Thursday, February 6, 2014

Is the Bible really important?


I am asking myself this question today, "Is the Bible really vital 
to our understanding of what it means to be a "Christ - follower?"

I am fairly certain that if I polled those that claim to be Christians in my "circle" of friends, they would all say with quite the level of enthusiasm, "YES!" Of course a question like that, and the answer that most would provide would also more than likely lead to other questions and perhaps a variety of answers. Some of the answers may even reveal opposing viewpoints.

You may wonder how this fits in to my "waiting - on - my - dreams - and - visions - to - be - revealed" theme that I started in my last post. Simply, I am looking forward to the day when the American church looks more like the church that has been painted first as a prophetic image, (a forward looking shadowy model, type, or archetype that has been) provided in the Old Testament but revealed in all its beauty in the New Testament. The Church of God revealed in Scripture is a masterpiece. The church revealed in post - modern American culture is a caricature - nearly unrecognizable if one holds it up against what is revealed in Scripture...

Having said that, I am looking for the day when we see such things as -

  • a lot of people being born again as opposed to merely assimilating into the life of a local congregation. (Assimilation is nothing more than a buzz word that says to a person, "Come and be part of our programs, give money and time to support various causes, and begin to look and act like we do.") Rarely in today's church do we hear talk of sin, it's root, it's fruit, and it's remedy.
  • persons connecting with and fleshing out (literally) the commands of Jesus particularly those that are necessary to undertake HIS mission.
  • a ravenous hunger to read, study, and practically apply the Scriptures. (And, for the church to view the Bible as the very words of God.)
  • the church, in love and passionate persistence, reeking havoc in satan's domain by winning those trapped in and shredded by false religion to a biblical love for and trust in the Jesus of the Bible!
  • widespread and physical healing by Divine power.
  • the spirit of anti - christ overwhelmed by THE Spirit of Christ working in and through the Church of God.
  • men, especially young men willing to pay any price, go anywhere, do anything, to go on the offensive and storm the gates of hell for the express purpose of taking back prisoners of war imprisoned by the devil's lies. 
  • the church lifting up true praise and worship to God in, by, and through lives lived in praise: the praise which is revealed in Scripture. (This true worship and praise has little and often nothing to do with the foolishness that goes on in most churches in corporate settings.)
These are some of my hopes and dreams...

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Of dreams and visions...again!



Over the course of the past few weeks it seems I have had the opportunity to read a few more blogs than usual. (I have so many other reading projects going it seems I don't take time to read the blogs - even those to which I've subscribed.) 

Most of the blogs I read are very well crafted and contain helpful insights, unique teaching elements, positive reinforcement for one thing or another; perhaps even deep theological musings. Last but not least, they sometimes contain gripes and grumbles pointed at someone or something.

As I've reflected on the blogs with which I am familiar, I've noticed that many of them have also gone viral. That whole thought process is odd because while I want people to know what I believe and what I think about what I believe, I don't, at the same time, feel like promoting the very place where folks could understand those things that generate passion for me. I don't want to promote my blog and yet I want folks to read about things that impact me and that generate passion in me. 

Crazy huh? Yea, I know!

Over the years I've shared many, many times about my hopes and dreams and that I felt that some of those dreams were "on the verge" of coming true and being fulfilled. I've also shared that the dreams I have, I believe, came from God; that's why I can't give up on them. From time to time I have been what I call "satirically" critical of the church as it moves further and further away from the church we find in the Bible. (Some folks, perhaps even a lot of folks, would characterize my musings as sarcasm...lol...however, I still think that what I say about the silly things the church does in it's arrogance and pride,  is satirical and sardonic.) 

I have often written about my disappointment(s), failures, fears, doubts, and weaknesses. 

Having said all of that, I write blogs because I love to write. I have always dreamed of writing and being published even though I have all these conflicted and contradictory thoughts and feelings about being open and vulnerable. With this entry I am going to spend some time recapping some of the things I feel the Lord has taught me which have been and are the root and foundation of my dreams.

I have started so many writing projects. I have yet to finish any of them save a book that became a blog...(yep, there are still a couple of places out there in the cloud...). A few weeks ago I met with a friend who encouraged me to get a stick-to-it attitude about my latest project. 

For the past ten days or so I have been able to write around 1500 words per day on a novel about human trafficking and other issues that bring suffering to our world. Honestly, it's not hard for me to write a relatively high number of pages each day, or, to write a story about any number of topics that speak about religious and cultural themes that I have studied and thought much about. The scary part is - will I, or, can I be published. My work will be in vain if I do not find an outlet to get this "dream" into the hands of people who will be blessed by it...so...while I am working feverishly to finish a quality fictional drama, I am still in dream stage wondering if God will bless this work. And, if you want to hear something even more outrageous...I am even dreaming about a movie deal.

I've taken leave of my senses...  


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Beginning again...blog comes home!



The following italicized paragraph appeared here, on this my "blogger" blog (lol) January 12, 2011. As I write this edited post, (1/11/2014) it is one day short of three years since I've used Google's Blogger system. But my blogging history goes back much further. As I said in the paragraph below about my "early blogs" (which I said in 2011), I actually started blogging I think in 2002.

I usually "blogged" as part of my ministry website, thewindstorm.org, but off and on I've used MySpace and a host of other "social networking" sites to share thoughts and what often became my own personal "rants!" Most recently, I used Wordpress. It was free and still is but I have become dissatisfied with the limitations that now accompany the site due to rising costs of doing business as opposed to providing free services. In any case I thought, "Hey, I'll sign in to blogger and see about changing back.

Wow...was I ever surprised! Again, in my welcome tab, I mention that a friend of mine encouraged me to begin blogging in the first place. Blogs from 2002 to 2007 had been stored on the GBlog system. The blogging system used by Google had changed and I needed to "migrate" my old blogs into the new system. When I did, there they were! I perused through them and found that I was as much a "ranter and raver" then as I am now. In any case, I am home!

I may find a way to transplant some of my old stuff here, but if not, well, I'm sure you'll find the new stuff as challenging as all the old. Please read the welcome tab on the home page and then...

let's journey together!

For the sake of nostalgia (on my part), I left the original 2011 post opening paragraph as it was then...

...it begins here -

I've already shared some of this information on my "welcome" tab but just wanted to say (again) that most of my early blogs have been lost. I am starting over with new topics, ideas, and reflections on everything from world events, politics, and certainly faith based issues! I am, without hesitation a Christ - follower! Much of what I'll share really stems from my heart felt conviction that we live at the very door of Christ's return. I hope you think about eternity and where you'll spend it. Maybe we could talk about that one-on-one at some point if you do not know where you'll go when you die...

Stay tuned. Maybe some things I share will challenge you? That would be my goal!

God bless, Woody