Month: March 2018

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

I started writing this book a little over a year ago. The rough draft of the beginning of the first chapter is copied below, hope you enjoy.

After my post last week about the book I started thinking of ways that I could “transport” Kasey back in time to experience the early church history. I don’t know why I was trying to be all “sciencey” with it, we do serve a God who showed several prophets the future, and showed John specifically eternity future. If our God can show someone the future, could He not also show them, even allow them to experience, the past? So I’m planning on allowing Kasey to see and experience things straight from God.

But I need your help! Remember I told you guys this would give you an opportunity to be a part of the writing of this book. I want to use an angel to lead Kasey through history at the command of the Father, of course. There are two angels mentioned in the protestant scripture, Gabriel and Michael. These names are pretty well known and in several instances throughout scripture were used as messengers of God to show the prophet the future. There are several other angels mentioned in the first book of Enoch, non-canon to the protestants, but used by orthodox and ethopian Christians. 

Uriel, one of the holy angels, who is over the world and over Tartarus; [Used by God to show Enoch what was coming]
Raphael, one of the holy angels, who is over the spirits of men; [Used by God to bind Azazel, one of the fallen watchers]
Raguel, one of the holy angels who takes vengeance on the world of the luminaries;
Michael, one of the holy angels…he that is set over the best part of mankind and over chaos;[Used by God to bind Semjaza, a fallen watcher]
Saraqael, one of the holy angels, who is set over the spirits, who sin in the spirit;
Gabriel, one of the holy angels, who is over Paradise and the serpents and the Cherubim. [Used by God against the nephilim, and sinners]
Remiel, one of the holy angels, whom God set over those who rise.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxiousbench/2014/10/enochs-angels/#VrwpVTmgPsqbpdu6.99″ 1 Enoch 20

I added info from 1 Enoch to the four angels that I am trying to choose between, Uriel, Raphael, Michael, and Gabriel. I also created a quick poll for you guys!

Coming Soon

 

Chapter 1 Beginning

Sunday Feb 10, 2019 1137

“You see church, there is coming a time of persecution. The world around us is turning against Christians in every way possible”, Pastor Mitchum bellowed from the pulpit, “Jesus taught us that we are blessed in times of persecution, but we in the great US of A don’t even know what persecution looks like. People in the middle east every day are being tortured and killed because they claim the name of Jesus. What would Christians do if the same thing happened here?”

Kasey breathed deep, knowing that the Pastor Mitchum was right. America’s Christians think they won’t ever have to go through it. Those in the Middle East experience it every single day, and many fear for their lives. Kasey began to pray for those believers, that God would hold them close and guide them as they needed to go.

“…let me tell you something, God is about to let the US experience that same kind of persecution. But praise be to God that blessing comes through that persecution! If you, my friends, aren’t sure what you would say if someone came beating your door in tonight demanding to know your allegiance then let today be the day that you declare Jesus as your only answer.”

“Father, help me to understand who’s I am. Protect me when I enter times of persecution, and please don’t leave me there alone. When the time comes for me to be with you, I know that you are sovereign and I will be by your side. Bless and keep me close to you Father, in Christ’s name, Amen” Kasey prayed.

As the music began to play the congregation rose and sang in unison

Just as I am,

Without one plea,

But that thy blood was shed for me

And that thou bidst me come to thee

O lamb of God, I come

I come

—————————

 

Many members stopped and shook Pastor Mitchum’s hand on the way out. The lady in front of Kasey took the pastor’s hand and said “Pastor, I just don’t know where you get the idea that we’re going to be persecuted like those Arabs are, but I thank you for the message today”.

Pastor Mitchum replied “Ms. Dale, I believe it’s coming because God says it’s coming. And their not just ‘Arabs’ they’re Christians. Thank you for coming this morning, I pray that God will open your eyes to what’s coming.”

As Kasey stepped up and shook the pastor’s hand, “Pastor, thank you. I’m sure that you’re right. Watching the news everyday I see that the anti Christian sentiment is growing. I pray every time you mention it that God would watch over those who are persecuted and prepare me for what’s coming.”

“Kasey, thank you for being so attentive to God’s Word. I pray that God would use you in amazing ways.”

As he got into his red pickup to head home Kasey’s thoughts turned to his own walk with God. God, I want to stay close to you, help me to be able to withstand the persecutions of the world. As he turned out of the parking lot onto Main Street his spirit began to stir. Something’s not right.

Kasey turned into his driveway 8 minutes later and parked his truck. The neighbor’s dog already barking at him before he even stepped out. Stupid dog, I have lived here longer than you.Can’t you figure it out that I come home every day? The gravel crunched under his feet as he stepped out of the truck and closed the door. Staring up at the sky he enjoyed the warm southern sunshine, Maybe spring is coming early this year.

In the kitchen of his small 2 bedroom house, Kasey grabbed some bread and started to make himself a sandwich for lunch.

As he finished making his sandwich Kasey reached over and hit the power button on the remote for the television in the living room. Let’s see what’s going on this week.

“…in Los Angeles. Kelley?” the news anchor finished his sentence.

“Thanks Jeff. Protesters are lining the streets today because of the new bill to allow business owners to reject service on religious grounds. The people here see it as an opportunity for discrimination to occur.”

“Can you explain what kind of discrimination they’re worried about, Kelly?”

“Sure Jeff, the people here are concerned that the rights of minorities will be attacked. They fear that if businesses are allowed to say no to a customer, then the businesses will choose to stop serving blacks, hispanics, or Muslims. They say that this bill gives the business the right to discriminate. One protester even claimed the bill was a slippery slope, a catchphrase of the right when it comes to bills they don’t like. We’re trying now to get in touch with some of the leaders of the protest. Whenever we are able to get with them we’ll have more information, back to you Jeff”

“Thanks Kelly, we’ll keep track of the events as they unfold in Los Angeles and bring you updates as necessary. We’ll be right back.”

Wow, people protest anything these days…that bill isn’t even written yet, and they’re already chomping at the bit to protest.  

Kasey laid back on the couch and listened to the commercials as they played.

 

 

The Spirit Teacher

The Spirit Teacher

“These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. 1 John 2:26-27”

I believe this is probably my most referenced set of scriptures. It’s a nice reminder to me that the Spirit can and does teach us all that we need to know. The Apostle John was writing this letter to defend the church against the Gnostic cult. I don’t want to get too much into Gnosticism, but to put it plainly they were misleading the Church. They were causing the Church to question itself. So John writes his first letter to them. Remember last week that I wrote about context and how important it is to know why the author was writing and to whom? This is just as important. If we take this specific verse on it’s own, then we have no need for anyone else to be leading us in our walk with Christ. But that’s not what John is saying here in totality. The preceding verses 1 John 2:18-28 speak of the spirit of antichrist, and how Jesus is God. John even tells the believers in v20 that they have an anointing from the Holy One and “you know all things”. So the readers of this letter knew that the force of gravity was 9.8 meters per second squared, right? Um…probably not. In fact it seems when reading this in it’s entirety that John was telling them that they know the truth in the whole.

These believers knew that Jesus was the Christ. That the Christ was God. That the Father had sent the Son to be the payment for our sins. They knew that, and yet they were still being mislead. John is trying to remind them here that they know the truth, that the Spirit has revealed the truth to them. Remember when Jesus was at Caesarea Philippi, what did he tell Peter? “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” Matt 16:13-17.

Notice who taught Peter that Jesus was the Christ the Son of God? It wasn’t Jesus, it wasn’t another disciple but the Father in heaven. So John is reminding the believers of the church that God can and does teach them all that they need to know. Do they still need each other in their lives to help them see some of these things and grow? Of course they do. The Church is supposed to be a community, a family. It’s up to us to bear each other’s burdens (Gal 6) and to pray for and over each other (James 5). We’re supposed to be learning from the Spirit, AND helping one another grow at the same time. If you’re walking in the Spirit you should be learning, if you’re a part of a local group of believers you should ALL be learning and growing together. I have a feeling next week’s post will be along the lines of community of the believers….

I haven’t forgotten!

I haven’t forgotten!

I have something that I am working on in my head to write. However, it’s taking longer than I thought it would to actually get it written. I have set aside some time each week to write two posts a week, Mondays and Thursdays. As I’m sure you noticed Monday there was nothing. I sat down and started writing out what was going on in my head only to find that halfway into the post it no longer made sense. I’m hoping that just posting something simple today will help me clear my head for next week.

I have decided, again, that I am going to try to write a book. It’s still up in the air as to exactly how it’s going to come together, but the first book will definitely be a fiction novel from a Christian worldview. I’m going to try and use my Thursday posts to fill you in on how exactly it’s coming together and use these posts to help me get some feedback on the theological constructs within the book. Basically, I want to use your thoughts to help shape some of the key elements of the book.

So let’s start with my first, of many, conundrum. A key point of this book is going to be the main character’s journey into historical Christianity, to make it easy. However, to have a character spending his time reading other books is well….boring. I had a thought of somehow allowing the character to actually experience the various pieces of history, but that opens up three key problems. The first, time travel isn’t a thing. I know that there are theories that get tossed around about time travel, but I seriously doubt that it will ever be possible. I find it difficult to explain time travel in such a way that would benefit the core value or reason for the time travel. Considering that it’s not possible we’d basically be creating our own science to make such a thing “possible”. The second thought, I have seen movies or read other books where the main character had a past life during that point in history. Do I need to say more as to why this would be an issue? Well, I will, reincarnation can’t possibly find a logical place in a Christian worldview fiction novel. It kinda flies in the face of “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 1 Cor 5:8”. My third thought was to use the fact that spirits are eternal, and thus exist outside of space and time. This raises the issue of pre-existence. Did we exist as spirit before we were born and then inhabit this body at birth, or did God create our spirit when we were conceived? Many many questions can be posed that I fear could cause some conflict both personally and at publication. No sense in making it so controversial that no one wants to read it, right?

What are your thoughts? Do one of these ideas work for a character to experience historical Christianity? Do you have an idea that may work instead? I genuinely want your input, so leave me a comment below or on the Facebook post. I’ll be back Monday with my other thoughts! Enjoy your weekend

Let’s run to the store and get a coke

Let’s run to the store and get a coke

It’s been far too long between posts. I apologize life just got busy. But that’s not why you’re here, you want to read some new perspective, or find some nugget in the Bible that you hadn’t noticed. Well I don’t know about some new nugget, but I do have some new perspective for you. Over the last few months as I have been studying and learning new perspectives continue to jump out at me, sometimes they’re valuable, other times they seem to cause me more confusion than peace. So take everything that I say regarding perspective for just that, another perspective. (Wow that word is getting annoying to type)

“Context is vital” is something that I’ve said for years. I often find myself getting annoyed when someone tries to quote a scripture starting halfway in a sentence. We do that because that’s where someone at some point in history decided to put a verse marker. But is that the right way? When we were having our Tuesday Bible studies we would read an entire chapter of whatever book we were studying to ensure we knew what the author was saying. Sometimes we even had to keep reading into the next chapter, or start at the end of the previous one just so we could be sure we didn’t miss the contextual importance of the few verses we wanted to really discuss. We felt this contextual importance of the section was key to our understanding the verses as they were written. But then my cousin started posting things about context on his Facebook page, and it began to make sense that context isn’t just the verses around the verse you’re looking at, it’s much deeper than that.

If I were to say to you “Let’s run to the store and get a coke” would you know what that means? Like really means? You can be honest with yourself and say, vaguely. Without knowing me personally, where I live, what I drink, you really have only a vague understanding of what I am saying. Let’s make it a little clearer how little that we really know about the statement. I have a friend who if he said “Let’s run to the store and get a coke”, probably literally means run, he runs a lot. Or another friend who simply means “Let’s drive to the store and get a coke”. That’s just one single word from the phrase that without the proper context of who is speaking, where they are, or who their talking to, we can’t really know what they mean. Let’s pick another word, coke, in the rest of the world they likely would mean Coca Cola, but we’re in the south, it could mean anything with carbonation. Location matters, almost as much as speaker. I think we can all agree that “store” in this phrase could be any number of things based on person and/or region.

While this is a little bit of a simple explanation of the gravity of context, it is eye opening when you begin to really apply it to the Scripture. Remember those verses that we like to pick and choose to say what we want? Let’s look at an easy one 1 Tim 5:23. “No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. (NASB)”. Well look there! Paul says it’s not good for us to drink only water and that we should drink some wine every now and then! While, yes Paul was saying that we have to remember that Paul was writing to Timothy, not you or me. We discussed in our Bible study that likely Paul knew that Timothy struggled with stomach issues from their long times together, and was giving him fatherly advice to help with the issues. Does this mean that it’s not OK for us to drink wine? No, but it does mean that we can’t use this verse specifically to make our case. There are so many cases of scriptures being taken out of the context of who, what, when, where, and why that I can’t begin to write about them.

As you are studying the Word, remember that context matters. Not just the verses surrounding the verse you’re looking at, but the entire context. It makes for good study when you begin to see exactly what God meant when He had the words penned, it can change your life. Don’t be afraid of new perspectives on things, sometimes looking at the persepective of the original author and the original reader can help you to understand exactly why the verse matters today because as I think we all know, it all matters.

I’ll be back more often, I really enjoy writing here lately, and business has picked up enough that I can step aside and spend my time doing more things that I enjoy. I hope you’ve enjoyed this and I hope you’ll take it with you next time you begin to study a passage. Leave a comment below with your thoughts and your studies, I’m always looking for more things to read!