Monday, January 26


"Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons. Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when the LORD said to me, 'Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.'" Deuteronomy 4:9-10 NASB

Moses, arguably the greatest of the Old Testament leaders that Israel had ever known, stood before the gathered nation at the end of its forty years of wandering most likely with the River Jordan at his back and the displayed splendor of the Promised Land decked out before their eager eyes. He summed up the forty years of the desert journey with one word.


Everything. Don't forget having to gather up your homes and move at the behest of the cloud by day and the fire by night. Don't forget setting up your homes when it stopped, not knowing how long you would be camped there before moving on again. Don't forget how God provided manna, not in plenty but in abundance to the daily need, and remember the other forms of substance that He gave.

Remember the foolishness of your elders, all who have passed away on this forty year trek because of their sin before God.

Remember what it took to get here.

And don't forget what passionate worship and ardent relationship with the Most High God feels like…..just like when you stood before Him at Horeb.

For his leadership was at an end and another, Joshua, would take his place.

Pastor Jim Combs spoke of Moses this Sunday, after a brief and precise comment regarding the moment of his birth (where the Egyptian Pharaoh had decreed the death of each Hebrew first born because he was fearful of the growing population that was out sizing his own) and relating it to the President's latest 'decree' of renewing the giving of tax payer dollars for other nations' to perform abortions.

I've written a three-page blog about that, but I will probably never post it. Most Americans don't want to hear it, and a majority of the "Christian" community will argue that I am being 'intolerant' and 'unloving'.

If you want to read it, you can always ask me for it…..with that understanding that I am not just crying out about other's inactions and sinful pleasures…but am taking myself to task for it as well.

I would recommend (though not for the comment of President Barack Obama's latest decree and the impact it will have on this nation and the world) that you go to and listen to the inspired and challenging teachings of Pastor Jim of the River of Faith church (Faith Baptist and The River combined).

Though Pastor Jim spoke of Moses and how he went from 'degreed' to 'nobody' and then became God's servant, it wasn't that which impacted me the most this weekend.

A BIC read an devotional that referenced the Deuteronomy verse…..and with Pastor Jim's teaching, the impact God wanted His word to have upon me….mixed up with Scott Engelman's teaching on the all-too-familiar 'nice guy' complex….brought me to the uncomfortable place that I would have never thought I would be; to the point where it is not man who stands in the way of my answering God's call to purpose nor God deciding (as I've been told a few times) that maybe I've 'worked myself' out of being able to serve (though there are some who feel that such is a probability).

No, as I told one of the elders of the church as I knelt down at the altar this Sunday mid-morning…..I've known God's purpose for me since I accepted the grace to come back into His arms, spoken by God to me as Gene Appel stood upon the large stage at Willow Creek Church in Chicago and pursued full-force though I'd often wind up smashing into brutal walls of humanity's judgment…….no, it has been me who is no longer pursuing the Call, for I have decided that it is going to cost too much, hurt too much, and quite frankly, I've had more than my share of such 'humanistic' Christianity to last me a lifetime.

The cost of purposefully filling my calling would cost me what I felt would be too much.

I still do.

"But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the people of Israel out of Egypt?"" Exodus 3: 11 GWT

The once great and powerful Moses, son of the daughter of the Pharaoh –mighty prince of the empire that Egypt was, was felled by an impulsive act of abusive power against his adopted people, inciting the wrath of the Pharaoh on down….a man who, if God had revealed Himself to him in such a state, would've rolled out papyrus after papyrus of degreed schooling, knowledgeable arts, and a hefty smattering of other 'noble' pursuits. Instead, as a result of his exile, tending a flock that was not his own, Moses trembled at the sight of God and fell to his knees…."No, I'm not the one you want…."

Who, even with the declaration of a God he rightfully feared speaking affirmation to him, "I will be with you", he still hemmed and hawed about facing the mighty empire of Egypt with a staff and God's anointing. To speak the words that God would give him to speak……

Yeah, I'm there.

A wealth of understanding, of passion, and of humility….knowing that I cannot speak my own words but merely reflect upon the hearts that God has directed into my path the words He would utter…..I am afraid that I don't know enough, am not 'righteous' enough, and am judged too much to be a worthy vessel of the Father's shepherding call…..

My wounds from the 'mega' church environment, where it is the corporate model that fuels the glittering candlesticks and fancy productions…where it is less about what you know than who you know….those hurt, especially when you've ran happily and joyfully into your Pastor's office with the news of purpose realized and been told…gently…that such as you probably are just wishful thinking.

