THE END RESULT

Is the America we live in, our nation, our people, our society – the America most of us were born in? The uniquely American forms are all there, all untouched such as the football games, the local eateries, the movies, the concerts, and the holiday events. But the spirit, which most of us never noticed because we made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with these forms, has been fundamentally transformed. The transformation has occurred through the slowly creeping separation of not only the government from the people, but the people themselves from their country. It has taken place so gradually and so stealthily that the majority of Americans, preoccupied with the latest crisis happening in their own lives, have failed to see the slow and methodical motion undergirding the whole process of our government and the spirit of our country growing more and more remote.

For the most part this shift has occurred due to the culture itself in our society collapsing in the name of equality with little to no resistance or opposition from a populace who chooses to remain indifferent to the subversive nature of the societal cancer we are facing. This indifference in America to cultural issues and government lawlessness that we believe are seemingly unimportant and non-connected is akin to the appalling fascination of watching a man being hanged with the slowly dawning realization that it is a reflection of ourselves in a mirror. The effect of remaining indifferent and silent while we ourselves tighten the noose is compounded by our nation’s steady departure from the ideals, values, and morality upon which we were founded. Freedom, liberty, the Constitution, Judeo-Christian values and limited government have given way to dependence, moral decadence, censorship, and the acceptance of Islam which is counterintuitive to social freedoms. Growing out of the personal misconduct, gross neglect, and habitual disregard of public interests by our elected officials, our nation has degenerated from a constitutional republic, ruled by equality before the law, into a benevolent democracy, ruled by elites and a educated class taught by an intelligentsia with strong leftist ideologies.

The productive and self-reliant America citizen is quickly vanishing into the past as we enter a new era of ‘equal opportunity poverty’, wealth redistribution, one-party rule or you’re a racist, and systematic bureaucratic corruption.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican in power as the bureaucratic mindset transcends both sides of the political aisle. Both parties embody the same philosophy of holding unto power for powers sake. While the Democrat party does indeed have a strategy of progressive and leftist ideologies, the Republicans seemingly do not. The former uses the mob in conjunction with the government to intimidate and coerce individuals into submission while the latter capitulates promising to “fight another day” to our president’s dismay. This happens day after day on issues ranging from government enforced housing dictates to government backed investigations aimed at stifling dissent on opinions deemed “wrong” such as those related to “climate change.”

We have banks that don’t make enough prime loans to minorities; schools that suspend too many blacks or Latinos; cities that don’t offer enough Section 8 housing and employers who turn down individuals for jobs due to having a criminal background. This Orwellian twisting of statistics into evidence without factual backing is precisely what is happening in other realms within our government as well.

These  strategies and tactics include, “proactive, relentless, and simultaneous attacks on the opposition in multiple areas; preemptive demonization of the resistance; advancing the notions of ‘change’ and ‘historical progress’ as a moral obligation of every well-meaning citizen; spreading the perception that the opposition is standing in the way of history; using the media to disseminate prepared supportive narrative.”

Planting disinformation and fake news is a daily exercise; rewriting history; acting through allegedly neutral proxy organizations; discrediting ‘enemy’ media sources; promoting class warfare; stirring strife and division among citizens; provoking conflict while blaming the opposition for a hostile reaction, and so on.”

What affect and example will this have on our children with no black and white in regard to truth and living perpetually in the realm of gray? Will they grow up to hate cops and authority?

Using tactics such as these – the public is controlled and the entire nation is turned into a mob set against each other demanding various grievances be alleviated and “class privileges” redistributed in the name of “social justice” and “economic equality.” The government ends up benefiting in such a climate of manufactured chaos as the demands by the public are then met with government created solutions. This cycle repeats on a daily basis and since “equality” cannot be attained by bringing everyone up to the level of the “privileged class”, the “privileged class” is thus “brought down to the level of mediocrity, with most of their earnings and property taken by the government.

The America in which we find ourselves living in today is one that is becoming unrecognizable to the America we once lived in even a decade ago. Sadly, too few have had the courage to resist the means in which the “fundamental transformation” is occurring by considering how it ENDS! Then again, one must foresee the end in order to resist, or even see, the beginnings and if the majority of Americans today still believe they are truly free, then this is the beginning of the end… Prophetically speaking loud and clear.

Advertisements

THE LEFTIST ASSAULT ON LIBERTY

It’s certainly obvious that the past few U.S. governmental elections have garnered more passion, questions, uncertainty, and outlook for the future of the United States than any other time in my life or memory. Ideologies have magnetized to extreme poles which has produced a social furnace revealing the true heart condition, moral make-up and spirit of its population. I have stated in other posts that the United States’ political and judicial realm is not composed of the best qualified people to administer its institutions, defense, and economy. Thus, we are essentially left to choose from a pool of candidates that are oftentimes cut from the same institutional cloth. My hope is that this message will reflect both historical and prophetic vantage points to gain clarity as the days unfold. I have used a few example nations as illustration points. These examples are not exhaustive in most cases and usually point to many other nations which experience the same cause and effect. The end game is that our voice and vote are still powerful means for change. The key is that we support and vote for candidates that represent our values and who will promote the highest degree of encouraging and fostering ‘productive people’.

It is interesting that countries such as Mexico and Nigeria can be poor countries in regard to standard of living but yet rich in natural resources. Likewise, and just as interesting is the prosperity of countries such as Japan and Switzerland which have some of the highest standards of living in the world reflect some of the poorest availability in regard to natural resources. In my opinion, the key to success for a nation and local society (naturally or spiritually) resides in the productivity of its people and culture. The problem is that many nations, and local institutions fail to implement a truly productive culture.

Similarly, it is not uncommon for immigrants to arrive in a new country and rise above the average wage and wealth level of many of that country’s indigenous citizens. Whether nations, groups or individuals – it is human capital (the desire to be productive) which produces both natural and spiritual wealth. The dynamic output of natural and spiritual productivity far surpasses and goes beyond the natural or monetary resources around us because of the supernatural blessing which manifests within creativity, productivity, or people who are willing to produce. Monetary capital without human capital (productivity) is limited, short-lived, and ultimately leads to social bankruptcy.

Human capital must not be confused with formal education which is just one small slice or facet of it. Likewise, human capital must not be confused with pure economic capitalism without regulation which is essentially Darwinism in that natural selection and survival of the fittest must be the foundation that underpins the entire system. In other words, pure capitalism can only survive if another business dies at the expense and birth of another. And finally, human capital must not be confused with the intelligentsia which may either reflect a positive or a negative influence on economic development and political stability depending on the particular kinds of skills these individuals really possess and the particular attitude they take toward those with true productive capacity or ability to advance the economic level of a particular country, society, or local body.

Note: Capitalism within inclusive or pluralistic institutions (market based) is necessary for sustained political and economic growth as history has shown. Socialist and Collective based institutions are extractive (government based) and have arisen because of the failure of societies to embrace what I will call “Creative Destruction.” (Today’s Venezuela is a prime example) Creative Destruction must be embraced for outdated technologies and systems to die in order for new technologies and systems to take their place and promote new growth. We saw this form of social fear and protectionism manifest in the automobile and financial government based buy-outs in the last major recession.

Modern industry and commerce in the west developed at a time when the intelligentsia was a relatively small and non-influential group (Late 17th to early 18th century). However, many third world societies as the 20th century dawned, became independent nations led by the educated elites based on formal education and political charisma, but with little to no experience in economic matters or critical thinking aptitudes. This naturally generated hostility toward autonomous economic institutions and toward economically productive minorities in their own country. This is a common human defense mechanism and behavior pattern to justify protectionism which leads toward governmental control over a populace. However, the core issue slowly eases away from ideology and moves into greed upon tasting the bitter-sweetness of power.

Another important aspect which I found as a pattern – is that the specific kind of education received not only affects technological and economic development in a country, but also the direction of its social and political development. Education in science and technology has obvious economic benefits but not all groups or all nations have been equally drawn or interested in that type of education. In Malaysia for example, the Chinese minority received more than 400 degrees in engineering during the decade of the 1960’s while the Malay majority received just 4. Differences in core curriculum fields or quality of education have also existed between Protestant and Catholics in Ireland, Caste Hindus and Untouchables in India, Russians and Cossacks in Kazakhstan, Middle Eastern versus European in regard to religious dogmas, Jews in America versus Jews in Israel, Tamils versus Similes’ in Sri-Lanka, and Whites versus Blacks or Hispanics in the United States. Lagging local groups and lagging nations tend toward the easier or soft subjects rather than such difficult fields as mathematics, science, engineering, and medicine. I do not generalize this comment lightly. I am basing my comments and opinions on researched facts. These differences not only affect their economic productivity but also their socio-political attitudes toward those who do have the skills to make a society more productive and prosperous.

Newly educated classes of people or cultures have been especially likely to specialize in softer core subjects and to be prominent among those fostering hostility toward more advanced groups while promoting ethnic identity movements. Such movements have been typically mobilized against other ethnic groups, the existing authorities, or other targets that would stand in the way of the new agenda. In various periods of history, the intelligentsia in general and the newly educated classes of people in particular have inflamed group against group promoting discriminatory policies and or physical violence.

Whether at the level of minority activists in a given local society or at the leadership level of national revolts against external powers – promoters of nationalism have been disproportionately intellectuals and intellectuals from a very limited range of fields. Very few nationalist militants, ultra-religious, or Socialist leaning politicians were and are engineers, economists, scientists, or skilled professional administrators. As an African student once quoted in regard to the generation of African leaders during the transition from colonial status to that of independent nationhood: “…K. Nakuma was a British educated lawyer, J. Kenyatta was an anthropologist, J. Kasabuvu was a teacher, and L.S. Sengor a poet just to name a few. Much the same pattern could and can be found in other parts of the world as well…” Leaders of the Basque separatist movement in Spain and the Quebec separatist movement in Canada were also birthed and promoted by soft subject intellectuals.

In the less developed regions of Europe, the rising intellectual class in the years between the two World Wars likewise tended to concentrate on the softer subjects rather than in science or technology and sought careers in politics and government bureaucracies rather than in industry or commerce. Much of the same pattern would be seen a half a century later in Sri-Lanka which was all too typical of other Asian third world countries in having a surplus of unemployed graduates who had specialized in the humanities and the social sciences. Is there a common pattern beginning to arise in the United States? Is there a social pattern which is in common with our current political body and previous president? I strongly believe so and the soft subject elite in the United States are seeking to overthrow the sacred and economic successful ideologies with Socialist and centralized government ideologies. The political and social landscape is coming into prophetic and spiritual clarity. How we prophesy the truth and define resolution will require much wisdom and I certainly do not have all the answers. However, the powers and systems which are creating the world’s economic and social sickness are coming into plain view for those whom possess discernment.

History shows us that cultural and ethnic leaders would later instill and promote the breakup of Yugoslavia and the atrocities that followed in the last decade of the 20th century were again birthed by professors in the humanities, the social sciences, a novelist, and a psychiatrist. The mass slaughters in Kampuchea, under the Khmer Rouge were likewise led by intellectuals including teachers and academics. Historian A.J.P. Taylor has stated: “…that the first stage of nationalism is led by university professors and that the second stage comes when the pupils of the professors get out into the world…” Whatever the actual sequence, the intelligentsia have played a central role in promoting inter-group and international animosities accompanied by atrocities in trying to artificially preserve, revive, or fabricate past glories. This social and political mind-set will continue to be woven into the mind and cultural fabric of the unredeemed which will escalate into the antichrist system and promoted counterfeit glory.

Newly educated and semi-educated classes have often sought positions
in government bureaucracies rather than in industry and commerce (marketplace) because their education has typically provided them with few skills to be useful in the ‘real’ marketplace Moreover, the growth of bureaucracies is needed to accommodate or absorb such people in preventing them from becoming a political problem which is oftentimes a handicap to the genuine development of industrial, commercial, and social growth. In other words, the social and political attitudes spawned by those with diplomas and degrees but without productive skills, constitute yet another barrier to economic development and growth as well as developing a productive society which technology and spirituality grow in similitude. Spiritual dynamics must also be strongly considered as the church is oddly split along ethnic and cultural lines in regard to social policy in the U.S. The pull is so strong and deceptive, that a Bible believing individual will abhor abortion, but vote for a pro-abortion candidate simply by built-in social conditioning or comfort in regard to a lack of cultural productivity. We must understand that differing social cultures have varying views of productivity as some are content to live off of another if the system provides that option or choice.

It was said of Romania’s institutions of higher education between the two World Wars: “…they were numerically swollen, academically lax, politically overheated, as well as variable incubators of surplus bureaucrats, politicians, and demagogs…” The truth is that this could be said of institutions in other nations within eastern and south-eastern Europe during the same era and in various nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America in later times. The direct economic and social drain of supporting a intelligentsia with little to contribute to the economy is by no means the crux or most important cost they impose upon the rest of the people in various societies. The kinds of policies and attitudes they promote and the internal strife they generate or aggravate are the major impediments to economic advancement, spiritual harmony, and political stability.

The post-independence history of many African nations for example, have especially shown the tragic results of following policies that are diametrically the opposite of economies that developed social productivity in earlier centuries such as Japan and Malaysia. In multi-ethnic societies, confiscatory policies (to take something away) toward the most economically productive groups have been promoted for the short run benefit of those seeking a way out of their own poverty at the expense of others rather than becoming more productive themselves. Those targeted have included as a prime example, the Germans and Jews in Czechoslovakia when it existed, and Romania. I have used Czechoslovakia as an example a couple of times for a reason as it no longer exists for a reason! Other good examples are the Chinese in Malaysia and Indonesia. The Indians and Pakistanis in Kenya and Uganda among many, many others Those losing in the long run have included the poorer and less skilled masses who cannot replace the more productive groups they suppressed or driven out of the country (This will unfold within the boarders of Israel if the Palestinians are given more territory) Rome as a city did not fall due to barbarian invasion. The invasion was only the tip of the iceberg. Rome fell because the barbarians could not run the cultural and political apparatus nor repair its systems and products when broke. In other words, the barbarian invaders were not a productive nor creative people. They pillaged and took what another earned and worked for a short-term gain. The long-term effect was slow decay and eventual ruin. Sound familiar?

Both internally and internationally, western intellectuals have for centuries romanticized noble savages, barbarians, and warlords in various parts of the world. People whom supposedly lived in some sort Eden before evil was introduced from the outside by modern western society. In fact, many Islamist nations refer to the United states as “The Great Satan” However, facts about the carnage, oppression, or brutality in such societies have been glided over, totally ignored, or brazenly denied by those pursuing a vision and disseminating that vision through their educational writings, teachings, motion pictures, media, and other channels to the extent that they are successful in creating a virtual reality different from the factual realities. These falsehoods produce false public policies (now globally) with dire consequences upon the particular nations or societal populace. This causes such policies to be misdirected, ineffective, and even counter-productive. Sometimes a foreign “Eden” is ideologically defined such as the Middle Eastern Spring, the Soviet Union under Stalin or China under Mao. Again, a wonderfully fluffy virtual reality has for decades, completely submerged facts that included the slaughter of millions. In these and other ways, an intelligentsia can make policies less informed as well as misinformed and less intelligent than otherwise dreamed of. The catch, is that it is not too late. God still deeply loves us and desires His best for our lives. Let’s not curse our country and world with judgment. Rather, let’s pray as we have been directed for our national and world leaders and that those who are truly called and commissioned would come forth in authority and power to declare faith, hope, and love for all humanity

A DISGUSTING POST

To many, ‘disgust’ is mainly about animals (including humans) and the products of animal bodies. Very few plants and inorganic products are what we would call or lable as ‘disgusting’. Disgusting things are interesting in that they are ‘contagious’ by touch. Therefore, disgust seems to be somehow related to the concerns of organic (human and animal) body products, blood, excrement, washing, and touch. This is clear in the Old Testament, along with many other religious books, cultural writings, and traditions within most global / historical societies. The goal of this message is to define how ‘disgust’ impacts everyday life, as well as defining the days ahead from a prophetic viewpoint.

I’m convinced that disgust had a primary part to play for people to decide what to eat or nourish the body after the fall of man. As man’s production of tools and weapons increased, so did their consumption of meat. However, when early humans decided upon eating meat, including experimenting with the carcasses left behind by other predators, they exposed themselves to a myriad of microbes and harmful parasites. Most of these are contagious in a way that plant toxins are not. For instance, if a poisonous berry were to brush up against your baked potato, it wouldn’t make the potato harmful or disgusting. But what if just the antenna of cockroach brushed up against your baked potato?

The first attribute of disgust is that it is designed by the Lord as a guardian of the mouth. It gives an advantage to those who choose to go beyond the sensory limitations of a potential edible object such as: “Does it smell good?” Likewise, it triggers thought patterns such as: “Where did that come from and what did it touch?” Species that routinely feed or touch corpses, excrement, or refuse piles such as rats, vultures, buzzards, flies, maggots, and cockroaches trigger disgust in us. Simply put, we won’t eat these species although they are edible and anything that they have touched becomes contaminated. Humans are also disgusted by most of the body products of other humans — particularly excrement, blood, and respiratory mucus which may transmit diseases to other humans. Disgust distinguishes desire and physical hunger; it also motivates purifying behaviors such as washing, bathing, and vomiting if tempted or indulged.

Disgust doesn’t just guard the mouth. It also guards the body when it is recognized and revealed as the temple or habitation of its Creator. Disgust also plays a role in sexuality, similar to food selection, by guiding people to their socially acceptable or healthy partners as well as healthy sexual acts. Again, disgust turns off fleshly based desire and motivates fleshly separation through the means of natural cleansing through spiritual revelation which bares witness to our spirit-man.

Disgust is also stimulated or gives us a unnerving feeling when we see people with skin lesions, deformities, amputations, extreme obesity or anorexic bodies, and other violations of the culturally ideal outer envelope of the human body. Obviously, it is the exterior expression that matters if we’re to be honest with ourselves. Cancer of a lung inside the body or a missing kidney is not disgusting. But a tumor on the face or even a missing finger is. This expansion from guardian of the mouth to guardian of the body (temple) makes sense from a purely natural point of view. However, the spiritual understanding and implications going forward for the church are paramount. The recognition of disgust and what is truly disgusting must be clear and concise if the Body of Christ is to impart spiritual health to a world racked with spiritual illness and pain.

We must understand that humans which lived and moved on the ground, rather than trees as most evolutionary text books erroneously point out, were more susceptible to the ravages of microbes or viruses and parasites which spread by physical contact. Disgust instills a sense to be careful about who or what we come in contact with or choose to touch. This is clearly laid out in scripture as we are not to become unequally yoked. But the most fascinating aspect about disgust is that it’s recruited to support so many of the norms, rituals and beliefs that cultures use to define themselves. For example, many cultures draw a sharp line between humans and animals. This inner sense or awareness of humanity’s eternal nature and longing points to God’s specific creation of man in His image and our unique place in the universe.

The human body and Body of Christ in scripture is referred to as a “Temple” which houses or contains what is divine, or of the Spirit. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you which you have from God and that you are not your own. Therefore, glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19 – 20). The Spirit of God within us has provided us a guardian of what we ingest by mouth which points to what is both naturally and spiritually ingested. The Spirit of God is also guardian over the body in general and is representative as the church founded in Christ. Morality is likewise defined and set in stone within the nature and power of disgust, which our spirit-man bares witness with the Spirit of God in defining the government of kingdom life in Christ.

Imagine visiting a town where people wear no clothes, never bathe, have sex doggy style in public in front of others humans, defecate openly, and eat raw meat directly off the carcass. The truth is that all people, whether they were Christians, heretics, agnostics, atheists, or everything in between, would naturally feel degraded or brought low (earthly) in a very real and substantial measure. We cannot ignore this feeling and it’s there for a reason! Most sane people would feel disgust at this behavior stemming from other human beings which verifies our uniqueness in God’s image. We would instantly and intimately know that there was something very wrong about these people and their behaviors.

The body or temple can get dirty by what is received internally, accepted externally, and what we have been desensitized or numbed to embrace as socially unacceptable. The point of this message is that the internal and external lines (spiritually and naturally) are no longer defined, but have become obscure and even unrecognizable within much of mankind as media and social desensitizing has eroded the instant recognition of disgust. As stated earlier, disgust is the guardian of the temple, which is our natural body and soul; it is confirmed within our spirit by the Spirit of God when we are in communion and one accord in Christ. In this soulish and imaginary town that I painted which humans more resemble animals, the guardians have been killed and the temples are overgrown with the tares of compromise (learned behaviors) Communion in Christ is nonexistent in a godless society and man has become a god unto himself continually seeking soulish and selfish pleasures with no regard what another may think (regardless of how disgusting). These cultural evolutions toward evil with no sense of disgust represent Sodom and Magog and the great falling away in Scripture which is happening before our eyes. Although we should pray for and expect a great revival of souls…The Bible does not confirm this. However, a great falling away is confirmed and our posture should be of drawing souls unto eternal life by the expression of morals and the defining of disgust in our lives. Our wedding garment as the bride of Christ was never meant to be a shade of grey.

The Lord is not concerned with the old adage, “cleanliness is next to godliness,” in regard to our physical bodies. He is concerned about the internal cleanliness of our hearts and the outward expression of that cleanliness. I wholeheartedly believe that much of the decay that we see in cultures, societies, and governmental institutions today around the world is advanced and spread by the decline or erosion in what we recognize as disgusting. Without a prophetic understanding in regard to the power of disgust, it will be difficult to proclaim and intercede with accuracy the events and political / societal decisions which are set to unfold. Nothing will truly bring lasting change or repentance on both a corporate and personal level unless the full degree of disgust has taken root in the consciousness of mankind and the church.

We are abhorred at the expressions of abortion, prostitution, slavery, child pornography, socialist agendas, extractive political and economic institutions, persecution of Israel, and the list goes on and on. However, until nuclear families, local societies, states, and national governments become disgusted with the paths we have chosen – we are dancing with the evil and the spirit which is the antithesis of Christ.

BELIEFS ON A LEASH

Do you sometimes hold back because you may be afraid of the unexpected? Do you sometimes fear failure as I once did? I’ll be the first to admit that I feared failure for most of my young life and it resulted in ‘limiting beliefs’ which held me back from ‘powerful beliefs’ that were required to support my personal development and future. It’s been stated that “Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy.” Limiting our beliefs is what holds us back and prevents us from following our dreams and providing a positive influence within our communities. Folks with limiting beliefs fear failure and humiliation based on expectations, previous attempts, and past failures. Powerful beliefs support our dreams and mental model suggesting that we can apprehend anything we aim to achieve in life. It’s important to note that even when we possess varying degrees of fear in regard to failure, we can change our limited beliefs to more powerful beliefs. Powerful beliefs shape us and makes us become the people we have the potential to become and have been created to realize. Maybe, just maybe, our resolutions should focus more on the root cause rather than the symptoms such as over eating and various bad habits. Our outlook and focus should be strengthening our spirit man and the powerful beliefs in our lives that proves our true identity in Christ.

Darren Hardy wrote an interesting story about a little dog whose owner kept it on a leash for years, tied to a tree. The little dog would see other dogs and run right to the end of his leash. The dog knew precisely how far it could go. One day, the owner felt sorry for the dog, so he decided to let him off the leash. Instead of removing the entire leash, however, the owner simply unfastened the leash from the tree but the collar remained around the dog’s neck. The owner thought the dog would take off running, happy and free. When another dog came along, sure enough, the little dog got up and took off running. Much to his surprise, when the little dog got to where the leash would have ended, the dog stopped dead right where he always had. The little dog was free but he didn’t realize it. This story is timely for many reading this and we have to begin focusing on our powerful beliefs.

It takes commitment to enhance our powerful beliefs. The story about the dog illustrates that limiting beliefs are holding us back from achieving results. I want to challenge you to change your view of limiting beliefs and commit to powerful beliefs instead. Remember this quote: “We were all born equal, but where we are in life now is of our own making” Powerful beliefs and powerful commitments can take you far and and my hope is that you not only realize that, but live it.

The past does not equal the future. Likewise, whatever has happened in the past does not necessarily dictate your future. Humans are unique in that sense in that we are the only species who can completely change the course of our lives. All animals are directed entirely by impulse written into their genetic code as instinct. Humans are different though. As a human, if you do not like the story of your life thus far, you can rip up the script and write a completely new one. You know what it requires? You have to make a conscious decision that you want to change your belief system and habits…It’s as simple as that. Remember the story about the dog? Don’t let the leash hold you back. It is not there anymore!

There is always a way to the abundant life if we’re committed. Commitment and always determines whether you get a successful or unsuccessful outcome. I have a powerful belief telling me that no matter what I want to achieve – it is possible. I know that commitment can take me places I dreamed of as child and new dreams which are birthed in my adult experience. When we commit to something, we automatically tell ourselves that we accept no excuses, but only results. Continuous committed effort will take you where you want to be. Take that leash off and chase your dreams because there is always a way if you are committed to travel the road regardless of the turns and pot holes. God is the creator of your breath and life – You are the creator of your future.

Failure is learning and learning is the ingredient for success. One of the most common limiting beliefs is the fear of failure as previously stated. The vast majority of people are afraid of failing and naturally associate failure with something extremely bad and humiliating. In case you have this limiting belief, I want you to change it as the first step toward obtaining the abundant life. Whether we like failure or not, I think we can all agree that failure can be the best teacher. When we learn from our failures we are more likely to succeed in the future. Don’t be afraid of failure, but embrace it as the school master it is. If you want to have more powerful beliefs I suggest you perceive failure as learning and learning as success and success as fulfillment.

Life is an awesome event to be played not a problem to be fixed. Some people make the most of their situation and other people feel like victims no matter what happens. I believe that 2017 has presented these disparities in plain view. I want you to remember that your life is an event to be played with eternal ramifications and not a problem to be fixed. Be positive about what you are doing and keep in mind that, at the end of the day, what really matters is how content you are with with your commitment to ‘life’ which is exceedingly rare and priceless. You are a one of kind! We can’t always determine what happens to us, but we can always determine how we react. Have a positive outlook on life and join the event because it is fun once we are committed to invoking powerful beliefs.

We see the belief system in action when we consider a football team. When a team starts losing a few times in a row the players adopt limiting belief systems and continue the bad streak. However, when a team has won for 5 games in a row they have the confidence and powerful beliefs. The power of belief is amazing and the power of belief can bring new results and contentment into your life. Adopt a powerful belief system in order to create instead of destroy your future. It’s yours and my choice!

STICKS & STONES

The Lord said to Samuel “Do not look upon his appearance or in the height of his stature because I have rejected him. For the Lord does not see as mortals see for they look on the outward appearance. But the Lord looks on the heart”. (1 Sam. 16:7)
Am I a dog that you should come to me with sticks?

In the heart of ancient Palestine, is the region known as the Shephalah which is a series of ridges and valleys connecting the Judean Mountains to the East with the wide expanse of the Mediterranean plain.

It’s an area of historic and breathtaking beauty. It’s home to vineyards, wheat fields, and forests of sycamore and terebinth brush. The Shephalah is also of great strategic importance. Over the centuries, numerous battles have been fought for control of the region because the valley’s rising from the Mediterranean plain offer those on the coast a clear path to the cities of Hebron, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem in the Judean Highlands.

The most important valley is Aijolon in the north. But the most storied is the Elah Valley. Elah’s dirt bore witness to the arrival of the knights of the crusades in the 12th century. It played a central role in the Maccabean Wars with Syria more than a thousand years before. Most famously, during the days of the Old Testament, it was where the fledgling kingdom of Israel squared off against the armies of the Philistines.

The Philistines were most likely from Crete. They were a seafaring people who had moved to Palestine and settled in along the coast. The Israelites were clustered in the mountains under the leadership of King Saul and in the second half of the 11th century B.C., the Philistines began spreading out and moving east winding their way upstream along the floor of the Elah Valley. The goal and enemy strategy was to capture the mountain ridge near Bethlehem and split Saul’s kingdom in two halves as a house divided will not stand!

The Philistines were battle tested and dangerous and already the sworn enemies of the Israelites. Alarmed, Saul gathered his men and hastened down the mountains to confront them. The Philistines set up camp along the southern ridge of the Elah and the Israelites pitched their tents on the other side along the northern ridge which left the two armies gazing across the ridges at each other.

As strong as the Philistines were, neither army dared to move as attacking meant descending down the hill and then making a suicidal climb up the enemies ridge on the other side.

Finally, the Philistines had enough waiting. They sent their greatest warrior down into the valley to resolve the deadlock – one on one (manos-a-manos). He was a giant at least 6’9″ wearing a bronze helmet with full body armor. He carried a javelin, a spear, and a sword and his battle attendant went before him carrying a large shield which was customary for the day to support infantry. The giant faced the Israelites and shouted out, “choose you a man and let him come down to me. If he prevail in battle against me and strike me down – we shall be slaves to you. But if I prevail and strike him down – you will be slaves to us and serve us.”

In the Israelite camp, no one moved. Who could prevail and win against such a terrifying opponent? Then, a shepherd boy who had come down from Bethlehem to bring food to his brothers stepped forward and volunteered. Saul objected to his request and stated, “You cannot go against this Philistine and do battle with him, for you are a lad and he is man of war from his youth.” But this non-assuming shepherd was adamant: “I have faced more ferocious opponents than this” he argued. When the lion or bear would come and carry off his sheep from the herd, he told Saul, “I would go after him and strike him down and rescue it from its clutches.” After all, Saul really had no other options.

Saul relented and the shepherd boy ran down the hill toward the giant standing in the valley and stating: “Come to me that I may give your flesh to the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field.” Thus began one of history’s most famous battles and misconceptions of the position of ‘underdog’. The giant’s name was Goliath. The shepherd boy’s name as most of you know was David.

David and Goliath is a true story about what happens when ordinary people confront giants in their life. By giants, I mean powerful opponents of all kinds. From armies and mighty warriors to disability, misfortune, addictions, financial issues, and various forms of oppression. Each verse of this event tells the story of all of us – whether famous or unknown, ordinary or brilliant, and those who have faced an oversized challenge and have been forced to respond.

Should I play by the established rules or follow my own instincts? Should I persevere or give up? Should I strike back or forgive? Through this story, I want to explore two ideas. The first is much of what we consider valuable in our world arises out these kinds of lopsided conflicts because the act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and realizes the abundant life.

Secondly, that we consistently get these kinds of conflicts wrong and more often than not, misread them. We misinterpret them due to our past and natural frames of reference just as Mary thought that the Lord’s body had been stolen out of the tomb. In other words, we base much of our faith out of past natural experiences rather than spiritual promises. Giants are usually not what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of their greatest weakness as I’ll explain.

We need a better understanding of God’s template of facing the giants in our lives and there is no better place to start that journey than with the epic confrontation between David and Goliath 3000 years ago in the Valley of Elah.

When Goliath shouted out to the Israelites, he was asking for what was known as ‘single combat’. This was a common practice in the ancient world as two sides in a conflict would seek to avoid the heavy bloodshed of open battle by choosing one warrior to represent them in a dual. For example, the 1st century B.C. Roman historian Quintus Claudius Quadrigarius (author of 23 books of ancient history) tells of an epic battle in which a Gaul warrior began mocking his Roman opponents. This immediately aroused the great indignation of a man named Titus Manlius Torquatus, a youth of noble birth. Quadragarius writes that Titus challenged the Gaul to a dual. He stepped forward and would not suffer Roman valor to be shamefully tarnished by a Gaul. Armed with a legionary shield and a Spanish sword, he confronted the Gaul. Their fight took place on the bridge over the Arno River in the presence of both armies amid great apprehension just like in the Valley of Elah. Thus, they confronted each other – the Gaul according to his method of fighting – with shield advanced and waiting in attack. Manlius, relying on courage rather than the established skill struck shield against shield and threw the Gaul off balance. While the Gaul was trying to regain the same position, Manlius again struck shield against shield and again forced the man to change his ground. In this fashion, he slipped under the Gaul’s sword and stabbed him in the chest with his Spanish blade. After he had slain him, Manlius cut off the Gaul’s head and tore out his tongue as it was with blood upon it and placed it around his own neck.

This is what Goliath was expecting. A warrior like himself to come forward in hand to hand combat. It never occurred to him that the battle would be fought in anything other than the terms he had prepared for. To protect himself against blows to the body, he wore an elaborate tunic made up of hundreds of overlapping bronze fish-like scales. It covered his arms and reached to his knees and probably weighed more than a hundred pounds. He had bronze shin-guards protecting his legs with attached bronze plates covering his feet and wore a heavy metal helmet.

He had three separate weapons all optimized for close combat. He held a javelin made entirely of bronze which was capable of penetrating a shield or even armor. He had a sword on his hip and as his primary option, he carried a unique short range spear with a metal shaft as thick as a “weavers beam.” It had a cord attached to it and a elaborate set of weights that allowed it to be released with a powerful force and accuracy. To the Israelite, this extraordinary spear with its heavy shaft and long and heavy iron blade when thrown by Goliath’s strong arm, seemed possible of piercing any bronze shield and bronze armor together. Can you see why no Israelite would come forward to fight Goliath from natural eyes and a natural perspective?

Then David appears. Saul tries to give him his own sword and armor so at least he’ll have a fighting chance but David refuses. “I can’t walk in these he says, For I am unused to it.” Instead, he reaches down and picks up five smooth stones and puts them in his shoulder bag. Then David descends into the valley carrying his shepherds staff.

Goliath looks at the boy coming toward him and is insulted as he was expecting to do battle with a seasoned warrior. Instead, he sees a shepherd, a boy from the lowliest of all professions who seems to want to use his shepherd’s staff as a laughable weapon against Goliath’s sword. “Am I a dog” Goliath says gesturing at the staff – “That you should come to me with sticks?”

What happens next is a matter of legend. David puts one of his stones into the leather pouch of a sling and he fires at Goliath’s exposed forehead. Goliath falls and is stunned. David runs toward him; seizes the giant’s sword and cuts off his head. The Philistines saw that their warrior was dead and they fled as the Bible states.

“The battle is won miraculously by an underdog who by all expectations should not have won at all”. This is how we have told or explained to one another this story over the many centuries since. It is exactly how the well known phrase “David and Goliath” has come to be embedded in our language, conscious, and culture as a metaphor for improbable victory. But the problem with that version of events is that almost everything about it including its perceived revelation is entirely wrong!

Ancient armies reflected three kinds or types of warriors. The first was cavalry – armed men on horseback or in chariots. The second was infantry – foot-soldiers wearing armor and carrying swords and shields. The third was projectile warriors or what we would understand today as ‘artillery’. These artillery skills would be expressed on ancient battlefields as archers and slingers.

The Slingers had a leather pouch attached on two sides by a long strand of rope. They would put a rock or a lead ball into the pouch, swing it around at increasingly wider and faster circles and then release one end of the rope hurling the rock forward. Slinging took an extraordinary amount of skill and practice, but in experienced hands, the sling was a devastating weapon.

Paintings from medieval times show slingers hitting birds in mid flight. Irish slingers were said to able to hit a coin from as far away as they could see it. And in the Old Testament book of Judges, slingers are described to be accurate within a “hair’s breath.”

An experienced slinger could kill or seriously injure a target at a distance of up to 200 yards. The Romans even had a special set of tongs just to remove stones that had been embedded in some unfortunate soldier’s body by a sling. Imagine standing in front of a major league baseball pitcher as he aims the baseball at your head. That’s what facing a slinger was like. Only what was being thrown wasn’t a ball of cork and leather, but a solid rock and understanding what and who the quote: “Rock” is will translate into defeat or victory!

History has also shown us that the sling was such an important weapon in ancient warfare that the three kinds or types of ancient warriors balanced each other. This would be similar to each dynamic in the game of rock, paper, scissors. With their long prods and ground pikes and armor, infantry could stand up to cavalry. Cavalry could in turn defeat projectile warriors because the horses moved too quickly for artillery to take proper aim. And projectile warriors were deadly against infantry because lumbering soldier weighed down with armor were a sitting duck for a slinger who would be slinging projectiles from over a hundred yards away. This is exactly why the Athenian expedition failed in the Peloponnese War. The Athenian heavy infantry was decimated in the mountains by local light infantry – primarily using the sling. (Russia was defeated by tribal Afghanistan using the same methodology). Goliath is a type of heavy infantry. He thinks he is going to be engaged in a dual with another heavy infantry-man. Our gravest error is fighting evil on evil’s playing field and expectations. In the same manner as Titus Manlius’ fight with the Gaul – Goliath states, “Come to me that I may give your flesh to the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field.” The key phrase is: “Come to me.” In other words, Goliath means, come right up to me so we can fight at close quarters. When Saul tries to dress David in armor and give him a sword, he is operating under the same assumption and carnal understanding. He sees or envisions David fighting Goliath hand to hand.

David however, has no intention to honor the traditions of man, traditions of single combat the establishment, and the means of “established warfare.” When he tells Saul that he has killed bears and lions as a shepherd, he does so not just as a testimony to his courage, but to create another testimony as well (Folks can dispute your doctrine, but they can’t dispute your testimony) David will fight Goliath the same way that he has learned to fight large and wild animals as a projectile warrior. David, without hesitation, runs towards Goliath because without armor, he has speed and maneuverability. He puts a rock into his sling and whips it around and around, faster and faster a t 6-7 revolutions per second while aiming the projectile at Goliath’s forehead – the giants only point of vulnerability.

Modern tests and calculations reflect that a typically sized stone hurled by an expert slinger at a distance of 115 feet would have hit Goliath’s head with a velocity of 112 feet per second. This is more than enough to penetrate his skull and render him unconscious or dead. In terms of stopping power, that would equate to a medium sized modern handgun. We find that David fired and hit Goliath within just one second. This range of time so brief that Goliath would not have been able to protect himself and which he would have been stationary for all practical purposes.

I mean, what could Goliath do? He was carrying over a hundred pounds of armor. He was prepared for a battle at close range where he could stand strong but immobile warding off blows with his armors and delivering a mighty thrust of his spear. He watched David approach first with scorn, then with surprise, and then with what could only have been genuine fright as it dawned on him that the battle he was expecting has suddenly changed shape. The prophetic application to this statement is paramount to church’s and our personal future success.

“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin. But I come against you in the name of the Lord and the Lord will deliver you into my hands and I will strike you down and cut off your head. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give all of you into our hands.”

Twice, David mentions Goliath’s sword and spear as if to emphasize how profoundly different his intentions really are. He then reaches in his shepherd’s bag for a stone and at that point no one watching from the ridges from either side of valley would have figured David’s victory improbable. David was a slinger and all in attendance knew that slingers beat infantry hands down.

Goliath had as much chance of victory over David as any bronze age warrior with a sword would have had with a Green beret armed 45 automatic pistol. Folks, this wasn’t even close!

Underdog my…..As I earlier stated, there has been much misunderstanding and what has been passed down from generation to generation and the true essence of what happened that day in the Valley of Elah. David is representative of you and me in that we have been redeemed and empowered which should reflect a different perspective than the world’s perspective in overcoming giants and obstacles. It also reveals the church’s preconceived notions and folly in regard to genuine power and what is already available as Kingdom citizens. If we are truly kingdom culture, then we understand that we are from heaven and colonizing the earth. We are not defensive nor are we underdogs. We are colonizers!

The reason King Saul is skeptical of David’s chances is because David is small and Goliath is large. Saul thinks of power in terms of physical might, past frames of reference, and doesn’t understand that power comes in many other forms and expressions. Adhered rules of the mind generated by our past natural experiences are meant to be broke! Spiritual speed (prayer) and maneuverability (prophetic utterance) will always overcome natural and brute strength in overcoming our giants as we are more than conquerors. We can take this story and prophetic offering and apply its lessons in many areas of life. Again, what we perceive as a strong and undefeatable adversary – It’s pronounced strength is usually its greatest weakness in being defeated.

 

PAUL’S PROGRESSION

I find the progression of Paul’s natural and spiritual maturity interesting. From his first and early ministry letter to the Galatians until writing to Timothy as his life and ministry were drawing to a close – Paul grew in humility and patience.

Galatians 2:5-7 (AD 49-55):

“But we did not yield in submission to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the Gospel might remain with you. But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality) well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the Gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised.”

1 Corinthians 15:8-9 (AD 56):

“And last of all, as it were to one untimely born, he appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” (Wow! What a change of direction and heart condition in just one year!)

Ephesians 3:8 (AD 60-61)

“To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ.”

1 Timothy 1:12-16 (AD 64):

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me because he considered me faithful putting me into service even though I was formally a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. And yet, I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.”

My hope and prayer is that my spiritual and emotional progression would be more like Paul’s has he turned his focus from himself to grow in patience and humility which is the seedbed of genuinely meeting the needs of others.

Paul continues in verse 15 which is the wisdom gained through the fruit of humility:

It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.” 1 Timothy 1:15.

Maybe, just maybe, a bit more humility and a lot less arrogance would mend much of today’s​ tattered social fabric?

 

AROMA

Even the rose in all of its beauty and fragrance can only blossom in the light after enduring a winter season underground. The power of the resurrection awakens what is dead with the fragrance of life.

The sun is rising and creating a new spiritual dawning, yet few of us realize the debt we owe to those who are and will be responsible for the seedbed of a corporate breaking forth that is coming into full bloom. They are those who dwell among us – anonymous, seemingly ordinary, yet divine destiny and grace has brought forth a new generation of heroes that will usher in the transition of the church age to the kingdom age to gather, to repair, to heal, to save us from ourselves…

To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 2 Corinthians 2:16