The Trip So Far

06/24/2017

Sometimes He Comes To Me

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 19:12

In the darkest of nights, in the most seemingly dire circumstances, sometimes He comes to me. Alone in the strange hospital room, wired up with IV’s, hooked up to blood pressure cuffs, hurting from all the traumatic, abortive attempts to start lines into veins that roll, dodging the needles, bruised from the wounds and scared at the overshadowing prognosis, He comes to me. And when He comes, everything is made right, and nothing broken remains unfixed, even though outwardly there is no visible change – when He comes, everything changes and nothing is the same.
He came to me last year, as I lay in a strange hospital, miles from my home town. Strange, tormented sounds echoed down the dark, empty hallways outside my room, but even listening to the screams of some tormented person down the hall, and the clicks and pumping sounds of all the computers monitoring my welfare, function by function, He came to me there, and comforted me in the dark room. And when He came, there was for awhile, no darkness, no fear, no overwhelming loneliness, just Him and His peace, and His presence filled the room from top to bottom, from corner to corner, and all was right with the world. He comes like that sometimes, and I am only fully alive in His presence.
I thought back on His visit to me that night, and I longed for Him to visit again. I cannot compel Him to come no matter how hard I try; it is entirely up to Him. I looked back to that time, last year, and thought perhaps it was a singular event, perhaps brought on by the music I had been listening to, or perhaps one of the pain killers in my bloodstream had softened my difficult exterior in some way. Perhaps I was just lonely and scared enough to merit a visit. I had never been sure what brought about His presence other than His decision to do so.
But then a few days ago, I was again lying in a strange hospital bed, far away from the familiarity of my own surroundings, and I was “wired up” to the machines and computers that reported on my vitals to nurses I could not see. The room was dark in the middle of the night, but this time, the hall outside my room was silent. I was very alone, and fighting the incessant fear that kept whispering that my life was forever changed for the worse…and He came to me again.
Might sound a bit over the edge to some, but I assure you that sometimes He comes to me. How do I know? The very atmosphere changes, and I can feel my heart soften. I begin to praise Him, not because I know I should, not even because He is worthy of it; I praise Him because I cannot keep from praising Him. Tears, unusual for me, begin to well up in my eyes, and a deep joy quietly comes to view in my soul…and time has no meaning and things of earth, so important before, suddenly just simply don’t matter at all. He comes to me like that, and I feel alive for the first time since the last time He came to me. This is the Jesus I know.
He decides when to come, and I can’t compel Him to do so – He is never at my command, but He comes to simply show me He loves me, and is thinking about me. I am not alone in the darkness of my circumstances; I am with Him, and the prognosis of educated men have no value in His presence.
This morning, fresh from my release from the hospital, still in some shock, like one blindfolded and beat up by an unseen crowd, I awoke in my own bed, and a song I have on a playlist somewhere was floating in my head. Several times today I thought of the song, but paid it no mind…I was busy, you know. But then as I watched my wife fix supper, I couldn’t deny it any longer, and I put on the playlist…and when the song that had been in my head all day began to play, the atmosphere in my living room changed, tears began to well up in my eyes, and praises I could not stop began to pour out to Him, straight from my heart.
Sometimes, He comes to me, and I am only alive in His presence. I sincerely hope He sometimes comes to you.
That’s the Jesus I know….

John

06/17/2017

Do It Again, Lord!

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 19:44

Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. [Lamentations 3:22-23; NKJV]

‘When the voice of the Lord has awakened the church, the voice of he church will awaken the Lord, and the power of God will be manifested in the saving of sinners.’
Arthur Wallis, In The Day Of Thy Power

We are a static species. If God moves upon us in power and wonder one day, we codify it in our experience and seek Him only within the bounds of duplication, yet God is limitless…He reaches out to us anew, and in new ways, each new day. But we would not have it so.
Although we know better than to seek God within the static limits of past experiences, and none of us would both seek Him new for today while at the same time restricting Him by how He’s moved in the past, it is what we most naturally do.
What if God wants to reveal Himself to us in new ways? What if the limits of our previous experiences are too constrictive for His Spirit to move in today? What then? We’ve seen some great revivals in which God has moved upon men’s hearts in incredibly life-changing ways. Replete with powerful miracles of healing and deliverance, true trademarks of the work of God, we read written accounts, and our hearts burn within us. We cry out, “Do it again, God!”, but what if He wants to ‘do it again’ in new and different ways…are we ready for that?
It is my belief that we must seek God as little children, and little children always live in the “right now”; easier for them than us, because as little children, they don’t carry the burdens and baggage of history, as we often do. They aren’t hampered by previous experiences, for compared to us, they have none. They simply come to Him because they feel safety and love in His presence – and they trust well.
I believe God wants to do a new work in our time, a work unhindered and unlimited by any past history. It will be done, of course, within the confines of His word, for He will not act without it, but a new work in our day. And when we pray to be made ready for it, as we should, for so we are moved upon by His Spirit to pray, we should know that in fact, we honestly don’t know what it will look like when it crests the horizon.
I say, let God make me ready, for I do not want to be left behind or sidelined by my own, preconceived, stifling expectations.
Do it again, LORD…but do it Your way; a new way, a way that may indeed be new every morning – as You are new.
Make us ready for that!

John

06/15/2017

Walking The Line

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 17:27

I have never claimed to be a good writer, it’s just something I love to do. I love the written word, and I like the mental struggle I often engage in to find just the right word or phrase with which to express myself. I sincerely hope, that those who read what I write will focus more on the “engagement” of ideas that might get provoked in their own minds as they read, rather than the shallow substance of “Who’s right, versus who’s wrong”, which will never be fully settled until we look back on these times from eternity. I don’t suppose Jesus is preoccupied with our prognostications on who is right or who is wrong; I do think He is focused on who is faithful, and who will stand by Him no matter what does happen.
Even more than writing, I love God’s word, spoken and written, and more than that, I find myself addicted to the vibrant life I’ve found in His word over the years. I haven’t spent the last seven decades evolving into a paragon of virtue and wisdom, rather, I’ve spent them in the hard-knocks school of life, which will no doubt continue until I look up into His Face. We are all in the same boat, even if all of us don’t necessarily share in the same destination.
In our modern world, with so much obviously out of whack on so many fronts, it is tempting as Christians to acquire a bi-polarity of focus. Many, if not most Christian writers, tend to be in the corner of worldly affairs, or to be in the other corner of other-worldly affairs.
It is extremely easy to see one corner full of those who seem to advocate wanting to fix the political and governmental world with Jesus, versus those in the other corner who want to flee the world and just be alone with Jesus, and while I see Jesus in both corners, I wonder just where does Jesus see Himself?
I’m reminded of the Bible verses, Joshua 5:13 and 14. In these verses, Joshua, Moses’ successor as the spiritual and military leader of Israel, was confronted by a man with a drawn sword in his hand, and since this was happening right before the fight for Jericho was to begin, Joshua asked the logical question, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” The man answered classically, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.”
I love these verses as they seem to shine much light on how God Himself views our earth-ness, as indeed the mystery of this Man is made clear as He tells Joshua to take off his sandal(s), for His presence on the scene has made the ground Joshua stands on to be holy. This Man holding the sword (the sword of the Word, no doubt), is revealed as none other than the Son of God in a pre-incarnate appearance. And indeed, God has always maintained a presence on the earth.
It must be noted here that the God of Heaven, in the Person of His Son, came down to confront Joshua, and the confrontation reinforced several things. First, the holiness of God appeared on the very ground shared by the feet of Joshua, and by extension, the nation of Israel Joshua represented. Second, the Commander of the hosts of heaven revealed Himself as such to show He was intimately concerned with the pending confrontation and destruction of evil on the earth, represented by those cowering inside the walled city of Jericho. And third, this great Commander was demonstrating His intended partnership with mankind, and His desire to work with and through man to bring holiness to the earth and to destroy evil, something later attributed to Jesus, the Messiah, who ‘came to destroy the works of the devil’ (on earth).
I could make many more points, but what I’m trying to show is that God is wholly concerned and involved in the events of earth, and His covenant-connected, chosen people represent Him while they are here. Through the New Birth and the New Covenant, that’s us.
Within a few days after this remarkable confrontation, Joshua got a close up, two-handed experience of a transformative encounter with God. On one hand, Joshua had an over-the-top spiritual experience of a lifetime, and in the other hand, he was soon to wield an iron sword dripping with human blood.
Joshua learned through experience what it was like to turn a burning bush encounter into earthly action, and maybe we should learn this lesson for ourselves. Joshua’s close encounter with God resulted in him being given the specific strategy to defeat a great walled, otherwise impenetrable city on earth. Encounter resulting in action…can we modern American Christians learn from this?
My conclusion is that Christians can not afford to be stuck in one corner where we think, eat, breathe and dream of affecting the world through politics and human actions, but neither can we profit the Kingdom of God by being so ‘heavenly minded we are no earthly good.’ Both have to be combined, and we have to learn to walk this fine line while avoiding the temptations to polarize into the corners. As God’s family, we need to live out the lesson Joshua learned before Jericho.
We were left on earth for a reason. Maybe it’s time to earnestly seek the Commander of the hosts of heaven, Who still has a sword in His hand, and once we find Him, ask Him for ourselves, “Now that You’ve come, what is it You want me to do?” I believe God is looking for just such men and women.
I want to be on that list.

John

06/13/2017

Out Of The Shadowlands

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 07:53

I usually shudder when I hear of Christian martyrs, and I fervently pray that if called upon to give up my life, God will glorify Himself by helping me die well.
These are things not often discussed by the brethren, as we meet for prayer or Sunday morning worship, but these are things I’d like to have pre-settled in my mind. Will I have what it takes? It is critical that we learn to trust firmly and doggedly in God while we have this window of time, for all times have their life spans, and all windows eventually shut.
Some would say these thoughts are too morbid to dwell on, and if we ‘dwell’ on them, yes, they are. But we are never encouraged in Scripture to live reactive, rather than proactive prayer lives, and to be fully ready, we must allow ourselves to be equipped for God’s service, in whatever form it takes.
Policemen carry guns not for the sake of morbidity, but to be equipped for any situation, but I think perhaps we have made ourselves too similar to England’s policemen in our spiritual readiness. Hoping for the best is good, but it’s not good if we enter the future spiritually unarmed and willfully naïve.
As we enter these times, times in which civil war may be imminent in our country, I have been praying that the children of God will be fully equipped to serve Him, whatever the future brings, for all is under the ultimate jurisdiction of our God. We must be made ready, and we must be willing to be made ready, or else we will shuffle along with our peers, firmly inside the invisible limits sanctioned by our particular churches. How is that wisdom? How is that ready?
For the last five years or so, I’ve been fervently praying that God would reveal the “real”, and diminish anything less, so prevalent in our Spirit-filled church congregations. Where are the real apostles? Where are the real prophets? You get the gist. Where are they?
I earnestly desire to see miracles of healing happen whenever healing prayer is offered. I want to see people raised from the dead and missing limbs grow out, and have it be normal! I want to encounter the fire of God as Moses did, and I want know we shake the walls of God’s throne room when we pray. We should be doing that; I know it!
I have to wonder…where did these burning, yes, ‘burning’ desires come from if not from God? I do know this – they didn’t come from Satan, and as long as my heart is humble, they haven’t come from me, and yet they torment me with desire, a holy frustration, and I cannot escape them! It is a bitter-sweet frustration, and it tears me apart sometimes.
I desire to see God’s Kingdom, His real Kingdom, rock this old world back on it’s heels, but other than a glimmer here and there, I have not seen it like I believe God Himself wants it to be seen. I also think that any hindrances to these manifestations of His presence are not on His side of the equation, and that concerns me.
We have those today who “prophecy”, by speaking good, scriptural intentions over others, and I’m not calling it into question, but where are the ones called to be Prophets by office? Where are the ones who will go where God sends them, having no agenda of their own, and repeat with conviction, the very words God puts in their bones? Where are the ones who are called and bound to do this even when it will be their death sentence to do so? Where are the Burning Ones who carry His very words?
I am desperately hungry for these to be brought forth on the earth, and I’m getting more desperate with every passing day. Never have we needed the “real” more than we need it now, and yet, time drags by as we indulge in the “normal” of the shadow-real. I know, it’s the best we can do, and it’s better than nothing, but that doesn’t make it real, and that doesn’t mean God is manifested the way He wants to be manifested through those called to burn for Him.
It is time for the great men and women of God to come forth from the shadowlands of the religious. It is time, but their coming forth must be fought for, because nothing worth having is cheap and easy.
No birth is without contention.

John

06/12/2017

Is There Any Value In Controversy?

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 10:59

I’ve heard a lot of discussion lately that seeks to contrast what is called our
Western “Greek Mindset” with the mindset of the biblical authors. I’m sure you know the Greeks were biblically famous for loving a good debate, just for the sake of debate. Growing up in, and inundated within a North American “Greek Mindset” culture, I get the teachings about this mindset, and it is helpful in understanding the context of Scripture; I don’t want to minimize that.
Someone once said, “Your opinion of me is none of my business.”, and I’d like to lead off with that quote. I know up front that I could be taken to task, and quite likely graded down and/or labeled because of this opinion. So be it. I refuse in advance to accept any offense, however it arrives. Just to hold an opinion these days is to risk offending someone, and if you’re offended, do try to get over it.
That said, there have always been controversies about the meaning and application of many Bible doctrines. I’m not claiming to be a Bible scholar, and I don’t have any Bible school credentials and likely never will, but I’d like to pose an overarching question about controversies and doctrines, namely, What is the value of Bible controversy? Stated another way: Is Bible controversy, simply for the sake of controversy, worthwhile?
The controversy I would call into question here is the one that proposes we are not, in fact, in the biblically stated “last days”. Some very well educated men have come out with their opinion that we are not, and have made a case that the phrase “last days” refers not to the end of this age as we know it, but to the end of the Old Covenant.
In contrast, there has been for many decades, a prolific and widely accepted church teaching that we are indeed, in the “last days”. This position is often backed up with scriptures taken from Matthew 24. It is well worth reading, and I can easily understand why a controversy would naturally occur if one were to state we are actually not in the last days.
I looked up the phrase, “last days” in the Blue Letter Bible, and found these interesting New Testament (New Covenant) verses. Each one of these verses were inspired, and penned by authors living after the New Covenant was put into play by the death and resurrection of Christ:

[Act 2:17 NKJV] ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. (quoted by the Apostle Peter from the Old Covenant promise stated in Joel 2:28-32, and stated by him to be the one, the only New Covenant fulfillment).

[2Timothy 3:1 NKJV] But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:

[Hebrews 1:2 NKJV] has in these last days spoken to us by [His] Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

[James 5:3 NKJV] Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.

[2Peter 3:3 NKJV] knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,

This might be a good time to mention that if we are not currently living within the framework of the “last days”, these (New Covenant) authors must have had it all wrong. Do we dare to imply that our “inspiration” is more “inspired” than what they wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, after the initiation of the New Covenant?
With regard to Biblical doctrinal controversy, I believe it is valuable insofar as it causes one to dig into Scripture in an effort to understand just what God intended us to understand, and clarify what one believes. That is a great example of ‘seeking His Face’. Outside of that, I see no value, but it is a great example of how our Greek mindsets seek to objectify biblical authors and their writings.
Really, with regard to the “last days” – or not, how does it matter what we believe as long as we live our lives according to the righteous standards of the Kingdom of Heaven, standards we currently do understand without any controversy. Indeed, why raise these contrasting viewpoints at all? Are we attempting to reinforce what we already believe, and therefore justify? Just asking; no accusation.
Frankly, I don’t care who is right, and who is wrong within this controversy, because whether we are living in the last days, or have thousands of years to go, or even if the last days have already occurred, my chosen allegiance and lifestyle remains unaffected. Jesus Christ was, is, and will always be the King of Heaven. More importantly to me….He is my King and my Savior, whatever “days” we’re living in, and He promised to return for me. Where is the controversy that impugns that?
Tomorrow, or next week, or whenever, it will rain again. I like to carry a raincoat in my car, just in case, but I’m not going to lose any sleep if the raincoat is not needed. I am prepared, I am ready for the rain, but I’m going to fully enjoy the days of sunshine God gives me in the meantime.
Last days or not, Rapture or not…history will happen regardless of our current opinions of biblical doctrines. And as those doctrines are clarified and placed into sharp focus by history, which will no doubt validate Scripture, and verify or invalidate our mere opinions, is controversy, just for the sake of controversy, of any value?
Frankly, I like the truth that I can live a blessed life in the Kingdom of God while I yet live, because of the cross of Christ, and His resurrection power living in me. That applies right now – today.
I can do that right now and in the days to come, regardless of whether they are the last days, or not. I don’t have time to debate or enter into controversies that yet remain unproven. I do know this about doctrines – all will eventually be made clear.
My job is to love and serve Jesus Christ with love, loyalty and devotion, and with respect to any historical timeframe we are, or are not in – that is where the rubber meets the road for me.
That’s what’s on my mind today, and I will not debate it.

John

06/09/2017

Christians In Politics? Are You Kidding?

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 14:55

Several days ago I posted on Facebook a 1.5 hour long video of Dutch Sheets talking about America, and how there still is a God-ordained destiny for our country. Among other things, Dutch stated that God had told him, “I AM GOVERNMENT.” According to Dutch, this was given to him as an apolitical statement.

Many Christians, and apparently many Christian leaders as well, stay away from political topics like they were some form of plague. Of course, this was not the case in the late 1700’s, or we would either be living in a British Commonwealth or speaking German.

The fact is, America has been more blessed than any other nation in history precisely because American Christians invested their lives and fortunes in American government. These radically brave men and women of faith understood something we’ve forgotten in our “fatness”, namely that if our freedoms, based upon our Constitution, fall prey to the Globalist elites currently exposing themselves, our homes won’t be our own much longer, and neither will our families.

The irony to me, is that who among us wouldn’t defend our families to the uttermost of our abilities, up to and including taking a life, if our children’s lives were weighed in the balance? I cannot imagine any parent cowardly enough to turn tail and merely whimper while their children were being slaughtered, if they yet possessed the ability to stop the threat. Without the ability to defend our own homes, we will eventually lose them, and everything and everyone in them. And if we don’t have the freedom to raise our own children, some stranger in government will. Yet our modern pulpits remain mostly silent; politics is dirty, don’t you know?

I think it may have been Finney who said that politics only became dirty when Christians got out of it, and any casual look at the erosion of our freedoms just since World War II, would bear that out. I’m totally on board with the primacy of world wide evangelism, but I doubt those evangelistic efforts would be as fruitful if American Christians had to live in gulags due to non-engagement with the politics of their government.

I believe in the statement Dutch Sheets says God gave him: “I AM government”. God created government, not man, and while He sits enthroned far above all governmental entities, our American political system, composed of political parties, is what we currently have to work within, and it’s obviously broken. Should the heathen be trusted to fix it?

Our political system is chronically sick and broken because it has been feeding itself on the increasingly potent poison of partisanship, and it may well be fatal if Christians don’t once again get involved. If God created government, why would He tell His own children, who will someday rule the world with Him, to stay clear away from politics?

Of course the Globalists hate us. Hate has always been their family trademark. How can we think to plunder their camp without risk? Like Jesus; like disciple. Well, we were warned!

Hatred is what they do…are we Christians good with that? Will they be allowed to run our government and rule our country because we think we’re too good to get dirty? Can’t we simply pray God’s blessings upon them and leave it at that? How would that work if God is waiting for us to step forward with the authority He gave His disciples when He sent them forth, while we wait for God to “do something”?

If the creator of government, ‘is government’ , how can we remain in good standing with Him by abdicating our God-given authority to the God haters pulling the strings of power in our place?

Personally, and this is just me, I’m praying that first, God will impact our government with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Prayer should always come first, and it can bring about better, more permanent cures, but secondly, I’m also praying God will remove every person and every governmental system that is tainted by corruption. And as far as I’m concerned, how He does it and who He targets is totally up to Him.

God has plans for America and His people living there; it’s time we got back on the right track.

This piece reflects my personal opinion, nothing will arrive in the mail!

 

John

Positioning Ourselves

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 08:28

Please read 2 Chronicles 20:1-25.

 

This morning, my attention was drawn to the story of Jehoshaphat’s miraculous deliverance from his enemies. Initially overwhelmed by the forces coming against him, Jehoshaphat called a fast and presented his case to the Lord, the only One able to save Judah from the imminent invasion. A real preacher would be able to extract truth from this story for six months, but I’m concentrating on verse 17, which reads: “’You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD. He is with you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Tomorrow, go out to face them, for Yahweh is with you.’ ”

In summary, after Jehoshaphat had placed himself and his country at the mercy of God, he was told, “Position yourselves..” Some translations read, ‘station yourselves’, and the meaning is simply to stand firmly in the right place and trust God. We too often read this incredible story of deliverance and think that the men of Judah didn’t have to do anything, but this is not true. They not only had to ‘position’ themselves, they also had to face their enemies. Most miracles have an element of interaction, and I’m sure if Jehoshaphat had stayed behind the stout walls of Jerusalem, the outcome would have been different.

We used to say of this interactive element, “There is always God’s part and our part.”, and looking at this story this morning has convinced me that we don’t always have to wait for an imminent invasion to position ourselves in our spirits. God wants to act on behalf of His children. That shouldn’t be a bolt from the blue; as parents, we want to act on behalf of our children too. This should be familiar territory to us.

One of the first, if not the first lesson that parents teach their children, is that the parents can be trusted. At least that’s the way it should work. Once trust is established, the other life lessons fall naturally into place. Without that trust, the interaction between parents and children will be uphill all the way, and many lessons will never be easily learned.

Much of the breakdown in our current society is due to distrust between parents and children and other people, and results quite naturally in our distrust of all authority, and especially in our distrust of God. And distrust results in unbelief – endgame.

In 2nd Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat did all the right things when he was faced with a hopeless situation, but after having done all he could, it was by obediently positioning himself that he reaped the spoils of victory. He trusted in God’s word and he obeyed it.

We always have to do something. Sometimes it’s trusting when trusting seems impossibly difficult, and sometimes it’s required that we actively fight, but in both cases, we have the responsibility to do our part, and if we do our part, we free up God to do His part. He can always be trusted.

If we position ourselves by trusting God as our chosen lifestyle, we position ourselves to be ‘led by the Spirit’. We are His children, and this lifestyle is not only our heritage, it is our only responsible choice.

God wants to bless His children; it is what good parents do, and if we place ourselves under the downspouts of heaven, they will be poured out upon us.

This much I know for sure: when things go wrong, it is NOT God’s fault, and in my own experience, it is usually because I have been out of position.

 

John

06/06/2017

The Empty Beaches of History – Remembering 6/6/1944

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 07:05

6/6/2017

 

Thankfully, I missed World War II. Through no fault of my own I was born too late, but not late enough to avoid the routine, everyday exposure to the men and women of that generation of Americans. They were an exceptional breed, and I wish we had their spirit back in these times, but as the wheel of history turns, it also seems to forget.

I do not subscribe to any television provider, so the internet is my only source of readable news. Sadly, most of the real news in the world is not available on the internet because the real news is edited out of existence by liberals. I’m saying this as a caveat to what I’m going to state, which is: Whatever happened to our memory of June 6th, 1944? Why have so many forgotten, and why have so many more never known? Why has our collective American memory relegated World War II, arguably the last “moral” war we fought, to old movies or documentaries like “Saving Private Ryan”, or “Band of Brothers”?

If we have lost the lessons of history, lessons that were so costly to so many, how can we hope to find our way into the future without risking having to re-learn the same lessons? And it is so very sad to me when I pop up the internet version of Fox News and find the headlines full of phony Russian election baloney, the latest anti-Trump obscene rant by some Hollywood nobodies with an opinion and an agenda, and nothing…not one headline about June 6th, 1944.

But wait! Father’s Day is approaching! I should take heart…at least that very critical “Holiday” won’t remain forgotten! What am I thinking? Wow, and there’s Washington’s Birthday, which begs the question – Does anyone under 50 years old even remember who Washington was? Wasn’t he the guy, probably a Democrat, who named the District of Columbia? Isn’t that somewhere in Central America? You get the point.

Try having something in common with today’s twenty-something’s. Try your hand at thought-integration with them. You can always win if you keep the conversation on track with iPhone talk, or the latest electronic gadgetry. Then of course, there’s always the fallback topic of Facebook, and what should be done to make it better. And don’t we all know how vital it is to everyone’s emotional well-being that we use it to tell all those concerned people where we ate lunch!

But D-Day!? What the heck is that all about? The fact that 9000 men (yes, ‘men’) were wounded and died to save a country that was not even their own, and laid down their lives and futures to help the helpless from a horrific moral evil that darkened all of another continent and threatened most of the others….shouldn’t there be a lesson in there somewhere we can honor and remember?

The world didn’t begin with us. It was happening long before we graced it with our presence, and it will plug along long after we become less of a memory than D-Day. There must be some way to leave it better than we found it.

Sacrifice is better than selfishness, and that’s what we’ve forgotten when we forget D-Day. June 6th, 1944, was a day of great sacrifice. If we have to re-learn what it is to sacrifice, as that generation did, will we be able to do it as well?

 

John

06/01/2017

Bi-Level Problems Require Bi-Level Solutions

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 07:23

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.                                                                                             [Eph 6:12; NLT]

 

I was concerned this morning but not at all surprised to have read a headline saying the mayor of Portland, Oregon wanted to disband the police force. The photo for the headline was, of course, a crowd of mentally vacuous mal-contents waving “Black Lives Matter” placards. After cogitating for several hours over this headline, several thoughts have come to the surface:

We have heard my reference verse in Ephesians quoted much in Christian circles recently, so much so in fact, that the verse is becoming more like some kind of Christian wallpaper, and it is currently losing pertinence. It is most often utilized by those who want to inspire Christians to actually engage in the work of prayer, rather than assuming somebody else will, and I couldn’t agree more, but there is more to the story, and I believe Christians have stopped short by thinking that prayer alone is the answer. We never were called to hide behind God’s word.

Even if I pray without ceasing, if I am unprepared or unwilling to deal effectively with the man at my front door with a gun in his hand, in all likelihood, my praying days will soon be over.   If the wisdom in Scripture doesn’t become practical to our flesh and blood lives, we’ve missed the mark.

The Bible clearly instructs believers to live at peace with all men…if possible, and if we have a choice. We are to choose peace, and that’s as it should be, but sometimes our adversary, who is not flesh and blood (verse above), inspires flesh and blood to declare war on us, and my question is, what do we do then?

There is, or should be, a balanced blending of spiritual and physical. The Bible is God’s word, but it was up to inspired flesh and blood to write it, and its application to our lives should be pertinent to us on every one of our three composite parts, spirit, soul and body. Too often we Christians retreat from the world around us, and thereby abdicate our civic responsibilities while we hide in our spiritual caves. Then we quote Ephesians 6:12, while we sincerely hope the rest of the world gets their acts together. What could possibly go wrong with this approach?

God could have blasted us directly to His throne room when we received our salvation, but instead we all awoke the next day to the same dirty world. The message should have been received that we now have spiritual and physical responsibilities. In other words, Christians have more responsibilities before God than non believers. We’ve stepped into the fire, just as Jesus did at His advent. Why can’t we see it? But perhaps we don’t want to see it, which would make us about as mentally vacuous as the mayor of Portland.

Of course, this is my opinion and not necessarily anyone else’s, but as such I will declare this: I will live at peace with all men as much as it is possible to do so, but if someone starts a war against me – I will do my very best to finish it, and them. Globalist anarchists are taking the country God placed me in, my country, apart. Certainly I must bear some responsibility to fight against this pervasive and spreading evil. And even though I know the underlying culprit is wickedness in high places, and even though I do pray every day against it, I must also be ready to take any required physical action to stop it.

One of my favorite Bible characters, King David, exemplified a balance between the spiritual and the physical. He was a mighty poet and song writer, an inspired worshipper of God, but he was also known as a mighty man of war. He wasn’t afraid to take on God’s enemies at every level, and today’s Christians shouldn’t be afraid to do the same. George Washington was another man of prayer and a man of deep spiritual convictions, but who would want to stand in front of him in battle?

The fact is, today’s current crop of Christian men and women should be actively engaging the enemy both spiritually and physically. That’s how the war came to us, and that’s how we should fight it. Satan wants America destroyed, and he’s inspiring men and women to do so. If we want to have a country for us and our children to live in, we have to fight Satan on both fronts, and we have to take the offense in order to win. He started it; we must finish it, or it will finish us. Our adversary has no mercy, and when we fight on either or both levels, we should fight to win.

A Christian friend of mine once prayed for Barack Obama. She prayed for his salvation and that he would turn to the Lord. Her prayer went like this: “Lord, either turn him, or burn him.” No wasted words there, and a lot closer to what we need to hear now, but again, that’s just my opinion.

 

John

 

 

05/26/2017

Warring

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 09:36

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. [Ephesians 6:12; NKJV]

“Just knowing that sometimes water falls from the sky, will not keep my head dry when it does.”

The history of warfare has always fascinated me, and especially so with regard to what we term ‘Spiritual warfare’. For me, spiritual warfare is one of the ultimate realities of our physical lives. While that blending of spiritual with physical may at first seem oxymoronic, it really isn’t if you consider that for us to war in the spirit, we have to do something physically. All too often, we confuse knowing with doing, and then we do nothing. Many times, our praying is like that.
Many of the small prayer meetings I used to attend were like spiritual bear-baitings, in which we poked the devil, and then went home patting ourselves on our backs for having put him in his place. Try that on the street; most likely, you’ll get poked back!
Folks, that’s not ‘wrestling’ in the context of Ephesians 6:12. Ephesians 6:12 obliquely refers to the Christian lifestyle, and how we live it; it’s a lifestyle of warfare. We don’t get a vacation until our enemy takes one, and so far, he never has.
Most Christians will probably never personally confront the devil himself, but they’ll daily confront the hordes of evil hosts he sends upon the earth – or they should. Deciding to be “conscientious objectors” is NOT an option in this cosmic contest, but many Christians routinely hear church teaching that borders on it.
We are told that ‘love’ is enough, and we go around hugging each other – no problem so far, but we don’t seem to understand that our very sacrificial, violent invasion of France on D-Day was an act of love in action, and this kind of loving is the context of warfare in Ephesians 6. One reason we fought WWII overseas was to avoid having to fight it here. The fight picked us, but we were able to pick where it was fought.
The spiritual war is exactly the same, or should be. However, if we don’t take the offensive by choice, we’ll endlessly spin our wheels losing defensive battles until the day we die. Spiritual battles aren’t won defensively, they are lost that way.
It is a sad statement that there are ministries on this planet whose purpose it is to inform Christians of their need to read their Bibles and pray. That’s akin to telling people of their need for breathing! The Bible is God’s armory. If you don’t get it in you, you won’t have what you need when you need it. And praying is using those weapons, and using them well. The more they are used, the better we learn to use them, but these are things we must DO. Knowing they need to be done is not the same as doing them.
The preacher at your church, the “professional”, if you will, can only point you in the right direction and keep prodding you to head that way; he cannot be held responsible for fighting in your place. Do you really suppose he’s on his knees pleading for your spiritual welfare on Sunday afternoons, while you’re home watching football after having your ears tickled in church?
Our families are under attack, and many are already in great need of healing; our bodies are sick, and getting sicker as we agree with the prognostications of the devil concerning our health; our schools have turned into indoctrination centers for the rise of Globalism; our governments are imploding with evil, God hating people still in key positions; our kids are stuck in their cellular realities while we enable them to avoid adult responsibilities; our churches are bastions of pabulum-based humanism in place of God’s Kingdom, and we’ve turned into a nation of lemmings, pawns of the rising kingdom of darkness…and on and on. Do you seriously think saying grace in public is a big issue?
I’ve wondered for years just what it would take for Christians to get angry enough to fight back. How many times do we have to be smacked around before we rise up and say, “Enough!” and mean it? Why do we pray for patience when we are already patiently being victimized? Why have we accepted as fact that we will get old and probably die sick? Didn’t Jesus cover that base in the Atonement? Come to think of it, why don’t we hear life changing teachings on the Atonement? Why are so many adults walking on eggshells around their own children, trying to make them “friends”, instead of teaching them their true position in the family? Parents: God didn’t give you children because you didn’t have enough friends. Do your job! I’ve said for years that what we are seeing in our government, courts, schools and homes are clear cut examples of all the wrong people in charge.
Open your eyes! The media needs you more than you need it. That’s the truth. If a simple majority of Americans canceled Direct TV and stopped sucking up the online media brainwashing passing for “News”, within six months everything would change.
What if Christians found enough unity amongst themselves to promulgate laws against media treason? That’s what we are seeing with regard to our national security leaks; why doesn’t someone go to prison? This is treason in media and government, and all we do is suck up the latest talk-radio scandals.
Let’s stop all the blather about the “Democrats”, “Liberals”, “Leftists” and many “Republicans”; this fight is simple to understand: It is Globalism –vs- Freedom, and underlying that it is: God’s Kingdom –vs- the devil’s. It is maddening to see it so clearly at a time when so many Christians think the fight is about maintaining the fiction of an American status quo!
This fight begins on our knees, but it doesn’t end there. Jesus fought on His knees, then He went about confronting evil in time and space, demonstrating for all to see what He had won while on His knees. God piled on Jesus all that had hindered us from membership in the divine family – why now are so many Christians still enslaved to a kingdom of death?
When I enlisted in the army I didn’t get to choose my days off. We were told to take breaks from time to time, but we didn’t get to vote on when. If you’re a Christian, in contrast to a professing club member, get in the fight, stay in the fight, and don’t ever back down.
You are very much needed right now.

John

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