To find a place in which to work the purpose, living in the fear of not being capable enough or worthy enough to shepherd the saints of the Church in worship, praise, and teaching…..remembering every mistake and every misquote….and what did it get you. A marriage broken and bruised, resentment and fear over what such shattering would do to the prestige of the 'Call'.

To be brought to a place where doing what was right cost you everything; a daughter living with her birth mother because of the disruption such as a marriage broken will do, a son increasingly disrupted because of the distance moved from the familiar, and the 'golden' reputation that is the lifeblood (at least I was informed by one dear friend, a pastor of a new church) of the minister destroyed…..

The financial crisis as I was overwhelmed by the sheer cost of maintaining a home I could not afford to rent, but had not choice but to try. The lost of a car, taken down by an aged alternator I couldn't afford to fix, and the late (then too far overdue) rent…..the frustration of finding a new home….the despair of such trials.
Then the few among the many who stepped out in major ways to help me; providing funds to move, funds to buy a new car, and to help me along the first stages of renewing my fragile faith……

And then, as I was slowly and 'realistically' building this new self, reconstructing the home lost and building a real budget to stick to; disaster once again. A rock cracked the housing of the transmission and two days later the car quit. 1,700 plus to fix. And me with exactly 200.00 in rent set back for such repairs.

The brothers who stepped out once again, offering help but what seemed not enough to meet the overwhelming need. The cries to the Lord, the pleading to be heard….and at the darkest of the night, God saying, "Here, this was the plan from the beginning….I will provide." A BIC stepping out in faith, giving me funds to purchase another car and then suddenly, the other BsIC's helping funds were enough…just enough….to bring the car to a road worthy shape so that the high mileage I drive (1 hour and 15 mins one way) would not strike it down before I could renew my budget and my financial stewardship.

The disruption of the 'nice guy', identified in so much that I do…and how its hindered the Call to the degree that I've been ready to surrender, to give the 'devil his due'.

Pastor Jim and his teaching on Sunday……calling me back to that purpose in reckonizing my reasons for stopping pursuit….


Utter fear at the knowledge that such movement will cost, for wounding and battering of those called to ministry is high and fierce…all the pastors, leaders, mentors, and Barnabas' I've been graced to know have such stories…..and my unwillingness to pay such a price.

And Sunday afternoon, spending time thinking of all these things and realizing in the shadow of the Cross that bore a man who was fully God and fully man through the pain of mankind's love of self-preservation and denial for me; for you; for the whole of humanity…..

Realizing that I stopped chasing that purpose…because I wasn't remembering.
All the things God has taught me in the past seven, eight, nine, and even the last few years.

Redemption is but an acknowledgment away… ex-wife reading and seeming to understand the power of forgiving oneself, accepting God's forgiveness, and realizing the truth of another's without gain, without renewal, and with humility.

Power exists not in only listening to God's voice calling but moving within the direction of that voice; regardless of the doubts in your head, borne of a life told lies too and a situation that seems to be impossible to overcome…but moving anyway.
And looking into the pride of accomplishment and realizing the foolishness of 'nice guy' who has deceived you into believing in the painful attempts to deal with the past wounds that some were dealt with shallowly when it was thought they were well dug out.

And realizing the simplicity of the life I've been given to lead and how I've not dug the proper well for which to reach the nourishment of God's powerful love and mercy….

"Two things have I asked of You [O Lord]; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny You and say, Who is the Lord? Or lest I be poor and steal, and so profane the name of my God." Proverbs 30:9 AMP

As we face a world where the salvation of a people who were killed 5 million strong during a 30 year reign of terror, 10 million imprisoned and wounded for life is purchased with the faithful service of 3,000 of our own is the news of the day and yet the 161.7 million who were snuffed out at the behest of convenience and lack of voice are not to be heard in the sorrow of our souls, except to increase funding to continue to do such murder in the sake of a valueless society…..where a people have lost 229,00 of their own and have forgotten those 5 million that lay buried beneath the soil of their land…..

A voice is crying in the wilderness…….

REPENT! REPENT! For the Kingdom of God is at hand!!!!

It takes only one person of conscience to prevent tyranny from consuming a people…..

Moses was that voice in the face of Egypt's tyranny,

Jesus still is that voice…….

And we are His servants………….

What are you speaking today, regardless of the fear and the cost?

What are you remembering?

"There are many persons ready to do what is right because in their hearts they know it is right. But they hesitate, waiting for the other fellow to make the first move. ... The minute a person whose word means a great deal dares to take the openhearted and courageous way, many others follow."--Marian Anderson

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