is, basically you’re a good person and believe there is a God and God is a softy who will let you in based upon your merits.

Hate It, don’t believe It, twist It, whatever you want to do to It; but nothing changes It. Just like the wind, you can say it doesn’t exist because you can’t see it, but that doesn’t change the fact that the wind is very real and on the move. Every knee will bow one day and each of us will profess,” Jesus is Lord.” Will your knee bend voluntarily or be forced? Will your lips utter He is Lord willingly or by command. Are you going to follow Joel or Jesus?

For a shining example of what kind of people they are outside the Lakewood Theater, check out this story…

http://www.okctalk.com/faith-values-open-discussion/7297-joel-osteens-wife-assaults-batters-flight-attendant.html

A good piece on this false pastor…http://www.portfolio.com/executives/features/2008/07/16/Megachurch-Preacher-Joel-Osteen

December 28, 2007 Posted by | Jesus | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments